Lake Sebu Adventure: T’boli Dance

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T’boli dancers graced us after dinner.  The costumes as they swirl, the colors they emit—and the ring of bells in their belts and anklets is what I love the most.  Punta Isla Lake Resort does not only boast of good food (their tilapia chicharon is a must try!) but also of great dancing with the young T’boli artists.  Instruments vary from drums to kuluntang to flute.  A solemn prayer is being offered as a sign of permission and thanks to the spirits of instruments are being done everytime they use their preferred musical item.  In every dance, a cultural insight of the T’boli tribe are shared.  Continue reading

nooks and crannies of Angkor Wat Temple

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Mandatory sunrise photo of the Angkor Wat Temple.

A perfect example of Khmer architecture—thus when in Siem Reap, one must always drop by Angkor Wat Temple.   Aside from being the King’s mausoleum, this temple was also constructed for the Hindu God, Vishnu .  I was here in 2010 and was in awe –and even now, years later, Angkor Wat Temple still amazes me.   Continue reading

visiting Samal Island

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I had to bolt out of the house around 7am for this.  The body’s natural caffeine kicked in as I, wide eyed from suddenly jumping out of bed and into the taxi, frantically told, in high pitch voice,  the driver where to go.  Omitting breakfast –which my mother finds unforgivable— assured my arrival on time.  But I missed the boat because my companions got stuck in traffic.  I was quietly sulking, dreaming of the watermelon shake and pancakes I had to skip.  This is karma.  But the waiting is not that bad, nothing brewed coffee can’t fix–and the island, as always, is beautiful. Continue reading

T’nalak Festival in South Cotabato

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So… my feet brought me to Koronadal City to celebrate the T’nalak Festival.  Actually, I was late.  We were supposed to meet at exactly 6pm.  I arrived thirty minutes later.  Good thing Chi decided to wait for me while the rest went ahead as scheduled.  Otherwise I would have taken the wrong bus and god-knows-what will happen (not the first time though).  Chi and I arrived around eleven in the evening at Koronadal City.  And the city was alive and busy!  Needless to say, it was a three-day-basking full of laughter and dancing with the T’boli and B’laan community.

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Boracay Island, Aklan

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It was a lazy day.  After two days of running around manila, it was nice to lounge on the sand while watching people frolic in the water.  Although Manila wasn’t as gloomy as I expected it to be, the sun in Bora was worth visiting over.  The island has changed a lot since I last visited it in 2006.  More stores are now crowding the area and even more hawkers offering pearl earrings, cellphone plastic cases, massages, and packages that involve diving, parasailing, and the like. Continue reading

Panlabuhan Floating Village, Agusan Marshland Sanctuary

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Agusan Wildlife Sanctuary courses through five municipalities  Rosario, San Francisco, Talacogon, Bunawan, La Paz, and Loreto.  Bunawan being the most famous one as it was where Lolong was captured. To those who have no idea who Lolong was, Lolong was the world’s longest crocodile in captivity. He was a 20ft 3in Indo-Pacific saltwater croc and he weighed around 1,075 kg. He was found dead in his cage last February 10, 2013.  

We asked the Panlabuhan locals about what they think of Lolong. “Gamay man siya”.  He’s small,  they said.  Nakadakop mig mas dako pa niya, kaduhaon.  Abi namo namatay kay nasab-it sa pukot.  Buhi diay.  “We caught one that is twice his size. He got himself entangled in one of the nets.  We initially thought that he was dead only to find out he was not” our boat men explained.  When asked where  the crocodile is now.  Gibuy-an nano. “We let him go” they shrugged.    As it should be, our group silently agreed.

Yes, in case you are wondering, the marshland is home to many crocodiles. Continue reading