The Mandayas: People of the Uplands

The Mandayas of Caraga Municipality

At the heart of our visit to the Caraga municipality is the Community-Based Tourism (CBT) project by the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), in collaboration with the Mandaya Ethnic Group in the uplands ancestral domain of Sangab, Caraga, Davao Oriental. While exploring Caraga to showcase its natural wonders and attractions, a portion of our group is actively involved with the Mandayas, implementing a “Marketing Enhancement Program” and providing essential “starter-kits” (threads, beads, cotton, etc.), as well as equipment such as sewing machines and back-strap weaving looms.

Continue Reading

Taichung City | Rainbow Village: Step Into the World of Dreams

Ironman wandering at the Rainbow Village

Our last stop in Taichung City before moving to another county is probably the most colorful. The Rainbow Village in Nantun District in Taichung is famous for its colorful murals. But a visit here would offer a deeper appreciation on the story behind these vibrant street art. How a retired soldier managed to help save a village through his vision and art. Coming from In Sky Hotel in Fengjia, it was just a short 30 minutes ride until we found ourselves walking on the colorful pavement of Rainbow Village.

Continue Reading

Oriental Mindoro | The Hanunuo at Panaytayan Mangyan Settlement

Bugkos Dagay holding a carved Hanunuo writing

The island of Mindoro is also home to the indigenous people of Mangyan. There are eight tribes scattered around the island, from Oriental to Occidental Mindoro. I’ve encountered several tribes already from my past visits and wrote extensively on the Buhid and Iraya Mangyans. Won’t be repeating the same general information from them but rather focus on our visit with the Panaytayan Mangyan Settlement at Manansalay. This time we take a glimpse on the life and culture of the Hanunuo Mangyans.

Continue Reading

Batanes | Diura Fishing Village: Languid Morning and Tracing the Archaic

Sunrise at the Diura Fishing Village

Oh I am so looking forward to this. After days of hiking around Batanes, and recently a couple of daily hikes in Itbayat I was yearning for a place quiet to rest and recharge. I am excited to spend a night in Diura, an idyll fishing village in a quiet cove, east of Mahatao. I had been to Diura Fishing Village several times but haven’t tried spending a night. I wanted to take sunrise photos at the bay so being there would be advantageous. Our boat for Basco from Itbayat should have left already 2 hours ago. But I had to wait for 2 cows and 2 pigs on the boat. The sudden malfunction on the crane to hoist the cows added to the agonizing wait. I guess its just a little more time to endure for that much awaited repose.

Continue Reading

Bontoc | Follow the River Hike from Caneo to Tocucan Trail

Caneo to Tocucan Trail

I must admit. The urge to cover as much places as I can when traveling has lost its zing. New places still fascinate me but beyond the established tourist spots. Lately I have been visiting Bontoc, Mountain Province a lot. I’m still enticed to explore deeper into the area. My recent visit finds me hiking the Caneo to Tocucan Trail. Villages off the radar to most people since they are located in valleys tucked deep in the mountains. It was an idea thrown to us by our friend Suzzette which we gladly obliged as I was also looking for good suppliers for some native weaving.

Continue Reading

Bontoc | Caneo Weaving Wonders

Auntie Benita showing us her finished Caneo weaving

“Tig tig tak! Tig tig tak!” I hear the sound of the loom beaters colliding. Creating a rhythmic beat as a weave of pattern slowly forms. I watch Auntie Benita busy with her loom at the balcony of her house overlooking the roof of her neighbors along with the high mountains hugging their village of Caneo (sometimes Can-eo). Her ever watchful grand daughter Shakira stays by her side. Observing how she skillfully coordinates her motions, from pedaling the treadles to shuffling the shuttle between the threads. Much like Shakira, Benita learned how to weave watching her mother as she grows up. Traditional Caneo weaving, which they call Tilar, is very much alive in this remote village.

Continue Reading

Bontoc | The Far Flung Favarey Village of Maligcong

Favarey, the old settlement of Maligcong

Maligcong has become one of my favorite destinations in the Mountain Province in the recent years. I’ve cited five reasons on a previous post why one should go to Maligcong.  Lately, I did notice that there’s already an influx of tourist discovering its quiet charm and natural wonder. Most of them were doing the short climb at Mt Kupapey to see the breathtaking landscape and the rice terraces at the slope of the mountains from the summit. Mt Kupapey is just one of the interesting places in Maligcong. My recent visits there were to do some exploration treks and hike, particularly the far flung village of Favarey and its surrounding area. This village amidst the vast field of rice terraces is called the “Old Town” by the locals as this is the original settlement of Maligcong.

Continue Reading