Aside from the majestic Mayoyao Rice Terraces, Mayoyao municipality also boasts some enchanting waterfalls steeped in local legends. One of them is the A’pfaw Mahencha Falls in Barangay Chumang. One morning, I, along with my media companions, Tourism Promotions Board, and Shroff Travel, set off on a 5–6km ride up to an overlooking Khohang Garden and Viewpoint for a picnic breakfast. The garden serves as a gateway to the falls concealed within the lush forest of Mayoyao.
The Ifugao Province is blessed with a culturally rich landscape, boasting five clusters of rice terraces inscribed under the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1995 as Living Cultural Landscapes. These include the Batad and Baangaan Terraces in Banaue, the Mayoyao Rice Terraces, the Hungduan Rice Terraces, and the Nagacadan Rice Terraces in Kiangan. Among these, the Mayoyao Rice Terraces stand out for their exceptional preservation, owing to their remote location, resulting in minimal tourist activity and thus, reduced environmental impact. My long-awaited journey to Mayoyao was made possible thanks to the Tourism Promotions Board, as we joined their Community-Based Tourism workshops in Mayoyao.
The fertile lands surrounding Mt. Apo, the highest peak in the Philippines, owe their richness to the volcanic activity that has shaped the region over the years. Farmers and entrepreneurs in the vicinity of the volcano have harnessed the benefits of this nutrient-rich environment, cultivating a diverse range of crops such as fruits, vegetables, and grains. The emergence of farms catering to tourists like Humbled by Nature, Balutakay Coffee Farms, Lao Integrated Farms, and The Berries Farm Cabin signals Davao del Sur’s rise as a promising destination for farm tourism in the country.
Visiting Bidibidi Cafe in Baao, Camarines Sur is entering the lush and vibrant world of artist, Bernadette De Los Santos, fondly called, BidiBidi. The signage “Cafe des Artes” seen along Rizal St marks the place of Bidibidi Cafe. Inside the gated walls is a beautiful garden interspersed with wooden sculptures. Vibrant murals envelope the facade of the house known as the home of the Burikbutikan Artist Collective, BidiBidi Enterprise Handicrafts and Bidibidi Cafe.
Leprosy has been eradicated in Culion since the 1980s but the stigma still remains. It didn’t help that World Health Organization (WHO) only declared Culion leprosy-free in 2006. So why not embrace this history of healing of this infectious disease? The structures, the research, the tools and the story of the people who lived while it was a leper colony still remains. Culion town is a witness on how a community persevered and healed.
The heat was overwhelming upon my first taste of Kuwaiti air in the 3rd quarter of the year. Even at night, the blowing wind felt like it was coming from the oven. During day, the sun intensifies the heat, reaching higher than 40°C. The only respite is the shade. But even under the shadows, I found myself still sweating buckets. It took a while for me to get used to this weather. Even if there are several malls with air-conditioners functioning at full capacity, I was looking for some green, cool, and open spaces. I found the recently open and on-going development of Al Shaheed Park fascinating. A modern city development to what seemed to be an oasis in the city.
For many culture, a broken mirror means bad luck in the unforeseeable future. But for Italian-born contemporary artist Lidia Qattan, seeing her daughter with scattered glass shards on the floor sparked a creative idea. To minimize her daughter’s wall doodling, Lidia started to place the mirror pieces on the wall with artistic patterns. This was the start of decades of work to transform her humble home in Kuwait as the only house in the world covered in mirror mosaic – the Mirror House.