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Chronicles Festivals Metro Manila Palawan Singapore

A Year in Travels April 2013 | Back in Coron, Singapore Supertrees and Aliwan Fiesta

Singapore Supertrees
Singapore Supertrees

The little city with big developments, Singapore, is always an interesting to visit. I’m always looking forward too new sites and structures I would see whenever I’m there. But last April’s visit was more of a job since for the first time I was able to talk about Photography and the Philippines to a foreign audience. It was an enriching experience to say the least. We did allot a day to explore what’s new in Singapore since my last visit like the Supertrees at the Gardens by the Bay and the Helix Bridge.

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Chronicles Festivals Palawan Philippines

A Year In Travels January 2013 | El Nido Life

Overlooking Nacpan-Calitang twin beach
Overlooking Nacpan-Calitang twin beach

To change things up a bit, instead of a full year-end post, I’ll put in a series of post for the next 12 days for the 12 months of the 2013 in review. 2013 is such a special year of change and discovery, I wanted to focus more on slow long travels instead of micro-vacations, but bits and pieces of those are always welcome. 2013 started finding myself watching the humble but gorgeous fireworks in El Nido Palawan, temporarily staying with a nice family on where I was living in.

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Events Festivals Metro Manila Philippines

Aliwan Fiesta 2013, Revisiting the Philippines’ Mother of Festivals

Dinagyang Festival, Aliwan Fiesta 2013 Campion
Dinagyang Festival, Aliwan Fiesta 2013 Campion

Aliwan” is a tagalog word which means to amuse or entertain. A term fitting for this so-called “Mother of Festivals” called Aliwan Fiesta, running annually in Manila for 10 years (since 2003) which aims to gather some of the best festivals in the country and present them in one place. An ambitious task but successfully realized by Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC) and Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). Maybe it’s the cheery and festive nature of Filipinos that made it successful every year.

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Festivals Palawan Philippines Travel

El Nido Barotuan Ati-Atihan Festival

A Tribo Purok A performer
A Tribo Purok A performer

Ang gusto lang namin ay ipagpatuloy ang tradisyon ng aming mga katutubo na nanggaling ng Aklan. Siguradong matutuwa ang aming mga magulang na nabuhuhay pa rin ang aming paniniwala at panata sa Sto Niño kahit nasaang lugar. Manalo o matalo kami sa kompetisyon ay di na mahalaga. (What we only want is to continue the tradition our natives from Aklan practice. We’re sure our ancestors and parents would be proud that our beliefs and devotion to Sto Niño still lives on wherever we are. It doesn’t matter whether we win or not in this competition)” Says Ricky, a middle-aged man from Purok (District) Taberna who’s part of the group in charge of their performers competing for the Barotuan Ati-atihan Festival. Despite his humble words and devotion, his group of dancers from this farthest district of Barotuan holds the championship for 9 years already.

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Events Festivals Metro Manila Philippines

Philippine Jeepney Arts Festival and Parade 2012

Colorful jeeps on a jeep
Colorful jeeps on a jeep

For at least a couple of hours, people at the streets of EDSA and Ayala Avenue got a surprised and delighted look when they saw a group of colourful and artistic jeeps roam the streets. For a while they stopped what they were doing and stare, take a picture with their mobile phones or simply admire the moving steel canvasses zooming past their sights. About 43 rehabilitated jeeps have undergone a makeover in the hands of a few creative volunteers for the first ever Jeepney Arts Festival. Reviving the Filipinos creativity and ingenuity represented by the Philippine Jeepney.

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Festivals Metro Manila Philippines Travel

Manila: A More Festive Chinese New Year in Binondo 2012

A Chinese Dragon and delighted revelers
A Chinese Dragon and delighted revelers

Ongpin was filled to the brim. People were flooding in all corners, drumbeats pounding in different directions, dragons dancing on top of the crowd and fireworks call their attention. I could really feel the festive atmosphere here. It was 2 years ago when I last visited Binondo on a Chinese New Year and it certainly wasn’t like this before. Perhaps because from now on, the first day of the Chinese New Year would be a holiday to the delight of everyone, Chinese or not. We met with some of our fellow photographer friends who attended our previous Backpack Photography Photo Tours to enjoy and capture the revelry in China Town.

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Festivals Pampanga Pampanga Philippines Travel

Pampanga: Giant Lanterns Bedazzle Again at Ligligan Parul 2011

Last year's Chamption and crowd favorite Sta Lucia
Last year's Chamption and crowd favorite Sta Lucia

I try not to travel around during the holiday seasons as the vehicular and human traffic is horrendous at this time of the year. But I decided to make an exception on the 17th of December 2011 to witness this year’s Ligligan Parul 2011 or the Giant Lantern Festival in San Fernando, Pampanga. It’s a grand annual lights and music spectacle featuring the Filipino’s traditional Parol (Christmas Lantern) showcased in a gigantic scale. This year, 10 baranggays (villages) take turns to display their sophisticated light design display on their Giant Lanterns in-sync with their choice of music to give us audiences a feast to our senses.