Our trip to Capiz coincided with the the Sinadya sa Halaran 2012 festival, which literally means “Joy in Sharing and Thanksgiving.” Held every December, this festival is a merging of the Roxas City Fiesta “Sinadya” and the Provincial celebration of “Halaran.” It is a commemoration of the feast of the patroness of Roxas City (the Immaculate Concepcion).
Zamboanga City’s La Hermosa Festival which was held last October 7-12 was one of the most colorful festivals I’ve witnessed in the country. From the hundreds of vintas with their rainbow sails racing on the sea in the annual regatta, to the festive flurry of activities, it was like a gigantic box of crayons just spilled over the whole city. Beyond the elaborate floats and vibrant costumes of the street dancers, it was great to see the community spirit as locals took part in the different festivities. Here are a few snapshots from the event.
NOTE: This is a guest post
If you are looking for a holiday break that offers beauty, relaxation, adventure and most of all fun, then you will do well to visit the Philippines. This Southeast Asian nation has some of the most varied landscapes around, as you would expect from the unique way it is made up from many different islands. When you visit this beautiful country, you will be enthralled by the idyllic rice fields, the towering volcanoes and the bustling large cities where you can find endless attractions.
“Batok alert. Crab high cholesterol festival!”
“Panalo yan. Ang Sarap. Ang Alige, Ang High Blood at Cholesterol.”
“Drool drool! Cardiac delights! (add thick coco cream for that ultimate mortal sin meal )”
Fiestas in the Philippines are a chaos of colors, costumes, confetti and circus tricks. For the jaded, they all start to look the same. But there’s still something about the rhythmic drum beats that fill the air, the complicated choreography, the lighting-quick costume changes, the traditional music segueing into popular dance tunes, and the smiles on the faces of dancers during provincial fiestas that I still find fascinating. Continue reading
Mindanao is often portrayed as a place of conflict and war. It only figures in the media landscape as a backdrop for conflict, bombings, kidnappings and insurgency. “Is it safe?” is a common question people ask when they hear of ANY destination in Mindanao. But Mindanao is a vast region — though conflict may occur in isolated areas – in other places, you will find beautiful natural wonders, diverse culture, and peace-loving people.
Here nestled in the foothills of Davao, one of Mindanao’s many provinces, is one of the most blissful and memorable places that I’ve visited in the country. The trip may have been a few years ago, but I still remember how special it felt to witness the fiesta of the Matigsalog tribe (“people of the river”), who reside in the forests and remote barangays of Marilog, near the riverbanks of the Davao River (formerly known as Salug River). Continue reading
UPDATE: This blogpost was featured as Wanderlust Magazine’s Blog of the Week for September 24, 2012.
“1st Aeta Forest Food Festival. Capas Tarlac near Mt. Pinatubo. Aetas will show how to hunt bayawak, snakes, wild boar & cook food using traditional methods of the forest through customs, dances & rituals. Will also share traditional food customs with Agta, Dumagat tribes from Zambales, Quezon, Rizal.”
The text message invitation forwarded by Dondi Tawatao, a photojournalist friend who shoots for Getty Images, had me interested at once. Early the next morning we were headed to Capas, roughly 3 hours away from Manila, via a Victory Liner bus and then on a tricycle bound for Barangay Sta. Juliana. Though we initially planned to return to Manila the same day, the long tricycle ride through a winding mountain road where houses were few and far between, gave us a clue that we were probably going to be spending the night there. Continue reading
You have to admire the creativity of Pinoys when it comes to fiestas. Imagine coming up with unique costumes, dances and props centered around a certain theme every year. Multiply that by the number of groups competing in street dances that have become a staple of any fiesta.
The 4th Bagasbas Summer Surf Festival will be held in Bagasbas Beach, Daet, Camarines Norte next weekend from April 15-17, 2011, so I’m reposting an article I wrote on Camarines Norte for Sunday Inquirer Magazine in case anyone is interested in sightseeing afterwards. For some reason, the print version doesn’t carry my byline . The full article is also available online here.