Sagbayan

Sagbayan: Into the Heart of Bohol’s Tremor

The town of Sagbayan in Bohol may not have the old heritage churches, but it is has one great asset it can flaunt about–Chocolate Hills is also within her territory. The natural wonders have been formed by earth’s movements over time–from the sea, to where it is now. It was also believed it was the giant’s mudslinging that created these hills that looks like gigantic chocolate chips. Whatever its origins, it is one great proof of Mother Nature’s raw power in terraforming.

And on 15 of October 2013, the residents of Sagbayan was able to witness and experience her power. A 7.2 magnitude earthquake rocked the town down to its knees. Five days later, we saw how this town struggled itself in the first few days after the tremor.

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Bohol Chocolate Hills

Bohol: Of Earth and Emotions (Part 1)

Five days after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that rocked Central Philippines, we embarked on a journey to document, plot, and experience how Bohol was–the epicenter. From ruined colonial churches and buildings, to “sliced” Chocolate Hills, to the rising sea floor, and to the tense human emotions that lingered in this island paradise–of desperation and hope.

It was an odyssey worth telling in the first anniversary of the 2013 SugBohol earthquake.

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Fort Pikit

Fort Pikit: The Lone Spanish Sentinel of Central Mindanao

The forts were built during the Spanish-colonial times often as a defense point of the colonizers against the marauding foreigners, including the Moros of Mindanao. While majority of these were constructed near the coasts, since most invasions come from the sea, Fort Pikit in Cotabato Province seems to be one of those who are exempted to the rule—because it’s located right at the heart of Mindanao Island!

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Talakudong Festival

Talakudong Festival: Overlooked Small City Fiesta, Big Punch Party!

It has been years since we have been travelling for festivals around the country. Each of these has their distinct signature moves, dances, and musicality. In central Mindanao, the crossroad city of Tacurong City in the Province of Sultan Kudarat, also has its own festival celebrating its cityhood—Talakudong Festival.

Despite it being a lesser-known festival, and often overlooked in the “national schedule of events,” Talakudong offers some big punch for being unassumingly good! The colourful parade of five contingents graced the dusty yet wide streets, giving a burst of life from their costumes, to their cheers, and to that deep drum and kulintangan music that marks that this is a Mindanaoan feast!

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BGC Bus Map

The BGC Bus Map and Rough Guide

The BGC Bus serves as the main public mass transport in one of Metro Manila’s newest central business districts. Located in Taguig City (we’re not going to that Makati-Taguig thingy here), its strategic location in between two established financial districts of Makati and Ortigas, has made it a business and urban-leisure destination. BGC Bus serves locals, tourists, and locals between the district and to terminals at EDSA and Market-Market.

Out of my frustration with lack of maps, or perhaps the ever changing routes of Bonifacio Global City’s (BGC) buses, we decided to make a map based on BGC Bus’s latest information posted on their official Facebook page, plus the existing maps on Bonifacio Estate Services Corporation.

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Diguisit Coast of Baler

The Rugged Diguisit Coastline of Baler

Facing the Pacific has its own assets. Surfing waves are its most ideal, hence Baler in the province of Aurora is known for being a pilgrimage center of surfistas both local and foreign. If you are not into surfing and you would just like to experience and feel Mother Nature’s beauty, then Baler’s coastline in Diguisit can be your therapy. Yet the best time to experience it’s ruggedness-December.

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Binalay and Inatata

Inatata and Binalay: Ilagan’s Sweet Tooth Delicacies

Rice cakes have been a staple dessert for most Filipino tables—rice and coconut are almost found anywhere in the islands! Ilagan, the capital city of Isabela Province, holds no exemption to the rule, especially for the hungry. While Batil Patong and Pancit Cabagan are known as the delicacies of the Valley, inatata and binalay deserves some attention too—especially for the foodies out there.

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Tumauini Church

Tumauini Church: Isabela’s Iglesia Reyna

That December afternoon, amihan was blowing hard. At least that makes our trip like air-conditioned all over. It was siesta time in rural Isabela in northern Luzon and we were heading to one of the province’s most famous Spanish-colonial churches, the Church of San Matias in the town of Tumauini.

Even though the church is not located beside the national highway, its belfry was imposing enough to let our manong driver stop at the unloading area.

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