Viva Musica! Viva MassKara!

MassKara Festival--well, he looks familiar though, hahaha!!!

I wouldn’t be writing that much for MassKara Festival of Bacolod nowadays, since I have written this before. One thing that made me come to MassKara was that this year’s event revolutionized its musicality. Finally, the streets of Bacolod City were filled up with live beats! No more canned music, no more LSS, no more repeated songs over and over again, and finally-no more horrible remixes! MassKara has indeed evolved and incorporated the beats that truly express revelry and culture of the Bacolodnon and Negrense peoples.

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Twilight at Taluksangay Zamboanga

Minaret of Taluksangay Mosque

When I went to Zamboanga, one of my top priority destination that I would like to see and experience was Barangay Taluksangay and its red Masjid (mosque). It’s in history and travel books, and even on postcards about Zamboanga City. That Sunday afternoon, John Marlowe, a friend of mine and a local of the city, took me to this historical place that is a known bastion of Islam in Mindanao. Some people said, “delikado doon! Wag ka nang pumunta doon” (It’s dangerous! Just don’t go there.)-I said, “then let’s go there!” without hesitation nor fear for the people.

The Taluksangay Mosque

Barangay Taluksangay is located some 20 kilometers east of Pueblo (downtown Zamboanga City). The community is located at the swampy coastline of the peninsula. Taluksangay proper itself lies separated from the mainland by an estuary. One would see the towering minarets from afar, welcoming guests who have come to Taluksangay.

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Bittersweet Memories of Maao Sugar Central

The old Maao Sugar Central Mill--now silent

It was MassKara weekend in Bacólod City in Negros Occidental and I was about to cover it. However, I prefer to go the other way around than the usual Talisay-Silay-Victorias route which tourists would flock before MassKara higlight. Good thing though, Rain Varela, a great friend of mine was glad to tour me in his hometown, this time down south—at Bago City. The city is the bailiwick of the Araneta clan, one of the most influential clans in the Philippines, and within it lies what was once the pulsating sugar central of Ma-ao.

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Flying Fast and Furious over B’lakayo Zipline

Rina Takes Off at Blakayo Zipline

It was my “official” first day at Soccsksargen Experience Tour 3 (S3X Tour for short) organized by a good friend of mine Avel Manansala and the Sox Bloggers. I was a day late since I have work…but the rest of S3X Tourists have already enjoyed their outdoor activities at Sarangani Province the day before. That Saturday morning, we went all the way to the highlands of Barangay Olympog in General Santos City to experience one of Philippines’ fastest and highest ziplines, the Fifth Mountain of B’lakayo—looks like it’s time to prove that pigs do fly, fast and furious! One of Gensan’s rising adventure tourist attractions.

It may be slow but in a way B'lakayo's Cable Car Ride is an extreme one...

B’lakayo is a B’laan word meaning “Black Woods” or “Other side of the woods,” referring to the place on the foothills near Mount Matutum. It is about more than 15 to 20 kilometer ride all the way…to the highlands. Getting here needs some effort since roads are yet to be paved and steep enough (recommended if you have a 4×4 vehicle)—that’s the only start of the adventure!

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A Spicy Breakfast at Jimmy’s Satti

Spicy Satti for breakfast

For me, travelling to different places meant having a bite of the local culinaria. Zamboanga City is already known for its curacha or coconut crab as some other people say, and Alavar sauce. However, there are lesser known dishes here that make Zamboanga worthy to be included in the Philippine culinaria tour. One of those local delicacies would be satti.

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