tribe

Lojing Highlands, Kelantan: Blowing Darts at an Aboriginal Senoi Village [SP]

Posted on June 23, 2012

Learning darts, aboriginal-style! After our two-hour return hike to see the Rafflesia blooms, we detoured to a small resettlement village of the Senoi, one of the orang asli or aboriginal groups of Malaysia for a demonstration of their blowpipe hunting skills. While there are no more real aboriginal villages in Lojing Highlands, the government has provided resettlement villages for displaced families, where some of them earn a living through eco-tourism and handicraft-making. There were 22 families living in the villageRead More

Marawi City & Lake Lanao – Cultural Watershed of the Maranao

Posted on June 17, 2012

The Bacarat Torogan has massive pillars set on stones to make it earthquake-proof. To outsiders – even to its Mindanaoan neighbors  – Marawi City has the longstanding reputation of being a land of no return. While the stigma carries a kernel of truth (with occasional incidents of kidnap-for-ransom or car-napping reported in the news), to see the city only this way is an unfairly narrow-minded perspective.Upon visiting the only Islamic City in the Philippines, the adventurous and culture-curious will beRead More

Race Across The Terrace: Batad Rice Terraces (Part Two)

Posted on February 27, 2012

Sunrise hike across the rice terraces The next morning, the sun filtered through two curtains: my room’s and the village’s. As I opened mine, I could see the terraces veiled in fog, which gently unraveled as golden light spilled into the bowl-shaped valley. From the balcony of the Hillside Inn, the village far below was waking to another day amidst one of the most spectacular landscapes in the country.A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Batad Village is an international backpacker’s destinationRead More

Race Across The Terrace: Banaue Town (Part One)

Posted on February 27, 2012

Elderly Ifugaos pose for a snapshot at Banaue Viewpoint Swoosh! Another tree branch barely missed my head.It’s been 11 hours since I left Manila, with the last hour’s ride proving to be a branch-dodging, butt-bruising and utterly hair-raising experience not inside but atop a jeepney overloaded with young boys spitting red moma, sacks of fresh greens, and a black native pig kept cool with some large leaves. While we bore the summer’s heat, the wide-eyed swine was comfily bound forRead More

Sensational Sarangani

Posted on February 1, 2012

This unedited article is for a commissioned travelfeature in SMILE magazine of Cebu Pacific Air. By some stroke of luck, an invitation for lunch with Manny Pacquiao dropped on our laps as soon as we arrived in the seaside town of Glan, where the world boxing icon spent his early childhood. “Manny is nice, lovable, and very simpático – you should meet him!” prominent resident Luz Margarita Ruiz-Yu beamed, segueing from an intriguing preview of antiques salvaged from the RuizRead More

Lake Sebu: Living with the T’boli

Posted on September 22, 2011

During my much-anticipated visit to Lake Sebu in South Cotabato, I had the opportunity to experience spending a night in an indigenous home. The T’boli are one of the numerous non-Islamic indigenous peoples – or lumads – in Mindanao. They once occupied a majority of the island, but due to the arrival of Christian migrants from Luzon and Visayas in the early 20th century, as well as sporadic ethno-political conflicts, they have been pushed to highland areas such as theRead More