Thursday, September 29, 2011

Quaintly Lake Sebu

I am supposed to see the Lemlunay Festival, a Tboli ethnic festival, in the quaint town of Lake Sebu but it was already held a week before I came in. I got a bit disappointed since based on my research it falls on the time I will be arriving the place. Nevertheless my time was not wasted because there was so much to explore and cover in this town.

Lake Sebu is a natural lake that is located in the town of Lake Sebu in South Cotabato province. It is a very important watershed because it is used for irrigation in the said province and its neighbor Sultan Kudarat.

Lake Sebu is considered the home of the T’bolis and their ancestral domain. It was formerly a village of Surralah but became an independent town. Its population of more than 60,000 is distributed in 19 different barangays.
Justify FullI was able to get a promo fare of Php 2, 600 for a roundtrip Manila to Gensan City from Cebu Pacific Airline. I was surprised that at the airport I met some people who speak Ilocano. I took a taxi which cost P150 to the bus terminal of Marbel. The aircon bus was P75 for an hour ride, then another bus to Surralah which cost Php24 then a van for Php35 to the town of Lake Sebu.

I arrived there half past 12 noon and took my lunch. Then it rained cats and dogs. After it I took a single motorcyle or habal habal to Punta Isla. It is a very nice resort which is considered as number 1 resort in the area. I took one room with two double beds for only 420. I slept the entire afternoon then took a dinner of paksiw tilapia.

On the following day, I started my day early with a banca ride in Lake Sebu. I saw young boys so I requested one of them to take me around the lake. I saw fishpen and fishermen. I saw lotus plants and flowers. I saw their catch of tilapia which was delivered to the resort’s resto. Then went to the souvenir shop where I had the chance to don the tinalak costume and took photo with the Tboli ladies. I rented a motorcycle with driver Archie who took me around town which I paid only 200 for half day tour.

He took me first at the Seven Falls. The first two falls are the ones easily accessible. It was a long falls but the water was not that clear. There was even zipline available to the public from falls 1 to falls 2. Then we went to the deepest lake Seloton where there is also a nice resort on its side. Some men were fishing tilapias. I saw some horses on the fields we passed by. These horses participate in horsefighting during festival.

We headed to the market and there were other freshwater fish aside from tilapia. I really want to see the tinalak weaving and incidentally the people from Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan of NCCA were there documenting the procedures. I met Ms Cecil and Dr. Norma.

I had the opportunity to personally meet Lang Dulay of the tinalak fame. She was awarded the title of National Living Treasure. She is already old and gets easily tired of doing the weave. But she has family and grandchildren who help her do the weaving.

Last stop was the Tboli museum where I had a try of the putong or pugong, a head gear for the Tboli men and finally I have watched cultural performances of a group of young students.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dayaw 2011: An Indigenous Peoples’ Month Celebration

The month of October is declared as National Indigenous Peoples’ Month as per Presidential Proclamation 1906. In celebration of this, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts is sponsoring a festival celebraton called Dayaw 2011. It is under the auspices of the Subcommission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts (SCCTA) and Mindanawon Foundation.

This festival aims to celebrate the richness of the cultures of the Filipino people and to strengthen the awareness, appreciation and pride of all Filipinos of our own traditional culture. It has this year’s theme: “Paghabi ng Ating Pagkakatulad Tungo sa Kapayapaan”. Various activities will be conducted such as rituals and performances, food festival, forum, arts and crafts exhibit and traditional games. It will be held on October 6-10, 2011 at the Energy Park in Tagum City, Davao Del Norte.

Indigenous Peoples Regional Assembly

On September 16, after our regular meeting in our committee at National Commission for Culture and the Arts, we were invited to attend the Indigenous Peoples Regional Assembly.

It was convened by Senator Loren Legarda at the Teacher’s Camp in Baguio City in partnership with other government agencies namely: National Commission for Indigenous Peoples, Department of Education, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Department of Tourism, Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the International Labour Organization.

This affair was participated in by Indigenous Peoples from Luzon covering Regions 1-5 and the Cordillera Region. There was Indigenous Peoples products exhibit at the venue featuring the loom weaving of textiles. A film featuring Buhos was also shown to the delegation.

There were lectures presented at the plenary session with topics Climate Change and its impacts on Indigenous Peoples, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Programme and Disaster Risk Reducton: Use of Geohazards Information.

It was followed by Q and A which focuses on mining. It was pointed out that some members of the IP community have the tendency to be bribed to allow mining in their areas. It was emphasized that if they said no to mining then they should solidly stand for it.

There were cultural performances presented during the Solidarity Night. Unity Dance was performed by the NIIT-Baguio and “Tayao” was presented by Benguet delegates. Some dances were joined by the public.

Nose flute was even played by one of the performers. An Aeta woman rendered a song. I also met a woman from Kalinga who has tattoe on her body. It is called batok which signifies beauty among locals. Local wines and cocktail foods were served. Later, we were treated for a dinner with pinikpikan. We had fun attending the event. Regional assemblies will follow in Visayas and Mindanao.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cosplay: A Performance Art

I don’t usually watch animations but because of their popularity, I encounter them often on posters and on the internet. I don’t have interest on them since they are for kids only. But on my recent visit to SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, I saw a lot of people youngsters at that on cosplay. There was actually a convention for cosplay.

I see people take photographs with them. I did have photo ops with them too. When you get closer to them, the animated character tends to get into life. It somewhat gives you surreal scenario.

So when I saw them one by one, it excited me. I kept on shooting them for they were enjoyable to be photographed since they are skilled to strike a pose. The costumes were so colorful and even the hair were of differenct colors. All of the models were so cooperative and enjoyed the party as well.

I simply enjoyed my very first experience of cosplay. It is a contracted word for costume play. It was coined by Noboyuki Takahahsi of Japan. Cosplay is a type of performance art. Participants wore costumes and accessories that create a specific character. Animated characters from Japan are very popular. The characters are being sourced from the anime and manga.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tanap Avis: A Waterfalls that Dazzles

Last Sunday, my colleague Alaric Yanos and I went to the beautifulTanap Avis Falls in the town of Burgos in Ilocos Norte. We have planned it for a long time but there was little water in there as reported by our source. However our visit was a good timing since the water was huge attibuted to the rains in the last storm that hit the province.

We took the GMW bus early at half past 5 in the morning then arrived after an hour. We took a tricycle going to Brgy Tanap. The regular fare is 50 pesos one way. Our ride had to cross river water and rough road. Then the driver pointed us which path to take. It was so accessible that you just have to follow the easy trail and youll be walking along an irrigation canal.

It was cool to be there before 7am. We saw various plants and insects. We saw the colorful centipedes along the way. We saw big dragonflies of red and black colors. When we were approaching, we can hear the beautiful sound of rushing water. It was so awesome to see and watch the waterfalls. There were deep basins of water, huge rocks and stones.

We saw some butterflies flying over the waters. I saw a group of white butterflies and another batch of yellow butterflies. They land on a part of the water and obviously zip water. Macrophotography is so applicable to the site since there were lots of small creatures that can be used as subjects.

A few minutes when we arrived we saw a fisherman who harvests from the tiny fish cage traps that he installed in strategic locations. He caught some fresh shrimps and looks so yummy. We interviewed him for a while as he explains how he does fishing.

We walked further and we reached the second layer of the waterfalls. I took a dip and enjoyed the fresh, clean and cool water. It was like having a jacuzi where the pressure of the falls massaged my body parts. I climbed and explored the waterfalls on the top area and there I saw the river that flow continuously. We were told that it was the only second layer and the last layer was still to be found farther and with difficulty. Anyways, we can still come back to explore some more of this waterfalls. I hope to be back to commune with nature and appreciate its value and be more responsive to protect the environment. Truly a dazzling waterfalls.