Bambanti Festival

It was nice to be back in Ilagan City, Isabela’s capital, up in North Luzon as we visited to witness one of the grandest celebrations in this part of the Philippines: the Bambanti Festival. I first witnessed this unique festival back in 2017, paying homage to the bambanti, or scarecrow. I was amazed at the pomp and pageantry, including the big budget productions being mounted. Being an agricultural province, the scarecrow has been an important part of the vast lands devoted to corn, tobacco and…Continue Reading “Bambanti Festival, Ilagan’s biggest celebration”

Amelie Hotel in Malate

Malate has always been known as the bohemian enclave of Manila with its many artsy cafes and galleries, bustling nightlife and irrepressible energy. The district was the place to go to socialize and a haven for artists and musicians. If you want culture and more, Malate was the place. But that was way before the establishments and happening places have moved to other quarters of Metro Manila. The Malate of old has lost its glory and its star has dimmed. Gritty and grimy, it has…Continue Reading “Amelie Hotel in Malate exudes that perfect Manila vibe”

hotel in coron

Coron is always a great place to visit. Lovely white sand beaches, a salty hot spring, pristine island lakes, island hopping and with those spectacular rock formations, a memorable vacation. For such a small town, looking for the perfect hotel can be challenging. But Coron Soleil Garden Resort, and its budget friendly sister, Coron Soleil Express Hotel are highly recommended. Great service, good food and well appointed location. Coron Soleil Garden Resort When we last visited Coron last July, we stayed at the Coron Soleil…Continue Reading “A well appointed and recommended resort hotel in Coron”

Things to do in Cotabato City

I have visited Cotabato City for a few times only, either as a transit point on my way to other places. A few hours, or overnight, but last month, I was able to go around the city, albeit briefly, again. This post is a brief introduction, though not exhaustive, of things to do in Cotabato City. A large ‘Cotabato City’ sign in white letters greets visitors passing the intersection of Sinsuat and Notre Dame Avenues. On a bright sunny day, the colorful houses and buildings…Continue Reading “Things to do in Cotabato City, a revisit”

Pakarajaan 2018

I was in awe as I entered the second floor of the wooden building. A room richly furnished and draped with yellow cloth, the Maguindanao royal color, with splashes of red, green and blue details covering the ceiling and the walls. Banig, native mats with diamond designs spread on every inch of the flooring. Brass trays crowned with colorful woven dome covers with geometric designs neatly arranged in rows. These fill the central space of a Maguindanao Sultanate throne room. Except that this is inside…Continue Reading “Experiencing ARMM thru Pakarajaan 2018”