It was a festival of sorts at the A Ma Temple in Macau, the oldest Taoist temple in the island, built in 1488 and dedicated to the goddess Matsu, patron of fishermen and seafarers. The area was festive with Portuguese influenced dances as locals were dressed in traditional Portuguese wear at the open area outside the walls. But it was the huge structure of tarp and bamboo that caught my attention, several meters from the temple entrance and was delighted to know that it was…Continue Reading “Chinese opera during a festival in Macau”

It was quiet a relief when I entered the gym that also functioned as the dojo of Iga Kendo Club during its practices at the Arena Fitness Club. It was cooler than the outside, less humid. But I got more excited of seeing for the first time kendōka (Kendo practitioners), that I have just seen in movies or TV. It was kind of scary to see them in full regalia but at the same time, mesmerizing. After a brief introduction to Sensei Koji Igarashi, a…Continue Reading “An afternoon at a Kendo practice in Metro Manila”

A cloud of dust followed the speeding cowboy and his horse as he was lassoing a calf. He missed and the crowd roared with laughter. After two more attempts, he was successful, hurriedly got down his steed and ran to the creature, wrestling with it until it was all tied down on the ground. It was an hour after lunch during the culmination of the Kaamulan Festival in Malaybalay, Bukidnon. After the colorful parade and presentation at the capital grounds, the crowd shifted to the…Continue Reading “The Cowboys of Bukidnon during the Kaamulan Festival”

A cloud of dust hung in the air as boisterous livestock were everywhere. There were cows, carabaos, pigs and goats in between throngs of people under the uncaring gaze of slender and tall coconut trees. It was Wednesday and for the barangay of Malatapay, in the municipality of Zamboanguita, Negros Oriental, it was livestock market day. I was told that sellers and buyers come from all over Negros and even Cebu. Piglets inside wooden pens or sack being checked by buyers. A seller is dragging…Continue Reading “Photo essay: The Malatapay livestock market”