Bontoc | The Far Flung Favarey Village of Maligcong

Favarey, the old settlement of Maligcong
Favarey, the old settlement of Maligcong

Maligcong has become one of my favorite destinations in the Mountain Province in the recent years. I’ve cited five reasons on a previous post why one should go to Maligcong.  Lately, I did notice that there’s already an influx of tourist discovering its quiet charm and natural wonder. Most of them were doing the short climb at Mt Kupapey to see the breathtaking landscape and the rice terraces at the slope of the mountains from the summit. Mt Kupapey is just one of the interesting places in Maligcong. My recent visits there were to do some exploration treks and hike, particularly the far flung village of Favarey and its surrounding area. This village amidst the vast field of rice terraces is called the “Old Town” by the locals as this is the original settlement of Maligcong.

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Batanes | The Dying Heritage of Sumnanga Village in Sabtang Island

Sunset at Duvek Bay
Sunset at Duvek Bay

There’s a certain excitement on visiting far-flung locations. Maybe the idea of finding authenticity in a remote location drives us to go further beyond the tourist trail. Often times we discover gems in seclusion but that is not always the case. Sumnanga Village, the farthest of the Sabtang island villages found at the west side probably has the least tourist footprint on the island. It even took me at least eight years to return to this village despite having been to the island several times already. But sadly it’s another case of tainting my good memories of the place but thankfully there’s redemption in its natural beauty.

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Buscalan Kalinga | The Journey to the Village of Long Life

The 93-years old broom maker in Buscalan Village
The 93-years old broom maker in Buscalan Village

Have I discovered the secret to long life? It seems the people living in this highland village of Buscalan in Kalinga have. It amazes me to see how elders living in the age bracket of 80-90 and above are still nimble, skillful and can still manage to contribute to work. I’m not just talking about the legendary mambatok (traditional tattoo artist) Whang Od (Fang Od), whom we wanted to meet when we went to Buscalan. While I was dumbfounded to find her working under the sun drying out some beans, then carefully carrying those in a small sack at the age of 93-yo, her peers in the village could still run around circles to any sedentary couch-potato in the metro.

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Inle Lake: The Inthas, Floating Gardens, Stilt Villages and Cheroot Making

Intha Fisherment and leg-rowers of Inle Lake
Intha Fisherment and leg-rowers of Inle Lake

The motorized long boat roared through the lake waters coming from the boat landing site. It seemed funny that I have the whole boat all to myself as I sit in the middle chair. Each chair has umbrellas for passengers to use. I only have 2 hours to spare on my tour around the Inle Lake but Monterey, my boatman and guide said it would be enough to explore the top portion of the lake. We will visit a couple of villages, tomato farms and a small factory where they make cheroot, a local cylindrical cigar.

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Macau: Taipa Evening Stroll

Taipa Waterfront
Taipa Waterfront with artificial lake and view of Cotai Strip

Our coach sped through the scenic lights of Macau-Taipa bridge coming from Macau Central. It didn’t take long before we stopped and alighted our coach again. Joao led us to a waterfront park with steel benches by the lake. Afar we could see the towering buildings of the City of Dreams at the Cotai Strip. Despite the dimness it was nice scenery. I could sit down on one of those benches and just space out.

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Batanes: Sabtang Island Backpack Photography Workshop June 2010 Day 2

Sabtang Nakabuang Group Hug
Sabtang Nakabuang Group Hug

There were rain showers early morning before the sunrise, just as I was told. But I caught a glimpse of the full moon and the early morning light rays off the slopes of Mount Iraya through my room window. It is gonna be another great day I say. The group woke up early so we could catch the boat to Sabtang Island. Half an hour past 5, we dragged our sleepy heads to our jeep and rolled of to the port of San Vicente.

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