TaDi Snap Shots

Monday, May 31, 2010

The magic spell cast by Loboc River Cruise


BAYANIHAN REPUBLIC




About 9 years ago, the small province of Bohol became big in my eyes as I witnessed its magnificent natural beauty and wonderful people.  It captivated me that up to this time, Bohol still lands in the top list of my most desired Philippine destinations.  The province has it all -- the world famous Chocolate Hills, the so-called smallest primate in the world Tarsier, top diving destination Balicasag Island, Boracay rival Panglao / Alona Beach, Philippine pride Loboc Children's Choir, historical treasures Dagohoy and Sanduguan sites, and religious gems Baclayon and Daois churches, among many others.

Left photo shows foydi playing with the tarsiers.  Right photo shows foydi right after his snorkling experience in Balicasag Island.

The province may be small but I think I'll never run out of things to do, sites to check out and people to meet everytime I visit the place.  And for this trip, I was able to experience the Loboc River Cruise, dolphin watching in Pamilacan Island, tour and food trip in Bohol Bee Farm and first class stay in Bohol Beach Club. 'But I also checked out the world famous Chocolate Hills, manmade mahogany forest and Baclayon Church.  For this post, let me focus first on the River Cruise because for sure, this will be novel like if I include all the sites in one write-up. =)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

San Isidro Fiesta in Tayabas and Sariaya


BAYANIHAN REPUBLIC:

When you hear San Isidro Labrador fiesta celebration, what comes first in your mind ?  I bet, like me, the unanimous answer is Pahiyas Festival in Lucban right? =)

Ivan and Ivy at the Rodriguez Ancestral House in Sariaya

Well, my recent trip to Quezon opened my eyes that the San Isidro Labrador Festival is not only celebrated in Lucban but also in Sariaya and Tayabas.  Ultimate Philippines didn't just bring me to the colorful world of Pahiyas sa Lucban but it also introduced me to the unique San Isidro Labrador festivities in Sariaya and Tayabas.  Actually, we also went fto Ugu Bigyan Potter's Garden in Tiaong and Sulyap Gallery Cafe in San Pablo, Laguna, as well as in Graceland Estate in Tayabas, Quezon.  'But For this post, pleas allow me to focus on the culture and fiesta celebrations in Sariaya and Tayabas.  Let me talk about the art themed restos (Ugu Bigyan Potter's Garden and Sulyap Gallery Cafe) we visited next time.



Participants of this trip assembled in front of 6750 in Makati.  With excitement and fear that I may not wake up on time, I just took a 30 minute nap thinking that I could sleep more at the bus.  I didn't know anyone in the bus except for Ivan Man Dy, whom I also met first time during this trip but this tour introduced me to wonderful people who became my instant companions and friends during the trip.  They are Chicago based IT consultant Bea, Hong Kong shipping professional Ivy, P&G brand expert Luis and IT consultant Ian. We all shared the unique experience of discovering or rediscovering the richness of the heritage of Quezon.

Our bus is even decorated with kiping and handicrafts! =)
Bea's hobby is photography and she's so much into it during the trip that I noticed she's not taking any photo of herself!  Sayang naman ang tour so I took this shot.  =)


In Sariaya, even tricycles are dressed up with veggies!

Tina Decal, one of the if not the best tour guides in Quezon, guided us throughout the trip.  I learned that Quezon is well known for its coconut and, most especially, lambanog!  Known as poor man's drink, lambanog's alcohol content is at 90% but the good thing is, it guarantees zero hangover! That's why farmers drink this because even if they are very much drunk at night, they can easily get up at dawn to work at the field.


They even have a formal ritual on how lambanog is poured and served.  I learned that this wine is deeply rooted in the culture of the Tabayasins (as Tina would like to call themselves) or Quezonians.  If you're a guest and you are served lambanog, it only means that you are very much welcome in the place.  They even have a saying which expresses "Kung gaano kaiinit ang pagpasok sa lalamunan, ganoon din kainit ang pagtanggap".  In the art of pouring lambanog, the tanggero, is the most respected in the community and he is accurate in serving and distributing the amount of liquor so that everyone will have equal measure of how much to drink.  This ceremony is often done in pamamanhikan and community talks where persons in conflict are encouraged to be at peace with each other.

They said coconut, as well as other farm products, grow well in the place because it has a very fertile soil courtesy of the water coming from the sacred Mount Banahaw.

I'm not a fan of coconut based dishes but this meal is worth the try!  I think a culinary experience is always the first step in knowing and appreciating a cultural heritage.

Even dessert is coconut  - vanilla ice cream in buko with cherry

 Upon reaching Sariaya, we had breakfast at the century old mansion of a governor during the early part of the 20th century.  While having breakfast, we witnessed another ceremonial way of offering lambanog to guests, this is through Pandanggo Awit.

We had breakfast at the Natalio Enriquez House in Sariaya.
Nancy Espinosa doing the Pandango Awit
video
 Nancy Espinosa doing the Pandango Awit

video
 Nancy Espinosa doing the Pandango Awit

Quezon's pinagong and masapan
Hot chocolate while waiting for our turn at the buffet table.  It's the best match with the pinagong bread.

In Sariaya, many houses are also adorned with farm products.  The tradition is not as extravagant as Pahiyas in Lucban but what sets their celebration apart is the Agawan tradition (it's actually called Agawan Festival).  The harvests, which are now combined with modern goods and handicrafts, are tied at bagacay, a bamboo found in Sariaya.  There is also a procession during the fiesta celebration but as soon as San Isidro Labrador passes and the priests blesses a house, the bagacay can be pulled down and all people can race getting the goods.  That's why it's called Agawan Festival.  One may also ask for the specific harvest, and the owner, based on tradition, is generous enough to give that away but only after the San Isidro procession passes his house.  Tina mentioned that this is the difference between Lucban and Sariaya, while people enjoy looking at the decors in Lucban, guests enjoy eating or getting the goods shared by its owner in Sariaya.

Handicrafts hanged at a traditional bagacay branch for the Agawan Festival


One may also ask for the specific harvest, and the owner, based on tradition, is always generous enough to give that away but only after the San Isidro procession passes his house.
Handicrafts hanged at traditional bagacay branches for the Agawan Festival
This is the last store that bakes and prepares this kind of bread during the festival celebration.  The breads are in various fun and colorful shapes like fish and horse.




 In Tayabas, we stopped for a while to check the longest old church in Asia - San Miguel Arcangel.  We were also able to see how the San Isidro fiesta is celebrated there.  They call it Mayohan Festival in Tayabas and the main distinction in their celebration is the "paagaw" of their very own native suman.

This is the longest old church in Asia


A child who's playing a native Filipino game is practicing for his participation in the Mayohan Festival procession.
Ultimate Quezon delicacy for breakfast: Longanisang Lucban, Budin, Suman, Tamalis and Relyenong Itlog

It was just a short trip in Sariaya and Tayabas but  we were able to find their hidden treasures.  For sure, if there will be a chance to stay longer in the future, I would probably know more! =)

Rodriguez House in Sariaya, Quezon
Inside the Rodriguez House
Old books inside the Rodriguez ancestral house
The first bottles of Pepsi found inside the Rodriguez House.
Well, up to this time, although work has really made me insane already, this experience has been giving me smiles for several days.  Boring as it may sound for many but for me, rediscovering our very own culture is always a fascinating adventure because it brings pride and self worth for Filipinos.  So for sure, there will be many more cultural adventures and rediscoveries happening in this blog.  Watch out for more soon! =)


This is a pre-qualifying entry to the Intramuros Bloggers Challenge 2012 by IntramurosManila.Asia. This campaign is fully supported by Barbara's RestaurantCeldran Tours and Payless Pancit Shanghai.

Monday, May 17, 2010

At last, I made it to Pahiyas! -- The Grandeur of the Pahiyas Festival


BAYANIHAN REPUBLIC:


At last I made it to Pahiyas! =) Finally, after several years of trying to schedule and plan a trip, I finally made it to the Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, Quezon! Well, year after year, my friends and I have been planning to go to Pahiyas until, I think everyone lost interest already but me. So when I got the invitation from Ultimate Philippines, I finally grabbed the chance! So I would like to thank Ivan Man Dy, Tina Decal and Anton Diaz for this wonderful cultural experience! =)


And for this trip, the bonus was to realize, and also to see, the versions of nearby towns Sariaya and Tayabas, which happen to celebrate the San Isidro Labrador Festival as well. ‘But since those are major and important occasions too, I think separate dedicated posts are needed.  So for this one, let me just tell you more about the Pahiyas Festival in Lucban.


The Pahiyas Festival is celebrated every 15th of May in Lucban, Quezon in honor of its patron saint and the patron of farmers San Isidro Labrador. This festival features streets of houses with displays of palay, fruits, vegetables, handicrafts and kiping, a rice-made decoration (can also be eaten) which is said to be the icon of the celebration. Kipings are strung together to form various shapes like chandelier called "Arangya" and giant flowers.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Belo in TV, Diva in Billboard, Deal?

Scene Stealer:



On my way to a meeting at Robinson’s Cybergate Tower in Boni, I saw this scene stealer billboard at EDSA. This post is not a review of the featured clinic nor the TV series, this is just an expression of amusement on how a brand can be effectively integrated in a drama series and how a TV program can be maximized in outdoor advertising.


Diva, the series produced by GMA, features Dr. Vicky Belo of the Belo Medical Group acting as herself, a cosmetic surgeon in charge to transform Sam, the ugly lead character played by Regine Velasquez, into a beauteous diva. Then Sam, and soon the beautified character (as the copy suggests), on the other hand is the featured model in Belo’s billboard! That’s mutualism at work! =)



Well, I actually don’t know what else is happening in their campaign or story but I think this is one concept that they can further explode in other media touchpoints. A colleague told me that this is similar to what ABS-CBN and Bacolod Chicken Inasal did for Judy Ann Santos' drama series Ysabella.  Anyway, hats off to the brilliant minds behind these executions!

Note: Photos are from Diva and Belo fanpage sites.

Monday, May 10, 2010

If I were President, I would...

If you were given a chance to be the President of the Republic of the Philippines, what would you do?  This is your chance to make your dream become a reality, feel like a President and express your thoughts!

If you are a kid or a kid at heart, and  have great dreams for your country, this is your time to be heard!

Join UNICEF Philippines'  “If I were President” campaign in celebration of the May 2010 National Elections. Just complete the sentence “If I were President, I would...”, draw your idea on a piece of paper and send your picture (max. file size: 1 MB) with your artwork/idea to psfrmanila@unicef.org.

Be sure to write your name, age and location. The winner gets a real UNICEF field worker pack, a tour of the UNICEF Philippines office, and a courtesy call with UNICEF Philippines Representative Vanessa Tobin.

Send your entries until May 31, 2010. Let your voice be heard! Join now! UNICEF welcomes positive and encouraging ideas. =)

Here are some of the initial entries:

Nick, 8 years old from Mandaluyong
Angeli, 9 years old from Quezon City. 
Christian, 13 years old from Quezon City. 
Philip, 10 years old.

Denis, 14 years old from Caloocan City. 



Note: Information and photos courtesy of UNICEF Philippines.

Friday, May 7, 2010

I Vote for MDG, Dapat Ikaw Din -- Pinoy Artists on Millennium Development Goals

Action & Event-ure:

Sixteen days ago, Tatak Digitista shared with you the "I Vote for MDG" campaign which revisited the eight Millennium Development Goals or MDGs adopted by 189 world leaders from rich and poor countries, as part of the Millennium Declaration signed in 2000. These leaders agreed to achieve the Goals by 2015.

I hope Tatak Digitista, through its own little way, was able to help you craft the best decisions in choosing our future leaders.  Capping the "I Vote for MDG" series is an all-star video featuring the artists and celebrities who supported the campaign.


video
 Various artists on Millennium Development Goals

They are:

KC Concepcion on MDG no. 1 - Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
Gary Valenciano on MDG no. 2 - Achieve universal primary education.
Miriam Quiambao on MDG no. 3 - Promote gender equality and empower women.
Zaijian Jaranilla on MDG no. 4 - Reduce child mortality.
Lea Salonga on MDG no. 5 - Improve maternal health.
Wango Gallaga on MDG no. 6 - Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
Chinchin Gutierrez on MDG no. 7 - Ensure environmental sustainability.
Various artists on MDG no. 8 - Develop a global partnership for development.

If these 8 MDGs are achieved in 2015, what will be the face of the world?


 It will be a world of more harmony, a world that respects cultural and religious diversity and a world that has dramatically decreased the number of extremely poor.

The MDGs strike at the heart of what needs to be changed in the present. They are about a better future and what is possible, a future that we have chosen to take because we all believe in change and transformation into a better world – a world where no one can say that he is deprived of three square full meals a day; where each one of us had many choices; where every child can be properly nurtures, educated with life skills for a good future; where women are treated equally and enjoy equal opportunities; where we can breathe clean air, drink clean and safe water, enjoy the leisures that a clean environment provides and maintain food supply from a productive environment – a world that adheres to peace and security, respects human rights, practices good governance and protects the poor and vulnerable.

Human development is at the heart of the MDGs. In the final analysis, what should really drive all of us to attain the MDGs is the human development goal. The MDGs are all about creating an environment in which people can develop their full potential and lead productive and creative lives in accord with their needs and interests. These cannot be achieved if poverty persists, if access to education, knowledge, health and proper nutrition is denied and if developed countries remain oblivious to the inequitable conditions in the rest of the world.

The MDGs are feasible, but action is needed. The MDGs can be achieved, and they must be achieved because they are our future.

So, again, Let's Stand United, Fight Poverty.  

Vote Wisely!  Vote for MDG!

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