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Heritage Churches of Bohol: Reminiscing the National Treasures

It's been two years already since the 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Bohol and Cebu. This severely damaged the centuries-old churches in Baclayon, Dauis, Dimiao, Loay, Loboc, Loon and Maribojoc. ...

Dinagyang Festival - Hala Bira Iloilo!

The best tourism event in the Philippines, Dinagyang Festival continues to showcase the celebration of the Filipino spirit, our rich heritage, colorful history, and passionate devotion of our countrymen....

Mt. Daraitan Summit (700++MASL) - Tinipak River Traverse

Who would have thought that there's a hidden paradise at the heart of Tanay, Rizal. Mt. Daraitan offers mountain trekking, repelling, caving or spelunking, river crossing, swimming and camping...

Taal Volcano: World's Smallest Volcano

Planning for a quick weekend getaway? Why not try to climb Taal Volcano, one of the nearest hikes in Manila. This volcano is found in an island within a lake that...

La Union: Surfing Capital of the Northern Philippines

It's my first time to travel. My first time at the ocean. And definitely my first time to try surfing. At first, I was very hesitant...

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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Picturesque: Colors and Emotions of Dinagyang Festival




After a week of celebration of Cebu's Sinulog Festival and Aklan's Ati-Atihan Festival, comes the continuation of 3-major Festival of January - Dinagyang Festival. “Dinagyang” is an Ilonggo word for revelry or merrymaking. Dinagyang Festival showcase the celebration of the Filipino spirit, our rich heritage, colorful history, and passionate devotion of our countrymen. It is celebrated every fourth weekend of January to commemorate the Christianization of the natives and to honor Sto. Niño - the Holy Child Jesus whom Ilonggos believe was very miraculous in times of famine and drought. (Read more about Dinagyang Festival on this post).

Here are some of the photos that shows how colorful and festive Dinagyang Festival the past years:

Cute little boy dressed as an Ati Warrior


The Choreography each year becomes more impressive and complex

Ati Warriors on white costume

Bring the beat, colors, and intense emotions 
Babaylan in Yellow. Babaylan is a Visayan term identifying an indigenous Filipino religious leader, who functions as a healer, a shaman, a seer and a community "miracle-worker"




Colors of the Philippines. Red, Blue and Yellow Ati Warrior costume

Wearing a heavy head dress is not that easy while dancing to the festive beat at the same time


The are also little boys who dressed as the Sto. Niño 




Dinagyang Festival is held to give honor to Sto. Niño and to celebrate the arrival of Christianity in the island of Panay.


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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Heritage Churches of Bohol: Reminiscing the National Treasures



It's been two years already since the 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Bohol and Cebu. This severely damaged the centuries-old churches in Baclayon, Dauis, Dimiao, Loay, Loboc, Loon and Maribojoc.


It was really heartbreaking to see some of our National treasures to turn into rubble because these are important not only to the culture of our people but also to our faith. Until now, the province of Bohol, non- government organizations, and the Roman Catholic Church has been working hand in hand to restore these ancient churches as well as the economy and infrastructures damaged by the earthquake.

As the restoration remains to be a work in progress, let's look back on some of the Bohol's heritage churches on its original beauty before the earthquake last October 15, 2013.


St. Joseph Parish Church, Tagbilaran City, one of the oldest churches in Bohol, was built in 1595 and was destroyed by an earthquake in 1798, then later rebuilt in the 19th century. It is located in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, near Plaza Rizal and the Provincial Capitol. The church is adjacent to the Bishop’s Palace where the Bishop of the Tagbilaran Diocese resides and hold office. The parish office is also located at the Bishop’s Palace.

(St. Joseph Parish Church)





Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Dauis, Bohol. A fine representation of a Byzantine-Romanesque architecture founded by the Jesuits Father Diego de Ayala and Joseph Gregorio. The facade of Dauis Church is Gothic in style with Neoclassical ornamentation. The church's interior has frescoes on the ceiling painted by Ray Francia in 1916. At the foot of the altar is a well, which was believed to have sprung miraculously.



(Dauis Church)






San Pedro Apostol Parish Church (Loboc Church), Municipality of Loboc. The church is classified as a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines. The church is built along the banks of the Loboc River. The coral stone church follows a cruciform plan, with a sunken pyramidal roof on its crossing. As a church built by the Jesuits, exterior walls of the church have the Jesuit insignia and icons of an angel's wing and head.

(Loboc Church)




(Bell tower of Loboc Church)


Baclayon Church/ La Purisima Concepcion de la Virgen Maria Parish Church, Municipality of Baclayon. This church is considered to be one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. It is one of the best preserved Jesuit build churches in the region, although in the 19th century, the Augustinian Recollects added a modern facade and a number of stone buildings that now surround the church.Baclayon Church was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines in 2010. The National Historical Institute, now National Historical Commission of the Philippines, also declared Baclayon Church a National Historical Landmark on July 27, 1994

(Baclayon Church)



The journey to restoration is a long road as we put back the pieces on its original place. But If we Filipinos work together and strengthen our faith, I'm sure that we can overcome these challenges and we become much stronger as we stood up. I know that what happened is just a reminder for us to take care with what we have and never lose faith. We Filipinos are resilient and this won't keep us down for so long. That this will now be written to our history and how these National treasures stand the test of time.

PS: I hope I will be able to go back again to Bohol to explore more it's natural wonders and see the progress of the restoration of our Heritage Churches.


For more photos of my Bohol escapade, please visit this link:


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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Dinagyang Festival - Hala Bira Iloilo!



The best tourism event in the Philippines, Dinagyang Festival continues to showcase the celebration of the Filipino spirit, our rich heritage, colorful history, and passionate devotion of our countrymen. It is celebrated every fourth weekend of January to commemorate the Christianization of the natives and to honor Sto. Niño - the Holy Child Jesus whom Ilonggos believe was very miraculous in times of famine and drought. It also shows the oneness of Ilonggos as it has become a community activity where schools, civic organizations, civil society, youth, professionals and the barangay residents are involved in making costumes and props and in preparing the needs of the competing tribes or "Tribus" during rehearsals.


The highlight of the celebration was the Dinagyang Ati Competition (Street Dancing Competition). The parade route of the participants passes through the main streets of the Iloilo City Proper. Certain sections of the parade route are designated as performance stages where spectators can watch the choreographed street dance of competing tribes. There are five performance stages, namely:
1. Freedom Grandstand
2. Iloilo Provincial Capitol
3. Delgado-Mabini Streets
4. Quezon-Ledesma Streets
5. Iznart Street



Competing tribes whose bodies are painted with black or brown to imitate the Negritos are also dressed in fashionable and colorful Aeta costumes. They dance artistically and rhythmically with complicated formations alog with the loud sounds of drums and other ethnic instruments.



Dinagyang was hailed as the Best Tourism Event for 2006 to 2008 by the Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines making it the1st ATOP Hall of Famer in 2009. It is also the first festival in the world to get the support of the United Nations for the promotion of its Millennium Development Goals.



History

The festival began in 1968 when Fr. Sulpicio Enderes, OSA, with a delegation of the Cofradia de Cebu, brought a replica of the image of the Señor Sto. Niño de Cebu to Iloilo City. The image was enshrined in the San Jose Parish Church.

To commemorate the event, the first parish feast of Señor Sto. Niño was celebrated a year after. The champion and runner-up in the Ati-atihan contest in Kalibo in Aklan performed in what is considered the first Ati-Ati festival in Iloilo City. Since then the celebration of the feast is held every third Sunday of January, a week after the Kalibo festival. In 1970, the first Ati-Ati contest was held at the Freedom Grandstand. The Majapahit Tribe of Compañia Maritima won the contest.




The festival increasingly became a tourist attraction and after five years, the running of the festival was ceded to the city government because the Cofradia could no longer cope with the expanding activities. In 1977, in order not to duplicate Kalibo's Ati-Atihan, organizers changed "Ati-atihan" to "Dinagyang" from the Hiligaynon word "dagyang" or merry-making.



From 1978 to the present, the Dinagyang Festival has evolved into a big religious and cultural activity supported by both the government and the private sectors. It now features cultural presentations, sports competitions and various side events.



Here are the winners of Dinagyang Ati Competition from 1970 up to present:

2015: Tribu Panayanon
2014: Tribu Panayanon
2013: Tribu Panayanon
2012: Tribu Pan-ay
2011: Tribu Pan-ay
2010: Tribu Paghidaet
2009: Tribu Paghidaet
2008: Tribu Paghidaet
2007: Tribu Ilonganon
2006: Tribu Ilonganon
2005: Tribu Silak (open category); Tribu Pag-asa (barangay category)
2004: Tribu Bola-bola (open); Tribu Atub-atub (barangay)
2003: Tribu Paghidaet (open); Tribu Atub-atub (barangay)
1999: Tribu Bola-bola (open); Tribu Panaad (barangay)
1998: Tribu Bola-bola (open); Tribu Hamili (barangay)
1997: Tribu Bola-bola
1996: Tribu Bola-bola
1995: Tribu Binirayan
1994: Tribu Bola-bola
1993: Tribu Panaad
1992: Tribu Sagasa
1991: Tribu Sagasa
1990: Tribu Sagasa
1989: Tribu Binirayan
1988: Tribu Kongo
1987: Tribu Guimbal
1986: Tribu Kongo
1985: Tribu Kongo
1984: Tribu Atub-atub
1983: Tribu Binirayan
1982: Tribu Atub-atub
1981: Tribu Molave
1980: Tribu Himaya
1979: No Specific Winner
1978: Tribu Atub-atub
1976: Tribu Hamili
1975: Tribu Hamili
1974: Last Warriors
1973: Mamau Tribe
1972: Mamau Tribe
1971: Mamau Tribe Of Negros Navigation
1970: Madjapahit Tribe Of Compania Maritima

For more photos, check my album on this link:


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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Chasing Pope Francis - Apostolic Visit to the Philippines



I'm proud to say that i'm one of the millions of Filipinos who lined up the streets over the past few days to get a glimpse and a good picture of the Pope everywhere he went, even under the sun, or even the braving winds and rain. Everytime he passes by to us, everyone was left with a positive vibe and blessed for the Holy Father's presence and also by his contagious pleasant smile. And with this post, I would like to share you my five days experience chasing Pope Francis. From Villamor Airbase, to Apostolic Nunciature, to Luneta Park, and along Roxas boulevard, I'm patiently waiting to be blessed by the Holy Father.

Day 1 (January 15, 2015) - TOUCHDOWN. Pope  Francis arrived at the Villamor Airbase at around 5:30PM where he was welcomed by Government officials, the President, clergies, families and selected students. The route going to the Apostolic Nunciature was already filled by Filipinos who wanted to have a glimpse to the Pope. We are still waiting while watching on my phone with television. I know this would be helpful to keep us updated since the mobile network was jammed so we are relying to radio and tv signals. And the time we have been waiting has come. The popemobile passes us but it was too fast. I was still lucky to have a glimpse to the pope and took a single shot of him.



Day 2 (January 16, 2015) - FIRST MASS. Pope Francis started his second day by meeting government officials and diplomats in Malacañang Palace. The Pontiff then proceed to Manila Cathedral to celebrate his first mass in the Philippines. One of the most memorable moments that day was when Pope Francis read a quote from the gospel "Do you love me?", and the crowd shouted "Yes". Pope replied with his charming smile and voice "Thank you very much". As always, he was known for his pleasant surprises.




Later that afternoon, he then proceed to Mall of Asia arena for his meeting with the families. He was welcomed like a rockstar!



 

That time we were watching on a giant LED screen in Manila bay, Roxas Boulevard. The streets are still jampacked and everyone was cheering everytime the camera focuses on Pope Francis. It was also a picture perfect timing to have the pope on focus while having a dramatic sunset on background.



Day 3 (January 17, 2015) - SUPPOSEDLY MY REST DAY. I was resting at our house in Bulacan and still recharging from the first 2 days of chasing the Pope. I'm watching Pope Francis' mass at the television and I couldn't resist the tears as I listen to his message. He visited the victims, survivors and families in Tacloban which is one of the most devastated province during typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). Even if I'm just watching at home, i'm having goosebumps as Pope Francis console to the Yolanda survivors and deliver his heartwarming message of love and hope.

But due to tropical storm Amang which is expected to intensify further that day, Pope Francis' schedule was cut short. Seems like even I was about to go back to Manila earlier. My original plan was to go the next day for his mass in Quirino Grandstand, but my mind and body told me to go now.


Day 4 - WORLD RECORD SEA OF FAITH. The highlight of Pope Francis' journey, with an estimated 6 million people turning out in the streets of Manila and in Luneta Park where he celebrated mass. We are already inside Quirino Grandstand at 4:30 AM since we are one of the volunteers for the mass. We are truly blessed for our spot since we are near the stage.



Crowds in raincoats waved their hands and their Sto. Niño, and screamed as Pope Francis enter Quirino Grandstand.





Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle hugs Pope Francis after his message to the Holy Father. He said that the Filipinos want to go with the Pope. Not in Rome but in the peripheries, at the schools, hospitals, prison cells, world of politics, etc.

Everyone lighted up a candle while singing "Tell the world of his love" and the theme song of this Papal Visit "We are all God's children"






Day 5 - FAREWELL LOLO KIKO. Pope Francis ended his 5-day apostolic visit to the country. Filipinos waited again for the Pope on his route from the Apostolic Nunciature to Villamor Airbase,this time, to say goodbye to the beloved pontiff.

As we are all blessed by the Holy Father, let's allow Pope Francis' message to touch our hearts, deepen and influence our actions, and show to everyone what mercy and compassion is. And as once said by Pope Francis, "Be 'islands of mercy' in 'sea of indifference'".

For more photos, please check this album on my facebook page:


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