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Showing posts from March, 2017

Ifugao: Banaue Rice Terraces

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Located in Banaue in the province of Ifugao, Banaue Rice Terraces is a well known National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines.

It was carved and built some 2,000 years ago by the ancestors of the indigenous people on the mountains of Ifugao. Banaue Rice Terraces are locally referred to as the Hagdan-Hagdang Palayan ng Banawe. It is also dubbed as the "Eighth Wonder of the World". 


The terraces is approximately 1500 meters or about 5000 feet above sea level, making it one of the highest farms in the country. Surprisingly, these bimillennium old terraces are still being used today and has changed only a little.

The Banaue Rice Terraces together with the other terraces of Ifugao were declared by the Philippine government as National Cultural Treasures by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 260 in 1973. Sadly, Banaue Rice Terraces failed to be recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the presence of numerous modern structures that were built in and around it. There are, ho…

Mt. Province: Sagada Pottery

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Located in the town of Sagada in Mt. Province, Sagada Pottery is one of the destinations to visit if you are looking forward to experience the traditional pottery industry of the Sagada.



Famously known as Sagada Pottery, it is actually a workshop and a gallery of the great pottery artisans of Sagada. First time visitors would be shocked to find out that the workshop/ gallery is housed in a small almost run-down house few meters away from Sagada-Besao Road. 

However, this is probably where the saying "Don't judge a book by its cover." is highly applicable. Why? Because after you get turned off with the facade of Sagada Pottery, you would suddenly find yourself amazed with the treasure trove of numerous skillfully crafted pots in the gallery.




The amazement does not end there though, a few more steps would lead you to the workshop. There, an artisan will demonstrate how a master makes the pots. With a price of just P100, you can create your own pot while being guided by the ma…

Palawan: Plaza Cuartel

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Located in Puerto Princesa City in the province of Palawan, Plaza Cuartel is one of the historical sites in the capital of the province.

Originally built by the Spaniards as a garrison for their troops during the Spanish colonial era in the Philippines, Plaza Cuartel has been converted into a plaza today where one can leisurely stroll and enjoy the beautiful view of the blue seas of Palawan.
Its serene and peaceful ambiance today is a far cry of the tragic events that happened there during the Second World War. During the last few months of the said war, the Japanese Imperial army, realizing their imminent defeat, decided to round up their American prisoners of war or POW and bring them to Plaza Cuartel . The prisoners were then asked to go in the air raid shelters where they were barricaded and drums of gasoline were poured over them. What happened next was literal hell. Some who tried to escape the burning air raid shelters were shot and hacked to death. Luckily, 11 managed to run and…

Bataan: Morong Church

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Located in the town of Morong in the province of Bataan, Morong Church is one of the several Spanish-era churches in the province.

Not to be confused with the similarly named church in the province of Rizal, Morong Church is also known and called as Our Lady of the Pillar Church. Built during the Spanish colonial era centuries ago, the church is actually one of the oldest in the province. It was said that it was made from the coral stones taken from the nearby seas near the town.  
Speaking about being one of the oldest in the province (Abucay Church is the oldest in Bataan), in my opinion, Morong Church actually looks older than the other churches that I have seen and visited in the province during our Visita Iglesia this year. It is due to the fact that compared to the churches in Hermosa and Orani, the facade of Morong Church looks way older because it seems untouched and rarely renovated.

However, like the two churches that I have visited, the interior of Morong Church is already mod…

San Isidro Pahiyas Festival 2016: Cultural Adventure

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Probably the most popular festival in Quezon, San Isidro Pahiyas Festival or more commonly known as Pahiyas Festival is a harvest festival celebrated in the town of Lucban every 15th of May. It is held in honor of San Isidro Labrador who is the patron Saint of farmers. 


The San Isidro Pahiyas Festival is famously known for houses that are adorned with colorful leaf shaped decorations called kiping. For those who don't know it yet, kiping is made from rice paste (thus it's edible) and is quite similar to that of a tortilla (even tastes like one). The uniqueness of using kiping as a decoration made the festival one of a kind. Aside from that it add this instagram ready feel to the houses which in an effects adds promotion to the celebration through social media. 
The word pahiyas is from the Filipino word hiyas or jewel and when added with the prefix pa- means a precious offering both of which fully describes the celebration's meaning. This festival is said to be dated back to…