Umayatay Wakgat mo

SAGADA, Mountain Province – ‘Umayatay Wakgat mo!’ the first Kankana-ey phrase I’ve learned which means ‘Good Morning’.
The Kankana-eys are one of the six Cordilleran or Igorot ethnic groups. Most of them can be found in Western Mountain Province, Some are located in Southern Ilocos Sur and Northern Benguet.

The term ‘Kankana-ey‘ came from the languages which they speak. There are many kinds of dialects that the Kankana-eys use but it is still the same. The dialects only differ only in intonation, some words and applications.

The Kankana-ey built sloping terraces to maximize farm space in the rugged terrain of the Cordilleras like most Igorot ethnic groups. Kankana-eys of Western Mountain Province from the municipalities of Sagada and Besao identify themselves as part of a tribe called Applai.
It’s a very peaceful village located in the mountains of northern Philippines. For the past decade, people from different countries have visited it to experience the local culture and the wonderful sites of nature.

The Kankana-ey houses are built like the other houses of the Igorots which also reflect their social status.There were instances that men sleep separated with the women. Only men are allow to sleep in the room of the ritual hall. Council of elders are those who provides delinquent penalties.
Today, Most of Kankana-ey in Sagada are Anglicans. Making Sagada the only Christian-town not dominated by Roman Catholics. They’re also fluent in English than Tagalog I must say.

Sagada stands about 1,500 meters above sea level in the heart of Cordillera Mountain Range but you will be surprise with the limestones that are similar with those you can see in the shores of Palawan. 

It is said that Luzon was submerged from the ocean billion years ago. Fossils of sea shells and starfish can be found inside the caves of Lumiang and Sumaging.

We were so lucky, the moment we got to Sagada, it was their First Etag Festival. It was staged its first Etag Festival last January 29 to February 2, 2011. The Etag Festival is still part of government’s projects of strengthening tourism in the countryside and improving the town’s economy via tourism. “Etag” is smoked mountain ham, a dish is also an embodiment of Sagada culture. Etag is prepared by choosing the best cut of pork meat, then adding a generous amount of salt. It is smoked for at least 30 minutes to three hours for two weeks, using varieties of red wood or oak. After smoking, it is stored in clay pots and is eaten as is or could be added to other dishes.

Occupying territories rich in natural resources, indigenous peoples in the Philippines like the Kankana-ey continue to be uprooted from their land

Hiking Mount Maculot| Perfect for Family Bonding.

Mount Maculot, a major tourist attraction from our province Batangas, in the town of Cuenca. It’s popular among mountain climbers and campers. The trail can be hiked by first-time climbers as it is an easy trail. It is not far from Manila, more famous during holy week.

Elevation: Mount Maculot, 947 m (3,107 ft); The Rockies 700 m (2,300 ft)

If you’re from Batangas, you know that there’s a folklore that continue to tell children that if they don’t brush their hair with fine-toothed comb before sleeping, the kuto (head louse) will fly them to Mt. Maculot where a giant louse lives. The name Maculot derived from the Tagalog word kulot, meaning kinky/curly. It is said that curly-haired Aetas once lived in this mountain.

How To Get There

The morning after Easter Sunday, we (Me together with my father and little sister) decided to hike the Mount Pinatubo for the first time. It was a 45-minute drive from Balayan to Cuenca by motorbike. If your coming from Manila, you can take any Lemery bound bus can take you to Cuenca which is the jump-off town for Mt. Maculot. Travel time is approximately 2 hours.

From the town proper, we started walking however, you can take a tricycle, and ask the driver to drop you off at the “Mountaineer’s Store”. The driver will automatically dropped you at the Barangay outpost where you need to pay P10.00 per head for the registration. When you plan to traverse Mt. Maculot to Grotto, it is important that you seek advise with the Barangay officials.

Make sure you bring enough water, always remind yourself to keep on drinking, because dehydration is a constant threat especially if you’re climbing around noon like we did. It took as almost an hour after we reached the campsite.

The ROCKIES! Honestly, I was surprised with the summit experience of Maculot. Perhaps, because it was “easier” compared to Mount Pinatubo, that I didn’t think it will be awesome on top. I was wrong. I think the photos say everything. By the way, that is Taal lake in the background.

Climbing Mt. Maculot-Rockies is just one of the many activities you can take pleasure in our Beautiful Batangas.

Family Bonding. If you’re looking for an activity that your whole family can bond together and spend special moments together where everyone can feel close, you may find it here in Mount Maculot. It’s nice to show and share the fun of traveling with the people you love especially with your family. It’s definitely more fun if you let them experience things you’re passionate about doing. Our family life is an important part of our life.

Families change over time, so it’s important that we have the skills to …

Corregidor |Filipino – American Friendship Park

In the Philippines, July 4 is Filipino-American Friendship Day celebrating the long-standing relations between the two countries. President Fidel V. Ramos designated July 4 each year as Philippine-American Friendship Day since 1996, formerly the Philippine Republic Day. A day in the Philippines designated to commemorate the official recognition of Philippine independence by the United States of America.The Philippines was a U.S. territory from 1898 to 1946. Between 1941 and 1946, during World War II Japanese occupation, it remained a U.S. territory with a government in exile headed by Manuel Quezon initially located in Australia and later in the United States. A campaign to retake the country began in October 1944, when General Douglas McArthur landed in Leyte along with Sergio Osmena who had assumed the Philippine presidency after Quezon’s death. The battles entailed long fierce fighting; some of the Japanese continued to fight until the official surrender of the Empire of Japan on September 2, 1945. The country gained complete independence on July 4, 1946.

Initially, the Philippines observed Independence Day every July 4, to coincide with the Independence Day celebration of the US. It did this from 1946 to 1964 when President Diosdado P. Macapagal signed Republic Act 4166, changing the date of Philippine Independence from July 4 to June 12, when General Emilio F. Aguinaldo proclaimed Philippine Independence in Kawit, Cavite in 1898. July 4 was called Philippine Republic Day.


Last year, Carl and I went to Corregidor, an island is tadpole-shaped, about three miles long, and in the entrance of Manila Bay in southwestern part of Luzon Island. It faces the West Philippine Sea and is sandwiched by the provinces of Bataan and Cavite.
During World War II, Corregidor played an important role during the invasion and liberation of the Philippines from Japanese forces. Heavily bombarded in the latter part of the war, the ruins left on the island serves as a military memorial to several American, Filipino and Japanese soldiers who served or lost their lives on the island.

The Filipino-American tandem during the World War II is being commemorated in this park. Its main feature is the ten-foot high statues of a Filipino and American soldier which symbolizes the two races’ unity in times of war.

Today, Corregidor Island is one of the favorite spots of tourists who have thirsts for Philippine history, particularly for relics of war. Today, what was left of the island are the silent witnesses to its bloodiest and most ferocious events – the national treasures, the ruins of the war.


Sun Cruises, Inc. (SCI) provides daily guided trips to the historical island of Corregidor. Sun Cruises traces its beginnings in August 1988 as a ferry service to the historical island of …

Manila Ocean Park |Where Our Happy Feet Took Us

Earth Day — Our happy feet took us to Manila Ocean Park, a marine-themed park in the country located behind the Quirino Grandstand at Rizal Park in Manila. An Oceanarium that’s home to 10,000 marine life species indigenous to the Philippines and Southeast Asia. Its 25 meter long, 220° curved walkway tunnel provides a stunning underwater view of these amazing sea creatures.


However, I don’t believe that it’s the first marine park in the Philippines, whereas Ocean Adventure at Ilanin Bay in Subic is Southeast Asia’s only open-water marine park was first established in 2002.

Anyway, It’s my second time here in Manila Ocean Park. This time though, we got to try something new they had to offer.


After four years since the first time I visited the Park from it’s opening in March 2008, a lot has changed. The place got bigger with more enriching attractions. The park now has a marine-themed mall, hotel, restaurant, outdoor pools and hottest nightlife spots will soon join the park’s line-up of impressive attractions. This is the reason why there are more and more people go here every single day.

The Coolest Summer Destination within the City


What even more exciting was meeting the Penguins! The Trails to Antarctica, Penguin Exhibit and Snow Village are the latest attractions. The Penguin Exhibit is not to be missed, especially by kids (or kids-at-heart like us! XD). The Humboldt penguins are found in — no, not Antarctica, but in west coast of South America, from Peru to Chile. If you’re a fan of Happy Feet movie, you’ll surely gonna love it here!


We escaped from the 35°C summer heat of Manila into this freezing Christmas-ish Snow Village. We played in the snow like kids do. I got too excited and I’ve tried to make snow balls with my bare hands, I forgot that I’m not wearing gloves, so my hands got numb! ( hehehe XD)

Earth Day has been a lot more meaning to us after meeting these thousands of marine creatures. Seeing them, reminds us all to take care mother earth. We must raise awareness and be part of dealing with organic living, conservation and environmental advocacy. For parents, if you’re planning to bring your kids here, educate your children about Earth Day. Present this place as a fun information about protecting the environment.