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

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.


THE FILIPINO-AMERICAN FRIENDSHIP PARK

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.

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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 …

Standing Steel


Right in the heart of Manila, the Basilica Minore de San Sebastián commonly known as San Sebastian Church, the first and only all-steel church or basilica in Asia inaugurated on August 15, 1891. The 121-year-old church is located in the district of Quiapo, at Plaza del Cármen, at the eastern end of Claro M. Recto Avenue, west of Legarda Street and surrounded by old buildings and houses.

From LRT 2, inside the train, as it runs by, you simply can’t ignore it’s charm from a vantage.

Obviously, San Sebastian Church has a significantly unique style from other Roman Catholic Churches around Metro Manila, or in the Philippines. The Neo-Gothic Style for the church was done in 1883. The church was prefabricated in Belgium. It was shipped backed to the Philippines in six ships. It is said to weigh close to 50,000 tons. The church’s stained-glass windows were done in France.

 

GUSTAVE EIFFEL’S CONTRIBUTION

 

Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, best known for his world famous Eiffel Tower, built in 1889 in Paris, France and and the steel structure within the Statue of Liberty in 1886, did the metal works for the first all-iron church in the world, the first iron edifice in Asia and the second in the world after Eiffle Tower.

Not known to many, not even apparently to the Recollect fathers who are its caretakers that the church was the handiwork of the famous builder. It was confirmed by Mr. Ambeth Ocampo, a historian. Eiffel had not designed the whole building but did design its metal structure, If you take a walk inside you can see Eiffel’s signature design.

 

Don Genaro Palacios, the Director of Public Works for the Spanish Insular government, the architect who recommended a new church be built of steel. The original wood building was burned down in 1651 and the following brick structures were destroyed by fires and earthquakes in 1859, 1863, and 1800. Within the church’s apple-green and white façade, flanked by massive spires, San Sebastian’s interior is faux-finished to simulate jasper and marble. Iconography painted by the Academy of Lorenzo Rocha, adorn its walls.

 

ENDANGERED TREASURE

In 1973, the San Sebastián Church is a declared National Historical Landmark per Presidential Decree No. 260. However, due to it’s location, the sea breeze from Manila Bay conveyed and rusting away San Sebastian Church, a major threat to its structural integrity. It was included in the Watch List of World Monuments Fund in 1998 and 2010 World’s Most Endangered Sites.

In May 2010, in New York, a fundraising event for the project and for the establishment of Bakás Pilipinas. In July 2011, the project received a $96,000 award from the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation of the U.S. Department of …

A Piece Of Africa


In Madagascar Movie, Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, and Gloria the Hippo escaped from New York City  to Madagascar and to Africa (Also, now into Europe) we also had an escapade of our own into a small island in Northern Palawan, called Calauit. One of the Calamian Group of Islands and a wildlife sanctuary created by the Philippine government.

In August 1976, President Ferdinand Marcos declared Calauit as a game preserve and wildlife sanctuary in response to an appeal by the International Union of Conservation of Nature for Kenya to help African animals be saved from civil strife.

The imported animals include 20 giraffes, dozens of zebra and antelopes. President Marcos ordered the locals to move other places and then he ordered to clear the bamboo forests to make the place similar to the savannahs of Kenya.

CALAUIT ISLAND TODAY

Today, the African animals still roaming around the island and the number of animals is roughly the same as the original number. What adds to the mystery is that it was all done without fanfare and with little public knowledge until the People’s Power revolution toppled the Marcos oligarchy in 1986.

The island is being promoted to tourists, where the animals and their habitation provide a glimpse of Africa in a remarkable tropical setting.

Calauit Island… Coron is really worth a visit!“ KrisAquino said via Webstagram. Her Calauit adventure was featured on show, KrisTV last March 9,2012.

All of the existing African wildlife are Philippine-born.

The best time to be in Calauit would be 7am-9am and around 4pm, because the animals are hiding if it’s too hot.

 

HOW TO GET THERE

You can reach the Calauit Island by air. There are daily flights offered by Cebu Pacific, AirphilExpress andZestAir from Manila to Busuanga (Francisco B. Reyes Airport). Travel time is 45 minutes.

So, we flew from Manila to Busuanga and from Busuanga Airport, we took a van to Coron town for an hour (P150.00/person 2012 rate).

When we got to Coron Town, we arranged our Calauit Trip for the following day. We stayed in Luis Bay Travellers Lodge, a newly built home-and-stress-free ambience located on Coron Boulevard. We took all the rest we can get as a preparation for the BIG DAY!

There are two ways on how to get to Calauit Safari Park. First, is a 3-hour travel by land and a 15-minute boat ride to the island. Second, is a 3 to 4-hour boat ride from Coron town straight to the park.

24th of February 2012, we woke-up early, Call Time was 4:00AM, We left Coron by boat at around 4:40AM. We were 11 in the group, including the 3 boatmen. We arrived in the island …