Monday, March 29, 2010

gumasa beach sarangani

Pagudpud, the Northernmost town of the big Luzon island has some of the most beautiful beaches. and i heard that Glan, the Southernmost town of the big Mindanao island also has the reputation of having great beaches.just right after the Kalilangan Festival, Sheng led us to the van terminal to Sarangani province in NCCC mall of Gensan. travel time for this trip is about an hour which includes the habal-habal ride.it has been a long time when i last tried riding a habal-habal. it's basically just a motorcycle used in many Visayas and Mindanao provincial town to transport people to some of the secluded village.it was already late afternoon, when we reached Glan and we were rushing to see the beach before the sun went down. we need not to tell the habal-habal driver to rush as it was running at a speed and even overtaking other vehicles on curves. the many beaches along the coast of Glan, travel and blogger friend Lantaw recommended us Coco beach. it has a long stretch of powdery fine white sand with small cottages and shelters.it was already at high tide, thus we didn't had the chance to see it's beach coast width. it may be secluded, but a lot of people from the nearby provinces already knew about this beach. what is an hour or two to travel to a beach like this.maybe it was not just our time to see how beautiful this beach was since we had a limited time there and that the sun went down behind the clouds before the horizon, we knew that it is one of the most beautiful beach in the country.how to get there from Gensan: ride a van at the NCCC mall of Gensan that goes to Glan, Sarangani then tell the van to drop you to the nearest terminal that goes to Coco beach where you will take a habal-habal (motorcycle) to go to the beach. overall estimated travel time is about an hour.

Friday, March 26, 2010

kalilangan festival gensan

as the travel guide Lonely Planet says "The Philippines just isn't the Philippines without the colorful festivals and fiestas...". it simply symbolizes the celebration of being Filipinos, being cheerful and hospitable.i've witnessed many festivals in Luzon and the Visayas and was not surprised to learn that there's much to see when one visits the southern islands of the Philippines like the Kalilangan Festival of General Santos city.lots of dancing, cheering and a week-long of festivities of Kalilangan commemorates the city's foundation. we arrived in the city just in time for the street dancing and it was one hot sunny day.yet i observed that everyone's excited to be at the festival route, the long and wide Pioneer avenue, which is also the city's central district. with less shaded area, the sun's heat didn't stop the people from flocking in the area.shouts and beat of the drums signified the beginning of the festival. the participants were all around Pioneer avenue dancing and cheering "Kalilangan" which translates to jubilation or celebration.like the many festivals in the country, the rhythmic hit of the drum sets the beat of the dancing. the use of many props symbolizes the culture and the costumes our heritage. one unique aspect of Kalilangan would be the use of the patterned cloths that resembles the Tnalak cloth from the Tiboli tribe of the nearby Lake Sebu.Kalilangan festival is celebrated every last week of the month of February and the city being known as the Tuna capital of the country also celebrates the Tuna Festival during the first weekend of September. we were so privileged that we had with us as guide some of Gensan's most influential bloggers Bariles, Sheng, Kyaw and the president of Gensan Tourism Association and Kalilangan Festival director Orman. thank you Gensan for inviting us. thank you Gensan bloggers for hosting us.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

around general santos

i've been to many parts of Mindanao already but never this side. read many great things about the big city of Davao, the Tunas of General Santos and the beautiful beaches of Saranggani.we took one of the earliest if not the earliest flight to Davao at 4:50am and i was the last one from the group to arrive at the airport despite being the one closest to it. my travel buddies for this trip lawstude, scud and jonee were already there.from the airport, we immediately went to the bus terminal that will bring us to Gensan which was first on our itinerary. it was a coincidence that Gensan will be celebrating Kalilangan Festival on that same weekend.
from there a van courtesy of Robinsons mall and Sheng brought us to East Asia Royale Hotel and met some of the Gensan bloggers Bariles, Kyaw and Sheila of Robinsons marketing group, who later invited us to join lunch with the Davao bloggers who were also there for the Festival.
Sheng and Kyaw brought us to the town plaza though they brought with them their car to bring us around, riding the tricycle was still exciting. from there we then went to Marasa Grill and met the Davao bloggers.
i was craving for Tuna and i believe i'm in the right place. Sashimi and Kinilaw was served and lots of lutong bahay specialty but what i liked the most was the eggplant. i forgot the name though maybe because it was that delicious.
a meal so good for us to face the heat of the sun to witness Gensan's Kalilangan Festival. thanks to Marasa Grill for hosting our lunch, plus the Gensan and Davao bloggers.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

open summer beach trip

before i continue with the Davao Gensan and Sarangani series, i think it's just time for me to invite eskapo readers and anyone who loves the beach for an open summer beach trip. just this weekend i finally chose the island. the island that has one of the longest sand ripples and amazing beachscape, Cagbalete island. join me for a two-day beach trip on April 9-10, 2010. this is open to all. just email me at i.dongho@gmail.com for the details, which will be sent within the week.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

davao gensan saranggani series

this is a trip that i've been longing to do because i've never been to this part of the country. with davao being popular for its white water rafting, a number of zip lines, samal island and seeing mt. apo.
how can i resist a place that offers this much? plus the nearby General Santos and Sarangani. join us in this adventure with scud, lawstude and jonee in our trip down to the southernmost part of the big island of Mindanao.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

caracol festival makati

one of Makati city's grandest festival today is the Caracol Festival. happening at the country's financial district along its main road Ayala avenue every third of January.this is my second time to attend this competition of dances and smiles coming from the students of the different schools around Makati. joining me this time is my travel buddy and friend Kit.it's one of the few events of Makati where a large part of Ayala avenue is closed to give way to the parade and the grand performance which happens at the intersection of Ayala avenue and Paseo de Roxas.unlike most of the festivals in the country, Caracol festival focuses more on the preservation and awareness of the importance of our environment. making the performances mainly based on the need to protect our planet's resources.the dance music comes from a mix of songs depending on the setting and pacing of their presentation. it has no specific beat required, thus the school has the freedom to interpret on their belief in protecting the environment.it starts with a parade from Makati Avenue to Ayala avenue, where you witness so less of their performance. so it's best to take a shot while they're preparing for the parade and find the best spot near the stage.
it starts around mid afternoon and ends by night with the announcement of the winners based on the categories. with less promotion of this festival, majority of the audience comes from Makati and the many photographers capturing the colors and the smile of the participants.

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