Amazing Facts That You Should Know About Sandugo

Every Filipino is accustomed to prepare for festivals. Filipinos are known to be hospitable, warm and accommodating not only to friends and families but also to everyone around the globe. It was this certain homey vibe that most tourists would definitely look forward to when visiting any of the 7,107 islands we have. The island of Bohol is definitely one place that is impossible to miss.

One festival to look forward to is the Sandugo Festival of Bohol. This is not only a festival of sights and sounds but also of historical value. Sandugo, or Blood Compact, is celebrated during July to commemorate the friendship forged between Captain General Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the Spanish King Conquistador, and Datu Sikatuna in March 16,1565.

 

How it all Began

 

Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, being Conquistador, set foot on Boholano soil sometime in 1565 and was warmly received by the reigning Datu, Rajah Sikatuna. The sands of time would reveal that the two leaders were able to forge a unique bond when the Rajah decided to swore allegiance to the crown of Spain.

 

The Blood Compact

 

To formalize the forged bond between the two leaders, they had undertaken the sharing of wine sprinkled with their own blood or “Dugo” in the local Visayan dialect, coming from their left arms, thus strengthening the pact that promoted friendship and brotherhood for both nationalities. Signing of the treaty was done at the southwest coast of Bohol during that fateful day in 1565.

 

Sight and Sounds

 

Today, we celebrate Sandugo Festival not only to attract tourists but also, for commemorating the First Treaty of Alliance and Friendship between the Spaniards and the Filipinos. Not only does the festival have a historical value, but it also promotes culture to the younger generations. Sights, sounds, colorful decors, a myriad of activities and the famous reenactment of the “Blood Compact” are some of the highlights of the festival.

 

Boholano Resilience Amid Calamities and Tragedies

 

For the recent years, the Boholanos were subjected to various natural calamities that shook the very foundation of the island, and also of their own individual selves. For many, this is a time of uniting everyone who is a true blue Boholano. Tagbilaran City not only rejoices its Charter Day on the month of July but also the Province of Bohol which became a separate politico-military province on July 22, 1854, thereby creating a festive mood for the whole month. The festival, originally celebrated in March, is set for July 22 to 27, 2015, coincides with the Tigum Bol-anon Tibuok Kalibutan (TBTK) on July 24 to 27, a gathering of Boholanos from all over the world. This showed the whole nation that in times of distress, unity and the desire to help will still rise above anything else.

 

DOT Regional Director Rowena Lu Montecillo stated through a public newspaper that hotels and resorts are most likely to be fully booked as influx of tourists and locals would increase foot traffic in the island.

 

Fun. Fabulous. Finds

 

This year, the Sandugo festival will showcase the best of the regions’ creativity and produce, focusing on Tourism as the focal point on the said festival. Wanting to check more than the usual gift ideas you bring in from Bohol? Then it’s already a GO for Sandugo! Craftsmanship, Innovation, Ingenuity and Originality will spruce up the festival this year. DTI, working hand in hand with DOT, is expecting an influx of brand new ideas and tour packages from world renowned hotels and resorts that offer only the best from the island.

 

A Gem of the Visayas

 

In general, Sandugo Festival in Bohol is just a cherry on top. If you would really immerse yourself in the festivities, you will definitely realize that it is a hidden gem in the Visayas. Bohol holds a certain charm that is different from the other islands. Being able to touch base with the locals, partake in a gastronomical feast, visit the Sandugo or Blood Compact Site, getting a feel of the old world charm with the old churches that remained steadfast amid being devastated by earthquakes and being mesmerized by the Chocolate Hills, all these create a worthwhile experience that will be forever etched in one’s reverie.

 

Sources: Inquirer, Islands of the Philippines

 

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Cebu!

 

Cebu is one of the country’s top destinations that come to mind when travel is talked about. Not only can Cebuanos boast of very beautiful scenic spots but they also have a lot of local culture to share. Their culture is more Filipino than what you get from people in Manila who may be regarded as more Americanized in mindset and practice. There are different ways on how one can get around and discover more of what Cebu has to offer. One can move along with the conventional way of city tour where a guide explains the sites with detailed history and one can also join the new form of city tour where guests just walk to go around the city to feel more immersed in the local environment. Because of the surge of the new mindset in travel, guides have also evolved to keep up with the demands of the market in terms of guiding. Now, not only do guides have to be knowledgeable about the place but they also have to be very resourceful and artistic to make sure that they keep their guests entertained. They can do this by humanizing their stories by injecting personal stories and making it more real for their audience.  Apart from the conventional tours, there has also been a continuous discovery of off the beaten destinations and activities that are not conventional.

 

One of them is the biking adventure trail that Cebu Mountain Bike Adventures can offer. Fear not that this activity is only for professional bikers because even beginners can also join in. There are different tracks for different levels of expertise from beginner to professional ones. Their guides are really friendly and accommodating, I remember how one of our friends did not know how to ride a bike and he was even given a crash course on how to maneuver a bike.  We went on the hills that looked more like New Zealand than Philippines with the view of cows and lush greenery down to the lake and a very sumptuous Boodle meal that is really very Filipino. Nowadays, it is hard to find a place where they serve the traditional local Filipino kind but I have to say the house we stayed at for lunch and the way Nanay (Term used for old women) cooked the roasted pork really made me go back in time and remember what being Filipino was all about. This is really one memorable experience.

 

But Cebu can’t be Cebu without food and delicacies, one of the hidden gems in this city is cottage industry turned big time business, Ralfe Gourmet Chocolates or The Chocolate Chamber which serves and sells different kinds of flavored Hot Tsokolate and truffles that are truly Filipino. They also have a Museo de Tsokolate-only one in the Philippines where people can interact and see the whole process of how cocoa is turned from plant to consumable ready chocolate.  

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My 4 Annual Tagaytay Go-To Places

My 4 Annual Tagaytay Go-To Places

 

We all have that familiar spots that our families visit as an annual tradition. For my family, that is Tagaytay. We love it not only for the chilly weather, but for that feeling of escape that it gives, away from the busyness of our everyday lives.

Over the years, new spots have emerged for you to eat, shop and do things at, but this list is not about that. Here are 5 places that my family loves to come back to year by year.

 

1. Ilog Maria Honeybee Farms

 

 

Lakad Philippines

 

This has to be one of my favorite homegrown brands. We’ve religiously visited ever since it was small, and we’ve seen their following and their little farm grow over the years. Ilog Maria sells all-natural products like household, aromatherapy, skincare, health and personal products, as well as natural handmade soaps. What makes it special is that bee by-products such as bee pollen, honeycomb, beeswax or raw honey is the star ingredient in most of their products. All materials are sourced locally, if not regionally, and chemicals are not introduced even in the farm itself. They’re also an advocate in saving the lives of bees. It’s haven for organic fanatics.

 

Contact Info:

47 Aguinaldo Highway, Lalaan 1, Silang, 4118 Cavite

Open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 8AM to 5PM

www.ilogmaria.com

info@ilogmaria.com

 

2. Amira’s Buco Tart Haus

 

 

urmajestysire, WordPress

 

Coconuts are abundant in Tagaytay and one thing you’d notice is the countless number of buko pie shops everywhere you go. It’s inevitable for you to pick up a box of baked goodies that’s fresh from the oven. I get my fix here at Amira’s Buco Tart House. The owner started off working in the 90’s with cakes and breads but they became famous with their All-Year Favorite Buco Tart. They have long expanded to more than just tarts but their classic with apple crumble crust on top and sweet coconut meat on the inside will always have my heart.

 

Contact Info:

Aguinaldo Highway Corner SVD Road

Barangay Maitim 2nd East Tagaytay City

Open daily from 7AM to 7PM

(0916) 360-2849 or (046) 413-4109

amirasbucotart.com

order@amirasbucotart.com

 

3. Bawai’s Vietnamese Kitchen

 

Aubrey Abalos

 

Your commercial Vietnamese restaurants at the malls have nothing against Bawai’s authenticity at their home-cooked offerings, in fact they’ve mastered to get me craving every once in awhile. Everything’s good in here, not only the food, but the scenery as well because it’s quiet, airy and perfect for that family get-together or even just a simple romantic lunch with your loved one. Goi Cuon (fresh spring rolls), Chao Tom (pounded shrimp on sugarcane skewers), Ca Kho To (braised fish in caramel and coconut juice sauce) and of course, Pho Bo (traditional beef noodle soup) are definite hits at this restaurant.

 

Contact Info:

Hernandez Street, Purok 5, Bukal, Silang, Cavite

Open from Tuesday to Sunday, 11AM to 2PM, 5PM to 8PM

0920 972 2924

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bawais

 

4. Memory Lane

 

 

Kap10bob Photoblog, WordPress

 

My mom is a big fan of any restaurant that’s owned by a celebrity so even if it was quite far, we traveled here just to try out the food and in case you’re wondering, this one is Jolina Magdangal’s. Aside from the quirky vintage decors that’s definitely Instagram-worthy, what people come back here for and raving about is their Baby Back Ribs. It’s cooked off the bone, really tender that it melts in your mouth and has very tasty sauce that comes with it. A little on the pricey side, but with the view, quiet surroundings and savory dishes, it is worth trying.

 

Contact Info:

Magallanes Drive, Tagaytay, Cavite

+63 9228298486

 

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5 Tips For Your First Malasimbo Experience

5 Tips For Your First Malasimbo Experience

 

Puerto Galera has been one of those small islands that you would instantly think of when the city life becomes a little more exhausting and toxic than the usual. It’s known for the nightlife, the beaches and the plentiful tourists that makes the island a definite worthwhile destination. Little did you know, the island is also known for another attraction: a festival of music, arts, dance and lights – The Malasimbo Festival. I had always been intrigued by the musings of people on social media about how magical and refreshing the whole weekend experience was, so last year I decided to pack my bags and get my burned-out butt in there. Here are 5 tips I can share with you from that first experience.

 

1. Don’t forget the essentials.

I’ve been stoked for my first Malasimbo experience even a year before, that I started preparing my wardrobe and other essentials early on, but still on the day itself I forgot the most important thing: MATS. The festival will be on the mountains, in an open ground there will be no chairs provided than what the nature gives you: the grass on the ground. Make a list of your weather-appropriate, OOTD-ready, on-the-go essentials early, so you could prepare EVERYTHING before your trip.

 

 

Preview.PH

2. Try out the food.

 

The festival is not only about the music and the arts, but also about sumptuous little bowls of mouthgasm that you SHOULD try. A little bit on the pricey side, but it’s a shame if you won’t try it at least once. My personal favorite: Dabo-Dobo (chicken adobo with mushrooms and toasted garlic chips), and Kesong Puti sandwich (a pan de sal with carabao cheese, olive oil and herbs filling)

 

 

Pulse Radio

 

3. Do a little research about the line-up.

 

Malasimbo showcases a lot of local and foreign acts that’s not mainstream to the ears nor to the eyes, and watching them perform live is an experience on its own. It’s so refreshing and transcending, I’m not even kidding. So do yourself a favor, and try to listen to a few of their hits before attending so you know who to watch for.

 

 

Arts, Travel and Music Magazine

 

4. Arrive early at the grounds.

 

Ma ​ lasimbo is also the perfect spot for your artsy-fartsy needs as both local and foreign contemporary artists bless you with their talent all day long, but that’s not your only reason to go early. Be able to witness the lives of the tribes and join in on other festivities such as workshops, exhibits and eco-cultural preservation activities.

 

 

Official Malasimbo Music & Arts Festival Page

 

5. Subscribe to the newsletter.​

 

If frequent checking out of their website or Facebook page is not your thing, then maybe subscribing to a newsletter is. Their newsletter not only gets you updated with who, when and what’s going to be on the next festival, but they also give out deals and discounts on affiliated transportations and hotels, camping site and other exciting offers.

 

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3 Subic Destinations That Will Let Your Inner Child Out

3 Subic Destinations That Will Let Your Inner Child Out

Subic is so much more than the usual Zoobic Safari and Ocean Adventure its known for. Up to try something new? You came to the right place.

Hey there! I’m Candyd Sia. A marketing student at DLSU who eats anything that crosses her path and will hopefully travel the world someday.

 

1. Magaul Bird Park

 

Magaul Bird Park is the first bird park in the Philippines with a world class bird show!

 

 

This place will surely take up your whole day so be sure to go as soon as the park opens to get the most of what you paid for. Trust me, its gonna be fun and worth your while.

 

Ticket Prices:

Chick – Under 3ft – Free

Eagle – 3’1 and Above – PHP 350

Vulture* – 65yrs+ – PHP 300

 

*Senior Citizen’s Card is required, and can only be availed for one person only.

There are a lot of fun-filled attractions in this park, but here are some of my favorites.

 

Wings of the World  

 

 

This is not like any other bird show you’ve seen. Wings of the world is a live and interactive bird show featuring both small and big birds. You will see them flying all around you and you’ll never know where they’ll come from.  You can even touch and feed the birds after the end of the show.

 

Tip: Go out of your comfort zone and participate when the host asks for volunteers during the show. Its definitely an experience you wouldn’t want to miss.

Show Schedule:

Weekdays 11:00AM, 1:30PM and 4:00PM

Weekends and Public Holidays: 11:00AM & 1:30PM

 

Goliath Swing

 

 

Goliath Swing ride isn’t for the faint-hearted. For the thrill-seekers out there, you’ll surely enjoy this ride. This huge swing will send you flying 180 degrees into the air hanging over a cliff. If this doesn’t make you scream at the top of your lungs, especially right before that big drop, I don’t know what will. But don’t worry, you’ll feel lighter after you’ve realized that you’ve just conquered your greatest fear. You should definitely put this on your bucket list.

 

Aerial Adventure Walk

 

 

This course will definitely test your fitness level. From walking on a single rope to swinging from one tree to another, Aerial Adventure Walk will definitely leave you sweating after finishing the entire course. It may look easy, but as they say, looks can be deceiving. 

Tip: Bring an extra shirt and water because this course will surely tire you out

Address: Upper Mau, Cubi-Triboa, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Luzon 2222, Philippines

Phone Number: +63 47 252 1489

Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday 8:00AM-5:00PM

Website: http://www.magaulbirdpark.com/

 

2. JEST Camp

 

Jungle Environment Survival Training (JEST) Camp is where we give adventurous souls a chance to learn indigenous skills in an active, hands-on environment, and educate them on how to work with the wonders of nature responsibly through unique attractions and give them an unforgettable close-up experience with our beloved animals, critters and plants.

 

Jungle Survival Demo

 

 

Survival 101 is all about letting you know how to survive in the wild with the barest essentials. This Demo will show you how to make your own tools, how to build your own fire and how you can drink water straight out of a tree. You got to see it with your own eyes to believe me. Who knew it was possible right?

 

Prices for Mondays to Thursdays:

Child – PHP 900.00 Guardian – PHP 630.00 Toddler – PHP 500.00

Address: Upper Mau, Cubi-Triboa, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Luzon 2002, Philippines

Phone Number: +(63)472521489 ,+639177964668

Email:adventure@jestcamp.com

Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday 8:00AM-5:00PM

Website: http://jestcamp.com/

 

 

3. Funtastic Park

Funtastic Park is the first indoor Educational Fun Park inside Subic Bay Freeport Zone. Here they offer fun and unique activities which can be enjoyed not only by the kids but the kids-at-heart as well.

 

 

This park has all sorts of indoor rooms and outdoor maze adventures; you definitely won’t run out of things to do. It’s a little dark in some rooms like the enchanted forest walk in 3D room and you won’t be able to take pictures in some of them, but at least you can enjoy the moment even more. Don’t worry rooms like the 3d wall art room will pretty much make up for it.

 

 

But the fun isn’t over yet. Did I mention that there’s a trampoline, a garden maze and a grass slide outside? Yes. You read that right. So what are you waiting for? Call up your friends, hop on that car and off to Subic to you go!

 

 

Address: Building 2070, Corregidor Highway | East Ilanin Forest, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Luzon 2222,Philippines

Phone Number: 047 250 3099, 0998 530 9377

Email: funtasticparksubicbay@gmail.com

Opening Hours: 9:00AM – 6:00PM

Website: http://funtasticpark.com/

 

Photo credits: Candyd Sia

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A Trip To The North You’ll Definitely Remember

A Trip To The North You’ll Definitely Remember

 

What’s a better way to start your Sunday morning than a road trip away from the bustling streets of Manila for a breath of fresh air?

 

Hey there! I’m Candyd Sia. A marketing student at DLSU who eats anything that crosses her path and will someday travel the whole world. It’s time for a change of scenery and escape your usual stressful city life.  I know it could be scary to explore uncharted territory, so if you’re not geographically inclined like me, you can use this map (or waze) to put you in a little bit of peace. So rise and shine and let’s go on a trip to Antipolo!

 

 

Pinto Art Museum, facebook.com

 

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of waiting for parking, The Pinto Art Museum opens from 9AM-6PM, Tuesday-Sunday. I suggest you get there as soon as it opens, since there’s really no place to park other than on the streets beside the museum. Plus, you can get to take some good shots without having to worry about people being in the background.

 

Tip: If you’re a student, bring your school I.D and you’ll be able to get your ticket for only P100 instead of the regular rate of P180. If you plan to bring your grandparents with you, the senior citizen rate is P150.


 

There is also a no food, pets and changing clothes rule upon entering the premises so you better go there with a happy tummy and I hate to say this, but you have to leave your furry friends at home this time.  

Apart from having six galleries, it also has a separate museum for indigenous art and a pinto art gallery. There are also tons of gardens located at different areas where you can see a chapel, an amphitheater, a roof deck where you can see the sunset view and even a pool! Make sure to a lot at least 4 hours, if you plan to take your time to look through each gallery, appreciate the artworks and take those Instagram-worthy photos.

 

 

There’s this one gallery that we stumbled upon and its contents were, shall I say, interesting. Watch out for it since it’s pretty easy to miss considering it’s not an open gallery. But of course, the curiosity in me, told me to open the door and explore its contents with wide-eyes. Warning: don’t bring little kids in here since this room contains artworks not suitable for children.  

 

 

Bring a fan, umbrella and water or anything to beat the heat since it could get a bit steamy roaming around the whole place, especially when you go outdoors. This is where your fitness level will definitely get tested, but overall, it was a fun and enjoyable experience. Word can’t describe how beautiful and peaceful this place is. You really have to experience it yourself to understand what I’m saying.

 

 

After all the walking you’ve done, its time to fuel up and grab some lunch! You can opt to have lunch in the museum since they have their very own Pinto Café, Café Rizal and Café Tan-aw by Peppermill located inside. You can get reservations by calling 986-18-04 since it can get filled up pretty quickly.

 

 

@pamfajatin, instagram.com

 

PINTO ART MUSEUM
Address: Number 1, Sierra Madre St. Grand Heights, Antipolo City, Rizal, Philippines
Phone Number: (02) 697-10-15

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 9:00AM-6:00PM

 

If you want to go somewhere else and explore Antipolo a little bit further, you can try getting breakfast for lunch at Eggs for breakfast.  I suggest you order the One pan breakfast and Vigan longganisa.

 

 

EGGS FOR BREAKFAST

Address: 21 Don Juan Street Villa Cecilia Subdivision, Antipolo, Rizal, Philippines

Phone Number: (02) 213-24-34

Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday 7:00AM-5:00PM

 

Bonus: If you want to stay at Antipolo a little bit longer. You can opt to visit Cloud 9 to chill and watch the city lights sparkle with the amazing 360° view of the metro.

 

 

@zeejbabe, instagram.com

 

CLOUD 9

Address: Bgy. Sta. Cruz, Sumulong Highway, Antipolo, 1870, Philippines

Phone Number: (02) 584 3011 

Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday 7:00AM-5:00PM

 

 

Photo credits: Candyd Sia

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