KADAYAWAN’S INDAK INDAK SA KADALANAN 2017: Video Blog

The Travel Teller’s coverage of Kadayawan Festival’s Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan

This street dancing event is one of the highlight of the weeklong festival and is absolutely a must-see. The major thoroughfares of Davao City are closed off to traffic for the entire event. This colorful parade features graceful dancers decked in splendid, colorful costumes and dancing to the beat of ethnic-inspired music. The streets come alive with millions of stunning colors from the dancers and their glorious costumes and props. The competition showcases local talents whose dancing prowess can make you dance to the beat of their music. It is a day of cheers and smiles – prepare to be amazed.

I’m proud of my roots. I’m proud of my culture. I’m a proud Dabawenyo. I AM A PROUD MINDANAOAN. …we are proud MINDAONE!!!

GREAT THINGS TO DO IN CAVITE PHILIPPINES

The Cavite that you see today has been the result of several important historic events in the past. In fact, the history of Cavite has a strong influence on the modern Philippines Islands. Consequently, a visit to Cavite lets you learn more about the country more than anywhere else. Adding to that there are lots of tourist spots in Cavite that would meet your longing for natural splendor. Well, here’s what you need to see and do:

  1. Tagaytay Ridge

from: Wikpedia

The Tagaytay Ridge is a highland area and translates to ‘Palace in the Sky’. It had been the resting house of former Filipino President, Ferdinand Marcos. Today, however, the rest house serves as a vantage point for seeing the Taal Volcano, the smallest but not the least beautiful volcanoes in the Philippines. Tagaytay Ridge also serves as a wedding spot for several couples, across the year.

  1. Taal Volcano

Located right in the middle of Cavite, the Taal Volcano is astonishing and one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines. Though the smallest of volcanoes in Philippines, it is complimented by a very picturesque landscape that even includes a lake. The Taal Lake, as it is called, can be visited on boats. You also have the option to trek to the crater of the volcano and check out the amazing looking Crater Lake.

  1. Imus Cathedral

from: Wikipedia

One of the most historic of churches in Philippines, the Imus Cathedral holds relics that go long back in time. Also known as the “Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pilar”, the Imus is a holy place and is visited by Catholics all round the year. If you can plan ahead, be a part of the fiesta that is organized every year on October 12th.

  1. Museo del La Salle

from: AnaViajera.Com

Another historic building, the Museo del La Salle is located inside the premises of the De La Salle University. Inside the museum, you will find traditional Filipino dresses, animal preserves, Saint wooden amulets, vintage players, handcrafted vessels, paintings and more. It’s a perfect example of the richness of Philippines of the past.

  1. Cabag Cave

from: Cabag Cave Facebook Page

For those who would love spelunking, the Cabag Cave is the perfect spot for it. There’s a waterfall that forms the mount of the cave and offers a pool that you have to wade across to enter the darkness. The lust green forests around add to the mystic charm of this destination.

  1. Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine

from: Wikipedia

The home of the first president of free Philippines, this is the place where the first Filipino flag was hoisted. This shrine thus marks the end of the revolution and the beginning of a country that has become one of the most sought after destinations in the world.

  1. Puzzle Mansion

from: GMANews

If you are traveling with your kids, the Puzzle Mansion would be a great visit. Inside, you will find the collection of the most sought after puzzles. You will also get a chance to meet Gina Lacuna, the Guinness Record Holder for the biggest collection of puzzles in the world.

There are lot many places to check around Cavite but these are sure the ones you cannot miss.

HOW TO PLAN THE BEST VACATION IN THE PHILIPPINES?

Planning a vacation to anywhere can be very difficult, and the Philippines is not different. We want to help you understand how to tackle this problem, and even suggest some itineraries you might find suitable, or get inspired by.

You will first have to realize what it is you want to see and do on your vacation. Do you want to relax on the beach, dive, climb mountains, go caving, eco-tourism… what is your idea of fun? Then you will have to figure out how much time are you going to have, and what are the best places to visit during your time there.

Making this research is crucial for a successful trip. Just keep in mind that you’re not alone, and there are many travel forums you can ask for advice. You can also consult travel agencies who are experts to the Philippines, who’ll help you build the best vacation package for you. Doing that will ensure you will not have these moments you’re lost and just wasting your time.

Popular activities in the Philippines
The thing we’re most known for here in the Philippines is of course the beautiful islands and beaches, known to be the best in the world. So any long vacation should have some involved. The beach experience in here usually offers diving, snorkeling, island hopping and sometimes surfing. Those activities are good for novices and experts alike, as there are diving and surfing spots suitable for all levels.

Nonetheless the breathtaking nature of the Philippines isn’t restricted to its coastlines and waters. The Philippines is a mountainous country, with mountains mostly covered with tropical rainforests, and there are many famous volcanos like Mt. Mayon, or Mt. Pinatubo. The mountains is also where most of the indigenous communities in the Philippines live. The UNESCO rice terraces are to be found in Banaue and the Igorots in Sagada are a great example for that.

Even though, ecotourism – traveling with awareness of the environment and local communities, can be found and felt not only in the mountains, but in many places of the Philippines, like Batanes, and even the most touristy spots like Bohol.

Just decide how you’re experience is going to be like. In our opinion, a good mix is the best. Diversity in the attractions you’re going to do will leave the best impression on you, and make your vacation very memorable. Don’t be afraid to try things you’ve never done before, if you never dived in your life, give it a try, if you want to learn how to surf, why not? It is your vacation, maximize your fun!

Is it your kind of place?
Now that you figured out what you’d like to experience on you vacation, it’s time to find out what are the best places for you to visit. Do you want a relaxed quiet place, or a vibrant party destination? Do you like big cities, restaurants, bars clubs and so on, or do you want to visit the more secluded and remote places in the Philippines.

How much time do you want to spend in the city? Traveling in the Philippines you are most likely to go through either Manila or Cebu City. Sometimes you’ll be compelled to spend some time in them, and sometimes you’ll have to choose whether to spend time there or not at all. Both are very good when it comes to culinary experiences, especially Manila. You will find tons of restaurants and bars of very good quality, of all sorts of cuisines. Nightlife in Manila and Cebu is also better than you’ll find anywhere in the country, with many nightclubs and parties.

For those who love a vibrant atmosphere, the more touristy islands will be perfect. Boracay for instance is the island with the best nightlife in the country, with so many beach parties. It is true that Boracay is more expensive than most other destinations in the Philippines, but you can find deals and promotions from time to time, and there is a wider selection of hotels and resorts for all budgets. So we think that it’s highly advised to do the proper research and even book a personalized Boracay package for the best deals and maximum fit.

On the more lively islands list there is Bohol, which very popular among tourists of all types including families, Puerto Galera which is known for its gorgeous white beach and great dives, and Siargao – the surfing capital of the Philippines. As a rule of thumb, it is safe to assume that most of the touristy and frequently visited islands in the Philippines are in the Visayas Islands. Straying away from them will bring you, usually, to rustic and off the beaten path places.

Now if you’re looking for a quiet and romantic place the islands of the Philippines will not fail you. Being an archipelago of 7,107 islands, there are so many quiet spots that are just paradise. You’ve got El Nido and Coron, always appearing on the top of the lists of the best islands in the world, you’ve got Caramoan, Siquijor, Malapascua and so on. Those might be just names to you right now, but besides of the research you’ll have to do for yourself, the suggested itinerary below will hopefully shed some light on some of them.

The mountain provinces of the Philippines, as well as many destinations in peripheral Philippines are the most secluded. The tourism there is many times in the shape of ecotourism, the hotels drop in standards, prices also go down, and commuting becomes more difficult and slower. Those are the places where you have the chance to witness some of the local culture first handedly. It’s off the beaten path that you’ll find that the food, language, customs and beliefs are different from place to place, and you can truly realize how diverse this country really is. Famous spots in this category are the Cordillera and Mountain Province, northern Luzon, many parts of Palawan, most of Mindanao and Mindoro.

Where to go and when
Weather in the Philippines is a huge factor on where you should travel, and when we say weather, we mean rain. In general there are two season in the Philippines, the dry season from December to June, and the wet season from July to November. The ideal time to visit is of course the dry season, where you can visit anywhere you want. The wet season makes many destinations unreachable and dangerous because of landslides, like most of the mountain provinces, and many other
places unenjoyable. Just imagine being in El Nido when it’s raining non-stop, with no ability to go island hopping, enjoy the beach or anything at all.

But the rainy season has its merits too. Mindanao and southern Visayas are hardly affected by the typhoons of the rainy season, and it’s actually a very good time to visit these areas. You can get rain every now and then but the cloudy sky will keep you from burning, making the temperature a lot cooler and enjoyable. So whenever you get to travel the Philippines, you will have many great places to visit.

Recommended itinerary for this rainy season
An itinerary for this wet season that follows all that we wrote above will look like:

1st day – starting point is Cebu City: visit the city’s historical landmarks – Fort San Pedro, Museo Sugbo for pre and post-colonial collections.you can also visit the Taoist temple, a beautiful site that shows the deep Chinese roots in Cebu. After lunch catch a bus heading to Moalboal and check in in your resort of choice. White Beach is the classy option, but if you are looking for budget accommodation Panangsama is the place to go.

2nd day – after a light breakfast start the Kawasan Falls canyoneering tour, which will take the whole day. Kawasan Falls canyoneering is among the most famouse in the country. You will jump, rappel down waterfalls, and end up in the beautiful turquoise Kawasan falls.

3rd day – island hopping and snorkeling tour. Snorkeling in Moalboal is famous for the shoals of sardines that inhabit the waters of Panangsama. There are millions of them swimming in the water, and drawing lots of marine life. Turtles and dolphins are frequent guests to the waters of Moalboal. At night take a bus to Oslob, and check-in you resort.

4th day – snorkel with the whale sharks in Oslob. Be sure to be there early as it is less crowded and therefore much more pleasant. We advose you do that before breakfast, and eat later. After breakfast you can ride a boat to Sumilon Island and enjoy the beach, but think it’s better to head back to Cebu City, and you should be there just in time for lunch if you do that. After lunch head to the port and choose between Siquijor and Bohol.
Siquijor is great for its beautiful secluded white beaches, its many waterfalls and caves, and for the old churches. It is famous for being a place of witchcraft and mystique, but we find it romantic and enchanting. You could easily spend 2 nights there and you’ll love it, but for our itinerary we pick Bohol. So take a ferry going there and check-in Alona Beach.

5th day – start the time in Bohol by island hopping. It is among the best island hopping tours in the Philippines, and you’ll visit Virgin and Balicasag islands. While snorkeling you will see many types of fish, corals, and plenty of turtles. You’ll even get to see dolphins if you’re lucky. When back spend some time on Alona beach.

6th day – go diving in Bohol. It is among the top places in the country and in the world to do so. If you’re not a certified diver, consider trying a one or two fun dives. The dive clubs in Bohol have a very good reputation for being very professional, so you’ll be in good hands. In the afternoon take a tour to Chocolate hills, the most iconic spot in Bohol.

7th day – leave Bohol and head back to Cebu. According to your flight to Boracay spend some time in the city. If you get there early enough, append some time on the beach and get ready for partying tonight!

8th-9th days – island hopping! Crocodile Island, Puka Beach, and Crystal Cove are among the sites you’ll visit on your tour. Go and explore Ariel’s point, a small island great for snorkeling and kayaking, and for cliff jumping! Other activities for you to try are helmet diving, kite surfing, banana boats, jet-skis, wakeboarding and more. Don’t forget to try paraw-sailing across the beach while the sun is setting down, it’s so beautiful to watch.

10th day – fly back home and start dreaming about your next vacation.

This schedule is just a suggestion, and can be altered in many ways to suit you personally. You can change the order, add and skip parts of it. If your trip is more diving oriented, you can spend more time diving in each destination, and add Malapascua. If you want to try surfing, Siargao is also great this time of the year, and flight take off from Cebu Airport.

The changes you can make are many, so do your research about the tourist destinations the Philippines has to offer, and make the best trip you can!

AMAZING ORCHID GARDEN SHOW | Kadayawan Farm and Garden Fair 2017

KADAYAWAN SA DABAW is the City’s grandest festival that has become annual celebration of life, a thanksgiving for the gifts of nature, the wealth of culture, the bounties of harvest and serenity of living. It is also during this season where bountiful harvests and flowers in full bloom are in display. One of the most highly anticipated events is the magnificent display of Orchids and Ornamental Plants at the GARDEN SHOW of the Kadayawan Farm and Garden Fair. The SM City Davao in Ecoland has been the home of this magnificent fair.

WALING-WALING, considered as the Queen of All Orchids takes center stage in this amazing farm fair. Waling-Waling is native to Davao and other parts of Mindanao. But side from the Queen of All Orchids and its hybrids, the Farm and Garden Fair showcases the best collection of flowers, orchids, fruit trees, fresh fruits, vegetables and other industry products in Davao and other neighboring regions.

This is an annual event organized by Floriculture Industry of Davao, Inc. (FIDI) and the Mindanao Floriculture and Ecological Development, Inc. (MINFED) in partnership with the city government of Davao. This is part of the continuing efforts of the stakeholders to promote the floriculture industry of Davao, aimed not only at the local hobbyists and entrepreneurs but also foreign plant enthusiasts. Waling-Waling is one of the symbols of Davao City.

#KADAYAWAN #KadayawanFestival2017 #DavaoLifeIsHere

DAPITAN CITY: More Than Just A Shrine City

It was an invitation I have long wanted to get. In fact, years ago, I was invited to visit this very important destination in Mindanao but for some reasons I wasn’t available. But being on my bucket list, seeing this city has always been my dream. Finally, a very enticing invitation came to travel and experience the wonders of this phenomenal destination – the Shrine City of Dapitan.

Like those other destinations in my bucketlist, this beautiful and tranquil city is among those places that topped on my Sibika at Kultura Book. How can I forget those lessons I learned about Rizal in Dapitan? Or that commercial ad of Dakak Park and Beach Resort played repeatedly on Eat Bulaga? And with this invitation, seeing, experiencing and relishing Dapitan is a dream unfolding.

One week before the trip, the whole island of Mindanao was placed under Martial Law. Checkpoints were everywhere. Strict security measures have been implemented. Many tourists and travelers cancelled their trips to many destinations in Mindanao even to those that are not directly affected by the crisis. I, on the hand, found myself traveling to Dapitan on the 5th day of Martial Law in Mindanao. From Davao, I flew to Dipolog City via Cebu and headed straight to the famed Shrine City of the Philippines.

Unlike other trips I have, I did not do any research about Dapitan. In fact, I did not check the photos and images in the internet. I wanted to be surprised. I wanted to be amazed by the things and wonders that I will see in Dapitan. And true enough, Dapitan City did not only surprise me but amused me with so many things that I never expected to experience.

Here are some of the most exciting things that made my stay in Dapitan City more fun, memorable and worth-sharing.

DAKAK PARK AND BEACH RESORT

If you grow up in the 90’s, you probably heard and watched that of Dakak Beach Resort’s advertisement played on Eat Bulaga. That TV Ad actually ignited the interest in me to experience this famed Beach Resort of Northern Mindanao. And just like what that old ad said, DAKAK BEACH RESORT is indeed a paradise to enjoy. Staying there is like reliving that childhood wish of experiencing this Northern Paradise that has enticed tourists from all over the world including the beautiful Misses of the Universe. I was booked at the Deluxe Room. It’s a very spacious room with amenities that promise comfort, ease and relaxation. The beachline is clean. And the food is incredibly good.

VILLA ANGELINA LUXURY SUITES

Dakak Beach Resort now boasts of its newly constructed Villas situated in the Cliffside. These beautiful villas provide an amazing view overlooking the calm waters of Dakak Cove and the famous sunset of Dapitan. This beautiful array of exquisitely designed villas is called Villa Angelina Luxury Suites. This is located just adjacent to Dakak Beach Resort but unlike Dakak, Villa Angelina Luxe Resort is exclusive and more luxurious than the regular rooms of Dakak. The construction is still in progress but some 20 luxury suites are now open for its valued guests. These suites are called Cliffside Casitas and each villa comes with amenities that promise luxurious, relaxing and comfortable stay.

DAKAK ADVENTURE ZONE

Dakak never runs out of fun and exciting things in store for their guests that sometimes they get from online stores as Sheepskin Town. Aside from its beach and aquafun activities, it also boasts of its facilities apt for thrill seekers and adrenaline junkie – the Dakak Adventure Zone. It is home to the longest dual zipline in Asia that stretches up to 1.3 kilometers long and said to be one of ziplines in the country offering the most scenic view.  Aside from the zipline, there is also an ATV Thrill Ride that offers extreme adventure and fun-filled drive.

GLORIA’S FANTASYLAND

Dapitan City takes pride as home to the only theme park outside of the island of Luzon and that is courtesy of the Gloria’s Fantasyland. With its theme “Everyday is a Festival!”, spectators are assured of one magical experience. The theme park features a line-up of thrilling rides and attractions and spectacular quality entertainment. The Grand Night Parade is a must-see. It features a Fire and Thunder Show, a parade of Festival Colors and Cultures of the world and a specular Firework Display. Indeed, one’s stay in Dapitan is not complete without a visit a Gloria’s Fantasyland.

RIZAL SA DAPITAN

Aside from Dakak Beach, another synonymous phrase to Dapitan is “Rizal sa Dapitan”. Our national hero’s exile to Dapitan has made remarkable significance to the city to be coined as the Shrine City of the Philippines. Rizal spent 4 fruitful years in what was then a laid-back town of Dapitan and helped the community develop significant changes that until now can be sensed. The works, life and great contribution of Ka Pepe is preserved until now.  The Rizal Shrine tops as the number historical and heritage spot in the whole city.

CAVING, WATERFALLS AND MANGROVE TOURS

I was wrong when I thought that Dapitan is just all about Rizal and Dakak. Truth is, this Shrine City of Mindanao is home to a number of natural wonders that is truly something that Dapitan can boast. It has long coasts, majestic waterfalls, pristine cave system and rivers that remain untainted to this day. In Ba-ao, the Kamanganon Cave is a must visit. It is about 20 minutes trek from the jump off area passing through series of streams and waterfalls that make the whole experience more exciting and fun. The city is also home to a vast mangrove reserve. In fact mangrove trees thrive everywhere and have become sanctuary for marine life. River cruising can also be experienced here. It is something one should experience when visiting Dapitan away from the usual tours.

HERITAGE TOUR

As a Spanish settlement, Dapitan is a home to a number of heritage sites in Mindanao. Being Jose Rizal’s official home in Mindanao, Dapitan boasts of its rich heritage roots tracing back pre-Spanish times. The City Poblacion boasts of its rich heritage sites that until now are carefully preserved not only by the City Government but even by the people. Some of these heritages sites are already marked as National Historical Site by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

DAKAK GOLF CLUB INCORPORATED

Dapitan will soon become one of Mindanao’s Golf Destination. This is courtesy of Dakak Championship Golf Club being developed in the vast acre of Dakak Park Complex.  The golf course is eyed to become one of the best Golf Courses in the Philippines and in Asia. The nine hole championship golf course is designed by no less than Greg Norman, an Austrailan golfer who used to be world’s number 1 Golfer. My favorite area is the Balete Hole with an amazing view of Dakak Park and the Sulu Seas.

SHORTEST MAN ALIVE

It’s not hearsay. It’s a record and it’s a Guinness World Record. The shortest man alive is in the Philippines and now lives in Dapitan. He is Junrey Balawig from Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte. He is 23 years old now and stands 69.93 centimeters (23.59 inches) tall. He was declared the shortest man alive during his 18th birthday. Junrey the record of Khadendra Thapa Magar of Nepal who is 0.67 meters tall. With the help of former Congressman Nonong Jaloslos, Junrey and his family now live in Dapitan City and resides at the Heritage House, the building occupied by the City Tourism Office.

THE NEW CITY HALL OF DAPITAN

Among the cities and towns that I have visited in the country, I find Dapitan’s New City Hall as one of the most impressive. It perfectly sits in an area that commands a perfect view of nearby river and the bridge that connects the City to the mainland. For me, I consider it a perfect sight as a welcome treat to people entering Dapitan City. The City Hall is a newly constructed building. It houses the office of the Mayor, the Vice Mayor and the Sanguniang Panglungsod and the key offices government officer of the city.

FOOD TRIPPING IN DAPITAN

If you’re on a gastronomic journey, Dapitan City will never fail you. With a good number of restaurants and cafes scattered in the different areas of the city, Dapitan is a delectable choice for you. Seafood is one of the city’s specialties. Some of Dapitan’s good food choices can be found at Gloria’s Fantasyland complex.

These are just among the many spectacular sights to see in Dapitan. There is more to see and more to experience in this city that was once loved and nurtured by no less than our National Hero Jose Rizal. And like Ka Pepe, if given a chance, I want to be exiled here – a sweet beautiful exile. After all, Dapitan City is more than just a shrine city – it has everything one is looking for in a destination.