CHURCH HOPPING IN ILOILO PROVINCE (Video Blog)

There are so beautiful things to describe about the Province of Iloilo. But there’s one sure thing I guess every local would agree – a trip to Iloilo Province will not be complete without paying a visit to its most prized religious assets and that is Iloilo’s imposing colonial-era churches. During my quick visit to Iloilo Province last year, I only got to visit three churches. Knowing that the province houses some of the grandest churches in the country, I vowed that in my next visit to Iloilo, I will make it a point to include the churches that I missed last year. Luckily, I made it this year.

Here’s The Travel Teller’s Church Hopping in Iloilo.

These are just some of the churches we visited in a day. I know there are many other churches in Iloilo that deserve to be included in this vlog. Someday, I’ll go back there again, explore more of its towns and marvel at their churches that have undeniably shaped the history of Iloilo Province and its towns.

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THE PROVINCIAL CAPITOL BUILDINGS IN DAVAO REGION

In my quest to visit all the 81 Provinces in the Philippines, I learned to love visiting and documenting every Capitol Building I passed by. Such fascination led to my quest of seeing the entire 81 Provincial Capitol buildings in the country – Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

provincial-capitol-buildings-in-the-philippinesProvincial Capitol is the seat of every Provincial Government. It is where the Provincial Governor holds her/his office. For some, they consider Provincial Capitol as key representation of the Province – the bigger and grander it is, it means the richer a province is.

I have already visited few Capitols in the country but today I will begin documenting all the Capitol Buildings found in the region where I come from, the Davao Region. Known as Southern Mindanao, Davao Region is composed of 5 Provinces – the Province of Davao Oriental, Davao Del Sur, Davao Del Norte, Compostela Valley and the newest province in the Philippines, the province of Davao Occidental.

provincial-capitol-buildings-in-the-davao-regionLong before the creation of Davao Region, there was only one Davao Province. According to history, the territories along the Davao Gulf were the last territories in the Philippines that were conquered by the Spaniards in 1848 led by Spanish conquistador Don Jose Oyanguren. Following the victory of Oyanguren, the entire territory is called Davao Province with then Municipality of Davao as the capital. The Spaniards ruled Davao Province for 50 years and then passed on temporarily to the Americans and then finally to the Philippine Government. In 1967, with the passage of Philippine Republic Act No. 4867, Davao Province was divided into three provinces – Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental and Davao del Sur.

The Provincial Capitol of the Undivided Davao Province Photo by: Davao of the Past

The Provincial Capitol of the Undivided Davao Province
Photo by: Davao of the Past

In 1998, a new Province was created and carved out of Davao del Norte Province. It is called Compostela Valley. 15 years after, another province was created – this time carved out of Davao Del Sur. It is called Davao Occidental, the 5th province in the Region and the 81st Province of the Republic of the Philippines.

PRESENTING THE PROVINCIAL CAPITOLS
IN DAVAO REGION

provincial-capitol-of-davao-orientalTHE PROVINCE OF DAVAO ORIENTAL

The Province of Davao Oriental is the easternmost province of the country with Pusan Point as the easternmost location. It is composed of the 10 municipalities and 1 city. The towns of Baganga, Boston, Caraga, Cateel, Manay and Taragona in the eastcoast; and the towns of Banay-banay, Governor Generoso, Lupon, San Isidro,  and the city of Mati on the Gulf Side. The Provincial Capitol is located in the Capitol Hill of the Province’s Capital town of Mati.

provincial-capitol-of-davao-del-norteTHE PROVINCE OF DAVAO DEL NORTE

Davao del Norte is also known as the “Banana Capital of the Philippines”. It comprises 8 municipalities and 3 cities – the Municipalities of Asuncion, Braulio E. Dujali, Carmen, Kapalong, New Corella, San Isidro, Santo Tomas, Talaingod and the cities of Panabo, Samal and Tagum. The Provincial Capitol is in the City of Tagum, the capital of the Province.

THE PROVINCE OF DAVAO DEL SUR

The Province of Davao Del Sur is Davao Region’s gateway to the Philippines’ highest peak, Mount Apo, which is at 2,954 meters above sea level. It comprises 9 municipalities and 1 component city namely the Municipalities of Bansalan, Hagonoy, Kiblawan, Magsaysay, Malalag, Matanao, Padada, Santa Cruz, Sulop and the City of Digos. The Provincial Capitol is in Digos City, the capital of the Province.

provincial-capitol-of-compostela-valleyTHE PROVINCE OF COMPOSTELA VALLEY

The Province of Compostela Valley is the 78th province in the Philippines created in 1998 and was carved out of Davao Del Norte. It is composed of 11 municipalities namely Compostela, Laak, Mabini, Maco, Maragusan, Mawab, Monkayo, Montevista, Nabunturan, New Bataan and Pantukan. The province is rich with gold ore. Nabunturan, the provincial capital, is home to the biggest gold ring in the Philippines, “The Solidarity Ring.” It is also where the Provincial Capitol is located.

proposed-provincial-capitol-of-davao-occidentalTHE PROVINCE OF DAVAO OCCIDENTAL

The Province of Davao Occidental is the 81st and newest province in the Philippines created through Republic Act 10360 enacted on July 23, 2013. It was carved out of Davao Del Sur comprising 5 municipalities namely Don Marcelino, Jose Abad Santos, Santa Maria, Saranagni and its capital town of Malita. The first sets of elective officials were elected on May 9, 2016. Being a new province, the Provincial Government is still on its way of constructing their new Provincial Capitol.

There you have it. The seats of Provincial Governments found in Davao Region with a little history of the Davao Province.

THE PACMAN TOUR IN GENERAL SANTOS CITY

Without a shred of doubt, boxer turned politician Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao is the most famous personality who hailed from the Tuna Capital of the country, General Santos City and Sarangani. Christened as the “People’s Champ”, the Pacman continues to bring pride to the Philippines and has put the country in the global map in terms of boxing and sports in general – something that his hometown cherishes the most.

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Adored and loved by many not only in the Philippines but around the globe, Manny Pacquiao charmed the world not only with his greatest triumphs in sports but with his humility, sincerity and pure heart of helping and serving the needy especially his people in the Province of Sarangani.

The Pacman Mansion 1

The PacMan Mansion 1

Together with his wife, Jinkee who once served as Vice Governor of Sarangani, the couple founded Emmanuel and Jinkee’s Heart Foundation, Inc., a foundation which main objective is to help finance various activities and livelihood programs to help uplift the socio-economic life of the less fortunate people especially in their hometown.

The PacMan Mansion 2

The PacMan Mansion 2

As part of the Foundation’s Tourism Project, the couple opened the doors of some of their properties as tourist sites to tourists who’d like to take a peek of the life of the People’s Champ. Sites include Mansion 1, Mansion 2, Wildcard Gym, PacMan Stadium, Pacman Beach Resort, PacMan Farm and PacMan Hotel.

Facade of the PacMan Mansion 1

Facade of the PacMan Mansion 1

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The Boxing Glove Shape Pool at the PacMan Mansion 1

Looks like a Heart but that’s a shape of a Boxing Glove

Accompanied by my Wrangler friends, we had fun visiting these properties and was astounded by the triumph and success of the great boxer exemplified by the places we visited. Like those who took the tour, we found ourselves inspired by the life’s story of the people’s champ who was once a struggling boxer rising to fame, eventually become a pound-for-pound king and now a Senator of the land.

PacMan's Framed Boxing Fights in Display

PacMan’s Framed Boxing Fights in Display

The Wranglers inside PacMan Mansion 1

The Wranglers inside PacMan Mansion 1

Maka-proud si PacMan

Maka-proud si PacMan

The places and structures we visited are concrete proof of PacMan’s humble beginnings and his victorious road to become who he is now. But what’s very noble about this is that some of the structures are utilized to hone and train more talents and athletes especially in the field of boxing and other sports.

Basketball Court and Multipurpose Gym at Mansion 2

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The Children’s Mini-playground at Mansion 2

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Senator Manny’s Office and Bulwagan at Mansion 2

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The Louis Vuitton and Hermes Bikes at Mansion 2

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These Louis Vuitton and Hermes Bikes deserve a groupie.

Another property we visited is the 2-hectare Mansion 3 which is undergoing construction to this day. This will be the biggest residential property of the couple among the many properties they own. Taking photos are not allowed, so I can’t give you the picture of how big the property is but, swear, when I say BIG, it really is!!!

The Pacman Sport Stadium

The Pacman Sport Stadium

Inside Pacman Sport Stadium. It's BIG!!!

Inside Pacman Sport Stadium. It’s BIG!!!

Our tour ended with a sumptuous lunch, of course, at the Manny Pacquiao Hotel which is also known as the Road Haus Hotel. Roadhaus is one of General Santos City’s finest business and leisure hotel. It is situated in downtown area and is 30 minutes away from the Airport, 15 minutes away from the pier and just a short ride to shopping malls, convention areas and other recreational spots. For bookings and reservations, you can reach them at (083) 553-8888 or at 09174195727 and 09257002750. Aside from spacious and comfy rooms, PacMan Hotel has a restaurant serving delectable cuisines. Of course, must-try are the tuna dishes. the-pacman-tour-1 the-pacman-tour-2

And so when in General Santos City, whether you are a PacMan fan or not, try the Pacman Tour and you’ll go home inspired by the life’s story of this living legend and you’ll end up prouder because of what this greatest athlete has contribute to our country – even to you as a Filipino.
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LVA Travel Care and Allied Services arranges the PacMan Tour in General Santos City. You call them at 0933-104-6098 for booking and reservations. If you’re lucky, the beautiful Vienna Q. Borro, the owner, will be your official tour guide and will inspire your more with the stories of our great Pacman. Part of the proceeds of the PacMan Tour will go to the the Emmaneul and Jinkee’s Heart Foundation, Inc.

Special thanks to Ms. Vienna Borro for arranging this tour. Same goes to our handsome tour guide Jao. Salamat gayud kaayo!!!

Experience MindaNOW: Inspiring the WORLD with our Beautiful Stories from Mindanao

Mention Mindanao to some Filipinos, especially those who have never stepped on any part of the island, and you will see a face of bewilderment. But when the brave one says “I’ve been there and it is a paradise”, it quickly turns to genuine surprise. For truly, Mindanao is an island of great surpriseS!

From DAVAO CITY, the center of Mindanao, this is “Experience MindaNOW: Inspiring the WORLD with our Beautiful Stories from Mindanao“.

Here we are endowed with natural wonders that would you make feel one with earth. Name it, we have it – verdant mountains and rolling hills, uninhabited islands and pristine beaches, majestic waterfalls and enchanting lakes, volcanoes, hotspring, coldspring, wild rivers, and more – name it, we have it. We have everything here.

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ALIWAGWAG FALLS in Catee, Davao Oriental is said to be the Highest Waterfalls in the Philippines

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Beautiful Islands abound in Mindanao

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The imposing view of Mount Matutum in South Cotabato

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The enchanting Agusan Marshland of Agusan Del Sur

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The awe-inspiring scene at Baras Bird Sanctuary in Sultan Kuradat

Fruits of our Land

Our island is home to different groups of indigenous people in the Philippines

But that’s not all, our island is home to different groups of indigenous people in the Philippines. This is home to different vivid and vibrant cultures that define our diversity and uniqueness as Mindanawans. But even so, all of us live in harmony and in peace. Here, there is unity in diversity.

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The colors and patterns of T’boli Culture

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The weaving of Dagway Textile of the Mandayas in Davao Oriental

Inspired by the sights, sounds and colors of our Island Mindanao, we are collating our wonderful experiences as we wander around the many exciting sights and destinations in the island and share these inspiring beautiful stories to the world. We call this “Experience MindaNOW: Inspiring the WORLD with our Beautiful Stories from Mindanao”.

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The Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Masjid, also known as the Grand Mosque of Cotabato, is the largest mosque in the Philippines.

The 52 year-old San Pedro Cathedral of Davao City is said to one of the most unique Churches in the Philippines.

We will travel to discover not only the stunning and interesting sights of our island but we will immerse ourselves with our brothers and sisters in different cultural communities, hoping to be one with them, eat with them, live with them, share their wanting, dreams and aspirations as a people, with the promise that when we leave, we tell the world of their stories.

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MINDANAO boasts some of the most amazing destinations in the Philippines.

JOIN us as we move around our Island exploring beautiful places and experiencing culture at its best. These are our stories from MINDANAO. These can also be yours.

Experience Mindanao. Experience it NOW!

MODA MINDANAO SEASON 11: Highlighting the Unique Mindanaoan Heritage

It has been 5 years now since the first time I watched Moda Mindanao. Since then I vowed not to miss this event every Kadayawan Festival.

_DSC0280Moda Mindanao is longest running fashion design competition in the entire Davao Region. Staged every year during Kadayawan Festival, Moda Mindanao aims to promote contemporary Mindanaoan fashion and pave the way for young and emerging local designers to become a recognizable name in Philippine and global fashion.

_DSC0357In its earliest conception, Moda Mindanao was part of the Urog Etnika, a Mindanao Fashion Show that was once an official event of Kadayawan Festival. From Urog Etnika, Moda Mindanao was staged separately to provide local fashion designers and accessory artists from different regions in Mindanao a platform to showcase their skills and creativity as they create fashionable garments and accessories highlighting the fabric, colors and patterns of Mindanaoan culture.

_DSC0356Now on its 11th year, Moda Mindanao is moving to its new home from SM City Davao to SM Lanang Premier. Aside from its new venue, it is now redefined as a “Young Fashion Designers Competition with a new format, new look and new perspective but with the same global aspiration – to highlight the unique Mindanaon heritage in a modern, contemporary and fashion forward way.

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Participating Young Fashion Designers from Mindanao

Ten local designers from Davao, SoCCSKSarGen and CARAGA Region competed in this year’s Moda Mindanao. The 10 equally talented designers vied in two categories – Pret-a-Porter and Evening Wear for women. Their astonishing and unique creations were showcased in a runway show highlighting the fabrics, patterns, and materials that reflect the unique Mindanaoan heritage.

Moda Mindanao 2016 5All the participating local designers created dazzling and eye-catching creations but it was Jay-R Gamboa Flores, a local designer from Sultan Kudarat who amazed not only the distinguished judges but spectators as well with his skillful ability to bring to life the Mindanao culture and colors through his exceptional creations. He was the runaway winner winning both Pret-a-Porter and Evening Gown categories.

Pret-a-Porter for Women

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According to him, his creations are inspired by the four indigenous tribes found in his Province of Sultan Kudarat – the T’boli, B’laan, Maranao and Maguindanaoans. The evening gown that he fondly called the “Empress of the Four Tribes” is an intricate work combining weaving, beading and handmade works. The fabrics used were from Cotabato City while bells and other accessories were from South Cotabato. The pret-a-porter on the other hand was inspired by Maranao and Maguindanaoan culture.

EVENING GOWN FOR WOMEN

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Every year, Moda Mindanao features a Mindanaoan artist who has excelled in his field. This year, Moda Mindanao Season 11 featured and highlighted the works of young international accessories designer Ken Samudio. He is the very first Filipino designer selected by Vogue Italia as one of its talents for accessories in 2014 and who was also featured on its 50th Anniversary issue.

Ken Samudio’s Award Winning Accessories

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Aside from Jay-R Gamboa Flores of Sultan Kudarat, other local designers who joined this year’s Moda Mindanao are Aloha Lelani Begin of Agusan del Norte, Arwin Mark Meriales of Davao Occidental and Alexis Nickole Rule, Jonas Andrew Amora, Aries Buenvenida, Mimi Tandingan, Bianca Sabellano, Kian Plaza Deocariza, and Neil Patrick Jimlani – all from Davao City.

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Jay-R Gamboa Flores and his winning creations inspired by the four tribes of his province of Sultan Kudarat.

Personally, being there watching the grand runway of Moda Mindanao Season 11 for another year is another astounding opportunity for me to see and be mesmerized by those extraordinary creations that depict the rich culture of my own identity as a Mindanaoan.

Moda Mindanao 2016 2 Moda Mindanao 2016 3Moda MindaNOW, a fashion showcase of what is truly “made in Mindanao”.

Congratulation SM Lanang Premier for hosting yet another successful Moda Mindanaw Fashion Event.