GLAN, SARANGANI PROVINCE: Yesteryears’ Heritage is Today’s Treasure

I was wrong when I thought all that matters to Glan is its pristine white sand beach. You can’t blame me. The famous Gumasa Beach where Sarangani Bay Festival is held every year is located in this town and this six-kilometer stretch of white sand is said to be among the finest in Mindanao. So, if someone talks about Glan, the first thing that comes to mind is Gumasa Beach.

Glan Centennial Celebration CoverBut there’s more to Glan than its coastal wonders. Being the oldest municipality in the whole SocCCSKSarGen Region, Glan is a heritage town that played a significant role in shaping the whole region’s vibrant history. Forget about those white sand beaches, Glan’s substantial historical value makes this coastal town the most interesting place to discover in Sarangani Province. And those who come here to search for nature and pure pleasure find themselves more fascinated when the olden charms of Glan that are frozen in time are laid before their eyes. For some, they even call this beautiful place a little museum town. 

Glan’s Heritage of Yesteryears, Today’s Treasures.

Glan Centennial Celebration 4COLONO MARKER

In 1914, Don Tranquilino Ruiz from Alegria, Cebu was appointed by Gov. Gen. Francis Burton Harrison as Superintendent of Agricultural Colony No. 9. It was one of the Agricultural Colonies sent to then Moro Province now called Mindanao thru Colonization Law of Don Sergio Osmena, Sr., then Speaker of the House of Representatives. Don Tranquilino Ruiz together with other 16 Cebuanos were among the first Christian settlers who came to Glan on October 8, 1914. They were welcomed by the natives and together created a harmonious and progressive community. As town’s tribute to this first meeting of Christians and natives, this town’s foremost historic structure, the Colono Marker, was erected. If you happen to meet any local, ask him and he’ll probably name those in the structure.

Glan Centennial Celebration 3CENTURY OLD ANCESTRAL HOUSES

If you stroll around Poblacion, your eyes will surely be glued to the ample rows of ancestral houses standing still and resilient with time. Mostly built in the 1920’s, these colonial homes still house stunning collection of antiques and priceless heirlooms handed down from generation to generation. Some of these houses were originally constructed by those Colonos who came to Glan carrying with them furniture pieces and stuff from Cebu. Some of these houses now are occupied or maintained by either third or fourth generation of the family. If you’re lucky, owners will allow you to come inside their homes and let you take a glimpse of its colorful past. But even viewing them from the outside, you’ll absolutely be mesmerized by their high balconies, canopies, capiz shell windows, calado embroidered walls and wide wooden staircases. Take your time. Lavish your eyes with such vintage sight you can only see in Glan.

Glan Centennial Celebration 2EMILIO ALEGADO COLONIAL HOUSE

Perhaps the most visited and most photographed ancestral house in Glan is the E. Alegado Ancestral House. It was constructed in 1949 after the Japanese-American with both Spanish and American architectural influences. Emilio Alducente Alegado, the one who built it, was the first elected Municipal Mayor of Glan. He was endeared to his people that not just a street but also a barangay in Glan was named after him. Visit this home. It is now occupied by Councilor Martin Alegado, grandson of the late E. Alegado and you’ll surely be amazed by the intricate calado embroidered walls that abound inside. Of course, antique collections of the family can be seen everywhere.

Glan Centennial Celebration 1CENTURY OLD ACACIA TREES

Walk around the town proper and you will see several century old trees lining up along the streets, in schools and town plazas. At one glance, they almost resemble like those talking Ents in the Lord of The Rings. These trees are as old as the early Christian settlers of this quaint town and they’re undeniably the mute witnesses of how Glan becomes what it is now. Take a brisk walk under these trees or maybe sit on a bench under their shades, it will make you feel the antiquity of this rustic town and somehow would make you wonder how it was like living here 100 years ago. Honestly, I’ve never been to any town or city in this country with this number of century-old trees thriving like in the real forest. While some towns and cities in the country are cutting their heritage trees in favor of modernization, here in Glan they’re taken care of. They’re well-preserved for they too are part of the town’s heritage.

Glan Centennial Celebration 7SANTA CATALINA DE ALEXANDRIA CHURCH

It may not be as old as baroque or stone churches in the Visayas where Christianity was first introduced, Santa Catalina de Alexandria Church, the Parish Church of Glan is worth a visit. The Catholic Faith in this part of Mindanao was brought by Christian Settlers who came to this town from Cebu. Majority of them came from the town of Carcar where Santa Catalina of Alexandria is the patron saint. This explains further why the patron saint of Glan is the same as that of Carcar. Though Christians Cebuanos migrated to Glan in 1914, the Santa Catalina de Alexandria Church was built in 1949. It is now 65 years old and considered a built heritage. When you visit there, never miss saying a prayer for Santa Catalina or St. Catherine. Just so you know, she is the patroness of philosophers and preachers.

Glan Centennial Celebration 5THE RUIZ ANTIQUE COLLECTION

There’s no one in town who doesn’t know this walking encyclopedia of Glan. His name is Dr. Jose Tranquilino “Dodong” Ruiz III and he is the grandson of no less than the great Don Tranquilino Ruiz. He is a current Municipal Councilor and physician by profession. More than that, Dr. Ruiz is an antique collector and lover of something that has historical value. His museum-like home houses his family memorabilia which he prudently preserved over the years. Most of these antique collections speak about the history of his hometown. Over the years, Dr. Dodong Ruiz has built a reputation as the greatest local historian with his collection of antiques, local stories and personal account of his town’s heritage. And so when you visit this rustic town, drop by the Ruiz House to fully appreciate the history and legacy of Glan.

#ByahengMindanaw Team at Gumasa Beach

#ByahengMindanaw Team at Gumasa Beach

GUMASA WHITE SAND BEACH

Like most of those who came to Glan, your visit to this coastal town is not complete without visiting Gumasa Beach. After luxuriating yourself with your heritage tour at the town proper, hit the beach and surrender yourself to the town’s tropical allure. Gumasa is the priced beach jewel of Glan. It is nestled amidst the turquoise waters of the Sarangani Bay with long stretch of powdery white sands beaches and coves favorite among locals and foreign tourists. After engaging yourself all day beach bumming or suntanning, you can settle down and lounge by the seashore and gaze at the glorious sunset setting in the waters of Sarangani Bay. It is the perfect thing to do to end the day in Gumasa.

Glan Centennial Celebration

The Travel Teller inside the E. Alegado Ancestral House

Today, Glan remains to be the home of proud Glanians who take pride of their roots and their rich heritage. They are warm people and they welcome everyone to their beloved town with warm smiles. True that the sights and sounds of modernity have established their presence in the town but they cannot drown the stillness and elegance of the past as embodied by century-old trees and colonial houses of Glan. The town and its people may have opened themselves to rapid change but they have not sacrificed the bountiful wealth of their heritage. They chose to protect it, conserve it for their next generation of Glanians to see, appreciate and preserve.

This is GLAN. Its Yesteryears’ Heritage is Today’s Treasure.

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DCIM100GOPRO

An Ancestral House located in Hacienda Don Juan

This coming October 8, Glan will celebrate its 100 years as a town – the oldest town in the whole Region 12. This will be the most celebrated event to be staged in the whole town where every Glanian from all over the world looks forward to. Thus, the celebration is made even bigger and grander. COME VISIT GLAN and join the Glanian celebrating its 100 Years Legacy of Great Heritage and History. For more details, please like and follow GLAN100 on Facebook to get updates about this Centennial Celebration of the Oldest Town in SOCCKSARGEN.

Glan Centennial Celebration logo1A thank you shout-out to Ms. Lodar Dagoy Escobillo, the ever energetic Tourism Head of Glan for making this Heritage Tour possible.

Glan Centennial Celebration logo

SAMALAN CAMP AND SEA: Samal Island’s Southernmost Jewel

If you think you’ve been around the whole Samal Island and have seen all that comprise to make it the Island Jewel of Davao Region, wait until your feet bring you to the southernmost portion of this island city and see the pristine side of the Davao Gulf. I tell you, it will leave you dumbfounded.

Samalan Camp COVERThink of a dreamy beach where the waves never get tired kissing the shores. Imagine a long stretch of white sand luring you to find ways to bask around for hours even under the scorching sun. Think of that crystal clear blue water enticing you to take a dip or to even go underwater discovering an amazing world as interesting as everything above the ground. This is the kind of tropical charm that SAMALAN CAMP & SEA promises to take you.

Samalan Camp 42 Samalan Camp and Sea 76Nestled in the southernmost part of the Island Garden City of Samal, Samalan Camp and Sea boasts not only of its pristine white sand beach and its crystal clear blue waters, it also takes pride with its lush verdant forest teeming with some remaining wildlife in the island. Yes, a green forest so close to the beach. Thus, giving its guests an ample variety of activities to do while taking their vacation or short escape there.

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As holiday destination, Samalan Camp & Sea offers a wide array of accommodation to choose from ideal for all types of holiday seekers looking for a worthy place to stay. Whether you are a traveler who wants to bring comforts of the urban life to the island; or a posh traveler dreaming to experience glamping or glamorous camping with a dedicated butler on the side; or a gypsy-like adventurer who finds comfort pitching a tent under the talisay trees, this quaint camping charmer is just so ideal for you.

Samalan Camp 28 Samalan Camp 29 Samalan Camp 30 Samalan Camp and Sea 87 Samalan Camp and Sea 89

They have cottages equipped with modern amenities, nipa houses that can accommodated a family of eight, deluxe gazebos for “luxurious” glamorous camping, pretty-looking nipa and coco tents that come with sleeping mats, pillows and blankets, nipa huts by the sea perfect for vacationing couple and spacious camping grounds for campers who would like to bring and use their own camping gears. They have it all – designed for you!

Samalan Camp & Sea (20) Samalan Camp & Sea (26) Samalan Camp & Sea (27)

Samalan Camp & Sea’s 2-hectare forest is home to Philippine macaque monkeys. Here, they are protected and guests are discouraged to feed them. Green towering trees abound the forest and they are home to a flock of crows. You will see them flying from branches to branches. Sightings of the very rare Philippine megapode also known as the Tabon scrubfowl have also been recorded. In fact, these birds lay eggs in Samalan’s ground.

Samalan Camp & Sea (13) Samalan Camp & Sea (14) Samalan Camp & Sea (15)

Samalan Camp & Sea is also a nesting ground of sea turtles like the hawksbill and the loggerhead. They have recorded sea turtles laying eggs on the property’s shore for more than ten times already this year. The management along with the community of San Remigio have been in the frontline in the conservation of these sea turtles. Something that I found so commendable.

Samalan Camp and Sea 3 Samalan Camp and Sea 20

A perfect escape from the earsplitting noise of the concrete jungle, Samalan Camp & Sea is an ideal place to break the monotony of fast-paced urban living. Here, you can just sit or lay on the sand all day and just feel the nature’s sweet embrace. You can walk on the shores unshod letting the waves kiss your feet. It’s refreshing – rejuvenating. And when you retire to your bed or to your camp, you’ll sleep the night away swayed by the roaring sound of the waves – roaring it may seemed but I tell you they’re sweet lullabies putting you gently to sleep.

Samalan Camp and Sea 33 Samalan Camp and Sea 35 Samalan Camp and Sea 48

And next day when you wake up, a magnificently brilliant sunrise awaits for you – go out, worship it. It will definitely stun you and make you embrace the life of the Samalan – simple, natural and worry-free. 

HOW TO GET THERE:

SAMALAN CAMP & SEA is situated in San Remigio, Kaputian District in the Island Garden City of Samal. From Davao City, take the barge from Sta. Ana Wharf to Kaputian Wharf. From there, you may hire the services of a habal-habal to take you all the way to Barangay San Remigio, Kaputian District. When you get to Barangay San Remigio, just follow the Samalan diretional road sign. The trip from Sta. Anan Wharf to Kaputian Wharf should take around 90 minute; the motorcycle ride to Samala should take another 20 minutes. Barge fee for passengers is Php 50.00; habal-habal is Php 60.00 – 80.00.

SAMALAN CAMP & SEA
San Remigio, Kaputian District
Island Garden City of Samal
Telephone Number : +63 82 233 2557
Mobile Number: +63 925 311 1011
Email Address: [email protected]
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/samalancampandsea

COME AND SEE SAMALAN!!! Samal Island’s Southernmost Jewel!

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KAAMULAN FESTIVAL 2014: One Hundred Years of Cultural Legacy

In celebration of Bukidnon’s centenary as a province, the Philippines’s most authentic ethnic festival was made even bigger and grander – the Kaamulan Festival. Originally, this spectacular event is celebrated during second half of February to the first week of March but this year, in line with the province’s centennial celebration, Kaamulan Festival was moved to August to make the celebration more meaningful and historic! With its theme “100 Years of Legacy”, truly the celebration of this year’s Kaamulan Festival was a tremendous success.

Kaamulan Festival 2014  (1107) copy

Kaamulan Festival is a cultural festival that showcases the rich customs and traditions of the 7 ethnic hill tribes of Province of Bukidnon. They are the Talaandig, Higaonon, Umayamnon, Manobo, Tiwahanon, Matigsalug, and Bukidnon, the early settlers of the Province. “Kaamulan” is from the Binukid word “amul” which means “to gather” and “Kaamulan” means a gathering for a purpose. Hence, the festival is an annual gathering of the 7 tribes of Bukidnon in celebration of their rich culture and tradition along with local dwellers of this landlocked province.

Kaamulan Festival 2014  (1081) copy

Held annually in Malaybalay City, the capital town of the province, Kaamulan Festival is considered as the biggest annual event in Northern Mindanao. It has drawn tourists all over the island and has slowly captivated the hearts of festival fanatics from different parts of the country. It displays the colorful artistry, innate talents, and diverse culture and heritage in the whole province. It adds more colors to the Province’s verdant hills, cool climate, lush forest, magnificent waterfalls, cold springs and vast lakes.

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Participated by cultural groups whose ways of life have remained untouched through the tests of times, Kaamulan is characterized by the authentic rituals and cultural dances based on the customs and traditions of indigenous peoples. Pangampo (general worship), the Tagulambong hu Datu (ritual for the installation of a Chieftain), the Panumanod (a spiriting ceremony), the Panlisig (rite to drive away evil spirits), and the Pamalas (sin atonement ritual) were among those being showcased during this celebration which can be mostly witnessed during the street dancing festivity. And each tribe represented by different contingent coming from 22 municipalities of the province reflects the richness and diversity of the Bukidnon culture.

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Unlike other festivals, 75% of the participants of the street dancing competition are real members of the ethnic group of the Province. The main dancers, chanters, drumbeaters, ritual performers – most of them come from the seven hill tribes of Bukidnon. Rituals are performed by elders of each tribe and indigenous music are played using indigenous musical instruments. Their colorful woven costumes, headdresses, amulets, anklets, earrings and necklaces beautifully depict their rich colorful tradition. All these make this event the most authentic Ethnic Festival in the Philippines.

ONE HUNDRED CAPTURED MOMENTS. ONE KAAMULAN VIBE.

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As festival fanatic having witnessed Kaamulan Festival for another time, I have to agree that indeed “Kaamulan Festival is undoubtedly the only authentic ethnic festival in the Philippines”. It is actually diversely authentic giving me one good reason to come every year and commune with the 7 Hill Tribes of the Province for another colorful celebration of Kaamulan Festival.

 

The Travel Teller ♥ KAAMULAN FESTIVAL.

The Travel Teller ♥ KAAMULAN FESTIVAL.

T’NALAK FESTIVAL 2014: From the Land of the Dreamweavers to the World!

Living in a country where colorful fiestas and grandiose festivals are reveled all year round, witnessing a convergence of indigenous colors depicting rich culture and living tradition is such a rare experience. Seeing it right at the very heart of the province where the value for culture and the arts is highly regarded, this kind of festival is a feast for the eyes. This is the T’nalak Festival of South Cotabato, the most celebrated festivity in South Central Mindanao.

Tnalak Fest Cover PhotoT’nalak Festival is the province’s annual celebration showcasing the significance of T’nalak cloth as the cultural icon of South Cotabato. An intricately woven tapestry of intense and striking colors, T’nalak is dreamt to life by the T’boli weavers who translate their dreams into intricate geometric patterns of tie-dyed abaca fibers.

Tnalak Festival 2014 (103)T’nalak’s significance to the South Cotabato’s culture has earned its place as the cultural emblem of the province. This unique tradition of woven dreams has put South Cotabato in the world map of traditional tapestry making and has earned them the title “Land of the Dream Weavers”.  Thus, the annual celebration of T’nalak Festival displays the importance of the T’nalak cloth as part of the cultural image of South Cotabato amidst the dual presence of tradition and progress.

Tnalak Festival 2014 (295)Tnalak Festival 2014 (292)T’nalak being the province’s cultural emblem symbolizes the blending of culture, strength and unity not only of T’boli people but of various ethnic groups living in the province. It is during this festive celebration of T’nalak Festival that people of South Cotabato showcase their vibrant cultures and venerable traditions through dazzling cultural performances and pulsating street dancing.

Tnalak Festival 2014 (290) Tnalak Festival 2014 (198)Hailed as the biggest, brightest and the most colorful festival in South Central Mindanao, T’nalak Festival is not just a cheerful celebration of the province’s cultural identity but a great way to showcase the all the best that South Cotabato has to offer including its gentle people.

Tnalak Festival 2014 (305) Tnalak Festival 2014 (326)This becomes evident as the main thoroughfares of Koranadal City, the capital of the province was filled with sprightly music, outstanding performance and vibrant colors as nine contingents coming from different schools, communities and towns converged in the much awaited Street Dancing Competition, the most watched festivity of T’nalak Festival that pays tribute to South Cotabato’s artistic, cultural and historical heritage.

Tnalak Festival 2014 (102) Tnalak Festival 2014 (103)In this highly anticipated Mardi Gras of Indigenous Colors and Dances, the heart pounding ethnic music reverberated all over the city’s downtown district while the vibrant colors of captivating black, red and white – the colors of t’nalak – dominated the streets. These were the pulsating beats and glowing hues brought by the 9 contingents as they showcased rituals and dances of their respective tribes dressed and accessorized by multihued costumes as they performed with great intensity, passion and enthusiasm.

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Tnalak Festival 2014 (1) DCIM100GOPRO DCIM100GOPRO DCIM100GOPRO DCIM100GOPRO Tnalak Festival 2014 (377) From Koronadal City, South Cotabato, I am OLAN EMBOSCADO and this is THE TRAVEL TELLER.

VIDEO BLOG: Into the Heart of Agusan Marsh

Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary in the province of Agusan Del Sur is one of the most ecologically important swamplands in the Philippines. Declared as a protected area and wildlife sanctuary, it is home to hundreds of species of birds, freshwater fish, bats, soft shell turtles, rare plants and trees, salt water and fresh water crocodiles. Situated at the very heart of Agusan basin, this enormous spread of marsh covers an area of about 20,000 hectares – equivalent to the size of Metro Manila.

The most popular entry point to the Agusan Marsh is through the town of Bunawan. It came to fame because it is where Lolong, then world’s largest crocodile in captivity, was captured. But Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary can be easily accessed through the town of Loreto in Agusan del Sur.

Wandering deep into the waterscape of rivers, creeks, freshwater marshes connected to multiple lakes and numerous ponds brings you to an unusual world – a bizarre world you never even imagine to have existed.

DCIM100GOPRODeep into the marshland is a floating village of the Manobo tribe whose lives and homes literally rise and ebbs with the tides of the swamp. Obviously, they don’t have dry lands to call their own but they what have are vast marshes that serve not only their homes but a haven they considered sacred. And yes, the marsh has been very good to them. The marsh provided everything they need.

Commune with nature |Immerse with its people – two of the most unforgettable things that Agusan Marsh can let you experience. Life in Agusan Marsh despite its isolation from the modern world we know is good. There is an enigmatic air of peace and silence that awaits you there. There is this kind of stillness that will make you feel one with the earth. It will make you love everything around you. It will bedazzle you. Such things make this wetland paradise of Agusan Del Sur an “Enchanted Marsh”.