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Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
It's a testament that the Bigueño culture is so rich that we have to look for alternative outlets to express and unleash the overflowing love for our culture that we have safeguarded in our hearts, sealed with passion, enforced by community awareness.

[Vigan, Ilocos Sur Province, Ilocos Region, Luzon Island, Luzon Group, Philippines]

In Vigan, the abel Iloko (locally made traditional woven fabric) is not just for clothes, blankets, table covers and Binatbatan Festival costumes. It's also for building façade decoration.

I live in a city that thrives in the richness of its culture and heritage—overflowing, overwhelming, deeply-rooted, deeply-founded. 

On how our ancestors birthed a culture that's so rich is like a magic—now a reality for us. Our ancestors created a civilization for them, now a great heritage of the present Ilocanos.

LEONA FLORENTINO HOUSE
[VIGAN] ► THE PROVINCIAL TOURISM OFFICE OF ILOCOS SUR DECORATED THEIR OFFICE WITH THESE ABEL FABRIC.
Every year, the Heritage City of Vigan has a Binatbatan Festival that primarily showcases the abel Iloko fabric. The festival features diverse Bigueño arts and culture but the abel fabric is the superstar.

The façades of buildings and ancestral houses in Vigan are also decorated with abel during this festival. It's a testament that the Bigueño culture is so rich that we have to look for alternative outlets to express and unleash the overflowing love for our culture that we have safeguarded in our hearts, sealed with passion, enforced by community awareness. When we could no longer contain the great love in our hearts enforced by our beautiful culture, it bursts with meaningful colors, songs, dances, literary pieces, performing arts, fashion and creativity. When that happens, the people are happy.

VIGAN PLAZA HOTEL
[VIGAN] ► THE VIGAN PLAZA HOTEL IS A CONSISTENT PARTICIPANT FOR THIS ABEL HOUSE DECOR EVENT.
On April 29, 2017, I walked around the city center to witness the early birds for this abel decoration event. Some buildings have already finished the decoration, some were still decorating, some haven't started yet. Among the early birds were the UCPB, Vigan Plaza Hotel, Plaza Maestro Convention Center Building (formerly CAP building), EastWest Bank and the Ilocos Sur Tourism Office.

During my walk, the following were still finishing their decorations: BDO - Quezon Avenue Branch, Dunkin' Donuts and Mercury Drug. Please see my video blog above under YouTube tab to watch the other buildings not posted here. Later in the first few days of May, there were many participants more than I expected.

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Plaza Maestro Convention Center Building was the first building I visited for this documentation.

PLAZA MAESTRO CONVENTION CENTER
Abel fabric with floral design is for the Plaza Maestro Convention Center (formerly CAP Building).

PLAZA MAESTRO CONVENTION CENTER BUILDING
Vigan Plaza Hotel is a consistent participant of this abel house decor event.

VIGAN PLAZA HOTEL
The Vigan Plaza Hotel is one of the early birds to finish this task.

VIGAN PLAZA HOTEL
Vigan Plaza Hotel's huge windows were decorated by abel fabric.

VIGAN PLAZA HOTEL
The Vigan Plaza Hotel is a consistent contender.

VIGAN PLAZA HOTEL
Lamps and Abel.

VIGAN PLAZA HOTEL
Burnay and empanada plates served as designs for the abel fabric.

VIGAN PLAZA HOTEL

The Vigan spirit of safeguarding and displaying our heritage is alive until now. The evidence could be seen 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

The abel fabric decorations are colors that define the ingenuity of the Ilocanos. Their presence are the little things that once shaped (and continue to shape) our culture. Their absence would not complete our identity as present-day Bigueños.

As long as people outside Vigan patronage our Vigan products, abel weaving will continue, hence, you are helping Bigueño millennials find themselves, their identity. For the modern-day youth, abel may seem passé, but deep in my heart, I would like my future kids and grand kids to still embrace the beautiful culture and heritage our ancestors have enjoyed—and I am enjoying now. | end |

ABEL HOUSE DECOR THROUGH THE YEARS

BLOG TIMELINE:▼ 2012

It is exposed to sun, air, rain and other elements but I tell you, Abel Iloko fabric is very durable.

| ▼ 2013

This time, the ancestral houses can not run from this fever. These houses need to be a medium of showing to the world the Bigueños' love for their city.

| ► 2017

Map Showing the Location of #Vigan

MAP OF VIGAN
► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

[1] The above story is Part of the Viva Vigan Binatbatan Festival of the Arts 2017.

[2] This post was filed under the category "Customs and Traditions" See more posts related to this below.


[3] The maps I used on this post are from maps.google.com.ph.

[4] All photos are mine.

[5] The insights, condition and name of places or properties I mentioned here are based on the facts and situation on the day of my visit. Take note that you may have a different experience when you try or see the properties or places mentioned here. Names of places and properties may also change by time so it's not my responsibility to update all the information on this blog because once published, I already consider it an archive and I won't update my narratives because I want them to become my references of what have happened in the past. I'm very particular of the dates because I want my amazing readers to understand that I am writing stories based on my perspective and insights on the day of my visit. You can see dates almost everywhere on this blog. Exempted from this rule are my travel guide posts that need to be updated.

LATEST STORIES COVERING #VIGAN | SEE ALL #VIGAN STORIES »

MORE STORIES COVERING ILOCOS SUR PROVINCE | SEE OLDER STORIES »

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NAGUSTUAM DIAY NABASAM/NAKITAM? MABALIN MO MET I-LIKE.

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Joining the Paoayeños in their boodle fight made me feel that I was part of the big family. I washed my hands and joined the crowd of hungry people. I grabbed some "tinuno nga tilapia" and opened its belly with my hands like a surgeon.

[Paoay, Ilocos Norte Province, Ilocos Region, Luzon Island, Luzon Group, Philippines]
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PAOAY GULING-GULING FESTIVAL
PAOAY GULING-GULING FESTIVAL
PAOAY GULING-GULING FESTIVAL
PAOAY GULING-GULING FESTIVAL
PAOAY GULING-GULING FESTIVAL

The time has come that the community spirit had to manifest. A long table was set up beside the magnificent church of Paoay loaded with food and flavors that Ilocanos love to eat.

It was high noon and a ceremony was pre-planned to recognize the dignitaries. That time, some officials form Maguindanao were present to witness the rich culture of Paoay and I had the chance to meet and greet them.

Back to the long table, the fantasy I was wishing to happen that time happened. Yup. I wished for a big meal but I was given a boodle fight with a heart. It was with a heart in the sense that it was prepared to celebrate the richness of the culture of Paoay. Actually, this big meal marked the start of Guling-guling Festival 2017.

PAOAY GULINNG-GULING FESTIVAL 2017
[PAOAY] ► 'TINUNO NGA IKAN' FOR LUNCH!.
With a tummy ready to handle a big volume of food (ulkkk!), I joined the table exclusive for guests, visitors and dignitaries—us, bloggers, included. At the other tables were the locals and some more visitors and officials.

Many of the food served were the food I grew up eating with—pinakbet, saluyot (my favorite), tinuno nga ikan with KBL. It was so Ilocano!

PAOAY GULINNG-GULING FESTIVAL 2017
[PAOAY] ► KBL: THE ILOCANO HALLMARK SAUCE (BAGOONG SAUCE WITH TOMATOES AND ONION).
Joining the Paoayeños in their boodle fight made me feel that I was part of the big family. I washed my hands and joined the crowd of hungry people. I grabbed some "tinuno nga tilapia" and opened its belly with my hands like a surgeon. Heavenly, just in time for the peak of my hunger.

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Appearance of the boodle fight table after less than an hour.

PAOAY GULING-GULING FESTIVAL
The youth of Paoay were also with us.

PAOAY GULING-GULING FESTIVAL
Eating in bare hands is fun in Paoay!

PAOAY GULING-GULING FESTIVAL

After this great lunch, I regained an amount of energy enough to fuel me for the next activities here in Paoay. There were dancing under the sun. The streets were filled with colors and cool lures. I was seeing Paoay differently—more than the Paoay church. This town is indeed enriching. | to be continued.. |

This is the Episode 03 of Blogserye 04.

✈ BLOGSERYE 04: THE AMAZING REVELATIONS OF PAOAY AND BEYOND

Blogserye 04 is a series of narratives and stories about the fascinating things and information I learned + activities I experienced in Paoay and beyond in February 2017.

Chapter 01Chapter 02
Chapter 01: The Fit Sunday Before Fat Tuesday

This chapter is a series of narratives and stories about the things I learned and activities I experienced on my first day in this Paoay trip.

✈ EPISODE 01: ▼ The Arrival: First Two Hours Of Mystery And Drama

✈ EPISODE 02: ▼ The High Noon Walk and the First Set of Revelations

✈ EPISODE 03: ► Boodle Fight Experience with the People of Paoay

✈ EPISODE 04: Up Next

◄ BLOGSERYE 03 BLOGSERYE 04 BLOGSERYE 05 ►

Map Showing the Location of #Paoay

MAP OF PAOAY, ILOCOS NORTE
► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

[1] The above story is Part 3 of a blogserye (blog series). Come back soon for the Part 4.

[2] I would like to thank Mr Bernard Joseph Guerrero of the Paoay tourism office for hosting us in Paoay as well as to the Paoay LGU for welcoming us in your beautiful town!

[3] This post was filed under the category "Experiences." See more posts related to this below.


[4] The maps I used on this post are from maps.google.com.ph.

[5] All photos are mine.

[6] The insights, condition and name of places or properties I mentioned here are based on the facts and situation on the day of my visit. Take note that you may have a different experience when you try or see the properties or places mentioned here. Names of places and properties may also change by time so it's not my responsibility to update all the information on this blog because once published, I already consider it an archive and I won't update my narratives because I want them to become my references of what have happened in the past. I'm very particular of the dates because I want my amazing readers to understand that I am writing stories based on my perspective and insights on the day of my visit. You can see dates almost everywhere on this blog. Exempted from this rule are my travel guide posts that need to be updated.

LATEST STORIES COVERING #PAOAY | SEE ALL #PAOAY STORIES »

MORE STORIES COVERING ILOCOS NORTE PROVINCE | SEE OLDER STORIES »

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NAGUSTUAM DIAY NABASAM/NAKITAM? MABALIN MO MET I-LIKE.
Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
I learned from them that physical deficiencies are practically non-existent. It's all about how you maximize your life to the fullest. No one is really handicapped. We could live as a normal being if we choose to.

[Pasay, National Capital Region, Luzon Island, Luzon Group, Philippines]
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NINOY AQUINO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
NINOY AQUINO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
NINOY AQUINO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
NINOY AQUINO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
NINOY AQUINO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Entering the airport solo for the first time without the help or instruction of a frequent flier was a little bit memorable for me. I'm not an airport virgin but entering the facility solo for the first time had a share of anxiety in me. As usual, I observed first what the other people did before I entered the first x-ray scanner. I removed my belt with metal, my sunglasses, my bonnet and my personal doubts. I placed my things in a tray and my presence of mind in my heart.
Pre-Departure Area Drama: The People I Met, Observed and Lessons I Learned
Inside the pre-departure area, I purchased a chicken siopao—58 pesos—that didn't really taste like there was a chicken ingredient, an expensive beef tapa rice meal (120+ pesos) and the cheapest drinks (25 pesos). Whew! Airport commodities are the price of gold.

Then, someone announced that our flight was delayed. This was also my first delayed flight experience: from 7:20 PM to 10:30 PM. Uh!

While waiting for the arrival of the delayed aircraft, I met a woman from Kalibo named Maricel. She told me she has two children studying in Manila: one in De La Salle University and one in Centro Escolar University. She told me she got pregnant at the age of seventeen (17). Her youngest is in high school in Kalibo. Her husband is a UN volunteer in Sudan but according to her, earns 200,000 pesos monthly.

The latter goes home every three months. She told me there are a lot of things she did not experience and enjoy because she married early. She said I am lucky because I am doing what I love now, still single and looks 24 (according to her), a 'very' little difference compared to my actual age that time.

Whenever she goes to Manila, she attends parties and she even revealed that she could spend ten thousand pesos in one night with her relatives, and even her Ex-BF. She told me she wants to enjoy her life too. It is not yet too late.

I told her, "Yes, money is meant to be spent. If you have a lot of money but you're not spending it for your personal fulfillment and happiness, what's the use?" She agreed.

She asked me my about my job. I said "I'm a nurse."

She told me "You're rich!" I disagreed and I explamied the reason why I could afford to travel. I told her that it's a matter of prioritization. I also shared my insights about the sad situation of nurses in the Philippines like the low salary. She asked me my salary. I disclosed it. She was shocked (because it was very low).

She asked me where I came from. "Vigan." I said. She told me Vigan is a beautiful place although she has never been there.

I agreed. I said, "Yes, I am from there and I'm proud of my city. But I am not telling it is beautiful because it is my city. I am telling it is beautiful because it deserves the hype."

I also told her I've never been to Boracay which is a few minutes/hours away from Kalibo. She told me I should visit soon.

The pre-departure area was full of people while we shared personal stories of hope, dreams and frustrations. I sat down in a corner—on the floor near a massage service room ran by blind people who already know where they were going even though they could not see their way.

NINOY AQUINO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
[PASAY] ► ME, SITTING IN A CORNER INSIDE THE TERMINAL 3 OF NINOY AQUINO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.
I thought these blind men already calculated how many steps they should execute to reach their destination inside the airport. It was just amazing how they reached a place they desired accurately while they made turns with precision.

I learned from them that physical deficiencies are practically non-existent. It's all about how you maximize your life to the fullest. No one is really handicapped. We could live as a normal being if we choose to.

Ate Macel had to go. My flight was later. I learned something from her that people have regrets in the end. So I conclude that decision-making is a crucial element of future-building. It could change your life forever. We should focus on the things that we love and the people we care for.

Fast forward, it's 10:00 PM and I had to be on board. I was both nervous and excited for my first solo backpacking using an airplane. Where am I going? | to be continued... |

This is the Episode 02 of Blogserye 05.

✈ BLOGSERYE 05: MY FIRST SOLO BACKPACKING USING AN AIRPLANE

My 20-something spirit wanted to explore the Philippines without riding an airplane. I wanted to visit as many towns as possible in the Philippines via land and sea travel only. However, some airlines' cheap fares were just irresistible, hence, I traveled solo for the first time by flying. Blogserye 05 is a series of narratives and stories about my first solo backpacking using an airplane.

Chapter 01Chapter 02
Chapter 01: Flying Solo for the First Time

This chapter is a series of narratives and stories about my experience of flying solo for the first time.

✈ EPISODE 01: ▼ Bus Ride Diaries: From Vigan To Cubao To NAIAVIGAN CITY

I thought twice. It was so expensive for me. I checked out the time and it was running so fast. I was tempted to go because of the time constraint but I tried to haggle down the prize again...



✈ EPISODE 02: ► Ninoy Aquino International Airport: Notes from My First Solo Flight

✈ EPISODE 03: (Up Next)
Coming soon!

✈ BLOGSERYE 05: MY FIRST SOLO BACKPACKING USING AN AIRPLANE

◄ BLOGSERYE 04BLOGSERYE 05

Map Showing the Location of #Pasay

MAP OF PASAY CITY
► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

[1] The above story is the Episode 02 of Blogserye 05.

[2] This post was filed under the category "Airport Tales." See more posts related to this below.


[3] The maps I used on this post are from maps.google.com.ph.

[4] All photos are mine.

[5] The insights, condition and name of places or properties I mentioned here are based on the facts and situation on the day of my visit. Take note that you may have a different experience when you try or see the properties or places mentioned here. Names of places and properties may also change by time so it's not my responsibility to update all the information on this blog because once published, I already consider it an archive and I won't update my narratives because I want them to become my references of what have happened in the past. I'm very particular of the dates because I want my amazing readers to understand that I am writing stories based on my perspective and insights on the day of my visit. You can see dates almost everywhere on this blog. Exempted from this rule are my travel guide posts that need to be updated.

LATEST STORIES COVERING #PASAY | SEE ALL #PASAY STORIES »

MORE STORIES COVERING NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION | SEE OLDER STORIES »

MORE FROM THIS CATEGORY (AIRPORT TALES)
SEE OLDER STORIES COVERING 'AIRPORT TALES' »

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KLP SVD V SF L N S L
NAGUSTUAM DIAY NABASAM/NAKITAM? MABALIN MO MET I-LIKE.