April 2013

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Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
"The heart and soul were poured to those costumes. Passion was indeed evident."

Vigan, the city I have always loved, my dearest hometown and where my dreams and my whole being is shaped, is evolving so fast. The nostalgia flows through my veins so swiftly, almost instant. Change is inevitable and I have to absorb and accept that fact that it is the only permanent thing in this world where we live. To note, "there's nothing permanent in this world except change."

World Costume Festival
And then the World Costume Festival came. So it is another festival; an addition to Vigan's existing festivals.

The small city turned so colorful. It was filled with arts and creativity. Genius minds in the field of costume designing from different parts of the world found their home in Vigan.

The first person wearing a costume that I was able to witness face to face came out. He (a gay) was wearing a red costume that made her look stunning before my eyes. This is it, the festival is really happening, another one.

World Costume Festival 2013


World Costume Festival 2013
Another one in red came close to where I was standing. Then many more followed. Everyone was just fantastic. The heart and soul were poured to those costumes. Passion was indeed evident.

As the different delegates from different parts of the world came out, I can't believe what I am seeing -- that my hometown is now the venue of international events like this. It changed a lot within a small span of time.

The Calle Crisologo metamorphosed. Each street corner was decorated with arches so lovely and beautiful. It was not just the quiet Calle Crisologo I have known. It improves with tendencies to over-improve. It glows beautifully with tendencies to be overdone. It charms the people with tendencies to become an eyesore. There was a thin margin between attaining the optimum and what is maximum, and the maximum could be a threat.

Anyways, there's no issue here. I am just so glad that some eyes of the world have been turned to Vigan. So far, nothing was overdone. It was within the optimum limits.

World Costume Festival 2013
Smiles were everywhere. It opens the joy corner of my soul, expands a bit, then when I can not contain it, it bursts out to my lips. Smile could turn to laughter at times.

I am guilty for not being able to take plenty of photos of the costumes. However, they retain to my memories and I can access it with or without the internet.

Another Vigan event to be proud of. About 2 dozens of international contingents have to fly to this little heritage city to join the celebration. Also, most major festival dancers in the Philippines came to Vigan to join the parade and showcase to the world that Philippine costumes can kick ass.

With the Japanese delegates and Enrico Dee of Byahilo.com


Above: Photo grabbed from Enrico Dee (without his permission, lols!)

Forgive me, I was not able to take photos of the costumes from other countries. Indonesia actually received the most prestigious award in this festival. Never mind the meager photos, as for me, the experience is already more than enough. [end]

#Vigan Exploration Series

Vigan City | Abel House Decor, an Expression of Love & Passion Binatbatan Festival Street Dancing 2013 (Photo Coverage)Vigan Karbo Festival | Of Carabao, Glasses and SeedsWorld Costume Festival | Vigan Conquers the WorldVigan City | Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday) ScenesVigan Dancing Fountain | Plaza Salcedo RepackagedLongganisa Festival | A Colorful Vigan City FiestaWitnessing 2013's First Sunset (and full moon?) in PerspectiveGlass Mosaic and Boklan Arts, and Some Revelations About MeCalle Crisologo and the Calesa ParadePasagad Dressing and the Largest Gathering of Carabao in ViganExotic Vigan Food | Edmar is Certified Frog-Eater in 15 minutesBinatbatan Festival | A Festival of Cottons and FabricCarabao Painting 2012 | Karbo Festival of ViganCalesa Parade | A Viva Vigan Festival of the Arts HighlightPalaspas-Weaving and Waving | A Philippine Holy Week CulturePalm Sunday Trade | Buying 'Palaspas' on a Holy Week via Drive-ThruPalm Sunday Trade | Buying 'Palaspas' on a Holy Week via Drive-Thru

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NAGUSTUAM DIAY NABASAM/NAKITAM? MABALIN MO MET I-LIKE.
Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
"The presence of the rice terraces is an evidence of an engineering expertise of the Igorot ancestors..."

There are lots of beautiful rice terraces in the Philippines but not everything is known. The Banaue Rice Terraces (including those in Batad) is the most publicized -- undeniably these are the most gigantic, most extensive and of course one of the the most breathtaking. Now, allow me share to you the less known rice terraces in the Cordilleras and let us start with Bayyo Rice Terraces.

Bayyo Rice Terraces - Bontoc, Mountain Province, Philippines

The chapel and the rice terraces

Bayyo Rice Terraces - Bontoc, Mountain Province, Philippines

Totally verdant

Bayyo Rice Terraces - Bontoc, Mountain Province, Philippines

The #TownExplorer and Bayyo Rice Terraces

Bayyo Rice Terraces - Bontoc, Mountain Province, Philippines

Bayyo Village

Bayyo Rice Terraces - Bontoc, Mountain Province, Philippines

Bayyo Village and the Rice Terraces


Bayyo Rice Terraces is located along the Bontoc-Banaue Road. You can view this stunning vista along the road. It is around 30-40 minutes of jeepney ride from Bontoc Poblacion.

To get here, go the the Bontoc-Banaue PUJ parking area beside the Bontoc Town Hall. Tell the driver to drop you to Bayyo rice terraces (this is optional since you can view it while riding on a jeep -- unless you want to take photos, so you have to stop for the matter).

What else? You can also see some waterfalls in Bayyo which are view-able from the road. But you have to spot keenly for you to notice them.

Photo Gallery: Bayyo Waterfalls and Rice Terraces

Bayyo Waterfalls - Bontoc, Mountain Province, PhilippinesBayyo Waterfalls - Bontoc, Mountain Province, PhilippinesBayyo Waterfalls - Bontoc, Mountain Province, PhilippinesBayyo Rice Terraces- Bontoc, Mountain Province, PhilippinesBayyo Rice Terraces- Bontoc, Mountain Province, Philippines

I have this desire in me to get up close to the waterfalls but the chance was just too thin. As I ascend to Bayyo, the air gets cooler and looking to the higher parts of the mountains are waterfalls cascading unrestricted. 

Then I looked to the right. There is a mountain range. But one of those mountains is unusual and it does not look like the rest of the mountains -- that mountain is the home for the Bayyo villagers and the slope of that mountain has been turned into rice terraces.

What makes it interesting is that the mountain is steep but the villagers have been resilient to live in this kind of environment. I admire them for being adaptable.

Indeed, I consider this a paradise, specifically a heritage and cultural paradise. The presence of the rice terraces is an evidence of an engineering expertise of the Igorot ancestors that in spite of the absence of modern technology those days, they were able to create an engineering feat that survived the test of times and of the seasons. This is a living cultural treasure and heritage; truly a paradise for those fascinated with culture and history. /end

Bontoc #TownExploration Series

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