May 2011

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" spite of its oldness, it always create new things. In Mabuhay barber shop, there is new thing everyday."

With the mushrooming growth of the service sector in our economy, saloons and beauty parlors are very present. Even the most masculine looking guy even now prefer to have the services of the saloons for haircut.

Street corner, where the oldest barber shop is located

Maps by Wikipedia
Location Highlighted in Red
With the younger generation, they might not be familiar of the word barber shop.

As you notice, barber shops mainly have "real" men unlike in saloons where most of the hair cutters are so "gay."

With the appearance of the saloons, almost all barber shops have been killed! They are almost gone in the limelight. And if we talk about barber shop, it's more of being masculine and saloon more feminine. But a lot of men now prefer the convenience of the saloons.

At the corner of Sikatuna and Gen. Luna Streets in Vigan is the Mabuhay Barber Shop - the oldest running and surviving barber shop in Vigan. The interesting feat with this barber shop is that it is older then me. It's age is roughly about less than 60 years and still going strong.

Unlike the saloons, Mabuhay barber shop doesn't have the "gay" hair cutters. They are all "real" men to note and most of the clients are "real" men too. There are no other beauty services other than haircut. They charge for only 50 pesos for each haircut. It is also very interesting to discover that there are no female customers although they are not prohibited.

Unlike the saloons, Mabuhay Barber Shop is not fully air-conditioned. It is actually in an open air with ceiling fans inside. The haircutters come and go but this barber shop never became dead. It speaks it's name "Mabuhay" which means "long live."

I wonder what's the secret of this barber shop that it keeps on going. They even have a foreigner customer who ignored the air-conditioned saloon scattered in the town.

This foreigner prefer Mabuhay Barber Shop than any other saloons. He also received massage as part of the service.

This barber shop truly has gained the trust of the people because people still prefer to choose this barber shop than any other modern saloon in town. I was able to talk with one of the oldest hair cutter. "This barber shop is even older than your father," he says. 

"This is not the original location of this barber shop because it has transferred a couple of times," he added.

In any generation, young and old, people still love this old barber shop. Truly, it has been established not just in this city but in the hearts of the people and I think that's one of the secrets of its survival. This barber shop will surely live. Mabuhay ka, Mabuhay Barber Shop! [Long live, Mabuhay Barber Shop!]

Next time my hair gets long, I will surely let Mabuhay Barber Shop cut my hair not because I featured it in my blog but because in spite of its oldness, it always create new things. In Mabuhay barber shop, there is new thing everyday. Daily, this barber shop creates new hair cuts, new look, new smile and new confidence it has continued all throughout the decades of existence and service!

Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
"...there's nothing malicious at Suso Beach. It is totally wholesome and it's free!"

The name of the beach is Suso Beach and there's no way I can change it! LOL! By the way this is a the most accessible beach in the town of Sta Maria in Ilocos Sur because it is located just along the Maharlika Highway.

Suso Beach Sunset

Maps Courtesy of Wikipedia
Location Highlighted in Red
As you traverse the highway while you are riding with your car or bus and you are coming from south, look at your left and just immediately at the corner of the road is the white to golden sandy and coral beach of Suso.

When you look at your right, it is a beautiful mountain range with lush green forest that is totally refreshing. So when you are already in this part of Sta Maria, choose where to view, left or right.

Lovely Sunset!

I can say I was lucky this day because my visit to this beach is actually a perfect timing. The sunset is at the optimum view and it was totally spectacular.

The great thing here is that you don't need to exert an effort to reach this place because it is not hidden. It is unbelievably just along the highway with clear view. There are no concrete obstructions and it is a very healthy place for picnic. Aside from the very extraordinary sunset, the water is so calm because it forms a natural cove ideal for all beach lovers. Along the beach line, there are cottages where you can have your picnics and the local barangay government charge an affordable rate for it.


Where light and dark collide

The beauty of this beach is really a God-given gift. But there are some things I have noticed that could destroy the beautiful view. One is the parking space. In a sidewalk at highway level, it serves as a parking lot but what is annoying is that large trucks utilize the space.

Those long 16-wheeler trucks that are parked along that spot is an eye sore because it does not blend beautifully with the beauty of the beach. Rather, it obstructs the view. Private tourist cars may park there but those large trucks are a problem. Aside from the possibility that it could bring highway accident because it limits visibility at the other highway lane, it is not also suitable for viewing. I hope the local government could do something about this.

The beach is very beautiful and accessible so it must also receive special care and treatment.

Another thing I have noticed is that there are garbage which are not disposed off properly and most of these garbage are wastes from people and tourists who just have done with their picnic. No, no, no. To all visitors, please observe discipline. Let's take good care of this beautiful beach. If you want to visit this place, can we just make cleanliness as the compensation that we could offer to the beach in return of the relaxation and happiness it has bought to us? Well, think about it.

I will say it again, there's nothing malicious at Suso Beach. It is totally wholesome and it's free! The beauty of its sunset is a must-see and swimming at the beach is a must-try. It is really soothing I swear!


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"I just captured our backyard which is so green and I love it much! Our green backyard is my official best friend this rainy seasons because it makes me happy. No wonder why people call me green-minded because it's true."

Because of typhoon Chedeng, I think it's not risky to say that summer is over! Summer is gone! Let's just wait for the new summer season next year

The first rainfall this year in my hometown left a lovely view with the green green grasses of home which are wet. A pond is almost there!

Green, green grass of home

Well guys, If everyone became excited with the opening of summer last March, I know some are also

excited for the coming of the rainy seasons and I am one of them! Probably the main reason is to escape the summer heat but me, my primary reason is that, during rainy seasons, green things keep growing and I love green so much that my day isn't complete without seeing the color green!

When I heard the first drop of rain this year, I just can't wait seeing our dull backyard to turn green again - I was a li'l bit euphoric. I don't know but there is a strange feeling in me of euphoria every time I hear and see the first raindrops as well as going outdoors a night after the rain.

I am really excited to enjoy our green backyard and being a person living outside the urban area, I still have the chance to enjoy the beauty of wide vacant lots which become very meaningful to me every time they turn into green! At this moment, I just captured our backyard which is so green and I love it much! Our green backyard is my official best friend this rainy seasons because it makes me happy. No wonder why people call me green-minded because it's true.

This is our green backyard. My official best friend this rainy seasons! Beautiful isn't it?


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"I never expected that I will be able to try this. I just learned from my recent Benguet trip that you can rent that bright Igorot clothes for not more than 25 pesos and display yourself in public."

Once upon in my lifetime, I was dreaming to be able to wear an exotic dress like a traditional clothing not inside the comforts of our house but to be displayed in public. It's not that I'm weird or I have an attention deficit syndrome but I just want to experience the unusual things.

Being able to try the unusual and experience things that "most" people never tried is a fulfillment for me. I just "feel" that my worth and value as a person is in a higher degree if I know that I have tried and done more things that most of my friends or other people never tried at all!

Anyway don't worry because I am not here to bash, to compete, boast or to compare my self to you because that is just my "personal feeling." Hehe. It could be wrong or right. But the good thing in here is that it improves my self-esteem whether people will laugh at me or not, it is a bonus point that a person's self-esteem is healthy keeping you away from psychological and psycopathologigal conditions. I just want to clarify that self-esteem is an absolutely different thing from "over-confidence" hehe.

Distinct Red Color

Head dress

Head dress, again


So to start the story, I set a day to forget all the urban fashion galore and embrace an exotic form of fashion statement in a friendly, cultural, traditional and eye-catchy manner in a major major way. A great pick for this is the traditional Igorot clothing. 

If you think I was wearing "bahag," of course not! I am wholesome! (What a pointless reason. Do you mean Igorots wearing "bahag" aren't wholesome? Haha). My bonus here is that I was able to wear the Igorot clothes in public which I once dreamed once upon in EDMARATION's lifetime Hehehe.... One down!

I never expected that I will be able to try this. I just learned from my recent Benguet trip that you can rent that bright Igorot clothes for not more than 25 pesos and display yourself in public. Hehe. Anyway you can have unlimited shots from your camera.

Igorot Accessories

If you love wearing gowns, blouses, T-shirts and skinny jeans, these accessories [photo above] might not be for you because these accessories are exclusive partner of the Igorot clothes and it is part of the Igorot Fashion. Can you imagine yourself wearing a T-shirt then putting these accessories hanging at your neck? Well for that, you're just endangering yourself on what people might regard to your mental health. Haha. But if you want to try why not? Let the people judge you. Just kidding!

Anyway on the other side, try to imagine yourself wearing the Igorot clothings and putting these accessories hanging at your neck, isn't it fantastic? Of course, the harmony, design and color will surely blend beautifully, greatly and uniquely making you feel the cultural vibration that only the Igorot Fashion can give! That's great!

To complete the Igorot Fashion Galore, we need to wear the Igorot fashion set for your head to make it so grand. 

Wearing the traditional dress/clothing

The fashion set for the head is made up of the Igorot woven clothe [of course] and feathers making it so lovely and awesome! Now, after completing all the requirements, let's now experience a great fashion experience in an Igorot way! I was able to complete the set and I even had the chance to handle some props and a muse of course. For the female version, just look at the dress of my muse. Hehe.

Baguio #TownExploration Series

Baguio City | Stolen at BaguioBaguio City | Baguio Botanical Garden in Full BloomBaguio City | Romance at the Burnham ParkBurnham Lake | Man-Made Lake Within a City in the MountainsMines View Park, Baguio | Becoming an Igorot for 30 minutesBaguio Cathedral | The Low-Degree AmbianceThe Mansion, Baguio | For Your Eyes OnlyWhat to Eat in Baguio | The Fruits of FragariaWhat a Wacky Igorot!ABaguio City | Lady Horsie GagaBaguio City | Exclusive Igorot Fashion Experience

Map Showing the Location of #Baguio

Click this map to view other posts for BENGUET PROVINCE


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"Carabao, one of the Philippines national symbols plus Vigan, the Philippines' only World Heritage City equals Karbo Festival. Yes, this festivity is formally called as the Karbo Festival."

The carabao (Filipino: kalabaw; Malay: kerbau) or Bubalus bubalis carabanesis is a domesticated subspecies of the water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) found in the Philippines, Guam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and various parts of Southeast Asia. Carabaos are associated with farmers, being the farm animal of choice for pulling both a plow and the cart used to haul produce to the market.By the way, if you want to witness beautiful and colorful festivities in Vigan like no other, the month of May is the answer. Aside from the annually growing Binatbatan Festival of May, there are also other events you should not miss in your summer May and one of these is the Karbo Festival.

Featuring the industrious carabaos of Vigan farmers from the countryside, they walked several kilometers from the barrio to the city with their carabaos to participate to this event

Maps Courtesy of Wikipedia
Location Highlighted in Red
Coming from the Vigan's countryside, all those carabaos gathered at Nueva Segovia St. just around Plaza Salcedo and walked several kilometers going to the venue.

There's no other practical way for these carabaos to be sent there except walking.

I looked at the program and it must be starting at 7 am so I woke up early to see this. Now, lets see the start of the carabao transformation!

Of course, the first transformation happens upon painting the carabao's dark skin into white and Sixteen (16) hardworking carabaos were displayed at that street waiting for their artists to transform them into a magnificent form of art. The artists need to paint them with white to make them suitable for painting like a living canvass. And of course, black canvass is a painter's ultimate fear - according to some sayings and proverbs.

This dark carabao needs to turn to white

Serious artist

Carabao as canvass

Totally white

After painting them with white, the artist will now begin outlining his design and eventually coloring the outline with their very creative hands to transform the carabao into a very wonderful piece of living art!

You might regard me as O.A. but while writing this article, I feel like crying because I am so touched with the fact that carabaos are farmers' best friend. Can you just imagine how the carabaos are sacrificing by plowing the field under the scorching heat of the sun with its own strength then spending its own whole life working at the field with patience and without any complain? Can you just imagine that?

Allow me to go out of the topic please...

What overwhelms my emotion more is the farmer-carabao partnership which I consider as a heroic tandem! I am so lucky that my dad had a job [although not a high-income job] to support me when I was a kid and that I never have to plow the field for a living.

In fact, my dad's family is a family of farmers but all of my grandpa's 9 children, including my dad became professionals.

Their eldest is the Regional Director of Philppine Postal Corporation in Region 11 and she represents the country in international conventions. There are accountans, soldier, etc. With this, I get so emotional because farmers and the carabaos are heroes!

The farmer sacrifices at the field all day long spending all his strengths but sometimes the children and wife have to work too to help their dad.

But we should not look and step down to them because the farmers are not doing an illegal work, instead, they are doing a heroic work to survive! At this point, although I never tried to plow the field, I am very proud that I came from a family of farmers and through farming, my dad and the other 8 siblings survived with flying colors!

So who are we to tell that the farmers are damn ordinary citizens? Yes, technically, we farmers might be poor and ordinary but it is our sweat and strength that make you enjoy what you are eating right now. Let me wipe my tears. Haha! Ok, enough for that side notes and lets go back to our topic.


After 8 hours, yes it was 8 hours, the 16 carabaos are now ready to be displayed and now, lets take a glimpse of some of the finished products.

In fact, Karbo #13 ignited a discussion to some Italian Facebook users when I posted it in Facebook and here is the screen shot of their comments.

 I can't understand what they were telling but one Italian commented on one of my photos in English language telling that she was really impressed and it was her first time to see this kind of activity in her lifetime and she appreciates the Philippines for this.

After 8 hours of hardwork, its now time for the parade of these carabaos and they are the stars for the day!


In fact, it was a great challenge for the artists to create an art out of these carabaos. Imagine 8 hours of doing so! That's incredible!

The perseverance and patience of the painters also reflected the good traits of these carabaos who are all persevere and patient [except for #14 hahaha!] in plowing our fields for us to have food to eat. With this, this is a day for these carabaos and I salute them. For me, this serves as a tribute to them giving them recognition as a very valuable animal in shaping the lives, culture and way of life of every Filipino.