Monday, August 30, 2010

Hilarious Lumba Kalabaw at the Pinyahan Festival

One of the finalists in the race
Ive just been to the Lumba Kalabaw race of Bgy. Cannery, Polomolok's Pinyahan Festival. It was a lot of fun seeing my first green kalabaw! The “kalabaw” (or kabaw or carabao or water buffalo if you still can’t relate hehe kiddin) is the trusty partner of every farmer. In these parts, they are known as hard working animals usually used by farmers in plowing their fields. So it was unusual to see them running around in a race. Actually, it still baffles me how they were made to run in the direction the jockey wants them to run.

Before the race started, I chatted with one of the carabao jockeys. I was amazed that they actually set two months training in preparation for the race. They took the carabao on jogging sessions every day just to make sure it is well conditioned for running – and to run in the right direction at that! Hehe..

As the race started, the crowd went wild as each carabao headed to the starting line. It was very entertaining to watch the jockeys gear up with their motorcycle helmet (one even had to wear his helmet backwards since he didn’t need the face shield =)), one jockey even thought of wearing knee and elbow pads to keep up with the organizer’s safety conscious stance but decided the last minute not to..hehe. There were moments when the jockey would fall from his carabao, which really had the crowd roaring with laughter and cheers. Not because it was funny that he fell, it was the fighting spirit they had when they still climbed up their carabaos to continue the race. One jockey even had to run side by side with his carabao when he found it difficult to climb back up. And there was one carabao who went wild and decided to run on his own and disregard the jockey altogether. But what was really riotous was the carabao who decided to join the crowd watching the race. =) Enjoy the pictures taken by Mr. OSG below..

Aka Lito Lapid (jockey in blue) doing another stunt..he keeps falling off his carabao but he still keeps on climbing back up! =)
Love the way they wear their helmets backwards =)

Go! Go! Go! the carabaos strutting their stuff, taking their time. =)

The very green carabao of the event who also won additional awards for the beautiful body painting he has on
I was also happy to note that members of the Gensan Camera Club headed by their president, Mr. Omar S. Gallinero (our official photographer ;) were also present to shoot the hilarious event. Mr. Toots Jabido, also from GCC even took a video of the event. Our thanks to those present to cover and celebrate with us: Ariel Oclarit, Toots Jabido, Dong Pading, Dondon Pagunsan, Christian Quito and Polomolok's own Wang Rallos, Bong Maliwat and Percival Evangelio. You can visit their facebook accounts for more pictures on the Lumba Kalabaw and the Pinyahan Festival. Hope to see you guys again soon and thank you for your support!
GCC photo hobbyists at the Lumba Kalabaw. Thanks to Mr. Toots Jabido for this photo =)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

World Class Beaches at White Haven Resort, Gumasa Glan

Just recently, we had the pleasure of bringing another bakasyunista from the UK to this lovely place in Gumasa, Glan, Sarangani Province. The White Haven Resort has become our favorite “go to” resort whenever we are in the Gumasa beach strip.

The resort is one of the first ones in Gumasa, owned by a doctor based in nearby Gensan. They rent out open cottages for day tourists and air-conditioned or fan rooms with toilet and bath for those who wish to spend the night. Each cottage has its own grill or gas stoves if you want to cook your brought in food, or for your convenience, you could just order from their newly opened restaurant.

Gumasa, Glan, Sarangani Province

What I love about the strip of beach here at White Haven is the white, fine and powdery sand that tickles your toes as you walk barefoot along the shoreline. It reminds me of the sands in Boracay. Being a mom and all, what I also love about the strip of beach here is the fact that I could just let my toddler play along the water since I don’t have to worry about a sudden trench in the ocean (but of course I see to it that my little one is strapped to her lifevest just in case =).

If you are a surfer, then this beach is not for you since there are no waves to ride here. It’s the only beach I’ve literally been to that doesn’t have the “jump when the waves hit” moment. =) The only time I’ve only experienced big waves there was during the time when tsunamis hit asia.. hehe. Don’t ask me what we were doing in the beach at that moment. =) …but I’ll tell you anyway..hehe. We were there since we have bakasyunistas (yet again) and I was already thinking about which tree to hold on to in case a tsunami really did hit. But I was told it was unlikely since the reason there aren’t much waves there is because its location is in the U bend of the Sarangani bay, so there!

When it’s low tide (as in really low tide) you can walk the stretch of the beach and head to the mini-caves in the coral cliff at the end of White Haven. My toddler calls it “bikini bottom” since  it looks like where spongebob lives. Its really a place perfect for photo ops. But watch out for sea urchins hidden in the holes in the coral-rock formation since there are a few.
the coral rock formation with mini caves at the end of White Haven Resort

The kids also love to catch the soft shelled crabs walking around the beach. We even saw a few crabs that look like they’re in a meeting, probably to transfer to their neighbor’s big shell. Starfishes and small fish sometimes swim with you in the shallow water. So the kids will really have a blast here. Just remind them to return the crabs and starfish in the water since these are alive and we want to preserve the beauty if this beach.

Gumasa Beach
local kids who were playing by the banca
To get to White Haven, you can rent a van at Gensan or if you are bringing your own car, just turn right at the junction after Lagao public market, it will take you straight to Alabel, Sarangani Province and it’s provincial hall (or the white house as locals refer to it), and just follow the  road signs to Glan. Once in Glan poblacion, it takes about 30mins or so to Gumasa. White Haven Resort is right after Davak Ridge Resort.

For reservations and inquiries: White Haven Resort: 083 8950305 (Dr. Adarna's Clinic, they're the owners so don't be surprised, but they book tourists through this number :) or call 0920-9479148 (look for Cenie) they have day cottages at P150 and accommodations for overnight stays which range from 2500 and up depending on the size of the room you need.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gensan's Tuna Festival

Tuna Festival Float
float parade at last year's tuna festival

Gensan is known for its yummy world class tuna.. and what better way to give importance to this mighty fish than for people in Gensan or the "Generals" to celebrate Tuna Festival.

This year's Tuna Festival kicks off on September 5, 2009 with a number of exciting activities to look forward to. For more details on the events, a taste of what to expect on this year's Tuna Fest, you can click on the  Gensan's Royal Gandaness  blog for more details.

Tuna Festival Float
2009 Tuna Float of my favorite floats

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Pinyahan Festival 2010 - 1st Photo Contest (UPDATED)

There are no rules on how to hold your camera..  =)
Barangay Cannery at Polomolok, South Cotabato is gearing up for it's 3rd Pinyahan Festival, which formally opens on August 20, 2010. If you are a photo enthusiast, with a film or digital camera (in short your camera doesn't have to be hi-tech) you might be interested in joining their 1st Photo Contest. I know I would! =) I'm posting the mechanics on.. and charge those camera batteries! Let's go shoot (naks!) the winning photo for this year's Pinyahan Festival.

Photographers' practice shoot at a Manny Librodo workshop

GUIDELINES FOR 3rd Pinyahan Festival 2010 1st PHOTO CONTEST

I. Who will qualify

The photo contest is open to all hobbyist, non-professional and professional photographers.
II. This year's theme is: "Ang nagkahiusang Barangay, ang pagpuyo hamugaway"
( A united Barangay, lives peacefully and progressively )

III. Submission of entries:

* All entries must have been taken from August 20 to September 1, 2010.
* All entries must accompanied by an official entry form bearing the title of the picture, brief description of the picture, name and signature of the photographer, address, date of the picture was taken and where it was taken.

*Entry forms may be secured from the Pinyahan Festival Secretariat ,Barangay Hall, Cannery Site, Polomolok,South Cotabato. Look for Ms. Luz Superioridad, mobile phone no. 0926-453-1518
Barangay Hall Office no. 500-2103.

* Nudity, vulgar, obscene and scandalous photos are automatically disqualified
* Photos must be in their original form,not super-imposed or retouched or edited in any photo editing software.

*Minor cropping and brightness/contrast adjustments are allowed.

* Photos must not have identifying marks that would indicate its owner.
* Entries must be written to a CD which properties must contain the information about the camera used and settings for the photo. In the case of film photography, entries must be accompanied by negatives.

* There shall be no limit on the number of entries which shall be submitted.
* All entries should be 8" x 12" color prints, no borders, unmounted and taken in either film or digital format.

IV. Deadline for submission:

All entries must be submitted on or before September 10,2010, with duly accomplished entry form and sealed on an envelope.

Please submit to:

Office of the Punong Barangay
Pinyahan Festival Secretariat
Esposado Village
Barangay Cannery Site
Polomolok,South Cotabato

V. Criteria for Judging:

Content(Relevance to the Theme) 30%
* Does the photo contain visual elements that best typifies or illustrates the theme?

Composition/ Arrangement 30%
* Is the object/s of photo neatly arranged and pleasant to the eyes? Is the angle or
perspective used by the photographer interesting?

Technical Elements 20%
* Is the object of the photo in focus?
* If not in sharp focus,does it appear to be an intentional effect to enhance the image in
some "artistic" way?
* Did the photographer use proper lighting of the subject? Do any extremes of darkness
lend to or detractfrom the image content?

Creativity 20%
* Does the photographer show some creative thought or original idea in the making of
this image?

VI. Cancellation of Photo Contest

The Local Government of Barangay Cannery reserves the right to cancel the contest in the event that an insufficient number of entries of suitable quality are submitted. All entries submitted will be sent back to the entrants after the contest is cancelled.

VII. Rights over submitted photos

* Participants shall retain the copyright of the submitted photographs, however, the Local Government of Barangay Cannery being the organizer of the event has the "limited free usage rights" of the photographs. This means that that the Local Government of Barangay Cannery would be allowed to reprint,to produce and to publish the pictures submitted for the promotion of Barangay Cannery Pinyahan Festival. Proper credits will always be given to the photographer.
* The Local Government of Barangay Cannery ensures that the photos submitted will not be sold to any third party.

VIII. Mechanics for Judging

* There shall be finalists which shall be selected for the top three(03) prizes. Top three(03)
winners shall be notified by email or phone.
* A steering committee composed of organizers of this contest will oversee the selection
of the finalists and the top three winning entries.
* Competent judges for this contest will be selected by the steering committee.
* Rest assured that the judging process is fair and objective.
* The steering committee shall ensure that the name of the photographer of the photo
entries shall remain anonymous until the announcement of winners to prevent undue
influence in the judging process.
* Judging will be on September 13,2010.
* The decision of the Board of Judges of the 1st Pinyahan Festival Photo Contest is final.

IX. Prizes:

First Prize - - - - - - - 5,000.00
Second Prize -- - - - 4,000.00
Third Prize - -- - - - - 3,000,00
**Trophies will also be awarded to winners


Title of the Picture
Brief desription of the picture
Date the picture was taken
Place the picture was taken
Name and signature of the Photographer
Address, Email add, and mobile number of the Photographer

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Opulent and Antiquated Maitum

Sarangani province, the current home of Filipino boxing champ and politician Manny Paquiao is also home to a number of Ilokanos who make up the majority of population in Maitum.

Maitum is a quaint little town in Sarangani province. It is a town with a lot of promise since it is slowly being known around the world as the site where archaeologists found burial jars believed to be dating around 225 AD (please don’t ask me how far back that is =). It just means that even before the Ilocanos or the T’boli tribe in the mountainous areas of Maitum settled there, there already exists a culture far richer than what we truly know about. And to think I always thought that people in Mindanao have only inhabited the island in the 1900s. hmm.. the discovery of these anthropomorphic (hope I got the spelling right =) potteries only means that people actually were in the island in the “cavemen” era! Wow.. is Maitum poised as the next Egypt? Hehe..

Maitum's Bangsi Festival

Another trivia for you.. did you know that Maitum got its name from a local folklore wherein it is said that a native princess all those years ago eloped with a warrior lover, to escape the furious father and all the stones in the river Saub turned black. “Maitum” in the local dialect literally means “black”, so there you go. Maitum is also known for their beaches with noticeable black fine sand. No wonder the color black is so loved in this part of the island. =)
Maitum Sunset
Not only is Maitum rich in its past, but it is also rich in its wildlife. It is said that the Tarsiers (which are only known to thrive in Bohol) are also found in the forests of Maitum as well as the Philippine Eagle (or monkey-eating eagle), various fruit bats, the hornbill, deers and wild boars among others. ---well this is one traveller you won’t catch touring the forests..i’m a bit scared of the “wild”life sorry to say.

Maitum SunsetOne thing I love about Maitum is its colourful sunsets. Much like my Polomolok sunsets but richer in color. Its sunsets always make one appreciate God’s blessings for although Maitum is not as rich as other towns in the province, God blessed the seas with the bountiful Bangsi (they even have the Bangsi Festival in gratitude for the gifts of the sea)as well as other seafood and its lands with fertile soil making Maitum the “rice granary”of Sarangani Province. Its people are always full of smiles especially for the visiting traveller so you easily feel the hospitable nature of the MaitumeƱos.

If you crave the adrenaline rush that comes with extreme outdoor activities, well you are in for a treat since Maitum is also home of the Pangi River white-water tubing which I will have to blog some other time. =)
Maitum is a three hour drive from Gensan. You can rent a van to take you around. I didn’t see a lot of bed and breakfast inns or hostels in Maitum so it is probably best to schedule your day trip there early to make the most of your visit there since there truly is so much to see and experience in Maitum. For sure hubby and I will come back to revisit Maitum in the very near future. See you there!

Brave Photographers
Picture of the brave photographers who braved the seas for a good photo of Maitum during the Bangsi Festival. I was nervous more for their gear than for them if the boat happen to capsize. =)