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pictures of a picturesque journey

more images from my trip through mindanao last year between september to november. during that time i was able to visit san francisco, agusan del sur; surigao and siargao island, butuan city, davao city, general santos, marbel and surallah in south cotabato; lake sebu, south cotabato; zamboanga city and of course my home base cagayan de oro city.

fiesta girl
high school girl in full costume, street dance competition, zamboanga city.

yet again i was lucky to have been in zamboanga during their city fiesta (more popularly called fiesta pilar). that day i gemini and i met up with viejay, who brought with her an old friend, who is a photojournalist from the philippine star. he was cool about me tagging along while he takes pictures during the festivities. so come celebration, i was on the road too, snapping away and recording the street dance competition on video. had a blast, ive never gotten that close to taking photographs of strangers. quite an experience. the music from the drum and bugle corps still ring in my chest cavity 🙂

police barricade during the parade
police barricade during the parade, zamboanga city

everybody that day were in high spirits and the crowd were clamoring for pictures as well. here’s one unguarded moment from the men on guard hehehe

wakan weaver
yakan weaver, yakan village, zamboanga city

on my last day in zamboanga, the boat i was to take to general santos was delayed for hours (apparently somebody fell overboard in mid-sea, exciting, no?). so girlie saavedra and roland, my companion in the bookid, toured me around the city (on a tricycle–a three-wheeled motorcycle) for the last time. one of our stops was in the yakan village. i was able to buy a few souvenirs, including a bag whose weaver i met that day. this old lady was his grandmother i believe.

ancestral domain
marker of the ancestral domain in lake sebu

this you pass by when you go up the lake sebu. it marks the beginning of the area that is comprised of the CADC 003 and CADC 004, which were awarded to the t’boli and ubo tribes. despite the recognition, tenurial security remains a dream as issues and old skeletons continue to haunt these people. some of the their lands were forcibly taken from them. since the tribes people have no concept of securing land titles and canned goods, they have been deceived of friendship in exchange of land areas. migrants have populated most of the areas near the lake and the tribes people have evidently been pushed up the mountain. environmental concerns include the progressive encroachment into the watershed areas. moreover, concerns of the tribes not only include education on modern methods in land management but might need an overhaul of cultural traits and customs as well. if they lose that, then they wouldnt be so different from ourselves.

tilapia galore
grilled tilapia from the waters of lake sebu

during the fiesta in lake sebu, the city government organized a tilapia eat-all-you-can festival. tickets were sold at p100 and mygas, the tilapia! grilled, fried, boiled, stewed, drowned, you name it! it was the first time they did that and it’s something to look forward to every year.

gemini in siargao
gemini fernandez in cloud nine, siargao island.

to get around siargao, one still has to rent out a habal-habal (motorcycle). either that or you go around swimming. cloud nine is where you would find the biggest waves for surfing. and since we didnt know how to, we ended up just looking and taking pictures. siargao is a wonderful place, luv it!

siargao bridge
general luna, siargao island, surigao

gemini and i decided to take a short sidetrip to surigao from agusan en route to cagayan. it was an impromptu decision really. we arrived in surigao late in the evening and had to check in a lodging house prior to taking the first boat out to siargao the next day. we were also supposed to have stayed half a day only but the place was so inviting it was a shame to have traveled so many miles and not enjoy it. so we ended up renting a cottage and taking a few motorcycle trips around the place, swim in the blue waters and be in wonderful company and beer in the evening. and yes, they have internet on the island hehehe


siargao island and being fruitarians for a day

im now on siargao island, two hours off the coast of surigao del norte in mindanao. this is supposedly the surfing capital of the philippines. we’ve yet to see that. gemini and i got to surigao late wednesday night at 10. not knowing where to go we boarded the stationed jeepney that was ready to take off. we craned our necks for lodging houses we might spot on the way but we didnt find any that’d suit our taste or perhaps our budget (what budget? was dada!). finally the jeep ended its route at the pier, got off, and we interviewed the trike driver where good places to stay are located. we also asked on how to get to siargao island. we actually came to the right place coz we were on the pier! 🙂 hehehe anyhu, found a good enough lodging house near the chicken ala cart lined road of that area. had a late dinner then off to bed.

early morning, we got up, got in the boat and by 7.30 we were in siargao island. still having no idea where to turn, we had breakfast at a nearby eatery and asked the lady cook for information on how to get to the beaches. so then, here we are. and what used to be a halfday side trip will now become an overnight stay on some resort.

gemini in surigao

gemini and i just finished washing the ukay2 items we bought so we’d have clothes and now we’ll be off to check out the surfing scene at cloud 9. asteg! 🙂 talk about adventures and yeah, we decided to be fruitarians for a day (coz we might run out of money for the trip back). good luck to us! 🙂

this is benjamin padero, reporting live from siargao island, surigao del norte, mindanao, philippines, world, universe, blah blah blah