Visiting indigenous peoples communities in the Philippines – The start of it all

The last two weeks had been amazing for me.  I learned a lot about myself.  I got to face fears.  And, there were a number of new experiences I never thought I’d ever have.

This project started a couple of months ago, when my friend, Tara, shared with me that she wanted to visit provinces in the Philippines and know more about the country and our people.  She mentioned that one of the places she wanted to go to was Mindanao.  Right then and there, I told her that I wanted to join her.  Not knowing where to get the money from (considering that I’m officially unemployed), I made a decision that I would go for it – to take pictures and experience Mindanao again.  After all, being in Mindanao nine years ago and meeting the communities there paved the way for me to be engaged in the world that I love, i.e., development work.

We looked at images from Google.  Did a search for the term “indigenous peoples”.  Whenever there’s a picture that would catch our interest, we’d look it up further, read blogs, and then we’d include it in our shortlist, should the pictures and blogs prove to be REALLY interesting.  Choosing the places we’d go to, given that we would only have two weeks for the trip, proved to be quite a challenge, since there are a lot of interesting places in the Philippines.  But, it was also super fun!

A couple of weeks before our trip, we identified several places we would want to visit, which included the following that we actually got to visit:  Tinglayan, Sabangan, Guina-ang, Lake Sebu, Bohol, Samar.

We booked flights with Cebu Pacific to General Santos, Cebu, Tacloban, and back to Manila.  We created it to be quite open-ended but a bit structured.  We created flow, fun, creativity, laughter, and smiles for this trip.  And, we were not disappointed. :-)

Here are some of the beautiful places we’ve seen and people we met.

Afternoon sun on Chico River, Tinglayan, Kalinga

Tinglayan, Kalinga, Philippines

Sleeping Beauty, Tinglayan, Kalinga

Tinglayan, Kalinga, Philippines

Kalinga Traditional Wedding Dance

Tinglayan, Kalinga, Philippines

Hanging Bridge, Tinglayan, Kalinga

Tinglayan, Kalinga, Philippines

The last Kalinga tattoo artist, Fang-od

With Fang-od, the last Kalinga tattoo artist

Chico River, Sabangan, Mountain Province

Sabangan, Mountain Province

Mandala in Sabangan, Mountain Province

Sabangan, Mountain Province

Adorable Kids of Guina-ang, Mountain Province

Guina-ang, Mountain Province

Gono bong in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato

Gono bong

Dream Weaver of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato

Dream weaver

Talented Kids of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato

Lake Sebu

Chocolate Cake at Casa Verde, Cebu City

Casa Verde

Letters of the Alphabet of Eskaya Tribe in Duero, Bohol

Eskaya Alphabet

Sunset in Chocolate Hills, Bohol

Sunset at Chocolate Hills

A Rocky Beach in Marabut, Samar

Marabut, Samar

Yoga on Basey, Samar, Weaved Mats

Yoga on a Basey Mat

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