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.
- Getting to and our first day in Tinglayan
- Witnessing Love in Tinglayan
- The adventure of getting to Fang-od’s
- Meeting the cutie-pie rockstar lola Fang-od
- Getting inked by the last Kalinga tattoo artist
- Village of Buscalan
- Last day in Buscalan
- Stuck in Tinglayan
- Sorta Creepy Bontoc Experience
- Sabangan and our host Russell
- VIllage of Guina-ang
- Travelling to Lake Sebu
- First day in Lake Sebu
- Saturday in Lake Sebu
- Of crafts, music, strolls, highway, habal-habal, yoga, and cannon
- Last full day in Lake Sebu
- Saying good-bye to our host family in Lake Sebu
- Getting to Bohol
- Meeting the Eskaya tribe in Duero, Bohol
- The 10-minute Chocolate Hills Experience
- From Bohol, to Cebu, to Leyte, to Samar
- A Rocky Beach in Marabut, Samar
- Banigs in Basey
- Visiting indigenous peoples communities – how we did it