VIDEO: Maguindanao's Inaul Festival in 55 seconds

Finally, I was able to march the streets of Buluan to join the last day of the grandest celebration in the province, the much talked-about Inaul Festival sa Maguindanao.

The celebration is centered on the Inaul weaves and the Maguindanaoan culture and heritage. Huge floats and dancers in vibrant costumes filled the streets amid the harsh morning sun and street dusts. 
But not an ounce of energy was lost in the celebration.
Inaul Festival is still young compared to other festivals in Mindanao. But it is never far behind in terms of grandiosity. The social media posts of fellow bloggers and the ones in the fest's official channels of the week-long celebration can tell how ready Maguindanao's Inaul Festival is to be tagged as among the grandest in the country. 

Here's my 55 sec highlight video of the Dindang sa Lalan street revelry last Feb 14, the last day of the Fest!

Meet the Hero of 20,000+ Birds in Tacurong City

Rey Malana, the man who gave up his farm so that thousands of birds will have a home in Tacurong City.

Rey Malana was just a regular farmer tending to his family's 2.5 hectares of black pepper plantation in the rural village of Baras in Tacurong City. That was back in the 90s. But everything changed when sometime in September 1996, four birds started to appear, and, apparently after a while, stayed in his farm.

The sunflower field that's turning your social media feeds into yellow | Blooming Petals AgriTourism Park in Tupi

The sunflower field of Tupi in South Cotabato is the newest tourist destination in Sox Region that day-trippers have been raving about. It's something unique in the area even given the numerous scenic places throughout around and it's attracting visitors coming in droves.

The Mariano's Blooming Agri-Tourism Park (formerly Blooming Petals Agritourism Park) in Purok 3A in Poblacion, Tupi quickly gained popularity since it opened its gate to visitors last May 27 when the sunflowers began to bloom. It is actually turning social media feeds now into yellow.

The flowers on their 2nd week of blooming

Why Lake Holon is more than just your regular trekking destination

With unique landscapes, pleasant people in the surrounding villages, and elements of outdoor adventure, it is no wonder why Lake Holon is now one of the most popular destinations in this part of the country. But there’s more to it than just the Instagram-ish photos you see on your friends’ social media posts. 

The 304-hectare tranquil lake in the town of Tboli in the Upper Valley of South Cotabato was a witness to tragedies and conflicts before it became the darling of tourists that it is today. It was once known as part of a disaster than an ecotourism wonder. Collaborations of tourism stakeholders, rebranding to recreate image perceptions, and assigning the right people were some of the keys to reaching its current status. 

T’nalak: the art amidst modernity and the festival

July is the most festive month of the year for South Cotabato as it celebrates its foundation anniversary and the T’nalak Festival. But for the Tboli indigenous women who create the revered T’nalak cloth where the festival name is attributed, it is just like any other month where one has to weave for art and for a living. 

For Barbara K. Ofong, one of the few living Tboli master weavers of T’nalak, an abaca-based cloth with unique and intricate geometric designs in prominently red and black colors, in the scenic Lake Sebu town, July is no different from the usual days. Tnalak na gina himo ko sir halin dose anyos ko, amu na ni kabuhi ko bisan ano nga bulan (I’ve been weaving T’nalak since I was 12, this has been my life no matter the month), she said in broken Hiligaynon dialect in a shy voice. Tbolis have their own dialect but Hiligaynon is widely used as a medium in the province.
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