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.

Hinugyaw Festival 2016 in 16 photos


Thousands of people were gathered at the brightened Koronadal rotunda (fondly called the "roundball" by the locals) one Sunday evening. The city center was at its brightest. The deafening drumbeats once again filled the air and it was complemented by stomps of hundreds of performers!

It’s the culmination night of Hinugyaw Festival which, held every 10th of January, and the commemoration of the 76th foundation anniversary of Koronadal City formerly called Marbel!

The mood fits the literal meaning of the festival which comes from the word hugyaw, a Hiligaynon term for merrymaking. Children clad in colorful indigenous and folk costumes set the momentum of the celebration. When the street performers were called, history and colorful stories that contributed to what Koronadal is today were narrated in euphoric beats and heavy dances.

More than the beats and the dances, the street revelry is a history lesson in itself telling of the lives of the different ethnic groups (mostly of Christian pioneer settlers, the Maguindanaoans and the indigenous Blaan peoples) that inhabited Koronadal Valley in the heart of South Cotabato province.

The following photographs capsulize the night that was during the Hinugyaw Festival 2016 culmination:

Presenting the stories of Maguindanoaan tribe as one of the ethnic groups in Koronadal Valley

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