23 July 2015

Sandugo Trade Expo 2015 opens with a bang

DTI 7 director Caberte introducing the Keynote Speaker
Mayor John Geesnell Yap welcoming the people to the Sandugo Trade Expo
Gov. Ed Chatto with his inspiring message, my ideal speaker
DTI Usec Zenaida Maglaya praising Bohol for its expanding trade expo

The Sandugo Trade Expo opened yesterday, July 22 at the ICM with the presence of Usec Zenaida Maglaya of DTI, DTI Regional director Aster Caberte and Australian Ambassador Bill Tweddel along with other regional directors, local officials, buyers and exhibitors from Regions 6, 7, 8 and the Caraga region.

The Trade Expo, now on its 10th year with the leadership of Ms. Nannette Arbon, DTI-Bohol's provincial director, showcased an eclectic mix of furnishings, fixtures, wearables, food and other novelty items.

With the theme- Fun. Fabulous. Finds.- the show is an excellent venue for our SMEs to brag their products.

So excited for Bohol for the launching of BHLi2i!

Also launch during the opening is Bohol Ideas Innovation Challenge (BHLi2i) where FabLab and students are given their chance to showcase their inventions.

Visit the trade expo until July 26.

Australian Ambassador Tweddel visiting the booths at the Bohol Trade Expo

22 July 2015

Come to Bohol for the 2015 Sandugo Festival!

Last year's winner of the Sandugo Street Dancing (Photo grabbed from Sandugo FB)

This week, Bohol is in a celebratory mood.

First, July is the Sandugo month around Bohol. But most of the activities are focused on Tagbilaran, the province’s capital.

Sandugo, literally translated as blood compact, celebrates the treaty of friendship between Datu Si Katuna and Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legaspi in 1565. Boholanos often brag about this event since Spain was literally welcomed in Bohol while Magellan was killed when he and his men went to the nearby island of Cebu.

Sandugo Festival since then is scheduled every July despite the fact that the blood compact happened in March. Sandugo has become a filler because there are no big events in July and Filipinos all over the world are coming in for their yearly summer vacations.

TBTK is the gathering of Boholanos from around the world. It is a biennial activity. It was first celebrated in Bohol and various places abroad since then. Boholanos are welcomed with cultural activities in the pageantry of Boholano fiesta.

So July is actually a month of merrymaking in Bohol.

How to get to Tagbilaran

There are several flights coming in from Manila to Tagbilaran served by major airlines like Cebu Pacific, Philipine Airlines and Air Asia. The flights usually take an hour.

There are also fastcrafts coming in from Cebu, a major destination in the Philippines. OceanJet, Weesam Express and SuperCat 2Go have more than 2 daily trips from Cebu to Tagbilaran.

There are also boats coming from Mindanao and nearby islands.

When in Tagbilaran, the major transport is the tricycle. A word of caution though, tricycles have their own ghost tariff rates. They can dictate the fare as they please. Don’t mind if there are religious quotes on them. Some are rude. So a note of advice before riding in- HAGGLE. 

Important links

My friend, Chris Ramasola's winning Sandugo logo

21 May 2015

This used to be my playground

Photo courtesy of Ms. Elizabeth Adlaon-Dolotina

When a childhood friend shoot this picture of our land, I feel lonely while reminiscing of home. Home is where my heart is. Forever. Where is home? It's in Batuan, Bohol.

I did not have a good life when I was in Batuan.

With my mother, I woke up early mornings to go to our neighbor's farm to harvest their corn, rice or sorghum in exchange for twenty percent of what we have gathered. I slept late nights because we were tasked to tend our gardens or ricefields, making sure there was enough water so we can eat better. 

I have worked in farms, there was no child abuse law in my time. Kids, like adults, HAVE TO WORK with the family so we all can eat.

I've walked long distance to fetch water. I walked with sole-less slippers to school. In my time, we walk. I've walked from Dagohoy, Bohol to Batuan. That's about 24 kilometers of walking.

I've stayed with my foster grandparents in the forests of Cantigdas with only monkeys as playmates and fireflies as guiding lights when I went home.

But I have never regretted I had this kind of young life. My life experience taught me to be myself. To look back to where I have grown my roots. To be me.

We will never forget home.

20 May 2015

Seeking. Always seeking.

We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls. - Anais Nin

At Cebu's highest mountain- OsmeƱa Peak in Mantalongon, Dalaguete

For most of us, travel can be an ordeal, an exhausting activity only a few could afford. But for me, travel is one of the most exciting event worth noting when it happens in your life. Travel does not have to involve flying out from your place. We have of course, ideal places to dream of visiting. Batanes? Sulu? Paris? Rotterdam? It is good to dream. It's free.

Singapore's urban skyline is a good background for good friends who love each other's company

What's travel for me? Travel is not confined only in going abroad. Or going out of your province. Travel could happen right in your backyard. When you have forgotten what's the look of your garden when you used to go outside and whisper crazy things to your plants, try revisiting them again and be lost in their world. See that snail walking out, er, crawling out so slow? It was there just like before.

Try reading a book. Books are an exhilarating way to know other people, cultures and worlds. Remember Lilliputian? You don't? You did not read books! 

Or view a beautiful sunset. That's truly amazing. Or explore the carenderia at the corner street. You don't know they were serving some nutritious vegan food long ago. Or, better still, forget you have a lovelife and be yourself again.

Being with ancestors at Dahilayan Forest Park in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon

Travel is a transformation. Sometimes, within the confines of your inner self.

Let's go!