We met this family in the mountainous area of Tamayong. We were passing by their home when a very hard rain caught us. The kind mother invited us to take a shelter inside their house. We took a nap for a little while but the rain lasted for several hours, giving us more time to bond with this family, especially the kids. I wanted to capture the innocence in the faces of these kids but Kevin just appeared quickly on the side. He’s not supposed to be in the picture but it made the shot more memorable.
We became friends with this family and gave them a visit every time we climb that mountain. After a while, they abandoned their home. Some sort of tribal war happened on their land. A year after that incident, we came back to that mountain and we met the kids on our way down. We visit them on their new home and it’s good to see them again, new place was really far though. 😉
After 2 days of spending time at Surigao Del Sur State University, Cantilan Campus our next destination is a six hours travel going to visit the town of Tagbina. We’re going to visit Royaks, my hubby’s friend who lived there. While waiting for our bus along the road, this kind of Habal-habal ride caught my attention because it’s not the usual Habal-habal ride I’ve seen. Boy it has a roof! Then I assessed that maybe the reason it’s modified like this because the town’s area is very open and very hot.
Habal-habal is a passenger motorcycle modified to carry more people. A more complex one can be loaded with 5 or more passengers including the humongous pack of supplies and other baggage. So, imagine a flowering motorcycle. That’s how it will look like. 😀 In far away provinces, rides like these are more suitable and convenient than passenger Jeep and tricycles for they will not going to make it through, passing a very steep, narrow, rocky and muddy terrain.
I have lots of memories riding this one. But my most unforgettable habal-habal experience was my first fall from it. Yes, I was thrown out from the motorcycle as we were approaching on a very steep and bumpy road. I was flying! 😀
At last, our bus came. We said our goodbyes to the Catilangnon and hopped on inside the bus. After a while, the bus stopped. We were wondering why it has stopped when there’s no incoming passenger. As we looked around, we found out that the driver bought something from the stall on the roadside. I peeked on the window and saw the man was selling bibingka freshly baked in a fire furnace.
Bibingka is a native Filipino rice cake traditionally made from galapong (glutinous or sticky rice). A piece of banana leaf is used to line the bottom of the cake, and baked with charcoals on top and underneath the cake. There are many varieties of special bibingka today. But I’d still prefer the native one.
My pards and I quickly jumped out of the bus too! I love native delicacies! 😛 Especially the ones made from the provinces because they tasted just the way it supposed to be. When we reached the stall the man said that it’s all sold out. Hearing that I felt disappointed because the bus will not going to wait for us. The man looked at me, and then tried to check the bibingka again.
We’re glad that it’s done already. Hmmm, it smells good. We ran back to our bus, holding the super hot, super full and fluffy rice cakes. 😀 It’s so hot that we couldn’t eat it right away. A moment later, a nearly broken bridge is in front of us. The center foundation is bending down and will soon to collapse. The driver instructed us to get off the bus for our safety. We walked along the bridge then the bus. I didn’t able to take a shot of the scene because I’m still holding bibingka in my hand and the camera was in my pack.
As we are traveling forward, I took some of these shots as I was looking from the window of the bus….
Jeepney is the most widely used means of transportation in the country. The design was modified depending on the route it will travel. Vehicles like these in the remote and mountainous areas were developed to last against rough roads. It has bigger size, bigger tires and more seating for endurance and convenience. Jeepney in the cities was smaller, colorful and trendy. “History tells that the first jeepney was made from the US military jeep. After the World War II, hundreds of leftover jeeps were left and sold by the Americans to the Filipinos. These were then modified to have more passenger seats, installed roofs for shade and beautify it with colors and stuffs.” Until now it keeps on evolving.
I was happy sharing and talking about my trip a while ago, but now it feels heavy in my heart. I felt sad for my country and the people. Realizing that until now, my country is still a poor country. As a regular citizen, I think I knew why my country is moving on so slow. I hope it crossed the minds of the politicians too and take a look at it. The people have to be creative and resourceful to endure and survive, making life easy no matter how hard it is, fighting and striving to live. What touches and amazes me the most is that despite all of these, the people still do manage to “live happily”. I’ve been to different places in Mindanao region and the one common character of all the people I’ve me ton the way is that they were all “happy folks”. So much for my sentimientos. I’m sorry to bore you into this. I didn’t mean to. Blame it to the modified vehicles. hehe 😛
We stopped for a while to give way for this giant machine loading this earth to the truck which is blocking the road.
Passing on the seaside. Made me gazed in appreciation every time I passed by the seaside or any bodies of water.
Happy workers, laughing around while doing their job. A lot of ongoing road construction along the way. Sign of progress. 😀
Rice fields were everywhere, here and there.
Man relaxing on a pile of coconut husks. He’s probably tired .
Surely does look like a gold-plated mountain side or a flaming mountain. Actually most of the mountain side here were reddish-brown in color but this one is the resulting color when it hit the ray of the sun.This time it’s sunset.
We stepped down the bus at the terminal of Barobo, a nearby town of Tagbina. From there, Royaks came to get us and off we go to his house at Tagbina. We arrived there late at night and had a good night sleep.
On my next post, we will visit another town again, to see how enchanting is “the enchanted river” ?.. I want to know if the pictures I’ve seen were really true. So stick with me. 😉 😉 😉
The IT and Engineering department of Surigao Del Sur State University, Cantilan campus is holding a 2 day seminar about “PC Interfacing”. My husband was invited to be the speaker of the said event. So one Thursday night my pards and I packed up and off we go to north.
Here is a brief history of the place we’re going to:
Cantilan is one of the oldest towns in the province of Surigao del Sur, Philippines. It’s the mother municipality of CarCanMadCarLan area. This is an acronym town namely: Carrascal, Cantilan, Madrid, Carmen and Lanuza. This explains why Cantilan is regarded as “the cradle of towns” in Surigao Del Sur. The story of the origin of Cantilan started a long time ago when the inhabitants used to cross the river to buy fish from the woman named “Tilang” who also resides near the shoreline. When people were asked for directions where to buy fish, they were often answered with “Adto Kan Tilang” , A Cantilangnon dialect which means “You go to Tilang”. Later, the place was named Cantilang. This was then changed to Cantilan.
We took a bus, and then a van. After 12 hours of travelling in a long and winding road, we finally reached the school by almost lunch time.
We are warmly welcomed by Ms. Divine Grace Loren and Mrs. Cheryl Tayo. The HRM students then accommodated us to their mini hotel and we stayed there for two days.
Lunch break! Enthusiast students stayed for a while for clarifications and grabbed a copy of must have pointers. Peeking out from the audio/visual room, I took some of these shots. And did some clicks around the campus area. Actually the school covers a very wide area but I never get the chance to go around.
view from AV room
view from AV room
SSDU campus area
From AV room, we moved to Computer laboratory for the hands-on exercises of PC Interfacing.
Outside the computer labora tory is the ROTC ground
On the other hand, these were some of the “Catilangnon “common dishes. Crabs! crabs! crabs! Surigao is in the northeastern coast of Mindanao facing the pacific ocean.
So this town is really abundant in sea foods. The place where I have eaten the fattest crab! 😛 This recipe is Ginataang Alimango (Crab in coconut milk). A steamed crabs and squash, simmered in coconut milk and seasoned with spices and finger chilies.
Steamed crabs. 😛
Fish in sour broth
Daing na isda (dried fish). The favorite dish of most Pinoy, the dish that all masses can afford. Daing is one of the cheapest method of food preservation. The usual procedure is by sun-drying the salted fish to remove the moisture from the meat.
Squid Kinilaw (Raw squid salad). Kinilaw is a popular Filipino dish and is basically made with raw fish and vinegar. But in Cantilan, MEN! they have their own variation too, serving squid instead of fish. This one is new to me and I love it.
Sikwate. A native, hot and thick chocolate drink made from tablea. Tablea are made from pure cacao beans .On our second day at the campus, a very hospitable, kind and friendly teacher named Cheryl Tayo and her husband Rene personally brought us breakfast and a thermos of sikwate. It has a very addicting aroma and so was the taste because the tableas are freshly made from a nearby manufacturer.
Photos with Ms Loren, Mrs. Tayo and some of the second batch students who attended the seminar. 🙂
End of the two days seminar, the students together with their lovely teachers accompanied us to the bus stop. We had a wonderful time and once again a new set of people has marked my heart. Unfortunately, I never get the chance to take a photo of the oldest church in town. It was built during the Spanish regime in early 1800’s. I saw it while riding a motorcycle upon our arrival but I didn’t take a snap because I was planning of roaming around the town afterwards, but it did not happen. Our trip continued from Cantilan, Surigao Del Sur travelling 6 hours to Tagbina Surigao del Sur.
More stories and photos on my next post. Come and join me on my journey. 🙂
Our first attempt to serenade our father last year was a failure because we never managed to finish the song. We’re just able to sing the first line of the song and after it, we exploded into laughter. Then we repeated from the start again. But then, again, we’re only up to the first line of the song because we burst into laughter again. It’s really hard to sing early in the morning because our voices sounded weird, funny and out of tune. Actually, we followed this tradition from my mother’s family line. Wherein, members of the family will offer a song to our dear grandmother at the dawn of her birthday and my mother’s family is a big family. But now that our grandmother was already in heaven, we opt to continue doing this to our parents. We are a family of four siblings plus two more members, and that is my husband and my sister’s hubby.
Now, our father’s natal day has come again and we’re on our way to our second attempt to serenade our beloved father and aimed to execute and finished it right. We came to our parent’s house in perfect timing, wherein the sun hasn’t yet awakened.
We positioned outside their bedroom window and thankful that our dogs seemed to cooperate too because they were behaving and not making any noise.
We lit the candles and ready our song lyric copies with a super big smile. And here we go. We have to start. Singing the first line and hearing that our voices sounded funny and out of tuned again, I saw their faces controlling their emotions not to burst into laughter again. At the back of my mind, “Oh no, this can’t happen again! I must control myself not to laugh and must focus to continue the song. “But I really can’t help myself so I wasn’t able to sing with them on the four times of repeating the song. We paused for a while, concentrate, and for the fifth time, we overcome it and continued singing until we finished it at last. Wow, I felt so relieved and glad that we did it. After the singing, our father said his testimony and appreciation. He was really happy and surprised because he doesn’t have any idea that we will serenade him on his birthday. Then we get inside the house, sit at the dining table and have a family chit-chat while having some coffee and steamed banana. Our home was filled with laughter and happiness as we welcomed the day when our dear father was born. Thank you Lord for giving us a father like him.
I got a message from my sister, greeting me a happy birthday. I could picture her waiting for the hands of time to point at 12 midnight to greet me, she’s really sweet. My family is usually like this, like having a contest on whose going to be the first one to say the line ” happy birthday” . It ‘s been two hours from the dot of my natal day. I know that this day is going to be a special and a happy day for me and my family. It’s been talked about lately on how and where to celebrate my birthday. It will happen in my parents’ place, Panabo City. It will take us one to two hours to travel from our home to my parents home, traffic is a factor here. Actually, it’s a triple-celebration for me, my sister and her hubby’s birthday. Our birthdays fall on the same month of August so we decided to make it a joint celebration, to lessen the hustle of travelling and compromising our work schedules. My family usually celebrates birthday and we celebrate it together. I have to sleep for now and let’s see what will happen in a couple of hours.
The sun is up and my feet are kicking to go to my parents house. It’s still early in the morning when I got there. Everybody’s helping out on the food preparation.
We did a movie marathon and singing along with a videoke. These were my youngest sister, mother and brother.
Praying for the dinner
eating and chatting
We spent a long time in the dining table talking about our family. And planning an out-of-town getaway to our father’s province this coming December.
On the next morning we went to our sister’s house. We ate some chips and marshmallows while watching movie again.
While my brother was helping his way to the bedroom and played computer games.
Youngest sister in another room doing her things.
And this is me and my sister who is one year younger than me, chatting. And then we went back to our parents house for lunch.
The day was such a really nice family affair. The joy of being reunited again. Our next family gathering is on my father’s birthday and that’s going to be this September.