Philippine tourism and the sin of originality

I find this Filipino habit of describing a place in the Philippines by comparing it with something found outside it to be depressing. For example, the tourism motto of the Municipality of Kibungan used to describe its mountains as the Switzerland of Benguet; the Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig City is often captioned as the Niagara … More Philippine tourism and the sin of originality

Scorched earth: Mount Cinco Picos-Silanguin Cove traverse

The trail from Sitio Cawag to Silanguin Cove is barren and burnt. There is virtually no shade, save for the pockets of trees that line the streams. Had it not been for the wind and the clouds, our Saturday hike would have been an extreme form of self-flagellation. There was an easier and more relaxing … More Scorched earth: Mount Cinco Picos-Silanguin Cove traverse

The excesses of Ibajay: religious festivals as protest

I identify with a religion that doesn’t have festivals, although as I understand it, the modern fiesta is more pagan in origin than Catholic. If you look at the history of the most famous festivals in honor of the child Christ, for example, the street dancing evolved into its current form when “natives” celebrated their conversion … More The excesses of Ibajay: religious festivals as protest