Bacolod Pension House

When in Bacolod and on a tight budget, stay at 11th Street Pension House. The only thing that bothered me was that the AC couldn’t cool the room enough because of the heat outside. Make sure to choose a room with good AC. Towels and basic toiletries were provided, spacious rooms, nice lounge/dining area, and most importantly, good wifi connection everywhere. Unfortunately they didn’t have any vegetarian dish on the menu but they were kind enough to fry eggplant and chop tomatos for me.

All rooms serve free breakfast. They can also call a cab for you if you need to go somewhere. Good place.

11th Street

11th Street

Entrance

Entrance

With Dakila Freedom Warriors Team

With Dakila Freedom Warriors Team

Getting ready to leave for Moises Padilla.

Getting ready to leave for Moises Padilla.

Inside the grounds of 11th Street Pension House.

Inside the grounds of 11th Street Pension House.

Check out these photos from their facebook page. For more information, check out their link on Trip Advosory.

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Freedom Ride Nationwide

After a successful FREEDOM RIDE in Taguig City last Saturday, March 09, 2013, we are off to Iloilo City, Zamboanga City, and Dumaguete City.

Stop Look Listen is a campaign of Dakila, with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Department of Justice Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (DOJ-IACAT), against human trafficking and modern day slavery.

This summer, choose your own adventure! Cycling is more fun with Freedom Warriors. Please help spread the word.

Freedom Ride Nationwide

Choose your own adventure!

Leading the pack during the 1st Freedom Ride leg in Taguig City, Metro Manila

Leading the pack during the 1st Freedom Ride in Taguig City, Metro Manila

Call 1343

Call 1343

(More details to follow)

Freedom Ride

Yesterday, almost a thousand Freedom Warriors joined us and pledged to fight human trafficking. Almost a thousand cyclists rode for freedom for a human trafficking-free Philippines!

#WeFXD #MFG #FreedomRide

#WeFXD #MFG #FreedomRide

Freedom Ride raises awareness on Human Trafficking

Advocates take on the fight against human trafficking to another level as they hold the first ever Freedom Ride on March 9, 2013 at the Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill, Taguig.  Cyclists wearing shirts printed with 1343 Anti-Trafficking hotline shall bike around the cities of Taguig, Manila, Pasay and Makati to spread awareness on human trafficking.

His Excellency Ambassador Ton Boon von Ochssee and Mrs. Martine Boon von Ochssee of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands shall lead the Dutch contingent in the bike ride as combatting human trafficking is an important pillar of the Dutch foreign policy. Artists and celebrity advocates of the campaign will also join them in the ride.

According to musician and cycling enthusiast Nityalila Saulo, “The involvement of the cycling community in the fight against human trafficking is crucial to make people aware of the importance of knowing the red flags of human trafficking like how cyclists are aware of road signs so they can get to where they want to go safely.”  She further added, “The participation of cyclists in this campaign will help deliver a strong message that there are always options available for people to avoid being trafficked and get to their destinations.”

The bike tour is organized by Dakila, a group of artists advocating social consciousness formation through creative platforms, in partnership with the Manila Fixed Gear, a group of urban cyclists who has incorporated cycling in their lifestyle, with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Department of Justice Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (DOJ-IACAT).

Ayeen Karunungan, spokesperson of the artist collective Dakila, said “Through this campaign, we want the public to always remember to Stop, Look, and Listen. In order to stop human trafficking, we must always look for the signs to avoid being trafficked and listen to the stories of those who were trafficked and most vulnerable to trafficking so that we may learn from it and contribute on ways to help combat trafficking. “

Every year around 300,000 to 400,000 Filipinos fall prey to human trafficking in their own country and abroad. The Freedom Ride is part of the Project Freedom Campaign of Dakila, which aims to raise public awareness on Human Trafficking and empower advocates and citizens to become watchdogs in their own communities by driving them into action through grassroots involvement and amplified action through mainstream and digital media.

The Freedom Ride is open to the public and will start at the Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill, Taguig. Assembly is at 7:00 am and ride out is at 7:30 am. For more information, visit http://dakila.org.ph/freedomproject/ .

Press Release by Dakila
25 February 2013

Photos by Dakila – Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism

Brasilipinas 2013

08 February 2013, Rockwell Tent, Makati City, Philippines.
It was my first time to go to the annual Brasilipinas – Brazilian Carnaval Party. Loud and fun! Here’s a short clip of my experience. Special thanks to the Dakila girls and my Mamech for the great company!

Kalinga Power

Last week, I had the opportunity to travel to Kalinga with friends from Dakila, Leni Velasco, Cha Roque, and Monique Laurel, and three amazing women from USA. Jaycee Gossette, a dancer from New York with a mission to “Dance The World”, Agustina Diez Sierra, an art designer who is based in Chicago but is originally from Salta, a province in Argentina, and Maggie Rife Ponce, a photo journalist and is also based in Chicago. Together, we embarked on a journey to the north to discover the art, music, dance, and culture of Kalinga.

The output: A short documentary film on the new and old cultures and art forms of the Philippines through different lenses. To be shown and released in August 2013 in Chicago, USA.

The collaborators: Jaycee, Maggie, Agustina, and Myself.

The collaborators: Jaycee, Maggie, Agustina, and Myself.

Kalinga adventure

It all started here, where we took a plane from Manila to Tuguegarao (1hr). From Tuguegarao, we rented a van to take us to Tabuk, Kalinga (1.5hours).

Kalinga adventure

Entering Kalinga.

Kalinga adventure

A group picture first before entering Kalinga.

Kalinga adventure

In Tabuk, we met with Nati, who was our host and guide, and who also shocked us with her Kalinga style arm tattoos. She is one of the last few young women in the Philippines who has this kind of tattoo. It was a great honor to meet her.

Kalinga adventure

We stayed at the Golden Berries Hotel, very close to Tabuk town proper. Service was good, the staff were very friendly, and the accommodations where not so expensive. Our room had two double beds and it only cost P1,700 per night. Not bad for an airconditioned room. There’s also wifi in the lobby.

Here’s the link to Golden Berries Hotel.

Kalinga adventure

The restaurant of Golden Berries Hotel. Where they serve local Kalinga coffee, a must try!

Kalinga adventure

A rice field just across the hotel. Very photogenic area. Flat roads are also ideal for cycling and walking.

Given another chance to go to Kalinga, I would definitely bring my folding bike with me. I could just imagine doing a sunset ride.

Day 2 in Tabuk, we went to visit a small Kalinga Village.

Day 2 in Tabuk, we went to visit a small Kalinga Village.

On our way there, we stopped for some photos. It was soooo green!

On our way there, we stopped for some photos. It was soooo green!

Getting there, we had to cross this hanging bridge.

Getting there, we had to cross this hanging bridge.

The hanging bridge.

The hanging bridge.

I did it!

I did it!

During our visit in the Kalinga Village, we got to listen to some of the stories of the women especially during the marshall law time when they had to go through some difficulties fighting for their rights. Most of them brought tears to our eyes.

Kalinga adventure

Agustina breaks into tears while listening to their stories.

Kalinga adventure

Just hanging out.

Kalinga adventure

At the end of the day, it’s all about ones happiness. This community is overflowing with it. Thank you for all your love and stories. Until we meet again.

Kalinga adventure

Part of Day 2 was meeting the last tattood women of Kalinga. Just to sit beside them gave me goosebumps. The energy was just amazing.

It was a great honor just to sit beside these women of Kalinga.

Kalinga adventure

During this time, they taught us the traditional Kalinga dance.

Kalinga adventure

Jaycee learning the Kalinga dance.

Kalinga adventure

While the women danced, the men hit the gongs to play some traditional Kalinga music.

Kalinga adventure

Day 3 was all about textiles. We got to meet some of the weavers of Kalinga.

Kalinga adventure

Ate Joyce learned the art of Kalinga weaving through her mother. Now, her 16 year old daughter is also learning how to weave like her.

Kalinga adventure

The next generation of Kalinga weavers. An art form passed on from one generation to another.

Kalinga adventure

Here I am trying to learn how to weave. It’s harder than it looks.

Kalinga adventure

This is Romana, my weaving teacher.

After day 3, it was a wrap. We headed back to the hotel and flew back to Manila the next day.

Kalinga adventure

Meet the amazing women (and man) behind this documentary project. (L-R) Louise, Mon, Maggie, and Cha.

The day after landing back in Manila. We all regrouped in Dakila office and reflected on the amazing experiences we had.

The day after landing back in Manila. We all regrouped in Dakila office and reflected on the amazing experiences we had.

Ay Ay Salidumay Salidumay Di Way!

An experience like no other. God Bless.

Credits & Special Thanks:
CherryLime Productions
Dakila – Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism
Yohan, husband and amor of Agustina for all the support.
Leni Velasco – for keeping everything together.
Nati – for everything.
People of Kalinga – for allowing us in your lives, and for all your love and generosity. Maraming maraming salamat.

Baguio Weekday Special

Last week, I had the opportunity to accompany my good friend and “Brother” from Turkey, Mustafa Ince on a road trip to the Northern parts of the Philippines. Our first destination, The Hundred Island in Alaminos, Pangasinan. It was also my first time to visit this amazing cluster of islands and the experience was just unforgettable. A highly recommended place to visit especially for tourists who are itchy to see the many beautiful islands in the Philippines.

Our second stop, Baguio, also known as the city of pines. We headed to Mount Santo Tomas, a point in Baguio where one could see the entire city. Best way to go there is to bring your own car with a local guide. To get to the peak it would take about 45mins. The view is just phenomenon.

Going up to Baguio. From Manila it would take 5-6 hours. But since we came from Alaminos, it took us about 4 hours with 2 to 3 stops in between for snacks and bladder breaks.

Going up to Baguio. From Manila it would take 5-6 hours. But since we came from Alaminos, it took us about 4 hours with 2 to 3 stops in between for snacks and bladder breaks.

Road trip to Baguio.

Road trip to Baguio.

Gallery

A quick stop at Vocas for some local choco and coffee drink. This white room is one of the Galleries of the cafe, displaying local art.

Vocas cafe/gallery

Vocas cafe/gallery main stage.

During our stay in Baguio, we stayed at Villa Cordillera. Away from the city’s noise and pollution. The kind of accommodation suited for people looking for a more peaceful stay in Baguio.

Outside Villa Cordillera.

Outside Villa Cordillera.

Inside the lobby of Villa Cordillera where we checked-in.

Inside the lobby of Villa Cordillera.

Just hanging out at the balcony of Villa Cordillera.

Just hanging out at the balcony of Villa Cordillera. Overlooking pine trees and nature.

The two giant radars on top of Mount Santo Tomas.

The two giant radars on top of Mount Santo Tomas.

Baguio January 2013 Baguio January 2013

Just like Benguet.

Vegetable terraces. Just like the rice terraces in Benguet.

Baguio January 2013 IMG_2236

The radars.

The twin radars at the peak.

Of course, a jump shot!

Of course, a jump shot!

Accommodations: Villa Cordillera – Highly recommended by LonelyPlanet Philippines; perched in the midst of pine trees, misty mornings, views the fog cloaked mountains of the Cordillera, where sights and sounds of nature call into the weary traveller for a warm and relaxing stay. (This is not a paid advertisement)

Location: Outlook Drive, Baguio City, Philippines, 2600
Tel. No. (63) (074) 619-2062 to 64

Watch our video during road trip to Mount Santo Tomas here.

More photos here.

Mount Santo Tomas, Baguio City

Mt. Santo Tomas is a very popular destination in Baguio City. Known for offering perfect views of the entire city along with mesmerizing views of the South China Sea and the La Union Province, this mountain is widely appreciated and favored by trekkers, mountaineers and rock climbers as well. Presenting natural scenic views along with the enchanting and alluring beauty of Mt. Santo Tomas, this mountain attracts tourists from all round the globe. This is also a very interesting picnic spot for the families of the Baguio City.

The height of the Mt. Santo Tomas is around 2,256 meters above sea level, eventually challenging the trekkers and climbers to reach the peak. Accessible by Marcos Hi-way which is considered as the safest and the easiest road which will take visitors to the top of this magnificent mountain, Mt. Santo Tomas is also known for providing exotic and exquisite phenomena of sunrise and sunset at the same point.

(source: http://www.touristlink.com/)