Let’s Ride Carabao Drawn Carriage In Villa Escudero

When was the last time you ride in your Apong Lakay’s ‘pasagad’ being pulled by his strong carabao. I doubt millenials have slendor experience that. But we, bagets and jeproks at that time have so much to tell.

Those were the days when carabaos and cows are the real kings of the road– umm, well, in the uncemented road. Today’s era is so much different now, the noisy trucks and speedy cars and big buses are the kings of the road now. 

Let’s escape from the traffic, escape from speed, from the noise and the view of the buildings. Lets bring back the time when you are enjoying the journey while riding the carousel and your neighbors are singing kundiman in guitar and ukulele. Where we call it journey and not a travel, where we call it ride and not a transportation.

Villa Escudero. In the border of Quezon and Laguna provinces.

Its where the luxury from nature is brought to you and the experience of what it’s like living in the past. When music and dancing is harmonized with the breeze of the wind of the hills and sways like the water flowing in the falls.

Its an exhilarating experienced for me to ride again in carabao drawn vehicle and listening to the folk songs while on traverse to the waterfall.

And my goodnesss, feels good to eat again with bare hand. The way we were. The original Filipino food are served and eating in the river. Then the water you drink are the original mineral water that you fill it up from clay water jar.

The way we were. Oh yeah, I’ve said it already. But can’t help it. Why? Because the music of rondalla still lingers in my ears now. As if I’m in hammock relaxing under the shade of the tree. And while my eyes are close I still watch the cultural dances of different regions in the Philippines. Oh, the performance is so great. The sways, the steps, the colors, the dresses and the laughters.

I have to sleep now and in my dreams the grandeur nature and the nostalgic experience will be reminisce again. 

What? How about the collections of religious artifacts that were displayed in church replica and the vintage collections of world war 2, and the mansions of the Escuderos’ who are still grand standing in the place? Why I wouldn’t write about it? Oh, let other explorers, caravaners, writers and bloggers featured them. We’re many participants in the Heritage Caravan of NCCA and PIA in Quezon, Laguna and Rizal or the CALABARZON, the phase 2 of Luzon Cultural Promotion with the theme Sulong Luzon, Yamang Kultura’t Sining”.

It was founded in 1880’s by Placido and his wifey Claudia Marasigan. It said to be a sugarcane plantation but converted by their son Arsenio as coconut plantation in the early 1900’s. And in 1981 it was open to the public.

It is now a prime tourists destination for locals, overseas Filipino and foreign visitors. Villa Escudero is the showcase of Philippine rich cultural heritage, offering the glimpses of its history, dress, cuisine and nature’s lavisgness.

My heart was left in Villa Escudero.

Sulyap, Taste Of The Past

Resort in nostalgia. 

Staying out of town now is not just about pristine nature, serene beaches and amazing mountains.

What’s in? Heritage. It’s all about the feeling of living in a period of time. Let’s say 18th century. Isn’t that reminiscing cool.

Sulyap, a boutique hotel built from materials olden materials like the woods, bricks, tin sheets among others. It is located in San Pablo, Laguna.

It’s also a museum gallery of the owner’s collections of old religious artifacts and statues, vintage bottles and kitchenwares, old things used by the early people.

Mr. Roy Impalmado, the architect of the houses and buildings and curator of the collections said its his actually his passion of collecting artifacts, remnants and things of the past. 

Sulyap, indeed the window of heritage and the window of the past. Staying in the bahay na bato/kahoy brings back you to the early period of Filipino living. 

You stay vintage-themed house and tour to the museum. Enjoy the nostalgic ambiance and reminisce the past in the almost two hectares area with the function hall, restaurants, cafe and hotels.

“Sulyap kasi… sulyap sa nakaraan,” Roy said in an interview.

He said the first project is the museum. So while in the museum he dreamed of old houses and sketch and that’s it, the rise of Sulyap resort.

“I want them to experience the past in modern times, with the use of modern living.” He said.

The restoration and refurbishing might be costly and time consuming but its all worth for him.

So the next time you want the snapshot of the past and relive the way our old folks way, taste the past in Sulyap.

The Lambanog Tradition

Naay man, you say when the cup was handed to you that was filled with lambanog or coconut nectar wine.

Pakinabangan po, the tanggero and people in the crowd would say and you will drink the wine made from coconut sap from the cup.

This is the tradition/practice that lies within the strong essence of lambanog during the olden times of Quezon province. When umpungan (gathering) is held, men and women alike, including olds and children gather together in a such celebration. The lambanog wine will become the symbol of bonding and camaraderie of the community where the common cup will be pass to each and everyone present in umpungan. 

Its like the damaan of tribal community of Ilocos where a cup of tapey (rice wine) will be pass to the elderly relative and drink the wine during the wake of the dead. But in damaan the relative who hold the tapey should utter some impression to the deceased relative before drinking it.

In umpungan, not necessarily a celebration or feast. It could be just a gathering of the community, like bonding, talking with each other.

This is the tradition that the provincial government of Quezon wants to revive in some special occasion through the tourism department.

During the heritage caravan of media practioners and bloggers from Region 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 including CAR, the tourism officer explained their desire to revive the practice.

And why not when the place is well known to lambanog and take proud of it. They have come up with different flavors and presentations of it. It is just proper to relive the tradition of the unique wine from coconut.###

The Moro Watchtower Of Ilocos Sur

If there’s one intact edifice of watchtower in the Philippines, one of them can be seen in barangay Bateria, San Esteban, Ilocos Sur.

Just like all the moro watchtower this is located along the coastal area, just near the port of this town.

Ilocos have many watchtowers but many of the structure are damaged through the course of time. The government is trying to rehabilitate some of them.

This watchtower was believed to be built in 15th century by the Spaniards and the oldest landmark of the said town.

The moro watchtower was built as part of defenses of the village of that time against moros or pirates who used to ransacked the people and goods at that time.

The was builr in round shape with a height of around 7 meters. There’s one entrance and the walls facing the sea have holes where the canons are placed there.

In fact, the name of the barangay which is Bateria gots its name from the row of canons at that tower.

Today, the site was already as tourist destination by the the Philippine Tourism authority and was also listed in the National Historical Institute of the country.

Though renovated and flourished with the park and the stairway going up the tower, only few visitors were still going here maybe because its not yet known to the tourists.

Still, those who knew the place had their piece of historical pose in the tower.

Dadapilan Of Ilocos

Dadapilan refers to the simple machine use by sugarcane farmers to extract the juice from sugarcane stem and made it into different products such as vinegar, sugar, molasses, wine among others.

During the early times dadapilan was so common in every backyard or front yard of the farmers. The early dadapilan consists of two big trunks of logs with teeth serving as grid, the sugarcane will be placed between these trunks and will be pressed as the carabao or cow move in circular. 

The modern dadapilan now is almost the same though the trunks were replaced by iron (as seen in the photo).

Though sugarcane farming still exist but very few dadapilan now exist. Some are still being used in extracting the juice but mostly now are made into fine furniture like tables, chairs, cabinets and display item.

Farmers now are using modern juice extractor powered by electricity.

The process of extracting of sugarcane is called panagdapil. 

Ilocano’s of Ilocos Sur have the products from sugarcane like suka or sukang-iloko, basi or sugarcane wine, balikutsa or sugarcane candy, tagapulot or moskovado and many more. Each of the product have their own process to make the product.

Some delicacies are made with the help of the sugarcane.

Dadapilan is a tradition to Ilocano. This has been here long time ago and have been part of its history. If could be a synonym to ilocano culture.

There would be no sugarcane if the dadapilan didn’t existed. And as long as dadapilan existed in the lawn and field of the farmer, sugarcane industry will continue. And the life of Ilocandia will stay as sweet as the way it used to be.#


Department of Public Works and Highways “Lakbay Alalay” team from the Regional and District Engineering Offices deployed to strategic locations along the national highways of the region will provide assistance to the travelling public starting at 7:00 A.M. on October 31, 2018 until 12 noon of November 04, 2018.

During the recent Regional Staff Conference, DPWH Regional Director Ronnel M. Tan made instructions to suspend reblocking or repair of a damaged road section on major highways, roadways and those road section near cemeteries. “Since this will be a long weekend, two way traffic scheme in all roads must be maintained, director tan said.

He added that those District Engineering Offices with on-going Long Term Performance Based Maintenance Projects to properly coordinate with the Project Engineers of both the Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) and concerned contractors for the scheduling of road works. The installation of necessary traffic advisory and directional/informative/warning signs must be visible and properly installed for smooth and safer travel.

The ‘Lakbay Alalay “ team is advised to coordinate with other concerned agencies such as the Land Transportation Office (LTO), Philippine National Police (PNP), and Local Government Unit Officials to ensure proper assistance that may be provided. (dpwh ro1)

Ilokano writers’ groups call for resignation of KWF commissioners

LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte – The groups of Ilokano writers, stakeholders on Ilokano language have called for the resignation of the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino (KWF) Chairperson Virgilio Almario and his commissioner for Ilokano language, Purificacion Delima.

The groups made the move following the launching by the KWF on the proposed “Ortograpiya ti Pagsasao nga Ilokano” in the DepEd Regional Office 1, San Fernando City, La Union on October 18, 2018.

In a press briefing on Sunday, the Ilokano writers’ groups called the resignation of KWF Chairperson Almario and Commissioner Delima for Ilokano language for their incompetence in preparing the Ilokano orthography that didn’t conformed with the existing orthography being used  by the Ilokano writers and experts.

The Gunglo Dagiti Mannurat nga Ilokano iti Filipinas (GUMIL – Filipinas) led other groups of Ilokano writers like the International Committee for the Protection of the Ilokano Language, NAKEM Youth, Nakem Conferences International, the academe in Regions 1, 2, 3 and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) in protesting against the KWF’s version of Ilokano orthography.

Vilmer Viloria, the president of the GUMIL-Filipinas, said the KWF’s Ilokano orthography has created confusion among the students, who are learning the Ilokano mother-tongue language.

Joel Manuel, a multi-awarded  Ilokano writer, educator and Ilokano language expert, said the KWFs version Ilokano orthography will destroy the unique and rich culture of Ilokano language.

“While we support the initiative of the KWF to develop the National Language, we take exception to the move of KWF Chairman Almario to compel a regional language like the Ilokano to use the standards set by the Ortograpiyang Pambansa, disregarding in effect the existing and popular/standard Ilokano orthography; KWF is out to destroy the distinct characteristics and identity of the Ilokano language, and eventually the language itself. This is contrary to the mandate of KWF, that is, to further develop, enrich, propagate and preserve Filipino (the National Language) and other Philippine languages,” said Vilmer Viloria, the GUMIL Filipinas President.

“We insist that the present Ilokano orthography has existed for decades, used by most Ilocano writers, and has been the basis for spelling of volumes of publications, such as Bannawag and the Ilocano Bible,” Viloria added.

The Ilokano language has been standardized with the publication and distribution of the Tarabay iti Ortorgrapia ti Pagsasao nga Ilokano (Guide to the Orthography of the Ilokano Language) by the KWF itself in 2012. The KWF 2012 Tarabay was formulated by the commission upon proper consultation with language experts, writers, editors and teachers, using the standards long employed by the writers and editors of Ilokano dictionaries, existing Ilokano magazines and newspapers, and other publications and the basis of the Ilokano form as taught in the University of Hawaii, Manoa and at state universities in the Philippines offering courses in the Ilokano language.

“Even Purificacion Delima herself, the commissioner for the Ilokano language at the KWF, who invited the non-experts to prepare the draft in only a few days, has not shown expertise in the Ilokano language in its written form,” said Viloria.

“We steadfastly maintain that changing any established orthography should have been done by consensus of those that are affected by such change,” he added.

KWF only consulted with teachers and school officials of the Department of Education in Ilocano-speaking provinces, because, according to Delima, they are the target users of the KWF Ortograpiyang Ilokano in the teaching of Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE). Forcing upon our Ilokano children the Tagalog-based orthography in the classroom only gives them spelling rules different from what substantial number of speakers are already acquainted with and from existing printed materials that use the long established orthography, thus sowing confusion in using the language.

“Now, with the foregoing, GUMIL Filipinas, ardently working for all aspects of growth and development of the Ilokano language, its literature, culture and history, request the Department of Education, through its Regional Offices in Region 1, 2 and Cordillera Administrative Region, to stop the adoption of the KWF Ortograpiyang Ilokano and avoid confusion in the teaching of MTB-MLE in the classroom,” Viloria said.

“We encourage the provincial government of the Ilocano-speaking provinces, as they are also stakeholders of the Ilokano language, to intervene and exhaust all the means in its disposal to stop the one-size fits all national orthography on Philippine languages other than Filipino and prevent the bastardization of the Ilokano language,” he added.

The GUMIL Filipinas also called other stakeholders of the Ilokano language, parents, teachers, writers, researchers and speakers of the language, to support this urgent call of GUMIL Filipinas for the rejection of the Tagalog-based KWF Ortograpiyang Ilokano, and continue the adoption of the 2012 Tarabay in the preparation of learning materials for MTB-MLE for Ilokano language.

Meanwhile, the Leo Tejano, the president of the NAKEM Youth, condemned the Ilokano orthography released by the KWF.

“We protest and reject the imposition of the KWF of its culturally and linguistically inappropriate “Ortograpiyang Ilokano,” the group said.

Aurelio S. Agcaoili, the founder of the International Committee for the Protection of the Ilokano Language and Nakem Conferences International, demanded  the resignation of the Delima from resign from her post as she does not have the expertise to represent the Ilokano people and their language.

“We, the stakeholders of the Ilokano language from the various diasporic communities, hereby offer this statement as our official position on the most recent onslaught of the Commission on the Filipino Language through its chair, Virgilio Almario, and its Ilokano commissioner, Purificacion Delima, of the integrity of the Ilokano language by their mindless and authoritarian imposition of their own brand of “Ortograpiyang Ilokano” that is patterned after its imposed “Ortograpiyang Pambansa,” said Agcoili. (PR)

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