Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What if Photo Enhancer Did Not Do its Job

I posted a picture of really odd and quirky enhanced photo of myself and some of my friends in facebook earlier today. It wasnt the type of enhancement we would like to have. Well, I did it not to embarrass anyone (hopefully they are not) or publicly humiliate them because I posted it in our secret group. I posted it to break the norm and to break the monotony of the day.

Anyway, after I have posted it i had realized something. Enhancing one's photo is extravagantly used to almost anything. The question I had in mind is why do people do a lot of photo enhancement? Isnt it better to look at the photo as exactly as they were produced?

For an artist, the photographer for that matter would use photo enhancement to highlight or to bring the best color effects in their photos. Using a camera sometimes doesn't capture the best cinematic effects of the colors say in sunset. Sometimes we use photo enhancement as well to make sure that we bring on the drama. Lets say there are themes that it is better to have it on black and white rather than in colored format or sometimes sepia toned color would increase the drama.

Advertiser maybe use photo enhancement to change the imperfection of their model. They can turn a "healthy" model to skinny one. Their models can have a perfect glowing skin, freckle free and perfect skin with a perfect face.

I would understand those reason as they are selling something or at least making a point. I also understand those who do enhance their photo's so they would look better. For me, sometimes natural beauty is all that matters.
Is this how you enhance your photo?
We know social media is in. it is the new generations world of wonders. Is it not disappointing when you were chatting with your old and longtime friend. You always do some catching up. You browse their photos and his profile pictures are awesome mazing. But, when you finally meet he is all the opposite of what you saw in the pictures.

But what if the PHOTO ENHANCEMENT made a major catastrophe... Will it still be fun? 

Beauty is not suppose to be tampered it is who you are that make you unique and not what you impose you are. Acceptance is the answer of how you look and not what you want others think of you.

Pin It Now! Follow Me on Pinterest

Saturday, October 27, 2012


By: KIASO, Jasmin P.

The Igorot land desires to be hailed. It desires to be sustained. Most importantly, this land desires to be seen because she beholds a grandeur which deserves to be revealed as well as protected.

It harbors a number of natural, historical, cultural and man-made attractions that mirrors the region’s richness.

If we are talking about Igorot land as the land of the Cordillerans, then we might as well talk of each province’s and city’s unique characteristics, places and culture which distinguish them as people or as province.

Cordillerans or non-Cordillerans, come with me and let us have a glimpse over the Igorot Land.

Starting from the north of the Cordillera, there stand Apayao, this province has been dubbed as ‘Cordillera’s last frontier for nature richness.’ It is home to underground rivers, overwhelming lakes and waterfalls, and inexplicable caves and wildlife.
Next to Apayao is Kalinga which is known as the ‘Land of beauty and the brave.’ The province earned its name because many people believe that the beauty of Kalinga women is exotic while the men are known as brave warriors when headhunting was prevalent in this place. The province is also travelled by tourists just to see and hike Mt. Mating-oy Dinayao or more popularly known as the ‘Sleeping Beauty’ because, from afar, it looks like a sleeping lady.

Standing at the right side of Apayao and Kalinga is Abra, which is well-known as the ‘Natural dye capital of the Philippines.’ The province is abundant with natural dye-yielding plants such as achuete, duhat, kamachile and mahogany among others.

Down Kalinga is Mountain Province which is known as ‘Weaver’s paradise’ because of the various weaving industries and different weaving designs that are found here. Mountain Province also fronts the Sagada Caves which is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.

After Mountain Province there you’ll find, Ifugao, which is home to the 8th World Wonder, the Banaue Rice Terraces or also known as Ifugao Rice Terraces .

Moving on, at the southern part of the region, there dwell Benguet, which is the tagged as the ‘Salad bowl of the Philippines.’ The province got its tagline because of its large production of upland vegetables. One of the most popular places here is Mount Pulag, the second highest mountain in the Philippines.

The city of Baguio which sits at the heart of the Benguet is the ‘summer capital of the country.’ Most tourists prefer to spend their summer vacations here to escape the sizzling temperature of their place or other cities.

I’ve only mentioned some famous characteristics of each place, but how about the other sides of the dice? Come to the land of the Cordillera and you might be surprised to know that Cordillera holds a grandeur of several unique places and characteristics which are worth to visit and experience.

But, mind you, not only the majestic places in the Cordillera are worth the travel. The people here who share common culture and history are interestingly and even more worth to be with. Cordillerans are known to be hospitable, peace-loving and reserved. They will surely experience the genuine touch of who they are as people.

I can guarantee that travelling to the Igorot Land is simply the grandest yet the most inexpensive tour or travel you’ll ever have.

It is really ironic however, that some Cordillerans might prefer travelling to Manila, Cebu, Davao, and Palawan or even as far as abroad or other popular places.

Mount Tenglawan (the highest among this mountain range) in Sinacbat, Bakun Benguet. One needs rope to reach the peak of this rocky mountain.

Isn’t it that it is shameful when people ask you about your province or your region and you do not know about it? The secret piece here is to know first who you are, before knowing who Abraham Lincoln is. It is almost like saying, “you must change yourself before you could change the world.”

Now, would you prefer a pocket-emptying travel, or an inexpensive and fulfilling travel to the Igorot Land?

Pin It Now! Follow Me on Pinterest


By: Potectan, Cherry V.

Momentarily, the history lies abashed in the eyes of the beholder- a spirited spectator wishing to see more than what appreciation rouses. The cultural ways and practices cut taboos and reel the true beauties of a preserved place at its best. Indeed, like muyong as a practice of the Ifugao people in trimming distinction of their forests, it also follows that other Cordillerans apply their own indigenous knowledge, systems and practices (IKSP) to void environmental destruction.

Having determined a photography class concept of Benguet torist spots, Benguet, Ishayaw Mi; Benguet, It-ek Mi came into the picture. Our exploration covered most, if not all, the municipalities of Benguet. Truth be told, Benguet alone has much of its hidden beauties flaunted right at the tip of our camera lenses. Below are some places where I, together with others, have set foot.

Mt. Kabunian of Poblacion, bakun gave us a 6-hour steep viewing while being amazed of the natural-formed mountain figures as well as the mountainous views waiting to devour us from the breath-taking ravine during the hike.

Benguet falls on the other hand didn’t fail to amaze as we were more astounded to whart lies in front of us. Mangta Falls of Bakun and Lengsad Falls in Kibungan gave me the feel of the value of an untouched creation that awaits a city individual like me. Though how much I was eager to stay, Kapangan calls.

The gigantic Amburayan River goshed it’s presence along the bridge t where we stood to view. More so, Longog cave steamed the excitement as we soaked our way through its magnificence. Forest preservation practices were displayed by Kapangan’s Communal and Anthurium Forests shone with our camera clicks.

It’s amazing to tell of how much the Igorot people keep their cultures mirrored on their own territories. Exploring and discovering their potential and well-known tourist spots is a fulfilling task to do. The photography travel was not comparable with urbanized tourist spots where all forms of transportation access can be possible any time.
UNTOUCHED. The people of Poblacion, Bakun saw a lady bathing in the basin of the falls but whenever they try to find out who she is, she promptly disappears then again, reappears at far sight. The people convinced themselves that she is the fall’s nymph. 

To tell you more, making the effort to explore the undisturbed Igorot land is a great challenge since all you can trust is your stamina and feet for hours of hiking without any hope for even a hitch. But given the energy sapping hiking and trekking, enticement 5to continue will dominate the exhaust since the pathways revealed the preliminary expectations of the place itself. My body pains can never replace the sense of fulfilment I had for myself since I was pushed to my limit-finding my endurance towards the physical challenge.

One testimony can’t paint an exact picture of the real view. There’s never been one who could prove that travelling the Igorot on foot fera is an opportunity than just a plain pastime. Subjecting our body to these exposures could really earn us an award-winning sweat bucket and bunch of exhausted expression. But once we set our feet on the very track- “Loo, I’m glad I made it here personally than being a mere spectator once the framed picture was displayed on an exhibit.

One of our tour guides explained that potential tourist spots are waiting to be developed due to the lack of financial supports from the government. The existing mementos of their own places were presented but come to imagine how many more can be discovered once development funds can be given.

I am proud of being an Igorot stepping on my ancestral land where people assume their role as the mortal keepers of Kabunian’s gift to mankind. In my small way, I’m in one with them in preserving our culture-the only way to protect, preserve and revitalize nature while sustaining the bond among the community.

In going back to my roots, I will be one in enriching it and keeping the spirit of the Igorot Land worth travelling and experiencing. In Benguet alone, much more is to be seen in the Cordilleran region. It’s more fun in Cordillera!

Pin It Now! Follow Me on Pinterest

Welcome to Cordillera: walk the trails but leave the trees

By: Mervalyn G. Oplas

Home of natural beauty, the 18,342.7-kilometer square wide Cordillera land is situated in the Northern part of Luzon. The provinces of Benguet, Mountain Province, Apayao, Kalinga, Ifugao and Abra anchor rivers, lakes, mountains, hills, valleys, caves and forests where the wildlife finds refuge. Baguio City, the lone city of the Cordillera, is the very “center” of the region where Cordillerans from the six provinces meet.

Implied by its name, the Cordillera is composed mostly of parallel mountain ranges. The other bodies of land and water are secondary to the mountains.

A visit to the Cordillera region not only entails witnessing nature at its best. It also means meeting the hospitable Cordillera people and understanding the diversity of culture of the different tribes of the region.

Trees and other forms of life are often associated to Cordillerans. To the historical Igorot, back to the times when nature is intact, this is true.

Orally transferred stories say that the typical Igorot lives in a warm inatep (nipa hut) which is built with pal-ot (cogon grass) and tabla (wood). He goes hunting and will never fail to bring home a wild boar, a wild deer or even a wild chicken. It is an everyday experience for him to just pass the now expensive orchids hanging on trees.

My recent travel around my province Benguet made me realize how rich the Cordillera is. I saw mountains full of trees and other wild plants; clean rivers, though I bet are not as clean as they are during the old times; caves anchoring beautiful stalactites and stalagmites; waterfalls which strong current dug a shallow “lake”; hot springs that serve as therapy to old people afflicted by rheumatism.

Hiking for four hours to a place unreached by roads is thrilling. However, it made me realize how difficult life is the past centuries or decades. Horses are still their means of transportation. When they have to go to the market to buy goods, they let the horses carry their heavy loads while they hike behind or in front of these horses.

In Ifugao, one can see the vast forests untouched by the clumsy hands of people. A ride in the newly constructed roads in the far flung places of Ifugao gives a spine chilling experience from the rustles of wild plant’s leaves blown by the chilly wind. The view of the kallas (a kind of tree that grows in a very elevated place) seems unending that it seems like a sea of wild plants.

The Chico river of Mountain province, the towering trees, huge rocks, rivers and caves which are believed to be home for the unseen beings can take a viewer’s breath away.

Abra, Kalinga and Apayao which are the warmer parts of the region offer huge rivers and mountains.

Behind this beauty, however, is my fear, when I saw the other side. I saw that the intactness of nature is rapidly deteriorating. How fast? It is as fast as people’s procreation. I experienced hiking a mountain where one can hardly find a tree to rest his head from the searing heat of the sun. It is ironic that there is a scorching mountain in the Cordillera.

I wanted to see wild animals, even just birds, but sadly, the hikes are not enough for me to see them. I even saw remnants of cut trees along the way and a bunch of woods soon to be carried down. I experienced walking along roads of sand where plants are scarce. I saw other rivers that look like rivers of assorted-colored mud because of the unstoppable mining.

This made me hope deep inside that the places I visited are not the epitome of all places in the Cordillera when it comes to the rapid extinction of wild life. I hope the Cordillerans will realize that preserving their place’s natural resources means preserving their tribes.

The Cordillera, with its uniqueness, is being visited by different people from different parts of the world. Eco-tourism and cultural tourism are being pushed. I just hope these visitors will just walk the trails (do not make them), look around and appreciate Cordillera’s beauty, but leave the wild life in the place untouched.

Pin It Now! Follow Me on Pinterest

AGRICULTURE: (Agree To My Culture)

BY: -Eric Tumalay

Wearing the G-String that symbolizes their identity, having a tattoo that signifies their dignity and legacy, having strong arms that as a protector and having strong feet that stands like their honor. These rare classifications belong to the root, “the IGOROTS.”

We rarely see Igorots that deny their culture, we often see Igorots that decline their nature. It is them that proudly recognizes their root, it is them that never complains and still standing up with their own foot.  A tribe of nationalism. It is a bit ridiculous sometimes, knowing how humble these people are, with their kindness and hospitality, with their reflexes and sincerity, I wonder why people abuse these, I wonder how blind people not to see these, they say how innocent Igorots are, but didn’t they realize that they are ignorant by being prejudice?

The Rice Terraces, the nipa huts, the necklaces and beetle nuts, these are the identities of this culture. Having a unique existence, having satisfaction and a life of silence. I am envious with this kind of healthy living. I am amazed how great they are despite of modernization, I am amazed with their determination . A truly inspiring culture of integrity that can never be abandoned. Being an Igorot is a very hard position, unknowing what would be their role to the world being an individual and being a person. They may not be aware of the modern technologies, but with their heart that sticks with their own identities, with their legacy, I am sure that money is nothing compared with what they call “Unity.”

This is the life of Igorots, the heart of our nation. Even with their feet buried under the mud of tiredness, hesitation and exhaustion, they are still unbelievably strong with their devotion. Igorots with a heart of a true warrior. Igorots that have a great honor, this is what they are. Proud to live with agriculture, agree to their culture.

“Igorot, Cordilleras people, the region of green thumbs, the hands that can never be numb. We are all the same. Recognize these culture and never abandon it with shame.”

Pin It Now! Follow Me on Pinterest

Traveling the Igorot Land

By: Oyang, Adelfa 

Cordillera, a blessed inheritance! a region subdivided into six provinces untouched by the struggles and challenges of history. Out of the abundance of its’ land stands a firm race, the Cordilleran people, the Igorots.

Fasten your seatbelt for a travel around the Igorot land, a travel which is not just an adventure or a trip, it is a journey not by the eyes, but by the heart.

Incandescent as it is, the city of Baguio, the city of pines.

Going up to the ever popular Kennon Road is an unforgettable moment to anyone engrossed or not to the beauty of nature. There will be no other road cooler and happier more than it is. The living statue of the lion head adds to the road’s magnificence. As you go beyond the city, you’ll come to realize that there’s more of what Baguio can give; more than the trees, more than the fresh air and more than what is known. 

Gigantic mountain ranges, the rich thick soil of the farms; behind it is the hidden beauty of Benguet, in which the strawberry capital of the country lies.

Culture defines Benguet people, as seen by their beliefs, customs and traditions. As the journey goes on, there you are at Benguet’s very own highest point located 7,400 feet above sea level. It by there where nobody’ superior, nobody’s inferior; what you have to do is witness natures delicacy, no more, no less. Yet it doesn’t end there, going further the province opens your eyes in the secret of the land. Known and unknown caves, mountains, falls, magnificent clouds, springs are just some giving life to the province of Benguet.

Obsequious spots will welcome you at the province of Ifugao, where in the 8th wonder of the world, the never dying Banaue Rice Terraces continue to define its people.

This rice terraces manifest the unbeatable unity of the Ifugaos. Many are named as their inheritance, yet this man made flattering possession is more than enough definition of the Ifugao tribe.

Reminiscent paradises, the Mountain Province, the place where you can never let go, the province who unfailingly gives identity to the Cordillera all because of its’ unconquerable people, the Ibontoc.

The paradise of the weavers, the interesting traditions, and the mystic beliefs made this land a better place to live at. The shimmering stones of the famous Sagada and Sumaging caves will let you reminisce the unmerited favor given by nature. The stones of seemingly real creatures will surely be carved at the deepest area of anyone’s heart.

Odd River among all rivers came out the Abra River, the congregation of all rivers and streams at the province.

Abra River is just one of the Provinces’ prides. At same point, a cave known to locate an underground river have its life. It is where mysterious beings are believed to exist by any means.

Terrifying place, the Province of Kalinga, the Sungag view continue its existence, a very perfect place to look at the beauty and abundance of the Mother Nature.

Also, known for its fearful people and races, behind the Kalinga’s distrustful reputation is a hidden advocacy. There is nothing greater inheritance of this Province more than its very own children, the people of greatness.

There you are at the historical Igorot Land, the land of the free. The most important thing of all is the people behind the richness of the Region, the people who walk at streets barefooted, the people who goes as who they are. Indeed, it is the Igorots who give meaning to their land; it is the Igorot’s why Cordillera still exists despite the cruelty of man and its nature. 

Everyday will be a journey; not just by the tourists, not just by the passers bye, not by just the visitors but the Region itself.

History will repeat itself, a saying says. But may or may not be, surely, Cordillera will always find a way out of the selfishness of others. And the journey will be different and more worth reminiscing one after the other.  

Pin It Now! Follow Me on Pinterest

I am Half-Ilokano, Half Amazing

By: BAGANO, Apolinario Jr.

Deep within the heart of the Cordilleran Region is the City of Baguio, known to be a mixing bowl of all walks of life. It is where diversity meets unity in the form of a progressing city with different bloods pitching in. Also, it is part of the land of the people wearing colorful red striped g-strings, the Igorots. It is the city where they have established their identity the past centuries and have fought for the past decades. Around Baguio city are the mountains where the Igorots remain dominant despite the fading culture due to modernization. Albeit the colorful tradition is about to be colored gray, many people still get a glimpse of the Igorot’s way of life in many parts of the Region.

The smoke rises. The flame, it grows even stronger by the minute and the mighty pine wood below it is charred. The strong clanging of gongs and bamboo sticks fill the air with music. On the corner, pigs cry as blood spew from their necks. The men on the other end gather in a circle, sharing stories and laughing as they sip rice wine that comes from a large jar just a few meters from them. They call it ‘tapey’ and its aromatic smell creeps out of the jar and  rises to the roof of the Atep, a small house. This is the typical setting of an Igorot celebration.

They would often say, "Entako manpalti/ mankanyaw" when there is marriage or when there is a need for a celebration. Cañao is an act of butchering and offering animals to the god they worship named ‘Kabunian’, the word ‘Buni’ means ‘to pray’. As a whole, ‘Kabunian’ means to whom we pray to.  They offer this as an offering of thanks hoping that sooner or later, Kabunian will grant them their desires.

While more wine is spilled and more meat devoured, away from the festivity are again people who are chewing and behind them is a wall whose bottom is painted red. Their red lips resemble the summer sunset while their smiles, orange. They chew then they spit. This is a classic picture in the day of the life of an Igorot. They chew what the Igorots call as ‘Momma’. This is also the doublemint or the v-fresh of the Igorots. A mixture of lime, betel nut and pandan leaves and sometimes added with tobacco is what keeps their jaws busy.

With all the commotion caused by the eating, the chewing and the drinking, the Cañao is not over until the men dance around the fire together with their instrument.  Instruments such as the solibao, a type of drum made from wood and animal skin; the gong or the gangsa, a circular gold colored brass instrument and a whole lot more. The men, they go around a circle banging on their gangsas and solibaos as the smoke unshackles itself from the fire. They wear a colorful g-string which they call ‘bahag’ and sometimes, it is matched with a feathered headband of the same color as the bahag. The women on the other hand, wear a ‘tapis’, a sleeved upper clothing together with a skirt-like lower clothing that covers the thighs until the knees. This is the typical Igorot clothing, a striped garment with different shades of red, black and white or other combinations of dark colors.

I am half-Igorot, half-Ilokano writing as an Igorot and trying to find his place in this mixing bowl. I grew up around Ilokanos and have insufficient knowledge of the Igorot. As I go to different Igorot rituals and celebrations away from the city, I have found out that the Igorot has a culture worth noticing; that it is imbued with a tradition that is worth not of the glimpse of many but instead it is worthy of stares and smiles. Despite the fact that the Igorot way of life is succumbing to modernization, we can still see these traditions not because it can lure tourists and boost up tourism and business, but because (I believe that) the Igorots stand firm and strong against vicissitudes.  That is why I can say, I am half Ilokano and the other (Igorot blood) is just plain amazing.

Pin It Now! Follow Me on Pinterest

The Igorot Cuisine

By: Verzola, Katrina Ruth, K.

The French have croissants and cheese; Americans, hamburger. The English grace their evenings with roast beef and pudding; the Japanese with sushi and sashimi. You might have already heard of the Pinoy’s adobong manok, pancit and lechon.

All these cuisines represent the country where they are esteemed. They give identity to a people who include them in their everyday. These dishes are a part of a culture and they make it a whole.

The Pinikpikan, here in the Cordilleras is a dish that perks up your being an Igorot. It is a dish that will hark you back to your roots wherever you are.
Though similar, it is not a highland version of the Iloco tinola. It is a ritual that evolved to a recipe. It was created by the Igorot’s ingenuity as he prepares for aCañao. It was born out of the rhythm of the gangsa and the drummed solibao; yielded by the reverberation of the mambunong’s exclamations and the entreaties of the people to Kabunian.

It is a legacy passed from a generation to another. It is taught by the old to the young. It upholds our oral tradition. It is a custom that sustains another custom.

Its distinct flavor is an upshot of the blend of the native chicken that was beaten with a stick; seasoned with salt with the addition of etag, innasin or kinudayboiled in a metal or clay stock pot until tender over burning saleng or any firewood that gives it its smoky taste.

Sadly today, the once revered dish is now just a part of a menu in an eatery. The rites conducted before the preparation of the dish is disregarded and besmirched. The modern Pinikpikan is but a replica.

The ritual has been commercialized and turned to a bowl of stock. However, even with the huge change that confronted it brought by time, it depicts a practice that we once performed. Its broth, developed by excellent kitchen skills reflects the soul of its origin.

It is a living proof that culture changes; that we have practices that we shed to correspond with the demands of time without fully forgetting them. It signifies that we still cherish the practices of our forefathers and we remember them in our own ways.

The Pinikpikan is a dish that is present in every Igorot occasion in these modern times. From a small Saturday lunch gathering to a birthday party and at times a wedding. It gives distinctiveness to Igorot celebrations.
Pinikpikan - the most loved Igorot Dish

Together with our dances, chants, folklores and stories, practices, values and vast indigenous knowledge it represents the Igorot as a people in the country and in the world as well. It is not just our rite of passage in the culinary world but it is an element that may somehow propel us to greatness.  After all, what great people don’t have a cuisine of their own?
It is a dish worth eating and a culture worth bragging.

Photo Credit: About.ph

Pin It Now! Follow Me on Pinterest

Traditional Burial Practices of Bontoc, Mt. Province, Philippines



The family of the dead will butcher pig for “mang-mang” (pag-uurnungan). This is butcher for the morning of the first day of the dead. The dead is covered with a cloth called “chap-pong” or “kaw-wit. In the afternoon the “amam-a” (elder or it’s like mambunong) will announce the dead. If the dead is old man he will be then dressed with clothes called “wanes” or g-string and it should be colored “chinagta” (white), however the extra cloth left from the “chinagta” should be dressed on the head of the dead. For dead woman she should be dressed with “lufid” (Bontoc tapis or traditional skirt) and “tochong” (head dress).

The “kachangyan” (rich people) will celebrate the dead for 5-7 days including the nights. If the dead is a man, he should be placed inside the house near the door and for dead woman, placed farther away from the door. In placing the dead unto the “sangachin” (coffin) the body of the dead will be tied and the “anifat” (bundle of palay) carried by the “inin-a” (old woman) together with the “kupkop” (butchered pig) left during the “mang-mang” will be brought out. After the burial the relatives of the dead would celebrate “am-amo” (reunion) for the dead.


The dead must be respected. During the death of the dead, the brother and sister of the dead are not allowed to drink soup while the wife can drink but with the permission of the “amam-a” and the wife should refrain from going out of the house. The family, brother and sister of the dead must not harvest or cut plants for it will bring bad luck to them. “Mangyafig” (40 days waxy) of the dead, family should not take a bath until they are told by the “am-amas”. The “am-amas” will also prepare their things needed to take a bath. 

For the family who cannot afford to buy a coffin for the dead, men who volunteer help the family to build a stone coffin. For “pusi” (poor) people they will celebrate the dead for 2-3 days and for middle class for at least 4 days.
If the family completed the task they will place “fo-ot” (cloth) on the eyes of the dead. The relatives of the dead must turn their back during the burial.


After the burial, several pigs must be butchered. At least one is butchered, cooked and served in the house where the wake was held, to women and children only. Another pig is butchered, cooked and served in another house for men only. Unmarried men must not eat of these pigs. Chickens must be butchered for them.
“Inasin” or salted meat
Ø  Best preservation of meat of Bontoc People.
The morning after the burial, meat leftover from the pigs butchered the day before is cooked and all relatives get together to eat. The neighbors and friends who provided food during the wake for immediate members of the family are now returned. Other members of the community are no longer expected to stay around. Only relatives to the third cousin level stay on to participate in the culminating rituals which will last for an additional four days. These have to be observed strictly to protect the living from any bad intentions of the spirits who are always out to get more to join them in the spirit world.

The next four days is for the members of the immediate family to stay home as a part of the observance.  If any children or siblings are married, their spouses may go to their rice fields or gardens to attend to chores necessary for the health of their plants.

Cawed also wrote that on the second day after the burial rites, the men go to the river for the “cachiw” (fish found in the Chico river), which is used in a feast for that night in the house of the dead. The third day is called the “alis” (transfer), because all members of the family transfer from the house of a relative to another for a “canao”. This kind of “canao” in each house is an offering to the “anito” (spirit gods) of the dead for prosperous life among living relatives. It is the duty of departed now in the land of ancestors to look after the welfare of those left behind. The feasting and gathering of relatives are done at noon and in the late afternoon.

The fourth day is a rest day. All relatives of the dead must remain in their houses abstaining from hard work. The fifth is the “tipi” (canao for the spirit). A pig is offered and distributed among the relatives. The sixth day is again “tengao” (rest day), and the seventh day is the “cachiw”. Again, the men go to the river to catch fish, while the women go to the field to get “ku-ti” (shells). The mollusks are cooked in the evening for another feast, where only fish is eaten. The eight day is “sang-po” (anti- climaxed of the burial custom). In this “canao”, several pigs are butchered and left uncooked and given away to the relatives. The following day is a rest day, and the tenth day is climaxed by the catching of fish in the river.

More rituals have to be observed to finally end the requirements of the death rites. The first to be done is the “cleansing” rite. The oldest child must carry water from a nearby spring.  An elderly relative who walks ahead to ensure no person accompanies him or animal crosses the path of the one crying water. The ritual has to be repeated the next day if either animal or person crosses his/her. Not to repeat the rite will spell bad luck for family. A successful trip from the spring signals that the members of the family can now take a bath at dawn the following day.

Chickens are butchered as a basic accompaniment to rituals. All the children ad siblings of the dead person must butcher chickens after they have bathed to enable to eat fresh vegetables and fruits without reprisals from a spirits. Chickens are butchered as an act of cleansing, to remove the “dirt” which is death 

             The living spouse on the “ngilin”, (observance and staying home for an additional month after the cleansing rites.) Other members of the family are allowed to go anywhere they need to. A specified dress code for windows is imposed on the living spoue to remind him or her not to marry again until after the prescribed year is over. Not to observe the period could result to misfortune or even death.

Natives call this Alongan or Sangachin.
This is a native coffin.
 Any person who dies at hand of another person must be accorded the “finosor” (killed by a fosor or enemy) rites. This is done for all persons who are murdered, even if the perpetrator is not an enemy. This death is considered doubly dirty and, therefore, must have different set of ritual for family members left behind.

If the body has been retrieved, it is put on death throne and set up beside the door outside. If the body is unavailable, for one reason or other, rites are still done, with his clothes or other belongings in the place where the body would have been set up.
          Some pieces of board are placed before the death throne, with or without the body. All women in the community who no longer have young children and the elderly unmarried woman gather in tight semi-circle in front of the dead.
        Child bearing woman are not allowed to join this group because the bad luck suffered by the dead might transfer to them and they surely will pass it on to their children who, because of their tender age, are susceptible recipients.

        After the women are so gathered, an old man butchers two chickens in front of the death throne .He does this by cutting of the heads of the chickens, one at a time, while saying a prayer directed to the spirits, including that of dead person. He invokes the, to avenge the death of the person. He then throws the headless chickens into the air, one after the other, as if to let them fly.
      The women in semi –circle simultaneously shout to the top of their voices, the headless chickens flap their wings and move around before finally falling down in death. The woman must make sure the chickens stay within their circle.

      To allow the chickens to get beyond the circle will invite all the rats from nearby mountains to converge on their “palay” plants and eat them. The community will suffer from a very lean harvest.

          An average six chickens are butchered daily in this manner but are not cooked to be eaten. All the bodies of these chickens are buried in pit dug of purpose. All the heads are put into receptacle made for purpose to be hung above the pit.

      All the women participating in ritual must have their in disarray or uncombed. They clap their hand, stomp their feet, pound on the boards in front of the dead, and chant a song special for events such as this one. The song repeatedly mentions the name of the dead and the murderer, if such person is known .If unknown but somehow the home barrio of the suspect is known, then the name of his barrio is chanted in place. The chanting and the killing of chickens are believed to incite the spirits of the dead person to avenge his own death.

    Unlike during the wakes of regular deaths, no food is cooked to be served the people who attend the wake. Even the lone pig that is butchered in addition to the chickens also thrown into the pit to buried together with the chicken. Death by murder is considered extremely “dirty” that one would dare eat in the house for fear of contamination.

      Anyone who attend such wake, must before going home, go to public place to rest for at least half an hour to clean the air around himself/herself  or go to a spring to wash up. Either or both actions will ensure that bad luck will either evaporate or washed away. This ensures safety for the members of his/her family from infection with bad luck.

      Victims of murder are always buried at sunrise along periphery of the community designated by the elders. Every male person in community must be present at the burial. A pig is butchered to be cooked for men to eat in any of the public gathering places. No meat from the ritual may be taken home by any of the men. To do so will invite bad luck to befall their families.
    The family then engages the services of an old man known to be knowledgeable in the prescribed observances for murders. The old man guides the family in their activities and observations so that further bad luck will not befall them. The family in return must provide rice and meat to the old man the whole year round for his services.

      The old man while in their “employ” is expected to observe a clean life for the whole year. This means he must never drink liquor, eat dog meat or any other meat from the wakes of other people, attending social gatherings. He must all butcher a chicken each time the moon changes shape. In other words, he is in total employ of the bereaved family which has to provide for all his personal needs and the chickens he has to butcher as prescribed.

    The rituals for murdered person are very expensive. This explains why some people who cannot afford all the required animals to be butchered, opt to do the ordinary death and burial ritual.


    The observations done for the regular wake are also done for victims of accidents, except that only woman and children eat the meat from animals butchered during the wake. It is believed that for men to partake of the meat served during this particular wake would be detrimental to them as the stronger gender. Being a victim of an accident is perceived as a sign of weakness.  Men must be strong.


It is a practice that has ended but it is seen to old women of Bontoc. It is a tattoo art on the hand of old women that beautifies the body and it looks good performing with traditional dance. A man or women without “fatek” uses oil with pounded charcoal and spread it to their body parts. Fatek is not only an art of designs, but it symbolizes more on Bontoc.

The Last Frontier of Tattoo Art.

Pin It Now! Follow Me on Pinterest

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Desire Evolution: BJ Chavez Creation

Our Company Christmas Party is fast approaching. Am sure all the ladies out there who are party lover would love my next BJ Chavez Creation. This next creation is perfect because it is for sure providing them their fierce look. The look that would definitely make them stands out in the crowd.

These trendy medallions are cute, creative and colorful is what I want to describe this creation.

He called this neckline creations, DESIRE: EVOLUTION. He called it evolution because of the changes one has to go through. Just like in fashion I believe that it is ever changing. It is being enhanced. It is becoming trendier.

According to him, he is also changing as an artist and I do believe him. He is becoming better and bigger. Just like his Evolution creation it is bigger but better, colorful, unique and trendy.

Evolution should be in everyone's vocabulary. Because of the fact that we are changing. We are gaining more knowledge. Just like these artist he is using the those knowledge to be better. The challenges will always be there but our desire to learn and to evolve to be better.

As I have said earlier Fashion is ever changing. Just like Life. Everyday it changes, the artist attitude could be applied in life. 

So pick your medallion for this upcoming holiday season.

Wear something creative, something different, something complimentary to your own look.

The necklace or neck accessories you choose will set the mood you will create. Something that will surely make you standout amongst the crowd. There would a lot of Fashionista out there but there will only be few that stole the night.

Photo credit: Bj Chavez

You might want to know more of my Gift Ideas:

Pin It Now! Follow Me on Pinterest

Monday, October 22, 2012

The BJ Chavez Desire Holiday Creation - The Rings

Everyone is creative in different ways but not everyone has the queer eye for beauty and perfection. Am sure every lady wants to enhance their beauty by the elegance of accessories. Am sure the guys out there are looking for something perfect for their ladies, be it your wife, your mom or even your sister as a Christmas present.

Let us start scavenging the most popular social network, Facebook, a few months ago I asked my office mate Fatima to recommend me a place where I could see some of the most beautiful bead works that she has ever encountered.

She recommended me BJ's bead works. The creativity and innovative of his creation definitely captivated my eyes. I told my self that this is the perfect gift set for ladies out there.

So my scavenging hunt continues. I first looked into BJ's ring creation. I first looked into his ring creation because ring would definitely add color to a ladies finger. It enhances not only the clothes they wear but it also give you the right attitude.

Start creating your own look and start it with the right ring. Not just the right ring but the right color that would definitely complement your look.

Have not only your holiday days but your daily life colorful with the perfect ring specially for you. Own a color that would match your lifestyle and your attitude for the day. Define it with the right accessory.

So do you have an idea what is the best ring for your loved ones? Or the perfect ring for your best friend? Watch out for more of BJ Chavez collections.

You also might want to know other gift ides:
1. Mugs that Counts
2. Bowl that Counts

Pin It Now! Follow Me on Pinterest

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Bowl that Counts

Bowls are used in many different ways. But in general we use that bowl to eat or cereal or a hot soup. My quest to continue in providing you gift ideas for your love ones. I decided to scavenge the worldwide web to provide you with the totally different styles or designs of bowl.

The first on my list is the GARLIC BOWL. This would definitely make a great bowl for a dip or a hot soup. This bowl is microwave safe and dishwasher safe.

Photo credit: Garlic Bowl

Another is the Lions Head Porcelain Soup Bowl. This bowl is perfect for grandma's hot stew. It is also made of porcelain make it even perfect to bring the sweet smile of grandma while she sips the soup. The bowl that is perfect for Filipino's favorite stew: "Bulalo"

Photo Credit: Lions Head Porcelain Soup Bowl

Who says the Dog Bowl is not perfect for men. The designer called our next bowl, Man Bowl. This perfect funky bowl is perfect for daddy's cereal! A perfect bowl for a dip as well.
Photo Credit: Man Bowl
 The next bowl is a perfect bowl for Thanksgiving Day. Since the Philippines doesnt have Thanksgiving Celebration this is perfect to all special occasions like Christmas Day. A perfect dip for your Lechon dip or a hot creamy soup!

Photo Credit: Pumpkin Bowl

Hmmmm everyone has their own bowl but what about for big brother. The next bowl is just the right bowl for him! The designer call it "TIRE BOWL" a perfect for big brothers cereal, soup or dip. Am sure big brother would have a totally different appetite of eating with this perfect TIRE BOWL for him!

Photo Credit: TIRE BOWL

What about a sporty bowl for everyone? The NFL SKULL GUARD BOWL makes eating really more fun! This sporty bowl is just a perfect bowl for hot smoking stew!


Want other Gift Ideas? Here's More!

Pin It Now! Follow Me on Pinterest

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gift Idea Number 1: The Weird Mugs that Counts

Gift giving season is fast approaching so I started to scavenge the worldwide web to look for weird mugs. The mugs that would be loved by many. I decided to look for a weird looking mugs not only because they are different but also because it provides a different definition to coffee drinking. Normally on a cold nights we just pick up our mug and pour our coffee then sit in your favorite spot to enjoy, relax and be amazed. For now, I would like you to look at the collection I gathered virtually!

1. The Skase mug. The style is totally awesome and very oh so different!
Photo Credit: The Skase Mug

The skase mug is totally gives a different definition in coffee drinking!

2.  The mug that looks like a Camera Lens. When I saw this I am struck at awe!
Photo Credit: The Camera Mugs

3. The Chain Link Cups: The silver like at the center are actually magnet in order for each mug to twist and twirl.
Photo Credit: The Chain Link Cups
 4. The Couple Coffee Mug - couple mug because the beautiful mug is coupled with a beautiful saucer.
Photo Credit: The Couple Coffee Mug
 5. Fisti Mug - I would say this mug is such a masculine mug or the mug for big boys!
Photo Caption: FISTI MUG
 6. Flame-On Bead Mug - This beautifully sculpted mug has a perfect fitted handle with a spring pin inserted with a flame look spacer beads! A beautiful mug specifically made for you or for your mom, your daughter, your wife.
Photo Credit: The Flame-on Bead Mug
 7. The Panda Faced Mug - This playful mug is specifically created for young coffee lover. I love the designed, its playfull, its different and its totally awesome.
Photo credit: Panda Faced Mug

 8. Ultimate Coffee Mug - I chose this not only on their beautiful and very different shapes but also its capability to be stacked. I just so love the idea of stacking.
Photo Credit: Ultimate Coffee Mug

9. Gun Mug -It is a perfect mug to definitely KILL time with a cup of brewed coffee.
Photo Credit: The GUN MUG
 10.The Lucky Cat Mug - Most Chinese houses you would find the lucky cat. I accidentally find this and I thought it is a cookie jar. Unfortunately I was wrong, it is a coffee mug. What's good with this mug is the cover with the head of a cat. It prevents your hot brewing coffee and gives fun into drinking those coffee.

Photo Credit: The Lucky Mug
 11. The Musical Mug - This mug is perfect for those who love to sing, who loves music and for those who have given an unfortunate circumstances who cant sing like me. Well I can sing: I call my genre: "The Monotone" hehehe
Photo Credit: The Musical Mug
12.  The New Plug Mug Design - Do you have problem because your office mate keeps on using your mug, stealing your mugs or do you just want to play prank to your friends? This is the perfect mug for you. Just leave the mug unplugged anywhere and no one can never use your mug.
Photo Credit: The New Plug Mug Design
13.  The Golf Mug - Are you bored with the usual routinary work you have in the office, at home or sometimes at play? Then this mug gives you with the diversion, it wasn't only designed for a perfect coffee break but you can also practice your golf strategy.
Photo Credit: GOLF MUG
 14. The Tea-Code Mug -This is the perfect mug for those who love sipping hot tea but the tea bag keep on slipping away. The Tea-Code Mug is definitely the perfect mug for you, just lace up the mug into the buttons.

Photo Credit - The Tea-Code Mug
Want other gift set ideas? Here are few of them:

Pin It Now! Follow Me on Pinterest

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Give Your Old Books a New Home

Give your book a new home.

Start donating now... Lets wrap a book for them.

The children reading books outside the school because it is warm inside the classroom.
We can give out our new book or shell out a few hundred bucks for them.Your few hundred bucks can go a long way. It would give these children a new book, electric fan for their classroom, and school supplies.

The school garden for the students to have a school supplies.
I can be contacted thru my email wsa.charlton@gmail.com

The children are reading after gardening
while waiting for the others to clean up!

Lets give these Christmas Season more meaningful. The books or amount you share can give these kids a brighter future. I always believe that reading makes a difference on how these kids would see their future.

Pin It Now! Follow Me on Pinterest

Thank you for Donating a BOOK

Keep those books Coming!
**Moses Hong Castillo
**Elle Galutera
**Angela Chua
**Erwin Andres De Leon
** Leigh Maneja
** Des Arellano
**Kathy Uy
**Kessa Thea & Christian Egegaard Nielsen
** Miss Maria Lee
** Richie Madrigal Dalope