Showing posts with label mag-aso falls. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mag-aso falls. Show all posts

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Antequera keeps basket weaving tradition alive

At the newly-built Antequera Municipal Hall, the Tourism Information Center looks like another office. It's actually a working art gallery of baskets.

In a community where the livelihood of most families is basket weaving. They wove baskets from native grasses and plants out of necessity since 1911. Before these baskets became art, they were tools.

BASKET WEAVERS in Antequera town keep an -old tradition alive through the 2nd Basket Festival. Basket weaving is one important aspect of native culture for both practical tools and beautiful pieces of art. 
Leo Udtohan/Chronicle
"The people of Antequera have been keeping the tradition alive through a lot of hard work and a love of the process,” said Russel Villas, information officer of Antequera.

He also said that the weavers were not just ordinary weavers.

“All of the basket makers here in Antequera are artists," he said.

Weaving baskets is something Rodel Barace, 29, of barangay Obujan-Tagubaas, has been doing since he was a little boy.

He learned from her mother and grandmother, who used to sell baskets at Antequera and Tagbilaran markets.

He said it's more than a family tradition; it was a way of life, a livelihood.

Barace said that the basket he is weaving reflects his town, known as Bohol’s basket capital.

"This is what I am doing since I was young and I represent a community,” he said.

When the strong earthquake hit the province in 2013, Antequera was one of the severely damaged towns.  However, the quake had not stopped the residents from weaving basket.

The style of weaving is unique to the residents of Antequera. A family in Barangay Bicahan started weaving in 1911 with “ bukag,”  a big basket  as product.   Over the generations, different families have developed their own artistic flair.

“Through the years, we are making different styles and sizes,” said Barace.

THE MAJESTIC, grand and impressive Mag-aso Falls 
in Antequera town is a favorite summer destination. 
Leo Udtohan/Chronicle
Selling baskets and other handicrafts was a way of supporting the families. Before good roads attracted visitors to visit Antequera, residents then walked long distances to sell their family’s baskets. On foot, they travelled to Tagbilaran City, at least 18 km from their hometown.

Almost everyone in the town knows how to weave. You can visit houses and see their quick, skilled hands can pull strips of  “uway” and other native plants into the form of a basket and other native products in just a couple of hours. Bamboo, rattan, nito, buri, wicker, sig-id and other vines can be dyed and woven into native products such as hampers, lampshades, wall decors, furniture, fashion accessories and even animals such as duck, cat and tarsier, in all shapes and sizes.  

Last March 17, the town was celebrating the 2nd Basket Festival honoring the local tradition of basket making.   There was a display of their native products, street-dancing and a dance showdown at the town plaza.

“This is the second year of our celebration. In fact, it boosts the basket revenue of our town considering it has experienced a downfall in production in the market,” said Villas.

He also said that after the 1st Basket Festival, many suppliers contacted the tourism office to have their designs drafted and weaved by the local weavers.

Antequera Mayor Jose Mario Pahang said that the festival was an avenue to showcase their handicrafts to the world.  Councilor Lani Labado, tourism chair, said that the town’s native handicrafts are widely accepted in the world market.

The festival featured a street parade with participants in bright-colored basket themed costumes, dancing to the beat and rhythm of drums, trumpets, and native gongs.

This year, residents have noticed the newly-built town hall.

And weavers who have witnessed the festival were inspired to keep the old tradition alive.

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Incidentally, the dry/summer season has officially begun last Friday. Have you started writing your summer go-to checklist yet?  Why not going local? Bohol is one of the country’s top tourist destinations, after all.

While Antequera retains its glorious native products, it’s grand, impressive, crystal-clear water of Mag-aso Falls remains a favorite summer destination. It was destroyed by the quake in 2013 and typhoon Seniang in 2014 but Mother Nature has carved a new view of the falls. All summer long, Mag-aso falls is hard to beat.  Other interesting places to see are Inambacan Falls and Celing spring and fish spa.

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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Waterfalls you must see in Bohol

Scene: Some 100 school children attended the Children Summer Camp 2015 at the Agustinian Retreat House in 
Schoolkids from Loon and Maribojoc are
trained to propagate disaster rick reduction and
climate change adaptation during the Summer Camp 2015
 facilitated by the Save the Children
Dauis town. Participants came from the towns of Loon and Maribojoc, the hardest hit by the strong quake.  Children were taught on how to prepare for disasters and how to cope with the climate change. They also planted 100 mangroves in barangay Napo in Loon town in the celebration of the 45th annual International Mother Earth Day. Save the Children facilitated the said Camp. “It is very important to tap children during emergencies or disasters because they are the most vulnerable sector of the entire population during disaster. It is very important and crucial that a young age of a person’s development that children should be aware, should be properly taught on how to protect themselves,” said Roxanna Epe, program manager of Save the Children.
Scene: Barangay Poblacion 1's Eda Calimbayan Cimafranca was crowned in the biggest, grandest production and extravagantMutya sa Tagbilaran 2015 at the Bohol Wisdom School Gymnasium on Friday. Coming from a family of beauty queens, Cimafranca also won the best in production number, best in swimsuit, best in gown and best in casual interview awards. The search for the city's ambassadress of goodwill is part of the Saulog Tagbilaran 2015 celebration. Poblacion 1 barangay captain is Arlene Karaan.
Babeng’s Shawarma now open
Tagbilaran is now home to a Turkish temptation. 
The fast casual trend of Babeng’s Shawarma
continues to sweep downtown Tagbilaran.
It’s been months in the making, the Babeng’s Shawarma opened its door at Gallares Street cor B. Inting Street, Tagbilaran City. It serves the smoky flavoured beef along with pickled veggies, onions and sauce, wrapped in soft Khubz, an Arabic flatbread  via counter service for Php 30 (no cheese) and Php 35 (with cheese).
“It is very affordable,” says JP Maslog, proprietor of Babeng’s Shawarma, the only shawarma outlet in the city.
Shawarma is a grilled meat freshly shaved from the spit, topped with vegetables, wrapped in bread and coated with an addicting sauce -- a shawarma may be a Middle Eastern street food item, but it's definitely a constant craving in Tagbilaran, especially for health conscious and on diet individuals.
“Shawarma is usually considered as economical,” says owner JP Maslog.  “Affordable. Delicious. Self-satisfying.”
Shawarma hails from the Middle East with its roots tracing back to Turkey--the word ├ževirme which means 'to turn' is the origin of this snack's name. Aside from the flavorful meats, the variety of toppings is now endless.
“We have special homemade sauces,” says JP. “Cheese is a popular topping, and there’s chili sauce as an option.”
Food is available for take-out or if you prefer, you can dine in the tables outside the outlet.
Babeng’s Shawarma is open 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. To order, call 0917-7755-1571.
Avengers, attack!
(Note:  I am a shawarma fan. I apologise. Babeng’s Shawarma is a total and utter delight.)
Tired of beaches?  Luckily, Bohol has some enticing cascadesSome are obvious choices, others are more obscure, but they all share an important quality: Beautiful. One look, and you're bound to be transfixed for hours or a day.  
Fall in love with these waterfalls just a few hours away from the city.
1.The the crystal-clear blue water  Mag-aso Falls are grand, impressive and understandably one of the main tourist attractions in the area. It was destroyed by the quake in 2013 and typhoon Seniang in 2014, but nature has carved a new view to enjoy the falls. Also in Antequera is the Inambacan which has an awesome cave and an amazing natural pool. It was destroyed during the strong quake in 2013 but is still very impressive. A pool is formed below the fall, in which water receives green color.
2. A relatively unknown one is Pahangog Falls (also known as the twin falls) in barangay Guinoyuran in Dimiao town.  Very few travelers get to see and swim in the azure waters of Pahangog Falls. A beautiful and serene place, Pahangog Falls is ideally for adventure lovers who love to experience the boisterous sound of waterfalls. 
3. Also in Dimiao, Dam-agan Falls may not be as famous as some, but it’s no less spectacular. It is considered to be a local secret. The zigzag waterfall is unique.
4. A one-hour and 30-minute hike in barangay Can-umantad in Candijay town will take you to the Can-umantad Falls, the tallest and uninterrupted waterfalls in Bohol. The incredible panoramic views help deepen an appreciation for its grandeur. The color of water varies from crystal clear to azure, to turquoise and the perfect natural surrounding will fascinate you.  If you take the Cabadbaran route, you will enjoy the amazing rice terraces before reaching the Can-umantad Falls.  
5.Binaliw Falls in barangay Cantoyok in Clarin is not a very high falls but stunning because of its emerald waters. The powerful downpour of water is a delight you cannot miss.
6. Getting to Kilab-Kilab Falls in barangay Kaimbang in San Isidro town is no easy task as the road is unpaved. But for those who make the trip, they will make unforgettable memories. Legend has it that people saw a golden chair under the water that it shines (kilab-kilab) when sunlight shines directly through the water. 
7. Kawasan Falls in Balilihan is another countryside interest. Its cool and clear water flowing from above gives a cool and refreshing bath. Also in Baliihan is the Camugao Falls is located in Barangay San Isidro. The falls has a beautiful backdrop of plants.
8. The wonderful Kinahugan waterfalls in Jagna is located in Karap-agan in Cabungaan. Kinahugan Falls is also accessible via motorbike from the Jagna market. The three waterfalls are trigonominal in nature.
9. Busai Falls in Loboc attract many visitors who like to commune with nature. It is not very high but very impressive.
10. This gorgeous waterfall located in barangay San Isidro, Kawasan Falls in Trinidad town is the second and one of the many amazing waterfalls in Bohol.
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohan at Twitter /Facebook.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Bohol’s tourism is back, says Lourdes Sultan

Scene: The art classes (De Juan School for Music and the Arts Recreational Training or The One SMART School) will start on April 6. Enrollment will be on March 30. The Tambahayan Cafe and the school are located at the basement of Garcia-Sarmiento Building along Ma. Clara Street, Tagbilaran City. It's between Cristal E-College and the UB gym.

Scene: Dr. Freddie Bernal, director IV of the Commission on Higher Education, is the guest speaker of University of Bohol’s 146th Commencement Exercises on March 31.

Scene: Atty. Julius Gregory Batausa Delgado posted on Facebook: Announcing the Bohol Football Summer Camp brought to you by Football and Futsal Association of Bohol, Inc. (FFABI), ClassAct Philippines (formerly Oplan Bangon Bohol), Kaya F.C. and Stallions F.C. on April 14-16, 2014 in HNU Football Field and CPG Grandtstand. Featuring the following: 1) Free Football Clinic for Boys and Girls with UFL Players; 2) Coaching Seminar with Australian Kaya F.C. Coach David Perkovic and National Women's Football Team Coach Ernest Nieras; 3) Football Festival; and 4) Exhibition Match: Kaya-Bohol East Team vs. Stallions-Bohol West Team. For more details please contact FFABI Officials: Coach John Torregosa (President), Coach Erwin Angalot (EVP), Coach Clarence Rosco (Auditor) or Coach Bruce Zabala (PRO) or Bb. Pilipinas World 2006 Anna Maris Igpit or Atty. Greg Delgado. See you Boholano Footboleros!


Perfect beaches. Interesting places. Friendly locals. Fascinating history.

Lourdes Sultan Photo by: Ric Obedencio
That is how tour operator and businesswoman Lourdes Sultan of Travel Village Tours and Travel (inside Bohol Tropics Resort Club, Graham Avenue, Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines; Tel. No: (+63 38) 411.4023 / 411-5928/501-8078; Mobile: +639228996107; Email: wants to sell Bohol to boost the province’s tourism using her expertise in marketing, advertising and promotions.

Last week, Lourdes was very busy entertaining her guests onboard the luxury ship Happag Lloyd’s Ms Europa 2. With her was Bohol tourism officer Josephine Remolador-Cabarrus (“Bohol is a place and is back to normal and back to 
business again.”) who welcomed MS Europa’s second visit to Bohol this year.
But despite her busy schedule, she still had time to answer our queries.

“Thank God! Improving ang atong figures although we are not expecting to hit the same figure last summer but we are going there,” shared the hopeful Lourdes.  

Our tourism industry was affected after the killer quake last year. There were renovations, twists, and a facelift of our attractions to invite tourists to come back to Bohol.

 “We never lose hope,” said Lourdes. “We just have to work hard for promotions, telling our friends and everyone we are up on our faith.”

Lourdes Sultan (2nd from left) with Ric Obedencio, Leo Udtohan, Bohol Tourism Officer Jo Remolador-Cabarrus and Edward Guyano. Courtesy: Ric Obedencio
As a tourist destination, the island-province of Bohol in the Philippines is loaded with the attractions travelers dream of: clean and white-sandy beaches, interesting places, friendly locals and fascinating history.

Antequera’s majestic Mag-aso cool this summer. –LPU
Yet for all its advantages, the province has a big problem attracting travelers after the quake.

“We need expertise in hospitality management for us to be competitive,” said Lourdes who also owns the Travel Village floating resto in Loboc.  

The biggest challenge, according to Lourdes, is the need of a bigger airport to accommodate the expected tourism influx with updated airport facilities. Five star resorts and hotels in the province can magnetically attract visitors.   

Lourdes also shared that rebranding and selling Bohol should begin with Boholano themselves.

“Believe in the beauty of our province of Bohol. We are a beautiful place to sell at every turn. Sell it to all your friends on Facebook and Twitter,” encouraged Lourdes. “We should also help each other especially the tourism stakeholders. At the end of the day, it will not be Loboc River, it will not be Travel Village but Bohol. It’s still Bohol.”

One of Bohol’s enchanted rivers, Makapiko remains beautiful.- LPU
While we are at it, Inday Charity and I visited some tourist attractions in Bohol for our Summer Gimik 2014.

The Mag-aso Falls in barangay Can-umay in Antequera town is back to normal. Belyn Omila, the caretaker of Mag-aso Falls, shared that their guests have tripled this year. Most of them are European visitors. Entrance fee is Php 20 pesos for adults and Php 10 pesos for kids (and there is a toll fee of 10 pesos per vehicle), you will enjoy the falls to sawa.

Last Friday, we went to Chocolate Hills Adventure Park in barangay Buenos Aires,Carmen town. I’d found the place so relaxing. If you like nature trek, you will love this place. It has a well-manicured garden with different species of plants, trees and flowers.  The entrance fee is Php60 pesos.

Check “serpentarium” which houses pythons and oriental whip snakes. They are extremely slender snakes.

If you have Php 400, you can try Bike Zip to experience the excitement and thrill riding a mountain bike on a zip line. 

Ang Pinaka host and model Rovilson Fernandez at the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park. ‘Zip-line? Nope. Zip-BIKE! Cycling above the Chocolate Hills cause' that's how I roll.’ Courtesy: Rovilson Fernandez
While I had my muni-muni at the top of the hill, Inday Charity convinced me to visit Makapiko Nature Park in barangay Rizal in Batuan town. Inday visited the place in 2005 where adventure trip using tubes, paddles and life vests were necessary to float down the Makapiko River. But when we checked the place, it’s already abandoned. However, the river remains beautiful.

...What’s up?

Last week’s VRS about a former queen who is battling the Big C drew a lot of reactions from our readers. An email from Erma Sarigumba: A diagnosis of cancer, or even being told of a suspicion of cancer, can make you extremely fearful. You reflect on friends or family who died of cancer or of celebrities with cancer that died. Cancer is one most feared disease in the world. I advised women to have a regular check-up. Lumps are usually visible on a mammogram long before they can be seen or felt. Although lumps are usually painless, pain or tenderness in the breast can be a sign of breast cancer. Another reaction from beauty watcher James Obedencio who shared that 1977 Most Beautiful Bohalana Ellen Campbell has succumbed to cancer, too. “She would always be remembered as one of the loveliest Miss Bohol winners,” said Raul Gatal on Campbell in his blog.

Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at, follow leoudtohan at Twitter /Facebook.