The Bakunawa, also known as Bakonawa, Baconaua, or Bakonaua, is a deity in Philippine mythology that is often represented as a gigantic sea serpent. He is believed to be the god of the underworld and is often considered to be the cause of eclipses.

It appears as a giant sea serpent with a mouth the size of a lake, a red tongue, whiskers, gills, small wires at its sides, and two sets of wings, one is large and ash-gray while the other is small and is found further down its body.

When the Bakunawa found out about this, it arose from the sea and ate the moon. The people were afraid so they prayed to Bathala to punish the creature. Bathala refused but instead told them to bang some pots and pans in order to disturb the serpent. The moon is then regurgitated while the Bakunawa disappeared, never to be seen again.

To keep the Bakonawa moons from completely being swallowed, ancient Filipinos would go out of their homes with pans and pots, and would make noise in order to scare the Bakonawa into spitting out the moon back into the sky. Some of the people in the villages would play soothing sounds with their musical instruments, in hopes that the dragon would fall into a deep sleep. Thus, the brave men of the village hoped that while the dragon was hypnotized by the musical sounds they could somehow sleigh the dragon. Although the dragon was known as a "moon eater" it was also known as a "man eater".

Code of Kalantiaw

The Code of Kalantiaw was a mythical legal code in the epic story Maragtas. It said to be written in 1433 by Datu Kalantiaw, a chief on the island of Negros in the Philippines. It was written in 1913 by Jose E. Marco as a part of his historical fiction Las antiguas leyendes de la Isla de Negros (The Ancient Legends of the Island of Negros), which he attributed to a priest named Jose Maria Pavon.

In 1917, the historian Josue Soncuya wrote about the Code of Kalantiaw in his book Historia Prehispana de Filipinas (Prehispanic History of the Philippines) where he moved the location of the Code's origin from Negros to the Panay province of Aklan because he found out that it may be related to the Ati-atihan festival.

You shall not kill, neither shall you steal, neither shall you do harm to the aged, lest you incur the danger of death. All those who infringe this order shall be condemned to death by being drowned in the river, or in boiling water.

Note: Actually 3 laws - for killing, stealing & elder abuse. Beware. If you break this law you may "incur the danger of death" before you are actually killed.

Those who do not cause these rules to be obeyed: if they are headmen, they shall be put to death by being stoned and crushed; and if they are agorangs they shall be placed in rivers to be eaten by sharks and caymans.

The fingers shall be cut-off: of all those who break anitos of wood and clay in their alangans and temples; of those who destroy the daggers of the catalonans(priest/priestess), or break the drinking jars of the latter.

Philippine Sea

The Philippine Sea is a marginal sea east of Philippines. It is a part of the western Pacific Ocean encompassing an area from Palau to Japan.

The Philippine Plate forms the floor of this sea and it subducts under the Eurasian Plate which formed the Philippine archipelago. Between the two plates is the Philippine Trench.The Philippine Islands are tropical.

The Philippine Sea is bordered by the Philippines and Taiwan to the west, Japan to the north, the Marianas to the east and Palau to the south. Adjacent seas include Celebes Sea which is separated by Mindanao and smaller islands to the south, South China Sea which is separated by Philippines, and East China Sea which is separated by Ryukyu Islands.

In June 1944 the Battle of the Philippine Sea, a very large and decisive World War II naval battle between Japan and the United States, took place in the eastern Philippine Sea, near the Mariana Islands.

Pastores de Sibonga

Pastores de Sibonga is a short Christmas play which narrates the story of Christ's nativity as performed in Brgy. Magcagong, Sibonga, Cebu, Philippines. The play depicts the shepherd's adoration of the child Jesus.

Pastores de Sibonga dates back to the 1920s (Ocampo, 2004).

It is performed used red fans and white handkerchiefs. An oval-shaped native fan is used and held by the right hand during the performance. The white square handkerchief is held by the left hand folded into a triangular shape.

The accompaniment music is a rondalla of stringed ensembles (guitar, banduria, and bajo). The lyrics tell of the pre-, nativity, and post-nativity settings. It expresses happiness, joy, and worship, and offers praises and gifts for Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

Pastores de Sibonga is performed by at least four dancers. The female dancer makes use of a red blouse or red shirt paired with a long white skirt. The male dancer wears a red shirt paired with black pants.

Accessories include a round hat decorated with cut-outs of the sun, moon and stars in yellow, red, green, and other brightly colored papers together with a yellow sash placed across the body.

Fort San Pedro

Fuerza de San Pedro is a military defence structure, built by Spanish and Indigenous Cebuano labourers under the command of Spanish conquistador, Miguel López de Legazpi and the Spanish Government in Cebu. It is located in the Pier area, Cebu City in what is now Plaza Indepedencia.

These days the fort is made into a museum. Inside, the fort houses the legacies of the Spanish Government with well preserved Spanish artifacts such as: documents written in Spanish, Paintings, Sculptures, cannons, Chapel, prison dungeons, living rooms, bedrooms, school rooms and oasis garden. A large statue of Legazpi and Antonio Pigafetta is erected outside the fort. The museum also contains old coins dating back to the time of the Spanish colonization of the Philippines.

The Fort is the "oldest, smallest and well preserved colonial fort" in the Philippines which occupy a land "area of 2,2025 square metres". It was first constructed in log structures and earth in 1565 for protection from violent sieges from the native cebuanos and Muslim pirates on the area. The fort was then developed , upgraded and constructed using hard stone, which made the surrounding walls stronger and tougher. It stretches "8 metres thick with high walls of 20 metres and a front entrance towering 30 metres high". The fort was finally finished in 1738 after many years of refurbishing and developments.

Lopez Memorial Museum

The Lopez Memorial Museum (LMM) is a Philippine art and history museum and library located in Metro Manila, Philippines at the ground floor of the Benpres Building, Exchange Road corner Meralco Avenue, Pasig City.

The Lopez Memorial Museum was founded on 13 February 1960 by Eugenio Lopez, Sr in honor of his parents, Benito Lopez and Presentacion Hofileña. Eugenio Lopez built the museum to provide scholars and students access to his personal collection of rare Filipiniana books, manuscripts, maps, archaeological artifacts and fine art.

With the aim of further broadening its audience reach and deepening its network partnerships, LMM has helped initiate a consortium of cultural institutions called Zero-in (with the Ayala Museum, and the Ateneo Art Gallery as original members). Since expanding to include Museo Pambata and Bahay Tsinoy, the Zero-in consortium has come together annually to mount a multi-venue series of exhibitions that allow these institutions to explore avenues for potential synergy visà-vis their collections and interesting technical expertise. Now into its sixth year, Zero-in has launched outreach programs to public school teachers and students, and facilitated ongoing and past loans and projects among its member institutions. Lopez Memorial Museum has also partnered up in varying degrees with such institutions as the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Japan Foundation, Casa Asia, the Museum Foundation of the Philippines, Metrobank Foundation, Prince Klaus Foundation, and CollAsia 2010.

People Power Revolution

The People Power Revolution (also known as the EDSA Revolution and the Philippine Revolution of 1986) was a series of nonviolent and prayerful mass street demonstrations in the Philippines that occurred in 1986. The protests were the culmination of a long resistance by the people against the 20-year running authoritarian regime of then current president Ferdinand Marcos and made news headlines as "the revolution that surprised the world". The majority of the demonstrations took place at Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, known more commonly by its acronym EDSA, and involved over 200,000 Filipino civilians as well as several political and military figures. The protests, fueled by a resistance and opposition of years of corrupt governance by Marcos, occurred from February 22 to 25 in 1986, when Marcos fled Malacañang Palace to the United States and conceded to Corazon Aquino as President of the Philippines.

The events of the revolution started when two key leaders of the military withdrew their support for Marcos. At 6:45 p.m. on Friday, February 22, 1986, the Minister of Defense Juan Ponce Enrile and the Vice Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Lt. Gen. (later president) Fidel Ramos announced at a press conference that they felt Marcos had stolen the election. Therefore, they declared that they could no longer support Marcos and that Aquino was the rightful president. Subsequently, they barricaded themselves in two military camps: Ramos at Camp Crame, Headquarters of the Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police and Enrile at the Ministry of National Defense in Camp Aguinaldo. Both camps faced each other across EDSA in Quezon City, Metro Manila. Supported by only a few hundred fellow soldiers, Enrile and Ramos prepared for the inevitable attack by Marcos-loyal troops led by Gen. Fabian Ver, the Armed Forces Chief of Staff.

Cathedral Museum of Cebu

The Cathedral Museum of Cebu is a museum in Downtown Cebu City in the Philippines, (re)opened in November 2006. It is the ecclesiastical museum of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cebu.

The focus of the museum is regional Church architecture and artifacts. Many of the items on display are from the Spanish colonial times.

It is situated next to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, and not far from the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño. The collection is housed in a building which is in itself a museum piece; it goes back to the 19th Century. The building was one of the few extant structures in downtown Cebu City that was totally spared from the ravages of World War II. It also survived uninformed renovators and the natural elements.

It was built in the early nineteenth century probably during the incumbency of Cebu Bishop Santos Gomez Marañon. Bishop Marañon, who was known as a church builder, was responsible for the construction of the churches of Oslob, Cebu and Naga, the Episcopal Palace across the cathedral, the bell tower of Argao and the convent of Sibonga.

It was first the parish convent of the Cathedral, then a school of the University of San Carlos, then a cooperative store, and even as a temporary chapel during the renovation of the Cathedral.

Still to be developed (2008) is the patio fronting the lobby, which will house a coffee shop and museum shop. Beyond this there will be a garden.

Flag of the Philippines

The national flag of the Philippines is a horizontal bicolor with equal bands of blue and red, and with a white equilateral triangle based at the hoist side; in the center of the triangle is a golden yellow sun with eight primary rays, each containing three individual rays; and at each corner of the triangle is a five-pointed golden yellow star. The flag is displayed with the blue field on top in times of peace, and with the red field on top in times of war.

The flag was first conceptualized by Emilio Aguinaldo. The first flag was sewn in Hong Kong by Marcela Agoncillo, her daughter Lorenza, and Doña Delfina Herbosa de Natividad, niece of José Rizal, the Philippines' national hero.

According to official sources, the white triangle stands for equality and fraternity; the blue field for peace, truth and justice; and the red field for patriotism and valor. The eight primary rays of the sun represent the first eight provinces (Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Manila, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Tarlac) that sought independence from Spain and were placed under martial law by the Spaniards at the start of the Philippine Revolution in 1896. The three stars represent the three major geographical divisions of the country: Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

The flag should be displayed in all government buildings, official residences, public plazas, and schools every day throughout the year. The days from May 28 (National Flag Day) to June 12 (Independence Day) are designated as flag days, during which all government offices, business establishments, and private homes are also encouraged to display the flag.

Seal of the President of the Philippines

The Seal of the President of the Philippines is a symbol used to represent the history and dignity of the president of the Philippines. It was designed by Captain Galo B. Ocampo, secretary of the Philippine Heraldry Committee, and patterned after the Seal of the President of the United States. Its was first used by President Manuel Roxas in 1947.

The Philippine sun used in the coat-of-arms is adopted from the national flag, the eight rays represent the eight provinces placed under martial law at the onset of the revolution against Spain. On the sun there is an equilateral triangle, representing liberty, equality, and fraternity, which were the ideals of the Philippine revolution. The stars at the corners of the triangle represent Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, the three geographical island groups of the country.

The Seal of the President of the Philippines shall consist of the Coat-Of-Arms of the President of the Philippines, and a white circle around the Coat-of-Arms enclosed by two (2) golden-yellow marginal rings. The white circle shall contain the words "Sagisag ng Pangulo ng Pilipinas" in black letters on the upper arc, the lower arc divided by three (3) five-pointed golden-yellow stars.

The coat-of-arms is then surrounded by a white circle, enclosed by two golden-yellow rims. The upper arc of the white circle contains the words SAGISAG NG PANGULO NG PILIPINAS ("Seal of the President of the Philippines") in black letters. The bottom of the outer rim is marked with three five-pointed golden-yellow stars.

At the center of the coat-of-arms is a sea lion, which is adopted from the coat-of-arms of the city of Manila. It has the arms, head, and upper body of a lion, and the tail of a sea creature. The sea lion on the coat-of-arms of arms was adopted from the coat-of-arms of the Spanish kingdoms of Castile and León and was granted in 1596. Because the Philippines was an overseas (Ultramar) colony, the lion became a sealion.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year or Spring Festival (simplified Chinese: 春节; traditional Chinese: 春節; pinyin: Chūnjié), or the Lunar New Year (simplified Chinese: 农历新年; traditional Chinese: 農曆新年; pinyin: Nónglì xīnnián), is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is an important holiday in East Asia. The festival traditionally begins on the first day of the first lunar month (Chinese: 正月; pinyin: zhēng yuè) in the Chinese calendar and ends on the 15th; this day is called the Lantern festival (simplified Chinese: 元宵节; traditional Chinese: 元宵節; pinyin: yuánxiāojié).

Chinese New Year's Eve is known as Chúxī (除夕). Chu literally means "change" and xi means "Eve".

Celebrated in areas with large populations of ethnic Chinese, Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had a strong influence on the new year celebrations of its geographic neighbours, as well as cultures with whom the Chinese have had extensive interaction. These include Koreans, Mongolians, Nepalese, Bhutanese, Vietnamese, and formerly the Japanese before 1873. In Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and other countries with significant Chinese populations, Chinese New Year is also celebrated, largely by overseas Chinese, but it is not part of the traditional culture of these countries.

Chinese New Year starts on the first day of the new year containing a new moon (some sources include New Year's Eve)[citation needed] and ends on the Lantern Festival fourteen days later. This occurs around the time of the full moon as each lunation is about 29.53 days in duration. In the Gregorian calendar, Chinese New Year falls on different dates each year, a date between January 21 and February 20. This means that the holiday usually falls on the second (very rarely third) new moon after the winter solstice. In traditional Chinese Culture, lichun is a solar term marking the start of spring, which occurs about February 4.

Obando Fertility Rites

Obando Fertility Rites is a Filipino dance ritual. Every year, during the month of May, to the tune of musical instruments made out of bamboo materials, the men, women and children of Obando, Bulacan, Philippines wear traditional dance costumes to dance on the streets followed by the images of their patron saints San Pascual (St. Paschal), Santa Clara (St. Claire) and Nuestra Señora de Salambao (Our Lady of Salambao), while singing the song Santa Clara Pinung-Pino.

Among the fiesta participants to the fertility dance are foreigners from other towns in the Philippines, most are asking the patron saints for a son or a daughter, a husband or a wife or good fortune. They are all dancing on the streets as a form of a religious procession primarily in order for the spirit of life to enter into the wombs of women. This is the magic and mystery of Obando, Bulacan.

The feast days or dance festivals are held for three consecutive days: May 17 for St. Paschal, May 18 for St. Claire and May 19 for the Our Lady of Salambaw.

The Philippine national hero, José Rizal, mentioned this fertility dance ritual in his 1887 Spanish novel, the Noli Me Tangere (Chapter 6: Captain Tiago).

St. Claire is the oldest patron saint of Obando, Bulacan. She was the first saint to be enshrined at the chapel built by the Franciscan missionaries in Catanghalan, the old name of Obando Town.

During the 18th century, after the founding of Obando, Bulacan as a Spanish Municipality, the Franciscan missionaries built a church. At that time, St. Paschal, or San Pascual Baylon, was introduced to Obando, Bulacan. Like St. Claire, he also became the patron saint of fertility, wealth and abundance. St. Paschal’s surname, Baylon, meant a person who likes dancing, after having been derived from the Spanish word bailar.

Binibining Pilipinas

Binibining Pilipinas or Miss Philippines is the most prestigious beauty pageant in the Philippines. Winners of this pageant often go on to compete in one of three international beauty pageants. It is the official Philippine franchise holder of the Miss Universe pageant since 1964, Miss International since 1968, and the Miss World pageant since 1992. One of its main organizers is Stella Márquez Zawadski (more commonly known as Stella Márquez de Araneta), a former Miss Colombia who was a Miss Universe semi-finalist and the winner of the first Miss International beauty pageant in 1960.

Binibining Pilipinas has been one of the best pageant organizations in Asia. The organization has produced two Miss Universe winners (Gloria Diaz in 1969 and Maria Margarita Moran in 1973) and three Miss International winners (Aurora Pijuan in 1970, Melanie Marquez in 1979, and Precious Lara Quigaman in 2005). Gemma Cruz, winner of Miss International 1964, is a product of the Miss Philippines pageant, the predecessor of the Binibining Pilipinas pageant. The Philippines has yet to produce a Miss World, but have come rather close: four consecutive Binibining Pilipinas-World (2002 to 2005) became semi - finalists and finalist in the past four years.

From 1952 to 1963, the Miss Philippines pageant was held to select the representative of the Philippines to the Miss Universe Pageant. In 1964, Madame Stella Márquez de Araneta started the Binibining Pilipinas-Universe Pageant after acquiring the local franchise for the Miss Universe Pageant. The grand winner of the Bb. Pilipinas Pageant is awarded the title of Bb. Pilipinas Universe and is the official representative of the Philippines to the Miss Universe Pageant. The current Binibining Pilipinas-Universe titleholder is Anna Theresa Licaros; also Miss Photogenic in the Miss Universe 2007 Pageant.


Luzon refers to the largest and most economically and politically important island in the Philippines and one of the three island groups in the country, with Visayas and Mindanao being the other two. Luzon as an island group includes the island of Luzon itself, plus the Batanes and Babuyan groups of islands to the north, and the main and outlying islands of Catanduanes, Marinduque, Masbate, Romblon, and Mindoro in the south. The island group of Palawan, which used to be a province belonging to an administrative region of Luzon, has been transferred to Region VI in the Visayas in 2005. Luzon is known in Chinese history as the "Lesser Song Empire" or Luzon Empire. Her rulers were recognized as kings and not merely cheiftains. The first European explorers recorded it in their charts as Luçonia or Luçon and inhabitants were called Luçoes. Under Spain, Luzon also came to be known as the Nueva Castilla or the New Castile.

Luzon is a mobile belt, or a fast deforming plate boundary zone -- hemmed in between two opposing subduction zones, the west-dipping Philippine Trench -- East-Luzon Trough subduction zone, and the east-dipping north-south trending Manila Trench(Hamburger et al., 1982). The Philippine Sea Plate subducts under Luzon on the east (along the Philippine Trench) while the Sunda block (part of the Eurasian plate subducts under Luzon along the Manila Trench at the western part (Rangin, et al., 1999).

The economy of the island is centered in Makati. Agriculture predominates in Central Luzon.

Philippine Eagle

The Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) is one of the rarest, largest and most powerful birds in the world. This bird of prey, or raptor, belongs to the family Accipitridae. It is also known as "Haribon" or "Haring Ibon," meaning "Bird King."

This eagle's head is adorned with long brown feathers that give it the appearance of a lion's mane. The upperside of the Philippine Eagle is brown, the underside white; The heavy legs are yellow with large, powerful claws, the prominent large, high arched, deep bill is a bluish-gray, with blue-gray eyes. The average female is about 1 meter (3.3 feet) long, weighs about 7 kg (15.5 lb), and has a wingspan of 2 meters (6.7 feet). This makes the Philippine Eagle one of the world's largest eagles with the largest wing surface area. The Harpy Eagle and Steller's Sea Eagle are about the same size as this species. The adult male is about 10-20% smaller and averages at about 5 kg (11 lbs). The life expectancy for the Philippine Eagle is around 30-60 years.

The Philippine Eagle is now known as the National Bird of the Philippines and this has helped increase awareness of the bird and its plight.

Its numbers have slowly dwindled over the decades with only an estimated 500 pairs left. The Philippine Eagle may soon no longer be found in the wild, unless direct intervention is taken. The Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) of Davao City is one such organization dedicated to the protection and conservation of the Philippine Eagle and its forest habitat. In fact, PEF has been successfully breeding Philippine Eagles in captivity for over a decade now and has also conducted the first experimental release of a captive-bred eagle to the wild. Ongoing research on behavior, ecology and population dynamics is also underway.

Basilica Minore del Santo Niño

Basílica Menor del Santo Niño (sometimes also called Basilica del Santo Niño) is a 16th century church structure in the heart of downtown Cebu City, Philippines. It is built in the exact spot where the image of Santo Niño (the Black Holy Child Jesus image/sculpture) was found by the Spanish conquistadors in 1565 preserved in a burned wooden box which was left behind by the Portuguese and Spanish explorers in 1521. The church of Santo Niño de Cebu was first founded by the Augustinian priest, Andrés de Urdaneta on April 28, 1565. The first church structure was built out of earth, hard wood and nipa in 1566 ordered by Fr. Diego de Herrera. In 1735, Fernando Valdés y Tamon, the Governor of Cebu, ordered the church to be constructed by hard stone, which was build in the same spot were the previous church stands. Constructions finally finished in 1739. In 1965, during the fourth centenary of the Christianization of the Philippines, Pope Paul VI elevated the church to the rank of minor basilica.

The Basilica remains under the care of the Augustinians.

Santo Niño

Santo Niño de Cebu is a representation of the Child Jesus, somewhat related to the Infant Jesus of Prague. Santo Niño de Cebu literally means "holy child of Cebu". The image was brought to the archipelago that would later become known as the Philippines on Ferdinand Magellan's near-circumnavigation and in 1521 was given to the Queen Juana of Cebu, who was later baptized into the Catholic faith along with her husband, Rajah Humabon, and their people. After the Spaniards turned against the Cebuanos, the Spaniards burned a good part of Cebu, and the image was caught in the blaze.

The Holy See has approved special liturgical texts for use during the local Feast of the Santo Niño in the Philippines, set on the third Sunday of January. The festival that follows is known as the Sinulog, which combines the street gaiety and religious piety of the Cebuano people.

The Santo Niño was long considered to be the patron "saint" of Cebu. However, the Santo Niño is a representation of Jesus Christ as a child. The Catholic Church in the Philippines sets the Holy Child as an example of humility and as a celebration of the Incarnation. Many Cebuanos do not consider the Christmas Season over until the Feast of the Santo Niño.

Since the Holy Child is a representation of Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity, he cannot, as God, be considered a patron. In that sense, Cardinal Vidal's move was to actually install a patron saint for Cebu, when before there was none. He did not, however, abolish the feast or the traditional street celebrations.


Visayas (Visayan languages: Kabisay-an) is one of the three island groups in the Philippines, along with Luzon and Mindanao. It consists of several islands, primarily surrounding the Visayan Sea. It is the homeland of the Visayans.

There are legends, which are compiled in the book Maragtas, which tells the story of the ten chiefs (Datus) who escaped from the tyranny of Datu Makatunaw from Borneo to the islands of Panay. The chiefs and followers are believed to be the ancestors of the Visayan people. The arrival is celebrated in the Festival of the Ati-Atihan in Kalibo, Aklan. While these are stories, they are believed to be based on actual facts and events which were compiled into a 1907 book by Pedro Alcantara Monteclaro.

Panay also boasts as its oldest and longest epic, the Hinilawod.

Administratively, Visayas is divided into 3 regions, namely Western Visayas, Central Visayas and Eastern Visayas. Each region is headed by a Regional Director of the different executive offices in the country. All of these positions are appointed by the Secretary of a particular Department (e.g. Department of Education).

As for representation in the Philippine Congress, the Visayas is represented by 44 Congressmen elected the same way as the Governors.


The Dinagyang is the biggest and most colorful religious and cultural festival in Iloilo City, Philippines. Dinagyang had its humble beginnings in the devotion to the Señor Santo Niño that began to take root in the hearts of Ilonggos some 40 years ago. Rev. Fr. Ambrosio Galindez started to introduce the devotion to Santo Niño in November 1967.

The Dinagyang is held on the fourth Sunday of January, or right after the Sinulog In Cebu and the Ati-Atihan in Aklan.

In 1968, a replica of the original image of the Santo Niño de Cebu was brought to Iloilo by Fr. Sulpicio Enderez. He intended that image to be given as a gift to the Parish of San Jose through Father Galindez. It was no ordinary arrival in Iloilo, for the faithful, led by members of Confradia del Santo Niño de Cebu, Iloilo Chapter, worked to give the image a fitting reception starting at the Iloilo Airport, down the streets of Iloilo, where they paraded it.

The observance of the feast since the arrival of the image was characterized with merry-making confined only within the parochial level. The Confradia patterened the features of the Ati-atihan similar to Ibajay, Aklan, where natives dance on the streets, their bodies covered with soot and ashes. It was not an imitation in its entirety of rituals, but an imitation done in the spirit of devotion to the Child Jesus.

Ati-Atihan Festival

The Ati-Atihan Festival is a feast held in honor of the Santo Niño held annually in January concluding on third Sunday, in the town of Kalibo, Aklan in the Philippines.

It is the wildest among Philippine fiestas and considered as the Mother of All Philippine festivals.

Celebrants paint their faces with black soot and wear bright, outlandish costumes as they dance in revelry during the last three days of this two week-long festival. Catholics and non-Catholics alike observe this special day with processions, parades, dancing, and merrymaking.

There is a modest range of accommodation in Kalibo: Tourists are advised to book reservations well before the Ati-Atihan.

The Ati-Atihan Festival, having become a hodge-podge of Catholic ritual, social activity, indigenous drama, and a tourist attraction, now stretches over several days. Days before the festival itself, the people attend novena masses for the Holy Child (Santo Niño) and benefit dances sponsored by civic organizations. The formal opening mass emphasizes the festival’s religious intent. The start of the revelry is signaled by rhythmic, insistent, intoxicating drumbeats, as the streets explode with the tumult of dancing people. The second day begins at dawn with a rosary procession, which ends with a community mass. The merrymaking is then resumed. The highlight of the festival occurs on the last day, when groups representing different tribes compete. Costumes, including the head-dress, are made of abaca fibers, shells, feathers, bamboo, plant leaves, cogon, and sugar cane flowers. The day ends with a procession of parishioners carrying bamboo torches and different images of the Santo Niño. The contest winners are announced at a masquerade ball that officially ends the festival.


Mindanao is the second largest and easternmost island in the Philippines. It is also one of the three island groups in the country, along with Luzon and Visayas. Historically, the Island was also known as Gran Molucas or Great Mollucas.

The island group of Mindanao is an arbitrary grouping of islands in the southern Philippines which encompasses six administrative regions. These regions are further subdivided into 25 provinces, of which only four are not on Mindanao island itself. The island group includes the Sulu Archipelago to the southwest, which consists of the major islands of Basilan, Jolo, and Tawi-Tawi, plus outlying islands in other areas such as Camiguin, Dinagat, Siargao, Samal,The Limunsudan Falls, is the Highiest water falls in the phillipines located at Iligan City. It has an Approximate Height of 800 ft.

Zamboanga Peninsula (Region IX), formerly Western Mindanao, is located in the landform of the same name. It consists of the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, and three cities—Zamboanga City;Pagadian City and Isabela City—which are independent of any province. Isabela City is the only territory not on Mindanao island itself and is a part of Basilan. The region's administrative capital is Zamboanga City and the whole region used to be a single province named Zamboanga.

Northern Mindanao (Region X) consists of the provinces of Bukidnon, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Cagayan de Oro City, and Iligan City. The province of Camiguin is also an island just of the northern coast. The administrative center and capital of the region is Cagayan de Oro City.

Cordillera Central

The Cordillera Central is a massive mountain range situated in the northern central part of the island of Luzon, in the Philippines. Several provinces bound it, namely Benguet, Abra, Kalinga, Apayao, Mountain, Ifugao, and a city located entirely within it, which is Baguio City. In the north, it terminates at Pasaleng Bay, Ilocos Norte, where the coastal bridge Patapat Viaduct winds through. It links with the Sierra Madre through the Caraballo mountains in Nueva Vizcaya province. The whole range was formerly termed as Nueva Provincia, or New Province, during the Spanish times.

Its inhabitants are presently Ilocanos, and the Igorot, a loosely-connected federation of tribes belonging to the mountains. Most of them speak English, due to the presence of a former American base in the mountain ranges, John Hay Air Base.

The Cordillera is one of the richest regions in terms of natural resources. It is a major resource base of the Philippines: 11% of the total area is agricultural rice fields, orchards, swine farms and pasture lands; 60% of the country’s temperate vegetables are produced in the area. It is the premier mining district; there are eight big mining companies operating which are mostly foreign controlled. Some 80% of the total Philippine gold production comes from the Cordillera.

Another important aspect with respect to potential resources is that the Cordillera is home to the headwaters of the major rivers in Northern Luzon. If these rivers were to be dammed it could provide at least five million kilowatts of the total electrical needs (some 56%) of the entire country.

Meycauayan City

The City of Meycauayan or Meycauayan is a 1st class urban city in the province of Bulacan, Philippines. The city is located about 19 km north of Manila and about 22 km south of Malolos City, the provincial capital city. It is bounded by the town of Marilao to the north, Valenzuela City to the south, Caloocan City (North) to the east, and the town of Obando to the west. It encompasses an aggregate area of 22.1 square kilometres, representing 1.17% of the total land area of the province of Bulacan. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 175,291 people in 34,882 households. In 2007, Meycauayan and neighboring district of Marilao were listed as 2 of the most polluted cities in the world.

Meycauayan is generally surrounded with plain land and gentle rolling hills. Comfortably above sea level, this terrain is an interweaving of greenery and concrete road network. The slope of the land dips towards a west to north westerly direction. River, natural lake and drainage waterways envelope and criss-cross the area.

Meycauayan is known for its jewelry and tanning industry. It is also home to several industrial parks, most of it located at Barangays Iba, Camalig and Pantoc.

Meycauayan is very famous for its jewelry and leather industries. For years, Meycauyan has been the hub of jewelry in the Philippines and in Asia. The place is famous for its very affordable jewelries. Most of the specialists in jewelries had in fact been pirated by other Asian countries.

Leather goods are also another premiere products of the place. Shoes, bags and every kind of leather good are made here. There are a lot of leather tanneries in the city that truly makes Meycauayan a hub for leather goods.


Basilan is an island province of the Philippines located in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Its capital is Isabela City and is located just off the southern coast of Zamboanga Peninsula. Basilan is the northernmost among the major islands of the Sulu Archipelago.

Isabela inhabitants include Christians and Muslims from tribal groups such as the Tausugs, Samal Bangingihs, and Yakans. Tribal fishermen, farmers, small-store and market vendors favor the traditional native attire.

Basilan is seen as one of the strongholds of the Islamic separatist group, the Abu Sayyaf. This group kidnapped a group of tourists from Palawan and brought them to Basilan, including an American Christian missionary couple.

When the town of Zamboanga became a chartered city in 1936, it included Basilan. on 1942, the Japanese soldiers landed in Basilan, in 1945, liberated in Basilan landed from the Filipino troops and Filipino guerillas used the weapons and Kampilan and Kris swords attack to the Japanese troops during World War II, On July 1, 1948, by virtue of a bill filed by then congressman Juan S. Alano, Basilan itself became a separate city. The city was converted into a province on December 27, 1973 after incessant fighting forced the hand of Filipino Dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos to issue a Presidential Decree to the effect. Initially, 10 Municipalities were created, and these were: Isabela, Lamitan, Maluso, Lantawan, Sumisip, Tipo-Tipo, Tuburan, Pilas, Tapiantana, and Malamawi. This was eventually reduced to seven municipalities, with the three outlying island-municipalities being merged with their nearest neighbor.

Philippine Revolution

The Philippine Revolution (1896-1898) was an armed conflict between the Katipunan organization and Spanish colonial authorities, which sought Philippine independence from Spain.

Rizal returned to the Philippines in 1892 and established La Liga Filipina. The progressive organization continued Rizal's aim of implementing reforms inside the colony. Despite its avowed aims for peaceful reforms, the government felt threatened by its existence and had it disbanded. They were especially disturbed by one clause in its Declaration calling for "defence against all violence and injustice" and arrested Rizal on July 7, 1892.

The coalition subsequently splintered into two factions with differing agenda. The moderate wing reorganized itself as Cuerpo de Compromisarios with the purpose of providing funds for La Solidaridad. The radical wing, led by a warehouse clerk named Andrés Bonifacio, reorganized into a secret organization called the Katipunan whose aim was to gain independence from Spain.

A group of Filipino ilustrados in Madrid shocked by what they saw as the disparity between Spain and her colony, organized the “Propaganda Movement”. Among its members were Rizal, López Jaena, the political exile Marcelo del Pilar, Mariano Ponce, and the Luna brothers--Juan and Antonio. They published a fortnightly newspaper in Spanish called La Solidaridad. Its aim was to expose corruption and atrocities in the Philippine colony. The publication lasted from 1889 to 1895. Copies of it were smuggled into the Philippines and were read surreptitiously behind closed doors.

Two katipuneros, Teodoro Patiño and Apolonio dela Cruz, were engaged in a bitter personal dispute. The former, Patiño, deciding to seek revenge, exposed the secrets of the Katipunan to his sister who was a nun, who in turn revealed it to a Spanish priest, Father Mariano Gil. The priest was led to the printing press of Diario de Manila and found a lithographic stone used to print the secret society's receipts. A locker was seized containing a dagger and secret documents.

Mount Apo

Mount Apo is a large stratovolcano on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. It is the highest mountain in the country and overlooks Davao City, a few kilometres to the northeast. Its name means "master" or "grandfather". Apo is flat topped, with three peaks, and is capped by a 500 m wide volcanic crater containing a small crater lake. It is a source of geothermal energy, but the date of its most recent eruption is unknown, and none are verified in historic times.

Mount Apo is one of the most popular climbing destinations in the Philippines, and the summit is easy to reach. It was first climbed on October 10, 1880 by a party led by Don Joaquin Rajal.

On May 9, 1936, Mount Apo was declared a national park by President Manuel L. Quezon. The mountain is home to over 270 bird species, with more than a hundred that are endemic.

Although a declared National Park the current climbing trail are littered with rubbish and opening paths for soil erosion across the already denuded mountain sides. Some mountain climbing group are leading the way conducting up climbs after the main Easter climbing season.

Pagadian City

Pagadian City is a 1st class city in the province of Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines. It is the capital city of the province, and the regional center of the Zamboanga Peninsula. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 162,515 people in 28,027 households. It is nicknamed the "Little Hong Kong of the South.

Situated on the northeastern side of the region, Pagadian City is the gateway to Zamboanga del Sur, the largest province of Western Mindanao. It is also a point of entry to the cities of Ozamiz, Iligan and Cotabato. Its rolling terrain encompassing both commercial and residential districts, reminiscent of the famous Crown Colony, has earned for it the sobriquet Little Hongkong of the South. Pagadian City has a total land area of 331.6 square kilometers with 54 barangays.

The name of Pagadian was derived from the Maguindanaon term pagad (wait) and padian (market), being a market during the Maguindanaon Sultanate.

Was aslo named Pangadjian then later named Pagadian

Pagadian City belongs to the 1st District of Zamboanga del Sur. Mayor Samuel S. Co is the Mayor for the second term.


Virac is a 1st class municipality in the province of Catanduanes, Philippines. It is the third largest town and the capital municipality of Catanduanes. It has a land area of 188 km². According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 57,067 people in 11,202 households.

Almost half of the area is rugged and mountainous, with topography interspersed by hills and plains dotted by marshy land and rocky jutting cliffs and crags.

The town is bounded on the east and south by the Pacific Ocean, on the north by high and green mountain ranges of San Miguel, and on the west by the gently rolling terrain and breast-shaped hills of San Andres.

A piece of "onchita" was offered to the chieftain as a gift. But this was rejected when his wife said "we have many pieces of gold in our kingdom". A piece of silver was also offered but also rejected.

A priest then began his quest for more information about the place. Soon after this encounter, the Spaniards began giving the natives provisions not found in the chieftain's hut, such clothing and more sugar. After planting the seeds of friendships, began a stride to spread the message of Christianity. Lumibao was baptized as Jose, Milbigan, his wife Maria and their eldest son Mariano.

The record of Christianization of Virac was lost due to vandalism of the Moros. The history of this town began to be accurately recorded only after 1775.

Bais City

Bais City is a 2nd class city in the province of Negros Oriental, Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it had a population of 68,115 people in 13,199 households. Located 44.7 km from the provincial capital Dumaguete, it has a land area of 316.90 km².

Bais City is the largest producer of raw sugar in Negros Oriental. There are two sugar mills in the city. The Central Azucarera de Bais was established by Tabacalera of Spain in the early 1900s and is one of the oldest in the country. The other mill, URSUMCO (United Robina Sugar Milling Corporation) was formerly UPSUMCO (United Planters Milling Corporation) and constructed in the mid 70's by Marubeni Corporation of Japan as a project of Ignacio Montenegro (also of Spanish roots).

The Pelarta river runs beside the city center. There is, however, a dispute that the name Bais was taken after the eels locally called "Bais" that used to thrive in this river. The river has been the source of irrigation water for the nearby sugar farms. This has been vital in the success of sugar plantations in this area. This river also has a big influence on the city's geography, as it deposits sediments in the former mangrove areas during the (formerly annual) flood season. These former mangrove swamps have now dried out and become populated with residents. In the late seventies, under the government of Genaro Goni, there was established a river control system stretching from the city center towards the low lying areas in order to lessen flooding during the rainy season.

Calbayog City

Calbayog City is a first class city in the province of Samar, Philippines. It lies along the coastal region of the province stretching about 60 miles from the northern tip of the island and 180 miles from southern boundaries. Calbayog is comprised of 157 barangays and is the third largest city in Eastern Visayas. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 147,187 people in 28,912 households.

Guinogo-an Cave

Situated at the fringes of Barangay Longsob, Oquendo District, Calbayog City. Accessible in a 30-minute ride to Cabugawan plus 50-minute hike to Lungsod Cave. Its large entrance leads to a natural tunnel with an uneven ceiling, some portions touching one’s head giving him an eerie trip through the dark, cool interior.

Mapaso Hot Spring

Located in Barangay Rizal II, Oquendo District, Calbayog City. A 30-minute ride to Oquendo from Calbayog plus 15-minute hike to the spring. “Mapaso” literally means hot. Fresh crustaceans (pokot) abound. They are naturally pinkish resembling scalded shrimps due to the high temperature.

Mawacat Slide

Accessible in a 35-minute ride from Oquendo District, Calbayog City proper to Barangay Mawacat plus 25-minute walk along the foot trail lined with tall shady trees. It is a natural spoon-like formation which inclines more or less by about 45 degrees and stretches 50 meters long. Water flows along this giant cistern and from the top one can slide through the mossy lane to the cool inviting pool below.

Bangon-Bugtong Falls

Located in Brgy. San Joaquin of Calbayog City, an hour-and-15-minute ride to Barangay Tinaplacan plus 45-minute walk to the vicinity of the falls. Among the family of waterfalls of Calbayog City, Bangon, Bugtong Falls is one of the most majestic and spectacular spots that is worth visiting. As one ascends the stream, he will be amazed to see a circular pond about 30 meters in diameter, wide enough for swimming and deep enough for diving. The cascading water seems to come from streams flowing endlessly, resulting from the pressure of its disgorge, which becomes even bigger in volume and noticeable as the time of the day passes. Bugtong Falls is not only a tourist spot but also a potential source of power for Calbayog City and its neighboring localities.

Olongapo City

The City of Olongapo (Tagalog: Lungsod ng Olongapo; Sambal: Syodad nin Olongapo) is an urbanized city located in the province of Zambales, Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 194,260 people in 43,107 households.

Unlike the rest of the Philippines which gained independence from the United States after World War II in 1946, Olongapo was governed as a part of the United States naval reservation. After lobbying efforts of James Leonard T. Gordon, the area was relinquished to the Philippine government and converted into a municipality on December 7, 1959. Six years later under Mayor James Leonard T. Gordon, Olongapo was reconverted to a chartered city on June 1, 1966. Olongapo City administers itself autonomously from Zambales province. Adjacent to the city is the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, which until 1992 was a United States naval base. Like his father before him, Mayor Richard Gordon lobbied for the turnover of the facility and its conversion into a freeport after the Senate of the Philippines rejected an extension of a treaty with the United States government. The city is known for it's innovative methods of urban management in the 1980's in addressing crime and cleanliness that has been copied by local governments nationwide. These include the public utility color-code, traffic management system, waste management system earning Olongapo City national and international award such as the UNESCO Cities for Peace representing Asia and the Pacific in 1997 and the Konrad Adenauer Local Medal of Excellence in 1999. Furthermore, the Asian Development Bank and World Bank have also recognized it's successful urban redevelopment and city development strategy after the US Base turnover.


Catanduanes is an island province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Virac and the province lies to the east of Camarines Sur across Maqueda Channel.

The province, formerly known as "Catanduan, "Catandongan", and finally "Catanduanes", derived its name from the "tando" trees.

The early settlers of this island were said to be scions of the Datus of Borneo. Juan de Salcedo arrived in this island in 1573, hunting for pirates, and conquered and Christianized the natives. Three years later, a galleon expedition from Acapulco was shipwrecked near the island and the survivors were either killed or made servants. The Batalay Church in Bato, just several kilometers from the capital town of Virac, marks that historical event.

The scions of the ten Bornean Datus who had moved on the island of Panay and then, spread out throughout the archipelago were the first settlers to have set foot in Catanduanes.

Commonwealth Act No. 687 established Catanduanes as a province independent from Albay. It was approved by Congress on September 26, 1945, signed into law by President Sergio Osmeña, Sr. on October 24, 1945, and took effect on October 16, 1945.

Current governor is Joseph Cua.

Zamboanga Peninsula

Zamboanga Peninsula is both a peninsula and an administrative region in the Philippines. Designated as Region IX, the region consists of three provinces, namely, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga Sibugay, and the chartered city of Zamboanga City at the south-eastern tip. The region was previously known as Western Mindanao before the enactment of Executive Order No. 36 on September 19, 2001.

After the United States annexed the Spanish East Indies in 1898, Zamboanga was briefly independent as the Republic of Zamboanga. It became a part of the Moro Province, which consisted of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago. The name and status of Moro province soon changed to the Department of Mindanao and Sulu on August 16, 1916, that caused Zamboanga to become a province.

On June 6, 1952, the province was divided into two provinces, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur, while the chartered City of Zamboanga became an independent city.

Zamboanga Peninsula lies between the Moro Gulf, part of the Celebes Sea, and the Sulu Sea. Along the shores of the peninsula are numerous bays and islands. Its territory consists of the three Zamboanga provinces and Zamboanga City, as well as the Northern Mindanao province of Misamis Occidental. The peninsula is connected to the main part of Mindanao through an isthmus situated between Panguil Bay and Pagadian Bay. The boundary between the peninsula and the mainland is artificially marked by the border between the provinces of Zamboanga del Sur and Lanao del Norte.

Catbalogan City

Catbalogan City is a 5th class city in the province of Samar, Philippines. It is the capital city of Samar. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 84,180 people in 16,100 households.

The capital city of Catbalogan is located in the western seacoast of the Province of Samar. It is bounded on the north by the municipalities of Tarangnan and San Jorge, on the east by the municipality of Jiabong, and on the west by Maqueda Bay. The Pan-Philippine Highway (Maharlika Highway) traverses the city from Barangay San Vicente in the north through the poblacion to Barangay Lagundi in the south. It is about 800 kilometers south of Manila.

The climate is classified as 4th type (mild) wherein rainfall is more or less distributed throughout the year.

In Catbalogan City there is hardly a month without rainfall. The driest month is April. Generally, there is no distinct dry season but the months of February, March, April and May comprise the shortest dry season. Rainfall is more or less uniform throughout the year and heaviest during the months of November and December.

Typhoons are very frequent during the months of August, September, October, November and December. Although Samar (Catbalogan City) has been popularly known as a typhoon-prone area, the truth is, the island of Samar is only being used as a reference point by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA.)

Naga City

The City of Naga (Bikol: Ciudad nin Naga; Filipino: Lungsod ng Naga) is a city of the Philippines. Located in the Bicol Region, a peninsula on the southeastern tip of the island of Luzon, it is 377 kilometers southeast of Manila, the nation's capital, and about 380 kilometers northeast of Cebu City in the Southern Philippines.

With a relatively smaller land area compared to other cities in Bicol which accounts for its being the most densely populated city in the region, Naga City is locally known as the "Heart of Bicol". It is the religious and cultural center of the Bicol region. Residents of Naga City are called Nagueños.

Naga City is at the core of Metro Naga, an unofficial designation given to 14 rural municipalities and Naga City, administered by the Metro Naga Development Council. The MNDC covers the entire 2nd district of the province of Camarines Sur, and part of its 1st, 3rd and 4th districts.

According to the Department of Tourism arrival statistics in Bicol, Naga City and Camarines Sur combined are the top tourist destination in Region V, outclassing the province of Albay/Legazpi tandem. The province registered a total of 258,608 visitors from January to December 2006 133,604 visitors in Albay/Legazpi on the same period. The Bicol's premier city and province have jointly breached that mark, posting 350,944 tourist arrivals for the period of January to September 2007 alone. A remarkable increase of 114%. Tourist arrivals in Albay and Legazpi combined only recorded a total of 126,897 for the same period or only an 18% improvment from last year's record.

Spratly Islands

Alibata - The Spratly Islands consist of more than 100 small islands or reefs. They are surrounded by rich fishing grounds and potentially by gas and oil deposits. They are claimed in their entirety by the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Vietnam, while portions are claimed by Malaysia and the Philippines. About 45 islands are occupied by relatively small numbers of military forces from China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Brunei has established a fishing zone that overlaps a southern reef but has not made any formal claim. The Islands are located in the Southeastern Asian group of reefs and islands in the South China Sea, about two-thirds of the way from southern Vietnam to the southern Philippines.

The islands contain no arable land and have no indigenous inhabitants, although twenty of the islands, including Itu Aba, the largest, are considered to be able to sustain human life. Natural resources include fish, guano, undetermined oil and natural gas potential. Economic activity is limited to commercial fishing. The proximity to nearby oil- and gas-producing sedimentary basins suggests the potential for oil and gas deposits, but the region is largely unexplored, and there are no reliable estimates of potential reserves. Commercial exploitation has yet to be developed. The Spratly Islands have no ports or harbors but has four airports. These islands are strategically located near several primary shipping lanes.

Puerto Princesa City

The City of Puerto Princesa (Filipino: Lungsod ng Puerto Princesa), the capital of Palawan, is a first class city in the Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 161,912 people in 33,306 households. It is famous for its crocodile farms, underground rivers and dive spots. This city is the hometown of the former House Speaker Ramon Mitra, Jr..

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, features a spectacular limestone karst landscape with its underground river. A distinguishing feature of the river is that it flows directly into the sea, and the lower portion of the river is subject to tidal influences. The area also represents a significant habitat for biodiversity conservation. The site contains a full mountain to the sea ecosystem and protects forests, which are among the most significant in Asia.

On June 30, 1992, Edward S. Hagedorn was elected Mayor of the city and completed his three term limit of three years for every term. In November 2002, Hagedorn was re-elected as mayor of the city.

Legazpi Airport

Legazpi Airport (IATA: LGP, ICAO: RPLP) in the Philippines is a major airport in the Bicol Region, serving the vicinity of Legazpi City in Albay. With a runway of 2280 x 36 meters, longer than those of Bacolod City Domestic Airport (1958 x 30 meters) or former Mandurriao Airport in Iloilo City (2100 x 43 meters), the airport can handle medium-sized civilian jets and military aircraft.

Although operating as sunrise-sunset (SR-SS) due to lack of instrument landing system (ILS), the airport can handle night landings and take-off but only on prior notice.

The airport is up for upgrading. It has no ILS such that low ceiling during inclement weather causes flight cancellations, to the chagrin of passengers. It is also only about 12 kilometers from the crater of Mayon Volcano; during eruptions, flights are canceled because of the danger posed by ash fall. The Regional Development Council had previously approved the feasibility study to transfer the airport to a site some 27 kilometers from the crater of Mayon, in barangay Bariis south of Legazpi City. Aside from the advantage of its being way out of ashfall's reach, it is midway between Legazpi and the province of Sorsogon and the emerging eco-tourism destination of Donsol with its whale sharks. Of late, some politicians, though, were able to maneuver that the site be transferred to Alobo, Daraga which at 15 kilometers from Mayon's crater, is only two or three kilometers farther from the present runway. Also, planes using Alobo will take the same approach used at present: through Jovellar/Camalig areas that are prone to ash fall during eruptions; planes will also fly over the urban areas of Daraga and Legazpi. If it will be Bariis, approach/takeoff will be along thinly populated land; even over the sea (Poliqui Bay and Albay Gulf), making 24/7 operations feasible and practical.

World Heritage Site

A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State Parties (countries) which are elected by the General Assembly of States Parties for a fixed term. (This is similar to the United Nations Security Council.)

The programme aims to catalogue, name, and conserve sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of humanity. Under certain conditions, listed sites can obtain funds from the World Heritage Fund. The programme was founded with the Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage, which was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972. Since then, 184 (as of July 2007) States Parties have ratified the convention.

As of 2007, a total of 851 sites are listed: 660 cultural, 166 natural, and 25 mixed properties, in 142 States Parties. UNESCO references each World Heritage Site with a unique identification number; but new inscriptions often include previous sites now listed as part of larger descriptions. As a result, the numbering system currently ends above 1200, even though there are fewer on the actual list.

Each World Heritage Site is the property of the country on whose territory the site is located, but it is considered in the interest of the international community to preserve each site for future generations of humanity. The protection and conservation of these sites are a concern of all the World Heritage countries.


Igorot (pronounced [ɪgəˈrot]) name for the people of the Cordillera region, in the Philippines island of Luzon. The Igorot form two subgroups: the larger group lives in the south, central and western areas, and is very adept at rice-terrace farming; the smaller group lives in the east and north. Igorot groups formerly practiced headhunting.

Cordillerano, or Cordilleran, is an unofficial and relatively recent term for the people of the hill tribes of Luzon, Philippines, who are residing in the Cordillera and Caraballo mountains. This term is an attempt at political correctness, since a current term, Igorot, has caused controversy due to its perceived negative stigma, which is incorrectly connected to backwardness and inferiority. Among the people in the Cordilleras, not all Kalinga and Ifugao accept the designation of Igorot.

The Igorot Global Organization (IGO) is an organization of persons who trace their roots from the Central Cordillera mountains of Northern Luzon, Philippines, who choose to maintain the ethnic identity of Igolot or Igorot, literally meaning people of the mountains.

Legazpi City

The City of Legazpi (Bikol: Ciudad nin Legazpi; Filipino: Lungsod ng Legazpi) is a first class city and capital of the province of Albay, Philippines. With 157,010 inhabitants according to the 2000 census (194,580 as of 2007) it is the largest city in the Bicol Region in terms of population, though not in land area. It is also the political center and de facto capital of the Bicol Region.

Located in the geographical center of the peninsula and between the two island provinces of Catanduanes and Masbate, Legazpi City is the southernmost terminus of the Philippine National Railways Main Line South. It also services sea-going vessels through its port.

The city is the ecclesiastical seat of the Diocese of Legazpi, and most of its inhabitants are Roman Catholics.

Legazpi City is one of the Bicol Region's top tourist destinations thanks to its close proximity to Mayon Volcano, one of the Philippines' most famous volcanoes, and Donsol, Sorsogon, the site of one of the world's largest annual migration of whale sharks. It is also a convenient jump-off point to other tourist destinations in the region such as the Cagsawa Ruins, the upscale resort of Misibis and the white sand beaches of Sorsogon and Catanduanes. The city is served by Legazpi Airport which accommodates Airbus A320, Boeing 737-400, and Boeing 727 and has the Mayon Volcano as its scenic backdrop.

Other places to go to and sights to visit include:

The Albay Park and Wildlife - This is a picnic grove and a park combined. It also serves as the home to 347 animals of 75 species.
Liberty Bell - Installed in 1945 by the American liberation forces. It is made from bronze.
Japanese Tunnel - Used as an arsenal during the second World War, it measures 40 meters long and around 7 feet deep.
Magayon Art Gallery - Found at the lobby of the Albay Provincial Capitol and serves as the avenue for artists to show off their visual creations
Legazpi City Museum - Showcases the heritage and culture of the city. It is currently the only public museum in the Bicol Region.
Bicol Heritage Park - Located inside the Camp General Simeon Ola Headquarters. This is where you can find the statue of General Simeon A. Ola.
Lignon Hill (also spelled as Liñon Hill) - Located behind Albay Park and Wildlife. PHIVOLCS is situated into this hill.
Kapuntukan Hill (also known as the Sleeping Lion Hill) – This is the place to visit if you wish to have a view of the Legazpi Port District .
regional government offices in Rawis - DepEd (Department of Education), DOT (Department of Tourism), RTC (Regional Trial Court), DAR (Department of Agrarian and Reform), DOST (Department of Science and Technology), and LTO (Land Transportation Office).


Ifugao is a landlocked province of the Philippines in the Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon. Covering a total land area of 251, 778 hectares, the province of Ifugao is located in the mountainous region characterized by rugged terrain, river valleys, and massive forests. Its capital is Lagawe and borders Benguet to the west, Mountain Province to the north, Isabela to the east, and Nueva Vizcaya to the south.

It is named after the term "i-pugo" (which means i-from/people and pugo-earth thus people of the earth).

The Banaue Rice Terraces are the main tourist attraction in the province. These 2000-year-old terraces were carved into the mountains without the aid of machinery to provide level steps where the natives can plant rice. In 1995, they were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ifugao culture revolves around the rice which is considered a prestige crop. Thus, it is not surprising that there is an elaborate and complex array of rice culture feasts inextricably linked with taboos and intricate agricultural rites from rice cultivation to rice consumption. Harvest season certainly calls for grandiose thanksgiving feasts while the concluding harvest rites ‘tungo or tungul’ (the day of rest) entail a strict taboo of any agricultural work. Partaking of the rice beer (bayah), rice cakes, and betel nut is an indelible practice during the festivities and ritual activities.

Ifugao was formerly a part of the old Mountain Province. It was created as an independent province on June 18, 1966 by virtue of Republic Act No. 4695. The name is derived from the word “IPUGO”. Pugo means “hill” while the prefix “I” means “from”. The Spaniards changed ""Ipugo"" to ""Ipugaw"" and it was finally changed by the Americans to Ifugao.

Quirino Province

Quirino is a province of the Philippines located in the Cagayan Valley region in Luzon. Its capital is Cabarroguis and was named after Elpidio Quirino, the sixth President of the Philippines. The province borders Aurora to the southeast, Nueva Vizcaya to the west, and Isabela to the north. Quirino used to be part of the province of Nueva Vizcaya, until it was separated in 1966.

The Sierra Madre mountain range provides a natural barrier on the eastern and southern border of the province and the Mamparang Range on the western part. The province is generally mountainous, with about 80 percent of the total land area covered by mountains and highlands.

The province has a mean annual temperature of 26.6 degree Celsius. Warmest month is May and the least dry months are March to August while the rest of the year is neither too dry nor too wet. Rainy days occur from September to November.

Agriculture is the main industry in Cagayan Valley, together with rice and corn as major crops. These supply the demand of neighboring provinces and the metropolis. Banana as well as banana chips are major products sold in Metro Manila and Pampanga. Small scale industries like furniture making, basketry, rattan craft, and dried flower production are prevalent.

Silay City

Silay City is a 2nd class city in the province of Negros Occidental, Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 107,722 people in 21,446 households. It has a sizable commercial and fishing port and is the site of the new Bacolod-Silay City International Airport, which will replace the Bacolod City Domestic Airport.

A local legend tells of how Silay City got its name. It is said that in the days of the datus and rajahs, there once lived a princess named Kansilay. An attack on the settlement by pirates was thwarted when the princess bravely led the people in the village's defense. The fight was furious and the princess fought like a seasoned warrior. Murals that used to grace some of the city's public buildings depict her as a fierce fighter wielding a huge talibong, a short native single-edged sword. The pirates were routed, but at the cost of the princess' life. Her paramour arrived in time to see her die. In grief, the people lovingly buried her. To their surprise, a tree grew right over her grave, the first Kansilay tree, a final gift from the brave princess.

Silay is also the name of the 1535 meter-high volcano cone near the city of Silay. On its slopes lies Patag, the site of the Japanese forces' last stand in Western Visayas during World War II.

Tagasilay, also referencing the Kansilay tree, is a barangay in the Philippine city of Zamboanga in the island of Mindanao. The apellation 'tagasilay' translates to 'from silay' or 'of silay' in Hiligaynon.

Isabela Province

Isabela is the second largest province of the Philippines next to Palawan. It is located in the Cagayan Valley Region in Luzon. Its capital is Ilagan and borders, clockwise from the south, Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Ifugao, Mountain Province, Kalinga, and Cagayan. This primarily agricultural province is the rice and corn granary of Luzon.

Agriculture, mainly rice with a relatively large corn crop, is the biggest industry in Isabela. Farming is highly mechanized as most of the agricultural lands are irrigated. With the presence of the Isabela State University, joint ventures, other foreign assisted projects, and the Magat Dam, agriculture has a high level of productivity. It is also the hub of trade, commerce, and other economic activities due to its central location in the region. The wood industry used to be a top earner for the province but due to the logging ban imposed in the Cagayan Valley Region, activities in this industry have considerably declined. However, furniture making using narra and other indigenous forest materials continues.

Some potential investments are in fisheries and tourism. Isabela has a fertile fishing ground on the Pacific Coast. The reservoir of the Magat Dam is utilized for fish cage operations, such as tilapia production for domestic markets.

Tourism is relatively a new industry being developed in the province. Support services and accommodation facilities are likewise being developed. Tourism focuses mainly in and around Santiago City and can be noted by the presence of the only McDonalds in the province.


Tagalog (pronounced [tɐˈgaːlog]) is one of the major languages of the Republic of the Philippines. It is the most spoken Philippine language in terms of the number of speakers.

Tagalog, in its standardized form, Filipino, is the principal language of the national media in the Philippines. It is the primary language of public education. As Filipino, it is, along with English, a co-official language and the sole national language. Tagalog is widely used as a lingua franca throughout the country, and in overseas Filipino communities. However, while Tagalog may be prevalent in many fields, English, to varying degrees of fluency, is more prevalent in the fields of government and business.

Tagalog is a Central Philippine language within the Austronesian language family. Being Malayo-Polynesian, it is related to other Austronesian languages such as Indonesian, Malay, Fijian, Maori (of New Zealand), Hawaiian, Malagasy (of Madagascar), Samoan, Tahitian, Chamorro (of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands), Tetum (of East Timor), and Paiwan (of Taiwan).

It is closely related to the languages spoken in the Bicol and Visayas regions such as Bikol, Hiligaynon, Waray-Waray, and Cebuano.

Languages that have made significant contributions to Tagalog are Spanish, English, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Sanskrit, Old Malay and Tamil language .

Filipino, the national language of the Philippines, is the de facto standardized variant of this language. It has heavy borrowings from English. Other Philippine languages have also influenced Filipino, which is caused primarily by the migration to Metro Manila by people from the provinces.

Bacolod City

Bacolod City, is the capital and largest highly urbanized Philippine city of the province of Negros Occidental, famous for its MassKara Festival held during October. Known for being a relatively friendly city, it bears the nickname "City of Smiles."

AIR Bacolod City Domestic Airport is 4 kilometers away from the city's downtown area. Bacolod is 45 minutes from Manila by plane and 30 minutes from Cebu City by plane.The city's airport is set to be replaced by the new Bacolod-Silay City International Airport in the nearby city of Silay. The P4.37-billion airport is capable of handling all-weather and night-landing operations. Its 2,500-meter long and 45-meter wide runway, and 678-meter by 23-meter taxiways can accommodate Airbus A320 family-size aircraft, the Airbus A330 and the Boeing 737, while the apron can hold five aircraft at any one time.

LAND Bacolod City has two main roads, Lacson Street to the north and Araneta Street to the south. Bacolod is also known for its wide road city features which has 6 lane capacity. The City has a well traffic plan lay-out and very seldom has traffic jams, unlike other highly-urbanized cities in the Philippines. The streets in the downtown area are all oneway, making bacolod free of traffic congestion.

SEA Bacolod is a major seaport and has daily ferry trips to Iloilo City. By boat, Bacolod is 18 hours from Manila and 7 hours from Cebu City.

Bacolod is ideally located on a level area, slightly sloping as it extends toward the sea with an average slope of 0.9 percent for the city proper and between 3 to 5 percent for the suburbs. The altitude is 32.8 feet or 10.0 meters above sea level with the Bacolod City Public Plaza as the benchmark. Bacolod has two pronounced seasons, wet and dry. The rainy season starts from May to January of the following year with heavy rains occurring during the months of August and September. Dry season starts from the month of February until the last week of April.

Cagayan River

The Cagayan River is the longest and largest river in the Philippines. It is located in the Cagayan Valley region in northeastern part of Luzon island and traverses the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Isabela and Cagayan.

The river drains a fertile valley that produces a variety of crops, including rice, corn, bananas, coconut, citrus and tobacco.

There are dams in two of the river's tributaries, the Magat and Chico Rivers, and there are also several mining concessions in the mineral-rich Cordillera Mountains near the headwaters of the two tributary rivers.

The the provincial governments along the river have also developed tourism programs that offer activities on the river, particularly whitewater rafting.

The river traverses four provinces: Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Isabela and Cagayan. These provinces have an approximate population of two million people, mostly farmers and indigenous tribesmen.

The Ibanag people derive their tribe's name from Cagayan River's ancient name, Bannag. The Gaddang tribe lived in the upper riches of the Cagayan River and its tributaries.

Agno River

The Agno River is a river in the Philippine island of Luzon, in the province of Pangasinan. It originates in the Cordillera Mountains and empties into the South China Sea via the Lingayen Gulf. The river is 275 km long.

The Agno's principal tributaries include the Pila, Camiling, Tarlac and Ambayoan Rivers. The main branch of the Agno River is Tarlac River which originates from Mount Pinatubo (elevation 1,745 m) in Tarlac and joins the Agno River at Poponto Swamp near Bayambang. The swamp has an area of about 25 square kilometers and temporarily retains flood waters from the Tarlac River.

After passing through mountains at an average elevation of some 2,000 feet (180 m) ASL, the Agno River forms a vast alluvial fan and delta called the Pangasinan Plain, a historically vital ecoonomic hub on Luzon Island.

The Agno River is the main drainage system of the area and has a catchment area of 5,952 square kilometers. It is the third largest river in Luzon (next to Cagayan River and Pampanga River) and the fifth largest river in the Philippines.

The Agno is the largest Philippine river in terms of drainage area and discharges around 6.6 cubic kilometers of fresh water into Lingayen Gulf, or almost 70% of the total fresh water input into the gulf.

The headwaters of Agno River are at the slopes of Mt. Data in the Cordillera Mountains at an elevation of 2,090 m, where it drains Cretaceous to Paleocene igneous basement rocks, and marine siliciclastic and carbonate rocks. Of its total length, about 90 kilometers runs through mountainous terrain and canyons.


Masbate is an island province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region. Its capital is Masbate City and consists of three major islands: Masbate, Ticao and Burias.

Physically, Masbate lies exactly in the center of the Philippine archipelago north of the Visayas region. The main island looks like an arrowhead with its tip pointing north. Its southern portion encloses the Asid Gulf, while the Jintotolo Channel separates it from Panay Island. The Masbate Pass separates the two islands of Burias and Ticao from the main island of Masbate.

Ethnically, as well as geographically, the province is part of the Sibuyan Sea group of islands which includes Romblon, Marinduque, Sibuyan and many other small islands. There is an admixture of Visayan and Bicolano cultures in the area, and their language, Masbateño, is a Bisakol blend of Capiznon, Hiligaynon, Bikol, Waray-Waray, Cebuano, Romblomanon and Tagalog. Most of Masbate Island speaks Masbateño, but the peninsula which points towards Cebu speaks Cebuano and the peninsula which points towards Panay speaks Hiligaynon. All of Ticao Island and half of Burias Island speak Masbateño, but northern Burias speaks Central Bikol.

Lingayen Gulf

The Lingayen Gulf is an extension of the South China Sea on Luzon in the Philippines stretching 56km. It is framed by the provinces of Pangasinan and La Union and sits between the Zambales Mountains and the Cordillera Central. The Agno River drains into Lingayen Gulf.

The gulf has numerous islands, the most famous of which are in the Hundred Islands National Park. This tourist attraction features 123 islands, the majority of which are relatively small in size. A number of cities are found along the gulf's coast such as Dagupan City and Alaminos City in Pangasinan, and San Fernando City in La Union. Lingayen, the capital of Pangasinan also lies on the shores of the gulf.

On January 9, 2008, Gov. Amado Espino, Jr. and Vice Gov. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas institutionalized the commemoration to honor the war veterans. The resolution named January 9 as Pangasinan Veterans’ Day. In the 63rd anniversary commemoration of the Lingayen Gulf Landing, President Fidel Ramos appealed to US President George W. Bush for 24,000 surviving war veterans, to pass 2 legislative bills pending since 1968 at the US House of Representatives – the Filipino Veterans’ Equity Act of 2006 and the Filipino Veterans’ Equity of 2005 sponsored by former Senator Daniel Inouye.

Products and Natural Resources

The Philippines is rich in natural resources that are as yet largely undeveloped. Its fertile plains and rich valleys produce diverse crops a few of which are produced for export and the rest for local consumption. Rice, the staple crop of the country, is produced largely in the Central Plains of Luzon, but the total production is not sufficient to meet the ever increasing demand of an exploding population. The still primitive way of agriculture is one of the causes of the failure of the Philippines to produce enough rice for export. However, a breakthrough in rice production was made during the first four years of President Ferdinand Marcos' administration when the so-called "miracle rice" was developed.

Other products, however, have been raised for export. Copra, abaca, gums, resins, rubber, and sugar have found ready markets abroad. Lumber, minerals, and metals have been exported in the quantities to swell Philippine exports to an average of about P800,000,000. Mining, which is a basic industry, produces more than 700 million pesos worth of minerals. Metallic minerals, such as copper, gold, silver, iron, lead, zinc, manganese, and chromium are exploited for their commercial value, while the non-metallic minerals like salt, coal, clay, asbestos, sulphur, gravel, limestone, and gypsum are so far not yet exploited for large-scale export. It is suspected that oil is present in some Philippine sites, but attempts to locate these sites are few successful.


There are low-cost beach resorts within two kilometers of the Public Market in Daanbantayan. Rates range from a "low" of Php500 (US$10) to a "high" of PhP5,000 (US$100). Of course, the rooms can be inspected prior to renting them, and most of the rooms are comfortable, spacious, equipped with air-conditioning, cable television, and other ameneties.

Skip's Beach Resort: Located near the College of Fisheries. Rooms rent for PhP 500 per night (Approx. US $10) to PhP 1000 per night. This includes air-conditioning, cable TV, free use of high-speed wireless internet, free use of boat and bicycles, free use of the open cottages along the beach, free songs in the videoke, free coffee upon arrival, etc. The beach is ideal for swimming and the rooms are clean and spacious. Inexpensive food is available at the restaurant. There is a free campground area that contains five large shelters for sleeping, and there is also a place for tents and hammocks among the coconut trees near the beach. The camping area has a raised platform for cooking on open fires -- water for cooking -- and an out-house-toilet that is kept clean and sanitary by the staff at Skip's Beach Resort. There is no entrance fee. The website address is as follows:

Rock Beach Resort: Rooms rent for PhP 1,200 per night (US $24) with air-conditioning but no television. There is an extra charge for using the swimming pool. There is an entrance fee.

Maria Louisa Beach Resort: Rooms rent for PhP 2500 per night (US $50), with air-conditioning and cable TV. Also, a good restaurant is available, and a good beach for swimming. There is an entrance fee.

Malapascua Island

Malapascua Island is situated in Daanbantayan, Cebu.

It is a recent discovery for diving aficionados being discovered only in the early 90s. It is a tiny island 8 kilometers across a shallow strait from the northernmost tip of mainland Cebu island.

Logon, an insular barangay of Daanbantayan occupies the entire Malapascua Island and has eight hamlets.

Malapascua is actually a diver’s paradise. The island was discovered for its wide white sandy "BOUNTY BEACH" and later furthermore for its beautiful coral gardens and excellent dive spots nearby. The first resort to locate in the island was not a diving facility, it was "Cocobana Bounty Beach Resort". Later a tourist diver discovered the sunken Island "Monad Shoal" where you can watch Thresher Sharks, the only place in the world to watch Tresher Sharks! Today, the majority of the resorts offer full-service dive facilities. In fact more than half of the visitors to the island are divers and dive aficionados.

Bounty Beach is the name of a stretch of beach along the southern and eastern shore. It is the main beach of the island where most of the upscale resorts are found. Cocobana Beach Resort, the largest on the island, the pricey yet exquisite Sunsplash Resort, Hippocampus Resort and also the finest so called "hidden secret of Malapascua" the MANGROVE ORIENTAL Beach Resort are some of the popular resorts that offer excellent accommodations and dining options. Number one from the dive resorts is Dicks "Malapascua EXOTIC Dive and Beach resort". He was the one who made Malapascua the worlds most known Thresher Shark diving place. Most passenger boats to and from Cebu land at Bounty Beach.


Siquijor is an island province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region. Its capital is the municipality also named Siquijor. To the northwest of Siquijor are Cebu and Negros, to the northeast is Bohol and to the south, across the Bohol Sea is Mindanao.

Siquijor is the third smallest province in the country both in terms of population and land area, after Camiguin and Batanes. For a time it was sub-province of Negros Oriental. Called Isla del Fuego of the “Island of Fire” by the Spanish before, Siquijor is considered by many Filipinos to be a mystical island, full of witches and other supernatural phenomena.

Siquijor has 3 ports that are capable of servicing cargo and passenger craft. From the port of Larena you can travel to Dumaguete via Negros Navigation. In The Municipality of Siquijor you can travel by Delta Fast Ferries, Inc., a fast craft services company plies the route to/from the City of Dumaguete. Smaller vessels include the "Jaylan's 1 & 2". From Lazi, you can travel to Mindanao via the "MV Siquijor island".

Naturally Fatalistic

The Filipino is naturally fatalistic. No amount of expostulation on the virtues of science or logic can dislodge him from his idea of fatalism. He believes that whatever happens to him is the work of Fate. This fatalism is best symbolized in the phrase "Bahala na," a phrase that defies translation but which may be rendered loosely as "come what may". Can you go through that wall of fire? Bahala na. Are you sure you can convince him to give up his plan of leaving home? Bahala na. There are dangers ahead, don't be so foolish as to rush in where angels fear to tread. Bahala na. This is the last morsel we have; where do we get tomorrow's food? Dont' gamble your last centavo: you might go home with pockets inside out. He is big and strong; can you fight him? Bahala na. Such fatalism has bred in the FIlipino a sense of resignation. It is thus that he faces disaster or tragedy with resignation. He appears indifferent in the face of graft and corruption. He appears impassive in the face of personal misfortune. Yet the "Bahala na" attitude prevents him from being a crackpot.

Respect for the Elders

Respect for the elders is one Filipino trait that has remained in the book of unwritten laws. The Filipino parent exercises almost absolute powers over the children. It is unthinkable for a Filipino to do an important thing without consulting parents. The latter do not condone children talking back not only to them, but to those older than they are.

The particle "po" may look innocent to you, but that little word shows respect for another carried to higher point than in the Philippine languages. Are you speaking to an older man or woman? Then use the second plural - kayo, inyo or ninyo. You are branded disrespectful and impolite if you use the second person singular: ka, mo, or ikaw. Is the person you are talking with of your age but a stranger to you? The use the second person plural! And don't forget the particle po!It is a sign of good breeding. Next in the degree of respect is the use of the first person plural: atin, natin, tayo. Here the speaker and the person spoken to are lumped together and made to appear as one. The peak of respect is achieved by the use of the third person plural: sila, nila, kanila. Unlike the first two degrees of respect, this last shows detachment, making it appear that the person spoken to is a faraway person, someone to be handled and referred to gingerly.


Guimaras is an island province of the Philippines located in the Western Visayas region. Among the smallest provinces, its capital is Jordan. The island is located in the Panay Gulf, between the islands of Panay and Negros. To the northwest is the province of Iloilo and to the southeast is Negros Occidental.

The province is located on the islands of Guimaras and Inampulugan.

Guimaras was a sub-province of Iloilo until it was made an independent province on May 22, 1992.

Located southwest of Panay, Guimaras is separated physically from Iloilo by a narrow channel, which takes about fifteen minutes to cross by pumpboat from the Ortiz landing on Iloilo to Jordan. There are two other ways to get there, the Parola wharf in Iloilo to the municipality of Buenavista. The Parola wharf is used exclusively when ever the water is rough. There also is a roll on roll off (RORO) ferry that travels around five times a day and is used by the Iloilo bicycle clubs on Sunday to travel to Guimaras. Geologists opine that the island formed one landmass with Panay in the past. Guimaras was formerly known as Himal-us

Guimaras is also famous for its beaches. Clear blue waters, white sand and marine life rivals that of Boracay.Commonly visited ones are at Roca Encantada, ALubihod and Puerto del Mar.

Negros Occidental

Negros Occidental is a province of the Philippines located in the Western Visayas region. Its capital is Bacolod City and occupies at the northwestern half of Negros island; Negros Oriental is at the southeastern half. Across the Panay Gulf and the Guimaras Strait to the northwest is the island-province of Guimaras and the province of Iloilo on Panay island.

Known as the "The Sugarbowl of the Philippines", the sugar industry is the lifeblood of the economy of Negros Occidental, producing more than half of the country's sugar. There are 15 sugar centrals located throughout the plains of the province. Victorias Mill in Victorias City is the largest sugar mill in the country, and the world's largest integrated sugar mill and refinery. Sugar is transported from plantations to refineries by large trucks that use the national highway, often causing massive damage to the roads.

Because of the priority given to sugar plantations, much of the province's food has to be imported from neighboring islands.

A fishing industry is found in Cadiz City, and other fishponds dot the province. One of the country's largest copper mines is located in Sipalay City. There also exists a cottage industry which produced handicrafts made from indigenous materials.

Close Family Ties

The Filipino has very close family ties. The family has been the unit of society and everything revolves around it. The Filipino family ordinarily consists of the grandparents, the parents, and the children. The father is the head of the family, but while he rules, the mother governs. For it is the mother thet reigns in the home: she is the educator, the financial officer, the accountant, the censor, the laundrywoman, anf the cook. But over and obove the "ruler" and the "governor" are the grandparents, whose opinions and decisions on all important matters are sought. Will a new-born child be baptized? The grandparents are consulted and what they say carries much weight. Ignore them and you risk their stinging rebuke.

Is the child sick? Will you call a doctor? Wait a minute, the grandfather thinks an herbolario (herb doctor) is enough. He has reached his ripe old age without having known a doctor. Do you think you can reach his age? Why, then, should you risk the life of the child by calling in somebody whose experience is limited to turning gadgets he, an old man, does not understand? No, he will not allow his beloved grandchild to be touched, by the medico. You wring your hands in sheer frustration, appeal to him in the name of modern science - and get a stern look or a verbal dressing down for your efforts. The "tyranny" of the elders is such that the Filipino family, in spite of the inroads of modern civilization, has remained basically the same.

Filipino Traits

It is difficult, if not impossible, to define what a Filipino is. All that can be done is to pick out some traits common to the average Filipinos and to separate those that are obviously Spanish or American. The common traits are probably Malay characterize the Filipinos as a people.

One patent Filipino trait that immediately commends itself to the foreigner is his hospitality. All peoples the world over are hospitable in their own way, but Filipino hospitality is something that is almost a fault. Are you a stranger who has lost your way? Knock at the door of even the humblest rustic and he offers you his home. In other climes you might be suspected of being a hoodlum or a poseur. Consequently, you might be looked upon with suspicion. Call it naiveté but the Filipinos open his heart to you, a complete stranger, and offer you the best in his kitchen and bed chamber. He makes the bed for you and asks you, usually with a profusion of apologies, to make yourself “at home”, while he, the host, sleeps on the cold floor. He prepares water for your morning ablution, waits upon you at the table, and makes life worth living for you.