Philippines’ Live Music Scene Perseveres Through a Pandemic

Metro Manila has officially transitioned to a modified enhanced community quarantine allowing us residents to regain parts of our normal lives, while still being mindful of physical distancing, proper handwashing at all times, and following strict community rules like curfew and limited movement.

We are seeing malls, commercial centers and restaurants reopening once again, as well as some offices and businesses as long as these observe MECQ guidelines.

The live music scene, however, is yet to recover since non-essential mass gatherings cannot be allowed still, and for all the good reasons. This entails countless job loss not just for the musical artists but also for managers, roadies, assistants and employees who all work for live gigs and venues.

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VIRTUAL TOUR: Cold and Chilly Weather x Warm and Fuzzy Feelings at Mt. Ugo

Text and Photos by Euden Valdez

HOW does a life moment qualify to be precious? For this author, the moment has to have moved you in unspeakable ways, to have made you escape reality, and to have left a lasting mark in you.

Take for example, that moment when a bunch of young ones rode on top of a jeepney for the first time, after a long and tiring traverse of Mt. Ugo in the Cordillera. Only, it was going to be a “topload” ride with a good chance of shower.

Dark clouds descended with us from the mountain and just as the jeepney hit the road, the rain did fall. Then something precious happened.

I saw their eyes lit up with wonder, their lips smiled from glee as raindrops tickled their skin, winds kissed their faces, and adventure filled their hearts. All the while, the formidable views of Cordillera stretched and crawled before us. 

Continue reading “VIRTUAL TOUR: Cold and Chilly Weather x Warm and Fuzzy Feelings at Mt. Ugo”

Tara! Abra: Licuan-Baay, a Land of Bountiful Resources, Beautiful Places

Text and Photos by Euden Valdez

LICUAN-BAAY is one of Abra’s upland municipalities nestled in and surrounded by mountains that hide plenty of treasures: the hospitable Tinguian, scenic waterfalls and rivers, and even highly prized gold.

Located east of the capital Bangued, it is accessible via the Abra-Kalinga Road that connects the two said provinces. The public utility jeepneys, as well as private motorcycles, serve as the main mode of public transportation to and from Bangued and Licuan-Baay.

This was how this author, together with cousins and friends, reached Licuan-Baay for a short vacation and exploration in April. Why there, you may ask? Our family hailing from the municipality of San Quintin married into Pogyao family from Licuan-Baay—the wedding, held just a day before our trip! After the celebration in our family’s place, we decided to go to our new in-laws’ place.

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How Cordillerans Showered Us with Random Acts of Kindness – Part 3

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY EUDEN VALDEZ

IN November, this author’s outdoor and volunteer movement RAK Ph Mountaineers embarked on its first-ever, much-anticipated “The Great Cordillera Cross Country.”

It was a six-day adventure that saw our team of six trek three provinces of Cordillera by foot, face tough weather conditions, carry full packs heavier than ourselves, and test our limitations.

On the first part of this series, the Cordi cross country took us to reverse traverse of Mt. Amuyao from Batad, Ifugao to Barlig, Mt. Province. Then on the second part, we travel from Barlig to Besao. On this third and last part, we conclude our expedition by finally crossing over to Tubo, Abra.

More than the challenges we met along the way were the random acts of kindness we were unconditionally given. Here the best of them.

Continue reading “How Cordillerans Showered Us with Random Acts of Kindness – Part 3”

How Cordillerans Showered Us with Random Acts of Kindness – Part 2

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY EUDEN VALDEZ

RECENTLY, Traveling Journo Ph has shared about the first leg of RAK Ph Mountaineers’ first-ever, much-anticipated “The Great Cordillera Cross Country.”

It was a six-day adventure that saw our team of six trek three provinces of Cordillera by foot, face tough weather conditions, carry full packs heavier than ourselves, and test our limitations. But more than the challenges, it also showered us with random acts of kindness from the locals we met along the way.

On this second and last part, the journey continues with more challenges, and even more random acts of kindness from the locals we met along the way.

We take off from our descent at the municipality of Barlig, Mountain Province.

Continue reading “How Cordillerans Showered Us with Random Acts of Kindness – Part 2”

How Cordillerans Showered Us with Random Acts of Kindness – Part 1

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY EUDEN VALDEZ

AROUND the same time last year, I hiked my first summit: Mt. Daraitan in Tanay, Rizal. At 739 meters above sea level (MASL), it was classified as a minor climb yet I felt like my body would break from every step and slip that I took.

But not my spirit. I continued hiking other mountains and subjecting myself to physical pain while finding reward in the wealth of experiences that I gained along the way.

So that a year later after my first minor mountain, I found myself climbing my first major mountain, and not just that! The hike was part of RAK Ph Mountaineers’ first-ever, much-anticipated “The Great Cordillera Cross Country.” 

Continue reading “How Cordillerans Showered Us with Random Acts of Kindness – Part 1”