Sunday, March 10, 2013

Bukidnon: Pinoy Travel Bloggers Invade Kaamulan Festival 2013

Last weekend was a blast. And it was not only due to the Ethnic Street Dancing Competition which highlighted the 2013 Kaamulan Festival but also for the great time I spent with fellow Pinoy Travel Bloggers (PTBs) members which came to Bukidnon to witness the celebration. PTB is a Facebook group comprised of the most talented, good-looking, popular, wittiest, funniest and wackiest travel bloggers in the country today (guess in what category I belonged..hahaha!).

The invasion actually started exactly a week before the Street Dancing Competition. Multi-awarded photographer and blogger Estan Cabigas arrived in Malaybalay to conduct a 2-day photography workshop from February 23 to 24. The workshop was organized by the Bukidnon Photographers and Bloggers Society headed by Engr. Bonzenti Panganiban, also a PTB member. It was a fun-filled workshop where I learned a lot about photography basics and more from Master Estan. His blog Langyaw.com is one of my earliest influences when I started to discover my passion for travel. Estan stayed in Malaybalay for one week and eventually became one of the three judges of the Kaamulan Photography contest.

Estan and the photography workshop participants (Photo from Estan Cabigas)

It was during the night before the Kaamulan Street Dancing when most of the PTBs arrived in Malaybalay. It was my first time to meet Mervz (Pinoy Adventurista), Egay and Ramil (Pinas Muna), Nathalie (My Wandering Soles) and  Lai (Pinay Travelista). Glen (Escape Manila) was also there and it was the second time we both meet since he and Doi (The Travelling Feet) once dropped by in Maramag during their Bukidnon day trip last year. We shared wacky stories over dinner and beer co-hosted by me and my fellow bloggers from Bukidnon: Bonz (Contour Blog), Tupe the Trekero and Wander Shugah.

The first meet up in the Capitol Grounds (Photo from Nathalie Penados)

We gathered again in the morning of March 2 to witness the Kaamulan Street Dancing. There I meet more bloggers who came to witness the festivity: Dennis (Love Mindanao), Heiz (Journeying Pinay), Claire (I Am Traveling Light), Doc Wendz (Journeys and Travels) and Doc Remo (Hiker's Itch). Wow! I was very much overwhelmed to be with this group of famous bloggers and the fact that they all came to watch the ethnic festival in my home province made me even more grateful.

Pinoy Adventurista, Doc Wendz, Egay and Ramil (Photo from Bonzenti Panganiban)

Glen, Mervz and Me! (Photo from Pinoy Adventurista)

To cover most of the festival, some of us went separate ways then meet up again in a sponsored lunch after the street dancing. It was after lunch when the group decided to go for a hike to the Center for Ecological Development and Recreation (CEDAR) in Impalutao, Impasugong. I was a bit apprehensive due to the looming dark clouds from afar but sensing the eagerness of the group, Tupe and I hailed a passenger multicab to take us to CEDAR. It drizzled along the way but thankfully the skies cleared up when we reached Impalutao.

PTBs in Dila Falls (Photo from twelveinchesbehind.com)

The short but not so easy hike in the forested area of CEDAR took us to the man-made pool and to its three natural waterfalls: Gantungan, Natigbasan and Dila. It was in Dila Falls where we rested while enjoying the beautiful view.

(Photo from Ramil of pinasmuna.com)

The "graduation pic" (Photo from Doc Remo Aguilar)

The long day was capped with a dinner in Rey's Grill. The whole gang showed up and more wacky stories were shared. We also learned that night that Bonz won 2nd place in the Kaamulan Photography Contest. It gave us another reason to celebrate!

The next morning, Tupe and I took the group to another hike in the pine trees-strewn trail of the Bukidnon Provincial Tree Park. The peak of this hill, more popularly known as the Two Trees, offers an overlooking view of Malaybalay.. Unfortunately, one of the two trees fell down due to Typhoon Pablo. Because of this, the group took the liberty to rename this peak "One Tree Hill" (hahaha!). The good weather gave us unobstructed views of the rice fields, mountains, the city proper of Malaybalay and the majestic Mount Kitanglad Range. 

PTBs in the Bukidnon Provincial Tree Park (Photo from The Trekero)

Enjoying the view of Mt. Kitanglad range

We parted ways after the hike as most of the group have to go back to their respective places on that day while Tupe and I have our own obligations to fulfill. Though it was just a short weekend spent with the group, it was fun, festive and adventure-packed. I got to know more about the persons behind the famous travel blogs I regularly read. Though most of us meet only for the first time during this Kaamulan, it seems like we've known each other for ages and there was never a dull moment with this group.

Through this post, I would like to extend my warmest gratitude to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers who came to witness the Kaamulan Festival. I do hope you enjoyed the festivities and went home with fun memories during your short stay in Bukidnon. Salamat tungkay! Liko-liko kaw ra! (Thank you very much! Come again.).

6 comments :

  1. Awesome Earl! Definitely one of the best PTB meetups. Thanks to you, Bon and Tupe for hosting us. See you on the road soon :)

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  2. Thank you Earl for hosting us, it was ended a fun filled weekend. I will definitely be going back and hopefully summit Mt. Ktanglad..haha :)

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  3. I am also grateful to meet the bloggers behind the blogs I've read, that I only met online and glad to listen different road experiences and stories from them.:-). These people are just so natural to themselves. No doubt that they write so natural also.Like me. (naks naman).

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  4. wwwooowww....sayang di ako naka punta ng Kaamulan..:-( Ok lang may next time pa naman cguro... :-) see u soon guys pag maka laag mi sa Bukidnon..

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  5. it was indeed a fun gathering Earl... i was humbled by your hospitality . thank you so much , your home town has a lot to offer and I would like to see it with my own eyes. Hope to see you soon.

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  6. It was a pleasure meeting you all. See you in the next Kaamulan!

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