Yee Peng Festival 2016: Of Tangled Dreams and Reality

Yee Peng Festival 2016: Of Tangled Dreams and Reality
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When you have a dream, make it happen. I DID.

The most awaited trip of the year has finally happened. Attending and participating at the Yee Peng Festival was almost a year in the making as I booked my flights to Bangkok as early as December of 2015.


The Yee Peng Festival or Yi Peng Festival is a festival celebrated by the Lanna in Northern Thailand every full moon of the second month of the Lanna lunar calendar. For 2016, the full moon fell on November 14.

I first saw it in the Disney movie, Tangled.

But seeing it in real life was magical. Lanterns illuminated the dark sky at Doisaket, Chiang Mai.

The Lanna people believe that releasing the khom loi (lanterns) to the sky would drive away one’s misfortune or bad luck.

Watch this video and be amazed:


Sandugo Festival 2014: Celebrating unity and resiliency

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Bohol Sandugo Festival 2014 by Shaken yet resilient. This best describes the Boholanos as they recover from the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that shocked the province on October 15, 2013.

Fast forward to nine months after the earthquake, Bohol continues to rise from the rubble.

Amid the gloomy weather last July 27, the colorful costumes and warm smiles of the participants brightened the day in Tagbilaran City in celebration of the Sandugo Festival 2014. Rain or shine, the 12 groups from different schools and municipality danced with gusto.

Bohol Sandugo Festival by

Here’s a slideshow of the street dancing and the show down at the stadium.

The contingents of the Bohol Island State University clad in gold and green emerged as the champion and bagged Php 300,000.00. The Tribu Nagkahiusang Balilinhon from the Municipality of Balilihan was declared first runner-up while the Holy Name University placed second. The first runner-up was awarded with Php 250,000 while the second runner-up received Php 150,000.

Watch the video highlights of the festival (shot using iPhone and edited using iMovie for iPhone).

Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto, who is also the chairperson of the festival, said that the Sandugo Festival is a springboard for the people to unite. It also celebrates the resiliency of the Boholanos. The word “Sandugo” means “blood compact”.

The Sandugo is the historic blood compact that transpired between Boholano chieftain Datu Sikatuna and Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi on March 16, 1565. The blood compact sealed the Treaty of Friendship between the Boholanos and the Spaniards. It is considered as the first international treaty of the Philippines.

*Special thanks to USAID-COMPETE, Bohol Tourism Council, Bohol Provincial Tourism Office, Department of Tourism and Amorita Resort for inviting to witness the Sandugo Festival.

Video blog: MassKara Festival 2010

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Even if you can’t dance, you might try dancing when you experience the colorful MassKara Festival of Bacolod. The MassKara Festival is one of the happiest festivals in the Philippines. Watch this video:

Slideshow of colors in the sky: Pyromusical Competition

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The sky was like a canvas that has been painted with different hues. But the colors were not paint.

The colors resembled shooting stars that fell from the sky into the water. How I wish they were shooting stars so I can make a wish. But they weren’t. They’re just fireworks that brightened up the night and made thousands of people smile.

Australia and Canada competed on March 10 for the 3rd Philippine International Pyromusical Competition at the SM Mall of Asia. Here were the shots that I took from the Gold Area overlooking the Manila Bay.



The competition ends on March 17. The winners will also be announced on that day.

Sparks turn into fireworks at the Pyromusical Competition

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“There’s no spark!”

That was a year ago. Who would have thought that I would eat my words? And yes, sparks can turn into fireworks. And everything becomes magical.

Watching the 3rd Philippine International Pyromusical Competition was not just a visual treat but also a melody to the ears. Music made the difference.

China and Netherlands both showed their pyrotechnic expertise to a thousand spectators who flocked to the  SM Mall of Asia on March 3. China was last year’s champion. But can it defend its title?

Here are the photos that I took last Saturday.



Which of the two is better? Which country will win the championship this year? 

You can still catch the Pyromusical Competition on March 10 and March 17.


1. If you’re going to watch the fireworks, be early (around 4pm) at the venue to secure your place. It’s a first come first served basis. You may run out of seats too even if you’re at the VIP area.

2. Bring water and sky flakes or come to the area with a full stomach. Nonetheless, there are kiosks where you can buy food.

3. Be prepared for a huge number of crowd.

4. Transportation may be difficult especially after the show. If you’re commuting, prepare to walk from the SM Mall of Asia up to Hobbies of Asia where you can hail a ride to Buendia or wherever you’re going. If you have a vehicle, expect heavy traffic.