Mambukal Mudpack Festival

Annually during the third week of June, there is the Mambukal Mudpack Festival held at Mambukal Resort in Barangay Minoyan, Murcia, Negros Occidental. This year, it was June 23-24. Mambukal Resort is only a 25 minute drive from our home in Bacolod City.

The annual Mambukal Mudpack Festival is an exciting event that advocates and promotes the preservation of the Philippines environment. The theme of the Mudpack Festival is the harmony of man and nature. There is multi-colored clay at Mambukal Resort and it is used in body art to promote ethnic Filipino tribal dance, arts and crafts.

With Tribal Dancers

These were only three among many of the contestants in the competition at the Mambukal Mudpack Festival. There are several categories in the competition. Tribal Dancing, Clay Body Painting, Solo Dance Improvisation and the Miss Earth Mambukal Pagent. Sorry guys, that event was held in the evening and I was not there to get any photos of the lovely, talented and beautiful lady contestants.

One beautiful lady with a tribal dancer

One more beautiful lady with a tribal dancer

I did capture a couple of photos of some beautiful ladies with tribal dancers. One in particular is sooooo near to my heart, mind, body and soul!

Group Tribal Dance

It really was a hot day and the San Miguel Beer Sign is facing the dancers. I think some were ready for a cold one!

The La Carlota Drummers performed but I could not get near enough to get a decent photo. The music of the event was really cool.  Drums, shakers, pan flutes and the type of music that reminds one of a rain forest and tribes in harmony with nature.

In harmony with Nature

The Number One Tribal Dancer

You don’t have to wait until next year’s Mambukal Mudpack Festival to visit the resort. They are open daily and the hot springs are the highlight of the resort. There are several nurseries where you can buy native plants and potted trees. There is a trail taking you up the mountain and to the waterfalls but be prepared for hiking. There is the butterfly gardens if you are interested in butterflies and there is also the boating lagoon.

If you are hungry and/or want an ice cold brew or soft drink, check out Jean’s Place in Mambukal Resort. The chicken inasal, local BBQ chicken, is very good. They also have grilled fish and seafood. Jean’s Place will fix you right up if you are hungry and thirsty with a place for you to kick back, relax and take a rest. The wait staff have a smile and they are friendly.

There is overnight lodging at Mambukal resort in the form of cottages, lodges, suites, hotel style rooms, dormitories and tents for those who are adventurous and enjoy camping. A nice room is only P1,000 and that is about $23 US Dollars. You sure can’t beat that!

We really had a blast at the Mambukal Mudpack Festival. I hope you can make it the third week in June in 2013. See ya there!

Philippine-Hong Kong Connection

It seems that many in the Philippines have a family member, a friend or both working in Hong Kong. Personally, I think it is a great experience because there are more than 100,000 Filipinos, both male and female, working in Hong Kong. It is true that those working in Hong Kong are away from their family and friends in the Philippines but there would be fewer locations in the world that are more Philippine friendly than Hong Kong.

Hong Kong and south China was our home for 9 years. In my opinion, Hong Kong rocks! We are happy living in the Bacolod Area of the Philippines but if we just had to move, it would be to Hong Kong. We still have family and friends working in Hong Kong and we know it very well.

On the weekends in Hong Kong, it is almost like being in the Philippines. You will see Filipinos everywhere! In the malls, in the parks, on public transportation, in restaurants and especially in World Wide Plaza, aka World Wide House, located in the area between Connaught Road Central, Pedder Street and Des Voeus Road Central. Every Filipino in Hong Kong, except maybe those who just arrived during the last day or two, knows where World Wide Plaza is located.

World Wide House Plaza

The photo was taken at night and it has a good shot of the moon!

At World Wide Plaza, you can buy everything Philippines! There are many shops, which are operated by Filipinos, selling cell phone loads, snacks from the Philippines, canned goods from the Philippines, newspapers and magazines from the Philippines and just about anything one would want from the Philippines. There is a San Miguel Brewery in Hong Kong, so no need to go to World Wide Plaza just to buy a cold Pilsen brew! San Miguel Beer is sold in all the 7-11, grocery stores and in small shops most everywhere in Hong Kong. You can send money to the Philippines and receive money from the Philippines at World Wide Plaza. You can also exchange currency. There are also several camera shops, cell phone shops and jewelry shops.

Do you need a new barong or terno dress in Hong Kong? World Wide Plaza is the best place to find both and you can even have them custom designed and hand made. Do you need a Tagalog Bible? Look no further than World Wide Plaza. In the mood for Philippine cuisine, then you will find several small Philippine restaurants located inside World Wide Plaza. There is also a Jollebee Restaurant located right next door to World Wide Plaza. However, be aware, on the weekend, you may have to wait a long time for a seat!

The churches in Hong Kong very much welcome Filipinos to their services. The Baptist churches especially cater to Filipino OFWs, Overseas Filipino Workers. KIBC, Kowloon International Baptist Church, is one where there are many Filipino members and the choir is mostly Filipinas. Kowloon Filipino Baptist Church is another one to attend if you want to meet compatriots. KIBC often has field trips on Sundays to the different scenic places in Hong Kong and they often have Sunday pot luck lunches. You can enjoy food from Manila, Ilocos, Negros, Iloilo, Cebu, Mindanao and other places from the Philippines.

On a Hong Kong Street

Everyone loves to shop in Hong Kong.

Tree house in Hong Kong…

at Disneyland!

Always a drummer!

Yes, I have always been a drummer and you can ask my old elementary teachers! Without thinking in class, I would be drumming on my desk or on my books, sometimes with my hands and sometimes with two pencils in hand.

Donald Duck says “Hey!”

And we would soon be saying, “Bye Bye” and back to the Philippines we would go the next day.

There remains a lively Philippine-Hong Kong connection and it is never as good as being home but it is not so bad if you find yourself in Hong Kong and you need to find some of the comfort foods and other things from back home. The good thing is, people from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao can meet together without regional differences and unite as being Filipino together.










Drum Competition at the 2012 Panaad sa Negros Festival

Yesterday, April 15, was the last day of this year’s Panaad sa Negros Festival. We did not attend until the late afternoon.

I am by no means a professional drummer but I have my own set of Timbales drums with the cow bell attached and I have played since the early 90s. The highlight for me during the last day of the Panaad Festival was the drum competition. Cities and towns from around Negros Occidental take the drum competition seriously and they practice year ’round until the next Panaad Festival.

Drum Competition

Drums, drums and more drums! Congas, bongos, timbales, steel drums, kettle drums, bass drums, homemade drums and professionally made drums. Music to my ears!

A break from the action

Waiting for their round again in the competition.

Last turn!

Such fast, furious and excited drumming was hard to capture on camera but they were really cooking! I wish the late great Tito Puente, King of the Timbales, was still around to see the local talent. He would be proud.


They certainly had the beat! The drummer blowing the samba whistle during the drumming really made the Panaad Festival a Carnival Event. Cabasa shakers, cheese scrapers and other hand shaken instruments added to the wonderful sound! Percussion at its finest.

Time to start practicing again, as the Drum Competition of the 2013 Panaad sa Negros Festival will be here before we know it. Only about 364 more days left to practice!!