"Saraotan sa Dalan" (Street Dancing) Pasinggatan Festival - Taytay, Palawan

       Destination: Municipality of Taytay, Palawan
  • The street dance is a competition between clusters of different Barangays showcasing Taytay's culture and rich history.
  • Taytay's culture and rich history in the form of dance and live music in the streets of Taytay.
  • Participants are dressed in ethnic costumes re-enacting scenes when the town was under Spanish colonial rule with history that date back to approximately 16th century.

Saraotan sa Dalan (Street Dancing in Cuyonon language) - This event marks the end of 10 days of festivities in Municipality of Taytay's Pasinggatan Festival. Came from the Filipino root word "Singgat" or dazzle, Pasinggatan Festival is a celebration of the cultural heritage of the Taytay people, it involves gastronomic festival - Paguetekan, a Cuyono term which means to indulge in eating, Bituin ng Taytay - pageant presenting the candidates of every cultural group, sports days, festival of traditional dances and music among other activities. The whole town stops completely for more than a week for these intense festivities.

May 4, 2014 is THE big day at this time of the year. Participants were flaunting colorful outfits flood the streets of Taytay passing through my cousin's house. I have never seen my hometown as excited about Saraotan sa Dalan as this is my first time to witness it. It was hot summertime, an absolutely electric time here, and the whole town is riding the crest of an incredible wave of emotion, glee and, of course, good times.

The street dance according to my cousin Aida, "are set to be bigger and bigger every year." It's hard to believe, but the first Pasinggatan festival celebrated in Taytay, Palawan was maybe 10 years ago and although the event has changed somewhat since then, locals are determined to preserve the tradition. I’ve never been and I’m not sure what to expect but I definitely didn’t expect it to be as huge as it was.  I thought a couple of streets in Taytay would be closed to cars, but I didn’t realize that the whole of central Taytay would be shut off to vehicles to make way for the parade and a huge street dance.

The street dance is a competition between clusters of different Barangays showcasing Taytay's culture and rich history in the form of dance and live music. Participants were dressed in ethnic costumes and dramatize old stories of our town while dancing at the designated performance area. Each cluster has their own concept and stories to tell, re-enacting scenes when the town was under Spanish colonial rule with history that date back to approximately 16th century.

Sea of colors: The first performance of Saraotan sa Dalan at the main street of the town started at around 10 AM draw people to watch the street dance from their balconies and front houses with beautiful and loud music. I have enjoyed myself as spectator because we were positioned at the front of performance. Tribu Cinopalob showcased the tensions and disorders which culminated during Spanish colonization bridging to acceptance of Catholicism of the native Taytayanos. The group has exhibited a dazzling performance.

The temperature raised further as the street dance moves closer to its noontime. With colorful costumes reflecting the town's strong connections to Spain, the second group presented colorful fight between Taytayanos, Muslims and Spaniards. 

There are some truly inventive and some might say bizarre costumes and rituals - with mixed costumes and figures running riot and fights, scenes depicting some of the harrowing experiences of colonization are the favorite theme. Despite some aspects of the festival remembering some of the harsher part of our history, there's still opportunities for us to celebrate our culture. The group represented how Taytayanos identify themselves in different ways, adapting to different cultures and traditions as they throw their own unique chants to the crowds.

What a spectacle: The presentation includes dancers dressed in colorful clothes covered their faces with white face paint portraying Spanish colonization dancing gracefully with stories of Taytayano's Strength, honor, and optimism.

Other performances were also war dances complete with weapons. Young and old performers have joined the line to re-enact some of our culture and tradition, our way of living before and after colonization. 

Taytay has developed their own exotic celebrations for the "Fiesta" season showcasing our own cultures and traditions. 

The festival originally started off as a showcase of the culture and traditions of the Taytay people, but now it is an important municipal event every year. While Saraotan sa Dalan may not be the most well-attended street dance in the country but it will surely put Taytay on the tourism map of joyful festivities and hopefully included in the likes of Sinulog, Masskara, and Dinagyang in the future.

When People are the Tourist Attraction | Daredevil

This is the astonishing moment when my adventurous niece, Sophia, attempted to jump into Maoyon River  - and survived, lol!

With the weather proving unseasonally warm over the last week, I'd love to dedicate this post to encourage you guys to domestic holidays and rediscover the glee of traveling in a river near you to take the plunge. 

Put away glitz, glamour and gadgets. Let’s go!

Heights are not really my thing, although I'd always dreamt of flying like a bird, free from anything. With my little persuasion and her desire for thrill, my adrenaline junkie niece, Sophia, decided to take the plunge into Maoyon River after numerous peek few feet from the bar of Love and Peace Resort. It brought excitement and ecstatic scream when her mom, Ate Cherry, agreed when she asked for permission. 

Sophia was first in our group to jump. After settling into free-fall position, she flew like Tinkerbell and propelled up into the heavens suspended in air. My heart skipped a beat when I took the shoot. With her eyes closed, she let go of the rope and took a leap of faith into the river. Tensions are high after she jumped and plummeted into the river until her wide-faced smile surfaced above the water yelling "Oh my God, I did it!". "It wasn't easy at first, but the experience of being suspended above anything was another rewarding thrill-seeking adventure", she said. Moments later, her brother Kristian, followed. And they do it over and over again.

Kids, they are the ones who never fear from taking risk because fear is the key of failure. May this blog post remind me to be braver and never lose my kid-at-heart spirit to slowly take the plunge of blogging again. To slowly get back on track, to tell you many tales of adventures or misadventures to places I've been 5 years ago (yes, 5 years of backlog) This is to remind me to somersault 5 summers, 122 places, 548 people and countless experiences.

Photo of the Week | Starry, Starry Night

My inspiration for photography has always been a desire to capture something spectacular, something unusual and something unique because I wanted to share pieces of my travels that my followers will experience in a special way, hence this weekly sharing was born. I hope you do.

BTW, I’ve added “Reflection to Life” portion whenever I post “Picture of the Week” – Please take time to read it and share your views on the comment section.

Here's another favorite picture from my Bohol travel long time ago when we’re sitting on the sand staring at the night sky while waiting for dinner to be served in a restaurant nearby. It was an incredibly still, clear night. Dark skies and no wind, the stars reflected like scattered diamonds dancing across the sky against deep blue backdrop, while the shy moon trying to hide from my sight. The moment was perfectly synced to Norah Jones music playing from my phone, the Nearness of You.

It's not the pale moon that excites me
That thrills and delights me
Oh no, it's just the nearness of you
It isn't your sweet conversation
That brings this sensation
Oh no, it's just the nearness of you
When you're in my arms
And I feel you so close to me
All my wildest dreams came true
I need no soft lights to enchant me
If you will only grant me
The right to hold you ever so tight
And to feel in the night
The nearness of you…

From my vantage point, I let my imagination free. Silhouette of coconut trees lined in the foreground seemed like protecting the moon, pushing away the beauty of dazzling array of twinkling stars. I was in awe, what a beautiful world we live in! The universe is amazing, so spectacular and magnificent, makes me want to cry for some reason as I enjoyed the display of power and beauty of nature. I am reminded that there is still peace and solitude to be found in this angry, lonely world of ours. 

Reflection to Life: The crescent moon represents us, ordinary people, who tend to shy away beautiful opportunities in life because were not full enough or maybe afraid to reciprocate the beauty life is offering. So, we tend to hide and choose to be unknown in our own universes not knowing that our own incredible light beacons, attracting that opportunity. Imagine the light from that distant stars and galaxies trying to attract us. It takes hundreds, thousands, even millions of years to reach us. What a disappointment to lose it in the last millisecond of its journey.

Are you willing to quit your job to start a business or the thing that you really want to do?  Dare to take that one opportunity that sparkle your way today.

Dine with a View at Casa Rosa, Taytay, Palawan

Serving five-star view that captures the essence of a seductive oceanfront overlooking Taytay Bay and the historic Fort Santa Isabel, Casa Rosa is the best place to dine in the municipality of Taytay, Palawan after spending hours of photo-shooting at the nearby Santa Isabel Fort.  

The restaurant mostly caters to local clientele doesn't serve high-end cuisine but with uninterrupted views over endless azure waters of Taytay Bay, priceless! Look at how beautiful that sea is...

The hillside restaurant is open from mid-morning serving Filipino and American breakfast until diner offering conventional cuisine at very affordable prices including dishes such as Lomi, Chicken Cordon Bleu, and Pasta in cream and mushroom sauce. The uphill restaurant can be booked privately for breakfast, weddings or other special occasions. Casa Rosa also offers accommodation at their cliff-side cottages for just a minimum amount.

Filipino Breakfast Longganisa, Php 120

Wide range of Pizzas are favorite among locals with affordable price range of Php 200 (Margarita, Hawaiian, Ham and Cheese, Seafood , and Vegetarian) to Php 250 (Casa Rosa Special). They also serve Sandwiches, appetizers, and desserts. Pork Steak and Schnitzel are served with mashed potato or French fries are best serve at dinner for just Php 220.).

Pasta in Cream and Mushroom Sauce, Php 150

The dishes were cooked just beside the main restaurant. Pizza on the other occasion I went here, was served hot and fresh off the oven and highly recommended though we haven't tried this time around. The most appropriate thing to order at this place is of course, champagne. But with its absence from the menu, Mojitos (Php 80) or San Miguel Beer (Php 45) could be great a substitute.

Chicken Cordon Bleu, Php 220

Considering the prices, the dishes were all good. Lomi was hot and thick with lots of meat and can be shared by two. Pasta was creamy enough and Chicken Cordon Bleu is worth to try another round. Instant iced tea, freshly squeezed Calamansi juice, brewed coffee, and cold softdrins are also available. Desserts are inviting; Banana Flambe (Php, 80), Mixed Fruits (Php 60), and Crepe with Fruits (Php 130) but we skipped it because we're already full.

Lomi, Php 120

This is the perfect location for a romantic private dinner at night - It gets dark around 6pm in this part of the world and it would be nice to have dinner here, so you could take your time mesmerized with the view of the naval fortress slowly lighted during the night.

Overall, the spectacular uphill restaurant where loved-up couples can dine in a cliff-side gazebo with an ocean view is the best in town and worthy every penny to relax and dine. Not too bad a price to pay, it would be a one off experience.