Spend moments not money. 

Sweta Ojha

​Festivity should not be confined especially when you celebrate happiness with such amazing souls. Needless to say, the best of company stands for a festival everyday!

That is exactly why we at SAVERA celebrated Christmas on 15th of the festive month!

So yes! If you were curious of our whereabouts, we’ve got amazing memories sketched and beautiful moments lived in a single day! We share with you the first glimpse of our next step towards the motive – “Spread smile, spread love and be the change you desire in the world.”

“Didi, ranna hebbi hoeche” made our day ❤

The Day started off with lunch but that’s not about it.

We have been working towards happiness and the first rule was to do something that they love. We do not believe in charity, we believe in spending and sharing moments. Hence, we set the menu as per their choice and…

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The Majestic “Banig” of Basey, Samar

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The Majestic “Banig” of Basey Samar

The traditional art of mat weaving continues to flourish in this old town whose name has become synonymous with woven sleeping mat, or “banig.”

And the practice of this ancient art, which has been handed down from one generation to the next, recently took a new turn as demand for the product increases.

This is because use of the banig has expanded. Where once the age-old mat was used solely for sleeping, it now adorns modern walls or ceiling panels. It has been turned into bags, throw pillows, framed decors, as well as place mats and furniture matting.

The people in Basey had been weaving mats long before the Spaniards came, it was said. The tradition went on with almost all, if not all, of the womenfolk here learning the art of weaving at an early age. The weavers are locally known as…

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Borobangkaso Islet (Masbate, PH)

No Juan Is An Island

“Islands are metaphors of the heart, no matter what poet says otherwise.” – Jeanette Winterson

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Island-hopping is probably one of the primary things you got to do when you live in an archipelago of 7, 107 islands dotted with gorgeous shoreline.

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Living in the Philippines my entire life has made me a beach lover. Ironically, I am not an avid fan of swimming in the open sea. I just love walking and bumming around the beach despite the sweltering heat of the sun. You see, the sun and I get along pretty easy.

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Seemingly floating around the Masbate Strait is a small island, which features a distinctive rock formation that looks like a pile of books from afar, as its centrepiece. Borobangkaso Islet is one of the stop-over if you happen to do an all-day island-hopping in Ticao Island, Masbate Province.

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From among the places we did see during that…

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Burias Island (Masbate, PH)

No Juan Is An Island

Not all those who wander are lost. — J.R.R. Tolkien

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Seven thousand, one hundred seven islands (7, 107) – that is how plenty one can choose from when visiting the Philippines. Of these islands, a great number of them are undiscovered and pristine beaches. For the past months of my “wanderlusting”, I have been keen on discovering/re-discovering these “off the beaten” destinations.

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One of the greatest surprise is an island in the province of Masbate called Burias Island and its islets.An island made up of 2 municipalities (Claveria and San Pascual), it is one of the three major islands of the province. Imay not have set foot on mainland Burias during my recent visit, but, I was given the chance to see and experience the magnificent smaller islands of Burias that includes Dapa, Sombrero and Tinalisyan.

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The beauty of Burias is best travelled (and experienced) by boat and a night…

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Pol Saulog at Magno Padua…mga bukod-tanging kaibigan sa Cavite

POL SAULOG AT MAGNO PADUA

…mga bukod-tanging kaibigan sa Cavite

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Nakilala ko si Manong Pol nang tumira ako sa isang subdivision sa Cavite. Sa simula ay simpleng batian lang ang aming ginagawa tuwing kakain ako o uminom ng beer sa kanyang “native style” na restaurant sa labas ng aming subdivision. Mahilig siyang magluto ng mga pagkaing Kabitenyo subalit hindi niya ako inaalok ng mga ito dahil nalaman niyang vegetarian ako. Nakilala ko rin ang kanyang mga anak at asawa na naging malapit sa akin. Hindi ko binigyang pansin ang tikas ng kanyang personalidad sa simula sa kabila ng artistahin niyang mukha. Nagulat na lamang ako nang malaman ko sa ibang kaibigan niya na lumalabas pala siya sa pelikula ni Ramon Revilla kasama ang isa pang kaibigan ko sa lugar ding yon na si Ding Santos.

 

Hindi palasalita si Manong Pol kaya karamihan ng mga kuwento tungkol sa kanyang buhay ay sa kanyang mga kumpare ko nalaman. Napansin niya ang pagiging galante ko noon sa inuman kaya pinayuhan niya akong maghinay-hinay sa paggastos sa alak at piliing mabuti ang mga taong gustong makipagkaibigan sa akin. May laman ang kanyang sinabi at napatunayan ko makalipas ang maraming taon. Nagsilbi siyang “kuya” ko sa lugar namin, at ang samahan namin ang nakatulong upang respetuhin din ako ng mga nagrerespeto sa kanya.

 

Maaga ako noong pumasok sa opisina na nasa Roxas Boulevard, sakop ng Ermita. Madaling araw pa lang ay nasa highway na ako at nag-aabang ng masasakyag dyip. Madalas akong madaanan nina Manong Pol at ng kanyang asawa na araw-araw namang pumupunta sa Maynila kaya nai-aangkas nila ako sa kotse nilang Mustang, isang collectible na edition. Ibinababa nila ako sa mismong harapan ng S&L Building kung saan ako nag-oopisina.

 

Bukod sa restaurant sa labasan namin, may tindahan pa rin sina Manong Pol sa kanilang bahay na katabi ng subdivision namin, kung saan ako umuutang ng kaha-kahang beer na nilalatag ko sa mga kaibigan tuwing mag-inuman kami. Nagtapat siya minsan na ako lang ang pinagbubuksan niya ng tindahan kahit alanganing oras tuwing ako ay tatawag upang umutang ng beer. Sinabi din ito sa akin ng mga kumpare niya na hindi niya pinagbibigyan kahit sa tagal na ng kanilang samahan.

 

Nang panahong yon, kailangan kong makisama sa mga taong nakatira sa paligid ng subdivision namin dahil sa katungkulan ko bilang presidente ng homeowners’ association. Sa pagkakataong ito ko nakilala din si Magno Padua, na nirerespeto sa lugar namin. Bukod sa kanya ay nakilala ko rin ang kanyang mga kapatid na sina Tomas, Budjo, Emo, Tura at  Millie. Namayapa na sina Tomas, Emo, at Millie. Noong buhay pa ang nanay nina Magno, ipinaghahanda niya ako ng hiniwa nang malalaki na patola na niluluto niya sa  bawang. Ang ulam ay masarap sa kabila ng payak na pagkaluto sa bawang, lalo na ang sabaw na manamis-namis pa.. Masipag magtanim ang magkakaptid ng gulay na binibenta din nila sa palengke ng Zapote kaya sagana ako sa gulay tuwing pupunta ako sa kanila.

 

Dahil ako ay dayo sa lugar na tinirhan ko malaking bagay ang nagawa ng pakipagkaibigan ko sa mga nabanggit. Kung anong respetong ipinakita sa kanila ay ipinakita at pinadanas din sa akin ng mga naging kaibigan kong nakakakilala sa kanila. Marami rin akong natutunan sa kanila lalo na sa pakikisama sa ibang tao, higit sa lahat ay ang pagpapairal ng ugali sa paraang walang kayabangan. Napansin ko na sa mga kasayahan, kalimitan ay nasa tabi lamang sila at hindi nagbabangka o nagpapasimula ng kuwentuhan. Kung uminom man ng alak ay yong tipong, pang-sosyal, hindi laklak.

 

Parehong biyudo sina Manong Pol at Magno, magkasing-edad sa gulang na mahigit sitenta pero matitikas pa rin. Nagkikita kami ni Manong Pol kung siya ay masumpungan ko sa tinitirhan ng kanyang anak, dahil nakatira na siya ngayon sa isa pang bayan ng Cavite mula noong mamatay ang asawa niya. Si Magno naman ay pinapasyalan ko tuwing may panahon ako dahil hindi kalayuan ang tinitirhan niya mula sa amin.

 

Ang mga tinukoy ko ay halimbawa ng mga taong hindi ko makakalimutan dahil sa maganda nilang asal kahit hindi nakatuntong ng kolehiyo. Lutang na lutang ang bukod-tangi nilang pagkatao kahit sa umpukan dahil sa ugali nilang higit pa sa ilang nakatapos sa malalaking unibersidad…kaya dapat tularan.

Ben Cab: Cloud-Kissed Museum (Tuba, Benguet PH)

No Juan Is An Island

Are you in search of a culturally-inspiring experience? Or you just want to satiate the art junkie in you? Or maybe, you just want to feel at one with nature and breathe in unsullied, pine-scented air… All of these you can achieve, with a visit at the cloud-kissed Ben Cab Museum.

DSC_1227Located close to the Philippines’ summer capital and city of pines, (Baguio), in the nearby town of Tuba (Benguet), BenCab Museum shows off national artist Benedicto Cabrera’s widespread art collection.

This magnanimous art hub has been recognized by TripAdvisor as a 2014 Travelers’ Choice Awardee and it now ranks among the best art and cultural centers and is part of Asia’s top 25 museums list. (http://www.balitangtrending.com/bencab-museum-top-25-asias-best-museums/)

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The museum, just like most buildings in Baguio and nearby areas, starts at street-level then goes down. Ben Cab is a 4-level building housing Cabrera’s anthology of indigenous objects from the…

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Let’s Eat: Cafe in the Sky (Tuba, Benguet, PH)

No Juan Is An Island

“In the sky there are always answers and explanations for everything: every pain, every suffering, joy and confusion.” ― Ishmael Beah

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Baguio City has been long established as the City of Pines and the Summer Capital of the Philippines. For the past years, another moniker has been given which is The Cloud-Kissed City. True enough, this cool city up north has continuously impressed visitors for its unending charm.

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Long before the Forevermore brouhaha happened on national television, me and my friends would usually hike our way to the Philippines ‘highest commutable mountain – Mount Cabuyao (more commonly known from among Baguio locals as “radar”). From here, we are rewarded with a stunning Baguio City skyline.

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Fastforward, with the tremendous success of the teleserye that featured this once sleepy sitio in Tuba, Benguet and is now popularly known as La Presa, more tourists flocked their way. The need for a refreshment…

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