Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Golden Boat of Mulao

By far, Mulao has been the most intriguing place in my list of spots in Liloan. Yes, despite the fact that we spent 2 hours wading in the river and climbing rocks, I still find the place worthy of some thought.

First, the boat-shaped stone. Even if it is perched precariously on two rocks separated by a 2-meter space and the fact that the two bases are cracking under the boat's weight, the stone maintains absolute and perfect balance. I think I've heard Charlie say that the stone has remained despite strong currents and flash floods from the mountains. Wonderful, and wonder-inspiring.

Mulao, however, is not only known for one boat. The place has stories of another, more awe-inspiring boat.

They say that in the river, once in a while, there floats a golden boat. I didn't get the details of this story because I was just catching snippets of talk from our three tour guides, so busy was I trying to take a photograph of the boat-shaped stone. What I remember clearly is the fact that the golden boat does not take lightly to anyone witnessing its passage. One resident of Mulao who had been blinded years ago would say that the last thing he saw was a glistening golden boat floating in the river.

Scary, isn't it? This boat is the least severe of them all, I think, since I remember a comment in Swerver's Multiply saying that, in the Davao River, a golden boat that appears only to drunks swimming in the river will kill whoever sees it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sights and Scenes in Liloan

Buddy and photo guy Eyean's masterpieces during one of our trips all over Liloan.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Liloan Trippers:After the Contest

First off, we thank all for the support and enthusiastic responses. Never did we expect such kind and amount of audience for a then virtually unknown town in so short time. Liloan Trippers entered the competition more than a month later than any other participant. Perhaps we were even the most inexperienced bloggers. For instance, we didn’t realize the importance of “strategic tags” at first. We had to learn a lot of stuff super-fast as we went along.

Yet, in just a matter of 15 days, the interest shown by people from all walks of life had been phenomenal. Against the then-leading site, we were behind by almost 400 unique views when we started. (For the first two days, only Swerver and Immortalundead visited the site as we couldn’t even make our Mommas proud for Liloan Trippers’ layout design.) When the blogging competition ended yesterday, we were almost 400 unique views ahead of the closest second. Based on contest rules, the popularity of a site makes up for a whopping total of 70%. We don’t think any other site (save one which was incidentally the eventual winner) was able to really challenge us in the popularity department. We only have you guys to thank for that. By the way, the remaining 30% goes for blog design, aesthetics and perhaps the content. We also don’t think we fared low, by any standard, for the 30%. We can even say with full confidence (and all due respect) that we came up with more and pretty interesting entries, not the normal Wikipedia-like contents from other participants.

Still the same, the hard truth now is that Liloan Trippers lost. This may sound like a sentimental sourgraping but we still couldn’t understand it how come. Why?

Maybe the contest organizers added new criteria late in the game and we didn’t know about it. Maybe the judges did not receive it well that we mainly blogged about one Cebu town, instead of the whole Cebu province. But we made known of our intention from the beginning and they didn’t give a word that it was a wrong move. We stated our decision even in some Liloan Trippers posts that while we focus on Liloan, inevitably, other places in Cebu also get to be featured on the side. You can never separate One Cebu. Liloan is still part of Cebu Province. Hence, a good advertising campaign for Liloan is good for all of Cebu Province. Liloan is in the countryside. Thus, promoting the town's tourism will further the shared goal of blogging organizers and Cebuanos in general to highlight the strong partnerships for development of a bustling industrial metropolis utilizing resources from a vibrant countryside.

“We feel that Liloan is one of the most underrated towns in Cebu. Given enough exposure, Liloan will provide a significant option for potential Cebu tourists.”

We also said in
earlier entries that Liloan Trippers (being a Johnny-come-so-lately) didn’t expect to win at all. But the win for top prize unexpectedly and suddenly came as clear as Liloan’s sunrise as the days went along. Maybe they took the former statement too seriously and it was completely okay for them to deny us the win. We hope that the blogging judges actually read all Liloan Trippers’ entries and checked our hits. Why were there winners already on August 30 if the contest culmination was supposedly August 31? Why was Liloan Trippers not included in the official list of participating blog entries? We formally joined the contest and they even asked us, which we did, to include their default and sponsorship widgets. Ultimately, we just wish that we lost for the right reasons.

Despite it all, and in all honesty, the Liloan Trippers are overwhelmed with the turnout. We have checked the other participants’ sites and we couldn’t help in asking ourselves who promoted Cebu more. We are proud to note that foreigners from as far as Arizona, Egypt, New York, U.K., etc, have been keen readers of the site and have shown genuine interest to give Liloan a visit if given the chance. Mainly through the help of friendly networking and linking, we believe we have achieved something great. That is, if being able to make some foreigners to add Filipino words such as “halo-halo,” “lilo” and “habal-habal” in their vocabulary counts. In view of this, Liloan Trippers will stick to its original plan of featuring Liloan and Cebu past the blogging contest. Again, Liloan Trippers is not in any way paid to do so (or not yet anyway). ;-) We are doing this for the sheer fun of being trippers and having to enjoy Liloan’s rosquillos dipped into halo-halo once in awhile.

-- Liloan Trippers (written by Swerver)

p.s. Tomorrow, in fact, we will be in Liloan again to have more pro-level pictures courtesy of Eyean. Do check out for that! Ciao!

p.p.s. I don’t know why but this whole thing makes me miss Serena Dalrymple. Remember that cute girl in old Jollibee commercial who said to Aga Mulach “isa pa, isa pang chicken joy”?