25 May 2016

Apo Island & It's Sea Turtles

That first picture is amazing, isn't it? The underwater fauna at Apo Island was incredible, all 6 adults and 6 kids in our group were awed by the experience. We were also pretty surprised and disappointed by the exploitation on the island. As we got closer and I could see more of the island my excitement spiraled to shock. There was so much concrete, boats docking by the shore, tour guides eager to work for the day and commercial tarps offering extra text for your load in the small cove that we were in. It was overcrowded and not highly organized. I have serious doubts that it will stay intact and remain the sanctuary that it was for long. Still it was a memorable trip so let me also share the best bits of our day on the island.

We had never seen so many pawikans in one place, in all sizes and ages. Actually, we've only seen one at Pamilacan Island. There was one that must have been over four feet tall and was about the size of the 6 year old in our group. We swam with one turtle and we caught him dip down to have a bite of grass then swim up and poke his head out of the water for some air a few times. Aiden who is obsessed with sea creatures was having the best day of his life. The pawikans come close to the shore where they feed on the sea grass, that is where the throng of tourists are. The second snorkeling site we went to after lunch we reached by boat and was in the middle of the water. There we were the only group, it was a bigger area and deeper water so it was a much more pleasant adventure for everyone.

The gorgeous underwater photos are by Paco.

24 May 2016

Reversible Wrap Skirts

The Anthill x Mothering Earthlings Summer Collection is here and it is a burst of fun florals that brighten up any day with vibrant accents of Filipino hand woven cotton.  As always it pays tribute to the artisans who celebrate their culture by continuing their living traditions of weaving fabric in the hopes of passing it on to younger generations with much value and appreciation.  These skills are also their source of sustenance. Despite aching backs and cramped spaces, these women choose to work in their homes as they are first loving mothers to their children. They finish an average of 5-7 meters a day on their handmade antique looms while juggling household chores. 

This new collection gives you a quirky new twist to the most versatile skirt a little girl can ever have. The Tablas makes it debut and comes with a long waistband in the print of the reverse side accented with Ramit bands in varying colors. Ramit is meticulously handwoven by the Buhid and Hanununo Mangyans in Minodro, Philippines. Upcycled thread is spun into intricate geometric patterns.

The Tayum is back and this time in it's long waistband is made from Binakol, a hand woven pattern by skilled artisan mothers from Anthill's partner weaving community in Sarrat, Philippines using scrap or upcycled thread.  This season it comes in subtle checks on one side and bright florals on the other. Pick the side the fits the top, the occasion or the mood.  These wrap skirt have an adjustable waist which means they will grow with her. They are fun and frilly in all the right ways.  

06 May 2016

Manjuyod Sand Bar, Bais

After a slow two hour van ride from Dauin to Bais, we couldn't wait to sink our toes in the sand and get our skin salty from the sea. I had seen so many pictures of this gorgeous strip of white sand in the middle of the TaƱon Strait this was the one thing I absolutely did not want to miss.