Chiang Mai the second time

With the ongoing recognition of indigenous knowledge as a complementary knowledge system for mainstream science, I was able to travel to Chiang Mai for the second time to attend a dialogue-workshop organized by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), UNESCO, UNEP, UNDP, FAO, and a Thai-based NGO, Indigenous Peoples’ Foundation for Education and Environment (I.P.F).

Attending these workshops are a bit tiresome for the brain, so to relax, I spent one afternoon walking around the walled and moat-filled city. It took me around two hours to complete a walk around the city, and while doing so, an idea to create a time-lapse video came to mind.

After the last day of the workshop, I prepared all my gear (well, just my camera), and walked about 10 minutes to Chang Phuek (North Gate). Before starting the long stroll, I first had to visit a good friend, Lisa Nesser, to say hello and check if she has some Lahu (an indigenous group) bracelets for sale. Lisa founded Thai Freedom House, a language and arts learning center dedicated to assisting refugee families and individuals from Myanmar, as well as extending help to Thai indigenous peoples. She also has a nice cafe, the Free Bird Cafe, serving various Burmese and Thai cuisine that is fresh, organic, and vegetarian. They also serve coffee, smoothies, juices and dessert. (You can check them out at:


It was 6 pm, and the camera was focused towards the city, as it is viewed across the moat. I clicked the shutter every five steps, and around the 300th shot, I could feel a slight discomfort on my shoulders. But I was enjoying the sights nonetheless so I just kept walking on. There were doves flying around, a Caucasian man slacklining across the moat, an Italian man asking me money for food (and I don’t know why he’d ask me money in the first place), bugs flying around, men fishing, folks sitting along the benches, clear skies, nice fountains, cars passing by, arches, and then… “Battery low”! So after three hours, 1,376 photos, uttering “OKKINawa, Japan!” and without completing the whole stretch of the city, here’s the video:

Well, maybe another reason to visit Chiang Mai again.

PS: If you like to help Lisa and her projects, you can also like “Thai Freedom House” and “Free Bird Cafe” on Facebook. 😀

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Adventurers are Wanderers

Well, as some have known, I joined Wrangler’s search for True Wanderers (#TrueWanderer #WanderWithPassion), and the entry which I submitted is reposted as follows:

“Makko (pronounced mak-kow) is derived from my ancestor’s name, Mammako. My name doesn’t mean anything really, but after spending my early years in Sagada; schooling in Baguio City; visiting grandparents in Bokod, Benguet; and undergoing post-graduate studies at the base of Mt. Makiling in Los Banos, Laguna; Makko began to mean traveling, nature, photography, cloud and crowd watching, ventriloquist singing, or just walking and hanging around. And now, Makko suggests a pair of tough jeans, a sturdy pack, and an adventure around the Philippines with a motorbike!

I love motorcycles, but never had the chance to own one. I dream of visiting ALL 1,490 municipalities in the Philippines, and I’ve been to 200+ so far. It feels right when I spread news of environmental protection and conservation for Philippine cultures and ecosystems; so I blog, participate, and initiate such activities as much as I can. So my dream checklist is: to visit all the 1,490 municipalities in my lifetime with a motorbike, share my knowledge about the environment, and know stories about my country and its people as they live their lives in this tropical paradise. And as wise men say, hard work, passion and perseverance is required if I want my dreams to come true!

Well, after years of saving and saving, there’s a check on the motorbike because I have recently bought a second hand one. There’s a bigger chance therefore to visit the remaining municipalities I have not visited yet. What remains is one critical check–my post-graduate degree in environmental science to guide me in sharing practical guidelines about nature conservation, and in living an adventure with a green agenda! But the journey for that diploma is already on the horizon, and it means a lot for fueling my passion in helping the Philippines develop in a sustainable and happy way.

So to end this brief meeting of ours, all I can say is love, love and love!! And yes, of course, I’d like you to join me in this journey to explore and wander, to live and be alive in this country we call home, and to be a part of this only planet known to harbor life. Because honestly, this is not just my journey. It is yours too!”

So if you find what I dream about to be worthwhile, please vote for it (until April 17!) in the following link: Who knows, we’ll be sharing the same adventures soon! 😉DSC_8614



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The Barangays of Sagada

Well, there are 19 barangays in Sagada, and to pronounce them the way native folks do, it’s Pidlisan, not Fidelisan. It’s Tanowong or Tano-ong, not Tanulong. It’s Piche (inverted “e,” like the “ugh” sound, although there is also a Pide near the central town), not Pideh, Payd,.or Pitchi. Oki doki?


Barangays of Sagada (PCS: WGS 84 UTM Zone 51N) Created March 2015


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