Mabuhay = Live Long and Prosper
This photo was taken by my wife; close to the area
where she was born in the Philippines.
The bulky island of Mindanao, comprising around 20
provinces, lies to the south of the Philippine
Archipelago and has a landmass of nearly 95,000 sq km.
Its landscape is lush and varied, encompassing costal
plains and swamps, fertile volcanic plateaus and river
Mindanao's economy rests largely on agriculture, and
there are vast plantations of pineapples, bananas,
maize, rice, coconuts and wonderful citrus fruits.
According to my wife, there's indigenous semi-nomadic
people that live in the nearby mountains. Some of them
are still practicing the ancient art of skull deformation, otherwise known as "head-hunting." I would stand clear of the mountains, and focus my efforts elsewhere.
If you're interested in history, there's a city with
a major seaport to the south where my wife's sister
lives, called Butuan. Butuan is widely recognised as
the earliest known place of settlement and sea trade in
the Philippines. In 1976 the oldest boat in the
Philippines, a balangay or sea-going outrigger,
was discovered that was carbon-dated to AD 320. This
find, along with finds of extensive wooden coffins
of tribal peoples who practiced skull deformation, has
made Butuan a centre of archaeological and
March 30, 2008