Monday, October 24, 2011

Unang Sulyap sa Pambansang Museo (Unang Bahagi)

Ito ang unang blog post ko na isinulat gamit ang wikang Filipino. Tungkol ito sa isang  lugar na espesyal at naging bahagi ng aking buhay kolehiyo kung saan marami akong natutunan at mas nakilala ko ang kalinangan (culture) nating mga Pilipino, ang Pambansang Museo ng Pilipinas. Isang pagpupugay ito sa paggunita sa  isang siglo at dekadang pagkakatatag ng National Museum.

Museum of the Filipino People na bahagi ng Pambansang Museo

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Malolos City: Bulacan's Mural of History

When Malolos City is mentioned the first landmark/destination that comes to mind is the Barasoain Church due to its historical significance,  its popularity as the church depicted in 10 peso bill (no longer in circulation, another item for collectors). Buses carrying tourists visiting the church are a common sight. 

Other than Barasoain Church there are other interesting attractions to visit in Malolos City especially for those interested in history and the arts. Malolos City is home to the largest mural in the Philippines during its time of creation called "Kasaysayan ng Bulacan". The floor to ceiling (almost) mural greets visitors as they step inside the lobby of the Gat. Blas F Ople Hall-Sentro ng Kabataan Sining at Kultura. 

A Mural of History

The title of the huge artwork,"Kasaysayan ng Bulacan", captures the full essence of the subject of the mural. Within the area of the mural the elements of history are weaved-time, place, people-into a coherent piece.  It is a grand tableau of the colorful history of the province and our country as well. 

Pre-colonial trade and the ever present rivers of the province
at the left part of the mural

The Ayala Triangle Gardens of Makati City

The Ayala Triangle Gardens is conveniently located amidst the very busy Makati Central Business District (Makati CBD). The triangle shape of the area is because of the three major thoroughfares that bounds the gardens: Ayala Avenue, Makati Avenue and Paseo de Roxas. It is very accessible from the various offices, of walking distance from malls such as Greenbelt, Glorietta, SM Makati, it is a leisurely stroll from the Peninsula Hotel and the Filipinas Heritage Library. The Ayala Triangle Gardens is a private park, maintained by Ayala Land, wherein the public can jog, stroll, relax, visit the site for free.

It is one of my favorite places to visit while in Makati and one of the best parks I have seen in the Philippines. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Batanes: The San Jose Church of Ivana

Ivana, April 2010. I am very interested in visiting Catholic churches since the tender age of 6, most likely because of a strong Catholic upbringing. Catholic places of worship are often historical places, architectural visual treats, and repositories of various works of art that are reminiscent of different periods. Catholic churches are always present in almost all of the municipalities and cities in the Philippines thus making them interesting destinations to visit.

While waiting for the falowa (round bottom-hulled boat used in the Province of Batanes) that would take us to Sabtang Island, I visited the San Jose Church of Ivana. The church is adjacent the Port of Ivana and the famous Honesty Store of Batanes. The Church of Ivana has a stunning location by the sea, on a clear morning you can see the Island of Sabtang.

Church Facade (2010

Monday, October 10, 2011

Makati City: “Diversities” at the Artist Space of the Ayala Museum

 Do you want to get a dose of art while exploring the Ayala Center in Makati City? Want it for free? Then the Artist Space of the Ayala Museum is the answer!

Artist Space is a gallery that features works of both Filipino and foreign artists, exhibits usually change at least once a month.

I got an opportunity to visit the said part of Ayala Museum more than a week ago. On view was an exhibit called “Diversities”. The exhibition featured recent (2011) works of twelve Filipino visual artists:

-Monnar Baldemor
-Aaron Bautista
-Joey Cobcobo
-Carlos Francisco II
-Honesto Guiruela III
-Derrick Macutay
-Dennis Montera
-Tad Pagaduan
-Herbert Pinpiňo
-Christian Regis
-Marga Rodriguez
-Isidro Santos

“Diversities” as the name of the exhibition suits the show as a whole. The name suggests a plurality of diversity; the art works on view are diverse in various ways. One of these is that the creators of the works of art displayed are twelve different artists. Each with his/her own world view, memories, characteristics, sources of inspiration that became part of their craft.

Another differentiating factor lies in the media (materials used) chosen by the artist. It ranges from acrylic on canvas to mixed media (from natural objects such as wood to household objects such as buttons and spoon).

The size of the paintings also played its part, varying from 24 x 36 inches to as large as 36 x 48 inches (3 feet x 4 feet). The choice of colors is also diverse: the gallery is then adorned by a mix of warm and cool colors. Various subjects were showcased by the artists who were part of “Diversities”. Some canvases focused on familiar but important issues such as “poverty, nationalistic wreckage, and the overcrowding of human population” (David Lock, 2011). Things that are hidden from sight like those residing within the human soul were given form in abstraction by some of the artists (Lock, 2011). “Diversities” is a celebration of the different things that Filipino artists can do (Lock, 2011).

Although differences are very evident in the exhibit there are also similarities that can be seen such as their being Filipinos and that they expressed their thoughts. The fruits of which are the works of art that gallery viewers like me behold and appreciate.

The location of the gallery and the Ayala Museum as a whole is very accessible to the public. I hope that exhibits like “Diversities” would continue to be showcased in easy to reach venues such as that of Artist Space. Art provides relaxation, insight, inspiration to those who see it.
Aside from enjoying wonderful works of art at the Artist Space, you will also get a good view of the fountain area of the museum from the large glass windows of the gallery.

When spending leisure time at the Ayala Center (Greenbelt, Landmark, Glorietta) why not drop by and spend a couple of minutes at the Artist Space. Admission is free!

The exhibit opened on September 15, 2011 and was on view until September 28, 2011. Artist Space is located on the Second Floor, Glass Wing of the Ayala Museum, Makati Avenue corner Dela Rosa Street, Makati City. How to get there: The gallery is very accessible from the Metro Rail Transit Ayala Station via the elevated walk way passing within SM Makati, Glorietta, Landmark, and the Greenbelt Malls. The entrance to Artist Space is a minute of walk away from Powerbooks Greenbelt 4 Branch.

For more information about the Artist Space and the Ayala Museum kindly visit their website by visiting this link.


Lock,D. 2011. Diversities (exhibit brochure). Makati: Ayala Museum.

Bulacan – Flat Butchi for Merienda

One of the benefits of being in the province is the affordable price of good food. I chanced upon a merienda peddler on a bicycle and bought a kind of native pastry that I rarely see.  I got 2 pieces of flat and saucer-like butchi for Php 5.00 each. The typical butchi is round with generous coating of sesame seeds.  The butchi for my merienda (snack) is coated with sugar and has tasty mongo bean filling inside. It is a delicious and healthy match for coffee or tablea (native chocolate), a treat for a relaxing afternoon in  Bulacan.

Each town has its own merienda (snack) fare to offer. Go ahead, taste the local flavor as you wander in our interesting country, the Philippines!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Travel Nostalgia: An Aerial View of Baguio City

One of my well traveled professor said that flying via the South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR) to Batanes is like having a very interesting geography lesson. A couple of days latter,one clear day of April 2010 I got the chance to prove if what he said is true. 

The German built Dornier 328 took off smoothly from the Manila Domestic Airport. I intently prayed for a safe flight.

Halfway in the flight the intercom went on and the pilot greeted us and welcomed us aboard. His greetings was in sync with the location of the plane that time.

Travel Tip: Use Stored Value Tickets (LRT and MRT)

Do you frequently go to and travel within Metro Manila?
Do you prefer commuting aboard affordable, air-conditioned, fast, traffic free, reliable mass transportation?
If you answered a "yes" to the questions above then commuting via the elevated  LRT (Light Rail Transit) Lines 1 and 2 and the MRT (Metro Rail Transit) will give you value for your money.
You can save money and time if you will choose to buy a stored value ticket (SVT) instead of a single journey ticket.
Here are some of the advantages of using an SVT:

First, You get to save money. A stored value ticket (LRT 1 and 2, MRT)  is worth Php 100.00. A single journey ticket costs Php 15 (Monumento Station to Baclaran Station or North Station to Taft Avenue Station). If you pick the stored value option you get to ride at least seven times, given that each trip's regular cost is Php 15.00, because you get the last ride almost for free because of the "Last Ride Bonus". Seven stored value tickets, at Php 15.00 each, costs Php 105. You save Php 5.00 each time you buy a SVT. There are special SVT for Senior Citizens, if I am not mistaken, they can purchase an that SVT for only Php 80.00.

Second, You save precious time. With a stored value ticket at hand you can proceed directly to the ticket barriers instead of lining up at the ticket selling booth every time you commute via the LRT or MRT. Lines to purchase tickets are almost permanently long during the rush hours in the morning and late in the afternoon/early evening. Lining up can be a hassle especially if your are trying to catch a meeting, an event, much more a scheduled flight! With an SVT you dont have to again and again get your wallet and look for small bills and coins. The saved time can be used for other more important matters.

Third, SVTs have Longer Validity. A stored value ticket for the LRT Line 1 (Blue) And Line 2 (Red) is valid for 6 months from the date it is first used. While for the MRT an SVT worth Php 100.00 is valid for 3 months from date of first use. Thus a SVT is good option also for those who visit the Metro Manila on a weekly or monthly basis.

I hope that with the reasons mentioned above you can try using a stored value ticket when using the LRT  and/or MRT. With such things like the SVT traveling within Metro Manila is made more comfortable.

Reminder: Please secure the SVT you purchased at all times. A lost SVT is money wasted.

To know more about the Light Rail Transit System here is a link to their website: LRTA
To know more about the Metro Rail Transit System here is a link to their website: MRT

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Makati: Lunch with a View

It was my first time to dine, earlier this day, at the Jollibee branch located at the ground floor of the Insular Life Building at the Makati CBD (Central Business District). I got seated with my lunch tray by the tall glass window (or wall) of this branch which is a good move. Why? Aside from enjoying good (tasty)  and affordable food ( prices in all branches of a fast food chain are standardized) while in Makati I also got a splendid view for no additional cost.

While sipping ice cold Coca-Cola, sitting comfortably,  I can see the busy stream of vehicles on the palm tree-lined Ayala Avenue as the traffic from Paseo de Roxas merges with it smoothly. Ayala Avenue is known as one of the most prestigious office addresses in the Philippines and it is said that it is the "Wall Street" of the Philippines. I also got a good view of the Ninoy Aquino monument guarding the entrance to Paseo de Roxas. My seat location offered refreshing views of iconic buildings at the Makati CBD such as the pink Makati Shangri-la Hotel, Allied Bank Center, Ernest & Young, SGV & Co Tower 1 and 2, i Academy, and the HSBC Branch at the Enterprise Center.

I savored more the taste of the burger and fries combo with a glimpse of the modern, sleek, glass-walled Tower One and a portion of the lush Ayala Triangle Gardens. Its fun to watch the street scene while eating. Clean. Verdant. Modern. A slice of progressive Philippines at its best.

Definitely  a splendid view of the Makati Central Business District is a good compliment to a lunch at Jollibee.

So the next time you are in Makati and want to eat lunch on a budget, better try Jollibee Insular Life Branch, select your seat fast to get and see that splendid view by the window.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Travel Nostalgia: The Manila Bay Sunset

It is great to watch a sunset, it is a graceful signal of transition between day and night. Being in different places gives you a chance to see the sunset in different ways This part of the day, along with sunrise, is probably the most photographed part of a day. Photographs serve as good link to the past. As for me, instead of photos,  I recall the famous sunset by the bay in Manila from memory. The Manila Bay Sunset is one of my favorites for it reminds me of sweet memories that I'll always remember.

I first saw the sunset at Manila Bay when I was still at the preparatory level, around 1995. Viewing the sunset along Roxas Boulevard capped and made my first visit to Manila a memorable one. Along with my family we spent a couple of minutes watching the sunset.  I can still remember ships dotting the horizon, waves were gently touching the boulders at the sea wall, small crustaceans busy scuttling on the sand, the gentle breeze blowing as the sun slowly set. The colors are at play at the sky.  It is a beautiful sight.  That was probably the first time I saw the vastness of the sea and even from afar how a real ship looks like. The shore near Roxas Boulevard was cleaner that time, a perfect venue for watching the wonder that is the sunset.

I was able to see the Manila Bay Sunset during my first year in college. It is a blessing that our campus is quite near the "Bay walk" in Roxas Boulevard. To watch the sunset all it takes is a short and leisurely walk from our campus in Padre Faura.  After all those years since the sunset by the bay is still a sight to behold. I fell in love with its beauty. Together with my best friends we would buy some snacks and walk to Roxas Boulevard and spend some time in relaxation while watching the sunset.  We usually take a stroll along the bay walk if we arrived early before the sunset that allowed us to do people watching, crack jokes, and observe the trash that the current brings. That is a good way to observe and feel the vibe of Manila. We were often lucky to see the Manila Bay Sunset in its full splendor but there are also times when clouds cloak the setting sun.

 We look for a perfect spot to sit and our animated chatter stops as we see the sun slowly set. The glowing orb making a dip in the bay that is witness to our stories, comments on various things, and gleeful laughter. From there we go home refreshed and ready to face another day ahead.  It is our "traditon" to go there commonly on a friday to joyfully close another week at school. Watching the Manila Bay Sunset is one of our barkada's favorite bonding moments.

The Manila Bay Sunset will always be special for it reminds me of the important persons in my life. I first saw the sunset at Manila Bay with my family and been awed again by it with my best friends in College. I think that one way or another it has been a happy part of the memory of the various travelers that visited Manila through the years.

Seeing the Manila Bay Sunset, Roxas Boulevard is the perfect free spot to do so, is definitely a must when in Manila. Next time that you are in Manila do watch the sunset by the bay and make a part of a memory that you will cherish.

The Manila Bay Sunset is a gift from God and is one of the things that makes the Philippines special.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Malolos City: A Short Visit to the Bulacan Provincial Capitol

This week I got an opportunity to drop by the Bulacan Provincial Capitol and meet up with a friend. The building has a prominent location and can seen from the busy MacArthur Highway. If you are in Malolos it is worth your time to drop by and see this place. The structure is painted white giving it a very clean look. The Provincial Capitol was built before the advent of the Second World War. It has undergone restorations and re-decorations at different points of time and rule of the different Provincial Governors. It houses most of the offices of the different departments of the Provincial Government of Bulacan. Because of its size and the quiet strength of its simplicity I fondly call it the "Palace in Malolos". 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Postcards to Indonesia, Estonia and Finland

Last September 1, 2011 I visited the Post Office to mail 3 postcards. The postcards are for three postcrossing project members residing in different countries. 

One of the postcards is bound for Indonesia. Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world, home to famous destinations such as Borobudur and the island of Bali. 

Estonia is another country of destination of one of these postcards. Tallinn, the capital, will be the new home of the postcard I sent. 

The longest distance would be covered by the postcard that I sent to Finland. Hopefully, the postcard will witness a Scandinavian smile once it is received. 

Postcards are lucky for they get to go to faraway places for a fixed price of Php 14.00 each! Sceneries and great things about a place are usually featured in a postcard. Thus, they serve as a visual link and an invitation for the receiver to travel the place shown. Hopefully the receivers would consider visiting our interesting country, the Philippines.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Quezon City: Our Lady of Peňafrancia at the Radio Veritas Chapel

Last September 8, 2011, I and my mother went to Radio Veritas to visit a well known and miraculous Marian image in the Philippines. Getting to Radio Veritas is easy because of its location inside the Paramount Building at the corner of EDSA and West Avenue in Quezon City. Radio Veritas 846,”Radyo Totoo”, is a Catholic AM radio station with its different programs broadcasted live 24/7.


The chapel of Radio Veritas hosts from time to a time travelling replica of some of the popular and miraculous Catholic images. September is the Blessed Virgin Mary’s birthday month and as well the time of the year for the Peňafrancia Festival of the Bicol Region, the chapel has a very relevant guest image. The purpose of our visit is to see the replica of Our Lady of  temporarily enshrined at the chapel.

At the Radio Veritas Chapel

The chapel was almost full when we arrived before noon. It has been more than 15 years since I last saw the image of the Our Lady of Peňafrancia in Naga City. Seeing the replica at the Radio Veritas made me happy, I felt a sense of calmness and I longing to revisit Naga City which is a very special place. Seeing the image, I recalled my childhood days in Naga and how fervently we asked the Blessed Mary to pray for us and intercede for our safety when a typhoon directly hits Bicol. The rosary was said before the mass, there were no vacant seats left many of the old ladies were standing while praying, and I think their faith and devotion made them strong. I guess most of the devotees that were inside the chapel were also in one way or another connected to the Bicol region for the Blessed Virgin Mary known as Our Lady of Peňafrancia is the loving patroness of the region. I am very thankful that an opportunity to see the image on the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary came my way.

The centuries old image of the Our Lady of Peňafrancia is enshrined at the Basilica Minore in Naga City. I hope that we can get to visit again the shrine and Bicol very soon.

Caloocan City: Fruit Shops in front of the Victory Central Mall

Are you looking for last minute pasalubong purchase options before that bus trip? Want some healthy snacks? The fruit shops in front of the Victory Central Mall along Rizal Avenue in Caloocan City are the answer.  The location is convenient to commuters for the shops are adjacent to the bus terminal of Victory Liner.

The shops generally sell fruits that are in season and are typically sold per kilo at low/affordable prices. Haggling is allowed! This September, I saw rambutan, large santol, guapple (a large guava), and guyabano along with other fruits which are available whole year such as bananas, imported oranges and apples. There are also sliced green mangoes with bagoong dip, ready to eat yellow corn, native cakes, and the refreshing buko (coconut) juice for a quick healthy snack.

Before boarding the bus, my mother bought two pieces of large santol, photo shown above, which weighed one kilogram. The price is only 20 pesos per kilo. We ate one of what we purchased and it tastes great, a good buy!  Definitely were going to buy fruits again from there next time we are in Caloocan City. 

A Cute Pal from Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro

Shown in the picture is a colorful wooden key ornament. It is a gift from my sister who visited Puerto Galera a couple of years ago. Puerto Galera is one of the main travel destinations of Oriental Mindoro (Region IV-B).  White sand beaches, dive sites, verdant mountains are some of the well known attractions of the places.  I named this wooden keychain as Butchog and one of my favorites in the collection of travel mementos I started.

I hope I’ll get a chance to visit Puerto Galera soon and as well as the rest of Region IV-B. The provinces of Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan are also part of the region known by the acronym of MIMAROPA.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Lakbay Jose Rizal: The Kamestisuhan District of Malolos

As a way of honoring Jose Rizal, our national hero and an experienced traveler, I joined the Lakbay Jose Rizal @ 150 project. Its goal is for the public to “rediscover and visit the sites and attractions which became part” of Jose Rizal’s colorful life in celebration of his 150th birth anniversary (Lakbay Jose Rizal @ 150 Pasaporte, 2011).

A special brochure called Pasaporte was made to serve as a guide to the participants. Pilgrims to the featured attractions can have their brochures stamped onsite as proof of visit. Prizes await the first 100 to complete all the stamps! The Lakbay Jose Rizal Pasaporte is available at Room 106 of the Department of Tourism Head Office in Manila. I got my copy one afternoon of June before the official start of Lakbay Jose Rizal. The duration of the project is from June 16, 2011 until June 16, 2012.

A part of Kamestisuhan

As a Rizaliana pilgrim,my first stop is the Kamestisuhan District of Malolos City. Malolos City is the capital of the Province of Bulacan. It is home to one of the most popular historical landmark in the country, the Barasoain Church. There are other historical sites that can be found in Malolos other than Barasoain Church and two of these are part of the Lakbay Jose Rizal @ 150 trail.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Travel Suggestion: Feasts of September

September is the first of the four “ber” months. September ushers in the last quarter of the year and the start of the longest Yuletide season in the world – Philippine Christmas.  This is the month wherein the 100 days to Christmas countdown is started. Yuletide tunes are also first heard from the radios come this month. Before you get busy planning for the events in December, here are Catholic feasts from two different regions this month that you may want to witness.

The Feast of Turumba in Pakil, Laguna (Region IV-A)
Postage Stamp depicting the feast at Pakil
                The longest novena in the Philippines is first prayed before the feast. Prayers last for 63 days wherein there are seven sets of nine-day novenas called lupi. The highlight of the feast is a dancing procession in Pakil. During the procession a replica of the Virgin of Sorrows is carried up by the devotees (Javellana, 1999).

                This is a good opportunity to visit the impressive structure that is San Pedro de Alcala Church of Pakil. In my opinion, the interior of Pakil Church along with its retablos (altars) is one of the most ornate that I have seen.

The Peňafrancia Festival in Naga City, Camarines Sur (Region V)

Patroness and "Ina" of Bicolandia

                The feast is celebrated in Naga City every third Sunday of September, this is one of the “moveable” Catholic feasts in the country. Each year devotees from the different parts of the Bicol Region, other parts of the country, and even from overseas gather in Naga City to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary known as the Our Lady of Peňafrancia. The traslación and the fluvial procession are the highlights of the festival. The replica of the statue of the Blessed Virgin is accompanied by a sea of devotees as it is transferred from the Minor Basilica to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Naga. The fluvial procession, on the eve of the feast, marks the return of the image from the Cathedral back to the Basilica Minore which is located along the river bank.

These feasts show the strong Catholic side of our country and the love of Filipinos for celebrations. Travel to Pakil, Laguna and Naga City, Camarines Sur to witness great stories of faith and know more about our interesting country, the Philippines.

Javellana, R.B., S.J. 1999. Pinoy Almanac and Planner. Manila: Tahanan Books.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

UP Diliman: One Happy Saturday

The campus of the University of the Philippines in Diliman (Quezon City) is a special place for me. I consider it as my second "home campus" in my alma mater, the first one is my beloved UP Manila. Many of my happy memories were made in UPD (short-cut for UP Diliman). I can still remember the colorful lantern parades each year, doing research inside its well-stocked libraries, our final exam in walking and foundation of physical fitness, sitting by the sunken garden... Thus, I am quite familiar with the different areas of the campus. The UP campus in Diliman is a destination in itself, it is worth your travel time.
The Cine Adarna of the UP Film Institute

A Postcard from Holland

Last August 25, 2011 I received my first postcard since I joined an interesting project. That project is called Postcrossing which is a "post card crossing project" and by being a member you will receive real postcards, which are quite a rarity in this e-mail era, from random sources in the world.

Postcard from the Netherlands. It shows the well known products and sights of Holland.

How does the Postcrossing project work? First, a member should request an address and along with it is a Postcard ID. Second, The member should mail a postcard to the address that he/she received  , it is very important that the Postcard ID is indicated on the postcard. Third, the receiver of the postcard sent must register the Postcard ID at the Postcrossing website. Fourth, once the Postcard ID is registered you can now receive a postcard from a random Postcrossing member, wait until he postcard arrives. Fifth, Register the Postcard ID of the card that you received. Go back to step one to receive more postcards and make a person from a different part of the world smile because of a postcard that you sent.

Orange envelope with Nederland stamps

I learned about Postcrossing from a post in a pinoy travel blog, I got curious and tried it. The first postcard I sent was received by a Postcrossing member in Japan and the first postcard I received is from a member in the Netherlands. I enjoy collecting postcards and postage stamps, I smiled when the postcard I received was enclosed in an orange envelope that is adorned by postage stamps from the Netherlands! Reading the short message of your co-member written on the postcard gives a good start for your day.

Postcards presents a snapshot of what a place has to offer and you can learn new things by just looking at one. I believe that collecting postcards and traveling is a good mix of hobbies. Postcrossing is also an excellent opportunity to promote the Philippines as a travel destination by sending postcards that depicts beautiful and intersting vistas of our country. Also, the Postcrossing project provides additional income to the the local postal system. Sending postcards to any country is priced at Php 14.00 per postcard. The price of sending a postcard to Singapore is the same with that of sending one to France. I hope you can also try being part of the Postcrossing project.

Travel Tip: Money Matters

Money is a vital resource during your sojourns. It can make or break a trip. During the planning stage an estimate of how much you need should be set and you should follow your budget during your trip. Running out of or loosing it while on a trip is a huge mistake.Extra money serves as a safety cushion for such incidents. Extra money is useful in paying unplanned costs a perfect example are  impulse purchases. Always secure your travel money at all times. It is best to keep emergency money in the not-so-obvious places such as inside your socks you are wearing (but wrap your paper bills first in plastic), in between notebooks, inside secret compartments of luggage, underneath your stash of clothes inside bags.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Travel Nostalgia: Searching for Newspaper in Batanes

            Let me share one of the many travel experiences that I gained during my stay in Batanes in 2010.

            Reading broadsheets is part of my routine, for me the newspaper is an important source of information and this keeps me updated on current events. During my stay in Batanes last April to the early part of May 2010 I tried to find a store that sells and buy a  newspaper.

 I asked the different general merchandise stores along Abad Street, the main commercial area, in Basco (the capital of Batanes) if they are selling the daily broadsheets and I found out that they do not have any. Luckily, I was informed by one of the shops that I asked that there is only one seller of newspaper in Basco (or even for the whole province) and it is located near Ivatan Lodge.

A Street Scene in Basco, Batanes with a clear view of Mount Iraya (2010)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Municipality of Calumpit: Activity Ideas for Visitors

Here are some things to do when you visit the Municipality of Calumpit of Bulacan.

1. Visit Saint the John the Baptist Church

 This interesting church is located in Barangay Poblacion and is of walking distance from Mc Arthur Highway. It is said that the site of the church is more than 400 years old. For me the most interesting part of the Saint John the Baptist Church is its facade. You can find the embossed figures of the sun and the moon, a pegasus about to take flight, a phoenix, floral sprigs, the apostles and Christ.

2. View the Historic Bagbag Bridge

The said  bridge can be conveniently viewed from a 20th century bridge. Bagbag bridge is an important structure that connects Bulacan and the other northern provinces during the 19th century.It is a mute witness to the battle that raged between the Filipino forces, to safeguard the escape of then President Emilio Aguinaldo up north, and the American forces before the close of the said century. The bridge has obviously acquired the patina of old age featuring a huge gap at the middle thus making it unusable at present.

3. Buy Longganisang Calumpit

The "Tastiest Longganisa in the Philippines" is lovingly made in the Municipality of Calumpit! The said delicacy is made of natural ingredients and is free from preservatives. The garlic flavored longganisa is sold mainly at the clean Public Market along Mc Arthur Highway. Longganisang Calumpit is retailed at around Php 180.00 per kilo. Stalls selling the said product are open everyday, special market day is every Tuesday when the Public Market is abuzz with activity and bursting with other interesting products.

4. Relax at the numerous resorts

Calumpit has different public resorts at affordable prices and quality service! The largest and probably the most well known is Jed's Island Resort strategically located along Mc Arthur Highway.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Travel Tip: Plan

Plan ahead. This is a must when you want a hassle free trip/getaway. If you failed to plan, you planned to fail. However there are good surprises that pops up from time to time in an "unplanned" trip!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Love for Travel

I love to travel. With this blog I will share my travel experiences! I hope this blog would be of help in promoting the interesting destinations especially of my home, the Philippines!