Thursday, May 13, 2010

FUN IN TACLOBAN - That Bridge That Links Leyte and Samar - Part 1

Taking advantage of a a treat by my balikbayan nephew, I was able to convince him to go to Tacloban City in what we planned to be a nature and heritage trip to historical places in Leyte. And it was a pleasant surprise to find out how interesting and pleasurable this trip could be.

Day 1 - See the very famous San Juanico Bridge

Together with my nephews Nomer and Jay, we took the earliest flight to Tacloban City from Manila. We arrived at the Daniel Romualdez Airport shortly after sunrise. We wanted to maximize our time so we called everyone we knew on our way to the city proper to take us to interesting places in Tacloban City .

We checked in at the Hotel La Rica (Php 1,200 - twin bed good for three to four) along Zamora St. adjacent to the city market and the pier.

Our friendly Waray friends have managed to lend us a van to roam in and out of the city.

First in our list is the San Juanico Bridge, the longest in the country. The 2.16-km bridge is convincingly one of the most beautiful bridges in the country. Sadly, police have banned picture taking along the bridge so one has to get off at either end of the bridge if one wishes to have a souvenir shot.


Upon crossing from Leyte to Samar via San Juanico Bridge, the search for a good beachfront begins. We ended up in a beach in Kaluwayan. The sand may look like mud but the beach, being dotted with islands, offers a breathtaking view. Kaluwayan Resort has facilities for overnight stay and other outdoor activities such as boating and mountain climbing.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

World Heritage Sites In The Philippines - BAROQUE CHURCHES

Out of the hundreds (maybe thousands) of Catholic churches we have in the Philippines, four baroque churches are included on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and I’m so grateful I was able to visit all of them.

The churches’ unique architectural style is a reinterpretation of European Baroque by Chinese and Philippine craftsmen. These structures were able to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design, and are outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates significant stages in human history.

These are:
1. San Agustin Church, Walled City of Intramuros, Manila
2. Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion, Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur
3. San Agustin Church, Paoay, Ilocos Norte
4. Sto. Tomas De Villanueva Church, Miag-ao, Iloilo
 
San Agustin Church, Intramuros, Manila


Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion Church, Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur


San Agustin Church, Paoay, Ilocos Norte


 
Sto. Tomas De Villanueva Church, Miag-ao, Iloilo

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Connect The Dots - MY UPDATED MAP

My updated travel map - as of March 31, 2010. Just follow the smileys.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

TAAL - Batangas' Little Heritage Town

Batangas is one of the most preferred destination for Manilenos (and Cavitenos) to go for a day-long tour. Needless to say, the province is known for its fine beaches. And it is very accessible via SLEX.

But how many have actually been to Taal? Not the lake, but the town itself?

The historical town of Taal, Batangas is one of the few places that have preserved the rich heritage of the 18th century Spanish era. Many ancestral homes that are over a hundred years old still stand magnificently amidst modernization. If you can't afford to go to Vigan, Taal could be the best alternative to go on a heritage tour.

Taalenos are also widely known for their skill in making balisong and for their detailed hand embroideries done in pina and jusi, which are fabrics used in making the barong. These items can be bought here at great bargains.

To get to Taal town proper, from Pasay take the bus to Lemery. Then hop in a jeepney going to Lipa - and don't fall asleep because in a little less than five minutes you will find yourself in front of the Basilica of Saint Martin de Tours, the largest Catholic church in Asia. From there, enjoy the rest of the day walking in the streets of that little heritage town called Taal.
 
Basilica of Sain Martin De Tours

Gliceria Villavicencio Museum

Goco Ancestral House

Gregorio Agoncillo Museum

Taal Market Marker
Old Houses

Inside Casa Punzalan

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Why Do I Love PAGUDPUD?

Going to the beach is always the least of my travel priority. If you would ask me where I would want to go "beaching", my responses would be:

Boracay - a big NO
Puerto Galera - a much much bigger NO
Palawan - way too expensive to go - also NO
Panglao in Bohol - already getting crowded - MAYBE
Samal Island - as long as it is Davao - YES
Pagudpud -definitely YES!

Why Pagudpud?

Everything in Pagudpud is almost perfect - the sand, the water and the sun. Pagudpud is one of the best places I have ever been as a nature lover. It's peaceful and quiet there. Aside from the beach, one can opt to go to Kaibigan Falls, or Kabigan Falls to locals. But before you can actually see the Falls, you have to walk 1.5 km. Then there's also the Patapat Viaduct, Blue Lagoon (the water is true to its name - blue), and many more.

In photos:  Paul Acuna - my forever-Ilocos-fanatic friend
Nanette, Lynne, Charie - Laquachadoras de Peninsula Manila

Pagudpud 2005


 Pagudpud 2007 - Patapat Viaduct

Kabigan Falls - Pagudpud 2007

Blue Lagoon - Pagudpud 2007

Saud Beach - Pagudpud 2007

 Pagudpud 2009

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