All posts filed under: Philippines

Manila Mania: Architecture, religion, and history galore

I confess, Manila has always intimidated me. It, with its jeepneys and pedestrians and ever-present buzz of activity. And the traffic. I’m used to EDSA and C5, but Manila is a whole different ballgame. Thing is, Manila’s the capital of the Philippines. It’s steeped in history. If I wanted to learn more about my heritage, this was the place to start. Plus I really, really wanted to go to San Sebastian Church. So I enlisted the help of my architect friend Macy. We spent last Sunday walking and commuting around Manila, and that was the day I learned to love this city. I finally realized what I’d been missing out on. There’s so much beauty amongst its chaos, so many stories in its worn-down buildings. One day was far from enough time to explore everything it has to offer, but it’s a start. Here are some of the places we visited—and I wholeheartedly recommend you visit them too! San Sebastian Church This right here made the commute worthwhile. San Sebastian Church’s towering spires and bright façade looks so out of place among the …

Vamos a Malolos: Celebrate Philippine heritage in Bulacan

For the past few weeks, my country has been buzzing with excitement. Why, you ask? Oh, only because the Pope was coming to town. Yesterday marked his arrival and the start of a long—count ’em, five days—weekend. In fact, I’m not sure if it’s the Pope or the vacation that has people in higher spirits. (Okay, it’s probably the Pope). But there’s something else that the Philippines is celebrating this January. I’ll give you a high-five if you can guess what it is based on the photos above and below. It’s the anniversary of the First Philippine Republic, better known as the Malolos Republic. Every year, this Renaissance city of Bulacan comes alive in January to commemorate that time when our ancestors took control of our own country after the long Spanish rule. Did you know that the Philippines was the first country to have a democratic constitution in the whole of Asia and Africa? It was founded here in Malolos, Bulacan! The Fiesta Republica traditionally starts on the 17th and ends with a bang on the 23rd, the day the Republic was …

6 things to do in Baguio City

Happy 2015, guys! I’ve many plans for the year that I can’t wait to share with you all. I’ll make a separate post for my 2015 resolutions, but among the things you can expect to see on Wander Write Now are more posts on my home country, the beautiful Philippines, plus some new—and equally beautiful—faces. To start the year right, here’s a peek into how my family and I spent our holiday getaway in Baguio City, found in the Benguet province of northern Luzon. This mountain city, which was developed by the Americans as a hill station back in 1900, is popularly known as the Summer Capital of the Philippines, thanks to its cool climes that make it the perfect escape during the peak of Manila’s heat. It may as well be considered our local Christmas village too. It seemed that majority of Manila made the climb to Baguio over the holidays. My parents’ taxi driver said they’d never had so many visitors as they did this past Christmas. Manila’s legendary traffic took this city by storm, so much so that …

Glamping and semi-tanning in Pico de Loro

Just got back from beautiful Pico de Loro. Pico is a residential resort village in Nasugbu, Batangas’s Hamilo Coast, and it’s named as such because Mt. Pico is shaped like a parrot’s beak–hence “de Loro” (Loro=parrot in Filipino). The trip to Pico was only a bit more than 2 hours from Makati using the Cavitex route, so it’s no longer “Pico de Layo,” as my friend told me. As a representative of Kristn/Hitlist, I went there with several media people and bloggers to experience luxury-style camping with Coleman Philippines’ new Glamping products. Don’t you just love that term? Glamping. It amazes me how even with the English dictionary being as thick as it is, we can still keep adding new words to it. Glamping refers to glamorous camping, and it’s meant for those who want to experience being one with nature without giving up the comforts they’ve grown used to.

January Pt. 2: Cavorting in Cebu

The best places are those which you can keep coming back to and still be able to discover something new about. The last time I went to Cebu was for my first and final kitchen installation there in July. I was mostly alone and preoccupied with work, so I wasn’t really able to see much aside from the job site, SM and Ayala Mall. Luckily, my visit there just a few weeks ago made for a more interesting and unforgettable experience. The idea for the trip first took root when I found out that one of my closest friends in the office was going to be transferred there to manage the new design center. Of course, I promised to come over and visit her. The question was, when? I forget who first mentioned Sinulog, but since I’d never been to a fiesta before, it seemed like the perfect time to go. In the end, six of us (half existing employees, half resigned and unemployed…including me) flew in from Manila to join the four “Cebu ladies”, …

January Pt. 1: Pictures & Promises in Batangas

My gosh, I can’t believe we’re on the last few days of January. It seems like it was only yesterday that people were secretly gearing for the  supposed end of the world in December; now, everyone’s getting ready for Valentine’s. Well, a lot of people are, anyway. I, on the other hand, am getting ready for some epic tomb action in CAMBODIA next week. (Are you feeling my excitement yet?) But before that, let’s have a recap of some highlights of this first month of 2013. Here’s part one, aka Pictures and Promises in Batangas. *     *     *     *     * For our family, the past holiday season lasted longer than usual. Two of our relatives from the States flew in, and diets and exercise routines flew out the window — that is, for most everyone except my soon-to-be-wed cousin’s family (let’s not talk about how I violated my NY’s resolutions so early in the year, LOL). Yes, you got it right. The reason for all the festivity was …

Tropical Hangover

I sneaked in some time between writing an additional 3,000+ to catch up with my NaNoWriMo deadline in order to post some photos of our trip. At least, I’ve gotten this out of the way. Enjoy! Now, back to my main character’s quarter life crisis.@_@ // As always, thanks to my sister for some of the shots (especially those that had me in them, LOL).