I have always had a fascination with the architectural designs of churches. I thought I have seen all the old churches of Manila. When we went to Chinatown last Chinese New Year's eve, I expected to see a big Chinese temple, but was pleasantly surprised to see a Catholic Church in the heart of Binondo. The church is so beautiful, I especially admired the fresco paintings on the ceiling depicting the life and passion of Jesus Christ. I was also amused to see many Chinese Catholics in the church that day.
Binondo Church is now known as Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz. It was named after the first Filipino Saint who once served the church as sacristan. Aside from being legendary as the place where St. Lorenzo Ruiz developed his spirituality, the church is also known for its glorious past. Built in 1587, it is one of the oldest places of Cathollic worship in the country. Although the original structure suffered damages from the natural calamities like earthquakes, its octagonal bell tower was not destroyed. What you see today is the same belfry constructed in the 16th century. Renovations were done on the church and adjacent convent between 1946 and 1971
Do you notice billboards? Well, guess what? They're the trees of Manila. Like any Philippine city, very creative billboards dominate the skyline. But it's even more true for Manila, which has the most billboards in the country. Here, the billboards dominate even an entire avenue! The ads in the billboards can be really colorful, creative and eye catchy.
MOM: Nah, I prefer EDSA back in the 60's when trees ruled over the billboards.
Never the less, there should still be even at least a little appreciation for the billboards. Did you know that some of them cost millions just to put an ad in it?
How to see it: The billboards are easily seen and easily forgotten. You might not even remember seeing one! You can see the billboards virtually everywhere in Manila. On a taxi, on a jeepney, on the MRT, and even from the airplane! (You need good eyes though!)
Corregidor is a small rocky island in the Philippines about 48 kilometers west of Manila which is stragetically located at the entrance of Manila Bay. This island fortress stands as a memorial for the courage, valor, and heroism of its Filipino and American defenders who bravely held their ground against the overwhelming number of invading Japanese forces during World War II. Also known as "the Rock," it was a key bastion of the Allies during the war. When the Japanese invaded the Philippines in December 1941, the military force under the command of Gen. Douglas MacArthur carried out a delaying action at Bataan. Corregidor became the headquarters of the Allied forces and also the seat of the Philippine Commonwealth government. It was from Corregidor that Philippine President Manuel Quezon and General MacArthur left for Australia in February 1942, leaving behind Lt. Gen. Jonathan M. Wainwright in command. More information and photos are at my VT Corregidor Island page.
I saw this beautiful sunset when I was just lazing around at home on a Sunday afternoon. I saw the sun slowly changing its color into golden yellow and the sky turned orange in color. Then I suddenly remember my camera, grabbed it and captured this beautiful sun setting in the horizon.
Major attractions around Manila are as follows:
- Tagaytay, Taal Volcano and Lake (please visit my VT Tagaytay and Talisay pages)
- Villa Escudero (please visit my VT Quezon Province page)
- Corregidor Island (Historical island of World War 2)
- Mount Pinatubo (Famous volcano with violent eruption in 1991)
- Subic Bay (Former US military base area)
- Pagsajan Falls (spectucular waterfall and boating through rapids)
- Batangas (famous beach)
Further away in northern Luzon Island, you can visit the famous places like Baguio, Sagada, Banaue and Vigan. Also the famous Mayon Volcano and Legaspi to the south-east is worth visiting.
This is a very lovely theme park of the Philippine culture and landscape, and is located on a coconut plantation about 3 hours drive from Manila. I spent 2 days there and really enjoyed it very much, there are lots of things to do and see such as cultural dance, rafting in Labasin River, lunch at Labasin Waterfalls, Carabao (water buffalo ride), Museum of Christianity, House of Escudero etc. More information and photographs are at my VT Quezon Province page.
Tagaytay together with Taal Volcano and lake are one of the major attractions near to Manila (about 1-2 hours drive south, depending on traffic). The views of the Taal Lake and Volcano are fantastic, and I would recommend that you go across the lake to the volcano island, where you can either walk up to the crater or take a horse ride. Details and photographs are at my VT Tagaytay and Talisay pages.
Corregidor Island is a day trip from Manila that World War II buffs would enjoy. An hour cruise down Manila Bay (across Cultural Center of the Philippines) will bring you to Corregidor Island. Aboard a tranvia, a guided tour will allow you to see barracks, gun placements and other war relics
Please see my Corregidor page
Baguio is some 5 hours by land or less than an hour's plane ride (Asian Spirit) from Manila. It is located in the northern province of the Phlippines. If you go there during the peak summer season (end of March-April), expect that your trip will be more than 5 hours. During monsoon season, some landslides could occur. But everything is a minor inconvenience once you see the cool City of Pines. It's a destination like no other in the Philippines because of its cool mountain climate, fresh fruits/veggies and lively art scene.
Tourists use Baguio as a jump off point for hinterland destinations like Sagada and the famous Banaue Rice Terraces.
Take Victory Liner in Cubao. Buses depart every day, every hour.
Pls. visit my site for things to do in Baguio.
The newly-renovated Jaime Velasquez Park in Salcedo Village in Makati City is now the venue of small entrepreneurs peddling a wide array of delectable food, fresh fruits & vegetables, fine flora, organic food and other hard-to-find goods.
The market organizers also impose a strict regulation to limit the sell to food and plants in order to prevent the market from being crowded and keep its homey atmosphere.
The market which opens from 7am-2pm showcases the various specialties at reasonable prices of provinces from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Known for its rich agricultural land and abundant sea life, Luzon takes pride with its native cuisine like Kare-kare, Adobo, Balo-balo, (P65/serving) burong asan, native tsokolate (P35/glass, P150-165/bottle), special ensaymada and sweets from Pampanga. Less-salt tuyo (a breakfast must-have at P25/pack) and fresh lobsters(P700/kilo) are delivered fresh from Bataan, while its northern neighbor Ilocos region bargains their famous Vigan noodles, dried pancit canton and brown podgy longganisa(P95/dozen).
Concessionaires from Iloilo boasts off its dried seafood, tocino, danggit, lamb chops and rib eye steaks(P500/pack of 3) from Australia. Its fellow Visayan locals offer wholesale and retail of their native lechon, spicy crispy shrimps, bottled tabang talangka, tapang usa(P400/kilo), tapang baboy damo and sea bass, which all are mouth-watering except for those with risky cholesterol level.
The House of Tuna, a canteen based from Davao City sells fresh and frozen sea foods, native delicacies, tuna belly and sashimi.
Plant lovers also find the market generous of seasonal yet hard-to-find flora, like bonsai, orchids and bromeliads at P150-P300.
The word about the Salcedo Saturday market has spread among busy individuals and tourists who want to get a taste of the exotic foods and other unique finds in the city. Experience shopping without the usual hassles from the swarm of market-goers and parking space and seize your unspoiled weekend rest.
whether u wanna try it for fun or you really believe in in, fortune telling is quite an experience.
in front of the quiapo church, there are many fortune tellers that are eager to tell you what lies ahead
quiapo church is located in quiapo, manila.
the Black Nazarene is a life-sized statue of Christ that a priest bought in Mexico and brought to Manila in 1606. Since 1787 the statue has been housed at Saint John the Baptist Church in Quiapo. every year, the statue is brought out and paraded around the area. be prepared as thousands of devotees jostle to help carry this image. the black nazarene was the only thing left when the church of quiapo was burned before. for this reason, ppl believe it is miraculous. they breave the crowds to be able to touch the nazarene, some reported that they have been healed from diseases by doing this. it's held every january 9.
Well amazingly enough I went to an early morning church service.
It was a catholic Church in Barcalaran.
Just the ride on jeepneys was so cool,
the day was just breaking, and many early risers were on board- in all their Sunday clothes and finest perfumes.
If anybody wants to see the real philippina. this is the time of day to observe.
What I remember the most is the smiles and just clean couples traveling to their cherished churches.
The church was a rather modern looking structure, open air sides and maybe enough room for 1000 people.
It was full and all kinds of dedicated penitants were arriving as I entered.
There were people "walking" on their knees in prayer ; they would later take a seat and pray with the faithfull, their pennace fullfiled
One thing I noticed was many were praying to the holy mother- a statue at the entrance- I too gave my grace to the Holy Mother
I touched her robes and think to this day I am blessed still.
Was driving through San Juan in La Union on the way look at some property when a local crazy guy decided to throw a rock at the windscreen while we were moving at 50 km/h. Luckily no-one was hurt.
On the bus to Dagupan to pick up the repaired car at Calasiao. Beautiful bus trip along the coastline (only about US$1.10 for a 3 hour ride). Clean, fresh air and awesome scenery the whole way
So remotely-looking, depressing but the people who live here are probably the most optimistic, the happiest people on earth.
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