1 Mar 2012

Sunset At Its Finest

One may prefer sunrise over sunsets, but in Boracay sunset is definitely worth waiting for! Although most scenery that includes a beach and a sunset look the same, Boracay's sunset definitely stands out due to the sunset being an indication to start the city's nightlife. Now when I say nightlife, this doesn't necessarily mean complete partying! The sunset in Boracay produces red-golden sun rays that are immediately reflected by the calm beach, resulting a peaceful scenery.

Imagine sitting in a white beach, with your family, maybe drinking a beer or a cocktail of your choice while watching this sunset. Breath taking isn't it? With the beginning of the Lenten season, this only means one thing. Summer's almost here! Don't forget to start saving up, get your swimsuit AND your swimsuit bod ready for this summer! According to The Money Converter, the Canadian Dollar is worth 42.99 in Philippine Peso! So every penny counts!

For more information about Boracay, make sure to check out this link! Boracay Island. The posting about guitars also mentions Boracay since they're located within the same region, so don't forget to check it out through this link Serenade Me!

Also, make sure to constantly check out iTravel2000 for their price reduction offerings for a cheaper flight to the Philippines!

17 Feb 2012

Serenade Me

Do you like to sing? Can you play the guitar? If yes, then you're definitely in with the Filipinos!

Back in the day, it was very common for a man to visit the house of the woman that he likes and sing her a song that would pull her heartstrings. I know it may sound cheesy, but that's how it was done! Being an amazing singer and guitar player isn't what they measured, but it's the ability of the man to have enough courage to sweep the woman off her feet in front of the whole neighbourhood! (Obviously, it would be better if the man actually knew how to sing though). The most appropriate song for this blog post. Harana (Serenade) by Parokya ni Edgar.

There were a number of different string instruments that were present during the pre-colonial era, but the guitar came about through the Spanish introduction. Cebu, being the province that adapted the guitar the most is now well known for their guitars. The guitars that they offer are made with various kinds of hard and soft woods. Some are made with Jackfruit, Narra and Ebony trees.

Philippines introduced the first Philippine International Guitar Festival in 2010 which had internationally proclaimed performers like Florante Aguilar, Michael Dadap, Perfecto De Castro and many more! For more information, please visit Philippine Guitar Festival.

9 Feb 2012

The Bells Are Ringing!

Most Filipinos are well known as Catholics. According to CIA, 82.9% of the Filipino population that's currently residing in Philippines are Catholics. With that being said, did you know that there are approximately 137 Catholic Churches in the Philippines?

There are a number of different churches and basilicas that are often visited due to their intricate and very historic architectural features. These churches were not only made by Filipinos, but a mixture of different cultures like Japanese, American, Chinese, Malays and Hindus, but mainly influenced by the Spaniards.
It was during the Spanish colonial era when the Filipinos were introduced to the European architecture. This type of architecture was first used to build the San Agustin Church in the capital city of the Philippines, Manila. This church was specifically designed to withstand earthquakes and fires with the consideration of the past occurrences.

Another church that is greatly recognized from the Philippines is the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice. This is known as the first circular church in the Philippines. This church was specifically planned in order to accommodate at least 1,000 people at the same time. The Parish of the Holy Sacrifice is designed with a marble altar located in the middle of the church, surrounded by rows and rows of pews.

There are obviously way more churches in the Philippines, but I only have so much time to post about it! Let me know if you guys are interested with other churches, and I’ll definitely post about them :)!

2 Feb 2012

The Spirit of Valentines

If last week we talked about flowers, this week, with the thought of Valentine’s Day being around the corner, I’ve decided to blog about Chocolates. Yummy! Philippines may not be known for its chocolates, but it’s definitely known for its Chocolate Hills! Yes! Hills!

The Chocolate Hills is located in Bohol and some may say that it looks like piles and piles of grass or hay, or a kids drawing… some even think of it as women’s breasts, but they’re hills people! HILLS! There are around 1270 of these hills in Bohol with a uniformed height of 30 to 50 meters. The Chocolate Hills are usually covered with grass, but as soon as the dry season starts, it turns chocolate brown (hence the name).

Philippines is known for their myths, and of course, Bohol wouldn’t pass up on that. Legend says that these hills were caused by a giant that fell in love with a mortal. The death of the mortal had caused a lot of grief towards the giant and caused the giant to cry endlessly. In order to show how much grief the giant was in, his tears had turned into hills as a lasting proof.

Yes, cheesy, but don’t forget! We’re in the spirit of Valentine’s Day! Speaking of Valentine’s Day and giants, who wouldn’t want to see the beauty of Dolphins! Due to Bohol being located at the center of the Philippines (blue section of the background), most of its land are separated from each other. Bohol is surrounded by sea water, therefore attracts a number of aquatic animals.

Bohol provides its tourists the ability to watch the Dolphins from a boat known as Bangka and experience the dolphins’ presence in their own habitat up close! Most of the tourist guides were known as hunters, but had given the opportunity to have a change of job description and used their ability to look for dolphins as an asset for their tourism.

Dolphins have always been known as the sea’s cute and not-so-furry creature, but Bohol offers its own cute and furry creature! Okay, maybe not so cute when you see its eyes, but hey, they’re small! Tarsiers are very small and only eat insects and certain plants. They’re very active during the daytime, but once it turns dark, they tend to get a little rowdy. Now you know why their eyes look a little scary!

Bohol offers much more than what I’ve mentioned, but the rest are definitely worth a visit!

20 Jan 2012

Flowers? What flowers?

Philippines, the country made up of 7107 Islands. Yes, 7107! As most of you may already know, Philippines isn't the coldest country in the world, but it does have a cold province!

Baguio, aka the Summer Capital of the Philippines is known to be the place to escape to when one is in need of a fresh, cold, breeze of air. It may not be -15°C, but it's definitely cold enough to stop sweating buckets!

Despite of the chilly weather, an interesting sight can still thrive at least once a year...flowers! Baguio City holds a yearly event for the entire month of February known as the Panagbenga Festival. Panagbenga, which means a season of blooming in Kankanaey (one of the many dialects in Philippines), started in 1995. Panagbenga was established in order to provide hope to its citizens after the earthquake that occurred in 1990. Many might say that it's known as "a season of blooming" because of the flowers, but I'd like to think that the flowers aren't the only reason. In my opinion, the flowers aren't the only ones that are blooming, but Baguio City as a whole as well. Oh! Before I forget, the Panagbenga Festival doesn't just showcase the beauty of the flowers, but also the talents of the traditional street dancers in the Philippines!

I hope that the videos I've posted below can help you visualize the state that Baguio City was in after the earthquake in 1990 and compare it to how Baguio City looks like now during the Panagbenga Festival.

Amazing right?! One the characteristics that I admire about Filipinos are their ability to pick up the pieces of anything that is broken and turn it into something beautiful. There have been a lot of natural and "not-so-natural" disasters that have occurred in the Philippines, yet they always seem to pick themselves back up somehow. This is why I can honestly say that my hope for the Philippines blooms along with the Panagbenga Festival ;)