Archive for philippine tourism

the vanguard island: bantayan proper

Posted in architecture, artifacts, culture, events, history, interior design, lifestyle, locales, people, religion, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2009 by mijodo

 

ppppp  bantayan 139

(preceding story http://letsgopinas.wordpress.com/2009/09/07/the-vanguard-island-sta-fe-beach/)

Against the usual tradition.  If you just want to roam around Sta. Fe, then the padyak (foot pedalled cab) will suffice enough. But if you want to visit the two other towns,  like Bantayan Proper, then you need to hop on to a motorbike, and hold on to the driver for an easy ride. In Bantayan Proper, this is where you get extra cash when needed. There is an Allied Bank Branch which dispenses money at its ATM (automated teller machine).  Of course, even in the resort hotels of Sta. Fe, there are credit card facilities as well so pretty much, money may not be a problem in the island once it becomes depleted.

But in Bantayan Island, people don’t run out of being spiritual and being religious. It is manifested in its coral-stone edifice of the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul. At 430 years old, it is the oldest church not only in Cebu but in the whole of Visayas and Mindanao.  It is a magnificent architectural and heritage piece constructed by the Augustinian friars. Inside, stone statues abound which depict saints and their lives. More often, the wood carved statuary are used as decorations in the interiors of other Philippine Churches. There you get to see old ladies sell candles, and young men play basketball at its four quadrant plaza.

 If its church is inspiring, you may a little bewildered by its atypical Holy Week ritual. People of Bantayan Island are exempted to abstain from eating meat. In fact it is said that there is a Papal approval by LeoXII during the 19th century allowing the people to feast on chicken, beef and even Lechon even on Good Friday. Apparently, people during the Spanish colonial period had to ask the Pope for such immunity from the usual Lenten practice, as the fisherfolk  during Holy Week would skip going out to the seas to catch fish to observe Lenten Season. Although the reason may be a little convoluted, you will be just in awe at how piously people observe Good Friday as life-like statues which illustrate the passion of Christ’s crucifixion parade through the streets.

(continuation – https://letsgopinas.wordpress.com/2009/12/06/vanguard-island-madridejos/)

 

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fields of dreams

Posted in artifacts, events, history, lifestyle, locales, people, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2009 by mijodo

ladies of the night in colorful wigs

This may not be the place that our Department of Tourism promotes to travellers abroad as through the years, the area has created quite a “reputation.”

The stretch of Fields Avenue, even without the American soldiers now in Clark Airbase, still packs an impact to the newcomers. The iridescent lighted neon signs during the evenings, the boombastic sound of rock or discotheque music echoing from the bars, and the alluring body movements within the confines of such nitespots, tempt the man, not just to peek but  probably to savor the offerings of such establishments. 

Young ladies, many coming from far-flung areas  in Visayas and Mindanao are still the biggest come-ons of Fields Avenue in Angeles where an ample number of foreign male tourists have been top customers. Many would easily condemn such nubile women for eking out a living through lascivious manner. But in such desperate lives, who knows, true prince charmings may just pick them out from their dreariness, and probably have successful and happy lives, somewhere else. Such stories have happened many time over, but of course, there also have been horrid stories of abuse and doom. And yet we just pray that somehow, something magical can come out from this avenue which should lead them to a dreamy place of true transformation and contentment.

have zest, will travel

Posted in artifacts, culture, lifestyle, locales, nature, people with tags , , , , , on January 2, 2009 by mijodo

zest for travel

It is year 2009! Happy New Year and let us alter anew.

This is the opportunity to energize ourselves and make changes (whether large or small) in our lives. Have you been procrastinating in repainting those bedroom walls? Then get some paint and brush to change the color of your environment. Have you been wanting to finish your thesis? Then do that research, and present it to the defense panel just before the school year ends. Have you been indifferent to worthy causes? Then develop a conscience and volunteer. Have you been interested to see new places? Then have some zest and travel.

Speaking of zest and travel, I am now a contributor for the inflight magazine of Zest Air which original brandname by the way was Asian Spirit (have you also been wanting to change your name?). For the December – January, 2009 edition, I talked about my experiences in Banaue https://letsgopinas.wordpress.com/2008/04/29/breathless-in-banaue/, https://letsgopinas.wordpress.com/2008/05/01/of-betel-chews-and-bululs/  and San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan (Grotto)  https://letsgopinas.wordpress.com/2008/07/02/glorious/. In this case, my writing and photography for the publications Zest Air, and the new travel and lifestyle glossy magazine, Republic of 7107 Islands, just somehow transformed me to become a true travel writer.

That’s one change completed.

supposedly little philippines

Posted in architecture, artifacts, locales with tags , , , , , on August 22, 2008 by mijodo

It used to be that Nayong Pilipino was near the vicinity of the Manila Domestic and International Airports in Pasay City. In that sprawling area, I remember the many depictions of the the more famous spots of the Philippines from Mt. Mayon’s perfect cone shaped figure to the several different indigenous Filipino homes where souvenirs could be bought cheap. It was the perfect area to see the “whole” Philippines to tourist who have neither the time nor the money to travel the nation’s numerous islands.

And I knew of the numerous plans to transfer Nayong Pilipino to different locations elsewhere (still near the airport) due to the expansion of the runways of the Ninoy Aquino International II terminal. In fact, there had been a contest for designers who can conceptualize best a spanking new Nayong PIlipino.

But all of a sudden, there was news that the Nayong Pilipino was transferred a smallish area at the old Clark Airbase in Angeles, Pampanga. I was perturbed with the decision. Surely, Pampanga can boast of another new tourism spot, but I was not sure of the viability of the transfer. It could be too far for those wanting to get a glimpse of what Philippines can offer culturally and in terms of travel spots.

Sad but true, Nayong Pilipino at Clark now has not been well maintained. And the time we were there, there was a handful of visitors thus even shops and eateries had to close.  After just a couple of years in the area, one could see colors of the kiping (rice chips) adorning the houses, depicting the Pahiyas Festival of Lucban, Quezon already faded. And the represented spots were very limited to Barasoain Church, Banaue Native Huts, Intramuros, and Vigan Houses among others. Well good thing for us visitors, the place did not ask for entrance fee. (On second thought, the place should have asked if only for its upkeep)