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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ayala Triangle lights up for the 2011 Symphony of Lights

If still haven't been to this side of town, well, I'm gonna tell you that you've been missing a lot! Because this Yuletide cheers that Ayala and Makati City have prepared for us is the one that I considered the best treat that you'll get this Christmas, and everything is for free!

I'm a Makati corporate slave, and believe it or not, it was just last December 23rd that I finally had time to catch this show. As beautiful as the one we saw on the flick "Avatar" by James Cameron, Ayala Triangle Garden just made our Christmas colorfully brighter with this year's Symphony of Light, a music and lights show.

Dancing to the heart-warming Christmas songs are these thousands of twinkling Christmas lights making the world of Pandora real, something that young and old can enjoy for free.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Aklan: The 365 Christmas Days at Sampaguita Gardens Resort

Anyone (and I mean everyone) who loves the spirit and joy that Christmas brings to us can enjoy its everlasting magic as the Province of Aklan shares and invites everybody to this magical, lovely place called Sampaguita Gardens Resort!

After my wonderful solo trip to Boracay, I had quite an ample time to explore Kalibo, Aklan. I never knew that the main island of Boracay offers an astonishing rural life that anyone would love. And though this place is located at the next town named New Washington, I spent an awesome time feeling the love and joyful spirit of Christmas through this place's lovely designs.

Sampaguita Gardens Resort offers a great space for every visitor of the province to experience a unique and lovely time while enjoying the peaceful surrounding of the whole place. With three building which are the Sampaguita Garden Resort main building, souvenir shop and chapel, visitor can relax and enjoy the whole lot and just fall in love with it. I fell in love the place, that's why I'm highly recommending it to you guys.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Boracay: White-sand Beach and Many More

More than its pure white sand and sizzling night scene, Boracay is also a nest for bustling small tourism business. And during my visit there, one that really emptied my pockets are these small trinkets that I bought as "pasalubong" for my family and friends.

It was my first time to visit the island, so I am not really aware as how expensive everything will be. But surprisingly, aside from the affordable food finds, I also got to take home some colorful, cute and lovely souvenirs from this piece of heaven at very affordable prices.

From key chains, ref magnets, cell phone holder, shirts and many more, I'm sure that you'll enjoy shopping here in Boracay too!

Boracay: You Are All Mine on Day 3

I woke more energized on my last day here in Boracay, without having no clue as to what's happening outside. I packed all my stuff back to my bags before wearing a new swim wear. Yes, I'm planning to swim on the White Beach that morning! It's my last day here, so just to know what's the difference of White Beach to Puka Beach, there I was, wearing a new set of swim wear ready to conquer the island!

My shuttle service back to Aklan is scheduled at 12 noon, and so by 8 in the morning, I was already having breakfast at the hotel's lounge while enjoying the cool breeze of air. Yes again, no morning sunshine to welcome my last day here in Boracay. But despite of it, I'm still going to the beach. So after some attempts to make me enjoy the breakfast that was prepared for me, I stood up with my camera and tripod on my hands ready to see Boracay on a Sunday morning.

Gran Prix Boracay is situated on Station 1, the said Boracay's most "sosyal" place, but to be honest, it wasn't. The beach here is just like the one in Station 2 and 3, maybe it has the most expensive and popular hotels here, but the experience was actually the same.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Boracay: A Day 2 to Remember

My second day on this island started a little differently. With a bright sun shining outside my window, I suddenly felt that this is the Boracay they've been talking about and not the one that I had yesterday, gloomy, slow and unpleasant.

I had my first breakfast on the island courtesy of the hotel that I'm staying in, Gran Prix Boracay. As expected I didn't enjoyed it. Hehe. Anyways, one thing that made me sweat as early as 8 in the morning was when I realized that there's this moist on my camera lens and I couldn't take a good shot! But magically, as I take a stroll down to Cath and Abe's hotel to pick them up for our Day 2 Boracay adventure, my Nikon D3100 went back to is normal shooting skill, hence I got these nice shots. :-)

Their hotel, even though it is located on Station 2 is far more beautiful than my Station 1 hotel. Hehe. I picked them up there and continued our post-summer Boracay escapade. Its the couple's last day on the island, and to make sure that this trip is worth remembering, we decided to see the said "most beautiful" place in this island - Puka Beach

Monday, December 5, 2011

Boracay: From the Eye of a First-timer

Believe it or not, this is my first-ever visit to this island. Now hailed as world's 4th top destination, Boracay Island isn't really an ideal island for me then. I've been to a lot of white-sand beaches before, so Boracay's white sand wasn't really attracting me that much then. My turn off to the island made even worst by the undesirable news I've been hearing about it. But since I won in a contest that entitles me for a 3-day, 2-night stay on the island, heck, let's kill this "Kill Joy" in me, and let me experience the so-called "Boracay life."

Flying in via Zest Air (which is a bad idea, believe me) on a typhoon infested weekend, I'm thankful that I arrived at Kalibo International Airport safe and sound. It was a pre-arranged trip, so I really do not have any control as to what airport I should land on and what airline I could take, but I'm still thankful though that I'm hitting two stones in one trip. (I'll let you know later.)

Before this vacation, I already have a planned itinerary - Day 1, 2 and 3 1/2 at Boracay and the remaining 1/2 at Kalibo. This is my first solo travel, so I braved myself in and prepared for it. But really, Kalibo seemed so friendly and peaceful when I got to see it, so that kinda excites me more than seeing Boracay.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bacolod: Balay Negrense at Night

I know not most of Bacolod's tourists get to see Balay Negrense at this state, so I believe, even to the very last minute of our stay here in Bacolod, we were still blessed - blessed to see this place in its most dramatic and panoramic condition.

Balay Negrense which literally means House of Negrense is considered one of the greatest treasures Bacolod has. With its outstanding classical Filipino architectural design and wonderful story to tell, Balay Negrense is currently a home to Negros Cultural Foundation - a group of artistic Negrenses who repaired and refurnished the then abandoned mansion.

Bacolod: The Pope John Paul II Tower

One of the stunning and noticeable structures that Bacolod has is this tower that symbolizes how solid Bacoleños are when it comes to religion, The Pope John Paul II Tower. This structure was built in dedication to the late pope who celebrated the holy Eucharist on this province last February 20, 1981.

This seven-story tower was inaugurated and was opened to the public since February 18th of last year. And even though it has no elevators, and each floor is merely just right for 10 to 15 persons, this site is one of the most visited tourist spots here in Bacolod City.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bacolod: San Sebastian Cathedral and Bacolod Public Plaza

Me-an, my superfriend decided to spend her night in Bacolod inside our hotel room, but that didn't stop Ence, my other superfriend, and I to see the beauty of Bacolod at night. We had a very tiring morning travelling from Iloilo to Bacolod, but since it was our only time to check out this beautiful city, even there was a rain cloud coming, we braved in and went out see San Sebastian Cathedral and Bacolod Public Plaza.

To be honest, I'm that kind of traveler who is not expecting so much from the place that I get to visit. I'm not that person who relies on other's thought, so may it be too simple or too grand to some, I still give it a fair judgment and as much as possible, I appreciate it. It is still part of the country that I love so much, right? ^_^

Anyways, for this destination, Bacolod Public Plaza may seem an ordinary plaza or park to some, with its well-aligned trees, checkered flooring and simple structure erected on the middle of it, the bandstand, it won't catch so much attention. But for us, we found it quite stunning. The lights that touches its concrete posts made it look like so nice. So we spent some our Bacolod time in here to check out the story behind it.

Bacolod: King's Hotel

During our less-than-24-hour visit to the City of Smiles, King's Hotel served as our home - our luggage keeper - for this much-awaited final-leg of our Eat, Pray, Love Trip. And even though this hotel is not as grand as any tourist would choose to stay-in, my superfriends and I enjoyed it's close-to-all location.

Coming from Iloilo via ferry, we arrived at Bacolod City around 2 in the afternoon. My friends and I had two choices then, but we opted this place since it is closer to SM Bacolod.

From the port, hailing a cab to take us here was so easy. Since it is just along the national road, drivers are familiar with it. 

Upon checking in, we were welcomed by a helping guard who carried our luggage to the reception area. We were already at the last leg of our trip, so we were kinda on a budget then. We said to ourselves to do not spend too much on accommodation since we just needed a place to keep our stuff while checking out this beautiful place, so having this place came so handy and pocket-friendly.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bacolod and My Unfinished Love

Visiting Bacolod has a been a dream of mine since I started blogging about my travels. The inviting gastronomic abundance and the captivating culture and heritage it possesses has been a dream that's been pulling me since then. And now that I got the chance, this is a start of a more colorful world for me - for my Rammmpa!

Bacolod made its name to the world more popular when Masskara Festival started gaining attention. And with the wonderful and generous support of the local and national government, no doubt, Masskara Festival is considered to be one of the most celebrated festivities we have here in the county.

Masskara Festiva - a festival I am sooo longing to witness!

I've been to Bacolod last June. And though, Masskara Festival is too far from the date I chose to visit the province, I had a wonderful time peeling off the mask that showed how beautiful the City of Smile is.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Iloilo: Fort San Pedro Ruins

If it's your first time to visit Iloilo and you're not coming from the port, well, you might not notice or even waste time staying or even just paying a visit to a place where "ruins" followed its original name. Fort San Pedro Ruins wasn't even part of my itinerary on my first visit on this humble province, but I sure did enjoy my quick trip here and appreciated Iloilo so much more!

Since we got back to SuperCat Terminal that day too early, where we were about to take a ferry bound to Bacolod, I didn't kill time just by watching movies like my friends. I didn't see all the places that I want to see here in Iloilo, and wasting another hour waiting for our ferry is a suicide to me, so I decided to turn on the GPS of my smart phone and look for the nearest spot where tourist can take pictures and such.

Luckily, there was this place quickly blinked, and as I red it the name Fort San Pedro Ruins excites me. Base from the coordinates, I think I can get there in less than 10 minutes by a cab. So, without so much ado, I asked my friends who were by then hooked on the TV to look after my stuff as I will just go outside and took some photos of the port. 

I didn't tell them that I'm going somewhere a little far for they might stop me. Hehe.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Iloilo: San Jose Parish Placer

Completing the churches that we got to see on our first-ever visit on this lovely province, Iloilo, is a church that also carries the name of our own community church, San Jose. And with this last sight of Iloilo's beauty, I'm glad that I somehow managed to see at least three of this province's majestic and lovely churches. :-)

San Jose Parish Placer is located at the heart of Iloilo City. Fronting the historical Plaza Libertad and standing beside San Jose Catholic School, San Jose Parish Placer is considerably a modern Roman-esque style church with its high ceiling and Roman pillars.

Iloilo: Plaza Libertad

Before heading back to the place where we stayed during our trip here in Iloilo, City Corporate Inn - Iloilo, the gang decided to pay a visit to the soon-to-be busiest plaza in all of Iloilo City, The Plaza Libertad.

I said soon-to-be because when we arrived there, one thing that caught our attention was the busy construction site for the soon-to-be Iloilo City Municipal Hall. It is some 3-minute walk from the said plaza, so for sure, people would be swamping this area here once it is officially houses Iloilo's top officials.

Iloilo: Calle Real

One of the many places that a bargain hunter should see when visiting Iloilo City is the heritage street of Real. More popularly known for its Spanish name Calle Real, I and two of my friends got a chance to see the place before heading out to our next destination for our Eat, Pray, Love vacation.

Since, it was our first time to see this humble province, we were open to all suggestions as to what to see in here. A friend of mine suggested to me to spent some time here and check out how Iloilo manage to cope up with the fast-changing trade life like what we have here in Manila. We all agreed since the name Calle Real sounded like a nice place. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Iloilo: Jaro Cathedral

The house of the miraculous Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria (Our Lady of Candles), Jaro, Iloilo City is usually by visited by tourists, like me, because of this stunning church that is in the heart of this remarkable town.

With its town feast every second Sunday of the month of February, I and two of my superfriends, had a chance to see this impressive work-of-art last July during our Eat, Pray, Love Vacation. With our super tight schedule, I am really glad that we had the opportunity to see this church and lightt up candles for our wishes and prayers.

Going here ain't really that hard because taxi cabs and jeepneys can be easily hired. For us, during our trip, since we came from a hefty breakfast at Ted's La Paz Batchoy, we just hailed a cab to get here. It cost us Php80.00 from Ted's La Paz Batchoy, which is in front of SM Dominga, to this cathedral. The travel time was roughly 15 minutes, with a very smooth, traffic-free roads.
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