Tuesday, December 16

Davao: Life Is Indeed Here

After visiting General Santos City and Lake Sebu of South Cotabato, my friend and I spent the next two days in Davao City. It was my first time here.  But due to lack of time, we only get to visit the town proper and a nearby resort in the island of Samal.

I will definitely pay Davao City another visit again so I could explore all it has to offer.  For the meantime, our friend and host Glen toured us around with what our limited time offered us.  
UP Mindanao

St. Peter Church

Davao City Hall

Our first afternoon was spent visiting UP Mindanao, St. Peter Church and Davao City Hall.  I got giddy when I saw a Mamang Sorbetero (dirty ice cream vendor) who was poised across the church.  I made tikim (taste) the Durian-flavored ice-cream for only Php 10.  

We spent the next morning beach-bumming at the nearby Costa Pacifica Resort in Samal Island. I was happy when Glen told us that we were already in Davao del Norte by just crossing the waters after 15 minutes.  Yahoo! Another province off my bucket-list.

Costa Marina Beach Resort

It is advisable to visit the island during weekday.  Aside from a small family, we had the beach all to ourselves. The weather was perfect and the waters cool to the skin.  I swam happily. The mermaid has conquered another beach! 

After six hours under the sun, we headed back to the city and had our last meal together at Lachi's.  

Tuesday, December 9

Lake Sebu: The Paradise of the Dreamweavers

Upon watching the indie film K'Na, The Dreamweaver, I knew immediately that I had to step foot in Lake Sebu and mingle with the colorful T'boli people.  The opportunity presented itself when my friend Mai asked me to come with her trip.  Without second thoughts, I booked my ticket even if I knew my budget will be blown way out of proportion.  It is Lake Sebu! I told myself.  It is where K'Na fell in love. And I knew I needed to feel that love too. 

Tuesday, December 2

Wander Photo: Brave in Bangalore

It has been more than a year since I stepped foot in India. Until now I still can not believe that I was able to land my itchy feet in that colorful country.

Here's to lifetime of beautiful memories, starting off with being brave in Bangalore.

Friday, November 28

Microtel Gensan by Wyndham: The Better Choice

Everyone deserves a good place to stay if traveling to an unfamiliar territory.  If you are visiting General Santos City either for business or as a jump-off point to nearby towns, Microtel GenSan is a great place to stay.

Ideal Location

Tucked inside the posh Valley High (a complex of restaurants) along Pan Philippine Highway, this clean-looking hotel is easy to find and is just under 30 minutes from General Santos City Airport.  Shuttle can be arranged but the hotel is also accessible by public transportation.

Thursday, November 20

Help Save Boljoon's Ili Rock

I have fallen in love with this rustic town the moment i stepped foot on its shores.  Boljoon's center has successfully preserved its old-world charm and integrity, making it a possible UNESCO World Heritage Site candidate.  

It is beautiful.  Isn't it?  Now this view is gone forever.

The church and its surrounding complex, plus the natural fortress called Ili Rock, are the town's natural heritage sites.

I have heard recently from the town's budget/tourism officer Mr. Ronald Villanueva, that a road project helmed by the DPWH is currently undergoing without consulting the locals.  The project has caused the destruction of the natural formation of this fortress. 

Read Mr. Ronald Villanueva's interview with Cebu Daily News here

If you agree in preserving this natural site, sign the petition which was started by Mr. Balbino Guerrero on change.org, a resident of Cebu. 

Ili Rock Formation during my August 2014 visit.  

Ili Rock Formation as of today.

Totally unacceptable
I believe there is always a way around to help protect our heritage sites without the need of destroying it.  Seeing this photo, the Ili Rock has been damaged forever and has broke my heart at the same time.  

Help us save what is left of it.  Spread the word.  Share this post and sign the petition below.

Change.org:  Stop Defacing Boljoon's Ili Rock

Tuesday, November 18

Baroque Churches of the Philippines

As a lover of old churches, it was my secret mission to lay eyes on the four world renowned churches in the country.

The Philippines boasts of four churches listed under the UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Baroque Church Category

1.  San Agustin Church
     Intramuros, Manila

Photo by Edmaration.com

2.  Santa Maria Church
     Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur

3.  Santo Tomas de Villanueva Church
     Miagao, Iloilo

4.  San Agustin Church
     Paoay, Ilocos Norte

Also called as Paoay Church

Tuesday, November 11

Boljoon's Nuestra Señora de Patrocinio Parish Church

Boljoon is a heritage town.  Boljoon Church or the Patrocinio de Maria Parish serves as the town's main tourist attraction.  The parish was established in 1599 while the present church was finished in 1873.  A National Historical Marker stands before the church and is declared as a National Cultural Treasure.

Tuesday, November 4

Boljoon's Past Inside This Balay

Let us take a closer what's inside this Balay (house). This is the ancestral home of a former Church Monsignor. This is a must-do when visiting Boljoon as one can take a peek from Boljoon's cultural past.

Tuesday, October 28

The Varied Old Homes of Boljoon

But of course, a visit to a lovely heritage town like Boljoon would not be complete without discovering its pot of gold: its ancestral homes.

The old homes of Boljoon seems more on the mix of American-influence and of traditional architecture. I truly enjoyed walking along its oldest street (Patrocinio St.) and in the adjacent ones.  

Tuesday, October 21

Beauteous Boljoon

I knew I would be stepping foot on this tamed, religious town the moment I saw a picture of it over the internet. Boljoon (read as Bol-ho-on) came first to my knowledge in dear friend Ephraim's blog post over two years ago.  My mind did not need a long time to ponder, I knew I loved Boljoon even before going there.

Elevated view of Boljoon town proper with Ili Rock 

Nestled in a secluded cove protected by a natural rock formation called Ili Rock, it is no wonder as to why Boljoanon's forebears chose to settle here permanently.  A small strip of flat land is bounded by azure waters and thickly-forested curving hills.  Boljoon, in anybody's view, can be described as nothing but picturesque.