Friday, April 27

Calaguas Islands, I love You

They say that true love comes only once in a lifetime.  I used to believe in this saying. A cliché to most romantics at heart but otherwise is a part of reality. But then, some of you may ask how about those who have fallen in love more than once? Does this saying still apply?

Wednesday, April 18

The Truly Majestic Metropolitan Theatre

After our visit to the Post Office Building just across the street, our group took a short break and found time to make new acquaintances.  Our group scattered.  Some took a rest on the front steps, others hurriedly bought a Php 10 ‘mineral water’ from nearby mobile vendors after munching on the free yummy bread (yes free! Glad there are still some free perks at this time) and quickly gulped down its contents.  While some patiently waited since it was already past 5 in the afternoon, Sir Rence started telling spooky stories about how previous visitors caught unidentified subjects in their photos. (I failed to bring my headlight, waaah!)

Monday, April 16

Post Office Building Heritage Tour

It was sweltering hot. We arrived promptly before the assigned meeting time set by my friend Ivan (11:30-12 NN) and hung out at Plaza Lawton. While we were waiting for them, we noticed several lounging around under the lazy trees. Some with cameras clicking away at the historical surroundings, some came with a buddy, some just wishing the organizer would arrive soon and start the tour right away.

Friday, April 13

Sanctuario de San Pablo: A Hidden Sanctuary in the City of Seven Lakes

San Pablo City, Laguna is popular for it is the City of Seven Lakes namely (1) Sampaloc Lake: the biggest and most popular; (2) Pandin Lake: that quiet hidden lake; (3) Lake Kalibato: said to be the deepest and the coldest lake; (4) Yambo Lake; (5) Palakpakin Lake; (6) Lake Muhicap; and (7) Lake Bunot.

Tuesday, April 10

Pila, Laguna

I wanted to visit another heritage town soon after seeing Taal last January. Most of those I have asked around suggested visiting Vigan Heritage Town.  Well, if that place is just a stone throw’s away from our home then I would definitely include it on top of my priority list. Browsing through net, I have discovered Laguna’s very own: Pila Heritage Town.

According to Wikipedia: Pila is a 4th class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. The town of Pila is site for some well-preserved houses dating back to the Spanish period as well as the old Saint Anthony of Padua Parish Church, the first Antonine church in the Philippines.

Don Felizardo Rivera, who donated his lands to the church and municipal government, is the recognized founder of Pila. He is the ancestor of prominent families in Pila surnamed Rivera, Relova, Agra and Álava.

The National Historical Institute of the Philippines declared the town plaza and surrounding ancestral houses a National Historical Landmark on May 17, 2000. Two years later, on July 9, 2002, the Diocese of San Pablo proclaimed the parish church of San Antonio de Padua de Pila as the Diocesan Shrine of St. Anthony. According to Philippine historian, Dr. Luciano Santiago, it is the only town in the Philippines that is formally recognized as a historical site by both the church and the state.

We arrived here at about one in the afternoon. The unforgiving sun followed us wherever we went. The town plaza was almost deserted except for the NHI marker I have found smacked right in the middle.  I almost did not see it since it was sort of lying down and was even surrounded by a rusting white fence.  It would have been better if this was just erected standing up, planted near the church or near the Municipal Hall. But then, placing it at the heart of the town would have had some significance.

Pila Old Houses
La Noble Villa de Pila

Jose Agra / Rosario Villarica House


I was attracted to see Pila’s Municipal Center ever since I have seen a picture of it taken by Mr. Ivan Henares. However, it has already been repainted to an off-white and beige combination, giving it a subdued aura.  A dark contrast to the flaming red skin it donned before. 



Adjacent to Pila’s Church one can not miss Pila Museum. According to Mang Anselmo, the museum’s caretaker, this used to be an old school which was converted to the present museum and several government offices.

Pila Museum

We gladly thanked Mang Anselmo for opening the museum for us even though it was a holiday. J

We walked around the small town and took photos of every old house we met. Each has its own unique architecture and intricate design.  Walking along these wonderful homes further fueled the imagination I have of long ago events. Their windows mute witnesses of what has been. Pila is a truly remarkable town, worthy to be called La Noble Villa de Pila.

Thursday, April 5

What Inspired Me To Travel?

Mentored by a five-star general of a mom and supported by a QCPD officer (now retired) of a dad, my routine as a child was home-school-home-school,  the perpetual vacation at my Aunt Ellen’s home in Bulacan, during weekends, vacation or on the days when school has been cancelled because of a Signal No. 3 thunderstorm, and the weekly Sunday School at a nearby church.