The Merlion

Singapore---Tourists are everywhere.

Mall of Asia's Eye Wheel

Las Pinas--- The "Eye wheel" is the tallest and largest ferris wheel in the country.

Concert at the Park

Manila---Mix presentations from dance, theater, and musical performances can be seen at the historical urban park

Sand bar

Marinduque---The place is called Palad because the sand bares during regular low tide, located in Maniwaya.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center

I was surprised when I was told that a wildlife center exists in Quezon City. I didn’t know that there is still a spot in this urban area which is somehow shaded by trees. I paid a visit today because we had our photo shoot at this place. The park is named after Ninoy Aquino. It is located at Diliman Quezon City, just in front of the Lung Center of the Philippines. The entrance fee costs P8.00 for adults and only P5.00 for students.
When I got there, some people spent their time sleeping, and some hit their own picnic spots.  Also, different groups were busy taking photo shoots in every corner. It seemed that this location is truly great for pictorials. The nature park has a man-made lagoon and botanical garden. The park also serves as temporary shelter for some endangered animals.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pan de Amerikana, Katipunan Branch

Dinner with college buddies at Pan de Amerikana, Katipunan Branch. This was the second time I visited the place, and I liked it more because I’m with my friends. We had more time catching up with each other despite of our different working schedules.

We took a picture of the hang out we had last night, and on the top of our heads is an upside down dinner table! But don’t worry it never falls off, it’s safe.

Pan de Amerikana is the first and only upside down restaurant in Southeast Asia.  It caters Filipino dishes with cheap prices + unique ambience + country-inspired + music on the background.  Pan de Amerikana is one of the places you should never miss.  Also, you might like to visit their Marikina branch which is a chess-themed restaurant.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Pico de Loro, Ternate, Cavite

I think it’s never too late to celebrate and welcome New Year. So, my first climb this year was at the highest point in Cavite and Batangas which is located at Ternate, Cavite.

Luckily, two of my friends joined me. We decided to meet at Robinson’s Pala-Pala because there are buses going to Trece Martires Cavite. From there, we rode a jeep to Naic. Also,we needed to arrange our transportation heading to DENR, because public transports rarely pass there. From Naic, a jeep can be rented with a fix amount of P600.00 (one-way). But because we’re just few, we decided to rent a tricycle instead. It only costed us P600.00, forth and back. We just have to split the expenditure in three. By the way, we’re trying to stick with a 500-peso budget for this hike.

The ride from Pala-Pala going to Ternate consumed us two hours so we got off in DENR Ternate at 10:30am. After which, we paid P20.00 each for registration and headed quickly to the jump-off point as we need extra time in case we get lost.
Reaching the base camp 1 was really a long trek. The whole area is well-shaded by trees. The trail was damp because of sudden rain showers.

Along the way, we met group of trekkers descending and they kindly greeted us with “Good morning, sir.” “Good morning, ma’am.” “Ingat po kayo.” They also gave us advice about the directions.

We stopped for a minute for water break and took some photos but quickly resumed to our walk. The trail is all upward and steep, but thanks to the small trees that helped us to make another step. Until, we saw a ray of light at the end of the forest. To our excite, we moved quickly and passed through cogon grass and we’ve found the exhilarating beauty of Pico de Loro!

Then, I paused. And uttered, “Teka, di ba dapat nandun tayo?” (We should be on the other side of that mountain, right?)” We trailed the area hoping that there’s a way to the other side but it was a dead end and a deep down-straight to the bottom.

We ate our lunch first then traced down the last ribbon we saw. So if you’re heading your way up and ended in a fork trail, choose the right way. After long hours of walk again, we’ve reached the camp and the summit was just a few climbs away. There’s a fine weather that time and some trekkers in the camp were busy setting-up their tents and some were just drinking and having a good time mingling with other group of trekkers. We’ve reached the camp past 2pm, so we better continued our walk to the summit because we have to descend by 3pm.

 At last, we’ve reached the first peak. At the other side is the second peak of Pico de Loro (Parrot’s Peak.) We didn’t dare to climb it because the rocks were slippery. Instead, we took some pictures at the summit.

 Not long after, it began to drizzle and it started to pour and because of that, we’ve decided to go back to the camp. Even if the rain was getting stronger and the wind was blowing hard, we came across a group of trekkers along the way heading their way to the peak.

Because we already estimated the time we’ve used all the way to the summit, we’ve thought that we’ll spend the same amount of time heading back to DENR. Only easier because we walked all the way down of a mountain however there were still ups and downs and rocky terrains.

It was already dark when we’ve reached the highway. Yes, it was tiring but it was another HOORAY for me.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Seng Guan and Kuang Kong Temple

Go to a Chinese Temple
Temple hopping -- I found myself wandering in the heart of China Town, I'm glad I found what I was looking for: Kuang Kong Temple and Seng Guan Temple.

The Chinese community in the heart of Manila is not alien to me since there's a pool of them in Divisoria.*smirk* Also, we can't deny the fact that Filipinos have adapted some of their beliefs through the years. So I decided to take a peek of the Chinese temples around the area. The temples are open to the public, just don't forget to pay respect to the visitors and be silent as it is still consider a spiritual place.

First stop, Kuang Kong Temple. I thought I'll never find this place because it is hidden on the second-floor of an ordinary building on Kipuja Street. From Ongpin Street turn left into Fernandez Street then left again into Kipuja Street. You can ask the people nearby, they know it. 

Incense pot in the entrance of Kuang Kong temple

Red wooden half moon. Yes or No.

Pick among the bundle of sticks then see its interpretation here
Second stop, Seng Guan Temple. It's not a long walk from Kuang Kong Temple (Narra St.) This is the biggest Buddhist Temple in China town. It also has an amazing architecture. It has many rooms for praying.

During my visit, I get a bit of idea how Chinese offer their prayers to their Gods. I just observed and did the same.
Seng Guan Temple

Front of Seng Guan Temple

Entrance door of Seng Guan temple
 1. After lighting three sticks of incense, I sat on the red pew box facing the God (if the prayer is for business then offer your prayer to the right deity). While offering the prayer, I waved the incense slowly and bow my head.

2. After that, I put the incense in the incense pot and grabbed the two halves of red wooden moon-like shape. According to Chinese ritual, you should ask a question which is only answerable by "yes" or "no." I clasped the two woods then dropped it. If the two halves face each other it means your request will be granted and the answer is "yes," but if it face opposite to each other then it's a "no." You can pray again, and repeat again the ritual, though.

3. After that, you may know what would be your day end like by picking among the bundle of sticks with a number that will lead you to its corresponding statement, well it's written in Chinese characters so I didn't bother to ask mine.
Incense smoke

Red pew boxes

Prayer room in the second floor of Seng Guan temple

Golden Totems. Inserted here are the pictures of Chinese couple who died, believing that their souls would still meet.


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