sitio-remedios-heritage-village-resort-dinner

A Delightful Evening At Sitio Remedios Heritage Village Resort

Sitio Remedios is located about 45 minutes’ drive from Laoag airport in Ilocos Norte, and is a private seaside heritage resort recreated to resemble the charming Ilocano village typical during the Spanish times. We were due to have our dinner here after a long day of sand-duning and touring churches and museums, thus we were looking forward to a place where we could sit, relax and enjoy our meal. And indeed, we came to the right place. Upon arrival at the resort, we were greeted by a paved walkway, lined by fourteen Stations of the Cross carved out of stone, lush gardens and water plants, and pools illuminated by lights, creating an ambience of calm and serenity. At the end of the walkway is a fountain on which atop is the statue of St Michael the Archangel slaying the dragon. You might wonder, have we come to a church? 🙂 No, the resort is dedicated to St Michael the Archangel, the patron saint of Currimao, the municipality in which the resort is located. The paved walkway continues with a quaint stone chapel on the right, and opens out into a wide courtyard that has a view of the West Philippine

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How To Spend Two Days In Manila

Most people spend a day or, two days at the most, in Manila before moving on to the provinces or islands. Some say there isn’t much to do in this city. On the contrary, there are a couple of things one can do and see in Manila, given the notorious traffic in the city. There are interesting sights to visit, and places to eat and shop within two days; enough to let you have a feel of what the capital city can offer to a regular tourist and without losing your sanity with the crawling traffic conditions 🙂 Here are some recommendations on how you can spend 48 hours in Manila: Day One: Rizal Park Rizal Park is an urban park situated by Manila Bay, along Roxas Boulevard. The park is one of the largest urban parks in Asia, and has historical significance in the Philippines history as it was the site where their national hero Jose Rizal was executed for spreading the flames of uprising and revolution against Spain in 1896. A monument and a statue of Rizal were made in his honour, and his remains are also enshrined in the monument. Locals like to take a stroll in

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National Art Gallery, Manila

Never before have I experienced a good few hours appreciating profound visual statements in the form of art in South East Asia until I visited the National Art Gallery in Manila. The National Art Gallery is also called the National Museum of Fine Arts and is a branch of the National Museum. The other branches of National Museum are the Museum of the Filipino People and the Planetarium. All of these museum branches are located on the northeastern side of Rizal Park. Situated in a neoclassical building which was formerly the home of the Philippine Senate and House of Representatives, the National Art Gallery houses some of Philippines’ classical painting and sculpture collections from the 17th century to avant-garde. Spoliarium Exhibitions start at the entrance of the museum (Level 2 – House Floor) that was formerly the old House of Representatives Session Hall in which the largest painting in the Philippines called the Spoliarium is hung. The impressive Spoliarium is an oil painting by a classical Filipino artist, Juan Luna who submitted this artwork as an entry to the highly regarded Madrid Art Exposition in the 1880s that won him a First Gold Medal. Spoliarium is a chamber where dead

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Waterfall Lunch At Villa Escudero

I was in Manila recently attending a travel conference, and we, the participants, were given options to choose an excursion trip outside of the capital city. There was a long list of excursions to choose from but I wanted to explore a place that was close to the city for a day trip – a tour which didn’t require me to leave my very comfortable hotel in Manila very early in the morning to commute to the tour pick-up point. Therefore, I chose Villa Escudero. Located about 100kms south-east of Manila, Villa Escudero is a working coconut plantation and hacienda in the city of San Pablo in Laguna Province. It was founded in the 1870s by Don Placido Escudero and was originally a sugarcane plantation but converted into a coconut plantation in the 1900s by the Don’s son Arsenio. Arsenio Escudero who was an agriculture industrialist, commissioned the construction of a hydroelectric plant – Labasin Dam – to supply water and to generate electricity to his coconut factory and the plantation house. When the Labasin Dam was constructed in 1929, it was the first working hydroelectric plant in the Philippines at that time. Villa Escudero Plantation was opened to the public

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My Typhoon Lawin Experience

Did you know that the Philippines experience an average of twenty typhoons in a year? Twenty is a lot, in fact too much to bear, majority of which are swirling in the Pacific Ocean but there are a few that would dump heavy rainfalls and gusty winds in the Philippines as they pass through the islands and head northwest to Vietnam and China. Philippines receive the brunt of typhoons due to its position in the Western Pacific Ocean where the water temperature is at its warmest above 28 degrees Celsius. Along with high humidity, the conditions make an ideal recipe to form a typhoon. ***** I was travelling with nine travel bloggers to the region of Ilocos in northern Luzon as part of our Ilocos World Heritage Tour. We had been hearing reports that a typhoon was going to hit northern Luzon but I guess secretly we were hoping that we would be spared from it. Our arrival at Laoag airport in Ilocos Norte was greeted with showers (we thought nothing about it really – it’s just tropical rains!) but the following day was sunny as we took advantage of the fine weather to do sand-boarding, visited windmills, churches and

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Philippines in 2007: Boracay Island

Continuing with the previous post on my first trip to the Philippines in 2007…my sister and I spent 5 days in the country; 2 days in Manila and 3 days in Boracay Island. Boracay Island…hmmm. Yes, impressions of Boracay can be of a mixed bag especially if you’re referring to present state of Boracay. But when we visited Boracay 9 years ago, it was paradise to us. White pristine beach and turquoise blue waters. Quiet and tranquil. We had assumed that Boracay would be as crowded as the beaches of Phuket or Patong in Thailand, driven by commercialism but we were pleasantly surprised by the peaceful atmosphere on the island then. Unfortunately, now more hotels and resorts are being built to accommodate rising number of tourists arriving in droves. More tourists mean more noise, tourist traps…and scams. My post here is not to drive people away from Boracay. I’m merely sharing with you the change that is happening to the island as a result of increasing development and commercialism due to tourism. Tourism is always good for any country but if not checked and contained properly, its negative effects can take away the natural beauty of the destination. Should you

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Philippines in 2007: Manila

A fellow blogger tweeted me and asked, Kat Pegi Mana? If you have seen my profile or have been following my blog, you would have known by now that Kat Pegi Mana means Where Is Kat Going in the Malay language. She was curious to know where my next travel destination is 🙂 Well, I will be travelling again in October and the destination is Philippines. It will be my second trip to the Philippines – the first trip was back in 2007 – many years before my blogging days. As I was researching on the internet recently on what I would like to do and see in the Philippines this time around, I couldn’t help but reminisce the first trip. And so I’d thought, for a change, I would like to share with you about my experiences 9 years ago. Note: The photos were shot with a Canon point-and-shoot digital camera (can’t remember which model). At that time, I hardly experimented with the various settings in the camera. Hope you don’t mind the poor quality of the photos below 🙂 ***** My sister and I chose the Philippines, mainly for two reasons: firstly, it wasn’t a common travel destination for Malaysians

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