Tag Archives: Philippines

Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Nature Center (Quezon City)

The city is a concrete jungle, full of greenery artificially created by people to resemble the plants and trees that nature has nurtured for years. There’s plenty of breathtaking scenery in the city — view from the Philippines’ tallest building in Makati or the seemingly endless labyrinths of gigantic malls, among others. Continue reading Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Nature Center (Quezon City)

Silent Night, Boracay

Each of us touched by Boracay has a special memory about this beach paradise. For non-divers, it could be the amazement of feeding fish while floating in the middle of the sea. It could be the fine white sand or various water (and air?) sports like the jet ski, banana boat ride and parasailing. It could even be as simple as the fresh seafood, the great fruit shakes or the sand castles with lighted candles inside. Continue reading Silent Night, Boracay

Christmas in the Philippines

If you hate Christmas and anything that has to do with it, maybe you’d want to skip the Philippines. Filipinos celebrate the longest Christmas season in the whole world. Christmas is ushered in — no, not by the rumors if there’s any or how much is the Christmas bonus — but by the Misa de Gallo or Simbang Gabi, which is from December 16 to 24, with the 25th being the Misa de Aguinaldo, the final Christmas mass. Simbang Gabi literally translates to a “Night Mass,” but it’s being held at dawn, 4:00 a.m. to be exact. There are probably two general groupings for those who would want to complete the 9-day Simbang Gabi, resisting the urge to sleep, made more difficult by the cold nights — the devout Catholics and those who believe a wish is granted if the 9 days are completed. Still, regardless of which group you’re in, you’d probably enjoy the traditional Philippine Christmas delicacies — bibingka, puto bumbong and tsokolate — served, for a fee, of course, around the church area. Continue reading Christmas in the Philippines

Enchanted Kingdom (Sta. Rosa, Laguna)

I was always excited every time the peryahan, which I believe is translated as a “fair” in English, comes to town. There’s the Ferris wheel, or something that resembles it, the caterpillar ride, the haunted house and, of course, the games. Looking back, there’s really nothing fancy about the perya, that is, if you compare it with the likes of Enchanted Kingdom. So, the first chance I got after it opened in 1995, I went to see this Enchanted Kingdom, and went back for more — perhaps proof that there’s always a child in each of us. Continue reading Enchanted Kingdom (Sta. Rosa, Laguna)

Philippine Tarsier (Bohol)

I remember a classmate bringing a strange-looking creature — small but with huge eyes — to school back in elementary. While we called it kuwago because of its big eyes, the term kuwago more properly refers to a bird that also has big eyes — the owl. It’s known locally as mawmag. The tarsier is closely associated with Bohol, although it’s also found in the neighboring islands of Leyte, Samar and parts of Mindanao. Indeed, when you say Bohol, you think of beautiful beaches, chocolate hills, peanut kisses, the Loboc river and the world-famous Loboc children’s choir, and, of course, the tarsier. Continue reading Philippine Tarsier (Bohol)

Durian (Davao)

“Durian, the king of fruits, has a special place in the hearts of Davaoenos. It is, after all, one of the greatest attractions of Davao City, luring thousands of visitors to come see these shores to experience the fruit that, some say, “tastes like heaven but smells like hell.” But more than just an attraction, the durian is a delight to the Davaoenos, especially to the lumad community who were surely the first to enjoy it. It is also a “thorny” reminder that there is much to be thankful for in this land. The abundance of nature is never more obvious than during durian season, when the streets overflow with the fruit and locals can be found squatting on the sidewalk to enjoy a simple — truly incomparable — feast.” Continue reading Durian (Davao)

Massimo (Tagaytay)

Tagaytay is not exactly near Metro Manila, specially considering the added traffic brought about by the South Luzon Expressway [re]construction, and anyone must have a darn good reason to go up there. When somebody invited us to try Massimo’s, saying this “hidden” restaurant serves great Italian food, I figured that it’s reason enough to go back to Tagaytay. Continue reading Massimo (Tagaytay)