Tag Archives: history

Mosques of the Philippines: Travel Stories

Religion is deeply rooted in the Philippines. Different religions, including Christianity and Islam, co-exist in this country. The mosques of our Muslim brothers and sisters , in addition to their religious significance, are architectural marvels that have become tourist attractions. Let us feature these mosques, as seen through the VisitPinas-tagged photos in Instagram. Continue reading Mosques of the Philippines: Travel Stories

Be Happy, through the Bangui Windmills, Ilocos Norte: Photo of the Day

Feeling blue? Now, don’t be sad. It’s hard to be sad seeing the beautiful wonders of the Philippines. Go back in time and live history by driving through Ilocos, or marvel at how lovely modern technology can be when superimposed against a picturesque landscape. Beach and windmills, they appear to go beautifully together, as we can see from this photo in Bangui, Ilocos Norte, courtesy of Mary Oh (check her Instagram account, @maryoohhh, for more photos). So, my dear, don’t be sad; go out and see the beauty of the Philippines. Have fun! Click the photo to enlarge. Continue reading Be Happy, through the Bangui Windmills, Ilocos Norte: Photo of the Day

Plain Old Intramuros (Manila City): Photo of the Day

One attribute of photography is the ability to blot out all the distractions and focus on a particular point of interest. Another is the canny ability to impart raw emotions unto the canvass. For instance, look at this photo by Chrysaliz Santamena (check her Instagram account for more wonderful photos, @bambisantamena) and forget for a moment that this shot was captured inside the walled city of Intramuros. When we first encountered this photo, the immediate point of interest was not the symmetry and the honest play of plain colors. It wasn’t the apparent interplay between the old world (those windows look old) and modern world (gadgets and the relatively penchant of taking endless photos by the general public). Our first impression was the plain fact that the entire thing looks so old and, uhm, wonderfully heavy. It’s like the feeling of waking up with the hang-over beautifully gone, or, as a kid “forced” to sleep in the afternoon, waking up at around 4 pm and realizing that the sun is about to set and your friends are probably wrapping up the fun at the playground. We’re sure there’s a building somewhere splashed with white paint and you can probably grab a similar shot, but we bet our Christmas bonus that the aura won’t be the same. This photo, by itself, looks so dated. And because our minds impose a filter stronger than any camera, the moment we learned from Bambi that this is Intramuros, 300 years of Spanish colonial history rushed to fill the canvass and suffused the entire scene with the heavy burden of the past. If you’ve been to Intramuros, in heart of Manila City, you know very well that it’s a hive of activities, sounds and sights. This photo blots out everything, but surrounding this area are world heritage sites (Manila Cathedral and the San Agustin Church), and the footprints of the last day of Jose Rizal in Fort Santiago. After all, the walled city of Intramuros was built during the Spanish occupation as a fort. Put that colorful history along the edges of this plain-colored photo, and you’ll appreciate its beauty. Life, made beautifully simple. [Click the photo to enlarge] Continue reading Plain Old Intramuros (Manila City): Photo of the Day

Let’s Support and Vote for Vigan (Philippines) as New7Wonders Cities

Support and vote for Vigan City. Tell others and “convince” them to vote for Vigan City. We need to spread the word and vote for Vigan City as the Philippines’ only entry in the New7Wonders Cities. It started with the Nomination Phase (more than 1200 nominees from more than 220 countries), followed by the Qualification Phase and the shortlisting to 28 official finalist candidates (although we’ve counted only up to 21). The Philippines was part of the New7Wonders of Nature with the Puerto Princesa Underground River. See below on how to vote for Vigan. Continue reading Let’s Support and Vote for Vigan (Philippines) as New7Wonders Cities

Pasong Diego-Gabriela Silang (Santa, Ilocos Sur)

“That’s where Gabriela Silang was hanged,” said a friend referring to a spot somewhere along the national highway in Santa, Ilocos Sur. The place overlooks the sea, with what looks like a historical marker erected beside the road. It is indeed a marker, although painted gold, the only one we’ve seen, in contrast to the usual historical marker with white letters and black background. On the other hand, it turned out that this is not the place where Gabriela Silang was hanged. Continue reading Pasong Diego-Gabriela Silang (Santa, Ilocos Sur)

A Tour Through History in an Island called Corregidor

The distinct sound of the bell floats through the hot summer air off an island 48 kilometers west of Manila. This is Corregidor Island. The round, high-pitched sound of the bell tells everyone to get out from the ruins and gather at the tram. The tour operators don’t use modern car horns; they use the traditional bell. This may be a cute gimmick to incorporate the old ways. I’d like to believe that it’s more than that. Continue reading A Tour Through History in an Island called Corregidor

Exploring Fort Santiago and Rizal Shrine in Intramuros, Manila City

“You haven’t been to Fort Santiago?” And so my wife started chiding for not having visited Fort Santiago, like it’s a national sin. Last weekend I had my unplanned tour of Intramuros, particularly Fort Santiago. I made a quick stop to search for Kilometer 0 and to take photos of the Cory/Ninoy Aquino Shrine. Continue reading Exploring Fort Santiago and Rizal Shrine in Intramuros, Manila City

Vigan, Ilocos Sur: Philippine Heritage City

Postcard-perfect. That’s how I’ve always imagined Vigan would be. Kalesa (horse-drawn carriage) leisurely rolling through cobblestone roads, passing century-old houses that are witnesses to Vigan’s rich history. I thought it would feel like being brought back in time, walking through the past which we’d otherwise read only in books. Continue reading Vigan, Ilocos Sur: Philippine Heritage City

Church of Santa Ana (Manila City)

Among the remnants of Spain’s 300-year occupation of the Philippines, which ended when the 20th century came to a close, are breathtaking churches. Among these old churches are San Sebastian Church (Plaza del Carmen, Quiapo, Manila), Baclayon Church (Baclayon town, Bohol), Loboc Church (Loboc town, Bohol), Paoay Church (Laoag, Ilocos Norte), Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino (Cebu City), Miag-ao Church (Iloilo), Valladolid Church (Valladolid, Negros Occidental), St. Martin de Tours (Taal, Batangas). Continue reading Church of Santa Ana (Manila City)