Stunning Sta. Barbara, Iloilo

The municipal town of Sta. Barbara is quaint and quiet. When the jeep drops me off at the curve of the town’s Victory Plaza, the first thing I notice is its landscaped park. Despite the town’s historical past, there is a certain newness about its central features. The plaza has been redesigned, the Centennial MuseumContinue reading “Stunning Sta. Barbara, Iloilo”

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In Oslob, it’s either depth or height, or maybe both.

The prospect of swimming with the butandings or whale sharks excites me. Nothing can beat being one with the huge and gentle sharks that do not include us in their diet. Whale sharks are large fishes that grow around 40 feet, weigh approximately 20 tons, and has a life span of a hundred years. IContinue reading “In Oslob, it’s either depth or height, or maybe both.”

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Amazing Agutayan Island

The return to Agutayan Island was a dream come true. The first time I visited the island was in September 2014.Β  Members of the Jesuit Basic Education Commission of the Philippines were brought here for environmental awareness. It was at that time that I learned about Xavier University’s Ridge-River-Reef (R3) Program that aimed to establishContinue reading “Amazing Agutayan Island”

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Samal Island and the White Land Bridge To A Mini-Island

“Over there you will find a small island worth exploring,” the man said, hand darting towards the edge of a coast. “Right there,” he pressed on when I seemed confused. “You’ll find it near the beach, a land bridge will bring you there on high tide.” When I followed his gaze that afternoon at SamalContinue reading “Samal Island and the White Land Bridge To A Mini-Island”

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I Am Falling In Love With You, Taal.

They call it mysterium tremendum et fascinans – in the face of great mystery, we are both terrified and fascinated. It is like coming face to face with celebrities of great talent: you are tremendously intimidated that you shy away from them and at the same time, you are intensely magnetized that you want toContinue reading “I Am Falling In Love With You, Taal.”

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Photo Essay: Rain in Bukidnon

Water makes me happy. And I am not alone. In the drier regions of India, rain lifts people’s moods. In Botswana, the word for rain, pula, is also their currency’s name, a tribute to pula‘s economic impact. I like taking a bus ride in the countryside while it rains. In some of these photos, IContinue reading “Photo Essay: Rain in Bukidnon”

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My Top 10 Comfort Foods

After our mom passed away, my siblings now yearn for the food she prepared at home. We long for her lauya (pork stew with local vegetables), paired with any vegetable cooked in coconut milk, long pepper and lada (siling labuyo in Bicol). Lada is our small local chilli pepper that packs a lot of heat.Continue reading “My Top 10 Comfort Foods”

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Dumaguete Will Not Burn A Hole In Your Pocket

Dumaguete is lovely. I take a panoramic photo of the city from the ferry. I hear a bell signaling us that it is time to prepare for arrival. This is Dumaguete from the Bohol Sea. I arrive in mid-afternoon. The sun is up and the weather is windy but humid. The port is bustling withContinue reading “Dumaguete Will Not Burn A Hole In Your Pocket”

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Part IV. Why You Will Love Siquijor – The towns of Enrique Villanueva, Larena and Siquijor

The trip to the town of Enrique Villanueva is enjoyable. Along the road is the Cang-isok House that dates back to the mid-1800s. However, seeing its present state, I know that this is probably the major disappointment of the coastal tour of Siquijor. Cang-isok house, Brgy. Libo, Enrique Villanueva. Its name comes from the seasideContinue reading “Part IV. Why You Will Love Siquijor – The towns of Enrique Villanueva, Larena and Siquijor”

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Ateneo HS’ Il Voce Takes Flight

Il Voce, the official co-curricular organisation under the Arts Subject Area of the Ateneo High School, lends their voices in their concert, Take Flight, at the St. Stanislaus Kostka Chapel. The concert is for the benefit of Tulong Dunong and the on-going projects for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Il Voce opens the show withContinue reading “Ateneo HS’ Il Voce Takes Flight”

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Part III. Why You Will Love Siquijor — The Towns of San Juan and Maria

Capilay Spring Park, San Juan. When Roland Borja (Mobile: 0926-8061594) and I reach Sta. Cruz in the town of San Juan, we park right next to a big pool of clear water where children dive and adults swim. I am surprised that I am right at the Capilay Spring Park. As soon as Roland parks,Continue reading “Part III. Why You Will Love Siquijor — The Towns of San Juan and Maria”

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Part II. Why You Will Love Siquijor – The Town of Lazi

Roland Borja (Mobile: 0926-8061594) picks me up at around 9:00 AM. Tricycle drivers in Siquijor have been empowered by the government to be tourist guides. He said that the coastal tour of the whole island only takes a day. From the town of San Juan, we travel to one of the most beautiful and historicalContinue reading “Part II. Why You Will Love Siquijor – The Town of Lazi”

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Pilgrimage to Pre-Suppression Jesuit Churches: Maragondon, Cavite

Our Lady of the Assumption, Maragondon, Cavite. In 1598, the Franciscans were forced to leave Silang and the accompanying visitas of Indang and Maragondon. In 1599, the Cathedral Chapter of Manila transferred its jurisdiction to the Jesuits, who took over in 1611. Fr. Angel Armano SJ started building the church and worked for it toContinue reading “Pilgrimage to Pre-Suppression Jesuit Churches: Maragondon, Cavite”

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Pilgrimage to Pre-Suppression Jesuit Churches: Indang, Cavite

The San Gregorio Magno Church, Indang, Cavite. This church was once a visita or a chapel of the Parish of Silang, Cavite. Under the Jesuits, Fr. Angelo Armano S.J. established it as a mission in 1611, and dedicated to St. Gregory the Great in 1625. Also under the patronage of St. Francis Xavier, Fr. LuisContinue reading “Pilgrimage to Pre-Suppression Jesuit Churches: Indang, Cavite”

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Part 1: Why You Will Love Siquijor – One of the Most Beautiful Ports In the Philippines

I believe in love at first sight. I have fallen in love with Siquijor from a photograph of two of my friends diving at the Tulapos Marine Sanctuary. So, I have asked travel couple Charlie and Paola Paralejo-Fernandez about it. I remember Paola telling me excitedly, “Pads, you SHOULD go there!” (Check their website here.)Continue reading “Part 1: Why You Will Love Siquijor – One of the Most Beautiful Ports In the Philippines”

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