Page 5 of liliram Travel Blog Posts


Asia » Philippines » Manila October 14th 2011

It's not paradise. It's not everyone's cup of tea. Or (good, undiluted) coffee. It's dirty here and there. But there are pockets of interesting sites you may wish to have a look at before entirely skipping Manila to check out the beaches of Boracay, breathing the mountain air of Baguio, scaling the rice terraces of Banaue, taking a boat ride in the Underground River in Palawan, swimming in the big and small lagoons of El Nido, imagining the unspoilt islands of Batanes, marveling at the Chocolate Hills and tarsiers in Bohol, or diving somewhere off Anilao in Batangas. This year, I concentrated on domestic destinations and had a wonderful time rediscovering my own country. Each to his own taste. And mine is still lusting for more. In between trips to swim with the whale sharks of ... read more
No Temples, We Have Churches.
Manila Bay
Binondo

Asia » Philippines » Batangas » Taal October 11th 2011

The Filipino men dress up in Barong Tagalog especially for formal occasions. The translucent fabric used is either Jusi which is our local silk equivalent or pina cloth from handloomed pineapple leaf fibers. It has a front opening with some embroidery, and was originally colourless. Of late, modern barong tagalogs come in different hues. As worn, the barong tagalog is never tucked into one's pants. It is a light dress shirt typically worn to weddings, funerals and other formal affairs. A slightly less formal Filipino attire is the Polo Barong which is usually short-sleeved and made of cotton, linen or ramie materials. Many offices in the Philippines have prescribed the Polo Barong as uniforms for its male employees. The barong tagalog preceded the advent of Spanish colonization. Tagalog is actually a dialect from a reg... read more
Terno As Worn By Imelda Marcos
National Costume: Baro't Saya (For Women)
My Maternal Grandmother

Asia » Philippines » Batangas » Taal September 17th 2011

There is the heritage town of Vigan in Ilocos Sur. And there's the heirloom houses in Silay City in Negros Occidental. Both are an hour's away from Manila. By plane. Yet just 2 hours drive south from Manila lies this heritage town of Taal, Batangas. A colonial town "frozen in time", an open museum providing a glimpse not just of how it was back in the 19th century, but of how many of our patriots lived during the Spanish occupation and through the Revolution. Declared a heritage village by the National Historical Institute, a walking tour of Taal, Batangas is certainly worth a day trip. A Pilgrimage? Having started with visits of the Taal Basilica (St. Martin de Tours Basilica), the Caysasay Shrine and the Sacred Well of Santa Lucia, this trip may well be a ... read more
The White House
Villavicencio House
A Sitting Room in the 1800's

Asia » Philippines » Batangas » Talisay August 28th 2011

Taal Volcano. Taal Lake. Easily, a local here would think Tagaytay City where one can view the volcano and the lake from the ridge. But I wanted to bring my family to go volcano trekking, so off we went to Talisay's Club Balai Isabel, a resort built by the shores of Taal Lake. Stormy Weather Over A Long Weekend The storm was a mood killer. A holiday spoiler. It was a long 4-day weekend for my working girls and school-going grandchildren. It also happened that one of the girls is celebrating her birthday. We booked ourselves at Club Balai Isabel weeks ahead and planned to do the lake cruise and volcano trek. Kayaking near the lakeshore or trying out one of those pedal-pushing water vehicles within a roped area of the lake. Biking. But that was ... read more
The Lovely Hotel Buildings Lining the Shore
Lovely Huts All Around the Complex
The Church

Asia » Philippines » Ilocos August 4th 2011

Northern Philippines includes the Ilocos Region : Ilocos Norte with its capital in Laoag City, and Ilocos Sur with its capital in the historic town of Vigan. Locals are collectively called Ilocanos or Ilokanos. And their cuisine is distinctly Ilocano in that it represents and integrates in every dish the major Ilocano trait of frugality and industry. Vegetarian Delights: Sinigang na Malaga, Dinengdeng, Poqui-Poqui, Pinakbet Malaga is a kind of fish. In Vigan's Kusina Felecitas Restaurant in Grandpa's Inn, it is cooked in broth soured by a tropical fruit, santol which is native to a few southeast asian countries like the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Borneo. Called Sinigang na Malaga (Fish Cooked In Sour Broth), this sour soupy dish is garnished with vegetables such as stringbeans and kangkong, our local water spinach. J... read more
Sinigang na Malaga
Bagnet
Warek Warek

Asia » Philippines » Ilocos » Vigan August 3rd 2011

Packed like sardines, we drove around Vigan, the capital of Ilocos Sur. I have earlier blogged about this when I visited in 2009 (), but this time around I'm visiting with my family and friends. All 12 of us! If there is ever any holiday where "feeding times" were not observed, this is it. Like we managed 2 breakfasts, a very late lunch, too many snacks while cruising on a van, dessert before a proper meal, an early dinner, and perhaps a 2nd "light" dinner? Every meal, one of the kids would ask "Is this lunch or dinner?" So much confusion . And tons of fun! Bantay Belfry: We've Only Just Vigan! First off, we hired a jeepney to take us all around Vigan. Cost us 800 pesos. Not bad. Way better than hailing 3 pedicabs ... read more
Bantay Belfry
Baluarte ni Chavit
Syquia Mansion

Asia » Philippines » Ilocos » Laoag City July 31st 2011

And who has not heard of our former First Lady Imelda Marcos? Times when I wonder if she grew more famous than her husband, the ex-President. Imelda: More Than The Other Half No, I am not a big fan. But I do admire the lady's vision to introduce class and culture into our local psyche. Oh yeah. I'd get a lot of flak for saying this. I know, right. Imelda certainly didn't gain many fans down here. It was so easy to hate her, after all. Shoe-crazy or not, she is the icon of extravagance in this corner of the world. Yet I thank her for those lasting edifices of arts and culture: the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Folk Arts Theater, Makiling Arts Center, etc. It may have been pretentious of her to advance arts ... read more
Love this photo of Imelda & Johnson
This is Power Dressing!
Marcos' Personal Ambassador

Asia » Philippines » Ilocos » Laoag City July 30th 2011

I had a wonderful time when I last visited this place. Dinner with a view then. Lovely, with the entire Church illuminated in all its beauty and antiquity. This time around, I brought my family for lunch here. And the view , on this rainy day, is just as awesome. Plus the novelty of Ilocano dishes for lunch did not fail. Paoay Church It is actually Saint Augustine Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this 17th century church combines Gothic, Baroque and even Oriental designs and stands proud , alone and majestic, supported by 24 massive buttresses which render its side view just as interesting as its front view. The belfry is separated from the Church, and looks rooted to the ground like a faithful sentry to its master. As it was ... read more
Buttresses, all of 24!
Pinakbet Pizza
Bagnet

Asia » Philippines » Rizal » Angono July 1st 2011

They make for a very strange combination. Exotic food, as in "bizarre" in the words of Andrew Zimmern. "Taka" as in the art of papier mache. And the Angono Petroglyphs. It wasn't my first time in Angono's Balaw Balaw Restaurant. And even before my first visit, I have heard enough about the exotic cuisine offered in this specialty restaurant cum art gallery. Artist Perdigon Vocalan has long gone; but his wife carries on the tradition so to speak. Angono is famous for its artists and Balaw Balaw seems to have lured many of them to this dining place for both eats and art talk. Around 100 of Perdigon Vocalan's paintings and those of other folk artists are displayed in the 2nd floor Museum above the specialty restaurant along with various sculptures and woodcarvings representing the rich ... read more
Higantes Festival
Hands on the Hips for my Master
Taka

Asia » Philippines » Laguna » Calamba June 9th 2011

Laguna is a province south of Manila. This Sunday, June 19th, marks the 150th birth anniversary of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. Calamba, Laguna is his place of birth. Their ancestral house has been rebuilt through the years and it is only the well that remains of the original structure. To celebrate his 150th birthday, the ancestral house--- now aptly called Rizal Shrine --- is all spruced up for this Sunday's celebration. So with the other Rizal Shrines and Monuments scattered all over the country. I dare not join the festivities this Sunday. Instead, I visited his home province on 2 separate occasions. Once to revisit the Shrine or ancestral house itself, for some history lessons. Another time to bask in the peace, tranquility of Mount Makiling in the nearby town of Los Banos, Laguna. ... read more
Interiors of the Ancestral House
The Indigenous Fan
Laguna de Bay Beckons




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