Sunday, June 29, 2008

one paddling weekend

upon arriving in Manila from my Cebu trip, i immediately took a rest as i need to prepare myself for a weekend in Batangas on the next day.we left Alabang around 9pm on a Friday for a 2-hour trip to Calayo in Batangas. it was my first time to visit the western side of Batangas. Calayo is just one of the 42barangays under Nasugbu. Nasugbu is known for its hills and the many coves that lies in its vicinity. there are also islands that offers good diving experience but we were there to do kayaking and of course to have a relaxing weekend.we arrived late night seeing nothing but the sound of the waves tells us where the shoreline is. settle all our things down and spent the night playing cards and enjoyed each others company.early the next day, the sun displayed a view of a large cove with hills on the both side from our cabana.
had our breakfast and immediately set out to kayak. we had unlimited use of kayak here. what's a exciting with this cove is that it has an opening canal on one side that leads to a lake.many enjoyed kayaking in the lake because of the calm water .you can go as far as you can which leads to a larger lake. there are houses and small fishing boats as you paddle your way to its inner area.took some time to relax and sleep in the afternoon and waited for the sunset. the resort is owned by the uncle of our friend so we were the only ones occupying the whole place.the next day, we spent another time kayaking but this time we decided to cross the open area where small waves comes in to reach one side of the cove. it was quite challenging because we have to paddle our way there which took us more than 15minutes to reach even on a faster speed.but it was worth going there because it is secluded and filled with trees. took a rest for a while and paddled back to the resort. had our Sunday lunch filled with fruits. packed our things and traveled back passing the hills of Nasugbu with scenic views of the many coves.

Friday, June 27, 2008

from above - back to manila

"welcome to Philippine Airlines bound for Manila. expected time of arrival is 6:00am". i was now inside the plane for the earliest flight back to Manila. i've been to Cebu several times but there's always something new to discover on each trip.satisfied with all the photos that i've taken during my trip to Bantayan island and metropolitan Cebu, i thought it was already time to keep my digital camera and rest. as the plane ascends, i watched by the window the city lights of Cebu during dawn. the photo above shows Cebu city (left) and the island of Mactan (right). the colorful skies displayed on my window made me decide not to sleep and instead watch the sunrise from the plane. following Cebu's northern tip, i noticed that we were actually passing by the island of Bantayan. seeing the island from the plane confirms that i was really meant to be there. i noticed the shape of the Bantayan island with the neighboring Virgin and Hilantaga-an island. going north leaving the islands of Visayas and we were now entering the Luzon island. i observed that there's a mountain shape tip coming from the skies. it was actually Mt. Mayon's peak! the Philippines only nearly perfect cone shaped mountain. 40minutes has passed and the sun's rays are really stunning from my point of view. it looks like they were one with the clouds in displaying the sunrise's beauty. as we fly lower, this time we were over Mt. Banahaw. from all the flights that i've taken to and from Manila, i've never been this close to seeing Mt. Banahaw from the plane.
it simply shows that we were now approaching the Manila runway as we see more houses below. we were now landing with a view of Makati city's skyline and Fort Bonifacio.
it was another one memorable escape trip. i didn't expect this trip will really be this exciting. thanks for joining me on this travel.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

metropolitan cebu

a metropolitan lifestyle, a busy industry with great historical landmarks defines this Metro Cebu. Cebu is simply beautiful. according to wikitravel "over 50% of all people visiting the Philippines as tourist list Cebu as their main destination". on the previous post you might have seen some of its historical landmarks but Cebu is also known for many other things.it is known for its annual colorful festival called the Sinulog. one of the Philippine's most colorful festival dedicated to the Holy child. this is celebrated every third Sunday of January.it is also known for the two bridges that connects the island of Cebu to the island of Mactan. Cebu's international airport is in the island of Mactan which has regular flights to and from Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, Taipei and Doha.it is home to some of the most beautiful hotels in the country like Waterfront Hotel Lahug, Marco Polo Cebu, Marriot Hotel Cebu, Crown Regency Hotel with high class resorts in the island of Mactan namely Shangrila Mactan, Plantation Bay, Cebu Hilton Resort and Spa, Crown Regency Suites Mactan, Maribago White Sands and Waterfront Mactan.the Mactan Export Processing Zone in Mactan is one of the busiest industrial zone in the country. with companies like Timex, Tamiya, NEC technologies, Mitsumi, Bigfoot International, Lexmark Philippines and other large IT hubs.other landmarks that you can visit are Taoist Temple, Cebu Topps, Heritage monument, Magellan's shrine in Mactan. you can also visit popular shopping malls like the Ayala Center Mall, SM Cebu City, Robinsons Mall and Gaisano Country Mall.Cebu being the oldest city in the Philippines, you will also find the oldest street and the oldest school in the country here. the oldest street is Colon street and the oldest school is the University of San Carlos.in the old port area stands the Malacanang of Cebu. this is the old port office building which is now the president's office every time she visits this city.upon leaving Cebu, you might want to bring some of its most popular products like the Cebu made guitar, Danggit (dried flat fish), Cebu lechon, dried Mango, Mangorind and Otap.
today, more investments comes in as the South Road Properties (SRP) was opened along with IT Asia Town. Cebu city hosted last year's 12th ASEAN summit held at the new Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) in Mandaue. all i hope is that Metro Cebu will not be as congested as Metro Manila.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

a strong foundation

it was the people of Cebu who first accepted Christianity through its chieftain Raja Humabon and his wife Juana in 1521. on that same year 800 other natives were baptized as the Portugese explorer Ferdinand Magellan erected a wooden cross. the original cross is now encased in this large wooden cross inside a gazebo.the cross was the first symbol that signified the beginning of the country's conversion to Christianity. but it was followed by another gift which is the image of the Holy Child, which is known as the Sto. Nino to the Filipinos. this image can now be found in the Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino. like most of the churches built in the Spanish era, it is also made of coral stones and limestones. hundreds to thousands of Cebuanos flock this church everyday. it is quite unique here because you'll see women approaching people to ask if they want them to pray for you for a specific intention. in return you'll give an offering for this. they'll sing and dance with candles while they do the prayer for you. but most of the people here simply offer a candle for thanksgiving and special intentions. just a block away from this church stands the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral which is larger. it took a long time before it was completely re-constructed as it was damaged during the world war II. Magellan's cross and the image of the Sto. Nino remains to be Cebu's strong foundation. most of the time it represents unity and peace to the Cebuanos. this city continuously takes pride in being the oldest city in the country.i should say that you've never been to Cebu if you didn't visit this place.

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