Saturday, November 28, 2009

alegre guitar mactan cebu

when i was along with my Singaporean counterparts in Cebu, i gave them a small guitar souvenir and one thing that immediately came into their mind is that Filipinos are so inclined to music. i agreed.one thing that makes Cebu city even more marketable to the tourists is its decades old guitar industry. from a time when the Spanish influenced the Cebuanos to a musical instrument that evolved and progressed.one of the many guitar factory is the Alegre Guitars. located in an almost hidden area of Abuno in the island of Mactan. owned by Fernando Bebbot Alegre who's a good guitarist himself.they have a showroom open to all where one can even see how each of the guitars are made intricately. from different types of wood forming the country's most loved and widely used instrument.from generation to generation, the guitars that they are making had evolved as well from the mere standard guitars to making yukaleles, mandolas, banjos, and bass guitars. Alegre Guitars is located in Abuno, Lapu Lapu City, Mactan island. i recommend that you take a cab going there. estimated travel time from the Mactan airport to this place is just about 30minutes or less.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

yap san diego ancestral house cebu city

on my way to the Casa Gorordo, what got my attention was this old wooden house with a series of sign posts. i should drop by. this should be something. not your usual Cebu stop spot.fortunate enough, it was another ancestral house. the Yap-San Diego heritage house along Lopez Jaena street just meters away from Casa Gorordo and the Heritage of Cebu monument.the many times i've been to Cebu, i never heard about this. yet i learned that it is one of the oldest ancestral house in the country believed to have built in the 17th century. owned by Dona Maria Yap.
it is one of the oldest and so i wondered why it did not gain people's attention? according to the guide, it remained as a boarding house for quite some time. until it was renovated little by little by Val, who inherited the house.today, like the Casa Gorordo house, it is considered as a house museum. filled with a great collection of antiques. at first look, one might even thought it's a big nipa house. to me, it's between being a bungalow and nipa house.the ground floor's walling is made up of coral stones while the second floor is made up of wood. sets of antique Chinese plates, well carved furniture, antique jars, a painting over a capiz window, age old Sto Nino figures makes it a house worth seeing.the most unusual thing i observed was the banca planter on one side of the house. this side of the house is a lot where the residents would usually stay and rest. i like how they controlled the access of the people at the second floor. one should wear a shoe cover to protect and preserve the original wooden flooring. it just needs improvement in the the way they arrange the items inside the house.the Yap-San Diego Heritage house and museum is located 155 Lopez Jaena street corner Mabini street in Parian. taking of photos is allowed inside while a minimal entrance fee helps support its preservation. thanks to the guide of the house for taking time bringing me around the house and for all those who planned and funded its preservation.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

casa gorordo cebu city

just recently i've been traveling to Cebu city regularly for a day trip. even with a short time, i still had the chance to drop by some of the historical city spots that i've never been to. one of this is the ancestral house, Casa Gorordo.now a museum that kept some of the furniture from the Spanish colonial period. rehabilitated in the early 1980s and has been open to the public by the Aboitiz. originally built by Alejandro Reynes y Rosales and was later bought by the first archbishop of Cebu Juan Isidro de Gorordo.located in Parian, one of Cebu's oldest districts, on a place where one won't expect a museum to be situated. a small and narrow street with crowded houses that one can actually get lost even when they go there with a map.but in contrast to its environ, is a beautiful two-floor house with a garden lawn and bricked walkways. a small well in the lawn adds attraction to its lawn. a balcony with a roof covered with vines coming from the ground floor.the first floor has large rooms with a flooring of red stones and big wooden pillars. the second floor displays sets of antique furniture on a long hallway. a number of rooms with beautiful beds, a rocking chair on one side and age old clocks.though it is not as elegant as the La Cocina de Tita Moning, it has kept its charm. a small showroom on the ground floor is used for exhibits and another structure stands inside its compound which serves as a souvenir shop.this is one of the few remaining ancestral house in Cebu city and among the few house museums in the country. sad though, that among the many ancestral houses in Parian, only a few was restored.it is open from Mondays to Saturdays 9:00am to 12:00nn and 2:00pm-5:00pm with an entrance fee of P50 (as of this post). located at Lopez Jaena street. to avoid getting lost, i recommend one to take a taxi. taking of photos inside the museum is not allowed.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

join the trek to pinatubo

inviting everyone to a trek to Mt. Pinatubo's cyan colored crater on December 6 (Sunday). just for a day trip trek to one of my favorite travel spot. this will be my third time there.experience the 4x4 and the dusty rough ride and trek the rocky areas to the crater. i rarely go to a place twice, but not when it's Mt. Pinatubo as it doesn't require experienced trekkers to see its crater.to those who are interested, just email me at i.dongho@gmail.com or just leave your email in the comment page. this is open to everyone. see you there!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

the asian geographic contest

the contest ended with no one able to guess my top three in the list of ten. many guessed two out of three and so to be fair, what i did was to rank my top ten and used the pointing system to pick the winner. here's my top ten ranking
[10] Thailand [9] Nepal [8] Japan [7] Laos

[6] Russia [5] Mongolia [4] India
[3] Turkey [2] Maldives
[1] China

if you have China in your list it will equate to 5points, Maldives with 3points and Turkey with 1point. so you can compute your score and whoever got the highest score gets the price. are you the highest? two got the highest answer and the first of the two to comment here will get the price. good luck to the two and thank you to all those who participated. watch out for weekly contest in December.even if you did not win, make sure you have this issue, it's too cheap for its price. you'll rarely find it but it's usually available in Fully Booked.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

just guess - contest

the Asian based magazine Asian Geographic is one of my favorite magazine. they just celebrated ten years featuring Asia's best stories on culture, travel, and photography. they featured the Philippines several times. this year, they featured the natural gems of Palawan, the pearls. for this contest, i'm listing down ten of the Asian countries that I wanted to visit. just guess my top three in this list and you'll win the 10th anniversary issue of Asian Geographic magazine. easy, right? here are the ten countries in Asia that i wanted to visit: Thailand, China, Laos, Maldives, India, Turkey, Nepal, Japan, Mongolia and Russia. again just list down my top three. if more than one gets it right, i'll just raffle the names and pick one. contest runs from Nov 16 12:01am until Nov 17 11:59pm.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

world pyro olympics 2009

the sky will again shine bright with the colorful display of lights from the world's prestige fireworks competition. the 4th World Pyro Olympics 2009 in Metro Manila.this year, expect something new as it happens at the booming Bonifacio Global City in Taguig. five Saturdays that will definitely highlight the best of fireworks display from the countries of Japan, South Korea, China, Germany, Australia, Italy, Canada and the United States of America. what will make it different this year? it will be the first time to feature a pyro-musical themed fireworks. expect drum and bugle competitions, great bazaars, play areas for kids, food booths, and other live entertainment. a great way to start the Advent season bringing the whole family.we already had a glimpse when we were invited to the press launch last November 10. don't forget to join the photo contest just visit World Pyro Olympics 2009.

Schedule of the World Pyro Olympics 2009:
Nov 21 - China and Germany
Nov 28 - Canada and Australia
Dec 5 - Japan and Italy
Dec 12 - South Korea and USA
Dec 19 - Fellowship of Fire Philippines
gates will be open as early as 3:00pm.
tickets: P1,500 VIP, special viewing area - P500, General viewing area - P200.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

eleven things why i love the ilocos norte coast

just to end this series, here i am again giving you enough reason why a trip to Ilocos Norte's coast is worth the long travel and even an unforgettable tricycle ride experience. maybe you've already explored it's heritage and historical sites and structures, try exploring it's majestic coastline.[11] fresh catch. living a city life, you'll get used to buying well preserved fishes sold on malls and market. but not in Ilocos Norte where one can actually anticipate for the small fishing boats docking early morning. fresh catch when cooked is proven tastier. [10] people. our country is known for hospitality but it's just simply different when you're in the far provinces. it's so easy to talk to people for directions and recommendations. you just have to initiate a conversation and from there, you'll get enough information to get around.
we thought it was just a series of unfortunate experience
[9] sea bonsai of burgos. years or maybe even century old sea bonsais along the coast of burgos are exemplary. one factor would be its isolation from the people who would usually take out some of this natural sea treasures. here the bonsai can withstand strong storms that hits this part of Luzon. [8] rough terrain. after complaining that torturous rough road trip, you might wonder why it's one of the reason why i love this province. simply beacuse of its isolation, prevented it from being touristy and at the same time preserved the many natural coastal treasures.
one torturous ride
[7] waves of pagudpud. a growing surfing community that involves foreign tourists are increasing this area. the waves at the Mairaira point are great. big waves coming from the South China Sea and a part from the Pacific ocean meets at this point. convincing? [6] bantay abot. not as gigantic as Kapurpurawan but the earth layers are clearly presented here. either side of the hole are great views of Pagudpud's coast. it's a worth short stop.
bantay abot coast
[5] bangui wind farm. the windmills of Bangui became an instant tourist spot when it started its operation. now it has twenty and hopefully more will be built as it uses natural energy to provide power to the Northern towns. it's amazing to see how big each windmills are.
bangui windmills
[4] pagudpud coastal view. among the best in the country i should say. the mountains here are really impressive and the view perfect! though we didn't reach the Patapat viaduct, anywhere along the Mairaira to Patapat coast are really scenic. white sand beaches seems ordinary here. [3] mairaira blue lagoon beach. not as impressive as it was way back but still it's one of the best beaches i've seen because of the great mountain backdrop. the central beach area is already a typical beach view but the Eastern and Western coast remains to be so beautiful.
mairaira beach blue lagoon
mairaira central beach
mairaira beach west coast

[2] burgos coast. the only thing that i didn't expect on this trip was the very rewarding Burgos coast view. very few have featured this part of the coast as they focus their attention to the great Kapurpurawan rock formation alone.
kapurpurawan and beyond
[1] kapurpurawan rock formation. undoubtedly is the best rock formation i've seen. through the years, the hammering waves changes its form. looks so fragile, since it is made up of sand sediments. it's stunning from any perspective.
kapurpurawan rock formation
we only visited the coastal areas and made stops on just four municipalities yet, it has convinced me of how great this province is in terms of its coastal views. i'm rating Ilocos Norte as 9.5/10.the photo above was taken by Lantaw while walking along the beautiful Mairaira coast. thanks to lantaw, lawstude, scud, fhei and jonee, my travel buddies during this trip. you made this trip more memorable.

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