A Historical Tour in Corregidor

Decided to join our Canadian guest for a trip to the historical island of Corregidor. I have heard about some great feedback about the tour but never got the chance before. I am glad I did now.

We were at the CCP terminal of Sun Cruises as early as 6:30 AM.

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We boarded the ferry at around 7:15 AM and left at 8:00 AM. Arrived at Corregidor Island shortly before 10:00 AM.

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We boarded the tram assigned to our group. We had Mang Bobby as our tour guide. He was a funny, interesting guy. Not as intense as Carlos Celdran but he was interesting on his own right.

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Malinta Tunnel

Mang Bobby introduced us to the tour by saying that this island was heavily fortified by the Americans from 1902 to 1932. It had hundreds of tunnels, many battery of guns and 5 regimens of American and Filipino soldiers.

Our first stop was at one of the main tunnels of the island that links the main island and the tail end. We also watched the lights and sounds show.

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Corregidor Inn

Had an early buffet lunch at the only hotel on the island. It had a good view of the water and the island.

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Middleside Barracks

Stopped by the ruins of the Middleside Barracks where a regimen of American soldiers lived during World War II.

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Battery Way

First of the battery of guns that we visited.

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Near the battery was the largest gun on the island.

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Spanish Light House

This is the oldest light house in the country. It is the highest point of the island.

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War Memorial

Before visiting the memorial, Mang Bobby took us to the edge of that area of the island to see the tail end of the island.

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Here’s a view of the Eternal Flame (of freedom, I think) and the White Dome at the memorial.

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Lorcha Dock

This is where MacArthur left the Philippines to go to Australia. He was actually in Australia when he said ‘I shall return.’

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Japanese Memorial

Last stop of our tour. The Japanese government did not know about the Japanese cemetery until 1986.

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It was a worthwhile trip. Great to know more about our history and how a lot of people sacrificed their lives for the country to get to where we are now.

We left the island at 2:30 PM and was back in Manila at 4:00 PM.

To book tours to the island, go to http://www.corregidorphilippines.com.

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Walk this Way: A Walking Manila Tour by Carlos Celdran

It was definitely different from the other walking tours I have taken. The tour guide was like no other. The encounter with Carlos Celdran himself was a unique experience. He was so passionate and could get really intense on some topics particularly on the part when Manila was caught between the war of United States and Japan and thousands of Filipinos were killed and Manila was bombed, destroying the beautiful city. The 30+ mix of Filipinos and foreigners laughed and cried with him as he shared facts and events in the past that affected the way we are today in Manila (and Philippines in general).

Thank you, Carlos Celdran, for such an amazing experience. It was not only an informational tour but an eye opener even for us Filipinos. I will never look at certain things the same way again.

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Loved the calesa ride! Definitely an experience for our Canadian guest πŸ™‚

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San Agustin Church. The oldest church in the Philippines. The only one of the 7 churches and 1 cathedral in Intramuros that survived the bombing in WWII.

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Last stop was a Barbara’s where halo-halo was served while Carlos was wrapping up the tour. Amazing tour! Carlos got a big applause from everyone.

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We walked a few meters a way to take a look at the Manila Cathedral which was under renovation.

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Love this poster! I will definitely take another Walk This Way tour πŸ™‚

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For tour schedules, visit http://www.carlosceldran.com.

To reserve, text (63) 920 9092021.

Meeting place is at Fort Santiago, Santa Clara Street, Intramuros.

A Beautiful Boracay Wedding (April 13, 2013)

Back in Boracay after 6 months!

Was blessed to be invited by my good friend, Bucky, at his wedding in Boracay this weekend. Bucky was my batchmate in college at the Ateneo de Manila University and we both stayed at the college dorm, Cervini Hall for the guys and Eliazo Hall for the girls. When he mentioned that the wedding will be in Boracay, didn’t think twice about it! I immediately booked my flight and hotel.

I arrived in Boracay last Friday night at 11:00 PM, two hours later than expected. The plane could not leave Manila because of some congestion in Kalibo. Apparently, flights to Caticlan were redirected to Kalibo because of some event. So, I did not get a chance to meet with dorm friends who were already in Boracay.

The wedding was not until 2:00 in the afternoon. So, I decided to have a relaxing morning by the beach. Got my simple breakfast at One Crescent Place before heading out to the beach. In my beach bag was a book, sunblock, my phones, phone charger and, of course, some money. I planned on having a massage at some point by the beach. Yes, massage by the beach. And it only costs PHP 400 at most (around US$ 10).

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When I got to the beach, this was the sight that welcomed me.

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While walking by the beach to look for a good spot to hang out, I accidentally saw Roldan, another dorm friend from Ateneo waiting for his breakfast at Jony’s. Then we were joined by Albert who was checked in at Jony’s along with his fiance, Cor. Albert is also from the dorm. We went to Jonah’s for some fruitshake. Their milkshake is a must-try. Albert got an avocado milkshake, I got a mango milkshake and I think Roldan got a banana-mango milkshake.

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At Jonah’s with Albert, Cor, and Roldan.

Since we still had time, we decided to get a massage by the beach. We went back to Jony’s and they helped get a masseuse for us.

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My view during the massage
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Roldan and Albert getting their massage. Look how close we were to the water.

By the time Roldan and Albert were done with their massage, the water has reached the table. It was high tide!

The Wedding

Got to the Holy Rosary Parish church a little bit before 2:00 PM. It was so cool to see these cool Cervini guys again. Back in college, there was a group of 15 guys in Cervini who called themselves the ‘Lonely Hearts Club’. Their goal was to make sure all of them find the one for them and get married someday. Bucky was the President. He is now officially resigned, the third to the last to get married πŸ™‚

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Roldan, Me, Joseph, Bucky (the groom!), Wong, Albert, Cor

A few minutes later, we were all asked to take our seats. The doors were opened, and the radiant bride walked in.

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Kaye was so lovely and elegant in her bridal gown

Father Lito Mangulabnan, SJ, who was our Head Prefect for a period of time at the dorm, officiated the wedding. He knew Bucky well. During homily, he assured Kaye that she was marrying a really good man.

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You may now kiss the bride!
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All excited for the newly weds!
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Ride to the reception

Cocktails

The newly weds served cocktails at Sea Wind. Wong hosted the event along with one of Kaye’s lady friends. Wong was hilarious! I think he did a great job making the program fun for everyone.

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Veggies, oysters, lechon

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After cocktails, we were asked to join the newly weds for some pictures with the sunset in the background.

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Glorious sunset
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Sweet and beautiful…. hello, low tide

Dinner

A section by the beach was setup for dinner.

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Our table assignments

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Got this beautiful shot of the reception area and the bluish sky after the sun set and the little moon came out.

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We welcomed the newly weds to the party with sparklers!

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Kaye’s bestfriend opened the party with a heart-felt message to Kaye and Bucky. Then, he surprised them with a number from their friends – a dragon dance! According to Wong, the dragon dance was for prosperity and fertility! πŸ˜‰

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I was just telling the guys at my table that I wanted to watch a fire dance by the beach. Then, these wonderful people came in! According to Wong, the fire dance was also for fertility! Lol

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During dinner, Kaye’s father asked if he could sit with us at our table. He was overwhelmed by the entire thing. But he was very happy for his daughter. He went on to share with us how they brought in the butchered cow that was roasted on the spot for the wedding. They hired a boat from Bacolod to Aklan. They brought all the stuff they needed to roast and the men who will do it.

Dancing ensued after the dinner and program. Fun times!

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With Albert and my best buddy in college, Joseph
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Nikki, Wong, Albert and Kaye’s friend
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Woohoo!
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Everyone on their feet dancing and drinking

It was so warm that night that the guys, led by Wong, took off their white shirts and danced the night away. Even the groom took off his shirt! Haha! By the way, Wong – as Bucky asked throughout the event, how did you get that physique? ;D

Unfortunately, I could not stay long at the party since my flight the next day was at 9:30 AM. I had to leave the hotel at around 6:00 AM. Boracay is about two hours away from Kalibo. I needed to take a 15-minute boat ride to Caticlan, then another an hour and a half land trip by van to Kalibo airport. There is also an airport in Caticlan but the flight I got was in Kalibo.

One Crescent Place

This boutique hotel was not on the beach front, but it was right behind the church and was only 3 minutes away from the beach on foot. Found it on Expedia. Why I picked it? The rates were reasonable, the reviews were good, and it was close to the church. I actually did not know where the church was except that it is in Station 1.

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Breakfast area outside

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It was a very neat place and the room was cozy. But, what I liked most was the service. When I told the guy during check-in that I will miss breakfast on Sunday, since it is normally served at 7:00 AM, he said they can serve my breakfast before 6:00 AM. And they did, and they made sure I was already awake to take my breakfast at 5:45 AM.

https://www.facebook.com/onecrescentplace/

http://www.onecrescentplace.com/

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The Script : #3 Concert in Manila (March 31, 2013)

These Irish boys are so talented and wonderful. Did I ever mention I like Irish guys? Lol

It was an awesome concert. Danny loved the crowd! He literally jumped to the crowd on the second song. There were bunnies and boxing and beer on stage… and a call to someone’s ex-boyfriend. And double encore, baby! Confetti to end the show.

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From @thescript
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credit to Faye Swinney on Facebook
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From someone on Facebook
Sold out crowd
Sold out crowd

Here are some of the videos I took from my nosebleed seat

Jasmine Curtis-Smith was there, too, and posted this nice shot. I wish I was that close!

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Holy Week 2013

Spent the holy week with family and friends in my home province, La Union.

My sister’s friend, May, and her family joined us for the trip.

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Our jazzies were all ready for the trip.

Our first stop was San Juan Surf Resort.

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Good morning! Surfer students getting ready.
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Three little kids
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With my very patient instructor, Jeff, after my first try at surfing.
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Orange diet

Good Friday

Met with my good friend, Rhea, in Aringay to join the procession. A lot of people joined.

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Commemorating the crucifixion

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Baguio

While most people are heading to the beach, we went up the mountains! We went to Baguio for some cool breeze. Had picnic in Cam John Hay and played with the kids.

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Later, we went to Mines View Park. Stopped to get some grilled corn.

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