Tag Archives: history

Once Upon a Time in Macau

12115529_10153067511971269_8045915331548522957_n Macau is dubbed as the “Las Vegas” of Asia, but for us, there is more to Macau than just “like Vegas”. This is a small piece of land(a peninsula) in the south-easternmost part of China where Portuguese established a foothold in Asia. It is a unique and special place for wanderers like us – a bit laid back but grandiosity is never compromised.

Getting there was quite fun.

906034_10153038764481650_8202143967776562676_oFrom HongKong, we took the fast ferry ride for an hour. We departed from our bnb around 8am and a went to the ferry terminal in Kowloon. we had to wait for some time for the next ferry.

11057739_10153038766126650_1351015596035632837_o Take note: You would need your passport as you are basically entering another country.

12036531_10153067128711269_4094343914427459491_n Skyline of HK on our way to Macau

1545951_10153067128946269_4491863373850145344_n Approaching Macau’s harbor.

As I have said earlier, there is more to Macau than just “like Vegas”. You can simply walk around the city and enjoy the food and gaze at the European-inspired structures. You will really feel that you are not in an Asian city.

12065998_10153067509926269_692477180388690076_n

 

A walk at the Senado Square is a must for all travelers. This is like a museum-city within a city.12038134_10153067508221269_6470082420789802559_n

12004035_10153067500956269_1074733799072328713_n along the way, you will find different food products. You should try one of their products, especially the Portuguese egg tart.

10362861_10153067503761269_4600781935082787742_n At the end of your walk along the vicinity of Senado Square, you will find the historic Ruins of St Paul’s. This is a historic landmark of Christianity in this part of Asia. Take your time and enjoy the view.

After strolling within the vicinity of Senado Square, we took the public bus going to the Macau Tower. It cost only 2 patacas for bus fare and you can go anywhere in the city (or we may not be aware of the real fare, lol)

10174880_10153067133006269_5015148563777880611_n The view from the top of Macau Tower.

Then from Macau Tower, we rode the complementary bus going to Venetian Macau. And yes, you heard it right! It is complementary so it is for free!

10376162_10153067513491269_967400487505879763_n We just wandered around the majestic night view of the Venetian since we do not gamble. We prefer to use our money for food! haha. 

So to wrap up our Macau trip, we headed to Fisherman’s wharf, which is near the fast ferry terminal going back to Hong Kong. And again, thanks to Venetian Macau’s complementary bus service! 10537043_10153067516061269_1348255305181884447_n Walking around Fisherman’s Wharf as we say goodbye for now Macau! We will be back!

This is one of our many memorable trips as a couple since this was our honeymoon. Yes, just few days after we got married! I thank God that this place did not disappoint us. Macau is a traveler-friendly place. Most locals may not know how to speak English, but Macau has produced all the possible resources to make one’s visit easy and memorable – like leaflets and road signs in English.

Tip: Once you arrive at the Macau Terminal, go ahead to the tourism desk and ask for a free map so you would know where to go and what to ride (bus routes are indicated as well). In our case, we did lack of research on where to go so we just plainly depended on the map. It turned out to be very helpful. Another thing, they accept HKD so you do not have to worry about money changers. But better to be prepared with coins – lots of it (for the bus rides). Lastly, just enjoy everything you will encounter in Macau – from food to experience.

Until then! We will see you again, Macau!

The Ruins: Maria Braga’s Gift of Love

The Ruins of the Lacson Family Mansion is now a certified tourist spot.  It is one of the best ruins in the world –  that is according to the hilarious tour guide where he declared that the ruins is the 12th best ruins in the world out of 12 ruins.  When I first get to see the ruins, I immediately had the goosebumps, not because I was frightened but because I was just overwhelmed with the elegance of the Mansion.

The Lacson family is one of the richest and well-known families in Negros Occidental up until today.  Mr. Lacson way back years and years ago, fell in love with Maria Braga and had children, but sadly Maria Braga died.  And with the love of Mr. Lacson for his wife, he built this majestic mansion for the love of his wife.  Several years later, he married again with another woman but he decided to leave the mansion because it was, for him, exclusive for Maria Braga.  Can you imagine how in love he was?  Anyways..  Later on, it was destroyed by the Americans during world war 2 because the Americans heard that Japanese will use the mansion as barracks or place of refuge.

Whatever the fate of that mansion is before, all that matters now is it is an attraction that is gaining the international tourists.  We Filipinos must be very proud!

How To Get There:  From Bacolod City ride the jeepney bound for BATA, or ride the jeepney with the route Libertad-Bata.  Ask first if it is bound for Bata because you might end up going to Libertad.  Tell the driver of the jeepney to drop you off the corner going to the ruins, then you can ride a motorbike for 25php going to the ruins.  You can also choose to ride a taxi from the city and tell them the destination, I am 100% sure that they already know the place.

More pictures of the ruins: 

Once you are in Bacolod for the Masskara Festival, do not ever forget to visit the ruins.  It is fascinating and educating!

Choose The Ruins, Choose Philippines!

To know more itineraries visit:  The Philippine Travel Itineraries.

Guimaras Island: Breeder of the Sweetest Mangoes on Earth!

Guimaras Province is a side trip destination for the tourists who visit Boracay via Iloilo.  Though it is just a few minutes away from Iloilo, Guimaras is a separate island and is also a lone province.  Its capital town is Jordan.  It is also the gateway to Guimaras along with Buenavista Town.  It offers a lot of surprises to the tourists; from adventures to white sand beaches.  Personally, the main reason why I came to Guimaras is to taste their mangoes, because mango just happened to be my favorite fruit.  Of course, I wanted to taste the sweetest mango on earth!  And yeah, they really are amazingly sweet!  They even got served in the US’ White House.  Back to the itinerary, we only spent a day trip in Guimaras and we had a great time exploring every corners of the island.  We just had a contact named Kuya Gerald who is responsible for our transpo and the day tour but he was busy at that time because he had other guests so he endorsed us to his brother Charlie.  It went well and I highly recommend Charlie to guide you because he is a good person; someone whom you can really trust.  I will state his number later on.  It was really a great experience for me and my Guimaras travel became one of my favorites  it might become your favorite too!  So pack your things up! Let’s go to Guimaras!

Please be guided that bringing mangoes or any part of a mango is strictly prohibited in Guimaras, but bringing Mangoes from Guimaras is Highly recommended!

How To Get There:

From Manila:  You can reach Guimaras by plane via Iloilo.  Once you arrive in Iloilo just take a cab and tell the cab to take you to Ortiz Wharf (the motorboat wharf bound for Jordan).

From Cebu:  By sea, you can choose from Cokaliong Shipping Lines or Trans Asia Shipping Lines for a 12-hour travel going to Iloilo.  Once you arrive in Iloilo just take a cab or motorcab and instruct them to take you to Ortiz Wharf.  You can also take a jeepney to save money, just ask what Jeepney route that passes Ortiz Wharf.  Then Take the motorboat from Ortiz wharf going to Jordan.

A number of motorboats plying Jordan-Ortiz Wharf.

A motorboat in Ortiz wharf (FARE is 14 Php per person and 20Php during peak hours)

Loading of passengers in Ortiz Wharf

Where To Stay:  A day tour in Guimaras would do and staying in a hotel in Iloilo would be great if you want to save money and maximize your travel time.  But if you want to spend the night in Guimaras, make sure you make a booking ahead of time.  Here are some of the places in Guimaras that you could spend the night:

                        Raymen Beach Resort (Poblacion Nueva Valencia Guimaras) 0918 520 7271

Guisi Clearwater Resort (Dolores Nueva Valencia Guimaras) 09195636688

 Alubihod Cove Resort (Alubihud Beach Drive, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras)

You can actually find more accommodations and more information through the Guimaras Website.

What To Do/Where to Visit:  The following below is our Guimaras Day Trip Itinerary:

  The Smallest Park – It is indeed that smallest park and smallest Rizal statue that I have ever seen! 🙂

Guimaras’ Highest Point of Elevation

                  Guimaras Adventure Park – It was my first time to try Target Shooting. Hurray! It was fun! First time in Guimaras and first time to try Target Shooting.

Museo De Guimaras

  The Pitstop – You should stop by this place or spend your lunch here.  You should try their specialty, the Mango Pizza and Chicken adobo With a Twist – It is a chicken adobo simmered in adobo marinade with mango nectar.  Yummy!

Trappist Monastery and Gift Shop – The Trappist Monastery is home of the monks who follow the rule of St. Benedict.  They are most commonly called Trappists.  Tourists drop by the gift shop to buy goods that are being made by the Trappists Monks.  That is their way of living.  They offer Guimaras delicacies like mango bars, mango concentrate and more!

The Mango Plantation

Camp Alfredo

                    Raymen Beach Resort – Swimming time! yeay!

                            Guisi Lighthouse and Ruins – This place is awesome, tranquil, and yeah, it is very ideal for meditation.

Here are more images around the lighthouse vicinity:     This is my favorite spot in Guimaras.  The Guisi Lighthouse and ruins.

Guisi Beach – Well.  With my lady and the pristine white beach, What else could I ask for?

More Photos of Guisi Beach: 

Signages 

Last Stop:  Balaan Bukid – Balaan bukid is a place where Catholic devotees flock during Holy Week to practice penetential rites.

A skyline view of Iloilo City from Balaan Bukid, Guimaras.

Contact Person/Tour Guide/Transport Service: Charlie (+639461966887 ) – Charlie is around early 20s, he is the younger brother of kuya Gerald.  He is a nice person, gentle, and very hospitable.  He can be trusted. Me and my girlfriend even left some of our things with him when we were swimming.  I assure you, he will give you the time of your lives in Guimaras.  His rate for the whole day tour is 1,000 pesos for a motorcab but we gave him 200 pesos as tip.

Or Contact Kuya Gerald- 0908-4748122 (older brother of charlie)

Guimaras is indeed a very exciting destination.  Some people might have ignored the beauty of Guimaras because it has lesser exposure to advertisements and other form of promotions.  Now I can say that I am lucky enough that our creator has given me the opportunity experience one of his beautiful creation.

So that is all for my Guimaras Tour!  Now it is your turn! c’est à votre tour! 🙂 Bon Voyage!

To know the complete itinerary of this trip, visit:  The Philippine Travel Itineraries.

Tacloban City: The Eastern Metropolis

Tacloban City is the capital city of Leyte Province and the largest city and center for commerce in region 8 (Leyte and Samar).  It is home to the former first lady, Imelda Romualdez Marcos.  Up until now, the Romualdez family is one of the elite families in Tacloban.  It has various historical sites and ancestral houses.  The seat of Philippines was transferred for a short time in Tacloban during the Second World War.  It is also the location of the Largest Sea Battle during World War 2, the Battle of Leyte Gulf.  Visiting Tacloban will definitely give you a  lot of knowledge about the Second World War.

How To Get There:  From Manila:  There are several plane schedules daily for tacloban via Cebu Pacific, Zest Air, and PAL, please check out your desired airline’s website for schedules.  From Cebu:  You can also travel by air through Cebu Pacific and PAL, please check their scheds; you also have the option to travel by Land through Ceres Liner.  By Sea, you can take the fastcraft bound for Ormoc for 2 hours and then take the v-hire(duptours or grandtours) for 2 hours.  For around more or less 4 hours, you will already be in Tacloban.

Where To Stay:  

There are several hotels in Tacloban but I prefer that you takae GoHotels.  They offer good service at the same time very convenient because it is situated nearby Robinsons’ Mall, Tacloban’s largest as of the moment.

Transportation:  You can take a jeepney if you are just wandering within the city, or you can take a tricycle or pedicab when you go for shorter distances.  When travelling to and from another town/city, you must take a Bus (except Palo and other nearby towns)

Where To Go/Visit:  

Leyte Landing Memorial

San Juanico Bridge (photo courtesy of wikipedia)

Sto Nino Shrine(photo courtesy of http://callezaragosa.com/)

Sto Nino Church 

Astrodome (For Night Life)

Leyte Park (photo courtesy of www.taclobanhotels.com)

When you visit Tacloban, you should not also miss my favorite streetfood in Tacloban.  It is their Fried Isaw..

Iloilo, the city of love

Iloilo City, Philippines – The major city of Panay Island located in the Western part of the Visayas.  Iloilo city was once the queen city of the south until Cebu took the title.  It is now dubbed as the city of love.  I do not really know why but I think it is because of Ilonggos’ way of communicating, they tend to be very soft spoken even though even when they are mad.  Iloilo’s downtown area, as seen in the picture above, is very in order and peaceful – this is on a maundy thursday though.

How to Get There:  From Manila:  Going to Iloilo is easy by taking plane.  There are a lot of flights from Manila going to Iloilo served by Cebu Pacific, PAL, Zest Air, and Airphil express.  Iloilo is also an option for some tourists as gateway to Boracay.  From Cebu:  Daily flights from Cebu is offered by major airline companies.  You can also travel by sea through Trans Asia Shipping and Cokaliong Shipping with daily schedules that leaves 6pm and 7pm.  If you also opt for land-barge travel, you can ride a bus in Cebu bound for Bacolod and from Bacolod you can ride a fast craft bound for Iloilo.  This is the cheapest option in going to Iloilo.

You can choose a variety of fastcrafts that serves Iloilo-Bacolod route

 

Transportation:  To be able to wander around the city, you can take their unique style jeepneys while enjoying the sights of the downtown area.  You can also ride tricycle and trisikad when going to nearby places.  There are also taxis that circulate around the city, so transportation is never a problem.

Where to Stay:

Circle Inn – This hotel is a nice place to stay if you have enough budget because they have a nice view of Guimaras Island and they have their own pool for their guests. (1,300php promo price for 2 pax)

City Coporate Inn – This budget inn is ideal for budget travelers yet seeking for good quality service.  (780 php room for 2 pax)

Both mentioned inns are very accessible both Ortiz wharf (port going to Guimaras) and Fastcraft terminal at Muelle Loney St (port going to Bacolod), just walking distance, one ride from the Domestic Port (from Cebu).  It is also walking distance to all establishments within downtown area.

Places To Visit:

The Provincial Capitol and Nearby Museo Iloilo(from downtown, ride a jeepney going to La Paz or Jaro or take a cab then ask the driver to drop you off in Provincial Capitol or Museum)

Jaro Belfry

(From Downtown area ride a jeepny going to Jaro)

Jaro Cathedral

Iloilo City Hall and nearby Plaza Libertad

San Jose de Placer Parish 

Santa Teresita Church 

Aduana and Muelle Street

When in Iloilo you should not miss eating their food.  I encourage you not to eat in any fastfoods.  When me and my partner were in Iloilo we were able to taste and appreciate their food.  I am talking about food at their carenderias, they have different way of cooking Filipino dishes.  And of course, when you are in Iloilo you should not miss the all-time favorite La Paz Batchoy!

From gastrotourism to archeological and historical interests, Iloilo city is indeed a place to visit! When you plan to visit Guimaras or Boracay, a day in Iloilo would be great!  Choose Iloilo, Choose Philippines!