Tag Archives: spanish colony

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: 


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.

Philippine’s Kilometer Zero: Luneta, the living witness of Rizal’s Heroism

Luneta or Rizal Park is considered as the mother of all Philippine Parks.  It is located at the heart of the city of Manila just adjacent to Intramuros, the old city of Manila.  Many historical events happened here in Luneta or Bagumbayan, way back Spanish colonial era.  The park was named after the national hero, Jose Rizal, who was executed in the park thus later on resulted an eruption of the Philippine Revolution against the Spanish colonizers.  This place is very significant to every Filipino.  It is nice to spend few hours just strolling around the park or just simply spending time with your loved ones.  It is best visited at dusk and take a walk to Roxas Blvd would be great.

How To Get There:  It is easy to get to Rizal park since it is located at the center of Manila’s civilization.  From the airport or any hotel you can just always take a cab.  It is better that you stay in a hotel within Manila vicinity.  It is near LRT1 UN ave station or central station.


Watch the dancing fountain show for free.

Taking a stroll with your loved ones would be great!

                                                  Rizal’s execution site..

                                            You will also see statues of different native heroes..

Whenever you are in Manila, you should not miss visiting Rizal Park and Roxas Boulevard.  You will just find them within the vicinity of central Manila area – Near Manila Ocean Park, Intramuros, Quirino Grandstand, and Manila City Hall.


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..

Intramuros: The Walled City of Manila

Intramuros is a walled city found at mouth of Pasig River in Manila.  It was built in the 16th century by the Spanish Conquistadores.  The walls serves as a protection from moro invasions.  Up until today, several Spanish structures are still standing and the government are making efforts in preserving these treasures.  It was destroyed by the Japanese invasion but repaired in 1952.

Places To Visit:

Metropolitan Theatre

Just outside the gates of Intramuros (near LRT central station) you will find the Metropolitan theatre.

Central Post Office Building

You will also find this structure just outside the gates of Intramuros.

Within the Gates of Intramuros:


Palacio Del Sana

San Agustin Church

The Manila Cathedral

Palacio Del Gubernador

Fort Santiago

Rajah Sulayman Theatre

Rizal Shrine

HOw to get There:

From NAIA:  You can take a Cab and tell the taxi to take you to Intramuros.

From South Harbor:  You can take a cab, FX, or jeepney.  Just ask the people around on what route to take.

TIP:  Bring your umbrella if you just intend to walk around the walled city, otherwise you can just have a Calesa Tour for 350php per hour if you want to savor the moment.

Intramuros is a great place for a day stroll.. But of course, it is best experienced if you are with your loved one.

Enjoy your Day!