Heritage Month: Capul Island
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It was a rainy weather as we landed in Catarman Airport in Northern Samar; the hour-long flight aboard PAL Express’ Q400 turboprop was marred by occasional turbulence as we pierced through dark clouds along the flight path. Flying at 20,000 feet, the lower altitude provided some nice views of the terrain below us. But for almost the entire duration, this being a 5:30AM flight, the cabin was in silence, passengers only began to stirred as the aircraft wheels touch down on the runway. After a hearty lunch, the group took to Brgy. Rawis, an hourly ride from Catarman across rice fields and sandy shores, into Laoang Island, the site of NCCA’s technical assessment of the different structures for possible heritage declaration. Laoang Island is accessible by a 10-minute banca ride; these small outrigger boats are the inhabitant’s main transportation in crossing the 300 meter channel that separates it from the main land. A bridge was suppose to be build, but due to lack of funds, it was never started; nevertheless, this has given locals the opportunity to earn income from ferrying people and goods alike. First stop was St. Michael the Archangel Parish Church – built in the 17th century […] Read more!
A Visit to The Manila Collectables
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“The Manila Collectible Company = Awesome, Curios and Thoughtful Stuff. It’s a one-stop-shop that offers the best of Philippine products. It’s conscious, indigenous and artisanal.” As the tagline goes. Foodstuffs and handicrafts on display Hand woven textiles and artifact replicas This little shop, located behind The Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, is the brainchild of Charisse Tugade and Carlo Elbeo, both avid promoters of Philippine indigenous crafts and culture. I know Charisse from way back – having met her during the Dia del Galleon Festival where a replica of a Spanish galleon – the Andalucia, visited Manila; I also worked with her briefly while she was with the National Museum for its 360 virtual tour; and lastly, the most memorable, having traveled together, with others, to Hong Kong for an international conference on museums and technology. So please visit TMCC, apart from offering wonderful products, it is also a great place to discover the many indigenous items from various cultures and tribes around the Philippines. The shop is open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 10AM to 630PM. They also offer highland coffee, free wi-fi, the ultimate kidspace, workshops galore, meeting space, 450 sq. meter alfresco rooftop event area, and a fabulous view […] Read more!
Solar Lamps for Taal’s Crater Island
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Stiftung Solarenergie (Solar Energy Foundation) in partnership with Globe Telecoms’s CSR and Pusod Foundation’s Taal Lake Conservation Center visited a community living at the edge of Taal Volcano’s crater lake and distributed around 80 solar lanterns in a bid to provide the townsfolk access to light. Group picture after the turn-over of the solar lamps August 7, 2013, the 90-minute drive to Taal, Batangas was a breeze; there was no traffic at the South Express Way and weather was a bit overcast. Together with several volunteers and people from the Solar Foundation, we were en route to Pusod Foundation’s conservation center in Brgy. Kinalaglagan, Mataas na Kahoy. For a while we got lost amidst the confusing small roads, but was able to found the right path with the usual friendly locals who pointed the way. Situated away from Talisay, the quiet town of Mataas na Kahoy (meaning high wood/branch) sits on the edge of Taal Lake; local livelihoods include farming, fishing/aquaculture and tourism. The conservation center is a training and resource center in line with the plans of the Taal Volcano Protected Areas Management Plan; teaching the communities around the lake to better manage and preserve their resources. It is […] Read more!
Arrival Ceremony for BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF16)
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Subic Bay, Olongapo City – After almost 2 months of voyage, the Philippines’ 2nd Hamilton-class cutter – BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF16), finally docked in a festive welcome led by President Benigno S. Aquino III at the Alava Wharf 10AM local time on August 6, 2013. Named after Commodore Ramon “Monching” Alcaraz, a World War II hero and officer of the Philippine Navy who commanded one of the Philippine Offshore Patrol’s Q-boat, Q-112 Abra, which shot down 3 Japanese aircraft. BRP Ramon Alcaraz docks at Alava Pier During the welcome ceremony It has been raining throughout the early morning as I joined the Navy bus together with other members of the media in a 4:30AM departure from Manila. Upon our arrival at Subic, the former US Navy base in Olongapo, the dark skies has been threatening to pour every single minute, with intention of dousing the celebration; fortunately, drizzle was all we got. PF16, formerly the USCGC Dallas (WHEC-716), was first commissioned on March 1968 that served the US Coast Guard as a high endurance cutter. It was decommissioned on 30 March 2012 and was acquired by the Philippines under the Excess Defense Articles and the Foreign Assistance Act. According to […] Read more!
Honda CR-Z Launch
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Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. launched the all-new CR-Z at the NBC Tent in Bonifacio Global City last August 5, 2013. CR-Z stands for Compact Renaissance Zero, a sports hybrid coupe, which represents Honda’s commitment to go back to the point of origin (zero) to take on the challenge to create a new compact car without being bound by the values of traditional coupés. 3 Variants of the Honda CR-Z The new CR-Z uses a 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine as the main source of power with an electric motor, Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA), which is capable of delivering maximum power of 136 ps @ 6600 rpm and maximum torque of 19.4 kg-m for the 6-speed manual transmission and 135 ps @ 6600 rpm and maximum torque of 17.4 kg-m for the Continuously Variable transmission (CVT 7-speed mode with paddle shifters). The model comes in 3 variants: the Standard, the Modulo, and the Mugen; with each variant available in manual or CVT transmission. Retail prices for the different options are: Standard (Manual Transmission) Php 1,390,000 Standard (CVT with Paddle Shifters) Php 1,480,000 Modulo (Manual Transmission) Php 1,470,000 Modulo (CVT with Paddle Shifters) Php 1,560,000 MUGEN (Manual Transmission) Php 1,860,000 MUGEN (CVT with […] Read more!
CVMP Fatluk 2013
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Facebook Group Come Visit My Philippines (CVMP) held its ever popular fatluk (potluck) at Josephine’s Tagaytay last July 15, 2013. Spearheaded by Ms. Bessie Badilla and attended by other administrators and members from as far as Palawan in the Philippines to Tampa, Florida in the United States; each member brought foods to share: from native pancit dishes to a variety of kakanin (sticky rice cakes). The centerpiece of the potluck is of course, the ever popular lechon! A short program was held after the food fest wherein invitations to visit some members’ provinces was announced, plus a promised of a even bigger gathering in December. Group Picture [google-map-v3 width="100%" height="350" zoom="12" maptype="roadmap" mapalign="center" directionhint="false" language="default" poweredby="false" maptypecontrol="true" pancontrol="true" zoomcontrol="true" scalecontrol="true" streetviewcontrol="true" scrollwheelcontrol="false" draggable="true" tiltfourtyfive="false" addmarkermashupbubble="false" addmarkermashupbubble="false" addmarkerlist="14.096838, 120.942932{}beergarden.png{}Josephines Restaurant" bubbleautopan="true" showbike="false" showtraffic="false" showpanoramio="false"] Read more!
Heritage Month: Cebu
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Gabii sa Kabilin (Night of Heritage) opened in Cebu as part of the celebration for Heritage Month 2013 at the Bradford Chapel, which will be celebrating its centennial year. Supported by the NCCA and attended by heads of the difference cultural agencies of the country, a simple song and solemn prayer ceremony followed by the actual tours of some of the heritage sites around Cebu City. A photo exhibit was also opened at the Cebu City Hall and a grand reception conducted at the courtyard of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral Museum. Spearheaded by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. and inspired by the long night of the museum in Germany and other European countries, Gabii sa Kabilin aims to encourage the public to visit museums and understand their position as a venue for cultural understanding. Gabii sa Kabilin began on May 25,2007 with four Cebu City Museums—Casa Gorodo Museum, Cathedral Museum of Cebu, Basilica del Santo Niño Museum and Fort San Pedro. Since 2009, the number of participating museums has grew to include other notable heritage sites of Cebu and Mactan. Bradford Chapel Opening Cebu City Hall Photo Exhibit Facade of Cebu City Hall at Night Cebu Cathedral at Night Interior […] Read more!
Heritage Month: Sarangani
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The celebration for Heritage Month 2013 continues, this time at Sarangani, hometown of Manny Pacquiao and in time for the Sarangani Bay Festival (popularly called Sarbay). Echo Rosales lead the opening of the celebration by accepting as NCCA’s Heritage Ambassador in a press conference held at the Roadhaus Hotel. We also visited the B’laan village of Lamlifew, a living tradition museum where children dressed in traditional wear danced to age-long music. Saw first hand how B’laan tapestry and other handicrafts were being made; and finally tasted some of the native foods of the tribe. The serene Lake Sebu in was our last destination the following day. Lake Sebu is a natural lake located in the municipality of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato and within the Alah Valley region. The Philippine government has recognized it as one of the country’s most important watersheds; it is one of the many bodies of water supplying important irrigation to the provinces of Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato. Home to the T’boli and Ubo tribes where the land surrounding the lake was awarded to them under the ancestral domain, the lake is being promoted as one of the prime eco-tourism destinations in the municipality. Portions of […] Read more!
Heritage Month: Tam-awan Village
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Tam-awan Village in Baguio became the site for the celebration of Heritage Month last May 17, 2013 spearheaded by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). Located in Pinsao Proper, Baguio City the village uniquely blends indigenous aesthetics and exquisite Cordilleran craftsmanship with an artist’s concept for a village adapting to Baguio setting. Chanum Foundation, Inc., founded in 1998, began to reconstruct Ifugao houses in Baguio with the view of making a model village accessible to people who have not had the chance to travel to the Cordillera interior. On a land near an abundant spring, the foundation started out with three knocked-down huts transported from Bangaan, Ifugao. Tam-awan village now has seven Ifugao huts and two Kalinga houses. Using the original materials and adding only new cogon roofs, traditional artisans reconstructed the houses and laid them out resembling the design of a traditional Cordillera Village. The huts in Tam-awan Village are named after the areas where they come from. From Ifugao, we have the Bangaan Hut, Anaba Hut, Batad Hut, Dukligan Hut, Kinakin Hut, and Nagor Hut. Our Kalinga huts are from Luccong and Bugnay. Except for Bugnay Hut, which serves as one of the village’s galleries, […] Read more!
F1 in Manila
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Manila got a taste of F1 racing excitement over the weekend as the Lotus F1 Team brought over Marlon Stockinger, the only Filipino to win the GT3 in 2012. The event started with a press conference presided by Lotus F1 principal Eric Boullier, Business Manager Martin Reiss, Marlon’s father Tom Stockinger and of course, Marlon himself. A gala night follows on that same day at the Manila Hotel’s Tent City wherein a spectacular cultural dance and Philippine fashion was presented. The F1 car, a Renault 30 was officially unveiled with a lifesize mannequin of Marlon Stockinger in a racesuit. Attended by the Mayor of Manila, Fred Lim, numerous celebrities, captains of different industries and the motoring media, the quiet ambiance that usually characterize the vicinity of the hotel was aroused by the sound of the screeching engine as the crew revs up the mighty racecar. The following day saw Marlon and NPDC Director Jet Villegas unveiled the Kilometer Zero marker in Rizal Park, the marker is the official point where all distances in the country are respectively measured. After a short ceremony, Marlon, at the cockpit of the Renault 30 speeds down for the very first time in the streets […] Read more!
Cutud Crucifixions 2013
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Every year, during Good Friday in the town of San Pedro Cutud in San Fernando, Pampanga, local devotees perform the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) in repentance as well as in return for wishes granted. The flagellants walked on the streets with their faces covered by clothes and uses bamboo whips flag themselves in the hope of being forgiven for their sins. A few townsfolk, actually have themselves crucified in a grand re-enactment of Christ’s suffering, complete with Roman centurions and chariots. [google-map-v3 width="100%" height="350" zoom="12" maptype="roadmap" mapalign="center" directionhint="false" language="default" poweredby="false" maptypecontrol="true" pancontrol="true" zoomcontrol="true" scalecontrol="true" streetviewcontrol="true" scrollwheelcontrol="false" draggable="true" tiltfourtyfive="false" addmarkermashupbubble="true" addmarkermashupbubble="true" addmarkerlist="15.012, 120.697333{}caution.png" bubbleautopan="true" showbike="false" showtraffic="false" showpanoramio="false"]   Read more!
USS George Washington Visits Manila
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The U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) arrived in Manila Bay on October 24. The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier is conducting a five-day goodwill visit that highlights the strong historic, community and military connections between the United States and the Philippines. Commissioned in July 4, 1992; the nuclear-powered supercarrier is based in the homeport of Yokosuka, Japan and is being manned with about 5,500 personnel. It carries approximately 80 aircraft of various purposes, primarily F-18 Hornets, helicopters and E-2 Hawkeye airborne early warning turboprops. Prior to its arrival in Manila, the carrier group was in Malaysia for a 4-day routine port visit. Anchored several kilometers facing the Mall of Asia in Pasay City, members of the media were taken aboard the carrier by ferry boats in a 45-minute cruise with storm signal no. 1 brewing in the metropolis. A short press briefing was conducted inside the hangar with the commander of the carrier group and its public affairs officer. Bad weather prevented our group from touring the flight deck, a disappointment for many who were looking forward to seeing it in operation. “We have a longstanding history of partnership with the Philippines dating back to the Spanish-American […] Read more!
AXE’s Sexy Saves Boracay
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Axe Philippines gave Metro Manila’s driving population one sexy time last October 27 at the Aseana City Grounds with the AXE Anarchy Island Bikini Car Wash. Axe had their hottest girls go wet and wild on people’s rides to raise funds to preserve and promote their favorite island in the country. They are out to clean the beaches of Boracay by matching the funds raised from the sexy car wash. To save the beaches of Boracay, Axe Philippines partnered with Hands On Manila, a foundation that gives Filipinos fun ways to volunteer their time. One of their flagship projects, Hands On Volunteer Vacations (HOVV), locals and foreigners may volunteer for community service as part of their vacation itineraries. Through Hands On Manila, volunteering can be fitted into daily schedules even for the busiest people, making it a great way to make a difference – an ideal for young people everywhere. Axe is also sending two Axe Ambassadors off to Belize to represent the Philippines in the AXE Anarchy Island, an international gathering of Axe ambassadors from all over the world in a remote paradise island in the Caribbean. We have four ambassadors, rather candidates, competing become the official Axe Philippines […] Read more!
The Newly Renovated National Museum
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The National Museum opens its doors last October 2 to the public once again after months of extensive renovation works at the National Art Gallery building. I can still smell the odor of newly painted varnish emanating from some of the galleries as my rubber shoes went squeaky-squawky with each step on the red-waxed concrete floor. Of particular highlight is the former Senate Session Hall located at the 3rd level after undergoing two years of careful restoration work. The floor that divided the hall in two was completely removed; the pilasters and columns, its trademark features, were restored; the wooden floor tiles were also took away and finally, the whole hall was repainted to its suppose original pre-war color. Now with high ceiling and full grandeur reestablished, the hall is ready to be a venue for official government functions, business conferences, private events, as well as other celebratory occasions. On the 2nd level of the museum, several refurbished galleries were also open with some exhibit pieces unseen by the public for a long time. Gallery One is the Luis I. Ablaza Hall which features colonial Philippine religious art of the 17th to the 19th centuries. Prominent among which is a […] Read more!