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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Snow World Philippines – Star City Theme Park, Pasay City

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Christmas is just around the Corner. Those who want to experience winter in the Philippines with snow; Star City brings new attraction called the Snow World. The temperature inside is negative 15 degrees Celsius and patrons are provided with thick jackets and gloves before they enter inside. Camera is not allowed because it might damage your camera/ videos due to extreme coldness (Negative 15 degrees Celsius). Actually my camera had moist when we go out. I was
afraid that it might not returned to normal.

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The Theme Park opens at 4pm-11pm (Mon-Thurs), 2pm-12mn (Fri-Sun). No height limit, it is not advisable to wear high heels and slippers. Those who have heart problems, asthma, hypertension, fever, cold and flu, this place is not for you. The Entrance is affordable P 160.00 pesos (star city theme park entrance + snow world), P 325.00 pesos (ride all you can + snow world), and same price for adults and kids (3 years old above).

No time limit, you can stay inside as long as the Park is still open, but we didn’t stay for a long time there maybe we just stay for 20 minutes or less, the temperature is too cold.

There are different ice sculptures such as Santa Claus and his reindeers, Sumo wrestling, Statue of Liberty, Christ Redeemer of Brazil, Eiffel Tower of Paris, Swan and more. After the ice sculptures, there is a tunnel going to the giant ice slide.

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Star City rides and attractions are carefully chosen and constructed to ensure an exciting, safe, and educational experience that appeal to all ages. It is located at the CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City.



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Saturday, November 22, 2008

St. Michael Archangel Parish Church-Hilltop Church- Irosin, Sorsogon

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St. Michael Archangel Parish Church-Irosin, Sorsogon


Touring the Philippines will always include the visitation to different Churches. One will see how the Christianity influenced the lives of the Filipinos. Even the smallest communities have chapel.

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Atop a hill at the poblacion of Irosin, Sorsogon is the St. Michael the Archangel Parish Church. Parishioners have to climb the 74 steps to worship in this scenic, breezy and spacious church. This church has different ways to reach. Aside from the stairs that you can see in the pictures, on the sides there are narrow stairs, and an asphalt road for vehicles.

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On this hill is another smaller hill, called Little Baguio, where the Grotto of Virgin Mary located.

From this church you can have a clearer view of Bulusan Volcano but when I was there it was covered by clouds so I wasn’t able to take a picture.

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In 1876, the Parish of San Miguel was officially recognized with Father Mariano Miranda as its parish priest. Town fiesta, in honor of San Miguel, was celebrated every 29th of September.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Shrine of our Lady of Peace-Brgy. Tabgon, Caramoan Peninsula





The huge statue of Virgin Mary is atop Mt. Caglagow, which draws thousands of pilgrims and tourist. It has 532 (according to my counting) steps leading to the statue and providing one with a view of pristine islands of Caramoan and Catanduanes province.



While trekking to the Shrine we heard the chirping of birds, watched colorful butterflies, luscious vegetation and watched the unfolding of picturesque view as we climb. I love the fresh air brushing my cheeks while perspiring. In betweens of the trek we drunk water and of course what we love to do picture taking. As we were enjoying posing and catching the beautiful views we run out of batteries for our camera. What we did was we alternate the sets of batteries (all low bat) just to capture the moment. God is good because my sister’s cellphone has battery still. Our gadgets were low bat because we camped in an island where there was no electricity. Lesson learned bring a solar charger wherever you go.





Tuesday, November 18, 2008

St. Michael Parish Church-Caramoan Peninsula

The Spaniards conquered the Philippines with Catholicism. Most of the places have churches and even the far flung barangays have chapels too. During 1619 an old zealous Spaniard missionary, Fray Francisco de la Cruz y Oropesa, who penetrated the thick virgin forest of the Caramoan Peninsula and discovered a small settlement in a place called Balwarte (an earth-work, rampart). In 1696, the said settlement was turned over to the administration of Sagrada Mitra. A parish dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel was also built.



Summer time of 1818, the Moros had once again sacked and burned the towns of Sagay and Indan. On October 26 of the same year, the provincial armadillo of Albay, led by 80-year old Pedro Estevan defeated a large Muslim fleet led by the son of the Sultan of Maguindanao, Prince Nune, in Tabgon Bay, off the Caramoan Peninsula. This loss in battle, the Muslims were not able to successfully attack a Bicol peninsular town again.



Today this church is a tourist site. It’s old but beautiful church. When you happen to visit Caramoan try to drop by in this church.



Monday, November 17, 2008

Blue Crystal Beach Resort - San Narciso, Zambales

One weekend, while the tail of Super Typhoon Egay was still hitting the Central Luzon, my friend invited me, my sister and my cousin to visit their place. We thought before we reached the place the typhoon would be completely gone. While we were on our way, the weather was already calm. I was so thankful to God because he heard my prayers.

When we reached the place, heavy rain poured but after a while it stopped. So we had time to walk on the beach, the day was still gloomy so the water was not blue crystal. But still we had fun because the waves were huge and we played with them. We let the waves run after us. There were excursionists, yuppies from Metro Manila too. Some were enjoying the surfing, actually we were invited to watch surfing competition, which was being held in the next town, but we opted not going instead we enjoyed the place while beach bums were few.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tugbungon-Otavi, Bulan, Sorsogon

My family loves to hang-out in the beach. We find time to do it. It is part of our unwinding and bonding moments. When we were young one of our awaited moments when the whole family of our father’s side would go family outing, which were usually held in the beach. We would prepare numbers for the program like singing and dancing. We had parlor games too. Everybody joined from young one to young once. Actually even up to now we still do hang-out not only in the beach but also in the bars or in of the houses of our aunties. We love to sing too. Every time we are together we always do videoke.




Last Nov. 2, after the All Soul’s day and the late birthday celebration of our niece, we went to Tugbungon Saday (little), Otavi, Bulan, Sorsogon. We had to walk more or less half-kilometer to reach the place; motorcycle can be used if you are lazy to walk. But we opted to walk and enjoy more the place, because of its fresh air plus the fun of walking and seeing local kids, smiling and playing. We reached the place before lunchtime; there were a group of teenagers there too.

This beach is private but open to the public; anyone can come but no cottage available. We were lucky because one of the owners of this beach is the nanny of my niece, who just celebrated her birthday. We were entertained and accommodated well. As usual we love Filipino hospitality. She let us used their private cottages and her brother helped in cooking our food. So we had instant helper. They gave us cultured crabs (alimango), and tuba, which is a Filipino wine made through a process of extracting the sap of an unopened coconut bud. It has a stinging sweet and bittersweet taste. The tip of the bud is lopped and the pale juice allowed to trickle into bamboo containers. A sturdy tree yields about a gallon of liquid daily tuba. The seashore is long filled with shells (mostly halaan), we enjoyed looking for them. We did canoeing and tour the fish pen while the sun was setting, very nice view. The kids are asking for another visit in this place, but this time they want to do overnight and camp in there.

I have a suggestion to the local government of Bulan, to please educate the residents of those who are living near the seashores on how to dispose waste properly and how to take care of the environment.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

All Souls’ Day '08 – Irosin Catholic Cemetery

The commemoration of all the faithful departed is celebrated by the Church on 2 November, or, if this be a Sunday or a solemnity, on 3 November. The Office of the Dead must be recited by the clergy and all the Masses are to be of Requiem, except one of the current feast, where this is of obligation.

The theological basis for the feast is the doctrine that the souls which, on departing from the body, are not perfectly cleansed from venial sins, or have not fully atoned for past transgressions, are debarred from the Beatific Vision, and that the faithful on earth can help them by prayers, almsdeeds and especially by the sacrifice of the Mass. Source...


Filipinos made this commemoration as the time for merriment; this is the time to bond with family and friends. In cemeteries you can see store selling foods. The commemoration starts on the eve, which should be the All Saint’s day.

When I was a kid, I viewed this celebration as the time to meet my cousins, aunties and relatives, we would bring native delicacies, flowers and candles even up to now we do the same. I knew it’s the time to remember and rekindle the memories of our departed love ones. But I was after the fun of making the melted candles into a ball. I remember I couldn’t wait for the rosary to finish so that we could play.

During my teenage years, the All Souls Day, became the time to bond with friends. I couldn’t wait for the rosary to finish so that I could meet my friends. I have a friend, which her house near the cemetery, her parents would prepare food like of those prepared for fiesta celebration. By the way in our own language we call All Souls’ Day as Fiesta sa Gadan (Feast of the Dead). We used to hang-out in this house especially during this celebration.

It’s been half a decade that I didn’t go home for the certain celebration. This year I decided to attend beside the late birthday celebration of my niece was held on that day. The effect of the celebration is the same but I did not look for my friends. I enjoyed more talking to relatives; I didn’t rush to finish the rosary. It’s the first time that I didn’t leave the family’s mausoleum. Our nieces and nephews enjoyed making ball candles. I met my friend in the cemetery but I did not go with her instead I visited her the following day.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mapaso Hot Spring Resort, Monbon, Irosin, Sorsogon

We used to picnic here when we were young, together with our cousins and other relatives. The resort is less than a kilometer away from the barangay proper and more or less three kilometers away from the town proper. Vehicles can now pass through the rough road. Sometimes I like to walk in going to the resort because I love to see and watch colorful butterflies, dragon flies and other things. Nice to meet familiar faces too.



This natural hot spring resort is nestled on the foot of Bulusan Volcano. The pools are natural Jacuzzi. It’s a free resort; everyone is welcome, no entrance fee, and no cottage though. What I love about this spring resort is that the water has a therapeutic effect to the aching muscles. There are six not so big natural pools. The third pool is the biggest. The locals wash their clothes here. If you want to see the old style of washing the clothes you could come here and talk to the women doing it while swimming with the suds. You could not swim and dive like in the other resort. The pools are natural surrounded by trees and plants. The vegetation is really nice. Sometimes you could smell sulfuric gas. Swimming and soaking here is fun while relaxing.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Majestic Mayon Volcano


Every time I fly home, I feel great and blessed. Although the airport from my hometown is two hours ride. The sight of Mayon Volcano greets me before I land. There is something about this almost perfect cone volcano, according to locals, in a day it shows once, clear show-up. It is like a shy maiden, which is seldom seen by people. Mayon Volcano is named from Daragang Magayon, which means beautiful maiden. The picturesque volcano and the mountains are a breathtaking sight from the sky. Actually the tourists at my back were in awe. They said the mountains look like chocolates hills. I always can’t wait for the airplane to take off so that I can take pictures. Some nature adventurers do trekking to summit Mayon Volcano.



It is located in Albay Province, Region V. There are other things to do in this part of Bicol Region to fully enjoy your stay. Actually those who want to experience Bicol at its best please check this out.