Luzon

Manila Ocean Park (Oceanarium)

Posted on March 16, 2008

The buzz-worthy upgrade to Manila’s tourist belt is the new Manila Ocean Park, the country’s first world-class oceanarium and the first in the world to include a boutique hotel, mall and open water habitat (all still under construction). This is probably the best thing that has happened to the city since the Planetarium. The oceanarium, situated in stark contrast above the unappealing waters of Manila Bay, opened last March 1. With an area of 8,000 square meters, the spacious park boastsRead More

Quiapo: Faith & Frenzy

Posted on March 11, 2008

If you can handle the nitty-gritty of Manila, holler your way through the rowdy streets of Quiapo–the labyrinthine downtown of the Philippine capital–where a plethora of goods are sold at most probably the best bargains in the metropolis. This includes, yes, photographic goodies like vintage cameras and film! R. Hidalgo Street (Map here) is considered to be the photographer’s Mecca, where, if you’re patient (or lucky) enough, you will stumble upon a true-blue lomographic camera (like a second-hand Lubitel 166B)Read More

Pawikan Festival (Morong, Bataan)

Posted on March 9, 2008

Let’s go to turtle town! Along the western coast of the historic peninsula of Bataan sits the sleepy town of Morong, where every late November local townsfolk celebrate marine turtle conservation with their annual Pawikan Festival. Its sandy shores are vital nesting grounds for the endangered Olive Ridley species, the smallest of the world’s eight sea turtle species. Interestingly, what was once a site of rampant poaching and illegal egg collecting has become a successful community of environmental advocates for theRead More

Manila Baywalk Sunset

Posted on March 3, 2008

Manila Baywalk is a bit rundown nowadays, but the world-famous sunset (allegedly the best among the world’s cities according to Lonely Planet’s ‘The Cities Book’ due to the air pollution that enhances the display)–is the daily spectacle that redeems the messy urban sprawl of all its noise, sleaze and taxi drivers from hell. On Sundays, it’s a leisurely place to seek respite, basking in the orange haze of nature’s light show with peanuts and fishballs for popcorn. Just make sure toRead More