Visayas

Iloilo’s Underworld: Bulabog Puti-an National Park

Posted on November 15, 2011

Philippine Orange Tarantula (Selenobrachys philippinus), endemic to Panay & Negros Covering an area of 854 hectares, the Bulabog Puti-an National Park in Dingle, Iloilo, Philippines is a nature reserve with limestone outcrops and 34 caves. It is home to monkeys, wild chickens, 18 bat species, endemic snails, and native orchids. Because of a strong, sudden downpour, I spent a night in this park en route to Roxas City. The forest ranger offered me to stay at one the huts atRead More

Pan-ay, Capiz – Where the Big Bell Tolls

Posted on June 3, 2011

The five-storey belfry of coral stone afforded a pastoral panorama beyond the town plaza occasionally punctuated by jeepneys and tricycles whirring along the highway that stretched back to Roxas City. Click! The tourist guide snapped photos of me grinning—half in fear—underneath 10.4 tons of cast metal precariously suspended by rusty chains. On its patinated belly, an embossed inscription: SOY LA VOZ DE DIOS. A less intimidating one simply declared the town’s name: PANAY. I was in the town of Pan-ayRead More

Sibalom Natural Park: A Rafflesia Refuge

Posted on February 5, 2011

Mt. Porras – the central feature of Sibalom Natural Park Like a kitchen sponge, Mt. Porras drank up the passing rain as we ascended its flanks to find southern Antique’s famous but uncanny inhabitant. Declared a protected area in 2000, Sibalom Natural Park in Panay Island is a lush watershed that harbors unique species of plants and animals. Despite being rather immobile, our target proved to be highly elusive. Having negotiated rivers and steep forest slopes, we finally found oneRead More

San Joaquin’s Colonial Treasures

Posted on January 26, 2011

San Joaquin Church Detail of facade bas relief depicting the Battle of Tétouan San Joaquin Cemetery Detail of cemetery archway The southwestern towns of Iloilo boasts of exquisite colonial architecture. While Miag-ao Church gets all the limelight as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the religious edifices of neighboring San Joaquin deserves equal admiration, and are one of best examples of Spanish colonial architecture in the Philippines. Built in 1869, San Joaquin Church is the only military-themed church in the Philippines.Read More

Baroque Churches of the Philippines: UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Posted on August 25, 2010

The Baroque Churches of the Philippines represent a fusion of European church design (baroque) and local construction techniques and decorations. Their specific characteristics include a separate bell-tower and strong buttresses to withstand the powers of earthquakes common in the region. Four churches were selected to make up this World Heritage Site, as samples of the development of this Philippine-Hispanic style over a period of more than 150 years (16th-18th century): • Church of San Agustin, Paoay, Ilocos Norte • ChurchRead More

Cebu Provincial Capitol

Posted on February 5, 2009

Having passed by this government building growing up, I have often overlooked the beauty of its dignified dome, Ionic columns and golden statues of draped figures that encompass one of the best preserved colonial buildings in the country from the American occupation.  Designed by Juan Arellano, the Filipino architect best known for Manila’s Metropolitan Theater and Post Office Building, the gleaming white neo-classical seat of the provincial government of Cebu was constructed from 1937 and inaugurated a year later by CommonwealthRead More