Manila Chinatown: The World’s Oldest

Posted on February 8, 2009

It’s Chinese New Year. Ongpin Street–the main thoroughfare of Manila Chinatown– is a traffic jam of shoppers weighed downed by their bags of tikoy (rice cake), ube hopia (taro pastry), and ma chang (meat-filled sticky rice).  Despite their heavy load, they continue to jostle, crane their necks and chirpily browse the sidewalks of trinket hawkers bargaining jade amulets, bracelets, and good luck charms in Fookien-accented Tagalog. Goldsmiths, vegetable vendors and traditional medicine sellers soon chime in. Beneath all the hullabaloo, atRead 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

Mount Pinatubo (Capas, Tarlac)

Posted on January 27, 2009

As we worked our way through the ashen gullies of Mount Pinatubo’s shoulder, I admired the signs of rebirth underway: the steady stream of water that skipped over horsetails, tadpoles and pumice stones painted with sulphur and iron; the moss, thickets and tree ferns carpeting the ravines beneath distant avian cawing; and Aeta children keenly observing our ascent into the gaping cerulean mouth of Apo Namallari– the almighty god of this sacred mountain, whose pyroclastic power the world witnessed duringRead More

Sky Experience Adventure (Crown Regency Hotel & Towers)

Posted on January 8, 2009

What I love about Cebu is that every time I come home, the place has always something new to offer: a new mall, new restaurant, new hangout, new beach hideaway, and new friends. No wonder travelers simply can’t get enough of the Queen City of the South, making Cebu the most visited city in the country. Long before Ferdinand Magellan set foot on the island in 1521, this settlement was already a bustling outpost for a slew of Chinese, Thai,Read More

Good Night, Bangkok

Posted on January 5, 2009

At the height of Bangkok’s anti-government protests that shut down the airports late November, I was given no choice but to spend the remainder of my second visit to this vibrant city gleefully basking in its wonderful fluorescent glow. Very eager to test the slow shutter speeds of my Horizon Perfekt, I wandered the ‘City of Angels’ camera-armed to discover a glimmering labyrinth as amazing at night as it is under the midday sun. As news of the local pandemoniumRead More

Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok, Thailand)

Posted on January 5, 2009

Gazing out my window as the plane rounded the tarmac, the first thing that caught my eye at this modern airport were the patterned interlace of steel that roofed the terminals. Upon entering, the extensive, bright and airy interior embraces everyone with distinct local hospitality: “Sawasdee, Welcome to Thailand!” Located in Racha Thewa in Bang Phli district, Samut Prakan Province, about 25 km east of downtown Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi is one of the busiest airports in Asia, and Bangkok’s primary airportRead More