architecture

Cuyo Island, Palawan: “Ploning” Motorcycle Tour of Magsaysay

Posted on December 24, 2014

After taking in the top attractions of Cuyo Island, Palawan such as the fortress-church of Cuyo and Capusan Beach, I went on a motorcycle tour of Magsaysay, a municipality which occupies the eastern half of the island. My impromptu tour guide was Ronald Palay, a local photographer and businessman introduced to me by former tourism officer Ramil Ceralbo who I met at the municipal hall. Aboard his motorcycle, we visited the lesser-known parts of the island, many of which wereRead More

Cuyo Island, Palawan: Cuyo Fort and St. Augustine Parish Church

Posted on December 9, 2014

The most impressive structure on Cuyo Island is the 17th century Cuyo Fort lording over Cuyo town, the oldest colonial settlement and second capital of Palawan province – after Taytay – from 1873 to 1903. Spanish missionaries arrived in Cuyo Island in 1622 and, surprisingly, faced no resistance from the natives. They were able to convert them to Roman Catholicism, baptizing over 500 Cuyonons on their first mission. In 1636, a Moro fleet from Mindanao raided the villages on Cuyo Island,Read More

Talipao, Sulu: Sleeping Like a Sultan at the Royal Palace Replica

Posted on November 13, 2014

My favorite part of the five-day tour of Sulu was staying at a royal palace replica, admiring panoramic sunrises that were fit for a… well, sultan! There’s a magical quality to how the day breaks in Sulu. In the town of Talipao, I spent three nights at a magnificent wooden life-sized replica of the royal palace of the Sultanate of Sulu, the Astana Darul Jambangan. The model of the royal palace is the centerpiece of Mt. Bayug Eco-Cultural Park, a military camp thatRead More

Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala: Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Napier Museum & Padmanabhapuram Palace

Posted on April 1, 2014

Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala is the world’s richest temple! The Kerala Blog Express by Kerala Tourism kickstarted the two-week bloggers’ tour across “God’s Own Country” in the state capital of Thiruvananthapuram (pronounced tiru-ananta-puram) – still also known by its colonial name of Trivandrum. Besides its golden beaches, historical landmarks are the main draw of Trivandrum.Our tour of the city began at the principal place of worship where the city takes its name, Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple. Thiruvananthapuram meansRead More

Melaka, Malaysia: Taman Mini Malaysia Cultural Village [SP]

Posted on January 8, 2014

An Iban longhouse at Taman Mini Malaysia, a cultural park in Melaka The Taman Mini Malaysia is a cultural park located a few kilometers outside of Melaka city center, near the town of Ayer Keroh. This is the perfect place to visit if you are interested in traditional architecture, and have limited time, like most travelers, to extensively tour Malaysia. Artisans from every state oversaw the construction of the houses to ensure their authenticity.Each of the homes represents the architecturalRead More

Perak, Malaysia: The Royal Town of Kuala Kangsar [SP]

Posted on December 5, 2013

Baitul Anor – one of the royal mansions near Ubudiah Mosque in Kuala Kangsar, Perak, Malaysia While the city of Ipoh boasts of British colonial architecture and Chinese shophouses, the former capital of Kuala Kangsar, located 30 km north of Ipoh, impresses visitors with the Malay-Islamic architecture of its royal residences, mansions and mosques. Since the 18th century, this riverside town has been the official seat of the Sultanate of Perak. With its peaceful lanes and gardens, Kuala Kangsar makesRead More