We need more museums than malls. I sure am glad we have another National Museum opening its doors real soon. On October 29, 2017, National Museum of the Philippines celebrated its 116th year anniversary. As a treat, they opened the National Museum of Natural History for a day. It was a great way to preview what the museum would offer once it officially opens sometime early 2018. With this development, Manila adds another knowledge enriching landmark to compliment the Fine Arts, Anthropology and Filipino People Museum in Manila.
I got a couple of nieces from Guam having vacation in our house. With their parents still out of the country, it’s up to us on how to keep these hyper-active kids of 5 and 9yo busy. One way would be the occasional visits to amusement parks. One such newly opened park is the DreamPlay at the City of Dreams in Manila. If you (and your kids) are a fan of DreamWorks animation like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon to name a few. This would be really interesting to visit.
All I see is red in a good way in the somewhat beautiful chaos of crowd on the first day of the Year of the Horse in Binondo China Town. I think it was two years ago when I last experienced the Binondo Chinese New Year celebration in Manila. I thought it would great and hope would bring good vibes to welcome this year’s Chinese calendar which coincides with mine, who is also born in the Year of the Horse. So off I go to Manila and met some friends who joined me chase dragons, shop for lucky charms and get some authentic Chinese bite or two.
“Aliwan” is a tagalog word which means to amuse or entertain. A term fitting for this so-called “Mother of Festivals” called Aliwan Fiesta, running annually in Manila for 10 years (since 2003) which aims to gather some of the best festivals in the country and present them in one place. An ambitious task but successfully realized by Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC) and Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). Maybe it’s the cheery and festive nature of Filipinos that made it successful every year.
For at least a couple of hours, people at the streets of EDSA and Ayala Avenue got a surprised and delighted look when they saw a group of colourful and artistic jeeps roam the streets. For a while they stopped what they were doing and stare, take a picture with their mobile phones or simply admire the moving steel canvasses zooming past their sights. About 43 rehabilitated jeeps have undergone a makeover in the hands of a few creative volunteers for the first ever Jeepney Arts Festival. Reviving the Filipinos creativity and ingenuity represented by the Philippine Jeepney.
It was 3 years ago when I wrote about the last voyage of MV Doulos before it was de-commissioned in 2009 in its last port, Singapore. I was delighted to hear that a new ship is continuing its tradition of spreading knowledge, hope, help and charity around the globe. MV Logos Hope is the fourth ship to be utilised by GBA Ships, a German charitable Christian organization (previously MV Doulos, MV Logos II, MV Logos). It finally found its way to the Philippine shores, visiting Cebu first and now docked at Pier 15 in Manila until March 14, 2012.
First let me greet you all a blessed Christmas. It’s been a crazy year with a lot of highs and lows. But Christmas is here to remind us to count our blessings instead and see the world in a different perspective. I can’t say that things have all been good seeing the tragedy that happened to our brothers in Mindanao. But it shows that there is hope for humanity seeing the great outpour of support from people giving what little they can offer. This season, I revisit Simbang Gabi on some of the popular churches in Manila to capture a Filipino tradition.