Manila: Simbang Gabi and some Christmas Wishes

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.

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Fly and Sail Day 1: In Transit to Singapore from Manila via AirPhil Express

“AirPhil Express operates a cruise ship now?” I asked when I got invited to experience their new Fly and Sail AdvenTour Package. It turns out that AirPhil Express partnered with Star Cruises to create a unique travel package making a cruise escape more affordable to everyone. The idea of having a cruise seems too luxurious and exclusive for the can-afford or post retirement crowd but it turns out it can be for everyone. Since I haven’t tried a cruise before I was happy to join in. So here’s the start of a 4-day adventure with a bunch of media peeps.

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CLICK BGC: Passion for Photography

It’s easy to mistake a city full of high rises and skyscrapers as drab, soulless and primarily made of concrete. However, a visitor who has gone around the fast developing Bonifacio Global City (BGC) is unlikely to make this mistake. BGC features a large number of public art pieces all over the city that helps infuse character and soul in what could have been just another premier business district.

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Manila: Carlos Celdran’s Intramuros Walk and Ang Pambansang T-Shirt

Carlos Celdran's Intramuros Walk to Ang Pambansang Tshirt

Manila is a city of dichotomy. It’s both ugly and beautiful. Modern and old. Friendly and dangerous. It is a battered city suffering from identity crisis after being colonized by several nations like Spain, Japan and the USA. But despite this hotchpotch in our history, Filipinos now remain proud that it’s pouring into our fashion. Team Manila called it Fashionalism which they have been doing years ago and to launch their new line of T-Shirts, they get Carlos Celdran to walk us through the launch and better appreciate manila through his Intramuros Tour.

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Manila: Around Chinatown with the Big Binondo Food Wok Map

The Big Binondo Food Wok Map

I have always relied on Maps when I travel. Whenever I visit a place for the first time, I always try to get a map first. If I have a reliable map on hand and a compass, I’m not afraid to get lost as I’m confident I’ll find my way back. When I heard famed Binondo Food-walker Ivan Man Dy released the Big Binondo Food Wok Map, I got really excited because Manila really have a shortage of good Art Maps like this. So last weekend, a couple of my friends trouped to Chinatown to taste-drive this map.

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Transit: Manila to Banaue & Batad

A fully loaded Jeep in Banaue

Let me say this first, that this trip to Batad is already my 4th time and that says something. It’s one of those places that I don’t regret going back to. It’s both good and bad on my part. The good is, I get to see how the place have changed since the first time I went there and second is seeing how bad things may have changed since then. It’s my fourth time there but it’s going to be the first time I’ll be writing about here in length along with Banaue.

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Manila: Revisiting the Manila Ocean Park

Manila Ocean Park

So how is everything in Manila Ocean Park after more than 1 year and a half since it opened? I remember being proud that we finally have a world class oceanarium here in Manila. I got a chance to visit the Park again just to be updated on the development of the place. Well, as I have seen so far, things have been going rather slow.

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