For those who had been reading this blog for quiet a while now knows that I love to walk around when I’m new to a place. It’s my way of orienting myself with a destination. Getting a feel and really going up close to the locals. George Town is such a pleasantly walkable city. Charming old streets adorned with street art against the beautifully aged walls. I was able to rest that afternoon when I got back from my Historical George Town tour. Revitalized after a few hours rest for my walk at this city’s Street of Harmony. I’m glad to be accompanied this time by Cebuano travel blogger Brennan of Weekend Dispatch who is now based in George Town for work. After his office duties he was glad enough to show me around.
The Crystal Mosque is just one of the places to visit in Terengganu. But when pressed for time, there are some interesting attractions near the Kuala Terengganu Bus Station just a few blocks away. Like when we were waiting for the SP Bumi bus to Kuala Besut to arrive, we stretched our legs for a bit and went to the direction of the boardwalk.
And I thought it could only happen in fairy tales. A structure made entirely of crystal. Well for this, the Crystal Mosque (or Masjid Kristal), it’s mostly made of crystal with some metal and glass. Nonetheless it’s a beautiful, one of a kind structure found in Kuala Terengganu. We were supposed to visit a floating mosque but got lost here on an island within a city to find the golden ochre walls of this mosque reflecting the warm light of the afternoon sun.
Never judge a place by its reputation. Cotabato City is one such place that has been marred by negative publicity it constantly gets – bomb blast, kidnapping, corruption and political strife. It’s a prime candidate for an episode of Don’t Tell My Mother in National Geographic. I can’t deny these things happen, in fact the vice-mayor was ambushed a couple of weeks after my visit in the city. But all these things are not as bad as media painted it to be. It happens to any other place although amplified to an exaggerated degree. There’s also good news coming out of the region, the Masjid Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah or popularly called The Grand Mosque rose like a golden sun, inviting droves of tourist in this commonly misunderstood city.
It was my last day in Singapore and I still have a few hours before our afternoon flight back to Manila. I squeezed in some time to explore more on what time left. Called up my friend there for lunch and we went to Kampong Glam. It’s a neighborhood located near Singapore River. Most people know of Little India and Chinatown. Kampong Glam is considered as the Muslim Quarter with history dating as far back pre-British Colonization.
Muslim Mosque on stilts in Rio Hondo
I have been mentioning a lot about the scenic stilt houses down in Zamboanga Peninsula, and now it’s time to get deep inside one of these villages and take a glimpse of their life here. Enter Rio Hondo. Rio meaning ‘river’ Hondo meaning ‘deep’, is a deep river Muslim village on stilts of the coast of Zamboanga City. I heard Jessica Soho Reports featured this village a few weeks back, but I wasn’t able to catch it. I hope you’ll enjoy my feature on this scenic village on stilts as well.
The City of Isabela, or Isabela de Basilan
the main capital of is an independent city in Basilan region. A city on a rise, thriving amidst the adversities. Now we look at the place as a war torn region filled with strife. True there’s disorder here, but isn’t it the same with any other place? Basilan somehow got the pounded with so much media hype it’s reputation got hammered down. Sad truth. But given the chance even a glance the people of Basilan welcomes visitors and are happy if you were brave enough to go there despite its reputation. So in my 401th (or is it ‘st?’) post (wow, didn’t notice that I already got past 400 until I saw my log), let’s take a look at some of the scenes in and around Isabela City.