Leprosy has been eradicated in Culion since the 1980s but the stigma still remains. It didn’t help that World Health Organization (WHO) only declared Culion leprosy-free in 2006. So why not embrace this history of healing of this infectious disease? The structures, the research, the tools and the story of the people who lived while it was a leper colony still remains. Culion town is a witness on how a community persevered and healed.
For many culture, a broken mirror means bad luck in the unforeseeable future. But for Italian-born contemporary artist Lidia Qattan, seeing her daughter with scattered glass shards on the floor sparked a creative idea. To minimize her daughter’s wall doodling, Lidia started to place the mirror pieces on the wall with artistic patterns. This was the start of decades of work to transform her humble home in Kuwait as the only house in the world covered in mirror mosaic – the Mirror House.
Much of Mati City in Davao Oriental has been a surprise. I recall the place having been devastated by Typhoon Pablo a couple of years ago but I’m glad to see the city has recovered and with interesting developments. From the plaza, to the capitol, schools and hospital a familiar paint of purple can be seen which I was told was the color of healing. When I was going around Mati, I had no idea there was a Subangan Museum in which my habal-habal driver recommend I visit. I was hesitant at first but since I was already there, I thought I would do a quick round but ended up staying more than an hour.
I was ogling at the displays encased in glass with even backlighting. It was certainly amusing to see how the Mickey Mouse figures have evolved from those mischievous long nosed mouse to the jolly rounded figure we know now. I squinted through the glass to make sure if the tag price I’m seeing along with the old long nosed Mickey Mouse is right. Yes, it’s priced ridiculously at US$35,000. I heard a voice from behind announce that the figure I’m looking at is one of the rare items in the Mint Museum of Toys.
National Artist Benedicto Cabrera, popularly known as BenCab made another milestone landmark when he built a Museum in his beloved town of Baguio. The BenCab Museum recently opened early this year and I had the chance to see the place. Never did I expect that a museum along Asin road in Baguio could be one of the best museums in the country I’ve been. It’s simply an art and nature fusion haven.
All eyes were on the President Arroyo these past few days since her recent State of the Nation Address (SONA) for 2009. But for now, forget all talks about politics and all that hulabula about the President. Let’s place our gaze instead on the presidential residency, the Malacanang. We’ll go through the extravagant halls of Malacanang Palace. Our Guide? None other than Ivan Man Dy as he gives us a taste of his relaunched tour “Power, Palace and a shot of Beer.”
I’ve always noticed that some locals of some destination I’ve visited haven’t been around much their own place. I must admit, that when we talk of Manila, even if I’m a resident, I haven’t been around that much to explore it. Blame it on the heat or the traffic I guess but there’s more to Manila beyond the crazy traffic. When I was in Laos, I overheard one foreigner voice chatting in Skype that he’ll never go back in Manila. This made me think what could have given him a bad impression or experience.