WONDERFUL things happen when you least expect them. Like fixing a travel blog. Browsing through the contents is reliving moments when I arrived at the destinations for the first time.
With travel plans put on hold, this is a good substitute, and as exciting. I'm re-sharing snippets from stories published in jeepneyjinggoy.com and SunStar Davao newspaper.
Sa Lumang Simbahan. July 6, 2008
Chocolate Hills, tarsier and the Loboc River for lunch. Frolic on the white sand of Panglao, go whale watching off the shore or dive the reefs. Probably say a prayer or two at the centuries-old churches of the place.
You know where this place is -- Bohol. A charming island to visit. But beyond its usual, yet very popular tourist stops, there is more adventure that awaits every tourist.
You want a different type of adventure? Here it is -- a list of Bohol's old churches dating back to the early years of the Spanish colonization of the island. Check it out and hear a mass or two.
The Baclayon Church. Loboc Church. Dauis Church. Maribojoc Church. Panglao Church. Make this part of your itinerary when you visit Bohol again. And while you're at it, say a little prayer for me.
The Legend of the White Elephant. September 25, 2008.
Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep is a Buddhist temple 16 kilometers from Chiang Mai CIty. It borrows its name from the name of the mountain it's on. Doi Suthep is named for a legendary hermit, Sudeva, who lived on the slopes. Earlier, it was known as Doi Aoy Chang (Sugarcane Elephant Mountain). Today, the sacred site is a popular tourist destination that also offers an impressive panoramic view of Chiang Mai.
Getting there is easy with several "red cars" traveling frequently to the site. The winding road trip can be a scenic ride but the tour on foot can be challenging. From the temple base, it's a 309-step stair climb to the temple gates. Take time to admire the longest Naga staircase in Thailand. There is a tram ride for those who opt for an easier way up.
A-loooo-ha! October 30, 2008
The trip was hectic but fantastic! An exploration of the Hawaiian neighborhood on foot on the first day and x-ing the must-shop spots along Kalakaua Avenue by Waikiki Beach. Pearl Harbor's USS Arizona Memorial was a visit to the war-torn past; the quick city tour and the obligatory tourist photo-ops was fun; and the feast at the Polynesian Cultural Village was an amazing one-stop visit to the Polynesian tribes of Samoa, Moorea, Fuji, Hawaii, Tonga, Tahiti and Marquesas Islands.
What made the trip more exciting was the very strategic location of our hotel. It was a couple of blocks from the beach. And the early birds caught the first ray of sun at the Waikiki beach and a bonus rainbow backdrop that made everything more picturesque.
Bonding with Guam. December 18, 2008
It's "the things we have in common with Guam" story. When you make it to this place, it's like you never left home. The weather is the same, the people are warm and welcoming, the race is pretty much the same, there are so many Pinoys around. The scenery is so Filipino, too. and the beaches are equally as exciting.
And you ask yourself, "Am I in another country?" Yes, when you check the power voltage, it's 110.
Bonding #6. The beaches! The coastline is simply divine. The waters are pristine and azure, the sand white, everything is so clean, no matter what part of the island you are in. We have surfing spots, diving and other water recreational activities, they have it as well. Guam is a beachcomber's paradise.
Bonding #7. Spanish touches. With the establishment of Christianity, there are churches. The Fiestas are bountiful. Like us, they love celebrations and find something to party for. Plazas and other architectural landmarks are must-sees.
Bonding #8. Shopping! It is every Pinoy's favorite pastime. You must have noticed why we have so many sale events that extend to midnight. This is giving everyone the chance to indulge in the luxury and gratifying activity. In Guam, it is no different. I personally met a Pinay who says, "there is nothing much to do here but shop!" Malls and shops come aplenty.
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