08 April 2011

Manila tour..appreciating what this city has to offer (3rd Round)

Manila, I keep coming back to Manila..
Simply no place like Manila
Manila, I'm coming home
I should have made this blog last January but things keep on piling up thus delaying the process but I'm glad to do it now.

This is yet again another leg in our series of Manila City trips. Different companions, some same places visited but I never get tired of it. I actually feel relaxed while walking through the busy streets of this eclectic city.

For this journey, here is my group.. (not included in the photo is our great photographer)
@ Chinatown's Friendship Arch
For starters, we all met up at Jollibee in Guadalupe. 7am was our meeting time but the latest person in our group arrived at 8am, so after the last pax, we headed off to the Pasig River Cruise Terminal. We just paid for less than Php50 from Guadalupe to Escolta.

The Post Office..from behind
It took us 1hour and a half to reach our destination because we made a long stopover before and at front of the MalacaƱang Palace. Security's tight! But we're not complaining. It was actually quite an experience for us. And to mention, the day we rode this ferry, it was temporarily their last day of operation because for now, they've stopped their routes because of internal disputes, that's according to their representative. We sure were lucky to have made it in the nick of time. :)

Our First Stop: Chinatown, of course, you should not miss this place for its crawling with our Chinese heritage and influences. And the restos here are absolutely fantastic!
Big and gorgeous cauliflowers for a very low price
Eng Bee Tin
Wai Ying's jampacked! A must-visit resto..try their TaiPao and Hakaw
Next Stop: San Lorenzo Ruiz Minor Basilica Shrine. The artwork at their ceiling is great, it adds depth to the over-all impact of the church. 
I just love old churches!
Next Stop: National Museum. Whoa! Haven't visited this place since high school fieldtrip days but I guess, it's time to come back. I'm not being forced,  in fact, this is on our list of must-see places for the day.

Juan Luna's Spoliarium..so large!so majestic!
a big whale's remains :)
his pose was in'sync with the art form
Next Stop: Intramuros. This walled city never fails to capture the interest of visitors, both local and foreign. So much history contained in one place. Every nook and cranny seems to burst with stories to tell, well, that's how I see it.
definitely one of the places I would love to just simply hang out..but just be careful not to be hit with golf balls, that's the catch :)
resting while camwhoring
we were so thirsty that I gulped 2 bottles of drinks here in this sari-sari store
In memory of the victims of World War II
Next Stop: San Agustin Church. One of the oldest and important churches in the Philippines. It's very extravagant, I think,inside but surely beautiful. We were lucky to witness the bridal march of a lucky girl there. We were just a small group amongst a big number of onlookers present at that time, even curious tourists.
I love her gown! :)
Next Stop: Manila Cathedral. In a span of just around 20minutes, maybe, we witnessed 2 sets of weddings. One just finished and right away, next couple was rushed in. Now I don't want my wedding (if I do get married, hehe) to be like that. I want solemnity and relaxed pacing.
Captivating exterior..
..as well as interiors
La Pieta
Next Stop: Fort Santiago. The last time that I was here, before this trip, the skies opened up to us and poured a huge portion of rain that is stored up above. So we really appreciated its beauty and history more this time around. We were able to go down the steps leading to the dungeon and had a fleeting scary moment (but I guess it was just our imaginations, no biggie).
Picture perfect!

with Manong Guard who gamely posed with us

where they kept their ammunitions and more..
enjoying ourselves
 Next Stop: Luneta Park. Very quintessential especially now that it's being taken good care of by the government. The greens were perfectly manicured and there were attractions that people can enjoy when passing by at the park or while hanging out there. But most importantly, one should not forget the real reason why the Luneta has to be kept well at all times..Jose Rizal. That's it. 

Next Stop: Baywalk to catch the sunset. We almost did not make it because we had to walk from Luneta to Baywalk and dusk is creeping in rather fast so we really hurried even to the point that me and my friend crossed dangerously at the very busy and wide street. Not to be followed, of course. But we did catch some of the rays left and we were so lucky because after getting some snaps, that was the time that the rain fell over our heads.

Thank goodness we all had a nice and educational trip..very tiring yet fruitful Manila day tour. 

Our Last Stop: We all were hungry after all that walking that we did so we walked some more but in the direction of the mall to have our dinner. Once there, it took us some time to decide where to eat then we landed at Gerry's..or Dencio's, I'm not sure anymore but we had a great dinner. 

Then time to go home . :)

Miss you like hell, Manila
No place in the world like Manila
I'm coming here to stay

04 April 2011

Antulang Resort @ Negros Oriental (places I've been to..and want to go to again!)

Summer's here and the need to go visit a great-looking beach is beckoning me to heed to its call.

But I can't, not yet.

So instead I just daydream, for now, of beaches that I have been to before. And one of those beaches is the Antulang Beach Resort, located  40kms south of Dumaguete, Negros Oriental or at least an hour ride away from Dumaguete City. I've been there like 4 or 5 years ago, maybe, but it still seems fresh in my mind. I loved the white sand and the clear water but I did not swim when I was there. Why? Because someone said that they saw a sea snake so that kind of freaked me out, haha! But that did not stop me from loving the beach, a few meters away though. I love, I love, I loved the sea breeze blowing through my clothes and hair. So refreshing and peaceful.

It was such a nice experience that for some time, I forgot that when I was there, I was experiencing a terrible swelling at one side of my face. I was practically swallowing painkillers every hour, almost. The pain was excruciating but I had to go on because I was there for work as well. The next day, miraculously, the pain subsided.. it subsided because of too much pain, my face went numb!! Such an experience! :)

Here are some of the pathetic pics that I was able to get. It was all self-effort. :)

When I come back in the future, I'm going to enjoy myself like it's my first time there. :)
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