Life So Mundane in Batangas
Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts

21 October 2013

Grieving for Bohol

You have got to be made of stone not to feel a pinch in your heart every night as the primetime news programs air the seemingly endless stories emanating each day from the areas hardest hit by last week’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake.

That was why I felt it almost a civic duty to make a donation yesterday through a local bank to a TV network’s relief efforts for the victims of the earthquake. Not a lot because I do not have a lot to spare to begin with; but in context, the amount of a donation does not matter.

What matters is for all of us to care.

The teller was chatty and as she processed my deposit, she kept telling me how she could not thank the good Lord enough how seemingly insulated we are here in Batangas from the natural calamities that have visited other parts of the country lately.


02 June 2013

Baguio is not Cold but Still Cool

So well! I am the sort who can find amusement in just about the most mundane of things. And in a six-hour derriere-numbing trip from Cubao to Baguio, I could not help but smirk at these citizens of the Big City who excitedly put on their sweaters as the Victory Liner started the climb up Marcos Highway into the mountains.

In anticipation of the cold, I suppose; or in reaction to the drop in temperature inside the airconditioned bus as the air outside it started to cool while the bus rose up the mountains. Lipa-born and raised that I am, I can be incredibly blasé about the cold. So hence, I looked at the sweaters almost with contempt.

Because I was in a thin sleeveless blue shirt and enjoying the cold inside the bus. After all, we were driving to Baguio, not Greenland!


16 May 2013

Hard to Find a Good Man to Ask Directions From

Eugene, who I used to work with before I decided to live the life of a professional bum, is at the tail end of a 19-day holiday from Jeddah and picked me up from my place yesterday for our occasional have-gas-will-travel sorties into somewhere totally unplanned for.

So, we had lunch at Club Balai Isabel in Talisay, caught up on what each of us has been up to lately, took the obligatory touristy pictures of the resort and then went on our way.

Leaving the front gate of the Balai, the way home was to the right. But Eugene turned left, instead.

That only meant that the joy ride was not about to end just yet. Since the obvious destination was up the mountain into Tagaytay, I suggested this jigsaw puzzle museum as a probable destination.


Jigsaw Puzzles and Guinness World Records (A Pictorial Blog)

Some things just leave you speechless. For instance, 1,028 jigsaw puzzles. No, we’re not even talking about your idiot-friendly off-the-shelf jigsaws which even the intellectually challenged can complete while chewing butong pakwan.

How about a jigsaw with 32,000 pieces which when completed can adorn an entire wall as a work of art? Or 4D jigsaws of famous cities and their landmarks? Frankly, I didn’t even know they made those.

Well, you can see all of these at the Puzzle Mansion, something of a theme-park-cum-resort-cum-museum owned by Georgina Gil-Lacuna, who was recently awarded a Guinness World Record Certificate for having completed the most number of jigsaw puzzles in the entire world.


16 December 2012

Malvar Map

This post is made available for the benefit of those who wish to travel to and around the Province of Batangas. Readers may choose between map or satellite view as available on Google Maps. Use the tools inside the iframes to navigate or zoom in on any location.

Map View

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Satellite View

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Sto. Tomas Map
Talisay Map


28 October 2012

How to Get a Passport at DFA-Lipa

This page contains information about how to obtain a passport at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Regional Consular Office at Robinson's Place, Lipa City, Batangas.  Before proceeding, please take a moment to read this announcement that was posted outside the consular office.  Kindly note that this web site is NOT in any way connected with the DFA and this article is posted as a public service.  The information contained herein MAY CHANGE over time, so kindly consider the date of this posting which may be seen near the top of this article.  Finally, the author does not have the time to respond to all questions or clarifications; but you may post yours anyway and hope that others who have undergone the application will take time to reply.


02 May 2012

Yes! We’re Advertising on CNN!

It must cost a pretty sum; but whatever it is, it can be recouped from increased tourist arrivals and can be seen as a good investment. More than the investment angle, I am actually looking more at the prestige factor. Finally, we don’t look kahabag-habag anymore.

I am talking about the ‘More Fun in the Philippines’ international campaign which I suppose was only launched this week. I hadn’t seen it on CNN before this week. It’s running every now and again. On an hourly basis, I think; but I cannot be sure.


03 February 2012

More Fun in the Philippines

Although there is something totally unoriginal and cliché-ic about the Department of Tourism’s ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’ campaign, what is undeniable is its effectiveness in capturing the public’s imagination. Everyone, it seems, has his or her own take on the campaign. Albeit late, and because it’s a lazy Saturday morning, here are some ‘More Fun in the Philippines’ memes that I made for everyone’s enjoyment.


02 February 2012

How Amazing Manila to Lipa in One Hour Is

When I went to see the national team play against CFC de Madrid at the Rizal Memorial last month, I did so confident in the knowledge that it was a 4 o’clock kickoff and that in most likelihood the match would be over by 6 in the evening. All credit to the organizers, the final whistle blew probably just a quarter past 6; and my companion and I were briskly striding outside the stadium moments later to go home.


16 May 2011

Accidental Tourists 2: Puerto Princesa

Alright! So maybe Bill Shankly did state once that football is more than a matter of life and death. But Bill never went to Puerto Princesa; and never experienced having something other than football thrust upon him by circumstance.

This is just me; and of course, I am making up excuses for a failed mission! This was way back in 1992; and the regional games were to be held in the city of Puerto Princesa on the island of Palawan.


20 January 2011

Have Gas; Will Travel

I have no pretensions whatsoever about being the spontaneous type; which makes today’s almost totally unplanned tour of three provinces all the more remarkable. A friend and I agreed it would be a good idea to take advantage of the Lipa City fiesta to go on a joyride somewhere. Tagaytay seemed like a good idea. That was as far as the plan went.


24 November 2010

The Biggest Little City in the World

Whatever in hell that means!

A decade ago, during a visit to the Bay Area in California with a colleague, one of the alumni we met sort of floated this invitation to join him and his family on a weekend trip to Vegas. Vegas! The mere thought of the bright lights made my glands ooze with hormones!


31 October 2010

Traveling to Alabang

Last week, I agreed to meet my eldest sister and her family in Alabang the day before All Saints’ Day – which would be today, as if you did not already know. Being me, up until the time I was about to leave home, I was still rationalizing inside my head that I was, in fact, doing the right thing.


07 October 2010

The House of Hope

So here I am at the Bacolod Airport seated in front of a window staring every now and again at a mountain range. In contrast to the bright sunshine when I flew in yesterday, the day is a bit on the overcast side. Any more clouds and take-off will be like getting on the inside of a blender.

Thanks to my generous host – who took me on a bit of a tour – I did something that immediately overshadowed my two previous visits to this city: I got out of the poblacion.


The Guy Can Land His Bird

The thing I so hate most about traveling by air to a local destination is that one invariably spends so much more time getting to and waiting at the airport than flying out to one’s destination. Oh by the way, I am writing this with my phone in my hotel room in Bacolod...


29 September 2010

In and Out of Vigan

The Brother Lolo might have worked us half to the death; but I could always coax him into treating us into an end-of-term trip. Like this one time in early March of 2003. We had just ended a council meeting and all it took was for me to tell him, “Brother, punta naman tayo Vigan… Hindî pa ako nakakarating…”

It was that easy. “Sigue,” the Brother Lolo replied; and he proceeded to instruct his secretary to make all the necessary arrangements.


07 September 2010

Need Nail File

Those of you who have flown on commercial jet planes know that there is this moment a few seconds after takeoff when the roar of the engines seems to die down and the plane – hulking metal contraption that it is – for the briefest of moments seems to be just hanging there stupidly in mid-air.

Did you see Madagascar 2?


25 July 2010

Accidental Tourists

The year was 1988; we had won the STRAA in Calapan City with plenty to spare; and, therefore, had qualified for the national games – otherwise known as the Palarong Pambansa. That year, the games were to be held in Cagayan de Oro City.


24 June 2010

To Pee Or Not To Pee: The Dilemma Women Face during Long Trips

It was 1992, and a colleague and I went on a summer trip to the Bicol Region. We were doing the trip for the first time and did not really know that we needed to make reservations first to get seats in one of those classy air-conditioned buses that plied the Manila-Naga route. Because we were already in Manila and we were also expected in Naga, we had no recourse but to travel “ordinary.”


06 June 2010

A Weekend in Bangkok: Similarities and Differences Between Thais and Filipinos

In geographic terms, a region is a broad expanse of land where the terrain, climate as well as the flora that can be found on it look and feel similar anywhere within that expanse of land. This definition may even be loosely extended to encompass cultural considerations such as the homogeneity of the people, their languages, religions and other traditions that may be observed in that land.




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