Thursday, August 30, 2018

What's in a (Business) Name? Setenta y seis

It's nice to eat you.
Spotted by Aya of The Not-So Blank Page in
E-Park Building, A. Minoza Street, Talamban, Cebu City

For more amusing business names, please visit Go Random.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Mt Samat National Shrine in Bataan

Enroute to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, we made a quick visit to Mt Samat National Shrine.

Mt Samat National Shrine
Pilar, Bataan
Daily 8AM to 5PM
Admission fee Php 20

On Mt. Samat in Bataan stands a memorial for the US and Philippine Armies' last stand against the Imperial Japanese Army in the early months of 1942.

In Mt Samat National Shrine, a written account of the Battle of Bataan is found on the walls of the marble colonnade. We took a moment (a 10-minute long moment because it was two walls long) to read this important piece of our history.


Reading about the Battle of Bataan

Along the perimeter of the colonnade are marble sculptures depicting the battle, including the Bataan Death March, when, after the surrender, the Japanese made the Philippine and American soldiers march for 106 kilometers under intense heat, starvation, and torture.

Beneath the colonnade is a small museum with a collection of war artefacts, a 3D map of Bataan, and photographs. The power was out when we visited and there was no backup power generator. Despite the lack of electricity, we ventured inside the museum and looked at the exhibits in the dim light of our mobile phone. We almost jumped out of our pants when a voice rang out from some dark corner (it was very dark inside the museum!) scolding a guest for attempting to take a picture (no flash photography inside the museum!).

Steps leading to the large cross

Behind the colonnade are steps leading to the shrine's 92-meter tall cross. I had been to the shrine once before, eons six years ago. At that time, we were able to go up to the observatory on the arms of the cross via an elevator. But on this visit, the elevator was out of order (how long has it been out of order, I wonder) so we just took a look around the base of the cross which had sculptures depicting important events in Philippine history.

92-meter tall cross

Locked, we can't go up the observatory :(

History class was bottom on my list when I was in high school. This visit encourages me to read and learn more about our country's past.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

From Manila to Bataan by Ferry

What's the shortest distance between two points? A straight line! And that is what 1Bataan Integrated Transport System has brought to the people: a faster option (a little over an hour) to get from Manila to Bataan. From Esplanade Seaside Terminal MOA (Manila) to Port Capinpin in Orion, Bataan (and vice versa) to be exact.

Photo from Budget Biyahera

This service has been running for less than a year (it made its maiden voyage on December 11, 2017). The ferry is very clean, the aircondition really cold. If you watch the movie that they show during the journey, expect to walk out of the ferry freezing and wondering what happens at the end of the movie. Freezing if you sit right in front of the TV which has the AC above the TV and wondering because the journey is just a little over an hour and the movie take at least 1.5 hours. Which is what happened to us, the staff had to call our attention because we were too absorbed in the movie to notice that we were the only guests left in the ferry, everyone else had disembarked!

Inside the ferry

Although taking the bus would be cheaper (about Php300), taking the ferry would be faster, traffic free, and more comfortable. The ferry ticket costs Php450 (one way) when booked online, but way more expensive when booked at the terminal at Php799 (one way).

Daily Schedule
(As of August 6, 2018; Please check 1Bataan Integrated Transport System's website or facebook page for updates)
Manila to Orion 7AM
Orion to Manila 9AM

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Clean and Comfy Airbnb in Taguig

This Airbnb is a 23-square-meter studio apartment in a condominium building in Taguig. It is very clean and in a secure building. Clear information regarding rules and check in is provided upon booking. The owner may be reached by mobile phone and is very responsive. Self check in process is quick and easy.

The apartment is exactly as advertised. It has an excellent airconditioner (very cold!), WiFi, TV, microwave, refrigerator, stove, water heater, plates and utensils. Towels, soap, shampoo, and toilet paper are provided.

The location is also excellent—just 5 kilometers from the airport, a 3-minute walk to Venice Grand Canal Mall, a short ride to Market! Market!, Bonifacio High Street, The Mind MuseumManila American Cemetery and Memorial, and Libingan ng mga Bayani. And on the ground floor of the building next door is a small grocery store.

It is a bit pricey if only one person stays, but good value for 3 (about Php 2100 for up to 3 persons, including cleaning fee and service fee) to 4 persons (about Php 2400).

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Rizal Roadtrip: Pililla Wind Farm and Pinto Art Museum

The drive from Taguig to Pililla was about two hours and we reached the Pililla Wind Farm an hour or two before noon.

The Pililla Wind Farm has a total of 27 125-meter tall windmills. The Wind Farm produces 54MW of wind power a year and can provide electricity to about 66,000 households in Manila. Awesome, huh?

The Pililla Wind Farm is open to the public and has a Visitor's Center where one can learn about this renewable energy project by Alterenergy. The Visitor's Center also affords a view of Laguna de Bay. A windy place this is—not a great place to take a selfie, but definitely a perfect location for a wind farm.

Laguna de Bay

The towering windmills would have been best viewed from a distance. We found a little elevated area—behind the windmill nearest to the Visitor's Center—that we could climb (for Php10 since it is privately owned) for a view of the neighboring hills and the tall white wind turbines piercing the sky.

The windmills of Pililla as seen from the little hill

From Pililla Wind Farm we made a quick stop for lunch before proceeding to feast our eyes on some art at Pinto Art Museum.

Pinto Art Museum
1 Sierra Madre Street, Grand Heights Subdivision, Antipolo City, Rizal
Tuesday to Sunday 9AM to 6PM
Admission fee Php200 adults / Php100 students (must present valid school ID)

Pinto Art Museum, located in a private subdivision, is a complex of different galleries housed in beautifully designed buildings surrounded by lush greenery. There are many Instagram-worthy outdoor spots but visitors were nowhere to be found—it had started to rain and they have taken refuge in the galleries.

Six of the eight galleries house the museum's collection of contemporary art by Filipino artists. That's six galleries of interesting pieces of paintings and sculptures!

Pinto Art Museum also has a small gallery for its Mindanao Collection, and another gallery for its Museum of Primitive Art which houses carvings from Ifugao.

We spent about two hours looking at the hundreds of pieces of art in this museum, and that's two hours well spent!

Huge thank you to Brennan of The Weekend Dispatch and his friends for organizing this roadtrip!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Wisdom from the Road #66

On business

Buena mano, which literally translates to "good hand," is a concept wherein the first sale of the day is believed to bring good sales for the rest of the day. The money received from the day's first transaction is patted on the goods for good luck.

I have always thought this was a Filipino thing. But, wrong, this is also practiced in Myanmar! I was very surprised when after we bought some stuff, the lady started patting her goods with the money! (I just don't know what they call it there.) Have you observed this in other countries, too?