Towers of Kuala Lumpur

The skyline of the global city of Kuala Lumpur showcases two towers: the Menara KL and the Petronas Twin Towers. Both structures rise high on the Klang Valley and are considered iconic landmarks of KL and of Malaysia.

These Malaysian towers are worth the visit.  Only about 2 kilometers apart, these towers can be visited on a single day. Both towers are popular spots and are must-sees when you are in Kuala Lumpur.

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Kalinga: Tales of Head Hunters

A sleepy province, Kalinga is cradled by the mountains of the Cordilleras. The relatively cool climate blankets the province most of the time while the Chico River meanders through its core. It is a landlocked province defined by the rugged highlands of the west and the gradually sloping grassland of the east. And in between are flat lands that produce rice from the skillful hands of the tribe.

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Street corner spot showcasing the agricultural aspect of Kalinga

Several tribes in the Cordilleras used to practice headhunting. There were several reasons and purpose why it was practiced before, and they vary from one tribe to another. The Ifugaos, Bontocs, Ilongots, Sagada Igorots, Apayaos and Kalingas dwell in the Cordilleras and traditionally somewhat hostile to each other.

According to factsanddetails.com, heads taken from headhunting brought glory to the warrior who collected them. It gives good luck to their village as well. The heads were preserved and worshiped in special rituals.

Most heads are taken out as an act of revenge, often for breaking the traditional law. Other reasons for headhunting include tribal beliefs that beheading the enemy is a way of killing off for good the spirit of the person beheaded. Headhunting is also believed to help the soil become fertile and it provides strength to the people.

Back in the days, the people of Kalinga were feared by neighbors and invaders because of their reputation as headhunters. Kalinga in Gaddang and Ibanag tongue means headhunter. The Kalinga people live in the highlands and were able to preserve their warrior-culture. Their strong sense of belonging to a tribe and their loyalty resulted to frequent tribal unrest and sometimes resulted to tribal wars.

In the present day Kalinga, headhunting may be a vanishing act but tribal wars may still exist in remote places in the highlands. This should not deter travelers and tourists though from visiting Kalinga. People are generally warm and hospitable to visitors.

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Wow Tuguegarao

Coming from a 12-hr overnight travel from Manila, the bus halted to its final stop at their terminal near Tanza Junction. It was mid morning when I traversed the length of the Diversion Road towards the junction where it intersects Balzain Highway. The tourism slogan “WOW Tuguegarao” greeted me as I crossed the highway for a fast food brekky. I smiled and got a little excited, thinking of what the city could show me. It’s my first time to step foot in the province of Cagayan and I could not wait to explore its capital city.

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Tanza Junction, Tuguegarao City

I do not have a proper itinerary for this visit to the regional and institutional center of the Cagayan Valley Region. I decided to just explore Tuguegarao on foot and try to appreciate everything it has to offer for tourists and travelers.

How to get there?

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Davao Occidental – The Newest Province

Republic Act 10360 created Davao Occidental. It is comprised of 5 municipalities which were taken out from the province of Davao del Sur. It was created in 2013, making it the newest province of the Philippines.

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In one of my business trip to southern Mindanao, I was able to insert a day trip to the 81st province of the country. This visit enabled me to inch closer to achieving my #Project81 goal.

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Heritage City of Melaka

Melawat Melaka Bererti Melawati Malaysia

The slogan above translates to “Visiting Malacca Means Visiting Malaysia”. True enough, the heritage city of Melaka provides a glimpse of how Malaysia has become what it is now. A visit to Melaka broadens our understanding of the history, culture and heritage of the gem of the strait of spice trade.

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UNESCO Statement

In 2008, the historical city was declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Along with George Town in Penang, these two cities in the Strait of Melacca represent more than 500 years of history, culture and heritage unique to this part of the world. Georgetown reflects the East meets West influence during the British period from the end of 18th century. Melaka on the other hand represents the fusion of Asia and Europe from the 1500s up to the time when it was ceded to the British by the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824.

When in Malaysia, make sure to free up at least a day for the visit to the UNESCO World Heritage listed city of Melacca.

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Destination: Ozamiz

Several hours to go before it’s time for me to board the ferry for Cebu. I took an afternoon bus trip from Pagadian City to Ozamiz and now I’m in a cafe anchored in one of the new hotels in the city. Sipping on ice-blended choco drink, I made a quick plan on what to do and where to go around in the largest city of Misamis Occidental.

Ozamiz City is said to be a historical, cultural and pilgrimage destination in Mindanao. The Gem of Panguil Bay, it is the gateway to the northwestern part of the southern major island. The city is blessed with a good harbor. Its port caters to passenger ferries, cargo ships and barges on the busy Mukas-Ozamiz route.

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Zamboanga del Sur

Let us consider Zamboanga del Sur in the eyes of Pagadian City, it’s major city and capital.

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This city is nestled between highlands of Zamboanga Peninsula and Illana Bay. It is dissected by FS Pajares Avenue that runs from the rotunda to the city port. Pagadian is an interesting city because of its network of roads that are mostly sloping.

The public transport, the tricycle (tuktuk) has adapted to the inclined streets with its design entirely different from the rest of the country. The Pagadian tricycle has become its iconic symbol.

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Iconic Pagadian tricycles

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Tagbilat Falls of Titay

Moments after sunrise, I found myself in a multi-cab (public utility jeepney) heading north to the town of Titay. This town is about 16kms north of Ipil where it has in its interior barangay, a gem which could awaken this otherwise sleepy town to tourists and visitors. This gem is the beautiful curtain-type cascades known to a few as Tagbilat Falls.

Yes, you heard it right. The falls has an awkward name that makes everyone wonder why it was named as such. Yet it can be assured that its natural beauty makes you forget its name. The falls is located in the interior barangay of Malagandis.

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Zamboanga Sibugay

The obelisk at the roundabout stood high and bright against the dark skies. It is the newest landmark of Ipil, the provincial capital of the province of Zamboanga Sibugay.

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Roundabout Obelisk of Ipil

The Zamboanga Peninsula used to be divided into two provinces, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur, with Zamboanga City as the commercial and administrative hub of the region. In 2001, a new province was founded out of the western towns which were under the third district of Zamboanga del Sur. This province became the 79th province of the Philippines.

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My Luang Prabang Chronicles – Day 3 Part 2

The old town center of Luang Prabang is reminiscent of an old southeast Asian kingdom that entirely embraced Buddhism and eventually married a French colonial hand. Its charm relies on this distinct blend, a Laotian heritage that is a cut among the rest.

Tak Bat
Before we visited the temples, we woke up early in the morning, before sunrise to witness a venerable tradition of Tak Bat. In Luang Prabang, this ceremony happens before sunrise on the streets of the old town. Tak Bat is the ritual of collecting food by Buddhist monks from people who lined up in the streets of Luang Prabang. Monks clad in shades of saffron and orange, walk in line with their alms bowl in front. Tak Bat mostly happen at Sakkaline and Kamal Road.

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