Aurora: The First Lady and the Province

At first glance, this article could just be about a person of historical importance. She was after all the first lady of the first president of Commonwealth of the Philippines. She was beloved by the Filipino people, most especially by the people of Baler, her hometown. Aurora Antonia Aragón viuda de Quezón was heavily involved with humanitarian activities, particularly as the first chairperson of the Philippine Red Cross.

This article is more about that province which was named in her memory: Aurora. My 62nd province. The province of Aurora started off as a sub-province of Quezon (Tayabas) in 1951. 28 years after, during the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos, Aurora became an independent province.

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R is for Rizal

Named after our national hero, this province was the 31st I visited. I had a few memories of the Cainta and Pasig which I visited back in the mid-1990s. So very few that I felt the need to revisit the province to get to know more about its past and to understand how it has evolved into its present state.

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The 1901 Rizal Marker

I first visited Rizal when I was in college. Having spent some years in Quezon City, I made a few weekend trips to Cainta and Pasig (which at that time, was still part of Rizal). When I got the job in Cavite, my friends and I made spontaneous quick drive up to Padi’s Point in Antipolo to watch the Metro Manila skyline and the vast display of lights after sundown. I also joined a school group tour and visited museums in Angono.

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Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

I was on a plane bound for Manila, browsing thru the pages of the airline’s magazine and stumbled on an article with the bold title: Resurrecting the Past. A catchy phrase but which part of the past is it? The next few pages had some photos of old Filipino houses and buildings that were probably from the 1800s. And these houses were found in a heritage resort in Bagac, Bataan.

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Reading the article got me so excited to visit Las Casas Filipinas. This heritage resort is a first in the country and definitely it is a place like no other. Why is it unique?

Quite a perfect timing. Bataan is poised to be my 61st province to be visited. What better way to visit Bataan than to check its historic past. I’ll be writing a separate entry about Bataan and the must-visit places of this province. But for now, I’d like to tell more of this very interesting place where you can resurrect the past and pretend to be one of the characters of Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo.

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Volcanic Biliran

Biliran is one of those provinces which started off as part of a bigger province. Relatively new as a province, tourism has just started to roll at this side of Eastern Visayas. In no time, this island province would be a welcome option for those who would like to visit places other than Boracay, Palawan among others.

Biliran is my 60th province to visit.

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This province is very much accessible either from Tacloban or Ormoc, if you come from Manila or Cebu. Travel time could be from 3-6 hours. From Cebu, hop in a fast craft to Ormoc City. If you take the 6:30am trip, you’ll reach Ormoc by 9am. Just across Ormoc City Pier is the integrated bus-van terminal. You can either take the bus or the air conditioned shuttle van, just look for “Naval” sign board.

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G is for Guimaras

I could not count anymore the times that I’ve visited Iloilo City. But some of my friends were quite surprised that I haven’t visited Guimaras at all, not even once. This island province is very much visible from the city port. I knew of many weekend warriors that include a visit to Guimaras each time they’re in Iloilo and their stories somehow drew interest to me since it is just near and very much accessible.

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Guimaras is my 59th province to be visited and I would like to share my overnight experience on this island.

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