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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My Luang Prabang Chronicles – Day 3 part 1

Visit Luang Prabang to learn and understand why UNESCO included it in the list of World Heritage Sites. The old town center has a unique characteristic of fused traditional Lao architecture and urban structure with that of 19th and 20th century European colonial influence – a fine example of a remarkably preserved blend of two distinct elements reflected across the old town center thru its temples, palaces and buildings.

Allow one day of your Luang Prabang trip to wander in the old town and appreciate the charm of this former royal and religious capital of the Kingdom of a Million Elephants. Luang Prabang traces back to 14th-16th century as a powerful and strategic place in the Silk Route.

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