Thousands of pagodas glisten under the Burmese sun; their stupas spiral upward from miles and miles of vast greenery; towering Buddhas cast shadows on this dusty patch of earth while white horses, kings in blue robes, celestial beings and court jesters with velvet hats – marionettes all – hang from age-old trees and dance with the wind. The air is dry but at times refreshingly temperate.
The government can take advantage of the country’s numerous tourism spots that can be converted into sports tourism hubs – among them surfing, rafting, diving and windsurfing.
I made a last-minute decision to drive to Baguio last Feb. 25. I had set my sights on catching the Panagbenga Festival, not just to watch the parade, but because I’d heard that the floats of GMA-7 and ABS-CBN would carry some of their more popular stars.
It is one of the few existing towns in the Philippines that has successfully preserved the Spanish colonial town planning system, where at the center of the town is the plaza, surrounded by the church, a school, the municipal hall and some large houses. Pila in Laguna is an easy two hours’ drive south of Manila via the South Luzon Expressway, but as the van we were riding approached the town plaza, we immediately felt as if we had been transported to another time in some distant past.
Mention of Ilocos Sur calls to mind Spanish-era churches and ancestral homes, tobacco as well as regional delicacies like pinakbet and bagnet. The town of Narvacan’s claim to fame is, in fact, this deep-fried pork belly, with a crunch which only they can achieve. The local government even organized the Bagnet Festival anchored around this signature dish.
With the onset of summer, Baguio sizzles even with its cool mountain breeze. Hot in this mountain enclave are its cool homes away from home.
Over a hundred foreign tourists, 10 expedition leaders and 90 staff on board the UK’s leading cruise ship, M/S Caledonian Sky, had a three-hour interaction last week with the butanding or whale sharks in Donsol Sea in Sorsogon.
I made my first snow angel on Whistler Mountain, and I saw my first – and so far only – black bear in the wild on Whistler Mountain.
The 10th Siargao International Game Fishing Tournament will officially open on April 6 in the island town of Pilar, Surigao del Norte in Siargao island.
Clark’s world-class tourism facilities and services continue to attract foreign and local visitors as seen in the increase in last year’s tourist arrivals here by 2.27 percent or 42,622.