Bangkok | Across the River for Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn

The Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun
The Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun

No rain. I guess the afternoon squall has finally decided to halt. I just got out of Wat Pho and noticed I still have enough time to explore another temple that afternoon. The Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun is just across Chao Phraya river. Just a short walk from Wat Pho is the ferry terminal to cross the river. Only 3.50 baht and I’m across the river in less than 10 minutes.

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The National Museum of Natural History Unveiled

The awe-inspiring Tree of Life at the courtyard of the museum
The awe-inspiring Tree of Life at the courtyard of the museum

We need more museums than malls. I sure am glad we have another National Museum opening its doors real soon. On October 29, 2017, National Museum of the Philippines celebrated its 116th year anniversary. As a treat, they opened the National Museum of Natural History  for a day. It was a great way to preview what the museum would offer once it officially opens sometime early 2018. With this development, Manila adds another knowledge enriching landmark to compliment the Fine Arts, Anthropology and Filipino People Museum in Manila.

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Tawi-tawi | Panampangan Island: PH Longest Sandbar with Fine White Sands

Aerial view of Panampangan Island
Aerial view of Panampangan Island (Video Screencap from Ash-shahid Mangansakan Malon
)

It took me three visits to Tawi-tawi before I finally set foot on the famed Panampangan Island. It’s not an easy island to reach like most of the islands in the region. Hiring boats have a hefty cost especially for independent travelers. An invitation to cover the Kamahardikaan 2017 festivity includes a visit to the island. It was an opportunity that’s hard to pass. Panampangan Island is considered the longest sandbar in the country.

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Zamboanga City | Picture Perfect Merloquet Falls

Gorgeous wall of cascades at Merloquet Falls
Gorgeous wall of cascades at Merloquet Falls

San ka galing? (Where did you come from?)”

Sa malayo! Sa merloquet! (Somewhere far! At Merloquet)”

For Zamboangueños, ‘merloquet’ used to be a fabled place pertaining to somewhere far far away when used in colloquial conversation. Nowadays, it pertains to Merloquet Falls that has gained popularity in the recents years due to its wide pour and lovely wall of cascades. It is still far far away in Zamboanga City but I managed to visit the place as a side trip while in the region.

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Tawi-tawi Agal-Agal Festival 2017 at Languyan

Contingent from Simunul with their captivating number at the recent Agal-agal Festival 2017
Contingent from Simunul with their captivating number at the recent Agal-agal Festival 2017

I like non-commercial festivals like the Agal-agal Festival in Tawi-tawi. They are refreshing and different. Unlike popular festivals that honors the Sto Niño, Agal-Agal Festival celebrates the way of life of the Sama people. From harvesting agal-agal (seaweeds), courtships, and even the supernatural. I was excited to see the Agal-Agal Festival 2017 since I enjoyed witnessing it the first time three years ago in Bongao. This year, the 44th Kamahardikaan Festival is hosted by the municipality of Languyan.

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Isabela | Magat Dam Afternoon Stroll

Afternoon at Magat Dam
Afternoon at Magat Dam

It was one of those national landmarks in the country most people are familiar with. Having grown up reading about it on text books, Magat Dam is known one of the largest dams in the country. The water is mainly used for irrigation, flood control and electric source through the Magat Hydroelectric Power Plant. We took a drive to the municipality of Ramon from Echague to visit this popular dam for an afternoon sightseeing.

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Quirino | River Rush at Governor’s Rapids in Maddela

River rush at Governor's Rapids
River rush at Governor’s Rapids

We came with rain the last time we were in Maddela, Quirino. The waters at Governor’s Rapids were murky and flow erratic like the weather. The recent visit this year was a side-trip from Echague, Isabela, a neighboring municipality across the provincial border. It was a smooth over an hour drive on paved roads. Friends from Isabela tourism seems to be chummy with the people here in Maddela. They knew each other. This time the sun shown bright, the waters a healthy pale green and the rapids inviting. Finally we get to experience this river adventure.

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