Tañon Strait | Madridejos: Thriving Market and Kota Park Sunset Sights

Flying kites at Bontay Baywalk
Flying kites at Bontay Baywalk

Bantayan in northern Cebu is also the northern tip of Tañon Strait protected area. Other than Sta Fe and the Virgin island, we visited Madridejos found north of Bantayan Island facing the Visayan seas. A town formerly known as Lawis, it was the first settlement north of the island. In 1917, the town was renamed Madridejos in honor of Benito Romero de Madridejos the former Archbishop of Cebu. Prior to World War II, Madridejos enjoyed being the “Little Alaska of the Philippines” because of its rich fishing ground. The first canning factory in the country was also here until it was bombed during the war. Our visit with Oceana Philippines seeks to observe and capture the communal richness of Tañon Strait with the people of Madridejos.

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A Budbud Kabog Treat at Dumaguete’s Painitan

Budbud Kabog vendor stall
Budbud Kabog vendor stall

One thing I distinctly remember in my first visit to Dumaguete in 2007, I bought this delicacy which I thought was the typical suman (a glutinous rice cake wrapped in banana leaves). The vendor at the market told me its a Budbud Kabog (some spelled Budbod or bod-bod), which at first I thought was their local term for suman. As I unwrapped a piece while sitting at the boulevard, its distinct aroma caught me that this wasn’t ordinary. The grains also looks finer. A bite made a lot of difference as the delicacy quickly melts in my mouth spreading a rich delightful flavor hint of coconut flavor that’s moderately sweet. So this is Budbud Kabog!

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Cotabato City: The Bustling Market Scene by Matampay River

Early morning at the Bagsakan by Matampay River
Early morning at the Bagsakan by Matampay River

Without any vast lands to cultivate in this small Cotabato City, Trade and Commerce is the main livelihood in the city. With its strategic location, found at the heart of Mindanao, it is easy to travel to different points of Mindanao from the city, making it a popular transit and drop-off point for goods before bringing them to other areas. Staying at Don Rufino St, near and Parallel, Matampay River, a tributary of Rio Grande River, I visited the riverside “Bagsakan (drop-off)” and discovered a lively market scene filled with a splash of local colors.

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Yangon: On Foot to Shwedagon Paya from Downtown Yangon

less visited Maha Wizaya Paya
less visited Maha Wizaya Paya

I let the wind lull me to sleep inside room 205 of Motherland Inn II. I arrived early morning in Yangon from Mandalay, took a shared taxi to town, had the free buffet breakfast at the inn and headed to my room at the upper floor. Finding the wide open view at my window, I opened the glass windows and was delighted to feel the gust of wind coming in. I turned of the aircon and left the window open except for the screen and let myself drift to dreamland.

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Pyin U Lwin: Wandering Around the British Hill Town

Pyin U Lwin walker
Pyin U Lwin walker

Pyin U Lwin is all about rest and relaxation. On my 6th day journey through Myanmar, I decided that it was the perfect day to turn-off the alarm clock and stay tucked under the sheets a bit longer than usual. Letting the cool climate dictate when I should be up and about. But that plan partly failed as I was already up by 7am. Good thing I was excited to explore Pyin U Lwin, a town which is still part of Mandalay Division is characterized by its strong British influence found almost 3500ft above sea level at the Shan State Highlands.

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Macau: Shopping at the Red Market with Antonio Coelho

Antonio Coelho shopping inside the Macau Red Market
Antonio Coelho shopping inside the Macau Red Market

It was time for a little refreshment on one of the backyard stalls in Macau after that walk in Camoes Garden and Old Protestant Cemetery. We Sipped on some soy drink on a low chair and then buying some almond cookies and other goodies at the nearby pastileria. It was freshly cooked and packed so we bought a few boxes for ourselves. Going through a street corner, we waited for a few minuted when a Portuguese male in his 50’s donning a dark blue chef uniform over his heavy build. “Guys! Here’s Chef Antonio. We’ll join him do some shopping”

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Makati: Artsy Picasso Boutique and Salcedo Saturday Market

Makati Picasso Boutique Hotel

Makati Picasso Boutique Hotel

If Pablo Picasso were to design a living space, I would imagine the rooms to be divided in cubes with walls and furnishings playing on the palettes from his art during the heydays of Cubism. But even past his years, a new Boutique Serviced Residences, the first in the country, paid homage to the art and lifestyle of the famous painter naming the establishment, Picasso. Found at the heart of Makati Central Business district, I get to experience a night of luxury at one of its cube.

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