Macau: A-Ma Temple Festival and the Chinese Opera

Praying at Macau A-Ma Temple
Praying at Macau A-Ma Temple

It was time for a rather late lunch coming from Guia Fortress and the Grand Prix Museum. But we didn’t mind eating late since the Macanese Food at Ristorante Litoral was a fitting reward from our little hikes under the sun. As we were about to finish, Joao told us we should drop by A-Ma Temple since there’s a Chinese Opera performing which is part of the week long A-Ma festival being held.

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Macau: The Guia Fortress and the Grand Prix Museum

Guia Fortress
Macau's Guia Fortress Chapel and Lighthouse

From our Red Market walk with Antonio Coelho, our coach drove to the eastern side of Macau Peninsula for Guia Hill, whose peak is the highest point in Macau. It was a short drive but we had to leave our coach and take a cable car up the hill. From the hill we still had a few minutes light hike. It was midday but the overcast sky was our friend. We passed by a few joggers and people doing some martial arts sparring along the way before we reached the foot of the Guia Fortress, one of the 25 UNESCO sites under Macau’s Historic Center.

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Batanes: Itbayat’s Sta Maria Mayon Centro and Church

Itbayat Sta Maria Church
Itbayat Sta Maria Church

I didn’t remember this road trek to be so exhausting. Or it must be the unrelenting mid-day sun bearing down on our backs as we walk the paved sloping road from Chinapoliran Port to the town Mayon Centro. It seemed so easy back then. Maybe because I was 5 years younger when we walked this path in a breeze back then. It seems so long and the thought of it make me feel old. But it’s nice to be back on this large rock called Itbayat. After walking half a kilometer and occasional stops where there are tree shades, a white pickup truck pulled over and offered us a ride to town. Nothing beats a welcome with kindness like this.

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Macau: The Camoes Garden and the Old Protestant Cemetery

Camoes Tai Chi
Morning Tai Chi at Camoes Garden Macau

Early morning on to our third day in Macau finds us walking through narrow alleys of an old neighborhood in San Antonio, Macau. Climbing zigzagging stairs, sleeping alley cats and neighborhood shrines to find us gasping a little for breath and realizing we’re already in level of the higher floors of the residential buildings in front of us. I thought this urban landscape of windows, air conditioners and stained walls felt a lot like the Old Manila. But a few more flight of stairs led us to Macau’s largest and oldest park, the Camoes Garden.

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Macau: The Ruins of St Paul’s Church and the Macau Museum

Ruins of St Paul

The Ruins of St Paul’s Church

We zigzagged along the streets of commercial establishments and restaurants coming from Senado Square and St Dominic’s Church until we reach the narrower souvenir street heading to St Paul’s Church Ruins. The street here filled with souvenir shops and Macau’s favourite take home gifts from pastelarias selling peanut cookies, plums and beef jerky to mention a few goodies.

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Macau: Senado Square and St Dominic’s Church in Mono

Senado Square in Mono

Macau’s Senado Square

Our pace didn’t change as soon as we emerged from the alley walk. We were now at Senado Square. One of the most anticipated sights I wanted to see in Macau. Well, it is one of the most popular places in Macau, finding its pictures on just about every postcards, magazines and internet Google search on Macau. Judging from the throngs here, everyone wants a spot on this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Backpack Photography Banaue Workshop Experience

Backpack Photograpy Workshop Baang Hapao

Backpack Photography Workshop in Banaue

My good friend Oggie of Lagalog.com and I were conceptualizing for some time on how a photography workshop would be set apart from the numerous workshops being offered right now. One, we don’t want to have the usual classroom setting. We want participants to be out there on the field where most of the photography would happen and learn on the spot. Second, we want the participants to experience the place and the culture. Getting postcard pretty pictures is one thing but getting good pictures with relevance is another. So Backpack Photography Workshop is born sharing our style of shooting.

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