Friday, August 24, 2012

Missing Boracay

All of a sudden I'm missing Boracay. I was going over pictures of my past travels, and this set of pictures brought me back to the white, powdery beach, clear, crystalline waters, and all-weather beauty of Boracay. 

Work brought us there. We stayed at the Lagoon Regency, which I posted earlier here. During our free time, we walked to Station 1 where the sand is at its finest, and took pictures at the Discovery Shores, which was recently included as one of the world's best island hotels by travel+leisure. Next time I visit solo, this hotel is for me.

For memorable trips, good company is a must. I've always said, it's an honor to work with the best people in my field, and work is a joy with agreeable company (who are always on the look-out for the perfect Kodak moment). 

What is travel without good food?
fresh oysters, sweetish and brimming with the essence of the sea
It is during this trip that I experienced the tangy goodness of Real Coffee and Tea Cafe's calamansi muffins

Soon, I'll be back.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

7 Things to Do in Leyte

There's more to Leyte than moron and scallops. Here's a list of activities for the first time traveler. 

1. Visit the Leyte Landing Memorial at Red Beach, Candahug, Palo, Leyte. It is said that the largest naval battle in modern history took place in the seas surrounding Leyte island. The landing of the Americans in Leyte was Gen. Douglas MacArthur's fulfillment of his promise to return to the country after the fall of the Philippines to the Japanese in 1942. The end of the Japanese occupation soon followed after the landing. 

2. Score some moron and roscas. You can read more here and here

the curiously-named moron
kidney-shaped roscas, perfect with tea or coffee

3. Feeling adventurous? Try skewered chicken skin at Penduko's Barbecue. Among the row of stalls, it was easy to spot since it had the most number of patrons. What makes the barbecue good? The secret is in the sauce, which comes in two variants: regular and spicy. You can also choose from pork and chicken barbecue, chicken liver, as well as chorizo. Cheap and tasty, this one's perfect for the budget traveler. More pictures here

4. Get your fill of fresh seafood at Ocho Seafood and Grill. Again, going by Manila prices, dining here is a steal. Read more here.
scallops the way it should be--fresh, and not drowning in butter
For a place more picturesque, try Rafael's Farm.

5. Take the requisite photo at the San Juanico Bridge, connecting Leyte to Samar. It is the longest bridge in the country over a body of seawater 

6. Cross over Basey, Samar and buy woven mats and visit the church. You can read more here and here

7. Gaze at the blue Leyte sky. For me it's the most brilliant I've seen of the sky. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Scaling the Bell-tower of Basey's Church

This is the continuation of my posts on Basey, Samar. Earlier I wrote about how I finally was able to score some woven mats for my home. You can read my entry on it here. Later that day our host brought us to the town church, the St. Michael  the Archangel Church, built in the 17th century.
murals of biblical characters on the ceiling
i've always been fascinated with tableaux of the crucifixion.. well as stained glass
We grabbed the opportunity to climb the bell-tower. Half-way up we all sheepishly admitted to being agoraphobics.

These murals made the ascent worth it.

View of the town from the tower. Note the narrow streets. I could imagine how little has changed since the founding of the town.  

The descent was just as scary.

Finally on terra firma.

This is how the church looks like, with the bell-tower on the left.

This is one of the more unusual trips that we made, and this made me appreciate more our rich, colonial heritage.