Church-hopping at Rizal Countryside

Easter Sunday just came to a close. So in light of the Lenten season, I’d like to share some pictures of my family’s little Catholic road trip around the much unexplored countryside of my home province of Rizal. While we wanted to visit a total of fourteen churches to complete the Stations of the Cross (Via Crucis) for Visita Iglesia, I still think we came up with a pretty decent number in less than a day of driving around and getting lost.

Visita Iglesia
, which translates literally to “church visit” in Spanish, means to explore churches with prayer, meditation and full acknowledgement of Jesus’ sufferings. It is a Holy Week tradition of Roman origin, which is practiced by a number of Filipino Christians by visiting at least seven churches usually starting Maundy Thursday.

Our province, which is just east of of Metro Manila and subdivided into thirteen municipalities and a city, is named after the country’s national hero Jose Rizal. Personally, this place evokes simple, provincial charm with small dashes of Manila-like urbanity scattered all over its generally mountainous terrain. There are many Catholic Churches and religious destinations spread out in Rizal, here’s nine:  Continue reading


What to do in Metro Manila #2

#2 Make friends with Stan the T-Rex and pals Aedi and Astronaut Guy

Aside from praying and meditating this Lenten Season (which is very important!), lazy Sunday afternoons can be spent with family or friends at The Mind Museum at Taguig.

Tagged as the first world-class and interactive science museum in the country, The Mind Museum, which opened last March 16, is an exciting downtime destination where kids and kids-at-heart can learn about man, our blue planet and the tiny, tiny atoms and molecules that make up the Universe…infinity and beyond! :)  Continue reading

What to do in Metro Manila #1

Summer vacation has only recently started and I’m already a bit bored at home. Methinks I have the attention span (and on some occasions, short-term memory) of Dory. So here’s me trying to perk things up by exploring and writing about some of the more interesting places to go to in the Greater Manila Area. Try these out for yourselves and maybe you can recommend some things to do for K and I while you’re at it :)

#1. Play with giant chess pieces in Pan de Amerikana, Marikina.

Weeeeeeell….okaaay, I don’t really know how to play but that shouldn’t hinder either you or me from toying around with the restaurant’s famous life-sized–for kids, at least–chess set. This should give you plenty of room to re-imagine the Wizard’s Chess scene in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

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Take Your Pick at Burger Project

You know it’s the start of summer vacation when people are obsessing over the most random things and posting their pictures and by-the-hour by-the-minute Facebook updates over them.  (Shout out to the Magnum and Simsimi craze taking over Manila…I still don’t get it, please enlighten me.)

My summer has been pretty mellow so far. Just going back to my daily–minus the stress–routine by running errands, getting my TV doses, attending my special brother’s Moving Up ceremony and finally hanging out with K. While I’m dying to go to the beach (and that’s saying something since I’m not a “beach person”) and just about anywhere outside the congested and polluted city, it was really nice to sit down and talk to a close friend over scrumptious burgers and a shake.

We drove over to BRGR: The Burger Project, a foodie joint in Maginhawa St., Quezon City, which opened around July 2010. We were actually headed to Pino Resto Bar–but I figured since we were already in the area, we might as well try the famous burgers I’ve been hearing quite a few raves on.

Random Philippines

Well hello! Long time, no post.

I’m feeling a bit let down that these weren’t included in a publication I submitted them to. I really wanted to share these with others to help me relive and remember the inexplicable happiness my college Photo Journalism class–well, outside the room anyway–has given me.

Beauty goes beyond the surface. These were taken in Quiapo, Morayta, Commonwealth and San Mateo with an Olympus film camera. I hope you like randomness.

(Inkdependent reserves its right of ownership over the photos in this post. Please do not copy. We hope you’d rather comment instead.)

La Vie En Rose

Olivier Dahan’s La Vie En Rose (2007), which literally translates to “life in pink”, portrays the magnificent yet complicated life of a songstress, who made famous a song of romance with the same name. Like the fluidity and commanding presence of the French singer’s vocals, the bio-pic carries the audience to the pain of her childhood and dejections during her singing career.

Edith Piaf, whose life was anything but rose-colored, was the riveting crooner who rose from the depressing suburbs of Normandy and soared to become the “Little Sparrow” that would captivate audiences the world over with her powerful voice.

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I saw something. I saw something out of the corner of my eye. It’s been a week, but I still have that awful image in my mind. It burns. I close my eyes, and I see it. I open my eyes, and I see it. But…where are the words to describe it?

An Experience

Revolving on the introspection of a mortuary apprentice about the complexities of life, real and unreal, and science and faith, the fictional novel Ghost (Vintage Contemporaries, 2008) takes its readers on a roller coaster of thoughtful ideas that invites both the religious and the irreligious to further examine their beliefs—or lack thereof.

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A Tale of Three Cities

Travel has always been that far-off if not unattainable dream for most people. It allows us to break away from the time constraints and savagery of the bustling, polluted cities. It urges us to find ourselves during still moments by the sea. And it even grants us the chance to escape from our own selves through an unbelievable immersion in cultures so interesting, complex and different.

[So you can] imagine my excitement when I heard my parents were planning a two-week trip to Jordan, Israel and Egypt. My heart leapt and I knew I just had to tag along. Who can pass up the chance?

Like everybody else, I have been secretly (and unconsciously) building a bucket list of destinations: 100–more or less–places to visit before I die. Not that I want to leave Earth just yet. But surely, anyone who has dreams and wishing for a fulfilling life wants to explore what secrets and hidden beauty our planet has to offer. So when the opportunity presented itself, I knew I just had to join the first plane out of Manila and into Middle-East-slash-Asia-slash-Africa [and finally witness what wonders the world has in store].

I have lots more to share! :) To read up on the rest, please grab a copy of Expat Travel and Lifestyle Magazine’s Special Anniversary issue in your local bookstores.

In the meantime, I would like to share some of my favorite shots from the trip. The Holy Land is truly incomparable :) Oh, try clicking on the pictures for some Bible passages! Continue reading

Notes and all at Press Cafe.

I’ve been hoping to get the chance to blog again. Things have been crazy at school, with my midterm exams ending just several of weeks ago and classes starting immediately the day after. I know it’s already been several weeks since but I’m still having staring contests with the piles of  cases and books sitting on my table. With barely enough time to do anything else, I was pleased to find a place blog-worthy enough to review just a couple of weeks before  midterms. I wanted to find a happy compromise between my life as a law student and as a blogger/freelancer and create a new category for people who, like me, just want a quiet, little nook to catch up on their backlogs.

So with my books and Credit Transactions reviewer in tow, I persuaded a blockmate into venturing into the deepest, darkest and farthest corner of…Power Plant Mall (we nerds don’t get around much haha!) in hopes of discovering a new studying spot in the newly-renovated Press Cafe. An old friend had recommended the place. I guess the lure was in the books.

Hot off the press! Press Cafe’s food selection and a scrumptious display of pastries.

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