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Showing posts with the label Panay

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Pan-ay

Christmas arrives early in the Philippines. When the months end in ber, Christmas songs are heard at malls and over the radio. In October, the TV stations start the countdown to Christmas and stores start displaying Christmas trees. And in November, the Christmas decorations are installed in town plazas such as this one in Pan-ay, Capiz. 
Santa Monica Church is a National Historical Landmark.
When the temperatures dip a couple degrees, Christmas has truly arrived. Pan-ay, a 20-minute ride by car or public transportation from Roxas, is ready to usher in one of the biggest celebrations in the country. 
There is a famous Pilipino Christmas carol that you'll hear a lot, Ang Pasko ay sumapit. It goes,
Ang pasko ay sumapit Tayo ay mangagsi-awit Ng magagandang himig Dahil sa Diyos ay pag-ibig Christmas is here Let us sing Beautiful melodies Because Christ is love.
This bell is a replica of one of the biggest bells in Southeast Asia. Many visitors visit Pan-ay to see its huge bell in the campanile wh…

Mararison Island Getaway

There has been a lot of buzz lately about Mararison Island. For good reasons. How can one not rave about the crystal clear waters around the island and the long stretch of beach with nary a soul? Or the opportunity to take a hike up the hills for a panoramic view of the "land where the mountains meet the sea"? 

We docked by the pile of ginormous jackstones which serve as breakwater for the island. Someday these will be properly redistributed so the beach will be well protected and halt the sea's reclamation of the beachfront. 


















The sea was calm in February when we visited Mararison. It didn't rain though the sky was heavy. And as it was low tide, the curving sandbar, Kawit, was visible from our open cottage on the beach. The hut rental was P300.
After leaving our things in our cottage, we went in search for grub. We found fish and vegetables for sale just a short distance from the beach. And we were pointed to a woman who cooked our meal for us. She grilled the fishes an…

10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Capiz

Sorry to disappoint you but there are no aswang in Capiz. If there were, the airlines would lose money since we could probably get promo fares more frequently on the back of an aswang. Seriously though, release your fear. Come to Capiz. Wear a garlic bracelet, if you must. But do come and experience our world. 
1. Life is simpler in flip flops

Baybay Beach and Mantalinga Island

Meditation Hills

Halfway between Roxas City and Kalibo is the town of Sapian, Capiz which is the home of the lush gardens of Meditation Hills. Yes, it is a great place to meditate amidst nature's beauty and bounty.

What I like best about the Healing Chapel is its location halfway up the hill. It has a commanding view of the surrounding countryside and the hills across the road below. 

This uphill path leads to the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes. I didn't venture the climb as we were there at midday and it was really too hot and the sun had sapped away my energy. All I wanted to do was take a nap. The best time to attempt this climb would be early morning or late afternoon. Bring a hat or parasol and suntan lotion. 

The grounds are well manicured and the trees seem to have grown and recovered easily after the devastation of the super typhoon, Yolanda.  Above the grotto and many more steps to hurdle is a big white cross which can be seen for miles around. That cross was damaged by Yolanda's f…

Sweet Pandan

Exploring our island has led to many wonderful discoveries. On this day trip to Pandan, Antique, we drove from Roxas City to the coastal town of Buruanga in Malay then continued on paved roads to this rustic beach town. We realized soon enough that we should stay longer as there was quite a bit to see and do but we'll have to save that for another day. We'll come back to this laid back and friendly niche, that's thankfully off the grid, soon enough.
Eat, beach, relax, repeat
This is the first thing that greeted us when we entered the resort. Two hammocks beckoning us to rest from the midday sun. How easy it is to surrender to the whisper of the sea, swaying palm fronds and clear blue skies!
Not a wave in sight 
It was the calmest sea. And though my room was just across from the beach, it was blissfully quiet except for the whir of the ceiling fan.
Glorious sunset
I started my walk on the beach at 4:30 p.m. The sun was still high on the horizon but it was slightly cooler. F…

Antique

One fine September day, my friends and I decided to drive around Panay Island starting from Roxas City. We planned our itinerary to include lunch in Kalibo then drive through Nabas to Pandan in Antique and down the coast to Iloilo City. It was a short drive from Nabas to the border of Antique but it was a long drive down the coast to Iloilo.  And it rained buckets in late afternoon. This didn't dampen our road trip though. Antique is relatively free of traffic and the main road is well paved. There are many old bridges to cross along the way, most of the time within sight of the beautiful coastline marked by some rocky beaches.

We stopped in the town of Tibiao to see the falls and try bathing in a "kawa". (The kawa is an oversized wok-shaped cauldron formerly used to cook muscovado sugar.) Alas the road up the hill was under construction and the entrance to the falls was closed. We got as far as the zipline where there's a marvelous view of the mountains covered in th…

Miag-ao Church

It's a 35-minute drive from Iloilo City proper to Miag-ao along well paved roads. We left the city around five in the afternoon and arrived in Miag-ao just after sunset. I've had to filter these photos as it was too dark to get any clear images.
Miag-ao Catholic Church or the Church of Santo Tomas de Villanueva is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It was completed in 1797 and ravaged during the 1898 Philippine revolution against Spain, during World War II and again during the 1948 earthquake. The walls, the belfries and the facade are all that is left of the original structure.  Miag-ao Church is a fine example of colonial Baroque.

The facade of the Church is of yellow ocher limestone which was quarried from nearby mountains. It is decorated in high relief with a palm tree on the top and center of the triangular frame. St. Christopher with the child Jesus on his shoulder is under the palm tree and they are surrounded by indigenous flora. In the niche below St. Christopher is…