More than a month ago we revisited the walled district of Intramuros in Manila with friends. On the way there we passed by Binondo, Manila’s famed Chinatown, for lunch. It had been a while since last visited this bustling district of offices, restaurants, food stalls, groceries and herbal stores.
In what could be our last trip for weeks or even months to come, we drove for the town of Real, Quezon, 2 weeks ago, visiting the first 2 cascades of Cawayan Falls.
Although travel restrictions are slowly being eased in the Philippines, we chose to confine our trips to travel by land. Earlier this week we headed up to the coastal town of Real, Quezon.
The Rizal towns of Antipolo, Angono and Binangonan are known for its art galleries. Even the oldest known art work in the Philippines – the Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs believed to be 4,000 years old – is located in the area. But an art gallery with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside?
Since this pandemic broke out we’ve been itching to head up to a white sand beach or trek to a waterfall. But it’s better to be safe than sorry so we chose to button up at home for most of 2020. A few days ago, however, we got the chance to visit some of the waterfalls at beautiful Siniloan in Laguna.
During 3 centuries of Spanish rule the 0.67 square kilometer Intramuros (Latin for “within the walls”) was considered the entire City of Manila and served as the political, religious, educational and economic center of the Spanish East Indies.
Before this pandemic we would never have imagined doing a tour of the old city of Manila. Whenever visiting friends from other countries would inquire about what place to visit in the Philippines we wouldn’t dare mention Manila.
With the end of this pandemic seemingly nowhere in sight perhaps the best attitude for the New Year is summed up in what John Wooden, the coach with the most number of U.S. national collegiate basketball championships, once said: “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
One thing we’ve learned during this year of quarantine is appreciating the beauty of places not too far from the metro. Our preference is for off-the-beaten-path destinations which often suggests travel to remote places far from home.
Within a span of 18 days, three powerful typhoons – one of them the strongest in the world in 2020 and among the strongest in recorded history – struck the major island of Luzon in the Philippines. Hard hit were the provinces of the Bicol region