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One of the old buildings inside the Walled City of Intramuros, in Manila, Philippines. Intramuros is the walled fortress built by the Spaniards in 1571.
One of the main reasons why I am always drawn to museums when I travel is that I would want to see, in real life, the fascinating things that I've only read in books or have seen in the films, such as archaeological artifacts or the paintings of Van Gogh and Dali. Museums give you access to all that. I majored in History when I was an undergraduate in the University of the Philippines. As such, I am always excited to see artifacts and historical curiosities that I encounter during my travels. But sometimes, they also make me sad, like when I saw the Golden Tara of Agusan in the Field Museum in Chicago.
The Golden Tara is a gold statue of a Hindu-Malayan deity discovered in 1917 in Esperanza, Agusan del Sur, in southern Philippines. Weighing about four pounds, the 21-karat gold statue depicts a woman deity sitting cross-legged, ornamented with a headdress and various accruements in the arms and legs. It was dated to early 13th century, and is proof that ancient Filipinos have extens…
Guest post by Mara Ione Sarail Mapun? Where is that?” I get this question a lot when people ask me about my hometown. I’d ramble on and on the island (its location and the culture and the pretty spots...) but since the place is not really in any of the Philippines tourist spots and is in the middle of nowhere, I might as well talk about Atlantis instead. But the island does exist. Mapun Tawi-Tawi or Cagayan de Sulu) is an island municipality in the Sulu Sea on the southwestern extreme of the Philippines, located very close to Sabah. Or from the way I see it on the Philippine map, the island is located on the Philippine’s “armpit”.
Mapun is a volcanic island. The picture above shows Mt. Nanggoy, an inactive volcano near the Sapah Lake. The most popular tourist attraction in Mapun would be the three crater lakes on the west part of the island. Legend says that the three lakes were once volcanoes that erupted together. The first two, Danao and Singuwang, became freshwater crater lakes (n…
I've always wanted to fly in a seaplane. As an avgeek, I think the flying machines that can land on water are the epitome of cool. I got my wish when a new airline, Air Juan, opened a scheduled flight between Manila Bay and Subic. Subic is practically my playground, where I jetsurf and flyboard regularly, and the fare wasn't that expensive. I booked a flight as soon as I saw an opening in my calendar. Air Juan is a charter airline established in 2012. It started operations in 2014, flying from Puerto Princesa to Coron and Cuyo Island. They started their seaplane service in 2015, between Coron and Boracay, then further expanded the list of destinations to include Baler, Puerto Galera, and Balesin Island.
Booking, Fare and Schedule I booked my ticket - Manila Bay to Subic International Airport - through their website, www.airjuan.com. There are three air fare classes: Early Bird, Saver, and Full. I paid PhP 3000 for one-way early bird fare to Subic. The saver costs P4700, and the f…