Proud Pinay Jessica Sanchez

Watch Jessica Sanchez' performances here.

Viva Vigan Festival of the Arts 2012 features painted carabaos

Carabaos paraded through the streets of Vigan, Ilocos Sur wearing hand-painted depictions of the city's advocacy supporting its agricultural industry.

How and when Filipinos were called Filipinos

Under the Spanish regime, the natives were called Indios and the term Filipinos were only applied to Spaniards born in the Philippines. Peninsulares is the term used for Spaniards born in Spain, while Insulares has usage similar to the term Filipinos. Those who have mixed blood, either Spanish-Filipino or Chinese-Filipino were called Mestizos. It was only in 1898 that Indios or natives began to be called Filipinos.

Ten reasons why Filipinos blame Gloria Arroyo for everything

I can’t help but think that Filipinos who blame former Philippine President and Congresswoman, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) for everything bad that has happened in the country have a squatter mentality. By my own definition, people who have a squatter mentality have this strong sense of entitlement. They believe that the government owes them benefits or privileges. This is why you will often hear people say, “It is GMA’s fault why there are more poor people in the Philippines”. Never mind that GMA had no control over people’s decision to have more babies they can’t afford to feed. Of course, GMA wasn’t perfect. But like I said in my previous article, the fact that the Aquino government can’t even charge her for her “crimes” using a case that could stick means that they’ve got nothing much on her.

THE FILIPINO CHAMPION: DANCER BRINGS PINOY MOVES TO ALL

The Bayanihan Arts and Events Center of Tampa, Florida would not have been complete without its award-winning Philippine Performing Arts Company.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Zamboanga City: A fusion of cultures

Well-preserved heritage buildings, unforgettable seafood cuisines, unique shopping experience and an unbelievable ethnic explosion of cultures welcome eager visitors in this city.  

For over 400 years, Chavacano, the only Spanish creole in Asia is widely spoken in Zamboanga City, one of the reasons why this lively metropolis is marketed as “Asia’s Latin City”.

Here are some suggested activities in Zamboanga City:

Vinta Ride


 
The kaleidoscopic vintas used to be visible only in Zamboanga city during the La Hermosa Festival.  But June last year, the Department of Tourism Region IX launched the vinta sailing at Paseo del Mar.  Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 4 PM to 6 PM for a minimal fee of Php 50 (Adult), Php 20 (Student), Php and Php 15 (Child), visitors can now ride the vinta.

Picnic at Sta. Cruz Island

Charter a boat to take you to the nearby Sta.Cruz Island. Bask in its powdery pink sand and azure waters that is perfect for swimming and picnics.

Sightseeing at the City Center

Although the bustling city center is beaming with soaring buildings, well-preserved heritage structures are still visible in some areas.  Visit the Rizal Park and marvel at the splendid chocolate-colored City Hall built in 1905 -1907 and its neighboring old colonial buildings.  One of the most photographed spots is the 1635 Spanish garrison known as Fort Pilar Shrine which houses the city’s patroness and an impressive museum.

Visit the candle-shaped Metropolitan Cathedral and look for the Immaculate Conception statue created by the National Artist for sculpture - Napoleon Abueva. You can also take a leisurely walk and hang out with the locals while watching the scenic Zamboanga sunset at the R.T Lim Boulevard.

Get wet at Merloquet Falls

If you think Zamboanga city lacks natural attractions, then you may not have been to the stunning Merloquet waterfall yet. This pristine beauty is hidden in Brgy. Sibulao east of the city.

Buy Yakan products

Do not go home without buying pasalubong at the Yakan Weaving Village.  These rainbow-colored textiles are hand-woven by the Yakan tribes of Basilan.  You can also find other souvenirs here like Maranao brassware, gong, and wooden boats.

Visit the Taluksangay Mosque and village 

Another popular tourist spot in the city is the Taluksangay Mosque. It was built in 1885 and is the oldest mosque in Zamboanga Peninsula.  You can also find stilt houses of the descendants of the Sama tribe living in this community.

See the dancing fountain

The old Plaza Pershing that was named after the late governor John “Black” Pershing boasts of a colorful dancing fountain at night.

Explore the Pasonanca Park
At Pasonanca Park, there are several spots to see such as El Jardin de Maria, an aviary, a swimming pool, a baseball field and restaurants. Must-see is the serene Boy Scout Ground dotted by the iconic green teepees and trees, and a charming tree house.

Feast on local cuisines

It’s a sin not to try the delicious seafood dishes in Zamboanga; from the famous deep-sea crab called curacha to tasty shrimps, oysters and clams. Also try the inexpensive satti which is similar to the Malaysian satay, the tempting Knickerbocker, Savannah Cow’s Fresh Milk and the signature drink of Asia’s Latin City – The Zamboanga White.

Shop at the Barter Markets

For unforgettable shopping experience visit any of the barter markets in Zamboanga city: Canelar, Sta.Cruz Market, BCC Shopping Center in Baliwasan and the Port Area.  Although the concept of barter system no longer exists here, you can still find tax free products from Malaysian and Indonesia, inexpensive malongs, batik, textiles pearls, and imported chocolates and coffees among others.

See the stilt houses of Rio Hondo



This misunderstood Muslim community is home to a long stretch of stilt houses.  Tourists can drop by the Bgry. Hall to inform the Brgy.Captain that you are in the area and get assistance to see the stilt houses.

Explore Abong-Abong


Visit Brgy.Abong-abong, where you can find several attractions like the famous Climaco Park, Freedom Park, Heroes Hill, Mt.Pulong Bato, and the Girl Scout Camp. Hike up Mt.Pulong Bato lined up with the 14 Stations of the Cross and at the summit where a giant cross is standing, you will be rewarded with a scenic view of the city and its surroundings.

Author: Gael Hilotin

Gael Hilotin is the author of The Pinay Solo Backpacker



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Friday, February 1, 2013

Narvacan Tourism Complex: Zip-Line

The fully operational Zip-line, measuring well over 500 meters, stretches from the top of the majestic Bantay Abot all the way down to the Bay Boulevard along the coastline of Narvacan. It provides a breathtaking view of the great plains beneath the mountain range as well as the South China Sea, approximately 47 seconds from end to end at a speed of 40 kilometers per hour.
The Narvacan Tourism Complex located at Brgy. Bulanos, Narvacan is also the site of the Municipal Tourism Office.

The launching of the Narvacan Tourism Complex is a significant breakthrough for the tourism development of Narvacan, bringing the town closer to realizing its goal of becoming a premier tourist destination in the Ilocos Region.  

An up-and-coming attraction of the Narvacan Tourism Complex is the soon to be completed Container Van Facilities.  The Container Van Facilities will be used to accommodate different functions such as weddings, birthdays, conferences, meetings, film and TV shootings.  The container vans will have a restaurant and bar, roof deck, orientation/conference room and locker rooms.  The facility has an ample parking space that can accommodate around 100 cars, with a separate parking area for tourist buses and small vehicles.  It will also have an area for outdoor activities such as picnic and camping.
The Via Ferrata, a walkway to be built along the stone walls of Bantay Abot, has a distance of 900 meters from the Zip-line tower to the rappelling station.

The tourism adventure zone was dubbed, "Narvacan Outdoor Adventure Hub (NOAH)." 
To note, the 280-m vertical via ferrata in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur is the first tourism adventure in the country while the 520-m zipline is considered the longest in Northern Luzon. It was learned that these tourists’ activities were designed using high –quality equipment from abroad to ensure safety of all users.  

HOW TO GET THERE
(Manila to Narvacan) By Bus. Take a bus bound for Laoag. Travel time is 8-10 hours, so I would recommend a night trip for this. Several bus companies such as Partas, GV Florida Transport, Dominion Bus Lines, and Fariñas Transit have regular trips that will take you directly to Narvacan. Check out their websites for the trip schedules.

By Plane. Take a direct flight from Manila to Laoag via Cebu Pacific or Philippine Airlines. Travel time is 45 minutes. Flights are usually at night, so better make the necessary adjustments on your itinerary. How to get out of Laoag Airport to the City proper. There is a jeepney that brings passengers from the airport terminal to the city proper, just look for the old man manning his jeepney. Fare is 60 pesos. Or you may take a tricycle from the airport to the city proper.

(Laoag to Narvacan) Option 1. Take a bus bound for Cubao, Pasay, or Baguio. Travel time is 3-4 hours. Several bus companies such as Partas, GV Florida Transport, Dominion Bus Lines, and Fariñas Transit have regular trips that will take you directly to Narvacan. Check out their websites for the trip schedules.

(Laoag to Narvacan) Option 2. Take an ordinary bus bound for Vigan. Travel time is 2 hours. Go to PUV terminal beside Ilocos Sur Capitol. Take a public utility vehicle for Narvacan.

(Laoag to Narvacan) Option 3. Take an ordinary bus bound for Vigan. Travel time is 2 hours. Go to Vigan Bus Terminal. Take a bus for Carmen or San Fernando. Bus Companies have regular trips that will take you directly to Narvacan.


Narvacan Town Proper to Bulanos, Narvacan. Take a tricycle for Bulanos, Narvacan. They have regular trips that will take you directly to Narvacan Tourism Complex.

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Author: Paul Michael Camania Jaramillo

Student| Youth Advocate | Leader | Environmental Advocate | Writer | Blogger | RH Advocate

I am neither especially clever nor especially gifted. I am only very, very curious. — Albert Einstein
I write about darkness because I want to show the light — Jose Rizal


He has been involved in different advocacy and defending human rights. As a blogger, writer, netizen and an advocate, he has found focus & interest on sexuality & reproductive health, deaf rights & legal access and youth development, leadership, environment advocacy, issues in the nation and in the world, religion, culture and human rights At the age of 14, he has fully embraced the call of leadership.

He was a Lussoc National High School 'The Sring' and 'Ang Batis' news editor. A radical visionary leader, he has led organizations of the Supreme Student Government, Science Club, Youth for Environment in Schools Organization, Interact Club, Math Club, Philippine National Red Cross and other organizations in their institution. He was also awarded as a distinguished student leader as a former officer of the Supreme Student Government and received President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Campus Journalism Award. He attended two National Leadership Training for the Student Government Officers, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, Youth for Environment Summer Camp, Science Leaders Congress and Schools Press Conference. Joined and won in the several contests from their school to the national level.

He is the organist and an officer of the Church of Christ (Iglesia Ni Cristo).

Paul is a BS Accountancy student at the Northwestern University. He works for CBAA Biznews and  The Blog of Innocence: SilentVoice Points. He is the College Editors Guild of the Philippines-Ilocos Chairperson. CEGP is the oldest and broadest intercollegiate alliance of student publications in the Asia-Pacific.



CONTRIBUTE. Send your articles to  silentvoicepoints@yahoo.com. Subject on your email: The Blog of Innocence: SilentVoice Points. WRITE anything (any language). SHARE your views. REVIEW the latest happenings. CAPTURE every moment.

Get regular updates straight from your Facebook and Twitter accounts with The Blog of Innocence: SilentVoice Points. Make sure that you keep informed about the latest happenings around you. Be a fan of VoicePoints page on Facebook. Join the online conversation of the people behind your history. Follow and get some tweet updates from @voicepoints on Twitter. Discuss and be a part of this changing world. We believe in your voice. We believe in you. Shout! Speak your mind! Join now! You have the right. You have the freedom!

The Blog of Innocence: SilentVoice Points is accepting works and articles - news on our nation and the world, social issues, environment, advocacy, entertainment, trending issues and events, history, literature, reviews, travel, science and technology and discoveries. We reserve the right to edit and not to publish articles for reasons of libel and ethics. To submit, email us at silentvoicepoints@yahoo.com. Share your own stories now! 

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