From Cavite

Corregidor: 5 Reasons to Stay Overnight (Other than Ghost-Hunting)

We watched as the sun took a dive, leaving behind a luminous, honey-colored splatter across the sky. Spending most of my time in big cities, I have learned to appreciate every moment I am treated to a clear view of a glorious sunset. And I stood there, atop the cliff, just taking it all in, not minding at all that I am in what many consider one of the most haunted places in the Philippines. Darkness was creeping in, but our tour was just beginning.

Corregidor is known by many nicknames: “Fort Mills” during the American era, “The Rock” for its terrain and fortifications, and “Gibraltar of the East” for its resemblance to Mediterranean Sea’s peninsular fortress. Because of its strategic location, at the mouth of Manila Bay, it played a pivotal role during the Pacific War. Its fall signaled the start of the Japanese occupation of the Philippines (1942-45). Thousands of souls from both sides perished in the island: most killed during battle. Others chose to end their lives instead of waving the white flag.

Read more

10 Unspoiled, Uncrowded Beaches Near Manila

Almost every decade, a new destination rattles the world of Manila-based beach chasers. In the 1950s, Matabungkay was put on the tourist map after two German travelers “rediscovered” it. In the 1970s, all roads led to Puerto Galera after UNESCO declared it a protected area. In the late 2000s, the hype was all about Anawangin, reborn 20 years after the catastrophic eruption of Mt. Pinatubo.

The search for the nearest it beach paradise doesn’t stop. We always need a go-to destination where we could forget about the constant jolts of the city — traffic, noise, air pollution. Who could blame us, really? The more people Metro Manila takes under her wing, the more we want to escape her claws. We love Manila, yes, but when it comes to beaches — let’s face it — she will break your heart (and poison you, if you swallowed enough). Sometimes, all we want to do is run away from her and have an affair. With nature, that is.

Read more

Corregidor: 12 Historic Sites to Visit on a Day Tour

They were in Manila for business. Saritha was from Bahrain and Scott from the United States. How I ended up in their company was the result of a friend’s blackmail spirited persuasion. My friend Grace wanted to show them around as it was their first time in Manila. With Scott serving in the military in the past, Corregidor was an easy pick. But Grace thought that me tagging along would make the trip more insightful. Silly her, it was my first time in Corregidor, too!

Read more

Manos Greek Taverna: Where to Eat in Tagaytay City, Philippines

Every time somebody mentions Greek food, the memories of my college days come flooding my brain. In particular, those weekends when I had to travel from the university to Batangas to spend time with family. It’s not because I used to love this cuisine. The truth is, I had not had a spoonful of any Aegean dish until probably two years ago. It’s just that to get to our side of Batangas, we have to pass through the city of Tagaytay. Back then, whenever we did,  my attention was usually captivated by a small white and blue restaurant along the highway. Since my freshman year in college, I spotted it every Saturday but never had I ever stopped and made an effort to try it.

Read more

Tagaytay: People’s Park in the Sky

The scene had all the elements of a mainstream horror film — poor visibility, a creepy shed right at the sharp curve, and an empty uphill road leading to an old park.  The fog had completely enveloped the site, and the dark clouds looming overhead were threatening to drench the already worried mortals below. But more than the bleak atmosphere and the rustic location, it was the near deplorable condition of the park that was giving me the chills.

Read more