Monthly Archives: December 2013

Top Places To Visit On A Trip To Madrid

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Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid

Located in the center of Spain, Madrid is a city that visitors will be able to explore during a trip to Spain. The city has many cultural attractions and there are several historical towns nearby.

The Museums

Many decide to spend a holiday in Madrid for its cultural attractions. Some of the city’s most visited places include the Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen Bornemisza museums. Visitors will be able to spend an afternoon exploring Goya’s paintings in the Prado, Picasso’s famous Guernica in the Reina Sofia and many permanent and temporary exhibits in the Thyssen Bornemisza. Families travelling with children can visit the Natural History Museum, the Coin Museum and the Railway Museum, this one located near a train station filled with many trains.

The Markets

Madrid is a city for foodies. Visitors will be able to taste many local delicacies, ranging from a wide variety of tapas to more traditional dishes, including cocido thick broth. The main markets are located in the city center, and are filled with colourful stalls selling local products and tapas bars. The Mercado de San Miguel is located next to the Puerta de Sol and offers several gourmet tapas bars and organic stalls. The Anton Martin market is located closer to the Atocha main train station and the San Anton market is located in the trendy Malasaña area, close to some of the city’s most popular bars and clubs. Adults and children will be able to enjoy the city’s street food, including the famous doughy churros served with cocoa and sugar.

The Squares

In the city center visitors will be able to explore many squares. The Puerta de Sol is the city’s main square, where the city’s symbol, the statue of a bar and a madroño tree, is located. The more traditional Plaza Mayor is located steps away, and is filled with markets and terraces. Another main square is Plaza de España, a popular meeting spot. This square is a park decorated with several fountains and statues, including the fountain dedicated to Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Next to this square, in a nearby park, visitors will find the Debod Temple, an ancient Egyptian temple that was brought to Madrid from the Nubia region. There are hieroglyphics on the walls of the temple.

Historical Towns

There are many historical towns located a short distance away from the city. The town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial can be reached by bus, car and train. This town, located north of the city near the mountains, is known for the El Escorial Monastery. Another popular town is Segovia, located farther north. This town has an ancient Roman aqueduct and many traditional restaurants where visitors will be able to taste the city’s most popular dishes, cochinillo, suckling pig, and cordero asado, lamb.

Parks

There are many parks in this city. Families travelling with children will be able to spend an afternoon in the central Retiro park, which has many paths decorated with flowers, plants, fountains and statues. A pond is located in the center of the park, and families will be able to rent boats. Another main park, this one located on the grounds of an ancient hunting estate west of the city, is the Casa de Campo. Families will be able to visit the Parque de Atracciones theme park, which has many rides and roller coasters. There is an aquarium, a lake and a zoo on the park grounds. This park can be reached by car, transit and a cable car that has views towards the city center.

image is from Wikipedia

Bulacan Daily: Malolos Cathedral

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travel, bulacan daily, Malolos City, Malolos Cathedral

I have a few errands to run today so I find myself traversing the rather busy streets of the City Center. It was a good thing most of the establishments are open today even when it is the Feast Day of The Immaculate Conception. The atmosphere around the Malolos Cathedral is very festive and all that’s missing is lively music from melodyne plugin at Musicians Friend, which am sure will be wafting in the air once the parade and the festivities begin. There was a stage in front of the cathedral where a program in honor of the Virgin Mother will be held later tonight. There are also colorful tarps and banderitas in the cathedral perimeter as if inviting everyone to join in on the fun. Too bad I won’t be able to hang around much longer to see all the beautiful Mary statues in the parade. The plaza will surely be filled with people once the parade starts and I do not want to be caught up in the middle of it. After all, I just left the little man to my sister’s care so that I can go about the errands I have scheduled for that day.

travel, bulacan daily, Malolos City, Malolos Cathedral

The interior of Malolos Cathedral

Malolos Cathedral, also knowns as the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, is one of the most well-known landmarks in our city. Apart from being the seat of the Diocese of Malolos, it has also played a very important role in Philippine History serving as the Presidential Palace during the First Philippine Republic between 1898 to 1899.

travel, bulacan daily, Malolos City, Malolos Cathedral

the ceiling of Malolos Cathedral taken last year

As for me, a visit to the church is always a treat and I will be sure to visit it soon, as well as my favorite chapel on its side, on a less busier day and I shall to tag along the little man.

Lovely Statues At Villa Escudero

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Villa Escudero, Quezon Province, history and culture, Philippines

Am not exactly sure whether they are called that, but some parts of Villa Escudero were peppered with these kinds of statue. I particularly was drawn to this one as I thought it looked rather romantic. It seem to be depicting a now-extinct part of Filipino culture, harana, where boys go to the home of the girls they absolutely like and serenade them with beautiful Kundiman. Although they do not have available pearl vision at musicians friend at the time as accompaniment, am sure the guitar and other string instruments they used to play love tunes were enough to catch the attention of the ladies.

Apart from statues like these that adorn native Filipino costumes, there are also little children statues playing at the playground and more near the pool area, some of them are playing while others are reading books and doing other stuff.

Of course, there are loads of other interesting to see at Villa Escudero and I shall share all about them in my future posts. Ciao!

View Park Hotel in Tagaytay

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Tagaytay, accommodations, travel, travel destination

The Purple Room {now, I’d like to stay in one of those :)}

I have been meaning to bring the little man to Tagaytay for Christmas but our plans did not push through last year. I am actually keeping my fingers crossed that we get to visit the lovely place this time around. I would love for Jared to see the picturesque Tall Volcano and Lake, as well as check out visitors’ favorite like the Picnic Grove, Tagaytay Highlands, People’s Park, as well as the new attraction there, the Sky Ranch. Personally, I would also like to re-visit Mushroom Burger and have a healthy meal or two, and check out Sonya’s Garden and Paradizoo, where we can see a number of interesting animals.

Tagaytay, accommodations, travel, travel destination

one of the beautiful bathrooms

One of the best accommodations you might want to check out when you are also planning for your family trip this December is the View Park Hotel, located in Calamba Road, which is just a few minutes away from the famous attractions in the country’s Second Summer Capital. They offer affordable packages to fit anyone’s budget. They also have an assortment of room accommodations sizes for anyone’s board and lodging needs. Choose from a number of Standard Rooms, Family Suite, Executive Room, among other accommodation packages. Each room is also fully air-conditioned and equipped with Wi-Fi access, flat screen TV, mini bar with fridge, hot and cold water with toiletries, as well as complimentary breakfasts. They also have Body Shop bath kit for the Executive Suite, as well as bath tubs on selected rooms. With those outstanding amenities and more, it is no wonder why View Park Hotel is a go-to place in Tagaytay for both business and leisure travelers who search for comfortable rooms, good service, and good food.

Tagaytay, accommodations, travel, travel destination

a view from the poolside

Located right across Picnic Grove, View Park Hotel, a consistent placer in Tripidadvisor’s Top 10 Business Hotels in Tagaytay, recently expanded to continue to ensure newly built areas and facilities for successful dream wedding and corporate events. They also offer spa and swimming pool facilities, as well as free admission for children 8 years and below.

I really hope we can go see Tagaytay this year, and if we get lucky I wish we can stay at the View Park Hotel even just for a night!

View Park Hotel Tagaytay
3500 Calamba Road, Sungay East, Tagaytay City
:phone: {046} 483-54667
:cell: 0922-885-1516/0999-883-9460
:mail: sales@viewparkhotel.com
:computer: www.viewparkhotel.com

images are from the View Park Hotel website

 

Native Music Instruments At Villa Escudero

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Quezon Province, Philippines, Villa Escudero, history and culture

I have yet to write about our delightful afternoon spent at Villa Escudero a few weeks ago {yes and about a lot of other backlogs including our other recent travel adventures and I vow to go though each one of them before the year ends}, but here is one lovely sneak peek.

We saw these interesting native musical instruments in this big Villa Escudero hall while we are taking our tour and we are sort of drawn to them. I am sure they will sound just as great even when you include a boss rc-300 at guitar center in the ensemble. Even though no one is available to play them at the time, and we are carefully not to touch them, either, experience tells me that these indigenous instruments give off very lovely and relaxing sound and I would’ve loved to stay around to enjoy a performance.

By the way, did you know that those little drums {in the center} are called kulintang? Also known as kulintangan, these lovely instruments are comprised of five to nine pieces of graduated pot gongs laid horizontally based from their pitch with the lowest found at the left side of the player. According to Wikipedia, these music ensembles have been playing for centuries in parts of the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Timor and in fact, have been associated with the Maranao and Maguindao people of Mindanao.

I will make sure to tell you all about our Villa Escudero day trip in upcoming posts. In the meantime, let me know your thought about these native instruments in a comment below. Have a fun day traveling! 🙂