Monthly Archives: January 2014

Which City Should You Live In?

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destination, Brazil

image is the result of my quiz at buzzfeed.com

Do you ever wonder whether you were actually living in the wrong city and that you would probably be more comfortable, happier and better off living somewhere else? I chanced upon this online travel quiz while browsing through fun musical videos and I just had to stop doing what I am doing to take the quiz. If you’ll know me, you’d know that I am such a sucker for these personality quizzes I’d take one at any given time.

So off I went to answer the interesting quiz. I got questions like how do I take my coffee, what jam do I go for and what sort of food can I eat forever. I promise you won’t break a sweat when you answer this fun Q+A. So after answering a couple of questions, I got my result and what do you know? According to my answers, I was supposed to flourish living in Rio!

Am just not sure about the penchant for partying as am not really that much of a party-goer, but I am sure I will have a wonderful time if I happen to be living in that beautiful city. I won’t mind visiting its UNESCO World Heritage Site bit every so often and climbing the Christ The Redeemer landmark and taking as many photos of it! I know I will also have a wonderful time at the Rock in Rio Festival, where a lot of musicians will participate. I am sure I will enjoy a beautiful musical performance with musicians playing mpk 49 at guitar center and an assortment of other instruments. And I will most definitely enjoy their lovely beaches!

Oh well, I do not think I’d be heading to Rio anytime soon but it is good to know that I will have a grand time living there! Who knows I might just experience that one day, right?

Celebrating Chinese New Year In Binondo

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travel, destination, Manila

We don’t really celebrate Chinese New Year at home that is why I was thrilled to experience it where all the festivities and the magic happens, in Binondo, Manila.

We checked out the Binondo Church first while waiting for the rest of the tour group who went on to explore some places while waiting for us. We saw the iconic purple engine sponsored by the famous Eng Bee Tin chain of shops. The little man experienced dragon and lion dances for the very first time and he was quite enamored with the colorful performers. Later on in our tour, we even get to  witness a different kind of dragon dance, with fireworks this time.

Chinatown is teeming with people who want to partake in the festivities, as well as with vendors selling charms, fruits and other wares related to Chinese New Year. I bought the little man a snake balloon, which we had to throw away after a few hours when it was punctured and carrying it around became inconvenient. We ambled on to Ongpin Street to see the famous Chinese stores there and went ahead to explore the Chinese Temple on Teodora Alonzo Street.

travel, destination, Manila

It was my first time inside a Chinese temple. It sure has a different ambiance from the Catholic churches that I visited. We tried lighting Chinese sticks {incense} and prayed. Chinese temples also have huge statues of revered characters in Chinese worship, a photo of our National Hero Jose Rizal and comes with free popcorn and soft-served ice cream! Jared actually enjoyed snacking on popcorn while eyeing these cool tiger statues we saw outside the temple. Another unique feature of the temple will have to be the elevators. No need to take the flight of stairs to get to the 2nd 3rd and 4th floor where the temples are located. Read more »

First Mailday of 2014 {13 January}

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mailday, postcrossing, postcardsJump-starting this year’s postcrossing by going to the Post Office after the little man’s first day on his new playschool on Monday. I have a few backlogs in my swap last year and am just relieved to finally be able to send every postcard that I have not been able to send last year.

mailday, postcrossing, postcards

Here’s that day’s mailing list:

  • Ryan, Malaysia ~ Fort Del Pilar
  • Arnold P, USA ~ Casa Gorordo, Crinoid Harboring a Wrasse, Banawe, Moray Eel, Life at Se, Rice Threshing, Royal Gate of Pagsanjan, Tarsier, Mayon, Mouse Deer
  • Clarissa S, Japan ~ Luneta Lagoon
  • Edwin S, Bahrain ~ Parian Gate
  • Arlene C, Iligan City ~ Fort Santiago
  • Ria R, Naga City ~ Fort Santiago
  • Ruby R, CDO ~ Parian Gate
  • Arnold P, USA ~ Fort Santiago
  • Dinnah G, USA ~ Entrance to Fort Santiago
  • Cecilia N, USA ~ Entrance to Fort Santiago

I do apologize to my swapmates that their cards are sent out a little bit late and I do hope they arrive in no time. I really look forward to swapping with more people this year and building up my collection. So while I read all about this Reid Supply leveling devices, I am alternately browsing these postcard images on Facebook for more potential swaps.

Here’s wishing you all a great postcrossing year!

A Guide To Barcelona For Families

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travel, travel tips, destination, Spain

Columbus Column {image by Worakit Sirijinda/freedigitalphotos.net}

The city of Barcelona is filled with cultural attractions. Located in the northeastern region of Catalonia in Spain, the seaside city is suited for backpackers, families and visitors on a city break. There are many national and international flights at comfortable times to the city’s El Prat airport, and there is a high speed rail service that connects Barcelona to Madrid.

Enjoy an afternoon in a park

There are many parks and large spaces where families will be able to spend an afternoon. The centric Ciutadella park is more than just a park. There are several museums located on the parks grounds, including the Martorell Museum and the Laboratory of Nature, which houses many exhibits from the Natural History Museum’s collections. Another one of the park’s main attractions is the lake located in the center of the park. Families will be able to rent boats and row around the lake. After a walk around the park families can visit the zoo, which is located in the park.

Another famous park is Parc Güell. This park, located slightly farther away from the city center, was designed by Gaudí. Gaudí’s colourful designs and wavy shapes can be seen around the park, from the cavernous porch held up by thin bony columns to the tiled observation deck decorated with a mosaic bench that has views towards the city and the sea.

Walk around the city

Barcelona is a city that can be explored on foot, and places farther away from the city center can be reached by public transit. Las Ramblas is a set of connected boulevards that were built on the site of an ancient stream that used to flow around the city. The Rambla de Canaletes is one of the main streets, where visitors will find an historical fountain. Las Ramblas cover the distance between the centric Catalonia Square and the Columbus statue located by the sea. Each one of the boulevards is filled with colorful flower stalls, kiosks and street performers.

Just off Las Ramblas visitors will find the Boquería market, a famous market. Visitors can enjoy one of the natural juices sold at the market, a colourful granizado iced drink and some authentic pan tumaca bread served with olive oil and freshly ground tomato. There are many stalls selling fresh and local products, and the market has a bakery and several stalls selling honey and nuts. In the nearby streets there are many restaurants where even the pickiest children will be able to enjoy a fresh meal made using local ingredients. Some of the city’s most famous seafood restaurants are located near the Barceloneta beach. The city’s aquarium is located near this beach in the Port Vell area, where families will be able to see many exotic fish.

Explore the city’s architecture

travel, travel tips, destination, Spain

La Sagrada Familia {image by David Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos.net}

Another way to explore Barcelona with children is by enjoying a trip on one of the touristic hop on hop off double decker buses that travel around the city’s main landmarks. There are three routes around the city, including an historical route and a sports route that takes visitors around the area where the Olympic Games were held and the Camp Nou stadium, the stadium of Barcelona’s football club.

During the bus ride visitors will be able to see the city’s main architectural landmarks. Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia cathedral is one of the city’s most famous monuments. The unfinished Cathedral of the Holy Family has several carved facades decorated with statues and towers. Visitors can climb up  hundreds of steps to reach the top of two of the towers, from where they will be able to enjoy views towards the city. 

Musings On Meanderings

There sure are a lot of interesting places to see and enjoyable things to do when you visit Barcelona that I hope I can visit the place with my little man one day. I will make sure to include the local Post Office in my itinerary and hunt for Barcelona 1992 Olympics memorabilia while I am there. Oh, and I won’t forget riding one of those double deckers, am sure Jared will be thrilled!

Bulacan Daily: Fiesta Republica 2014

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Our city is celebrating yet another Fiesta Republica this year and here is the list of festivities and activities happening all-month long in Malolos. This is in line with the commemoration of the very first Republic formed in Malolos through the Malolos Congress 115 years ago. The series of activities was spearheaded by the inauguration of Cine Republica in Robinson’s Place Malolos on 16 January and the celebration will continue on in February through the Republica Cup slated in 01-16 February at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center. Other activities worthy of mention include the very 1st Malolos City Bike Festival in 25 January, as well as the 115th Araw ng Republikang Filipino 1899 happening on 23 January at Barasoain grounds.

Hopefully we’d be able to participate in one of the activities. I remember watching the brass band competition last year as my brother was part of the band who represented Bulacan in the program and it was well worth it staying till the program ended as their band won the grand prize. You can read more about our Fiesta Republica 2013 experience in this post here.

image is from www.balitangmalolos.info