Bantayan Island: The Beauty of Bantayan

Bantayan is a conundrum waiting to be explored. I found out that the island is totally independent—land mass wise; and, that it takes anywhere from a 60 to 90 minute ferry ride to get to it from the closest pier. (It took us an hour and a half going there with sunshine, but only an hour coming back with...

Paris in a hurry

I have to admit: it was a rather foolish decision to make Paris only a short pit stop between my trip to Prague, Czech Republic, where I had spent a week on a scholarship program, and the French seaside town of La Rochelle, where I was set to make a long-awaited visit to friends. Divided into 20 arrondisements (administrative...

Singapore Swing

Singapore has always been a center of things. Caught in the middle of major shipping routes, Singapore’s port is one of the busiest in the world. Such trading activity can only mean one thing – cultures coming together and coexisting with one another. What’s also really good is the fact that it hasn’t lost track of its roots. With the...

Manila Calling

Where can you find a place where Chinese gargoyles pose together with aquiline-nosed saints in white stone? Where American World War II cars are pimped up pre-MTV, choking the sidestreets cheek by jowl with rickety horse-drawn carriages from a bygone era? Where Korean bubblegum pop competes with Justin Bieber or a spoofed version of any of the latest from...

Eating one’s way around the Philippines

We have heard it too many times before that it is tough to sell Philippine cuisine to foreigners when we ourselves cannot agree on what is a good adobo (garlic, vinegar and soy marinate,) or a good sinigang (tamarind broth) for that matter. But does having a singular unifying dish like hamburger or hotdog make a cuisine better than...

CCP: Vanguard of the Arts

Since its inception in 1969, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) has been the bastion, patron, and nurturer of Philippine art. It may have gone through political strife, cultural discord, and internal feuds but even after all the challenges it has faced, it still stands along Roxas Boulevard fulfilling its duties to the country. Now, 44 years since its...

History through Object’d Art

Metropolitan Museum of Manila The Metropolitan Museum, built in the 1970s, was primarily intended for international exhibitions. After the EDSA Revolt in the 1980s, it has become more democratic and now exhibits works by both Filipinos and foreigners alike. Today, the whole third fl oor has a semi-permanent exhibit of visual arts starting with the most famous academic Filipino artist—Fernando...

Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum: The manmade ‘natural’ beauty

That they were mere depictions of the real thing was not a matter of consequence; when glassblower, Dale Chihuly, breathed life to the perpetually vibrant “flora” of the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum in Seattle, Washington, nature took its course. The tools of his trade weren’t gross departures from tradition; they were mostly the same as the ones used...

Mind Museum: Mindfully Soulful Inside the mind museum

The Mind Museum is the first comprehensive and expansive science museum in the Philippines, nestled within Bonifacio Global City’s thriving urban landscape. It contains over 250 interactive exhibits in its five interconnected galleries, with over 90 percent of these exhibits designed by Filipinos. I found out that this museum breaks stereotypes about science, breaks the barriers between science and art,...

Laguna Beach, California’s Festival of Arts and the Pageant of the Masters: A history of revivals

Here’s the big picture in Laguna Beach, California: for the longest time, the history of its art has more or less been as novelist Samuel Butler surmised—a “history of revivals.” And even as one discounts any suspicion of wordplay, such a statement can still yield truth as far as this city is concerned. Entrenched within lush, undulating topography, and bordered...