Taal Basilica

Taal Basilica, Taal, Batangas, Philippines, 2022

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Taal Basilica was first built in 1575 near Taal Lake in present-day San Nicolas. The construction was led by Fr. Diego Espinar under the Augustinians with San Martin de Tours as their patron saint. The church has been improved for centuries since 1575, but was massively destroyed by the 200-day eruption of the Taal Volcano in 1754 which has also devastated the whole town of old Taal.

When the town moved to its current location on top of a hill that overlooks Balayan Bay, the construction of a new church was launched by Fr. Martin Aguirre. Alas, after decades of construction, another tragedy hit the town; this time, an earthquake, which destroyed the church yet again.

Four years later, another church was built at the same site and was led by Fr. Marcos Anton. Fr. Anton commissioned Architect Luciano Oliver to design and run the construction. Fast forward to 1878, the construction was finally complete. Under Fr. Agapito Aparicio, a 79 ft altar was added to the original plan. It was the largest church at the time.

It wasn’t until 1974 that it was declared as one of the country’s National Shrines. To this day, Taal Basilica remains to be the largest church in Asia.
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Garcia-Hernandez Conveyor Belt

Garcia-Hernandez, Bohol, Philippines, 2022

On the day of our Anda tour, I was having a really bad headache because of the unpredictable weather. When we were on our way back to Panglao after completing our itinerary for the day, we passed by this mining site. This wasn’t part of our tour, but my husband asked our tour guide if we could stop by just to take a photo. And though my head feels like its tearing itself apart, I just couldn’t help but go down and take a photo of the conveyor belt myself.

This mining site is a project of the Duterte administration and according to locals, Bohol’s LGU doesn’t earn anything or have any share from this — all the money goes straight to the national government. You might not see or notice it in the photo that I took from the main road of the town, but the top of that mountain has already gone bald.imageThe next photo shown below is a screen capture from Google Maps of what the mountain looks like from a bird’s eye view:

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Bohol, Philippines

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As the world slowly lifts travel restrictions and opens up to tourists, we celebrated my husband’s birthday in Bohol. It’s a domestic travel, which I pretty much appreciated because our home country is very beautiful and there are so many places yet to visit. We’ve planned this trip after our Boracay trip in February, and we were lucky enough that the restrictions did not heighten. 

We stayed at Panglao Sea Resort which is a very lovely and peaceful place at the heart of Pangalo Island. The staff and the owner are all very friendly and accommodating. We definitely fell in love with the place as well as the food. Continue reading

Freediving Session at Bubblemaker Dive & Beach Resort

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I just wanted to share with you our quick yet very fun trip to Batangas for a freediving session with one of the best freedivers, Gen Abanillo. I’ve always watched my then-boyfriend (now-husband) dive deep under water whenever we go to the beach and I’ve always envied it. If you don’t know yet, I used to be a swimmer at school when I was in elementary. So I kind of feel frustrated that I can’t go that deep under the sea. Well, of course, pool swimming and laps are different than swimming in open water, so that answers that. Continue reading

Honeymoon at Boracay Island

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We knew that we wanted to have our honeymoon after the wedding so we can relax after all the tiresome craziness that is wedding planning. During the early days of the preparation period, the hubs wanted to go to Maldives, but given the situation with the pandemic where nothing seems to final because of the changes in restrictions, we didn’t opt to push for an international flight and went for a domestic adventure instead.

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Makati City: Dasmariñas Village

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We booked this place in replacement for our supposed out-of-town trip that was cancelled because of the heightened restrictions imposed in NCR. We needed a breather from so many things, and it was really good thing that we found this place online. The whole place was very clean, spacious, and safe. Continue reading

Nuvali, Sta. Rosa: Solenad & Amaia Steps

We didn’t want to leave La Finca, but our time was already up. The morning of our check-out date, we still managed to wake up early to do some morning swim. The water was freezing, but nothing can really stop us from taking our final dip in the pool! We started moving and fixing our stuff at around 10:30 AM, took a bath, got dressed, and took some photos before before we left.
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Lipa, Batangas: La Finca Village Healing Community

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It’s been a year since we last got the chance to go on a real vacation, and since they have been easing the quarantine restrictions in the country, we decided to go on a mini getaway just to take a breather from work (and my stress).

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My boyfriend found this place in Lipa, Batangas which not only looked safe, but also very peaceful. The setup is a mini house with its own private pool, so you wouldn’t have to worry about having contact with other people or guests.

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