Category: Philippines

The Negros Museum

Part of the US exhbit
Part of the US exhibit

Yesterday turned out to be a great day here in Bacolod.  I had the opportunity to visit The Negros Museum which is located right next to the Hall of Justice on Gatuslao Street in downtown Bacolod.  Michelle and I had a few hours to kill before seeing the Judge, and discovered the museum was right next door so off we went.

I have had an opportunity to visit many museums around the world, and like most this was very interesting and certainly an enjoyable couple of hours spent exploring.  The Negros Museum is a small rather simple museum, but there was certainly some very powerful images and exhibits to be seen.  One I enjoyed very much was Toy Land, a very large sized room, filled with beautiful displays of toys from around the world.  As I suspect nothing there from Canada but there was an exhibit of toys from New Mexico in the United States, and sure enough there was an item there that I had bought, though not as a toy but it brought back fond memories.

If you have a couple of hours to kill, and want to take a walk through the museum, it is time well spent.  If I remember the tickets where P100 for adults and P70 for kids.  Don’t miss out, stop by and visit The Negros Museum.

Jose Rizal

José Rizal
José Rizal

I had the privilege to spend a week in Manila the end of November, with a person from Cavite, and they were nice enough to accompany me on some sight seeing journeys.  The time was well spent, I was able to visit Fort Santiago, and Rizal Park.  This afforded me the chance to learn some of the history of the Philippines which I have found very enjoyable.  Specifically I learned some things about Jose Rizal.  I always kind of prided myself as a Canadian, we learned many things in High School History class about the various other countries and not just our own, but I have not had any schooling on the history of the Philippines.  Since I plan on trying to stay here for an extended stay, I think it would be valuable to learn more about the country where I will be staying.

Jose Rizal by all accounts died a martyr for his country, condemned to die at the hands of a
Spanish Firing Squad, for events he had nothing to do with.  I had the opportunity to walk through the Park named after Jose Rizal and to spend time at the memorial for him, but it

Fort .... Museum
Fort Santiago Museum

did not really all come home to me until I visited Fort Santiago and the museum that is there explaining his life story.  I found this a very moving visit, and I was able to read about his life and the way it ended.  If you are in Manila, and have an opportunity to visit the Park and Fort Santiago, be sure to do so.  I would give yourself and good 4 hours or more so you are not rushed, and you are able to take a read of the various placards that are devoted to Jose Rizal.

For more information you can visit this website, Jose Rizal Biography.

Manila

Rogers Hotel Manila
Rogers Hotel Manila

After flying into Manila last night in order to make my flight back to Vancouver for today, I decided at the last minute that I might try just sleeping in the Airport in Manila Terminal 2.  Well that was shot down right off the bat as you are not allowed in the airport unless it is 4 hours before your flight.  So, while at the Transfer desk for PAL, I asked about a hotel, as you know me I kind of fly by the seat of my pants.  The clerk working there was not to sure, and sent me off with one of the other staff members.  So, inside the Terminal (Terminal 3) there is no information desks, walls, telephones for any hotel, and once you leave the airport well you can not get back in.  Very important piece of information when you are thinking of sleeping in a terminal.

So, out of the terminal we head.  This gentleman assures me there is a hotel close by with room available and a free shuttle.  First place we head to is the taxi’s, “Well sir that will be P650, ($17.50 CDN).  Not overly impressed, I say no way, and the price drops to P330, and I say free shuttle, but thank you and walk away.  Not trying to be difficult but Free is Free.  The gentleman catches up with me, and introduces me to a lady who can get me to the Roger’s Hotel, in Manila, near Terminal 4, for only P2990 ($78.00 CDN), free pickup and and free shuttle back in the morning for my afternoon PAL flight.

So, true to her word, 5 – 8 minute wait, and the shuttle arrives and we are off to the hotel.  The driver and I had some small talk, and he quickly asks me if I am looking to have a good time while I am in Manila, and I say what do you have in mind.  Sir, I can get you a girl and you can do whatever you like to her.  Thank you but no, I have a girl friend.  He replies, “is she with you tonight.” We have a laugh and that is that.

Overall the room is clean, TV is in working order, and there is a snack cart in the room.  The AC was on which I had to quickly shut off or freeze to death.   I would be more than happy to recommend this as a place to stay.  It’s quiet, and clean and there was hot water which was fantastic as it had been a few weeks since I have had the chance to use any!  Next time back to the Philippines, I want to spend three weeks in Manila to explore and take pictures, it looks like a lot of fun!

PAL

PAL
PAL

Thinking of traveling to the Republic of the Philippines, well if you are looking for a great flight with a very professional staff then PAL (Philippines Airlines) is your choice.  Leaving Vancouver was slightly delayed but that was because someone who checked in never made it on the plane, therefore we had to wait for the luggage to be off loaded for safety reasons.

We flew on a 777, with spacious seats and an entertainment system that have movies, games, TV shows and many other items one could use for our enjoyment.  If this had been an Air Canada Flight or United Airlines flight no doubt we would have had to pay for this service.  However with PAL it was complimentary.  The flight attendants were very attractive Filipino women, with bright and beautiful smiles.  It was truly a joy.

I am headed back to Vancouver on the 3rd of Sept on PAL, and it’s an A330 Airbus if my memory serves me correctly, I have to say I have only been a fan of a couple of different Airbuses, so I am certainly looking forward to seeing what this one will be like.

Looking for a flight to Manila, think of going with PAL, direct flights, great prices and professional staff!!

 

Mambukal

# 3 WaterFalls at Mambukal
# 3 WaterFalls at Mambukal

I was lucky enough to spend the last two days exploring the Resort called Mambukal.  A mere 1.5 hour trip from Bacolod, where you meet nature, thermal vents from the Kanlaon volcano and the jungle with all the mystery and wonderful nature and colors.

It’s very easy to grab a bus out of Bacolod which can be found at the Central Market and from what I could gather they leave every 15 minutes or so.  I know we saw easily 10 other buses headed to Mambukal Resort.  Once you arrive there, the very first thing we did was head to the trailhead for the 7 Waterfalls.  You have to sign a book, and read through the Liability and Release, indicating that you could be injured.  I did the hike in flip flops, but I would much rather of had shoes as much of the trip was uphill, and then almost vertical in some areas.  We got hit by a huge rain storm, and the rocks were pretty slippery.   Tourists are required to take a guide, and it was well worth it. The guide was very knowledgeable and gave us a fantastic tour!

The Lagoon at Mambukal Resort
The Lagoon at Mambukal Resort

Once we completed the hike, the guide showed us around the Mambukal Resort, showed us the various thermal pools, the boiling mud, the bats and all the wonderful attractions found at Mambukal.  If you have a chance, this is a sure bet to go visit.  The entrance fee was only P50, and we spent the night in the Villa, which was P1700.  Money well spent!!

Security

Outside the Pension House
Outside the Pension House

So, I have been in Bacolod for about two weeks not, and I am still trying to figure out the rhyme or reason behind the positioning of the various Secuity guards I find posted throughout the city.  Almost every business has a security guard posted at the door.  Each one is armed in a different manner, and I had decided that there would be some sort of reasoning for the different weapons each guard has.  So for example, a bank Security guard would be armed with the most weapons, and it is for the most part so.  I have seen the American M-16 and everyone’s favourite the Combat Shot gun.  I also saw a Security guard at the Dunkin Donuts with a Combat Shot gun.

At the shoping center SM, everyone for the most part has a hand gun, something in the range between a 9mm to a revolver, and also I have noticed that some of the Security Guards have a holster, however no weapon.  I am not sure if that is they are new, or that they can not aford to have one.  I would say though, I think that is very dangerous.  I mean there is a gun holster there must be a gun, so of course they would get shot at.  That is the same situation that I was put in when I was in the NAVY.  In the late 80’s if the brow staff was armed, but no breach blocks.  So, we looked armed, but really weren’t.  We could of course through the hand gun at someone.

The hairs on the back of my neck stood up this morning while having breakfast at one of the local malls’ I saw two

Security Guards outside the Bank
Security Guards outside the Bank

people with Combat helmet, full armer and then the M-16, and an MP 5, go swiftly through the mall.  I was ready to eat ground, until I realized they were escorting money to the bank from the armoured car.  So far I would like to add, that I do feel safe, and so far everyone has been very friendly, but I am always aware who and where the weapons are, one never knows.