Salvador: The First Visit, 2008 travel extracts


WONDERFUL things happen when you least expect them. Like fixing a travel blog. Browsing through the content is reliving times when I first arrived at destinations.

With suspended travel plans, it’s a good substitute and just as exciting. I again share excerpts from stories published in and the SunStar Davao newspaper.

Sa Lumang Simbahan. July 6, 2008

Chocolate Hills, Tarsier and the Loboc River for lunch. Play on the white sands of Panglao, watch whales offshore or snorkel in the reefs. Probably say a prayer or two in the centuries-old churches there.

You know where this place is – Bohol. A charming island to visit. But beyond its usual, yet very popular, sightseeing stops, there is more adventure awaiting every tourist.

Want a different kind of adventure? Here is a list of ancient churches in Bohol dating from the early years of the island’s Spanish colonization. Check it out and listen to a mass or two.

Baclayon Church. Loboc Church. Dauis Church. Church of Maribojoc. Panglao Church. Make this part of your itinerary when you return to Bohol. And while you’re at it, say a little prayer for me.

The legend of the white elephant. September 25, 2008.

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep is a Buddhist temple 16 kilometers from the city of Chiang Mai. It borrows its name from the name of the mountain it stands on. Doi Suthep owes its name to a legendary hermit, Sudeva, who lived on the slopes. Previously it was known as Doi Aoy Chang (Sugar Cane Elephant Mountain). Today, the sacred site is a popular tourist destination that also offers impressive panoramic views of Chiang Mai.

It is easy to get there with several “red cars” which frequently visit the site. The winding road trip can be a scenic ride, but the walking tour can be difficult. From the base of the temple, you have to climb a staircase of 309 steps to the temple doors. Take the time to admire the longest Naga staircase in Thailand. There is a tram ride for those who opt for an easier climb.

A-loooo-ha! October 30, 2008

The trip was hectic but fantastic! An exploration of the Hawaiian neighborhood on foot on day one and a visit to the must-see shops along Kalakaua Avenue near Waikiki Beach. The USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor was a tour of the war-torn past; the quick city tour and the obligatory tourist photoshoots were fun; and the feast at the Polynesian Cultural Village was a unique visit to Polynesian tribes from Samoa, Moorea, Fuji, Hawaii, Tonga, Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands.

What made the trip more exciting was the very strategic location of our hotel. It was a few blocks from the beach. And the early risers caught the first ray of sunshine on Waikiki Beach and a bonus rainbow backdrop that made everything more quaint.

Link with Guam. December 18, 2008

It is the story of “the things we have in common with Guam”. When you come here, it’s like you’ve never left home. The weather is the same, the people are warm and welcoming, the race is about the same, there are so many Pinoys around. The scenery is so Filipino too. and the beaches are just as exciting.

And you ask yourself, “Am I in another country? Yes, when you check the supply voltage, it is 110.

Collage # 6. The beaches! The coastline is simply divine. The waters are pristine and azure blue, the sand white, everything is so clean no matter what part of the island you are in. We have spots for surfing, diving and other water recreation, they have that too. Guam is a beachcomber’s paradise.

Collage # 7. Spanish touches. With the establishment of Christianity, there are churches. The Fiestas are generous. Like us, they love parties and find something to celebrate. Squares and other architectural monuments are a must.

Collage # 8. Purchases! It’s every Pinoy’s favorite pastime. You must have noticed why we have so many sales events that stretch until midnight. This gives everyone the chance to indulge in the luxurious and rewarding activity. In Guam, it’s no different. I personally met a Pinay who said to me: “there is not much to do here except go shopping!” Shopping centers and stores are plentiful.


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