Mount Purro Nature Reserve

mount purro nature reserve

Kailangan din natin iwan pansamantala ang magulong siyudad at di natin kailangan lumayo dahil nandyan ang Mount Purro Nature Reserve sa Antipolo, Rizal. Magpatuloy sa pagbasa


Photo Diary: Malate, Manila






FIBA World Cup: Gilas Pilipinas vs Puerto Rico #LabanGilasPilipinas

fiba world cup gilas pilipinas vs puerto rico

Tonight is a crucial game for team Gilas Pilipinas as it battles Puerto Rico, we need to win to keep our hopes alive of getting into the Round of 16. Gilas has lost three of its games, two of those in heartbreaking fashion so every Pinoy basketball fan is now waiting for that big win. Magpatuloy sa pagbasa

It’s not just a resort, It’s Zambawood!



I’m living in the moment I’m living my life Oh, easy and breezy With peace in my mind Peace in my heart Peace in my soul Wherever I’m going, I’m already home I’m living in the moment

It was a little over four months ago when a friend sent a DM on Facebook asking if I was available to join a bloggers tour of a new resort in Zambales. Knowing my hectic schedule filled with binge watching The Walking Dead and Hannibal (very inspiring dramas) I thought about it twice and then said, “Sure, I’m free.” The tour had to be rescheduled and we finally embarked on the journey to San Narciso, Zambales last March 29, 2014.

zambawood gate(Credit: Zambawood website)

After a three hour drive via the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) we arrived in Zambawood at high noon. The sun shone bright like a diamond (sorry for the Rihanna reference), it was the middle of summer after all and we were welcomed by the staff  who even brought umbrellas and cold towels to cool us down.


In my head I was asking, “Where’s the banana boat? Is there a videoke machine?,” but upon a closer inspection of the resort I knew that it was not the typical resort where you spend your day riding one and singing your lungs out to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” over a bucket of Red Horse and masakit sa batok na sisig. Zambawood evoked a vibe that made me feel like I was in a ranch in the middle of Arizona or a weekend home in Martha’s Vineyard. It is the kind of resort that Travel & Leisure or Conde Nast Traveler would love to feature on its pages.

zambawood-2-35Zambawood is a sprawling ranch estate where guests can spend their days exploring the mystical qualities of the shores of Zambales. Credit goes to its gracious owner Ms. Rachel Harrison, who lest I forget, also welcomed the travel bloggers in her tranquil abode. An accomplished architect, her design aesthetic is seen in every corner of the luxury resort. Married to an international executive, she has traveled around the world and added things that inspired her when she built Zambawood. By the way, maybe you’re asking why did they name the resort Zambawood? It is an homage to Hollywood as the resort has been a location for independent movies. With a backdrop that’s fit for the cinema, maybe the major studios will pick this resort for their next blockbuster.

With our welcome drinks in hand, we were eager to see more of Zambawood and what it has tooffer. Entering the well appointed rooms felt like going into a room in someone’s home, only this home was more stylish than our homes could ever be. The main house was so presko, maaliwalas as they say in the vernacular. Its stark white walls combined with the eclectic decor was a refreshing sight on a hot summer day.



We especially loved the driftwood furniture, which according to Ms. Rachel were salvaged from trees that were uprooted in the past typhoons that hit Zambales. They also have wooden chairs that were built with out nails, if only I could bring them home.

  zambawood-7 We were already hungry after the three hour drive from Manila so lunch was in everyone’s mind, and lunch was what we got. There was no sisig or crispy pata, it was a healthy fare of fresh vegetables and sea food that is in keeping with the resort’s vision of living a good life with good food. zambawood food zambawood foodSome of the vegetables that were served to us came from the resort’s very own farm, Julyan’s Farm to be exact which was named after Ms. Rachel’s second son, Julyan who has autism. The farm provides him with a tranquil space where he can be involved and see his crop of organic vegetables grow and raise free range chickens. IMGP9221

Ms. Rachel confided that it has been hard to raise a son with special needs but she is thankful for the fact that Julyan can now manage himself, it’s still an everyday struggle but Zambawood has become a perfect place for him. She told us that aside from doing his duties at the farm, he also surfs. I for one cannot surf to save my life, so hats off for that Julyan.

zambawood and the bloggers

The resort was originally built as a vacation home and a sanctuary for Julyan. But seeing that the upkeep and maintenance was so expensive, she and her husband decided to open their tranquil abode to people who would want to relax even for just a weekend. First it was just the couple’s friends who checked out Zambawood and then by word of mouth, the resort is now attracting clients, from family reunions, to corporate functions, seminars etc.


Of course a resort experience shall not be complete without the mention of the pool and the beach. The infinity pool was so inviting but we were still tired from the travel and still had to digest the amazing lunch that we had. It was just time to relax, immerse ourselves in the environs of Zambawood and engage in conversations.

zambawood At dusk we went to the beach where a lovely set up for a picnic was done by Zambawood’s staff. Chips, wine, San Mig Light, a beautiful sunset by the beach, what else could I ask for? Well, there are a lot of things on my list but that’s for another blog post. Just like the lyrics of Jason Mraz’s song, it’s all about living in the moment. And for that moment it was to relish the Zambawood experience.


More of our Zambawood experience in my next blog post, which I hope will be as soon as possible. 🙂

Visit the Zambawood website for rates and more information. Like Zambawood on Facebook Follow Zambawood on Twitter

Read my fellow bloggers post about Zambawood:

Zambawood’s Luxury With Purpose: The Vacation That Will Pamper And Inspire You by Claire Madarang

The Zippy Zambawood by Paula Anntoneth O

Zambawood: A Purpose-built Luxury Resort in the Heart of San Narciso, Zambales by Mai Flores

The Zambawood Journey by Jherson Jaya

Zambawood: A Resort Like No Other by Joanne Tan

Zambawood: My Luxury Beach House for the Weekend by Faye Santos

Zambawood: Of Stories and Synchronicities by Rem Tanauan

The Padapadakam Ritual of Ilocos Region

padapadakam ritualTo honor, welcome, or celebrate the birthday of a person or a group significant to a community, the padapada is performed within the circles of an Ilocano community, whether in the nuclear region or in a dispersed urban situation. A similar celebration is practiced in the island of Marinduque called putungan, meaning to confer a crown.

The celebrator is seated in front of the central gathering of the community. Sprigs of flowers are distributed among those present. The rites start with the placing of a garland of flowers on the head of the celebrator, simultaneously with the singing of the padapadakam song, repeated continuously as the proceedings go on. The community lines up in a single file and then, one by one, present the celebrator with a spray of flowers. He keeps all these in hand until the flower presentation is complete. Sometimes, the celebrator is then asked to say a brief message. After the feting, the celebrator receives a shower of rice grains for more blessings. (JTP)

Source: PINAGMULAN: Enumerations from the Philippine Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage, NCCA and ICHCAP, 2013 Photos: © Norma A.. Respicio


Nine new sites including PH’s Mount Hamiguitan inscribed to UNESCO World Heritage List

The World Heritage Committee this morning inscribed properties in the Russian Federation, Costa Rica, Viet Nam, India, Philippines and Denmark on the World Heritage List. It also approved the extensions of a site in China and two transboundary sites in Poland and Belarus, and Denmark and Germany.

mount hamiguitan

The sites discussed include two cultural sites a mixed natural and cultural property, and six natural sites. They are:

Bolgar Historical and Archaeological Complex (Russian Federation). This property lies on the shores of the Volga River, south of its confluence with the River Kama, and south of the capital of Tatarstan, Kazan. It contains evidence of the medieval city of Bolgar, an early settlement of the civilization of Volga-Bolgars, which existed between the 7th and the 15th centuries, and was the first capital of the Golden Horde in the 13th century. Bolgar represents the historical cultural exchanges and transformations of Eurasia over several centuries that played a pivotal role in the formation of civilizations, customs and cultural traditions. The property provides remarkable evidence of historic continuity and cultural diversity. It is a symbolic reminder of the acceptance of Islam by the Volga-Bolgars  in 922 AD and remains a  sacred,  pilgrimage destination to the Tatar Muslims.

Precolumbian Chiefdom Settlements  with Stone Spheres of the Diquis  (Costa Rica)   includes four  archaeological sites located in the Diquis Delta in southern Costa Rica, which are considered unique examples of the complex social, economic and political systems of the  period between 500-1500  AD.  They contain artificial mounds, paved areas, burial sites and, most significantly, a collection of stone spheres, between 0.7m and 2.57m in diameter,  whose meaning, use and production remain largely a mystery. The spheres are distinctive for their perfection, their number, size and density, and their placement in their original locations. Their preservation from the looting that befell the vast majority of archeological sites in Costa Rica has been attributed to the thick layers of sediment that kept them buried for centuries.

Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex (Viet Nam) is inscribed as a mixed natural and cultural property. Situated on the southern shore of the Red River delta, Trang An is a spectacular landscape of limestone karst peaks permeated with valleys, some of which are submerged, and surrounded by steep, almost vertical cliffs. Exploration of some of the highest altitude caves that are dotted across the landscape has revealed archaeological traces of human activity dating back almost 30 000 years. They illustrate the occupation of these mountains by hunter-gatherers and how they adapted to climatic and environmental changes. The property also includes Hoa Lu, the old capital of Viet Nam in the 10th and 11th centuries, as well as temples, pagodas, paddy-field landscapes, with villages and sacred sites.

Great Himalayan National Park (India) (GHNPCA) is located in the western part of the Himalayan Mountains in the northern Indian State of Himachal Pradesh and is characterized by high alpine peaks, alpine meadows and riverine forests. The 90,540 ha property includes the upper mountain glacial and snow melt water source origins of several rivers, and the catchments of water supplies that are vital to millions of downstream users. The GHNPCA protects the monsoon-affected forests and alpine meadows of the Himalayan front ranges. It is part of the  Himalaya  biodiversity hotspot and includes 25 forest types along with a rich assemblage of fauna species, several of which are threatened. This gives the site outstanding significance for biodiversity conservation.

Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary (Philippines). Forming a north-south running mountain ridge along the Pujada Peninsula in the southeastern part of the Eastern Mindanao Biodiversity Corridor, the Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary has an elevation range of 75-1,637 m above sea level, and provides critical habitat for a range of plant and animal species. The property showcases terrestrial and aquatic habitats at different elevations, and includes threatened and endemic flora and fauna species, eight of which are found only at Mount Hamiguitan. These include critically endangered trees, plants and the iconic Philippine Eagle and Philippine Cockatoo.

Stevns Klint (Denmark). This geological site comprises a 15 km-long fossil-rich coastal cliff, offering exceptional evidence of the impact of the Chicxulub meteorite that crashed into the planet at the end of the Cretaceous, about 65 millions years ago. Researchers think that this caused the most remarkable mass extinction ever, responsible for the disappearance of over 50% of all life on Earth. The site harbours a record of the cloud of ash formed by the impact of the meteorite – the exact site of the impact being at the bottom of the ocean off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula. An exceptional fossil record is visible at the site, showing the complete succession of fauna and micro-fauna charting the recovery after the mass extinction.

South China Karst (China). This is an extension of the South China Karst site. The property was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2007 and is one of the world’s most spectacular examples of humid tropical to subtropical karst landscapes. The extension covers an area of almost 50 000 hectares. This serial site now includes 12 elements spread over the provinces of Guizhou, Guangxi, Yunnan and Chongqing and covering 176 228 hectares.  It contains  the most significant types of karst landforms,  including tower karst, pinnacle karst and cone karst formations, along with other spectacular characteristics such as natural bridges, gorges and large cave systems.

Bialowieża Forest (Belarus/Poland). This is an extension of and new proposal for the Belovezhskaya Pushcha / Białowieża transboudary site on the border between Poland and Belarus, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1979. Situated on the watershed of the Baltic Sea and Black Sea, this immense range of primary forest includes both conifers and broadleaved trees. The modification to the property translates as a reduction of over 5000 hectares on the Belarus side and a vast extension of the Polish section, from 5069 to 59,576 hectares. Covering a total area of 141,885 hectares, this transboundary  property is exceptional for the opportunities it offers for biodiversity conservation. It is home to the largest population of the property’s iconic species, the European bison.

The Wadden Sea (Germany/Denmark). This is an extension of the Dutch and German Wadden Sea site, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2009. The Wadden Sea is the largest unbroken system of intertidal sand and mud flats in the world. The complete extension now covers most of the Danish Wadden Sea maritime conservation area, as well as a maritime extension of the Dutch Wadden Sea Conservation Area and the German Wadden Sea National Parks of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein.

Source: UNESCO (

See all the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Philippines

Daragang Magayon


Mayon Volcano and the Cagsawa ruins. ( May 1, 2014)

Visita Iglesia de Manila: A Non-Churchgoer’s Lenten Visit to Churches in Manila

It was a little over a year ago when out of the blue, my friends and I decided to do the annual Visita Iglesia. You know the Roman Catholic Lenten tradition of visiting seven churches or religious sites? It can actually be done on any day of the Holy Week but we followed tradition and did the church hopping (oops, I don’t know if I can call it as church hopping, Pope Francis?) on a Maundy Thursday.

visita-iglesia-manila Magpatuloy sa pagbasa

Sunday Quote

puerto-princesa-underground-river Magpatuloy sa pagbasa

Throwback Filipinas: The Philippines and Filipinos as seen on the pages of LIFE Magazine

life-church-philippines-april-1951 Magpatuloy sa pagbasa