Manila, Philippines: An Introduction and a Historical background

It is one of the cities with the oldest history dated. A City full of battles, bloodshed and tears–A city that we now call Manila.

Manila has long been the capital of the Philippines. It started being the center of trade and industry centuries ago during the Spanish Colonization of the Philippines.

A Quick Historic View On the Creation of Manila:

Before the existence of the country we call as Philippines, and before the foreign Spaniards discovered the whole archipelago, the people of this “country” were living in the mountains with different kinds of life and leadership. Filipinos during those times have their own tribes; they are not addressed as Filipinos but only with their tribe names.. They are divided in thought, belief and manner– they thought that they are different with other tribes… So war always ensue…

However, when Spain saw the potential of this rich-in-natural resources chunk of land… Spain become the motherland while the Philippines became a colony. A bittersweet relationship between two countries had lead to the centralization and civilization of the Philippines.

The centralization lead to the creation of Manila, a city in the heart of chaos and misery. Cebu was the first city created and the first capital, but after some time the government decided to transfer it to Manila.

The Spanish government had set up Intramuros  (walled city)  in Manila itself and there they settled down while the rest of Manila suffers from various discrimination and other governmental problems…

During the 333 years of Spaniards hold in the Philippines, the Filipinos adopted the way of life of their conquerors… and became Spanish in way and in life.

Religion is one of the most well-engraved in the hearts of the Filipinos. Most of the population of the Philippines are Roman Catholics— this explains the existence of various century-old Churches in the Philippines

Manila as it is Now:

Nowadays, Manila or the Philippines as a whole became a flourishing city/country amidst the governmental problems due to various corruption made by public officials.

Manila might not be the same as Singapore or other beautiful cities in Asia, but always take note that the beauty of the Philippines lies within its natural wonders… Manila is just a gateway to see the beautiful hands of nature— the wonderful beaches, unexplored coves and jaw-dropping terrains..

However, if you are dropping-by the Philippines to jump-start your tour with nature, don’t forget that Manila also offers some historical places you might wanna visit, and you might like the busy night life and the big shopping malls that it offers 🙂

Manila Skyline — Photo from nairaland.com
Manila Skyline — Nairaland.com

Manila is a thriving city where huge shopping malls are located. You can opt to mall-hop or view the historical side of the city…

Mall of Asia– photo from Nairaland.com

Manila has also its fair share of beauty…. And stay with me as I present to you the beauty of Manila.

This will be my 1st post for my new series about Metro Manila 🙂

TO VIEW MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT METRO MANILA CLICK HERE FOR ITINERARY, REVIEWS, ETC.

CLICK HERE TO SEE 3-DAY ITINERARY IN MANILA

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MV Logos Hope: World’s Largest Floating Book Fair

After deliberating which place to go this Sunday, I decided to go to the floating book fair, a ship docked in Manila that provides high quality books for a fraction of the cost.

The MV Logos Hope docked in South Harbor Manila

It will be docked in Manila until March 13, 2012. They are open Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10 am to 9 pm except for Sundays where they opens by 1pm- 9pm. It is docked in Manila Pier 15, South Harbor…at the back of Manila Hotel and Manila Ocean Park.

Coming in this floating book store made me reminisce about my childhood past.

When I was still a kid (about 5-8 years old), my mom and I came aboard the MV Doulos which was docked in Legazpi City Port–Mind you, I though it was a cruise ship, and my mom, brother and I will cruise together to see the whole Asia– LOL!– wishful thinking!  I remember that going inside that ship was my first time to come aboard a marine vessel— a huge one at that. I remembered walking the planks and looking at the yellow beam of lights inside the vessel–which resembles those found in coffeeshops LOL! Although the yellow lights makes you feel relaxed, the people inside were total chaos! Being a child with tiny little feet, I was confused on why there are a lot of freaking people walking here and there… and I was overwhelmed by the number of books being sold—although, honestly I don’t care a bit about them– I was still a child with no knowledge of the importance of books, I just held my mom’s hand to make sure that I won’t get lost…. My mom bought a book and I saw this huge giant pencil! And I clamored that my mom should buy me that– which she did… And It only costs P25.00. By the way, it was my first time to see those huge giant pencils (13″ in length) and it was first sold in Legazpi through MV Doulos. My mom also bought me a yummy ice cream on board– YUM!

I was actually saddened when I heard the news that the MV Doulos which I have thought highly of, had already retired due to old age… And what made it worse is that it visited Manila a couple of times in 2007-2009 yet I’ve never went to see it (Mind you, I didn’t visit it because I don’t have any news about it!)-– I was saddened because a memory of my childhood was also embedded on its planks— I really wanna catch a glimpse of what it looks like in this adult eyes of mine.. and to walk there using this adult feet that I have now 😦

Anyway, here I am, wandering around the new ship, the successor of the beautiful and mighty MV Doulos– the MV LOGOS HOPE!

Places where the MV Logos shared Happiness 🙂
And Now, It's in the PHILIPPINES!!!

The MV Logos, just like its predecessor, consists of a lot of unpaid volunteers– 400 in number– they came aboard this ship to share and give knowledge to the world! There is 5000 book titles to choose from… which I think is overwhelming! Isn’t it? It was said to be the largest floating book fair in the world!!

You can see that this ship is a melting pot of different nationalities with only one goal– to help the needy by providing cheap priced quality books… so that people, rich or poor, can have access to information and knowledge without spending too much…

If only I have time, and with no pressures from my parents…I can volunteer myself to this wonderful organization with a wonderful cause. I love their cause and I hope they continue providing a smile to different countries and various nationalities of this big round world… More Power for MV Logos Hope!

So, here is my experience to this new MV Logos Hope:

It was a Sunday afternoon, around 1 pm, when I decided to take a peek of this widely talked about Floating book fair. I was one of the first few people who boarded the ship…

But, what I hate about this experience is the long walk from the gates of the pier to the ship itself.. It took me a 20-30 minute walk— since I don’t have a car and the taxi driver dropped me off the gate!– which I think is a very wrong move, anyway, I acquiesced so it’s partly my fault…  It was hot and humid that time… I totally sweated like a pig!

Almost there!

Anyway, After a long walk, I arrived in the MV Logos, there is an entrance fee of P20.00 for adults, and children (12 years old below) are free of charge! 🙂

Entrance booth= P20.00 per person
Now, I'm entering the MV Logos Hope
Upon Entering MV Logos Hope

The books are priced in units– not in Pesos. 1 unit is equal to 1 peso {1 unit= 1 peso}

Price Guide in MV Logos Hope

The books are totally cheap!!! I was really amazed!!! Children books which are sold for P300-500 in local bookstores are sold in MV Logos for only P100.00… Isn’t it a steal? Moreover, they sell Fiction Novels, children books, Bibles and other stuff for a really low price.

Children Books in the Fair

Nancy Drew in MV Logos Hope

By the way being the travel junkie that I am, I easily spotted the travel section– It has 3 shelves, so basically there’s a lot of travel books….Although it doesn’t have the usual “lonely planet” “globetrotter” travel guides, what they have will still suffice for my relentless hunger for travel!

My Section 🙂

I came across this two books which I totally love. This is the only thing I bought! I bought these 2 babies for only (P350.00). If I’ll buy this in local bookstores maybe I cannot even afford it! P350.00 is totally low compared to the usual prices of travel guide books which is usually P500 to P1500!

My Lovely Babies 🙂

If you are thinking, why is it that this is only the thing I bought during my visit, it was because I only have a meager P500.00 in my wallet! I totally forgot to withdraw money!!— So, how can I afford to buy other things if I don’t have the money to exchange for them??? hahaha.. so, I’m planning to go back there and hit the racks once again!

By the way, they accept credit cards– Mastercard and Visa!! Good Lord, I hope I knew of it earlier so I had shopped till I dropped!— naahh, I don’t know if I still have money in my credit card — I think it is full of airline and hotel ticket bills for my travel this April and May 🙂

After payment, you will see paintings/life-sized pictures depicting the Prodigal Son…. It completely covers the story from end-to-end…  It was such a wonderful experience walking down the hall while a recorded sound plays in the background and tells you the story of The Prodigal Son….

After the winding walk in the Journey of Life, I was greeted by the sweet aroma of coffee in the International Cafe… I didn’t buy anything though since I only have P150 in my wallet:( But, I’m sure that I’ll be coming back!

At the end, I saw a Sticky Notes Board—  I thought that I was also in N tower in Seoul– looking at it made me remember the Love wall inside N tower, anyway, this is not a Love wall but a wall to remember us to be safe and be scared of AIDS. This is an AIDS prevention and counseling booth 🙂

The Sticky Notes Wall

After that, I’m now at the exit and needs to go… Bye Bye MV Logos see you again!!

It is a good place to buy books since the price is really really low and the kids would love the idea of getting on-board a ship! Well, being a child-at-heart makes me say that I really loved the experience, since I felt like I’m reliving Rose from Titanic! If only I can get on the decks I will totally imitate the “flying” scene of Jack Dawson 🙂

Updates, News and series of Thanks :)

There are 2 unfinished series that I haven’t put an end yet– My Macau and Legazpi series.  I will put on hold my Legazpi series since I  ran out f my own photos that I can share to you–I already used them all, this is also the case of my Macau series (where my brother accidentally deleted all the photos during our visit in Macau..

The reason behind the never ending story is that, I want most or all of the photos that I’ll be sharing came from me and me only…. I don’t like the feeling of grabbing pictures from the net, so ladies and gentlemen let me continue these series some other time– this is to protect my shrinking pride 🙂

I promise that my legazpi guide will be done by June or July this year. Just let me go go back first in my lovely hometown–Legazpi and take pictures and do some research there so that I can write other relevant information like places to stay and other places of interest you might want to visit… I really wanna create a fishbowl of information for Legazpi City– a complete travel guide.

As for Macau, I really wanna write about the City of Dreams, the Senado Square and the Fisherman’s Wharf, but I need photos to corroborate my writing. The photos brings back good and fantastic memories of my adventures/misadventures… so, in order for my writing to be correct and precise, I wanna look at the photos first–which is unfortunately stuck in my brother’s memory card which is nowhere to be found– don’t worry, we are still in the process of finding it 🙂

I also wanna thank my readers and followers for being with me this past 2 months of ugly yet informative writing. I really apologize for my bad writing but I hope that you understand my point and I hope you brought home some knowledge after reading my posts.

I’m happy that the number of followers and readers are growing each day. I thank you for your comments, your views and likes— it makes me really happy… You guys always makes me smile!

FOR MY READERS AND FOLLOWERS: From the deepest corner of my heart I wanna say:

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

2012 PTAA Travel Expo: What I bought and what I Got!

From all the good package deals out there….I didn’t buy anything in the expo except for these:

travel life magazines

My love for travel made me buy a lot of travel magazines. I bought 5 for only P50.00 each ($1.16 USD). They are old issues (From 2011-2012) so they are sold in a cheap price. The original price is P175.00 or $4.06USD

Although I know that the internet is full of information regarding travel and everything else, it didn’t stop me from getting these magazines… Since I love collecting anything about travel–and this is one of them… It is somehow there to feed my relentless hunger for traveling 🙂

And also I bought these magazines since I cannot afford to buy those expensive travel guide books usually sold in the bookstore 😦 They are somehow too expensive for my budget

Moving on… well, I also got a gift certificate and a membership card in Duty Free Philippines. Being a member of Duty Free will let you shop in their mall even though you haven’t been outside the country.. Since, in the Philippines, the policy is that, only those that went abroad and diplomats have the privilege to shop duty free! So, I was really glad that I got this deal, since I can go there and buy stuff for only a fraction of a cost even though I haven’t travel abroad– and this is a good thing since this year, I will have my travels and wanders mostly in the Philippines…

I also had a privilege card from one of the Spas here in the Philippines– the Ace Water Spa, it can give you a 5%-10% discount on food and spa services—By the way, I got this for free!

Next, I got these things for free 🙂

Lots and Lots of Travel Guide books and maps!
My Travel Guidebooks! 🙂

So, I got free travel guides and maps of Hong Kong, Davao, Bangkok, India, Guam, Shanghai, Mindanao, Philippines, Manila and a lot more! I love this since the content is somehow like a travel book—which is totally expensive! So getting this for free is really a Steal!

So, if you are really addicted to travel—like me— then going to this expo is one good choice. It is a chance not only to grab great package deals but also to grab guides, maps, leaflets and such so that you’ll learn some information not found in the internet or to free yourself from buying these things that you can get in the expo for free!

Hope to see you next year! 🙂

2012 Travel Expo: What I liked the most

Aside from the various low-fare or package deals being offered; that are totally jaw dropping… I also liked how other countries joined this expo that gave this “little” event more life and color.

China, Angola, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia are one of the few countries which showcased their own beautiful places. They have their own styles and gimmick to stand out from the rest— this made the experience much more livelier.

Malaysia had a cultural show where they showcased their traditional dances. The dancers were wrapped with vibrant clothing which I think is Malaysia’s traditional dress. The viewers were amazed and cheered for the dancers–And I’m one happy spectator, I didn’t see something like this the last year I went there…. Even if you haven’t been in Malaysia, Seeing this kind of presentation can definitely give you a glimpse on the tradition and the beautiful culture of this thriving country.

After their performance is a picture-taking session

On the other side of the expo, is where the Japan booth is located, each and every employees of this booth were wearing the Japanese traditional clothing “kimono”, the women wearing them looks so glamorous and gentle, I don’t know why but I was staring gladly at those women– they just looked so poised and graceful–which I envy, since I’m always accident prone.. However, in the photo I’ve taken they looked clumsy like me 🙂 hehe..

They look as if they are having fun, I forgot to take a pic when they acted gracefully! haha!

Moreover, they also had a guessing game where the questions revolves around Japan’s trivias, such as What is Japan’s national sport, What is not a holiday in Japan and so on… and the winner will take homes a gift pack from an Airline Company called ANA.

Japan also has this Make-up booth; the make up is from a leading brand in Japan called Majolica Majorca– which brand I really love! If only stealing is legal, I have stolen some mascara or any other kind of make-up there! But since I’m a law student at that, I need to follow the law! 🙂

Loo at the make up! woaah, if only they hand give aways! I will totally line up!
A girl getting her make up in the Japan booth --- they are using Majolica Majorca!

Macau, on the other hand had this St. Paul Ruins as a backdrop, where people like me can take pictures. Moreover, they have these hats which you can use while taking your photos, and some women employees were dressed as— I don’t know– Chinese empress maybe…but the guys were dressed as the gondolier (the ones who rows the classy looking boats in Venice)— Maybe, this is because of the Venetian Hotel in Macau 🙂

Sorry for the crappy pic: The woman suddenly moved! 🙂
Woman in the Macau Booth.. I'm still guessing what she is 🙂

Guam also had this photo-booth section where guests can have their pictures taken. And just like Macau they can have their photos taken with their models– which are hunks by the way! I didn’t take the photos (with their gorgeous models) since there are a lot of people who blocked my way! I only got this:

The Guam backdrop 🙂 beautiful...

Philippines on the other hand has its own booth where people from young and old can ask questions regarding some beautiful scenic spots in the country, and also Local Tourism of Provinces or cities have their own booths where people can also see what this specific province or city can provide– they also provide maps–which I looovvee!

There I noticed the beautiful caves of Cagayan Valley and the scenic spots in Samar, which I totally haven’t heard of. My eyes set on how beautiful the photos are and how scenic the Philippines can be.. Upon seeing the pictures, I immediately promised myself that I’ll be visiting those wonderful places!

It's more fun in the Philippines!! 🙂

Anyway, not all countries participated with much amour and clamor than other countries and cities did, nonetheless, most of the booths were decorated nicely..and most of all, you can ask them anything under the sun!! Any questions regarding visas, places to visit, hotels and other questions like what makes this country different from others and so on… AND Lastly, (This part I really really really really LOVE is that) they can give you lots and lots of maps, travel guide books, hotel lists, and other written information for FREE!

China Booth in travel expo: Look at the details!

So, aside from the jaw-dropping sales, I think the booths of the different countries that have participated is really something to look forward to… Not only that you can get a low priced deal, you can also have a glimpse on some countries’ culture and gave you an idea of how scenic the world can be.

I hope the next travel expo can induce embassies to make their booths livelier like what the countries/cities I mentioned above. This is not only amazingly entertaining but also it makes people learn something incredible— It is like seeing the world in one day 🙂

Overall, I applaud the PTAA for organizing such a wonderful event and thank you for the various embassies that joined this expo which made this one memorable event not only for travel junkies but also for ordinary people. All I can say is GREAT JOB! You will probably see me next year, and I will write again a review about it 🙂

PTAA 19th Travel Expo: Package Deals being offered in the Fair

If you haven’t been to the travel expo, and you are the kind of the traveler that likes prearranged tour, I suggest that you visit this fair, since there are a lot of package deals being offered there.

I took a picture of the brochures/leaflets I got during my visit, I hope this will make you visit the fair today! Mind you, TODAY (Feb 19, 2011) IS THE LAST DAY!

By the way, what you see here is not even 1/4 of the deals you can get in the travel expo: there’s so much more! — I didn’t bother to get a lot of leaflets since I know they will just end up in the trash bin 😦 Anyway, here are some of the leaflets I got and some pics in the expo itself.

I apologize for the crappy pics. Click the photos to enlarge

IN THE EXPO:

From Singapore Airlines/ Silk Air:

LOOK AT THE BACK OF THE GIRL: (TRAVEL AGENCY):

BANGKOK TRAVEL DEALS:

GUAM PACKAGES:

HONG KONG:

KUALA LUMPUR:

INDONESIA

INDIA

LOCAL TRAVEL DEALS:

CORON, PALAWAN:

PUERTO PRINCESA, PALAWAN

BICOL:

Contact no. 09278710308

BORACAY

DAVAO:

So, what are you waiting for?! Don’t miss the chance to get discounts, visit the travel expo Now!

Today it will close by 7pm, GO EARLY! 🙂

Here is my link to my post regarding tips, schedules, list of exhibitors and such, click here.

2012 Travel Tour Expo: Lots and Lots of Package Deals!

The travel fair is a success in terms of a lot of travel deals being offered here and there, but one thing I cannot fathom is that the local deals that they offer are of the same prices you can see in Discount Voucher Sites such as Ensogo, Metrodeal, Cleverbuy or such–But, I guess the certainty of getting the exact travel dates that you wanted is much more plausible if you go to this expo.

Unfortunately, I arrived in the expo too late (6:30pm) that is why most of the airline companies and other booths are already closed; and most of the airline companies such as Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific had their cut-offs by 7pm (so, unlucky me, I wasn’t able to line up for the sale), so I’ll be going there early tomorrow!!

Airline companies such as Airasia, Tigerairways, Jetstar, Philippine Airlines, Zest Air and Cebu Pacific have their booths in the expo, and they are usually filled with people. I lined up for about 45 minutes just for a booking inquiry in the Philippine Airlines que.

Cebu Pacific, unfortunately, only offers the same sale as what they offer online, so nothing is really worth queuing up. For Philippine Airlines, unlike last year where they offer 70% off to all of its international and local destinations, now, they only offer a sale to select destinations with a very minimal discount. As for Air Asia, they offer 20% discount for some travel destinations with travel dates starting March 1 to August 1, 2012.

There are a lot of package tours and a lot of tour agencies! They are all over the place giving you leaflets and such, though my bag became too heavy due to this leaflets, I still enjoyed a lot and as a matter of fact, I immediately scanned those leaflets to search for great package deals… and they are all great although the price is just the same as the one offered in discount voucher sites 😦

As for the package tours such as Korea and Japan, it became too expensive for me since Doing-It-Yourself will save you a lot more money! Most of the travel agents offer Korea tours for P40,000.00 for 4 days 3 nights, where I only spent P25,000.00 for 5 days 4 nights with shopping! Now, I realized that being the travel agent of my family makes this travel deals–not–so–appealing– for me..  I’m actually quite sad of my reaction 😦

However, if you are of the “I-shouldn’t-worry-about-anything-when-I- get-there” kind, I think coming here and grabbing some good package is a good choice 🙂 There’s a lot of booths offering different prices– some of them are actually lower than the others, so choose wisely! 🙂

I’ll upload photos tomorrow when I get much better pictures. I just want to post this to share for now! 🙂

To see my old post regarding links and info regarding this 19th travel expo, click here: