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Showing posts from 2014

Bible Verse #13: Doing God's Will

Top Things to Do in Ilocos Provinces (when you're in a hurry!)

Did you know that I'm so fond of Top 10 lists? I always enjoy reading them on trivia sections of magazines and watching them on YouTube. To finalize my Ilocos provinces vacation posts, I wrote this Top 10 List so I can someday remember what we did while there, and what we've missed and would try to do should we come back again. Take note, these are the things we tried to squeeze in just two days.
1. Walk through Calle Crisologo.

You haven't been to Ilocos Sur if you haven't walked through this cobblestone street lined with centuries-old Spanish houses. We checked it out past 3PM and left after about an hour.

What we will do next time: Visit in the morning and come back later at 5PM. They said Calle Crisologo is more picturesque at night. Let's see some other time.

2. Savor Ilocandia's famous cuisine.

We ate bagnet. I did just at least once in my whole life. Or while I'm in Ilocos Sur. This sinfully (to the health) delicious, crispy deep fried pork made me for…

A Rock Formation and Windmills

The Eid Al-Adha vacation this year passed by so quickly! As usual, I didn't use my eight-day rest to do all the things I wanted to do. I didn't clean our cabinets and pantry. I didn't iron as much clothes as I can so I wouldn't have to iron them when work and school starts, and I didn't declutter our room. We just went to the beach which was more than 400 kilometers and four hours away from Riyadh and stayed there for a day, watched movies when we went back home, ate and slept the vacation away which made me guilty but happy at the same time.
But there's one thing I promised I would do this week and that is to finish the Ilocos provinces posts. Let me start with Kapurpurawan Rock Formation.
When I first saw it featured on blogs and travel websites, I knew I had to see it in person. I honestly didn't know it was included in our itinerary so I got excited when I knew it was.


The roads leading to the municipality of Burgos, the most northwestern part of Ilocos…

Musings and a Museum Visit

When I posted our visit to Syquia Mansion, I was raring to blog at least three times a week because we've been to a lot of places while we were on vacation in the Philippines and I only clocked five hours each workday last Ramadan here in Riyadh. What's the excuse for my absence?

I have many but this one topped the list. A dear friend passed away. He died of a massive heart attack and our family and other friends were stunned by his sudden death. The kids grieved because they lost a happy, thoughtful Tito (the term my children use for our male friends). He drives them from school to our house and they fondly remember how kind their Tito was to them. Every payday, he would treat the kids to McDonald's Happy Meals. When we learned about that a month after, Fred and I told him to stop buying the kids treats because we know he's receiving a salary just enough for his family in the Philippines. But he said that it was his joy to see the kids happy. Fred and I grieved becau…

Syquia Mansion in Vigan

It’s July! I will be celebrating my birthday this 26th and I’m still not sure where we will spend the Ramadan 9-days vacation, which starts on the 25th until the 2nd of August. I haven’t thought about that yet. I don’t want any addition to the backlog of posts that’s been nagging me for months and I’m not even halfway through with my Philippine vacation posts! Let’s tackle the Syquia Mansion this time.

If there's one house where I learned so much about the Filipino way of life during the Spanish era, it's the Syquia Mansion. It's the first of the three stops of our calesa ride. The calesa driver mentioned some mansions we can choose to visit but we said yes to Syquia Mansion when he told us that Elpidio Quirino, one of the Philippine presidents, owned the house.


Syquia Mansion epitomizes the more than three centuries of Spanish colonization in the Philippines. It evokes of wealth, fine living and aristocracy. You can easily guess that the former occupants of this house we…

Heritage Houses in Vigan, Ilocos Sur

Fred and I both have a thing for looking at old houses. More specifically, old Spanish houses. Our penchant for this architectural beauty began long before we met.

When I was a pre-teener, I would always stop and linger for a while whenever I see Spanish houses. I remember there was one along the street where I grew up. And there was another on the way to school. A rich classmate lived there and his stories of his Spanish grandmother's extravagant parties and condescending attitude were reminiscent of my childhood's after-school days. Because the house was so big that it stretched over half the street, my other classmates and I found joy in walking along its beautiful garden. We didn't drop by to enjoy the flowers but to get a good glimpse of what's inside that old mansion. Sadly, befriending the caretaker and the gardener and convincing our rich classmate that we wouldn't be over five minutes inside his house were all futile ways of getting past that elusive main…