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I love to travel just to explore new things in life from breathtaking natural wonders, interesting historical sites, delicious food, friendly people and colorful culture. I treasure every moment in traveling by writing in my journal, taking photos and publish it in my travel blog.
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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Biyaheng Bonifacio (Part 3): Quezon City Trail

In the continuation of Biyaheng Bonifacio trail, I decided to go back to Metro Manila where I will visit two more historical sites in Quezon City. 
The welcome arc of Krus Na Ligas.
The Krus Na Ligas marker in the church.
1. Krus Na Ligas
Brgy. Krus na Ligas, Quezon City

The first site that I visited is the Krus na Ligas. It is now a barangay in Quezon City which is located near U.P. Diliman. In this barrio, the group of Bonifacio rested in the area. Katipunero Genaro delos Reyes was sent to Mandaluyong to inform the chapter about the encounter with the enemy.

The Cry of Pugad Lawin Shrine
2. The Cry of Pugad Lawin
Seminary Road, Brgy. Bahay Toro, Quezon City

Fifteen to thirty minutes away from Barangay Krus Na Ligas, I visited the Bahay Toro, a site where the Cry of Pugad Lawin was located. Over 500 Katipuneros gathered at the warehouse of Cabesang Melchora Aquino (Tandang Sora) on August 23, 1896 and tore their "cedulas." They carried assorted weapons: bolos, spears, daggers, a dozen small revolvers and a rifle used by Lieutenant Manuel for hunting birds. This event started the Philippine Revolution which was held in August 26, 1896 in Balintawak.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Biyaheng Bonifacio (Part 2): Cavite Trail

The province of Cavite played a significant role in our history because it is the place where the Philippine independence was proclaimed. In addition, it is one of the provinces which represent the eight golden rays of the sun in the present Filipino flag because Governor General Blanco proclaimed a state of war in these provinces. Cavite is one of the places which played an important role in the life of Andres Bonifacio. There are historical sites which represent the important events in the life of Bonifacio when he was in Cavite. Let us continue the Biyaheng Bonifacio trail in Cavite.
Imus Cathedral
Andres Bonifacio Monument in Imus Plaza
1. Imus Plaza
Tirona St., Poblacion, Imus, Cavite

Imus Plaza is located in front of Imus Cathedral which can be found in the poblacion or town proper. In this place marks an event where the councils of Magdiwang and Magdalo met at the friar estate house on December 29, 1896. In addition, the councils discuss the framing of the constitution, the establishment of a revolutionary government under new elected officials and the possibilities of merging the two councils.
Tribunal of Noveleta Marker
Tribunal House
2. Tribunal
Gen. Antonio St., Poblacion, Noveleta, Cavite

Fifteen to thirty minutes away from Imus, you can visit the small coastal town of Noveleta which is famous for its beach resorts. Located near at the town hall and the public market, you can visit the Tribunal where Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Jacinto, Pio Valenzuela and Pantaleon Torres established the Magdiwang, a council of the Katipunan. On April 3, 1897, Bonifacio attempted to recapture Noveleta but he was unable to dislodge the Spaniards. In addition, General Pascual Alvarez of Magdiwang council defeated Kapitan Antonio Rebolledo, a Guardia Civil under Mariano Alvarez, the town chief of Noveleta. This incident will be one of the reasons of a siege in Cavite during the Philippine revolution.
Tejeros Convention Site
3. Tejeros Convention
Gen. Trias Drive, Brgy. Tejeros, Rosario, Cavite

One of the most important events in the Philippine revolution is the Tejeros Assembly. It was convened on March 22, 1897 which established a central revolutionary government with Emilio Aguinaldo as President and Andres Bonifacio as Director of Interior. Certain events arising in the convention cost Bonifacio to bolt its action. The site is located near the boundary arc of General Trias and Rosario; besides, a barangay in Rosario was named after the name of the historical convention.
Pinagbarilan Shrine in Indang, Cavite
Bonifacio Shrine in Indang, Cavite
Bonifacio Marker in Indang Municipal Hall
4. Pinagbarilan
Brgy. Limbon, Indang, Cavite

On April 22, 1897, the Supremo's troops assigned to guard the fort and they were surprised by the sudden assault of Aguinaldo's men. Ciriaco Bonifacio was killed and his troops captured. Andres Bonifacio was shot with a revolver by Agapito Bonzon and was stabbed on the right side of the neck by Ignacio Pawa. Today, the site is located at Brgy. Limbon in the town of Indang. In addition, you can also find the historical marker beside the municipal hall where Bonifacio was imprisoned before he transferred to Naic.
Naic Elementary School is the present site of Casa Hacienda de Naic.
The dungeon where Procopio and Andres Bonifacio stayed in Casa Hacienda de Naic.
5. Casa Hacienda de Naic
Brgy. C. Nazareno, Poblacion, Naic, Cavite

The present site of Naic Elementary School and located beside the Naic Church , Casa Hacienda de Naic is the place where Bonifacio stayed after the Tejeros Convention. They held the "Naic Military Agreement" or "Acta de Naic." On April 29, 1897, Andres Bonifacio and Procopio Bonifacio were imprisoned here after their capture in Indang.
Bonifacio Trial House
Life-sized statues to depict the trial of Bonifacio brothers.
6. Bonifacio Trial House
Col. Riel St., Poblacion, Maragondon, Cavite

The house was built on 1889 owned by Teodorico Reyes. On April 30, 1897, the Bonifacio brothers were transferred to Maragondon from Naic. On May 4, 1897, Andres Bonifacio and his brother Procopio were tried by a court-martial headed by Brigadier General Mariano Noriel. The following day, the Council of War gave its decision declaring the Bonifacio brothers guilty and recommended the death penalty. However, Aguinaldo issued an order where the brothers put to an isolated place. In the end, he cancelled his order and implement the death sentence after being told by his men.
Bonifacio Execution Site Tableau

Bonifacio Execution Site marker
7. Execution Site
Brgy. Pinagsanhan, Maragondon, Cavite

On May 10, 1897, Andres and his brother Procopio were brought to Mt. Nagpatong which is near in Mt. Buntis. They were executed by Col. Lazaro Macapagal and his troops upon orders of General Noriel took command of a firing squad.

Therefore, the Cavite trail of Biyaheng Bonifacio helped me to appreciate more about the history of the Philippines especially during the Revolution. Bonifacio showed his valor and courage in defending the country as well with the fact that there are some questions and issues in that historical event which needs an answer. These questions can be answered by exploring the past through reading and studying historical chronicles and travelling the sites to discover our heritage. You can read the Manila trail of Biyaheng Bonifacio.

Date of Travel: April 15, 2013

Source: Biyaheng Bonifacio Brochure by Department of Tourism and National Historical Commission of the Philippines

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Biyaheng Bonifacio (Part 1): Metro Manila Trail

When I was studying, I always recall some of our lessons about Philippine heroes in our History subjects. One of the most remarkable heroes that I remember is Andres Bonifacio. He is one of the heroes who fought for our country during the Philippine Revolution in 1896. Bonifacio is known as "The Supremo" because he is the founder of Katipunan, a Philippine revolutionary society which aims to gain independence from Spain through revolution.  
Front cover of Biyaheng Bonifacio.
The historical sites to visit in Biyaheng Bonifacio.

This year is the 150th Birth Anniversary of Andres Bonifacio which is on November 30, 2013 (he was born in the year 1863). Recently, the Department of Tourism and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines launched "Biyaheng Bonifacio: Biyaheng Bayani ng Bayan" in order to commemorate the life of Andres Bonifacio by visiting different historical places which is relevant in his lifetime. There are sixteen sites located in Cavite, Metro Manila and Rizal.

I decided to have this opportunity to visit the six out of eight sites in Metro Manila. These sites are located in Manila, Mandaluyong City, San Juan City and Pasig City.
Binondo Church, one of the Baroque churches built in the Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines.
1. Binondo Church
Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz, Binondo, Manila

This is the first site that I visited on that day after I entered the arch of Chinatown. Binondo Church is one of the Baroque churches in Manila and it is the place where Andres Bonifacio and Gregoria De Jesus was married. Gregoria de Jesus is called as the Lakambini of the Katipunan.

The monument of Andres Bonifacio in front of Tutuban Mall, a shopping mall famous for its affordable goods.
Andres Bonifacio Monument
2. Tutuban Mall
C.M. Recto Avenue, Manila

Located in the busy and crowded streets where people buy cheap goods in an affordable price, the famous Tutuban Mall is the present site of the birthplace of Andres Bonifacio. He was born on November 30, 1863 to Catalina de Castro and Santiago Bonifacio in a small hut at Calle Azcarraga, presently known as Claro M. Recto Avenue in Tondo, Manila.
The tableau of KKK Foundation Site located in the busy streets of Divisoria.
3. K.K.K. Foundation Site
El Cano St. cor. Recto Avenue, Manila

A few walks away from Tutuban Mall and within the busy and crowded streets as well with numerous stalls and stores of products and goods in Divisoria, you can found the tableau of K.K.K. Foundation Site. It is located at El Cano St. cor. Recto Avenue. On the night of July 7, 1892, a revolutionary society called Kataasataasan, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (Highest and Respected Society of the Sons of the People) known as K.K.K. or Katipunan. This society was founded in 72 Azcarraga, Tondo, Manila by Andres Bonifacio, Ladislao Diwa, Teodoro Plata, Deodato Arellano, Valentin Diaz and Jose Dizon. It aimed to unite all Filipinos in their struggle and to gain independence from Spain.
Battle of Pinaglabanan Shrine
Stairs to Pinaglabanan Shrine
4. Pinaglabanan Shrine
Pinaglabanan St., San Juan City

Located near in the city hall of San Juan City, you can visit the Pinaglabanan Shrine. At the dawn of August 30, 1896, Bonifacio and his army of poorly-armed and untrained katipuneros rashly attacked the polverin (powder depot) in San Juan which was defended by 100 well-armed and trained artillerists and infantrymen. The battle turned out to be a massacre because of an unequal combat - Spanish artillery and modern rifles against Filipino bolos, bamboo spears, amulets and old firearms. Because of that incident, Bonifacio and his troops lead into the Pasig River  to attack the water reservoir where 153 Katipuneros died from the battle.
Andres Bonifacio Shrine in Brgy. Hagdang Bato
5. Hagdang Bato
Hagdang Bato Barangay Center, A. Bonifacio St., Mandaluyong City

A barangay in Mandaluyong called Hagdang Bato is the place where Andres Bonifacio transferred from Balara to the mountain called Mt. Balabak which is located in this barangay on August 27 to 28, 1896. They held their meetings in that place for the attack of Manila. When I visited that shrine during that time, the barangay center was under renovation but I still decided to took photos in that place.
Valentin Cruz Marker
Pasig Catholic Church
6. Valentin Cruz Marker / Pasig Catholic Church.
M.H. Del Pilar St., Pasig City

Located in the center of Pasig City, there is the Valentin Cruz Marker which can be found near the Pasig Catholic Church. In this place, Bonifacio gathered his troops to have a meeting at the house of Valentin Cruz, a Katipunero who lived near in the Pasig Church.
Andres Bonifacio Monument in Liwasang Bonifacio, located in front of Manila Post Office Building.

Bonifacio Shrine located in Manila City Hall
Kartilya ng Katipunan at the back of Bonifacio Shrine.
Aside from these sites, you can also try to visit Liwasang Bonifacio which is located in front of Manila Post Office Building and the Bonifacio Shrine located in front of Manila City Hall.

These are the first six sites that I accomplished on that day. Beside of all the challenges in traveling and visiting the sites, I am eager to finish this task on the coming days in order to commemorate the anniversary of a hero who showed his courage and valor to the country, Andres Bonifacio. I will continue the Biyaheng Bonifacio series with the Cavite trail and Quezon City - Rizal trail.

You can read the Biyaheng Bonifacio - Cavite Trail here.

Date of Travel: April 13, 2013

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Not Just An Ordinary Picnic in the Highland Park: Picnic Grove, Tagaytay City


When I was young, Tagaytay City is one of the favorite places that my family and I always visit. We enjoyed the cool climate, the delicious products such as tropical fruits and native delicacies and the panoramic view of the smallest active volcano in the world, Taal Volcano surrounded by the turquoise waters of Taal Lake and the towering verdant, lush mountains dotted with small houses in the lakeshore towns of Batangas. That is why, there are many investors who establish their business in this highland city as well with the local and foreign tourists who spend their weekend getaway and vacation. In other words, Tagaytay City got its moniker as "The Summer Capital of Southern Luzon" and "Little Baguio of Cavite".
Welcome marker of Picnic Grove
Map of Picnic Grove
Children are playing and flying kites in the verdant slopes of Picnic Grove.
One of the interesting places in Tagaytay City is Picnic Grove. There are many things that you can accomplish in this place. First, you can spend your family bonding moments in this place by staying at cozy cottages in the rolling hills which is the trademark of the highland park. You can make your picnic in this park through renting a cottage. You can play in this park by flying kites and at the same time, you can buy souvenirs such as t-shirts and clothes.
Cozy cottages with concrete benches is the trademark of Picnic Grove.

You can spend time with your family and friends in this cottage plus the panoramic view of Taal Volcano.
Aside from having a picnic and flying kites, you can tour the whole park park via ecotrail.  First, you are going to have a stroll in the park and you will pass the hanging bridge and visit the clubhouse through ecotrail where you are going to pass the stairs and enjoy the ambiance of lush trees. You can have an adventure trail also through horseback riding where you are going to have a tour in the hills and see the Taal Volcano. You can do horseback riding from Picnic Grove in order to have a trek to Taal Lake and crossing the lake to hike the Taal Volcano.
Hanging bridge, part of the ecotrail in Picnic Grove
You can experience adventure trail through horseback riding in the rolling hills of Tagaytay City.
Zipline at Picnic Grove
You can experience the thrill to see the stunning highlands through riding a cable car with your family and friends. If you want more challenge to overcome your fear of heights, you can try the zipline plus you will experience to see the bird's eye view of Taal Volcano and Taal Lake as well with the verdant rolling mountains of Batangas.
Fish Spa plus Free Foot Spa
Another interesting and new activity in the place is the Fish Spa. You will soak your feet in a pool of water with doctor fish.  These fish will remove dead skin in your feet by sucking and biting and after that, you can have your free foot massage via cleaning and washing the feet.
The view of Taal Volcano surrounded by Taal Lake and the verdant mountains of Batangas.
Overlooking the town of Talisay, Batangas from Tagaytay City.
I hope that there are few areas in Picnic Grove should improve such as putting a welcome arc in the entrance of the park. Therefore, this park is an ideal venue for weekend getaway for your family and friends because you can accomplish many activities and enjoy the panoramic view of Taal Volcano and Taal Lake from the highland city. Visiting Tagaytay City is such a wonderful experience as well with the fact that it is a refreshing moment away from the hustles of city living.

Fees:
  • Entrance Fee                      -   P50.00
  • Cottage Rental                   -   P100.00 - P200.00
  • Cable Car                          -   P200.00 / person
  • Zipline                               -    P400.00
  • Fish Spa                            -   P199.00

How to Get There:
You can ride a bus from Manila to Tagaytay City. From Tagaytay Rotonda, you can ride a jeepney which takes you to Brgy. Sungay East where Picnic Grove was located.

Watch out for my personal entries about the activities that I accomplished in Picnic Grove. Thanks.

Date of Travel: November 30, 2011 and April 4, 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Visit to the Ruins of the Old Circular Fort: Baluarte De San Diego

During my tour in Intramuros, I noticed a wooden arc which looks like a cozy garden. I asked the permission to the guards to go inside that place where I paid P50.00 for the entrance fee. Then they gave me the brochure about Intramuros, map of Intramuros and the ticket about the place. As I go around the sophisticated garden, it was an overwhelming moment to see a unique fortification which is one of the oldest structures in the walled city.
Baluarte De San Diego is one of the most interesting places that I've heard in Intramuros. It is because that the circular structure which looks like a maze from above as well with the old stones used in constructing the stone fortification. It is one of the oldest stone fortifications in Intramuros and began as a circular fort called Nuestra Senora de Guia.
Baluarte de San Diego (Source: Google Photos)
It was built and designed by Jesuit priest Antonio Sedeno from 1586 to 1587 which was made of wood.  It was renovated in 1563 to join the walls of the city. Resembling an ace of spades,a cannon foundry and powder factory functioned near the Baluarte during the 18th century. The Baluarte was breached by British force with cannon fire in 1762. It was restored and strengthened after the British occupation where the fort was made of lime (apog) and stone. It was damaged during the earthquakes of 1863 and 1880 and condemned by the Spaniards. It was totally destroyed during the Battle of Manila in 1945. The restoration of Baluarte De San Diego began in 1979 and completed in 1992. 
An old cannon in Baluarte De San Diego Gardens

Stairs to the circular stone fortification.


Baluarte De San Diego
Today, Baluarte De San Diego is one of interesting spots in Intramuros because of its ancient and sturdy walls as well with the circular structure. In addition, the place functions as a garden for events such as weddings and seminars. The place is significant for the Walled City because of the fact that it is one of the oldest stone fortification which reflects the history of our country and the legacy leave by the Spaniards in the Philippines.
The skyline view of  buildings in Manila from Baluarte De San Diego.
How to Get There:
You can go there via pedicab or calesa which takes you to Baluarte de San Diego Gardens. It is located in front of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. Entrance fee is worth P50.00 for students and P75.00  for regular tourists. You can get a brochure, a map of Intramuros and a ticket which contains facts about the place.

Date of Travel: February 2013
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