I added Pakistan and Hawaii, USA to my travel list. This year included visits to Seoul, Taean, and Busan, South Korea; Washington DC, Grand Rapids, Chicago, and Honolulu, USA; Bali, Indonesia; Saipan, Northern Marianas; Osaka, Koyasan, and Kyoto, Japan; Langkawi, Malaysia; Bangkok, and Ayutthaya, Thailand; and Islamabad, and Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
We finally completed our project at the Agusan Marsh! Thank you to the US Embassy for the support given to the Indigenous Cultural Tourism Program at the Agusan Marsh in Sitio Panlabuhan, Loreto, Agusan del Sur!
Together with members of the media, we visited the Agusan Marsh early this year to launch the program. And since our gateway is always Davao City, before heading home, we also dropped by Samal Island, Davao del Norte.
Our team also completed our study in Mayoyao, Ifugao for UNESCO Jakarta: "The Establishment of a Sustainability Science Demonstration Pilot Project on the Rice Terraces of the Philippines Cordilleras." Early this year, I brought my UP AIT students there.
This view of the Ducligan Rice Terraces never fails to amaze me!
Millions of Filipinos are visiting Catholic churches tonight for the annual #visitaiglesia. Bacolor Church in Pampanga continues to use the traditional monumento (altar of repose), decorated with altar frontals adorned with beaten silver (pukpok) designs. During the Spanish colonial period, churches had monumentos made of gilded wood, pukpok, lagang (nautilus shells), mother of pearl or paper flowers. Heritage churches should continue using traditional monumentos for Holy Thursday #HolyWeek2016 #VisitaIglesia2016 #HeritagePH
This year we continued plans for a tourism program in my other home province: Negros Occidental! Watch out for the Negros Island Sugar Heritage Trail.
Taking a quick nap at the Masungi Georeserve, a conservation area in Baras, Rizal. It has fantastic limestone karst formations, and is host to several species of flora and fauna endemic to the Philippines. The trail around the park includes several rope courses like this giant hammock called the duyan.
Of course, the visit to the Masungi Georeserve in Baras, Rizal was another memorable highlight for the year!
I found myself in the US again to attend a wedding in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I visited my sister in Washington DC. I also got to watch a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field!
It was my first time in Hawaii! I was there to attend the APO Study Mission on Planning and Management of Rural Tourism. We got to experience many of the attractions on Oahu.
I was in Bali, Indonesia for the 3rd Asia Pacific Biosphere Reserves Network (APBRN) Strategic Meeting. As part of the meeting, I was able to see the Jatilwih Rice Terraces again!
Thank you to Tides Hotel Boracay for inviting me again to paradise!
Thank you also to the Marianas Visitors Authority (MVA) for inviting me to visit Saipan, Northern Marianas! I'll be blogging about it soon!
Hello from Kōya-san! This is the Konpon Daito (Great Pagoda) of the Danjo Garan Complex. Mount Kōya is the seat of the Kōyasan Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism. A World Heritage Site, it's part of the Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range. Mount Kōya is just two hours from Osaka. #KaraksaHotels #GoHotelsPH #JapanAdventure
Thank you to Karaksa Hotels and GoHotels.ph for inviting me to visit Karaksa Hotels in Osaka and Kyoto!
I also had quite a number if speaking engagements this year including several in Laoag, Ilocos Norte; Roxas City, Capiz; and Tuguegarao, Cagayan. We also held Heritage Conservation Summit 2016 in Dumaguete City.
I brought by UP AIT students to Cebu Province. We visited Sumilon Island in Oslob but stayed away from the whale sharks. Do not try the activity until they stop feeding the sharks. Protecting marine wildlife is more important than selfies.
I attended the Synthesis Workshop of the Projects “Sustainability Transformation across the Region (STAR)” and “Science Harnessed for ASEAN Regional Policy (SHARP)" in Langkawi, Malaysia. Unfortunately, there was no time to explore the island.
In November, I brought my UP AIT students to Bangkok and Ayutthaya, Thailand, to let them experience a World Heritage Site in another country.
It's my first time in Pakistan! I got to visit Saidpur Village, a Mughal-era village at the foot of Islamabad's Margalla Hills. Rama Mandir is an abandoned Hindu temple in Saidpur, built around 1580. The village had a significant Hindu population which left for India when Pakistan was created in 1947. Soon after, the temple fell into disuse.
Straight from Bangkok, I flew to Islamabad, Pakistan to attend the International Conference: Asia Pacific Policy Dialogue on Water, Energy and Food Security for Poverty Alleviation in Dryland Regions in Rawalpindi.
Dharmarajika Stupa is the earliest and largest Buddhist complex in Taxila, a World Heritage Site in Rawalpindi District, Pakistan. It was built by Emperor Asoka in the 3rd century BC to house the relics of Buddha. The tooth relic was given by the Government of India to the Buddhists of Ceylon in 1917, and is now at Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic) in Kandy, Sri Lanka.
The Giant Lantern Festival of San Fernando, Pampanga is an impressive showcase of Philippine folk art. The knowledge to make each 20-foot Christmas lantern has been passed down five generations with many innovations introduced for over a century now. Most of these parol makers don't have electrical engineering degrees. And yet they are able to dazzle crowds with these masterpieces of Filipino ingenuity. NCCA should nominate the Giant Lantern Festival to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.