Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cebu: Edge Coaster at the Sky Adventure Experience

Despite visiting Cebu quite often, it was only last month that I got to try the Edge Coaster at the Sky Adventure Experience of Crown Regency Hotel Cebu. We paid Php750 for the buffet dinner and one ride at the Sky Adventure Experience. The buffet had a lot of dishes to choose from which was quite good. For the rest of the rates, visit the Sky Adventure Experience website.

The Edge Coaster goes around the edge of the 38th floor of the Crown Regency Hotel, 130.84 meters above street level. What makes the ride thrilling is that you can let your seat tilt at an angle of up to 55 degrees. A few meters from the start of the ride, it automatically tilts 50 degrees. If that's too much for you, you can choose to lower the angle a bit.

Unfortunately, cameras are not allowed. So I couldn't take photos of the view. But they have photographers who will take your photo and you can have copies printed.

Sky Adventure Experience
(032) 4188888

Bohol: NHCP decision on Antequera Town Plaza, a victory for historic open spaces!

Several months ago, I received a call for help from concerned residents of Antequera, Bohol. The mayor was planning to build a multi-purpose hall in their historic town plaza. While this has been happening across the country, in violation of land use, and now, heritage laws, no one has actually raised a major howl until now. All those multi-purpose halls in town plazas are illegal!

The good news is, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) recently released its decision on the Antequera Town Plaza. It's a landmark decision after the passage of R.A. No. 10066 that protects all historic plazas and parks. It's a victory, not only for Antequera, but for all historic open spaces around the country! I hope this decision marks the end of local governments building large structures in public plazas and parks.

Thank you to the NHCP for upholding the rule of law. And congratulations to the people of Antequera for their vigilance! Note that the citizens were not against the construction of a multi-purpose hall, but rather the proposed location. In fact, many of the citizens opposed to the plan have volunteered to donate land for the new structure. I hope the mayor sees the goodwill here.

April 8, 2011

Municipal Mayor
Antequera, Bohol

Dear Mayor Pahang:

Greetings from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP)!

We receivd a letter from NCCA Executive Director Malou Jacob dated 21 February 2011 informing us of the Proposed Development of the Multi-Purpose Cultural Center building which is to be located at the town plaza of Antequera in Bohol. NCCA also requested to conduct site inspections and to assess your proposed project.

We have sent NHCP technical team to Antequera, and they have conducted site assessment. Per our evaluation, we regret to inform that your proposed development project at the town plaza is not in conformity with the Republic Act 10066 (National Heritage Act of 2009) for the following reasons:

1. Historic towns plazas should remain open and green to serve as breathing space of the town. Its open area should not be diminished, and its land use and zoning category should not be converted nor changed.

2. Town plazas are places where townspeople congregate for various outdoor activities, and therefore, should be regarded as natural environment and spaces that relates the history of the town and the lifestyle of its community.

3. Putting up a huge structure within the plaza will create visual scale and proportion, and will adversely affect the historical ambiance and character of the town.

We suggest that the aforesaid project be situated in potential new development areas.

Looking forward to your favorable response for the preservation of our cultural heritage.

With all good wishes.

Very truly yours,
Executive Director III

Note: Photos from the Preserve the Antequera Town Plaza page on Facebook.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cebu: Kawasan Falls in Badian

I've heard about the beauty of Kawasan Falls in Badian. On a recent trip to Cebu with my fraternity batchmates, we visited the waterfall. It's about 3 hours from Cebu City. And if you plan to rent a van, it's not cheap. On the way there, you get to pass by the picturesque coastline of the western side of Cebu.

The falls is several kilometers past the town proper of Badian. From the jump-off point along the National Highway, there's an easy 15 minute walk to Kawasan Falls. Along the way, you have to pay Php10 per head as entrance fee.

Kawasan Falls has aquamarine blue water making it look like it was a swimming pool. You can rent tables for Php300, or ride a raft that will bring you under the falls, also at Php300 per group.

It's quite refreshing but not as high as other popular waterfalls around the country. But in my opinion, you'd have to spend the whole day there, or explore nearby attractions for the trip or cost of transportation to be worth it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Visita iglesia routes for Holy Thursday 2011

By now, you might have decided where to go tomorrow for Holy Thursday visita iglesia. But for those who still don't have any plans, here are some ideas for visita iglesia to our heritage churches in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

You could visit churches in Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, Rizal, Quezon, Pampanga, BulacanBataan and Pangasinan.

Bulacan: San Miguel Heritage Town and Biak-na-Bato National Park

San Miguel, Bulacan is a very historic town. The town proper is an outstanding assemblage of colonial-period houses. While the caves of Biak-na-Bato were witness to the birth of the Philippine nation.

We got to visit San Miguel, Bulacan recently as part of Lakbay Norte of the North Philippines Visitors Bureau. First stop was the San Miguel Heritage Town. We were able to stop by the historic San Miguel Church, where some of our nation's heroes are buried including Maximo Viola, a friend of Dr. Jose Rizal who helped finance the publication of Noli Me Tangere.

Unfortunately, we didn't have time to explore the ancestral houses. But we made one round around town.

I got to explore San Miguel when I was still a college student. And obviously, much has changed. It alarms me that the historical fabric of the town is starting to change as well. And safeguards need to be put in place if we are to conserve the historic core of San Miguel.

A few kilometers from the town proper is the Biak-na-Bato National Park, the mountain hideout of the Philippine Revolutionary Forces and birthplace of the Republika ng Biak-na-Bato in 1897. It is said to be the first Philippine republic with its own constitution. But it was short-lived and lasted only a month.

In 1937, President Manuel L. Quezon declared 2,117 hectares in the Biak-na-Bato area as a national park to honor the First Philippine Republic. It's actually a refreshing place with a comfortable cover of green, several streams and waterfalls, and a system of caves which served as hideouts for our revolutionary forces.

A visit to San Miguel, Bulacan is definitely an appointment with Philippine history.
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