Archive for August, 2012

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Iloilo-Guimaras: On A Budget (Part 1)
Traveling Around should not be Expensive
ITLOG_No. 15
(05-10.07.2012)

We usually travel around places but do not spend much to see historical sites and beautiful places, there are airlines promos which everyone could avail and cost less than a quarter of the usual ticket cost, the accommodation should not be elegant and plush, because you just rest and sleep there and not stay the whole day, your valuables should be well secured and most of all have fun on the places you will visit.

We were able to get a promo flight going to Iloilo and was thrilled about this trip because we would be able to visit Guimaras and also the old church in Miang-ao, which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Our trip was booked for July 5th till the 10th, with a side trip to Guimaras. Checking the Net for places to visit in IloIlo, we were able to list down the following places like the Churches of Jaro and Molo, the old ancestral houses, the places where we could eat authentic ilonggo foods.

Arriving at Iloilo International Airport at around 0530hrs, after collecting our baggage, we headed for the taxi stand but was being charged Php500.00 pesos to take us to the town proper, then an old guy told us to try the van which costs only Php60.00 to take us to the city proper, so we got in the van and was dropped at General Luna Street and from there we took the Baluarte jeep which cost Php7.50 and went down in front of City Corporate Inn located at Rizal Street, which is near Ortiz Wharf, where we would take the ferry the next day going to Guimaras. Checking in our bags but was told that the rooms were still not available, so we waited for about 15 minutes, then we were told we could go in our room and then we rested a bit for it was still early to roam the city.

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After resting, we ask the front desk for directions and which jeepney to take to go around. We then took the CSI Jaro jeep (Php7.50) and headed for Nelly’s Garden.

Arriving at Nelly’s Garden, we were told that the garden was still closed and that we should have a reservation to go in and tour the grounds which costs Php60.00/PAX for a group of 6 persons minimum, we then decided to move on and walked to our next destination which was Jaro Church and Belfry. Along the way we passed by some old ancestral houses and took some photos plus the place where they serve authentic Kansi – Pat Pat’s Kansi House.

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Upon reaching Jaro Church, we decided to eat breakfast first at Ted’s La Paz Bachoy, which is one of the Original La Paz Bachoys in Iloilo, here I ordered a special Batchoy with more meat innards and eggs. After eating then we headed for Jaro Church and Belfy.

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Jaro Church and Belfy (Church of St. Elizabeth of Hungary) was built in 1864, the year the district was named a diocese by Pope Pius the IX, by order of His Grace Mariano Cuartero, first bishop of Jaro. Destroyed in the quake of January 1948, and restored by order of His Excellency Jose Ma. Cuenco, the first archbishop of Jaro in 1956. The cathedral’s style is basically Baroque, with the addition of Gothic elements over many renovations.

The Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria (Lady of the Candles) is the only rose among the all-male collection of statues, which line the walls of the cathedral’s interiors. The Lady of Candles is perched on a glass-encased shrine carved out of the facade. The limestone is said to be continuously growing, and in fact had become too large to fit into its original niche just above the present one. Her shrine is visited often by many devotees, which they believe that the statue to be miraculous. This 400-year-old image is the focus of an annual Jaro Fiesta held every February 2.

The Jaro Cathedral is the first and only cathedral in Panay built in 1864. Baptized here was Graciano Lopez Jaena, patriot and orator, in December 20, 1856. A high point in the history of the cathedral was the visit of Pope John Paul VI, conducting a mass in 1982. He set a crown upon the Lady of the Candles, and declared it the Patroness of the Western Visayas.

We then took the jeep back to City Corporate Inn to rest because it was hot that day and decided to take lunch late because we were still full from our breakfast that we ate.

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At around 1330hrs, we took the jeep in front of the inn and headed for Pat Pat’s Kansi House to eat lunch. Reaching the place, we ordered kansi and grilled liempo. Kansi, is an Ilonggo recipe that is sort of like a cross between Bulalo (beef bone marrow and vegetables soup) and Sinigang (sour pork soup). Kansi is one of the finest delicacies of Bacolod City, it is Ilonggo’s version of the famous Bulalo. Enjoy the tangy and flavorful taste of Kansi and the aroma of lemon grass that will surely soothe you.

After a hearty lunch, we then took the jeep and headed for General Luna Street and went down near St. Paul School where we saw a bakery and got Baye Baye which is a Western Visayas dessert delicacy made from coconut water, grated scraped young coconut meat, sugar and toasted pinipig (pounded rice grains).

We then took the Villa jeep, and headed for Molo District where we would visit the feminist church in the Philippines, Molo Church or better known as the Parish of St. Anne.

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The Molo Church is one of the most familiar landmarks of Iloilo. Built in 1831, the church stands as a reminder of Iloilo’s rich history and a monument for Ilonggo artistry. The Molo exudes a blatant expression of Gothic-Renaissance architecture, the one of its kind outside Manila. The interior is a fusion of Gothic and Romanesque architectures, there is a constant alternation between the overpowering features of Gothic and the recessive characteristics of Romanesque.

The interior is rich in Gothic elements. There are five gothic altars, which are made of wood while beautiful paintings dominate the walls. Female Saints Stand on each pillar and a pair of interestingly decorated pulpits contrast the entire structure. The Spires of Molo are yet the most interesting colonial “skyscrapers” in Iloilo City aside from the neoclassic Belfry of Jaro.

Women wanting to be empowered by the graces of women saints have a place in Molo Church. This Molo Church made of coral rocks (affixed with a mortar made from egg whites mixed with sand) earned the moniker “women’s church” because of the presence of 16 images of women saints inside. The centerpiece in the retablo is the image of Sta. Ana, the patron saint of Molo.

It is said that in August 4, 1886, Dr. Jose Rizal, on his way back to Manila from his exile in Dapitan, passed by the church to pray and view its collection of biblical paintings, which is no longer extant.

Molo church is very sturdy and has survived fires, earthquakes, and artillery barrages in 1945. Molo church was made as an evacuation center for the civilians during WWII. One of its towers, is said to have been destroyed by the Americans after suspecting it of being used for military purposes by the Japanese during the Second World War. The bells still bear the scars of bullets shot at Philippine resistance fighters in the Second World War. The National Historical Institute declared it a national landmark in 1992.

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Before leaving the church, we saw a statue outside and inquired about it, and we were told that he was Pedro Calunsod, who they say would be the next Filipino saint, originally from Iloilo then moved to Cebu where we was killed in Guam while helping Fr. Diego Catechize and Baptize the Chamorro People.

After visiting Molo Church, we saw a stand near the church that sells mango shake, we ordered a big cup to cool off the afternoon heat. And then took the jeep to UP Iloilo, then another jeep to take us to SM Iloilo, where we bought bread and look at some stuffs to bring home.

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Taking a couple of jeepney rides back to City Corporate Inn where we rested a bit and then went to the nearby Panederia de Molo and looked at their Pasalubongs, then ordered Molo soup for dinner, after which, we went back up to our room and rested for the night.

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Waking up around 0600hrs to prepare for our trip to Guimaras, together with our friend, which arrived the night before, we headed for Ortiz Wharf after grabbing some coffee and a hot choco at the nearby Dunkin Donuts, but was told that the ferry are docked in Parola. We then took the trike and headed for Parola and paid the fare of Php15.00/PAX, listed our names at the manifest and then boarded the boat named “Kevin Lee”. After sometime, the ferry shoved off and headed for Guimaras, docking there after about 15minutes. We were met by our guide named “Mai” at Jordan Port, after the usual pleasantries, we boarded his trike with our bags and headed for Raymens Beach Resort, which is located at Alubihod Beach, which is one of the most popular resorts in Guimaras. Leaving our bags at the check-in counter then eating a heavy breakfast in the their restaurant which we ordered what we thought was something original to Iloilo which was the “Uga Tabagak“, upon arriving our order was just “Tuyo”. After a brief rest, we then started our tour of Guimaras, headed for Guisi Lighthouse, which was built aroung the 18th century.

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The Guisi Lighthouse is an 18th century Spanish-colonial lighthouse built beside the beach. It was built to guide mariners passing the Iloilo and Guimaras strait. The lighthouse can be reached by following a light trail. The 15-minute uphill trek to the Guisi Lighthouse also provides a great view of the beach. At the top of the hill are the ruins of a Spanish-colonial outpost and the rotting remains of the metal lighthouse structure. Although the condition of the old lighthouse is already in disarray the Guimarasnons take pride in having the second oldest lighthouse, next to the old lighthouse in Aparri, Cagayan.

We were guided up the lighthouse by a volunteer named “mang Bobet Cordero”, who, together with another volunteer, does not have a fixed salary but sustain their needs by the donations that the tourists give. He talked about how old the structure is, and showing another old lighthouse farther up the mountain and a newer lighthouse, which was powered by solar energy. Showing us every corner of the ruins and offered us to climb the old lighthouse, but one person at a time, because of the deteriorating condition of the lighthouse.

After signing the guestbook, and seeing other visitors arriving, we were brought down the beach by our guide to see its golden-yellow sands and its seascape. After taking more than enough photos, we left Guisi Lighthouse and headed for Valle Verde and saw the scenic view of the mountain, here we just rested a bit and then headed onward to Trappist Abby.

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The Trappist Monastery grounds, is a peaceful and sacred enclave in Guimaras run by monks of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance. These monks follow the rule of St. Benedict and are best known for the extreme austerity or strictness that characterizes their discipline.

The monks earn a living by selling souvenir items and processed foods such as jellies, jams, candies, piyaya and more, which are sold in a small shop within the monastery grounds. All the products are from ingredients grown in the Trappist grounds.

You can tour the monastery grounds, and visit their prayer areas. Don’t forget to talk with the monks and nuns. They’re all friendly and are full of wise thoughts and things to contemplate about while you’re spending your time in serenity. There also guest houses, which are available at reasonable prices for those who would want a retreat from the stresses of life.

Here we bought a lot of pasalubongs, rosaries and sinukuan na kahoy, which they say they get only on holy weeks because if it is an ordinary week, there would be no cross seen in the middle of the wood, and they say this brings good luck. We had the rosaries and the sinukuan be blessed by Br. Benedict, and then toured the grounds. Headed for the chapel and after, we then talked to Br. Peter Patiño, who gives out letters to pharmacies that they would pay for the medicines when people bring their prescriptions to them, here Br. Peter pleaded for donation and if there are any, to send them thru LBC, which we will try to get for them. After our goodbyes, we headed for a place along the road where we would eat our lunch.

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Eating our lunch at Liza’s Talabahan, where we ordered Oysters, grilled squid, samaral, kalderetang kambing, and for dessert ripe mangos (which Guimaras is known for). After our hearty lunch, we continued on to our next destination, which took us a bit longer to go to, which was Navales Church.

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Navalas Church in Guimaras is considered to be the oldest structure in this island. Built in 1880 Navalas Church also known as San Isidro Labrador Church in Barangay Navalas the municipality of Buenavista, has been the oldest seat of the Catholicism in this island, and the product of community labor and unity.

Navalas Church is made of coral rocks abundant in the area during the construction of this edifice. Don Miguel Jayme who has contributed much to the construction with Doña Carmen Javellana, which donated the piece of land where the Church lies.
It is fenced with old stone structures and has a watchtower that serves as the entrance gate. The watchtower was used to guard the Church from the Moro intruders. This structure also is the belfry of the church that once held a big bell made of an alloy of silver and gold. The history tells that Muslims once raided Navalas and took away the bell but threw it at the middle of the sea near the Siete Pecados Islands because it was too heavy. That bell played a major role and served as the warning device for the impending intruders’ attack as it can be heard even up to the town of Dumangas across the Iloilo Strait.

Going further down the road, we reach the place called Roca Encantada.

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One of Guimaras’ famous landmark, is the summer house of the Lopez Clan built atop a hill, also known as Roca Encantada or “Enchanted Rock”.

The house was built in 1910 in honor of Dona Presentacion Hofilena Lopez. Suprisingly despite the modern exterior, the idyllic mansion is a “heritage house” as declared by the National Heritage Institute.

The grand balconies of Roca Encantada, offers a picturesque view of the beach front and Iloilo Strait with “La Islas de Siete Picados” not far from its coast.

Here we stayed a little bit longer and took a lot of photos around the house, and thinking how the opulent people live, and can do anything just to satisfy their desires. Created by dumping sandbags at the water to make a pathway going to the rock. We later learned that the lopez clan has a lot of island around Guimaras,

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Heading back to Raymen, we passed by a World War II ruins, and saw that it was the former Headquarters of Douglas MacArthur and now converted to a water pumping station. Moving along we passed by a pizza joint named “Pitstop”, where we saw that they serve an unusual kind of pizza, the flavor is Mango Pizza with Cashew Nuts. Reaching Raymens Beach Resort, we ordered beer and ate the pizza then lazed around till we fell asleep. Tomorrow would be another day of island hopping.

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Till Tomorrow…

Special thanks to the following people:

Br. Benedict
Br. Peter S. Patiño, OCSO
Trappist Abby, Guimaras
For donation please call 0905.301.4599

Bobet Cordero
Volunteer at Guisi Lighthouse
09107924028
09176406499

All photos are owned and copyrighted by Joey Rico (also known under these names: alien_scream).
All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use, copy, editing, reproduction, publication, duplication and distribution of the digital photos, without his explicit permission, is punishable by law

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.

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Mga Salamin at Bakal

Posted: August 24, 2012 in Blog, Uncategorized

Mga Salamin at Bakal

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Ang Buhay ng tao ay parang Salamin at Bakal na mula sa bagay na nang gagaling sa lupa, ito ay hinuhubog para maging maganda, makinis at makinang sa mata natin. Tulad din ng tao, mula sa pag silang, tinuturuan at pinangangaralan tayo para makayanan at tugunan natin ang mga pag subok at pahirap sa buhay.

Ang kaibahan ng Salamin sa Bakal ay, ang Salamin ay marupok at maselan, konting banga o tama sa kanya ay nag kakaroon sya ng lamat o tuluyan na syang mabasag at maging piraso-piraso, na tulad sa tao na pag dumating na ang pagsubok ay nawawalan na sila ng pag asa at parang gusto na nilang tapusin ang kanilang buhay. Ang bakal naman ay matibay, kahit anong hampas mo sa kanya, sya lang ay nagkakaroon ng mga bungi o yupi, tulad sa tao na kahit anong pagsubok ang dumarating sa kanya kaya nyang tugunan at ihaon ang kanyang buhay.

Ngunit sa pag tagal ng Salamin at Bakal, sila ay nagiging luma, nawawalan ng kinang, kinakalawang at nilalagay nalang sa isang tabi na parang wala ng silbe at gamit, tulad din sa buhay natin na pag lumipas na ang mga taon tayo ay tumatanda at nagiging walang silbe sa lipunan.

Sana, gaya din ng mga Salamin at Bakal, and buhay ng tao ay pwedeng ulit tunawin at ihubog para magkaroon tayo ng bagong buhay.

Ano ka…
Salamin o Bakal?

Friendly Little Kid

Posted: August 24, 2012 in Blog, Uncategorized

While Walking with the group Indios on the Unang Lakad ng Taon on January 8,2011, i chance upon a family sleeping at the street near Escolta. Went and see how they were and when the little boy saw me he was all smiles and friendly, playing around in his make-shift bed. I ask what was the redness in his eyes and the mother told me that he just had sore eyes. Then i ask how many months was he (because he was still small), then the mother answered that he was more than a year old, then continued telling me her story that that’s why he was small is because he is not drinking milk always and that the father, thou has work (he works as a pedicab driver), is always drinking with his friends, and does not buy milk or food for the kid, the mother always begs to the father to stop drinking and take care of their child and would always fight about it. Then the mother told me that she is thinking of moving back to the province so she could take care of her child.

That kepts me thinking… why would a father have a child but do not know or want to take care of him!!!!

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All photos are owned and copyrighted by Joey Rico (also known under these names: alien_scream).
All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use, copy, editing, reproduction, publication, duplication and distribution of the digital photos, without his explicit permission, is punishable by law

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.

Am I a MAC Addict?

Posted: August 24, 2012 in Blog, Events, Uncategorized
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Am I a MAC Addict?

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My first taste of a computer was when my mother enrolled me to a basic programming class using a Commodore 64, and had fun playing games in it (not the programming). Then started using the Commodore VIC-20.

Then there was the XTs, ATs, 286, and the 386 and so forth… my real fast computer was a 386 with a math-co processor with the DOS or Disk Operating System, this is where I started to learn AUTOCAD and started animating in 3DMAX. Then came Bill Gates with the Windows Operating System with such applications as Pascal, C Language and Corel Draw where I started learning to use the computer to do designs, we even had a computer business with my friends then it became a family business, but business was not good then because of the 8 hour blackouts at that time. And this is where I started to really play computer games like Wing Commander because of the graphics.

Then I was hired by a small design studio where all their computers were all MACs, and was ask to learn how to operate and use the applications in a day. I was given a MACiiLC to start with and started using Photoshop 2.0, then came the Quadra640, then the Quadra 840, moving to a Power PC and then came the G3/G4 MACs and now using a G5 dual core in the office and an old G4 silver MAC at home.

When I started using MACs, this is also the time I started to use other MAC products like the iPod (which I still use my 2nd generation iPod with a touch wheel), then the iPod Nano and an iPhone3Gs and I am thinking of getting an iPad… or a Macbook Pro for our travels.

Ever since I started using a MAC, I hardly ever use a PC anymore (unless in extreme cases where I really have to use it and ask for assistance on how to use it). And the first thing I look for in a computer shop is a MAC and would love to have the latest desktop which is a 12core PowerMac with a 27” LED dual display at home just for playing… that would be fun.

Now, am I really a MAC addict???

All photos are owned and copyrighted by Joey Rico (also known under these names: alien_scream).
All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use, copy, editing, reproduction, publication, duplication and distribution of the digital photos, without his explicit permission, is punishable by law

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.

Selamat Jalan

Posted: August 24, 2012 in Blog, Travel, Uncategorized

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We woke up around 0700hrs and would be visiting the KL Bird Park, which they say is the World’s Largest Free Flight Aviary. We waited for the Hop-on Hop-off Bus at Jalan Ramlee station till the first bus arrived and traveled to the KL Bird Park

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Kuala Lumpur Bird Park is located in the serene and scenic Lake Garden, about 10 minutes from the city centre of Kuala Lumpur. KL Bird Park is well known worldwide as “The world’s Largest Covered Bird Park” or “The World’s Largest Free Flight Aviary”. It is also the home to more than 3,000 birds from approximately 200 species of local and worldwide birds.
Sprawling approximately 20.9 acres of verdant valley terrain, bird park visitors will have an exciting experience of watching colourful and melodic birds perching and winging about about freely while relaxing in a natural and beautifully landscaped surrounding.

One of the KL Bird Park’s most extraordinary feature is all birds are let free in the aviary which resemble the natural habitat. With this type of free flight concept, birds are able to breed naturally in this unique concept bird park.

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After our visit at the KL Bird Park, we got on the bus again, and headed to Petaling Street where we had lunch at Tang City Food Court, which is like a bunch of karenderia here in Manila, where you order you food at the stalls and take your seat at the table, and when your food is cooked, they bring it to you steaming hot. I ordered shrimp with rice and a coke. After lunch, we walked around Petaling Street looking for some good bargains and trying some of the street foods.

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Petaling Street It is infamous for pirated clothes and accessories along with bootleg DVDs and CDs. Petaling Street however does not exclusively offer pirated products. Haggling is a common sight here and the place is usually crowded with locals as well as tourists.

The area has dozens of restaurants and food stalls, serving local favourites such as Hokkien mee, ikan bakar (barbecued fish), asam laksa and curry noodles. Traders here are mainly Chinese but there are also Indian, Malay, and Bangladeshi traders.

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Got on the bus again and headed back to Suria Mall and got some last minute shopping, then took the taxi back to our hotel to fix our things. And then headed to Bintang Walk to get something to eat and some pasalubongs, then rode the monorail back to our hotel to meet a friend.

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While they were chatting and catching up on things (with a bottle of Tiger Beer), I headed back the Petronas Tower to get my night shot of the tower, which I would not pass-off on this trip, and took a load of pictures of The Petronas Tower. Heading back to the hotel, I passed by the KL Convention Center and took a picture of the fountain in front. By around 2000hrs we were picked up by our cab and headed for the airport, checking in our bags and lazed around till our flight was up. Arriving in Manila at the wee hours of the morning and throwing our bags aside, we rested our feet and slept till late in the morning.

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There were still other places we wanted to go and visit in Kuala Lumpur but our schedule did not permit us to, but would like to visit Kuala Lumpur again and see the other places that we did not get to visit.

Until our next travel, HAPPY TRAILS!!!

All photos are owned and copyrighted by Joey Rico (also known under these names: alien_scream).
All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use, copy, editing, reproduction, publication, duplication and distribution of the digital photos, without his explicit permission, is punishable by law

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.

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Selamat Datang ke Kuala Lumpur

Selamat dating (səlamat dataŋ) or Welcome in the English language is a greeting which you will usually hear when you arrive in Malaysia.

Malaysia (pronounced məˈleɪʒə/ mə-LAY-zhə or məˈleɪziə/ mə-LAY-zee-ə) is a federal constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia. It consists of thirteen states and three federal territories and has a total landmass of 329,847 square kilometres (127,355 sq mi). The country is separated by the South China Sea into two regions, Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo (also known as West and East Malaysia respectively). Malaysia shares land borders with Thailand, Indonesia, and Brunei and has maritime boundaries with Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government. The population as of 2009 stood at over 28 million. Malaysia has its origins in the Malay Kingdoms present in the area in which, from the 18th century, became subject to the British Empire. The first British territories were known as the Straits Settlements. Peninsular Malaysia, then known as Malaya, was first unified under the commonwealth in 1946, before becoming the Federation of Malaya in 1948. In 1963, Malaya unified with Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore. In 1965, Singapore opted out of the federation and became an independent state. Since its independence, Malaysia has had one of the best economic records in Asia, with GDP growing an average 6.5% for the first 50 years of independence. The economy of the country has, traditionally, been fuelled by its natural resources, but is now also expanding in the sectors of science, tourism, commerce and medical tourism.

Landed at KLCC Airport via Cebu Pacific Air from Manila at past 0100hrs after which we took a taxi in the airport where they ask where your destination is then pay in the counter then go to the taxi stand (been reading in the net that you have to ask first for the price of the fare going to your place before riding to be sure of the payment and beware of Indian taxi drivers because they charge you triple the fare). On our way to KL we passed by rows and rows of palm trees, which the driver says, that Malaysia is the number 1 exporter of Palm Oil.

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Arriving at Paradise Hotel, we checked into our room and tried to rest a bit for we would be up early for the trip up to the Petronas Twin Towers. Waking up at 0530hrs and headed out to Petronas Twin Tower by 0600hrs, walking along Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Ramlee and upon reaching the Towers there was already a long cue and it was not 0700hrs yet. We waited in the long line till the ticketing booth opened at 0830hrs and was given a number, which was Number 110 (after a while they were not issuing anymore tickets and they closed the entrance already to those who wanted to get tickets). They started asking what time they would want to go up the Sky Bridge, we got our tickets and were scheduled at 0945hrs, and better more it is free. Went to the snack bar and ate Nesi Lemak and got my daily dose of coke for breakfast then headed to the Petronas Exhibit Hall to see how the tower was made and other stuff including some puzzled which really got me thinking till someone told me how to solve it (thinking out of the box). By 09300hrs we were called at the assembly area where we were issued tags and then watch a presentation about Petronas, then headed to a security check then up the elevators to the Sky Bridge. The Sky Bridge is the only area where tourist are allowed to go (starting October 1, 2010, they started a tour to the top level of the towers plus a dinner) and were only allowed to stay for only 10 minutes.

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The Petronas Twin Towers was designed by Argentine architects César Pelli and Djay Cerico under the consultancy of Julius Gold, the Petronas Towers were completed in 1998 after a seven year build and became the tallest buildings in the world on the date of completion. They were built on the site of Kuala Lumpur’s race track. Because of the depth of the bedrock, the buildings were built on the world’s deepest foundations. The 120-meter foundations were built within 12 months by Bachy Soletanche and required massive amounts of concrete. Its engineering designs on structural framework were contributed by Haitian engineer Domo Obiasse and colleagues Aris Battista and Princess D Battista.

The 88-floor towers are constructed largely of reinforced concrete, with a steel and glass facade designed to resemble motifs found in Islamic art, a reflection of Malaysia’s Muslim religion. Another Islamic influence on the design is that the cross section of the towers is based on a Rub el Hizb (albeit with circular sectors added to meet office space requirements). Tower 1 was built by a Japanese consortium led by the Hazama Corporation while Tower 2 was built by Samsung C&T and Kukdong Engineering & Construction, both South Korean contractors. The sky bridge contract was completed by Kukdong Engineering & Construction. The notable event was that the South Korean Samsung C&T started construction later than the Tower 1 but completed building faster and became the first.

Due to a lack of steel and the huge cost of importing steel, the towers were constructed on a cheaper radical design of super high-strength reinforced concrete. High-strength concrete is a material familiar to Asian contractors and twice as effective as steel in sway reduction; however, it makes the building twice as heavy on its foundation than a comparable steel building. Supported by 23-by-23 meter concrete cores and an outer ring of widely spaced super columns, the towers use a sophisticated structural system that accommodates its slender profile and provides 560,000 square metres of column-free office space. Below the twin towers is Suria KLCC, a shopping mall, and Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, the home of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

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While at the Sky Bridge, I talked to the guide and asked the way to Batu Caves and directed me to go below Suria Mall were the train station is (which is located at the bottom of the Twin Towers) and take the train to Taman Melati and then take a taxi to Batu Caves (which was better than taking a taxi from KL to Batu Caves). She also mentioned the Hop-on Hop-off Bus, which will take you around KL and to most of the tourist attractions in KL.

After the tour was done we passed by the gift-shop and looked around, since we will be going to other places yet we did not get anything but will get something before we leave KL. We headed our way to Suria Mall and looked around then went to the train station below and got ticket for a trip to Taman Melati after about 7 stops we got off the train then took the taxi at the taxi stand (the driver was Malay) and took us to Batu Caves. Along the way, I was marveled by the road system and railway system that they have.

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Batu Caves is a limestone hill, which has a series of caves and cave temples, located in Gombak district, 13 kilometers (8.1 mi) north of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It takes its name from the Sungai Batu or Batu River, which flows past the hill. Batu Caves is also the name of the nearby village.

The limestone forming Batu Caves is said to be around 400 million years old. Some of the cave entrances, were used as shelters by the indigenous Temuan people (a tribe of Orang Asli).

As early as 1860, Chinese settlers began excavating guano for fertilising their vegetable patches. However, they became famous only after the limestone hills were recorded by colonial authorities including Daly and Syers as well as American Naturalist, William Hornaday in 1878.

Batu Caves was promoted, as a place of worship by K. Thamboosamy Pillai, an Indian trader. He was inspired by the ‘vel’-shaped entrance of the main cave and was inspired to dedicate a temple to Lord Muruga within the caves.
In 1890, Pillai, who also founded the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Kuala Lumpur, installed the murti (consecrated statue) of Sri Subramania Swamy in what is today known as the Temple Cave. Since 1892, the Thaipusam festival in the Tamil month of Thai (which falls in late January/early February) has been celebrated there.
Wooden steps up to the Temple Cave were built in 1920 and have since been replaced by 272 concrete steps. Of the various cave temples that comprise the site, the largest and best known is the Temple or Cathedral Cave, so named because it houses several Hindu shrines beneath its 100 m vaulted ceiling.

Climbing the more than 200 steps was a feat to make (even old people climb the steps), where monkeys freely roam around and take food given to them. Arriving at the top you could see an entrance where upon entering you will be see a big cavern about 100 meters high where statues are erected at the sides. Then climbing another flight of steps you come to an open space where there is a Subramanium temple where devotees offer prayers. After going around and taking some photos we headed back down and had lunch at Restoran Rani, where they serve vegetarian Hindu food on a steel plate covered with banana leaves. I ordered their Rani Thali and was given a plate with all the stuff plus, if a finish one part, they fill it up again. Then gave me some sort of dessert which look somewhat like buko pandan. As we were leaving I met a man making Roti canai (pronounced “Chanai”) and wanted me to take his picture. Went around and saw all those sweets they are selling which I did not get their names but looks like sapin-sapin and kutsinta.

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Heading back to KL, we took the taxi to Gombak station and took the train back to Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC). I noticed that the train we were riding has no driver… we were riding in an automatic train where it stops at every station and even slows down on turns.

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Arriving in KLCC, we headed out to the park and took some photos of the park and the Petronas Twin Towers then went to the bus stop where the Hop-on Hop-off bus will pick up passengers (which was the last stop of the Hop-on Hop-off Bus tour). The Hop-on Hop-off Bus is a double-decker bus with its back part open for tourist to take photos, you pay about RM38 (for adults) which is good for 24hrs, which will take you to most of the major spots in KL including the Petronas Tower, Menara, Bukit Bintang, Arts & Crafts Center, KL Bird Park, Petaling Street and many others. After paying for our tickets, we got on the bus and headed to the Malaysia Tourist Center (which is technically the first stop of the tour), where we stopped for 10 minutes to wait for passengers, then headed for Menara Tower.

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The Kuala Lumpur Tower (officially known as Menara Kuala Lumpur; referred later as KL Tower) is a tall tower located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Its construction was finished in 1995. It is used for communication purposes and features an antenna that reaches 421 m (1,381 ft), which currently makes it the eighteenth tallest freestanding tower in the world. The roof of the pod is at 335 m (1,099 ft). The rest of the tower below has a stairwell and an elevator to reach the upper area, which also contains a revolving restaurant, providing diners a panoramic view of the city. Races are organized yearly where participants race up the stairs to the top. The tower also acts as the Islamic falak observatory to look for the crescent moon to mark the beginning of Muslim month of Ramadhan, Syawal, and Zulhijjah, to celebrate fasting month of Ramadhan, Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Aidiladha.

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Next, was a stop at the Arts & Crafts Center, where there is a store, a museum and a work area where locally made products are sold and are shown how they are made to tourists like the Batik. Here we were not allowed to take photos, I wanted to try making of Batik but we had to move on to our next stop, which was Bukit Bintang.

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Throbbing with activities of various kinds 24-7, the hip and happening Bukit Bintang remains Kuala Lumpur’s trendiest shopping and entertainment district. Combining historical charms with contemporary chic, this area has managed to retain its popularity over the years, both with locals and visitors alike. This bustling area offers everything from shopping centers to nightclubs. Due to its central location, it is fairly easy to get to Bukit Bintang from anywhere in Kuala Lumpur via public transportation.

At Bukit Bintang, we went around the malls hoping to buy some cheap stuff (which was on sale) then headed to Low Yat Plaza for some serious electronic buying.

A stylish and well-integrated shopping mall, Low Yat Plaza joins the cream of favorite’s retail and entertainment establishment in the heart of Bukit Bintang offering spectrum of fashion, food, phone, computer, software and family recreation as well as thematic concepts.

Low Yat Plaza is becoming too popular for technology lovers. It offers very intensive computer hardware and software, verities of mobile phones and etc. You can get all you want here + value for your money.

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After buying the stuff we were about to head back to the hotel but it was raining hard, and like in Manila when it rains, comes the traffic, it took us almost half an hour to get back to the hotel when it takes just 10 minutes to walk. After leaving our things at the hotel and resting a bit, we took the monorail back to Bukit Bintang and had dinner at a roadside stall, we then headed for a road where stalls were set-up at the road side, where you seat down and eat Mangosteen and Durian. Then we walked going back to our hotel and rest, for tomorrow will be another day of going around KL again.

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All photos are owned and copyrighted by Joey Rico (also known under these names: alien_scream).
All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use, copy, editing, reproduction, publication, duplication and distribution of the digital photos, without his explicit permission, is punishable by law

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.

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Integrity is doing the right thing, even if nobody is watching.

I saw a TV ad sometime ago and recently saw it again, it saw a TV ad by HSBC
entitled “Integrity”, where a photographer (paparazzi) is taking photos of a
celebrity and wanted to take more photos of her more personal life, with the
copy saying, “For many people, integrity is as important as money”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrS9Crynlds&feature=related

Then I remembered a blog a few years back written by Jeryc Garcia,
a photographer and an award winning creative, which talks about how a
photographer would take a photo of a underprivileged child or person, then
entering it in contests and winning, then buying the latest gears and taking more
photographs of them not thinking of what they think or even giving back just a
little something to them.

http://outsidebound.multiply.com/journal/item/46/Crossing_the_Line

Is there a sense of honesty and truthfulness in regard to the motives of one’s actions?

There was one incident recently where a student downloaded a photo in the
web and claiming it to be his own entered in a contest and to think the he is a
student of political science…

Now where is the truthfulness in that?

A lot of photographers today not take advantage of the underprivileged and
include their photos to their portfolio and even enter them in contests…

But do they really care about them? Do they look back and think about how they
are doing or even think of really helping them?

Most of us do not!

Think about the ethical values, actions, principles and outcome of your actions.

And it sometimes depresses me thinking of what they are doing!