Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Location: Intramuros, Manila, Philippines

I usually pass along this building when I visit a friend of mine in the People's General Insurance Office just two blocks away and I never thought how splendid and modern its interior and amenities. It was on November 10, 2015, when I was taking pictures outside the building that one of the lawyers of the Bureau of Treasury working inside the building invited me for a quick tour inside. I was really spellbound when I was already inside.

The present-day Ayuntamiento de Manila Building

During our quick trip, I learned some facts about the building. It was in 1599 that the construction of its original has been started and was opened in 1607. In 1863, this building has been destroyed by an earthquake and was rebuilt in 1879. During World War II in 1945 in the Battle of Manila, its reconstructed building was damaged when it was bombed by the Japanese and American forces. Its reconstruction has began again in 2009 and was completed in 2013 after several modifications of the Bureau of Treasury where it currently now occupies the building.

The interior of the Marble Hall of the Ayuntamiento de Manila

The Ayuntamiento de Manila is a building located at the corner of Andrés Soriano Avenue (formerly Calle Aduana) and Cabildo Street, fronting Plaza de Roma in Intramuros, Manila, Philippines. Also known as the Casas Consistoriales, the Ayuntamiento was the seat of the Manila City Council, which consisted of two alcaldes (city leaders), eight oidores (judges), a clerk, and a chief constable.Wikipedia

The Sala de Sesiones of the Ayuntamiento de Manila

According to our guide, this same hall will be used by the dignitaries and world leaders when they meet during the APEC Meeting this November 17-20, 2015. This hall is on the 2nd level of the building with its palatial stairs just opposite the door of the Marble Hall at the ground floor.

Seating on the Presiding Chair inside the Casa de Sesiones

It gives one a different feeling when you are inside the Casa de Sesiones where only diplomats and high ranking officers of the Philippines and foreign diplomats are holding their talks or business meetings.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Location: Intramuros, Manila, Philippines

The lush landscape of Manila Golf Club with T.M. Kalaw skyscrapers backdrop

Another shot of Manila Golf Club

Manila Polo Club Intramuros is located in the heart of Manila just adjacent to the historic walls of Intramuros. One of its gates is located just near the main gate of Intramuros from the Pamantasan ng Lungsod Maynila side.

A backdrop of the skyscrapers of the Ermita District along T.M. Kalaw Avenue

Its magnificent landscape can be captured best either from the Intramuros walls of the Baluarte de San Diego or Baluarte de San Andres. The above picture has its backdrop of the skyscrapers of the Ermita District of Manila mainly along the busy business district of T.M. Kalaw Avenue of Manila just five minutes drive away from the US Embassy Manila.

Revealing its adjacent location to the Intramuros walls

This golf club is also very near the Manila City Hall, SM Manila, National Museum, Luneta Park, the Light Rail Transit (LRT) 1, Manila Hotel, Manila Ocean Park, Roxas Boulevard, Manila Pavillon Hotel and a number of 5-star Hotels in the district of Ermita.

The Manila Bulletin and the Department of Labor as seen from Manila Golf Club Intramuros

The golf club as taken from the walls of Baluarte de San Diego Gardens

Saturday, November 7, 2015


Location: Candelaria, Zambales, Philippines

Potipot Island has been tagged as the "Boracay of the North" which is just 5 to 6 hours drive away from Manila or four hours from Clark Freeport Zone. It is a very small island with pristine blue waters and fine white sand. One can tour around the island in less than two hours if random picture taking is included.

The fine white sand of Potipot Island

Its proximity from Metro Manila is one of the reasons why it is becoming the best alternative for beach goers not to mention that with approximately P1,400, one can frolic on its charming and inviting tropical white sand.

Approaching the island while boarding a motorboat

This beautiful island is just 5-10 minutes from the mainland which is particularly in Brgy. Uacon of Candelaria, Zambales where guests can have the option of getting a comfortable but affordable accommodation.

Trees abound to give a refreshing shade to guests

For guests who are in day trip, an entrance fee of P100 is charged per person while for those who opt to stay overnight it costs P300 per head.

Shady trees at less than two meters from the swimming area

Some islands during low tide has its swimming area far from the cottage or shady trees but Potipot is so conveniently near. So near that guests can even watch their kids swim while they grill barbecue or fresh fish

Spacious grassy areas for outdoor games

With vast green grassy areas roofed with tall trees, guests can enjoy outdoor games or team building activities far from the heat of the sun.

Accommodation: An option for a cottage or tent

Comfortable cottages made of nipa and bamboo can vary in rates from P1,000 to P2,500 depending on its size with average ones can accommodate for ten persons and the big ones to accommodate a maximum of 25 persons. There is also an option to pitch your own rent. I saw a shop in the island which offers swimming equipments for rental but I haven't ask if they also have tents for rent.

Wooden tables and benches by the beach for guests' convenience

For those who opt to have a comfortable stay prior to Potipot's experience, they can choose from numerous hotel accommodations in the area where the popular ones are Dawal Beach Resort, Puerto Del Mar Beach Resort, Isla Vista Beach Resort and Potipot Gateway Resort (Price range starts at 1400Php for air conditioned rooms)or better stay at Sun Bloom Resort with affordable accommodation with comfortable set up and personalized service. These resorts can readily arrange your boat transport at P50 per person roundtrip. Bigger groups may have less in sharing the cost of the boat rental but the rates in most cases will still vary depending on your haggling skills.


By Public Transportation

1. Ride a Victory Liner bus bound to Sta. Cruz, Zambales. For this route, Victory Monumento Terminal is highly preferable with its last trip up to 11 P.M. during lean season but may extend to 12 midnight during peak season where they open special trips just to accommodate all passengers.

2. Coordinate with the bus conductor to drop you off in Brgy. Uacon, Candelaria or in Dawal. If you haven’t bought your supplies, you can ask the conductor to drop you at Candelaria Public Market and just ride a tricycle to bring you to the resorts in the area. There is no drinking water supply in the island and so it is advisable to buy it from the mainland.

3. Upon finding a resort of your choice, hire a bangka (boat) going to Potipot island or just simply hire a bangka which will take you to the island for P50 roundtrip.

By Private Vehicle

1. Use the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) all the way to Dau exit then continue to the Subic-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx).

2. Travel all the SCTEx till Tip Exit, passing through the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and on to the Subic Town.

3. Take the National Road where in you will pass the towns of Castillejos, San Marcelino, San Narciso, San Felipe, Cabangan, Botolan, Iba, Paluig and Masinloc before reaching Candelaria. You can easily ask for the directions/suggestions for accommodation.