It’s December and it’s not just the cold temperature and shorter days, but almost everywhere in the Philippines, you will almost, always stumble upon something that will remind you of the festive season: Christmas carols on radio, decors in many buildings, malls and houses, vendors selling lanterns and Christmas stuff and all these mall sales, gift packs and Christmas party reminders. Yes, Filipinos are serious about Christmas, and it’s a fact that once the ‘ber months come in, starting September, be sure to expect that…Continue Reading “Christmas is all around in the Philippines”

Necropolis, the city of the dead. Like in any cultures, Filipinos have a deep respect for the departed ancestors. From prehispanic, Spanish colonial era to modern times, tribes and modern society, cemeteries in the Philippines provide an interesting aspect of its culture, architecture and other practices. In this list, I’ve compiled some noteworthy sites covering the modern era, notable architecture, tribal practices and even the quirky, gathered from years of extensive travels around the country. 1 Libingan ng mga Bayani (Taguig City, Metro Manila) It’s…Continue Reading “10 interesting cemeteries in the Philippines you should visit”

Heritage towns in the Philippines are becoming rarer and rarer. With the apathy of most local governments and Filipinos, much have fallen or disappeared. But there are just some towns and cities that have preserved their own historical architecture, and with heritage awareness, these ten towns and cities enumerated here are must visits. Although many other places around the country should have been included, my objective is to give a more balanced list of places that can be found in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. I…Continue Reading “10 heritage towns outside Metro Manila you should visit”

Declared as a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Institute in 2007, a quick scan of the town center already reveals an astonishing number of early 20th century domestic architecture and other structures that give its provincial atmosphere a unique flavour.

Paete in Laguna is known for its expert wood carvers and during Holy Week, it’s carving prowess is shown by the number of carrozas bearing lenten images. It has also one of the most unique santo intierro, the dead Christ laying in state that is jointed and undergoes a very unusual ritual akin to Cordillera death rites.

The Friday before Holy Week, another image, that of the crucified Christ undergoes the same ritual but with lesser people and done below the belfry of the church.