A Philippine Odyssey: A Collection of Featured Travel Articles
Published by New Day Publishers in 2005, this book features veteran Business Mirror travel writer, architect and author Benjamin Locsin Layug’s 33 travel articles featured in TODAY and the Philippine Daily Inquirer. It takes you on a nature trip as well as an historical, cultural and religious tour around many of the country’s tourist destinations.
Travel with the author as he goes spelunking in caves (Sumaging Cave in Sagada and Calbiga Caves and Sohoton Caves in Samar), mountain climbing (Mt. Makulot in Batangas and Mt. Hibok-Hibok in Camiguin), fiesta hopping (Pola’s Lechon Festival), trekking (Sagada and Batad Rice Terraces in Banaue), frolicking at waterfalls (Tamaraw Falls in Mindoro and Katibawasan Falls in Camiguin), beachcombing (Boracay, Camiguin, Higatangan Island in Biliran, Guimaras, Higantes Islands in Iloilo), lake exploring (San Pablo City in Laguna and Ormoc City in Leyte), scuba diving (Club Paradise in Palawan), sea kayaking (Marabut in Samar), going on an “African” safari (Calauit Game Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary in Palawan), island hopping (Gigantes, Guimaras and Palawan) or simply cooling off (Tagaytay City in Cavite and Baguio City in Benguet).
Also read, from this architect’s point of view, about old churches (San Agustin Church and San Sebastian Church in Manila, Basilica Minore del Santo Nino in Cebu, Baguio Cathedral, the churches of Bacolor and Guagua in Pampanga, and the churches of Sariaya, Lucban and Tayabas in Quezon and Taal in Batangas), old cemeteries (Paco Park in Manila and the Underground Cemetery of Nagcarlan), old fortresses (Intramuros in Manila, Corregidor and Fort San Pedro in Cebu), museums (Villa Escudero’s AERA Museum and San Agustin Museum) and ancestral houses (Taal in Batangas, Pola in Mindoro Oriental and Sariaya in Quezon).
Long ago, a reef platform attached to northwestern Panay Island, rose and revealed two islets. The China and Sulu Seas, on the southwestern edge of Asia, worked diligently for centuries to accumulate sand between the two islets, joining them, thus forming Boracay Island, the Philippine’s contribution to the world’s natural treasures. Boracay has all the elements of a tropical paradise – powder
y white sand, crystal blue waters, coconut palm trees rustled by balmy breezes, flowering plants and healthy coral reefs and marine life.
Boracay is a place to be active. You can dine, shop, dive, snorkel, play golf, ride horses, paddleboat, kayak, windsurf, sail, hike or bike to your heart’s delight. All are popular activities and visitors still keep coming back for more adventure and fun.
On the other hand, you can live the quiet, indolent and carefree life by lying on a hammock strung between swaying coconut palm trees while reading a good book. You can also experience nature at its best by sinking your ankles deep into Boracay’s soft, white sand, build sand castles, swim its warm, crystal-blue waters and watch the parade of white clouds. At dusk, you can watch the magnificent setting of the blazing, flame-colored sun and, by nightfall, bask in the moonlight or gaze at the stars for inspiration, keeping your eyes open for a falling star. Published by Great Books Publishing in 2006, this book is available at select National Bookstore outlets. You can also call the publisher at landline number (632) 371-9083.
A Tourist Guide to Notable Philippine Churches
The Philippines is known far and wide as the only predominantly Roman Catholic country in Asia and,as a result of almost four centuries of Spanish rule, have many outstanding churches, the most in the region.
Veteran Business Mirror travel writer, author and architect Benjamin Locsin Layug, in this book published by New Day Publishers in 2007, delves, in detail, on the historical, religious and aesthetic significance, as well as tourist appeal, of these churches.Churches are extremely valuable for their aesthetic and historical significance, being built not only to provide permanent structures for worship but also to impress early Filipino non-believers with the strength of the Catholic faith. Aside from many being pilgrimage sites ( Basilica Minore de Peñafrancia in Camarines Sur, Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño in Cebu, etc.), a number of churches are also sites of significant historical events in the country (Barasoain Church in Bulacan, Santa Barbara Church in Iloilo, etc.). Churches are also unique structures in themselves, using diverse materials (stone, wood, concrete, etc.) as well as styles: Aztec, Byzantine, Chinese, Gothic, Islamic, Mudejar, Renaissance and Romanesque, used singularly or in combination. The resulting exuberantly eclectic ornamentation has created stunning churches with whimsical facades and lavish interiors. The book is available at select National Bookstores and Powerbook outlets. You can also email New Day Publishers at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com for details, or call telephone numbers 928-8046 and 927-5982. You can also order, via the internet, at www.newdaypublishers.com,
A Tourist Guide to Notable Philippine Historical Landmarks, Monuments and Shrines
Historical landmarks, monuments and shrines, all hallowed or held in high deference, offer our people a more intimate encounter with our national heritage and historical lessons of the past.
They have the very souls bequeathed to them by the ideals, visions and spirits of our great Filipino heroes and illustrious leaders (Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo, Apolinario Mabini, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Manuel L. Quezon, Sergio Osmeña, Wenceslao Q. Vinzons Sr., etc.) as well as of people who have achieved an enduring contribution toward the enrichment of Filipino cultural heritage (painters Juan Luna and Vicente Manansala).
They also highlight important historical events (Birth of the First Philippine Republic, Trial and Execution of Bonifacio, Tejeros Assembly, Leyte Landing, etc.) and notable battles of past wars (Pinaglabanan Memorial Shrine, Battle of Alapan Historical Monument, Mount Samat National Shrine, Corregidor National Shrine, Pulang Lupa Battle Shrine, Tirad Pass National Shrine, Bessang Pass National Shrine, etc.) for which they have been built, thereby serving as mute witnesses to the heroic spirit of the Filipinos of yesteryears.Oftentimes, the physical structures of these properties of architectural, cultural, historical and social significance, are historical artifacts by themselves (Aguinaldo Shrine, Barasoain Church Historical Landmark, Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery Historical Landmark,Leon Apacible Historical Landmark, Marcela M. Agoncillo Historical Landmark, etc.), all monuments that depict the local aesthetic values of their builders as well as the artistry, craftsmanship and industry of Filipino artisans and laborers who were responsible for their construction.
Museums play a big role in molding a modern community; its purpose and importance based on the nature of its collections. Generally every museum “makes objects accessible to the public, to researchers, and to other institutions; and ensures the long-term safety and preservation of the collections.
In the Philippines, museums are found in just about every region and province in the country as well as in many universities, colleges and even private corporations. A convenient practice, then and now, is to house museums in converted old palaces, old monasteries, seminaries or convents, old churches, old mansions, archaeological sites, old schools, old city halls and historically significant buildings. Others are unusually housed in an eighteenth century water tank and a tobacco storage house.
Museums also range in size from huge and medium-size ultramodern glass and concrete structures to small, old Spanish-era stone houses with antique furniture, and vary in architectural styles from the Spanish-era bahay na bato, the American-era Neo-Classical and the modern. Many museums display the memorabilia of the many of the country’s famous and historic personalities, religious artifacts, local and international art and war memorabilia.
Museums also exhibit just about anything under the sun and many display specific items such as shoes, stamps, coins and paper money, photos, pianos, church bells and costumes and dolls as well as natural subjects such as shells, butterflies and rice, our country’s staple food, and even the subject of disease. Many also tackle the world of science and technology and political history. A number cater to children while other museums highlight the influence of other races in the development of our country. The book is available at select National Bookstores and Powerbook outlets. You can also email New Day Publishers at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com for details, or call telephone numbers 928-8046 and 927-5982. You can also order, via the internet, at www.newdaypublishers.com,