Thursday, July 30, 2009


Former Olympian Gillian Akiko Thomson, now commissioner of the Philippine Sports Commission was a guest of the municipality of Gasan in connection with a sports clinic for women. Thomson was accompanied by other PSC officials during the 3-day event that ended yesterday with a fun-run from Bacong-Bacong to the poblacion. The run was participated in by women who joined the two-day competitions in volleyball, softball, badminton and sepak takraw. Thomson won two gold and two silver medals in swimming during the Southeast Asian Games in 1992.

The PSC officials also graced the "Pinaka" food contest held at the Guingona Park activity area where Gasan's barangays competed for the biggest and tastiest native delicacies like bibingka, suman, espasol, puding na balinghoy with new ingredients introduced like malunggay, mongo, peanuts and pork.

These activities are part of the town's quadricentennial celebration that falls on August 20 this year. Activities include other competitions in different sports, "Layag Ko", drum and lyre, cheerdance, modern dance, ballroom dancing, walkathon for senior citizens, beauty pageants (Bb. Gasan and Miss Gaysan), and Kalesayahan Festival.

(In photo: Akiko Thomson (right) with Gasan Mayor Vicky Lao Lim; a girl tries her hands at volleyball)

Sunset at Juhu Beach, Mumbai

Juhu Beach is the sprawling beach in Mumbai city. It is situated on the shores of Arabian Sea.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


(Written by David B. Katague, the following article appeared in HULIQ NEWS, a U.S. based independent news organization devoted to promoting information. Their news comes from Huliq editors, organizations that submit news stories, and citizen journalists.


Marinduque, my small heart-shaped province, 30 minutes by air, south of Manila is known worldwide as the Lenten Capital of the Southern Tagalog Region because of its Moriones Festival during Holy Week . Today, the provincial government under the leadership of Governor Bong Carrion is promoting Marinduque as the Ecotourism Capital of the Philippines.

The provincial government ecotourism projects are headed by Head of the Tourism Department, Gerry Jamilla and Allan Jay Velasco, Provincial Administrator. The first project starting development this year is the ECO Park at the Luzon 1911 Datum site in Silangan, Mogpog. The Luzon1911 Datum marker and location established that it was the geodetic point marker for all map makers of the country. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) of the Philippines in their document dated July 31, 2007 refers to this triangulation document that this marker is the geographical center of Marinduque as well as of the Philippines . It's coordinates are: 13 degrees, 33 minutes and 39.82 seconds NORTH and 121 degrees, 52 minutes and 8.17 seconds EAST. This site has received support from National Mapping Resource and Information Authority( NAMRIA). From what I heard the development of an ECO park has been started by NAMRIA and is now becoming a popular tourist spot for those who love to hike as well as for bikers. The view at the top of the hill is spectacular. The hike is quite hard for senior citizens, but a not too hard a walk for the young and adventurous.
Several other tourist attractions and sites are now considered for development under the Green Tourism Concept by the Provincial Government. These are the Sibuyao Falls in Torrijos, the Palo Maria White Beach in Maniwaya Island and the Tarug Caves in Mogpog. The Palo Maria white beach is touted to be an alternative to Boracay. In addition to the above tourist destinations, the private resort, Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa that was completed last year has already attracted a lot of tourists from Japan and Korea. It was design to look like Santorini Island, Greece where all the building are white and sticking on the cliffs.

Just recently, a hidden cave and subterranean river was discovered in San Isidro, Santa Cruz. This discovery brought a lot of excitement to the tourism officials as well as the local barangay officials. Inside the cave, the clear white water of the river are big shrimps and eels and a small waterfall. The caves are inhabited by swallows and huge bats. It will take 2 hours to complete exploration of the caves and the underground river. If this is developed and preserved, it will be a good competition of the Palawan subterranean river system in attracting tourists all over the world. Palawan's subterranean river is the most visited tourist spot in the Philippines. It is listed in the top ten natural wonders of the world.

Governor Carrion in his State of the Province address last year, emphasized the concept of Green Tourism. He stressed that Green Tourism brings together elements of ecology, cultural, agriculture, and even sports or adventure Travel. He said, there are several labels used to refer to Green Tourism today, but he said the definition remains the same. Low impact and environmentally friendly tourism that cherishes, not destroy. Green tourism offers leisure and learning activities where visitors are encourage to enjoy nature and culture, and interchange with the locals in agricultural, mountain or fishing village settings. Carrion said that as a Market Strategy, Green Tourism is most ideal for Marinduque Island Setting. He says it taps into the growing demand for more Holidays and that concerns for the Environment and Global Warming grows daily- so that ecotourism will certainly increase in number for the long term and in the future years.

There is another project that the province has been involved-the Forest Project by DBP/DENR. This involves watershed rehabilitation, fruit tree forestation and mangrove rehabilitation in an aggregate area of 500 hectares as authorized by DENR( Dept of Environment and Natural Resources). Retired General Recaredo Sarmiento, former chief PNP, is the Project Consultant for the Forestation Project. To date about 61 hectares have been covered, 18 hectares at Brgy Canat have been planted with fruit trees, 27 hectares of fruit and forest trees in Santa Cruz and Torrijos and another 15.5 hectares of mangroves have been rehabilitated also in Santa Cruz and Torrijos. Directly benefiting in this program are 33 cooperatives, 33 barangays equivalent to 175 families.

In line with the above topic, the Governor issued an Executive Order declaring Green Tourism as the OTOP (One town, One Product) of the province. There are other tourist attraction being developed not directly related to Ecotourism. These are Battle of Pulang Lupa Commemoration, Araw Ng Marinduque and the annual Moriones Festival. I hope that in the next ten years, Ecotourism will be a success in my poor beloved island of Marinduque-The Heart of the Philippines.

By David B Katague

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


For the first time in its long history, the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS)is conducting a medical outreach program in Marinduque. Some 24 members of the Society arrive today for a two-day mission (July 29-30), to undertake gynecological operations to 17 patients, ultrasound examinations, tubal ligation to 10 patients, conduct pap smears and single visit inspection approach to more than 100 patients, and give a lecture on adolescent reproductive health to some 800 high school students.

Dr. Annette Macayaon, an active member of the Society who works at the provincial government-ran Dr. Damian Reyes Memorial Hospital in Boac, paved the way for the holding of this mission in Marinduque to reduce maternal mortality for our local women. The Southern Tagalog Chapter of POGS and Sanofi-aventis a diversified health care company focused on patient's needs are sponsoring the mission.

The Marinduque mission is led by Dr. Mayumi Bismark, chair of POGS committee on community service, and Dr. Ernesto Naval, president of the regional chapter. Gov. Bong Carrion hosts a luncheon for the mission today at the provincial capitol.


Today's the opening of "INTRAMUROS: HISTORY TOWN PHILIPPINES" organized by the Department of Tourism (DOT), Calabarzon and Mimaropa regions with the participation of the southern Tagalog provinces incuding Marinduque. Tight budget for the province's culture and tourism programs did not prevent it from participating.

Gov. Carrion, provincial tourism czar Allan Velasco, Gerry Jamilla and Joven Lilles of the tourism office grace the opening program (at 4:00 pm Clamshell, Intramuros), and also show a video especially prepared for the occasion by the group, including this blogger. A brainstorming session for Marinduque's tourism promotion with DOT representatives, DTI officials and PR consultants is also set to be held within the event period. The tourism showcase runs from today until August 10.

On Saturday, August 8 at 6 p.m. a Marinduque cultural showcase featuring MSC's Sambayang Sining Lahi will present Marinduque songs, dances, and 'putong', together with a moriones group from the capitol. VIVA MARINDUQUE!

(In photo is Torrijos' Tuba Festival)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Boys Before Flowers Film Location Tour

Boys Before Flowers is a famous Korean Drama based on the Japanese manga series "Hana Yori Dango". This drama had been produced several times in different version, like in Japan and Taiwan, and now in Korea.

Boys Before Flowers or BBF starring Koo Hye-seon, Lee Min-ho, Kim Hyun-joong, Kim Beom, and Kim Jun. The drama still telling about the story between the high school most powerful boys "F4" and a normal school girl "Geum Jan Di".

The drama, got extremely huge popularity in Asia, not only because for the story and the good looking of main actor, but also for the beautiful scenes and magnificient shooting location. The drama featuring world exotic locations such as New Caledonia and Macao, as well as some of Korea’s most beautiful destinations.

Here is the list of some Boys Before Flowers shooting place, which now become korean tourist destination. The places including University, Country Club, Hotel, Villa, Department Store, and Resort.

1. Keimyung University
keimyung university

Keimyung University is the setting for the prestigious Shinhwa High School, the school attended by the main characters in the drama and which only children of the top 1% of the wealthiest families in Korea can attend. Keimyung University is situated in the city of Daegu. Its Western-style buildings and gorgeous natural surroundings make it one of the top ten most beautiful campuses in Korea, and consequently it’s a popular filming location for dramas and films. Major productions filmed at Keimyung University include the drama and the movie . Keimyung University consists of Seongseo campus and Daemyeong campus and the drama’s school scenes were filmed at both campuses. The beautiful Greek-style front gates and red-bricked buildings, along with Ji-hu and Jan-di’s secret hideout on the staircase, are all located in Keimyung University’s campuses.

Travel Information Telephone: +82-53-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Homepage: (Korean, English, Chinese)
Seongseo campus: +82-53-580-5114, 1000 Sinsang-dong, Dalseo-gu district, Daegu city From Seoul station, take a train to Dongdaegu -> from Dongdaegu station, get on the subway -> get off at Keimyung University station on line 2
Daemyeong campus:+82-53-580-5785, 2139 Daemyeong-dong, Nam-gu, Daegu city From Seoul station, take a train to Daegu -> from Daegu station, take bus#202, 202-1, or 808

2. Damyang Dynasty Country Club
damyang dynasty country club

The Damyang Dynasty Country Club is the setting for the home of Shinhwa Group’s Gu Jun-pyo, as well as a film set in Hwaseong. This Italian villa style clubhouse features enormous luxurious buildings, which have even been called ‘the palace of the gods’. The country club was designed by the internationally renowned architect Andrei Visego, who recently designed the interior for a high-class hotel in Dubai. The buildings are furnished with the highest-quality natural marble floors, beautiful pillars replicating Athen’s shrines, luxury antique furniture, and famous works of art, and are sure to dazzle all visitors.

Address: Hwadong-ri San 79, Damyang-eup, Damyang-gun region, Jeollanam-do province
Contact: +82-61-380-7500
Directions: Take a taxi from Damyang Terminal

3. Lotte Hotel World
lotte hotel world

Lotte Hotel World was the location for the homecoming party of Min Seo-hyeon, Ji-hu’s girlfriend. The party takes place in episode two, and Jan-di comes dressed up as Wonder Woman, to everyone else’s amusement. However, Min Seo-hyeon helps Jan-di change into a beautiful dress, and she captures the heart of Gu Jun-pyo. This scene was shot in the Topaz Room, the Lotte Hotel’s third floor banquet hall. Lotte Hotel World is located in Jamsil in Seoul and is part of a complex that includes an extra-large supermarket, a department store, and the Lotte World theme park. Conveniently it is directly connected to Jamsil station on subway line 2. The hotel can be reached directly from Incheon and Gimpo airports by limousine bus.

Address: 40-1 Jamsil-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul
Contact: +82-2-419-7000
Homepage:, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Directions: Connected directly to exit #3, Jamsil station, subway line 2.
From Incheon International airport (gate #4B or 11A) take a limousine bus (est. travel time of 1hr 20min, cost 13,000 won)

4. Gyeongju Shilla Millennium Park
gyeongju shilla millennium park

Ragung hotel in Gyeongju was the setting for Yun Ji-hu’s traditional Hanok home. This high-class hotel consists of 16 separate houses, which are connected by corridors. The construction of the hotel required the largest number of specialized carpenters since the restoration of Gyeongbokgung Palace. Ragung was actually the name for the royal palace during the Silla dynasty. Guestrooms include private gardens and hot spring baths. The hotel is located in Korea’s very first historical theme park, the Shilla Millennium Park, and hotel rates include breakfast, dinner, and admission tickets to the theme park.

Address: 719-70 Sinpyeong-dong, Gyeongju city, Gyeongsangbuk-do province
Contact: +82-54-778-2000
Homepage: (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Directions: From Gyeongju station, take a bus heading towards Bomun Tourist Resort -> get off at the Bomun Tourist Resort Shilla Millennium Park
Hotel rates: 300,000 won ~ 460,000 won
Check in & check out times: 2:00pm, 11:00am

5. Shinsegae Department Store
shinsegae department store

Before Gu Jun-pyo and Jan-di leave for their vacation in New Caledonia, they go shopping at a department store. The main branch of the Shinsegae Department Store, in Myeong-dong, was the location for the scene in which Jan-di becomes the envy of girls everywhere. Gu Jun-pyo shows off his money and drags her around buying her all sorts of merchandise. This department store is divided into a main building and an annex. It stocks a wide selection of famous brand names. Luxury brands can be found inside the deluxe main building while the elegant annex building contains both domestic and international brands. Visitors to the Shinsegae department store can also enjoy shopping at Namdaemun Market and Myeong-dong, which are located nearby.

Address: 52-5 Chungmuru 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul
Contact: +82-1588-1234
* Exit #5, Myeongdong station, subway line 4 -> walk straight towards the Namdaemun Market then walk through the underground passageway
* Exit #7 Hoehyeon station, subway line 4 -> take the moving walkway all the way to the Shinsegae Main Building
Department store hours: 10:30am ~ 8:00pm

6. N Seoul Tower & Grand Hyatt Hotel
n seoul tower grand hyatt hotel

Seoul’s famous N Seoul Tower is the location where Gu Jun-pyo waits for Jan-di ion a freezing winter night. The two had planned to go on a date, but become trapped in the gondola on the way to the N Seoul Tower and have to spend the night there. On their way down from Namsan mountain the next day, the couple are photographed by the paparazzi and are thought to be coming out of the Grand Hyatt Hotel. The Grand Hyatt Hotel is the location where the Jan-di and Ga-eul and their boyfriends enjoy a double date on the ice skating rink. A spectacular view of the Hangang River and Namsan can be seen from the high-class Grand Hyatt Hotel. The hotel contains a total of 601 guestrooms as well as 11 restaurants and bars, a fitness center, and other luxury facilities.

Address:747-7 Hannam 2(i)-dong, Yongsan-gu district, Seoul
Contact: +82-2-797-1234
Homepage: (Korean, English, Japanese)
Directions: From Incheon International airport, limousine buses run directly to the Grand Hyatt Hotel (5:45am ~ 6:35am; departs every 20~30min; 14,000 won) Free shuttle buses to the hotel also run from in front of the Itaewon Family Mart and the Migliore Shopping Mall in Myeongdong from 10:00am to 9:00pm

7. Artinus Farmer’s Table
artinus farmer table

The Farmer’s Table is a restaurant located on the first floor of the Artinus building in Heyri Art Village, which is designed to capture the simplicity and comfortable atmosphere of a farmer’s table. The walls are made of stone and wood, and the floors and tables are made from natural materials. The herb garden at the center of the restaurant makes visitors feel as if they are in the center of forest. This was the location for the posh cafeteria of Shinhwa High School. Visitors can enjoy refreshments and food while reading the complimentary books that are placed around the restaurant. There is also a children’s bookstore on the second floor and a gallery on the basement floor, where various exhibitions take place

Address: Heyri Artinus 1F, 1652-393 Beopheung-ri, Tanhyeon-myeon region, Paju town, Gyeonggi-do province
Travel Information Telephone: +82-31-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Heyri Homepage: (Korean, English)
Directions: take bus #200 or 2200 from exit 2 of Hapjeong station, subway line 2-> get off at Heyri and go through gate #4 then make a right on the first 4-way intersection
Opening hours: 11:00am~10:00pm

8. Gyeonggi English Village, Yangpyeong Camp
gyeonggi english village

The English Village in Yangpyeong was the setting for Shinhwa High School’s hallways, lobby, and exterior facades. First opened in April 2008, Gyeonggi English Village Yangpyeong Camp covers a 100.935㎡ area and has a total of 55 buildings, which are modeled on historical buildings in Virginia, United States. This educational English camp consists of condo-style dormitories, an artificial soccer turf, indoor gymnasium, health club, swimming pool, outdoor concert hall, observatory facilities, and more. The English Village was the location for the scene when Jan-di’s friend, Oh Min-ji, spills ice cream on Gu Jun-pyo’s shoes.

Address: Damun-ri San 25, Yongmun-myeon, Yangpyeong-gun region, Gyeonngi-do province
Contact: +82-31-770-1300
Directions: From Dong Seoul terminal, take a bus headed towards Yongmun (est. travel time of 1hr) -> get off at Unbong Mart and walk straight past the overpass

9. Muju Resort
muju resort

In the 12th episode, F4 and Geum Jan-di decide to take a ski trip. Jun-pyo gives Jan-di a special necklace, but she ends up losing it. Desperate, Jan-di heads off into the mountains alone to look for the necklace and gets lost in the dark. Fortunately, Gu Jun-pyo finds her, and they take shelter in a cabin, but they become trapped for the night due to the heavy snowfall. The ski resort that F4 and Geum Jan-di visit is Muju Resort, and they stay at the resort’s Hotel Tirol. As well as skiing in the winter, Muju Resort offers leisure activities throughout the year. It was also the filming location for the popular drama . Visitors can enjoy a gondola ride to the beautiful peak of Deokyusan Mountain or relax in the resort’s outdoor hot springs

Ganesh Shrines, Hampi

Hemakuta Hill is one of the tallest hills in Hampi. There are large number of temples, archways and pavilions on this hill. The climb to this hill is not as steep as the nearby Matunga Hill. The Hemakuta Hill top is almost a flat expanse of rocky sheet with occasional ups and downs. From the top it offers splendid view of ruins all around the Hampi. The most of the temples in this area are dedicated to Lord Siva, the major one being the Virupaksha temple at the north of this hill. All the images can be clicked for bigger view.

The two most important shrines on this hills are dedicated to Lord Ganesha.

Sasivekalu Ganesha

Located on the Southern foothill of the Hemakuta Hill, the giant monolithic Ganesha statue is locally called Sasivekalu Ganesha. The name is due to its resemblance to the sasivekalu (mustard seed).

The monolithic statue is carved out of a huge boulder measuring about 2.4 meters (8 feet). On the statue around the tummy the snake is carved. The three hands hold the goad, pasha (noose), and his broken tusk. The fourth hand which holds modak (sweet ball) is broken and not reconstructed.

An open pavilion is build around the statue. According to inscriptions found nearby this pavilion was built by a trader from Chandragiri in 1506 AD, in memory of one of the Vijayanagara king – Narasimha II (1491-1505 AD).

Kadalekalu Ganesha

On the northeastern slope of the Hemakuta Hill is another giant statue of Ganesha, called The Kadalekalu Ganesha. The name is due to its resemblance to the kadalekalu (Bengal gram).
This also happens to be north of Sasivekalu Ganesha.

Even this giant statue of Ganesha was carved out of a huge boulder. This statue measures 4.5 meters (15 feet) tall. A sanctum is built around the statue. The pillared hall in front of this sanctum is as charming as this giant statue itself. The open hall constructed by unusually slender and tall pillars. Each of them is highly ornate with mythical themes.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Cory Quirino is in town. The granddaughter of the late Philippine president Elpidio Quirino was the special guest at this morning’s culmination of the provincial capitol’s celebration of Nutrition Month. Board member Allan Nepomuceno (as the committee chair on health services) opened the program at the capitol grounds with remarks on the close political affiliation of his uncle, Ricardo Nepomuceno, with Pres. Quirino during his time and what they, together, achieved.

Cory Quirino, a well-known motivational speaker on wellness and self-empowerment spoke a little about his grandfather, who rose from humble beginnings, but one who had a dream and pursued it. The TV and radio show host, also gave a first hand account of her ordeal in 1995, when she was abducted by armed men during an out-of-town shoot in Laguna, and how she came out of it unscathed. This, she attributed to the power of faith, prayers and positive thoughts. The experience was chronicled in her book, “Waiting for the Light”, later made into a movie that starred Ara Mina. Cory spoke to the capitol employees on the importance of having a healthy lifestyle and the benefits of dwelling on positive thoughts.

Cory cited personal experiences as a broadcaster and how this most dramatic of her experiences turned her into an advocate on the promotion of service to others, goodness, health, beauty and wellness. She hosts the Sunday DZMM program, “Ma-Beauty Po Naman”. She also authored the book, "Forever Young".

This is Cory’s first visit to Marinduque and was thus treated to a special “putong” welcome ritual by the capitol employees. She also raffled off prizes, beauty products, from her company, Cory Quirino World of Wellness. After the capitol program hosted by this blogger and organized by Ms. Robie Sosa of PNO, Cory then motored off to Buenavista in the company of Ms. Sosa, Ramon Carrion, Marinduque Victorian’s College’s Jules Pernia and his mother. Cory is also special guest at MVC’s school activity on health promotion.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

BULUSUKAN FALLS: Marinduque Adventure Series

Bulusukan Falls flows from the remaining forests of Bagtingon, in Buenavista, Marinduque, Philippines. The place has been identified through a study conducted by Prof. Panchito Labay of MSC as the biggest natural habitat of butterflies in this island-province. With more than 300 endemic butterfly species found in this area alone - apparently attracted by the high volume of negative ions in said place - the butterfly industry here have found a few followers.

Other endemic species of animals found here are monkeys, wild cats, deer and boas. Unique tropical flora also abound. The Falls remain a popular picnic place for young people from Buenavista, Gasan and nearby towns.

Friday, July 24, 2009


MARINDUQUE ADVENTURE SERIES. Many ideal mountain biking routes near coastal areas and around central Marinduque have been mapped out by the local tourism office. Many such routes cut through rivers, streams, waterfalls and man-made lakes. Venue for the race in this video is the area around an old minesite at Capayang, Mogpog. The first Filipino to climb the summit of Mt. Everest, LEO ORACION and his girlfriend, who joined the local mountain bikers in this activity, are also in the video.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Gov. Bong Carrion received well-wishers during his 61st birthday on June 19 at the provincial capitol. Present during the well-attended gathering were barangay captains, municipal officials, employees from the different provincial government departments and representatives from the line agencies. Carrion was accompanied by his lovely wife, Armi, his sister Bing, and brother, Ramon. Mass was celebrated by Rev. Father Esplana of the Diocese of Boac

Huge birthday posters greeted the governor at the balloon-festooned capitol lobby that also served as venue for a brief program and a ‘putong’ fete organized by the capitol employees in his honor. After lunch was served for the hundreds of well-wishers, Carrion distributed sphygmomanometers and stethoscopes for all of Marinduque’s 218 barangays through the village leaders present.

Vidhana Soudha Central Dome, Bangalore

Vidhana Soudha houses the State Legislature for Karnataka in Bangalore, and is the largest Secretariat in India. Below is the picture of the huge central dome of the building.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


The Department of Tourism in cooperation with CALABARZON and MIMAROPA regions will be showcasing these two regions as primary travel destinations. The event, dubbed “Intramuros: History Town Philippines” will be held from July 27 to August 10, 2009 at Clamshell, Intramuros, Manila. Exhibit booths and cultural showcases from the regions will be featured nightly. For Marinduque, a Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa tourist booth will be set up.

At the same venue on Saturday, August 8, at 6:00 pm a “Marinduque Special Night” organized by the provincial tourism office will be featuring MSC Sambayang Sining Lahi under the artistic direction of Prof. Rex Asuncion of Marinduque State College and a capitol group of the colorful ‘Moriones’. Sambayang Sining Lahi has performed in the six towns of Marinduque as part of the ‘Viva Marinduque’ cultural showcase. The group will present researched folk songs and interpretive movements and the ‘putong’ ritual.

The Marinduque Community in Metro Manila is cordially invited to visit Intramuros and watch the Marinduque show!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Bitik Caves located in a barangay with the same name in Sta. Cruz, Marinduque is another unexplored cave system inspected by the cave exploration team of the provincial tourism office. Information was obtained from local folks that the cave is not less than one kilometer in length and leads to another village, Buyabod. Halfway through, the team encountered bad air cave. With decreased oxygen further exploration was aborted. Sea and fresh water meet in one of the cave's entrances.

Precious Historic Monuments In Delhi

travel india

Precious Historic Monuments In Delhi

Sunday, July 19, 2009

MARINDUQUE ADVENTURE SERIES: 1st Defensive Shooting Competition

Called the 1st Governor Bong Carrion Cup, the first defensive shooting competition was recently held at the old CMI minesite in Capayang, Mogpog in Marinduque. Organized in cooperation with the Morion Combat Pistol & Rifles Association (MCPRA), and Team ARMSCOR Shooting & Hunting Club of Manila, the event saw no less than Carrion and provincial administrator, Allan Velasco trying their hands at target shooting with pistols.

The old minesite (formerly known as Consolidated Mines, Inc. that closed down in the 60's) has, during the last couple of years, been converted as a site for adventure sports activities including local games and mountain biking competitions.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Virupaksha Temple, Hampi

Hampi has several architecturally beautiful temples. Virupaksha temple is the oldest among them and is located on the south bank of the river Tungabadra. It is principal temple of Hampi as it is believed that this temple has been functioning uninterruptedly ever since its inception in the 7th century AD. The temple can be accessed through the chariot street popularly known as the Hampi Bazaar.

Main entrance tower (click for larger image)

The main entrance tower of Virupaksha Temple is east facing and is a huge 9 storied tower. The lower two tiers of the tower is made of decorated stone work. The tower progressively diminishes as it moves upward and the
structure is made with brick and mortar. From the tower one will enter into two large courtyards, which are linked to each other. The first courtyard has a pillared hall called 100-column hall at the far left corner, Kalyanamantapa at the far right corner. As soon as one enters this place one can to see on the left side Triple headed Nandi (bull statue).

Triple head Nandi

In the open area in the center there is a pillared cloisters leaving gaps at the north, south and east edges for a series of sub shrines. The front portion has a row of decorated pillars. It looks like the lion figure carved at the base of each of these pillars supporting the slender upper portions. The most striking feature of this court is the central pillared hall known as the Ranga Mandapa added to the temple complex in 1510 AD by Krishadeva Raya. Two mythical lion like creatures forms the balustrade for the entrance to this elevated open pavilion. This hall with 5 aisles and 38 pillars is used for temple rituals including the marriage ceremonies. The highlights include rows of pillars shaped with rampant lion like mythical creatures (Yalis) standing on aquatic creatures (Crocodiles).

pillared cloisters (click for larger image)

At the sanctum of Lord Virupaksha there are two 4 armed guardian deities, about 8 feet tall, stand on either side of the entrance to the inner hall. The sanctum contains the idol of lord Virupaksha in the form of a Linga .

The must see part of the temple is at the rare of temple complex. Behind the main sanctum a flight of steps leads to the rear exit of the temple complex. Just before the exit on the right side there is a dark chamber with a slit on the wall. The sun ray pass through this slit forms an inverted shadow of the main tower on the wall. This was designed in those early days and a masterpiece.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Yongpyeong Ski Resort at Palwang Mountain

Yongpyeong is a famous ski resort located 200km away or about 3 hours from Seoul. The resort is located in Daegwallyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang, Gangwon-do of South Korea. This is also one of the shooting locations for the K-drama "Winter Sonata"

Yongpyeong is the best place to play ski and snowboarding. A new feature is Dragon Park (Terrain Park), a theme park with half-pipe, quarter-pipe, ramp, table top, spine, wash board, rail slider, mogul, and wave. The resort also holds the Fun Ski & Snow Festival every year in partnership with the Korea Tourism Organization.

Yongpyeong Address and information :

Operational Hours:
Daytime - 08 : 30 ~ 16 : 30
Morning - 08 : 30 ~ 12 : 30
Aternoon - 12 : 00 ~ 16 : 30
Night - 18 : 00 ~ 22 : 00
Midnight - 22 : 00 ~ 24 : 30

Resort Type: Alpine
Winter: Nov to April

Total Lifts: 14
Gondolas: 1
Chair lifts: 13
Max people per hour: 25,000
Board Leashes required: No

Total pistes/trails: 31
Total ride area: 23km
Longest run: 5.6km
Top lift: 1450m
First lift: 700m

Piste suitability
Green runs: 28%
Red runs: 42%
Black runs: 30%
Lift Passes
Lift Passes: 1/2 Day Pass 45,000
Day Pass 56,000
Night Pass 32,000
Lift times:8.30am to 4am!

Average annual snowfall: 2.50metres

Night Riding: : Yes
Snowboard Hire: Board & Boots 25,000 per day
Heliboarding: : Not available
Snowmobiles: Not available
Further information

Gangwon-do Pyeongchang-gun Doam-myeon Yongsan-ri 130

- Korea Travel Phone +82-33-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
- For more info +82-33-335-5757(Korean), +82-2-3404-8102~3(Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Photos of Yongpyeong Ski Resort :

yongpyong ski resort korea
Yongpyong ski resort, the biggest skiing resort in Korea.

yongpyong ski resort korea
Yongpyong Ski Resort located at the foot of Palwang Mountain, about 200 km east of Seoul, at 700 – 1500 metres of altitude.

yongpyong ski resort korea
Yongpyong Resort is currently one of the candidates in the bid for 2014 Winter Olympics.

yongpyong ski resort korea

yongpyong ski resort korea

yongpyong ski resort restaurant korea
Koraen Restaurant in Yongpyong Ski Resort

on the way to yongpyong resort
On The Way to Yongpyong Resort

yongpyong resort map
Yongpyong Resort Map

South Korea-Yongpyong Resort-Winter Sonata filming places

The Yongpyong Resort is about 200km from Seoul, the capital city of south Korea. With an annual snowfall average of 250cm, which allows a wide array of winter sports. It has a 45 hole golf course, 31 ski slopes, premium hotels and many other leisure facilities. It is famous for being the part of filming places for Korean TV drama "Winter Sonata", the resort offers a special tour for tourists, you can see the cafe, restaurant, hotel lobby, the ski slope and some other filming sites which were in the TV drama. Also you can take photos with Bae YongJoon and Choi Ji Woo's photos.


The first underground river to have been found in Marinduque was recently discovered by a team led by provincial tourism officers. This find, together with the development of existing sites unique to the island, augurs well for combined LGU efforts under Gov. Bong Carrion to promote the island-province as an eco-tourism destination in the region - the San Isidro Cave and Subterranean River, Sta. Cruz, Marinduque, Philippines. Village leaders in San Isidro now bent on carefully preserving the site.

To the old folks of the village of San Isidro, the cave is referred to as 'Bagungbungan', a place avoided even by the curious, as it has been associated with phantom stories reinforced by actual accounts of persons who have gone to the cave periphery and, without a trace, disappeared.

Two weeks ago, provincial tourism chair Allan Velasco together with the tourism team, revisited San Isidro cave and conferred with the village chief (who hadn't been to the cave, himself), on the importance of community involvement to preserve the state of this natural treasure.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hampi, Forgotten Empire

Hampi has a history from the epical age of Ramayana, ages before the Vijayanagara Empire was born. This history begins and ends with the Ramayana. To prove this there are plenty of materialistic proofs in Hampi which indicate that it might have been the capital of the mighty kingdom - Kishkindha. We shall not delve much into epical history for now.

Later in the 14th century it has been the capital of Vijayanagar Empire from 1336 to 1565. Art and architecture found its special place in Hampi. The rulers were great patrons of art and religion. The city has tempestuous river Tungabhadra in the north and rocky granite ridges on the other three sides. The demography is abundant with large stones and these stones have been utilized beautifully to make larger than life statues of Hindu deities. In its hay days the place was known for its splendor and fabulous wealth. For the same reason it was destroyed by Muslim Sultans.

The splendid ruins of palaces, temples and gateways of the broken city silently narrate the story of once glorious past and the final senseless destruction. Today the ruins of Hampi lie scattered in about 26 sq. km areas, amidst giant boulders. One can see a structure of historic importance every quarter of a mile.
(Click on the image for bigger view)

On 5th December 1986, Hampi was inscribed on the World Heritage List for it represents a unique artistic creation. Currently Hampi's monuments - hundreds of them - are popular among tourists, pilgrims and the area is one of the exotic locations. Some of them which we will cover in subsequent posts are:
How to Reach There

From Bangalore it is at a distance of 353 kms. One can travel to this place either by train or road. By road from Bangalore to Chitradurga drive on NH 4. From Chitradurga to Hospet take the NH 13. From Hospet it is at a distance of 12kms. By road it takes 6 to 7 hrs.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


The saints may have intervened somewhat in a matter where many souls are together in prayer, alright, who is to say? Senior Vice-President for Commercial Affairs of Seair, Patrick Tan, announced during a recently held tourism event in Marinduque that their 19-seater Seair-LET aircrafts would start flying regularly to the Marinduque Airport starting next month (August).

An all-important event held at Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa dubbed “I Travel / I Explore” from July 7-9, 2009, involved tour operators and media persons from Korea, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, UAE, KSA, USA, France and other countries who are into organizing international conventions, meetings and exhibits. Said visit was organized by the Department of Tourism and Philippine Tourism Authority in cooperation with Annset Holidays, Bellarocca Island and the Provincial Government of Marinduque. The agents were flown in to Marinduque via a chartered Seair-LET aircraft courtesy of the provincial capitol.

Arriving guests had a taste of a festive Marinduque welcome at the airport with native flower and nito leis and a children’s choir singing folk songs, as they shook hands with local officials. They were treated to a “putong” ritual and “kalutang” music upon arrival at Bellarocca via speed boats. There, to depict rural farm life, resort male staff wore white shirts with red neckerchiefs while the women were clad in sayas.

After freshening up, the guests were treated to spa and massages by the Bellarocca pools or in the privacy of their villas.

Governor Jose Antonio N. Carrion hosted a themed dinner (Colloseo/Roma), at the resort poolside where a number of morions making their presence completed the ambience.

On the second day, guests had a taste of water sports activities like snorkeling, kayaking, and seascooter and golf. Straight from lunch they proceeded to a guided tour of some of Marinduque’s scenic spots. Visited were a butterfly farm in Gasan, the Boac Cathedral and Paadyao Falls in Bocboc, Mogpog. From the looks of it the VIP guests thoroughly enjoyed their Marinduque sojourn with endless praises and a spattering of “oohs” and “ahhs”. The unpredictable weather was quite cooperative throughout their three-day stay. Even Sta. Clara might have given her blessing.

As regards the needed repair and widening of the runway so that the other airlines waiting in the wings could come in, Gov. Carrion has taken it up anew with those concerned and the prospects are brighter now.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Another excerpt from "Bulong". Cast were mostly students from Bognuyan National High School and out-of-school boys from the same area who joined our rehearsals as they had much time to spare.


Excerpt of "Bulong" by Teatro Balangaw. Part of "Viva Marinduque!" performance series.

Suvarna Karnataka

Karnataka with history of more than 1500 years is a land of wonders. One can cherish the experience of centuries old architectural marvels, famed monuments. Some of these are recognized as world heritage structures. One can explore the ancient rock-cut caves, experience breathtaking natural beauty.

Karnataka has been known as "Cradle of Stone Architecture" for the immense variety of heritage architecture it exhibits. It is a land where one can experience the world heritage sites at Hampi and Pattadakkal, exquisite temples Belur, Halebidu, and Somnathpur, the cave temples of Badami and Aihole, magnificent fort of Chitradurga and Bidar, domes and minarets of Bijapur, the magnificent palaces of Mysore and Bangalore.

One can be amongst the nature in Western Ghats. It is a home for various wild life santuries such as Bandipur, Nagarhole and Dandeli to name a few, bird sanctuaries such as Ranganathittu, Mandagadde and Gudavi to name a few. The tallest water fall of India, Jog Falls is located here. One can stroll on the beaches of Gokarn, Karwar, Marvante etc.,

In short one can enjoy the diversity and rich heritage throughout the state.

We will explore most of these in the days to come among others.

For more visit Mosaic Monday

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Excerpts from "Moryonan" by Teatro Balangaw. Presented as part of "Viva Marinduque!" series of performances for Araw ng Marinduque-Phil Intl. Arts Festival '09.


The "Viva Marinduque!" video has been shown on local cable-TV stations in Marinduque (Marinduque CATV and Lucky-7 Cable). This is the intro of that video.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


This year is the seventh time that the Easter Gasang-Gasang Festival is being held in Gasan. It was initiated by Mayor Vicky Lao Lim in 2002 and was held annually up to 2005. It did not receive encouragement from the new municipal administration that took over in 2006 (and consequently was not held that year). In 2007, however, under the auspices of GASCUAF (Gasan Culture & Arts Foundation), a private foundation supported by Mayor Lao-Lim, Gasang-Gasang Festival" was revived but not without extreme pressure from the sitting administration then. GASCUAF and the participating contingents were not allowed to use public spaces (such as the Gasan Central School grounds and the Guingona Park). The organizers held this public activity in a privately owned niyugan, coconut farm in Libtangin, a few kilometers away from the town, where an open space was enough to accommodate a big-sized crowd.
There was no resistence when responsible members of the Sangguniang Bayan ng Gasan decided in the same year to adopt an ordinance declaring Gasang-Gasang Easter Festival as an officially-recognized festival of the said municipality with necessary funds to support it.

Mayor Vicky Lao-Lim won the elections in May 2007. Thus, highly successful and bigger "Gasang-Gasang Festivals" were held during the last three summers. It has found popular support and acceptance both here and abroad and has become the festival to see in Marinduque come Easter Sunday.


It was in Gasan where scholars and journalists first discovered the existence of the Morions way back in the 60's. After it caught the imagination of the world in view of its uniqueness as a Lenten tradition, the introduction of ideas to come up with a more elaborate festival was entertained and pursued by the local leaders. Eventually, the holding of the evening cenaculo ("Pugutan" they called it because the play ends with the martyrdom of Longhino), was conceptualized in Gasan to replace the Easter Sunday moryonan street play (also called by the same name, Pugutan).

The "pugutan"-cenaculo was introduced during the incumbency of Mayor Mendoza. The commissioned playwright wrote then that it was intended to "put more meaning" into the ritual as this meaning "is lost" in the traditional street-play highlighted by the chase and mock-beheading of Longhino. Boac, the capital town followed suit years later, using the new Gasan script, the Malolos, Bulacan 'cenaculo' script, and additional scripts written by local writers.

The reason for the change propagated in Boac, then, and supported by many was for the bigger number of visitors and tourists to see the 'pugutan' in the form and context of a Saturday evening cenaculo, as most of them depart from Marinduque already on Easter Sunday morning.

The "Gasang-Gasang" concept was formulated this time is for present-day visitors and tourists to find good reason to stay longer on the island-province of Marinduque.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


'Pataraka boys', hooded boys in attires reminiscent of samurai movies, making loud noise with various types of pataraka, noisemakers made of bamboo or plywood lead the IFI (Iglesia Filipina Independiente)procession. (One of two major processions held in Gasan - the other one being that of the Roman Catholic Church). Their attires are in red, white and blue - the colors of the Philippine flag. The Marinduque IFI independent church is one of the earliest to be formally established after the Philippine revolution and schism with the Vatican.
Novicias. Young girls confine themselves for a number of days in the kumbento to engage in prayers, studies and meditation on the Passion of Christ. They join all Lenten religous mass and procession.
In Gasan, devotion to the Santo Sepulchro image, which is one of many icons lined up in the Good Friday procession, is reminiscent of the adulation given by followers to the Nazareno sa Quiapo. The rope used to pull the caro is a sought after item, later divided among believers and installed in a special place in pangulongs, fishing boats - anting-anting, charm for bountiful harvests.