Month: November 2017

The Venice Grand Canal in the Philippines

As a country, the Philippines is known for its own unique natural wonders such as mountains, rivers, waterfalls, beaches and even caves. But when it comes to malls and physical structures I tend to see a pattern of building designs aspiring to be similar to structures found in other famous cities of the world. In this particular trendy mall in the metro, we get a taste of Italy through The Venice Grand Canal Mall. I’ve seen some friends not too happy about being another “copycat” of something that already exists but I personally wanted to check it out myself when it was still quite new. Fortunately I had the opportunity to go around when there were not yet too many people. So for this post I want to share what I observed and what I felt about the whole mall itself. Walking around you do give a feeling that we commonly refer to as “parang wala ka sa Pilipinas” (as if you’re not in the Philippines) which is a big check mark on the objective of the …

When in Cagayan de Oro, Go Somewhere Else

When in CDO and you’re looking for a fun evening, go Somewhere Else. I had several opportunities to go around Cagayan de Oro on my own and the city has become a special city to me as its tagline “City of Golden Friendship” manifested in the many times I visited Mindanao. Normally an evening in CDO would be spent in an al fresco setting with a band playing pop music or something soothing. Drinks on the tables would either be a bucket of cooled beer bottles or a whole bottle of Captain Morgan. Like most cities, CDO has their own signature nightlife. Above is what I describe to be a usual night out in CDO but two young entrepreneurs with a vision for a classier and more intimate nightlife experience decided to explore a new nightlife in the city. Somewhere Else opened back in 2015 and is home to the best club music events that Cagayan de Oro has to offer. Every now and then top DJ’s from all over the Philippines, play in this …

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque: a House of Peace and Diversity

Back in 2015 my family booked a group tour to Dubai so that we could experience this part of the globe. This would be our first time going to the middle east since most of our travels have been confined in the US, Europe and Asia. One of our destinations for the tour is a city just 140 kilometres away from Dubai: Abu Dhabi. We were off to visit the largest mosque in the UAE: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque! Truth be told, it is only when I started to travel on my own did I build interest and curiosity about religious structures and the stories behind them. During my teenage years I would pay no attention to the part of the tours where temples, churches, or other centres for worship were involved. My interest was devoted to natural sciences. This time I came prepared with a more open mind and now more curious about going to the little details that go beyond the aesthetics of the structure. Why did they build this? Who built it …

La Castellana Conference Center

A Retreat at La Castellana Conference Center in Negros

Every year it is in our religious practice and norms to attend a retreat where one will experience detachment from the usual activities of our worldly lives and just spend the time in silence and in prayer. Normally I have the retreats in the local center for Opus Dei in our city but this time I opted to go for a closed retreat far away from home. To date this had to be my best retreat experience ever. Coming from Cebu we had rode on an L300 and braved the highways, rode the waves on a barge, and finally wrestled the damaged roads of La Castellana. The total trip was roughly around 8 hours. It wasn’t too hard to find the place as the conference center was distinctively surrounded by tall walls of rocks cemented together. Beside the structure were trucks, a basketball court and what I believe was a welfare center. La Castellana Conference Center The car drove in and we were all impressed by the natural beauty just surrounding us! The house in …