Philippines Travel Guide
Baguio City, Philippines is preparing for a bursting celebration of local culture. The Panagbenga Festival, held every February for more than ten years, is a tribute to the blooming season in native style. Floats laden with blossoms parade along the streets and tourists flock to see colorful traditional dances.
The festival, which started in 1995, is both a celebration of local culture and recovery: A massive earthquake shook the city to the ground in 1990.
Though activities are held throughout the month of February, the prime time to catch the festival is between Feb. 22 and March 2. (The best places to see the action are Session Road and Burnham Park.) Baguio City is roughly 150 miles north of Manila--a quick plane trip or a five hour bus ride through the mountains.
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The 2007 Philippine Blog Awards took place in Manila earlier this month. Categories included "Best Socio-Political Blog," "Best Personal Blog," and of course, "Best Travel Blog." That last prize went to Philippine blogger Ivan About Town, thanks to his detailed log of regional exploits. Indeed, Ivan loves his own country, and the blog is heavy on destinations and tips within the Philippines.
Pictured above is a sacrilegious but reportedly ultra-delicious combo plate from "50's Diner" in Baguio City. Garlic bread, pizza, pasta, chicken, vegetables, fries and a pork chop all on one plate, for around $2. Wow.
You can view a map of Ivan's travels here.
· Ivan About Town [Official Site via Metroblogging Manila]
In these days of hypersensitive airport checks you really need to work hard on keeping your cool, whether it's to put up with waiting in neverending queues or having to take your coat and belt and shoes off and empty every pocket of change, keys and chewing gum wrappers. Unfortunately, a German tourist with the unwieldy name of Hans Jurgen Oskar von Naguschewski ran out of patience at Manila airport in the Philippines recently.
Probably expressing the sentiment most of us have at an airport security check, Hans got so frustrated when he was asked to pass through the X-ray machine again that he simply took his trousers off instead. This was deemed to be an illegal act of stripping and has landed poor Hans with a possible jail term: he's still waiting to hear his verdict.
He faced a charge of public scandal, but has already apologized and said it was a misunderstanding: "The man kept saying 'take off, take off' but the shoes were already off and the pants were alone," Hans said, as he wasn't wearing a belt. The other rumor doing the traps is that security couldn't work out how to get him through because his name was simply too long for the boarding card.
[Photo: C Ray Dancer]
· Traveler Held After Manila Strip [BBC]
· German Tried in Philippines for Stripping [Expatica]
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Talking Heads superfans in or heading to the Philippines have only a weekend left to wait for their new favorite photography exhibit ever. David Byrne, the Heads' frontman and one of RISD's most famous dropouts, went and got himself a show in Manila. Byrne's exhibit, titled "Photographs for Manila Envelope," will run from Monday, December 4 until December 9 at the Cemento Gallery.
When Byrne traveled to Manila to shoot (the show is made up of photographs he took there), he played it low-key, getting around on his own bicycle and avoiding the fancy-schmancy hotels in Makati. He took a decidedly low-key approach to displaying his works too, and gave them to the Manila Envelope (a local magazine) for free.
· Manila Envelope [Official Site]
Did you ever think airplane air conditioning could be so scary? Especially on a trip to the Philippines, where you're likely to be in dire need of good air conditioning?
Above, on a standard flight from Manila to Boracay, the Philippines' most popular beach resort, a passenger captures the airplane's "sketchy" air conditioning system. The passenger cabin floods with some sort of mist that looks like smoke. Seriously, just watching this makes us feel like we are back on the floor at a Mötley Crüe concert, trying to get a glimpse of Tommy Lee through all the dry ice. Apparently this effect is common on small planes that fly in humid climates, as we've seen evidence on Flickr of similar situations in Taiwan. We just hope the flight attendants make some sort of announcement telling passengers that all this smoke is normal, though it doesn't appear to be bothering the dude in the video that continues to read a magazine despite the constant smoke screen.
· Travel Stories in the Philippines [Jaunted]
Farl is a photoblogger based out of the Cebu islands in the north of the Philippines. While each photo is on Flickr, there's generally a thorough explanation of what is being documented in the pictures. The photos also cover travel, including trips to Madagasgar and New York City.
The photo pictures above is a time-lapsed photographed of a candlelight procession, in the Philippines. The procession was for Good Friday; it's probably the coolest the town of Bantayan will ever look.
[Image via farl/Flickr]
See, luggage has more, uh, weight in the world of the airlines than it would seem. This week, KLM lost a lawsuit in Manila, in which a Pilipino doctor won $238,000 for his misdirected luggage. It was not the contents of his bags that were of intrinsic value. KLM lost his clothes, and through a serious of consquences he was forced to deliver a speech in Kazakhstan wearing jeans. The horror!
Because of delays in his flights, the doctor arrived in Alma Ata and went directly the conference. He looked disheveled enough that the organizers of the conference refused to let him in at first. Maybe that would have been a better result. Nonetheless, he gave the speech, felt that his reputation suffered as a result of his attire, and has won the suit against KLM. KLM is appealing the verdict, as you might expect.
Really, if you've got clothes that are that important: carry-on. We can't stress it enough. It's like checking a laptop--it's never going to end well.
[Image via ZenMusic/Flickr]
· Doctor Wins $238,000 from KLM [World Hum]
Imagine...you are an airport inspector. It's your job to be diligently checking boxes and containers that pass through your way for illegal activities and substances.
A large box comes your way noted to be filled with "ornamental fish." You stick a hand in unknowingly, expecting to see something harmless. Next thing you know a piranha has chomped into it, leaving you a gaping V-shaped wound!
Yes, this really did happen. In Manila. Some moron shipped 34 live piranhas. Seriously, was he thinking no one would realize that the box was filled with flesh-eating fish?!?! We give a little salute to airport inspectors today.
· Piranha bites Manila airport inspector [USA Today]