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Edmar Guquib (TownExplorer)
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Travel blogger at www.edmaration.com and www.exploreilocos.com
Travel blogger at www.edmaration.com and www.exploreilocos.com

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[QUEZON CITY] ► Christmas vibes are here in Cubao!

#TownExplorer | #QuezonCity | #MetroManila | #Luzon | #Philippines | #SouthEastAsia | #Asia
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[VIGAN] ► Mira Hills (collective) is the highest point in Vigan poblacion. In a fast-growing tourism-fueled city, the natural landscape of Vigan has constantly been modified or replaced by new developments. Thanks to Mira Hills, it's the only remaining ecopark within the central business district. It's the last one standing in harmonizing the relationship between concrete development and nature preservation.

+ Mira Hills is also known as the Filipino-Spanish Friendship Park. Its main feature is the American-era water reservoir that supplies the city and its neighboring towns. For your information, this towering reservoir could be seen from Iocos Sur National High School and fellow ISNHS students would be able to relate if I say that "we" students of ISNHS at least attempted to climb this tower, aren't we? Yup, we once dreamed to climb this but only a handful brave few made it to the top. Aside from that, ISNHS students would go here for 'dating' and fellow ISNHS alumni could relate to this.

Mira Hills is not popular for tourists but very popular for the locals. Thank God, there's a 'pasyalan' in Vigan devoid of tourists and I love it. Although some tourists have been visiting this place, majority of the people here would likely be the locals attending public events or group parties. Whenever I feel the need to go back to the old Vigan wherein I don't feel the need to deal with tourists, I go to Mira Hills because it makes me feel the old Vigan I used to know back when I was a child. There were some improvements done though but it didn't significantly change. It's still the old Mira Hills park I used to know. So for tourists planning to visit this place, there's nothing to do or see here. Do not enter. Just kidding!

Well, Mira Hills is a picnic park that features a swimming pool, an amphitheater for outdoor activities and the Buridek Museum. Entrance fee is 15pesos per head. Overnight camping or events are not allowed unless you secured a special permit from the management stationed near the entrance gate. Vigan LGU also transformed this park into a child-friendly park (hence the Buridek Museum, a museum for kids, and some child-friendly outdoor activities) as part of its endeavors to maintain Vigan as a child-friendly city. Vigan is a national awardee of "the most child-friendly city in the Philippines".(Photo taken in 2008)

#TownExplorer | #Vigan | #IlocosSur | #Ilocos | #Luzon | #Philippines | #SouthEastAsia | #Asia
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[VIGAN] ► Flocks of white egrets found home in Brgy Mindoro. They occupy the seasonal swamps. With the Ilocos mountain ranges at the background, they decorate the sky with colors of peace and purity.

This site may not be the most popular attraction in Vigan but let's view Vigan in a different perspective. Well, bird watching is not as popular as beach bumming, food tripping, or mountain hiking. However, there's a group of people who will surely love this—the bird watching enthusiasts. The area surrounding the northern part of the Vigan Airport in Brgy Mindoro are swamps. Well, don't expect too much bird variety. It's not a forest anyway. The swamps attract flocks of white egrets. Be cautious though, you may drive them away if you're a little careless or aggressive.

#TownExplorer | #Vigan | #IlocosSur | #Ilocos | #Luzon | #Philippines | #SouthEastAsia | #Asia
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[VIGAN] ► My hometown Vigan is more than just the cultural heritage, we also take pride of our natural heritage. Our beachline is black, rich in magnetite and some claim it is also rich in 'gold dusts' carried downstream by the Abra River from its tributaries in Benguet and Abra. Both provinces are rich in gold deposits. This probably explains why there are occasional (but easy to detect) sand grains that sparkle like a diamond during daytime.

#TownExplorer #Vigan #IlocosSur #Ilocos #Luzon #Philippines #SouthEastAsia #Asia
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[QUEZON CITY] ► I visited another business district in Metro Manila called Eastwood. It's located in Libis. It's very compact. The space was maximized. It's a high-rise concrete jungle. Claustrophobics might not find this place cool but is surely a lovable place for shopping, eating and uhm... taking selfies.

#TownExplorer | #QuezonCity | #MetroManila | #Luzon | #Philippines | #SouthEastAsia | #Asia
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[QUEZON CITY] ► I'm already staying in Cubao for more than one month now. This has already breached the record—my longest stay in Metro Manila was my 4-week hospital internship in various hospitals way back in college.

+ If I could survive the challenging chaos of Manila, then I would be able to survive living anywhere else in the world, an ultimate dream for the outgoing Ilocano in me.

+ It's a city exploration thing. I love the new things I'm learning here, significantly different from the place where I grew up.

#QuezonCity | #MetroManila | #Luzon | #Philippines | #SouthEastAsia | #Asia
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[TINEG] ► Let's meet the warm and beautiful people of the ADASEN TRIBE of Tineg, Abra. One of the councilors of Taguig has an Adasen heritage and I've met her accidentally. Her mother was my patient, I asked where did they come from and when she told me they are from Abra, I did not stop digging their roots until I found out that they are Adasen. They were surprised to know that their nurse is very knowledgeable of their tribe and their place. Small world.
I showed her the photos of her village (Agsimao) I took and she was left in awe to see that an outsider has been to places she has heard but never visited in her own town. I also showed her the story I wrote for Manila Bulletin featuring her tribe and she hoped to go home soon to the land of her roots.

Since I'm a buff in transcultural nursing, I know their special needs and culture so I gave them the best care I could offer without encroaching over their traditional and cultural boundaries. It's challenging to care for diverse people like the tribesmen, Hindu, Muslim, etc who have different beliefs about health and wellness but I love caring for these people. Not many nurses understand them especially when they don't want to talk or if they are demanding. Bottomline is, caring is also knowing their traditional practices and beliefs so that they will gain our trust as health care providers and achieve the optimum care and healing we could provide. [Transcultural Nursing 101]

#TownExplorer #Tineg #Abra #Cordillera #Luzon #Philippines #SouthEastAsia #Asia
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[SANTO DOMINGO] ► Taken from Lao-ingen Falls. I'll post the waterfall photos on my blog, not here. :p

#TownExplorer #SantoDomingo #IlocosSur #Ilocos #Luzon #Philippines #SouthEastAsia #Asia
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[LAOAG] ► The sun rays coming from the west highlighted the facade of the Saint William's Cathedral, or Laoag Cathedral. I was sitting on a bench at the back of a popular fastfood restaurant waiting for the opening of the Laoag Night Market. I watched how the purple sky turned into deep blue. The bright and shiny facade became even more prominent. The waiting time unleashed the thoughts in me while seeing the Laoag Cathedral standing with might in front of me.

#TownExplorer #Laoag #IlocosNorte #Ilocos #Luzon #Philippines #SouthEastAsia #Asia
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