Trip to West Rizal with law school friends

Trip to Wawa Dam in Rodriguez, Rizal w/ Law School Classmates

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April 20, 2012. Some friends from law school and I took a day from our summer break to go on a road trip east of Metro Manila to the western towns of Rizal.

Our first stop was the town of Rodriguez, just half an hour’s drive from Quezon City, to frolic in the waters of the the abandoned Wawa Dam and its reservoir.

Situated upstream from Marikina River, Wawa Dam is an American colonial-era infrastructure nestled at the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains flanked by two majestic natural limestone walls covered in lush foliage. It used to supply water to Manila until the building of the Angat Dam in Bulacan. By legend, it was the infamous Bernardo Carpio who caused the separation of the limestone mountain which stood right where the dam is, as he was breaking free from bondage, and thus resulted in the flow of water creating the river that leads to Marikina.

Wawa Dam, Rodriguez, Rizal

Trip to Wawa Dam in Rodriguez, Rizal w/ Law School Classmates

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Antipolo Church, Rizal w/ Law School Classmates

We proceeded to Antipolo, further upland into Rizal where we paid a visit to Antipolo Church, a famous pilgrimage site, and to some waterfalls made infamous by a popular folk song, Hinulugang Taktak.

The falls, however, have all but lost its traditional charm, and nowhere is it near its folk song glory, having turned into a massive catch basin for detergent and other sewerage from residents upstream.

Before heading out of Antipolo, we dropped by the ‘pasalubong center’ to sample some local rice cakes to take home.

Restaurant near Masinag Market, Antipolo, Rizal Restaurant near Masinag Market, Antipolo, Rizal Antipolo Church, Rizal w/ Law School Classmates Antipolo, Rizal Town Proper w/ Law School Classmates Antipolo, Rizal Town Proper w/ Law School Classmates Hinulugang Taktak, Antipolo, Rizal

We were supposed to drive further east to the town of Tanay to end our day trip in the waterfalls of Daranak and Batlag, but my classmates didn’t think it was a good idea, as it was getting dark late in the afternoon.

Law School Classmates at Nemiranda's Arthouse Cafe, Angono, Rizal Law School Classmates at Nemiranda's Arthouse Cafe, Angono, Rizal Nemiranda's Art House, Angono, Rizal Nemiranda's Arthouse Cafe, Angono, Rizal Law School Classmates at Nemiranda's Arthouse Cafe, Angono, Rizal Law School Classmates at Nemiranda's Arthouse Cafe, Angono, Rizal Law School Classmates at Nemiranda's Arthouse Cafe, Angono, Rizal Law School Classmates at Nemiranda's Arthouse Cafe, Angono, Rizal Law School Classmates at Nemiranda's Arthouse Cafe, Angono, Rizal Law School Classmates at Nemiranda's Arthouse Cafe, Angono, Rizal Law School Classmates at Nemiranda's Arthouse Cafe, Angono, Rizal Law School Classmates at Nemiranda's Arthouse Cafe, Angono, Rizal

As an alternative, we proceeded south of Antipolo to a town along the banks of Laguna Lake, Angono, famous for its artisan families. We ended our trip with some drinks at Nemiranda’s Arthouse’s restaurant.

Law School Classmates at Nemiranda's Arthouse Cafe, Angono, Rizal

Law School Classmates at Nemiranda's Arthouse Cafe, Angono, Rizal

Brief visit to Aquino museum, Tarlac

A few weeks ago, largely in preparation for the IAMNINOY summit we were helping out in, two of my brods and I went to the Aquino Museum in Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac to get some materials and to accomplish other errands. It was just a half-day trip. We left Manila before 7 AM, arrived in Tarlac by 10, did our thing and arrived back in Manila before 2 PM.

It was my first visit to the museum, which apparently has been open for a few years already. They have a very interesting collection of Aquino memorabilia, including photos of Ninoy I’d never seen nor imagine would exist before. On display, too, were the clothes that he was wearing and his other accessories when he was gunned down, and a replica of the room where he was detained for years, with the original furniture and other things. The place is pretty big. The manager graciously accommodated us despite us being the only visitors that time of the day, and they didn’t even make us pay the entrance fee anymore.

Vargas Museum visits

April 12, 2008. For four years in UP, I never really bothered to visit the Vargas Museum near the College of Arts & Letters. Come to think of it, it’s not actually isolated, not as much as, say the Math Building, for example. In fact most of the jeepneys in UP ply past it all the time. But I never made the effort to go inside the building all these years. A few weeks ago, a friend, who volunteers to watch over the paintings at the second floor a few days a week, invited me to come on a Wednesday, which is the museum’s free-day when admission fees are waived (though the entrance fee is only 15 pesos anyway, for a UP student). It was a very pleasant museum visit. There was barely anyone else in the museum, so it was really quiet and peaceful.

I was staring at the paintings on display this month. Some of which were by Fernando Amorsolo, and other paintings depicting the Philippine countryside. It all seemed quite contrived and romanticized to me. Women and other peasants were in ornate clothes and all-smiles despite the tedious farm work they appear to be doing. What more if you place them in what was a predominantly feudal set-up back then. Beautiful works of art, nonetheless.

The guard at the entrance confiscates phones and cameras from visitors so you wouldn’t be able to take any picture, as I haven’t.

Afternoon at Cordillera Coffee (Apr. 10, '08) Afternoon at Cordillera Coffee (Apr. 10, '08) Afternoon at Cordillera Coffee (Apr. 10, '08) Afternoon at Cordillera Coffee (Apr. 10, '08) Afternoon at Cordillera Coffee (Apr. 10, '08) Afternoon at Cordillera Coffee (Apr. 10, '08)

There is, also, a coffee shop right outside the museum. I was there a few days ago, sipping coffee while waiting for a friend to finish her museum shift before we went to the University Student Council’s special assembly. What a very fancy set-up, isn’t it?

US Trip ’07: World of Coca-Cola

World of Coca-Cola

May 25, 2007. After going through a brief tour of Georgia Aquarium, we were supposed to drop off CNN for the CNN studio tour a couple of bocks away. Unfortunately, it was past 5PM already, and the last studio tour was at 5PM. Instead of trying our luck, we just walked a few meters across a large pond with eccentric street performers to the World of Coca-Cola. At first I thought that was it and was surprised at how many people were there. It turned out to be World of Coke’s opening week, which explained the crowd. Even my aunt was surprised that there was a “new world”.

World of Coca-Cola

One doesn’t need to go to a World of Coke to realize how such a powerful brand Coca-Cola is. It’s one of the most-recognized brands in the world. Imagine building a memorial and multi-media museum for a product, that people have been lured into consuming for decades.┬áIf this is a manifestation of what phenomenon, what do you think it is?

Anyhow, the highlight of the World of Coke tour is of course the room filled with tens of soda dispensers of all the various Coca-Cola sodas around the world. At the entrance, you get these cups which you can use to taste everything. It’s all the Coke you can drink! Too bad I didn’t see that coming. I would’ve built up a good thirst before getting there, to make most of the entrance fee.

US Trip ’07: Atlanta Cyclorama

Atlanta Cyclorama May 25, 2007. The first place we went to was the Atlanta Cyclorama in Grant Park, Atlanta. A cyclorama, as the name suggests, is a cylindrical piece of art or backdrop. The Atlanta Cyclorama is, apparently claimed by some as the “world’s largest painting,” and is indeed a very huge piece of art wrapped in a cylindrical chamber. In the middle of this cylindrical chamber is a rotating audience area, which rotates around the cyclorama while a taped narrator discusses the history behind the painting and the various trivia regarding the items depicted in the painting.

Honestly, this one was really boring. Our family barely know anything about the American Civil War, and I couldn’t care less about all the intricacies and side stories of the various people involved in the Battle of Atlanta.

Though the museum and the ‘show’ was largely historical in focus, and largely irrelevant for Filipino tourists, we still of course appreciate my aunt bringing us there. Entrance fee is at $7. Just right next to the Atlanta Cyclorama is the Atlanta Zoo. We didn’t go there, as we weren’t interested. We simply went back to Loganville and had lunch with Tita Nene’s family.

After lunch, we went to downtown Atlanta to visit the Georgia Aquarium and the newly-opened World of Coke.