Gabriela Silang Museum of Fine Arts – Tayum, Abra

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything? ~ Vincent Van Gogh

Gabriela Silang Museum of Fine Arts

One of the things that I really treasured during my last travel to Abra is the chance I had to visit the Gabriela Carino-Silang Gallery of Fine Arts. I was really wanting to stay longer, however, said trip was with a group and so I had to follow the length of stay per itinerary.

Should there be a chance, I would really love to come back, though for now, let me share with you one of the most thought-provoking art collection, the most expansive array I’ve seen locally (I was thinking it is Pinto Art Museum), owned by former Ambassador Rosario V. Carino, the paternal uncle of the country’s Joan of Arc, Gabriela Silang. Said house had became her retreat, when she fled from Vigan to shun captive, during the revolt against the Spaniards. Well, the rest is history.

Due to the diplomats’ vast collection from most parts of the globe for more than thirty years, it eventually became a gallery of Fine Arts, the squire shared with us stories behind some of the collector’s items. The well-traveled diplomat ensured that he’s got something to bring home and the accumulation of well-kept art pieces created one of the most fascinating anthology I’ve seen.

When we came, there is an on-going renovation to display the items in a better way. There is a minimum entrance fee so as to aid said renovation and preserve them for the next generations to lay eyes on. Members of the Carino family were the ones who acted like a tour guide and didn’t leave all of us unassisted. I must agree with “Tupang Gala”. It is a beautiful mess. =)

Take a gander of the photos we’ve taken:

Excited! =)
Entry way
Foyer
Library
Sorting out interesting topics.

Upon entry, two rooms are situated on both sides, one is like a resting area and the other one is a library.

“Dyaryo!” (newspaper or gazette)

When you enter the “bulwagan” (hall), you can’t help but be amazed of how massive the art collections that has been gathered from generations after generations. I felt a certain kind of abundance.

Entry to the front parlor.
Living room
Little parlor
A beautiful vintage telephone.
Dining hall
A replica of the most famous painting in the world is behind me.
A four post bed with crocheted cover.
Is it she?

Like a kid, I touched one of those lamps wishing a genie will come out! =p

Those vintage luggage put smile on my face… (–,)

Ceramics, mostly pitchers and basins.
Crystals.
Still life paintings and some Victorian figurines.
This violet vase which caught my attention is also a gift to the Ambassador.
I inquired if they have a reproduction of the “Holy Shroud”, there’s none, however, they showed me this one, an oil painting of Christ resurrected.

I was hoping the government will also assist in the preservation of said museum, I just heard about the restoration of Gabriela Silang’s father’s ancestral house in Candon, Ilocos Sur.

Jen spotted this outside, which I missed.

To be honest, this museum visit took my breath away. Estimating everything to be billion worth. Perhaps, this treasure trove is priceless.

The museum is located at Teodoro Balmaceda Street, Poblacion, 2803 Tayum, Abra. You can contact them at: 0927-640-6497 or click this link: https://www.facebook.com/gcsgfa.abra/

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Be amazed by ABRA

Be amazed by ABRA

If it doesn’t scare you, you’re probably not dreaming big enough.” ~ Tory Burch

I have always been inspired by bloggers all these years and as I do my daily readings, I came across this place: Kaparkan Falls in Tineg, Abra. Upon research, Abra is a landlocked province of the Philippines in the Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon. Its capital is Bangued, and is bordered by Ilocos Norte on the northwest, Apayao on the northeast, Kalinga on the mid-east, Mountain Province on the southeast, and Ilocos Sur on the southwest. Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abra_(province)

I have been to the Ilocos region several times, and I honestly wondered why I missed this spectacular province. Thanks to the bloggers I follow who’ve been there and densely illustrated its’ beauty and what to expect. In my heart, I knew then, Abra is one I shouldn’t miss. Specifically that falls in Tineg.

So one weekend of October, our travel agency announced that it’s time to go, it has been postponed for several times already due to the typhoons in the Philippines and my heart is pounding at the thought of waiting for another year to see Kaparkan falls. The best time to visit is during rainy season as it runs dry during the summer months. However, I’d still insist to call it my own Summer in October. =)

I have to thank the agency: Traveler Point PH for being so organized, caring and had us experience this “ABRAMAZING” weekend.

Day 1 – Friday night:

Our pick-up point is at Greenfields (Mandaluyong City) at 9:00 pm, our organizer is a couple who loves to travel too, we shared the trip along with 8 millennials who made the trip more exciting and full of fun despite of the perplexity of reaching our destination(s). We arrived at The Department of Tourism Office, Tineg around 6:00 am, it is estimated at 8 hours travel time from Manila, however due to several stop-overs, it took us 9 hours to reach Tineg, Abra. We were briefed before hitting the road. And at exactly 7:00 am, we are ready.

I am actually surprised knowing we’re riding on this Army truck.

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They refer to it as “Monster truck”…

Its’ tires at 1100 x 20 (all terrain), I thought I was lucky that my assigned seat is at the front with 2 millennial girls who made me laugh the whole time. While Jen is at the back along with the other travelers. I was telling her she wouldn’t like it in front, and she’s also saying I wouldn’t like it too at the back. As they say: “Sa harap, kitang-kita, sa likod, damang-dama!” (English translation: “The rough road is so visible in front, while the roughness and bumpiness is felt most at the back!”)

Here’s why:

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I can do this! =)

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It is necessary to lodge the tires with these chains to avoid being bogged down in the deep mud.

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rough 1

Connecting Tayum and Dolores municipalities:

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is The Don Mariano Marcos bridge. The third longest bridge in the country with a total length of 886.812 linear meters. #thisthingwithwelcomearchs

Reference: http://wikimapia.org/2423591/Don-Mariano-Marcos-Bridge

red bridge

As oriented, this “one hell of a ride” is more or less than 4 hours, and less than an hour trek to reach our destination.

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It is my first time to experience one such ride, upon being there, and finally witnessing this magnificent falls, I hear everyone saying “Oh My God!” several times! Myself, speechless. I must say it (bruises, scratches, broken nails, etc.) was truly worth it, I totally forgot about that “ride” upon seeing Kaparkan falls. Let these pictures speak for themselves. =)

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Nature has it’s own special way of taking my breath away.

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If you noticed, they do not bother to remove the falling leaves for a purpose, it adds beauty in time, the marks they leave, creates art naturally.

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You will notice too that the place isn’t that populated by guests. The Dept. of Tourism gave strict directives that the maximum # of guests is only 90. This will allow guests to enjoy its’ tranquility too.

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Those rows of limestones are naturally formed in that wondrous presence through the years, though it made me wonder, they aren’t slippery. I was too careful as it glistens when one of them told me that it isn’t slippery. Because of this, I began my wanderings and conquered my fear. =)

Our coordinator must know how famished we’d be, upon reaching our Transient home dinner time, they had this “Boodle fight” dinner set-up to welcome our group. Yum! =) We have fresh fruits too!

boodle fight 3

Our itinerary come Sunday is composed of some interesting places which I will blog separately.

Just this one at Kaparkan Falls substantiates that my more than a year waiting time to visit Abra is truly worth it. While there’s more this province can offer.

It is the highlight of this trip while I have my own personal highlight too, it is our visit to Gabriela Silang Carino Gallery of Fine Arts, which really satiated not just my eyes but my soul too.

Our itinerary for Day 2 includes: A visit to St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral, Tangadan Tunnel, Gabriela Silang monument and Abra Pasalubong Center, passed by Don Mariano Marcos bridge, the open theater and view deck at Victoria park, another visit to an old heritage church: San Lorenzo Ruiz church at the Camposanto, Bangued, side trip to Calle Crisologo, Vigan City, we also went to Balay ni Gian to buy Vigan longganiza and Bagnet (at Carl Louie) as pasalubong (goodies for loved ones at home). Our itinerary includes the Bantay Church Bell tower, the Gourd hat maker, the Loom weaving village, Acosta panciteria (that famous Abra pancit miki). But due to time constraint, we missed those ones. But it’s okay. For those who will visit Abra, these are also some spots you would want not to miss.

So this is how we spent this one amazing weekend at Abra. I must agree whenever they say it’s “Abramazing!”

Below is a map of Abra:

 

Courtesy of: http://www.abra.asia/_pages/GoSeeStay.htm

Should you be interested, feel free to call Grace or Chris of Traveler Point PH for more details at: 0945 813 0618.

PS

Kaparkan falls is prettier in person. =)

 

The 20th Hot air balloon festival – Clark, Pampanga

The 30th Hot air balloon festival – Clark, Pampanga 

“When everything seems to be against you, remember that an airplane takes off against the wind and not with it.” 
~Henry Ford~

It took me a while to blog this event. As this day was full of extremes. While it also took me years to finally do this. Like 5 years! I have been wanting to see this since then but for some reason, I wasn’t able to squeeze it in my schedule.

invitation
Courtesy of: http://www.philballoonfest.net/event-inf o/photo-gallery-2/?aid1=25186648821038

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Yey!

Until I did. So while I was enjoying it, and seeing everything that flies, little did I know that one of my cats is breathing her last.

It was a devastating fact that I wasn’t there for her at a time when she expects nothing but to see me and do everything to ease her pain. More so, be there for her all the time. Period.

It taught me a lot. More of strength perhaps to endure this desolating pain of losing a beloved pet.

They were never out of my mind. I was reminded of them for several times. I saw this shirt that says: “It’s meow or never!” though I opted getting the one that says: “Eat a lot, sleep a lot!” One of the balloons I thought was a cat while it was not.

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souvenirs

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Shabby chic! =)

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Philippine flag!=)

Going back to the 30th Hot air balloon festival, it made me feel like a child. There are balloons everywhere, food, souvenir items and merchandise.

street foods

nachos

shawarma

Kids and adult alike are flying their kites. And not the usual kite that I see flying as a kid. Most of them are shaped like eagles, butterflies, etc.

kites
(–,)

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Fly high eagle!

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Little boy and girl! Courtesy of: http://www.philballoonfest.net/

Everyone is looking up in the sky. As there are also exhibitions, gliding here and there, flight shows and other flying activities.

The event was triggered by training young pilots (Filipinos and foreigners alike) on discipline and safety in the air.

hukbong

pipin

the grin

One of my favorite shots! It was difficult to find a good shot due to the number of flocking guests.

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Vipers!

Because we didn’t have a tent like some of the spectators. I was able to ask some carton boxes from a vendor. Jen and I were able to find a good spot along with the others who enjoyed the flying scenes while lying on their back.

We were also able to rest our tired feet as we were walking most of the day and removed our shoes for a while. We were like kids literally with food in both hands.

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Rest your tired feet little one..

The Night glow is one of the highlights.

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big screen

clown

i saw them ds morning

night glow 1

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Till next time! =)

And when its’ time to go home, we have bags in both hands too. The event was like a shopping spree as well.

It was well-attended.

well attended
Courtesy of: http://www.philballoonfest.net/

Our reservation at Green canyon which is just 20 minutes away from the festival, we cancelled. Though we promised them we will go back.

For some reason, I felt like going home at that time fast. Maybe an angel was trying to pull me from all of this and be home fast. The angel was right, my princess needed me. Had we returned the following day. I might not be able to embrace her the tightest for one last time.

Jen failed to convince me to literally fly. I need more time to consider due to my fear of heights. Well, there’s always a next time.

can i do it

And ticking one off from my Bucket list spells happiness. “Hakuna matata!”

moi
Moi!

20th balloon
I believe I can fly! =)

This event started since 1994.

For more details you can check their official website at:

http://www.philballoonfest.net/