Posted in Travel

Dragonboat Festival 2017 – GZ

​Every year Chinese celebrates Dragonboat Festival – it is more of a cultural event rather than an athletic one. Families enjoy this time to bond together and eat zongzi – a traditional sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaves. Whether they participate in the dragonboat ride or watch from the riverbanks, the most important thing is that they enjoy their fellowship together. 

Some Chinese also remember their ancestors during this holiday – offering incense and candles. 

But what strikes me this time was the plenty of hi-tech cameras with very long & powerful lenses. Phone cameras are like things of the past compared to these behemoths. As I was taking pictures of the scene, I focused my attention instead to the people carrying these impressive cameras. They are capturing great images – better than that of the Samsung S8 or iPhone 7 Plus can ever do. I just realized that smartphones are good but I should not decide to buy one just because of its camera performance. If I really love taking pictures, i should buy one of those DSLR cameras. 

But my iPhone 6 gets good shots – good enough for this blog anyway. I don’t think I will be upgrading to the iPhone 7 Plus in the future. As a matter of fact, an iPhone SE would be enough for my needs. 

PS – but including other phone features, i might consider Samsung S8 🙂

Posted in Travel

Last trip from Sorsogon City to Bulan

Exploring the Bicol region? If you happen to pass by Sorsogon City, Gaisano Mall is the newest commercial center in the area. It doesn’t have movie theater but you can restock your supplies. I went there for a relaxing massage while my wife shopped around 😜

The area around Gaisano mall has McDonald’s, Jolibee, Greenwich, Chowking,  Savemore and many more shops that you can’t find in other parts of the province.  In case you didn’t bring your car, the last trip from Sorsogon City going to Bulan is 8pm. You can wait for “Queens” bus that passes by the main road.  Of course, you can always hire a tricyle to bring you anywhere in Bicol region but it will be very slow. 

Posted in Food & Desserts, Travel

A beautiful sunny Sunday!

After the Sunday Worship Service at Lamb of God Global Mission Church, we walked to Snack Attack to buy halohalo. I love the grated ice & milk combination and since all halohalo have milk & grated ice, so for me, all halohalo taste good no matter where you buy it 🙂

Go out in the sun and explore your neighborhood for the best halohalo experience. 

Simple pleasure- enjoying life with a selfie while waiting for our halohalo to be served.
Valley view.
It’s summer here.

Posted in Travel

Foshan Ancestral Temple

Foshan Ancestral Temple (also known as Foshan Zumiao) is a 900 year-old Taoist shrine which was also a center of Political power of Foshan, China in the past.  We spent around two hours exploring the compound rich in history and Lingnan style sculptures and carvings. A typical temple with great arts, a quiet place where you can see some Buddhists offer incense, or make a wish before throwing down coins – and some even disposed their 1CNY or 0.5CNY bill in the wishing well. 

For only 20CNY you can travel back in time and enjoy these beautiful works of art but what I enjoyed more were the photo collection of Chinese martial arts in the  Ip Man Tong Memorial Hall. Grandmaster Ip Man was born in Foshan and became famous on his martial arts style -some of his well-knowns students were Bruce Lee & Jacky Chan. Movies were continuously played in one area of the hall and it’s amazing that many people stayed there enjoying the free movies. Or perhaps, they are just killing time while they wait for the dragon dance show to begin. 

The area around the temple is highly commercialized and it is just beside Nova Mall so there are many food options. After a good stroll here in ancient China, enjoy the ambience and comfort of the modern world has to offer while drinking your Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks. 

Posted in Travel

Exploring Baiyun Mountain

GZ government did a great job for developing Baiyun Mountain as a recreational center for the 9th biggest city in the world in terms of population (13 million – Wikipedia count).  For a minimal fee of 5CNY you have the access to a well-maintained mountain park. It has clean toilets with running water all-over the area, food kiosks, McDonald’s Restaurant, and a cable car facility. 

Families, lovers, senior citizens, and fitness enthusiasts can be seen strolling around the area – rain or shine. I love that GZ government encourages its citizen to exercise and there are many reminders to live a healthy lifestyle around the park. Truly, health is wealth and Baiyun Mountain is the quickest getaway from the hassle of city life.  

Visiting Baiyun Mountain is a healthier and cheaper alternative than strolling in malls.  I spent around 90 minutes walking from base to top and back. It was an amazing experience and hopefully next time I can visit again with my wife. I am thankful that God created this beautiful natural wonder and let me experienced the joy of exploring it.