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:
Upon entry, two rooms are situated on both sides, one is like a resting area and the other one is a library.
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.
Like a kid, I touched one of those lamps wishing a genie will come out! =p
Those vintage luggage put smile on my face… (–,)
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.
To be honest, this museum visit took my breath away. Estimating everything to be billion worth. Perhaps, this treasure trove is priceless.
I might sound redundant but I’m really thankful to discover Kaparkan falls leading me to a lot more exciting places to see in this specific province that’s sometimes patented to be unsafe. Actually it is safe. We didn’t encounter anything shaky the whole time we were there. But of course, we always pray for safety each time we go out right?
So the news we’ve been hearing (mostly politics related), didn’t deter our eagerness to visit this province.
On top of Kaparkan Falls, here are some of the places our travel agency flaunted to us. These and the team spirit (good vibes) made this trip a memorable one.
Don Mariano Marcos bridge (Abra Kalinga National Road)
San Lorenzo Ruiz church (Bangued, Abra)
Bangued is the capital of Abra.
St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral (Tayum, Abra)
Both churches are still closed, and since it’s my first time being there, I made my wishes and prayers. =)
Tangadan Welcome Tunnel (San Quintin, Abra)
Gabriela Silang Monument (San Quintin, Abra)
Abra Pasalubong Center (San Quintin, Abra)
Open Theater at Victoria Park (Bangued, Abra)
View deck at Victoria Park (Bangued, Abra)
Balay ni Gian/ Carl Louie (for the longganiza and bagnet)
Gabriela Silang Carino Gallery of Fine Arts (Tayum, Abra)
Come lunch time, we had ours at “Hidden Garden” – Vigan City
Crisologo Street – Vigan City
On our way back to Manila, they were already discussing when and where to go next. Most of our photos are with hashtag: #wheretonext
“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.
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!”)
Connecting Tayum and Dolores municipalities:
is The Don Mariano Marcos bridge. The third longest bridge in the country with a total length of 886.812 linear meters. #thisthingwithwelcomearchs
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.
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. =)
Nature has it’s own special way of taking my breath away.
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!
Our itinerary come Sunday is composed of some interesting places which I will blog separately.
Just this one at Kaparkan Fallssubstantiates 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 churchat the Camposanto, Bangued, side trip to Calle Crisologo, Vigan City, we also went to Balay ni Gianto 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!”
“Jobs fill your pocket, adventures fill your soul.” ~Jaime Lyn Beatty~
I am sitting in my cubicle when I heard my office mates discussing about our Summer Outing this year. And I can’t help but get too excited as we’re going up north this time to Pangasinan. It’s going to be different this year as we have been exploring the South for the past years. Our first stop is to revel in the beauty of the Hundred Islands.
What made it more thrilling to me is to find out that the Lighthouse of Bolinao, is included in our itinerary. Whoopee! As you know, I have been collecting Lighthouses and this will surely slash one from my list to visit. The Enchanted cave is included in the list too. =) I am not that fond of spelunking but this one is going to be definitely exciting. Something that is new to me.
So here’s how our itinerary goes:
LUNCH AT DE GARCIA GARDEN & GRILL
On our way to the resort, somewhere in Sual, we spotted this eclectic restaurant and opted to have our lunch here. We also enjoyed the artistic ambiance, looks like the owners are travelers too, and the food that they served us is okay too. =)
And then it’s time to unpack and look forward to the activities that we’re about to do in the next few hours.
HUNDRED ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK
The waters of the Lingayen gulf were clean and of bluish and greenish hue. As the roar of the boat’s engine started, all of us had fun witnessing the naturally beautiful islets that surround us.
There are 3 major islands that they converted as Tourist spots where you can have picnic as there’s a grilling area, restrooms, and rent kayaks and banana boats. Said islands are as follows: Quezon island, Governor island and Children’s island.
How nature lined up these emerald green islets are truly a breath-taking sight to behold.
We wouldn’t wanna miss this breath-taking ride! =) I lost (or we) my voice after.
Tucked in Patar, Bolinao is someplace enchanted. =) The Enchanted cave. We dipped in its’ super cold and clear water, and when they declared we’re leaving, I almost don’t wanna go. Not yet! =)
ST. JAMES THE GREAT PARISH CHURCH VISIT
Of course, we wouldn’t leave this town without saying some prayers. Moreso, thank Him for this wonderful trip with wonderful people and great food.
One of the highlights of this trip (Well, for me perhaps), is a visit to the second tallest lighthouse in the Philippines.
We also had the chance to squeeze in to see one of their beaches. The sands are so fine, not that white, but their so fine. =)
BOODLE FIGHT THE PANGASINENSE WAY
I just found this boodle fight prepared neatly, and I just tasted a very delicious version of “Pinakbet”.
Roughly, it took us 5 to 6 hours to get to Casa Almarenzo. This includes the stop-over we had for lunch.
We also had fun roaming around the town, had lunch in this cool restaurant where you will find a wide variety of viands to choose from. We also shop for the also famous Bolinao longganiza. =)
Pangasinan is truly one of the most interesting towns in the northern part of the Philippines. There’s actually more to see in Pangasinan, such as: Sunflower farm, Our Lady of Manaoag church, the beaches, beautiful falls, caves, their delicacies, to mention a few.
Every year, everyone at work is excited as to where our boss will bring us come Summer.
I didn’t expect that we will have the chance to see “Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar” as they have visited this awesome place for several times already. But yes, we are going there for a Summer treat. A heritage resort it is. Yey!
It is a 3 – hour drive from Manila. More or less. That day is specifically humid but it didn’t have much effect on the incredible feeling I got that I’m traveling again. Better yet, with my colleagues. I usually travel alone and sometimes my travels are with just one buddy, or with my family and whoever I am with, traveling gives me this feeling of excitement.
We arrived after lunch time and spent waiting for our shuttle by admiring their lobby.
The staff are so used in attending to guests, from the driver to the ushers and to the servers at the restaurant where we had our lunch after unpacking.
My colleagues and I didn’t waste any time. After a few minutes of rest, we immediately did our rounds. Part of the package is a tour that comes with a tour guide enumerating details per house.
We opted to explore the place on our own. There is a total of 30 ancestral house, one of which, I have come to witness as a child, the one from Binan, Laguna.
And what a day it was. A day is not enough for you to be able to capture all corners from west to east part of the whole place. Not only that it is literally huge, you can not help but linger at each corner for its’ beauty. It is truly wander and wonder mood for all of us.
I especially love this.
I imagine this with a few locals wearing this.
It brought me to the past. Something that is quite hard for many. It requires careful study, replicate’s intricate details, and probably passion to achieve this.
To complete the feel, they have a studio wherein you can wear costumes that have been worn during the 1800s.
I just regret that we weren’t able to do it. Maybe next time.
They also have a pool and it is an option if you do not want to go to the beach. The eastern part where the beach is located is part of the South China sea.
They have a souvenir shop. It showcase some stuff that really looks very familiar to me. And when I touched them, I was reminded of Antipolo. Then I found out some of their dishes were made by Ms. Lanelle Abueva, the potter whom I’ve met at Crescent Moon cafe.
It was amazing though, and reminded me of the story of this famous psychic, who was handed a pen, and he immediately figured-out as to whom the pen belongs to. It was a crazy feeling. =)
Before dinner time, we were able to watch a show that featured young artists dancing folk dances and it was so much fun.
What I admired most in this place, is the attention to details.
What else can I say? =)
I had one of the best breakfast at Las Casas and especially loved the home-made cinnamon ensaimadas..=)
Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar is located at: Brgy. Ibaba, Bagac, 2107 Bataan with phone number: (02) 332 5338.