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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hong Kong: the Fragrant Harbour

The name "Hong Kong" is an approximate phonetic rendering of the pronunciation of the spoken Cantonese or Hakka, meaning "fragrant harbour".

The reference to fragrance may refer to the harbour waters sweetened by the fresh water estuarine influx of the Pearl River, or to the incense from factories lining the coast to the north of Kowloon, which was stored around Aberdeen Harbour for export before the development of Victoria Harbour. (Wikipedia)

With its etymology, it is no wonder why many Filipinos flock to this city for work, business and pleasure.
And I’m not an exemption. The moment I got my first round trip ticket (Cathay Pacific) from my kumare, I never stopped checking the sights of HK via google.  

And nine years with eleven visits (I hope my counting is correct) although I have not seen much of HK for reasons beyond my comprehension, HK still brings a special sense of excitement and joy.  I think it is visiting the place with my best friend – almost like a sister that makes each trip memorable and more than just visiting the internet-suggested places.

Wonderful Worlds of Whampoa Hong Kong

Taken from the Peak Tram at Victoria Peak.

Taken from the Peak Tram  around 2 P.M.  I was actually dreaming of a perfect shot
but what I got was a smoggy Hong Kong.  

I was expecting for a clear and postcard shot of this part of the city and I got this.

Wonderful Worlds of Whampoa, Hong Kong is the perfect place to visitand shop with your family. The shape of this shopping plaza which looks like a ship attracts the visitors in large numbers.

Rising over Hong Kong's commercial and entertainment district of Kowloon is the Gateway, a Marco Polo hotel. Housed in Harbour City – Hong Kong's largest shopping complex – Gateway hotel the ultimate in leisure accommodation and shopping experience.

Hong Kong restaurant offers a stunning array of cuisines from around the world.

Lavender garden boxes along Kowloon Area

Hong Kong is a veritable shopping paradise, shopping areas throughout Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and New Territories, gathered in a fashionable shopping malls and large department stores, there are bustling open-air market.

The magnificent Tsing Ma Bridge, the world's longest span suspension bridge carrying both road and rail traffic, is the key connection between Hong Kong and its international airport on Lantau Island. 

Hong Kong Disneyland bus station.  Visitors can take the buses for free
if they want to check/ take photos of the famous Disneyland Hotel and Hollywood Hotel.

The entrance of Hong Kong Disneyland.  This photo was taken around 4 p.m. on a weekday and it was raining.  The atmosphere was just perfect for an afternoon visit.  Less visitors.  More space. More fun. :)

It was a big surprise to see less people in Disneyland. But there were lots of "elbow" spaces. 

Taken right after the fireworks. 

The Main Street after the firework.

Disney @ nite.

One rainy Disney...

A blast of Disney past. 

Whoa, who would think HK Disneyland would be this spacious? We had fun. No rush. 

The drummer boys.

The Main Street Parade.  The Celebration in the Air.

Greetings from the Princesses.

And from the Lion King too.

Though I am not so "fan" of Buzz, but this float is amazing.

And I just love Lilo.

They are Pinoys.... i was told by a buzzz....

Nice one...fresh from a fairy tale book.

and another one...felt like Sinulog, actually.

And just in time for Panagbenga.

And our Ati-Atihan Festival... :)

A Magical Ride...

My place.  My time. My space.

While waiting for the Disney Bus

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pahiyas Festival of Lucban Quezon

A display of various arresting colours designed like chandeliers made of leaf like materials called kipping decorated most of the façade of the houses.  Curiosity sank in when I saw throng of people walking on one direction. Even the day was filthy hot with no available shade of comfort we joined the throng and found ourselves bathed with various arresting colors.

Lucban celebrates the Pahiyas Festival every May 15 in honor of the patron saint of farmers,St. Isidore. This festival showcases a street of houses which are adorned with fruits, vegetables, agricultural products, handicrafts and kiping, a rice-made decoration, which afterwards can be eaten grilled or fried. The houses are judged and the best one is proclaimed the winner. (wikipedia)

Called longganisa in the Philippines, the sausages are flavoured with indigenous spices, with each region having its own specialty. Among others, Lucban is known for its garlicky longanizas (derecado)

The houses are judged and the best one is proclaimed the winner.

Every year, tourists roam the municipality to witness the decoration of houses.

This garden landed this house to third place. 

Kiping, a rice-made decoration, which afterwards can be eaten grilled or fried. 

Longganisa lucban is a garlicky slightly sour sausage that is quite similar to chorizo de bilbao, the famous garlic sausage from Spain.

Lucban is starting to get noticed because of their impressive hats. Visit Lucban and feel like Queen Elizabeth - no rush!

Speaking about the colorful houses, the usual decoration used of the Lucbanins is the brightly colored rice wafer, called kiping. Besides San Isidro Labrador – the patron of the farmers, Lucban Pahiyas is not Lucban Pahiyas without kiping. (wowquezon)

Making kiping is a time-consuming process. Its name came from “Kipi” or “Kinipi” which describes how laborious the process of making one. It undergoes many steps before it can be used as a decoration for the festival. (w0wquezon)

A replica of the Lucban Church made of coconut husks. 

Isidore was born to very poor parents in Madrid, about the year 1070. He was in the service of the wealthy Madrid landowner Juan de Vargas on a farm in the vicinity of Madrid. Juan de Vargas would later make him bailiff of his entire estate of Lower Caramanca

The townsfolk trot out their beloved gigantes or giants. Measuring about 14 feet tall, the giants come in pairs, the mag-asawa or couple, a giant man dressed in the peasant's camisa chino or undershirt, and his wife clad in the native patadyong and kimona, a loose skirt topped with a flimsy blouse. Made from papier mache, the giants are borne on shoulders by those who have made it, a panata is made in return for a favor received. 

Buddy's - Dito parang laging Fiesta!

This is the Lucban Church in Quezon, which is almost 400 years old. Said the inscription: ” The first church, built in 1595, was ruined in 1629. The second church was constructed between 1630 and 1640, but was seriously damaged by fire in 1733. The present church was completed in 1738 and the convent in 1743.”


About Me

"There is no happiness for the person who does not travel. For Indra is the friend of the traveler, therefore wander!" by Brähmann On a personal note, I don't know Brahmann nor Indra, but the lines speak more than they are read. I gave birth to this travel blog, inspite of the fact that there are zillion of travel blogs out there, to share with you all that we can see the world without spending TOO MUCH. This is my Travel-budget-blog.