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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Camp John Hay - Baguio

Camp John Hay is today's one of the most popular visited attraction in the city of Baguio. It is situated on the southeast side of Baguio. It used to be the former rest and recreation facility of the US Armed Forces, making Baguio City became known as "little America."
It was actually a major hill station and designated as a communications station, and was run by the US Air Force in its last days before it was finally turned over to the Philippines in 1991 when the expiration of the RP-US Bases Agreement ended.

Camp John Hay used to be considered as the US Military and Department of Defense base since 1903 and also was used as a concentration camp by the Japanese for both British and American soldiers during WW2, and as a military headquarters when Gen. Yamashita went up north from Manila during the coming end of the Japanese reign in the Philippines.

Camp John Hay got its name after President Roosevelt's Secretary of State, - John Milton Hay. It has an average elevation of 5,000 ft., and is a 690-hectare property.
Philippines began managing the former US Air Force recreational facility from the year it was turned over in 1991 until 1997, and turned it as a resort and ultimately developed as private vacation houses, lodgings, famous Baguio hotels, a shopping center and some restaurants, stores and golf courses.

Below are some photos of me and my family while touring inside Camp John Hay's compound.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Tam-Awan Village

In 1998, Chanum Foundation, Inc. was founded and began constructing huts of Ifugao and Kalinga tribes using original materials, with a goal to showcase model villages to people who are visiting the interior parts of Cordillera region.

Traditional artists reconstructed the houses making them resemble the design of a traditional Cordillera Village. Nowadays, being called Tam-awan village is now also called "a garden in the sky".
More huts were added into the village and are open for lodging with reasonable rates. The entire village today is now a popular place for workshops and exhibits, showcasing the cultural heritage of the Cordillera people. It shows blending of exquisite and aesthetic Cordilleran craftmanship with the concept for a village that adapts with Baguio setting.

The village right up the entrance

Tam-awan Village is also an ideal location for other cultural and art activities enhancing the culture and history of Cordillera life. The word "tam-awan" came from a local word which means "vantage point."

Interested to visit? Check them out at There is an entrance fee to enter the village.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

A Quick Visit to Baguio Strawberry Farm

I and my family

A tourist's visit to Baguio, Philippines isn't complete without strawberry picking.

Strawberry Farm is located 30-minutes away from downtown Baguio situated in La Trinidad, Benguet. It is a unique experience for the whole family picking fresh strawberries direct from the farm itself which is chargeable at a different rates at times. The charging rate is based on weight of how much you have picked per person.

Take note that there are months when the farm doesn't have enough ripe strawberries ready to be picked, so be sure to do your research ahead of time prior to visiting.
Normally, the farm is open for strawberry-picking activity from November to May yearly, but it can change depending on weather conditions such as when typhoons occur that can easily destroy the fruits. If fruits are not available for picking at the farm, there is always the market as an option to buy strawberries. They may not be as fresh as when you pick them directly from the farm, but they still sell good quality strawberries as an option!

You can also get to taste strawberry ice cream, and some popular food sold in the market, including various souvenirs; - T-shirts, trinkets, fruit jams and jellies, etc...
So, if you love strawberries, you get a lot of them in Baguio, be it direct from the farm or not!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Tour at the Valley Forge National Historic Park

Due to short amount of time and the cold temperature, we chose to do a bus guided tour around the park. Warmer months are mostly recommended if you want to take time touring the park at your own pace.
During the tour, our guide shared about Valley Forge's historical past; - the place of encampment by George Washington and his army during the rough winter days during the 17th century and their survival skills while fighting in a battle.

The tour has an extended stops at the Muhlenberg Brigade Huts, and at the Washington's headquarters house in the countryside.

Muhlenberg Brigade Huts

The farmhouse used as headquarters features sites that include the soldier's huts, earthen fortifications and nearby sites such as the Washington Memorial Chapel and the Memorial Arch.

Inside tours are allowed at the farmhouse headquarters, the soldiers' huts, Muhlenberg brigade huts (walking tours), and the memorial chapel. Each has its own story to tell!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

An Expedition Ride at Colebrookdale Railroad

If you love train rides, one ideal place to experience it is at Colebrookdale Railroad at Philadelphia Ave. in Boyertown, PA. In every season, they have special event train rides that both adults and children would surely enjoy.

Colebrook train rides give one of the most scenic and historic regions in the northeast, into the Secret Valley. The railroad is considered to be a forgotten Civil War-gem which connects sights from unique geological formations and Native American lore, to the early day iron-making industries in the American colonies, as well as crossings of tall timble trestles and rushing mountain creeks on its journey through the past.

Inside the train, enjoying the ride ;)
If you love train historic rides such as this, you can have it at your own chosen schedule time to step back into the historical past and aboard a meticulously-restored century-old passenger cars.
Here, you can also witness an amazing history you would never forget.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Best Guitar Amp

It feels good to know that while I was browsing about fender cyber twin I found out they are also shipping to the Philippines. And yes, I am having my great vacation here in the Philippines and enjoying it to the max! This guitar amp from Fender is considered to be the best! Cool, isn't it? 

Better yet check its features and see it for yourself. You can be sure that you will be getting your money's worth when it comes to its functions and effects. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Crab Feast at Fisherman's Crab Deck

Fisherman's Crab Deck is one restaurant worth visiting in summer for the "all-you-can-eat" crab feast! It is located off the Kent Narrows Bridge in Grasonville, MD.
It has a waterfront view situated across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge where you can enjoy the beautiful shoreline with boats docked outside of the restaurant.

This place is ideal for everybody, from singles to family hang outs! - one awesome summer experience to enjoy!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Botanical Garden - Baguio City

The Baguio Botanical Garden is not hard to find when you're in Baguio City, Philippines. Its main entrance is easy to locate as you go straight along Leonard Wood Road, just in between Wright Park and the Teacher's Camp.

The famous landmark of the garden is its main gate made of stone and cement, sculptured and shaped by a bas relief reflecting the various rituals of the Cordillera tribes. You can also easily witness at its main gate the presence of old folks; - real live Igorots wearing their tribal attires who are always willing to pose photos with you for a minimal fee.

I and my family with the old folks! ;)

This botanical garden was also both a garden and a zoo and was actually named Botanical & Zoological Garden; also named as Igorot Village, Imelda Park (came from the name of former First Lady, Imelda Marcos), and now called Centennial Park due to the 100th years celebration of Baguio as the Summer Capital of the Philippines.
Although today, many tourists and locals still call the garden Baguio Botanical Garden, perhaps because the main gate says it so ;).

The park not only features pine trees and other variety of shrubs, bushes and flowers but also includes native Igorot huts and statues decorating the park, and designed with narrow and winding pathways, ideal for cool strolls. It's also an ideal place to commune with nature and when you want to relax and be at peace and quiet.

In one corner of the park are rows of souvenir shops that sell gift items, handicrafts and various items for visitors who want to shop for any gift items.

Take note when visiting:

  1. the park is NOT wheel-chair friendly, and visitors should wear comfortable walking shoes as path walks and steps are a bit tricky and steep in some areas.

Monday, October 10, 2016

The "Genghis Khan" at the Franklin Institute Museum

If you love all sorts of history, the Franklin Institute offers these types of exhibits. From May 9, 2015 to January 3, 2016 was an exhibit about the life of Genghis Khan. The Mongolians and Russians call him "Chinggis" pronounced as "chin-ghis", and many Westerners do spell his name as genghis, pronounced as "jen-ghus" or 'ghen-ghus'!

The exhibit features more than 200 artifacts that came from private collectors in Mongolia, Azerbaijan and even from the US. These artifacts are considered mostly as never-before-seen artifacts. These includes weaponries, ceramics, jewels, various relics, guns and swords.
Huge replicas can be seen such as the Genghis Khan Crossbow, the Mongolian Armored horse and warrior, The Grasslands exhibits and Murals.

Murals also include some works of art created after his death. An example of this is a mural of Genghis Khan with his officers.
All Genghis Khan exhibits are located at the Pepper Hall and Pendulum galleries.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The No. 9 Coal Mine & Museum Tour

No. 9 Mine & Museum is located off Route 209 in Lansford, Pennsylvania and is at the foot of the Pocono Mountains. It is between halfway the historic towns of Jim Thorpe and Tamaqua.

#9 Coal Mine started in as early as in 1855, considered to be the world's oldest continously operated anthracite coal mine. It was ultimately closed in 1972 but it was re opened again in 2002 as a heritage tourist attraction.
Today, the coal mine becomes one of the most ideal mine attraction giving its visitors an unforgettable experience in exploring the mine underground by taking visitors into a train that goes 1,600 feet into the mountainside and let them experience what it was like for those miners in the old days to work underground for more than past 200  years ago.

The tour includes a visit to the underground mule-way, the hospital inside the mine, and the 900-ft. deep original elevator shaft that once hauled loaded coal cars back to the surface.

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There are amazing additional sights and fascinating stories as well which are being shared by the tour guide.
The #9 mining museum can be easily seen at the "Wash Shanty" building. It is filled with exhibits of the original artifacts and equipments used by the miners for nearly 2 centuries of mining history at the coal mine.
As you enter the museum, you see clothings placed in wire baskets which are hanged through chains from the ceiling of the "wash shanty" building.
This sight is how it was during those days that 450 miners worked in the mine.

Other exhibits are the original tools that the miners used, - shovels, drills, axes, picks, blasting equipments, saws, lamps and their lunch cans and caps. There are also exhibits that include a life-sized replica of a mule boy and his mule, various original photo collection, original paintings, handcrafted and carved items made of coal, fossils, gems and even a replica of an 1800's miner's kitchen, and tons more to see.

A small gift shop is just at the entrance area of the museum which sells carved coal souvenirs, customized shirts/hats, books and more.

Friday, September 30, 2016

A Visit to the Old Jail Museum

Jim Thorpe in Pennsylvania (also known as Mauch Chunk; - which means Bear Place) is a beautiful historically enriched area at the Pocono Mountains in Carbon County.
If you're passing by the area along Broadway St., you won't miss the Old Jail Museum at W. Broadway. If you see a resemblance of a fortress standing guard over the town, with a beautiful 2-storey stone structure, that's the Old Jail Museum.

the dungeon at the museum

This museum is worth visiting due to its very interesting history as early as in the 18th century where seven Irish coal miners known as Molly Maguires were hanged on the 21st of June 1877, then another man on March 28, 1878 was hanged. The last two men were hanged on the same gallows on January 14, 1879.

the gallows where the Maguires were hanged

Historians believed that most of the condemned men were innocent. The men proclaimed their innocence as well before they were hanged. One of the man who was hanged, - Alexander Campbell placed his handprint on the wall of his cell to prove he was innocent. They called it as a mysterious print because no matter how they tried to eradicate the print by washing, repainting or replastering it, the handprint is still clearly visible. Today, that handprint is still visible today at cell#17. Take note that NO photos are allowed at cell#17. If you want a photo of the handprint, they sell it at the gift shop!

Bought this photo at the gift shop...I scanned it. I have the rights to ask to take them down if unauthorized publishing will be made on this photo. So, let me know if you want to share it. Thank you! :)

Tour schedules are available on their website including ghost tours if you are interested.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

St. Michael's, Maryland - A Charm of Chesapeake Bay

St. Michael's is a scenic town in Talbot County on Maryland's eastern shore ,located halfway between the Susquehanna source and the Atlantic mouth of Chesapeake Bay. It nestles on the beautiful Miles River full of historical homes and wildlife.

The town itself is proud of its colonial, federal and Victorian homes, churches and historic maritime heritage showcasing its pleasant southern culture.

St. Michael's got its name from St. Michael's Parish of the Episcopal church founded in 1696. Things to do as past times are shopping and dining along its historical streets. Fishing and guided hunting are also available for those who love doing them which are offered year round. Boat rentals are also available as hourly rentals during summer for those who love to be on the water.

Inside of one of the buildings at the Maritime Museum
The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a must-visit when you are in St. Michael's. The museum was founded in 1965, located on 18-waterfront acres. It exhibits, trace the geological, social and economic history of the Chesapeake Bay through the age of sail and the steamboat era to the advent of gasoline and diesel-powered engines. Don't miss visiting the museum's collection of authentic Chesapeake Bay watercraft with 11 vessels on floating display at the museum docks.
Shopaholics can explore the quaint shops and boutiques, visit the St. Michael's Winery, the historic Christ Church and more.

St. Michael's known as "the town that fooled the British" has its own story to tell behind that title. When the British attacked St. Michael's in 1813 to destroy their shipyards, the town residents already forewarned, hoisted lanterns to the masts of ships and in tops of  the trees. This was a trick to the British by causing the canons to overshoot the town. Only one house was struck; - "the Cannonball House" due to a cannon ball that penetrated the roof, then rolled down to the staircase. The house still exists up to the present as a private residence.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Nightscape Experience at Longwood Gardens

At Longwood Gardens, there is always that summer spectacular happening! It is because they are presenting to the public a light and sound experience called "Nightscape"; - by Klip Collective, which started in June 1 to October 31, 2015. It was really a unique experience for the summer of 2015.

Nightscape transforms the gardens starting at dusk through the work of art with a combination of colorful lights, movement and sounds through the landscape of the gardens. Moving lights dances with shadow while music is in the air.

After dark, your journey begins as you experience a spectacular kind of beauty as you witness yourself  moving imagery of lights beautifully animated and projected onto a living canvas on the garden's landscape.

Nightscape has 9 installation points all throughout Longwood Gardens from the Conservatory to the Large Lake and Topiary Garden in the outdoors. You don't have to worry about rain checks, because Nightscape can be viewed rain or shine, which is also an indoor-outdoor experience.
It is only available for viewing every Wednesday-Saturday from July 1-October 31. You'll get more information about time schedules on their website as they change every month.