As part of our visita iglesia trip to Ilocos in 2017, we made a short stop to the beautiful city of Vigan. Vigan is the capital city of the province of Ilocos Sur. It is host to the most preserved Hispanic-era historic town in the country and this is best experienced in Calle Crisologo.
Just a little bit of history. The Philippines was conquered by Spain. In 1565, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi returned to the islands to colonize it after Ferdinand Magellan’s discovered it in 1521. He then named the islands after Spain’s King Philip II. And for 333 years, Spain ruled most of its islands until 1898 when it was ceded to the US along with Guam and Puerto Rico.
For these 3 cruel centuries, Spain has left beautiful structures that are of European architecture. Walled cities like Intramuros of Manila and fortresses like that Fort San Pedro of Cebu were built to protect key cities. Huge stone churches were built in every center of towns. Many houses in town centers were built on adobe rock foundation with wood, straw, and coral stones.
Back in my 10-week stay in Atlanta back in 2014, I was able to go around the Atlanta’s major and key tourist destinations. But in one of the memorable moments I had during my visit there was an opportunity to experience one activity not common in the Philippines.
My colleague, Niko and his wife Kim invited me to join them in checking out this group of food truckers that having a stop in one of the parks in suburban Atlanta.
Food trucks are basically moving food kiosks and is a common sight in US cities especially in their downtown areas. These trucks offer different varieties of quick to eat dishes for people on-the-go. They serve from sandwiches to rice meals and from local to international cuisines.
Back in May this year, the Wizard World Comic Convention came into the city of Atlanta. It was a very opportune time for me as I’m in the city for the about ten weeks to visit our client, Elavon. The Wizard World Comic Con events are held in different cities in the US with the grandest happening in the city of San Diego. And this time in Atlanta, event was held for three days in the Georgia World Congress Center, just across the Philips Arena and near the CNN Center.
Though I’m not a hard fanatic of comic books, I sure did love reading them specially when I was still living in Singapore. I’ve read multiple comic book series from the Singapore libraries. And among the most famous comic books, I liked reading a lot of Marvel comics specially the X-men series and Spiderman.
So on the second day of the conference, together with my on-site manager and friend, Niko and his wife, Kim, we went on to check out the event. The ticket costs $40 for access into conference, but to get pictures or autographs with the celebrities in the event has additional costs.
After visiting the World of Coca-Cola, my colleague Sally and myself walked for a few minutes into another top attraction in the city of Atlanta. This is to check out the headquarters of I think the most famous news network in the world, the Cable News Network or more famous as CNN.
And just like Coca-Cola, Atlanta is also CNN’s home base. The CNN headquarters is located just across the Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta. It is just a few meters from the Georgia World Congress Center where I went to for the Atlanta Comic Convention.
The CNN Center in Atlanta, as I learned during the tour, is located in what was once an indoor amusement park. Its the first of its kind and was called The World of Sid and Marty Kroft. The CNN Studio tour takes about 55 minutes and runs about every 30 minutes. Standard rate for the tour costs $15 which can be bought at the main atrium.
During my first weekend in Atlanta, I took a drive down to the downtown area with my colleague Sally. We headed to checkout two of the most famous attractions of Atlanta. This day we visited the World of Coca-Cola and took a studio tour into the CNN Center. On this blog I’ll focus our trip into the World of Coca-Cola.
The World of Coca Cola is located next to the Georgia Aquarium and the Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta. The World of Coca-Cola is an indoor exhibition that features all about everyone’s favorite and probably the most famous soda drink in the world. This attraction is also located just a few blocks from where the headquarters of Coca-Cola is located.
The World of Coca-Cola is a modern building that stands right next to a park and the Georgia Aquarium beside it. One interesting feature of the building is that it has this glass tower which contains the image of the iconic Coke bottle.
My family and myself have lived in Singapore for two years. During this time we have always skipped visiting the Universal Studios Singapore theme park located within the Resorts World Integrated Resort in Sentosa island.
But our time to leave Singapore has arrived. Well that is about 6 months ago. And so upon learning that we are to heading back to the Philippines, we decided that it was time for us to visit Universal Studios Singapore. We bought our tickets from a travel agency in Chinatown which is way cheaper than buying online or in their ticket booths.
Well actually it is also very timely as my aunt and 3 cousins where flying over to Singapore for a vacation during that time.
Well traditionally Visita Iglesia is done by visiting seven churches while reciting the stations of the Cross. But this year, after our visita iglesia in Laguna, the day after we thought of visiting another church. Well eventually we ended up into visiting two churches in the province of Batangas. Both churches has miracles related or associated to it.
The first one, we visited the San Pio de Pietrelcina Shrine in the town of Sto. Tomas. Well, this is my second time to visit this church. This parish is relatively new yet this has become quite famous lately due the regular healing mass being done here every 23rd of the month. Also this also made famous the the healing masses performed by Father Fernando Suarez, a famous healing priest.
This parish started from a small chapel located on the same grounds and this was dedicated to St. Pio de Pietrelcina, a priest who experienced a phenomenon called stigmata, wherein he showed wounds and marks that Jesus Christ has suffered form His crucifixion.
About a month back, Catholics around the world celebrated once more the passion and death of the Christ. This is in the season of Lent. And just as what my wife and myself did in Singapore back last year, we once more go on a Visita Iglesia. Again Visita Iglesia is a Catholic tradition of visiting 7 churches while praying. Along the way, the Way of the Cross is commemorated.
This year we did our visita iglesia on Good Friday as I’m working on night shift. And this year, my daughters, my wife’s sisters and nieces tagged along with us. We also have a vehicle to use and we are visiting churches from different towns in Laguna province.
We started our visita iglesia from the city of Calamba at around 9am. With the itinerary that I have set, we drove first to the furthest in our list. We recited 2 Stations of the Way of the Cross for each church we visited.