DOT invites the public to visit Museo de Intramuros

MEDIA RELEASE

30 April 2019

As the Philippines celebrate National Heritage Month this May, the Department of Tourism (DOT) invites the public to explore and learn about Philippine culture and history by visiting Museo de Intramuros in Manila.

Managed by the Intramuros Aministration (IA), Museo de Intramuros is located in two important reconstructions inside the walled city: the San Ignacio Church and the Mission House of the Society of Jesus. The museum was designed to house the period art collections of IA that includes ecclesiastical art, furniture, vestments, and textiles and other artifacts.

Museo de Intramuros will be open to the public starting May 2, 2019, and admission is free

The museum will be open to the public starting May 2, 2019, and admission is free.

Museo de Intramuros’ official opening, which took place on April 29, 2019, was among the highlights of the Intramuros Administration’s 40th anniversary as an institution.
The current in-house exhibition presents the story of the evangelization of the Philippines from the perspective of the Filipinos. It explores changes in the “Filipino” psyche as colonization introduced a new religion and culture to the natives.
With the display of religious images belonging to the IA collection, the exhibition is able to highlight Filipino artistry and craftsmanship that developed from the merging of the indigenous and the foreign.
Curated by Dr. Esperanza Gatbonton, Gino Gonzales, Dr. Cecilia dela Paz, Santiago Pilar and Martin Tinio, theexhibition has six components: (1) The Immaculate Conception, (2) The Religious Order, (3) The Patronato Real and the establishment of Parishes, (4) Religious Colonial Paintings, (5) The establishment of a parish and sacred vessels, and (6) The Indio Response.

In her 1981 book Philippine Relihious Imagey, co-curator Dr. Gatbonton wrote, “This collection of the Intramuros Administration is extremely valuable because it represents the first real attempt to collect and preserve within the Philippines an important aspect of the country’s cultural heritage.

Images of the Religious Orders and the Immaculate Conception exhibit at the ground floor of the museum

“The collection affords the viewer a panorama of the various styles and enables him to compare them with the artifacts done abroad in the same medium. We, Filipinos, have always tended to accept that we were the passive receiver of artistic stimuli from abroad. This collection proves that the Philippines was as much a giver.”
At the museum’s opening, DOT Secretary and Chairperson of the IA Board of Administrators, Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said, “IA’s dedication in ensuring that the tangible treasures that immortalize our history are now accessible to the public is commendable.”

She congratulated IA Administrator Guiller Asido and the cultural workers behind the museum and added, “This project, rooted in passion and a deep love of country, must be emulated and replicated.”

“The Department of Tourism will be investing in the promotion of cultural tourism in the years to come. We’re doing it not just because we need to expand our tourism products, engage a specific market and increase revenue. Cultural tourism is telling the world our narrative. It is also a platform to ensure that our heritage structures and objects such as these will be preserved and enjoyed by our progeny,” Puyat said.

The Intramuros Administration is an attached agency of the DOT in-charge of the restoration, development, and promotion of the historic walled city of Intramuros.

Oriental Mindoro offers culture, traditions and tourism

MEDIA RELEASE

07 May 2019

CALAPAN CITY– Thousands of swaying candles light up the city as the Province of Oriental Mindoro celebrated their much-anticipated festival–Pandang-Gitab or Festival of Lights on April 27, 2019.

“In the previous years, the Department of Tourism (DOT) supported financially festival undertakings through prizes for street dance competitions and other tourism related events and activities. This year, to entice more tourists to visit our destinations and tourism sites, we invest on promotion and marketing. Media familiarization and exposure tour is one of the strategies,” DOT Region IV-B Director Danilo Intong said. 

According to Oriental Mindoro Governor Alfonso V. Umali Jr., Pandang-Gitab represents the province’s rich culture and history. “It (festival) is unique. Dito talaga nag-umpisa ang Pandanggo sa Ilaw, which Pandang-Gitab took inspiration from, really originated from Oriental Mindoro,” Gov. Umali added. 

CARRY ON WITH TRADITIONS. Pandang-Gitab was inspired by women carrying oil lamps as they send off their husbands to fish out to the sea at early dawn. 

Pandang-Gitab, an annual festival, is a lively street dance, adapting the basic steps and music of the original Pandanggo sa Ilaw. It was coined from the words “pandango” or dance and “gitab” or flicker of flights.

Doctor Jaymark Atienza, a folk choreographer, also emphasized that Pandang-Gitab should not only be seen as a festival where people hold lighted lamps on the palm and head while dancing, but more importantly, as an opportunity to bring back the culture and old tradition of the Mindoreños.

This folk dance was inspired by women carrying oil lamps as they send off their husbands to fish out to the sea at early dawn. 

Aside from promoting traditions of regions, the DOT also targets more tourist arrivals to destinations and sites especially potential and emerging destinations.

Oriental Mindoro offers pristine and amazing beaches away from the noise and chaos of the city that are perfect for a relaxing vacation. Other than Puerto Galera, which is known for its dive sites and white sand beaches, Bulalacao has a lot of promising islands to explore. 

Tourists can go island hopping to get to secluded and stunning islands like Suguicay, Aslom and Target to see long sand bar beaches with crystal clear waters.

The Province of Oriental Mindoro takes pride in their heritage sites like Kuta Church, Simbahang Bato and Mangyan Heritage Center that are being protected and preserved for future generations to enjoy.

Gabunatero Organic Farm in Bongabong only produces purely organic agricultural products. 

In relation to farm tourism development efforts, accreditation is actively encouraged. The first accredited site in the province is Gabunatero Organic Farm in Bongabong. This must-visit farm allows tourists to plant and harvest organic fruits and other products as well fishing. 

In coordination with national agencies and local government units (LGUs), the DOT is developing rest areas along the stretch of the Strong Republic National Highway (SRNH) that connects the islands of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, which crosses through Oriental Mindoro.

Regional Director Intong underscored that this will open new economic opportunities and create numerous jobs for the people.

The SRNH not only provides easier and faster travel, but also enhances the accessibility of tourist destinations in the country.

Best souvenir in Kalinga: A tattoo from the Philippines’ oldest artist, Apo Whang-od Culture

With technology rapidly changing, traditional culture is gradually being forgotten. While the city life can bring all your aspirations in life, it can certainly break the wild soul within you. Sometimes all you need to divert your busy schedule from falling apart is through experiencing a laid-back adventure travel where you can’t be disturbed. A meaningful trip to the Northern Philippines may be just the place for you!

The Philippines is known for its colorful and unique culture and this can be greatly seen in the provinces of Kalinga, Ifugao, and Mountain Province in Northern Philippines.  Sagada, a perfect destination where one can witness the beauty of both tangible and intangible things. You can experience the incomparable nature and unparalleled culture you have yet to discover. Home to 31 ethnic groups, Sagada has a lot of different adventure tours to offer. It is not only blessed with gorgeous sights and attractions but also with different stories of the people whose lives are greatly influenced by what their ancestors have passed down upon them. Sagada is more than just capturing the picturesque nature itself but also what they had to go through to get them to where they are now.

Usual activities such as trekking, visiting the hanging caves, hiking, or gastronomic hopping can be all fun and exciting but if you’re feeling that you need an upgrade from the usuals, you could simply try something new. Take a side trip to Tinglayan, Kalinga, and bring out the thrill seeker in you! Get a tattoo from Apo Whang-od, the oldest and the last living traditional artist who is still practicing the craft of Batuk, a traditional tattoo crafted in the Philippines. She recently rose to fame years when her artistry was featured in Discovery Channel’s Tattoo Hunter. Getting a tattoo inked by her means something more than just a permanent mark on your skin, it is a gorgeous form of art that imprints culture from years back.

The process of getting a tattoo is surely an adventure of its own. The process of getting there, and getting the tattoo itself, can take some time, but it definitely will not disappoint you. Along the way, you can witness the beauty of nature, and appreciate the simplicity of life and it can be too astonishing that you might even not notice the time. This adventure tour might even solve your constant struggle of finding serenity in the midst of all the adventures.

With numerous designs to choose from, each having their own special meaning, you can opt to choose one yourself or have it the traditional way and let Apo Whang-od choose for you. With a thorn, a bamboo stick, and wet charcoal, she will carefully bring your chosen tattoo to life. With this simple act, she preserves and keeps the tradition of Butbut tribe of Buscalan alive. She truly leaves a legacy to each and every person she meets.

The tattoo marked by the legendary Apo Whang-od serves as a permanent reminder of the traditional life roots that modern technology can never erase. A tattoo is can be the best and most meaningful souvenir for your next best tropical vacation, for it is not just something you can simply buy from a souvenir shop, but a first-hand experience you can never forget. It is more than just a symbol—It contains your very own story and life-long connection to the Kalinga culture.

Not sure how to plan your trip? Contact our travel partners now to help you out. Experience the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of engraving Kalinga’s enthralling culture right through your skin.

Manila and its Southern Outskirts

Summer is almost here, and you just can’t wait to bathe under the scorching sun. Coron, Cebu, and Boracay are some of the famous destinations in the Philippines where you can enjoy the tropical weather. Comprised of more than 7,641 islands, it might be hard to move from one place to another unless you have the time and the resources. Good thing there are world-class destinations a few hours from Manila. Go down South Luzon and experience accessible world-class destinations without spending too much of your time!

Laguna

Located Southeast of Metro Manila, Laguna is engulfed in rich culture, nature and plenty of attractions you could discover yourself. The promising destination is home to Pagsanjan Falls, Mount Makiling, Paete – the wood carvers’ town, and Los Baños Hot Springs. If you’re fond of a serene atmosphere where you could contemplate about life, Lake Pandin in San Pablo offers a calm adventure and you may even dine in the middle of the lake with your special someone. Make sure not to miss Villa Escudero, a resort plantation, reputed as a showcase for the Philippines’ rich cultural heritage, offering a charming glimpse of history, cuisine, dress, customs and nature.  The villa has become famous for its restaurant at the foot of a man-made waterfall which is truly a unique dining experience.

Tagaytay

Tagaytay is the most popular choice among locals looking for a cooler climate. Its chilly atmosphere, refreshing sights and outstanding restaurants offer an easy escape from a buzzling city life. People who are in dire need of a quiet time alone deserves this haven called Tagaytay. One can drop by Palace in the Sky, situated on top of Mt. Sungay where you could overlook and enjoy the interesting landscapes. Another noteworthy spot is Tierra de Maria which is an ideal place for spiritual contemplation and healing. It is famous for its 50-foot tall statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and a replica of the Virgin of Manaoag. Several vantage points are available for you to visit and be amazed with the overlooking views that can be seen in Tagaytay.

Batangas

Having one of the longest coastlines in Southern Luzon, Batangas offers a variety of beaches perfect for your travel adventure. Batangas is known to have it all –historical structures, a volcano within a lake, pristine beaches, diverse marine life, and everyone’s favorite, irresistible delicacies. Tourist activities in Batangas include overnight stays in resorts in Nasugbu, Calatagan, Mabini, and San Juan, hike to Taal Volcano island, pilgrimage to the numerous churches in the Archdiocese of Lipa, and visits to well-preserved ancestral houses in the Heritage Town of Taal. If you are an underwater adventure enthusiast, a trip to Anilao is a must. It is a world class diving destination belonging to the waters of the Verde Island Passage labeled as the “center of the center of marine shore fish biodiversity”.

Enjoy the beauty of the Philippines with these provinces and secure yourself with the best tropical vacation without the expense of your time! Contact our travel experts and embark on another meaningful journey.

Viva Visayas- 4 must-see destinations in Central Philippines

There’s more to the Philippines than the picture-perfect seascapes of Boracay and Palawan. In fact, more and more travel writers are becoming gateways to the world as they beautifully narrate their adventures in this amazing archipelago. The great thing about this country is that with over 7,000 islands, you will surely find the kind of escape you are looking for. So how about experiencing four amazing islands in the Visayas, in just 8 days? Some may say it’s crazy, but we say it’s possible! To help you fully appreciate the beauty of this country, let’s go on a wild ride through Cebu, Panglao, Bohol, and Siquijor.

First stop- Cebu

It only makes sense to start this tropical escapade in the Queen City of the South. This part of Visayas is like a bite-sized version of the country’s capital Manila with its electricity but with an additional serving of mother nature’s best creations. So, if you the vacation of your dreams is a perfect combination of the pulsating city life and the quaint charm in the arms of amazing oceans, then Cebu is the place to be.

We’ve done a few articles highlighting the many destinations you should experience in Cebu. For places that are rich in history, you definitely should pay a visit to Magellan’s Cross which Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan erected to commemorate the conversion of King Humabon of Cebu and his Queen, son and daughters, together with some of 800 of their subjects to Christianity. Another historical site worth visiting is the Minor Basilica of Santo Niño, the home of the original and oldest religious relic in the Philippines in honor of the Holy Child Jesus.

Of course, you can’t leave Cebu and move on to the next destination without treating yourself to an actual magnificent tropical getaway. The seascapes here are incredible with marine life that would definitely make you want to stay underwater. Our recommendation- Tingko Beach, Mactan Island, and Malapascua.

Second stop- Panglao

The beautiful Central Philippines is located in the north Bohol Sea and is home not just to breathtaking white-sand beaches but also to gorgeous terrains like mountains, hills, and limestone formations. Out of all the many islands that make Panglao (like Gak-ang, Pontod, and Balicasag), the most popular is Alona Beach, recognized for its white sand and pristine waters. This island is also perfect for travelers looking to take their adventure travel to the next level through water activities such as scuba diving, dolphin watching, snorkeling, and island hopping. In fact, around 250 new species of crustaceans, as well as 2500 new mollusks species, were found around the island, this discovery actually revealed that Panglao has more marine biodiversity compared to the Mediterranean Sea and Japan.

Third stop- Bohol mainland

Now, we go to the mainland of, an island province filled with natural wonders. Yes, Panglao does the fair share of bringing in tourists to this destination but Bohol mainland is known for its lush forests and white-sand beaches, and more importantly for the majestic Chocolate Hills.

The Chocolate Hills makes for some breathtaking landscape views you would ever see in your lifetime and what makes it even more amazing is the many stories and legends that surround it; one of which is of two giants in a battle throwing boulders at each other. But this place is just the tip of the iceberg that is Bohol because you still have those cute bug-eyed tarsiers, the delectable local delicacies, the historical attractions, and the white-sand beaches to see and experience.

If you want your #SummerGoals achieved, Bohol is definitely a place to visit because you will go back home with a suitcase filled with unforgettable adventures.

Last stop- Siquijor

Known for being a place of mystery and magic, Siquijor is a must-visit destination for those who are after a truly unique tropical adventure travel. If you’re up for it, you could time your vacation to witness their festivals which focus on rituals of healing. On these local occasions, incantations are being sung while the elders brew potions made out of herbs, insects, tree barks, and roots. In fact, if you’re lucky, a few locals would gladly share legends of witchcraft on the island.

But stories of wizardry are not just what makes Siquijor a must-experience destination; it has plenty of natural wonders that would make any traveler come back time and again. With a 102-kilometer coastline of white-sand beaches, it comes as no surprise that Siquijor is home to some of the best diving spots in the Philippines. It also has caves, waterfalls, a natural park, and a butterfly sanctuary.

Ready to take on these four amazing islands? Check out the eight-day tour of Central Philippines our travel partner has for you and start booking your flight for another summer to remember!