Bacolod has always been a romantic city to me, what with it’s glorious hedonistic past especially at the height of the sugar industry. I always equate Bacolod with mestizas and mestizos, of decadent pastries, of luxurious stews, and an old dilapidated train that used to carry sugar from one hacienda to another. That dilapidated train used to be the major attraction of the Negros Museum. Now, a decade after since my first visit, the museum has improved and it has unmasked the City of Smiles. Advertisements
Prior to flying to Vietnam, I made a list of “museums to visit” and there were about 10. But because I was more interested in checking out the cultural side of the country, I decided to just narrow it down to one — the National Museum of History in Hanoi. I had no expectations of the museum, which is why I truly enjoyed our time here.
During our trip to Vietnam, we were very circumspect in selecting the places we would be visiting so that we would have, at least, a deeper understanding of the country, its people, and its way of life. In Hanoi, one of the places we checked out was an old house — a heritage house — that has been restored to its former 19th century style.
What I find more interesting in Cambodia other than Angkor Wat is how its people coped up after the Khmer Rouge regime. It was a horrific time, at least in accordance with the books (and movies) I read. I am not very interested in wars and war paraphernalia, but I am interested in military tactics and effects of conflict to civilians, especially women and children. After our tour of Ta Phrom, which ended our Angkor Archaeological Park tour, we asked Kim to take us to the War Museum.
When my plans to the U.S. were finalized, I immediately looked into the government website of St. Pete, Florida, and see what places it recommends to visitors. I was quite surprised to learn that St. Pete is home to the museum with the second largest collection of Salvador Dali art works — next to the museum in his home town in Figueres, Spain.
The first museum my colleague and I visited was The Museum of Modern Art because it was on our way back to our hotel from the National Library at Bryant Park. The MoMa is behind the Uniqlo flagship in Fifth Avenue. Don’t be surprised to find a long, long line of people to the museum’s entrance on a Friday afternoon. That is because Friday’s is Uniqlo’s free museum day at the MoMa. We skipped the line though and paid $25. Was the $25 worth it?
I have always wanted to visit the National Museum of Fine Arts because I want to see Juan Luna’s Spolarium. While I do appreciate art (I think), I don’t understand all art so I veer towards the art that has cultural and/or historical significance. And the Spolarium was one thing I wanted to see.
After catching up with sleep on a Thursday midday, Joel and I hurried to Rizal Park to see if we can still get inside one of our national museums — the National Museum of Anthropology. The museum closes at 5:00 P.M., and admission ends at 4:30. We arrived at 4:00 PM and students were hurrying down the stairs to go home.
Our introduction to Chiang Mai came in the form of a museum. Come to think of it, this was the only museum we visited in our Thailand trip, and we were only compelled to do this because a local, Joy, the owner of our guesthouse, recommended we make such a visit. We had time to burn while waiting for our 2PM check-in time and Joy suggested we visit the Lanna Folklike Museum, which was just one big block away from the guesthouse.
On our second day in Tagbilaran, I was aiming to wake up at 6AM to be able to eat puto and tsokolate at their public market because as far as I can remember, the tsokolate I drank in Tagbilaran was the best tsokolate I had in my life (no offense to my Grandma!). But I wasn’t able to wake up at 6AM because the bed was so inviting and I did some work before I went to sleep the night before so I was exhausted. Anyway, a reason to visit again. Here is what I would do if I am not doing the Bohol countryside tour.
I had an obsession with James Clavell books in college. I consumed all of his books one after the other not because I love stories on power, but because I loved the fictional historical accounts of old cities. Clavell is famous for setting his books in Asian cities, notably Hong Kong. King Rat, his first book, was based on his experience at the Changi Prison. So, whenever I think of Singapore, I don’t think of Universal Studios or Gardens by the Bay. I think of King Rat and the conditions of the people in the Changi Prison during World War II before Singapore became the modern city it is now. Because I loved the book, it is no wonder a trip to Singapore would not be complete without visiting The Changi Museum.