I am sharing this for everybody who doesn’t know it yet… but I have a feeling that I am the last person to know, that you can use your BDO Debit Card also for online purchases and for purchases outside of the Philippines. I’ve had this card since 2010, and it’s only this year that I’ve used it for online purchases. Specifically, it was only just weeks before I started planning our Singapore + Melaka trip that I learned from a BDO bank teller that I can use my debit card like a credit card. Advertisements
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.
Before the fusion of local weaves and modern design became a trend, my uncle (my mother’s elder brother) has been bringing us t’nalak, the fabric woven by indigenous T’boli tribe of Lake Sebu. Because of the many tales of my uncle, I have always wanted to visit the majestic Lake Sebu to see for myself the beauty he always sing of.
My first out of town trip this year was to South Cotabato to attend the wedding of my cousin. I was so excited for this trip because it would be 20 years since I have visited my cousins’ hometown of Banga, South Cotabato. Because we arrived a day earlier, my family graciously toured us around. We are a pasalubong-loving family and the itinerary of “one day South Cotabato tour” centered around the things we would like to bring back to Cebu.
How can a person who hates physical activities, cannot swim, and fears height get away with canyoneering? You can’t. Especially when you are with your family and friends, you’ve rode a habal-habal for 10 minutes to the middle of a mountain, and you have trekked for an hour to get to the river. But you can get away with jumping, and still totally enjoy the four-hour canyoneering activity despite your fear of heights and your lack of swimming ability.
There are things I said I would never do — mainly because of fears (heights and depths) and the lack of abilities (swimming). But last Christmas, I swam with sharks and sardines, and a turtle. I thought I would never do certain things. But I should never say never.
Chiang Mai is a highly cultural city. Everywhere I went, there was a celebration of Lanna arts, crafts, and culture. I found shopping in Chiang Mai to be a delight. There were malls, sure, but what I found more amazing is how the city made it very easy for tourists to access local arts, crafts, and food that, as a true blue Pinoy, can bring home as pasalubong (souvenirs).
Aek pointed out something on the ground. “Look at that. Do you know why the people of Thailand love the King so much? Because of that,” he said. I tried to understand what he was trying to say because the road was narrow and muddy. It was not until we got to a clearing and saw the length of the humble irrigation system that ran the whole side of the mountain we just trekked. This is why I came to Thailand. I may not have met the King. But I witnessed how he changed the lives of his people, through irrigation, through agriculture.
“Where do you stay?,” the Destination Chiang Mai agent asked us. “Behind Wat Mo Kham Tuang,” along Sri Poom Road.” He scratched his head. “Is that the wat with many horses?” I said, “No. It’s the wat with glitters on its front wall.” He got more confused. Everybody in the office now joined us as we plotted where Wat Mo Kham Tuang is. “Ah, there are just too many wats here in Chiang Mai.”
Eating out in Chiang Mai was easier compared to Bangkok because Chiang Mai was a smaller city. In fact, we just have to walk 10 meters and we could get papaya salad made fresh by our neighbor in his home-turned-restaurant-at-night. Beside his house, another neighbor sells banana and vegetable fritters. In Chiang Mai, you walk just a distance of five meters and another restaurant, diner, or stall selling food will greet you. Here are my top recommendations.
I woke up at half past 3 in the afternoon in Manila. I was refreshed and the pain in my eye that has been bugging me the past four days is now gone. We arrived in the capital 12 hours before, hit the welcoming pillows of the quaint Casa Bocobo Hotel at 4AM, visited a government agency for a scheduled appointment, had lunch at a Chinese restaurant, and went home to get some much-needed shut eye. I was glad it was still half past 3. That means we still have enough day light to cover at least one museum, the whole length of Rizal Park, and still be on time for an afternoon tea.