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Showing posts from September, 2001

Of mooncakes and bookends: celebrating Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival in Manila

Of mooncakes and bookends
By Walter Ang
September 26, 2001
Philippine Daily Inquirer

The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is always fun. At the very least, it gives you a day where you can pig out on great food. On a more formal note, this festival that falls on the 15th lundar day of the 8th lunar month is a day to think of family. Sometimes mistakenly called the Moon Festival; the festival is a day for reunion, with the round shape of the moon symbolizing family, abundance and prosperity.

If you think about it, a day where it's "official" to have a little fun with family isn't so bad now that the world isn't feeling so cheerful. Chinoys (or the much longer label, "Filipinos of Chinese descent") around the country have a chance to bond and strengthen a few cultural roots.

Kids get to play a popular dice game that involves confusing dice combinations that will either win you a dinky consolation prize (usually a ballpen) or the biggest, grandest pot of the day…

Butterfly farm and crocodile farm in Palawan

A Visit to Paradise 
By Walter Ang
September 19, 2001
Philippine Daily Inquirer

This is your intrepid 2bU! correspondent traversing the lush island paradise of Palawan. We have come to conquer the city of Puerto Princessa via an Air Philippines flight from Manila. To rest up for the adventure ahead, we spent the night at the tony Spanish villa- inspired Asturias Hotel. We all had a short nightcap at the lobby's Scenario Bar before turning in for the night.

After devouring a hearty breakfast, we dropped by the butterfly farm first. They showed a video of the butterfly's life cycle that we all thought was hilarious. We felt like a bunch of kindergarteners with this video voice over telling us not to do this and not to touch that and all sorts of other precautions.

I grew up in fume-filled Metro Manila, so butterflies were, and still are, a rarity. It was interesting to see all these colorful flying insects hovering about. There were plates laid out with gumamelas and sliced banan…

Nature Trip to Coron

Nature Trip to Coron
By Walter Ang
September 12, 2001
Philippine Daily Inquirer

2bU! arrived as the sun was setting into the earth, casting a glow across the clouds. After landing in Busuanga Island (found at the northern tip of Palawan) via a 19 seater Seair plane, we took an hour jeepney ride to Coron town. We used air, land and, finally, water transportation (a 5 minute boat ride) to reach DiveLink Resort.

Nestled into the hillsides of Uson Island, the bright yellow color of the resort's jetty was already visible from afar. Welcomed by the indefatigable resident manager Maween Reyes, we shared dinner and stories that night. Buffet was served in a charming miniaturized boat as 2bU! and other members of the media were told of the exciting activities that were lined up for us.

In the light of the morning sun, we were able see our cottages in their full Caribbean colors of red, blue and yellow (as are even the bathrooms tiles). Cristina Matta (whose husband Noel co-owns the resort a…