Baler in Aurora used to be just an obscure fishing village in Northern Philippines when Apocalypse Now, Francis Ford Coppola's war classic, was filmed there during the 70s.
Tucked away from the crowds at Sabang Beach is Dicasalarin, a secluded cove in Baler, Aurora. From the town center it is roughly 30 minutes away on a car and a little bit longer if one would take a bangka (outrigger boat) from Sabang.
Baler, the provincial capital of Aurora, is a badly kept secret. It used to be a hush-hush ‘happy place’ among the surfer community and stingy backpackers, but it is not anymore.
The moment you step in at Samy's, the scent of Indian spices and herbs is unmistakable. It is overpowering for some, but for some strange reason, I'm drawn to this unfamiliar yet exciting territory.
That I actually won the contest did not fully sink in, even when I was already in Singapore. It also was not a layover per se, since we spent a total of 3D/2N mostly eating our way around the city.
This museum collects, studies and preserves the country's rich numismatic heritage. The collections are grouped by historical periods - Pre-Spanish, Spanish, Revolutionary, American, Japanese and the Republic.
A few weeks back, my best buddy and I found ourselves at the Presidential Museum and Library at the Kalayaan Hall within the historically hallowed grounds of the Malacañang Complex.
What's the best lesson I learned from all this, aside from behaving properly inside this toy museum? It would probably be to buy two of each kind of toy for my future kids. One is for them to play and then to destroy. The other is preserved for them to sell off or house in a fancy toy museum someday, just like Yexel Sebastian's.
Ocampo started the TED-like lecture by telling the audience that he always learn something different about the Philippines' National Hero, every time.
Sulu may have a tumultous past, that we cannot deny. But the world has to know that it also has a very, very promising future.