July 19, 2010

Fun and Trill at the Island Cove, Binakayan, Kawit, Cavite

It is at Island Cove Philippines where fun and good times takes care of nature. This 36-hectare island is only 45 minutes away from Manila. If you would come from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport you have reached Binakayan, Kawit, Province of Cavite, Philippines by passing through Aguinaldo Highway to get extraordinary actions. I say extraordinary because the  islands has one of the best family-oriented adventure resort outside Metro Manila. This Mediterranean-inspired island is ISO 9001:2000 certified and accredited by the Department of Tourism as a triple “A” resort. Among the various attractions of the park are the Oceania Water Park, the Animal Island, and the Adventure Zone. Island Cove is also perfect for celebrations, corporate functions, and team building activities and family affairs. Its free Wi-Fi is accessible in most parts of the resort or along side the pool area makes blogging seamless together with your laptop.

Oceania Water Park has the most exciting water attraction. It has a 3,000 square meter two-layered swimming pool with four giant slides. It also has a wading pool for children, called the Kiddie Cove which has slides, fountains, and showers that are really a hit to kids and parents alike.

This line of coconut trees adorned the entrance of the Oceania Water Park

The kids tried the Walk on Water (WOW) Aqua Balls where they run and roll inside giant, inflatable and transparent balls.

My son got inside WOW Ball with cousin and Uncle waiting for the action.

The adventure begun the adventure and feels it good how to walk on the water.

It is time to walk on the water.

Their excitement at the Kiddie Cove is superb.

The 3,000 square meter two-layered swimming pool with four giant slides.

There's the Fishing Village, which is a 3-hectare fishing grounds. There you can have your catch cooked exactly the way you want. You may also enjoy classic Filipino dishes and fresh fruit shakes while dining in huts on stilts over water. The huts in the background are of different sizes and can accommodate 6 to 150 persons.

This is the place which really drove the kids crazy. The attractions here include a Butterfly Farm,  a Crocodile Farm and Monkey Island, and a Petting Zoo, where we meet six-foot tall ostriches, Bengal tigers, deer, bearcats, wild boars and rabbits, and different species of snakes and iguana, mammals, and birds like the predator eagle.

Inside the Crocodile Farm we had a chance to feed twelve-foot long crocodiles and monkeys. We also took a leisurely stroll along pathways lined with colorful flowers inside the Butterfly Farm. Horse back riding and horse-drawn carriage service are also available at reasonable rates. Worth watching are the baby crocs at the entrance to the Butterfly Farm.

The crocs scrambled after a chicken meat was thrown.

How about up-close encouter with Bengal Tiger.

Going to Bacolod Chicken Inasal and mission accomplished.

Although man-made, the islands has through the years faithfully mimicked the romantic fantasies of nature. The place is perfect for sports and athletic events. It has a modern gym that is open everyday and equipped with quality equipments, which include treadmills, cardio machines, and weight lifting equipments. Qualified trainers are on duty to ensure that guests and gym members do the right workout. Health buffs may also use the Jogger’s Lane and enjoy the fresh air and beautiful surroundings of the island while sweating it out. They have basketball, tennis courts and  beach volleyball courts. Table tennis and billiards are likewise available. A playground is also at hand for children. They also have outdoor giant chess set, the play ground, and Concert Park.

But of all these things, one thing I really admired with Island Cove is its environment-friendly park. A paradise in the making has sound waste management. To  reduce in fuel emission, a zero-emission electric tram  transports guests around the islands. Here at Island Cove the adventure never stops because nature is always the best adventure.

Source: Island Cove Website

July 18, 2010

From Clean Water to Sizzling Billboards

Passing by La Mesa Watershed

When we went to Imus, Cavite, our cousin drove the Adventure. When we passed by the La Mesa Watershed it was really appalling to see how that area has been fast deforested. Equally very consternating was the nearby landfill which used to offer relief to Metro Manila's painful garbage woes. As this bleak sight of grim and stench gradually eroded the AUV left the supposed to be protected area but now desecrated by irresponsible citizens. Heading for the Commonwealth Avenue, I could not fathom in the near future how my children and descendants would savor and enjoy the gift of nature. Will they have clean water supply or and lush greenery? Perhaps a privatization of this water reservoir, where millions of people drew their daily water buckets would get the area greener and yield more water. Will it really solve the problem? Water please!

Stinky Gas Station

But wait. I could not barely notice it...we have to drop by a gas station as our rear wheel needs some blow. Upon reaching the gas station, I also alighted the vehicle and I came inside their comfort zone. But inside I could not barely take it...and I told to myself...luckily my son didn't come with me. I haven't got out from the sight of grim and stench.The toilet in that gas station stinks. And the worst thing was that their air pump has long been not functioning! This one is along the Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City near the Ever Gotesco Shopping Mall. Perhaps the administration of this petrol station don't know about this. I assume that being among the big three, it practices some sort of a degree of sound and quality management. Good enough, we were able to reach another one near UP-Ayala Techno Hub, and finally there we got the relief.

Thinking about EDSA without sizzling billboards?

We reached EDSA in not a breeze. You know when its SUNDAY...traffic is not so terrific. Pong told me not to pester him with eye-popping billboards along EDSA. I know, he won't dare to even a glance. Angel was not his taste, perhaps Derek...perhaps. For all we know, we were sandwiched with two huge delivery trucks...Really, it's so delicate to spare the steering wheels My entire family is on board so I just remarked..."Oh, Manila...we're heading to Cavite...where there are no sizzling billboards along Aguinaldo Highway". But I like billboards, especially huge ones.

This sizzling F and H billboard along EDSA features a tanned Angel clad in a white one-piece swimsuit. It is not a surprise  that she has also been awarded as Style Star's Readers Choice for this billboard on Stylebible's Style Star weekly poll for last year's Hottest Billboard in the Philippines. I'm a huge fan of supermodel Angel so I searched this one on the web.

Still thinking about EDSA without sizzling billboards? That spells the difference between your Lolo's Highway 54 and the "jejemon" generation Epifanio de los Santos Avenue.

From Coastal Road to Bottleneck in Bacoor, Cavite

And so having reached Imus, Cavite about ten in  the morning...we were again caught in a traffic while approaching Puregold in Aguinaldo Highway. We Uncle's fabulous abode very later. He was on town for a week-long vacation from his European assignments. Thereafter, he lead us to a sumptuous special pancit meal with ice-cream and of course, hindi mawawala yun...a cake from Goldilocks. And after a brief chit-chat we boarded his hi-ace in droves as we left the AUV for the next destination...the historic Kawit, Cavite...the birthplace of the First Philippine Republic.

Looking for another best thing about Kawit, Cavite?.. why not try Island Cove!

Thanks for the image angellocsin.com.ph

July 7, 2010

Three of the World's 10 Largest Malls

Metro Manila may not be the biggest city in the World but according to Forbes.com, the jewel of the Philippines holds a record of having three of the World's 10 Largest Malls. These Philippine Malls are the SM Mall of Asia, ranked No. 3 with gross leasable Area of 4.2 million square feet; SM Megamall, ranked no. 6 with gross leasable area of 3.6 million square feet; and SM City North Edsa, at 10th rank with gross leasable area of 3 million square feet. All of these shopping malls I mentioned are owned by Filipino billionaire Henry Sy.

SM Mall of Asia located at Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines

SM Mega Mall located at Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila, Philippines

SM City North EDSA located at Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

To complete the excitement, here is the prestigious list of World's 10 Largest Malls according to Forbes.com:

1.  South China Mall
     Location: Dongguan, China
     Year Opened: 2005
     Gross Leasable Area: 7.1 million square feet
     In the Chinese mall arms race, this facility opened a year after the Golden Resources Mall to displace it as the country's and the world's largest. The space includes wind mills and theme parks, plus a replica of the Arc de Triomphe.

2.  Golden Resources Shopping Mall
    Location: Beijing, China
    Year Opened: 2004
    Gross Leasable Area: 6 million square feet
    Not sprawling, this is a stacked-up five-story mall. Approximately 1,000 stores, selling plenty of familiar global brands like Nike and DKNY. A truly ambitious real estate project, with new apartments and offices, surround the mall. A tough location outside the heart of the city has resulted in disappointing traffic from foreign tourists.

3. SM Mall of Asia
    Location: Pasay City, Philippines
    Year Opened: 2006
    Gross Leasable Area: 4.2 million square feet
    Includes the first Olympic-sized swimming pool and first IMAX theater in the Philippines. Spread over four buildings, customers can get around on a 20-seat tram.

4. Cevahir Istanbul
    Location: Istanbul, Turkey
    Year Opened: 2005
    Gross Leasable Area: 3.8 million square feet
    Europe's largest shopping mall has a roller coaster, wave pool and several IMAX theaters.

5. West Edmonton Mall
    Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Year Opened: 1981
    Gross Leasable Area: 3.8 million square feet
    The biggest in North America, the West Edmonton Mall has over 800 stores, along with attractions like a water park, skating rink, casino and rides.

6. SM Megamall
    Location: Mandaluyong City, Philippines
    Year Opened: 1991
    Gross Leasable Area: 3.6 million square feet
    Fun stuff includes bowling, ice skating and a 12-cinema movie theater, along with traditional mall fare like arcade games. Customers can also get a haircut or see a doctor at the Manila clinic.

7. Berjaya Times Square
    Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Year Opened: 2005
    Gross Leasable Area: 3.4 million square feet
    Built with an adjacent hotel and convention center. In addition to over 1,000 retail shops, the mall includes a 12-story-high roller coaster, plus a pool, skating rink and "Cosmo's World," a children's theme park.

8. Beijing Mall
    Location: Beijing, China
    Year Opened: 2005
    Gross Leasable Area: 3.4 million square feet
    The first real suburban mall in China, located about an hour from downtown Beijing, this center has four levels with parking for 8,000 cars, plus a man-made beach. Bootlegged DVDs of American movies are a top seller.

9.  Zhengjia Plaza
    Location: Guangzhou, China
    Year Opened: 2005
    Gross Leasable Area: 3 million square feet
    Has been known to attract over half a million shoppers on a good day. Another mixed-use space, the mall has a hotel and office tower in addition to retail stores.

10. SM City North Edsa
Location: Quezon City, Philippines
Year Opened: 1985
Gross Leasable Area: 3 million square feet
The first major "mega mall" built by SM Prime Holdings, which now claims three of the largest 10 in the world. It's a five-story complex that boasts over 100 retail outlets and restaurants, along with 12 cinemas, a bowling alley and skating rink. An IMAX theater could be added soon.

Source of article: World's 10 Largest Shopping Malls by Tom Van Riper at Forbes.com 
Source of images: Forbes.com

July 2, 2010

Liham ni Ninoy kay Noynoy (Letters of Hero Ninoy to President Noynoy Aquino)

Good day friends, for the past days I was not able to blog. I think I was infected with a "yellow fever". But don't worry. It is not contagious. It is just a feeling of awe, joy and hope after witnessing the oath-taking of the 15th President of the Republic. As I'm searching the web, I encountered these exchanges between the father, then a prisoner, locked-up by a constitutional and authoritarian regime and a young boy who later, no one knows and nobody expected it, would become someday, the most powerful person in the Philippines.

Link: Liham ni Ninoy kay Noynoy

See how valuable a 500-peso bill today. It is more than just a souvenir but a historical document itself!