THAILAND : Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)


Wat Pho (Thai: วัดโพธิ์, IPA: [wát pʰoː]), is my favorite among all the temples in Bangkok, Thailand. Wat Pho is also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. The Reclining Buddha’s feet is made of mother of Pearls and visitors are not allowed to touch it.

Wat Pho is a Buddhist temple in Phra Nakhon district, Bangkok, Thailand. It is located in the Rattanakosin district directly adjacent to the Grand Palace. Wat Pho is named after a monastery in India where Gautama Buddha is believed to have lived.

Known also as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, its official name is Wat Phra Chettuphon Wimon Mangkhlaram Ratchaworamahawihan (Thai: วัดพระเชตุพนวิมลมังคลารามราชวรมหาวิหาร;IPA: [wát pʰráʔ tɕʰêttupʰon wíʔmon maŋkʰlaːraːm râːttɕʰawɔːráʔmahǎːwíʔhǎːn]). Hope you remember that name! 

The Buddha statue at Wat Pho is reclining because he is at peace and has attained Nirvana (enlightenment). They said that he is awaiting for heaven in this pose that’s why he was reclining. 

The beautiful back view of the giant reclining Buddha at Wat Po.

Reclining Buddha statue at Wat Pho
Buddha experiencing Nirvana

THAILAND: Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)

THAILAND: Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)

When you visit Bangkok, Thailand, don’t you dare miss one of the most recognizable landmarks in Bangkok, Thailand -The Wat Arun (วัดอรุณ), known locally as Wat Chaeng. It is situated on the west (Thonburi) bank of the Chao Phraya River, the side opposite the bank where the Grand Palace, Wat Phrakaew (Emerald Buddha Temple), Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) are located.

It is otherwise known as the Temple of Dawn because the belief is that after fighting his way out of Ayutthaya, which was besieged by a Burmese Army at that time, King Taksin the Great (King of Thonburi kingdom) arrived at this temple just as dawn was breaking. He later had this temple renovated and renamed as Wat Chaeng (the Temple of Dawn).

Although known as the Temple of Dawn, it is also stunning at sunset especially when lit up at night just like in the pictures above.  It has an imposing spire over 70 metres high, beautifully decorated with tiny pieces of coloured glass and Chinese porcelain placed delicately into intricate patterns.  I was so amazed at the beautiful gleaming golden temple that I can’t stop myself from taking photos.

Up close with the help of zoom lens you could see that the temple is decorated with intricate mosaic patterns, intricate designs and carvings on the walls.

Operating Hours: 08:00 a.m. to 05:30 p.m.
Location: Located on the west side of Chao Praya River (opposite Tha Thien Pier)

Photography by Cha Sy

BORACAY: Nestea Ice Tea Beach Party on April 18-21, 2013

BORACAY: Nestea Ice Tea Beach Party on April 18-21, 2013

NESTEA ICE TEA: Ang Gaan Ang Sarap in Boracay!

Celebrate summer with Nestea RTD. Turn up the heat, turn on the fun, and share the summer goodness with everyone!

Summertime, and the living is easy, and nowhere is summer living easier than in the Philippines. With PAGASA predicting that the heat can go up to 35˚C, it’s now the time to look for the hottest things to cool you down for the season.
Plan a trip with friends and family – with numerous holidays and long weekends coming up, now is the perfect time to take advantage without dipping into your bank of leaves.
Explore new activities. Be adventurous and go for a hike, camp in the forest, climb a mountain, or better yet, learn a new skill. Because summer time is family time, it’s the chance to bond and catch up with the whole family, while recharging your brain cells too.

Start exercising. It’s never too late to get a beach-ready body, especially in a tropical country. Look for fun activities that will keep you interested, and update them regularly. This lowers your chances of getting bored, and increases your body’s resistance as well.

Lastly, find creative ways to cool down. There could be nothing else cooler than having a refreshing drink right at your hand. Escape the scorching heat with Nestea Ready-To-Drink, the ultimate summer companion this summer. Why fear the heat when you can enjoy the heat with Nestea Ready-To-Drink iced tea to give you that instant, refreshed feeling you’ll love.
The convenient and classic iced tea bottled up in our memories is back. Taste the mouthwateringly cool Nestea Ready-To-Drink with variants that contain an extra delight you can bring when you’re on the go. It comes in three exciting flavors, Lemon, Lemon Ice, and Apple. Be among the first to enjoy the splash of Nestea Ready-To-Drink at its re-launch at Nestea Beach, Boracay.
The 16th Nestea Beach from April 18-21, and combine all these tips in one exciting go. Come with friends and family to bare your beach bod and catch the country’s hottest bands, celebrities, and international DJs partying from sun up to sun down to celebrate this summer’s theme: Ang Sarap, Ang Gaan. Expect exciting activities and prizes as you celebrate the season of the sun, sea, sand and skin.
In addition, watch the intense spikes of the country’s greatest collegiate volleyball teams as they face the finals of Nestea Beach Volley to be held at Crystal Sand Resort, Boracay this April 19 to 21.
So what are you waiting for? Bring the whole barkada with you, and don’t forget your ultimate summer companion, Nestea Ready-to-Drink, Plunge Anywhere, especially at the beach.
For more information, visit their Facebook page at

10 ways to travel cheap in Europe

10 ways to travel cheap in Europe

Some people may consider travelling Europe an unobtainable dream, but there are actually many ways to travel cheaply in Europe. Europe is very accustomed to college students, backpackers, and young professionals who want to experience its charm on a budget. Many European nations are currently experiencing times of economic difficulty, which can make it even easier than ever to get a good deal.

1. Stay At Hostels

Hostels may not be a luxury experience, bu they’re cheap, affordable, and allow you to share experiences with your fellow travelers. Hostels are usually packed with young travelers who are on a strict budget, and they range from a dormitory-style shared room to a large room with multiple beds and mats. Checking in earlier will get you preferred beds.

2. Couch Surf

Couch surfing is extremely popular today and involves connecting you to local hosts who are willing to allow you to stay in their home for a period of time completely for free. Couch surfing should be avoided by anyone who might be at risk of being attacked, such as a smaller person.

3. Visit Local Restaurants

Local restaurants are usually far cheaper than the restaurants that tourists frequent, and the internet makes it very easy to locate hole-in-the-wall dining opportunities that feature amazing food. Go off the beaten path for your meals and you’ll find yourself saving a lot of money.

4. Use The Bus

The bus systems in Europe are usually the cheapest methods of transportation along with the metro systems in the major cities. When travelling through Europe you should concentrate on walking and using the bus as much as possible.

5. Limit Time In Major Cities

The major tourist cities in Europe such as Rome and Paris are all far more expensive than ordinary European towns. While these towns do need to be visited on a trip through Europe, you should avoid spending the bulk of your time there. There are many smaller towns with just as much history and charm.

6. Go During Off Season

Flights and activities during the summer months are usually far more expensive than those outside of the tourist season. If you want to save money while travelling in Europe it’s best to go when other people are not.

7. Use Boats

The ferries in Europe are often a great way to move between port cities and many of these ferries are very inexpensive. The alternative is often using the train system or the airport, so ferries should be used when possible along with buses.

8. Travel With Friends

Travelling in a large group can make everything cheaper for everyone, especially since many tours offer discount travel rates and hotels and rented rooms can be split between all of you.

9. Buy A Tour Package

Tour packages can be a great way to get discounted flights, hotels, and tours, because tour agencies can get lower rates than most. Buying a tour package should always be done through a reputable agency because some may not save you enough money.

10. Use A School Program

Many school programs allow students to travel abroad very cheaply. These packages are cheap and can also be subsidized with educational grants and loans.

Even if you are travelling on a budget, it is always advisable to take out travel insurance cover before you depart. This small initial outlay could potentially save you a lot of money should you experience health related issues, lose your luggage or have your possessions stolen. 



PINTO ART MUSEUM/ GALLERY is located at #1 Sierra Madre Street, Grand Heights, Antipolo City.

How to go there by car: 


  •  Take the Masinag route up to Antipolo passing by Padi’s Point and Assumption Antipolo.
  •  Turn right after Banker’s Village and the only overpass in that area.
  •  Turn left at the first corner after the bridge.
  •  Turn right at the Y of the road at USA 88 gas station
  •  Turn left when you see Ynares
  •  Turn right to a hill at the intersection near Chic-Boy
  •  Get inside the Grand Heights subdivision
  •  Turn right at the first corner 
  •  Voila its the Pinto Museum!

* If in doubt, ask people at the side of the street for Ynares / Grand Heights / Loremar Subdivision


  • Take the Ortigas Extension route up to Antipolo, passing by Cainta Junction, and then Tikling (via the uphill road to Antipolo).
  • Upon reaching Ynares Center, turn right to a hill at the intersection near Chic-Boy.
  • Get inside the Grand Heights subdivision
  • Turn right at the first corner 
  • Voila its the Pinto Museum!

* If in doubt, ask people at the side of the street for Ynares / Grand Heights / Loremar Subdivision

PINTO ART MUSEUM: Antipolo Weekend Getaway for only Php 150

PINTO ART MUSEUM: Antipolo Weekend Getaway for only Php 150

Let’s go to Antipolo! The scorching summer heat did not stop us from having weekend discoveries. Yes, that’s right! For only Php 150, you can have a weekend getaway to remember! Pinto Art Museum is said to be a gateway to art haven like no other in Antipolo city.

Not only does Pinto Art Museum house more than 800 paintings of our local artists, it is also a popular venue for prenup shoots and weddings. 

This chapel is a popular wedding venue.

Here we also saw a swimming pool but it is only for private use according to Mikee Blanco, gallery manager of Pinto Art Museum.

Pinto Art Museum happened to be our second destination last week for Nescafe’s #weekenddiscoveries tour.

According to the Manager of Pinto Art Museum, this place was also the venue of the wedding reception of Julius Babao and TinTIn Bersola-Babao.

Indeed, my eyes feast on the vast array of artworks both outside and inside Pinto Museum.

Entrance Fee:

Student- Php 75 present ID

Senior- Php 120

Adult – Php 150

Pinto Art Museum is located at the Silangan Gardens, 1 Sierra Madre Heights, Grandheights, Antipolo City. It is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9 am to 6 pm. For further details, you can call (632)697-1015 or email



The life story of the late Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary JESSE ROBREDO was featured in an episode of “Maalaala Mo Kaya” last March 23, 2013.

Portraying JESSE ROBREDO in the episode on the long-running drama anthology is actor Jericho Rosales. Actress Kaye Abad portrayed the former Naga City mayor’s wife Atty. LENI ROBREDO.

SIMPLY JESSE BOOK: The Story of Jesse Robredo

SIMPLY JESSE BOOK: The Story of Jesse Robredo 

I have fond memories of the late Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo. Not only was he a fellow Bicolano and mayor of Naga City for 19 years, he is also the son of my Papa’s former boss and was my Facebook (FB) Friend. Moreover, his wife, Atty. Leni Robredo, was my brother’s classmate in law school. 

Standing, left to right: AIKA and TRICIA ROBREDO, 
Seated, left to right Atty. LENI, JILLIAN and JESSEE ROBREDO
Jesse Robredo’s leadership qualities such as assertiveness, adaptability, intelligence, and conscientiousness are the ideals which all would-be leaders must aspire for. Jesse Robredo is an epitome of the matino at mahusay na lider (sensible and capable leader). Above all, he was a true blue family man.

Everyone agrees that the very essence of Jesse Robredo’s management style and political philosophy is his favorite catchphrases “walang malaki o maliit sa akin, lahat pare-pareho.” (No one is big or small, everyone is equal to me.) Also, Jess truly believed that each task, no matter how big or small, is worthy of his best efforts. And he expected the same from his subordinates. 

This is probably the reason why Jesse did not think it was beneath him to sweep the streets, shovel dirt and clear debris after a typhoon, or to come to a Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) meeting in shorts and slippers. Jesse Robredo never got tired of exhorting his own people in Naga City and the DILG to take pride in their work and give it all they’ve got, regardless of how menial the task or how low their rank.

Jesse Robredo’s “walang maliit o malaki” philosophy goes against the traditional split-level democracy. Imagine, I was not yet of voting age when I met the good mayor. Who am I to deserve his time? But he was so accessible to everyone. Jesse Robredo was a person who is “madaling lapitan at madaling hanapin” (approachable and accessible).

I still vividly recall the time when I was still a student, I often saw Jesse Robredo, then mayor of Naga City, “in action” — wearing a T-shirt, shorts and slippers and going around Naga City to lead the clean up drive especially after a typhoon or to talk to his constituents to hear their concerns.

In Naga City, he was fondly called “Mayor” or “Pogi” He was really a simple guy. He was simply Jesse. To his youngest daughter Jillian, he was simply Papa.

So, as told by Jillian, the book “Simply Jesse” encapsulates the story of Jesse Robredo, a simple guy.

The book storyteller JILLIAN ROBREDO
What are you waiting for? Buy a copy Now! Net proceeds of Simply Jesse will be donated to the Jesse M. Robredo Foundation, established by his family and close friends to continue Jesse’s legacy of public service and good governance.

Simply Jesse is available in newsstands, bookstores, and supermarkets nationwide for only P 125. For more details, visit or visit the Summit Books Facebook page.