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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Best Pick of 2011: Couch Potato Review - Pilipinas Got Talent

Top: The judges of Pilipinas Got Talent namely Kris Aquino,
Mr. Freddie "FMG" Garcia and Miss Ai-ai Delas Alas.
Below: The hosts of Pilipinas Got Talent Luis Manzano and Billy
Crawford.
This 2011, Pilipinas Got Talent aired its second and third seasons. Right after the success of Jovit Baldivino, there are many aspiring hopefuls who wants to show their unique acts and talent to the world.

In the second season, from almost thousands who auditioned in different key cities from Dagupan, Naga, Cebu, Davao, Batangas, and Metro Manila, 174 acts were selected by the judges: the queen of all media Ms.Kris Aquino, comedy concert queen Ai-ai Delas Alas and the expert Mr. Freddie "FMG" Garcia. After a long deliberation of 174 acts in the Judges Cull, only 36 were selected. I am expecting that there are eliminated contestants should be in the semi-finals and other contenders who were chosen by the judges are deserving. Then the semi-finals round for almost six weeks. There are talents who stand out that amazed the judges and the crowd. During results night, only two acts were selected: the act who got the highest public vote and the judges choice. We also have the Wildcard Round where two acts were selected via public vote. In the end, 14 acts made it to the grand finals. In the end, falsetto singer Marcelito Pomoy won the second season.

After two weeks, the third season of the talent show franchise continued its search for the best world-class Filipino talent. The auditions are held in almost 70 cities and provinces around the country. After the auditions, 187 acts made it to the Judges Cull where 36 acts made it to the semi-finals. This is the most diverse batch of acts for almost three seasons of Pilipinas Got Talent. Then, every week six contenders will compete for the twelve slots in grand finals when two contenders per week will make it. In the end, Maasinhon Trio won the third season which leads to controversy and others believed that shadow theater group El Gamma Penumbra or aerial acrobatics troupe Synergy will win the season. 

See also:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Perspectives in Looking Forward to 2012

Hi! Good day everyone!

2011 is such a wonderful year for me. There are two reasons why 2011 is such a great year for me. First, it was a year of new opportunities in my professional career as a teacher as well with the blogging world where I created my Blogspot website. It is also the year of improvements in my skill as well with the fact that many readers and browsers from different parts of the globe discovered my blogs. Second, it is also the year of meeting new friends through social networking as well with knowing my true friends and reuniting with my old friends. I gain my confidence in trusting people as well with the fact that they recognize me for my help and kindness that I've shown. I met a lot of friends and I learned a lot from them. In addition, I exposed myself to new activities which helped me to improve my skill and to know myself better: attending writing workshops, teaching students, doing my responsibility in the workplace, interacting with my online friends and travelling or backpacking. I also became a family oriented person where I always dedicate my work to my mom, dad, sisters, cousins and relatives. Most of all, I become closer to God where I learned to talk to Him in times of troubles, asking a particular thing as a solution to my problem and giving thanks to Him in times of happiness. 


Although I received a lot of blessings, I feel so sad to those people and places who became casualties of natural disasters. I am praying for their recovery because there are lives and properties that lost. I also feel the sadness for those people who are victims of backstabbing, conspiracy and gossips, as well with people who were affected by bad influences and vices around them which results to conflicts. I am hoping in the coming years that these cases will be minimized and looking forward to the ideal life which is full of harmony and friendship.


I am looking forward this 2012 to have a peaceful life in the world. I would like to thank my family and friends for supporting me. Thanks for all the success and blessings I received from the previous years and looking forward to new challenges in the year 2012. Thanks God for this another year and looking forward for prosperity, peace, and success this year.



My 12 wishes for you this NEW YEAR:

1. Happiness. Down deep inside.
2. Serenity at every sunrise.
3. Success in every phase of your life.
4. Family beside you.
5. Caring friends around you.
6. A love that never ends.
7. Good health within you.
8. Beautiful memories of yesterdays.
9. A nice day with so much to be thankful for.
10. A pathway leading to better tomorrow.
11. Dreams that manage to come true.
12. A great appreciation for whatever you do.



P.S. This is also the year where I was starting to become active in blogging by sharing thoughts to other people around the globe. Thanks to the readers of my blog. This 2012, I will make a new blog to the Filipino bloggers and readers. Coming soon!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Greetings All Over The World



To all the Bloggers and all the Browsers and Readers of my Blog, first of all I would like to greet you a Happy Holidays. It's been a cool year to have you in my blog as my support. It was an overwhelming thing to know that there are some readers from different parts of the world. I would like to greet you in different ways:
  • Filipino: Maligayang Pasko
  • English: Merry Christmas
  • Arabic: عيد ميلاد مجيد
  • Brazilian: Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo
  • Spanish: Feliz Navidad
  • Portuguese: Boas Festas
  • Greek: Kala Christouyenna
  • Norwegian and Swedish: God Jul
  • German: Froehliche Weihnacten
  • Italian: Buone Feste Natalizie
  • Russian: Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom
  • Danish: Glædelig jul
  • Dutch: Vroliijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar
  • Finnish: Hyvaa joulua
  • French: Joyeux Noel
  • Indonesian: Selamat Hari Netal
  • Hindi: Shub Naya Baras
  • Vietnamese: Vui Chơi Ch
  • Thai: สุขสันต์วันคริสมาสต์
  • Korean: 메리 크리스마스
  • Japanese: メリークリスマス
  • Chinese: 聖誕快樂
To all the readers of my blog from different parts of the world from my home country, Philippines to neighboring countries in Asia and Pacific, as well with the readers from Europe, North America, South America and Africa, MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Timeless Christmas Songs: Christmas In Our Hearts by Jose Mari Chan




1. CHRISTMAS IN OUR HEARTS (Jose Mari Chan)
The song reflects the ideal Christmas in the Philippines and in other countries as well because Christmas is for the people you loved and valued and most of all, it is the season to be happy and remembering the birth of Our Savior Jesus Christ.


Whenever I see girls and boys
Selling lanterns on the street
I remember the child in the manger as he sleeps
Wherever there are people
Giving gifts exchanging cards
I believe that Christmas is truly in our hearts
Let's light our Christmas trees for a bright tomorrow
Where nations are at peace,
And all are one in God

Let's sing Merry Christmas and a happy holiday
This season may we never forget the love we have for Jesus
Let him be the one to guide us as another new year starts
And may the spirit of Christmas be always in our hearts

In every prayer and every song
The community unite celebrating the birth of our savior Jesus Christ
Let love like that starlight on that first Christmas morn
Lead us back to the manger where Christ the child was born
So come let us rejoice
Come and sing the Christmas carol with one big joyful voice
Proclaim the name of the Lord

Let's sing Merry Christmas and a happy holiday
This season may we never forget the love we have for Jesus
Let him be the one to guide us as another new year starts
And may the spirit of Christmas be always in our hearts

Let's sing Merry Christmas and a happy holiday
The season may we never forget the love we have for Jesus
Let him be the one to guide us as another new year starts
And may the spirit of Christmas be always in our hearts

Timeless Christmas Songs: The Christmas Song by Celine Dion



2. THE CHRISTMAS SONG
The song was covered by many artists which reflects Christmas in Western countries (especially for those places who have winter season) and the most important message there is the last five lines of the song.



Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like Eskimos

Everybody knows
A turkey and some mistletoe
Help to make the season bright
Tiny tots with their eyes all a-glow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight

They know that Santa's on his way
He's loaded lots of toys
And goodies on his sleigh
And every mother's child is gonna spy
To see if reindeer really know
How to fly

And so I'm offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety two
Although it's been said
Many times many ways
Merry Christmas to you

Timeless Christmas Songs: A Perfect Christmas by Jose Mari Chan



3.  A PERFECT CHRISTMAS (Jose Mari Chan)
An OPM classic which describes the ideal Christmas. Very meaningful lyrics.



My idea of a perfect Christmas
Is to spend it with you
In a party or dinner for two
Anywhere would do
Celebrating the yuletide season
Always lights up our lives
Simple pleasures are made special too
When they're shared with you

Looking through some old photographs
Faces and friends we'll always remember
Watching busy shoppers rushing about
In the cool breeze of December
Sparkling lights all over town
Children's carols in the air
By the Christmas tree
A shower of stardust on your hair

I can't think of a better Christmas
Than my wish coming true
And my wish is that you'd let me spend
My whole life with you

Looking through some old photographs
Faces and friends we'll always remember
Watching busy shoppers rushing about
In the cool breeze of December
Sparkling lights all over town
Children's carols in the air
By the Christmas tree
A shower of stardust on your hair

I can't think of a better Christmas
Than my wish coming true
And my wish is that you'd let me spend
My whole life with you

My idea of a perfect Christmas
Is spending it with you

Timeless Christmas Songs: My Grown Up Christmas List by Amy Grant



4. MY GROWN UP CHRISTMAS LIST (Amy Grant)
The original version of the song where I appreciate the music video and the concept where she was in home and with the other kids.



Do you remember me?
I sat upon your knee
I wrote to you
With childhood fantasies

Well, I'm all grown-up now
And still need help somehow.(can you still help somehow)
I'm not a child
But my heart still can dream

So here's my lifelong wish
My grown-up christmas list
Not for myself
But for a world in need

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start,(and wars would never start)
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown-up christmas list

As children we believed
The grandest sight to see
Was something lovely
Wrapped beneath our tree.(wrapped beneath the tree)

Well heaven surely knows
That packages and bows
Can never heal
A hurting human soul

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown-up christmas list

What is this illusion called the innocence of youth?
Maybe only in our blind belief can we ever find the truth
(There'd be)

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end, oh
This is my grown-up christmas list

This is my grown-up christmas list

Timeless Christmas Songs: Sa Araw ng Pasko



5. SA ARAW NG PASKO (All Star Cast)


I really love the message of the song and the stars on the music video like Pops Fernandez, Jolina Magdangal, Roselle Nava, and Carol Banawa to mention a few.


'di ba't kay ganda sa atin ng pasko
Naiiba ang pagdiriwang dito
Pasko sa ati'y hahanap-hanapin mo
Walang katulad dito ang pasko

Lagi mo na maiisip na sila'y nandito sana
At sa noche buena ay magkakasama

Ang pasko ay kay saya kung kayo'y kapiling na
Sana pagsapit ng pasko, kayo'y naririto
Kahit pa malayo ka, kahit nasaan ka pa
Maligayang bati para sa inyo sa araw ng pasko

Sa ibang bansa'y 'di mo makikita
Ang ngiti sa labi ng bawat isa
Alam naming hindi n'yo nais malayo
Paskong pinoy pa rin sa ating puso

Dito'y mayro'ng caroling at may simbang gabi
At naglalakihan pa ang christmas tree, ang christmas tree

Timeless Christmas Songs: My Grown Up Christmas List by Kelly Clarkson

6. MY GROWN UP CHRISTMAS LIST (Kelly Clarkson)

I really like her version because Kelly proves that she is not just a pop rocker but she can sing slow tempo songs. Her voice and her rendition captivates me.

Timeless Christmas Songs: Feliz Navidad by Boney M



7. FELIZ NAVIDAD (Boney M., 1981)


Originally done by Jose Feliciano in the 1970's and revived by Boney M. It has a soulful and groovy version. One of the Christmas songs which can be sung in carolling by the kids and adults and it can be easily memorized. "Feliz Navidad" is a Spanish word meaning Happy Christmas. It is a Christmas pop song played throughout the United States and the Spanish-speaking world.

Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Prospero ano felicidad. 

Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Prospero ano felicidad. 


I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas.
I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas.
I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas.
From the bottom of my heart.

Timeless Christmas Songs: White Christmas by Michael Bublé



8. WHITE CHRISTMAS (Michael Buble) 


His version of "White Christmas" is soothing to the ears and it is near to the standard version. Michael Buble is such a romantic crooner to take on that song but I really appreciate his version.


I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten,
and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white

Timeless Christmas Songs: White Christmas by BoA



9. White Christmas (BoA)


BoA is a Korean singer who invade the Asian music scene. She had a classy version of "White Christmas" which she shown her sultry voice and her Asian flavor to the song. Her version is soothing to the ears and it was truly Asian!

Timeless Christmas Songs: All I Want For Christmas Is You (Mariah Carey, 1994)

10.  ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU (Mariah Carey, Merry Christmas, 1994)
I love the introduction of the song which began by bell chimes and followed by slow tempo music and continued by the upbeat part. The song is truly meaningful and lively.



I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree

I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas
Is you

I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
And I don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree

I don't need to hang my stocking
There upon the fireplace
Santa Claus won't make me happy
With a toy on Christmas Day
I just want you for my own

More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is you
You baby

Oh I won't ask for much this Christmas
I won't even wish for snow
And I'm just gonna keep on waiting
Underneath the mistletoe

I won't make a list and send it
To the North Pole for Saint Nick
I won't even stay awake to
Hear those magic reindeer click

'Cause I just want you here tonight
Holding on to me so tight
What more can I do?
Baby all I want for Christmas is you
You

Oh all the lights are shining
So brightly everywhere
And the sound of children's
Laughter fills the air

And everyone is singing
I hear those sleigh bells ringing
Santa won't you bring me the one I really need?
Won't you please bring my baby to me?

Oh I don't want a lot for Christmas
This is all I'm asking for
I just want to see my baby
Standing right outside my door

Oh I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
Baby all I want for Christmas is
You baby

All I want for Christmas is you baby
All I want for Christmas is you baby
All I want for Christmas is you baby

A Glimpse of Melody in Timeless Christmas Carols

My idea of a perfect Christmas is to spend it with you. - Jose Mari Chan, "A Perfect Christmas"
Carols are songs played during Christmas season. Since when I was a kid, I grown up listening to those Christmas carols with our cassette player in our house. My father played cassettes from a tape of country singers with their renditions of Christmas songs to groovy and soulful versions from Boney M. I enjoyed listening to these songs during Christmas because you can hear these songs on the radio and even on the Internet in the month of December. Then until I become an adult, I am still enjoying listening and humming Christmas carols. 

When I was a kid, I joined my peers in the evening of Christmas eve for carolling where we visit different houses to sing carols and the residents will give presents (such as cash or food) for our performance. We used handmade musical instruments such as drums from milk cans or tambourine made of tanzans (bottle caps) and wire. In addition, teenagers and adults are also fond of carolling with the use of musical instruments such as guitar and tambourine.

I am always entertained with the little voices as well with their song choices of kids when they have their carolling in our house. When they sing Tagalog Christmas songs such as "Boom Tarat Tarat" by Willie Revillame which played in the defunct noontime show "Wowowee" and the classic Tagalog songs "Ang Pasko ay Sumapit" and "Pasko Na Naman." After they sang their carols, we will give them money and the children were singing "thank you, thank you ang babait ninyo thank you" (Thank you for being nice). In addition, teenagers and adults were able to have their carolling also for the purpose of fund raising activity this Christmas in order to help other people. I am also looking forward that Filipino kids will sing Christmas carols like "12 Days of Christmas", "Jingle Bells", "Deck The Halls" and "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" because it will match their age and the lyrics as well.
On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me. A partridge in a pear tree. - 12 Days of Christmas
Most of the Christmas carols came from centuries ago, there are different cover versions performed by various artists. For example, the 18th century song "Silent Night" which was originally from Germany. It was covered by different artists including Bing Crosby, Enya (which was sung in Irish) and X Factor winners Alexandra Burke and Joe McElderry. Another example is "Joy to the World' which was first published in the 17th century and based on Psalm 98 in the Bible. It was revived by different artists such as Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. 
1. The cover of the album "Merry Christmas" by Mariah Carey which includes hits "All I Want for Christmas is You", "Joy to the World" and "O Holy Night"; 2. Amy Grant from the music video "My Grown Up Christmas List"; 3. George Michael of Wham! from the music video "Last Christmas"; 4. The collaboration of recording artists and band singers of the 80's for Africa or known as Band Aid in the music video "Do They Know Its Christmas"; 5. Liz Mitchell of Boney M. in Feliz Navidad and 6. Asian singer, BoA in her music video "Merry Christmas".
There are also other Christmas carols which is timeless such as "Feliz Navidad" by Boney M in the 1970's; "White Christmas" which was played in 1942 movie "Holliday Inn" which was sang by Bing Crosby, Dolly Parton, Michael Buble and Boa; "All I Want for Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey; "Last Christmas" by Wham; and "My Grown Up Christmas List" by Amy Grant and revived by Kelly Clarkson.


In the Philippines, there are also classic Christmas love songs and carols. Love songs such as "Sana Ngayong Pasko" by Ariel Rivera, "Pasko Na Sinta Ko" by Gary V. and "Nakaraang Pasko" by Kuh Ledesma tells a message about a loved one they missed during Christmas. There are also songs that expresses happiness during Christmas such as "Paskong Anong Saya", "Kumukuti-kutitap" composed by Ryan Cayabyab and performed by Joey Albert, and "Tuloy na Tuloy Pa Rin Ang Pasko" by Apo Hiking Society and revived by Orange and Lemons. Aside from that message of happiness and missing someone this Christmas, there are also Christmas songs that is inspirational like "Christmas in Our Hearts" and "A Perfect Christmas" by Jose Mari Chan and "Sa Araw Ng Pasko".


Carols are truly a part of the Christmas season. They are the music and the spirit of the Yuletide season because these songs are familiar in different parts of the world. The meanings of these Christmas carols are to remember the persons who loved us and most of all, remember God who gave us the blessings and the best things we had in our life.
Let’s sing Merry Christmas
And a happy holiday,
This season may we never forget
The love we have for Jesus
Let Him be the One to guide us
As another new year starts
And may the spirit of Christmas
Be always in our hearts. 
- Christmas in Our Hearts by Jose Mari Chan 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Navigating Laguna Loop: A Journey to the North

It was Day 3 of my travel in the Laguna Loop where I decided to go on the places in the northern part of the province. The day started with a cloudy weather while travelling from Cavite to Sta. Cruz for almost five hours. I also took my lunch break in a fastfood chain in Santa Cruz and rode a jeepney to Siniloan in order to prepare for a long travel. Then when the travel started to go up from Pagsanjan, I didn't expect to have a rainy weather (maybe because I was late to be informed about the typhoon hits the country). The rain falls down while passing the lake shore towns in Laguna and you can feel the cold air and fog because they are also belong to the highland towns of Sierra Madre mountain range. 

From Siniloan, I took a five-minute tricycle ride to Mabitac. It is located in northern part of Laguna along with neighboring towns of Siniloan, Famy and Santa Maria. Mabitac is named after the Tagalog word "mabitag" meaning a place with many traps. The place is also known for  Nuestra Senora de Candelaria, a church which has 126 steps and the Labanan sa Mabitac (Battle of Mabitac) where Filipinos won the victory over the Japanese in 1942. First, I went to an exhausting climb to the hilltop church of Nuestra Senora de Candelaria which was founded in the 16th century. Then from the church, I went down to the memorial area of Battle of Mabitac which serves as a tribute for Filipinos and Americans who won the battle in 1942 against the Japanese in the town.
The view from the hilltop church where you can see the town proper of Mabitac as well  with the rice fields and the Sierra Madre mountain range. The town of Mabitac is a highland rural town where people live a simple life.
Nuestra Senora de Candelaria Church in Mabitac, Laguna.
The one hundred twenty-six steps to the church.




The Battle of Mabitac.
After Mabitac, I went to the town of Siniloan where the town is known for its waterfalls as well with the progress into urban town. I saw different establishments in the town proper until I rode a jeep going back to my next destination. But I decided to stop on the Pangil - Siniloan border where there are changes in the rice fields surrounding the highway and the view of the bay during sunny days. Because of the rain and the water from the dam released, the rice fields were turned into a body of water were ducks can be found anywhere. After that, I rode a jeepney again going to the next destination. While passing the road, I felt the strong and cold wind because of the rainy weather and the fact that the road is near to the bay plus the rice fields were turned into a huge body of water.
The welcome arch of Siniloan, Laguna.
The highway from Siniloan to Pangil which is a road in the middle of the rice fields.
Rice fields were flooded because the dam in that area released its water and ducks were gathering on that field.

A man riding on a boat while herding the ducks.
Right after Siniloan, I passed the town of Pangil which is known for its devotion to the Virgin Mary through the Virgin dela O, the Virgin pregnant with the Child Jesus who is called Sto. Nino dela O. The statues of both Mother and Child are gifts from King Carlos III from Spain. In addition, Pangil is known for its river and the Ambon-ambon Falls.


After less than ten minutes, I went to the town of Pakil where I visited the St. Peter Alcantara Church, which is one of the Spanish Baroque Churches in Laguna Loop. It was built in the 17th century. In addition, Pakil is known as the Turumba Capital where they held the Turumba Festival seven times a year in honor of Virgin of Sorrows. The Turumba Festival is one of the longest festivals in the Philippines.Pakil is also known for its delicate form of woodcarving where wood ornaments are designed in a more creative way.



Saint Peter of Alcantara Church of Pakil, Laguna.
The creative woodwork from Pakil, Laguna.
After Pakil, I visited the town of Paete to take a look on the woodcarvings and paper maches plus the popular stores and woodcarvers in the town. After Paete, we went to the lakeshore towns of Kalayaan and Lumban where it is located in the foothills of Sierra Madre. Kalayaan is known for its exotic food restaurant while Lumban is famous for its embroidery business of barong tagalog and saya. While passing the towns of Kalayaan and Paete, you can see the panoramic view of Laguna de Bay from the mountain highway of Laguna. 


Before I go back to Santa Cruz, we passed the Tourist Capital of Laguna, Pagsanjan. We passed the Pagsanjan Arch which was created from 1876 to 1880. It was truly a landmark in Laguna. After passing the arch, you can see the old houses preserved from the Spanish period in Puerto Real and in Calle Rizal. You can also visit the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and experience the rapids via bancas or canoes paddled by expert boatmen which leads you to the major tourist attraction in this town, the enchanting Pagsanjan Falls. Its booming and flashing water cascade on a 300-foot high rocky cliff which makes it as the number one tourist attraction in Pagsanjan. It is actually located within the boundaries of Cavinti, Laguna. I wanted to visit Pagsanjan Falls someday if I come back to experience the unique journey within the streaming rapids in the river.

The Pagsanjan Arch as it welcomes you to the northern part of Laguna.
I want to discover more about the northern part of Laguna especially about its culture. Definitely this part of Laguna is rustic, rural and truly, an idyllic nature hideaway. 

Navigating Laguna Loop: Magdalena

The welcome arch of Magdalena, Laguna.
Situated at the foothills of Mt.Banahaw, Magdalena is considered as one of the most peaceful towns in Laguna. The town is surrounded by Sta.Cruz on the north, Pagsanjan on northeast, Nagcarlan on the west, Majayjay on southeast, and Liliw on the south. You can go there via jeepney from Santa Cruz for less than fifteen minutes.

Magdalena is a town where the people are living on a typical provincial life. You can feel the rural ambiance through the coconut plantations, rice fields, clear rivers, lush vegetation and the traditional simple life among the people living in this town. 


I went there to experience the peaceful life and it is part of my journey in the Laguna Loop. First, I visited the Bahay Laguna. This landmark was established 14 years ago and it serves as a museum dedicated to Former Governor Felicisimo San Luis, who lead the province for almost 33 years. I had a chance to visit the house and it was surprising that Mrs. Felicidad San Luis, the wife of the former governor, was there during that time. She was able to conduct a leadership training in that house, along with the youth leaders from different parts of Laguna. I had a chance to tour around the museum and I saw all the memorabilla of Governor San Luis which reflects the progress in the province of Laguna during his administration for three decades. I also read a poem entitled "Pangarap" (Dreams) written by Gov. San Luis where it can be sung in the tune of Matt Monro's "The Impossible Dream." In the end of the house visit, I gave a souvenir to Mrs. San Luis as a token of appreciation for meeting her. I also visited the house for the second time where we exchange messages through letters as a remembrance.


The landmark in the foothills of Mt. Banahaw, Bahay Laguna which serves as a museum
for memorabilla of things and achievements during the administration of
 Felicisimo San Luis, the governor who served Laguna for three decades.
 In addition, it is also a museum of different local objects
which can be found in the province.
The office of Governor Felicisimo San Luis.
The statue of Gov. Felicisimo San Luis and below his figure,
the poem he wrote entitled "Pangarap" (A Dream).
The poem "Pangarap" can be sung in a tune of Matt Monro's classic "The Impossible Dream." 
The products from Laguna which can be found inside the museum.
In front of Bahay Laguna, there is a marker near in Maimpis River where Emilio Jacinto was shot by the Spaniards during the Philippine Revolution on 1898. He was brought to St. Mary Magdalene Church in order to sought refuge. Today, the markers found in front of Bahay Laguna and in St. Mary Magdalene Church are historical spots which shows that the town served an important role in country's history.
The Emilio Jacinto Marker which serves as a place where he was shot near in Maimpis River in 1898.
Also, the St. Mary Magdalene Church is one of the Spanish Baroque churches around the Laguna Loop. It was started constructing on 1825 and finished on 1851. It is located in the town plaza of Magdalena along with Rizal Park, a central elementary and secondary school, a stage, and the municipal hall. I had a chance to go around in the plaza where children were able to guide me to Emilio Jacinto marker inside the church.
The St. Mary Magdalene Church in Magdalena, Laguna founded in 1851
where Emilio Jacinto sought refuge in this church after he injured
because he was shot by the revolutionaries.


The Emilio Jacinto Marker inside the church. There is a part where his blood stains
 was covered by glass and  also a pair of bolo and his hat.
The municipal hall of Magdalena, Laguna.
The town plaza of Magdalena.
Children were able to play football as their pastime.
The most important thing I discovered about Magdalena is the simplicity of life. I enjoyed my trip there because of the rustic ambiance of the town in terms of the location where you can feel the cool air, verdant environment, the tranquil mood of the community, and the cleanliness of roads, rivers and farms. In my case, it was also rare to see the old ways of people which shows the typical life in a rural Filipino area that I witnessed in Magdalena. For example, there are men who used horses in transportation, some women made their laundry in the river, and residents enjoying their life in the farm. Finally, there are past events in the town that takes part in our colorful history of our country that reflects in different landmarks in the town. Therefore, Magdalena is a classic example of a place situated in the lush and verdant foothills which shows a peaceful and typical rural life among the residents and a historical glimpse that you can learn from the town's landmarks.
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