riding adversity: a tribute

braving the congested and polluted streets, scorching heat of the urban jungle, fatigue and toil... Carmela Yap, 39, is one of the 4,000+ bikers who trooped the streets of Metro Manila on the 20th of November to celebrate the Araw ng Siklista.

the cyclists here in NCR leg and other major areas in the country unite on this day to highlight the need for policies and programs that will make our roads safe both for bike commuters and pedestrians.

but during the course of the bike tour, Carmela was hit by a passenger jeep. she was dragged for a few meters before the vehicle came into a full stop. the accident happened in front of Manila City Hall. the driver, who was detained, claimed that the jeep lost its brakes. Carmela suffered multiple fractured ribs, damage to her kidney and other internal organs, bruises, etc. as of today, she is still confined in Manila Doctors Hospital and continuously needs blood transfusion and medical attention. she may also undergo a medical operation.

Carmela before the accident (photo from CYCAD)

sadly, Carmela is just one of the many cyclists who became victims to road accidents and mishap because of lack of discipline of many motorists and lack of bike lanes that will make our streets safe for pedestrians and friendly to cyclist and non-motorize commuters.

the government and we, for that matter since government is the people (I wish), allowed that our streets should be utilized only by motorize vehicles. yet, only less than 20% of Filipinos owns a vehicle!!!

i love my mountain bike and I always encourage my friends to experience again the joys of biking, just like when we enjoyed it during our childhood. it’s like riding the wind amidst all the world’s adversities. It’s the ultimate eco-friendly and sustainable mode of transportation, a small contribution to our Mother Earth.

i salute all the cycling advocates all over the world. and my salute to Carmela. we wish for your speedy recovery so that you can ride again.

Carmela needs our help. if you wish to donate any amount to help her survive her medical expenses, please directly send your donations to Ms. Carmela Yap's bank account at Banco de Oro - Savings Account No. 005540126913. or drop them at Water Bottle for Carmela Fund at Carlito's BikeShop at CP Garcia ave. UP, Diliman, Q.C.



unnamed cave, Biak-na-Bato National Park, Bulacan
the Biak-na-Bato National Park is both an important biodiversity area and historical landmark. within its labyrinth caves the Magdalo-led soldiers established the Biak-na-Bato Republic on November 1897. it was the headquarters of the Philippine government for over a month until Gen. Aguinaldo agreed to be exiled in HongKong as part of the peace pact that they signed with the Spanish government.
today the Biak-na-Bato National Park is under threat because of continuous mining and quarrying operations within the park.
going to BnBNP? take a bus to the historical town of San Miguel, Bulacan. from there, take a tricycle to Biak-na-Bato. cave guides are required and will be provided in the registration area. don't forget to bring your headlamps or flashlights :)
*everyweek, I will feature a snapshot of an amazing place from my "baul". cheers!*


higantes of Angono

the Higantes was conceptualized by the people of Angono to show their disgust to the Spanish landlords who occupied their lands. made of paper mache (modern ones are combination of paper and fiber plastic), the Higantes was first introduced during the Feast of San Clemente, the town’s patron saint, and people threw tomatoes and pebbles on it. today, it's a symbol of festivity, color and talent of the people of Angono.

the Higantes Festival, which coincides with the Feast of San Clemente, is celebrated every 23th of November.

*everyweek, I will feature a snapshot of an amazing place from my "baul". cheers!*


past, present and post stamps

heritage walk, introduction to philately and a wonderful Sunday afternoon – package in one

the Postal Heritage Walking Tour*, organize by the Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club (FSCC), is an opportunity to revisit the glory (and infamous) past of Metro Manila through our rich postal history

first stop is the Liwasang Bonifacio, a well-known plaza where rallies and public assemblies are held

the plaza was first named after the US military general Henry Lawton. Lawton, who gained recognition within the US Army ranks because of his successful campaign that led to the surrender of Apache leader Geronimo, was killed in Rizal by Filipino soldiers under the command of Lecerio Geronimo. well, the irony of life

another major stop is the Manila Central Postal Office, one of the dominating landmarks in Manila City

this Neo Classical Style building was destroyed during the American bombing of Manila in 1946 and was rebuilt after the war. the building was designed by Ralph Doane, Tomas Mapua and Juan M. de Guzman Arellano

meanwhile, the Post Library and Museum showcases commemorative stamps, postal relics, old mailboxes, paintings, etc . FSSC lectures and meetings as well as weekend public auction of anik-anik are conducted in this area

another highlight of this unique heritage walk is the visit to the Manila Metropolitan Theater or MET. this Art Deco Style Building, which was also designed by Juan M. de Guzman Arellano, was considered by some as “moderne”. still, MET became an icon of Philippine art and culture and hosted world-class plays, operas and events of the rich and famous

today, it looks like a war-torn building while the elements continue to fast track its decaying state. the ghostly tour inside will bring awe, sadness and chills (especially if you have six sense)

efforts are being done to revive MET's former glory but it will be a very, very expensive endeavor

other points of interest of the walk:

Aduana Building, the former Custom House during the Spanish occupation

Plaza Mexico, the port during the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade

National Press Club Building

and more – Manila Cathedral, Plaza Roma, monument of Gracia Lopez Jeana, monument of Queen Isabela II, Bahay Tsinoy, Arroceros Park, Mehan Garden, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Jones Bridge and Intramuros.

the Postal Heritage Walking Tour is held every 3rd Sunday of the month. this free guided tour caters students, cultural hoopers, philatelists and interested individuals. for reservation, contact Mr. Lawrence Chan at 0919-3901671 or email at


Taal Volcano Protected Landscape

main crater of Taal Volcano Island, Taal Lake and Mt. Maculot
composed of the majestic Taal Lake, volcanoes and vents (above and underwater), surrounding mountains and hills, tributaries, sunken towns, ruins and populated barangays, the Taal Volcano Protected Landscape (TVPL) is already on the tentative list for World Heritage Sites. a pride of our nation, this unique ecosystem is home to the country's unique fauna and flora such as the duhol (one of the only three existing freshwater seasnake species in the world) and tawilis (the only commercial fresh sardine in the world).
boats going to volcano island can be arranged either from the town of Talisay, Balete or San Nicholas. sadly, boat rental is a little bit steep. then 45-minutes hike to the main crater.
*every week, I will feature a snapshot of an amazing place from my "baul". cheers!*