*click/tap the pictures to go to the article
*this list is not ranked
National Museum - Fine Arts Gallery
The second out of many more articles on Manila Traveler, I really enjoyed going to the National Museum - Fine Arts Gallery, especially when my friends and I went there during Chinese New Year. There, I had my first ever one-on-one with Juan Luna's famous "Spoliarium" painting. A behemoth painting depicting the Roman Coliseum with clear allusions to Spanish abuses during their colonization of the country. More than Juan Luna's masterpiece, the gallery houses many if not most of the works of the country's national artists.
Bambike Eco Tour
For the most part of the year, I explored and started my journey of this blog in Intramuros. After exploring the city with Carlos Celdran, Tricia and I decided to explore the city again but on bamboo-made bikes by the people of Bambike. The tour took us to different places not normally visited by tourists like: walking on the walls of Fort Santiago, a great view of the roaring river of Pasig, and a quick tour to Quirino Grandstand and the Rizal Monument.
Pinto Art Museum
Another exciting museum tucked away in the heart of Antipolo. The Pinto Art Museum is a beautiful place for a quick getaway. Besides housing modern/contemporary forms of art, Pinto has a beautiful cafe to enjoy the sweet breeze coming down from the hills. The museum is also a beautiful place for taking beautiful pictures and having photo shoots as well.
Mt. Cloud Bookshop
If ever the time comes when I decide that I've had enough of teaching, I would most definitely set up my own bookshop. For now, I will have to be contented with the wonderful and popular Mt. Cloud Bookshop in Baguio. With shelves upon shelves of wonderful and one-of-a-kind books, I would most definitely spend an entire vacation in Baguio just enjoying this bookshop.
Terracotta Warriors in Xian
If there would be one moment in 2014 that I would never forget it would be my tour of the Terracotta Warriors in Xian Province. This vast burial complex dedicated to Emperor Qin Shi Huang was truly remarkable, astounding, and stupendous. The warriors' stolid faces guarding the tomb of the emperor was a remarkable feat of human achievement and perseverance.
Great Wall of China
Another one of my China entries, the Great Wall lives up to his name of being "great". Even though my students and I weren't able to really go up to the peak the views from where we were were already enough to show the vastness of the whole structure. Like the Terracotta Warriors, the Great Wall is another beautiful example of human innovation and perseverance.
If there was a way to learn about Spanish architecture then Calle Crisologo is the country's most well-preserved example. With its cobbled stones and bahay na bato's this quaint street in Vigan, Ilocos is the hub of all activity for visitors exploring the north. More than just an example of Castillan architecture it also serves as a hub of activity with souvenir shops, a museum, and restaurants showing the great products of the Philippines and Ilokano culture.
Even before Tricia and I were a couple we already planned to watch the hit Broadway musical together. This musical put me on a "Wicked-high" for quite some time, my phone had all of the songs, I bought the book (I never got around to finishing it), and in general, the songs were stuck in my head for days on end. A beautiful production and the first Broadway musical I watched.
Magnum Opus Coffee
For some weird reason I really love places that are hidden in plain sight and Magnum Opus is a perfect example. For a person who isn't too familiar with BF I would have easily missed out this place but because of Tricia I discovered their great coffee and their apple pie ala mode in filo dough. It's also great that Magnum Opus has an open space where the fresh breeze of the south and watch the sun set while enjoying their two best offerings.
2014 and the first year of this blog wouldn't be complete without expressing mine and Tricia's love of ramen. Out of all the ramen places we've been, Yushoken still stands out as the best place to have both ramen and gyoza. Flavorful noodles, tender meat, perfect ingredients, the trifecta of goodness is just too much to handle.