National Geographic: Islands Insider

Batad Mumbaki Ritual

Just a month ago, we were able to view the premiere of National Geographic’s Islands Insider which features different places in the Philippines. This isn’t just a typical travel show which you see in other networks but each documentary tells a story or an advocacy in terms of cultural and environmental preservation. Islands Insider is a joint project with the Department of Tourism.

The places they featured are Batad Rice Terraces in Mountain Province, Coron in Palawan, Taal and Anilao in Batangas, Siquijor and Mt. Pulag in Benguet. We were able to watch 2 documentaries which were Batad Rice Terraces and Coron. I personally liked Coron because it featured the areas where tourists cannot access unless accompanied by a tour guide accepted by the Tagbanua tribe.

The documentaries that we were able to watch has a well-written script and has an astonishing cinematography. Listening to the words was already enough to make you feel that you are there.


Islands Insider premieres on June 23, 2012, 8:30pm at the National Geographic Channel. It is hosted by Ginggay Hontiveros and is directed by Gabriel Malvar. It is written by Gabriel Malvar and Froi Medina.

Harry Potter Exhibition in Singapore

Harry Potter Exhibition at the ArtScience Museum, Singapore
Harry Potter Exhibition in Singapore started last June 2, 2012 and will end on September 30, 2012

After hearing about the Harry Potter Exhibition in Australia where some of my friends went to and bought Harry Potter souvenirs, going there was all a dream to me. When I learned that the Harry Potter Exhibition is in Singapore, I became excited and planned to visit the ArtScience Museum last June 12.

Ticket Prices

Ticket Booth at the ArtScience Museum
Ticket booth inside the ArtScience Museum

Harry Potter Exhibition Only – 24 SGD (20 SGD for Singapore residents)
Harry Potter Exhibition + Andy Warhol 15 Minutes Eternal – 28 SGD (24 SGD for Singapore residents)

Senior Citizen (65 years old and above)
Harry Potter Exhibition Only – 21 SGD (18 SGD for Singapore residents)
Harry Potter Exhibition + Andy Warhol 15 Minutes Eternal – 27 SGD (23 SGD for Singapore residents)

Children (2-12 years old)
Harry Potter Exhibition Only – 14 SGD (13 SGD for Singapore residents)
Harry Potter Exhibition + Andy Warhol 15 Minutes Eternal – 16 SGD (14 SGD for Singapore residents)

If you are an Andy Warhol fan, I suggest for you to include this rather than going to the Andy Warhol 15 Minutes Eternal on a separate day.

Please note that All-Access Pass and Singapore resident tickets are available in the Marina Bay Sands Box offices. We bought our tickets at the ArtScience Museum and the queue is very short since it’s a weekday.

You may also purchase your tickets online at the Marina Bay Sands Ticketing Portal

Picture Taking

Flying Ford Anglia at Harry Potter Exhibition - 1
Flying Ford Anglia

Picture taking is not allowed inside the exhibition area but you can still bring your camera with you. Thus, make the most of your visit by having your pictures taken with it. All Harry Potter Exhibition visitors will be asked to have their photos taken by the staff of the ArtScience Museum staff. You will be given a Gryffindor Scarf and a wand for the picture taking. You will be given a claim stub. If ever you like your photo, of course, you need to pay for it. 😀

Inside the Exhibition Area

Harry Potter movie posters at Harry Potter Exhibition - 2
Harry Potter movie posters

One thing that you would love to probably experience inside is to get sorted. Two kids who got sorted chose Gryffindor which I think is what would most kids prefer hehe. If you’re first in the line to get in, you should volunteer yourself. 😀

The tour is not guided. You will explore on your own. I haven’t tried the optional audio guide that they provide for a fee (12 SGD). But if you have the money to spend, try it. 😀 You will be provided with a gadget where you will be able to listen to the narrations. You have to return it at the end of the exhibition.

I guess it will take you around one hour to explore. This will depend on how long do you explore sections of the exhibition.

Souvenir Shopping

Souvenirs from the Harry Potter Exhibition
Various souvenirs

There are a lot of things to buy in the Harry Potter Exhibition. There are shirts, hoodies, scarves, mugs, etc. I think it’s worth it to purchase a wand (the authentic replica and not the toy wand). Each wand costs 75 SGD. I got the Albus Dumbledore wand. It comes in a box with a little document inside verifying its authenticity. 😉

I also got a Chocolate Frog. The Chocolate Frog contains one piece of chocolate with krispies and a hologram card. Another goodie that you should purchase is the Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. It has weird flavors such as Vomit, Soap, Dirt, Booger, etc. 😀

ArtScience Museum

Marina Bay Sands and Helix Bridge - 3

The ArtScience museum is just easy to spot. It’s just outside The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. The lotus-shaped structure on the right is the ArtScience Museum. Isn’t it a beauty? 🙂 The ArtScience Museum is open daily, from 10am to 10pm (including public holidays).

10 Bayfront Avenue
Singapore 018956
(65) 6688 8868

Church of the Angry Christ in Victorias, Negros Occidental

Inside Church of the Angry Christ - 3

Inside the Church of the Angry Christ

Victorias in Negros Occidental is popular because of the Victorias Milling Company, the largest sugar mill in the Philippines and the largest combined sugar mill and refinery in the whole world. This made Negros Occidental the “Sugarbowl Capital” of the Philippines. Its popularity came into a downfall after the Japanese occupation in the 1940’s but was able to slowly revive itself in the 1990’s.

Read more…

Appreciating Art and Heritage in Pagburnayan

Pottery Makers at Pagburnayan

Pagburnayan is a small barangay in Vigan, Ilocos Sur that is famous for clay pots and earthenwares which is popularly known as burnay jars. In this barangay, you can find here a lot of potteries. Before, they only use these jars for storage of basi, vinegar, rice, water, etc.

We were only able to visit Ruby Pottery. We went there via a calesa from the city proper of Vigan.

How to make a burnay jar

At Pagburnayan

First, they let a carabao stomp in a hole full of red clay. After the texture of the clay is consistently fine, the potters get mounds of clay. The size of the mound of the clay that the potters get depends on the size of the jar/pot that they will make. Before they put the clay on the potter’s wheel, they put some sand on it so that it won’t stick. After placing the mound of clay, they will turn around the potter’s wheel using their foot. Simultaneously, they mold the clay using their hands. They do it until they have achieved their desired shape, size and texture.

Making a Pot at Pagburnayan - 6

After that, the jar/pot will be dried first (about a day) before putting inside the kiln. These jars are baked for three days (at 1200 degrees Celsius). Then, the jars will be removed from the kiln and shall be cooled down for 20-22 hours or until it hardens.

Pots at Pagburnayan

Visitors in these potteries may also experience making a jar or a pot. We were offered by the potter if we wanted to try but we declined because we didn’t want to get our hands dirty. Hehe. 😀

These beautiful burnay jars just show the quality of Filipino craftsmanship.