A colorful ceremony on Thursday night May 7,2015 formalized the status of Vigan City in Ilocos Sur, Phils. as one of the world’s New7Wonders Cities.
The inauguration was held at the St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral grounds, with a bronze plaque presented to the city’s officials by the New 7 Wonders Foundation.
Established in the 16th century, its architecture echoes the fusion of cultural elements from the Philippines, China and Europe, creating a city that is without equal in Asia.
ItalsodescribedVigan as “the best-preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia. It is also a certified Heritage City in Asia.
Other than Vigan, the New7Wonders Cities are:
- Beirut, Lebanon
- Doha, Qatar
- Durban, South Africa
- Havana, Cuba
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- La Paz, Bolivia
Escape becomes the order of the day: Resorts provide all the relaxation you need.
The hustle and bustle correlated to city living is one that you expect when moving from your quiet hometown.The stimulation of crowds and horrible traffic generate energy that challenges the human spirit. It is a generally accepted notion that the city dweller reflects the image of a moody, stressed and unfriendly person. And you are no longer the countryman that is depicted as calm, relaxed and friendly because you have moved to a city where you may have been lured by a lucrative job offer from a leading company.Take the time off! Experience something relaxing.That’s what we did by going into a spa resort in a town in Oman called Barka.A good 30-min ride from Muscat will take you to this forest look resort with a string of cottages lining up the edges of this countryside spa resort within a country that has a typical hot arabian desert temperature.The package of course included a massage to all guests from a well trained staff that gave us a truly soothing and relaxing experience.While I am not saying that citylife is not good.It’s the opposite of course because modern society living is what city life is. Activities galore in the city but city life is more challenging and it carries a heavy price.Worst of all, the most expensive component of life in the city is the toll it takes on your body through stress. Stress is present with every waking moment in the city. The multitudes of people, unstoppable traffic, rigid work schedules never let up. The air is filthy. The carbon monoxide emitted by thousands of vehicles overwhelm what little green life remains to clean the air. Brain and body are continuously bombarded by environmental pollutant that diminish the human spirit. Opportunities to relax are few and short. Stress builds up. Quality of life declines.The city dweller looks forward to a day out of the city. Escape becomes the order of the day. Each move to the outer boundaries of the urban environment makes life a little more peaceful. The move (vacation leave or permanent) to the country is the greatest move of all.Peaceful is the most succinct description of the country. The night is refreshingly quiet. Soft insect noises and the plaintive call of an owl or frog rule the stillness.Leaves are strewn all over the places. No heavy traffic, no sirens, no rush of the “madding crowd.” Life is simple and calming. The country offers advantages to the harried city dweller that can reduce stress, induce health, and reharges your body.
Inside the Al Nahda Resort and Spa.The driveway network for golf cart users, promenaders, joggers and bikers.Beautiful trees abound—–Very homey atmosphere.Birds are chirping nearby and the smell is naturely fresh. Continue reading A place to relax.It’s more than what we wished for.
T’was a very memorable eid holiday this year for our entourage who motored inland towards an arid atmosphere in the Batinah region of Oman to try something different — a deviation from the normal , sightseeing or road travel that we are used to doing most of the time and this time we wanted to get into action.Riding— at the expense of what used to be man’s primary mode of transport in the desert – the gangly cud-chewer and unpredictably behaving camel.While almost everyone everywhere is acquainted with horseback riding, I guess the other way around is true for camel riding, probably because the camels do thrive in the hot desert sun in the arabian peninsula to as far as the northern middle east countries and not so much on the colder environments around the globe.Camels sad to say,are generally reputed to be bad-tempered and stubborn animals but that doesn’t hold true in reality.The camel farm that we visited,huge as it was, as far as the eye can see enabled us to experience how it was to be in touch and understand more about the behaviour of this slow-paced moving ruminants at 5 kph/hr strides.In reality they tend to be good- tempered,very intelligent and very patient.Each one of us were treated to a first class display of patience by the animals.So patient…they wouldn”t stand until riders are fully mounted.The constant moaning and barking sound they create when they’re loaded up and have to rise to their strong knees and wide feet [to prevent them from sinking in the sand] is like the grunting and heavy breathing of a weight-lifter in action, not a sign of refusal at having to do some work.Staying on a little longer and touring the place with the very warm and hospitable owner( a Sheik),chatting and interviewing the people maintaining the farm,doing our own baby-feeding by extending grass to their big mouths [some refused our extended arms] and giving them water to drink.As we readied for home we were thinking about our next camel riding schedule in some future time.Camels! Be ready next time we’re coming back!
If you are wondering how deep this sinkhole is, the locals say it is a good 20m deep at its lowest point.Thank goodness, our time was not wasted to visit this sink hole located somewhere along the coastal road going to Sur.What’s more,its within walking distance from the parking lot. Not really tiring.There are restrooms/shower rooms provided for those who want to take a swim at the Dibab Lake Park.