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Vigan City Named One of Asia’s Top 13 Most Picturesque Towns

There are thousands of cities spread across the 48 countries in Asia. Thus, it is an honor for Vigan City to be picked among Asia’s top 13 most picturesque towns!

And while many of the towns and cities picked on the list showcased rugged mountains, beautiful rice paddies and countryside views, and tropical islands, Vigan City stands out with its gorgeous Spanish colonial-era architecture, the best you can find in Asia.

Photo credit: Irvin Parco Sto. Tomas [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Established in 1572 by Spanish colonizers, it is not surprising that the city features a lot of Spanish colonial-era architecture. But what is impressive is that the city was able to preserve many of these centuries-old infrastructures, most of which are placed around the city square.

The city owes its beautifully planned out structure to Conquistador Juan de Salcedo developed a grid-like plan that mapped out where everything should be placed. Set in the center of town, the white and yellow St. Paul’s Cathedral is a focal point that you should not miss when visiting this beautiful city. In front is Plaza Salcedo, the city’s central square.

Photo credit: Jesstine Co [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Around the park are many colonial buildings that are landmarks in their own right. Truly a picturesque place, there are plenty of picture-perfect spots across the city for the best Instagram post.

When in Vigan, don’t ever miss a tour of Calle Crisologo just a short walk from Plaza Salcedo. With kalesas (horse-drawn carriages) that actually offer rides and tours, you feel like you are transported back in time as you pass the well-preserved heritage houses along this old street that features cobblestone paths.

Photo credit: Joelaldor [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo credit: Negdelacruz [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Day or night, this place is magical. It is easy to envision Spanish conquestadors and beautiful mestizas still taking a stroll along this centuries-old calle, admiring the grand mansions.

Asia’s Top 13 Most Picturesque Towns

A UNESCO World Heritage City, Vigan City is truly a great place to visit. Its inclusion on the list makes it an even more exciting place to add on your bucket list.

The towns and cities that made it to the list, in alphabetical order:

  • City of Vigan, Philippines
  • Galle, Sri Lanka
  • George Town, Malaysia
  • Ghandruk, Nepal
  • Hoi An, Vietnam
  • Kampot, Cambodia
  • Kota Gede, Indonesia
  • Luang Prabang, Laos
  • Mawlynnong, India
  • Phuket Town, Thailand
  • Sai Kung, Hong Kong
  • Yufuin, Japan
  • Zhouzhuang, China

Lifestyle

Ninang Makes Netizens Laugh after Drawing Paper Money as Gifts for Godchildren this Christmas

It has long been a tradition in the Philippines for ‘ninongs’ and ‘ninangs’ to give gifts to their ‘inaanaks’ (godchildren) for Christmas and other special occasions, particularly on birthdays. But it has also been a long-standing joke that ‘ninongs’ and ‘ninangs’ hide from their ‘inaanaks’ during these occasions because they can’t give a gift.

One ‘ninang’ recently went viral for finding the perfect ‘life hack’ to not having money to give her ‘inaanaks’ – by drawing paper money that she plans to distribute to them this Christmas. LOL.

We aren’t so sure whether she is joking or not, but netizen MiMiHaizelle Joie Osaraga spent a lot of time making the drawings of the paper money, with bills ranging from Php20 to Php1,000!

Photo credit: MiMiHaizelle Joie Osaraga / Facebook

She even made the money look ‘close’ to the originals by copying features like the heroes on each bill, the appearance of the markings that show the bills’ value, and the increasing size of each bill’s serial numbers.

Of course, no ‘inaanak’ would be tricked into thinking these paper money bills are for real, but Osaraga had a rather important explanation for them.

“Mga inaanak pasensya na muna kayo eto lang na kayanan ni ninang wla crisis tayo kaya drawing nalang muna mahalaga nageffort si ninang magdrawing love kau ni ninang. Wag kayong malungkot ganyan din pera ko,” she posted with some laughing emojis and a peace sign.

A lot of netizens had a good laugh over the post, saying that this gave them an idea of what to do this Christmas! Instead of hiding from their godchildren, they would give them paper money, instead. Uh-oh…

Photo credit: Rosas Da Yanna / Facebook

But it turned out the drawing was originally done by netizen Rosas Da Yanna who posted the picture in September after jokingly asking friends whether they want to borrow some money from her.

What are Godchildren?

Godchildren are related to godparents after the latter stand as their second parents during a Christian baptism. While many see godparents as those who give gifts to their children, the real role of godparents is to be the second parents of their godchildren, guiding them in life.

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Lifestyle

Old Scavenger Goes Viral as She Takes Her Dogs While She Looks for Recyclable Trash

A poor scavenger who only had her dogs as her treasures recently went viral for taking these precious pets along as she roams the city to look for recyclable trash. Netizens expressed love over the photo, saying that this old lady truly loves her pets.

On Facebook page Marikina News (the original), netizen Joyce Garban shared a photo of Nanay Marina Galiya as she pushes her makeshift bicycle cart filled with sacks and boxes of trash she collected around the city.

With that much stuff on her sidecar, Nanay Marina was having a difficult time pushing the vehicle along, but she plods on. Closely following Nanay Marina are two of her favorite pets, her dogs who loyally accompany her wherever she goes.

According to Joyce, she asked Nanay Marina why she brings the dogs along and was told that the old lady feels that the dogs would be lonely if they are left in the house.

When asked about her situation, Nanay Marina said that she’s alright but Joyce feels that it would be better if the old lady could find help to improve how she collects the trash she has to bring to the junk  shop. A cart she could push would have been better because this one offered her very limited view of the road.

Photo credit: Marikina News (the original) / Joyce Garban 

Joyce hopes that in sharing Nanay Marina’s story, the old scavenger could find the help she needed. Perhaps some netizens might be able to give the old lady a cart or possibly the mayor could provide her with another form of livelihood. At her age, it is difficult for her to walk so far to find trash that she could bring to the junk shop.

God bless, Nanay Marina.

What is a Junk Shop?

A junk shop is a shop that sells secondhand goods. In the Philippines, however, this is also the shop that accepts recyclable materials from scavengers. Often, the scavengers are paid by kilogram of trash they are able to collect.

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Lifestyle

School with Green Environment that Makes Use of Native Cutlery in Canteen Goes Viral

These days, there’s a huge problem of having too much trash that makes the environment a sad place to live in for millions of animals that accidentally eat these items because they mistake these for food.

Photo credit: Rolly Caidic, Nino Bayanay, Ro Ann Bucayu – News5 / Facebook

In line with this, a school is going viral for the impressive way that it helps save the environment by using lots of green options that would actually be perfect to also do at home.

Photo credit: Rolly Caidic, Nino Bayanay, Ro Ann Bucayu – News5 / Facebook

Made from sawali, recycled wood, and bamboo sheets, the building in Papatahan Integrated National High School in Paete, Laguna sets the mood for a green environment where the students are taught to love and care for Mother Nature through example.

Photo credit: Rolly Caidic, Nino Bayanay, Ro Ann Bucayu – News5 / Facebook

Photo credit: Rolly Caidic, Nino Bayanay, Ro Ann Bucayu – News5 / Facebook

Inside the canteen, the food is placed on banana leaves and set on baskets. But the food is not just put on display in native containers, these are also served in native plates and bowls.

Photo credit: Rolly Caidic, Nino Bayanay, Ro Ann Bucayu – News5 / Facebook

Photo credit: Rolly Caidic, Nino Bayanay, Ro Ann Bucayu – News5 / Facebook

For plates, the kids get to use flat woven trays lined with banana leaves while the bowls are made from coconut shells.

Photo credit: Rolly Caidic, Nino Bayanay, Ro Ann Bucayu – News5 / Facebook

The spoons and other cutlery items are also made from either coconut shells are bamboo. Even the glasses and cups used for drinking are made from bamboo – and the straws are also created from native material!

Photo credit: Rolly Caidic, Nino Bayanay, Ro Ann Bucayu – News5 / Facebook

Photo credit: Rolly Caidic, Nino Bayanay, Ro Ann Bucayu – News5 / Facebook

These sustainable cutlery and tableware ensure that there’s zero plastic waste in the canteen. The children get to enjoy their food without adding pollutants to the environment.

Photo credit: Rolly Caidic, Nino Bayanay, Ro Ann Bucayu – News5 / Facebook

Photo credit: Rolly Caidic, Nino Bayanay, Ro Ann Bucayu – News5 / Facebook

Netizens are impressed with the school’s initiative, saying that more schools should also adapt this green environment to help save the Earth. While there are those who think that the kids might have a difficult time using alternative cutlery, others said that it is good that these kids are being trained to care for the environment and also live a simple life.

Photo credit: Rolly Caidic, Nino Bayanay, Ro Ann Bucayu – News5 / Facebook

Photo credit: Rolly Caidic, Nino Bayanay, Ro Ann Bucayu – News5 / Facebook

What is a Green Environment?

While many point out that the environment is green because of the trees and plants, the term ‘green environment’ is used for a place that makes use of good practices to help conserve the environment and keep it green.

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