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7 Most Instagrammable Places in Shanghai, China

Instagram addict? A trip to Shanghai will make a photographer out of you. If you are visiting Shanghai for the first time, check out my version of my seven most Instagrammable places in Shanghai.

The Bund
The Bund is a waterfront area in Central Shanghai. The area along the river faces the modern skyscrapers of Lujiazui in the Pudong District. The Bund usually refers to the buildings and wharves on this section of the road. It is one of the most famous tourist destination in Shanghai.



Enchanted Story Book Castle (Shanghai Disneyland)
This castle is the centerpiece of the Shanghai Disneyland Park which opened in June 2016. The castle is the first to represent the Disney Princesses, contrary to other parks. It is also the tallest Disney castle ever built.



Yuyuan Garden
Yu Garden is composed of six scenic areas: Sansui Hall, Wanhua Chamber, Dianchun Hall, Huijing Hall, Yuhua Hall, and the Inner Garden. The highlights of the garden are classical Chinese architecture, exquisite sculptures and carvings and the busy Yuyuan Bazaar.



Yioulai Shanghai Shopping Village
Shanghai takes shopping to a new level. Ready to shop 'till you drop? 
Yi Ou Lai is China's first luxury shopping tourism destination of its kid. With more than 80 boutiques spanning over the huge area where you can find the best deals for luxury brands and unexpected discounts during final reductions.



Transparent Observatory (Orient Pearl Tower)
The only all 360 degrees glass panels observatory in the world. You can also challenge yourself by walking through the 150-meter long corridor while keeping your eyes looking down through the transparent glass floor.



Chenghuangmiao Market
This market is located in Shanghai's old town surrounded by ancient Chinese buildings. The complex consists of tourist and shopping areas and is known as a "paradise for tourist" to get handicrafts and Shanghai local snacks.


Xintiandi
Located in the center of Shanghai City, it has become an urban attraction that holds historical and cultural legacies of the city. It is a fashionable pedestrian street composed of Shikumen and modern architecture style.



Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery : The Only Underground Cemetery in the Philippines

“It’s creepy. It’s eerie. And why would I like my photos taken underground with the dead? Pang- IG ba?”, my daughter asked me.

“Then let’s see”, I said.

My daughters stayed inside the car while hubby and I together with some friends crossed the street from the gasoline station where we parked. “Ayaw talaga!”

Greeted us is the baroque arched gate and stoned walls embellished with iron grills. There’s this “Intramuros  feels” in it and I said this is a good spot where I can I have my photos taken. “Finally, mapapalitan na ang Cover Photo!”


It’s 9 am and there was no other tourist except us. Somebody approached us, which I believed from the tourism office because he acts as our tour guide and lead us inside the church which is a chamber.



After death.
A photo gallery entitled “Recuerdos de Patay” is strategically located inside the church. Reading at the information about the “Recuerdos de Patay”, it says that the photos are a good source on reconstructing the people’s mental template on death and afterlife. The photos show not only the culture’s valuing of afterlife (ie. kabilang buhay), but also the deep perception by Filipino about life as whole.

Napaisip ako dun.



Underworld.
Domed ceiling, bricks, adobe and river stoned walls in complex patterns can be seen inside the chamber. And yes, from the stairs going down the chamber made me chill a bit.  I feel like I am a character from a movie about underworld, occult, and exorcism. My husband has been telling me, “mabigat ano? na-feel mo yun?”

I guess he was referring to that creepy feeling. It was dark, and the thought of being inside a cemetery with the remains of dead people in the 18th century is something not fun, but scary. “Pinoy eh!”

After a test shot from my mobile phone, the lighting is just perfect. “Picture-an na!”



Not your ordinary cemetery.

Dubbed as the only underground cemetery in the country, the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery or the Libingan sa Ilalim ng Lupa ng Nagcarlan is a national historical landmark and museum in Brgy. Bambang, Nagcarlan Laguna supervised by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.


Built in 1845 and was established as a public burial site. But despite of its being a public cemetery, its underground crypt is exclusively for Spanish friars and elite Catholic family during that time.

There are no entrance fees to pay. The Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery is open on Tuesdays to Sundays 8:00am to 4:00pm.

Pwede bang magpicture? Yes. You may take photos but these should be for your personal use only. No flash photography allowed.
  


What are the Requirements for Chinese Visa (for Philippine Passport Holders) ?

Before buying that down jacket you’re crazy about and booking that 5-star hotel in Nanjing you’ve been dreaming of, be sure to get first a Chinese visa.

Most Filipinos get intimated easily in getting visas because of the fear of being disapproved. Sayang nga naman ang processing fee if ma-disapprove lang. But the reality is, that fear and or anxiety is coming from the lack of information.

Photo Credit : Leriza Catiis - Castro
Lamang ang may alam, as they say is actually true!

Let me guide you on the steps to be taken and the requirements to be submitted for a tourist visa for China (for Philippine passport holders).


For Philippine Passport Holder – First Time Applicant

1. Application form

2. 2 pieces photo (please see photo specification below)

3. Original valid passport

4. If valid passport was issued 2014 onwards, need to submit most recent old passport.

5. IF EMPLOYED, Original Certificate of Employment plus photocopy of latest ITR or BIR FORM 2316 & photocopy of company ID

6. If with BUSINESS, photocopy of Business Name Reg./DTI/SEC plus latest company ITR

7. Original Bank Certification of with official receipt/debit memo/certification of waived fee. The type of account which is acceptable are savings and current account from commercial or rural banks only and the account should be opened at least 6 months prior to applying for visa. The account should have an average daily balance and to-date/current balance of at least Php 100,000.00 per applicant.

The Bank Cert. should indicate the following:

·         Account Opening Date
·         Type of Account
·         Average Daily Balance and to Date / Current Balance
·         With Check Write
·         In addition to Bank Certificate, submit the original Bank Statement or Passbook of the said account detailing transaction for the last 6 months

8.  Airline confirmation

9.  Hotel confirmation

10. For those working in Non-Government Organizations (NGO), Religious organizations, Media, Entertainment Industry (Talents & Production Crew), Seafarer/Vessel Crew, submit guarantee letters from the applicant and form his company/employer. Both letters must state that the applicant will not conduct any task related to his profession/job, that the trip is for tourism purposes only and that he will fully abide the laws of the Chinese government.
  

For Philippine Passport Holder – With previous Visa (previous visa is used and issued within the last 10 years)

1.    Application form

2.    2 pieces photo (please see photo specification below)

3.    Original valid passport

4.    If valid passport was issued 2014 onwards, need to submit most recent old passport.

5.    Original passport with previous China Visa if current passport has none

6.    Airline confirmation

7.     Hotel confirmation


After you have the requirements ready, head to the embassy which is located at

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
2nd floor, The World Center
330 Senator Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City
Visa Application Hours :  9 am to 11 am, from Monday to Friday

or you can call your travel agency to assist you in the application which comes with a minimal fee of course.

Basic Fees and visa processing
The usual processing time is 4 days. The fees are:
  • Single Entry: P1,400
  • Double Entry: P2,100
  • Six Months Multiple Entry: P2,800
  • More than Six Months Multiple Entry: P4,200
I didn’t have any problems with my visa application, the process is simple for as long as you have to present all the requirements and avoid the usual “pwede nayan”.
 Photo Specification

Celebrate 2017 National Music Week with the NAMCYA

The National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA) National Finals Week coincides with the National Music Week celebrations on the last week of November.

To be held on November 21-26, 2017, the Cultural Center of the Philippines shall welcome young artists, musicians, trainors, and teachers who have reached the finals level in a nationwide competition that started early this year. Six ensembles presenting their region’s local traditions will also be presented in the Traditional Music Concert.

With generous support from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the week-long events will include competitions, outreach performances, and culminating and awarding concerts for solo instrument winners and group winners. Newly-Commissioned Works by Filipino composers will also be premiered during the Final Competitions.

The NAMCYA 2017 Finals Week Schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, November 21, 2017
2:00 PM Opening Ceremonies, CCP Little Theater
5:00 PM Senior Woodwinds, CCP Little Theater
5:00 PM Senior Piano, CCP Main Theater

Wednesday, November 22, 2017
5:00 PM Senior Voice, CCP Little Theater
5:00 PM Senior Strings, CCP Main Theater

Thursday, November 23, 2017
2:00 PM Children's Solo Rondalla Instrument, CCP Little Theater
5:00 PM Youth Rondalla Ensemble, CCP Main Theater

Friday, November 24, 2017
5:00 PM Children's Choir and Adult Choir, CCP Main Theater
6:00 PM Weeknights@6: Outreach Performance, Rizal Park Open Air Auditorium

Saturday, November 25, 2017
10:00 AM Traditional Music Concert, CCP Little Theater
5:00 PM Concert of Solo Instrument Winners, CCP Little Theater

Sunday, November 26, 2017
5:00 PM Concert of Group Winners and Closing Ceremonies, CCP Main Theater


Admission is free for all events. For inquiries, please call the NAMCYA Secretariat at (02) 836-4928 / 836-4929 or visit www.namcya.com and our Social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  #galingNAMCYA #NAMCYA2017

Yellow Fin Seafood Restaurant : Lamian Nga Imo Gyud Balikan

A trip to Davao would not be complete without sampling their seafood, particularly their tuna. Thank you to our gracious host Mr. Boy Angeles for inviting our team for dinner at Yellow Fin Seafood Restaurant.

Yellow Fin Seafood Restaurant is strategically located at Quimpo Boulevard, Matina, Davao City. You can find great selections of seafood here cooked in different Filipino style dishes. 

The Place
Just 2 minutes walk from Viajeros Inn, you can already have a taste of Davao on a plate. You will be welcomed with a  karendirya /cafeteria-style dining, take more steps and you can see their separate air-conditioned dining area for customers who preferred that restaurant feel.

The restaurant also features a photo gallery of "Old Davao" which adds to that "mala-museum appeal". Yellow Fin is indeed a pride of Davao.





The Food
For starters, we had imbao soup - a clear clam soup with ginger and lemongrass. It's light and refreshing and a perfect starter for a seafood main dish. A clam soup for the soul.

If you love seafood, then the seafood platter is perfect for you. The plate is filled with an assortment of seafood, such as Tuna Belly, Pusit, Shell fish and the famous "Bagaybay" (a local term for fish sperm....wahhh!) smothered in garlicky buttery goodness that melts in your mouth.

The sizzling meat platter is also to die for. Filled with beef, pork, chicken bathed in that special gravy sauce. Sauce palang ulam na!
Another best-seller is their Tuna Buntot. The locals loves that "litid" part of the tuna buntot. Pero hinay hinay din sa pagkain, it's more on the fatty side and like eating that crispy pata litid.



They also offer a variety of fresh fruits shakes too. We had durian, pomelo, apple, cucumber and mango shakes.


Daghang Salamat Yellow Fin Seafood Restaurant. Lamian Nga Imo Gyud Balikan!

ABOUT YELLOW FIN SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
Yellow Fin Seafood Restaurant is a family-owned business based in Davao City, Philippines.

Serving a wide variety of fresh seafood and Filipino dishes and is now noted by many as the pride of Davao City.

Yellow Fin, Deliciously Davao!


Yellow Fin - Ecoland branch
Address: Sandawa Plaza, Quimpo Blvd., Ecoland, Davao City
Telephone: (+6382) 297-8777, (+6382) 298-0299
Operating Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-2pm; 5pm-9:30pm; Sunday-Closed

Yellow Fin - Torres branch
Address: F. Torres St., Prime Square II, Davao City
Telephone: (+6382) 222-0338
Operating Hours: Mon-Sun 10am-2pm; 5pm-9:30pm

Yellow Fin - Jetti Lanang branch
Address: JP Laurel Ave., Davao City (Fronting SM Lanang Premier)
Telephone: (+6382) 234-4255
Operating Hours: Mon-Sun 10am-2pm; 5pm-9:30pm

Yellow Fin - Phoenix Lanang branch (near Grand Regal Hotel)