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Where to go in 2018

Happy New Year! The beginning of the year is the best time to plan for our next getaway. That's because planning something we look forward to always uplifts our spirit, especially during the cold, winter months when we're burrowed under heavy blankets. But the winter months also present the best time to travel when airfares are lower, the tourists and travelers are at home and are back to work/school and therefore, most destinations are free of crowds. You don't have to fight the crowds. Absolutely Elysian.
Our favorite guidebooks and travel magazines have a list of places to explore in 2018 to help our decision making. Here are some of the links to visit:
Afar Magazine 18 Places to go in 2018 https://www.afar.com/magazine/18-places-to-go-in-2018

Condé Nast Traveler 18 Best Places to Travel in 2018 https://www.cntraveler.com/gallery/best-places-to-travel-in-2018
Fodor's Go List 2018 https://www.fodors.com/news/photos/fodors-go-list-2018
Lonely Planet Top 10 Countries to Visit …

After Christmas Sunset 2017

Every year, on December 26, I've taken photos of the sun rising from my front door. I woke up late this year and missed it but I was lucky enough to see the sunset from my favorite spot in Central California. 


"May every sunrise hold more promise And every sunset hold more peace."  Anonymous
I hope everyone had a happy Christmas day.
*****
Images by TravelswithCharie

More fun things to do in Capiz

Just when I thought I've explored Capiz enough, I'm finding more places worth seeking and memorable experiences to share with friends. Some places hit me with nostalgia like the ruins of the railway bridge approach, others with complete surprise (La Playa Beach and Marugo Lake). These new discoveries inspire me to hit the dusty roads to hunt for more local color.
These hardwood pylons supported the approach to a railway bridge in Duyoc, Dao. This was constructed in 1910 and the railway extended for 117 kilometers from Capiz to Iloilo. Passenger service operations ended in 1985. Buses and private utility vehicles (PUV) now ply the highway between these two provinces.
These ruins are on McKinley Street in Duyoc, Dao.
There are so many beaches in Capiz but La Playa stands out for its serene surroundings. It's far from the noise and crowds of the city. If you appreciate a quiet time and a beach to yourself, this is the place to go.
Pilar is an hour by private car from Roxas City a…

Celebrating Thanksgiving in the Philippines

Far away from California and longing to celebrate Thanksgiving, I decided to invite a few close friends and family to my Thanksgiving luncheon. I had never had a boodle fight meal and had wanted to experience it so I decided to have a boodle fight on the beach at Bitoy's. It was so nice of them to accommodate my group with less than 24 hours’ notice before the event. And the result was everything I could have hoped for.

I had reserved for 10 people and this is how much food we got.  It sure was a table of plenty. We had oysters, shrimp, milkfish, chicken, eggplant, okra, fried banana, green mango, tomatoes, shrimp paste and rice. I had also brought with me the alimasag (baby crab) we bought at the beach in Ivisan the day before. Guests brought several kinds of dessert including guinataan*, brazo de Mercedes and various kinds of Philippine kakanin (delicacies). Needless to say, we lingered over lunch and slowly savored what was on the table before us.
The simple protocol of boodle fi…

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Pan-ay

Christmas arrives early in the Philippines. When the months end in ber, Christmas songs are heard at malls and over the radio. In October, the TV stations start the countdown to Christmas and stores start displaying Christmas trees. And in November, the Christmas decorations are installed in town plazas such as this one in Pan-ay, Capiz. 
Santa Monica Church is a National Historical Landmark.
When the temperatures dip a couple degrees, Christmas has truly arrived. Pan-ay, a 20-minute ride by car or public transportation from Roxas, is ready to usher in one of the biggest celebrations in the country. 
There is a famous Pilipino Christmas carol that you'll hear a lot, Ang Pasko ay sumapit. It goes,
Ang pasko ay sumapit Tayo ay mangagsi-awit Ng magagandang himig Dahil sa Diyos ay pag-ibig Christmas is here Let us sing Beautiful melodies Because Christ is love.
This bell is a replica of one of the biggest bells in Southeast Asia. Many visitors visit Pan-ay to see its huge bell in the campanile wh…

Nara, the Ancient Capital of Japan

As I sleep
Facing the city,
My Buddhas
Stand even in my dreams
On an autumn night. Aizu Yaichi, Poet, historian, calligrapher 1891-1956

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Arashiyama has the distinction as being both a Historic Site and Place of Scenic Beauty. It shares its name with the mountain that creates a lovely setting to this popular destination.Sakura or cherry blossoms in the spring, the red and golden colors of autumn leaves and snow on the slopes of Arashiyama in winter enhance the beauty of the landscape through the changing seasons.