Manila Life

Awesome Festivals

HOT AIR BALLOON: Awesome Guide to the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta!

By Abigail Javellana

20th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 
The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival set at the Philippine Air Force ADAC Hangar in Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga. The fiesta is held during Thursday to Sunday on the weekend near Valentines.

This longest-running sports and aviation festivity isn't just a weekend of everything that flies. There will be four full days of flying activities including hot air ballooning, aerobatic exhibitions, skydiving, powered paragliding, aviation formation, search and rescue flight demonstrations, and balloon bursting, among other aviation spectacles—await attendees and participants to the highly anticipated event.

Did we mention it's also a good romantic spot for your Valentines get away? 🙂

Here's our guide on how you can make the most of your trip to Clark…

Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, Clark Freeport zone, Pampanga
Festival Date:
Feb 11-14, 2016 
Contact Number: +6328512450


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Awesome Festivals, Food

Anyeonghaseo: An Introduction to the Food and Culture of Korea

Korean culture has long been a subject of international interest since the Halyu, or Korean Wave, of the 2000’s. Everywhere from music, fashion, technology, and food has found its way into the norm of the Filipino palate and style.

The Korean mainstream was introduced through telenovelas on our local airwaves, which grew in popularity due to the new style of storytelling. The fascination towards these telenovelas fueled the interest in Korean music, food, and culture.

Check out the introduction into the Korean culture in this basic guide to their entertainment, food, and drinks.

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Awesome Festivals

ASEAN Tourism Forum Recap: ASEAN Integration to Boost Philippines Tourism!

ASEAN Tourism Forum
This year's ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) held in Manila from January 18 to 25, 2016 with this year's theme "One Community for Sustainability", a cooperative effort aimed at promoting the region as a single tourist destination.

The annual event involves all the tourism industry sectors of the 10 member nations of ASEAN: Brunei, Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam to discuss innovations, trends, and developments in the tourism industry and facilitate joint policy formulations to accelerate the growth of the region's tourism.

Here are the Philippines development plans to increase tourist arrivals, highlighted during the ASEAN Tourism Forum.

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Awesome Festivals

The Feast of the Black Nazarene: A Display of Pure Devotion

The Feast of the Black Nazarene is the largest religious procession in the country, garnering nearly twelve million pilgrims yearly.

Taking place on every January 9, a life sized, centuries old wooden sculpture of Jesus bearing a cross is displayed through the streets of Quiapo. Barefoot attendees clad in red and gold frantically flock to the statue and attempt to touch it hopes of receiving its blessings of healing, protection, and good health. The procession can last up to 20 hours, with some devotees walking alongside it for the entirety of the parade!

The Feast of the Black Nazarene, or TranslacĂ­on, has its fair share of casualties due to the duration and scale of the event. A combination of heat, fatigue, or the danger of being trampled to death is not farfetched. The parade is spectacle one has to experience at least once in their lifetime.

Read more about Team OAP’s experience at The Feast of the Black Nazarene 2016 in this photo essay…

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New Year's Eve Party in Manila

New Year’s Eve Manila 2016: Awesome Guide to a Dazzling New Year!

12/26/2019: New Year’s Eve Party Ideas: Manila Countdown to 2020!

UntitledNew Year’s Eve is never complete without a dazzling display of fireworks, fantastic food, and music to usher partygoers into the New Year.

If you love to eat, you can welcome 2016 at Discovery Primea Makati’s “Glitter & Gold” 4-course set menu with champagne to toast, Diamond Hotel’s delicious Corniche Buffet, or Vask’s NYE Special. Should you want free flowing Dom Perignon, Spiral Buffet at Sofitel Plaza Manila offers guests a special package dinner so you can toast all you can!

If you’re more into the club scene, you can catch the Bass Jackers at Chaos, City of Dreams Manila or take a dip at The Palace Pool Club’s New Year’s Eve Ball. If that’s not your style, then you could revel in the color of the year at Pangaea’s New Year’s Eve White Party, Sofitel’s Venice-Themed New Year’s Extravaganza: Canaval Venetzia, or Discovery Ortigas’ “Live to Tell”, a New Year’s Eve party featuring Madonna’s best hits!

You can catch some awesome local acts at Eastwood’s New Year Countdown featuring stars like Rico Blanco, Christian Bautista, and some of Manila’s best DJ’s. 

Here’s a handy guide to some of the best places to go for this New Year’s Eve…

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Awesome Festivals

“Ligligan Parul” 2015: Solidarity through Light & Song at San Fernando, Pampanga

“Ligligan Parul”, or the Giant Lantern Festival is held every December at San Fernando, Pampanga—starting December 19 up until January 6. These intricate structures nearly 20 feet in diameter are brilliant displays of the city’s century old lantern-making heritage.

This year, 11 barangays (San Jose, Santa Lucia, Dolores, Santo Niño, San Juan, Telebastagan, Del Pilar, Calulut, Sindalan, Pandaras, and San Nicolas) have participated at this colorful showdown of the best giant lantern in Pampanga!

San Fernando, Pampanga
Facebook: GiantLantern

Read on to learn more about Team OAP’s experience at “Ligligan Parul” 2015…

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Attractions, Manila Life

Gandiva Archery Range & Café: Living with a Fit Mind and Body at @GandivaPH

By Abigail Javellana

Read More: Here are… 10 Most Fun Activities in Manila (2016 Edition)! @TourismPHL


The Gandiva Archery Range & Café provides an alternative experience to sports fanatics and hobbyists of different levels. Situated at the heart of the city in Ortigas, archers can find peace of mind and relieve the stresses from hustle and bustle of metro life.

Their complementary Gandiva Café offers a range of flavorful and nutritious vegetarian dishes for a fit mind and body.

Read on to find out more about OAP’s shooting and dining experience at Gandiva…

Unit 703-705 One Corporate Center, Julia Vargas Cor. Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City Philippines
Telephone Number: +638-8771 / 638-4549
Twitter: @GandivaPH
Instagram: @GandivaPH

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Awesome Festivals

What would it Take for Filipino Home Cooks to Win in MasterChef Asia? @LifetimeAsia

Hong kong Disneyland Day 2-105.jpg

Congratulations to Woo Wai Leong and Singapore for winning the first ever Master Chef Asia title, $50,000 cash prize, and his very own cookbook! He beat 14 competitors and his roommate, Malaysian finalist Marcus in a 3-round finale battle that he dominated throughout. 

I loved the pressure test involving the Mango Snowball by Chef Gaggan Anand, where they have to create a mango mousse frozen by liquid nitrogen using only three ingredients–mango, chocolate, and cream. 

Lica from the Philippines finished in the Top 9 where she got eliminated during episode 8's Hawker challenge at the Changi Airport. She showed leadership and was a favorite among fans of the show. Jake and Rico were the first Filipinos to get eliminated in the show. (Read more: 3 Pinoys to Compete for the Title @MasterChefAsia)

Here are the things that I learned from watching the 15-episode series and from interviewing Lica on what it would take for Filipino Home Cooks to win in the next MasterChef Asia…

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Awesome Festivals

VIRTUAL VOYAGE: Ocular Rifts and Sci-Fi Mystery Room Challenge @MysteryManila

By Abigail Javellana

Mystery Manila is a simulated game experience that challenges you and a maximum of 5 friends to bring out your inner Sherlock Holmes and solve a mystery within 60 minutes.

We tried one of Mystery Manila’s new room in Century City Mall called Virtual Voyage. We played the roles of being volunteers in an experimental program to test the boundaries of virtual reality. Unfortunately, the experiment went wrong and we needed to find a way to escape back to reality or forever be trapped in limbo.

Mystery Manila – Century City Mall
Unit L305 3rd Floor Century City Mall,
Kalayaan Ave. cor. Salamanca St, Brgy. Poblacion,
1210 Makati City , Philippines.
Telephone: +632 718 92 51
Mobile: +63 917 820 64 69
Operating Hours:
Mondays to Fridays: 1.00pm to 9.30pm
Holidays/Saturdays/Sundays: 9.00am to 930pm

Mystery Manila Series:

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