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Archive for philippines

A Grand Parade in the Philippines

By Linda Tancs

Think Mardi Gras without the beads. On the third Sunday of January each year Cebu City in the Philippines (the oldest Spanish settlement in the country) brings to a close the nine-day Sinulog Festival with colorful parades and dancing to the beat of drums, trumpets and gongs. For the origins of this street party, look to the 1500s, when Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan planted a cross at Cebu and claimed the territory for Spain. He presented an image of the baby Jesus, the Santo Niño, to the island’s rulers, resulting in a conversion to Catholicism. The annual fiesta honors Santo Niño, and Magellan’s cross made of tindalo wood is a popular attraction in Cebu today. 

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Christmas Capital of the Philippines

By Linda Tancs

The Giant Lantern Festival in San Fernando, Philippines, is an annual event held on the Saturday preceding Christmas Eve. The spectacular lights have earned the city its moniker as “Christmas Capital of the Philippines.” Competition is fierce, and colored plastic lanterns are complemented by paper and fiberglass. This is where imagination really does soar.

A Natural Wonder in the Philippines

By Linda Tancs

Reputedly the world’s longest underground river, Puerto Princesa on Palawan Island in the Philippines winds its way through a cave before flowing directly into the South China Sea. A clear lagoon meets the cave’s mouth, surrounded by ancient trees dominated by monkeys, monitor lizards and squirrels. The navigable river is one of seven new natural wonders of the world. And to that the locals say Mabuhay!

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