Nikki Boncan-Buensalido

21 posts

Reliving Baguio

Nikki Boncan-BuensalidoABOUT midway through my pregnancy, I was able to secure permission from my doctor to accompany my husband up to Baguio. Initially, he was planning to be in and out of Baguio within a day but I was advised against it, so we stayed overnight instead. Twenty-four hours in Baguio is not enough, I must say, but the trip was nevertheless a good break since it took us away from the city—and never mind that Baguio itself has become a highly urbanized city.

9/11: A tribute to New York

Nikki Boncan-BuensalidoFOURTEEN years ago, I was a senior high-school student. The day of September 11, 2001, I woke up and thought it was just another day at school, but when I entered the classroom, I heard talks about a plane crash. Throughout the day, I remember our teachers taking time out of our regular subjects to explain to us what had happened. Two commercial Boeing 767 jets had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York, and another crash near the Pentagon had also been reported. These were not just any other plane crash. They were a terrorist attack. There was no television in school that day, so we all relied on the stories of our teachers who talked about the significance of the attacks and how this will profoundly impact life as we knew it. When I got home, I quickly rushed to watch the news on TV (at that time, there was no Twitter or Facebook) and it was only then that I realized the devastation the attacks left, not only in New York but throughout the whole world. Everyone was in shock over the images that flashed on the TV screen.

Breakfast at Antonio’s: An Early Morning Adventure

AND I say what about breakfast at Tiffany’s…” goes the lyrics of a song inspired by the 1961 film starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard. This was also my inspiration for that early Saturday morning recently. I usually love sleeping in on Saturdays but that day was different. I woke up extremely early looking for something to do. Perhaps, my itchy adventure-loving feet was talking to me. My husband asked me out on a road trip and we decided to make a date out of it. At 7 in the morning, we drove to Tagaytay and decided to do Breakfast at Antonio’s for our dose of adventure.

Getting to know Zamboanga

Nikki Boncan-BuensalidoSOMETIMES, the beauty in things comes to sharp focus when seen in a different perspective or context. It can be spurred by a peaceful or relaxing environment, one that evokes calmness and beauty. Of course, beauty can also be found in places where there is a bit of danger and adventure. This can even lend to the charm, the appeal of a place.

A new school of thought: Zaha Hadid’s Innovation Tower

Nikki Boncan-BuensalidoSCHOOL buildings and their programs as we know it have evolved over time. They used to be identical classrooms with a black board in front and jalousie windows that reminded me of a prison cell for students to do time in for approximately 20 years. In the last few years, classroom and school designs have also evolved on account of the increasing ubiquity of high-tech equipment such as projectors and screens for PowerPoint presentations and such. Homes have become an extension of the classroom with the continuing improvements made in video conferencing. E-learning has made access to knowledge more convenient. Gone are the days where the library was the only source of research information and the Dewey Decimal System, and encyclopedias were an integral part of learning.

Local Edition: A café filled with purpose, hope and inspiration

Nikki Boncan-BuensalidoOFTENTIMES, I catch myself pondering about the state of the country. Will it ever become better? What will the next generation be witness to? What it will be like in 50 years? On the other hand, I also find myself daydreaming about how this country is blessed with people who never cease to put on a smile no matter how difficult life gets. True, people rant about the flash floods, the intolerable traffic, the government which often resembles, if not a circus, then a telenovela. Despite all that, there is the sense of nationalism and proud identity of the Filipino people, which can mean we are a nation still filled with hope.

Fundacion Pacita: An artist’s legacy

Nikki Boncan-BuensalidoTHE first thing that comes to mind when I think about art, nature and imagery is color. Color, in scientific terms, is simply a manifestation of the full spectrum of light. In more creative terms, color means everything else. It has the ability to portray emotions. It has the ability to consume you, drown you, uplift you. It makes people happy and feel good about themselves—or the opposite of these.  Color helps one express his deepest thoughts and carry a message across without words. Put together the earth and all the imaginable colors possible, color is that which makes the world beautiful.

Batanes will take your breath away

Aside from the scenery and the immensity of Batanes, my interest was also drawn to the architecture indigenous to the islands. The Ivatans have managed to develop their own construction techniques. The houses were made of stone walls at least a meter thick and thatched roofs designed to last up to three decades of the constant battering of typhoons. Furthermore, these houses have a layer of solid wood window shutters, and their roofs have no eaves so wind cannot enter the house and blow away the roof during a storm. Locals are used to this type of weather and typhoons are no longer a major cause of concern to them. In the event of a storm warning, they just close up the whole house and they are safe with zero casualties.

Batanes beckons

Nikki Boncan-BuensalidoAPPROXIMATELY 657 kilometers away from Metro Manila and 190 km south of Taiwan, there are enchanting islands that have captured the hearts of many visitors far and wide. I have always believed that the Philippines is one of the richest countries in the world when it comes to pristine beaches, mountainscapes, diverse flora and fauna, marine life, as well as heritage and culture. My latest journey offers yet more proof that the Philippines is indeed full of soul, enough to satisfy one’s wanderlust for travel and strong sense of adventure.

7 things you should know about the National Museum

Nikki Boncan-BuensalidoIN the Philippines the weeklong observance of Lent is much revered. It is also a time when families go on a summer holiday as everything in the city comes to a standstill. So on Easter Sunday, my husband took me on a road trip to the National Museum in Manila after I casually told him that I had never been there. As with every new experience, I was left awed and amazed at how rich our national treasures are.

Somewhere in time: The Luneta Hotel

Nikki Boncan-BuensalidoPREWAR Manila had a different flavor. Malate and Ermita were the “places to be.” Noble men and women adorned the streets and horse-drawn carriages, also known as, were an all-too-familiar sight in the city. In 1899 Luneta was the promenade of choice where parades, marching bands, celebrations and even public executions took place. The famous “Tranvia,” an electric tram, plied the streets of Manila during the American Era until just before World War 2 broke out.

‘Bahay-kubo, kahit munti’

Nikki Boncan-BuensalidoA Filipino children’s song that has been passed down through generations inspired me to write this article. “Bahay-kubo, kahit munti, ang halaman doon ay sari-sari. “[There is a nipa hut, although very small, the plants that grow there are varied].” It goes on to enumerate the many vegetables that grow around the bahay-kubo.

Going back to basics: A trip up north teaches me how

Nikki Boncan-BuensalidoI CAN finally say I have reached the tip of the Philippines (well, almost). A trip that I made recently was ostensibly for a site visit of a beach resort in Pagudpud, which is accessible by a plane to Laoag, or a 10-hour road trip from Manila. What initially started off as an ocular ended up with my party being added to the list of resort owner Tita Bing’s growing family of “adopted children.” Which was fitting: the place felt like a home away from home.

Why design matters

Nikki Boncan-BuensalidoTHE past two months have been busy for Apple and their partner telecoms. It would seem that the recently launched iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus have yet again captured the hearts of Apple fans everywhere.

Above all, honor God first

Nikki Boncan-BuensalidoIT is 2015.  A new year, a fresh start, a new beginning. I’m sure that many of you have made New Year resolutions, thrown away the old and started out the year with the new. I started the New Year with a celebration and I also had the opportunity to take time out to consecrate myself again to God, and to write down my faith goals, which takes the place of year-in-year-out resolutions. Along with my faith goals, I also have a separate page where I write down all the things that I’m thankful for the year just passed. This allows me to look back and check all the things that God has done for me and all the breakthroughs that He has made me witness of.

Everything is super

DESPITE its limited land mass, Singapore routinely leaves me in awe of how this city-state is able to create very efficient systems where economic progress is in tandem with keeping the country’s environment and way of living sustainable.

On sections

Nikki Boncan-BuensalidoIN architecture, sections are equally as important as elevations, and, for concept-driven projects, sections are referenced even more. Sections depict some of the most intricate details that explain how to construct a structure. It is interesting to see how these drawings are detailed on paper and how the user’s lifestyle and habits change according to how these sections are designed.

‘Yep, we found you: The Girl + The Bull’

THE past year or so has been a showcase of creative minds at work. So many new restaurants, cafés and specialized stores have opened in the metropolis, these passion projects of young, creative entrepreneurs. I admire these young entrepreneurs because at such an early age, they are proving that passion and determination are key to any successful business. They have leveraged the Internet and social media to grow these small businesses, expanding their market without having to physically work the streets and neighborhoods to pass out flyers touting their offerings.