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Mt. Mabilog | Laguna

Mt. Mabilog
Mt. Banahaw and Mt. Cristobal - taken at the camp site of Mt. Mabilog

Southern Luzon is one of the regions in the Philippines which offers a great hiking experience to all the hikers; primarily because of the mountains, hills and forest areas that spread in the area. The province of Laguna is one of the best spots in this region with great views to offer, and of course more stories to tell.

Mt. Mabilog is situated in the Laguna. This mountain measures 441 MASL and serves as the boundary of the towns of San Pablo and Nagcarlan, Laguna. This mountain lies and surrounded by the legendary lakes, which adds an amazing views from the summit. This mountain is smaller than the Mts. Banahaw and Cristobal, but contains gorgeous background.

Mt. Mabilog
at the jump off, going to Pandin Lake
Photo above shows on how we prepared ourselves, after getting off the jeepney. We were preparing for our stuff before our journey started. This area serves as the parking area for those people who want to visit Pandin Lake. This area is wide and open, and just beside the highway.

Next part was the pathway going to Pandin Lake.  Some part this pathway is concrete but most are not. There were houses along the way, and then the concrete and iron walls which belong to a private property are also present beside the pathway.

Pandin Lake

Pandin Lake

(photo above and right) Lake Pandin


We arrived at Pandin Lake at around 3:40PM. From afar, the lake looks like a mirror that captures the image of the sky. The area is surrounded by trees, coconut and other plants, perfect for relaxation and everything is natural. The ambiance in the area is cool, the air is fresh, and the water is clear; everything is so pristine and clean. We spent few hours and had our lunch break at the same spot. Reminder: Wash rooms are available, accessories and food are also for sale.

Batang Hamog
We left Pandin Lake at around 4:37PM and started trekking. The trail class of Mt. Mabilog got a 2/9 rating, so it’s perfect for the people who are looking for a relaxing hiking experience, especially for first time hiker. The first part of the trail is well-established, because it serves as the trail of the locals and their horses. A road is also visible in the area (photo above); according to our guide, this road will connect from this baranggay going to the other side of the lake.

Mt. Mabilog
The view of Mt. Dawit
Along the trail, some fruit bearing trees, coconut and bananas are visible. Animals like cattle, horses, goats, carabao and others spread in the area. While on trail, expect for tall grasses that serve as the houses of different kind of insects.

Next part was the assault to the summit. It was just 10-20 minutes before the summit, but I got a hard time breathing (because it's my first climb after two months.) At around 6:04PM, we were able to reach the summit. The summit has the perfect view Mt. Banahaw and Mt. Cristobal. The two of the seven lakes are also visible from afar. The sunset was perfectly stunning!!

When everyone was already on the summit, rested for few minutes, then we all pitched our tents to our designated areas. After that, we started preparing our dinner. When we're done with our dinner, we started with our socials. As usual, that night was full of laughter, happiness and of course drama. We talked about everything under and over the sun. We also celebrated Ginger's  birthday at 12 mid night, then continued with our socials. I think it was already 3AM when we stopped the celebration. I prefer to sleep outside the tent for some personal reason. But, I was fine that time! #busted!

I woke up at 7AM. Still #busted. When the others woke up, I went back to bed, I mean to sleep. They prepared our breakfast while I was asleep. Did some photo shoot. Then started breakcamp. We left the summit at around 8:49AM and proceeded to Pandin Lake for a short break and while waiting for the others. When they arrived, we proceeded to our next destination -> Bunga Falls.

Bunga Falls
We arrived at Bunga Falls at around 12:30PM. The areas was cool, has fresh air, the rock formations were totally amazing. The area is was not so crowded when we arrived. Surrounded by plants and trees which give a relaxing feeling. There were few cottages left, so we had options to select the best spot. These cottages are for rent and wash rooms are available. More information and photos of the falls. While the others were busy preparing our lunch, some of us were at the pool. Watching the people jumping off the cliff of the water falls was exciting. We stayed in the area for few hours then proceeded to our next destination.
Underground Cemetery
(photo above) The Chapel in Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery
From Bunga Falls, we traveled more than 30 minutes going this amazing landmark in Nagcarlan, Laguna. While on the way, most of us were silent and were sleeping. I woke up when we're already at the gate of the Underground Cemetery. More photos and information, click here: Underground Cemetery. We enjoyed this landmark for less than 30 minutes then proceeded to San Pablo, Laguna Stop Light. Waited for bus bound for Manila.

After a year, I was able to meet these people. This experience is one of best! Till next time!

Burot Beach | Batangas

Burot Beach
Looking for a place to relax and at the same time wants to experience adventure? Burot Beach is the perfect place for you. It is situated in the Municipality of Calatagan, Batangas – just few hours travel from Metro Manila. It is another spot that this province can be proud of. History: Burot Beach was formerly known as Elizalde Beach, because it was previously owned by Elizalde family - a wealthy clan in the Philippines and then bought by the SM Group of Companies. Today, it is privately owned by the SM Group and still open to public.

Burot Beach
Our weekday adventure is such a challenge; original plan was to do commute but at the last minute, we changed our minds and brought private vehicle. All of us doesn’t have idea if where’s our exact destination and even no idea if where’s the right way to take. Since technology is everywhere, we used it as our guide to find the right way. Special thanks to WAZE application which helped us all the time. YOU TOO! You can use your android or iOS phones to download GPS related apps.

We left Quezon City at around 1000hours and our route was on C5 going to SLEX. Then passing on the highways of Tagaytay and Nasugbu town proper. It was a long journey on the highway, but yet full of energy and *basagan. Our ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) in Calatagan Public Market was at 1300hours. Then bought everything at the market. Our ETD (Estimated Time of Departure from the market was at 1400hours. We were still following the WAZE given path; passing by the cemetery and on a rough road.

Burot Beach
Our ETA at Burot Beach was at 1421hours. Free Parking. Paid 130 pesos for our entrance fee for overnight, per head. Since we brought our own tent, we only paid 20 pesos for the pitching area. When we get off the van, I easily noticed the fresh air, although the wind was really warm because of the weather. The sun was striking, but still I enjoyed getting great photos, like photo above.

Burot Beach
The beach has semi-fine creamy colored sand, kissed by the clear waters. Living creatures like fish, crab, starfish, sea grass and some other mollusks can also be found in the water. While there was still sun light, we pitched our tents, and prepared our food for dinner. Griller for rent is also available in the area; just bring your own uling. Table for rent are available for 200 pesos. Before the sun set, we took our dinner.

Burot Beach
While walking by the beach, I was astounded by the gorgeous sun set (photo above.) The wind seemed to be cool while the darkness started embracing the area. The blue skies covered by the cirrus clouds transformed into a powerful orangey skies which creates an amazing horizon - a horizon that serves as the only connection of the skies to the waters. The trees and the rock formations also formed a perfect silhouette with the beautiful background.

Burot Beach
 After spectacular sun set, we went back to our camp site and started our socials. Mawawala ba ang card games, tapos card games, at sandamakmak na card games sa ganitong panahon? Syempre hindi! After the card games, we enjoyed lighting fireworks by the shore. REMEMBER: Always ask permission first from the guards on duty before doing such kind of activity. Pagkatapos nun, I chose sleeping outside the tent, konting kwento tapos sinundan ko na ang liwanag at sumama na ako sa isang sundo na naka-puti at may dalang puting tandang. At ako’y NAMAHINGA NA. 

Burot Beach
Akala ko dere-derecho na tulog ko, nakaramdam ako ng limang droplets ng ambon, kaya agad akong tumayo at inilipat ang aking higaan sa ilalim nang aming table, at doon ay muling sinundan ko ang liwanag. Si Kerwin hindi lumipat ng higaan, kasi sabi nya, apat na droplets lang nang ambon ang naramdaman nya, e dapat lima kasi bago mag-force evacuation eh. Akala ko dere-derecho na, but passed 3AM, another group arrived and chose the space almost beside us. Pag-dating eh akala mo eh me pyesta at may mga speakers sa bunganga. Hindi man lang naisip na may mga tulog na katabi. At hindi ko na nagawang matulog pa! Nung naapakan ako ni Kerwin at napansin kong tumayo na sya, bumangon narin ako at nag-handa ng kape. Kwentuhan while the wind was cool. Nung maliwanag na, we do break camp and prepared ourselves. May mga nag-tampisaw sa dagat and the others, including me, chose to use the bath room. While waiting for my turn to use the bath room, there was a group near the washing area talking about gays. Hahaha. Syempre agad akong lumingon at tumingin sa kanila, sabay hawi ng buhok ko. Ayun, natahimik sila bigla, akalain nyong nadala ko sila sa hawi ng buhok.

Burot Beach
When we’re done cleaning the area, set the GPS and left Burot Beach, our ETD was at 0718hours. Next plan was to have a break in Tagaytay, but was resulted to Nuvali. ETA in Nuvali was 1005hours. It was an amazing experience, especially seeing those people that are not a camper type. Natutuwa akong makita silang nag-hihirap. Hahaha.

Burot Beach
If you want to add more excitement and planning to do commute, you can take a ride in Celorosa Buses, located in Coastal Mall Grand Terminal. Travel time is approximately 3 to 4 hours going to Calatagan Public Market. Another option, is taking a van bound for Calatagan at the van terminal located beside MRT Taft Station and Kabayan Hotel in Pasay City. From the market, you can approach the tricycle drivers to bring you to Burot Beach. (TAKE NOTE: wag na wag nyong kakausapin ang tricycle huh, make sure driver kausapin nyo, kasi hindi sasagot yung tricycle, agree?). Travel time is approximately 20 to 30 minutes. If you want to book a guide or tricycle drivers, PLEASE LIKE AND FOLLOW @TravellingCup on facebook and twitter; then send me a private message.

Here we are: Joel, Me (green), Kerwin, Pam (white,) Carlo and Joyce -->

NEED TO CONSIDER:

1. GPS related application (kung NGA-NGA kayo sa navigation, like us)
2. Toll Fee (for private vehicles)
3. Cook set and stove
4. Headlamp or flashlights (no electricity in the area)
5. Fully charged batteries or speakers (for entertainment purposes, but NOT TOO LOUD, especially at night)
6. LNT (Leave No Trace) – there’s area for your garbage, STOP leaving your waste anywhere. Kung kayo ay may mga panis na pagkain na pwedeng pag-pyestahan ng langgam; PLEASE wag ilagay kung saan-saan, lalong-lalo na sa spot na pinag-lalagyan ng mga tents. Courtesy to the next camper.

7. LTL (Let Them Live) – may mga water animals, like starfish, jellyfish, fish at kung anu-ano pang fish sa dagat. NEVER bring them off the water.

8. Sanitation – toilets and wash rooms are available in the area, but not too decent like what you can see at the hotels. Sa mga babae, AVOID/NEVER/HUWAG ninyong isabit o iwanan kung saan-saan ang sanitation napkin nyo! Ilagay sa tamang waste disposal!

9. Bring everything that you need! Wala pong grocery store sa lugar na ito. 

10. KUNG KAYO AY MAY BALAK HUMABOL SA SUN RISE, TAPOS MGA 3AM DATING NYO SA BEACH; IWASAN NYONG MAGLAGAY NG SPEAKERS SA MGA BUNGANGA NYO HUH. WALANG MASAMA MAGING MASAYA, PERO ISIPIN PO NATING MAY MGA TULOG SA PALIGID! Mahirap magrelax kapag may maingay sa tabi-tabi, AGREE? Isa pa, kung  kayo ay may bagong flash light na gusto nyong ipagmalaki sa mga kasama nyo, WAG NYONG ITUTOK sa mukha ng mga taong natutulog sa buhangin! Kalowka, nagising ako dahil akala ko premier night ng pilikula eh, daming flash of lights na tumatama sa mukha ko, siguro kung bala ng baril yun, barag-barag na mukha ko nun.

Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery | Laguna

Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery
Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery is considered as National Historical Landmark located in Nagcarlan, in the province of Laguna. It is a burial site which is 15 meters below a small chapel; a chapel which was designed for funeral masses in 1845 by Franciscan Priests lead by Fr. Vicente Velloc. If in other parts of the Philippines, their burial sites are hanging (Ifugao), in the cave (Palawan) and concrete crypt (in modern era.) This burial site is unique because of its architectural design and purpose.

Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery
The chapel and the underground graveyard gave a huge impact in history of the province and even the country. It was used as the secret meeting place of the Filipino revolutionary armies, Katipuneros and other members of the KKK. It was also served as the shelter of the Filipino patriots during the Filipino-American War and Filipino guerellas during World War II. 

Outside, the area is surrounded by an artistic fence made of concrete and iron works. Most parts of the fence are covered with bricks which make the structure looks older. In addition to that, crypts can also be seen in almost half of the fence, which got my attention. At the center, is an open area covered with a well-maintained green grass and santan on the side. The concrete pathway made of bricks is the only one that separates the two parts of the ground and connects the main gate to the entrance of the chapel.

Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery
The door of the chapel is tall, wide and thick made up of wood. The chapel doesn’t have anything that we always see in the church. On the right side of the chapel, you can find the stairs going down to the tomb chamber; the oldest tomb was dated 1886. The walls are thick and covered with brown bricks.  According to some details, the people buried to this historical landmark are those came from privileged Catholic families.

Today, the chapel and the graveyard are both no longer operational, but it is still open to the public. No entrance fees to be collected and TAKE NOTE: Please, switch off your camera flash at the graveyard area. Personally, I noticed that the area is well preserved by the locals; but one thing that captured my attention. I think NCCA should do something else to preserve the chapel and the graveyard; particularly the walls, door and floor. At the graveyard, it is really dark; I can suggest, management can place lamps or lights which cannot destroy the historical value of the relics, so that at least the tourists can still see how amazing the graveyard is.  You can also visit: Mt. Mabilog and Bunga Falls

Bunga Falls | Laguna

Bunga Falls

Bunga Falls
This was our side trip during our Mt. Mabilog Freedom Climb 2014. After the tiring adventure we had, we freshen up at Bunga Falls which is located in Nagcarlan, Laguna. Just within 30 minutes from the jump off.

The ambiance in the area was cool, it was not so crowded when we arrived. There were few cottages left, so we had options to select the best spot. While the others were busy preparing our lunch, some of us were at the pool. Watching the people jumping off the cliff of the water falls was exciting. Those guys on the photo -> are Iosif and Mon.

The area is surrounded by trees and gorgeous rock formations, thus it gives a refreshing and relaxing feeling. According to the residents, the deep of the pool is more than 20 feet, so for those people who are not into swimming, please lang wag na umarte at wag na magpasikat. There were accidents happened in the area.
Bunga Falls
the Panoramic Shot of Bunga Falls
 Bunga Twin Falls was named after Bunga (betel nut) which used to be grown and spread in the area. From the parking area, this is a 10-15 minutes trek down to the main attraction. The trail is very accessible, so you can capture a lot of photos in the area. For those brave individual, you can jump off the cliff of the water falls. We stayed here for more than three hours then proceeded to Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery. You can also visit these links: Mt. Mabilog and  Pandin Lake

Pinsal Falls | Ilocos Sur


After getting off the bed, took a bath and then the delicious breakfast, time for an escapade with nature.  But before going to this gorgeous water fall, we first visited the 40-meter tunnel, Tangadan Tunnel which serves as the boundary between Ilocos Sur and the province of Abra.

Then, while on the way to the water falls, we passed on the road beside the shore near Grotto.  We also bought basi and other local products along the way.  While inside the van, I saw how the farmers of this province cultures tobacco for their livelihood.

After two hours travel, we finally reached Pinsal Falls which is located in Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur.  It is believed that this water falls in the largest in the province.  The 85-foot water falls has its unique beauty that captured the eyes of some film directors and producers, like the movies of Fernando Poe Jr., they were filmed here. As the water fell into the ground, because of the current, it creates an artistic formation on the rocks.  Since it was summer when we went here, the water was less than compared to regular season.

Pinsal Falls
Narvacan Ilocos
Pinsal Falls

The photos below were taken above the water falls.

Pinsal Falls
Pinsal Falls
Pinsal Falls
Pinsal Falls
The sun was really but but the cold water was refreshing.  Since it's summer time, the water that fell into the ground is just one fourth of it's total water content every normal day.  Every summer, the management are building cottages that everyone can rent for low price. 

We spent more than two hours in this water falls, but as the time goes by and we were feeling that the sun was getting hotter and hotter.  So we left the falls and drove back to Narvacan - it's just thirty minutes drive.  When we reached the house, our lunch were all ready.  Our trip to Ilocos was really amazing - it's the craziest road travel I ever had so far.

Calle Crisologo | Vigan City

Calle Crisologo Vigan
Calle Cristolo or Mena Crisologo  Street is name after Mena Pecson Crisologo who is the most respected sons of Ilocos.  He actually wrote Mining wenno Ayat ti Kararwa which is compared to Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere; he is also the author of Don Calixtofaro de la Kota Caballero de la Luna and Codigo Municipal.

What to Visit in Ilocos
Where to stay in Ilocos
Where to Stay in vigan
According to some travellers I spoke to, this street is said to be one of the most beautiful in the Philippines.  This street is close to any type of motor vehicles, but some calesa operates is some parts of the streets.  At first, I smell something I can't recognized in the area, but when I saw the horses, I thought it was the reason of the smell.

The street itself is made up of cobblestone then lined with the heritage houses of the former Filipino-Chinese traders.  Majority of the houses have thick walls made of cement, brown and red bricks; the doors are wide made up of shiny and solid woods; the sliding windows are perfectly made from capiz shells designed with iron grills and wood.  The ceilings are created higher, maybe this is for ventilation purposes.
Where to stay in vigan
where to stay in ilocos
Today, some of the century-old houses were converted into commercial shops, museums, restaurants, cafe and hotels.  Each shops are selling antiques, woven products, bags, basi, chicharon, jewelry, woodcraft and many more.  In night time, the gorgeous light in different colors in each shops added an additional effects that registers in the camera.

Pandin Lake | Laguna

Pandin Lake 
 
Pandin Lake
During our Freedom Climb 2014 on Mt. Mabilog

Another pride of southern tagalog region are the lakes located in the province of Laguna. One of these water systems are the seven crater lakes located in San Pablo, Laguna. Not only that, these seven lakes are considered as mystical and legendary because of the stories spread in the area and even in some Filipino mystical books. And finally, I was able to witness and experience how gorgeous Pandin Lake is.

The area is surrounded by a brilliant green because of the trees and plants. The lake looks like a mirror from afar because of its crystal clear waters.

Pandin Lake
According to the stories spread in the area, Lake Pandin and Lake Yambo were both named after two lovers. Pandin (the girl) was a beautiful woman who was cursed not to step on the ground, unless something terrible might happen to someone. Yambo (the guy) her lover, didn't know about this curse and had made Pandin to step on the ground. After which, a terrible noise followed by the cracking grumble of the earth and a heavy downpour eventually converted the area into twin lakes separated from each other by a bare strip of land. - story from wikipedia.org

Today, this area is one of the spots to visit in San Pablo, Laguna. This area is perfect for picnic and other nature tripping. Cottages on water rafts are available for rental. You can definitely bring your own food; buko, halo-halo and other refreshments, and accessories are also available at the store. Parking area and wash rooms are available. You can also visit these links: Bunga Twin Falls and Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery

How To Get Here:

You can take a bus ride from Jam Liner (Kamias) going to Stop Light or 7-11 in San Pablo, Laguna. Walk few meters (ask the locals on what street to take) or you can ride a tricycle going to San Pablo Church. At the church, Jeepneys are available going to Lake Pandin.

Paoay Sand Dunes | Ilocos


After the century old Paoay Church, it's time for an amazing and extreme adventure in Paoay Sand Dunes.  By the way, a friend of mine, who is now working in middle east, I thought, Sand Dunes can only be found in the dessert countries around the world, but it's not! 

Here in Ilocos Norte, Philippines, we have the same feature and adventure that the dessert safari have. Also, this place is always part of the Filipino movies, like the dessert scenes.  Paoay Sand Dunes has extreme activities like 4 x 4 Ride, sand boarding and All Terrain Vehicle. 

The strong wind is the one that creates the dunes and the wavy-like formation on the ground.  The grayish sand of Ilocos is really fine and since it's light in weight, the wind can easily carry the sand everywhere.  From afar, I saw an oasis (I think) near the shoreline.  With trees and small lake (look at the picture above.)
 Paoay Sand Dunes

Paoay Sand Dunes

Paoay Sand Dunes
After the sunny adventure, we got sweat and sticky skin, so time to go back in our van while the rest were still enjoying the wind and the sand.  Our foot prints on the sand easily disappeared because the wind moves the grains of the sand fast.  After that tiring activities plus our stomach were all starving, we decided to leave the site and proceeded to our next destination which is Vigan City for their Empanada.

Paoay Church | UNESCO World Heritage Site


Century old churches are always part of my post here and I've been to different places just to discover them. Paoay Church is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, in the Philippines.  If we have Barasoain Church in Bulacan, we also have Paoay Church in Ilocos.

The structure of this church is made up of baked bricks, coral rocks, tree sap and solid lumber.  The 24 buttresses were also placed on each side of the church for support and those are the reason why it is still standing after the quakes in 17th century up to this generation.

Here's part of the history: the Parish founded by Augustinian missionaries, 1593.  Cornerstone of church laid, 1704; of convent, 1707; or tower, 1793.  Used before completion and kept in repair by the people under the joint Auspices of the Church and the town officials.  Inauguration ceremonies, 28 February 1896.

Paoay Church
Angkor Wat
Its bell tower was separated to the structure of the main building, so if in case that there will be a destructive earthquake and the main building will collapse, the bell tower will still stand.  This tower was used as the observation post by the Katipuneros in 1896 during the Philippine revolution.  The bell tower also served as a status symbol for the residents.  The bell would ring loudly and faster during the wedding of a prominent people which is contrary for the poor. 

Borobudur Temple
On the left side of the church is the St. Agustine Garden where you you can find different flowers forming a beautiful landscape designed with fountain on the side.  From this area, if you're facing the left side of the church, it's like Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Borobudur Temple of Java in front view.

Marcos Ancestral House | Ilocos


Since we were all clean and fresh, time to for a heritage site that was used by a powerful family of Ilocos and even the whole Philippines.  We travelled more than two hours from Blue Lagoon going to this must-visit site of the province.  The highway wasn't that crowded because that day was Sunday.

We parked the van just beside the highway near the ancestral house.  Parking space was for free.  After getting off the van, we stretched our muscles and bought cold soda and water.  It was Sunday, so the ancestral was filled with tourists and locals trying to see what's inside the house.

We paid 50 pesos per head and proceeded to the main lobby.  First thing that captured my eyes was: on the right side of the ground floor, the old wooden stair case can be found, covered with red carpet.  On the left side, the presidential table, with three arm chairs.  Then, the management provided mono-block chairs in front of the wide screen showing the history of the late President Ferdinand Marcos.  Then, the whole second floor is divided into different panels, please see the photos below.
Marcos Ancestral House
Marcos Ancestral House
Marcos Ancestral House
This house served as the office of the late Don Mariano Marcos, the president's father when he was the congressman.  It was also used as an office of Imee Marcos, the president's daughter, when she was the Ilocos Norte Representative.  She even lived in this mansion within her term.  Bongbong Marcos, the presidential son, also moved into this house when he was the governor of Ilocos.

Marcos Ancestral House
The three gorgeous dresses of my idol, Imelda Marcos, were displayed on the second floor.  I had a chance to touch and smell the fabrics of each dresses and they were so extravagant.  Those ternos are so imeldific, the cuts and styles are both extraordinary, the designs embroidered on the fabrics were perfectly done.  Look at the photo above - I am still looking forward to a chance to meet Imelda, Imee and Bongbong in person, I hope someday!

Another part of the house which I can't forget are plate numbers attached to the vertical column.  Each plates has a number 8 on it, which is the license plate number for Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1959.  


Marcos Ancestral House
The medals awarded to the late president Marcos were also displayed on the second floor.  There were cut outs from old newspaper  and magazines showing the results of the bar exam in 1939.  There were large paintings, portraits and other memorabilia almost in every panel on the second floor.  The bullets and other ammunition were also displayed in an enclosed glass cabinets.

Adjacent to the mansion is the mausoleum (if you will check on the first photo on the upper left side of this post - that's' the way going to the entrance of the mausoleum.)  This mausoleum is the dwelling place of the remains of the late President Marcos.  Cameras can be brought inside the mausoleum, BUT picture taking is not allowed.  Inside the mausoleum has a pure black walls and ceiling.  The remains of the president is inside the glass casket (I don't know if it's refrigerated or not) and the white flowers were properly arranged in a rectangular position.  I am not so sure about this, but I think the floor is made up of stone-like ceramics forming a mosaic on the ground - this is where the tourists walk.  The mausoleum closes at 4PM.

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