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Friday, May 20, 2016

Enjoying the Quiet and Colonial Ambiance of Hotel by the Red Canal | Mandalay, Myanmar


As the customary way of commuting in Myanmar, upon our arrival at the bus terminal we then boarded a Japanese pick-up truck they called as “lain-ka” (line car) – that will deliver us to our respective hotels / hostels. Already finding my seat at the spacious 12-seater back of the truck along with four other Western travelers, the driver who is pointing a finger at me recited aloudYou will be the first. I reckoned Hotel by the Red Canal – my accommodation in Mandalay, will be the first destination along the route. I nodded my head as I look forward to taking a short rest before meeting in person, a Filipina expat I met through Tinder.

Hotel by the Red Canal's Spice Garden dishes a stellar feast

Learning the Art of Creating Food Replicas in Gujo Hachiman, Japan


Even though food replicas are a common sighting upon entering most Japanese restaurants, I often give zero care at its creation process nor its origin. Totally lost on me are the amount of craftsmanship and skills required to mold each food replica items from drippings of wax. Joining the Cebu Pacific Nagoya Familiarization trip changed all my indifference towards this form of art. I got the opportunity to learn more about this inventiveness when we made a pit stop at Gujo, Hachiman to visit the Iwasaki Mokei or otherwise known as the “Sample Village Iwasaki”.

Stratworks' charming Kezia holding her lettuce creation

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Backpacker’s Home Away from Home: Travelers Share their Favorite Hostels

No thanks to filmmaker Eli Roth, Hostels have become a popular choice of accommodation for backpackers in the past several years – largely due to word of mouth from seasoned travelers, who have sworn about its homey ambiance. I remember my first ‘hostel’ experience during my first trip abroad in 2007 wasn’t nowhere near any good. Bed bugs, dirty linens and snoring dorm-mates had me and my brother awake most of the night. That however, didn’t discouraged me from staying at other hostels as I amass miles on the road. Doing so, also helped stretched my travel budget and I’ve come to experience the best of what a lot of these establishments has to offer aside from economical accommodation. Hip and trendy interior, a lively common area where I get to hang out with other travelers and most of all; travel advice I get from the staff – who in some cases are experienced backpackers too. Wanting to learn if I share the same love for everything ‘hostels’, I asked fellow travel bloggers about their most memorable hostel stays. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Keep Kalm at Kalanggaman Island


Bunched along with the other passengers inside a cramped up van I awoke at the sight of blue waters edging the shorelines of Western Leyte. I suddenly felt inching closer to my destination. I sent out a text message to my friend Gaye “I think I’m 20 minutes away from Pamplona”. Dizzy from my ride I meant to write “Palompon”, a thriving municipality gifted with a fertile coast that also serves as a jump off point to Kalanggaman Island.