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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Nomadic Experiences of 2011


I took my traveling to a whole new level in 2010, to say that I've grown content with that is an understatement as I've taken my wanderings to another height this year. Though I'm still unable to do long-term traveling because of my job - which serves as my source of income to finance my trips. I was still able to maximize whenever I can, doing so on long weekends and holidays, plus the smart usage of our company's vacation and sometimes sick leaves. While I still wait the day where I would wake up every day and treat it as a Saturday and travel continuously, these short bursts of travel experiences has taught me and afforded me to meet gregarious people along the way. Reasons why I had gotten deep into the beautiful depths of travel addiction.

clockwise: Angkor Wat, Malapascua, Coron, Kota Kinabalu, Saigon, Phnom Penh, HK, Apo Reef, Lake Sebu 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sendong Donation Drive: Donate Your Money and These are Yours


I'm putting these three items for auction and 100% will go directly to the "Sendong victims" in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City. You don't have to pay me directly, rather I would want you to donate the amount to this link: One For Iligan and CDO: Help the Typhoon Sendong Victims. It is a one stop donation website set up by the Iligan Bloggers. 

Here are the steps for this mini-auction

1. Make a bid - starting amount is stated below each image.
2. Auction ends as long as there's a few bidders already. 
3. Highest bidder will have to donate the said amount to the link provided: 
4. Once you donated, an email confirmation from the Iligan bloggers will be sent to you.
5. Email me that confirmation email at: markyramone@nomadicexperiences.com
6. Then the said item is yours.

* you can send your bid at my email: markyramone@nomadicexperiences.com
* Its alright to haggle, important thing is we raise some funds.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Short Note About Khao San Road


As I plan to write one long blog post about Khao San Road in the coming days or even weeks. I decided I should make one that introduces it to the readers of this blog. I'm sure, Khao San Road has been into the minds of the many, from reading the Alex Garland novel or those that has seen the Leonardo movie. Either way anybody could muster enough case for the over-romanticized build-up of this place. Which is actually a short stretch of a street that goes around to a few more and is crowded with backpacker's inns, bars, art, tattoo, souvenir shops.


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Monday, December 19, 2011

On Assignment for Travel Time Magazine: La Inmaculada Concepcion de Malabon



I went to Malabon a few weeks ago to cover the La Imaculada Concepcion de Malabon fluvial parade, which also serves as a thanksgiving feast for the city's fishermen, in behalf of the popular "Travel Time Magazine" of Susan Calo Medina. Though, I have already written four articles on another travel magazine, the "Republic of 7107 Island Travel" this one is different, since it was my first time to go to a place and a festival with the assignment of writing about it. During my previous published articles, I just wrote it and submitted it as a contribution article and was fortunate that the publisher liked it, thus its inclusion in the previous issues. 

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Phnom Penh de Sarapen: The Royal Palace


After settling into our place for the night at You Khin House in Phnom Penh, we hurriedly went out to explore the city. We plan to check out first the Genocide Museum, but our tuktuk driver mis-heard our instructions and instead took us to Phnom Penh National Museum, which we didn't mind since we will still have another day to spare in this city, on the way back to Saigon from Siem Reap later in the week. After being awed by the vast collection of Angkorian era artifacts, lingas and other statues such as the "Leper King" at the National Museum, we took off on foot towards the Royal Palace which is located only a few meters away.

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The Throne Hall

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Street Scene: Hongkong



The streets of Hong Kong is a combustive collaboration of people from all over the world. Its bustling and filled with energy so robust it'll make you set aside foot pains and aching knees brought about by hours of walking. I spent most of my five days stay walking around as much as I could. I would hop on trains and disembark on random MTR stations and come out each time with splendid anticipation at what kind of human parade awaits me at every stop.

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turning the Pages of Angkor Wat



I have this place locked inside my head as far I could remember. Was it some magazine I've read as a kid? Some TV documentary I've seen? I could not exactly pinpoint the source of my obsession to see this place. Angkor Wat for me was like a page from a book I'm reading - as years wnet by, the pages seemed to thicken and the more I felt my chances slithering away.



Monday, November 21, 2011

Nomadic Pranksters: 2011 Masskara Festival




Famous beat writer Ken Kessey unofficially formed "Merry Pranksters" in the 60's. It is composed of a group of people bonded by a singular thread that weaves them all together. Theirs was a choice of an unconventional lifestyle, of living communally and taking road trips across the United States (while high with something - LSD?). It was a set-up that have provided them a rich set of experiences, that somehow made it into works of literature, as most of them are writers in the said era. To know more about these gregarious people, reading Tom Wolfe's "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" should be a good start.

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The River Garden, Siem Reap



Our home away from home for two nights while in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The River Garden was the accommodation provided for me by Roomorama months before my trip. I remember while planning my trip to Siem Reap, I told myself I would not mind sleeping on benches in a park just to visit the place at all cost, though sometimes surprises comes in great package and I was able to book this place courtesy of Roomorama, which is the leading online provider of "quality accommodations for the curious travelers" 

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Nomadic Video 3: Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum


It's hard to write something about this place. It's hard enough being there with all your human emotions all over the place. More difficult to walk around and stare at the nameless portraits of those who died there. The air inside was that of modern day peace time, but the presence of the walls that surrounds you, tells of an unspoken grim and brutal past.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Banteay Srei Temple in Angkor



Like any good addiction such as traveling, our temple hopping never hovered near overdose level. Reason why we went further from the main Angkor complex to explore more temple ruins. Banteay Srei is one of my favorite temples in the former Khmer capital of Angkor. It is probably the most intricately designed sanctuary in Siem Reap, as evidenced by the impressive and elaborate carvings adorning  its still impressively looking walls. The temples doesn't share the capacious temples around Angkor, but it definitely showcases a unique characteristic. 

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Nomadic Video 2: Angkor Wat



Here is the music video of the various moving images of Angkor Wat and the many temples surrounding it. I made sure I was able to shoot enough scenes as this has been the trip I've been wanting to make for the longest time. What better way than to store it not only in my memory vault, but have it go along with one of my favorite songs of all time, "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles.



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Phnom Pehn de Sarapen: Border Crossing


I arrived a day earlier in Ho Chi Minh and spent the whole day walking around the city, getting myself immersed in a new place which hurriedly became familiar to me. From crossing the street with the engines of motorcycles revving up and whose drivers will never slow down, I've become an expert in not getting ran over in just a few tries. I've also politely rejected motorcycle drivers and rickshaw operators' offer of ride, as I just told them "I'm just walking around". Which I did before retiring to the guest house and waited for my brother who arrived early morning the next day. After a short nap, we went out to the then awakening city of Saigon and had a quick breakfast in order to catch the 6:30 AM bus going to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. A day earlier, I already purchased two one way tickets to Phnom Penh which costs $10.00 per person at the Sihn Tourist located at De Tham street - which is just beside both Buy Vien and Pham Ngu Lao.

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War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City



The "Vietnam War" is one of the most infamous events of recent times. Told to us by a telling number of movies made in Hollywood which heightened only the conflict through the eyes of the Americans. I grew up watching the films by Oliver Stone ("Platoon"), Francis Ford Coppolla ("Apocalypse Now") and Stanley Kubrick ("Full Metal Jacket") of how the war besieged the innocence of young Americans drafted into the battlefields of Vietnam. Truth to be told, the war is more terrifying and harrowing if looked from the eyes and the experiences of the Vietnamese people, 3 million of whom (2 million civilians) died in the senseless conflict brought upon from former US President Dwight Eisenhower's unfounded "domino theory" paranoia in Asia.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Phnom Bakheng Sunset


After an almost 7 hour bus ride from Phnom Penh, we finally rolled into Siem Reap and the feeling of excitement has swelled into a massive wave inside my body. My mind is painting a picture of the vast Angkor Wat complex and its nearby and equally impressive temple ruins. Comparing what I had imagined and read before to what I will see in a short while, equals every adolescent boy's first foray into a lovemaking session with a beautiful girl.

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Roomorama: You Khin House in Phnom Penh


True to form with Roomorama's vision of introducing the other aspects of traveling aside from "visiting a checklist of tourist attractions". The experience I had with You Khin House in Phnom Penh, Cambodia opened my eyes to the many things, a traveler can do while visiting a particular city on a longer term. The idea of joining an NGO organization like the one behind You Khin House presents an ideal chance to mix traveling and helping others.
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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Reunification Palace: Last Bastion of South Vietnam

I grew up watching a battalion of Vietnam War movies and TV shows. From "Platoon", "Born on the 4th of July", "Full Metal Jacket", "Hamburger Hill" and even Chuck Norris' "Missing in Action" series. I've forever associated Vietnam with that brutal part of its history. Fast forward to today, I see the city of Ho Chi Minh as a country miles away from that bloody image of Saigon during the war. The peace-time version has disengaged my mind from its former image. Better be, because the end of Vietnam War  happened almost 37 years ago. It was on the day of April 30, 1975 when a tank belonging to the North Vietnamese Army came crashing through the gates of what is then known as the Independence Palace. The ensuing short battle paved the way for the Fall of Saigon, thereby putting the control of all of Vietnam into the hands of the communist North Vietnamese forces.

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The view from the 2nd flr window of the Palace

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Dispatch From Saigon



I'm writing this inside our $12 room in Saigon. My brother is already snoring and sleeping soundly, while I just had the urge to write something. This is our last night on a journey that has taken us from Saigon - Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in Cambodia and back again in Ho Chi Minh. It was a trip that finally morphed my childhood fascination of seeing Angkor Wat - into a reality. By tomorrow, this epic on the road experience will total 8 days, one of my longest so far, in terms of traveling in between my day job.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kota Kinabalu Street Graffiti



A few hours before we boarded the plane back to Clark in Pampanga, we took a final walk along the streets of Kota Kinabalu and came across this remnants of an old building, that was covered with eye popping graffiti. To say that it was Andy Warhol-isque is a bit of an understatement. I am always fascinated with street arts, especially graffiti which if done with fine taste, would always present a welcome appeasement to the eyes.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Kota Kinabalu Foodtrip


I'm not much of a food adventurer that I must admit. You will find me most of the time ordering the usual dishes at the office cafeteria, the tortang talong at the nearby Jollijeep and on rare occasions delighting on KFC, McDonalds and Jollibee. During my travels though, I try to become more driven to sample cuisines that are popular in places I visit. Sometimes I do get to try and more than a few times, due to budget constraints I let the opportunity pass me by. Not so, during my recent trip to Kota Kinabalu. I figured the chances of coming back would be more expensive, considering travel taxes and the lack of airfare promos alike. I'm already there so might as well try to get my taste buds say hello to the dishes that are relatively served around the city.

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All-Time Favourite Destinations in Asia


As a region so diverse in its history, culture and landscapes, it’d be disingenuous to define Asia in any broad terms. Even though I live in the Philippines, my fellow Asian nations are so different that I can only think of one word that applies to all of the places I've visited here: fascinating

From modern metropolises filled beyond capacity to serene villages stuck in time, it can feel impossible to decide where to visit – even if you’ve settled on a city break or urban holiday, how you choose between Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Shanghai, Jakarta, Macau, Manila… and the list goes on. Smart research can help you compare holiday prices across the region and fit multiple destinations into your Asian adventure, whether Asia is the Far East to you or in your own back yard.

Friday, October 7, 2011

November South East Asian Backpacking Trip


I've been planning a long arduous, but a necessary and a madness staving off trip in Asia for the last couple of years. I've penciled out the later part of 2012 or early 2013 for it. However, I could not wait not to make a trip right now. With my work in between and rolling on a dire budget, I consider this upcoming November trips of mine to the cities of Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam), Phnom Penh and Siem Reap (Cambodia), Bangkok and Chiang Mai (Thailand) as only a precursor to the big bang that is bound to happen either in 2012 or 2013.  

Since I cannot afford to be on the road for a long time (YET), I've divided these incursions into two legs. The first part will consist of Saigon - Phnom Penh - Siem Reap and the other half will be Bangkok - Chiang Mai.

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Map showing the Saigon - Phnom Penh - Siem Reap route

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Haunting Tale of Cagsawa Ruins


In Norse Mythology, there is a God named Heimdall, who sits at the edge of heaven and guards Asgard, which was among the "Nine Worlds" in Norse cosmology. The Cagsawa Ruins, with its bell tower protruding over the soil where it once mightily stood, unbreakable, strong and invisible, is at the edge of the invisible boundary of a world inhabited by the majestic Mayon Volcano. It's relationship to each other, bludgeoned together by a violent eruption in 1814, forever weaved it altogether, one could not be the muse of the other - rather, both bears importance, more than any recent memory of nature's transfiguration with a man-made structure.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Historic Church of Daraga


A somber atmosphere reigned over the town of Daraga when we went to visit the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Porteria. Like a set of eyes coming from a funeral, the skies hovering above was subdued yet haunting and sad. The jabbing wind blowing against my face reminded of the aftermath of typhoon Mina, which battered the province a few days before we arrived. Some of the dark clouds which "Mina" brought remained and like a jealous lover, it protruded over the landscape of Mayon Volcano, totally sheltering it from our sight. 

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Unforgettable Human Encounters on the Road


The people we meet on the road is oftentimes the least mentioned in travel stories shared to friends. People, as much as places and food make up a third of one's over-all travel experience. In most cases, it is the forgotten allure of the newfound wisdom we gathered, while gutting it out with the forces of nature, walking the long paved highways, crossing muddy creek, hiking up the inclined slope of a mountain. If only we could remember more clearly, we'd be showered with images of nameless strangers, who became new friends, persons who made a lasting impression, while we're stuck in an inconvenient situation on the road and who plucked us out with whatever offerings their Earth hardened hand could lend. In the September Pinoy Blogger's Blog Carnival. Travel Bloggers share what they describe as their own "Unforgettable Human Encounters on the Road". 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Juag Fish Watering Hole & Sanctuary


I've always been interested with seeing a fish wag its tail and weave through the waters in an almost synchronized movement, just as the humans move gracefully in a sprint motion with all body muscles and flesh conniving to generate a fluid action, its just that, a fish present it better because it does so in the waters.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Calintaan Island’s Subic Beach in Matnog, Sorsogon


If there was some doubts on the appearance of the sun when we boarded the bus from Legaspi to Sorsogon, it was all exiled to rest as the blue and green waters of the sea regaled in the bright and clear skies. The boat ride was all smooth sailing over the calm waters and as we approached Subic Beach in Calintaan Island, I reckoned to myself "this is just another beach" in my own beautiful country.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Weaving Through Scenic Sorsogon Countryside



The sky was a picture of a hesitation when we boarded the bus from Legaspi to Sorsogon. It looks like it was caught in between raining and sheltering the Earth below from the blistering sun, which was keen on making an appearance that day. The weather was shaping out fine and the absence of rain made it more ideal, but there are still a few patches of dark clouds that are hovering above. The same set that made our earlier attempt to see Mayon Volcano up close a futile one. As the bus revved up its engine and gathers speed on the highway and wind brushing against my face increases its tenacity, I looked out the window and was greeted by a particular view of a majestic countryside.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

DISPATCH MAGAZINE IMPRINTS: Soul on Sole // A Travel Art Installation

An invite from DISPATCH Magazine:
Hello Traveler! 
This is to formally invite you to attend IMPRINTS: A Travel Footwear Art Installation by Pilipinas Street Plan and Stop Motion Video Screening of 25 extraordinary alternative travelers for the first leg of DISPATCH MAGAZINE's Travel X Thursdays.
Date: SEPT. 15, 2011
Venue: Cubao X
Time: 7PM


Nomadic Video 1: Masskara Festival


I've been wanting to make a music video of some of my trips but haven't really sat down and edit some video clips. It doesn't help when my phone with a respectable video quality was stolen off inside the LRT last December, taking along with it countless video clips which, unfortunately wasn't transferred yet to my laptop. I had a blast putting this music video out in an hour of editing and exploring the controls of "Windows Live Movie Maker", but with the limited video clips I was happy at the result. Plus the song of the Pixies, "Where is My Mind" made it a bit better. 

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hassle-Free Accommodation Bookings at Roomorama.com


I'm so excited about my upcoming trip to Vietnam and Cambodia this coming November that I decided to settle our accommodations in advance through the internet. I usually travel on a stringent budget and leave no room for costly decisions on the road. The more money I save will eventually roll-over to funding for my next trip. My trip to these two Asian nations also serves as a great opportunity to bond with my brother, the person who was responsible in introducing me to traveling when he took me on my very first out of the country trip to Kuala Lumpur in May 2007 and a month later to Singapore. Being tasked as the master planner of the trip I started by choosing Roomarama.com as a medium to look for our short-term accommodation

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Talking Sea Creatures In Kota Kinabalu


The stone fish is staring out his aquarium like a delirious sea creature high on helium when he spotted two travel bloggers, one a Chinese looking dude and the other one a semi-Chinese looking dude with a flair of Spanish blood walked inside the "Old Village Seafood Restaurant" in Kota Kinabalu.

Stone Fish: Well, what do we have here. I hope they'll be the one to free me of my misery in this small enclosed space I'm in right now, but hmm they don't seem interested in shelling out 10.00RM for a 100 grams of myself. They just taking pictures.

Zibra Shell: Roger Clemens on that Stone, those dudes, they don't look like the seafoods kind of guy. They just order them Tiger Beers, so looks like you're gonna be there for quite some time. Me? I got myself ordered by that cute family sitting over there. I saw them point me out to the waiter. 

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Big Buddha Upstairs


Years before the boy who goes by the name Siddharta would become known as Gautama, the Buddhist religion founder, he was always in search for his life's meaning. It was a life-long quest that would ultimately help shape a big part of our world. I was always fascinated with the Buddhist religion, it strikes me as its centered on one's peace of mind and its relation to every living things around. When I found myself on a bus going to the Ngong Ping highlands to visit the Tian Tan or otherwise known as the "Giant Buddha",  peace of mind nor with myself has always been the slippery toad caught between my hands. Right here this moment and gone the next.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Postcard Series: Good Morning Sagada


A view that greets you every morning. Lucky are those who live here. The scenery that welcomed my eyes upon waking up, even with no mug of hot milo in hand, this wonderful sight made the start of a new day more awesome as it is. This, after almost a whole day of cave connection - which left us in awe of the stalactite and stalagmite formation underground. "It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away" 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

If You See Her at Honda Bay, Say Hello


This was the continuation of the interrupted process that happened here. It was almost a mass of water as large as the sea have formed between us. I could feel the blank and puzzled stare at my shoulder, I too could only look at her with amazement at how things could turn around so quickly. Maybe it has always been my weakness that I always force someone to pick up a hammer and hit my head with it. The boat ride was extra torture as it travels at half the speed of ordinary boats. The whole trip though was ably made up by the ever presence of wonderful scenery across Honda Bay.

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Friday, August 5, 2011

Postcard Series: Pure Massacre


Unknown to many, Corregidor was also the site of an infamous event in our history; The Jabidah Massacre, which happened sometime in 1968. A group of Moro Muslims were recruited and then shipped into the island to undergo training for a top secret operation called "Merdeka". The mission's primary goal was to instigate dissent by fighting the Tausug and Sama groups in the island of Sabah, in preparation for its take-over. When the recruits found out the real nature of their mission they started demanding to be returned home. The Military fearing the whole operation will be uncovered, lined them all up in the airstrip one morning, while the clueless young men dazed at the sweeping scenery of the sea, a hail of machine gun fire erupted which massacred them. Everyone died except Jibin Arula, who managed to jump off a cliff and survived to tell the grizzly tale.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

City Mosque in Likas Bay, Kota Kinabalu


Surrounded by a man-made lagoon, the City Mosque at Likas Bay in Kota Kinabalu achieves a floating like apparition as seen from a distance. As I trudge closer from where we got off the bus, I can hear chants of worships spread out on the open air, and in a place like that with the bay fronting the opposite side and the Mosque facing it against the lagoon - the chant easily bemused the ears even of those undaunted passersby. At that point, I was feeling a different kind of beat, as I quickly cut distance between me and this architecturally gifted place of worship of our Muslim brothers. After gorging on street foods in Kota Kinabalu, I was finally experiencing the place in a new light and perspective.

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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hong Kong Food Trip


I seldom spend money for food when traveling, but I'd been wanting to rid of that habit of holding back in trying out local cuisines of places I go to, since its also a part of the over-all travel experience. That is why, one of the things I was looking forward on my trip to Hong Kong last month was to satisfy my tongue's desire to commit mass gluttony.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Sensi Backpackers Hostel in Kota Kinabalu


Since I've taken my traveling desire to a few notches higher the past couple of years, I've learned to adjust myself when it comes to choosing a place to stay. Gone are the days when I look for comfort first, rather I ask for the price first and then whatever convenience a place of accommodation presents are only considered as bonus. I've stayed in hostels wherein the bed bugs and the giant rats becomes your friend at the end of the night. Walls made of thin plywood you could hear headboards banging next room, caused by two lovers indulging in you know what. Mostly these are the 500 pesos and below types of hostel rooms. Going to Kota Kinabalu, a few friends who have been there have already told me that it is a different case there, because there are a lot of cheap hostels that are well taken care of and offers the kind of comfort a traveler needs when he/she is on the road.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Taiji in Tai O, Lantau Island


Tai O is a small fishing village in a small island of the same name located on the western part of Lantau, the biggest island in Hong Kong. After my trip to the Tian Tan Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery in the Ngong Ping plateau I boarded a bus to Tai O. I reckoned I could do with observing a simple living setting in a territory that is filled with all the hustling and blistering high wire activity that of Hong Kong.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Fish Eye View: Manila



A couple of years ago, I walked around the city of Manila armed with my Fish Eye II film camera. I remember buying it a few weeks prior and what better way to use it for the first time than taking a few snapshots of a city I've both learned to love and rant about. I took the LRT at Monumento and got off at Carriedo station then walked my way towards the historic Quiapo church and the Plaza Miranda.

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Quiapo Church

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Going Venetian Blind in Macau


The Venetian Macao is one of the usual suspects one would encounter when visiting Macau. My wham-bam thank you miss trip to Macau lasted only 10 hours so I've no choice but to explore the usual places and I didn't regretted dropping by the Venetian only because the place was really amazing. Constructed at an astounding $2.4 billion encompassing 980,000 square meters and designed after its sister hotel in Las Vegas but bigger, it now holds the distinction of being the largest casino in the world, 5th largest building in the world and the largest in Asia for any stand alone building structure. 

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

My 7 Links | Echoes of Past Reggaes and Blues


Hippie super mom, hardcore backpacker and fellow Pinoy Travel Blogger, Gay Emami of Pinay Travel Junkie nominated me to take part in the My 7 Links Project. It is a stirring effort from the people from Tripbase and worldwide travel bloggers "in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again."

My travel blog is a little bit over three years old that started off slowly and then snowballed in the last couple of years as my passion for traveling grew and the intention to share it to others prevailed upon me. That said, this is a nice way of revisiting past travel experiences that were serenaded by reggae songs in the midst of varying cases of feeling the blues.

Most Beautiful Post

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hong Kong: High Rise Act


High rise skyscrapers abound in this small territory that produces massive economic activity. Many of the world's largest corporation have set up their Asian operations in Hong Kong and the end result was an unending rows of towering buildings that covers the already cloudy skies and lights up the sky once the sun goes down towards the other part of the Earth.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Spontaneous Process Interrupted at the Underground River



I was looking forward to this trip for like two months. I was stripping my psyche about the opportunity for that one fugitive emotion to flourish in the aftermath of it all and beyond that, I was also excited at the notion of writing a narrative of what transpired beyond the obvious appeal of this natural wonder of the world. My ever charging and restless mind was rolling with fervor and the tip of my fingers are giddy with anticipation to hit the keyboards just the same as an infantry man watching a thousand enemy charging in, would pull the clip of his machine gun's trigger.

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Hong Kong Action Heroes


When I first saw the movie "Police Story" starring Jackie Chan as a kid I was first introduced to a double-decker bus which got me excited at the possibility of seeing one in the streets of Manila. Years gone by and no 'double-decker' bus still plies the streets of Manila but my taste for Hong Kong action films has evolved since then. Soon I was renting VHS tapes of other Jackie Chan movies, especially the ones with Samo Hung and Yuen Biao and I discovered pioneering action directors such as John Woo (pre-Hollywood days), Tsui Hark and Ringo Lam and pretty soon I was looking at the world in slow motion, with doves flying in the background and imagining gunfights happening as if it was a ballet performance.

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In Hong Kong: Chi Lin Nunnery & Nan Lian Garden


During my temple hopping in Hong Kong which I summarized in my previous post "Temples, Shrines & Monasteries" I mentioned that I will write a separate entry about Chi Lin Nunnery. The massive temple complex made me more excited about planning a visit to mainland China itself, as this place somehow managed to tickle my imagination as a preview to what I will see in the Forbidden City.  

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Monday, July 4, 2011

‘Lutong’ Macau


I first heard about Macau when I was a kid from my late father who was a casino junkie, he'd mention that it was like the mecca of gambling in Asia and every gambler's dream is to risk their luck (and money) in Macau at least once in their dice rolling life. He wasn't able to fulfill that goal as he succumbed to lung cancer in the 90's in a dingy apartment in Malate, gone are the wealth he achieved as a young businessman thanks to the local casinos here in the Philippines. 

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Trainspotting in Hong Kong


I consider Hong Kong as an explore-friendly place because of its very efficient transportation system, with its MTR ("Mass Transit Railway" their version of our LRT and MRT) providing an easy mode of taking a person from point A to B and to X with easiness, comfort and minimum delays (with current accuracy rate pegged at 99.9%). Trains would come and go in a span of a few minutes producing a continuous influx and flow of commuters thereby avoiding over crowded situations even during rush hour. 

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hong Kong Walks of Life: Temples, Shrines & Monasteries


There are around 600 temples, shrines, churches and monasteries scattered around Hong Kong that represents the many religions that are present in this island with Buddhism and Taoism having the most number of faithfuls. During my first day in Hong Kong I found a 'walking tour' map of Hong Kong showing places of interests around certain MTR stations that can easily be reached through walking.

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Inside Nan Lian Garden

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hong Kong Walks of Life: The Arrival



My first solo trip outside the Philippines went almost without a hiccup, almost because an hour and a half hanging out inside the HK immigration office was not part of my plan. However, as I analysed the varying reasons why these things happens to a Philippine passport holder - I was surprised at what it represent as a whole, in the end I have come into a conclusion that our Government will never solve this problem by issuing diplomatic protests left and right but a call for them and for us to look in the mirror and stare what was wrong with our system and political and economic structure as well.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Packing tips for Long Distance Travelers


Traveling around the world and discovering new places is always a great experience and the perfect way to open up our minds and become better persons. When you get the chance to travel, just take it! Pack your bags and leave, because there are plenty of things you need to see and learn in life that you can’t just learn on your couch at home. So before you book your trip and hotels from leading online booking websites such as Traveloka, let’s get ready for a long distance journey with a few packing tips!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sunday, May 29, 2011

One More Time Around Coron



I first visited Coron in August of 2009 in what served as the peak moments of my last relationship - soon a few weeks after that the whole thing crumbled but the memories of the place remained stoically unhinged by  life's untimely jab. The place became one of my favorites among the places I set foot on. It was a popular 'touristy' place but it does not matter as there's something about the green waters, the blue skies, the laid back seaside town that endeared to me.  

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mad Attempt at a Decent Underwater Photograph


An underwater camera is a 'must bring' in Coron because the sights below the water is as scenic as the ones above it. Divers spent most of the time below than above whenever they visit Coron. However, for us who have never experienced diving, we had to make do with trying to go as deep as we could just to get a decent and "post-able" photograph underwater, though it resulted into an endless array of hilarious images.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Culion Museum and Archives


Culion Island is historic in a number of few unconventional reasons, one of which is its selection by the Americans to become a "segregation island" in 1901 to serve as a place where patients afflicted with the Leprosy condition be bought and treated.

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