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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Drinking Games Cuckoo-but-Fun People Play at The Circle Hostel


The days of traveling and staying in exclusive resorts like suburban home owners not giving a hoot about  their neighbors, are long gone and for good riddance. The concept of 'hostels' providing not only as a cheaper alternative for accommodations, but also as a medium to interact with and befriend fellow travelers is becoming a social bridge that connects travelers. Slowly, the word uneasiness and strangeness among guests of any hostels are replaced with shared conversations, laughter and for some, a glass filled with a mixture of alcoholic drinks there is: rum, vodka, beer and what-haves.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

First Sundown in Bagan


After witnessing a thousand sunsets in my life, I got used to it. Even the one which set directly across our office window, I often have taken it for granted. It warrants only a momentary pause "oh look at that fiery round sun", then I'm back at my computer desk. Not soon after, any remaining flicker of daylight is replaced by striking strobe lights from bumper to bumper cars and nearby buildings. The neon sign of "In God We Trust" attached to the roof of a condominium, creates a dragging longing for daylight. Still, I rest at the thought of the sun rising and setting again the next day. I'm definitely sure of that. I tend to overlook that the sun's clockwork cycle is what makes it possible for life to exist on this planet. Upon closer inspection, it is the most beautiful natural phenomenon which happens everyday. That moment between day and night, the short minutes which dusk spans, if I'm prodded with a choice. I would say is my favorite time of the day.

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Monday, June 24, 2013

I Don’t Want to be Buried in a Sunken Cemetery


The sky was raging and in the process of a quick transition from intense blue to fiery red. At the edge of the sea, the sun was sliding down like curtain dropping after a circus show. Our boatman told us to hurry so we'd catch a glimpse of the last remaining cross of one of the many buried gravestones. Most of which were already covered by coral reef, the bones of the buried has since been transferred to another cemetery inland. Well, the site of what is now known as the "Sunken Cemetery" used to be above the sea. Until a series of eruptions from Mt. Vulcan Daan in the 1870's eroded the parts of Bonbon in Catarman town thereby swallowing the cemetery and tucking it underwater.

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Do You Wanna Make Tea at the BBC: Bahay Bakasyunan sa Camiguin


In my case can I just drink tea here for a few mornings while I sat by the pool and stare out at the sea? Such was the cozy environment of Bahay Bakasyunan sa Camiguin and it's a good thing Cebu Pacific had us accommodated here during the Blogger's Tour of Camiguin. The last time I visited Camiguin was in 2010 and we just rode a jeepney across the island for the whole day. This time, I was able to stretch my tired legs while having a calming massage at its in-house Cabana spa after a long day of exploring the island. BBC is made up of mostly tropical materials like bamboo, helping it retain that island feel. I noticed also how the post-modern interiors meshes well with local architectural designs and the location facing the calm waters of Bohol Sea, makes this a fine secluded base for those wanting privacy.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Group Selfie at Katibawasan Falls, Camiguin


During myself and Tina's birthday trip to Camiguin in 2010, we were not able to visit Katibawasan Falls because we spent the whole afternoon lounging under the red hot sun at White Island. We drank red horse and feasted on the swaki (sea urchin) that crawled over Lot's tattooed back. It took three years for me to get another chance to visit the island province courtesy of an invite from Cebu Pacific and the Tourism office of Camiguin. 

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Monday, June 17, 2013

How I Manage My Travel Fund


As a traveler you can't avoid running into a wall of queries about where you get your travel fund. I've hit my head smack on it numerous times, each instances explaining the cliche answers of "working hard and saving up". Which is easy to say but an entirely different world applying it in the real world. I am currently juggling between traveling and a day job, so while I earn a decent and regular income, there are the questions of how to handle these funds to financially support my passion for traveling and at the same time saving up for rainy days. I started saving a few years ago and is now planning to open a bank account online to separate my travel fund from my actual fund for everything else. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

T@ttAwards 2013 Finalist for Best Travel & Food Blog


I never expect the Globe T@ttAwards to shortlist this blog again for their annual social media recognition. Last year it was a finalist for the "Visualizer" category. This year Nomadic Experiences is mentioned in the same breathe with four other impressive blogs under the "Best Travel and Food" category. At a time when I am starting to feel burn-out with travel writing and updating this website, this news comes as a meaningful shove towards the right direction.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Young Thanaka Faces in a Timeless Place


Finally. I smelled the dry air and felt my skin slowly burned to a crisp, by the merciless sun which shone over Bagan. I've mouthed the word "wow" many times at the many temples, stupas and pagodas stretched out in front of me. Each second I savored and filled my head with unforgettable images not only of the place, but its people. I was particularly endeared by these young children we met on our first morning in New Bagan. The previous night we arrived wasted from the almost 36 hours of no-sleep traveling from Manila - layover in Kuala Lumpur - whole day in Yangon and the 8 hour trip to New Bagan.

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Monday, June 3, 2013

No Meat, No Frills, No Strangers at the Veggie Resort of Ambay


"It's a vegetarian resort, plus they don't serve alcoholic drinks" I told a few friends as I try to invite them to visit this resort in Botolan, Zambales called "Ambay". My carnivore and beer drinking friends can't hide the smirk on their faces at my prodding to come with me. "What are we going to do there, more importantly what are we going to eat?". What seems to be a great concern to them, It became a source of wonder which drove me to visit the place with my friend Kara early this summer.

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There's no off-key Karaoke singing in here. Thank God