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Friday, February 28, 2014

Vodka-tion at Hotel 878 in Libis Quezon City


Finding a place to stay in Metro Manila sometimes becomes a challenge especially for the budget conscious traveler. However, if you know where to look you will probably come across this small boutique hotel near the heart of Eastwood City in Libis, Quezon City. It was a toxic month work-wise when I stayed here for the weekend with my friend Cher. With nothing else to do but to down the tall bottle of vodka she bought, we holed up inside our cozy two-level loft, with the intention of achieving a massive hangover the next day.

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Growing a Three-Day Moustache at Lake Apo


Time is like frozen ice in this tranquil place overran by green grass that fronts a small lake surrounded by heaps of towering trees. We must have stayed here for a couple of hours tops, but it seems like long enough to clear my mind of big city worries. I only heard and read about Lake Apo prior to our trip here, I expect it to be this large mass of water where you won't hear the shouts of kids from the other end. But I did heard the kids playing from the other side where small pockets of villagers' houses stands by the lake, homes that could pass up as retirement abode for the workaholics everywhere. I could retire here, I thought to myself, living in a small wooden cabin, I just love the peaceful atmosphere of the place. Granted there is internet connection though.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Walk in the Cold Around Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem Lake


During the four mornings I spent in the city of Hanoi in-between my jaunts to Halong Bay and Sapa, my favorite part was walking around the Hoan Kiem Lake. Being under sunny skies, feeling the winter wind and being embraced by the 12 degree Celsius cold is the perfect condition to romp and stomp and get to know a new city. The occasional showers which show up at an interlude of a couple of hours had me sheltering under the tall trees that surround the lake. Otherwise, I would have gone round and round and round the lake. Sometimes I would walk towards a random street ending up another side of the Old French Quarters, but each time I would always follow a path back to Hoan Kiem Lake.

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the Turtle Tower or Thap Rua

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A 9th Century Time - Throwback to Prambanan


After suffering from temple overload around the same time I attained a visual high zen state of mind at the 9th century Buddhist temple complex of Borobudur, we proceeded to another throwback of that century, but this time to a Hindu temple compound called the Candi Prambanan. My interest level in seeing more temples that day fluctuated within .50 mark. Upon stepping out of the van however, as I saw the sharp towers of the Prambanan temples highlighted by the tallest, the Shiva temple, I felt a new wave of anticipation as I march closer to the temple compound. 

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

8:30 Sleeper Train to Sapa


The weather in Hanoi hovered down to 12 degrees according to the app on my phone, whether it is accurate or not my pulsating fingers are telling me there's no need to question its veracity. So while waiting for the van to pick me up at the office of SinhTourist I walked across a small noodle joint and ordered a bowl of hot Pho Ga. My new found friend in the city Hoang told me about the snow that fell in Sapa a few days before, she advised me to add extra layers of clothing. I told Hoang the cold never bothered me anyway. It was a lie, as I sat quivering waiting to sip on some hot Vietnamese chicken noodles I imagined how much coldness awaits me in Sapa. 

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Postcard Series: Sunset over the Grassland of Batanes


Everywhere you gaze your eyes you catch a wonderful scene. Staring at the slopes of the rolling hills forming outlines of a lover's embrace, you feel the hard travelling wind as it brushes off your face. It was cold alright, but as the last echoes of light give way to the luminous lighting of the moon rising up from the opposite direction, the setting sun becomes the center of attention. As if signaling the end of day, the herded cows prepare to leave the grassland by slowly walking towards their resting place for the night. I catch a last glimpse of the rounded sun before it kisses the edge of the vast ocean. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Slamma Jamma sans Pajama at Linden Suites


The past few years I've met a lot of kindred souls in this wander-maniac community composed of Pinoy Travel Bloggers. It has become an unwritten rule that whenever our muse Gay Emami is in town, it's automatic that we should hang out in some random places to drink, sing karaoke songs and talk about our travel experiences. Because of our hectic schedules (not working) but traveling, it is a rare occurrence to gather a crowd of more than five. Fortunately, on one cold January night a bunch of us showed up at the 19th floor of Linden Suites in Ortigas. It was an affair billed as "Pajama Party Wherein We Don't Wear Pajamas"

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Photo Credit: Marx of http://www.marxtermind.com/