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Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Truth About Verde Passage


  The Philippines has the world's richest marine life, but the question is, for how long?

It is already fascinating to know that the Philippines is considered as the “center of marine biodiversity,” now imagine being at the center of the center. The Verde Island Passage, spanning an area of roughly 1.14 million hectares of sea surrounding the provinces of Batangas, Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, and Romblon, is recognized as the “center of the center of marine shore fish biodiversity.”

Verde Island Passage 15

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Witnessing the Visual and Spiritual Spectacle of Varanasi


As a travel writer armed with a camera and intent to document a place as real as possible, there are a few places that stand out and remain within my memory as crystal clear, as if it happened only yesterday. I could still hear the touts bugging me with “Hello boat?” - their way of offering their overpriced boat services along the Ganges River fronting the historic Ghats. For all the annoyance of the tourist trade in Varanasi, the place itself, a visual spectacle, which overflows with spirituality, will make anybody with a camera busy shooting at many fascinating subjects.

Young boys taking part in a morning ceremony along the Ghats

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A Brief History of our Hike to a Village in Bangaan Rice Terraces


Years ago I remember dropping my jaw in wonder when I saw the rice terraces of Banaue for the first time. Laid out in front of me are stairways of rice paddies stretching almost infinitely. Since then, I've seen similar ones at Sapa in Northern Vietnam and smaller farm terraces in other provinces. Each opportunity, I find myself achieving a feeling of calm while engrossing the entire visual banquet it brings. Last February, a wonderful opportunity presented itself when I was invited to be a part of the launch of PHILTOA's (Philippine Tour Operator's Association) new travel program called Cordillera Heritage Caravan. In a span of five days, we visited the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Banaue, Kiangan and Bangaan clusters of rice terraces. 

Bangaan Rice Terraces Banaue Ifugao 2