Almost lost and rendered inconspicuous in the stirring narrative of Arundhati Roy’s “The God of Small Things”, the famed backwaters of Kerala left a mark in my imagination, and eventually contributed to my fascination and obsession of visiting the country of India. After the travel Gods blessed me with a two-fold opportunity to venture into this culturally rich and often misunderstood nation, I have also – at both times, managed to witness the sultry setting of these famed backwaters – where the unforgettable characters whom Roy has created; shaped their own ‘social space’, and nurtured the bonds between each other to deepen.
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Saturday, July 23, 2016
Thursday, July 7, 2016
How do you recall a trip with a special someone who is now out of your life completely? As someone who now belongs as among the surfeit of individuals who came and left – leaving only traces of memories? As a travel writer I resort nothing to narrative abandonment, as I need to write something about the place I visited in the past. In this case, a place where we spent the happiest chapter of our brief time together. For good or for ill, even it means digging with overtones of bitterness, at fond remembrances.
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
As a traveler I usually embark on journeys to places I have never been to before. This rule though, comes with a few exceptions. Among the places I have returned sooner than I expected was Bagan in Myanmar. I always feel I have some unfinished business after I arrived home from my first trip there in March 2013. The itch to resolve that became the sole reason why exactly three years later – I penciled a plan for yet another jaunt to this ancient city. This time, I arrived as a solo traveler and armed with a lengthier period of time in exploring this olden city crawling with centuries-old temples and pagodas.
|Temples, pagodas and monasteries of all sizes dominate your view. I spent a number of afternoons parking my e-bike on a random spot and striding aimlessly until I discover obscure ruins where I will find a quiet time to be alone with my thoughts|
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Caliraya | A Weekend Nature Rush at Eco Saddle; of Glassy Lake, Floating Cottage, Watersports and then Some
Nothing could come very timely than a chance to escape Manila’s gloomy weather. A typhoon just whizzed by the city and left a somber mood as bleak as the gray skies. An hour of buzzing through the southern highways leading to Laguna has revealed a sunny set of blue skies. “The weather is looking great, I thought it would ruin our trip” my friend Faith excitedly tells me as she steers the wheel of her car. Earlier in the week, an invite from the Cottages and Many More team popped up on my inbox inviting me to visit their “small nature haven” located in the scenic surroundings of Caliraya Lake. After a brief online introduction I said “Yes” and instantly, images of the lake stemming from earlier journeys to that part of Laguna came flashing back to my mind.
|The Floating Cottage. Photo credit: WindowSeatPH|
Monday, July 4, 2016
I always associate the swell-filled beaches of La Union to a chill weekend – that’s why when an opportunity presented itself to go back, I quickly grabbed the chance. I remember when I was still working in a conventional office, I would head out to this place just to let my occupational burn-out simmer. I tried learning surfing to the point of passing beginner’s stage but unlike riding a bike, learning to surf takes continuous practice. Next time I found myself trying to get stoked over a surfboard in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur, I crashed and swallowed nothing but sea water.
|View of the AG Sano-created Sand Art from above|