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Thursday, July 4, 2019

Dipping (sans Brooke Shields) in the Blue Lagoon of Datu Odin Sinsuat | Maguindanao



Despite expecting the blue lagoon to be concealed deep in the forest reachable by at least an hour or two of trekking, I still expected a good ole surprise. When I stepped out of our van and saw a few kids dripping wet, I simply figured they came frolicking from a nearby stream. Our guide Jeff told us “I reckon, these kids just swam at the lagoon”. I was already standing at the mouth of a wide trail on the elbow of the Shariff Aguak Road when I heard him. “You mean, the lagoon is just nearby?” Claire asked. Jeff’s reply sounded like music to my ears—as I was in no mood for a lengthy hiking activity that day— “just less than 200 meters ahead”.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Hiking to the Mist-Veiled Peak of Mount Pha Daeng | Nong Khiaw, Laos



At the foot of Mount Pha Daeng, a sign reads “Unexploded Bombs, Still in this Area. Dangerous!” remains a chilling reminder of the horrors of the Vietnam War. Collectively unmindful of the warning, we reckoned every bomb ordnance buried along the trail stretching to a radius of a few kilometers, were all swept clean already. Laos—by the way—is a vastly different nation now compared to what I first read in history books.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Calayan Island | When Coming Back Beckons a Sweet Hereafter Feels



Not missing the blustery 7-hour lampitaw ride of my first journey here, I stepped out of the plane—moments after it made a historic first landing on the island—buoyed by a feeling akin to rekindling a tryst with a former lover. Calayan Island has that effect on me. It could be because last time, the place served as a background to my memorable hilltop and beachside frolics with my then girlfriend.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

2019 Spartan Race SEA Series in Lima Park | Batangas



Founded by adventure racer Joe DeSena in 2007, the Spartan Race has grown to become the world standard for endurance and strength races. A total of 240 races are now being held in 25 countries every year including the Philippines. The first leg of the 2019 Spartan Race Southeast Asia Regional series held in Lima Technology Center in Batangas on May 3-4, 2019 attracted more than 4,000 participants.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Revisiting Marinduque



Whenever people ask me how I fell in love with traveling. I always tell them I got inspired by Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” novel. An autobiographical narrative of Kerouac’s post-war road trip across the United States amidst the background of poetry, jazz and the emerging beat culture. Thinking back now, I realized the birth of my wanderlust occurred during my college years. This was a time when my friends and I journeyed to the province of Marinduque every holy week, to partake at the island’s iconic revelry---the Moriones Festival.

Soon to re-open Bellaroca Island