In the Presence of National Living Treasure Apuh Ambalang Ausalin

October 01, 2021

 

It doesn’t happen everyday that I get to wake up in a new and unfamiliar place, yet there I am stirring into consciousness from a deep slumber in the province of Basilan. A full day has passed since I stepped out of a ferry ship from Zamboanga and shattering my previous misconception about this province.


Sophie Gianan, Jomie Naynes, Levy Amosin
One of Apu Ambalang's Magtetenum (weaver)

A Surreal Moment at the Great Pyramid of Giza | Egypt

August 05, 2021


"Forward! Remember that from these monuments yonder 40 centuries look down upon you", Napoleon Bonaparte declared to his troops as they geared for the Battle of the Pyramids on July 1798. Indeed, the history of the great pyramids goes back to one the earliest civilizations on Earth. This fact made my experience of being there feel more surreal in real life. I remember looking at the pyramids with wide-eye wonder while standing motionless, as I lost myself in a spectacular now kind of moment. There is no better way to cap our Holy Land trip than a chance to see the Great Pyramid of Giza up close.

Kristine Shroff

Feeling the Royal Vibe Inside the City Palace in Udaipur | India

July 17, 2021

 

By this time, after making our way from Jaipur and Jodphur, the golden-colored terrain of the vast Rajasthan desert appears as common as the blue skies above. The contrast in hue reigning in this part of India made this part of our journey extra visually more astonishing. We also have developed a routine comprising of bazaar hopping, street food exploration and stepping inside centuries-old palaces and gigantic forts. Despite that, my sense of wonder and chase of the oddity lit up as we were about to approach the City Palace of Udaipur on foot. Massive in scale and rich in architectural details, I immediately felt a tinge of royal vibe as we enter the 'Badi Pol' (Great Gate) leading to the Palace's first of many courtyards.


Ayi Del Rosario
The Facade of the City Temple looks more like a typical Rajasthan Fort


Kuang Si Waterfall Side-trip with Tiger Trail | Laos

May 19, 2021

 

After several days of exploring the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang, the lure of the great outdoors took me 30 kilometers south to the town of Long Lao—the home of the Hmong indigenous people of Indochina. Accompanied by three other staff of Tiger Trail Adventure, our truck set off under the misty fog of the early morning. After an hour of driving through small settlements and along a long stretch of rough road, we reached the trekking jump-point to Kuang Si Falls under a still gloomy sky.


Sophie Gianan

Glorious Gwalior Fort Up-Close | Madhya Pradesh, India

April 20, 2021

 

As I was letting every second of being awed linger gratifyingly, I fixated my thoughts on the massive walls of Gwalior Fort. I started wondering about the stories of resilient kingdoms and bloody battles it conceals. Like peeling off layers of a paint, I survey the colossal architectural grandeur of the 8th century structure before me and briefly imagined being transported in time.


Jeni Cabacungan

Dead Sea Floating | Israel

March 31, 2021

 

I can’t remember how young I am when I first learned about the Dead Sea. I recall having a sense of dread about its name. “Do you die when you swim in that sea?” I recall asking my older brother. His explanation escaped my interest that time as I remain fixated at its morbid reputation. As I grow older, it occupied the top-tier of my mental bucket list of places I desire to tick off one by one. Therefore, when I was assigned to join a Holy Land trip for a travel writing gig and saw our itinerary; two places other than the Walled City of Jerusalem stood out to me: the Petra in Jordan and the Dead Sea.


Marky Ramone Go_Sandra Santiago

The Haunting at Old Diplomat Hotel | Baguio

March 27, 2021

 

Standing outside the fog-covered ruins of the Old Diplomat Hotel, I find the eerie vibe hard to ignore, as I picture a cinematic vision of a sequel to The Haunting of Hill House and of Bly Manor. For all its paranormal tales of housing wandering spirits, the history of this rundown charming architectural remains, provides a fascinating backdrop to any 8-episode horror series.


Ayi Del Rosario

Getting to Know Padre Burgos in Time of Covid | Quezon

March 04, 2021

 

During this pandemic, I was fortunate to sandwiched far in between my self-imposed lockdown at home, a few working trips that strictly followed safety protocols, to the Cordillera highlands, the organic farms in Quezon and the picturesque Lake Lumot in Cavinti, Laguna. The only thing missing was a socially-distanced jaunt to the beach. Just when I was starting to wonder if I’ve to wait for this damn pandemic to end before I could dip my toes again in the ocean, a travel writing assignment arrived on my inbox.


Sara Abdollahi

Nature & Chill at Glamping, Etc. in Cavinti | Laguna

February 14, 2021

After spending much of the Covid-ravaged year socially distancing myself from other people and the great outdoors, I welcomed the spontaneity to experience nature once again when I received an invitation from an old friend. “Hi Marky, are you free this Sunday to Tuesday?” Jackie wrote to me on messenger. “I’m going to Cavinti. I was going solo, but the place is kind off the grid so maybe I shouldn't go alone. Would you like to come?” she wrote on a follow-up message that reached my inbox just as I was about to reply “Yes”—even without knowing the details yet. 


Sandra Santiago