Busig-On Festival: A Retelling of an Epic Bicolano Tale | Camarines Norte

July 24, 2020


As a spectator many times over of numerous Philippine festivals in the past, I still overflow with enthusiasm each time I witness a new one. After experiencing the Ati-Atihan three times and the Sinulog twice already, I’ve had more than enough dose of fun from those twin-festivals honoring the Sto. Niño. However, I’m always game to immerse in the different vibe of other lesser-known festivals in the country. Camarines Norte’s Busig-on Festival isn’t just previously unknown to me, it also has an interesting backstory involving a widely retold local story. Therefore, during my 8-hour bus ride to the province, I already visualized the kind of frenzy atmosphere that awaits me.

Cheekie Albay

A Purposeful Trek to the Sacred Bud Bongao Mountain | Tawi-Tawi

July 19, 2020


I remember being envious of my then-girlfriend years ago, when she went on a solo backpacking to Tawi-Tawi and hiked the Bud Bongao. Not only is the mountain located in the southernmost province of the Philippines, it is also considered as a sacred peak. Two preachers mentored by Karim ul-Makhdum–the Arab missionary who brought Islam to the Philippines in 1380–are said to be buried in Mt. Bud Bongao in a location called the Tampat Rocks.

Tawi Tawi travel guide

Beaches in the Philippines Perfect for Social Distancing

July 14, 2020


The future of traveling is facing uncertainties brought on by the “new normal” or as aptly put: the "temporary abnormal", until a vaccine for Covid-19 is discovered. Until then, expect travel to become heavily reliant on precautionary measures such as social distancing. Crowded tourist destinations will—for the meantime—be out of our travel plans. This however, shall challenge travelers to be extra creative in exploring places. Great news though, beach-goers need not worry. Because in a country blessed with more than 7,000 islands, we have a lot of beach choices that meet the criteria for proper social distancin. Here are some of them.

Seco Island

Travel Lokal in the ‘New Normal’

July 12, 2020


Despite more than two months of community quarantine and minimal venturing into the outside world—mostly on supply runs—majority of us are fighting cabin fever humoring our predicament and making the most of our downtime. In our minds, we are still living out our wanderlust through reading books, binge-watching, learning online courses, writing and whatever that may stir the pot of our creativity.

Can't wait to hit the road? You shall be back on the road soon  (On a bus somewhere in Southern, Cebu)

Places to See in Jaipur: The Pink City | India

June 10, 2020


As the capital of the Indian state of Rajasthan, Jaipur is one of India's most popular cities among tourists. Part of the so-called "Golden Triangle" with New Delhi and Agra, travelers come to Jaipur to experience a city teeming with palaces, temples, magnificent forts, colorful bazaars, and of course—lots of cows. All these plus stunning architecture, culture and a lively culinary scene all combine to make what is also known as "the Pink City" a can't miss destination in India.

Places to see in Jaipur

Things to do in the UNESCO World Heritage Town of Hoi An, Vietnam

May 26, 2020

While time travel will always be a leading emblem of science fiction, it doesn’t restrict us from getting a peek and a feel into the world of the yester-centuries. The Ancient town of Hoi-An in Vietnam possesses an olden vibe dating back to the 15th century. Highlighted by its well-preserved structures that have shaped a storied past of a former Southeast Asian trading hub, it has become a major tourism draw in Central Vietnam.  Going back in time doesn’t need to come in the form of a capsule machine, a walk through the old streets of Hoi An might just do the trick. As I boarded my bus from Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An, I already pictured a lovely age-old town awaiting for me. 

To make your journey back in time more worthwhile, here are other things to do in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Hoi An.


Admiring the Fine Architecture of the Chhatris of Orchha | India

May 05, 2020


I was roused from my sleep as soon as I feel our Mini-bus rolling into a bumpy off-road trail. I opened my eyes into a view of the Betwa River and its murky waters. From the corner of my eye I catch a glimpse of a towering structures with arresting looking tips.

Our guide then hollered and pointed to us "that is the Royal Chhatris of Orchha". Still reeling from my brief slumber, I said “what” meaning to only address myself. Our guide heard me and so he offered aloud a brief explanation. “These are actually the cenotaphs dedicated to the Bundela Kings of Orchha and some members of their families”

Save a Prayer at Sigiriya Rock | Sri Lanka

April 25, 2020


Despite missing out on Duran Duran's peak of popularity, their music videos still left a valuable mark in my consciousness. One of it was their song "Save a Prayer". Shot on location in Sri Lanka, it features intoxicating scenes of temples, golden beaches and ancient ruins. One particular part of the video stood out for me; it's the scene where Simon Le Bon and Nick Rhodes are performing the song on top of a massive boulder surrounded by what look like a set of ancient ruins.

The ancient Sigiriya Rock in Sri Lanka

The Mesmerizing Architecture of Taj-ul-Masajid Mosque | Bhopal, India

April 18, 2020


I was feeling benumbed when I stared out the window of the bus and saw the sky reddened with strokes of sunrise. “Dawning of a new day” I told myself and instantly, burst of excitement shot up my body as this meant a new opportunity to explore. It was the first morning of the Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart where I was invited to cover. Before the event started, the organizers took our group of travel writers for a short incursion to the city’s landmark known as the ‘Crown among Mosques’—the biggest mosque in India, the Taj-ul-Masajid.