Nomadic Experiences of 2012: From the Halifax Airport Lounge Until a Long December

December 22, 2012

The year the world is supposed to end is about to end. A year which filled my memory vault almost to a full. Something I will look back in earnest disbelief (and bragging rights) that I've experienced it all in a span of one year. In between the struggles of everyday living, I am proud to sandwich days and nights, in the company of friends and other nameless strangers who've all been a part of my over-all literal and figurative journey. From rushing to pack my backpack, chasing time of departures, hopping from one bus to another, getting starved in the middle of an outstanding scenery, falling in love and then some. 2012 definitely is one for the books.

[Insert Adjectives Here] at Tinago Falls | Iligan City

December 16, 2012

Tinago waterfalls, like a wonder drug, provide a soothing cure for any pounding headache. The flowing water, even from the tiniest cracks in its high-rise wall, appears to wash away all unsavory elements of the world. The cold, crystalline water creates an inviting natural pool surrounded by lush vegetation. Despite men's embarrassing attempt to build unnecessary infrastructures that threaten the waterfall's bareness vibe, the place can still be described in all favorable adjectives.

Waterfalls in the Philippines

Eyeballing Maria Cristina Falls | Iligan City

December 10, 2012

I've heard about Maria Cristina Falls as early when I was still focused on toys and playground noise. Chances are, my Sibika and Kultura teacher haven't been here back then. But, the way she described it while reading from the book, sounded like it was a sight to see. It was one of those moments at school when my mind would travel far and wide beaming with rich imagination. I would paint a picture of the Maria Cristina in my head and wonder if ever matches its real image. I find it fascinating  now that I grew up and was blessed with an opportunity to visit the places I once learned in grade school. 

Lauren Denoga

Post End of the World Travel Plans

November 25, 2012

If I were to believe the Mayan prophecy then there's no need for me to make travel plans beyond 2012. However, since I'm already penciling out destinations for 2013 - that means the hell with the world crumbling and those end of times murmurs in 2012. I expect my feet to walk over new grounds next year from the far bending corners of the Philippines to Indonesia to Myanmar, Laos, India and to far away Montreal in Canada. There's a satisfying sense just thinking about it all. But, playing the idea in your head is different than making it happen. That's where all the heist-like planning comes into place. This early I've been scouring the world wide web to find budget friendly hotels and booking plane tickets at a bargain price. I already got lucky with a very cheap round-trip ticket I scored to Jakarta later next year, so I must remain like a CIA-trained shadow surveying for more great deals.

Greens and Sierra Madre as Far as the Eyes Can See | Tanay

November 23, 2012

A couple of months back, while me and Lauren was in the midst of what we call as epic moments construction phase as a couple. We always find ourselves opting to an out of town trip as opposed to hanging out on smokey bars. The most recent was our 6-day Mindanao trip, which took us to the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and Sultan Kudarat. During the early stages of our relationship, we went to this place situated in Tanay, Rizal. Lauren discovered it about a year ago when she was looking for affordable travel deals online.  Sierra Madre Resorts at first glance, looks like the rough and tumble, long forgotten and abandoned resort–projecting a low-key existence beside Marcos Hi-Way in Brgy. Mayagay. 

UST Mountaineering Club

No Danzig, But Us at Kalamansig | Sultan Kudarat

November 15, 2012

We arrived in Lebak after a couple of hours of ragged joyride along the scenic Upi-Lebak National Hi-way as darkness began to eat away at the remaining sunlight. We only had time to stretch our legs because as soon as we shook off our cramps, we boarded a tricycle for a six-kilometer ride to the next municipality of Kalamansig. As if the breathtaking scenery on the way to Lebak wasn't enough, we saw the sun slowly fade away in the horizon as we passed by vast green rice fields. Rolling smoothly on the highway I noticed the towering trees deeply rooted on both sides, had their branches extending and touching each other in the center of the road. Looking up, I could already see the welcoming party.

Kalamansig Beach

Chapter 3: The Lightness of Meeting an Old Romantic Tagbanwa Couple

November 11, 2012

Our boat threaded the stillness of the sea under gloomy skies and over calm waters to a place not frequented by tourists. Passing through tiny islands dominated by edgy limestone cliffs, which our boatman Russell points out as some of the perilous path leading to hidden lakes, where the Tagbanua tribe gathers their supply for the birds' nest trade. I imagined what it would be like to be transported back to the 1950s, but instead of going to Coron Island, we are going to the mysterious Asmat region of Papua New Guinea.

The Golden Mosque: Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Masjid | Cotabato City

November 09, 2012

An uncomfortable sensation betrayed my enthusiastic steps out of Cotabato City airport only minutes after stepping off the plane. I've heard a lot of nasty things about this city. The sort that advises you not to go out walking alone and other hysteria propagated by the mainstream media. When Lauren and I eventually ventured outside, we were startled by dozens of marines holding their positions—armed with long rifles, standing on guard with alert eyes concealed behind their black rip-off Oakley sunglasses—with the type of glare you feel at the back of your mind. I nodded to one of them, and a number of them returned my grin. I thought to myself, here we are, in the city that is frequently misunderstood, and I wonder if I will go home with a newfound knowledge of this city, or if I will be one of those who say, "I told you so, the place is dangerous." I recall that moment, when we hailed down a tricycle driver to take us to the Golden Mosque, when we were in a state of wait-and-see.

Mosques in Mindanao

Film Pirates and Surfers of Dahican Beach in Mati | Davao Oriental

November 05, 2012

After a sweltering day resembling The Clash's "breaking rocks in the hot sun" and relishing the impassioned ambiance of Davao City's Kadayawan Festival. Early the next day, I joined a small group of enthusiastic film photographers Lauren, Master Erick, and Surfer Kara on a journey to Mati, the capital of Davao Oriental. Our aim was to find some waves and capture some amazing landscapes, both digitally and on film. My buddies were carrying analog cameras and rolls of film, as opposed to my little camera bag. The trio undoubtedly came to Davao armed to the teeth — Lomography speaking. 

Dahican Beach

Chapter 2: The Pre-Drench Chain Gang on a Hula-Loop of Coron | Palawan

October 16, 2012

When my alarm clock went off at 5:30 a.m., I was startled to see natural light seeping through the small opening in the window curtain. It had rained heavily the day before and all night. In my mind, I've filed the prospect of a sunny island exploration around the Calamian Islands in the cold case folder. So how could I complain about the way things had unfolded up to that point? Lauren and I, on the other hand, were still subconsciously fumbling with our romantic fate at the time. A Lumineer song moment had been developing all along, and things were about to get even better on this particular day.

Island hopping in Palawan

The Kids of Gubat, Sorsogon Decides To Read

October 10, 2012

“So many books, so little time.” 
― Frank Zappa

In the case of the students of Rizal Elementary School in Gubat, Sorsogon. It used to be the other way around. There were no books because there wasn't a library in the first place. All that has changed now. Remember this Book Sharing Project a couple of months ago? well, people heeded that call and donated large sums of money and used books. The end result is a brand new library with painted walls, newly-constructed bookshelves and more importantly, books that will make any kid beam with delight and whisper to him/herself  "So many books.."

the new library 

Dante Varona Unchained at San Juanico Bridge

October 07, 2012

When I was growing up in our old neighborhood in Paranaque, there was this tricycle driver who everyone referred to as "King." He has disheveled features, including a long black beard and a semi-handlebar mustache that matches his thick hair, which appeared to haven't felt the sweep of a comb for years. He has the air of a mysterious man who doesn't say much but is well-known for having a short temper—especially if you pay him a 20 peso bill for a 1 peso tricycle fare. There were whispers, probably made up by adults to scare off kids like me, that he was the daredevil stuntman Dante VaronaAccording to an urban legend, after Dante Varona jumped from the highest point of the San Juanico Bridge, blood flowed out of his eyes, ears, and nose, and he was almost killed. He then became a recluse under the guise of a new name and profession.

Chapter 1: Pre-Lumineers' Arrival in Coron | Palawan

October 01, 2012

This was my third visit to Coron, Palawan, and it was the most remarkable. If there are any, I should be writing this with my eyes closed and using only one hand, while the other makes a salami sandwich. Narrating the 'I did this, we did that, went there and ate here, stayed at Coron Eco Lodge' story. This trip, however, is out of the ordinary. It was, in fact, a journey in which "something wonderful happened and exploded like fabulous roman candles."

Lauren Denoga with Marky Ramone Go, Monette Fernandez and Ron Cruz

Lake Bulusan: Where Bad Folks Don’t Go | Sorsogon

September 30, 2012

According to the Meat Puppets, bad folks end up in a lake of fire. The good folks, though end up in some scenic lake elsewhere. I have reasons to feel like we were a bunch of good folks heading to Bulusan Volcano Natural Park that day. Accompanied by the humble Mayor Ronel Lim of Gubat, Sorsogon and a day removed from kick starting the book sharing project. We set foot and gazed our eyes at this body of water covered by a lush forest. The calm presence of this lake presents a stunning contrast to a force of nature situated beside it. Lake Bulusan is located at the foot of Mount Bulusan, a still active volcano which stands 5,135 feet and last erupted in February 2011.

a quiet day in Lake Bulusan

In Pursuit of the Most Wanted Waterfalls | Biliran

September 17, 2012

I stepped off my plane on the tarmac of Daniel Romualdez Airport in Tacloban City at the first sight of light. My mission was as clear as a shimmery disco ball circling to the beat of a Bee Gees song "Staying Alive." If I want to live again, I must carry out the top-secret orders bestowed upon me. I must track down the most wanted waterfalls of Biliran Island province one by one, every single one of them. I walked past airport security and into a waiting jeepney to downtown Tacloban, my camera locked and loaded with a 4 gig memory card. From there, I rode a van-van for a two and a half hour journey into the land of fast flowing waters.

Tinago Falls in Biliran
Tinago Falls (There's also a Tinago Falls in Iligan)

Spyder Surge: Biking Around Marikina Semi - Gangnam Style

September 12, 2012

I always wanted to buy another bike since my last one was stolen at our then home in Pasig, by a member of the "Spiderman Club" a few years ago. (sings Queen's "Bicycle Race") One of my best friend, Don is an avid biker and I am itching to join him on one of his biking jaunt around the Metro and nearby provinces such as Rizal, Laguna, Batangas, Bulacan, Pampanga and Zambales. While my stamina is 500 miles away from being back to tip top shape, I tried going around the island of Siquijor on a bicycle in February of this year. I lasted a few miles before my legs gave up on me. That experience though, reminded me of the joy of riding a bike en route to anywhere, whether its in a bustling city like Marikina and Makati or a scenic countryside like in Siquijor. For good or ill, I will save up for a bicycle in the neccesarily near- future. As the lady from the office of the Marikina Bikeways aptly says "A bicycle on the road is one less car off the road". You can't get any eco-friendly transporting from one place to another than that.

Photo credit: Jun Reynales of

Go Hotels Dumaguete

September 01, 2012

During my first trip to Dumaguete early this year, I stayed at a budget hostel - the kind of place a traveler would just sleep on, take a shower and that's it. That's why my second trip to Dumaguete, also of this year was like Mr. Chow and an average Joe apart. I got the chance to stay at GoHotels Dumaguete, it is advertised as 'a place for every Juan' but without the torturous state of accommodation, because in actuality, the place can really compete among the priciest hotels all over the country. It is best described as a boutique hotel - fancy looking, neat, stylish and most of all very affordable. 


Enchanted River: Unearthly Basin of the Deep Blue | Surigao del Sur

August 28, 2012

"♫♪♫ I belong with you, you belong with me you're my sweetheart
I belong with you, you belong with me you're my sweet (Ho!) ♫♪♫"

Sings the male fairy as he flaps his wings quickly, unseen by the object of his desire—a beautiful girl staring, jaw dropped in fascination at the blue colored waters of what is known as the "Enchanted River." The male love-stuck fairy casts a magical spell, but every time he points his wand at the girl, it emits a "pfffft" sound. The other fairies all laughed in unison at him. The earthly woman stripped down to her underwear, revealing a two-piece suit that accentuates her vivacious curves. Meanwhile, the Romeo-wannabe fairy has accepted that his world will never blend with that of the woman. As he sat idle on a little stone, tears flowed down his eyes wondering how it feels like to be a human in the Earthly world.

Eileen Campos as fairy lover

For Whom the Tinuy-an Falls | Surigao del Sur

August 24, 2012

The massive force of Tinuy-an's raging waters stunned me at first sight. It's 95 meters wide, and the sound of water falling from its 180-foot top mimics a roaring engine, as if you're standing in front of an aircraft on the runway about to run you over. The more you move slowly towards it, cutting distance in slow and deliberate strides, the more enthralling it becomes. Splashes of water begin to droop over you, as if a dog was shaking its dripping wet coat. Just when I thought I couldn't see it any better from where I was, I noticed a rainbow planted near the foot of the waterfalls.

Tinuy-an Falls

A Woodstock of Pebble Rocks in Mabua | Surigao del Sur

August 13, 2012

In the not so far outskirts of Surigao City, a throng of edgy, colliding rockers lies unusually subdued, well rested and only head bangs against each other when stepped upon. These are the pebble rockers of barangay Mabua, simply known as "Pebble Beach". The place defies the popular belief, same way as this madame reject the logic that thin women are the only sexy vixens on Earth – that a beautiful beach, to be considered as such, should constitute only fine granule of sands. As this shingle beach shows, these smooth, oval shaped sedimentary rocks are making a strong case against the prevailing concept that only sandy beaches are worth visiting.

Len David

Looting Scenery on a Day Hike to Gomot Falls | Romblon

August 05, 2012

Still reeling like a junkie who just smoked a bundle of weed from the previous night's "Bikini Open", I woke up from a dream where I found myself trapped in an island along with the eleven other bikini-clad contestants. Only to find later on that "number 3" was really an alien from outer space intent of killing me while I elope with "number 2" and "number 4". To understand what I'm talking about, you can read the background story here. Anyway back to real life. The sun was up early and I heard the birds were chirping by the window of the guest room of Barangay Kapitan Bibo Porras' home. I stood up from my bed half wishing my dream was real, I went outside and saw our two guides Inggo and his cousin Wladimir already waiting for us at the porch.

Waterfalls in Luzon

Postcard Series: Pebble N' Rolla | Surigao

August 01, 2012

My feet aren't planted over fine white sands, rather on smooth, round pebble rocks. West of Surigao City in the seaside town of Mabua, a different kind of beach awaits travelers used to drawing stick figures on beach shores. A friction factory of banging rocks, many of which bigger than the human hand, of various shapes but equally lethal when thrown at ya. It's rock n' rolla, its breaking rocks under the hot sun indeed.  Keep on rocking in the free world, this time, in this place. It's Pebbles and roll!.

Elal Jane Lasola

Nomadic Video 6: Romblon

July 29, 2012
The music of the Clash's "Police on my Back" provides the necessary beat to this random video footage I shot during our trip to Romblon last May. There were no police chasing us, just us hot on the trail of new places to see and experience. From the long 10-hour sea journey, toploading and island hopping from Romblon, Romblon to Sibuyan and back to Tablas island, eye popping scenery were the normal things to be seen. Judging a bikini open contest, festival food coma and spelunking in the beautiful island of Cobrador, meeting the friendly locals and some members of the indigenous tribe, made it a lock in maximizing my five day trip to this wonderful province - also the hometown of my friend Dazzle, who continued to incursion around the province for the next 20 days together with another travel blogger and photographer Josiah Strong

Cinema Leonardo: A Silent Hill Retreat in Baguio

July 20, 2012

It was nearing midnight of a Friday and as I sat at Victory Liner's Cubao terminal, a man being chased by a cop ran beside the post near from where I was sitting. He embraced the post like his life depended on it, to avoid being cuffed by the policeman. With all the reports of summary execution by cops, he might have a reason to hug for dear life. The cop's reasoning was, the tattooed bum was suspected of an attempted bag snatching. My friend, the hipster mum Gaye arrived to witness the end of the low key stand-off, and as the cop dragged the uncooperative suspected thief to the police headquarters, I kind of wish him a day in court and a smooth journey into the usual process of our justice system. 

Spacious ground

The Island of Dr. Cobrador | Romblon

July 16, 2012

Five-six or even seven hundred years ago when sea explorers approach a strange island, meeting a bloody resistance is a foregone conclusion. Drum rolls of war beat will accompany the sounds of shrieking bayonet and spear armed warriors running across the shore to meet the men aboard the incoming ship. The brutal battle that often ensues transforms the crystal clear blue waters into a sea of red. To the victors, a hell-raising cheer fills the air. To the vanquished, their decapitated bodies and pieces of flesh, reduced to an offering of feast for the lucky sea creatures. Fortunately, for myself, Dazzle, Josiah and voluptuous Pam, we were aboard a little passenger boat in the present day and the only drum roll we heard upon arriving at Cobrador island, was the one that accompanied a festive welcoming party composed of dancing kids in "Ati-Atihan" costumes.

Dazzle Silverio

Book Sharing Project in Gubat, Sorsogon

July 11, 2012

The room the kids call as their own "library" is a 40 square meter of empty space. The walls are untidy and dark, the windows are almost broken to shards. The lone table lies almost deserted by time, unused and nevermore. The only reminder that the room is the school's library was the two small bookcases, that is almost rotten to the core and on the verge of collapse. Dusty and dog eared copy books, about a couple of dozens are placed almost glued together on the two shelves. It wont take a rocket scientist to know, that these books are of no use anymore. That the library itself, in its sad current state is incapable of becoming a room of knowledge for the kids of Rizal Elementary School in Gubat, Sorsogon.

This is it! We're the library! - With your help, this is about to change 

Judging a Bikini Open in Sibuyan Island | Romblon

July 09, 2012

I was sitting there at the judges table with a pencil and a bunch of papers in front of me. What am I doing here? I asked myself. I've never scored anyone wearing a bikini before, In my eyes, anyone who sports a bikini automatically gets a perfect 10 from me. I was worried the hometown crowd might not like our "scoring" and might shower us with a resounding "boos" like what the three blind judges of the recent Pacquiao - Bradley bout got. Whatever doubts I had quickly vanished, when contestant number 1 walked on the platform. I decided to give them all perfect ten scores. Things reached fever pitch when Contestant 2 came out and I melted briefly when she made eye contact to myself. 

Valian Urag

A Piece of C in El Nido, Palawan

July 08, 2012

Like a porn star working on a scene (this time with Sasha Grey) for the third day in a row. Wait, let me rephrase that. Like an experience, equaling a porn star reporting for duty at the tail-end of a three day shoot, we took another boat ride early morning of our fourth day in El Nido, still dazed and hang-over from the drinking game with Inah and the three crazy Dutch guys the previous night.

The mesmerizing view

Gulag-like Coldness of Mount Pulag

June 25, 2012

I woke up in the middle of the night shivering from the cold. I can see my feet covered with my gray socks, but I could not feel it, but its shaking like a live turd out of water. I ask myself what I am doing here, as thoughts of sleeping soundly on my warm bed at home buzzed my head. As the temperature hovers around from 10 to 6 degrees Celsius, every minute becomes colder. It was a moment which I questioned my desire to be there. Fortunately, it was self doubt that only lasted for a minute. 

UST Mountaineering Club

El Nido, Palawan: Tour B-Hop a Dope

June 19, 2012

It's already our third day in El Nido and it seems I am getting a good grasp of the place. I'm getting used to the vibe of the town. Who wouldn't be? you walk a little bit further and you'll end up in rows of bars and restaurants fronting the sea. The place itself seems like a stone encapsulated by the towering edges of limestone peaks. It is crawling with tourists who always exhibit a friendly demeanor, that striking up a conversation is expected for everyone. The locals picks up the hospitality to another level by greeting everyone with a smile, while tour proprietors offer island hopping packages to everyone who walks around town in a polite manner.

Levy Amosin

2012 Globe Tatt Awards Finalist for "The Visualizer"

June 17, 2012
About a month ago, a former workmate of mine Tess Roldan asked permission if she could nominate me for the upcoming Globe Tatt Awards. Of course I said 'yes' she can, not expecting that it would produce a stunning result like it did when I opened my email a week ago. The email I got informed me that this travel blog has been shortlisted as among the five finalists for the "Visualizer Category

A Slow Motion Incursion to Basey | Samar

June 15, 2012

I woke up with runny nose and a slight chill brought upon by a night lacking in oxygen, reduced to inhaling the cold fake vapor of the air conditioner inside the small room I rented. I thought about sleeping till early afternoon, I felt weakened by a virus I caught somewhere. The urge to cross San Juanico Bridge into the province of Samar seems like a decision that has already been decided. For good or for ill, I must make the crossing, as I have planned it many times, walking back along the whole 2 kilometer stretch of the bridge from Samar and back again to Leyte.

Emily Rose Rosales

El Nido, Palawan: Tour A OK

June 13, 2012

If our first day in Palawan was spent mostly being en route to El Nido from Puerto Princesa, that left us with barely enough energy to meet new people that night at "Sea Slugs" — a bar where a cover band played live Pink Floyd and Sublime songs. On the second day, I woke up energized by a six hour sleep. We started the day sharing a boat with the same people we met the previous night. This time a couple of French and German students from Hong Kong and a Chinese couple joined our group making us a party of ten. We are about to experience the "Tour A" island hopping package which costs us 700 pesos each. (fixed rate).

Marky Ramone Go

El Nido, Palawan: Paradise Momentarily Disturbed

June 07, 2012

On our second day in El Nido, Palawan something happened that got me thinking whether I should write it here or not. I realized that I need to take the bad ones along the good ones, knowing the ripe fruits far outweighs the rotten ones. This is one of those events you hope will never happen again, a short burst of terror that disrupted paradise. Momentarily.

Jason Bourne in El Nido

El Nido, Palawan: 0-24 Hours

May 31, 2012

Our first day in Palawan can be described as a rough patch for many people in terms of traveling. Not in my case though, part of the joy of traveling are the happenings going from point A to B to C and so on. I eagerly anticipated the seven-hour bus trip from Puerto Princesa to El Nido. However, I never expected the stretch of dirt road on the last 50 kilometers of the trip. Being aboard an ordinary bus with open windows, we ended up being covered with dust. Looking back though, it was one of the best bus moments of my life. The awesome scenery, grinding bumps and the powdery dust made it all memorable and in a crazy way, a fun experience.

Levy Amosin

Nomadic Video 5: Mount Pulag, Benguet

May 27, 2012
I used to do a lot of hiking way back during College years, when my knee joints and legs muscles are still in top notch condition. Lately, all the climbing I do are on the LRT and MRT stairs, I even curse everytime I come across a busted escalator. But that's about to change since I now have my own tent, cookset, an ever improving stamina and a desire to chill in ultra cold peaks. I was re-introduced again to hiking when Christine, an avid climber and runner pitched the idea of a weekend atop Mount Pulag. I hurriedly said yes, since I missed out an opportunity to climb Mt. Pulag at least thrice during my hiking days, for reasons varying from lack of allowance money, conflict with university class schedule and other factors. It was an awesome weekend spent together with fellow travelers Gay, her husband Sherv, Izah, her boyfriend Joseph, master photographer Erick and Olay, with special mention to our pretty guide, Ditas - who will be wrapping up her education course at the University of Baguio in the coming university year. Here is a music video I created from the limited material I shot around Mount Pulag. The song is "Umagang Kay Ganda", which was covered by the band Bamboo. (click the wheel button to set the resolution to 480 for better viewing)

Mang Kulas Pabili nga ng Tsinelas sa Liliw | Laguna

May 24, 2012

After our crypt incursion in Nagcarlan, we proceeded to the "Tsinelas" town of Liliw, Laguna. The town's main street is lined with stores selling the preferred weapon against cockroaches and other bugs. Kidding. I'm referring to casual footwear. Shopaholics like my friend Cathy will have a great time selecting from thousands of pairs of shoes and slippers. "I'll end up buying three pairs a day here," she said. At that rate, she'll be the next Imelda Marcos in three years.

Catherine Marzo

Notes from the Underground Cemetery in Nagcarlan, Laguna

May 21, 2012

It was raining when we woke up as the skies remained gloomy until it ceased. The night's drizzle are still evident on the dripping plants and trees around Villa Sylvia and the slippery and muddy lawn. We left Abigail's unopened Tanduay rum and Fundador to one of the caretakers as token of niceties. Abigail left the previous day after concluding our lake hopping trip in San Pablo to attend a family gathering. That left me and Cathy finishing off the weekend by checking out the Underground Cemetery in Nagcarlan.

Underground Cemetery in Nagcarlan

Best of Travel Photos: My 7 Super Shots

May 18, 2012

Like a virus swept by the reckless winds in all four directions of our world, this blog tagging game originated from HostelBookers has reached me through a few people whom I shared the same passion of traveling and photography. I was first tagged by the world-blogosphere famous writer of "Date a Girl Who Travels" Aleah of Solitary Wanderer tagged me again just to make sure I join in on this awesome way, of telling readers how a photograph can relive memories of travels long after the trip itself. These photographs lingers on in our memories and eventually plays a part in how we see the world, think back and reflect from the places, people, traditions and varying cultures we've experienced. Still, after sitting on this post for quite a while, having difficulty choosing my own photographs I decided to let it linger, until another two kindred souls Catherine of Seeking Felicity and Ding of The Pinoy Explorer double tagged me with finality. 

Lake Hopping in San Pablo City | Laguna

May 14, 2012

At the crack of dawn on Saturday, Cathy and I were already at the JAC liner terminal in Buendia, Taft, waiting for our travel companion Abigail, who had been hammered from a night of drinking the night before. Despite this, Abigail arrived only a few minutes after six a.m. It was my first time meeting her, and the awkwardness quickly turned into familiarity, as if we'd known each other for a long time, especially when she took out the Tanduay Rum from her bag while we were having breakfast at Cafe Lago.

San Pablo Travel Guide

Nomadic Video 4: Laguna Lakers (San Pablo, Liliw, Nagcarlan)

April 29, 2012

Since I started traveling around the Philippines three or four years ago, I've been to Mindanao, Visayas and the edge of Northern Luzon, doing so I was able to overlook nearby provinces like Laguna. Because of that  realization, along with a couple of cool friends, Cathy and Abigail, we set out on a trip to a menage a trois of cities and municipalities in Laguna. Our first stop was San Pablo, it is known for its seven crater lakes found around the city. We started our day by having breakfast at Cafe Lago which is located beside Lake Sampaloc, it was here where Abigail first brought out her Tanduay rum. After which, we took a swim at the scenic Lake Pandin and had lunch aboard a floating bamboo raft before heading out to Nagcarlan for some church hopping and going on a creepy tour of the "underground cemetery", after which, we dropped by the "tsinelas" capital of the Philippines in Liliw and had a feast at Arabel. Here is a music video of our trip, as compiled from the very few video footage I took accompanied by the music of Sneaker Pimps' "6 Underground". I will soon write separate posts about the places we visited on that trip. 

Patrocinio de Maria Church in Boljoon | Cebu

April 22, 2012

Right off the bat from our whale shark experience in Oslob (which I now regret doing after being educated by environmentalists) which followed the lone night I spent in the quaint town of Santander, we made a quick stop at the scenic municipality of Boljoon. We got off the bus just in front of the Patrocinio de Maria Church, the oldest remaining stone church in Cebu. The church was originally founded in 1599 by the Augustinians. Subsequent counter-attacks by Muslim raiders destroyed most of the original structures and the rest of the town. The jurisdiction over the church was then relinquished to the Jesuits in 1737. Due to lack of resources and manpower, the Church was again put under Augustinian's administration in 1747. In 1783, Father Ambrosio Otero spearheaded the construction of a  new church highlighted by a stone fence, which adds to its fortress-like appearance.

Gael Hilotin

Postcard Series: Green Tinted City | Manila

April 19, 2012

The view of Intramuros and nearby parts of Manila as seen from the Presidential Suite of Manila Hotel, conjures a green tinted image, where trees, old buildings, the walled city, the fine golf course and small man-made lake blend perfectly to provide an appealing cityscape. It's the city I've learned to love and hate. One that I'm forever proud regardless of the batterings of daily living and the urban challenges that awaits each day I pass by. Sure, there are 100 things to hate about Manila, but more things to love about it in return.

Levy Amosin in Manila

Santander Dubs and No Lightning | Cebu

April 11, 2012

It won't be called as such if I didn't ended up at the southernmost tip of Cebu. Santander was the furthest destination I had on my southern Cebu trip last month. Right after my quick dip at the fine white sand beach in Tingko, Alcoy, I waited at the side of the road, with my shorts dripping wet, I motioned to an incoming ordinary bus bound for Barangay Liloan in Santander, it halted with semi-screeching tires and the conductor let me climbed the bus and I sat down on a seat by the window at the back, with pure intention of taking a nap.