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