Architecture in Focus: Hawa Mahal - the Palace of the Winds

July 30, 2014

Tucked within the busy streets of Jaipur, is an architectural marvel standing pyramidal 50 feet highof red and pink sandstoneadorned with 953 jharokha windows designed intricately with latticework. Built in 1799 under the orders of Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, the Hawa Mahal ("The Palace of the Winds") was designed by the architect of Jaipur city Lal Chand Ustad and is an example of Rajput Architecture prevalent in the state of Rajasthan. In the olden times, peeking behind those windows were the royal ladies practicing the purdahobserving the happenings on the street without getting seen. The direction to which the windows of Hawa Mahal opens to allows a strong breeze of wind to cool the hallway measuring just the width of an arm.

Hawa Mahal  facade

The Farm that Gawad Kalinga Built, of Social Entrepreneurship and Leaving No Poor Man Behind

July 29, 2014

I first heard of Gawad Kalinga as a non-government organization that builds houses for the homeless all over the country. Soon, I realize that their goals are bigger than any wooden shed, canopy or pillars they have erected before. Theirs is an organization that unearths the root of poverty with the intent of severing it from the ground to let a new stem of development grow into various spurts, eventually spreading all over the country. We were seated at the souvenir shop of the GK Enchanted Farm while satisfying our thirst with their in-farm product "Bayani Brew", when an unassuming middle age man in plain blue GK polo shirt, blue pants and sandals sat in front of us. The moment he started talking we were all ears. Clementine, a French intern at the farm interrupted him briefly addressing him as "Tito Tony". It finally rang a bell, Tony Meloto - the founder of Gawad Kalinga whom I've heard and read so much before is seated in front of us.

'Uncle' Tony Meloto is considered as a 'rock star' in the world of social development

Nomadic Experiences is a Globe TattAwards Finalist for the 3rd Time

July 25, 2014

Globe Telecoms' TattAwards has been recognizing social media influencers in the past few years and for three in a row, Nomadic Experiences has had the great fortune of being among the finalists short listed for different categories. In 2012 it was named as one of the five Visualizers, the category that recognizes that year’s best photography websites and last year it crashed the party of five included in the Best Food and Travel Blog category. Being acknowledged again this year is a big surprise considering I'm tapering off from writing travel narratives since I started my freelance writing job last year. If ever, this new recognition shall serve as a kick in the groin for me to continue living up to "Tattoo's fiery passion for greatness, founded on individuality and the courage to inspire 35 million Filipino netizens and the rest of the world." as aptly expressed by the Tatt Award’s concept.

Ha Long Bay: from the Pages of NatGeo to Real Life

July 22, 2014

Instinctively or intentionally, the giant creature known as the 'creator of all things' strew countless poppy and sunflower seeds over a bowl of water. With a puzzled look on their faces, his guests wondered if these were meant for the hot bread served on the table. Before someone could raise a question, dozens of graceful belly dancers entered the room bringing free flowing wine and soon the purpose of the poppy and sunflower seeds were forgotten. Over time—like thousands of years later—the scattered seeds evolved into thousands of limestone karsts spread over more than 1,500 square kilometers of Ha Long Bay. 

Jomie Benavides Naynes in Halong Bay

The Best Places to Photograph in the Philippines Part I

July 10, 2014

I know it's completely ridiculous to choose just ten as the best places to photograph in the Philippines from the endless list of stunning locations I've set foot in the past. Also, I've yet to visit other equally and even more visually orgasm inducing locations - but I've heard the echoes of oohs and aahs originating from my well traveled friends. I hope someday to add more to this list. Meanwhile, these are the places that gave my wanna-be-photographer pants some wet spots by experiencing the equivalent of a non-sexual wet dream, while shooting the most eye popping landscape and seascape one can imagine. 

First on the list is the rolling hills of Batanes


After Work Dinner at Gostoso Piri Piri, Kapitolyo

July 05, 2014

Since our first meeting and eventual foodtripping in Binondo three weeks ago, Monnette and I had been hitting various eating places like Bonnie and Clyde without the Gatling guns, but armed only with unmatched appetites. She had taken me on these long stretch of gastronomical delights along Maginhawa Street in Quezon City, the previous week. So one night I pitched the idea of exploring another street known for its many choices of dining places; Kapitolyo or Capital Drive in Pasig City.

Photo from Gostoso's FB Page