Traveling For the Holidays? How it can be less of a Hassle

December 23, 2017

Even if there were a resort just next door, nobody would visit it for his or her vacation. Maybe pop in once or twice, but rarely for an extended stay. Why? It is ordinary, and no one wants this during his or her holiday. A holiday is not all about luxury, but the environment as well. A perfect getaway spot is a far-away place; a different atmosphere. That is why most people choose to travel so that they can enjoy the marvels of nature, or better yet, some new culture. For sure, you have to have this in your bucket list. However, holiday traveling logistics are something else. It isn’t as easy as it looks.

Agal-Agal Festival: A Vibrant Celebration of Tawi-Tawi’s Culture

December 17, 2017

As I stood on the deck of BRP Capones, a spanking new Japanese-made Parola-class patrol vessel of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) where we hitched a ride going to Tawi-Tawi, I quickly surveyed my surroundings. I saw the sacred mountain of Bud Bongao lording it over a picturesque landscape and covered by the morning mist, yet I was still able to spot the silhouette of the town’s Mosque and the outlines of a modest village with fishing boats and passenger ferries that are starting to stir with the day’s activities. And then it dawned on me, I finally reached the southernmost province of the country. Tawi-Tawi, I have arrived!

Discovering a Trove of Cultural and Historical Relics at Villa Escudero

December 07, 2017

There’s only one country I haven’t been to. Nepal. I don’t know why – I just haven’t had the chance” – Don Ado told us after he overheard me asking my friend KarlaCan you guess how many countries he had traveled to?.” It wasn’t a question concocted out of the blue. I wondered about it after surveying through the massive art, historic, religious and souvenir collection housed inside Don Ado’s private mansion.

Counting Secluded Strides in San Vicente’s Long Beach

November 20, 2017

My step count must have numbered in the hundreds when I paused to survey my surroundings. I saw the fisherman who greeted me earlier as he was fixing his fishing net, appearing like a small dot from far away. I turned my head and saw no one else within yelling distance—except for a couple of dogs who were following me. For a few minutes I sat on a protruding branch of a fallen tree, and just wrapped my mind at the solitary vibe of the spot. I started to wonder how such stunning place remains uncrowded in an afternoon showered with the riveting golden rays of the sun.

Searching for the Lotus-Eaters in Lake Sebu | South Cotabato

November 05, 2017

Opening my eyes to a still-dark surrounding had me recalling the creaking of the floor I heard the night before. Jolted to consciousness, I half-expected seeing a figure standing from the foot of my bed. I saw nothing but the low illumination of electric light seeping into the small window. Pacifying my mind, I assured myself that a bunch of rats were behind what I initially though was hurried footsteps outside my room. It would be fine hearing noises the previous three nights. But on that fourth night in question, I was the only remaining guest staying at the budget hut of Punta Isla Lake Resort—where a dorm bed only cost me 180 pesos per night. Not bad hey, even if it comes with fright every evening.

Second Time’s a Charm at the Governor’s Rapids in Quirino

November 02, 2017

The sky was the color of mud, raindrops pelting us sideways and the wind growing stronger. All we could hear was the rambling of the hardly visible river. Our guide told us what we had expected to hear the moment we arrived at the brook’s edge; “Negative, the water is too strong we cannot ride the boats”, he told us in Tagalog. Nobody protested at the obvious correct call of our guide. While there was an ounce of disappointment, I just chalked this place in my ‘see you next time’ list despite the uncertainty of my travel schedules.

Where to Eat In Zamboanga City

October 15, 2017

Influenced by the Muslims, Spaniards, Chinese, and settlers from Visayas and Luzon, Zamboanga City’s cuisine is one big delicious melting pot of different textures and flavors. This underrated food hub, shaped by decades of preservation and fusion, is a highly-recommended destination for foodie travelers. To guide you through your food trip around the city, here are must-visit places on where to eat in Zamboanga City. 

Jaipur, India | Man Sagar Lake’s 'Floating' Jal Mahal Palace

October 12, 2017

Sticking my neck out of our tuktuk I can already see the outline of the Jal Mahal Palace as it appear to float calmly over the glass-like waters of Man Sagar Lake. An impressive architectural wonder – seemingly fluctuating or plummeting deep into the stoic blue waters. As I stood out from a distance, I immediately recognize it as a thing of beauty stuck out of place. Nonetheless, I felt it eliciting a probing element calling to answer how it ended up in its current state; abandoned, fascinating yet left to the mercy of the tranquil lake. 

Sta Cruz Island, Zamboanga | More than a 'Pretty in Pink' Kind of Beach

October 10, 2017

The idea of walking over the pretty pink sands of Sta Cruz Island in Zamboanga City had me LSS-ing on a classic Psychedelic Furs song and recounting a young Molly Ringwald. After a couple of cancelled Zamboanga trips in the past, I finally found myself blissfully seated on a small boat heading to island of Sta. Cruz—otherwise known as “The Pink Island”. With my eyes staring ahead to the spread out patched of glistening shoreline, I was quickly arrested by the enveloping hues of green flora in the not so far distant. Wide-eyed with wonder, everything felt good that even the engine's revving sounded as if it was a soundtrack to a must-watch travel film. 

Culinary Delights | Where to Eat in Bataan

October 10, 2017

From a traveler’s perspective, Bataan is an underrated tourist spot that surprises its visitors with both natural and man-made attractions. But from a foodie’s perspective, it’s a place that’s rich in both culinary history and modern food culture. If you want to discover Bataan through a gastronomical tour, here are some "Where to Eat in Bataan" places you shouldn’t miss out on!

Cassie De Pecol Shares Her 7 Favorite Destinations

October 09, 2017

After becoming the first female to visit all the countries on our planet, Cassie De Pecol decided to share her 7 favorite destinations.

Cez and Agness from, an adventure travel blog that provides unique travel tips and interesting facts about destinations across the whole globe, were particularly inspired by the story of Cassie De Pecol, a young woman who has been to every country in the world. Since both of them are experienced travelers, it only makes sense that they take local advice from other adventurers like Cassie.

From Cassie De Pecol's Facebook Page

Standing on the Shoulders of Isla de Gigantes

September 03, 2017

A 3-hour sleep removed from walking on the rain drenched streets of Iloilo City, I found myself inside a van with a few friends heading to a group of scattered but positively raved Islas in the Western Visayas Sea. A few hours of land travel followed before I stood staring at the radiant skies above. To think, Mia was having doubts earlier in the evening of pushing through because of the bad weather in Iloilo - the sight that greeted us at the port of Carles screams of a setting perfect for romping over pure and glistening sands with a beer in hand.

Rajasthan on my Mind | India

September 01, 2017

Many-a-times I am always asked by friends about my favorite place in India, and each time I would answered with Rajasthan, I would be met with a surprised reply ‘What about Taj Mahal in Agra? Or New Delhi?’ While, my month-long initial trip to India took me to many breathtaking places which also has given me so much cultural and spiritual widening experiences such as Varanasi, Agra, Cochin, Mumbai and Kolkata - the places I visited in the state of Rajasthan left a collection of fascinating images in my mind; of stunning desert landscapes, grandiose forts and palaces, colorful bazaars, friendly people and delicious food.

Paoay, Ilocos Norte | Charging at the Mad Max Vibe of La Paz Sand Dunes

August 31, 2017

Yohooooo, Kuya be kind to us” she shouted at the driver of the 4x4 truck as we make sure our hands were gripped into the handlebar like glue. We were just about to go over the first mound of sand almost 30 feet high when she issued that reminder. Not that kuya had a habit of giving a flying eff of slowing down, it’s just that he follows to heart the unwritten rule of the faster, the better. He then accelerated the truck into a dizzying speed, shaking the four of us huddled at the back. The engine struggled a little going to the apex of the hill but once gravity took over, hellacious yells from my female companions almost busted my eardrums. As we slid through the downhill path like one of those post-apocalyptic vehicles driven by looneys in Mad Max films, I felt a different kind of rush.

Egypt | Scaling Mount Sinai Before Sunrise

August 31, 2017

Under a canopy of dark midnight sky dotted with a few observable stars, and a wary moon hiding beneath thick clouds, we started our hike over a narrow trail speckled with loose rocks. As scorching as the wind was when we arrived at Saint Catherine—after a couple of hours wheeling over the long highway of the Israeli and Egyptian border, the wee hour breeze swifts by a little colder for comfort. Guided only by a small flashlight of our Bedouin guide, we trod the shadowy trail, slowly lost in silence of the hush sounds of our huffing and puffing and the breathing of a trio of camels.

Are you a Seat-Sale Abangers? Get Notified with Traveloka’s Cheap Flights Price Alerts

August 30, 2017

As much as we would love to be that spontaneous traveler who would just wake up one morning, pack the backpack and head out to the airport – something that would make us also look cool in the travel community, the reality of personal finances suggests; it is hard to pull it off because of expensive airfares. Unless of course, you have a travel fund that stretches to seven figures. For us, backpackers of the world, a little planning ahead will help us heaps. Besides, there are many travel opportunities that lays ahead inside a whole calendar year; Sinulog Festival in January, New Year’s Eve in Boracay, mid-summer in El Nido, Palawan, experiencing the cold weather of November in Batanes and the list goes on. 

Bangkok | Onwards to a Brighter and Broader ASEAN – INDIA Tourism and Trade Partnership

August 25, 2017

Celebrating a fruitful 25 years of strengthened relations between the member nations of ASEAN and INDIA, the leading tourism and trade figures from the participating countries converged in Bangkok for the ASEAN - India Expo and Forum held last August 3-5, 2017 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center. The 2-day event was driven by the model of “Strategic Economic Partnership & Connectivity”, where a string of productive discussions emerged from a series of panel talks, round table discussions forums, expert lectures and young entrepreneurs networking activities. A trade exposition showcasing the local products and brands from the participating countries also became a major draw and attracted a large crowd. 

Ministers from ASEAN countries and INDIA does the famous world-leaders handshake

Watching a Live Muay Thai Match in Pattaya | Thailand

July 19, 2017

My first impression of the sport of Muay Thai was of a violent one where fighters battle each other almost to a pulp. No thanks to my childhood memory of watching the film ‘Kickboxer’. In the movie, Jean Claude Van Damme’s character had to go through a blood-spattered match against the villain Tong Po—to avenge his brother who was left paralyzed after an earlier fight with Po. Besides, if Boxing can kill fighters on the ring, how much more in a martial arts sport that uses fist, elbow, knee, and the legs as main weapons.

Adventure n Rolla at NOAH | Narvacan, Ilocos Sur

July 16, 2017

Adventure plays out like a series of rock en roll tunes on this part of Ilocos Sur. Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life could very well be blasting in your head once you signed up for the day’s first undertaking. Taking advantage of the varying rudiments of our planet; water, wind, earth and fire and incorporating it with various thrilling activities and the great outdoor vibe - a one-stop adventure hub is born. Situating at the foot of the rolling slopes and the coastline of Narvacan in Ilocos Sur - NOAH or the Narvacan Outdoor Adventure Hub, dishes a landscape that provides a perfect setting to a number of great outdoor exploits. 

#GetAwaytoAdventure at Mt. Gulugod-Baboy with Merrell’s Moab 2

July 08, 2017

Like what most millennials would say, “I’m G’ all the time for an adventure. It just so happens that in recent years, most of my travels have taken me exploring every nook and cranny of new cities – urban and quaint towns, and isolated islands to boot. The mountains, where I found my first love of the great outdoors when I joined the UST Mountaineering club back in college, took a backseat.

Bringing Heritage Cuisine into the Street-Food Culture

June 30, 2017

As soon as the clock stroke the 4 p.m. mark of the opening day of the five-day World Street Food Congress and the gates finally opened, legions of foodies eager to chow down some of the world’s finest culinary delights conceived for the streets quickly came bursting at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds on May 31.

Creator and Curator of the World Street Food Congress KF Seetoh (left) joins Chef Sau del Rosario on stage as he shows off his Sisig Paella.

Seco Island, Antique | Kruhay under the Sun

June 12, 2017

I could not come up with a better way of celebrating last year’s Independence Day than journeying to this isolated island 27 nautical miles west of Panay. Highlighted by a curving stretch of sand bar encircling an area dotted with pockets of small trees and scattered shrubbery, it was named Seco Island because of its close similarity to the shape of a human elbow; ‘siko’ in Tagalog.

Seco Island. Ang Island na Ma-Swerte

4 Most Common Tips When Traveling

June 04, 2017

To travel is one of the greatest pleasures in life. Going to places and discovering new things is such a wonderful experience, especially when you are with your loved ones. This is why most people spend their vacation, experience new things, relax and have fun.

Luxury Hangover in 'Lebua at State Tower' | Bangkok

June 01, 2017

As our van slowly inches through the infamous Bangkok rush hour traffic, I could already see the towering Lebua at State Tower at the distance rocking the city skyline with its towering and bright presence. The thought of staying there excited me – and as the four of us; myself, Bernadette, Jekki and Kelly were discussing earlier, “We must re-enact the scene in Hangover 2 at the Sky bar rooftop of Lebua”, there was no doubt that I will be the one to play the part of Bradley Cooper. Having a quick photo-shoot at one of the highest rooftop bars in the world became our side mission of the trip – our main business of course, is to cover the 2017 World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit.

Romping Stomping Inside Mehrangarh Fort in Jodphur, India

May 21, 2017

I first saw Mehrangarh Fort as the imposing thick walled fortress at the backdrop of the scene in the film “The Dark Knight Rises”. As one of the build-up parts to the climax of this classic film; Bruce Wayne is seen escaping from the pits of his imprisonment – finally ascending out of a hole from the ground. The thrilling high of that moment is made more spectacular by the presence of a magnificent mountain lustrous with sun rays and where the impressive fort stands solidly and undaunted by the passage of time.

WTTC Global Summit | How Travel Can Transform our World

May 16, 2017

Travel industry leaders, tourism ministers from other countries and conservation groups, journalists and representatives from the World Economic Forum, as well as former UK Prime Minister David Cameron, gathered together at the 17th World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Global Summit held in Bangkok, Thailand, on April 26 and 27. Far-ranging issues that touched upon the area of sustainability, freedom to travel, the future of the industry and Asean tourism, among others, were thoroughly conversed through discussion panels and intimate “meet the experts” sessions.

Bangkok, Thailand, the site of the 17th World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit.

Where to Stay | Chiang Mai, Thailand | Na Nirand Romantic Boutique Resort

May 15, 2017

Unmistakably, one instantly feels the throwback vibe Na Nirand bestows upon its guest. Upon our enthusiastic probing for details, we were eventually told by the manager that the various style of residences in the property, incorporates a classic northern Thai architecture called Lanna. This style involves a specific design scheme composed mostly of wooden houses built on stilts, and characterized by a spacious veranda and a ‘galae’ component in the roof – styled in V-shape form attached to the beams.

7 Reasons Why Traveloka App help travelers travel on a budget

May 10, 2017

In this age of travel when technology allows us to have instant access to information, it is still important not to fall prey to phony travel apps that promises the moon and all – but delivers failingly. This is the reason why I was so very methodical in my selection of what travel app I install on my phone. Even then, I still ended up having to use a couple of travel apps – something I found time consuming, so imagine my delight at discovering Traveloka through a series of strong word-of-mouth recommendations from my wanderer friends.

Easy and user-friendly interface

Retracing the last 10 kilometers of the Bataan Death March

May 02, 2017

It was 4 a.m. when we arrived at the converging place. I instantly felt the cool morning air starting to diminish as the hour inches its way to sunrise. Members of the Philippine Armed Forces, war veterans, their families, sociocivic groups, government employees, Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP) members and volunteers quickly filled the grounds of People’s Park in Tarlac. While the revving engines of military AUVs and footsteps of army boots sound off, a familiar and respected figure took to the stage and was handed a microphone to address the crowd.

The Capas Shrine honoring our courageous WWII veterans

I’M Hotel: A High-Rise and Stylish Accommodation in Poblacion, Makati

May 01, 2017

The Poblacion District of Makati is quickly shredding the infamous red light reputation. Thanks to a fast growing number of trendy bars, quirky cafes and a roster of restaurants serving various global cuisine, Poblacion has become a mini traveler’s hub in Makati. Coupled with this development are the existence of hip budget hostels and classy accommodations ranging from 2 star to 5-star hotels.

One of the leading 5-star hotels in the area is the towering 24-storey I’M Hotel standing at the corner of Makati and Kalayaan Avenue.

Reliving Paoay’s storied history and rich culture with Guling-Guling Festival

April 25, 2017

Believed to have originated even before the arrival of the Spaniards, the Guling-Guling Festival morphed into a religious practice in the 16th century, when the Spanish friars attached it with the celebration of the Lenten season. Believed to have originated even before the arrival of the Spaniards, the Guling-Guling Festival morphed into a religious practice in the 16th century, when the Spanish friars attached it with the celebration of the Lenten season. Happening a day before Ash Wednesday, guling, the Ilocano word “to smear,” comes to play, when the town mayor would smudge a white cross, made from damp and white rice flour, on to a person’s forehead to indicate one’s pureness. The townsfolk believe that this ritual washes away their sins.

A ‘meaningful travel’ to the Highlands of Barlig, Mountain Province

April 13, 2017

“Happiness and kindness is something if you give it away—then it comes right back to you,” the song reverberates harmoniously inside the classroom as the pupils of Ogo-og Elementary school sing in unison. A few minutes more and we will be distributing the school-supply kits to each one of them. Everywhere, the wide smiles are in display as the little ones happily goofed around with each other, unable to contain their excitement.

Shaping a Heritage in the Pottery Town of Iguig, Cagayan

April 10, 2017

Hundreds of years after what is believed to be the earliest industry that thrived in this part of Cagayan province, the town of Iguig is picking up where its ancestral settlers left off. By continuously shaping a heritage through the delicate hands of its artisan townsfolk; the soft natural rock material called clay – finds a home and purpose here.

A local artist demonstrates his expertise in pottery making. Photo courtesy of Martin San Diego / North Philippines Visitors Bureau (NPVB)

Featured Travel Guide | Things to do in Cebu

April 01, 2017

More than the frenzied vibe of the Sinulog Festival, Cebu is also a gateway to a number of adventure destinations. A major hub in the Philippines when it comes to tourism, shipping, commerce and also the site of many beautiful beaches, picturesque countryside and home to some of the famed local cuisines; Cebu ranks among the top travel destinations of both domestic and foreign travelers.

The province’ capital city; Cebu City might appear almost similar to Metro Manila, one would quickly wonder “What to do here” after surveying the busy roads leading out of the capital. After the initial shock of the street’s bustling activities, one could thoroughly enjoy exploring not only Cebu city but the rest of the province’ tourism offerings.

Bataan Pawikan Festival: Sending Sea Turtles Home with Love

March 31, 2017

Guiding newly-hatched Olive Ridley turtles to sea since 2001, the annual Pawikan Festival held at the Pawikan Conservation Center in Barangay Nagbalayong, Morong, Bataan has become an important representation of environmental awareness pertaining to marine life. Most especially to these lovable creatures teeming with delightful qualities, but is now considered as an endangered species. Experiencing this unique festival centering on environment conservation, particularly the marine life, has made me more aware about the dangers that many creatures of the sea face each day.

A Chao Phraya River cruise to remember for two Mario Maurer fans

March 29, 2017

Most travelers see Thailand as a nation teeming with culture and historical relics that extend to its numerous ancient cities—where iconic temples and reclining Buddha statues abound. To some, a shopping haven; to the younger generation, a multitude of islands ripe for an abundance of revelry—especially come full moon nights and during the renowned cultural festivals of Songkran and Loy Krathong.

Hiking Mount Ulap at the Most Opportune Time

March 21, 2017

It was almost a year ago when I found a comrade-in-arms in the art of moving on. A knack – because it takes a while figuring how to pull it off, and requires keen imagination to create a way for one’s self to wiggle out. A heartache that punctures deeply and hurting necessitates a massive redo of one’s routines. A friend of mine; Cha found a progression to distance herself from that madness; by indulging in the sport of mountain climbing. Mountaineering - my first love back in college, which I had abandoned except during sporadic hiking trips that happens far in between.

Surfing in a Small Hideaway Town | Lanuza, Surigao del Sur

March 07, 2017

Already positioned on top of my long board, I looked behind me and saw a cluster of incoming swell. With my heart racing, I paddled my hands to gear up for my impending stoke. The waves pushed me forward and as I raised my body against my two arms to stand on my board, I heard something pop on my lower right chest. I lost balance and the swirling of the swell resembling the insides of a washing machine swallowed me yet again.

Pick your Waves at Lanuza

The World’s Worst Airport I Have Ever Experienced

February 25, 2017

Airports can make or break vacations more often than not. Having a troublesome experience at a sub-standard airport with poor amenities and check-in procedures can test even the most patient of people. And the problem can escalate if you have a young family to guide through such unsavory conditions. Luckily for me that isn’t the case but this was certainly not an experience I wanted to repeat, so I will share the experience with you.

Chiang Mai | A Laid Back Historical Gem and Cultural Melting Pot This Side of Thailand

February 22, 2017

It was past midnight and the open-air acoustic place set up at Ploen Ruedee Night Market where I am hanging out with a friend starts to close down – so as the other nearby establishments. The once lively stalls lining up Chang Klan Road leading to Chiang Mai Night Bazaar are almost devoid of pedestrians and shoppers. Earlier in the night, I met up with a friend Valerie, who is also traveling in Chiang Mai. After a couple of rounds of Singha beers we were joined by her friends she met in Myanmar; Feven a beautiful girl with a braided hair from Ethiopia, Colorado native Michael and the pretty Puerto Rican Gisele.

 Doi Inthanon Temple. Photo Credit: "Thailand Tourism Authority"

Dear Robin Leach, Cruise Ship Traveling Isn’t Just for the Rich and Groovy Retirees

February 21, 2017

Notwithstanding sans a honeymoon mate, I walked towards the gigantic ship bootlegging the swag of Mark Renton at the end of Trainspotting. Only this time, I am Ship-spotting. Unflappably sliding my feet over the smooth carpet of the hallway of Harbour Front in Singapore, I silently declaimed my own version of the film’s famous quote. “Choose Cruise Life. Choose Traveling. Choose a big ship to sail. Choose on-board parties, choose an island to explore.” Finding myself separated only by a thick glass and a couple hundred meters of pathway ahead, I stopped on my tracks and laid eyes on the sheer beauty of the docked ship that awaits my first ever cruise ship experience.

UTOPIA RESORT AND SPA | A Sweet Low-down Weekend at this Quaint Hideaway in Puerto Galera

January 16, 2017

Puerto Galera used to be a familiar place I associate with sublime white beaches almost devoid of structures – where me and my buddies from UST Mountaineering Club would pitch our tents over a stretch of fine sands with only a lone house standing in the middle. “A German owns that house” I remember a friend telling us. Our campsite then, situates on a beachhead that leads to the foot of Mount Malasimbo – where we would day trek before we retire back to our tents. For three to four days, our group and nobody else would exist in sheer delight on a place everyone calls as Talipanan beach – which those days back in the late 1990’s, was a picture of isolation. I would come back many years later only to see numerous new resorts erected all over rendering the place almost unrecognizable. Since then, I see Puerto Galera as that distant friend, who once possessed a benevolent silence meant for listening to one’s thoughts, while offering a haven for nature lovers – but has now grown into a wild child catering to a more party atmosphere.  

The well landscaped grounds of Utopia Resort and Spa

Go Hotels Ermita | a Comfortable and Affordable Accommodation in Manila

January 04, 2017

Living in the province of Bulacan provides me a fresh escape from the bustles of the big city. As much as I appreciate residing off the grid from Manila, there are times that I feel the need to find a place to stay in the Metro. Early morning and red eye flights, attending a party or meeting a group of friends – On each occasion I found myself booking an affordable room at a Go Hotels branch.