Thursday, 27 December 2018

Biodiversity on Wheels goes to Tandag, Surigao Del Sur

December 27, 2018


Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) and the Haribon Foundation conducted a series of teaching sessions focused on spreading biodiversity conservation and preservation to students in Surigao Del Sur.

Because of the province’ geographical position facing the mighty Pacific Ocean, surf-worthy waves pound the shorelines of Surigao Del Sur all year round. For many, this becomes a good reason to get stoked in the province. Conversely, the gift Mother Nature brings to this sea doesn’t end there. Beneath the mammoth swells hides an underwater gem teeming with some of the healthiest coral reef in the country.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Relishing the Sweet Sunshower in the Islands of Bulalacao

December 15, 2018


The first time I cruised aboard an inter-island ferry boat was many years ago. Our destination was PuertoGalera, Oriental Mindoro. Wide-eyed with wonder, I found myself swimming in crystal clear waters and frolicking over white sandy beaches for the first time in my adolescent life. Sandwiched in our ocean fun spree was a hiking trip to Mount Malasimbo. A year after that, I returned with my mates from the UST Mountaineering Club for our induction climb to Mount Halcon.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

7 Reasons Why Danjugan Island is a Model of Nature Conservation

December 08, 2018


Off the coast of Cauyan in Negros Occidental, situates a 45-hectare islet teeming with a rich set of biodiversity. Danjugan Island as it is called, is home to a diverse range of wildlife species most especially; the rare Philippine scrubfowl. One would say, “We’ve heard this story before” – of an island in our country swarming with nature gems only to see it destroyed by misguided development. The case with Danjugan is entirely different. Thanks to a conservation program, this 1.5 kilometer long island that was once threatened by illegal fishing, is now a protected marine sanctuary and has become a model for nature conservation.

Monday, 3 December 2018

Where to Stay in Luang Prabang, Laos | Satri House

December 03, 2018


The narrow entrance of Satri House betrays the gem of a place hidden inside: A stunning collection of charming colonial buildings inspired by Lao architecture and culture. Adding a layer of lure are the quaint corners and the lush gardens surrounded by towering trees. As the female staff briefs me about the property, my eyes wandered everywhere. "Satri House was first built in 1904 as a royal house by the parents of Prince Souphanouvong, the first President of Lao People's Democratic Republic. This property was refurbished in 2002 by Mrs. Lamphoune Voravongsa - now the current owner" she tells me.

Friday, 30 November 2018

Local Products Perfect as Christmas Gift This Holiday Season

November 30, 2018


It’s the thought that counts” as the old saying goes whenever we give and receive gifts from our family and friends during the holiday season. This however, doesn’t mean we would just slack off when choosing the gifts we will buy for our love ones. Because, out there beyond the reaches of the usual giant malls, are awesome items being sold online by various groups of people and communities all over the country. These are local products that are not popular yet as a gift idea – but appears to be the perfect ones to give out this Christmas season.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Bandung, Indonesia | Tracking Nature Prints of Volcanoes and Heritage Trails

November 05, 2018


“I come with the rain,” I muttered to myself while I watched the last sheen of daylight give way to dark clouds, casting over the countryside and heading to Bandung. I spent the three-hour train ride from Jakarta uneventfully fighting off sleep, and I opted to stare at the passing lush scenery as much as I can.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Where to Stay in Dumaguete | the Flying Fish Hostel

October 25, 2018


Whenever I travel solo, I heed my own wallet’s calling so I always end up staying in hostels. Even though traveling around the Philippines may present a challenge, since most cities still do not have hip hostels and easy on the pocket. In recent years however, I’ve seen a steady increase in this type of accommodation fitting the budget of backpackers in many locations.

Monday, 22 October 2018

2018 Mekong Tourism Forum | Sustainable Tourism, Exciting Start-Ups and Role of Influencers

October 22, 2018


People often associate Mekong River exclusively to Vietnam. Unbeknownst to many, the mighty Mekong stretches a long distance and drawn-out amply forming a sub-region inside the vast Asian continent. The countries of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar and even China, are all needled together by Mekong River.



Saturday, 20 October 2018

Where to Stay in Luang Prabang: Lotus Villa Boutique | Laos

October 20, 2018


It was starting to darken when I arrived at Luang Prabang causing me to hurry my pace in locating my hotel. Guided by my Google Map, I walked pass the main street of the city's historic district. It was a lovely surprise finding out a few days before, that Lotus Villa Boutique situates right smack in the UNESCO Heritage area of the city. Established in 2008, this small property houses 15 soothing rooms and 2 suites – all designed within the fervor of the architectural style of Laos’ colonial past.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

#ForMindanao’s Peace Educators in Lanao Del Sur

October 10, 2018


We have been navigating the highway out of Marawi City passing by fertile fields for almost a couple of hours when we turned to a narrow road leading to a small town. Eerie silence reigned over our group, as our van rolled in front of a Mosque riddled with bullets. “We’re almost here” I heard someone exclaimed. I looked out the window and I immediately saw a group of teachers amiably welcoming us.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Laos | Luang Prabang’s Laid-back Lure and Rich Heritage

September 16, 2018


I remember sitting inside a cramped van negotiating the snaking countryside road of Laos, feeling very excited as I reached my next destination. My high anticipation stems from the desire to unlock the truth behind the prevailing word-of-mouth on Luang Prabang. “The place is so laid-back,” fellow travelers would often rave. As simple as it may be, that description is music to my ears. Throw in the heritage structures and rich culture of the city, my giddiness got the best of me for the rest of my ride.

Friday, 7 September 2018

PAL’s Flight to Bangkok got even better with the Tri-Class Airbus A330

September 07, 2018

Philippine Airlines is continuing to step up the quality of service and comfort level of its short haul international flights with the introduction of the Airbus A330. Today, PAL passengers can now enjoy a very convenient 4-hour journey to Bangkok with the help of the cool features of the A330. This Airbus model is normally used by most airlines on long-haul flights that spans at least 8 hour of travel time. By opting to fly this dandy of a state-of-the-art plane on a brief hop to a city like Bangkok, it only show how serious Philippine Airlines when it comes to providing more value for airfare to its passengers.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Thailand | Family-Friendly Destinations in Bangkok

September 05, 2018


Bangkok has been synonymous to shopping, food tripping, temples and the wild night parties – especially at the infamous Khao San Road. Most often than not, parents would leave their kids at home when visiting Bangkok because of fear they will get bored as opposed to traveling to Hong Kong and Tokyo, where the worlds of Disneyland abounds.


Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Black Pencil Project Celebrates 10 Years of Sheer Volunteerism with TPB

August 15, 2018

I was sitting atop our jeep staring at the spectacular landscape of Ifugao when we came to an abrupt halt. A single roar of the engine gave it a kick a few inches forward, followed by complete standstill. Deep mud had accumulated on the dirt road where a few meters away, large boulders from a landslide occupied half of the passage. What was a minor roadblock in our journey back happens to be everyday occurrence for people living in the village of Cambulo in Banaue, Ifugao.


Tuesday, 14 August 2018

On Travel Assignment | 2018 Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart

August 14, 2018

Another thing I dig about being a travel writer is the opportunity of being invited to various conferences about the travel industry. In the last couple of years, I have covered some of the biggest travel-related symposiums and talks such as the 2017 World Travel and Tourism Global Council, the 2017 ASEAN-INDIA Summit, both of which were held in Bangkok, Thailand and this year’s Mekong Tourism Forum held in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Sailing Soon in the Philippines: Things to do Aboard Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas

August 01, 2018

Soon to hold regular cruising schedule in Manila, Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas – which is also the biggest luxury ship to sail the waters of Asia, has already given a hint of what’s to come for Filipino travelers willing to get a taste of high sea living. After making numerous port of calls in Hong Kong, Ovation of the Seas made its double maiden call in Subic and Manila on June 8 and 9, 2018. Although Ovation of the Seas’ upcoming cruises will cover nearby countries like Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam and even Australia, it will be just a matter of months before they call Manila a regular home port.


Saturday, 21 July 2018

Spending a Dark Night inside Langun Gobingob Cave in Samar

July 21, 2018

I awoke disoriented from a deep slumber. Probing for clues on my whereabouts, I looked up at the darkness above me expecting to see trails of scattered stars. Instead all I saw was pitch black. Slowly, it dawned on me that I dozed off the night before on a hammock inside a cave where we went on an overnight spelunking. A cave where the ceiling rose as high as 200 feet. I checked my watch and it shows 6:35 a.m. It was daytime outside, but inside this cave, an infinite dark night. I stood up and packed my things as we prepared for breakfast before making our way out at the other end. Excited to proceed, I mentally prepared myself for the rigorous routes that awaited us in the many chambers of Langun Gobingob.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Beer the Blues Away: a non-alcoholic’s guide to befriending beer during tumultuous times

July 12, 2018


I consider alighting from a breakup as a badge of honor akin to surviving a deadly war battle. I say this without pissing at the memories of the young men and women who fought during World Wars I and II. Mine was a figurative shot through the heart. Still, I felt pain after numerous romantic fragmentation I underwent. Each time I manage to get out of it a stronger person. I pick up the pieces as I labored on with life. Painfully, but not totally lost. Thanks to a new friend who came in with varying taste and alcohol level.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Witnessing the Ethnic Kaamulan Festival in Malaybalay, Bukidnon

July 01, 2018

The Araguaney tree blooming with yellow leaves behind me provided a vibrant prelude to what I was about to witness. As the marching drums of the twelve participating contingents in the street dance competitions, starts to pound foot stomping beats, I can feel the vibe of Kaamulan Festival becoming more electrifying.

Celebrating the indigenous culture of Bukidnon, the festival highlights the dynamic enactments from the province’s seven ethnic groups; Manobo, Higaonon, Bukidnon, Talaandig, Umayamnon, Matigsalug and the Tigwahanon – into a yearly occurrence showcasing their traditions, rituals and way of life.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

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

June 10, 2018

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


Friday, 1 June 2018

Adventure Cometh and Then Some, Beyond the Red Lights of Pattaya

June 01, 2018

Pattaya is one of those places that radiates an aura of mystique to travelers such as myself - who first learned about this resort city through tales of debauchery, mayhem and smut. It was - as suggested by my preconceived notion – as a place composed of organized chaos of neon lights, lavish adult clubs and endless cabaret shows that last through the morning.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Relishing the Olden Vibe of the Ancient City of Sukhothai

May 20, 2018

Seven hours after leaving the city of Bangkok at the stroke of midnight, I found myself in the main highway of Old Sukhothai – under the drizzling sky. Throbbing head and all brought on by the intermittent sleep I located my hostel, which to my surprise is housed inside a boutique resort property. Our Dorm of Happiness – as we call it, is located on the second floor. Come follow me” the receptionist told me. My bunk bed is inside one of the rooms at the old cream colored wooden house fronted by a picturesque courtyard.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

The Off-the-Grid Quaintness and Charm of Sapang Dalaga | Misamis Occidental

May 19, 2018

Less than 50 kilometers away from Dapitan City in Dipolog, a quaint place called Sapang Dalaga radiates more than enough charm worthy of a visit.

Under the outstretched arm of a Jesus Christ statue perched atop a hill, I scrutinized the magnificent view of the twin bays of Casul and Murcielagos against the sheen of the setting sun. From the gleaming waters, I trailed my sight to the rolling mountain slopes circling back 180 degrees and leading my eyes again to the towering figure of Caluya Shrine – a 45-feet doppelganger of Rio de Janeiro’s Jesus Christ the Redeemer.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Bali | Indonesia: Witnessing Primate Goofing at Ubud Monkey Forest

May 07, 2018

If gazes could talk, you’d instantly hear the surrounding eyes mouthing off intentions of mayhem. A bedlam not equating to violence, rather through mischievous actions of the more than 700 long-tailed macaques who calls this place as home.


A primate habitat known as the Mandala Wisata Wanara Wana or otherwise referred to as the Ubud Monkey Forest, is another popular tourist destination in Bali. Home to more than 700 long-tailed Macaques, it is tucked deep in the forest covering approximately 10 hectares with a labyrinth composed of zigzagging water streams, hilly slopes, sheltering towering trees – of around 115 different species, and three sacred Hindu Temples.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Stories from the Seas: Panampangan Island | Tawi-Tawi

May 01, 2018

Everyone was silent as our speedboat slices through the calm waters of Celebes Sea. Under the brilliance of a full sun and unmindful of the burnt sense of my golden skin, I savored the eerie stillness cruising over a body of water once known as the most dangerous backwater in the world. What used to be a violent playground of pirate ships committing sea robbery and during the worst of times; the sailing route of Abu Sayyaf militants preying on civilians to kidnap—the waters approaching Panampangan Island is now a picture of unruffled nature haven.

Monday, 30 April 2018

Food, History and Culture Tripping in Taipei

April 30, 2018

When you successfully mix history, culture and food tripping, that’s another level of wanderlust high. Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan, is just the ideal place to take your wanderings into another height of discovery, learning and fun.

As a tiny nation, it is surprising to discover that Taiwan possesses an abundance of destinations for explorers of all sorts: foodies, outdoor enthusiasts, shoppers and even arts, history and architecture junkies alike. Spending a week might be too short to cover the whole country, but the good news for time-pressed wanderers, the capital city of Taipei can offer you a wonderful glimpse in just a couple of days, thereby giving you ample opportunities to sample its savory cuisine and colorful history and culture.


Sunday, 15 April 2018

Siargao for Non-Surfers, Yet!

April 15, 2018

Whenever I think of Siargao Island I imagine myself waiting for a decent swell to come and when it does, I follow through by padding my way to meet the forming waves head on. The first step in a series of difficult process culminating with trying to stand on my surf board prior to crashing hard and being swallowed by the waves. A failure of catastrophic embarrassment ending with my head emerging from the water almost short of breathe and struggling to swim back to safety.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Aurora Province | Dingalan Fun Hike with Tripkada

April 12, 2018

Arms outstretched channeling Edmond Dantès staring at freedom following his escape from his dungeon, I regaled at the sight of the Philippine Sea – while listening to its crashing waves mimicking a melodic environment symphony. In this southernmost tip of Aurora Province, I stood awestruck on a rock fronting a stunning landscape of rolling terrain fringed with cliff-side hills. I wanted to scream but instead, I reckoned the hissing winds sounded better in lieu of a yell of exuberance.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Malolos City: Of women’s libber, freedom fighters and olden days heritage

April 08, 2018

Growing up in a time when a P10 bill was enough to buy me a bowl of arroz caldo and a bottle of soda, I always found myself being reminded of the historic significance of Malolos’s Barasoain Church, whose image was printed on one side of the currency. Coined from the term baras ng suwail, meaning “dungeon of the defiant,” the walls and four corners of this church was then the rendezvous point of the anti-colonial Illustrados.

Conversely, as history is told in a myriad of ways, it is also forgotten in innumerable ways. Eventually, the story of Malolos took a backseat, among other places of historic importance in the country.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Surf and Chow | Where to Eat in Siargao

April 04, 2018

Chasing waves and nature tripping in Siargao feeds one’s adventurous soul. Undertaking it can be wearing and will leave you famished and craving for a satisfying grub. Great thing though in this island, one will never run out of gastronomic spaces to have a feast, re-energize and have a good chill-out time with friends at the same time. With a thriving culinary sphere that twins the growth of the local art scene, Siargao is fast becoming known as a foodie destination to go along with its reputation as a surfer’s paradise.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

A Guide to What Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park Offers this Summer

April 01, 2018

The coming of summer spells dipping in to cool waters, trying activities under the scorching heat of the sun, and spending time with people who matters. This is most likely what Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park has in mind when it decided to boost and update its plethora of offerings for the benefit their clientele—the Filipino family (and their pets too!). At Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park, nothing beats the memories made and the bond made stronger by families, with its fun-filled activities and amenities.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Star Cruises SuperStar Virgo's High Seas | An Affordable Cruising Experience

March 21, 2018

Remember the Mark Renton swagger I had on my way to board the Star Cruises’ Superstar Gemini last year? – Well, my frame of mind was a bit subdued this time, and no Trainspotting pop-culture reference ran inside my head. The enthusiasm of going on another cruising experience never wavered though, as I inched closer to the gigantic SuperStar Virgo docked at the Pier 15 of Manila Port. Who wouldn’t be captivated by the sheer size of the ship towering as high as a ten-story building and knowing that inside its massive bulkheads, recreates a floating luxury resort. Finding myself about to board a cruise ship for the second time, I recited a brief prayer thanking  the heaven for doling out good karma upon me. 

Saturday, 10 March 2018

How Female Travelers Should Respond to Sexual Harassment on the Road

March 10, 2018

It appears in this age of the #MeToo movement, an unparalleled dirt has been unearthed not only from the entertainment industry but also in other facets of our society. We now come face to face with the chilling reality – to which most of us have turned a blind eye for years – that sexual harassment happens in every aspect of our daily lives. For solo female travelers, the risk of being subjected to different kinds of harassment on the road dips the scale of high probability. It is difficult enough to find oneself in an unfamiliar place, being subjected to catcalling, groping and flashing by sexual perverts definitely add a layer of danger to women travelers all over the world.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

5 Easy Hikes in Luzon with Gorgeous Views

March 08, 2018

One doesn’t need to be a hardcore mountaineer to enjoy the spectacular highland sceneries located all over Luzon. Just because you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views doesn’t always mean it will involve crazy calf-burning hikes or six-hour long treks! Without further ado, here are some easy hikes in Luzon that will give you beautiful, postcard-worthy backdrops.


Monday, 5 March 2018

Traveloka Find: Tharaburi Resort | Where to Stay in Sukhothai | Thailand

March 05, 2018

Tharaburi Resort is a secluded property located about a kilometer from the gates of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sukhothai Historical Park. A courtyard fronts an old colonial house leading to an expansive Thai garden and a swimming pool. A dual singular row of wooden structures in Asian contemporary style, comprises the eleven deluxe and two suite rooms.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Thursday, 15 February 2018

The Fine Architecture Seen on the Streets of Mumbai

February 15, 2018

The streets of Mumbai casts a dizzying spell even to this third world traveler who is used to seeing voluminous crowds and long queues of people rushing to and from various errands. It reminded me of our first stop in India; the city of Kolkata where all noises came to us like cannon blasting from all directions, the relentless honking of automobiles and the incessant yell from vendors among dozens of other reverberations, all comprising a mix tape of mother of all audible uproars.

Friday, 2 February 2018

24 Hours in Kyoto | Japan

February 02, 2018

The city of Kyoto dishes an opportunity for travelers to explore and learn more about Japan’s rich history, culture and traditions.

A day or two of exploring Kyoto riding the city’s highly effective mass transit system — and to some, pedaling on a bicycle — shall give you the chance to tick off a majority of the city’s 17 World UNESCO Heritage Sites. The Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto encompasses a wealth of knowledge representing Japan’s rich history dating back to the 10th century.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Thailand | Where to Stay in Pattaya: Sea Two Pool Villa

January 31, 2018


I am not leaving this room” I told myself the moment I stepped inside my accommodation at Sea Two Pool Villa in Pattaya, Thailand. Fortunately, our first day itinerary was just easy-breezy, thus giving me the rest of the afternoon to just chill around. We came from an event in Bangkok hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand where they flew lucky fans to meet Thai actor Mario Maurer.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Answering the Call of Adventure on Tarak Ridge

January 22, 2018

Ever since I left my college mountaineering club in the University of Santo Tomas, I have trekked to the mountains few and far between. It felt like a romantic separation that left me searching for ways to reconnect with. I would plan hiking trips here and there, only to shelve it in favor of a trip to the beach. Despite my deep interest in hiking taking a backseat, the call of the great outdoors remained loud and I know that it was just only a matter of time before I stepped on the jagged Philippine mountains again.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

12 Must-Try Flavorful Regional Dishes in the Philippines

January 20, 2018

Describing Filipino food is similar to discussing the film Inception – because of the varying layers that comprises it. When you think you figured out the overall character of Filipino cuisine, venturing into another province will once again introduce you to another strata of taste, texture and smell – essential food traits that exist distinctly in each regions of the Philippines. To give you an idea of the diversity of Filipino cuisine, here are some appetizing provincial gastronomies being prepared and served all over the country – to which I and these foodies whom I asked for recommendation, echoes a must-try endorsement.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Bataan | Trail to Ambon-Ambon Falls

January 19, 2018

It was almost an hour into our hike when we reached the edge of a boulder ravine dropping to more than a hundred feet. I saw our guide took out his rope and instantly proceeded behind the trees. “Wait for us, we’re just going to fix the rope” he told us in Tagalog. I took a peek and figured it would have been a very hurtful fall - with major broken bone ramifications, if one slid down to the bottom.  This was just one of the many obstacle course-like trail characteristics of the path leading to Ambon-Ambon falls. It looks moderate when you consider the distance of two hour and a half away, but going through all presents a set of challenging yet fun adventure moments.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Keep Chasing Spectacular Wow Moments | A Birthday Essay

January 15, 2018

It was a bipolar year once again. Just the way I like it. The Gods know me really well. Another set of 360 days and so, filled with sprinkled moments of ‘spectacular wow’, sandwiched with threadbare bouts of sadness, just passed by.

There is something beautiful in reveling in sadness”, given happiness’ brilliance in showering positive energy to my life, I must pay homage to the role of the 'blues’ in shaping the way I look at the world. Without it, my pursuit of bliss will go down in an unremarkable manner.


Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Fun, Cultural and Family-friendly Activities in Clark, Pampanga

January 10, 2018

The former site of a United States Air Force Base and once was the most strategic military position of America in the Far East; Clark, Pampanga has morphed into a highly developed city within a city. Known today as the Clark Freeport Zone – it currently houses modern infrastructures serving as a major hub for tourism, business, aviation, education, manufacturing and other leading industries. The robust development which started in 1995 after years of neglect brought on by the departure of the US Military and the eruption of Mount Pinatubo, Clark Freeport Zone quickly became the leisure, entertainment and gaming center in Central Luzon.

Country in Focus: Myanmar | Why You Should Visit it Now

January 10, 2018

A little over a decade ago, many locals in Myanmar can swear about seeing a foreigner as rare as a super moon. Today, those rarity has become a commonplace occurrence – as Myanmar have opened its doors to tourism in the last several years. Travel to the country formerly known as Burma has become so easy, as long as travelers from other countries (except those from neighboring Southeast Asian nations), book their Myanmar visa here before they fly to either Yangon, Bagan or Mandalay.