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.

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.


A wooden jetty in Bulalacao Island

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.

Danjugan Island in Negros

Where to Stay in Ortigas | Jinjiang Inn: More than a Business Hotel

December 03, 2018


Situated right smack at the center of Ortigas Business District—Jinjiang Inn—is a modest six-story property stripped of the imposing grandeur of a bigger hotel, but maintains a comfortable and laid-back sense that appeals to both business and leisure travelers. In the world of always-on-the-move travelers, an accommodation providing great bang for the buck is always a source of gratification.


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.

SupportLokal

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 that are 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.


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.



Where to Stay in Manila | Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle

October 22, 2018


I used to think Hotel Benilde was simply a high-rise playground building of culinary and HRM students of College of Saint Benilde. I am guilty of downplaying the establishment as merely having the basic necessities needed for elevated education yet still not up to par with industry standards. Oh man, how mistaken I was—when after stepping foot inside its lobby—I quickly noticed how everything is ran professionally, just like other fancy hotels I’ve been to.

#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.

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.

Day Hike and Dip at Mt. Mamara and Tinipak River | Rizal

September 10, 2018


We were locked up on summiting Mount Daraitan on this beautiful sunny day. However, while fueling up with a hot bowl of lomi at Brgy. Daraitan, a guide from the tourism office suggested Mt. Mamara. “The hike is easier but the view is equally spectacular as in Daraitan” he told us in Tagalog. While I was silently considering his advice, I waited for my friends Christine and Ferdz’ decision if we would take a vote on what mountain to day-hike. There was silence—except for the sound of our slurping—for a few seconds before Christine made a final decision for our group, “Mt. Mamara it is then”.

Marky Ramone Go standing on top of Mt. Mamaru
On top of the 1,200 feet plus Mt. Mamaru

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.

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.


Eye-Trick Pony at the 3D Art in Paradise | Bangkok

September 05, 2018


French philosopher Voltaire once said that “illusion is the first of all pleasures”—and one of its finest form is the trickery of our visual sense. Bangkok’s 3D Art in Paradise does just that, through its artworks daubed vividly on the walls and other installations conveying images of a different realm.

Inception, you say?

Postcard Series: Ground Zero | Marawi

August 27, 2018


If seeing the images on news TV isn't bad enough, the moment we walked inside the Marawi siege’s 'ground zero’, reality shook me real bad. Tilted buildings plastered with bullet and rocket holes, homes beyond recognition and personal stuff strewn on the road—clothes, suitcases, stuffed toys—left by fleeing civilians, are too much to process. Outside ground zero, we met some survivors eager to tell their stories. After losing everything, all they have now are narratives of survival. I took a few photos and with each click of my camera, I feel the grim scenes stabbing my heart.

a stuff toy remains in Marawi's Ground Zero

Postcard Series: Marantao | Lanao del Sur

August 16, 2018



The town of Marantao, which is almost next to Marawi is a picture of quaint countryside life. It was also here where we visited a demo farm program of the Peace Crops in cooperation with #ForMindanao. I was glad to learn about the many livelihood projects and community empowerment being implemented all over Lanao del Sur by various volunteer groups, as part of the many positive responses to the Marawi siege


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.


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.

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.

Levy Amosin in Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas

The Neolithic Rock Art Petroglyphs of Angono | Rizal

July 25, 2018


When Benelyn and I was planning our mini road trip in Rizal, we came up with a handful of places to visit. I pitched the Wind Mill Farm in Pililla while she suggested the Petroglyphs in Angono. “You haven’t been?” I asked her in a surprised tone since she live in the same town. “Never been” she answered me. “Great, same here”, I told her. Problem solved. Ditching spontaneity, we now have a road trip destination.

Petroglyphs of Angono
The Petroglyps of Angono was included in the 1996 World Monuments Watch

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.

Audrey Nagant Langun Gobingob Cave

Postcard Series: Travel Bloggers in Nong Khiaw | Laos

July 14, 2018


From left to right: Laugh Travel Eat, Kat Pegi Mana: Where Is Kat Going?, Global GallivantingOrange WayfarerNo Mundo da PaulaExplore with Ecokats and myself.

Not in this photo are (they're probably napping at this time): a couple traveler from 🇦🇺, a legendary Man On The Lam, another couple traveler Wanderers & Warriors and a kabayan Out & About in Southeast Asia.

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.

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.

Participants at the Kaamulan Festival

Postcard Series: Waiting for Sunset in Nakhon Phanom | Thailand

June 26, 2018



After getting settled in my hotel fronting the Mekong River, I took a stroll along the lengthy river walk in the city center of Nakhon Phanom. Passing by cajoling but polite street vendors, meditating monks and local families on long walks, I caught a cinematic sight brewing across the river. Arresting my attention, was how the disappearing gleam of the setting sun, reveal the spectacular silhouette of the saw-toothed hilltops in Laos.

Levy Amosin in Nakhon Phanom

Clarin House of Suman | Misamis Occidental

June 19, 2018


In a country where rice is life, it comes as no surprise that arguably the Philippines' favorite snack is the suman, a hand-rolled sticky rice cake usually wrapped in banana and palm leaves. Like most Filipinos, I’ve come across different varieties of suman all over the archipelago. There’s the Tupig in Ilocos Norte and Pangasinan, Suman Pinipig in Bulacan, Suman Moron and Budbod in Visayas, and Pintos in Mindanao—just to state a few—all differing in preparations, sizes and certain ingredients added.

sikwate and Clarin’s House of Suman
Suman always goes well with a hot cup of Sikwate - a Filipino chocolate made from tablea (ground cacao beans)

7 Reasons Why You Should Witness the Panaad so Negros Festival Next Year

June 04, 2018


Festivals or Fiestas have become a major part of life in the many provinces of the Philippines. These revelries not only showcases local traditions, it also provides an avenue for local residents to display their skills in cultural performances. Festivals also bind together; residents and visitors from all corners of the world, to join in the celebration of life and promotion of local culture. The Panaad sa Negros – which started in 1993, is one such festival that should be witnessed by everyone.

Panaad so Negros

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.

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.

A buddha statue in Sukhothai

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.

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.

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.


Panampangan Island in Tawi Tawi

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.



Tawi-Tawi Travel Guide | Places to See and Other Things to Do

April 16, 2018


As the southernmost province in the Philippines, Tawi-Tawi boasts of a number of destinations still considered to belong along the off-the-beaten path. Home to diversity and a colorful culture that has flourished and preserved for hundreds of years, visitors to this province are sure to be gifted with a memorable experience. Previously overlooked and unreasonably associated with security concerns, Tawi-Tawi is quickly becoming a favorite option for travelers in search of a place teeming with cultural wonders and unforgettable sights. To the lucky and adventurous traveler willing to explore Tawi-Tawi, here are just some of the many places worth visiting.

The Agal-Agal Festival is held every September in Tawi-Tawi 

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.


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.

Malolos Heritage Tour | Bulacan

April 08, 2018

Discovering women’s libber, freedom fighters and the city's olden days heritage


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.

Barasoain Church

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.

Where to Eat in Kaohsiung, Taiwan | 1300 Only Porcelain

April 02, 2018


A line from a Moby song: “As I wake its kaleidoscopic mind”, hummed inside my head as we enter arguably the most unique fine dining restaurant in Dashu District, Kaohsiung. Porcelain filled ceilings, chandeliers, tables, walls, bowls, cups and statues—adorn the interiors. Doubling as a museum displaying porcelain figurines costing from 10,000 NT to as high as 4,500,000 NT, 1300 Only Porcelain also lavish their guests with mouth-watering fusion cuisines.

Catchy Ceramics artworks seen by the entrance of 1300 Only Porcelain

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.