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Sunday, July 1, 2018

Witnessing the Ethnic Kaamulan Festival in Malaybalay, Bukidnon


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, June 10, 2018

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


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, June 1, 2018

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


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, May 20, 2018

Relishing the Olden Vibe of the Ancient City of Sukhothai


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.


Monday, May 7, 2018

Bali | Indonesia: Witnessing Primate Goofing at Ubud Monkey Forest


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


A primate abode known as the Mandala Wisata Wanara Wana or otherwise referred to as the Ubud Monkey Forest, is another popular tourist destination in Bali. 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, May 1, 2018

Stories from the Seas: Panampangan Island | Tawi-Tawi


Everyone was silent as our speedboat sloshes through the calm waters of Celebes Sea. Under the brightness of a full sun, we were cruising with golden skin 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 innocent civilians to kidnap, the waters approaching Panampangan Island is now a picture of unruffled nature haven. 

Monday, April 30, 2018

Food, History and Culture Tripping in Taipei


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.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Aurora Province | Dingalan Fun Hike with Tripkada


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, April 8, 2018

Malolos City: Of women’s libber, freedom fighters and 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.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Surf and Chow | Where to Eat in Siargao


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, April 1, 2018

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


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, March 21, 2018

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


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, March 10, 2018

How Female Travelers Should Respond to Sexual Harassment on the Road


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, March 8, 2018

5 Easy Hikes in Luzon with Gorgeous Views


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, March 5, 2018

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


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, March 1, 2018

Travel and Win with my New Friend on the Road, #Bonamine


When I first went to India in 2014, I learned a lesson the hard way. Yes, I took with me anti-diarrhea medicines, but when the onslaught of numerous cross country train trips hit me, I was reduced to a drunk-like traveler seeing the world with a dizzy head.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Fine Architecture Seen on the Streets of Mumbai


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, February 2, 2018

24 Hours in Kyoto | Japan


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.


Monday, January 22, 2018

Answering the Call of Adventure on Tarak Ridge


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, January 20, 2018

12 Must-Try Flavorful Regional Dishes in the Philippines


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, January 19, 2018

Bataan | Trail to Ambon-Ambon Falls


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, January 15, 2018

Keep Chasing Spectacular Wow Moments | A Birthday Essay


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, January 10, 2018

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


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.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Traveloka | the Legit Go-to Travel App for Flights and Hotel Bookings

As a travel writer I always find myself needing to book a flight or an accommodation almost spontaneously. Most of the time when I am on the tail-end of travel writing assignment, I extend my trip in order to cover more places. And in each time, I always score myself cheap flights and hotels via Traveloka – which I now consider as my go-to travel app. There has been a lot of apprehensions whenever a traveler books a flight through third-party app other than a website’s official app. I understand where the doubts are coming from, but I guarantee that I have never experienced even a slight problem with my numerous bookings made via Traveloka.