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Sunday, June 9, 2019

Calayan Island | When Coming Back Beckons a Sweet Hereafter Feels



Not missing the blustery 7-hour lampitaw ride of my first journey here, I stepped out of the plane—moments after it made a historic first landing on the island—buoyed by a feeling akin to rekindling a tryst with a former lover. Calayan Island has that effect on me. It could be because last time, the place served as a background to my memorable hilltop and beachside frolics with my then girlfriend.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

2019 Spartan Race SEA Series in Lima Park | Batangas



Founded by adventure racer Joe DeSena in 2007, the Spartan Race has grown to become the world standard for endurance and strength races. A total of 240 races are now being held in 25 countries every year including the Philippines. The first leg of the 2019 Spartan Race Southeast Asia Regional series held in Lima Technology Center in Batangas on May 3-4, 2019 attracted more than 4,000 participants.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Revisiting Marinduque



Whenever people ask me how I fell in love with traveling. I always tell them I got inspired by Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” novel. An autobiographical narrative of Kerouac’s post-war road trip across the United States amidst the background of poetry, jazz and the emerging beat culture. Thinking back now, I realized the birth of my wanderlust occurred during my college years. This was a time when my friends and I journeyed to the province of Marinduque every holy week, to partake at the island’s iconic revelry---the Moriones Festival.

Soon to re-open Bellaroca Island

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Scenes from a Weekly Market and a Local Village | Seoni, Madhya Pradesh | India



Ask them what their names are”, a father manning a street food stall gently commands her young daughter of not over ten years old. The beaming but shy little girl obliges, “What is your name?” she inquired staring wide-eyed at my friend. “I am Karla and this is Marky and your name is?” answered my ever responsive friend. The young girl smiled before telling us her name “I’m Amara”.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Inaul Festival Celebrates Maguindanao’s Traditional Weaving Art



“Life is a loom, weaving illusion” [1] and in Mindanao’s storied sundry of woven heritage, a diverse weaving art scattered across the region abounds with dream-like patterns and fascinating backstories. Anecdotes encompassing historical origins and local legends shaped the roots of the various cloth creations of the Dreamweavers’ T’nalak of South Cotabato, the Langkit of Maranao, the Dagmay of the Mandayas, the Tausugs's Habul Tiyahian, the Inabal of Davao del Sur’s Bagobo-Tagabawa tribe, among others.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Pursuing Wildlife in India with Pugdundee Safari



Like leafing through the pages of "Man-Eaters of Kumaon" – Jim Corbett’s memoir of his experiences hunting man-eating Bengal tigers in India’s Kumaon region, I find Chinmay’s tales of these wild beasts’ sightings very engrossing. Unlike Corbett’s experiences, fortunately today in this part of India, man has known better to let these animals roam freely.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Maiden Flight Makes Historic Landing on Calayan Island



Onboard our chartered 30-seater Dornier aircraft from Platinum Skies, I steadied my eyes towards the window as our plane circled Calayan Island. I quickly gazed at the azure colored waters of Cibang Cove, recognizing it instantly from memories of my first visit here four years ago.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Of Fireflies Night and Quaint Vibe of Mararison Island | Antique



Memories of my first visit to Mararison Island played vividly on my mind as we approach it aboard a motorized boat from the port of Culasi. I could still perceive the angelic voice of the Mararison Children's choir belting out a harmonious Kinaray—a traditional welcoming song. Known all over Antique province where they perform frequently in numerous revelries, its members whose age ranges from 6 to 13 thirteen years old has become the island’s cultural ambassadors. It was more than a year ago when I first heard them croon. One and a half lap around the sun later, I find myself en route back to Mararison—not only to listen again to the youngsters’ divine voices but also to embrace the enthralling setting of Mararison.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

6 Reasons to stay in Best Western Hotel Metro Clark | Pampanga



The local economy surrounding Clark, Pampanga has seen rapid growth in recent years. Coinciding this development is the emergence of Clark as a prime tourism and business destination. The old stinging red light district reputation of Metro Clark has all but relegated to a nostalgic single strip known as the ‘Walking Street’.  While it remains an interesting place to check out – thanks to an assortment of Asian food gems and fascinating entertainment bars lined up on both sides, a surrounding renaissance of heritage structures, quaint cafes, local craft breweries, adventure theme parks and a thriving commercial district, all make Metro Clark a fascinating area to explore and do business.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Aquaria Waterpark and Crusoe Cabins | A Cool Hidey-hole Beach Destination



Also, a great place to have a fun shindig with friends.

All I could remember from the night before was me crawling to my upper bunk bed inside the cabin I shared with fellow travel bloggers Mujee and Joel. I recalled vomiting violently on the toilet – no thanks, to losing consistently on our little drinking game that got a bit out of hand. Meaning: all us guys ended up wasted on the veranda while the girls stood victorious and the last ones standing, laughing at how squandered we look.

Monday, March 25, 2019

This Year’s #LakbayNorte Highpoints Must-see Places in Clark, Subic and Baler



Now on its 8th year, Lakbay Norte once again concluded a media familiarization tour participated by travel writers from online and print publications. It is organized by the North Philippines Visitors Bureau in partnership with Victory Liner as a way of promoting Northern Luzon as a premier tourist destination. This year's itinerary took the more than 20 travel writers and photographers to the places of Subic and Clark in Pampanga and to the surfing town of Baler in Aurora. Here’s a quick rundown of all the places highlighted by #LakbayNorte8 as possible destinations for travelers heading to this part of Luzon.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

A Beautiful Glimpse of Egypt



Egypt was the last of the triumvirate of nations which consist the HolyLand tour I joined. After kicking off our trip in Jordan and spending almost a week in Israel, the last leg of our journey took us to the land of the Pharaohs and Cleopatra. Along the way we passed by endless stretch of deserted valleys and mountains until the azure waters of the Red Sea signaled the approaching border crossing to Egypt. It was here where we followed the trail of Moses and the Holy Family when they fled Israel after King Herod Antipas issued a marching order to execute all infants in Israel.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Dolphin Spotting in Bais, Negros Oriental



Alighting out of a bus from Dumaguete, I arrived at the quaint town of Bais at the flinch of sunlight. This idyllic municipality was a bastion of 19th century barons who spearheaded the raw sugar boom Negros Oriental came to known for. As I took my first strides around the town, I quickly noticed the miscellanies of its storied past evidenced by the run-down but still charming pre-war colonial homes.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Lakbay Norte | Baler without the Surf Board



Thrice in the past spread over a decade, I found myself in Baler always tugging a surf board. Despite failing to achieve consistent long rides over the waves, I recognized the cherished vibe reigning in this sea-side town. There is this inexplicable vibrant sub-culture that continue to attract an expanding list of friends and acquaintances of mine, into re-rooting themselves amongst the surfing community here.  

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Postcard-Pretty Slideshow of Catanduanes



One after the other the rumbling sound of the waves remained on a continuous loop. Each time, a blast of sea water splashes violently towards the natural pool where our group were dipped soothingly. The sight and sound may appear perilous but the magnificent rock formations jutted from underneath the sea, sheltered us safely from the torrents of the Pacific Ocean. Such is the lure of Tuwad-Tuwadan Lagoon, a secluded tidal pool situated at the foot of Cagnipa Hills facing the monster swells of the Pacific.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Victory Liner’s P2P Bus Service Connects Clark Airport to Subic and Dagupan



Clark International Airport was where I took my very first airplane ride in 2007. Yes, just like with dating, I was a late-bloomer to plane rides. Similar to going out with women, I made it up with air travel - big time. Countless flights later and I still vividly remember walking over the hot paved tarmac of Clark Airport one sunny May morning, to an Air Asia plane warming up on the apron area. I dredged up thoughts of vowing to myself to “do this (flying) more often”.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Unique Attractions and Activities in Metro Manila



Exploring the city of Manila is like opening a box filled with ukay-ukay (pre-loved) clothes and other objects. It may take you quite a while of digging before you start finding things you actually like. Because this city’s gems aren’t notable at first glance, it takes extra effort in discovering Manila’s allure. From the city of Manila to the rest of its Metropolitan area, one can find a myriad of charms hidden at every nook and cranny. By knowing where to search and expanding your zest for discovery, you can easily enjoy Manila with all its rich history, culture, art scene, food and friendly people.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Phnom Penh, a Tapestry of History and Culture



Perched at the junction of the Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap rivers, Phenom Penh is a colorful tapestry of Khmer and French Indochina colonialism, evident in every aspect of daily life. Legend has it that the city is named after an old lady known as Daun Penh, meaning “Old lady Penh”, with Phenom being the Khmer word for hill. Within Southeast Asia this is a must visit city full of color, fascination and learning.