At Peace with Nature at Mirador Jesuit Villa Retreat House and Eco Park | Baguio City

December 29, 2021


When I first visited Mirador Hill in October 2020 just when the city was starting to loosen up with Covid restrictions, it was still known to most as the Mirador Jesuit Villa and Retreat House. At that time, there were already plans to create a bamboo forest and an eco-park surrounding this haven of tranquility.

After the war in 1945, Jesuits from other parts of Asia went here to study because Jesuit teachers would often stay here during the summer. The current retreat house — the third one built by the Jesuits in the City of Pines — was designed by Gines Rivera, the same architect who designed the Administration Building of Ateneo de Manila, in 1952.

Ayi Del Rosario
The Mirador Jesuit Villa Retreat House was founded in 1907

5 Churches in Tarlac Perfect for Visita Iglesia

December 28, 2021


During the first months of the pandemic, churches everywhere in the Philippines closed as a way to follow social distancing and quarantine protocols. After more than a year of being at home and attending online masses, several churches are now reopening and accepting devotees and people who need divine intervention in their lives.

The reopening of churches also makes it possible for people to resume their Visita Iglesia, or the tradition of visiting different churches during Holy Week. If you live in a house or an apartment for rent in Tarlac province, here are five churches potentially near you where you might want to reflect and pray:

Traveling Back to the former Island of No Return | Culion Island, Palawan

December 26, 2021

Far from being a typical Philippine island destination, Culion hides a ubiquitous layers of fascination courtesy of its storied history that is both harrowing and triumphant. Many decades removed from its upsetting past when boat loads of patients stricken with leprosy was sent to the island to live a life of treatment and isolation, Culion’s journey from being the island of no return to a charming quant isle is enough to entice any inquisitive traveler. 

Kezia Romblon
La Immaculada Church of Culion

Where to Stay in Coron: Sunlight Guest Hotel | Palawan

December 21, 2021


Popping with a yellow color you can spot a mile away, Sunlight Guest Hotel is every bit of its name, radiating light on a bright and beautiful day. Lending a Mediterranean vibe, it stands behind the water teeming with marine life and overlooking the islands of Coron and Uson. A small jetty within the property of the hotel instantly leads guests to a day of diving and snorkeling in the nearby Siete Pecados coral garden.

Anna Betina Pangalanan

Hot Coffee, Cool Vibe and Best Views at Farm to Cup DIY Brew Bar | Benguet

December 20, 2021


After devouring generous servings of Cordilleran cuisine at the Farmer’s Daughter, Missy and I were craving for some coffee fix. “Plus, I needed to join our Christmas party for an hour via zoom”, Missy tells me.  I figured the outdoor setting of this café I first saw on Instagram would be an ideal place to sit, sip and chill — and in Missy’s case, to “zoom”.

missy ferrer

A Surreal Moment at the Great Pyramid of Giza | Egypt

November 27, 2021

"Forward! Remember that from these monuments yonder 40 centuries look down upon you", Napoleon Bonaparte declared to his troops as they gear up for the Battle of the Pyramids on July 1798. Indeed, the history of the great pyramids dates back to one of Earth's ancient civilizations. This fact made my experience of being there feel more surreal in real life. I recall staring at the pyramids with wide eyes while standing immobile, engrossed in a spectacular now kind of moment. There is no better way to cap our Holy Land trip than a chance to see the Great Pyramid of Giza up close.

Marky Ramone Go jumping in front of the pyramid of Giza
Jumping for joy is an understatement

In the Presence of National Living Treasure Apuh Ambalang Ausalin | Basilan

November 10, 2021


It doesn’t happen everyday that I get to wake up in a new and unfamiliar place. Yet here I am stirring into consciousness from a deep slumber in the province of Basilan. A full day has passed since I stepped out of a ferry ship from Zamboanga and shattering my previous misconceptions about this province.

Sophie Gianan, Jomie Naynes, and Levy Amosin watches a Yakan weaver weave her magic
One of Apu Ambalang's Magtetenum (weaver)

Lakbay Norte Highpoints Must-See Places in Nueva Ecija

November 02, 2021


As it enters its 10th year, the #NLEXLakbayNorte continues to promote more tourist destinations in Northern Luzon. However, due to the global pandemic, the usual 5-6 day caravan across several provinces is curtailed to a shorter trip focusing on just one province. This writer of Nomadic Experiences and Out of Town Blog was recently invited to participate in the 2-day familiarization tour of Nueva Ecija. Following IATF-enforced safety protocols, we explored other must-visit places in the province known as the “rice granary of the Philippines”.

Melissa Ferrer looks at the view of Sierra Madre
One of several IG-mable spots in Forest Garden

Philippines’ 1st Stevia Grower Empowers Farmers and Advocates for Diabetes Awareness

November 01, 2021


We rarely come across companies that put advocacy and employee empowerment at the center of their corporate mission, but Glorious Industrial and Development Corporation — GIDC, the Stevia Company, is setting the model. As the first stevia grower and manufacturer in the Philippines, GIDC harvests and markets the Sweet and Fit Stevia, the foremost stevia herbal dietary supplement registered by the Food and Drug Administration in the Philippines, as its main weapon in leading the charge against diabetes.  Grown and harvested in the Philippines exclusively by GIDC, Sweet and Fit Stevia is free of calories, cholesterol, carbohydrates, and has zero glycemic index.

Koryn Iledan
Visitors can enjoy a Stevia leaf picking activity at this 2-hectare Stevia Demo Farm

The Hilltop Cabins of Farm Ridge by Desmond Farm in Nueva Ecija

October 27, 2021


Socially distance yourself from the hustle and bustle of Manila by taking a 3-hour drive to this part of Nueva Ecija where one can wake up to a sea of clouds and the humming of birds. Nestled on the slopes of the Sierra Madre mountains and overlooking the calm waters of Pantabangan lake are a set of cabins that gorgeously blends with the surrounding nature.

Jomie Naynes

Where to eat in Zamboanga City | Curacha Crabs and more at Alavar Seafood Restaurant

October 25, 2021


No visit to Zamboanga City is complete without sampling Alavar Seafood Restaurant's Curacha — a giant deep-sea spanner crab half the size of a human face — drowning with the restaurant’s signature Alavar sauce. Eating it can be both satisfying and messy at the same time. Using your bare hands, crack the shell open to expose the thick and juicy meat inside, then glaze it with Zamboanga’s famous culinary sauce and viola. You’ll be surprised at how many crabs you have licked and sucked clean in the end.

Mishy Co

Where to Eat in Cabanatuan | Dine the Novo Ecijano way in the Rustic Hapag Vicentico's

October 22, 2021


Naka hain na ang pagkain sa hapag kainan”.  Most of us 80's kids will attest that these words are enough to get us running into the dining room from playing games on the street. "Hapag Kainan," is the Tagalog word for "dining table," which is probably the most significant fixture in a Filipino household. It is the place where family members come together to talk about the day's events while enjoying a delicious homecooked meal. 

Jomie Naynes

Where to Eat in Nueva Ecija | Tambayan ni Berto in Colosboa Hills, Cuyapo

October 19, 2021


Mountain bikers and motorcyclists alike are flocking to the rugged hills of Colosboa in Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija. This is because of the terrain's snaking dirt tracks that would delight any two-wheeled rider, as well as the beautiful countryside scenery. However, as the host of a TV shopping show would say, "but wait, there's more". Because Colosboa Hills is also home to a bike and souvenir shop, a rustic bar called Hill's View, and a foodie hangout place called Tambayan ni Berto. 


Melissa Ferrer

Of Colorful Weaves and Fascinating Culture at Yakan Village in Zamboanga City

October 15, 2021


A few days removed from being graced by the presence of National Living Treasure awardee Apuh Ambalang — a Yakan master weaver who unfortunately passed away at age 78 in February 2022 — in Lamitan, Basilan, we continued our discovery of the 'Habi' (weaving) culture of Zamboanga Peninsula by making an educational stop at the Yakan Village in Zamboanga. Despite the fact that this was my second visit to this Yakan cultural hub, I was immediately captivated by the vibrant woven creations displayed in the rows of stalls that greeted us after we alighted from our vans.

Arianne Joyce Clare Montaño

Stonehill Farms Ipil: a picturesque road trip stop | Zamboanga Sibugay

September 28, 2021


While in the midst of our culinary exploration of Zamboanga Peninsula and on our way to more Hilom (wellness) and Habi (weaving) discovery, we passed by a province I’ve never been to before: Zamboanga Sibugay. Only a few days removed from ticking Basilan as my 75th province visited in the Philippines, I stare intently outside the window of our van engrossing much scenery wondering if I could check mark it already. However, I have a personal rule that if I don’t stop to either eat or sleep, it doesn’t count. Good thing though—despite having a hearty breakfast already—our group stopped for another round of breakfast at this hilltop property in Ipil called Stonehill Farms.

Marky Ramone Go
Trying to get a closer look of Buluan Island in Sibugey Bay

Lunch Situation at Bulingan Falls | Lamitan City, Basilan

September 25, 2021


A feast of a brunch consisting of mouth-watering Tausug and Sama delicacies on a floating cottage, followed by a beachfront banquet with curacha crabs and other fresh seafood catch, made for one memorable first day in Basilan. It goes without saying that I expected our lunch the next day would be equally fulfilling - and it indeed was.

Alyanna Bromeo swims in Bulingan Falls
The water was murky because of the rain the night before

How La Union’s Woven Baskets Became one of Kultura’s best sellers

September 19, 2021

 La Union woman championing SMEs development, collaborates with SM Kultura to bring opportunity knocking to several communities during the pandemic

After leaving a high-paying job in a HK-based exporting company more than 25 years ago, Helen Rulloda never doubted she was making the right decision. Driven by a strong faith that she’s headed to her path of true calling, she eventually stumbled into a little-known handicraft trade in her home province. Recognizing the beauty of an industry where generation to generation handing down of artisan weaving skills persist, Helen seized the occasion to answer her calling.

Regene Ong
Helen Rulloda

Into the Center of Jain Culture and History of Chanderi | India

August 10, 2021

From where I sit on a balcony of a hilltop hotel, I can see the many monuments built during the era of the Bundelas— a Rajput clan of Central India who lorded over this part of Madhya Pradesh beginning in the 16th century. In that moment I savored the solemnity of finding myself some quiet time in-between our busy media tour. Trailing my eyes from the top of an opposite hill into the rows of houses below, I became perplexed at the sight of jam-packed edifices below.

19th Century Home Buddies Vibe at Casa Manila Museum | Intramuros

July 28, 2021


As modern home aesthetics trends on social media via the popular Home Buddies group on Facebook, a replica of a typical 19th century mansion in Intramuros reminds visitors that not all olden things must be forgotten. The Casa Manila Museum in Intramuros offers a glimpse to the lifestyle of affluent Filipino families dating back to a century ago. Featuring antique furniture pieces and ornaments made in China and Europe and by local artisans and complemented well by its impressive stone-and-wood structure, one could easily come into conclusion that not even IKEA can hold a candle to home living during colonial times.

Muffet Sta Maria

Feeling the Royal Vibe Inside the City Palace in Udaipur | India

July 17, 2021


As we make our way through the vast Rajasthan desert from Jaipur and Jodphur, the golden-colored terrain seems as familiar as the blue skies above. The contrast of colors in this part of India added an extra layer of visual interest to our journey. We have also developed a routine which includes bazaar hopping, street food exploration, and stepping inside centuries-old palaces and giant forts. Nevertheless, my sense of wonder and pursuit of the oddity lit up as we approached the City Palace of Udaipur on foot. Massive in scale and rich in architectural details, I immediately felt a tinge of royal vibe as we enter the 'Badi Pol' (Great Gate) leading to the Palace's first of many courtyards.

Ayi Del Rosario
The Facade of the City Temple looks more like a typical Rajasthan Fort

Visiting Baluarte de San Diego in Intramuros for the First Time | Manila

July 15, 2021


After a visit to the National Museum of Natural History failed to materialize because our online reservation was bumped a couple of hours into late afternoon, my friend Louisa and I decided to just explore Intramuros. This was more than a year into the pandemic and certain restrictions are still in place when visiting establishments such as museums.

Celine Arenillo

The Best Places to Vacation On The East Coast

July 10, 2021


Aside from the hustle and bustle that New York City has to offer, there are many other places on the East Coast that are perfect vacation spots. For deserted, white sand beaches, to mountainous cities with trails that go for miles, the options are endless. With so many wonderful places to see and experience it is hard to choose where to visit. But don’t fret, that is where we come in. We love exploring and finding the best nooks and cranines to visit. So here are a few of our favorite places to visit on the Southern East Coast.

Palm Beach, Florida. Photo credit: WikiCommons

Dead Sea Floating | Israel

June 09, 2021


I can’t remember how young I am when I first learned about the Dead Sea. I recall having a sense of dread about its name. “Do you die when you swim in that sea?” I recall asking my older brother. His explanation escaped my interest that time as I remain fixated at its morbid reputation. As I grow older, it occupied the top-tier of my mental bucket list of places I desire to tick off one by one. Therefore, when I was assigned to join a Holy Land trip for a travel writing gig and saw our itinerary; two places other than the Walled City of Jerusalem stood out to me: the Petra in Jordan and the Dead Sea.

Marky Ramone Go_Sandra Santiago

Places You Will See When You Go on a Holy Land Tour | Israel, Jordan & Egypt

May 25, 2021


When one mentions the “Holy Land”, the first thing that comes to mind for most Christians is the birthplace of Jesus Christ in the Palestinian town of Bethlehem, which is ten kilometers from Jerusalem. While in fact, this is true, the scope of the usual holy land journey encompasses three countries: Egypt, Jordan, and Israel. This route includes stops at a few historic locations in addition to following the footsteps of Christ, Moses, John the Baptist, and Mother Mary. Here are a few locations to inspire you to travel to the holy land.

Marky Ramone Go

Kuang Si Waterfall Side-trip with Tiger Trail | Laos

May 19, 2021


After several days of exploring the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang, the lure of the great outdoors took me 30 kilometers south to the town of Long Lao—the home of the Hmong indigenous people of Indochina. Accompanied by three other staff of Tiger Trail Adventure, our truck set off under the misty fog of the early morning. After an hour of driving through small settlements and along a long stretch of rough road, we reached the trekking jump-point to Kuang Si Falls under a still gloomy sky.

Sophie Gianan

Glorious Gwalior Fort Up-Close | Madhya Pradesh, India

April 20, 2021


As I was letting every second of being awed linger gratifyingly, I fixated my thoughts on the massive walls of Gwalior Fort. I started wondering about the stories of resilient kingdoms and bloody battles it conceals. Like peeling off layers of a paint, I survey the colossal architectural grandeur of the 8th century structure before me and briefly imagined being transported in time.

Jeni Cabacungan

If These Waves Rocking our Boat Could Chill for a While | Anguib Beach, Cagayan

April 08, 2021


Prayers often trumps all. Indeed, ours was answered after a day of failed incursion to Callao Cave due to heavy rains. A glimpse of the blue skies appeared. This means our sea voyage to Anguib beach and Palaui Island is greenlighted and thumbs upped by the Coast Guard. Yet, what they say about "Be careful what you wish for", since unbeknownst to us that time, the weather still has a trick up its sleeve to surprise us.

Klara Iska Anonuevo, Kara Santos
Still unaware of what's waiting for us

The Haunting at Old Diplomat Hotel | Baguio

March 27, 2021


Standing outside the fog-covered ruins of the Old Diplomat Hotel, I find the eerie vibe hard to ignore, as I picture a cinematic vision of a sequel to The Haunting of Hill House and of Bly Manor. For all its paranormal tales of housing wandering spirits, the history of this rundown charming architectural remains, provides a fascinating backdrop to any 8-episode horror series.

Ayi Del Rosario

Getting to Know Padre Burgos in Time of Covid | Quezon

March 04, 2021


During this pandemic, I was fortunate to sandwiched far in between my self-imposed lockdown at home, a few working trips that strictly followed safety protocols, to the Cordillera highlands, the organic farms in Quezon and the picturesque Lake Lumot in Cavinti, Laguna. The only thing missing was a socially-distanced jaunt to the beach. Just when I was starting to wonder if I’ve to wait for this damn pandemic to end before I could dip my toes again in the ocean, a travel writing assignment arrived on my inbox.

Sara Abdollahi

Nature & Chill at Glamping, Etc. in Cavinti | Laguna

February 14, 2021

After spending much of the Covid-ravaged year socially distancing myself from other people and the great outdoors, I welcomed the spontaneity to experience nature once again when I received an invitation from an old friend. “Hi Marky, are you free this Sunday to Tuesday?” Jackie wrote to me on messenger. “I’m going to Cavinti. I was going solo, but the place is kind off the grid so maybe I shouldn't go alone. Would you like to come?” she wrote on a follow-up message that reached my inbox just as I was about to reply “Yes”—even without knowing the details yet. 

Sandra Santiago

8 Photographs that illustrate why I love Bagan | Myanmar

February 03, 2021


As a traveler, I strive to take trips to locations I've never been before. This rule, nevertheless, comes with a few exceptions. Bagan, Myanmar, was one of the places I returned to sooner than I expected. After my first trip there in March 2013, I always felt like I had unfinished business when I returned home. This is why, exactly three years later, I set out on another journey to this ancient city. This time around, I arrived as a lone tourist armed with more days exploring this historic city teeming with centuries-old temples and pagodas.

Kate Alvarez

A Cycling Tour and a Kababayan Encounter in Mandalay | Myanmar

February 02, 2021


Mandalay was a place I regretted not seeing during my first visit to Myanmar in 2013 with friends. Things were different during my return trip in 2016, when additional days worked on my side. After almost a week of exploring the vast plains of Bagan aboard an e-motorcycle, I made the half day land trip to the former royal capital of Myanmar.

Dizzy and tired from the sleeper bus journey, I relaxed for a few minutes at my fine accommodation—the Hotel by the Red Canal—before setting out to explore the food scene of the city.

Koryn Iledan

Three of the Best Cycling Routes in Southern Spain

January 27, 2021


Spain is a country of truly diverse landscapes – whether you are seeking coastlines or mountain peaks, forests or city streets, you'll find it. Southern Spain might usually be visited by those who wish for beachside relaxation, but it can be enjoyed even more by taking to the roads and exploring some of the adventurous and picturesque cycle routes.


4 Things to Consider Before Purchasing a New Home

January 20, 2021


Even as a traveler, there will come a time when we will need to look to buy a home to set up base. This can be anywhere: in your home country or a place you’ve fallen in love abroad. Regardless of location, the vital things to ponder before buying a new home remains the same. To help you plan for your big home purchase, here is a list of important matters to consider before acquiring your dream abode.

The Blooming Organic Farms in CALABARZON

January 11, 2021


A couple of months removed from a travel writing assignment covering the vegetable farms of Cordillera, another opportunity to visit more agricultural destinations came to my inbox from the Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Training Institute (ATI). It was to join their first regional bloggers/vloggers event that aims to promote Organic Agriculture in the CaLaBarZon region (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon).


Valerie Faye Bautista

Top 13 Tips for a Hassle-Free Shopping Experience Abroad

January 11, 2021


Tourists who go on vacation abroad usually have different agendas in mind—some are there to experience nature, some are there to get immersed in the culture, and some come along for the shopping. Indeed, for many passionate Filipino shopaholics and fashionistas, shopping abroad is all the adventure they need. It’s a chance to find rare items and indulge in designer digs that may be too expensive back home.

Traveling Long-Term to New York? Here’s a Guide to Finding the Right Apartment

January 10, 2021


Call it the Big Apple or the city that never sleeps, to most, New York City is a place that belongs in every bucket list. I would imagine fellow travelers visiting New York and staying for weeks and even months. However, as one of the most expensive cities in the world, staying in hotels or even hostels will put a hole in your pocket. Therefore, it is recommendable for wanderers wanting to immerse in the local culture, culinary delights and art scenes of New York to stay in an apartment.

Karla Ramos

The Guide to Saving Money on a Long-Term Trip to Jordan

January 08, 2021


Embarking on a journey to Jordan for an extended period can be a life-changing adventure. From Petra's ancient wonders to Amman's vibrant markets, Jordan offers a rich tapestry of experiences for travelers. However, a lengthy stay may bring financial concerns to the forefront. In this guide, we'll explore various strategies to save money when traveling to Jordan from overseas for several months, covering everything from sightseeing to dining and the potential benefits of car shipping.

Me in Wadi Rum, Jordan

7 Reasons Why You Should Travel to the Philippines

January 06, 2021


The Philippines is easy to fall in love with because of its stunning natural beauty and genuinely nice people. Most visitors mistakenly believe that the Philippines is only about beaches, but there is much more. And, just as you'll fall in love with all you see here, you'll fall in love with the values of everyone you meet and the delectable cuisines they offer.

Monnette Santillan

Ways to Live Debt-Free and Save up for your Retirement Fund

January 06, 2021


Other than spending our money wisely—which is something hard to maintain—there are other ways on how we can live a debt-free life while at the same time filling our piggy banks. After all the hours we’ve worked on our respective jobs, we deserve to plan something special at the latter years of our life. Well, good thing is, we don’t have to wait for long because if we plan our finances properly and strategize our spending and make saving a habitual thing, we can retire as early as in our 30’s and live with more time to experience all the things we love such as traveling.

Leap out from the grasp of debt

Best 5 Things to Do on Your First Visit to San Diego

January 05, 2021


San Diego is a popular tourist attraction for travelers from all around the world. Anyone can find something of their liking. San Diego offers various activities and beautiful places to visit. Due to the abundance of things you can do, finding the top things to do on your first visit to San Diego is tough. That’s why we have created this article to help everyone new to San Diego who doesn't know what to do on their first visit. From enjoying bay cruises to participating in golf games, riding bikes, and sightseeing.

San Diego Boardwalk. 

5 Philippine Festivals Held at the Beach

January 04, 2021


The Philippines is rich in festivals, heritage sites, delicious food, and beach resorts. These elements continue to attract tourists to visit and relish the beauty and culture of the Philippines. Of course, traveling all 7,640 islands to experience every cuisine, festival, and beach resort is an impossible task. But did you know you can enjoy Philippine festivals held on the beach?

Sophie Gianan
Iloilo's Dinagyang Festival is set in the streets of Iloilo. Wonder how a festival set in a beach would look like? Read below.