2022 Shariff Kabunsuan Festival: Showcasing Bangsamoro’s Storied History and Colorful Culture

December 19, 2022


Every year, Cotabato City honors the life of the man credited with bringing Islam to Mindanao with a week-long festival. Shariff Kabunsuan, to whom the celebration is named after, was an Arab-Malay from Johore, Malaysia who led an expedition to the islands of Lanao and Maguindanao in the early 16th century to preach Islam.

April Enerio
A fluvial parade of Guinakit boats was held as the finale of the festival

Where to Stay in Pampanga | Swissôtel Clark Offers a Tasteful Blend of Luxury and Cuisine

December 05, 2022


Every time I visit Clark Freeport Zone, I always wish I’d stay for a few days to thoroughly enjoy the area.  Aside from the numerous dining and café options, it is always a good idea to wake up and enjoy a quick run along the neighborhood's spacious pedestrian and bike lanes, hang out at the various parks, or simply chill at one of the many fancy hotels located within the Freeport Zone.

Levy Amosin
Retiring quickly to my fancy room  after a hearty brunch

Ticao Island: of baby sharks, a unique waterfall, and pristine waters | Masbate

November 09, 2022


Incredibly surreal, I think to myself as we glide over the choppy waters off Bicol Peninsula towards the island of Ticao. My excitement at finally making it to Masbate, the 77th province I've visited in the Philippines, was palpable as our boat inched closer to the isle's powdery shores.

Isabela Barrios
Catandayagan Falls. All drone photos by Milet Miranda of Project Gora

A Memorable Surf and Glamp Experience in Zambales

November 08, 2022


Every time a road trip plan is pitched, I always suggest heading to Zambales. What’s there not to like? Although, it takes up to 3-5 hours to get there, the drive is done over smooth roads laden with bucolic scenery. Once you reached the first town of the province, you begin to smell the scent of the ocean. Driving through a series of quaint towns, you get to choose from a smorgasbord of charming seaside escapes. 

Karla Ramos

The Historic Citadel of Jahangir Mahal | Orchha, India

November 03, 2022


Built between 1605 and 1626 upon the command of Vir Singh Deo to commemorate Mughal Emperor Jahangir's first visit to Orchha (father of Shah Jahan- architect of Taj Mahal), Jahangir Mahal is considered as one of the best representations of classic Indo-Islamic Architecture. Marvelous sculptures, hanging balconies, delicate trellis and chhatris, topped domes, etc., are all examples of the building's exceptional architectural brilliance.

Heidi Manabat
The many domes of the palace arrest your attention

Kuala Lumpur Travel Guide: a 4-day Itinerary for Long Weekend Travelers | Malaysia

November 02, 2022


Kuala Lumpur holds a particular place in my memory. My very first air voyage was to this city more than a decade ago, just when low-cost carriers like Cebu Pacific Air began to offer fares that regular Juans like me could afford. In retrospect, my trip to Malaysia's capital city sparked my wanderlust. Hundreds of travels later, I was delighted to return to KL to reacquaint with old haunts and explore new things about this bustling metropolis of cuisine and culture.

Kate Alvarez
The rainbow-ish steps of Batu Caves

Museo ning Angeles: Serving a Dose of Angeles City’s History | Pampanga

October 22, 2022


The Museo ning Angeles, which is well-preserved and ideally located in front of the Holy Rosary Church and a few steps away from Pamintuan Mansion, was initially built in 1922 as the Municipio del Pueblo, or the Town Hall of Angeles City. Earlier than that, the site was the location of a casa tribunal (courthouse) during the Spanish rule that burned down in 1860. Today, after the town hall was moved to its current location, it now serves as a museum showcasing historical artifacts, artwork, and relics from the city and the province of Pampanga.

Joy Royeca
 May 7 is known as Jose Abad Santos Day in Pampanga

The Bamban World War II Museum is One-man Collection that Awes and Educates | Tarlac

October 18, 2022


The history of World War II was like this wild story that just seeped into the very consciousness of my childhood. Ever since I stumbled upon my late father’s encyclopedia set back in first grade, I've been captivated by the pages that delve into the timeline bridging World War I and World War II.

Janelle Cu
Bamban WWII Museum

Where to stay in Samal Island: Pearl Farm Beach Resort

October 12, 2022


The earliest I can recall of hearing about Pearl Farm dates back in the 1990s. It was during this time when most Filipinos who can afford to travel often chalks up resorts and hotels as main destinations. Dakak in Dapitan, Punta Baluarte in Batangas, Pearl Farm in Davao, Puerto Azul in Cavite, just to name a few. 

Kate Alvarez
Pearl Farm's Parola Wharf has become its icon through the years

NLEX's “Humans of the North” series features stories of unyielding spirit and deep cultural bonds

October 10, 2022


NLEX Corporation recently launched a "Humans of the North" mini-documentary series that lends vibrancy to destinations in Northern Luzon by adding a dose of human touch. The series is envisioned to focus on ordinary people who have managed to create a ripple of positivity that extended beyond their communities.

The Kadayawan Festival in Davao Returns with a Bang

September 30, 2022


After two years of online celebrations devoid of face to face revelry due to the pandemic, the Kadayawan Festival returned to a resounding drumming rhythm and a colorful street dance parade with a bang. In a fitting sense, this year's edition welcome back the whole city of Davao and its residents to normalcy. I had the privilege of joining other travel writers and Cebu Pacific Air in witnessing the revival of the city's annual festival, which has been known as the "Kadayawan Festival" since 1988.

Janelle Cu

Where to Eat in Kuala Lumpur: Chef Dato' Ismail Restaurant aka Restoran Rebung Chef Ismail

September 15, 2022


Entering a non-descript building atypical of the ones where popular restaurants are usually located, puzzled us a bit as to where we're heading. It was only when the elevator door opened that finally revealed our purpose when a wide entrance leading to a buffet table greeted us.

Kate Alvarez
A pop of colors and an explosion of culinary aroma instantly welcomes guests 

Buried but not quite by Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption: Bacolor Church and its story of survival | Pampanga

August 21, 2022


Years after its 1991 eruption, the wrath of Mount Pinatubo continued to be felt. Case in point is the San Guillermo Parish Church in Bacolor, Pampanga. On September 3, 1995, after days of torrential rains, a raging lahar flow from the slopes of the previously thought dormant volcano buried the town about half a dozen meters deep.

Visita Iglesia in Pampanga
Only half of the church remains unburied by the lahar flow

The Ramon Magsaysay Museum & Ancestral House | Zambales

August 18, 2022


There have been a few points in our history where it may be said that the Philippines can’t seem to catch a break. One such event occurred on March 17, 1957, when a plane carrying President Ramon Magsaysay crashed on Mount Manunggal in Cebu, ending a promising term in which Magsaysay became popular because of his accessibility to the common people. Magsaysay, who was known as "My Guy" because he was everyone's buddy, is widely regarded as the best head of state the Philippines has ever seen. However, as luck would have it, he passed away in office and in life far too soon, leaving behind a legacy of greatness we could only hope could be replicated by current and future leaders.

Rasel Elazegui Alvarez
Mambo, mambo, Magsaysay. Remember that classic tune?

More than a Surfer’s Haven, Baler is where one can Travel, Breathe and Dive

August 09, 2022

Many decades after the painstaking filming of "Apocalypse Now" gave rise to the country's perhaps first surfing destination when the film crew left their surf boards behind, the name Baler has become associated with surfing. While Colonel Kilgore in the film referred to the Viet Congs as "Charlie(s) (who) don't surf," in real-life Baler, everybody surfs.

Kara Basamayor
Sunny skies greeted us upon arrival in Baler's long beach

Balay Hamoy Museum: Unearthing a New Footprint of Jose Rizal in Dapitan

August 06, 2022

The Spaniards had hoped that Jose Rizal's banishment to Dapitan, a sleepy town in Zamboanga del Norte that faces the Sulu Sea, would finally break his spirit, since it was so far removed from the cities where he had lived and thrived with fellow La Liga Filipina members. Our national hero, on the other hand, has other plans. Rather than accepting defeat, Rizal made his presence in Dapitan felt deeply by members of the local community.

Things to do in Dapitan
These young men and women channeling 1890s fashion 

Crowd Surfing in the Busy Chandni Chowk Market |Delhi, India

August 01, 2022

Stepping out from my accommodation, Zostel Hostel, on a 16 degree °C Delhi morning had me looking forward to witnessing some bustling street activity. Little did I know, bustling was an understatement for what I'm about to experience. I should have braced myself for what was to come because my destination, the Chandni Chowk Market is only one of the oldest and busiest market in a city known for being one of the world's most crowded.

Cheekie Albay
Canals (now closed) once divvied up the market to reflect moonlight.

Revisiting Tawi Tawi's Wonderful Sights and Culture

July 26, 2022


The recent maiden Philippine Airlines flights to Tawi-Tawi from Cotabato City paved the way for myself to explore the country’s southernmost province once again. I remember when I first went here, I met a slew of curious queries about safety when traveling to Tawi-Tawi. As we all remember, this province once hogged the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Cathy Maminta
Panampangan Island

Standing Again on the Shoulders of Gigantes Islands | Iloilo

July 22, 2022


Sir Isaac Newton once said, "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants". As a metaphor, it implies using the ideas of thinkers who came before us to advance our own intellectual progress. Nevertheless, when I found myself exploring Islas de Gigantes for the second time and had the opportunity to stand on its slopes and take in more of its magnificent scenery, I was reminded of the phrase. This time, to simply immerse in its beauty further. 

Heidi Manabat
It's a nice day for island hopping

Swimming with the Butandings Plus More Fun in Sorsogon

July 20, 2022


Whenever one thinks of Sorsogon, the gentle giant whale sharks of Donsol first comes to mind. However, upon further exploration, you will learn that the province offers a plethora of delights that include beautiful beaches, heritage towns and other natural gems comprising of waterfalls, quaint lakes, firefly-laden rivers and sleepy volcanoes. From the rich flora and fauna, colorful culture and traditions, plateful of delicious local cuisines, and to everything that ticks every intrepid traveler's check list, it’s no wonder each time a visitor departs Sorsogon, heaps of memorable experiences are left behind.

Marky Ramone Go
Channeling Chris McCandless at Pili Haven - a farm and accommodation property in Irosin, Sorsogon

Magalawa Island | Zambales: A Beautiful Sunburnt Morning

July 17, 2022


“So near, yet so far”, I thought to myself as I stare at the island known as Potipot from where I was standing in Isla Vista Beach Resort. “It is still closed to visitors”, the manager told me. Ever since the world re-emerged from the clamps of the pandemic, resort owners in Candelaria, Zambales, have been clamoring for the reopening of Potipot.

Kristina Hamdorf
Approaching Magalawa Island

Where to Stay in Tagaytay | Taal Vista Hotel

July 11, 2022


Despite an increasing number of hip Airbnb’s and trendy boutique hotels rising up in Tagaytay, one hotel still remains as one of my favorites. The historic Taal Vista Hotel, a hospitality institution where some of the country’s who’s who of yesteryears have stayed before, is where I love finding myself whenever given a chance to spend a few nights in this cool weather place.

Karla Ramos
The signature Taal Vista view and Karla of Karla Around the World

A “Break Free” Escape to Remember at Pico Sands Hotel | Hamilo Coast, Batangas

June 28, 2022


As a travel writer, I was fortunate to be able to break free from the clamps of the pandemic earlier than most people. I do remember my first trip since the lockdown, after six months following the government’s “stay at home” order, when I almost leapt for joy at finally smelling the fresh scent of nature. Unfortunately, many us are still reeling from the global pandemic and might have shelved their travel plans on the side for the longest time.

Levy Amosin and Sophie Gianan

Where to Stay in Boracay Based from Personal Stays

June 23, 2022


I’m sure you have read many “Where to Stay” listicle articles where the author just picked up random accommodation properties and presented even without experiencing what it's like staying there. I know, I’ve done such thing writing for other websites. However, in this article, I’ll highlight actual properties where I've spent at least a few days. I’ve been to Boracay only four times in the past with this year’s trip being the longest at almost two weeks. But in those journeys to Boracay, I’ve hopped from one place to another ranging from budget options to medium range and luxury. However, I've yet to reach Shangri-La levels though.

Marky Ramone Go

Enjoying Quietude at Ticao Island Resort | Ticao Island, Masbate

June 23, 2022


The mood that pervades this hidden getaway is probably similar to what the Gods of Travel would have recommended to you after a day of diving and island hopping around the magical seas of Ticao Island. Slipped inside a cove in the town of San Jacinto and dotted with tall coconut trees, Ticao Island Resort dishes a laid-back atmosphere that is serene and full of Zen, just as a tropical island should be. Away from the crowd and almost free from any network signal, one can easily embrace the sense of isolation that exists on this part of the island. 

Lorelee Sicat

Exploring Some of the Cultural and Nature Gems of Panay Island

May 28, 2022


The triangular-shaped island of Panay has gifted me with countless memorable travel experiences. Covering four provinces: Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan and Antique, it has taken up a large chunk of space in my memory vault. Despite that, I remain keen at the idea of returning to the island and when the Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines (TPB) invited me to join a media tour, I immediately said "Yes".

Ruth Dela Cruz

Flavorsome Heirloom Cuisine & Heritage Vibe at Casa Simeon | Albay

May 26, 2022

Hitting the ground running within moments of our arrival at Bicol International Airport, we headed to the picturesque Sumlang Lake where a filling grub was made more memorable by the beautiful backdrop of Mayon Volcano. A demonstration of preparing the native cuisine Pinangat and the process of stripping and weaving abaca, followed by a scenic bamboo raft, ride rounded of our stay before departing for the town of Bacacay shortly before sunset.

Justin Jovero

Revisiting the 7 Lakes of San Pablo City | Laguna

May 19, 2022


In the decade that passed since I first explored the seven lakes of San Pablo City in Laguna my wanderlust expanded beyond the Philippines and to several countries in Asia. I consider my initial journey to the city of lakes as one of those earliest moments on the road that led me to choose a life of traveling.

Ayi Del Rosario
Mount Banahaw as seen from Lake Sampaloc

Take a bow, Davao.

May 04, 2022

Just when the bustling activities in Davao mirrors other big cities in the Philippines, the towering presence of Mt. Apo instantly looms and reminds visitors of the duality of Davao as an urban and countryside setting.

Eileen Campos
Jack's Ridge at Night. 

El Jardin by Ciudad Fernandino: a charming bed and breakfast under the vines and stars | Pangasinan

April 28, 2022


I've passed through Dagupan several times previously, typically for quick pit stops at random cafes. A weekend with friends last summer allowed me the opportunity to stay overnight and explore more about the city's nature spots, old churches, and, of course, its culinary delights.

Where to eat and stay in Dagupan
Welcome to El Jardin by Ciudad Fernandino

For the Third Time, Palaui Island is Still a Charm | Sta. Ana, Cagayan

April 19, 2022


More than a decade has passed since I first journeyed to Palaui Island. Back in those days, I was still in my earliest phase of exploring the Philippines. Cagayan Province, being in the farthest northeastern part of Luzon, seemed like a foreign country to me then. Locating it at the map, I set out, myself and a couple of female friends, on a trip that would leave a beautiful set of remembrances in my memory vault. After a 15-hour bus ride to Sta. Ana, Cagayan followed by a 3-hour van ride, a half-hour boat ride and finally, a three-hour trek, we pitched our tent on a foot of a hill where the old Cape Engaño Lighthouse stands.

Marky Ramone Go

Cue in Silverchair's "The Greatest View"

Experiencing Belt Fishing in Sta. Ana | Cagayan

April 09, 2022


Just as tiny rays of sunlight trail the sky and the fainter stars begin to fade in dawn light, we arrived at the coastal community of Brgy Diora-Zinungan in Sta. Ana, Cagayan. The method behind our madness of waking up early was to time our visit when beltfish, locally referred to as "espada" or "bulung unas", hunt for food in the deep waters of the Philippine Sea in schools.

Lovely Bulatao
An espada fish is also used as bait. You can make at least 8 baits from a beltfish this size

The Kumala Banig Weavers of Kumalarang | Zamboanga del Sur

April 05, 2022


As someone who grew up in the 1980’s, I’ve had my experiences of sleeping on a banig (a traditional handwoven mat in the Philippines) especially during naptime after school or when we would visit and spend a night at my grandmother’s old house in Bulacan. Dozing off on one isn’t the most comfortable but with a soft pillow and a burst of fresh air coming from the open windows, you’ll be eventually lulled into a relaxed sleep.

Koryn iledan and sophie gianan

One Fine Morning Biking Around Boracay | Aklan

March 26, 2022


After ten days on the island, I began to notice that my routine was becoming monotonous. I usually start by getting some breakfast and then having a cup of coffee at a beachfront café. The rest of the day is spent working until lunch, finding a cheap place to eat, working again, and finishing the day by watching the magnificent Boracay sunset — with occasional dips in the sea thrown in for good measure.

Jennifer Rucio

A Return to Kayangan Lake in Coron | Palawan

March 25, 2022


If it weren’t for the state of the world grappling with a new Covid-19 variant unfolding during my latest return trip to Kayangan Lake, I would've said “third time’s a charm, indeed”, as I again take a dip on its crystal-clear waters. It feels like it was only yesterday — actually, year 2009 — when I first caught a sight of this magical lake. I can still vividly recount myself and my then girlfriend Marianne wearing oversized life vests pulling one another into the middle of the lake.

Sarah Jane Santos from Newcoast

7 Must-Visit Leisure Destinations in Siargao

March 21, 2022

Traveling and going on vacation is one of the ways individuals earn memories and experiences that money can’t buy. Leisure travel is a way to break your tiring work routine and serves as a reward for your hard work. Furthermore, traveling is also a way for you to discover the world around you and discover what’s within you. Whatever your purpose is for traveling, doing so is always rewarding.

The Hablon Weaving Renaissance in Salngan, Oton | Iloilo

March 09, 2022


As part of our Habi (weaving), Hilom (wellness) and Halal (cuisine) discovery tour of Panay Island organized by the Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines (TPB), we visited a small community in the province of Iloilo where more than a century ago, a thriving weaving industry once existed and became forgotten but is now seeing signs of resurgence.

Cristina Morales

Getting a Dose of Vitamin D and Sea at Malamawi Beach | Basilan

February 21, 2022


Since the Covid-19 pandemic restricted myself from receiving my usual double dose of Vitamin D and Sea, it made my trip to Malamawi Beach two-folds memorable — not to mention visiting the province of Basilan for the first time. As part of Tourism Promotion Board of the Philippines’ Influencers Program aimed at promoting destinations in the Philippines to restart an industry hit hard by the pandemic, I joined other travel writers, bloggers, and vloggers on a trip to Zamboanga Peninsula. After spending a night in Zamboanga City, we boarded a ferry for a 2-hour sea journey to Basilan. Among the places we visited upon arriving was Malamawi Beach.

The clear waters of Malamawi Beach in Basilan
The inviting waters of Malamawi Beach