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

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

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

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.


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

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

When Jose Rizal was deported to Dapitan, a sleepy town in Zamboanga del Norte facing the Sulu Sea, the Spanish might have expected that being exiled in a place completely opposite of the cities where he lived and thrived with other La Liga Filipinas members would break his will. 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

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

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 for 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

Where to Stay in Carles, Iloilo | Solina Beach & Nature Resort

February 18, 2022

 

Despite leaving Iloilo City early in the morning, we arrived at our next accommodation by nightfall already. While travel time is supposed to take only 3-4 hours, we stopped by several interesting places namely; the hablon weaving town of Salngan, the Ati community-run Balay Kape Nagpana and the Silagon Mangrove Eco-park in Ajuy. Not complaining but already feeling exhausted, I planned on getting a quick shower and a power nap before having dinner.


Muffet Sta Maria

Sunlight Ecotourism Island Resort: Escapist Sanctuary in Culion | Palawan

February 10, 2022

 

A few days after typhoon Odette got us holed up in our hotel in Coron, we finally saw blue skies and the green light from the Philippine Coast Guard to set out on a sea voyage to Culion Island. Returning to the island formerly known as the “Leper Colony”, had me revisiting memories of dread when I first found out about its history from a prior visit almost a decade ago.


Mikaela Ayeera Kisido
Photo credit: Out of Town Blog

Where to Stay in Capiz | Istorya Forest Garden

February 10, 2022

 

After departing Carles, Iloilo just after sunrise, we rolled into Capiz, a province known for its abundance of seafood, an hour before lunch. Since we spent a lot of time learning about local traditions at Capiz Ecology Park and Cultural Village, we reached our next accommodation in the middle of the evening already.


Levy Amosin
Nicely designed rooms 

Where to Stay in Iloilo City | Citadines Amigo Hotel

February 02, 2022

Formerly the Amigo Terrace, a homegrown hotel located within the heritage district of Iloilo, the rebranded Citadines Amigo Hotel now boasts a beautiful fusion of 1980’s architecture and post-modern interior styles. The blending of the old and new flairs commands a double dose of retaining its already familiar homey ambiance among Ilonggos and the addition of appealing aesthetics to the city’s visitors. 


Muffet Sta Maria

Galapagos Travel Tips: What You Need to Know Before Visiting

January 27, 2022

 

Visiting Galapagos can be a dream come true! And a bucket-list trip comes with great expectations that need to be fulfilled. Some people picture Galapagos being inhabited by wild creatures and completely desolate. Well, to tell you the truth, it’s much more inhabited than you might think! And stunningly beautiful in every possible way. The islands are full of majesty and mystery in every corner.


Chesca Moreno

Math, IQ and other Board Games to Play During Travel Downtime

January 19, 2022

 

Traveling isn't always about adrenaline rushes; sometimes we get stuck in wandering purgatory, unable to achieve anything. When we're waiting for a delayed flight or in the middle of a long bus or rail travel, we always struggle to entertain ourselves. While I always prefer reading a book (mainly travel books) to pass the time during these monotonous periods, I've realized that playing basic, yet engaging online Math, IQ and board games adds an extra entertainment value that helps me deal with the so-called travel down-times.


When you finally board your plane but not after a three-hour wait

Going on a Cost Effective Roadtrip | How to Pick the Right Car, Save Fuel and Other Tips

January 04, 2022

 

When I think of road trips, I envision author Ken Kesey and his merry prankster mates setting off on a cross country trip bringing hysteria, madness and a beautiful chaotic energy wherever they go. That was the hippie 1960s. Since then, setting out on a road trip has factored in a lot of things such as inflation, rising fuel prices, vehicle types and models and the changed landscape of the world — where urban cities sprung up in former countryside areas. It’s gotten more complex than just throwing a few stuff on the trunk of your vehicle and instantly setting off. In this brief article, we will enumerate a few helpful tips on how to plan a cost-effective road trip that won’t siphon your savings. Remember, there’s never a shortage of epic road trips to be experienced. Just be wise about pulling it off.



Cultural Heritage of Sikkim | India

January 01, 2022

Sikkim is a renowned state of tourist attraction located in the north-eastern frontier of India. Ever since it enjoyed popularity in the 1930s, Sikkim has been a region that acquired a lot of anthropologic interest.