This is by far the most difficult year-end post I have ever written.
Friday, December 25, 2015
Monday, December 21, 2015
It's been a month since our KL-SG trip. Some of my friends on Facebook were so adamant that I should post our itinerary as soon possible. If you knew me well, I rarely post itineraries on my travel blog because to be honest, I'm actually too lazy to write about it! Well, for the sake of friendship (and some of them are getting annoyed by my mouthwatering food photos from my recent gastronomic adventure in Cebu), here is our detailed KL-SG itinerary.
Sunday, December 20, 2015
The island hopping experience in Mactan was fun yet tiring. Good thing was, our second to the last stop was Anzani New Mediterranean Restaurant. Perched at the side of the hill, it offers a panoramic views of Cebu City and the surrounding verdant mountains. Not only that, this idyllic restaurant served us some of their finest snacks that one can truly enjoy.
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Monday, December 14, 2015
Martin Luther once said that beers were made by men, but wines were made from gods. As in?
After devouring too much food at Mactan Alfresco, we went to Dolce Casa Cebu's branch at Parkmall Mandaue to drink something made by the deities above. Drinking wine isn't really my thing to be honest that's why I got really happy when I learned that we're going to have a wine tasting activity in Cebu Food Crawl 2015.
I am a sucker for turquoise seas, coconut trees, and white beaches. Growing up in Davao, the beach will always be a familiar territory to me. In fact, my undergraduate thesis was all about rearing a marine invertebrate in a manmade saltwater pond. Haha!
For our final day in Cebu Food Crawl, we went island hopping!
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
|A sweet escape.|
I was awake for more than 24 hours. After devouring hot wings at Gibbs', we went straight to LIV Superclub and partied way too hard because duh, we only live once. At almost five in the morning, we went back to our hotel, and slept right away without bothering changing my clothes. I was reeking nicotine and alcohol that time, eww.
For our next stop in #CebuFoodCrawl, we went to The Chocolate Chamber in Mabolo, Cebu City for some sweet affair. It was an antithesis of last night's activities.
Monday, December 7, 2015
I was supposed to leave Tacloban at around 12:30PM but due to some unforeseen circumstances, my flight to Mactan-Cebu got delayed for almost six hours. Once I got off from the plane, I waited for another 50 minutes for my cab. The queue was crazy as most taxis in Mactan Island were nowhere to be found due to the large passenger demand at the newly opened mall in SRP.
I was really tired and hungry. Good thing, the next destination of the #CebuFoodCrawl was Gibbs' Hot Wings at Streetscape Lifestyle Mall in Banilad.
Sunday, December 6, 2015
Friday, December 4, 2015
Singapore is a country where citizens religiously follow all rules and regulations, and the mass transportation system is highly efficient and effective. It is considered as one of the most expensive countries to live (or even to visit), but The Little Red Dot will always be my first world refuge.
It's my second time in the Little Red Dot and this time, I was the navigator.
Thursday, December 3, 2015
Think European getaway and Bulgaria probably isn't the first place that comes to mind. It might not even make it into the top ten! However, this secret gem is starting to emerge as a hot spot and rightly so. This small country is big on culture, sports and history, with some lovely beaches on its Black Sea coast for good measure. If you manage to bag yourself cheap holidays to Bulgaria before the tourists overtake it, take a look at these things to go and see.
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
I have been to Malaysia twice, but only had the chance to explore the Sabah State. I had a pleasant stay in Kota Kinabalu, that's why I am open to the idea of going back there for a vacation, if time and promo fare permits. I mean c'mon! Who couldn't resist its pristine white sand beaches, the surrounding azure waters of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, the Malaysian hospitality, and the lush rainforest of Borneo?
My travel blogger friends however told me that the other side of Malaysia is different, particularly Kuala Lumpur. To be honest, I was quite expecting Kuala Lumpur to be like Manila or worse, Jakarta, only that KL has a more efficient mass transportation system. Well, glad that I was wrong with my presumptions.
For those who have been asking about our KL-SG itinerary, here's how we fared our first day.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
|Off to a trip to Malaysia's capital city.|
Last Easter Sunday, my colleagues and I booked a round trip ticket to Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur. For only Php 3,100, one can book a roundtrip ticket to KL from Manila, all thanks to Cebu Pacific Air's promo fare. I keep on telling everyone that traveling abroad doesn't need to be expensive.
We only have two days before our travel, and we can no longer contain our excitement! Here's a sneak peek of our Cool-Ah Lumpur adventure. I know it sounds lame but, I love puns! Deal with it.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Sometimes when people anticipate a travel, they get overexcited and they tend to leave the important things behind that are essential to their travel. There are some things however, that you can still afford to leave behind prior your trip like an extra polo shirt or shirts. Below are the things that you should never forget when traveling, especially when you're traveling outside your territory.
Sunday, November 1, 2015
Every time I pass the San Juanico Bridge, I couldn't help myself but to appreciate its grand structure. According to what I had learned from my Sibika at Kultura lessons back in grade school, this bridge is said to be the longest in the country which connects the islands of Samar and Leyte. Not only that, the San Juanico Strait, the body of water that passes underneath this bridge, is the narrowest strait in the whole world. We're talking two superlatives here in one region alone!
Days ago, I got an invitation for the San Juanico Sunset Cruise. Don't get too excited though because it's still on its dry-run phase, but allow me to share my experience about this promising project that I'm sure everyone in the Eastern Visayas region would look forward to experience it in the near future.
Friday, October 16, 2015
Backpacking is a great way to see what countries have to offer. From scenic mountain views, to gorgeous waterways and hidden destinations you would never see if you were visiting the mainlands. With this said, certain packing destinations are going to offer more to visitors than others.
One extra thing to think about before going on a long holiday is what to do with the valuables in your house. You don't really want to be leaving expensive gear alone in your house for such a long period of time. One way to get around this is to make use of storage facilities and store your belongings under 24 hour security.
These are the top 3 packing destinations to consider for the avid outdoor enthusiast, and those who want to enjoy the great hiking trails, while taking in the most scenic views possible during your excursions.
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
The Borobudur Temple experience was a noteworthy one however, we were told that there's also a temple near downtown Yogyakarta, about fifteen minutes away from Adi Sucipto International Airport. Prambanan Temple, like its Buddhist counterpart, is also a UNESCO heritage site. It is the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia.
Sunday, October 11, 2015
|Mui Ne Beach, Vietnam|
It never crossed my mind that I'd be visiting Vietnam and Cambodia last year. Most people think that traveling abroad requires a lot of time and resources. In this day and age, people can now travel abroad cheaply all thanks to promo fares. All you need is a dose of perseverance, a dash of patience, and an ounce of creativity and resourcefulness.
In this post, I'd like to prove that your Php 15,000 will go a long way in those two aforementioned countries. Round trip fare to and from Manila, the exorbitant travel tax, and international terminal fee are included. Comfort is not compromised either!
Saturday, October 10, 2015
|Opening act of Bituin Walang Ningning musical.|
With notable upgrades on set, music, script, and cast, the return of Resorts World Manila’s Bituing Walang Ningning: The Musical onstage Newport Performing Arts Theater on October 8, 2015 is definitely worth watching over and over again. Back due to popular demand since it first opened in June, the musical awed audience with more highlights that proved to be more entertaining than its initial production.
Saturday, October 3, 2015
|Pulau Mamutik, Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park|
When I went to Kota Kinabalu three years ago, I immediately fell in love with the place. The city's not that crowded, quaint, and affordable. Not to mention that their food tastes great! Last month, I went back to Kota Kinabalu to strike one item in my bucket list - parasailing abroad. The plan didn't push through when I first went there three years ago due to inclement weather.
Friday, October 2, 2015
My ultimate source of comfort food (see also: Chicken Joy and Jolly Spaghetti) has just recently opened their 900th branch here in the Philippines, and it's only a stone's throw away from where I live! This momentous milestone of Jollibee is dedicated to the people of Palo, Leyte as it aims to provide renewed joy and hope and serve as a symbol of better things to come.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
|Good to go!|
I do receive a lot of questions on how and why I get to travel abroad at least twice a year. They still think that traveling abroad is only for the alta (a colloquial term for rich people), which brings me to two things: (i) am I that dukha-looking?; and (ii) are they aware about piso or promo fares?
Kidding aside, I think it's about time to share on how I plan and execute my trips abroad.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
|View from the Avenue of the Stars|
At dusk, the sun settles over the western horizon. Buildings start to flicker and Hong Kong becomes more alive and more vibrant. Over the years of rapid developments, Hong Kong's population skyrocketed. Because land development is limited and expensive, there's no way but to go up, literally. This former British colony is tagged as one of the world's most vertical cities with numerous skyscrapers towering the islands of Hong Kong, New Territories, and Kowloon.
Sunday, September 20, 2015
Every time I ask my friends on what was the first country they've visited, majority answered Hong Kong. Well, it's primarily because of two things: Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park, and its close proximity from Manila, Philippines (it only takes an hour and forty-five minutes to reach Hong Kong, the same travel time when you fly from Manila to Davao).
Hong Kong was a former British colony until in 1997, it became a special administrative region of China granted with a full autonomy. Rapid economic developments were seen in the early 70s and even after it was formally handed over to China, Hong Kong still remains as one of the most important cities not only in Asia but also to the world. No wonder why it was dubbed as the Asia's World City. This special administrative region of China also serves as an important hub or transit in air travel, making their one and only international airport as one of the busiest and highly revered airports in the world in terms of connectivity, and passenger comfort.
Monday, September 14, 2015
One shouldn't miss this UNESCO World Heritage Site when visiting Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Candi Borobudur (pronounced as 'Chandee', which literally means temple), is the world's largest Buddhist temple, and as well as one of the greatest Buddhist monuments built in the whole world. I have been dying to visit this temple since high school, blame it to my obsession in Asian history and culture. Since the day I've first read about this place, I knew right from the start that I have to see this place before I die.
Nothing's really unusual with this candi except that it was decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. The temple comprises of six square platforms, topped with three circular platforms. People all over the world travel to this renowned world heritage site simply because of its allegory to enlightenment.
Sunday, September 13, 2015
|The cultural center of Indonesia.|
Indonesia is very accessible if you are flying in to Jakarta however, it doesn't wholly represent the entire Indonesian culture. That's why, we opted to visit places outside the capital city: Bandung, Taman Safari in Bogor, and Yogyakarta (aka Jogja). Thus, if you want to experience the 'real' Indonesia, get the hell out of Jakarta because the gridlock traffic won't take you to anywhere.
To escape the carmageddon traffic of the capital, we took a flight from Jakarta to Yogyakarta, a thriving metropolitan city of Central Java. Booking a flight to Jogja from the capital was probably the best decision we've made in this entire trip. Aside from saving us from eternal damnation, it had allowed us to discover more about the Indonesian culture and heritage.
Monday, August 31, 2015
|All creatures big and small.|
Prior my trip to Taman Safari, the closest encounter I've had with wild animals was in Davao's Crocodile Park, and in the Philippine Eagle Center. But those weren't considered close since all of them were either locked inside a cage or confined in a protected area in which visitors aren't allowed to pet them. Weeks prior our Indonesian adventure, my aunt told me and my mom that we're going to visit Indonesia's Taman Safari. I did a few research about it but their official website wasn't really that detailed, not to mention that it was written in Bahasa. So basically, we were clueless.
The first thing that came to my mind was the African safari type of trip - you know, people inside an armored vehicle with large plexiglass windows on it, with a few lions climbing on top of the car, and zebras licking the window, begging for food. And after that, the lions saw the zebras, and goes the wild chase. Eventually, the lions ate the zebras. It's like watching NatGeo Wild. #CircleOfLife
Well, that was morbid.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
One of the things that I'd want to scrap out in my bucket list is to take a transpacific flight, experience jet lag, and visit the other side of the world - specifically North America! I bet almost everyone wanted to taste or better yet, live the American dream. Well, in my case I just want to experience what it feels like to be at the other side of the planet.
Being adventurous, I want to explore Las Vegas, Nevada. Every night, downtown Vegas shines like a precious gemstone. Like they always say, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Here are the four things that I'd want to try in Vegas.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
They say that a mile of highway will just take you a mile, but a mile of runway will take you anywhere. In this day and age, more and more people can afford flying, thanks to the low fares of low-cost airlines. The demand for air travel is skyrocketing but majority of the major airports in the Philippines aren't expanding at all.
Flight delays are common these days due to air traffic congestion. But sometimes, announcements made by the ground crew are quite ambiguous. You often hear them saying, "your flight will be delayed due to aircraft situation. Our sincerest apologies for the inconveniences brought about by this delay."
So what does 'aircraft situation' really mean? Here, we dissect these two words into four possible scenarios.
Saturday, August 22, 2015
With barely four hours of sleep, we left Jakarta at seven in the morning. It takes at least two hours to reach Bandung, traffic and toll permitting. Good thing, the traffic at the expressway wasn't really bad that we managed to arrive in Bandung around half past nine in the morning. Since our hotel in Bandung didn't have an early check-in option, my aunt decided to take us to the highlands. I was so prepared that I only wore a shirt, shorts, and flipflops.
Little did I know that we were going to visit a dormant volcano.
Friday, August 21, 2015
It's been a week since my Indonesian adventure and yep, I still can't get over with it! Who would've thought that I'd be spending my post 25th birthday celebration in this part of the world? For some, Indonesia doesn't ring a bell. Excluding to those who travel extensively around Asia, try mentioning Indonesia to your friends and they'll only know a few things about it.
For five days, we tried to explore the different cultures of Java Island. Well, what did you know? It had exceeded our expectations!
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
I think everyone of you had seen or watched a few episodes of The Amazing Race. And since it's a race for a million dollars, every second of the race counts. You might have noticed that some contestants take risks, like taking a connecting flight with layovers less than an hour so as to avoid elimination.
You won't believe that I've experienced this situation not once, but twice!
Thursday, July 16, 2015
|Salt and sand.|
Creating this photo series is fun, after all. This is also my way to save some photos that I really like, in case my external hd goes bonkers. I just hope that Blogger wouldn't shut down for good like Friendster and Multiply, who both went to Internet heaven almost a decade ago. My hopes are high for Google but I'm prepared for the worst case scenario. In Filipino slang, walang forever.
Kota Kinabalu was my first international destination. The reason why I chose KK was not because I wanted to avoid mainstream international destinations (e.g., Hongkong, Macau, and the likes), but because roundtrip tickets to Kota Kinabalu were sold at a very low price! Eh, beggars can't be choosy, diba?
Well, here it is... my Kota Kinabalu photo diary!
All photos were taken using my Canon EOS 1100D. This time, I only used my kit lens (18-55mm f/3.0-5.6), and were post-processed in Adobe Photoshop CS5.
Saturday, July 11, 2015
|We did not afford to miss the Angkor Wat sunrise, even if we only had 3 hrs of sleep.|
I was browsing my external hd when I came across with the 2014 Adventures folder. Out of curiosity (and boredom), I clicked the folder and saw the Vietnam-Cambodia 2014 subfolder. I got surprised because I took hundreds of photos in Siem Reap, Cambodia alone (a total of 234 photos to be exact) yet I only managed to publish one blog post last year. Nonetheless, it did not suffice. Siem Reap is truly a perfect place for landscape photographers and hobbyists alike.
So here it is, a photo essay of my Siem Reap adventure last year. Let the photos speak for itself although there may be a few captions or backstories as we progress, so please bear with me. Haha!
Note: all photos were taken using a Canon EOS 1100D camera, 50mm f/1.8 prime lens and were post-processed in Adobe Photoshop CS6.
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Back when Davao City was not as lustrous and booming as today, the Davao food scene was rather boring. During that 'dark' period, Davaoeños were not that gastronomically adventurous because we only had a few choices back then. Many were not willing to spend that much on fancy restaurants, unless they offer huge discounts which is obviously detrimental to the business in the long run.
The sudden influx of businesses and investments which penetrated the city since 2010 had changed the economical landscape, and the mindset of the locals. Through the help of social media, more and more restaurants opened, offering new sets of dishes that will surely make food junkies happy.
Last week, I went home to Davao for a quick respite from the daily grind. Being a certified food junkie, I asked some of my friends to accompany me to Davao's newest restaurant - PERCH Modern Kitchen + Bar. I really got curious about it because for the past few weeks, my social media newsfeed and timelines were filled with mouthwatering treats from this restaurant. They just recently opened last May and they're located at the al fresco area of Felcris Centrale, Davao's newest shopping destination.
Friday, June 12, 2015
|Photo credit: Spot.ph|
Moving to Metro Manila three years ago was the toughest decision I made in my life. What choice did I have? It was the only way that I could achieve my lifelong dream of becoming an air traffic controller. It is not new to me when I get various reactions from people when they learn that I am from Davao. Some were curious on how we celebrate Christmas and New Year without fireworks, or how we party at night even if we have a citywide liquor ban at 1AM. Most of them however were curious about our mayor.
For more than twenty years of living in Davao, I have witnessed how my hometown grew and progressed - from a sleepy, lackluster town filled with unwanted elements to a bustling metropolis with investments pouring from both public and private sectors. It is no question on why Davao rose to one of the best performing cities in the country as it had reaped numerous awards both here and abroad.
Duterte became a household name, all thanks to the exposure made by the media, and his recent tirades with CHR Etta Rosales and DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima. I have voted for him twice and it hadn't gone to waste. Thus, I have the right to at least defend him from all those bandwagon critics. Simply put, they know nothing.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
|Caluwayan Palm Beach Resort|
Here are some snapshots of my quick summer escapade in Leyte and Samar. And yep, #SummerSaSamar and #SamarOutThere are the two official hashtags of my last minute summer adventure because mapaso hinduro (it's sooo hot like OMG). Hurray! My Waray language skill is three pedestals higher than last year!
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
We are already midway into the summer season but planning for travels abroad remains a favorite pastime for many. The demand for affordable airfares, accommodations and destinations continues to increase as more Filipinos are looking to reward themselves with an out-of-the-country trip with friends or family. Traveling offers a complete sensory experience: from authentic food, the sights and sounds, all the way to shopping and discovering great finds to remind you how wonderful your trip was.
All these experiences, however, entail budget. It takes patience and skill to know how to manage your expenses abroad, especially for the more luxurious destinations in Europe or North America. It might be challenging for some, but knowing how to get the best value for your hard-earned money will make your vacation more enjoyable, with a few more to spare for trinkets and souvenirs you can take home. Here are a few tips and tricks to make your travel budgets go a long way while you’re out of the country.
Friday, April 24, 2015
The Caribbean is one of the world’s most popular cruise destinations for those looking to vacation on the high seas, and the island of Jamaica is one of this region’s major attractions. Sailing along the white-sand coastline with its lush green backdrop is a sight to behold but the beaches aren’t the only place worth exploring on this island.
From the seductive beauty of Montego Bay, to the dance-hall parties of Kingston and waterfalls hidden amidst tropical forests – Jamaica is everything you ask for from a Caribbean Island.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
|Apps that made traveling easier.|
Most travelers these days are equipped with at least one app-enabled device, whether it be a smartphone or a tablet. Not only can you take pictures with these devices, but they can also make it a piece of cake to quickly figure out all the logistics of traveling such as flights, accommodation, sightseeing, and dining. Because there are so many apps out there, though, you may feel a bit overwhelmed when it comes to choosing which to use—and no one likes to have too many apps to flip through!
Rather than leaving you to try out each app and decide which works for you, we’ve gone ahead and done the grunt work so that you can be prepared for a fun, fantastic, and frustration-free vacation. Here are my picks:
Thursday, April 9, 2015
Traveling abroad is essential to one's life. It allows us to experience new culture, learn new things, and know ourselves better by getting out of our comfort zones. Thus, it is a great life investment because you buy experiences that last for a lifetime.
Here are the five essential things to remember before embarking on your international trip. If it's your first time to travel outside the country (Philippines), read on, my friend.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
If you're lucky enough to enjoy a sunny day in San Francisco, head with the locals to one of these perfect outdoor settings. That said, pack a sweatshirt and jeans and plan your itinerary, so when the fog rolls in and the wind howls across the bay, you're still ready to enjoy these worthwhile attractions.
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Nestled on the foot of the tallest peak of the Philippines, surrounded by azure waters and white sand beaches, lies a city with varied cultures. From its quaint provincial lifestyle, Davao City has grown into a center of commerce, industry, and trade. Despite this, it has preserved its rich culture, giving it a balance between progressive and traditional.
Here are things not to miss when in Davao:
Thursday, March 5, 2015
|Mr. Delay will see you.|
John can no longer contain his excitement. It will be his first time to ride an airplane. It will also be his first time in Manila and ultimately his final destination, Baguio City together with his college friends. They had already planned this trip for a very long time. For two years, they haven’t seen that much due to their busy work schedule, even if they were all assigned in Davao.
After completing their security check-in, they made their way to the pre departure area and waited for their flight. It was almost eleven in the morning and their flight, Philippine Airlines PR 1814 was scheduled to depart on time as their turnaround aircraft arrived 10 minutes ahead of their scheduled arrival. He had already pictured himself inside the bus en route to Baguio, enjoying the picturesque landscape of Central Luzon.
Then came their boarding announcement. Once inside the plane, John religiously followed the safety protocols of the aircraft: seatbelt is securely fastened, window shades up, and tray tables stowed. Several minutes after, the cabin crew closed the door, and they are now ready for departure, or so he thought. For the next fifteen minutes, they were still stationary. Then, the pilot gave an announcement, “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We are now fully ready for departure, however due to air traffic congestion in Manila, we are given a departure clearance time of 1:40PM. This is beyond our control. We sincerely apologize for the inconveniences brought about by this delay.”
More than an hour of delay spells a total disaster on their tight itinerary. John and his friends can’t really believe that this is actually happening.
Friday, February 27, 2015
|There's a new project in Davao!|
The property developer of Davao’s first township project, Ciudades, announces its plans to construct a luxury residential hub set to become a spectacular new landmark at the heart of the city. Dusit Thani Residences is the latest project of Torre Lorenzo Development Corporation (Torre Lorenzo) in partnership with the Asian hospitality brand Dusit International.
Dusit Thani Residences distinctively creates a haven for refined elegance and style, transforming 1.2 hectares of land into a sprawling full-services development. The project is comprised of 168 luxury serviced suites with varying studio to three-bedroom dimensions. Each unit is thoughtfully appointed and designed with attractive fittings and furnishings to offer residents and guests the ideal ambience for sophisticated urban dwelling.
Monday, February 23, 2015
Belated Gong Xi Fat Cai, everyone! It's that time of the year again when everyone wears red, buys tikoy for the family, Chinese or not, and gives money (placed inside a red envelope called ang pao) to their godchildren pero yung totoo, papel lang ang laman ng ang pao with the following short message: mahal na mahal ka ni ninong/ninang. LOL. Anyway, a few days ago, I decided to have a quick respite in Davao. It's been a while since I went home. I almost forgot that it was a declared national holiday on the 19th, so I joined the rest of the gang for a photowalk, to make my short vacation an interesting one.
Monday, February 16, 2015
Traveling is not complete without your favorite tunes. We all have that one particular song that will always remind us the day we got lost in the urban jungles of Singapore, the one when we just chilled at the beach, the one when we explored the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat complex, or the one that would take us back to the beautiful sceneries landscapes of Southeast Asia.
And with that, I would like to share my personal travel playlist. These are the songs that I always play whenever I travel. Although, these songs aren't available for download due to copyright issues. You may search it through Spotify (hurray for that awesome app!)