Monday, July 25, 2011

The Island That Vanishes + Batman’s Secret Lair

Question: How many islands does the Philippines have?

I am pretty sure everyone of you here still remembers Charlene Gonzales’ infamous answer to that query. She may not win the 1994 Miss Universe crown but she left a good impression to the audience. Such a witty and beautiful woman.

Our basic knowledge in geography tells us that there are 7,107 islands in the Philippines. But, there’s this one particular island that literally disappears during high tide, making our archipelagic country deficient of one island for at least 12 hours a day.

Yes, this island really vanishes when the tide is high. I have seen it vanished not just once, not twice, not even thrice but many times already.

The name alone arouses curiosity to travelers who seek adventure.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Giant Hershey’s Kisses of Davao Oriental

Until now, I still have this weird habit of imagining funny things like Teletubbies grooving to hiphop music, Jose Rizal doing the tango, or the former President Marcos declaring the Martial Law in Beki language (LOL almost everyone would have a hard time understanding him). But, in our trip to Davao Oriental last January 2009, I never expected to see an island shaped like Hershey’s Kisses. Yes, it looked like the infamous chocolate that everyone loves. No, it didn’t taste sweet but, taking a dip on this island was a great experience.

I never thought of seeing this kind of land formation in our country. It was truly a one-of-a-kind place to visit.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Eat your ‘meat’ out: K Steak Unlimited

I won’t deny this. I have a big appetite. A very big appetite.

Well, it doesn’t show, considering that I looked like a health buff who’s only a hundred and ten pounds (sarcasm intended). I have been working out for a month already and I can really say that my appetite’s getting bigger and bigger as days go by.

For weeks, I was craving for an all-meat buffet.


Last Monday, my gastronomic need of an all-meat meal was finally answered.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Volcanic Island

Back in third year college, I was fortunate enough to experience studying AH 5 (Art and Society) under the tutelage of Professor Julius T. Quiz or “Sir Kibz” as we fondly call him. We were his last batch of students before he migrated to the US (or as what my Tibak friends call, Lupain ng mga Imperyalista, LOL) with his family. On the final chapter of the subject, we were taught about the basics of photography – rule of thirds, S-curve, cropping, funny perspective and many more. As part of the subject’s requirement, we went to Camiguin to apply what we have learned from his lectures about photography. I haven’t been to this island before but heard a lot of good things about it. I was pretty excited and worried at the same time.

Look, I was so thin back then! Yikes!

Katrina and I were the oldest students who joined the field trip. A few hours before our scheduled departure, I learned that my close friend, Yuri can’t make it to the trip. I thought I won’t enjoy the company of sixteen to seventeen year olds who kept blabbering about Justin Bieber and American Idol.
Although, the show must go on. I shouldn’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity (sadly, my family is not fond of traveling). After the roll call, we finally left Davao 30 minutes after 8PM. The night was dry and cold.

It was my first time to join a field trip with people whom I barely knew.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

From Islands to Highlands

As I walked through the bustling street of CM Recto, or Claveria as Davaoeños fondly call, I can’t help but notice people as they stride along the paved sidewalk surrounded with commercial establishments. Some were talking through their handheld phones while the others were busy browsing their iPod Touch. But most of them, including me, just stood there, waiting patiently for the jeep to come. I hailed one that plied the Bajada route since I was going to visit the newly-opened gargantuan mall owned by the Ayalas. It was about half past eight in the evening when I went home. It took me two jeepney rides before I finally got home safe and sound. I still have my cellphone, wallet and my iPod Nano. Most of all, I am still alive. If I were in Manila, chances of getting mauled by robbers are high. Very high, I must say. That’s just one of the things I love about my hometown. Almost all of its constituents follow the rules, regulations and city ordinances of the local government which might have contributed to the city’s relatively low crime rate.

I was lucky enough to be born in the 90s. I haven’t experienced being mauled by snatchers. I haven’t even witnessed a ‘shooting’ spree at a local market. I won’t deny that Davao has its own bloody past. But look at Davao now. If you take a glimpse in every corners of the city, there’s progress.

I am truly proud that I live in this city. Seat back, relax and enjoy this virtual tour about Davao City, the City of Bloom.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The City of Majestic Waterfalls

It was early 2010.

The second semester of my junior year in UP was pretty stressful and was about to end. I was itching to finish all of my academic requirements but it kept on piling up as the moratorium period drew nearer. Physiology was giving me a hard time too, not to mention that I still have to defend my thesis proposal. I badly need a break. I was on the brink of losing my sanity. But the good thing was, I overheard my batch mates, who were taking ENT 101 (Entomology) that semester, talking about their planned field trip to Iligan City. I was not enrolled in Entomology, thus I didn’t mind joining their conversation.

It was until one of my classmates approached me. They were actually in dire need of students who are interested to join their field work in Entomology in order to lessen the transportation expenses. Apparently, not all of the Entomology students could join the trip. Even their professor, who happened to be the Dean of our college had approved with their idea. I immediately gave them a big YES knowing that I had limited knowledge about Iligan – its geography, culture and tourist attractions. I haven’t heard much about this city. As far as I know, this is where Maria Cristina Falls is located, one of Mindanao’s main hydroelectric sources. That was the only thing I know about Iligan City prior the trip, frankly speaking.

All in all there were thirteen of us who joined the trip, of which five were non-Entomology students. I was really excited since I haven’t been to Iligan. And with that, I left Davao without any sufficient knowledge about my destination. I did not have any idea what was in store for us.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Mother Packer

According to the latest statistics, almost 90% of travelers worldwide hate packing. They say it’s pretty stressful when it comes to deciding which clothes to bring or what shoes to wear. Okay, I admit it. The statistical data was all made up, but you get my point. Everyone hates packing, especially these days when budget airlines only allow hand carried bags with a maximum weight of 7 kilograms. If the passenger wants to have his baggage checked in, he shall pay an additional fee starting at Php 250. I surmise that it’s one of the budget airline’s marketing strategies to maintain its profit. But I realize that this might help travelers on packing their things properly. Today, I will share some tips on how to pack wisely.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Of Delayed Services

In traveling, not all things will run smoothly as what you have might expected prior the trip. Sometimes you will encounter things that you wish it didn’t happen like for instance, a heated argument between you and your taxi driver because he charged you more than what the fare meter displayed (unless if it’s two in the morning and the driver can’t get any passengers after you) or the failure of the airline company to reserve you a decent hotel room. But there is one thing that every travelers dreaded the most: delayed and/or cancelled flights.

Boarding Pass

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Quere yo con el Zamboanga (Day 2)

Through the years, the Hispanic influence remained strong in Zamboanga City. It is more prominent compared to other Philippine cities that used to be Spain’s stronghold between the early 18th to late 19th century. The Hispanic influence can also be clearly seen in some of the city’s buildings, like the city hall. True enough, I can really say that Zamboanga is the one and only Asia’s Latin City due to its rich Hispanic influence which had contributed to the city’s culture, language, history and identity.