Monday, December 17, 2018

Nusa Penida: A Journey To Bali's Newly Discovered Gem

I woke up from my phone's blaring alarm. With only four hours of sleep, I forced myself to wake up and take a cold shower. Traffic was already building up as we left Seminyak to Sanur Beach. Upon arrival, we were still early for the first boat trip to Nusa Penida. The sun was up, casting an orange-yellow hue from the horizon. Despite being a frequent visitor to Bali, I still feel this sense of adventure overtaking me as we wait for the speedboat to Nusa Penida.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

I Won A Free Trip To Bali... AGAIN!

While I was scrolling my IG feed, I came across with Wonderful Indonesia's ad - the Trip Of Wonders online quiz. Suddenly, a rush of memories came through. Two years ago, I won the same contest. Since it was a trip for two, my mom tagged along, and we had a great time touring around Bali. Who wouldn't? Our airfare and accommodation were all covered. Plus, the organizers gave us an allowance to fully enjoy our trip! This year, I took the chance. While it was more difficult this year, I still managed to score higher than the others. It was disheartening not to see my name at the scoreboard though. I kept my expectations low. Besides, I have nothing to lose!

A few days after my trip to Sydney, I received an email from Indonesia's Ministry of Tourism. Fast forward, I went back to Bali just two months after my previous visit. I never thought I'd be visiting this revered Island of Gods twice this year!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Spring in Sydney

On my fourth and probably the last visit to Australia for this year, I get the chance to experience their Spring season. Sydney enjoys a milder Spring weather than his hipster brother, Melbourne. It's not too hot, and not too cold. All you need is a light jacket!

I was a bit worried when I arrived in Sydney last Wednesday morning. It was gloomy and overcast the entire day. The weather forecast showed that it would be cloudy in the next four days. But, lo and behold. The sun showed up the following day, albeit the gale-force winds.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Good day, Melbourne!

Adulting is tough. You need to juggle a lot of responsibilities in life like bills, bills, and bills. I would often hear people complaining about this vicious cycle. Yes, it is tough to keep up with everything, but everything is possible. That's why my ATC batch mates who share the same passion for traveling would always make sure that we would have at least one or two trips abroad each year. This year, we chose Melbourne, Australia.

Traveling with these people was easy, except for a minor speed bump we encountered days before our trip (*ahem* visa application of one of our companions). But all is well. Here's how we conquered the second most livable city in the world.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Travel Essentials when Travelling Around Asia

Asia is the world’s biggest continent. With the highest population on earth, Asia boasts of a startling mix of tradition and culture. Its enormity and diverseness make it hard to conceptualize as a single palatable travel spot. Right from the snowfields in the east to the gigantic mountains in the west, traveling to Asia can be an exciting adventure. Don’t forget that the highest mountain in the world Mount Everest is located within this remarkable continent. If you are planning on traveling to Asia for the first time, then it can be hard to know what to carry with you. However, below are the top travel essentials when traveling around Asia. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Living in the Pearl of the Orient

Owing to its archipelagic setup, the Philippines boasts many natural attractions. Ranging from above sea level mountains to deepest water trenches, the country does not fall short of mesmeric wonders satiating the cravings of adventure seekers. Here are 8 reasons why the Philippines is a good place to live:

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Kyoto: A Journey to Japan's Heritage

The urban landscape of Nagoya quickly changed to vast ricefields as the shinkansen train gained speed. My mom, being a first-timer aboard this state-of-the-art bullet train, didn't notice that we were traveling close to 400 kilometers per hour. While peering out the window, thinking of the possible things to do in Kyoto, she got caught off guard by the speeding opposite bound train. The ride to Kyoto was only 40 minutes. I wished it was longer, but my wallet is already screaming – our one-way fare to Kyoto was even more expensive than our roundtrip fare to and from Manila!

I wasn't expecting a lot about our trip to Kyoto. We were scheduled to stay here for three days and two nights. I have already seen a lot of photos and read blogs about this former Imperial Capital, so there was not much of a buzz the moment we stepped out of our train. Boy, I was wrong.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Summer in Nagoya

Surprisingly, we took off Manila on time. The 4-hour journey to Nagoya was rather smooth, and I purposely requested a left window seat to capture the majestic sunset en route. It was already dark when we started our descent towards Nagoya. All I see was pitch black. I couldn't even make out where the land and the sea was. I guess we were only a few thousand feet when we finally emerged from the clouds, and I could see the distant lights of Nagoya's central business district.

The warm and humid summer air of Nagoya greeted us as we exited the terminal building. We rode a train to Kanayama Station, which is a 30-min ride from Chubu-Centrair Airport, where we would meet up with my aunt. While on the train, I couldn't help myself but observe. There's something about Japan that strikes you real hard - the efficiency, the politeness, and the generally peaceful urban environment.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Discover a different side of Thailand with a “One Night Stay with Locals”

From southern provinces that you may already be familiar with such as Phang Nga and Chumphon, to the more remote northern provinces of Lampang, Nan and many more, 13 destinations have been carefully chosen by Tourism Authority of Thailand as part of this newly-launched “One Night Stay with Locals” project. Not only are these villages very remote (meaning you will beat the crowds even in high season), there is also a huge variety of community-focused activities available, such as getting your hands dirty picking fruit in orchids with the locals, taking tractor rides through the jungle to waterfalls or heading out on fishermen’s boats to find the catch of the day!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

How to Have a Peaceful Getaway Anywhere in the World

Getaways are often just what people need to escape from the usual hustle and bustle of their daily lives. Sometimes, achieving a relaxing holiday can be tricky when you don’t have the right ingredients to make it perfect. This can mean you return from your trip feeling less refreshed than you hope to. Luckily, lots of people have been in the same situation before, which means there are numerous ideas on how you can unwind and enjoy your next holiday. Whether you are hoping to have a staycation or travel to somewhere across the world, there are many hints and tricks you can follow to ensure you have the most peaceful getaway. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

#JaFun Birthday Adventure

Summer in Japan.

The first time I went to Japan, the leaves were falling, the foliage had already started to turn orange, and it was getting colder as days went by. Most streets in Tokyo's financial districts don't sleep at all, and people still wear their corporate attires even at two in the morning. Despite the busy crowd of Tokyo, I was still in awe. How can a big city become so clean and so organized despite having a population of more than ten million? I thought maybe these things only exist in Tokyo. But, Japan is known for being Japan. Man, I couldn't have been more wrong about it.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Title: 10 Things To Do In America's Capital

We covered a lot of places to see in looking at how to travel America the right way. It’s a massive country, and there’s almost too much to see to even know where to begin narrowing down your options. But where better to start than the nation’s capital? Often overshadowed by cities like New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago, Washington, D.C. is an incredible place to visit.

These are some of the best things to do there.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

How to Travel America the Right Way

For hundreds of years, America has been attracting people from all over the globe to its shores. Whether it be for sweeping beaches, immense mountain structures, or its bustling cities, each state offers something that no other can compete with, each holding its own unique culture, history, and collection of attractions. Due to its sheer size, it can often leave people feeling overwhelmed about how they can make the most of their time there, and travel to America in the right way. Luckily, there are lots of helpful hints and tricks that countless travelers have offered over the years, which aim to make your time here run smoothly.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Bangkok Traffic Story

The news about the death of the highly revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand swept across the world. As a sign of respect, the entire nation of Thailand was in a state of mourning. The famous night clubs and entertainment strips were closed, and almost all the locals wore black. As the country plunged into what it seemed to be the darkest moment of their modern history, it got me thinking if I should still push this trip with my friends.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

4 Essential Actions To Take Before You Go Traveling

Traveling, planning routes, times, and places to go can be exhausting and prove hard work. However, doing all of this is part of the process, and you’re gearing yourself up for the fun part, and arguably, some of the best fun you’ll have in your lifetime. When it comes to packing your bags in preparation for your expedition, you’re going to want to find out how the experts and the experienced travelers go about it. You don’t want to miss an important item out of your list, but you also shouldn’t be packing everything but the kitchen sink into your bag and ending up weighing yourself down with heavy and cumbersome luggage. Before you go traveling, whether it’s near or far, there are four essential actions to take:

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Why Long-term Travel Isn't For Me

Five minutes after we departed Changi International Airport, the seatbelt sign has finally been switched off by the captain. The cabin crew stood up and started to serve hot meals. To kill time, I watched Dear Other Self on my in-flight entertainment system. The Filo movie was about a working girl on her mid-20s who tried to venture travel blogging and long-term travel. I couldn't help but think what is it like to be in her shoes.

What if one day I would just quit my job, pack my bags, and just travel around the world?

Or maybe not.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Expectation vs. Reality: Your Photo vs. Your Friend's Photo

Almost everyone is into photography. With so many gadgets to choose from, capturing and sharing precious moments has never been that hard. Learning the art of photography is not that easy, and it takes time to master it. But, operating a camera is a different thing. Before you can capture a perfect photo, you need to understand the basic concept and fundamentals of photography - how a camera works.

When I traveled to South Korea late last year, I brought my two cameras - my mirrorless DSLR and one DSLR equipped with a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens, perfect for OOTD and portrait shoots. I lent my DSLR to my friends and allowed them to play with it. Here are some of the photos taken by us. They say that practice makes perfect. Lol!

5 Reasons To Take Out Travel Insurance

If you are going to go traveling, no matter how far you go and for how long you are gone, travel insurance has to be one of the first things you organize. It’s a hugely important part of traveling so many reasons; here are the main ones for you to consider.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Dear, Sydney

I just found out a perfect app on my fold to collect and share my stories and photographs online. Unfold is a beautiful app, and it's very easy to use. Sharing to you my first Unfold story. Let the photos speak for itself. Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Your Journey To Israel And Everything In Between

Israel as a country holds significant cultural and historic importance for many individuals all over the world, and it successfully blends old customs with new ones. The Middle East boasts some of the warmest temperatures and climate in the world, so be prepared for soaring heats and to pack your bags appropriately. If you’re visiting in July, then expect an average high of 79ºF (26ºC). It’s highly likely that your visit will be met with a warm invitation, and don’t be surprised if you’re asked to attend social functions, parties, and family gatherings by the people you met there. It’s said that Israelis can be just as warm as their weather.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Travel Essentials: FitFlop Sneakers

Everyone knows I love to travel. I always thirst for adventure. I love exploring uncharted territories, try exotic cuisines, and meet new friends along the road. Sometimes, too much isn't good in traveling. We always get tired of walking around from day to night. Having said that, choosing a footwear fit for traveling can be tricky.

Today, I won't have to worry because I have finally found the perfect footwear for my travels.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

A Travel Guide Around Sydney, Australia

Sydney rose to fame when it hosted the 2000 Summer Olympics, at least in my case. It went back to mainstream pop culture after the movie, Finding Nemo, mentioned the fictional address of Nemo in Sydney (who couldn't forget Dory's struggle to memorize Nemo's fictional address).

Today, Sydney is an emerging travel destination for Filipinos. With more options available, visiting the famed Land Down Under is finally within our reach. The city is not just about kangaroos and the famous Opera House! One can enjoy the stunning views of Byron Bay, bask in the heat of the sun at Bondi Beach, or even experience the Australian outback adventure - the choices are actually endless! Planning to visit Sydney soon? Here's my comprehensive travel guide, with a few sidenotes in between.

Buckle up, mates! 'Coz you and I are going to the most idyllic city of the Land Down Under!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Taronga Zoo: A Journey To Australia's Unique Fauna

During my first visit to Sydney last year, I never had the chance to visit their zoos due to limited time. It was so silly of me to spend only four days there. So, when I had the chance to revisit Sydney earlier this year, I took the chance.

I've been to several zoos like in Singapore, Indonesia, and in Taiwan before and honestly, I wasn't really expecting that much. The only thing I looked forward to this trip was to see koalas and kangaroos in person. I just kept my expectations low.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Tips on Experiencing Your Vacation Destination Like a Local

Traveling abroad is a chance to relax, experience a new culture, and also to gain a little perspective on life. Most people choose to book into a hotel where they can have their every need met, and spend their time visiting the local museums or traveling to important historical and cultural landmarks. Though this can be a wonderful way to experience a new city, if you are looking to break away from the typical tourist experience, and immerse yourself in the local culture, then you might want to avoid going to the obvious places. Here are some top tips for exploring your latest vacation destination in a way which will allow you to see the city from the local’s perspective. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Photo Diary: Sunny Singapore

Pardon if this post is almost four months late.

Last February, I was in Singapore with my PPSG (Philippine Planespotters Group) friends to attend the Singapore Airshow 2018. It only happens every two years and I missed the previous one in 2016. In 2017, my PPSG friends already planned to go through this trip. This is actually my first international airshow. To add the fun, I was with my friends who share the same passion for aviation.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

How to Keep Fit on Your Long-Stay Holiday

A long-stay holiday is something that so many people look forward to. Rather than having just a week or two away from where you try to rush all your relaxing, sightseeing, and exploding into a small timeframe, a long-stay holiday really allows you to settle in and get to know the culture and the destination. With that said, it can be an awfully long time away from your regular routine when it comes to personal fitness.

You may not have workout facilities available to you while you’re away, and there’s a good chance you’ll be eating more food, and richer food at that, while on holiday. So, what can you do to keep fit on your long-stay holiday ensuring that you come back in the best of health? Here are some tips you can use.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Melbourne This Way

Visiting Melbourne was a spontaneous decision as it wasn't part of my original itinerary. It could've been better if I booked a Manila-Melbourne-Sydney-Manila flight.

Still, no regrets.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Extreme Ghost Tour Experience at Q Station, Sydney

Despite having a comfy flight from Manila to Sydney, I still felt tired. After passing through immigration, I immediately went to the arrival hall, loaded my Opal card, and rode a train to my mate's flat to Burwood. It was raining when I arrived in Sydney. At only 18 degrees, the warm shower and the bed were the only two things that I look forward to.

It was still raining when I woke up. The overcast weather made the day bleak and gloomy. Then, I just remembered the things I watched online a few days ago, and one of them was the ghost tours in Sydney. I asked my mate about it, and the next thing I knew, he already booked us an extreme ghost tour on a weekend, after my trip to Melbourne.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Great Ocean Road Adventure

I have always considered solo traveling. I have done it once six years ago but failed miserably. To think it was just only a local trip up north. At 22, I wasn't ready to face the reality and the ugly truth about life. I was very much dependent on my support systems. I know it sucks, but maturity doesn't really come with age.

I fell in love with Australia after I traveled there late last year. For four days, I explored Sydney and the nearby towns of New South Wales. I know four days was too short, considering that Manila is 8 hours away from Sydney by air. Traveling there was already a huge deal for me, and I made a promise to spend more time in the land down under. Suddenly, Melbourne crossed my mind.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

First, They Killed Kampuchea

I was crossing my fingers while waiting for the confirmation of our bus tickets to Siem Reap, Cambodia. We were informed that tickets were nearly sold out because it was a holiday in Cambodia the following day. I was preparing emotionally and financially that I might buy a one-way airline ticket from Saigon to Siem Reap. Moments later, the front desk officer of our hotel came out with a good news. "You are all lucky. We still have seats for you to Siem Reap. Tomorrow is a national holiday in Cambodia. Many people are coming home!", he told us cheerfully.

Monday, March 19, 2018

How To Decide Where To Go On Vacation

Bearing in mind that there are so many vacation options that one can choose from, making a decision can be a bit of a struggle. If you love traveling and you find yourself on the roads quite a few times a year, you might have a few destinations in mind. On the other hand, if you’re a novice explorer and you’re just starting out, you might find it difficult to pick a great vacation destination. Either way, the opportunities are endless.

Sometimes you don’t have to travel to the other side of the world to be able to create memorable times with your group of friends. Although the number of vacation options is exceeding the number of vacations that a person can take in their lifetime, one has to prioritize their trips. Keep in mind how close they are to your home, the amount of time it would take you to explore that place and lastly, your budget. Below there is some advice to guide travelers in the right direction when they are making this decision.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Discover Buda, Davao City

I was in Manila for a two-week training when some of my friends invited me for a quick weekend getaway at Buda. Since I'm flying home on the same date, I instantly gave them a go signal.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

PHOTO DIARY: Kuala Lumpur in 24 Hours

Last month, I went to Singapore with an overnight side trip at Kuala Lumpur. KL wasn't really part of my plan but since Singapore Airlines is utilizing their brand new Airbus A350-900 in their SIN-KUL leg, my aviation geek friends didn't think twice and booked that flight just to have a glimpse of the new aircraft.

Anyway, KL is an easy city. Public transportation is efficient, the place is pretty much neat, and the food is delicious. These are some of the photos I took during my overnight stay in this Malaysian capital.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

5 Things You Should Know About Singapore Airshow 2018

Singapore Airshow 2018 is just around the corner, and I can no longer contain my excitement. Happening this February 6-11, 2018, the Singapore Airshow 2018 showcases both commercial and military fixed and rotary aircraft. Four years ago, I attended this event, and I was pretty much blown away by it.

For those who are watching this airshow for the first time, here are the five things that you should know about this event.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

PHOTO DIARY: Indochina in Technicolor

Indochina is a geographical term referring to the large peninsula of Asia now known as Southeast Asia. Back in the olden times, ancient kingdoms emerged in some parts, creating alliances with neighboring kingdoms. This region has undergone several wars, peace treaties, and invasions from the West. As a result, it is an amalgam of various cultures, beliefs, and languages which make this region diverse. Today, it is home to more than 7% of the world's total population, with big cities scattered around.

I haven't fully explored Indochina. I still have to visit Myanmar and Laos, which I believe is one of the most underrated and most picturesque countries in the world. This In Technicolor photoset includes some of my favorite photos from my trips in this region from 2014 to 2016.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

PHOTO DIARY: Bali in Technicolor

I spent my 26th birthday in Bali, and it's one of the best birthdays I have ever had. This revered Island of Gods has so much to offer, and I wouldn't mind visiting this place again in the near future.

This year, I am going to create a new photo series: In Technicolor. It was only late last year when I went back to Lightroom to post process my photos. My laptop can now handle the heavy workload and multitasking (Photoshop + Lightroom + Final Cut Pro).

These are some of my favorite shots I took during my first trip to Bali, Indonesia. I only used Canon EOS 1100D with a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens. I downloaded a few presets online, and played with it on Lightroom. Hope you guys like it, and expect more In Technicolor posts on my blog.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

My Five Favorite Travel Moments of 2017

I know it's kinda late, but I would like to share my five most unforgettable travel moments of 2017. I can truly say that 2017 is my travel year. I have revisited some of my favorite countries and cities twice or thrice, and I finally got the chance to experience the four seasons. Isn't that great? Well, I won't make this introduction long.

Here are my five favorite travel moments of the year 2017.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Oh, Mexico!

Mexico is renowned for its breathtakingly beautiful beaches, buzzing nightlife and glorious hot sunshine, it’s often a honeymooner’s choice or seen as an adult-focused place but that’s certainly not always the case. Yes, there are many upmarket hotels and spas perfect for adults but there are also many family-friendly hotel complexes with all-inclusive options as well as many child-safe beaches and a wealth of activities to keep the whole family entertained. Cheap family holidays to Mexico are more accessible than you may think. More so, it is easy to find local accommodations rentals in Mexico. Take a look at some of the great deals online from tour operators like Thomas Cook.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

How To Apply for an Australian Tourist Visa in the Philippines

Australia is an emerging travel destination for Filipinos. With more options available, visiting the famed Land Down Under is finally within our reach. One can enjoy the stunning views of Byron Bay, bask under the heat of the sun at Bondi Beach, or even experience the Australian outback adventure - the choices are actually endless! But before entering Oz, one has to secure a valid tourist visa.

Here are the four easy steps on how to apply and successfully obtain an Australian tourist visa.