asia · travel

Floating Wishes at Pingxi

Along with the thousands of wishing lanterns floating around that day, there was definitely a hint of whimsy in the air. I always knew only good can come out from still watching cartoons — after learning that the floating lanterns scene from Tangled (a movie adaptation of Rapunzel) was inspired from an actual festival in the town of Pingxi in Taiwan, I had my heart set on joining the festivities and having my own wishing lantern soar. Continue reading “Floating Wishes at Pingxi”

asia · philippines · travel

Enchanting Siquijor

Paradise at Cambugahay Falls. Rubber ducky not included.

It was hard to believe what was right in front of our eyes — the cascades of crystalline blue-green water had me hypnotized, and we had the waterfalls all to ourselves. I look around and think — friends, we’ve made it to paradise.

Siquijor is a gem of a find, one of the places that really makes me want to know my home country better. It blew my mind thinking how an island as accessible and gorgeous as this one could stay under the radar for so long. As I looked around to see my co-passengers at the ferry from Dumaguete, almost more than half were actually foreigners, aside from the few locals making their way home. And then there were us, a gang of giddy local backpackers — not a usual sighting, I guess. Continue reading “Enchanting Siquijor”

asia · philippines · travel

Sky High and Down Under in Sagada

Hanging out a Sagada is definitely an experience.
Hanging out a Sagada is definitely an experience.

My heart beats hard against my chest. The guide calls for my niece to cling on to the rope and descend into a dark abyss. I steal a peek over the edge and my eyes bulge at how easy it is to slip and break all arms and feet. My niece makes it all the way down; I draw a breath.

My sister is about to go next. As I see her dangling on the rope, all I can think of is, ‘What have I gotten ourselves into?!’

Continue reading “Sky High and Down Under in Sagada”

asia · philippines · travel

The Batad Experience: How Far Will You Go for an Epic Adventure?

Word on the backpacker’s grapevine says that Batad is one of those rare glimpses of heaven on earth. A village that used to be a well-kept secret, Batad is neatly tucked away, almost in the shadow of Banaue, its more-familiar neighbor. A few souls have dared call it as the 8th Wonder of the World, but seriously, the title has been thrown around so often, that we can probably come up with a Top 7 ‘8th Wonders of the World’ list.

In the end, curiosity got the best of us, and at the third year of a tradition that we unknowingly started, my bundok buddies and I trooped off to Batad to kick off the year with another adventure. Continue reading “The Batad Experience: How Far Will You Go for an Epic Adventure?”

asia · philippines · travel · video

147 Seconds on Why I Keep Coming Back for Sinulog

Having been drawn to the island paradise 4 times over the last 5 years, I think I can personally vouch that Cebu is a tried-and-tested fun-in-the-sun destination. Of course, January is a great time to flock to Cebu to join the droves for the Sinulog festival, but Cebu offers a whole lot more: alluring coasts, mouth-watering grub, sky-high thrills, and of course, the people who are gorgeous inside and out.

I rarely get to make vacation mash-ups with my family in it, so this vid was a real treat for me. Now you have solid proof that insanity is hereditary. Enjoy!

asia · singapore · travel · video

Meet Romi

It was one of the most original things I’ve seen in a long, long time.

Even if I’m running late, I’m the type who always stops to watch street performers — waiting if they have a nice surprise in store, or at least a nice story worth sharing. A lot of them were amusing, some of them were worth applauding, but this one really made me excited to capture the moment to share with everyone.

Romi made his own prop, which wowed me all the more. It must have taken a lot of time, thought and patience to get just the right weight and form, and to master just the right moves. Yey for triumphs of brilliance and creativity.

It was a nice reminder that sometimes, you don’t have to go very far to be astounded. How about you, when did you last get wowed?

Location: Helix Bridge, Singapore
Song: “Night Owl” by Broke For Free (brokeforfree.com)

asia · singapore · travel

Good Morning, Sunshine! at the Botanic Gardens

Feeling guilty about the bag of Doritos I wolfed down by myself last night, I decided to do something extra special for my day’s morning jog. With the Circle Line recently opening its new stations, I thought it would be great to pay a visit at the once-almost-unreachable Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Kind hearts are gardens, kind thoughts are the roots.
Kind hearts are gardens. Kind thoughts are roots.

Continue reading “Good Morning, Sunshine! at the Botanic Gardens”

asia · philippines · singapore

Azkals Loose in Singapore

Us trying to put on our scariest game faces. As to what the hell I'm doing, I have no idea.

Ever since I left Manila, the list of the things I’m missing out on seems to grow longer and longer. Artists like Jason Mraz and the AI S10 idols oblige their throngs of fans in Araneta, but couldn’t be bothered to even take a peep at wee Singapore. Football-fever struck Manila as well, and I could only watch the FB updates as my high school friends troop to the game stadiums together.

So when a friend sent a shout-out about watching the Lions-Azkals friendly game in Singapore, I immediately raised my hand for tickets. At last! I have ZIP knowledge about football; I couldn’t tell you what the red/yellow/technicolor cards meant, even if my life depended on it. But what the hell, it’s been so long since I’ve been to anything nationalistic and I’m determined to yell, cheer and heckle for my country.¬† Continue reading “Azkals Loose in Singapore”