Saturday, December 24, 2011


It's a big world out there.  There are so much to learn, to see, to eat, to experience. 
Be brave to explore other places.  If you can't find someone to go with you, then do it alone!  You'll be surprised to meet a lot of solo travelers when you're out there.  

Get your passport now and start collecting those stamps!  Bon Voyage! 

Passport Stamps, 2011. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

PUERTO PRINCESA: The Princess of the West Philippine Sea

My expectations are high for Puerto Princesa City in Palawan. So much has been said about this big city (as the locals claim) that your anticipation has already been heightened even before setting foot on its land.

I went there to film its scenic spots for a travel show so I didn't really have the luxury of exploring it more intimately, like a laidback traveler usually do. Actually, PP is quite hard to explore if you're on a tight schedule and budget. The scenic spots are scattered sporadically that moving around may cost you a lot - both time and money. The best way to cover as many places as you can is to rent your own vehicle (like a van).

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Every town or city in this country has its own festivities! And most of them are deeply rooted in religious and farming traditions...

In Manila, city dwellers get a glimpse of these festivities from around the country in the annual ALIWAN FESTIVAL. A number of organizations (from various towns/cities) take part in this colorful and merry spectacle to parade their local traditions, beautiful boys and girls, products, artistry and culture!

The parade starts at the Quirino Grandstand and ends in front of Aliw Theatre at the CCP Complex. It's good to see people braving the mid-afternoon heat just to witness this event. The mood is festive and relaxed.

I waited for the parade (floats, costumes, etc.) at Aliw Theatre. I was hoping to get clear pictures with natural light... Unfortunately, the parade arrived early evening and the lights were not strong enough from our position. Anyway, I had fun and it was a great opportunity to experience this kind of grand festivity even in an urbanized city...

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Palawan never ceases to surprise its visitors! The province (or its group of islands) is never called "the last frontier" for nothing!

On its northwestern side lies the island of Calauit - a game preserve where animals are free to roam and propagate! (to know more about the island, visit ).

Our tour guide told us that this island turned into a game preserve by then Pres. Marcos as a gift to his son, Bongbong. Animals were imported from Africa. Sadly, the succeeding administration never prioritized its maintenance on their budget allocation, thus the island slowly went into oblivion... Consequently, the welfare of the animals suffered. (Yes, the island needs a budget for veterinarians, maintenance of facilities, etc.)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

LUCBAN, QUEZON: Christ is indeed Larger than Life!

Ang Kamay ni Jesus.
Lucban, Quezon.
(You can't miss this... this is just along the National Highway, a few minutes before reaching the town of Lucban, Quezon).

Have a Blessed Holy Week!

As you enter the premises, you will be greeted with a "Noah's Arc", with some statues of animals trying to get inside the "arc".

There are also the statues of of Adam and Eve... and the Angel that led them away from the Paradise...

Then, get ready to climb hundreds of steps to reach this...
(the view above is spectacular... you will see the verdant landscape of Lucban, Quezon).

The giant statue of the Risen Christ, mightily situated on a hilltop.
Reminds me of Christ's Statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Some scenes on The Way of the Cross

Friday, April 15, 2011


We have different traditions during Holy Week. Others flock to the beaches for some sun, sea and sand. Some simply stay home and do a DVD marathon. And quite a few still practice the annual pilgrimage to what they consider as a Holy Place.

Mt. Banahaw has been in our books as a mystic mountain, possessing powers that heal. It's waters, which flow from the depths of its springs are said to cure illness and bring good health to those who drink or bathe it.

And for these people who brave the heat and the rough roads just to reach this legendary mountain, every effort is worth it!


There are many points of entry to Mt. Banahaw. This is from Dolores, Quezon. When I visited the site last year, some areas were closed down (especially the higher grounds) in efforts to restore and revive the ecology. This is the foot of the mountain, where people continue to flock, get some "holy water" and have some bonding moments with families, friends and the gods.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Have you stopped and appreciated the beauty of nature lately?
Life in the city can be very busy and crazy! But once in a while, we need to slow down and look at the simplicity and beauty around us...

Saturday, March 26, 2011


I never thought that I would be able to visit Siargao! Thanks to my job, I was given the opportunity to visit this faraway island paradise famous for its wondrous waves surfers all over the world flock to.

If you're a surfer or simply want to see world-class surfers in action, the best time to visit Siargao is in the months of September to November, where the waves perfect for surfing. This is also the time when tournaments are held, participated by surfing superstars from different countries.

Getting there is quite exhausting. You can take a flight from Manila to Surigao del Norte and ride a boat going to Siargao Island. The boat ride is kind of an adventure with big waves and strong currents shaking your not-so-large sea vessel.

The other option is to take a flight to Cebu, and transfer to another smaller plane (Cebu Pacific - like the ones that land in Caticlan) going to Siargao. No more boat rides.

In our case, we took a flight from Manila to Cebu and got an ex-deal from a flying school that would take us to Siargao. That means, riding on a Cessna plane with a student pilot (mostly, foreigners) and an instructor, and me as the only passenger. (Each staff was assigned a plane individually).

At first, I was so nervous! The wind up there can easily make your ride a turbulent one... but as we ascend higher and higher (almost 10,000 feet), the ride became smoother and pleasant!

Siargao is a delight! I am surprised to see so many foreigners there, mostly Europeans, Aussies and Japanese. There were only a handful of Pinoy tourists and surfers. There are a number of beaches that cater to everyone's needs - for surfers and swimmers alike. The hostels / lodgings are cheap enough (fan rooms are only 500-700 pesos per day, air-conditioned rooms range from 1000 - 1500 pesos).

Cessna plane - Cebu to Siargao
(approx. 1 hour)

spectacular views of the islands
(somewhere between Cebu - Surigao)

Mangroves in Siargao

Siargao Island
(the white line is a main road)

The student pilot (girl) and her instructor
that took me to Siargao!

foreigners outnumber Pinoy tourists

the only public transportion
in the island - Habal-Habal

The Nude Beach for swimming
(No nude swimmers here. Locals call
this Nude Beach because it is treeless)

The wooden bridge going
to the famous Cloud 9 -
the best surfing spot in Siargao

a statue of a boy surfer in Cloud 9

The surfers' playground!
Not so good wave that day.

a great place to unwind.
Owned by an Aussie who
settled here since the 90s.