Luzon, Mountains, Philippines

The Climb to Mt. Kupapey in Maligcong, Bontoc, Mountain Province

 

It was 3 o’clock in the morning when I woke up to the sound of an alarm. I tried my best to get up as fast as I could but still, I was the last to stand up. All of my new friends and fellow travelers were preparing their gears, ready to climb the majestic Mt. Kupapey in Mountain Province (Philippines).

In a vast room, I was sitting on my bed looking at them – Ronald, Archie, Sandy, Mike and Fung. They all looked legit mountaineers to me.

Then I looked at myself, “What the heck am I doing here?!” LOL!

It was my first climb, so I didn’t know what to bring. I just put on my shorts, shirt, hiking sandals, jacket and I was ready to go.

I’d be honest with you. I had some apprehensions. It was my first, and I didn’t expect it would be in Mountain Province! It felt so overwhelming for me. Imagine, I’d be climbing a mountain…in Mountain Province? That sounds redundant. That’s too much! LOL! So I had this idea that the climb would be a tough one.

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Beaches, Luzon, Philippines

Calaguas Island- The Way to a Paradise

 “Where is Calaguas?”

I remember my girlfriend, Eloi, asked me when I suggested about it on our next trip. It was also the same reactions I got from friends after my travel. Honestly, I am amazed at how many people are still unaware of this paradise.

So in a away, I felt obliged to tell you how beautiful it is, to convince you to visit this island. The journey going there might be uncomfortable to some, but as you get there, everything will be worth it.

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Inspiration, Luzon, Travel Stories

Paoay Sand Dunes – Falling Face First While Sandboarding!

The problem is, we give so much f**k about what others think about us.

This way of thinking is so deep…so severe, we’ve become trapped, a victim of an unknown nemesis.

“Am I gonna say this? Do I have to do this? They might laugh at me.”

“Am I sure about this? They might think I’m crazy.”

Those are just some of the things that run through our minds whenever we want to do something. We always think and worse, seek of others approval.

I remember when I travelled to the captivating sand dunes of Paoay, Ilocos Norte. I’ve found myself asking the inner me, “Am I gonna do this? What If I fall? They might laugh at me.”

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Luzon, Philippines

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation in Burgos, Ilocos Norte

It was the last day of our Ilocos Norte trip.

That morning we were heading to Kapurpurawan Rock Formation in Burgos , Ilocos Norte. Our guide, Alchie, told us that Kapurpurawan comes from the Ilocano word “puraw” which means “white.” This rock formation he added is a popular destination in the province because of its unbelievable color and form.

While inside the van, we managed to joke around. Calling one of our friends, Mavie, as kapurpurawan, obviously because she has the fairest complexion.

Then another one said, well, let’s see how white Kapurpurawan is.

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Beaches, Mindanao, Philippines

Samal Island, Davao : Relaxing Clear Blue Waters

You’ve been working so hard.

Stressed with workload you don’t even understand why there is a need to stress about. In times like these, all you need is a moment to unplug, relax, claim calm and clarity in a paradise. A moment, when you don’t need to think about work and just enjoy life.

The same thing I did with some friends when we visited the beautiful island of Samal in Davao, Philippines.

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Food, Philippines, Visayas

5 Delicious Food During A Sad Time in Cebu

It was Valentine’s Day last year when a man and a woman suddenly appeared at the office. They were looking for someone.

One of them was carrying a guitar, while the other had a bouquet of flowers in hand. In an instant, we knew what they were up to. Somebody was lucky to be serenaded during the day of hearts. The question was, who’s the lucky one?

All eyes were fixed on them, especially the girls, probably expecting their partners could have exerted this tremendous effort to surprise them. The two asked my colleague who was located nearest the door.

They were pointed towards the conference room.

There, we all saw the lucky woman, she was fixing something as their meeting had just ended. It was my former boss, Ms. Al.

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Asia, Cambodia, Thailand

Ultimate Guide to Border Crossing: Bangkok to Siem Reap, Cambodia by Bus

Our journey started at the Bangkok Northern Bus Terminal (Mochit 2 Station) for an early morning bus ride going to Cambodia.

The station is just near the center of Bangkok, you can just hail a taxi and you’ll reach the bus station in minutes. Just tell the taxi driver that you’re going to Mochit 2 Bus Station, or you can print out the words in Thai character for easier communication.

This is a huge and more organized terminal than what we have in the Philippines. Some westerners would find the station inferior, but for a Filipino, it’s way better than the bus stations we have back home.

There are two early morning bus schedule going to Siem Reap (8am and 9am), travel time from Bangkok is about 8 hours.

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Inspiration

The Higher Purpose of Corporate Workers

Every morning, you prepare everything for work.

You also planned to go home early and rest, but you always find yourself arriving at your doorsteps late (at night.) 🙁

This has been your routine for years, and the cycle goes on and on.

You have learned to just go with it, just like what everybody else is doing. Just like what the society keeps on telling you.

But then again, after years of doing the same thing over and over again, you woke up one day and felt something weird, something different.

Out of nowhere, you just feel that there must be something… something better and bigger than what life has in store for you. You couldn’t figure it out, but you just knew there is something.

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Asia, Cambodia

The Child Vendors of Cambodia

I was exploring the temples of Cambodia when I saw this familiar Japanese tourist.

I remember I overheard her telling her fellow traveler while in a different temple that she just recently quit her job and embarked on a three month journey to Southeast Asia to just find purpose… meaning in her life.

Her story was inspiring. It was also a testament of how traveling can be so powerful in enriching your life, that even eavesdropping from a simple conversation of your fellow travelers can truly give you insights and inspiration.

As I entered the inner part of the temple, I saw her being approached by a kid vendor offering her some postcards and ref magnets.

“One for one dollar only.” Said the little girl.

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Beaches, Luzon, Philippines

The Horror of Black Water from Encenada Beach Resort in Puerto Galera

I planned this trip to be extra special.

I know my girlfriend is stressed with work so I really intended our next vacation to be just relaxing and enjoyable. That’s why when she told me she wanted to go to Puerto Galera, I opted not to visit the party crazy and congested part of this tourist spot, which is the “White Beach.”

I decided to bring her to the calm and relaxing side of Puerto Galera, the Muelle Area particularly at the Varadero Bay.

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Beaches, Philippines, Visayas

Laoang, Northen Samar – My Hometown

After one of my posts got traction from Facebook, I felt this sense of gratitude.

This is the confirmation of a sign I asked a few days ago.

I was in doubt at that time, if I really wanted to continue writing. I know this is my life but there are moments when you ask yourself, why by the time you decided to do what you love, something suddenly falls apart?

I asked for a sign if this is really my calling, if this is really the meaning I was looking. Then I doze off to sleep.

The next morning I checked this blog and was shocked to see one of my posts being shared by my country’s Tourism Department to its Official Facebook Page with more than 700,000 followers.

That post earned thousands of likes and shares, bringing tons of traffic to my blog.

It was the answer I was looking for.

Then I’ve made a firm decision, to continue doing this whatever it takes, not only for those who enjoy reading my works, but most importantly for me. I need this. I need to write to feel alive.

I’ve made a promise not to hold back anymore, to be open and sometimes even vulnerable.

So I’ll start with sharing to you my hometown, the place where I came from.

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