Inspiration, Luzon, Philippines

Nagsasa Cove, Zambales: A Chance to Give Back

Surrounded by darkness at the campsite, all 13 of us were grouped in circle. In the middle was a bottle of brandy, and on top of us was a small bulb – our only little source of light that night.

This is what mountaineers usually call, “the social” A chance for everyone to get to know each other.

In case you aren’t aware yet, most people who dare to join group trips are actually strangers to one another. They are taking risks to be with people they don’t know, bonded with the same passion for adventure and travel.

I was invited by my good friend and our high school class valedictorian, Genel, to this trip to Nagsasa Cove in the province of Zambales. I was immediately convinced when he said it was not going to be a usual travel but an outreach program for the indigenous people of Zambales, the Aetas.

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Luzon, Philippines

Batad Banaue Ifugao DIY Travel Guide

We were fooled, convinced by our elementary education system – of textbooks telling us that the best and must-see rice terraces in Ifugao is non-other than the Banaue Rice Terraces.

It was only when I got obsessed reading travel stories and blogs years ago that I’ve become aware that there are way better than the famous Banaue. Actually, Banaue Rice Terraces is not even on the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Yes, you have to be aware of that.

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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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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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Food, Philippines

Jollibee, Can I Have More Ketchup Please?

Just like every Filipino – I am also a fan of Jollibee, ever since I was little.

Jollibee has this indescribable charisma that captures the hearts of Filipino kids, a devotion that has stayed with them no matter how many new food experiences they’d tried.

At my age, I can say that I still love Jollibee.

This is where I eat for some occasional breakfast or lunch. The food just brings so much joy to me, as this also brings back my childhood memories.

I am a huge fan of Jolly Spaghetti, Jolly Hotdog and of course, the Chicken Joy. Lately, I found myself eating Jollibee more often because of my niece and nephew. The charisma lives on in every generation.

On the business side, Jollibee is undeniably the biggest food empire in the Philippines, toppling the global brands such as McDonalds.

So it pains me…

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