Sunday, March 23, 2014

Look, There's a New Branch of Kanto Freestyle Breakfast and It's in Kapitolyo!

Vigan longganisa (90)
A few months ago, making our way around Kapitolyo in Pasig looking for the inconspicuous Kanto Freestyle Breakfast, we asked a random trike driver if he was familiar with the restaurant. Without batting an eyelash, he pointed us the block at the corner of the intersection. We thought he was taking "Kanto" as kanto. You know, the Filipino term for street corner. Since all cities in the metro have a kanto, asking for it without being clear about it is as tedious as it can get. We ended up eating at a different restaurant.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Quick Binondo Food Trip

Established in 1594 and once home to converted sangleys (people of pure Chinese ancestry), Binondo is the oldest China town in the world. Even before the onset of Spanish colonization in the 16th century, it was already a center of Chinese commerce.
Today, the district still remains a hub of trade for all kinds of businesses, most notably restaurants and food establishments run by Filipino-Chinese merchants. It has also become a favorite go-to place for food trips and even photowalks.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

El Nido Tour A: There and Back Again

El Nido is love at first sight. After seeing and experiencing some of its islands, I fell irrevocably in love with it. It's one of those places that I'd gladly come back time and time again. The fact that I went there twice within a relatively short interval speaks volume of how much I love it. You see, I spent my birthday in El Nido in January of 2013. Three and a half months later, I once again found myself traversing the long road north of Puerto Princesa aboard an air-conditioned bus, my heart throbbing with excitement. To put it romantically, I was back in the arms of love. And oh, I was happy!
Who wouldn't fall in love with a beach like this?

The trip was a little different the second time around but it was sweeter nonetheless especially that I was with friends, who added a new dimension and layer to the experience. When we planned our Palawan getaway back in January, I made it straight and clear to them that I'd be spending 3 whole days in El Nido which means I'd be skipping the Underground River Tour. They were cool about it, although I sensed some disagreement that stemmed from the fact that the trip was supposed to be group getaway - and there I was doing my own thing.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Playing Catcher in the Rye in Mt. Batulao

"COME ON, MACH, YOU CAN DO IT!" They cheered, all nine of them, my friends and camp mates - my companions on this fun weekend climb. They were encouraging me to go on. I was sitting on a rather comfortable rock jutting conveniently beside the trail (a deus ex machina!), eyeing the summit from afar, silently cursing myself for being a wimp.
"We're almost there!" They shouted back again, their voices sounded shrill amidst the strong gusts of wind that teased, flapped and threatened to uproot me from my spot. I watched Jhyng, Kathy, Kat,
Nitch, Ton and the three guys whose names have now escaped me as they slowly but surely crawled up the aggressively uphill trail. I heard one of them ask if something's wrong with me. I flashed them an OK sign and a fake smile, which I was sure they didn't buy. I knew I was going to be labelled with a thousand different names, all because I was too coward to climb the summit. But what could I do? The peak looked daunting from where I was sitting. I'm afraid of heights. My nerves got the better of me. I was a hopeless case.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sagada Travel Guide: A Journey to the Mountains

I'm not going back to Sagada again anytime soon, that's for sure.
Let me set the record straight though that I absolutely love Sagada - it's one of the best places I've been to. It's nothing short of awesome to say the least. It's got a perpetually cold weather, enchanting caves and stunning mountain panoramas. But getting there can be a painful ordeal especially for an acrophobic like me. If your fear of heights is as acute as mine, then there's absolutely no way you can sleep off the grueling road trip when you know you're rolling down and clambering up the highway with deep ravines left and right - not to mention the aggressive bends and twists, unless of course you pop a pill that will send you to oblivion for the entire journey.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Things to Love About Sagada

Sagada is love. And just like love, it comes with a few sacrifices. For starters, going to Sagada takes almost 12 hours of road trip. The high roads zigzagging through mountain sides and cliffs certainly don't help especially for acrophobic. But taking risks and being brave are all part of a journey toward having a great experience and adventure.

Here are the things I love about Sagada.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Looking for Peace and Quiet in Caleruega

I imagined Caleruega to be completely serene and peaceful - a haven of sorts for people looking for quiet. The blogs I read about the place never failed to talk about how subdued and enchanting the whole surrounding is. Although I always take everything with a grain of salt, I was simply sold hook line and sinker with the idea that it could possibly be the best place for soul searching. Besides, I was longing for a place that promises tranquility and Caleruega seemed to be the most feasible option. So I invited a few friends for a day trip in Caleruega and possibly a hot bulalo in Tagaytay on our way back. That weekend, I had a bruised ego to say the least and I was hoping that a place like Caleruega would heal whatever emotional crap I was having.
That's the problem with expectations. They inevitably burst your bubbles. I had this grand assumption that Caleruega, with its supposed lush environment replete with handsome gardens, was a perfect venue for soul searching. Unfortunately for me however, I left the place more disconnected than ever. I couldn't tell exactly why - I just didn't feel any emotional connection with Caleruega.

Even the pictures I took were uninspired. If not for the company of good friends, I would easily consider the experience borderline lame. On the other hand, it would have been a completely different experience altogether if I went there alone.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Intramuros Pasyal Sunday: A Photowalk

I was on my way to Central Station, where my friend and I planned to meet, when he asked me what kind of afternoon it was. He was running late, perhaps on the fence what attire would suit best. Looking at the Manila skyline, I responded that it wasn't very gloomy - hot but not scorching (apparently not the best time to wear tyvek suits). The subtext of my response was - it's a beautiful day for a leisurely walk.
We began the walk from SM Manila down to eastern gate of Intramuros where the newly erected Bayleaf Hotel stood haughty, proud and handsome.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Baler: Chasing Buses, Waves and Waterfalls

"ARE WE THERE YET? AREN'T WE GETTING OFF?" P asked impatiently as the bus gently swerved to the left and made a graceful halt in the middle of a small terminal in Maria Aurora, a town in Aurora province, a few miles north of Manila. A couple of passengers hurriedly got off the bus, carrying their stuff - big boxes and sacks of goods, probably pasalubong for their loved ones who were happily expecting for their arrival.

It's almost five in the afternoon. We had been traveling for ten hours. The aggressive twists and bends on the road from Nueva Vizcaya to Aurora had taken its toll on us. We were already feeling queasy, not to mention tired and hungry.
Almost there...

"Nope, one more town to go before the final homestretch," I told P as if I knew this part of Aurora like the back of my hand. I too was dying to get off the bus. Truth was, I was merely guessing. An educated guess which turned out to be correct because the next town was indeed Baler.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Movies to Fuel Your Wanderlust

If these films didn't make you feel inspired to hit the road, I'm not sure what would.

1. Into the Wild [2007]
Right after graduating from college, a young man (Emile Hirsch) decides to leave everything behind and heads to Alaska where he lives in isolation.

Source: Google Images