Prelude to Australia

I wouldn’t have gone to Australia this year if it weren’t for a couple of awesome workmates alerting me that Cebu Pacific had promo fares for plane tickets to Sydney. Sydney tickets usually cost around 40k PHP (around 1000 AUD), which is too rich for my blood right now.  That’s already a week-long trip somewhere…

The high of travelling alone

I’ve been traveling alone for a while now (intermittently since 2009 and more so now) and I often get asked by people I meet how and why I travel by myself. The most recent query came from a woman from New Zealand whom I met in Hunter Valley, Australia. The how part is easy. You…

Blue, Green, and Grey (Mt. Pinatubo)

Mt. Pinatubo is half-dead, half-alive. My first look at the grey terrain revealed the chasm between life and death—shrubs, grass, and scattered miniature rivers thriving on the remnants of lahar (infamously known for killing thousands of people almost 20 years ago). The indigenous Aetas, occasionally getting distracted as our 4×4 cars passed by their homes,…

Photo of the Day: Turtle Wood Veneer from KL City Gallery

The Kuala Lumpur City Gallery in Malaysia houses some of the country’s best wood carving artists. During workdays in the museum, they create miniature wooden figures of KL buildings like the Petronas Tower and KL Tower. But for anyone who wants to fill that blank space on his wall with something besides a painting, they…

Flow: Pagsanjan Falls Day Trip

What do you imagine when you hear someone say “ride the rapids”? If you’re a fan of National Geographic and Discovery Channel, you might flash back to some episodes where a couple of adrenaline-junkies are holding on to a rubber raft for dear life while maneuvering past giant rocks in the raging river. The ride…

Photo of the Day: Minding Rituals

108 bronze bowls surround the giant Reclining Buddha statue in Wat Pho temple in Bangkok. These bowls represent the 108 auspicious characteristics of the true Buddha. The visitors drop coins into these bowls one by one, praying for good fortune and helping the monks maintain the temple in the process.