Across the iconic Naga Cathedral on the historic street of Barlin stands Que Pasa, a new restaurant that is becoming a haven for local artists and a showcase of a thriving new art scene in the province of Camarines Sur in the Bicol region.
Batan and Sabtang Island are amazing enough. But then I got to Itbayat, the northernmost inhabited island of Batanes, and I was floored. While Itbayat is more rugged and more difficult to explore, it has a unique charm of its own. Hiking over rough roads, hills and steep paths can be grueling, but you will be rewarded with amazing views of caves, cliffs and coasts.
Siquijor is shrouded in stories of sorcery and witchcraft. Dubbed the “Mystic Island,” this province in the Central Visayas is known as the home of witches, shamanistic folk healers and mambabarang (people who can cause affliction or death by supernatural means). I heard that hexes, curses and love potions were hawked on the streets along with the usual souvenir keychains and magnets. You have to admit, there’s just something so fascinating about any place steeped in such superstitions. While some people are afraid to set foot here, this reputation for dark magic is actually what drew me to the island.
One of the most memorable trips I took this year was to Tawi-Tawi. This island province located in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is the southernmost province of the Philippines. Often misunderstood by the outside world and the rest of the Philippines, Tawi-Tawi is not your typical tourist destination. The concerns about the peace and order situation in the surrounding areas have kept the place relatively off the tourist radar. I know only a handful of travelers who have ventured to this part of the country for a vacation. That’s probably the main reason why I wanted to go there in the first place. Thanks to a trip to Zamboanga City earlier this year, I got to tick Tawi-Tawi off my bucket list.
La Huerta de Rosario is a rustic farm getaway where guests can enjoy a wonderful farm-to-table feast amid artistic surroundings. Visitors can experience harvesting fresh fruits and vegetables, taste it in the local cuisine served, and get inspired by the beauty of rural arts.
*Updated August 2015
In recent years, my hometown Naga City in the Bicol Region has become a rising foodie destination. Every visit means that there are new restaurants waiting to be sampled, as well as old favorites that just have to be revisited.
Bikol cuisine is known as being spicy and sweet. Sili (chili peppers) and coconut milk (gata) are used in a lot of dishes, as well as pili nut products for desserts and a unique relish. Here’s a look at some of the best places where you can savor the flavors of Bikol (compiled from numerous visits to Naga to visit my folks), as well as some of the new restaurants worth checking out.
The Kymco Agility 125 is a utilitarian scooter in the lower displacement market. Just like its name, this scooter is a nimble machine that’s suitable for urban commuting as well as leisure touring.
I recently got to use and test it out for a review in Motorcycle World Magazine (which came out in the July 2015 issue). I usually write about travel destinations you can reach by motorcycle, rider’s profile interviews and restaurants that bikers might be interested in. This was my first time to do a motorcycle review and I hope it won’t be the last. Here’s a quick look at the scooter’s main features.
Travel and hotel stays usually involve buffet breakfasts and meals. Here in the metro, eat-all-you-can buffets have become more popular for special occasions, celebrations and food events. As a foodie, it’s an exercise in self-control every time I enter a buffet restaurant. In case it isn’t obvious from all my previous food posts on what is supposed to be a travel blog, food is really my weakness.
Here are a few tips on how to make the most of eating in buffets so you don’t end up in a food coma every time.
For outdoor enthusiasts, OtterBox is best known for their line of water-resistant boxes and device-specific cases that protect gadgets when doing water sports. Since they started in 1998, OtterBox has evolved into leading global brand that continues to adapt to the needs of the consumers. These days, they provide protective solutions for flagship smartphones and tablet devices, with cases that offer drop protection, dust protection, scratch protection, shock absorption and waterproof technologies.
Most people prefer to travel and go on adventures during the summer months when it’s nice and sunny. However, traveling during the monsoon months has its own charms. While travelers need to take extra care as the rain may bring landslides and floods to some regions, the rainy season shouldn’t stop you from having fun. Here are a few travel tips to make the most of the rainy season in the Philippines.
Anyone who’s had to endure EDSA during rush hour knows that traffic really sucks in the metro. I always dread taking public transportation because it involves either: a) waiting in line and getting crushed like a human sardine in the MRT, b) multiple transfers on tricycles, jeeps or standing in the aisle for most of the trip in buses, or c) overpriced cabs. Biking is really one of the most sustainable forms of transportation and sometimes the fastest way to get to your destination.
As the World’s oldest Chinatown (established in 1594), Binondo in Manila is a well-known cultural and foodie haven. Here, you can find lots of authentic hole-in-the-wall establishments serving everything from flashy Cantonese-themed lauriat meals to homey Hokkien-style Tsinoy cooking. However, there are over 100+ restaurants in the area, so it can be quite overwhelming to decide where to eat.
For adventure getaways, I like to pack light. Along with a pair of slippers, I usually just have one pair of all-around shoes I can use for different kinds of activities like hiking or biking. When it comes to outdoor footwear, Merrell is among my preferred shoe brands. Known for their comfortable, durable and stylish kicks, Merrell offers a wide range of performance shoes that encourages people to get active outdoors.