Sidequest: Show Me the Money

I like to do self-imposed quests and collect certain items when I travel. One of the personal challenges or sidequests I’ve been trying to complete is to visit all the destinations featured on the back of our Philippine currency. The current set of banknotes issued by the Central Bank of the Philippines features Philippine landmarks and tourist destinations, which are considered the most valuable treasures of our nation. As of November 2017, I’ve collected photos of the landmarks in five out of the six possible locations.

GOAL: Take photos of Philippine banknotes at the landmarks featured on the bill STATUS: 5/6 collected

NEXT MISSION: Dive with a 1000 bill at Tubbataha Reef  Continue reading

Travel Guide: Queenstown, New Zealand

Dubbed the “Adventure capital of the world,” Queenstown in New Zealand’s South Island blew us away with its breathtaking landscapes and extreme adventures. Everyone who heard I was going to New Zealand said I had to go to Queenstown. And while it was roughly more than 1,500 km away from our original entry point in Auckland in the North Island, the long journey going to the South Island was so worth it.

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Alamat Craft Brew: Beer Inspired by Philippine Folklore

I have a fascination for stories about Philippine mythology and think it’s really cool that brewers aim to popularize our folklore and promote local artists through beer. Alamat Craft Brew is a limited batch craft brewery established in 2015. The name Alamat is the Filipino word or legend or myth. All of Alamat Craft Brew’s beers are dedicated by Philippine Cryptozoology, Folklore and Mythology. Since they established themselves in 2015 while working in a homebrew setup in Quezon City, they’ve released a wide range of very distinctive beers.

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History Con 2017 Highlights

The biggest entertainment convention is back, bigger, better, and bolder. Gathering all your favorite stars from History Asia Channel under one roof, History Con 2017 answers the question, “Huh?!?”

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The Character of Custom Bikes

Motorcycles have distinct personalities. Stock underbones and scooters are your dependable workhorses, the best when it comes to the daily grind. Except for a few high-end brands, most are pretty average-looking. Everyone has them. They blend in with the crowd and they get the job done, especially when it comes to snaking through the city’s gridlock. Custom bikes have a bit more character.

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Middle-Earth Magic: Hobbiton in New Zealand

Every fan of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films dreams of going to New Zealand. In fact, the movie trilogies directed by Peter Jackson based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels have spurred a rise in Tolkien tourism. Many fans of the LOTR fictional universe travel to significant filming locations based on the books.

The best place you can experience Middle-Earth magic is the Hobbiton Movie Set, a sprawling farm complete with hobbit holes, gardens, bridge, mill and souvenir shops. My favorite part of Hobbiton is The Green Dragon Inn, a real pub where you can sample beers traditionally brewed in the Shire, the home of the hobbits! Continue reading

Fenrir: A Final Fantasy Custom Bike

I bought my scooter five and half years ago, about the same time I started this blog. The red and white Yamaha Mio Fino you see on the blog header is Chocobo, named after the gigantic bird-like creatures in the Final Fantasy video game universe which protagonists use to explore the world. Chocobos provide a faster way of getting from Point A to Point B than going on foot. They give you access to hard to reach areas, and open up new areas to explore.

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Universal Studios Japan Theme Park

For movie and pop culture buffs, Universal Studios Theme Park is one of the top attractions where you can enjoy rides inspired by Hollywood blockbusters, TV shows, cartoons and video games produced by Universal Studios. This world-class theme park transports you right inside your all-time-favorite flicks like Jurassic Park, Waterworld and JAWS.

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Jurassic Park’s The Flying Dinosaur. Photo courtesy of Universal Studios Japan
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Mischief Managed: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Japan

As a huge fan of J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter novels and the blockbuster film series based on the books, visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a dream come true. This themed area within Universal Studios Japan (USJ) was a major highlight of my recent trip around Osaka and the Kansai region upon the invitation of Cebu Pacific & USJ. Flying along with Harry, Hermione and Ron in the Forbidden Journey inside Hogwarts Castle, walking along the shops in Hogsmeade and drinking Butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks was just amazing!

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“I solemnly swear that I’m up to no good!”

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Spelunking in Samar: Lobo Cave

Just like exploring a new dungeon in a video game, there’s something so fulfilling about spelunking or exploring caves in real life.

You have to navigate through small tunnels and chambers, find the best route so that you don’t hurt yourself, come face to face with creatures like bats and snakes and overcome all the obstacles in the dark to find the cave exit. It’s not as glamorous as Lara Croft makes it look, but it’s one of the most fun and exhilarating adventures you can do. Particularly if you’re in Samar, the Caving Capital of the Philippines.

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