I was thinking of booking a random flight or taking a road trip somewhere just to get away during the ASEAN Summit holiday. Just based on my Facebook feed, it seemed like everyone was planning to go out of town. But with major roads being locked down for security and horrible traffic because of the special lanes, I dreaded the thought of going to the airport or getting stuck somewhere on the way to a good “out-of-town” destination.
For travelers, backpackers and province-based tourists, Manila is often just thought of as a stopover between flights on the way to another destination. The big city can be overwhelming with the heavy traffic and crowded streets. It’s often seen as gritty and chaotic, especially if you visit the areas of Quiapo and Divisoria.
I often take the tourist sights in Manila for granted because I live here. But if I were a first-time tourist in the Philippines or if I had to take around foreign tourists, balikbayans, expats or province-based friends, what would I do and where would I go? Continue reading
Street art or public art is a big part of urban culture. Unlike art you find in museums, this kind of media staged in the streets, walkways and buildings make art more accessible to the public.
Certain places around the world like George Town in Penang and Sao Paolo in Brazil are known for their vibrant street art, which is a big tourism draw in itself. Just check out this list of the best cities in the World for Street Art. In the Philippines, one of the best places to see big scale public art is Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig. Continue reading
A revolution is definitely brewing in the craft beer scene here in the Philippines. It seems that in the past few years, there’s been a boom in local microbreweries. According to the Philippine Craft Beer Community as of 2017, there are now 36 local breweries: 12 Craft Brewpubs and 24 Nano / Microbreweries with over 200+ Craft Beer Styles in the Philippines. (Whew. It’s getting hard to keep track of all these beers and keep this post updated!)
While guzzling down 99 bottles of beer for a self-imposed sidequest, I was glad to come across some great craft beers which are brewed right here in the country. If you’re a craft beer enthusiast or you want to try something new, here are some homegrown microbreweries and beers that you should look out for when you travel around the Philippines.
For those who live in the metro looking for a quick day-trip getaway relatively near Manila, Antipolo is a popular choice. The city of Antipolo is approximately just 16 miles east of Manila, making it accessible especially for those who live in the North. Antipolo sits on a plateau at a higher elevation and offers a scenic overlooking view of the rest of Metro Manila.
When I travel or go backpacking on my own, I don’t mind sleeping in run-down hostels with public restrooms, camping in a tent on the beach or even just hanging up a hammock somewhere for the night. But when I travel with my family, I want to make sure they’re comfortable. Hotel staycations are a nice way to relax and can be a lot of fun if you’re with family or friends.
I always feel like I’m in a different country whenever I go around the neighborhood of Poblacion in Makati. Barangay Poblacion in the old downtown area feels like a backpacker red light district, similar to Bangkok’s Khaosan Road or Cambodia’s Pub Street. The food choices in the neighborhood have wide international appeal, from small Korean joints to biker bars serving Indian cuisine.
For someone who lives in Quezon City, going anywhere in Makati feels like a major hassle. I used to work in the area and hated the commute so much that I resigned and eventually became a freelancer who works from home. Now, I usually avoid going here unless absolutely necessary.
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?!?”
I encounter a lot of rough roads when I travel around in different provinces. Over the years, I’ve had a few spills while driving a motorcycle. In Sagada, I fell off an embankment when my tires skidded on loose gravel on a slippery wooden bridge. When we rode from Coron to Calauit Safari Park, we encountered dirt roads that got progressively worse as we drove on. While driving from Koronadal to Lake Holon in South Cotabato, I got stuck in a rut and the bike fell on me while I was trying to drive uphill a trail normally reserved for hikers.