Month: September 2009

Ways to Help Philippines’ Typhoon Ondoy Victims

On the faithful day of September 26, 2009, Metro Manila, Philippines experienced one of the worst typhoon ever. Over 10 hours of non-stop raining left the metro with biblical flooding. Areas that never gets flooded experienced it for the first time in its most extreme! I was traveling with my sisters in S.Korea when several of our friends sent us text messages hoping we were okay. We got really curious because it was warm and sunny in Seoul. At 11:00 p.m., about 10:00 p.m. in Manila, we decided to call our mom. We were shocked beyond belief to hear that our ground level (parking area) was under 3M (10 ft) high of water, submerging 2 of our cars! This is crazy because the past strong typhoons, like the disastrous Millenyo last year, water never even came into the building. We always felt safe being elevated from our neighbor. I can only imagine what the situation of our neighbors is like. My mum and dad were stuck in the traffic for over 10 hours coming back from a doctor’s check-up. The helpers at home were (but had incredible presence of mind) trapped inside the house with rising water and no electricity thought it was the end of the world. We have friends who actually lost everything from this flood. :( This is one of the many videos you can find...

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seoul searching

In June, I heard that Cebu Pacific now has regular flights going to South Korea. And in one of their periodic low fare promotions, we (my sisters and I) decided to book a trip together. The truth is SoKor never interests me, not to mention it used to be very expensive to fly to. So the 2 major motivations of this trip are (1) the low fare: $143 (PH6879) for return ticket; and (2) traveling with Candie, who was an exchange student 7 years ago. We thought it would be so much fun to watch her flaunt or fall on her fading Korean language. After telling our mom that the 3 of us are going to be gone from the office for 8 days, quite eventful in itself, i must say, we were all set! The flight took 4 hours and we landed in Incheon at 8:30pm (time is 1 hour ahead of Manila). As expected the airport is modern and impressive. We noted several mobile phone rental inside the airport. We were going to rent one because we know Korean mobile system isn’t GSM but surprisingly, upon switching on our mobile phones, we found that GSM is actually supported! And not just Nokia N73 as advised by the Globe Platinum help desk. We were carrying LG KT610 and Sony Ericsson K850 and both cellphone worked, supported by KT...

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Top Attractions of Marinduque Island

Marinduque is an island province in the Philippines most popularly known for the unique Moriones Festival. In fact, I will say this is the #1 of the top attractions of Marinduque island. Tourists, local and foreign, flock to the island to take part in the colorful parade where locals dress in Morion costumes and masks. The province is also infamously known for the multi-billion dollar mining industry in the 60s that resulted in an accident that brought the industry into a halt. It also caused great damage to the environment and the people of the island. A pending lawsuit with the multi-billion dollar companies responsible for the disaster, Marinduque slowly get back to its feet. While tourism isn’t a major source of their economy, it should.   Top Attractions of Marinduque (1) Scuba dive or snorkel in the clear waters of one or all of the tres reyes islands: Melchor, Gaspar, Baltazar. (2) Explore the caves of Bathala in Sta. Cruz. Get a local guide and roam the spunky damp cave where bats and python dwell. There is a little climbing involved. (3) Dip into the therapeutic water of the hot spring in Malbog in Buenavista. It is known to cure health condition such as migraine and skin asthma. (4) Walk the old town of Mariduque and basked in culture with old stone houses, locally known as “bahay na...

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Top Things to do in Bandung City

I just came back from a dive trip in Indonesia and a friend asked if I was in Bandung. She wanted to know if it is worth a visit. Well, I have been in Bandung, although not recently. I visited Bandung in 2009 as part of a multi-city visit around Indonesia. Here are my top recommendation of top things to do in Bandung. Bandung as Weekend Destination Bandung is a popular weekend getaway destination of folks from Jakarta.  It is only 2-3 hours ride by car. Bandung is situated on a plateau and surrounded by mountains, strawberry fields, tea plantations, and because of this, the climate is a bit cooler than Jakarta. Perfect for chill-out weekend.  Things to do in Bandung (1) Braga Street A stroll around Braga Street brings you back in time because of the old colonial buildings that are quite well preserved. Braga Street got the nickname Paris van Java (Paris of Java) in the 20s-30s because Dutch socialites strolled the street to do their shopping in luxury shops and sip their espresso in chic cafes. Today, the street is still lined with small shops and cafe. Visit Canary Bakery & Cafe, one of the oldest cafe around to have a glimpse of the past. (2) Museum of the Asian Afrikan Conference I recommend visiting the Museum of the Asian Afrikan Conference located around Braga district. It will be an interesting stop and it is free....

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notes on Boracay

This is the first time I’ve been to the “sunrise” part of Boracay, the Bulabog beach. On this side, luxury condotels and retirement/ vacation residents are sprouting left and right. I also got the chance to be shown around one of the splendid suites of 7stones Boracay. So technically, we only had 2 full days in paradise. I’ll bore you to sleep if I give you accounts of our day, but since this is my blog, I have the right to bore you to sleep! We wake up. We eat breakfast. We hang at the beach – nap, swim,...

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Boracay interlude

Because I travel a lot, I’m happy to infect my mum with the travel bug. So this Boracay trip is not mine, it’s my parents’. :) It’s a shame though that their first visit is during the rainy August, when the whole beach was hidden behind tarpaulin wind breakers. Also recent incidents prompted Caticlan airport to be closed to bigger aircrafts, thus forcing us to land in Kalibo. And it was a bit of an agony having to switch 2-3 modes of transport before arriving! We had to travel 1.5 hours by land to Caticlan, even if it’s comfortable bus...

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The lass who wanders

I travel the world on a quest to live a life not ordinary. Back from an epic trip around the world, which spanned 25 countries across 5 continents in 425 days. So, what’s next when you’ve lived your grandest dream, and you’re not dead? Living to find out.

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