Tag Archives: wonder

Mad about travel

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A number of my friends get their high from running or climbing. Most ladies I know get theirs from shopping. While some from a quick caffeine or chocolate fix.

I go mad over travel.

From scouring the best beaches to discovering adventure travel. From spending a lazy afternoon perched on the hotel balcony to getting that insane rush off daredevil what-nots. From the side streets to the main thoroughfares, from the flea markets to the big shopping malls, from the recesses of the underground to the peaks of mountains.

I go mad over travel.

Indulge your inner wanderer. Go on and hop on your friend’s ride to anywhere. Go on and board the next bus trip to anywhere. Go on and get those fingers working on the latest promo flights to anywhere.

I just did. :)

Credit: Photo owned by fellow lakwatsera Sarah Palmero.

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October pic(k) of the month

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I especially love this picture of you and your dad after your dance.

I’m always emotional when it comes to dads and daughters.

Being the first in our circle to embark on a new chapter and take on a new role, always bear in mind that we will join your ride through all the joys and discoveries.

Congratulations and best wishes to you and Al.

Don’t tell my mother

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Photo taken by PhoenixPol

Neither should you tell my father. Especially my father.

1. That I rode a motorcycle (habal-habal) for the first time. It lasted for a good 30 minutes over a really rocky stretch of road going down Makiling.

2. That there were three of us on that motorcycle. None of us had a helmet on.

3. That I stood on a rock more than 800 MASL. With a steep drop in front, to my right and to my left.

4. That there were bloodsuckers itching to get their fill. Three on my face and neck. Two on my chest. And more than five on my legs and shoes.

5. That the Makiling Traverse is a major climb and a level 6 (out of 9).

6. That I knew I had a good chance of busting my knee again.

7. That I went in the first place.

My parents love me. And I love them. They just think I go away too often and get into risky activities. Yes. For them, traveling alone and trekking a hill is classified as hazardous already. :D

Note: Don’t Tell My Mother is a National Geographic program hosted by the handsome Diego Buñuel. He travels to dangerous places and asks the viewers one favor – “don’t tell my mother.”

Mortal sins when traveling

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Erm, not exactly. Here are a few things I learned over the years when I’m off and about. Let’s just say, I learned ’em the hard (relatively) way.

1. Travel agents and bookings
They can be a lifesaver or a pain in the neck. I used to get a travel agent when going to a place for the first time. Aside from being  convenient, a reputable agency gets discounted rates on airfares and land arrangements. Published rates almost always exclude taxes. Be sure that  before finalizing a package, all costs have been factored in. Out of habit though, I resorted to planning trips and getting rates on my own. With  the almost monthly airline promos, it’s easy to score cheap tickets. When booking a hotel, try to get a quote directly from the hotel. Check booking engines like Agoda or Hotels.com, before asking the hotel for their best available rate. Do not be afraid to ask for a discount, they may or will not give it. Based on experience, I got at most 20% shaven off the published rate.   

continue wandering here…

A conscientious tourist

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On idleness and relaxation

Any wanderer must take the Walker’s Decalogue to heart:

1. Don’t pack your troubles in your rucksack.
2. Don’t grouse at the weather.
3. Don’t miss opportunities of friendship with man or beast.
4. Don’t walk half a yard in front of your companion.
5. Don’t overfeed your body.
6. Don’t starve your mind.
7. Don’t overwork your legs.
8. Don’t lose your temper if you lose your way.
9. Don’t leave anything behind you except a good impression.
10. Don’t take away anything except pleasant memories.
continue wandering here…

Sights from the sky

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Morning vs. Afternoon

I’ve always had a fascination with the sky. Second to the beach, puffy clouds and aerial vistas calm me and make me marvel at how amazing God’s handiwork is.

Up in the air, the sweep of clouds that stretches to the horizon ushers an opening onto some other place. When flying, I always request for a window seat. The plane’s window frames and beckons a view of another world shaping up outside. Images of the sun coming out, the sun bidding good night, clouds casting shadows and the moon saying hello invoke a deeper appreciation for the wonders of the world’s vastness and beauty.

Long stretches of time often pass without a change in the scene; I do not mind. For it is not every day these wandering feet can give me a panorama of a piece of heaven.

Electronic pass to the world

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“Ma’am, huwag kayo maniwala sa mga sinasabi ng mga buang na ‘yan (Ma’am, don’t believe a word those crazy people are saying).” With an exasperated look, the manong guard addressed my worried question if it was indeed true that the DFA’s electronic encoding machines were out of order. Well, I guess I wasn’t the first one to complain.

My question stemmed from the fact that fixers tried to coerce me to have my picture taken at their office. This after berating them: no, I am getting an ePassport and no, I don’t need printed photos for the application form.

In their desperate attempt to fool a customer, they resorted to saying that the ePassport encoding machines were down and out for the next two weeks, so my only recourse was to get an MRP. Being the “calm” monster that I am, I counted ‘til 20 (beyond the usual 10), before I blurted: it’s okay, I’m not in a hurry to renew my passport and that I’ll just set another appointment.

This occurred while I was a mere few meters away from the DFA entrance. I wonder why these opportunists are not being penalized and banned by the Department. They even have the audacity to wear IDs to make them look legitimate.

I pity those who are easily swayed by their persuasive and fraudulent deeds.

On the plus side, I’m starting to love the GRP’s initiatives to digitize and to make accessible the renewal of government documents. I mean, who doesn’t fancy the LTO’s Driver’s License Renewal Centers located in SM malls? No lines and a new license card in 30 minutes. Now, here comes the internet appointment system of DFA. Fast processing and short queuing in 15 minutes (and if you know me, you’ll know I mooove slowly).

The ePassport project is part of the DFA’s modernization program that started in 2007, with the launch of the Machine-Readable Passport (MRP). Launched late 2009, the biometric passport has advanced security features which costs only Php950.00 (versus the MRP priced at Php500.00). Both are compliant with international standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization, of which our beloved country is a member.

continue wandering here…

My first time

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Much has been heard and written about Binondo’s good food and cheap finds.

So I won’t go into that. Besides, I’m too lazy and I don’t consider myself a foodie nor a shopping junkie. :D

The second leg of Rediscovering Manila brought our wandering feet to the historical (cultural? ancient?) and (oh my) despondent streets of Binondo’s Chinatown. Last weekend’s rendezvous presented a lot of firsts for me:

1. (well, obviously) I’ve been in that side of Manila;
2. I crossed a big concrete bridge on foot (Jones Bridge);
3. I ate near an estero, and;
4. I realized, how lucky I am to have superb friends who are crazy enough to put up with me, my whims and my plans. :D

Fond dreams

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Jodi Picoult’s take on the book, Honeymoon With My Brother:

“If you could completely change the course of your life, where would you go? Franz Wisner’s funny, endearing, and breathtakingly detailed journey with his brother Kurt is a timely reminder that sometimes we have to travel the globe in order to find ourselves and the places and people we call home. Invite your book club along for the voyage and you’ll wind up talking for hours about roads less traveled… and why it’s never too late to take one.”

-Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of My Sister’s Keeper and Vanishing Acts

Don’t you wish you could just leave everything behind and travel the world? I do. I sometimes wonder, if I’m not where I am right now, I would love to be traveling the world for a living. I’ll be okay working behind the camera producing NG specials or some travel show. I’ll be super satisfied traveling, backpacking and beaching the wonders of our world.

Honeymoon With My Brother is Franz Wisner’s memoir of losing love but gaining so much more. It is his inspiring tale of escaping gut-wrenching pain, achieving self-discovery, strengthening the ties that bind, rekindling relationships, and grasping opportunity when life left him stranded at the altar.

Franz was about to get married in five days when his fiancée called off the wedding and their relationship of ten years. With wedding preparations well under way and pre-paid, Franz went ahead with the wedding and even the rehearsal dinner and party (just without the bride). As for the two-week Costa Rican holiday that’s non-refundable, he decided to take his brother, Kurt, with him. This started their vagabonding. They left everything and extended the honeymoon for two years and traveled to fifty-three countries. Pictures can be viewed in their charming website. That’s the author celebrating his 35th somewhere foreign and ultra nice.

I kind of love toying with the idea of adopting a vagabond lifestyle. A big haha.

New year, new decade

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In my bid to start a new leaf this year (and decade), I finally decided to start a new home in cyberspace. I have not closed my previous site (of 6 years) and I can fairly guess that I will have a hard time ticking the delete blog button. *yeah, yeah, too attached* It has however become a hodgepodge of emotions, pictures and links that are already too overwhelming for my OC-ness and sometimes downright pathetic for my alpha female image.

This new home means:

1. I get a new cocky address, and I get to be more organized;
2. I get to concentrate on my interests, and I get to share them with you, and finally;
3. I get to show you what I am wondering and where I have been wandering. :)

Enjoy me.