Maximize and Goodbyes: Tot Ziens, Philippines!

So how would you feel if you’ve learned that you have three months to live — in your home country?

Relief. Ecstatic. Panic.

I started listing all the things* I will miss!

Spontaneous weekends with tantanmen ramen, movie theater evenings with sour cream double butter popcorn, salted caramel ice cream, double cheese milkshake, walnut crumble apple pie, crispy fried wings with garlic parmesan, sweetened avocado, ube halaya, buko shake, buko salad, munggo with malungay and chicharon, lechon kawali, hainanese chicken with unlimited rice, lechon belly. I can add more, but you get my point.

  • I guess I meant food that I’ll miss 😉

Maximize. Three months…

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Pinatubo Crater: The Beautiful By-product of a Disaster

Time. The ultimate con-artist. It can show you a paradise as if it wasn’t molded by a deadly catastrophe.

The stunning landscape of Mount Pinatubo crater was formed by a major eruption in 1991. This event claimed hundreds of lives and left thousands of Filipinos homeless.

Fast forward to 2017, it’s now one of the main tourist destinations in Central Luzon which attracts hundred thousands of visitors each year which created jobs and livelihood for significant number of locals.

My city is 3 hours away from here and I do wonder why it took me this long to do this trek. If…

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4 Places in Sagada I’ll Never Ever Forget

“Happiness only real when shared” – Christopher McCandless

Indeed. More so if you’re sharing that happiness with a group of jolliest people in one of the most beautiful places you know. I invite myself into a Cultours.ph package tour (haha) as I really want to visit Sagada. No regrets. Why? Then continue reading this.

1. MARLBORO HILLS

If there’s anything that occupied my mind while walking in Marlboro Hills, that would be this, “I wonder why the hills/town called…

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Japan Visa for Freelancers – How to Apply

If you’re a freelancer and planning to visit Japan soon, it may be comforting to know that your requirements and chances aren’t really that different from an employed visa applicant.

Although the news about visa-free pass to Japan that circulated few years ago wasn’t true, the Japanese government did announce that they were relaxing their visa application requirements for Filipinos. This is thanks to their tourism department’s campaign towards Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

In fact, they are now issuing 30-day multiple entry visa that’s valid for up to 5 years. But usually they give them to 2nd time applicants whose first…

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The Pufferfish Theory

 

There was a time when I was obsessed with catching fishes using my bare hands. This is about the time when I first caught a pufferfish.

I was around 7 years old when my hobby and obsession was catching poor small fishes swimming around the cemented walls of the main river in my hometown.

I gained expertise in knowing what types of common fishes were easy to catch. I usually didn’t bother with the fast or the boring colorless ones. I targeted the tiny little estuarine species that are slow or those that love sticking to the walls like kitang and…

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I Should’ve Spent That $1 Extra

 

Every budget traveler has been torn on whether he will spend an extra dollar/s for inessential things during travel.

Extra costs such as souvenirs, added convenience to the cheapest transportation option, a dinner in a highly recommended local restaurant or whatnot.

In my case, while walking around the temples of Angkor Wat, I decided to pass on a photo opportunity with local girls wearing traditional costume for $1. I was in a very tight budget and I was trying to keep my daily spending to minimum.

At first I thought it would be great to take their photos but I didn’t wanna…

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Fishing With a Shotgun

It was a simple structure made of bamboo poles lying on top of the lake. Its silhouette and reflection in the water accents the scenic view of a calm and peaceful dusk in a countryside.

For a moment, I wondered about its purpose. It must be for fishing, I thought. Maybe they tie fishnets in it for a more efficient way to catch fishes. That last part was wrong.

The next morning we saw few men walking around, each with a gun. They rode a bamboo raft to each pole and climbed up to the intersection and stayed there for couple…

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To Topload from Banaue to Sagada? Think Twice!

Going ‘topload’, or riding at the top of a jeepney is a must-do experience when you’re traveling around Mountain Province.

Sure there are thousands of jeepneys in the Philippines where you can go topload, but a thrilling local ride through dangerous roads along the edges of the mountains… with spectacular views of nature, cool breeze and unpolluted air… it will be difficult to have that somewhere else.

That’s why I strongly recommend everyone to do it at least once when they go to Batad from Banaue. But if you don’t have time to visit Batad and the only chance you have…

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