(This feature was published in Illustrado magazine last May 2013)
An online portfolio of the published and unpublished works of a freelance writer.
(This feature was published in Triptipping.com last May 22, 2013)
Puerto Princesa in Palawan has been enjoying the limelight ever since the Puerto Princesa Underground River was declared as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. The town is the gateway to this natural wonder, which has attracted local and foreign tourists alike.
Hotel Centro serves a mean buffet breakfast that includes rice and a selection of viands, which is a standard Filipino breakfast. The menu vary but guests have a good chance of tasting local delicacies such as lamayo (dried fish) in the buffet.
Hotel Centro – San Pedro National Highway, Puerto Princesa; (048) 434-1111
While it’s early, book a city tour with a licensed tour guide. The tour includes a visit to the following places: Crocodile Farm, Baker’s Hill, Mitra’s Ranch, and Iwahig Penal Farm, among others.
For those who have time to spare, go island hopping in Honda Bay to get a glimpse of the beautiful beaches in Palawan. A typical tour would take you to Starfish Island, Snake Island and Pandan Island.
Sample local cuisine in Badjao Seafront, a restaurant by the bay. While you take in the wonderful view of the mangroves and landscape, fill your belly with delicious seafood such as fish, crabs, shrimps, and squid.
Badjao Seafront – Abueg Road, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan; Telefax: (048) 433-9912; [email protected]
A must while in Puerto Princesa is to take an adventure tour to the Underground River, which includes transportation to Sabang (the jump-off point to the subterranean river), lunch, and all the necessary permits. Visitors will have fun taking the guided boat ride where the boatman would share trivia about the place. Be amazed with the different rock formations inside the underground river.
<Read the rest of the feature HERE.>
(This feature was published in Triptipping.com last May 1, 2013)
Touted as the “Seafood Capital of the Philippines,” the province of Capiz has an 80-kilometer coastline and quite a number of fishponds that are abundant with marine life. It is located in the Western Visayas region of the country, particularly in the Panay Island, which is composed of four provinces.
Enjoy an overnight stay in San Antonio Resort where guests have complimentary buffet breakfast. Familiarize your taste buds with local dishes like dried fish and other seafood specialties.
Baybay Beach, Roxas City, Capiz
Go swimming in the pools at the San Antonio Resort or go boating in their fishpond. If you prefer the beach, walk across the street and stroll along the shore of Baybay Beach. Let your feet wander in its fine gray sands or take a dip into the water. Or you may rent a boat and go to the nearby Olotayan Island where you can go snorkeling.
The Baybay Beach is lined with various open-air restaurants where you can enjoy both the fresh seafood and cool breeze at the same time. The meals are affordable and delicious. Try RML Manokan Haus and order some buttered shrimps, squid adobo, kinilaw (ceviche) and other native dishes.
Bay-bay, Roxas City; (036) 621-0322
Explore the Talon Adventure Park where you can lounge at Ayagao Beach and have a picnic in one of the cottages for rent. Or feel the excitement of riding the park’s zipline and other outdoor activities.
For those who want to know more about the history and culture of the place, ride a jeep to the town of Pan-ay where you can see the Sta. Monica Church, a national historical landmark that houses the biggest church bell in Asia, which weighs 10,400 kilograms.
Barangay Talon, Capiz
Ted’s La Paz Batchoy
Gaisano Mall offers a variety of restaurants including fast-food favorites like Jollibee, Chowking, Goldilocks and more. A must-try while there is Ted’s La Paz Batchoy where you can chow down on some hot noodle soup with pork innards, crunchy pork rinds, egg and spring onions. It makes for a very hearty meal.
Gaisano Mall, Roxas Boulevard, Roxas City, Capiz
Enjoy the cool atmosphere in one of the restaurants/bars along the Baybay Beach and grab a beer or two to cap off your stay in this peaceful province.
(This feature was published in GMA News Online last April 28, 2012)
I’ve heard a lot of great things about the national capital of Malaysia, and what made my trip possible was when my sister and mom booked tickets for a flight. I wasted no time joining them.
See, I’ve always been fascinated with Asia’s diverse cultures and traveling throughout the region is certainly on my bucket list. Which is how my wandering feet recently took me to Kuala Lumpur for the first time.
Truly Asia fits the city
From Manila, Kuala Lumpur is approximately just a three-hour flight, but its airport is in the outskirts of the city proper, about an hour away from the main thoroughfares. We chose a budget taxi for convenience since we didn’t want to lug around our bags, but you can also take a train or public transport to get to the city.
Our hotel was strategically located in the Bukit Bintang area where luxury malls are next door. That famous landmark, the Petronas Tower, is also within walking distance. After checking in, we then headed to the Pavilion Mall to look for a place to eat since I couldn’t wait to get a taste of authentic Malay cuisine.
Curry and street food eats
I went for the more familiar sounding dish, Curry Laksa, which are noodles served in curry soup with chicken, fresh prawns, beansprouts, dried beancurd topped with mint leaves.
This is a noodle soup that’s hot in every sense of the word with its red-orange broth (the color itself is a give away!) searing my tongue and warming my belly. I could barely taste the prawns through my numbed my tongue. It pairs well with a sweet and cold beverage like milk tea or a Milo Dinosaur.
Other local cuisine must-tries are rice meals like Nasi Bojari (tri-colored rice with assam prawns, beef rending, and deep-fried chicken drumstick) and noodle dishes like Char Kway Teow (stir-fried rice cake strips with vegetable and seafood toppings).
<Read the rest of the article HERE.>
(This piece was published in ClicktheCity.com last March 30, 2012)
I confess, I am child to a mother who is riding the hallyu—otherwise known as the Korean wave. It has become the norm for me to hear and see Korean shows on television whenever she is glued to it. I have even become familiar with some Korean words from too much exposure. Annyeonghaseyo!
I knew it was just a matter of time for her to express her interest in visiting the country that she has only seen in the small screen. It finally happened when we were able to get a good travel deal to Incheon, which is the gateway to Seoul.
We stayed there for four whole days and I discovered that it still wasn’t enough to really see the place and experience the people’s culture. But if you are traveling there on a limited time, I would suggest you do the following.
Taste authentic Korean cuisine
From street food to fine dining, there are a variety of places where you can sample true Korean food. My mom and I especially enjoyed trying the local fare being peddled by street vendors. We were enticed by the delicious aroma of the food and were also impressed by the many locals who went in line for it.
It was also nice to eat in a restaurant where it’s warm inside and you get to relax while enjoying your meal. The best thing about having a sit-down meal is that they serve complimentary appetizers with your order. Of course, thekimchi is a staple there so expect to sample different kinds in various restaurants. While there, I tasted the local bibimbap, mandu (their version of a dumpling), and other dishes that made my mouth burn. Nearly everything was hot and spicy but I still enjoyed my eating experience there.
<Read the rest of the article HERE.>
(This was published in the January 8, 2011 issue of the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle, Hawaii’s No. 1 Filipino newspaper)
(This feature was published in OfficiallyPhilippines.com last October 31, 2011)
Why should you visit the Philippines?
Compared to its other Asian neighbors, the Philippines is hardly ever top of mind when it comes to the must-visit travel spots in the region. China has its Great Wall, Singapore has its Formula One, Thailand is famous for its fantastic food, and Malaysia is, well, supposedly Truly Asia.
What, then, is the Philippines known for?
Despite its lack of popularity, there are several good reasons why you should pack your bags and book a flight to the so-called Pearl of the Pacific—the Philippines.
Although the country does not have any great wall, it is home to the world’s longest underground river—the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is also nominated in the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Visitors may take a tour of the underground river and get a glimpse of this natural wonder with their own eyes.
Another must-see place is the Banaue Rice Terraces, which is a 2000-year-old man-made rice field terrace in Northern Luzon. The Ifugao people who were native to the region made this magnificent landscape, which was also included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Throughout the country, there are first-rate beaches worth visiting, one of which is Boracay, which is popular for its powdery white sand beaches and clear blue waters. Those who are into water sports would also enjoy wakeboarding in the world-class wakeboard park in Camarines Sur, or diving in the depths of the Sulu Sea. According to foreign studies, the Philippines is the world’s center of marine biodiversity. It is believed that there are more coral species here compared to the entire Caribbean Sea and the Great Barrier Reef. Imagine the view underwater—it must definitely be worth checking out as well.
Even if the Philippines is considered a third world country, you will find a lot of people with smiles on their faces here. Filipinos are just plain, happy people. We warmly welcome guests to our home and offer them food—that’s our signature style of greeting. “Kain tayo,” which translates to “Let’s eat,” is a regular phrase that you will most likely hear anytime of day.
Also, even if you are just a friend of a friend, Filipinos will still welcome you in their household if you need a place to stay. It is just innate for the people to be this warm and welcoming.
Some people travel to shop, and if that’s the case, then the Philippines should be on the top of your list. Three of the world’s top ten largest malls are in Metro Manila alone. In this capital city, you will find seasonal bazaars, and malls of every kind—from boutique shops to high-end stores. In some shopping places, it is even customary to haggle for the best price. Shoppers of all kinds would surely be pleased with all the options here in the Philippines.
The Philippines really has a lot to offer aside from its spectacular sights, hospitable people, and superb shopping destinations. You just have to go there and see for yourself.