Thursday, 28 February 2013

From Where I Came From

From  where  I came from, backyards still exist.  Our  house  sits  at  the bottom of mountain ranges  mostly  along the car-line, some even built atop. The wind brushes the trees before it sweep you and we love it when it rains, we bathe on it.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Almost a Mountaineer

Our team in Mt Pulag summit - 2009
How do you get to be called a mountaineer? I believe it's more than its definition. How do you?

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Still a Paradise, Boracay

My mom was one of those lucky few who first witnessed this wonder and experienced its raw state. I remember she told us that getting off right at the coast line was the way to get into the island. They rented out a house, bought from the wet market, cooked their own food, strolled along the beach front and shopped real pearls in the neighborhood. She did not mention any night outs or water activities other than swimming. Sadly, it will have to be just told stories now. The place is now another version of itself. Improved? Perhaps.

These days, having to set foot in Boracay is a bragging right to most like a fad. Why? Because it is Boracay (not Bora as the locals insist).

Photo courtesy of Vaniedosa
For me, this is one place I visit that I do not bother preparing an itinerary and never went on tour. With everything present in this small island, I never worry of things. The food stalls are my kitchen, the sea is my bath, the hotel chains are my neighborhood, the beach front is my park, the people is my connection to the world and the view is my entertainment.

It is for a fact that progression compromises a lot and it will never bring back whatever was taken or shattered. Like life, we should live by today and believe and work for a sunnier tomorrow. Boracay maybe on the verge of wafting apart from its natural shape but it may not yet too late to redesign it to better serve its god and its people.  And so I am glad to see efforts being done now.

Whatever the island will become as it attune with its environment, I will always be a fan. Like Boracay, I have gone a long way in there. I got mesmerized, I got sick, I was healed, and I am always surprised. Despite it all, this place is still a paradise.

Visited: 2009, and at least once every year since

Beijing in My Perspective

A birthday treat for myself and my best friend last 2010 was a quick trip to the mainland Beijing, China. But first, we had to run for visa at the Chinese Embassy and as first timers, there are quite a handful of papers to produce that I had to resort an agency's help to get me out of the hassle of queuing as time's ticking fast. Fortunately, I got it just in time.

Olympic Logo outside a building within the Olympic City
Bird's Nest - Olympic Stadium.
Converted into skating rink during winter  and indoor pool in summer
The Cube - Indoor pools inside
made of rubber walls reflecting the color of water from the outside

Olympic Torch fired up in 2008 Olympic Games
Beijing is now becoming a combination of the modern and traditional city inspired after its sister Shanghai. Having hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics paved way to remodeling what just used to be swirling roofs and dragon paintings into tangled fiber steels stadium and a water cube indoor pool. The event gave birth to a city within the city, a representation of what it is capable and what it can eventually turn into anytime they wanted to. Also because of the historic sporting affair, English road signs and directions became visible, a very helpful tool for non-Chinese readers like us and the rest of millions of tourists flocking the city every year. 

the unsinkable marble ship floating on a pond
inside the gigantic summer palace
the Summer Palace Tower gleaming above
the whole wide wondrous Garden

Yet the structural marvels were not the key treasures of Beijing. The classic Summer Palace, the mirage-like Forbidden city, the seemingly empty but symbolic Tiananmen Square and of course the one and only Great Wall are the main stars here. These sites will forever epitomize how Chinese customs were born and transformed, their struggles and triumphs, who they were and why they are at this present time.

At the main gate of the Forbidden city sits the huge image of Mao
fronting this on the other side of a 6-lane hiway is the Tiananmen Square

Great Wall at Badaling section - the most famous thus touristy area

The Chinese people in the mainland are maybe one of the most intricate individuals to comprehend by having to mingle with them in just two days but they are definitely one of the hardcore 'traditionals' with utmost veneration to what they believe in. We exist and co-exist so we have to give it to them, anyhow they allowed themselves by opening their doors to the rest of the world and share with us what they have and maybe what they intend to achieve in the future.

Applying for Chinese Visa for the first time? Please click this link. Thanks to Pinay Travel Junkie for the comprehensive and updated info. I have also created another version of that page here. Click on here.

Monday, 4 February 2013

My Version of a Bucket List

I've been seeing bucket list from magazines and travel communities just about everywhere and while I've been having mine kept in my mind ever since, these crazy blogs persuaded me to finally write them down. 

This is my lifetime list (done items also not shown) but not everything is in here to save me that mystery I used to keep with what I wanted to do with my life. So, in no particular order, let's get started.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Visa-Free or Visa-On-Arrival for Filipinos

We always wonder where in the world we can set foot with just our Philippine passports in tow. I had the same queries from time to time so I bookmarked a site about this and it's the same I'm sharing here.

Courtesy of: Wikipedia

These are the territorial entry points where Immigration officers just do the stamp/s to the passport (Visa-Free) without any questions (or maybe a little bit sometimes basically about your trip) nor pay something:
  1. Brunei - 14 days
  2. Cambodia - 21 days
  3. Indonesia - 30 days
  4. Laos - 30 days
  5. Malaysia - 30 days
  6. Singapore - 30 days
  7.  Thailand - 30 days
  8. Vietnam - 21 days
  9. Morocco - 90 days (open-dated)
  10. Seychelles - 30 days
  11. Hongkong - 14 days
  12. Israel** - 90 days
  13. Macau - 30 days
  14. Mongolia - 21 days
  15. Sri Lanka - 30 days (Electronic  Travel Authorization)

Regretting (we only had) a day in Macau

It was sweat-less to reach Macau from Hongkong. I have heard of the place rarely so I had no idea that it was even previously colonized by the Portuguese for quite a while. It was very evident then seeing its alleys, cobblestones and the accents of the buildings around. And not far away from the astounding facade or remaining wall of the ruins of St. Paul and the bustling shops at the Senado square lies little sin city.

First Timers Notes and Tips: Hongkong

If it's your first time, definitely there are lots learnt. So I just wanna share them to make it a better Hongkong trip for other first-timers like me.

1. Maps and other brochures are available at the airport for FREE so just grab all you want.
2. There's an airport express train from the airport to the city or take the efficient bus if arriving after midnight.

HK: My First

Growing up, I had certain expectations when going abroad, that in 2009 when I made my first leap outside the archipelago, I was excited for a snow or at least a chill, changing-color trees, outrageous structures and very English-speaking people. But I was nowhere far. I was in Hongkong in an autumn and I was disappointed, just momentarily, because the city is more than the words scribed in my scented stationary.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

About Dee

My photo
I was born and raised attune with nature, grew up from the countryside and a strong believer in endless possibilities. I am drawn to adrenaline rush and was never a girly kind but I dig chick flix and plays some music. I started this site during a 6-month distressing/long sojourning away from the corporate world. I gathered all the travels I went and translated them into words. I am not fond of sharing details of my trip and thought looking at the photos I've effort-fully taken was enough. Yet to my amazement reading through it flashes back more wonderful memories like a gush of throwback Thursdays. This is also a good venue to practice writing and to connect. So, thank you for stumbling upon my corner. Sorry I can't update regularly but I hope you'd visit again as my journey continues, find some useful information here and most of all be inspired to go on adventures your own. See you on the road!