Things to Consider When Choosing a Hotel to Book

Choosing a hotel to stay in is like choosing a house to live in.  We have so many considerations and hundreds of choices that would take us days or weeks before we decide to book one.  As a traveler, I take a lot of time in making hotel booking decisions. I often get trapped in…

Phoneless for Five Days

I spent five days without a smartphone. For some people, it would have been disastrous. For me, it was five days of ‘freedom’.

Grateful! Grateful! (An Appreciation List)

2017 is not my definitive year, nor the most life-changing, and definitely not the worst (it’s not bad either). Over-all, it was a good one, and there are tons that I am grateful for.

A Coarse and Fine Brunch

Coarse and Fine  is a two-story affair that is comfortably homey, and a great venue for friends to catch up on each other over great coffee and food, plus excellent service.

Back Home Again

No one will ever understand why a luxury ship has made a dent in our being, why we keep coming back to her, and how Nippon Maru and SSEAYP have changed our lives, literally and figuratively.

Lessons Learned from Life

I have lived away from home since I entered university at 16, lived in at least three cities and stayed short-term in around 10, and travelled to 12 countries, mostly on my own. I have met a lot of people, experienced at least a dozen cultures, and stayed with a few foster and host families. …

CAFE CRUISING V: Ravelle & Miko

It has been quite some time since I wrote about the coffee shops that I have visited but it doesn’t mean I have stopped café cruising.  I have been to a number of cafés – some I discovered hiding behind bushes and some were introduced by friends. However, it takes time for me two write…

SSEAYP28 Files: Excerpts from Loose Leaves of an Unfinished Journal

While cleaning my apartment and browsing through my stuff last weekend, I found a file of my SSEAYP (Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Program) journal that I started writing during the program in 2001. It is still unfinished up to this day, as much as the journey was/is unfinished, literally and figuratively. Coincidentally,…

Six Bookstores Selling English Books in Jakarta

For someone who loves reading, a steady supply of reading materials must be secured. And for someone (a foreigner) who loves reading, and living in a non-English speaking country, a steady supply of books, magazines, and newspapers in the English language is almost always a concern. Finding a bookstore selling foreign language titles was a…

Revisiting Taytay Falls

If my memory serves me right, it was after graduation from high school when I last visited Taytay Falls in Majayjay, Laguna. I planned to revisit the place several times but things would pop up and I would have forgotten about it.  So, when I learned that my brother was off-duty from work one Thursday…

Culinaria Lucban: Isabelito’s Cucina Filipino

Lucban, in Quezon Province, is globally-known for the colorful and tradition-laden Pahiyas Festival but the quaint Southern Tagalog town is also known for its culinary tradition. A visit to Isabelito’s Garden Resto
is must-try for modern Filipino cuisine with a Lucban twist.