Bali: Short & Sweet

When I decided to accept a job in Indonesia, I told myself that I would visit Bali within two years, then I would be heading back home. Sixteen-plus years and five Bali visits later, I hopped on the midnight plane for my sixth trip to the Island of the Gods. This trip was my shortest…

10 Favorite Filipino Food of a Non-Pinoy

‘Tis the season to be chubby fa la la la la la la… And that’s true whenever I go home to the Philippines especially during the holidays — Christmas and new year. The Filipinos are noted to celebrate Christmas the longest and every celebration involves food, lots of food. So, it is the season to…

Walking Through Jakarta’s Chinatown

There is one building I saw that hosts a tea house  in the Glodok district of Jakarta that caught my interest.  I  see the building every time I go to Kota Tua (Old City) in Indonesia’s capital.  I planned to visit the place for quite some time until I finally decided last Tuesday to give it a…

Finding Space at Savoy Hotel Manila

On the last leg of our Manila trip, we decided to book a hotel with a higher ranking – or more stars – than the budget accommodations we previously stayed in. Through Trip.com, we came across the Savoy Hotel Manila. It sounded alien to me when Andreas asked me about it, I said I am…

Cafe Cruising 7: Tagaytay and Mega Manila

Metro Manila and major urban centers in the Philippines host a big number of cafes and coffee shops and they are sprouting like mushrooms during the wet season. There were so many of them, yet we only had limited time.  We went to a number of them and three stood out and impressed us —…

Mangrove Forest Walk

My brother dropped by for a visit 6-day visit during the Lebaran holidays in June. On the day he arrived, my best friend and I picked him up from the airport and went directly to Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK), in North Jakarta, for lunch.  We had some Acehnese and Singapore-style noodles in PIK Market and…

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…

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,…

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…