"We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us."
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

2018 Mid Year Updates

And there’s so much to report since the last time I have posted.

I must have left town at least thrice since then.


It’s not that I’m procrastinating, but thinking about school lately makes me feel overwhelmed. Now I’m wondering if enrolling this semester was a good idea. Though I sort of feel consoled knowing that I'm not the only feeling this way since most of us in class are trying to keep up with the demands of researches and also discussions in class. For my part, I also have to keep up with midterm requirements. 

ADZU LRC Building


We took advantage of the Holy Week and went on a road trip to Cagayan de Oro and Camiguin Island. CDO is my mother's family's hometown so it's always great to catch up with family and also partake in scrumptious meals in cowboy country. Baby back ribs always brings up beautiful, delicious memories. 

Mantigue Island, Camiguin
Naked Island, Camiguin

As for Camiguin Island, it's a place for leisure and island hopping for the summer. Because of beautiful and preserved places like Mantigue Island and Naked Island, it creates a sense of pride and joy in me discovering nature's beauty and grand design. It also pays to have family in the island to enjoy local life. 

The Great Wall, Beijing Station

For the last half of May, I went to China to attend a training and had the opportunity to visit major cities and famous sites such as The Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and the gates to the Forbidden City while in Beijing. I also went to Shanghai and toured around, indulging in crowds of tourists and savouring all the sights and sounds. The rest of my photos and videos are in Instagram and it just only fed my need to travel and see places all the more. 

Tianjin Eye

Yu Yuan Garden, Shanghai

Also in May, I turned three decades old. It was a beautiful day for me having been surrounded by friends and family who celebrated with me. I did say that this is my year. I'm keeping an eye on major milestones up ahead, such as finishing school and also completing projects. In the meantime, looking back the past six months, I can say that I've been blessed and feel so grateful for all that's come my way. 

Still, I have so many dreams and I'm slowly working towards them. 

I may be coming on here on and off, but I believe that I'm growing in other aspects. In the meantime, I'll be working on finishing school, investing and improving on myself. Who knows where I'll be a few months from now (sans the acne which appears when I'm stressed out). 

Another international travel is in the works, but will be revealed as some of them are in place. As of now, it's time to hustle and then look forward to an opportunity of relaxing as soon as all the work is over. Knowing work, it sure has a way of not going away. 

I'll see you when I see you. 

Monday, 19 February 2018

Cagayan-Bukidnon Travel Mood Board

Cagayan de Oro will always be close to my heart.

It’s my grandparents’ hometown, it’s where most of my relatives are from my mother’s side, I’ve had memorable summers there as a child, not to mention, I got a taste of grown-up life there. Plus, the nightlife has something to offer the locality.

What I love about Cagayan de Oro is the good food that goes with the pride of the City of Golden Friendship. For me, it’s cowboy country because it’s where I first got to experience gastronomic delights in the urban landscape, and also well-loved, savoury flavors like steak in Del Monte Clubhouse in Bukidnon. As for the city proper, I’ve drooled about Baby Back Ribs and whatever side dishes that goes with it. I admit, Baby Back Ribs is a rarity back here in Zamboanga, more so if it has to be done right.

I have yet to encounter a good place that serves delectable baby back ribs in Zamboanga City, but I already know where to go when I’m in Cagayan de Oro.

Now that I’ve gotten ahead of myself already, here’s my mood board for an upcoming travel with C. I’ll be pleased to show him around, and also make more memories for the Holy Week this year. 

1. Divine Mercy Shrine, El Salvador 

It only makes sense to visit the Divine Mercy Shrine in El Salvador before actually entering the city itself. EL Salvador is a coastal town in Misamis Oriental. Devotees travel to offer devotion in this quiet place. What makes the shrine stand out is the 50-foot image of Jesus Christ overlooking the area. I’ve been here even before the site was completed, as our relative was the former mayor of the town. She shared with us the many stories and miracles that devotees witnessed through the Divine Mercy. I’d also like C to see the place for himself. 

2. White Water Rafting, Macahambus Adventure Park

Ahhhh, white water rafting. I’ve done it before in Macahambus. I did promise C to take him there. But I’m just going to take him there and wait for him at the pickup point lol. I did say it’s an experience that should not be missed, but I’m the kind of person who’s not going to do it again lol. Once is enough I guess, lol. Also in Macahambus is the gorge where a jungle walk is possible, as well as zip line. And for the braver visitors, spelunking in the cave.

3. Steak in Del Monte Clubhouse, Bukidnon

Driving along long stretches of pineapple plantation can make one hungry, especially if it feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere. This is where a perfect lunch of medium rare steak comes in. Most visitors visit the clubhouse not to tee off at the golf course, but to enjoy steak at this iconic landmark. 

4. Dahilayan Adventure Park

Dahilayan is a great place to unwind, and there are a lot of things to do for families and friends. An overnight stay at Pinegrove is a beautiful experience, waking up in the morning to a sprawl of pine trees. There’s also the zip line, ATV and python walk to try out. Of course, if exercise is what one needs, there’s more to do all around the place as well as chilling in the café too. 

5. Seven Seas Waterpark, Opol, 

Seven Seas is sort of a new feature for travelers headed to Cagayan de Oro. It’s in C’s itinerary and of course, I’m curious as to what’s to see there as well. Perhaps it’s a fulfilment of a childhood dream. Time to pack those rash guards and tons of SPF! 

I can’t wait to unwind and experience new adventures with C next month! 

Monday, 1 January 2018

Review: Granite Gear Echo Backpack in Verb Petal

The Granite Gear Echo in Verb Petal featuring Barrier Repealaweave Technology

It’s been to places I’ve visited in the last quarter of the year, from Manila, Baguio, Benguet and also Pagadian and back to Zamboanga. I also use it as my school bag. It’s durable, water proof and I love the color. Basically, wherever I go, it’s there with me.

It was a surprise from C, who also got a matching bag in blue. I adore this color combination, and it’s even made its way to a hiking trip to the third tallest peak in the country last October. If there was one bag that could be suitable for both travel and school, the Granite Gear in Echo will have to be it.

What’s To Love?

It’s designed to be a campus backpack. It’s weather-resistant thanks to the repealaweave fabic made of durable Taurpalite bottom. The laptop sleeve protects up to 15.5 inch laptops (I’ve been lugging around my 14 inch Acer laptop) featuring the padded gear tech. Its profile is tall and slim, not short and stout and keeps the weight closer to the back for better center of gravity. 

So how about for travel blogging? Bring it on. For travel, it’s a smarter move to switch to a lighter and more compact laptop like my Acer Aspire ES 11.

A laptop sleeve is part of the design that can transport even a 15 inch laptop

The second compartment features a full organizer for pens, small extras even power banks. Even with my heavy load, the back panel is comfortable. I've also made my windbreaker a constant attachment in there. It's foldable into a square buttoned cushion pack and it's very handy when the weather's threatening. 

My foldable windbreaker is a constant companion in the second compartment organizer

Barrier Repealaweave

I can’t express how grateful I am that this all-around backpack features barrier repealaweave especially for the front pocket where I store my USB, headphones and keys. I probably can’t live with myself if any of these got wet.

Full back panel for comfortable transportation of books and even traveling light

School and Travel

The Granite Gear Echo bag couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s with me in campus, and doesn’t show signs of wear and tear even if I stuffed it with my 14 inch laptop, extension wire, charger, mouse, wallet, notebooks, pencil case, grooming pouch, reference notes and even law books that come in hardbound (and can get really heavy) and a water bottle at the side with still enough room for a folding umbrella.

500 ml Echo Bottle for water in campus and even outdoors

But oh boy, it’s never showed any signs of giving up despite roughing it. It’s also fabulous outdoors, from Pulag in Benguet to La Paz in Zamboanga.

No matter what its contents are, whether it’s books and a laptop for school or clothes and outerwear for hiking outdoors, the performance and durability is still the same.

The obligatory hiker's quarter turn in Pulag National Park, my Granite Gear Echo in Verb Petal challenging the weekend hike

 The Granite Gear in Echo has been discontinued, but there are other campus backpacks that also fit the bill and are newer in terms of design but still can offer the same durability whether it’s for school or travel. I got mine on sale in KCC Department Store for Php 1,220. 

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Currently 1.1.18

Whoa it's 2018!

I'm pouring my thoughts on the first day of the year, and there's still so much to do but I'm hopeful.

I know I have to be patient with blogging, and I have to prioritize school and work. In the meantime, here are updates.


Maybe I’m not the only one who feels like a robot whose vacation mode has been disrupted. I took quite a long time away from work, so when it was time to come back after Christmas and Boxing Day, I kind of lost my routine and also didn’t know what to do first. But then, there’s still New Year to think about, then it won’t be long before reality will have to bite back sooner or later. 


Even if we’re on a break from school, we still have homework to think of. It’s also quite a challenge since I decided to take the dive and take on full load of 12 units, that’s suicide! Or so I’ve been told. But I’m praying and wishing that I can survive. I’m enjoying my time off in the meantime. 


Well my writing life goes both ways. There’s the analog and digital writing life.

I’ve become productive at least writing down things that I’m supposed to finish in my new Mini Happy Planner. It’s so cute and I’m so afraid to ruin it with uneven pen strokes lol.  As for travel writing, I still take with me a traveler’s notebook, pens and washi even for short road trips.

I didn’t realize that running out of ink can irritate me and test my patience. It’s a necessity that I complete my traveler’s notebook so that I can move on to the next one. Does this give me license to get a pretty set for Pilot Juice Metallics for New Year?

In the digital arena, 1) I’m back to blogging because 2) I have a new laptop! It’s light, it’s fast, it’s cool and it’s one of the best investments I’ve made this year. Yehey for productivity! I don’t know where I’ll be without the card reader too lol. 


I went on a quick road trip with C for a couple of days, the traveling time took a toll on me. I don’t know why. It’s not my first long bus ride this year, having gone to Pampanga, Oslob and Baguio earlier this year. But for some reason, the bus ride to Pagadian just didn’t sit very well with me. I’ve always disliked traveling to Pagadian by bus, but had no problems traveling further via private vehicle.

Despite the crazy bus ride, I’m grateful for the quick time out and also time spent with C. But we’ve got travel plans brewing for 2018. 

There's a lot to be grateful for, as 2017 ended and 2018 has just begun. I know that it takes time for my dreams to come true, but I also can't help but feel blessed that I have my family, friends and C beside me through it all. 

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Review: Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Light Slim Bag

Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Light Slim Bag in Lush Blue

Perhaps I was inspired and amazed with the convenience that a small body bag can offer during travels. C has one and it’s been everywhere: Pampanga, Cebu, Baguio, Manila. On the other hand, I’m the more switchy-bags person, and I have this crazy habit of dumping in a lot of useless stuff in my bag that can make my load heavier and give me aching shoulders, even just an afternoon in the mall or going to a café. One time during the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Clark, I dumped my mirrorless camera and other stuff in a hot pink tote bag like I would on a day in the beach. It looked cute, yes, but it was far from practical LOL.

But that changed with the Travelon bag that we got me from Travel Club.

It’s slim and compact and it carries my essentials very well. It also has packed anti-theft features. I told myself that I’d use it on travel and the road trip to Pagadian was the right chance to use it. 

Second Compartment with Spare Zipper Attached

What's To Love? 

The material is smooth and sits very comfortably in a bus window seat, even on my lap when back riding on a motorbike. The secret pockets inside can carry a lot of knick-knacks, even a long wallet and relevant pockets for a passport and cash.

It has roomy compartments, two for regular stuff, one in the front for small things like lip balm, OTG USB and the slip on pocket at the back is for headphones. Even the main compartment is large enough to hold a tablet and can even stay secure because of a zip wall pocket. The front compartment has an interior organizer and many slots for cards and other important documents. In short, it really just has a lot of pockets.

I also love that I can carry the Sony point and shoot for documenting travel memories with C on the road, even special occasions like friends’ weddings and just precious moments.

It’s made of anti-slash material but it’s smooth to the touch and even has RFID blocking technology.  For peace of mind, the zippers lock to shoo away those pickpockets during your travels. Who knows what can happen during rush hours in public transport or even in crowded, public places. 

 Front Pocket features RFID Protection Feature

RFID Protection 

The front pocket integrates an RFID blocking technology that’s similar to other travel wallets to help prevent skimming of information from credit cards and even electronic passports. If your credit cards, passports and even driver’s licenses come with radio frequency identification chips that can transmit data wirelessly, this can help insulate RFID skimming. You don’t want hackers obtaining whole credit card information from you now, do you?

Ready to head out with my Travelon Slim Bag

Versatile Style

On top of it all, I like that it’s a versatile style. I’m fond of shoulder bags so I just swing it over my shoulder and I head on out, now that’s for my feminine preferences. But during travel, I follow as the boys do and wear it cross-body for hands-free movement especially during long road trips.
And the best part? No more aching shoulders! It’s not just for urban exploration, it’s also great for outdoor day hikes.

Travelon has made it possible to explore easier and safer, and with sleek bags for essentials in new places. The Classic Light Slim Bag retails for Php 2,390.00 in Travel Club. Travel Club is located in the second floor of KCC Mall de Zamboanga beside Yellow Cab Pizza. 

Monday, 6 November 2017

Washi Wednesday: Hobby Depot Haul

It all started with the idea that I needed washi holders to bring my washi with me to my upcoming travel. I already set up my traveler’s notebook in advance. Only one shop had them, so I combined my order with washi to add.

Hobby Depot offers stickers, stamps, washi and also washi holders for those antsy documenters who cannot bear to be away from their favorite washi. (Guilty.)

I also took the chance of including the camping themed outdoor seal sticker for the pages of my traveler's notebook. I already used up the bus and tent image on my TN. Hobby Depot has more stock of this, so I'm going back for more (for those hiking trips next year). 

Now I just had to have this panda washi because it's meaningful for me. I personally know someone who claims to be a panda, so it sort of became a panda obsession. 

The ticket washi adds a vintage feel to my TN pages, and it’s relevant because of the bus ride, road trip to the mountain ranges, and then the flight. I love it really. It completes the travel theme.

Finally, I cannot do without coffee. This is for my coffee-themed planner, my TN and anything that’s coffee oriented. Something tells me that I need to have an extra roll so that I won’t panic when this one runs out. I love the handpainted details on this roll. Yep, I’m going to get another one.

Hauling from Hobby Depot is easy, shop owner is quick to reply and updates with stock availability. Transaction is a breeze and I’m definitely coming back for more hauls. The shipping is also quick, it arrived just in time for me to set up my TN and bring these washis and the holder with me.

If you want to purchase washis, holders, stamps or stickers, feel free to visit Hobby Depot on Facebook anytime. There’s a lot of good stuff and pretty washi to satisfy your artsy gut. If you want some inspiration, the Instagram account can also give you that. 

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Mountain Province Travel Mood Board

I honestly can’t wait to unplug and be closer to nature. I guess it’s one of the factors that influence us every time we decide where we want to go. This year’s themes have some sort of element in them, and we have completed that immersion factor already. January, we had air at the Hot Air Balloon Festival. April we had sea as we went Whaleshark Diving. For October, it’s going to be land because where we’re headed, is all full of land as far as the eye can see but it’s still going to be a memorable experience.

Since I want to maximize the time out I’ll be having, I’ve organized a mood board for our upcoming travel. I’ve fantasized about this for quite some time now, also because it’s on C’s bucket list to experience these all. It’s kinda contagious don’t you think? 

1. Mt. Pulag- The Playground of the Gods

We’ve heard many things about Mt. Pulag both mystical and natural. It captured our curiosity, plus C’s friends have shared stories of the Playground of the Gods, I also saw some milky way shots from visitors who have been there. It’s been on C’s bucket list and I’ll be happy to put my photography skills to the test. 

2. Sagada Tour

I’m after the hanging coffins in Sagada for a photo opp and then maybe do a side trip to one of the strawberry farms in Benguet. I might meet Ifugaos as well. Who knows what else I can do in Mountain Province. I’ll definitely be happy to just drink it all in. My cameras better be ready with spare batteries! Don’t give up on me powerbank!

3. Baguio City Tour

Just like the Sagada Tour, I’ve also listed what I want to do in Baguio. That includes a visit to Mt. Cloud Bookshop, then a taste of strawberry tahu, visit the nearby attractions and then…

4. Shopping for Pasalubong and Succulents 

I know that I’m supposed to grab pasalubong with anything strawberry and ube in it. Yep, I’m a good tourist like that lol. I’d also like to get myself a little souvenir from Ibay’s Silver Shop if I’m lucky. 

5. Conrad Manila 

We will be ending our week with a stay in Conrad Manila. It’s also quite a meaningful place for C because he’s one of the engineers who have helped construct it. From roughing it, we sure can lounge around in a luxurious place such as a hotel by the bay. 

I really hope we can cross off all our items in our bucket list. Plus, I’m hoping that all goes well. We can come back with more stories to tell too. Who knows where else our feet will take us. 

I guess it's also going to be our last travel for this year before we head on out next year. We've sort of developed appreciation for looking at both ancient and modern architecture lol. We'll definitely share some more stories here as well as our hacks and itineraries.