All posts tagged: Philippines

We Arrived: A Weekender in La Union

I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year since I last posted about my travels here. So much has changed since that trip to Turkey, and I have tons of writing to catch up on. But exactly because a lot has changed, I think this is the best travel post to start with—a trip I went on exactly a year ago, which was also my first time to travel with a partner. That’s right. I’ve gone from backpacking it solo to traveling with a significant other. Late last year, I made a compilation of personal travel tales that I haven’t yet decided to publish. The story below was included there. It’s cheesy and old, but there’s nothing wrong with some cheese once in a while. And since I decided to put this out here, I figured why not go all out and share the video I created as well?   18 August 2017 The sky was dark when we hit the road, but the moon smiled down on our journey. Armed with a tank of gas …

Musical Review: ETO NA! Musikal nAPO! by Globe Live x 9 Works Theatrical

When I found out 9 Works Theatrical and Globe Live would be mounting an original musical featuring APO Hiking Society songs, I was mildly surprised. I liked some of their songs, but those I knew were the modern versions, not the originals. And while I knew of APO, I didn’t really understand how big a role they played in the rise of Original Pilipino Music or OPM. On the other hand, when I told Vince about Eto Na! Musikal nAPO!, he got that wide-eyed look on his face. Of course I had to bring him along. To complement my take as a relative APO newbie, I asked him to write his own review as a fan—another He Said/She Said like what we did for The Lion King. But first, some facts: 5 Things You Should Know Before Watching Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! APO Hiking Society, better known as APO, was one of the pioneers of OPM. Composed of Danny Javier, Jim Paredes, and Boboy Garrovillo, APO helped push fellow musicians to create Filipino songs instead …

Asia Young Designer Award 2016: Be Bold. Be Free. Be You.

Four years ago, I traded in my designer’s pencil for a writer’s pen. It was a tough switch but the right one – and though I’ve changed career paths for good, there’s no doubt that I’ll always have a special place in my heart for design and architecture. More than just making places look pretty and Instagrammable, these have the power to influence moods, form behaviors, create solutions, and make life easier. And that’s exactly why I’m so stoked about this year’s Asia Young Designer Award (AYDA) sponsored by Nippon Paint. “Good design is an enabler of a sustainable future [and] healthier living,” Mr. Michael Chung, the General Manager of Nippon Paint Coatings Philippines, said during the media launch of the AYDA. At its core, this competition challenges students to “think beyond convention” to create design solutions that address the “needs of our continually changing world.” Ar. Guillermo Hisancha of the United Architects of the Philippines said, “The Asia Young Designer Award is a platform empowering Filipino students to showcase their talents. [It] encourages leadership, creativity, and resourcefulness.” IDr. Vincent Louie …

Well, hello there.

I’ve been quite busy this past couple of weeks, so I haven’t been updating my blog as often as I should. While I struggle to get through my backlog of posts, here’s a teaser of what you can expect next on Wander Write Now. Can you guess what place this is? Here’s a hint: It’s something to include to my list of Epic Ups!

Manila Mania: Architecture, religion, and history galore

I confess, Manila has always intimidated me. It, with its jeepneys and pedestrians and ever-present buzz of activity. And the traffic. I’m used to EDSA and C5, but Manila is a whole different ballgame. Thing is, Manila’s the capital of the Philippines. It’s steeped in history. If I wanted to learn more about my heritage, this was the place to start. Plus I really, really wanted to go to San Sebastian Church. So I enlisted the help of my architect friend Macy. We spent last Sunday walking and commuting around Manila, and that was the day I learned to love this city. I finally realized what I’d been missing out on. There’s so much beauty amongst its chaos, so many stories in its worn-down buildings. One day was far from enough time to explore everything it has to offer, but it’s a start. Here are some of the places we visited—and I wholeheartedly recommend you visit them too! San Sebastian Church This right here made the commute worthwhile. San Sebastian Church’s towering spires and bright façade looks so out of place among the …

Meet Celine Reyes, (Fellow) Wanderer and Writer

You know how there are some people whom you instantly have a connection with? That was how I felt when I met Celine Reyes. One early Monday morning, I showed up at the meeting place for the Vamos a Malolos press launch, only to find that I wasn’t on the list of confirmed attendees. Luckily, there was a free spot on the bus. The organizers introduced me to Celine; I sat beside her; and our shared lust for travel quickly brought us past that “awkward strangers” phase. I found that Celine and I have plenty of similarities. Aside from our itch to explore the world, we’re both writers and bloggers. She contributes articles on local travel and food trips to When In Manila and shares her personal adventures on her blog Celineism. We both traded in our steady office jobs to pursue our dream careers, never mind that said careers probably won’t fill our bank accounts. And like me, she aspires to be a published author. Talk about coincidences! “Travel will heal you, one way or another. Indeed, it …

Shake your groove thing at the Malasimbo Festival—now on its 5th year!

If you’re a fan of music, dance, art, and straight-up fun, I’m sure Malasimbo needs no further introduction. But just in case, here’s what you need to know about this epic festival:  1. “Malasimbo” isn’t some random made-up name. It’s the name of the mountain in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, where the festival is held. You don’t have to worry about bringing your hiking gear, though. The revelries take place on the foot of Mt. Malasimbo overlooking the bay. Check out that photo above. That right there is where the magic happens—and it also happens to be outside the home of the D’Aboville family, who spearheads this yearly event. 2. It’s been drawing locals and foreigners alike since 2011. In 2011, some 1,500 people trooped over to Puerto Galera to witness the debut of the Malasimbo Festival. Last year, the count exceeded 5,000 attendees. And we’re not just talking about Filipinos—more than 30 countries were represented! I’m sure they’ll hit a new record this year with all the cool things they have prepared. Catch music acts such as Ky-Mani Marley (Bob Marley’s son), …

Meet Smarla Angtuaco, Foodie and Cultural Explorer

Like me, Smarla is a twentysomething Filipina with an appetite for travel. You could say that she’s made a living out of it as the food connoisseur of Culture Shock PH, a local travel group that shines the spotlight on the culture and heritage of the Philippines. Despite all the eating she does—which she documents on her blog, Everyday Sweet Notes—she never seems to gain weight. I like to think it’s because she’s so energetic. I’ve known her since our elementary days, and she’s always been such a bubbly, enthusiastic person. And though I’ve never traveled with her, it’s easy to imagine her bursting with excitement whenever she takes off on a new adventure. “[Traveling] exposes you to new ways of looking at things, new cultures, new languages, and a perspective of your life from a distant location, allowing room to see the bigger picture.” If there’s one thing I admire most about Smarla, it’s how passionate she is about exploring our country. This woman doesn’t just travel to see sights. No, she immerses herself in each place she visits and gets …

6 things to do in Baguio City

Happy 2015, guys! I’ve many plans for the year that I can’t wait to share with you all. I’ll make a separate post for my 2015 resolutions, but among the things you can expect to see on Wander Write Now are more posts on my home country, the beautiful Philippines, plus some new—and equally beautiful—faces. To start the year right, here’s a peek into how my family and I spent our holiday getaway in Baguio City, found in the Benguet province of northern Luzon. This mountain city, which was developed by the Americans as a hill station back in 1900, is popularly known as the Summer Capital of the Philippines, thanks to its cool climes that make it the perfect escape during the peak of Manila’s heat. It may as well be considered our local Christmas village too. It seemed that majority of Manila made the climb to Baguio over the holidays. My parents’ taxi driver said they’d never had so many visitors as they did this past Christmas. Manila’s legendary traffic took this city by storm, so much so that …