I believe that the world is a beautiful place no matter how bad the daily news gets. I want to see the world with my own two eyes and meet people from all walks of life. I weave big dreams but I find joy in the simplest of things - the blueness of the sky, the cry of a helpless baby, the sound of the waves crashing against a rocky coastline, tea, bread, and 70% chocolate! I believe in the circle of life and that what I do today may somehow make a difference in this world we share.
I am a young IT professional and I feel blessed for having the opportunity to see parts of the world as one of its perks.
I love my own beautiful country, the Philippines -- especially its mountains and beaches so I take time to travel locally too. Scroll down to see a list of my travels (newest on top). I consider this my contribution to promoting Philippine Tourism. Enjoy! And please feel free to post your comments or leave me a private message.
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." - Ursula K. LeGuin
May 10th 2011
Six hours on the road from Montana to Idaho to Utah, my friends and I catch up with each other's lives. I also thought about the bisons, the pronghorn antelopes, the geysers of Yellowstone, and what joy it would have been like if I worked as a wildlife biologist. I have always loved wild animals and sometimes I feel that my friends lovingly tease me for not outgrowing such fondness for animals. I guess I never will. I guess will always be a little Taoist in me. Here's an excerpt from the book The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. "Lots of people talk to animals," said Winnie the Pooh. "Not that many listen though." "That's the problem." Nope, I am not a Taoist, but I believe that at some point in human history, we may ... read more
May 9th 2011
During breakfast at the budget hotel, we met one of the staff who happen to be Filipino as well. Kabayan!It's remarkable where we Filipinos find ourselves these days – we adapt even in the remotest places! Fact: Yellowstone is the first National Park park in the world. Like A Moving Painting It probably took a good hour and a half's drive from the border of Montana to the heart of the Yellowstone National Park where we saw our first canyon in the park. Starting from the roaring waterfalls called the Upper Falls of the Yellowstone River, we continued on to another lookout point called the Artist point to see the picturesque Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. But unlike any other waterfall or canyons I have seen before, this stands out for being the only hydrothermally ... read more
May 8th 2011
The mere mention of Montana evokes the thought of wide open spaces. We rolled our mountain of luggage into a budget hotel in West Yellowstone, Montana and the romance of wide open spaces was lost - atleast temporarily, I hoped. It was 5:30pm so we figured we may have a good two hours of sightseeing before the sun sets. A Vow to Never Eat Bison Meat We entered Yellowstone National Park from its west entrance. See, the closest accommodation to the park is in West Yellowstone in the state of Montana, but the National Park itself is in the state of Wyoming. Quite literally, the town of "West Yellowstone" is west of Yellowstone National Park. Like any American national park, the road is smooth and well-maintained. The asphalt road contoured lake and rivers that ran around ... read more
May 7th 2011
An arch of white antlers stood at the town square of Jackson Hole. Personally, I didn't know what to make of it. Antlers to me meant hunting and death (shrug). It blends in with the cowboy theme of the city, alright. It stood against a beautiful backdrop of mountain ranges -- a welcome sight for someone like me who has lived for quite a while in flatland Chicago. Fortunately, the arch had a sign that says it has stood there since 1960. But most importantly, it says that these antlers came from the National Elk Refuge nearby where local boy scouts pick them from bulls who shed their antlers each spring. Oh geez -- they were naturally shed by the elk! What a relief! I thought elks were intentionally killed just to make these arches. That ... read more
May 7th 2011
Imagine a 10-day interstate road trip in the states of Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Nevada. Crazy, noh? But we did it! Thanks to stories, jokes, and bags of cornick (a Filipino snack of crispy, salty popped corn kernels), trail mix and potato chips. This is a trip even my coworkers cannot imagine themselves doing. Yeah we're cheap but, we know how to make the most out of it! With flying colors! My friends from the Philippines and Canada flew into Salt Lake City, Utah. I flew in from Chicago. We rented a 9-seater Chevy Suburban from the airport to start our journey with 2 (unlucky) designated drivers. LOL! Below is a summary of our trip. Details and my personal account on each location will be in the following posts of this travelblog. I wouldn't call ... read more
November 25th 2010
This year's Thanksgiving weekend was spent entirely in Arizona. We all met at Phoenix, rented a car, drove 5 hours north to the Grand Canyon, drove 3 hours west to Page, and drove back to Arizona for another 5 hours. Sounds crazy, but it was a lot of fun! Throughout this trip, we had snow, rain, and extreme heat with the best backdrop -- the red-tinged geologic formations of Arizona's canyons. I am so glad to have finally been to one of the world's Seven Natural Wonders of the World. (This is my first.) At Phoenix, Arizona We all met at PHX, and took a shuttle bus that whisked us to a car-rental mall. To me it was like a food court, only there's no food. (Do I make sense? Ofcourse I don't!) The shuttle bus ... read more
July 3rd 2010
As soon as I landed at the Miami International Airport (MIA), I had only one thing in my mind: Cuban food! Well, I really didn't need to go hunt for it in the airport, I had plenty of options as I perused the airport directory -- hey, I am in Little Cuba afterall! I had picadillo (different from the picadillo I grew up eating in the Philippines), arroz amarillo (yellow rice), fried plantain (super yummy!), an empanada, and guava pastry (something new for me to try! yay!). Brazilian Food at North Beach When Maret has finally arrived in MIA, we took a cab going east to North Beach. After checking in at our hotel, we left our luggage so we could immediately head out for dinner. We had an authentic Brazilian dinner where I had my ... read more
December 24th 2009
Predictably, a snowstorm has caused me a terrible delay in my winter getaway. I was supposed to leave Chicago for Raleigh last December 23rd, but was given another boarding pass for the next day. Well, better delayed than sorry! December 24th Maret picked me up from the Raleigh airport which is very small! I realize how huge Chicago airports were. In the same day, we went grocery shopping for ingredients. We have spectacular dishes to bring for that night's Christmas Eve: Seafood Paella and Brazo de Mercedes. The last thing missing was an electric mixer so I can make the meringue for the Brazo de Mercedes. But despite a visit to a few superstores, there was not one available! I repeat, there was not one available!?!?! They practically ran out of electric mixers! Unbelievable! So I ... read more
September 5th 2009
I had my high school classmates, Anna and Cath, over in Chicago for a couple of days. Then we all went on a road trip to Dayton, Ohio. It was a 5-hour drive heading south east passing through Indiana. We passed by acres and acres of corn. We passed by a lot of silos, which, I learned, were used to process corn into cattle feed. We also passed by a huge wind farm that had dozens of huge wind turbines stretched out as far as the eye could see! We arrived at Dayton in the afternoon and met Anna's husband and their beautiful baby boy. Ravishingly cute boy! An Amish Experience I wish I could really say we had a glimpse of an Amish life. But all we really had was a decent meal at an ... read more
July 3rd 2009
Another first for me was to take the train on an interstate trip. We took the Amtrakfrom Chicago Union Station to St. Louis Gateway Station (STL). I was looking forward to a scenic 5-hour trip, but there was not really much to see except for the Silver Cross Field at Joliet and the lush greens. We arrived at STL at noon and that's when the view got interesting. The train crossed the Mississippi River which borders the two states, Missouri and Illinois. Our friends picked us up at the St. Louis Gateway Station which was also filled with people travelling via the bus liner, Greyhound. First stop, the farmer's market There's one major thing that my friend, Maret and I have in common -- we both love to cook and talk about food! Obviously, our first ... read more