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Asia » Philippines » Manila » Quiapo January 26th 2015

Asia » Philippines » Mindanao » Misamis Occidental » Ozamis City January 25th 2015

The day did not start well in Dapitan, pouring with rain in the morning. We set off anyway and luckily the sun soon came out. A very scenic ride to Oroquita City past rivers, hills, small villages and towns and lots of rice fields. Had lunch in Oroquita but then decided to continue on to Ozamis City. Again very scenic with Mount Malingdan in the distance and even more extensive rice fields. 125 km on out little scooter with no problems, only one manned Police Road block but we were just waved through. Ozamis is far bigger than Dapitan and a bit of a culture shock! Went to have a look at Cotta Fort on the seafront and very nice. Stayed at 67th Boulevard Pension, 600 peso for very nice AC room.... read more
Zamboanga scenery
Sunshine at last!
Big waves in Oroquieta

Asia » Philippines » Mindanao » Zamboanga del Norte » Dapitan January 22nd 2015

Took a lot of effort to get ourselves to Dapitan, mainly because we wanted to bring a motorbike with us on the ferry from Dumaguete. Needed first to get a Filipino Driving Licence, then clearance from the Coastguard, then Terminal fees, then finally fees from the Port Authourity. Took a while but worth the effort becuase we were able to just turn up at Dumaguete Port and drive right onto to the Cokaliong ferry. No need to go through the passenger terminal. Downside was that the ferry was totally packed with people returning to Mindanao from the Sinulog Festival in Cebu. 4 hours later we sighted the coast of Northern Mindanao and the port near Dapitan. Very big green hills dropping down to white sandy beaches. Short ride to Sunset Boulevard in Dapitan and found a ... read more
Aliguay Island on the approach to Dapitan
First sight of Mindanao
Dapitan Port

Asia » Philippines » Ifugao January 16th 2015

We are about 20 minutes into our tricycle ride from the town center to the Batad Junction Point when I realize I can’t stand the cold. We have left Baguio City and crossed into Ifugao province in the dead of the night, but to everyone not of this territory – I, Joseph and Dave included – every provincial boundary disappears and this becomes only a place of cold. It’s a shivering cold and everything is somehow about the cold. In the days before we find ourselves in Ifugao, I had found myself increasingly intrigued by the mountains of Cordillera in northern Luzon, reading as much as I can about these spiny ranges that command awe, respect and fear in equal doses among its inhabitants and visitors alike. It’s not a new occurrence for me, though. Ever ... read more
Paddy Stairs
Preparing For Planting Time
Batad Local

Asia » Philippines » Manila January 11th 2015

Traveling with a man in his nineties is bound to come with a few responsibilities. I haven't spent much time specifically tending to the needs of the elderly before but I've always felt like an old soul at heart and feel pretty comfortable around especially mature company. My Grandpa seems relatively low-maintenance; I don't have to help him with any specific medications or health issues, he moves around on his own (though I may walk below him up and down stairs just in case), his wits are still about him aside from the understandable tendency to leave something behind on occasion (which, indeed, is something people of all ages might struggle with), and when he does forget his cane by mistake I think it can be counted as a blessing that he walks so well that ... read more
Sunset On Manila Bay
Not bad.
One of several ferris  wheels

Asia » Philippines » Pangasinan January 10th 2015

Traveling often gives me a kind of restlessness. It's not the anxious, frustrated kind that's more common, though, but an excitement that keeps me from wanting to waste a single minute more on sleep than is really necessary. I don't feel I slept poorly in our Lingayen hotel, though I woke two or three times during the night. I would wake just long enough to look at the time and know if it was still the middle of the night, then go back to sleep. The final time I awoke my eyes caught the tiniest bit of dawn light peaking through our window. I thought of going to shower but found myself drawn, almost unconsciously, to our little balcony area. As I stepped outside the air seemed steeped in that sense of magic that comes with ... read more
Jeepnie
US General with Wreaths
With Grandpa

Asia » Philippines » Luzon January 8th 2015

I have to admit, there really is something that feels different as a minority. I forget all about it until I go somewhere like Cleveland and suddenly discover that I'm the only white person on the bus. I felt it again as I came into the lobby of the airport here in Manila last night. A sea of mellow-toned faces awaited, pressed against the glass walls that funneled arrivals into a smaller, easier-to-guard exit, perhaps in anticipation of visiting family members coming from any one of the many parts of the world that some 12 million Filipino people have spread to. Once I got past the intimidation factor, however, there was a certain joy I felt in the inescapable fact that I was now in a foreign country. My Grandpa helped prepare me, I suppose, in ... read more
View From Manila Room
Man Ignoring Sign on Piano
flat_flat_MOUNTAIN

Asia » Philippines » Bohol » Tagbilaran January 5th 2015

Negenentwintig dagen, twee tyfoons, een moesson, heel veel muggenbulten en mierensteken (het zijn niet alleen de rode mieren die steken), talrijke vlammende zonsondergangen en dubbel keer zoveel mangococktails en tientallen keren "Feliz navidad" later, is het tijd voor ons om het Filipijnse archipel te verlaten. De mensen zijn bijzonder vriendelijk, het water heerlijk warm en helder. De reuzeschildpadden vinden dat ook en genieten van het zeegras, wij van de aanblik van die vriendelijke slome grazers onder water. Toch, zonder onderwatercamea (cadeauhint) kunnen we jullie geen beelden zenden lieve lezers, van wachten tot de regen voorbij is met vervellende ruggen kunnen we geen spannende verhalen maken, we gaan verder, op avontuur! Bangkok. 29 Tage, 2 Typhoone, ein Monsoon, viele Mücken- und Ameisenstiche (nicht nur die roten, auch die schwarzen stechen), zahlreiche flammende Sonnenun... read more
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Asia » Philippines January 3rd 2015

Surprisingly LAX did not give us any trouble....and proud to have a well coordinated boys and easy going girl. But why the heck a bottle of water cost $8?! The 14 hours flight from LAX to Beijing was excruciating...it would have been a little better if the airplane wasn't so hot!!! Lion and Michael's highlights were the take-off and landing. Lion said, "It's better than a roller coaster ride!"...No need to tell me I can feel your clammy hands and I can hear the "I'm scared...I'm sacred..." of Michael. I knew that the transferring flight was going to be a challenge. I was told that Beijing airport is huge and crowded...in our case the huge part was accurate but not crowded. I thought I was prepared to walk up and down and long way to ... read more
Musical Chair
Tracking the flight...
The View

Asia » Philippines » Aurora January 2nd 2015

Wow! It happened at last! Surfing in Baler has always been on my travel list. And it happened when my sister and I took a vacation during break from work. January 01, 2015 when I experience the ride that I thought my patience can never endure, and I was wrong. I never get exhausted. From Taytay, Rizal=>Calamba, Laguna=>NAIA 2=>Calamba, Laguna=>Cubao=>Baler (total of nine transfers on public vehicles!) Wow! From this, I can say that maybe I was born to be a traveller. This trip was the best experience with regards on having no hassle on accommodation booking. When we went there, we never had an accommodation yet. From the bus station of Baler, we just asked how can we go to the beach where surfing is. A “tricycle” driver brought us to the beach area where ... read more




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