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Showing posts from April, 2012

Travel Essentials : Kikay Kit for Outdoorsy Backpackers

Hi Ladies! Packing for an adventurous escape for the first time? Let me try to help! Although I’m one heck of a lazy packer, over years of backpacking and hiking everywhere, I've learned to ease the stress of preparing for an outdoor trip by having a separate toiletry kit specifically for traveling. It's perpetually packed inside a durable black mesh bag which I've had for centuries (:P) and when it's time to get outside, I just grab it and shove it inside my backpack. 
Since most of  my travels involve either staying in hostels, hard benches or inside a tent, the mesh bag is perfect because I can hang it where ever. It dries easily and I can see the contents perfectly so I can tell in an instant when I'm missing something. 
Here's a list of what's inside my reliable mesh kit apart from the standard soap, deodorant and shampoo: 

1. Insect Repellant - when hiking in areas that are moist, you're going to need protection from mosquitoes and other insect…

Portobello Road, England

As you may have already noticed, I am more into the outdoors, but once in a while, I explore the urban jungle - especially when it's a holiday and most people are out of town.  :P In fact, one of the places I enjoy wandering around is Makati's red light district  in the morning when most people have already gone home. I find the signages attractive, though most would not be lit by the time I get there. In every small alley, I sense the walls have a lot of story to tell. Oh if only they could talk! :P   
And speaking of urban jungle, I am sharing a video I chanced upon while blog hopping. It's a video of Portobello Road located in the district of Notting Hill (yes, after that famous movie!) in England. 
Watching this instantly picked up my mood and I hope it does the same to you. I especially loved the music embedded in this video. :)  It's Ben Browning's, I Can't Stay - which echoes exactly what I feel about something. :P Enjoy! 

Video Sourcehttp://www.oohlalar…

Taking a Leap of Faith : My Stint as a Travel Specialist

Before my current job, I was with another company for five years - bored out of my mind, bound at a desk for 8 hours, doing recurring tasks. I was into backpacking then and like most people who got the travel bug, I wished for a job that paid me to travel. 
The whim turned into an obsession. In my head, I conjured thoughts of getting out of my desk, being asked to go places and getting paid out of it. 
I did not think about the impossible. I knew I wanted it. Nothing else mattered. 
After several months, the universe conspired. While perusing the web, I found a job opening at a local company that specialized in retailing goods for travel and adventure. The position resonated with what I've been envisioning - Travel Specialist. My dream was about to come true and I just needed to meet it halfway! I applied, despite my apprehensions of leaving my comfort zone and possibly lower compensation. 

Everything went by quickly!
Weeks after my application, I was hired. On my first week, I …

Roomorama : Baguio Accommodation Partner

Over the weekend, I traveled to Baguio to support and spurt cheerful vibes to friends who joined an ultra marathon. The cut-off for the torturous 100KM division was 30 hours which meant I had several hours of "me time."
Since I needed a place to stay for the night while my friends ran their hearts out around the grueling uphill terrains of Baguio, I checked out Roomorama. It's a website with a straight-forward interface that allows travelers and people on business trips to painlessly search and book for different accommodations types in more than a hundred locations around the world. Short and long term leases are available and the prices cater to people with various budget preferences.  Fortunately, I found a cottage loft in a quiet location with mountain views near Kennon Road. It has two bathrooms, a bar, kitchen, 2 living rooms, a porch with wooden benches and a backyard sprawling with trees. 
For 80 USD a night + an 11-USD booking fee, I had an entire squeaky clean hou…

Tree Hugging Adventures

I'm not a hugger by nature. I stiffen when someone hugs me, (even if I'm an unbelievably cheerful character, powered by a daily dose of caffeine), it's highly unlikely that I'd be the type to give you a warm hug on a bad day. So I normally just say, "Awwww, virtual hug!" when someone's in dire need of one. :P
In some rare occasions, where I have given hugs, it had to be a close friend who forced me for a warm, tight squeeze to which I squirm afterwards. 
So, I was quite astonished when I discovered during a travel to Butuan, that I have this eccentric desire to hug big trees. I feel giddy and happy when I get to hug trees with enormous trunks that I can barely wrap my arms around and you bet I demand friends to take my photos for a souvenir shot. :P
How about you? Hugged a tree today? :P 

Get your Birth Certificate + Philippine Passport Appointment System with Teleserv

A few hours ago, I was at Harvest in BGC for a Bloggers Event organized by Teleserv for a briefing of their citizen services.
Teleserv is a local company that has partnered with several agencies of the Philippine government to make it easier for people to secure important documents such as the NSO Authenticated Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate and CENOMAR (Certificate of No Marriage.). They also have an existing tie-up with the Department of Foreign Affairs in providing passport appointment services.
Prior to responding to their invite, my mom had already tried one of their services when she requested for her birth certificate via phone. I was actually there when she coordinated with their call center and knowing my mom who loves asking questions, I knew the person on the other line had to be extremely professional and patient.
My mom got her birth certificate with no issues. Otherwise, she would have ranted about it. I have also renewed my passport a few mont…

Sagada Food : My Guest Post on Little Girl Travels is Up!

Unisse of Little Girl Travels has graciously allowed me to rave about Sagada's edible delights on her travel blog. 
Hope you can find time to visit her site. You can click here to read the entire post. :) Thanks and I wish you a relaxing weekend! 

My Top 5 Philippine Beach Hideaways

The summer heat is getting to me and the humidity that causes the icky sticky feeling made me dream of wallowing in a gorgeous beach isolated from civilization with a cooler overflowing with ice and drinks a few feet away.
While my wishful thinking will remain a whim for the next two weeks, I shall reminisce on my most memorable beach escapes. Here's my list, feel free to share yours! :)
1. Zambales - Nagsasa Cove Offers a unique beach experience with pine trees a few feet from the water and isolation from cell phone towers. The water flowing to the cove is part of the South China sea so the 45-minute boat ride from the shores of Barangay Pundaquit can be a bit wet and wild. The imposing view of mountains engulfed with overgrown weeds as you lazily float on the water makes up for the rough ride and as you lie on a hammock or inside your tent, strong, cold winds will rock you to a blissful slumber.
Tip : Bring all your provisions specially tons of ice and a cooler.

2. Palaw…

Tribute Thursday - Dong Ho,

May 2010 - Sharon, a marketing officer from my previous company, being innately charming and sociable, was invited to the launch of Lonely Planet Philippines Magazine (plus our company was one of their sponsors so we had to be invited, hihi :P) .
Though we were attending on official business, which meant extra "working hours", I didn't mind. It's Lonely Planet!

On our way to Ayala Museum, Sharon informed me that we were also meeting Dominic Hormigos, the blogger behind Eskapo 3.0  and popularly known around the blogging community as Dong Ho.
I had been actively surfing travel blogs since 2006 so I was familiar with the tenured bloggers. I exclaimed excitedly, as though I've been harboring an intense obsession despite not knowing what he looked like. I mean, don't you sometimes feel that way about other bloggers? You regularly visit their website, read about their adventures and along the course of your "healthy stalking", you develop a fo…

Salomon X-Trail 2012 Run Results, Photos and Tales

I'm currently channeling the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer look with my shiny nose, burnt by the sun and legs that feel like it has pranced from North Pole to Manila and back. :P And just like Rudolph, I come bearing happiness with some updates from the Salomon X-Trail 2012 which concluded last March 31.
I participated at the 24K Mountain Run, a decision that made me want to kick myself as I struggled to get to the finish line with aching limbs and filthy legs.
According to the adorable sadist race organizer, Neville Manaois, the Salomon X-Trail 2012 is the toughest race course that they have ever designed in and around Tagaytay Highlands. Sticking to their torturous promise, the route agonized our knees and calves and made us bathe in a mixture of sweat and dirt. 
The second half of the route was through a mountain where we had to cling to branches, boulders and hang on to trees for dear-life to avoid cliffs. After we got down from the mountain, we had to survive an "u…