Here are some interior and architecture shots of Sheridan Resort & Spa in Sabang, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan I took for AsianTraveler Magazine Philippines. Sheridan is, to date, the largest beachfront resort in Sabang, popular for the Puerto Princesa Underground River which was listed in the New 7 Wonders of Nature a few years back.
Yes, I ate bat in Indonesia.
Let me qualify that—I sampled less than a square inch of bat, dripping in sauce I could not remember, when on a writing assignment in North Sulawesi last year.
Don’t get me wrong—no amount of cheap flights to Indonesia or anywhere else would make me try BAT, of all things, at least not without a fair amount of “Come on, you’re already here” spiels. In this case, THAT came from our local guide Kern.
AsianTraveler Magazine’s Beaches of Southeast Asia is now out and I’m honored to contribute a couple of articles from Palawan, Hong Kong, and Baguio City.
Hope to write a couple of side stories from these trips here on my blog. In the meantime, would appreciate it if you can grab your copy.
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I’ve never seen Mount Pinatubo’s crater lake—something I’d like to do in the future—but this sulfuric lake in Indonesia is probably the closest I could get to it.
Note: This is a guest post
Corfu has captured the imagination of the British holidaymaking public for generations and for many people it is the only place they want to spend a week or so in the sun. Happily there are now several hugely attractive destinations around the island that are geared up to welcome and accommodate tourists from across the continent each and every year. Continue reading
The seaside town of Bangui in Ilocos Norte is probably one of the most photographed localities in the north because of its more than a dozen wind turbines jutting out of the coastline, the West Philippine Sea raging nearby.
It’s always a challenge to take photos of this place since I’ve seen practically every angle from photos of others. How exactly to find a spot that hasn’t quite been seen yet was playing in my mind as our cramped tricycle bobbed its way along the short path inland into where the windmills were.
The Universe probably thought it would spare me from useless roaming around because we chanced upon a group of kids playing in the sand, the windmills visible from behind and in front of them, just as we alighted from the trike. The weather was perfect—too sunny for my already-sunburnt skin, but still, it was perfect for my camera. It was as convenient as I could have hoped for.
So while it’s good to scour a place’s every nook to get the shot you want, these lucky finds are more than ideal as well, especially for people like me who do not have the patience to fiddle with graduated filters and tripods and all the technicality that comes with shooting landscapes. Don’t get me wrong—I have immense, immense respect for landscapists. I’m not just made from the same patient, painstaking fabric.
Although by no means easygoing, the traffic in Manado City in North Sulawesi province, Indonesia, didn’t strike me as snarling either. Manado, after all, wasn’t nearly as big a city as Jakarta, not even Metro Manila; it was more like any other 3rd class city in the Philippines, traffic-wise. But unlike most cities here, those in Manado seemed to have a lot of female drivers cruising along the streets as well as the men.
I’ve always found motorcycles an interesting piece about a place’s personality. In Manado, the motorcycle was everywhere and everyone was on them as well. Merchants prop their motorbikes’ rear ends with wares, women ride pillion or else maneuver the thing by themselves, and they all converge and disperse everywhere along with cars and mikrolets (like the PH’s multicab, only that these come in a uniform blue shade).
In the Philippines, I’ve come to assume that when most locals ride motorcycles, the place would have to have a more laidback vibe than others. I’ve seen this in Panglao in Bohol, in Bantayan in Cebu, in the whole of Busuanga in Palawan—they are all islands that do not have the need for cars to ferry them around their little area on a daily basis. I mean, I haven’t seen Vietnam’s notorious two-wheeled population, but where there are motorcycles on a daily basis, it’s always a fascinating sight. They always have much more character than gas-guzzling SUVs, after all.
Summer is just around the corner and I’m pretty sure everyone is already excited to go to their favorite summer destinations to relax and unwind. The white sand beaches of Boracay, the cool temperature of Baguio, and the paradise that is Palawan are just a few of the most popular vacation spots in the Philippines. But for those who feel that these destinations are a bit too far for their taste, Subic Bay is a place that can fulfill one’s idea of a perfect summer getaway all the same. The drive from Manila to Subic is now significantly reduced with a shorter travel time of only two hours due to the renovation of the North Luzon Expressway and the opening of the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway connections.