Saturday, March 29, 2014

Sapi Island

This picture was taken on Sapi Island, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. It's a beautiful island with crystal clear water surrounding it. We saw millions of fish and that tells you a lot about how the people here care for the environment. I would definitely love to go back to Kota Kinabalu. The people were so friendly, and they were very much willing to show off their proficiency in Tagalog, my native language. The only thing I didn't like was that we waited for the boat that was supposed to pick us up for 45 minutes. But all in all, it was a very pleasant experience. Everything was cheap, so that was a good thing hehe. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

MyZeil in Frankfurt am Main

Holey moley! No it isn't the black hole, nor is it a portal to an alternate universe. Roman architect Massimiliano Fuksas saw it fit to include a massive hole in the design of this beautiful mall. I say, "Good call, Massimiliano!"  

MyZeil is  one of the biggest shopping and leisure parks in Germany.It is located in the heart of Frankfurt am Main.  Rainwater from the nearly 6000 square meters large roof areas is collected, cleaned and returned to the water cycle of the house.

One doesn't have to be a art freak to realize that this mall is one architectural wonder.The unconventional design elevates the shopping experience. 

When I was on the escalator, I felt like I was on my way on board the mother ship. Hehe. But, if you ever find yourself in Frankfurt, make sure you pay this beautiful mall a visit. 

MyZeil Info:
Address: Zeil 106, 60313 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Phone:+49 69 29723970
Hours: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sultan Abdul Samad Building

Don't adjust your screen, you are not experiencing a psychedelic episode - the building's purple. This building is called the Sultan Abdul Samad Building and can be found in front of Independence Square in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was designed by A.C. Norman and built in 1894-1897 to house several important government departments during the British administration. Today it houses the offices of the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture of Malaysia. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Juan Muñoz at the Guggenheim

When my sister and I went to Bilbao, Spain, we made our way to the Guggenheim museum not really knowing what to expect. What we found were these fascinating bronze figures right outside the museum, some of which had missing body parts. These are the works of Spanish sculptor Juan Muñoz who was known for sculpting works in a "narrative manner which consisted of creating smaller than life-size figures in an atmosphere of mutual interaction." Muñoz was influenced by the drama of American minimalism and the poetry of Italian Arte Povera (poor art), a modern art movement popular in Italy in from the late '60s to the early '70s. He died at the age of 48 in his summer home in Ibiza on August 28, 2001.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Bencab's Ducks

These ducks are lucky enough to call Baguio their home. Baguio, what Filipinos fondly call the summer capital of the Philippines, is a city located in the mountains of Benguet Province. The mere mention of its name evokes feelings of nostalgia in a lot of Filipinos like me, who, as a kid would make yearly trips to the City of Pines with their families, be it during the Christmas or summer holidays. 

This picture was taken by my husband with my Samsung Galaxy S4. It had been a foggy day, but my husband had insisted on taking pictures. This was one of them.

Must-visit places: Bencab Museum, Camp John Hay, Burnham Park, Mines View Park, Baguio Country Club (members only), Baguio Botanical Garden. Click here for more information about Baguio.

Must-eats: Ube jam (made of yam) from Good Shepherd Convent (15 Gibraltar Road). Garlic longganisa (local sausage) served at the Baguio Country Club Veranda, hot chocolate served at Cafe Sabel, Bencab Museum (Km. 6 Asin Road, Tadiangan, Tuba).

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Beautiful Camiguin

Camiguin is a province located in the Bohol Sea 10 kilometers off the northern coast of Mindanao. The island seen here is not part of the main island of Camiguin but is part of the province. It is a tiny island with no structures apart from a makeshift tarpaulin tent. I have visited this island twice, and I look forward to visiting it for a third time. If you ever find yourself in Camiguin, don't forget to ask about this little island. 

How to get there: Fly directly from Manila to Camiguin via Cebu Pacific. If you're coming from Cagayan, take a taxi to the bus terminal located at the Agora Market to get on a bus for Balingoan, a town 88 kilometers outside the city. At Balingoan, take a ferry bound for Camiguin Island. The ferry ride takes about an hour.

Where to stay: During my visits to the island I stayed at Paras Beach Resort and I must say that I was very much satisfied both times. The resort had a very relaxed ambiance, and the rooms were clean, and of a decent size.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Yosemite National Park

The Half Dome is a granite dome that can be found in Yosemite National Park in California. My family and I visited the park in 2007. It was our first trip there, and I must admit, it was wonderful to be one with nature, amidst the countless tourists that were there. The colossal granite crest rises more than 4,737 ft (1,444 m) above the valley floor.

Quick Travel Tip: If you or someone traveling with you needs special assistance or a car to explore the park, you could get a special permit or pass so you can bring your car to some parts of the park which are off limits to unauthorized vehicles. Ask about the pass at the entrance gate.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Bulls of Pamplona

This picture was taken during the festival of San Fermin in Pamplona, Spain in 2008. I love the creativity, the effort, and the humor that the Spanish put into celebrating the feast of a much beloved saint, Pamplona's first bishop. 

The festival of San Fermin, or what the locals call San Fermines, is an annual week-long festival held from July 6 to July 14. Although its religious aspect has taken a backseat to its more secular, festive one, Los San Fermines has remained one of the most beloved, honored, and celebrated festivals in the world today.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Haedong Yonggusa Temple

I took this picture when my parents, my friend Jee Young and I went to Busan in November 2009. This was taken at the Haedong Yonggusa Temple which is located on the coast of the north-eastern portion of Busan. For more details click here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Osaka Update

A month ago, in my post titled How to Travel Cheap, I mentioned that my husband and I are scheduled to go on a trip to Osaka, Japan in May. Well a lot has happened since then. No, the trip hasn't been cancelled. But what was originally a post-anniversary getaway for just the two of us became a full-blown group tour which includes my parents, my brother, and two of my best friends, Emilie and Karen.

Things happened very quickly. Decisions had to be made on the spot if my friends were to get the promo fare that Cebu Pacific was offering. The last day of the sale was yesterday, and my friend Emilie gave me the go signal to book the tickets for them.

I'm just so happy that I will get to share Japan memories with my family, especially my mother who is part Japanese, my English husband, whom, I believe could have been a ninja in his past life, my brother who can't wait to eat authentic Japanese food, my dad who'll probably be mumbling to himself the whole time, and my two best friends who will grab every photo op there is.

I know May is two months away, but I just can't contain my excitement. Japan, here we come!

Quick Budget Travel Tip: If you find cheap airfare, as in dirt cheap airfare, to a destination you so badly want to go, I say go for it. Like your favorite budget airline on Facebook and subscribe to get emails from them. These are good ways of finding out ahead of everyone else if there's going to be a seat sale.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Reclining Buddha in Penang

This picture was taken at the Reclining Buddha Temple  (Wat Chayamangkalaram) in the beautiful state of Penang, Malaysia in 2009. The temple can be found on Burma Road in George Town, the state's capital. The 33-meter Buddha, is also fondly called the Sleeping Buddha by the locals. 

Quick Travel Tip: You can purchase round trip bus tickets from Kuala Lumpur to Penang online. My friend and I used Aeroline which, I later found out, was a bit more pricey than other bus lines. But the seats were very comfortable, and there was food service on board. 

If you're interested to ride Aeroline, just go to the Corus Hotel  (Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysiaand look for their desk. That is the pickup point in Kuala Lumpur. Click here to view map.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Eiffel Tower and the Trees


What kind of travel blogger would I be if I didn't have the picture of the iconic Eiffel Tower on my site? I took this picture in June 2012 when my friend and I visited Paris. It was my third visit. 

The Eiffel Tower was built in 1889 by Gustave Eiffel for the World Expo. To this day, it remains one of the most photographed monuments in the world, and evokes a plethora of emotions in anyone who beholds it. Perhaps the international symbol of romance, it draws lovers and hopeless romantics from all over the world, making it one of the most popular tourist spots in the world. 

Quick travel tip: When visiting Paris, it is better to buy a four-day museum pass if you intend to stay four days and up. It will grant you access to countless museums and gardens. It will also save you time because you won't have to queue up to buy tickets at each attraction. You can buy the museum pass at the airport.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Dinner in Denmark

Travel is not just about seeing new places and meeting wonderful people. More often than not, it is also about eating good food. In 2012, my friend Emilie and I traveled to Denmark. There we stayed with her husband's family who were the loveliest, most gracious hosts. The proof is in the picture: a sumptuous dinner served by two of our hosts at their beautiful home.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Wooden Masks from Palawan

I took a picture of these masks which were being sold at the LRC 908 Market Mall in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. My mother and I booked an overnight shopping trip there in August 2013. It is one of my most favorite cities in the world. It has so much to offer all kinds of travelers. The locals are very disciplined and trustworthy, and it is very easy to get around what with all the tricycles in the area. I have to admit I often check budget airline websites for promo fares to Puerto Princesa. 

If you are into pearls, Puerto Princesa is an ideal place to go. Countless shops offer high quality pearls (cultured, rice, South Sea) at reasonable prices. My friend had asked me to buy her a pair of pearl earrings and I found the perfect pair at 14 mm for only USD 101 (Php 4,500). Just thinking about it makes me want to book another trip to the Greenest City in the Philippines.

"Puerto Princesa is the seat of the provincial government of Palawan, although it is considered an independent city which means it is not controlled by the province in which it is geographically located, and is therefore an independent area located within Palawan." (Wikipedia)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Senado Square, Macau

This picture was taken in the Senado Square in Macau in February 2008. That's my mom right there :-)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Flamingos at SeaWorld

The beautiful flamingos at SeaWorld San Diego. I took this picture in 2007 when my family and some of my friends from the US went there. It was such a lovely day, as you can see. I simply adore these beautiful birds.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sculpture outside the Hearst Castle

This Greco-Roman sculpture sits outside the Hearst Castle which is located in San Simeon, California. This National and California Historical Landmark was designed by Julia Morgan, and built between 1919 and 1945 for newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst. It is very much representative of the opulence of Ancient Greece and Rome, whose influence is evident in all aspects of Morgan's design.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Bag on a Bench in Pamplona

My attempt at unleashing my creative side. NOT. I was just happy with my bag, I couldn't contain my happiness and took this picture. Now, I loathe this bag because, for its size, the supporting screws are way too small! C'mon Fendi people, make better bags! (End of rant.) 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Dali: Mind of a Genius Exhibit

In 2011, my husband and I were fortunate enough to catch the Dali exhibit at the ArtScience Museum at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Like what I said in an earlier post, Dali has always fascinated me. He wasn't just a creative genius who made use of varied materials to express his creativity. But his personality was one big homage to art. I wish to learn how to love writing the way Dali loved art. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Dali, larger than life.


 Sal and Mia

Anthropomorphic Chest of Drawers

Last but not the least, my husband picking Dali's nose.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

There's no escaping Dalí

A poster for a Dalí exhibit in Rome. Picture taken in May 2012 as my friend Emilie and I were exploring the busy, and I mean BUSY, streets of Rome. I've always been fascinated with Salvador Dali ever since I saw some of his works at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid. The title of one of his works displayed there particularly struck me. If you have been there, I bet you know what I'm talking about.  My husband and I were fortunate enough to see a Dali exhibit at the Marina Bay Sands Artscience Museum in Singapore in 2011. I will post some of the pictures here soon. Also, watch out for my article about my tips when traveling to Rome.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Fishing Trip in Norway

Once upon another lifetime, I was married to a man who came from a land where nature's beauty abounds - Norway. It is truly one of God's masterpieces, with its mountains and fjords, clear blue lakes and midnight sun. During this part of my life, I made seven trips to Norway, and I experienced a lot of firsts. These pictures were taken during my first (and only) fishing experience. There are no people in the pictures, for the people don't matter. It's about the experience. I took these pictures with my Nokia N90.

The tiny boat we used.

Coffee: a fishing trip essential. Make sure you buy the kind of coffee you can boil. 

Going back to the basics.

I caught 1 fish.

Gorgeous sunset was my reward.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Tour of Napa Valley

In 2007, my family made a trip to a couple of vineyards in Napa Valley. We had read somewhere about the wine tastings to be had there, and since my father loved wine, we headed up there to see and taste for ourselves what Napa had to offer. 

The weather was great, not too cold, not too hot. And as you can see, the grapes sure loved it there. They were so round and plump, it was hard to resist plucking them from the vine. 

I wish I had a vineyard. It's okay, I can always write a book wherein my character owns one haha!

Beautiful grapes!

My parents at the Andretti Winery.

It definitely looks and feels like home. 

After a tour of the vineyards, you can head down to the town center for a sumptuous meal. Napa is also well-known for its thriving culinary scene. According to, Napa Valley received a total of 12 Michelin stars in 2013 alone. For ordinary folks like me, that only means one thing, great food! But a star does come with a price. The more stars you get, the pricier you become, right? 

For more information about Napa Valley, please click here.