Azalea Residences Baguio

I’ve been to Baguio four times, and each time, I stayed somewhere new. I’ve stayed at a house in La Trinidad, where meals were had at the outdoor patio, and the steaming hot dishes brought out were cold by the time it reached our mouths. I’ve stayed at a cabin in Teacher’s Camp, where I shivered under the sheets, and dared not get out of the bed once the lights are out, even if I needed to pee. I’ve also stayed at a transient house, where we had a very basic room, in contrast to the elegance of The Manor and Hotel Elizabeth, when I joined the Lakbay Norte. So for a chance to try out another Baguio hotel, I’m more than game for it (especially since it was sweltering in Manila).

Azalea Residences
Azalea Residences Baguio

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Review: Injap Tower Hotel in Iloilo City

I was in a self-imposed travel hiatus, which I was aiming to stretch until October, but I was all too happy to break it for a chance to visit Iloilo, upon the invitation Injap Tower Hotel. One of the newest hotels in Iloilo city, it is located not in the downtown city center, in the area near the city’s new developing CBD.


Injap Tower Hotel at the West Diversion Road, Iloilo City

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Traveling with Cla, Khursten, and Muji

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When I made up my mind to start traveling in 2006, I knew I’d be going solo. As much as I would have loved to travel with my friends, I knew that it would not be possible: they have different priorities, and their money will definitely not be going to a travel fund.

With Khursten and Cla on the flight to Bangkok
With Khursten and Cla on the flight to Bangkok

In the same year that I started traveling, I also got into doll collecting. That’s how we met – Khursten was a fellow Pinky Street collector, and Cla was a Pullip collector. We would have dolly meets and conversations would center around our hobbies. As time passed, we started getting to know each other, and found out we have more in common beyond our dolls.

We all love to travel. Though I started traveling with Cla in 2009, it was only in 2013 that we were able to travel with Khursten. Funny story about how that trip came about: we were hanging out one evening, when the talk turned to how much Cla and I miss eating Bangkok street food. Khursten commented that her experience with Thai food in Bangkok was less than stellar. Right then and there, we decided to go to Bangkok just so we can prove to Khursten just how awesome Thai food is.

With Cla at Balos Beach
With Cla at Balos beach in Crete

It was mid-December then, and we chanced upon some pretty good airfare deals right around Christmas. We quickly booked our tickets, reserved our hostel. Roughly four months after that, we were Bangkok bound.

That weekend was exactly how we planned it to be – sampling the best street food Bangkok has to offer (there was a nightly food market near our favorite hostel), hunting for bargains in Chinatown, exploring the huge Chatuchak weekend market, and trying out even more food.

That’s pretty much how we end up taking trips together. In January 2013, Cla asked me out of the blue if I wanted to go to Greece. Without batting an eyelash, I hastily said yes. It was the same when she asked me if I wanted to go to Morocco. Khursten moved to Sydney mid 2013, and since I happened to be in Australia, I made sure to visit her (and give her a bottle of Vegemite). As we were catching up, she mentioned that she’ll be going to Japan to research, and eager for any reason to go to Japan, I said I’ll join her for a portion of the trip.

With Khursten at Uradome Coast
With Khursten at the Uradome Coast in Iwami

I love traveling with them because they’re very easy and fun to travel with. Both of them have also traveled a lot, so I never feel that I have to babysit them when we’re overseas. We all appreciate good food, and we’re not fussy when it comes to trying out something new. Best of all, if you ask them something, they’d give a definite answer, not “kahit ano,” which can get really infuriating.

I have to say I got really lucky meeting them, and having them as my travel companions. Though I’ve made other friends who are also avid travelers, I love that they can get as impulsive as I do when it comes to making travel plans, and how they’re game for the places I want to visit or the things I want to do.

My steady companion on all my travels though, are my favorite Muji products: the soft neck cushion, the hanging bath case, and the flip top tubes. I’ve had the neck cushion since 2011, and it remain as my favorite travel gear.

What about you, who’s your favorite travel companion?

Japanese lifestyle brand Muji launches Muji to Go, a campaign that puts the spotlight on Muji’s unique, functional items that are specially designed for any form of travel. Muji ensures providing the right mix of comfort through these portable and compact items. They are even great for creating and storing unforgettable travel memories with the best travel companions.

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Shangri-La Tokyo’s “My Tokyo” Photo Contest

Have you been to Tokyo? Got some gorgeous photos to share of this vibrant city? Want to go back and travel in style and luxury? Share your photo that best capture what Tokyo is, and get a chance to experience shangri-la.

Presidential Suite, Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo
This could be your home in Tokyo for five days!

Inspired by James Hilton’s novel Lost Horizon, the Shangri-La hotel group takes the name to heart and aims to deliver that sense of serenity and tranquility in their properties around the globe. Now you’ll get the chance to have the Shangri-La experience, and in Japan, no less!
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Juan for Fun Backpacking Challenge 2014

It is indeed a different world we’re living in when an adventure contest is won by geeks. It reaffirms that whatever you set your mind to, you can achieve if you’re determined enough!

Juan for Fun 2014 teams
The five Juan for Fun teams, with Team Tuklas right in the middle wearing blue.

In the recently Cebu Pacific’s Juan for Fun Backpacking Challenge, Team Tuklas, a trio of Physics majors comprising of Floyd Patricio, Esme Escoto and Gab Saplagio, emerged victorious. In a span of 9 days, they explored Kuala Lumpur, sampled the delicacies of Bacolod, traipsed around Cebu, discovered the beauty of Camiguin, wandered around Cagayan de Oro, and played tourist in Manila.
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