Of pearls and vendors

How do you deal with touts when you travel? In my years of travel, I’ve learned to ignore them, as engaging them (or in some extreme cases, just having a brief eye contact) leads to non-stop badgering to buy or contract their services.

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Unfortunately, I wasn’t share this advice to my cousin, so she got annoyed into buying a couple of pearl earring. The seller was quite persistent, even employing a guilt trap: “please buy, so I can make a sale.”

Now, I’m all for helping the local communities I travel to, but this guy isn’t the only person in this community. There are other people here trying to make a living, and selling things that I actually like and need. Like danggit. Lots and lots of danggit.

How do you deal with touts?

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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Ticking off an item in my bucket list with Airbnb

This is my entry for Nuffnang’s #MyAirbnbBucketList contest.

Nothing can break me out of my blogging funk like the sweet promise of a free trip. Well, not really since it’s not really free unless I win this contest.

Casablanca
Kinda weird to be posting a photo of the bathroom this early in the post, but just look at it! Isn’t it pretty??

The past couple of months have been quite a ride, and though I have lost some of my blogging mojo, I certainly have not lost any love for travel. I may not be traveling now, but that is entirely by choice, and my choice is to lay low for now, and prepare for a longer trip in the future.

So that’s what I’ve been doing: in between my full time work, my odd writing jobs, and quality time spent with my plants, I am working on a long time goal: traveling to Italy. I’ve decided to stop dreaming and finally start making this into a reality.

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Who’s going to Japan?

I just want to say thank you to everyone who made an effort and joined my contest! I really appreciated all the effort you put into, to get the chance to win that round trip ticket to Japan, courtesy of Cebu Pacific!

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Back in Japan

I am actually in Japan now, savoring the pleasantly cool Spring weather. The sakura trees have already bloomed and the flowers have fallen down from the trees in some parts of Japan, but if the weather holds up, we’ll be seeing them as we traipse around Central Japan. This is my third trip to the country, and I’m hoping to find even more reasons to come back.

Looking through the entries, I was able to identify with the poster’s reasons, and I even found new stuff to try or visit.

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