Blog Archive

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Fulfill Your Grown up Christmas List - Join the Taiwan Excellence: Made to Enjoy Christmas Contest!

Christmas is all about sharing, giving, love, and family. Beyond just receiving gifts,the spirit of Christmas is all about the spirit of giving. 

Giving gifts is a long time Fiipino Christmas tradition; it is our way to let the person know that we care and that we are happy they are part of our life. 

I'm sure you have that one person who you really appreciate and deserves something special this Christmas - may it be a friend who makes you laugh, an office mate who makes your corporate life easy or anybody from your family.   

To celebrate the spirit of generosity that the Christmas season brings, Taiwan Excellence is here to help us express our love and appreciation by letting us choose high-quality gifts.

Taiwan Excellence recognizes that Christmas is a special time for Filipinos and is helping fulfill our “Grown up Christmas list” by letting us wish for things for others through the Taiwan Excellence - Made to Enjoy Christmas Contest. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Thousands Have Saved Using Sears Coupons… Why Not You?

Nowadays, shopping online has become mainstream and now shopping stores, brands and retailers have put up a website with online shopping features. These shopping websites also give out online consumers with surprising discounts. 

There are an increasing number of websites that offer the ability to search for the cheapest place to buy a product, but coupon codes can significantly gives a chance to save money on our purchases and has become one of the most popular form of deals on the Internet.

It is not impossible that you can find amazingly good deals online and I think any online shopper would benefit from always having a look at the discounts offered by quality brands. Sure, there are many companies and brands out there that are unreliable, but as soon as you start looking at the more established brands you quickly find that they sometimes have coupon codes that will help you save big.

Nordstrom: Take Advantage of Special Coupons for Your Online Shopping

Image courtesy of Nordstrom, Inc.
Sometimes I hate going to shopping malls. Dealing with the crowds, waiting in long lines, and dealing with aggressively persistent sales personnel — they're all annoying and makes me want to avoid shopping altogether. Plus, for a backpacker like me, I always find it hard and grueling to spend so much time shopping and walking from shop to shop to look for things I need.     

Fortunately, shopping online is now an alternative, and I can have personal items I want brought to me instead of having to go get them.  Shopping in the internet has never been effortless. In just a few clicks of your mouse, you can find clothes and gadgets and just about any product you want. The option of shopping online is sometimes more appealing due to lower prices and convenience – plus I always expect to see so many products up to half or more of the price online. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Mt. Ugo Traverse » 9 Things You Must Do During a Climb to Celebrate Life

Spectacular view of Mt. Ugo sea of clouds hover_share
In hiking, who-is-the-fittest trail drama is not something to trudge through, as though it were an endurance contest – not unless it’s a trail marathon. The hike is meant to be filled with joy. But in order for this to happen, we must first learn to celebrate life.

Last weekend, we successfully conquered Mt. Ugo via traverse from Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya exit to Brgy. Tinongdan, Itogon, Benguet. The purpose of this climb is to celebrate the birthday of Dys and Sherwin, two super bubbly hiking enthusiasts I met during our previous Mt. Cinco Picos climb. Joining us is also another birthday celebrant, Ms. Leslie, making this climb a triple celebration. 

There is nothing I love more than a celebration! What better way to celebrate a birthday than with a hike on the Cordilleras. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Silanguin Cove » Over the Mountain and Through the Sea

Footprints in the sand along beach of Silanguin Cove hover_share
It began as a simple click on a link on my Facebook timeline, then, an adventure was fulfilled.

Trek and follow the horizon passing various peaks - to a place where waves and sand meets mountains and pine trees. A chance to use my weekends to destress. To be one with the mountains. To cherish the rain and feel the sand on my toes. I met strangers, adventure lovers, new friends. A gratifying experience of nature's wonders all in one place.

Mt. Cinco Picos traverse to Silanguin Cove is a mountain-to-sea adventure, which makes this climb more exciting and memorable. A beach holds a special place in my heart and when I found out that this climb includes a Zambales beach finale, I immediately signed up. 

Back in 2011, we were trapped in Pundaquit and cancelled all our island hopping plans due to typhoon, thus I made a promise to myself that I will go back to this place again – and luckily I got this chance to fulfill that promise.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Mt. Cinco Picos » Do Not Aim for the Summit

Hiker trekking grassland trail of Mt. Cinco Picos in Zambales  hover_share
Success is not about how high you have reached, but the long hike and perseverance you endured.

This is the essence of Mt. Cinco Picos.  

During our recent climb, I felt fatigued. As I climb this mountain, there are times I felt I no longer have energy to climb any higher or any longer. There was an instant that I personally feel that this mountain has defeated me, that I am a quitter. But what I cannot do is cease to walk and just let go. 

So I walked on and on, moving painstakingly forward, but never giving up. I whispered to myself, “as long as I am walking and breathing, I am learning.” 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Mt. Pico de Loro – If this Mountain Could Talk

Mt. Pico de Loro view of the summit resembling the parrot's beak hover_share
I found out this mountain can talk. 

At first, there is nothing interesting except for the usual muddy trail, common trees and bushes…but then small things begin to stand out along the trail - a white leaf floating against the blue sky, fallen flower against the gray rocks, tangled roots and vines and blooming mushrooms. 

At the middle of the trail, I told myself, now I see the trail as it really is; and again see and hear inspirations on simple things around me – most especially when I met that sleeping parrot at the summit – it was as if this mountain is saying and reminding me something! 

This mountain can talk. You just have to open your heart to hear the whispers of the trees and the streams and what this lonesome parrot has to say:

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mag-Aso Falls » What Is So Great About Chasing Waterfalls?

hover_share Like a secret paradise - Mag-aso Falls with its turquoise water and surrounding greenery.
Yes, it appears I have been questioning myself about this – and I do like to pose questions to myself when I feel I need to do so, especially when I’m traveling. It never fails to offer me a refreshing gem of insights at the most unexpected place.  

So what’s so great about chasing waterfalls?

I asked myself this question during our side trip to Mag-aso Falls in Kabankalan City on our Negros Occidental random getaway. 

Under normal circumstances, I would have been at home doing DVD marathons or surfing the internet on weekend or long holidays. But my life’s circumstances ceased to be normal when I discovered the joy of climbing mountains or chasing waterfalls or by just being somewhere. I realized I hate routines.     

It was on this trip to Mag-aso Falls that I had this enlightening observation of the people around me. Maybe it’s a common-sense theory that I had never thought before – or maybe it’s a valid philosophical discovery.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Ruins in Negros Occidental » 10 Lovely Facts You Need to Know Before Visiting

hover_share Painting of The Ruins depicting a Kalesa and the Veranda of The RuinsI was watching TV the other day and I saw this teleserye titled "Ikaw Lamang". I'm no fan of soap operas -- why I mentioned it here is because one of the locations featured in the said soap was particularly familiar. 

Later while I was organizing my travel photos, I came across random shots from our Negros Occidental trip two years ago and remembered that that lovely mansion in Talisay City is called "The Ruins." I do feel guilty realizing that it was on my pending-blog-post list for a year now - turns out my usual enthusiastic self cannot cope too well with work stress, hence my last year's blogging hiatus.

Anyway, I do really miss this blogging thing and I still have lots of interesting travel related posts on my drafts folder. 

To catch up, let me share here some lovely facts about this hauntingly beautiful mansion called "The Ruins" in Talisay City. It was not just a mansion, but a "monument of love" like the Taj Mahal. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Casa de Don Emilio » A Step Back In Time

hover_share Antique wall lamp inside Casa de Don Emilio antique Spanish house
The moment I got in, I stepped back in time. The whole atmosphere took me back to a simpler time. Maybe because I’m a little bit dizzy from the summer heat, it’s all the more apparent to me that inside this restaurant, the world seems to have stopped during a gentler and slower, bygone Spanish era. 

Our destination is Casa de Don Emilio restaurant along Mercader St. in Boac, just across the Marinduque Museum. We arrived late in the afternoon just after our visit to the hot spring. Still feeling the unbearable heat and tired from lack of sleep, we immediately look for some caffeinated cold drinks.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Torrijos Freedom Park » Relaxing Side Trip on your Marinduque Getaway

hover_share Dugong guarding the three mermaids at Torrijos Freedom Park
We’ve done almost half of our travel plans in Marinduque. Still euphoric from attending the Moriones Festival, still full from gorging some local food and tingling sunburn – we came back to town and felt we needed to escape and have some quiet time and just relax.

With that extra time on our hands while in Torrijos,  Marinduque and craving for some space and air, we headed to the Freedom Park, which according to the welcome sign was formerly called the Luneta Park of Torrijos. 

It is about a few minutes walk from the town proper – impressive place where we enjoyed pleasant view of Mt. Malindig and some lazy walk. It would be nice swimming at the beach but we already visited some awesome Marinduque beaches and had enough sun so we just stayed to relax and got totally unplugged from our hectic Marinduque get-away.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Marinduque’s Best Kept Secrets: Killer Beaches Without the Crowds

hover_share A very relaxing calm boat ride with scenic view of Mt. Malindig in Marinduque
If I could tell you something about the beach and myself, it would be this – I am selfish and I’d rather wish we murder each other if you ever block my view of a golden sunset.

I flee to the beach whenever summer holiday strikes – and so does everybody else. Me and those hundreds of thousands of fellow beach bummers. That’s the kind of beach-becomes-public-market kind of holiday disaster we would most likely encounter at Philippine’s popular and overrated beaches. You know the drill - too many people, too much noise, not nearly enough serenity to enjoy the majesty of blue skies, build sand castles and hear the whispers of the waves. And Boracay, with its thousands of summer visitors, is one of the worst offender (but you’ll love Boracay or Puerto Galera if crazy beach nightlife is your thing.)
I know you also crave for undiscovered beaches out there — secret beaches and blissful hideaways where highly commercialized tourism hasn’t yet eclipsed the local scene.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Marinduque Hot Springs Resort: Where Summer Backpackers Must Go (But Don’t)

Figurine with blistered face
It’s hot! Where’s one to go?

A cold pool or a beach - that is what summer backpackers need on a scorching hot summer. But what about a short break for a hot spring?

Don’t think I’m writing this to convince you to visit a hot spring on a hot summer; that is completely insane (but could be fun). I’m writing this because it recently occurred to me that, what we did in Marinduque (as backpackers who have no itinerary and has no intention of creating one) could be a fantastic and “hot” experience for anyone who likes random side trips.

So instead of spending the remaining hot afternoon to pass the time talking and laughing about our Bellarocca misadventure, we do a side trip at Marinduque Hot Springs Resort.

Marinduque is not just the place for the renowned Moriones festival, it is also home to some excellent healing hot springs and waterfalls.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

7 Kuripot Moves to Survive the Expensive Boracay

hover_share Shadow of man against tribal designed floor with white sand
If, on your last trip to Boracay you paid and stayed in Shangri-La or any luxury resort in Station 1, then get out of here. If you have a 50K budget just to go beach bumming, then this post is not for you. If you still go on reading and later tweet about how embarrassing my suggested kuripot moves are and how I demean myself somehow – then thank you, you rich brat.     

OK, so this post is intended for budget conscious traveler (read: broke-ass backpackers) who are brave enough to travel on a very limited budget – and were able to enjoy awesome travel destinations with just their kuripot maneuvers.   

Friday, May 09, 2014

X-MEN: Days of Future Past

X-Men mutants are some of my most memorable and most loved band of heroic outcasts since my childhood and I will definitely not miss this year's sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past which from the puzzling trailer, seems to have all the ingredients for a sure-fire blockbuster hit.

The premise it seems is that, In the near future, The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that would result in doom for both humans and mutants.

Wolverine is going to travel back in time into the mind of his past self. Older Professor X sends him to the past while telling him: “I was a very different man. Lead me. Guide me. Be patient with me” which is particularly interesting

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Moriones Festival » Unique Lenten Festival You Need to Experience

Funny face of Mr. Bean used in Moriones Festival
Last summer, I was lucky enough to finally get a chance to experience the spectacular Moriones Festival first-hand. The experiences I had at this vibrant, exciting festival in Marinduque is no doubt one of my most memorable trips, and I am delighted to be able to finally check this off on my Philippine festival’s to-attend list.

It is really one thing to travel the Philippines but it is another to experience it. Hence, on our trip to Marinduque, we schedule it during the Lenten season to experience its unique way of celebrating holy week, aside of course from the amazing Marinduque's unexplored beaches. 

Although the basic rituals are practiced all over the Philippines, variations do occur depending on the parish, town, or people concerned.. Lent season in my hometown in Mindoro is a little bit bloody. During the Huwebes-Santo and especially during the Biyernes-Santo, you can see on the streets the the Penetensiya. These are half-naked men, with faces covered with a cloth and heads adorned with coconut or dried banana leaves. They usually have "Kadlit" or blade cuts at their backs. They will then whip their backs with a "Tipo" or whip made of bamboo sticks tied together with a rope. Lent season in our town is definitely bloody - and sans the colors, a bit solemn and conservative.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Difference Between Backpackers and Tourists

Three backpackers and three tourists are traveling by train to a two-day summer vacation.

At the station, the three tourists each buy tickets and watch as the three backpackers buy only a single ticket.

 "How are three people going to travel on only one ticket?" asks the tourist.

 "Watch and you'll see," answers a backpacker.

They all board the train. The tourists take their respective seats but all three backpackers cram into a restroom and close the door behind them.

Shortly after the train has departed, the conductor comes around collecting tickets. He knocks on the restroom door and says, "Ticket, please."

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Mt. Samat: Best History Side Trip When in Bataan

Scultures at the base of the cross in Mt. Samat National Shrine
After our uneventful summer outing cum teambuilding at Montemar Beach Resort, we came to see that famous World War II historical Cross in Bataan – the Shrine of Valor in Mt. Samat. It was a planned quick stop over, for a bit of history and selfies, since the shrine was just less than an hour drive from Montemar.

I tried sleeping on our way going to Mt. Samat, but my quick siesta was cut-off when I felt that sudden tingling sensation on my ears, like that funny feeling inside a plane taking-off. I looked outside, saw our bus struggling the winding road upward and realized we are gaining elevation – so I just rolled over and nibble on some Boy Bawang.
Sometimes, historical trips are quite boring right? Upon our arrival, I lazily go outside, inspect the area, immediately noticed that horrible thing they did to Mt. Samat – they cemented portions of it. Well, that is an unavoidable nature-against-history sacrifice for that important shrine, I guess.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Travel Misadventure » Panic at Bellarocca

Solitary man on a boat approaching Bellarocca Resort at Elephant Island in Buenavista Marinduque Philippines
Admit it - sometimes in our excitement we do stupid things – a simple sense of travel adventure leads to unfortunate screw-ups. It creates utter panic and frustrations but later becomes a laughable travel moments – an anecdote worth sharing with others.

Now before I get to the story itself, I’d like to note that this happened during our unforgettable visit to Marinduque during our Semana Santa holiday trip last year and I only posted it now because our group all agreed not to mention this or tag photos on our social media accounts in case somebody would investigate those “intruders” on that one lovely afternoon.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Too Broke for a Beach Get-away? Try Puerto Galera

Banner at the beach - Vacation Puerto Galera Oriental Mindoro Philippines, the heart of Asia
Like many working professionals, I’m often worried about money. I work overtime and spend as economical as possible to make ends meet. But I wanted to travel. It was somehow a passion - so I find ways to do it even if my wallet is a little too light to take that quick getaway. 

Traveling can cost us little or as much as we want it to. But for budget conscious and cowboy-style traveler like me, I always want it to be cheap but triple the fun. 

So when my backpacker office-mates had this crazy idea over lunch - of suddenly escaping the heat and spend a night on a nice beach just to drink vodka – we immediately make plans and list down potential beaches to explore.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Thank You for the Bad Days

I know sometime in your daily mundane life this happened to you too. Out of nowhere you realize your job seems pointless, the whole situation you’re in is gray and meaningless and with a deep sigh you ask whether or not you should carry on. These are definitely one of those bad days.

These are the moments when you automatically go on rewind – as far as your childhood days - and one by one you remember your dreams and what you want your life to be and the things you want to achieve. Then your heart gets heavier and heavier - as you realize the list of the things you haven’t achieved and haven’t done seems endless.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

8 Must-Try Surfing and Sailing Spots in the Philippines

The Philippines is a great spot for surfing and sailing. It is an archipelago, a group of 7,107 islands surrounded by the big blue, which means there are a lot of beaches to choose from when you want a little summer fun! 

But where do you go when you want to do a little bit of surfing or sailing? Here is a short list for you! 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Surf & Share your #AYOSNASUMMER Wish, Win Summer Siren Festival Passes For Your Barkada

Be part of the hottest 3-day beach party for FREE when you share your #AyosNaSummer wish with your barkada! Simply Surf & Share on to win FREE Summer Siren tickets for you and your friends!

A total of 35 Summer Siren passes and 10 limited edition Ayos Loudbasstard speaker docks will be given away to lucky Ka-Ayos who will share their #AyosNaSummer wish on Join to get the chance to meet great people at the Summer Siren Festival happening on April 4-6 at Crystal Beach, Zambales! It’s very easy to join and win the ultimate beach adventure for your barkada. Tara na!

About the Blogger

Yodi Insigne
Yodi Insigne is one of those delusional sorts who imagines himself a useful contributor to the greater blogosphere (Well, that's what he's trying to accomplish).

He started blogging for three reasons:

1. He always felt he has something important to say,
2. Books can make him cry, and cliff jumping can make him high,
3. He want to sleep at night.

He is a self-certified bookworm, travel junkie, shutterbug, movie freak, Mangyan hiker who sleeps a lot and think a lot. He got a little vice, which is black coffee and cashew nuts. He got colorblindness on yellow and green - and he freaking loves it!

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