Thursday, February 27, 2014

Train Train Go Away

The Sawahlunto Train and Railway System
Growing up, I have always been fascinated with moving things like trains and airplanes. I was never a big fan of race cars or bikes but trains and airplanes have always been admiring things to me. Whenever I travel to the city from my hometown, there used to be a working passenger train that travels to the northern part of Bulacan which was operated by the Philippine National Railway but since the tracks and the trains were never really given much care, the trains eventually stopped plying that route. Now the only existing train route that I know of is the ones from Alabang to Bicol. I believe its a 12-hour journey from Alabang to Bicol Region using this electric or gas powered train. I never really knew what type of train there is because I do not really know much about the history of railways in the Philippines. I guess nobody really seemed to bother about trains anymore unlike in the olden days. And then trains in Manila evolved into Light Railway Transit, the elevated passenger railway system that travels from Monument to Baclaran (which now extends from Munoz Roosevelt to Baclaran). Eventually, it led to the construction of two more elevated railway system such as the MRT (from North Avenue to Taft Avenue) and the LRT2 which covers Recto to Marikina.

Top Ten Other Must See Places In The Philippines

These are my Top Ten Places To Visit In The Philippines that is not always a part of your travel itinerary. Why? This is because people, especially tourists, always go to the usual top tourist spots in the Philippines. My list may does not really cover everything in and around the Philippines and this is only based on places I have seen and would want to see. Many of you may wonder why my list is like this but it is actually for the benefit of those who are interested more on seeing the "what else" aside from your usual destination. I love art galleries, book shops, antiques and old and unique places that is why list goes on like this:

1. Batanes Group of Islands

One of the most typhoon-battered group of islands in the most northern parts of the Philippine archipelago during the monsoon seasons, Batanes is one of those tricky places to visit because of its location but is getting a lot of attention now because of the natural wonders it has to offer. Many of the places here can not be found in other parts of the country which makes truly magnificent and worth going. It is also on my list of places to see soon.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My Top Books To Read

Why do I Read books? It's a question some people ask me when I can watch and find out about the story in a movie or TV. I read books because the story telling is different than watching it. The characters in the story are given deeper appreciation and understanding. Books give you a lot of time to think more about the story and carefully understand each chapter. It helps you find out what characters of the story really goes through at specific scenes.

I listed the top books I have read with the exception of The Little Prince which is obviously on the top of my list:

1. The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger

Famous Quotes:

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.” 

“Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around - nobody big, I mean - except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be.” 

Baguio City Travel Video

And since because pictures aren't just enough. This is the second travel video I have done and I must say this is better than my Siem Reap video. On a side note, I should take video shots on my next travel so I can add it on the travel video and make it look better.

Here it goes:

or you can also access the link below:


Monday, February 24, 2014

Siem Reap Travel Video

I know. I know. I can do better than this. To think that I always make AV presentations but this is the first time I am making a travel video. This was during my trip to Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia last year. So here it is. Will upload better travel videos later.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

This Is Not A Perfect World.

When you travel, you expect the best out of your holiday so you conduct so many pre-travel ceremonies like arranging your itineraries, reservations of hotels, restaurants and park and museum tickets, you search on the best places to eat and top destinations and the best things to do on your place of visit. None of us expect for unexpected incidents but we prepare ourselves for it.  When you travel to a poor or third world country, you always expect that such incidents may happen like being robbed, losing your bag or luggage or accidents caused by careless people around you. But these things also happen even if you visit a first world or well-developed country. It is not the status of the country that makes it scary or attractive but instead the selected people you will encounter in that country. I chose the word “selected” because we should not be generalizing our experience in a certain country with your bad experience with another local.

Singapore Flyer, Singapore

I have heard a story of an African man who visited Manila late last year and during his very short trip in the business district area of Manila, he was approached by a local and told him about the sights to see in the area. When the African said to the local that he is not willing to join any tour, the local then told him that he must pay because he already provided the information to him. Clearly, this is an example of a “modus operandi” by individuals who seek to extort money from tourists or anyone. This may happen anywhere in the world. And this should not reflect the actions of all Filipinos but the action of a single man.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Money Matters

So I have this new thing going on when I travel to a certain place. I take a look at their local currencies and see if I can find the actual place that were printed on the bills. I have taken three so far in different countries, not counting the Philippines where I will try to do once I return home, and here are some of them.

Bhaktapur, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, 100 Nepali Rupees

Sunday, February 9, 2014

SG Five Years of Living Issue 1: Singapore Zoo

Singapore. I lived here for five long years and I just love this tiny red dot country in the world map. There are so many good things that happened to me here and I definitely learned a lot here, gained new experiences, developed new friendships and from here, I managed to travel to many beautiful places on earth. I can write so many things about Singapore but I want to talk about their zoos and other animal sanctuaries.

I do not have pet and I do not want to have one in any time soon. I read about the plight of so many activists about the lives of animals in the zoo specifically in other countries. In the Philippines, the battle between the local government and PETA for the freedom of a Sri Lanka-born elephant named Mali is still on going. I found out then that there are many animal care association or groups who fights for the right of these animals to live a normal life and get their freedom from such discarded living condition like the Manila Zoo for example. Mali’s condition, based on what I have read, is getting terrible each day. I remember seeing Mali about 8 or 9 years ago and honestly, I cannot how her condition was but all I know is that Mali is alone in captivity. And to be alone is all but sad.

In Singapore, the zoo is different. I have been to the Singapore Zoo for so many times that I could not count it anymore. And this place is heaven for the animals. The place is definitely clean. The housing condition of the animals is very nice. It is actually better than in the slums that I have elsewhere. And I do believe that the zoo has enough staff, facilities, food and medicines to take care of the animals in their habitat. I could say that the animals here are not in captivity as they do have a first world living condition. Although living in the wild is completely different from living in the zoo. I believe that these animals are still lucky because in this zoo, they are free from any danger that humans can do to them when they are in the wild.