Category Archives: Travel

We Filipinos have this superstition that when you have a mole on your feet, you’re a traveler. And so it’s been said that when I was a baby, my grandmother noticed a mole on my left heel and predicted I’d be warang (our dialect for wanderer) when I grow up.

Fast forward to two decades and my lola was right. I have become a wide-eyed wanderer who loves going places and discovering the beauty of the Philippines and the world one destination at a time.

Gold Coast: Natural Bridge at Springbrook National Park

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The Natural Bridge’s name is taken from a rock arch where water from a waterfall along Cave Creek flows through. This was our next stop after Hinze Dam.

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We passed by a rainforest to reach the arch, and these are just some of my favorite photos from my walk.

We passed by some bridge and creeks too, and signage like this made my walk more interesting.

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When we reached the arch, I marveled at the unspoiled beauty before me. I spent some time here just listening to the sound of rushing water, relishing the views that I didn’t have to share with a lot of people (I was in Gold Coast in winter).

Natura Bridge - main photo

I just wish I came here at night, or at a season when it’s glowworms season… I bet the whole experience would be magical. I saw glowworms in Chicago’s Field Museum once, and it was amazing. How much more if I observe them in such a natural setting?

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Nevertheless, I loved my views, especially when I went inside the cave and was greeted with these views.

Natural Bridge - panoramic

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While working on this post, I found out that there are a number of falls at Springbrook Park, and I got to see this before we left.


For more information about the National Bridge, click HERE.

Gold Coast: Advancetown Lake

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Advancetown Lake is where Hinze Dam sits, and these are just some of my favorite photos of it.

Such stunning views, don’t you think?

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Boating, canoeing, and kayaking are allowed on the lake, and I chanced on a couple of guys kayaking along it.

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As usual, I’ll end this post with my favorite photo from this set.

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Don’t you just love the really calm blue waters, the lush greenery, and the cottony white clouds hovering over such a tranquil scene?

Photos taken either with my Samsung Note 5 or my Sony RX 100 II digital camera.

Cebu: Island Hopping to Gilutongan, Caohagan, and Talima Islands

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It’s summer, and a long weekend because of Labor Day so what better way to spend an unplanned Monday than go island hopping?

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Our first stop was to Gilutongan Island, a known marine sanctuary.  Before this, I always thought the island is called or rather, spelled Hilutungan (the G is pronounced as an H), as most websites spell it this way, but this restaurant sign says otherwise.

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This was actually my third time here (my first two visits were in 2007 and 2012), but this was my first time to see the sign (our boatmen said the restaurant opened about 3 years ago).

Because it’s a known sanctuary, the designated snorkeling areas were teeming with fishes.  My friends happily swam and snorkeled, while I opted to enjoy the view because while I love the sight of the sea, I don’t like the taste of seawater.

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The water looked so calm and there weren’t any waves.  Up ahead, the waters are a vivid dark blue, while it’s a clear blue-green on the opposite side.

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We had the island for about thirty minutes before boatloads of tourists came rushing in.  By then, it wasn’t as much fun for us, so we decided to move to the next island.

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Our next stop was Caohagan Island.  I already wrote a detailed post about this island HERE.  From afar, it looked the same.

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But when we disembarked, I was disheartened to see that the island is now teeming with tourists.

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The souvenir shops were still there, and they’re greater in number.  So were the seafood sellers.  Prices remain expensive.  (For souvenirs, I still recommend the shops at Lapu-Lapu Shrine.)

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We bought some crabs (again, expensive at Php 250 each) and seashells (Php 250 for a pile when a colleague brings them to us for only Php 200 for triple the quantity) and had them for lunch.  Here’s my share.  Nom nom!

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This was an impromptu lunch (we thought we’d be done island hopping before lunch) so we didn’t have plates, spoon, and fork.  Thankfully, they sell paper plates (at Php 2 apiece!) as well as canned goods in the island (the de lata was for our companion who’s allergic to seafood).

After our filling lunch, we departed for Talima, our last stop.  The island is popular snorkeling area, but the fishes here aren’t as diverse or big as the ones in Gilutongan.

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At home, a friend asked me about my favorite among the three.  Hmm…  If it wasn’t as crowded, I would have answered Caohagan, so that left Gilutongan and Talima.  I wasn’t impressed with the latter, so yeah, among the three, I prefer Gilutongan Island.

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Out and About in Germany

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From the above photo, can you guess the specific city where I had been to the past weeks thus the lack of update on this blog?  To Berlin, Germany, yes!  And yep, this is just another teaser post as I still have tons of catching up to do at work.

I was in Berlin, Germany mostly for work and only had a few free days to discover this historic city, but I tried to make the most of my stay by seeing and experiencing as much of Berlin as I could.

Brandenburg Tor
Known as Brandenburg Gate, this 18th century neo-classical monument is easily one of Berlin’s most renowned landmarks.  In fact, when  I booked my hotel, Booking.Com’s app has this as its identifying photo.

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We were here twice.  The first time was on our second day in Berlin.  It was cloudy and cold and because we wanted to see how it looked like at night, we came back and that’s when I snapped the main photo for this post.

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Berliner Dom
Berlin’s Cathedral is located on Museum Island and is not really a cathedral because it has never been the seat of a bishop.

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Marienkirche
Originally a Roman Catholic Church, it is now a Lutheran Protestant Church. Along with Nikolaikirche, this is the oldest church in Berlin.

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Neptunbrunnen
Neptune’s Fountain is of the Roman God Neptune.  It wasn’t functioning during our visit as it was winter.

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Fernsehturm Berlin
Did you notice the tower on the right corner of my previous photo?  It is Berlin’s Television Tower, which is the tallest structure in Germany and the second tallest structure in the European Union.

The tower has a viewdeck and because I always have this goal of seeing cities from viewdecks, I decided to come back on a sunny day for better visibility.  I finally got to do this on our last day.  Yey!

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Here’s a snapshot of my views from the Berlin Tower.

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Schloss Charlottenburg

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This is the largest palace in Berlin.  Unfortunately, it was under renovation during our visit.

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Right outside the palace is a statue of Friedrich III and it was his wife who commissioned the original palace.

Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche
The original church on this site was built in the 1980s and got badly damaged in a bombing raid in 1943.  It is one of the famous landmarks of Berlin and is nicknamed “the hollow tooth” by Berliners.

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Reichstag
This is the meeting place of the German parliament.  Visitors are allowed inside, but we weren’t able to secure an appointment as the available slots were at 6PM and we had to leave for the airport by 5:30 PM.

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Potsdam
While in Germany, we also took a day tour of Potsdam, the capital and largest city of the German federal state of Brandenburg, and I fell in love with its scenic views, lovely architecture, and palaces.

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I was especially thankful that the sun finally shone when we visited Potsdam as on our first week in Germany, we never experienced being out in the sun.

Here are more some snapshots of the sights and sites I saw in Potsdam…

A panoramic shot of Alter Markt or the Old Market Square, which formes the historical center of the city.

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At Potsdam University, which is Brandenburg’s largest university.

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At Sanssouci, the the summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, and the largest World Heritage Site in Germany.

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While I enjoyed all these, my trip to Germany wasn’t just defined by its sights and sites, but also by its history.

Berliner Mauer
This open-air exhibition narrates the history of Germany’s division.  These markers show where the wall stood.

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It also has pieces of the wall’s border fence and exhibits of the wall’s elements.

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We also visited the documentation center and this is just one of the many photos in the exhibit that moved me.

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Pardon the photo quality as the exhibit’s lights and glass casing, plus the horde of people moving around made photography very challenging.  (I snapped this photo was soon as a group moved out).

Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas
This is the memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and I will write about this in detail in my future posts.

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Till here for now as I still have to catch up on my work, crafts, and Netflix. Heh.

Mesmerizing Sunrise at Monument Valley

Wow!  It’s been a very busy month that I wasn’t able to blog for weeks!  My apologies, as I took more responsibilities at work…

Anyhoo, I’m starting my 2017 in WordPress with a sunrise post.

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Isn’t it lovely?  I took the above at the Monument Valley, and it’s become my favorite because the colors remind me of a lot of things.

Indigo reminds me of introspection and meditation.  I’m an introvert, and I always require an alone time to ponder on things or recharge.

The hues of red caution me to keep my temper in check.  It speaks to me too of passion and love.

Black reminds me of what’s uncertain in everyday life.  Of my pride and faults and weaknesses.

My hopes and optimism are best conveyed by the color yellow.  It speaks to me of joy.

And of course, the rising sun reminds me to always be grateful for each day that grants me the chance to live, learn, laugh, and love.