Kaohsiung to Taoyuan by train

I love long rides while traveling. So it wasn’t really hard to decide to just take the slower journey from Kaohsiung to Taoyuan by train. Not the Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR), the fastest and far more expensive option. But took the Tze-chiang Limited Express of Taiwan Railways (TRA) via the mountain line. It’s still a fast option, at around four hours compared to less than two hours for the former. But then, I wasn’t in a rush. First time in Kaohsiung I traveled to…Continue Reading “From Kaohsiung to Taoyuan by train. Slow train, that is.”

expresss inn osmena budget hotel in cebu city

A budget hotel in Cebu City with a pool? I was a bit surprised to find out that this new hotel along Osmeña Boulevard has one at the rooftop, albeit small but nonetheless, it’s an interesting offer for a price point that is quite affordable. Nice interiors, great location Express In Osmeña is one of three properties in the cities of Cebu and Lapulapu. Although I’ve stayed at the Mabolo branch years ago, this one, I think is better. First, the room interior is modern,…Continue Reading “A worthy budget hotel (with pool) in Cebu City”

where to stay in bongao

Whenever one searches or asks where to stay in Bongao, Tawitawi, Rachel’s Place Restaurant and Hotel is surely one of the recommendations. Bongao is the provincial capital and where most visitors make their base. Despite its status, its just a small town with a handful of hotels and resorts. Although that is changing now as I’ve seen several expansions and constructions at the resort areas in my last visit last week. Renovated façade and new rooms I’ve stayed at this hotel twice and the last…Continue Reading “Rachel’s Place in Bongao Tawitawi gets a make over”

Bambanti Festival

It was nice to be back in Ilagan City, Isabela’s capital, up in North Luzon as we visited to witness one of the grandest celebrations in this part of the Philippines: the Bambanti Festival. I first witnessed this unique festival back in 2017, paying homage to the bambanti, or scarecrow. I was amazed at the pomp and pageantry, including the big budget productions being mounted. Being an agricultural province, the scarecrow has been an important part of the vast lands devoted to corn, tobacco and…Continue Reading “Bambanti Festival, Ilagan’s biggest celebration”

Amelie Hotel in Malate

Malate has always been known as the bohemian enclave of Manila with its many artsy cafes and galleries, bustling nightlife and irrepressible energy. The district was the place to go to socialize and a haven for artists and musicians. If you want culture and more, Malate was the place. But that was way before the establishments and happening places have moved to other quarters of Metro Manila. The Malate of old has lost its glory and its star has dimmed. Gritty and grimy, it has…Continue Reading “Amelie Hotel in Malate exudes that perfect Manila vibe”