October was another busy month traveling around the country and abroad. If statistics have to be considered, I was out of Makati City for the past 25 days, just like the previous month!
I was again back in this cool city and stayed in Microtel as well as sampled the food on offer at Tequiero Tapas Bar and Restaurant. Didn’t do anything much but just enjoyed the cool weather.
I was in transit from Baguio to Manila when I was craving for pansit batil patung and true enough, I got the perfect excuse to head to Tuguegarao City a few days later after a shoot. The pansit was sating but it was also a way to distract myself from some personal problems.
I was back again in Zamboanga City, this time, it was more like just resting from all the previous travels. No specific itinerary, no specific goal. I just want to stay in a hotel, eat around, tour around and just take it slow. But despite that, I was emailed a shoot list for a website’s use and I was going around the city taking images from the various malls, buildings to the Paseo.
But interestingly enough, I heeded the call to visit the Taluksangay Mosque. Most friends caution me to go there because they say its a Muslim area but when I was at the place, those fears were really unfounded. The people were very hospitable. I was thrilled to meet a Bangingi man who volunteered to tour me around. I got to taste suman wrapped beautifully and I enjoyed climbing up the minaret of the old mosque!
No climbing to Bongao this time or a boat trip to the other islands. Just another leisurely trip with nothing specific in mind. I just went around the old Chinese pier, taking images of the people and wares there. I was at the traditional coffeshop houses for my lunch and snacks.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
It’s my fourth time to be in KL and this city always has interesting surprises. Accommodation is cheap. Street food is cheap and going around at night tasting the different morsels on offer can be a wonderful way of experiencing Malaysia.
I was glad to be back in peninsular Malaysia that I just enjoyed so much of the brief travel that I scheduled a January 2013 trip back here.
Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia
I was invited in Zest Air’s maiden flight to Kuala Lumpur and with Tourism Malaysia, they gave us bloggers $200 and assigned us one of their states to visit and write about. I was given Kedah, a northern state at the border with Thailand.
Alor Setar is one beautiful place with many tourist attractions in a small place. I did had a great time going around with my hired taxi and trying the local food.
Malaysia’s administrative region is just breathtaking with all those interesting architecture and structures. Everything here seems to be built to shock and impress, everything is spic and span and everything is in order.
I didn’t expect this one. Just hours before my trip to Malaysia, a Facebook contact called me to offer a photo work, a ritual that was to be made by the indigenous Teduray’s in their most sacred place in their native cosmology and I can’t just refuse. After arriving in Manila, I was again packing up for a flight a few hours later to Cotabato.
We trekked, I exprienced my own thin place, I was in a very significant ritual in the Teduray heartland and it didn’t feel like work, just another shoot somewhere in the country. What made the trip interesting is that the area where the ritual took place was a no man’s land a few months before, being the stronghold of rebel Umbra Kato.
Siem Reap, Cambodia
It was my first trip to the Kingdom of the Khmers and I was so impressed with my trip to Siem Reap Other than a cheap destination, it has great food, wonderful traditional architecture, heck, even their vernacular structures are interesting, and very hospitable people.
It’s a provincial city with unbelievable provincial charm that makes one feel right at home despite the language differences. While I did not explore the temples, I just enjoyed going to the Royal Garden, sitting at one of the benches at the riverside, or getting enthralled at the Old Market scene.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
The main travel was for a blog conference but I arrived early so that I can tour around the two cities. But I was eating my way around in Phnom Penh, trying their balut, nom pao, noodles, and many other dishes. The choices are just unbelievable with a rich smorgasbord of different cuisines and local food.
I should try deep fried tarantulas when I get back. I vowed to myself that I should return, spend a minimum of a month and explore this beautiful country.