Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Destressing at QiWellness Living

As I grow old, I have been looking for experiences that match my lifestyle. And since I consider myself to be a busy and multitasking entrepreneur, stress is no stranger to me. It fact, I have managed to absorb stress and release it in such as way that I do not have those panic attacks.

In cases that I cannot handle all the stress, I head to a spa for some much needed relaxation and release. And when I have the time, I try to make my way to a spa destination out of town, just to make the experience more worthy of my time. My go-to destination has always been Tagaytay, particularly Nurture Spa Village. However, I have been intrigued by this exclusive spa nestled at the center of Tagaytay. Friends, let us embark on a journey to wellness at the QiWellness Living Spa.

Just the same was cool enough to make me enter its imposing dark wood door.

Thursday, September 3, 2015


Check it out guys! Thank you to flyme360 magazine for not changing a single word from the blog post and for making me realize that my pictures DO look good.

Oh, click HERE for the desktop version and HERE for mobile one. Subscribe to flyme360 as well!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Is Boracay the WORST ISLAND in the world?

A fellow travel blogger caught my attention with this article on Boracay. Here she explained why Boracay is PROBABLY the WORST island in the world. Do you agree? Well, I couldn't help but put up a lengthy response to her article. Here is what I said:


Hi Anna! First of, I am a fan of your blog. So being a Filipino travel blogger, this article caught my attention quick. It got me startled. 

Whenever I write something bad in my blog, it’s usually out of huge frustration. I actually try not to rant on my blog, unless it is called for. So, being a blogger, I sense that urge for you to release all your frustrations about Boracay, and the Philippines maybe. I am so sorry that you had a lousy time here. 

I agree to your points, but I think, the use of the WORST in the title is what got me off. You see, I have been to almost all popular Asian beaches and islands from Sri Lanka to Sihanoukville to Bali. After all my years of traveling, one beach has claimed my BEST BEACH title - the Calaguas in the Pacific side of the Philippines. Others in the BEST LIST include Canggu in Bali, the Phi Phis in Thailand, the Perhentians in Malaysia and the Gilis in Indonesia. So as you can see, I am for the small island but brimming with energy and laid back vibe. 

Boracay will always be special to me though. It may not be my best beach, but it will defnitely be my most FAVORITE. And there’s the difference. 

I have experienced worse in travelling to Boracay - from 8 hour delayed flights from Manila, reckless bus rides, rained out and wet ferry rides and wild wild tricycle rides. But when I reach White Beach and feel the cld powder white sand engulf my feet, all the curses stop. 

And this is the magic of Boracay. Sure it has thousands of Asian tourists, vendors touting you to get a massage or an “activity” from them, loud banging music left and right, expensive food, ladies at the dark waiting for old foreigners to pick them up, fire dancers in every bar and lots and lots of drunken tourists having a good time.

But once you see one of the most gorgeous sunsets in the world, join the early morning beach joggers taking advantage of the serenity of the morning after, sit back in a beachside cafe for breakfast, breathe in the laid back pace of lunch time, play beach volleyball or football with the locals and share stories with them as they take countless of pictures during sunset, every piece of the puzzle falls into place, why Boracay is one of the best beaches in the world (according to Time, TripAdvisor and Conde Nast). 

So they may be wrong. Yes they painted a different picture. And the Philippines is still stuggling to be organized in taking care of their tourists. We are still on the off-beaten path after all. 

Boracay is not paradise. I give that title to Palawan, to Siquijor, to Caramoan and a thousand other islands and beaches scattered across the country. There, you can sleep all day in a beach hammock with the splash of waves serenading you, until you are awakened by the sun, who is going to bid you with a glorious goodbye. 

Someone should have told you about all these things. But I can’t blame you. This is also probably the sentiment of a lot of other visitors to the Philippines. And until we get our act together, we are doomed and our natural beauty will be wasted. 

So to all the readers here, Boracay is not the paradise it once was. It is definitely a tourist trap. But for me, it has got to be the best tourist trap in the world. 


Ending with pictures of probably the WORST ISLAND in the world.


My advice? Take every journey with an open mind and you will see how the worst of places transforms to something magical. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Manila is Shortlisted as Best City: Wallpaper Design Awards 2015

Who would have thought Manila would be in the shortlist for Best City in the Wallpaper Design Awards? With competitors like Chicago, Hamburg, Tokyo and Paris, it's already an honour to be part of the list. I do hope we win though. The caption writes:

With foreign investment pouring in, a president tackling corruption and talented overseas Filipinos returning home, Manila is a city rising fast, in every sense. Many of its major players are homegrown, from the ambitious architects dreaming up the shiny towers to the creatives behind new restaurants and galleries. From Jordy Navarra to Carlos Garcia, there’s no shortage of talented local chefs, while designers and artists such as Ito Kish, Cesare and Jean Marie Syjuco have all opened showrooms across the city.


2015 Travel Target

2015 was lean season for me in travel especially in the local scene. I have made more international trips though last year and continued to visit Hong Kong, my world's top city and Singapore, my second home. Though Boracay was a hit for me last year, Puerto Galera proved to be the surprise winner.

This year, I plan to visit more local destinations, beginning with what is becoming to be a yearly tradition that is the Malasimbo Arts and Music Festival in Puerto Galera. I am not anticipating 2015 to be travel intense though, as I am also expecting a big change in my life this year. So, without further ado, here is my list, the destinations that I will try my best to visit in 2015.

My First Visit to Koh Lanta

One of the last tourist islands of Thailand that I have not stepped foot on is Koh Lanta. If you have been following me, you know that I have been to most of Thailand's pop islands, from Koh Chang to Koh Phi Phi, which still remains my favorite Thai island. I have been there 4 times already and every visit still revs up my spirit.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Best of 2014

The reason for my inactivity in the past 5 months is attributed to the loss of my laptop, which contains all my pictures. You see, my laptop bag was stolen from my car and along with it was my back up drive as well. In an instant, memories of my travels have been wiped out. Good thing, I posted my travels on Instagram. At least, it wasn't a total wipe out. But I haven't posted more than a year of travels, mostly abroad - from Ha Long Bay to Tasmania to Scotland. It's such as shame that I couldn't share all of them anymore. I am still trying to ask for copies of my pictures from my travel mates. 

Though my memory is faulty, I still have a list in mind for 2014. So, without further ado, the best of 2014 in no particular order and with the help of Instagram.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Whole New World

So it's the last day of the year. Funny how time flies these days. You really don't feel the change. My last blog post was on July, and it seems that waking up today still felt like it was July. Well it's the last day of the year and 5 months have passed. I'm pretty sure a lot has changed - a lot has happened. But why don't we feel different?

Realizing I was falling into some sort of routine, where life seems normal and dull, I set out on a journey that would bring back the explorer in me. You see, I am that kind of guy - never wanting to settle, never wanting to be contented with what I have. Some may think it's wrong and could potentially lead to some sort of unhappiness, but I think otherwise.

Exploring keeps me alive. It's seeing new things, breathing the air from different places, meeting unfamiliar people and actually making connections with them. It's that sort of living that makes me feel different every morning I wake up.

Earlier, I climbed the otherworldly landscapes of the Mushroom Valley in Capadoccia, Turkey. I broke away from the crowd and set off higher, eventually reaching a height that made me feel as free as a bird. It was the most amazing thing I have done this year.

So I ask all of you, would you rather settle on the ground with the crowd or break away and widen your world. There will always be A WHOLE NEW WORLD out there. So get out and explore.

Another year. Another journey. The Island Explorer is back.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Nurture Spa and Resort Village

I remember my first time in Nurture way back 3 years ago. Or even more. I usually just go here to get a massage as it is known for that. Well, recently, I made my way back to the spa and discovered a whole lot more.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

W Bali: A Bit Disappointed

If you have been reading my blog, you would have noticed my love affair with the hotel group, W. This hotel chain fits me perfectly. I love its flair for design, its whenever, whatever service and of course, its style. I've been to the W in Bali before but I have never stayed here. So, in this trip, I decided to book one night before we head back home to Manila.


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