A Peek at Kadayawan Festival 2014

Kadayawan masks for sale along the streets
I had to wake up early last Saturday, it was not an ordinary weekend, it had a festive mood as people of my hometown, Davao City celebrated the annual Kadayawan festival week since August 11 until the 17th. I did my laundry early so I can bring my daughter to her Cathecism sessions and later to her ballet classes.

Since I've got some time to use while waiting for her, I went and rode a jeepney headed to town to check out the street dancing parade (Indak-indak sa Kadalanan). The main thoroughfares of the city were used for the event, so public transportation were rerouted to other streets. A bit confusing at first, losing my sense of direction, but I just walked where my feet would bring me (something I haven't done in a long while, so I took it as a fun experience!) and headed to the street dancing routes.

It was a really hot Saturday morning but the ethnic vibe coming from the street dance performances plus the excitement of the crowd overwhelmed the whole ambiance along C.M. Recto, Ilustre and Duterte Streets. I only had an hour to spare so I took the most of it by taking pictures as I walked. Here they are, hope you like them :)


Nepal Diaries: Pokhara, Nepal's Heart and Soul

Annapurna 'fishtail' mountain,  a section of the Himalayas

took this while on the bus heading to Pokhara, such an awesome sight!
We were on for another 6 hour bus ride from Chitwan to Pokhara. I was looking forward to finally see the famous Himalayan mountain, the Annapurna ( also known as fishtail because of its shape). I was getting snaps from the bus window as the image of this famous mountain finally presented itself. Woohoo! First time in my life have I ever seen a huge mountain so grandeur as this, beautifully topped with snow. Simply breathtaking!!!

I couldn't wait to start our adventures in Pokhara the moment we arrived at the bus station and were picked up by the hotel shuttle. And guess what, our hotel room window had a perfect view of the Annapurna!! We were going to stay in this pretty little city for four exciting days and made sure we took the most of it.
The spectacular sunrise in Sarangkot

me and the sunrise ;)


Nepal Diaries: Memories with Nature at Chitwan

We finally arrived at Chitwan, after a 6-hour travel by bus from the capital city of Nepal which is Kathmandu. Chitwan is the greener side of Nepal which boasts of its rich flora and fauna. The main attraction from this place is Nepal's first national park, the Chitwan National Park. 

We paid for a Safari Jeep Tour to the park that was scheduled first thing in the morning, the next day. We couldn't help our excitement as we were going to see nature face to face. What if a lion or tiger climbs up our jeep? Shucks! My buddy Joy even told me (almost jokingly, though) not to wear my shawl with animal prints so as not to catch the attention of these wild animals we might meet along the way. Zzzzz... so much for overthinking!
posing on a lake across Chitwan National Park.

the 'sexy boats' that would bring you near the Chitwan National Park
The hours went fast and we were getting ready for our activity in the morning. The safari guide picked us up early at 7am at the hotel. Off to the meet up point we went. We need to cross a lake and ride a wooden boat to reach the entrance of Chitwan National Park. It was just slim wooden boat that can accommodate about 8-10 passengers, and I really needed to be extra careful with my steps as one heavy thud would tilt the boat! My balancing skills were definitely on a test!

Selfies even on a 'swingy' ride


My Journey in Nepal: Day 1

It is my first time to be away from home to travel for 2 weeks. Normally, it would just be 3-4 days. I consider this is a special trip because it is not the typical destination people take for shopping and seeing fancy commercial districts. For me, it is the road less travelled to Nepal, a country situated between China and India. It's also my passport's first time to be stamped with a visa.

Air Asia passengers queuing to board the 450-seater aircraft bound to Kathmandu
First off, my friend Joy and I boarded an Air Asia flight to Kathmandu from Kuala Lumpur. It was a four-hour flight, and it was an experience to be in inside a 450-seater airbus with mostly Indian and Nepalese passengers. 
                  my newly found friends at the plane from Chile                     


Davao, the Bustling Metro of the South

My friend Kevin Olmedo of the Davao Reader shares this post about Davao...

Many things have been said about Davao City. Despite being the only metro city of the south, the “durian capital” has gained national, if not worldwide, recognition for being a model city with full implementation of laws against smoking, over-speeding and firecrackers, just to name a few. These are only some of the few things that makes the city noteworthy. Well, you also have to give credit to the tourist destinations like Samal Island which is just a 15-minute ferry ride from “Sasa”. 

Samal offers countless resorts and white sand beaches. Davao City in itself provides urban living with shopping destinations, spas, countless hotels, coffee shops and many more. Well if you like the night life, the city has a liquor ban from 2:00 AM to 7:00 AM, last orders in bars are only accommodated until 12 midnight. When the clock strikes 2AM all people leave the bars like students ending their classes, literally!