We were a weird bunch; a Hispanic couple from the US, a hiking enthusiast with her towering Australian beau, a happy-go-lucky guy, a girl who loves going on weekend trips, a blonde entrepreneur who shares a striking resemblance with Beyonce, a couple in their mid 20s, a girl who went on the trip thinking that we were just going to the beach, and I who came with a tent heavier than me. We were not the next Survivors castaways (although I’m pretty sure we are capable of creating enough drama to last a full season), we were just a silly group of travelers who wanted to go camping at Mt. Gulugud’s Baboy. But the experience could have passed off as a Survivor challenge because it was tough. You think I’m referring to the climbing part? Nope, I mean the camping part. (more…)
On Facebook, there is a group of travel writers called, Lakbaykada to which I am part of. There are only 10 members, one of us lives in Olangapo City. Out of all the members, he is the most intense when it comes to several issues. This passion translates to his blog, which has been getting quite a buzz despite the fact it’s only been around for under a year. This February, meet the man behind the blog, ice2big, Erwin Manalad.
Have you ever been asked to join a 15-hour food trip? By the way, that’s not a typographical error, I really said “15 hours.” Well, I have been and I had to wrap my head around the fact that I’d be spending one whole day eating nonstop. You see, I was one of the lucky few who were invited to join the World Streetfood Congress’ (WSFC) 15-Hour Street Food Frenzy Safari with other food and travel bloggers and members of the media from different nations last Saturday, February 20, 2016.
I thought I wouldn’t have to spend for accommodation in Ho Chi Minh because I was able to find someone from Couchsurfing who was willing to take me in for four days. We got along well in our Viber chat and I was genuinely excited to meet her. It was all set and I didn’t anticipate that anything bad could happen, I mean what are the odds of me ending up in the basement of some psycho? I was optimistic or the most appropriate term is naive. To cut the story short, after one night, I packed my bags and left my CS host. Because of this, I stayed in four different accommodation (the house of my CS host included) in HCM.
I expected many things to happen when I went to Vietnam, but being forced to a healthy diet wasn’t one of them. Apparently, Vietnamese like their vegetables, so much that it’s in their every dish; breakfast, lunch, dinner, hell even in their street food. No wonder they are lean and slim. I didn’t think I’d miss Filipino dish because I’ve always been a little adventurous when it comes to food, but I did. Don’t get me wrong, I eat vegetables, but when the nutritionists say “Eat pork in moderation,” I probably misheard pork for vegetables. So I eat veggies in moderation, . Anyhoo, one of the things that I document during my travel is the food that I eat and today we are dabbling on the authentic Vietnamese cuisine. (more…)
“Where you from?”
“Philippines,” Bing and I answered in unison.
The old skinny man suddenly pulls up a big notebook, flips through the pages, stops somewhere along the way, then shows it to us. It’s a letter written in Tagalog, which I soon realize is a review of this man’s services. The person who wrote it seemed satisfied with the tour and even praised the old man for his kindness. The book is filled with other reviews written in different languages, apparently from his former customers. Being a blogger and one who makes reviews myself, I have always given great consideration on other people’s reviews of places, products, and services. Naturally, I treated the reviews on that notebook with the same regard. I mean why would anyone waste time writing there if they don’t mean it. Bing and I agreed to get his services and I even thought I’d probably write my own letter of recommendation on that notebook. But I never did.