At around the same time as last year, this was a weekend I fought for as Baguio has always been a family tradition with this being Mother Goose’ (my mother, obviously) favorite plus the fact that I missed celebration last year because of some unforeseen situation at the terminal.
We had no specific itinerary so day but spent time at the BOTANICAL GARDEN because it was closed the last time that we were there, meet with that big dog at MINES VIEW and ending the day with people at the “ukay-ukay” stalls at this NIGHT MARKET which closed a major road until the parents slept that my brother and I grabbed some beer at BOHEMIAN CAFE which was location shoot for a local film called That Thing Called Tadhana.
Continue reading [Baguio]~ (Our) place of family tradition
For this day will always be one of my what-ifs – 02.22.16
In general, I have always been fine with my lack of solid plans because it allows me to be impulsive and just go where that ‘itch’ takes me. For my last day in Taiwan though, this disposition backfired on me.
The overall plan that day was to go see the lantern festival in PINGXI for a few hours and make it back in time for my early morning flight the following day. Badly surprised by the crowd and the complex, limited train schedule, that plan suddenly became a bad and/or too risky one. I ended up chickening out and not pushing thru. I then stayed in this ‘in-between’ town called RUI FANG – walking past through homes, street food stalls until that now-just-funny-but-then-depressing moment at a bench in front of the station.
Continue reading [Ruifang District, Taiwan] ~ An almost lantern festival
I’ve been to many beaches but this was first when I am in no swimsuit. I’ve been to many bars but this was first I was tucked in a blanket -02.21-22.16
After braving the chill in YEHLIU GEOPARK, I again hopped on the tour bus on the way to another destination which is the kind of place I consider my sanctuary – the beach. It was different from most kinds I have been in though because it was on its off-peak season the only people I was with was two kite-flyers and small group of friends who waded in the water for a few minutes then left. After beach is beer again on that spot behind the Red House. It was the usual beer night except another first that I was in a blanket as comfort from the cold.
A day of firsts then followed by my last in the country. But before that was xiao long bao someplace in the city.
Continue reading [Taiwan] ~ Hours of Firsts and Goodbye
It was a visit to this landscape formed by sea and wind – 02.21.16
My second day in Taipei was spent upnorth as I visited a park structured by nature. It was a walk around a place filled with interesting shapes – as I hold on tightly to my coat during that rather chilly and windy midday – one that almost did not happen should my wallet has not been lost and found.
Continue reading [Northern Taiwan]~Braved the Cold in Yehliu
When I saw too many lights in a nighlife – 02.20.16
After a day that is packed with tourist spots and random discoveries, what followed was a night as filled – with a LANTERN FESTIVAL, more MARKET and STREET FOOD finds and beer in XIMENDING and all else random in between.
Continue reading [Taipei, Taiwan] ~ City at night
Experiencing the city in random and in cold – 02.20.16
It was similar to one destinationless afternoon in Penang wherein after cuteness overload in craft stalls and shops in Huashan Park, I just had to keep on walking which led me to try one of the city’s street food, experience the MRT in its busyness, discover more installations in another factory-turned-park until end of daytime spent braving the cold while finishing my beer homeless-style.
Continue reading [Taipei, Taiwan] ~ Some things I did when there was nothing planned
An afternoon of all things (forgive the word) cute – 02.20.16
What followed my visit to an ‘artist village’ is to a so-called ‘creative park’. It was not exactly the name that intrigued me though but the idea that the area used to be an abandoned wine factory converted into a place for cultural events and other exhibitions. My afternoon spent there turned out fun being a fan of trinkets (called “abubots” in Filipino) with a rather similar scene in my country wherein local artists share their crafts in pop-up bazaars and markets.
Indeed it was an afternoon filled with (window-) shopping for stickers, postcards, notebooks etc.
Continue reading [Taipei, Taiwan] ~ Little finds in a factory turned park
Seeing what was and what is – 02.20.16
After visits to more known landmarks in the city LONGSHAN TEMPLE and CHIANG KAI-SHEK MEMORIAL HALL, my next destination during my first day in Taipei was on a lesser known historical site. Called TREASURE HILL ARTIST VILLAGE, this place caught my attention due to its story of transformation. Originally resided in by illegal settlers, this place was rebuilt as a place for residence and/or crafts for artists in 2010. This transformation is not without its controversy as certain parties felt it was not a very good decision to make people lose their homes to promote arts.
For tourists though, it was nonetheless a place for quite a stroll – with vibes of contradictions of what was and is.
Continue reading [Taipei, Taiwan] ~ Finding treasures in an artist village
A surprisingly good one spent on a temple and a plaza – 02.20.16
Couldn’t remember exactly why but this was a city I wanted to revisit. My revisit February from last year was a discovery on what is interesting with the city and other places accessible via trains and buses.
This is about the trip kick-off – a surprisingly calming moment at a temple despite not being a spiritual person followed by fascination at vastness in a plaza.
Continue reading [Taiwan] ~ Taipei morning in temple and plaza
Where beauty, play and fragile meet – 02.06-08.16
Extra points I give to islands I can go around in n steps (others being Potipot and Mantigue) so it was a pleasant surprise when KALANGGAMAN turned out to be one even when what initially pulled me in is its promise of calm water and its interesting shape, hence its name.
Water turned out an interesting range of calm to with soft waves, not to mention amazingly clear against backdrop of skies with such play of colors during sunrise and sundown and starry black in between.
I find it cheesy to often use the word beautiful but this island is precisely that. What adds to its charm even is how it seems fragile as felt in how harsh the wind can be in that place at certain times of day. Apparently, there is so much more than its shape.
Continue reading [Palompon, Leyte] ~ 2,941 Steps around Kalanggaman Island