Manila • Sunday Funday

Not all my time in Manila was spent chasing midgets and fighting drunk women, there was a bit of cultural exchange too, thanks to my dumbfound luck in meeting Gordon, a cool Filipino guy who had just enough time to kill on a Sunday.

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Manila • Midget Boxing Blues

I woke up in sunny Manila, a mere 6 hours after arriving at the hostel earlier that morning. It was a Saturday and I felt like going out in town for a beer after getting money back in my pockets. The following is a retelling of the craziest night I had in Manila, Philippines.

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Life With Shisei: The Sacred Art of the Japanese Tattoo

Life with Shisei is one of the awesome shows running on VICE Japan’s Youtube channel which points a light on Horiyoshi III, a famous and enigmatic Japanese tattoo artist with a very serious philosophy about the art and his full-body tattoo suits.

While I can’t relate to his lifestyle of line of work, I find that some of his philosophies as applied to any art form are valid and worth listening to if only to make us think about what we do and why. Check it out.

Northern Philippines • The Power of Goodbye

“What did you learn?” is a phrase I used to get asked constantly when I came back from my travels. “What did you see?”, “What did you find?” This story has no photos or videos, partly because I didn’t take any at the time (Stef couldn’t find any either) and partly because, well, I was too busy …

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Northern Philippines • Life and Death in Batad

I woke up extremely early that morning and took my laptop to work in the balcony of the restaurant, overlooking the breathtaking view of the valley below. Pauline later joined me and asked a bit about what I do and how I started traveling. Pauline was just merrily backpacking around the world and it seemed that, just …

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Northern Philippines • The Road to Banaue

It must have been a good 10 minutes after meeting Pauline when we were all sitting in the back of one of the three jeepneys that were parked in front of the post office in Sagada, waiting to leave for Banaue.

We’re sitting there surrounded by old ladies carrying big bags full of wares to sell and a chicken. Stef is talking to Pauline, while one of the ladies next to me asks if one of them is my wife and what are we doing in Sagada. The jeepney’s engine starts as soon as I open my mouth to try and answer the lady’s question, careful not to offend anyone or make the blushing in my cheeks too obvious. Suddenly we start rolling out of town and into the valley. Goodbye, Sagada. (more…)

Northern Philippines • Sagada Sunrise

Fresh out of the shower I see Xopau and Stef talking by her room door and they asked if I wanted to tag along with them for a late night dessert. Seeing as I didn’t feel like sleeping or being alone, we all went together to the Sagada Lemon Pie House.

Guess what we had. (more…)

Northern Philippines • Echoes of the Hanging Coffins

I was a bit confused when our bus dropped us off right at the town entrance, where the post office was. Turns out there was a whole side of the place we had not been to yet, hidden in plain sight!

So we start walking across the street like we’re going to the post office, but the guide steers us into a park with kids playing ball while their mothers gossip in benches. There’s a church by the end and we take the road on its left side moving past it and into the cemetery behind. This is were people are being buried nowadays. (more…)

Northern Philippines • Hiking to the Bomod-ok Falls

After our climb back from the Porn Cave, we changed into dry clothes and our guide drove all the way back to the town entrance and up a different part of the valley.

When we got to the drop off,  our guide left with the bus to presumably take a break and we were left to the care of a lady who would guide us through the walk to the Bomod-Ok Falls. (more…)