I have plenty of bags for sure and they are of different types. I use each of them depending on where I’ll go. For a few night’s trip out-of-town, preferably up the highlands, I prefer to use backpacks. They are mobile and easy to carry for the last minute bus chases, climbing on top of a jeep or an impromptu mountain climb. Had the pleasure of road-testing another backpack, the Osprey Momentum 32 from their Momentum Series packs designed for commuting. I managed to lightly test the Osprey Momentum 32 in historic trails Bataan first then rough-tested through the elements at the mountains of Bontoc.
The streets were filled with energy of excitement. Of people with painted faces eager to experience the revelry going through the mid-day. A group of performers in their shimmering blue attire dances to the beat under the bearing sun. “Viva Pit Señor!!!” they shout as they raise their hands to the sky. Their festival queen dances gracefully, arching her back incredibly far and deep while raising the Sto Niño to the sky. How she retains her smile through this is a wonder as I try to capture this moment. My DSLR takes a back seat. From my pocket, I pull out the Asus Zenfone Zoom. I like the feel of the leather at the phone’s back cover which also helps with the traction on my hands.
I got a bit bummed when my Keen Newport H2 gave up on me after getting at least two years of beating. Yep it has gone through miles of hikes both on mountain trails, beaches and pavements that I feel had fairly utilized the sandals. I planned to buy another one as replacement but local stocks seemed to have ran out early this year and I had to settle for something similar from another brand. Then I saw the full spread ad of Keen Uneek in an issue of Outside Magazine. I thought it was a cool looking sandals. Innovative in fact, making use of the highly popular paracord accesories often as bracelets doubling as survival tools. Although this left me wondering how comfortable it is. Glad the local distributor, Primer finally brought the Keen Uneek to the Philippine shores last quarter of 2015. I’ve been using the Keen Uneek for at least a couple of months now and let me share how it fared in real-world use.
“In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught”
Late May 2015, I became a part of a group of nature and news photographers to capture images during a photo safari organized by Oceana Philippines. Each of us had our own styles and strengths ensuring we show different facets of the protected seascape, Tañon Strait. For six full days, traveling from Bantayan Islands of Northern Cebu to Dumaguete south of Negros Island, we visited beaches, island hopped, snorkeled, dived, strolled through historic towns, shopped at dry fish markets, went on a river cruise, walked on mangrove boardwalks, stayed a night at a reef station and chased dolphins in the wild. It was an exciting expedition where we were thankful for favorable weather conditions allowing us to easily capture the wonderful scenes during the trip. A set of carefully curated images were printed and became part of a travelling exhibit which includes the World Ocean’s Day exhibit in Libis and toured in parts of Cebu and Dumaguete. Half a year later, we got excited too hear that the planned coffee table book was already out, sooner than expected. The book “Images of Tañon Strait”, is like the culmination of this project.
It’s the time of the year again when we get to decide which journal we’ll have for the coming year. It’s such a crucial choice as it would be our constant companion for the rest of the 365 days. Most of the time, my usual compact moleskines would do but there is something about having a large journal where there’s enough space to write down random thoughts, doodle or even paste in random items on the pages itself. There are so many to choose from but like this year, it would seem I would settle on Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’s the 2016 Giving Journal for my large journal. Here are some of the reasons why I chose this one to spend some of my time to collect stamps (and add calories) to collect.
A smartphone’s camera is no longer just an added feature but a necessity in this age of Instagram and Facebook social statuses. High-quality cameraphones tend to come with a steep price tag though. But here comes Asus Zenfone 2 Laser ZE500KL, a mid-range priced shooter boasting a class-leading Laser Autofocus that can lock into focus in 0.3 second. We put this camera into real-world use in my recent trips and see how it performs as a smartphone and cameraphone.
A multi-purpose bag is quite a commodity for a traveler. Most common are the trolley-type bags that can turn into a backpack like the old Eagle Creek Twist Pack 22 I reviewed before. Eagle Creek may have done something revolutionary this time with their patent-pending Eagle Creek EC Lync System. So imagine a rolling bag that has a detachable and collapsible frame to convert it to a backpack or duffle bag and can also be stuffed in a smaller sac for storage. The idea seems doubtful for me at first. I was thinking, collapsible? Is it durable enough for rough handling in airport check-ins? Is it easy to assemble or convert? I had the opportunity of testing the Eagle Creek EC Lync System 22 bag for more than four months now and used it for a few local and international trips already.