There are planned trips and there are spontaneous ones. There are even times when something went wrong with our hotel booking or we are not pleased with the hotel when we got. That’s where the HotelQuickly app comes in. It’s a last-minute hotel booking app that’s designed to let you find available hotels in the area and book it instantly at discounted rates. I recently got to try this app in my trip to the Cordilleras at the start of the year and find out for my self the conveniences and quirks the application had.
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.
I have worked with the Dornier/InFlight team for quite a while now and most of the time, the assignments had been really interesting much like the Cebu-Bohol “Escape Into the Wild” and the Laguna Lake Loop “Slice of Art” story. I like working mostly as a photographer with a team comprised of a writer and sometimes the art director as I’m more focused on shooting than interviewing for the story. For this five-day Bicol assignment with InFlight Traveller, I was with writer Monica de Leon and and Art Director Jocas See. We were accompanied by our guide, the Bicolano Man himself, Renato Jao. This assignment was pretty close to me as for the very long time (I think 10 years) I get to go back to my mom’s hometown which is Daraga, Albay. I used to spend summers here when I was a kid and I really like how the places has developed from what I remember. Also in this issue is a feature on one of my favorite resorts in Palawan, Qi Palawan. Check out the spreads below and hopefully you get a copy at the nearest bookstores like Fully Booked and National Bookstore.
“Where is Tañon Strait?” I asked a friend when he told me about the project. I’m sure I share the same sentiments with other Filipinos who have no common knowledge of Tañon Strait which happens to be the largest marine protected area in the Philippines bounded by two islands Negros and Cebu. I was invited to be one of the photographers for the Oceana Photo Safari on Tañon Strait together with underwater photographers Gutsy Tuason and Danny Ocampo, travel photographer Oggie Ramos, chief news photographer of Cebu News Daily Tonee Despojo and chief photographer of the Freeman, Ferdinand Edralin. For six straight days the group captured the beauty and bounty of Tañon Strait above and underwater. And this recent World Oceans Day, June 8, 2015, Oceana Philippines hosted a photographic exhibit showcasing images captured during the photo safari.
In the age of independent and do-it-yourself travelers, are travel agents still relevant at this time? I’d like to think so yes. I’m an independent traveler but I find value with using travel agents too when the need arise. Here are some reasons why it is smarter to use Travel Agents at times and visit the upcoming PTAA 22nd Travel Tour Expo 2015.
I’ve always been fascinated by the textiles created by the various indigenous people of our country. I myself have visited their places and have seen with my own eyes how they weave and crafted these pieces of works. To them, the designs and patterns, influenced by their surroundings, nature and belief is inherent and flows naturally through them. In Ayala Museum’s newly opened exhibit at its 4th floor galleries, the “Art and the Order of Nature in Indigenous Philippine Textiles” showcase to display the indigenous Philippine textiles in a different light.