The soothing sound from the pattalar, a traditional Burmese musical instrument, filled the luxurious lobby of The Strand Hotel in downtown Yangon. Its bamboo keys were expertly played by a lady garbed in a light yellow blouse and a local wrap called longyi.
After we checked-in, I was relieved to find out that our accommodation was a lot more spacious compared to the photos of it I saw online. Our room was already fitted with four single beds, the two were extras I think, each of which had their customized signature fluffy pillows. Needless to say that the property was named after these babies.
Dinagat island food trip: Mabuhay Dina Gat Restaurant, Denor Restaurant and balut in pretty glass enclosures.
I once did a blog a collaboration with Lisa Mirasol of Pinaytravelista.com where we shared various travel tips about Iligan, a highly-urbanized city in Southern Philippines.
Little did I know that a few months after I published that entry, I was fortunate enough to return to my beloved birthplace to participate in the Waterfalling Adventure Tour 3.0, a unique weekender organized by the Iligan Bloggers Society.
I actually expected a few hotcake stalls that morning. Mrs. Carissa Tolo or Nang Isang would later tell me that there used to be five of them back in 1984. Her fellow hotcake vendors have since left Butuan, but she chose to stay in the city. She has been flipping these beloved pancakes ever since.
Eastwood is not a 'city' per se, but in many respects it is. Confined (or crowded) in this relatively small piece of real estate are luxury condominium towers, BPO companies, pet-friendly shopping malls, churches, restaurants, a clinic and even an educational institution.
Everything that our eyes could see is technically part of Davao City. I knew that the premiere metropolis in southern Philippines is huge, but it helps to be reminded with the fact that it is really, really huge.
Even better was the fact that there were only a few of us in that tiny patch of paradise at that time. No wonder why Lonely Planet describes this part of the island as 'the last vestige of Phuket as it once was.'
One September morning a few years back, I woke up to the view of the Andaman Sea. I was standing at our hotel balcony when I stared at its turquoise waters for a long time. It was almost a surreal feeling, something in between awe and disbelief.
There was a small boxing ring that was already set-up when my friend and I entered the lobby of Seda Abreeza Hotel in Davao City. Two pairs of red gloves were hung on its corners which contrasted the predominantly brown and gray color palette of this contemporary hotel in these parts.