Bo’s Coffee in Island Central Mactan: Digital Nomad Cebu Hotspot

ECHO CHAMBER. Noise is amplified on the 2nd floor and could be quite distracting if you’re working on something.

The latest Cebu branch of the Philippine coffee chain is a cozy two-storey location in a new mall in Lapu-Lapu City- the Island Central Mactan. We went there when it was newly-opened and so it wasn’t as crowded as most coffee shops are in the city. On the ground floor of Bo’s Coffee in Island…

Have app, will order turkey rice

REAL-TIME TRANSLATION. Reading instructions at a bus terminal using the Google Translate app.

I had my first taste of Taiwanese milk tea at a shop in a train station on our way to the remote township of Alishan. My wife and I headed straight to the station from the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to catch the train to Chiayi in time for the last bus to Alishan. We…

How to get to Alishan in Taiwan

The train stops at the Chiayi City station.

There is a wide range of options for getting to the Alishan National Scenic Area in Taiwan. The first step will be to get to Chiayi City in the southwest from wherever you are in Taiwan. This provincial city is the base of public transport services that ply the Alishan route. Do take note that…

Taipei trip highlights culture, food, nature

JIUFEN. Formerly a gold mining district located in a mountainous area of the Ruifang District in New Taipei City, Jiufen was once a prosperous and booming town that earned for it the nickname “Little Hongkong.” That was during the discovery of gold in the area during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan in the late 1800’s.

She beckoned to us from the shadows cast by the sculpted posts filled with symbolism the meaning of which now escapes me, there in that structure that represented religion in Taiwan. “Come, come. I want to introduce you to some gods.” Or at least that is what I heard local guide Jane Fan told our…

My PayMaya experience: Sticking to a budget in Hong Kong

TRAVEL WITH PAYMAYA. Using the PayMaya app and card, I was able to create a travel budget and stick to it in a recent trip with friends to Hong Kong.

Luck had me traveling to Hong Kong twice this year, one for a trip long planned since last year, the other for a complimentary hotel stay that had to be availed of by May. Foreign trips cost money and I was traveling with women friends in a shopping mecca that is Hong Kong. For that…

Authentic Spanish tapas, best cocktails at Dumaguete’s Allegre

SPANISH TAPAS served in Allegre, a bar on the scenic Rizal Boulevard in Dumaguete City.

Being one of the many hangouts that dot the long stretch of Rizal Boulevard in Dumaguete City, the Spanish tapas bar Allegre is an easy a spot to overlook. If we hadn’t gotten that invitation to try it out on our last night there, we would have missed the authentic Spanish dishes and great cocktails…

Beyond level 5, Aguinid Falls is unspoiled, green

ALL TO OURSELVES. We went past the crowded lower levels to enjoy a dip in level 7 of Aguinid Falls.

A regular climb to Aguinid Falls in Samboan, Cebu entails going up the pathway created by the flowing water as it makes its way down from the fifth level to the sea. Beyond the fifth tier, however, the falls go up three levels more. There, beyond the reach of the regular climbers, nature is raw,…

Quiet corners and busy streets, cold mountain and hot tea: our Hong Kong of contradictions

VICTORIA PEAK. This is where you can have the best view of Hong Kong.

There we were, frozen and shivering on a long line that snaked around a lonely bus stop in a cold mountain spot in Hong Kong, and there was no bus. A digital sign gave a countdown of the 15-minute interval before the next one comes. It was an eternity of waiting. A thick fog had…

Pescador Island adventure: dolphins, marine beauty make up for the “sharks”

Dolphins swim beside our boat as we approach Pescador Island off Moalboal in southern Cebu.

Dolphins! They swam beside our boat as we neared Pescador Island off Moalboal for a day out snorkeling and enjoying the much better preserved underwater marine life in the southern town known for its long strip of white sand beach.

Gateway Continental Club brings extra level of service to hotel guests

CONTINENTAL CLUB LOUNGE offers guests of Gateway Hotel of the Marco Polo chain complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea, evening cocktail, and all-day snacks and drinks.

Travel to another country can be intimidating but our recent trip to Hong Kong was smooth all throughout, thanks in large part to a complimentary two-night stay at Gateway of the Marco Polo chain of hotels in Hong Kong.