Category Philippines

Time to Get Ilocos

It was an ambitious itinerary, to say the least. The schedule had us zipping up and down the coastline at the top left corner of Luzon, taking in two-dozen points-of-interest in and around Pagudpud, Laoag and Vigan—all within 48 hours. My wife and I stepped out of the shuttle bus from the Laoag airport and […]

Show of Faith

The procession rounded a corner on a narrow back alley on the old side of Makati, the parade of crucifixes led by boys beating on snare drums. Faithful participants clutched rosary beads and recited prayers, hoisting scores of intricately adorned wooden crosses aloft as they paced barefoot through the city’s Poblacion neighborhood. Every so often, […]

King of the Road

In Metro Manila, traffic is the great equalizer. It envelops everyone, regardless of status, wealth or power. With few mass transit options, daily commuters are forced onto overcrowded roadways to navigate the gridlock, sometimes for hours on end. And in the bumper-to-bumper grind at rush hour, a relic from World War II still reigns supreme. […]

The People of Mt. Pinatubo

Our first glimpse of the Aeta children came about 20 minutes into the journey up the rugged slopes of Mt. Pinatubo. We climbed out of the back of a four-wheel drive Jeep at the mouth of a canyon just after daybreak on a recent Sunday and watched as the kids walked toward us across the […]

Dusty Trail to Taal Volcano

The donkeys waited single file in the blazing midday sun at one end of a concrete lot at the trailhead to the Taal Volcano. Nearby, my wife and I applied healthy doses of sunblock and bug repellant, strapping on the surgical masks we’d purchased to combat trail dust. “I want the good one,” my wife […]

Open Water Diving: An Introduction

The first rule of scuba diving is: do not hold your breath. Ever. Especially if you are 60 feet deep in the ocean and see a Giant Trevally trolling by that looks as big as a windshield on a minivan. Go ahead and hyperventilate if you must; the mixture of nitrogen and oxygen in the […]

Chasing the NFL Playoffs

The cell phone vibrated on the nightstand in the pre-dawn darkness. Eventually, I rolled over and grabbed it, peering groggily at a text message. It was my driver, announcing his presence at the bottom of the condo building in which I reside. I’d arranged a ride to Manila’s only 24-hour sports bar to watch the […]