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Eurasian Summer Bump

We’re two hours early at the train station, waiting for an eleven-hour hard seat ride from Pingyao to Beijing. My travel partner and I had just finished the first leg of this year’s summer trip and it’s only now that I’m getting the chance to write the prelude to our last summer trip as a couple. Yes, It’s gonna be a while before our next one, and that next one’s gonna be totally different. From a traveling couple, we’re going to be a trio. A baby’s coming in soon to join our backpacking trips!

Eurasian Summer Bump
READYING FOR THE COLD, OUR LAST MEAL BEFORE THE TRIP ~ PHOTO BY SHERWIN ARANIEGO

Since BG’s carrying a baby now, a few changes are in order for this year’s backpacking trip. We shortened our usual two-month tour by two weeks. Instead of hitting out of the way destinations, we thought of trying easier routes, lessening land travel to a minimum as much as we can. We also thought of staying longer on places than the usual three to four days stay. And lastly, we ditched our backpacks for something far easier on our backs, luggage trolleys (after five days, I can say that rolling around a trolley is indeed easier, albeit less convenient when riding trains and city buses).

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Posted by Lakad Pilipinas on Friday, April 12, 2019

Magalawa Island Zambales Travel Guide

Am I really in Zambales? That was the thought that was running through my mind as I wandered across the island of Magalawa—my feet sinking into the soft white sand, the sea breeze gently ruffling my hair. Across the horizon, boats the size of matchboxes, slowly parted the sea. The water was calm, extremely calm, the total opposite of what I thought the waters of Zambales are. It almost felt like I’m on one of those islands somewhere in the Visayas, famed for their beaches. Am I really in Zambales? I pinched myself. I really am!

Magalawa Island Zambales Travel Guide
SUNSET AT MAGALAWA ISLAND IN PALAUIG

It was with extremely full tummies when we headed off for the beach. We just finished a table-full of dishes plus some as part of our Zambales food trip. The province of Zambales is laid out along the shores of the West Philippine Sea, and is slowly working up a name for surfing. And then there’s also Anawangin and Nagsasa Cove, two of the most beautiful beaches readily accessible from Manila. But we’re taking a different route, we’re going to Magalawa, an island that’s relatively off the radar from the weekend tourist crowd.

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Posted by Lakad Pilipinas on Monday, April 8, 2019

Zambales Heritage Churches

I have previously wondered about the heritage churches in Zambales, or more accurately, the absence of them. I knew that the Spanish conquistadores have definitely reached this part of the Philippines, but every time I visit my wife’s (Blissfulguro) hometown of Cabangan, the churches I pass en route are all modern ones. This province is old, founded in the 1500’s, but where oh where are its massive stone churches?

Zambales Heritage Churches

It was only recently that I finally got a glimpse of the Spanish colonial churches in Zambales. It turns out, I need to go past the sleepy town of Cabangan to finally see these old behemoths. Out of the thirteen municipalities of Zambales, four of these has old churches (it’s worth noting that all of these are located on the northern parts of the province), and of these, one even has a seal of being a National Cultural Treasure. Not really a lot, and I’m really curious as to the reason why, but still a good enough collection worthy of a Visita Iglesia pilgrimage in Zambales.

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Posted by Lakad Pilipinas on Saturday, April 6, 2019

Zambales Food Trip

My Zambaleño food experience was always about mangoes, freshly caught tunas, and delectable kakanin rice cakes. But the past Dinamulag Festival weekend introduced me to more than the usual table fares in the province, discovering the more metropolitan side of eating places in Zambales. From local dishes and Filipino comfort food, to street food and posh café offerings, I was pleasantly surprised at the variety culinary places in Zambales worthy of a side trip from its beaches and mountains.

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Posted by Lakad Pilipinas on Thursday, April 4, 2019

Dinamulag Festival Zambales

The glittering yellows worn by the dancers shimmered, reflecting the hot afternoon sun. Drumbeats rumbled across the asphalt road fronting the natively dressed capitol building as Zambaleños cheer the festival queen holding a basketful of ripe golden mangoes. Her contingent, intricately dressed in gold and greens, gyrated and jumped as they parted the crowd—the queen twirling, her unwavering smile beholden to her audience.

Dinamulag Festival Zambales
GETTING READY FOR THIS YEAR’S DINAMULAG FESTIVAL IN ZAMBALES

Zambales is a province I've visited countless of times, but witnessing the Zambales Dinamulag Festival was a first for me. And what a first it was.

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Posted by Lakad Pilipinas on Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Things To Do Manila Summer

It’s officially summer in the Philippines! And while going to the beach to cool off is definitely on everyone’s list of things to do during the break, you really can’t stay the whole summer lounging on the sand and swimming on the sea, can you? In between your beach get-aways, you may want to try a few things you can do within the confines of the city too—and there’s actually a lot you can do within Metro Manila without the need to spend hours on end driving out of town.

To make things much easier, you can even book your tours within Metro Manila via Traveloka. As one of the top travel apps in the country for booking flights and hotels, Traveloka has now upped its game by letting its users book tours within the app. Just fire up the app, click on the “Attractions & Activities” tab, then either search for places or activities. Besides tours in the Philippines, they also have international activities covered. Convenient and hassle-free, eh? Here’s a few things you can do in Manila this summer via Traveloka.

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Posted by Lakad Pilipinas on Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Tetouan Three Days Itinerary

It’s very easy to change plans without a fixed itinerary and zero sponsors, traveling suddenly begins to be mercurial once again. What should’ve been a straight ride from Rabat to Chefchaoen has been rerouted not once (see our Three Days in Asilah) but twice. The Spanish City of Tetouan reared its head as we were checking the bus route to the Blue City. Dubbed as the White City, Tetouan attracted us by a single thing, its medina’s status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Posted by Lakad Pilipinas on Thursday, March 7, 2019

Asilah Food Trip Morocco Tagine

From the language alone, we knew that we’re now on a different part of Morocco. From French in Casablanca, Rabat, and Sale, the lingua franca changed to Spanish once we arrived in Asilah. And along with the language, we expected the food to somewhat change a bit as well.

Asilah Food Trip Roasted Chicken Rice Fries
ROASTED CHICKEN IS A STAPLE ALONG THE SPANISH-SPEAKING AREAS OF MOROCCO

We had rice on our first meal in Asilah, so we’re definitely loving it here! We sat down at Ali Baba [35.463799, -6.037815], seeing their prices to be reasonable enough. We asked for turmeric fried rice paired with roasted chicken and fries (MAD 30.00 | USD 3.00)—a staple among the Spanish-speaking areas of Morocco. It was kinda strange since the menu was in French, but they were speaking to us in Spanish. Serving size is generous so we decided to scrimp and share. The roasted chicken is extremely flavorful, we decided to eat at the same restaurant the next day.

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Posted by Lakad Pilipinas on Tuesday, March 5, 2019