Monthly Archives

May 2015


My First Impressions and Aha’s about New Zealand! @PureNewZealand

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(Shot with an LG G4)

It’s only my first time in New Zealand and I’ve already been in love with its beauty the moment we arrived.

Here are my 10 first impressions and aha’s about the country…

1. Best time to go to NZ

The best time to go is during New Zealand’s Autumn season during the months of March, April, and May, which is Summer time in the Philippines! The second-best time is during the Spring at around September, October, & November, which falls on the semestral break of most schools back home.

Wellington is the political capital of NZ, while Auckland is the business capital. Queenstown is the most beautiful city in the southern isle.

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Awesome Festivals

PAHIYAS: Our Awesome Guide to the Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, Quezon! @TourismPHL

Make sure to download Our Awesome Guide for information, food, and pasalubong tips when in Lucban, Quezon! :) 

Our Awesome Guide: Pahiyas Festival
The Pahiyas Festival is one of the most popular fiestas in the Philippines, held in honor of San Isidro Labrador, Catholic Patron Saint of Farmers. It is celebrated annually every May 15th (regardless of whether it falls on a weekday or a weekend).

The festival is a thanksgiving feast for a beautiful harvest. Kiping (colorful decorations made from dried rice paste) are used to decorate the houses along with various fruit, vegetables, and flowers.

#TeamOAP (Team Our Awesome Planet) visited this year and put together these helpful tips for you to use next time you visit Pahiyas.  

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#Restaurants, #Travel

PIZZERIA MOZZA with Filipina Exec Chef Karla Mendoza (A Review) @MarinaBaySands

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Pizzeria Mozza is an Italian Pizza Restaurant by celebrity chefs Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali with restaurateur and winemaker Joseph Bastianich. It’s the second outlet after the main Los Angeles restaurant, and it opened in Singapore last 2010.

Most Filipinos are proud to eat here because the executive chef in the Singapore branch is a Filipina–Chef Karla Mendoza. Its fine dining counterpart–Osteria Mozza–again made it to #45 of the 50 World’s Best in Asia in 2015.

Here’s what to expect and what to order at Pizzeria Mozza…

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CREATE TRIPS: Planning My Tokyo Trip with @CreateTrips Mobile TravelBook (A Review)


CREATETRIPS is a mobile travel planning guide app where you can get well-curated TravelBooks and insiders tips from local food and travel experts around the world.

It was very helpful during our recent family trip to Tokyo because it provided awesome advice on the best places to go to Tokyo vs. online sites or review sites like TripAdvisor.

It convinced us to visit the Tokyo Sky Tree with the kids, the tallest tower in the world vs. going to Tokyo Tower. We skipped joining the guided Tokyo tours and choose the places that our family will enjoy.

Here are what I like and don’t like about the app:

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Awesome Festivals

MIDGET BOXING in Manila with @MsKristinaWong (A Photo Essay Guide)

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MIDGET BOXING is a entertainment sport where two little people box for 3 minutes. It’s now a popular tourist attraction along P. Burgos–the red light district of Makati. My activist and performance artist friend Kristina Wong from LA wanted to experience it as part of her first time in Manila, so we decided to bring her.

Here’s a guide on how best to experience Midget Boxing in Manila…

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Events, Manila Life

#MTVMusicEvo 2015: On Francis M Tribute, Hip Hop Culture, and Naughty by Nature! (Photo Essay)

167654-Finale at MTV Music Evolution 2015 on 17 May Pic 4 (Credit - MTV Asia & Ferdie Arquero)-b5a0d3-original-1431968254For the first time in Manila, MTV Music Evolution 2015 brought the local hip hop scene together with international chart topping artists. This free ticket event marked a first for the Philippines as MTV wrapped up the summer season.

Claiming 2015 as the year to visit the Philippines, what better way to celebrate than having such a huge and exciting event take place in a country that has long embraced the hip hop culture. Here was our experience at MTV Music Evolution 2015…

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CAFE DUA: Cafe by the Ruins 2 Baguio Dinner! (A Review) #CafebytheMarios

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CAFE BY THE RUINS DUA is the first branch of the popular Cafe by the Ruins in Baguio after 25 years as a standalone establishment. Its new location beside Mario’s Baguio on Upper Session Road will serve as the main bakery and commissary for baked goods and pre-cooked frozen pasalubong.

It’s a relief that you can now enjoy Cafe by the Ruins without braving the traffic of Session Road and Burnham Park. The “ruins” charm is lost in the new branch, but the modern-hip interiors are in tune with its double purpose as a gallery for Cordillera arts and culture.

Related Blog Post: Cafe by the Ruins Breakfast!

Here’s our Cafe by the Ruins Dua experience during our recent trip to Baguio…

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SITIO LA PRESA: Will Tourism Destroy its Natural Beauty? #LaParusa #Forevermore (A Case Study)

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SITIO LA PRESA is the name of the fictional strawberry farm that is home to Agnes (Liza Soberano) and the setting of her love story with Xander (Enrique Gil) in the teleserye Forevermore. (Watch the Forevermore Pilot Episode)

The actual Sitio Pungayan in Mt. Kabuyao, Tuba, Benguet has now adopted “La Presa” as its magical name, and has become a popular tourist spot for Baguio goers. It has attracted local tourists who want to relive the Forevermore love story

Sitio Pungayan has managed to create a whole tourism economy around the La Presa branding–La Presa Strawberries, La Presa Vegetables, La Presa Jam, La Presa Souvenirs, and maybe even a La Presa Inn in the future. While this resulted in a lot of jobs and businesses in the sitio, uncontrolled commercialization is threatening the natural beauty, appeal, and smell of the place, plus endangering the water catchment area of Baguio.

Here’s what to expect before deciding to go or not to La Presa…

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#Philippines, Batangas

Taal Volcano: Guide to 45-minute Trekking Adventure to Crater Lake (via Private Route)!

Taal VolcanoTaal Volcano is an island within a lake, on an island within a lake, on an island! Did you get that? 😛

Just an hour away from Manila, this geological wonder is the smallest active volcano in the world. But despite being famous and all, we found that most Filipinos have a hard time locating the actual Crater Lake itself–So we had to figure out the reason for ourselves.

Check out Team OAP’s video on debunking the mystery of Taal Volcano…

Taal Volcano Blog Series
• A Journey into Taal Volcano’s Crater! (Photo Essay) (2017)
• Taal Volcano: Guide to 45-minute Trekking Adventure to Crater Lake (via Private Route)! (2015)
• Conquering the Taal Volcano Crater! (2006)
• Guide to Trekking Up to the Taal Volcano – world’s smallest volcano! (2005)
• Taal Volcano Crater Experience! (2005)

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