With Boracay consistently cited as one of the best islands in the world, there’s a constant wave of people coming and going the island all year round. Finding an accommodation with a peaceful environment for sound sleep yet close enough to the White Beach may seem a challenge. Believe it or not, there are still pockets of quiet near the bustling main road of Boracay. Agos Boracay Rooms and Bed is a secluded guesthouse yet only steps away from the busy streets. Centrally located and only a few minutes walk to the main beaches.
From my window up 15 floors, I see the EDSA traffic but thankfully couldn’t hear it. I’ve passed through this area time and time again, mostly onboard the MRT and what I remember is the long stretch of not-so-idle land in between the intersection of Quezon Boulevard and the corner in front of SM City North EDSA, as well as the space where an MRT train makes a detour, parked quite away from motorists plying the main thoroughfare Then, Trinoma happened. Now, a newer, more prominent landmark has opened this side of Quezon City — Seda Vertis North.
I turned up the volume of the Bose speaker connected via bluetooth to my smartphone. The acoustic harmony of the Hollow Cove’s “The Woods” filled my large Luxury Room. I split the curtains wide and see the Sukhumvit street below early in it’s early morning bustle. “We’re all falling and we all need a place… to hide!” I somehow echo the lyrics of the song. After a week of exploring Bangkok and Chiang Mai, I welcome a little indulgence to cap my last few days in Thailand. Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit welcomed me with their 5-star comfort and warmth. My birthday was just five days ago but it felt this was the time to celebrate.
Manila and its ironies. The city is both charming and chaotic which can be a challenge to new travelers in the country. The superficial grime and bustling streets can be intimidating but find time to see past it and discover Manila’s true character beyond skin-deep. And what a better way to start is staying at the heart of city, Waterfront Manila Pavilion. A 50-year old hotel in Ermita brimming with history yet keeping up with the modern times. An iconic witness to the ever changing city.
I honestly can’t remember much from last I went here. It was more than a decade ago. I was still working for an American IT company and it was our company outing. Eagle Point Beach and Dive Resort is popular for company outings aside from diving. What I clearly remember was the stunning sunset, playful pawikan and amazing snorkeling just in front of the property. When a chance to go back to the resort came, I thought, why not? It would be interesting to see how things have changed.
I have no problems planning on independent trips. But when it comes to family travel, I’m so poor in planning those kind of logistics. I had to get a little help from friends in the travel industry. My requirement was it should be near Manila, have good accessibility for seniors, convenient and relaxing. Friends from Explore8 gave me options (other resorts Batangas, Cavite, Tagaytay, Vigan) but somehow my siblings and I were leaning into Stilts Calatagan in Batangas. Their cottages looks attractive and they have in-resort transport for our senior relatives. Much more, the beach in this part of Batangas looks gorgeous.
In a span of a decade, I can say I am seeing how Batanes transform. Recently, accommodations are on the rise to cater to the increasing number of tourist in the country’s smallest province up north. While new ones are being built or old homes converted into homestay, a long-time establishment asserts its place in Basco. Pension Ivatan, a small hometel with a restaurant known to serve Ivatan cuisines is already considered an institution. I have seen the trend of dining options come and go in Batanes but this is one of those that has stayed ever since I remember.