Some unfathomable things can only be defined, never in words but only when seen with our own eyes, breathed with our own lungs, and understood with our own soul. The world is an enterprise of profound ideas sculpted by our passions and such is like nourishment– always sought after, always scarce. There is an innate part of us with an insatiable appetite for wandering and discovery because as we seek new places, and new experiences, we seek part of ourselves.
Compiled by Ken Recasata
(United Arab Emirates)
10 hours away and 4 hours behind. The middle east is often feared because of the whispers of tragedy and violence that always seems to surround the area. What is often neglected in places like Dubai is the beauty in the ironic simplicity despite the lavish lifestyles. In Dubai, there is always a slice of home for every Filipino. There is a familiar warmth that envelopes every encounter with a “kababayan”. Unlike the Philippines though, there is a mutualistic relationship between the sultanate and the people that we could only hope to have with our government. 4290 miles away may justify the stark cultural differences. Surprisingly though, it is wonder, rather than exclusion or shock that would be felt. Majestic, exotic, yet familiar– a trip to the middle east is definitely a cultural experience you wouldn’t want to miss!! BUT DONT RIDE A CAMEL IT IS SCARIER THAN IT LOOKS. ALSO, LOOK OUT FOR THE DUBAI SHOPPING FESTIVAL EVERY JANUARY!!!
Leri Tan, Echoes
There aren’t a lot of superlatives existing to describe the experience of Tokyo. I’ve been to Japan a couple of times but I never seem to get sick of this city–I firmly believe that Tokyo is the pinnacle of urbanscapes, with so much character and history for a city and people that never fail to surprise. From the tight, Blade Runner-esque yokochos of Kabuki-cho, the eternally trendy neighborhoods of Shibuya, to the richly historic Asakusa and even the laidback hipster Shimokitazawa–whether you’re in it for the food, anime, fashion or the culture, there’s always going to be a Tokyo for you. Take the subway for the full Asian urban jungle experience.
Chili Perez, Echoes
Last December, I visited Vietnam just for a few days. I enjoyed going around the city buying tea and visiting different Chinese temples. (I think the museums of Hanoi have a lot of improvement to do tho). We had delicious pho and noodles everyday. I also appreciated the city’s nice mix of Chinese, Vietnamese and French architecture. Aside from that, we went through Ha Long Bay, a UN World Heritage Site and visited a really cool cave with nice lighting effects.
Alfonso Roces, Memcom
Taiwan is an underrated travel destination that my friends and I decided to visit during the break. What I really loved about this country were the people and the food. I did not expect them to be so nice LOL and the food were all #solb (sarap ng Xiao Long Bao HUHU)! Despite being on a tight budget, we were able to maximize the money allotted because everything (as in legit) was so cheap and there were no entrance fees to almost every tourist destination we went to. We visited national parks, ancient temples, museums and night markets (Shilin Market is the best!) and even a 24-hour bookstore (so cool!). In Taiwan, we didn’t have to worry about snatchers, deciding where to go next and what we would eat because every place has something new to offer. Our five-day trip was not enough to explore everything. It is one of the places that totally exceeded my expectations and I would definitely come back. 5 stars! PS: This is where #WalangForever was also shot. <3 #feelz
Ysa Zacarias, Sports
Our Spain trip was actually kind of random and unexpected, but I’m really glad that my aunt planned it since it’s the only time that I get to see my cousins who live/study abroad. We travelled by bus for nine days, starting in Madrid, then down towards the Andalusian region in the south (Córdoba, Granada, Sevilla), and then up north towards Valencia and Barcelona. Spain has such an old and rich history, which is especially evident in their well-preserved art and architecture. The magnificent Royal Alcazar of Seville, for example, has Mudejar, Renaissance, and Gothic influences aplenty. Aside from this, Spanish food is also delicious (churros! pintxos! paella! omg!), the people are good looking and friendly (bonus: the Chinese salesladies who speak Spanish are so legit), and there are dogs EVERYWHERE. Oh yeah, the shopping was just… I wanted to cry because there were too many things I wanted to buy but couldn’t. LOL. All in all, it was a wonderful trip, even though my hands dried up like prunes and cracked open like chapped lips (I still have the scars to prove it.) ¡Viva España!