November 17, 2011

Top 10 Books to Read While Traveling - My Own List

Here are the list and pictures of books that I read whenever and wherever I travel. I believe that reading and traveling are the two ingredients for us to gain knowledge. It's always nice to read books in long bus trips, while at the van, long stopovers, while waiting for connecting flight at the airport, plane trips, train rides, trams, ect. I was inspired by: Michael Tieso in his article 'Books to Read While Traveling'. Also, check the Sole Sisters, Lois and Chichi's compilation of '10 Books to Fuel Your Wanderlust' for different travel bloggers. Kindly check the links. They listed the books to read while traveling. Here's my own list of choice:

( Some of the books are not related to traveling, I mean, not travel book. But, yeah. I enjoyed reading them, anyways.)

10. 501 Must-Visit Destinations - This is actually a TRAVEL JOURNAL. I just posted it in here because it's a travel essential for me. This is the type of journal where there is allotted space where you can write the highlights of your trip, the place you've visited, and all.

355 PHP when I bought it at National Bookstore.
9. Lonely Planet Travel Guide Books - Important when you're going to one place or country. In this book, you will not only see places, how-to-go-to-that-place, activities to do and stuffs. You will learn also the culture, beliefs and living in that certain place. There are also tips in lonely planet books.

I bought this lonely planet guide book at National Bookstore for only 100 PHP, originally priced at 1,499 PHP. Sale!

8. Pocket Atlas of The World.-  The best fact about this book is that it's handy, you can bring it wherever you go. Anyway, I bought this for 99 PHP at C & E Bookshop.

Pocket Atlas of The World. 
7. Rabbit Stew and a Penny or Two, (Maggie Smith-Bendell) [2009] - is a collection of memories, photographs, songs and customs written by a Romani Traveller author. The book describes the author's childhood, living within a traditional Romani Travelling community before concluding with a number of chapters which describe the ways in which the author attempted to raise the awareness of `Gypsy'/Traveller ethnic groups and also how she fought numerous local councils and authorities for basic human rights. (J. Cooper Reviews)

There was an 'exchange books' corner in a hotel we stayed when we went to Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia last March 2011.  I traded my"Dear John By: Nicholas Sparks book I used to own for this. It's actually a good book.
6. Language Books - Whenever I'm in a certain place, I always make sure to know some of their native languages, either it's a phrase, a word, or a greeting. I always read language books whenever I have spare free time.

Some of my language books. Most are 'Italian'. Ciao, parli italiano?
5. Last Night in Twisted River, (John Irving) [2009] - took 20 years to conceive and write, and is a story within a story that shows the development of a novelist and the writing process. It uses many of the themes and plot devices that have already seen treatment in other works by the author. The career of the novelist in the book closely tracks the career of Irving himself, making it Irving's most overtly autobiographical novel. (Wikipedia)

This was actually a gift from my gran, we bought it at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia airport. We visited Kota Kinabalu last March 2011.
4. By the River Piedra I sat Down and Wept, (Paulo Coelho) [1994] - it is essentially a story about love. It also includes elements of paganism; in particular it focuses on the female aspect of divinity.The story focuses on Pilar, an independent young woman, who is frustrated with the grind of university life and looking for greater meaning. Pilar's life takes a turn when she meets up with a childhood sweetheart, who is now a spiritual teacher and a rumoured healer and miracle worker. They set off on a journey through the French Pyrenees as the journey unfolds. (Wikipedia)

The first book at the top. Photo by: Everything Under The Tropical Sun.
3. The God of Small Things, (Arundhati Roy) [1997] - is the debut novel of Indian author Arundhati Roy. It is a story about the childhood experiences of fraternal twins whose lives are destroyed by the "Love Laws" that lay down "who must be loved, and how, and how much". The book is a description of how the small things in life affect people's behavior and their lives. The book won the Booker Prize in 1997. (Wikipedia)

This was recommended by my cool cousin, Roch. She joined us in Banaue-Batad trip.

2. Tuesdays With Morrie, (Mitch Albom) [1997] - Morrie, a college professor, teaches students “the meaning of life.” Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom is about a student who becomes extremely close with his professor. They have a father and son relationship. As graduation approaches, they promise one another that they will always keep in touch. For several years, no one has kept the promise that was made. But Mitch receives a sign and realizes how much he missed Morrie. Mitch finds out Morrie had a severe medical condition. Morrie didn’t have much time left. Mitch decides to visit Morrie every Tuesday. On each Tuesday, Morrie gives Mitch lessons on life as they were still in a classroom. As his condition worsens, they realize there’s not enough time. Morrie and Mitch will always have those deep heart felt conversations. But on one Tuesday, everything will change forever. (Luuux)

Photo By: Luuux
1. Shantaram, (Gregory David Roberts) [2003] - is a novel influenced by real events in the life of the author, Australian Gregory David Roberts. In 1978, Roberts was sentenced to 19-year imprisonment in Australia after being convicted of a series of armed robberies of building society branches, credit unions, and shops. In July 1980, he escaped from Victoria’s Pentridge Prison in broad daylight, thereby becoming one of Australia's most wanted men for the next ten years. The protagonist Lindsay arrives in Mumbai carrying a false passport in the name of Lindsay Ford. Mumbai was only a stopover on a journey that was to take him from New Zealand to Germany, but he decides to stay in the city. Lin soon meets a local man named Prabaker whom he hires as a guide, but soon becomes his best friend and renames him Lin (Linbaba). Both men visit Prabaker's native village, Sunder, where Prabaker's mother decided to give Lin a new Maharashtrian name, like her own. Because she judged his nature to be blessed with peaceful happiness, she decided to call him Shantaram, meaning Man of God's Peace. On their way back to Mumbai after a night out, Lin and Prabaker are robbed. With all his possessions gone, Lin is forced to live in the slums, giving him shelter from the authorities and free rent in Mumbai. After a massive fire on the day of his arrival in the slum, he sets up a free health clinic as a way to contribute to the community. He learns about the local culture and customs in this crammed environment, gets to know and love the people he encounters, and even becomes fluent in Marathi, the local language. He also witnesses and battles outbreaks of cholera and firestorms, becomes involved in trading with the lepers, and experiences how ethnic and marital conflicts are resolved in this densely crowded and diverse community. (Wikipedia)

This was also suggested by my cousin, Roch. Good book. Makes me want to go to India.  Photo by: Kartik Kothari.

The kid who never go on a trip without a book,

November 13, 2011

Unplanned Night Out at Kaytsan (Malolos, Bulacan)

Had an unplanned night-out with friends in high school. If you happen to visit Malolos, Bulacan and want some good music, cold beers and arcade games. You should visit this place. Kaytsan Bar & Grill - Cabanas. The location is along highway. so, it would be easy for you guys to locate it. We really had a good time! If you guys love good music, cold beers and arcade games, this is the right place for you. I recommend. Visit: The Cabanas.

P.S.: Please, forgive my night photography skills. I'm not good with low lightning shots. ;(

The place to be. Kaytsan

Acoustic bar inside and a cool arcade outside.
Bought some chips at 7-11 Cabanas infront of Kaytsan.
This is outside the bar. You can chillax' on that wooden couches and have a good time with friends.
Speed limit, 25 kph, eh?
It's my good friend again. Janie. She's always featured in my post. Hahaha. To: Janie, you owe me.
Yeah! We know the band. Citrus band. Tin-tin (Jenica's best friend) and her hubby. They're good on-stage.
What? Hahaha. 
Took some 'bokeh' shots, becuase the Christmas lights looks amazing.
Outside the bar.
There are several shops, clinics at the right part of the Cabanas.
Had some snack after. Then we all went HOME. 
My favorite shot tonight. The Menu. I don't know, I just like the bokeh and lights. 
 The kid who have always been amazed with 'bokeh' shots,

November 11, 2011

Sky Lanterns: 11.11.11 at 11:11 PM (Pasig, Philippines)

When I first heard of this event, one thing that flashed to my mind is the article that I've read about the sky lantern festival in Chang Mai, Thailand (Northern Thailand) that originally and traditionally used there, also last week, I saw the Lonely Planet Guide Book, Thailand at National Bookstore also that it covers the lantern.

That night was a blast. Went to Banchetto in Megatent, Ortigas Center, Pasig City with some college friends. Went there to try the foodtripping they offer. The food was a little bit pricey compared to the normal price of goods outside, but not much. Let's say the Isaw (Chicken Intestines) on stick costs 25 pesos /per stick. The juice on plastic cups costs 30 pesos. It's actually my first time at Banchetto. Heard many good feed-backs about Banchetto from some of my friends back in highschool. We went there actually to see the said Sky Lantern - Wishing Lantern"Event" which you can put your wishes on a wishing paper and you can attach it with the lantern; they will light up all of the 1,000 lanterns altogether at exactly 11:11 PM in the same date, 11.11.11 which happens once in a lifetime. Unfortunately, the said event was cancelled due to some 'safety reasons' daw. But, yeah. they lighted up one sky lantern for testing and for media exposure.

One of few sky lanterns they light up.
An, it goes up. The normal sky lantern goes up to maximum limit of 500 meters, as they said.
Food-tripping, puto bumbong, anyone?
Tired. The whole group, except me. L-R: Karla (Lovely's cousin), Lovely, Lesyl, Frenniel, Marx and Mik.

Went to Metrowalk after, chilled at Starbucks. Banchetto is full-packed that night.
There's this one group who light up their sky lanterns at the parking lot near Banchetto.
Capturing low lightning shots is hard, you know? Haha. Forgive me, I didn't brought my tripod.
Yeah. With flash on.
It's magical when you see these lanterns up above the skies.
Went to Starbucks Metrowalk after 11:11 PM.
Those wiring-look-like is actually sky lanterns, it's magical.
Mikhail and I, look at the crowd at our back.
Yeah! Sky lanterns. Up close.
Exhausted. Going home that time. 
The kid who appreciates the sky lanterns when together above the skies,

November 6, 2011

Lost in The Mountains (Benguet, Philippines)

It was an unplanned trip. Last minute talks, last minute decisions, it was all planned the night before we depart from Manila. It was 4 years ago since I last went to Baguio for a field trip, I guess. This time, the mountainous Benguet is our final destination, I was with my High School friends, it was my good friend, Bryan's treat. No expenses. No cash-out's, only the 340 pesos discounted bus fare onward. Luckily, I was able to come with them. (October 31-November 03, 2011)

On our way to Tuba, Benguet. Philex Mining Corporation.
We arrived at Philex Mining Corporation at about 6:00PM, we decided to just roam around the whole town.
Boy's room. Our rooms are separated with girls. Good morning!
We're off to Baguio City. Our place in Benguet is an hour drive from city proper.  We enjoyed the road trip!
Fresh air. Breath-taking scenery. Good people. Priceless experience.
Forgive the shot. My lens is broke that time. No auto focusing. Yeah! We're in a mining site.
After an hour drive to Baguio City, our first stop was "Bell Temple" in La Trinidad, Benguet.
Yeah! My good friends, Bry and Roice
The Bell Temple. This place reflects Chinese culture and history.
Bell Church & Temple Entrance. Sacred place.
Going up. We reached the top.
The last temple at the top. This place has a rich Chinese culture and tradition.
Notice the two dragons at the entrance. 
Trying our Chinese 'Kung fu' inspired poses.

Went to Camp John Hay and Baguio Country Club. This is located somewhere there. Statue of Liberty's replica.
Burnham park. Rate: 100 pesos for 30 minutes. 
Bry is the photographer + paddler. 
This is the man-made lake with rowboats.
The park beside the man-made lake.
Had lunch at Jack's Restaurant. Bought some street foods, Isaw (Chicken Intestines), Binatog (Boiled Corn) and Suha (Pomelo) 
At around 5:00PM, we headed back to Benguet. Arrived at Philex after an hour. Had dinner, bought some cold beers. The only available beer at the store near Bry's house is San Miguel Pale Pilsen. It was actually my first time to try that beer, it was quite bitter than the usual San Mig Light. Tita Grace (Bry's Mom) prepared some pulutan for us. Anyway, ice is not uso in Benguet.

"Heart's all over the world tonight." With You (Chris Brown) Unexpected shot!
Taco's, Tofu and Beers. The best!
Pepperoni Pizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzaaaaaaaaaa.
Played different card games. Pusoy dos, pequa, ect. Consequences to losers. 

Pequa, Kings was also played. We enjoyed that game.
This is the result of that consequences.

Overlooking, Lingayen Gulf. The skies is touching the mountains. Breath-taking!
Morning jogging?
Peace, yo! We're chillaxin' after a long sleep.
After lunch, We went to the plaza. There's an on-going event there. Philex corporation invited Talk 'n Text PBA players. We decided to go trek first. Hiking, eh?

This was taken somewhere at the top of the mountains. Pine trees all over.

Up, up, here we go, go, up, up here we go, go.
Yeah! Preparing for a trek?

Nice outfit, Roice. Never thought you're gonna trek with that bag.

Watch out. Falling rocks.
What are you doing there, Aaron? Join them.
First few attempts to trek. 
Best view. Philex dam.
How to do that?
Beautiful skies.
Peace again, yo. 
On our way down. We weren't that exhausted. Thanks to Benguet's climate.
Idol Alapag. With Janie and Roice.
We played tennis after. Nice move, Bry. 
What am I doing? Hahaha.
Then, Billiards after. Hahaha. Sexy ni Roice.
Bry, Janie and I.
Street lights.
Merienda. Fish balls, mozarella balls, banana-q, ect. Fresh fuit juice with sliced fruit, eh? HRM, friends?
Group picture. From Left to Right. Bry, Roice, Aaron, Janie and Sephy.
After the dinner, we headed to Manila.
The kid who got lost intentionally in the mountains,

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