Search Results for: Philippines

A Philippine Comedy of Errors: Part Three


A shaggy tangle of shopfronts in the heart of Intramuros

Continued from
A Philippine Comedy of Errors: Part Two


The idea of going to a city as huge as Manila and not exploring it for fear that a terrorist attack may or may not happen at any unspecified time or place (but probably won’t) is, well…foreign to me.  Yes, I could have waited a few hours for my travel companion to wake up and accompany me, but at 8 am it was already 95 degrees Fahrenheit, and I was eager to experience the capital of the Philippines.

Surely, this is what the Philippine Department of Tourism would have wanted…if only they seemed aware I was in their country.

[Read more…]

A Philippine Comedy of Errors: Part Two


Continued from
A Philippine Comedy of Errors: Part One

On my 15-hour Philippine Airlines flight, direct from Los Angeles to the Philippine capital of Manila, I’d scored the semi-holy grail of coach class: two airline seats all to myself. 

Sadly, though, both the seats and the plane itself were falling apart at the seams.

The aircraft had been built long before personal entertainment screens had been imagined, and by now its upholstery, seat-reclining mechanisms and plumbing had all reached their expiration date.

At the start of the flight, there were four working bathrooms. Six hours in, the floor at the rear of the plane was flooded…and we were down to one functional loo.

[Read more…]

A Philippine Comedy of Errors: Part One

The bridge over the (former) waters of the Guihod Natural Pool in Hapao, Philippines

Pausing before a not-yet-completed bridge spanning a rocky little stream bed, I watched a weary construction team haul steel bars from one side to the other. Kelly, a 25 year-old guide from a tribe native to this mountainous region of the Philippines, sat up straight in the front seat of the jeepney and pointed off to the left.

“This used to be the Guihod Natural Pool. It was very good for swimming.”

I furrowed my brow, recalling having seen “Guihod Natural Pool” listed on that day’s travel itinerary.

“So…no one can swim here anymore?”

Kelly turned around to face me. “Oh, no — it was filled in two years ago to make way for this bridge.”

And that’s the moment when I knew for sure:

The travel agents who planned this trip had never actually been here.

[Read more…]

Lana’i: The Big Picture of a Tiny Island

A mural of Manele Bay in downtown Lana'i City

When you think of taking a trip to Hawai’i, you’re probably picturing beach, palm trees and pineapples. And in the case of the small island of Lānaʻi, you’d be spot on.

Sort of, anyway.

At only 20-odd miles across and home to only 3,000 people, this unique slice of the world has a pretty darn complicated, fascinating history — especially when you consider that it’s part of the United States. [Read more…]


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 Republic of Georgia

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