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Nouveau Nomads

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BackpackingIf money is not an issue…

Where would you go? How far? What would you do? And for how long? Who would you share your adventure with?

Backpack. That’s what I would do… backpack all over the Philippines, then Asia, then the world. I could care less about chic-y hotels and snobbish shops. I just want to enjoy nature and life as trailblazing nomads before me did– go,  seize and memorize the moments savoring the colors, sounds, sights, flavors, aromas, sensations, and then leave. To be just in any place to satiate this primeval urge to explore, to actually leave your footprints behind and take the moments with you as a reference to your next conquest is, for me, the true essence of an adventure.

I stumbled upon a video of Johannes Petrone and Samuel Petrone, who had such an adventure in places you and I just dream of.  The two Finnish brothers chronicled their 6-month backpacking sojourn in the Philippines, China, Tibet, Nepal, and Malaysia in 2006. Lucky dogs! Makes me wonder what am I doing in front of the computer and not out there drinking yak’s milk (huh?) or screaming myself silly while trying that world’s highest bungee jump (I’ll take the milk instead!).

This is the Philippine leg of their Getaway Asia 2006 video, appropriately set to the haunting, hypnotic tune of Moby‘s Porcelain (the theme song of the 2000 movie “The Beach” starring Leonardo DiCaprio from the novel of the same title by Alex Garland ). It includes stunning locales like Boracay, Palawan, Bohol, and Negros.  Enjoy!

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Written by nealm

11 July 2009 at 4:50 AM

Your Other (And Better) Country

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Philippine Flag

Can you call yourself a stranger in a foreign land when you actually feel right at home? Sounds paradoxical, but the Philippines is that other country you have never thought you had– your other home– only far stranger than you have imagined and more familiar than it can possibly get.

Welcome to the land of pleasant paradoxes and exceeded expectations (yours, that is)!

Blessed with a generous sprinkling of 7,107 islands in the Pacific, the Philippines beckons with paradisiacal allure and a welcome respite from the harried world and a hurried life. Here, we have mastered the art of living, the intricacies of friendship, and the passion for life.

It is just an archipelago of emerald isles that break the monotony of the mighty ocean if not for its people who are its real gem and the Pacific‘s real pride. For centuries, guests and conquerors attest to the warmth and hospitality of the Filipinos which is second to none. Magellan‘s men expressed their desire to end their quest for the Spice Island upon discovering the Filipinos and when they experienced the spices of life : bounteous feasts, verdant hills and mountains, powdery white beaches, and the hospitable people (not to mention the beautiful women).

These are just some of the obvious reasons why I made it my ardent cause to tell everyone of this wonderful place the world can call home; to experience what it is like to be a friend, a stranger, and a family member all at the same time: a friend because you will never feel left out, a stranger because it is okay to be different and yet be accepted, and a family member because you may end up marrying one of the gorgeous maidens we have here (now that is another story)! Kidding aside, you will find a kinship, a sense of belonging, with the Filipinos the moment you see the unpretentious smiles, lavish in their unconditional welcome, and witness their unscripted lives. In fact, we have elevated hospitality from an art form to a time-honored tradition that you can’t help but feel and experience the Filipino way of living not just observe it. And yes, your pictures may tell a thousand and one words of what the Philippines is like, but your heart will tell what it is like to be with the Filipinos.

To the world, you are a traveler. Here, you are family.

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Written by nealm

31 January 2009 at 10:11 AM