Things You Didn’t Know About The Philippines

Things You Didn’t Know About The Philippines

This is a guest post by Mimi

The Philippines is known for its rich culture. It is also abundant in natural attractions like Boracay, Surigao, Palawan, etc. The Philippines has 7,641 islands by itself. It was divided into three island groups: Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao. So Let’s started with THE PHILIPPINES: CULTURAL FACTS THAT YOU SHOULD KNOW. 

Living, Migrating, or Visiting the Philippines for the first time is memorable. You would fall in love with its natural attractions and local culture. Once you step up to the ground, all you need to include in your baggage are thin clothes and bottled water because of the hot and humid weather you will experience. That’s why travelers finding good hotel resorts for their stay in the said country. 

CULTURAL FACTS THAT YOU SHOULD KNOW 

Nourishing the “Mano Po,” Opo,” and ‘Po” Polite Culture 

The traditional culture “Mano Po” and using of “Opo” & “Po” is still nourishing nationwide in the Philippines. Mano Po is a hand gesture that derived from the Spanish period. You usually do “Mano Po” by showing your respect to those older than you. (like your grandparents, aunt, and uncle).  

Using Po & Opo is also necessary for traditional culture in the Philippines. When you talk to an older person in a conversation or someone you didn’t know as showing respect. You can add “Po” at the middle or end of the Filipino sentence. “Opo” is used when you agreed with someone with respect. 

They are around 180 languages used in the country. 

The Philippines is known to have two main languages using in their daily interaction for both local and international guests. Both English and Tagalog mainly use for communication which shortens as “Taglish.” Most young professionals preferred it that way. Unlike in many other provinces, they are still using their dialect. 

Some of the Languages: Tagalog, Waray, Bikol, Cebuano, Ilocano, Kapampangan, Hiligaynon, and Pangasinan.  

Birthday Celebrant must buy food for their invitees. 

Every birthday celebrants want to feel special on their birthday. Having fun with family, friends, and relatives comes with a blessing. However, the birthday culture in the Philippines is different. Unlike its neighbor countries, the Philippines has its own birthday culture. In this case, it became mandatory for every person who has a birthday must buy food for their invitees to share their blessings with them for fun. 

It was a tricky purpose, right? However, it was a sign of sharing your gratitude with everyone. 

BOODLE FIGHT OR KAMAYAN FOOD CULTURE 

Boodle Fight is common in Kamayan culture restaurants. When you heard “Boodle fight,” it doesn’t mean literally “fight.” That was considered a food challenge in a food festival in the Philippines. It was popular to the point you must eat your meal in banana leaves using your bare hands. Boodle fight was also one of the anticipated food dining experience of many Local & Internation Tourist coming over from their respected places or country. 

Some food includes in Kamayan Culture are rice & noodles, chicken wings, breakfast meals: tapa, tocino, longganisa, dry dishes, and many more. 

THE PHILIPPINES’ WONDER WITH ITS CULTURE 

Despite the current situation worldwide, The vision of traveling in every country is still achieving like an invisible traveler. If you ever have the chance, visiting the Philippines, all you need to process is your plane ticket since most countries don’t require you to enter with a visa for tourists. Unless you are from these countries, you’ll need to apply for Philippine Visa.  

The Philippines’ Wonder has a lot to offer. You can enjoy different leisure activities in the community while learning the Filipino culture. If you keep wondering why Filipinos are so resilient that is because of their hardworking mindset and keep on smiling despite challenges they take whenever they go. Also, it leads to being hospitable at all times whenever they encounter another person that needs their help like finding the right route or place they want to go, recommending side options to solve the problem of one person with assistance in work, and many more. 

If you want to read more amazing content like this, check out Mimi’s blog Youth Solo Artsy

Mimi
Mimi

Mikhaela Alyssa Adarve is a travel management university graduate, who hails in the Philippines. She is a Freelance Model, Language Translator & Digital Creator loves to share her insightful travel tips, honest food reviews, the importance of self-love & raising the awareness of sustainable fashion.

Follow me on Instagram to see more (throwback) travel content! I want to connect with more mutuals

Books to Inspire your Wanderlust: 01# The Lonely Hearts Travel Club – Destination Thailand

Books to Inspire your Wanderlust: 01# The Lonely Hearts Travel Club – Destination Thailand

I promised myself that in 2021, I’d get back into reading. Doing an 4 year English Literature course can really mess with your reading habits because all you can do when you read books is analyse EVERY SINGLE DETAIL WITHOUT LETTING YOURSELF JUST ENJOY THE NARRATIVE.

So I’ve decided to dedicate some time each week and finally get through my Goodreads list. I’ve always wanted to read more travel books which includes fiction set in different parts of the globe, that-whole-narrative-about -finding-yourself-on-a-trip and just any books about stepping out of your comfort zone and thrusting yourself in another culture. So I’ve set up a little series on my blog where I’ll be reading travel books and reviewing them.

The Lonely Hearts Travel Club by Katy Collins

I was going through the books on my iPhone and this one popped out at me because it was about travelling and it was also free which is always a bonus. I didn’t have any expectations so just went into this blind.

The book is about Georgia. a woman who is jilted just before her wedding from cheater ex Alex. In turmoil, she decides to go travelling to build herself back up. Feeling lost, she books herself onto a tour in Thailand and its safe to say that her holiday gives her a whole new perspective on life. Bitchy girls, a cheating con man and a drunk nipple piercing, Georgia’s trip goes awry at points and her insecurities kick in. Yes the whole novel really plays into the narrative of finding yourself through solo travel. It’s funny, charming and really explores how rewarding solo travel is when you’re at a crossroads in your life.

It really resonated with me because the first time I went solo travelling, I felt lost. Things in my personal life were crumbling and so deciding to study abroad in Australia for a year and then embark on my first solo trip which was, life changing. Georgia comes across mild mannered at the start of the novel but she does have a daring nature which really comes out during her trip. I was definitely taking leaps and bounds to increase my confidence and doing things to bring out my inner extrovert.

Georgia eventually makes it to this fictional resort called “The Blue Butterfly” which sounds like a magical place. I could just imagine the gold beaches, waterfalls and Pad Thai. Katy’s descriptions of the beauty of Thailand really made me wistful for a place I’d never visited. The rustic hut with ocean coloured rugs, the gentle waterfalls and mouth watering delicacies. I’ll definitely be visiting Thailand whenever I can after reading this book. It seems like its the perfect mix of raving and nature which is great for taking things at your own pace – I can’t wait to party at The Full Moon Rave and then nurse my hangover on the beach the day after x

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Christmas markets on my bucket list

Christmas may have come and gone but this Christmas was probably the least Christmassy I felt due to you know, a whole {redacted] pandemic. I haven’t travelled in over a year and it shows.

I’ve wanted to go to a Christmas market abroad but this looks like its not happening for quite some time so instead I’ve decided to write a blog post about the ones I want to visit in the future .

This blog is a collaboration with Karen.

Brussels

I picked Brussels because lets face it, who doesn’t want to walk down those pretty streets while munching on some delicious Belgian waffles. The glorious skating rink pulled me in at first and I ignored the fact that I can’t ice skate to save my life. A dazzling sound and light show is projected on the towering Grand Palace forming the perfect backdrop to admire the scenery and snap that photo with your bae more waffles

Quebec

The city that is permanently covered in a blanket of snow seems like an amazing place to take a trip to in December. With a German theme, there are a selection of delicacies such as mulled wine, Bratwurst and gingerbread. Choir singing and 90 wooden kiosks, theres plenty to do here and apparently the Alpine Chalet is the place to go if you’re a foodie.

Drusden

There’s nothing like exploring a Bavarian wonderland like Striezelmarkt to get your dose of Christmas spirit. There’s lots of booths to get some handmade crafts if you’re running out of present ideas. Try some glühwein (mulled wine) or Christstollen (fruit bread). There’s lots of delicacies here if you’ve never tried German food. There’s also a grand Ferris wheel to take in the glorious views of Drusden.

Karen’s recommendations:

Japan

Japan holds a place in my heart and Tokyo is a city that leaves me in awe and fascination by the merge of ancient traditions with mesmerising futuristic technology. I’d love to head to Tokyo for their Christmas markets, not so much because of their German beer and gluwein influences but because of the unique light displays thay really do make the city magical at Christmas. One I have my eye on is the Tokyo Skytree Dream Christmas with the fourth floor garden packed with illuminations too

New York City

New York City at Christmas has been an absolute dream since I first watched Home Alone as a child. From ice skating to the parades, it really does hold all the dreams of a magical Christmas. Each year Grand Central Terminal holiday fair is one of the biggest markets in NYC, packed with vendors selling toys and gifts in Vanderbilt Hall. If I make it to New York City at Christmas I will definitely be heading that way!

Croatia

Croatia is on my bucket list for any time of year, but I have heard the Zagreb Christmas market is the place to head for the ultimate Christmas experience. With street music, stalls, performances and spectacular illuminations, it really promises to be all the Christmas magic you dream of for all the family to enjoy, from the smells of the sizzling foods and spices through to the sounds of the live music.

Hope you enjoyed our bucket list! Please comment if you have more ideas 🙂

Check out Karen’s blog here and follow her on Twitter.

I can’t wait to walk down the Aisle…

I can’t wait to walk down the Aisle…

That is,the airport Aisle. (sorry for the clickbait)

Who needs a chapel when you have the luxury of running to your gate because you woke up late  want to get there nice and early. Getting that smooth boarding pass printed out and then instagramming it (without personal details of course because GDPR) for everyone to see that you’re on a Emirates First Class flight to Dubai…or a Ryanair Super Economy to Prague (a flight is a flight, everyone should be jel).

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

 

 

I need that pre flight Corona (the beer, to clarify) and a Full English breakfast. I need to stop salivating because damn, could really use them right now. I haven’t been abroad in just over a year and if you check my internet history it’s full of Skyscanner searches and travel blogs. I have no holidays booked at the moment but that doesn’t stop me bookmarking people’s Instagram posts to my folder aptly named ‘Wanderlust’, original I know. It doesn’t help that London is cold and dreary at the moment and waking up in complete darkness doesn’t help at all. I’m envisaging my next holiday to be an all inclusive at the beach kinda holibae where all I do is sip cocktails and complain about the heat while basking in it anyway.

I don’t know when my next trip will be but I am miserable and need a holiday asap. I kinda wanna wait until things get better or we get a vaccine or both. My mental health is a bit of a sorry state at the moment and I really think even a few days in a new city just lapping up that holiday glow is needed.

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

Are you going on holiday or have you already been? Let me know in the comments!

Pearl Palace Hotel Review

It was my first experience staying in a heritage hotel and the Pearl Palace in Jaipur, Rajesthan was the perfect choice. But what is a ‘heritage’ hotel, you ask? It can be defined as accomodation which has traditional architecture and has distinctive qualities which mirror the area’s way of life. *Boujie for cheap has entered the chat*

The artwork in this heritage hotel was breathtaking. There were statues and stonework recreating the multicultural aspects of India and it’s faiths. The bedrooms were themed and sported different colours, represented a diverse range of vibrant arts and were the perfect combination of luxury and tradition.

Check out how stunning the hotel is

010012015020024036

Look at that artwork tho, damn. I felt like a princess entering my own palace. The staff were lovely and attentive. But the food. Two words: Aloo Paratha. Add a coffee and I was set up for the day. The sister hotel Pearl Palace is two blocks away and has a rooftop restaurant called The Peacock Rooftop Restaurant. I didn’t get a chance to dine there but some of the dishes featured sounded amazing; Paneer Butter Masala, Paneer Tikka etc. (If there was an award for how much Paneer a person could eat in a day, I would have won it by now).

I just loved the whole interior of the hotel and how it was Travelodge prices; it definitely gives British hotels a run for their money. Check it out: http://pearlpalaceheritage.com/. We paid  £191 for three nights (two rooms) which is a bargain.

 

 

 

My Cornwall Staycation

My Cornwall Staycation

Hey everyone!

I’ve been absent for a while dealing with some life stuff but I am back now and ready to commence on these blog posts gathering dust in my drafts.

I took a staycation in mid August to lovely Cornwall staying in a lovely enormous cottage with my family. It was in a secluded farm area called Launceston and was about a hour away from central Cornwall. We were there for 7 days and then spent 3 days in Lizard Point. Here are some daytrips and activities you can do that are of course, socially distanced adventures.

 

  1. Glastonbury

W stopped off at Glastonbury to grab some lunch on the drive to Cornwall. Glastonbury has such a lovely assortment of colourful alternative shops and I was happy to have look around and grab some pretty items. If you need some sage, saris and sandlewood incense, look no further. I did some shopping and was happy to report that it really helped to keep me zen.

2. Tresmoor 

The cottage we had rented was located in Tresmoor, a village near Launceston, North Cornwall. The cottage really aligned with my vision of being a literary darling in a cottage writing her memoirs blog. Oak beds, ensuite bathrooms and a games room complete with a dartboard and a pool table. There’s not much to do near but Launceston is only 6 miles from here. I took a walk around the village and drank in the countryside views.

3. The Eden Project

A trip to Cornwall wouldn’t be complete without visiting The Eden Project. Two biodomes containing exotic plants from all over the world cannot be missed. Some areas of the project are closed off and mask wearing is encouraged to ensure health and safety. Give your senses a hit of this tropical wonderland.

 

4. Padstow

I visited Padstow on a wet and windy day so it wasn’t as fun as it could have been been but it’s still worth a visit if you’re in town. Take a walk along the coast and around Padstow town. I was only here for a few hours before we had to take cover before the rain hit but check this website out for a few more ideas if you’re here for a full day. https://www.cornwalls.co.uk/top_ten/padstow.htm

 

5. St Ives

Boujie meets beach babe. St Ives has the most beautiful, picteresque beach location with actual sand (not that sharp pebbly rubbish the UK seem to prefer). Deep blue and green seas and some great views, It’s the perfect place to take a nice walk, indulge in some selfies, grab some tea and scones and sit by the sand and daydream. We ate at Mermaid Alley, this really cute restaurant in Penzance.  If you stop by there, don’t forget the specialty glittery cocktail they have. The Notting Hill of Cornwall, St Ives is not to be missed.

 

6. Widemouth Bay

Up at the crack of dawn (7 AM) for physical activity? When its surfing, I make exceptions. I really recommend trying out surfing or if you’re a watersports virgin (I said what I said) even if you’re a seasoned surfer and want to catch some waves in the UK. What’s surfing like?  It’s a mission getting into your wetsuit and not as glamorous as it seems in American 2000’s media. I stayed on my board for a maximum of 3 seconds. But it’s fun and really rewarding. Turns out pretending you’re surfing in California doesn’t make it stop raining in the UK but at least the waves were rough enough

7. St Michael’s Mount

St Michael’s Mount is an island with a medieval church and castle. I didn’t pay entry to see it but I’m definitely bookmarking it as something I have to do next time. Tickets are available to purchase here: https://www.stmichaelsmount.co.uk/plan-your-visit/opening-days-times

benjamin-elliott-sg7zgMb3OQY-unsplash (1)

So UK travel wouldn’t have been my first option but with Coronairus, I didn’t really have a choice. It’s made me appreciate the UK more and make the most of staycations. Travelling is definitely more of  state of mind than a place. It’s no Ibiza but Cornwall really is such a exquisite location.

 

The Fujishan Mishima Tokyu Hotel Opening Review

The Fujishan Mishima Tokyu Hotel Opening Review Visiting Japan has been a lifelong dream (that still needs to be fulfilled) and I was excited to be invited to the virtual opening party of a new hotel, the Fujisan Mishima Tokyu Hotel in the Shizuoka prefecture. The hotel group was founded in 2001 and has since expanded to 46 urban sites over 12,400 guestrooms. In 2015, five Tokyu brands split into 3: Tokyu Hotel, Excel Hotel Tokyu and Tokyu Rei Hotel to offer three types of hospitality. The opening party started with a myth busting video about Japan. Many people view Japan as too crowded, difficult, not for me etc.. Japan has over 230 registered traditional crafts and contains one of the oldest ceramic traditions. It also has the most hot springs, natural sources, ski resorts and Michelin star restaurants in the world. Japan exceeds expectations and there is something for everyone, whether you’re a foodie, nature lover or so much more. The Fujisan Mishima is located just 45 minutes away from Tokyo. Shizuoka is famous for having the most green tea production in Japan, plenty of bikes for tourists and containing many shrines and temples for those that are looking to immerse themselves in culture on their holiday. The Mishima Shrine is a must-see. The gendered open air baths are the hotel’s top attraction boasting magnificent views of Shizuoka and an amazing place to unwind in. Fujishan Mishima men's bath I was given a first look at the hotel via Zoom which is a first for a hotel opening party. The luxurious lobby offers guests a warm welcome (complete with antibacterial hand gel!). The 14th floor had stunning designs and contained a spectacular open- air bath. This was accompanied with fabulous views of Mount Fuji. I also got a look at the restaurant on the 13th floor which was clean and polished. The restaurant offers traditional Japanese food and the speciality dish was BBQ cooked in front of the guest and excellent paired with Sake/whisky/beer. Western style meals are also served here so there is something for everyone
Restaurant

Rooms

The suites are substantial and have plenty of space. They also come equipped with flat screen TV’s and monumental bathrooms. The rooms are designed to exhibit beautiful views of Mount Fuji.
Twin Superior
The Family rooms have pink and green hues, representing the cherry blossoms of Japan along with the greenery of Shizuoka. There are traditional Japanese rooms and also Western rooms complete with Katame flooring.
Complete with an Old Japanese style table setting, the rooms combine luxury with an infusion of traditional Japanese culture. After experiencing the virtual opening party for the Fujisan Mishima, I’m extremely excited about potentially coming to view it in the flesh after I finally do embark on my long awaited mission to explore Japan. Check it out here.

Things I learnt when I travelled to India for the first time

Things I learnt when I travelled to India for the first time

In the summer of 2018, I travelled to India for the first time with my family. As a British born Indian girl I was excited to discover my roots and explore my heritage. I wrote an article about my experiences on Gal-Dem so give it a read!

But what did I learn about the specifics of the Indian way of life which is a contrast to the British Indian way of life? Visiting my family in India really solidified this. I decided to write a blog post about it!

  1. It’s common for people to eat on the floor at mealtimes. Sitting cross legged with a plate of bateta shaak ( potato curry) on my plate, eye level with my family I found myself eating more mindfully, really taking in the taste and visual imagery of the food. As I was balancing food on my lap, I couldn’t really eat and scroll brainlessly through my phone at the same time
  2. Even though I’m Indian, I found there was a stark contrast to the way I was viewed by Indian natives. It was obvious I was a tourist from everything to the way I dressed to the way I spoke (more on that in the next post). Relatives would often ask me if I spoke Gujarati (my mother tongue) and I would hear workers talk about me thinking I couldn’t understand them.
  3. The blunt inequality was made blindly obvious to the amount of adult and child beggars on the streets. It forced me to appreciate the fact that I had a roof over my head and food and I that I was travelling India as a tourist, able to visit restaurants and stay in hotels.
  4. Family and culture share different vibes to the UK. The relationship between caste and marriage is a significant value in Indian culture whereas in the UK, it is more overlooked.
  5. The driving in India is WHACK. Constant speeding, hanging on for dear life and cows in the way! There are no rules.
  6. In parts of India, it is the norm to dress modestly, no miniskirts and keep shoulders covered. People will stare.
  7. Navigating the markets is a strength. Big contrast to Camden. People’s persuasion will be dialed up to a 100 and you will have to put your bargaining skills to the test.
  8. If you think Indian food in the UK is good you’ve underestimated how unbelievably Peng and beautiful the food is in India. I developed a serious addiction to Aloo Parathas at breakfast with Indian tea and don’t get me started on the Paneer.

https://media.giphy.com/media/11MKLWSDvMVSp2/giphy.gif

If you enjoyed my post, read my article on Gal-Dem for a deeper discussion on how I reclaimed my roots:  https://gal-dem.com/wanderthirst-reclaiming-my-roots-in-india/

Let me know what you think in the comments x

Twitter: @Naveeshaaa

Instagram: @Naveeshaaa

Udaipur – Lakes and Luxury

Udaipur – Lakes and Luxury

The last stop of the Rajasthan part of the trip after Jodhpur and Jaipur was Udaipur, known as the City of Lakes.

Lake Pichola

 

An artificial lake which is perfect for boating trips and taking in the mesmerising scenery across Udaipur, Lake Pichola is well worth a visit. Lake Pichola also contains palaces, museums, temples and restaurants if you tire of checking out the stunning waters, (which you won’t obvs). The boating trip starts from Rameshwar Ghat and takes visitors to island Jagmandir where tourists can explore and feel like royalty. Check those quarters out!

 

Jagmandir

 

Checking out Jagmandir made me feel like I was a queen checking into my luxury retreat without a care in the world. Butlins, take note. The attraction has been converted into a small hotel with just seven hotel rooms but also a restaurant, bar and spa which is pefect if you’re craving a luxury holiday away from the perils of society in your own little island.

 

City Palace

Another magnificent palace? India is truly spoiling us. City Palace is also the largest palace in Rajesthan. The palace exhibits a blend of Rajasthani, Mughal, Chinese and European culture. Take a look at the beautifully designed women’s quarters Zenana Mahal which has been converted to a museum, perfect for curious people like me who want to gawp at what would have been my home if I’d been a rich Rajesthani Princess.

img_1782img_1741img_1763img_1748img_1749img_1747img_1769img_1756

 

 

 Jagdish Temple

Jagdish Temple was a beautiful mandir situated outside the royal palace. I loved seeing the beautiful temples in India which were a world away from the ones in my hometown. The temple is mainly devoted to Lord Vishnu, the Hindu God who is the preserver of the Universe.

 

 

Jodhpur – Exploring the ‘blue’ city

Jodhpur – Exploring the ‘blue’ city

My next stop after Jaipur was of course, Jodhpur, likened to the being the ‘blue’ city in contrast to Jaipur’s pink paradise. Full of beautiful scenery, more magnificent architecture and colours, I was excited to see it.

The main stop on my Jodhpur Jaunt was architectural beauty, Mehrangr Fort. The fort is 410 feet above the city and boasts terrific views. It also contains a road leading to the city which is great if you want to do your exploring on foot.The fort divides up several palaces which are a must-see such as Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Zenana Dude, Takht Vilas, Jhanki Mahal.There are also two temples. From paintings to palanquins, Mehrangr Fort is showcases the wonderful scenery of Northwestern India as well as a majestic palace. The fort and museum also contains pieces of heritage art includng costumes, carvings and decoarations.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see as much in Jodhpur due to time constraints, but on my next visit I will journey to sights such as Bal Samand Lake, Mandore Garden, Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park and Kaylana Lake.

img_1693

3d770b2d-b560-44e6-86b1-69b356f1d0e7