A trip to never forget – The Philippines

Why The Philippines?

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”

The Phillippines

The Phillippines

That quote could easily summarize what the Philippines are. I am sure you have about the beauty of this place over and over again, from some friends who spent their vacations there, or even from blogs like mine, and you might be intrigued about what we are talking about or skeptical to believe our words but, let me tell you that none of what you have been told can compare to the beauty of the Philippines. Nor the pictures you see, nor the words you read or hear can make justice to this place.

Funniest thing of all, we went to this place because I was one the only countries where I didn’t Visa to travel to. When returning to Seoul from Jeju Island, we saw that amazing wall of Images in the ferry station where they displayed some of the most beautiful Unesco World Heritages and we decided that our next destinations would be one of those amazing places.

Right after arriving in Seoul, we started planning our next trip, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and The Philippines made it to our final list, and as I told you before, The Philippines was the only country where I could travel without Visa so, we made it our election.

It was already Mid-November and the winter was already installed in Seoul and we were trying to escape it by any means, but finally, the day arrived and it was time to start packing for our next adventure, The Philippines.

Our one day experience in Manila

Our main destination was Palawan, but there are not a direct flight from Seoul so, we made our first stop in Manila. From the very moment we landed, we could feel the sweet hot and humidity of the island, we could say goodbye to our winter jackets for a while.
Before our arrival to the airport, we had heard a long list of awful things the guards could do to us, but nothing of that happened.

But truth to be told, the traffic is worse than you can possibly imagine, It took us more than an hour to get to our Homeaway, and I promise to god, the distance was a 10 minutes walk, but we didn’t know.

In Manila, we were so lucky that one of us had a good friend os his living there, It made it really easy to us for spending one of the craziest nights I remember, a night just to enjoy and forget.

After waking up the day after, with one of the greatest hangovers of my life, we headed to the airport, there we would take a plane to Palawan, where we spent 9 amazing days.

First days in The Paradise

When we arrived, our HomeAway guest was waiting for us at the airport with a great van and brought us to her home in Las Roxas.

The fist day we took it easy, we went to a quite beach where it was just the 10 of us and just relaxed a little, with we would be needing to stand the days that were coming.

The third day of our trip, we went to Modessa Resort Island, a recommendation by our host, this is a great place for snorkeling, it was the very first time I tried and I really did love it, the earth is also beautiful under its water cover.

We had a great day on the island, after snorkeling for a long time, we went lunch and then had a long walk through the island and lied in its white, hot sands for a while until the sun went down.

Modessa Resort Island

Modessa Resort Island

After spending three amazing days in Roxas, we decided it was time to visit El Nido, our HomeAway host was so cool, she arranged everything for us.

El Nido and its unbelievable beauty

The image you see below was taken from the balcony of the hotel, and for the next 4 days we would be waking up in the morning and having breakfast with that before us.
We arrived early in the morning, so we were in time for taking one of the ships you see in the picture for island hopping.

I have never seen such a beautiful thing, and from that moment to this very day, there is a thought in my mind: There is too much beauty in this world to stay at the same place forever. It changed the meaning traveling had for me, “We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us”

The very last day we had in El Nido, we decided to do something on our own, not guided, not scheduled, we improvised.

We went to one little town where there were almost no tourists and us divided into two groups, some just wanted to chill on the beach and others to discover a bit more of the place and walked a long way through the forest and it headed to that beach you see in the picture, I have no idea what it name is, it wasn’t in our plans.

The Philippines

The Philippines

After the long walk we had we were really thirsty, and had no water with us, lucky for us, the place was full of coconuts, what we didn’t know is, how hard it is to punch it out without the necessary tools. We ended up getting our price anyways tho.

During a couple of hours we spent there, we encountered with no one but few locals that made their living there.

The Philippines

The Philippines

We felt like Tom Hanks in Cast Away and even felt confident that we could fabric about to make our way back (it didn’t really work out).

The People

Humbleness, not having and not needing. Not needing a baby carriage to feel like you are a better parent, your kids not needing a hundred toys to be entertained, not having too much because you can’t afford it, and being happy anyway because you already realized that you don’t need it.

The Phillippines

The Phillippines

Your parents or your older brothers being the only people you want to look alike, because they are your greatest heroes and because you are not exposed to a 24/7 constant advertising on TV or the internet reminding you what you should have or how you have to look like to be accepted by everyone else, and making you feel that if you don’t have it you are automatically less interesting, less cool. Feeling beautiful even though you are not exactly Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, because they are not your model of beauty. Having the confidence to do whatever it is that you want without aiming to be somebody else.

This is exactly what you can see in these people waking up every morning in that paradise that they are lucky to call home. When you asked them for a picture, you didn’t see someone trying to give you his best angle for the picture, neither a fake smile, everything you saw was a person curious about what you were doing, trying to figure out in their heads who were you or where did you come from.

Money, makeup, an expensive hear cut, cloth from a boutique… How many of those things do you think you need to look beautiful? NONE! Something original, you own style, no matter what the biggest brands in the fashion industry said would be cool to wear this spring or what everyone else is doing to his hair, be confident that if you feel comfortable with yourself you are wearing the right thing. That and one big smile in your face is all you need to look beautiful.
Be original, be curious, be confident and smile, put a big smile on your face every morning and wear it everywhere, it really does fit with everything. That is what I learned from the people of the Philippines.

“We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us”

Jeju Island, South Korea. Unexpected Beauty

Since the very first moment, we arrived in Seoul, whenever we asked anyone to tell us about places worth visiting in the country, they all opened their mouth with the words “Jeju Island”. None of us had heard about it before, so we looked at each other with skeptical eyes while they explained how incredibly beautiful the island is.

Short after classes began and we received the university calendar, we started to plan trips for all the holidays we had during the semester. For Korean Hangul Day (Korean Letters Day) we had three days off, and it was still September, which meant good weather, and a great opportunity to travel through the country, so, we decided we would give Jeju a try and see what all the locals were talking about.

We were so lucky to meet Albertini the first days of class, a Korean guy that took almost all his lessons in English and loved it to hang out with the foreigners, he was born in Jeju and all his family lived there, and since he was also traveling to the island to spend the vacations with his family, he offered to host us at his own home in Jeju, that was so cool of him.

My friends decided to make it a day trip and took a train to the south coast of the country and then a ferry from there to rich the Island, since it was Friday and I had an exam in the morning, I took a plane in the evening and made to Jeju at night. I arrived with almost no expectations about the island, but my friends had already had their first contact with the island and they were already quite impressed.

Seongsan Ilchulbong, Jeju

The next day, we woke up early in the morning to visit the Seongsan Ilchulbong volcano. I remember it was a hot day, but the peak was not that high so, we made it to the top with not much difficulty. The views were Stunning.

That same day, we went to a beach to spend the evening, I don’t even remember asking for its name, we were so stunned by its beauty, that we even forgot to unfold our cameras. Its white sands, its crystal blue water and all the green nature surrounding it…, the colors were just perfect. It definitely falls into the top three beaches I have ever seen. Its name is Hyeopjae Beach in case you want to google it. The very moment we arrived there we felt in love with the Jeju.

Hangul Day Celebrations

After that amazing day we had, we ended it up with a couple of beers in our hands and a nice chat.

The morning after we woke up really early to celebrate Korean Letters day with Albertini and his family, the celebrations started with prayers led by the oldest man in the family and followed with an amazing meal. After that, we left to continue visiting the Island, but normally, the celebrations go on all day long, they spend 3h approx. in every family member’s home who has to prepare a meal just as abundant and delicious as the previous one and they down the food with some Soju.

It definitely was one of the highlights of the trip, and we can’t thank enough all the hospitality received.

Jeongpang Waterfall, Jeju

After that incredible experience with Albertini and his family, we headed to the Jeongpang Waterfall. It was so huge, that I remember feeling small like a peanut when I was underneath it.

Hallasan Volcano, Jeju

This is the highest pick in South Korea (1950m).

After three non-stop days, having less than 5h sleep, the last day, we decide to hike Hallasan, it was exhausting and it seemed like it was never going to end, but we made it a competition to make it to the top, plus, there were plenty of ladies and gentlemen on their 60s hiking like if it was nothing to them, elderly Koreans are really in shape, and if they could we could.

At the end, it was worth it!

Jeju is one of the most beautiful memories I have, and it will always be, the two words that better define that tip is Unexpected Beauty. Learn how to keep your expectations low, and you live in a world of surprises.

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Why Do We Let History Define Us? – A Carnival Tale

I am sure you have heard this story over and over. From 1914 to 1918 more than 16 million people were killed in what we know as the Great War or World War I. I am not going to bore you with this, plus it is Information you can find anywhere in the WEB, and also, there are plenty of Books with detailed info about what exactly happened. But I wanted to put the numbers in, they are sadly, stunning.

Europe was divided in half, with the French and Great Britain on one side, Germany and the Austria-Hungary empire in the other and Italy actually switched sides during the war. My point is, the amount of hate there was seemed like it was never going to go away.

In fact, not long after the Great War, the entire world incurred in an even greater one, with Europe as the center of the conflict, the cruelty of this war is well explained in movies such as Inglourious Bastards or Schindler’s List. It is just incredible what we humans can do to each other.

By now you might be thinking: What the hell has all this to do with carnival? Well, what I exactly wanted was to highlight the History for what comes next.

Last week for Carnivals, friend of mine I met while my exchange in Korea, invited the whole crew from there (two French guys, one Italian and me) to the Carnivals in Cologne. Right after talking about it I had already booked my tickets with Vueling and no HomeAway needed this time, because my friend was hosting us all at his flat.

Truth to be said, the celebration was really amazing, people wakes up at 7 am and by 10 am everyone is drunk, in the streets, singing traditional songs and just enjoying, you get to talk and hangout with everyone and nothing really matters. Cologne is really worth visiting.

One of the most memorable moments of the trip was the last night we spent there, a room full of people, drinking together, singing together. The French and the Italian singing traditional German Songs, the Germans hosting all of us as if we knew each other from a long time ago. The hospitality was remarkable.

That very moment I realized: History is just the narration of what we did in the past, it doesn’t really matter now, and we should NOT let it define who we are, and this applies to everything and everyone. The only thing that really matters, is what you are doing right now, at this very moment.

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Three places to visit in Seoul, South Korea

Three places to visit in Seoul. Seoul is without any doubt, one of the most amazing cities in the world, its culture, its people, all the skyscrapers, the history… There is a countless list that makes Seoul an incredible city. But probably its most remarkable feature, at least for me, is the contrast it has got. You might be in front of an ancient Buddha and at the same time, 100 meters away from a stunning 30m high modern building. This is a must go city, and in case you are planning to do so, here I bring you three places to visit in Seoul. In case if you want to know more about the country, you have available for free, a photo book in the iBook store, you can submit your email for the pdf version too.

Gwanghwamun Square

This is one of the best places to visit in Seoul, it perfectly reflects what I was saying in the introduction about the contras Seoul has. 180º on you feet and you get this other spot:

After recovering from the Jet Lag, this one was the very first place we visited when we arrived to the city. It is 560m long and 34m wide, the perfect place to start any tour in the city and have your very first walk in Seoul.


One thing you should know about Soul is that, unlike most European countries, there is not a defined city center. Wherever you go you get the feeling that you are just right in the place where the most exciting thing in the city is taking place.

Dongdaemun is probably one of the most visited places in the city, by tourists and locals. It is a perfect district to look for entertainment, some shopping or even the perfect spot for a romantic date. Actually, my friends and I used to say that it was too sad not having a girlfriend in Seoul, it is just perfect for a romantic adventure, plus, Korean couples are really cute, you just feel the love in the atmosphere.

Another great thing about this place is the variety of street food you can find just for a couple of bucks. It is one of the best places to visit in Seoul.

Han River

The Han River is the 4th largest river in the Korean Peninsula (494 km), it is formed by the confluence of another two smaller rivers and it flows in the yellow sea. Historically it played a very important role in the Korean economy since a big part of the trade with China flowed through this river.

Currently, is not used for navigation, and it serves water to over 12 million Koreans living in Seoul, and its surroundings are just perfect for walking, biking or just throwing camera shots. And again, a perfect spot for a date. It is one of my favorite places to visit in Seoul.

If you want to discover more places to visit in Seoul, I highly recommend you to get a travel guide, below you can find my two favorite pics from Amazon.

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You can also find my photo book for free in the iBook store, you can submit your email for the pdf version too.

Seleccione la fecha de ida de su vuelo Barcelona – París

Three incredible places to visit in Barcelona

Barcelona is on the bucket list of most of you. Its weather, its gastronomy, its architecture, the party… whether it is to come with friends or for a weekend escape with your couple, this city has a lot to offer for everyone. And now that February 14th is approaching, Barcelona is a great present to consider. If you are considering that, this might be of your interest.
I am so lucky to say that I live in this magical city, and the truth is, it still surprises me everyday, there is always something new to discover, a new bar, restaurant, a new square. Barcelona is a city in which a dinner with some friends could easily lead to the best party of your life, a city to fall in love with. Plus, if you are from Europe it takes only 2h flight and with solutions such as Airbnb or HomeAway Spain for the stay, you have no excuses!

Fonts Magiques de Montjuic, Barcelona

This is one of the must go places in Barcelona, and it will definitely make you fall in love with this city. It is located Sants- Montjuic. It was built in 1929 for The Universal Exposure of the city and it was rebuilt again in the 90s to host Barcelonas Olympic Games in 1992.
It consists of a great show that combines water, lights, and music. This same place hosted the MTV Music awards in 2002 with the presence of artist such as Bon Jovi. It is always full of people, but it is wide enough so you don’t get the feeling that it’s too crowded. The best part is, it is completely for free.

El Bosc de les Fades, Barcelona<

This is not just another Bar. It is located in the heart of Barcelona, right in the Ramblas, entering the Wax Museum of Barcelona. Getting in there is like entering a Disney fairy tale, the lightning, the decoration of the place, and even the sounds they play, you don’t feel like you are in a bar.
It has different rooms to sit and have some beers, perfect for couples and friends. Time to time, they turn off the lights and play some sounds that will make you feel that you are in a movie. It feels pretty cool when you are a couple of pints up. Check the video.

Park Güell, Barcelona

This is one of the masterpieces designed by the famous Architecture, Antoni Gaudí. The place was built for a famous politician and writer and successful businessman, friends with the artist called, Eusebi Güell
Every single thing you see here is a masterpiece, full of color, like most of the designs of the Author. And it is located at the top of the city, and you get an incredible view of Barcelona with the sea as the perfect background. You will have to pay a little fee (7€), but it is totally worthy.

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Anonymous Heros: The power of will

Do you know anyone,  real people, from the real world, not coming from Krypton, with no spider bites that has  super powers? I bet you do, someone who has no limitations, someone that never gives up. I met that person the day after I was born.

She was born in Ethiopia in the early 60s, the oldest of 4 brothers, two boys and two girls, she used to rule them all, she was and still is the eyes and right hand of her beloved mother. At age 5 she suddenly started feeling sick, her muscles wouldn’t respond at her will, her legs would start to shiver with no reason and out of control and it would become harder and harder to understand her speaking. Her parents visited every doctor they could with the limited resources their country could offer and found no specific diagnosis of what was happening to their daughter, so they tagged it as an evil spell because of the envy she raised up in the neighbourhood for how beautiful she was, after that they went the religious way to find any possible cure, but that would just result in a placebo effect.

At age 10 she lost her father as a result of a war that was going on in the country, and short after, all of their brothers would be elected by the Cuban government to be part of a program, to save all those children, who had lost at least one of their parents during the war, she was not elegible for the program because of her desease. Her brothers then, were taken to Cuba, in a 1 month journey by boat. She and her mother would stay in the country, how did they survive? To tell the truth, I don’t know, and I never asked.

13 years later an after finishing their Bachelor degrees, all of their brothers would return back home, short after one of them left to a foreign country, and another one died by natural causes (still I don’t know exactly why). In the middle of that caos, I was born, son of the only sister she has. Ever since the first day she held me in her arms, she would become my hero.

After the years when she had to change my diappers, even though she didn’t even finish primary school, she taught me how to Sum up, divide and multiply, she was the one who would wake me up at 6am, pack my lunch and bring me to school, then at 5pm she would pick me up from class, take me to the play ground, check that I did my homework, give me dinner,  and put me to sleep.

She is my hero from the very first moment I was able to think. I know no one with her  power of will, as limitless as her, as brave as her and the same attitude towards live as her, she is the happiest person I know and she has the most beautiful smile I have never seen.

Two christmas, two worlds: How different christmas is in Ethiopia

Not a long time ago I published my thoughts about what christmas really is, well, after that, I have traveled to my birth country, Ethiopia (deeply religious) and since we don’t follow the same calendar as western countries, christmas here, is celebrated two weeks after the western world. Yes, I was so lucky to celebrate it twice, to realise that, as much as christmas is the label brand of all religions, it is not the same among all the cultures.

In the article mentioned above, I had concluded that we are already over the religion event, and that might be true in Europe, but it is not down here. To my surprise, last night something woke me up at 2 a.m, and it wasn’t a phone call or the sound of my alarm, it was the prayers coming from the church located like 1km from my house, I hadn’t realised it before, but there are speakers hanging all over the city, all responding to the same microphone located in the church.The prayers had been going all day long , and it does not seem like they are going to stop.

It is incredible the faith on god the people in this country has, and that brought a question to my mind that I have been trying to answer all day long, what if faith on god attached to? What is the main variable that influences on how religious a society is? And I think -i have got a clear winner, NEED!! If you have attender primary school, you for sure know the concept of  what a third world country is, and you might further remember the economical reasons why it is classified as such, but if you haven’t seen it through your own eyes yet, you don’t know the day to day life of its people. There is nothing sure for tomorrow here, you go to sleep without knowing if tomorrow you will have water or electricity the next morning, in some cases you already assume you won’t, there is nothing sure!! (I am being really soft with the example). I am not saying we all live like this, but lets not lie to ourselves, the majority of the people does.

When you go through such a needful life, the only means you have to make yourself believe that tomorrow everything will be okay is the faith you put on god. Here, christmas is about creating the biggest illusion possible to make tomorrow seem “sure”.

Gyeongju National Museum

Camara Used: Nikon D3200

Place: Gyeongju National Museum

Gyeongju National Museum is steeped in tradition. Representing Gyeongju, which was the capital city of the Silla Kingdom (57 BC – AD 935), the museum is where you can view the cultural history of Gyeongju district. Exhibitions are divided into 4 large areas: the Main hall, Annex I, Annex II, and the Outdoor Exhibit Area (Museum Grounds).

In the Main Hall you can see earthenware, with various artworks and craftworks in the Arts and Crafts room. Gukeun Memorial Hall exhibits over 600 artifacts, which were the personal collection of Dr. Lee Yang-Seon, donated to the museum for preservation. Artifacts from the great tombs of the city of Gyeongju are displayed in the Gobun Gallery in Annex I. There are many glittering accessories, such as golden crowns and ornaments, belts, earrings, etc. You will be introduced to the superb artistry of the Silla Period through these artifacts.

Sell Art Online

Approximately 30,000 artifacts have been excavated from Wolji Pond, the most significant of which are exhibited in the Wonji Gallery in Annex 2. Other galleries in Annex 2 exhibit household goods. These various types of items show many aspects of life in the Royal Court during the Silla Period. After the galleries, you can move on to the Outdoor Exhibit Area, in the Museum Grounds. King Seongdeok’s Bell, located here, is the most renowned of all Buddhist temple bells. You cannot help but feel solemn as you gaze upon the relic. There is also a variety of artifacts from royal palaces and temples exhibited throughout the grounds. Buddhist sculptures make up the majority of the stone artifacts. If you are a traveler interested in Buddhism or the magnificent culture of royal palaces, this is a place you do not want to miss.

Without any Doubt, one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. Visit the image below for more.

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