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Destinations

The Disappearing Whale Sharks of Donsol thumbnail

We had come to Donsol for one reason: to see the locally named butanding in the proudly named Whale Shark Capital of the World. Long before my plane first landed in the Philippines, when my trip was just daydreams and scrawled notes in the margins of a guidebook, this moment was what I looked forward to the…

Photo of the Week 102 thumbnail

Greetings from New York! I’ve been back in my favorite state for a full week now, and I’ve managed to squeeze in a quick visit with friends in Brooklyn, half a dozen NYU graduation celebrations for my sister, familypalooza with the out-of-towners that came to our party in Albany, numerous trips to Chipotle, and strep throat…

Doing Donsol: The Philippines’ Unlikely Beach Resort thumbnail

I drifted into consciousness to the familiar hum of a plane preparing for descent. Heather and I were in the midst of a twenty-seven hour transit marathon from Sagada that would involve a bus, another bus, a cab, a flight, a trike, a minibus, and another final trike ride. This flight, which turned a twelve-hour bus…

Two Thousand Feet Below The Philippines: The Cave Connection in Sagada thumbnail

I could feel it spreading through me like a heat rash — my stomach twisted, my throat tightened, and my pulse quickened. I tried my usual coping mechanisms of deep breaths, visualization, and repeated mantras. I was in a battle with my own mind — logic was trying to prevail, but panic was winning by a…

Photo of the Week 101 thumbnail

This post marks the final week in this particular chapter of my travels. After five months and four countries, I am headed back to New York for some much-needed family and friend time, as well a bit of work and health business to take care of. At the moment I’m dying to write a big, verbose…

This is the Philippines? A Mountain Retreat in Sagada thumbnail

I left Banaue and Batad feeling physically exhausted after three days of intense trekking through the Cordillera rice terraces. But as I boarded the public Jeepney that would take me three hours to Bontoc where I would transfer for another three-hour public Jeepney to Sagada, all for less than five dollars, I was filled with excitement…

Hiking the Rice Terraces of Batad: Part II thumbnail

On the morning of my third day in the Cordilleras, I jolted awake and rolled over to look out the window. Had I dreamed how beautiful it was? The view that answered me back assured me it was very much reality. Despite, or perhaps even partly because of, the total isolation from the outside world, I…

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