The Wheel and Axle

My Life


Indonesia 2017, Leg 3: Sand and Surf

by on Jul.19, 2017, under My Life, Travel & Culture

Late Friday afternoon, we found ourselves back in Bali.

This time, we stayed much closer to the airport, in Seminyak village, at the Astagina Resort, which is a mere five minute walk from the beach. This was perfect as it afforded us a quiet place to stay but close and accessible enough to the hustle and bustle of the famed Bali shore, which I was quite excited to see for the very first time.

Due to traffic, we checked in quite late – almost early evening. As we didn’t have much left to do for the night, we decided to just explore the area for a good dinner place. We made our way to Jalan Dhyana Pura, a busy stretch of street where we were hoping to get dinner in Mozzarella, which we found had high ratings on TripAdvisor. Alas, the place was packed, so we decided to have Japanese food across the street – an intriguing place called Sushimi. We were lucky as the place also had delicious food, and it was a welcome change from the Indonesian and Italian/mediterranean food we’d been having for the past week.

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Indonesia 2017, Leg 2: The Komodo Dragon

by on Jul.18, 2017, under My Life, Travel & Culture

The highlight of our trip to the Komodo National Park was, of course, getting to actually see the majestic Komodo dragon a.k.a. Komodo monitor lizard (Varanus komodoensis).

These creatures, considered as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), are the largest living lizards in the world. They are now found only in five islands in the area: Komodo, Rinca, Gili Motang, Gili Dasami, and Flores.  They’re believed to be extinct on Pulau Padar, the last one having been seen in 1975″ although there have been claims that a komodo had been spotted there in recent years; these claims are unverified, despite apparently spreading on social media.

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Indonesia 2017, Leg 2: The Komodo Adventure

by on Jul.17, 2017, under My Life, Travel & Culture

Labuan Bajo Hilltop View

We arrived in Labuan Bajo (on Flores Island, about an hour from Bali by plane) on Tuesday afternoon.

Flores is an island of the Lesser Sunda Archipelago and is close to the Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage island chain that is home to the famous Komodo dragon. Thus, Flores is a gateway for adventure-seeking tourists who wish to see the komodo and many other wonders of nature in the archipelago.

As we arrived already late in Labuan Bajo, we simply signed up for a Wednesday all-day joiner island hopping tour. This was through Kita Tours, one of the many tour organizers we encountered along the harbour. The price was extremely reasonable, especially compared to what was being offered back at the hotel.

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Indonesia 2017, Leg 1: Ubud ng Saya

by on Jul.16, 2017, under My Life, Travel & Culture

Continued From:

Indonesia 2017, Leg 1: Ubud ng Ganda

After lunch, we went to Pura Ulun Danu Beratan (Pura Bratan for short), a Shaivite water temple by Lake Bratan close to Berdugul. This was a highlight of our temple tour, as the view was spectacular. It is an old temple, dating back to 1633, and honors Dewi Danu, the water goddess of the Balinese Hindus. Do not miss this when going to Bali.

We had a stopover for a quick view of the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces. It was really quick because this was the only part of our tour wherein the rain didn’t stop nor slow down. It wasn’t a deluge, but it was still enough for us to take fast pictures of the view as well as of us by the view. The terraces are pretty good, though I personally think there are better ones (and I was proven right the next day).

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Indonesia 2017, Leg 1: Ubud ng Ganda

by on Jul.15, 2017, under My Life, Travel & Culture

So last Sunday, we arrived in Bali from Manila for a week’s getaway in Indonesia. Our itinerary consists of two nights in Bali (specifically in Ubud and the surrounding areas), three nights in Flores Island (about an hour’s flight from Bali), then finally another two nights in Bali (this time in Seminyak).

The first time I was in Indonesia was when I went to Jakarta in 2016. Jakarta is very much like Manila, only larger. And just like Manila, it’s a business capital. It’s very cosmopolitan and – save for some cultural tourist spots like the Istiqlal Mosque, Kota Tua (a.k.a. Old Batavia; think Intramuros, only Dutch-influenced), and several museums – really more of a gateway into the country to get to more touristy destinations.

Bali is quite the contrast. It’s significantly more laidback and, if I’ll be honest, has a greater cultural feel. It’s also different from the rest of the country in that it’s the only Hindu-majority area as opposed to Muslim-majority. You can almost feel an old world vibe that comes from a pre-colonial time. Sure, it’s modernized as well, but this is a place where you can really immerse yourself, take time to reflect, and enjoy.

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Jessica’s got another writing boot camp.

by on Jul.11, 2017, under Literature, My Life

Sometimes, I can’t believe it’s been over three years since that first writing workshop by Jessica Zafra. I was lucky to be part of that first batch, and not only did I learn a lot (and finish the first draft of my first novel), but I made lots of new friends that I still keep in touch with. We still occasionally hang out for coffee, conversations about books and more, or just catch up. Some of us formed and still run The Library Underground; although the site is dead (personally, I think a revival is in order), the social media accounts are still alive.

If you think all that’s great and want to see what it’s like to learn from a master slash the dominatrix of the universe, well, you’re in luck! Jessica has run several successful workshops after our batch, and she has another one this July!

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Selamat siang, Bali!

by on Jul.09, 2017, under My Life, Travel & Culture

Time for a de-stress. 👍🏻 It’s a bit rainy, but it’s still beautiful. Let’s see what the next few days have in store for us. First stop: Villa Sarna, just outside Ubud.

 

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#HereTogether

by on Jun.25, 2017, under My Life, Queer, Society, Travel & Culture

Itaguyod!

Yesterday was Metro Manila’s Pride March 2017.

The LGBT community converged in Marikina’s Plaza De Los Alcaldes, where the fabulous organizers of this year’s event had prepared a great pre-march program – which included an appearance by one of our strongest allies, Senator Risa Hontiveros.

Then, underneath the afternoon post-summer heat, we marched and held aloft our pride for who we are and held aloft our resolve to fight for what we believe in: fundamental equal rights for all.

Let the beauty of solidarity, togetherness, and sense of community that we captured through our cameras speak for itself.

This is Us.

This is Pride.

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Happy Pride March, Manila!

by on Jun.24, 2017, under My Life, Queer, Society, Travel & Culture

#heretogether

Photo Credits: Metro Manila Pride

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