Within Reach — Glorious Places to Visit Near the Philippines

One of the fantastic things about being in the Philippines is that you don’t need to take long-haul flights to reach some of the most desirable holiday destinations. The Philippines is only seven hours from cities such as Sydney or Melbourne in Australia as well as just a few hours from the sights of China, Thailand and Japan. If you’re considering getting away to far-flung beauty spots on last minute holidays, take the time to research popular options such as Turkey and Egypt.

Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort

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Livin’ La Vida Locals – A Taste of the Local Culture in Bohol

Hello po,” I say, bowing my head a little in respect, to the dark-haired elderly man sitting on the slope of the hill where our project was situated.

“Hello,” he says to me, a little surprised, probably because almost all volunteers are foreigners.

“Pinoy ka?” he asks. I nod and smile at him.

“Pasensya na sa aming bahay. Kailangan lang talaga namin ng tulong para ayusin,” he tells me.

(“I apologize for our home. We just really need help in fixing it.”)

I look over at our current work site, scanning over the ruins of what must’ve been a modest house.


It was now all in ruins. The beams had gone down, the cement was broken and everywhere. What remained was an antique railing of an outdoor balcony…and a toilet.

But he had called it his home.

Tents in Bohol


It is where we all lay our heads, after a tiring day of work. It is our sanctuary from all the bad things and people outside. It is where we all come back to after a long, tiring trip.

To some, it is a huge mansion, somewhere beautiful, sitting on the rocks of some unknown beach, tucked away from the buzz of the city life. To others, it is a condo, above the malls of beautiful, hustling Manila.  And to the rest, it is a simple, humble home settled in the slopes of Baguio City or the reclamation area that takes away half of Pasig/Cainta floodway area.

It is home.

And we shouldn’t be ashamed of it. 

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“No Work in the Morning” — What if Life Was a Permanent Vacation?

Taking a well-deserved break is something most of us look forward to. Everyday life can be difficult and stressful at the best of times, but obviously, you can get away from it all on holiday and just relax and unwind.

But what if your life became one long permanent holiday? Where would you go? What would you do? And would you ever get bored of travelling and want to go back to work?

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Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort

Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort: Beautifully Stranded in the Island of Paradise

Maayong buntag!” they greeted us as we stepped off the golf cart and entered the main pavilion.

I breathed the fresh air and for a moment I forgot we still hadn’t reached our room.

Ms. Apple lead us into the pavilion, disappearing to get our keys.

After about an hour and a half of travel from the airport, we had finally reached our destination.

resorts in cebu

And boy, was it a beautiful, beautiful one.

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Stepping Into the Shoes of an All Hands Volunteer

Beautiful,” I say to myself, as I watch the base move further and further away from sight.

I was in the tricycle, clutching my bags. I had physically said goodbye to volunteers/friends, but it was taking a little more time to mentally and emotionally rift myself apart from the place that had changed me.

“What was that?” the tricycle driver asks me.

I smile at him.

“Those people,” I tell him, “they are genuinely beautiful.”

allhands volunteers


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A Tale of Love in the Mountains of Pai

I’m glad you came,” he whispers into my ear as he pulls me closer to him.

In the cold, cold atmosphere of Pai, Thailand, we lay, warm and cozied up in the rusty, but comfy wooden hut of Pai River Lodge.

We hadn’t seen each other in a year. But even a year ago, I never would’ve guessed that we’d end up here.

I turn to face him, and he caresses my face, ever so softly.

We stare into each other, not speaking. Barely breathing.

There was no noise around us. No shouts of drunken travelers. No sounds of motorbikes or cars passing by the road.

It was just the gentle flow of Pai river, the harmony of various insects in the grassy, forested surroundings of Pai and…


He slowly moves, his eyes inching closer to mine, but I didn’t move a cinch.

I close my eyes as our lips touched.

What a beautiful moment it was. 

pai thailand

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