IN PHOTOS: Jogjakarta’s Heroes of Batik

TEXT AND PHOTOS EUDEN VALDEZ

Batik is a method of dyeing fabric using wax resist. The traditional process is handmade from start to finish, and the result is a motif textile that can be transformed into clothing ranging from everyday wear to traditional costumes.

Indonesia is credited to have proliferated the art of batik. In Yogyakarta, or Jogja for short, batik has developed with hundreds of years of skill and sophistication, resulting to thousands of unique and elaborate motifs.

Batik Plentong showcases this and more through its artisans, masters, and truly, heroes of the art.

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IN PHOTOS: Huta Siallagan at the Heart of Lake Toba, Indonesia

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY EUDEN VALDEZ

GADING SIALLAGAN is an old man, probably in his 70s or even 80s, who sports silver hair that is neatly parted sideways. His facial features are refined but what strikes are his eyes, deep set with wisdom as a Batak of Northern Sumatra in Indonesia.

In his prime years, Siallagan was an aerospace flight control engineer, which made him see the world from Asia to America to Europe. He also became an educator in a top Indonesian university.

Today, the well-traveled Batak is settled in his hometown, particularly in Huta Siallagan in Samosir Island at the heart of Lake Toba. At 1,145-square kilometer and 450-meter deep, it is the largest volcanic lake in Southeast Asia, as well as one of the deepest in the world.

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IN PHOTOS: A South Korean Fishing Village

PHOTOS BY EUDEN VALDEZ

WINTER is not the best time to hit the beach, but the sight of it waters—turning almost teal in this season—is enough to charm. 

Last December during a media familiarization tour of Gangwon province in South Korea, this author saw how Youngjin Beach remained busy from tourists. It’s a bit popular for the fact that it served as setting to the global K-drama hit “Goblin” featuring the famous Gong Yoo. In one of its many breakwaters, an important scene took place and many locals and foreigners were trying to recreate it. 

But this wasn’t what really caught my attention.

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Winter in Gangwon, South Korea? Check Out These 10 Countryside Sights

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY EUDEN VALDEZ

NEXT to Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan, South Korea is fast becoming a favorite Asian destination among Filipinos young and old.

This trend came along with Hallyu, the global Korean phenomenon that has transformed countless Filipinos into fans of K-pop and K-drama. Many of these Filipino fans want to feel closer to their idols so they travel to South Korea to see what their idols see, to do what they do, to eat what they eat, and the likes.

Most of the time, these Filipinos want to return and look for something new. The Korean Tourism Organization (KTO) in the Philippines is pushing for a winter experience in their country. And not just in Seoul, but somewhere they can truly immerse in the season of snow.

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5 Reasons to Visit the Countryside During Winter in South Korea

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY EUDEN VALDEZ

As Filipinos, we are familiar only with summer and rainy days, which can be really extreme in a tropical country. It’s either scorching hot or very wet. So we can only imagine how it feels to live with four seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter. 

But when we do, winter is the season that makes us so dreamy. Oh how beautiful those landscape all white and covered in snow. How surreal it may be to feel the winter cold and most especially, to see snow falling.

In December, this author was sent to South Korea for work and it was winter. As part of a familiarization tour arranged by the Korean Tourism Organization in the Philippines, I got to experience snow season at one of the nation’s finest provinces, Gangwon.

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IN PHOTOS: Kampong Glam Splashes Color on a Gloomy Day

Text and Photos by Euden Valdez

IF you’re out to discover Singapore’s diverse cultures, there’s one neighborhood you should not miss.

This is Kampong Glam known for its “rich history, living traditions, excellent eateries, and trendy shops,” according to visitsingapore.com.

Located right at the mouth of Rochor River, Kampong Glam was originally a fishing kampung (or village) where the gelam tree (Paperbark tree), used for building ships and boats, grew—thus, the neighborhood’s name.

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IN PHOTOS: Spotless Singapore at Night Makes One Breathless

Text and Photos by Euden Valdez

WHENEVER a Filipino visits Singapore, whether as a first or a return visitor, he/she can’t help but compare it to the Philippines and inevitably, feel envious. How can a country as young as SG be so progressive, orderly, safe and clean? 

Let’s not rack our brains. Instead, let’s just appreciate Singapore’s spotless nightscapes.

Open, wide and traffic-free roads

The skyline protrudes in the night sky

The grandeur of National Gallery Singapore

Glowing former Parliament House

A piano on the street catches this couple’s attention

Crossing the Helix Bridge at Marina Bay

The look of luxury at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Your author-photographer being a tourist