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.

Continue reading “Winter in Gangwon, South Korea? Check Out These 10 Countryside Sights”

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.

Continue reading “5 Reasons to Visit the Countryside During Winter in South Korea”

Rain or Shine: The Mount Kaypaye Dual Experience

Text and Photos by Euden Valdez

IMAGINE going head on with a 70-degree assault of trail with sparse forest cover under the blaring sun in the middle of the day.

​This was the ordeal Traveling Journo Ph had to face in Mt. Kaypaye in Tanay, Rizal last November. I had to scale and traverse it along with RAK Ph Mountaineers in preparation for an outreach activity, as well as training for an upcoming major climb.

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Campsite Meals Just Got Tastier, Fancier with these 3 Potato Recipes

By Euden Valdez

FOR designated campsite cooks, dishes they prepare and serve may already be repetitious. Adobosinigangtinola? We’ve all had them. While sustenance is what’s required after a long and tiring hike, there’s nothing wrong with a little indulgence, especially when it can be easily prepared.

The secret to achieving this is potatoes! Well, dehydrated ones to be exact, which are now available in the market thanks to Potatoes USA-Philippines.

What exactly are US dehydrated potatoes (US dehy)? 

Continue reading “Campsite Meals Just Got Tastier, Fancier with these 3 Potato Recipes”

IN PHOTOS: The Indigenous People of Palaui Island, Cagayan

Text and Photos By Euden Valdez

IN our archipelago of 7,641 islands, there live indigenous peoples (IP) of distinct ethnicity and languages. In fact, there are about 80 ethno-linguistic groups, each with their own distinct culture, traditions and heritage.

​To bring understanding, appreciation and respect toward IPs, October has been proclaimed as the National Indigenous Peoples Month in the Philippines. Every year during the IP Month, their unique identities and their ways of life are celebrated all over the country. Dayaw Festival, lead by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, is one such celebration, which the province of Capiz is hosting this year.  
 
Traveling Journo Ph is one in honoring and recognizing our fellow IPs this month.

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Here are 4 Reasons to Carry Potatoes on Your Next Climb

By Euden Valdez

​“THEY’RE heavy!”
 
This was the rejection I received as an outdoor enthusiast and aspiring mountaineer when I once suggested to include potatoes in a soup dish for a dinner at camp. 

But had I known by then how potatoes could provide enough nutrition to pump up the hike’s next leg, I would have insisted—like Princess Sarah always does for her “patatas.”

Continue reading “Here are 4 Reasons to Carry Potatoes on Your Next Climb”

VIRTUAL TOUR: A Closer Look at Cape Engaño in Palaui Island

Text and Photos By Euden Valdez

FOR over a century, Cape Engaño has been a reminder of a lost time atop its hill of solace in Palaui Island. Built from 1888 to 1892, the lighthouse and its architecture is a testament to the Spanish colonization in the Philippines.

Now in ruins, Cape Engaño has surpassed its original purpose by becoming an iconic tourist destination in Cagayan province, Luzon. It invites visitors and travelers from around the Philippines to take that arduous trip to Palaui Island in Sta. Ana municipality.

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VIRTUAL TOUR: Cold and Chilly Weather x Warm and Fuzzy Feelings at Mt. Ugo

Text and Photos by Euden Valdez

HOW does a life moment qualify to be precious? For this author, the moment has to have moved you in unspeakable ways, to have made you escape reality, and to have left a lasting mark in you.

Take for example, that moment when a bunch of young ones rode on top of a jeepney for the first time, after a long and tiring traverse of Mt. Ugo in the Cordillera. Only, it was going to be a “topload” ride with a good chance of shower.

Dark clouds descended with us from the mountain and just as the jeepney hit the road, the rain did fall. Then something precious happened.

I saw their eyes lit up with wonder, their lips smiled from glee as raindrops tickled their skin, winds kissed their faces, and adventure filled their hearts. All the while, the formidable views of Cordillera stretched and crawled before us. 

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Tara! Abra: Licuan-Baay, a Land of Bountiful Resources, Beautiful Places

Text and Photos by Euden Valdez

LICUAN-BAAY is one of Abra’s upland municipalities nestled in and surrounded by mountains that hide plenty of treasures: the hospitable Tinguian, scenic waterfalls and rivers, and even highly prized gold.

Located east of the capital Bangued, it is accessible via the Abra-Kalinga Road that connects the two said provinces. The public utility jeepneys, as well as private motorcycles, serve as the main mode of public transportation to and from Bangued and Licuan-Baay.

This was how this author, together with cousins and friends, reached Licuan-Baay for a short vacation and exploration in April. Why there, you may ask? Our family hailing from the municipality of San Quintin married into Pogyao family from Licuan-Baay—the wedding, held just a day before our trip! After the celebration in our family’s place, we decided to go to our new in-laws’ place.

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Palaui Island’s Best Accommodation is at Home with the Agta

Text and Photos by Euden Valdez

TECHNOLY has transformed the ways people travel nowadays. Take for example the rise of online booking apps, which has made private properties accessible as accommodation instead of the more expensive hotels and resorts. 

But even before the rise of AirBnb and the likes, home-staying has been preferred by nomads, backpackers and budget travelers. They arrive at a destination without accommodation and hope and pray there is a host willing to accept them under their roofs. Why do this? Not just because it is cheaper but also because it allows them to know their destination better through its people and their ways of life.

​While this concept is taking the backseat, it remains to be practiced by RAK Ph Mountaineers, an outdoor-advocacy movement in support sustainable and ethical tourism. In March, RAK (meaning Random Act of Kindness) went to Palaui Island in Cagayan province not only as ordinary tourists but also as guests of the Agta tribe of Punta Verde. We were billeted at the household of Erick Agcaoili and his family, a warm and welcoming bunch. 

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