What to buy in the Philippines

What to buy in the Philippines

I am minimalist but there are wee times that I would like to shop and bring souvenirs from countries I have visited.

Now if you are traveling in the Philippines and would like to bring something from the places you have visited to your home as souvenirs, take a look at these suggestions:

Aside from the normal fridge magnet, I have observed my foreign friends buys these stuff, so it might interest you as well.

1. Traditional dress. This can be a patadyong, filipiniana, or a more tribal getup. It’s always nice to buy something traditional, it’s like you’re partaking in the culture of the country specially if you wear it in special occasions. You can try to buy those stuff out of the country but it’s authentic if you buy it inside the Philippines.

Patadyong Filipino traditional dress


2. Tshirt that says you’ve been in the Philippines. This is not really an exotic find but this is what others buy to humble brag that they have been to a particular place. I buy those shirts printed with – I love (insert country here) too just because I’m human and feel the need to humble brag too.

3. Traditional instruments like angklung or marimba. I used to be an angklung and marimba player when I was in elementary. I love to reminisce those days of playing with those instruments made with bamboo. Kinda sad coz no one uses it now even here in the PH. If you know someone who produces these instruments, I might buy just for the sake of reminiscing the past.

4. Pearls and shells – the Philippines is blessed with abundance of water.. to the point that it floods during typhoon. Good thing the under water world is full of splendid creatures, for those who wants to take a piece of the ocean, you may want to buy pearls and shells as souvenirs.

pearly shells


5. Bayong – I know of bags that are worth 1000 USD, yet the sturdy bayong that takes hours to make by hand is also worthy to have its equal attention and price. Unfortunately, our Filipino colonial mentality frown on our own products.. but I’m also seeing Filipino pride in the youth so we’ll see how the bayong will evolve.

6. Sungka –Sungka is a game where shells or stones are dropped on a long canoe shaped board. It has become an exotic toy and is a perfect gift to kids if you want to snatch their attention from their gadgets.

7. Banig – This is used as bed by locals and is still being used in provinces. You can use this too for decoration or bedspread if you want your bedroom to look something exotic.

8. Filipino goods such as pancit canton and canned sardinas – this can be a treat if you want to give a gift to Filipinos who are outside the country. It can bring back that old familiar feeling thru their tastebuds, they will surely thank you for that.

9. Local delicacies such as ube candies and polvoron and bohols peanut kisses, piaya and tablea chocolate. Of all goodies, I love to promote tablea. Tablea is a chocolate that is formed like large tablets and you either eat it raw or put it in rice porridge, or make a chocolate drink out of it. The ingredients is less processed and directly come from the cacao tree.


tablea chocolate


10. Barako coffee. Strong aroma will make your nerves awake for the rest of the day. As much as I love the coffee in Vietnam, it is my responsibility to promote the coffee in the Philippines too. Check it out.

If you noticed, most of the stuff I featured here are exotic and can be only be found in the Philippines. Some, like Marimba are unfortunately almost extinct or not being used already..

So if you want to look for unique finds only in the Philippines, bookmark this article.

If you are outside the Philippines and want to buy any of these, we can ask errand runners at Errand to go to help you out.. it’s a mini project in Beta testing, feel free to test it out.

Offline is the new Luxury

Offline is the new Luxury

Sometimes I look back at my life and see all the computer gadgets that I used since 15.. from 386, 486, pentium 1, 2 etc etc

I realized, the cost for buying all the stuff is equal to a round the world trip ticket already.

I’m not complaining that technology is fast evolving, but sometimes, I just wish I was a doctor or a lawyer instead.. coz doctors and lawyers don’t have to deal so much on versioning.. the human body and laws don’t change too fast.

I do ride the waves of technology and still grateful for the opportunities it has given to me. And someday, it will afford me to earn online while i’m offline too… yep, my ultimate goal of an alternative lifestyle.. a different way of life alright.

But for now, sadly, I live by this quote:

I’m in the transition and to be honest, I can afford to be not in the computer for the whole day.

I just wish that when I travel again, I’ll be able to stay in self sustainable communities, away from racism and people that drains my positive energy.. and then I’ll be able to leave a trail for other adventurous souls to follow.

Many people in poorer countries love to travel.

They just are not privilege enough to do so.. hopefully we can help each other out.

As for the privileged people, I do hope they know the value of being offline.. living in the present moment.. and just enjoying the surroundings. I will feature sustainable communities as I travel along.

Meanwhile, you might want to see this interesting documentary:

Freebies and Discounts Gift For You

Freebies and Discounts Gift For You

October is my birth month and I’ll be turning a year older again, time fries. So I’m giving gifts for you in my own special way.

The year was just… normal I would say.

At this age, I’m 70% financially free, some online work, a few investments, a house in the beachside waiting to be cleaned.. and a few more projects in the pipeline.

Work has consumed me. Brain work.

House and farm work on the other hand, remains to be a challenge… I’m getting better at cooking though..

But I’m not here to talk about me, I’m here to give you stuff.. so you can pass the good stuff forward and make others happy. How about that? ^_^

For discounts on accommodation, signup at airbnb and get 21USD discount on your first stay:
www.airbnb.com/c/mbangoy

Fancy a hotel or hostel instead? Here’s a 15USD discount credit:
https://www.booking.com/s/13_6/c507eee5

Want to try another alternative?
Here’s 100 accommodation points using Trampolinn: https://trampolinn.com//c/?refc=gb21609

Want to get some tour discounts? Here’s a 5% discount for you if you use tourradar:
https://www.tourradar.com/invite/NM2jW6

Do you want to use other currencies? Try bitcoins by signing up at coins.ph and receive 50php.
https://coins.ph/m/join/z6jxki

Useful Links for freebies:
http://grasya.com/2015/08/how-to-get-free-accommodation-when-you-travel/
http://grasya.com/2014/10/5-ways-to-stay-in-luxury-hotels-for-free/http://grasya.com/2012/06/how-to-fund-your-travels/

I do hope this site can give more, so let’s see what the future holds.
Don’t worry about not giving me back at this time, I’m getting commission fees for every sign up too so it’s a win/win..

Hope this brighten your day.

How to travel alone – a guide for solo female travelers

How to travel alone – a guide for solo female travelers

My earliest solo travel memories was traveling from Laguna to Manila every school day at 11 years old. I woke up at 4am, then walk (yes, walk) 2 kilometers to the bus station, and hope to not be late for the flag ceremony at 6:30am.

Eventually, the bus conductor knew me already as a regular passenger, then he gave me ticket passes so I don’t have to pay the bus fare. He also told me to scold my mom. I’m sure my mom wants what is best for me coz I still did piano and ballet lessons during weekends. My mom taught me how to mingle with different kinds of caste err I mean classes of society in this country early.

So my early years mould me to be independent while on the road. It paved way to me traveling solo to almost all countries I’ve been. And you know what? It was real adventure.

For those who wants to travel alone for various reasons, you may want to start with traveling to nearby places. If you live in a city, try to travel to nearby provinces, eat local delicacies, go to local tourists spots. Embrace solitude like a new found freedom.


rp_P80412611-1024x768.jpg
 

Then start venturing further, go to places with different dialects, different cultures and tradition. You shouldn’t be paranoid if you can’t speak the local language, usually local people are kind and adjust to you if you are kind enough to them too. But to be honest, sometimes local people can intimidate too. Example, if you speak tagalog in Cebu, locals usually will talk back in English. If you get intimidated, speak to another person instead.

If you’re from the province and want to explore the city, it may take a while to get used to traveling in the busy places.. I suggest go there with a companion first, then try to return on your own. With lots of activities that can get you busy in the city, I’m sure you won’t really mind being alone.

Once you’re at ease, then traveling out of the country will be a breeze already.

My first international solo travel was in Singapore where I left my friends in the hotel to travel and visit an organization, then I traveled around the lion city afterwards. Then I went to solo traveling in most countries that I lived or visited.

Traveling solo has its perks alright. You don’t have to wait for someone if you want to go somewhere else. You don’t have to share decisions. You can go to any tourist spot without asking for someone to go with you. You can go on a shopping spree all day and no one will be impatiently waiting at the hotel’s lobby. You can do food trips without having to share your food.

eggs benedict

As long as you have the budget, you can do what you want. That alone makes me highly recommend traveling solo to anyone.

For most culture, a single asian female traveling deviates from the tradition. Since I understand a bit of Thai language and since Laos language is similar to Passa Thai, I often hear this – Khun Diaw.
This means – only you or you’re alone.


bombs display in the coffee shop
 

It helps that you have a support system online. Someone you can go to just in case you are in trouble. When I was traveling solo, I make sure my family know where I am.

Also, it helps if you travel light and simple so you don’t attract unnecessary negativities. It’s great that I haven’t experienced being kidnapped, or having my wallet stolen while on the road. Maybe because scammers never thought of me as a potential victim… Dear (legal and illegal) scammers in all forms, i have nothing to declare.

But just in case this happens to you, please make sure you know self defense or carry a self defense tool like a pepper spray.

I was not a victim to such scams but our house back home got robbed while I was traveling though, so that’s the reason I’m careful when posting online. It’s better to be humble than to motivate someone to do bad things to you.

Aside from being a potential victim to scammers since you’re traveling alone, there’s also a possibility that you get sick while traveling, and you’re alone. Make sure the food you eat is clean, go to restaurants where there are lots of locals coz usually travelers get sick of diarrhea. And just in case you still get sick, make sure you have an insurance.

I’d still highly recommend solo travel. You will never experience another level of freedom unless you go trek this lifestyle path.

Where to travel solo? That’s another story.

What to do when you don’t want to work

I have allowed myself to be MIA (missing in action) from this blog for the past few weeks.. it feels liberating to be able to not do things because I don’t feel like doing anything.. Yeah these are my lazy moments.. I said it, I said coz I can… yeah you can sing to the tune of the lazy song by Bruno Mars..


sleep
 


Thank you to my current sponsor, mom’s sari sari store, for supplying endless hopia, biscuits and yoghurt drink.

Actually, when tracing the root cause of my zombie mode nowadays, it was because of a nationwide audit project for an expensive high end phone and a passion project.. the pressure was at a tsunami level and at the end of the paid project, I felt like a harassed zombie.

The quality of work was 5 stars according to myself, because I’m the country coordinator, so I should tap myself at the back. Oh yeah, client also gave me a virtual kudos.. Dear client, I’ll be asking for a talent fee raise on the next virtual kudos ha? :D

After the short term project, my brain is squeezed like an orange err dalandan and no matter what motivation I do, I just drift out to dreamland and snooze… for 20 hours. You wake up to motivate yourself but brain doesn’t budge.

Don’t tell me you don’t go thru a phase of your life like this. Oh, you can’t because even if you want to, you can’t afford to loose your job or you’ll die.. Sorry.

So I’ll try to help you when you’re stuck and in a similar situation. Here’s what you can do even if you don’t have the time or money yet to be a lazy fairy.


travel-feet
 


1. If you have a regular job – what are leaves for? Use it! Going to work on zombie mode does not add up to your productivity level, and it makes you easily irritated and eventually creates a ripple effect of distress to other workmates. So isolate yourself early, and rest and do things you enjoy. Trust me, when you go back to work, you’ll be more energized.

2. Do a thing that you love. I travel. It reenergizes me and regenerates my right brain cells. My projects involved travelling but it’s different when you travel to a place just for a break. So far, I’ve traveled to different provinces this year for work and holidays.. now I need to find a way to humbly brag about it and not motivate thieves to steal in our house instead.

No money to travel yet? Temporarily suppress travel needs but make sure you make yourself happy by doing stuff that makes you happy. If I don’t travel, here’s what I do that you can do too:

3. I sleep. Hopefully I can generate money from this hobby.. :D

4. Watch social media mindlessly.. I know it’s like watching tv but this time I control what I wanted to see. It’s very addicting though, so I advice you to have an accountability buddy who will spank the hell out of you if u fall to the trap of being a social media addict.

5. Snuggle with a loved one. If it’s a human, then good. Apparently, I can only snuggle with pets at the moment but Im not complaining :P

6. Catch up with friends. I’m not the most sociable person so you are lucky if we get to be friends. Kidding :D.. Having a group or a community makes you feel alive and welcome. It will also make you feel that you’re not the only weirdo around here, you have a squad to do weird things together.

7. Write. Or keep a blog. This is a hobby that let’s me generate some decent income.. and I get paid to do what I want to do. So thank you so much to those who never failed to read my crazy mind, I do appreciate you. Thank you more to my sponsors, I love you for paying me to do what I want or not want to do..

8. Do cooking experiments. I’m proud to say all my human testers are still alive :D

 


how-to-make-sushi

9. Read a book or if you don’t like reading, watch a movie.

10. Listen to some soothing music. There was a time when my anxiety level is at maximum, so I do meditation, and listen to music that I like.

Rest is important to humans in order to be healthy. I remembered when I had a full time job, I used to take vitamins as energy boosters, but it fakes the feeling of energy and it may cause more serious sickness later on. I’m not a doctor but I do my research on healthy living. You can take a look at my Guide to Self Sustainability group to get more tips.

Creating passive income streams are also important if you want to take a break for a very long time. My passive income streams are decent so I can afford the luxury to not do anything for a certain time. It’s never too late to invest in one.

 

Not many people are granted to do the work that they want to do. So this also adds to the stress of daily living. Oh yeah, and that horrible traffic and that horrible boss.

So let’s be frank, if you feel lazy, please listen to your body. Rest well, and hopefully, you’ll regain the strength to be a productive person again.