Oh, the places that I go.

I am Dindin San Juan, 23, Filipino, wanderer and aspiring world explorer. I pretty much take pictures of everything, wherever I go and so this blog will take you to those places too, the way I see them. :)
Ask me anything  Why did I start this blog? 

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San Fernando, Pampanga and Angeles, Pampanga

Last February 12, I yet again traveled farther north (the drive going there is always fun for me because of the sceneries and great roads, NLEX at least) with my family to attend the 17th Philippine Hot Air Balloon Festival subtitled “A Weekend of Everything that Flies.” Needless to say, it was awesome! I may not have had the chance to ride one but I had a delightful time seeing all those balloons, colorful kites, airplane exhibitions, parachutes and so on. 

Although the festival was in Angeles, we stayed at that cute and cozy hotel (see 1st 2 photos) in San Fernando, which is about 30 minutes away from Angeles, because all inns nearby are fully booked for the event. But anyway, I liked staying at Hotel Gracelane. The staff are nice, the place is full of greens, is simple and the rooms are clean. Plus, they have free Wi-fi. :) 



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Tagum City, Philippines

Tagum City is a little town located in Davao del Norte, Mindanao and is a 2-hour ride from the famous Davao City. My buddy Haven and I went there to search for donors for WWF-Philippines. What I liked about this town is that its local government chooses to aware about the dangers that our environment is currently and will be experiencing. On our way there, we saw an array of little mangrove trees planted on each side of the river sandwiching the road just before the entry to the city and later on learned from our conversations with the people in the Tagum City Hall that it is one of the projects headed by the mayor of Tagum. As I searched the city’s website, I found out that the mayor, Rey Uy, is a member of PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) for 17 years now. How awesome is that? No wonder we got a lot of signees in Tagum City.

From our short roam around the city, I noticed that it is very clean and organized in a way that each street would be easy to go to and remember. It is not crowded like Davao City (or at least for now, but I hope it stays that way). Their main mode of transportation is tricycle which is pictured above which I liked not only because it is cute but it can take you wherever you want within the city for only 8 pesos, just like jeepneys in Manila but more fun. Also, fruits are more affordable in Tagum City. I bought a kilo of Ripe Mangoes for 40 pesos and it was the sweetest batch I have ever tasted, perhaps the fact that they were inexpensive added to the quality. :p    



+ Vigan Tsokolate
I know this is not actually a place but hot tsokolate would be one of the signifiers of Vigan for me. Seriously (and as cliche as this may sound), it IS heaven in a cup. 

Vigan Tsokolate

I know this is not actually a place but hot tsokolate would be one of the signifiers of Vigan for me. Seriously (and as cliche as this may sound), it IS heaven in a cup. 

12 notes | 01.14.12
tags | Tablea | Vigan | Tsokolate | HEAVEN


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Laoag-Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, Philippines

After spending time in gorgeous Vigan, we then went off to travel to Pagudpud and see the Bangui windmills, via Laoag. Although we did not actually roamed around Laoag, I can tell that it would be another great adventure. On our way to Pagudpud, we rode a non-aircon bus but it did not seem so because of the fresh and cold air coming from outside. It’s funny how we did not know that Pagudpud is actually a mountain and how the weather there is like that in Baguio/Tagaytay. 

It was raining when we arrived in Pagudpud, non-stop. And so our dreams of swimming in a stream, Kabigan falls, were shattered. But we still went to see the Bangui windmills (the wind was literally blowing us away when we went there) and the Lighthouse of Cape Bojeador, so it was all good. :) Sights and the climate in Pagudpud are great but I’d say the food is not so special, unlike in Vigan. (Or maybe we were just not able to search for good food because of the rain)



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Vigan, Ilocos Sur

Vigan, Vigan, Vigan…Where to start?! I have wanted to go to this place since I heard that it’s a sanctuary of preserved Spanish-era buildings. And now that I’ve been there, all I can say is that the excruciating 12-hour bus ride was completely worth it. 

Vigan culture is very rich: a mixture of traditional aesthetics and a modern way of living.   



+ Claude’s le Cafe de Ville, Davao City, Philippines
I wanted to include this picture separately because I have an inclination for old things. We were walking about the city after a day’s work and after rows of commercial concrete buildings popped this elegant infrastructure. It is an old house built in the 1920’s which was preserved and converted into a fine dining restaurant with a European cuisine. Unfortunately, we were not able to try out the food as we did not have enough budget but we were able to meet the great grandchild of the house’s owner who informed us that we have to allot at least 1,500 to eat at the restaurant. :p

Claude’s le Cafe de Ville, Davao City, Philippines

I wanted to include this picture separately because I have an inclination for old things. We were walking about the city after a day’s work and after rows of commercial concrete buildings popped this elegant infrastructure. It is an old house built in the 1920’s which was preserved and converted into a fine dining restaurant with a European cuisine. Unfortunately, we were not able to try out the food as we did not have enough budget but we were able to meet the great grandchild of the house’s owner who informed us that we have to allot at least 1,500 to eat at the restaurant. :p



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Davao City, Philippines

Last October, I went to Davao City. It was AWESOME. :p

I worked as a fundraiser for WWF-Philippines (Worldwide Fund For Nature/World Wildlife Fund) and we were sent there to gather donors for the organization. My experience of the city was great. In my search of people with a heart for the environment, I got to talk to the locals and I have come to the observation that most Davaoeños are sincerely polite. Not to put in a bad word for Manila/Makati guys and gals, but I noticed that they are really more accommodating and generally nicer. Also, they are obedient citizens and abide to the rules of their local government to the extent that even pedicabs stop on red light at 2:00 in the morning. 

FOOD. It is said that a place’s culture could be experienced in their food. Well, we certainly did have a taste of Davao. Street foods are everywhere in the city so we did not starve walking the streets searching for donors. Plus, the omnipresent, thirst quenching, 5-peso Buko Juice is one of my favorite things about Davao; 1, because it’s refillable and 2, because it’s mixed with evaporated milk. As for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Barbecue Boss became a hotspot for our hungry selves because of the 6-peso-per-stick BBQ which is delicious and also their mouth-watering and tongue-firing sizzling Davao Express. Fruits are also a LOT cheaper and more fresh as they come from the city itself or nearby cities. In fact because of this, about 30% of my trip was spent on fruit shopping. :p 



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Palace in the Sky, Tagaytay City, Philippines

Upon probably the highest corner of the mountains of Tagaytay sits the defunct mansion of the infamous former President Ferdinand Marcos, thus rendering the alias “Palace in the Sky.” It was built in purpose of hosting the official state visit of former US President Ronald Reagan and his wife. Sizing from the area that the mansion occupied, it would have truly been a palace and a definite go-to spot of the elites today had its construction pushed through.

Today, the infrastructure provides a place to wander about for tourists and locals alike, offering a delightful view of the city and of course, Taal Volcano. It also houses several souvenir stalls from which people could buy assorted products made in or for Tagaytay City.

1 notes | 01.13.12


+ The Old Strip, Las Vegas, NV
'Nuff said. :p

The Old Strip, Las Vegas, NV

'Nuff said. :p

3 notes | 08.10.11
tags | Las Vegas | Old Strip | Nevada | Lights | Colors | Booze | Sex | Money


+ Las Vegas, Nevada
The New York New York part of the strip. 

Las Vegas, Nevada

The New York New York part of the strip. 

7 notes | 08.10.11
tags | Las Vegas | Nevada | Buildings


+ House of Blues, Las Vegas, NV
The House of Blues at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. During my second day in Vegas, I went here in search for a night life in replacement for bars/clubs because I was 3 weeks short of being legal but then, it was closed. Nightlife goes down the drain. 
On a lighter note, I enjoyed walking along the strip, seeing all the lights and the magic of the sin city. 

House of Blues, Las Vegas, NV

The House of Blues at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. During my second day in Vegas, I went here in search for a night life in replacement for bars/clubs because I was 3 weeks short of being legal but then, it was closed. Nightlife goes down the drain. 

On a lighter note, I enjoyed walking along the strip, seeing all the lights and the magic of the sin city. 



+ The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas, Nevada
From the rooftop pool deck of the Cosmopolitan in LV. Stress-relieving. :)

The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas, Nevada

From the rooftop pool deck of the Cosmopolitan in LV. Stress-relieving. :)



+ New York City, NY
:)

New York City, NY

:)



+ Atlantic City, New Jersey
Walking to the “strip” in Atlantic City New Jersey, these are the first buildings that came to view. They are different from the steel and stone facades that most structures in that place have for they emulate being made of wood. Now I cannot factually tell you that they actually are made of wood because I also do not know. But they sure do look like they are right? :p Well that is what I liked about them AND the colors as well! :)   

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Walking to the “strip” in Atlantic City New Jersey, these are the first buildings that came to view. They are different from the steel and stone facades that most structures in that place have for they emulate being made of wood. Now I cannot factually tell you that they actually are made of wood because I also do not know. But they sure do look like they are right? :p Well that is what I liked about them AND the colors as well! :)   



+ Trump Plaza, Atlantic City, New Jersey
This is the pathway to the casino inside Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Yes, I tried the slot machines. No, I’m not 21 yet. ;p

Trump Plaza, Atlantic City, New Jersey

This is the pathway to the casino inside Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Yes, I tried the slot machines. No, I’m not 21 yet. ;p



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