#WANDERBUFF: Let’s Go For A Spin | Spin Hostel

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My first impression when it comes to the word hostel, isn’t too good especially after seeing a few hollywood movies centered around said the said theme. Imagine my surprise when I saw how well designed and laid out Spin Hostel was! Alright. It’s not exactly a hostel, the word I was hearing being thrown around was “designer” hostel. So that explains why it’s like a hostel on steroids, every nook and cranny is super instagrammable.

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This is from their site, and believe me it looks exactly how it does in the photo. It has a very scandinavian on an island sort of vibe. More clever and convenient ideas exercised rather than having blatantly expensive materials and finish. Aircon was also incredibly cold, I had to set the thermostat to the middle else I’d turn into a popsicle. The design of the place also allows for free flowing air, so I cracked open the windows a number of times also.

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The sun wasn’t all that great but that didn’t stop us from having a great time! The waters of El Nido really are something else, the only time I’ve seen such turquoise coloured water was when I was Santorini, Greece. A little further than a stone’s throw. Luckily, Palawan is only an hour or so away.

I love their Nest area, which is the common area which is the most happening area of the property where one can see various nationalities conversing, playing Uno, internetting [sic], reading a book or just lounging around. SPIN also has sharing rooms which bring the wallet footprint down a couple of notches without sacrificing quality of stay. The unisex bathroom for the sharing rooms is actually airconditioned!

The folks had left once I started playing guitar, I wonder why?!

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After a restful sleep (no worries of roosters crowing!) we were off to explore jagged limestone cliffs, secret caves and such.

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Standard kayak shoot in an extraordinary lagoon setting. I literally could not sit still in this place. When you get the chance to do the boat tour, make sure Small Lagoon is in your itinerary. You’ll know you’re there when you have to squeeze your way in through big limestone rocks either by kayak, paddleboard or sariling sikap ie: swimming.

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Swapped out the kayak for a paddleboard a number of times. Great exercise and core work. The water is also a little cooler here, so it’s nice to take a dip and cool off. I always bring my swim goggles so I did a few laps as my defacto triathlon training for the day (yes, I am obsessed)

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On the kayak again.

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Waiting for the sun. Photo ops everywhere.

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Standard issue equipment for snorkelling and exploring the islands’ rich marine life and underwater flora.

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I literally caved in to the beauty of El Nido.

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When in El Nido, be sure to try out staying in SPIN. I am sure the 75 bed designer hostel will both inspire and impress you with it’s own brand of hospitality and design atmosphere.

Spin Hostel Contact:
Mobile: 09175667746

http://www.facebook.com/spinhostel

 

A Pinatubo Trek | ECCO

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I rare to go to places that I’ve never been, with people who are just as excited to be outdoors as I am. I always see my friend Marc’s photos of the whole Pinatubo experience on facebook complete with 4x4s and always find myself incredibly envious! So when SSI contacted me for this trip out to the active volcano with Scandinavian shoe brand ECCO I immediately accepted even if was to arrive from Boracay on that same day. But hey, no rest for the wicked right? My plane had arrived late in Manila (no surprise there) so I just high-tailed it to the north with sand still stuck in between my toes.

I love the drive to the north, it’s really smooth and can even be a bit too comfortable if you’re driving alone because it can be hard to stay awake when all you see are road reflectors and you’ve got cruise control engaged. I reached Green Canyon (a peaceful, eco friendly hotel which features a lot of wood carvings by artist Nico Jose) in about an hour or so, I missed the dinner they had for everyone but I was determined to join in the adventure the next morning with ECCO.

I was greeted with this “Go Anywhere” kit! ECCO 02 shoes, a cap, shirt, towel, socks and umbrella (just in case) after a quick inspection I was off to bed.

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After a rejuvanating sleep, probably thanks to the peaceful surroundings I was ready for a whole day of trekking and filling up my camera with photos. Slipped my ECCO 02 shoes on, and was surprised with how breathable they were.

Good morning guys! Roy Macam and Alyanna Martinez were there also, I was glad there were more than a few familiar faces in the group.

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Tall guy in photo is Martin Hein, who is the Business Development Manager for ECCO in Asia. He was with his team from Singapore.

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Up and at ’em.

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We got a covered 4×4 which I was thankful for when the sun started to really come out.

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Bloggers united! Paul aka Paultheprguy was there too!

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The ride is around 45 minutes until the start of the trek, it’s mostly lahar and looks very otherworldly. No traffic, no roads, just an appetite for adventure!

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Kwentuhan underway, I learned about the brand’s origins as well as how Martin started out with ECCO and the brand’s range and commitment to producing quality shoes. Was pretty impressed with the care and detail given to each shoe, it isn’t mass produced and is premium.

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Talking about triathlon now, totally bro-ing out. I found out Martin is training for his first IRONMAN 70.3 Triathlon!

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Quick stop for photos!

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Roy’s ECCO 02 pair!

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Daniel Tan! Mr. Photog, aerial cam extraordinaire!

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Shoe selfie. I like how sleek they are without looking too-fashiony. You get what I mean? Classic lines but still stylish without looking overly designed.

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“Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” – Dr. Emmet Brown

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ECCO 02 shoes with smart air channelling system and breathable yak leather uppers, which offers more effective heat transportation as well as a waterproof and breatheable GORE-TEX® SURROUND™ membrane.

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Okay, I admit it. I didn’t actually drive. This was more of my shoot with Paul! Haha!

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The trek begins! Daniel must have been carrying 20lbs of camera equipment!

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Admiring nature’s art.

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Here we go!

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Water is no problem whatsoever.

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No trailblazing please. Even if it’s really tempting!

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After a few steep climbs, narrow paths and streams we made it to the caldera!

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And what a site she is! It’s hard to believe this place looked like the end of the world when Pinatubo erupted.

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Friendly reminders were scattered about.

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Requisite OOTD! Thank you Paul! Ray-Ban Aviators, ECCO shirt, APC x Carhartt trousers, ECCO 02 shoes.

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What a view. I was speaking to Martin about how this is how I imagine this is how the Fjords in Norway look like. He has been there and agreed, I have yet to confirm this in the future.

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Paul with his trusty Fujifilm camera! Mirrorless revolution!

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Roy said that swimming was allowed before, but alas no more.

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Daniel’s drone, excited to see his video!

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Utterly breathtaking!

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The walk back!

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“Artsy” shot of Sam.

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Every corner a sight to behold.

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Back by the 4x4s complimentary cleaning was offered, to show how easy to maintain and clean ECCO shoes are. They are clearly a company that cares about the lifespan of a shoe and doesn’t just churn out pair after pair.

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ECCO is exclusively distributed by Store Specialists, Inc. (SSI) in the Philippines. Located at Rustan’s Makati, Glorietta, Bonifacio High Street, Robinsons Midtown, SM Mall of Asia, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Robinson’s Magnolia, Gateway, TriNoma, Fairview Terraces, and Rustan’s Ayala Center Cebu. Visit http://www.ssilife.com.ph for more information!

josephinewei:

NYC Goes From Day to Night in One Frame

Photographer Stephen Wilkes spent a minimum of ten hours taking hundreds of shots to create each one of his Day to Night. Weaving and blending thirty to fifty parts, the photo-collagist extraordinaire created seamless, surrealist scenes of New York City life…This “fluid narrative” captures two sides of each landmark and the never-ending current of energy cycling throughout. See the series at Chelsea’s Clamp Art Gallery, September 8 through October 29th.

More at FlavorWire!

(via NotCot)

COOOOOOOL! 🙂

Having a gradual day.

Beach on Christmas

I must have skipped three trips out this year due to work, which is a pretty good situation in my opinion. Still, flying out or even just a drive for a change of scenery has always been a personal favorite of mine, and sometimes when I get bouts of spontaneity I just book and “bahala na si batman” it.  Just nearby countries/places (Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong) or islands (Boracay, Palawan, etc.) naman, nothing that drastic or deadly to the pocketbook. Most of the best trips I’ve had were the ones I planned the night before, and though a little pricier than if I planned months ahead they have proved to be the most fulfilling. It’s one thing to get away from it all, and one thing to do so ever so conveniently. That’s why this Christmas, I planned a trip out to Balesin Island! Can you believe you can reach the island in less than an hour? This includes the trip to the airport/hangar, and flight combined! It’s probably the most convenient and hassle-free flight to an island location.

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Skies were gloomy over the tarmac, which had me worries for a bit.

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Nothing like gazing at clouds to relax and contemplate.

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I enjoy everything about flights, the airplane taxiing, takeoff, turbulence (slight), landing, and just the overall timeout which lets you listen to a music album all the way through or finish reading that novel you’ve been using as a cellphone caddy.

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Rainbow over the island, befitting of the tropical paradise.

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Landed after only 25 minutes of flight!

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Arrived in the morning so attacking the scrumptious breakfast buffet at the Balesin Clubhouse was definitely on the itinerary.

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For lunch it was at Sakura, the delicious japanese restaurant also at the Clubhouse. They have teppanyaki tables so perfect for big groups!

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“Popped” rice. Actually edible, save for the stalks.

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Considering our heavy lunch, opted for a light dinner at Bali overlooking a clouded sunset. 

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By far the most relaxed Christmas day I’ve had, slower paced yet a good recharge from the season’s rush of parties and shopping for gifts. I’ll post more of this trip soon, stay tuned.

For information on Balesin, you can visit their site here.

http://www.balesin.com/

Great Product Service | Rimowa

A few weeks ago, I noticed a crack in my trusty Rimowa luggage that has served me for well over two years (and constantly saving me from overweight luggage scares) I noticed the unflattering, canyoning gash after a flight back from Hong Kong, and I suppose either the baggage handlers were overly-zealous chucking bags all over the place or maybe my suitcase had just run its course -game over. Then I remembered that being a premiere luggage brand, Rimowa has a 5 year international guarantee that states that they will (to the best of their ability) repair any wrongdoing to your bag.

Here’s a photo to illustrate the damage. 

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After reviewing the guarantee and researching online, I tried my luck and checked with a local Rimowa branch. I was merely looking for a repair, but the salesperson I spoke to said that what I was asking was impossible, given I had a polycarbonate unit and then suggested I take the issue up with the airlines I took. (and don’t we all know how much of a hassle that is) After several objections, I figured that maybe it was time to accept the inevitable that my bag should be retired so I stopped deliberating and went on my way.

I expressed my disappointment, but figured it was my fault for not contacting my airlines right away but I still could not help feeling bad. Since hey, I was only asking for a repair. So I ungentlemanly aired my disgruntlement over twitter. Luckily, someone then contacted me within the day to apologize for the misinformation given to me and to resolve my non-issue. I sent my unit back again for further inspection, and was informed that my troubles would be fixed.

Within a day or two, Rimowa then furnished me with a brand new unit. Not repaired, not refurbished, but BRAND NEW. I was astounded! Never have I heard of such great aftersales service.image

Brand spanking new!

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I then now remembered why I got such an attractive luggage, and photographed away at the beautifully designed case.

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When they say Guarantee, they mean it.

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Thank you Rimowa for showing that your customers come first above all else, I will highly recommend your product to my friends and colleagues alike.

Rimowa is available at:

Adora, Greenbelt 5
Newport, Ground Floor
Greenbelt 5, Ground Floor
Rockwell Powerplant Mall, Ground Floor
Glorietta 4, Ground Floor

Seattle’s Best Coffee “Me and My Travelling SBC” Facebook Photo Contest!

Hollywood, California

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The Great Wall of China. Beijing, China.

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Bohol, Philippines

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All these locations have one thing in common, no there isn’t a hidden man in a stripey jumper, spectacles and a bonnet strategically hidden for you to find. What they do have in common is that you could be visiting any one of them for free! All you have to do is join Seattle’s Best Coffee’s “Me and My Travelling SBC” Facebook Photo Contest! You can either take a photo and enter, or vote for which you think is the best photo to join!

So what are you waiting for? Click the photo below to join!

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More info down below through these links.

http://www.facebook.com/seattlesbestcoffeephilippines

https://apps.facebook.com/my-traveling-sbc

Blazer and Boots | Place du March Saint-Honore

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H&M cotton blazer, 7 For All Mankind shirt, Cheap Monday slacks, SM Accessories belt (Php249.75), Red Wing boots

While on vacation, limited wardrobe choices can be a good thing because you sometimes accidentally put together clothes that you normally wouldn’t. It makes one think of practicality and appropriateness when dressing up, and also checking the day’s climate.

In less than predictable weather, an unlined cotton blazer is a good piece to have when the wind decides to pick up in speed and/or if you’re suddenly cold in just a shirt. Also, when the temperature rises you can still be comfortable and not sweat buckets trying to look presentable. A pop of color care of SM Accessories’ belt goes well with cotton trousers that are a relaxed and lightweight alternative to jeans, and are ridiculously easy to match. The sturdy Red Wing boots on the other hand can take a beating through rain, cobblestones, and in the unlikely situation, snow.

Red Square, Moscow, Russia

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5cm parka | Topman denim shirt

Dealing with the cold didn’t really concern me at first, since I figured “hey, I play ice hockey. I’m sure I can withstand a chilly welcome” but when I stepped out of the airport I realized that it was a pretty good idea that I packed some warm clothes in my suitcase.

The 5cm parka has a removable puffy down jacket for extra warmth, and the denim shirt although cotton serves as a comfortable inner layer.