On July 7, 2007, the ancient city of Petra in Jordan became one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and an even more famous tourist destination than when it was first shown in the movie Indiana Jones. Dating back to the first century AD, its design achievement reflects the advance civilization of the Nabataeans who perfectly carved their city in the rock mountains. The Treasury (Al Khazna) is the first stunning structure upon entering Petra. This masterpiece stands 150 feet tall and 100 feet wide. Petra is famously referred to as a “rose-red” city, but its reddish hue comes in the late afternoon. In midday, the monuments appear pinkish or yellowish depending on sunlight. ©Jojie Alcantara 2017
Wet market vendor in Ha Long, Vietnam © Jojie Alcantara
Halong City in Quang Ninh Province of Vietnam is a quiet but blossoming town right in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Halong Bay. Quite laid back from other touristy cities, the roads are wide and without traffic (maybe peak season is different). Apart from popular Ha Long Bay cruises, it also offers beach activities, nature treks, local food and night markets. Divided into two main areas: there is Hon Gai on the other side of the bridge where local life, culture and food can be experienced. These are Vietnamese girls in traditional dress called “ao dai”, in a backdrop of Ha Long Bay. Bai Chay is the central tourist area on the other side where Ha Long Bay is filled with luxury cruises or traditional junk boat tours. Other options are: an artificial beach, restaurants, cafes and varying structures from high end resorts to boutique hotels lined along the bay. © Jojie Alcantara This January, Vietnam was the host country of the 38th ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2019. Held in Ha Long, …
“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious.” ~Albert Einstein
The city of Tiberias in northern Israel was founded by Herod Antipas and named in honor of the Roman emperor Tiberius. It nestles lalong the significant Sea of Galilee (lowest freshwater lake on earth, sourced from Jordan River).
Binintiang Malaki is this most photographed false volcano that is often mistaken as Taal Volcano in pictures. The dormant Binintiang Malaki crater was the center of the 1707 and 1715 eruptions.
“When Moses was alive, the pyramids were a thousand years old . . . . Here people learned to measure time by a calendar, to plot the stars by astronomy . . . . Here they developed that most awesome of all ideas – the idea of eternity.” ~ Walter Cronkite
A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985, Petra was named among the New7Wonders of the World in 2007 and chosen by Smithsonian Magazine as one of the “28 Places to See Before You Die”.
Wadi Rum Protected Area was declared in 2011 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its most outstanding desert landscapes, lending a surreal feel to the vast environment. If you think this is a scene from a Star Wars movie, there may be a little truth to it.
“Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small.” ~Anthony Bourdain
It was a cool misty dawn at 5am when I entered Francisco Bangoy International Airport with a light luggage and camera bag, off to a destination I have yet to find out. Seriously, I have yet to know.
This year alone I rode in a chopper three times over Davao region, doing aerial photography in the traditional way.
“As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life.” ― Gautama Buddha
“Someday you will find the one who will watch every sunrise with you until the sunset of your life.” – Unknown
“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” ~ Pamela Vaull Starr
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” —Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
“Every time I stand before a beautiful beach, its waves seem to whisper to me:
If you choose the simple things and find joy in nature’s simple treasures,
life and living need not be so hard.” ― Psyche Roxas-Mendoza
“It was sunsets that taught me that beauty sometimes only lasts for a couple of moments, and it was sunrise that showed me that all it takes is patience to experience it all over again…” – a.j. lawless
“At the beach, life is different. Time doesn’t move hour to hour but mood to moment. We live by the currents, plan by the tides, and follow the sun.” — Sandy Gingras, Writer
One day I spotted attractive wind turbines from the plane. At first I thought we were passing over the Bangui Windmills in Ilocos Norte, but I was heading for Manila.
The stunning and serene Hibiya Park was designed and constructed as the first westernized urban-style park in Japan. It opened to the public in 1903, and celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2003.