Travel: 48 Hours in Taiwan

Where would two hours take you? Given Cebu’s current situation, you could be stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on a Friday night—a rainy one, if you’re that unlucky. Or you could be flying through the clouds to Asia’s secret gem, Taiwan.

With a visa-free program until 2019 and more flights to Taipei, this quaint island north of the Philippines is now a quick getaway option—perhaps even better than the currently more popular Hong Kong and Singapore.

What Taiwan lacks for in terms of theme parks and other commercial tourist destinations offered by the latter two, it makes up for an enviable currency exchange rate—perfect for those who want to indulge in the night markets and food scene the country is best known for. But make no mistake: Just because it doesn’t have Disneyland or Universal Studios doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a lot to offer. In fact, you’d be pleasantly surprised at how different Taiwan’s appeal is.


Travel: South Korea

“Summer in Korea?” I wonder. “What would I do during summer in Korea?”

Having grown up and lived in a country with summer-like weather most of the year, I initially didn’t see the appeal of traveling just to experience the same season. At the same time, I’ll be the first to admit that Korea was never really in my list of top destinations to visit. When the Korean craze swept the nation in recent years, I remained mostly indifferent to all the K-pop, K-drama, K-everything that everyone went crazy for. Besides, I had also heard that Korea is best during the other seasons of the year, but never really summer.

Still, who could resist the lure of discovering a new place? Philippines AirAsia had recently introduced once-a-day direct flight from Cebu to Incheon, so there was no excuse not to check it out at any moment’s notice, no matter what time of the year. As the trip drew nearer, it had also become a personal challenge of sorts to find out the lure of Korea; also to discover what it was really like there, considering the significant population of Koreans in the Philippines. A cultural exchange, if you may.