blue christmas in shanghai

By: Ron Cruz getting out of pudong airport Christmas day. Cruising at 490 kn and 10,000 miles above sea level, in what appears like an aircraft filled with Chinese passengers with huge possibility that I am the only one celebrating this holiday. While trying to make sense out of the bad Christmas dinner...

a grand castle, a suicide and lousy cover-ups

getting to neuschwanstein castle . The Neuschwanstein Castle screams fairy tale from every angle. Churned out of pure fantasy and child-like imagination, this structure inspired countless stories and played an important part in the last century's pop culture. To be honest, I already envisioned myself trailing towards this castle in a...

an authentic japanese food adventure

By: Ron Cruz . Itadakimasu! The word means "I humbly receive!" A verbiage to be said before the first bite, like bon appetite for French or loosely translated Kain na for Filipinos. One semi-drunk Japanese guy told me that it's a way to salute everyone who paved way for...

what shwedagon taught me

By Ron Cruz  . Towards the end of each trip, the last few hours are always the fastest, whirling like blurred movie scenes flashing like strobes causing a silent seizure, an alternating circuit of vague emotions. Like a toddler's tantrum that only riddance can soothe. On that last day...

sun and see: the lakes of bavaria

By Ron Cruz . For someone who grew up constantly breathing the salty air from the sea, summer is synonymous to sun, sand and grilled tilapia awaiting to be torn by wrinkled fingers for lunch. Summer. The time of the year to bask in the tropical heat and waste slothful hours of doing nothing--like...

should we always post photos of what we eat?

By Ron Cruz .  In the age where a smart phone is fast becoming a food utensil, everyone can easily become a foodie, a critique, a connoisseur. So, inevitably food-whoring became a subculture of travel and social media: Taking pictures of what's on the plate replaced the prayer before meals...

how i almost got kicked-out of an abbey in salzburg

By Ron Cruz . The map and the GPS confirmed that I was at the right location, with my 20kg bags and empty stomach, I couldn't wait to check-in and sit in a restaurant. But my basic cerebral functions were probably still snoozing the alarm. Yes, I am staying in a church in...

japan trip budget and quick guide for first time travelers

japan visa requirements for filipinos. japan trip budget and quick guide for first time travelers OK, before I blabber about my Japan adventure and spontaneously spew sakura petals out of my orifices, let's do this trip planning and budget shiitake once and for all. Last week I wrote...

japan: initial thoughts

JAPAN TRAVEL TIPS FOR PINOYS I've been seeing people clap twice and bow down in front of a shrine. So when I saw the next one with a sakura tree and a fancy roof, I put my hands together and bowed with sincerest respect. A young Japanese boy...

Musée du Louvre

Must-see art works in the louvre other than mona lisa You have to forget her fame. You need to go inside the painting, see her naked expression, read her tender message and feel the outline of her delicate smile. , The worst time to visit Paris is during the heat of...