Traveling with Pinoy Pride: A Blog Giveaway
When traveling, you are not your name. You are your country.
I’ve had countless encounters with fellow travelers or locals while on my 2.5-month solo trip around Asia, wherein they ask me where I’m from (and I do likewise), we engage in a brief conversation, and part ways without ever knowing each other’s actual names. We then resort to referring to each other as the Dutch couple I met in Laos, or the Filipina that I met in Sri Lanka, or the tuk-tuk driver in Battambang, Cambodia. And that is the truth of some single-serving friends you meet while traveling.
As such, I feel that whenever we travel or interact with foreigners in our own country, we are really ambassadors for our country.
Utopia in Luang Prabang, Laos
August 2012 - Luang Prabang, Laos
Tucked away somewhere inside the small and narrow streets from Phomma That Road is this dreamy, almost surreal, hidden (yet popular) Eden in Luang Prabang aptly called Utopia, a peaceful and inviting environment for everyone, whether you’re into yoga, reading, writing, having alone time, enjoying good food and drinks, or hanging out with friends and playing board games.
Hariharalaya Retreat Centre: Getting Comfortable Outside My Comfort Zone
It’s not my proudest moment when I say that I’m a city girl.
I don’t like dirt, but it’s something you can’t avoid forever (something you can’t avoid ever, actually) at Hariharalaya. Dirt is omnipresent, on the soles of my feet - people walk barefoot indoors and outdoors, underneath my fingernails, and the constant film of soil or sand or clay on my skin.
I’m not exactly the biggest fan of bugs either. Let me rephrase. I hate bugs, and the mere thought of some of them is enough to give me goose bumps.
Although I’ve explored yoga more in the Philippines 3 months before I left for my trip, and had 1 meditation session at White Space, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about being surrounded by what in my head would be hardcore hippie yogis, compounded by being away from home, and not knowing anyone, and not really having internet access.
Hariharalaya Retreat Centre - Siem Reap, Cambodia
Though words, pictures or videos cannot describe how at home, and at peace I found myself at Hariharalaya where I spent most of my first two weeks of travel, I try to capture a bit of that in this inspired video. And I can only hope that when I do visit them again (as I’m sure I will be back), that I will feel just as at home then. :)
Love and cosmic connections,
DREAMERS & DOERS: Tricia Gotamco & Erin Chu of Made For Movement Yoga & Travel
Life really does send us synchronicities every so often, we just have to be open enough to recognize them, and keen enough to act upon them.
Series of Synchronicities
About a month ago, I claimed a 2-week Deal Grocer pass for Urban Ashram, and a former ICA batchmate, Tricia, was still teaching there then. Incidentally, I had also been looking through Made For Movement’s site in search of a travel-friendly yoga mat a few days prior to attending Tricia’s class. From my bazaar rounds for Punchdrunk Panda, I knew Tricia Gotamco owned Made For Movement with partner Erin Chu.
After seeing Tricia that day and briefly chatting with her after her class, I just knew I ought to write about her and Made For Movement for my blog.
Having found out about my top passions, I realized that what I really need most in my life is to be fully present in each moment. I’ve known this since college, and told myself I would make a more conscious effort not to stress over things I can’t change (the past) or worry about things I don’t even know will happen (the future). I read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle back then, and I was okay for a while, but every now and then, I find myself slipping back into my old ways.
I’ve been practicing quite a bit of yoga for 3 months now, and I’m determined to make it something to commit to. No excuses. I’ve pursued too many interests and let too many fade away, and I want to finally see this through after determining it as one of my top passions. Besides, it’s something I’ve long known to be something I aspire to adopt in my life not just for fitness, but for holistic well-being.
So anyway, given my upcoming travel plans, I won’t be able to attend yoga in local studios very much, so that means I’ll have to maintain a self-practice or really seek out places to practice wherever I go (which something I really intend to discover and share with readers of this blog). Either way, I’d be needing a yoga mat (as not all places of practice have yoga mats available for borrowing). And I found the perfect solution.
Earth Day Vegetarian Buffet by Samarlika
Apart from vegetarian fare, Samarlika also shared some educational information on vegetarianism (though I missed this), tai chi and yoga demonstrations, live music and a fire dance.
I also got to chat more with some of Ananda Marga’s yoga teachers and current and previous students. It was a great event to really get to know the community in which I practice yoga better, and familiarize myself with vegetarian fare.