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Reaching the peak when it comes to great travel experiences

While certain mountains hold more acclaim than others, there are hosts of them out there, and each provides its own experiences and stunning views. Here are some of our favorites that you might like to seek out on your next adventure.

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People travel the world to witness and experience a whole host of natural phenomena. Our interests span all four of the elements. We look to the skies to see sunrises, sunsets, comet showers, and (perhaps most famously) the Aurora Borealis. Those of us who are a little braver or perhaps just more fond of adrenaline skydive, bungee jump, and paraglide. When it comes to water, we seek out lagoons, geysers, waterfalls, and seas. We sail across its surfaces on cruise liners, ferries, sailing ships, and speedboats. For more direct contact with the water, we dive into it on paddle boards, surfboards, and to swim. Though we are a little more wary of fire, hundreds of thousands of us still travel seeking volcanos and landscapes filled with bubbling molten lava. Now, earth may well seem like the dullest of the elements. We’re in contact with it on a day to day basis while we’re at home. Surely ground is ground, and you don’t have to travel very far to see that.

But, you’re forgetting one key part of our planet formed of earth and rock that can provide us with profound experiences: mountains. While certain mountains hold more acclaim than others, there are hosts of them out there, and each provides its own experiences and stunning views. Here are some of our favorites that you might like to seek out on your next adventure.

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Mount Everest, Himalayas

Mount Everest is commonly acknowledged as the most famous mountain in the world and for good reason! It’s the highest mountain with its peak nearing 30,000 feet. It’s not surprising that it attracts some of the world’s most accomplished climbers. After all, if you want to prove your skill, there’s no better place to do it than here. Now, we wouldn’t recommend that anyone attempts to climb any portion of any mountain without being fully aware of the risks and the tasks that lie ahead of them.

But when it comes to Everest, over 290 people have died attempting to reach its peak and the last year when no fatalities were recorded was 1975. So, leave the climbing to the professionals and enjoy the scenery instead. Believe it or not, Everest is host to plenty of enjoyable opportunities for those who aren’t interested in long hikes. Why not book an Everest Flight which will take you over the mountains, allowing you to see the beauty of this natural landscape from the comfort of your plane seat? You could also visit the Shigatse valley at Everest’s base. This is filled with small villages where you can visit ancient ruins and wonderful markets.

Mount Bromo, Surabaya

Mount Bromo is a lot less well known than Everest, but this merely means that you won’t have to share it with quite so many other tourists. Located in East Java, it forms a part of the Tengerr Massif, and though it may not be the largest of the mountains in the area, it often proves the most popular. Technically speaking, it is an active volcano, but not to worry. Its activity is monitored, and warnings are issued if any potential dangers lie ahead. What is perhaps most unique about Mount Bromo is its unique location. It lies amongst vast plains! These are locally termed the “Sea of Sands”.

A great time to visit is during the Hindu Festival of Yadnya Kasada. On the fourteenth day of this celebration, the Tenggerese people of Probolinggo travel up Mount Bromo to make offerings of fruit, rice, vegetables, and flowers to the mountain gods. These wares are tossed into the volcano’s caldera.

Make your stay as comfortable as possible by immersing yourself in the local culture. Accommodation can be found at rumahdijual.com/surabaya/perumahan-murah. You can then try out local cuisine at nearby restaurants and take in the rest of beautiful Surabaya at ease.

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Mount Fuji, Tokyo

If you’re going to be spending any time in Japan in the near future, you have to make sure to spare sufficient time to spend at least one whole day at Mount Fuji. Located on Honshu Island, this is Japan’s grandest offering at over 10,000 feet high. Again, this mountain has an active volcano (this time a stratovolcano), but it was last recorded as erupting between 1707 and 1708. If you are staying in Tokyo, this mountain can actually be seen from the city on a clear day. It’s only around 100km out of town, so can easily be accessed by public transport. So, what can you do once you actually arrive there? Besides gazing in wonder at the wonderfully symmetrical mountain’s snow-topped cap, you can visit one of the 25 different UNESCO heritage sites of cultural interest.

Perhaps top of the list to visit is the Fujisan Sengen Shrine in Fujinomiya City. This lies in the Southwestern foothills of the mountain and has become the head shrine of over 1300 Sengen and Asama shrines that have been built nationwide. This is the traditional shrine from which climbers begin their ascent of Mount Fuji, so is an ideal place to pay homage, whether you intend to climb the mountain or not.

There are numerous forests, waterfalls, and lakes nearby, so natural beauty doesn’t stop with the mountain itself. If you fancy taking a step back and seeing the mountain from a distance, visit the Iwamotoyama Park. This spot is perfect for taking photos of the mountain at large while having a relaxing rest stop.

These are just three beautiful mountains that the world has to offer. Remember that there are at least 109 mountains out there with elevations greater than 23,000 feet. So the world is quite literally your oyster if you’re planning travel around seeing some of these great Earthly giants. Just remember to always do your research. If you’re not going to be climbing the mountains yourself, you still want to ensure that there are plenty of other activities around to engage with and alternative sights to see.

Destinations

Embrace the city’s pulse with Citadines Living

Citadines emerges as a haven for those seeking a genuine city living experience, blending comfort and convenience seamlessly. The brand invites you to embark on an urban adventure, so you don’t just visit the city, you get to live it and explore infinite possibilities.

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As travel and hospitality continue to evolve, Citadines emerges as a haven for those seeking a genuine city living experience, blending comfort and convenience seamlessly. The brand invites you to embark on an urban adventure, so you don’t just visit the city, you get to live it and explore infinite possibilities. 

Citadines: Fostering the Love For Cities

More than just a place to stay, Citadines embodies a lifestyle crafted for guests in search of a home away from home. With a global presence, Citadines stands out by creating a space where comfort, convenience, and style come together for the love of cities. 

Citadines adds its unique charm to prominent destinations through various properties in the Philippines, including Citadines Bay City Manila, Citadines Salcedo Makati, Citadines Millennium Ortigas Manila, Citadines Cebu City, Citadines Amigo Iloilo, Citadines Roces Quezon City, and upcoming locations like Citadines Bacolod City (opening on March 2024) and Citadines Paragon Davao (opening on December 2024).

Each location acts as a gateway for exploration, providing convenient entry to corporate offices, entertainment districts, dining venues, and vibrant shopping centers. Whether it’s the dynamic streets of Makati City or the business hub of Quezon City, Citadines creates the perfect backdrop for a fully engaging urban adventure.

Citadines Benavidez Makati: A Modern Oasis

Citadines Benavidez Makati blends modernity and comfort with its 207 meticulously designed units, ranging from the cozy Studio Deluxe to the expansive Two-Bedroom Premier. Guests are welcomed into contemporary interiors featuring fully equipped kitchens, plush bedding, high-speed Wi-Fi, and state-of-the-art flat-screen TVs. The property’s unique charm extends beyond its physical spaces as a dedicated team of “Citazens,” local experts ready to unveil the city’s hidden gems, are available to help guests through their stay. 

Culinary delights await at Catalogue, the property’s all-day dining restaurant, offering a tantalizing fusion of local and international cuisines. With a thoughtfully curated menu spanning various regions and cultures, Catalogue elevates the dining experience, contributing to the overall sense of comfort and sophistication at Citadines Benavidez Makati. The rooftop swimming pool and fitness corner with panoramic city views further enhance the urban oasis, catering to both business and leisure travelers.

Citadines Roces Quezon City: A Haven in the Former Capital

In the pulsating corners of Metro Manila’s largest city and former capital, Citadines Roces Quezon City takes center stage with 185 thoughtfully appointed apartments – from spacious studios to comfortable two-bedroom units. Each space is curated with modern amenities, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay for every urban explorer.

The interiors of each apartment incorporate clean lines, contemporary furnishings, and a harmonious color palette to create an ambiance that is both inviting and stylish. The design inspiration draws from the pulsating rhythm of urban life, with nods to the rich cultural heritage of Quezon City. Subtle touches echo the vibrant art scene and historical landmarks, creating a seamless blend of modernity and tradition within the living spaces.

Citadines Roces Quezon City takes pride in its array of facilities designed to elevate the overall experience. The fitness center, equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, invites guests to maintain their health and well-being even amidst a busy city schedule. The swimming pool, residents’ lounge, and rooftop bar with panoramic city skyline views become extensions of the living space, providing opportunities for relaxation and socialization. Whether it’s a refreshing dip in the pool, casual conversations in the residents’ lounge, or sipping a drink while enjoying the cityscape from the rooftop bar, each amenity adds a layer of richness to the urban living experience.

Loven Ramos, Director of Brand and Marketing of The Ascott Limited Philippines, expressed the brand’s vision: “Our goal is to curate spaces that inspire a genuine connection with the heartbeat of cities, creating an environment where guests not only reside but truly thrive in the love for the dynamic energy, cultural richness, and endless possibilities each city holds. With Citadines, we aim to cultivate a deep appreciation that transforms stays into love stories with the cities we call home.”

Both Citadines Benavidez Makati and Citadines Roces Quezon City embody the brand’s commitment to fostering love for cities, inviting guests on business or leisure trips to not just visit the city but live in it – whether it’s for a night, a week, a month, or a lifetime.

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Dining Out

Lanson Place Mall of Asia, Manila announces offerings

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As the Chinese New Year approaches, Lanson Place Mall of Asia, Manila invites you to welcome the Year of the Wood Dragon with a delightful fusion of romance and tradition just in time for Valentine’s. This 10 and 11 February 2024, experience the vibrant festivities that will set the stage for a prosperous year ahead.

The heart of Lanson Place will come alive with the rhythmic beats of the traditional lion and dragon dance, ushering in good energy and fortune. Guests are welcome to join the traditional performance starting at 10:59 AM on 10 February, creating an auspicious atmosphere for a year full of joy and abundance. Following the ceremony, guests are welcome to join us at the 3F lobby and Cyan Modern Kitchen for the ceremonial Yee Sang or Prosperity Toss, a symbolic ritual headed by Executive Chef Kristine Oro, beckoning luck and good fortune leading the guests to a Prosperity Feast at Cyan Modern Kitchen.

CYAN Modern Kitchen: Tradition Meets Romance

Take the chance to win lucky prizes from the Tree of Luck and Love when you indulge in a delectable lunch or dinner for every single transaction of P8,888 at the CYAN Modern Kitchen, setting in motion a year of good luck.

Treat yourself to a delightful meal at Cyan Modern Kitchen to please your senses and revel in the captivating ambience while savouring a sumptuous Chinese New Year lunch buffet or an equally enticing dinner buffet for PHP 2,888 net per person.

As the sun sets on the Lunar New Year celebrations, Lanson Place transforms into a haven for lovers. A romantic evening waits for a Valentine’s Day experience with a specially curated 4-course dinner, followed by a tempting dessert buffet for PhP 3,800 net per person. 

Let the contemporary charm of Cyan Modern Kitchen captivate you, where floor-to-ceiling windows frame the scenic vistas of the Manila Bay, the city skyline, and the courtyard, crafting dining spaces that define Lanson Place Mall of Asia. Celebrate in the warmth of February by sharing moments of laughter, love, delectable fare, and abundance with your loved ones this 10 to 14 February 2024.

Extending the celebration through a relaxing stay? Lunar Escape Room Package, rates start at PHP9,888+++ per room per night for two persons inclusive of welcome amenities, buffet breakfast, lunch or dinner buffet at Cyan Modern Kitchen.

Embrace love with our Valentine’s Room Package, rates start at PHP 10,900+++ per room per night inclusive of welcome amenities, buffet breakfast, and 4-course Set Dinner for two persons at Cyan Modern Kitchen.

Grab these promos for the booking period of January 28 to February 8, 2024 through the official website now, and indulge in the perfect blend of tradition and romance at Lanson Place Mall of Asia, Manila. 

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Travel

Philippines as the country with the world’s largest bats

“The Philippines has 79 recorded bat species, half of them endemic,” explains Dr. Mariano Roy Duya of the University of the Philippines Institute of Biology (UPIB). North America, with a land area that is 66 times larger – has but 45. We have an incredible diversity of bats since each of our 7100 islands is geographically unique. And of course, we have the largest bat of all.”

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By Gregg Yan

Did you know that the largest bat of all is found only in the Philippines? Planet Earth has 1400 known bat species and the Golden-crowned Flying Fox (Acerodon jubatus) earns the top spot for size and weight. Known locally as kabog, it is endemic or found nowhere else but in the Philippines.

Strikingly patterned with a golden cap, reddish fur and chocolate-brown wings, adults weigh over a kilogram and can boast of a wingspan nearly two meters across – longer than most people are tall.

“The Philippines has 79 recorded bat species, half of them endemic,” explains Dr. Mariano Roy Duya of the University of the Philippines Institute of Biology (UPIB). North America, with a land area that is 66 times larger – has but 45. We have an incredible diversity of bats since each of our 7100 islands is geographically unique. And of course, we have the largest bat of all.”

Once widespread throughout undisturbed lowland forests across the country, hunting and deforestation – particularly from slash-and-burn upland farming or kaingin – have whittled down bat populations.

Dumaguete-based filmmaker Rhiyad Maturan and I were recently invited by the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) to film a thriving kabog colony inside the Bacon-Manito Geothermal Project, a heavily forested geothermal reservation nestled between the provinces of Albay and Sorsogon on the island of Luzon. Though the area is now verdant and alive, it wasn’t always so.

“Believe it or not, that entire mountain range was once logged-over,” says Ed Jimenez, corporate relations head for EDC’s Bacon-Manito Geothermal Project, pointing at well-forested hills nearby. “The only trees left were the ones loggers ignored. To bring the mountains back to life, we worked with the local communities to help reforest this area while providing them with an alternative source of income. Decades later, the organizations we helped form, like the Alliance of Bacman Farmer’s Association Inc. Agriculture Cooperative (formerly ALBAFAI) and the Bacman Host Community Multi-purpose Cooperative (BMPC), have become some of our most passionate champions. Even the grandchildren of the original members are helping us plant trees, promote community-based conservation and protect these forests.”

Aside from bats, Bicol’s forests also shelter wild deer, pigs, monkeys and birds – most of which were driven to remote areas by decades of hunting and forest loss.

“I learned to shoot kabog with an airgun when I was still a kid,” recalls Joseph ‘Doy’ Gabion, a former bat hunter. “Bats are easy to hunt by day because they hang upside down from their roosts. When the roosts were eventually protected by EDC and its conservation partners, we hunters had to wait until the bats flew out to their feeding grounds. Back in the 1990s, my uncle and I would wait for them to pass to be able to catch two or three bats a night. Kabog meat has a slightly woody taste.” Doy has since stopped hunting and now volunteers with the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ CAFGU Active Auxiliary Unit II to help protect the very animals he once hunted.

The kabog colony moves from one area to another within the Bacman reservation and we chanced upon them roosting on a grove of pine-like Agoho (Casuarina spp.) trees. “We have about 700 kabog individuals here now, our flagship fauna species for this site,” explains Forester Neil Miras, EDC Bacman’s watershed management officer.

Representing iconic wildlife found in its geothermal, solar and wind sites, EDC’s Flagship Species Initiative (FSI) aims to popularize some of the nation’s lesser-known forest denizens. The eight other flagship species include the Philippine Warty Pig (Sus philippensis)Visayan Hornbill (Penelopides panini)Apo Myna (Goodfellowia miranda), plus native trees like Mapilig (Xanthostemon bracteatus), Katmon Bayani (Dillenia megalantha), Red Lauan (Shorea negrosensis),Almaciga (Agathis philippinensis)andIgem-dagat (Podocarpus costalis). EDC has been planting native trees across the country since the 1980s.

“Though millions of trees have been planted under the BINHI Program, we should still recognize the importance and effectiveness of natural seed dispersion – either by the wind, water or by local wildlife,” explainsForester Abegail Gatdula, EDC-FSI project manager. “Flying animals like birds and bats eat the fruits of various forest trees and disperse them far and wide within life-giving guano bombs, giving the seeds a vital headstart.”  

Though not as popular as the Tamaraw or Philippine Eagle, the kabog has been quietly doing its part to make the Philippines greener. “Think of them as the ‘silent seed planters’ of nature. We never pay them but they keep working for our world,” concludes Jean Dayap, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer (MENRO) of Manito in Albay.  

So tonight, please look up at the night sky to thank our uncelebrated wildlife heroes, quietly working the night shift to make the Philippines a little greener – one guano bomb at a time.

Watch our Golden-crowned Flying Fox documentary HERE.

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