A Delicate Balance: A Window to the Batanes Way of Life

A breathtaking verdant landscapes and blue waters which is alternately agitated and calm is the popular images of Batanes.  Batanes the northernmost Philippine islands is more than just a weekend getaway,  it has long been part of a traveler’s must-go-and-experience list.

A project of The Museo ng Kaalamang Katutubo (MusKKat)  a book entitled “A Delicate Balance: Batanes Food, Ecology and Community” explores how food, ecology, nature, and tradition, have shaped the Ivatan way of life in the last 4,000 years.  It also explains too that the Ivatan and the Itbayat, people of the Batanes, knew well how to husband resources through aeons, without depleting or otherwise compromising nature.

The book was ritten by Corazon S. Alvina and Marian Pastor Roces and complemented with insightful photographs by Neal Oshima, the book shows the intricate but robust relationships within the Ivatan communities and how traditional Ivatan and Itbayat food is interconnected with the islands’ microsystems.

Officially launched this November, the book is a result of the collaboration with, and the consolidation of the substantive research work of, archaeologists, anthropologists, boat makers, botanists, Ivatan experts and cooks, a professional urban chef, nutritionists, geologists, sea current specialists, and zoologists.  “A Delicate Balance: Batanes Food, Ecology and Community” is available for purchase and priced at P3,850 via www.phfoodecosystems.com.

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Travel Trends – Villa Rentals Are Becoming More Popular Than Hotels

They’re nestled in the valleys and perched atop cliffs. They love beach fronts and swimming pools. They enjoy space, fresh air, and the greatest of comforts. When it comes to vacations in some of the world’s most beautiful spots, people all around the world are finding out that hotels are not the only choice they have for a place to stay… Often, they aren’t even the best. An increasingly popular choice for couples, families, and even business groups, villa rentals provide something very different from a room with two beds, a bathroom, and little else to speak of.

Housed on individual properties instead of structures with a dozen bedrooms or more, luxury villas are more like a temporary home than a place to sleep. In fact, most of them have actually been used as houses before being sold or leased to villa rental companies, and their architecture, comfort, and style reflect this history. What travelers have been finding out is that these luxurious homes offer a lot more than they expected to find on vacations.

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[View of Senderlea, a luxury villa in St. James Parish, Barbados]

One of the most popular features of Caribbean villas are the private swimming pools, available on many of the rental properties. Often located outside in the sun, these private pools allow you to take a dip in the water without worrying about other families crowding the area or disrupting your leisurely enjoyment. However, it isn’t just the pools that offer space. Villas serve primarily as homes, not bedrooms, and have room to spare in their spacious living and dining areas, well-stocked kitchens, porches and gardens, and attached facilities. With properties ranging from single-bedroom houses on the beach to complexes with ten or even twenty bedrooms, it’s easy to find a property that’s the right size for your trip, however many people are coming along.

With entertainment, relaxation, and great locations alongside beaches and inside inviting neighborhoods, vacation properties offer an experience that can’t be matched by more traditional hotels. In a time when travelers are looking to get the most out of their experiences, these features may explain why more and more people are turning to villa rentals as the way to stay.

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Take A Healthy Walk Through Paris

Here’s a suggestion to keep in mind for your next trip to Paris.  If you plan to go somewhere or do things that are full of outdoor activity and exercise, then you might want to have some of Garmin’s best electronic and outdoor accessories on hand to help make your trip enjoyable.

Garmin offers a selection of activewear and outdoor equipment that is perfect when going on trips which require a great deal of physical activity, like skiing, cycling, hiking or similar sports and recreation.  And you can find the best Garmin deals and sales available on Groupon coupons.

For example, there are Groupon coupons a buyer can use to purchase personal navigation devices and equipment to use in the car, on a motorcycle, or even on yourself.  So you can go for extended bicycle rides – even your own personal Tour de France – using the GPS system and mileage counter you get from Garmin with your Groupon coupon.  You can also obtain the weatherproof and shock-resistant timepieces and exercise monitoring equipment you need to keep track of your new cardio-vascular exercise program.  And Garmin can also provide you with equipment that monitors your health performance as you exercise, including counting steps, mileage, and heartbeats.

Such products can be a godsend when you visit a walkable city like Paris.  One can spend days wandering through Paris neighborhoods, climbing the steps to the cafes and bistros in Montmartre, strolling through the diverse clubs and sights along the Left Bank, or walking through the historic palace at Versailles.  Indeed, a visit to Paris almost demands that the traveler be prepared to walk for miles, since nearly every neighborhood brings new and fascinating experiences and encounters with history, art and culture.  Put on an ankle monitor from Garmin, your most comfortable walking shoes, grab a pair of sunglasses, a small wallet with some euros handy in case you need them, and go for a stroll through the diverse communities that comprise the City of Light.  Your walks will be so enjoyable that you will completely forget the exercise you are getting – at least until you check your monitor.  Nor do you need to worry about getting lost; you can rely upon your portable GPS from Garmin to keep you pointed in the right direction.  So just get out and start walking!

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