Philippines

The beautiful, underwater hunting of the Bajau ocean nomads

The beautiful, underwater hunting of the Bajau ocean nomads

While Aquaman may well be the most boring superhero ever, there’s no denying that he’s actually got some pretty nifty powers. After all, who wouldn’t want to be able to hang out underwater and see all the incredibly bizarre and insanely cool creatures down there? We bet it’s even better than a 3-D IMAX movie!

On the other hand, anyone with a bit of training and some scuba gear can achieve that, but that’s just not quite the same, is it? If only we could just slip into the ocean and run around on the seafloor like we belonged there.

Turns out that, while you and I may not be able to, there are entire cultures of folks who live on the sea–and some of them can even “walk” on the ocean floor!

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Manila offers couples free train tickets for PDA on Valentine’s

Manila offers couples free train tickets for PDA on Valentine’s

Generally speaking, it’s considered bad form to suck face on public transportation, particularly in socially conservative countries like the Philippines, but perhaps lovers get a little extra leeway on St. Valentine’s Day, because the Manila Light Rail Transit is offering free tickets to couples bringing the romance today.

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Behind the scenes of our adventure in the Philippines

Behind the scenes of our adventure in the Philippines

Yesterday we posted a report by a writer from the Japanese side of RocketNews24 detailing his experiences in Leyte following the havoc wrecked by Typhoon Haiyan. In his account, Sekai no Shogo briefly mentioned the disappearance of his canned food and water. It was a slightly enigmatic comment with a significant backstory to it. Today, we bring you a translation of that story.

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Visiting Leyte and sleeping with the disaster survivors

Visiting Leyte and sleeping with the disaster survivors

Following the recent devastation that the Philippines suffered during Typhoon Haiyan, one of our brave writers from sister site RocketNews24 Japan decided to go see the damage first hand. We’ve prepared a translation of his report to help you all get a clearer perspective of the situation on Leyte.

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Donating food to the victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan

Donating food to the victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan

Super Typhoon Haiyan caused unspeakable damage to the islands of the Philippines. Homes were lost, but even more heartbreaking, many lives were lost in this tragic disaster. One of our Japanese reporters wanted to experience the damage in the Philippines for himself, so he headed to Ormoc City on the island of Leyte. He didn’t just want to report on the tragedy, so he decided to get to know the people on a personal level and donated food and volunteered his time to help the victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan. This is his story.

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We try “Eel Mango Rolls” at a Japanese Restaurant in the Philippines

We try “Eel Mango Rolls” at a Japanese Restaurant in the Philippines

Sushi is without a doubt the most popular Japanese food in the world, and as such it’s found its way onto the menus of restaurants around the world. However, as we well know, different countries always like to add their own twists to imported cuisine. These countries sometimes have a special way of eating sushi beyond the imaginations of people in Japan. Our reporter Shogo, while out covering the situation in the Philippines following Super Typhoon Haiyan, had stumbled on some such sushi while visiting a Japanese restaurant there. Read More

We travel to Ormoc City, Philippines to talk to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan

We travel to Ormoc City, Philippines to talk to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan

Super Typhoon Haiyan left a trail of destruction as it made its way across the island nation of the Philippines on November 13, 2013. In the wake of the disaster, one of our reporters traveled to the Philippine island of Leyte to talk to the victims of this massive storm and give a firsthand description of the damage. Please enjoy his humble account of the situation in Ormoc City, Philippines.

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Food stall-like McDonald’s that only serves drinks and ice cream

Food stall-like McDonald’s that only serves drinks and ice cream

If you were asked to think of the most loved fast food restaurant in the world, surely it would have to be the big M. After all, it is a place that, regardless of age and status, anyone can relax in the laid back atmosphere and indulge themselves in guilty fast-food pleasures.

In the Philippines there is one style of McDonald’s that arguably defies all traditional views of what a Mickey D’s represents. Its unique point lies in the fact that it is just like a food stall you’re likely to come across walking down your local street, and you won’t find a single hamburger or carton of fries on the menu.

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Just like in Dragon Ball! Master Roshi’s Island found in the Philippines 【Photo Gallery】

Just like in Dragon Ball! Master Roshi’s Island found in the Philippines 【Photo Gallery】

Fans of the classic action anime series, Dragon Ball and its many spectacular sequels should all be familiar with the Kame House (aka Turtle House), located on a tiny speck of land in the middle of the sea, where the legendary martial artist Master Roshi lives and trains. What fans may not realize is that an island identical to Master Roshi’s hideaway actually exists! Apparently, it’s called Noy Isyon Island and lies deep in the Philippines. Intrigued, we sent Mr. Shogo, our resident reporter in the area, on a search for the Turtle Hermit’s home. May all the fans of Dragon Ball rejoice, as he’s finally found the island and has picture proof to share.

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Go to jail, learn to… dance? 【Videos】

Go to jail, learn to… dance? 【Videos】

Going to jail is, regardless of the country, never fun. Between wardens forcing you to do their taxes for barely a bottle of suds, and the food, it’s got to be a horrible way to spend a few years of your life.

That said, some prisons certainly are better than others. For example, the dancing prisoners in the Philippines sure do seem a lot happier than if they were forced to do manual labor. And while a visit to a prison might not exactly be on the top of your average holiday to-do list, this is one jail you would want to go out of your way to get into! (At least for the show.)

Here’s RocketNews24 Japan‘s Sekai no Shogo with the report!

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With Title “Happiest Place on Earth” Already Taken, Amusement Park on Cebu Island Makes Its Claim to Be the Sleepiest

With Title “Happiest Place on Earth” Already Taken, Amusement Park on Cebu Island Makes Its Claim to Be the Sleepiest

When you’re a kid, theme parks are a place where your dream can come to life. Wouldn’t it be great to feel that excitement once again?

In search of that childlike wonder, one of RocketNews24’s reporters recently visited the Lecian Grand Carnaval amusement park in Mandaue City on Cebu Island, in the Philippines. While it doesn’t have the high-tech animatronics and pyrotechnics of Disneyland, it offers plenty of old-fashioned attractions like a tilt-a-whirl and haunted house, plus a life-endangering roller coaster and very lenient napping policy. Read More

Trapped in a Glass Cage in the Philippines, Mario Has No Mouth with which to Scream – The Shocking World of Knock-Off Plush Dolls

Trapped in a Glass Cage in the Philippines, Mario Has No Mouth with which to Scream – The Shocking World of Knock-Off Plush Dolls

Recently, one of our correspondents was strolling through a shopping mall in Mandaue City on Cebu Island in the Philippines. As he passed an arcade, one of the attendants flagged him down, asking if he wanted to try to win a stuffed doll in one of their crane games.

Intrigued by the offer, our reporter peered into the machine’s glass case, at first thinking he saw popular Japanese anime characters Doraemon and Testuwan Atom (also know as Astro Boy internationally). Closer investigation though, revealed that the arcade was filled with cheap, yet somehow incredibly endearing, knock-offs.

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Gyu-Kaku Philippines Now Open, Serving Up Excellent Seafood

Gyu-Kaku Philippines Now Open, Serving Up Excellent Seafood

Mariah Carey’s done it. Lindsay Lohan did it too. Megan Fox even does it with her husband. And in Japan, practically everyone’s doing it. It’s yakiniku, barbecuing meat on a charcoal flame, and the hottest place to do it is at the popular Japanese restaurant chain Gyu-Kaku.

Now people in the Philippines are getting a taste of the celebrity-endorsed outlet, with the April 5 opening of their first branch in metropolitan Manila. Already, it’s proving to be very popular with the locals. But when we heard that the star of this Gyu-Kaku (“Bull’s Horn”) wasn’t the meat but the seafood, we had to pay them a visit to see what was going on.

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We Try a “One-Piece Chicken McDo With McSpaghetti” at McDonald’s in the Philippines

We Try a “One-Piece Chicken McDo With McSpaghetti” at McDonald’s in the Philippines

In our continuing endeavor to visit McDonald’s restaurants around the world we sample the unique regional offerings the international chain creates to appease the locals and delight tourists.

This time RocketNews24 sent a reporter to a McDonald’s in the Philippines to sample one of their localized combos centered by a heap of McSpaghetti. The following is their report.

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Two Boys in the Philippines Wow the World with Cover of R&B Classic

Two Boys in the Philippines Wow the World with Cover of R&B Classic

The two boys seen above are Aldrich Lloyd Taloding and James Walter Bucong from the Philippines.  Their video having been uploaded to YouTube about a week ago is already nearing one million views and comments such as “Freaking beautiful!” and “I got goosebumps.”

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Chocolate Stand Owner Claims ‘Product is Original’, Skillfully Dodges Questions About Pac-Man

Chocolate Stand Owner Claims ‘Product is Original’, Skillfully Dodges Questions About Pac-Man

This is slowly turning out to be quite a week for sightings of unlicensed use of videogame characters. Just yesterday we brought you news of a smartphone game whose lead character looked so much like Nintendo’s green dinosaur Yoshi that the company stepped in and demanded that changes be made, and now our overseas RocketNews24 representative brings us photos of a food vendor in the Philippines whose stand and wares are plastered with a name and character that bear an uncanny likeness to Japan’s beloved dot-munching arcade hero, Pac-Man!

This boxed chocolates vendor was spotted selling from a small booth in the middle of a shopping center in the Philippines’ capital city of Manila. Unless the vendor is somehow affiliated with Namco, this has got to be brand theft! Smelling a story among all of the tasty-looking sweets, our courageous reporter went forth and confronted the sales clerk. Read More

Sunrise Over a Sea of Clouds at Nearly 10,000 Feet 【Photo Gallery】

Sunrise Over a Sea of Clouds at Nearly 10,000 Feet 【Photo Gallery】

The other day, a group of friends made an offer to one of our RocketNews24 reporters, inviting him to go mountain climbing with them in the Philippines. Worried about his physical ability to actually complete the journey, he tried to make excuses about needing to water his cactus. But, when told that there would be real-life girls present, he decided to take one for the team and accompany the group on their mountain trek. After all, it would have been bad form to leave a lady unattended!

That was before he found out that they would be climbing Mt. Pulag, the second highest peak in the Philippines. It measures in at just over 9,586 feet tall! On second thought, that cactus did look really thirsty…. Read More

Beer Pong Becoming Increasingly Popular in the Philippines

Beer Pong Becoming Increasingly Popular in the Philippines

Booze lovers, come on! It’s time for a news update regarding beer pong, the world’s most wobbly sport! In case you’ve never heard of it, beer pong sees two teams stand against each other and take turns tossing ping-pong balls into their opponent’s cups of beer while getting increasingly intoxicated. The game originated in the United States, where in fact its popularity has grown so large that it spawned the World Series of Beer Pong in Las Vegas! With all of the drunken mayhem that this game encourages, it’s hard to find a sport more silly and unhinged than beer pong.

Our Japanese RocketNews24 reporter had his first introduction to beer pong near a college campus in the Philippines, where the popularity of this tipsy tournament has really started to take off! Read More

We Try One of the World’s Most Unique Boiled Eggs

We Try One of the World’s Most Unique Boiled Eggs

Surely, this has to be one of the most unique boiled eggs in the world. In case you can’t make it out properly, we ought to explain that this is a duck egg. With a duck embryo inside. And that strip of black there is indeed baby duck fur. It’s an image so frightful to some that eating it became a featured challenge on TV shows like Survivor and Fear Factor. To others, however, this is simply a delicious Filipino street delicacy.

Keeping an open mind, we plucked up the courage to try one of these babies (pun very much intended) while on a recent trip to the Philippines with one of our Filipino friends. But what did it taste like? And what does a whole baby duck feel like inside your mouth? We give you everything you need to know, complete with mouth-watering photos.

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Paradise is Lunch at the Foot of a Beautiful Waterfall in a Coconut Plantation in the Philippines

Paradise is Lunch at the Foot of a Beautiful Waterfall in a Coconut Plantation in the Philippines

Villa Escudero is a beautiful hacienda-style resort built inside a working coconut plantation located in the Quezon province of the Phillipines. The resort has become a prime tourist destination for both locals and overseas visitors, who are drawn by the cozy rooms, natural beauty, and unique cultural activities such as bamboo rafting and rural village tours.

Perhaps most unique of all is the Waterfalls Restaurant, where guests can enjoy a meal on bamboo dining tables set at the foot of a small waterfall.

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