Recently in Around the world with askalo Category

Our regular guest blogger, Wendell Gaa holds a big space in our hearts and with and through this article, askalo would like to wish you a wonderful holiday season with your family and friends, full of joy and adventure, just like Wendell.

2013 will soon be over, and for this Christmas season, the best gift our family could have asked for has been a year marked with travel, adventure, fun and discovery. It has been truly a year in which we carried on with our lives delighting in God's gifts.

Time has flown so swiftly that I now find myself almost on my third year with the Philippine Consulate General in New York as an assistant in the political/economic section. Meanwhile, my parents continue to realize the blessings of retirement in their tranquil environs at Alabang Hills in Metro Manila. While lending their time to their Foundations of choice: Philippine Ambassadors' Foundation, Inc., Philippine Ambassadors' Ladies Association; Department of Foreign Affairs Retirees' Foundation, Inc., they were still able to explore places where no Gaa has treaded before.

Love That Dirty Water

     The Charles River in Boston, Massachusetts doesn't have the cleanest reputation, but 'that dirty water' is a celebrated piece of the city's tenacious history. The river was initially named the 'Massachusetts' after the local Native American tribe, but England's King Charles I wasn't thrilled. Since then its simply been 'Thah Chaahles' for locals.

Charles Panorama s.jpg

Why It Is Good To Be Bavarian

When people ask me where I am from, I never answer "Germany". I always respond: Bavaria! This Southern German region with very special inhabitants, customs and identity. I love being part of the culture that, oh so often, represents Germany as a whole. Ask people from other countries what they think of when they hear "Germany" and you will most likely get: Oktoberfest, "Lederhosen", sexy dresses and beer. There you go: They are talking about Bavaria.

Amarillo the Yellow City


While taking a trip on route 66, why not stop by the yellow city of Texas? Amarillo offers many family attractions in its non-green but yellowish desert like city.

Vienna, Through A Filipino's Eyes

askalobanner_esc.png Our regular guest blogger-jet setter Wendell Gaa makes a comeback, visits Vienna and gives us his take on the land of the Blue Danube Waltz. This time from the ears and eyes of a Filipino.

Vienna, how could I possibly describe this city in one word? Charming? Alluring? Flavorful? All of the above. But even several more descriptive words for this beautiful capital of Austria were added to my personal vocabulary upon my visit there, and any trip to Europe should include a stopover to this classical hub of culture, art and music. Historical attractions are abundant nearly everywhere you travel in this relatively small (by European standards) compacted metropolis, and here are three notable sites which can merit your attention while touring Vienna.

Tourism in India

askalobanner_esc.png Going to India should be on the "to do" list of everyone who loves to travel. This country has a heritage that goes back for around 5000 years and many different types of people are living in this grand part of Asia. With more than 1.21 billion persons living and working in India, you can be sure your travels will be full of unforgettable cultural experiences. Take a look at this interesting country here in this quick guest article on India and its tourism possibilities.

End of the World: Exploring Mayan History

askalobanner_esc.png The last time we heard from our regular guest blogger Wendell Gaa was in October 2012. Not because he lost his interest in writing, but rather because he busied himself exploring the world further. His latest travel exploit took him to Mexico. Just in time to quench his curiosity over the civilization that predicted "the end of the world".

L1070109a.jpg The Year 2012 has thankfully come and gone without the world ending, perhaps to the dismay of the ancient Mayans of present-day Mexico who predicted that Dec. 21 of the past year would be the day the universe as we know it would bid adieu. Nevertheless, this catastrophic prophecy only spurred my fascination in this great ancient civilization. Hollywood popularized the Mayans into the contemporary mindset via the Mel Gibson-directed film "Apocalypto" because of which they may be taken as barbaric warriors bent on nothing but warfare and human sacrifice. What they actually contributed to the world was so much more.

askalobanner_esc.png Last week, regular guest blogger Wendell Gaa introduced us to the cosmopolitan model city Toronto and gave us some tips regarding the must-visit places in this Canadian landmark. This week, we continue his virtual travel guiding and explores fun fairs, amusement parks and other point of view-changing suggestions in this article.

Toronto-2.jpg Centre Island, Toronto Islands
Not all of Toronto's attractions are found in the downtown area alone, for family and friends alike seeking to veer off the city's main urban trappings, the Toronto Islands grant a quick and easy getaway. These are a chain of small islands located just offshore from the downtown area, and they are the only group of islands in the western part of Lake Ontario. These islands are all about recreation and relaxation, and they can be easily reached by plenty of ferry services from downtown Toronto. Some of these ferries can even accommodate bicycles and canoes for interested passengers. You will be happy to know that some ferry operators even set aside a few weekends where families can ride their boats for free to anywhere in the Toronto Islands (we were lucky to be given this offer).
askalobanner_esc.png In our series "Around the world with askalo", we feature cities from all over the world, based on personal experiences of our guest bloggers. Our regular jetsetter contributor Wendell Gaa makes another trip around the world and shares with us the accounts of his latest travels. He brings us this time to Toronto, Canada.

Toronto-5.jpg Name: Wendell
City: Toronto
What brings you to Canada? How often do you see yourself coming here? I wanted to experience the cleanliness and exciting multiculturalism for which the city of Toronto is known for. Additionally, I wanted to experience my first ever birthday in the country of Canada, and true enough, it was a worthwhile and enjoyable weekend experience spending time with my cousins whom I haven't seen in many years.
How often do you see yourself coming here? I intend to visit Ontario, Canada at least once or twice a year, it is just along the border of New York State where I currently live. Visiting the region brings back happy memories of my college years when I was a student in neighboring Michigan state during the 1990s, when Toronto in particular was a frequent playground for my friends and I during our long weekend holiday breaks.
Did you notice any distinction between the French-speaking Canadians and the English-speaking ones? Yes, a few of the French-speaking Canadians that I observed there seem to take much natural pride in their unique heritage as French-Canadians and carry a distinct European cultural aura in terms of their architecture and outlook on life, whereas English-speaking Canadians have a pretty obvious affinity with their American counterparts living south of their nation's border in many areas, from interests in fast food, pop music to Hollywood films.
Any particular specialty/food/souvenir/symbol you remember Toronto by? I'll always remember Toronto whenever I see a photo or image of the city's amazing CN Tower, few other buildings have left such a lasting impression of a great city on me!

In our series "Around the world with askalo", we feature cities from all over the world, based on personal experiences of our guest bloggers. This time around, our contributor Frank shares his experience in the Georgia Aquarium. 

whale shark exhibit georgia aquarium


That is the only word I could use to describe my visit to the Georgia Aquarium's whale shark exhibit.


I had always enjoyed watching the guppies and angel fish swim back and forth in my dad's fish tank as a boy growing up in Queens NY. Little did I know that 40 years later I would be standing in the presence of this BEHEMOTH of a fish.