Eco-friendly Hotels For Weekend Getaways from Manila!

Checking out Villas by Eco Hotel, Cabins by Eco Hotel, and Containers by Eco Hotel! These properties are each just a few hours drive from Manila and are interesting options for weekend getaways from the Metro.


Jump ahead:

0:05 Villas by Eco Hotel, Batangas

2:03 Cabins by Eco Hotel, Tagaytay

3:09 Containers by Eco Hotel, Tagaytay

4:17 Roofdeck Camping and Grilling at Containers by Eco Hotel

I was invited by Eco Hotel Philippines for their Bloggers Day event where they took a group of us around their Batangas and Tagaytay properties. They run a chain of "green service hotels" that apply "green principles to its structure and practices in order to minimize its impact on the environment." Their websites states that "As one of the top eco-friendly hotels in the Philippines, we set a benchmark for our establishments through a series of concrete environmental initiatives. Our practices go beyond ensuring the lights are off when not in use. We apply waste reduction practices wherever and whenever possible. We also have a recycling program integrated throughout the hotels. We reduce carbon emissions and energy use with low-energy generators and highly efficient cooling systems."

With sustainable practices a critical shortcoming in most of the local tourism industry in the Philippines, I decided it would be good to see if and how they lived up to their word while also delivering a compelling experience for guests.

Eco Hotel Philippines May 2019 Bloggers Day Event. Photo: Eco Hotel Philippines

#iAManEcoWarrior | #EcoFriendly | #WeLoveNature | #TravelResponsibly | #ILoveEcoHotels


  • Sony A6300

  • Sony 18-105 f/4 G

  • DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

  • Rode Videomic

Music licensed via Epidemic Sound

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Business Contact / Licensing:

aaron [at]

Discovering Amazing Puerto Galera with Beach Volleyball Republic!

Discover the sights and enjoy the highlights of Beach Volleyball Republic On Tour in Puerto Galera!

In a previous vlog, I happened to meet Bea Tan, one of the co-founders of BVR, current Perlas Spiker, and former Ateneo Lady Eagle from the 2014 UAAP champion team. Four days later, I was along for the ride for the Dreamwave Open in Puerto Galera for an amazing weekend of sports and tourism!

Founded in 2015 by volleyball players Bea Tan, Charo Soriano, Dzi Gervacio, Gretchen Ho, and Fille Cainglet-Cayetano, BVR’s goal is to make the Philippines Asia's Hub for Beach Volleyball offering high-level competition and breathtaking beach destinations.

Follow them here:

Shot, edited, and narrated by Aaron Palabyab

Special thanks to Bea Tan, CJ Salvador, and Alexa Arabejo

Underwater footage by Bea Tan, CJ Salvador, and Alexine Sy

Made possible by Beach Volleyball Republic and the LGU of Puerto Galera

Thanks to Sorrento Sunwear for my HD polarized Waves sunnies


  • “Fresh” by Cass XQ

  • “Future Hit” by Louis II

  • “Wild Calling” by Virgil Arles

  • “I Got Moves” by Monako Davis

  • “Think Fast” by SharkPuppy

  • “Super Bloom” by Airplanes

  • 100% Clearance through Musicbed

  • Licensed via Epidemic Sound:

  • “Inspirited” by Clarence Reed

  • “Roads of Italy” by Trabant 33

  • “Into the Silence” by In Dawn

Thumbnail photo by Cherry Yao


  • Sony A7RII

  • Sony A6300

  • Sony 24-240 f/3.5-6.3

  • Sony 16-50 f/3.5-5.6

  • Sony 18-105 f/4

  • Zhiyun Crane V2

  • Boya BY-MM1 Mini Shotgun Mic

  • RODE VideoMic

  • Feelworld F6 Field Monitor

  • MeFoto Roadtrip Tripod

  • iPhone X

  • Yi 1080p Action Camera

Edited in FCP X

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Business Contact / Licensing:

aaron [at]

MASUNGI GEORESERVE Discovery Trail - All You Need to Know

All you need to know about Masungi Georeserve and its Discovery Trail! This unique hiking trail close to Manila is equal parts beautiful engineering, fun rope course, and nature conservation success story.

If you're looking for one of the best travel experiences you can have close to Manila, Masungi and its trails should be at the top of your list. Slots are in demand and tightly regulated, so be sure to book in advance at their site here [not sponsored/affiliated]:

Primary source material: “A walk to remember,” Mabuhay Magazine March 2019, by Alya B. Honasan

Video written, shot, and edited by Aaron Palabyab

Special thanks to Colene Tan, who invited me on this trip and appears several times in the video. Follow her on Instagram:

Closed captions in English are available! Turn them on in the settings to understand the Tagalog and Spanish parts.


  • Sony A6300 with kit lens

  • Boya BY-MM1 Mini-Shotgun mic

Music licensed via Epidemic Sound

Business Contact / Licensing: aaron [at]

ROYAL AIR INAUGURAL FLIGHT Clark to Puerto Princesa + Top Things to do in Puerto!

Onboard Royal Air’s inaugural flight from Clark to Puerto Princesa Airport in Palawan! I also list my favorite destinations in Puerto Princesa, including its two world-famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Royal Air was formerly a charter airline that’s now looking to compete with the big local legacy and budget carriers. They call themselves a “hybrid boutique airline,” offering full-service style amenities and service at a budget airline price, and they have the best legroom I have experienced in any local economy class flight. (Please note that this flight was paid for by Royal Air but these are my honest thoughts and impressions.)

Find out more at:

Royal Air Inaugural Flight Clark to Caticlan:

Shot and edited by Aaron Palabyab


  • Sony A6300 + kit lens

  • Zhiyun Crane V2

  • Boya BY-MM1 mini-shotgun microphone


  • FCP X

  • Adobe After Effects

  • Google Earth Studio

Additional footage c/o OnMedia / UNESCO Philippines / DICT (formerly CICT)

Underwater footage by Tony Exall

Music licensed via Epidemic Sound

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All Night Astrophotography Adventure in Zambales!

An all-night astrophotography adventure in search of great night skies in Zambales to practice shooting with my new star tracker, the Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Mini. Photographer Angelo Mendoza and I explore more areas of San Felipe and Botolan for landscape photography, starry landscapes, and time-lapse.

Mobile astrophotography stacking tutorial

Our previous photography road trip to Zambales

Follow Angelo Mendoza on Instagram

Don't forget to subscribe to see the final time-lapse film!

Gear used:

Vlog shot on iPhone X

Edited on FCP X

Music licensed via Epidemic Sound

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Business Contact / Licensing: aaron [at]

Is Travel a Good Investment? (Royal Air Inaugural Boracay flight!)

On today’s vlog, I join Royal Air's inaugural flight from Clark Airport to Caticlan Airport (Boracay)! Along the way, I share some real talk on the results of my decision to invest so much time and money in travel.

I love to fly so it was a treat to be one of the very first to experience this flight. I found Royal Air's 96-seater BAe 146-100 to be comfortable, with more legroom than much larger Airbus A320s operated by other airlines.

Thanks to Royal Air for having me onboard this inaugural flight! For more information or to book flights on Royal Air, visit

My other videos mentioned in the episode: To Those Who Would See Wonderful Things

Time on Earth

On pursuing experience over money as an artist

On winning 200,000 miles

Watch other episodes of The Artist Life here:

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A Time-lapse and Landscape Photography Trip to Zambales!

Behind-the-scenes vlog of a landscape photography and time-lapse road trip with photographer Angelo Mendoza in Zambales, Philippines, in search of spots for sunset, astro landscapes, and sunrise. We explore the area and I share some insights and shooting tips along the way!

Find Angelo's amazing work at

Special thanks to Sorrento Sunwear for sponsoring my sunnies. I'm impressed with their high quality but affordable HD polarized sunglasses that I've traveled with a lot over the past few months. In this video I'm wearing their Jetsetters. Find them here:

My gear in this video:

  • Sony A7RII

  • Sony 24-240 f/3.5-6.3

  • Samyang 24mm f/1.4

  • Sony Zeiss 55mm f/1.8

  • MePhoto RoadTrip tripod

  • Formatt Hitech Firecrest 10-stop ND Filter

  • Rode Videomic (2nd gen)

  • iPhone X

  • Boya BY-MM1 mini shotgun mic

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Travel With a Difference - Tribes & Treks Zambales with MAD Travel & The Circle Hostel

Documenting my experience on the Tribes & Trikes tour in Zambales with MAD (Make a Difference) Travel and The Circle Hostel. It was a lovely day out starting with a 90-minute flat trek, followed by an environmental briefing and tree-planting.

Walking on the river to keep cooler on this very hot day

Carabao carts help to haul gear during the 90-minute hike

Walking with a view of the Zambales mountains

Enzo enjoying a ride on an uncooperative carabao

Our group after tree-planting on Tribes & Treks

After tree-planting, we spent the rest of the afternoon at Sitio Yangil, to share a day with the Aetas. In the process, we also learned about the local medicinal herbs, got a native archery lesson, and participated in some traditional song and dance.

We then ended the day with a perfect sunset at the beach nearby.

Signature Zambales sunset at the end of our Tribes & Treks tour

All in all, a highly recommended tour for someone looking for more than the usual tourist experience and wanting to contribute to local community and environmental preservation.

    Here's a description of the program from MAD Travel:

    MAD Travel is a social tourism platform which inspires people from all over the world to have fun and Make A Difference in the Philippines. We create alternative travel experiences that bring together people from different walks of life to share their time and talent, and to inspire each other to build a kinder, fairer world.

    Walang Iwanan, or ensuring that no one is left behind, is at the centre of all that we do. Our organization and our guests give their best to the poor, so the poor may rise to achieve their best. Working in close partnership with Gawad Kalinga, an award-winning local NGO that has already built 2,500 communities for the poorest Filipinos, we aim to achieve goals and objectives that are valued and determined by the communities we seek to serve.

    The Tribes and Treks sustainable development program aims to connect people with the land through Tourism, feed the people sustainably through Agriculture, and save Mother Earth through Reforestation. Every guest will plant trees to help build a 3000-hectare rain forest, food security forest (animals, fruits and veggies) and medical forest. So far, they have planted around 18,000 seedlings as of December 2017, but with your help, we can do more!

    Tribes and Treks Zambales is a joint partnership of Mad Travel, The Circle Hostel with the Municipality of San Felipe, Zambales, and the Hineleban Foundation.  To learn more about this trip, visit the following:

    MAD Travel: Website     Facebook     Instagram

    The Circle Hostel: Website     Facebook     Instagram

    Equipment used:

    • Sony A7RII
    • Sony RX100IV
    • Zhiyun Crane v2
    • Rode Videomic 2
    • MeFoto RoadTrip Tripod

    The Light in the North - 4K Northwest Iceland Time-lapse Film + Behind-the-scenes Vlog

    It's finally here! Exploring a place of ever-changing sunsets and strange, beautiful light, THE LIGHT IN THE NORTH is a time-lapse film shot over two months in the transition from autumn to winter in a single remote town between a mountain and the sea in northwest Iceland. Produced during the Nes Artist Residency in Skagaströnd, Iceland.

    Watch the behind-the-scenes here:


    Gear used:

    Sony A7RII
    Sony 24-240 f/3.5-6.3
    Samyang 24mm f/1.4
    Samyang 14mm f/2.8
    Sony Zeiss 55mm f/1.8
    Sony RX100IV
    Edelkrone SliderPlus XL with Action Module
    MeFoto RoadTrip Tripod
    Varavon Battery Pack for A7 series

    Edited using LRTimelapse, Adobe Lightroom Classic CC, and FCP X

    72 Hours in Armenia

    72 Hours in Armenia

    Prior to doing the Grand Trans-Siberian Express, we went on a whirlwind three-day tour of Armenia. Like most people from this part of the world, I had very little, if any, preconceptions about Armenia, and what I found is a country with a deep, ancient history, fierce pride, and beautiful people. I hope to have captured some of that experience in the video above.

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