The Ten “Commandments” of Writing Metric Symbols in English Grammar

It has been literally ages since I published a blog post for the grammar pet peeves series. Had it not been for a friend who called my attention regarding the metric symbols I used in one of my email messages to him, the grammar ranter in me would still be in hibernation. So he wrote:

“Hi, Sonyboy. Review that email you sent me regarding product sizes yesterday. You did not pluralize ‘kg’ and ‘lb’. Please add ‘s’ to each of them.”

Talking about a grammar ranter becomes the hunted. Well, almost but not quite. It should be clear by now that because of the request for pluralization, I have turned the table on him—instant fuel to my muse so to speak. I then politely obliged to the calling. This was my reply to him:

“Thanks a lot for digging into the email. However, I regret that I will not give in to your request. Let me put it this way, your initiative is certainly appreciated but inappropriate in the context of Standard English not to mention if you have not done your homework first.

For the record, I also did not know about the real deal on the metric units of measurement until 2012 or when I started this series. Thank God for doing this kind of work because it entails being one step or staying ahead of the game. Having said that, I fully acknowledge that my knowledge of the English language as well as this endeavor will always be a work in progress.

Anyway, the most important thing that you need to remember when it comes to these units of measurement (e.g., kg for kilogram, g for gram, and lb or L for pound-mass) is they have unit symbols not abbreviations.  These symbols do not follow the grammatical rules for abbreviations. They follow the mathematical rules for symbols, that we should make a note of, instead. Those rules include the following:

  1. A symbol is never followed by a period. The exception is, if it happens to fall at the end of a sentence.
  2. The letter “s” is never added to a symbol to indicate a plural. In other words, “2 minutes” is written “2 min” not “2 min.” or “2 mins”.
  3. Symbols are case-sensitive and must be written as they are defined.
  4. There is a tradition in the metric system that the first (or only) letter of an unprefixed unit symbol is capitalized if the unit’s name comes from a proper name. Thus “W” is the symbol for the watt and “A” is the symbol for the ampere, because these units are named after scientists.
  5. It makes a big difference whether a symbol is capitalized or not. The same letter represents different units often (e.g., “t” stands for the tonne and “T” for the tesla). There is one loophole in the rule on capitalization: it is acceptable to use the symbol L instead of l for the liter, since the letter l is so easily confused with the number 1.
  6. The case of symbol prefixes is specified, upper and lower, and must not be changed (e.g., the symbol for kilo- is “k-“, so “kW” and not “KW” is the symbol for the kilowatt).
  7. The superscripts 2 and 3 are always used for “square” and “cubic”, respectively. Hence, the square kilometer, for example, is written “km2”, not “sq km”.
  8. A raised dot (also called a middle dot or half-high dot) is recommended when symbols are multiplied. It is permissible to use a space instead, but symbols should not be placed next to one another with nothing between them. (e.g., “A·h” is the recommended symbol for the ampere hour. “A h” is also permitted, but not “Ah” or “amp hr”).
  9. The slash (solidus) / is used for “per”. Furthermore, only one slash is allowed per symbol. This means the SI unit of acceleration is written “m/s2” rather than “m/s/s”, even though it is often spoken “meters per second per second”. (Negative exponents can also be used: “m/s2” can be written “m·s-2”.)
  10. Symbols are separated from the numerical quantity they follow by a space.”

Summary (Image via Google)

I would like to reiterate that this grammar pet peeves series is not a way of proclaiming myself as an authority. If you happen to be a guilty party, always remember that I am sharing the blog posts in the spirit of constructive criticism.

Reference: Using Abbreviations or Symbols (

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Panicuason Hot Spring Resort: A Perfect Place for Solitude and Relaxation

For the past few years, promoting a healthy lifestyle through nature immersion has been one of the blog’s major themes. The best way, if not one of the best ways, to do it is embracing and going on a solitude trip to a place where visitors are offered with fun activities, hiking trails, and a dip in naturally-heated mineral pools. In Camarines Sur, there is only one place that fills the bill: Panicuason Hot Spring Resort.

Located in the mountainous terrain of Naga City, Panicuason Hot Spring Resort is a great stop not only on a road adventure but for nature immersion, excursion, team building, summer destination, sweet escape, and, of course, solitude trip. This is one of the less populated parts of the city; hence, an ideal destination for anyone who is looking for an alone time or a break in a natural and undeveloped setting for just P250. This place is an easy getaway for relaxation via a jeepney ride for thirty minutes from Naga City and another “habal-habal” ride for about fifteen to twenty minutes from Brgy. Panicuason. It is best to go there on a weekday to avoid the crowd and the ideal time to do it is during summer.

Should you wish to stay there for couple of days or more, there is a hotel for P1,500 a night, which entitles you to an unlimited use of the hot pools of sulfuric water emanating from Mount Isarog. There is also an eatery that will look after your food cravings especially local delicacies.

I visited the resort in March 2017 to satisfy my curiosity about its natural wonders. I read good reviews about it from fellow Pinoy Travel Bloggers prior to the visit. It did not fail me.

Other than the beautiful sights and the hot pools, what I enjoyed the most from that one-day experience was when I was having lunch at the eatery that provides a full view of the seemingly restless and purling stream flowing down from Mount Isarog’s rainforest and spilling through the fields. All the more when I started sipping my camote juice drink.

Indeed, the excellent company in a moment of solitude is either a strong drink or healthy beverage. I never so enjoyed a juice drink until that day.

The domineering presence of mossy boulders that give a more idyllic accent to the views is also a sight to behold. There is just an abundance of nature wonders in this place—from the boscage of ancient trees, thicket of flowering plants,  clump of vibrant grasses, to chirping birds and so forth.

Feasting on my drink while I was hearing the sound of the the running water in the stream was perfection! 

There is something about the babbling stream that soothes the mind and soul. 

Spending time at Panicuason Hot Spring Resort will surely make you feel relaxed, peaceful, and rejuvenated. I felt like I had a pair of new lungs upon leaving the place from that solitude trip.

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Giving You A Million Reasons To Love and Travel To Riyadh

It’s “Juice Time” in Riyadh!

“Beat the heat” is probably the most common idiom that could be heard or read during summer. Swimming at the beach and/or eating something cold and sweet are the most common poecilonyms of it.

Summer days in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as to other countries in the Middle East are longer, more tiring, and most of all hotter. Here in Riyadh, swimming at the beach is the least option when it comes to beating the heat because of the beaches’ proximity. Going for swimming in a pool (which is actually a bit challenging to realize on a weekly basis), malling, eating ice cream, sipping a cup of smoothie, or drinking a bottle of brain freezing juice is the ultimate alternative.

It’s a must to keep our bodies cool and our energy going high during this season. The more convenient and nutritious way to do it is zooming off to the nearest smoothie and juice bar. In my case, I only do that during my lazy days because blender is in the kitchen and fruits are must-have items in our grocery.

A week ago, I’ve visited this newly opened branch of Juice Time in Al Izdihar, near my place, for five times as we speak for two cravings: smoothies and fresh juice.

When I first visited its branch along Exit 8 opposite Al Nakheel Mall last year, I became an instant patron because of its orderliness, add-ins, and the visually appetizing fruit decorations.

Then a photo opp craze talking it up was all over Facebook and other social media sites since as far as I could remember.

Juice Time have the best strawberry and avocado smoothies. Their lemon mint is also a bomb.

That said, the add-ins such as Slice Fruit (pomegranate, strawberry, kiwi, peaches, papaya, pineapple, mango, apple, & banana [SAR 9-18]), Fruit Cocktail (summer plus, fakfakhena, havana, jersey, tropicana, pina calada, dana time, agadir, Hawaii, estahani, refreshing, juice time cocktail, arausi, dobenk, awar qalb [SAR 7-11 & SAR 19-75), Energy Juices (viagra, coconut almond, & dates and bananas [SAR 6-12), etc. are equally tempting.

Their fruits are so fresh as can be gleaned from the color and texture. I haven’t seen one shrunken fruit since my first visit.

People are now more and more hooked into healthy fast food especially in the corporate world swarmed with workaholics who turn to fast food chains that offer low-fat sandwiches, but with little nutritional value.

The presence of juice shops like Juice Time is to complement that nutritional requirements that those fast food lack.

Juice Time focuses on providing the customers with the best quality fruits and products without artificial elements to ensure that they are at par with the trending market demands for consumer health, nutrition, and satisfaction.

Juice Time is definitely in the zone for this market competition by offering a superb varieties of fruits for juice mixes and equally healthy add-ins with amiable staff and 12 branches in the following locations in Riyadh:

  1. Al Murooj (+966505832424)
  2. Ishibilia (+966555314476)
  3. Wadi Laban 40 St. (+966537564940)
  4. Wadi Laban 60 St. (+966-558746885)
  5. Dammam Road (+966-556762536)
  6. Sulai (+966-557248483)
  7. Nassim (+966-550952476)
  8. Bandar (+966-55668672)
  9. Dirab (+966-555995380)
  10. Exit 9 (+966-556731081)
  11. Al Hamadiyah (+966-555414227)
  12. For Party & Bulk Order (+966-500024556)

Another good news is that this rising smoothie and juice bar continues to expand. Five more branches in Riyadh and Jeddah will be opening very soon.

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Chronicles Of A Three-Day Trip To Dubai: “Night Walk and Swimming in Jumeirah”

After just about three hours of resting from the city tour that ended up food tripping at SOY, we agreed to an impromptu invite from Leonel’s high school friend, Louella, who’s based in Sharjah. She invited us  for a night walk and swimming at Jumeirah Open Beach.

We left Deira at around 6:00 PM and took a taxi bound for Jumeirah instead of the Metro for economical and convenience reasons. We reached the place in about 35 minutes.

Darkness already fell by the time we alighted from the taxi. The place looked so different from what we’ve seen when we passed by the area during the morning city tour. The marriage of lights and darkness gives Jumeirah Open Beach a dramatic and dreamy look.

Jumeirah is currently one of the most frequented tourist spots in Dubai because of the rustic white beach resorts in it that’s for free—most of them. It’s like Tahlia Street in Riyadh adorned with trendsetting shopping centers and restaurants—without the beach of course—that give a decent contrast to its modernity. It’s located just after Palm Strip Mall at the lower end of the beach road—the opposite end to Burj Al Arab.

Jumeirah Open Beach’s strategic location is another reason why expats and locals are crazy about hanging out here. No millennials or youngsters could resist the idea of a relaxing hangout that entails getting the best of both the urban jungle and rural playground flair. A white-sand beach alongside a commercial area equipped with upscale entertainment facilities, you could be imagining yourself in Beverly Hills.

Dubai has many beaches but only a few of them are for the public. If you happen to visit Dubai for a couple of days or more, a stopover at any of the public beaches is a must. Caution must be observed though because there were already a considerable number of recorded swimming-related accidents at the beaches—which usually look calm but strong rip tides and currents that could sweep out (even) skilled swimmers lie within. One precautionary measure is to never swim alone especially at night.

We had to gorge on some Pinoy food at Chowking restaurant before we dipped ourselves and frolicked in the sea water. Subsequently, we went for a night walk in Jumeirah’s citified jungle. 

We all felt the need for some refreshments after almost two hours of traipsing and, in a way, photowalking. 

Walking in a city at night is something so underrated in this day and age where the abundance of information portable on screens mediate our connection to the so-called concrete jungle. As a result, it distanced us not only from the physical but psychological realities as well.

Majority of people nowadays would rather browse the internet, scroll on Facebook statuses, watch clips on YouTube, and/or the like. 

Thank God someone invited us for a stroll around Jumeirah’s Open Beach area during our second night. I should’ve been sucked into the usual internet wormhole. I was truly mesmerized by the visceral views I saw and shot while leisurely walking around the place. This part of Jumeirah turned into something more than what I saw in the morning during the city tour. Never felt that kind of joy when walking in concrete jungles at night until that time. This is one of the invaluable lessons I learned from that three-day trip to Dubai last year or in July 2016.

Our night walk and swimming experience could be summed up in a combination of fun and great tonic for the urban stress.

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35 Songs That Summon The Traveler’s Spirit

I was once asked by a friend in college, during one of our weekend getaways, why I always bring a music player with me. I failed to explain well. This is what inspired me to write this post because I now have a concrete answer: because of the melophile’s blood transfused to me in the 90s.

I started collecting songs when I was 10 years old or as soon as I got fond of my elder brother (Tom) and sister’s (Avic) habit of recording them straight from FM stations’ countdowns and transcribing them after. That also implied playing them over and over again on our radio cassette player almost every day. So I thought there must be something really good out of listening to music. I’ve proven this as time went by and got stuck to it too since. Up to now, I could still see how convivial my siblings were each time they do that pastime in my “biological” video player.

Thank heavens mp3 players invaded the Philippines in the early 2000s; I was able to keep songs that became parts of the different stages of my life. Throughout the years, I’ve been using music as one, essential form of relaxation, and sometimes, escape, from the daily grind when it gets utterly boring, among other things.

It’s interesting to note that my playlist’s albums evolve as I grow older. Back in the day, it only had four main folders: “Grade School”, “High School”, “College”, and “In The Zone”. Then life came out of the blue pampering and striking in 2006 or the year after I finally got out of the university. The cycle led to the addition of a special folder called “Daystarters/Travel/Roadrip” to the then 17 albums: (1) “Before Times”, (2) “Brokenhearted/Frustrated/In Pain”,” (3) Exaltation”, (4) “Groove to the Beat”, (5) “Heal”, (6) “Inspirational”, (7) “Mellow Touch”, (8) “Moving On”, (9)“OPM Few Faves”, (10) OPM Guilty Pleasures”, (11) “Tunog Kalye”, (12) “Rock Legends”, (13) “Posh/Classical”, and the already mentioned four.

A year after braving the overseas in 2012, seven more made it to the list: (1) “Dipping in Love”, (2) “Ear Massager – Rock”, (3) “Emotastic – 90s Up”, (4) “Exacerbated/Chafed”, (5) “Frisson/Piloerection”, (6) “Nostalgic”, (7) “2009-2012”. To date, three more folders namely “2013-2014″, “2015-2016”, and “2017” have been added to the playlist.

Simultaneous with the playlist folder’s evolution is the Daystarters/Travel/Roadrip‘s. Most of the songs in this folder were once part of those folders.

There’s nothing like cruising the highway or killing time up on a plane with some good music in the background. I always allot a special time to deeply feel every travel moment that is being in a different place by listening to the album, while on the road or in whatever mode of transport that will get me to my intended destination.

After scrounging around my collections a few weeks ago, I came up with more than 153 more songs for the folder, but for the sake of promoting the importance of reinforcing and setting the wanderer’s mood while on the move or sitting in, standing at, even lying on a travel spot, I’ll only feature my top 35. I picked these songs not only because of their relevance to the subject but the kind of traveler vibe they emanate the moment you hear any of them. 

The latter criterion is articulated by that power to summon the wanderer’s spirit in  you to take a break, ease your travel stress, make you move to the beat, enjoy the moment, stay awake, become optimistic, go out and explore what’s beyond your comfort zone, or simply make the trip go down smoothly as possible. 

(Disclaimer: These are a far cry from what can be seen on the web if you were to look for the experts’ recommendations.)

Consider the following top picks from my list as a few suggestions that will hopefully work wonders on your next travel:

1. A Sky Full Of Stars by Coldplay

There’s not much of happy Coldplay songs so that when they made one, it’s something guaranteed to make you raise your hands up in the air while singing it, and think of Katy Perry.

2. All Star by Smash Mouth

Off course, you have to get to the rap part of the song if the intro couldn’t put you in the mood. It’ll surely awaken that feel-good soul in you.

3. Beautiful Day by U2

This song is made for bolstering up the belief that life is beautiful no matter what. Is an addendum still necessary?

4. Best Day Of My Life by American Authors

The title alone will do because it’s the very reason why this song must be included in  the list. You wouldn’t want to start a day with a frown on your face.

5. Black Coffee by All Saints

Literally, the first song you should be listening to upon waking up. The unique pop beat in it makes you wanna move your shoulders up and down alternately.

6. Breathe by Michelle Branch

Ever felt like you wanna take a breather and strum a guitar at the backseat while cruising along the coastal highway? Take Michelle Branch’s. 

7. Bright Lights by 30 Seconds To Mars

The melody maybe a bit mushy but the lyrics give a piloerection. The kind that gets you thinking about being mobile and living up to it. Look at your friends who settled down early in life. If you can’t imagine finding true joy that way, take a different stroke and let this song be your guide.

8. Can’t Stop The Feeling by Justin Timberlake

You can’t get enough of this song once you get a piece of it. It’s just oozing with irresistible serotonin.

9. Closer (feat. Halsey) by The Chainsmokers

This and the 26th song represent the most current sounds among them. You have to love both to be in the contemporary zone without losing tempo relevance.

10. Don’t Stop Believin’ by the Glee Cast

Inspirational at its core since 03 June 1981. When you’re up for something to fuel your wanderlust or finding that inspiration to achieve your dreams, you can’t go wrong with this song.

11. Get My Dough by Ester Dean

Other than the fact that it’s a groovy song, this is what you should listen to when you feel like splurging into something that makes you happy. (Reminds me of a favorite movie about being faithful.)

12. Good Time by Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen

Need I say more to convince you that this song is  an A-Lister for the theme?

13. Here’s to Never Growing Up by Avril Lavigne

The coolest message of the song is the need to break free from adulthood every once in a while like hopping on the the kids’ rides. After all, there’s no point being a grown-up if you can’t be childish sometimes, right?

14. Highway to Hell by AC/DC

If passenger’s (i.e., travel buddies) inside the vehicle are at the brink of falling into the slumber world, playing this song is the perfect thing to do especially in the midst of devout believers who are likely to misinterpret the song. Nonetheless, it’ll serve as an instant energy drink to every one.

15. Home by Bone Thugs N Harmony

Digging deeper into the song will give you a different message but as they say, one could interpret a song based on how he understands it.

This one is like a torch of hope and an eye-opener to varying ways of life that gives you a new appreciation for home itself. Moving with its stylized rhythmic character that’s in unison with chanted rhyming speech makes you one hip traveler.

16. I Lived by OneRepublic

Any song about seizing the moment is qualified for this feat more so if it’s about inspiring people to embark on a new endeavor (e.g., climb mountains, wakeboard, skydive, bungee jump, etc.) or make a difference in someone or something.

17. I Took A Pill In Ibiza by Mike Posner

It’s okay to take that mystery pill if it’s a one-time thing but it should never go beyond that. A metaphor for curiosity at the right place, which travelers are drawn to one way or the other.

18. I Want Crazy by Hunter Hayes

We’ll make it short: It’s okay to be crazy sometimes. You can celebrate that through this song.

19. I Would Do Anything for Love by Meatloaf

This is all about monotony breaker that complements the sequence of the common beat and make you sing your heart out.

20. It’s Time by Imagine Dragons

Embracing change and being in charge of your destiny are the key messages of the song. Travelers have that penchant for treading paths less traveled by.

21. Keep on Movin’  by Five

Listen to the lyrics of the song while your hips and feet are moving. You’ll be glad you did.

22. Love on the Weekend by John Mayer

If you’re in a relationship who happens to be going on vacation for less than a month, this piece is your mantra.

23. Never Let You Go by Third Eye Blind

How can you resist that guitar kicks at the beginning and not be willingly hit by them?

24. Pink Life by Gyskard

Not sure if you deserve a break from a hectic day, week, month…year? Dissect the song and the next thing you know is you’re on your way to a coffee shop, restaurant, resort, or any place where you can revel in your fleeting time off.

25. Pure Shores by All Saints

Imagine holding a conch shell to your ear. The ebb and flow sound of the ocean is like this song—so relaxing. It’ll not put you to sleep though so worry not because of its electronica elements.

26. Roses (feat. Rozes) by The Chainsmokers

A simple bass drum beat supporting the harmony coupled with a nice controlled bass guitar riff in the background. All the harmonies and melodies converge to have this reverse effect throughout the song, which gives a lot of weight and volume not only to the song but whoever hears it. These ultimately define why this song is right where it’s at.

27. Shut Up and Dance by Walk The Moon

Don’t you just wanna dance upon hearing the first note of this song and be merriful? The vivid, colorful, 80ish imagery and upbeat rhythm of the song are delectable to the senses.

28. Soak Up the Sun by Sheryl Crow

This could have been Bonnie Bailey’s  song, “Ever After”, but the universe conspired to put Sheryl Crow’s instead. Who wouldn’t enjoy being at the beach listening to this song or watching her at the beach with that guitar? With that guitar?

Lucky for her. The former doesn’t have an official music video.

29. Style by Taylor Swift

This song may have been the background of that tragic scene in the movie “San Andreas” but it mustn’t stop you from wanting it to be in that playlist for its travelish, melodic tune, particularly if you’re up for a long drive.

30. Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams

Common! Even the kids would love to hear this song. It’s another classic that’s immortal when it comes to this kind of playlist.

31. The Animal Song by Savage Garden

Do you want validation of your right to and the need for personal freedom, which is excellent when equated to traveling and momentarily live a careless life?

It prompts you to live like animals in the jungle—careless and free. Now get that backpack and head to the mountains with this showing on your music player.

32. The Remedy (I Won’t Worry) by Jason Mraz

For starters, the song is about not letting life get you down no matter what happens, and that you shouldn’t waste your life worrying most of the time…

33. Time of Our Lives (feat. Ne-Yo) by Pitbull

This one is definitely one for the clubs—smooth international groove that should keep people moving not only on the dance floor but everywhere. Talking about another inspiration for taking a break and a reminder that every day is a good one.

34. Titanium by Sia

The video is an irony for the relaxing melody it provides—makes you wanna put that headset to your ears, close your eyes, listen to it, and enjoy the moment. (Ana Kendrick did. So should you.)

35. Yeah 3x by Chris Brown

What’s special about the song is the idea of accepting spontaneity and living the dream. Sounds familiar isn’t it? The song’s electro-vibe and frenetic pulse is another perfect nightspot banging anthem and medicine to the dull moment syndrome.

I’m pretty sure that I’ve missed some really good ones here and that people will challenge the list but bear with me. The comment section is turned on anyway.

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Exposing The Hidden Canyon’s Splendour and Mother Nature’s Call For “Responsible Tourism”

It was Friday a week ago, 14th of April 2017, when my mobile phone activated the alarm at three o’clock in the morning. I felt woozy but immediately leaped out of bed upon remembering that I and fellow traveler & housemate Leonel Mark Tuscano (IG: thechinitowanderer) are to set out on a trip to this new nature spot in Riyadh Province called “The Hidden Canyon” for a weekend adventure.

Sir Joel Acosta (IG: zanjo_fakz), one of the many prolific graduates of Cameraderie Photography Club International was the one who invited us to join their group’s jaunt. A few minutes later we were on board his Renault Captur and zoomed off  to Panda in Takhassusi Road to meet the other joiners for briefing.

We headed southeast from the city to Ad Dilam (or Al Dulum) via an alternate route past Kamsa Kamsa Park along Al Haeer Road an hour later. What’s interesting about this route is the breathtaking scenery of deserts filled with gigantic escarpments and featureless plains stretching into a distant haze. I would have loved to capture them given the chance but circumstances told me it’s no-chance-for-photo-op part of the trip.

Most of us have experienced this stage in our lives where we find ourselves travelling on someone else’s car or some form of public transport through astounding scenery. This is the ultimate frustration: not being able to have a chance to stop and photograph wonderful scenery passing us by. What I usually do in this case is I just revel in the moment rather than force myself to shoot a snapshot. It’s a waste of time to shoot through a fast moving vehicle’s window. I’ve gone through this more times than I could remember. So just take the scenery in.

After an hour and a half, we passed by a large expanse of acacia trees and soon, the dry deep gorge came into sight. I knew we have reached the destination before the navigator’s voice said so. We then followed the vehicles’ trail beside the gorge on our left from the paved road of that long, almost endless alternate route.

From that threshold, we still had to drive about two kilometers away until we saw parked cars. “The Hidden Canyon found at last!” I immediately exclaimed.

Other than the whistling of summer zephyr and babble of fellow visitors around, all is quiet. We strolled through the edge of the canyon upon alighting from the car and went back to the group for a short talk and breakfast. We were surrounded by prickly desert trees that serve home to birds chirping a beautiful day.

We also enjoyed the ever amazing sun so powerfully hot and yet so beautiful, the way it’s always overhead and on permanent guard―ready to stamp out any aerial element that dares to darken the adventure.

The latest craze when it comes to weekend destinations in Riyadh is "The Hidden Canyon" on the outskirts of Al Dilam (oTher name: Al Dulum). It may not be as grand and deep as Arizona's but descending from the top still makes for a pretty good day of downclimbing, even rappelling. If you were to go down those steep ravines, you still need a bit of "brain muscles" to land safely (pun intended). Make a note of that. I had so much fun doing it repeatedly the day I was there. #storiesofthewanderingfeet #storiesofthewanderingfeetandmind #nature #naturephotography #plateau #canyon #hiddencanyon #thehiddencanyon #travelblogger #traveldiaries #travelersnotebook #travelingram #instalike #rockies #riyadhguide #riyadh #ksa #hiddencanyonriyadh

A post shared by Sonyboy Fugaban (@thewanderingfeetandmind) on

Being a transitory part of this isolated terrain is surreal.

It’s nature’s best in an Arabian desert particularly when I began peering at the exquisite turquoise waters.

The Hidden Canyon is a sight to behold indeed! A sight that I want to preserve.

A sight that I want to keep for myself…yet, truth be told, impossible to do in this day and age because of overutilized tourism on social media.

Tourism is something seen as common and in most cases, good for the economy and best for people in need of nature therapy. The latter is the case in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where most of nature attractions are on the cuff.

Many may disagree that something is wrong with tourism. However, using this very place as reference, they may see a different approach to the idea.

Allow me to put a classic illustration. Through exploring the stretch of this hidden canyon on that fateful day, I saw one simple way in which tourism outrightly ruins the place’s telluric beauty: Garbage. Non-biodegradable at that!

In a place like this, tourism provides a haven for hordes of sightseers but it also tramples it.

I’d like to take this opportunity to remind fellow tourists and travelers to be responsible enough in preserving the cleanliness of this canyon.

While I’m more than happy to exploit new places I’ve set foot on such as this one, I also fear participation in destroying them.

The selfie-obsessed hoards and musicophiles are forgivable but not litterbugs. I have faith in humanity but when I witnessed fellow visitors not to mention Filipinos, on that day, throwing and leaving garbage wherever and whenever they want to at the canyon and nearby areas, I somehow lost it.

Then again, the optimist in me prevailed. I believe that all we need is this reminder: No one or no local government unit is looking after the upkeep of the place; therefore, littering is a definite no-no.

Amid the earth’s degrading environment, which is common knowledge as we speak, it’s expected from us, mere visitors, to promote conservation in the outdoors, to abide by the Leave No Trace 7 Principles. Spread the word, please.

I’d like to reiterate that this nature attraction in Al Dilam is free of charge and relatively new. Keeping it clean is the least that we could do to give back to it’s worth.

I’m certain that there are still a lot of expats and locals out there eager to visit and enjoy the place.

We followed the same route driving back to the capital city. I used the entire travel time to weave the foregoing words while indulging in the breathtaking scenery of deserts filled with gigantic escarpments and featureless plains stretching into a distant haze.

This day was another exciting and meaningful day of life lessons in my travel diary.


Below are the details you need to get to The Hidden Canyon:

  • Address: 16382, Saudi Arabia
  • Coordinates: 23.910811,46.939980
  • Map


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Take a peek at Riyadh’s New Tourism Gem: The Hidden Canyon #VantagePoint

A week ago, the leader of expat bloggers in Riyadh, The Pink Tarha, posted this newly discovered nature spot in Al Dulum called “The Hidden Canyon” 130 kilometers from the capital city. Weekend sightseers, Filipino expats in particular, have been buzzing around the place since.

I and a friend were fortunate to have been invited by Sir Joel Acosta (IG: zanjo_fakz) of Cameraderie Photography Club International to join him in disrobing the place’s exalted grandeur and simplicity. The two-hour drive to Al Dulum is one of the most exciting trips in Stories of The Wandering Feet & Mind‘s travel diary to date. Who wouldn’t think about photographing and write a story about or make a note of this fresh tourist gem’s dramatic landscape, majestic escarpments, orange hues, and turquoise water that are tucked away below the deserts of Al Dulum.

As a travel blogger, I always wished for a compact camera equipped with DSLR capabilities that I can slide into my pocket whenever travel or nature’s booty calls like this trip. I’m a supporter of travel(ing) light. My current AI Wander Buddy is a Nikon 5200, which is bulky and prevents me from constantly carrying it. I’m glad to have come across‘s The Light L16 Camera and would be relieved if I could have one soon. With a massive 52 megapixel resolution, over 5x optical zoom, unmatched low-light performance, precise depth-of-field control, automatic over-the-air updates, and social sharing feats, you will want to pick it up and shoot pictures with it—right away! This cutie has enough to impress travel photographers like me.

I’m truly honored to be part of‘s #VantagePoint Project on Pinterest.

On a side note, let’s not forget to respect the place by disposing our garbage properly. This is the least that we could do to give back to such a beautiful place—absolutely free for consumption.

This “vantage point” didn’t only provide me with a decent view of The Hidden Canyon’s main attraction, it also opened my eyes to the truth that exploiting a place is a double-edged sword.

In a country whose tourism is, for lack of a better way to put it, just getting started, there’s so much that could be discovered. This may have favorable and unfavorable consequences to the host but, I believe, it’s always altruistic to share something beautiful.

The above photo is a hand-held shot taken at F11, 400-sec exposure, and ISO 800.

The Hidden Canyon will surely become one of the most sought after weekend getaway destinations in Riyadh if not the Kingdom from here on out.

Wanna stop buzzing around and see the place for yourself instead?

Below are the details you need to get to The Hidden Canyon:

  • Address: 16382, Saudi Arabia
  • Coordinates: 23.910811,46.939980
  • Map

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Time Stands Still at Trinity Islands in Oas, Albay

Bonding with nature once in a while is something I am passionate about. It does not only give me the opportunity to travel, it also gives me the chance to do a favorite fitness regimentation or adventure and make  quality time with loved ones . This kind of excursion is a necessity to an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW). That is why this activity has become an absolute part of my annual vacation’s written  itinerary.

I have a special affinity with the beach so that my vacation has always been during summer since I became an OFW. And normally, I go for non-mainstream destinations. I may have chosen Calaguas Islands (Calaguas), which is mainstream, last year as the place for this excursion but the longing for that comfort in the familiar will never dissipate. Ms. Wonderwall, my official travel buddy, was missing in action this time around because of her fractured elbow. I am grateful for she has been taking care of the perfect destinations for this activity nevertheless. I am an adopted Bicolano. No one knows Bicolandia better than she does. I and my eldest son would have not seen another hidden gem of Bicol last 07 March 2017, before it gets crowded. 

A group of low-lying hills surrounding the gentle valleys along the coast  in rural Albay; a pebbly, sandy shore; a boscage of lush trees, a blue lagoon, fishing boats scattered here and there that seem to have become part of the landscape…

Then there is Trinity Islands tucked into those sceneries that takes a challenging two and a half hour drive from the town of Oas center to get to Brgy. Cagmanaba, and another seven to ten minute boat ride to finally reach the place.

The name of the place was derived from the number of the islands.

What makes them unique are their close proximity to each other like Siamese twins, only there are three of them; the lagoon that they form, which is visible at the peak of the tallest, biggest island; and the emerging diving spots on two of the islands—strongly recommended only to the brave and bold.

The physical characteristics of Trinity Islands are undoubtedly attractive.

This goes as well for the  public beaches along Cagmanaba coastline that serve as penultimate destinations.

Both are currently unspoiled, free from the brash crowd. 

A trip to Trinity Islands also offers a privately operated resort that trots out boats for rent and stuff.

This is a decent destination to take the family for a day at the beach. 

May these beautiful views remind us that we have a graceful relationship with nature. As we go on appreciating them, let us not forget our responsibility to nature: to take care of it. Nature is the one thing we all share and have a mutual interest in.

I am therefore advising future visitors to help in the upkeep of this place by taking nothing from it but pictures or video clips and leave nothing but fingerprints.

One thing noteworthy about this entire experience is my eldest son’s overpowering joy.

I never saw him this happy and engaged until Trinity Islands’. Other than the long drive, boat ride, and swimming, he also loved the hiking and diving that came out of this one-day escapade.

These are the summer vibes in store for you when you get to Trinity Islands. 

I am most grateful to Sir Ronald O. Redito for facilitating our trip; for the smooth ride to and from this ultimate destination; and for walking me through the economic state of Oas that prompted me to positively exploit this promising place through social media. Visit his Facebook Page or contact him directly at +639173628904 for booking purposes.

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Monster Trucks Crash in Riyadh

Backed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Entertainment (GAE), the Feld Entertainment Inc. and Live Entertainment have brought the popular live motorsport, Monster Jam, to the Kingdom at the King Fahd International Stadium today, 17th of March 2017.

This two-day show is one of the biggest and most celebrated touring shows in the USA and the world for over a decade. It features legendary drivers in four-meter tall, five-ton Monster Jam truck, which are built for short, high-powered bursts of speed. These super vehicles generate 1,500 to 2,000 horsepower and are capable of speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. They can also fly across 130 feet, a distance greater than 14 cars side by side, and up to 35 feet in the air.

The Monster Jam motorsport event is one of the biggest and most celebrated touring shows in the USA and the world. It's worth reiterating that it made history earlier tonight because it kicked off the first of its two-day series that features storied drivers in four-meter tall, five-ton Monster Jam trucks; quad bikers; and motorcross riders. The experience is summed up to a one hell of a ride. So if you're up to an adrenaline-pumping show, you can (still) purchase passes for its second day right at the stadium's ticket booths. #storiesofthewanderingfeet #storiesofthewanderingfeetandmind #instalike #instagood #monsterjam2017 #monsterjam #motorsport #riyadh #riyadhguide #travel #travelnotebook #supercross #ksa

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Monster Jam is only one of the upcoming events that GAE is working on to bring to the Kingdom. The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) that returned to KSA in November last year was another successful event made possible by GAE.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has, once again, proven its continuous efforts on introducing the general public to a new form of entertainment all for strengthening the country’s economy and global competitiveness and in harmony to its Saudi Vision 2030 (“Let the show begin: Word-class entertainment comes to Saudi Arabia“).

The stereotypical picture of the cultural entertainment in the Kingdom is indeed changing into a new face—one that is modern and open-minded.

#monsterjam2017 #monsterjam #riyadh #riyadhguide #travelersnotebook #motorsport #motorcross #supercross 

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