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Explora Movers 1: Solo Traveling and Unique Food Trips Edit

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Michelle Tobias  • Contributor
Opinions expressed by Explora.ph Contributors are their own.

WHEN WE GET TO THE HEART OF TRAVEL, we reach the core of experience—of feeling alive. We are in a lucky position because we’re in the Philippines, an archipelago of seven thousand islands offering a diverse flavor of experiences. It won’t take long before we pin this on the map as one of the best destinations to discover in Asia.


This July, Explora has gathered some of the passionate minds in the Philippine travel industry. The intention is to catapult inspiration, collaboration, and change in this industry and ultimately make traveling in the Philippines easier, more accessible, and perhaps even more sustainable.


At our first meet-up last night, we were braced with the stories of a gutsy, 24-year-old Filipina solo traveler and of two food tour curators—one in Pampanga, the Philippines’ culinary capital, and another in Cavite, the cradle of history in the country. Beers and pizza were served, and what was going to be an informal gathering, turned out to be an eye-opening and engaging discussion.

The Movers

Michelle Yu

The young solo traveler Michelle Yu shared her picture-story of how she started traveling alone, the beautiful places she’s surfed, freedived, and explored, and the local people who had made a mark on her experience. She also gave us tips on how she budgets her money and how to travel safe alone as a female! Her talk was a breath of fresh air and was quite liberating.

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Michelle Yu riding the waves in Siargao Island.

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Michelle Yu tells her story of how she started traveling.

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Michelle Yu shares about budgeting and planning for a trip.

Bryan Ocampo

The lead tour guide and teacher Bryan Ocampo went back to his roots by rediscovering food in his hometown, Pampanga. He shared a bit of Pampanga’s history in the aftermath of Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption as well as the traditional and exotic culinary heritage of the province. From his experience, a food tour was born: Mangan Tamu! The Authentic Pampanga Food Trip.

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Bryan Ocampo (back, right) also leads tours in other places in the Philippines.

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Bryan shares about one of the heritage houses in Pampanga.

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In his talk, Bryan said, "Nothing makes Filipinos listen better like food."

Ige Ramos

Our final speaker was the food writer, graphic artist, and author Ige Ramos. Born and raised in Cavite, he’s known as the top guide and curator of Cavite’s ultimate food tour, Lasa ng Republika. During his talk he relayed his trip to an island in Denmark and how the economy there relies on simple, immersive experiences. He tied this up with the "Experience Economics" of his tours and how that too helps sustain the livelihood of local people in the province.

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A sneak peek of Ige Ramos' food tour in Cavite.

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Ige Ramos talks about the tinderos and tinderas of local delicacies in Cavite's markets.

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Ige Ramos tells us that we don't need to build stuff to create an experience-based economy.

More Photos

This intimate event was held at Explora HQ located in KMC Solutions, Rockwell Business Center Sheridan Tower, Mandaluyong, on July 25, 2018.

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CEO JR Felipe and VP for Marketing Perry Sumakote with Ige Ramos of Lasa ng Republika and Josh Gan of Bambike Eco-Tours.

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Michelle Yu with the Explora Team.

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Beer and pizza were served.

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Perry Sumakote was the host and event organizer of the gathering.

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Bryan Ocampo of Mangan Tamu.

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Chief Writer Michelle Tobias shares what Explora Movers is all about.

About Explora Movers

Explora Movers is a group of passionate individuals interested in exchanging ideas about Philippine travel, sustainable tourism, and tourism-based local businesses. Members from different sectors come together to inspire each other through talks and discussions and seek other like-minded people to collaborate with to boost one’s business, organization, or personal advocacy. Read more.

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