Junction’s resident flashpacker

Raymond Ang thinks life has never been better than it is right now, and we can’t help but agree. Fresh off a two-week trip to Berlin, Raymond has been a staple presence in Junction since the day he accidentally stumbled upon our cozy little crib after checking out the different places in the neighborhood.

“Junction caught my eye when I was walking around Poblacion to look for a hostel,” says Raymond. “It was a tiring day, but when I walked into the lobby, I felt much calmer. I was just going to stay for a night here, but ended up spending seven days, and eventually most of July to August—and probably September. As you can see, I’m still here.”

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A discerning traveler who favors comfort and indulges in little doses of luxury during his trips, Raymond shares that staying at Junction opened his eyes to a new way of seeing the world. “I was fascinated by the stories about backpacking. I’m used to traveling without thinking of the budget, and I don’t pack light at all, but when I heard about the adventures my new friends encountered while backpacking, I challenged myself to do it,” he shares.

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With no plans of traveling until his trip to Berlin, Raymond left his comfort zone and backpacked  across Northern Luzon where he spent a few days exploring Sagada, Batad, and Banaue. Shares our favorite Survivor: “The hike felt like forever! I wanted to take a tricycle, but there were parts of the road that even tricycles were unable to pass through. I was definitely not used to all that hiking, but it was surprisingly fun! Even if I ended up collecting a lot of cuts and bruises along the road, I saw things I wouldn’t normally see, and I met the nicest people. It was more ‘dangerous’ compared to my past trips, but it had its own brand of fun!”

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Chances are, you’ll probably encounter Raymond when you come to Manila and stay at Junction.  A local whose house is actually just a quick cab ride away, Raymond admits he’s quite taken with the people he’s met here at Junction and loves the overall vibe of the Poblacion neighborhood. “I feel more at home here than my own house, more myself. Conversations here are never dull. We trade travel stories and it’s fun getting to know my city again when we go out,” shares Raymond.

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Surprise has been a recurring theme for Junction’s usual suspect. “I went with another guest to Intramuros and we commuted the entire time—something I’d never have done. We ended up past our train station, got lost, and somehow made it back here. It was stressful, but now I just think, another adventure,” he laughs.

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The three things Raymond insists you check out while in Manila:

“El Chupacabra and the rest of the restaurants in Felipe corner Polaris Street—good street food and a great place to people-watch; Intramuros and Luneta Park in Manila if you like a little history; and Fort Bonifacio for the nightlife.”


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