Weekend Getaway to Tagaytay

– by ChiChai@Empire – I frequently travel to the Philippines to support my mom’s non-profit organization Project PEARLS. Over the years, those trips have turned the Philippines into another home for me. I can say I’m close to my family in the motherland and have friends there although we’re thousands of miles apart majority of the…

The Sea, Green, and Jollibee

– ChiChai@Empire – My mom and I arrived in Manila from Dubai on a Saturday morning then hopped on a bus that same evening to go to Camarines Norte (read about our UAE trip here.) Camarines Norte is a province in Bicol that’s almost completely surrounded by water and covered with farmland. And, because it rains…

ChiChai’s Reunion with the UAE

– ChiChai@Empire – The universe brought my mom and I to Dubai in 2013. A company chose Project PEARLS as its benefactor for a gala and sponsored us to join. You can read about our visit to the Gold Market, Dubai Museum, Old Dubai, and Dubai Mall here. Since then, revisiting Dubai or the UAE itself has barely…

The Speed Project 4.0

-By Sam@Empire- Last month I took on a The Speed Project. I wrote about the race a year ago, observing from the outside, but this year I got to live it myself. The Speed Project is an ultra relay. 344-something miles from Santa Monica Pier to the “Fabulous” Las Vegas sign. Crazy right? Crazy enough for…

Make Everyday Earth Day

– by ChiChai@Empire – In the spirt of making Earth Day everyday, I want to share what drives me to be more environmentally-conscious and what steps I take to do so. Why Through Project PEARLS, I work with communities that literally live in garbage. Seeing firsthand how much plastic toxins and food waste and other…

Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans

By:  Sam@Empire I did it. I ran my first Marathon. 26.2 Miles. Crazy right? Earlier this month I met up with Kat (whom I ran with last year in DC) and decided that I wanted to make Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans the destination of my first marathon! No it’s not as glamorous as the…

Hella Ganda: ChiChai’s Art Travel to Baguio

– by ChiChai@Empire – Being high up in mountains, the Cordillera region of the Philippines was inaccessible to Spanish and American imperialists. And, because the Cordillera region is less exposed to the country’s colonized past, Cordillera cultures continue to thrive today. Despite being a major city, Baguio stays true to its Cordillera spirit.  For instance,…

Joshua Tree… or Jakku?

– by ChiChai@Empire – What’s great about living in California is that you don’t have to travel to a galaxy far, far away in order to explore. California alone has nine National Parks. Christopher and I  have a goal to see them all. Already in the first week of 2018, we pursued that goal by visiting…

Hella Sarap: ChiChai’s Foodie Travel to Baguio

– by ChiChai@Empire – When you think of the Philippines’ weather, you’re likely imagining humidity, heat, and ocean breezes. For this country of thousands of islands right above the equator, that is true. However, not entirely. Towns perched upon Philippines’ mountain ranges face a significantly cooler climate. My recent voyage to the homeland brought me…

TBT to a Streetwear Kid’s Dream: Takeshita Street

– by ChiChai@Empire – Throwback Thursday to ChiChai@Empire and Chris@Empire’s trip to Japan in May 2017 Our strongest memories are often transformative moments that affect us for the long run. One of my transformative moments was the first time I strolled down Upper Haight Street in San Francisco. My mom and I were visiting my…