Bookie PH is the brainchild of a traveling couple, Dijo and Monica. The two met and started working together in college where they found themselves constantly exploring since their first flight together for their undergraduate thesis in 2010. After college, they perpetually hopped on planes and buses bound for places they had yet to discover.
The main objective was simple - to make travel happen.
The whole concept started brewing when the two realized it took a lot of scouring through different travel sites and guide books to come up with an itinerary they wanted. Their friends found planning to be quite complex as well so most of them often ended up asking the two for a litany of know-whats about certain places. That got them dreaming of creating something for the type of travelers that they are.
After a lot of prodding from each other, they took a leap of faith, tendered their resignations from their respective first jobs, thought of a name and found themselves traveling for a living.
It was the year 2013 and that was when Bookie PH was born.
On the onset, they went to Davao, visited 10 hotels, went to 15 sites within and around the city, and ate at 16 restaurants in a span of five days. They did the same in Ilocos, then in Boracay, then in Puerto Princesa, and in each of the destinations they explored after.
The idea was to familiarize themselves with each locale, recommend different places and activities, and eventually create a platform where fellow travelers can book all these in one streamlined system.
Finally, the dream came alive.
Bookie PH now stands to be a testament of two individuals’ passion for unearthing the unknown. The road taken to fulfill a dream has been grueling but adventure-filled, and uncertain yet surprising.
Ten destinations and a few shades tanner after, the team is still on a constant move to discover and rediscover various parts of the Philippines to share to their fellow travelers.
The two still stick to the same goal of making travels happen. Only now, it’s not just for themselves but for everyone who’s in it to join them in their journey.
Shot on location at Real Surf, Quezon
Photos by Trish Lim
Traveling has been more than just a bug for Dijo. As a kid, his parents always brought him to nearby beaches to soak up some sunlight on weekends. His love for the local scene started when he was on a motorbike trying to find his way around Panglao Island back in 2010. That was when he realized that there were a gazillion beautiful spots hidden all over the country. From then on, he started going to festivals and different islands around the Philippines to continuously search for the unsearchable.
Favorite Philippine Destination: The Enchanted River, Surigao del Sur
Favorite International Destination: Maui, Hawaii
Dream Philippine Destination: All 1,780 islands of Palawan
Dream International Destination: Anywhere the Northern Lights are
Travel Must-haves: Headware, gum and a portable hammock
What started out as spurts of summer vacations transformed into a series of self-planned travels that gave Monica a deeper sense of adventure. City, after island, after province, she realized that there was more to traveling than coming home with a bunch of touristy photos and a luggage full of souvenirs. Through the years, she’s traded elaborate hats with a collection of journals where she logs the names of all the locals she meets and every new dish she devours. Each blank page is more than enough reason to keep yearning to discover far-flung places, cultures and people.
Favorite Philippine Destination: Siargao, Surigao del Norte
Favorite International Destination: Barcelona, Spain
Dream Philippine Destination: Amanpulo; Mountain Province
Dream International Destination: Marrakech; Maldives
Travel Must-haves: Camera, notebook and pen, Betadine®