mucking around (v.) / British informal
Do random, unplanned work or activities or spend time idly – which is when most awesome things happen.


Manila (n.) / crazy town
Rather than seeing Manila as an amorphous mass, focus instead on enjoying its individual areas, and you will start to get a feel for the greater Manila, which really is a sum of its parts.


The Creator & Curator


Kathi Rañeses is a food and travel writer – contributing to and GMA New Online – copywriter, online marketing consultant, and entrepreneur. She is also a holistic tarot reader, paranormal investigator, and certified reiki practitioner.

Born and raised in the Middle East for most of her life, she came to call the Philippines her home and has dedicated this space to sharing and educating curious travelers about this breathtakingly beautiful country.

When she’s not away on an adventure or discovering amazing new dishes, you can usually find her at home planning her next escape, cooking up a storm in the kitchen, and spending quality time with her dogs – a local aspin rescue called Iggsey and a beautiful Siberian husky named Tala.


Jericho San Miguel Mucking Around Manila Photographer

The Photographer


Jericho San Miguel is a pretty chill dude who has his roots in Las Piñas City, Philippines. On any typical day, he moonlights as a freelance photographer, graphic designer, and a digital imaging technician for one of the biggest production houses in the country.

One of Jericho’s passions in life is sharing his love of travel and his fondness of food through a camera lens, with images that have been painstakingly shot with a lot of love and pride. With a taste for adventure and wanderlust, contributing his photos to Mucking Around Manila is the perfect excuse for him to eat, sleep, and drive his way around the country.

Someday, he hopes to save the world (from what exactly, nobody really knows), but until then he is pretty happy geeking out to his favorite shows, hiking up mountains for the clearest view of the stars, and working up the stamina to eventually join a 10-kilometer marathon the near future.

For inquiries about Jericho’s photography or graphic design rates, please shoot him an email at


Why Visit the Philippines?


The Philippines is such a gorgeous country – I wish it would be given its proper due. It has the white sandy beaches of Boracay and Palawan to rival that of Thailand’s’ the picturesque Banaue Rice Terraces carved into the Ifugao mountains that can put the ride paddies of Vietnam to shame; a rich and diverse seafood culture that can be found all over the country, particularly in Cebu, that also happens to be much more affordable than the restaurants along Marina Bay in Singapore; old, historical, Baroque churches dating back to the Spanish occupation, that you cannot find anywhere else in Southeast Asia; and the crispiest, most succulent porcine in the form of Cebu lechon and Vigan bagnet that you won’t have to go all the way to Macau for.

The Filipino people are as complex as the country they live in – the joke is, we are the most Mexican Asians you will ever meet. We are a mix of Malay, Chinese, Spanish, Indian, and Arabic races, with predominantly Catholic values and a very Western culture. Even the Tagalog language is a mix of native Filipino, English, and Spanish words, with some of the local dialects, like Chavacano, being more of a Spanish-based creole language than anything else.

In my travels I have realized that there are a lot of misconceptions about this tropical paradise (I had once been asked if there are cars, where I come from), and although it still may be a developing nation – I wish everyday the government would find a solution to the daily traffic jams and crazy motorists – the Philippines has all of the modern luxuries that one would ever need to travel, be comfortable, or even retire in one of its 7,107 islands.

Pay the Philippines a visit to discover any one of its beautiful beaches; learn how to scuba dive in Anilao, Batangas or Puerto Galera or go wreck diving with your mates in Coron or Davao; swim with the whale sharks in Oslob, Cebu; head up to Sagada and discover the hanging cemeteries; take a walking tour around Binondo, the oldest Chinatown in the world; get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and take in the scenery of the rolling hills of Batanes; or take in the unique culture and tradition of the mountain people of Kalinga, one of the least explored provinces of Cordillera.

After satiating your wanderlust, travelers who are interested in the esoteric can spend a weekend in Metro Manila and sign up for one of the many classes at Mysterium Philippines – enhancing their intuitive side, learning to how read Tarot cards or heal with Reiki, or maybe get started on the road to a better, healthier you with the cutting-edge treatments and services at the LifeScience Center for Wellness and Preventive Medicine.