Marvin Agustin and Mikael Daez: Savvy Globetrotters

IMAGE Marvin Agustin (Noel Orsal) / Jocelyn Dimaculangan (Mikael Daez)

Mikael Daez and Marvin Agustin are both light packers, with Mikael going to the extreme of backpacking once with nothing but the clothes he was wearing.


Marvin Agustin won't leave home without his phone.

“I have to have my phone, definitely, because without it I wouldn’t be able to communicate with my family," he says.

Just as important to the actor turned enterpreneur is he must be able to stay on top of his business even when he's abroad.

Marvin stresses, “I still get to do whatever I have to do in Manila wherever I am. So it’s definitely my phone.”

Marvin's business concerns include the restaurants Sumo Sam, Oyster Boy and Teddy’s Bigger Burger.

A light packer, Marvin says he only brings the stuff he really needs and foremost are “a very comfortable pair of shoes” so he can go exploring places with ease.

Meanwhile, Mikael Daez has taken the phrase “light packer” to a whole new level.

The actor-TV host relates going abroad once without bringing clothes at all, except the ones he was wearing.

“I went abroad, I had no clothes, backpack lang,” he relates.

For change of wardrobe, he simply buys inexpensive clothes during his trips abroad, “Mahirap kasing mag-check in.”

Mikael likes to document his travels so he fills his backpack with his “laptop, iPhone, monopod, GoPro, DSLR, battery packs, and portable batteries,” leaving no room for clothes.

He shares that the zip line has been the most daring of his adventures abroad, "13 zip lines yun!"

He recalls, "Talagang yung ginawa ko kasi sa zip line, talagang sabi ko, 'Okay this is a zip line, I need to shoot this, I need to have a footage of this.'

"Why would I do this zip line if I have nothing to show for it?

“But the thing was my brother couldn’t do it, takot sa heights, I had to do it.

"So I had my GoPro in one hand, I had my DLSR in the other hand.

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“The thing was, they weren’t secured to me. I couldn’t tie them, I didn’t have a strap for them, eh.

"So kung nalaglag siya, lahat ng footage ko, wala na. So that was pretty daring for me.

“Pero grabe, the zip line was really long, it lasted for about one minute.”

MEMORABLE TRIPS. For Marvin Agustin, New York will always be his happy place. But recently, he has fallen under the spell of the city of Madrid in Spain.

As he tells it, “Madrid is my recent discovery. I wasn’t really going to Madrid, I was going to London for an engagement.

“But I have not gone around Spain, I’ve only been to Barcelona.

"And we opened a Spanish restaurant, so then I said that I want to explore Spain more so I went to Madrid.

“Supposedly I was only going to stay for four days, I ended up staying for ten days. That’s how much I love Madrid.

“I think if I could get another chance, I would go back to Madrid and visit other cities in Spain.”

For Mikael Daez, it was the La Fortuna Waterfall in Costa Rica and watching sea turtles lay eggs. The trip was part of the Contiki Cares initiative in which 12 storytellers from various countries were invited to document the habitat of the endangered leatherneck turtles.

“The falls are amazing. We see waterfalls in postcards and this doesn’t do it justice. When you’re there, you’ll go like ‘Whoa, waterfalls.’

“Second, watching the leatherback turtle lay eggs. You really feel like you’re watching a dinosaur. It’s so big and the scales… it’s not something you would normally see. That was surreal.

“And since we had no cameras, zero equipment on us, zero lights. It was midnight. Talagang pitch black, you couldn’t see anything.

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"We could have encountered jaguars. Jaguars prey on the turtles. So that’s the danger also for the people who do their job there.”

FOOTLOOSE. Mikael also shares a funny encounter, “Oh, and I killed a wasp this big,” he shows the size of his fist.

“I was like butt naked. I was in the shower. Glamping kami.

"Nasa shower ako, tapos pag bukas ko ng curtains, it was right there on the lamp sa may sink.

“I had to get my clothes, I had to put on my towel, I didn’t know what I was gonna do.

"Yung pinakamalapit sa akin was toilet paper. Binalot ko sa kamay ko.

"‘This is not gonna feel good!’

“I had my hand wrapped in toilet paper 1…2…3…and I squished it,” he laughs.

Both Marvin and Mikael travel because they simply want to experience the world.

Mikael avers, “I have this attitude na I like to live in different places. Like for three months muna in this place.

"Like I’ll go to New York for three months, Costa Rica for three months, para lang ma-experience.

“I think that’s something I would like to try even when I have a family na.”

For Marvin, “I like to explore. Whenever I travel, wherever I am, I like exploring not just the tourist places. But also where the locals go.”


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