In 2005, Ivan Henares was among the first Filipinos to take advantage of the entry of low cost carriers in the Philippines. Seat sales and piso fares were unheard of before these airlines entered the Philippine market. He booked a "free seat" plane ticket to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia and what happened next is history. It was during his trip to Kota Kinabalu and Brunei in April 2005 that he wrote his first blog entries.

Direct flights from the Philippines to many popular destinations today were non-existent at that time. And since so many friends would be asking him where he went, what he did and all, he thought he might as well update everyone through a blog. The blog title, something he simply came up with off the top of his head, in the few minutes he had on the rented computer at Trekkers Lodge, was inspired by the thought of him being a man about town for travel. And so Ivan About Town became the silly title of his new blog.

At that time, he wasn't really serious and simply updated the blog when he went around. Plus he was taking his MBA, so updating the blog really depended on available time. But his heritage advocacy was very evident even in those early posts.

He got more determined after he attended a workshop on blogging and podcasting as political communication tools in March 2006 sponsored by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. By that time, he had already completed his academic requirements and had several trips lined up. So that's when Ivan About Town really took off.

He never thought strangers would actually read the blog or take it seriously since he was, and still is, just having fun. Who would have thought he would be one of the pioneers of travel blogging in the Philippines? In 2007, Ivan About Town was named Best Travel Blog at the 1st Philippine Blog Awards.

He became a rabid domestic traveler, showcasing the Philippines and its heritage. With his insatiable penchant for travel, it was no surprise he set foot on all 80 provinces of the Philippines by December 2010. There are now 81 provinces. And he's seen the newest one too! Now that he has seen much of the Philippines, his obsession for adventure and cultural exchange pushes him to see the rest of the world. And he's seen 80 countries and territories (as of February 2017). We all wonder where he's off to next!

Traveler, heritage advocate and tourism educator, Ivan Henares is proud to have visited all 81 provinces of the Philippines and is on his way to visiting the world. He is currently a PhD student in Hospitality and Tourism Management at Purdue University, as a 2017-2018 Fulbright-CHED Scholar. He is Assistant Professor (on study leave) at the Asian Institute of Tourism of the University of the Philippines, Diliman and Vice President of the ICOMOS International Cultural Tourism Committee (ICTC).

During the past years, he served as President of the Heritage Conservation Society from 2013 to 2016, Head of the NCCA National Committee on Monuments and Sites in 2017, and Trustee of the Nayong Pilipino Foundation from 2013 to 2017. In 2012, he was named one of The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) in the field of Heritage Conservation. Read more...

Since the blog is named Ivan About Town, I guess everyone in the team should be named Ivan?

Ivan Man Dy
Now people always mistake Ivan Henares for his tokayo Ivan Man Dy and vice versa. But they are two different people with very similar interests and advocacies. Which is why Man Dy decided to contribute to the blog. Conceptualized, manufactured, bred and educated in the city of Manila, Ivan Man Dy is the feet behind Old Manila Walks. When he's not busy doing his first love (running his walks and talking about Manila), Ivan shifts to his second passion, traveling. He dabbles as freelance features and travel writer to major dailies and has done occasional TV appearances. Now, if only he can host his own travel show.

Ivan Roman
An aspiring Nat Geo Explorer and a Visual Effects Tech savvy, Ivan Roman is a full-time instructor at the School of Multimedia Arts of Asia Pacific College, teaching 3D computer graphics and motion design for visual effects in video/film production. He had been working in the TV commercial production industry for the past 5 years. He’s also a part owner and the acting General Manager of a collective media production company known as Circo Perros. His love for the outdoors, nature and wildlife grew from his curiosity when he was a young boy within the walls of their pocket garden at home. He would plant his own vegetables and herbs, try grafting with their trees, breed hens to lay native eggs, take care of pet turtles, fishes, snails, lobster, hermit crabs, ducks, parrots, love birds, cats and his most loved of all, dogs. All thanks to his dad who taught him and bought him all the books about nature and how things work. They both love spending time doing outdoor fishing by the way. His passion and the never ending curiosity to explore is what drives him to capture and record his experiences into his photographs and videos. His most recent passion film was shot in the province of Batangas which can be seen here. The newest addition to the team, he is now a contributing collaborator for all film and video content at Ivan About Town.

In the August 2009 issue of Rogue Magazine, Ivan About Town was featured as one of eight authoritative blogs that cannot be discounted for their collective influence as a growing number of foodies rely on their online opinions on where—and what—to eat. Read more about Ivan's food adventures.

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