It’s August. Hello, Thailand!

I am back, and still keeping up with the blog posts. This time, let’s all go out of the country! Woohoo!

August came, and so as my birth month, yey! My friends and I went to a place where we got a whole lotta temples, elephants, pagoda, and shopping. Though I did not spend my actual birthday in this place, it was still a bliss to spend the bulk of the month’s budget roaming around and learning more about another country’s culture – Still a great way to celebrate a birthday. Let me share you some snaps and stories I had from that lovely place called Thailand.

So we arrived Bangkok a little past midnight (Bangkok time; -1 hour from MNL), and went straight to the hotel to rest, and well, to have a can of beer. We all know it’s already late and we have to get up early the next day for the first day of tour, but yea we want to drink beer. Priorities. Ha!

View of the metro from our hotel room.

View of the metro from our hotel room. Hotel: Bangkok City Hotel –Great hotel to stay.

The next day, we got up early to start our Kanchanaburi tour. It was a long ride. If my memory serves me right, the travel from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi is 2 to 3 hours. According to our tour guide-slash-driver, good thing we went to Thailand on a holiday (it was the Mother’s or Queen’s birthday) because traffic is better, he said. On a regular work day, according to him, the traffic is bad in Bangkok. We have not experience the bad traffic throughout our stay, so I really can’t say if the bad traffic is worse than the “Manila kind of bad traffic.” Moving on, here are some photos from Kanchanaburi.

Jam-packed floating market.

Jam-packed floating market.

One of the floating market stalls

One of the floating market stalls.

A temple along one of the floating market canals.

A temple along one of the floating market canals.

The colorful trucks of Thailand. Saw this while on our way to the Riverkwai floating restaurant. Gonna eat lunch!

The colorful trucks of Thailand. Saw this while on our way to the River Kwai floating restaurant. Gonna eat lunch!

The Riverkwai fishes.

The River Kwai fishes.

The bridge over the Riverkwai.

The bridge over the River Kwai.

Colors, flowers, and boats along Riverkwai.

Colors, flowers, and boats along River Kwai.

Wang Po Elephant Park. Went to see (and some of us ride) an elephant!

Wang Po Elephant Park. Went to see (and some of us ride) an elephant!

Hello there baby elephant! :)

Hello there kiddo elephant! :)

Some of my friends, riding an elephant. Noicee!

Some of my friends, riding an elephant. Noicee!

The Thai-Burma Railway (Death Railway). Great we were able to catch the train passing by.

The Thai-Burma Railway (Death Valley Railway). Great we were able to catch the train passing by.

Some passengers waving. :)

Some passengers waving. :)

View from the railway.

View from the railway.

Golden Buddha on Death Valley Railway

Golden Buddha on Death Valley Railway.

First day’s finished, and we were able to go back the hotel around 8 or 9 in the evening (if I am not mistaken, sorry senior citizen moment lol). We were all hungry and we went out immediately to look for food. Good thing there are food establishments near our hotel (Bangkok City Hotel), which serves cheap but delicious food like noodles, rice, roasted and fried meat and fish, and authentic Thai food. Though I can’t stand some spicy Thai food – Obviously not a fan of spicy food here. Lol.

Anyway, after dinner, we went to a convenience store to buy a can of beer. Again, priorities. Haha! And then, we head to sleep already, because once again, it will be another long day for us the next day.

For our second day of tour, our group went to Ayutthaya. The travel time to Ayutthaya from Bangkok is around 1 to 2 hours. Again, still no bad traffic during our trip since it was still a holiday. Good job! For this trip, we were advised to wear proper attire since we will be visiting mostly temples and the famous Bang Pa-In Summer Palace. If you are planning to go here as well, please consider this advise in planning your OOTDs. :) Here are some snaps in Ayutthaya.

Outside the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace. Make sure to observe proper attire before entering the place. :)

Outside the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace.

The huge lake inside the palace.

The huge lake inside the palace.

A small palace in the middle of the lake. Aisawan Dhiphya-Asana Pavilion

A pavilion in the middle of the lake. Aisawan Dhiphya-Asana Pavilion.

One of the sculptures on the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace bridge.

One of the sculptures on the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace bridge.

Ho Withun Thasana, or Sages' Lookout

Ho Withun Thasana, or Sages’ Lookout.

Wehart Chamrunt, or Heavenly Light

Wehart Chamrunt, or Heavenly Light

One of the the Ayutthaya ruins.

One of the the Ayutthaya ruins.

And another Ayutthaya ruins :)

And another of Ayutthaya ruins :)

The head of Buddha in Wat Mahathat

The head of Buddha in Wat Mahathat

Wat Mahathat ruins

Wat Mahathat ruins

Part of Wat Mahathat ruins

Part of Wat Mahathat ruins

Street food! Break time from all the walking. :)

Street food! Break time from all the walking. :)

Elephants in the Ayutthaya center.

Elephants in the Ayutthaya center.

Elephants in the Ayutthaya center, taking a bath. Lol

Elephants in the Ayutthaya center, taking a bath. Lol

Laughing buddha in Ayutthaya.

Laughing Buddha in Ayutthaya.

Wat Phu Khao Thong. The top part of the pagoda is actually leaning. Just like the Tower of Pisa

Wat Phu Khao Thong. The top part of the pagoda is actually leaning. Just like the Tower of Pisa

More of Wat Phu Khao Thong.

More of Wat Phu Khao Thong.

My Thailand escapade buddies!

My Thailand escapade buddies!

Me and the Ayutthaya ruins. Yey!

Me and the Ayutthaya ruins. Yey!

Aside from the Kanchanaburi and Ayutthaya, there are other places to visit in Thailand. Too bad we have to leave soon. In our case, we just spent the night of day-2 in downtown Bangkok looking for cheap finds, and well, a whole lot more of night life. It was  a tiring day with all the walking and drinking, and slept almost 3 or 4 in the morning. Long day, I know, but so much fun.

We spent the third and last day of our Thailand tour roaming around the streets of Bangkok. We went a little gift / pasalubong shopping around the metro almost the whole day, and finally went to the airport that night to catch our flight back to Manila. We arrived the airport way early, and we still have enough time to look around the Duty Free shops. We enjoyed looking around too much, we almost missed the boarding announcement of our flight. Whew! Long story, but to cut it short, it was a really close call. Just take note, always: “G” doesn’t stand for “gate” Lol.

That’s all. ‘Till the next travel!

The Magalawa Island Weekend

My friends and I spent one May-June weekend in a Zambales island. It was a birthday celebration-slash-weekend getaway – just what everybody needs at that time. As always, everybody enjoyed the short but sweet vacation. I am fully aware today is already September, and here I am blogging about this experience back in June. Oh well, it’s better late than never. So, here it is, some snaps from Magalawa Island in Zambales. :)

The island. A view from the boat. Magalawa, here we come!

The island. A view from the boat. Magalawa, here we come!

Upon arrival, we checked in, ate some food to ease our hungry tummies, prepared the drinks, changed clothes for beach dipping and spent the entire morning (and some of the afternoon) on the beach. Ahhh, the feeling of freedom from work! Lol. By the way, Armada Resort (the resort where we stayed) also offers a camping experience with their tent area. I am not sure about their rates, but you can just search them over the internet to check. Just saying, I thought such experience would also be cool. But I had a dose of it already in Burot Beach, a month before this trip. So…

Strolling along the shore.

Strolling along the shore.

The i-don't-know-what-tree, but looks beautiful.

The i-don’t-know-what-tree, but looks beautiful.

First day afternoon dipping

First day morning to noon dipping.

...and chillin'

…And chillin’ out

At the beach with these ice cold bevs. Perfect!

At the beach with these ice cold bevs. Perfect!

Aside from the beach dippin’ and chillin’, some went snorkeling. I opted to stay on the floating station instead, hopefully to rest more and to take some photos for my friends. But brilliant as I am, I forgot to bring my camera with me, so you all know what happened next – no photos. Fail.

We went back to our room around 5 or 6 in the afternoon to prepare and change clothes for dinner. The motif for the evening, as requested by the birthday boy, was floral.  And we all gladly abide by the request. Pagbigyan, birthday! :)) And as always, I died that night once again. – Being a morning person, plus alcohol, equals a deadly night for me. Hahaha!

The after dinner drinks. Such a fun night. Lol.

The after dinner drinks. Such a fun night. Lol.

So the next day, we just enjoyed the remaining hours we have in the island. Same as the first day, swimming, napping, and more drinking on the beach. And MORE photo ops. Haha!

The morning after.

The morning after.

And more of the morning after. Lol

And more of the morning after. Lol

Same as to more chillin' out the morning after. Lol

Same as to more chillin’ out the morning after. Lol

And more photo ops for the birthday boy.

And more photo ops for the birthday boy.

Same as to more photo ops for me. lol

Same as to more photo ops for me. lol

This is the perfect life, until we left the island around 3 or 4 in the afternoon (if my memory serves me right haha). Well, there’s always a next time for these kind of things. – Just like the other trip I did back in August (which I’ll be blogging the next time). After all, they say a good work-life balance is best for everyone. Alright, that’s it for now, ’til the next photo blog. :)

Valentine Weekend in El Nido, Palawan <3

“It’s gonna be MAY” as JT said, and here I am still posting backlogs from February. It’s better late than never!

Back in February, aside from Boracay island (which I’ve been to several times already), I went to a place people say the best island for lovers/honeymooners. I am not really sure why they call it that, but yeah I went there to spend the valentine weekend with the people I love. I definitely enjoyed the adventure, the challenges on reaching this place to another, the snapping of photos, the beautiful sights of sun and beach, the sumptuous food, the ice cold beer, and of course the great memories shared with friends. People, let’s go see the wonders of El Nido, Palawan!

The arrival. We can't let go the night without a buzz of alcohol so we went around town to get one. Thanks Watering Hole for saving the night!

The arrival. We can’t let go the night without a buzz of alcohol so we went around town to get one. Thanks Watering Hole for saving the night!

Gearing up for the island tours!

Gearing up for the island tours!

Hidden Beach

Hidden Beach

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View from Talisayen Beach

View from Talisay Beach where we also had our lunch.

The famous photo spot of El Nido. View from Matinloc Shrine's cliff

The famous photo ops spot of El Nido. View from Matinloc Shrine’s cliff

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More of Matinloc shrine's limestones

More of Matinloc shrine’s limestone.

The Valentine's dinner/ drinking session/ mind games. Lols. Yes we all wore white.

The Valentine’s dinner/ drinking session/ “mind games.” Lols. Yes we all wore white.

More sights of El Nido for day two Island tours! Hello Mr. Sun, finally!

More sights of El Nido for day-two island tours! Hello Mr. Sun, finally!

View from Shimizu Island. Beach bumming and lunch!

View from Shimizu Island. Beach bumming and lunch!

More of from Shimizu Island

More from Shimizu Island

The ride.

The ride.

Small Lagoon's limestone.

Small Lagoon’s limestone.

More boat rides, more great sights.

More boat rides, more great sights.

Somewhere near Big Lagoon. lol

Somewhere near Big Lagoon. lol

Palawan experience won't be complete without Tamiloc! Early dinner at Kinabuchs before heading back MNL.

Palawan experience won’t be complete without Tamiloc! Early dinner in Kinabuchs before heading back Manila. Save the best for last!

El Nido buddies! <3

El Nido buddies! <3

PS: I was not able to take photos on some islands and/or lagoons, because I was too scared that my camera will suddenly go swimming with me. I swear I’m kinda bad in balance. So there. :)

Batanes, Twice The Fun

January was a pretty busy month for me – Busy travelling lol. I went to one place though, but did it twice. The place is that beautiful which made me not think twice in spending again to visit the place the second time. I even know a lot of people who wants to visit the place because of its marvelous view and rich culture. However, going here via regular plane ticket is quite pricey so I feel very lucky to be knowing about the seat sale for this trip. I definitely enjoyed the whole experience being in this place – humble and warm people, new set of friends, magnificent view, even the flight cancellation going back Manila! It was all wild but worth it. Friends, let me show you the great sights of Batanes.

Mt. Carmel Chapel

Mt. Carmel Chapel

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Fundacion Pacita Nature Lodge

Fundacion Pacita Nature Lodge

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Valugan Boulder Beach

Valugan Boulder Beach

Vayang Rolling Hills

Vayang Rolling Hills

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Basco Lighthouse in Naidi Hills

Basco Lighthouse in Naidi Hills

Sunset viewing in Basco Lighthouse

Sunset viewing in Basco Lighthouse

Faluwa boat ride to Sabtang Island. Wild.

Faluwa boat ride to Sabtang Island. Wild.

Sabtang port

Sabtang port

Chamantad-Tinyan Viewpoint

Chamantad-Tinyan Viewpoint

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Brgy. Chavayan Stone Houses

Brgy. Chavayan Stone Houses. With some new-found-friends in Batanes :)

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Wearing a Vakul

Wearing a Vakul

Chawa View Deck

Chawa View Deck

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Mahatao Boat Shelter Port

Mahatao Boat Shelter Port

San Carlos Borromeo Church - UNESCO World Heritage Site

San Carlos Borromeo Church – UNESCO World Heritage Site

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Racuh a Payaman (Marlboro Hills)

Racuh a Payaman (Marlboro Hills)

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Met a very cute and clingy cat on the vast fields of Marlboro Hills

Alapad Hills and Rock Formation

Alapad Hills and Rock Formation

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Song-Song Ruins

Song-Song Ruins

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Biking in Basco Airport runway!

Biking in Basco Airport runway!

Yellow rice and Paco. My favorite Ivatan food

Yellow rice and Paco. My favorite Ivatan food

My Batanes Buddies - the second time around. :)

My Batanes Buddies – the second time around. :)

Bohol Over The Ocean, Bohol Over The Sea

More backlogs from 2013. Of course the good ones.

Philippines’ last quarter of 2013 has been a tough one. Aside from the super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan, Int’l name), there was also a strong earthquake that hit certain parts of the Visayas. It’s already saddening to see some kababayans who were affected by these calamities, moreover to see some UNESCO heritage sites and historic churches crumbling down to debris. It’s just heartbreaking.

My friends and I went to Bohol for a short vacation last October. We went there a week before a 7.2 earthquake shook the province. We visited famous landmarks and beaches of which they are known of – Sadly, some of it now were severely damaged by the calamity. Of course I felt really thankful that the calamity didn’t happen during the time we were there. Honestly, I can’t imagine myself being in that kind of situation. However, I can’t help but feel heartbroken with all the destroyed wonders of the place. Bohol is such a beautiful place and people there are nice and warm too. I really hope things will get better there the soonest.

Here are some snaps taken during our trip to the wonderful province of Bohol.

Loboc River cruise. Since we went there during the lean months, we were the only guests of the boat. Sashalll!

Loboc River cruise. Since we went there during the lean months, we were the only guests of the boat. Sashalll!

More of Loboc River. These people are very good in entertaining tourists. I swear I had a good vibe during the whole trip because of this experience.

More of Loboc River. These people are very good in entertaining tourists. I swear I had a good vibe during the whole trip because of this experience.

Still in Loboc River. If there are singers, there should be dancers!

Still in Loboc River. If there are singers, there should be dancers!

The hanging bridge. Crossing this thing is a little tricky. But once you take a few steps, you'll get the hang of it.  At the other end of the bridge are souvenir shops. Souvenirs are cheaper here, so shop now.

The hanging bridge. Crossing this thing is a little tricky, but you’ll get the hang of it after a few steps. At the other end of the bridge are souvenir shops. Souvenirs are cheaper here, so shop now.

The Tarsier Conservation Area. Oh hello there little buddy! I hope y'all notice him. No flash upon taking pictures and no touching. Pffft.

The Tarsier Conservation Area. Oh hello there little buddy! I hope y’all notice him. No flash upon taking pictures and no touching. Pffft.

The Man-made Forest. This is one of my favorites. Aside from the beautiful sight of this forest, I love the rush of taking photos on the middle of the road. While being on the look out  of a car or a truck that might suddenly appear. Haha.

The Man-made Forest. This is one of my favorites. Aside from the beautiful sight of this forest, I love the rush of taking photos on the middle of the road, while being on the look out for a car (or a truck) that might suddenly appear. Haha.

The Chocolate Hills. Of course your trip to Bohol won't be complete without a visit to this place. Magnificent. Just magnificent.

The Chocolate Hills. Of course your trip to Bohol won’t be complete without a visit to this place. Magnificent. Just magnificent.

Bohol Bee Farm. A nice place to stay and dine. We first went there to dine, and after finding out that they have a promo rate for lean months, we moved there to spend our last night.

Bohol Bee Farm. A nice place to stay and dine. We first went there to dine, and after finding out that they have a promo rate (for room rates) for lean months, we moved there to spend our last night. Also try their farm tour to know more about organic farming, weaving and bee keeping.

A certain grilled fish by Bohol Bee Farm. I love how the sauce and the grilled fish compliments each other. I liked the salad too, however I'm not used to eating flowers. I know it's edible but I just feel weird eating it.

A certain grilled fish by Bohol Bee Farm. I love how the sauce and the grilled fish compliments each other. I liked the salad too, however I’m not used to eating flowers. I know it’s edible but I just feel weird eating it. Oh, and I need to mention this. I also love their tsokolate drink and their ice cream in cab-cab cone. My favorite flavor is Malunggay and tsokolate. Must try.

Island hopping and dolphin watching day! Sad I was not able to capture photos of dolphins since they are so fast and, well, far. Hard for me to snap a picture of them.

Island hopping and dolphin watching day! Sad I was not able to capture photos of dolphins since they are so fast and, well, far. Hard for me to snap a picture of them.

The Virgin Island aka The Sand Bar. Really wish we spent longer time here. Oh the tides.

The Virgin Island aka The Sand Bar. Really wish we spent longer time here. Oh the tides.

Eating sea urchins. Apparently they taste good. Such a good experience. A must try.

Eating sea urchins. Apparently they taste good. Such a good experience. A must try.

Eating some kind of slug. taste yummy as well. Get ready for a rubbery feel. Ha!

Eating some kind of slug. taste yummy as well. Get ready for a rubbery feel. Ha!

Tons of starfish. An overload of starfish greeted us on our way to the sand bar.

Tons of starfish. An overload of starfish greeted us on our way to the sand bar.

Chill. Enjoying the sun sand and sea. And the coconut (buko) juice.

Chill. Enjoying the sun sand and sea. And the coconut (buko) juice.

Bohol buddies!

Bohol buddies! The obligatory jump shot.

To Baler and Beyond!

Found another time to blog! Beep-beep! Surf’s up to Baler, Aurora!

Just like my previous trip to Caramoan Islands last year (http://bit.ly/wlFnsw), I get hitched again on my friend’s educational trip  - this time in Baler. As usual, I joined a bus loaded with students and some friends. It was quite a blur to me already on what time we left Manila (since this trip was like roughly 3 months ago heehee), but if my memory serves me right, it took us 6 to 7 hours to reach Baler. The bus ride was tiring but fun. It feels like I am back in college!

It was a little rainy during our stay in Baler, but it didn’t stop us from going around the place. Aside from Baler’s famous surfer’s haven beach, we also went to Ditumabo mother falls, Diguisit beach, PAG-ASA site, Millennium Tree, and Museo de Baler. I may not have been able to surf because of the absence of “surfing waves” at that time, but I definitely enjoyed trekking (and falling, and slipping), taking photos, and chillin’ on the beach and the places we visited. I almost soaked my DSLR at that time, so it will definitely be a memorable experience for me. Lol.

Here are some snaps on that Baler weekend. Enjoy! :)

Trekking sites to Ditumabo Falls

Trekking sights to Ditumabo Falls

The bamboo bridge (which we didn't take BTW)

The bamboo bridge (which we didn’t take BTW)

Slippery but gorgeous rocks (which victimized me repeatedly lol)

Slippery but gorgeous rocks (which victimized me repeatedly lol)

To the mother falls!

To the mother falls!

The baby falls

The baby falls

Finally! The Ditumabo mother falls

Finally! The Ditumabo mother falls

Look how high it is. Such a wonder

Look how high it is. Such a wonder

Next stop: The Millennium Tree

Next stop: The Millennium Tree

Going inside the Millennium Tree (for Grimm brothers experience lol)

Going inside the Millennium Tree (for Grimm brothers experience lol)

Diguisit Beach

Diguisit Beach

The rock-throwing tournament in Diguisit Beach. Haha.

The rock-throwing tournament in Diguisit Beach. Haha.

PAG-ASA Weather Radar Station.

PAG-ASA Weather Radar Station.

View from the PAG-ASA site

View from the PAG-ASA site. Lovely.

Baler buddies!

Baler buddies!

So Glad To Be Back, Boracay!

Finally got a free time to blog! This time: Oyeaa! I’m back, Boracay!

July was a “vacation leave-packed month” for me. Being back to Boracay might be one of the reasons why I got only nearly half of my overtime billing for that month, but no worries, it was all worth it. It felt good to be back! Plus, this time I went there with some friends – which translates to that thing called PARTY!

Food, island-hopping, chilling at the beach with a beer and a reggae band, and beach party. These are some things to summarize that ultimate Boracay escapade. I can totally prove now that Boracay might always look the same, but each visit to the island will definitely bring you a whole new experience. Going there solo or with a bunch of friends will always be fun. Take it from me, I experienced it first-hand. Being a party-island as it is, its fine white sand, and a sunset to enjoy, sure thing it will give you a worth-while vacation. Here are some of my snaps during the trip. Enjoy! :)

PS: If you’ll notice, I don’t have snaps of us partying. I’m sorry, we’re too busy to take pictures. C’mon, Boracay party is epic. Come visit Boracay for a first-hand experience.

Skies going to Boracay

Skies going to Boracay. AirAsia is the best.

Enjoying the beach, band and a few beers

Enjoying the beach, band and a few beers

Island hopping!

Island hopping!

Snorkeling activity during the island hopping.

Snorkeling activity during the island hopping.

At last, Puka beach! A lovely place to chill. That fine what sand is <3

At last, Puka beach! A lovely place to chill. That fine what sand is <3

Puka beach group shot

Puka beach group shot

Shmiles on board!

Shmiles on board!

Crystal cove view. Love the color of the sea.

Crystal cove view. Love the color of the sea.

Crystal cove group shot. Shmile!

Crystal cove group shot. Shmile!

Show that island's name: Crystal Cove

Show that island’s name: Crystal Cove

Father and son love

Father and daughter love

Back to the main island topped with rainbow experience

Back to the main island, topped with rainbow experience

Hungry as hell! Time for Jonah's shakes, sandwich and fries.

Hungry as hell! Time for Jonah’s shakes, sandwich and fries.

Vacation won't be complete without a jumpshot.

Vacation won’t be complete without a jump shot.

Sunset! Lovely skies.

Sunset! Lovely skies.

Chilling at the main island. That's me, selfie. Lol

Last shot: Chillin’ at the main island. That’s me, selfie. Lol