Philippines

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

DSC_0037V2

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

DSC_0098V2

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! ❤

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

a4

Fundacion Pacita Nature Lodge

Fundacion Pacita Nature Lodge

DSC_0048DSC_0062

Valugan Boulder Beach

Valugan Boulder Beach

Vayang Rolling Hills

Vayang Rolling Hills

a37

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

a36 IMG_0364

Brgy. Chavayan Stone Houses

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

IMG_0382

Wearing a Vakul

Wearing a Vakul

Chawa View Deck

Chawa View Deck

IMG_0413

Mahatao Boat Shelter Port

Mahatao Boat Shelter Port

San Carlos Borromeo Church - UNESCO World Heritage Site

San Carlos Borromeo Church – UNESCO World Heritage Site

IMG_0428

Racuh a Payaman (Marlboro Hills)

Racuh a Payaman (Marlboro Hills)

IMG_0486

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

Alapad Hills and Rock Formation

Alapad Hills and Rock Formation

DSC_0115 DSC_0121

Song-Song Ruins

Song-Song Ruins

DSC_0126

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 ❤

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

Let’s Go Palaui!

Earlier this month, I went to another beautiful place here in my beloved country, the Philippines. A roughly thirteen-hour drive from Manila, this paradise located in the north-eastern tip of Luzon has a lot to offer to back-packers, beach bums, and adventure seekers. Everyone, have a peek of the wonderful Palaui Island in Cagayan, Philippines.

DSC_0328

The breathtaking view after the 7KM trek

 

View from Cape Engano.

 

Batil Patong, A local specialty.

Batil Patong, A local specialty.

 

Endless fields of Cagayan.

Endless fields of Cagayan.

 

Crossing Palaui Island

Crossing Palaui Island

 

Meet the cutest guide in the island, Tour Guide (Yes, that's his name)

Meet the cutest guide in the island, Tour Guide (Yes, that’s his name)

 

Puso making 101

Puso making 101

 

DSC_0170

Crossing the hanging bridge of Lagunzad Trail

Our group took the 7KM trail to conquer the beautiful views of the island. The kilometers didn’t seem that hard because of the countless things you could find during the trek – flowers, plants, trees, species, views. Epic.

The good-smelling flower

The good-smelling flower

 

DSC_0190

Delish fruit, mulberry

 

The mangroves

The mangroves

 

DSC_0216

Pretty-looking tree 1

 

DSC_0220

Pretty-looking tree 2

 

Dos Hermanos Islands

Dos Hermanos Islands

 

That tiny frog

That tiny frog

 

Look at that gorgeous waves

Look at that gorgeous waves

 

Inception-like view lol

Inception-like view lol

 

Cape Engano

Cape Engano

 

DSC_0410

Look outside – from the cape.

 

Conquering Palaui!

Conquering Palaui!

 

My Palaui buddies aka #TeamMarina :)

My Palaui buddies aka #TeamMarina 🙂

Summer Opener in Zambales

A few weeks ago, my friends and I went for some beach-lovin’ experience outside the metro. And before this month ends, let me share you our Zambales summer-opener experience. Here are some of the snaps.

Heading out to Nagsasa cove early in the morning with clear waters.

Heading out to Nagsasa cove early in the morning with clear waters.

DSC_0348_ED

The calm water reflects a mirror like image of the “katig”

DSC_0360_ED2

Zambales rocks and mountains

DSC_0369_ED2

DSC_0374_ED2

Zambales buddies during the boat ride

Zambales buddies during the boat ride

DSC_0390_ED

Time to eat!

Time to eat! Grilled pork

DSC_0421_ED

Time to eat! Grilled fish

At the "lunch table" lol

At the “lunch table” lol

The mandatory jump shot :)

The mandatory jump shot 🙂

The mandatory group shot lololol

The mandatory group shot lololol

Going back to the mainland as the sun sets

Going back to the mainland as the sun sets

The next morning at Pundaquit, Zambales

The next morning at Pundaquit, Zambales – Where you can experience a washing machine-like current. Yea!

DSC_0501_ED2

Surfing! San Juan, La Union

It’s better late than never. This trip happened maybe around two weeks ago, and here I am posting it just now. It’s one of the most remarkable experiences in my life because of the activity we (me and my friends) did during this vacation. Ready, paddle, surf! Welcome to San Juan, La Union!

Aside from the fact that we are all “surfing virgins”, this trip is the most spontaneous trip I’ve ever been. Define spontaneous: No plans until the day before the trip; no room reservations; no definite time of departure and arrival; no itinerary at all. Though these were the instances, we definitely enjoyed the trip. Let the snaps tell the entire story.

DSC_0205_IP

Bus stop!

The long and fun bus ride.

The long and fun bus ride.

DSC_0218_IP

Finally got a room to stay! Posh.

DSC_0237_IP

Chill at the shore, day 1.

DSC_0257_IP

Interesting beach lamp

DSC_0275_IP

Beer and sand. Oyeaa!

DSC_0350_IP

Surf 101

DSC_0385_IP

Surfing fun photo ops

DSC_0451v2_IP

Yes! Was able to get up. Oyeaa!

DSC_0461_IP

Baywatch shot!

My favorite snap for this vacation.

My favorite snap for this vacation.

DSC_0567_IP

Lovely sunset

DSC_0593_IP

After a long day, a sumptuous dinner.

DSC_0615_IP

Beer and bonfire. Feels gooood.

DSC_0619_IP

Fire up!

DSC_0667_IP

Bubbles during the beer and chill session.

DSC_0758_IP

Before leaving the place. Such a great place to stay!

Finally, Enchanted Kingdom!

It may be a late post, but I won’t let this experience miss my blog. Ladies and gentlemen, congratulate me for my first ever Enchanted Kingdom experience. Finally, I’m not that loser anymore. Ha!

Enchanted Kingdom theme park opened its gates to the public in 1995 (I got that from their website), and here I am experiencing the fun  almost two decades later. Yea, I know, where in the world I am. We arrived at the park close to noon time and the lines were very long. The sun is really up, making that day very humid. Throughout the day we felt like a factory of glue, but nothing stopped us – we enjoyed every activity in the park.  I must say, this is one of the best weekend I’ve ever had. I love my friends. Here are some snaps. Enjoy!

Eldar welcomes Enchanted Kingdom guests

 

Lines. Lots of it.

 

After waiting for tickets. Finally inside EK.

 

Happy kid

 

Famous EK avenue

 

Fifth avenue books

 

A wild ride, baby. Space Shuttle

 

Colorful prizes for mini-games

 

What to do during a long wait in line? Take pictures.

 

Jungle Log Jam

 

Wheel of Fate

 

Rio Grande Rapids face.

 

More rides! Nah, I just don’t know the name of this thing. lol

 

Grand carousel

 

Hey there, horsey!

 

Buhbye EK. See you next time!

 

My EK buddies. Yey!