My Top 5 Favorite Beaches in the Philippines

I must be crazy for attempting to pick just 5 favorite beaches in the Philippines. I’m sure this is just going to be part 1, and there will be more parts to this post in the future. Even though it’s a fact that our country boasts of hundreds of beautiful beaches, I’ve only been to a few, so my selection is not as extensive as I’d like them to be. But still, even with just a few beaches to choose from, this is going to be a tough post to write. Let’s begin. Continue reading

2017 Itinerary

Since I have acquired a new job, one that requires me to report at an actual office, my longer travels will significantly become less frequent. No more staying abroad for months. At most, I can spend two weeks away, but that is if I decide to take my vacation leaves all in one go, which is kind of not possible. Now before I regret my decision of leaving my work-from-home job, I give you the list of places I want to visit this year.

Continue reading

My 2016 in Pictures

There’s just a couple more days before we officially say goodbye to 2016. This year has been crazy! I’ve had a lot of memories, good and bad. My year-end blues came early this year which resulted to hard decisions being made. It was such a depressing time but I am happy that I’m leaving some things behind in 2016. It’s impossible to tell you all of the great stories in one post, so I’m posting pictures instead. (This would’ve been easier had I been a diligent blogger!)

January

Started the year by meeting up with old friends.

Continue reading

Mindanao Road Trip Part 1: Dipolog City

My friends decided to pay me a visit in my hometown Zamboanga City. We’d been talking about this for a very long time but plans were never realized until one day, we all just sat down and booked a ticket. They scheduled a 12-day trip so I wrote an itinerary for us to explore a couple of cities in Mindanao too.

First stop: Dipolog City.

Our main purpose was to go to Dakak, but since we told ourselves this was going to be a budget trip, we opted to book accommodations in Dipolog and just travel to Dapitan for Dakak. My friends arrived on April 4, and we hopped on a Rural Transit bus to Dipolog early the next day.

Continue reading

Celebrated Best Friend’s Birthday in Bohol

This is an overdue post. =_=

Last August, I was lucky enough to tag along with my friend in a family-slash-birthday trip to Bohol. We stayed in Dumaluan Beach Resort and went on a tour.

One of our stops was this place. I forgot what the place was called. But the reason we went there was for a ride that’s called The Plunge. Reena and her brother went for it while I and Tita Offie took pictures.

DSC_0275
The Adventure Menu. We didn’t try any of the other stuff because they weren’t available at the time (and we didn’t have the money anyways!). LOL
DSC_0277
You’re not paying for the ride. You’re paying for the experience.
2
Reena after the drop.
1
Riz after the drop.
DSC_0278
Drop point
DSC_0282
A view of what’s below.

And then of course we went to the famous Chocolate Hills:

DSC_0352
Pretty
DSC_0356
Reena’s a ninja

And then we went to the Tarsier Conservation Area in Loboc, Bohol.

DSC_0474
Obligatory tourist post.
DSC_0398
Hello there big-eyed creature you. So cute. (Reminds me of Gollum — My precious!)
DSC_0409
A beetle.
DSC_0456
Sleepyhead

One of the highlights of the tour was a buffet lunch afloat a boat while cruising through the river. It was an awesome experience. I saw a group of dogs fishing:

DSC_0508
Dogs!!!
DSC_0496
Hello fella.
DSC_0524
Goodness. This was stressful.
DSC_0529
Cold-blooded.
DSC_0619
Underwater shot of Reena. I used my DSLR camera here with underwater protection. It didn’t have the best quality. Thankfully the water was crystal clear.

Too bad this was a rather short trip. I would’ve wanted to explore Cebu right after, but time didn’t permit. Maybe Cebu deserves a whole different trip/tour altogether. Hmm, maybe in 2013. –RA

Getting Friendly with the Jellyfishes at The Manila Ocean Park

I am not very fond of the ocean. In fact, I have water anxiety. I don’t have a problem going to beaches, or swimming in shallow waters, but throw me in the middle of the ocean, or a deeper part of the beach, and I’d probably die of a heart attack first before drowning. It’s just how it’s always been. I remember when I was a kid, my family would go to the beach every summer and I would cry all the time because I couldn’t swim with my brothers and sisters for fear of being stung by a jellyfish. Yeah, it was that bad.

Now that I am older, I still have that same fear. But I’ve gotten to appreciate the beauty of the ocean and its creatures. I love going to beaches (even bought an underwater camera) to take pictures of fishes, corals, and whatnot. They’re just breathtaking. And as you know, Philippines has a few of the most beautiful beaches in the world. I’ve gone to a few, but I still have a long list to cross out!

A couple of weeks back, my family and I went to the Manila Ocean Park. I’ve always wanted to go there because I’ve heard so much about it – mostly good things. I had high hopes but was disappointed when I saw how shabby the place has become. I wish I had gone when it was newer. 🙁

This didn’t prevent me from having fun with my family (time with family is always fun!) and from taking pictures of the amazing collection of sea creatures they have there. Here are some:

You can check out the rest of my shots here: Raia Ajihil Photography on FB.

Rock on. RAP

Like a kid again! Visited Enchanted Kingdom with workmates

It’s been a while since I last visited this place. The last time, I think, was 5 or 6 years ago. Nothing much has changed, Space Shuttle, Anchors Away, and the Log Jam were still there. Except for a few addition to the rides, Enchanted Kingdom was still the same as how I remembered it from years ago: fun, crowded, and Christmassy. LOL.

The only difference probably is my increased fear of heights. I don’t remember being so scared, I even didn’t go in the Space Shuttle. X__X

I almost didn’t take the EKSTREME ride. I’m glad I did! It was so exhilarating! And that on the lower right is Ringo, the brown turtle Reena won in the basketball game. So cute!

In hopes of winning more stuffed toys, Tracy and I decided to play more games. We didn’t win anything though, hence the look on our faces:

After that, I did some stalking! Haha..

And ate a few things…

All in all, it was a very fun weekend with friends and colleagues and their families.Here they are:

This is probably not the last time I will be visiting Enchanted Kingdom this year. ‘Til next time! RAP

Tacsiyapo! De-stressing in Tarlac

Last Christmas, I had the pleasure of spending Christmas with my friend’s family. Having no one to spend the holidays with (not that I celebrate Christmas anyways since I’m a Muslim), I grabbed the opportunity to go on a trip with them to Tarlac.

It was Christmas Day when they all decided to go to church at Manaoag in Pampanga. It was my first time there. They heard mass while I loiter around outside taking pictures.

After the mass, we all headed to the Isdaan Floating Restaurant.

Isdaan Floating RestaurantThe restaurant itself is extravagant in design. Aside from the nifty huts floating on the water, you will see lots of huge animals carved on stones scattered all over the place. It was a nice dining experience. Something I will surely repeat some time soon.

One of the many charms of this place is the Tacsiyapo. It became really popular years ago and I remember clearly saying to myself that I’d love to go there someday. (I was still in the call center industry then and had a lot of stress to deal with. LoL). And after several years, I made my first trip, Christmas of last year.

Tacsiyapo!

What is Tacsiyapo? If you have not heard of it, it is a ka-Pampangan equivalent to the Tagalog word bwiset, walanghiya, etc. It is a wall to vent out the stress you get from work, from a good-for-nothing boss, from an ex who left you for another woman, and the list goes on and on. They are effectively written on a big wall and all you have to do is aim that piece of ceramic at it while shouting tacsiyapoooo!!! at the top of your lungs.

The things you throw at the wall is not for free. Depending on what you want to throw, the price can range from P30-P2000. The television set was, I think, P2000 so we settled for a mug each.

Regardless of whether you’d want to go there to relieve stress, or to eat, Isdaan will definitely not disappoint. It’s a great place to dine with your family and friends. HAPPY TRIP!!!

Discovering Playa La Caleta (Now Oyster Island)

About two months back, my friend and I were looking for a great travel deal that could get us to a beautiful place not far from the metro but wasn’t too costly either. We were kind of in a celebratory mood and wanted to give ourselves a treat; to unwind and relax. After a few days of searching, we found Playa La Caleta.

Playa La Caleta is a remote island in Bagac, Bataan. It was pretty easy going there by public transportation. We took a bus going to Bataan, and from there, we took a jeep going to Bagac. Our tour guide Michael Apostol met us in the terminal, and together we rode the banca to get to the island.

If you’re looking for a place to just get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this is the perfect place for you. Cellular signal is close to none in the island, there is no electricity- just the calming sound of the waves and the wonderful scenery. What more could you ask for?

Be prepared to go camping as there are no hotel accommodations available in the island. Bring a tent and a sleeping bag/mat with you. If you don’t have any, one will be provided by the ever-reliable tour guide.

You may be thinking: “what makes this different from any other camping trip?” And I have an answer to that. THE FOOD!!!

Michael’s idea is to have people enjoy the atmosphere of a camping trip without having to worry about preparing your food. It was like having a hotel experience sans the hotel.

There are other activities you can do in the island to while away your time. You can go on a hike or go biking in the mountains, snorkeling or fishing, island hopping, boat cruising, among many others. For photographers, it is also a perfect location for a shoot. In fact, it is also known to be one of the shoot locations for the television series Dyesebel.

Your budget can range anywhere from P1800-P2750 for a 2D1N stay and P3000-4250 for a 3D2N stay. The more people you can tag along, the less money you spend.

If you’re loving the place so far, and you’re thinking of going there with your friends or your family, make sure to do it now as there are news of closing the island to the public soon. HAPPY TRIP!!!

PS

This post used to have pictures, but I lost all of them when I moved my blog.

To book a trip, contact:

MICHAEL M. APOSTOL
Tour Organizer/Adventure Consultant/ General Manager
Contact Nos. 0908.6474895 | 0915.4411875 | 0922.7908874
Email: greenpiece.eductours@gmail.com