I was lucky enough to have been able to go to the beach twice last summer. Having different sets of friends who all love to travel, and being one who can’t say no to quick and cheap trips, I almost always end up saying yes whenever I get invited. This time, it was in Palawan and Boracay. (I’ll blog about my awesome Palawan trip next time)
Last year, I, together with my friends Kat and Reena, went to Boracay (I didn’t blog about it, but I posted our parasailing video). And after a year, Reena and I went back. It wasn’t a vacation really, because we didn’t take leaves from work. It was a 7-day trip of working from the island (can’t complain). We didn’t do any activities, except the Pub Crawl (which I’m gonna blog about separately).
Here are some of the pictures I took during the trip. There aren’t many as I didn’t bring a camera. All pictures were taken using my iPhone.
This post is mainly just a photo dump to document my trip. Will update with more meaningful posts soon.
I had wanted to go to Bali for a very long time. A lot of it had to do with the movie Eat, Pray. Love, which is still one of my favorite movies to date. So when a deal opened up in CashCashPinoy, I immediately poked my best friend and travel buddy Ellen and we both booked ourselves the trip. That was months before the trip. We initially wanted to go in time for her birthday (May), but we couldn’t find a schedule so we decided to book it in December, as a late birthday trip for me.
I imagined my Bali trip to be days of lazing around by the beach, but it didn’t quite go that way. It was both our first time to go to Bali, so we decided to visit popular tourist spots.
We went white-water rafting. The rapids were not as strong and our boatman was really helpful and kind and called me “cantik” (beautiful) several times. *blush*
We also went to the Bali Safari and Marine Park where we rode an elephant. I really didn’t want to do it at first, but I forgot my hesitations as soon as I hopped on the back of the gentle giant.
After our tiring white-water rafting activity, we were served with yummy lunch!
After that heavy lunch, we had to climb back up to the main road. I almost fainted, was so totally out of shape. In the afternoon, we went to Tanah Lot Temple which was quite disappointing. It was a cloudy day so there was no amazing sunset and it was high tide, so we couldn’t get close. I was the one who wanted this to be part of the tour because of all the amazing pictures I saw on Google.
One of the tour stops was at the Bali Batik Factory.
We also visited a couple of temples. Unfortunately, I forgot what the names are.
I didn’t take a lot of pictures during this trip because it rained a lot and I didn’t wanna get my camera wet. I took some photos of our trip to the Coffee farm using my iPhone. We tried the Luwak coffee, because one does not go to Bali and not try the Luwak!
Some accusatory refreshment: (the word bintang, in Filipino, means to accuse)
Bali is also full of retail outlets! I bought a Billabong overnight bag and this super cute Airwalk floral kicks:
This post is several months late, I know. I wasn’t decided whether to push through with it as I’d been to Singapore many times, but I figured, I love this place so much, it needs to be posted. So here it is.
Singapore is one of my favorite places. It represents a lot of things in my life: family, independence, photography, design, fangirling, and a lot more. It was there that I really bloomed as a person, where my creative self shone through. It was there that I made some life-changing decisions which is why the place holds so much memories.
It’s impossible to go to Singapore without being all nostalgic and this trip was no exception. And sometimes, I feel like I go there just to bring back the memories. In December of 2013, when I was there for my sister’s wedding, I told myself I would revisit all the places that used to have meaning in my life: previous workplaces, malls I used to shop in, restaurants I used to eat, and houses I’d lived in. I didn’t get to do all that so I said I was gonna do it in my next visit.
Fast-forward to November of last year. I had chosen Singapore for my birthday trip (and Bali too, which I will be writing about in another post). I didn’t get to visit everything I wanted to visit, but I still had a good walk down memory lane. (WARNING: This post is image-heavy)
Reconnecting with old friends
Because I worked and lived in Singapore years ago, I have managed to accumulate a few friends there and I still see some of them whenever I’m in town.
I enjoyed the food at Badoque and it’s just a short bus ride away from my brother’s place. I will certainly go back there in my next visit.
Walking and Running
Two months prior to booking a ticket, I had registered myself to the Great Eastern Women’s Run. It was my first run outside of the Philippines, and I blogged about it here. It was a fun experience, even though I walked like half the time!
One of the many things I like about SG is that it’s safe to walk outside no matter what the time. I think I developed my love for walking there. I would walk to and from coffee shops (5 km away), malls, everywhere! (Also, I hate taking the MRT at rush hour. TT_TT)
I did a mini photo-walk right before I left. It was my last minute attempt to revisit my past. I went to the first place I took pictures of when I first got my DSLR camera 7 years ago. Here are some of the pictures I took:
All pictures taken with my Fujifilm XF-1. It was a very tiring, nostalgic night, but I went home happy.
I don’t shop much whenever I’m travelling, but given that this was my birthday trip, I think I maybe have splurged a little. I bought a moisturizer and a facial peeling gel at Adore, bought two matte lipsticks at MAC, several tops and a jacket in H&M, and several penssssssss, notebooks, and sketchbooks in Art Friend and Popular. I just couldn’t help myself! Art Friend is pen hoarder heaven!
I’m sorry if this post does not makes sense much. But I think I’ll wrap it up. I will be blogging about my Bali trip next!
Last Sunday, I took part in Great Eastern Women’s Run 2014. It was a couple of months ago when I decided I would go to Singapore for a visit and while I was contemplating that, I searched for runs to be held anytime near my birthday and I found GEWR. I registered right away (didn’t even have a plane ticket then!).
It was my first ever out-of-the-country run and I was psyched! I promised myself I was gonna run the entire 5K this time. I know, I know, it’s just a short distance and I’ve registered to dozens of 5K runs before… but I’ve never completed the entire 5K without stopping to walk.. =_=. And as much as I would like to tell you that I did what I promised, I can’t because it didn’t happen. I didn’t train like I was supposed to because I was sick the entire time since I got to SG and didn’t want to risk running everyday in rainy weather for fear of aggravating it.
I was so scared to get lost while trying to get to the event location so I purchased a shuttle bus ticket. It was a mistake because even though my run would start at 8am, I was in the location as early as 4:30am! TT_TT… There were no seats and I didn’t want to sit down on the floor (germaphobe alert! LOL). So I was standing up the whole time. Not to mention, I had walked a good 20 minutes to get to Sengkang station where the pickup location was. So, you could pretty much say I had a decent warmup before the run. LOL, but my legs were hurting by the time I finished the 1st kilometer. D:
I had a few tearful moments during the entire event. For one, I was alone and I had nobody to talk to. Everybody else had a friend with them and were taking selfies or wefies or whatever you called them. I just felt like events like these needed to be experienced with someone. Second, it was just a happy moment participating in something like this outside of the Philippines, and in a place close to my heart. I couldn’t help but get nostalgic. Singapore gave me a lot of memories and all of them came rushing back as I was walking / running past the familiar places.
I will definitely do this again. My best friend Ellen wants to go to the StanChart run next year. I may come with her. Who knows? I might be running a half-marathon by then!
I have been to La Union twice, and on both instances, I never tried surfing. The first time, I was unprepared, and the second time, I was scared. But that is not to say I didn’t enjoy both trips, because I did. Oh boy, I certainly did.
I mentioned before on this post about Manila Ocean Park that I have water anxiety. And anybody who knows me real well or travels with me to beaches would know how much I get really scared when I go swimming in the beach. Somehow, in La Union, that is never the case for me.
Last summer, my friends and I decided to go on a road trip. Mara drove us all the way from Manila to La Union in her Ford Ranger. They were a great bunch, but I was, as always, a sleepy traveler and slept for most part of the drive. Teehee.
It took us about 6 hours to get to Hacienda Peter, where we stayed. We were blessed with cloudy weather, which made swimming so much more fun. I played in the water until my legs and knees hurt from trying to fight the waves. Unfortunately though, it was a rather short trip. I was tired from all the swimming that I slept early that night. We went back to Manila the next day.
This place warrants another visit. Maybe before the year ends. Yes? Yes.
We’ve wanted to go to Zamboanga del Norte for the longest time but we always, always chicken out because of fear. We weren’t familiar with the roads, we had never been there, except for my dad who went there when he was younger, almost 40 years ago. We absolutely had no idea what it was going to be like, save from a few horror stories we read and heard from the news.
When my sister vacationed here a month ago and we were looking for a place to go swim and have fun, we all decided to finally just do it. So, on Eidl Fitr, we packed our bags and headed to Dipolog – no hotel reservations, no idea where to go and what to expect. All we had were ourselves, a bucket of Jollibee Chickenjoy, chichirya, the car, and the long road trip ahead of us.
While we still had our fears, no one really talked about it. We happily listened to one of the CDs I had burnt from months ago with all my favorite Frozen tracks and a bunch of other songs I liked. The CD was on loop the entire time. The whole trip took about 7 hours including a short stopover for a restroom break and to stretch our legs. We were surprised to see how the roads were a whole lot better than we initially thought. There were very few instances of isolation as the roads were always dotted with houses and farms which eased us a little bit and took our minds off our fears. After a few hours on the road, we began to feel comfortable and we started enjoying the ride and just took in the beautiful scenery of lush greens, the sea, and tall mountains. Zamboanga is such a beautiful place.
The initial plan was to share the driving task between dad and myself. But knowing my father, he would not let me drive on unfamiliar roads so he took on the responsibility and drove us all the way to Dipolog — he didn’t even eat, except for a couple of ginger sweets! The least I could do was turn on my phone’s GPS so we could follow Google Maps.
I searched for a hotel in Dipolog and found D’Hotel. We got there by following the GPS voice prompts (I love technology!). We checked-in, settled ourselves, ate, and then slept until the next day.
The next day was our trip to Dapitan City and our destination was Dakak Beach Resort. We ate breakfast at the hotel, checked out, and then went on the short drive to Dapitan City. If you guys don’t know yet, Dakak was like the Boracay in the late 80’s and early 90’s. No, it wasn’t the party scene that is Boracay today, but it was a popular destination of the rich and the famous, as it was the first 5-star resort in Mindanao. (You can read more about their history here – http://dakakresort.com/about-us/.
We went home the next day, and this time we made a much longer stopover to eat at Jollibee in Ipil. It was cloudy and the weather was great, not too warm.
All in all, I think I’ve enjoyed this trip even though it was a rather short one. At least now I can say I’ve been to Dakak, one Philippine beach scratched off my list. – RA
It has been three weeks since I arrived in Manila and a lot of things have happened. This blog post is an attempt to give you an update.
First. I didn’t complete VEDA! Argh. It was certainly a challenge especially since uploading was slow due to internet problems. And I very rarely had the time, nor the energy to actually film and upload one. But still, I think I did great for a first-timer. I will certainly do better in August.
Second. My boss went to Manila, we got together, and even celebrated his birthday in Tagaytay. We ate at a restaurant called Pamana, tried the ferris wheel at Sky Ranch, and had coffee in Bag of Beans.
I visited Singapore in January to spend New Year’s with my family, and to attend my sister’s wedding. Singapore is my most visited foreign country. I’ve worked there before and my brother and my younger sister are permanent residents there. So it was naturally one of the more obvious options whenever my parents and I are looking to go on a holiday.
Singapore and I, we have a love-hate relationship. When I was working there, i hated it half the time (okay, maybe more than half). The MRT was always crowded, the malls were always crowded, everything was expensive, etc. And yet, this time when I visited, all I could remember were the good things (mostly food, teehee). Continue reading →
Tomorrow, I’m flying over to CDO to attend Rey and KC’s wedding. (I took their engagement pictures in Singapore last year.) I booked a direct flight from Zamboanga City but CebuPacific changed my flight from direct to connecting. So, my trip will be like ZAM – CEB – CDO, and then CDO – MNL – ZAM. I’m kinda scared and intimidated by the number of check-in counters I have to go through. Or is that even how it works? And how about my prepaid baggage allowance? Does it apply to all flights? TT_TT I’ve never had a local connecting flight, ever. Daig ko pa ang maga-abroad! Continue reading →
The reason I made this the last part because it is the longest and I have not had enough time the past few days to compose a decent post. This also is closest to my heart, so I wanted to dedicate a longer time in writing it.
MY JUICING JOURNEY
About a year or so ago, I’ve gotten into the juicing bandwagon. I started juicing vegetables and fruits (my sister and I even created a website about it, which is being neglected at the moment), and basically just started living a healthy life of no fastfood, alcohol, softdrinks, overly-processed foods etc. It had a positive effect on me and my body. I lost so much weight in very little time and was glowing. I’ve derailed from it a lot of times, in fact I’m not as active in juicing as I initially was, but it’s something that I know I would want to do for the rest of my life. And I am working at getting back on track (and reviving the website too!).
I haven’t been active mainly because of two reasons:
I’ve traveled so much the past year and lugging around my juicer was kind of not an option. I tried buying juices from shops, but sometimes it’s just not enough and it can become really expensive – which is my reason number 2.
It can become really expensive. LoL. I buy my organic produce from Tagaytay, which is just about a 30-minute drive from where I live. My friend and I discovered organic farms that sold organic fruits and vegetables at a reasonable price. It just becomes unreasonable when you have to think about the gas for your car and the number of times you have to go there to get produce for your everyday needs. I used to go every week and I would shell out 1-1.5k per outing. Not too bad, actually, but it’s still pricey compared to just buying stuff from the wet market nearest you which can cost you at about 500 pesos, buying the same amount of food – just the inorganic version, that is. Bah.
So I guess you know where this post is headed. The main reason why I want to move to Benguet, La Trinidad specifically, is this:
Of course, the cool weather is also up there on my list. But these two take first and second place. Just imagine all the vegetables that I can get my hands on on a daily basis – without driving too far. The thought is just insanely delicious. And with my impending move to Zamboanga (my parents’ hometown) not looking really great what with all the power problems that the city is encountering at the moment (which I can’t afford because my job is online, therefore I need to have power all the time), I AM JUST SO TEMPTED TO PACK ALL MY BAGS AND DRIVE ALL THE WAY TO LA TRINIDAD, GET AN APARTMENT, AND LIVE A LIFE MUNCHING AWAY ON CRUNCHY, FRESH VEGETABLES. LoL. And yes, that needed capslock typing. Thank you very much.
The idea is really just becoming more and more prominent. What used to be just a fantasy is becoming what could possibly be the most important decision of my life right now. And I am seriously considering saying yes to it.
AFTER A FEW MINUTES…
So I just went and checked a few properties in Baguio and the Benguet area. Haha – SO EXPENSIVE! Especially the ones that are in the city. Lucky for me because I want to stay in the provinces where the farms are. 🙂 The search has gotten me more excited about this. I should be able to get my own home maybe in 3 years. *crosses fingers* In the meantime, I’m just toying with the idea of renting a small studio unit, if not, I’ll stay in Zamboanga, buy a generator, and stay there until I’ve saved up enough to buy my own house in yummy La Trinidad.
With that out of the way, let me tell you about the rest of the trip.