Jessie’s Wedding in Benguet

This is Part 1 of my trip to Benguet / Baguio. Yes, there are more parts to this because it deserves a 3-part blog post, because that place (or places) is just awesome.

So, part 1.

One of my colleagues invited us to attend her wedding in La Trinidad. We stayed at Benguet State University dormitories, thanks to the bride and her uncle for accommodating us there. 🙂

It was a short visit, we hopped on a bus going to Baguio on Friday night and went back to Manila on Monday. Sitting on the bus for several hours was tiring but I’d do it all over again if it was a bus going to Baguio! (The heat in Manila now is just insane!)

The wedding took place in San Jose Parish Church in Poblacion, La Trinidad and the reception followed at the San Jose Gym which was a few steps away.

Here are a few snapshots:

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The bride and the maid of honor.
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Acy, Kat, Kareen, and Reena
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Acy, Kat, Me, and Reena
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Jessie’s gown, Jessie’s daughter, and Jessie getting ready.
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The lunch before the ceremony. Vegetables!!! One of the reasons why I want to move to Baguio / Benguet.
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More pictures from the wedding and the reception.
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The bride, Jessie.

And I’m really sorry that some of these pictures are blurry. Sigh I’m really becoming a lousy, lazy photographer. Especially since I find taking pictures on the phone much more convenient and easier (and lighter!). In my defense, I was allowed to be lazy because I was a guest and not the hired photographer. Teehee.

And I think this concludes the first part of this blog post. I will be posting the second part over the weekend. ‘Til then! -RA

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.

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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
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You’re not paying for the ride. You’re paying for the experience.
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Reena after the drop.
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Riz after the drop.
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Drop point
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A view of what’s below.

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

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Pretty
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Reena’s a ninja

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

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

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Dogs!!!
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Hello fella.
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Goodness. This was stressful.
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Cold-blooded.
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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

Sta. Cruz Island, Zamboanga City

I mentioned a couple of posts back that my friends were coming over to Zamboanga for a visit. So they did and one of the places we went to was The Great Santa Cruz Island.

A view Sta Cruz Island from Paseo del Mar

It was my first time to go there despite the fact that I lived in Zamboanga city for 4 years when I was in college, and that we owned a house here. It’s just that years ago, going there was just never an option, what with the rampant kidnappings during those times.

But it was always a dream for me to go there. I remember that one of our text books back in grade school featured Sta Cruz Island, describing it as a heart-shaped island that is known for its pink sand. As a child, hearing of a place with pink sand (PINK! As in my favorite color. WTF o_O) was pretty awesome and dreamy. And the fact that it was in my parents’ hometown made it way awesome-r. LOL. Oh, and did I mention it was heart-shaped too? ASJGAKDFDDJAA&; *flails* Continue reading

Zamboanga and Mom’s Garden

I’ve been so busy the past few weeks. Had a trip to Bohol, had a 3-day meeting with the boss, finished a layout, and I am yet to upload all my travel pictures and portraits that I took of my brother’s family.

Anywho, last Saturday, I flew back to Zamboanga City, my hometown (well, it’s my parents’ hometown, I was born and raised in Manila, does that make me a Zamboangueña? WTF). I will be staying here for a month (ah, the joys of working from home!!!) and in a week’s time, 2 of my closest friends will be coming over to visit. So yes, I will be playing the part of a tour guide, when I barely know this place. WTF. I’ve managed to read a few articles over the internet and I’ve decided on an itinerary. I’ll be sure to post our adventure pictures. I am excited because I don’t get to show Zamboanga to many of my friends who live in Manila.

One of the things I look forward to whenever I come home for a visit, aside from my mom’s delicious cooking, is taking pictures of my her flowers/plants. She has a fair number of plants in her garden. Here are a couple of shots from today:


I love this shot so much! This flower (don’t ask me what it’s called) was partly hidden by leaves from other plants but some part of it was lighted by the sun, thus the dark background. It’s almost as if it’s illuminating light! Or maybe it’s just me and my imagination? o_O?


And here is a picture of a Gumamela (Hibiscus Flower) or just the middle part of it. Meh. :

I will be taking more pictures in the next few days so you will be getting more plants for sure. Bear with me?

Rock on! – RA

Fun at the Jurong Bird Park, Singapore

My family and I had the chance to visit Jurong Bird Park yesterday. The bird park is the largest in the world in terms of number of birds. It boasts of a lot of attractions, among them are the tallest man-made falls and the Lory Loft. We didn’t get to explore the whole place because we got there at 4pm and the park closes at 6pm. So we only had less than a couple of hours to tour whatever we could.

The best fun we had was when we fed the Lory birds! Oh how awesome it was when they flock on the cup of food. Haha.. here are some of the pictures I took. I used my brother’s Sigma 28-300 f3.5-6.3 Macro lens for all the shots.

You can check out my Facebook Page for other pictures. 🙂

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

Great Deal at Club Balai Isabel

Deals have popped up here and there and groupons have gained so much popularity nowadays to the delight of many, including yours truly.

One of the recent buys my friends and I had, was an overnight stay in Club Balai Isabel. If you are not familiar with the place, you can visit their website and get more information. But if you are to ask me, my favorite description is that this was the place where Oyo and Kristine (yes, the showbiz couple) tied the knot. And almost always, whenever I say that, I get a wide-eyed expression from the asker. But of course, there’s more to this place than that, and I got to experience it firsthand a couple of months back.

Again, I am not going to bore you with words, so here are some of the pictures I took:

 

There was probably just a couple of disappointments: 1. the lake was full of seaweeds, it was impossible to take a dip. 2. it was just an overnight stay — we didn’t have enough time to do much. But overall, this was a nice experience – a breather away from the hustle and bustle of city life. – RAP

My Birthday Trip to Thailand

In February of this year, my friend Leila contacted me and said there was a seat sale in AirAsia going from Bangkok to Krabi. I didn’t know where Krabi was, but when she said it was a boat ride away from Maya Bay, the shoot location for the movie The Beach, I immediately said yes. I mean, who can say no to that? So she booked us tickets and little did I know, it was going to be the best out-of-the-country trip I would ever have for 2011.

We were there for a week, October 31-November 05. Our first day was such a rush! We took 3 flights, was in 3 countries, and was on 4 international airports. Hah! The beauty of connecting flights. Pfft.

Our hotel was situated at Railey Beach. It was a 15-minute walk to the nicer part of the beach. So yeah, it’s safe to say that I did have some exercise while I was there. We had wanted to take a couple of tours (elephant-riding and the Emerald tour) which we cancelled due to bad customer service. We were left with just a tour of the Phi Phi islands, which was alright for me since that was the main reason I was there in the first place!

I’ve been to a few Asian countries and I never felt like a foreigner anywhere else more than I did when I was in Thailand. Communication was a bit hard because very few people speak English which is kind of exciting for me and it didn’t stop me from ordering food! I love Thai food!

The whole experience was a blast! We snorkeled and swam with the fishes. It was a breathtaking experience, literally! Haha… I am scared of the underwater. It’s a fear greater than any fear I have, but I have to say… it was really beautiful down there!

There are just so much more to say, stories to tell, so little time. So I’m gonna let the pictures speak for themselves.

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

I took a lot of pictures during this trip, but I unfortunately lost all of them (well, except the one on this post) 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