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 →
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!)
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.
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 →
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.
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.
And then of course we went to the famous Chocolate Hills:
And then we went to the Tarsier Conservation Area in Loboc, Bohol.
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:
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
Out of all the places I’ve ever been to in the Philippines, this one’s my favorite. It is so clean and it makes me proud that such a place exists in my country. It gives me some sort of hope that we can still be as clean as Singapore, if we wanted to.
We went on a tour and met a lot of nice people. It reminded me of when I was in Thailand – foreigners everywhere, accommodating tour guides, smiles, sand, and beach! We stayed at a beachfront resort, though the beach wasn’t really swimmable, the overall service was okay. Their breakfast was a disappointment, and their restaurant didn’t have as much options. The good thing was, Puerto Princesa was a place full of restaurants with good food. And our resort was accommodating enough to drive their guests to the town proper when they want to go out. We tried Kalui and Balinsasayaw which were both great.
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.
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 →