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Watched Coldplay in Taiwan, and it was really awesome! ✨

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Great experience… Thank you Coldplay for the music 🎹🎤🎸🥁🎼

Bali Birfday 🎂

April 21, 2017

Always nice to visit Bali! Had a wonderful time celebrating my birthday with my sister and her friend.

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Went to the same old reliable places (Sea Circus, Potato HeadBebek JoniIbu OkaMade’s WarungWarung OchaSingle Fin) & visited new cafes and bars (La FavelaLa Plancha, BikuMotel Mexicola), danced every night and capped it off with a traditional Balinese massage.

Went around Ubud once again for the Rice Terraces and Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary and also checked out the Kecak Dance Ceremony in Uluwatu Temple (a must for tourists, i’d say!).

Fun times… I will see you again Bali! x

  • Our last hurrah for 2016.

Whitewater Rafting in CDO was amaaazing! We had tons of fun and finally I got to tick off one item on my to do list – ✔️Whitewater Rafting. We did it with The Red Rafts CDO and we were quite happy we chose this company. Banjo, our guide, was very fluent in english. Him and the other guide were also quite funny, always cracking up jokes and even telling us stories about the river and their adventures & misadventures. The course we got was the Advanced course which includes 21 rapids. I highly recommend this for the adventurous ones because the Basic course only has 14 rapids I think. They even have a photo and video coverage add on, which we got so we didn’t have to bring a camera with us.

After the whitewater rafting, we had dinner in Kagay-Anon Restaurant (which was actually near our hotel – Red Planet). Really bad service but man, the food was good! You just have to be patient and nice to the waiters so they will tend to you.

We only stayed in CDO for 1 day because we wanted to spend more time in Camiguin. So after late breakfast at Circa Eatery 1850 (which was also good btw!), we started our journey towards the beautiful island of Camiguin.

From Agora Terminal, we took a van to Balingoan Port for about P 100 each. That was a 2 hour ride with 4 people squished in 1 row. Then we took a Ferry ride to Benoni Port. In Benoni Port, we hired a multi-cab for P 250 (I haggled) going to our resort (Contact Kuya Roy at +63926 826 4166). Our resort, Nypa Style Resort Camiguin, was so nice. Ilenia and Stefano, the owners of the resort, are Italian and they were very nice and helpful. The resort was very well designed, they have a large garden in the middle and the restaurant was so homey and inviting. Ilenia even cooked for us on our first night. They offer home made pasta and other authentic italian dishes. Really yum! I highly recommend this place when you visit Camiguin. They even have scooters for rent for only P 450 a day.

Unfortunately, the weather in Camiguin was slightly shitty. We were not able to go to White Island and Mantigue Island because the boats were not allowed to travel and then we missed the waterfall because we arrived late, the gate to the waterfalls closes at 5 pm. On the other hand, we were able to snorkel and see the giant clams in Cabila Beach and we also climbed Mt. Hibok-Hibok, an active stratovolcano with 1,332+ masl.

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After climbing Mt. Hibok-Hibok (which took us 7 hours in total, up and down), we had dinner at Guerrera, a fil-am owned asian restaurant. And OMG it was sooo good! Their spicy pad thai is the bomb and the chicken rendang was amazing. We had a really good meal, well except for the vietnamese coffee which was quite disappointing.

Our New Year’s Eve in Camiguin was very simple and quiet but it was refreshing to be in a different place, away from the crowded clubs of Fort or Makati. We didn’t see any fireworks and we were asleep by 12:30 am. Haha!

I would definitely want to come back and visit Camiguin again. The locals are nice, the island is so beautiful and there are so many other places to see and visit in the island. I guess ’til next time then, Camiguin! See you again soon.

 

 

KL-Yangon-Bagan

December 14, 2016

This was my third time to visit Kuala Lumpur. My sister has never been so I didn’t mind stopping by KL before heading out to Myanmar. It was a quick 2 night trip as there was nothing much to show my sister except of course the usual Petronas Towers, a little shopping at Bukit Bintang and dinner at Jalan Alor. We also decided to check out the Batu Caves (which was disappointing to say the least) and had a few drinks at Changkat (my first time to visit!)

We took an Air Asia flight from KL to Yangon. As mentioned in Trip Advisor and other travel sites, we decided to exchange our USD to Myanmar Kyat at the airport. The rates were pretty good and you can choose from 2-3 Money Exchange companies.

A Taxi from the airport going to our hotel in downtown area was 8,000 Kyat. The taxis in Yangon are old, they don’t use air-conditioning (well, sometimes they will turn it on, but most of the time, it’s just windows down), and the driving is insane. We almost witnessed an intersection collision the next day! Yangon well reminded me of the dingy part of Manila with dirty streets and chaotic traffic. Familiar yet foreign.

A trip to the Shwedagon Pagoda is a must.

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So is dinner at 19th Street and then some cocktails at The Blind Tiger.

On our last leg, we chose an overnight bus ride to Bagan. It was by far the coolest bus I have ever ridden. It  was very spacious (better than a budget airline), they had movies, blankets and pillows and free snacks. How I wish we have something like it in the Philippines. For USD 19, JJ Express was really worth it.

We arrived in Bagan at 5 am, just in time for sunrise.

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The sunrise was so beautiful. At 6 am, you will see the Hot Air Balloons rise from the east. This, personally, was my favourite moment in Bagan.

There are a number of things you can do in Bagan. You can rent an E-bike, drive around and visit the numerous temples scattered all over (just ask for a map from your hotel). You can also attend a cooking class, visit the lacquerware shops and get a massage.

The 1 week bonding trip with my sister was really fun and I enjoyed our little adventure (with a few misadventures in between). Too bad we didn’t have enough time to visit Inle Lake.

For those who want to know where we stayed, below are the cheap but cheerful hotels we chose.

KL : Ceria Hotel * Ask for a higher floor, not facing the road… it can get pretty noisy because of the Karaoke Bar beside it.

Yangon: Hotel Bond * They don’t have a lift, but the breakfast was really nice and the bed was really comfy. The bathroom was modern and they give out free bottled water.

Bagan: Bagan Nova * Cute room with balcony, nice simple breakfast, friendly staff, quiet neighbourhood.

It may appear as if I wrote this post in a rush, but for more details about Myanmar, please watch our video Backpacking Burma to see the beauty of KL, Yangon and Bagan Myanmar 🙂

ကျေးဇူးတင်ပါတယ် (Thank you!)

Backpacking Burma

December 9, 2016

1 week, 1 backpack, 1 companion

Fun times with the sissy xx

Puerto Princesa

October 20, 2016

Puerto Princesa, located in the middle part of Palawan, is actually more of a city. It’s not like when you visit El Nido where you are closer to the different islands. Puerto Princesa has huge malls, loads of mini hotels and even traffic lights – although still provincial looking.

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On our first night, we went on a Firefly Watching Tour. It was 1 hour away by van from the city but the whole river tour was probably just 20 minutes. It was interesting though I must say, I enjoyed the Firefly Watching Tour in Bicol more than this one.

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The next day, we went to Sabang Beach. Sand was really nice and white but the water was quite strong.

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Beside Sabang beach, you can do a Paddle boat tour by the mangroves or try their Zipline. After Sabang beach, we rode a boat to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park which is a protected area. The river is called Puerto Princesa Underground River. The tour was also very quick, about 20 minutes. It was nice, but I think I expected a lot.

I’d say if you are a tourist and you don’t have much time, better to skip Puerto Princesa and focus on El Nido or Coron. Nevertheless, it was a fun quick weekend trip with the boyfriend. 💝

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Cheers! (This is a pretty good local craft beer btw!)

Islas de Gigantes

September 16, 2016

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A total of about 4-5 hours from Manila and you will get to this island. Very bad signal, no internet. Just some white sand, clear waters and if you’re lucky like us, some awesome weather. Very different from the usual Boracay or Cebu as the province is not yet commercialised. But it was refreshing to see the simple life in the islands of Visayas.

Islas de Gigantes is a group of islands in Carles, Ilo-Ilo. Most of the islands we visited had little coves by the Visayan Sea. To get here, we flew from Manila to Roxas city via PAL and took a tricycle from the airport to the Ceres Bus Terminal. (Side note: The tricycle drivers in Roxas take advantage of tourists. We stayed in Roxas City on our last night and all these tricycle drivers were charging us P 50 – P 100 for a ride that would normally cost P 8 – P 16. Don’t be fooled.) We went to Balasan Terminal via the Ceres Bus and took a tricycle to Bancal Port. You can also choose to ride a van if you want. From Bancal Port, we hired a boat for 2 days (through the tourism rep in that port) for P 4,500 only. And that includes the island hopping and the return transfers from Bancal Port to our hotel (Arjan Hotel). We were 6 in our group. Our boat man, Kuya Nonoy, was really really nice and surprisingly, a very good photographer haha!

Island hopping is basically the only thing you can do in this area. Everything can be done in 1 day. So what we did, we ordered food from Arjan Hotel (our budget was P 150/ head) and they packed it together with plates and utensils since we wanted to have lunch in one of the islands (Bantigui Sand Bar). In Bantigui, they were selling steamed scallops for P 1 each!!! It was so good we ordered 100 pieces! I highly recommend this. Eat it together with spicy vinegar and rice. Yum! We also ordered a case of beer (Arjan Hotel gave us some ice and a cooler) and that was the best decision ever.

* Just a tip, though we really enjoyed the service of Arjan Hotel, don’t be bullied into hiring a “tour guide” from them which they will tell you is “mandatory”.

1. It’s not mandatory to have a tour guide (again, do not be fooled) and 2. After we did the island hopping, we were very happy we didn’t get a tour guide because there was no need for one whatsoever. The owner of the hotel hated our guts. It led to a looong argument but anyway, that’s another story to tell. hahaha!

The next day, we went to Roxas City and stayed at Islands Hotel as our flight back to Manila was quite early. There is nothing to do in Roxas City but eat and well, go to the mall. So that was exactly what we did. We went to the bay and ordered loads of seafood. The seafood in Ilo-Ilo and Roxas are very cheap and they’re all fresh. So make sure you take advantage of this. In this trip, we had grilled fish, grilled squid, crabs, scallops, oysters and some seaweed. For probably less than P 300 per head.

Our Islas de Gigantes trip was a fun experience. I’d say 3 days 2 nights was enough for us to see Carles Ilo-Ilo and Roxas City. Another beautiful Philippine island off my list ✔️😊

Long weekend

September 4, 2016

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Aaah back in my happy place. It was the end of the summer sale and we arrived just in time to snag all our shopping goodies on sale.

It was a quick trip (3 nights only) though we managed to squeeze in a night out. Ophelia, a trendy bar in Wanchai inside an exotic “bird shop” is inspired by the upscale 19th century opium dens. Luxe interior design, good music and original cocktails – something to check out when you’re tired of the usual in LKF.

And of course, last but not least, a trip to our favourite noodle shop in Tai Koo! Hot Noodles + HK Iced Lemon Tea is 😍😍😍

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Brentrance!

July 6, 2016

Second half of June, we were in the UK and it happened to be on the week of Brexit, one of the most important events in the history of the UK and of Europe. Almost whole of London was in utter chaos the day of the voting because of “severe flooding” that delayed a number of lines on the Underground and Overground & caused heavy traffic on the streets of London. The Filipina in me thought this was a way to sabotage the voting, then again, I was in a different continent, a different country… and people from the UK don’t think that way (hence the no reaction look from my London friends heehee!). Sadly, the Leave party won.

It also happened to be the week of the Summer Sale! Oxford Street was filled with Sale banners and because of Brexit, the pound was dropping day after day.

Tons of walking and shopping and sight seeing for 10 days. We threw in a visit to the Tower of London and attended a prayer service in St. Paul’s Cathedral. My boyfriend’s mates took us out to Shoreditch and we had a fantastic dinner at Andina, a Peruvian restaurant, but then the server spilled smelly fishy sauce on my white shirt, which was really annoying. On another night, we had lamb & steak at Goodman London. Our server was so cute when he asked if we were from Cebu (because he saw our dried mangoes – our presents for our friends). He said that he has a friend from Cebu & he was so jolly about it.

On our 3rd day, we took a day trip to Windsor & Avebury. Amazingly, the Queen was inside Windsor castle and you could tell by the flag that they put up. If there’s a yellow color on the flag, that means that the Queen is in!

Avebury is a neolithic henge monument containing three stone circles. One of the prehistoric sites in Britain just like the Stonehenge, however Avebury contains the largest stone circle in Europe. During Summer Solstice (which happened when we were in the UK), Druids & Hippies celebrate in Stonehenge & Avebury.

It was quite nice to see Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage town known for its natural hot springs and 18th century Georgian architecture. Aside from the Great Roman Bath, this small town has a quaint vibe with all its little boutiques and cafes on the sidewalk. We took a nice stroll outside after checking out the Great Roman Bath.

There are so many things to see and visit when you’re in London. The parks are so beautiful especially during summer. And because the sun only sets after 9 pm, there’s a lot of time to go around as the days are essentially longer.

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Green Park, beside the Buckingham Palace

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the colourful houses in Notting Hill

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along Kensington Gardens

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the iconic Harrods

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Borough Market

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The Shard, tallest building in London

A tip for everyone, if you know you will be using the train often for a week, it’s best to buy an Oyster card with a one-week pass. At the end of your trip, if you return the card, you get  £5 back. Also, they have a booklet which you can get in tourist info areas or the Underground stations, wherein you can get a 2 for 1 price for almost all the  tourist attractions.

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Fun times, London! xx

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Finally found the time to post about my Palawan trip last April 9… ☺️

Apulit Island is an Eco-Adventure island resort set in Taytay Bay, North-east of Palawan. It’s an hour flight from Manila via AirSwift (which handles the air travel of guests booked in any of the El Nido Resorts). In the Manila Domestic Airport (Terminal 4), you will already feel the hospitality and exclusivity of the El Nido Resorts as you will be handed free refreshments and a light breakfast snack while waiting to board the plane. Upon arrival at the El Nido airport, a customized jeepney  will shuttle all passengers to the receiving area. Some Kakanin or rice cake (a native Filipino delicacy) are served with refreshments at the receiving area. From there, a private van will take the guests to Taytay for about 45 minutes and then another 40 minutes by boat to get to the island.

It was about 10 am at that time when we reached Taytay. Unfortunately, the boat ride on our way to Apulit Island was so rough due to the strong waves clashing on the speed boat that I got really dizzy and sea sick. Thankfully I survived without vomiting or anything haha! And good thing that the boat ride going back to Taytay (on our last day in Palawan) was very smooth.. so I was really happy about that.

Anyway, as we approached the island, we could already see the beautiful Water Cottages over the crystal clear turquoise water. The sun was shining, the staff welcomed us w a nice song (and some more refreshments!), after that hell of a boat ride, I felt that everything became perfect once again.

The service was exceptional. There were staff members that were once from the old Club Noah that still remain in the now-El Nido Resort. All loyal & loving ladies and gentlemen servicing us with a smile.

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Swimming Pool area

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View during Breakfast

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View from the top, before rappelling

There are so many outdoor activities you could do on the island. You can climb up the cross that’s on top of the limestones and rappel down 60m, hike up the mountain and end up on the other side of the island, go rock climbing 90m high, do paddle boarding & kayaking, snorkel and feed the fishes, go scuba diving or just have a piña colada while sun bathing. This island is perfect for adventure seekers, couples or families with kids.

These photos are not even half as good as how it is in person. And this is just one of the wonderful islands in El Nido Palawan. I can’t wait to see more of Palawan soon. 🙂

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