Jomalig Island, Quezon – to the Golden paradise of Luzon

“AMAZING.” – The only word that could explain how my Jomalig trip was. Here you can enjoy your own private beach. It was perfect timing when we went there because it was the town’s feast! We got free food on our 2nd and 3rd day! Yey! So better note that April 24 is a perfect date to go there. We slept in a tent for 2 nights and had fun basking under the sun and seeing the stars at night.

We saw potential surfing spots around the island when we went to Pulong Maliit. Another place where you can go is the Kanaway Beach in Pulong Malaki. The main beach is Salibungot beach where the port is. Electricity here runs from 5pm to 1am so better bring your powerbanks. The signal is better and faster compared to Manila (Globe & Smart).P29Jn1469970366Near Legarda LRT2 station, take Raymund Bus bound to Infanta (Real). The bus conductor said that the next bus will be at 4:30 am (we arrived 2am). We walked outside and found a group going to the same island waiting for a van they contacted and we asked if we can ride along. Luckily, they said yes! We paid Php220 for the 4-hour ride to Real port. We left Manila around 4:00 am. I recommend the van instead of the bus because it is faster plus the van can take you directly to the port.

We arrived at the port around 8:30 am and rode a passenger boat going to Jomalig. Do not expect a luxury boat. There were 40 of us on the barge to Jomalig and it wasn’t that spacious. My friends and I were lucky that we went aboard last so we got the front area all by ourselves. We paid Php350 for the 6-hour boat ride to Jomalig. TIP: Bring any form of entertainment! Cards, gamepads, the latest issues etc.

There are only 2 boats going to Jomalig, one at 6:00 am and the other one at 9:00 am. So you better be there before those times. From Jomalig to Real, the first boat is 10:00 am and the next is at 12:00 nn.tLre51469970215

  • Php220 Van from Legarda to Real port (x2 RT)
  • Php350 Passenger boat from Real to Jomalig (x2 RT)
  • Php10 fare for the raft to Passenger boat (x2 RT)
  • Php200 per person for usage of house amenities (bathroom, electricity, cook service – the locals wouldn’t give specific prices, they would say “kayo na po bahala”)
  • Php600/person habal habal island tour OR
  • Php320/person 8 pax island tour via Boat
  • Php400 1 kilo chicken and i kilo rice
  • 220 Environmental fee

TOTAL of 2,300. We were lucky we met an awesome group that shared the boat expenses with us. We did not go for the Php600 habal habal island tour.

0907 597 9773 – Ate Lolay, the most helpful host we’ve ever met! Her husband owns a boat which can tour 8 pax for 2,500. She also cooks and would let you stay in her house for an affordable  price.

0918 609 9822 – Chito, Passenger boat contact.

Mt. Sembrano, Rizal – To dayhike with just Php500 in my pocket

I was able to finish Mt. Sembrano after a 3-year hiatus from climbing. Call time was 5:30am at QPlaza Commercial Center in Cainta (besides Sta. Lucia Mall). Sir Jay-R was kind enough to give us a ride as long as we chip in for gas. I met my good friend, Kim, in Mcdonalds QPlaza. She introduced Jerbie and Mac who will also join us in the climb. I had no idea that these 2 are Stellar employees as well. Lol. We left QPlaza around 6;00am and met the rest of the team around 7:00am at Pililla Jolibee then had a less than an hour drive to the jump off.

We started almost 9:30am. The foursome did a bit of stretching haha! The first phase was the hike up the stones all the way to Manggahan area. Took me 1/2 hours and I was exhausted already. We had fresh buko for Php20 (which is expensive but you don’t have a choice unless you have packed H20). I had 2 bottles of water but totally forgot about them.

Second phase was the climb up the treacherous path. We scaled the precipice for about an hour. My legs began to feel weak but I did feel the hamstring muscles are building up. I must say I did crawl for 20 minutes. We reached the 1/3 camp and the view was already amazing. We stopped and rested for 20 minutes and we continued our way to camp 2. It rained earlier that day so the path was slippery. It was a bit scary seeing people go down the trail and the narrow trail is right next to precipice. Safety first!

Sir Jay-R brought his dog, Caio, with us. It was his first climb! He is just so excited to climb up and even went ahead of the team. Haha! The trail is easier from camp 2 to 3. The land is flat but the grass is like 6ft high. Another 20-30 minutes climb to camp 2.3 The space differs from camp 1 to 3.  Camp 3 has the most scenic view. I decided to take a photo with the Punks Pet, Caio. We rested for several minutes but the men I was with were very strong and fast so I just have to keep up (or prolly I’m just as fast as them).

Another 30 minutes up to the 3rd camp site. We got at the peak around 1:10pm. We set up a little corner for ourselves and of course the first batch had an opportunity to take photos first. No other groups were there yet so we took advantage of the scene. We waited for the others before we have our lunch and socialize. Trail food were given out and everyone is just resting right after lunch. We descended 2:30pm since we saw the dark clouds were coming our way.

Going up for me was easier than getting down. My legs were ‘jelly-fied’ from the knee up. I twisted my ankle a couple of times but not that severe. The trail was dry as well comparing to the trail we took earlier that day. The crew said that the weather was perfect – not too sunny and wet. I arrived at the Manggahan area and went straight to the Manggahan falls – this is 5 minutes down the Manggahan site. You can wash up here. I ate my snacks here alone and rested for 10 minutes then went back to the Manggahan site to catch up with everyone.

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I heard from the others that they met at STARMALL EDSA then van to Tanay Market. Take a jeep from Tanay Market to Brgy. Pililla. Go down at the Brgy. Hall. Jump off is near there.

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  • Php150 gas share
  • Php27 Vitamilk
  • Php28 Bottled Water
  • Php24 Corned Tuna
  • Php93 Jolibee packed lunch
  • Php20 Registration fee at the Brgy. Hall
  • Php20 Fresh Buko Juice
  • Php10 Manggahan campsite Fee
  • Php130 share Dinner meal

Total is Php502. Yeah, I did have some extra coins with me. I had fun with Punks! I get to see them again after 3 years of not participating. The crew is just kengkoy and they kept me laughing while climbing. I’m looking forward to another great hike with these people. We had dinner at Kainan Sa Tabing Lawa just along hi-way of Tanay, Rizal. Food coma!

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9:00am – Start Trek
10:30am – 1st stop, Manggahan falls, Pay Registration P10 (Private Property)
11:30am – Camp 1, open area
12:30am – Camp 2, open area
1:10pm – Summit!
2:10pm – Descent – Manggahan falls,
4:00pm – Brgy. Hall meet up – Wash Up – Head home 
*depends on pace

Puerto Prinsesa, Palawan – To the island of Gods and Monsters

This is my 4 days 3 nights travel in Puerto Prinsesa to El Nido. We spent 2 days in PPS (1st & 4th) then overnight stay in El Nido. I’ve been to Puerto Prinsesa in 2013. I have seen the Underground River and Honda Bay. Honda Bay tour includes Luli Island, Starfish Island, Panden Island & Cowrie Island.

Luli Island is actually a short term for “Lulubog – Lilitaw”, which means Sink & Rise, which is what the Island does; at high tide the island disappears and at low tide, it reappears. Starfish Island has the greatest population of Star Fish (Sea Stars) in all of Palawan. Cowrie Island is named after the small-to-large sea snail, marine gastropod mollusc called “cowrie”. It is super sulit for a price of 1,300Php/ person. *Inclusive of lunch.

Our flight was scheduled 1:30pm but got delayed. We arrived in PPS around 3:30 pm and we were just tired when we arrived. We decided to just stay first in Puerto Prinsesa  instead of heading straight to El Nido. We stayed in A&A Hotel for 1 night. City tour rate is 600Php via Tricycle. This is recommended if there are 4-5 pax but my sister and I decided to just go to Plaza Cuartel, Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral, Baker’s Hill & Mitra’s Ranch.

From A&A Hotel, you have to pay 30Php to the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral. You get to see the cool ambiance of the place from afar. Also, I saw a lot of Wagwagan (Thrift shops) along the way. From the cathedral just cross the street to see the Plaza Cuatrel. This place has a very gruesome history as seen on the memorabilias placed there. Ride a multicab from Rizal Ave. going to Sta. Barbara (tell the driver to drop you off at Baker’s hill). You have to go down just a bit farther the Butterfly Garden and ride a tricycle to Mitra’s Ranch. Entrance is Php40 for two. Nothing to see here really. Just skip this. We asked the driver to wait for us to finish the quick sightseeing at Mitra’s and then we headed to Baker’s Hill. We paid the driver Php50.

In Baker’s Hill, there is a lot of  displays and beautiful spots that you can photograph. The Peacock area caught my attention. After roaming around Baker’s Hill, my sister asked me if we can go to Robinson’s Mall to check out some pearls. We paid the tricycle Php100 from Baker’s Hill to Robinson’s. It was almost 1:30 when we decided to take lunch. Where’s the best place to take your lunch? KaLui’s!

KaLui’s Restaurant opens 11am to 2pm for lunch then 6pm to 9pm for dinner. Make sure to arrive on time. Sometimes they ask for reservations because according to the locals the place is usually full. After lunch we went to MCA Market to check out some more pearls and souvenir items. We felt tired after this and it was really sunny so we went back to the hotel to rest. That night, we went to Dolce Vita for the van to El Nido.

Again, it is recommended to take the 600Php City tour via Tricycle if there are 4 or more pax. This DIY city tour budget is for 2 pax. This inlcudes the meal we had at KaLui’s.

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  • Php30 Tricycle fare from A&A Hotel to Immaculate Concepcion
  • Php30 Multicab from Rizal Ave. to Baker’s Hill
  • Php50 Tricycle from trike terminal to Mitra’s Ranch then to Baker’s Hill
  • Php40 Mitra’s ranch entrance fee
  • Php100 Baker’s Hill to Robinson’s Place Puerto Prinsesa
  • Php60 RP Puerto Prinsesa to KaLui’s Restaurant
  • Php650 KaLui’s good for 2 seafood lunch meal
  • Php20 KaLui’s to MCA Market
  • Php20 from MCA Market to A&A Hotel

Total is Php1000 for two. Not bad! I bought some things along the way too like the tie-dye shirt for Php400 from the MCA Market and the Ube Crinkles for Php45 from Baker’s Hill.

Day 2 to 3 were spent in El Nido.

Arrived in PPS around 2am. We checked-in A&A Hotel again. I woke up at 7am to eat breakfast. After breakfast, my sister went out to buy pearls. I had the opportunity to upload some more photos! Lol. I also heard of Viet Ville and researched about it. Took our lunch in Viet Ville Palawan. We had Chicken Pho (90Php), VietVille seafood Pho (120Php) and Banh Mi (15Php). Also, one of my best friends, Charlie, had me try Viet Iced Coffee before, so I just have to have one here too. Yummy! Authentic AF!

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  • Php250 Tricycle ride RT from A&A Hotel to Viet Ville
  • Php380 Lunch

Tricycle ride from town proper to Viet Ville is approx 20 mins but it is worth it. The village is a ghost town. I saw less than 10 people there and everyone was in the restaurant. When we arrived we were the only guests but after 15 minutes a foreigner with her 2 children came in to eat too. We went back to Dolce Vita and waited for our shuttle going to the airport.

I spent Php3, 650 in El Nido. Then Php2,500 in Puerto Prinsesa. Airfare that I got is Php2,100 RT via AirAsia. Total amount is Php8,250. I could say that it is worth it because El Nido is just awesome. You can also check out cheaper accommodations in El Nido. If you have been to PPS it is advisable to head straight from PPS to El Nido to save time and money.

El Nido, Palawan, Ph – To float in the closest thing to Paradise

It was perfect timing when we went to El Nido since almost everyone was in Cebu for the Sinulog festival. El Nido is a very small town with narrow streets. A local said that you can walk around the whole town for 5 hours or less. A lot of souvenir shops and resto bars. Some resto bars are strategically located  at the beach for an overlooking sunset during dinner. We rode a public van from Puerto Prinsesa to El Nido. This will take 5-6 hours depends on speed. A foreign tourist I met told me that they took the public bus for a cheaper price but took them 8 hours to reach El Nido because of the stops. You don’t want that. It’s best to take the van at night because travel will be faster. This is a continuation of my 4 days 3 nights Palawan trip.

Accommodation: We stayed in Ipil Suites. Nice hotel but wi-fi kinda sucks. During the whole stay Internet wasn’t working (Well yeah, in the whole island I guess  Internet is crappy). It’ll cost you Php2,500/ night for a Standard room with breakfast buffet. Right in front of Ipil Suites is Tarao Travel Lodge which offers a double bed for Php1,500. If you are going to stay in Puerto Prinsesa for a day, A&A Hotel for 1,250Php with breakfast is right in the center of a crossing accessible to MCA Market & Robinson’s Palawan. Wi-fi here is faster than most hotels I’ve stayed.

Tour A includes Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, 7 Commandos beach, Shimizu beach, Secret Lagoon and Ipil Private Beach (if you booked the tour thru Ipil Suites). The price is 1,200Php/ person + 200Php for environmental fee. Trip starts at 9am so make sure to have a heavy breakfast.

I recommend that you rent a Kayak for Php300 in the Big & Small Lagoons. The view is just breath taking. There is a lot of Sea Urchins so make sure to be careful when swimming. Our boat had an engine problem so we were stuck in the Big Lagoon for 1 hour. We took our lunch there instead of taking it in Shimizu Beach. Not a good feeling!

Last stop is at Ipil Private Beach. There’s this lodge there that you can rent for 25,000Php/night. It is a 3 bedroom private lodge and you get to enjoy your own beach. We stayed here for 30 minutes and just laid around. We arrived at the El Nido shoreline around 5:00 pm.

One of the perks of traveling is meeting new people. These girls are from Australia and they are travelers too. They are so vibrant and easy going. Hanna, I hope you kidnap me and take me to Perth! Haha! There’s this place called Taraw Cliff that I was not able to go to because of the tight schedule. I think Hanna was able to go there. It is an hour trek from the town proper and you get to see the whole El Nido from there.

Candlelit dinner at the beach. Shoreline style. You can watch the sunset here.

Unfortunately, we only have 1 day to tour. We took the 7pm van going back to Puerto Prinsesa. I met a couple of Australian girls and they told me that Tour C is also recommended. Seriously, I just have to go back and finish the tours! Haha! The water in El Nido is just so clear and fine that you can see how clean it is  underneath. If you’re touring Palawan make sure to visit this majestic place  while it is not yet that popular or developed. I saw this photo on the El Nido tours page.

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  • Php600 van transfer from Puerto Prinsesa to El Nido
  • Php1,200 Tour A
  • Php200 Environmental fee
  • Php0 Lunch included in the tour
  • Php100 Dinner
  • Php950 Ipil Suites accommodation (We got the loft type which costs 3800Php)
  • Php600 from El Nido back to Puerto Prinsesa

Total is Php3, 650. Also, stay here for at least 3 days and try another tour. We were on a tight schedule during the trip so we only did Tour A. I met a Canadian along the way and he said that he got a Tour C for 900Php. I guess the price varies depends on the company.

If you have time, check my DIY city tour for Puerto Prinsesa.

Baguio City, Benguet, Philippines – To the infamous Haunted Hotel

I just know that 2016 will be awesome.

I spent the 1st of 2016 in Baguio. I bought a ticket ahead of the travel date because we all know how the roads are during holidays. Baguio has been a second home to me since my family always spends time there to clean and renovate my Aunt’s house. I asked my sister if she can take me to Diplomat Hotel. I’ve heard about Diplomat Hotel since I was a kid and I’m kind of intrigued with the happenings in this place. Finally, after 16 years of waiting, we went to the infamous hotel.

Entrance is actually free at this place. You get to see a big Bible engraved with the 10 The Commandments on it. Make sure to also check out the backyard of the hotel. There are some sites to see there too. The next day we went to the Ukay-Ukay places (on Session Rd and Burnham Park) to shop. Shirts for men ranges from Php250-350 but you can still haggle. I didn’t bring any jacket so I bought a U2 windbreaker for only Php400. There wasn’t any night market since it rained for 2 nights. The weather here is just bae-perfect!

 

Naga City, Camarines Sur – To live with excitement and spice

Thanks to Stellar I had a chance to live in Naga for 3 months. I am so grateful that I was able to experience Naga in so many ways. This place is just filled with history and just like in Manila, it never runs out of surprises! I personally never felt indifferent because people here are just so accommodating. Bicolanos surely knows how to treat Manilenos properly. Here are some lists that would help you plan your Bicol trip – I experienced these things and I promise that I will be honest with the comments and feedback.

Accommodation: As I was saying earlier, I lived in Naga for 3 months and I must say that I was able to experience living in its different parts. The first 3 days were spent in CBD Plaza Hotel. I’d rate is 7/10. Nice location – in front of SM Naga, Naga Central Bus Station and super near food joints. I wasnt happy with the breakfast included. It didnt really satisfy me (1 piece of hotdog or 1 piece of tinapa) – Seriously. The rate here per night is Php1,500 for a double room.

I stayed in Villa Caceres Hotel for a week. Great place. It’s 9/10 for me. It has a very homey vibe and the breakfast included is buffet. I even befriended the chef (because the chef has a crush on the colleague I was with). The hotel crew is also friendly, they made sure that our stay there was memorable. The rate here per night is Php2,200 for a standard room.

If you’d like a cheaper yet great accommodation, I recommend O&S Residences. Almost outside of town but tricycles are there 24/7. Nice clean rooms with common kitchen. Php1,100/night. Great staff btw.

Places to see:

I’m telling you, you can roam around Naga in just 1 day. With Php8 tricycle fare to anywhere, you can see these spots via tricycles:

  • Penafrancia Basilica Minore
  • Basilica of Our Lady Penafrancia
  • Plaza Quince Martires
  • St. Anthony of Padua Church

And maybe in the following days, make time to see these awesome destinations:

We rented a cab to take us to Panicuason Hotsprings which is an hour away from the city. There were 6 of us and we paid 2,200 for a round trip. It rained that day so good thing we had the driver pick us up around 7:30pm.

I met a local, Mico, from Starbucks Naga who offered to take to Malabsay Falls just outside the city. We rode a jeepney in downtown Naga City Market bound to Panicuason (costs Php35). From the drop-off point, we did a 20-minute trek up and down the mountain til we reach the falls. We spent 2 hours here (luckily, no one was around and the place is just scenic!). We had to rent a habal-habal back to the town for Php150/head. Then jeepney of Php35 again back to Naga City.

CamSur Watersports Complex is just 40 minutes away from the City. It is actually located in Pili (a town next to Naga) and it is near the airport. From Naga Bus Terminal (ride a bus to Pili, tell the driver to drop you off CWC). We paid Php80. From the drop point, we rode a tricycle which costs Php50 to CWC Wakepark. You have to register and pay Php500.

You can also do a sidetrip to Mt. Mayon, Albay. Ride a van from Jesse Robredo Coliseum (just in front of SM Naga) to Albay. Travel time is 2 hours max. Drop-off is at Legazpi Mall – Ride a jeepney to Cagsawa Ruins. You can also check out Lignon Hills but you have to trek up for 30 minutes if you don;t have a car/ tricycle rented. Going back was easier, we rode a jeepney to Legazpi Mall then right next to it is a terminal; vans bound to Naga.

Nightlife/ Where to eat:

Everyone loves Magsaysay Street! When I was there, my weekends were usually spent with Naga friends in Magsaysay pubs like Bora Hut 2, Molino Grill, PBar, Kubo, Nikkos Ark, (then 2 of my favorties – Kinamon & Backdraft.  etc. Also, we love to eat (i gained weight when I lived here) — Biggs Diner‘s vanilla milkshake & chicken , Geewan, Red Platter‘s red velvet brownie, Bob Marlin‘s Crispy Pata & Sinigang na Salmon, Aling Cely‘s Kinalas, and a whole lot more!

 

 

Baler, Aurora, Philippines – To catch some waves at Sabang beach

Just like La Union, Baler is also a surfing spot. My friends and I go here whenever we’d de-stress. The townsmen here are friendly and approachable. If you wanna enjoy your weekend, I recommend that you leave Manila early (like around 3am) so you can explore the town of Baler on your first day. Travel time is 5-6 hours via car but you can take Genesis bus for Php450. Trip would be 6 to 7 hours at most.

Accommodation: I stayed in Costa Pacifica resort once and it was amazing. We  paid for a Pacifica Suite for Php 7,500 including buffet breakfast. Amenities are great here too! I’d also recommend JNMK Transient House (Php1,500, fan room, bunk beds). You can pm them for inquiries. A lot of cheap inns around the vicinity – prices ranges 1k above. We also stayed for 2 nights in Pacific Waves Inn. We had a bad experience here. They had a black out on our last night and didn’t even provide fans or such.

Where to eat: The photo above shows Rolling Store (very affordable; carinderia style) although there are restaurants around the town. We had a buffet lunch at Gerry Shan‘s for a fair price. A must-try is Baler Surfer Grill’s Baler Bacon Cheese Burger! Bayler View also has a restaurant which serves good food for a somehow affordable price.

Day 1

Places to go to on your first day (Town Proper):

  • Quezon Park
  • Museo de Baler
  • Old Church of Baler (the siege of Baler happened here)
  • Aurora Quezon’s Ancestral House (the province is named after her)
  • Old Balete Tree (majestic!)
  • Ermita Hill (where Angara’s family climbed during the tsunami)

You can ask the locals around the beach (most of them are also surf instructors) for the best time to surf on that day. Surfing with Instructor will cost you around Php 350 for 2 hours with board.

Day 2

Explore the Ditumabo Falls, Aniao Islet, Lukso Lukso Islets and Dicasalarin Cove (entrance is Php 300). I’d like to go to Ampere beach because I heard it’s one of a kind. If no van/car available to go to these places you may look around for a tricycle/ habal-habal tour and ask for a reasonable price. You can chill at the beach with your friends at night. We had a bonfire, bottles of beer and snack.

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  • Php1,500 Transient stay for 4
  • Php900 bus ride RT
  • Php350 surf ride with board and instructor
  • Php300 Dicasalarin Cove entrance fee
  • Php200 Baler Grill burger meal
  • Php500 other expenses like meals, water, snack etc.
  • Php10 entrance fee Old Balete Tree
  • Php500 habal-habal tour

Total expense is Php4,260. We can go lower depends on situation – like own transpo or if you can book a tour for just Php1,500 plus for 4 persons.  Also, there’s a lot of cheaper accommodation.

Coron, Palawan, Philippines – To take a dip at its lakes and lagoons

My eldest sister and I has the same goal in life – to keep going and see the world. I love my eldest sister (she’s my favorite) although sometimes we have misunderstandings but we work through it. During this trip we became more aware of our strengths and we got to know each other well by compromising and being just there through times of need.

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Day 1

We arrived at Balai Binda around 12nn. We asked a tricycle driver to give us a tour around town. We went to the Coron Baywalk first then we braved the 700 steps of Mt. Tapyas. A lot of locals and tourists are climbing up to see the view from the top or exercise. Once you get to the top of the mountain you’ll see the picturesque view of the small town. Head straight to Maquinit Hotsprings for a relaxing hot bath. Make sure to do this last before you go home. We had dinner at Big Mama’s. The food was so good! Or maybe we were just really hungry?

Day 2

I wasn’t able to take a photo of us at the Maquinit Hotpsrings because I had to risk my phone to take shots. Since we’d like to check out the beaches and do some activities, we chose a tour package that’ll include snorkeling so missed out on seeing Malcapuya Island and Banana Island (i heard that these 2 are also must-see’s).

Tour A includes CYC Beach, Kayangan Lake, Crocodile beach & Siete Picados.

Day 3

Today, we went for the tour that would enable us to snorkel and explore marine life. Tour C takes in 6 of the best lagoons and lakes to visit, whilst you’re staying in Coron –  Twin Lagoon, Barracuda LakeBanol beach (wherein we had our lunch) & Skeleton Wreck. A tip for the Twin Lagoon – do not wear your life vest if you’re a great swimmer. I did this and it was awesome. I saw the beautiful marine life underneath and I also enjoyed the waters of the lagoon. If you’re too afraid or hesitating, do not do it . I just YOLO’d that time and because of that I was not able to bring my GoPro.

We had dinner at Sinugba de Balay. The service might be slow but they serve good food. It just that we were so hungry when we ordered. It took around 25-30 minutes for the food to arrive.

Day 4

Went back to Maquinit Hotsprings for the last time before we headed back home.

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  • Php3,150 for 3 nights at Balai Binda (too expensive but worth the money)
  • Php1,200 Day 2 Tour A/ pax (inclusive of lunch)
  • Php1,200 Day 3 Tour C/ pax (inclusive of lunch)
  • Php400 Maquinit Hotsprings entrance (we went there twice; so it’s 200/head)
  • Php300 tricycle fare from town proper to Maquinit Hotsprings and back
  • Php300 lunch meals
  • Php300 dinner meals
  • Php200 we had desserts at some local store
  • Php500 some souvenirs like t-shirts and accessories

TOTAL is Php7,550. Okay maybe not that budgeted but It was worth it. Make sure that you visit Malcapuya Island before 2016 because it was purchased by a 5-star hotel already. I heard from my cousin that Banana Island is better than Malcapuya so you better get you ass there too.

Baguio, Benguet, Philippines – To the Summer capital of the Philippines

This is just a photo blog to summarize my stays in Baguio city. My family have an old house here where we spent much of our Christmas, Holy Week, All Souls day etc. (just about any occasion you can think of). I’ve also invited my friends over to we can experience Panagbenga Flower Festival. It is indeed the summer capital of the Philippines.

Where to stay: A lot of cheap transients and hostels. UPSTAIRS Bed & Bath offers private rooms for Php,1500 a night. For a relaxing ambiance, try Forest House for Php3,500 a night.

From Baguio City, you have to go 2 hours more up to La Trinidad to experience this wide awesome Strawberry field. Also, you get to taste a legit Strawberry ice cream. Vendors can ask for 40-60Php depending on cone. Strawberry picking is 200Php for 1kl of basket.

From Baguio city, allot 40 mins to 1 hour to get to Café in the Sky. Make sure to grab a hot cup of Swiss Miss and enjoy the cold breeze!

Also, try Frozen cakes in Chona’s Delights along Session Rd! I just can’t get over this. Every time we go to Baguio I buy a dozen of these. 1 Tupperware is worth Php300 depends on flavor.

San Juan, La Union, Philippines – To the Surfing capital of Northern Luzon

My best friends and I were planning a short trip to somewhere over the weekends for no reason at all. I had a team mate from SBCA (I was cheer captain in college) that went back and forth from La Union for months which I know because of Facebook. I sent her a message and met to ask for a weekend itinerary. Trix referred her friend, Marven – who was a local, to assist us on our trip. After 1 month of preparation we headed to Partas Cubao and left Manila at 4am. Travel time from Manila to La Union is about 2 hours.

Day 1

We were told to drop off at Se-Bay, San Juan to meet our friend, Marven. The bus will pass Se-Bay so don’t you worry. He was not replying that time so we were endorsed to a hostel manager in Sea Nymph. This hostel was not so bad. They have fan rooms and air-con  room that can accommodate up to 6 persons. We were able to get an ac room for 4. The ac was defective and we were not able to get Php900 stay experience. BTW I did not experience the ac because I was so tired that time I just fell flat on the bed til morning.

We met Marven and his cousin who’ll accompany us during our trip. They’re locals so they know the place perfectly. We had our breakfast at Jetsam for Php90/person. After this we just rested for a bit and began our journey to Tangadan falls. The trek was long (or we were just tired?) 30 minutes and we were panting. We had an excuse to cut the trek as it had dark skies that time and it feels like it was about to rain.

Angel and I trying our best to paddle!

Went back to our Sea Nymph in San Juan around 5pm just to take a shower. We met Marven at the beach and they prepared a picnic style dinner with bon fire and drinks.

Taken during our bonfire at the beach with light booze & dinner

Day 2

Beach time! We woke up 9am and ate breakfast at the same store where we ate yesterday. It was just 2 mins away from Sea Nymph so yeah. Met Marven again at the beach around 12 noon and started enjoying the beach activities. We did paddleboarding, kayaking, swimming and surfing. This lasted ’til 3pm. Before heading to Manila, Marven gave us a free shirt and discount coupons for Roxy and Billabong. Thanks, Man!

Hollah Surfstars! Glad to meet these awesome people!

  • Php450 fare/person bus to San Juan via Partas
  • Php90 breakfast meal
  • Php100 lunch meal
  • Php200 2 hours surfing with guide and board
  • Php250 each for jeep rental going to falls
  • Php45 bottled water
  • Php70 light snacks (energy bars, chocolates etc)
  • Php400 shared for dinner and drinks
  • Php1,800 stay in Sea Nymph (2 nights)
  • Php100 breakfast meal day 2
  • Php100 light snacks for the trip
  • Php60 fare for tricycle to bus terminal
  • Php500 fare/person ac van to Manila

Total is Php4,165. With this amount you can easily enjoy a quick getaway to La Union. I can do this every free weekend. I could go cheaper as well depends on situation.