That Place Called El Nido


El Nido is probably in the travel bucket list of every Filipino, if not at least on the list of hardcore travelers. And it is for a variety of reasons: it’s the Philippine’s last frontier, it’s gorgeous, it’s untouched by urbanity, etc. etc. Despite these, El Nido remains an elusive destination for most us due to rumors that it’s an expensive destination, it’s very hard to reach and so on. Is El Nido too good to be true then?

El Nido: too good to be true?
El Nido: too good to be true?

I had the chance to test how true these rumors are when  my friends and I booked a ticket to Palawan during the Cebu Pacific Independence seat sale last year. With sufficient time to save and plan, I realized El Nido is a very manageable destination for a budget traveler like me. Two weeks ago, the dream travel finally came true, and my friends and I saw ourselves in the fine white sands of El Nido.

Never say no!
Never say no!

Continue reading “That Place Called El Nido”

Achievements


2014 has been a remarkable  year so far. I have been able to cross out a lot of things in my bucket list. Here are some of them:

1. Fire a real gun. I got lessons from the son of a general when I was in Guimaras last May!

Bang!
Bang!

2. Have my passport stamped. I did not just get a stamp. I also had my first visa! My South Korea trip was so memorable because it’s my first overseas travel, and well…it’s South Korea and it was autumn! 🙂

<3.
<3.

3. Conquer my fear of water….slowly. I love beaches but I don’t snorkel, dive or do any sort of water activity that requires me to put my head under water. But when I was in Balicasag Island in Bohol last August, the life under the water was simply too beautiful to pass. I dipped my head in the the shallower parts of the sea just to witness what the fuss was all about. And boy, I am glad I did! 🙂

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Photo Essay: Baler (Part 1)


I am trying to catch up with my travel diaries  but since my work and graduate school activities also involve a lot of writing, I barely have time to write for this blog. My backlog has now totaled to four travels and this does not even include my  unfinished Ilocos travel series. So, I thought of a roundabout solution about my dilemma and I realized photo essay is the way to go!

First stop is Baler, a town in the Aurora province of the Philippines. It can be reached through five-six hour bus trip from Manila. I went there around the end of January this year. It was an unplanned trip. A friend called me  up to ask if I want to go to Baler on a long weekend. Being the wanderer that I am, I accepted her invitation.

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Rocky cliffs of Baler.

 

It was very cold  and a bit rainy when we went there. It was the peak of the northeast monsoon int he Philippines so temperatures were around 12-18 degrees Celsius.

A falls by the highway! Yup! Just beside the highway!
A falls by the highway! Yup! Just beside the highway!

Continue reading “Photo Essay: Baler (Part 1)”

Philippines: In Textures


The Philippines is such a good subject for photography. One can get every imaginable texture because we have every landscape imaginable…volcanoes, waterfalls, limestone cliffs, etc. Who knows there is also a distinct advantage in being located in the Pacific Ring of Fire and in being in the path of typhoons? The only thing we probably don’t have is glaciers because obviously we are a tropical country. Here are some interesting “textures” I have come across for the past 2.5 years since I have started exploring the Philippines:

(Clockwise from L: (1) The rocky beach in Diguisit, Baler, (2) rocky cliff in Caramoan, Camrines Sur, (3) smooth limestone structure in Kapurpurawan, Ilocos Norte, and (4) punctured cliffs in Talicud Island, Samal.

 

More take on Texture at Daily Post.

Retreat


The water is on the move. It’s about to retreat:

(Taken at Baler, Aurora)
(Taken at Baler, Aurora)

 
This post is my entry to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge with the theme On the Move.

Recalling Laiya


One year in the making yet I haven’t still talked about our office’s team building last year. It  was a two-day activity  held in Blue Coral Beach Resort in Laiya, Batangas. I could barely remember what happened except for the fact that our team won the games! Ha!

Blue Coral's beach front.
Blue Coral’s beach front.

 

Having a pool works to the resort's advantage.
Having a pool works to the resort’s advantage.

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(Travel Diary) Weekend in Caramoan Part 2


I’ve been wanting to finish this diary for  quite some time now. Heck, it’s been eight months since this trip happened but  since then work and school  has been constantly eating my time.  These days, it’s semester break already so I  have some extra time to backtrack my travel diaries!  I was actually alarmed that I could not remember already some of the names of the island we visited. Thankfully, I have my trusty notepad where I usually write the names of the places I visited and my expenses when I travel.

In my first Caramoan post, I last talked about Cagbalinad island. Day 2 was also about island hopping while on Day 3, we visited some sites in the town proper. Without further ado… here’s the rest of my Caramoan adventure.

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Panoramic shot of the Manlawi sandbar.

  Continue reading “(Travel Diary) Weekend in Caramoan Part 2”

One View in Two Perspectives


Hi everyone! I just came back from a six-day travel and I think I have the perfect shots to share for this week’s challenge:

These were taken in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, Philippines near the Bantay Abot Cave. I tried two perspectives as I wanted a shot of stretch of the rocky shore line as well as emphasize the rock themselves. I will be sharing my Ilocos adventures soon. Hopefully, I will have some vacant time after I am done with my humongous school work.  Have a great week everyone and don’t forget to drop by Daily Post for this week’s entries.

Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through My Eyes


Just random shots that I hope can show  how I perceive and appreciate things and places differently.

Going low.
Going low.
One of a kind.
One of a kind.
Meeting place.
Meeting place.

Entries for this week’s challenge can be found at Daily Post.

Weekly Photo Challenge: In the Background


” So often when taking self portraits or pictures of friends, the places themselves become a soft blurred mush of indistinct semi-nothingness, the limelight stolen by our smiling faces.” 

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And the phrases above were similar to the one in my mind when I took this picture. My cousin and aunt wanted a shot with beautiful beach as the background. I decided to tweak my camera settings so it will be the water and the sun that will be highlighted. So here’s the end product… a silhouette of my relatives with the stunning Caramoan water as the limelight. 🙂

See more of this ween entries at Daily Post .

Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape


My idea of escape:

a place where no one knows me

a place where I can forget all the craziness of the urban life

a place where I can fully appreciate the wonders of nature

a place I can enjoy with people who truly matter the most

ESCAPE.

More “escape” submission at Daily Post.

(Travel Diary) Weekend in Caramoan Part 1


Last February 15-17, most of my relatives from the father side trooped to Naga City for the long planned getaway to Caramoan Islands in in our home province of Camarines Sur. My Uncle/Ninong Albert and his family also came home from Canada so it was a great opportunity to bond with them.

The beauty of Caramoan is quite famous in the international community and  so, it is ironic that even though it’s only about two hours from my home town, I never managed to visit these past years. Finally, I had the chance to see its charms and I was quite surprised we have a paradise so close to home.

The shores of Matukad Island.
The shores of Matukad Island.

Continue reading “(Travel Diary) Weekend in Caramoan Part 1”

(Travel Diary) Davao Part 2: Of Temples, Museums and Stunning Beaches


Took me a while to write the second part of my Davao travel diary. December is always a busy month with all the last minute reports that need to be done, parties and gatherings that need to be attended, and of course the preparations for Christmas.

Anyway, for our second day in Davao, we originally intended to do a countryside tour (Philippine Eagle Center, Malagos Garden, etc.) ) in the morning. However, we were so tired from the first day’s activities so we just decided to do a city tour. In the afternoon, we proceeded to Samal Island. Here’s how our second day in Davao went by:

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Continue reading “(Travel Diary) Davao Part 2: Of Temples, Museums and Stunning Beaches”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise


I learned through my recent travel that when you are about to go a new place, you should keep your expectations low. In that way, you will be pleasantly surprised when you are greeted by a scenery such as this:

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Simply stunning isn’t it? This was taken in Isla Reta 2, Talicud Island, Davao. The place was so secluded from the main city. There were hardly any people. The water was so clear and the beach was so beautiful. Nature always has so many surprises in store for us. =)

(Travel Diary) Quick Cebu Getaway (Part 1)


Last July, my officemate Thea informed our office gang (which consists of me, Io, Shei, Sab, Thea, and Nico) that Cebu Pacific has promo flights going to Cebu. She booked herself a round trip and then asked us if we wanted to join her in Cebu. Of course we readily said yes! Php 1,200 for a roundtrip fare? Yeah baby. Yeah.

A memory worth relieving for.

Day 1

 After almost two months of waiting, September 24 finally came! Our flight for Cebu was at 6:30 PM so we were supposed to leave the office at 4:00 PM. I had to report for work at 7:01 AM so that I don’t have to commit an undertime! We arrived at the airport just on time and apart from the change in the departure gate and minor delay in the runway, our travel was very smooth.

Continue reading “(Travel Diary) Quick Cebu Getaway (Part 1)”