Saturday, July 23, 2016

Pico de Loro

Bolinao was the planned destination last July 4th (holiday in the US). Last minute decision, we cancelled Bolinao since it'd take us 9 hours to go there and we just wanted to chill. So we headed to a much nearer place: Pico de Loro. I had no idea where it was exactly in Batangas or what it really was. I just knew that people go there to hike and to go to the beach. Saturday morning, we had a few drinks with Mark, colleague from work, who said it was one of the best places he'd ever gone to. So, ok. He had to do some more research about it. I learned that it's a beach club with a membership. There's also a hotel for non- members like us. We booked online using agoda and got an overnight stay at the hotel for 6,600 php/ 2 pax, which includes a buffet breakfast. Pricey. Online, the place looked nice. so, we went for it. Jen and i woke up really early to go to the bus station in Cubao. 4am we were there and the bus left at 5am.
How to go there (with approx. fare)
1. DLTB Cubao bus station going to Nasugbu. - 150 php
3. Go down to DLTB Nasugbu terminal and ride a trike going to Pico De Lori - 300 php
4. A car picked at the gate. - no fee fare

On our way to Pico De Loro. Trike tide!
Pico del Loro gate.
"We are here!!!"
The beach was great! 
Beach bumming
The pool at night. Gorgeous!
All-you-can eat bacon.

What to do: 
1. Beach bumming: there's no better way to relax but just to stay by the beach and just sit back, relax while listening the the suttle sound of the waves.
2. Water activities: you may rent a paddle board or kayak for 400- 600 php. I didn't get to do this as i'd rather relax on the beach.
3. Island hopping: i didn't get to inquire what other islands to go. It cost 6,000 php to do it. Pricey, i know.
4. Hiking: i just heard you may hike a mountain in pico de loro. I didn't hike in this trip. 
5. Eat, eat, eat! 
6. Sleep: the hotel bed was sooo soft and cozy. You'll be tempted to sleep all day. Haha. You may also do mivie marathon before you sleep. They have a nice flat screen tv that offers lot's of channels. 

1. The place is great for family with kids. It seemed secure and very safe for kids. There were life guards roaming around and there were very few people on the beach. It was a Sunday. There might be a lot of people on a saturday but i woild know that.
2. Pricey: this was expected. It looked like a 4-star hotel. Everything was just 3x the price. Like the San Mig Pilsen- 150 php. Ughk.

Overall, the trip was just chill. Awesome :)

Monday, March 07, 2016

Travels and Writing

The impossible has happened. My good friend, Frankie, who is always out and about, had time today to watch a movie with me! "London Has Fallen"- i had noooo idea what the movie was about and realized it was a sequel of the first movie, "Olympus Has Fallen". I liked the 1st one though.
Exchange gift- haha patehong nail cutter!

It was great to have some quality time with Frankie. Haven't seen him for quite awhile, but as usual, it was as if i just saw him yesterday. We talked about our travels and travels to be, photography and stuff. I found out that we are both aspiring travel bloggers. So, i'll just enumerate here what i've sort of learned from our conversation. So i can walk the talk, too. 

1. Travel Blogging- i always remember what Japs (bandmate) said about creating art. "Imitate and imitate.. and then create." I realized it's not only applicable to art and music. It's also applicable to blogging. I'm not talking about plagarism. I think we have to expose ourselves by reading existing blogs, find a pattern and then blog away and just have fun writing about the adventures. 
A) Introduction: Say a little something about the place. Could be a short history; myth;  or probably your feelings about the place. You may also talk about expectations about the place or hat not.
B) To do list: you may list your itinerary. Maybe in a tabular form or in paragraphs. (Places, activities, where to eat, etc)
C) pictures of course! Or put a video. It'll be really interesting.
D) how to go there
E) Where to stay.
F) budgeting
G) pre-cautions, if any.

2. Networking- this is sort of part of the blogging conversation. Maybe we should meet other bloggers. Attend blogging conventions. Learn from the experts. Find your niche. "Follower" will come. Just start writing first.

3. Photography- I miss talking about it and i miss doing it, too. I started blah-ing about it. Felt like ages discussing it with someone who is equally interested in the subject. 

4. Our next destination- i found a seemingly perfect flight schedule to go to Myanmar this coming May and i'm really considering to go for it. Told him about it and he said he's going on October 'cause on May, he'll be home to vote. Pfft. So, he's encouraging me to go on October instead. *sigh*. If i'd go on May, most probably it'll be  a solo travel abroad, which i'd love to experience, but i dunno if i can already.

5. Solo Travels-  I should have a dry-run. told him, i'm going to bagiuo alone... I got a hefty laugh. Ok.. I know. Silly idea. But why not? At least i can go somewhere i've been before.. Alone. That'll be different. And I guess there are parts of Baguio I haven't seen. One weekend... I will. Or probably I'll just head to Sagada- my favorite place up there. :) ha. Whatever... Hrmmm... I wonder. If not in Myanmar in May, where to? Ugh.

Pretty easily said than actually doing it (about the blogging). I just realized I've been talking about it with 2 other aspiring travel bloggers, Stephen (a friend from Oregon, USA) and Jamba (a spanish- speaking friend, also an aspiring solo traveler. Frankie, you know her.)

We just have to start on something. 

We just need:
"determination and good luck." - Stephen
"Write away, right away" - Ertling


Friday, March 04, 2016

Summer thought bubble

Hrmmm. March. Summer. Vacation? Where? Hrmm.. Beach? Again? Mountains? Climbing? Hrmmm...

Friday, February 26, 2016

Art Fair Philippines 2016 (2.20.2016)

I am not really a hardcore artist. I didn't study art in depth. I don't try to to look at art in a deeper sense (sometimes i do when i feel like it). But i do appreciate art. So Maam Phame and i went to the Art Fair Philippines 2016, a big event showcasing new artists and their work. There were 3 floors but i just explored the 6th and the 7th floor. 
This was one of my favorites. It reminds me of "the little prince" and the worlds he visited. 
This was already sold when someone was trying to buy it. Hrmm. I dunno what's behind this art but it's nice. It's elegant.
I like this door. Or closet. 

Maybe next time, i should buy an artpiece. I remember dad bought one from England, i think. But lost it. Maybe i should make one an sell it for a million pesos. Haha

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

South Korean Trip: Done!

My Out of the country trip after 10 years! I cant believe it. It still feels like a dream. :)
Day 1: 1.15.2016
Worked half day and left for NAIA at 3am. It didn't sink in that i was really leaving until i passed by the immigration officer's booth. I wasn't even dressed up for the winter. We travelled 4 hours by plane. Felt giddy seeing snow for the first time in real life on the plane window. We got of the plane and there was fog on my breath :) . *kilig
We stayed at the airport for quite awhile figuring out what to do next. Where to go next. We ate at Burger King, korean style.:)
Finally, we bought our Tmoney for our train rides. We rode the train going to Gongdeok and transfered to the brown lane going to Itaewon- our home for 6 days. 
Day 2: 1.16.2016
More snow! We woke up really early to prep for our Jisan trip. Snowboarding day! :) we left the guesthouse a bit too early (like 2 hours from pick-up time) so we have more time to look for our pick-up place. Since it was too early, we had coffee at this cute, eccentric coffeeshop we found across our bus stop. 
It's amazing. At exactly 7:45am, the Jisan bus took us as scheduled. Off we went to the skii resort. It's so weird to see airconditioning with heat coming out of it. 

The line was pretty long when we got there. It felt reaaaaally cold. I just learned i was wearing the wrong clothing when we got there. Therma shirt on top of a turtleneck shirt and a jacket on top of it (that actually didn't help to keep me warm). I wore 2 layers of trousers which later i learned it wasnt enough. Brrrrrr. Never felt sooooo cooooold! But i embraced it. Loved it. We don't have it in PI.
This is how the experts do it. Watch and learn.
After a half-day of snow sledding.. (Yup... Snow sledding... Snowboarding was too 'amateurish'.) off we went to Icheon, some province outside Seoul. I think, it took us around an hour going there. I even fell asleep. We took a cab to go to the Pottery Village.

We were clueless how to get back home to Itaewon... It was a real challenge to communicate because of the language barrier. So we just decided to take a cab going back to the nearest train station. Well, the nearest one was an hour and a half away from Icheon. We had no idea. The cab driver didn't knoe english. Just realized the metrotrain was just for Seoul :/ ohwell. Goodbye 78,000 won. The cab driver got frustrated too. He gave us 2000 won for coffee. We took the train and got home safely. It was an adventure :) 
The cab driver who gave us tissue. I dunno why.

Day 3: 1.17.2016
Woke up kind of late but it still felt like early morning. Chilly weather still outside. We had a tour at the Hanok Village (replica) with Mr. Chang. It was a nice tour. Got to know korean architecture and culture. 
This is me with Mr. chang, the tour guide. :)
They have this time capsule around this area. They will open it after a decade, i think. So sentimental. I remeber the "my sassy girl" movie. 
Right after the tour, Ria and I hurried our way to go to the other palace to wear the hanbok.
Yep, feeling like a princess here. Nyahaha.

We didn't have a tourguide here beacuse the place was almost closing. With the palace was open. The windows and doors were closed but i love the woodwork. I wish i had the opportunity to stay in a real hanok house (not sure if that's how you call it) hehe. 

5pm, we went to Insadong, the the place to be for souvinirs and food and artwork and such. I really enjoyed the strolling. :)
Artwork in the streets.
More artwork at the background. 
Bought souvinirs for family and friends. 

Dinner time, Ria and I ate korean style. :) soooojuuuuu!
Taste was awful but the tipsy was great. Just right. 

Day 4: 1.16.2016
Sanmontoonge Cafe was our main destination it's famous because of the the korean drama entitled "Coffee Prince". I remember Gyun-woo. *smile. Ok. So before going to the coffee shop, we went to the   
Gyeongbokgung Palace and watched the changing of the guards. Weird that they dont allow selfies. But i got a pic with the guards with fake mustaches. It's funny.
The guard and I. Hehe. I should've taken one home. they're cute. :) 

And off we went to famous coffeeshop. While walking in the city, looking for the bus station, i found myself stunned by the view. I mean, it's the city like makati. But cleaner and colder. Waaaay colder. And the people around. How they look when theyre cold. Amazing. 
I dunno what this building was but this was taken in front of the palace. The sky is blue an sun shiny but really cold. It's weird. 
Hiking up the hill.
The said coffeeshop. Beautiful stone structure. 
Scenes from The Coffee Prince Drama
The basement :)
Let's have a cuppa. :)

Phew. So i just bombarded the blog with pics of the hike. After Sanmontoongee, we visited the real Hanok village. We had to keep it quiet. Traditional locals there. And of course, for respect. 
Then, dinnertime, we ate again at a local restaurant.. A sitdown on the floor diner with loud korean men drinking soju behind me. They were fun to look at. Like those i see in korean films. I felt like i was in a korean film. Only in 3d and without subtitles. Funny to think about it. Haha.
See the shoes. We cant eat with shoes.
I didn't get to ask why they use a lot of plates.  And why the spoons are longer than usual. I didn't get to use fork for 6 days. Congratulate me.

Day 5
Myeong-dong day. Hrmmm. Nothing much happened. Just went grocery shopping. We should've done that after going window shopping. Anyway. Highlights were: Mozzarella babyback ribs and the hellokitty Cafe and the visit to the Cathedral. It was a grand structure. Like Hogwarts. Ria was too tired to go out when we arrived the guest house. I needed to go out to find a plastic box for my banana milk... ME TIME! I had the best dinner ever on my stay there. It was like a karindirya. I'd like to save some and take it home for Ria but im not sure about the culture there re taking home food. It might be offensive or something. So i just didnt. 
Only in korea! Banana milk!
Hot stone pot pork backbone stew. The bestest korea dinner i had. Lurve it!

Day 6. 
Oh well. Time to go home. We went again to Insadong for last minute shopping for pasalubong and then went back to Itaewon to fix our stuff. At 2pm, we headed to the airport. . :( i got teary eyed on the airplane. When will i ever see snow again? Hrmph... Anyway, it was a great trip! 
Manila lights.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

January 2016 - late post 1.2.2016 entry

Events happening this year/ planning to do:
1. South Korea- January
2. Kwebang Lampas- Jan
3. Mt. Pulag - Feb ?
4. Cambodia - May
5. Surfing, La Union- March
6 Bagan, Myanmar - Nov.
7. Zambales ?
8. Baguio ?

1. Apply for US visa
2. Look for a work in POEA
3. Hopefully to have my solo travel
4. travel with a  friend
5. Jam on stage with my djembe and old bandmates
5. Hiking, trekking
6. Make an artwork
7. Meet new people
And meet old friends too
8. Will be happy
9. More positive vibe
10. Will not be hopia. :)

Peruvian cuisine- Don andres
Turkish - FETA med.
Lebanese- Teta grill
(And more...) :)

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Recapping 2015

1. Medical Mission with Some great medical professionals from Michigan, USA. Thanks to my TIa Trining and Tito Romy for encouraging me to join them. Met amazing people and befriended them. I hope to join them again this year but chances are small. Im not sure if they will allow me again to have a long days off. Let's see.

2. I'm unable to go to the beautiful island of Calaguas but was lucky to be able to choose Caramoan as my place of destination. It was an epic getaway for me and my roomie. :) the most beautiful place i've seen so far. :) just wait for me, Calaguas... Who knows, i might just pay a visit over there. :)
3. Cambodia didn't happen in November, but my Cebu trip did, along with officemates, friend from previous work and 2 white dudes. I know, it's a motley crew. I was expecting more but i had a great time. 
4. I bought my own Ukalele and learned some pieces like Somewhere over the Rainbow, I'm Yours, etc. I'm not ready to play on stage but, heck, im glad i learned this instrument. It's cute. And it's a good stress reliever too. 

5. I did go out on a date with this french guy who lives just a few blocks away from my place here in eastwood. He seemed nice. We had a nice, civil conversation. But for some reason, we're not even friends now. We just saw each other once. My ego got hurt a little bit but i know it's normal. Oh well. I've moved on.

6. Yeah, i have a little saved for my trips in 2015. So i'm going to continue that. :) 
7. And yes, i've met interesting foreign friends. I met him last November with his friend. Super happy i met him in person. He's not exotic but he's funny :)

8. I did use my big camera on my trip but unable to use much. 

I almost forgot about this list i made. I'm glad i read this post and realized i did make things happen.

So.. Here's to 2016! :)