raw sienna


I’m back from my solo backpacking trip abroad…

tired but gratefully alive…

I have yet to blog about it though. I just needed some more time before i get back into the blogosphere…

so I’ll just leave this picture of one of the places i visited…

be blogging soon… ^_^

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i’ll be going away for awhile…

so i could do something i’ve been dreaming to do…

and that is… to embark on a new adventure…

and a personal journey…

to a far-off land away from home… (yet not really that far…)

i don’t have a clear-cut plan of where i’m going…

but it is something i needed to do…

maybe to allow oneself to traverse unbeaten paths…

and be lost…

in order to find oneself again…

still…

for every trip i make…

there is some feeling of excitement as well as apprehension…

so i pray to  God for guidance and courage…

and a safe, and peaceful travel…

and to thank Him as well…

for a chance to once again…

reconnect with old friends…

to rejuvenate a tired mind and soul…

to immerse in the diversity that makes mankind great…

and to revel in the beauty of His creations…

be back soon… peace! (^_^)

———–

photo credit: ISS for flickr

The days have been so mercilessly hot and humid. Living in a tropical climate all my life would make me think that I could take this summer beating but this is somewhat too plain much!  After going through all those rains and floods last year, now this?

The unbearable heat leaves you drained of energy – move an inch, and you’re already shedding buckets of sweat! ハッ!(`ロ´ ; )  Sure there is an AC at my place of work, but it’s the Holy Week break (yahoo!) so I’m at home now.  My unreliable AC can’t fight off the heat in my room. During the hottest part of the day (10 am to 4 pm) I can’t help but lie down and sleep off the heat.  Ugh! huhuhu!

But summer has its perks: fruits like mangoes, melons, avocado, and watermelons are cheaper and abundant; tropical flowers like our fiery fuchsia bougainvillea seem to be thriving in this unusual dry spell; since school is out, there’s less traffic jams, and of course, summer means BEACH OUTINGS!

Last Sunday, we had our company outing at Laiya, Batangas.  I brought along my best bud, Levlev.  I’ve been going to Laiya every summer since 2004  (except last year though 😦 ). It’s my most favorite beach (even topping Boracay in my list) so far…

Located in San Juan in Batangas, Laiya is a three hour drive from Manila.  The beach is clean, and has no dangerous waves… great for kayaking.

Casa Remo was where we stayed.  It is reasonably priced and has small apartelles and one big house (above) with plenty of rooms.  It is not beside the beach though, so you have to walk a short distance to get to it.

Palm Sunday 2010: we celebrated mass at White Cove Resort.

Early Monday morning, we woke up to make use of the time left… swim to our hearts’ content!

Watcha waitin’ for? Ligo naaaah! Woo-hoo!

I♡♡♡  Laiya, forevah! \(♡´∀`♡ )/ If only this is the view that greets me when I look outside my house.  Sighs.

if not, then, i’m praying for the rains to come soon…*fingerscrossed*

~pls Lord umulan na sana~ (^人^ ) 雨乞いをする

Note: This is a continuation of Part 5 – Rafting Adventure in CDO

For our last night of our Weekend Rush, we were too tired to venture on a food trip in CDO.  We heard there were some great eateries we could try out in Limketkai Center but due to lack of time, we decided to just find a good resto in the nearby busy Divisoria area.

What we found was the Inilog Grill along Tiano Bros. St… They have live acoustic performances and the coldest beer in town!

We enjoyed their talaba (fresh oysters) and sizzling ostrich (above pic) which has the slight consistency of a cross between pork and lengua.

Wilshire Inn (at Pres. Aguinaldo St.) was where we stayed. They have very affordable rooms for budget travelers like us. The staff esp. the security men at the entrance were helpful and kind.  Thanks so much for a good stay!

Sigh... waiting with our bags at the CDO Lumbia airport…

Going home now :( Back to work and back to reality.

First thing to do – Unpack the pasalubongs first, of course: The VJandep pastel or coffee buns (with yema filling) tasted amazing esp. if you heat it up in the toaster oven first.  And the lanzones came along with some extra friends, too – Camiguin’s probinsyano black ants that are now getting used to their new home here in Metro Manila. lol

Looking back…

Maraming salamat po! In this day and age, it is inevitable to have modern-day problems like where to charge batteries for your gadgets when traveling. Thanks so much to those who allowed us to use their electric outlets along the way- in the airports, ships, and even inside a ticketing office! 😀

The Weekend Rush Gang! Woo-hoo! Did we really do all these in less than 3 days? Yes, we did! Guess it goes to show that being part of a team can make dreams possible… Thank you, God for giving us a safe and fun journey… Our country is a beautiful place indeed. Pilipinas muna bago mundo!

(^_^)_m/

Note: This is a continuation of Part 3 - More of Camiguin

On our last day in Camiguin… we woke up before dawn today to catch the sunrise at White Island. To get to the island, one can rent a boat for Php450 for a back and forth trip.

White Island is a crescent shape sand bar just off the coast of Mambajao. White sand or powdered corals can be found here. You can also get a nice view of Camiguin Island on this sandy strip…

We had the whole island to ourselves when we got here at 5:30 am…

Watching the sunrise in the east of the sand bar…

…while the moon sets in the west.

The Gathering: The A Girls and I are getting ready for a new day of…

…more crazy  jump shots, what else? Wheee! :0) (shots by Kneil; camera by Jjai)

No, please! Don’t make me quote THAT song…lol!

Just me and my trolly feet

More tourists were coming in while we were getting set to leave. Above pic shows the Old Volcano on the left while Mt. Hibok-Hibok is the one farther into the background on the right.

Goodbye, beautiful island! 😦 (Left pic by Amih)…

Alas, it was time to leave Camiguin…I hope to come back again and get to explore more of this unique island – a day and a half just isn’t enough…

We headed to Benoni Port to catch an 8:15 ferry for CDO’s Balingoan Port. The fee was Php150.

We had to hurry because we still had an adventurous afternoon ahead of us…

Next Post: Rafting Adventure in CDO!

If you wish to visit Camiguin, Adarna Travel and Tours can help you with your bookings. Their tel. nos. are (02) 9344632 and (02) 5717739.

Note: This is a continuation of Part 2 - Enchanting Camiguin...

No time to waste!…We arrived in Camiguin at almost noon on this day and immediately embarked on a tour of this enchanting, serene island…

Our second stop was the Walkway at the Old Volcano site. One gets to walk up the Old Volcano using these steps to visit the 12 Stations of the Cross….

…but the First Station is all we can manage to reach…

Several souvenir stores are also located here.

Third Stop: The Cross at the Sunken Cemetery… You can reach the Cross via a rented boat for Php15 to 20 per head (um, it actually depends on which boatman you talk to).

The Cross up close… We had lots of fun photos taken here, pretending we were having a photo shoot in Santorini. lol

View from the Cross at Sunken Cemetery: This monument has several broken guard rails that need fixing. Someone could have an accident and might fall if he or she is not careful.

Fourth Stop: These old Church ruins were what remained from the devastation caused by the Old Volcano when it erupted in 1871. There is no entrance fee but you could give a monetary donation and tip to the caretaker who can assist in taking souvenir group pictures.

The Belfry of the Old Church ruins…

Yes, the Lanzones of Camiguin: they were selling lanzones at Php35 per kilo only! However, now is not really the time for lanzones (regular harvest for this local fruit is during October) and so these tasted a bit sour. But we bought some anyway!

Last Stop: Ardent Hot Springs is where we capped off our little island adventure with a relaxing dip in the naturally warm waters. Entrance fee = Php30.

We wanted to watch the sunset at the sand bar or White Island but the Coast Guard issued a tsunami warning (from the earthquake in Chile) this afternoon and prevented small boats from traveling. So we postponed the trip to next morning instead…

Next Post: Part 4 – White Island, Camiguin

If you wish to visit Camiguin, Adarna Travel and Tours can help you with your bookings. Their tel. nos. are (02) 9344632 and (02) 5717739.

This is a continuation of Weekend Rush in Cebu:

Camiguin was a place I’ve longed to visit for, let’s see… I guess, ten years now. I’ve heard a lot about this island that I inevitably included it in my bucket list as one of my must-see Philippine destinations…

After arriving in CDO, we took the Paras Sea Cat ship at CDO Port. The ship is clean and comfy.  Plus the crew is friendly and helpful, too. We left the port at 8:30 am.

At 10:45 am, we finally arrived! Passing through Macajalar Bay and into Bohol Sea, we finally caught a glimpse of this emerald island called Camiguin. Woo-hoo! (Pic courtesy of Amih)

There are many resorts, cottages, and “homestay” arrangements  in the island. Paguia Cottages is where we stayed. Here, you can rent affordable cottages that are like small houses – each having an airconditioned bedroom and kitchen. It is located in Lumbing, Mambajao.

It would be a good idea if you hire a driver cum island guide to show you around. Ours was Mang Dendo (above) with his handy-dandy yellow multi-cab.

There were not a lot of great places to eat in Camiguin. For lunch, we settled for Kan-Anan sa Parola which was relatively ok. They also sell the famous VJandep pastel (coffee buns) of Camiguin.

Going up the road to the falls…

First stop: Katibawasan Falls (Entrance fee: Php20). It was so tall, its entirety didn’t fit inside our cameras’ viewfinder… so I had to crop and clumsily attach the images together…puede na!

We loved Katibawasan Falls! We had a great time swimming and admiring the view which was really breath-taking! And the water was cold and refreshing. Wished we could stay longer but had other places to visit though…

Having a crunchy snack at the Falls: kiping (wafer made of rice paste) topped with sugary coconut syrup being sold for Php11.

Next Post: More of Camiguin

If you wish to visit Camiguin, Adarna Travel and Tours can help you with your bookings. Their tel. nos. are (02) 9344632 and (02) 5717739.

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