Tuesday, November 11, 2008

El Nido,Palawan: Day 2: bottom fishing,diving,snorkeling,kayaking

on our second day,we woke up at exactly 5:30 in the morning. Ready to take the first activity of the day.Bottom fishing. A weight was tied to the end of the line, and a hook about an inch up line from the weight. We actually used a conventional reel . instinct told me to keep my thumb on the spool to avoid tangles as i let the line to the bottom. All fish live and eat on the bottom that’s why it's called "bottom fishing". we were instructed that when we feel a nibble, we have to immediately raise the rod tip high and reel like crazy. always check to see if you have any bait. You must have bait in order to catch a fish. after few minutes, i got a catch.!! actually, i was the first one to have a catch...wooo hoo..!

Open Water course. Jonas and I discovered scuba diving.we were taught the basics of dive safety and a few basic skills so that we'll surely be safe underwater. We learned the basic skills needed to be able to dive accompanied by a buddy. who is also Open Water certified . Some basic skills we learned were: standard diving hand signals.regulator recovery,mask clearing,removal and replacement,fin pivot and proper weighting..i experienced the feeling of running out of air so i immediately signaled my dive instructor.eventually,i learned how to continue breathing normally from a regulator that won't stop flowing.whew! after that great experience, i promised myself i will get/have a scuba diving certificate .. soon!

then we headed to pangulasian beach for lunch, again, their food was heavenly. and the beach, a bit rocky at the edge but was white sand. it was beautiful. jonas,sheena & i went snorkeling and swimming, while shiela & joshielle just lazed around at the beautiful beach cottage.

next stop was Miniloc Island. we headed to the Small and Big Lagoons, tauted to be the best sites the El Nido islands have to offer. They were both amazing. we only did two things : Fun & adventure. synonymous to : kayaking & snorkeling.

we went for a sunset cruise, and enjoyed the beautiful sunset.


Monday, November 10, 2008

El Nido, Palawan :Day1:Island Hopping

I would like to describe my trip to Lagen Resort , El Nido, Palawan as "world class".i knew then that the moment i stepped into the small airport in Manila, something good will come my way. morning coffee/pastry were served,while waiting for the flight.i travelled with my fave cuz (shiela) along with her family (hubby-jonas, kids-joshiel & sheena).
a small 19 seater twin propeller plane (Island Transvoyager Inc) was where we boarded.. it took around 75 minutes ride to the El Nido airport.When we stepped into the El Nido airport,the setting was very barrio-like. It has a basic runway with a shack/hut as a waiting room which is strikingly old fashioned.the resort staff were there serenading with traditional Filipino songs.

a light snack was served (rice cake (puto)iced tea / coffee), while we wait at the airport for our boat transfers to the resorts. it was a 45 minute boat ride from El Nido town to the Lagen Island. The boat ride was very traditional island-style kind of thing. the boat was an outrigger and cannot come close to the resort due to corals in the water, so we need to transfer to a smaller speedboat in the middle of the water for what seems like less than a minute ride to the hotel's dock.

The boat ride going to Lagen resort was breathtaking. we had a vision of big rocks,limestone mountains and cliffs,covered by lush forests,various shades of clear blue water,random strips of beaches,with coconut trees,it was a paradise .literally & figuratively

when we reached the resort, friendly resort staff welcomed , place lei around our neck and escorted us to the club house where check in and orientation happened. a perky filipino song was rendered by the resort staff. After the serenade, we were provided by the hotel coordinator (Cindy Rivera) with some tips on how to preserve the environment so we will have a real good time during our stay at the hotel. this is what they call " GREEN HOTEL EXPERIENCE"

we stayed at the water/beachfront cottage. it was an overwater cottage, the best place to have a good view of the sunset, limestone cliff and forests where the resort is nestled. the accomodation was superb! Clean, comfy, relaxing, soothing! and of course.. so quiet and peaceful!

After some rests, we did our first activity of the day. the resort guide helped us planned our daily activities. we were encouraged to experience each excursions, the resort offers. we all agreed to do island hopping first.
we first headed to Snake Island, which had a beautiful S-shaped strip of sand , that completely submerged in water.it really looks like a snake hence, the name. The tide was low that time, so we were able to cross the sandspit to the mainland. we even spotted a starfish.

The second stop to our tour was the Cudugnon Cave. Getting inside the cave requires a little maneuvering, i was the first who volunteered to get inside the cave, i actually crawled through a tiny three-foot hole.According to our guide (Jim Cariño), archaeologists believe that the cave was a burial site during Neolithic times.

Third and last stop of the tour was Cathedral Cave.This cave is actually a cave in an island. The big opening by the sea side makes it look like a cathedral.

On our way back to the hotel, we witnessed the postcard-like sunset.
we ended the day with a satisfying delicious dinner.An entertainment was provided, at dinnertime.local dancers showcased different folk dances of the country,"itik-itik, pandango sa ilaw, sayaw sa bangko and lastly tinikling where they encouraged all the guests to join and try dancing tinikling. i was brave enough to try the dance and did it with flying colors.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

historic macau visit: day 1

a one week vacation from the office is mandatory for us. we call it corr leave.we were told to plot our leaves ahead of time.immediately i started surfing the net,looking for the best place to visit.it was February 12 2007 when my sister told me that tiger airways has a promo trip to MACAU with a very affordable price.Tiger Airways (owned by Singapore Air) to Macau (approx. 2 hours)is a low cost, single class service. Cost of the round trip was about $88.21 so,i let out my credit card from my wallet and booked my round trip flight to Macau for the month of September 2007. 4days and 3 nights stay. Booking Reference: L4D2LR

Macau is located on two islands interconnected by several long bridges. The City of Macau is on one island while the other island contains the cities of Taipa and Cologne. Macau is known for its unique attractions, world heritage, and fascinating museums it is considered as one of the finest holiday getaways.

Day 1. September 10, 2007. I headed to Clark Airbase near Angeles City North of Manila. i was on a very tight budget. i was told by a friend of mine that i can rent and stay as transient in a house owned by a kababayan who owns property in macau. while waiting for my flight at the airport, i dialed the number of the contact person where i planned to stay only to realize that the house is jam packed. accomodating me is very impossible. i didn't panic. i just waited for my departure time and when i got bored, i talked to someone also bound for macau and guess what? after a few chitchat, he offered his place and invited me to stay there in his parents' house ..for free! he's heaven sent! Departure time was 1315 hours - arrival 1510 hours.

The Macau International Airport is situated in the island of Taipa and about 20minutes away from the heart of the city by taxi cab. From the Airport you will pass by their long bridge which you can view their beautiful commercial zone along the coast of macau island.my new found friend sticked to his promise, we were welcomed and picked up by his dad from the airport and went straight to their house. they were very warm and accomodating. i only took an hour to rest and soon after, i started my sightseeing escapade.

RUINS OF ST.PAUL -located at the heart of Macau city, this magnificent monument was the original main façade of the former St. Paul’s Church. The façade is famous for its grand appearance and delicate carving. As what history says: It's a "facade" of a church left after it was destroyed by fire during a typhoon in the 18th century. And as what others say, it's Macau's most famous tourist site. For centuries, it has been a hallmark of Macau and is the number one destination of Macau sightseeing.The Ruins of St. Paul Church. Atop of a little hill, you need to walk for 68 steps in order to access it.

NATCHA TEMPLE--This temple was built in 1888 and dedicated to Na Cha in an attempt to halt the Plague rampaging at the time. In contrast to buildings such as the Ruins of St. Paul's around it, the Na Tcha Temple is only a small structure, built with simple materials, but the use of a mixture of reality and illusion in its design manages successfully to create a sense of delicacy and exquisiteness

LARGO DE SENADO.(Senate Square) and the Leal Senado Building (Address:Around the Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro)
The Leal Senado Building is a classic Portuguese style building along the Main Road and right opposite the central fountain. Originally a Council House where Chinese officers met with the Portuguese. The Senado square is paved with a wave-patterned mosaic of coloured stones, created by Portuguese experts. From the main road to the church of St. Dominic, the pavement extends to the ruins of St. Paul's, making the heart of the city a pedestrian paradise.
Today it houses the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau. The ground floor holds cultural exhibitions very often.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

a trip to puerto galera...

Puerto Galera is a haven for people who love the beach.The cost of getting there, the accommodation, food and drinks are surprisingly cheap compared to Boracay or Palawan.It is a string of beaches located on the northwest side of Mindoro Island.The most famous among the beaches there is White Beach. it's where i headed 2 years ago. alone, all by myself. White beach was said to be the longest, widest beach in Galera.
I decided to go to the place because i havent been there. everything was an adventure for me. i took a vacation leave from the office, basically went there to relax and enjoy.
i stayed at Mendelluke's Suite. the accomodation was good. very reasonable room
rate.it was a beachfront room with aircon,cable tv, clean comfort room.
Nightlife in galera is already boracaylike. resto bars are everywhere serving various alcoholic beverages from cocktails to rhum, brandy,tequilla!name it you'll have it.The most famous one though is "mindoro sling".
A few steps away from my suite is a resto bar called "Coco Aroma" . it's the only bar with live reggae band. i so love it. i just a had few beers and enjoyed listening to bob marley songs played by the band. and they call themselves..."The Turtle Club"
Puerto Galera...man, this place is really a backpacker's delight!
Puerto Galera is approximately
3hours from Manila. Two hours by bus from Manila to Batangas followed by a one hour boat ride from Batangas pier to Puerto Galera.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

exploring liliw

Liliw is located in the province of Laguna. It is a small town nestled at the foot of Mt.Banahaw.Gat Tayaw is the founder of the town. Liliw got its name from a bird. Legend dictates that a bamboo pole was erected to name the town after the bird that would first alight at the top . However, an unknown/alien/nameless beautiful bird alighted on the pole and chirped "Liw, Liw, Liw". . that's how it became known as "Liliw"

Liliw is known to be "The Slipper Capital of the Philippines".It is considered as a tourist destination for many reasons:
*St. John the Baptist Parish Church-one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. Known for its red bricks.
*Footwear (sandals and slippers) price starts at P70.00 -P 500pesos for female. For male price starts at P110.00 -P500. 00 .Tsinelas festival is held every month of April.
*Native Delicacies (uraro, kinakaw,sampaloc candies, "sinantulan/inalamangan")*Resorts (Liliw Resort, Batis ng Liliw, DJRG Resort-cold water spring)
*Restaurants (Arabella,Bez' Paminggalan, Chef Mau, Liliw Fastfood,Ate Nene's )Local *Local Wine (Lambanog)

It would take 3-4 hours from manila to get here depending on the traffic. Drive to the end of South Luzon Expressway and pass through Calamba, Los Banos, Bay, Santa Cruz, Magdalena and finally...Liliw.OR exit at Batangas proceed to Sto.Tomas towards San Pablo City. Pass through Alaminos,SanPablo towards Rizal, Nagcarlan and finally Liliw.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

life of a traveltologist

i want to share with you how i live my life to make it exciting. one thing is sure though, i travel for two reasons. pleasure and culture. i enjoy taking risks. definitely not afraid to travel alone. i know i wont be lost...ask for directions, read maps, and be not afraid for surprises


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