Category Archives: My Travels

Talk with the locals, eat local dishes, try public transport. Make it your home, away from home.

Buscalan | My Experience in Getting a Traditional Tattoo

Buscalan is not for the fainthearted.

No wonder why millennials take pride of one’s journey to Buscalan. I see those who have traveled to get inked by the living legend, Apo Whang-Od, post their pictures in Facebook and Instagram as if one is now officially considered a brave hunter of the tribe. And for an artist like me and a lover of all forms of art, it was a dream to get there and get inked as well.

Continue reading Buscalan | My Experience in Getting a Traditional Tattoo

Boracay | Nov. 2018 – You’re Still The Same Old, Brand New You

Another night another day, what can I say? You’re still the same old, brand new you.

Boracay - Nov2018

Boracay| Nov2018

Boracay | After Six Months of Rehabilitation

Six months ago, President Duterte ordered to close Boracay for rehabilitation due to the famous island becoming a ‘cesspool’ as he termed it. The island was totally closed to the public and the rehabilitation work lasted for six months.

Update (Jan 2019): We went to Bora after reopening (Nov 18-20) and the water activities we availed were discounted. I’ve heard that prices of water activities now changed around 2k php minimum.

Boracay - Nov2018
Boracay| Nov2018 – Caticlan Jetty Port

As time flies so fast, last Oct. 26, 2018, Boracay re-opened it’s doors to tourists. And so we came. Well, not intentionally after it’s reopening. My officemates and I booked our flight for Nov 2018 last year, on a piso-fare promo, not knowing the president would close the island three months after. Some booked flights falling to the date of rehabilitation program for Boracay were re-routed to Batanes, lucky for them. Our bookings were just right, three weeks after the re-opening, Nov 18-20, 2018. And lucky for us too.

Boracay - Nov2018
Boracay, Station 1
The Old and The New

It is my second time in Boracay but my first time was just an overnight and was ages ago – 2013. So, I can barely tell the difference except for the obvious -the night life.

So, for the benefit of the others who doesn’t know what to expect in Boracay after its rehabilitation, here’s my observation from the same old, brand new Boracay. For a complete guide as well, please feel free to check out Boracay Compass. It is a full guide page on how you can enjoy your stay in Boracay.

Boracay - Nov2018

Station 1, Boracay Sunset

Boracay - Nov2018
Station 1 – Boracay Sunset
1. No night life.

And by saying night life, I mean the bars, tables and chairs, along the beach – exactly from what I can remember before. No fire dancing babies igniting the night. No drinking along the beach and there are no lights. Well, there are still restaurants and bars on the side but that is the only place you can stay when you want to get drunk. Oh, but there is a parade of live band every six pm – drum and lyre band. πŸ˜‰

Boracay - Nov2018

Sea of colors.

2. The beach is so clean.

And the sand is still, for me, overflowing. What I love about Boracay, especially Station 1, is the ‘overflowing’ fine, white sand. It really amaze me how such a sand can be so fine and white like ‘polvoron’. (haha sorry for my lacking in comparison. I could have chosen iodized salt but I think, polvoron is much closer. :P)

Boracay - Nov2018

Peaceful beach.

Boracay - Nov2018

3. No Drones Allowed!

This is important. As much as we wanted to fly a drone above Boracay to see its beauty from up above, we can’t. You have to secure a permit from the Local to fly a drone, otherwise, you will be escorted by the security on duty or the drone will be confiscated. Hehe.

Boracay - Nov2018

4. You should have a booked hotel reservation before you set foot on the island.

They are limiting the tourists per day so as to prevent overcrowding on the beach. Tourists will be limited to 19,000 daily. There is a list of accredited hotels and inns you can book for accommodation with permits issued from the government. You should check the list of updated accredited hotels here:Accredited Hotels in Boracay.

Boracay - Nov2018

Chill time.

5. Water Activities are regulated.

There is an established and approved price for all water activities now. Be careful of locals offering you tours and activities for discounts. Some of our friends tried an offer from a local for ‘island hopping tours’ but ended up just ‘island hopping on-boat’ because the tour guide said the current is too rough to dock on the island and they are not allowed to go near the beach. Our group managed to get a decent and legit offer for Parasailing (1500php regular price, we got a discount of 200php) and Banana Boat (200php discounted, 250php regular price). No Fly Fish and Helmet Dive just yet, as well as the ATV if you are into land adventure.

Boracay - Nov2018
Our amazing parasailing experience.
6. And lastly, the ambiance is, from night party to relaxation.

The good thing is, you can absolutely just relax on the beach without the toxic noise, the drunkards and the trashes along the beach. From a party beach, it now became a beach to relax to, unwind and chill.

Boracay - Nov2018

Amazing view. Awesome!

Our ‘Sulit’ Three-Day Stay

From Caticlan Airport, we hire a tricycle to Caticlan Jetty Port. Fare is P100 each tricycle, maximum of three persons. You need to present your hotel bookings in Caticlan Jetty Port before they let you in and pay for Environmental Fee – P75, Terminal Fee – P100 and Pumpboat – P25.

Boracay - Nov2018

Caticlan Jetty Port

It is just a 15 minute boat ride to Boracay, then we hire a multi-cab (P250 for 7 of us) to Station 1, where we booked our hotel accommodation at White Coral Hotel.

Our flight was around 5:20 am so we arrived at Boracay around 8 am. Check-in time was 2pm but we were allowed to check-in early at 10am, without charge. We got the Penthouse – a room for five people, complete with kitchen utensils where you can cook and another room for two. It is just a five minute walk from Station 1. And for a ‘feeling religious but not really’ person like me, it was just perfectly located right in front of a Catholic Church – Holy Rosary Parish.

Boracay - Nov2018

Selfie at White Coral Hotel.

Day 1: Chill Time!

For our Day 1, we didn’t do anything much. Just chilled out on the beach and see the majestic sunset. We went to the market, the D’Talipapa! (I’m not really sure why ‘D’ but our dear tricycle driver said it is a shortcut for ‘The’ since each letter of a store name signage is expensive in the old times). And bought shrimp (P550 – P700 per kilo) and pork for our dinner for two days. We also cooked our breakfast, Maling, eggs and hotdogs – you can never go wrong with that. We were saved by Andoks Manok and Mang Inasal so please, no chicken until the end of November. πŸ˜€ Fare in tricycle or E-tric is only 10php each so you can go around DIYing everything in Boracay.

Boracay - Nov2018

Perfect view.

Boracay - Nov2018

Day 2: Adventure Time!

We didn’t get an island hopping tour and just go DIY on Day 2 to Puka Shell Beach and Mt. Luho. Fare for tricycle to Puka Shell Beach is P200 (for 7 of us). We had our lunch there at a karinderia near the entrance. After lunch, we went to Mt. Luho, an overlooking view of Puka Beach and Bulabog Beach for a fare of 450php (Puka – Mt. Luho – Station 1). Please see my gallery below:

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Cut-off for Parasailing is 4pm so we went back to Station 1 around 3pm. Parasailing is one of the best! I’m not afraid of heights so I really enjoyed it. I am a self-diagnosed (haha) cymophobic. I fear the waves! So the speedboat driver also enjoyed teasing me on our boat ride to Parasailing station, in the middle of the sea. I’m sure I would definitely go for parasailing again next time, but not so much on speedboat.

Boracay - Nov2018

Boracay - Nov2018

Our Banana Boat ride is a heck of team effort. And by saying that means we enjoyed the ride not because of the ride itself but because of the crazy friends, exerting effort to make it enjoyable. Haha. And it is fun because of our Kuya Driver too, who took our photos while driving the speed boat – talk about multi-tasker in a team. He too gave an effort to take a good shot. Haha!

Boracay - Nov2018

We don’t have a decent photo of banana boat activity but you can clearly see despite the blurred photo, that we are enjoying our ride.

Boracay - Nov2018

Day 3: Pasalubong Time!

For real, we’re not obliged to buy pasalubong for our office mates, colleagues and friends, so don’t be guilty going home with nothing to offer.

I only bought some banana chips (100g, 3 for 100) and t-shirts for my siblings in D-Mall (white shirts of any size, 6 for 500php and black ones, 150 each). Whenever I travel, I always bought t-shirts for my siblings, whenever available and as long as the budget permits.

Our check out time is 12nn so we had our lunch in Caticlan Jetty Port. You have to pay again for Terminal Fee and Pumpboat for 150php.

Once in Caticlan, that’s were we splurge on Pasalubong again. Haha. There’s a small store there selling Piyaya, Bronquillos, Turones and all the pasalubong goods you always see in any airport or terminal.

Our flight was 4pm and all I could say in Caticlan Airport is that even though it is small, it is so organized! Look at how organized they transferred us to the plane at the Departure Area. Buses have ‘formations’ while parked and convoyed to the plane. Not a chaotic scene, unlike here in Manila. Char! Fine, NAIA is different. πŸ˜›

There is a typhoon that day, Typhoon Samuel, so we’re lucky to have a safe flight back to Manila. πŸ˜‰

Boracay - Nov2018

So, I will end with a video of our trip. I am not a pro or a vlogger so please bear with the quality and the editing. I tried my best though haha.

Until next time katropang may nuna sa paa!

Simala Church | Sibonga, Cebu – 2018

Simala Church|Β Located at Sibonga, Cebu lies this popular castle-like church — Simala Church, also known as Monastery of the Holy Eucharist. The church has been established by the Marian monks lead by Fra. Martin, from Pampanga who were sent on mission through the intercession of Mother Mary to Cebu. His Eminence Cardinal Vidal granted them the permission to stay and find a land they can cultivate and establish for cloistered and monks dedicated to prayer and Mary, officially naming their community Marian Monks of the Eucharistic Adoration (MMEA).

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Continue reading Simala Church | Sibonga, Cebu – 2018

Playa La Caleta: A Glamping Paradise

Playa La Caleta – A Glamping Paradise

Third week is freedom! As for us, this is the only week we can relax after a stressful closing of the books. And so, we had our quick escape from numbers and sleepless nights. Went to a beach not too crowded but not too far, where we can pitch tents, sleep on hammocks (or even on the sand!), swim until pitch dark, and drink until we hold onto the fine grains of sand trying to avoid falling off the earth. Continue reading Playa La Caleta: A Glamping Paradise

Filipino Exotic Foods I Dare You to Try

Last week, I took a pause with my #weeklyblogchallengeΒ to write about my sidetrip to Northern Blossoms Flower Farm in Benguet. Now, I’m back to start the challenge again. My topic for this blog post? Filipino exotic food! 😊 Game.

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So, let’s talk about food. Filipinos love to eat. In every occasion, there will always be food. And there’s always an occasion to celebrate. But what about the weirdest, scariest and less-appetizing food? Would you dare to try? Continue reading Filipino Exotic Foods I Dare You to Try

Something I Learned Because It Doesn’t Snow in the Philippines

While classifying invoices at work this day, I come across an item I have no idea about — salt spreader.

So I asked one of my counterpart in Europe what the heck it is. He said it is an equipment to spread salt on the ground, so ice/snow would melt, to prevent people from slipping. Continue reading Something I Learned Because It Doesn’t Snow in the Philippines

Northern Blossom Flower Farm, Atok, Benguet

Last week, I promised myself to write every week for my #weeklyblogchallenge but I’m going to pause for awhile to tell you about my trip last weekend, the reason I can’t write right away. I was on a vacation for four days and went to the Mountain Province. Internet connection was slow and the busy tour schedule was tiring. But sore feet from trekking and sleepy head for early call time is worth it. Peak on one of my favorite on this trip to Northern Blossom Flower Farm.

Continue reading Northern Blossom Flower Farm, Atok, Benguet

Bright Red on Blue

Just want to share with you a hidden paradise in Masasa, Tingloy, Batangas, PH. A really nice escape from the city.





You can take a bus from Jam Liner, Kamuning to Grand Central Bus Station, Batangas. From there, you take a jeepney ride to Nasugbu Pier. You can ride a boat directly to Masasa beach at Tingloy Island, but we were lucky to have a friend who’s from Tingloy so we had an accommodation almost for free. Then we just took a tricycle to get to Masasa – but there’s a long walk from the terminal to the beach. It’s worth it though. πŸ˜€

Why Do We Climb Mountains?

As I lay on a sofa, resting my body with sore muscles from shoulders to feet a day after a climb, a friend asked “Why are you so hard on yourself? Why do you climb mountains?”

I just grinned back and smiled a β€˜you-will-never-understand-because-you-don’t-try’ smile. One just can’t simply explain why we, you and I climb mountains. It is never a simple one-word explanation. Words can’t even be enough. Continue reading Why Do We Climb Mountains?