Tag Archives: wanderlust

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 www.eatrundrawandwrite.com

Boracay| Nov2018 eatrundrawandwrite.com

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 www.eatrundrawandwrite.com
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 www.eatrundrawandwrite.com
Boracay, Station 1 eatrundrawandwrite.com
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 eatrundrawandwrite.com

Station 1, Boracay Sunset

Boracay - Nov2018 eatrundrawandwrite.com
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. 😉

Boracay - Nov2018 eatrundrawandwrite.com

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 eatrundrawandwrite.com

Peaceful beach.

Boracay - Nov2018 eatrundrawandwrite.com

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 eatrundrawandwrite.com

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 eatrundrawandwrite.com

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 eatrundrawandwrite.com
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 eatrundrawandwrite.com

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 eatrundrawandwrite.com

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 eatrundrawandwrite.com

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. 😀 Fare in tricycle or E-tric is only 10php each so you can go around DIYing everything in Boracay.

Boracay - Nov2018 eatrundrawandwrite.com

Perfect view.

Boracay - Nov2018 eatrundrawandwrite.com

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 eatrundrawandwrite.com

Boracay - Nov2018 eatrundrawandwrite.com

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 eatrundrawandwrite.com

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 eatrundrawandwrite.com

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. 😛

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

Boracay - Nov2018 eatrundrawandwrite.com

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!

Ang Pooritang Gala

Akala ng iba sa akin (lalo na yung mga hindi mahilig magtravel), porket umaalis ako halos buwan-buwan, napupunta sa mga bundok, dagat o saan pa man, akala nila ang dami ko nang pera. At akala nila, napupunta lang sa ‘galaan’ lahat. 😄 Continue reading Ang Pooritang Gala

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.

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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. 😀

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 ‘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?

Fortune Island Itinerary

And because I am just ‘bitbitable’ — just tell me where we are going, how much is the budget and I’m on the go or to anywhere my feet will lead me to (the more spontaneous, the better), I never had the mastery and skill to make an itinerary. So rely on our itinerary master, Phoebe. 🙂

Our budget is 1,750 php per person.

 
INCLUSIONS for OVERNIGHT (2D/1N);
•Transportation (Tourist Bus) (Petron Jollibee Eastwood-Nasugbu-vv)
•Boat Ride
•Guide Fee
•Island & Entrance Fee
•Camping Fee
•Environmental Fee
•Meals at the Island Day 1: Lunch & Dinner Day 2: Breakfast & Lunch (Brunch)

Itinerary
Day 1
05:30 AM – assembly at Eastwood Jollibee Petron
06:00 AM – departure
08:00 AM – arrival at Nasugbu , buy food for overnight stay
09:00 AM – arrival at Brgy. Bucana, waited for the boatman
09:30 AM – departure to island
10:30 AM – arrival at Fortune Island
11:00 AM – tent pitching, cook food for lunch
12:00 NN – lunch break
03:00 PM – swim, explore, diving, snorkeling, picture taking
06:00 PM – dinner, bonfire, social
10:00 PM – sleeping time

Day 2
06:00 AM – breakfast
08:00 AM – exploring ruins, light house, photograph
10:00 AM – swim, cliff diving
12:00 NN – lunch
01:00 PM – fixing tent
02:00 PM – back to Nasugbu
03:30 PM – freshin’ up
05:35 PM – early dinner
07:30 PM – back to Manila

 

Also, don’t forget this important things to prepare and remember:
1.) Always remember to pack light
2.) Medicine / Hygiene & Kikay Kit(for girls)
3.) Flashlight / Lamp
4.) Mosquito Repellant / Off Lotion
5.) Sleeping Bag/Blanket/Sarong/Malong/Tent
6.) Swim Wear / Rashguard wear
7.) Comfy Sandals or Slippers
8.) Shades (of course, optional)
9.) Sunblock / Spf Lotion
10.) Waterproof your things & gadgets
11.) Garbage Bag for your trash! Leave no trace!
12.) Extra Foods/Drinks – Drinking WATER
13.) Extra Batteries / Powerbank

And above all, remember: in every adventure, your safety is a priority.

 

Fortune Island | Nasugbu, Batangas

Fortune Island | Nasugbu, Batangas

We started our 2016 a little different — camping in an island! When you’re up to a challenge and at the same time, want relaxation on the beach and feel the yearning-for-adventure traveler in you, then, Fortune Island is for you.

Fortune Island | Nasugbu, Batangas

Little Greece of Batangas

Fortune Island is located at Nasugbu, Batangas. It is once a luxury resort, isolated and now abandoned yet still gained popularity despite the fact that there is no electricity and fresh water in it. I never had the chance to ask the keepers of the island of how come it was abandoned but they only managed to tell me that it was now being rented by a Korean. But according to some stories, the island is filled with mystery.

They say many ships sunk within its vicinity and that is why stories of ghosts in the island adds thrill to it. Glad we didn’t encounter any of them though during our stay. Hmm, if you won’t count the mysterious disappearance of the grilled pork belly (for forty people) we prepared for the next day ahead, that would be another mystery to add. 🙂

Fortune Island | Nasugbu, Batangas

Fortune Island | Nasugbu, Batangas

Together with my office mates, friends and friends of friends, off we went to seek back-to-the-basic experience. We rented a bus from Eastwood to Nasugbu. It’s like an educational trip for we are more than 40 pax. Then we rented two boats to the island. The boat ride was almost an hour, but we feel excited.  Even more upon seeing dolphins and flying fish welcoming us on our way.

Fortune Island | Nasugbu, Batangas

Fortune Island | Nasugbu, Batangas

Fortune Island | Nasugbu, Batangas

Experiencing the ‘Back to Basic”

The white sand beach and the tranquility of the island was comforting. A really nice place to lift all your burdens and throw it at the sea. The famous Acropolis of the island stands tall, above the cliff, visible from afar. The structure was inspired by the Acropolis of Greece. It seems like it was the gate to the island or the watcher and the guard. As if the gods were somewhere there, under its strong pillars, having their picnic and enjoying the view of the sunset.

Fortune Island | Nasugbu, Batangas

Fortune Island | Nasugbu, Batangas

And since the island has no electricity and fresh water, if you’re planning to go there, be sure to bring enough drinking water and a flashlight. That also means, no washrooms. If you want to take a bath, the sea is wide open. If you want to pee, the beach is wide open, if you want to poop, the sand is abundant — all you need to do is dig. But make sure you’re far away, got it? 😛

Fortune Island | Nasugbu, Batangas

Fortune Island | Nasugbu, Batangas

Fortune Island | Nasugbu, Batangas

Fortune Island | Nasugbu, Batangas

Fortune Island | Nasugbu, Batangas

You may gather some wood around the place and cook the old way or make a bonfire at night. Or you may pitch your tent anywhere. Be sure to try cliff diving as well for those who love adventure and thrill. It is the most exciting part of the trip — oh the fear of falling. And that unexplained feeling when you are falling; counting the seconds in your head (but can’t focus) on how long will it take before you reach the water. And once you’ve hit the sea, and float back again, all you can shout is, “Wooh!” You will realize in an instant how great cliff diving is, ignoring the fact that you’re afraid and hesitant at first.

Fortune Island | Nasugbu, Batangas

All in all. Fortune Island is truly a fortune. If you’re up to a challenge, seek this island. I truly recommend it to travelers out there. Those who love the gratifying and fulfilling experience of being back to the basic. –jle

Photo credits to Ginnie.
If you want to see our itinerary, please click this link: Itinerary 2016

 

Continue reading Fortune Island | Nasugbu, Batangas

Mt. Pulag | Benguet

Mt. Pulag | Benguet

Team Pahinga Conquered the Playground of the Gods: Mt. Pulag

We Conquered Mt. Pulag

The 3rd highest mountain in the Philippines, Mt. Pulag standing 2,922 MASL, had usual visitors who dare to reach its peak. And then we came: This group that maybe made the gods laugh and happy. The group that loves to rest, but didn’t quit. This is my journal on how we came, walk, rest, trek, rest again, another walk, trek, rest again for the nth time (that’s why we’re called Team Pahinga). Until we saw and at last, though tired and freezing from cold, conquered the playground of the gods, Mt. Pulag. Continue reading Mt. Pulag | Benguet

I Am Wilderness

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“The wilderness is calling, and I must go.”

The forest always fills me with awe. The smell of the wild air, moss and earth feels like some heavenly scent for me. The wild flowers are amazing and gorgeous. And beneath the depths of the earth hide their roots, crawling to the deepest part of the crust, always working in mystery.

Despite being surrounded by tall trees, I never felt that I am small. Somehow, I know, everything arounds me, breathes with me. And I am no more or less than the wild. I am one of them.