Tag Archives: philippines

Bohol: “Date,” and Nature Adventure – Day 1

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Our Bohol Escapade : Date with Papi

We were alone on this trip, no kids, no friends, new place, new adventure… We look forward to wonderful time. Little have I researched about this place, i only did my “homework” a day before we leave. I want to be surprised and amazed… I just need the keywords for certain tours and spots, and leave everything to last-minute arrangement.

First nice thing stored for us is the beauty of the resort, Flushing Meadows. It’s actually for “honeymooners” and those want to be “isolated.” The resort landscape is admirable, the rooms are cozy, however, the beach is narrow and not too inviting. And the food is quite pricey… Anyway, we can adjust and still enjoy the place.

I have only arranged our first tour when we get there, I called Kuya Jerry (recommended by colleagues) and set the following desired places: Dauis Church, Mag-Aso Waterfalls, Hinagdanan Cave, St. Joseph Church, Alona Beach. All of these I choose are not included in our hotel package.

Dauis Church, a beautiful, artful church, with well-known miraculous eternal well (balon) of holy water. The ceilings are artistically designed with murals and moldings. I got so many shots of this posted in my Instagram.

Next stop is quite far and out-of-the-way, the Mag-Aso Falls… I really have to see it, so I insisted to include here in our tour. The falls is splendid, but have to take 97 steps down to reach it… No sweat… :>

It’s quite dark when we reached the Hinagdanan Cave, the ticket booth have already closed, but an enthusiastic guide let us in (over-the-bakod)… Nothing can stop us at this point (we came this far not to see this!)… It’s worth it, and our guide was very funny! Thanks for the wonderful experience (and photos)!

We just passed by the Panglao Church because it was about nightime. We’ve decided to “splurged” on our dinner and beer on seafoods restaurant along Alona Beach. We had great time watching the fire-dancer (which is actually just a kid)…

So that’s Day 1 of our Bohol Experience… Will blog the Part 2 next time…

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I.am.Me ChaChi

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(April 14, 2012) I am now here in a dance studio watching ChaChi Gonzales of “I.am.Me” doing her signature steps.  Jolo is one of the “students” of about 100 kids/teens on this “once-in-a-lifetime” dance tour of this dance group in the Philippines… Jolo’s favorite.  We have signed up for this dance workshop since January (Jolo kept on bugging me for this). I gave in to his whim (again)… Anyway, this is yet again just a piece for the “memory bucket” of Jolo.

Jolo sure had a great time during this 2-day event, he met new friends, seen his crush (Chachi) and admired the dance moves of the rest of I.am.Me dance crew. The workshop was full-packed and tiring, but fun. I was there the whole time during Chachi’s time (she’s really an admirable, passionate, young, cute girl who knows her art!).  And for that “pricey” event, what’s left are the I.am.Me bowler, autographed cap and memories of fun time! (oh, there are youtube video with Jolo in it – just watching as audience 🙂 “> here and here ).

 

The Amazing Sagada-Spelunking Adventure @ Sumaging Cave

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“Spelunking – the recreational past time of exploring wild caves system. The challenges involved often include the negotiation of pitches, squeezes, and water. Climbing or crawling or is often necessary, and ropes (and human bodies) are used extensively for safe negotiation of particularly steep or slippery passages.”

Wheew, that’s the definition of spelunking… just heard the word 2 months back from a fellow traveler while in Puerto Princesa… ohh… no idea, but I catch along with the ideas… yun pala yun. I never did realized that I will be doing this extreme adventure just few weeks after. Actually, honestly, after our boat ride in PP underground river,it  somewhat makes me “dread” another dark cave. Don’t get me wrong, Underground River of Puerto Princesa is SOooo amazing! Excitement and amazement precede everything! But after I amazed myself during the 40 mins boat ride IN, going back made me so anticipating to see the “light at the end of the tunnel” ewan ko ba, parang “OK na ko, tara labas na tayo”… (kabog-kabog) and that’s for another 40 minutes….

Well, I just made kwento, kasi imagining that in Sagada’s Sumaguing Cave, I’ll have to walk, climb, squeeze and crawl in muddy, slippery, guano-packed, dark caves…for 2 hours… ohhh… makes me fretful… the darkness and uncertainty makes me “shiver” a bit (“antayin ko na lang kaya kayo sa labas… :>)

BUT the “adventurer-me ” prevailed so I purged on with others… gearing (in red) to explore the unknown… at the “mercy” of our 4 magigiting na guides… to do what they’ll ask us to do (crawl, climb, jump!, slide, roll, hang, squeeze, fall?!, spelunk!) all the 18 of us!

And while we are looking for more, the 12 of us (masisigasig), proceeded to another 40 minutes of extreme spelunking deep into the cave, where, at some point, you’ll doubt if the rocks will open up according to your body size and shape (and it did!), and you’ll doubt if the rope can hold your body weight (or else you’ll into a very deep well or hell-hole – seeing the photo of it made me shiver later, see below)…. and you’ll doubt whether you’ll trust the guide when he asked you jump into cold water while hanging on to him by the “cliff”  (he didn’t actually waited for an answer and binitawan na niya ako!). We walked  in tiny cave waist-high cold water, not seeing the front of us because of darkness and “fog” smoke of electrolites (daw), and not knowing if it will go deeper or we’ll step on some hole. (Sige lang, lakad, asan na ang butas palabas?)… But we emerged victoriously and going back up seemed so easy na… SARAP!

SURE WORTH IT! Everything in it and what you can do and see and experience in there!… pati ang pupu ng bats!

What a wonderful adventure moments with cousinhood! Ulitin natin!
Thanks to our amazing guides from SAGGA, Sagada Gunuine Guide Association

 

I hope the pictures will tell how we’ve done it and survived it!…

Right to Vote!

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This election is quite an experience! A new different unexpected experience. Since this is the first-ever automated election to happen in the Philippines, there are lot to expect… or rather unexpected turns.

As promised by automation of speedy process, the voters have gone through a phases of feelings: anticipation, excitement, disappointment, having second-thoughts, sticking on the line, stubbornly-sticking on it, relief, and then be proud after the process.

I know, I shared the same feelings with my co-voters waiting on the line for 3 hours, under the intense heat and then mild rain. We fought the feeling of going home and seek the comforts of just sitting around. In the end, it is the obligation to vote that prevails! Not everyday we are given the chance to do that no matter how distasteful the politics is…. As we said it, you cannot complain if you passed your right/obligation to vote.

We were sweaty but proud!

image source here (nice mosaic except for the thumbs-down)

“Been There”: Local Version

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After reading several travel blogs from around the globe and read their nice praises and adoration about how beautiful is our dear country, it made me felt a tinge of guilt for not seeing more of it. So, instead of my daydream to go to Sentosa, I directed my plans to go to Palawan or Bohol… (another daydream? 🙂 )….

Well, to soothe my “guilt,” I am taking inventory of places of great interest I’ve been in the Philippines… (not in particular order and much specific…please bear with me)

1. Cebu City (my first experience of domestic flight)
2. Magellan’s Cross, Cebu City
3. Cebu White Sands Resort, Maribago Mactan
4. Sto Nino Basilica, Cebu
5. Sabang Beach, Puerto Galera, Mindoro (my first ferry ride)
6. Tanawin Bay Resort, Puero Galera, Mindoro (our honeymoon)
7. Tamaraw Falls, Mindoro
8. Camp John Hay, Baguio City
9. Mines View, Baguio and other city tourist spots (been here several times)
10. Mt Data Hotel, Bauko, Mt. Province (honeymoon again)
11. Intramuros Walled City, Manila
12. San Agustin Basilica, Intramuros
13. Manila Cathedral, Intramuros
14. Villa Escudero, San Pablo, Laguna
15. Batangas Beach (twice, same place, with HS friends then with SGV friends), Batangas City
16. Hundred Islands, Alaminos, Pangasinan

17. Candon, Ilocos Sur
18. Candon Church, Ilocos Sur
19. A beach house in Ilocos Sur (allegedly owned by C.Singson)
20. A beach house in La Union
21. Fontana Leisure and Waterparks, Clarkfield Pampanga
22. Nayong Filipino, Clarkfield Pampanga
23. Expo Filipino, Clarkfield Pampanga
24. Zoobic Safari, Subic
25. Tree Top Adventure, Subic
26. Tagaytay Highlands, Tagaytay
27. Tagaytay Picnic Grove
26. Manaoag Church, Manaoag, Pangasinan
28. Club Balai Isabel, Talisay Batangas
29. Ace Water Spa, Quezon City
30. Fireworks Olympic, MOA
31. Star City, Pasay (the rides and the ballet shows!)
32. Microtel Inn Boracay, Aklan
33. Crown Regency Hotel, Boracay, Aklan
34. Stations 1, 2, 3, 4 and the Mall, Boracay (see pics here)
35. Ocean Adventure, Subic (most recent)
36. Mt. Samat Shrine, Bataan (most recent)

I know there are several more, like churches, museums and zoos that i have to rake my brain a bit more to remember (and no need to count malls, nearby resorts, parks and dining experiences….). Well, after this exercise I am relieved that i have not taken our “home” for granted after all…. 🙂

See also my other “Been There” page

Picture Story #19: Salute to the Filipino Spirit!

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“Filipinos may be poor… but they are not poor in spirit”

Amidst calamity and disaster, Filipinos still find ways to survive and brings the best out of the situation. Filipinos cannot be defeated by any crisis, but can always rise from the rubble…. with a good spirit!

catching fish amidst the flood for their meal (with smile on his face!).... (self reliance)

catching fish amidst the flood for their meal (with smile on his face!).... (self reliance)

taking a break and comprehending where to start (hope)

taking a break and comprehending where to start (hope)

building foot bridge amidst city street (ingenuity)

building foot bridge amidst city street (ingenuity)

image of mother and child in flood (acceptance)

image of mother and child in flood (acceptance)

cleaning, salvaging what's left.... life must go on.... (endurance)

cleaning, salvaging what's left.... life must go on.... (endurance)

religious procession of the faithful (faith)

religious procession of the faithful (faith)

working together to rebuild the nation (bayanihan or volunteerism)

working together to rebuild the nation (bayanihan or volunteerism)

a school girl going to school in a improvised raft driven by a boy (perseverance)

a school girl going to school in a improvised raft driven by a boy (perseverance)

JUST NOTHING CAN BRING FILIPINO SPIRIT DOWN!

JUST NOTHING CAN BRING THE FILIPINO SPIRIT DOWN!

Picture Story #18: Let These Pictures Speak For Itself…. AGAIN!

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Typhoon hit Philippines again! October 6, 2009 (barely 2 weeks after typoon flooded Manila in Sept 26)….
This time it hit the northern Luzon causing devastation to ricefield, livelihood, mountains, roads and lives of too many people…. How sad… 😦

pepeng_bahay kubo

APTOPIX Philippines Asia Storm

Philippines Asia Storm

Philippines Asia Storm

pepeng_lone man

pepeng_muddy man

pepeng_boy

Philippines Asia Storm

pepeng_mudbenguet

APTOPIX Philippines Asia Storm

pepeng_relief

pepeng_sad boy

APTOPIX Philippines Asia Storm

see related posts re: typhoon pepeng (see) and its aftermath (see)….