7.08.2015

Pouring Rain

I'm staring at the windshield,
as its wiper dances;
outside are trees swaying in the wind,
and leaves falling from its branches.

Your name suddenly crossed my mind,

then piece of this heart struck by sadness.
Both gave up from being entwined,
Me, just like leaves; you, just like branches.

But unlike branches and leaves, a tree when combined,

ours are so vague and undefined.
So complex, too many answers to find.
I wish I can just leave everything behind.

Raindrops racing down outside this window pane

And thoughts of you are now all that remain.
'cause this reminds me of that night under the pouring rain,
when you ran away, no goodbyes, and just crossed the lane.

This. I never really dreamt of this.

But this is how you want it to end, I guess.
Perhaps it will make us smile someday.
So I will not throw everything away,crazy ones will stay.

.

.
.

07.08.2015 | QC









6.21.2015

She will be

06.13.2015| LU


When she realized that you really stopped caring.
That at some point, she knew something is missing.
That even if you both try to hide it and pretend,
she knew it's not okay, that you two, are not okay.

Overheard she's talking to herself.
Trying to calm herself and saying,
Don't worry, boy! I will be perfectly fine.
Perfectly.fine. You'll see.

6.15.2015

My First Solo Travel

I was once an introvert - shy and having a hard time expressing myself before. So traveling solo is the least thing I expect to myself. But one Wednesday night, something hit me. And I know I have to do it on the coming weekend.

On that same night, I started my extensive research. And when I say extensive, it means reading a lot of blog reviews, tips and advices.

Where to go?
When choosing my destination for this solo travel, I took baby steps, I considered places that are near from Manila (since I'm living here). Should I go to Quezon? Zambales? Baguio? Pangasinan? La Union? These are the destinations I considered.

Friday afternoon came, and my parents are not yet informed about my plan. I don't even know yet how will I tell them that time but I'm determined to pursue it. My list was trimmed down to 2 destinations - La Union vs. Baguio.

I made an itinerary for these 2 destinations and considered the following:
How to go there?
Where to Stay?
What places to visit?
How to transfer from one place to another?
What are the must-try activities/foods?

I contacted hostels that I believed are safe for female solo travelers for both Baguio and La Union but only one from La Union has responded quickly, thus, La Union was the chosen one


I pulled my bag and headed to the bus station, Friday night.
I also informed my closest/trusted friend about my plans, and where will I stay.
I also list down contact numbers and contact person in my travel notebook in case of emergency/something wrong occur.

What to bring? 
Since I'm all alone and will be commuting, I made sure that all my things are easy to carry while transferring from one place to another. Here's my personal list whenever I go for a weekend getaway.


1. Travel backpack, with raincover for extra protection against pickpockets
2. Small body bag to have an easy access for my gadgets, money, bus tickets, etc.
2. Small first-aid kit (bandaids, alcohol, cotton, some paracetamol, antihistamines, loperamide)
3. A small notebook with list of Contact numbers for emergency
4. Toiletries
5. 4-5 pairs of light weight clothes which is good for my over-the-weekeend stay.
6. Beach Scarp
7. Phone, Ipad, Chargers, Powerbank, selfie stick


Where to Stay?
Your choice of lodging is important especially when you are traveling solo. As for me, I am always looking for a place where I feel comfortable and safe.

During my first solo travel, I chose The Circle Hostel for the reason that they are the first who responded to my inquiry.


Some Don'ts
1. Don't post your itinerary to social media.
2. Don't post status updates and check-ins in your social media accounts as this may attract stalkers.
3. Don't wear so much jewelries and bring so much gadgets as these might just attract thieves
4. Don't let everyone know you're all alone
5. Don't bring so much stuff as you will just carry it all alone.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-elmeXkFzNiA/VmTz1Zqr-lI/AAAAAAAAC3k/CLWYcUj8EkI/s1600/11402623_10204529913508079_3654689290963022829_o.jpg
Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel
Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel. My new favorite place. 
And she's my bunkmate at The Circle Hostel who brought me to this place.


Best Things about this travel
1. Self control. I think this is one of the best things I discovered about myself. Being enticed to socializing and beach partying, I'm glad I was able control myself and was able to refuse alcohol. During my stay at the hostel, almost all groups staying that night gathered in the common area to have a party. They invited me to drink with them too. I wanted to but I chose to just stay in my bed and rest.

2. Traveling solo is empowering.  You'll find out that you're capable than what you think.You can make decisions, you were able to figure things out, able to haggle, talk to strangers and able to eat alone without the feeling of being sad. It's kind of strengths within myself that I am not aware of before. It's a confident booster!

3. Meeting other people. What's good about traveling solo is you meet new people. You chat with them, exchange travel ideas, share destinations and places you just discovered. Also, it gives you more opportunities to find travel buddies with whom you can split costs. :)

4. You go back to your place with sense of accomplishments and a lot of stories to tell :)




1.31.2015

Surigao de Norte: Siargao Island Part 1 of 2

Last December 2014, I took the chance, file a vacation leave, left my computer table and visit Siargao Island. Though I'm not into surfing(maybe you already know why), I still fall in love with the place! This is one of the islands I will definitely recommend to my friends, colleagues and even to my grandchildren (well, hopefully Siargao locals will take care and maintain the place so that my grandchildren will also witness the beauty of the island). By default, this island is synonymous to surfing. If people find out that you're in this place, 99% chances are they would ask you if you will be surfing. But friends, there's more to Siargao than that!

This is actually a sequel to our Surigao del sur's Cagwait tour. As part of my 2-week long vacay, we headed up to the north, and explore Siargao.



1. Boardwalk, General Luna


You'll find most of the accommodations in General Luna. So many beachfront resorts available though there wasn't much activity to do here. You can stay at the board walk in the morning feel the breeze and watch the waves, beach bumming of all sort.

If you'll be choosing an accommodation, I strongly suggest, stick within General Luna! It will save you a lot of money and time (from transferring from place to place). Don't be like us who end up staying at Dapa (another town in Siargao Island)




2. Magpupungko + Pilar Beach

To those who knew me well, I am a beach bum! I sooo much love beach and the idea of the cozy afternoon on the sand, under the coconut tree.. I love ocean to the extreme level! Though I'm not much into extreme water activities. I can surf, yes. Bananaboat, yes, snorkeling, yes. No diving so far. I.Just.Cannot. :p


Less than 2 hour drive from General Luna, is the town of Pilar. There, you will find the Pilar beach. This beach has a sand that is color cream, and the water is really clear. What's special about this is that in the northern end of its stretch is a natural rock formation that looks like an infinity pool. If you love dipping into natural infinity pools, then you must visit this place - it is called Magpupungko rock formation.

I know it's much much breathtaking when the tide is low. I must really go back here!But still, I am so amazed! and had so much fun... taking videos. 







Watch my video blog here:




5.22.2014

La Union: Surfing + Food Trip + Tour Around

Me, together with my co -a.k.a "team wanderlust" went to La Union for a very short trip (2 days).




La Union is known as one of the best surfing spots in the Philippines and perfect for weekend warriors from Manila like us. While planning this weekend get-away, I am actually nervous about surfing. It's my first time to surf and I don't know how to swim. So embarrassing! I tried to learn how to swim since I started traveling, I just can't float :) But well, I managed to surf.. It's an achievement for a non surfer like me! I will definitely try it again.

Since we just planned it in less than a week, and we were not able to find any decent package, we just decided to just create our own itinerary.

This is a DIY itinerary since this trip is a short notice and most of the package offered requires 12 or more people. I am also practicing to travel without any packages. It's empowering and inexpensive.

We divided the tasks so each member has assignment.
- what are the must-visit sites
- must try food and local resto
- where to stay
- how to get(by public transpo) to all the places we decided to visit.

So here's our itinerary..


How to get to San Fernando, La Union:
1. Go to Cubao Bus terminal
- From Cubao Bus Terminal, take bus with San Juan, La union route. 
You may check Partas Transportation Company Terminal, located along Aurora Boulevard, Cubao Quezon City.

- If in case bus schedule for San Juan route is already fully booked(like what happened to us), you may try bus that will pass to San Fernando, La Union. It is one-town away to San Juan. Tell the bus conductor that you want to be dropped at San Fernando and you're going to San Juan. This cost us P378.00 each

-From San Fernando Drop-off point, ride a jeepney going to San Juan. P15.00


Where to Stay:
2. Check in to hotel/Inn/Hostel
One day before the trip, I searched for different hotels and Inns near the beach, called all of them but all are fully booked. 

Except for this hostel which is my last option that time because we were not used to sleep in an open area and the time I called, hammock is the only available. 

Since we really want to push this trip and we want a break from work, we go ahead and pack our things up. :)

We stayed at The Circle Hostel which is walking distance from the beach. It's backpacker-friendly, and just costs us 300 each per night, click the link for my blog review. 

We were also lucky that I was able to contact the host the day before. So even though we were not able to pay in advance, they still record my name for reservation.


What to do:
3. Lunch
It is already past 12 noon when we reached the hostel, so right after we checked-in, and drop our bags, we headed to Urbiztondo Grill House. It was just a few steps from the hostel and we also saw this grill house from different blogs. So we gave it a try.

Kare-kare, tortang talong with ensalada, Sinigang na hipon, Grilled pusit and Sinigang na baboy sa buko


Then we ended our sumptuous lunch with Fresh Buko Juice! Divided by 6, our lunch costs P203.00 each.

4. 1 hr. Surfing Lesson + laid back beach life
After lunch, we just go back to hostel for a few hours to rest and ask the host for surfing lessons. Then we headed to beach for the Beginner's Surfing lesson. P400.00 each



5. Watch Sunset + Afternoon rest + social. It's free!

7. Dinner at Halo-halo de Iloko
This restaurant is one of the most suggested restaurants to visit in La union. Since the hostel is just few steps away from the main road, jeepney and tricycle are easy to spot. We rode tricycle and asked the driver to drop us off at Halo-halo de iloko.

Halo-halo de Iloko. I was attracted at the main entrance! It is located in a residential town and uniquely stood with its light and vibrant color. When we entered, the vibes is oh-soo cozy. I like the ambiance. It reminds me of my favorite restaurant Cafe Juanita in Kapitolyo, Pasig.



Food. We started it with rice and 2 viands :)


Then we tried their best seller halo-halo for dessert.


Our dinner costs P260.00 each. When we're satisfied, we headed back to Hostel.
We were charged P35 pesos/one way for the tricycle. Back and forth costs us 70 pesos each.

10. Rest and socials, mingle with other guest at hostel.
11. Consumed breakfast at the hostel. Then Check out. 
We rode jeepney from Urbiztondo to San Fernando. Fare is P10.00 each
12. On our way to the Poro Point Thunderbird Resort, we dropped by at Macho Temple. It's free!
after some photo-opt, we take tricycle from macho temple to Poro Point Thunderbird Resort. and that costs us P35.00 each.



13. Santorini view at Poro Point Thunderbird Resort.
After our super basic and unique experience at The Circle Hostel, we splurge a little bit and experience a little bit of lux at Poro Point Thunderbird Resort. This is what I love about travelling.

You experience best of both worlds! Day tour is 1200.00. Consumable.
btw, we presented our ID for discount( company perks!)






We stayed at the resort for the whole day. my separate post about this resort to follow :)

14. Travelling back to San Fernando Proper.
The resort is offering free ride to San Fernando proper but we have to wait until it go back. We decided to take the private service since we are trying to get to the bus terminal as early as possible. Each costs P50.00.

Tricycle ride to Bus Terminal. P20.00 each.

15. Back to Manila! Fare is P378.00

Overall, our expenses is just 3,319.00 including the Poro point Thunderbird Resort Tour.
Some of the packages rates are about 3000 pesos but stay at Thunderbird resort is not included. So we are happy we achieved this. And the most fulfilling about this trip is we were able to travel without relying to a package tours.

5.21.2014

La Union: The Circle Hostel

The Circle Hostel made our travel different from usual. For me, the highlight of my La Union trip was my stay here than our stay in Thunderbird resort. Both stay are my favorite but yeah.. The Circle Hostel is way wayyyy different from the others! (plus cheap)


photo grabbed at http://www.launion.thecirclehostel.com/
This hostel is an open-air accommodation, perfect for solo backpacker who's open to meet (and mingle with) fellow backpackers. This is built with open hut, no divider between bunk beds and hammocks. There's also free strong wi-fi connection and Free breakfast too, except for the coffee. Locker rooms are also offered for free, you just have to bring your own padlock. If you will choose to stay here, be friendly, wear a smile and surely you will win a friend. 




What makes it special for me are their tagline "There are no Strangers". It is true that you will meet nice travelers there. One night, while I am sleeping in the common area, with nipa mat on the floor and bin bag as my pillow, I was bothered by the sound of gecko.. I am trying to find it as it sounds so near when a Canadian guy who is swinging from one of the hammocks noticed me. I saw him smiling/laughing while I am trying to figure out where the gecko is(I know I looked funny that time). When I noticed him, he came to my space and ask me why I woke up (as if it's not obvious). He sit beside me and asked so many questions. Then after that, we exchange travel stories...

Also, I love the artworks around. Guests are allowed to vandal and paint the hostel. Yeah, we are allowed to leave a mark! Like a kiddo who loves to draw on the wall, I am so excited for this. Qoutes, motto, doodles... everything in different colors send a happy vibes.



 Me and my friends at the Common Area





















Some of the marks left by guests...







At first, we were actually hesitant to sleep in this hostel since hammocks is the only available. But we have no choice since all of the hotels and inns nearby were already fully booked. Well, we just paid for the hammocks(for only 350 pesos per head) but we actually slept at the common area. Bin bags there are soooo comfortable!

And Oh! before I forgot... The restroom are clean and well maintained. Common restroom with more than four cubicles, (I didn't count, I'm just sure, it's more than 4 :p) and has powerful showers and bidets.


Final say... If ever I'll be visiting La Union to surf or just beach bumming and sunset watching, I'll choose to stay here.

4.01.2014

Surigao Del Sur: Enchanted River, Hinatuan

Last month, Jampy and I went to his hometown. Originally, it was just a visit to his family before leaving the country for work and for me to finally meet and greet his parents. 

Since we're already at Surigao del Sur, we  decided to tour around the province and took this opportunity to visit the famous Enchanted River at Hinatuan.


The place is roughly 5-hour drive from Cagwait proper. I think it is also 5-hour drive if you are coming from Butuan. We rented a van so that his family and friends can also go with us and see the place.

When we arrived, I cant help myself from being stunned at its enchanting view. It was Monday afternoon so there's only few tourists in the place.


I think the depth of the river is still undefined (or maybe I just can't find it in google. :p). As of this writing, no one ever reached the bottom of this river. It is very deep and this is the reason why it is color blue.


People can swim at this river. They can dive too! :)
There's also a cave near the swimming area but people are not allowed to enter for safety. 


BTW, it's not awkward to use life vest since the river is too deep :)
Look at me! Having fun right there. Promise, it is worth it! :)