Roadtrip to Bicol: Discovering my Bicolana roots…

Why I would always say I understand how our Fil-Foreigners feel towards living here and trying to discover their Pinoy roots? Coz I too is a mix of race. Mum is “Chinoy” – Filipino Chinese. Her dad (my grand dad) hails from mainland China, from a family of Chinese traders who migrated to the Philippines in the 18th century to do business of course. While the other half of my mum is Filipino, from the land of spices, Bicol. My grandmum hails from Legazpi, the city capital of Bicol in Region 5 of the Philippines. From my Dad’s side, it’s just Pinoy which I am very fond and proud of. 🙂

I’ve already had my fill of family history on my Chinese decent. Since a small kid, the sister of my grand dad regaled me with stories of how our Chinese ancestors migrated here and all, met most of my Chinoy relatives too, but I’ve known little about the other half of me, the one that hails from Bicol. Sure, growing up there were throngs of relatives from Bicol vacationing in our quaint little house but I haven’t been there. I haven’t met and seen everyone.

So I was uberly excited when mum told me we’re going to Bicol. A grueling 11 hours of land travel but it only takes 45 minutes in a plane. Mum opted that we do land travel though, said I’ll be enjoying the sights going there.

What I discovered while in Bicol…

1) I love all the food that has coconut milk & spices in it. Sobrang sarap! :)) And if you happen to like good spicy stuff with coconut milk, you’ve gotta try “pinangat” for Php45 per order in a local food place in Camalig called “Let’s Pinangat!” From Legazpi City (centro), ride a jeep going to Guinobatan, stop at Camalig, Fare is Php25. The quaint little restaurant along the highway is very popular so just ask the manong jeepney driver to drop you there. Another amazing thing, you can bring home Pinangat to Manila coz they have frozen versions of it. Just pop it in the microwave when you get home! Awesome, noh?! 🙂

the best Pinangat in town! a must try.
the best Pinangat in town! a must try.
they got awesome Bicol Express too! Delish! :)
they got awesome Bicol Express too! Delish! 🙂

2) Mayon Volcano, although very active and highly dangerous, is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in my life. For the best view of Mayon, you can hike through Lignon Hill. It’s a 30-minute steep hike but the view is just majestic at the top of it. Do it early in the morning (around 5 to 6am) so you can fully see the volcano, no clouds covering the tip of the mountain. Lignon Hill is near the city center. From Centro, you can ride the jeepney or tricycle (special ride for Php50), going there.


top of Lignon hill. sigh. so many clouds to see Mayon in full. :(
top of Lignon hill. sigh. so many clouds to see Mayon in full. 😦
canteen at the top of Lignon Hill! food, refreshments, and souvenirs are available there.
canteen at the top of Lignon Hill! food, refreshments, and souvenirs are available there.

3) If Tiwi, Albay is famous for its hotsprings, in Guinobatan (my Lola’s place) there are a lot of cold springs in the area. Water is good enough to drink, that’s how clean and cold it is.


one of the hidden cold springs near my lola's home.
one of the hidden cold springs near my lola’s home.
people bathing in the cold water.
people bathing in the cold water.

Locals call it “Sagurong” but I call it manna from heaven! :)) an ample solution to cool down on a very hot summer afternoon. The water is just freezing cold and fresh. This is where the locals bathe, do the laundry and occasionally drink water.

4) It’s fun to travel via commute, just riding public utility vehicles, asking around for directions. It’s pretty cheap too!

5) Bicolanos are the most trust-worthy, quirky, and highly-accommodating bunch of people.

6) It’s also better if you just DIY your trip in Legazpi. I don’t recommend hiring tour coordinators coz their tour prices are ridiculously high for a fairly easy travel. Just do your research and plan your trips. It’s easy. 😉

7) Philippines truly is the basketball capital of the world. why? I saw 1 makeshift Basketball court at the foot of Mt. Mayon. Seriously.

Basketball at the foot of active Mayon Volcano, anyone?! :))
mayon at the backdrop.
mayon at the backdrop.

I’m pretty sure if those  NBA stars will see this, they’d be elated! :)) awesome. just awesome. I think we are a bunch of awesome island people with a swagger love for sports, especially basketball! 😀

8) You can find the most delish rice porridge in Guinobatan! Just 2 house away from my Lola’s home is a makeshift restaurant cooking the most awesome lugaw in the whole of the country! For a very affordable price of just Php12! it comes with tender beef strips too. 🙂

Lugaw! :)
The best Lugaw ever! 🙂

9) Legazpi and Hawaii has a common thing about them. They both have awesome black sand beaches! Those popular black sand beaches in Maui and Honolulu, yes we have it here in the Philippines too!


Fine black sand from Mayon Volcano, check.



our view from our cabana. since summer is almost at its end, most of the tourists have gone home. we just owned the resort, not one soul was there during our stay! :))


one of the black sand beaches we visited in Sto. Domingo, Albay. More can be found in Tiwi and Bacacay. Words and pictures just couldn’t do justice on how beautiful and serene the place is. Don’t mind my cousin modelling there. :))))

10) A must see: Embarcadero de Legazpi and Legazpi boulevard. Too bad I ran out of batteries while were in the boulevard so I got no pictures at all. 😦 more dining choices, a bit of nightlife, ATM stations, grocery and department stores, you can visit Embarcadero. Its an open-air mall, pretty muck like how SM Baguio is. There’s a duty free there too so if you wanna shop, just don’t forget to bring your passports so the guards will let you in. Shop or you can just chill and feel the breeze along the boulevard or watch the sunset.

Welcome to Emarcadero de Legazpi!
Welcome to Emarcadero de Legazpi!

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stalls to shop! yep its right in Embarcadero! my cousin said: “Civilization, finally!” :)) guess we’re stuck for so many days in the barrio that we are just too happy to see some shops! i am too happy to see ATMs coz I was running low in cash at that time! :))


if we have Jollibee in Manila, they have Bigg’s diner. Its everywhere! 🙂


Duty-free shopping at Embarcadero. Don’t forget your passports like I did! XD


the view along the Embarcadero harbor till the Legazpi Boulevard. plain blue sea meeting mayon.

11) Old Baroque churches are also a sight to see in when you’re in Legazpi. We visited 2, the famous Daraga church with a view of Mayon at the sides and Sto. Domingo church in well, Sto. Domingo, Albay.


the old church made of limestone. This is Daraga Church.


the side view of the church. I think this church will be perfect for pre-nuptial shoots. 🙂


Sto. Domingo Church. I just love its old world charm. 🙂

12) There’s just Pili nuts everywhere! Delish but a bit pricey. Good thing we have loads of Pili trees in our backyard! :))


eating Pili nuts require hard work. but in the end its all worth it. :))

after all the hard work! pili nuts minus the shell.
after all the hard work! pili nuts minus the shell.

13) Cagsawa Ruins reminds you that a beauty such as Mayon Volcano can also bring destruction as worst as what happened in Cagsawa.

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my Aunt told me that there were a few expeditions before, to exhume and restore Cagsawa Ruins to its formal glory, but something’s always happening to those who manages the project, unexplained deaths, mysterious stuff and all. so the local government decided not to exhume it anymore and leave it as it is.

14) You just can’t help but fall in love with Legazpi. Simplicity of life, easy and laid back. Easy smiles of everyone around you. What’s not to love, really? 🙂


Centro. The bustling city of Guinobatan.

my Lolo Berting and his version of tricycle back rides! :))) gwapo noh? 🙂

and of course, its pretty awesome to meet everyone in your family, finally saw where your Grand mother came from. Discovering that you have same quirks like your Lolos and Lolas, that your cousins and aunts & uncles are just as awesome as you. Among all the trips I made in my life, this has been the most fulfilling and gratifying one, finally completing that other half of me that I haven’t had any privilege of meeting and exploring before.

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it. ~George Moore

Its a rare chance that I travel, I get lost then I find my way back.. More to it, I was able to find myself in the process. This is why I am in love with traveling. So until the next great adventure of traveling and discovering stuff! keep on moving your feet! 🙂


Gone for the weekend: BORACAY ESCAPE

so a little bit of commercial before the big 2 days of Asian 5 Nations happening here in Pinas! Just want to share with you my little escape in Boracay… 😉

I was on a look out for my next destination and of course looking for time to just relax and recharge before I take on the task of babysitting UAE National Rugby Team this May 18, 2013. I said to myself, why not Boracay. Been hearing about it since God knows when and I haven’t been there, the famous white sand beaches of Caticlan.

So for this year, I planned on a Boracay trip with a new batch of travel buddies, my soccer teammates! 😀 To be honest, I was a little bit apprehensive on booking a trip to Boracay since I’m not used to traveling mainstream. I always go for the “road less traveled.” I can better enjoy the place if its a challenge to go to, lesser people were able to go there, and if I was the first one to visit the place.

So why Boracay? Well, just for the heck of visiting the place and see what it offers. I want to see the beach and the infamous white sands of Boracay. The sand, I was not disappointed. It’s as fine and as white as sugar. But the beach, I was a little too disappointed with White Beach. Too many algae to like. You can’t even swim in some parts of White Beach since its full of green icky algae. Another disappointing fact is that Boracay is way too crowded to just relax and peacefully enjoy the sunset and the beach. ='( not even an inch of sand is unoccupied with tons of locals and foreigners flocking the island.

however, like what my mom always tells me, “find good in everything you see and in places you go. always charge it to experience.” so, i head out. first stop was Kalibo. We stayed there for a day to go shopping & hunt for the infamous “cheese tarts” of Bongbong’s. Kalibo is only known as a “stop-over” to Boracay but truth be told, the city is bustling with good food, funny and warm people, and sites to see even in a Palengke (Market)! when you go there, you hire a tricycle (a version of Thailand’s tuktuk, a local means of transportation here in the Philippines) and say to the driver, “Kuya, dalin nyo po kami sa Tindahan!” the word tindahan when translated to english means a small convenience store but in Kalibo it means the big market in the heart of the city! peculiar, huh?! :))

plane tickets to Kalibo International Airport! :D
plane tickets to Kalibo International Airport! 😀

tickets ready! taken this when we were in NAIA Terminal 3! : ) its actually my first time to travel via plane.

first time in an airport! :))
first time in an airport! :))

yeah for real, first time to ride a plane! :))


haha! looking for our flight. it was 2 hours delayed of the original time! goodness! (Dear Cebu Pacific, hear me? yeah?)

rice fields! :D
rice fields! 😀

Rice fields! I rarely see one these days! :)) and its near Kalibo International Airport!

T’was in Kalibo where I found the most delish “Batchoy”!!! seriously. In a local resto near the market. Sulit for just P60! : )

the best Batchoy!
the best Batchoy!

totally worth the wait! the delish Batchoy! tastes heavenly. as in. sa sobrang sarap, I forgot the name of the resto! hahaha! but its just across the hardware at the Kalibo Market. there’s only one hardware store in that place so for sure, you won’t get lost, looking for this Batchoy!


enjoying too much Batchoy in this humble resto! :))

next stop after having a wonderful breakfast, off we went to some site-seeing and shopping in Kalibo!



these trinkets caught my eye. colorful. can only be seen in Kalibo and reminds me of Maskara Festival.

After having our fill in Kalibo, off we went to Caticlan. It’s a solid 2 hours drive from Kalibo to Caticlan Jetty port then 45 minutes boat ride from Jetty port to Boracay Islands.


touchdown Boracay! and we were greeted by these green icky algae! mabuhay! :))


but of course, we found a way to enjoy the beach (minus the algae). Off we went to Puka Beach, Ilig-Iligan, and Bolabog. These are the “more” pristine beaches of Boracay. So if you want to enjoy swimming in the water, visit these beaches. In the picture is Puka Beach with 3 to 6 shades of blue. just lovely : )


adorable locals from Puka Beach who gamely posed for my camera! : )



aside from fine white sands and beaches with 6 shades of blue (except for White Beach where everyone stays), Boracay also have the loveliest sunset in the entire planet. just awesome, seeing the sun setting down in this part of the world.


if anything, i love the sunsets and the paraws (those little sail boats) here in Boracay. =)

all in all, including the airfare via Cebu Pacific and the Ferry ride home via 2Go Travels, we spent about P5,000 – P6,000 for this trip. not bad for a place where prices are sky-rocket high since its mostly foreigners who visit the islands. We stayed in Frendz Resort, yes that famous hostel (rated & blogged by The Lonely Planet) in Station 1 where most of the guests (if not all) are foreigners and expats. Prices are pretty reasonable and the beach is just 2 minutes walk away from your abode.

A friendly reminder though, if you’re into quiet relaxation, I won’t recommend that you go here in Boracay. 2am and the place is still bustling with party people, clubs rioting with their sound systems which by the way is on full blast. you just won’t get relaxed here in Boracay. For relaxation, you might opt to go to Palawan or Caramoan in the Bicolandias. But if you are a party rat, with a knack of going bar hopping and knocking yourself out with 5 liters of spirited & alcoholic drinks, then by all means, visit Boracay! :)) as for me, its good enough that once in this lifetime, i was able to visit the place. at least when people ask me if I have been there, I can say a resounding yes! you gotta be in the trends these days! but that’s about it for me. not really keen on visiting the place again, maybe in the next lifetime i would! probably…

so keep on moving your feet! until the next travel blog! : )

Gone for the weekend: Conquering Mt. Pinatubo! :D

hey guys, what’s up!? been a while since I last posted here. Been busy a lot lately with work and training. So let’s do some catching up, shall we? : )

Been planning to reunite with my love for hiking and camping for sometime now. I’ve been hiking mountains since I was in highschool. I have always loved the outdoors, the thrill of it. My cousin, who was then a member of UP Mountaineers influenced me & took me to every scheduled climb he has. From Mt. Makiling to Mt. Banahaw & Cristobal, 7 Lakes of Laguna, to Mt. Makulot and Pico de Loro in Batangas, I’ve been there & have seen how majestic & beautiful our mountains are here in the Philippines. Since then, I fell in love with climbing mountains. I love the challenge it gives and the discipline it instill in an individual plus it shows you a different kind of world when you’re up the summit and so close to the clouds and to mother nature.

I also learned a lot from climbing mountains, learned every basic survival skill there is, first aid and basic life support, not to mention I also learned how to hunt & forge for my food and eat anything (as long as its edible) and not get so squimish about it.  So a few months back (November 17, 2012 to be exact), me & some friends decided to take on Mt. Pinatubo in Capas, Tarlac. It was a blast! : )

Pinatubo is classified as an easy climb but with trail full of rocks, boulders, and sand, it makes a pretty tough trip to the volcano’s summit. If you’re gonna ask most of experienced mountaineers, they’ll say its a “walk in the park” and its more of a tourist spot. For this climb, endurance, stamina, and patience will take you a long way.

Mt. Pinatubo has been dormant for over 600++ years but year 1991, the seemingly quiet volcano erupted with vengeance. The magnitude of the eruption was so massive that ashes reached and covered Manila too, not only that, fumes and smoke was carried by the wind and covered most of the earth, lowering the temperature by 2 degrees (Google it or check it on Nat Geo). It took 2 years before the fumes to dissolve and clear out and till now lahar still flows  to Central Luzon area because of Mt. Pinatubo. However, because of that eruption, a beautiful crater-lake was formed and now has become a tourist spot in Central Luzon.

4x4 Ride to jump-off point
4×4 Ride to jump-off point

With a total of 10 kilometers (double it coz its a trail)  in 2 hours of trek (one way), you will be filled with awe. After walking in a barren path full of rocks and boulders, you’ll be rewarded with a view like no other. Its the bluest lake I’ve ever seen in my entire hiking years.

majestic blue waters of Mt. Pinatubo
majestic aqua blue waters of Mt. Pinatubo

Perfect too for all Adventure junkies as the trip will start with a roller-coaster ride in a 4×4 to the foot of the mountain. The 4×4 jeep will cross varying streams and endless, vast plains of Volcanic sand.

parking. more fun in the Philippines!
parking. more fun in the Philippines!


Here’s our itenerary, in case you guys plan to climb Mt. Pinatubo;

0230 ETA Manila for Capas, Tarlac via NLEX (P140)
0500 ETA Capas, Tarlac. Breakfast
0600 ETA Brgy. Sta. Juliana; finalize prior arrangements
0700 Board 4×4 vehicles; adventure begins!
0800 ETA end-of-the-road; start trek
1000 ETA crater of Mt. Pinatubo. Explore the crater
1130 Lunch
1200 Start return trek
1400 Back to the 4x4s parked
1445 Back at jump-off point
1500 Return to Manila
1900 ETA Manila

And we took it a bit further, we rented a boat and went to the other side of the crater. We literally have the whole area for just the five of us! and a bonus of mud pack & hot water for mud application and bath awaits us there! : )

Kuya Robert with our bangkero! : )
Kuya Robert with our bangkero! : )

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you guessed it right! i’m the photographer so I’m the one who doesn’t have pictures!!! hay, tough life! :))))))))

hiking mountains. its almost always a battle of will. when the body is tired and couldn’t carry on, the mind has to do all the work. our trek up was apiece of cake but going down, when we already exhausted all our resources and energy, t’was tough. so i tell my climbing buddies to think “Mind over matter.” those who willed it the strongest, will conquer the mountains. : )

another important mantra/reminder to all those hiking the mountains (this one I learned from my Kuya and his fellow climbers), when climbing take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints and kill nothing but time. the things we see along the trail are not suppose to be taken away with you at home, leave it where you found it. footprints should be left behind, not your trash and of course, it’ll be brutal if we kill critters from the wild. give respect to the mountains, take care of it and it will take care of us too. : )


see our bags? the key in making your climb easier is to pack light & pack wisely. Just bring the things you really need and leave unnecessary stuff that can just weigh you down. Never leave without any kind of sun & rain protection (but please not an umbrella!) and water. I don’t recommend to hike Pinatubo during summer (April to May) as there are no means of shade along the trail and the temperature can rise up considering the altitude you are in. It can cause dehydration and heat stroke. Its not also ideal to trek it during the rain months (July to October) coz the water in the crater lake can overflow and cause flash floods and landslides. Calling in for rescue will be quite hard (if not impossible) especially if you don’t have portable radio transmitters since there’s no mobile signal in the area.

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tired. been carrying a bag that is i think around 15 kilos heavy! :)) i have all the food for the group and 5 liters of water. tired in the middle of a barren wasteland! hahahaha! but see the green there in the middle, i’m quite sure that’s how heaven looks like. : )


last 20 minutes till top! woohoo! good job everyone! : )

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and here’s what awaits us on top. super maganda talaga! all the hard work paid off! : ) pictures, no matter how i edit it cannot give justice to the beauty that is Mt. Pinatubo.

this is why i enjoy hiking and staying outdoors. you see the beauty in almost everything plus the fulfillment you’ll feel after being able to conquer and climb a mountain. rewards are just endless.

the whole trip including transportation (but without food) cost us P2,000 (and a little headache courtesy of the Travel Agency we booked in) but it was all worth it.

“Hiking is not a battle between man and mountain; it is a struggle between man and his own self. And the ultimate victory is not reaching the top, but reaching beyond one’s limit.”
so until the next trip! i hope you guys find this post interesting. Climb mountains, explore. Mountains are tall and life is too short so seize the moment while you can (carpe diem!). Keep on moving your feet! : )
Photos captured by my trusty Nikon D5000, Aly. : )



gone for the weekend: the roadtrip to quezon province… Part 4!!! last na toh!!! :))

admittedly, it took me a while to wrap this Quezon Blog up but i’m immensely proud of it. much like traveling, blogging too is a journey that takes you to a thousand steps before you reach your destination and then looking at what you have achieved, you’ll be able to say to yourself that its all worth the wait. =)

Day 4 of our Padre Burgos Adventure! woohoo! last na toh! =)

Our 4th and last day was shall i say bittersweet… i remember thinking about how i miss manila, how i miss my dog & my mum & dad and how am i gonna make it in time for the Philippine Team Azkals match airing on studio 23. i just couldn’t wait to get home at that time. but deep in the recesses of my heart i am sad for leaving such a wonderful place like Padre Burgos and was secretly wishing i still have time to explore it coz i tell you there’s just a lot of places and beaches to go there, 4 days ain’t just enough.

i couldn’t quite remember if we had our breakfast coz my heart was just breaking because i’m about to leave padre burgos but i remember we managed to squeeze in another rounds of photowalk with Manager Peng, we headed to what I call the “Full House” also owned by the owners of the Tamarind Tree resort. then i remember after our photowalk, we head back to our hut, decided to swim our last on the pool. after swimmin’ we took our baths and packed our bags. now’s the time to go…

we checked out of tamarind tree resort at 1pm. actually, it was supposed to be at exact 12noon but Manager Peng and Ate Aireen were kind enough to let us extend so we can better wrap all our stuff up. Manager Peng even accompanied us till the bus stop and helped us carry our luggage around. before we depart, we had one last photo opt with the Tamarind Tree Resort staff. Good people full of good vibes! keep it up guys! =)

The Tamarind Tree Staff Peng and Ate Aireen! mabuhay po kayo!

and with the picture above, we say goodbye to our friends from the Tamarind Tree Resort!!! keep up the good work guys and until we meet again! =)

we head towards Lucena city in a van. sun was up with vengeance on our 4th day so its hot like hell that day. Van fare priced at Php50 from Padre Burgos to Lucena City. its one cool ride. We managed to nap a little as it took us 2 freakin’ hours before we reached Lucena. Van stopped at SM City Lucena so its really convenient, we don’t have to run around like headless chickens looking for something or some place to eat. To stay true with our Quezon Adventure, we opt to eat at Buddy’s! and boy i enjoyed that Pansit hab-hab after days of dieting in the island! haha!

Welcome to SM City Lucena! civilization leggo! haha!

welcome to SM City Lucena!!! haha! we missed civilization so much that we all accessed WI-FI, checked our emails, facebook, and twitter! tweet-tweet yowza! haha!

Buddy's!!! oooohhhh can't wait!

Since we haven’t eaten breakfast and lunch yet and its nearing 3pm already, we decided to dine in Buddy’s! We chowed down one whole plate of pansit hab-hab, porkchop, sisig, sizzling dishes that i can’t remember what, oh and there’s lumpiang sariwa! man, this is life! haha! i guess we’ve been into forced diet when we camped out in the islands!

Pansit hab-hab!!! or Pansit Lucban! ah basta masarap!

this is mah fave! Pansit Lucban!! woohoo!


we chowed this all down! haha! sorry naman! gutom lang ng bonggang-bongga! =P

ilaw sa Buddy's

last picture before departing Buddy’s! Photo credits goes to Bong!!! Galing talaga! =)

after eating, we headed to town’s local market to find some pasalubong for our family & manilenyo friends. we heard that there’s a store down town called “Villa Mater” that houses a lot of different pasalubongs so we went there.

from down town Lucena with love.. =)

i couldn’t quite remember the streets but Villa Mater is one tricycle away from SM City Lucena, you just have to tell the driver or ask the driver if he knows the place.

mabuhay ang kilusan!

this is one of the adventures that Quezon has to offer! haha! =)

lucena street full of stores

the place was a street full of pasalubong stores so buying is not a problem as long as you have the money! hehe.. its quite pricey too..

the ever famous longganisang lucban and pansit hab-hab noodles!!!

after hoarding pasalubong in Villa Mater, we went back to SM City Lucena just in time for our bus ride. we ended our day and our trip with a bus ride to Manila. its pretty emotional when we started our travel. we boarded the bus at exactly 5:30pm, just as the sun sets in Lucena. pretty dramatic and i remember i was a bit teary-eyed coz now its legit, we’re leaving Lucena already. I failed to snag photos on our manila bus ride, i was just exhausted that day & just slept all through out the journey. tired i may be, i was immensely satisfied with our Padre Burgos adventure. now i can have it checked on my bucket list. i was even proud that i am one of those who “first” set foot to the island of Borawan. even prouder with mah group! coz they survived days in wilderness! ahaha! good job guys! and i’m looking forward to our next adventure! say Mt. Pulag eh? Haha!

ok let’s sum all our expenses up for Day 4:

P50 – Van fare going to SM City Lucena

P120 – P150 – Budget for food at Buddy’s

P15 – tricycle fare (P60 divided to 4)

P218 – Bus fare (Lucena to Manila)

Total of Php433 for day 4!

And to sum everything up, let’s compute all our expenses starting from day 1 to day 4 (including accomodation).

day 1: P860

day 2: P187.50

day 3: P416

day 4: P433

accomodation: P1,575 (a total of P6,300 divided into 4)

with a grand total of Php3,471.50. 

We have a budget of P5,000 for this trip. The remaining P1,528.50 was used to buy pasalubong in Villa Mater. Sulit! haha!

i always say this whenever i wrap up my travel blogs. we only live once so might as well do whatever we want to do and go to wherever we want to go! we’ve got one chance in this life, so live it!

Now I wonder, where will be our next adventure? Keeping my fingers crossed that its gonna be the highs of Mt. Pulag or the the mighty Kota Kinabalu… hehe.. so till the next travel-adventure post and KEEP ON MOVING YOUR FEET GUYS!!! coz life is one hell of a trip! =)

gone for the weekend: the roadtrip to quezon province… prelude to Part 4!!!

lemme explain: i had to do this prelude to give way for Kuya Gewi’s birthday narrative & to tell a little bit about The Tamarind Tree Resort. This article was actually a promise to Manager Peng for a job well done when we were there. They’ve been so accomodating & friendly so in turn, we want to make an article about the resort.

on the evening of our Day 3 stay in Padre Burgos, we celebrated Kuya Gewi’s 25th birthday!!! wooohooo! funny that whenever we travel, it’ll always be scheduled on Gerry’s birthday so really, almost all our travels are extra special because of his birthday. =)  due to time constraints and scarcity of resources (too far from the city, hence no malls), we had to do improvisation. we bought little cupcakes from a nearby sari-sari store in Padre Burgos along with one small white candle, red horse, junk food for pulutan, and etc. the little cupcakes will be kuya gewi’s cake and to make it a little festive, we have to have beer & pulutan.

just after lunch, we went to a sari-sari store and bought all the things needed for Kuya Gewi’s celebration. 3 Red Horse mucho (well maybe 4, i couldn’t quite remember), tons of junkfood, cupcakes & candles, that’s all we need for tonight’s festivities. Guys you have to remember that there’s a corresponding corkage fee for the food & beverages you’ll take inside the Tamarind Tree Resort. Php200 that is. So limit the food & drinks that you may want to take inside (just a friendly reminder for everybody). Our original plan was to celebrate Kuya Gewi’s birthday in the beach front so we won’t have to pay for the corkage fee but it rained that night so we all decided to just hang out at the Dining hall. Manager Peng was even kind enough to let us stay till late in the evening using the hall and he even help us settin’ up the table for our little inuman, let us use the pitcher & glasses there.

our little birthday celebration was simple but memorable… =)

the birthday boy!

our improvised cake & the birthday boy! woot-woot! =)

see, there's manager Peng! hey there Mr. Manager!

Here’s manager Peng and the rest of the gang posing with the cake! =)


that’s Kuya Gewi tryin’ to scare the shit out of me! haha! but it didn’t work. i’d say its an epic fail! hehe.. can’t help ourselves but to tell scary stories coz the night’s dark and its raining with a few thunder on the sides, really creepy night.

caught yah! haha!

this was how we ate & celebrated the night away! =)

oh shoot! lasheng na! haha!

i look like i’m sober but i’m not.. just pretty sleepy i guess, its BED WEATHER! haha!


so while killing the time, we started to chit-chat about life, all our plans and all the things that we want to do. being his chika self, Bong couldn’t quite help himself and ask Peng to share some stories with us as well.

Our manager Peng may look like a plain & just an ordinary guy working in a resort but wait till he tells you his story. He came from Lanao, a province rich in muslim culture in Mindanao. He shared how was his life like growing up and living in Lanao. i was just fascinated of his culture, of his birthplace, just full of history & culture. But more than that, I can definitely say that manager Peng was one of the most courteous & honest manager & people i met. really, the guy returned a ring that cost at staggering Php300,000 to its proper owners without expecting anything in return. that for me is the truest essence of honesty.

kudos to mr. honesty! =)

kudos to Rosifel Gregorio! hands-down to your honesty! =)

honesty is the best policy!

nothing beats honesty, respect, & courteousness! mabuhay ka manager Peng! ikaw ang aming IDOL! =)

sometimes the most interesting thing when you travel are the people you meet along the way. Not just the destination but also those you bump into. you hear so many stories and you also learn from them. =) this is one of the few things that kept my foot moving to wherever…

and as promised to our good manager, lemme tell you something about the Tamarind Tree Resort.

The resort was named as such because of the Tamarind Trees planted around and inside the resort parameters (there’s plenty i tell you). like the one in the picture!

the tamarind tree.. in literal sense..

when people go & visit Borawan, they prefer to stay here in The Tamarind Tree Resort. It may be a bit pricey but nothing can beat its proximity/closeness to the islands you want to see. Not to even mention that the kind of service you’ll get is worth every penny you’ll pay (i swear to God, it is!). Thinking about it, the only thing i can complain about this place will be the olympic-sized mosquitoes! but that’s it! other than that, the place is quiet, cozy, secure, and relaxing and it’s a major plus that the staff here are extra friendly, very hospitable, courteous, and respectful to all their visitors.

our crib!

our “kubo” or nipa hut is quite spacious, more than 4 people can actually fit inside the hut. it has a very traditional & very Pinoy feel in it.

swag frontyard!

and here’s the view from our hut: the swag frontyard! after the gate there, you’ll step into the resort’s beach front. =)

our quarters

here’s how it looks like inside our sweet quarters! the mattress are perfect for the summer, super presko! :))

the swag mangyan dance!

oh & don’t mind kuya gewi and his mangyan dance! he’s just shooing the bad spirits away!

and this is our swag bathroom! after the dampalitan camp, i went straight for this bathroom for a much needed bath! haha!


you can rent this kayak if you want to try your luck on it. i’m just not sure if there’ll be a guided kayak activity or something inside the resort.


presenting: the private swimming pool!!! woot-woot! =)


smaller hut

one of the smaller huts in the resort, perfect for honeymooners. =)

Full House

if you plan to go there and take the whole baranggay with you, you may opt to just rent this house. Priced at Php10,000 per day of stay, it can house a maximum of 40 to 50 people. now if you’re composed of 50 people, it’ll be just Php500 per day of stay per head. not bad eh. another perk of this house is that you can do & bring anything inside, without the hassle of paying the corkage fee. and that’s just swag! hehe…

see some of the view of this house;

front porch or veranda


room no. 1 of 50! hehe

one of the rooms inside the spacious house at the Tamarind Tree Resort…

dining area

the posh dining area and on the other side is the kitchen where you can cook anything you like.


and this is the dainty kitchen!

veranda view

veranda view of the house. you can see the beach & lots of tamarind trees. quite serene actually.

for more info, price/rates, and reservations, you may visit and

and that’s about it for the prelude of our 4th adventure day in Padre Burgos. oh and by the way, our 3 days, 2 nights stay in the Tamarind Tree resort was priced at Php6,300, we just divided it into 4. All of the expenses in this trip was included in the pegged budget of Php5,000.

off to our Day 4!!! woohoo! but i have to get back to work again so it’ll have to wait a few more days. so until the next post & keep on movin’ your feet!!! =)

gone for the weekend: the roadtrip to quezon province… part 3!!!

Day 3 of our Quezon Escapade! =)

The weather in Quezon is a little bit erratic last march (what with the earthquake & tsunamis! its an ever-changing world!). Well, weather’s really tricky for tropical countries like the Philippines so our day 3 was a bit of a drag. It’s our BORAWAN day. The original plan was to head straight to Borawan after breakfast & spend whole day there but the weather got a bit crabby. It was foggy & rainy when we woke up & the temperature is quite freezing (even so when you’re in the water)! We decided not to push through the Borawan trip in the morning since its zero visibility when you’re in the sea, rescheduled it after lunch instead. so with nothing to do in the resort, we took our photog gears and went out to do a PHOTOSHOOT! hehe..

cameras, check! tripod, check! reflector, check! here are some of the photos we’ve got from that Photoshoot in The Tamarind Tree!

a cup in hand you know its worth your while.. =)

our prelude to breakfast, COFFEE! if you’ll look at it closely, Kopiko is our coffee of the day! hehe.. just 3 cups coz one kid is not a coffee addict. oh and its P15 bucks per cup at the tamarind tree resort!

mangyan na nagkukuko...

i love stolen shots like this. so there, caught gerry while trimming his toe nails! haha! that’s before we head out for breakfast (as if naman makikita ang kuko sa picture! hehe).

swag band cover!

i know right! epic photo courtesy of my good friend Bong Tamayo! woot-woot! =) i look ASTIG & feelin’ swag in this picture! taken at the Tamarind Tree Resort Grounds, in their posh garden overlooking the sea.. (so that explains where we’re lookin’).

i completely forgot about our time swimmin’ at the Tamarind Tree Resort’s beach front. Although again, I’m not recommending that you try swimming there as the water is a bit murky. But if you’re not squimish, by all means, go and have fun together with the talangka, snails, & fishes there.. hehe.. here are some of our pics; oh & see that two little island laying there in the backgound? They call it mag-asawang bato, two islands married to each other. these two islets used to be too close to each other but through time & by the power of tectonic movements of the earth, the two islets went farther from each other.

chel, gerry, & yours truly.. =)
chel, bong, & me.. =)

yeah that’s mah good friend Bong who owns some of the pictures here.. a great friend & a good photography teacher! madamo gid na salamat bong! everything i know in photography, i learned it from you! =)

diyosa ng dagat! kabowg!

and presenting mah good friend Chel: the Goddess of the sea!!! lookin’ fierce in ze middle of ze sea!

After the photo shoot, we head out to the sea again and the next destination is no other than the famous BORAWAN baby! After eating our lunch, we met with our master bangkero Kuya Oteh & headed out to Borawan. The term Borawan was coined to describe the island. The island is a combination of white sandy beaches of the famous Boracay & the mighty & beautiful limestone cliffs of Palawan, hence the term BORAWAN.  It’s a bit disappointing since Mr. Sun decided not to show himself on our Borawan day and the sea seems to be a little grumpy that day as huge waves kept coming in, but being resilient as we were, we pushed through and still managed to capture some decent pictures in the island. You can actually camp out in Borawan but of course there are fees that need to be settled. There are small huts there; some are small while others are big enough. 3 to 4 people can sleep inside the big ones. Rental fee ranges from P350 to P600 depending on the size of the hut you’re renting. It’s a surprise too that no entrance fee was collected from us, just the P350 rent for the nipa hut near the beach. And here are some of our Borawan pictures:

small hut

this hut cost around P350. too much??? well you can haggle the price, it’ll now depend on how good you’re haggling skills are. 🙂

ohhaiithurr Bong!!

the hut at the back cost around P600, again prices will depend on the size of the huts plus your haggling skills.

really relaxing...

look how blue the sea is.. 🙂


see the hut there on the side? walk a little further and you’ll see the make-shift comfort room & bathroom for guests. its really not much but at least you can do you’re thing in peace.

just another hut
i'm on the top of the world! taking pictures!

that’s kuya gewi tryin’ his luck on snapping good pics on top of one of the limestone boulders there..

chillin' out..

it rained a little while we’re in Borawan. We all went for cover.

this is Borawan!

and with the pictures above, we say goodbye to Borawan… until we meet again…

so for day 3 Padre Burgos escapade, we shell out a total of Php416. Here’s the break down;

p15 for the coffee (individual)

P50 for breakfast (individual)

P850 for the boat rental going to & from Borawan (divided by 4 so do the math)

P350 for the nipa hut rental (divided by 4 so do the math)

P50 for lunch (individual)

For a whopping total of Php416 over-all spend. Not bad actually for day 3… extremely satisfied with the turn-out. But i plan to go back since we weren’t able to explore the limestone cliffs, do some climbing & rappelling here and there & we weren’t able to visit the cave in the middle of the boulders there. For those who wanted to explore the cliffs, you have to bring your own climbing & rappelling equipment, flashlights, first aid kits (limestones have rough edges that can cut through skin), and all things needed for climbing as there were no equipments available in the island. even the resorts there do not offer climbing trips to Borawan.

think i have to pause here.. i need to get back to mah work & finish the reports.. so until next post! and keep on moving your feet!!! =)

gone for the weekend: the roadtrip to quezon province… part 2!!!

my apologies! it took me so long to work on padre burgos part 2! got caught up with work & my other love, football! got training sesh every weekend ergo got no time to update my quezon blog. but here’s part 2, day 2 of our Padre Burgos escapade!!! enjoy! =)

Day 2 at Dampalitan Island, Padre Burgos, Quezon…

day 2 was pretty much a very relaxed & “chill” day for the four of us. i woke up early, around 6am or 7am i guess and pretty much just stared out to the sea and the endless horizon. there’s nothing more special than being able to spend hours relaxing, doing nothing, and immensely enjoying the beach. everything it offers, the calm & tranquil waves, air rushing through your hair, and the smell of the sea. =)

look at my view from my make shift duyan i called top-top, bought him when i was in pundaquit, zambales last year for P300 bucks.. =)

duyan view.. i just feel swag.. =)

its also a sad day for us since we’ll be leaving our camp at Dampalitan Island & will head to our (extra posh and extra mahal) hotel resort in the mainlaind, the Tamarind Tree Resort. Mixed emotions actually. We’ll leave Dampalitan to head to another adventure so yeah part happy & part sad..  but before we head to the tamarind tree, we decided to take some time to get some good shots. the weather’s good & all sun-shiny on our 2nd day, great day for cam-whoring! hehe.. so after eating breakfast (more like left-over food from last night’s feast), we went out & snapped our cameras away!

dampalitan island in high noon! fierce! =)

while standing on the “islet” in the middle of dampalitan beach, couldn’t help myself but take a picture of this majestic view… =)

my camera Aly just loves Kuya Gewi!!! =)

kuya gewi & his abs.. pogi points for that! haha! :))

ok, lemme explain.. got nothing else to take pictures at alright so here's mah foot! :))

after our photo op, i went back to my “chillax” mode while sitting on top-top my duyan. got nothing to do but still wanna take some pictures so i took a snap of my left foot..

our SWAG camp!

our SWAG camp!!! woot-woot! tent is huge! you can fit 8 to 10 people inside! hehe… on the words of mah good friend Bong when asked how to describe our ginormous tent: “Pwedeng magfootball ang Azkals sa loob!”

(uh-oh!) no, i'm not sleeping.. just takin' a break! :))

eerrr… that’s me there! no, i’m not sleeping! just taking a break before we head out to the sea! =P

i borrowed some pictures from mah good friend Bong Tamayo so you’ll get to see the beauty of the place, really great place to take pictures! =)

balsa in the beach.. =)
lunch & dinner for us!! cheers!

adobo & magic sarap (magic sarap??? o____O) for lunch, dinner, & breakfast!!! hehe.. oh and we got purefoods hotdogs too!

tomatoes & onions as side dish.. sweet!

and match it with ensaladang kamatis!!! this should be ensaladang mangga but forgot to buy mangoes!! epic fail!! :))

Bong's magic sinaing!!! cheers!

sinaing or cooked rice in english.. this is bong’s specialty. he cooked rice since lunch & dinner yesterday till the next day! mabuhay ka bong! :))

you can see here that we didn’t bring any cooking utensils, not even a portable stove. one word baby.. IMPROVISE!!! hehe.. but you have to bring your own kaldero so that you can cook rice decently.. or if you’re too lazy to bring one, find a bamboo in the island & use it as an alternative for the kaldero..

sayin' our goodbyes to Dampalitan!
gerry, me, bong, & chel

and with pictures above, we say goodbye to Dampalitan Island! till we meet again… =)

Kuya Oteh fetched us at around 1pm, high noon but it was an easy boat ride! thank God for the unpredictable weather of Quezon, we’re spared from the scorching rays of the sun and was greeted by drizzle & lots of rain clouds arriving at The Tamarind Tree Resort. Tamarind Tree Resort is the only beach resort that has close proximity to beach & the islands, very accessible so even though the price is a bit high than normal, we booked our accomodations there so we can stay close to the beach. We arrived there late lunch time but still decided to take a bath, head out & look for something to eat for lunch.

here are some of my first pics during our stay in The Tamarind Tree Resort;

our kubo named "Eugenia"

This is our kubo, stashed near the beach, on its sides are plants & lots of Banana trees (so that explains the ginormous mosquitoes invading our hut!). I have to make a separate entry about the resort but i have to say that the place was wonderful, even the staff, they’re very accommodating & friendly. we even made new friends while we’re there! the place is safe & well-guarded, very relaxing & pretty quiet especially at night so if you wanna take a break from the hustle & bustle of manila, this is the place to be! oh and one thing i immensely enjoyed in the place is the private pool inside the resort. well we practically have the place to ourselves and because of that, i feel swag when i was there! hehe..

the road less traveled..

this pic was taken just outside the Tamarind Tree’s gate.. and manong walking down the road adds drama to the pic..

tamarind tree beach front

see the tamarind tree beach front.. although i don’t reco that you swim in the beach front, the water’s a bit murky as there are hordes of fishermen that go there everyday so there..

flowers galore outside the tamarind tree resort! =)

ok so for day 2 of the Quezon trip, we just paid for our lunch in a carinderia & our dinner courtesy of Tamarind Tree Resort. In the “Al Fresco” dining (a.k.a carinderia), P50 is enough for a good meal (provided di ka patay gutom when you eat), there are several carinderias in Padre Burgos so eating won’t be a problem. For our dinner, we shed a bit more (well maybe not a bit). Paid P550 for a full course meal of rice, sunny side up eggs, tocino, & longganisa, plus juice good for 4 to 6 people and we get to dine in the posh Dining Hall of the resort while watching the pilot episode of captain barbel in GMA 7. Ate Ayreen, the secretary or Peng the manager can assist you. the food they’ll serve may depend on what’s available that day.

A total of Php 187.50 spend for day 2 at Padre Burgos, Quezon! not bad.. hehe..

i still have to get back to work mah friends but i promise to complete the four-day entry of our Quezon trip A.S.A.P! so until next post! keep on moving your feet! =)