Coron, Palawan 2017

My third trip to Coron is a bit remarkable compared to my other trips.

Since I had folks visiting from the US, we stayed at a more decent place, Busuanga Bay Lodge (I usually stay at boutique hotels that are less pricey 😊). This place was established in 2013 by its Canadian owner and his Filipino  partners. They picked a great part of the island with an amazing view.

We had this part of the property to ourselves, that’s our room at the corner.


All rooms have a view of the bay. We got one right by the shore.


Instead of the usual island hopping trips, we took the recommended trips by the hotel which only included three stops – Lusong Gun Boat (ship wreck from WWII), Coral Garden and South Cay Island.

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We rode an outrigger boat to the islands

We snorkled about a mile of lavish coral reef with plenty of fishes with varying sizes and colors. Too bad I was not able to bring my underwater camera with me.

South Cay Island was exclusive to guests of Busuanga Bay Lodge. We were lucky to be the only guests at the island the entire Saturday afternoon. It was such a wonderful experience to be on a beautiful island by yourself. There were some rainshowers throughout our stay but it was enough to cool the place down from the hot and very humid weather.

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We had a view of the other beautiful islands around South Cay

Apart from the new sights and places, the most remarkable about this trip is being able to experience it with someone special. Thanks, Gabriel, for being with me on this trip ❤

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Labor Union Festival in LU (2017)

Back in La Union for an R&R with highschool friends.

Since Gab and I were late in coming back from Baguio, we missed the group who left for Tangadan Falls at 6am in Agoo, La Union. Tangadan Falls is located in San Gabriel, La Union which was about 2 hours from Agoo.

We took the motorcycle ride (habal-habal in local terms) from San Gabriel’s town proper to the parking area near the falls. It was my first time to ride a motorcycle – I was scared and excited at the same time (prayed hard as well that I don’t fall off the steep cliffs along the road).

What a relief when we made it to the falls without any scratches (knees were trembling, though).​


Folks are allowed to jump off the 15-ft cliff behind us for some thrill.



Walking back was more difficult, but was still fun since we’re with friends.



The boys had a thrill riding on top of the jeepney.



They joined us inside once we hit flat ground.


We spent the rest of the afternoon at San Juan Surf Resort where we had late lunch at 4pm at Coast Call.


A lot of folks were gathered in SJSR grounds for the Labor Union Festival.


We ended the trip with a visit to the Bacungan’s in San Fernando.

P.S. Thank you, Eric, for guiding us on this trip. And, by the way, you have one cool mom 😉

Bohol Escapade (April 2017) 

One place I have always wanted to visit was Bohol. Finally had a chance to visit when Gab invited me to join him as he attends a seminar there.

First thing we did when we arrived was to look for a restaurant with a view of the sunset.

While Gab was at the seminar for the next two days, I got busy with working remotely. On the second day, I decided to work at the same hotel where Gab’s seminar is, Bohol Tropics, and picked an area with a view of the water.

The seminar ended early on the second day so we took some time to see some sights in Panglao.




Tried to get a glimpse of the sunset at Alona Beach, but it was too cloudy.



We had grilled food for dinner by the beach before heading back to the main island.

Before our noon flight the next day, we went to see more sights. First stop was at the famous chocolate hills.


Next was a brief stop at the butterfly farm.


We went to see the tarsiers as well. They were as small as rats!

Also stopped for some pictures in the middle of the road for this man-made forest.


Our last stop was lunch at a cruise by Loboc River.

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Of course, my visit to Bohol will not be complete without seeing our Tagbilaran girl, Jare. She was my classmate in college. She took us to one of the best restos in Tagbilaran, Gerardas. It turned out she and her husband play tennis. Gab will bring his tennis gear next time we visit so he can play with them 😊

Sagada 2017

Went back to Sagada with my high school friends last February 2 to 5. We took a van from Manila at 1:30am and picked up more of our friends in La Union. We drove through Tagudin, Ilocos Sur to get to Sagada.

We stopped by Bessang Pass for bio break.


We got to Sagada at around noon, then had lunch at Misty Lodge which was about two kilometers from Sagada’s town proper. Their burger and tinola were really good.

St. Joseph Rest House

One of my friends booked us at St. Joseph Rest House. It is the best place to stay in Sagada with its wide ground coverage which makes it accessible through the church and through the market.

 

Mud surfing at Echo Valley Trail

First stop after lunch was hike through Echo Valley trail.



Bonding by the Fire




 

Spelunking at Sumaging Cave

We went to Sumaging cave at 8 in the morning to ensure there won’t be that many people in the cave.

 

Hiking to Bomod-ok Falls

On our third day, we decided to wear our batch shirt. We took a different trail to avoid the throng of people who wanted to see the falls. I’m glad we did because the view along the trail was breathtaking.

When we arrived at the falls, it was full with people. After about half an hour, my friends and I were just the only ones left. We had the falls to ourselves!

On the way back, my friends opted to take the trail by the river. Turned out, we had to walk by the cliff!

We took a few stops to appreciate the view and enjoy the cool breeze.



Sea of Clouds

Saw this sea of clouds on our way from Sagada to Baguio. We parked by the road to take these awesome pictures.

VIDEO: https://vimeo.com/203144645

Helping Land with Project Pearls

Peace. Education. Aspiration. Respect. Love. Smiles.

Project PEARLS is a non-profit organization that aims to help marginalized children, especially the urban poor. One of the communities they help are those in Helping Land, also called Garbage Land, in Tondo.

This is where the trash from the metro are dumped. And this is also home to some urban poor who rely on food they get from the trash to live.

My friend, Hope Vega, was so gracious in inviting me to join their feeding program to celebrate her birthday, along with her friends. We went early morning on a Sunday and took various public transportation from Cubao to Tondo, Quezon City.


  
  
  

Tried talking and interacting with the kids while waiting for the program to start. Many of them attend school in nearby communities. They get help from the Ate’s and Kuya’s of Project PEARLS who visit them on weekends.
  

We started the day’s program with a prayer and praise.

Part of the feeding program was some art activity to help develop the kids’ creativity. The day’s art activity was to create a Christmas Card for the kids’ parents.

I hope the parents got to read their kids’ heartfelt messages.

On our walk back, these kids gamely posed for a picture.

I hope there’s more that can be done to uplift the lives of the people in Helping Land. As a start, I hope more will consider sponsoring a day’s feeding program which costs about Php 8,000.

For more information, please refer to Project PEARLS’ Facebook page.

P.S. My left eye looks a bit weird since I had vitrectomy seven weeks before for my detached retina. Eye was not yet fully healed but I felt well enough to be part of the activity.

Visit to Anawim with Power Mornings

Anawim has served as home to abandoned elderly for over 10 years now. It was founded by Bro. Bo Sanchez and is located somewhere in the Rizal provinces.

Power Mornings, which is a prayer group attendee by professionals in Makati CBD visited Anawim last August 15, 2015. The visit was organized in coordination with DZMM and ABS-CBN. They provided medical services and entertainment to the elderly.


  
  
  
It was fun interacting with the elderly who always looked forward to visitors.


  

Thank you for the opportunity to serve!

Summer in Yosemite (2015)

One stop before my flight back to Manila two weeks ago was a visit to this breathtaking place, Yosemite.

This is my second visit. My first visit was I think in 2011, with my good friends from high school. (I just realized now I never got to post about that trip. Will correct this soon.) Back then, we went in October, during Fall.

This time, I went with some of my officemates from Manila… on a Summer. Someone told me I should try going once each season. Because this beautiful place looks different for every season.

Bridal Veil Falls looked almost the same, but you know that the place has been affected by the drought since the stream going to the falls was dried up.

  

These mountains are a sight to behold.

  
  
  
  
  

Took me a while to find this bridge with a view of one of Yosemite’s falls. It’s called Swinging Bridge.

  
  

We decided to go the other way since we thought we’ll get to the road past the meadow. We were wrong. Glad we were, since we got to see this beauty.

  

Unfortunately, we lost so much time when we ‘got lost’, that the parking was already full when we get to the main area.

It was already past 1:00 PM when we took the shuttle for a tour around the area. While waiting for the shuttle, I couldn’t help but get a snapshot of Half Dome from behind the trees.

  

Our first stop was Mist Trail. I thought this stop will have a view of Half Dome, I was wrong (again!).

  

Saw some guys fly fishing by the water. I don’t think they caught anything.

  
  
  
  

Then we went to Mirror Lake. Sad to see that the lake was a bit dried up. We didn’t get a good reflection of Half Dome. And there were people camping there, swimming and playing volleyball games.

  
    

My first Hawai’i Trip: Around Oahu

Finally made it to Hawai’i last May.

My highschool barkada, Jazel, wed the love of her life, Wilbur in the beautiful island of Oahu where Wilbur grew up.

Lalaine and I made arrangement to fly at the same time via Hawaiian Airlines and stay at Kahala Resorts where the wedding was held.


         
       

The Wedding

It was a simple yet beitiful wedding by the beach.

                      
Island Tour

Among the new friends we met at the wedding were Imelda and Onassis who graciously offered to take us around the island.


                                        

Pearl Harbor, Hanauma Bay, Kai’wi Trail