Philippines: The Top 12 Beaches

So many more beaches to visit in the Philippines! Panglao next!

winairtravel

I have always loved rankings of world beaches but when no Philippine beach appears on the lists, I would surely get disheartened. How could someone produce the list of the top 10 beaches in the world when in fact they have not seen all! They could have just came up with the title, “The best beaches we have seen so far!” Sometimes, you cannot fathom why a beach in filthy Kho Phangan in Thailand is ranked higher than the immaculate beach in Playa del Carmen in Mexico. CNN produced a list of the world’s 50 best beaches and it created overwhelming disapproval when beaches in the Greek Islands, in Bermuda and in the Philippines’ Palawan were missed out. Also, Yahoo Travel featured an article ranking the Philippines’ best beaches and I thought it was not so properly done, placing El Nido at the top without even singling out any of…

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Hundred Islands in Alaminos, Pangasinan (4/19/2014)

Our family decided to take the 3-hour drive from our place in Aringay, La Union to Lucap Wharf in Alaminos, Pangasinan to visit one of the must see sights in the Philippines, the Hundred Islands. There are actually 123 islands. Our tour took us to probably a fifth of the islands. Among the known islands were Romulo Island (where Claudine Barreto shot some of her scenes for her show, Marina), South Island, Children’s Island, Governor’s Island, and Quezon Island. Quezon Island was the most popular and, expectedly, it had most of the visitors. We chose to drop off the Quezon Island, too, since it’s the one with most ‘sights’ to see.

For details about Hundred Islands – how to get there, things to do, places to stay etc. – visit http://www.hundredislands.ph.

With the family on our way to Alaminos, Pangasinan. My sister took this groupie while driving.
With the family on our way to Alaminos, Pangasinan. My sister took this groupie while driving.
On our way to the islands
On our way to the islands

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People can pitch tents and stay overnight on the island.

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Overcrowded Quezon Island

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Other islands from a distance

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Solo Travel: Baguio

I wanted to get away for a few days for some ME time before I go back to work on January 6. I checked for flights to Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and to local places like Bohol, Samar and Aklan, but decided to go somewhere near my home province so I could join my dad during the new year celeration.

Glad I picked Baguio because I get to enjoy the cool weather, the mountain views, and the fresh fruits and vegetables.

Forest House Bed and Breakfast

This place was my first pick because of the pretty rooms, its view of the mountains and the great food.

They only have four rooms and I picked the smallest one: Keanu.

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Breakfast is included and I had mine served in my room.

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You can hang out with friends in the common areas an get food and drinks served.

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Azotea Greens

Was originally planning on going to Oh My Gulay for dinner, but I wanted to try something new. Found Azotea Greens in the same building. They are a vegetarian restaurant. They have paintings that are hung around the area that I think are for sale in support of local artists.

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I decided to get Vegetable Medley which is a mix of boiled sayote, cabbage, zucchini, young corn, baguio beans, potato and mushroom.

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I almost finished my plate when something caught my eye.

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Major EWWW!!! I quietly told the waitress, she apologized and offered to serve me a new plate. I told her I was already full and it was okay. A few minutes later, the owner approached me and apologized and asked if he could get me some dessert and drinks. I just ordered their wheatgrass green tea with apple. They did not make me pay for the Vegetable Medley. On my way out, the wife of the owner approached me, apologized and told me that the kitchen staff has been reminded to clean the ingredients more diligently. The veggie worm was totally unexpected because of how she instructed the staff to clean them. They use an ozonizer and they lightly brush the vegetablea after they are ozonized. I understood what she was talking about becuase I also have an ozonizer at home. I told her it was okay and I would still go back to their restaurant. The owners are good, kind people and I’m pretty sure it won’t happen again 🙂

North Haven Spa

To be continued.

Yogyakarta, Indonesia (July 26 – 28, 2013)

This is my first trip outside of Singapore with my bestfriend, Edward. Thanks to the invitation my college roomies who also live in Singapore.

First stop, we checked in at our hotel – Royal Ambarrukmo.

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Purawisata

Had dinner at Purawisata where they also showed Ramayana ballet in their open air theatre.

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Ramayana Ballet

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Prambanan

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Stopped for some fresh buko juice before heading out to our next destination.

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And got myself a hat from this lovely and friendly old lady

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Kesuma Restaurant

Thanks to the recommendation of one of our college friends, Kelvin, who visited Yogyakarta before, we tried this secret restaurant that serves delicious local cuisine.

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The French owner was very friendly and took the time to explain to us what’s on the menu. They apparently change the menu once a year and they have limited copies of it.

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Since we were the only guests at the restaurant, the Chef, who is also the wife of the owner, came out to chat with us. They even had pictures with us. Such great hosts!

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Borobudur

When we got to Borobudur, we tried to catch the sunset at the top of the temple. Unfortunately, it was too cloudy.

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We checked in at the Saraswati Hotel, an old but very pretty boutique hotel near the temple.

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We woke up at 4:00 AM the next day to catch the sunrise on top of Borobudur temple.

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There was probably over a hundred people eagerly waiting for the sunrise.

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From afar, we also caught a glimpse of Mt. Merapi which is one of the active volcanoes in Yogyakarta.

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We went back to Saraswati around 7:30 AM for a quick breakfast before going back to the city for some quick shopping before our flight back to Singapore.

Singapore

Back in Singapore, we had a quick seafood dinner in East Coast with my friends before I flew back to Manila.

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Huntington Library (Los Angeles, California)

This place was more than a library. I actually did not get to see the library and the museums because it was a Free Day (every 1st Thursday of every month) and tickets can only be reserved online or by phone. They don’t sell tickets on Free Day.

But there was so much to see even if you don’t enter the buildings. There were several themed gardens around the area.

Chinese Garden

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Japanese Garden

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Washington DC (May 29-31, 2013)

From Seattle, Washington, went to Washington, DC to visit some historic sites and learn more about the country I regularly visit.

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Arrived a few minutes before 6:00 AM and captured this beautiful sunrise as we landed at Washington Dulles airport.

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Had breakfast at a cool restaurant called Silver Diner. Each table has this thing that can play records and it can be heard in the entire restaurant. Didn’t attempt, though.

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Just drove around Virginia on my first day doing some errands (mail stuff, buy gift cards, buy comfy shoes for walking).

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And had steak for lunch with my friend, Chai, at Firebirds.

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We picked up a friend from the Philippines, Naree, who flew in from Toronto, Canada. We had dinner at P.F. Chang’s since Naree has not eaten there yet.

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SIGHTSEEING – 1st Day

The White House

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World War II Memorial

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Reflecting Pool

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Blue Diamond

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The Castle

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Holocaust Museum

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Georgetown

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Around DC on Hop On, Hop Off Bus

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Union Station

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The Capitol

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Wharf

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Dinner at Thai Place

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SIGHTSEEING – 2nd Day

Botanic Garden

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American Indian Museum

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The Capitol

Took another picture outside of Botanic Gardens

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Air and Space Museum

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National Art Gallery

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National Archives

Taking pictures was not allowed inside.

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Washington Visit 2013 – Seattle (5/25/2013)

Ride The Ducks

Started the day with a tour via Ride The Ducks of Seattle, situated near the Seattle Center. It gave us a view and history of Seattle in a hilarious and entertaining manner. Was definitely a treat!

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Seattle Center / Space Needle

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Chihuly Glass Museum

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Experience Music Project

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Pike Place

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Kurt Cobain’s House

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