Posted in Travels, Zambales 2018

Overnight at Anawangin Cove, Zambales

It was when I noticed my tan lines have faded when I realized that I have not written about our Zambales Trip last May 19-20, 2018. I intended to, but I got really busy (I cannot stress this enough). Okay here we go


I’m not sure about you, but my high school friends are still close up to this point (some of us are on the workforce while the rest are on their post-grad—medicine, law, masters). It took a lot of effort (thanks Ish!), but we finally arranged our first out of town trip! We had several options in mind, but the winner was Anawangin Cove, Zambales.

One of us found a good deal online (https://anawangintravel.blogspot.com/) where we spent Php1700 each (we were 10). This included the transportation from Manila to Zambales, boat ride, tent rental and food. We spent additional ~Php 200 for environmental fee, table fee and hiking. Aside from the hidden charges, what annoyed us on this trip was being ‘lost’ in the beginning. When you get to the Island, there is more than one resort and it wasn’t clear which one was part of the deal. Thank God we are able to negotiate in a diplomatic way even if the staff on this particular resort was not cooperative. I’m getting ahead of myself.

We left Manila at 1 in the morning, had a quick stopover somewhere (my eyes were closed the whole time I did not take note of the stopover LOL) and finally arrived at  Pundaquit, Zambales. We waited for Alan (the one in-charge) then boarded that boat to Anawangin Cove. The boat seemed small but our group + the boatman + cooks fit. The water was clear and the view was AMAZING. The boat ride was already relaxing.

When we got to the island, we had a little fiasco because of the resort but we got through. We set up our tents (yay I learned how to do it thanks to my friends from UP!) and dressed up. I decided to change inside the tent because the line in the ladies’ room was too long. We spent the day hanging out in the sea, enjoying the view and took a lot of photos. When the sun started to show, we went back to our tents.

Our lunch was already prepared by the cooks. It was delicious! This is the advantage of signing up for  tour: food wouldn’t be a problem. After we cleaned up, we grabbed halo-halo from a nearby store and rested in our tents later on. It was so hot I was surprised I fell asleep. The reset of my friends played UNO. We went back to the beach when the sun’s glare became kinder. Stories and kulitans later, we went back to our tents to prepare for the short hike.

It was a short hike, but it was majestic! I cannot put into words how beautiful it was. All the stress from the resort fiasco, summer heat and basically everything I was going through, just fade away. It was one of those moments that make you glad you’re alive. We waited for the sunset before going back.

We went to the beach to wash up then to our tents where food was already served. After our hearty meal, we waited patiently in the bathroom to rinse ourselves. When all of us was ready, we all sat together around the bonfire. We brought alcohol, but didn’t drink AT ALL. I preferred getting lost in the sky full of stars. I was so thankful I was able to witness such beauty.

The next day, we packed up right after breakfast. We passed by Capones Island then proceeded to Camara Island. It was stunning. I apologize for the lack of words I was just really overwhelmed by the place’s beauty. We stayed for a few minutes before going back to the island then headed back to Manila.

This trip was so meaningful for several reasons. One of which is being able to detoxify. Because there was NO SIGNAL for any cellular network, we were able to really detach myself from social media for at least 24 hours. It is amazing how a day can change the way you think of the future.

x

Featured image was by Royce Untalan

 

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Posted in If We Were Talking, Music

Gustong-gusto ko nang makita ka’t muling nasasabik

Sinusulit ko lang ang mga natitirang oras ng weekend dahil kinabukasan, balik na naman sa trabaho. Kaso mo, tinamaan ako sa isang kanta. Ang galing din talaga ng epekto ng musika. ‘Di ko na naman napigilang maluha dahil miss na miss kita.

Kahit wala sa piling, hindi mo lang napapansin
Dahil itong damdaming, ikaw ang lagi ng hiling

Ang tagal na, pero ikaw pa rin talaga. Naiinis ako sa pagkakasulat ko nito. Ang pangit ng tono pero habang lumuluha ako kanina, ang ganda ng daloy ng mga iniisip ko. Ang bottomline lang naman kasi nito eh… ayun. Alam mo na ‘yun. Nakakatawa kasi ‘di ko naman talaga kailangang sabihin para malaman mo. At ‘di mo rin naman kailangang sumagot para maintindihan ko.

Ayan na, nasa title nitong blogpost, lyrics ng Hayaang Maidlip ng Join the Club.

…hindi na makapaghintay
Sa iyong pagbabalik, at huwag mong isipin na balewala
Sinta gustong-gusto ng makapiling lang kita..

Sorry sa mga nagbabasa na hindi naman para sa kanila itong isinulat ko. Nakaka-disappoint talaga ‘tong pagkakasulat ko, sa totoo lang. Pasensya na. Ang tagal ko na rin kasi walang paramdam tapos ganito pa ‘yung bungad ko. Sobrang busy ko lang talaga. Ang daming ganap. Isa pa, kaya ang siguro ako natahimik kasi ‘yung gusto kong kausap, ‘di ko rin nakakausap. Para sa kanya nga itong post ‘di ba.

Ito na ang pinakamalabo sa naisulat ko. Para lang akong nag-rant dito. Edi sana nag-twitter na lang ako ‘di ba. HAHAHA. Ewan ko ba. Miss na miss lang talaga kita.’Lika na. Uwi ka na.

Posted in Palawan 2018

Iwahig Firefly Watching | Day 4 in Palawan

After more than a month, here’s the conclusion of our Palawan activities! We went back to Puerto Princesa, enjoyed an extravagant lunch at Ignacio Residence, bought pasalubong, went to Iwahig, went back to city proper for ktv, and went back to Manila next day (huhu). Palawan was amazing and Iwahig Firefly Watching is an activity I would recommend!

We drove for about two hours from the city proper to Iwahig. The usual tour is around Php 800 including the van and the firefly watching itself. There’s also an option to have a buffet dinner within the area. We signed up and waited. While waiting, we applied insect repellant (you can buy from the location itself) and enjoyed the sunset. There was an old bridge just above the river where you can take photos. Just look at this view!

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The sunset made me feel like I already got what I paid for, but there’s so much more. The queue is long and the boat leaves every few minutes boarding only 3 people excluding the boatman.  Boarding started at 7pm. Despite the wait, I did not get bored because of the performance of a particular dance group from a school at the Iwahig. They performed different folk dances of the Philippines.

It was a dark night, an atmosphere preserved in order to preserve the living conditions of fireflies. The boatman is also the tour guide. They are knowledgeable and very enthusiastic. I particularly appreciated their community upon knowing that it was the initiative of the community (not the local government or anything related) to preserve the area. They are proof that any location can be efficient when the whole community participates in making it possible.

Because it rained during that day, the planktons in the river weren’t visible and the fireflies present were fewer than usual. Even so, the experience was still amazing. I  remember seeing the first few fireflies in the mangrove and I already got excited. There was a time when the fireflies only lit up when we passed by it. I wasn’t able to capture any of it with my camera, but it surely left a mark in me. It is one of those things in life that we just have to experience and we keep those memories to ourselves.

Iwahig Firefly Watching is also a learning experience because the boatman would give trivias during the tour. Aside from the fireflies, you can look up and gaze at the stars too. There would be moments when fireflies would go near you, an experience that I was lucky to experience. It’s amazing how the little things, no matter how fragile, can go together and make something so beautiful.

If you ever go to Palawan, don’t miss out on this experience! It is so calm and yet so stunning.

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BTW, this was our feast at Ignacio’s:

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Posted in Movies

Sid & Aya (Not a Love Story) | Thoughts

Teka. Paano nga ba? Sige simulan natin dito. Di nga naman lahat ng may ‘I love you’ ay love story na.

Trailer pa lang, na-engganyo na akong manood. Bukod sa gusto kong alamin bakit ang dami ni Aya, ang lapit kasi sa puso ko nung kantang ‘Di Na Muli. Sa sobrang excited ko nga ay first day pa lang ng screening, nakapanood na ako. Buti na lang first day ko napanood kasi ang dami agad spoilers isang linggo pa lang ang nakakalipas. Wag ka mag-alala, ‘di ako mag-spoil sa post na ‘to.

Siguro medyo biased ako dahil ang lapit din sa puso ko nung storyline ng pelikula. Pero sure ako na hindi ako biased kapag sinabi ko gaano kagaling sila Dingdong Dantes at Anne Curtis sa pagganap nila bilang Sid at Aya. Dama ko sila sa bawat bato ng linya, bawat pagpalit ng ekspresyon ng mukha, pati na rin sa mga pakakataong tahimik lang sila. Nirerespeto ko sila bilang mga aktor sa industriya pero mas lalo akong bumilib sa kanila dahil sa pelikulang ito.

Ang ganda ng pagkaka-edit ng pelikula. Natural ‘yung daloy ng istorya, realistic ang kuwento, sakto ang patak ng bawat nota ng musika at ang ganda rin ng transitions. Nagpatangay lang ako sa agos ng kuwento. ‘Di ko nga namalayan na lumipas ang oras at tapos na pala ‘yung pelikula. At kahit na lumabas na ‘yung credits, nanantili akong nakaupo at prinoseso ang bugso ng emosyon na idinulot sakin. Oo, umiyak ako, pero bukod dun, natawa ako, tinamaan, naka-relate, at kinilig syempre. Sa gwapo ba naman ni Dingdong at ganda ni Anne, ‘di ko talaga napigilan ‘yung kilig.

Kudos to Direk Irene Villamor! Nasabi ko na ‘to sa instagram post ko at nakita mo na rin pero uulitin ko pa rin. May pag-asa ang Pelikulang Pilipino ❤


Osige, natapos tayo sa technical; mag-comment na ako dun sa istorya. Hmmm. Ayoko talagang mag-spoil kaya ang hirap din magsabi. Sabihin ko na lang siguro ‘yung ilan sa mga paborito kong scenes (ang hirap pumili kasi nga gusto ko ‘yung buong pelikula LOL):

  1. ‘Yung titig ni Sid kay Aya nung alam na niyang mahal nya na si Aya. Ramdam ko ‘yung takot na siguro tumatakbo sa utak niya pero parang nangungusap ‘yung mata nya at nagsasabing “Tangina mahal na kita.”
  2. “I wanted her that night.”
  3. ‘Yung buntong hininga ni Aya sa scene sa train station. Ramdam kita, girl! LOL
  4. “Friends pa rin naman tayo, ‘di ba?”

Pinigilan ko ‘yung sarili ko i-qute ‘yung buong pelikula LOL. Tagos kasi talaga. Medyo nakakagago nga kasi on the way na ako sa pagiging halaman tapos biglang nabulabog ”yung puso ko. May feelings na pala ako ulit. ‘Di na naman bago ‘yung mga susunod kong sasabihin pero sasabihin ko pa rin.

  1. May makikilala ka talaga sa buhay mo at magugulat ka na lang na click na kayo agad. It’s like you’ve known each other your whole lives ganern.
  2. Mayroon talagang tinatawag na right person at the wrong time. Pwedeng maging right na ‘yung time eventually, pwede ring hindi. It’s better not to get your hopes up. LOL
  3. Pwede kang magmahal ng isang tao ng buong-buo kahit wala kayong label. Deliks lang pag ganito. Bilis ka bitawan. Oops.
  4. May choice ka lagi. Sana piliin mo ay kung san ka totoong masaya.
  5. Kahit ano pang mangyari, kung kayo ang para sa isa’t isa, papagtagpuin at papagtagpuin kayo ng tadhana.

Ang dami kong nasabi pero ang pinakamalahaga sa sasabihin ko ay panooring mo na ‘yung Sid & Aya! Sulit ang bayad mo. Kahit mag-isa kang manood, okay lang. Kaya ano pang hinihintay mo? Watch Sid & Aya (Not a Love Story), now on its 2nd week! Chos!


UPDATE: May naisip kasi ako lately. ‘Yung scene after Aya made a decision dun sa huli. Okay wala pa rin akong sini-spoil ha. She has this smile on her face. It was not because posibleng nagago niya si Sid. At that moment, she was happy with her decision, a decision she made for herself.

This is an extension of what I said in #4. Example lang ha. Sinaktan ka. Napatawad mo siya. Dumating ‘yung point na ikaw ‘yung may pagkakataong saktan siya. Sana ‘yung pipiliin mo ay kung san ka sasaya, hindi ‘yung kaya mo pipiliin ang isang bagay para makaganti. Maniwala ka sakin, masusuklian ang lahat ng kabutihang ibinabahagi mo.

Posted in Palawan 2018

Island Hopping in El Nido | Day 3 in Palawan

After a 5-hour drive which included a stopover, we arrived at Royal Palm Inn in El Nido, Palawan. We settled in, rested for a little bit before hanging out at the nipa hut just within the vicinity. We were tired from the trip, but that did not stop us from exchanging stories throughout the evening. We all went to bed after finishing the drinks and snacks.

The next day, we were ready by 7 am for the breakfast served at the inn. After this, we went to the market to buy the food for the entire day. We did not avail any tour. Instead, we rented a boat (who is knowledgeable of El Nido, of course). We just had to buy the ingredients then it is up to the boatmen as to how they will cook it. Please take note that El Nido is plastic-free so if you’re buying meet, it would be better if you bring containers with you. When we got to the boat, the boatmen needed to secure clearance from the barangay and coastguard(?) before we can go. While waiting, we also rented snorkeling gear (Php 150), bought waterproof bags for clothes and phone and bought water to drink.

It was drizzling, the waves were a bit strong, but they did not stop us from enjoying the island hopping. No amount of rain can spoil El Nido’s beauty. We have not arrived in any island by then, but I am already in love with the paradise ahead of us. Waves were splashing while the gloomy weather served as a shade from the summer sun.

We arrived at the first stop, Small Lagoon. Even from afar, it was already beautiful. The boatmen gave us an option: to swim or to rent a Kayak (Php 600 per kayak; 3-4 persons). At first, I was determined to swim, but then a friend was stung by a jellyfish, so we decided to rent a Kayak. It was fun maneuvering the Kayak and it wasn’t as easy as I thought. LOL. You wouldn’t notice the exhaustion because of the paradise’ beauty. Expect traffic on the entrance of the Small lagoon. We had to wait for a while for us to pass through. Only one kayak can pass through at a time. People were getting impatient, but once we passed through… it was amazing. I may not capture it with my camera (I left my phone at the boat), but I made sure I everything is embedded in my memory— the color of the water, its cold temperature, the ridges of the rocks, the sea creatures. It felt like I already got what I paid for even if it was just the first island. That’s how beautiful it was. But as I said, we were only getting started.

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The Big Lagoon was even more beautiful. It was just on the other side of the Small Lagoon. The boats could pass through so we didn’t have to get off the boat. We used the opportunity to take photos.

c/o Carla

We then had lunch at the Entalula Island. The sand was sooooo fine; it looked and felt like polvoron. It was a bit rocky I highly suggest that you wear aqua shoes! The food cooked by the boatmen were delicious! I was one of the last ones to finish eating because I kept coming back. LOL. After lunch, we then went to Snake Island where a sandbar is located. Sadly, it was high tide that day so it wasn’t that visible. We walked towards the top of the island to see the view of El Nido (the ones always seen on photos and advertisements). I can’t stress enough how beautiful it was! Again, I left my phone at the boat so I was not able to take photos.

 

 

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c/o Kuya RC

We were pretty tired at this point but we were not done yet. We went to this island (forgive me, I forgot the name) for snorkeling! It was surprising to find the corals so near to the shore. I had to make sure my legs are floating as well or else, you can hit the corals (that’s how near the corals are to the shore). There were variety of corals so there were a variety of fish too. WHAT. A. BEAUTY. We only left because we were afraid we are disturbing their ecosystem too much already.

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Our last stop was the 7 Commando Island where you can chill, swim or snorkel. I chose to snorkel first but it was underwhelming compared to the previous island so I decided to chill.

We were soooo tired, but it was worth it. We may not be able to reach all the beautiful islands of El Nido, but I am truly grateful for what I have witnessed. I am so blessed to have seen it and I can only hope that the islands are continuously taken care of.

Here’s a minute of El Nido!

 

Posted in Works

Parallel

She was your sun

The warmth that you long for

Even when the heat gets too strong

To the point that it burns,

You would always choose her

~

I was your moon

The coldness that makes you calm,

Something that you fall asleep upon

Forgotten when the next day comes

Yet always welcomes you with open arms

Posted in Palawan 2018

Underground River | Day 2 in Puerto Princesa

Today’s stop is the Puerto Princesa Underground River. Light rain woke us up and the sky was gloomy during out journey from our airbnb to the waiting area. The weather worked to our advantage because there were less people than usual lining up for the Underground River.

We paid Php 1650 for the trip which is already inclusive of a the boat fee, environmental fee, other fees involved and a buffet lunch. One needs to ride the boat to Sabang Beach where the Underground River is located. While we were waiting for our turn, we just enjoyed the breeze and the sound of the waves.

A boat can only accommodate 8 people. Having 9 members, we split into two boats. The boatmen made sure that everyone was wearing their life jackets before setting off to sail. During the boat ride, we were allowed to go at the front part of the boat. Sitting there allowed me to see the surrounding island, feel the ocean breeze and just… lived. The last time I went to a beach was two years ago. The boat ride felt like the sea welcomed me home.

Upon arrival at Sabang Beach, I kept saying that I have already gained what I paid for. The clear water, white sand, and ridges on the rocks seemed like Paradise. I love how organized the place was. A staff approached us for a photo (it is optional to buy it), then directed us to the area where they gave us a device where the narration of the tour is stored. Due to the number of tourists visiting the Underground River, we had to wait again. I didn’t mind. The beauty of the beach stopped me from complaining about the heat.

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The device and earpiece were used instead of a live tour guide in order to preserve the silence inside the cave. The cave smelled… natural; it was evident that bats live there aside from the fact that the bats were actually flying around. The boatman would flash his light to the notable sites within the cave. There were different kinds of rock formation inside, all of which were given names. (I do not want to spoil your experience so I’m not gonna reveal them. If you do want to know, don’t hesitate to message me.) The tour inside the cave lasted for 30 minutes, but I did not notice the time pass. The place was majestic and I was thanking God for giving me the opportunity to see such beauty.

On our way back to the shore, we saw animals like monitor lizard and monkeys (one of which was an alpha so we were advised not to go near it). We purchased the photos that were taken beforehand and road the boat back to where we started. We ate our buffet lunch before heading back to our airbnb.


After the underground river experience, we just got our bags then rode the van to El Nido. This was my second day in Palawan. I hope you’ll join me for the succeeding blog posts!

P.S. Sorry it was so late, I was too busy at work (sad reacts only)

P.P.S. Here’s the Underground River vlog!