Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Baguio 2016 - Day 2

Yesterday, we still went to the famous Night Market at Harrison Road. There were food and lots of ukay-ukay items, souvenirs and other items for sale. I happen to find a nice crochet blanket at 80php and nothing else... and we tried a cup of binatog for 30 pesos, grilled dried pusit at 25 pesos and 2 balot. We spent around 185php for the night market.

so for Day 2... 

we had it all planned out before we sleep last night. we agreed to wake up as early as 4:30am so we can start our hike to Mt. Cabuyao early :D hahahaha! but well, we came back to the hotel at around 11:30pm and yes we woke up with the sun up at past 5... then sleeping a couple minutes more, it was 6:57. hahahaha! waking up early on a vacation is the hardest. but anyway, we woke up and decided to dine at Hill Station of Casa Vallejo. We had the usual heavy pinot breakfast since we are going to have our hike for the day. We had Daing na Bangus and Baguio Longanisa with a total of 420php for our entire meal.

Daing na Bangus served with brewed coffee

Right after, we headed to Mt. Cabuyao and we are ready for our hike... unfortunately, :( it was closed for tourist because of forest rehabilitation and protection... 

Pulling over and took some photos instead.
We went straight to Ben Cab Museum after. This part of our day is the most i loved and might just be the best place we went to. Here we stayed most of the day. Entrance fee is at 120php per head. They also have an eco trail for those who wanted to explore more. This one have added fees tho at another 120php per head. 

These are just a few. Ben Cab truly is incredible. He is artist with all the expertise in it. Metal craft, paintings and drawings using different media and sculpting... We are at awe of all his works. The museum was an avenue for other artists as well... Different rooms and different levels has it's own character. 

When we went down, there was a cafe, ponds, garden and some cottages. We settled for Sabel's Pot of Tea and Suman sa Latik for snacks. We paid 220php for everything :D 

After sometime, we decided to go to Woodcarvers Village and look what I got?! Ifugao's Tambol! I bought all 3 at 1.3k only! 

i looked for something with the taste of Benguet. But they have a lot of different wood items.
After being happy with our little purchase, we then went to Tam-Awan Village. The road going there was all uphill climb with some very sharp uphill curves. Adults have entrance fees of 50php each. This village was more of an artwork gallery though... We were even trapped on a very long view deck trail where we really didn't see anymore views. :( it was yes so tiring and the trail was kinda difficult because it was slippery. But oh well, we shed good amount of sweat for the day. :D

We had lunch at the village too... it was a little expensive but they do serve good food. we had Pinikpikan which they said was their specialty and Pork Binagoongan. :) We paid 540php for everything with complementary soda. 

After our exhausting road trip, we headed back to the hotel to rest. And just because SM City was just above our hotel, we opted to watch the premier of Jason Bourne... We spent 420php for the movie tickets, 180php for my venti cup of Caramel Machiato at Starbucks and 95php for the classic Cinnabon and yes 1 bucket of cheese popcorn for the movies. I did not really like this idea but i have to give my husband his time to enjoy what he loves most. :D 

The night was chilly with a little rain, and we were out from the movie house at 9pm. So deciding where to go for dinner was a bad idea at this point in time. We went to Ketchup Food Community but they were closed, we went to kaffee klatch but the ambiance wasn't really for our hungry tummy and the place was a little too small to my claustrophobic feels... So we went out and we tried going to Forest House instead. We missed a lot of turns though, and the night was getting too cold for us and yes we were tired. So we decided to go back to the hotel and just sleep it over... 

We might have spent 3,675php for the day... :) well add the night market finds we had, we are rolling a little behind for 4k spent. :) 

tomorrow, i plan to wake up early and do public market visit and buy some good coffee beans... :D and pasalubong day tomorrow... ciao!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Dancalan Beach: Calm Sea and Breezy Wind

Dancalan Beach is located in Bulusan, Sorsogon. The beach front will welcome you just before you reach the town center. We had roughly an hour drive from Sorsogon City. On the way, you will get a bumpy ride along Bulusan Area, since the road is being paved. In the coming months, you can travel on a roadtrip without any hassle. :) 

From the moment we arrived, the sea has been calm until the time we left. The water is crystal clear. The shore is field with brown sand, pebbles, and sea shells. I went snorkeling to check if there were shallow reefs and school of fishes. Unfortunately, on this shallow beach I only saw 2-3 fishes lurking. 

Biri Island: Philippines' Grand Canyon Version

Right when you arrive at Bel-at Rock Formation you will be greeted with this picturesque view...
We have long-planned of going to Biri... Years gone by... scheduled and re-scheduled... to go or to postpone or to cancel. Me and my best buddies have been researching, checking weather forecasts and all just to make sure that we get a hassle-free trip to this beautiful Rock Formations.

This year, we went for a go... Even if the forecast was gloomy and rainy... We booked our hotel at Villa Amor Resort (thank God, Facebook came in handy... We were able to get their contact numbers.) for a 3Days/2Nights stay last week. Now since the weather was going wild, I opted to call the Hotel and asked for the weather in Biri. Well, the forecast was all wrong... So we took the risk and pursued the planned adventure...

Tuesday morning, July 16, 2013 to be exact... we left Sorsogon City and drove to Matnog.
High hopes to catch the sun, we moved on optimistic... When we arrived to Matnog Port, we were able to get a paid parking inside the Port. We paid Php 162.00 only for a 3-days worry-free parking. Then we waited for like a few minutes for the RORO to sail to Allen... and still waiting with no guarantee of it's departure time, I started to get anxious and was wasting too much time waiting. So, considering the calm seas, we took a shot and go for one-way-straight to Biri boat and rented it for Php 2,300.00 after haggling. :) It was a 2-engine boat that gave way to a faster travel time of 1.5hours to 2.
That's Phill--thumbs up for the great ride. From afar that's Biri Island.
When we arrived to Biri, the boatmen decided that they will wait for us instead and asked for a Php 5,000.00 boat rental from and back to Matnog. With our boat in-place, we worry no more of our way back. So, we took a habal-habal ride to our Hotel (which wasn't that far from the port) and those habal-habal riders became our official tourguides as well.
Our Habal-Habal riders/tourguides with Phill
Day 1. We took the chance of going to Magasang Rock Formation first. And what caught our eyes was a true beauty of nature... 
Magasang (on the left) and Magsapad (on the right) Rock Formations from afar
We did long walks from the drop-off point to these two rock formations. It's amazing to take each step and you are given totally different perspective of it's beauty.

Baguio 2016 on a 16k Budget Trip

Revisiting Baguio this year... but this time we are out here to challenge ourselves. We aim to spend 16k for the whole stretch of this trip. 

We are staying at Casa Vallejo Hotel... Our accommodation is out from the budget. :) I already booked it months ago thru Agoda. I got our room at 3.6k for 3D/2N stay... 

Day 1: July 26, 2016

6:00am - we left Tandang Sora and driving thru NLEX and SCTEX where we had a very very very long straight road to take. Then exiting Urdaneta and passing by La Union to Baguio City for 4hours. 

When we crossed the borders of the Province of Benguet, we passed by a Kambingan/Bulalohan eatery, since we are starving from the long drive, we decided to eat our brunch :) We had hot Papaitan and Calderetang Kambing. It was enough to fill our empty stomach then headed back to another hour trip to Baguio City. 
A Meal for 2 like this cost us 247php. 

Did I mention about the breathtaking view? Well, just as we entered the borders, the view of the lush green mountains and several falls wowed us...

10:37am - we first payed Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral a visit. kneeled. prayed. We are thankful for our safe trip. 

We then headed to one of the most popular local restos, Cafe by the ruins. We just had Lola Luisa's Ensaymada (cost 95php), Ruins Coffee (at 85php) and i had Iced Ruins Coffee (110php). We opted to have a light snack and a good coffee to get us going all day :)

a few parking space in front of their facade is reserved for the guests. 
the Ensaymada was a little too dry. But the coffee is something different, it has a spice, that brings everything together when a muscovado sugar is dropped on it :)
come 12noon we decided to check-in at Casa Vallejo, where i booked a month ago. We got the room for 3D/2N at 3.6k only... Location is great since it's just right in the heart of the city. The hotel itself is a story teller... on the same building we visited Mt. Cloud and tried to steal-away good books at a good cost... we bought 1. hahaha and it's a cocktail drinks recipe book!

on another door, is Cinematheque Baguio, which was one on my list to go to on this trip and it's just right beside our hotel! We checked the indie films they will showcase and we are set to watch tomorrow. It is just a mini-cinema but! there's no entrance fee on this one. So you watch indie films for free! :)

We went to see the Bell Church next. It was closed though but it was good enough to visit because we came across the La Trinidad painted-houses with mural. 

and since we were already within La Trinidad, we went straight to the popular strawberry farm of Benguet. I am disappointed though, no strawberry picking this time of the season, since it's been raining, they have lettuce of different kinds instead. a big big box of assorted lettuce is only sold at 100php only. 
bought a box of strawberries at 150php and a bottle of strawberry wine at 180php. We also tried the strawberry ice-cream which was sold expensively :(
 For the love of butterflies, we came to Camp John Hay to visit the butterfly sanctuary but it was closed when we arrive, so we spent sometime at garden of The Manor Hotel instead. 

It was around 5pm when we realized we haven't had lunch yet... We went around Burnham Park looking for something local for dinner and we passed by Good Taste. We ordered too much, they have super generous serving that we ended up having like a feast of Garlic Butter Chicken (Half at 170php), Lechon Broccoli just because i love broccoli (155php), Hototay Soup (Small at 105php) and a Calamansi Juice. 

Today we spent roughly around 2.7k... but we plan to go out for the night market tonight... let's see if we are to spend a couple of box for a good find :D

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Paguriran Island: The rise of giant corals...

Paguriran is composed of islets made of corals. It will be reached by land around 45minutes from Sorsogon City going to Bacon District and driving further to it's last barangay Sawangga. Paguriran Island takes pride to it's unique structure and location, it's white sand beach and blue lagoon at the heart of the island.

Surrounding the island is a seabed of corals and schools of different fish/marine species...

And from afar, you will have a glance of majestic Mayon of Albay...

I once saw a photo of Paguriran from a friend wayback 2004... I could almost compare it to Leonardo de Caprio's "The Beach" movie because of it's lagoon. On 2006, Phill and me with friends finally decided to go there and check it out... From then on I fell inlove with it. I take pride of taking my friends from Legazpi there up until now.

So here's how to get there...

If you are coming from NCR or other regions from the North:
1. You can take an hour flight to Legazpi City or a 10hour travel by land via Bus or roadtrip.
2. Take an hour drive to Sorsogon City. There are Van terminals to the city.
3. From Sorsogon City, you will need to travel another 30 to 45minutes to Barangay Sawangga. Either rent a Van or a tricycle or take a jeepney ride that has a route to Sawangga.
4. There are two resorts now to choose from and they are just adjacent to each other... :)

What to bring:
1. booties... or thick/padded slippers or sandals (the island is made out of corals and that makes the stones sharp enough to cut you without proper care)
2. goggles (they have rich corals and variance of fishes to see down under)
3. sunblock :)
4. life vests or any kind (some areas surrounding the island varies it's depth and the tides rapidly goes high and low)

Beware of sea snakes... they are abundant and are lurking under the stones... but then again, taking extra precaution will lead you to one best escapade you ever had. :)

Today's haven for trippers, backpackers, photographers and adventurers... But... had to remind you... take responsibility on keeping Paguriran Island as Mother Nature's gift... Don't take bottles or anything sharp to trash on the island. In fact you are not allowed to throw your trash there... so bring your garbage with you before leaving. Other than that, enjoy!

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page."
  - Saint Augustine

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Coron: an Escape to Reality

A very long planned trip to Coron has finally taken place last July 27 to 29th of 2010. Before, I see photos of it's enchanting beauty and has always dreamed that someday soon. I will walk, swim, trek and unravel it's inner beauty... :) And today, I will be sharing my memorable travel to Coron.
Photo taken by Rina Yulo

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bulusan Roadtrip - 05.22.2010

I was going over my photo archives, it was May 22, 2010 when we went to Bulusan Lake with the same Kuatro Tiempo tropa.

Lake Bulusan lies at the heart of Bulusan Volcano and is enclosed by Bulusan Volcano National Park. The national park acts more like a care taker of the lake in the same way, it's tourism development. Mr. Philip Bartilet is currently the President and is a I.T. Instructor turned environmentalist. At the moment Bulusan Lake is covered with 2.6km tropical rainforest around it. It does have a path, for those who wants to trek the trail.

How to get there? There are two ways to access it. One may be from Maharlika Highway passing by the towns of Casiguran, Juban and Irosin. Or going straight to Gubat, (where we stopped by and ate some ice cream!) 

then to Barcelona, where we stopped for quick shots of the old church. St. Joseph's Church or better yet known as Barcelona Church is one of the oldest churches. It was said that the stone walls of the church including its bell tower are original and are made of coral rocks without the use of cement or steel bars. But then again the church was renovated last 2003 which gave it's modern touch. 

moving on from Barcelona, we passed by San Bernardino Strait where one can have a magnificent view of Pacific Ocean. 

then passing by the Dancalan Beach to some bumpy and curvy roads to Bulusan. Finally! The park asks for P10.00 entrance fee last year. There are bench, kayaks, cottages along the sides of the lake. They also offer body massage while you enjoy the nature's peacefulness and sights of hawks and other birds flying around the blue skies.

Kayaking costs P100.00 for every 30minutes or charm Manong to give you a little extra. *wink* They also have a balsa which can accommodate more or less 10 people for P500.00 pesos. 

Bulusan Lake has greenish murky water because of rocks and mud underneath. Its depth was said to have 635meters on it's deepest center. Locals and some tourist would go fishing here too. Along the sides of the rocks are shrimps. We enjoyed fish feeding here too, attracting fishes to go up the surface for food. 

So, when we got nothing else to do we tried to trek the trail leading to a pathway around the lake. 2.6km trek around it wasn't so easy it was actually creepy but I did love the scenery, the cold air, wild flowers and giant "baging". The pathway trail can be seen halfway only since the on the other half, the trail has been destroyed by the wild forest surrounding it.

the locals are allowed to fish at the lake

right at the middle of the trek is a grotto

If you want a more adventurous trek and climb, you may take the new trail Bulusan Lake National Park have discovered. You may contact them if you for guides and people to carry and prepare your food. I was told that the first camp site was superbly cold and at nature's peace. And clouds rumbling the area will be experienced as well as zero visibility as the fog and clouds cover the camp site. Beware also that you will be left all wet after. :) The area also have another lake that unfortunately dries out during summer leaving quick sand or "komonoy". So for safety, ask assistance to the national park's office. 

For more nature trips, you can push through the highway and pass by Masacrot Cold Spring, some known garden, falls and Hot Spring at Irosin. 

:) you see? Sorsogon is given a complete set of gift by Mother Nature.