Friday, October 10, 2014

Oslob, Cebu

A few days out to the last quarter and I'm definitely running low on enthusiasm, among many other things.

This was a birthday get-away. A much needed stepping back. A deep breath.

The idea of swimming with the whale sharks got us on-board. This trip unraveled to be way more than that, though. The gentle giants were definitely awesome, but for me, that was just the cherry on top. I got pretty full and drunk with the plain vodka on the rocks!

The Batcave 

Aaron Beach Resort

Our refuge for the week. 
Beach front room. Breakfast by the view, in that cottage. Peace and quiet swinging by the hammock. Birds chirping. Friendly conversations. Oslob was a charging station.


Mactan Cebu International Airport

A three-hour music and chips-filled road trip led us to the home of the whalesharks in Visayas. Albeit welcoming us a tad bit rainy, Oslob granted us sunshiny mornings and clear, calm seas.

Only in Oslob 

Sumilon Island

That tiny donut island, that's where were headed--the private Sumilon Island

A little humor with the boat man. That's some powerful pee! :]

Doing what they do best
Turquoise clear in Sumilon Island 

Mainit Springs 

The tourists (L) and the locals (R). Mainit spring hotness (hey, not the gut, the water! :p) level #2; Downtown local market 

The long and winding road on-board a local multi-cab, pick-up style
Road triiiiiipppp!


Magnificent bay view

A portion of the throwback-inducing Cuartel

Immaculate Concepcion Parish Church

Oslob is a great place to relax. You can do it anywhere. See? That's under the tree, fronting the bay.

Riding in more-than-a-tandem

 Tumalog Falls

I am more of a hot spring person than a freezing one. But this one, a few minutes of steep trudge down, I enjoyed, with all my cold-averse body!

Swimming with the Whale Sharks

Boats line up for the day's grand activity--swimming with the whale sharks!

All aboard and geared up!

Letting go of the life vest to swim deeper with them

Eventually, I have let go of all the gear and all my fears

Photo by LA Madridejos

And I leave you with one of the cutie patootie babies I've traveled with! He's going to be a bright star one day.

Bantayan Island, check!
Oslob, check!
Sumilon Island, check!
Malapascua, next?

For the logistics part of this trip, made an Oslob Travel Guide for

Travelthon No. 09252014-04

Monday, July 7, 2014

San Francisco

Back Story

Like a gene, the American dream has been in-borne in (almost) every Filipino. We grew up in giant cans of finger-coloring Planters Cheeseballs and triangles of Toblerones from US base Duty-Free Ports. We learned our first vocabularies from American pop songs. We built dreams from the infinite pool of Hollywood movie scenes that have swooned us over. Dream men included :p.

It would be easy to understand that we all have our magnified and photoshopped image of how the "greatest country in the world" would be like. It's definitely in the bucket list.

First chance I got, I didn't pass up on my mom's invitation and obliged to march and queue up to a Travel Expo. The airfare was irresistibly half the normal price! (I will be advocating for this travel expo for the rest of my life!)

The Trip

The first leg of my America initiation trip was San Francisco. As soon as I landed in San Francisco International Airport, boy did I think I was back in NAIA. The arrival area was flocked with men and women of my same make, only in slanged accents and a lot of super thin eyebrows!

San Francisco is a city brimming with art and soul, and one ambivalent weather, too! San Francisco could just be rightfully nicknamed the city of layers!

Without further blah, this is San Franscisco in pictures.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


No photographs nor words can capture the magic of Batanes enough. One needs to be there to understand the raves. To experience. To feel. To see. To hear. To be captivated. I can only try.



Saturday, November 30, 2013

Siem Reap, Cambodia

The Batcave

Les Bambous Boutique Hotel (found via Airbnb)


Siem Reap International Airport

Places/ Things to Do Only in Siem Reap

Visit the Tomb Raider Movie-Famed Temples

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

On to the 2nd leg of the Ho Chi Minh City-Phnom Penh-Siem Reap Travelthon and we found ourselves in the bus crossing the Mekong River on a barge, a few hours after we left Saigon.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Ho Chi Minh City 2013

Airport: Tan Son Naht Airport

Vietnam has been like a third, fourth, fifth home ever since my sister's family relocated here. I've been in and out that the frequency caused its automatic drop from my priority to-go list.

But a perfect combo of Cebu Pacific irresistible promo fare and gastos-magnet friends can make you forget you have a list in the first place. After a message thread, a mini Southeast Asian tour was in order that shall commence in Saigon.

Cambodia has been escalated to my hit list since its proximity to the Philippines held it a constant loser to the where-to-go battle--that mentality that it's just there, it's easy to go anytime. I want it off my list so bad that the first chance I get, even if we had to pass by Saigon again (against state-of-the-pocket advice), I grabbed.

Before I detail what I loved about Cambodia, let me show you a few new things I saw in Saigon this time around.

The Batcave:
Lofi Inn Saigon
Pham Ngu Lao- The Backpackers' District

Full moon in Lofi Inn Saigon Roofdeck

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Begnas, Sagada

There are serendipitous events that leave our beings changed. I know I wanted to immerse in a local tribe as a bucket list but I didn't know it was going to happen this trip. The entire beautiful, magical accident started from an unknowing conversation.

I was looking at the tourism flyer of Sagada, and read about a tribe ritual that happens only five times in a year. One month said June. I thought, what are the odds that it was going to happen on our weekend stay so I shrugged it off. 

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