La Union and Tangadan Falls : not only for surfing

La Union is one of the places my friends and I keep going back to. For one it’s only 4-5hrs away from Manila, two, it has really cheap accommodations, three, there’s great coffee shops and restaurants in the area, and four, the general laid back vibe is so inviting.

I specifically wanted to share some non-surfing activities in La Union for non-surfers in this entry. My friends and I normally go here to learn to surf, but sometimes the waves don’t cooperate so we have to find other things to do, which is a lot when you’re in LU.

We tried the paddle board in one of our visits. We rented it one afternoon for two hours and we took turns in riding it. It was fun but I warn you, it’s not as easy as it looks.

Here’s a friend of mine doing yoga poses on the board. Pretty neat for photo ops.

When you’re not into paddling, have a friend do it for you. Haha! #likeaboss

Or challenge your friends to ride the paddle board all at once. Time yourselves for the added pressure! ūüėā

Another awesome thing you can do is hike to Tangadan Falls. It’s a 1.5hour hike (one way) although I think now they offer a shorter route to save time and for those not too hot for hiking. Although I recommend you do the full hike as the view is worth it!¬†

The photo below is my favorite travel photo… the view is so pretty and my cap has a perfect cameo of “‚̧ Philippines.” This is the point where you can jump off the cliff. There are different levels, you can jump from as high as 18ft I think, but as a beginner we took the 10ft drop instead. Haha!

Geronimo!

Then off to the actual falls…now like most falls the water was freezing. This is me freezing to death and dreading that icy falls.¬†

Now we were told that we were in for some water massage therapy. Then I immediately ¬†found out it was more water torture! Haha! The falls was too strong that time and it felt like I was being slapped at the back of my head repeatedly. I did not enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Although, some of my friends really liked it, I guess to each its own. ūüėÖ

Overall, the experience was really memorable. The view was amazing. I recommend it for those looking for some adventure. Definitely a must try for all LU visitors. Now something to do beyond surfing ūüėä

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Banawe Rice Terraces

This was way back in August 2015. I’m trying to make up for lost time and share some of my past trips. Unfortunately, most of the information is hazy and outdated so I’m not so sure how helpful this entry will be. Haha! 

Anyway, one long weekend we decided to take a group tour under barefoot travels to Batad. I’ve always wanted to visit this place and I knew it would be worth the long trip. 

We met up with the travel group in Petron (arnaiz ave) at 12midnight. We rode a van going to Batad and reached the area around 7am. It was very traffic that day due to the long weekend and there were roadblocks due to some road accidents. 

Before checking in to our inn, we had a few nice stops for some photos.

To get to our inn, Hillside Inn, there was a slight trek I think around 30 mins long. Here’s our tour group.

After checking in, we had time to rest then we had early lunch. After which we start the trek. Our group tour came with a tour guide already so it was very convenient. 

We trekked for around 1.5 hours to get to the falls. It was a bit slippery because it rained that day. I recommend you wear hiking shoes to avoid slipping in the mud and rice paddies. If you slip in the rice paddies, it’s like quick sand! Hard to get your foot out without losing your footwear. Haha! 

Finally, after a tiring trek, we reached the falls. The water was super cold and it also started to rain when we got to the falls so it was even more freezing. We stayed here for around 45 mins then we decided to head back. 

We hiked back to our inn for another 1.5hrs. It’s not an east trek specially for beginners like me but the view was amazing so it helped to take your mind off the fatigue. 

At night, there’s pretty much nothing to do, so we availed of the in house massage services.It was so worth it after the long trek. 

Please remember to also put on some insect repellant lotion. I swear my boyfriend got really nasty mosquito bites that night because we forgot to bring the lotion. Apparently, some blood types are more prone to bites since only my boyfriend had the marks. 

We rested early and woke up early as well to enjoy this view during breakfast! Priceless!

Later on we hired a jeepney to bring us to the city to do some shopping. We decided to sit on top of the jeepney for added thrill. Although I warn you, it can get really bumpy and after awhile it hurts your tush! Haha! Pros however is you get a phenomenal view of banawe.

Before heading back, we stopped at the local souvenir shops where I got super hooked with these bags. I was asking help from my boyfriend to choose which one I should get, and he decided to snap a photo of the undecisive me. ūüėÖ
You’ll also see locals there in their native costumes and you can take a picture with them for a fee. ūüėä

After lunch we headed back to Manila and arrived around 7pm. It was a short trip but it was very memorable. The place is really a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and the view is breathtaking. Next time I would stay longer and maybe visit Sagada as well. 

That’s it for now! Hope you liked my entry… ‚̧

Cebu Oslob Bluewater Sumilon and Mactan Mövenpick

I’ve been meaning to write another entry since last year, but you know how busy life gets sometimes. I have a long list of places I want to share in this blog but I never got around to writing it until now.

I’m starting with my Cebu trip last March 2015 with some friends from work.

We stayed for 5 days in Cebu, 3 days in Oslob and 2 days in Mactan. Upon landing in Cebu Mactan Airport, we went directly to Oslob via van which we pre-arranged with our hotel, Bluewater Sumilon. It took us about 3 hours to get to the docking point and I think another 30 mins from the pier to the resort itself.

Here’s us waiting for our boat to the island!¬†oslob cebu bluewater sumilon

oslob cebu bluewater sumilon

oslob cebu bluewater sumilon

Here we go!!!

oslob cebu bluewater sumilon

Arriving at¬†the island of Sumilon! Doesn’t it take your breathe away?sumilon bluewater beach

sumilon bluewater beach oslob cebu

sumilon bluewater beach oslob cebu

The room we stayed at had 2 queen sized beds, clean sheets and soft pillows!
sumilon bluewater beach oslob cebu

Love the view from our room…¬†sumilon bluewater beach oslob cebu

Bathroom is also amazing, so spacious and clean.
sumilon bluewater beach oslob cebu

Our first day, we just lounged at the pool, toured the small island, ordered shakes, took lots of photos and just enjoyed each other’s company. It was such a relaxing¬†getaway, it felt like we had the island to ourselves. The water was so clear with different shades of blue, it was mesmerizing.

sumilon bluewater beach oslob cebu

oslob cebu bluewater sumilon

oslob cebu bluewater sumilon

The following day we went to see the whale sharks, it was our most awaited event! The main reason why we flew all the way to Cebu was to see these gentle giants. It has been all over blogs and our curiosity just couldn’t take it anymore. We had to see and experience it ourselves.

Now it gets a bit crowded since it is, as I’ve said, all over blogs like this.¬†If you want to avoid the crowd, you have to be there extra early. We decided to go at 7am, but still there were people earlier than us. Most people¬†go for the tour¬†at¬†9am onwards, and it just gets too crazy.

We were all very excited to see the whale sharks, and of course, very much excited to take a photo with this majestic mammal. I kid you not, we even practiced our underwater poses in the pool of our resort! We thought it would be easy, the other travel bloggers made it look that way. Effortless! I promise you it was not as glamorous as I thought it would be. Classic case of expectations vs. reality. Hahaha!

Here’s my best photo… after nearly drowning for trying several times!

whale shark oslob cebu

You can barely see the whale shark here…
whale shark oslob cebu

Photos above were cropped strategically, the photo below¬†is the actual photo without cropping or editing! I told you not so glam… hahaha! There were people who will assist you. They are amazing swimmers and they offer to take your photo for you. Best of all, they make sure you don’t drown! See that orange thing on the upper right of the photo below?¬†That my friends is my life vest, I kindly asked “kuya” to bring¬†it for me so that I don’t need to go back to the boat every now and then when i’m tired of paddling. Hahaha! (#whatisUTUSERA) Going under water with a snorkeling mask is difficult because you are more buoyant in salt water, so the “kuyas” will push you down when you’re ready to take a photo… thus the outcome of this photo! It was a hilarious experience. I can’t imagine how this would end up if there were more people. Seriously laughing our guts out when we saw our underwater video of this… The struggle is real (#expectationsvsreality)

whale shark oslob cebu

Even if our photos were not what we expected it to be. We had an awesome time. The whale sharks were really intimidating at first but once you get over that fear, they are just magnificent!

I know Oslob gets bad reviews because they feed the whale sharks to make them stay in the area. Some would say that¬†they are exploiting these gentle giants and using them¬†for profit.¬†That is a sad thought, however, I believe that people in Oslob don’t see it that way. They are ordinary people like you and me trying to make a living the best way they can. For me, as long as they give back to the sea and use some of the proceeds to protect marine life, I’m happy. I’m grateful I was able to experience this.

After meeting the whale sharks, we went to Kawasan Falls. We took a habal-habal, it was so much fun getting there. Now Kawasan Falls did not disappoint. I was so kilig to see double rainbows at the foot of the falls.

kawasan falls cebu

kawasan falls cebu
So beautiful we literally camwhored our time away in Kawasan Falls!

After that we went back to the hotel to rest, eat dinner and get a massage. ūüôā The next day we just chilled at the sand bar again until we had to check out.

Our next stop was Mactan, we stayed at Movenpick, which was a really posh hotel. I loved it. Super nice hotel. We booked 2 rooms with 2 double beds each.mactan cebu movenpick

Here’s a photo of the lobby.

mactan cebu movenpick

Nice beach front huh?
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Here’s the pool…

mactan cebu movenpick

…and this is the most popular spot in the hotel for epic photo ops, as you can see… pardon the photobombers. I am not alone in my vanity.


We stayed at the hotel for another night. There was a party gathering that night, so we joined in the fun. The following day we just chilled at the beach and savor the last moments of this beautiful island.

I would really recommend this place to anyone, it’s not cheap, but definitely one for the books. Sometimes we just really need to pamper ourselves and great company is definitely a must have for trips like these. Ideally, friends who like the beach, the outdoors, and the photo ops, as much as you do. Hahaha! Til the next!:) xoxo

 

Valentine Weekend in Baguio

Chalet Baguio

Valentine’s day can be such a chore sometimes¬†with all the dinner reservations, the traffic and the massive amount of bouquet of roses in your¬†Facebook Feed. Haha!¬†But despite all those, it is a pretty awesome day,¬†because it’s a day you remind yourself how lucky you are to¬†have someone who loves you whether it be your special someone, your friend, or your family.

Okay, enough of the cheezy stuff for now…:)

For today’s entry, I want to share our Valentine’s Day celebration.:)¬†My boyfriend and I decided to spend it in Baguio; a place where we always go back to enjoy food,¬†the weather and¬†to occassionally snuggle up with one another.<teehee> Baguio really has that romantic charm and it is a place you¬†get to enjoy the simpler things in life.

My boyfriend booked an overnight stay for us in Chalet Baguio, the location of the hotel was great! it was near almost everything. It was clean and comfortable, a real value for money. If you’re looking for a place to stay in Baguio that will not break your wallet, I would recommend this place. We left manila at 7am and¬†arrived Baguio around 12nn, just in time for lunch!¬†Here’s full list of what we did for our 2-day stay in Baguio:

1. Happy Tummy (Brgy. Lualhati, Romulo Drive, Baguio, 2600 Benguet)

We had lunch at Happy Tummy, it is one of the restaurants in the Ketchup Food Community. Last time we were in this area we tried Canto, which is I think the most popular out of all the restaurants in this area. Canto had a very long line of customers waiting to be seated, so we decided to try¬†Happy Tummy instead. Happy Tummy¬†offers Thai cuisine, We ordered¬†fried tilapia, bagoong rice (my go to order in any Thai resto), and thai milk tea. It was¬†good. The spices¬†used in the fried¬†tilapia was¬†very flavorful and the greens were really fresh. The bagoong rice also tasted good you can really taste the bagoong unlike some bagoong rice I’ve tasted,¬†but I was disappointed that there was no scrambled eggs on top like other thai restos. Their thai milk tea¬†was¬†too sweet for me though.

The food is relatively affordable, and serving was good for 2, specially the bagoong rice. Our total bill was only P480 which is not bad if you compare it to other Thai restos in Manila. Click here for their menu. Overall good experience in this resto with very friendly and attentive staff. I would consider eating here again.

Happy Tummy  image  image image Happy Tummy Happy Tummy

2. Wright Park (Leonard Wood Rd, Baguio, Benguet)

After having lunch at Happy Tummy, we decided to take a stroll at the Wright Park just accross the street. Seeing those horses brought back so many fun childhood memories. The smell is really bad though, which can turn some people off, but you’ll get used to it overtime I think. Hehe!

Wright Park

We also came accross a taho vendor. My favorite pinoy snack… I excitedly ordered some Strawberry Taho. There were 2 sizes regular @P20 and large @P30. So yummy with real strawberry bits!

image image

It’s been quite sometime since I’ve been in this area, and it was relaxing to visit this place.¬†What a¬†cute date place, I thought to myself. You can also take pictures wearing igorot costumes for P20. Hehe!

Wright Park image

3. Secret Garden (Pedro Paterno, Baguio, Benguet)

For dinner, we went to this place called Secret Garden. We originally wanted to have dinner at The Manor, but we weren’t able to book early and the place was already fully booked. We decided to go to¬†this rustic restaurant instead. Secret Garden is known for its house specialty thin-crust, brick-oven style pizza; perfect Italian pasta, and scrumptious Filipino rice dishes.

Secret Garden image Secret Garden

We ordered Quatro Formaggi pizza 8 inches (P385),¬†Tomato Chowder (P220), Beef Tapa (P195) and Plum Tea good for 2 pax (120). My favorite was the pizza, so yummy! I love cheese and this pizza was overloaded with cheese! Yum! I highly recommend it if you eat in this place! Tomato chowder was¬†okay. Beef Tapa was good, but it was on the sweet side. I prefer my tapa salty and with a sunny side up egg. ¬†The plum tea was sweet and a bit sour, a different twist to your normal tea. This is a nice place to hangout if you’re into that rustic atmosphere.

image
Quatro Formaggi Pizza
Secret Garden
Tomato Chowder
Secret Garden
Beef Tapa

4. Patch Cafe (#9  Cabinet Hill, Purok 3 Leonard Wood Road, Baguio, 2600 Benguet)

We went ¬†to Patch Cafe for dessert and coffee. I like the interior of this place. It’s so modern and hip. This cafe is¬†located at the ground floor of Bloomfield Hotel.

Patch Cafe image image Patch Cafe  Patch Cafe

We ordered cappuccino and new york cheesecake. Their cheesecake is very thick and tasty, just the way I like it. Too bad they didn’t have the strawberry cheesecake at that time. I really wanted to try that dessert which I read from one of the blogs about this place.

Patch Cafe

5. Chalet Baguio

Buffet breakfast was served in our hotel. The selection was mostly Filipino breakfast. I enjoyed their tocino and their strawberry jam the most. I also like their hot chocolate, it tasted a bit like champorado and i felt a bit nostalgic while sipping my cup.
image Chalet Baguio

6. Cafe by the Ruins Dua

Off to one of my favorite restaurants in Baguio for lunch on day 2, and I think one of the most popular as well, Cafe by the Ruins. This time, we tried their new branch. The interior was more modern with an artistic flair. Paintings were mounted on the walls and they used tribal statues as accents.

image Cafe by the ruins image  Cafe by the ruins

We ordered the usual rizal tsokolate-e, chocolate de agua,¬†and¬†ernie’s kamote bread with kesong puti and we tried some new dishes, bagnet sinigang and lamb stew. I love the food here,¬†their menu changes every 3-4 months I think. I’m not sure if their main courses are the same as the¬†original¬†Cafe by the¬†Ruins, but it definitely has the usual favorites. In terms of the overall ambiance, I still prefer the¬†original branch as it has a unique charm to it. However, if you like¬†Cafe by the Ruins’ food and not really into that rustic vibe and you hate long lines, then you can go to this one,¬†it is more spacious and I think you can¬†get a table faster¬†vs. the original branch.

Rizal Tsokolate-e
Rizal Tsokolate-e
Cafe by the ruins
Chocolate de Agua
Ernie's Kamote Bread with Kesong Puti
Ernie’s Kamote Bread with Kesong Puti
Cafe by the ruins
Bagnet Sinigang

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7. Tam-Awan Village (Long Long Benguet Rd, Baguio, Benguet)

After having lunch, we went to this place called Tam-Awan Village. This place had reconstructed Ifugao huts and housed some fine art. If you decided to visit this place I recommend you wear rubber shoes because it can be quite slippery going up and down the hill. Entrance fee for adults is P50 and P20 for children.

Tam-awan image  Tam-awan image Tam-awan

To cap off our “trekking” in Tan-awan Village and our Baguio Trip, we chilled in this quaint cafe inside the park and indulged in a cup of civet coffee for P200. It was my first time to try this coffee. Hmmmm… coffee goodness! A nice cup of coffee before heading back to Manila.

image

This is me enjoying my cup of coffee. ūüôā

Tam-awan

Hope you enjoyed this post! Until the next! ūüôā Cheers!

First Beach Trip for 2015 – Buri Resort and Spa

puerto galera beach

Here goes my very first entry in my very own blog. I know I’m starting this so late in the game but I just thought “what the heck!” I’m really no writer, but I do love a lot of things and It excites me to share so much about it here. Hopefully, some of the things I share can be of help to someone who stumbles upon these things I write.

Anyway, my very first entry is about a beautiful resort I’ve been to this January. O my gosh! Ang ganda! It’s called Buri Resort and Spa in Puerto Galera.

The last time I was in Puerto Galera was when I was in college I think and that was like 8 years ago! A bunch of friends and I went to White Beach, it was fun but we found it too crowded. Since then, it never occurred to me to go back, until I stumbled upon this lovely deal from Deal Grocer. Oh boy, I fell in love with the place! I got the room for Php6,500… It included the following:

  • Boat transfers from muelle port to the resort
  • P1,000 worth of food and beverage
  • free breakfast for two (2)
  • overnight stay for two (2) at the pool villa
  • 20% off massage services

Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

Getting There: We brought a car and drove around 1.5hours from Manila to Batangas Pier (we used the Waze app for directions). When you get to the pier, you can leave your car there and pay P100 per night. (The parking attendant also offered to wash our car for another P100). Buy tickets to Muelle port, one way ticket costs around P240 per person + P40 terminal fee. There are two boat companies that go to Muelle port, Minolo and Father and Son, the resort recommended we go with Minolo. We arrived at Batangas Pier around 12:15pm, we waited for the next boat which left at around 1pm. I texted the resort to advise them to put our boat transfer from Muelle port to the resort on standby. The boat ride from Batangas Pier to Muelle Port was around 1.5hours (depending on the waves, it can take as long as 2 hours). Upon arriving the Muelle Port, we transferred to a smaller boat to get us to the resort.     

We arrived at the resort at around 2:45PM, we were immediately greeted by the warm staff and were given welcome drinks and a short briefing from one of the staff assigned to us. They explained to us the facilities and the tours they offered. The staff were all very pleasant and well trained. I really commend the staff in this resort, absolutely great service!

Now to our room… all I can say is WOW! the room was so clean and spacious, it had a second floor (not in the pictures) which had 2 twin beds. the lower floor had one Queen bed facing the view. OH WOW! They also added some cute touches to the bed as they laid fresh flowers on top. How romantic! image     image

There was also a patio which was a very neat place to chill, read, and just enjoy nature. image           image

 A small private pool was also just outside the room for a very romantic moment with your special someone, or if you have kids, it can be a small pool where they can play and just enjoy themselves.image

The bathroom was very clean and spacious and it really looked new. There was a closet on the side to hang your clothes and it also came with a safety deposit box.image After checking in, we had a very late lunch at around 3PM. I was so hungry I forgot to take good shots of the food. They have a very good selection of food, mostly Filipino cuisine. For me, their food was delicously satisfying, however a little bit pricey. The food costs around P300-P500 per person I think. Good thing we had P1,000 food and beverage voucher from the Deal Grocer coupon.image

After eating, we went back to our room to rest a bit. You will get a good exercise climbing numerous steps to your room, which I think was a great way to burn what we just ate. hehe!image

Now time to dip in the pool. It was breathtaking. What a beautiful spot to just relax and enjoy the fresh breeze from the lust forest.  I can lounge in this area for days and days to come if only I could. 

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After enjoying the pool, we went to the beach. It was a small cove with close to white sand. It was not fine sand but it was more than what I expected. The water was clear, although there were some seaweeds. I’m not a big fan of seaweeds, so we decided to rent a kayak (free of charge). It was so fun, we got to explore the nearby islands. So beautiful!image

Kayaking was pretty tiring so we decided to rest on this small raft that used to be a dock I think.image

The next day we decided to go snorkeling.  All I can say is that two thumbs up for Puerto Galera! This place had abundant corals and fish, what a colorful reef they had! It was amazing. Unfortunately, I do not have photos with me. I did take some videos though with my gopro, will try to upload it here when I have more time.

Overall, the trip was sooo worth it. We loved the place so much we wanted to book another night but the resort was already fully booked. I 120%  recommend this place to anyone, it is a bit pricey, but I say you get your money’s worth. The place is beautiful, staff is friendly, food is delicious, pool is amazing, beach is so relaxing, and best of all it’s just a 3hr trip from Manila.  Oh I also forgot to mention, we also tried their traditional hilot for around P800, it was so good my body felt like gelo right after. All in all, a very unforgettable stay at Buri Resort and Spa, I will definitely be back. My new place for a quick retreat! ūüôā

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