Captivating Cagbalete

Since my favorite season (among the two choices, haha) has ended, I’m gonna share to you my summer-ender for 2016. Too sad that it ended that quick but I’m still looking forward for the remaining of the year as I have at least four trips planned, yaay! Beach season never ends if you’re here in the Philippines! :)

We went to the most talked about place in my father’s hometown, the island of Cagbalete.

It’s a 5 hour drive from the Metro and 30-45 minutes boat ride from the port to the island. We had an agency to fix everything for us. Budget each pax was 2,500Php inclusive of land & boat transfers, environmental fees, accommodation and food. :) You can also try to have a DIY trip, and bring a private car. Now, don’t worry where to park your car as there are many parking lots near the port. All you have to do is to bring your food and book a resort in advance. :)

So let’s get this started. :)

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We arrived at the island at the best weather condition. :) The first in our itinerary was to visit the famous sandbar. Just ate our breakfast and left our things in the resort then…

Off we go! :)

And ta-daaaaaa! Sandbar! On a High Tide! Hahahaha! Yep, major epic fail :P Don’t even start imagining how disappointed we were when we saw the outstretched sea instead of the sand. Haha!

So tip # 1, check first if it’s high or low tide before going to the sandbar. :P The sandbar is about a 30 minute boat ride (from our resort) so better be sure before going there. It takes some time and money of course to rent a boat again.

Since we have no choice, we just enjoyed the sun, the sea and the sand underneath. :)

The super fine sand… under the water. :P

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After swimming and burning our skin, we head back to the resort.

Had our lunch and got some rest since we really got tired from the morning’s travel. Note that there is no electricity in the whole island from 6am to 6pm so bring some powerbanks and extension cords. :)

And after a few hours of getting rest, time to check the whole place! :)

We woke up with the place on a gloomy weather and low tide. When it’s high tide, boats can usually ‘park’ up to this point. :) You could see how low or even close to no water at all compared to the first picture I posted.

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Photoshoots will never be excluded in our agenda! Especially having bestfriends like them? Na-ah! :P Thinking of posting another blogpost featuring my pagemote in the island, hmmmm :P

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When it’s low tide, you could easily roam in the island, hassle free! :) You could go to the other resorts freely and enjoy what’s in store of the place.

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And that’s what we do for the rest of the day. :)

We had some dinner, drinks, games, stories to share the whole night and got some sleep in preparation to more exciting day tomorrow. :)

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Since our stay wouldn’t make sense if we don’t get to see the ‘actual’ sandbar, we decided to give it a shot on our second day. Of course, I have assessed the sea level first if it’s on a low or on a high tide. Thank God, it is! So here we gooooo! :)

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It was indeed beautiful. They call this place, “The Boracay of the South” and I guess it is living its name. It may even be better than Boracay as this is not as famous as the said place, which meant that this is more preserved than what’s in Boracay. :)

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Luckily, we have witnessed a well saturated rainbow. Ahhhhhh, so nice!!

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What else should we do? With this set of group, we took photos on every angle of the sandbar, haha!

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Mangroves are very visible in this area as well, so without a doubt, another photoshoot session has started. :P

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And jumpshot photos were taken as well. :)

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Time to go home! But before that, my brother and I have to manually push the boat until we reach the resort, haha! Just kidding! :)

After all these photos taken and memories created with this group, it’s time to go home now.

Our stay was really worthwhile. :) Hope you could all visit Cagbalete and enjoy this as much as we enjoyed our short vacation here. :)

kat

Nostalgic Nagsasa

Planning is always the easiest part when you wanted to travel with friends, but making it materialize would always be the hardest part. Thank goodness my officemates or what we call ourselves – “Donnatics” – were that persistent to push through our plan. :) We didn’t even have to force everyone to join because we all wanted to go. Especially we really wanted to have a break with our work. Away from the city and away from all the stress the world has given to us. #Hugot! Haha.

I don’t know why we chose Nagsasa, but since we crave for a getaway, we just go with it. :) Besides, it’s not my first time in Zambales as I have went to Anawangin last year, I think it’s a good idea to explore the other side of it. Nothing to lose, more to gain. :)

We left at 1:30am from our office in Bulacan and swooosh! Off we go to our destination! I’m not sure what time did we arrive there, I just know we did arrive earlier as expected. Not to mention our driver overtakes almost all the cars in front of us even in the zig-zag road!

If you are about to ask, we have budgeted at least 1,700Php per head, inclusive of our driver, land transfer, our accommodation, boat rides and transfers, plus the food we bought from the market. Also, it is much better to bring cooking and food utensils with you as there are no fancy hotels and restaurants there. You get to live on your own. :)

Sooooo. Let’s start exploring Nagsasa through our eyes, and I hope I could share to you how happy and grateful I am with this trip. :)

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First to visit – Capones Island. As I have mentioned in my Anawangin post, there are no resorts in this island. We just have to take advantage of the view and took our first group pictures in here.

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And now, we’re ready to go to a stress and signal free island – Nagsasa!

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Of course our first agenda was to set up tents and prepare for lunch. Thanks to these boys for taking care the whole group and being oh-so responsible! :P You know how intense we get with regards to Boys vs. Girls topic in the office, but this one goes for you! Naks. Minsan lang yan. :P

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After lunch, we didn’t thought time would be so SLOOOOOOOW. That was the longest 3-4 hours in the island. It was so hot that we can’t last a 5 minute nap. That’s why we did everything to entertain ourselves. From story telling, to the corniest knock knock jokes, hahaha, Pinoy Henyo, card games – the controversial 1-2-3 pass that almost cost our relationship with others, haha, and officemates doing an exhibition of catching food from the air. Hahaha!

And after all those craziness, time to swimmmm! Yaay!

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Four girls out of 13 in the group!

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The boys also took advantage of the scenery. Ughh, what a beautiful view! And I’m referring to the mountains there, haha!

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And our running shot! Our Ready, Set, Go! set of photos and the aftermath – splashes of water all over the place! Haha. Super fun!

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Here comes my favorite part of our trip.

It has been set beforehand that we’ll trek here in Nagsasa. What we are not yet sure of, is the time we are to trek. We were still having a good swim and when most of the boys noticed that the sun is about to set, they quickly decided to trek… NOW. Yes, the next thing I know, they are starting to go to the trekking site. I didn’t have time to decide whether I’ll go or not cause I really wanted to witness the sunset, and it’s my first time to trek. :)

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I never thought trekking would be so tiring, especially I’m coping up with how fast my officemates are going up the mountain. Oh, and did I mention there are some parts of the trek that you can be on the bottom of the mountain in an instant? One wrong step and you’ll die! JK! I’m exaggerating, maybe you’ll just have fractured legs or arms and wounds all over. Hehehe, I’m just saying, just be careful. And for those girls who wanted to try, be sure to have a guide while going up. Remember, climb at your own risk. ;)

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Sure enough, we are in awe to see the whole place on top. :)

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One of my favorite photos that I took. It’s not scripted and everyone just wanted to take a break of everything, just appreciating what’s in front of us. :)

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Favorite time of the day. Sunset. :)

It’s amazing how it can take your breath away, just watch it and makes you smile. Giving thanks to God for everything. For giving this chance to watch Mr. Sun set with the one you really treasure. Someday, every sunset will be as memorable as this one. :) #HugotPart2

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And after appreciating, time to go down! When in fact we can just roll down because of the steepness of the mountain. Haha!

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And our stay would never be complete without setting a bonfire. Different stories has been shared, games were played and s’mores were eaten. Too bad most of them have slept early and there were only five of us left. Talked about everything under the sun, or the moon I guess. Haha. Work, lovelife and of course the then hot topic, politics.

I don’t know how to explain it, but it really got exciting because of the group few feet from us. They spread “Good Vibes” all over the place. We don’t know each other, we don’t even know how they look like, they just made the remaining crowd in the place jam with them. :) It was full of laughter that night. How cool that we could laugh with someone you didn’t know and just wanted to have a stress free night. :)

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This would be my second favorite. Credits to our official photographer – Adam! :)

Quiet time between you and the nature. Sand underneath your body, bright stars, shooting stars once in a while. It really felt amazing that how much you’re overloaded in the city, yet you feel free and felt no burden at all when you’re in front of this kind of view. By far, the best night of the year. :) Thanks to the natural decorations of the sky. :)

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When I woke up the next morning, I visited the other side of the island.

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I felt like I’m in the other country then, super nice and quiet.

And since I have spent a lot of time roaming around the place, cause I got lost also, haha, I decided to take a bath while everyone’s swimming as we are to leave later that morning. Little did I know, I’m missing the fun out there. :(

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They had jump shot photos and I missed the highlight of our trip!!! I am so doomed, and sad, and I can’t even forgive myself for missing this!! The boys danced the famous “May Tatlong Bibe“. Not sharing the video though cause they might kill me, haha, but I saw how fun it is and I really hate myself for being KJ. </3

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And before leaving the place, one last group picture with the gang. :)

I really had fun with them, and I am excited and looking forward to more outings with them. Hope our July getaway will push through! Excited about it!

That’s it for our Nagsasa trip! And yes, it was one for the books!

*Photos from Adam, Kuya Eric, Mich and my Candice*

kat

San Juan Surfing

My first of summer took place during the Holy Week. I took advantage of the long vacation and a non Period End Close which is one of the main considerations in our field when going to a vacation. We opted to spend the week in my Mom’s hometown – La Union. We’ve been here many many times but all we do is to stay in my Lola’s house and bond with our relatives. But thank goodness for social networking sites, I finally saw something new we can do – Surfing! Yaaay!

I’ve always asked my Mom if she knew about San Juan and all she know was that it was nearby our place. So since I’m the one who really wanted to go and visit there, I persistently pleaded my Mom to go there. *winks*

And oh, if you haven’t heard the place, San Juan is the Surfing capital of the North! :)

Now I’m sharing you some of our photos we had. Sorry though if it’s minimal as we are so excited to try this recreational activity and it’s the first time we’re doing this!

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Before we set our foot in the sea, we have to undergo some tutorial class first – what are the parts of the surfing board, the positions while in the surfing board and of course the safety procedures before, during and after surfing.

One hour of surfing cost us 400 pesos, inclusive of surfing board rental and instructor. They strictly implement 1:1 student-instructor ratio to better guide amateurs like us! :)

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These are the three main positions when surfing as far as I remember, haha. The getting ready, standing up and balancing position.

Note that I’m just an amateur surfer and I don’t how they call these positions, it’s just the way I remember it. ;)

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It took me I guess, three times before I finally get it. The waves are good for surfers that day and how I wish we could go farther from the shoreline so that we can stay longer.

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Of course, there are still moments that we fall. And because my Dad loves me so much, he perfectly captured it. Haha! For an hour, it’s getting on top of the surfing board, riding and falling, on repeat. :)

Oh and remember, you got to have your arms ready as you will always have to lift your weight to get on the surfing board. This is a good exercise to tone your arms. ;)

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Really enjoyed the surfing experience and that’s because of our super patient instructors! It was getting dark when we finished our trial and our instructors said that the resorts here hold night parties and asked if we could stay a little longer. I heard night life here is pretty awesome! I’ll go check it next time ;)

I promise to visit this place every time I go home and stay at least a night. :) Will keep you posted! :)

Until the next beach waves!

kat

Breathtaking Bantayan Island

If watching travel diaries or reading travel blogs is a thing you enjoy doing, Bantayan would always be on the top list of the to-go-places in Cebu. What I love about watching and reading articles relating to travelling is that they always feature those untouched and not-so-famous islands – which meant having clearer water, cleaner surroundings, more serene ambiance and of course, fewer people.

Again, our Cebu trip is a DIY one. From our Oslob trip, we went back to Cebu City for us to take a rest and be ready for tomorrow’s adventure. Bantayan Island is at the north part of Cebu, and like Oslob, travel time is 3 hours as well. We took the van going to the Hagnaya Port, though you have the choice to take the bus. The island is an hour and a half away from the port so a ferry ride is a must.

Upon arriving, our first agenda was to find a place to stay. We opted to find a place near the market since we have to buy and cook for ourselves during our stay there.

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Luckily, we found this Seven Star Inn in Bantayan. We only paid 900 good for four pax a night and it’s just across the beach. Aaand our adventure begins! :)

First stop, Santa Fe Beach Resort. Here, you can enjoy their amenities such as a swim in the Ogtong Cave, the beach and their swimming pool . You need not to check in here but you have to pay for their entrance fee for 100Php.

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Ogtong Cave.

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Mandatory underwater pictures. How can others smile normally while in the water?? We had a gazillion test shots for this and this is the best shot we got, haha!

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Santa Fe Beach with the CeBohol Gang. :) Clear water and mind you, really REALLY fine sand.

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Other than the use of their amenities, you can also roam around the vicinity. We maximized our stay there as much as we can. Anyway, who could resist with this kind of view? :)

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Thumbs up for the experience! :)

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And here comes my favorite part of the day. The relaxing sound of the water, the sand and good company. As I have mentioned, we got a place near the beach so we spent the rest of the afternoon by the beach. Imagine having friends for almost 2 decades, friends that you have known most of your life and now talking about the future. How we wanted to get out of our parents’ house to play outside and now we wanted to have our own houses. Imagine that! Ugghh, good times, I’m getting emotional here, haha! If the water level haven’t reached us, most probably we’re gonna stay the night here. :P

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This group deserves a place in my post because of their kindness and overwhelming hospitality to us. :) They allowed us to use their kitchen and Videoke for free, and they even allowed us to join them! :) Loving Cebuanos even more!

We had to sleep earlier than usual as we have to wake up early the next morning. And of course, considering the sleeping time in the province, hehe.

Next and our last day at the Queen City of the South was our visit to the Virgin Island.

But of course, we won’t miss taking pictures during sunrise. ♥

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The Virgin Island and the toasted me. Haha!

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The view was really superb! All shades of blue, fine white sand and the best part is… we are the only people in the island. In short, we OWN the island!! So we get to emote-all-we-can to get the best pictures, haha!

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Yes, everything here would take your breath away. :) :)

 And our favorite part, a well deserved Vitamin Sea.

To our surprise, well, we shouldn’t be surprise in the first place, this island is living its name – Virgin Island. We can’t walk far from the shoreline as there were many rocks underneath. But, we didn’t have to walk far just to enjoy the place. Why? Because these little fishes will greet you even just a few steps away from the shore. So amazing!

We also get to feed them up with the bread we have. It’s really a nice experience. :)

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Seizing the moment while we are in this beautiful island. :)

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Aaand, we’ll see you again, Bantayan Island ♥

To end my CeBohol story, let me share you our adventure ender. :) This was taken obviously in the airplane after running and saving ourselves from rebooking to another flight. This adrenaline rush experience happened because we overlooked our flight details. Haha! We were bravely eating our dinner (Yummy lechon, of course) when Cebu Pac started paging all our names and they would close their doors in any moment. So I’ll confirm your imagination – us rushing to the plane, carrying our dinner while chewing the last pieces of food in our mouth. Hahaha! So embarassing but we just laughed it all out after settling ourselves. Super loved our adventures, from the start till the end. :)

Also, sharing with you the mini video I made for this trip. Enjoy! :)

Overly stunning Oslob

When I travel, I make sure that I’ll maximize the place I am going to. So after our Bohol trip, we went straight to Cebu as this is only an hour away from Bohol. Cebu has been a part of my to-go places cause I have heard so much about the province, especially during the Sinulog festival. Oh, how I wish to be in Cebu during that time. But then, Cebu has many places to offer. Two of those are Oslob (South of Cebu) and Bantayan Island (North of Cebu).

We personally chose the place as these are some of the famous islands in Cebu. So basically, our Cebu trip is a DIY one. :) My tip when making your own tour is to do a LOT of research. From the travel time, accomodations, to where the terminals are, and of course your budget. Stressful at first but super fulfilling when you get to follow your planned itinerary. :)

Remember that you should still be wise even if in you’re a place you don’t know. Honestly, it’s like Manila, you just know it’s not because of the dialect they’re speaking. We arrived in Cebu City at around 7 to 8pm and went straight to the South Terminal. Travel time is 3 hours from the city to Oslob, and took advantage of the rest we could have. Stayed and spent the night in MBs Sunrise View, waited for Mr. Sun aaaand, we’re excited to experience what Oslob is famous for… Whale Shark Watching!! Woot woot!

Readddy! Haha! This is us going to a mandatory seminar regarding the whale shark watching and snorkeling. The do’s and dont’s when encountering them and things you should know about the whale sharks. After attending the seminar, we are now ready to go the main site. Yesss, finallyyy! Haha!

Love at first sight! If I would describe my feelings then, the right word would be starstruck! :)

Fully prepped before we go down under! :) Though we have to remove them after a few minutes cause we can’t swim properly. Haha!

And they are lovelier when you see them this close. :) :)

Our Oslob trip wouldn’t be fulfilling without having a photo with the gentle giants! :) This, of course, requires an effort. Effort not to be swallowed by the whale sharks. Haha! There was this moment when one of the whale shark literally passed by my left shoulder. And I tell you, they are freakingly heavy! I really got nervous and never closed my eyes as I may be in two different places. I may be still in the sea, or I may end up inside their stomach. Alert mode on! Haha! Got a scar but the good news is, I’m alive. Haha!

All smiles after our 30 minutes of swimming with them! :) So unforgettable!

**Whale shark watching can only be done from 9:00 am to 12:00nn, so you have to get up early! :) **

Our next stop was in Tumalog Falls. This is just a 10-15 minutes ride from the site. The only way to go there is to ride on what they call a Habal-habal. It’s mainly a motorcycle with someone who drives for you. :)

After the ride, we have to walk for I guess 10-15 minutes more. Habal-habal are allowed, but it’s hard to get to and from the falls as the road going there is too steep.

See the Tumalog Falls from where were we standing? :)

And we’re here… This photo can’t give justice as to how beautiful the Tumalog Falls is. I honestly didn’t expect much as this is not a famous destination. But I strongly suggest to visit this place. And I’m placing my bet, you’ll never stop saying WOW for the first five seconds of staring at this amazing view. :)

Amazed with how God perfectly made all of these. ♥

Our next and last place to visit isn’t really in our itinerary. We just wanted to maximize our stay there and the people there were so persistent to make us visit the sandbar here in Oslob.

Imagine, we rode this really big boat with only the four us! High class feels over here, hahaha!

And they were right. Super clean and super nice place. :) How I wish this is the view I wake up to every day. :) :)

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That’s it for our Oslob trip. :) I hope you enjoyed my post the same way we enjoyed our tour here. :)

And again, I hope I can visit this place again. This time, with my family. :)

kat

Hello, Bohol!

Because I have received a really good feedback with regards to my inactive blog, I am now writing another post. Yaaay! Haha! Cheers to my mood today! :P Kidding aside, thanks to those who gave their comments on my blog, may it be a good or a bad one. I really appreciate them all :) It makes me inspired and motivated to write another blog post, so thank you. :)

Moving on, I am writing about the travel I had last March 2015. And yep, another late post coming up! Haha! :P This was our CeBohol (Cebu-Bohol) trip with my bestfriends and boyfriend. I’m gonna share with you first our adventures in Bohol.

Our Bohol trip was the easiest one to organize. Honestly, there is no much time to plan for a DIY itinerary as I have actively searched for all the “to-gos” just a weekend before our trip. And as per my research and review, it is easier to roam around Bohol if you have your own car instead of commuting. Thanks to Bohol Rent A Car for they have the services that we are looking for – a car and a day tour – in a very affordable price.

So to start, we were fetched by our tour guide straight from the airport. With my name written in a waving paper, haha! Feeling the tourist vibe from there on!

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Picture at the airport. Our first steps in Visayas! :) So excited with what is in store for the day. :)

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Our first stop, Blood Compact Shrine. This, I guess, has a huge impact in the Philippine history that they have to drink the wine with their blood mixed in to seal their treaty.

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The shrine overlooking Panglao Island.

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We also took a stop in Baclayon Church. Can you spot St. Pio in one of the columns of the church? Don’t worry if you didn’t saw it in the first glimpse, cause it took me three to four times and have my friends pinpoint where Padre Pio is before I finally saw him. Haha, poor eyes.

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Churches in Bohol were a hot topic for a time as these were heavily devastated by the earthquake we had.

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Of course, we had our lunch buffet in the famous Loboc River. This as well is included in our package.

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We also had our stop over during our lunch to hear and see traditional song and dance of Bohol.

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Stan also had the chance to dance Tinikling with them. I wanted to try as well, but I’m too scared for my feet to get stuck between the bamboo sticks. Haha!

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Really enjoyed the view during our meal. It was clean, relaxing and well preserved. :)

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Next stop – the Hanging Bridge in Loboc.

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For those who do not know, heights really freak me out. So crossing and staying (without holding the hand rails) in the bridge is an achievement for me. I should be proud of myself, haha! Sorry though as I can’t tell how high the bridge is cause I’m not good in estimating measurements. :P Just trust me, it’s high enough to make me shout to whoever’s crossing the bridge with me, haha!

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The Tarsier Sanctuary is a must visit in Bohol. Why? Because we can only see these species only in this place. This was my first time to see them and they look exactly like the stuff toy they are selling in the souvenir shop! Only they are alive, haha! :P They are so cute! Wanted to bring one home. :P

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Our next stop was probably my favorite one. A man-made forest with towering mahogany trees in it. So beautiful. So peaceful. I wish all of us can take care of our nature instead of destroying it.

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We had to take pictures and take advantage of the scenery. Just be careful as there are a lot of cars passing through this place. This explains why this shot is a blurred one. It’s because we wanted a jump shot and our bodies in one piece after this photo taken, haha!

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And our Bohol trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting Chocolate Hills. I’m not expecting so much as these were also affected by the earthquake. But boy, even earthquakes can’t lessen the beauty of this place.

From textbooks back in grade school to reality! :)

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And this sums up our Bohol Trip. Thumbs up to all the Boholanos for preserving the place. Not to mention their sense of humor that made our trip more fun. :)

Special thanks to Bohol Rent A Car and to Kuya Topher for accommodating us, without any hassle! :) Thank you! Will surely visit this place again. :)

kat

Day 3: Vigan City

Better late than never! Here’s my last installment from our adventure in the North few months ago. Aside from the fact that there are many things to see here, Vigan is also proclaimed as one of the 7 wonder cities of the world! Isn’t that amazing? :)

Before starting the day, we first had our lunch at the Hidden Garden.

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Ready to explore Vigan with this group!

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We dropped by the place where you can personally make your own pot. Here’s my little cousin trying to figure out how to make one.

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After some pot making and souvenir shopping, we visited the Syquia Mansion. As per our tourist guide, this is the house of the wife of our former president Elpidio Quirino.

Vigan is undoubtedly rich in history. If you have the chance to visit the mansion, I suggest to go visit. :) The in-house tourist guide has really lot to share about the family and how old houses are different from the modern ones, especially if it is owned by a well-known family.

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Had a selfie in the hallway where the house helpers of the family pass through. This hallway is separated by a heavy curtain, this is for the benefit of the family’s visitors not to see the house helpers roam around the house when serving them.

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For our next destination, Baluarte!

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This is owned by Gov. Chavit Singson. Just so you know, visiting this place is for free! Yaaay! :)

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Just want to share a little story here. As you can see in the above pictures, this ostrich walks around the vicinity freely. I really thought the ostrich came out from its cage without anyone noticing. But then, the caretakers said that the animals are really free to go wherever they want to. Of course, tigers are not included in that list. :P So as I was excited to take pictures of the ostrich. All of a sudden…

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The ostrich’s walking/kind of running towards me!! Haha! I literally ran for my life!! :P I hid behind a man with a bouncer-like body for protection purposes. Hahaha!

 Anyways, if the animals were free, we are also free to interact with them, with the supervision of the animal caretakers.

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After enjoying the animal show and all the sight seeing, Tita Jacque was able to tour us inside Hotel Luna.

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As I have mentioned in my previous post, most of the churches here in North have Bell Towers. You can actually go and try to sneak a peek of the view from the Bantay Bell Tower.

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And for our last itinerary for the day, the famous Calle Crisologo. Going here is like experiencing a different era. Brick floors, Kalesas are the only allowed mode of transportation and old houses.

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After hours of walking, we went to Plaza Salcedo to watch the dancing fountain before heading home. In all fairness, it’s all worth the hype!

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And that’s it for our North Adventure! :) We surely had a great time here in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur. :)

kat

If you want to visit these places, please feel free to contact Tita Jacque, 09369156675.