Saturday, December 29, 2012

Palawan: DIY or Packaged Tour?

in continuation to an earlier post about planning a trip to palawan, let me discuss another essential point: manner to go about the whole trip.
i should have discussed this point earlier on. but well, discussing about it only occurred to me now. so, let's get on with it, shall we?

first thing first, what kind of traveler are you?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

el nido accommodation: greenviews resort and restaurant

are you planning to hit the islands and have zeroed in on el nido, palawan? darn, i ENVY you, hehe. among the many places i've visited over the years, there's no doubt in my mind that the philippines is richly blessed when GOD decided to create the bit of paradise that is el nido. i believe it's one of the best, if not the best beach destination in the country. for that, i encourage you, my dear reader, to put el nido in your must-visit place. check out the picture below and tell me if you don't agree. ain't it a beauty?

beach in el nido, taken during my brother and sister's trip february of last year

Monday, December 24, 2012

planning for palawan trip

i previously mentioned that a friend and his wife are planning to go to palawan this august. this friend is someone i've known way, way, back in grade school (think almost 2 decades ago). i recently received a message again asking me to help him plan. hehe, callous me just told him to check out my previous posts as i was sure i've covered most of the things he and his wife needed. however, a thought popped in mind "you were scared too when you planned for your first, second trip." i know my friend wasn't 'scared, scared' but was more like tentative, perhaps overwhelmed. maybe, i should have told him to leave the planning to his wife, hehe (peace, bay!). girls are more savvy when it comes to planning, bordering on planning to the last minute detail. anyway, i realized that there could be someone out there who's also planning a trip to palawan, and it could be that person's first time to travel. additionally, it had always been my goal to help fellow pinoys to explore the country, and the world. so, i'm writing this post just as a refresher (of previous palawan posts) and to share my two cents as far as planning for a palawan trip is concerned. hopefully, the tips will help you, my dear reader, plan the trip.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

puerto princesa accommodation: skylight hotel palawan

almost five years ago, in february 2008 - i had the privilege of visiting one of the most beautiful places in the country. i've longed to go back there, but somehow haven't had the chance to return YET. i'm not certain if i'll be able to in the future. thus, this post and future posts will be my attempt at reminiscing the good old days. i hope to cover before this year ends, all the places i've been to in the past years both here, some parts of southeast asia, and seoul korea. while the pictures i'll be using may not be updated, rest assured that i will research on new information to make things relevant. i'm starting with palawan because i'm helping out a friend plan his and wife's future trip to beautiful palawan. hopefully, it will help them and whoever may chance and stumble upon my little place on the web.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

busuanga island, (coron) palawan airport

in one of my blog posts (don't remember though if it was here or back at my blog at wordpress), i mentioned that visiting small towns in the country is a humbling experience for me. there are many occasions where i take notice of how much far behind cebu is to other cities in asia in terms of road networks and other infrastructures. having had the privilege of visiting nearby southeast asian countries (thanks to low airfare costs), i can't help but compare how wanting cebu's transportation system and mactan airport is. then, i visited places such as ozamiz city (2012), puerto princesa (2008 - airport has improved in 2010), and busuanga palawan (2012) i am reminded to be thankful of what we cebuanos are enjoying at the moment. with cebu being one of the top cities in the country, it enjoys far better facilities than the other provinces in the country do. i am hoping that with more funding in tourism, beautiful places such as coron palawan get to enjoy improved facilities, starting with its very small airport.

Monday, December 17, 2012

puerto princesa palawan airport

wow! i didn't realize that it's been 5 years since i first visited puerto princesa in palawan. true to my being a late blogger, it's only now that i'm resuming writing posts about palawan. so, i fully understand if you click "close" now. but i do hope you won't, and you'll stay. this decision to resume blogging about the place is motivated by a friend request. a friend of mine as far back as grade school asked me to help plan his and wife's honeymoon trip to entrancing palawan. so i'm hoping that i could actually write as much entries about palawan to help my friend. anyway, you should definitely stay coz not to belittle our infrastructure developments in the country, but sometimes (or is it most of the time?) improvements to our road networks, airports, or what-have-you take eons to materialize. thus, you can still somehow make use of the information here. besides, this post can enlighten you a bit of the difference between puerto princesa airport in 2008 and in 2012. lest i give you a wrong impression, let me be quick to add that i can only show the "then and now pictures of the airport's facade."
puerto princesa airport circa 2008

Thursday, December 13, 2012

finally, tangub city!!!

tangub city plaza, dec. 9, 2012
at night
20th christmas symbols: welcome arch to the plaza
city of lights: eiffel tower of paris
china entry
petronas towers of kuala lumpur, malaysia
pyramid of kukulcan of mexico
the colloseum of rome, italy
more pix soon

Saturday, December 8, 2012

looks like i'm going to tangub

previously, i decided that i'm going to skip tangub's christmas symbols once again. i've canceled on tangub the past two years. so, why not make it a third time this year, right? then, i went home to my parent's house and saw a feature of the different christmas lights all over the philippines. yes, i'm a sucker for christmas lights, hehe. tangub wasn't featured then because the clip was before december 1 and from what i know, tangub's christmas symbols usually starts first of december. that feature made me think twice about wasting my plane tickets once again. so, i flippantly told myself that should we receive our pay on the 8th, and not on the usual schedule - 10th of the month, then i'd go. my departure date is sunday and so if payday happens on a monday, then i won't have money for the trip. i truly thought that we'll be getting our salaries on monday. because of that, i've slowly told myself that it's OK if i ditch the plan once again. there's next year, then another year after that. no problem. when i've fully accepted that i won't be traveling, an unexpected thing happened. someone who's owed me from way, way, way back recently had a blessing and decided to pay me back. boy, was i ecstatic! nevertheless, i still told myself i'm only going to tangub if payday will be moved earlier (to today, saturday). and what do i know, we had payday yesterday! so it only means one thing: i'm flying to ozamiz tomorrow to head to tangub city.
one little issue. as i have psyched myself that i'm not going to tangub this year, i naturally didn't make any travel arrangements. so, since yesterday i've frantically did some research and just today i learned that today, december 8 is the fiesta of ozamiz. no wonder when i tried agoda, it told me that the hotel i wanted to stay in is fully booked! we are in the philippines and we know how fiestas go. sordid traffic!!! anyway, the good thing is by the time i'm there - the fiesta is over. but who knows, tomorrow is sunday and people might extend their revelries.
i can't remember the last time i traveled solo. tomorrow should be my first in a long while. no plans. no prior arrangements, so i'm a bit scared. scared because it will be my first time to visit ozamiz and tangub, and no one to ask help from. anyhow, i believe in something greater and bigger now, so i'll rest on the idea that i will be OK. so, gear for me tangub city - and please be hospitable: find me some accommodations for the night. pretty please^^
but before that, i've to hurdle waking up early tomorrow. because last year, i missed my plane by a mere 15 minutes. so let's see tomorrow. crossing fingers.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

traveling and attempting... are just two of my favorite things. i say "attempting" because i never learned to do yoga poses correctly. my wrong form is very evident in the following pictures, hehe. i love yoga, but not enough to actually have the discipline to practice consistently. thus, the wrong execution of the poses. as for traveling, i haven't done any traveling recently as well. for this year, i've only been to siquijor and coron palawan.
lotus pose
triangle pose
there's no such thing pose, hehe
still attempting to do trikosana right

Thursday, October 11, 2012

ho chi minh - a motorcycle city

one of the first things you'll notice while in ho chi minh is the abundance of motorcycles on the road. be it young or old, man or woman, everyone seems to be on their bikes. it is actually quite fascinating looking at women in their business suits and steep high steels, but still rocking on her motorbike. with quite numerous motorcycles on the road, it is truly not surprising to see several shops selling different designs of helmets.

Monday, October 8, 2012

can't live without western food

one of my former korean colleagues once commented that for someone who likes to travel, i sure lack one quality: an adventurous side to sample local cuisine. i don't know why i remembered that comment just now. so to confirm whether that observation was correct or not, i hit my images folder and took a peek at the food i sampled while visiting neighboring asian countries. you be the judge.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

a tale of foiled tangub plans

several years ago, i learned that there is a place in the philippines that claims to be the country's christmas capital. when i saw the festival of lights featured in one of korina sanchez's tv shows, i vowed that someday i will see for myself tangub's festival of lights.
tangub city's festival of lights / chrismas symbols
photo credit:

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

enjoying crepes in boracay

in 2004, one of my goals in stepping on the island (boracay) was to eat crepes. hehe, yeah, i'm weird that way. people don't go to boracay for crepes!!! prior to coming to the island, i've read somewhere that there's a french restaurant in boracay that serves delicious crepes. at that time, i didn't know what crepes were, actually. i just saw pictures of them, and in my mind, i believe crepes are something my palate would love. i was so excited when in one of our walks around the island, i chanced upon the restaurant i read about. unfortunately, when i was there, my lack of assertiveness got the better of me. my companions back then didn't want to try it for budget reasons. yes, i could have gone on my own or treat everyone, but like i said, i am someone who didn't know how to get what she wanted when i was younger. so yeah, imagine my utter delight when cebu opened its doors to a lot of shops serving crepes! just heaven!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

where to eat in boracay

boracay island is teeming with food establishments. so, getting your tummies satisfied should not be an issue when vacationing there. an obvious choice on where to eat while in the island is your hotel or resort. for most hotels, accommodations come with free breakfast. if it doesn't, well there are many establishments to go to whether you want to go local, korean, american, or european.
the three main go to place when in the island, whether for food or souvenirs, are d'talipapa, d'mall, and white beach food strip.
d'talipapa entrance

boracay: bans beach resort

this is a continuation of the entry: where to stay in boracay.

as mentioned in that entry, my sister and i stayed at bans beach resort during our september 2011 trip. before i talk about the resort, let me first direct you to an earier entry on how to get to white beach, boracay. please click on the link to give you directions on how to get to the beach and the resort itself once you've arrived at cagban jetty port from caticlan.
after successfully finding your way to white beach, simply look for bans' signage.

Monday, October 1, 2012

where to stay in boracay

you plan to travel to boracay - travel + leisure magazine's world's best island 2012.

you booked the tickets. you've done your research on how to get there. so, what's next?

where can you stay in boracay? as always, choosing a temporary abode depends on your budget. boracay has a wide array of inns, hotels, or private resorts to choose from. whether you want a luxury treat or on a meager budget, boracay has a place for you.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

boracay: how to get to and out of white beach

caticlan jetty port is the jump-off point to your boracay island experience. after a 20-minute ferry ride, you will arrive at either one of the two ports: cagban jetty port during high season or tambisaan port during low season. during our september trip, my sister and i arrived at cagban jetty port.
cagban jetty port

boracay: how to get there

2004 was the first time i stepped on the fine white sands of boracay island. it took me some 7 years before i could visit the place again. i've written a post about how to get to boracay in my other blog. this post was written based on my first trip when cebu pacific's zero fare promotional is yet unheard of. that entry could still be useful if your point of origin in getting there is iloilo city. nothing much has changed, i think - except probably of the prices anyhow, i could be wrong as 7 years is a long time.
so, unlike the original entry, i'll start off from caticlan airport instead of iloilo city.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

boracay travel guide

edited screen grab from travel + leisure magazine's website
yep, boracay is hailed by international magazine travel + leisure as the world's best island 2012. Last year, boracay ranked 4 and moved to the top spot this year. it toppled last year's number 1, santorini in greece to rank #6. that said, it's high time you visit this place. boracay boasts one of the best sunset by the beach views. so, to encourage readers to pack and get tan in boracay, i've created an index for all posts on this top Philippine destination: Boracay. Just click on a link to direct you to the information you are seeking. Happy navigating!

NOTE: If there's no link provided on the topic, then it means I have yet to post an entry for it. Do come back sometime for updates. Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

travel guide: palawan

palawan is one of the best destinations in the philippines. by far, it's the place in the country i'd never get tire of visiting if only there's no money involved and i have a lot of time in my hand. i like palawan for the simple reason that when you're there, you'll have front row seats of how spectacular God had created this place. it offers beaches with crystalline waters, amazing corals, and great wildlife.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

travel guide: laguna

back in march last year, i snatched a two-way ticket for two to manila via cebu pacific promo fare. the ticket for two only cost PhP194.40. however, my original companion couldn't make it to the trip. not one to waste such good tickets, i contacted my friend in makati if she could slip from the family for a weekend getaway. luckily, when i contacted miss debi, she warmed up to the idea expressing that she could use the break. thus, she met me at naia's terminal 3, took the bus, and headed to laguna; visited jose rizal's family home in calamba, went to U.P. los banos for its famed yogurt and fresh milk, some dinner of japanese food at a carenderia-like japanese establishment, and had a dip in a relaxing jacuzzi at splash mountain hotel where we spent the night.

travel guide: camiguin

camiguin is yet another top destination in my beloved philippines. it has hot springs, cold springs, waterfalls, a sunken cemetery, a to die for crystalline water over at white beach, and a host of other natural wonders. i was fortunate to have visited this place sometime in august 2009. having been there i strongly recommend that you visit the place, too. so to help you plan out your trip to camiguin, let me direct you to my earlier posts over at i've compiled here all the posts i've written about camiguin.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

travelogue: thailand

like the philippines, thailand is a member nation of ASEAN. as such, thailand is one of the southeast asian countries that filipinos can enter without a need of a visa. in 2010, an opportunity to visit bangkok and ayutthaya came to me and i just had to grab it. i tagged along two of my friends with me, and what do i know - they ended up married to each other months after (",).
moi, dennis, claire at the grand palace, bangkok
click on the links to read our experience in amazing thailand:

Monday, September 24, 2012

travelogue: macau

i started traveling late. it's not because i didn't want to travel. our family circumstance just didn't make traveling possible. traveling just wasn't in our family's vocabulary. it was only until i started working that traveling was introduced to me and it wasn't until i was 28 years old that i had the opportunity to travel outside my beloved philippines. like most filipinos who don't know and live in affluence, my first international travel destination was in neigboring asian cities - for budget reasons. in 2007, armed with our then green passports and a lot of bravado, a friend and i braved the cold streets of hong kong december of that year. in the course of our research, we learned that macau is just less than two hours by ferry. so, we had to go there! additionally, the korean comedy-drama series "princess hours" was such a hit in our country. in fact,

Sunday, September 23, 2012

travelogue: hong kong

Hong Kong. This place will always have a distinction in my heart. Primarily because i saw mickey, einstein, bruce lee, jet li, and jude law there! Hehe... :)
Kidding aside, though the trip happened back in December 2007, I could still remember almost everything that Line and I experienced during this first international trip. It's as if some years have not passed. Of course, the blogosphere is a big instrument in keeping the memories alive. That said, check out the links below to read about our adventures in Hong Kong:
Photos of 2007 Credit: line
UPDATE: July 20, 2016
Back in June 7 to 11, 2013 I was fortunate to return to HK courtesy of my former company. As it wasn't a planned travel and it was company-sponsored, my activities there where limited to the itinerary that the company had for our group. Nevertheless, I had great memories there, too. It was my first time to be billeted in a luxurious hotel. As you know by now, I'm a cheapskate traveler. So, normally I would skimp on accommodation costs.

This time around, I also finally experienced Disneyland. YAY! Well, back in 2007 - it wasn't part of our itinerary. Thus, we only went to Disney without getting into the compound, haha!

Just last month, I was fortunate to return to this beautiful city. This time, I was with my younger brother. He attended a conference called International Conference on Geographies of Health and Living in Cities: Making Cities Healthy for All at the University of Hong Kong. As it was his first time to go there, and I had nothing better to do, I accompanied him. While this was my 3rd visit to HK, this trip was in a way a solo travel. During the day, I would explore HK on my own while my brother was at his conference. The experience clinched my thought that HK is truly a tourist-friendly city. Given one day, one could get the hang of traveling on one's own using the city's very efficient transport system. First time to ride the MTR, bus, and tram alone!
IFC Rooftop Garden on June 21, 2016

Hey, Mickey!!!!! June 24, 2016
with brother at The Clock Tower in Central Pier 1, Hong Kong - June 22, 2016

Saturday, September 22, 2012

a look back on dec. 26, 2007

there is something about "first time experiences" that have to be memorialized. so, you will have to forgive me if i'm reposting the article below. december 27, 2007 is simply a very important date in my travel history and the day before that was a witness to the excitement for the days ahead.
.... pre-departure to hongkong
december 27, 2007 is a red-letter day in my calendar. my beautiful uterus concurs with the resurfacing of moderate R.E.D. flow. notwithstanding my beautiful u's ill mood, i still couldn't contain my excitement. in a few hours, i'll be off to my first ever out of the country trip. yay!!!
The Passport pass1.jpg
For guidelines on passport application, visit the Department of Foreign Affairs or DFA's website. You may choose to process your passport on your own or ask the assistance of travel agencies that offer passport services. I got mine, courtesy of my office, through an agency for a fee of PhP850.
The DFA Regional Consular Office - Cebu can be found at this address near Plaza Independencia:
DFA Regional Consular Office - Cebu Causing Lozada Bldg., Osmeña Blvd., cor. Lapu-lapu St., Cebu City Tel. No: (032) 256-3193 / 253-6798 Fax No: (032)256-0624 E-mail:

The e-Ticket
Amount of Round Trip Ticket - PhP7,303.55 excluding Philippine Travel Tax
Phil. Travel Tax - PhP1,620 to be paid at the airport. PTT may be included in your airfare if you buy your ticket at over-the-counter ticketing offices. The PTT is excluded in the computation if you purchased your tickets online. This is because the Philippine Travel Tax has to be paid in cash.
Mactan Airport Terminal Fee - PhP 550 (for international travel)
Tip: To save a few pesos, try advance booking. I purchased my ticket online last August 2007. Had I booked much earlier, say in June when Line and I decided to take this trip, I would have paid PhP6,000++ only. Luckier if you could get the piso-fare of cebu pacific 'coz it would only cost you PhP4,000++. As of this writing, round trip ticket costs PhP11, 420.18.
The Hotel / Hostel Vouchers
Room Rate: US $77
haha.. since line and I are budget travelers, we only got cheap accommodations. our logic is, "we won't be cooped up in our rooms, anyway." as for me, i sleep on a folding bed at home; so no complaints if i get a real bed this time, hehe
..[notice the blue thingy where my bags are on?]
The Travel Bags
haha, as i hate having to carry something in my hands, i opted to use a gym bag and a small backpack instead of the regular luggage. pack.jpg go disposable!!! you can buy them at any watsons outlets - that is, if you're lucky to get your hands on them. as i have a complicated but beautiful uterus, i have to arm myself with hordes of whisper ammus.
Travel Companions
Line purchased this from the newly-opened Powerbooks at the North Wing of SM City Cebu. This Lonely Planet edition costs around PhP 900++ [can't remember price.] contents.jpg line.jpg
Line - on board SuperFerry bound for Manila [taken during our december 2006 north luzon trip with Leylan.

( - december 26, 2007)

Friday, September 21, 2012


.... a strong desire to travel
i have yet to meet a person who doesn't have it. i generally think that all humans have this desire to explore and discover new places. in fact, people will readily grab the chance to travel if opportunity presents itself. unfortunately, factors such as time and money always give people pause. well, at least these two are the main reasons why i haven't seen much of the world.
if only money and time are not factored in. hayyyyyyyy...... for someone who's been in this planet for 28 years, my "been there list" is very pitiful. like i said, money is a big consideration when traveling so however huge my desire might be, going to new and different places isn't really that feasible. for now, at least. darn if i will curb this lust.

( - october 3, 2007)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

decide to buy the ticket

was the best travel advice given to me.
my high school friend, yogi, said that to me and to a few other friends. he told us that there’s no reason a person cannot travel. a person only has to do one thing:


we asked, “is that as simple as you make it sound?” he chuckled and said,

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

lonely planet travel books

when i started traveling, blogging wasn't as popular as it is now. thus, to get information on the places i wanted to check out - turning to books was the first option for me. secondly, i didn't trust the Internet then. good thing that Lonely Planet exists. they provided any traveler with as much information about a certain place.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

mark twain on traveling

i found myself "googling" again for travel quotes. the net abounds with fact, i came across this book containing 100 of the most inspirational travel quotes of all time
the book was published december 2011 and was authored by matador network. the book is something i would definitely

Thursday, September 6, 2012

why travel?

back in college, we had this test conducted to determine temperament. my results indicated that my temperament is 'slow to warm up.' taking this result VERY loosely, i couldn't disagree more. it takes me so long to develop new friendships. it also takes me soooo long to try out new things. worse, it takes really "SOMETHING i don't know what" to get me excited. i'm 33 now, and it wasn't until i hit the 30s that i had "bangs" for crying out loud and grew my hair beyond its usual shoulder length! for people who know me, it's a BIG step out of the comfort zone. but with traveling - it's a different story. a mere mention of "a new place" gets my hands itchy to google what and where the place is, or it gets me daydreaming of visiting the place in the future.