Sunday, November 15, 2015

My First Trekking Adventure at Mount Pinatubo

Mount Pinatubo is still an active volcano after the devastating eruption happened back in 1991. Now this is becoming a tourist attraction to both foreign and local residents. I have actually seen a lot of promotional videos of Mt. Pinatubo in the airport featuring the crater and the off road adventure to get there. I get curious by that and when I saw someone posted an open invite in couch surfing, I hit the join button without any hesitation. There were 10 participants and I only knew one acquaintance there, named Ralph. I met him during the food crawl couch surfing event.

We met at Victory Liner Bus at 2:30AM and head to Capas Tarlac. I noticed that buses there are always depart on time, better be on time. We arrived in Capas at 4:15AM and had breakfast at McDonalds. We also bought some snacks like burgers and sandwiches since the food in the summit are quite expensive. It is also advisable pack light and bring necessary things like 2L of water, toiletries, Slippers, and Camera.5:15AM - We rode tricycle going to registration area and paid P300.00 per ride. Also, we paid P1,350.00 per group of 5 for the old refurbished 4x4 truck including the guide and driver.

The trail going to the crater is bumpy, wet and dusty ground. It was quite hard for me because it requires a lot of walking under the sun which was really hot and there was no tree to shed in the middle of the route. I almost ran out of breathe and suddenly I could not feel my right leg. My group was leading 200 meters ahead of me cause I let them leave me off as I was walking slowly. Thank God, there's old lady who seemed enjoying the whole trek handed me an ointment to reduce the pain and massage it a little. She was really helpful and inspired me to finish the course cause at her age she should have been in more relax trip than trekking.

Together with my group, we reached the crater, get back to the town at 4PM to get cleanse, and bath. All-in-all, the Mount Pinatubo is such a beautiful disaster... tiring but it's great and amazing experience!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Manila City: Thrice-and-Nice!

Browsing photos on instagram will tempt you to go somewhere else and try it for yourself. It was sunday when I asked my nephew to join me. A quick and late decision to go to city tour around 10:30 AM. We're from Bulacan, so it will take an hour and a half to get there, taking the old-rustic LRT train that let your body to squeeze in like sardines fitting in a small can.

We arrived at Central Station, and walk a bit to to get to the Museum. It was so steamy hot outside while walking. Bringing umbrella is always a must when you're going around the city. Backtracking the month of September, I visited the city of Manila not only once but thrice in two weeks. I remember the receptionist from National Museum let all the visitors to come for free. Thank God their facility is a bit cooler and air-conditioned!

The whole musuem offers a glimpse of the past from arts, artists and things that has cultural significance to every filipino. This place is good for gaining new knowledge and art appreciation.

Photos and Sceneries inside the Museum:
See the famous painting of Juan Luna, The Spoliarum: painting of bloodied gladiators who were drawn slaves and fighting their own Roman government. We also went to Lucky Chinatown to have our late lunch and head back to Quiapo to buy phone accessories.

After a week, I attended an avent from Couchsurfing, The Binondo Food Crawl. I met a lot of people who share the same passion in traveling and discovering new places.

Then the next day, I was with my teammates and we do almost the same in Binondo, I feel like I'm tourist guide the whole time cause I already went there. Bringing them to good restaurants and interesting place excites them.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Traveling Solo: Coron Palawan Adventures

Who would have turned down returning tickets to Coron, Palawan for only 564.00 via Skyjet? Anyone would have grabbed it. So, I did.  The challenge in this trip was to liberate my fears of doing something new, let go the insecurities I had in myself and meet new people.  All of those goals were partially met, I never thought that I would be having new friends and the curiosity of traveling alone has engaged me with the surroundings which made me feel safe to roam around. 

 This is my travel itinerary and budget to Coron, Palawan for 3 Days and 2 Nights:
*I spent more than my expected budget cause I have been lost in tracking the money I had in my pocket.I just let myself in buying things I want. Maybe for a newbie, try to find another cheap restaurants and also don't ever get avail of city town tour, do it on your own since Coron is just a small town. Those are ways to minimize your expenses during the trip.*

Mount Tapyas
The highlights of this place are the Mt. Tapyas, the Maquinit Hot Spring, and the Island Tours. If you have been to El Nido, then don't expect a lot from this town just enjoy the scenery and the restaurants. Also, things that are being sold from souvenir shops are quite expensive compared to other places, but you may find statement shirt way too much cheaper in this area.

As per advise of the receptionist of RB Transient House, TOUR A is the common choice for newbies. We have decided to avail it, and from there we met a lot of lively people from different walks of life. One of them are the couple from Germany, Inda and Kevin, who speaks Bisaya and tagalog very well. They came to Coron for a long-month vacation. I also expressed how much I envy their job and schedules. lol
Here are the contact details:
0917 502 6772 look for Ms. Monina
For Calamian Travel and Tour Package
0938 795 6596 / 0947 944 4070
Charisse Mendoza, my roommate
RB Transient House Standard Fan Room (450/N Good for 2)
Me, Charisse, and Wataru Kato (Japanese) from neighboring room of transient house. I initially asked them to go out since it was our last day. We were having dinner at Balinsasayaw Restaurant while listening to each others' stories and walked around town after. 
Mary Grace and Me

Despite of having a heavy-monthly-period during the island tour, I still enjoyed the most part of Coron Island especially the beach scenery. Dont let your period ruin the trip, bring a lot of all-night-napkins, or try what Mary told me "use tampons to avoid and get free from leaks while in beach" (Srsly? where to buy them? hahaha) I was only able to dip in to CYC beach because I feel like the leaks were coming out, conscious level was so high on me and there was no friendly bathroom around the area, how could I change or clean myself in beach? So, I stayed in a dry place for the whole trip, kept on watching and let myself appreciate the scenery. Now, I already have this place crossed out in my bucketlist, way more to go! 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Alcatel Flash Plus Philippines

Online shopping is quite easy with just a few clicks away you'll get the product you want, but what if the desired product has a limited time sale and a lot of people wants to get a piece of it? Well, I guess it is not really easy at all. You need to block off your calendars or maybe set an alarm for the event. I could say marketing scheme of is really effective because they really got me on this one.

I bought a brand new Alcatel One Flash Plus because of the price and amazing specifications. Maybe this time you have seen a lot of information about this product from other reviewers/bloggers, but this post is fairly about the after purchase and will showcase the  highlights and low points of the phone.

 Photo in a Low Light Condition

What is it for me?
Alcatel One Flash Plus is a good choice for a mid range phone. It caters to the need of an average user like me. It run smoothly and has a decent performance. Since, my phone is already rooted, I have a permission to tweak it and delete all unnecessary apps. I've been using this phone for almost 2 months now and I have no plan to replace it. I'm just hoping that someone or the alcatel group find ways to enhance it better because this phone really worth your money.

Another good thing about this phone, it has a support group on facebook, so whenever you feel that there is something wrong with your device you can easily post your queries and you'll get an immediate response without going into service center not unless if it is for replacement.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Calaguas Island 2015

I don't have a slim body to flaunt in the beach, but I always find myself saying yes to an invite especially if it is trip to nature. I don't know. Maybe beach waves and sound of the sea gives me a certain feeling being renewed. Plus, seeing gigantic clouds over the ocean are just prefect scenery to relax.

When I received an invite from a friend to join their quick weekend getaway, I immediately said "Yes, that would be fun!". The initial plan was to go to Baler, but after some discussion we finally settled go to Calaguas. Well, Calaguas Island can be found in Daet Camarines Norte, Bicol. Travel time would go around 8 hrs to 10 hrs depending on the speed or type of vehicle. Plus, another 2.5 hrs to spend in a boat. In our case, we chose to have a tour service, the I-adventure Calaguas, because we don't have much to prepare.

BTW, the I-adventure package cost around 3000 per person inclusive of meals, use of tents, kayak, snorkel gears, volleyball, and free cocktails.
Itinerary of  I-adventure:
Day 0
21:00 pm- Bus ride from Cubao to DAET (Superlines Aircon with 3 stop over) P450
Day 1
06:00 am- ETA in Jollibee DAET
06:30 am- meet the coordinator with other tourists
07:30 am- ETD from Jollibee DAET to Vinzons Port P30 + 30 (jeepney ride back and forth)
07:45 am- ETA Vinzons Port while waiting for others (big boat) if shared, P250-450
08:30 am- left the port
10:50 am- arrived in Mahabang Buhangin Calaguas Island P50
11:00 am- rest in cottage (Ask the Locals)
12:00 nn Lunch (Laing, Buttered Shrimp, Squid, Chicken-pork Adobo, and Rice) P100 -150
13:00 - 15:30 pm- free time
15:30 pm- prepare your swim wear and get ready on island hopping & snorkeling P120/pax (optional)
16:15 pm- back on mahabang buhangin
19:00 pm- dinner (Fried Isda, Ginataang Gulay, Chicken, and Rice) P100 -150
21:00 pm- mobile bar for unlimited drinks, cocktail party P100 -150
23:00 pm- lights off

Day 2
06:30am- trekking/ walking to mini mountain
07:00 am breakfast (yummy daing, hotdog, egg and rice) P100 -150
due to low tide we left the island earlier than usual time.
8:00 am- pack things/bath/restroom time
8:30 am- left the Mahabang Buhangin Calaguas, Boat Ride Included from Day 1
12:30 pm- arrived at Vinzons Port and went to Mark's House (organizer) to have lunch
14:00 pm- arrived at Bagasbas Beach (Free, cottage for 12 pax cost P300)
15:00 pm- went to local market in DAET for pasalubong (Tricycle P10 each person)
16:00 pm- rest in a while at bagasbas beach
17:00 pm- Ride in to Superlines Bus Going back to MNL P450
02:30 am- Arrived in Cubao Terminal
02:30 am to 3:30am - Arrived in our home, Bulacan. (Took ordinary bus from Cubao & Tricycle) P55

*The itinerary posted above will give you an idea about the budget. Estimated price for DIY Trip may cost P2,300 including transportation, food, and side trip to Bagasbas Beach. Also, tents are available for rent P200-250/night. The amount can be adjusted at your own convenience.*

Well, I would say my experience here in Calaguas was one of the greatest weekend of 2015. The Long bus ride, and boat ride was worth it after seeing the clear water, the fine white sands, the people, and the party. I also enjoyed the food, especially laing. I also learned how to swim in this island (wooo! achievement for me) that's why the place became so memorable.

Everything there was good, except that you really have to be stay humble with the restroom because the island does not have a good water source; it is not yet developed. The place is not like Boracay or any other beach where you can find good hotels, good lightning, and comfort. This island is for typical camping out with tent and portable things.
*beach camping mode
boat with standard life vest on the side
*OK pose
Silhouette Shot 

*Setting up the mobile bar
Blue Blazer drink got me.