Finally, Hong Kong!

I’ve always dreamt of traveling out of the country and the first thing that would always come to my mind was Disneyland. That was my wish ever since I was a kid. The first time I was denied for a visa, it broke my heart to pieces. So, I promised myself that one day I will travel overseas.

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My friends and I booked our return tickets months ago, which happened last year. I was
actually hesitant at first because I was worried I might not have enought time to save
up for the trip and I was pretty aware that it needed a lot of money, because of course,
it would be my first time and I was thinking that I had to splurge. Plus, the holidays were approaching that time. But thank God, I did. Frances (my friend) thought it would be timely to fly to Hong Kong in January since it’s their winter season. The cold weather would be perfect for strolling, sightseeing,  etc. and also, it was my birth-month! We booked our tickets, hostel, and she arranged the itinerary. Everything was set! We took time researching about HK, and to our surprise, Chinese New Year fell on the same exact date as my birthday, which was January 28th. Ahhhhh! It was super unbelievable. I couldn’t be more happier and thrilled. I imagined the dragon dance and the extravagant fireworks at the harbour, and of course, my Disneyland!

Okay, but what I was really worried about was the immigration officers at the airport- the requirements, documents, the out-of this world questions. I’ve heard a lot of scary stories about them. But of course I made sure I prepared the necessary documents ahead of time to avoid problems at the immigration.

Departure day.

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Our flight was at 6 AM and our shift ends at 12 midnight. So from the office, we headed straight to Mactan International Airport right after we changed our clothes and freshened up a bit. We got there at around 2 AM and waited for about an hour for our other friend to arrive.

We checked in early, paid the travel tax (Php 1,620) and the terminal fee (Php 750), then waited for the immigration counters to open. Honestly, I was already anxious thinking about the immigration officers asking me scary questions, but I made sure that my documents were complete and ready. When the immigration counters opened, there were a lot of Chinese travelers lining up and they were really loud and sometimes they would cut the queue. So what we did was we blocked the way. Hehehe. But really, I was already nervous. When it was my turn, I made sure to remember what my friends told me about confidence eventhough I was already shaking inside. Hahaha. So, I handed all my documents- my return tickets, hostel voucher, ID and HR documents. The officer who interviewed me was really intimidating and scary. She asked me a lot of questions such as, “How did you book the ticket?” “Is your hotel confirmed and how was it paid?” “Who are you going with?” What kind of company do you work for?””Whats’s your major and which school did you graduate?” blah-blah-blah. I tried my very best to answer in my sweetest voice, but my legs  were already a bit wobbly. Finally, she stamped my passport and I was good to go. Yey! I was relieved. Hahaha. We waited for about an hour or so for the boarding time, then off we went!

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Day 1, Arrival:

When we got off the plane, I was so excited and still couldn’t believe I was already in a different country. Their airport was so BIG and was adorned with Chinese New Year decorations. We took the train inside the airport (What?! A train inside an airport?!) going to the immigration, then after that, Frances claimed her luggage. However we couldn’t leave yet because we still had to wait for our other friend to arrive from Japan. We haven’t seen her for 10 months because she was sent there to work. Sweet reunion! So we waited several hours for her. Pwew! You could just imagine how dramatic her grand arrival was. Hahaha. But we missed her though.

We were really hungry because we did not eat anything before we left the Philippines, so we looked for a place to eat, then we found McDonald’s. Since it was my first time to be in a new country, I was quite nervous about how I should talk to the crew. I didn’t expect how fast the service was that I gave the crew the wrong bill. Hahaha. After brunch, we headed to customer’s service  to purchase Octopus card for HKD 150, which was already preloaded with HKD 100 each card. It’s really convenient because you can use it to pay for the bus, MTR, 7-Eleven, etc. and you can just reload it when you run out of credit at a minimum of HKD 50.

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We took the A11 bus from the airport going to our hostel at Causeway Bay which took about 45 minutes. From the window, we could see a lot of high buildings and factories.

We got off the bus and looked for the street where our hostel was. It took us almost 20 minutes to finally find the building, but we later found out that we were at the wrong building so we were directed to another one. When we arrived at the reception area, fortunately they spoke good English, we were able to check in and they gave us our keys. BUT…they said we had to go down and go to ANOTHER BUILDING because our hostel’s there (it was just their reception area). Hay!!! So we had to walk for about 10 minutes…and we were already dead tired from walking.

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When we arrived at our room, uhmmm it was a bit smaller than we thought. But it’s got a good view of the neighborhood right outside the window.We rested for a while, changed our clothes, and retouched (of course!). In the evening, we met up with MM’s mom, who happened to work in Hong Kong. She showed us around a bit and treated us a delectable dinner. Hehehehe. I was excited to try authentic Chinese food.

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I actually ate a lot that night because I was totally hungry although the foods were bland to my taste, but I enjoyed eating them especially the siopao and wanton. Their service was pretty fast and we were not even allowed to help them arrange the plates on our table. Okay.

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After dinner, our friend’s mom told us if we wanted to take the tram and we excitedly said YES! We took the tram and got off at a pier to take the ferry going to Tsim Sha Tsui. It was already too crowded when we got there since it was the day before the Chinese New Year, so tourists flocked in to check what was going on, participants for the parade were there, too, to practice, and they were also busy preparing for the next day’s big event. We left the place after an hour. We went inside a shopping mall when we returned to Causeway Bay where our friend’s mom bought us a box of cheese tarts and soft matcha ice creams, which I think was the best matcha ice cream I have ever tasted in my life!

After that, we parted ways with her mom because she had to go back to the place where she’s working. We decided to stay nearby 7 Eleven to wait until 12 midnight for my birthday.

We went back to our hostel past 12 midnight, drank beer and ate the cheese tarts inside our room (so yummy!) since it was too cold to drink outside and we also thought it wasn’t allowed. Hehe. We went to bed at around 1:30 AM and we had to get up early for Disneyland to celebrate my birthday! Weeeeee. Honestly, this was the only reason I wanted to go to Hong Kong. Haha. However, I wasn’t able to sleep at all (probably just an hour or less) because I was really excited and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Hahaha.

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If you can dream it, you can do it. -Walt Disney

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2017: Chill For Best Results

I’d be too selfish and pessimistic when I say that in the past years, specifically 3 years, I’ve never had a good year. Well, there must be moments, events or situations wherein I was happy. I’d like to think I really was. By all means, I’ve enjoyed those years that’ve passed- with all its twists and turns, my rebellious tendencies, people that I’ve met and have lost along the way, and most of all, the time that I thought I was madly in love with a man for the first time in my life (haha oh the highlight! not the ex ha), but of course I wasn’t. I’d like to think I was, but to be honest, I just adored him because he was hot. Haha. And I just realized that when I got over my unrequited feelings. HAHAHA. We all go through that phase, you know!

These are just some of the things that made my past years memorable and heartbreaking at the same time. I got hurt and was a bit lost. I was never good in putting up a brave face because I was always scared. I have walls that I’ve built over the years, but they seemed not sturdy enough to protect me from all those terrible things. But I tried to pick myself up. Thanks to the people who always have my back up until now.

It was until the eve of 2016 that I have truly appreciated the things that have happened to me for the first time-when you’re finally forgiven by the person whom you’ve hurt so bad. It was just the best feeling because everything started to fall into place. It even happened in the oddest place and it was really unexpected- at her grandmother’s wake. It was such a big relief. It was one of the happiest days of my life.

However, when you thought that everything is in place, sometimes shitty things happen. What I really hate the most is when people try to bring up your past when you’re trying to change and improve yourself, but still in their eyes you haven’t done anything right and that you’re still not good enough. They will always have something to say  and that they’re right and you’re wrong. I admit I had faults, too. A LOT. My bad! But it’s never fair to blackmail me with my past. I know, I know, I might sound ungrateful but I was just so hurt and felt betrayed that she (my friend) still saw me that way. It’s a sad thing. Even so, I realized that I don’t have to prove anything to her or to anyone anymore. I want to live my life as sincerely as possible. Honestly, I am never a people pleaser. I never was and never will. I just can’t live up to the expectations of what others want me to be, because I can’t be that.

I don’t have any resolutions this year, because I know I can’t make them happen anyway. Nevertheless, I think the best things that I’ve learned over the past years are to simply live your life, always choose happiness, and pray.

Well, goodluck to me!

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The Tradition Lives On: Chicken Team Style

Even before Chicken Team adopted me, it has always been their tradition to hold room parties on occasions, such as birthdays, monthsaries, anniversaries, and the singles’ favorite, Valentine’s Day.


August 13, 2016. Two of my friends decided to celebrate their birthday with a bang! Frances and I met early in Ayala so we could buy foods and other stuff needed for the party. We also bought something as pasalubong from the Philippines for our dear friend who’s been living in Japan for 5 months now and because she wanted to join us “virtually” in the party. The team’s tradition lives on even in her temporary absence.

We checked in at around 2 PM in Quest Hotel. Frances booked a Premium Deluxe room through Agoda.com.  Their Premium Deluxe room isn’t that big, but it has a balcony outside, so we were happy! We got a bit tired from  grocery shopping and walking around the mall, so we rested for a while.

One of my friends came up with the idea- a Peppa Pig theme for the party, while looking for some decors inside Hannah’s. We decorated the windows and walls with balloons and Peppa Pig masks and banners.

At around 6 or 7 in the evening, the rest of our friends started to arrive and  they also brought some foods to share. A potluck party is always a good idea. But of course, before anything else, the birthday girls should have their pictures taken first!

Happy birthday, Ica and Frances!

MM, who’s currently in Japan, couldn’t help but cry because she missed us. Yeah, we know that! Hahaha. We had games and tequila afterwards, and as usual it was epic!


It’s always fun to have all of them around. Eventhough we are not complete and we seldom see the others because of our busy schedules, we always make sure to have a good time everytime we have a get-together.

Pride and Coincidence

It was pretty late in the evening. They drank, ate, talked, and laughed. She met new friends. It was unexpected. Although she wasn’t feeling very much herself lately, she was certain she wanted a good night. A while later, she noticed someone. He definitely got her attention because he was wearing something that she didn’t quite like. However, she shrugged of the thought. From there, everything changed.


Perhaps she was meant to be here.

She was smiling even more and in a good mood most of the time, but behind her twinkling eyes were uncertainties. She ignored it though. Much to her distate, he’s a bully, sort of. He’d tease her, but she figured it was cute.  Of course, there was drama, too. Her temper has always gotten her into troubles. Her fault, yes. But the universe had a way of fixing it

One time, she sort of prayed for something to happen, and in a matter of minutes, it was answered. However, she did not really give it a serious thought. She was scared. She was unsure how fast the universe worked that everytime she would think or utter words that she never meant, they just seemed to happen or appear right in front of her eyes. She was doubtful. She thought of them as mere coincidences only. She almost thought he was the one. Oh, God!

Perhaps she wanted to test her luck, so she asked for all sorts of signs; in prayers, wishes, and dreams. What she could not quite comprehend was that they did happen. All of them.They were like miracles, she once thought. She did not want to expect. However, no matter how much she denied, they were like fire that set her soul ablaze. Two years, that long. But the three months that followed were the unanticipated.

Everything happened so fast that she lost track. Signs were flying everywhere. Was she trying to conspire the universe? A desperate attempt perhaps. She had never felt that way before, that she was sure. She believed she was in love.

Then it started to become quiet… She realized it’s happening again. Confused.

Questions clouded her mind. She wanted to know, but never attempted to ask. She wouldn’t dare. Until one night, she learned of the truth unexpectedly. It was a slap on her face and she felt as if something cut her throat that she couldn’t speak. She wanted to cry but none of her tears seemed to want to come out. She was heartbroken. The cool wind that night sent shivers all over her body. She realized she was almost crying. So she did, quietly.

It made her sad for days that she didn’t want his name mentioned or anything that made her remember of him. She was bitter.  But she made up her mind- she needed to forget. She had loved him and that was all. The chances she took, the emotions that she chose not to show (the best thing that she did), and the absurdities of them all, didn’t matter to her anymore. They’re just distant memories now.

A friend told her once, “You attract what you think.”, thus, the law of attraction. She realized that you could never really rely on signs. To her, they’re just coincidences and lessons learned.

Byaheng Norte (1/2): Ilocos Norte

Two weeks ago, we had the best time of our young lives! My friends and I were lucky to book cheap flight with Cebu Pacific. It only cost us P883.00 for a rountrip ticket- Cebu to Manila. We had our trip arranged by N.E.C. TOURS (click on the link to check their Facebook site). We paid P2,850 for the package tour which included a van and a driver (Thanks, Kuya Romy) , accommodation, entrance fees, breakfast, and a grand time all around Ilocos. It was an easy transaction! Also, we were able to meet new friends since we didn’t have the van to ourselves. There were 2 other groups from Pampangga who joined us.

Our flight to Manila was at 5 AM. My friends and I went to our house to take a quick shower after work since I live in Mactan, then we headed to the airport afterwards. We were all tired and sleepy, not to mention broke. We were all waiting for our salary that day. Hahaha. When we arrived at NAIA, we stayed at the passengers’ area to get an hour of sleep, then we had our breakfast at McDonald’s. Well, thanks to their value meal! Then I was left with only P40 in my pocket after breakfast. Hahaha.

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Thanks to Google Map and our friend’s map reading skill. We rode the airport shuttle going to Taft Avenue station (fare: P20), then took the MRT (fare: P28),  got off the North  Avenue Station, and then took the footbridge going to SM Trinoma then to SM North EDSA.  We stayed there for about 10 hours, I guess, while waiting for Kuya Romy to pick us up at 9PM. We strolled, did a bit of shopping, looked for a decent cafe where we could sit and sleep, and finally we were able to eat good food for dinner after a long time waiting for our salary to come in. Hahaha.

First off, here’s a very short introduction of Ilocos Norte. It is a province in the Philippines located in the Ilocos Region and its capital is Laoag City. It is also known as the birthplace of former President Ferdinand Marcos, whose daughter, Imee Marcos is the incumbent governor.

We traveled for 10 hours going to Ilocos, wherein we had a few stopovers to buy some foods and use the restrooms. It wasn’t easy to get some sleep, but easier to get a stiff neck when you’re in a van with 14 passengers .

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DAY 1

At around 7 AM, we finally arrived in Ilocos Norte. We had an hour at our first stop for breakfast. We headed to Paoay afterwards for our first (and much awaited hehe) activity, the 4×4 sand dunes ride in Culili Point. Despite the fact that we were still very tired and restless from work and the long ride, we were thrilled and excited!

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1. Paoay Sand Dunes registration fee: P500 (with unlimited sandboarding) Pwew! The 4×4 ride was really, really, really awesome and super fun. It was the best! It was all worth the body pains and bruises . We were screaming our lungs out. It was insane! Hahaha. Eventhough Frances and I have fear of heights, we also braved ourselves and tried sandboarding. We didn’t want to miss it, of course! Hahaha

Click this link to watch our video. 

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2. Saint Augustine Church, commonly known as the Paoay Church: It was completed in 1710. It is declared as a National Cultural Treasure by the Philippine government in 1973 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Wikipedia).

3. Marcos Mausoleum: Before heading to the Malacañang of the North, we visited the mausoleum of the late President Ferdinand Marcos. I was truly amazed to be able to see his dead body for real! This was one of the highlights of my visit. Picture and video taking were not allowed inside, though.

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4. Malacañang of the North: This was the official residence of the late President Ferdinand Marcos and his family in Ilocos Norte. The house is overlooking the Paoay Lake and is now a museum.

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5. Bacarra Church: It was completed in 1593. It is famous for its domeless, leaning bell tower. Earthquakes from 1931 to 1971  caused the structure to lean. It collapsed on August 17, 1983 due to a 7.8-magnitude earthquake. The church was restored and completed in 1984. (Wikipedia)

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6. Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, also known as Burgos Lighthouse: It was established during the Spanish colonial era and was first lit on March 30, 1892. (Wikipedia)

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7. Kapurpuruwan Rock Formation in Burgos, Ilocos Norte: The word “puraw” is the Ilocano term for white.

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8. Bangui Wind Farm in Bangui, Ilocos Norte: They’re lined up in a single row on the shoreline of Bangui Bay facing the West Philippine Sea (Wikipedia).

Back when I was still wishing that I could travel to Ilocos, I’d always see these windmills in pictures posted on the internet and books. I’d envy Instagram friends who had traveled there and posing for jump shots, solo, and group pictures. So, when I saw them myself, it was like a dream come true. 🙂

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9. Pagudpud Arch: Our last stop for the day.

We headed to Cathy’s Homestay to check in (click on the link to check their Facebook site). It was our home for 3 days and 2 nights. The two Pampangga groups stayed in a different hotel. Our room was air-conditioned, had 3 double beds, a shower, flat screen TV, and was spacious enough for the five of us. Ate Cathy, the owner, was also very kind. We unpacked our stuff, rested for a while and showered. It was a long and exhausting day.

It was late in the afternoon when we headed to the restaurant which was less than a minute walk from the guest house to wait for our early dinner to be served. Before I followed them there, I stopped by the beach and fell in love with the sunset; with the sight of the windmills at a far distance from where I stood. It was absolutely breathtaking!

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DAY 2

Wake up call was at 7:00 AM. We had our breakfast for an hour and then left to pick the other group up at their hotel.

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1. Blue Lagoon, the Boracay of the North: It’s known for its white sand and crystal clear water. I wouldn’t compare this beautiful spot to Boracay (in my opinion), because this place is just way better; it’s cleaner and less crowded. This place has a more placid and relaxing vibe. There’s no entrance fee, however, you can rent their cottages or videoke to make your stay more enjoyable.

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2. Bantay Abot Cave: From the highway, there were some kids who represented themselves to guide us down the cave. It was a less than a 20-minute walk. When we got there, there were already other tourists who were quite busy taking pictures and exploring the magnificent place. My friends and I gave the little boy tip for guiding us and taking our pictures. Kuya Romy said that those children save the money they get from the tourists (as tips) for their school allowance and needs. Good job, kids!

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3. Timmangtang Rock: A few meters away from the Bantay Abot Cave, the two rock formations are believed to be “lovers” in the old days.

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4. Patapat Viaduct: The concrete coastal bridge connects the Maharlika Highway from Laoag, Ilocos Norte to the Cagayan Valley Region. It is the 4th longest bridge in the Philippines. (Wikipedia)

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5. Paraiso ni Anton: Locals believe that the flowing water coming from the hill, has a healing power to cure sickness when you drink it. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to climb up the hill where the Virgin Mary statuette is found because my worn out slippers gave up on me, so I had to buy a new pair. Kuya Romy helped me looked for a store that sold slippers, but there was none. I almost gave up, too. Hahaha. Luckily, there was one store that sold slippers that coincidentally matched the color of my tank top. At first, the man sold the pair to me for P100, but I haggled, so he gave it to me for P80. Hahaha

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6. Kabigan Falls:  A local female tourist guide accompanied us on our way to the waterfalls. We hiked under the scorching heat of the sun for about 30 minutes, but I didn’t mind because I was enjoying the whole scenery. We passed by some rice fields, streams, wooden bridges, and saw carabaos soaking in the mud to cool themselves.

When we got there, there were no other tourists in sight, so we had the place to ourselves. The falls is approximately 87 feet and the water was undeniably cold. We didn’t swim, though, but we sat on the rocks with our tired feet dangling into the running water. After an hour, other tourists flocked in.

We left the place and stopped by a store to buy some snacks. We ate banana cues and drank fresh coconut juice. It was a perfect merienda!

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We headed back to the resort after the trek. We were tired, so we rested for a while in our room. Later that afternoon, we went swimming. Yay! In the evening, we invited the boys to join us for dinner and karaoke. We definitely had a good time that night, eventhough we were having a hard time talking with them in Tagalog. Hahaha. At 10 PM (the curfew that was set by the owner), we went back to our rooms and the boys to their hotel.

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When we got back to our room, we started to pack our stuff because it was our last night in Pagudpud. I was a bit sad about it because I have never EVER appreciated a place so much as Ilocos Norte. Its exquisite rock formations, crystal clear beaches, and the magnificence of its lush greenery blew me away. The whole place was quite different from all the places I have visited in my entire life, not to mention, the cleanest! 🙂

We slept at around 11 PM and woke up at 4 AM in the morning because our call time was at 6 AM. We had our breakfast first before we checked out to finally head to our last destination which was Ilocos Sur.

 

Click on the link for Day 3- Byaheng Norte 2/2: Ilocos Sur

 

 

 

Byaheng Norte (2/2): Ilocos Sur

Our call time was at 6 AM. We had our breakfast first before we checked out, then Kuya Romy picked the rest of the group up at their hotel. Ilocos Sur is a 4-hour drive from Ilocos Norte. Since I was having a slight headache due to a hangover from last night’s and probably the lack of sleep, I was sleeping the entire time of the trip. However, we stopped by a pasalubong store, so we got off to buy something for our family and friends back home.

Ilocos Sur is one of the provinces of the Philippines and its capital is Vigan City, where the famous Heritage Village is found. With its cobblestone streets and antiquated houses, it has gained a wide popularity among tourists from different places in the country.

Vigan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; it’s one of the few Hispanic towns left in the Philippines that’s well-preserved even after the war. In May 2015, it was officially recognized as one of the New7Wonders Cities. (Wikipedia)

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1. Pagburnayan Pottery Making: Pagburnayan, a place in Vigan wherein unglazed earthen jars called “burnay” are being made using an old-fashioned potter’s kick-wheel.

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2. Hidden Garden: It houses different kinds of plants and bonsais. The garden also has a restaurant inside, the Lilong and Lilang Restaurant- one of Vigan’s known restaurants. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to try out their food because our time was very limited.

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3. Baluarte, also known as Baluarte ni Singson: I consider this as one of my favorites of the entire trip. It was actually my first time to be in an actual zoo, so I was really amazed when we got inside the property. I never expected it to be a zoo or a park. I thought of it as “a farm” where Singson’s tiger was kept. So I was only expecting to see a tiger that day. Hahaha. I was mesmerized by the different animals that surrounded me. There were kangaroos, colorful parrots, ponies, ostrich, geese, owls, etc. We were like kids who were too excited to run around. Our favorite were the zebras that we ran towards them when we spotted their striped bodies. Hahaha. Baluarte also has a museum that houses Singson’s wide collection of preserved animals that he had collected from his hunting trips. I couldn’t believe my eyes while I curiously studied the huge animals around me. Of course, I knew they’re all dead, but they were just too incredible!

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4. Bantay Bell Tower, St. Augustine Parish Church: The bellfry served as a watchtower during the World Wars I and II. It is situated on a hilltop overlooking a lush greenery of the entire town.

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5. Old Ilocos Sur Provincial Jail: This was the birthplace of the late President Elpidio Quirino, whose father used to be a warden in the provincial jail when his wife gave birth in a room on the second floor of the compound. It also houses a vast collection of artifacts and paintings depicting the bloody Basi Revolt.

6. Padre Burgos House: The birthplace of one of the three Filipino martyr priests (GOMBURZA), Father Jose Burgos, who was executed by the Spaniards in 1872.

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7. Calle Crisologo: This is one of the most famous streets in Vigan City. During the day, tourists enjoy strolling, taking pictures, and checking out souvenirs and antique shops. When we were there, we tried out their kalesa ride (P150/ hour). Our kutsero was a woman in her 50’s, and our horse was named Bayan. She toured us around the Heritage Village, to St. Augustine Parish, then to the old Ilocos Provincial Jail and Padre Burgos House.

In the afternoon, the rest of the group and Kuya Romy drove back to Manila. We had informed the agency ahead of time that we were staying until evening and we’re not going back with them. We wanted to see Calle Crisologo at night and the Salcedo Dancing Fountain.

Calle Crisologo was even more charming at night. It had a romantic and cozy atmosphere, especially when the lamp posts on the street and lights from the shops and cafes were turned on. Some restaurants even put up tables and chairs outside. I wish we could have stayed longer and watched some bands playing in one of the cafes there. But we had to take the 9PM bus going to Manila, so there wasn’t enought time to do that.

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8. Salcedo Dancing Fountain: Perhaps, the highlight of the entire trip. This was one of the most beautiful shows I have ever seen in my life. We got there at around 7PM after dinner when we left Calle Crisologo. Actually, we were too early and we weren’t informed that it would start at 7:30 PM. But it was okay, we got the perfect spot and we were seated comfortably. 7:30 on the dot, the water from the fountains started to come out, and the colorful lights were like fireworks that filled the entire plaza. The water and the lights were dancing along with the different songs that were being played. We were shouting, clapping, and singing, especially when the song Let it Go was being played. Perhaps, we were also the noisiest among the audience. Hahaha. Well, we didn’t mind. That was what we came for anyway. Hahaha.

LAST DAY

We left the place at around 8:00 PM to catch the 9PM bus, then headed to Partas Bus Terminal to buy tickets (Ilocos- Cubao fare: P625). The travel time going to Cubao is about 7 hours. We tried to get some sleep on the bus, but it was too cold even after I turned the aircon off over our heads. We arrived in Cubao Bus Terminal at quarter to 5 in the morning. Since it was still a bit dark outside, we decided to stay in the passengers’ area first for safety. Hehehe. Then at 5:30 AM, we left for Farmer’s Market to ride the FX going to Bagumbong, Caloocan City (fare: P50). When we got there, we met Sir Ryan, a previous colleague from work who’s currently living in Caloocan. He was kind enough to welcome us in their house so we could take a rest and shower. His mother even prepared breakfast for us and she let us bring three jars of homemade peanut butter as pasalubong. Yay!

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At around 10:30 AM, his elder brother, drove us to SM North EDSA where he dropped us off because he was on his way to an appointment. We were so lucky we didn’t have to ride the FX anymore. From the North Avenue Station, we took a train (fare: 24) and got off at the Guadalupe Station. Then, we rode a jeepney going to Taguig City (fare: P7). We went to SM Aura to deposit our bags in a package counter of their supermarket. We strolled around for a bit, then decided to chill at a coffee shop, since there was nothing much to see. A while later, we left the mall and headed to McKinley Hills by jeepney (fare: P7).

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Sir Ryan’s younger brother, also accompanied us because he was more familiar of the place, and was kind enough to take our pictures. Hahaha. I was very very impressed the moment I laid my eyes on the colorful structures, gondolas, and that cute footbridge of the Venice Piazza. My friend said that it was almost a perfect replica of The Venetian Macao.

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At 6:30 PM, we went back to SM Aura to get our bags, then it was time to say goodbye to Sir Ryan and his brother. We rode a taxi going to NAIA. Our flight was at 10:30 PM but it was delayed for an hour, due to some problems on the runway. Unfortunately, other international and domestic flights were canceled, so the airport was jampacked with passengers. We arrived in Cebu at around 12:30 AM.

I can truthfully say that this trip has been one of the best trips I’ve had. I am just very thankful that I have the most awesome, kindest, smartest, and wittiest friends (CHAR! K!). Hahaha. It was all worth the money, the body pains, and sleepless nights. I definitely recommend you, guys, to experience Ilocos, and I’m certain that you’ll enjoy it to bits and surely, with no regrets.

 

Badian: A Spontaneous Escape

It was a boring weekend when all of a sudden my friend, Patty texted me if we could go somewhere else the following week. Since I didn’t want the usual drinking session, I opted for an out-of-town. I told her that I had never been to Lambug beach in Badian. She liked the idea so we decided to go.

Patty and I met at Sugbo Mercado at IT Park Lahug after my shift. We waited till 3 AM for her other friend to arrive, so we decided to eat first. When her friend showed up, we headed to the South Bus Terminal and waited for the bus. We weren’t able to take the air-conditioned bus, so it was very uncomfortable to get some sleep. But luckily, I was able to take a nap in the 3-hour trip to Badian. Patty and her friend, a Japanese national, weren’t familiar of the place, so I had to be the acting tour guide (Oh, no!). I decided to tour them first at Kawasan Falls and I just told the conductor if we could get off at Kawasan.

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We stopped by this small store to grab some hot drinks since we didn’t want to eat breakfast yet. A habal-habal driver approached us and asked if we would like to go canyoneering, but of course, we couldn’t. We asked him how to get to Lambug beach and he said he could take us there. We negotiated with him and luckily, he gave us a slight discount (Booo!). We told him that we had to go to Kawasan Falls first, so he agreed to wait for us.

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We didn’t want to swim because the water was too cold. We only took pictures of the place and ourselves. Haha. It was too early when we got there, so only a few visitors were there. After almost an hour of taking pictures, we decided to go down and head to Lambug beach already. It took about 20 minutes or so to reach the place. When we arrived, we immediately looked for a spot where we could stay for the whole afternoon. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my tent, so we laid our sarongs on the sand and sat under the shade of this huge coconut tree.

We neither brought any foods nor drinks, so we just looked for some barbecue place around the area. The foods were affordable so I ordered a lot of my favorite “isaw” (hehehe).

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It was a perfect day to just chill and relax after working the entire week. We were just lying on the sand and talking the whole afternoon. After swimming, we looked for some bathrooms so we could take a shower. There was an old couple who’s kind enough to let us use their bathroom, but we had to pay P20 per person. Some hostel owners wouldn’t let the public use their comfort rooms especially during peak seasons. We left the place at around 3 PM so we could get home earlier. We were definitely dead tired when we arrived in the city

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Spontaneity is the best kind of adventure. -Pinterest

Our Siargao Trip in Pictures

Now playing: From Where You’d Rather Be by Taylor Steele

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.
-Jacques Cousteau

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Life was meant for good friends and great adventures.” -Anonymous

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“We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone.” -Anonymous

 

CLICK! video via Magisto Enjoy!

(photo credits: mmislove, iamdargetz, rayguillena)

 

 

 

 

 

Cyrene’s First Birthday: A D.I.Y. Rainbow Party

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This cutie just turned 1 last week, December 1, 2015. Isn’t she cute? Ahhhh, I wanna bite her cheeks. Gigil! Haha. Since her actual birthday was on a Monday, the parents decided to have it on a Saturday, December 5th. The amazing titas weren’t so busy (I guess…), so we volunteered to help out in decorating and preparing for the party. After work, my friend and I rushed to Cityscape Hotel in Panagdait, Mabolo.

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MM was the first one to arrive in the hotel because she was in charge of the rainbow balloon arch. We arrived a few hours later.

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giveaways

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These colorful balloon standees were created by MM and the parents were the ones who prepared the giveaways.

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Super late midnight “snack” by the parents before going to bed. Yay!!!

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This little lady was obviously enjoying her late night food trip in Jollibee. She was not in her best mood when her mom brought her to the room because she had just woken up from her beauty sleep. Hahaha.

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The room was filled up with balloons for the rainbow arch. I must say, it wasn’t an easy task to pump and tie those balloons one by one, so I opted to do the tying. Hehe

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We got up around 7 AM to continue the balloon task. We inflated all the balloons with all our might (gosh!) at the corridor outside the hotel room .

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Up, up and away! We brought all the stuff to the 17th floor so we could already decorate the venue.

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the celebrant’s grandma

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Finally, BRUNCH!

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MM

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dad and mom

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almost done (yeah!)

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DONE!

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in her signature YOGA pose

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the candy corner

The hotel employees/ interns were very helpful that they assisted us in preparing and decorating for the party, which made it easier and faster to finish the whole set up.  Everything was just so lovely and colorful! We went back to the room to take a rest and shower! We got ourselves ready for the party. Weeeeeeeee

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Ready? Hehe

I really wish I look like this everyday. Hahaha. BUT I’m too lazy to put on makeup (sad).

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From the left: the leader, assistant to the assistant, assistant. Hahaha

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Tadaaaa! Here’s the adorable birthday celebrant wearing a rainbow tutu and a custom-made jersey with her name on it. Look at those cute footwears, too! This little lady’s ready to party!

A clown was hired to entertain the guests especially the children. Here are some shots during the party.

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the family’s grand entrance

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excited kids

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Mr. Softy ice cream

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gummy worms (for the candy corner)

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After the “warm up” games for the kids, it was finally EATING time. Hahaha. Everyone was hungry especially the ninangs haha. The kids were also served with “children’s food”. But I must say, lechon belly was everyone’s favorite. Hahaha.

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The adults were included in the games, too! HAHAHAHAHA

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Now, it’s time to blow the candle. Everyone sang HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the celebrant. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CYRENE!

The kids enjoyed playing with the balloons, blowing bubbles and running around the place. Also, they went wild trying to gather as much candies as they could from the piñata. Haha. Their excited reactions were obvious on their faces.

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the Chicken Team

We were all soooooo happy of the outcome of the party. It was a huge success! It felt really good to help out our friends in achieving the “rainbow theme” for their daughter’s first birthday. Afterwards, we headed to Off-Roads, just a walking distance from the hotel, to relax, grab some beer and catch up with friends. Hehe. It was indeed a productive day.

Click the link to watch the video via Magisto 🙂