I LOVE JAPAN: Tokyo Disney Sea

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“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

These are the words of the cultural icon who inspired millions and millions of lives with his works, contributions to entertainment, and lifelong influences of keeping dreams alive an making them come true– no other than Walt Disney. At first glance, Disneyland may just be an ordinary theme park, but for many, it really is a place where magic happens, and where dreams do come true. And I will always consider myself part of those people who deem Disneyland as the happiest place on Earth.

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I LOVE JAPAN: Tokyo

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We were awakened by a magnitude 6 earthquake in Osaka, giving us a sudden urgency to jump out of our traditional tatami mat beds, giving us a full Japan experience, complete with earthquakes. The room was shaking like crazy, and Pao and I were just staring at each other in shock, as we did not know what we’re supposed to do. Thankfully, buildings in Japan are engineered very well to withstand such earthquakes, even of great magnitudes. But God is always good to keep us safe and unscathed despite the intensity of the earthquake.

From Osaka, we needed to take a 3.5 hour shinkansen ride to Tokyo. We were full of energy coming from Osaka en route to Tokyo, but we got stranded for almost 4 hours in the train station because train lines were suspended due to the earthquake making us miss out on most of the items on our itinerary that day. But with the best travel buddy in the universe, nothing can go wrong as we just let spontaneity guide us through our stay in Tokyo!

What to do when you get stranded in a train station for 4 hours?

Eat all the yummy Japanese pastries, try all the yummy Japanese vendo drinks, and pretend to be like the penguin from the vendo machine!

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I LOVE JAPAN: Hakone, Mt. Fuji and Shinyokohama

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A visit to Japan wouldn’t be complete without seeing the iconic and majestic Mt. Fuji! We visited Hakone, deemed as one of the best international holiday resorts, famous for its hot springs, natural beauty, and perfect views for Mt. Fuji! However, due to limited time, we were not able to spend a night in a ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn) and experience an onsen (Japanese hot spring). But this trip left us with no regrets at all, as we could still attribute this trip as one of the best trips we’ve ever had (as of this writing)

It was a cloudy day on the day of our visit, so we just had to make do with this tarpaulin! (Mt. Fuji is clearly visible and not shy today huh?)

Mt. Fuji from the shinkansen!

From Tokyo, we took the shinkansen (Japan bullet train) to Odawara Station, which was also our jumpoff point for our Hakone tour. I just can’t explain how incredibly detailed the Japanese are, but grabe, look at their train station food! These are packed bento boxes that you could readily purchase at train stations. And upon opening these boxes, you get a little piece of heaven from meticulously prepared Japanese hands!

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I LOVE JAPAN: Osaka

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And this series professing my undying love for Japan will go on and on, simply because it’s still my favorite country (after the Philippines)…as of yet! Pardon the excited tone of my writing, but memories of my Japan experience will always make me all giddy. ALWAYS.

 

 

OSAKA—the food capital of Japan! I could even call it as the world’s greatest food city! And yes, food trips were very much part of our every move while we were in Osaka, another favorite place in Japan! We were like in a food lover’s heaven as we strolled and savored every bit of Osaka, overflowing with history, character, and culture. Every step needed to be accompanied by a savory bite of something delectable we bought from the lovely streets of Osaka!

Any food you put in your mouth in this lovely city, won’t disappoint you!

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I LOVE JAPAN: Nara

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Nara could possibly be one of our favorite places in Japan. It’s simple yet it’s distinctly unique from all the other Japanese cities we have visited. Nara is located less than one hour from Kyoto and Osaka. Due to its past as being the first permanent capital of Japan, it remains full of historic treasures, including some of Japan’s oldest and largest temples.

Yes. How picturesque!

That’s their JR train station. It is still beautiful!

Our bodies were in protest from all the walking we did in Kyoto the previous day that we could hardly surrender to our respective alarm clocks. But upon realization that we are already waking up in the beautiful country called Japan, we did not want to waste precious time in Japan,so we hurriedly got dressed then made our way to the shinkansen (Japan bullet train) to get to Nara on time.

One of the most amazing man-made inventions I have ever experienced! The bullet train was indeed a milestone! Believe me, Japan has the most extensive and most efficient subway and train network in the world!

My happy-about-to-ride-another-bullet-train-face!

This was the local JR train that took us directly to Nara!

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ISLAS DE GIGANTES 2014

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“Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost.” -Erol Ozan

We did not need to get lost because we already were captivated by this beautiful and untouched island. We discovered a secret paradise called Islas de Gigantes humbly tucked in Carles, Iloilo, the scallops capital of the Philippines (Yes, that’s right, seafood feast everyday!) In taking the road less traveled, we got to discover that there is beauty in between the long journey, the anticipation of arrival, and getting lost in the beauty of nature in its most alluring state– untouched.

Bicol Adventure 2014

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“Whenever possible, we always choose adventure”

The passion for new experiences will always be openly welcomed as we covered the southern part of Bicol in 4 days with our Naga-Legazpi-Donsol-Caramoan leg of this fun trip. Highlighted by the ever-majestic views of the Mayon volcano, the challenge of chasing and swimming with whale sharks in their natural habitat, and exploring the powdery white beaches of the Philippine islands further compelled our eager spirits to love the Philippines more and more!

Showcasing our gratefulness with our 3 minutes of happiness as we share with you how blessed we are to have such a beautiful country! Here’s us tinkering with the wonders of GoPro! More videos coming soon!

I LOVE JAPAN: Kyoto

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I LOVE JAPAN. Love, in the truest sense of the word, is even an understatement in expressing how much I fell in love with Japan, all things Japanese, its extremely beautiful country, and of course, their kind people. I will go back to Japan in a heartbeat.

Japan has always been a dream destination for both Pao and I. And for summer, we found the perfect timing, perfect opportunity, and all the heavenly blessings to pursue this trip… and we found ourselves LIVING THE DREAM: 8 days in Japan, 7 cities, unlimited shinkansen (bullet train rides), and BEST VACATION SO FAR!

What better way to introduce us to the land of the rising sun but to visit Kyoto, in Central Japan, teeming with its rich culture marked by its imperial past, definitely making it reminiscent of Old Japan.

This was featured in the plane’s inflight magazine on our way to Japan! How timely!

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Baler, Aurora: Of Natural Wonders and Perfect Swells

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Besides being known as the capital of Aurora Province, I could only attribute one word as to how the entire Baler experience would enthrall you– exhilarating. Baler is actually located on the northern part of Quezon Province and the eastern seaboard of Luzon. It lies majestically along the Sierra Madre and the Caraballo mountain ranges. Baler is not only just about surfing, one of the activities it is most famous for. There are lots of places where one can commune with nature, and the feeling of being this close to nature would make you come back for it again and again!

Actually, Baler surprised the best in Pao and I as we did not quite expect that we will love our experience in one of Luzon’s best kept secrets up north. Yes, we were really happy and have nothing but high praises as to how remarkable our weekend trip was!

We thought that all there is to Baler was its beach with awesome waves and swells perfect for surfing hence its popularity to surfing enthusiasts—the primary reason why we wanted to see it. What we did not know was that Baler offered pristine natural wonders made even better because of the touch of history in it!

 

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Mount Pinatubo

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1991: the year that marked the wrath of a once dormant volcano which was awakened after 600 years of sleep.  This eruption was considered as one of the most catastrophic volcanic eruptions in the recent years as it discharged sulfur dioxide and spewed ashes everywhere. It was then considered to be a dreaded object of fear, violence, destruction and catastrophe, but now, at present, it is now revered and admired as an object of beauty and majesty. And I could not even believe my eyes as I personally admired how extraordinarily beautiful the Crater Lake is, complemented by a perfect weather, blue skies, and turquoise waters. It was indeed a perfect day to witness the beauty of Mt. Pinatubo.

Oh what beauty!

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Sagada, Mountain Province: Kiltepan Sunrise, Rock Farm, Echo Valley

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If there’s a perfect place to commune with nature, I would always attribute Sagada with such majesty.

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We woke early in the morning to witness one of the most breath-taking sunrise experiences in the world! We went up to Kiltepan Peak to surrender to the majesty of God’s wonders as we become grateful spectators of a sunrise that rises above a bed of clouds! This was definitely one of the best sunrise experiences of my life (next to that of Angkor Wat’s sunrise)

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Sagada, Mountain Province: Yoghurt House and Cave Connection

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I must say that I did not expect that Sagada would surprise me. Sagada is just full of charm, wonder, and excitement; a place that not only welcomes soul-searchers and eager wanderers but also entertains extremists and adventurers at the same time.  I have always been a fan of adventure. I must say that Sagada  definitely contains the perfect mix of nature + adventure + lovely people + gastronomic food encounters. Put all of those together and you get such an amazing trip! The catch is… it will take you a 12 hour journey from Manila to get to this very beautiful piece of happiness!

With a last minute itinerary and an ever enthusiastic travel companion, we took on a 12-hour journey to the breath-taking Sagada. And the 12-hour trip did not seem tedious at all because of the exquisite landscapes and lush rice terraces that accompanied our journey. Seriously, oohs and aaahs will definitely fill your reverie as you journey towards the paradise in the mountains.

Chico River on the way to Sagada

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United States: Downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood

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As the clock inevitably ticks minute by minute,  signifying my last remaining hours looming closer almost coming to an end, I knew I just had to make the most out of what is left of the remaining hours of my trip. (Did it sound like I was almost dying?) What better way to explore the city by taking a tour downtown, exploring awesome spots and experiencing the richness of the culture all by foot (and public transit)!  My friend Abbie, my very good friend from college took on this very noble duty as she sponsored our whole walking city tour! And oh wow, Los Angeles is indeed beautiful!

My good friend Abbie and I

I experienced the train ride going to downtown LA, my very first (and also my last) subway ride throughout my entire stay in the United States. Downtown Los Angeles is the central business district in the central area of LA. No wonder I got myself super excited and ecstatic upon alighting from the subway towards the city as my eyes feasted on the various sights around me. The towering skyscrapers were complemented by the beautiful landscaping of greens, thus making a visually appealing city. I would call it beautiful, Los Angeles’ very own “concrete jungle”.

Here’s what greeted me straight from the subway!

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United States: Universal Studios Hollywood

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Because my siblings and I are naturally children-at-heart, it’s just a natural thing for us to come to love theme parks, hence we just knew it was mandatory for us to visit  another theme park even if we already came from Disneyland California the previous day. Because my aunt’s house was just near Hollywood, we knew we just had to see Universal Studios Hollywood for ourselves!

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United States: Disneyland California and California Adventure

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“Here you leave today, and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy”. For anyone who allows themselves to go back to being a child, to think like a child, to see the world like a child, and simple be a child, Disneyland will always be the best bet for a day full of fun and magic! This “magic” that Disneyland pertains to is not of the sorcery kind, but it’s the personal experience each one has to revel upon while inside the park.

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United States: Pier 39 at the Fisherman’s Wharf San Francisco

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We took a leisurely stroll around San Francisco and explored Pier 39 at the Fisherman’s Wharf. Pier 39 is a popular tourist destination with lots of specialty shops hauled at the dock of the Pier. First time tourists in the beautiful city of San Francisco should definitely take a visit to Pier 39 and the Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s just a single destination that just cooks up so many wonderful experiences! I think tourists and SF residents have varying opinions about the place, but I speak as a tourist, and as a tourist, I had fun visiting the pier!

The location is a natural beauty! Pier 39 is nestled between the hills of NorthEastern San Francisco with covered hills rising above the shoreline and water crashing over Alcatraz Island.

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United States: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

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Renowned for its cool summers, chilly fog, steep rolling hills, cable cars they locally call bart, and of course, it’s world famous Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco has become a coveted tourist destination! And yes, there was truly more to San Francisco than what guide books normally tell us. It just has this homey, comforting and welcoming feeling that attracts and smites all visiting tourists! I can tell because it happened to me! As the cliche goes, “I left my heart in San Francisco”

ooh-lala! perfect cloudless and fogless view of the Golden Gate Bridge!

What a sunset in Golden Gate!

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United States: Solvang, California

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Solvang, California was  indeed a very refreshing sight to see. It was like stepping into another dimension infused with an immensely different culture, while you are still pretty sure that you are still in Continental America. Yes, it was Danish in all aspects and forms, but I loved the fresh feeling it delivered!

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United States: La Jolla Cove, San Diego

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La Jolla Cove would be perhaps one of the best places I’ve visited during my US trip. Being the animal and nature lover that I am, I just loved how animals perfectly fit as if they were in their natural habitat, in their very own special place in nature, where they could coincide harmoniously.

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2012: My Year in Travel

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I never expected that I could do so much, visit so many places, and learn so much through new experiences in a span of a year. If  I could eat, sleep, breathe…travel. I would. It’s something that I am very passionate about, besides the fulfillment of making little dendrites come to life in the small but highly capable and amazing brains of my beloved preschool children.

And last 2012, I have been truly blessed. In a nutshell, here are my life’s blessings for the past year, and I will always be grateful for all the travel opportunities that I have been given.

  1. Las Vegas, USA
  2. San Diego, USA
  3. Los Angeles, USA
  4. Big Bear, USA
  5. Pasadena, USA
  6. San Francisco, USA
  7. Hollywood, USA
  8. Disneyland Anaheim and California Adventure
  9. Universal Studios Hollywood
  10. National Museum, Manila
  11. Tagaytay, Philippines
  12. Baguio, Philippines
  13. Canyon Cove, Nasugbu, Philippines
  14. Tali Beach, Nasugbu, Philippines
  15. Temples of Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia
  16. Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
  17. Khao San Road, Thailand
  18. Chao Phraya River, Thailand
  19. Bangkok, Thailand
  20. Bangkok Temples, Thailand
  21. Chatuchak Weekend Market, Thailand
  22. Callao Cave,  Cagayan, Philippines
  23. Cape Engano, Cagayan, Philippines
  24. Palaui Island, Cagayan, Philippines
  25. Anguib Beach, Cagayan, Philippines
  26. Coco Grove, Laiya Batangas
  27. Thunderbird Poro Point, La Union
  28. Little Surfmaid, San Juan, La Union
  29. Lumiang and Sumaguing Cave, Sagada, Mountain Province, Philippines
  30. Kiltepan Peak, Sagada, Mountain Province, Philippines
  31. Echo Valley and Hanging Coffins, Sagada Mountain Province, Philippines
  32. Chinatown, Philippines
  33. Mount Pinatubo, Tarlac, Philippines

And for all these, I have the good Lord above to be thankful for! The world is indeed so beautiful, and I can’t wait to wander and rock the rest of my 2013!

LIVE THE DREAM, WEAR THE PASSION!

United States: Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego

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San Diego will always be a perfect place for tourists. I reiterated that to myself upon realizing that I was having the same ecstatic emotions when we visited Coronado, San Diego earlier in the day. I knew I was bound for another great night of strolling and entertainment in Gaslamp Quarter!

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United States: Coronado, San Diego

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San Diego took my breath away! Known for its small-town feel and pristine beaches, Coronado proves that it is definitely a must-visit destination for all tourists! Coronado was developed in 1888 as an affluent beach resort town and boasts of its beautiful beaches basking in warm and endless sunshine all year long. The feeling of setting foot in Coronado was so surreal; like being able to travel back in 1888 with its beautiful man-made structures, houses, and dainty architecture. No wonder, Coronado has been dubbed as “The Crown City” (Coronado is Spanish for “the crowned one”) which makes it an ideal place for many tourists.

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United States: Big Bear Lake, California

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I consider myself as one of those children who have always had that dream of tasting snow freshly falling down from the sky. Couple that with lying down on fresh snow as I wave my hands and feet up and down, side by side as I giggle like an innocent child. Yes, that’s me fulfilling my childhood dream of making a snow angel. The cold seeped through my bones, but the experience was definitely something that I would never forget. Snow was indeed a  first and a special experience for me!

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United States: Viva Las Vegas!

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Spending Christmas for the first time without our dad was truly heartbreaking. To make things easier for all of us, my family decided to fly all together to the US to visit some relatives and spend Christmas there, in the company of one another.

Despite being jetlagged, I was more than enthusiastic to go sight-seeing during my first day in the US! First stop: the Sin City– Las Vegas. And I ecstatically welcomed myself to the fabulous Las Vegas, in which I was able to do two things that I greatly enjoyed– hotel hopping and outlet shopping!

Posing with the Abercrombie models idling around the Abercrombie store, waiting for eager shop-goers like me! hahaha.

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Manila, Manila: National Museum and Rizal Park

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Every country has an official repository for its national treasures, archives, and mementos for all the precious historic moments that would encapsulate its history as a nation.

Pao and I have been enthusiastically visiting museums from abroad, and we felt very guilty for not having been able to visit our very own National Museum. Our conversations would normally include thoughts about visiting the National Museum but we did not actually make a concrete plan on when to actualize it.

One Saturday morning, Pao told me that he was going to take me to a place that we should urgently visit.  He told me it was a surprise and that I just needed to trust him and that I should just hop on the car. Being the obedient girl that I am (insert halo here), I willfully agreed and just held my breath in eager anticipation.

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Happy birthday to me!

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24 gazillion beautiful moments captured in 24 beautiful years!  I am blessed to have the best people in my life during my best and my only birthday each year!

Thank you Lord, I am blessed every year!

Thank you Pao, I am spoiled not only during my birthday, but you spoil me every waking day!

More post birthday celebrations to follow!

24 years worth of blessings!

Surf’s Up in San Juan, La Union

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San Juan La Union is known as the Surfing Capital of Northern Philippines. It has lately become a convenient go-to destination among locals as it gains popularity as one of the Philippines’ Surfing Hotspot.And a town dubbed as such was definitely a tempting option that was hard to resist! We just had to visit San Juan after staying in the neighboring town, San Fernando La Union.

After an exquisite breakaway in our local Santorini, the heaven on earth called Thunderbird Resort located in Poro Point, La Union, I just couldn’t resist the urge of traveling to the next town to get a refresher on the art of riding waves– surfing.

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A Piece of Santorini in Thunderbird Poro Point

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And we took a bite on a piece of Santorini for our 8th anniversary.

Santorini, Greece has always been a dream destination for both Pao and I. Santorini is the epitome of a Greek island. Located in the southeastern part of the Greek mainland, it may be reached through a huge circular bay, which was once covered by an enormous volcano. But at some point during the 1500s, the volcano erupted, and with such brute force, a large amount of magma was ejected so the top of the mountain collapsed and the bay was formed from the sunken crater.

Pao and I have always wanted to explore Santorini and get lost in the traditional villages of the island built on tall cliffs, and just admire the priceless view the wonder brought by nature through the beauty brought over by disaster of the submerged volcano.

I just love the dome ceiling!

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And we turn 8 years old!

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“But when they say that it’s about the journey not the destination, that’s only half right — it’s also about who you’re with.”

To the best travel buddy in the world, I could not express how overwhelmed and grateful I am to be blessed with someone who is equally as passionate in seeing the beauty of the world. Here’s to a life filled with adventures and a life filled with amazing surprises and experiences!

“We’re all a little weird, and life’s a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in a mutual weirdness called love” -Dr. Seuss

Thank you Lord, we are now 8 years strong in exploring your beautiful creations! Thank you for blessing us everyday with strong bodies and ecstatic spirits to marvel at your glorious creations TOGETHER! And yes, 8 is just the beginning of wonderful years to infinity!

Slice of Paradise in Northern Philippines: Palaui Island, Anguib Beach, Cape Engano Lighthouse and Crocodile Island

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Batanes, but not yet! And yes, we reached the northernmost tip of Luzon. We took a 642 km trip towards north of Manila, towards the northern tip of the island of Luzon. With only our backpacks and our usual eagerness to explore the unexplored parts of the Philippines, we scratched the travel bug’s itch as we enjoyed every moment of the trip.

Palaui is at the northernmost tip of Luzon Island.
(Map from Wikipedia)

PALAUI ISLAND

Palaui Island, dubbed as “One of the Best Beaches in the Philippines” by CNN Go, is a protected landscape and seascape where different ecosystems exist in well-preserved conditions. There is a rich variety of flora and fauna in the forest, the tidal flats and coral reefs. The island also serves as a refuge for migratory birds and marine life.

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Bangkok, Thailand: Chatuchak Weekend Market and Siam Square Shopping!

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Retail therapy while on vacation signals the culmination of a wonderful vacation. Well, at least for me.  It is like an added bonus, the icing to the cake, and a rewarding experience at the end of every trip. And I am grateful every time, because at the end of every trip, I am blessed to have extra money to spend to allow me to buy and experience their culture of shopping  so that I will not go home empty handed.

CHATUCHAK WEEKEND MARKET

And yes, Bangkok is known as one of the best shopping destinations in the whole world. And when you say bargain hunting for shopping, it could get pretty synonymous to Chatcuchak Market in Northern Bangkok. Chatuchak Market is a weekend market and is considered as one of the largest and most spectacular markets in the whole world. Yes, how awesome is that?

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Bangkok, Thailand: Dusit Zoo

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One of the compelling reasons why I wanted to visit Bangkok was because I wanted to fulfill my lifelong dream of riding an elephant! I was so near in finally ticking this item off my bucket list as we were supposed to ride the elephants in Samphran during our last day in Thailand. BUT… (yes, buts at the start of a statement could get pretty dangerous) BUT because I overlooked and miscalculated our remaining days left and still added an extra day in our itinerary, it was too late already when I realized that we’re not going to have that last day for elephant rides anymore. (insert heavy, heavy sighs here)

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Bangkok, Thailand: Khao San Road and Patpong

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Of street food, street shopping, street parties, street massages… Bangkok has it all!

Bangkok gives a certain sense of warmth and familiarity that it easily welcomes all its eager visitors from all walks of life. And yes, we managed to visit backpacking hub of Bangkok, Khao San Road, where we encountered a melting pot of nations converging and immersing merrily in Thai culture. Patpong, on the other hand, was a different kind of experience, which was purely adult in nature as it was Bangkok’s red light district after all!

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Bangkok, Thailand: Chao Phraya River Cruise

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Going on a cruise has always been one of those things waiting to be crossed out in my bucket list. I always dream of going on a Carribean cruise or a cruise similar to it . But upon learning that a Dinner Cruise along the Chao Phraya River was possible to do during our Bangkok trip, I immediately researched on it and consulted several travel review websites if the experience was worth it. It was a step closer to fulfilling the cruise dream, not quite but almost. Much of the reviews showed much appreciation towards the dinner cruise. So yes, we gave it a try.

I could say that anything related to new and novel experiences make me act on such impulse and excitement. Being spontaneous as I am, ding ding ding, I immediately considered, “Why not try the cruise?” PLUS, I am dying to see the beautiful temples magnificently lit during the night!

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And I walked in Mong Kok…

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…to go shopping and please my eyes! And last days in another country always meant spending time shopping or at least, window shopping for personal bargains but most especially, cultural finds!

This was our last day in Hong Kong, hence, SHOPPING DAY!


We tried to make the best out of our last day by making the best bargains out of shopping. What we did not know was that we were in for a huge surprise in Mong Kok! Chi ching! Chi ching!

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Wow Macau!

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Wow Macau would be very much apt to entitle this blog simply because Macau wow-ed us with all its splendor!

Our day trip to Macau was worth it despite the heavy rainfall and cloudy skies. We woke early in the morning to catch the earliest of the Cotai Ferry Jet from Hong Kong to Macau. It was a very fast and smooth trip because the travel of the ferry was fast and uninterrupted. The interiors of the Cotai Jet resembled an Airbus with a very large seating capacity.

inside the ferry from HK going to Macau

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HK Disneyland: The Happiest Place…

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….in South East Asia? Well, that would be a relative statement. But for the time being, I consider HK Disneyland as such.

Perhaps there is an unwritten rule that mandates every Hong Kong tourist or visitor to pay Mickey Mouse and his friends a visit over at the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. And just like any other enthusiastic tourist, we were so thrilled to see the legendary Mickey Mouse in all his awesomeness.

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Hong Kong Hangover!

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Ready, Set, Adventure to Hong Kong!

I chose Hong Kong as one of my first ever INDEPENDENT travel destinations outside the country. (By independent, I mean only with the company of my friends or without any parental supervision.) Initially, there were supposed to be 5 of us in this trip, but due to unfortunate circumstances just a night before the trip, we were down to 2, but we still had a blast, nevertheless. And I was still set to pursue my HK adventure even if it is just with my boyfriend Pao, in a completely new place infused with lots of  food and culture. And Pao definitely made one great travel companion and adventure buddy.

Touchdown, Hong Kong!

Hong Kong is the shiz!!!

My ultimate travel buddy

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Riding the Waves in Bagasbas

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“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf” —-OH YEAH! And I definitely did!

Ready, set, surf!

I went on a spontaneous trip with my friends in Bagasbas Beach, in Daet Camarines Norte last May 1-2, 2010. It was my first time to surf, and oh yes, the exhilaration was really something that I’d like to experience again.

This was definitely a spontaneous weekend to remember. Thanks to the company and spontaneity of Fi, Gil and Pao, we were bound for limitless fun, adventure, and incessant food trips!  I loved Daet, and I am definitely going back!

The Gang!

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Of Flying Balloons: 15th Hot Air Balloon Festival

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I have always been amused and crazily amazed by Hot Air Balloons. Like most people, I dream of riding in one. But reality strikes and you realize that it’s just so expensive to indulge into that dream, and you just resort into being a spectator of flying balloons amidst the fresh sunrise.

Thankfully, my boyfriend Pao is ever so enthusiastic to accompany me to ANYWHERE and any place I’d like to visit and explore. He willfully obliged in spending Valentines 2010 with me in Clark, Pampanga to see the 15th Hot Air Balloon Festival and we were definitely in for a great treat.

We all wish we could ride this

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Tree Top Adventure, Subic

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I would always see myself as a thrill-seeker. That’s why it would not be a surprise  if activities that promise adrenaline rush from such exhilarating events truly make me salivate. When I heard about Tree Top Adventure in Subic back in 2010, I have decided to make Valentines 2010 a little bit more exciting by trying out Tree Top Adventure. And who else would I try it out with, of course, with my greatest adventure-buddy, Paolo!

And so we drove from Paranaque to Subic, with intermittent bouts of overheating in the SCTEX. We thought that bad vibes would engulf our valentine thirst for adventure, but God is good. We made it to Subic in about 4 hours.

With happy spirits, we alighted the car, and lo and behold… a queue! We did not quite expect the huge volume of people waiting in queue to try out the different attractions. After a second of rationalizing, yes, the queue makes sense because it was the Valentine Weekend and the Hot Air Balloon Festival weekend as well. But the queue did not discourage us. We were still extra enthusiastic to defy gravity and the excitement of trying something for the first time.

And we were not disappointed!

We were still able to try out three rides that were very much worth it.

The Superman Ride

From the name of the ride itself, this ride will let you break free and experience for a few seconds how it is to be like Superman! The velocity of the ride is not much frightening, so for those of you who are hesitating to try out this ride, fear not! It’s pretty much like the zipline, only that you have handrails in front of you that you need to hold on to.

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Tagaytay Ridge and Zipline

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I live in the south, and living in the south of Metro Manila has valuable perks especially when it comes to accessing the most accessible destinations known for leisure and recreation. One of the most visited destinations here in the south is perhaps Tagaytay.

My boyfriend Pao and I celebrated our 5th anniversary (2009)  in Tagaytay Ridge and Zipline. We are both thrill-seekers, but since we were still in college back then, we did not have the luxury of time to take on weekend trips to try out something novel and exciting. However, a zipline adventure may be the next-best-thing to do to celebrate. And so we were off to Tagaytay to experience a new kind of adventure.

We drove from Makati to Tagaytay in a matter of less than 2 hours since there were intermittent traffic jams along the way. But nevertheless, the long drive seemed a lot better when we were welcomed by the cool breeze of Tagaytay brushing through our faces.

Taal Volcano and Lake

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Toasted in Taramindu

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I’ve visited Laiya, Batangas countless times already, but it never fails to give me that very comforting and familiar feeling.  And it’s always nice to find yourself completely comfortable with the beach, and just… surrender. (Haha. Emo pala eh)

Taramindu Beach Garden Inn view from the beach front

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Boracay: Your Fantasy made Reality

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If there is a particular island in the Philippines, famed for its remarkable beauty and exquisiteness, perhaps Boracay would top the polls. Even CNN, National Geographic, New York Times, and a lot more agencies would always include the island of Boracay in their list. And it’s true, Boracay is indeed beautiful, without a doubt.



My family and I paid a visit to Boracay in July of 2008. I couldn’t believe it. We had perfect weather in Boracay (in the Visayas Island) despite the numerous typhoons which pass by Manila (located in Luzon) during July. Perhaps it was a great consolation since I was only going to stay in Boracay for one night, since I had to fly back immediately due to an Economics exam. Bummer.
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The Beauty that is Puerto Princesa: Underground River

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Imagine taking on a quest towards a grand adventure towards an underground cave enriched with million-years’ worth of limestone rock formations as evidenced by its stalactites and stalagmites beneath lush mountains, and you find yourself in immense awe with all its wonder as you cruise through a quiet and tranquil river. And then you realize, everything you just imagined can happen in front of your very eyes. This unspoiled beauty of nature presents pleasurable exploration found in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. 



The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is nominated as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. It is a significant core area of the Palawan Biosphere Reserve under the Man and Biosphere Program. It is also considered as one of UNESCO’s Natural World Heritage Sites, therefore securing an unwritten mandate to safeguard and protect this natural sanctuary for all of humanity.

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The Beauty that is Puerto Princesa: Honda Bay

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If there would be such a thing called paradise, I would always attribute it to Palawan. And the moment I set foot on the beautiful sandy shores of Palawan, I knew I had to come back for more. I discovered the beauty of Palawan when I was 7, and I came back last 2008 because I knew I just had to. Its beauty is insatiable that I would never grow tired of being a happy traveler in Palawan. I know I will always come back for more of Palawan!



Puerto Princesa is more than awesome. Setting foot on Palawan gives every Filipino a sense of pride because Palawan is truly world class and truly at par with other famed beaches from other countries. I can say this even if I haven’t been able to the other parts of Palawan. I know I have yet to cross out other must-see locations in Palawan like Coron, El Nido, and Amanpulo, but still, Puerto Princesa managed to take my breath away to the point I was gasping for air because of too much excitement!

You may now close your jaw.

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La Luz Beach Resort, Laiya Batangas

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Batangas is usually close to the hearts of the people of Metro Manila due to its convenience and proximity to the city. It provides convenient escapades away from the city life with its beautiful beaches.

Laiya in Batangas is a long strip of beach with off-white and grainy sandy shores. The warm blue waters welcome you, as the waves slowly come by crashing by the shore.

We tried out La Luz Beach Resort. The resort offers such a relaxing atmosphere to it that you can easily sleep on the shores of the resort. It’s a popular place to surrender to solitude as it offers peace and quiet, away from the stressful city life. 

I visited La Luz in the summer of 2007, along with several friends to keep me company. It’s true. The overall atmosphere of the beach resort is definitely relaxing. Apart from that, a buffet is offered 5 times during the day: breakfast, morning merienda, lunch, afternoon merienda, and dinner. Talk about having a vacation!