Random thought : Living life as an expat

I’ve always wanted to work outside my native country to have a greener pasture. I know it’s a cliche but it’s the truth. Sadly, from where I came from, earning big means leaving your family and your life.

So now I am starting a new job in Doha. Things are not as bad as I thought. I found out that I can adjust easily to new people. Seems like I’m getting to know myself a little better. This and a lot other reason why so far I am loving my expat life.

But it’s not all good though. Homesickness creeps in from time to time. There’s culture differences that I need to deal and get used to. And adjust to this 40ish degree celsius climate that welcomes me every time I step out from our building door.

To all the expat out there, how did you adapt?

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Spoonful: Tamarind

My love for thai food has brought us here at Tamarind. I fell in love with thai cuisine after having one lunch out with friends at Siam. Though pronouncing the menu is still a struggle for me, except for pad thai of course, thai food is still on my favorite cuisine list. ( which is short,by the way). I just love the combination of flavors you experience every time you get a spoonful of their dish.

We passed by Tamarind as we were looking for the NBA Cafe. And it caught my attention instantly. So when the time came to fill our stomachs with food, I was already planning on how to convince my beau to dine at Tamarind. It’s a little hard to let him try new cuisines. He was probably hungry then that it was easier than usual to convince him.

We were ushered inside by one of their staff who waits outside for guests. Since it was already late for lunch and was way too early for dinner, the place was not full of diners. Just the way I like it. We were welcomed by the smell  of spices the moment we walk in. The interior was well decorated but not overly done.

The moment the menu was handed over, I felt that I’ll be a one happy diner. And indeed, I was!

Here’s us while waiting for our food and the dishes we enjoyed at Tamarind : Pad Thai – Chicken, Beef Green Curry, Chicken Wrapped in Pandan Leaves, Thai Deep Fried Pork Spareribs ( not in the pics), Pineapple Rice (not in the pic) and Fried Rice with Pork.

 

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Where5/F SM Aura Premier, Sky Park, McKinley ParkwayMcKinley Hill, Taguig

Verdict I will definitely go back here. I love the food, the place and the staff. During our visit, the staff were friendly, prompt and attentive to our needs.

Price Range: 200 – 500 Php

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance

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Endurance is when you keep pushing yourself not because you have to but because you love and want to.

The scorching summer heat did not stop us from reaching the top of Taal Volcano. And the reward we got was priceless.

The view was breath taking.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance

Photos from Kay Cordeta.

Happy 1 year of blogging!

I’m happy indeed! I started blogging just for fun and to kill boredom. And to love what I hate, writing! Yes, I hated writing since my grade school years. It felt like torture every time we were ask to write an essay in english class. I used to feel insecure every time I look at my friend’s paper and she’s already half way through, while I am still constructing my first sentence. Urgh!

It’s different now. WordPress has become my medium to hate writing a little less. Now I get excited the moment I open my blog and click on add new post. I’m loving how I am able to share my thoughts and travel experiences (mostly) through writing or blogging. I love that feeling of accomplishment every time I click on that publish button and that little high when some fellow bloggers like my post.

My English may not be flawless and my audience is minimal (for now), but this will not stop me from writing more.

So cheers for more years with wordpress!!

Dumaguete : Of hot springs and cold waterfalls

Our Dumaguete trip was a continuation of our Siquijor trip. Since going back to Cebu means passing through Dumaguete, we decided to not miss the chance to explore the place even just for a day.

On the night of our arrival, we scout for a place to stay, again for the second time, we did not book in advance. Which again is a wrong decision. The hotels and inns were fully booked, at least the ones that are within our budget. Our number one rule when we travel is not to spend too much for hotel accommodations. We checked several small hotels, circled the city and it took us around 15 minutes before we found a place that can accommodate us. ( 15 minutes in a public tricycle is long enough). We found ourselves at C & L Suites Inn which is located within a 5-minute walk from the boulevard.

Dumaguete is known for having one of the beautiful, if not the best, boulevard in the country. When the sun sets, vendors start to set up tents and tables for an outdoor dining by the bay. Bars and restaurants are also situated in this area. Nightlife and outdoor dining is very much alive in this part of the city. The boulevard, I believe, is one of the city’s highlights. And if the streets of Amsterdam is filled with bicycles, the number of motorcycles in Dumaguete is overwhelming.

Since we were time limited, having just a day to spend, there were only few tourist spots we were able to visit. We decided to focus on the known hot springs, though not really in Dumaguete but in a nearby province, Valencia. It was a cloudy day in Dumaguete with hint of cold air brushing our skin, such a perfect day for a hot spring.

Here are the places we managed to visit :

1. Dumaguete Boulevard – Also known as the Rizal Boulevard, named after the Philippine’s Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. Stroll in this scenic place by day and eat some street foods by night. Restaurants are available as well if you have a weak stomach. Unfortunately, I lost my photos of this place and only have this. You can see how windy it was.

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2. Dumaguete Belfry – built in 1811 to warn the locals for threats or attacks. The tower provides so much history. Somehow I felt I was transported to the time when it still serves its purpose.

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3. Silliman University – said to be the first and the oldest American university in the Philippines.

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4. Pulangbato Hotspring – This hot spring is located in Valencia, Negros. From Dumaguete, we got on a jeepney that took us to a terminal where you can find motorcycles for rent that can take you to Valencia. If my memory serves me right, we paid 120 Php per motorcycle. As we were nearing the place, we can smell the sulfur fumes in the air.

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5. Red River Valley Waterfalls ( Malabo ) –  Still in Valencia. I did not dare take a dip as the water was freezing. We decided to climb and get closer to the falls instead. It’s picture worthy.

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These pictures below shows some spots that caught our attention and  worthy of a quick stop while en route to our destinations:

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 We passed by this rock mountain that emits sulfur fumes.

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And we saw a falls at the side of the road and a river across it. Cool!

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This cold spring is perfect on a hot sunny day. I bet it would be refreshing to take an afternoon swim here.

Bewitched by Isla del Fuego ( Siquijor Island )

I just felt the urge to blog about my previous travels. So I decided to write about our short but enchanting trip in Siquijor.

Never did it cross my mind to visit Siquijor. Probably because I know little about the place and it has a known reputation for witch craft and black magic.  This could also be the same reason why it’s not frequented by tourist before. ( my assumption only )

Then Siquijor started to attract tourist like magnets. It’s mystical charm, pristine beaches and natural wonders were just waiting to be explored. So to Siquijor we went! I did not realize how excited I was until the day of our trip. We were all ready to uncover the island’s beautiful mystery!

From the South Bus Terminal – Cebu, we took a  bus bound to Liloan, Santander. The ride lasted for 3-4 hours and the fare cost 160 – 200 Php. Though the travel time was a bit long, it was bearable. Good friends make long trips a little less boring. ( or may be a lot ).

Then from Liloan port, we got on a ferry boat to Sibulan. It cost us around 80 Php that covers terminal fee and boat fare. If you find yourself hungry after that long bus trip, Liloan port has a cafeteria that serves home-cooked meals. Travel time is more or less 30 minutes.

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From Sibulan port, we rode a tricycle to Robinson’s Dumaguete to shop for some food. They say it’s wiser to buy and cook your own food while in Siquijor. After our short stop at Robinson’s, we rode a jeepney to Dumaguete port. Fare is 11-15 Php.

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Our boat ride to Siquijor wasn’t a smooth one, the weather was a little moody. Drops of rain started to fall and the wind started to blow a little harder. Big waves started to hit our boat, it felt like we were on a paper boat that would tear up soon. Our head felt lighter and i wanted to puke! With no candies in our pockets to somehow relieve the feeling of throwing up what we ate for lunch, we decided to sleep for the rest of our trip. ( which was short by the way but felt like hours ).

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After that short battle with nature, we finally arrived safe and without a single bruise ( yehey! ).  Just steps away from the island’s port, you’ll have a peak of what to expect, unspoiled beauty of nature, pure bliss!  

WELCOME TO SIQUIJOR!

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The best way and the most common means of transportation in Siquijor is a tricycle. So we rented one for us to find a place to stay. Yes! You’re right. We did not booked ahead for our accommodation thinking that it’s off season. Unfortunately, we were all wrong, most of the resorts were fully booked, bummer! But we did not fret, we were confident enough that we will find a perfect place. And so it did happen! Casa De La Playa rescued us!

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After we settled in our lovely little hut by the beach, we started our tour in the mystic island!

Here are some of the top tourist spots in Isla Del Feugo:

1. Salagdoong Beach – This unspoiled public beach is frequented by locals and tourist for swimming and cliff diving. The water is so clear you can see the corals and school of fish. During our visit, the place was still being developed.

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2. Lazi Convent – Known as Asia’s largest and oldest convent. Across this convent is the Lazi Church. You’ll know that the place is full of history just by looking at it.

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3.  St. Isidore de Labrador Church or Lazi Church –  This old church still holds mass on a regular basis. A church-convent tour is also possible. If you have time and want to experience the tranquility of the place, ask someone who can assist you on how to take the tour.

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4. Cambuhagay Falls –  It’s hard to miss this falls because of the huge sign (which is a good thing). This place is one of my fave. The cold water is so inviting. For those who knows how to swim and like a little adrenaline rush, you can try the Tarzan jump.

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5.  Capilay Spring Park – When we stopped at this place, I asked ” What are we doing in a park?”. Then whoah! there’s a cold spring in the middle of the park, Literally! At that time, there was less visitors, probably because the weather is already cold for a day swim. With no fee, Calipay Spring park is a favorite among locals.

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6.  The Old Balete Tree – A balete tree is commonly known to be a dwelling place of supernatural – mystic creature. It was a little eerie being in the place but it’s worth a visit. Try dipping your feet in the little pool, small fishes will nibble your dead skin and will tickle you.

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This trip taught me that Siquijor is a beautiful place, peaceful and enchanting. Now, this island is one of my fave place. It’s definitely on my “To Return” list.  — misswolf01

 

“You get educated by travelling” – Solange Knowles

 

Ramdom Thought: What!?! Hello Kitty Is Not A Cat?

Hello Kitty Is Not A Cat

Saw this post from a friend’s profile in Facebook. I thought it was just a hoax and did not pay too much attention. But hours later, netizens went crazy and everyone went ballistic. The news became viral!!

Now the only cat I love ( i’m more of a dog lover ), turns out to be a british school girl and not an anthropomorphic cat. What a bomb! Part of my childhood became a lie! Hahaha..

Having said all these, should I now start questioning if kerokeropi is a frog? Is tweety bird a bird? Is pink panther’s a panther?

Is the mascot of the famous fast-food chain in the Philippines, Jollibee, a bee?