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Wordless Wednesday: Serenity

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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

 

Adrenaline Rush : Wakeboarding at Camsur Watersports Complex

Wakeboarding has tickled my fancy since I first heard about it. Seeing videos and photos of people doing the sport makes me wanna try it in an instant. It looks so cool and EASY! The latter, however, was a big wrong impression. 😉

For all of you who thinks the same way as I did (that it’s easy), remember these things :

1. It’s not Easy. ( for me at least 😉 )

I feel like repeating it over again haha. My sense of balance is poor and it ‘s probably the reason why it took me several attempts before I was able to cross to the other side.

2. Make sure you do some warm ups.

Personally, exercise is not part of my ADL. My lifestyle is somewhat sedentary. So if we’re alike, make sure you do some warm ups to reduce the chance of hoarding boxes of salon pas and alaxan after.. haha

3. Be prepared to drink tons of dirty water.

For novice like me, you’ll surely have countless falls, and this means drinking that dirty water! ( you may want to have your self check for amibiasis after.. Lol )

4. Chances of getting hand blister is high.

No blisters here but my friends did get some.

5. Keep it low.

Don’t get too excited and stand on your first try at wakeboarding. Keep close to your wakeboard like you’re almost sitting on it. This will keep your balance.

6. ENJOY!!

Patience ladies! It may take some time before you can perfect the stance. Enjoy every moment you spend with your board!

” Don’t be the girl who fell. Be the girl who got back up.”
― Jenette Stanley

 

We decided to try wakeboarding at Camsur Watersports Complex. Fresh from our Caramoan Island trip, CWC is easily accessible. The facility is located in Pili’s Provincial Capitol Complex. The CamSur Watersports Complex (CWC) is the first world class watersports park in Asia.

From the main road, we got on a tricycle for 10 Php each. At first look at the facility, you would think that you’ll end up with an empty pocket. To our surprised, CWC offers activities that’s easy on the pocket! ( whew! It was exactly what we needed, budget friendly activity).

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Initially, we wanted to just spend an hour but the lady at the reception suggested to take 2 hours instead, saying an hour would not suffice. An hour cost 165.00 Php that includes a vest and a helmet.  Also, do prepare a valid ID and 500.00 Php for deposit.

CWC’s list of activities and prices. 

 

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Good thing we took the advise of that lady from the reception!  We had sooooo much fun and actually wanted to spend more hours!

Look how much fun we had!! 

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Spoonful : Juana’s Budbod and Coffee

Juana’s Budbod and Coffee : where affordable price meets great tasting food!

From where i came from (cebu), budbod is a sticky rice wrapped in coconut leaf. Mostly eaten in the morning with our ‘sikwate’ ( hot choco). But in Juana’s, budbod is a special rice topped with our favorite Filipino viand – liempo, lechon, tinapa, beef tapa, adobo flakes and shawarma ( yes, i know the last one isn’t Filipino but its taste has been adjusted to the Filipino palate).

Juana’s Budbod is not just your usual “meat and rice meal”, along with your chosen topping are the freshest tomatoes, eggs and spring onions. So you have your carbs, protein and veggies in one spoonful!!

We were starving that day and thought that Juana’s is the perfect place to feed our hungry selves. Deciding on what topping to pick was hard as everything on their menu looks promising and appetizing!

So we agreed to get their Boodle Fight Meal. No doubt that it was the perfect choice. It had everything on it! The moment our order arrived, we started to dig in and everyone just went mute…hahaha. You can’t blame us, the food was delish!

Sadly, taking pictures of our food did not cross our mind (again, we were hungry like that). So I copied some pictures ( with permission of course ), from Juana’s facebook page to tickle your tastebuds. 😉

 

5                                                                Their Boodle Fight Meal!

 

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Juana’s does not only serve great tasting food but also has smoothies and juices to quench your thirst!

 

 

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Juana’s has been featured in Pop Talk and Unang Hirit. This proves that they serve good food and they are loved by the students of U-Belt.

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Juana’s Budbod and Coffee has been featured several times. From news paper, blogs and TV shows.

MUST KNOW: 

Where504 M.V. Delos Santos St cor Legarda St, Sampaloc, Manila

Landmark: University of Manila

Eats: Budbod Rice, Burgers ( adobonator ), smoothies/coffee

Price Range: 65 – 100 Php per meal

NICE TO KNOW: 

Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/ILOVEBUDBOD?fref=ts

Facts and Awards:

  • previously named Kubo ni Juan
  • June, 2010- Top 3 Yummy Budget Eateries around UBelt
    (Feature Story for The Beat, QTV 11)
  • June, 2011- Top 10 Student Friendly Eateries
    (Feature Story for Student and Campuses Section, Manila Bulletin)
  • June, 2012- Included in Manila’s Most Popular Student Hang- outs
    (Featured in Spot.ph)
  • June 2014 – Featured in Unang Hirit

Adrenaline Rush: ATV ride to Mayon Volcano

When in Legazpi City, one should not miss to get close with the world’s “most perfectly-formed volcano”.  I couldn’t think of any other perfect way to do this than through an ATV ride.

Mayon Volcano, also known as Mount Mayon, is an active volcano in the province of Albay, on the island of Luzon in thePhilippines. Renowned as the “perfect cone” because of its almost symmetricconical shape, the mountain was declared a national park and a protected landscape on July 20, 1938, the first in the country. It was reclassified a Natural Park and renamed Mayon Volcano Natural Park in the year 2000.[3]

Local Philippine folklore refers to the volcano as Bulkang Mayon (Bikol: “Mayon volcano”), after the legendary heroineDaragang Magayon (Bikol: “Beautiful Lady”).[4] 

Source: Wikipedia

My most trusted travel buddy contacted Your Brother Travel and Tours, which is the obvious pick for this adventure as they are the original and the creator of Mayon ATV tour  in Legazpi City. Plus, they provided service to Zac Efron and other local artist. The latter fact did all the convincing! 😉

Our trip in Legazpi wasn’t at all smooth because of a cancelled accommodation booking at RMJ Apartelle. Our reservation for a family room was cancelled without prior notice! Can you imagine how annoying that was? Especially if all you wanted to do is rest after a 3 hour bus ride from Naga City. And the guy at their reception, which is just a small wooden table, did not even show any concern!! Ppffftt!!

But as the cliche goes, everything happens for a reason. Cyrel Chan of Your Brother ATV saved us from our misfortune. An angel sent from above! 😉 He offered a room which is located at Your Brother site for an affordable rate and offered to pick us up too on his Ford Ranger!  He even accompanied us to have dinner and did a little touring at the town’s boulevard. Now that’s what you call “world-class customer service”. It made us feel like we were VIPs!! Because of him, we had a good night sleep and was so prepared for our ATV adventure the next morning! ( Yes, we were mentally and physically prepared, but our wallet wasn’t! ) LOL

The brochure from their website.

The brochure from their website.

 

Since we were already financially challenge but still don’t want to miss this once in a lifetime experience, we did the Mayon to Base camp trail for 1,800 Php. As you can see, it’s the cheapest ATV they have. 😉

Sharing some of our photos.

 

Mayon Volcano from afar!

Mayon Volcano from afar!

 

 

I'm so ready! :)

I’m so ready! 🙂

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The END! 🙂

 

 

Shoestring Budget Travel – Tagaytay

 

For the many times I’ve been to and fro Manila, I’ve always wanted to go to Tagaytay. But all previous plans were a failure.

This time no reason or excuse was acceptable. So it happened! Weeks prior to our trip, I’ve searched the net for the must visit place, the best restaurants to dine and the cheapest inns to stay. Wanting to make sure that I get the best from this trip, I copied almost all itinerary I found online that looks interesting and budget friendly. Yes, I was excited like that! Can you blame me? I’ve waited for this trip for a long time.

And so without further ado, let me share with you the things we did in Tagatay! ( and a short review of each place )

1. Brunch at Bag of Beans

Place – It was a little crowded when we got there, probably because it was a weekend. It took us several minutes before we got ourselves a table and another few minutes for them to provide a chair that can sit all of us ( we were 7 ).

Food – The food was good and the serving was generous. We had grilled pork chops, Puttanesca, Breakfast sampler, Beef Tapa, Fish and Chips, and a burger.

You can check this link for the menu along with the prices : http://www.zomato.com/manila/bag-of-beans-tagaytay-city-tagaytay-city/menu#tabtop

Tip : Better make a reservation. This place is a fave of both locals and tourists.

 

2. Puzzle Mansion

Place – One word to describe it ” Ordinary. Two words will be “Nothing  Special”, except for the fact that it’s in the Guinness world records. Maybe I was just expecting more for the price we paid for the tickets ( 100Php per head ). An interactive activity perhaps? Or something to make the place not just a “plain museum of puzzles” . Well, maybe for the puzzle enthusiast, this place is heaven.

 Tip : I suggest not to visit this place if you’re really not into puzzles. 🙂 

 

3. Picnic Grove

Place – This place offers a spectacular view of Taal.  It’s one of the most visited tourist spot as it offers outdoor activities that all can enjoy. Take that perfect photo of Taal from its viewing deck or take a zip line ride for 350php – 400php per person. Cottages and tables are available for rent (ranging from Php100 to Php500) but we didn’t get one since we did not plan to stay long.

For a minimal entrance fee of 50Php, you get to relax and see the beauty of the world’s smallest active volcano.

Tip : Bring your own mat if you want to stay longer but you’re on a tight budget. 

 

4. Sky Ranch

Place – The Sky Ranch is a leisure park where you’ll find the Sky Eye, the said tallest Ferris wheel in the Philippines which present a perfect view of Taal. This was one of my most anticipated activity here in Tagaytay and the ride was worth it. It did not fail to amazed me. If only I can keep our cabins/carriage at the top. I didn’t want it to end!!

To enjoy the rides and the view, you have to pay 80Php for the entrance fee and 150Php for the Sky Eye ride.

Tip: Make sure to bring a nice camera to capture the view during your Sky Eye experience. 

 

5.  Leslie’s Restaurant

Place – Leslie’s is one of the few restaurant that is known to serve the best bulalo in Tagaytay, thus it is frequented by many. It was already dinner time when we arrived, tables are mostly occupied, especially the ones with  good view.

Food – So we ordered 2 Bulalo for 350.00 per bowl,  1 bowl can feed 3-4 pax! We also ordered pork sisig and enseladang mangga for 250.00 and 150.00 respectively. The foods were tasty but it was way TOO SALTY.

Tip: Be there early to get the best spot or call ahead to reserve a table.

 

6. Famous Inn ( where we stayed )

Place – So I decided to risk it and booked 2 rooms at this place despite the not so good review.  We were on a tight budget as we know it 😉 . The place was not that bad for its price. It’s a decent place for an overnight stay. If you only intend to sleep and leave early the next morning ( just like what we did ), then Famous Inn is a place for you.

Tip: It is best to bring your own soap and shampoo. 

 

That’s the end of our first day in Tagaytay. Our climb to Taal Volcano will be on a different blog. :))

 

Here are some of our many pictures! 🙂

 

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At Leslie’s

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Puzzle Mansion

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Sky Eye at Sky Ranch

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Sky Ranch

Bag of Beans

Bag of Beans

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Picnic Grove