Trip to Ilocos (DAY 3)

August 24, 2014

Heritage Village at Dawn

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For our last day in Vigan, we headed back to South to witness the heritage village at dawn. As what our driver said, we will explore more of this village on our last day. So we had to depart at 3:00am at our hotel in Laoag City Ilocos Norte to be able to reach the said village before the sun rises. Thanks to our hotel for serving our breakfast as early as 2:30am.

We reach the village at around 5:00am and though it was my second time, the view was just totally majestic. The dawn made it more romantic and lovely. I feel like I existed in those places mentioned in my History books during my Elementary years.

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We just can’t get enough taking pictures and we even kept on requesting our driver to extend a little more minutes but he said we will be back when the souvenir stores around the village will open so we can buy our pasalubong.

These photos will somehow describe a bit of how I exactly felt and experienced :

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Bantay Church and Bantay Church Bell Tower

This is also called Saint Augustine Parish Church or Santuario de Nuestra Senora de Caridad located in Bantay, Ilocos Sur. Imagine how blessed you are standing in a belfry that was constructed around 1591-1592. Woaa!!

We were lucky enough to have such kind of sky photobombing our photos.

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To complete your experience, you have to be at the top of the belfry to see the beautiful town of Bantay in the morning. I was quite nervous going up since the wooden stairs were quite old already. So I suggest that if you want to go up the belfry and you are a big group just like ours, you should divide your group and decide who will go first.

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More photos :

The Hidden Garden

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It was around 7:00 am when our driver brought us here in Hidden Garden. You’ll find a lot of stuff inside this garden. There is a café and restaurant called Lilong and Lilang serving Ilocano cuisine.

We were still full with our breakfast from the hotel so we just ordered that banana flavored dessert which I forgot the name. The place has lot of plants and trees. We saw different kind of bonsai at the heart of the garden.

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Every corner seemed inviting to take more photos. I think this will be more romantic at night for lovers.

There’s this lover’s corner and yes I was courageous enough to have a not so bitter pose here. Haha.

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Burnayan of Ruby Jar Factory

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Burnayan is an Ilocano word which means pottery. This Ruby Jar Factory in Ilocos Sur is probably one of the most iconic potteries in the country. Pottery was introduced to them back to pre colonial times when Chinese immigrants came to Vigan. We were lucky enough to meet the owner Mr. Fidel Go who’s an expert in pottery.

I can still remember our reaction when he was talking about the history of their business while demonstrating how to make a jar.

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I was in awe seeing how he was able to manage that portion of clay given to him by his assistant into different shapes and styles by using just his bare hands. As he kept on sharing stories, the jar his making changes from one shape to another. It was effortless and really cool!

Based on his stories, the clay is dig from the western part of their place. Well, they could be very blessed with such kind of clay since pottery started sometime in pre colonial times and still they got enough supplies of clay to continue their operation up to now. He also shared that a carabao has to step on the clay repeatedly to get the right texture for molding. Then when you got the style you want, you need to let it dry and baked. I have high respect to Sir Fidel for sharing his story to us. Imagine his talking to a lot of groups everyday sharing his stories and expertise for free.

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Just a tip if you are planning to visit here, you wear the right outfit because you will enjoy making your own jar for free. I did try but wasn’t able to finish it since I was wearing tight dress that time and I can’t open my legs properly to operate the potter’s wheel but actually this is more of an excuse because it was really difficult to make one haha!

Also, you must be very attentive and cling much to your common sense when you got the chance to talk to the owner and as to why, that’s a secret. (To others who have been there already, you knew what I mean). It would be unfair to us, if I’ll share it you here haha.

Trivia :

Did you know that the owner Sir Fidel Go is a National Folk Artist?

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He was recognized by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts in 1990 “for his exceptional skill and ingenuity in the traditional craft of jar making thereby significantly contributing to the ervation of the precious cultural heritage of Vigan.”

Pasalubong Shopping at The Heritage Village

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For our last stop, we got the chance to explore the stores in the Heritage Village of Vigan. It was the best time for souvenirs and pasalubong for our family and friends.

Ofcourse I and Ate Bev were on hunt of the famous delicacy of Vigan called Empanada

and ending the trip with that means mission accomplished!

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Time for some random thoughts…

Like what I did with my first major travel last year in Boracay, I will have this random thoughts to end the post.

One word to describe from day 1 to the last day was EPIC. More than the feeling of awe, overwhelm and all, I am deeply thankful to every person who became part of this. Special thanks to our accommodating driver Kuya Dawrin. His the man!

One of the most important thing I learn from travelling, as in from literally riding a van or bus or even in my daily jeepney commute, the journey along the way will always remind me of who is really the real me. This is maybe because, what I see in every different streets I pass by will always let me reflect how it is related to me or how I can handle it if it happens to me. They are probably right that when you travel, you get to know more of your self and it’s the best time to reflect about anything in your life. Looking forward to our next destination! Thanks for reading.

Ilocos trip Day 1 here.

Ilocos trip Day 2 here.

SUMMARY OF EXPENSES :

Round trip Promo Airfare from Davao City to Manila – 1800php

3days and 2 nights Ilocos Sur and Norte Tour Package – 3400php each (Inclusive: Transportation from NAIA-Ilocos-Makati, Tour, Hotel and Meal; except the following)

Day 1 Breakfast – 100php

Marcos Museum Entrance Fee – 50php

Day 1 Lunch – 100php

Sand dunes 4×4 ride – 450php each

Day 1 Dinner – 35php

Day 2 Lunch – 130php

Day 2 Dinner – 45php

Pasalubong and Souvinier – 1000php

TOTAL : 7110php

Trip to Ilocos (DAY 2)

August 23, 2014

Our 2nd day at Ilocos Norte started at around 8:00 AM and first stop was the

Malacañang of the North also known as Malacañang ti Amianan of Paoay

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It has been the official residence/rest house of the late President Ferdinand Marcos and his family whenever they are in Ilocos. It is considered as one of the important landmarks in the province. It was converted into a museum which is open to view by the public. A 2 storey mansion and is known to be an extension for the office of the president as well as venue to welcome local and foreign VIP.

10610711_10204108425738224_8570034331226616266_n Upon entering the house, you can somehow have a glimpse on the kind of lifestyle the Marcos family has. The classic Filipino type of interior design was well-preserved including some of Marcos family’s personal things. Also the set up of a home like ambiance was retained. My most favorite part of this house is the back portion where the veranda at the ground floor and the terrace in the second floor is located.

Opps, notice upon setting your foot on the second floor this wooden planks in the shape of the Philippine flag.

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From the second floor, you can view the Paoay Lake locally known as Dacquel a Danum, an Ilocano word which means “big water.” Guess this view is a picture perfect spot:

More of our photos at the Malacañang of the North:

Next stop is the

Parola ng Cape Bojeador of Burgos

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Located on a top of a hill named Vigia de Nagparitan in Burgos, is a lighthouse declared as a National landmark by the National Historical Institute last 2004 and as a National Cultural Treasure by National Museum last 2005. It was established during the Spanish Colonial period as part of Spaniards plan for lighting the coasts of the Philippines.

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Overlooking the breath taking South China Sea, this lighthouse made of bricks and in octagonal shape is an icon in the province of Ilocos Norte specifically in the town of Burgos.

10653825_10204108494899953_3317281996653235387_n Aside from being accessible, this is one of the most visited landmarks because of its historic background. It was first lit in March 30, 1892 to guide merchant ships like Spanish Galleons as they pass by the rocky coastline of the town. Until today, this lighthouse is still active and is maintained and managed by the LGU and Philippine coast guard.

I think visiting treasures like these, is an achievement. I feel really blessed for this chance.

Check out more of our photos at Burgos Lighthouse:

On our way to the 3rd stop, I’ve been feeling this itchy feet, fast heartbeat, undeniable smile and to sum it up it was a mixed of emotions just the thought of going to

Wind Farm of Bangui

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This was my most awaited spot for this trip! Towering Turbines with a height equivalent to a 23-story building and standing 326 meters apart from each other, (so how was that?) I was expecting that it would just look like a common electric post but nay, it was like a futuristic huge thingy. Haha!

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As I walk along the pebbly shore, getting nearer and nearer to these windmills, I just can’t help but really felt blown away with the surreal scene.

IMG_3568 The panoramic beauty of the turbines plus the beach and the vast forest from afar can absolutely capture your attention. 10580155_10204709961770930_3135119109927053971_n

Considered the biggest wind turbines in Southeast Asia, the Bangui Windmills not only helped improve the tourism in Ilocos but it also powers 40% of the entire province through renewable source of energy. It’s a must see! What a priceless experience!

More photos at Bangui Windmills:

Tartaruga’s Hotel and Restaurant of Pagudpud

The gang we’re kinda late for lunch it was supposed to be at Papa Nard’s Foodhauz but when we arrived in their place, it was already closed. We don’t know if just for that time or if they already stopped their operation. It was around 1:30 PM already when we found Tartaruga’s Hotel and Restaurant and though it was an abrupt decision  to dine in their restaurant, guess our driver did a great job for this. They serve Filipino dishes and heavy snacks as well for an affordable price. Though it was quite hot because it was an open area the food was pretty good for our hungry tummy.

Agua Grande and Paraiso ni Anton of Pagudpod

We just enjoyed Agua Grande from a distance. I think there’s an entrance fee in their river park. However since it could just be seen from afar I mean from the place where we stopped, we didn’t thought of entering the place. By the way, Agua Grande is a a picnic park with a crystal clear and cold running water from the mountains to the sea.

Paraiso ni Anton is just relatively close to Agua Grande. It has a three mini waterfalls and a grotto of Mother Mary.  It serves as stop over for souvenir items and a cool down area especially to those individual who believes that the water that drips down to the hillside is miraculous water with healing powers despite of the declaration of DENR that its not potable for drinking.

We didn’t stay long enough to Agua Grande and Paraiso ni Anton. After taking a few shots to both, next stop is the

Patapat Bridge of Pagudpod

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This bridge is said to be the fourth longest bridge in the Philippines. It is named Patapat  (an Ilocano term which means “belt”) because it connects the Maharlika Highway from Laoag, Ilocos Norte to Cagayan Valley Region. So how cool was that? Didn’t realize we’re that way up North J.

The old road located just at the mountain side which is quite not that obvious already as ferns and grass covers the area is where most accidents and landslide happen. So to somehow lessen and solve the problem of landslide, this viaduct was constructed under the Marcos Administration and was officially opened to traffic in October 1986. This concrete coastal bridge is elevated 31 meters over sea level and 1.3 km long.

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It gives motorists a breathtaking view of Pasaleng Bay and its rocky shoreline facing the West Philippine Sea.

Trivia: As you pass by this bridge you can see this scrap metal floating just near the shoreline of the bay.

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According to our van driver, It was a Korean cargo vessel Nam Yang 8 who encountered rough waves and wrecked in Pasaleng Bay near Patapat early of 2010. As time pass by, it was gone piece by piece.

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Taking photos on the bridge was an adventure as trucks and all kinds of vehicles passed by. So we were like kids playing “patintero”. We’re thankful enough that Kuya Darwin was also game and very supportive especially with our jump shots.

1939927_10204710191776680_7931542814507173763_n The heat was on and it made us even more energetic and hyper that time. It was such a beautiful creation by God and the people of Ilocos.

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Ze blogger selfie:)

More photos at Patapat Bridge:

Hannah’s Beach Resort

This spot is one those places in Ilocos I’d like to explore more because we just passed by here and was not able to take more photos. The place was really inviting just by passing along the road going to the beach, everything seemed exciting. Surely you will enjoy taking photos because they’ve got these popular landmarks inspired designs just around the area.

Also, we just passed by Kabigan Falls and proceeded to a particular Baranggay in Pagudpod where locals directly sell their homemade souvenirs. Thanks to Kuya Darwin that he brought us there because we paid lesser compared to the souvenirs sold in downtown area.

Pagudpod Landmark Stop over

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Kapurpurawan Rock Formation of Burgos

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This rock formation is located along the Bangui Bay. It is one of the wonders of Ilocos Norte and a pride because it is a work of art by  Mother nature itself molded through the combined forces of the ocean, wind and the waves. The rock formation is soft, white and and has a chalk-like texture hence the name “Puraw” an Ilocano term that means “white”.

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Upon entering, you will pass by a portion where grass and plants are like cave. I think I would love to shoot for an MTV or prenup here. Haha.

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You can choose whether you will go horseback riding or just walk to get closer to the rocks. I preferred to walk because aside from its free, I think I would enjoy more the details of this fascinating creation of God.

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This time, it’s also less hassle for tourists to get closer to the rock formations because this trail was established for a better accessibility.

Before, people could get closer near the exact rock and take picture but it’s now prohibited for rehabilitation and to preserve the natural attraction. But there are still allowed area for tourists though not that close enough, but still the experience was priceless!

Aside from the rock formation, I was also fascinated with picture perfect view.

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It was as if a painting of paradise and yes it’s a real paradise indeed. I love the ambiance most especially the blue waters facing the West Philippine Sea, and the waves splashing on the rocks. Then the locals and horses around completes the whole different world view. The whole place was truly refreshing.

I love that our Driver chooses this to be our last stop for the day, because we’re able to avoid the heat of Mr. Sun.

More photos as follow:

Windmills construction reaches this area. They called it Phase 3: ss1

It was around 6:30PM when we leave Kapurpurawan Rock Formation and still the sun is up. As we travel back to the City of Laoag we dropped by to a house along the street and bought some dragon fruit. Then reached the city of Laoag for dinner.

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and as the sun sets, I am thinking of all the blessings God has given and provided. Truly thankful for the chance to travel:)

Trip to Ilocos (DAY 1)

According to google, “Panata” (a Filipino word and a tradition) means a Vow or a Promise or an Oath. That’s what I told myself since last year 2013, “To travel to a place I have never been at least once a year” and that’s a serious promise. If you were able to read my previous post, 1st year of the so called promise to travel, was at Boracay. Well, I am also lucky to have people around me with the same goal and so for the second time around, this years’ travel was pull off.

This time, we headed in the Northwest part of Luzon, the provinces of Ilocos (Norte and Sur).

How to get there?

From Davao City, I think the most convenient is via airplane going to Laoag City the capital of Ilocos Norte. Unfortunately, we were not able to avail promos to such route. So we decided to avail Cebu Pacific’s Davao-Manila promo 3 months ago before August, which we considered as our travel month. From Manila, we took a Van ride courtesy of Kuya Darwin of Red Win Travels going to the province of Ilocos Sur. Kuya Darwin was referred to us by a friend of one of my travel buddies who was also one of Red Win Travels customers. Aside from being our official driver, he was also our tour guide and the one who arranged everything for the entire trip which cost 3400php all in all (I’ll give the summary after the whole post about the trip). We we’re already given the itinerary month before the trip so we had enough time to prepare on what to wear and other stuff to bring. It sounded like too hassle when I knew that we will be travelling 7-8 hrs by land from Manila to Ilocos, but it didn’t end up that way. It actually took 6-7hrs ride for us to reach our first stop plus its good to have some glimpse in the provinces of Bulacan,  Tarlac, Pangasinan and La Union. So I guess that’s one bonus we got with travelling by land.

We departed from Francisco Banggoy Davao International Airport around 10:00 pm and reach Ninoy Aquino Manila International Airport at 11:30PM and from there we proceeded immediately to the parking lot as our van driver was there waiting for us. Then the journey started.

August 22, 2014

DAY 1

ILOCOS SUR

The Heritage Village of Vigan City

IMG_3106It was around 6:00 AM when we reach Vigan City, Ilocos Sur and I woke up in this view:

Calle Crisologo of The Heritage City of Vigan

IMG_3115Vigan, is the capital city of the province of Ilocos Sur. On our way, it is obvious that the city preserves that heritage ambiance because all other establishments including fast foods, corporate offices like banks were designed in classic inspired buildings.

The heritage village, is listed on the UNESCO world heritage list since December 1999 for its unique Spanish colonial history in Asia and the preserved Spanish monumental buildings which where build in the 18th century. It is considered as best-preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia because of its architecture that reflects the different culture from Philippines, Europe and China  that was put together and is incomparable to anywhere else in Asia.

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I didn’t actually felt that I was already there since I just woke up and I feel like I’m still half asleep. Then when everything sinks in, I was too overwhelmed. I t feels like I was in a different world. The ambiance was so peaceful and you know that romantic classic feels. It was such a beautiful place in my dream that was actually for real. We were not able to explore more of the Heritage City that time since we needed to take our breakfast then in order to follow the targeted itinerary that day and Kuya Darwin also said that we will have another time to explore this place.

We had our breakfast at Kusina Felicitas which is just a walking distance from Calle Crisologo.

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The restaurant serves affordable and signature Ilocano meals such as Bagnet, Longanisa, Pinakbet, Bunog (a fish indigenous to the local river), and Ipon ( a seasonal fish famous to the Ilocanos). To supplement the menu, they also serve Filipino and Asian cuisine. Aside from that, you’ve got to enjoy the place because it is adorned with paintings, locally made furnitures and classic stuff which completes the dining experience.

More photos of Kusina Felicitas:

Baluarte of Vigan City

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Baluarte is actually owned by a political leader Gov. Chavit of Vigan and it’s his gift to the people who are allowed to use of spaces for free for their livelihood programs. It is open to the public and admission is free. The facilities and amenities are designed for a realistic and natural habitat for domestic animals such as  monkeys, chickens, large lizards (bayawak) and rare bird species, right inside the Baluarte forest, these rare bird species are found only in there.

For me, the place is more than just a Zoo. Even though I am not an animal lover, I did enjoy the place due to its fresh and eco-friendly ambiance. I so like knowing that admission is free and groups will surely enjoy it since you are also allowed to bring food and be in their picnic area for bonding’s. That’s totally nice and two thumbs up to Gov. Chavit for this project:)

More of our Baluarte photos:

ILOCOS NORTE

Then, we headed to Ilocos Norte and here’s our shots at the landmark of the northern part of Ilocos:

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Marcos Presidential Center of Batac City

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This is a the ancestral home of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. It’s now a museum of his memorabilia for his entire political life from being a representative of Ilocos to becoming a Senator and up to his Presidency. A 50 pesos is to be paid before entering the museum. Of course I was already expecting to see stuff related to the late President but upon entering a room where cameras are not allowed, we were really surprised to see the late Presidents “remains” up close and personal. I always saw it on TV but never did I thought that it was in Ilocos. Maybe our driver was not able to tell us ahead of time because he was expecting that we already knew about it. But really we were shocked! Personally, I did not like the ambiance. I told my friends that it was like I’m in a Satanic place. (sorry for the term). His body was encased in that air-conditioned dark room with all the candles, flowers and instrumental creepy music. So prepare your self when you visit. For those who are not familiar, the President died 28th of September 1989 and his remains are still there because the Philippine Government still refuses to grant that wish from Marcos family to give him a state funeral fit for a military hero.

The museum was carefully designed. It was like a book and each room was the chapters. The story per chapter were printed in the walls with images and trivia about it. We enjoyed taking photos of the memorabilia’s as well as the interior designs of the place.

More of our photos at Marcos’ Museum:

It was around 1:00pm when we finished the tour at the museum, we took our lunch at Rafael’s Grill which is just pretty near in the museum.

10472782_10204698632567707_175017665765624049_n Rafael’s Grill is a Filipino Asian restaurant. They served Ilocos native recipes in affordable prices. I guess this is one of the most visited restaurants in the place, because when we arrived, the place was full already so we needed to wait for others to finish.

For the menu and a glimpse of the place check photos below:

Saint Augustine Church of Paoay

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Next stop was the Paoay Church. Completed in 1710, one of the most striking feature of the Church is the huge buttresses at the sides and back of the church building:

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The earliest inhabitants in the town of Paoay believed to have come from India, so the town was originally called “Bombay“. Same with the heritage city of Vigan, Paoay Church is a National Cultural Treasure by the Philippine government in 1973 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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We are really thankful for the weather the entire trip. The heat was on and still everybody was hyper!

Check out more of our photos at Paoay church:

It was around 3:00PM when we leave Paoay church and finally proceeded to our hotel which is located at Laoag City.

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Park Lane Hotel

Park Lane hotel is located at General Segundo Ave. Brgy. 55- Barit, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. Since we were 12, we occupied 3 rooms and we were 4 in each room. During check in, it was less hassle for us since everything was already arranged by our driver/tour guide. The room was fairly good for me, it has bathroom and rest room inside, also TV and air-conditioned. So we got some  rest for about an hour and around 5:00PM we proceeded to our next stop.

La Paz Sand Dunes of Laoag City

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This was the highlight of our 1st day in Ilocos. It was an epic 4×4 ride  I was literally not expecting to survive the adventure. I think it was quite unsafe since no protective gear was provided. Thank God we’re all safe.

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Also tried Sand Boarding, and I guess we all deserve an applause because we all conquered our fear:) We paid 450 for the entire Sand dunes adventure. That’s good for 1 hour only but I think we were there for almost 2 hrs since we were the last group that time.

Up to now, I can still recall the loud shouts, we were even calling our mother’s name, and all other persons we can recall during the ride. It was one unforgettable adventure I had.

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The Sand dunes can go as high as 10-20 ft. I guess it was my loudest scream ever. It was like jumping off from a 4th flr of abuilding. That roller coaster ride will make you hold that bar of steel as if it’s the only thing that can save your life.

One thing I also love,was the fact that it’s almost 7:00pm that time and yet the sun light was still up.

More of our photos in Laog, La Paz Sand Dunes:

It was already 7:00PM  when we leave the place and last stop was the dinner near the city’s plaza:

IMG_3355 here you can eat for as low as 35php only. They have different type of Filipino dishes also the signature delicacies of Ilocos like empanada and longganisa. We were quite drained already that time, so after dinner we stopped by to a supermarket to buy some stuff we need in the hotel then immediately got rest for the 2nd day of the tour.

And that’s for DAY 1.

(Part 2 will be posted ASAP)

Bucketlist #4: Visit Boracay (Day 3 and 4 )

DAY 3:
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Our third day started out with a continental breakfast at Luna Rossa which is just a walking distance from where we stayed and who was own by a kababayan of mine:) Inclusive of the food are the umbrellas and benches fronting the beach. I guess this was my favorite part of our trip- The Beach Life:)

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Like what I usually tell to my friends, I am not afraid of getting tanned because I always love playing or spending outdoor activities under the heat of the sun.

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More of our random photos during beach time 🙂
I am just truly thankful to these people. Each moment spent during the trip was all worth it. Look how confident we are in our swim wears this time 🙂 I guess the ambiance and the people around you in Boracay helps out in building your self-confidence because you know that they won’t talk behind your back. Its just about wearing what’s should be, embracing the beauty of the place and just enjoy everything:)

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What I also love when travelling is when I got to meet strangers:) Nice strangers:) Like these korean girls who were also game in having groupies with us:) They were just walking along the beach and friendly enough in accepting our request to have photo with them:) Nice!

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After the whole morning of spending in the beach, we took our lunch at Golden Cowrie:) special thanks to Ate Sarah for the treat:) and just a trivia: Golden Cowrie is a sister company of Hukad restaurant and this was my first time to try their Chicken Pandan which became one of my new favorite food since then:) I highly recommend you to try it.

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After the late lunch, was the Souvenir and pasalubong shopping time:) I got a cute sleevless from Island Souvenir and some goodies from Hugod:) It was quite exhausting finding out cheap souvenirs but we did it and I personally enjoyed wandering around. I just noticed that there are more foreigners than Filipinos especially Koreans:) but this next photo is not a Korean but an American who’s one of those I mentioned “Nice” strangers. We had this photo while waiting for our Milk Tea to be served. Thanks man!

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It was around 4 in the afternoon when we finished the souvenir hunting and since this was our last day, it could not happen without a groupie in the beach wearing our lovely dresses plus Ate jikay’s comfy OOTD:)

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Then its time for us to say Goodbye for now Boracay. After the packing up sessions, one of the staff to where we stayed was so nice to assist us from Boracay Station 2 to Boracay port up to Caticlan port:)

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He also suggested that we stay in Airport Line since its the nearest inn from Aklan Airport:) We arrived around 7:00pm and took our dinner at McDonald’s Aklan:)
Below is the room rate of Airport Line in case you’re planning a trip going to Aklan and Boracay:

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DAY 4:
It’s the final count down!!!!!
Our flight was at 9:00AM so we made sure to arrive at 7:00AM in the airport:) and since we are all backpackers we did everything just by riding a tricycle:) from the inn to Mcdonald’s for the take out of food to the airport:) Thanks to the nice people we’ve met:)

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HAPPY ME, HAPPY US, HAPPY TRIP:)

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Day 3 and 4 random thoughts:
So far I consider this as the most major trip I have ever experienced and I have always been overwhelmed when I get to visit new places, tastes new food and try new experiences. I guess all of us are like that:) I’m just truly thankful to my sisters in the office who made this bucketlist possible:) Never did I thought of visiting this tourist spot but its true that when you want to make things happen, you can do it esp. when you have supportive people around you. I would also like to thank my cousins Ate che, ate Jas and Pinky for giving me extra money for the expenses:) See how sweet they are:) such a supportive family I got:) Most of all, I thank God that we are able to experienced the beauty of His creations, in a not so expensive way and safely:) Felt so blessed as well that we’re able to have nice people along the way, the drivers the tour guides and all the crew for the assistance:)
Boracay was naturally beautiful. I love everything, the sand, the water, adventures, the nice people, the food and the adventures. But honestly, it’s already too commercialized. I know its part of the improvemens of the place. I don’t say this to mean negatively because to those people who have enough budget and love to have a city life in the beach or beachlife in the city, Boracay is the best spot for you:) I just wish the local government unit of Caticlan would be able to regularized the fast development of the place and preserved it:)

Day 3 expenses:
breakfast at Luna Rosa – 100 each (inclusive of the bench and umbrella)
Lunch at Golden Cowrie- 120 each
Pasalubong- 200 php each
Souvenier shirt: 150php
Share tea- 50 php
Tricycle from station 2 to boracay port – 20php each
Van to kalibo airport line inn- 100php each
Airport line room- 210php each
airport line inn to mcdo for dinner via tricycle – 10php each
dinner at mcdo kalibo – 80php each
mcdo kalibo back to airport line inn – 10 php each
Total: 1050 each

Day 4 expenses:
tricycle from airport line to mcdo for breakfast- 10 php each
breakfast at mcdo- 50php each
mcdo to airport kalibo- 10 php each
kalibo terminal fee-100php
Total: 170php each

Another Bucketlist has been crossed out! Thanks God🙏❤️

P.S.: check out my previous posts from Day 1-4 of our trip so you’ll have an idea about our expenses esp. if you have plans going to Boracay:) You can find it at the last part of each post. Enjoy!

BUCKETLIST # 4: Visit Boracay (DAY 2)

Our second day started out early coz we wanted our trip to be worth it every single day and we don’t wanna miss out any happening in the heart of Bora. It was around 6:00am when we experience the beach of Bora in its quite and peaceful ambiance. You must really try this! Swear it was so relaxing and I did appreciate even more how God created such gift in Aklan. The morning view was too lovely, free from noise and less crowded sea side and so we can’t get enough taking group pictures.
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Ofcourse I had my me time and was able to play with sands like I usually do when in the beach until I got dirty  hehe.
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We continued to walk along the long shore of the beach then took our breakfast at McDonald’s.
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Before our assembly time with our adventure tour guide, we’re trying to find the right timing and spot to capture us in our swim wear outfit and right timing and spot means zero presence of others haha. You know it isn’t possible. So it’s all about confidence and the photo says it all 😉
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It was round 8:00AM when we meet up with our official tour guide Kuya Gil for the adventures that day.
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1st adventure is ride of All-terrain Vehicle
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Everyone of us were first timers. Before the ride, you will undergo a brief orientation about the location of the ride, how to operate the vehicle and the do’s and don’ts of it. It was a 30 minute ride going up and down in a bumpy and busy road going to Mt. Luho. It was also the most fulfilling in all the rides we have experienced because you aren’t riding in an exclusive ATV road only but rather a main road. So you are with big trucks and you have to follow the traffic enforcers instruction along the way. As soon as you reach the top, an overwhelming feeling that you we’re able to finish half of the adventure is really an achievement. My arm muscles were really exhausted but everything paid off when we reach the top of Mt. Luho.
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From their, everything for us were unexpected. We thought it will all just be about ATV ride but you will also have an overlooking and wider view of Boracay which was really beautiful.
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After Mt. Luho, we then ride again the ATV going back to their main site for the next adventure. But before that, I guess the ATV Crew / Kuya Gil’s company deserves a shout out for a nice service to us:)
On our way to Parasailing adventure…
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This one is really cool and literally breathtaking. We needed to ride a speed boat going to parasailers area which was quite in deep blue see already.
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It was so much exciting and fun especially when you are already at the top. The cloud 9 feeling and refreshing breath is there while swinging with the air. Such an unforgettable experience!
The heat is on and yet we’re still that hyper and excited for the next  adventure and we needed again to ride another speed boat, going to the 3rd one.
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3rd and last adventure for the day is Helmet Diving
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So the excitement was turned into fear and hesitation after the orientation. We were taught about the non verbal cues practiced by scuba divers when under the sea. This one was a bit challenging to us, since mostly  are not swimmers. But one thing to bear in mind in this adventure is never ever panic. Most of us, experienced the pain in our ears while going 17 feet under the sea and it caused us panicked. However, we we’re already aware during the orientation with that, so the key was to listen carefully so you’ll able to save your self. Under the sea, you’ll see different types of fishes and try feeding them. You’ll also enjoy some sort of entertainment by the diver plus a CD of pictures and video of the adventure also is included in the packaged.
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Almost 1:00PM already when we finished and we ended up our first half of the day with an unlimited rice for lunch at Mang Inasal.
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Then the body pain and tiring mode attacks, so the whole afternoon was spent i n bed. We woke up and get out of our room around 6:30PM already for a another round of walk and dinner. That was Day 2!
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Day 2 random thoughts:
The me time in front of the beach during the morning was an answered request. It did completed my stay in Boracay plus the confidence in wearing a two piece also did a big impact personally. I feel good and happy with what I did so I think there’s nothing to be ashamed of. haha.
The adventures, could be my once in a lifetime experience. I am just so thankful and proud that I was able to face my fears, shout out loud and enjoy every single moment I had. But more than the experience, it was Kuya Gil that has a big impact to me. He’s so passionate and nice. I was just expecting for a fun adventure but he gave us more than that. The packaged was full of surprises and every little thing matters a lot.

Day 2 expenses:
Breakfast @ Mcdo – 80php each
Adventure Package -1,500php each
(inclusive of: Multicab ride from and to the adventures, ATV ride, Mt. Luho, Speed boat ride from and to water adventures, Parasailing, Helmet diving with CD)
Tip for tour guide  – 100php each
Tip for ATV crew – 40php each
Tip for Parasailing crew – 20php each
Tip for Helmet diving crew – 20php each
Tricycle from last adventure to Mang Inasal – 20php each
Lunch @ Mang Inasal – 100php each
Dinner @ Panay Andoks – 120php each
TOTAL – 2,000php>

BUCKETLIST # 4 : Visit Boracay (DAY 1)

Who would have thought that I’d be able to visit this place?
I sound that way since when you say Boracay, it’s about beach life and expenses and that’s true especially to travellers from outside Visayas but I hope our itinerary could help you in budget matter if you’re planning a trip to this island.
Anyway, this is really a very late post since it happened last August of 2013. For some reasons, I wasn’t able to post it as soon as it happened because I feel too overwhelmed and out of words with the experience and was too ideal on how my post should be until I got other priorities and ended up less active in blogging. (feeling bad)
3 months ahead we have already booked our flight to Kalibo, Aklan and avail the promo through Cebu Pacific Airline. I don’t have any idea of the regular fare to Kalibo from Davao but ours cost 1800php (4 days and 3 nights) for a round trip. I was supposed to be with my 7 sisters/officemates namely Ate Jikay, Ate Sarah, Ate Lyn, Ate Bev, Ate Niña, Ate Yessa and Ate April but due to some unexpected happenings, 3 of them were not able to make it to the trip 😦

DAY 1 – AUGUST 15, 2013

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With flight #5J 986, we departed from Davao City International Airport at 12:25n and arrived at Kalibo International Airport at around 1:45pm.

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From there, you will be welcomed with people offering tour packages to the island of Caticlan Boracay but we preferred with our DIY itinerary and decided to commute. Thanks to those friends of one of my travel buddies who were also with the same flight with us for suggesting this because it costs lesser than we expected.

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We took the tricycle ride going to Van terminal which was just few minutes away from Kalibo Airport. From there, we spent 2 hours of travel via Van before reaching Caticlan Port. (Here’s Kuya Noel contact number 09092895372- our van driver). We reach Caticlan Port at around 3:30pm. This time, you will ride a boat to reach the Island of Boracay but before that you need to pay for the Environmental Fee (for non Aklanons only) and a Terminal Fee. It took around 10minutes of travel before reaching the island of Boracay and ofcourse I was expecting to see the white sand and the beach then but no we still need to take one last means of transportation which is the tricycle again going to Boracay Station 2 where we stay. I think its almost 5 minutes of travel from the port.

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Finally we reach the place at around 4:00pm already and St Vincent is the name:) and I highy recommend their place. For 3 days and 2 nights in Boracay it costs 4000php only but the care taker discounted it to 3500php so each of us cost 600php. It’s airconditioned, good for 6 persons, has 3 beds, you have your own rest room, flat screen tv, refrigerator, wifi (just on the lobby) and what’s even more nice is it’s just walking distance from the heart of Boracay beach and very near to the Police Station plus Kuya Jun and his staff has good customer service. (Here’s Kuya Jun’s contact number 09086323210 in case you are interested to stay in St. Vincent). We started to arrange our things, did some budgetting and were all excited to explore Boracay for the rest of the night.

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Almost 6:00pm when we went out of our room and experience the Boracay life. When I reach the beach proper, I wasn’t that overwhelmed. Yes! thats for me and please I don’t wanna sound harsh I mean I appreciate everything there but the view was not that really new to me since I grew up in a province surrounded by white sand and all other type of sand beaches. The big difference is the busy people shopping, roaming around, not to mention their beach outfits, eating in expensive restaurants, hotels, singers in bars, in short the city life in front of the beach and that’s again the big difference which is the one new to me and which I enjoyed so much. We were able to witness one of the most awaited scene in Boracay beach, the sunset.

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After the pictorial session and a short walk, we had our dinner at Mesa. Spent the rest of the night at Starbucks, more window shopping, walk and laughters.

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For the adventures you wan’t to experience , you don’t need to worry where to inquire because along your walk in the busy sea side of Bora, many individuals will be offering adventure packages and lucky us to find our official tour guide, Kuya Gil:) We encounter different people offering the adventure package with just the same amount of what Kuya Gil did offer but he seemed to be the one destined to us. (haha what a term) Yes he is amazing seriously! I’ll discuss on my next post why. (Here’s Kuya Gil’s contact number 09392127015). So before the nights ends, we settle with short negotiation with Kuya Gil for our planned adventure the following day:)

Day 1 random thoughts:
One of the most amazing part when you travel especially in a place you’ve never been to is that you know you are experiencing something not your first time but everything seems new to you, you are seeing strangers in which you do almost everyday, you see buildings and establishments, you eat food you have tried already but since it’s your firs time in that place there’s something within you that’s causing you with overwhelming feeling of happiness and appreciation. I feel so much blessed because even if it’s our first time to travel to Boracay, everything went so smooth and I think the people we met including the drivers of the diffrent source of transportation we had, our co passengers/travellers, the weather and everything else made this day extra special. We thank God for providing us good people along the way:)

Day 1 Expenses:
Round Trip Airfare – 1800php each
Davao Airport Terminal Fee – 200php each
Snacks/Lunch at the plane – 100php
Tricycle ride from Kalibo Airport to Kalibo Van Terminal – 10php each
Kalibo Van Terminal ride to Caticlan Port – 100php each
Caticlan Port Environmental Fee – 75php each
Caticlan Port Terminal Fee – 100php each
Tricycle ride from Boracay Port to Boracay Station 2 – 20php each
Room (3days and 2nights) – 600php each
Dinner at Mesa – 215php each
Coffee at Starbucks – 170php each
Grocerry -50php
TOTAL – 3440php

Hours travelled:
Davao Airport to Kalibo Airport – 1hr. and 20mins. (Airplane)
Kalibo Airport to Kalibo Van Terminal – 5mins. (Tricycle)
Kalibo Van Terminal to Caticlan Port – 2hrs. (Van)
Caticlan Port to Boracay Port – 10mins. (Boat)
Boracay Port to Boracay Station 2 – 5mins. (Tricycle)
TOTAL – 3hrs and 40mins.

DAY 2 and 3: It’s More Fun in Surigao del Sur

DAY 2 & 3 (AUGUST 18-19, 2012) 

 It’s a new day…  Sun is up… Swim wears are wet… Breakfast is ready…

and everyone are all excited for the whole day stay in a paradise like place…

Foods are prepared..  Everything is set… Everyone is ready…

a group picture outside our lovely home…=)

After 15 minutes of travel, we reach Barangay Britania, San Agustin Surigao del Sur and its Island hopping time to Britania Group of Islands. To be exact this place has 24 islands/islets. On our lists, the group will go to 4 islands namely Hagunoy Island, Naked Island, Hiyur-hiyuran Island and Boslon Island because it would take a long hours if we’ll visit all the islands. haha. Anyway we’d like to thank a family friend for a special and discounted island hopping. hehe.

A refreshing view that you can see while riding a pumpboat:

1st STOP- HAGUNOY ISLAND:

 Me with Ate Rose and Ate Tsian (left to right)

while riding the boat going to Hagunoy Island…first stop… this is just one of the islands… how can you ask for more?

group picture… clear blue sky… and the ever fresh crystal clear water…

 JUMP FOR JOY! UNLIMITED JUMP SHOTS IS EQUAL TO MUSCLE PAIN…haha  this is my favorite group picture… such a lovely place…and it just keeps me coming back…

2nd STOP- THE NAKED ISLAND

  would you want to be naked in this place? =) STOLEN SHOT SHOWS THE REAL YOU…  @ Naked Island plus more islands behind us… behind the cameras… during our CALL ME MAYBE version… i’ll be posting the video soon… it’s better late than never… hehe

3rd STOP- HIYUR-HIYURAN ISLAND

so how do you find our third stop?  cuteness…

4th STOP- BOSLON ISLAND

and this is where we stayed ’til afternoon… Welcome to Boslon Island! it’s lunch time… EAT MORE FUN IN BOSLON ISLAND. lol caves… stones… and surveyors? hehehe discovering the beauty of  the island CAVE &  PEOPLE  the Team and the what I called Protractor like island.. heheheWhat’s over there crowd? Another cute photo we have… Such a fascinating view…Yeahhh! This is how I swim… hahaha I WAS THERE =) group picture.. camera: on the sand version..hehehe Going home… leaving the paradise…

5th STOP- @ GRANDFATHER’S HOUSE 

Done taking a bath… we’re burnt… and we’re hungry…hehe it’s eating time… at  our room… eating the so called GOSANG… who knows about gosang? please help me define it… hahaha viewing our photos… at our living room… fresh…burnt…sleepy…but still laughing out loud… reddish cheeks… its dinner time.. Thank you so much Auntie Delma and Auntie Florenda for the delicious dinner- pasta in soup and shanghai lumpia…

 DAY 3- @ HOME  A family picture with Grandmom and Mother at 3:30am… We are going back in the city… thank you for the fast food like breakfast… thank you for waking up early Nanay and Julia to cook food for us… I’d also like to thank everyone for the considerations and understanding for some inconveniences… This is such an unforgettable journey…

Kung alam niyo lang gaano kasaya ang puso ko… Salamat!