Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Mt. Sipit Ulang and Payaran Falls Side Trip

For my last climb of the year, some friends from the office asked me to join them for a climb in one of the mountains in Rizal.  Mt. Sipit Ulang is relatively easy to climb, except that there are technical parts of the climb, with scrambling on limestones and makeshift ladders. We travelled from Cubao via a private van to Brgy Mascap (but you can take a UV express to Eastwood, and a tricycle to Brgy. Mascap). The registration is I think P25 or P50, and the guide fee was P350 for our group of 5.  I had a short 'kilig moment" when I saw the poster below and saw my picture at Mt. Pamitinan at the right most side.
The registration is right beside the multi-purpose building, where shower rooms for P20 are available.  As you can see from the poster, this can also the jump-off for Mt. Ayaas and Mt. Pamitinan.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Travel Bucket List for 2017

I am just going to write down here ten places with which I need the Universe to conspire and allow me to visit and explore this coming year, in no particular order,

1. Bacolod
2. South Korea
3. Japan (again!)
4. Bangkok
5. Kalanggam Island
6. Zambales (Nagsasa, Potipot, Anawangin)
7. Hinatuan River
8. Catanduanes
9. Guam
10. Batanes

I have been to most of the tourist spots in the Philippines but these ones above I want to see just because, except for Batanes, because you need no reason to go :)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Where Have You Been?

2016 is almost over, but I haven't blogged about what happened the rest of the year. Just a quick peek, here are three places I went the rest of the year.

North Luzon for All Souls Day.  My late mom-in-law hailed from north, and we squeezed in some (lots!) of sight seeing in time for a visit to her final resting place,

Mt. Sipit Ulang and Payaran Falls for my last hike of the year!
And a quick business trip to Singapore to cap the investor relations day job for the year.

I wish I had more time (and inclination) to write about these trips but I am just so lazy to write right now.  But I am so looking forward to writing about our upcoming Hong Kong-Macau adventure in January, so please stay tuned!

Monday, October 3, 2016

My First 21K Experience

Last October 2, I crossed off another item from my bucket list-to run my first 21K.  I already run several 10Ks and have even placed on the Top 3 in one of them, so I felt I was already ready for the next step. And I am happy that I did!
My preparation included running at the gym, and running in QC Memorial circle for 2 consecutive Sundays and doing circuit and core exercises at the gym.  I thought that I did a good training, but I never ran more than 5K during that time.  And that was my mistake.  During the run itself, I injured my right knee at 11K and had to do a run-walk for the next 10K.  My left knee was painful during the previous month and I concentrated on stretching and foam-rolling it while training.  Unfortunately, that meant compensating for it on my right leg, hence, the pain. I finished the run a 3:30.  Its bad by my personal goals, but I know I can easily beat it next time.

It was a good thing that my first 21K run was with Run United.  It was indeed a well-organized run, with properly-spaced hydration stations, with banana and foams as well as sprays for pain (don't know what they are called) at some areas. I have a carbgel, but haven't tried before so I opted not to use it.  I also have Cloud9, but only had to take a bite on one since I felt that my energy was okay.  Save for the pain on my knee, I thought that I did okay. 

But it was a success nonetheless and I am going to do all three Run United runs next year, and train for it properly next time.!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Seven Corners Buffet

Every quarter, and when there are credit card promos, we eat at Seven Corners in Crowne Plaza Galleria Manila for lunch. The hotel is just beside our office, and a few minutes walk after, we are ready to partake of the seven interactive stations from a variety of international cuisines! For the promo price (Citibank) of P940, we were able to enjoy a truly delightful meal! 
These are the food that I usually get when dining here. My first plate is always from the Japanese station, followed by a salad, then the steak and lamb, then usually back for some more Japanese, then some pasta or Chinese soup, then some desserts, usually ice cream. 

I can't remember how many times I have eaten here at Seven Corners, but I will still keep coming back because I really get value for my money (especially during promos!).

Seven Corners
3F, Crowne Plaza Galleria Manila in Ortigas Center, Pasig City

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Helmet Diving in Boracay: What to Expect

One of the more popular activities to do in Boracay is Helmet Diving. For local tourists, this activity costs P500 per person, inclusive of 1 cd with pictures and videos.  For foreigners, this could go up as high as P2,500 each.  These prices were in May 2016, and they can go up or down depending on the season.

This activity is best done in the morning when the water is not yet murky. So, the process:

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Bohol Bee Farm: Eats a Must!

During our recent offsite planning in Bohol, we went to Bohol Bee Farm for lunch. And the place did not disappoint! This is really a must place to visit in Bohol to eat and enjoy great food and a great view!
We started our visit with a short guided tour.  As the tour guide said, it was a boring tour of plants and arts and crafts, and so he tried making it less boring, and he succeeded! He was funny and irreverent and we totally enjoyed the 15 minutes or so tour of the place. Of course, it ended with him showing us some bees!  

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Bucket List as of September 2016

Crossing off some bucket list!
I first wrote this bucket list on my other blog, and am just updating it here, as well as writing some more. This is an ongoing project and updated as of June 2015 and now as of September 2016. So here goes..

1. Visit my relatives in Catarman, Samar. Still haven't been to Samar!
2. Travel outside of the country. DONE! I have been to to Cambodia and Vietnam twice, Singapore (3x)  and Malaysia and Tokyo, Japan. And we have ticket booked and paid for a January travel to Hong Kong next year.
3. Travel to Sagada. DONE. Just this weekend (June 19!) and with visit to Batad as well.
4. Buy my first DSLR. Hmm, may be just a new phone with good camera. or GoPro. Realized a DSLR is too bulky. 
5. Buy a car, second or third hand even! DONE. We now have a brand new van, bought very early this year! 

Friday, September 16, 2016

A Taste of Luxury: Hennan Resort Alona Beach, Bohol

For our annual offsite planning and teambuilding, our department went to Hennan Resort in Alona Beach, Panglao in Bohol and I can say that this has been my most luxurious stay ever.  The picture below is the view from our room! The resort boasts of 3 huge swimming pools, and this is only one of them.
Deluxe Room overlooking the pools
The next picture is of our Deluxe Room.  There is a single and a queen bed, a bath with a tub and a balcony overlooking one of the huge pools. I forgot how much we paid, but you can check out their rates in Agoda (P6K++ per night with buffet breakfast).

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Tipid Travel Tip: How to DIY in Boracay!

I have been to Boracay for 5 times already, either with my husband, with my friends, with my whole family or an company-sponsored team building.  So you can say I have experienced both types of stay in Boracay-on a budget, on a small budget and on an all expense-paid, hahaha. Either way, there are lots of ways to save an enjoy on a DIY Boracay trip so I will show you how.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Finally, Mt. Daraitan!

I have always wanted to climb Mt. Daraitan but unfortunately, all my climb buddies have recently taken a sabbatical from climbing.  And since its boring to climb alone, and somewhat unsafe (even with a guide, because, hello, who will take your stupid photos? Baka sa sobrang inis ng guide sa kakapa-picture mo e itulak ka na sa bangin?!)  But anyway, I was pleasantly surprised when a group of people from the office asked me to join them.

So anyway, it was a 3-4 hours climb (with first-timers in a group of 11) one way and since it was May, and raining, maputik at madulas. But nothing you can't handle as long as you are wearing the right shoes! 

The mountain is 739+ MASL and you can go to the cave and wash up at the Tinipak river as a side trip.  I will post the how-to's and expenses in the next post!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Tipid Travel Tip: Regina Rica in Tanay, Rizal

Regina Rica or Regina Rosarii Institute for Contemplation in Asia sits on a 13.5 hectare property in Sampaloc, Tanay that is at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountains.  It is a place for prayer, contemplation and wellness. Despite being a huge place, I personally felt peace and serenity in this wonderful place, and indeed, we were very happy to have come on a Good Friday for pilgrimage and prayers.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

When Not to Go to Daranak Falls

Daranak Falls is one of a few falls that you can visit very near Metro Manila.  It is located in Tanay, Rizal, which in itself is a great place for a quickie getaway (see how to get here).  However, you better choose a better schedule on when to visit the falls.  And the best time not to go there is during summer, especially around Holy Week! Yep, we went to visit Daranak Falls during a Good Friday this summer, and we only got as far as this signage!  There were so many vehicles on the rough road on the way to the falls.  We parked a few ways from the main entrance because it was so crowded with various types of vehicles! We decided to eat our packed lunch on our car and just bring our swim gears to the falls.  But we only got as far as this signage because from the amount of vehicles parked, and the number of tricycles ferrying people, I opted to turn back and just visit Daranak Falls some other time!
I have been to Daranak Falls some 18 years ago and I already forgot how it looks like. But I hope to visit this place again soon!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Mid Year 2016 Review

I can't believe its June already! And I only have 15 posts to this blog, and most of it, for my Travel Quotes Friday. Anyway, just to give you an idea where I have been this year: in January, we bought a van (finally, our own brand new car!) and we also we went back to Mt. Talamitan and also did the Mt. Apayang Traverse, February, we went to the National Museum which was my first Tipid Travel Tip, and in March, I was back in Singapore for a work-related travel and then we also went to Regina Rica in Tanay.
No travel for April, but I finished my MBA in May, and also went to Boracay with my whole family (my sister and her family, my mom and my youngest sister!) where we also celebrated my daughter's 12th birthday.  

So, it has been half a year already and while its not as jampacked as last year, I stil have six months to try and squeeze in some more trips.  But travels might really be fewer this year as I try to save for the first international travel for my family.  I already have the one-way ticket for me and my husband, and the family passport appointments in the next few months. So good luck to me, and I really wish I can pull this off!   

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Greatest Journey

One of my achievements this year is finishing my MBA degree.  I started working towards this degree in 2000 but I had to stop because of work.  And then I enrolled again in 2013 and finally, was able to finish this year. The degree was not a requirement of my job, nor was it needed for a promotion.  It was just for a personal reason, and that is for self improvement.  And this is my greatest journey of all: to be the best that I can be!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Lomihan sa Madalunot, Calaca, Batangas

The best Batangas Lomi that I have ever eaten so far! Unfortunately, I don't know how to get there, but you can look at their Facebook page for directions. And it's cheap too! 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Most of the time, all you need are friends, good food and karaoke. Then you're all set. These are my girls for life (minus one who is coming to visit soon!). 

We have been friends since the first day of college, and look at us, still silly when we get together, and I wouldn't want it any other way. Sometimes, the best way to travel is to just go back memory lane, only done in the company of friends: the ones who knew you even before you know what you wanted to do with your life, but already had your back. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Piso Fare is Back

I hope you were not hiding under a rock and was not aware that Cebu Pacific is having a Piso Fare Sale today! Actually, it started at midnight, and some people have been so lucky booking their tickets! But I am not as lucky, and I am still trying until now!

Air Asia is having its Piso Sale as well. So good luck booking those tickets!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tipid Travel Tip: National Museum of The Philippines

I have never been to the National Museum of the Philippines, until this Sunday. I think most kids have been here because of school field trips, but unfortunately, growing up, I wasn't allowed to join field trips. So anyway.  I have always wanted to go, and last Sunday, we did. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Mt. Talamitam-Mt. Apayang Traverse

Last January 30, we went to Batangas to do a Mt. Talamitam-Mt. Apayang traverse, and a side-trip to Layong Bilog.  I have been to Mt. Talamitam before but I have not done the traverse to Mt. Apayang. The guide said that this is a new trail.  While we did the traverse to Mt. Apayang's summit, we went back the way we came so that we can go straight to Layong Bilog. Mt. Batulao was closed due to an incident with local insurgents (according to our guide) so there were more people in Mt. Talamitam than usual.