Related Read : 30 Best Beaches in the Philippines - According to Travel Bloggers
Just last week - end of June and the start of hot choco season, I traveled to Bohol with fellow bloggers for a relaxing 3 day stay at Amorita Resort. Built on a limestone cliff, it is one of the first resorts near the stretch of the famed Alona beach of Panglao island and a favored escape for families and honeymooners (the place, with its interiors and layout just screams, "FALL IN LOOOVE NOW!"). That was one of the most relaxing trips I've ever done and it has inspired me to come up with this post.
*I still ended up going home with a back pain because, well, I can get really restless, tell you about it in another post which I link here once I'm done with it. :P
|Cliff view of Alona beach in Panglao, Bohol|
More than just an accessory, it serves as protection for your eyes against the sun's UV rays - too much exposure to which can damage your eyes and cause cataract, so make sure you choose a pair that offers UV protection. (Source : Mayo Clinic).
|My favorite pair of Sunnies.|
(I realized I should have worn my sunglasses but I'm not fond of selfies, I love food porn though :P)
P.S. If you're wearing prescription glasses, you can go for transition lenses that darken when exposed to certain types of light so it's like you're wearing sunglasses. Inquire at an optical shop.
We can all be ambassadors of nature preservation by being mindful of the products we use. Sunscreens that contain ingredients such as paraben, cinnamate, benzophenone can contribute to coral bleaching when it washes off. (Source : National Geographic | Swimmers' Sunscreen Killing Off Coral). Coral bleaching, which is primarily caused by global warming (changes in the water temperature), drives away algae that gives corals its color that may lead to its death. (More info here.)
*Sunscreen, as opposed to sunblock feels lighter and not visible when applied.
Looking for a reef-friendly sunscreen? Consider these two brands I've tried. (I'm quite happy with both which is why I'm sharing it to you :)). First one is Safe Sea. It helps prevent jellyfish stings without being harmful to marine life. I bought one at Watsons, around 500 Pesos for a 125 ML bottle, SPF 50. The bottle's almost empty so I'm now using Human Nature's SafeProtect, another reef-friendly sunscreen which was given to me when I attended a Coastival (post here). It offers both UVA protection & UVB protection and has SPF 30, which blocks 97% of the UVB rays (SPF 50 blocks about 98%). It's good to my skin too - my skin glows when I'm using it and it doesn't dry up . (Details where to buy here).
*More info on Safe Sea here.
Related reads :
How to choose the right sunscreen?
Does a higher SPF sunscreen always protect your skin better?
Keep your stuff dry when you go island hopping or engage in water sports like kayaking by putting them inside dry bags or waterproof pouches. These are reusable and if you're using a reliable brand, it lasts for years! Though it can be more expensive than using plastic bags, it's worth the investment. It's more expensive to replace a gadget you know :). (Price range is 1,000 Pesos above, depending on capacity and the brand) so ask around, utilize social media to get insights from users before buying one. I have a dry bag from Osprey but I have not tried submerging it under the water so I'm unable to vouch for it yet.
Tip : Reliable dry bag brands (based on friends suggestions) that can be purchased in the Philippines include Sea to Summit (FB page here) & Blood Red.
|A dry bag saves you from worrying about your stuff when you go on a water adventure|
(Photo taken at Dumaluan beach in Panglao island, Bohol)
If you're looking for a sand repellent beach blanket, check out Lagu.
I have one which I won from a friend's blog giveaway, teehee! I don't just use it for the beach, it has also protected me from cold and light rain (Testimonial : forgot my jacket on a recent rainy trip to Baguio and I used my beach blanket to shield myself from the rain. No boyfie but Lagu kept me warm.)
Lagu Beach blanket retails at 999 Pesos. It's an awesome gift for yourself and love ones if you ask me! You can buy it in stores or online. Visit Lagu for more details.
Kudos to brands that promote environmental conservation! :)
P.S. It's also available in Philippines AirAsia flights as part of their inflight merchandise!
You can buy it from Robinsons Department store, Robinsons Supermarket and Robinsons Selection. You can also buy it online. Check it out here. (Price : 200 ML - 149.75 Pesos
400 ML - 319.75 Pesos)
I don't like having dry skin because it makes me itch so I make sure I apply one after spending time in the water. Fortunately, I have loads of lotion given by family and from some blog collaboration, hehe! I'd love to try the all-natural lotion once I finished all these bottles I have. :) (Don't like lotion? Another option is virgin coconut oil from the drugstore.)
8. ECO FRIENDLY FLIP FLOPS
I'm loving my latest pair from Banana Peel's Earth Hour collection. These pretty, nature-inspired design feature glow-in-the-dark straps - I can easily find my slippers in the dark! :). It's made from eco-friendly and non-harmful materials. The print is made from non-toxic paint too. Most importantly, the straps and soles are soft and I can walk far in these.
|Eco-friendly slippers from Banana Peel.|
9. FIRST AID KIT
The hiker in me can't seem to go anywhere without bringing a first aid kit. It's a good habit to keep though because you'll never know who might need it. My kit has bandages, medicine for diarrhea, fever, pain reliever and Betadine. (Reminder : Be careful when giving meds as some people are allergic to paracetamol.) Bandages can be used to cover a cut in case you brush up some rocks while swimming.
10. DURABLE WATER BOTTLE
Keeping yourself hydrated has a lot of benefits - you think clearly, your skin looks fresh and more! (Tip: Drink before you feel thirsty to avoid getting dehydrated). I usually bring a water bottle with me so I can drink while traveling and fill it up again at the hotel. If you're also into hiking, best to get one that won't shatter easily. My mind has the tendency to wander and think about random things (Can you relate? Like, you need to brush your teeth and suddenly, you remember a photo of a rainbow cake you saw online and you suddenly decide you have to get one later so you need to rearrange your day just so you can squeeze a quick trip to a cafe!). As a result, I often drop things - including my phone (Samsung S5 is so durable!) which is why a reliable water bottle is exactly what I need in my life.
Tip : Nalgene is a really good brand! I have not broken any bottle and I take them everywhere! :P You can buy one from R.O.X., Conquer Outdoor Shop (Robinson's Forum in Mandaluyong). Price depends on the size and model.
11. GARBAGE BAG
Again, this is another "habit" from hiking. I can't seem to pack my bag without bringing my own trash bag so I can dispose waste properly. Being an outdoor lover means doing your share in preserving the beauty of nature. For beach trips, I just bring a small bag where I can put food wrappers and other rubbish. It was also very useful when I went on trip once and this adorable little girl puked inside the van. :P