a journal on hiking and traveling around the Philippines

Mt. Pulag's Akiki-Ambangeg Trai

A day hike to Luzon island's highest peak

Review : Asus ZenFone 2 Laser

Check out my experience using an Asus ZenFone 2! :)

Hiking 6 peaks over the weekend

Click to read about one of my all-time favorite hiking adventures. :)

Osprey Pack : Nova

My new reliable backpacking buddy

Hiking in Bukidnon

A day hike to Mt. Kitanglad and Dulang-Dulang

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Feature : Save money for your next travels with Shopback

Not everyone enjoys malls or have the time or energy to visit one, especially if you’re someone who’s either hiking or swimming or just sleeping or eating :P. (ehem!)

I only go when I really, really have to and it’s a chore I just have to get over and done with.

Fortunately, it’s so much easier these days to just buy stuff online and it’s become more secure too which is why I love online shopping. It’s just so convenient and if I see several options online, I have time to do more research or ask around (thank you Social media!) before making a purchase.

Since I love shopping online, I got excited when Shopback invited me to try out their platform. Shopback is a website that helps you get the best deals and discounts on 300+ stores, plus Cashback! Cashback is really just "getting cash back" when you make a purchase passing through Shopback’s site.



ShopBack works with merchants who reward them with a commission when referring a customer to shop on their site. When you spend online through ShopBack, they give
you a portion of your purchase back as Cashback.

Just recently, I had to buy a MicroSD card for my Supremo 4K action cam. I decided to go to a mall and sadly, not only did it stress me out having to talk to sales people (I wasn’t feeling sociable that day), I also didn’t find anything that suited my needs.

The next day, I followed a friend’s advice to check out Lazada and in a few minutes, I was able to buy one, a reliable MicroSD card that came at a good price!  I only wished I learned about ShopBack before I bought one.  (Lazada vouchers and promotions up for grabs  at ShopBack!

So, how to get Started with ShopBack?
Go to ShopBack website. Create your profile – either use your Facebook login or sign in using your email address.

Here are some screenshots that explain how Shopback works : 



You can request for payout once you've reached Redeemable Cashback of P300.00
Bonus can only be cashed out when your Redeemable Cashback reaches P300.00

How to get your cash?
You can get your cash through PayPal or bank account:
Paypal
BDO
BPI
Metrobank
Eastwest
Chinabank
Security Bank
RCBC
UCPB
Globe GCash
Unionbank
PNB


For easier access, you can also download its app on Google Play, Apple App Store or through Shopback Cashback Buddy website (for laptops and desktops only)

You also get a PHP100 Bonus on your first purchase. Cool deal eh?


For travelers, below’s a screenshot of ShopBack’s partner merchants. I have an upcoming trip soon and I’m looking forward to getting good deals on accommodation.  



Over-all, ShopBack presents another fun and creative way of giving customers a discount, a treat for us online shoppers. J

Need more information on ShopBack? Check out these articles about their service on Inquirer, Manila Times and The Philippine Star

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Hiking in La Trinidad : Tayawan View Deck and Mt. Kalugong

After hiking Mt. Yangbew (post here), my friend and I walked back to Tawang Barangay Hall. Just outside its building is a path that leads to our next stop, Tayawan view deck. 
 Similar to the start to Mt. Yangbew, we were welcomed by a steep trail, but thankfully, not as "breath-taking". 

Interestingly, there is a cemetery built on a mountainside along the trail, so we walked  quietly as we passed tombs out of respect for the deceased. 

It took around 30 minutes to get to the shed  of Tayawan View Deck. Fortunately, we had the spot to ourselves. It was almost 12 noon and the sun was out to play but we could hardly feel its heat as the breeze was cool. Once again, we put on our jackets, slumped on the benches and ate our snacks. 

From where we sat, we can see houses and other structures in La Trinidad. Gazing down, everything looked like tiny, colorful Legos scattered at the foot of mountains. 
Tayawan View Deck in Barangay Tawang, La Trinidad
From Tayawan view deck, we followed a trail to Mt. Kalugong, our last stop.
Again, the trail was easy to spot and unlike the first two trails we did, it was much easier but still scenic. Along the way, we spotted huge rock formations at the side of the trail.
Trail from Tayawan view deck to Mt. Kalugong
Behind us, a view of Mt. Yangbew. It was amusing to see where we were a few hours earlier. :)

The hike from Tayawan to Mt. Kalugong took less than an hour. We emerged at the side of the eco park where we found nice picnic tables, tree swings and traditional huts. There's also a store selling snacks. After paying the entrance fee (50 Pesos), we explored the area to check out more rock formations.
One of the numerous areas in Mt. Kalugong where you can see La Trinidad.
To be honest, climbing over rock formations has become very scary for me every since my rock climbing accident in 2009 where my left leg got stitched up and took months before I fully recovered.  If it wasn't for my brave friend Jules, I may have skipped the rocks at Mt. Kalugong, which would be a shame because seeing clouds hovering over the town below was beautiful, truly a must see for nature lovers!

Mt. Kalugong has several small peaks that can accommodate several small groups. Though there were other visitors, we enjoyed a quiet time and even met the friendly manager of its cliff side cafe! (Check it out here.)

On the way down, we took the road to Barangay Cruz which is close to the main road to La Trinidad where you can take a jeep or cab back to Baguio city. This is also the road used by non-hikers or people who just want to enjoy the park's facilities at Mt. Kalugong. You can actually take your vehicle or cab all the way up to the entrance. 

How to Get to Mt. Kalugong 
From the jeepney terminal along Magsaysay Avenue in Baguio city, take a jeep bound for La Trinidad and asked to be dropped off at Barangay Cruz (Upper). Your marker would be Baguio Memorial Services which is an establishment along the main road. From there, ask for directions to Mt. Kalugong. You can also take a cab either from Baguio or La Trinidad town proper until you're close to the park entrance. Take note that Mt. Kalugong is in Barangay Tawang but is accessible from Barangay Cruz. 

Entrance Fee : 50 PHP

Check out my post about other easy hike in La Trinidad, Mt. Yangbew. :)

Other helpful resources:

https://roamulofied.wordpress.com/2016/01/10/mount-kalugong/
http://www.pagnapagna.com/2015/11/mt-tayawan.html
http://francramon.com/taleofthetrail-mount-kalugong-and-mount-yangbo-la-trinidad-benguet








Saturday, February 4, 2017

Hiking in La Trinidad : Mt. Yangbew

To kickoff 2017, I  returned to the Cordillera region with one of my closest friends, Jules. We wanted to take it easy  so we decided to try a couple of short but very scenic trails in Benguet I found online (References posted below). 

Barangay Tawang in La Trinidad,the capital of the province of Benguet  is less than an hour from Baguio city and features several accessible, scenic mountain trails - Mt. Yangbew (also known as Mt. Jambo), Tayawan view deck and Mt. Kalugong. These are all beginner-friendly or as the younger Pinoy millenials would say, pabebe-friendly. :P
Facing one of the several clusters of rock formationat the summit of Mt. Yangbew in La Trinidad, Benguet
 (Photo taken by Jules Picato)
Since we were taking a super early bus ride,  (1:30 AM early! :P), we made sure  we got nice, comfy seats. Fortunately, with 3 days prior to the trip, we were able to book online via iWantSeats.

In five hours, we arrived in the City of Pines and walked towards Session Road to hunt for a hotel. Fortunately, a vacant room was immediately available at Benguet Prime Hotel so we were able to leave our bags.  We took our sweet time and grabbed a simple breakfast at Zola, a 24 hour restaurant along Session road. 
Tawang Barangay Hall located a few blocks off the main road. 

From Session Road, we took  a cab to Barangay Tawang in La Trinidad. Taking Ambiong road, travel time took less about 30 minutes, maybe even less. After registering at the barangay hall, we walked about a kilometer or two towards the trailhead of Mt. Yangbew. Guides are not required but should you need one, you can inquire at the reception.  Personally, with only one trail leading to the summit from the jump off, I can't imagine anyone getting lost in its trails. 
A view of La Trinidad from Mt. Yangbew
It takes an hour to get to peak, if you take it  slow. The trail is relatively easy - nothing technical. You basically just walk your way to the top. The most difficult part for me was this steep, sweat-inducing cement road at the start of the hike. It was a shock to our lowlander lungs!  

After this section, we went up a mildly steep dirt road and took numerous stops  along the way because the view of La Trinidad from behind is so nice! The weather was perfect - bright, clear blue skies and though it was past 9:00 AM, it was still cold and the sun was gentle on the skin. We actually wore our jackets while hiking because it still felt very chilly. 
My yogi friend Jules 

The peak is so enormous, there's a riding trail for horses! There's also stunning views everywhere, which includes the entire La Trinidad and other mountains in the Cordilleras. From afar, we saw the radio transmitters from Mt. Cabuyao in Tuba,which are shaped like the ears of Mickey Mouse.  

There's so much to see at the peak that we spent about an hour, admiring the view and taking tons of souvenir shots. 

Mt. Yangbew, with its scenic peak and short, beginner-friendly trails is a recommended mountain for those who are looking for a quick hike close to Baguio. 

Our next stop was Tayawan View Deck which has a trail at the side of Tawang Barangay Hall (Post here).

Environmental Rates as of January 2017 (in Philippine Pesos)
Local hikers and bikers - 30 PHP
Local Students - 25 PHP
Foreigners - 50 PHP
Campers, those who are spending the night (foreign and local) - 100 PHP
Notes : 
- Walk-in hikers, campers and bikers are welcome.
- Bring your own trash back down with you. 

How to Get to Mt. Yangbew
From Manila, take a bus to Baguio.  The closest terminals from NAIA airport are Victory Liner and Genesis, both in Pasay  (just refer to Google maps to locate the terminals). Joy Bus is the deluxe bus service of Genesis, which we took. You can book online via iWantSeats or PinoyTravel. I prefer the former because I can choose seats in advance. However, payment mode is through bank deposit. For online payments, try the latter. I haven't booked with them but my colleagues have and it's legit. 

From Baguio city, take a cab to Tawang Barangay Hall in La Trinidad. Our driver took Ambiong road to avoid the traffic and our fare was 120+/- PHP. (Note : GrabTaxi, a ride hailing service is now in Baguio. Download the app to book a cab). You can also take a jeep bound for Tomay from Magsaysay Avenue in Baguio and asked to be dropped off at the junction to Brgy. Tawang.

Where to Stay in Baguio?
I prefer staying close to Session road and my favorite hotels in the area are Hotel 45 Main which is almost, always fully booked, City Center Hotel (2000+/-/night) and Benguet Prime Hotel (starts at 2000 PHP/night). I also usually check Agoda. Click here to search for excellent deals on your accommodation. 

Visit below sites for additional information : 
http://www.sunstar.com.ph/baguio/local-news/2016/07/06/mount-yangbew-re-opens-hikers-483787
http://www.cordilleransun.com/2016/03/hiking-destination-in-la-trinidad-gets.html
http://francramon.com/taleofthetrail-mount-kalugong-and-mount-yangbo-la-trinidad-benguet/
http://www.pagnapagna.com/2015/11/mt-tayawan.html
http://roamulofied.wordpress.com/2015/05/26/mount-jumbo-la-trinidad-benguet-ph/

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Travel News : Take a Glamorous Sea Adventure from Manila to Taiwan and Hong Kong with Star Cruises

Here's something to add to your travel bucket list this 2017! If you've been wanting to join a cruise, no need to go out of the Philippines as Star Cruises introduces the first cruise ship to homeport in Manila, the gigantic beauty that is SuperStar Virgo! :) 

Read on for more info!
Photo from GreenBulb PR
Itinerary 
6 Day/5 Night Cruises to Laoag, Kaohsiung and Hong Kong on board SuperStar Virgo

Travel Dates 
From 19 March to 28 May 2017

Itinerary Departing from Manila
- Laoag, the capital of Ilocos Norte, Philippines, featuring Spanish colonial buildings, baroque churches and white-sand beaches
- Kaohsiung, the largest southern port city in Taiwan, a centre of Chinese culture and cuisine
- Hong Kong, a bustling metropolis world famous for shopping, dining, entertainment and nightlife. 
SuperStar Virgo (Photo from GreenBulb PR)
Facilities Onboard SuperStar Virgo
- 13-storey SuperStar Virgo equipped with 935 cabins, including sea-view cabins and balcony suites. 
- offers a variety of dining, shopping and entertainment choices, her facilities embrace Chinese, international and Japanese restaurants, an alfresco bar
- duty-free shops
- foot reflexology salon and spa, gym, steam and sauna rooms
- hairdressing salon
- two-level theatre
- for the water babies, a 100-metre mega water slide, outdoor swimming pool
- mini golf course
-  karaoke room, children's activity centre and more
- A calendar of themed entertainment constantly refreshes the onboard fun and excitement, ensuring every voyage is a brand new enjoyable experience.

About Star Cruises
Star Cruises is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Genting Hong Kong, a leading global leisure, entertainment and hospitality corporation. A pioneer in the Asia Pacific cruise industry, Star Cruises has been operating its fleet since 1993, taking on the bold initiative to grow the region as an international cruise destination with a fleet of six vessels including SuperStar Virgo, SuperStar Libra, SuperStar Gemini, SuperStar Aquarius, Star Pisces and The Taipan.

Rates 
Early Bird Discount starting from PHP 24,500* Per Person (Twin share) will be accorded for cruise departures on 19, 24 and 29 March 2017; third and fourth persons (Quad share) can enjoy an additional 50% off from PHP 12,250 per person*.

Inclusions 
Deluxe accommodations, up to 6 sumptuous meals daily, spectacular performances, pampering recreational facilities and much more – all part of Star Cruises promise to deliver exceptional cruise experiences infused with a touch of warm Asian hospitality.

How to Book
For more information and reservations, please call Star Cruises at (632) 836 6830/ 31/ 32 or visit their website www.starcruises.com.

*Fares shown above are based on twin-share in an Inside Stateroom on SuperStar Virgo, excluding port and gratuity charges, subject to Star Cruises’ terms and conditions.

Star Cruises on Social Media
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/starcruises 
Instagram: www.instagram.com/starcruisesasia 
Twitter:  www.twitter.com/starcruisesasia 


NOTE : Information on this post was from a Press Release provided  by GreenBulb Public Relations. For bookings and additional inquiries, please get in touch with Star Cruises directly. 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Discover Treats from Around the Globe with World Bites

Here's some exciting news for you fellow adventurous foodies!

If you're curious about snacks from other countries and want to try some,  head to World Bitesa new online store and subscription box service  offering popular international snacks.

For those who are not familiar with a subscription box service - it's basically paying a service provider a fixed fee per month to curate stuff  and send it to you. It's for people who want to try new things but don't have the time or the patience to research on what's good to try. In the Philippines, I've seen subscription box services on books and cosmetics but food is quite new. 
Trying out some snacks from World Bites
Related Post : Gift ideas for travelers and outdoor lovers 

Two weeks ago, I received a World Bites Classic Box which contained a selection of 10 snacks from various countries in Asia, Europe and North & South America.  I opened the package with my siblings and friends -  open-minded foodies who welcome new flavors.  

We got really excited pulling out snacks from the box one at a time. It was amusing to find out which countries it came from!  We actually yelled the countries as though we're announcing contestants in a beauty pageant, haha! 

Here are the snacks we tried out : 

Photo from World Bites

Kurkure Masala Munch from India are shaped like Cheetos - orange, crunchy, short sticks and filled with strong flavors. My brother commented, "it tastes like India in a snack". Being a fan of herbs, I actually enjoyed its salty, mildly spicy and tangy taste.  

After consuming  salty food, I always crave for something sweet, so we opened the Crvenka Jaffa Cakes next. Originating from Serbia, these chocolate-covered  biscuits with orange jelly has been around for 30 years now. It crumbled easily, a bit messy to eat, but I liked the mix of citrus and chocolate. 


Hanuta. Photo from World Bites
If you love Nutella, you'll surely enjoy the familiar flavor of hazelnut from Ferrero Hanuta! This wafer snack from Germany is crispy, aptly sweet, perfect for cheat days or that time of the month when we ladies crave for sweets. The pack can be consumed in one sitting and not fun to share with others, haha! :P 

My sister and I are huge football fans and another country which we associate to the world's most popular sport is 5-time World Cup winners, Brazil! Finding a snack from the same country turned out to be  a nice surprise.  Nestle Passatempo are biscuits  with milk chocolate filling - you can't go wrong with that. :) 

I love eating falafel,  balled up chickpeas usually served with a pita. Ossem Bisli Falafel from Israel has recreated its flavors wonderfully into thin, noodle crisps. (Foodie tip : If you want to try some good falafel, the real deal, visit Beni's Falafel in Makati!)

All the way from Romania, Eugenia Original biscuits are crisp sandwich biscuits with a generous and enjoyable filling of cocoa and rum cream. 


Takis Fuego. Photo from World Bites
Trying out Barcel Takis Fuego, a snack claiming to be the hottest chips on earth was intimidating.  These  corn chips from Mexico are red, matching the color of red peppers. It looked so spicy, but after taking a careful, small bite, I realized it wasn't so bad. While it is too spicy for my taste, I enjoyed the flavor of lime which was mixed in it. One bite is all it took for me to move to the next snack but another friend enjoyed it and actually finished off the entire pack. 

Samai Jungle Chili Plantain Chips from Ecuador puts a nice twist to plantain chips. Instead of the usual sugar or honey, the chips are mixed with jungle chili and medium hot spices, making it tolerable to the palate. 

Another treat for those with a sweet tooth is Ahlgrens Bilar Original. Originating from Sweden, these car-shaped  marshmallows are chewy and fruity. It's not too sweet, something you can have to get you to the next big meal. 

I've seen Nestle Violet Crumble around but I don't remember ever tying it out.  First made in 1913, this bar made of creamy chocolate with a honeycomb in its center is one of Australia's favorite chocolate bars.

Being a curious foodie, it was a great experience trying out a World Bites Classic box. The selection of snacks were quite good - a mix of flavors - sweet, salty and spicy. Serving size is good for one person but it's really fun to open everything at the same time and try it out with a group. It's also a nice gift idea  for your foodie loved ones. 

If you missed my blog giveaway, visit World Bites to order a box of snacks from around the globe now. 

About the website:
The Worldbites website has a clean, straightforward  and user-friendly interface.  
From the main page, you can easily find the "Subscribe" and "Shop" buttons - two ways you can buy from them. 

Clicking "Shop" shows you all the available snacks you can order while "Subscribe" button provides instructions on how you can receive snacks per month. The subscription plans are quite flexible ranging from 1-12 months in case you want to try it out for a month or so. In case you're trying to limit your food intake, you can also choose from a World Bites Mini which contains 5-6 snacks or World Bites Classic which has 10-11 snacks. :) For a World Bites Mini, rates range from 499-595 Pesos per month and 998-1190 Pesos/month for the World Bites Classic, depending on the subscription. For subscription details, go here

The Helpdesk contains frequently asked questions  and if if you have more questions, there is a customer chat box on the lower right part of the page.

Buy a box and try it out with friends or family as part of a bonding activity or it can also be a gift for your foodie loved ones.  Ahem! :P

Related Read : Cosmo Philippines - A Cute Gift Idea for the Traveler (And foodie) in your Life


Friday, December 16, 2016

Hiking in Samal Island, Davao del Norte

A view at Puting Bato Peak
Samal island in the province of Davao del Norte is known for its beautiful beaches but if 
you’re craving for a refreshing mountain scenery, there's a nice trail going up Puting Bato. At 410 MASL, it is the island's highest peak, offering views of the sea and nearby mountains.  Its name, translated to English is White Rock, drawn from a prominent white limestone wall at its peak. 

From Davao City, I took an Island City Express bus to Samal Island. The bus also stops to pick up passengers at Magsaysay Park but to get good seats, I took a cab to the terminal along F. Bangoy Street. Taking a  bus was quite convenient. I didn't even need to get off when the bus got to the port as crossing time only takes about 15 minutes! Another entry point is at Sta. Ana Wharf where motorboats take passengers straight to Kaputian and Talikud islands.  
Ferry to Samal Island. I was seating inside the bus when I took this shot! :)
At Babak wharf, the bus continued its journey to Penaplata, its last stop. From the terminal, I boarded a motorbike and the driver took me to the jump-off at Guilon, the longer and steeper of the two entry points to Puting Bato peak.  To maximize my day trip, I decided Ito do a traverse - go up via Guilon then back down via the shorter and easier trail at Brgy. Tayapoc. 

As we parted ways, the driver expressed concern about leaving me alone but I assured him I'll contact him  if I ran into some issues. He  wanted to come along but he said he is no longer fit to hike.  

When he finally left, I felt a familiar sense of excitement of seeing a new mountain and setting off on a new trail! :) 
The white limestone wall at the peak where Puting Bato got its name

As it was my first visit, I decided to look for a guideA local I met near the jump-off  called on his nephew to accompany me to the peak. 

The trail is mildly steep all the way passing through a clear path filled with trees on both sides.  I was breathing quite heavily all throughout but thankfully, it only took less than an hour to get to the campsite where  I rested on a bench and  paid an entry fee of 10 Pesos. From here, you can see a view of the ocean and nearby islands. 

After resting, my guide gave me directions to the summit. I paid him 150 Pesos, the rate we agreed on and parted ways.  The peak is only 10-15 minutes away through an exposed trail with grasses taller than my 4'11 feet frame. 

After the grassland, the view got even more beautiful. Another hut, fascinatingly built on a ravine, served as a view deck and rest area. 

Walking further up, I walked in a middle of a large garden surrounded with colorful flowers - bright pink, orange, yellow, purple!  A signage said I was at Huyong-Huyong Mountain Park. Yellow benches strategically placed near the cliffs offered views of the sea. 

A group of dogs started barking at me which caught the attention of the occupants of the hut, a woman and a child.  Here, I  wrote on my name on a log book and paid another entrance fee of 10 Pesos. 

I  ran into another gated area and waved to some locals and started to make my way down. I think there's a trail here that leads to the area just below the white limestone wall but I  skipped it because was beginning to feel tired. I made my way down towards Brgy. Tayapoc. Some hikers enter the mountain on this side where the trail to the summit takes about 30 minutes. 

When I got to the jump-off, I asked some locals for some directions to Canibad, the closest beach. There is a trail that takes another hour but to save my energy for swimming, I decided to flag a passing motorbike. The driver, a young guy who looked like he couldn't be more than 16 years old, was impressive. He knew how to navigate the super bumpy road towards Canibad quite well. It was an uncomfortable ride which was actually felt more tiring than earlier's hike. 

The driver picked a resort and let me off. A huge signboard that said "Canibad Adventures starts here" welcomed me. I couldn't see any people or even the water.  Living up to its name, the path towards the water is on this super steep dirt trail down a cliff!

As though I was hiking a second mountain, I was sweaty, breathless and feeling annoyed by the time I got to the resort's main entrance but the annoyance brought by fatigue (incidentally, it was also that time of the month making me feel more moody than usual :P), quickly disappeared as soon as I saw the beach. While the shore is filled with pebbles and rocks, the water is beautiful -  still as a river and as clear as a pool! There were many people but the groups were well spread that you can get a quiet spot and enjoy. 

The resort charge a minimal entrance fee of 20 pesos. Cottages can be rented for 250-350 Pesos but since I was alone, I just walked to the beach, put my backpack by the shore and jumped in the water in my hiking clothes. Though water was clear, I felt a strong current pulling me out towards the sea so I stayed in the shallow area. 

Fellow visitors were very friendly and I actually felt like I could walk up to anyone and join their group but I was really enjoying my time alone, I didn't have too. The water just felt so nice! 
Canibad Beach in Samal island
After swimming, I walked up to another resort to use their shower facilities. I wanted to get a nice, heavy meal but unfortunately, there's not much food around here but snacks. 

I dreaded the steep set of stairs I had to take to get back to the main road so I walked around a bit in search of a gentler way up. I did find one - a concrete stairs with smaller steps. It was easier indeed but still tiring. 

Lunch was at Aznebo Grill and Restaurant, a popular food establishment in the island
 offering delicious Filipino dishes  that come at affordable prices (around 100 Pesos for a combo meal). 

By 6:00 PM, I was back in Davao city exploring its restaurants! :P 

As a first time visitor to Samal island, experiencing its greener side turned out to be a wonderful surprise. A return trip is in order!

Samal island is among the destinations featured in this helpful interactive beach map from Expedia. Visit the site to learn more of the country's breathtaking  island getaways. 
How to get to Puting Bato Peak
From Davao City, board a Island City Express Bus. 
The terminal is at F. Bangoy Street but it will also make a stop at Magsaysay Park. 
Fare to Penaplata is 50 Pesos. From the terminal, you can board a habal-habal to the jump-off.  

As of November 2016, the only fees being paid are the ones located at the rest stops on the mountain. Guides are not required especially when entering via Brgy. Tayapoc as the trail is established. However, if taking the Guilon trail for the first time,  it is recommended to get a guide. It's a longer trail that takes 1-2 hours and has some forks along the way. There is no established guide system but you can always ask around. If hiring a guide all the way to the summit and back, a rate of 200-250 Pesos would be fair.

Other sights to visit : Kaputian beach, Taklobo Clam sanctuary and Hagimit Falls

Monday, December 5, 2016

Blog Giveaway c/o World Bites : Win a Box of Treats from Around the Globe!

Are you the adventurous type who loves traveling and trying out new food? Are you willing to book a flight or ride a boat solely just to eat?  (No judgement, I'm that way too! :P See related post, Samar-Leyte in a Day

Yes?! 

Well hello there kindred soul! Have I got a treat for you! :)

Last week, I received a box of snacks from World Bites, a newly launched  online store and subscription box service  offering popular international snacks  you rarely see in retail stores around the Philippines. 
World Bites website, http://worldbites.ph/
Seeing treats I haven't tried got me really excited and before I could stop myself (I had just taken my breakfast),  I'd already open four bags. I was with my siblings  at the time and we all enjoyed trying it out. The selection of snacks were a variety of sweet, spicy and salty, over-all, a nice combination of flavors.  Coming from a family of foodies, it also turned out to be a nice bonding activity for us. I'll write a separate review about what we've tried on another post. :) 

For now, here's a preview of what World Bites offers. 
Snacks from Korea, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, India, Canada, France, Romania,  Serbia,
Mexico, Israel, Sweden and Brazil, whew!
Though I have mixed feelings about sharing food (why share when you can eat everything, diba?), the saner, kinder side of me  prevailed - must be from ingesting all those cookies earlier, haha! I'm extending the joy of discovering treats from around the world through a a giveaway! The mechanics are  super simple. Just follow instructions on the Rafflecopter widget below. 

Up for grabs :  World Bites Mini  Box -  contains 5-6 snacks, the contents' a surprise! :) 
Who can join?  Open to foodies residing in the Philippines only
World Bites will ship the prize free of charge via Xend so if you won, please expect to be asked for your full name and shipping details. :) 

One winner will be drawn via Rafflecopter and announced on my Twitter account, @jovialwanderer and on this post by December 12! :)  I will get in touch with the winner. :) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
And we have a winner! :) Congratulations Rain Gatdula! I just sent you an email a few minutes ago.  Please check your inbox or Spam folder. 

If you can't wait for the blog giveaway (who has the EQ to wait for food?!), you can start shopping by visiting their website, http://worldbites.ph/. You can purchase the items by piece or surprise yourself with a box of snacks every month by availing of their subscription service (1, 3, 6 and 12 month terms available). 

To receive updates quickly,  follow World Bites on their social media accounts -> Facebook Page : World Bites PH | Twitter : @worldbitesph  | Instagram : @worldbitesph





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While I believe we make our own destiny and that we all have equal chances at succeeding in life, it does help when we're equipped with...

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