a journal on hiking and traveling around the Philippines

Mt. Pulag's Akiki-Ambangeg Trai

A day hike to Luzon island's highest peak

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Home on a Saturday Night

Though I’m feeling a twinge of boredom and loneliness - there are indeed some perks on the rare occasions when I am able to stay home and just relax.

· I discovered a website dedicated to the sights of Pundaquit. It’s a coastal barangay in San Antonio, Zambales. I love this site because it’s got a lot of useful travel information on how to get around this beautiful barangay. Check it out : http://www.pundaquit.com

· I was able to post tons of pictures in my Facebook profile. Uploading pictures in FB can be addicting because it’s just so easy to do it.

· I was able talk to an old friend of mine via Facebook chat (don’t you just love Facebook with all its applications?!). Actually, he was my old crush back in the dinosaur age. He was one of the heartthrobs in our mountaineering club who I don’t really get to talk to without stammering. Now, the feeling is all gone and I was able to talk to him normally. I realized he’s still the same funny, nice and sweet guy back then, only less intimidating that what I actually perceived. He was one of the golden boys in school, you know those types? They’re smart, athletic, rich, friendly, funny, and everything else. We agreed to meet up one of these days with the old gang who I also miss a lot.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A feel Good Post

My two previous posts contains angst over a change in a flight schedule involving Zest Air. I don’t enjoy dwelling on negative things so I would like to end this day or should I say start this morning since it’s already past 2AM, by enumerating the nice things that happened to me yesterday.

1. A friend bought me and Connie a chocolate starbucks frap - my new favorite Starbucks drink which I didn't know they have.

2. Our cancelled Zest Air flight was transferred to Sea Air with no additional costs, which is okay because the Sea Air flight tickets are more expensive. If you book a flight to Batanes for June with Sea Air, the round trip ticket amounts to a little over 12,000 pesos!

3. I was able to wear my favorite turquoise headband which I don’t get to wear as often as I want to because its color doesn’t match most of my clothes. Today, I wore it with my favorite Nike white shirt.

4. I saw Ron (aka Dakota)– the crush of my life. Hehehe! Remember him? I’ve written lots of posts about him last year. I thought I was over him, but I just kept running into him the past couple of weeks and the feelings returned. None of my friends like him because they care about my welfare and think that he’ll just make me cry. I love my friends for that but my heart just can’t abandon these feelings. It’s just a crush anyway, a crush that feels like love. Not that I’ve been inlove. What I feel for him is a bit similar to what I see in movies or witness around couples. Ron is this athletic, smart guy who writes really well. I met him two years ago on a camping trip and hasn’t completely left my mind since. He’s not charming and can be arrogant at times, which is contrary to what I value. I am attracted to him for some reason that defies logic, if that makes any sense. I just feel connected to him though the feeling isn’t mutual. He makes me happy without making an effort. He makes me want to be an even better person. His smile brings me bliss. He's about one of the few guys I was able to talk to and completely had my attention (which is quite a feat because I easily get bored) . He totally had me when he oriented me about the CPP-NPA. Hay. I think we could be soul mates.

Good morning everyone!

Have You Booked A Zest Air Flight to Batanes this June 2009? Flight has been cancelled

Yes...it's official. For those who have booked a flight with Zest Air for June 2009, our flight to Basco (Batanes) has been cancelled. Don't worry, they'll be arranging to move you to Sea Air. The problem is, you may not get your preferred flight so you better call them now at +63.(02)855-3333

I can't believe I'm being calm as I say this but I was seething when I found out about this. The're having problems with their aircraft apparently.

Please gather patience as you call their hotline as it may take some time before you are able to connect to them.

Please pass the word around. I believe Zest Air has not coordinated with all of the passengers. I just found out about it this morning when my friend - who booked a flight online (for a MNL To Basco flight), last December 2008 complained to them this morning about her e-ticket which has not been emailed to her. (Galing ah, nauna pa ma-charge sa credit card nya kesa ma-email ang ticket!) The girl on the line then told her that the flight has been cancelled. Naturally, my friend got furious. So when were they planning to tell us?! She informed the girl that she was on the flight with me and Zest Air called me about the change in booking. I then informed my two other friends who were on the same flight with us which caused a stir in our day. The only good thing about what Zest Air did was that they handled the booking with Sea Air. The thing was, it's not the same flight dates which completely ruined our plans.

I am never flying with Zest Air again. Even if it's on zero fare. I just don't trust them anymore.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Guys from the Tarak Ridge Climb

Yesterday was our second attempt in climbing Tarak Ridge and I am now back in the city all sore and scraped but as with any climbs, it was all worth it because of the bonding with my old friends and the beautiful mountain views. Then there was our guest mountaineer – Rhovee, my friend from our outdoor club at work who provided a lot of entertainment during the climb. Hehehe.

We were able to follow our itinerary, which was necessary because it was just a day hike and we were told that the last bus to Manila from Mariveles departs at 6:00pm. Since everybody arrived on time, we were able to leave Manila at exactly 4:00am. Hooray to ECOF, my backpacking group, wherein one of our core values is punctuality. There were seven of us on this trip. Two guys and five gals.

What made this trip quite memorable though were all the guys we encountered during this trip. Hahaha! I can’t believe it. I don’t know if this is a sign from God but since the beginning of the year, I’ve been meeting a lot of guys and you know what, if you just open your eyes, you’ll see that there are tons of great, single guys out there. I never even noticed them that much, but then again, I’m not really into having boyfriends or flings or any romantic stuff. It’s just not my thing. I’m just inclined to appreciate beauty in hot, sweaty, sporty, smart guys, like I do when I see an artwork in a museum or if I see a nice bag in a mall. I’m contented having the people in my life who I love and love me back. Should I meet someone who I will get to spend forever with, that would be just a wonderful bonus, but right now, I’m happy. The Lord has blessed my life.

Oh where do I start my litany of the cute guys we saw? Hehehe..well, let’s start as we began our descent from Mt. Tarak.

The 13 Spartans

Me and Jules were both tired and looking haggard because the climb was taking its toll in our aging knees. We were sweating profusely and we had stopped our merry chatter because of our agony. We were nearing the Papaya river, approximately two hours after we left the ridge when we encountered 13 cute guys in competitive gears. They had these nice bags, nice shorts and nice bodies – well that was according to Jules. I can’t even recall any of their faces because when we met them, they were walking in a single line and as we passed each one, they gave us polite, warm smiles and a jolly ”good afternoon”. It happened so quickly, like a hallucination that the concrete features of their faces didn’t even register to me. I just remember feeling happy at that time because they were so friendly, open and have I mentioned cute? Those guys served as our oasis in the midst of suffering. They were like Love in the Time of Cholera, a Gatorade replacing lost electrolytes in the body, the chocolate in the middle of a Ferrero, the star in a Christmas tree and what other metaphor you can equate to something that helps alleviate pain and causes joy.

Oh I almost forgot to tell you, the 13th guy who walked behind the rest of everyone held out his hand to help me get down from a steeper part of the trail. Normally, if I am able, I would refuse any help, but this particular guy generously offered his hand and I just didn’t have the heart to down his assistance. His hand felt warm and the moment felt like it lasted an hour. I smiled at him, he smiled back and then he left. Jules saw the whole thing and congratulated me for not turning down his help. Jules told me I had improved my flirting skills because apparently, in our years of climbing together, I would often brush off male help. Honestly, it’s not a pride thing. I do seek help if I need it. It’s just that, if I can do something myself, why ask for help? Then I started growing up and other friends would advise me not to be overly independent, that I shouldn’t make other guys feel inadequate, that sometimes, I need to ask for help, that guys like to feel needed. Well, it works for most women and that can be a cute thing, but I enjoy being me. If those guys can’t deal with it, f&*k them. On the other hand though, I never had a romance, so for curiosity’s sake, maybe it’s about time I try my friend’s advices. Yeah, pretend to be a little vulnerable, then go for the kill. Hahaha!

Men in Uniform

As if the 13 spartans we encountered in the mountains weren’t enough, we also had two the men in uniform as dessert. I’ve always had a thing for the men in military or SWAT uniforms. They look so brave and strong. You know, if I will be having a boyfriend, I want someone much more courageous than I am.

This wonderful encounter happened on our way home. We were in the bus, I had fallen asleep and when I woke up, we were already in Pampanga. The bus had a stopover and waited for a few more passengers. I turned to my left and caught a glimpse of a toned man in a fatigue. They weren’t in the army I think, more like police on training wearing green fatigues. I sucked in some air..hay..hotness. The two guys sat in the back part of the bus – between me and Rhovee since we both sat at each side of the window seats.

Of course, I didn’t had the guts to talk to either of the two. I noticed Char and Rhovee. Both were wide awake and alert. The wolves had smelled its prey. Me, Char and Rhovee, just made eye contact with each other, signaling about the guys. Then the guys went down before we did, when the bus reached Quezon City and when they left, we just laughed about the incident.

I will blog about the trails of Tarak some other time. Hehehe! I will most likely go back here and camp in the Papaya river. The river is quite small and you can’t do any swimming, just dipping, but it’s so charming and clean, you can’t just go there and take pictures. You need to feel the water.

Pictures Here

Itinerary Here

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bataan : Tarak Ridge Day Hike Itinerary (Updated December 2014)

Mt. Tarak is one of the destinations my friends and I frequented back in 2009. Despite the long travel from Manila (around 3 hours!), we enjoy going here because commute  is easy, its trails have become familiar to us, the locals are friendly and you can see plenty of enormous trees and colorful flowers along the trail. The historic fortress island of Corregidor can also be seen in one of the view points. 

Another rewarding stop in this mountain is Papaya river which is right beside the camp site, an hour or less away from the summit. From jump-off to the river, trail is easy and steep on some sections only.  I actually find it more appealing to take a dip in the river than hiking all the way to the peak :P. Water here is very shallow and cold. You can sit down and goof around with friends. It's like having a private pool in the middle of a forest.  Some even leave their bottled drinks here to cool it. 


Hiking time from jump-off to summit is around 9 hours out and back, even less if everyone in the group is fit. It's a good option if you're craving for an extended day hike. 

Here's the itinerary, enjoy! :) 
As always, please follow the leave no trace policy when hiking. (Don't leave any trash, no taking of plants or animals :P)
0330 - Assembly Time - Five Star Cubao (Map here)
0400 - Depart Five Star Terminal (4:00AM is the first trip to Mariveles)
0700 - Arrival at Brgy. Alas-asin, Mariveles, Bataan; register at Brgy. Hall (P40)
*Near the barangay hall are sari-sari stores and eateries where you can buy supplies and eat after the hike
0715 - Start trek – (from the street leading outside the barangay hall – turn left – cross the street and go straight to where the signboard to Mt. Tarak is.)
* you will also need to register a second time at Nanay Curding's hut. They will just ask for a donation as registration fee. Trek time from highway to the old couple's hut is 30minutes (may be less depending on the pace of the group).
1015 – ETA Papaya River, lunch
1100 – Resume Trek
1230 – ETA – Tarak Ridge
1315 - ETA - Summit
1630 – ETA – Old couple’s hut – change
1645 - Depart from Old couple's hut
1715 – ETA – Highway; catch bus back to Manila (last bus of Five Star to Pasay departs at 6:00PM from Mariveles, usually arrives in Brgy. Alas-Asin at 6:20PM)
2200 - Arrival - EDSA - Boni

Expenses/Head (Updated Dec. 2014)
*Amount in Philippine Pesos
Bus, Five Star Cubao to Brgy. Alas-Asin, Mariveles (one way, aircon bus) - 267.00
Registration fee at the Barangay - 40.00
Donation To Nanay Curding - 20.00
Mini bus from Brgy. Alas-Asin to Balanga (ordinary bus) - 46.00
Bus, Balanga to Cubao (aircon) - 206.00
Total (please bring extra money for food) : 579.00

Notes : 
 - Genesis bus line also plies the Cubao/Pasay route to Mariveles
 - Although there are buses back to Cubao/Pasay passing Brgy. Alas-Asin, we decided to take a side trip to Balanga. There's a cluster of resto bars at The Port, a commercial area at the town proper but most open late, around 6PM so we ended up eating at Jollibee. :P
If you need to withdraw money, there are ATM machines near the area after the bridge.
- Visit Pinoy Mountaineer for more hiking information 
- Challenging traverses can also be done. There's Patingan Peak to Tarak, Paniquian falls to Tarak

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Valentine Weekend Adventure

I’m back!


Last weekend was my so-called Davao-North Cotabato Valentine adventure (hehehe..I know it sounds so cheesy to call a trip as such but that’s what it exactly was) . I incurred sore muscles and several bruises, some of which, I don’t even know how I got but my heart is beaming and my face is not in its usual haggard state. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot, though occasionally I missed my friends and wished they were with me.
I was able to explore a bit of Davao City, Davao Del Sur, North Cotabato and Davao Del Norte in two days! That’s one of the perks of traveling alone, time moves so slow and you get to cover more ground.
I didn’t have any itinerary. I just brought three maps (Philippine map, Davao map and a Mindanao map..hehehe) and some printouts of travel information I got from the internet. Once the plane landed in Davao International airport, I just listened to my heart’s desire and went to places that intrigued me.


Davao Del Sur
First stop was water tubing in Davao Del Sur which I first saw from a friend’s blog. Water tubing involves riding a rubber tube in a raging river with shallow water. (By the way, if you’re traveling to Davao and want to save on taxi costs, you can just walk outside of the airport and flag a jeep or cab, but if you’ve got a lot of load, insist on having the meter up when you get a cab inside the airport)


After a quick breakfast, I asked a Jollibee personnel how to get to the water tubing spot and he generously gave me directions. Here’s some travel information on how to get there.


Coming from Davao International Airport:
1. Go to Ecoland Bus terminal, it’s about 45-60 minutes away from the airport.
2. Ride a bus with a sign board that says Digos and request the conductor to let you off at Ayala Agricultural development or simply Ayala in Brgy. Sibulan; or you can just tell them you’re going to the water tubing site. Almost everyone I talked to knows where it is. From Ecoland Bus terminal, it’s about 60 minutes or even less depending on the pace of the bus. I rode a jeep coming from Matina and the ride was so slow.
3. Once you reach Barangay Sibulan, walk 10-15 minutes toward a copra processing site or hire a habal-habal. I suggest you just walk, it’s super near. The base of the water tubing is across the Ayala Canteen (the canteen is on your right side). When people look at you strangely, just smile at them and they’ll give you a warm smile back.


Water Tubing Fees:
Guide fee – 200 pesos (good for 3-4 hrs). You are required to have a guide because they’ll be the one to navigate you down the river. The Sibulan river has strong currents and lots of boulders but don’t worry about drowning, the water is just shallow.
Rubber tubing rental – 40 pesos/piece
Schedule: Water tubing is available Mon-Sun 6am-4:00pm.
Where To Put Your Stuff: They don’t have locker areas so if you don’t have a car, you’re going to have to leave your stuff at a trusted local’s house. 
Where to Dress up: I don’t know if they had another restroom but I had to dress up in a bare, mosquito-infested shack which was more challenging than the water tubing. Hehehe!
About the Experience: I want to do it again!!! I absolutely love it. I have to go back and try the longer route which would take about 3 hours of gliding down the river. Try it, it’s such a liberating experience!






Kidapawan, North Cotabato
After water tubing, I decided I wanted to see Kidapawan Ciy in North Cotabato. I didn’t know how to get there coming from the water tubing site and so I asked the guides and they gave me instructions.



Four hours total of waiting for a jeep, bus and traveling along the highways, I finally arrived in Kidapawan city which is a mix of rustic and urban charm. I love it. Again, I went down to the nearest Jollibee (hehe, what can I say, I love Jollibee) and was shocked to see how full it was. I walked out, disheartened and found a decent eatery with an intriguing name – Noodols at Iba pa. It wasn’t so bad because the food was cheap and decent and I was able to ask a lot of questions to the attendant. After talking to her, I decided I wanted to see Mt. Apo. She suggested I check out Barangay Ilomavis, about two hours by jeep from Mega Market terminal. I also did some asking around and everyone told me to check out Barangay Ilomavis.



Prior to getting on a jeep, I decided to do a little roaming around and found this park across Jollibee along Quezon Boulevard. It had some bazaars where I was able to buy some intriguing stuff like carrot soap for my mom. They also sell woven cloth.


After my short stop, I boarded a motorela towards the terminal in Mega market (7 pesos/head). I decided to ride on top of the jeep because the air was so stuffy inside.





About two hours later, I finally arrived in Lake Agco in Barangay Ilomavis. After taking some pictures, I decided to head back to Kidapawan. Unfortunately, the last trip back to the city had already left which left me no choice but to hire a habal-habal (a motorbike), which I don’t really like because I’m scared of motorbikes. There was a nice local who recommended I hitch a ride to this other jeep which was waiting for some mountaineers who had just gone done from mt. Apo. Aw, fellow mountaineers, I felt relief pouring over me and so I went inside the resort to introduce myself to the mountaineers. I saw their group having some snacks and I abashedly approached them and begged to ride with them back to Kidapawan. They agreed and I left to take pictures of Lake Agco.
More Lake Agco Pics Here
A few minutes later, I sat with them and they turned out to be a jolly, friendly, warm bunch. They were the alumni of the Adamson University Mountaineering Society and they just went through a typhoon ordeal while in the summit. Their group was comprised of ten guys and two strong-willed women and everyone had a lot of story to tell about their adventures. Talking with them felt like talking to an old friend. I still felt a little shy but I easily warmed up to some of them. They were even teasing me to this guy since it was February 14 and incidentally, he was taking the same flight back to Manila with me while the rest of the group were scheduled to fly back Feb. 17. What a strange coincidence!

The other thing was – we almost missed each other because their group almost had to delay the ascent for another day, and as for me, I actually wanted to go to another town called Magpet but every time I ask a local, they would insist that I check out Brgy. Ilomavis. 


After they dressed up, I joined them on a jeepney ride back to Kidapawan where we had dinner at this chicken eatery where you can eat with bare hands. It’s along Quezon boulevard, where plenty of buses to Davao pass by. They rented a van back to Davao and I also went with them on their way back to the city. We passed by two Task Force Davao checkpoints which was also a different experience. We had to stop and let an army guy check us out. This is one of the reasons why Davao is dubbed as one of the safest, if not the safest, place in the Philippines.

Back in Davao City
They were inviting me for a drinking session when we got back in Davao city but poor little me was so beat up, I wanted to turn in early and so I booked a room at GV Hotel along Magallanes. It was also a blessing because since it was Feb. 14, almost all the rooms where booked and I was able to grab the last single room! Yay! I only paid 450 pesos for an overnight stay in an aircon room with private toilet and bath and cable t.v. Their staff are friendly and I don’t have any complains. The room was clean and the price was a bargain. Actually, it was supposed to be 650 pesos but since it was February, they ran a lover’s promo so I got the discount. Hehehe.




Where to Shop for Cheap Sarong, malong and Souvenirs in Davao CityI highly recommend checking out Aldevinco shopping center along CM Recto. It is the oldest shopping center in Davao city. This is where you can buy sarong for as low as 100 pesos. Malongs are sold from 120-180 pesos. The brightly colored scarf, I forgot the local term for it, are sold at 3 for 100 pesos. That’s so cheap! In other provinces, they sell that at 70-100 pesos a piece. The adult white souveneir shirts are priced at 85 pesos each. There are key chains for only 10 pesos each. You can get your money’s worth shopping for souvenirs here.


Other Must Do in Davao City:
Eat a lot! They have plenty of eat all you can buffet for as low as 99 pesos. I tried the eat all you can buffet in Iron Horse located along Rizal Street. I paid 124 pesos for the buffet plus a Pepsi Max in Can.


Tagum City, Davao Del Norte
After roaming the streets of Davao city which was practically empty on Sundays, I still had four remaining hours to burn before I check in at the airport. I boarded a jeep to SM Davao and thought of watching a movie since I haven’t seen one in months. When I got to SM, I didn’t feel like going in anymore because I realized, watching a movie was something I could have just done back at home and so I flagged another jeep to Ecoland Bus terminal which is the hub of transportation to other provinces such sa Misamis Oriental, Compostela Valley, Leyte, etc. The name Ecoland amuses me that’s why I decided to check it out. When I got there, there were military personnel conducting the baggage inspection. I checked out the buses hoping to catch a ride to some destination that was just an hour away from the city. I saw a signboard for Tagum City and I asked about three people how long the ride took, an hour, they all say! Ding-ding-ding! I got myself a destination! I deliberated for several minutes and then I boarded a bus.


Right before the bus started its journey, several vendors were trying to sell me durian pastries and candies. I don’t really like durian but there’s this amiable vendor who reminded me of a relative and so I bought from her. It turned out to be a great decision because the stuff I got from her were good! She wasn’t just trying to sell it. It’s really yummy. So that's another tip - buy the Durian candies from Ecoland bus terminal. They're good. The brand is Je-Mark for the durian candies (sold in nice boxes at 3 for 100 pesos) and Emy's for the durian tarts (I think it was also 3 dor 100 or maybe cheaper).


More than an hour later (should have been just an hour but the bus broke down) , I finally reached Tagum City which is dubbed as a garden city. I saw a lot of mangroves along the way and I immediately liked the place. I got down when I saw a Chowking branch. Hehehe! I didn’t get to eat anymore or do much because it was already 5:00pm and I had to go back to Davao city. I chatted with a local name Junjun while waiting for a bus back to Davao. He gave me some information and he even gave me tips on which bus to take.


He advised me to wait for an aircon bus toDavao because they’re the quickest way back. I flagged a yellow Bachelor aircon bus and bid goodbye to Junjun, who waited until I was able to board one. The bus opened its door and I opened my mouth in amazement. Unlike the usual provincial bus, the bus steps deploy as soon as the door opens, like a Transformer. II was because I was able to snag the last empty seat. The bus had two TV’s playing a Chuck Norris movie. The temperature was comfortably cold and another amazing feature was the footrest which is not onrmally found in most Philippine buses. The bus moves like a car, smoothly gliding along the highway. I love it! I am willing to travel back to Mindanao to be able to ride it. I hope they have trips to Compostela Valley which I want to check out in the future. The best thing was , that bus goes infront of Davao International Airport. From Tagum City to Davao airport, the fare is 98 pesos. In about an hour, the conductor dropped me in front of the airport and it was before 6:00pm, too early for my 8:30pm flight.


The Davao Del Norte trip was my last stop of my weekend adventure and the wonderful bus ride was a great way to cap it off. Another nice thing about the entire trip was I met a group of people sharing the same interest as I do. Another nice surprise was that I started this trip alone and went home with a new friend. Hehehe. When I entered the airport doors, I saw one of the mountaineers I met in Kidapawan and we boarded the flight back to Manila. Flight was delayed too which provided us more time to talk.


By the way, to catch incredibly cheap airfares, please log on regularly to:
http://www.cebupacificair.com/



Would you believe I was able to book my flight for only 456.02 pesos?! It's true. No catch. That's for a roundtrip fare from Manila to Davao with 15Kg free baggage allowance. They had a ticket sale for two days last December 2008.





























































































Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Checklist for my Valentine’s Weekend

  • Some guts
  • A lot of faith
  • My new backpacking buddy – Deuter Act Trail 32 (they sell it in most Toby’s branches) . I think I’m inlove with Deuter backpacks. I feel giddy just looking at mine. You know why? I love the way it looks, it's durable, structure isn't heavy, in fact, it removes some of the load off you.
  • Headlamp and flashlight plus extra batteries for the fearful of the dark
    Clothes
  • Swimming goggles, a waterproof pouch and a lot of water-proof bags
  • mobile phone for emergency calls to love ones - just in case I get tired of talking myself
  • Etc etc
    And lastly ..
  • a map of Davao. Let me share something for the nth time, I really love the EZ maps. It only costs 99 a piece and it contains streets, location of establishments (like hostels, gas stations, churches, mountains) and other landmarks of the area. You can buy it in any National Bookstore branch. They have maps for the 3 major islands, Metro Manila, several provinces and regions. They also sell limited international destination maps like Guam.

The Day the Eagle Went Bald – An Adventure for the Ladies

Ever wondered about going bare down under? Has it ever crossed your minds to know what it feels like to go back to the days when everything was still simple, uncomplicated and hairless?

Girlfriends, you know what I’m talking about!

Well, recently, a friend of mine just went for a Brazilian treatment from Lay Bare waxing salon and I swear on my Deuter backpack and fave green headlamp that the friend I’m talking about is not me. Anyway, right after my friend’s treatment, she immediately went to see me – all glowing and smiling. My low tolerance for pain friend had just gone through her personal war, a treatment which involved eradicating ALL adolescent hair from the ladies region. It involves a lot of waxing and some plucking here and there. She told me it wasn’t as painful as she thought it was and I felt so happy for her because she was really nervous right before the treatment.

Did that make you curious? Me too, but I’m not ready to go and spread my wings to a stranger just to go bare down under. I think I’ll try the underarm waxing though.

Check their website for a full list of services and prices:

http://www.lay-bare.com/services.php

Still not convinced? Check out their testimonials. Most of them are quite funny.

“Thank you Lay Bare! The lady is now a baby.”

“The vain must not complain.”

“I made it through the wilderness.”

*Image from Microsoft Powerpoint 2007

Monday, February 9, 2009

Why I’m Itching to go to Surigao Del Sur

Surigao Del Sur was not part of my travel plans for 2009 but this certain place has been on my mind since the very first time I saw pictures of it while surfing the net - one uneventful Sunday morning (which was just yesterday! hehehe). It does pay to stay at home once in a while and go online for a few hours.

Click on this link to know why I’m suddenly thinking of hopping on a plane to Surigao.

Love it? Leave a comment..

Been here? Leave a comment and teach us how to get there via public transportation... J

Hey let me know if the link doesn’t work...it should be leading you to this site: htp://jojiealcantara.multiply.com/photos/album/100/Hinatuans_Enchanted_River_Photos

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The 16th PTAA Travel Tour Expo Experience

Hey, I’m back in one piece from my first-ever trip to the MOA since it opened. Hahahaha! Being the world’s third largest mall with almost four hectares of floor area, it was quite difficult to take everything in for just a couple of hours but I did enjoy every minute of my brief mall experience. I love its structure as well as their amiable information lady stationed near the mall directory. We asked her tons of questions which she managed to answer accurately with a warm smile. Now, that’s good service. My main agenda was to attend the 16th Philippine Travel tour Expo at the SMX Convention, which is an exhibit of bargain travel packages for local and international destinations.

Since I already booked several flights until December, I was quite adamant not to spend on anything at all except for food but I did spot some tempting cheap flights or travel packages such as a MNL-Hong Kong tour for 88 USD. There were also loads of freebies being given out like paper bags, stickers, cds, thick travel brochures, pens, etc. You just need to keep an eye on those. There were also some talks and shows from different tourism boards and if you want to do a little shopping, they also have some stalls selling cloths from Mindanao, leather belts, bracelets, sweets from Bulacan, Eng Bee Tin’s hopia, banana chips, Virgie’s sweets (it’s a famous brand somewhere in the Visayas region, I think Iloilo or Bacolod) and more. Plus if you’re a food lovah lover like me, you can have a gorge feast from several stalls selling dimsum, Chinese lumpia, Tamayo’s catering, grilled veggie sandwiches, etc.

By the way, the entrance fee is at 50 pesos/head and only 20 pesos (not too sure) for senior citizens. For Globe subscribers, you get a 5 peso discount.


I didn’t want to hoard brochures I wouldn’t need (I pity the trees) so I just got those which I am aiming to explore like Guam and Davao. I also got a brochure for a Formula 1 travel package in Malaysia. I was hoping I can get a Man U in KL travel package but they didn’t have those.

After hitting the travel fair, we had an early dinner at Tokyo Café found in the Main Mall across the south wing of the SM Department store. It serves generous, yummy portions of Western cuisine with a Japanese flair for 140pesos and above.

Lastly, I want to share with you how much I love maps, I don’t even know how many maps I own. My latest purchase I think was a comprehensive map of Sagada, which I immediately covered in clear plastic and since, we are already in the subject of which, I would like to mention that the MOA website has an online map which is quite easy to use. Check it out here. You just need to click some buttons to find the stores and restaurants. I’m not sure if the list in their site is complete though.


Happy restful weekend everyone! Do drop by the SMX convention for the travel exhibit or dine at Tokyo Café if you have the time.

Other Blog About the PTAA Travel Tour Expo :
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Tokyo Cafe Reviews:
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Friday, February 6, 2009

Get Travel Bargains at the 16th Philippine Travel Tour Expo in MOA

Hiyee, sharing this info I learned from Kegler747 , one of my favorite bloggers. :)

Date:
06 to 08
February 2009

Venue:
SMX Convention Center Halls 2, 3 & 4,
Seashell Drive, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City

Opening Hours:
6 February - Friday
11 AM - 9 PM

7 February - Saturday
10 AM - 9 PM

8 February - Sunday
10 AM - 6 PM

Ticket booths close 30 minutes before end of show hours

Accompanying Events:
Daily Raffle Draws, Entertainment & Games and Exhibitors' Presentations & more surprises

WEBSITE: http://www.ptaatraveltourexpo.com.ph

EVENT HOSTS : Philippine Travel Agencies Association

Me and my friends are friends are going to check it out this weekend. Let me also share with you a secret - it will be my first ever trip to MOA, can you believe it? I'm not really a mall person so it shouldn't be a surprising fact. Hehe..and as with any travel trip, I already have the map for the travel expo. You can also view it here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Fave Kwebang Lampas Pictures

I'm supposed to be out of the house now to go jogging but I just realized that I wasn't able to post the pictures from the actual cave in Kwebang Lampas..hehehe so here you go....the pictures are all from Glee and Ren's cam (thanks lovebirds!)...As Charwill my new found sister would say, "Loves it!"...
Beware of the girl in orange. In this picture, we were all trying to do a top model pose but poor moi came out looking like I was posing for a wrestling mag or something. I don't really know how to do it, I was trying to do a chest out, butt out thing but it came out looking like I was getting ready to fight someone.
The second picture was taken near our hut.Believe me when I tell you that I was trying to look sexy on this shot..bwahahaha!
Third pic....Love this one most especially because we had to swim and climb some sharp, unforgiving rocks to get to this point.
This fourth and last fave pic of mine was taken on our way back to the jeepney terminal in Ibabang Polo. We were still a little wet from our swim and since we couldn't find where the well was so we could wash up, we had to go back to town in our swimming clothes. We didn't bother changing kasi sayang lang sa damit..hehehe! I also love the shirt I'm wearing which was given by a friend of mine on my birthday last year. The picture is small and I doubt you can see what's really in it but up close, the shirt had a print in it which said "Soccer Crazy". The design was a fierce looking soccer ball with a grinning mouth. (Thanks moiy for the shirt!)

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