Mis-Adventure in Cagayan Province

After being sick for two weeks and not able to join Bim on our Panay Trip, I’m finally feeling better and ready to go back to work. Unfortunately, when I was asking for my “fit to work” clearance from our Company Doctor, she told me wait for another two days. I can just to go work on December 1 (Tuesday) since Nov 30 (Monday) is a holiday. It’s another four days for me  not doing anything at home. Two weeks is already enough so I don’t need this extra four days, boredom is already killing me.

So I browsed the internet, facebook and look for any tours that I can join. Good thing, there’s a trip going to Cagayan Province via Lakbay Backpackers. It’s a Baguio travel agency so it means free ride from Baguio to our destination. Almost all the trips that I joined, meet up place is in Manila so I had to travel down from Baguio to Manila.

I always wanted to visit Cagayan to see Callao Cave and the famous Palaui Island (home for survivor US). Before the trip, the travel agency (May) texted me if we still wanted to proceed with the trip since it’s been raining in Cagayan which means big waves so it’s very hard to go island hopping. She told me that we are divided into three groups: group of friends from Manila, lovebirds from Baguio and solo girl from Baguio (that’s me). I told her that my decision will be based on the big group, if they cancel, then I’ll have to cancel also. Good thing, they decided to push with the trip. 🙂

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The itinerary makes me so excited since it’s a three day full of activity – island hopping, trek to lighthouse, beach bumming and church visits. But unfortunately, the itinerary was not followed. Instead of 8hours drive from Manila to Cagayan, it took us 15 hours (arrived 3pm at Sta Ana Cagayan). I think the problem is that we only have one (1) driver, so we need to take lots of breaks/rest… safety first right.

It was raining so it’s not advisable to go to Palaui. Our Day 1 was used for travel and rest at Jotay’s resort. Good thing, they have swimming pool so I just did an underwater pictorial with Chamy and Harold (lovebirds from Baguio). We also went to see their market and bought some goodies for our island hopping  tomorrow.

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won’t let our first day go to waste 🙂

After breakfast, it is now time to go island hopping. I’ve visited different islands – in and out of our country, but the boat ride to Palaui is the most scariest ride that I’ve ever did.

I’m glad that we made it alive! Thanks to our expert boatmen. 🙂

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definitely, the scariest boat ride experience

It took us an hour to reach our first destination: Anguib Beach. It has fine sands and blue water. As always, took lots of pictures and enjoyed the beach.

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vitamin SEA 🙂

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the beautiful Anguib Beach

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the gang…

Another one hour boat ride to our next destination: Palaui Island where we trek to Cape Engano Lighthouse.

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Palaui is ❤

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survivors..PH

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after an hour trek…finally reached the lighthouse

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feels like home ❤

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mandatory jump shot

Chamy and I wanted to see the hidden falls but the other big group doesn’t want to, so we moved to our next stop: Crododile Island.

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can you spot the crocs? 🙂

After island hopping, it’s time to eat our late lunch at Nangaramoan Beach. We were surprised that we will be sleeping in one small room with no private toilet at Mar-pe’s Lodging and Cottages (Phone#09174767041). It’s not acceptable for a group of 10 people to sleep in a small room. So we decided to pay an added fee so we can have our private room. I think I added Php 600 pesos since it’s only the three (3) of us in our room – Chamy and her bf Harold; and me. Our coordinator Tosz and driver Roger slept inside the van only.

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enjoying Nangaramoan Beach 🙂

It was agreed that we will leave the beach early so we can complete our remaining itinerary, but the big group was late so we left an hour late against our original plan.

We ate our breakfast first at Dodie’s Panciteria. This was featured by Rated K already for their famous pansit batil patung.

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Then off to Callao Cave – yippee! This famous cave was featured on the movie of John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo “The Mistress” wedding scene. Our guide told us that you can use this as venue for weddings. You just need to decorate it and pay Php 20 entrance fee for each guest. I was also surprised that this is not the only attraction on this cave. It has seven chambers but you can only go up to the 5th chamber. Here you will see different rock formations.

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after 184 steps, we reached the entrance to the Callao Cave

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say a little prayer for you 🙂

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rock formations 🙂

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lion’s head ❤

There’s so much more to do within Callao Cave like boating to falls. But due to time constraint, after spelunking, we went to visit the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat.

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During lunch time, Tosz found out that we already pass the other church. We had to go back to Sta Ana again to see it. But the team decided that we will just travel back to Manila since it’s gonna be another 13-15hours. It’s sad that I won’t be able to see the other churches but at least I was able to see one. It’s enough for me for this trip.

They need to drop the Manila peep first before going back to Baguio. So that means, I might be late for my work. Chamy and I decided to take a bus going to Baguio. We arrived in Tarlac at 3am and arrived in Baguio 6am. After power nap, I’m ready for work.

What do you think about this blog? Leave me a comment or email at roanguerrero@yahoo.com. Thank you! 🙂

My Tinipak River Trek

While browsing Facebook, I saw a post of Vagabond Pinas offering a trek to Tinipak River with side trip at Pillilia Windmills. Bim and I saw the windmills but never had a chance to see it up close during our Rizal … Continue reading

Beyond Baguio

With the completion of the Pangasinan portion of TPLEX (Tarlac-Pangasinan- La Union Expressway), the trip to Baguio from Manila via Kennon Road is only 3 to 4 hours. It’s  fast and easy so every weekend, lots of tourist goes to Baguio not only due to cold weather but also to see the famous tourist spots in the city. But did you know that there are other places that you can visit beyond Baguio City?

Here are my top five (5) spots that will surely make your weekend to Baguio more exciting:

1. BALATOC MINES, ITOGON BENGUET. Learn and experience the life of a miner. This is just 30 minutes away from Baguio City. This can be reach via private car or public jeepney bound to Balatoc-Acupan located at Harrison – SSS Petron Station, fare is Php 24/pax.  Tour Fee is  Php 250/pax with certificate. It’s a 2 hour tour inside the tunnel where you learn about the stages of gold mining while wearing the proper safety gear. You can contact them at 09212990169 or visit their site at http://www.facebook.com/balatocminestour. Make sure to contact them first since it was closed last November due to the typhoon.

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miner on duty

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Balatoc Mines

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learning about mining

2. DAYHIKE AT MT. ULAP , ITOGON BENGUET. Lose some calories by doing a day hike to Mt. Ulap (4 to 6 hours trek). Here you’ll see the stunning views of mountains, pines and grassland ridges and even burial caves. This is just 40 minutes away from Baguio City. This can be reach via private car or public jeepney bound to Ampucao located at Harrison – SSS Petron Station, fare is Php 32/pax.  Just ask local directions on how to reach Ampucao Barangay Hall where you need to register and secure a guide. Better if you hike with your friends so you can save some cash on guide fee.

Mt Ulap EcoTrail Text Lines: 09284831113, 09217292726 &09182788625

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the famous rock…say NO to vandalism

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3. CHASING WATERFALLS: BRIDAL VEIL FALLS & COLORADO FALLS, TUBA BENGUET.  You can visit these falls before going up to Baguio since it’s located at the border between Camp 1 and Camp 2 Kennon Road. But if you’re in Baguio already, ride the public vans located at Harrison – SSS Petron Station, fare is Php 70/pax. Just tell the driver to drop you at Twin Peaks, Colorado Falls. Then after hiking at Colorado, you can either walk or ride a tricyle (Php 15) to go to Bridal Veil Falls.

No hike required to reach Bridal Veil Falls, you can actually see it from the highway and can see it closer by crossing the hanging bridge. There is no fee, just bring your swimwear and enjoy the cold water.

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Bridal Veil Falls

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some local boys having fun at the falls

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Just 5 to 10 minutes away from Bridal Veil Falls is the Colorado Falls at Twin Peaks. It’s a 27-tier waterfalls. There’s a “no trespassing sign” so I guess it’s closed now. Make sure you get a local to guide you on your hike/trek since the trail is not that good. You need to cross the hanging bridge, rivers and climb huge boulders. Take extra careful, just one wrong move and it’s game over.

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Colorado Falls

4. KLONDYKE HOT SPRING, TUBA BENGUET. It’s  a small beautiful resort located at Camp 1. You’ll reach this first before going to Baguio via private car. But if you’re in Baguio already, ride the public vans located at Harrison – SSS Petron Station, fare is Php 70/pax. Just tell the driver to drop you at the resort. This is a perfect place to relax. Entrance Fee is Php 100/pax.8

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Hot Springs 🙂

5. MT STO TOMAS, TUBA BENGUET. This is one of my favorite place to do hiking even before the famous “Forevermore” TV Series. Make sure not to miss the Sto Tomas Reservoir, radar and the bedrock. You can get here via private car, or rent a taxi (Php 300/hour) or public jeepneys located near Hotel Veniz (fare: less than Php 50/pax).

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Welcome to Mt. Sto Tomas

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love the mountains 🙂

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Mt. Sto Tomas Reservoir

So next time you go to Baguio, make sure not to miss this.

 

 

What do you think about this blog? Leave me a comment or email at roanguerrero@yahoo.com. Thank you! 🙂

 

 

 

BCM: A Historical Tour

December means a long holiday…yipeee! It’s a perfect time to travel and explore a new place. Our first choice is to do a Bicolandia trip but due to recent typhoon, we had to look for another place. The next choice is Baler, we will be joining a tour but since no available tour on our selected dates and doing DIY for two is very expensive, we decided to cancel Baler also. So where did we go then?

Dec 27: Visited  the Unexplored Sisiman Lightless Lighthouse in Mariveles Bataan. 

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view from the top of the Grotto

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Mt. San Miguel

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Sisiman Lightless Lighthouse

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The Gang – Lei, Faye, Bim, Angel and Me 🙂

Dec 28: Should be our Intramuros trip but had to cancel since Lei  need to rest her knee. Perfect timing since I had to attend my cousin’s wedding at Crystal Beach San Narciso, Zambales

Dec 29: Walking Tour at Corregidor Island 

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with my travel buddy “Lei”

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Corregidor Lighthouse

Dec 30: National Museum and Luneta Park. It’s holiday so free entrance at National Museum. I can’t miss Luneta Park, need to visit our National Hero esp on this day. Thank you for this holiday! 🙂

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Spolarium – Juan Luna

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a portion of Berlin Wall

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no photobomber Torre de Manila

Full blog per day trip on my historical trip will be available soon.

Antipolo’s Mystical Cave

If you will visit Antipolo Rizal, make sure not to miss the Mystical Cave of Inday Nelly.

You can reach the cave  by hiring a tricycle, make sure to let him wait for you. It’s hard to wait for a tricycle since this is not the usual path of public tricycle and jeepneys.

It was named Mystical Cave due to many religious and holy images inside the cave. It is also believed that the water drips inside the cave can heal people. It has 7 chambers but you can only visit until the 3rd chamber. Every Lenten Season or Holy week, many people visits this cave and put up some tents inside the cave. This place was also used by film makers for movies like Enkantadia, Pedro Penduko, Spirit Warriors, Dyesebel, Marina and Asian Treasures. Entrance Fee is Php 50.

During our visit last Oct 3, there’s no other visitor but us (Bim and I) due to the recent typhoon. We’re lucky since it’s not raining that time and the sun is out. We were greeted by our little guide. She told us to go up and see the Mystical Cross first before going inside the cave. She said that the view on top will show the whole Antipolo and nearby province.

The trail to the mystical Cross is a hard one for me since my shoes is not for hiking. Due to the typhoon, it’s a very muddy and rocky trail. I almost gave up and ask Bim to continue on his own. He went up and told me that we are almost at the top. So I decided to move on, take off my shoes and walk barefoot. I’m glad that Bim never give up and pushed me to complete the hike. We finally reached the cross and greeted by this magnificent view. It’s true that difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.

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After taking a lot of pictures, we went down to see what’s inside the Cave. But before that, I need to clean my muddy feet. This time, I’m wearing my hiking sandals now. Take a short rest and ready to explore the cave.

And we’re ready!

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the wishing well, it’s too deep.

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inside the mystical cave

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the closet

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trying to drink the holy water

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spot the heart

We enjoyed our tour inside the cave, so many holy images. There’s a heart shape image where you can tell what your heart desires.  We really enjoyed our tour inside the cave. It took us more than 2 hours to complete the hike and tour – and we’re off to our next destination Pinto Art Museum.

October 03, 2015

Mystical Kabayan Trek ~ 9 |19-20|2015

I’m a fan of all the hikes of Ate Ibang and Ate Ruby – they are my Indochina buddies  who loves to hike beautiful mountains here and abroad. I always check their albums and so amazed on all their photos. While browsing, I saw an event hosted by Yabag Mountaineering group (liked by Ate Ibang) and  decided to join. I always wanted to do the Mystical Kabayan Tour based from the photos I saw from my Ate’s. I also like the itinerary posted but Yabag is known as a group not following their itinerary. Is that a good or bad thing? Well, I need to join to find out.

So I invited my travel sissy “Bim” and my colleague Lee. But when the event is near, Lee cancelled so it’s me and Bim who went to this trek. Tour fee is Php 3500 which includes transportation (Bus Manila to Baguio 2 way and 2 days rented Monster Jeepney – Baguio to Kabayan), Entrance Fees & Environmental Fees, Guides for the Lake tour and hike and 2 camp meals (Dinner and breakfast).  You can even rent tent from them just like what we did (paid Php 750 for 3 person tent). And since I’m from Baguio, the tour fee that I paid is less the Manila Baguio transportation which is Php 2600. I just wait and meet them at Victory Liner Terminal PNR Baguio.

We met new faces on this trek, Migs – owner of Yabag Mountaineering group, Cris – loves to do solo travel (we plan to do a trip together soon), Ate Lulu – trekker who will be hiking Mt Everest with Ate Ibang, and Jonalyn – a broken hearted soul who wants to mend her heart thru hiking…plus a lot more.

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The beautiful Lake Tabeyo

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” the Gang”

Before starting the trek, we ate breakfast at Good Taste. But since Bim and I are so “pasaway”, we went to Jollibee, eat breakfast and bought pack lunch.

The original itinerary says that we will be hiking Mt Timbac  (3rd highest in Luzon, 9th in the Philippines) but due to the recent typhoon Ineng which caused lots of landslides, the area is closed.

We visit Kabayan National Museum where we see a fire mummy. It’s so amazing how they do the mummification process.

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at Kabayan Museum

The mummification began shortly after a person died where he would digest a very salty drink. After his death, his corpse was washed and set over a fire in a seated position, thus drying the fluids. Smoke from tobacco was blown into the mouth  to dry the body’s inside and internal organs.  Eventually, herbs were rubbed into the body. Mummified bodies are then placed in a coffin made of pinewood and laid to rest in rock shelters, natural caves or man made burial niches. The practice of that mummification ended when Spaniards colonized the Philippines in the 16th century.

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Kabayan Fire Mummy

Then we proceed to Tinonchial Burial Cave where see more fire mummies.

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off to Tinochol Burial Cave

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more fire mummies

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amazing Fire Mummies Burial Caves

We arrived at Lake Tabeyo at around 12 noon where we had our lunch. We just let the  Yabag boys to  set up the camps & tents. They are really organized and very fast in setting up the camps. We had few hours to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. The weather is not too hot or too cold. This is a fun base camp since we have toilets and stores where we can buy coke. Yes, Bim and I are addicted to coke. I think we were able to drink two 1.5L coke for this tour.

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nice set up Sir Migs

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the great Mt. Tabayoc

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our home for two days

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kids playing…they have the coziest playground

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lovin’ the view

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beautiful Lake Tabeyo

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off to our trek

We arrived  early since Mt Timbac is closed, it was agreed that we  will start the hike to the three (3) lakes. We were accompanied by our lady guides since the Yabag boys will stay and prepare our dinner. We just bring our trail food (snacks), waterproof jacket, hats and cameras. It’s a monkey trail so I need to bring light items only. We were also reminded to minimize noise while we explore the lakes. I guess they know how noisy I am. My friends in Baguio also told me to always call my name – “Uwi na Roan” since the place is enchanted. This is for me to avoid from getting lost.

We rode the monster jeep and bring us to the foot of Lake Ambulalacao. It was really nice to know the folklores behind the three lakes. According to our guide, some fishermen saw shooting stars going up and down from this lake so it was named Lake Ambulalacao. Sadly, we are not able to see the whole beauty of this lake since it was covered by fog.

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yes, we’re here

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Foggy Lake Ambulalacao

Before reaching the next lake, you will see a lot of beautiful picturesque view.

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monkey trails

Next stop is Lake Letep Ngepos. The trail is muddy, you need to follow the guide’s trail since you might fall on the quicksand. It was believed that there was a young man who dive into it’s waters while holding a lit torch looking for treasures and the torch  didn’t die as he dived.

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Lake Letep Ngepos

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Lake Letep Ngepos

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The last lake is Lake Incolos where I didn’t see any body of water. Our guide explained that we are actually on top of the lake. This explains why it felt like I’m sinking and my shoes are wet. We are also not allowed to do the jumpshot hehe!  Our guide told us that a crocodile lived on this lake but was killed by a fisherman. The lake was covered by the crocodiles blood turning this lake like this now — covered with grasses and thin layer of land. After hearing her story, I’m imagining  that a giant crocodile will appear and will try to eat us… alhough it will not succeed since we are the fastest sweepers haha!

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Lake Incolos

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We continued our trek to Junior Pulag.  No wonder it’s the junior Mt Pulag since it has the same grassy terrain and peak. We stayed for a few minutes to take some rest, share stories and laughs before we head back to campsite.

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Dinner time. Time to drink some booze and learn more things about our new found friends.

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ready to eat and sleep

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Woke up early to see the beautiful view of Lake Tabeyo.

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mornings like this…yes, please

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Our guide teach us also on how to do carrot picking and proper way of cleaning carrots. Jonalyn and Bim have carrots for pasalubong already.

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carrot picking

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time to go home

Side trip to Opdas Cave where we see hundreds of skulls and bones. May they all rest in peace.

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Wash up at a swimming pool. Sorry but I don’t know the name. Most of them took a swim while the three of us – Bim, Jonalyn and I sing our hearts out at the videoke. They all looked fresh after the swim while we look so sweaty..yikes! Don’t worry, I let Bim and Jonalyn  shower at my apartment. We did a quick tour at Oh My Gulay and had dinner at 50’s Diner. Met the Ulupong Mountaineers at Victory Liner while waiting for their bus ride to Manila. Happy to see Ate Ruby again 🙂

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When in Dumaguete

This should have been my Ultimate Beach Bumming Experience with Travel Factor (TF) – going to Dumaguete Apo Island and Siquijor. But since they had a small number of participants, they had to cancel this trip. Unfortunately, I already booked … Continue reading

Day 5: Solitude & the “rule of thirds”

Welcome to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River River National Park.

This is the famous Underground River, a natural world heritage site.

Be sure to visit this natural wonder when you head to Palawan! 🙂

Photo taken during my Palawan trip… soon on my blog

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Day 4: Identify your Audience

I already said goodbye to the old me. The girl who is so afraid to go out of her comfort zone. So scared to see the beautiful  wonders of this world. With all the bad news that I heard and watched from the TV… It’s just scared me to death. I can’t even go to other places without my Mom at my side.

But I had this amazing opportunity to work in Baguio — which is  seven hours away from my hometown, Subic, via bus. With no relatives and just a few friends that I’ve met few years ago, I said to myself, why not give it a try. If I felt so lonely and scared, I’ll just go back to Subic and be with my family again.

The first few months is so tough…had to do all the things on my own. Need to cook food, go to grocery, clean my house and do all the dishes. I’m the laziest at home so you know the struggle that I had. I also need to do some effective budgeting to be able to pay my bills and save some money.

I’ve learned so many things about myself during this time. I never thought that I can be so tough and be an independent person that I am now. This also started my travel addiction. With all the hardwork at work, I still had time to enjoy it by visiting different places that I only see on TV and magazines. My Mom called me now her Dora the explorer. I may not have so many things to show off but I have so many treasured memories that I had during my travels.

This is my transformation — from a shy girl to an avid traveler.

I hope this blog will inspire people.

Don’t be afraid! You’ll find your inner strength and when you do, you’ll enjoy it!

“The world is at your fingertips, so take off on a travel adventure. Don’t keep procrastinating and putting this off – it’ll be harder to make time for travel as you get older.” – Business Insider