Tag Archives: fun

The Boracay Enigma: Luzon to Visayas in two weeks (December 2017, Part 2)

Well, we still got a long ways of travel to go but for this issue, we bring you a sort of a funny conundrum in “to go or not to go” to Boracay. Whaaatt!?

Now to continue.. and picking up from Roxas, Oriental Mindoro.

The long line at Roxas’ ticketing booth, pier

Roxas to Caticlan (Aklan). Roro ship. P408 fare + 30 terminal fee. The ship fare here actually varies from shipping line to shipping line and this is around P400-500 per head. I was just lucky to get some sort of discount that time since I traveled on a rainy midnight (with so many other passengers on a holiday rush) as I was thinking of going to Boracay first before continuing my travels.

But lo, the ship was just so full (I even reminded the ship’s crews of overloading) that we had to sleep at the ship’s cafeteria while many others were just on the ship’s floor — yeah, you know, like even near the stairs and where we walk! I bet nobody really had a good rest that time. Hey, I only slept about an hour at most in this four-hour trip or in fact, for the next 12 hours!

Caticlan to Boracay is a mere 15-minute boat ride

Anyway, by the time we arrived in Caticlan at around 4AM or so, we were just exhausted. And this made me ponder about my plan to go to Boracay. And so, I thought about it for two hours while having a meal and talking to the locals as Boracay Island is just a 15-minute boat ride from Caticlan! Should I go or not??

Possible Expenses (Boracay): Boat one-way P175 (for Filipinos, but just P30 for Aklanons, haha wow!) and P250 (for foreigners) — well, it’s their livelihood so. Anyhow, hotels or lodging costs P4,000 to P40,000 or so per day — though if you are lucky, you might find some vacancy in their around 1,000/day rooms. Meals cost P270 on hotel buffets or you could find eateries outside with about a P70 complete meal package. These not counting other expenses like souvenirs, snacks, drinks, supplies and so on, so having some extra cash (or if you brought your card) would be helpful.

Caticlan, Aklan

Still, while I could stay for 2-3 days out there, I simply wanted every penny to count. Like, I won’t sleep at all if I could. Haha. You know, just roam and explore. But because of circumstances, I would, like, just squander a day in Boracay just sleeping. So, whatta waste!

In the end, I said, “Okay, next time. I am just beat that all I’d probably do there is sleep — though if I even could.” And surely that won’t do since I love staying up late when I’m in a new place and especially since it’s Boracay, who wouldn’t??

Stay tuned for the third part of our continuing travels!

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Travel Philippines: Luzon to Visayas in two weeks (December 2017, Part 1)

The holidays inarguably gives most of us more free time not to mention a little more funds at hand; and so encouraging us to do something a little more adventurous as well. And perhaps that’s exactly what happened this Christmas season of 2017 to many of us..

With a business trip to the north, Luzon that is, I felt that it was time for a different kind of experience — at least after my purpose has been done, of course. And so, a two-week adventure!

MY ROUTE: Cebu City to Manila to Batangas City to Calapan City to Roxas, Oriental Mindoro to Caticlan to Iloilo City to Bacolod City to San Carlos City to Toledo City and back to Cebu City!

Luzon to Visayas travelogue: 5 land and 4 sea travels. Actual travel routes are not straight paths

Wow, I could have just flown back again to Cebu! But yeah, this time it was a mix of air, rough seas and long hours of land travel that even included night and dawn trips, most of which you could not imagine how exhausting they actually were — but in the end, just all worth it.

For your reference and in case you plan to do such an adventurous trip, oh connecting trips, as well — guess there’s no real need to tell you the exact days of my travel (since you may want to cut it short or prolong your stay in one or several places depending on your time, interest and budget) but just the costs (as of December 2017), the time it took and some comments. Take note that these are basically my travel expenses and not counting the hotel stay, laundry, meals, snacks, supplies, souvenirs, in-city fares, tourist spot fees and some emergency money. And so, without further adieu..

Air Travel: Cebu City to Manila

Cebu City to Manila. AirAsia. 1h 20m. P2,300. The plane trip left as scheduled but was actually 20 minutes ahead of its ETA (estimated time of arrival) which has sort of become a signature for AirAsia as this has always been the case whenever I fly the airline. Hmm, that’s good. The airfare, on the other hand, varies depending on when and where you booked and when you wish to fly. Frequent flyers know this. The nearer your flight date, the more expensive it becomes. On the contrary, the farther your flight date, the lower the airfare would be, of course with consideration to the airline’s price threshold.

Manila to Batangas City. Bus at Taft Ave. cor. Buendia. 1h 40m. P168. When in Manila, be mindful of the traffic so watch your sked. Anyhow, considering the distance (103 km) and traffic, my long-time friend informed me that the trip could take 3-4 hours. But to my pleasant surprise, it only took less than two hours. So yes, great!

Port of Batangas

Batangas City to Calapan City (Mindoro Oriental). Roro ship. 2h 30m. P200 fare + P30 terminal fee. I actually got to the pier at about mid-morning in hope that I could leave by lunchtime at least — but the rains just had so many passengers caught in disarray that even with several shipping lines open for booking, I was only able to secure mine for the 3PM trip that only left at around 3:30PM.

Calapan City to Roxas (Mindoro Oriental). Van. P200. While both places are in the same province, the distance was really quite far (119.3 km) so it took the van 2h 30m to reach Roxas in this north to south trip. What’s tough in riding a van though is the placement of your luggages. With most everybody having at least a backpack or two and no real compartment in the van, you would be forced to just let your baggages sit on your lap for the trip. At least, initially.

Port of Calapan

Mindoro’s basic disadvantage: No buses. So, consider your itinerary.

Watch out for our second part, The Boracay Enigma!

Top 10 Beach Activities in the Philippines

Know what, there are actually many things we could do in beaches — yeah, not just swimming, eating and chitchatting. We could do yoga, read a book, fly a kite and more! Unfortunately, many of us just leaves such activities at home. Hmm…

And so, what do we normally see in Philippine beaches?

Singing (Music): The universal language

VIDEOKE. In almost any beach you go to, and even from afar, you could already hear this thunderous sound — Singing!!

Selfie: The way of life

SELFIE OR PHOTOGRAPHING VIEWS. What is having fun without having memories of it? Besides, picture-taking has simply become part of our lifestyle already!

Playing Cards: The national past time??

PLAYING CARDS OR MAHJONG. Especially for those who does not want to swim yet, playing cards or mahjong is one past time many just could not live without. Really.

Drinking: The amnesiatic solution??

DRINKING. Though you could see people ‘drinking’ even without playing cards, in most cases, these two activities go hand-in-hand.

Sand Games: The path to re-energizing

SAND CASTLES OR BURYING A FRIEND. Even for many adults, playing with sand is a sure thing especially when it’s white sand where one could also bury a friend.

Beach Volleyball: Bonding and exercise in one

BALL GAMES. Beach volleyball and soccer, these are the most popular ball games one could see on beaches. And oh, incidentally, athleticism is reduced dramatically when on sand making almost everybody equal — thus, more fun and excitement!

Playing Frisbee: Fun and personal training in one

FRISBEE OR PLAYING CATCH. For those who doesn’t have a Frisbee, one could see beach goers playing catch instead that is by using a beach ball — however, only few moves on to play dodgeball since it requires more energy and athleticism to play it.

Relaxing or Taking a Nap: Just ‘enjoying’ the moment

TAKING A NAP. Yeah, we could see more than a handful actually taking a nap or relaxing on beaches — what with the time they spent in preparing food or even just talking onto the wee hours of the night in excitement of going to the beach!

Playing Tag: A simple way of making friends

PLAYING TAG. Either on sand or at sea, there are still those who plays tag or even race — then again, the numbers has fallen since this requires energy; and these days, energy has become a commodity that they’d rather swim leisurely than try to tag someone else.

Boating: Enjoying while exploring the sea

BOATING. While many would want to go boating, only a few would actually go for it. Ey, you have to spend to do so! Good if their group is just about 6-8 people, that with some extra cash, they would most likely rent and take the paddle. Thus, if the majority could not ride then the minority would not force it. So, jetskiing, parasailing, and alike — obviously, they’re not for the majority.

Banana Boat Ride: Adding excitement to a wonderful summer

As for playing musical instruments, most would rather sing at the videoke bar. Board games? Most would rather play cards. Dance the limbo or learning new sports? Most would rather roam around for ‘selfies’. Watching movies on a portable CD player? Most would rather, well, sleep; of course, watching movies among others is sedentary as well but the point is — many have become idle!?

Collect seashells or play tug-of-war? My, it’s almost a forgotten art!

Summertime: Your Camping Essentials

What is summer without camping, uh? Yep, especially when beaches are full?! Yet of course, camping is by all means not a second choice for fun and adventure — as the wilderness is always a refreshing way to energize and bond!

But just like any other activity, preparation is needed. Especially in camping when you would spend at least a night outdoors. And altho you could bring just about anything, it’s certainly practical to travel and go light. The less, the better.

Here now are your Basic Camping Essentials. Just Click the Images.

WATERPROOF TENT (5-6 persons)

Ideally, you should put a 1-2 person allowance in your tent check list — for extra valuable space. This means, if there are 4 of you who’s planning to go camping, try to bring a 5-6 person waterproof tent.

SLEEPING MAT

You wouldn’t want to feel itchy while you sleep, that is if you could even sleep with the grass tickling you. So if you couldn’t afford an inflatable pad yet, just make sure you get a mat that is waterproof.

SLEEPING BAG

Even during summer, you know it’s cold when you’re outdoors — thus, having a sleeping bag could keep you warm and safe.

SOLAR LAMP

We guarantee you, it’s gonna be dark at night and you would not want to get lost in the woods. Therefore, a solar lamp is a must.

CAMPING KNIFE

One can’t imagine the importance of having a knife (even a multi tool) on hand — from preparing food to fixing your tent to opening bottles to what have you.

PORTABLE CAMPING BURNER

While you could cook with firewood and really feel that you are camping, it wouldn’t hurt if you bring a little portable stove.

WINDPROOF & WATERPROOF MATCH

If you got a lighter or even a match, you could bring ’em; then again, could it handle even a slight breeze without being extinguished?

CAMPING COOKWARE

Hey, we can’t always eat canned goods, you know. And burners are not only for heating up coffee water — so, try to take along a couple of pots and pans including a bowl or so.

HOT COLD TUMBLER

Now speaking of hot and cold beverages for your mornings and throughout the day, a nice vacuum flask would do.

WATER PURIFICATION FILTER

Would you rather bring several containers of water, or invest in a water filtration system? Having the latter is more than welcome.

WINDPROOF JACKET

Camping doesn’t mean you’d always hole up in your tent, thus having a windproof jacket to roam around would surely do you good.

FIRST AID KIT

Finally, when outdoors, it’s always good to be ‘first aid’ ready.

At the end of the day, camping is really like living outdoors, so others might even bring coolers, portable tables and chairs — but for us, we travel light. The less, the better.  However you travel, just do not forget to bring extra clothing, slippers, hygienic set (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, etc), and extra food unless you would fish.

In Pictures: Mantayupan Falls (Barili, Cebu)

Here is one of the more than 90 falls you could find in Cebu province.. the Mantayupan Falls in Campangga, Barili — some 60 kilometers southwest of the city.

Oh, did you know that it’s just about 300 meters away from another wonderful adventure? Well then, let’s see these pics first..

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Hmm… Can you see ’em clearly? I mean the print on the signboard. If not, here goes. There are actually 2 falls here, one is 14 meters high and the ‘main’ falls is about 98 meters high..

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This is the 14-meter high falls; and it’s the first falls you’d see.

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Now, t’is the ‘main’ waterfalls at 98 meters.. A lot really gathers here to have picnics, you know. The ‘wind’ is pretty cool off the falls, yeah!

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For the curious, here’s what that small sign says — check it out!

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And yes, in case you wish to spend a night or two, they got rooms.

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So, what can you say? Okay, the water is not blue nor green; well, it just rained before we got there. Still, it’s bathable. After all, it’s running water, remember?! Just be careful.

Enjoy!

In Pictures: Circa La Playa (Minglanilla, Cebu)

Just near the boundary of Talisay and Minglanilla is another resort where many spend their bonding time, and this is at Circa La Playa. Located at the inner part of Tungkil in Minglanilla, somehow, this resort lacks some ‘land’ — yes, from parking space to pools.

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Parking Area near the Entrance
Parking Area near the Entrance
Notice the cars behind the pool?
Notice the cars behind the pool?

Since their regular parking area could only hold around 20 vehicles or so and ’cause it’s frequented by many, you could park even almost beside the pool! Oh my.. Can’t just say t’was designed as such. Not really good. The landscaping is not right if there’s so many people.

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The first pool you’ll see upon entering the resort

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The pools on the other hand; well, though they are somewhat ‘well-designed’ (?) — they’re just pretty small. You see, with the number of bathers at hand, the pools’ sanitation becomes questionable.

Yet how do you solve these?

Restrict or limit the number of visitors? Buy more land to the sides of the resort? Well, that’s for management to decide. While the first option could most likely be by-passed by the owner, the second one would take time, what with the development to take place!

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Landscaping would have been okay if not for so many people

But for us, for those seeking to relax — at least, ‘healthily’ — these info becomes our basis for choice. Would you, or would you not? Anyway, just check out our video pics..

After all, even the road to the resort is just so tight — it’s like a road only good for 1 1/3 vehicles but forced to become a two-way street. So, imagine the weekend traffic? Yeah, we’re talking about the road near the bridge (Tungkil Market) and going to Mohon road. Juuust wondered why officials aren’t doing something about this?

Hmm…

Travel Time: Philippines #BecomingFilipino

While other travel videos are more organized; like they edit them and make better presentations, our chosen travel video is spontaneous..

And really coming from someone who has experienced what it’s like to travel and live in the PhilippinesKyle Jennermann.

Cool video! And in a way, touching.. really.

As we did see in all the activities Kyle went through, it’s like a lost son trying to find his way back and adapt to life in the Philippines. Indeed, it’s been good.. all the lives he has touched, all the friendships he has made.

As they say, “it’s more fun in the Philippines”!