Tag Archives: vacation

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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In Pictures: Durano EcoFarm Spring (Carmen, Cebu)

Beaches or the mountains. Well, that’s normally the choices up front when we seek to refreshen amidst the city chaos, or whatever stress we may want to get rid of. Yet wouldn’t it be nice if we could have them both? Water and wilderness?!? Wow!!

Here’s one place where you could experience them both..

z1-introsurroundings-2Durano EcoFarm Spring Resort at Carmen, Cebu.

To Get Here: It’s about 49 kilometers from Cebu City, so if you don’t have your own vehicle — rent one. Otherwise, take a jeepney or a Ceres bus at the South Bus Terminal. Then get off Carmen Market.

From there, just take a ‘habal-habal’ for P35 per head. And make sure you tell the driver to fetch you when it’s time, so get his cell number and try to agree on a back and forth fare.

1-towards-the-entrance
The Entrance
2-parking
The Parking Area

4-just-inside 5-just-about-in

The EcoFarm has 5 pools, so don’t worry, you got a lot of swimming space — besides, it also got a waterfalls! Just cool, eh?!

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This pool is at the end of the 5 pool spring, so water is still being filled up
This pool is at the end of the 5 pool spring, so water is still being filled up

Oh, fact is there are 7 pools, but 2 are hardly used — so, take your pick! Just be careful when walking on the sides, no horse playing!

A table for four could be extended, and that's even more fun
A table for four could be extended, and that’s even more fun!
One of the accommodations
One of the accommodations
A tree house for campers' of 6
A tree house for campers’ of 6

Once you get to this place, spending the night is tempting; so, they got rooms for you. For two is P1,200 a night, while for 6 is P1,500.

For cottages, it’s P800 to P1,200 for day use. Yet worry not, ’cause their table for 4 is only P300 — and it could be extended, of course!

surroundings-8

surroundings-1

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Don’t you just love the wilderness?!! Yep, green iiis indeed beautiful!

The waterfalls is actually not that high, still you’d feel that rush!

surroundings-4 surroundings-5 surroundings-6

More so, don’t you just wanna see more beyond ’em rocks? See ya’!

In Pictures: Ruvi Cave Resort (Minglanilla, Cebu)

Now to the bat cave! Err, to Ruvi Cave Resort! Well, that’s in fact in Minglanilla, Cebu; or about less than an hour’s drive from Cebu City proper. Yup, for those who seeks some kinda ‘spelunking’ for that matter — this resort is the place to be.

The area is not really big, so they sort of ‘resized’ the pool and did something creative to its resort instead. And that is to design cave-like structures as part of its landscaping. Interesting, eh?!

a entrance
The Entrance

a entrance parking 1

a entrance parking 2
Canteen and Reception (L). Accommodation (M). Parking (R).

There are actually 2 rates here — from 8am to 6pm, it’s P50 for kids and P100 for adults; by dusk till 12mn, it then becomes P60 for kids and P120 for adults. Well, must be fun during night time!

ruvi cave resort map

To Get Here: Ride #43 and up then get off Tungkop road. From there, take a tricycle or habal-habal. It’s a bit far from the highway, so with all your stuff, it’d help if you have your private vehicle — or rent one.

e top view 1 e top view 2 e top view 3

Rooms are pretty affordable starting at P1,000 a night. And with the top view of the resort quite inviting — that explains the night rates!

f pool 1 f pool 2 f pool 3 f pool 4

Meanwhile, cottages are from P300 to P2,500 (special ones like the island-like cottage in the midst of the pool and with all-day karaoke).

g cave 1 g cave 2

Indeed, the cave-like design of Ruvi has its appeal — even for adults!

Just be reminded of corkage for drinks as well as grilling. But once you’re in celebration mood — who cares?! Just WiFi! It’s free!

Travel Time: White Beach | Basdaku in Pictures (Moalboal, Cebu)

Okay, we know that Moalboal is one of the Philippines’ key diving spots and is located in Cebu. But then, not everybody knows that it actually has not only one but a couple of beautiful beaches. Really. Still for this issue, let’s visit the area’s northern portion..

And onto the renown Basdaku.

00aab00aaaFrom the outset alone, you’ll know that a quiet, white sand beach is not just fun but romantically engaging as well.. Wow!
00aac
00aaeOh yeah, if you wish you could even rent boats, too..00aad00aafThat is, to bring you to deeper waters, or to simply tour the stretch!00aagAnd did we mention that you could also camp?!? Must’ve noticed!
00aah
00aaiIncidentally, Basdaku is also known as ‘White Beach’.. And its sandy coastline stretches 1 kilometer long. Just lovely, eh?!!

Hostel Review: Harolds Mansion (Dumaguete City)

Wonder where to stay when in Dumaguete City? Well, there are actually a lot of places to get booked; but it all really depends not just on your budget but your personal preference, you know.

Like cleanliness, staff courtesy, and of course, the room’s view as well as the hotel’s accessibility to spots you want to explore. Oh yes, standard amenities are standard; so we only sort of complain if this standard becomes sub-standard or, missing.

In my case, the choice this time was based on ‘popularity’ for both backpackers and tourists seeking a cheap yet good accommodation. And so, I tried Harolds Mansion which is kinda isolated from more expensive hotels but is actually near Silliman University and the famous Dumaguete boardwalk. Yup, just walking distance.

The staircase
The staircase
Hallway to some rooms and a view of the outside
Hallway to some rooms and a view of the outside
Hallway just near the staircase
Hallway just near the staircase
Main hallway to most of the rooms
Main hallway to most of the rooms

Harolds is 4-storeys high with 36 rooms basically on the 2nd and 3rd floors. The fourth floor is the rooftop while the ground floor is the lobby. There’s no elevator and so you get to exercise through the staircase especially from the ground to the second floor.

Lockers inside the room, male dorm
Lockers inside the dorm room
Single desk and mirror to the right (hidden from photo)
Single desk and mirror to the right (partially hidden from the photo)
4 double decks in one room
4 Double decks in a dorm room

Harolds got several types of rooms actually — from suites which just cost P1,300 down to dorm rooms that you see in the above photo that’s only P250 per head. It’s even air-conditioned with hot and cold shower, and is WiFi ready. Besides, housekeeping is really at it in terms of regular cleaning and being helpful.

If there’s anything lacking, it’d be the towel which they don’t provide and if you just checked in, you’d have a longer time WiFi connecting.

The roofdeck
The roofdeck

zzz10 rooftop 2

Now one of the nice things with Harolds is that all accommodations include free breakfast, free coffee and tea as well as lockers (though you have to provide for your own padlocks) and safety deposit box.

Just make sure you’re at the rooftop between 6:30 to 10am for your breakfast and so you could also enjoy pool and making friends..

They got scuba too!
Within the building: You could inquire on their world class diving and PADI certification course

Speaking of making friends, Harolds’ got tours and scuba, too! Not to mention, it’s got some karaoke at night at the rooftop as well.

Travel Time: Panagsama Beach, Moalboal (Cebu, Philippines)

So, let’s continue our 3-hour trip to Moalboal from Cebu City. Yeah, it’s now the cottages, restos, diving centers, the surroundings, and of course the waters itself.

Enter Cabana Beach Club Resort
Enter Cabana Beach Club Resort
Still Cabana...
Still Cabana…

Cabana Beach Club Resort is one of the more inviting places to stay mainly because of its landscaping plus access to a swimming pool, yes, not just the beach! Wow, good for honeymooners or families!

Marina Lodge
Marina Lodge
Inside Marina Lodge
Inside Marina Lodge

Marina Lodge, on the other hand, offers one of the cheapest rooms in the area at just P300 a night — ideal for solo or budget travelers.

And by the way, both accommodations are actually under ‘one roof’ — one management, that is. It’s why either guests could use the pool.

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12_24 travel mb resto 2

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Just a few of the many restaurants along the street to the beach..

Just beside the last resto on the above photo
Pool: Just beside the last resto on the above photo

12_24 travel mb cabana pool 2

Incidentally, the last restaurant (above photo) is the one beside the pool and is accessible to Cabana and Marina guests among others.

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12_24 travel mb diving 2
And of course, just some of the diving centers around Panagsama..

Well, you just saw a ‘live’ recording of the swimming and diving area. Yup, just the one that’s near the shores of Panagsama Beach. Come!

Travel Time: Tips when Traveling with Kids

Hmm… we all know how wonderful yet tough it is to have kids, well, at least those who already got kids or have experienced baby-sitting that is. But imagine how much tougher it would be if we were to tag them along in our travels, you know, especially on vacations.

Sound advices, Amy. Well, if you really think about it — if you could just keep the kids entertained, asleep, or like ‘full’ during trips.. They’d be peaceful. Yeah, right.

Still, trips don’t end in airplane or ship travel, but only until you get back home. So.. Make sure to travel light and be ready for laundry.

Also, more than learning a couple of your destination’s ‘local’ words, don’t leave home without putting some identification tag on your kids — it’d be real helpful especially during the holidays.