Saturday, May 31

A visit to Anawangin Cove

Last 2013, I had a few mini getaways as well which includes a trip to Zambales to check out Anawangin Cove. I was just a push over for that trip since it was originally my Mom, the boyfriend, and the friends. However, since I was in dire need to get out of the house and do something, I decided to join them and see for myself if the cove was really worth the 5-6 hours trip.

So we hopped on the car and traveled to Zambales at around 9 in the evening. Arrived there at around 2 or 3am and got some sleep. Along the way, we stopped over at McDonald's Subic for snacks which was by the way, one of the cutest branches I've seen! It was probably because of the paint on the walls. I'd love to show you but for some reason the only photos I can post here are landscape photos... It sucks I know I should probably fix it soon! 

Anyway, so we woke up the next day at around 7am to go to Pundaquit where we are going to ride the boat to Anawangin. It was just a day trip since we don't have much time (I'm with working people and I am working as well so yeah). The boatman was supposed to charge us P2,500 for round trip service but since I am with the oldies, they bargained and bargained and finally made it to P2,000. Technically, it was P200 each since we were 10 in the group. Just across the street going to the port, you will see a market. That's where we bought our food for the day. We had chicken, tuna, and rice. No need to bring your own cooking tools. You can rent there and just pay for a minimal amount. I suggest you bring disposable utensils if you are not comfortable using borrowed ones.

On the way to Anawangin Cove

The water was really calm on the way there so no need to worry. And to add it up, Anawangin has a great scenery. The sea and it's gray sand, the cove, and the sloping hills on the side. It was a sure hit for campers. If you want to have a solitary time with the sea, and just regain your piece of mind, Anawangin is a great place for you. But if you came for swimming, I don't think you'll be happy with it. Unless you're okay with swimming in the cove your whole stay. The water's cool and it's really inviting for a dip!

I just had to show you our very yummy tuna for lunch :p

A panoramic shot of the cove

Anawangin Cove

If you ask me, it's a great place for an escape and an overnight camp. No cellular signal, just you, the sea, and a great company. But you can miss out on it and check other places instead. Don't get me wrong, I had a great time at Anawangin, although since I value honesty on my blog, I should prolly tell you beforehand that it's not really a must-see.

Oh and one more thing, once you ride a boat, inform them that you want to stay at the campers and cove area because they might intentionally dock you on the other side since there are sort of 2 'resorts' in the area.

Happy travels!


Friday, May 30

Cebu and how it's so much better the second time around

As promised, I am back to share our Day 2 in Cebu with you today. I might as well put Day 3 (if it doesn't get too long again lol) After our dinner at Skywalk for Day 1, we decided that we would go to Badian to check out the Kawasan Falls and get back to the city by afternoon so we can go to Casa Verde for dinner.

We woke up at around 5:30am to prep and left at around 6 so we can catch the bus going to Badian. Travel time is maximum of 4 hours composed of the multicab to the terminal, bus ride going to Badian, and the hike/walk to the falls. Just go to South Bus Terminal and ride a bus with the Badian signboard, ask them to drop you off at Kawasan (you can also sit by the window so you can check the signs, it's easy to spot), then walk to the falls. It took us 30 minutes to get there and we did hire a guide because we thought the trail was not easy to follow but it actually is. So to save you the money, might as well just follow the people walking through. After 30 minutes, voila! Kawasan Falls will welcome you with it's fresh turquoise water and a magnificent view.

On the way to the falls
Kawasan Falls

There are several huts that you can rent and food to order in case you didn't bring packed lunch. It's quite expensive though so if I were you, just buy food at one of the stop overs you'll encounter along the way. If you want them to bring you near the falls, you can rent a balsa, and ask someone to assist you. On our case, the guide offered to assist us for P300. He can also bring you on one of the spots so you can cliff dive. Not too high but it's definitely worth a try.

Celine, Me, Eds, and Marianne

By that time I was still a scared swimmer so I wasn't brave enough to try. The water was 60 feet deep and it was really inviting I actually did regret upon realizing I didn't even swim and we're about to go home. I swore to myself after that that I'll practice swimming so that next time, I won't be a coward sitting and waiting anymore. Anyway... We decided to go after eating our lunch so we can swing by the beach just opposite of Kawasan Falls. It's not a resort or anything we just had to go YOLO(w). And the beach wasn't bad at all. It's actually good!

Beach opposite of Kawasan Falls

We had a short swim and asked the house nearby if we could use their comfort room so we can freshen up before going back to the city. They agreed and we offered to just give them P20 each for water. We left at around 4pm and arrived at the city around 7. We went straight to Ayala Mall since that is the nearest branch of Casa Verde to our hotel. The serving was big and they were not kidding when they said the food was good! We had the king-size burger which I forgot the actual name, the giant milkshake good for 4-6 persons, and ribs!

Ayala Mall Cebu
The giant milkshake
(I think it was named bad ass milkshake or something...)

The king size burger (we weren't even able to finish half of it)

Ribs, rice, and veggie mix on the side

It was good value for the money. You should not miss Casa Verde when you're in Cebu. At all!

So after dinner, we went back to the hotel and slept. No baths, no changing of clothes, just sleeping. Straight. Woke up the next day at 6am since we are meeting our boatmen and tour guide for island hopping at 8. We paid 1,800 each for the tour including food and boat rental. If you are interested to get their services, you can text Kuya Jun (09237389177). The package is quite expensive considering it doesn't include the entrance fee to the islands but I consider it fair since the boat is big (it has a toilet!!!), it's private, and the islands they brought us to were all gorgeous.

Snorkeling at Gilutongan Island

Nalusuan Island Marine Sanctuary

If you ask me, the P1,800 we paid was worth it. Such a downer that we don't have an underwater camera but man, the marine life in Nalusuan was majestic! You would see a lot of fishes and it was such a sight. Pity I couldn't describe it well but that's another reason why you should go to Cebu and check it out!

We went back to Mactan at around 3pm and since we don't know where to take a bath and even if there was a CR near, it wasn't exactly the one you are hoping for especially if you're someone with bathroom issues, I recommend you take a bath somewhere else. So we took a walk going to the nearby Plantation Bay Resort and tried our luck if they have decent comfort rooms where we can take a bath since one of my friends might faint at the sight of a dirty CR. They said we have to pay for it and when we asked for how much, it was just waaaaaaay too expensive. We rode a cab instead, told the driver our mini problem, and he offered to take us to Portofino Beach Resort where the place to take a bath was literally just a shower and two walls on the side. Honestly, he just made it worse but whatever we can't go else where since we are already on the buzz and we have a flight to catch at 7.

He also offered us to make him a private service for the day so he can take us to the Taoist Temple and nearby souvenir shops. We agreed and paid him P1,300 for that. Unfortunately, the Taoist Temple was closed during Sundays. But good news is, at least we had a picture to keep! Another reason to come back.

Taoist Temple

We were running when we reached the airport at exactly 7. If I'm not mistaken the flight was 7:45. It was a good trip to Cebu and even if we didn't have an itinerary to follow and we missed the whale sharks at Oslob, I was actually able to go to more places than when I first visited. We'll be going back for Sinulog this January 2015 and I'm not going to miss Bantayan Island and Oslob this time around!

Happy travels!


Thursday, May 29

Cebu: Queen City of the South

I don't know why but writing has been really awkward these past few days for me. See? I can't even write a proper introduction to my new post. Anyway, I want to share the first travel experience I had that convinced me of how much my life would be so much better if I had a tour around the world. Well it's not technically the first trip I had, it was Singapore back in 2009, but this one was a hooker. I was hooked since then.

Cebu is practically one of the cities you can visit that has the perfect province and metro vibe altogether. We didn't make a plan for this trip until we were in the airport, 30 minutes or less away from boarding. And it wasn't exactly the perfect trip -we went out of our budget because of too much cab transfers, and there was no booking made ahead except for our hotel. We weren't exactly able to talk about where we would be going or what places and restaurants are we going to check out, but being the control freak that I am... I made a list none of them knows and then kind of insisted on it when we were talking. Just to let you all know, this was not the first time I've been to Cebu. However, the place is beautiful and there is so much you have to go back for.

We arrived at approximately 10 in the morning and agreed that since it's almost time for lunch, we'll just have a quick check-in at the hotel, bit of rest, and then out to eat and explore the city. As I told you, this isn't exactly the perfect trip so you better get ready for the mishaps. And it started out at lunch. Wait! First you have to know that I do have a sort of regular travel buddies so you'll read about them as much in here. Marianne is one of them and she insisted on eating in Zubuchon, and since we previously rejected her idea of going to Oslob to swim with the whale shark, we decided that we should probably give this to her. So we did eat there and ordered the ever famous Cebu lechon, sinigang na hipon, and adobong kang-kong.

Just a piece of advise, you can click the photos for an even larger view.

Sinigang na Hipon

Cebu Lechon

Mind you, the sinigang was actually good, and the lechon as well but it felt that there was something missing. You should probably try it at CnT when you're there. It ranks #1 for Cebu's lechon. It's probably good! So we went through our city tour and proceeded to Magellan's Cross and Basilica del Sto Niño.

Basilica del Sto Nino

Magellan's Cross

Just 10-15 minutes walk away is Cebu's Fort San Pedro which looks like Manila's famous Intramuros. It has a museum inside that houses paintings from the 17th to 18th century.

Fort San Pedro

We spent around 20-30 minutes wandering and proceeded to the oldest street in Cebu, which is not exactly a place to go to anymore since most of the buildings are already renovated and it's not really a site to see. I recommend you use your time to see other places instead. As it was already about to go dark, we hurried to Mactan Shrine and again rode a cab back to the city center to check out Skywalk Extreme. We got the package amounting to P999 which includes the sky walk, the edge coaster, and a buffet dinner. It was my second time to try it but it was still equally fun and awesome!

Mactan Shrine

Cebu Skywalk Extreme & Edge Coaster

It has been a really long day for us and on the way home, we agreed to check out Kawasan Falls and eat at Casa Verde for dinner on Day 2. One more point for me! I'll talk about Day 2 tomorrow as this post is already as good as a novel.

I sincerely hope you enjoyed this one. Happy travels!


Wednesday, May 28

Dear you,

Yes, you.

I have thought about this for quite a while now. I have been contemplating on when and how I should put up this blog but I'm seriously glad I have already mustered up the courage I need to finally push thru. Traveling is not exactly every part of me, nor is it my life right now, but since I started I quickly dismissed every thought to stop. I won't exactly just talk about traveling, I'm here to share stories and information about the things I love and enjoy doing, even the things I hate (you see these past few years I've been such a bad hater haha) but I hope you enjoy.

It has been a few years since I stopped writing. Miss could be an understatement and you don't know how much I badly needed to get away from technicality and just be the writer that I really am. Not to mention, I do love being a teacher but it's nice to do other things every once in a while and writing will always be one of them. As well as traveling, people watching, talking, the list may go on forever... Don't worry, most of it will be interesting. I live a pretty interesting life, you know lol of course I am kidding or maybe I'm not.

Happy reading!