Travels

Boracay- Antique (Day trip) 

Boracay

This was my second visit to Boracay. I was in the island last July with Jacob and spent most of our time just relaxing and enjoying the beach. Also, it was a more organized visit which also made me realized that I got ripped off buy paying the arranged transfers from the Caticlan Airport to Boracay Island for 550 PHP per person hahaha. Don’t be too judgmental people! , I decided to pay it because that was our first time and I actually did not do enough research plus , I am with a foreigner which has a big possibility of whining when things go south hahaha so for the sake of convenience we paid the hefty transfer.

If you want to travel cheap from the Caticlan airport you can just pay your around 290 PHP (5-6 USD) including the Terminal fees and the environmental fee at the port.

Tricycle Airport – Port : 50 PHP

Terminal Fee :100 PHP

Environmental Fee: 75 PHP

Banca to Boracay: 25 PHP

Tricycle to Beach/Accommodation : 20 PHP ( Shared)

This time, I am travelling solo so I decided to stay in a backpackers hostel in Station 02 and stayed in a shared room with 4 people and that’s when the fun begins! Not the kind of fun you might be thinking tho hahaha. I paid 430 PHP (8-9 USD) per night with breakfast ( a wee toast , egg and coffee) at Boracay Backpackers. It was my first time booking a dormitory since most of the time I am willing to spend a little more to have my own room, but this time just out of curiosity I decided to book a shared room which to my surprise, it was a mix accommodation! . I walked in to the room with an English couple staying with me. At first, it was a bit awkward and their English accent is making me dizzy.

Day Trip from Boracay to Atique.

Since I a booked a round trip flight to/from Boracay, I decided to just do a day trip to Antique and joined an organized tour with Clark from IslandTrekker which is one of the tour operators in Boracay for 2,500 PHP ( 50 USD) inclusive of all entrance fees, transportations , breakfast and lunch. To my surprise there only 4 of us on the tour which is very great since we have the van all to ourselves.

First stop

Malumpati Cold spring/ Bugang River

Good spot for swimming and tubing. 

Also, if you want to try diving the 40 meters deep lagoon , kinda creepy. 


Malalison island – Second stop

It is recommended that you start trekking before noon time, it is darn hot up there and you better be fit if you want to survive lol.

As per manong  tour guide and kuya Domino , whenever the sky is clear and no clouds are covering the mountians facing Malalison, 14 waterfalls are visible, Imagine how cool is that! 


Thank you to these wonderful people, made my trip super fun😊 

Kawa hot bath and bugtong  bato falls.

After getting toast hiking in Malalison , now time to enjoy this cold waterfalls. 

Our last stop… Kawa hot bath

 It was actually very relaxing, feels like i’m  ready to be served after! They basically will make you sit in a warm bath with some flowers and leaves in it! Smells  nice, and oh, it has gingers and lemon grass too! I wonder if I  will be a tasty soup after haha

Below  was our full itinerary with IslandTrekker : 

 5am pick up time –  boracay

 6am :  van sa caticlan, 

7am : arrival in Malumpati,

 730:  breakfast

 8am : trek to the  lagoon

930am:  Bugang River

 1130am:  malalison island/ trek to the peak

 1pm : lunch

3pm : bugtong  bato falls,

430pm : kawa hot bath,

530pm : back to caticlan

Travels

Corregidor 

There are two versions presented as to how the island got its name. Corregidor comes from the Spanish word corregir, meaning “to correct.” . During the Spanish time, all ships entering Manila Bay were required to stop and have their documents checked and “corrected”. Another version claims that the island was used as a penitentiary or correctional institution by the Spanish government, and came to be called El Corregidor so I guess just pick which version sounds more appealing to you!
The Island is own by the Government and there is only one tour company allowed to operate in the island which is the Sun Cruises and offers one day tour everyday.
I booked our tour a few months in advance and since the tour company’s website has been undergoing some “Upgrade” for ages, online booking is not possible so instead I e-mailed them at : reservations@suncruises.com.ph to confirm the reservation luckily their e-mails are working fine! lol.

I’ve been wanting to visit the island for years and luckily I finally had the perfect timing to visit the island with my Fiance. Jacob is an ex- military and Comes from a Long Line of American Soldiers and Corregidor played a huge part of the Filipino – American history. I honestly did not pay attention when its history  was being taught in History class hahaha. But when I finally visited the Island and thanks to our  tour guide I was finally able to understand its History and made  me want to push the Japanese guys touring with us in the cliff because I am getting mad while hearing how my people died during the war because of the Japs hahaha.

The tour package already includes the Ferry transfer from Manila to the island and back. The ferry leaves at 7:30 AM and the check-in time for the Ferry is at 6:30 AM. Yes, that early! good thing we are such early birds and getting up early is not a problem and we still had time to have breakfast before boarding.

Also make sure to bring water, sun screen and some hats or umbrellas else you’ll suffer the heat lol.


Bus Tram

The similar transportation was used before  by Americans and Filipinos  to get around the island.

American barracks
Imagine, before the war these barracks have indoor swimming pool, recreation areas, cinemas etc and can occupy thousands of soldiers.



The war memorial

Malinta tunnel

It took 10 years for them to finish this tunnel (1922-32).  The tunnel served as a lateral hospital and as the headquarters of Gen McArthur. It also served as the seat of the Philippine Commonwealth  under Pres. Manuel Quezon.

Today this is one of the highlight of the  trip. They even offer a 1 hour ghost hunting tour  in the evening. And seriously this is one creepy place to visit, imagine how many people died in this tunnel and those  Japs who commited suicide by blowing themselves inside the tunnel when the Mericans  took back the island.

For details you may visit:

http://www.corregidorphilippines.com

Travels, Uncategorized

Iligan- CDO- Camiguin travel

Whenever you mention Mindanao  first thing they ask is “Is it safe there?” hell yeah!. In fact, Mindanao is one of my favorite, not because I am from Davao City, but because it has lots to offer! beautiful beaches, very nice and accommodating people, lots or water falls, foods and fruits!

I’m not gonna put into details as to how to get there and the fare and all since you probably checked other blogs already hahaha

ILIGAN CITY

I know lots of you will feel very unsafe to be in this part of Mindanao especially because of the on-going Marawi Siege. We are lucky that we get to visit Iligan before things went crazy.

From Manila you can get cheap flights to Cagayan De Oro ( CDO airport) then take a van from the airport to Iligan city, travel time is 1-2 hrs. Right outside CDO airport there are van/ bus operators who offers transfer to Iligan.

If you are planning to go to Iligan from Laguindingan Airport best if you take an early flight so you’ll have plenty of time to explore the city, We arrived pretty late so we only got to visit Tinago falls.


The hike to the falls in No joke so be ready, we almost had to carry nyaw nyaw on our way up 😂



CAGAYAN DE ORO

One thing I noticed about this city is the super cheap foods, I can eat for just 50 php!
What to do?? Of course, water rafting!!

I thought, I’m gonna die doing this! Lol

 

Just me doing my thing….




CAMIGUIN ISLAND

This is definitely a must visit place in Mindanao. This  island is  a pure beauty

We booked a day trip for 1500 php which is very worth it. 

The  white Island – just a short boat ride from the main island

Soda pool-  for real, it taste like soda! 

The sunken cemetery  – great spot for snorkeling, they  got some giant clamps! 

The cold spring

Tuasan  Falls


Our  bumpy bumpy  way to the falls

Old Spanish  church ruins

Travels

Boracay 2017


​Boracay is one the most touristy travel destination in the Philippines, not only because of its powder like sand and tons of activities to do but also because of its very active night life.

How to get there:
From Manila – The most convenient way is to travel by plane . There are two airports serving Boracay, Caticlan and Kalibo airport.  There are lots of cheap flights with CepPac and Air Asia to Boracay, so if you only have a limited time , best if you fly to Caticlan and not Kalibo aiport to avoid the hassle of traveling by land.  If you’re lucky you can book a promo flight with Cebpac for around 1000 PHP ( 20 USD ) round trip or could be less.

–  You can also travel by ferry if you are on a budget from Batangas Port to Caticlan Jetty port.  Will take you 10-11 hrs though.

You can check https://travel.2go.com.ph/ for prices and schedules.
It was both our first time in Boracay ( Me and my Fiance). And I honestly did not do much research as to how to get there and what to do and all that.  All  I know for sure is that I am definitely doing the para sailing and ATV 😊

From Caticlan Airport lots of tour companies will offer you transportation services from the Jetty port to your accommodation for 500 PHP ( 10 USD) per person which later I realized that it was such rip off hahaha. Well lesson learned.  Better pay your own ferry, and  terminal fees.

Where to stay:

Boracay is consist of 3 stations  (1,2 and 3).

If you want to be near the crowd restaurants and all the happenings then Station 02 is the best place to stay whilst if you want a peaceful stay,  you can choose either Station  1 or 3.

Boracy station 2

We stayed in station 02 but not in a beach front so we can at least get away from the crowd.  Club ten is just 2 minutes away from the beach which is not an issue although I was a bit skeptical at the beginning since the alley is kinda creepy but then I realized that I am with a 6’2 guy in a very touristy area, I don’t think anyone would try to snatch me ( takot lang nila sa laki ng jowa ko hahah ).

Club ten I would say is a mediocare type of accommodation, nothing fancy. Well you get what you paid for! You cannot expect a fancy room for a 1000ish price but at least they have hot shower hahaha. What’s funny though is that my so American Man is not use to having the toilet and the shower at the same place and gets his feet wet all the time hahaha and he is a ” Tabo” virgin. I really had fun teaching him how to use a bucket and tabo in taking shower lol.

View outside our room

We are staying for 3 nights in the Island and since we arrive late afternoon, we didn’t do much on our first day but walk and walk and walk along the beach, it’s actually tiring! especially if you have to keep up with a tall guy walking with his giant steps vs my baby steps lol.

Swimming at night is actually a fun thing to do. It’s a bit chilly but it’s worth it! the view is amazing. The lights, the fire dancers and the calm sea was just perfect. And of course enjoying  it with boo..feels perfect 😁

Boracay in the afternoon

Boracay is one of the most expensive tourist destination. If you’re on a budget, you would probably end up eating in Mang Inasal everyday hahaha. And people offering tours are every where! they are like zombies in walking dead..for real.. especially if you are with a white guy , it means business for them lol. My Fiance is super nice and he keeps on saying No to every vendor who tries to sell him things while me on the other hand will just walk straight with my poker face as if I hear nothing! lol.

What to do:

Island Hopping is one of the most popular activity in Boracay. They charge you 600 PHP (12 USD) per person with lunch . But be warned that in every boat stop or island you are visiting, they’re gonna charge you!. I could say that Boracay is all about fees!
1st stop is Ariel’s point.

It’s a Cliff diving spot. If you want to get inside and cliff dive , you have to pay 150 PHP (3 USD ) per person. For us it’s worth it though since Jacob enjoyed it, he was like a kid jumping in that high board while I chickened out.
Told ya he’s having fun😁

Second is Crysyal Cove.

They charge 200 PHP (4 USD ) per person for the entrance. I have been to many places here in the Philippines and this I must say is one of the places that I do not want to visit again. I honestly think that they are over charging people!.

Puka  Beach –  Their fruit Shake is 200 PHP hahaha other than that, the beach is gorgeous. I was hoping that it will be less crowded since July is already a low season but I was so wrong.  This beach is perfect for relaxation.

Para Sailing – For me this is a must to do in Boracay, it is a bit expensive though. We paid 1200 PHP (24 USD) per person but the 15 minutes ride is worth it. Kinda nervous with the height and when it gets windy but it’s all cool.

ATV – I have been wanting to do this for the longest time, only to to find out that I cannot drive the thing!. Well at least I did try but I literally crashed in a tree! I thought I was gonna die hahaha. So instead we have to ride the buggy since there is no way that they will let me drive the ATV lol. This made me realized that I am going to be a really bad driver and now I’m kinda scared to drive, that means Jacob might need to drive for me all the time not unless he wants me to crash his car hahaha
view while we’re taking our buggy ride, had to stop for pictures lol

Some other activities you can do are paddle boarding, helmet diving, sailing and many more as long as you have the money hahaha.

Please note of the following fees:

Environmental Fee: (75 pesos)

Terminal Fee:  (100 pesos

Tricyle from port to your hotel: 120-130 PHP

Travels

Beaches, beaches and more beaches….

I wan’t to tell you something, I am in love with beaches! Yes, not just one, but lots and lots of beaches. I love the ocean, it’s like a drug to me. Here are  some of my favorite  beaches in the Philippines that you surely don’t want to miss.

Nacpan beach – Just a short  ride from El Nido Palawan and this my favorite. Clear and calm water feels like heaven


Coron Palawan – Malpacuya island , a perfect place to chill


Nagsasa beach Zambales – Just a short trip from Manila


Bohol – aside from the chocolate hills and the tarsiers, the beaches are not to miss, tho I am not a fan of Alona beach


Camuguin Island – It’s like a naked island not a single tree can be found so it can be crazy hot in summer


Siquijor Island – better visit this place before it gets swamped by tourist!


Gigantes Island – beautiful place with super nice people!


MoalBoal Cebu- just 2 hrs away from the busy metro


Bolinao Pangasinan – if you want a quick get away from Manila, Bolinao should be in your list

Travels

Ilocos Solo/ Joiner trip

When you say Ilocos, first thing that would probably pop up in my silly head is Bagnet, Dinengdeng and the ever famous longanisa… Yeah I know..I love to eat. But also, Ilocos is a region in the Philippines which is known for its historic sites, beaches and the well-preserved Spanish colonial city of Vigan.

Been wanting to do the “byaheng Norte ” for a while but a DIY trip seems to be way out of my budget and traveling from one place to another is not exactly that easy. So instead , I had this brilliant idea of joining a group tour for only 3000 php (60 USD) including transportation, accommodation and entrance fees for the tourist sites.
I joined BBM travel and tours since their schedule works for me and I have used them when we did our Sagada trip.  Since I am a saling pusa ” joiner” I gotta meet the rest of the group in Mall of Asia which I later found out that I am joining two families.. so  yeah I’m definitely the “saling pusa”

One thing that you have to remember if you are joining a group tour is never ever arrive late and be considerate! there are specific time allotted in visiting every destinations  so maartes and primadonas are a   def a NO NO..
Travel time from Manila to Vigan is approximately 6-7 hrs. I suggest leaving at night time since it’s less traffic,  less hassle and if you are not driving, just sleep.

Fist stop : Vigan Calle Crisologo – We arrived in Vigan before 5 AM which is perfect for taking pictures of the ever famous Calle Crisologo showcasing the street with its famous lights and less photo bombers.


The cobblestone streets lined with heritage houses is just amazing..

Calle Crisologo in the Morning.

 

 

Next is the Baluarte Zoo,  which is own by Chavit Singson . For me, it  is just a so-so place to visit.  Tho I got chased by some evil wandering Ostrich which made my day a bit exciting, other than that… no comment… hahaha

This is the evil bird…

3rd stop is…. Bantay Bell Tower & Church – this 400ish old tower served as a watchtower for pirates back in the Spanish era ( I just googled this hahaha ) .  This is also a memorable place for me since this I believe is where I lost my lucky hat… sad face…

Then off we go to Juan and Antonio Luna Shrine and Museum – These Ilocano brothers, the general and the painter played a big role in our Filipino History.  I’m not gonna dwell on that, since I suck in history.. lol

One of Antonio Luna’s work of art

 

Then,  there’s  the  “Malacañang of the North”  – This is where the Marcoses used to live.

 

My favorite destination is the Sand Dunes – It’s seriously fun! a bit scary but it’s all worth it. Price for a 45 minutes ride is 2500 php , good for 5 pax so we ended up paying 500 php each  and unlimited sand boarding.   If you go to Norte this is a MUST to do guys.

The driver will take you to the shore too while taking the ride and you can do a bit of a siesta.

At night, you can go visit the sinking bell tower and explore Laog city.


Next is the old Bacarra church ..

Then of course while in Ilocos never miss to try the famous Empanada.. it had veges, meat and egg inside and….. you gotta eat it with vinegar.. only for 35php

Since this is a 3 D/ 2N  trip,  the next day we started our journey  by  visiting  Cape Bojeador lighthouse. It had a nice view over looking the sea.

Next is  Kapurpurawan windmills and rock formation.


Just to give you a heads up guys.. Ilocos is scortching hot hot hot so wear your sunnies and bring hats or umbrellas.

Then off we go to….. the Bangui windmills which is the mother of all windmills in Ilocos.

 

Of course  this trip will never be completed without a beach destination😁. What can I say?  I am beach person.. hehe

On your way to Pagudpud.. taking a pic of Patapat Viaduct is a must!

Then finally.. here we are.. Pagudpud beach which feels like you’re already at the end of  Luzon 😂

 

All in all it was a fun  and so worth it  byaheng Norte. Massive thanks to BBM tours for making my Ilocos trip possible without hurtinh my pocket 😁

Travels

Bolinao Daytrip from Manila

I’ve only been to Pangasinan twice and it was my first time in Bolinao and tho Pangasinan is one of the many destinations for a quick getaway from the bustling Manila, travelling to Bolinao can be a pain in the arse.. like literally!

How to get there

The most convenient way will be by car but if you are commuting there are buses from Pasay and Cubao such as Victory line 5 Star and Dagupan bus.

Travel time is approximately 6-7 hrs depending on the bus route. We took the Victory bus via Alaminos and it was definitely a bad choice! we could have just picked the more direct route . Also, these buses picks up passengers in almost every town along the way. Fare is around 450-500 PHP (8-10 USD) per way.

Upon arriving Bolinao , just right outside the bus terminal you can use your haggling skill and hire a tricycle for a full day tour. Standard rate is 1200 PHP ( good for 4 pax). If you’re that good in negotiating, they might give it to you for 800 php. But honestly if you’re not traveling solo I’d settle with the standard rate , like what I always say… help the locals. Imagine how big of a help would it be to manong driver if you pay him 1200 that could feed his whole family :-).

What to Visit
Falls, 1,2 and 3
Let me warn you, it will be a hell of ride going to these falls. It’s far from the city center and the road is very very bumpy and dusty. Felt like I was on the tricycle for hours and can’t feel me bum….

Since it is the farthest, we first visited Falls # 03. When we get there it’s not yet crowded so we were able to take some good pictures  w/o people photobombing the view ,hehe and btw, there is an entrance fee of 50 PHP per pax same goes in visiting falls 1 and 02.

I was a bit disappointed with falls  2 and ended  up not visiting falls #1.  It’s summer so water is low and you can hardly see the waterfalls, it’s super super tiny and its swamped with people wearing orange life jackets.. so we skipped the last one to save 50php.

Next we visited the “Wonderful Cave “Entrance fee is 100php.

If you’ve been to Bantayan Cebu, you can compare it to Ogtong cave tho a smaller version. Water is cold and clear and perfect for my achy body due to the long bumpy ride to the falls.

There’s also one  cave that you may visit called “Enchanted Cave” but when we asked manong  driver if it will be ideal to go there he said that it wont be due to the massive  crowd.  Also it is the holy week so tourist are expected.

So instead…we went straight to the Rock Formation as they call it which surprisingly charges 75php per person..

Next stop is the Light House which to my relief, there’s no entrace fee hahaha

And I really can’t help but notice this….

Our last stop was the ever famous “Patar Beach” it’s a public beach so it’s for free!! Cottages are for rent tho. Since this is a public beach expect the crowd and mind your stuff, needless to explain why..  Also, there are  souvenir shops at the entrance  so as food stalls and turo-turo.  If  you will be renting cottages you can also cook your own food.

The beach is generally nice but it saddens me to see some trash  floating together with the beach bummers!Seriously people, please be responsible with your own rubbish!

Patar beach as well is known for its picturesque sunset which you shouldn’t miss but we did!! Hahaha

If you have plenty of time, you can also do a  side trip in hundred Islands😊

Travels

Isla Gigantes for solo travelers- via Iloilo

Traveling to Gigantes Island  is definitely a bit pain in the arse especially if you’re coming from Iloilo. So best if you get a flight from Manila to Roxas. If your  flight is via Iloilo make sure to get a morning flight.

Day 01 – Manila- Iloilo- Carles

I took a flight leaving Manila at 1:55 PM apparently due to the never ending air traffic in NAIA our flight was delayed and landed past 4 PM.

From the airport  you can take the van to the city.  Fare is only 50php and it takes around 30 minutes. One thing that I noticed when we arrived is how clean and organize the airport is and the highway.. the van will take you to SM then from there you can take a jeep (12php) to Ceres bus terminal  or to the  Van terminal in Tagbak.  Ceres last trip to Carles leaves at 6 while the  van leaves at 4:30 PM.

In my case since it’s  a bit late already I took the last bus to Carles which is unfortunately non aircon and had millions of stops and not to mention, this is my first time traveling SOLO!  So I’m a bit nervous being in the city and taking a bus trip for 4 hrs late at night! Honestly at first it was nervbracking. I kept on telling manong konduktor to make sure to drop me off at my resort or else I am screwed big time lol!. One thing I realized when you’re travelling solo is time seems soooooooo mabagal (slow) it felt like forever and I couldn’t even listen to my Jam! It bothers the hell outta me that the trip is too long and it’s freezing cold.. daig pa pala industrial fan if you’re taking an ordinary bus and I feel like I’m so gassy already hahahha.. you know what I mean. And what’s a bit  creepy with my bus trip  is that I was the last passenger getting off!! “Stuffs” are starting to play in my silly little  head,  lots of “what if’s” hahaha . I was trying to remember what my Muay Thai coach was  teaching me and the one that sticks in my head is poke your attacker’s eye and give him a nice nice hook, straight and upper cut .. also, how to kick the balls hahaha.. oooh I was so ready to kick someone’s butt that time 😂😂. The guys are nice tho, infact I’ve learned from manong konduktor  that he used to work in Manila and lived near my place so yeah I was just overthinking apparently 😁.

I finally arrived in Red Mandarin Resort around 9 PMish (can’t remember exactly😬) and found out that Ilongos are very fond of Karaoke lol.. there are bunch of guys singing some pinoy songs like “beer” i’m not sure of the tittle lol.  And I was starving, the resort only serves food until 9 but luckily they are kind enough to still serve me fried chicken and rice with some very well sliced carrots I think yung Kerots talaga nagdala dun sa food lol.

Day 02 – Carles to Isla Gigangtes

For solo or budget travelers I recommend that you pre-book a  group tour. It’s way cheaper and convenient than DIY since going to Gigantes is not easy. There’s very limited boat schedule and if you will rent a boat it will be expensive.

I found my tour operator Paul of Gigantes island tours and Services thru the DIY group I joined in facebook then I later realized that the same Paul is my friend’s highschool  classmate and the same Paul who helped my roomie with their Gigantes trip last year.. so this must be fate.. Hahaha I was destined to experience Gigantes with them. I paid 1799php for an all inclusive tour( boat ride, accommodation, food and  island hopping). This is the cheapest package I found online and it’s very worth it.

From Red Mandarin I took a  tricycle to Carles port. Fare is 15php then met our guide Joshua at the tourism office. Since our package already includes the tourism fee we just had to write our names and off we gooooo!

Weather was a bit shitty that morning, drizzling and cold and the waves are unfriendly hahaha.

First stop – I was really expecting lots of coconut trees, not just one lonely coconut who’s  been tested by time and probably feels so lonely and have tried killing itself already haha..

Second stop is the famous Cabugao Gamay Island. Taking pictures at the top is impossible w/o photo bomber/s 🙄


Next is Tanke which is only visible during low tide


Bantigue sandbar – thanks to our tour guide/ photographer and in all fairness he was even coaching me what to do😂

Next….Antonia beach


This beach is also suitable for snorkeling activity, jetski and banana boat but all I did was eat maruya ( banana que) 😂😂 and it’s 15php haha Manila rate pa din…

We ended the day at this nice little beach they call ” little Boracay” due to it’s fine fine sand. Shame I did not take a picture, I was too lazy lol.

This is my home for one night in Gigantes

I was expecting a shared room since I am a solo traveler but I ended up having this nice kubo  just for myself 😁. It was comfortable enough and as you can see I’m wearing a jacket since it’s a bit cold.  One piece of advise tho, do not put any food in your bag or mini mouse might pay you a visit and decide to eat your food and bag! Yes! My little friend took a piece of my converse sling bag and ate my chocolate😞.
View from the outside

At the resort where we stayed, we can use the cotages for free and they even gave us woods for the bonfire. Unfortunately, due to aging 9pm pa lang tulog na ko hahaha.

Day 02-  Not much to do really… just went  hiking for an hour to Pawikan Cave

Meet our youngest hiker Sam,  she’s 3 😁


Around noon time all we did was swim  at the resort and chat  with the local kids.

By 2 pm we’re back in Carles port. Just right outside the port you can take a van to Iloilo or Roxas. Fare to to Iloilo is 200php.

We arrived at Iloilo around 6pm at Tagbak terminal where I will be staying for the night. I did not book my accommodation in advance but have listed a few hotel selections. First on my list is Ong bun since they have the cheapest rates ( 350 php for a single room) . From Tagbak, you can cross the highway and take a jeep to Iloilo city for 12php. To my dismay when I arrived at Ong bun they were fully booked ( wasn’t really expecting that since it’s weekday so lesson learned). I decided to go to the nearest  hotel which is Circle Inn hotel and suites. Paid 1300php for a double room with AC and they have hot/cold shower and a pool! . It was over my budget but It’s not my main  concern since I’m dead tired and just want to rest so suck it up! Lol.

My hotel offers an airport for 500php same as the taxi rate and I’m so not willing to pay that haha. Instead you can take a jeep to SM for 7php and then take the van to the airport for only 70php!Imagine how much you can save😉.

At the van terminal you can chill at the Passenger’s lounge or even take shower there if you’re not in hurry OR just inside SM do some shopping or eat at Mang Inasal haha .  Well in case you don’t know.. Mang Inasal started in Iloilo, so how’s that for a triva huh? Lol

And not to miss is buying some Biscocho for pasalubog!. One thing that I do not fully understand about us Filipinos is our need to buy ” Pasalubong” everything we go somewhere, it’s like an urge!! ! Not that I am complaining lol.. i love buying pasalubong😁.

For this trip I spent 4,529 php excluding airfare, pasalubongs and the room service I ordered 😂😂

  • 50 php – van from Iloilo – SM city
  • 12 php – jeep from sm city – tagbak terminal or Ceres
  • 170 php – bus from Jaro – Ceres
  • 700 php –  Accommodation in Carles ( Red Mandarin resort)
  • 1799 php – tour package in Gigantes
  • 200 php – van from Carles to Tagbak
  • 12 php – jeep from Jaro to iloilo city
  • 1300 php – hotel in Iloilo ( Circle Inn)
  • 7 php – jeep to SM city
  • 70 php – van to iloilo airport
  • 200 php – airport terminal fee

You can contact Paul for Gigantes packages at (0998) 981 6812  or thru Facebook

P.S I wrote this while I was waiting for my flight to Manila 😁

Travels

El Nido Palawan- Now possible for budget travelers 😁

Maybe a few years ago when you say “El Nido ” one thing that would come first in your mind is ” Expensive” , sure it was!.

This beautiful place is known for foreign tourist a while back and not for locals since it was kinda hefty.. WAS means not anymore. El nido’s tourism at the moment is booming like crazy, i’m definitely not exaggerating people.  Mainly because lots of tour operators and even accommodations are being offered at a reasonable price plus your skill in hunting for cheap airfares thru Cebu Pacific, this might sound really unfair for the other airlines since I feel like I’m always promoting Cebpac ( and they should probably pay me for this! lol). As usual we just paid 1000+ for our round-trip MNL – PPS tickets.

There are several ways to get to El Nido. First is by flight via Puerto Princessa and by Van or bus to El Nido. Flight time is approximately 1 hr from Manila, then followed by a van transfer for approximately 5-6 hrs. Or you can take a charter plane from Manila straight to El Nido ( could be pricey, but more convenient). If you will be coming from Coron you can take a boat or a ferry to El Nido.

Van Fare is approximately 500-600 PHP.

Since we already had a pre-book package ( accommodation+ tours) it was more convenient for us . If you check in Facebook or just google it, you can find lots of tour operators offering packages. In our case we paid 4,700 PHP per person including the Van transfer,accommodation, 3 tours and 2 days breakfast . Yeah! you are definitely reading it freakin right, 4700 PHP. There are six of us so we were able to get a good deal also, my friend Rossel stayed at the same Inn ( Tay Miloy’s) when she first visited El Nido, so that there my friend is the advantage of having some contacts hahaha, very useful. It’s actually kinda funny since we think that the owner probably misquoted us with the price,that’s how we got the deal haha, I can see his very confuse look when he talked to us..
Just a head up guys considering how cheap we had our package, please please do not expect a fancy room in fact, we stayed in one family fan room, so very basic, and if you are visiting during summer, might as well get an upgrade or be willing to pay more for an air-conditioned room. Summer lately is really hot and it’s very uncomfortable at night ( Thanks to Global Warming).

If you are doing a DIY trip to El Nido below are your options, rates ranges from 1200- 1500 PHP per person :

Tour A: Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Simizu Island, Secret Lagoon and 7 Commandos Beach

Tour B: Entalula Island, Pinagbuyutan Island, Snake Island, Cudugnon Cave and Cathedral Cave

Tour C: Hidden Beach, Helicopter Island, Secret Beach, Matinloc Shrine and Star Beach

Tour D: Bukal Island, Ipil Beach, Nat-Nat Beach, Cadlao Lagoon and Paradise Beach

We took two island hoping tours as part of our package ( Tour A and C) and a trip to Nacpan Beach which is definitely NOT to miss.

Our boat is approaching 7 commandos beach- what a beauty


Simizu Island


After a tiring day you can enjoy this madrama view  while having dinner

And lastly, the breathtaking Nacpan beach.  From El Nido you can either rent a motorbike or tricycle.

You can climb up to the hill and see this…


Seriously guys you definitely should NOT miss this beach, been to many beaches already and Nacpan is at the top of my list

Travels

Samal Island and Mati Davao Oriental Get away

I am from Mindanao ( Davao city) so writing this one is a bit easy .

The easiest way to get to either Samal, Davao city or Davao Oriental from Manila is to Davao International airport, lots of air fare sale via CepPac or AirAsia and even the regular fares recently is affordable.

One thing that I find very amusing when arriving in DVO airport is before you leave the airport, guards and usually some Police will ask all the passengers entering Davao city of their last names. Yes! Part of the security protocols probably checking if you’re in their list hahaha

Best way to get to the city from the airport will be by Taxi or if you want it as cheap as possible, take a jeepney just outside the airport which will take you to the city, don’t be scared to ask for directions, Davawenyos are very accommodating and don’t be surprise with how conyo most of the young people speaks hahaha yeah!

​ ​I feel so weird hearing people speak a combination of tagalog, English and Visaya tho it’s amazing lol.. more of maarte I should say 😛

First Destination will be …. The ​I​sland garden city of Samal!

I grew up in Davao and it’s a pity that I’ve only been in this beautiful island twice😬😬.

From Sta Ana wharf, we took a boat to Isla Reta which where we are staying for one night, boat ride will take around 1 hour and a half, that actually depends if the weather is shit 😅

​ The boat fare is around 80-100 php per person.

Since it was a peak season, we were unable to book a room/cottage so instead we rented a tent for 400php which I think is expensive lol. If you have your own tent best if you can just bring your own and just pay a hundred.

​Samal Island might not be the best beach but its white sand is beautiful and the water is clear, if you live in Davao , Samal is your best beach near the city.


Isla Reta beach resort

One thing that I would recommend you doing while in Samal is the Island hopping plus the intro diving. I was more keen of doing the intro dive honestly since I’ve done lots of island hopping already. Pro Dive Davao is offering an Island hopping experience ( 3 locations) plus the intro dive experience for 1200php which is not bad considering that lunch and some snacks are included and by the way whoever cooked the lunch they’re  serving is doing a fantastic job ​! kudos to the cook :-). Their boat will be picking you up at the port at exactly 7 AM.

Diving 101


Trying to look cool hahaha

I was pretty nervous doing the diving since it was my first time and tho I can swim, I don’t really trust meself being down there hahah . The master divers were doing a great job tho and manage to keep me alive 😂😂 after that experience I’m seriously thinking of taking a proper dive training and get certified so I can dive with the sharks and chase Nemo 😄😄

If you want to check for more details regarding the activity , you can check them in Facebook, Pro Dive Davao. Payment can be by cash or credit card.

​Next destination is Mati Davao Oriental. ​

​From Davao Airport ​​​, ​at the arrival area, if you want to go straight to Mati, drivers will offer you a taxi or a van rental which is a bit hefty so instead take a jeepney or a taxi to Gaisano Mall and ask the driver to take you to the van terminal to Mati, fare will be around 150 php, travel time is approximately 4 hrs. Upon arrival we hired a habal-habal ( motorbike) to take us to Dahican Beach. I paid 150php which later on I was told that I got overcharged! Oh well like what I always tell meself .. help the locals hahaha

Not to miss while in Mati is the amazing view of the sleeping Dinosaur, if you’re not stopping along the way to Mati proper, you can hire a motorbike to take you there.

Apologies, my sis photobombed Barnie’s head hahaha

We stayed for 1 night at Surfers village which is a just walking distance to the beach.. We paid 1000 php for two with breakfast included. The accommodation is pretty basic and the comfort room and shower is shared. They also offer surfing classes and board rentals, we paid 500 php for an hour session but since it was the low season I think we were surfing for more than an hour or maybe I just felt it was darn long since it was my first time haha

Our home for one night

Ladies,when you try surfing, dont wear a bikini , most likely your top will get wash by the big unforgiving waves, trust me.. been there 😂

Also Dahican beach is a sanctuary for turtles so if you’re lucky you might see some tiny baby turtles gettin out of their shells and ready to explore the water.. isn’t that cute😁😁

​While in Mati, you can also do some Island hopping, just ask the locals or where you’re staying and they can hook you up with some local boatman. Also, you may visit

​​Subangan Museum​ to see Davor the Whale​, it’s 53-feet fossilized remains of a 20-ton sperm whale found at the coast of General Generoso​.