Glad I did this before 30: Indeed an underwater garden


Still on Day 2 – Aug 21, 2011

It was still early in the morning and yet our first stop at the Lusong Gunboat Shipwreck already topped our island hopping agenda. The best was yet to come as we headed to the the Bintuan Coral Garden. Just the same, the sea was so calm but you’d be occasionally surprised with a school of flying fish 🙂

It was indeed an underwater garden with a variety of hard and soft corals bursting in different colors. Bohol‘s Balicasag Island doesn’t compare to this coral reef at all. 🙂

foliase or cabbage coral

devil's hand or finger coral

green table coral

anemone

the threatened clown fish

xenia soft coral

brain coral

this maze coral actually resembles a rotten apple 🙂

elegance coral

mushroom coral

toadstool leather coral

flat cupcakes?

this purple staghorn coral seems to glow in the dark 🙂

the biggest clown fish I've seen so far...about the size of my hand...

i bet it's telling me to back off...

To be continued…

Glad I did this before 30: The first shipwreck experience


Day 2 – Aug 21, 2011

We were hoping for a good weather the following day as we began the first of our three-day Calamian Islands hopping. Fortunately, it wasn’t too sunny and the water was placid.

boat ride to Lusong Gunboat Shipwreck

Our tour guide got loads of trivia to share during the boat ride. He mentioned that most of the islands were owned by private foreign citizens. What sucks is these islands were sold by the Tagbanuas only for a few thousand pesos!

if I were born & filthy rich back then, I could have bought this island

Our first stop wasn’t actually an island but a shipwreck [Lusong Gunboat]. I was really looking forward to it as I haven’t seen one and the tour guide mentioned that it actually sunk in shallow waters so you can readily see the remains of the ship. Relieved, my new Pentax Optio WG-1 camera was able to capture these great underwater photos! But of course, I had to do a little photo editing. 🙂

Imagine the ship sideways teeming with corals and schools of fish. Quite frankly, I was too scared to get near and step on the shipwreck as it was kind of rusty. Haha…

But wait, there’s more….

Glad I did this before 30: Conquered Mt. Tapyas


Day 1 – Aug 20, 2011

Pitik / Crawfish at Kawayanan Grill

Though nourished with a hefty lunch followed by a short nap prior to the hike, my body just couldn’t keep up with the first stop in our tour itinerary — the 724 steps of Mt. Tapyas in Coron, Palawan.

Mt. Tapyas

As I and my friends took the 5 to 10-minute break per landing, we either contemplated on quitting ahead or assuring ourselves that we can make it to the peak of the mountain. Perhaps the only motivation we had at that time was our pride and curiosity. Nonetheless, we made it to the top in a matter of 45 minutes as the sun was about to set…giving us a serene view of the Calamian Islands.

glad I have beaten this snail c",)

The short dip at Maquinit Hot Springs helped sooth our trembling knees. Surprisingly, we didn’t feel any muscle pains the following day.

To be continued…

It’s like giving birth


I have no plans of having a baby but growing plants is like giving birth. 🙂

After moving into my new unit, I wanted to prove I have a green thumb and fulfill my life-long dream — a secret garden.

I saw these little plants creeping on top of my laundry wall.

On the left are my tomatoes and on the other side are hot peppers, which started to germinate on its 4th day.

Other than these, I also planted cilantro and onion.

To add some color to my garden, I was hoping to get some flowering plants but haven’t got a chance to drop by Tagaytay. Fortunately, I saw this alley in Kalentong market with an assortment of potted plants for sale. 😀

”]

unnamed plants that I have to find out

neem tree

tied some mothballs to ward off cats

Looking forward to harvesting 😀

3rd visit to Bohol – day 3


My 3rd and 4th day in Panglao, Bohol is all about animals. From mammals to insects and of course, the island’s diverse marine life.

Can you guess each and every’s scientific name? 🙂

To be continued…

3rd visit to Bohol – day 3


It was a beautiful morning the following day. I was looking forward to the shores of Dumaluan Beach Resort.

While having an early morning stretch, I took photos of the surroundings of Alona Studios.

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We took a tricycle ride from Alona Studios to Dumaluan Beach Resort for a fare of Php150.

It was Sunday noon when we reached the resort. The place was crowded mostly filled with locals having a picnic with their friends and families.

We had our lunch at DBR Grill — the lone and the cheapest diner at this side of the island.

DBR Grill's fruit shakes is a must try -- not too sweet... just the right price

I took the liberty of taking a nap by the beach after a hearty lunch of grilled pork belly. I forgot to take a photo of which as I was too hungry.

The view was relaxing… I could easily fall asleep.

 

But the water was too tempting so I slipped into my swim suit and went snorkeling… To be continued 🙂

Baguio in January: It Kissed My Blues Away [part 3]


I woke up the following morning freezing to death. My toe socks and fleece blanket were of no help to beat the biting cold breeze of Baguio. So I went out to go on a steep short walk to release some heat… to perspire 🙂 …. and these beautiful skies greeted me that one fine morning.

For some reason, these clouds and view reminded me of those ‘dream’ house & lots for sale in brochures. And so I tried to re-create it. 🙂

We headed off to Cafe by the Ruins to have lunch and have a taste of the famous Rizal’s Tsokolate-e.

They say it’s much cozier at night but I prefer to see it first in daylight so at least I could see what I am eating.

However, I was too hungry and forgot to take a decent photo of what we ate.

bread + Baguio Bagnet with Padas Bagoong

The bagnet was not as yummy as I thought it would be. The brown rice doesn’t appear to brown but more of purple. Though I liked the Padas Bagoong, I liked it so much until my lips turned a little swollen and itchy. 🙂

Other than bagnet we had the following:

  • Sinigang na Malaga with Shrimps > simply put “Sinigang na Hipon”
  • Pinikpikan > which appears to be native chicken
  • Rizal Tsokolate-e > not as thick and rich as I’ve expected but fair enough

All in all, it wasn’t really a bad experience. It wasn’t since I get to eat without shelling out a single centavo. 🙂 But I’m looking forward to have one of those colorful salads and rich champorado…. and probably nail their best main course. Suggestions, anyone?

Our day in Baguio ended with satisfied stomachs and we could all definitely sleep on our way to Manila but still with a short side-trip to Our Lady of Manaoag Church in Pangasinan.

Excited, I can’t wait to get there. Not that I’m a devotee nor religious, I was just really looking forward to tupig.

And my senses didn’t fail me, I can smell burnt banana leaves everywhere with an assortment of Pangasinan native delicacies, fruits and of course religious articles.

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And that concludes my overnight trip to Baguio-Pangasinan… and of the life of this little bird on our way to SCTEX. 😦

As I write this article, I am planning to go back to Baguio to get hold of those famous raisin bread of Baguio Country Club while I enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. Yum!