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 😀

Boracay in February: Strangely familiar


My 4th Boracay trip was a mixture of strangely familiar deeds. Nonetheless, action-packed.

Jony's - Station 1

 

Spic-and-Span:
We were craving for Jonah’s fruit shakes but were too lazy to find its new location. Thus, the desperate decision to try Jony’s fruit shakes. The fruit shakes weren’t bad but not as tasty as that of Jonah’s. While this restaurant boasts of its fruit shakes and mexican meals, surprisingly, it’s just way too average for my taste buds.

*Jonah’s now has 2 locations. One at the beach front near Obama at Station 1 and the other one is by the road near Kalibo Cable.

L-R: mango banana, watermelon & mango shakes. The watermelon shake was indeed refreshing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

nachos were a bit oily

beef shreds in a burrito was original

the chicken shreds in the quesadilla was way too chunky for me

the bami pancit was oily and too orange-y 🙂

Intrigued by the flaming crepe, we tried out Ti-Braz. I’m not into bananas so I failed to see the flaming crepe. Instead, I ordered Mango Amour and it turned out be the usual crepe. To my dismay, it was over-priced which cost me P215.00

Ti-Braz Boracay - Station 2

Ti-Braz Mango Amour crepe

Among our new pursuits, the Hydro or Aqua Zorb experience was really memorable — really had fun! It was indeed another way to get wet in Boracay! 😀 Here’s a sneak peek….

these brave kids were the first ones to try it 😀

struggling to get out of the zorb ball

Yet another new discovery was the cocktail drinks to-go of Loco Frio. I’ve gone loco with this spiked frozen drink which led me to 2 refills in 1 day… an excuse to have a glimpse of Mark Nelson who co-owns it. Too bad… I didn’t see him.

*Near Obama Station 1

the first in the Philippines according to the bar tender... looking forward to see our group picture in its Facebook page... hehe!

mudslide spiked with Kahlua + Bailey's is a must-try

I always book my hotel accommodation near Station 1 to avoid the crowd and loud sounds of Station 2 & 3. The stroll to Station 3 was a surprise to me. It isn’t as crowded as I thought it would be… way much peaceful than Station 2. I also saw a couple of high-end resorts such as Boracay Sands Hotel and the widely-known La Carmela de Boracay of Boy So [as Boy Abunda usually plugs]. 😀

Boracay Tourist Center

My last dinner at the island was Bite Club‘s giant chicken burger. Quite pricey for its taste at P135. Good thing, I didn’t pay for it. 🙂

Bite Club Grilled Chicken Burgerella; D' Mall

Manana Mexican Cuisine - Station 1; near Starbucks

The Conventional:

With our hotel [Mito’s Place] right beside Manana, we won’t miss a quick bite at this Mexican diner. We feasted on the usual Mexican staples such as tacos and quesadillas…leaving us blushed with its assortment of hot chili and fully satisfied [also really full of gas 😀 ] with its ample serving of onions and beans!

I never liked riding tricycles but Boracay’s 10-seater tricycles are so much fun!

my friend in her not-so-fancy coach ride

Our discovery of Hawaiian Bar-B-Que‘s hefty and tasty pork ribs last year made it to this year’s food agenda. Just the same, we had it served at Beach Bum Bar while having cuba libre [buy 1 take 1] and enjoying the fire dance show.

Beach Bum Bar + Hawaiian Bar-B-Que - Station 1

Hawaiian Bar-B-Que's Pork Ribs is way much better and worth it than Gasthof's

Hawaiian Bar-B-Que's Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice is a meal itself! Yum!

Hawaiian Bar-B-Que's Mango Chicken

Hawaiian Bar-B-Que's Chori Burger

Speaking of fire dance, I’d say Boracay’s Phoenix Fire Dancers is one of the best in the island. One of its dancers really made me laugh when he/she suddenly blurted “Sir, Ma’am… pengeng pera!” [asking for tips]. Just the same, will try to post the videos soon…

asking for tips with a big smile

if I'm not mistaken he's Freddie... nice Sparta abs 🙂

After dinner, we had another round of drinks. And again, we went back to try Bamboo Lounge‘s mangojito. Such a quiet place to enjoy your drink and laze by the beach.

this mangojito will give you a real kick!

My Boracay trip would be incomplete without having a quick snack of chori burger and spicy hotdog charcoal grilled to perfection. 😀

Seafood anyone? D’ Talipapa offers day’s catch of seafood where you can have it cooked by nearby paluto restaurants. Cooking charges starts from P75-150 per dish.

yellow-finned tuna

huge parrot fish

another alternative pasalubong, dried fish and squid

baked scallops
Galeria Kulay offers unique Boracay souvenirs from accessories, sarong, paintings and wood carvings

Not sure though whether Big Mouth is famous in Boracay but as I understand it is known for its halo-halo. I haven’t tried it but I ordered [again] its pancakes and tried out their ube [purple yam] shake. Yummy and affordable!

There are still a lot of food, places, activities yet to be experienced. Thus, I’ll be booking my 5th trip by next year. Suggestions anyone? 🙂

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 🙂