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…

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 🙂

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!

Baguio in January: It Kissed My Blues Away [part 2]


After a hefty lunch at Jay-J’s Chicken Inasal, we headed off to Tam-Awan Village.

Tam-Awan Village, Baguio City

Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from this village except for Igorot people and houses. Though I was warned that we’ll go hiking, that really got me excited — a way to burn those calories.

Cordillera Hut

Alang – Rice Granary Hut

Dukligan - Fertility Hut

But to my dismay, the hike was really foolish. It rained that morning, thus, my eyes were focused on the trail so I wouldn’t slip in the mud [with dog poop on the side]. I was worried about caterpillars and creepy crawlers. With all these, I didn’t get to appreciate the Igorot houses & the silly dreamcatcher at the top of the village.

There were around 10 of us with a two-year-old kid. Apparently, she appears to be the only one who enjoyed that dangerous hike. I wish I had her naivety.

And she blurted, "That was fun!"

As we descend the hill, we came upon a souvenir shop and a gallery of paintings and artwork. I didn’t get to take pictures since most of which are for sale… The only interesting thing piece that looks cool to me though was this fertility chair… c”,)

I had an even huge appetite after sitting on this fertility chair... but totally not impregnated by the gods.

Too graphic, huh? A not-so-comfortable comfort room. c",)

One of my favorite shots

Don't you dare touch the ....

This cat is cooperating with me... c",)

To be continued…