A Taste of Autumn

AutumnI had a grand time in South Korea. It was my first time to experience autumn and it was amazing!!! Sure, the weather could be nasty at times but what the heck. It was all part of the fun! 🙂

I’m still in the process of filtering out the pictures that I took during my 4-day vacation there. I promise to be back with more snapshots and words. Annyeong haseyo!

Boradventure!

Before the Christmas season kicks into full gear (yes, here in the Philippines, the Christmas season starts as early as September), let me reminisce our Boracay adventure last July. The current weather is making me miss the sun. Well, the weather has been a mix lately — one time it’s sunny, another minute it would rain like hell. But one noticeable change is the chill in the air; that pretty much gives away the “Christmas is just around the corner” thing.

Anyway, remember when I told you that we went there just to bum around? Well, I kinda lied. We also had a dose of Boracay adventure that most tourists fall prey upon on. The only difference is, there was no real planning involved. Whenever we felt that we had a bit too much of bumming, we went out playin’. So here goes…

All-Terrain Vehicle

One thing about riding an ATV is it makes you look cool… in a kickass kind of way. Doesn’t really matter if you haven’t driven a motorcycle before. This has four wheels so balancing is not a problem. If you know how to bike, it’s a plus. What makes it more exciting is the route that you have to go through aboard this. The pit stop is Mt. Luho, the highest peak in the island where you can enjoy the Boracay sights from a different vantage point.

We went to Borayd’s because our contact told us that they have bigger vehicles compared to the others. The bigger, the better right? Uhm. Not really. It turned out to be a bad thing for one of us. My roomie, Mils, had a terrible accident halfway in our route.

Because of that, we didn’t push through to Mt Luho and returned to Borayd’s instead. We had some dispute with the owner and other staff about the incident and refund and the likes. In the end, we settled to have another go at it the next day (with the exemption of Mils who had a splint on her injured hand). The next day, it was raining hard so it made driving to the peak more challenging. But we did managed to get there. Unluckily, nobody brought a camera.  We settled to have a fun photo op at the Borayd’s office instead.

And this is why you shouldn’t mess with me! (Kidding!)

Skimboarding

This is not my first time to have a go at skimboarding but this is definitely the first time that I tried and didn’t fall on my ass several times. While walking by the shore, RR told us that he wanted to rent a board and an instructor and learn how. We agreed with the idea because we have nothing else to do. That one hour tutorial turned out to be so much fun!

The colorful boards that lured RR
RR sure is a fast learner

We would find out later that the hotel had two boards available for guests. It’s actually for rent but the hotel crew were kind enough to let us borrow them for free. I actually overheard one telling the other that we would not last an hour of skimboarding under the sun so it’s futile to charge us with rent. Boy, they were so wrong!

In the days that followed, whenever we are caught in a bumming stump, we would grab the available boards in the hotel and skim for hours. I still have to practice and learn a lot but the funniest part? You get to see everyone fall off their asses. It’s not just me now. 😀

Paraw Sailing

On our last day, we decided to rent a paraw and go sailing to catch the sunset. The experience was surreal and bumpy. I never realized that paraw sailing has a bit of stress into it. If you want to try this, be prepared to be splashed by big waves right on your face. And if you are lucky, you might find yourself being thrown off the boat. Don’t worry; they provide life vests. 😀

When we reached the middle of the sea, the boatmen lowered the anchor and let us marvel and take in the beauty of the sunset. It was amazing! That was the perfect time to open the ice box that we brought aboard and pass bottles of ice-cold beers to everyone.

The boys enjoying a cold bottle of beer while sailing

We also tried Fly Fishing. Not the actual fishing method but the ACV ride. This amphibious air-cushion vehicle is pulled by a speedboat and actually looks like 3 banana boats put together. It was exciting especially when we go very fast, crash against the waves, and are lifted vertically in the air. I really had fun but not with the aftermath. It gave me a serious whiplash after. Also, nobody bothered to bring an underwater camera so we weren’t able to get a video or any pictures. Boo!

And oh, if ever you plan to take on the night scene, bar hopping and drinking like kids, don’t forget to put on your swim wears under your outfits. There’s nothing more refreshing and liberating (and sobering) than taking your cover-ups off and running to the beach for a night swim.

So there goes my sweet Bora reminiscing. I really miss the beach and the sand and the sun and the fun. I know that the next summer’s a long way so for now, I will just enjoy what the cold season has to offer. 🙂

Boracay Bummin’

Our Boracay vacation last July has been the ultimate beach bumming activity that I had in a long time. Having buffet breakfast by the cabanas, enjoying the early morning and afternoon sun, reading novels by the beachfront, and waking up at your own leisure without worrying about the day’s itinerary was great! We just simply went through our vacation days appreciating the great beach and sand, and enjoying each other’s company over card games, good food, beers, and cocktails.

Speaking of cocktails we immensely enjoyed Loco Frio. They offer frozen cocktails to go and it comes with these adorable insulated tumblers. You can buy a refill at a much cheaper prize if you already have a tumbler so it’s really cool. Totally perfect for the hot, beach weather.

As for the food, we ALL fell in love with Sur Burger. It was one of the biggest and tastiest burger I have ever tasted. Not exaggerating! This is a Boracay must-try. Some other dishes that I love is the baby back ribs from Hawaiian Bar-B-Que and the lechon kawali from Jonah’s. If you’ve got money to spare, is willing to wait for a table, and willing to wait to be served of sumptuous ribs, then go to HBBQ. But if you’re on a tight budget, Jonah’s Kawali is not too bad. One serving (PHP 300) is good enough for three. It was also my first time to have a go at the infamous lobster. We went over to the wet market in D*Talipapa, get ourselves some live lobsters, and have them cooked in one of the restaurants along the area. It was served to us in spicy coconut sauce and it was delicious!

We were blessed with a very nice weather during our 5-day stay (considering that it’s already the rainy season here in the Philippines). It was perfect for walking along the sandy shores, taking pictures, and just breathing in the beauty of the place. I have to thank Christian for some of these gorgeous shots.

But being the adventure freaks  that we are, it was not exactly ‘all bum, no play’. We did have fun trying out the club scene (a little), going skimboarding, driving ATVs to reach the highest point of the island, fly-fishing, and paraw sailing.  I’ll tell you all about them next time. 😉

Paraws and Sunsets

One of my favorite moments during our Boracay vacation. On our last day, we decided to go paraw sailing to catch the sunset. A paraw is a typical sailboat here in the Philippines, and like any other sailboat, it gets its speed and direction from the wind and waves that carries it. The paraw travel has been exciting and super fun because of the big waves splashing at us while we were busy getting our afternoon fill of beer and margarita.

In the middle of the sea, the boatmen threw down the anchor and let us marvel on the golden sky while the waves below rocked us. Nothing beats the beauty of the sunset when you’re one with nature. Whether you’re atop a mountain peak or just bummin’ by the beach, sunsets are always a magical experience.

Quirky June Wedding

 Here are some of the phone pics that I took last Saturday. It was a simple yet fun church wedding followed by a beachfront reception.  Well, we were forced to transfer to the in-house venue since the weather was not cooperating. Shoot! Bicol weather can be such a sucker…

We were very cooperative with the wedding’s color theme: yellow, blue, and turquoise. I so love our color splash, I couldn’t resist taking a snap while the priest is officiating. 😉

 This is a mostly-DIY wedding showcasing the bride’s creativity. I can never handle something like this (ever) so I was really impressed.

All the boys were wearing tidy white high-cut Chucks, including this cute ring-bearer that I saw playing around by the door. The flower girls looked so bubbly-cute in their yellow and turquoise umpire ensemble. 🙂

For the wedding’s guest book, they printed out a photo book of their pre-nuptial shots. It’s so adorable! Their personalities really shone and their 3-year-old daughter, Jazz, is such a cutie! I’m thinking of doing something like this on my own wedding but with Polaroid shots. I just wish I could afford it. $_$

And who wouldn’t love this cool vintage custom bridal car with the equally quirky plate? 😀 

Going Adele for a Night

In one of the nights of our Gen San vacation, Christian’s aunts took us to Saranggani Highlands for a few bottle of beers and some hours of chillin. The place is so nice at night.  With the antique-ish upholstery and nature friendly ambiance, it’s like a fusion of Sonya’s Garden (Tagaytay) and Bohol Bee Farm. I was not too crazy with the food, though. It was just blah.

Le Pollypocket Pose

We mostly took some pictures and breathed in the beauty of the place but the highlight of the evening for me would be my jam with the band. Christian’s aunts were so insistent on me coming up the stage and belt out some songs. I sang Rolling in the Deep and Someone Like You because I’m thick-faced like that. Haha!

I would like to post the videos that Christian took but I’m not ready to humiliate myself over the internet yet. Maybe next time. :p

To Pinatubo: When the Hike Began

The first half of our Pinatubo trip was spent on a bumpy 4×4 ride. I kept on referring to it as ATV during our whole ride. Manong driver (and the others) were prolly internally laughing at me for being such an idiot. *facepalm*

Anyway, after an hour, we were taken to the kickoff point for the actual hike. If you’re looking for some tips, I can give you three of the most useful: (1) pack light, (2) don’t forget to put on sunblock, and (3) wear proper hiking shoes.

Don’t judge my toes 😛

I was confident that this pair of Tribu sandals would make my hike comfortable. Wrong! The trail was rocky and there are lots of chances where we have to cross over some creeks. It’s not fun walking around with rocks inserted in the many crevices of this pair. And it’s not even more fun stopping from time to time just to remove all those rocks from your sandals. Total waste of time. I would have traded this with my usual pair of Ipanemas.

The rock formations are just majestic. It reminded me of period/fantasy movies except there were no horses or men in black garbs running with swords. In this part of the hike, the only major obstacles are the heat and the little rocks that stubbornly clung to my sandals. I’ve been complaining about it the whole trip. Such a pain, really.

Challenge accepted?!

The second pit stop looked more like a mountain than a barren wasteland. It’s good. It meant that we were closer to our destination. I know that we were expected to reach the top within 18 minutes but it took us 40 minutes more. We’re worse than the Senior Citizen cluster. But to be fair, our guide told us that these guideline is for individual trekkers only. It took us longer because we were in  a big pack so there were lots of traffic along the way. Thanks Manong for saving our faces! Haha!

It felt so rewarding reaching the top. The beautiful scenery and the fresh mountain breeze totally made up for those 2 hours of rocky hike under the sun. The lake below was very much inviting for a dip but you need to go down this long, winding, uneven stairs first. Nothing good comes easy, eh?

Uh..nothing to do here…

I really don’t know how to swim but I enjoyed just dipping in the cool lake near the edge and taking lots of pictures with Christian and the others. We did not avail the boat ride to the crater because it’s too expensive.

On the same date, there’s a separate group of hikers from our office that took a more challenging route. From what I heard it took them more than a day to reach the peak. It’s a good adventure to take in the future. 🙂

To Pinatubo: On Board a 4×4


Last May 12, Christian and I and some of our friends from work headed over to Pampanga for our Mt. Pinatubo hike. This is my first time to go to Pinatubo and see the infamous ruins. I was so psyched. The trek started with an hour travel through the barren lahar-laden lands on-board a 4X4. It was an exciting and bumpy ride.

In the middle of the 4×4 ride, we all took a pit stop for some photo ops. I stood on a cliff, trying to capture its steepness, but I failed. Oh well. All photos here were taken by my HTC phone camera by the way. I just did some minor tweaks in Lr for them to be more acceptable. 😀

The weather was moody that day. One minute the sun is shining brightly, the next minute it would be gloomy. But we’re thankful that it did not rain. In the middle of the trip, though, one of the vehicles got stuck in the creeks causing several minutes of delay. Another 4×4 need to pull it out of the pit for it to move forward.

Let me just say that this has been a visually-interesting trip. The rock formations… the native Aetas that lurks by the boulders… even the stray fox-like dogs looking for  a shade.

After the 4×4 ride, the real fun begun. I will tell you all about it  in my next post. 😉

Summer Getaways

I used to be so excited about summer because it means beach trips, outdoor adventures, and plain fun under the sun. Never mind the heat. As long as I have a good bottle of sunblock and a lip balm, I’m game to do anything.

For the past 3 years, my summer has been jam packed with out of town trips. Because I don’t have any concrete plans this summer and my previous self-pity post (haha!), I will just reminisce on my best summer memories. Here are some of those:

April 2009: Beach (Despidida) Party in Boracay
Late March 2010: Nature appreciation in Sagada
April 2010: Back to Basics in Nagsasa and Anawangin, Zambales
March 2011: Surfing and Food Trippin’ in La Union
April 2011: Adrenaline Junkie in Cagayan de Oro (All of these happened in just one day!)
April 2011: Water Affair in Camiguin

Summer of 2012, it’s already late April. What do you have in store for me?