Summer 2015 at the Surf Capital of the North… La Union, Ph!!!

We were all decided to spend our summer getaway for 2015 at the Puerto Galera. It’s a whole lot nearer as compared to our Caramoan trip last year and will definitely be a lot cheaper.

But however rare I watch TV, it was one of those rare nights that I was flipping through channels when a very handsome guy—mulatto with a set of perfect teeth and yummy abs, caught my attention. Whoah! Gosh, hotness! My curiosity was piqued when he talked about surfing and their outreach activity in his resort: free surfing lessons to kids with special needs. Awww, who wouldn’t fall inlove with a sporty man with compassion? May malambot na puso, ahahay!!! I didn’t know I was looking for love until I found Luke Landrigan. Lol! The surfbeast, their word not mine. For me, he’s hotness overload!

I suddenly had a desire to see him in person so I told Gaby that we are going to learn how to surf this summer. Surprisingly, she told me that she thinks she knows how to surf and even demonstrated how to balance in a surf board. Apparently, she saw on TV that Bimby, Kris Aquino’s son, was being taught how to surf (by Luke). And she thought she wants to try it too.

This gorgeous man inspired me to go to La Union, instead of Puerto Galera.

This gorgeous man inspired me to go to La Union, instead of Puerto Galera.

And so to make my long story short, I was able to convince my travel buddies to go to La Union instead of Puerto Galera.

Before I knew it, we were a huge group already: our consistent travel buddies, Reymar and Roxanne, and Jenny and for the first time, her husband, Bong. Julie and Jay for their second time with us. The first timers were Kuya Rhandy and his whole family: Ate Weng, Hannah and Drake and the last but not the least, Janine.

Team "El Yu"!  Done with our breakfast at Jollibe - Rosario, Pangasinan. All ready to take - off to La Union again.

Team “El Yu”!
Done with our breakfast at Jollibe – Rosario, Pangasinan. All ready to take – off to La Union again.

So our 3-day, 2-night summer get away started:

Day 1. May 22, Friday 
We rented a van and left Lipa at 3am. The travel was smooth since there was no traffic and we mostly traversed through express ways: Startoll, SLEX, (Edsa was also clear), NLEX, SCTEX and by 7 am, we exited TPLEX.

It took us another 1 1/2 hours before we saw a Jollibee at Rosario, Pangasinan and had our breakfast. By the way, we earlier agreed to have a foodtrip and try out local delicacies since we had package deals inclusive of food in our previous travels. But since it was our first meal in this travel, we reckoned to forego with being experimental yet.

By 11am we reached our resort, the Sebay Surf Central at Brgy. Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union. Imagine how my heart leaped when I realized that it is right beside Luke Landrigan ‘s San Juan Surf Resort!

Where art thou, my Luke?

Where art thou, my Luke?

Sebay Surf Central is not inferior of Luke's resort. It is affordable and homey too, even though we chose a room that could house all 13 of us.  Sebay is backward of the owner's family name "Yabes".

Sebay Surf Central is not inferior to Luke’s resort. It is affordable and homey too, even though we chose a room that could house all 13 of us.
Sebay is backward of the owner’s family name “Yabes”.

Brgy. Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union, Ph... where all the fun begins...

Brgy. Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union, Ph… where all the fun begins…

But anyways, since check-in is at 2pm, we had to kill time at the resort’s restaurant at the beach front.

My POV at the beach front while waiting to check-in. Sizzling out there!

My POV at the beach front while waiting to check-in. Sizzling out there!

Gaby went gaga seeing the waves and insisted on swimming at once. And me, I let myself complied with her whim.

Gaby, so eager to conquer the waves.

Gaby, so eager to conquer the waves.

She was not alone on being too excited to hit the beach because Drake also pestered his daddy and finally, they both braved the huge waves of the West Philippine Sea at the height of scorching mid-day sun.

Gaby, Drake and Tito Rhandy... Atats!

Gaby, Drake and Tito Rhandy… Atats!

We had lunch at around 1 PM of a boodle meal composed of grilled squid, grilled pork, sisig, fried tilapia, pansit and veggies-eggplant and kangkong. Yup, it sounds sumptuous but it’s too pricey for its taste. From there, we agreed to try other restaurants in our next meals.

Boodle... Fight!

Boodle… Fight!

Grilled squid... grilled pork... sliced tomatoes and white onions...

Grilled squid… grilled pork… sliced tomatoes and white onions…

Sisig, pancit, and okra...

Sisig, pancit, and okra…

Immediately after lunch, Gaby and Hannah tried out surfing and wohoo!!! Was I not stoked??? I was actually reeling! I was so excited for Gaby and Hannah. They were so good at it.

Gaby was coached by Kuya Atoy who’s very cool with Gaby and kept calling her baby. They really had a good rapport. He never ceased to encourage her and high fived with her whenever she had a successful glide across the water.

Kuya Atoy and Gaby, gearing to conquer the waves...

Kuya Atoy and Gaby, gearing to conquer the waves…

Gaby looks like a pro surfer here... at least to me.. :)

Gaby looks like a pro surfer here… at least to me.. 🙂

Gaby looks like a pro surfer here... at least to me.. :)

Gaby looks like a pro surfer here… at least to me.. 🙂

Gaby looks like a pro surfer here... at least to me.. :)

Gaby looks like a pro surfer here… at least to me.. 🙂

Gaby looks like a pro surfer here... at least to me.. :)

Gaby looks like a pro surfer here… at least to me.. 🙂

Gaby looks like a pro surfer here... at least to me.. :)

Gaby looks like a pro surfer here… at least to me.. 🙂

She was immensely enjoying herself that 1 hour seemed to have gone so fast. She pleaded for an extension but told her that we can’t afford another Php400 for the day.

We had our siesta after, since we were all deprived of sleep and went beaching again at 4pm. Every body had a good time dancing with the huge waves. It was quite intimidating at first but they had so much fun once they got the hang of it.

Gaby being chased by the waves... So happy here...

Gaby being chased by the waves… So happy here…

Gaby was so amazed at her Tita Roxanne having a grand time shrieking against the waves...

Gaby was so amazed at her Tita Roxanne having a grand time shrieking against the waves…

Surf boards for rent...

Surf boards for rent…

Bong was quite a “feelingero”, he rented a surf board and tried surfing on his own. Do I need to say that it was a huge mistake? Hehe… Itanong nyo sa kanya, anyare?

Bong... feeling like a pro surfer...

Bong… feeling like a pro surfer…

After his failed attempt to conquer the waves all by himself... He tried to assist Gaby and yes, you guessed it right... Failed!!! Lol!

After his failed attempt to conquer the waves all by himself… He tried to assist Gaby and yes, you guessed it right… Failed!!! Lol!

Bumming...

Bumming…

After fighting the huge waves... Roxanne was suddenly hungry and had balut!!!!

After fighting the huge waves… Roxanne was suddenly hungry and had balut!!!!

We had our dinner at the town proper because the restaurants along the resort were all too pricey for our budget but still we ended up in a Chinese restaurant that is quite expensive also. Like a 1.5 L Coke was Php100 so you can guess how much the food would cost. We didn’t have the appetite to take pictures of the food anymore.

Day 2. 23 May, Saturday

Flash back from the night before, we decided to forego checking out the Tangadan Falls at a nearby barangay, San Gabriel and considered to see the Macho Temple, the Ruins, and the botanical garden all located at the Capital of La Union, San Fernando. Such was because we were being charged of Php300 per person for the tour guide by a local we met at the resort.

Good thing, while a bottle of Empe Light was doing its rounds among the boys, Kuya Rhandy convinced the others that we push through with the original plan. He reckoned that it would be a waste if we will not see it and might regret when Tangadan Falls become known later.

Pretty morning on Day 2. OTW to Tangadan Falls...

Pretty morning on Day 2. OTW to Tangadan Falls…

And so, a little after 8am we arrived at a the drop off point at Brgy. San Gabriel to Tangadan Falls. It was a 20 minute drive from San Juan. Along the way, we met a local who offered his services as a tour guide at Php700 which Reymar haggled to Php500. O, nakatipid na!

Pretty sight at the drop off point to Tangadan Falls... Trekking starts now...

Pretty sight at the drop off point to Tangadan Falls… Trekking starts now…

We knew that it takes an hour trekking to get there but we didn’t expect that it was not an easy trek. Good thing, Jenny, as she is 3-month preggy with her little Bong – Bong, decided not to join us and just stayed at the resort.

It took us 1 1/2 – hours instead of the supposed 1 hour to get to the falls which is around 3.5 km from the drop off point. We traversed through rice paddies, balanced along narrow paths which sides were ravine or rocky river, pass through thick vegetations, steep climbs and downs, and crossed rivers. Exciting, right?

The hike was still easy here...

The hike was still easy here…

Single pile or you will fall...

Single pile or you will fall…

Achrophobiacs... yeah, that's what we are... :P

Achrophobiacs… yeah, that’s what we are… 😛

Everyone was huffing and puffing except me and Gaby. Kuya Rhandy also impressed us because he was carrying Drake on his shoulders all throughout.

That was Kuya Rhandy there, carrying Drake on his shoulders all throughout the hike.

That was Kuya Rhandy there, carrying Drake on his shoulders all throughout the hike.

First stop. People can already cliff jump here but none from us dared.

First stop. People can already cliff jump here but none from us dared.

It was all worth it when we finally got to Tangadan Falls. It was such a majestic sight! The water was little bit murky because apparently, it rained the other night. But still, the water was refreshingly cool! The falls itself I think is some 25 to 30 feet high and people are doing cliff jump from there.

Majestic Tangadan Falls!

Majestic Tangadan Falls!

Gaby at Tangadan Falls... her first time to experience a water falls...

Gaby at Tangadan Falls… her first time to experience a water falls…

Enjoying the refreshing cool water of the falls.

Enjoying the refreshing cool water of the falls.

Selfie with the falls...

Selfie with the falls…

iphone_may2016 1797_edit

Wohoooo!!!!

Wohoooo!!!!

Bong and Kuya Rhandy immediately dived into the cool water but decided to stop after that 1 try because they were told that someone had died there last May 13 after cliff diving. Hehhe… Scary.

There was a raft to ride to be able to get underneath and experience the waterfalls which charges Php20 per pax. They all tried it except me, and by their loud screams while they were showering underneath the falls, one can say that they were enjoying immensely.

Rafting...

Rafting…

Rafting...

Rafting…

Selfie with them... Promise they were there behind the cascades... They were screaming like crazy there, actually.

Selfie with them… Promise they were there behind the cascades… They were screaming like crazy there, actually.

After a couple more minutes, we immediately headed back to the resort so that we won’t be caught by the burning heat of the mid day sun and have our brunch. Yup! None of us had breakfast yet that’s why they were all whining of hunger already.

The trek back...

The trek back…

In the wilderness somewhere in San Gabriel, San Juan, La Union...

In the wilderness somewhere in San Gabriel, San Juan, La Union…

Brunch was ordinary but the price was a little bit pricey for its taste just like the other day.

We took siesta after that rigorous trek and hiking. At about 4pm we headed to the beach again. The waves were rougher than the other day. We learned that it was actually raining nearby because it was so dark at the western side and we heard thunderstorms.

Busy beach... It was dark at the east side. It was actually raining and there were thunderstorms nearby...

Busy beach… It was dark at the east side. It was actually raining and there were thunderstorms nearby…

But still, the beach was teeming with people. Families, friends, lovers, soloists, foreigners, local tourists, pro and beginner surfers, just beach bums, and sellers (ice cream, balut, grapes, taho, ripe mangoes,etc.).

Busy San Juan, La Union surf beach... There were surfers, pros and newbies, and beach bums everywhere.

Busy San Juan, La Union surf beach… There were surfers, pros and newbies, and beach bums everywhere.

Gaby's was the happiest kid right this moment.

Gaby was the happiest kid right this moment.

Just goofing while trying to cool down with ice cream on sticks...

Just goofing while trying to cool down with ice cream on sticks…

Gaby and Hannah wanted to surf again and good thing, there were no more available instructors since it was already around 6 PM. And the waves, in fact, were quite scary already.

Amazing sunset ala La Union. Day 2.

Amazing sunset ala La Union. Day 2.

Since our food trip was a failure we ended up at Mc Donald’s for our dinner. Ooohhh, it was the most satisfying meal that we had for the last 2 days. Never thought that Mc Do could taste that good! Lol!

San Juan, La Union is the “Surf Capital of the North”… 

Day 3. May 24, Sunday 

Sunrise ala San Juan, La Union... Day 3

Sunrise ala San Juan, La Union… Day 3

Our last day in El Yu but definitely not the least of excitement and fun.

Me, Gaby, Julie, Ate Weng, and Drake woke up at the break of dawn to capture the sunrise. We also had the beach all by ourselves and they had a blast. As usual, I was just ashore watching them and taking pictures. 🙂

Drake was already happy to be all by himself.

Drake was already happy to be all by himself.

Crashing waves... It's a free massage.

Crashing waves… It’s a free massage.

Ate Weng feeling on an open jacuzzi.

Ate Weng feeling on an open jacuzzi.

See that waves??? Like a wall going to collapse on you.

See that waves??? Like a wall going to collapse on you.

There it goes again!!!

There it goes again!!!

By 7 am, Gaby and Hannah tried surfing for the second time while Janine and Bong had their first. Roxanne also tried it. Among the adults, surfing was just like a breeze to Janine. Galeng!

IMG_1165_edit

IMG_1162_edit

IMG_1163_edit

IMG_1167_edit

Gaby for the final recap with her surf trainer, Kuya Roid.

Gaby for the final recap with her surf trainer, Kuya Roid.

Gaby for the final recap with her surf trainer, Kuya Roid.

Gaby for the final recap with her surf trainer, Kuya Roid.

iphone_may2016 1912_edit

My Gaby looks like a pro surfer here. #surfista

My Gaby looks like a pro surfer here. #surfista

We had buffet breakfast which was as usual, uneventful and left the resort by 11 AM.

Ready to our next destination...

Ready to our next destination…

iphone_may2016 1985_edit

Ready to our next destination...

Ready to our next destination…

Ready to our next destination...

Ready to our next destination…


Ready to our next destination...

Ready to our next destination…

We headed straight to Caba, La Union for “grape picking” at the Manguerra’s Farm. You see grapes are not normally grown in tropical countries like the Philippines. And sure enough, Gaby was so excited cutting the fruits and I had to remind her that we don’t have money anymore so we cannot possibly pick every grape that she wants.

Hungree for grapes!

Hungree for grapes!

iphone_may2016 2017_edit

iphone_may2016 2000_edit

iphone_may2016 1996_edit

iphone_may2016 2001_edit

Fresh tropical grapes, anyone?

Fresh tropical grapes, anyone?

We had a late lunch before TPLEX at Ulo-ulo Restaurant. This time, the food was reasonably priced and almost everyone of us enjoyed the food, sinigang na ulo ng maya-maya. The thing, however, they don’t have softdrinks… so the meal was bitin in some way.

We arrived safely in Lipa at 8PM…

Well, until our next getaway.

10 Lines from ‘That Thing Called Tadhana’

BEA PERDIGON

‘That Thing Called Tadhana’ has been a crowd’s favorite since its initial release last November 2014, during the 10thCinema One Originals Film Festival (read my C1 Originals experience here). Due to positive reviews from fans and critics, the indie film has been picked up by Star Cinema for nationwide release on February 4.

‘That Thing Called Tadhana’ follows Mace (Angelica Panganiban) and Anthony (JM de Guzman), strangers who meet at an airport in Italy. Later on, they decide to go on an unforgettable road trip to Baguio and Sagada to help each other mend their broken hearts.

Aside from the kilig scenes and incredible cinematography, the romantic comedy also features numerous lines na tagos sa puso. Here are the 10 best hugot lines from ‘That Thing Called Tadhana’.


tadhana-poster-FINAL-27x39in

1. Anthony: “Bakit ba kayong mga mapeperang mga babae, ang hilig n’yong hinahanap ang sarili n’yo…

View original post 660 more words

Summer 2014 in the Islands of the Caramoan

Yep! Three years later after our Coron, Palawan experience in 2011, we finally got to do it again! This time, it’s in the Islands of the Caramoan in Camarines Sur. It was sad that the original group didn’t make it since Nano, Julie, and Jay were not able to join us. Still we are happy that Ian, Shiella and her kids, Shane, Malik, and Samantha, joined us: me and Gaby, of course, Jenilyn, and the couple, Reymar and Roxanne. So it was pretty much more fun for Gaby than in Coron because she’s got 3 travel and swimming buddies here.

April 22 

We started our journey to our most awaited summer getaway. We rented a van, left Lipa City at 10PM and arrived at Naga City at 4AM of the 23rd.

April 23

We had breakfast at Mc Donald’s and briefly checked out my brother Pidoy’s place in the city. I was pretty much impressed in his house but I was gladder to see him. But then again, sayang wala si Priam and Faye, my nephew and sister-in-law.

Side trip at my brother Pidoy's place in Naga City

Side trip at my brother Pidoy’s place in Naga City

At around 7AM off we were to the Sabang Port which is another 2 hours from Naga. From there is a banca/ferry ride to Guijalo Port in Caromoan. Since it was high tide we were lined – up in a raft/bridge that the locales pushed to the ferry because the boat could not get near the shore and they charge Php10 per passenger. A full load one is 70 passengers. Ok, fine! It’s an income generating scheme. Hehe.

The raft/bridge where we hitched to ride the ferry in the Sabang Port. Php10 per passenger. I wonder if senior citizens have discount?

The raft/bridge where we hitched to ride the ferry in the Sabang Port. Php10 per passenger. I wonder if senior citizens have discount?

From Sabang Port is another 2-hour cruise (hehe… Parang yate or luxury liner lang :)). From Guijalo Port we were picked-up by a van to our accomodation, La Playa dela Merced. It was less than a 30-minute drive and is located at the outskirts of the municipality. We arrived at almost 12nn.

Just arrived at Guijalo Port, Caramoan

Just arrived at Guijalo Port, Caramoan

Yeah, it was more or less a 12-hour travel just to get there but we were simply just so excited nobody complained. Gaby was literary bouncing and could not wait to hit the beach.

Our vacation house is in the beach front. The beach is a regular beach, not white sand. Just so you know, hehe.

SAM_2921

The beach front of our vacation house, La Playa dela Merced

Our lunch was served immediately. Yes, we were all so famished!!! But were greatly satisfied to hefty, fresh and sumptuous ginataang squid, sweet and sour talakitok, and sotanghon for the soup. Masarap talaga! It was not an elaborate meal as I often read at travel blogs or posts on FB but that one was whoah!!!

First lunch done... sweet and sour talakitok

First lunch done… sweet and sour talakitok

First lunch done... ginataan squid

First lunch done… ginataan squid

We were advised to rest for awhile and then will proceed to the island hopping for the day. But hala!!! Biglang umulan na may kasama pang malakas na hangin at may pagkulog pa!!!

At 1pm, Gaby was already dressed up for the swim but the rest of the group was hesitant to go. The sky was dark and the rain was pouring but the resort staff assured us that the sea was calm and it was safe to go. So off we went to our first destination!

Bad weather... but who cares???

Bad weather… but who cares???

Island Hopping Day 1 

Apprehensive that the boat will sink, everyone put their life vests on. The sea was calm but still quite “rocking”. We eventually got the hang of the “rough” ride although it was just actually less than 30 minutes.

First island was the Lajos Island. I didn’t get to explore the whole island, same as all the others, but I was awed by the sight. The rock formations were pretty much the same as in Coron and the sand was white and fine just as we expected. We were slightly surprised that there were several tourists there,too. Apparently, they were also not bothered by the bad weather.

The kids fell inlove with the beach on the spot. And so were the adults. What I like in this island is that it’s 2-sided, you can swim on both edges… errr beaches? The water was greenish and I suspect that it would have been vivid green if the sun was out. Still, it was beautiful even amidst the rain.

IMG_7598 IMG_7619 IMG_7593

Day 1. Island 1. Lajos Island. Group selfie

Day 1. Island 1. Lajos Island. Group selfie

We also saw a sea snake (one that is black with white stripes or the other way around?) there which passed in front of Jenilyn. People were screaming half in fright and half in delight of experiencing a snake (I guess, it is not everyday that you get to see one and much more, one from the wild). Haha! It was so funny how Jeni jumped out of the snake’s way! LOL!

Second stop was the Matungkad Island.

Day 1. Island 2. Matungkad Island

Day 1. Island 2. Matungkad Island

Yes, white beach, fine sand, and rock formations. What’s more special about this island is that it’s the way to go to the lagoon where the famous “prinsesang bangus” can be found. Prinsesang Bangus is the a giant milkfish inhabiting alone in the lagoon which can only be accessed through a cliff. Locals believe that the huge milkfish is mystical or some sort of a goddess. The catch however, is that it is a stiff rock climb, my “expert” estimate is about 20-30 ft, one way, to get there.

Jenny was the only one in our group who was brave and gutsy enough, and successful to climb. I was so proud of her! Now, she’s the only one who’s got the best pictures, it makes me jealous, hehe. Needless to say, the view from top is amazing (Jen’s pictures told me).

Day 1. Island 2. Matungkad Island. On top of the cliff to see the Prinsesang Bangus (Princess Milkfish)

Day 1. Island 2. Matungkad Island. Jenny on top of the cliff to see the Prinsesang Bangus (Princess Milkfish)

10291692_276262589215128_8252038442087589781_cliff2

On the way to the top… Not easy, huh?

Me and my Gaby at Matungkad Island on Day 1

Me and my Gaby at Matungkad Island on Day 1

Third stop was Minalahos Island. On the way there, we side tripped to the popular Gotta Village, the home to the Survivor reality show. We cannot stop there because it is restricted. So we were just contented to take pictures so hastily.

Side trip to the Gotta Village, the home of the Survivor reality show

Side trip to the Gotta Village, the home of the Survivor reality show

Minalahos, has a tiny shore, we had it all by ourselves because it was relatively secluded. It was surrounded by boulders of rocks. The water here was quite warm , which I really liked kasi ginawin ako. It was here that we met the mermaids and goddesses. There were lots of seaweeds that Jenilyn and Rouxcie used as headdresses and the effect on pictures were amazing! Dyosa talaga ang peg ng dalawa.

The mermaids/goddesses at the Minalahos Island

The mermaids/goddesses at the Minalahos Island

Day 1. Island 3. Minalahos Island.

Day 1. Island 3. Minalahos Island.

Me and my Gaby at the Minalahos Island on Day 1

Me and my Gaby at the Minalahos Island on Day 1

We spent the rest of the afternoon there and went back to the resort before it got dark.

Our dinner was superb! Grilled blue marlin, chicken adobo sa gata, and sinigang na talakitok for the soup. Need I really say more to describe how delicious it was? I bet you can imagine it.

 April 24

Island Hopping Day 2 

Our breakfast was typically Filipino. Fried rice, pandesal, coffee, sunny-side-up egg, hotdog, and the best of all… daing!!! Sarap talaga! I can compare it to Coron’s lamayo but none of the locals was able to tell us what it’s called. Basta, kasarap talaga.

Breakfast on Day 2. Typically Filipino. Oohhh.... daing you make me drool!

Breakfast on Day 2. Typically Filipino. Oohhh…. daing you make me drool!

First stop. Manlawe Island or the sandbar…. Errrrr… We didn’t get there actually. An hour later on our way to the sandbar, the banca’s motor engine suddenly went dead between the Islands of Manlawe and Bugtong. Apparently, the battery got drained because the alternator was not working. It took another hour for our rescue to arrive. That one hour was… Errr… Hell???? Everyone got seasick except Gaby. Shane actually went into hysterics.

Day 2. Clearest blue sky... Who would have thought something will come up? hehe...

Day 2. Clearest blue sky… Who would have thought something will come up? hehe…

SAM_2953

Day 2. calm sea. stranded. haha!!!

SAM_8865

On the way to the Sand Bar but didn’t get there coz we got stranded…

On the brighter side, Ian, Jenilyn, and Rouxcie were able to go snorkeling. Just the same, it was a minor glitch. We didn’t get to see the sandbar that day because it was already high tide and what we will see would only be floating kubos. Our itinerary ensuing this sad incident was a blast!

First stop (not counting being stranded) was Bugtong Island. This one is my favorite. It’s an island with a cove where we hid from the sun while having a refreshing buko. The water was shallow and the bottom was white sand and some level/flat rocks. It was calm that you don’t notice the waves at all. I was so relaxed here and I think Shiella also, because we left the kids alone, confident that they were all safe in that island.

Panoramic view of the Bugtong Island. Day 2. Island 1

Panoramic view of the Bugtong Island. Day 2. Island 1

Jenny, Shane, Reymar and I climbed the top of the cove/cliff some 10ft high, (my 20ft estimate in my previous FB post was I think an over statement, heheh). And wow, the bluest sky was so perfect with 3 shades color of the water… Sky blue, turquoise, and greenish or simply it was so clear. It was pretty private and yet there were random boats just about the island which makes it so picturesque from where we were standing above.

I also get the chance to snorkel which I enjoyed. There’s nothing much to see under but I was still so amazed by it by just having crystal clear water.

At the top of the picturesque Bugtong Island on Day 2

At the top of the picturesque Bugtong Island on Day 2

Refreshing buko (young coconut) for sale at Bugtong Island

Refreshing buko (young coconut) for sale at Bugtong Island

Refreshing buko at the cove...

Refreshing buko at the cove…

Wacky group pix at the cove of the Bugtong Island...

Wacky group pix at the cove of the Bugtong Island…

Bugtong Island. Getting ready for the next island destination.

Bugtong Island. Getting ready for the next island destination.

Second stop. Cotivas Island.

Day 2. Island 2. Cotivas Island. Blue sky, cotton clouds, turquoise water and fine white sand....

Day 2. Island 2. Cotivas Island. Blue sky, cotton clouds, turquoise water and fine white sand….

I like this one too, white and fine sand and calm waters. The beach was circling the island, well I just love it, too. That’s it.

Lunch in a makeshift nipa hut with a view as magnificent as this one at Cotivas Island on Day 2.

Lunch in a makeshift nipa hut with a view as magnificent as this one at Cotivas Island on Day 2.

We had our lunch here in a makeshift nipa. Our lunch was more indulging since it was coupled with a magnificent view. We had fried talakitok with sawsawang toyo, kalamansi, sibuyas and kamatis, adobo, and laing and bananas. It was so simple a meal but it was so good… Bitin ang kanin buti na lang may nagtitinda dun. Hihi.

We were told that this was the location for the opening of the French Survivor. I didn’t asked, though, when was that.

Day 2. Island 2. Cotivas Island. But the kids were heedless of the food and of the scorching heat of the sun.

Day 2. Island 2. Cotivas Island. But the kids were heedless of the food and of the scorching heat of the sun.

We found starfish at Cotivas Island!!! First time. New experience!

We found starfish at Cotivas Island!!! First time. New experience!

Complete at Covitas Island

Complete at Cotivas Island

Third stop. Brgy. Tabgon on the way to the Mt. Caglago where the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary for Peace Shrine is located. It is 535 steps to the shrine and we thought it would be peanuts since the Mt. Tapyas in Coron was only some 700 steps and we made it without so much fuss. But hala, barely 50 steps to the top, my lungs were already burning and legs wobbling. I agree with Reymar that it was the super steep design of the stairs that make it so difficult as compared to Mt. Tapyas that, well yeah, was strategically designed to make it easier to climb. When you get there, there is a pretty chapel overlooking Caramoan and they ask the women to wear “tapis” because apparently, the place is sacred. And tapis we wore at hindi magpadaig si Samsam, nagtapis din! Haha!!!

The shrine was constructed some years back as a symbol of peace which Caramoan didn’t have before because there were allegedly rampant insurgencies in the area. A group of NGOs initiated a “Walk for Peace” from the Municipality of San Jose to Mt. Caglago and since then, the quest for peace was achieved.

SAM_9051

The Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary for Peace Shrine at Mt. Caglago at Brgy. Tabgon

The Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary for Peace Shrine at Mt. Caglago at Brgy. Tabgon

Fourth and last stop for the day. Sabitang Laya Island. This is a long stretch of white beach and the sand is the finest among the finest. They say it’s the same as the sands in Boracay. I’ve never been there so I guess, I will stick to my opinion, in terms of white and fine sand, it is the best there is.

The other side of the island is also a beach but I like better the one where we got off. We had the best swim and exploration there because the sun was no longer scorching and already started to set. Yeah, I know… Sobrang ganda talaga. *wink*wink*

Sabitang Laya Island. Island 3. Day 2

Sabitang Laya Island. Island 3. Day 2

Me and my Gaby between rock boulders in Sabitang Laya Island on Day 2

Me and my Gaby between rock boulders in Sabitang Laya Island on Day 2

No scorching sun anymore... at Sabitang Laya Island

No scorching sun anymore… at Sabitang Laya Island

Our dinner… Walang wala… Lapu lapu curry, calamares, and tinolang manok and ripe mango for dessert. *wink*wink* again, hehe.

Day 3 our last day. Since we didn’t see the sandbar or the Manlawe Island the day before, we went there first before we go home. And yes, we were not disappointed. It was called a sandbar because it is a wide stretch of sand/island that only comes out when it is low tide. The sand creates a magnificent pattern when the water goes down and becomes sooooo white when it dries up.

The Sand Bar or Manlawe Island. Day 3

The Sand Bar or Manlawe Island. Day 3

A dramatic drift wood at the Sand bar.

A dramatic drift wood at the Sand bar.

Me and my Gaby at the Sand bar...

Me and my Gaby at the Sand bar…

Reymar and his loots from Manlawe Island/Sand Bar

Reymar and his loots from Manlawe Island/Sand Bar

The kids had their final swim and had fresh buko again. Rouxcie, who has penchant for seashells, hoarded the ones for sale in the island. Reymar had a sackful of loots when we went back to the vacation house.

So that’s it! Hindi naman halata na sobrang nag-enjoy kaming lahat. The tour was really worth the long travel. Philippines is so beautiful and experiencing Caramoan makes you want for more.

So for now, we just have to save up again for our next destination. Hmmmm…. I wonder where it is going to be… So excited already!

Note:

Photo credits are to me (hehe), Reymar and Sir Euphi…

No filters were used in these photos except the Gotta Village.

 

I have been a bad mother.

I’ve been reading many blogs lately, mostly about love, relationships, motherhood, and almost always, something in me is struck like I am the bad(dest) mum to my daughter, Gaby. Yes, for the past 3 or more months, I have been so so bad to her. It pains me and it hurts more today because it’s Valentine’s Day. I know I should make it up to her. But I can’t… just yet…

Last November I became so intent on falling and I fell in love. Because of this new found happiness, I was enjoying it immensely, without realizing that the quality time I normally spend with her was reduced. I started to miss her bedtime stories and her weakly massage because I was busy on the phone talking to him until she already fell asleep or I would be home so late because I had a date.

Until last month, I decided to end the pseudo-relationship to leave a little of my self-worth. Yes, I love him but I realized that what was going on between us is not for forever as I wanted it to be and it would not be fair to me. I knew I should love myself first because I have a daughter to prioritize and not any “player” like him. But still, I am so devastated. Until today, the hurt I am feeling is still as intense. Maybe this is valentine’s sickness and will pass away after the season.

But the fact remains that I have neglected my baby so much. There were nights that she would complain that I missed her bedtime stories and she misses it already. I don’t massage her anymore and always I told her I was tired and promised to read or massage her the next night. But then, I still didn’t.

Two weeks ago, while I am readying Gaby to church, out of nowhere she asked, “Nay, naalala mo yung nagbe-bedtime stories tayo nung may tumawag na lalaki na sobrang tagal mong kausap, hanggang nakatulog na ako di mo natapos yung story? Sino yun, Nay?” (“Mum, do you remember the night that while you are reading bedtime story to me, a man called you (on your cell phone) and you were talking for so long until I fell asleep, you did not finish the story to me? Who is that man, mum?)

I was stunned because afterall, she did not forget. That it was a big thing to her that she missed her bedtime stories. She pestered me who the guy was. I just promised her that the guy will no longer call me again and I will never miss her bedtime stories again.

There was also one Saturday afternoon that she literally dragged me out of bed and complained that I have been in our bedroom for days and I should go out. That I don’t play with her anymore. I felt guilty and tried to spend time with her but I ended up snapping at her because she was so “makulit” (pesky).

Last night, she asked again for her bedtime story but told her I was tired and she just turned her back to me feigning sleep. I hurt her again.

I felt guilty. I am guilty. But what can I do. My mind and my heart is still so full of him, I could not concentrate on my daughter. I have been telling myself over and over to get a grip of myself. I am trying. So hard. But not yet.

All I could do now is cry. Cry for my lost love. Cry for my pathetic self. And cry for my baby, who should be my priority. I used to be so sure of myself that no one can come close to her in my heart. But what is happening to me now? I am bad. So bad. How can I redeem myself to her? I need time, but for how long?

Today is Valentine’s day. I hope this really is just a Valentine sickness. I hope this will pass tagging along my senseless musings on the player who broke my heart into pieces.

I want to be back to whom my heart should solely belong. My Gaby, please wait for me. I am coming back, promise…

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRAjLlZQUqm1Qkj3eIZEHEaoZdMliyIW4WUonYQGSK8NPNQM0sBlQ

On Being Alone: Rethinking The Single Life

Lucia Lorenzi

It is a truth universally acknowledged that when a man or a woman reaches a certain age, an age that one also generally associates with sexual attractiveness, fertility, the beginning of economic security and the decline of teenage angst, that he or she will seek a partner, indeed, fervently desire a partner, and do everything within his or her power to meet, marry, and mate. In my nod to Jane Austen, here, I am suggesting, as cheekily as I am earnestly, that the societal standards that are steadfastly ingrained in our psyches regarding relationships are still rather predictable, conservative, and normative. And, if I may be so bold to admit—being myself a young woman of a certain marriageable and fertile age—rather draining, dreary, and downright depressing.

As you, dear reader, can deduce, I am single. Solitary. Unbetrothed, unwed.As long as I have been “eligible” to date, I have generally…

View original post 1,297 more words