August 23, 2014 | 0 Comment
What do we know about Davao? A lot of us have heard that this is one of the most peaceful cities in the country because of the rule of the Dutertes. The crime rate is very low, smoking is not allowed in public and even alcohol has its curfew. Most people also know Davao for […]read more
August 23, 2014 No Comments
What do we know about Davao? A lot of us have heard that this is one of the most peaceful cities in the country because of the rule of the Dutertes. The crime rate is very low, smoking is not allowed in public and even alcohol has its curfew. Most people also know Davao for its famous durian, pomelo and pearl farms. But what else do we know?
Last weekend, I was fortunate enough to be sent to Davao to host the Coca-Cola Caravan during the Kadayawan Festival. This was our third festival for the year, first one was in Cebu and the second one in Cagayan De Oro. I have been to Davao only once, also this year, for a mall show with Abreeza. It was a very short stint since I had to fly in and out on the same day. Nevertheless I had a great time, and Davao left such a good impression on me with its laid-back feel and the humility of its people that I was very excited to come back. This time though, I was determined to experience more of the culture and wonders of the city.
The most charming part of the city, I could say, would be its people. I love how the Davaoenos stayed with us during the Coca-Cola Caravan even when it rained so hard. I think they even grew crazier when it poured. I love how up for the challenge they were when we called them up on stage to join our games and even do “samples”. Most of them sang, but a lot also danced to their favorite “Budots” dance. If I’m not mistaken, “Budots” is a funny dance popularized by the Camusboyz in Davao through social media. It involves moving your head, arms, chest, torso, legs, basically your whole body, to the music. Most often, it is performed by those who don’t know how to dance lol. What was amazing was the people were so receptive and responsive to us the whole night and I thought this was reflective of the humble nature of the Davaoenos.
For our “mini” vacation, we were supposed to go white water rafting but since we finished late with the concert, we decided to go to Maxima Aquafun on Samal Island instead. To reach the island, we had to take a 30-minute drive from our hotel to the Sasa Wharf and take a RoRo (Roll-on, Roll-off) to Samal Island. It was our first time to ride a RoRo, so Robi and I had a “little” fun.
Since he didn’t want to have a “Titanic” moment, I just had my moment with the wind.
To spice things up a bit, the captain of the ship invited us in to his control booth and asked us to drive! Check this video out ?
We were a little crazy in that RoRo but hey, thanks to the captain for letting us drive! Hehe. After the RoRo, we took a 10-minute car ride from the dock to Maxima Aquafun. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much since I have never heard of the place and “Aquafun” sounded a little too kiddy for me. However, when I got there, I was quite surprised with the size of the place and the beauty of the ocean view.
My mind suddenly had a photographer’s orgasm when I saw the view that I immediately went down to take pictures. I love nature. Here are some of my scenic photos.
First thing we tried was the water blob. I’m not usually scared of heights but the jump somehow scared me. When you’re up there on the plank, it gets scary because all the thoughts of what may possibly happen begin to enter your mind. I don’t think it’s the jump that really scares you. It’s the overthinking. Haha. Good thing my mind also told me not to get conquered by my fear. I knew that if I didn’t jump I would regret it. So I told myself “Bahala na!” and took the leap.
Robi’s turn first!
Robi had such a great time with the water blob that he did it over and over and over again! He wanted to perfect his jump and landing. He was like a kid lol. According to him, he was trying to achieve an “Assassin’s Creed” dive lol.
One of the divers there told me that the resort was surrounded by beautiful corals so I decided to go snorkeling. True enough, I saw parrot fishes, butterfly fishes, nemos, yellow fishes, blue fishes, a sword fish, and some giant clams called Taclobo. Oh, how beautiful!
The parrot fish
It took me quite a long time just observing the movement and lives of the fishies. There were a lot of corals near the shore, but when you go a little further, the ground suddenly drops to 180 feet. It was my first time to swim in such deep waters but I was imagining myself to be in the middle of the ocean, seeing nothing at all down below. It was such an amazing experience. To cap things off, we were embraced by a very beautiful sunset ?
Because we were starving, we headed over to our last stop for the day, the unlimited crabs buffet by Glamour Resto ‘N Caterer. For just P425 per person, you get to eat REALLY good crabs, shrimps, kilawin, tuna, pork, chicken and even dessert! I think this was the BEST food I’ve tasted in all my provincial trips. Highly recommended for everyone! They were even so nice to have us take home some crabs for our families. Thank you so much! ?
Photo taken from glamourcrabsbuffet
I loooooved my Davao experience. It was quite a short trip but I definitely enjoyed the people, the view, the beach, and the food. This has been one of my most favorite provincial trips thus far. I know there’s much more to explore in this place, but I’ll leave that for another time. Maybe white water rafting? Better wait for me, Davao ?
Of course, I didn’t forget to have some pomelo ?
April 25, 2014 | 0 Comment
This year, I decided to celebrate my birthday in a different way. Almost every year, I would treat my family and groups of friends out separately to make spending time more intimate. I’m not really a believer of big parties where you only get to say “hi”, “hello” and then collect gifts afterwards lol. For […]read more
April 25, 2014 No Comments
This year, I decided to celebrate my birthday in a different way. Almost every year, I would treat my family and groups of friends out separately to make spending time more intimate. I’m not really a believer of big parties where you only get to say “hi”, “hello” and then collect gifts afterwards lol. For my 24th, I decided to make it a little more special and in tune with my age. It was time for me to conquer heights, figuratively and well, literally, starting off with the second highest peak in the Philippines, Mt.Pulag.
Decided to travel with this bunch! We call ourselves.. Team Unicorns.
Just like most of you, I have heard much about the picturesque view up at the summit. The bed of clouds. The breathtaking sunrise. The feeling of conquering the world. I was really excited to be a witness myself. I’m a nature-lover by heart. There’s just something about nature that keeps me in awe and makes me feel that God is really here.
Since this was my first time to climb a mountain, I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was that I had to get a big hiking bag, a good pair of trail shoes, a thick jacket, hiking clothes, a sleeping bag, a big bottle of water, mosquito repellants, and a whole lot of tissue (for the potty needs). I was also very confident about the climb because just like any athlete, I felt like I could conquer anything and everything physical (yes, even with my shoulder injury).
Thanks to Secosana for this super functional hiking bag ?
Little did I know… I was wrong.
To all first-time climbers out there, and to all those who want to climb again..
Here are 5 important things that you must remember before daring to venture!!
1. Never underestimate a climb
He didn’t sleep enough for the climb and thought that he could sleep in the bus and the jeep.. but NO.
Yes. That’s right. DO NOT underestimate the climb. Be physically fit for it. Good thing I’ve been doing a lot of walking and climbing up and down the stairs recently (well, that was all I could do given my injury). But yes, this is an important thing to remember because there is no going back. Once you’re in the middle of the journey, you’ll realize that the climb will probably hurt your thighs, calves and your will. What will hurt more, though, will be the thought of going back and giving up. So, be ready for the climb. The most difficult part will be the climb to the summit where the air will get thinner and you will have a harder time breathing. Sometimes, the thought of stopping and going back will enter your mind, but why stop? You’ve already gone halfway. When you reach the top, it will be fulfilling as hell and you’ll forget all the trouble you went through to get there. The only problem is, you can’t stay at the summit for long and you have to eventually go down. Too bad you can’t call the chopper to come and fetch you hahaha. The climb down will probably be scarier, more slippery and more dangerous, but then again.. you have no choice. So, be ready for the climb!!!
Because we were so happy to have reached camp after 3 hours of trekking!
2. Do all of your dirty business beforehand
My greatest mistake. I forgot to let it gooooooo…. before the trip! Huhuhu. My stomach was hurting the whole time but I had to keep it in because I couldn’t take the smell of the “bathroom” and the idea of everybody’s.. just being there. HAHA. I’m sorry for being too open but I just had to say this!! Believe me, this is not a good feeling, it will be uncomfortable and it can ruin the whole trip for you!
The “Comfort Room”
3. It’s not about the pace, it’s about appreciating the journey.
At first, we were excited to be at the front of the pack and be ahead of everyone else. Then we realized that we were missing the great sights along the path. Because we wanted to be fast, we forgot to take a good look at the view and just cherish everything. On our way back, I told Robi to slow down a bit and just appreciate the journey. I wanted to remember what I was passing through. Every single detail of it. Nowadays, it’s only seldom that we find ourselves detached from technology, work, social media and everything else that bothers us. The mountain climb is a perfect way to detach. Being absorbed in nature and in what we see/hear/feel around us helps us to be in the moment and just forget about all our worries. I think this is a beauty of climbing that we must not miss — its ability to silence us and bring us back to our core.
4. The Trusty Tungkod — You can never do it alone
I was very lucky that our travel coordinator, Ron Rabadon, was kind enough to give me his “tungkod”. As I’ve mentioned, I kinda underestimated the climb by thinking that it was just walking, walking, walking. I didn’t know that there would be a lot of slippery slopes, unsteady rocks, and steep climbs. Without the tungkod, my shoulder would probably have been reinjured as I would have to use my right arm to support myself to prevent falls. The trusty tungkod will really help if you want to make the climb just a bit easier and safer. It may look a little “weak” and “uncool” to have an aid, but trust me, when you’re up there, it will not matter. Even those who weren’t injured wanted to take my tungkod hahaha. If you really don’t want to carry a tungkod, just make sure that you’re not climbing alone! It helps if someone is there to catch you when you fall ?
5. Climb with a great group of people and organizers
With the whole Travel Factor group ?
Sometimes it’s good to travel with strangers, sometimes it’s good to travel with friends. Whatever it is you need at the moment, go for it. Just make sure that you go on the trip with a good bunch of organizers. It will help if you have a well-guided tour because you’d have less to worry about. We went with Travel Factor for this Pulag trip and they priced our trip at P4100 per person inclusive of everything — transportation, meals, tour guides, and tents! What’s good about Travel Factor is that they tell you everything that you need to do, bring and watch out for in the climb. The only thing you will need to worry about, really, is how to take the best photos of the view at the top ?
“If all else fails, just look to the sun.”
“A beauty beyond words.”
“Walk into the clouds. Nothing’s impossible.”
This was such a great way of spending my birthday. One of the most memorable for me. The beauty of the view at the summit will never be and can never be explained in words nor captured in photos. Nothing beats being there and seeing everything with your own two eyes. Being there, walking through tall grass and going around mountains felt like I was in a Lord of the Rings movie. It was surreal. Maybe next time I will be more prepared for the climb, but I can say that I will never be prepared for the wonders that will face me everytime I climb a new mountain ?
Nothing is as fulfilling as crossing this off my bucket list!
Thank you Lord for such a wonderful birthday celebration. Happy 24th to me!
March 18, 2014 | 0 Comment
Last Saturday, it was my first anniversary with Robi. March 15 ♥ Because we both love traveling, we decided to take a tour around Corregidor. Well, he’s actually been there with family but he gave in to my request to see the tiny little island with so much history. Hehe. I really wanted a quick […]read more
March 18, 2014 No Comments
Last Saturday, it was my first anniversary with Robi. March 15 ♥
Because we both love traveling, we decided to take a tour around Corregidor. Well, he’s actually been there with family but he gave in to my request to see the tiny little island with so much history. Hehe. I really wanted a quick getaway with him so Corregidor was the nearest place to go. I’ve always been intrigued with the island.
We decided to reserve tickets for the trip online. I told Robi to surprise me and take care of all the details of the trip. Well, he got us a guided tour around the island via bus (you can choose to walk), ferry transfers to and fro, shrine & entrance fees and a buffet lunch for 2399/person!
We got to the port behind CCP at around 7:30am. We were due to leave Manila by 8am. To my surprise, we were with quite a lot of people. There were mostly adults, foreign tourists and several college students. It took us about an hour and ten minutes to reach the island. Robi told me that the island was a favorable place to build military bases because the deep water on the shore of the island facing Manila allowed ships to dock easily. The other side however, was filled with beaches.
When we got off the ship, we immediately transferred to little trolleys which would take us around the island for a guided tour. I found out during the trip that the soldiers got around the island with trolleys on tracks too! It was an amazing way to relive history.
I think I could not possibly enumerate here everything we saw because there was really a lot of history, so I will just give you the 5 things that struck me at Corregidor Island:
You gotta love this old tunnel. They allowed us to get off the entrance of the tunnel and be picked up by the trolley on the other side. So we got to walk inside the partially lighted tunnel. There were lateral tunnels that showcased the activities of the soldiers inside the tunnel before. There were different sections: headquarters for top ranking generals, a hospital for wounded soldiers, storage for military weapons, and other creepy empty passageways. Unfortunately, we missed the lights and sounds tour inside a lateral tunnel because of some technical difficulty ?
However, even without that, I could say that just being in there was an experience in itself since the tunnel, for me, is the most vital part of the island. Over 13,000 soldiers and nurses hid inside during World War II when its capacity was only 6,000 people. There were also only 1,000 hospital beds for all of the wounded soldiers. The tunnel was used by the Filipinos and Americans to help delay Japanese invasion.
They called these battery guns to describe a group of guns that could hit as far as 15 miles. 15 miles, as I was informed, was as long as the whole of EDSA, from North to South. This for me, was the most fun part of the tour. The guns really looked spectacular! The bullets were also knee-high tall.
There were also a lot of bomb craters near the battery guns which would make you feel that you were a witness to the war!
Another thing I appreciated were the ruins. We were brought to see the barracks for soldiers, families and workers on the island. We were also brought to the Battery Grubbs, which housed several battery guns and seemed to be an offensive fortress.
Of course, to give life to all that we had seen that day, there were several galleries which depicted the lives of the people before on the island. One gallery gave tribute to heroes and villains, while another showcased items found on the island, such as military weapons, insignia, pens, clothes, medals, dogtags, and a special American flag with 48 stars.
The Island of Corregidor will always be known for its historical significance in war and bloodshed, but we cannot discount the beauty of island, as well as the sceneries around. Corregidor Island is located at the entrance of the Manila Bay and is surrounded by 3 other islands (Caballo Island, Carabao Island and El Fraile Island). It has a beautiful view of the ocean and when we went there, there was mist covering the surrounding islands which gave a magical feel.
We also saw some beautiful beaches in the distance. Corregidor, in fact, also boasts its view of the sun. You could stay there overnight to witness both the breathtaking sunrise and sunset. If you want more than history, you could also sign up for some zipline, kayak and ATV activities provided by Sun Cruises.
We ended with the tour promptly at around 2:30pm and came back to Manila at around 3:45pm. We then rushed to the Championship Game of ADMU vs DLSU at the MOA Arena right after (which Ateneo won btw). What a way to spend an anniversary! ?
This Corregidor day tour was a simpler trip compared to my other travels. However, I could say that this would be one of the most memorable for me. Standing there in the middle of so much history was unbelievable. I felt like I was being a witness to what happened on the island. Stories have been told but being there was so much different from reading history books. When you read books, it seems like everything is just a fairytale, but when you see the evidence of history right before your very eyes, it all suddenly becomes real. I felt like I was making a rightful visit to pay my respects to the people who died there. What was supposed to be a quick getaway turned out to be a quick salute. Corregidor Island is definitely one of the must go-to’s for us Filipinos. We owe it to our heroes to keep the memory alive.
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Starting March 11, I will be hosting ChinoyTV once again, a Filipino-Chinese lifestyle show, with its new media partner, ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) 27. Airing days are on Saturdays 8:00pm and replays on Sundays 11:00am.view more
August 3, 2015 No Comments
Starting March 11, I will be hosting ChinoyTV once again, a Filipino-Chinese lifestyle show, with its new media partner, ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) 27. Airing days are on Saturdays 8:00pm and replays on Sundays 11:00am.
Start your mornings with a daily dose of news, entertainment and lifestyle features. Join us on Umagang Kay Ganda everyday from 4:55am to 8:00am.view more
March 3, 2016 No Comments
Start your mornings with a daily dose of news, entertainment and lifestyle features. Join us on Umagang Kay Ganda everyday from 4:55am to 8:00am.