Ilocos: Christmas Break Edition

Sunday, December 30, 2007

December 26, my friends and I decided to go to the north. Pagudpud! One of my friends have a house in Batac, Ilocos Norte which is also the hometown of the famous dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

How to get there:
We drove for almost a day from Manila to Ilocos Norte. The road is well paved so it wasn't bumpy at all. Plus, having crazy friends and playing all kinds of made-up road games made the travel time fly by. However, there was a point that we got all intellectual, questioning philosophies and bringing up mathematical equations. Other than that, we were good.

Liar. We slept through the ride.

I guess the road was mostly winding to the left?
 What to do:
We made a pit stop in Vigan, Ilocos Sur to stretch our legs and have a walk around the old heritage houses. Since this was a trip sponsored by our big friend, Kinsley, food was the main attraction. We ate Okoys which is shrimp in egg i think and something else. I have a shrimp allergy but ate anyway. The local delicacies is a must try.

Beach food!
We ofcourse went to the beach. The rain did not stop us from having fun. Sandcastles were made and some were buried in the sand.

Is that a whale on the beach?
When the sun came out, we visited Cape Bojeador. It is a very high lighthouse. The stairs to the top were creaky. But if it was able to hold the weight of our friend, it was definitely safe for us. The view up there was breath-taking. But you might want to hold the rails coz the strong wind can definitely make someone like me fly away.

Major carwash needed after.

Bacolod: The Real Backpacker Trip

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I've been to Bacolod dozens of times. Every year since I was in grade school and high school since that's where the Philippine Swim Try-outs are held every December. Before, Panaad Bacolod was the only place in the Philippines that can accommodate hundreds of swimmers from the country and has an Olympic sized pool. We would battle the heat just to get a chance to get in the National Team.
The old airport in Bacolod City.

Go Ateneo!

This is a real backpacker trip. Being familiar with the territory, I decided to go to bacolod and iloilo alone with no plans, reservations or anything whatsoever. Just wanted to see kring play (which she didn't btw), the ateneo swim team (who were not there) and go to the beach (which i had no chance to do). hahah:D

so what did i do with my 6 days alone? well, not really alone. sumama ako sa kung sino sino. well watched unigames and food trip. yum! gained like 3lbs. grabe! i watched unigames, met a lot of ateneo alumni, got invited to stay over in their houses when they learned that i went on my own and i didn't have a place to stay. those ateneo alumni in bacolod had mansions for houses. enjoyed my rich-life backpacker trip. changed to a different venue and went to iloilo, found nothing there. decided to go back to bacolod. texted some alumni who would want to adopt me. some did coz their kids were in manila for the sem. decided to stay with Jac since she's the closest to the airport. :)

so tried to bond with the ateneo teams.

the trip was super worth it coz
1. i got to watch the bball team without lining up for tickets and in the front row pa. :)
2. i got to see my bestfriends.

This is some kick ass shirt! From the Women's Football Team.
3. i got to see the bball, track and women football teams DANCE.

The "guys" with Coach Norman.

The Men's Team dancing.
4. i got to meet a lot of alumni. connections.

Jac who adopted me for a night.
5. i ate my first lapaz batchoy and pecan caramel cake (parang my fave sa DQ pero cake version)

La Paz Batchoy!
Pecan Food.
actually, a lot happened pa. ang saya in short. :D
My room in Iloilo.
backpacking ulit next time...magsasama na ko ng friends.

san naman kaya?!

Puerto Prinsesa: Vacation Dream

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Puerto prinsesa is the paradise of all paradises. It has the best beach and it isn't even the tourist spot. It was just on the way to the known tourist spot which is the underground river cave. The Underground River Cave is I think the longest in the world. However, tourist are just allowed to catch a glimpse of it since the cave is not opened for the entire length of it. Nevertheless, you would still be using more than half a day to tour all around, wait in line and admire the beach on the other side.

Look at that blue water!

Entrance to the underground river cave.

Best beach. 
The beach is on a different level of its own. It has the perfect sky-blue hue with clear white sand underneath. The beach stretches long before the water gets deep. I love how everything around is so natural. There weren't bars or cafes along the beach then. Hopefully it stays the same thru the years and not turn into another Boracay.
I love this long beach.
Aside from the beach tours, I went around the city and saw the crocodile farm, the big house of the governor on top of a hill (you get to see a 360 degree view of the entire puerto prinsesa) and some souvenir shops. Puerto Prinsesa also has the cheapest seafood that will surely trigger my allergies.
Baby crocs.
All in all, this place is worth going to and surely I will come back to see its developments in the future. 

Legazpi: Mt. Mayon

Saturday, July 7, 2007

I have seen the Mt. Mayon lots of times already. I have been to Legazpi and Sorsogon during one of my elective field trips in high school. My elective was Environmental Education. Field trips are mandatory. :P

Still a perfect cone.

This fellow was taking a swim near Cagsawa Ruins.
 Anyway, I've seen the Mayon and somehow up until now it still has the perfect cone.

On the way to Sorsogon from Legazpi is the Cagsawa Ruins. I forgot the story of this one but it was probably ruined because the volcano erupted. I don't know. I'm making it up. haha!
The ruins with some camera tricks.

I went to Sorsogon just because I haven't been there yet. I had no idea where it was or what to do. Apparently, it was where the whalesharks (butanding) go as a pitstop on their way to touring the world. So after a 14hour trip from Manila, we finally reached some dirt road, crossed some NPA infested area (yes, they had red highcut chuck taylor shoes and M16s) and reached a beach where we would ride a boat to get near the whale sharks.
Not the actual butanding but these pieces of bread look very much like them.
The whale sharks are humongous! They are as long as a basketball and fat too. Getting near them was scary at first just because of their size. I learned that these fishes don't eat anything bigger than a finger. Being stupidly curious of me, I swam near them and tried to bait my finger. Lo and behold, it just kept on pushing water of its mouth sort of like rejecting my finger as food. I touched its scales, which was apparently not allowed, but since I didn't know that then, I couldn't help it. I found out that their scales are rough and leathery. 

I tried to swim with it but only for a few seconds since just one flap of their huge fins, they already surge meters ahead. Just don't try to swim behind it. Its tail might smack you and you'll probably end up dead. haha!
I don't have pictures of the actual whale since underwater cameras were not yet that available then. I remember taking a video but I have to find that too. Plus, the water is murky so it probably wouldn't be clear anyway. 

Vigan: Back to the old

Friday, June 29, 2007

Amazing how these houses stood thru time.
My high school friends and I went to an impromptu trip to the North. Our next stop was Vigan. We rode a non-aircon bus from La Union to Vigan. We were covered with dust and pollution by the time we got down the bus. At one point, a religious preacher climbed aboard the bus and started sharing the bible in Ilocano dialect! Sleep was not an option. Nevertheless, we decided to have a good time.

I'm not sure what bell tower this is.

Heart in a pot!

Just one of the few animals roaming around Baluarte.
We walked around the old houses, the house of Padre Burgos, some pottery making and the Hacienda of Chavit Singson. We rode a kalesa to get to the place and just paid the driver about P200 for the hour trip. It was worth it! :)
Fun in the kalesa!

Where I've Been

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