I wish I can come up with a “Traveling Mom’s Travel Essentials” post but at this point, after making my own list, I realized that my current list of travel essentials is not as different as that of anybody else’s. My list was finalized through various experiences of traveling around the world and passing through different airports. I would be glad to share with you the many ridiculous stories behind each one too. All above listed, I stash in my shoulder bag that I always keep close with me, if not placed under the seat in front of me. Yes, all these items unbelievably fit. This goes without saying that this is not a small shoulder bag. What I put in my wheeled backpack are just clothes and my bathroom kit filled with supplies in 100 ml or 3.4oz containers. In case I am staying for a few months at my destination, I of course have checked in luggage of at least 15 kilos, filled with some more clothes, books, arts and crafts materials, and a 6-outlet power strip.
The Catanduanes Reef Break is an event geared towards helping the locals of Catanduanes, specifically in Puraran, through providing proper boards and uplift their well-being – one local at a time. It is an event organized by Surf Catanduanes and Surf4Ezra, a non-profit organization (founded by High School batch mates and friends) dedicated to continue the advocacies of Ezra ‘Tisoi’ Efondo. The specific objectives of the Catanduanes Reef Break 2015 still remain: first, to generate funds that would enable our local surfers to buy quality surfboards, as well as to fund their travel expenses during competitions; and second, to foster, develop, and promote sustainable tourism industry in Catanduanes Island.
As a mother, I know enough not to judge anybody else’s parenting or mothering skills or approach. I always say that we can only parent the way we know how, and in the way we know best. No one can teach you to become a good mother or parent. We all just do the best we can. And this is a story of how I did it, at least in all the past seven years. Last year, I embarked on this two-month journey on my own to find myself and thankfully, I did. I came home with the realisation that I must prepare my daughter for a life without me and I came home with a journal. In this journal, I write letters to her when I can, for her to read in the future when she is much older and hopefully, much wiser. Let me share with you what I wrote on the very first page…
The past three years have been a whirlwind of airports around the world, visiting friends, relatives, and close family members all scattered in different parts of the world. I have given myself the title of “serial entrepreneur” after having had or started 8 businesses in the past 5 years: a rock and artists bar, an educational tours company, three online retail stores, a local travel agency,a boutique, a milk tea shop, a beach resort, and a beach bar. I am not stopping. I am a writer at heart. I love art. Art inspires my writing, as does music and performances. I used to think that in order for me to be an artist I had to be full of angst and desperation. After many travels and much contemplation, I realised that I am an artist powered by joy. I make art when I am happy.
And I am happy. Despite many wanderings, and many attempts at putting roots somewhere and anywhere, I have finally accepted that “home is not sticks and stones”. I have found home where I have found love. And there is love everywhere. And love is with me.
Catch Dulaang UP’s # R < / 3 J, a multimedial hallucination on William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. # R < / 3 J retells the story of the star-crossed lovers transforming Verona into a concrete jungle at the heart of Metro Manila – teeming with corruption, revolt, advertisements, sex, social media and condominium units. This theatrical project seeks to dramatize, through a pastiche of movement, music, intertext, video and design, the postmodern tragedy of our generation.
Capo Caccia is situated a few kilometres from Alghero, on the southern point of a huge limestone triangle that wedges out into the sea. There are characteristic, impressive cliffs (nearly 300 m high) on its west side. It is renowned for the underground labyrinth of mysterious caves discovered in 1700. The most famous one is Grotta di Nettuno (2500 m long) that can be reached by sea or on ground climbing the 656 steps of Escala del Cabirol that lead to the cave. Although we did not venture to these caves or the grotto because of Lia, the view itself was enough for us. And I guess for others too.
“The Basilica della Santissima Trinità di Saccargia (English: “Basilica of the Holy Trinity of Saccargia”) is a church constructed entirely in local stone (black basalt and white limestone), with a typical appearance of Tuscan Romanesque style.”
It may seem absurd, but yes, we tropical people only know rain and sun…. and typhoons, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tidal waves, among other things, of course. So here we were, in Jafferau, with the remnants of winter…
So off to France we went, even if it was just Briançon, because it is an hour’s drive from Bardonecchia. We passed by skiing resorts and towns with die-hard skiers still racing after the very last remnants of winter snow. Briançon a commune in the Hautes-Alpes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southeastern France. It is the highest city in France with an altitude of 1,326 metres (4,350 feet).
The family arrived in Italy on April 6th and spent some days in Torino before going for a 1-hour drive to Bardonecchia – one of Italy’s original alpine skiing resorts. Bardonecchia is located in the upper part of Val di Susa in the Alps, with the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The resort is situated on the French border, due west of Torino (Turin).
I have always wanted pallet furniture for the beach. We wanted everything to be simple yet colorful and relaxing. The idea was just to serve appetizers and drinks – but the menu evolved to accommodate dinner, and our specialty and best seller became the mediterranean pasta and the beer burger – our special recipes! We are also proud of our mango shake and banana shake that guests have exclaimed again and again to be the best in all of El Nido. We are of course boasting of the pretty sunsets that we have in Corong-Corong beach. Here are some photos of the many sunsets we are lucky enough to be able to see nearly everyday. If you guys are looking for the sunset in El Nido, it is found in Corong-Corong beach. Come drop by the bar for some milk tea, cold beers and cocktails, delicious pasta, and your daily dose of sunset.
Back when there was absolutely nothing in Seven Commandos Beach, it was our favorite beach. It has really nice fine white sand and great snorkeling. It was the beach we went to with the other Potter’s Place School teachers when we wanted to go out for the weekend on National Geographic boat (named after the magazine but not owned by it or connected to it). For some photos of Seven Commandos beach taken in 2005, 2007, and 2014, you may visit the blog on Outventure’s Tour A here.
Shortly after New Year, we found the time to spend two days in Seven Commandos. There is a 4-room resort on Seven Commandos and it is a gorgeous place.
Seven Commandos Beach and Papaya Beach are more accessible from Corong-Corong beach, either via banca or kayak. By kayak, if the sea is calm and you are good, it only takes 30 minutes. Round the cape of limestone, the first beach is Papaya.
When people ask me which tour is best among Tours A, B, C, and D, this is what I say – Tours A and C are the most popular. Tour A because it goes to the lagoons in Miniloc Island and this is what made El Nido famous, aside from the fact that the big lagoon is really quite magnificent. It should not be missed. It is such a beautiful place to swim in and even have a wedding at, as some people from El Nido Resorts had done in the past. The big lagoon must not be missed. Tour C is what most tourists recommend and say as the best – it has secret beach and hidden beach, and there is such a beauty to be held atop the rocks in Matinloc Shrine. Tour D is the least popular because it is the closest and most people can get there by kayaking from town proper. Now what about Tour B? I would like to say that Tour B is for those who want to avoid the crowds of Tours A and C. It is the most relaxed too. Not much to do but hang out on the beach, do a little bit of swimming while waiting for lunch either in Snake Island or in Cudugnon Cave. Furthermore, Pinagbuyutan Island is so beautiful that we consider it our favorite island.
2014 saw me last post on the 30th of October, something about the sunsets in front of our resort, which we called The Last Beach Cottages, at the very end of Caalan Beach. Shortly thereafter, we encountered numerous issues with the resort, the property owner, and the owner of Hippocampe Beach Cottages, that made us decide that it was better to just let the resort go, live a peaceful life, and move back to the other side of town, back in Corong-Corong Beach. The month of November saw us working on putting together the sunset bar that we called 1209 Sunset Beach Bar in Corong-Corong Beach and opening in December 15th. I will post on that some other time as, believe it or not, I haven’t gone around to taking any proper photos of the bar.
What I have been busy with though is island hopping. I finally went on Tour B! After nearly 8 years! And have been fortunate enough to have some pretty pictures of our favorite island in Bacuit Bay – Pinagbuyutan Island.
I wasn’t supposed to post these photos but, on Facebook, there are a lot of photos of me taking photos.
I have been back in El Nido since two weeks and with my newly-acquired 11-16mm UWA lens have been enjoying myself with some sunsets both in Caalan, in front of our resort – The Last Beach Cottages (Hippocampe Beach Cottages), and even in Corong-Corong Beach which was our home last year.
It has always been my dream to have an ultra-wide angle lens, and after saving for some time, have finally been able to afford one. I am extremely happy!
But I am even happier with the sunsets I have been fortunate enough to witness these past weeks.