Browsing Date

March 2013

[The Better Part of] Alona Beach, Panglao Island, Bohol

Bohol By March 31, 2013 Tags: , , , , , 8 Comments

Anyone who asks me for a recommendation on resorts in Panglao Island, I almost always say, “If you like peace and quiet, do NOT stay at Alona Beach”. I would always recommend Bohol Beach Club because they have a fantastic beach front, or Dumaluan Beach Resort, because it has cheaper rooms and is right next to Bohol Beach Club, and if you are stealthy, you can slip into the beach of Bohol Beach Club and sunbathe yourself away.

If you want easy access to dive shops, yes, stay at Alona Beach. If you want a wide array of choices for restaurants, bars, and stores, yes, by all means, stay at Alona Beach. But if you want peace and quiet, stay away. 

Alona Beach, Panglao Island, Bohol

I am wrong though. There IS a nice part of Alona Beach I would, apparently, recommend – and it is the stretch of Alona Beach right in front of Alona Tropical Beach Resort. The beach here is beautiful! It is like the Station 1 of Alona Beach! (Station 1 of Boracay)

Alona Beach, Panglao Island, Bohol

Alona Beach, Panglao Island, Bohol


St. Peter’s Church of Loboc, Bohol

Bohol By March 30, 2013 Tags: , , , 6 Comments

This is my third trip to Bohol. The first one, in 2009, was made with Travel Factor, and we stayed at Dumaluan Beach Resort. The second one was made in 2010, with the family, and we stayed at Bohol Beach Club. The third trip was a crazy one of sorts, and what made it different was, instead of staying in Panglao Island, I stayed in the center of Tagbilaran – at Nisa Traveller’s Hotel, where a single fan room, with shared bathroom, could be had for Php400/night inclusive of breakfast. Crazy! But I would recommend this place to anyone. I only quite stumbled upon it, walking down the streets, with my bag, in the rain, I checked into the first establishment that remotely said “HOTEL” in it. I was surprised that it was a decent place, with really friendly staff, and the cheapest room I have come across in all my recent travels. The regular rate is apparently Php550/night but they told me they were on promo. The rate included breakfast, bottled water, coffee and even wi-fi. I just really dropped my bags in my room, and went straight out into the jeepney terminal, which was about 3 blocks away from the hotel. The staff gave me directions on how to get to Panglao Island by commute and I was very pleased.

Anyway, I was supposedly on my way to the Chocolate Hills when I decided I was not up for it. I found myself napping on a bench in the shade of bamboos by the side of the road somewhere in Loboc, with my feet up, sunglasses on, and headphones on. Then it started raining. I took a habal-habal back to the town proper, determined to find a salon, a.k.a. “parlor”, where I can have my nails done. Yes, I am weird like that. I have been traveling nearly a week and my nails needed some care.

My search for a place to have my nails done led me to this two-storey building right by the church and right in front of the church’s bell tower. It is by the way the only salon in the entire town of Loboc, in case you are wondering.

Loboc Church, Bohol

Loboc Church, Bohol

The light from the setting sun made the bell tower stand out. And I was pleased.

Loboc Church, Bohol


When I am Emo and I Know It

Life in El Nido, Palawan By March 26, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , 11 Comments

January 2013 was a very eventful month. And truly, it defined how the rest of the year is going to be for me. I know this year’s only been three months but it was the most difficult time of the year. So far, at least. And when things are difficult for me, I run to my refuge, back to where my heart is, to the place I call home.

Cadlao Island, El Nido, Palawan

View of Cadlao Island from Makulay Lodge

Makulay Lodge, Caalan, El Nido, Palawan

Lia’s put a hairpiece on me. Clever girl.

Makulay Lodge, Caalan, El Nido, Palawan

Makulay Lodge, Caalan, El Nido, Palawan

Good morning. Of Monsters and Men.


Waiting for the Sun to Set – At Stunning Vistas, Corong-Corong, El Nido, Palawan

Life in El Nido, Palawan By March 25, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

I love riding my bike in El Nido. On one January afternoon, I concluded my ride by having a glass of shake and some food at Stunning Vistas Beach Resort in Corong-Corong and happened to have caught this. <3 

Bacuit Bay, El Nido, Palawan

Stunning Vistas Beach Resort
Lugadia, Corong-Corong, 5313 El Nido, Palawan
Contact numbers: +639217515783 or +639995660888

If you are looking for more accommodations in El Nido, here is the link to the most updated list of accommodations, with contact numbers, links and a map. Click HERE.


Getting To and Accommodations at Nacpan Beach, El Nido, Palawan

Palawan By March 20, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , 5 Comments

After many years, I finally made it to Nacpan Beach. On a confused-weather day, we rented a motorbike and rode all the way to Nacpan Beach – Lia and I with our friend Likha. I say “confused weather” because it wasn’t really sunny but it wasn’t cloudy either. Not all the time at least. Though we appreciated the fact that sometimes the sun hid behind the clouds and made the motorbike ride more bearable for everyone, this was not good at all for my so-called photographic endeavors.

In summary:

  • Motorbike rental for the whole day is Php700, gas is included, but you drive the motorbike yourself. You may hire a motorbike with a driver from Php500 and above, depending on your negotiation skills, and maybe, your weight. You may also choose to rent a tricycle for Php1000 and above, depending on the number of people going.
  • You may also choose to spend the night in Nacpan Beach. There are currently two available accommodations. You may camp but be warned of the sand flies.
  • Travel time from El Nido town to Nacpan Beach is 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how fast you drive. It can even be 30 minutes if you drive like mad.
  • Lunch on the beach is Php250/pax with your choice of viand, salad, dessert and unlimited rice. The meal is simple but delicious. There is another little eatery by the road where one can also have lunch. If not, packed lunch is the only other option.

The sun is out!

Nacpan Beach, El Nido, Palawan

Aww, the sun went into hiding.

Nacpan Beach, El Nido, Palawan

Our tire tracks on the beach. Yes, you can ride your motorbike on the sand. I was actually given lessons on how to drive a motorcycle while we were here. But no, those aren’t my tire tracks.

Nacpan Beach, El Nido, Palawan


A Short Surfing Trip in Bacnotan, La Union

La Union By March 19, 2013 Tags: , , , , , No Comments

After the one-day Digital Influencers Marketing Summit in Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point, we headed to San Juan for a little bit of surfing. Surfing was no good in Urbiztondo that Sunday so we found ourselves boarding a jeep with our surf boards and instructors to Bacnotan. The sun was relentlessly hot but that did not stop us from surfing all day. 

Surfing in Bacnotan, La Union

Surfing in Bacnotan, La Union

I had just come from El Nido, and went straight to La Union. This sunburn was going to be, only, the start of a series of very bad sunburns. *Shakes head*

I strap my leash on my left leg, being goofy, so there goes the white patch where my leash was.

Surfing in Bacnotan, La Union


The Digital Influencers Marketing Summit 2013 Experience – Part 1: La Union

Entrepreneurship, La Union, Other Events By March 19, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 4 Comments

Sometimes, fate has a way of allowing you to find the people you need the most. That is how I view my experience on those two fateful weekends that I spent in Thunderbird Resorts – Poro Point in La Union, and Binangonan, Rizal.

To be honest, I never thought I would find myself in such a summit – the Digital Influencers Marketing Summit – because for a time, I disliked the word “marketing” and everything associated with it. I felt that I did not have the required guts to be involved in anything related to “selling.”

But after years in theater and events, and a full year at a rock bar where I did pretty much everything myself, I realized I have been doing marketing without really knowing it.

When I needed customers to come to my bar and other events, I did marketing. When I needed sponsors for my events, I did marketing. When I met with my suppliers, I did marketing.

I have been doing marketing ever since I have been traveling, “marketing” the places I go to by posting my experiences, my photos and any information related to these places. I have been doing marketing since I put that online retail shop, Kikayism, with my good friend from graduate school PJ Valenciano, now designer and owner of Palamuti– a line of handmade accessories made for women. I have been doing a lot of marketing and I never actually realized it.

I found out about the summit from my friend Ana Locsin, the woman behind Pitaka Lifestyle Billfold, a line of tarpaulin wallets with adhoc Filipino designs, who shared the summit’s poster on her wall. At first I was really just interested in being able to come see Thunderbird Resorts.

There were two venues on two different weekends. One was for February 2, at Thunderbird Rizal, which was quite close to where I lived. Another was for January 26, at Thunderbird Poro Point in La Union – less than an hour away from the surfing capital that is San Juan. At first thought I decided I was going to the one in Rizal because of the proximity. On second thought, I thought going to La Union was also a good excuse to come out there to do some surfing.

I compared the two schedules, modules and speakers and found that they were not too similar, and that I could benefit from attending both. And so I did.


Part 1: DIM Thunderbird Poro Point

The Journey:
I took the 6-hr bus ride from El Nido to Puerto Princesa, flew in to Manila, and took the 5 hr-bus ride all the way to La Union, from Thursday til Saturday. I arrived in San Fernando very early in the morning, quite freezing and very sleepy, but very happy to be there. I got to see the sunrise and had delicious coffee with the view of the San Fernando sea.

I was the very first to arrive at the resort and was perhaps, the first one too to the coffee table. I needed it.

Digital Influencers Marketing Summit, Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point, La Union


The Speakers:
The speakers were varied, but I loved them all. From the honesty of Vanj Padilla of, admitting how she found it hard to switch from traditional to new media, and how difficult single motherhood was (and how I loved her in every way!)

Digital Influencers Marketing Summit, Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point, La Union

Digital Influencers Marketing Summit, Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point, La Union


Travel Factor’s Summer Block Party

Other Events, Travel Factor By March 17, 2013 Tags: , , , No Comments

On April 13, 2013 join Travel Factor at the MNL Boutique Hostel for a laid-back night of good vibes and music. There is also free booze if you come early enough. Party starts at 9PM!

This event is brought to you by Travel Factor and their partners: Victory LinerMellow947Dencio’s Bar and Grill, Otter Box, Lagu and Maggi Magic Meals.

Click HERE for the Facebook event page for updates.


No Ordinary Summer with Franco, Urbandub and Queso

Music By March 16, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

There is already an update for this. Same line-up, same ticket price, NEW VENUE. Click HERE.

Mark your calendars and find Metro Bar on West Avenue on your Google maps, because on April 13, Cross Fade Productions is bringing you full-set performances from Franco, Urbandub, Queso with Salamin and Dhruva Tara.

Tickets are at Php500 but early buyers get Php100 off. For tickets and more information:
Contact number:  +63.916.312.2483


Photography Journey: Early 2013

Musings, Photography By March 13, 2013 Tags: , , , No Comments

I said, “Welcome back to me, Photoshop. Long time no everything,” because it is only now, in the past three months, that I have opened this application to work on my photos. So long that I have, I believe, forgotten how to use it.

If you notice, I have a new watermark, and I am trying to do justice to it by putting it on photos that I am proud of myself and amusing myself with its placement every time.

If there are some differences in the ways I process my photos now, I have the following to thank for:

1. Mark Terence Sy – for the mentorship and the workshop last December where I learned a few camera tricks and tips, as well as how to use Adobe Bridge in some ways, among other things, of course.

2. My workshop classmates who basically taught me the existence of some, as well as how to use, awesome Adobe Photoshop plug-ins. I have not mastered them as I have not been sitting long enough in front of my laptop in the past months to effectively learn anything.

3. Some cheap filters that I acquired in November 2012 that I have also not mastered enough but yes, I will get there, that because they are cheap and I do not know anything, have also taught me how to use my camera in such a way that I shoot with the knowledge that I will crop the vignetted edges.

4. Some people and experiences to draw inspiration from. Not to mention infographics brought to me daily by my fantabulous Facebook feed.


A Look into: Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point, La Union

La Union, Photography By March 12, 2013 Tags: , , , , , No Comments

I am almost always obsessive-compulsive with the way I post my photos and blogs, making them as chronological as possible, but if I have to be such at this point, I believe I will never be able to get back on track on this blog. There are just too many photos to wade through and too many stories to process.

I was in Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point, La Union last January 26th to attend the Digital Influencers Marketing Summit organized and spearheaded by Janette Toral of Digital Filipino. As I am still writing the blog on it, yes I know, nearly two months later, I will post the photos of the resort first, because I, in my eagerness to use my new watermark, decided to spend hours picking up my post processing knowledge. Believe me, it had been all over the floor.

As participants of the summit, we were given the chance to tour the resort. And as one of the last participants to actually leave, and to be honest I suppose, the most persistent, I, together with my newfound friends from Team SpyderFrancis Romero and Aris Suarez, was given the chance to take a tour of one of the villas.

Thunderbird Resorts in Poro Point is beautiful and the photos speak for themselves. I was also at the same summit in Thunderbird Resorts in Binangonan, Rizal, a week later and I have to say that I found the mountain resort more breathtaking than the one in La Union. Sadly though, there would be no photos like these because I. forgot. my. camera. at. home that day.

Much thanks to Thunderbird Resorts, the staff, most especially Joma Giron, for the generous accommodations at the resort, and Digital Filipino, for holding the summit in La Union. This is just one of the reasons why I think the summit was awesome.


Overlooking the sea:

Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point, La Union

Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point, La Union In color, click here.

Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point, La Union

Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point, La Union

Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point, La Union

Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point, La Union


Wandering Thoughts

Musings By March 11, 2013 Tags: No Comments

It is my first day back in Manila, after spending almost 11 days in the Visayas area – mainly in the islands of Cebu and Bohol. I have a lot of catching up to do: four months worth of photos and quite a number of blogs. My blog has been eerily quiet for the past three months. The days fly by, as do my thoughts, and my life. I try my best to keep up and basically live my life as quiet and productive as possible.

I have a lot to write about, a lot of people to see, a lot of places to go to, and it seems the days aren’t enough. Or even me, there is not enough of me. But again, I try my best to keep up.

Sometimes I do not know what exactly is happening, but I try to do things, always with my fingers crossed and hope and pray that what I am doing is right, or at least leads to something useful and worthy of the time I spend on it.

In my wanderings in the past months, I have managed to lose friends, and make friends, at the same time. Some of these friendships, I have surprisingly, managed to keep and nurture, regardless of time and distances. This gives me something to be proud of, despite many failings and shortcomings.

There have been a lot of changes in my life or the way I live it, but I am more inclined to wish that there are some changes too in the way I think and approach things, which I consider more important, for what is the purpose of changing things, when my heart and mind do not?

I once read a blog on the harvard business review website and thought about writing about it, a few months ago, when my life has not taken a significant turn just yet, but it got buried in the complexities.

It made me think about the many people that have been in, out, and around my life, and can only marvel at how much I owe them what I am. I am what I am right now because of these people, who have shaped me, and I cannot be grateful enough. I can only hope that they are as happy to have me in their lives as I am to have them in mine. All that I am, think, and do, have been shaped by the many people and things that I fit into my life, no matter how fleeting or enduring, and deep or shallow.

In the coming days, I hope to be able to post the photos from the following events since December, in my website, or my Flickr, or even in my Facebook. I have not really posted anything much. A friend messaged me last week to inform me of his observation, “How are you? You have been quiet on Facebook of late.”