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travel

A Trip to Lake Balinsasayao, Negros Oriental, Philippines

Negros Oriental By January 24, 2017 Tags: , , , , No Comments

On our last day in Dumaguete, Lia was well enough to go on a motorbike ride to the mountains. Even if the waterfalls was closer to our farmhouse, there was no way we were going to the waterfalls with Lia. There was some walking and hiking involved in a what they said a muddy sloped area. We opted for Lake Balinsasayao.

We arrived at the entrance where we parked our motorbike, registered on the logbooks, and paid the parking and entrance fees. We walked up the hill to the receiving area where a snack bar and view deck is. From there you can see the view of the placid lake, and if you are lucky, see unusual birds perched on the branches of the trees.

We walked down stone steps to where the lake is and some huts where we had a little picnic and thereafter rented a small boat, that came with a rower, to a small waterfalls on the other end of the lake. We took turns with the paddles. It was good fun.

There are other things one can do, like take a trek to the other lake. The men did it but Lia and I didn’t do it anymore. Instead we stayed on one of the huts by the view deck and took naps. Lia also took some time to explore the fern nursery and garden. She had fun with the flowers and butterflies.

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Celebrating New Year in Dumaguete, Philippines

Diving, Family, Negros Oriental, Philippines By January 12, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

We are a simple family. When we travel, we avoid staying at expensive hotels or resorts. We prefer to stay with family, friends, or at AirBnb places. Our two-week stay in Dumaguete in January 2016 was no different. There are many choices for staying in Dumaguete. One can stay in the city itself, in one of its many hotels, BnBs, and hostels. Most of the AirBnb places are not in the city center though and we think that’s well and good. After hours of looking on AirBnb and actually driving around on our rented motorbike, we found a small farmhouse in a town outside of the city, and it was the perfect place to stay for the New Year and the days after. We played many games of Dobble, Fabio’s Christmas present for Lia, and watched movies. On New Year’s Eve, all three of us laid on the hammock, covered with a warm blanket, and watched and counted shooting stars in the night sky – the distant sounds of firecrackers, and fireworks a faint glint in the far horizon.

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A World Traveler’s Carry-on Essentials

Lifestyle, Travel By May 4, 2016 Tags: , , , 1 Comment

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.

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Porto Conte and Capo Caccia, Sardegna, Italy

Italy, Life In Italy, Sardegna By May 20, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , 1 Comment

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.

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A Short Road Trip to Briançon, France

France, Life In Italy By April 23, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

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).

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Home in Bardonecchia, Italy for the Weekend

Family, Italy, Life In Italy By April 20, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , No Comments

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).

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1209 Sunset Beach Bar, Corong-Corong Beach, El Nido, Palawan

Life in El Nido, Palawan By March 21, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , 5 Comments

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.

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Seven Commandos Beach, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Palawan By January 15, 2015 Tags: , , , , No Comments

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.

Seven Commandos Beach, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

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This is Tour B, El Nido, Palawan by Outventure

Outventure, Palawan By January 14, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

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.

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Pinagbuyutan Island, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Outventure, Palawan By January 10, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , 1 Comment

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.

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Sunsets in Caalan Beach and Corong-Corong Beach, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Life in El Nido, Palawan By October 30, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

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.

Sunset in Caalan Beach, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Sunset in Caalan Beach, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Sunset in Caalan Beach, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

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Sagada, Mountain Province, Philippines (2013)

Sagada By August 21, 2014 Tags: , , , , No Comments

I have been to Sagada once in 2007 but no matter how much I liked the place I just could not bring myself back. I utterly dislike the 6-hour travel from Manila by bus to Baguio and another 6 hours from Baguio to Sagada. Of course I did not know that there was a faster way to get there. I learned it ironically from tourists in El Nido who dropped by the Outventure shop.

Anyway, we made it back to Sagada in November 2013, using the same route and method – Victory Liner from Cubao. We had a lovely dinner first at Cafe Adriatico at the Gateway Mall before heading for the bus terminal – only to find out when we got there that there were no available tickets for until 4am. We took our chance with another bus lines in another bus terminal, Genesis if I remember correctly, and lucked out with a few spare seats. Arriving in Baguio, we had some help from one of the passengers who was also on his wasy to Sagada and we all walked together in the chilly Baguio morning towards the Sagada-bound bus terminal.

We arrived at lunch time, went looking for a place to stay, then promptly headed to Yoghurt House for a meal. I had loved their French Potato Salad years ago but found that it was not the same. We had a relaxing time on the balcony with a cup of coffee though.

We didn’t go anywhere until the next day, when we rented a motorbike at a place across the street and explored Sagada using a map bought from one of the souvenir stores lining the street.

First, we tried looking for the lake – the path going down to it we missed only about three times and would have missed more times if we had not stopped a group of mountain bikers and asked.

Sagada, Mountain Province, Philippines

Sagada, Mountain Province, Philippines

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This is Tour A, El Nido, Palawan by Outventure

Outventure, Palawan, Travel By May 17, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , 7 Comments

On the first day that we went out on Tour C with a group of four, another group composed of nine English and Spanish guests, went out at a later time on a different boat, also on Tour C. On the second day, we combined the two groups in one big boat, the Kryzel Jane, that is good for 2o pax, and went out on Tour A.

Guests on Tour, El Nido, Palawan

Our first stop was the Small Lagoon in Miniloc Island where the girls did some kayaking outside. I took this panorama shot using my phone.

Tour A, El Nido, Palawan

Tour A, El Nido, Palawan

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