Wednesday, December 28, 2011

chumming with my giants...


Whale Sharks are sensitive creatures that could easily acquire diseases from human contact.


Gotta love these gentle giant buddies ;)

Friday, December 16, 2011

SALUL! el nido!

A bit of a steady drizzle in the morn, 
but still a beautiful view to wake up to.


Waking up to you is like waking up next to a half naked Ryan Gosling.
 Squirming in delight at the thought of me in you or you in me. 
But you are no Ryan Gosling that I could cuddle up to,
 so I'll just explore you with all my senses open instead.  


Left the shores with gray clouds above.
Yet still beaming with excitement at what waits ahead.
Then unto the SMALL LAGOON we went.
SALUL! was what Hemdra exclaimed.
Upon seeing the crystal clear water that can't be found in their place.
But nothing beats the eye-gasmic view when inside the SMALL LAGOON.
I curse not having an underwater cam.
Lucky us, our companion has one.

Still no camera could ever capture the beauty that one's eyes could see.

Then off to SHIMIZU we rested and lunched.
The island named after the Japanese who got lost and died.
But death is not so bad when it's at this piece of paradise on earth.
Besides, if not for his death this island wouldn't be called SHIMIZU.
So if you want an island named after you, 
all it takes is just your life really. 

What's so secret of the SECRET LAGOON we went to next?
See, that hole in the picture should explain it all.
Squeeze in the body tight then exhale at the grandness that mother nature made for SECRET.

So many lagoons of different sizes and forms.
Each of them as charming and enchanting as the other.
No wonder why Alex Garland got inspired to pen The Beach at our very own  El Nido. 
So proud of Pinas!
Moving on ...

Of all the lagoons this is the biggest,
after all it's called the BIG LAGOON. 

Sea Urchins galore,
Monkeys hanging everywhere,
Lush greenery from both towering cliffs and deepest waters,
This is as virgin as nature could get.
Or so my inexpert eye thinks.

Last Stop at the fine white sand of HELICOPTER ISLAND.
Seriously, it really looks like a helicopter from a far, or maybe a half sunk Moby Dick.

Being lazy, chummy and gay like the monkeys roaming behind the bushes is what this island will make you.
Besides, what better way to frolic in the sun and sand than at this isla with great panoramic view.

Before the sun sets farewell to a beautiful day,
I am already very much infatuated with this island I've dreamed.

Last night is the last meal with the friends we've met along the way.
At Art Cafe where the pizza is good and ambiance cool as the people in there.

A great way to end the night!
El Torro is definitely the place to chill.
Bean bags, bonfire, sand and stars....aaaahhhhh....
Infatuation turned into love... 
it's official

We may have missed the chance to bond with our parents,
but we surely did meet the most amazing father-daughter and mother-daughter tandem.
Climbing the dangerous cliffs of Taraw with your daughter...
How cool could this 63 year old daddy get?
What about the mother who backpacked with her daughter on her last leg of Asian tour?
Aren't they just the coolest most amazing parents on the planet?!

Don't take this wrong way. 
My safety freak Dad would definitely not climb the cliffs of Taraw.
My energetic, not, Mom would probably just sleep through out the entire trip
But still they are the best parents.
You know why?
Coz honey, we wouldn't have experienced the kind of experience we had, had they come along. HAHAHA. 
But seriously, we literally, technically, financially, ly ly... owe them this trip.
Definitely my go back to place.



Ride @ Fortwally -  P1,200 back and forth
(the most convenient and comfortable 5 hour ride to El Nido, I have to mention good playlist too ;)
Stay @ Stunning Vista - P 650/ 2nights
(great rooms, great sunset view, great people, great deal!)
Climb @ Taraw Cliffs - P 500/ 4 pax
(depends if get a real guide)
Island Tour Package A - P 900
(with free lunch)
Environmental fee - P 200
(mandatory, as long as it's for the environment why not?)
Tricycle rides - P10 
Eat @ Art Cafe - P200
Chill @ El Torro - P50/beer


To El Nido... I shall return...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

i conquered TARAW !...

Deciding on El Nido has been somewhat of a last minute decision after our parents bailed on us for another trip that didn't include us. So as the reckless daughter addicted to adrenaline rush, I convinced my super girly girl sistah to forgo the underground river and island hopping in Puerto Princessa and just head on to El Nido instead. And convincing her includes climbing the Taraw cliffs. 

Looking back though, I don't remember a lot of convincing happening. I think it was more of instructing her to bring a pair of rubber shoes for a climb. And I'm still debating whether or not I failed to mention that it's a cliff we're climbing on. But since I was already able to climb what I thought was the most dangerous climb of my life at Caramoan island, I expected less from this. So given my cocky underestimation of the warnings and difficulties of the blogs I've read about Taraw, I dragged my sister with me. Knowing that it's gonna be such a special event since it would be her first climb ever, that I know of. 

Yep! that's how we climbed it. No harness, no helmets, just us and our cameras. It's tall and steep and sharp and 45 mins to the top. 45 mins for the locals, and add 30 mins to that for us. 

I have to admit though that halfway there, when the rain started to drizzle and the rocks became slippery, I was having second thoughts of going all the way up. Not only did the climb get more dangerous to the point of me feeling like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 2, hanging on a cliff, I was mainly concerned for my sister and the 63yr. old Dad who came along with us and his daughter.  So while my head was playing the soundtrack of Mission Impossible, I kept thinking What Would Tom Cruise Do?... But our Kuya guide was effectively giving positive encouragements. Like a broken record saying "Kaya pa yan" and "Malapit na" to my sister's constant badgering of "Malapit na tayo Kuya?". An hour after, malapit na talaga kami.  

Then finally a big sigh of relief upon reaching the top. HAAAAY!!!!! 

What sucks though, is that when we got to the top all haggard and sweaty, the locals who got there before us were in full make up and get up like they were just strolling in the mall. Kaloka those kids! I cannot compete with their powers, but I will compete with their poses, sans the make up.

Isn't this just breathtaking?!
 This overview of El Nido is just absolutely rewarding.  
Take your time to let all this beauty sink in.
Most of all take time to take lotsa pics! hehe.

The going down however is another story. A literally difficult story to share, for I don't think there'll be sufficient words to describe the harrowing and scary journey down.  

Let's just say that my sister was not happy at all. haha. It's really not funny at that moment but now it is. Thank God I get to live and laugh about it. 

See my sister doesn't flip the bird as often as I speak it, but boy did she flip a lot birds that day. Birds directed at me! I guess she blames me for bringing her to that kind of adventure. Or must be pissed at the discovery of the dangerous adventures I go to. Warning me to never to do this kind of thing again. Threatening to spill my kind of activities to our Dad. Yada yada. But given the situation that the rocks were slippery, got a bit lost in the way, forest turning dark, her cellphone as our only source of light, and our companion calling for rescue, the birds and threats thrown at me were very much understood. It was such an emotional and spiritual (prayed so hard) experience, that I silently almost heeded her threats. However it was forgotten the moment we stepped on the sturdy flat land. I was just so happy to have us landed safely.

With dirty bums and sweaty backs, I am so proud of me sistah! Seriously, it was such a great feat for her and me too! Another one on the mark... conquered Taraw... check!

So here's the thing we learned upon talking to a local at the resort after our adventure. #1. No one was supposed to climb on the afternoons (we climb at 3pm) #2. Our guide wasn't really a registered guide but an ordinary tricycle driver chancing upon some cash. What can I say, I didn't know... oh well lessons learned. 

But if there is one great lesson that the experience or climbing in general taught me, it's to not only bear and sharpen the presence of mind but to always look out for your companions. That alone just makes me realize that even in the most difficult of times, the world is not just all about you. 

Climbing Taraw = P600.00 (4pax)
Experience = Worth it!  

Monday, December 12, 2011

puerto P... the greenest place to be...

What was supposed to be the first ever family trip, turned out to be yet another travel bonding moment with my sisterette and our cousin Ruthie, who by the way is sooo full of sunshine (we wish!).

Thus on  November something-ish, 2011, we journeyed to the land our mother dearest forever dreamed of  - Palawan. Knowing how mother nature-y our mom is and how she hates overrated crowded places, I certainly can understand why she dreams of it. Now that I've experienced it firsthand, I can't wait to bring her there, my dad included (for the financial support haha).  

But going to Palawan doesn't really need a lot of moolah. It's not that we have a lot of moolah to bring anyway, coz we certainly don't, but it's a pretty affordable place to vacation on. And trust me, in this land of abundant greens and blues, you wouldn't be interested in holing up at some cold dry concrete hotels, because honey, you'll be missing half the authentic Palawan experience.  

So stay @

the cool place where cool people stays. 

Yes, I proclaim our coolness with all exclamation(!!!). haha. My sister was the one who discovered this on the net, and I have to give her credit coz she usually finds the coolest budget places to sleep on our travels. Moving on away from the compliments, Banwa Pension has been published in the Lonely Planet guide books as well as on several travel sites, so it has been quite known among the backpacking world. So it's not difficult to imagine that in the country of Filipinos we were the only Filipinos booking there. DUDE! In that place, we were so foreign! haha. 

I cannot explain how cool the aesthetics of this place is nor how friendly their staff are, but I can tell you that if it is Filipino artistry you want, and only simply needs the basics of bath and bed, then this is the go to sleep. 

Then eat @       

Go barefoot in the delight of their sumptuous meals. The food is good but it's the place that's gonna make you keep on coming back. I am so in love with the shiny hardwood floors, the squatting , the paintings, the lighting, the art... GO EAT!!!!!! the experience. 

Explore @

See Louis Vuitton, Hermes and etc. at its fine breathing rawness. This was probably the only chance of me getting close to those brands. The breeding ground of the Crocs before they become someone else's handbags and step-ons. Pity those Crocs, if they only could choose their fates then I guess they'd be more than  content at just opening their mouths for the flies to land on. Oh well, at least you guys don't come cheap.    
Also, walk in the woods of the conservation center and get the chance to meet these birdies. I forgot their names but I'm pretty sure they're endangered. All the more reason for it to be a must walk. A tip for these walks though, put lotsa OFF lotion coz the mosquitos can be deadly. Other than that, the wild animals are tame. Or so I think.
That Palawan Binturong was heavy though.  
Recharge @

Baker's Hill an interesting food park situated in the hilly spots of Puerto Princessa. An assortment of playthings, statues and food. Don't have much else to say but we were there for the hopia that my sister has been dying to try since. However it was their crinkles that was heavenly. Soft chewy choco crinkles.... yum!!!!

They have peacocks too. The peacock cock cock, the peacock! Or as Askal sang it in her vid. Such fine elegant birds.  
Be Exotic @

 What could possibly be more authentic than eating Palawan's local delicacy. Tamilok. You get your choice of breaded or raw Tamilok. Be bold and choose the raw, then you get that long raw gray slimy dish. It looks like worm because it is a worm. A woodworm. A mangrove worm. How it tastes like is an oyster. A long slimy choking oyster. Do we like it? uhmmm....

Once was probably enough... hahahaha.

Interesting tidbit! 
Palawan's cleanliness can be compared to that of Singapore's as well as their strict implementation of laws. Seriously, I haven't seen a trash left on the roadside. Must be because any resident can arrest and fine you with littering, and that ordinance is well disseminated, as evidenced in the posters and stickers of their trikes and etc.  

So how much did we spend in Puerto P?

Banwa Pension (3pax) - P 1,070.00
Tricycle City Tour (with a bit of charming/ haggling) - P 550.00
Croco Farm Entrance - P 40.00
Lunch at Ka Lui (3pax) - P 450.00  
Kinabuchi (3pax) - P 850.00
 Tricycle rides - P10.00

The 5 hour journey to El Nido... up next... 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

played and replayed...

It's been a year and you still infatuate me...

Such a feel good song. 
Wouldn't be surprised if this becomes a movie soundtrack... or something.

Gaaaahd she's A-mazing!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

a feast to tomorrow's misery...

tooo many happenings...
way tooo many blogs to catch up on...
 my lazy self apologizes to my friends and only followers...
i promise (slash that)! will try my best to blog when the mood strikes...
ergo, wish that it won't be the lazy Lé mood ;) 

as I said too many happenings has happened lately, nothing that big of a deal really except for that one big realization that has finally slapped me big time in the face or shall i say tummy. YES! i have a big bloating tummy, and it's not looking pretty.. AT ALL!

i knew that i had a tummy problem, but like any addict i was in denial and i was hiding it behind my fashionably loose shirts and tops. unfortunately, i could deny no longer that when in bikini the abs in my head are actually flabs in reality, with pictures and videos as my gaddamn! reminder. so tomorrow i shall start my rehabilitation and hit the gym. for real this time.... haaaay hope.... 

so for the last meal before my hours of torture....

i owe the simplest pasta recipe to our favorite frenchie girl crush Anouck. Here's how...

1. Saute white onions in olive oil then add a dash of sugar.
2. On the other side of the pan fry the salmon. Then mix them together.
3. Add the cream and toss the penne in.
4. a sprinkle with salt and pepper.
5. then EAT!

Trust me it's really good. Reminder to self : thank Anouck big time!!!
As for the salad... naaah i just got that from the magazine and made some twists. I won't write the how to coz it's long and i'm turning lazy. hehe.

 Sided it with my ever reliable garlic oregano bread. there goes my dish on the right. 
down is the after scene and tomorrow I gotta need to...

blog track:
Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

October files flies... (dos)

Oktubre Kinse's Fiesta Lesson Highlights....

Lesson # 1

Impress your guy with your cooking skills. 
Make him proud with your newly acquired slicing talent. 

Never mind if your friend makes fun of your kitchen inadequacies.
It's the effort that counts.

And never mind if your boy is very much allergic to what you're cooking.

Lesson #2

Always take the initiative!
Make your friend a Facebook account, despite her utmost resistance to join the fold.

Besides, it is with the bestest "personal" intention at heart. 

Plus, wouldn't it be just nice for Gayle Opsima to want to be your friend?!


Lesson #3

Expose yourself to your field of studies.
If you're a law student, there's no greater lawful insight than coming face to face with legalities of life.

Don't be deceived by that big bright smile for behind it she's already citing the full article on child labor.
If not, well I guess she was just happy to witness one real case. 


Lesson  #4

Hit those Peryas like you're running after their money!

Outwit the games of chances.
Even if it's a ridiculously stupid strategy!
At least it's worth the laughs....

But when you start losing your coins...
It's past time to really think where to put those piso.

In the end, you learn that you really can't outwit the Perya veterans in their games.
Losing those hard found coins is 

Especially when you'll just have to walk all the way home.

Blog track
Underdog by Kasabian

Saturday, October 29, 2011

October files flies (uno)....

It's sem break finally! never looked more forward to it than now...
And because I've been pretending to be too busy for my good lately - as if! It's now time to catch up on the October happenings, rather gatherings...
October something-ish, 2011

Over pizza and beer, roads and indecision, stomachs tanked on foood...

 Me and me villains finally chilled under the hot set of the Sunday sun... 

 Catching up on the good ol' days like we were ever good... 

Remember, me pardner in crime?... 

 Together with butt of our jokes, the ultimate mister of our lives and who I'm guessing is questioning his choice of friends.   

 Smile boy, you can't get rid of us... sorry... bwhahaha --> evil laugh!
You know you love us anyway.... ;)

Which reminds me, I haven't seen your faces since then... 
Another sunny Sunday date perhaps?

P.S. Paolo, Me and Sheengai will promise to bring bikinis and towel this time ;)

Blog track
Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi - Two Against One (ft. Jack White)


Thursday, October 6, 2011

you gorgeous Caramoan!....

It takes a 9 hour bus ride from Cubao to Naga.
1 hour and 30 mins from Naga Terminal to Sabang.
30 mins tricyle ride from Sabang proper to the port.
2 hour banka ride to Caramoan.
1 hour super duper bumpy tricyle ride to La Playa Camp. 

then it's....


 Just look at you!

  I'd be lucky to be your local. 

But seriously, searching the ends for you was very starving...

now look what happened to that fish! Poor crispy fried fish... why'd you ever be sooo tasty?!
Ahhh the tinuktukan on the left... a second order of your finely chopped coconut meat, oregano filled, spiciness  wrapped in alugbati is not enough to satisfy my cravings, even up to now and I'm miles away....

Good thing your island resto's homecooked meals are sooo delish that it filled our ever hungry tummies to its roundness. 
Full and recharged it's time to explore your islets and strike those poses....

Ready ... 1... 2... 3 ....


A beautiful scenery deserves only the best bods. We may not succeed on the bods, but at least we succeeded on the angles. wink!

But considering that we were the only ones roaming around the islets, I guess it's safe to say the we easily swept the best beach bods category. I love winning competition-less. hahaha.

Kidding not, us September babies had faced too much disappointing well planned plans, that we decided to just throw the plans out and embark on this spontaneous thoughtless journey. The result?... everybody was out in the city for the Piñafrancia in Naga, and we only learned that till we got to the resort where we were the only guests EVER. Understandably, we were also the only ones roaming around the peninsula, trying to be survivors like those French stuck in this island. 

Like you would mind being stuck in an island as gorgeous as this.

Trust when I say that this is mother nature at its glorious best. And Chawi said it best that you can never capture the beauty of Caramoan on cam.

There are probably about 8 nearby islands in the area, by nearby I mean really near. That if it's on land I'd say, malakaw ra na, but since it's not, I'd say ma swim ra xa.  I forgot the names of the islets, because my brain was just not functioning right. But this I could not forget...

 The highlight of our island hopping adventure.

Rock climbing in Matukad Island...

  in all fashion and smiles... no sweat oi!

We really were just fakers and posers, sweating and running out of breath. Hanging on to our dear lives while climbing barefoot and yelping to the sharpness of the lime stones. It's actually such a challenge, considering how dangerous, steep and sharp everything around us is. One wrong move could mean the death of you. Maybe not, but if you'll live, just expect gruesome cuts and bruises. Trust me I've been there --> there goes the smug proud me. haha.

 Taking on the dangers was the only way to reach the top and to the mystical inner island lake.
As Kuya Arnie (our super duper good guide, who had unquestionable faith in our ability to climb the rocks, literally. He did not ask whether or not we would want to climb, instead just said follow me. He must have figured that with us, there's really no need to ask, good thinking!) shared, there used to be 2 big Bangus on the lake, unfortunately the other one was taken by some nosy local. Karma to him, he immediately died upon reaching home for some unexplainable reason, just like every other filipino folklore. So now there's the one and only lonely Bangus swimming in his little kingdom lake.  
Blisters and pain are nothing compared what awaits the top.

Wake up oldie...

This was what I woke up to on my 25th year. So beautiful that it brought out the sentimental quarter life crisis in me. ha! kidding. I was actually just busy thinking about the things I've accomplished in the last 25 years. Unfortunately I was short listed, so I shifted my thoughts to the local kids playing in the waters nearby. Can't help but think how they have the best playground in the world. Imagine waking up to this. Of course this might not be new to them, but I just hope they realize how blessed they are to experience an everyday life with the natural beauty of mother nature. I hope that they become the generation who'd be less fazed by the destructive development of technology and devote their lives to saving their natural playground for the kids to come.
I'm lucky to be born in this beautiful country. Happy two five to me!

it's time to go...

Gotta drop by St. Michael Parish Church first.
Then again it's closed, for the priest is enjoying the fiesta at Piñafrancia.

Bye Gorgeous.
I wish to be selfish and keep your beauty a secret. 
Unfortunately, you're just tooo beautiful to be kept a secret, so I shall tell.... 

To Askal and whoever wishes to go, here's how...

Cubao Terminal to Naga City - bus P850
(overnight bus, starting from 8pm onwards..)
Naga City to Sabang - bus P60
Sabang to the Port going to Caramoan - tricycle P60
banka - P150 or P200 (not sure)
Caramoan Port to La Playa Camp - tricycle P150
Room (good for 4pax) - P 1,200
Island hopping (good for 2, i think) - P 1,200
Food (per meal) - P 100

Recommend to stay at La Playa Camp as this will be the jump off point to the island hopping. It's on the beachfront, cheap, and has perfect sunrise view of the islands.  Most of the accommodations are at the town center and it takes sometime to get to the jump off points. Lastly, there's no cell signal, except for Smart.  

Enjoy the provincial life!
Love Pinas! ;)