Wednesday, September 12, 2012

it cannot wait.... Ted + Melay

Well you done done me and you bet I felt it

 I tried to be chill but you're so hot that I melted
I fell right through the cracks, now I'm trying to get back


But I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait, I'm yours

 Well open up your mind and see like me
Open up your plans and then you're free

 Look into your heart and you'll find love love love love

Listen to the music of the moment people, dance and sing
We're just one big family

 And it's our God-forsaken right to be loved loved loved loved loved

There's no need to complicate, our time is short

 This is our fate, 
I'm yours

 And bending over backwards just to try to see it clearer

 But my breath fogged up the glass
And so I drew a new face and I laughed

It cannot wait,
 I'm yours.....

Make up by Yadz
Choreo by Bally
Photographed by Me
Lyrics by Jason Mraz ;p


9.9.12 amateur pre nup shooting at Alta Vista 
because my cousin trusted me that much, and because I have no money for wedding gifts ;)

Friday, June 1, 2012

day 7: batad, banaue rice terraces

 Because to see amazing places takes a lot of time and EFFORT...

10 hour bus ride ... survived!
hours of uphill downhill treks and climb around Batad... SURVIVED!
I have to admit this was going around the world famous rice terraces was probably the most challenging part of the entire 10 day trip. For a very fit and healthy person like me... going uphill and downhill on my barely breathing lungs was no joke! Seriously those sticks were a life saver. 
Unfortunately, Batad just had their harvest so it wasn't as green as those in the postcards. But it's still drool worthy nonetheless. I mean sure you get to see rice terraces around the town center of Banaue, even waking up to it, however what you see in Batad is just different. The terraces were perfectly designed from all angles. It's amazing! And you gotta credit the ingenuity of our indigenous architects of the past.

Climb a flight of narrow stairs. Cling on to the side walls and rocks. Trek down, walk a bit, climb up, rest for a while, then go back again. That's how you about the terraces.
P.S. the ways are too narrow for a two way street. So squeeze in sideways to avoid the inevitable fall. Ironically, it's not the reason for my downfall. I fell into the mud because I simply am just being the clumsy good me. No challenge at all.  

Part of the reason why I was excited to go to this side of the world was to see firsthand the traditional costumes that the oldies are most often pictured wearing. But times have changed, they don't use those for everyday wear nowadays, only for special occasions. That's why to the cool Manong in the cool headgear, sorry to disturb your cool peace, we are just a bunch of wannabe cool ignorant city kids. 

Cool Ifugao facts:

* They are highly cultured. They believe in a lot of mystical stuffs and out of this world ideas. Example, they associate picture talking with death so always ask permission if you can't steal a shot, especially the kids. But a candy and some small bills would always come in handy for a bit of a bribe ;)

* They are the best English speakers I've ever encountered. So chances are they'd talk to you comfortably in English, with a twang no less. And don't underestimate the grannies coz they to could talk to you under the sun with that language. Why? because as I've found out from my sister who hasn't been there but on wikipedia, they were educated by the western missionaries in the past. Aaaahhhh...

* Age doesn't matter, because they don't count their age. They don't know their exact birth dates because NSO hasn't reached their place then.  

* And each family has their own terrace or more.
Imagine going up and down these terrains everyday. Cultivate the soil then carry sacks of harvest every now and then. I know it's not good to compare because this is the life that they are used to, but really it's embarrassing to complain when I've just been going around for a couple of hours. But if I was only probably super fit, I'd be singing a different tune. Really, forgive my unhealthy and unfit body, I'll work out someday... not promising though. ;)
 There is no escape to the wrath of mother nature, not even in this amazing wonder of the world. They also experienced some landslide that had visibly damaged parts of the terraces. What's great to see however is the strong sense of community that this humble place has. The ability of people to pitch in help to others is always a great thing to see. 
 My dad was wondering how rice plantation worked here, well as you can see they have a pretty good flow of water from I don't know where. Forgot to ask that... tsk tsk...

Batad was also the place where we encountered the most amazing people. For starters there's happy Rico from Japan who's energy is waaaaay up there. An interesting 21 year old girl traveling by herself, and yeah she's been to India on her own too when she was just 18.  Then there's those Aussies who are extreme travelers, who's gonna put your wanna be ass to shame. Why? because one of them just about did 500+ of the 1001 places to go before you die. And apparently Batad was in that book, so I guess that means 1,000 more places to go for me. Yehaaaaaaay...

Then of course there's German Chris who totally sucked at the game of 1-2-3 pass. It was a fun messy lipsticky night.. but seriously, in your face Chris! hahaha... Till' then ;)

people's lodge inn (P250/ night, 2 nights) = P500
breakfast at People's = P125
  Jeep to Batad saddle point + guide = P500
lunch at ramon's lodge inn and restaurant (Batad) = P150
  Dinner at Las vegas lodge = P150
Rough Investment: 1,425

Sunday, May 20, 2012

day 6 - in transit

highlight the low lights!

When traveling plans are always meant to change...

Vigan-Baguio-Sagada was the original plan. But when you don't know how to go about the original plan then better consult the blogs then change your plan and plan another plan, which is Vigan-Baguio-Banaue. The last minute decision made over an outdated and questionable blog entry at some internet cafe in Vigan. Laughing our uncertainties away but crossing our fingers for the what would hopefully be the right decision. Yey! adventure!

Shower wherever, whenever as long as it's free....

A true backpacker sometimes sacrifices hygiene over budget. However, there are ways to be hygienic and still save the budget. How? Ask my dear two friends Motha and Bally who couldn't resist taking a bath in a very public restroom at the Partas bus station. The faucet, pale and tumbler was all they needed to make it work. No joke! good thing there weren't many passengers... using the restroom. As for me, I got pretty shy and just had a half bath. Don't judge us. It's not easy to be sweaty, sticky and smelly. It would just ruin our picture perfect moments! Besides, we're just girls after all.... hahaha   

Ignorance is the best medicine for drunk lunatics...

Here's a tip on arriving at dawn when the town is still asleep. Always go to that store that is bright and with security guard, it's safer! Though not always. But when some disillusioned drunk lunatic claiming to be Gerald Anderson messes with you, ignore and pretend that you don't hear him, not even when you are shaking within. He's bound to back off knowing he can't get a reaction from you, but if he won't, you can always call on that guard to be your knight in shinning armor who in turn would call on the policeman to be his night in shinning armor, and together they will be on the lookout for you like a knight in shinning armor. 

Trust me, Baguio's self-proclaimed Gerald Anderson scared the wits out of us. The one and only person who gave us shivers on an already freezing dawn.
10 hour bus travel is always longer on day time.... 

Trust when I say that long distance land travel would always be best done at night. Not only are you just gonna sleep the hours away, but it would also save you accommodation. Unfortunately for us, since we didn't know the bus schedule we just took the chance and went with our guts and proceeded to the bus station bound for Banaue in hopes that they travel during the day. Lucky us there was one for the day. In fact, only one for the day. So if you plan to go to Banaue, catch the buses that's scheduled at night. There's a couple of them and it starts at 8pm.

Seriously Department of Tourism, hear me out and publish online bus schedules and fares for the key tourist spots in the country. If you do... then you're most welcome, coz I'm pretty sure you'll thank me for it. But I'd be shocked coz then it would mean you've read my blog.. or stalked it? hahahaha... oh, wishful thoughts be real! ;)

 Vigan to Baguio (Partas bus fare) : P324 each
10:45pm - 3:00 am
Taxi to KMS Bus Liner (Banaue bound bus station) : P 47
Andoks breakfast (where crazy Gerald approached us) : P 57
Baguio to Banaue (KMS bus fare) : P 415
8:00am - 6pm
Dinner at People's Lodge Inn : P 100

Rough Investment: P 943

Monday, May 14, 2012

day 5: vigan

Walk into the cobbled alleys of the past.

Now you know where the Vigan name came from.

The bus from Laoag to Vigan takes approximately about 2 hours more or less therefore we arrived late in the night. My body was too tired from all the adrenaline action at Paoay that I had to be a killjoy and slept the night away right away. I have to tell you that it was also the night we got acquainted with a real bed after nights of sleeping in bags. Sorry but I couldn't resist the little comforts budget packing could afford. But I still miss the sleeping bags though, haaanesly! 

The call time with our guide was 11am, so we woke up late, took our time with the real shower, hovered over the television then walked a bit at calle Crisologo.

True. It's really picture perfect.

 Even the most ordinary thing could be picturesque.

 Even when ice cream is all you have for the props.

There's actually more to Vigan than just the famed Calle Crisologo. There is Chavit Singson's very own backyard zoo @ Baluarte.
  A lot of imported animals running around. Camels, ponies, ostrich, sheeps, tigers etc. etc. Animals that only money could buy.
The main attraction has got to be the tiger though, Singson's very own personal pet. So snob and elegant it's scary. Though not as scary as that snake wrapped around motha's scared frozen smile. I have to give it to Singson for not collecting fees though, after all what does he need money for? It's very ideal for families and kids. Like my niece would surely go crazy here, especially when since she's so into those ponies... at the mall.

I lied. We really were in Australia...looks like. Wish it were true. ;)
At the Crisologo museum another museum where we just can't help but leave our breeding at the door step .

Crazy girls should be banned from museums! 
But from time to time we also know how to act uhmmmm normal...semi-normal.

But the crazy just really gets the better of us. 
I love us. I love museums. I love us in the museums. 

Seriously speaking, Crisologo museum is a house very well preserved. Family mementos and antiques are spread everywhere. What's inside speaks a lot about the family who resided in here, after all they were prominent political figures. But more than anything else it's really their library that impressed me, it speaks volumes of the patriarch. And I like what it speaks.

Next stop... getting our hands dirty @ Tagburnayan Pottery

Did you know that in order for the mud clay to be very fine, smooth and sticky, that carabao chilling in there had to step on it for a thousand times just to get that kind of consistent quality. Holy carabao! You deserve your chill. 

Pottery making... well it's not as easy at it seems. But if I were Demi Moore in Ghost with a Patrick Swayze body wrapped around me, I'd probably get the hang of getting my hands dirty. wink! ;)

And that's how they do it.

 Off to last stop of the day @ St. Augustine Church

and the Bantay Belfry

Like any other tower you'll have to climb a flight of twirling stairs before you reach the top. It's also from the top that you can see most of Vigan but more that it's where you can get great poses and shots.

Again and again excuse us and our affair with the camera. It's not vanity but the camera just can't help itself. It loves us and for that we love it back. Make love to camera dahlings! fakers! hahaha

Vigan at night has a different aura. Different ambiance. There's that romantic side to it that brings you back to the past. 

It may not be the city of lights but the lighting certainly does have its charm.

Just makes you wanna cozy it up with your chums.

By the end of the trip I can just say that yes, my butt had squatted in the middle of the UNESCO heritage, and for that it's happy ;)


empanada = P35
ice cream = P10
  Green R hotel (P950/4) = P240
kalesa tour ni kuya norbert (P700/4) = P175
  lunch Hidden Garden (P530/4) = P132.50
Tagburnayan pottery making (tip = P100/4) = P25
Mcdonalds for snacks : P55
Dinner at CAfe UNo = P90
Vigan to Baguio (Partas fare) = P324


Saturday, May 12, 2012

day 4: laoag & paoay.... sa hapon

Back to that afternoon of day 4. The afternoon that was probably the longest.. ever.

Left Bangui before lunch then hopped on an hour or so bus ride to Loag. So what can you do in Laoag? Not much, but you can kick off the tour of this side of Ilocos Norte with where else but the Malacanang of the North. 

I don't know if they really use it for official business or for tourism purposes only. But as history will tell you this house was originally the official residence of the Marcos family. Official in a way that the kids really had their own rooms, Imelda had her own... not closet.. but room for her clothes and of course shoes. They practically lived, slept and partied there. I have to say though that I am really in awe of the house. It's a very Spanish themed house wherein everything is just airy breezy, with huge salas and caidas. I like it. Somehow it reminded me of the ancestral home we grew up in, except for the grand part. My mom would love it for sure. I was even thinking that if I get really rich, I'd build my house around that airy breezy concept, the natural source of light, ventilation and greenery galore is just very eco. 

It was very smart of Marcos to build his house that way. Well if you're president/ dictator for 20 years you have got to be smart on a lot of ways. Anyway the house, I think, was really meant for entertaining guests and VIPs, and it still continues to entertain up to the present. Except now we can't use the chairs. So what do the VIP guests like us do?...
Get comfy on our very own floor meeting. Act Imelda-ish. Flirt with our Ferdinand mannequin of choice. Go run crazy on the grounds like we were the Marcos brats.   

 Even the presidential guards are not exempted from our bratty goofs. But seriously, we just really don't have the museum etiquette. We were absent on the day it was taught it school. Excuse us.


30 later minutes we were already at ... 

UNESCO hertiage baby! gotta be proud of that. Unfortunately it was under renovation so that explains the scaffolding galore. But the renovation was temporarily stopped by none other than Mdm. Imelda Marcos. Why? because the workmanship didn't pass her aesthetic judgement. You have to give it to her though coz when it comes to handling centuries old structure you have just got to be delicate with the details. After all, Imelda still got that beauty thing down to the T.

Also in Paoay is the ancestral home of Ferdinand Marcos turned museum. After all that's been said and done, you still can't help but be amazed by his brilliance. Despite how history books wrote him, he still did a lot of great things for the country, and very visibly in the north. It's just unfortunate how things turned out for him.

 Quite eloquent too.

Beside the ancestral home lies the late dictator's waxed remains. Got to see it finally! Oddly enough, I didn't find it weird, except for the fact that he didn't have any shoes on. I don't know but somehow it's just ironic that this was the same man whose wife was a Guinness holder for her shoe collection. 

 Speaking of Imelda, romantically, she also built a house beside the museum to be near her husband. Call it undying loyal devotion for the waxed love. Imelda wasn't there, but we got to see and touch her ride. That should account for something (losers! haha).

Oh the poses you could with the church. So tell me, who posed it best? 

waited for the sun's blazing heat to cool down before we kicked off for our PANDAY moves at.....

the SAND DUNES baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4x4 ride was SWELL!!!!!!! 
Probably the only time I was hanging on to my dear life with a big fat smile on my face! Gaaad I love that ride! was zeeee beeeest! ;)

In the hectares of endless sand and sand, sand boarding is a must. I got to admit this was my most looked forward to must do on the 10 day list. Giddy is me feeling...  

The first time was such a rush. The second time was a breeze. The third was a smug moment till.... 

The climb of shame was such an uphill battle. My lungs almost didn't make it. It's another story to be shameful and unhealthy by the way.

But all is well. Still got that happy memory stuck in my head.

Gotta pose with the big baby.
If only I could drive you baby, I'd take you on the adventure of my life.


10:00am - 11:00am Bus to LAoag = P50
Laoag trike tour with Kuya Jeremy (P600/trike x2) : P325 (with tip)
  malacanang of the north (marcos) : P30
lunch at Batac Turo2x
empanada: P35
lunch (P395/4) : P98
halo2x (P75/2) : P37.50
Sand duning and sand boarding (P2000/4): P500
  Marcos Museum: P50
6:45 pm - Bus to Vigan via cubao: P133