Did you know August?

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Do you know him? I mean the month of August? Funny how I came across this website where they have a list of the ‘Bizarre and Unique Holidays’ for certain months. I want to share that this month is “Romance Awareness Month” (that’s new for me, I thought that word Romance and Love can only be over used during February, lol!)

Also listed were the weekly events such as the following:

  • Week 1 National Simplify your Life Week (how do I do this? repeat to myself ten times before going to work: No to Stress!)
  • Week 2 National Smile Week (smile like the Miss Universe candidates?)
  • Week 3 Friendship Week (good works for my friends)
  • Week 4 Be Kind to Humankind Week (shower some warmth in any way I can)

And a few exciting days that I want to take part in:

4 Friendship Day – for all my loves!

4 International Forgiveness Day – greatest we can give to one another is Forgiveness

4 Sisters Day – Jolly, Rose and Kriss

6 Wiggle Your Toes Day – just wiggle it!

9 Book Lover’s Day – photo session with my books?

10 Lazy Day – equal to sleep all day

15 Relaxation Day – spa, massage or mani and pedi?

18 Bad Poetry Day – yes, more poetry like mine, haha!

Now you that you met him your month will not be so boring at all! Imagine all these holidays? 🙂 Last month before we enter the BER months and the holidays are here again! Maligayang Pasko na!!!

 

Wrapping up July!!!

Tomorrow is the last day of July! Whew! The long wait was over, I am now officially a young lady/adult. Wohooo! Cheers to being 28! Thank you so much for my wonderful birthday greetings! I got tons, all of them are memorable but these crazy friends of mine went out of their way and exerted extra effort that made me super happy 🙂

Blog posts

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And lastly, gifts!!!

Thanks Cla, Rose and Allen Mae 🙂

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Now it’s time to start another birth year! Thank you Lord for all the never-ending blessings, family and friends!

Halfway there July!

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Hello there loves! 16 days had passed and I am uber happy that this month was full of nothing but great memories. Last Sunday was jam-packed! We started it by visiting the Quezon Memorial Circle. It was my first time to visit this place and I truly enjoyed it. Walking and biking has never been this fun! How come I only knew this place now? I’m turning 28 soon, haha!

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After that we headed straight to Las Villas Del Cielo where we celebrated our birthdays together! Amie, Ampy, Alexa and I 🙂 Thank you so much to all our friends especially Gen and Ampy for taking good care of everything. Sorry if I kept on swimming the entire time.

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Lots of food choices! I had a hard time choosing what to eat. From rice, viands, Amber’s barbecue and all that!

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By 1:30 P.M. after the heavy rain, I headed next to “Truth Hurts and Other Lies of Non-Fiction”. Jona, Dredd, Kirby, Shine and I attended the event together.

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Yes, yes, my cells are full of energy. After the quick talk, I headed straight home to  Binangonan to prepare a small dinner for my friends. So here’s the funny story, my dearest girl friends Ghel, Jambi and Bham knows I am aware of surprises(most of the time I am the leader of parties and all that). So I saw this cake on the dinner table and I asked my sissy (the girl wearing white, upper left hand corner) to whom the cake was for. She said it was for Cla so I didn’t mind. Before dinner started my two friends said “Wait, blow your cake first”, I was like, “Sorry but the cake is not for us” and then they started laughing. Turned out IT WAS FOR ME! And yes, I was really surprised. I believed my sister when she said it was not for me. I didn’t even bother to check the dedication on the cake since I was busy preparing our food. 🙂 I was at a lost for words. These friends of mine really caught me off guard. I bet my expression was priceless, my jaw literally dropped opened. All I said in the end was “You got me there, thank you so much for the cake”.

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From the bottom of my heart, thank you dears! 🙂

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Unfortunately the night has to end and two of my friends are working the following day. We said our goodbyes after our small photo op. Thank you so much to my ever patient sissy who took our photos.

Another Sunday well spent! How was yours?

Conversation starters

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Ever wonder what to ask a stranger? Or a friend? Or anyone? Well this cute little gift was given to me by Jonabelle, thank you 🙂

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So what does this quirky brown box hold? Lotsa lotsa questions that you can ask to anyone. Questions range from funny, thought-provoking and self realization ones.

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So this was the first one I got. Hmm, first thing I thought about this morning was: What time is it? (I counted how many hours I have been sleeping, then decided it’s not yet time to drag myself out of bed).

Do check out Papemelroti Stores, for more gifts you can give anytime, anywhere 🙂

Pampanga’s Best, let’s do this!

inviteWe were invited by Mr. and Mrs. Figueroa for the Christening of their first son, Dwayne Dom. We were more than guests, we were God mothers and God fathers of this little cutie. Proud to be a part of this big event, I made the invite above and so glad that Jeanne (Dom’s mother) loved it so much.

pampanga's best (1) Since the event falls on a Sunday, we decided to have a quick road trip and left after our Saturday shift. First stop, the famous San Guillermo Church where Santino used to pray for the Filipino Teleserye “May Bukas Pa“. For those who plan on going anywhere Pampanga, this is a must visit! Why? It’s so beautiful! An earthquake and the Mt. Pinatubo eruption may have ruined it, but it’s still very captivating.

pampanga's best (2) A closer look, old and ruined by time.

pampanga's best (3)From the outside, the Church may look small. Wait until you get inside, you will be more than amazed. The altar is glorious! You will notice small bats that hang around the ceiling. The area is quite big on the inside and I have seen some weddings that was celebrated here on Facebook. Must feel nice walking on these wide aisle 🙂 Photo on the lower right shows how deep the Church was buried. That used to be the upper part of the windows.

pampanga's best (4)The right side holds “Museo de Bacolor” where they kept numerous paintings and photos of San Guillermo Church. You can see pictures of how the place looked like before and after being buried in hot molten lava. If you walk a little further, you will notice their small adoration chapel, so unique and I tell you, this is a room where you can feel the Lord’s presence, so quiet and homey.

pampanga's best (5) One of the paintings that awed me.

pampanga's best (6) One last photo before we continue on our road trip, meet Arjay, Daniel, Ruby, I and Ami. Gen took our photo 🙂

pampanga's best (7) Second stop… Toll House. Any road trip would not be complete without trying out the best restaurants in town. Ask anyone how’s the food and service, I bet they would all tell you that they had the best experience. This was my second time to eat here, the first time was when we attended the Hot Air Balloon Fest. Like the first, the food didn’t fail me at all, I enjoyed my yummy Caesar salad and Calamansi juice.

pampanga's best (8)Now that our stomach is filled with food as it should be, we drove to Antonina’s Resort. Fixed our stuff and started our mini drinking session. So many funny, “kilig”, and laugh out loud stories. Being with a cool crowd is a must when going out. No dull moments, just good music, stories and fun stuff. When dinner time came, our tummies were at the war zone again, thus making us leave Antonina’s to Ronald’s house (Dom’s father). But before that, we needed to search for this super big cake since it’s Ron’s birthday. Good thing, there’s Goldilocks! Dinner was quick and before we knew it, we were back at the resort having a good time at the pool.

pampanga's best (9)Sunday came and the new batch of God mothers arrived. We bought pandesal and coffee early in the morning. But wait, there’s more, can you imagine a group of crazies hopping from one store to another looking for “toothpicks” early in the morning? Hmmm, that would be us? Lol! Ms. Glory would be finishing her cupcakes and toothpicks are really important for this one. Though we got weird replies from cashiers, we didn’t care. We still asked and looked, thanks to a small shop who has one! Life saver! Look how happy we were making these cute blue and yellow cupcakes. Thanks to Ms. Glory for letting us help her with the design and toppings, it was a fun experience.

pampanga's best (10)Time to swim for a while before the main event.

pampanga's best (11) Tadah! A sunny and good morning to everyone! The photos above were taken during the Christening ceremony inside the ‘Parish of the Lord’s Ascension’. Jeanne and Ronald looked so happy all through out the event, big smiles everywhere.

pampanga's best (12) The God fathers and God mothers with the Figueroa Family. 🙂

pampanga's best (13) Before leaving the Church.

pampanga's best (14) Lunchtime food attack! Thank you so much Jeanne for the overflowing food and drinks, sorry I was not able to sing because I feel so sleepy after eating a lot! Haha! Again, you made our tummy so happy.

pampanga's best (16)All kinds of meat and chicken viands plus veggies, talk about “handaan”. Another cute souvenir, baby cupcakes and my vanity moments.

pampanga's best (15)One last photo of the group, it was indeed a fun, unforgettable, full of happy moments weekend! (Meg, I, Ruby, Anna, Rosche, Dan, Mhadz, Gen, Ronald, Jeanne, Glory and Ami.

pampanga's best (17)To close the event, we stopped at Razon’s for the best halo halo in town. A few minutes of reminiscin’ on how the weekend went then we’re back on the road to Manila.

One reminder, wear sunblock if possible especially if you are going to visit Pampanga during the summer season. The weather was really hot and I bet you would stop at any halo halo store just to cool the temperature of your body.

The unplanned Baguio trip

It all started with a simple conversation of “Where do we eat?”. Somehow, we planned on eating breakfast at Mercato since we had a slight problem with the event we were supposed to join in. All of a sudden, with only one pair of clothes and a small brown bag, my friends Jude, Hilda and I were on our way to Baguio. Yep, to the cold city where strawberries awaits us.

Baguio 1After 6 hours of travel time from Victory Liner Cubao station (they offer rides to Baguio every hour for P450.00) we arrived at the Summer Capital of the Philippines! Good thing, Jude knows Lyn’s Apartment, a transient room where they stayed before.  If you are just looking for a place to just sleep in, this might be the one you are looking for. The room is not that big but it can accommodate up to 8-12 persons. So, first instinct when we arrived was to sleep! Haha! Yes, since we came straight from our night shift, the stolen sleeping hours at the bus was not enough. We planned on getting out that night to meet our friend Alex who was also in the city. However, due to some circumstances, we ended up ordering food at Jollibee and stayed up all night playing ‘tong-its’. Congrats Jude for winning all our coins! 🙂

Baguio 2Morning came and we found ourselves hungry as ever. So with my ever favorite blue peplum top and leggings, it’s time to hit the road. First stop, Chowking for breakfast which was very near our place. Then we walked along Burnham Park and Children’s Park. I was able to manage walking from one place to another without a jacket, guess my skin turned into a Carabao one already, lol!

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After a few minutes, we decided it’s best to ride a bike. Feeling like kids, we circled to and fro, biked here, pedaled more. This was the highlight of the trip for me. For some reason, I missed biking so much! I felt free as a bird!

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Now it’s time for some prayer. I cannot count how many times I have been to Baguio ever since I was a kid but this was the first time I paid a visit to The Pink Sisters Church. The area was quiet and perfect for adoration. The interiors were very nice and the voices of the nuns were like angels that sent goosebumps on my skin.

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Minesview Park would be a place any tourist or local should not miss when visiting the Summer Capital of the Philippines. This park has a lot to offer, from photo ops with pink horses and big dogs, to throwing coins at a wishing well or just simply sitting on a rock overlooking the lovely view of pavements, houses and green trees.

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Eating and shopping would also be a big YES for this area. As you can see, we had some chocolate ice cream and mangoes, yummy!

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The following photos were taken inside ‘D Igorot Place’. It’s a small museum where you can check all the Igorot hand-made items. It’s heaven for me, all these cute wood carvings, room decors, colorful dream catchers and paintings, they were all unique.

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If only we have a car, yes, I want that Apology wooden thing on my wall or in our receiving area.

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Didn’t know he put on some wacky face! I am very good at that, he got me there! Lol! By the end of the museum trip, I got was this cute sunflower eco bag for P150.00.

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Seemed like walking was one of our favorites here, 252 steps to the top! *ATTENTION: Do not laugh to much when climbing, bad for your health, lol! or else, you wouldn’t make it to the top*. 🙂

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Now that we have visited some famous places, it’s time to hit the market. Raindrops started to fall, quite a place to fall in love with. Wondering what was the receipt about? I told a friend I just wanted to drink some water in this place. Craziness sprouts again, but hey, I really want a mineral water… mineral water from Baguio City. 🙂

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Finally, we were able to make it! Dinner at last with Alex and Weng. Cafe by the Ruins is one of the must-try restaurants here. I did enjoy my Bangus meal and coffee. It was a night of pure fun, enormous laughter and great stories (include some paranoia in it). 🙂

Click here for more food reviews!

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Last night! Can’t believe our sudden weekend stay was coming to an end. Here we are, with our own version of strawberries and cream.

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Indeed, it may be an unplanned trip, but life is like that. It will stay like that, full of unplanned surprises that will bring excitement to our souls. Baguio City, another memory, thank you for keeping us company with your cold summer nights. Until we see each other again! ♥

Standing at Mt. Pinatubo’s Crater

Hiking was never my thing, do not get me wrong, I love nature, the sea, the trees and all things in between. I just haven’t pictured myself carrying those big bags (bags bigger than I O.o) just the thought makes me tired already, haha. I always wondered, being the kikay that I was, what should be the proper attire for hiking, trekking or mountaineering (I know it’s shallow problem but hey, I still wanna be a fashionista when climbing up somewhere).

When my sister Lily Rose said someone backed out from their planned Pinatubo trip, she immediately asked if I am available knowing I am a “kaladkarin” (someone whom you can drag anywhere) obviously I agreed. My first and only climbing activity was way back 2007 somewhere in Quezon (if I am not mistaken, they call it ‘7 falls’) after all the beaches that I have been to it’s time to make a change, I accepted the call of climbing Mt. Pinatubo.

Mt. Pinatubo (1) We left Manila at around 3 am and arrived at Capas Tarlac by 5 am. It was a short and fast trip, kudos to the driver. Was not able to get the chance to write anything on the way to the area since it was dark inside the van and my sister was all over the place, lol! But it’s true, in the end, I just decided to let her sleep on my lap (I am such a loving sister!) 🙂 When we arrived at the tourism base camp for Mt. Pinatubo, this is what I did, stretched! Even short legged person like I need this.

Mt. Pinatubo (2)Morning coffee’s are great. ALWAYS, there’s no exception, whether you are drinking it alone or with a group of people. This trip was planned by the office mates of Bianca, one of my sisters best buds. Here I am meeting new people, sip, exchanging a few good stories, sip and yes, laughing my ass out, sip, while the dawn is breaking. For me this is one of the best part of the trip, it’s nice to meet new souls, learn a little bit something from them in return like where they came from, their culture and see beaming faces when the jokes are out.

Mt. Pinatubo (3)Do they look they are really stretching? Nope they are not, they are playing around, haha! Everyone, the three idiots (from left to right, my crazy kick out sister Lily Rose, the ever thin Donna and Bea de Bianca). They are all grown ups! They use to be so little and not so tall? I am behind my a lot of inches when the height issue rises.

Mt. Pinatubo (4) I just have to have a photo with her, look at her fringed top! So cute and we also got this wooden thing that she’s selling. Useful for the climb, only 20 pesos each!

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Just having some fun before going up. We are a bunch of crazy people! 🙂 Introducing the lovely lady in the green jacket, that’s Mayi (aka Alay) lol, she really made me happy.

Mt. Pinatubo (6)Shoes? aqua shoes or whatever that fits well,slippers are not advisable.

Mt. Pinatubo (7) Tadah, and this was my outfit! My arm bands are adorable, got them from SM Department store for 169.75 pesos, aqua shoes for 249.75 pesos and Monakiki leather leggings for 150 pesos. I cannot afford to get any darker since I’m all tanned up from my Boracay trip. Plus, it is highly recommended to cover yourself up with light clothing since the road trip was dusty and hot.

Mt. Pinatubo (8) The group before leaving the base, all smiles!

Mt. Pinatubo (9) Ready for the best rough ride of our lives!

Mt. Pinatubo (10)After a 3-5 minutes drive, we stopped and waited for the other 4×4’s. So as you can see, we took this time to have a few photos taken.

Mt. Pinatubo (11) The 4×4 models, should I say sexy models? haha!

Mt. Pinatubo (12) Excited for the trip eh? Bunch of energy!

Mt. Pinatubo (13) The ever epic jumpshots

Mt. Pinatubo (14) And another one, these four were my 4×4 mates, Rose, Bianca, Donna and the guy in green is named Daniel. He is really not part of our group, he is Italian on a solo world journey. Since we lack one person for our ride, they allowed him to ride with us. Good thing he was all game with all our weirdness. Being the chit chat lady that I am, I ended up conversing with him most of the time which was great because he also shared stories about his place and other countries he visited.

Mt. Pinatubo (15)After a few minutes of waiting, the ride began. Look at all these cars, very much like a movie scene. The guide and driver explained that any group has two choices. 1) Ride the 4×4 for 1 hour and 30 minutes and then hike for 20-30 minutes to the crater 2) Ride the 4×4 for 30 minutes and then hike for 1-2 hours to the crater. We chose the first one since it was super hot and it’s kinda late to take option 2. Please do not quote me on the exact travel time, these were the only information shared by our guide and driver. I guess in the end it will still depend on how fast you can trek the area 🙂

Mt. Pinatubo (16) And the view in front, welcome, to the powdery sand of Mt. Pinatubo 🙂

Mt. Pinatubo (17) A normal car won’t fit here, when we talk about deep holes, it’s really deep. If you will notice, there were two children on the right side. They still live here and they sell banana’s and ginger.

Mt. Pinatubo (18)Our tour guide, Kuya Rey said that the normal land level was up to the top of those mountain look alike. We are traveling on the area where the lava during the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo way back 1991 flowed that’s why it’s this low. It is quite dangerous to travel when the rain is pouring since these sand filled mountains can just fall anytime.

Mt. Pinatubo (19) See how they fall? Really dangerous to get close to this sand mountains. But they look amazing for real and in photos.

Mt. Pinatubo (20)A good pair of shades? A must! You don’t want the sands on your eyes, and if you have any asthma problems, something to cover your mouth and nose will also be helpful like what my sister wore.

Mt. Pinatubo (21) The second stop where we needed to wait again for the other 4×4’s. We need to go batch by batch so if one gets stuck somewhere, they can help pull each other.

Mt. Pinatubo (22) The man who looks like a Nat Geo photographer because of his yellow shirt, lol!

Mt. Pinatubo (23) On tippy toes for this shot since I am beside Daniel and my sister.

Mt. Pinatubo (24) Now time to roll!

Mt. Pinatubo (25) Under the heat of the sun 🙂

Mt. Pinatubo (26) 20 minutes to the crater! Yeah! Almost there!

Mt. Pinatubo (27) Our wooden ‘tungkods‘ were very helpful, happy we bought them. There were areas where the streams flowed along the hiking trail, those were not coming from above the crater. There is a large waterfall but is very dangerous to travel and explore as our guide said. Only the natives are allowed to visit the place, he said it is really beautiful but the trail were surrounded by mountain sands, so it’s a no no for tourists.

Mt. Pinatubo (28)Now here we are! The majestic crater of Mt. Pinatubo waiting to be discovered by us first timers 🙂

Mt. Pinatubo (29) My smile is as big as the crater, lol! So I got a few things to share from our tour guide again, I do hope he didn’t get tired from answering my questions. Mt. Pinatubo as they said was just a small mountain, then it got bigger and bigger because of the lava that was forming inside, thus it was called Pinatubo. “Tubo” is a Tagalog word for grow. It is also the type of mountain where only few trees and plants grow because of the hot land. I wondered how the water got on top of the crater, really weird so I have to ask our guide about it too. He said that the water was not there before, after the eruption that’s when it appeared, it was also high so they needed to create another hole that leads to Zambales area so it won’t overflow. It depends on the sulfur level if it’s safe to swim or not, just this January 2013 the tourism group has not allowed anyone to swim. The water has not been tested yet and I am not so sure about the rumors if someone really drowned in here that’s why they discontinued it. Anyhow, I really wanted to try and float in the waters but I won’t break the rules. The crater might eat me alive for not following, haha!

Mt. Pinatubo (30) A good place for the cross to stand on.

Mt. Pinatubo (31) Stunning view, didn’t know that the crater was this big.

Mt. Pinatubo (32) People resting under the big tree. See Mayi? the lady in green, happily smiling 🙂

Mt. Pinatubo (33)Friends of Bianca 🙂

Mt. Pinatubo (34) I thought the massage was after the hike, lol! Little did I know Mayi can also do that.

Mt. Pinatubo (35) Going down the crater, steep.

Mt. Pinatubo (36) Down the crater, where the photo op began.

Mt. Pinatubo (37) They were willing to carry me. I told them at first that I am heavy as a log, they didn’t seem to care, so why not try, lol! Lechon ready pose?

Mt. Pinatubo (38) High with fun at the crater!!!

Mt. Pinatubo (39) Charlie’s angles not angels, haha!

Mt. Pinatubo (40) I loved how the mountain reflected on the water, so pretty.

Mt. Pinatubo (41) Singaporean, Pinay and Italian on the lose 🙂 Thanks guys for being such a sport and embracing the weirdness that I have.

Mt. Pinatubo (42) Mayi’s ANTM pose, it’s just that she didn’t know the three idiots were making fun of her 🙂

Mt. Pinatubo (43) Sony Ericson models vs Samsung

Mt. Pinatubo (44) Now it’s time to take photos on the other side.

Mt. Pinatubo (45)Cover needed? All smiles 🙂

Mt. Pinatubo (46) Who’s scared of her? 🙂

Mt. Pinatubo (47) This was our group shot, if I am not mistaken, only 2 were not included here. Big happy group!

Mt. Pinatubo (48) Happy as we can be! 🙂

Mt. Pinatubo (49)The crazy ones and trouble makers!

Mt. Pinatubo (50)Naks, they look good together right? 😉

Mt. Pinatubo (51) Bianca and her baby

Mt. Pinatubo (52) Colors!

Mt. Pinatubo (53) Pinay beauties

Mt. Pinatubo (54) Of course, will I let this trip pass without any of my poses!? Haha, I kinda loved my outfit, time to get away from bikinis? Sporty look for my peg.

Mt. Pinatubo (55) You will never know thyself, unless you go out there and travel.

Mt. Pinatubo (56) If only I can push them, haha!

Mt. Pinatubo (57)They made me a human tripod and I was that willing. Thank you so much Bianca for letting me grab some photos. This post would be impossible without you.

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“I read; I travel; I become”
― Derek Walcott

Hope you loved this as much as I enjoyed my 2nd hiking experience. Meeting new people has always been a great joy for me. Daniel, thank you for taking time in experiencing our country, may you be blessed in your future travels and do not forget to share our country once you go back to your land. Alexus, since you still have a few months here, I do hope I can join you on your Gawad Kalinga activities. It’s really heartwarming to know you chose our country of all places. To Bianca’s officemates and friends, thank you for the invite and for allowing us to be a part of your Mt. Pinatubo trip. I was not able to converse and thank you personally but I had a great time. Cannot count how many times I laughed because of so many reasons.

A few things to remember before climbing up Mt. Pinatubo

  • Make sure you wear light clothing since the road trip is both hot and sandy
  • Do not forget your sun glasses or shades, A MUST even though you don’t like wearing it.
  • Still apply sunblock on your skin just to prevent sunburn
  • Closed slippers or anything with straps or rubbershoes both good for water, dust and rocks is advisable.
  • Make sure you have something to hold on to during the 4×4 ride, it’s a rough ride and you don’t want to fall anywhere.
  • Walk slowly and do not be so excited to see the crater, you will get there. They said most accidents were caused by too much excitement.
  • Bring your own water bottle if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on top. (small bottles costs 50.00 pesos each)
  • When you go back to the base camp, it’s your choice if you want to take a shower or not, it costs 50.00 pesos.
  • Check our other blogs for other what to do’s and what not to do’s for Mt. Pinatubo climb. Bullets above are from my experience only. 🙂

This travel has opened my big brown eyes to a different level, now the willingness to try and hike other places is 100%. The thought of carrying heavy bags is still there, but what is heavy bags compared to overlooking places, streams, falls, green lands, new people and great stories? Now that’s a weightless bag! 🙂

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