A powerful quote and a saturated photo 🙂
Taken from my recent travel in Samal Island, Davao City.
Hi everyone! Summer 2013 was very memorable for me, again, I was not able to fulfill my dreams of staying at home to finish all my books. My friends and I went to visit Daraitan Falls last April 14, thanks girls for coming with me 🙂 The trip wouldn’t be uber fun without you.
The heat was unbelievable but we are ready to conquer the day. We met the Barangay Captain of the area, thank you sir for welcoming us (kiddin’, he was really there before we came, having a talk with their barangay members). All foods ready! Let’s walk then!
I can’t imagine there’s a place like this near our province. It was amazing like the other places I have been to. Okay, so here’s the real deal, when I invited my friends, I told them it was Daraitan Falls. Little did I know, it’s called Tinapak River and the Tinapak Falls was destroyed by Typhoon Ondoy last 2009. So that was like, 4 years ago!!! I cannot forget their faces when our tour guide explained that. Still, Tinapak River can be found at Daraitan… so they are still connected right? Haha!
View from a far, I swam to the other side just for this shot. Time to get mushy… when I saw them so happy, just chillin’, I can’t thank the Lord above for giving me such kind and soulful friends. These girls helped me a lot when I needed them. Those times when I felt life was draining me to pieces, they were there. When I needed encouragement, they were there and they never left my side. Up to now, I can’t thank them enough, I just love this group.
Rocks rocks rocks, rocks everywhere!
To those who want to visit, the Daraitan Road is a long one, just continue driving until you reach this bridge. If I remember it right, we asked 5 times where’s Daraitan, they all just pointed “straight ahead”, lil’ did we know it was a long long way down there.
Of course, a trip would not be complete without visiting Vista Barista Cafe. A stop over all tourists must try! Coffees, pasta and cakes were affordable and they tasted so good. Hoping the next time I visit, I will be able to speak and have a few words with the owner.
Since it was Sunday, we also visited Baras Church.
A perfect way to close the night, videoke baby! After that, some left… Hilda and Gen slept at my room 🙂
So where exactly is Daraitan Falls? It’s in my heart.
We 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
College, what do I remember? Hmm… of course, syringe, IV transfusions, some bone parts and a lil’ bit of anatomy. But mostly, I remember singing songs on the hallway, not sleeping until we finish endless reports, partying until dawn after the finals and having a great time with these promising nurses of the future.
What does a weekend of four ladies, all energy driven and passion seekers hold? Read along!
First time to travel by boat going to Nagsasa Cove during nighttime. Though I am a good swimmer, I was kinda afraid at first since we are braving an open sea. But when the boat ride started, I knew it would be a safe one. The water was calm and inviting, thousands of stars twinkle in the sky and it was a great sight.
After an hour and a half (travel time depends on how calm the sea is) we finally hit the shores. Since it was dark, I wasn’t able to appreciate the place as a whole, all I know was that I felt at home. The sands on my feet felt perfect. As you can see, we pitched our one and only tent, arranged our groceries and played cards before going to sleep.
Morning came, another miracle given by God! This was the morning I thanked Him not only for the life He has given us but also for his wonderful creations. Waking up to this scenery was fantastic and oh so ‘mood motivator’. I will introduce my friends one by one as I go along, here we are, dancing to some songs for our morning exercise.
Afternoon came, perfect time to shoot some solos. I have read somewhere that photographers wait for this time of day just to get the perfect kind of light. Hope we got that kind of ‘light’ they were pertaining to.
Kai being the model of the group had an idea about being submerged into the water. We came up with these shots. All photos were taken using a point and shoot digital camera, I say they were great shots! 🙂
One problem, my blood temperature has always been hot, a lot of times people have mistaken me to be sick but it’s just normal I say. Being hot-tempered (blood only) mosquitoes love me. I ended up having 9 big bites… not so good. 😦
And of course I needed a head shot! Thanks Mona for this one. 🙂
Now it’s time to share some things about the people behind this happy event. Everyone, meet my friends, Mona, Lyza and Kai. All happy, single but we can’t escape some personal issues. I’m gonna keep them private (wink wink).
Lyza, she currently works as a nurse abroad. If you don’t know her and she doesn’t smile at you, you might label her as a snob. Why? She has this almond piercing eyes that can look straight at you. But once you get to know her, you know she’s one of them ladies who knows how to have fun and keep it real.
Lyza and mine, the sand though grayish was as soft as Boracay. Just add up some twigs in it since the whole place of Nagsasa is covered by high pine trees.
Kai, yes physically sexy and very good at dancing. When you talk about girl power, she’s one lady you can bet on. Not only does she photograph well, she knows how to model for real. Guess our love for great photos is our common denominator. She looks real pretty on the outside but oh so tough on the inside. Experiences make us independent at some point, like her case. I admire her for being frank most of the time and she knows it.
Now it’s time to finish what they started. I got to be a barista for a night! Yipee! Special thanks to Lyza for my coffees, she knows I can’t live without them. She placed so much efforts into these coffee of mine, it’s not a joke on how to boil water when you are on a camp site.
Save the best for the last? We have Mona, a lady who also live under books. We both love reading like religion. She also has this crafty side of her that I love so much. She borrowed my book one time and this was what I got in return. Emotions keep her real and she holds dear all the people around her.
Thank you Nagsasa Cove, will be sure to come back. For those residing in the Philippines or anyone who wants to pay a visit, I have a good bangkero contact. Just email me and I will give you their number. Support local tourism!
All travels come to an end, but it would be the experience that will never leave us. At the end of it all, it will make us better. Thank you Mona for calling me Aster, Kai for calling me Twinkle and Lyza for simply calling me Joyce 🙂 You know how I love each one of you, hopefully we will never lose our yearly tradition, travels and bikinis!
“Maybe the truth is there’s a little bit of loser in all of us you know, being happy isn’t having everything in your life being perfect. Maybe it’s about stringing together all the little things. Making those count more then the bad stuff. Maybe we just get through it and that’s all we can ask for.”
― Ann Brashares, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
I had a great weekend date with these three fab and sexy ladies. This post is just a teaser of the great time that we had at Nagsasa Cove in Zambales. Some things have been keeping me busy lately but I promise to share this experience with you soon. A big thanks to these ladies, you know what I mean! ^^
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.
After 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! 🙂
Morning 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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
If only we have a car, yes, I want that Apology wooden thing on my wall or in our receiving area.
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.
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*. 🙂
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. 🙂
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). 🙂
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.
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! ♥
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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!
“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
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! 🙂