Sisterhood of the Traveling Bikinis

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!

Nagsasa Cove Trip (1) 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.

Nagsasa Cove Trip (2) 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.

Nagsasa Cove Trip (3) 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.

Nagsasa Cove Trip (5) So this photo shows how much I love rock formations, lol!

Nagsasa Cove Trip (6) After some time we decided it’s best to swim and experience the water.

Nagsasa Cove Trip (7) I just finished making “enseladang mangga” and they were all busy with their respective duties. Mona and Lyza cooking something and Kai, not so sure what she was up to at this time, haha!

Nagsasa Cove Trip (8) 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.

Nagsasa Cove Trip (9) 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! 🙂

Nagsasa Cove Trip (10) 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. 😦

Nagsasa Cove Trip (11) My favorite shot among all! Always wanted to be Ariel of The Little Mermaid, this was the closest I got! Haha!

Nagsasa Cove Trip (12)

And of course I needed a head shot! Thanks Mona for this one. 🙂

Nagsasa Cove Trip (13) Thanks to our sponsor Nivea, summer would not be same without you.

Nagsasa Cove Trip (14) 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).

Nagsasa Cove Trip (15) 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.

Nagsasa Cove Trip (16) Sunsets remind us of another great day that we need to reflect on. Be thankful!

Nagsasa Cove Trip (17) 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.

Nagsasa Cove Trip (18) Trees, moon and mountains

Nagsasa Cove Trip (19) My three models!

Nagsasa Cove Trip (20) Reflection

Nagsasa Cove Trip (21) 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.

Nagsasa Cove Trip (22)Silhouette and friends

Nagsasa Cove Trip (23) Orangey horizon

Nagsasa Cove Trip (24) 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.

Nagsasa Cove Trip (25) Uno cards night! Uber fun! Sorry Mona if we asked you toooooooo many personal questions. 🙂

Nagsasa Cove Trip (26) Lyza bought some lanterns, so we wrote our wishes on them.

Nagsasa Cove Trip (27)And let them fly so high!!!

Nagsasa Cove Trip (28) Last morning before we head home, this was how our cottage looked like. Full of bikinis!

Nagsasa Cove Trip (29) (1)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.

Nagsasa Cove Trip (29)Notice how far we were from the shore?

Nagsasa Cove Trip (30) Just another narcissistic shot of the day

Nagsasa Cove Trip (31) My epic pose plus lovely girls!

Nagsasa Cove Trip (32) 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!

Nagsasa Cove Trip (33)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

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!

Baguio 3

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!

Baguio 4

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.

Baguio 5

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.

Baguio 6

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!

Baguio 7

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.

Baguio 8

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

Baguio 9

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.

Baguio 10

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*. 🙂

Baguio 11

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. 🙂

Baguio 12

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!

Baguio 13

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.

Baguio 14

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! ♥

Missing Potipot Island

Beaches as you can see, is one of my favorite destinations. As a kid, my mom used to take us to places we never knew, mostly what they call the virgin beaches. I wish digital cameras were a big hit back then, but no so I learned to stock them up on my head as mental images.

When I started out traveling on my own or with friends after college, I promised myself I would take as much photos as I can. My head is already full of so many things I can’t keep track of the others, lol! 🙂 Anyway, allow me to share with you the beautiful island I have met late 2009. This small but VERY beautiful place is in Candelaria Zambales City Philippines namely POTIPOT Island.

My first trip was very unforgettable, we took the Victory Liner Bus Station at 7:30 am and arrived at the place by 2:30 pm. That was 7 hours long but it was worth the trip (it just took that long because of too many stop overs). We stayed at Sunbloom Resort and was assisted by Ate Mercy who also cooked for us, so nice of her. You actually have two choices, you can stay at nearby resorts or sleep at Potipot, but we chose the first one.

Potipot 1 (5)The next day, we were ready to discover Potipot Island. From our resort, it only took around less than 10 minutes to reach the said island. The first time I set foot and the first time my toes felt the water, I knew fun had started.

Potipot 1 (6) This was one of the cottages for rent, you can stay here overnight or pitch a tent whatsoever.

Potipot 1 (7)Potipot 1 (8) Time for some solo pics (please do not mention my weight, haha! I was skinny back then).

Potipot 1 (10) Potipot 1 (12)

This old tree at the back of the island was love!

Potipot 1 (13)

So I climbed… 🙂

Potipot 1 (3)Before the sun set, we went back to Sunbloom Resort. Though I spent the entire day swimming, I am not done yet. I braved the cold waters and yes, swam until I was dead tired.

Potipot 1 (2)Potipot as a whole.

Potipot 1 (1)

Race anyone? One of my epic shots!

Potipot 1 (4)

Tanned up and loving it! ♥

After 5 months, I was back at the same place, this time with some great friends. Less hassle for the travel since two of them decided to drive. We laughed, ate and chatted all the way from Manila to Zambales. We joked around, talked about “Pilapils” and got even caught up by the police at Clark. Oh memories! I just love the good old times!

potipot 2 (1) Joann, Salvo, Miley, I, Eldrige and Che

potipot 2 (2)Che had a hard time ‘leveling’ up to the small one, haha! Her bod is naturally long and sexy! I miss her so much but I know she is having the time of her life right now. 🙂

potipot 2 (3) I crawl everywhere, and the sand can be my bed.

potipot 2 (4) Sun on my face 🙂 Summer love ♥

potipot 2 (5) Joann and the pink donut, lol!

potipot 2 (6)Isn’t he cute? 🙂

potipot 2 (7) Tan, tan, tan, summer, summer, summer, fun, fun, fun, sun, sun, sun!!!

potipot 2 (8) Eldrige, I and Miley

potipot 2 (9) A starfish!

potipot 2 (10)Small jellyfish, so adorable!

potipot 2 (11) Forgive my vanity, I just love posing before. 🙂

potipot 2 (12)

Bench and I.

potipot 2 (13) Happy as ever!

potipot 2 (14)

All tanned up!

I guess the photos above sums up my short travel story. As usual, I had a hard time thinking what photos to include since I am the type of person who wants to capture them all thinking, I will be able to use ‘this’ in the future. Truly I did, it has been 4 years and I what is great with having a personal blog is you can still write things up even if it’s about past travels and the like.

It’s the month of January, summer is around the corner and personally, I am looking forward for my first travel for year 2013. So excited, hope all the plans will be successful! Missing my sun kissed tan! ♥

On building houses with Habitat for Humanity

By now, many of you know that I love to volunteer in almost anything as long as it will fit my schedule. Last week, my office mates and I joined another sponsored event by our company, this time with Habitat for Humanity Philippines. Our sponsored area was Bistekville in  Payatas area. Though we only worked for around 3 hours maximum, it was such a great experience. My respect for carpenters and those people who really work to build houses raised up to 100%. It was not easy, with the scorching heat, dust everywhere, we have to reach our goal. There are people who depend on us and they believe we can help them build their lovely houses. A house that they will soon call home and create wonderful memories with. So we pushed ourselves and good thing, we survived! I have to admit, after 4 rounds of placing gravel to a sandbag… I was tired. What more if I do other stuff like carry cements, mix this and that? My body would surely give up. So to all carpenters, I salute you! 🙂
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The world needs some help… for every 5 1/2 minutes!

Habitat for Humanity (1)My ever-loving team mate and partner when it comes to volunteer work, Dredd 🙂

Habitat for Humanity (2)Our area

Habitat for Humanity (3) We look so fresh in here! From left to right, Llyod, Eldrige, I, Gem, Joey, Ami, Ampy, Anna, Gen, Melody and Jopet

Habitat for Humanity (4) Getting ready to fight! I, Ami, Gem, Jopet, Chris and Joey

Habitat for Humanity (5) Good works volunteers, always!

Habitat for Humanity (6)Oh the heat! But it won’t stop us!

Habitat for Humanity (7) While waiting for the sacks to arrive, we had a mini pictorial. Wacky me!!!

Habitat for Humanity (8)Here they come…

Habitat for Humanity (9) Back to work team! We can do it!

Habitat for Humanity (10) Then we ran out of sacks again, and this happened, lol!

Habitat for Humanity (11)

Smile!

Habitat for Humanity (13)The “pala” and I ♥

Habitat for Humanity (14)Making sure they were protected from the sun, they look so cute! Dredd, Ami and Gem.

Habitat for Humanity (15) Last round!

Habitat for Humanity (16)Ehem, sorry I ate two breads! 🙂 So hungry!

Habitat for Humanity (17)Now, it’s time for another work, mix and mix, pass and pass.

Habitat for Humanity (18)

Need some help? 🙂

Habitat for Humanity (19) After lunch, Lloyd and Glory

Habitat for Humanity (20) Fresh still? Thanks to wet wipes! 🙂

Habitat for Humanity (21) Kids!

Habitat for Humanity (22)

All people smile in the same language. – Proverb quotes

Habitat for Humanity (23)Mini rocky mountain

Habitat for Humanity (24)Unfinished row of houses beside a school.

Habitat for Humanity (25) Few more help for 2013 to finish this project! You! Yes you are needed! Volunteer here!

Habitat for Humanity (26)

A small plant that symbolizes hope for everyone.

***

For more details, please check the following:

Habitat for Humanity Philippines Twitter

Habitat for Humanity Philippines Facebook Page

Habitat for Humanity Philippines Website

Special Photo Challenge: Inspiration

One of the highest places I have reached, Capones Island Lighthouse, Zambales Philippines

Traveling (and all that’s in between) inspires me to write, it takes my spirit to greater heights and I see a new perspective each time. A different place, a quiet sunrise, a colorful sunset with different people in all walks of life add up to the never-ending search for that inner peace. The wind on my face, the salty smell of the ocean, the sand on my toes, the flying fireflies, the innocent smile of a stranger creates a whole new story that I can share. I am a firm believer that one must travel to get lost and be found.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

I won’t ever forget my first weekend getaway when I was in Dubai last year. My friends brought me to the very beautiful Al Mamzar Park. Oh it was really breathtaking! The benches, the trees and the beach!!! 🙂

~~~ Check out my other Weekly Photo Challenge ~~~

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

Weekly Photo Challenge: Big

Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy