Close to perfection…Calaguas Island!

The Calaguas experience all in all was “inspiring and beautiful“. Another time where you will find yourself thanking God for creating such a wonderful place.  He never goes wrong! Of all the places I have been too, this was close to perfection.

We left Manila on a Saturday night around 10:30 in the evening and arrived at the pier 7:15 in the morning. It takes additional 2 hours to reach Calaguas Island via bat but for me it was worth it (make sure you already prepared your sarongs and umbrellas before the boat trip, the sun might burn your skin instantly). The pacific ocean played with different shades of blue and green, really breathtaking how the color changes. The roaring sound of the machine against the view was lovely. Personally, I am really excited for this trip except that I had an emotional breakdown when we reached the island. When my back pack was handed to me, it was all wet and dripping! Call me kinda OC but yes I am, I cried for a few minutes with the thought of “I do not have any extra dry clothes and I do not want to wear unclean clothes”. Good thing the sun was extra hot that day and of course my girls helped me out, so from the bottom of my heart, Thank You Girls. I did appreciate the effort for washing my clothes and for helping me dry them up. Gosh, I do hate it when I cry because of small things, still I can’t stop my tears so forgive me for that, talk about being a happy nut and crybaby at the same time.

This is the port, look at those lovely mangrove like trees!

Our group, don’t you hate life vests? Hate it, makes me feel suffocated. These girls of mine are afraid of the boat sinking… lol!

I wonder what do they call this mountain, pretty nice huh?

Water and stones are such a delight to see!

Look how clear the water is ♥

First group girl shot, background was AWESOME!

While crying and hanging up my clothes, still managed a smile.

The sun was clear on a Sunday, we took some thousand of pictures and had the pleasure of swimming for a few hours. Before we know it, lunch was ready and since we had a long ride, the food was gone within a matter of minutes. The wind was not that strong in the afternoon so at first we had a hard time sleeping, but then again we fell asleep. After a few hours, we were awakened by the loud noise of the other group near us. I dusted the sands of me and dragged myself out of the tent.  The sun was raging with heat and I was sweating real bad. I ate some bread first and after that changed to my other swimsuit (yes, for pictorial and dancing purposes). Again, everybody was up and it was time for our group pictorial. It was such a happy time, we kept on laughing and laughing since we can’t get a nice perfect shot. It took us ages until we decided to stop what we are doing since the sun is setting already. We walked back to our area and then we swam again for a lil’ while (skinny dipping anyone? holler!). This time, the water temperature was cool and we loved it. We would love to stay there but we know it’s not that safe since there was not enough light. The island does not have any electricity and signal, so cellular phones are useless and when night time comes, a flashlight will be your best bud. There is an artesian well or water pump (commonly known as “poso” in the Philippines) where fresh water comes out so you will not have any problem when it comes to shower. After cleaning up, we had dinner and decided to drink some alcohol. Unfortunately, I told them I will drink but ended up sleeping until the next day. The last thing I remember was them playing “Pinoy Henyo” while I was watching the moon and stars. They are magnificent and clear! I have never seen so many stars since my high school (where we had stargazing during first year).

“The shell”

Calaguas at a glance.

This is the middle part of the island where tents are built.

Love Mother Nature, throw your trash properly please.

“The Boat”

Getting ready to get tanned up.

Swim baby swim!

Love the water! Wanna come back for more!

See how HOT it is? But if you are here, you will not mind it I bet!

Having some fun in the sand.

Change outfit time!

Sleep all day sleep all day ♫

I am the lost mermaid! Haha!

Yes dear?

Ala ANTM Top Models 🙂

Closer look  please!

Closest to perfection shot of us while having a good time.

From L-R (I, Mafel, Ghel, Jambi, Sheera, Jhong, Bham and Levy)

So happy together!

I told you I can live here… and just eat sands…

…while the sun is on my face.

The Calaguas shoreline.

“Sunset jumpshot”

Monday, our last day was spent on walking at the beach side and of course, swimming! Who could resist the waters of Calaguas? Not me! 9am and we are all set, this time, our bags are all placed in a plastic bag to make sure they will not get wet again and I will not have to experience another breakdown. We traveled again for 2 hours and then a few minutes on the road again. By lunchtime we are in Bagasbas area, where surfers go. Swimming is not allowed here since the water current is strong and the waves are present 24/7. We decided to eat lunch first and the nearest restaurant was Catherine’s. The place looked so great we didn’t expect something “not so good” will happen. This was it. I do not RECOMMEND the restaurant at all (that’s bold and capitalized). We waited for our food for 1 hour and we are the only group who ordered at that time. I can’t imagine how hungry I was, when they served the refreshments after we placed our order, I finished my iced tea within 10 minutes. While waiting for the super slow service, I felt dizzy and my eyes was kinda blurry. I looked for the washroom and there, I vomited with all my glory. That’s not the end, they punched our orders wrong which led to more confusion. Plus, the waiter who took our orders was not on his happiest state. Even at first we noticed that he was not that accommodating, we just shook it off. But after some time, he’s already saying some things which set us on fire. We do not want to stress ourselves out since we are so hungry but we can’t let it go. Sorry,  NO TIP for you kuya! BAD and slow service!

The incident made us want to leave immediately and I was the only one who took photos of the Bagasbas Beach. Everybody wants to go home since it will be another long trip. We watched the colors of the surrounding change from white to black and again, we are back in the busy streets of EDSA.

Bham having a good time, see the color of the waves? MAGICAL!

Reggae beats.

The sand and I.

Walk walk walk.

The cute old boat.

The crazy ones… Jhong and I

The not so crazy version of ourselves.

Pose Pose Pose

HAPPY 🙂

Calaguas sands.

The group, huge!

Last shot of the island.

Here we are at Catherine’s, look at my face! I look so hungry here!

Bham is MAD!

Smile! Though my lungs were almost out of my throat due to vomiting.

Inside this resort is Catherine’s Restaurant.

Still I looked for brighter things… THE BAGASBAS HORIZON.

I’ll give 4.5/5 rating for the overall trip (but if you can’t let go of your phones, you will not enjoy it) except for the latter part (Christine’s Restaurant).

We would like to thank Kuya Yunan and Kuya Richard for accomodating us, we got the package for Php 3100.00/person. If you are interested, please email me and I will forward you his number. If you do not like to have any problems when it comes to food and tent and boat rides, book them now! 🙂

Much love from our bikinis, Thank you Calaguas!

***Some photos are grabbed from my girls with permission,  make sure to take a look at Angelica Sandra’s Blog too where you can catch a glimpse of our summer getaways and her say on Catherine’s Restaurant!***

The Lost Mermaid and the Colorful Fishes of Coron Palawan

“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Palawan is an island province of the Philippines Region IV. One of the famous destinations here is Coron Island. Coron is also a first class municipality and its main industries are fishing and tourism.

Last January 15,16 and 17 2012, we were able to explore the wonderful place of the said island. We left Manila at exactly 2:40 pm bound to Busuanga Airport aboard Airphil Airlines. The flight lasted for 40 minutes, I did not find it boring since I was able to enjoy the view below (though some parts of Manila were polluted, once you are near Palawan, the view is magnificent).

At the Busuanga Airport, a person from Mang Rudy’s Lodge (the place where we will stay) was already waiting for us. From there, we rode a van to Coron town proper that took about 30-40 minutes (depending on how fast your driver is).

It was our first time traveling with a new group. As you can see, I transferred to a different line of business in our company, that only means, NEW found friends. Yes, we found some travel buddies. They call their group “PAMOSO girls” and they have visited many places already. Anyway, let’s go back to my story.

Mhadz and I arrived earlier, we were supposed to wait for Ruby but her flight got delayed. So we just stayed at Mang Rudy’s Lodge, took a lot of rest and waited for the others. After taking a nap and watching tv, Mhadz and I decided to eat out. Manong tricyle driver does not know where to drop us, he just suggested that we eat at a restaurant called “Kawayanan”. Since my stomach is always hungry, I settled for rice and barbecue while Mhadz tried some burger. In my opinion, the food does not taste that good. (Hope no one gets mad at me, this is just our experience) I recommend you check out other restaurants around the area before you dine in here, just a friendly reminder.

When the second batch arrived, it was dinner time already but we all decided to eat at a later time and proceed with our activities for the night. Once in Coron town proper, we ate some “isaw-isaw” while Gen enjoyed her quail eggs. I noticed that there were actually a lot of foreigners in the area, they are all walking all over the place. What’s interesting was that I saw an american lady eating “isaw-isaw” as well. I am stunned! I thought that maybe she has adopted our Filipino ways already, amazing isn’t it?

Now our stomachs are full but the excitement isn’t over, our first stop was at Maquinit Hot Spring . None of us was able to take a clear picture of the area since it was already dark. But I tell you, people flocked in this place. When I took a swim, I didn’t wonder why. The water was very warm and clean compared to other hot springs I’ve visited before. But, be mindful of your stay here, if you can’t handle the heat anymore, please take some time to get out of the hot water and rest for a while.

So, I felt that my fat burned but my love handles was still present, funny? how could that be, Lol! It was a bit tiring but we are all excited to eat our first dinner together. Back in Mang Rudy’s lodge, we had some “adobong pusit”, rice, fish and watermelon. Dinner without stories would not be complete of course, we chatted over some topics and the big surprise was out. Little did we know that Ruby’s ex made some plans to win her heart again. During dinner, a singer suddenly showed up, sang some love songs and the “kilig moments” were up in the air. But wait, there’s more! A little girl and boy came up and handed a big pink bear and roses to Ruby again, I mean, gosh! How sweet can that ex be? ***blushes blushes all over the place***

After taking a bath, we took some sleep coz we know tomorrow is gonna be a looooong day.

True enough, we were up early the following day. This was one of the greatest day the Lord has ever made. We were about to experience something unexplainable as we wander through the magical islands of Coron.

From Mang Rudy’s Lodge, we just took a tricycle going to the pier. Please take note: DO NOT FORGET to bring your own snorkeling gears, or if you don’t have one, you can rent for 150.00 pesos each. Again do not forget, coz unfortunately, we forgot ours and we needed to get back to the port again. Good thing we weren’t that far yet when Gen realized we do not have our gears with us.

First area we went to was “Siete Pecados”, it feels great that I can swim without any vest, I felt light like a mermaid swimming with all her might and glory. I was finally one with the sea as I took my first dive and watched the small, large, colorful fishes swim to their hearts desire. The others had a chance to see Nemo, I didn’t but I grabbed his picture below. Though I find myself a good swimmer, I am always afraid of what lies beneath the sand and corals. I do not want to get hurt or destroy them so I keep my feet up most of the time.

Second area was “Kayangan Lake”, I tell you, do not close your eyes as come near this area, the place is just so beautiful I am at a lost how I can describe it. I just questioned myself “How can God do such a wonderful thing?! He is so powerful!” As a country, I am not sure if Filipinos realize that as a nation, we are so rich in natural resources and like the people living in this area, we should know how to keep them. Taking pictures was non stop, I want to capture this and that all at the same time. By the way, there were two “kuya’s” who assisted us, one was left at the boat and cooked our lunch while the other accompanied us to do a little trekking til we reach the top. And YES YES YES, as the saying goes, once you get to the top, it will be all worth it! The famous postcard pic was right in front of us. So refreshing to look at but just be careful coz you might slip. Funny how our tour guide said, “You only have two places to go if you fall, one hospital or second, to your own deathbed!” scary! I don’t want any of the two at all. We finished our turns in taking solo pictures and we headed to Kayangan Lake itself. Now, we found ourselves trekking down which was easier, just watch your feet and do not step on any shiny stones, for they are the slippery ones.

There are moments just so profound you want it to stick to your memory for a lifetime. This was one of it, Kayangan Lake looks majestic from afar and even prettier when you’re in it. No doubt it was awarded as the cleanest lake within the country. I can swim all day, plus its more fun since our travel buddies bought an underwater camera. It took some time for us to get our “almost perfect underwater shots” suddenly, the raindrops arrived, so we hurried up so we can go back to the our boat. Once we reached the entrance of Kayangan Lake, one of our boatman said it’s better if we will eat lunch first. So we did since we are all starving from swimming endlessly.

After lunch, we headed to Twin Lagoon where we found more fishes and corals but with a lot of sea urchins. It’s a must that you keep your feet up at all times.

Next it’s time to check out the Twin Peak. Approaching the area feels like you are back in stone age plus aqualand. The stones and I say stones looks splendin it all its glory under the crown of clouds. You will not believe the temperature of the water in this area. At the top, it feels so cold, but underneath that cold layer, was a lukewarm feeling. As per our tourist, the water looks oily and the temperature was like that because it is where the salt water and fresh water join.

Last stop was at Shipwreck or known as Skeleton Wreck, why? because there was a small fishing boat that got shipwrecked in this area. As we know, fishes will opt to stay here since it serves as their hiding place. I was not able to see the whole boat underneath the waves since I was caught by the numerous fishes. They are so big compared to the other areas, really! I kept on waving and saying hi to them but they are too busy to notice me. I am weird, I know! Haha! We also took this time to take loads of pictures!

After the loooooong island hopping trip, it’s time go back to Mang Rudy’s place and look for souvenirs. We walked around the town proper and found this very cute little shop. I highly recommend this one, not sure why but they are cheaper compared to the vendors outside. We found this lovely ethnic earrings! 🙂

For every journey, it must end. Sad to say that’s it’s our last day so we need to enjoy Coron full blast. We woke up early around 5:30 am and headed to Mt. Tapyas. It was a 700+ steps and upon reaching the top, it will be all worth it.

After taking a bath, the other batch needed to catch their early flight back to Manila. Again, we were left but it was fine. We had the chance to buy some stuff before going back to the city. I bought “daing” or dried fish, and toured for a while. This will be one of the best experience I ever had. I LOVE CORON from the deepest of my heart.

***Special thanks to Gen, Jeanne, Anne and Mhadz for the pictures***

Magalawa Island and the Starfishes!

Yes I am a BEACH! A beach lover in this case, haha! I want to share my wonderful experience when I visited Magalawa Island last year. It was a splendid one, I cannot hide my excitement, so far this is my favorite island. I actually call it the STARFISH Island. See for yourself why I call it that, surely, you will not be able to think of any other name except that one.

We left Manila around 3 in the morning since we love to travel early, you know, just the feeling of being alone in the road. We passed SCTEX and then Subic Bay Freeport Zone since it’s a nice shortcut if you’re heading to Zambales area.

After maybe 5 hours of driving, finally we came to Veritas road. Once you are in this area, it means you are near! Yey! Madelaine was really tired of driving so she let me drive Twinkie. Unfortunately, this road was a very rough one indeed. Honestly speaking, I had a hard time driving since I need to be careful since it was not my car at all.

After quite sometime, haha, after 40 minutes, we were able to park Twinkie. We just waited for the boat to pick up us at Oslet Compound. There was another family who rode the boat with us going to the island. So here is the exciting part, when we were on the boat and we are getting near to the island, a lot of starfishes greeted me! It was like, they are welcoming me, their mother, to my unknown home. I am overflowing with happiness, seeing these starry creatures made my spirits extremely positive. (I am a mermaid and I get my powers from sea creatures, lol)

This was the cottage that we rented, it already includes the mattress and pillows. Too bad we carried extra pillows and all that since we were afraid of getting colds and we didn’t have any idea that they were already there.

We took a few minutes to meet Ate Grace and her parents, they are the owners of the island and they are really hospitable. I actually spent a lot of time talking with them while eating. The package consists of food so you don’t need to worry about getting hungry. I tell you, if you are a fish lover, you will really enjoy it.

Once lunch was done, Ate Grace accompanied us to see this rest house situated in a sandbar, how cool is that right? I thought sandbars can only be found in far away beaches in Visayas and Mindanao, little did I know we have one in Luzon.

As soon as we stepped foot to Magalawa Island again, nothing can stop me, I don my starry bikini (from my sister Jolly, thanks sis for buying me this) and had a STARRY pictorial.

Before the day ended, I need to make sure that we’ll catch the sunset. So I posed and posed and posed until the sun set.

I summoned the sea and sand.

Finally the sun set already!

The following morning, it’s time to watch the sun rise and color the horizon.

After sunrise watching, we were given time to tour around the island again, this time, the island proved that there are maybe thousands of starfishes in this small island. This was a picture taken while we were on the boat.

After the island tour, we visited the back part of the island where you can see mangroves and small fishes. This shot below was very hard to get, because of the fish, it was so fast!

Now, it’s time for me to pose again! Endless posing, haha!

Have you seen Bruna Mars on the beach? 🙂 Yes that’s me!

Our breakfast and lunch.

The famous ONSE ONSE, wonder why? count their spots, it’s always 11, truly a gift of nature!

While waiting for the boat so we can go home, I wanna live here! I felt sad to leave the place but I promise I will come back! Now I am back in the Philly’s, I am actually planning it again.

MAGALAWA ISLAND add them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/magalawaisland All details such prices, how to get there and other information are on their info page. Thanks to Madelaine for the other pictures.

I am the lost mermaid

Since I was not able to blog about my past getaways, I just decided to get my favorite pictures in each batch. Now I really regret I blogged too late 😥 Forgive me if I can’t remember the dates, I am not so good in memorizing them.

June 2007 Boracay

This was my first getaway with my college friends. After 4 years of studying nursing, why not give ourselves a break right?

2007 Anawangin Cove Zambales

First time in Anawangin and it was love!

November 2007 Pagudpud Beach

Went to visit my good old friend Belah.

April 2008 Bangui Windmills

Second time for Ilocos, this time, I went with the whole gang.

April 2008 Pagudpud Beach

Lovin’ the long shore of Pagudpud.

September 2008 Puerto Galera

Puerto Galera White beach was not that pretty compared to other beaches, however, it is good if you want to escape Manila as soon as you can. Very near place and easy to travel.

March 2009 Cuyab Resort Hotspring Laguna

Team Building time, yes it is really hot spring! love it!

April 2009 Patar Beach Bolinao Pangasinan

The sand is amazing, looks orangey-gold to me!

April 2009 Hundred Islands Alaminos Pangasinan

Went with my family, this was a tiring one because you really need to tour the surrounding islands but it was all worth it! A must see for all travelers.

September 2009 Puerto Galera

Visited Puerto again but this time with my Cavaliers Team from Chase. We went to the other side of Puerto which was cleaner for me compared to the White Beach area.

November 2009 Potipot Island Zambales

A small island situated in Candelaria Zambales, it’s virginity is unique and the cool water makes me wanna swim all day.

November 2009 Sunbloom Resort

Sunbloom Resort was the resort we stayed in when we visited Potipot. From this area, Potipot Island is just 5 mins boat ride away.

February 2010 Maysha Resort Angono Rizal

Team Building for Team Cavaliers again. Time to bond and have fun!

May 2010 Capones Lighthouse

Visited Anawangin Cove for the 2nd time. This time, with college friends. This picture was taken on top of the lighthouse. You have to be patient in climbing before you can reach this part.

May 2010 Capones Island

Third time to visit Anawangin Cove, now, with Nueve Diosas! I just needed time to pose so I can endorse my friends’ t-shirt printing business.

May 2010 Pundaquit Shores

Havin’ a good old tanning time at the beach.

June 2010 Potipot Island, Candelaria Zambales

Second time around for Potipot! Now with Claims friends! Super enjoyed it!

September 2010 Magalawa Island

The place where all the starfish resides. Literally! they are all over the island. Better visit so you can see, don’t forget to bring your goggles.

January 2011 Punta De Fabian Resort Tanay Rizal

It’s our yearly tradition to go out, this time, we want some place near. Little did I know that this wonderful place was nestled near our area. Unfortunately, we were not able to stay in for an overnight but all the pictures are great.

February 2011 3BR Resort Antipolo Rizal

One last time to bond with my Escalations team. I’m jumping off and having soooooo much fun!

February 2011 Falls on our way to Baguio

I am not sure what is the name of this falls, looks cute though.

February 2011 Pugo Adventure La Union

After celebrating Penagbenga, we visited this sports oriented place called Pugo Adventure.

March 2011 Mamzar Beach Park Dubai

First off in Dubai and we hit the beach!

June 2011 Atlantis the Palm Jumeirah Beach Park

The famous Atlantis, nerve wracking water rides and lovely beach.

August 2011 Parasailing Jumeirah Beach Park Area

Just a quick pose after parasailing. 🙂

September 2011 Eid Beachin’

Last time for me to enjoy the beach of Middle East.