Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #31: Come South, Cam Sur! – The Trip's Travel Tips

Admittedly, I'm still a novice when it comes to budget travel. I really try not to spend over what I have initially budgeted but hey, I deserve a few splurges after working so hard, right? ;P

Also, I work full-time; so anytime I get a time off and go somewhere, I treat it as a vacation.

Reasons, reasons... :D

So anyway, starting with this post, I'd be sharing my itinerary and actual spend for my travels moving forward.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #30: Come South, Cam Sur! – Wakeboarding Woes

Da Where: CamSur WaterSports Complex, Pili, Camarines Sur, Philippines
Da When: October 20-23, 2011
Da Who: Me and my partner in crusade and crime, Vin! It's his birthday! :)
Da Trivia: Whoever said wakeboarding is easy, have him/her meet me and I'll give that person a good kick in the bum! :D

Note: The photos in this post are from the CamSur WaterSports Complex website, unless otherwise stated. Original watermark untouched, credits to owner.

The sun was barely peeping behind Catanduanes Island when we woke up and started to pack; need to go early so we can catch the 0700 boat ride from Guijalo back to Sabang. We'd be repeating the same long journey we took to get there to go back to Naga via boat and bus. Oh what fun! (insert sarcasm here). ;P

Oh but I can't wait to see CWC for myself, after a long time of wanting to. :)

Hello CWC and Mt. Isarog mirrored on the Cable Park lake :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #29: Come South, Cam Sur! – Islands, Islands and more Islands in Caramoan!

Da Where: Caramoan Islands, Camarines Sur, Philippines
Da When: October 20-23, 2011
Da Who: Me and my partner in crusade and crime, Vin! It's his birthday! :)
Da Trivia: Sea travel and a hangover do not really mix well. #triedandtestedfact

They say the Philippines is an archipelago of about 7, 107 islands. In the past, its hard to imagine how one small country can have that many islands. After the island-hopping activities we had for the day, I'm a non-believer no more.

We were here! And no, we're not that tanned. Had to adjust exposure so the sand writing pops out. :)

Kwentong Kaladkarin #28: Bleak Mt. Batulao and a Bowl of Bulalo

Da Where: Nasugbu, Batangas and Tagaytay, Cavite, Philippines
Da When: August 27, 2011
Da Who: me, Vin, Naheem, Mehdi and Jamie
Da Trivia: It's my 6th hike up Batulao but a lot of firsts - dayhike, with friends from the US, Canada and Germany, and during a tropical storm. Hello Typhoon Mina! ;D
Da Words for the Day: "Does this road never end?" - Mehdi

Note: This is a text-heavy post. Typhoon Mina made photo-taking with non-waterproof gadgets impossible. ;D Photo credits to Mehdi.

It sucks when our country goes into monsoon season, right around the the start of June lasting into early February. It's the time of the year when low pressure area, typhoons and thunderstorms are part of the local weather reports. It's also the time of the year when climbs and hikes are blown out of anyone's weekend plans.

A new project is underway at work and a few friends from work who are first-time visitors to the country wanted to see the Philippines past the smog-filled Metro Manila skylines, merchandise-stacked Greenhills and expat-littered Greenbelt. What better way than to introduce them to the beauty (and fun) of tropical hiking, right smack in the middle of the monsoon season? ;)

Our guests were up to it so we scheduled the dayhike on a Saturday, right off work. With Vin as our unofficial guide, we brought Jamie, Naheem and Mehdi to Mt. Batulao in Nasugbu, Batangas. The three of them are in the country for a couple months for work and I wanted to take them to another Pinoy experience other than Boracay or Palawan. Jamie's from the US, Naheem's from Canada and Mehdi's from Germany.

It will be my 6th time to hike up Mt. Batulao and it'll be Vin's 10th time, I think. Yes, that's how much we love this mountain. :) We stopped by at McDonald's for a quick breakfast fill as Mehdi worried about the weather. He just saw an early edition newspaper with frontpage headline of Typhoon Mina making landfall in Isabela and the Cagayan areas.

Technically, there was no storm signal raised for the NCR and neighboring provinces; not until later that day, at least. Safety is always a first so any indication of the weather being too risky, we would've called off the hike. We're not suicidal just yet. Haha!

Vin and me, with our foreigner friends! :) See the fog and rain surrounding us?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #27: Come South, Cam Sur! – Long Journey To Lingating

Da Where: Caramoan Islands, Camarines Sur, Philippines
Da When: October 20-23, 2011
Da Who: Me and my partner in crusade and crime, Vin! It's his birthday! :)
Da Trivia: Day 1 for this trip was the day we have been on all forms of transportation – air, land and sea. Spell t-i-r-i-n-g! :D

The recent weeks leading up to this trip saw the country pounded by three  typhoons - Pedring, Quiel and Ramon - that left large areas flooded from the relentless rain. It was a relief when the weather forecasts started showing sun instead of rain or dark cloud images and with the words sunny, warm, and dry slipped in. No way in hell I'm getting on a small plane that will land on a small airport if I see any semblance of a rain cloud in the sky! :D

We were delayed at the runway for almost an hour because of airport traffic. Geez, hope NAIA will do something about that. :(

Flight 5J 521 bound for Naga

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #26: Back to Iloilo, The Place I Still Call Home

Da Where: Iloilo City and Capiz, Philippines
Da When: August 6-9, 2011
Da Who: I'd like to call this a solo trip but since it's home, I say, throw in my family too! :)
Da Trivia: I'm shamefully 'fessing up; it's been 2 years since I last I stepped foot in Iloilo. :(

It all started when I got a text message from Nanay, saying that Lola wants me and my sister home for her birthday. Yikes, has it really been two years since I've last set foot in my hometown?

Though I have been living and working in Metro Manila for the past six years, I still call Iloilo my home. After booking last-minute roundtrip flights (my heart missed a beat coz I hate paying for regular airfares ;D) and wormed a 1-day leave approval out of my boss, I found myself on a Cebu Pacific flight bound for Iloilo International Airport early Saturday morning, right off a work shift.

Forty-five minutes later, I stepped out of the plane and took in the verdant views and gulps of fresh air. Yes, I'm home. Back to sights, sounds and tastes familiar. :)

Comfort Food at its Finest: LaPaz Batchoy

Not many people know that I was born and spent the first decade of my life living at my grandparents' house in LaPaz, a 3-minute walk away from LaPaz Public Market, the birthplace of the LaPaz batchoy. If you've been living under a rock and don't know what batchoy is, it's a noodle soup made with pork organs, beef strips, crushed pork cracklings, chopped onion stalks, chicken or beef stock and round noodles.

It's the first thing I ask for when I'm home. And there is no other restaurant here in Manila that could ever duplicate the authentic taste of LaPaz batchoy. I should know. I grew up eating this dish, even maybe before I could walk and talk. ;D

Super Special LaPaz Batchoy
Photo credit: Deco's LaPaz Batchoy

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #25: Cebu Chronicles – the Church, the Caffeine, the Cholesterol and the Crazies

Da Where: Cebu, Philippines
Da When: July 5, 2011
Da Who: Vin and me! :)
Da Trivia: Cheesy. Mushy. Corny. Old-fashioned. Call it what you may but this trip was to celebrate our 3rd year anniversary together. ;D

Vin and I were a little forlorn in leaving Bohol as the past two days were just pure bliss. However, we needed to make an early SuperCat trip out of Tagbilaran so we can have a full day of exploring Cebu before our 2300H flight back to Manila later that night.

We had a bit of a taste of Cebu when we landed into the city a couple nights ago and went out for some barbecue. As soon as we docked at Cebu Port, we went straight to Banilad Town Center in Mandaue City so we can sample the Anthony Bourdain-recommended Zubuchon lechon de Cebu  but to our disappointment, a roving security officer informed us that their branch in BTC closed a couple months ago. Bummer. ;(

Dismayed and starving, we decided to just head SM City Cebu and left our heavy backpacks at the Traveler's Lounge, paying PhP30.00 for the safekeeping and had lunch at the food court where, yes, we had lechon  from Marina's Lechon. It tasted just fine for me, Mr. Bourdain. ;D

After getting our energies and endorphins back, we finally stepped out into the cloudy but warm city and headed out for the sights and thrills the Queen City of the South has to offer. :)

Basilica Minore del Santo Niño

This church, built in the 16th century, is the oldest church in the Philippines. It is believed that the church was built on the spot where the image of the Santo Niño, a sculpture depicting the Holy Child Jesus found by Spanish explorers in the late 1500s preserved in a burned wooden box which was left behind during the Magellan expedition.

For a Tuesday, there were still a lot of people going to the church, some to pray and wipe their hankies to several religious figures inside the church. Having been raised in a Catholic home, I wanted to drop by and say a prayer and light some candles.

Basilica Minore del Santo Niño from the outside

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Roost Relaxation: Home Service Massage from Islands Massage Mobile & Day Spa

I'm huge fan of massages. It is said that having an hour of massage is equivalent to 8 hours of sleep. I'm also a huge fan of sleeping. But I won't say no to a good sixty minutes of relaxation. ;)

I've tried several spa and massage establishments and wrote a couple of feedback posts (Mont Albo and Pearlsacho). But when Vin and I found ourselves at home, awake at 1:00am, I've thought of trying a home-service massage, for the first time.

Photo from Islands Massage Mobile and Day Spa website

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #24: Bewitching Bohol – Paragayo Resort

We were looking for affordable accommodations in Panglao that was close to the beach as possible and came across several great reviews for Paragayo Resort in Tawala, Panglao.

I thought getting beachfront resort reservations won't be necessary since we were both planning to do a Bohol Beach Club Day tour anyway so I scoured blogs and forum reviews for a good backpacker place to stay without sacrificing comfort and convenience.

Paragayo Resort entrance

Kwentong Kaladkarin #23: Bewitching Bohol – Life's a Beach

Da Where: Bohol, Philippines
Da When: July 4, 2011
Da Who: Vin and me! :)
Da Trivia: Cheesy. Mushy. Corny. Old-fashioned. Call it what you may but this trip was to celebrate our 3rd year anniversary together. ;D

Tatlong taong gala ng dalawang tao na makakati ang paa. ;D

I've been dragging my feet to finish my Cebu-Bohol posts. Work has been crazy the past couple of weeks after getting back from our short reprieve. Or maybe I didn't want to let go of the memories of the trip just yet because I feel that hitting Publish Post button would be to say goodbye to some of the best fun I've had this year. :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #22: Bewitching Bohol – Wildlife, Whatnots and Way Back When

Da Where: Bohol, Philippines
Da When: July 3, 2011
Da Who: Vin and me! :)
Da Trivia: Cheesy. Mushy. Corny. Old-fashioned. Call it what you may but this trip was to celebrate our 3rd year anniversary together. ;D

Looking back at our whirlwind of a day tour as soon as we stepped foot in Tagbilaran, the only thought that crossed my mind was that Boholanos are one of the luckiest people in this world.

Their tiny island/s of a province teems with beautiful natural wonders and rich with history and identity, one would feel almost reluctant to leave.

To show you what I meant, let's get on with the tour, shall we? :)

  • Corella Tarsier Sanctuary

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #21: Cebu Chronicles – Soaked, Skinned and Smoked in Sugbo

Da Where: Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines
Da When: July 2, 2011
Da Who: Vin and me! :)
Da Trivia: Cheesy. Mushy. Corny. Old-fashioned. Call it what you may but this trip was to celebrate our 3rd year anniversary together. ;D


Our Cebu Pacific flight landed around 19:00 then proceeded to downtown Cebu City where we were met with torrential rains that flooded the streets en route to Cebu Century Hotel.

Flight 5J 571 disembarking at Mactan Cebu International Airport

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #20: Flashback Files* - CosmoBuild Habitat for Humanity

Da Where: Pasig LGU-Habitat Project Site, Gov't. Lot F, Bernardo Compound Caliuag, Brgy. Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City
Da When: March 29, 2009
Da Who: me, Lala and the fun, fearless females of Cosmopolitan Philippines
Da Trivia: The best way to start the summer is to help out brothers and sisters in dire need of goodwill. :)

Fab construction worker on site! ;D

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Confessions of a Seat Sale Junkie (or True Story of How a Kaladkarin Booked Her Dirt-Cheap Flights)

I've always never liked flying. The first time I've stepped foot on an airplane some 15 years ago, I know an aircraft and I would never be the best of friends.

Coz I'm leaving on a jet plane...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Luna's Looneys Are Out Tonight!

Mr. Gru's attempting to steal the moon again! Help! ;D

Total lunar eclipse, 02:48AM, 16-June-2011

Sorry my point&shoot camera sucks, just wanted to document this rare instance. :)

Next ones will be in December 2011 and July 2018! See you then! :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #19: A (Birthday) Walk in the Park

Da Where: LaMesa EcoPark, Fairview, Quezon City
Da When: June 5, 2011
Da Who: me, Laura, Ekz, Gee, Rose Anne and Ezone
Da Trivia: It's my 25th birthday and all I want is a photoshoot before I start gathering the wrinkles and sunspots! Haha! :D

If you are a pretty close friend of mine, you would know that I have three major, major frustrations in life. One is to be a famous singer; two, an Olympic figure skater or gymnast; and three, a supermodel.

Pwede na bang pang-Cosmo? :D
Photo by Laura Esguerra-Quiogue

Monday, May 30, 2011

Massage in a Mall: Mont Albo Massage Hut

My younger brother, Brian, is over for a couple of days from Naga where he's been for the past two weeks for an event. He'd fly home to Iloilo tomorrow so I thought I'd treat him out for a movie before he leaves. Yes, we watched Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and yes, Johnny Depp is . Always was and always will. ;D

Since we were already in Market! Market! in Fort Bonifacio, I decided to go for a massage in the newly-opened Mont Albo Massage Hut. I am a huge fan of their massages since 2008 in their Oriental Gardens branch (which then moved to JAKA, the building right across). I used to live a couple blocks away from this branch and worked practically next door so getting a massage before or after work was a breeze, especially since they had 24-hour operations before. I found out about a year ago that they don't anymore. For a nocturnal creature like me who works crazy hours, this was sad news. ;(

Mont Albo Market! Market!
Photo credit: Mont Albo Facebook page

Kwentong Kaladkarin #18: Flashback Files* - Galera Gallivanting

Da Where: Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
Da When: April 5-7, 2008
Da Who: me, Monette, Lala, Gineau, Lou, Sash and Jazz (a.k.a. the Sl*ttish Friends) ;D
Da Trivia: It was a fun, chillax trip with besties and girl friends from work. It was also my first out-of-town weekend with Monette. :)

A super tanned me, overlooking Oriental Mindoro

Back in 2008, I have been in Manila and have worked in the BPO industry for about two years already. Perhaps due to the stress that the job brings, a lot of my workmates often take quick vacations and trips during their rest days and come back recharged and usually tanned, braided and henna tattooed. And sometimes, with the occasional hangover. :) When I asked where they've been for the two days they weren't at work, I often get Puerto Galera for an answer.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #17: Flashback Files* - Zoning Out in Zambales

Da Where: Nagsasa Cove, Pundaquit, Zambales
Da When: February 14-15, 2009
Da Who: me, Vin and the VEAT folks
Da Trivia: It was VEAT's anniversary trip - time to chillax and just hang loose on Valentine's Day! :)

Zambales lies on the western shores of Central Luzon, its coastline famed for untouched (or at least, used to be) beaches and serene islands. I have been climbing for a few months with the VEAT folks (Ventus Eco-Adventure Team) and when they sent out an invite to do beachineering  instead of mountaineering for their 2009 anniversary celebration, I said yes immediately! I don't know how to swim an inch to save my life but boy, does the sight and sound of waves and sand excite me! :)

The view that waited for us... :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #16: Flashback Files* - Livin' It Up in Lake Caliraya

Da Where: Eco Saddle Resort, Lake Caliraya, Cavinti, Laguna, Philippines
Da When: May 30-31, 2009
Da Who: me and Lala
Da Trivia: It was such a treat to tour Laguna, in all its quaintness and rustic beauty. :)

A couple years ago, one of my besties, Lala, invited me to join a birthday celebration of one of her college friends from UP Los Baños, Paul. I couldn't contain my excitement when I knew it will be in Caliraya. I've read up great stuff about this man-made lake in Laguna. That time, I was also going through a personal struggle so I couldn't refuse such a tempting offer for some time off. :) 

Caliraya has several resorts offering several water sports and activities and guests can camp on the banks of the lake, or stay in nipa huts constructed. We stayed at Eco Saddle Resort and had a hut reserved for our group. Of course, everything was paid for and all Lala and I had to do was show up. :D

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #15: Flashback Files* - California Chillin'

Da Where: Southern California, United States
Da When: January 5-20, 2008
Da Who: me and Ate Lie
Da Trivia: My first time out of the country and my first into sunny California, in the land of milk and honey. Hopefully not the last! ;P

A little over three years ago, I was privileged enough to be given the chance to be sent to the USA for a couple weeks' work. My visa and passport were all sponsored by my company, and so was everything else.

I traveled together with a colleague, Ate Lie, and yes, we did work! But of course, it didn't hurt to insert a li'l bit of fun. ;D

Finest shopping district this side of town @ Rodeo Drive. Window shopping lang, mahal eh! :D

Saturday, May 21, 2011

BFFs and Birds @ The Venice Piazza

A hearty late lunch.
Feeding pigeons out of my hand.
Frozen yogurt with yummy toppings.
I needed this. :)

Birds scrambling for food out of my hands.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Feel-Good Travel Music

I'm a selective listener.

I enjoy music but I can get picky (or un-picky/un-cool) at times. My choices range from AM radio drama anthems to saccharine-sweet pop songs.

This one just perked my ears up. Sweet, simple and feel-good. The kind I want to hear on 13-hour bus rides and through air pockets. The way music I feel should be.

And the song message is just to poignant to miss. Indeed, wherever my feet take me, home is where my heart is. :)


PS: Check out the rest of the YT videos of Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, especially SALVO!, the music video series. Pure genius. ;)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

"Kaladkarin Was Here!" as of May 2011

So I was making the rounds of a few (okay, tons! ;P) local travel blogs I follow and saw that a lot of them used this nifty little blog app that can show a visual representation of where you've been in the 'Pinas.

Cool, right? So I had to try it out for myself and got a grade C as a traveler as of May 2011, just right before I hit my 25th birthday.

My Lakbayan grade is C!
How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!
Created by Eugene Villar.

So I've pretty much set foot in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao in the first quarter of my existence. Some of these travels were for work, most were for pure leisure. Marked-out proof of my kaladkarin-ness. :) Guess which areas I'd be shading blue soon? ;D

Ikaw, how much of our gorgeous country have you been to?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother and Daughter

What do girls do who haven't any mothers to help them through their troubles?
- Louisa May Alcott

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Outdoorsmanship Courses Offered by Ms. Janet Belarmino

Hey you, adventurous soul! In case you wanted to undergo basic to advanced mountaineering courses, SCUBA diving training and license, etc; Ms. Belarmino and husband Todd offers several options.

I was lucky enough to get a business card from her and this is what it contains:

Janet Belarmino
Mt. Everest Team & Voyage of the Balangay Team
Ph# +639185045220 / Ph# 639165131504

We can develop a special program just for you, your group or family. We offer:

* Basic to advanced mountaineering courses
* Rock climbing and rope courses
* SCUBA diving and snorkeling courses
* Sail training

And "Inspirations from the Edge" slide show presentations on: Everest Experience, Voyage of the Balangay Experience and Sailing Around the World Without an Engine

Feel free to reach the contact details provided. Until recently, when Ma'am Janet corrected my wrong notion that I need to know how to swim for me to scuba dive, I've always been weary of signing up for diving trips. Now that that myth has been debunked, I, for one, would want that SCUBA training which includes certification and issued license to dive anywhere in the world! Sweet. :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #14: Batulao, Beer and Belarmino

Da Where: Mt. Batulao, Nasugbu, Batangas
Da When: April 30-May 1, 2011
Da Who: me, Vin, Angel and Mark
Da Trivia: I was effin' starstruck to meet and share tequila shots and beer with one of Philippine mountaineering's women legends! :D
Da Words for the Day: Best pick-up line ever - 'Are you an athlete?' Hahaha!

Because of a crazy work and school schedule plus an international travel planned, it has been more than a month since my last climb. A couple weeks ago, Vin and I originally planned to do a comeback climb to Mt. Cristobal in Dolores, Quezon after our disastrous first climb up that mountain 2.5 years ago. We're re-scheduling that long-awaited comeback climb this May so I'll tell you more about it some other time. :)

To make the long story short, we couldn't get anybody else to join us on these dates so we decided to forego that and do an easy but rewarding hike instead. And of course, only one mountain came to mind - Mt. Batulao in Nasugbu, Batangas! Angel, a friend of ours, joined us on this climb and brought along Mark, a friend from work. Funnily enough, the first and last time I climbed with Angel was that Cristobal climb so yes, it has been 2.5 years since we last saw each other. :D

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Back to School!

It's been ages since I stepped inside a classroom and take on the role of a student. For the past five years, I have, most of the time, worn the educator hat as a Trainer then went on mentoring teams of Trainers myself.

Strategic Training & Development class, Mar-Apr 2011

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #13: Summer Sojourn in Singapura – Being Kids Again

Da Where: Singapore City, Singapore
Da When: March 26-28, 2011
Da Who: Larry and me! :)
Da Trivia: This is my second international travel and Larry's first! I had to renew my passport for this trip and luckily got the new one only 2 days before our scheduled flight. Whew, close call! :D
Da Words for the Day: "Walking distance lang, neng." ;D

Before dozing off the previous night, Larry and I promised that we'd wake up early on our last day and take a dip at the Changi Green pool that has been seducing us ever since we arrived in Singapore. And yes, we did rise and shine. :)

We had the huge pool all to our selves! :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #12: Summer Sojourn in Singapura – A Day with Friends in a Foreign Land

Da Where: Singapore City, Singapore
Da When: March 26-28, 2011
Da Who: Larry and me! :)
Da Trivia: This is my second international travel and Larry's first! I had to renew my passport for this trip and luckily got the new one only 2 days before our scheduled flight. Whew, close call! :D
Da Words for the Day: "Walking distance lang, neng." ;D

Larry and I promised we’d wake up early and take a dip in the inviting, huge, blue swimming pool of Changi Green but failed. After only about 5 hours of sleep and the major walkathon we had the day before, it felt like we had a full gym workout and was sore all over!

So we slept in for a bit until 0800 and while Larry was still dozing off, I accompanied Luigi at Geylang Serai Market to pick up some items that Jam (Luigi’s younger brother) will need for his catering gig that day. Geylang Serai is known as a wet and dry market and is often frequented by Malays. I had fun roaming around and seeing the usual meat and seafood fare. I found out that Luigi had suki stalls and they’ve even learned to speak a few Filipino words because a lot of our kababayans also do their food shopping there.

There was one whole section of spices sold in open bags, ready for weighing. I had to stop myself from sneezing after inhaling some of what must be the biggest bag of curry powder I have ever seen in my life. :D An elderly Muslim woman even chatted up with me, asking if I wanted to live in Singapore. Hmm… Good question! :P

One of the stalls in Geylang Serai Market

Friday, April 8, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #11: Summer Sojourn in Singapura – Day 1

Da Where: Singapore City, Singapore
Da When: March 26-28, 2011
Da Who: Larry and me! :)
Da Trivia: This is my second international travel and Larry's first! I had to renew my passport for this trip and luckily got the new one only 2 days before our scheduled flight. Whew, close call! :D
Da Words for the Day: "Walking distance lang, neng." ;D

Larry and I have been giddily waiting forever for 26-Mar to come around. Ever since we purchased our 50%-off plane tickets from Cebu Pacific back in Christmas Eve of last year, we counted off the days like 2 kids waiting for, well, Christmas Eve. :D

All my bags are packed, am soooo ready to go! :)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #11: Summer Sojourn in Singapura – The Video Teasers

The detailed posts are coming up but for now, enjoy these video clips I was able to take during our 3-day stay in the Lion City. :)

Larry shelled out SG$5 for some Turkish ice cream at Clarke Quay and got some sweetness, surprise and pain. Haha! :D

A clip of the 'Songs of the Sea' show in Sentosa Island, when Princess Ami finally awakens after hearing Li's song. Too bad my memory card was full, I was not able to record the full 20-minute show of amazing laser lights and water and songs. :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #10: Blue Roses and Bubblegum Saved My Sanity in Mt. Balagbag

Da Where: Mt. Balagbag, Sitio Balagbag, Norzagaray, Bulacan
Da When: March 14, 2011
Da Who: Jamboree Mountaineers (Team C’s Sir Bidz, Repa, Lia, Hazel, Johann and Kriezl) plus the Team A folks who did the overnight climb
Da Trivia: Little did I know, this was Budz’ marriage proposal climb!
Da Words for the Day: “Ang cake!!!!!” :D

Nothing between me and the big, blue sky. :) @ Mt. Balagbag's summit

My mind was already set in not having any climbs scheduled for the months of March and April. That’s because I just enrolled in a continuing education course in College of St. Benilde which will require me to come in for classes for six Saturdays, hitting all the climb schedules usually slated on weekends.

So I surprised myself when I decided to join a dayhike with the Jamboree Mountaineers scheduled for Sunday, 14-March. Repa, together with her friend, Lia, also expressed interest in joining me. Getting home Saturday night after my class, I started packing my stuff with my eyes half-closed from drowsiness. I slept for about 3 hours before being rudely woken up by my cellphone’s alarm. ;P

Saturday, March 12, 2011

'Sabel, This Must Be Love!

Yes, I know it is indeed love when it's already hurting my pocket yet I'm still giddy whenever I get to shop for stuff I'd use for hiking/outdoors. Haha!

When (Eco) Friendly Gets Fashionably Fun

One of my fave hangouts inside a mall is usually a bookstore. I could get lost in shelves and shelves of good reads up until closing hours when the salespeople have to finally kick me out.

Imagine my surprise when I stumbled another great find at National Bookstore and no, it's not the latest book in Oprah's Book Club.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

There's A New Mermaid On the Block

...or at least a revamped, polished-up version of the fish-tailed woman, that is. On your favorite Starbucks drink cup.

Friday, March 4, 2011

From Green to Brown: A Kaladkarin's Philippine ePassport Processing Experience

Goodbye green passport. Had good times with you. :)

So I went to DFA the other day to have my old green passport renewed, which is not supposed to expire until August but I have a Singapore trip planned by month-end and entry to that city/country has a six-month-passport-validity-upon-arrival rule for tourists.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ang Pamumundok ay Drawing Lamang

At eto ay magandang nailarawan ni Sir Manix Abrera sa kanyang pagguhit ng komiks.

Rak 'en rol! \m/

Isang karangalan ang makasama ka sa isang akyat. Sana may kasunod pa. :)

*click on the comic strip for a bigger view

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #09: Over Boulders and into the Bowels of Bulacan

Da Where: Mts. Manalmon and Gola, Biak-na-Bato National Park, Sitio Madlum, San Miguel, Bulacan
Da When: Feb. 20, 2011
Da Who: Jamboree Mountaineers (Team A's Sir Kiko, Isabel, Pia, Hazel, Dora, Raisa, Brianne, Jake, Emma, AnPaul, and Mae)
Da Trivia: Lots of FIRSTs - first time to climb without Vin, first dayhike, first 2 hits, first to go home after a hike without taking a shower. Haha! :D
Da Words for the Day: Team Amazingly Awesome! ;D

Scaling the 'Tower' at Mt. Manalmon's peak

Kwentong Kaladkarin #08: The Smiles and Splendours of Mt. Pulag

Da Where: Mt. Pulag National Park, Babadak, Kabayan, Benguet
Da When: February 12-13, 2011
Da Who: me, Vin, Joey, Isabel, Germaine, Ferdie, Repa, Mon, Nikka, Vic, Bob, Guill and Quennie
Da Trivia: My first major climb for the year, second visit to Pulag and made it more memorable by helping out local kids to celebrate a worthwhile Valentine's Day. :)
Da Quote for the Day: "Malamig ba? Hindi naman eh!" ;D
Ovelooking Ambuklao Dam, enroute to Mt. Pulag National Park

A couple weeks of warm, sticky Manila weather and it feels like its been eons since my last visit to chilly Benguet; which surprisingly only happened the other weekend. I remember I couldn't be any more excited in getting to climb and experience Mt. Pulag again after my first time there in April 2009.

We've been preparing for this climb for about a month and I don't remember being this prepared for any of my previous climbs. Perhaps its because I know it's been freezing cold up north for the past weeks, causing frost with the farmed produce. If there's anything I hate more than shivering in the cold, its shivering in the cold with wet clothes on. So I packed warm clothes for layering and waterproofed like crazy. :D

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #07: Pondering in Pico de Loro

Da Where: Mt. Palay-Palay at Mataas na Gulod National Park (Mt. Pico de Loro), Maragondon, Cavite
Da When: Jan. 15-16, 2011
Da Who: me, Vin, Cy, Archie, Germaine, Ferdie, Repa, Rhia and Ice
Da Trivia: My first climb for 2011 and my first time there! :)
Da Song for the Day: ♫♪ "Hanggang dito na lang..." ♫♪

Three days after the Pico de Loro climb, I'm still musing over what has happened over the weekend. Before the year ended last year, I promised to myself that I'd aim to climb and experience new summits for 2011. this being my 25th year of existence and wanted to make it my 'exploring and discovery' year. My 2010 was as amazing as I wanted it to be but I only got to experience a new mountain, Tarak Ridge in Bataan. The rest of my 2010 hikes were repeat climbs.