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 BaƱos, 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