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?