Monday, December 24, 2012

Kwentong Kaladkarin #49: Captivating Coron – The Trip's Travel Tips

Da Where: Coron, Palawan, Philippines
Da When: September 9-12, 2012
Da Who: me and Vin to celebrate our golden monthsary. ;D

They say Coron is the 'cheaper' Palawan experience, comparing it of course to El Nido or worse, Amanpulo. Maybe it depends on who's spending. Haha! I'd rather call it possible than cheap and just like any other trip, the decision lies between 'need-to-have' and 'nice-to-have'.

I, for one, is fine sleeping on a cot or even a tent as long as I can experience a new place. Good thing we didn't have to do that as we were able to snag a room from the often-fully-booked Patrik and Tezz Guesthouse. It's a well-known backpackers' place in Coron and currently Tripadvisor's #1 recommended inn.

PTG's hallway. A good book or your laptop and this would be just perfect. :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Kwentong Kaladkarin #48: Captivating Coron – Touring the Town Part 2

Da Where: Coron, Palawan, Philippines
Da When: September 9-12, 2012
Da Who: me and Vin to celebrate our golden monthsary. ;D

A ray of sunbeam was tugging at my closed eyelids and I smiled in my half-asleep state. Finally! The gods smiled on us on our last day. We will get to do what we missed on our first day in Coron - completing our town tour.

More than A-OK! :D

Friday, November 16, 2012

Kwentong Kaladkarin #47: Captivating Coron – Beach Bums Away!

Da Where: Coron, Palawan, Philippines
Da When: September 9-12, 2012
Da Who: me and Vin to celebrate our golden monthsary. ;D

I opened my eyes and instantly knew something was wrong. I heard patter on the roof above the hum of the electric fan. I turned slowly and peeked at the curtain-draped, jalousied window and saw gray skies and big, fat raindrops falling.

Noooooo! Today is our 'beach' day in the itinerary! :(

Egzoited! :D

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Kwentong Kaladkarin #46: Captivating Coron – Behold, Bikini Bottom!

Da Where: Coron, Palawan, Philippines
Da When: September 9-12, 2012
Da Who: me and Vin to celebrate our golden monthsary. ;D

If I knew how much swimming/floating/paddling this day involved, I would've backed out pronto. But then, I would've regretted it. Big-time.

Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Kwentong Kaladkarin #45: Captivating Coron – Touring the Town Part 1

Da Where: Coron, Palawan, Philippines
Da When: September 9-12, 2012
Da Who: me and Vin to celebrate our golden monthsary. ;D

As I fastened my seat belt inside the ATR-720 (yet again!) plane bringing us to Busuanga, I wiped my clammy hands on my denim shorts and uttered a silent prayer. It's no secret I hate plane rides and though I'm ecstatic to finally see one of my dream destinations, getting on a turbo-prop plane crossing the West Philippine Sea (in your face, China!) is definitely not doing wonders for my aerophobia.

Lovebirds in the air. Pun intended. :D

Monday, October 1, 2012

Kwentong Kaladkarin #44: Battleground Batulao

Da Where: Mt. Batulao, Nasugbu, Batangas
Da When: August 25-26, 2012
Da Who: me, Deej, Leo, Chris, Ed, Zee, Alvin and Pheophie the Mini-Pin

I'm slipping into my old age. Why? Because the last time I hiked was friggin' seven months ago! This must be the longest I've gone on without a climb and I'm not a happy camper.

This, I missed. And I think it missed me back. :)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Missing My Merrells

Things are meant to be used and people are meant to be loved. Not the other way around.

I've always gone by this adage. Still, there are some things I have that I treasure dearly because they've impacted my way of life.

One of those are my very first hiking shoes – a (used-to-be) pretty pair of baby-blue-tinged-with-gray Merrell Gore-Tex shoes. I got it in an outlet store shoe sale sometime in early 2009 and it's never been missing from my climbs since then.

I'm already missing you... :(

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Kwentong Kaladkarin #42: Davao Backpacker Stay – Green Windows Dormitel

Da Where: Davao City, Philippines
Da When: August 11-15, 2012
Da Who: me and Deej, on our Davao Duo trip

"So we're sharing the room with other people, okay? So is the bathroom. And you'd be sleeping on the upper bunk bed until a guest from the bottom bunk bed checks out."

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Kwentong Kaladkarin #41: Davao Delights – Digging Into Delectable Bites

Da Where: Davao City, Philippines
Da When: August 11-15, 2012
Da Who: me and Deej, on our Davao Duo trip

What's a trip to a new (or revisited) place without dipping your feet into the hustle and bustle of their daily grind and dipping your spoon into the local eats?

In my past two visits to this largest city in the Mindanao isles, my taste buds have come to like delish dishes that can only be found in this part of the country.

Have you ever had any of these? :)

Kwentong Kaladkarin #40: Davao Delights – Soaking Up the Samal Sunshine

Da Where: Isla Reta Resort, Talicud Island, Island Garden City of Samal
Da When: August 13-14, 2012
Da Who: me and Deej, on our Davao Duo trip

Serenity and the sea
 The past two weeks before this trip, Manila was once again drenched in heavy rains brought along by the southwest monsoon or habagat. Several colleagues even experienced flooded homes and landslides in the northern mountainous areas became news on the nightly programs.

Save for a few minutes of heart-thumping turbulence before landing in Davao, it felt like Deej and I were in a whole different continent. It actually made feel a little guilty to laze around in sunshine while my Facebook news feed filled up with woes of never-ending rain, flood and horrible traffic. I was sending virtual sunshine to friends, hoping that helped a little.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Kwentong Kaladkarin #39: Davao Delights – A Day in Eden

Da Where: Eden Nature Park & Resort, Mt. Talomo, Toril, Davao City
Da When: August 12, 2012
Da Who: me and Deej, on our Davao Duo trip

If you were brought up in a Catholic home and had Christian Living, Religion or Catechism classes when you were younger, then likely the word Eden is synonymous to Paradise. It is said to to be the garden where Adam and Eve were brought and there was no want or need in this place.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Kwentong Kaladkarin #38: Binabagyong Boracay, On My Birthday!

Da Where: Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan
Da When: June 3-5, 2012
Da Who: me and Vin, to celebrate my 26th year and our 47th month together

The downpour experienced recently jarred me back to the wet and cold beach trip we made just a month ago for my birthday and our month-sary. Yeah, coz we're cheesy-gooey like that. ;P

Boracay is still beautiful, even in tropical storm turmoil.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Kwentong Kaladkarin #37: Surviving Zambales – The Trip's Travel Tips

Special thanks to Jam and Zee for doing all the legwork and yes, including the mind-bending budgeting and back-breaking logistics. :)

Know more about our weekend adventure here:

Kwentong Kaladkarin #35: A Night in Not-The-Same Nagsasa Cove

BUDGET (per person)


Kuya JR / Ate Liezel - +(63) 9173809104
Boat Rental, Camping Logistics, etc.

  • If and when you can, opt for weekdays instead of weekend trips. Because of the proximity to Manila, Zambales beaches are packed during holidays and weekends.
  • Commuting is manageable, last bus trip from Manila leaves at around 2300 and the tricycle from San Antontio proper to Pundaquit is pretty much round-the-clock but never sacrifice safety. If you're pressed for time, van rentals are still the best way to go.
  • Don't forget your sunblock lotion and water shoes/sandals when visiting Capones Island. The limited shade areas and pebbly seabed can be a pain in the...
  • Support the local trade! Do your logistics shopping at the San Antonio public market. They pretty much have everything! :)

Dreaming to zone out in Zambales soon? Go ahead, plan away! :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Kwentong Kaladkarin #36: Capones Camp Out ala-Survivor

Da Where: Capones Island, San Antonio, Zambales
Da When: May 20-21, 2012
Da Who: me, Deej, Jam, Zee, Adam, Leo, Mark, Iggy and Ron
Da Word for Da Day: 'Gullible's Travel!' :D

I was still wiping off the cobwebs of sleepiness in my mind at around 0900H when Jam woke me up. I needed to break camp and pack up my tent and stuff before the boat carts us off to Capones Island just off the coast of Pundaquit. Breaking camp is always my hatest part of trip and this was not an exception, especially since I'd be doing this twice in one weekend. :D

Nagsasa Cove

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kwentong Kaladkarin #35: A Night in Not-The-Same Nagsasa Cove

Da Where: Nagsasa Cove, San Antonio, Zambales
Da When: May 19-20, 2012
Da Who: me, Deej, Jam, Zee, Adam, Leo, Mark, Iggy and Ron
Da Word for Da Day: 'Gullible's Travel!' :D

0330 MNL, Thursday, At Work

Jam: Mel, want to join us on a trip to Zambales this weekend?
Mel: Uhh.. Uhm... Sure! Magkano budget?

In a span of a one-minute conversation, I agreed to go on a weekend adventure without much thought. Kaladkarin talaga. Lol! :D

Saturday late morning after shift found us snoring on a 20-minute cab ride from Eastwood to the Victory Mall terminal in Caloocan. I'm sort of getting to be an expert on this power naps enroute to my weekend destinations after Friday graveyard shifts. Ah, the life of a nocturnal laborer. :D

Hitting the sack and the road. :D

Monday, April 23, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012

Don't Go Away, I'll Be Right Back!

By now, it's safe to assume that I've officially taken a hiatus from travelling, and consequentially, from blogging too.

Work is literally a killer now. I'm in the air-conditioned confines of my office furiously typing away and sneaking off a quick break to post this, on the Holy Week holiday weekend.

Yep, you read that right.

All my sins are forgiven. Hallelujah. *insert little cherubs floating around me and a bright light and halo on my head here*

Fret not! Just a couple more months and I should be back to scratching my itchy feet and start wandering again. And yes, definitely writing about it.

This sight should hold me off 'til then. Catch ya later! ;)

Let's hit the ground running!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Kwentong Kaladkarin #34: Fishes are Friends!

Da Where: Manila Ocean Park, Roxas Blvd., Manila, Philippines
Da When: January 1, 2012
Da Who: New Year's day out with the family! :)

Find Spongebob! ;D

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Kwentong Kaladkarin #33: Mountain Chillin' and Beach Bummin'

Da Where: Mt. Gulugod Baboy and Philpan Dive Resort, Anilao, Mabini, Batangas, Philippines
Da When: January 14-15, 2012
Da Who: Too many to mention! Haha! :D Me, Vin, Archie, Jac, Maggie, Ferdie, Malou, Joey, Isabel, Ice, Jason, Cy, Sweet, Bitz, Ton, Ian, Jonette, Ann, David, Brigsy and Christian
Da Trivia: Biggest group we've organized for a climb! Major logistics headache but an all-good-vibes weekend. :)

It all started over a few buckets of beer and sizzling plates of sisig and chicken wings before 2011 ended, it was decided that a few climbing buddies and Vin and I will have a New Year's climb, just like the Mt. Pico de Loro climb we had to welcome 2011.

Monday, January 9, 2012

It's More Fun in the Philippines!

To show my support for the new Department of Tourism campaign, I created my own takes of the new slogan "It's more fun in the Philippines".

You can see more in their just-put-up website -

Department of Tourism's Official "It's More Fun" AVP

Kwentong Kaladkarin #32: Ravin' for Rumpa!

Da Where: 1307 Surla St., Balibago, Angeles City, Philippines
Da When: January 7, 2012
Da Who: Me and fellow carnivore, Vin. ;P
Da Trivia: Best steak for best price!

After a month of working and half-residing here in Pampanga, I finally found my own place and moved in this weekend. The sweet taste of independence! ;D These past few weeks, work friends have brought me to some good places to eat and one restaurant had me coming back for more.

Monday, January 2, 2012

11 Kaladkarin Moments for 2011

As I sit here listening to intermittent explosions of firecrackers from excited merrymakers and inhaling its fumes, it's only about a couple hours until 2012 dawns on my part of the world. Moments like this lull me into reminiscing the past year after the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

I'm fishing out eleven can't-forget moments I have from the past 365 days. Moments that'll be forever imprinted in my mind...

11.) Welcome 2011! Climb

I started off the year with a heart-thumping climb with great hiking pals and my bestest friend in the world. That's what I call starting the new year with a bang. ;D

10.) United Nations Climb

It wasn't really. Haha! I just dubbed it as such 'coz this seems to be the only time I've climbed with folks from such diverse backgrounds and came from different countries. Though the threat of a storm loomed over us, it was all together a great hike and our foreign friends saw the beauty Philippines mountains can offer. :)

9.) Unforgettable Day Hikes with the Jamboree Mountaineers

I had the chance to do dayhikes with a group of awesome people from GMA 7's mountaineering group - which brought me to mountains in Bulacan, hiked up a boulder tower and witnessed an engagement! :)

8.) Give Love and More on Valentine's Day

One of the more worthwhile things I did for the past year was spend time with kids of Kabayan, Benguet on Hearts' Day. Seeing their bright grins, receiving their school stuff, was enough to melt anyone's heart. A second climb to freezing Mt. Pulag sweetly capped the event. :)

7.) Home Is Where the Heart Is

It felt wonderful to be home, even just for awhile. I wish I could take with me the warm, comforting food and people close to my heart wherever I go.

6.) Meeting the Awesome Ms. Janet Belarmino

I've been to Mt. Batulao several times but it's a first I'm meeting a mountaineering woman legend, Janet Belarmino. I was so awed, it was embarrassing. :D

5.) A Birthday Wish Granted

One of my long-time dreams came true on my 25th birthday - albeit a little surprisingly. Met some talented photographers who made my 'modeling fantasies' a reality for a day. :D

4.) Sojourning in Singapore

It's my only out-of-the-country trip this year but boy, was it action-packed! :) Together with a good friend, we pounded the culturally chic pavements of this Lion City like two crazed people. :D

3.) Longest Boat Rides Evaaaah! :D

Yes, I experienced that when we decided to go to CamSur for Vin's birthday. I thought a 13-hour bus ride to Sagada would be torture. But no! I'd take scenic mountain routes any day over almost 9-hours of deep, blue sea as far as eye can see. See, am making bad rhymes already. LOL! :D But the beauty of the Caramoan Islands made it all worth it. :)

2.) Cut Yet Charmed by Cebu

The Queen City of the South left a nicely-sized scar on my right knee but what's a good travel memory without a few bruises and painful stories to tell, right? :D The delicious food, down-to-earth people and  thrills this bustling city could offer well made it up for my teeny weensy cut. ;P

1.) I Left My Heart in Bohol

What better way to celebrate an anniversary with your bestest friend and pakner than in one of Philippines' paradise? :) I wish I can go back every weekend. :D

I am not sure what promises the year 2012 holds. The only thing am sure of - I'll never stop exploring and seeing the wonders this world can offer. ;D Cheers to the new year!