Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

h1

35th | Middle Earth

September 4, 2019

Photo set | Northern Island, New Zealand

I stopped celebrating my birthdays when I turned 20 for silly reasons most people wouldn’t really understand. Not that interesting so don’t be curious.

Every year, on my birthday, I leave and go on an adventure and for the last leg of this quarter life crisis, I went to Middle Earth. 12 days full of missed flights, stairs, bottles of wine, herds of cow, flocks of sheep, steak, steep trails, fish and chips, broken luggage, sorting baggage, magnificent views and loads of fun!

Flew Qantas. Flight from Manila was delayed so I missed my connecting flight and was stranded in Sydney airport for a few hours. Booked the next available flight to Auckland. Fortunately, my Wellington flight got moved to a later schedule so I did not miss it. Good thing there was also free booze on board, good enough compensation to the exhausting sprint I had to make to my connection only to arrive to a closed gate.

After 13 hours of flying…

IMG_8663

Arrived in Wellington, finally, to homemade burgers and local beer at my cousin’s house. Yes, my cousin and her husband make their own bread and patties!

Northern Island winter road trip

The places we went to on our 10-day road trip from Wellington to Auckland.

Wellington

My cousin and her husband cooking me up a feast at their new home and what a coincidence that a friend of mine from way back also lives in the same suburb as them! She saw my Instagram stories arriving in Wellington and messaged me. Chance meet up of course and she also brought me 3 bottles of wine haha!

Cape Palliser

Road to Cape Palliser, such picturesque views outside my window!

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0096.JPG

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0094.JPG

We passed by some wild seals too! Stopped by the side of the road and took some pictures of these cuties. Careful enough not to get too close as some curious pups were growling at me haha.

IMG_E8796

250 steep steps up to Cape Palliser lighthouse despite the really strong winds and without exercise since February…

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0067.JPG

…knee-breaking climb to this amazing view!

Mount Victoria lookout

360-degree scenic views of Wellington. Always chasing sunsets.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Te Papa Museum

Did not finish exploring and will need to go back!

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0029.JPG

Weta Cave

When you love Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, you just have to visit this place. Home of the talented people behind these amazing conceptual designs and visual effects.

Martinborough – Poppies

Passed through this town going to Castlepoint. The town features over 20 wineries, most within cycling and walking distance of the village square.

We stopped here for late lunch and some wine tasting. I am not a wine person but this place is definitely a must go to. Wine and food, superb.

Castlepoint

This small beach-side town on the Wairarapa coast is just beautiful.

WhatsApp Image 2019-09-04 at 10.22.04 AM

IMG_8905

Instagram husband

Dessert Road

Road crossing to Ruapehu district. Landscape of the Northern Island is so diverse. Majority of the road trip, all I see is lush green forests and cattle and sheep ranches. Then we come to this. Both sides covered with low scrublands and snow capped Mount Ruapehu, Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe as backgrounds.

Mount Ruapehu

It was snowing when we arrived and first snow fall experience for these kids in the 7 years they’ve been living in New Zealand haha! Pretty winter wonderland.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0158.JPG

Chateau Tongariro Hotel

Parked our car by the hotel. We took a bus up to Mount Ruapehu as the road was very slippery and we did not bring chains.

IMG_9054

ILNLE9340

Happy, wind-burnt and freezing faces!

Taupo

70265046_498438337610024_2525481782690709504_n

Huka Falls

The Huka falls—largest falls in the Waikato river. The flow rate from the water drop of the falls could fill up 8 olympic size pools in roughly a minute. Amazeballs.

Wairakei Terraces

Relaxed in the silica enriched thermal pools as we were dead tired from all the walking and hiking. There is also a walk where you get to experience a recreated Maori settlement, said to have settled some 1,000 years ago, drawn by the thermal activity and the abundance of food. They believed that the hot pools contained healing powers and therapeutic benefits. Amazingly, the houses are so small and considering that most Moari are largely built people.

Rotorua

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

Wai-O-Tapu (Māori for sacred waters) is an active geothermal area by the Taupo volcanic zone, some 27 kilometers south of Rotorua.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0216.JPG

Lady Knox Geyser

IMG_9242

Champagne pool

IMG_9289

Devil’s Bath

Whakarewarewa Forest – The Redwoods

Magnificent stands of towering native and exotic trees in this beautiful forest.

Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake)

Lake Tikitapu is also known as “Blue Lake” because of its gorgeous sapphire waters.

Rotorua Museum

This magnificent structure used to be an elegant spa retreat called the Bath House in 1908 and was later on converted into a museum and art gallery. Sadly, this beauty closed in 2016 for seismic strengthening and remains closed til now.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0317.JPG

August 6th, BIRTHDAY!

Matamata – Hobbiton

Where else to celebrate the last leg of my quarter life crisis but at the lush pastures of the Shire in Middle Earth?

IMG_9462

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0387.JPG

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

I swear we went. They just did not allow us to take photos. According to our Maori guide, the glowworms are sensitive to light and sound which is why they prohibited use of cellphones and cameras and also, said gadgets are expensive and they do not want to be spelunking the caves just to retrieve these.

Grabbed some pictures from Google Images (maybe back when it was still allowed to take photos, I dunno).

cathedral

This stunning view is the Cathedral Cavern known for it’s awesome acoustics. Our guide even asked one from the group to sing. It’s been witness to many concerts and weddings too. Photo: Google Images

glowworm-caves-waitom-1[2]

We descended the cave and rode a boat in total cold blackness to see the glowworms. This picture is the closest I could find that best resembles what we saw. It was so cool! Like a trillion stars lining the ceiling of the grotto. Photo: Google Images

The only photos we were able to take — exit of the cave and the entrance to the souvenir shop.

What an awesome day! Ate truffle burgers and truffle fries for dinner, lazed at our Airbnb by the lake and downed 2 bottles of wine. Happy birthday to me!

IMG_E9550

35th

Coromandel

Cathedral Cove

These familiar scene out of Narnia. Shorter way by boat, Longer way by hike. We took the latter. Even found a few blooms of Sakura. View was worth it.

OVKZ1663

Hot Water Beach

An underground river of hot water flows from the interior of the earth to surface in the Pacific Ocean at this beach, thus it’s name. Visitors can dig large holes and soak in the thermal water.

Hamilton

Disney on Ice

Because we are never too old.

Auckland

Last stop for this trip. Met up with friends who are based here and was so happy they celebrated my birthday with Korean food and ramen!

SEA Life Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium

Killed time and went to the aquarium while waiting for our Korean dinner.

8 Colors of Korean Bbq Buffet Restaurant

Thank you for indulging my Korean obsession!

Sky Tower

It was really nice that the guy by the escalator going up the tower told us to check the skies first before deciding to pay more than $20 and just be disappointed. It was raining nonstop and was really cloudy. We did not go up. We went shopping instead lol.

Last day (huhuhu)

Breakfast at Kreem

Went shopping at Dress Smart and had dinner at Ramen Takara because it’s my last night and everybody knows how much I love ramen hahaha.

IMG_9933

Homebound

IMG_E0006

Early morning flight to Sydney, had to leave some things as I was over-baggage (my quinoa and honey), arrived on time in Sydney but they closed one runway and had to stay inside the plane for an hour because no available tube to park. Sprinted (again) to transit and to my gate only to find that my flight was delayed. Seriously Qantas you need to sort your schedules and stop with the tight connections. My feet hurt from running around the airport.

Arrived around 10pm in Manila, stayed at my best friend’s place, was so exhausted fell asleep the moment I went to bed and was snoring. Went to church the next day (thank you LORD for my awesome vacation), had lunch at Soru (always) and flew home to Bacolod in the afternoon.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0484.JPG

And I feel like I’m still hungover.

Thank you to Krissy and Alvin for my room (haha) and for going on this trip with me, Micmic for seeing me in Wellington and bringing vino, Aubrey for meeting me in Auckland, Ching and Patrick for letting us stay at your ginormous place and Ilaine and Bambi for coming out for ramen and dessert. 12 days is tooooo short! I wish I was on vacation 24/7.

Photos from:

Krissy & Alvin of Knotting Wong Photography

My DJI Osmo Action camera (yes I switched from GoPro)

IMG_8750

Bye friend!

xx

DMV

h1

Weekend | Lantawan

May 19, 2019

Weekend at the mountains. Mahjong sesh leveled up 😂

Hearty lunch, happy hour started at 12:00 noon and even if I lost at mahjong, twas a really good weekend away from all the noise of the city.

xx

DMV

h1

First of Summer | Boracay 2019

March 4, 2019

Photo set | Boracay Island

This world-renowned tourist destination was closed last April of 2018 for rehabilitation due to irresponsible tourism and reopened on October of 2018, 6 months after, accompanied with lots of drainage constructions, demolished establishments and investment restrictions.

Side trip from work and even if I was feeling sick, I decided to tag along, just really curious to how this beautiful island looks now.

DCIM104GOPROGOPR4908.JPG

Such a busy route, trips to the island are 24/7.

Although there are a lot of construction still going on on the island, it’s generally clean. Haven’t swam in these waters for the longest time as it was infested with algae, it’s like green muck all over.

But now…

IMG_2673

Water is really clear! I certainly took a dip despite the scorching heat and my runny nose.

IMG_E2722

White Beach

IMG_E2798

I get off days too!

DCIM104GOPROGOPR4915.JPG

Puka Beach

There are still lots of tourists coming in but I guess it’s more controlled, no longer congested like before where you walk shoulder to shoulder with everybody else. It’s also really dim and quiet at night now.

Lots of leg room here.

IMG_E2776

And of course, the island still boasts of its pretty sunsets.

JFUR5607

RCYA0608

No filters needed.

Lots of sneezes but no regrets. Going to the beach was a good idea.

 

xx

DMV

h1

Bewitched by Children’s Laughter

February 6, 2019

I did not dream of having kids. It was never part of the plan.

I wanted to write and live in different places, experience this diverse, expansive earth everyone keeps talking about.

At some point, I even wanted to go to outer space, discover aliens, leave footprints on the moon, trek Mars, name stars.

But you see, life has a sick sense of humor and who would have imagined I’d end up birthing 3 boys instead.

The irony.

I wasn’t ready.

Stuck in the mundane.

I think I’ll never be ready.

Fine, joke’s on me.

But I kept on, even when my mind was in total chaos. I still keep on.

I had the choice to get away, to run away as I always do, but I stayed.

And trying to be a mother, keeping up a facade of this supposedly strong person and parenting alone while my heart shattered into infinite pieces, was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure.

But oh, the laughter of children, the sweetest songs, such beautiful music to my ears, I could listen to for a lifetime.

The course of our lives sometimes do not play out like how we pictured it in our heads but somehow, we always end up where we should be.

And most times, much happier.

 

xx

DMV

h1

Local | Negros Occidental

January 7, 2019

There’s so much to see in our province honestly. Day trip bonding sesh with my cousins the few days they were home.

Photo set | Murcia & DSB

Lunched at Mambukal Resort, one of the popular mountain resorts in Negros Occidental located in Murcia and rests at 1,200 meters above sea level. It’s been the go to if you want a feel of the mountains since I was a kid. Can go hiking up to the seventh falls, kayaking in the lagoon, camping, watch the gigantic fruit bats or go dipping in the sulfur pool.

Passed by the viewing deck going to DSB overlooking a wide stretch of terrains and plantation.

Coffee at La Guada cafe. It’s a cafe resto with a marvelous view and guests can also stay overnight. They have a variety of rooms that could accommodate just you, a couple or family or you can opt to bring a tent, set up camp, make a bonfire and grill some barbecue. Can also go river trekking with their local guides.

Capped off our day at this pine tree haven in DSB.

Best times always with family.

 

xx

DMV

h1

Mayana Peak | Too foggy for a view

June 4, 2018

Quick getaway for me and my munkeys before school starts.

Weather was not on our side, gods must’ve been smoking a ton of clouds nonstop but still, the foggy pictures looked eerie beautiful.

DCIM102GOPROGOPR2672.JPG

If you want to opt for a day hike with a magnificent view — Mayana Peak. It is located at Sitio Punod, San Carlos City, only an hour and a half travel from Bacolod City. Getting there you could take a public bus or use a private vehicle. A 4WD could go up to where you start your trek (I’m saying a 4WD because on a rainy day it is really slippery, but a 2WD could do depending on the weather condition); or if a private vehicle is not available, from the entrance of the Sitio, you could take a habal-habal for P100; or if you are the more adventurous type, you could walk from the drop off, takes about an hour to reach the peak but more time to take in the feels and the sights.

At the bottom of the peak, there is a tourist lodge where you log your information and from there they will provide you with a guide. They don’t charge any fees for the hike up but donations or tips are very much welcome.

IMG_4292

It was really foggy when we went and it would have been a pretty view if the skies were clear but well, June is the start of the rainy season and we took our chances.

XXFH0682

It’s a short trek up to the peak, about 15-20 minutes, depending on your pace but it’s kind of steep.

OPDLE2001

Something like off a Land Before Time scene (haha), right before the fog set in.

First of many. We’ll be back on a better day.

IMG_E4213

 

xx

DMV

h1

Long Weekend | Holy Week 2018

April 3, 2018

Family time during the holy week down Southern Negros.

Photo Set | Nabulao Beach and Dive Resort

Day 1 | Good Friday

On our way to Hinoba-an, we passed by Campomanes bay at the Amity training camp. Thinking of letting our kids join the second batch some time in May, training on basic survival skills.

Juancho also got to take a picture with his favorite fire truck and ambulance!

Included with the camp is this view.

DCIM101GOPROGOPR2083.JPG

Arrived at Nabulao Beach and Dive Resort just in time for lunch. We booked the Master Suite, very roomy with 2 queen beds, a sofa bed, clean bathroom and a terrace with a view. I could just live here lol. Rate is P5,000 per night (peak season), room could accommodate 6 people.

Time for a swim!

DCIM101GOPROGOPR2113.JPG

The resort has 2 swimming pools, one where they have their diving lessons and one where kids could swim. They also have a mini bar by the pool, billiards and foosball. Other activities include water sports such as jet skis, banana boat, paraw sailing and island hopping.

DCIM101GOPROGOPR2120.JPG

Lazed by the shore to wait for the sunset.

Kids writing names on the sand, playing volleyball and building sand castles.

DCIM101GOPROGOPR2200.JPG

It was a Good Friday indeed.

IMG_1899 (2)

Day 2 | Black Saturday

Went Island hopping and the kids enjoyed! You could rent boats from the resort — big boat that could accommodate 25 people is P3,500 for 2 hours and small boat that could accommodate 10 people is P1,500 for 2 hours.

DCIM101GOPROGOPR2292.JPG

DCIM101GOPROGOPR2248.JPG

The little kids were not scared, I swear (hahaha!).

First stop was Obong caves.

DCIM101GOPROGOPR2258.JPG

There are many entrances to the Obong caves, 2 of which are dry entrances, the caves where we took the kids to and one that is only accessible by boat or by swimming as the entrance is from the sea. That cave we did not get to see because it was crowded.

DCIM101GOPROGOPR2259.JPG

Arrived to people cooking lunch by the shore (lol). Sad that the cave walls are full of vandals and some leave their trash behind.

DCIM101GOPROGOPR2280.JPG

Went inside the caves with the use of our cellphone flashlights and was greeted with stalagmite formations.

DCIM101GOPROGOPR2278.JPG

The caves played a role during World War II, when the Philippines was occupied by the Japanese. The American Forces landed near Hinoba-an and used the town as their island headquarters. So glad to have the kids explore a little bit of Negrense history.

So there was a little bit of confusion with our boat booking that we ended up joining our friends on the big boat. All good.

Next stop was to a friend’s private beach where we were able to just relax and sip on some fresh buko. The place was awesome child friendly as the beach has shallow and very clear water.

IMG_2030 (2)

Kids were paddle boarding, riding jet skis and building sand castles while we adults were all talking about random stuff like young living oils and gallstones (hahaha).

DCIM101GOPROGOPR2323.JPG

DCIM101GOPROGOPR2319.JPG

DCIM101GOPROGOPR2344.JPG

Went back to the resort to have late lunch, napped for a bit and waited for sunset but it started to rain really hard. View was still beautiful.

DCIM101GOPROGOPR2353.JPG

Can’t diet in this place. Food is really good and sold at a very reasonable price. Overall experience at Nabulao is great! Very courteous and accommodating staff, very clean rooms and facilities, good value for money.

DCIM101GOPROGOPR2224.JPG

Day 3 | Easter Sunday

Beautiful sunrise to cap the holy week.

DCIM101GOPROGOPR2227.JPG

DCIM101GOPROGOPR2121.JPG

To old ends and new beginnings.

Grateful to have spent the long weekend with the most important people in my life.

xx

DMV

%d bloggers like this: