Posts Tagged ‘beach’

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Winging it | El Nido 2019

October 31, 2019

It’s true when they say that the best laid plans are no plans at all. This very spontaneous trip for us first timers and I swear, I had so much fun!

Only high tides and good vibes!

Photo Set | El Nido

Day 1

Pretty sunrise outside my window.

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Woke up at 4am to catch my flight to Manila, transferred to Puerto Prinsesa, endured the grueling 5-hour van ride to El Nido, arrived at 8pm feeling nauseous and sick. Planned to just stay at the guesthouse we checked into because everyone was not feeling well but damn we needed to eat.

For budget travelers, we stayed at Sophia’s Beach Guesthouse in Corong-Corong, El Nido. It’s a beachfront accommodation, can accommodate families or groups, ours was a room good for four with free breakfast, free wifi, a/c and hot and cold shower. Quiet place just a few minutes away from the town center.

Decided to go to town to have dinner and maybe a few bottles to knock ourselves out. We went to Happiness Beach Bar for light food and some drinks. They serve a delicious variety of healthy vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free Middle Eastern/Mediterranean food.

The manager also gave us free shots! After a few beers, we asked where most people go on Saturdays and they suggested Sava Bar or Pukka Bar. Yep, this was the plan of people who were feeling sick and wanted to stay in, lol.

Ended up in Pukka Bar and Pangolin, met a few friends and wasn’t really expecting to have so much fun!

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Went back to our accommodation at 3am, swam under the moonlight, and was locked out (hahaha).

Day 2

Pretty much lazed in bed half of the day, only time was forced to get up was to buy Jampong from the convenience store across the street, will be our best friend every morning for the next few days, so good for that “mild”hangover.

They say Corong-Corong has the best sunsets so in the afternoon, after we decided it was time to really get up, we went to Panorama Beach Club for happy hour. Actually, being our cheap selves, we brought a bottle of scotch we bought in Puerto Princesa and just paid for corkage, lol. We did buy pica pica.

Then this spectacular sunset.

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Bar hopped for a bit, checked Outpost just beside Panorma and Sava Beach Bar in El Nido town proper.

Day 3

Finally woke up early for our island hopping tour. We took Tour A, the popular one. It’s P1,200 per person inclusive of lunch and features 5 islands. You also have to pay for a P200 environmental fee and entrance to the Big or Small Lagoon.

So this is how El Nido town looks like in the morning, lol.

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Seven Commandos Beach

I love that the white sand here is fine and the water is not that salty, crystal clear too. Picturesque beach lined with coconut trees against the dramatic backdrop of limestone cliffs. There is a resort on the island, has quite a few stores and beach volleyball.

A little bit of history or maybe folklore, the beach got it’s name because of the 7 soldiers who got stranded on the island during WWII.

Big Lagoon

As they say, the highlight of Tour A — a wide stretch of emerald waters dotted with dark limestone cliffs. Such a beauty. We had to rent a kayak to go in. There’s also a hidden tunnel inside the lagoon.

Simizu Island (Shimizu Island)

The island was named after a Japanese diver who was trapped in an underwater tunnel while exploring the waters of El Nido. Tragic.

Anyhow, the island is a popular lunch spot. Good thing we arrived late so it was just us and another group on the beach, not that crowded. There were lots of monitor lizards and snakes too! Totally harmless, just don’t go near them.

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South Miniloc Island

One of the popular dive sites in El Nido, our fourth stop for some snorkeling. But the waves were quite strong and the water was too salty.

Secret Lagoon 

Our final stop for the tour.

The entrance to the lagoon was quite challenging, it was really rocky, like sharp rocky that you would definitely need aqua shoes. As you approach the cove, there is a small hole on the left that you’d have to crawl into that would lead you to the secret lagoon. It’s a hidden pool of water inside a limestone cliff.

And on the opposite side is just this surreal beach paradise scaled by towering limestone walls and dusty white sand. THIS was the highlight of my tour. I swear I could not stop saying how beautiful this place was.

Thank you Kuya Nathan and Kuya Blondie (guy far left) who lost 2 environmental fee receipts resulting to us leaving town to start the tour really late and baking us under the noon sun (hahaha). Good fun!

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After the tour, we were famished and ate for a bit, rested for a bit then went to this full moon party at The Gardens in Nacpan. Was not really the greatest experience. The ticket was for P1,000: entrance, 1 free drink and free round trip shuttle service. The transfers were chaotic, with everyone pushing to get into the van that supposedly leaves every hour. Take note that it takes around more than 30 minutes to go to Nacpan and they only had a limited number of vans. They had to hire random ones just to accommodate. We left around 11pm and arrived at the venue quite late, I was expecting it to be like at the beach or something, it was not, just literally by the pool, lol. The music was not that great either. Like a jumble of rave, house, rnb, pop and budots. The 35 foot slide was kinda cool though. Wasted 1 grand, should’ve just went on that date instead, might’ve been much more fun, hahaha.

And this.

This is the effin highlight of my trip. Kept going back to that store behind Pukka bar.

Chaolong (Beef Stew)

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Day 4

Our last full day on the island. Spent the afternoon at Maremegmeg Beach Bar in Vanilla Beach.

Such beautiful sunsets.

Capped off the night at Havana Beach Bar with Mike and the Wolf and freakin 280 shot tequilas.

Day 5

Exhausted and home bound lol.

Thank you so much El Nido! I seriously enjoyed this super fun and spontaneous trip with the best girls!

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xx

DMV

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35th | August Encore

September 4, 2019

I feel like this has become an annual August thing and I love it!

Finally some quiet time with my best friends. Well, not so quiet.

Photo set | Punta Bulata, Danjugan

Just the four of us. Road trip!

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Punta Bulata

Arrived at Punta Bulata and felt like we owned the place. No one here and yay long weekend!

Got upgraded to a cabana, had lunch and lazed by the beach.

Happy hour by the pool..

..and watched this glorious sunset. The transition from the sky with the sun setting and the sky with the sun fully set is just too beautiful for words.

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Danjugan Island

Day trip to Danjugan on our 2nd day and since it’s habagat season, the waves were seriously crazy. I was just waiting for our boat to be wiped out.

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But we made it!

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Ramram, our guide briefed us about the island. It’s a 43 hectare island and marine sanctuary that is made up of 90% limestone forests. It was once a threatened and over-fished area but with the efforts of The Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation, Inc., the island has been restored to maybe it’s purest form, providing asylum to many wildlife species.

Me and Jobelle trekked while Miel and Pam took the boat to Moray Lagoon.

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Into the bat cave

And we went snorkeling! Saw some sea snakes, moray eels, giant clams and lots of different fish and corals.

We had a slight scare when it was time to go back when our guide told us that the winds were really strong and just to wait for advise from the boat operator if we could actually dock at the resort or divert to somewhere else. I thought we’ll be stranded. Thank God the waters calmed.

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I’ve been best friends with these crackheads for almost 3 decades now. They’ve seen the best and the ugly and the great and the nasty parts of me. They have suppressed strangling me countless of times because of my stubbornness and my twisted way of thinking because we are all weird somehow, but I know despite, they will always have my back. They hear my silence, they see my shadows, and they never judge.

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That’s a 10 year old Cabernet Sauvignon magnum that we downed in just a few hours

We may not always see each other or talk to each other, but we’ll always have August. (CHAROT!) Virtual hugs!

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No dull times with my soul sisters, always.

 

xx

DMV

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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.

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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…

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

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White Beach

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I get off days too!

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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.

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

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No filters needed.

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

 

xx

DMV

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Birch tree sisters go to Bohol

November 16, 2018

It’s an inside joke, you won’t get it.

Long overdue bonding sesh with my cousins, finally got the chance to do an out of town trip after 3 years!

Photo set | Bohol

Left Bacolod for Dumaguete at 3:00am to catch the 9:50am trip for Tagbilaran.

If you bring a car, travel time from Bacolod to Dumaguete is 4 hours (with coffee in between). We took the fast craft to Tagbilaran ~ Oceanjet takes almost 2 hours from Dumaguete and fees are P700 for tourist class and P1,020 for business class. Trips are 9:50am and 2:30pm daily.

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Day 1

Arrived Bohol just in time for lunch. Soooo hungry.

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Since we still had half of the day to kill, we went to a couple of tourist spots in Panglao before heading back to my aunt’s place in Maribojoc.

Passed by this old church (forgot the name) that has a well inside, Mama Mary’s well they call it, where they get holy water. I think this was built in the 1920s, I’d have to verify with my cousin since she was the one who got a brochure of the place lol. Very pretty interior AND the ceiling was hand painted by someone.

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Bee Farm

Just ate ice cream here actually. They moved their colonies to a different place since they opened up accommodations and kept one for demo purposes. Bought honey to bring home.

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Hinagdanan Cave

Amazing how this is so well maintained! And the water is so so so clear.

Day 2

Loboc River

Tried the Loboc river cruise, early lunch for us so to avoid the crowds. We had a good boat, it had a deck and was sat with a good view, great for taking photos haha.

Wildlife and Nature Park

This opened 5 months ago, fairly new, just a few meters away from the tarsier conservation and they house around 25 exotic animals. Will definitely be back with the kids next time.

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The famous tarsier Bohol is so known for, these were wild and we found two in the area

 

Chocolate Hills

Another must see when in Bohol, was once declared as one of the seven wonders of the world. More than 1,268 cone-shaped hills spread over an area of 50 square kilometers or more and vary in size from 30 meters to 120 meters in height.

After going around these “mandatory” spots, we headed to Henann Resort to check-in and just in time for sunset and happy hour.

Happy hour by the beach, unlimited steak buffet at Amorita Resort and night swimming at the hotel.

Dinner buffet at Amorita Resort is P1,100 net, inclusive of taxes.

Day 3

Woke up to breakfast and ate until the buffet closed haha.

Was supposed to go dolphin watching and island hopping this day but we decided to just savor the hotel amenities and laze by the beach.

Already planning to go back in December with the kids. We fell in love with the place for sure.

We left late afternoon to go back to my aunt’s place and to this feast! Everything was soooo fresh and soooo yummy, I couldn’t stop eating!

Day 4 | Homebound

Took the 7:30am trip from Tagbilaran to Dumaguete, bought silvanas to bring home and lunched at Royal Suites for some bulalo steak.

Same rates apply to Oceanjet trips from Tagbilaran to Dumaguete. Schedule is 7:30am and 12:30pm daily.

So good to have spent the weekend with family, major sepanx already.

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Let’s plan where we go next!

 

xx

DMV

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34th | Keeping up with the SObelles

August 13, 2018

If you weren’t there, you won’t get it.

Spent my 34th with these crazies in breathtaking Siargao.

Photo set

Day 1 | Cebu

And off we go!

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We had to wait for April to arrive from Manila so we killed time at the Casino just across the Mactan Airport.

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Winning! 😎

Literally pigged out at a Yakiniku for lunch

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and chilled at Politics Cafe for the night.

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Day 2 | Siargao

Almost 1 hour plane ride from Cebu to Sayak Airport and we went straight to our first stop for the trip (which is just like 5 minutes away). We booked all our tours with Galatea.

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Kawhagan Island

Pit stop for lunch since eating/cooking and drinking is no longer allowed at the Sugba Lagoon.

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Sugba Lagoon

Very picturesque turquoise waters. Definitely a must see. Nice that when we went, it was not that crowded.

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We left around 4pm to go to General Luna which is like 45 minutes away from the airport and checked in at the Bravo Hotel.

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We had dinner at Harana and at 9PM they cleared the dance floor. Apparently, every night there is a different party at a particular venue. Saturdays are for Harana.

Day 3 | Siargao

Woke up around lunch time and headed off to Kermit. Food is really good, did not disappoint.

And we started our salubong sesh by the beach. Sundays are for Bravo. Super fun night, thank you friends!

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Day 4 | Siargao

Party boat by Galatea. Happy birthday to me!

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Daku Island

Clear blue waters, fine white sand, beer in hand, soaked up the sun. Lovely.

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Birthday lunch 😋

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Corregidor Island

Island is not as crowded compared to the others. You could snorkel and hike here too.

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Naked Island

Toilet break.

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Cloud 9

Regularly rated as one of the top 10 surf sites in the world. Bonus for beautiful sunsets.

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WILD. But we’ll keep that to ourselves.

Thank you universe for yet another year of awesome.

And thank you too to this crazy bunch. Hugs!

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xx

DMV

 

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Lazed by the shore to wait for the sunset.

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

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It was a Good Friday indeed.

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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.

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

First stop was Obong caves.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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Day 3 | Easter Sunday

Beautiful sunrise to cap the holy week.

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To old ends and new beginnings.

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

xx

DMV

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Mystic Island | 2018

February 20, 2018

Our annual Vday getaway was cut one day short because of typhoon Basyang but we managed lol.

Day 1 | Valentine’s Day

Stayed in Negros Occidental (for a change).

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Brought my date with me to eat tooooo much seafood and watch the sunset

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Sunset at Melkens Seafood Restaurant, Brgy. Balaring, Silay City

Haven’t gone to the beach yet but I look so dark already (I’m blaming it on work and softball lol). Valentine’s day spent with best friends and family.

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Japanese Vday dinner with the fambam ❤️

Day 2 | Dumaguete

Road trip!

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Well because my friends love to eat we had breakfast first at McDonald’s (haha) then lunch at Kalan-an sa Dalan in Hinigaran.

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Kalan-an sa Dalan, Hinigaran – good place to stop over when driving south

Arrived Dumaguete just in time for sunset. Normally it takes about 5 hours or less when driving from Bacolod City but well, we had so many side (food) trips.

First stop, Rizal Boulevard. Because we wanted to blend in with the tourists (haha).

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Tempura, squid balls, squid rolls and balut

We had dinner at Golden Roy’s Lechon Manok and dessert at Sans Rival.

Day 3 | Siquijor

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Trike ride to the port lol

You have the option to take the RORO or the fast craft when going to Siquijor Island from Dumsville. We took the RORO, takes about an hour — Montenegro Lines cost P145.00/person (P130 regular fare and P15 terminal fee).

Siquijor is known as the Mystic Island because of its mystic traditions such as black magic and sorcery. But in all honesty, those are like — ancient. Mystic Island because the place is truly magical in all its sense.

From the pristine waters of the port to the emerald green shades of the waterfalls to the beaches with powdery white sand.

Not only that, the people are generally very friendly and accommodating.

We rented a multi-cab to take us to places for the day. Rate was P1,800 and our driver was a former councilor of one of the towns, I forgot which one. Very simple people.

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Went around the markets to look for sea urchins but to no avail, all SOLD OUT! 😦

Cambugahay Falls

We only went to 2 of the popular spots on the island because we didn’t really have much time (and we all woke up late haha), we were only there for the day. Going to Cambugahay falls, you actually pass by the Fish Spa, it’s under a 400-year-old Balete tree somewhere in Lazi but we skipped this one as it was really crowded.

135 steps down.

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Normally, the water is the shade of emerald green but since it had been storming the whole week, water was kind of murky.

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But that did not stop my friends from jumping in.

P20 unlimited Tarzan swings. P30 parking fee.

Salagdoong Beach

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Entrance fee is P30/person. Parking fee is P35.

It was really crowded that day and waiting time for lunch is one hour, perfect excuse to swim in the sea and laze on the shore. Amazing that despite being a public beach, it is very well maintained! Water is crystal clear, shore is clean. Food is so so but we were so hungry we devoured everything.

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Took us 45 minutes from the beach to the port and the scenery was so picturesque, staying on the island for one day is not enough.

Boarded the 6pm RORO back to Dumaguete. Forgot the shipping line but regular fare was P100. We were pooped.

Napped at the hotel when we arrived and went to Sans Rival (again) for dinner.

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We stayed at Sierra Hotel in Dumaguete City. It’s very conveniently located near major commercial hubs and tourist destinations, and is only minutes away from the airport and seaport. It’s fairly new having opened 5 floors in 2016 and the 6th floor in January of this year. Rooms are spacious, comfy and clean. We stayed in a deluxe twin room for P2,900/night.

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Photo credit: Hotels.com

Day 4 | Home bound

Lunched at the famous Jo’s Chicken Inato (with double rice),

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and dessert at Panda Ice Cream. Yum!

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Ube Fried Ice Cream by Panda —  I missed you!

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Took us 4 hours to arrive in Bacolod City and we went straight to Silay City for friends to catch their 9pm flight back to Manila. But first! Capped off our trip with inasal pandesyosa, isaw and pork barbecue at Golden Food Park.

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Always a riot with my forever dates. My whole face hurts from all the nonstop laughter. Thanks loves!

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xx

DMV

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