Posts Tagged ‘best friends’

h1

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.

IBAS6774

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!

HDAK8749

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.

DCIM101MEDIADJI_0126.JPG

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.

DCIM101MEDIADJI_0134.JPG

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.

DCIM101MEDIADJI_0368.JPG

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!

IMG_E3566

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)

IMG_3736

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!

IMG_3643

 

xx

DMV

h1

Staycation Manggapuri | 2019

October 4, 2019

It’s been a very busy year but we managed to squeeze in some time to get together despite the chaotic schedules.

Annual getaway with my forever dates!

Photo set | Manggapuri DSB

Whole place to ourselves! Manggapuri is located at Prk. Mangga, Brgy. Igmayaan, Don Salvador Benedicto, a little over an hour’s drive from Bacolod City. Arrived late afternoon, settled in and munched on a lot of junk while waiting for the sunset.

There are 7 cabanas I think, good for four or two people. Very spacious and comfortable. The rooms have floor-length windows with spectacular views of the mountain, the shy Mt. Kanlaon, and of course the flood of sunlight in the morning.

The place also boasts of this more than a thousand LED tulips, perfect for that romantic night stroll.

Sunset sesh..

IMG_E2525

Beautiful place indeed, perfect for that long overdue staycation.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0945.JPG

And while waiting for our sumptuous dinner, prepared by their in-house Chef, happy hour by the Jacuzzi.

S’mores by the bonfire and late night gossip with crickets as background music.

IMG_E2560

Woke up the next morning to sounds of chirping birds and buzzing bees. So in love with quiet nature, I seriously wanted to extend my leave.

IMG_E2609

Sikwate

And these babies! Say hello to Daisy and Donald, these huge, Pyrenean mountain dogs.

Manggapuri Villas

Accommodation:

Day trip: P600/pax inclusive of entrance and lunch, can stay until 5pm

Overnight: P5,800/cabana good for either 2 or 4 people inclusive of fresh and delectable breakfast; P450/pax for a 5 course superb lunch/dinner

Magnificent view, exceptional service, overall great experience: free

HOIG6669

Til the next vacation or staycation!

 

xx

DMV

 

h1

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!

WhatsApp Image 2019-09-04 at 2.37.40 PM

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.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0619.JPG

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0627.JPG

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.

WhatsApp Image 2019-09-04 at 3.25.20 PM

But we made it!

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0651.JPG

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.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0700.JPG

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.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0781.JPG

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0788.JPG

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.

IMG_0690 (2)

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!

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0629.JPG

No dull times with my soul sisters, always.

 

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

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.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Day 1

Arrived Bohol just in time for lunch. Soooo hungry.

46086954_325633991589278_3328761647681503232_n

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.

Processed with VSCO with kk1 preset

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.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

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.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

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.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Let’s plan where we go next!

 

xx

DMV

h1

Oh Hello Sydney | 2018

September 26, 2018

Annual chaos with my forever dates — part 2.

Was supposed to be a week-long vacay in Sydney but this momma had well, responsibilities so I caught a later flight in the week and actually just stayed for 4 days. Too short!

And the hell I had to go through before getting on that SYD flight. It was the same day that typhoon Ompong made it’s landfall in the PI. First time I had really bad anxiety. My 2pm flight to Manila got cancelled and they moved me to a 7pm flight. And to make matters worse, my Syd flight was at 11pm. I felt like throwing up.

Fortunately, I got on the 6pm flight and there was no delay. I was praying nonstop for good weather and the heavens heard me. The rain stopped and the skies cleared. This is it!

Arrived Manila early, paid my travel tax and lined up for bag drop.

IMG_9139

Yep, I had to endure this line just to drop my luggage. I already checked in online. Perks of flying budget airlines.

Good thing immigration was not packed and arrived at the boarding gate just in time.

IMG_9148

Wait for meeeee!!!

It was an 8-hour long flight but I had a good seat and slept the entire time.

Arrived Sydney for Maryrose’s birthday!! Took the airport link to Merrylands to meet the rest of us for her lunch celeb. Got a train map, bought my Opal card and prayed that I don’t get lost (since I did not have wifi and travelling alone).

IMG_9158

IMG_9163

Finally complete. Well, almost. Happy birthday Maryrose!

Caught up with some high-school friends in Mascot for dinner afterwards.

IMG_9192

Where we went:

Apart from Kmart, Woolworths, Westfield, Target, Costco and Metro (which we just coincidentally end our everyday with lol), we actually went to a couple of places around Sydney.😂😂

Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge

Mandatory. Strolled along the harbour so to get that Sydney feel. Another case of expectation vs. reality. It was packed, maybe because it was Sunday and maybe because it was the same day of the Sydney Marathon.

Blue Mountains

Three sisters turned to stone.

Wild Life Sydney Zoo

I realized I don’t like Koalas and Tasmanian Devils are so cuuuuute!

Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

Penguin ride!

Darling Harbour

Coffee break and this view!

Town Hall and Queen Victoria Building

Felt like I was warped into a different place, something like out of the books I read. Totally mesmerized by the architecture of these more than a century-old buildings.

Bondi Beach

Came a little too overdressed for the beach. It was cold out when we left Guildford.

Time moved too fast for me and suddenly, it was time to go home. Will definitely be back. The always running after the bus and missing the train paid off, will know our way around the next time. 😂

IMG_9317

No dull moments here. Hopefully next time we’d be complete.

 

xx

DMV

h1

34th | Birthday Encore

August 14, 2018

Stick with the people who pull the magic out of you, not the madness.

Vacation from my vacation (lol).

My best friends are home and it’s been too long since we’ve been together in one place, us four, so no matter how exhausted and hungover and sun burnt I was, I just had to fly over because it’s always refreshing to be with my walking diaries and I needed to write down a few more stories. 😂

But first…

IMG_7255

Ramen Nagi date with this one 😂

From a week long of drinking to a weekend of tea dates. I look like shit hahaha 😂

IMG_7267

It was just a weekend of catching up and swimming parties and pool wars and competitive racing and cards against humanity and heads up. 😂

And we were 10 again.

IMG_1368

IMG_1374

DCIM102GOPROGOPR3396.JPG

Only SSA-B 2001 would get this. 😂 Love you Lexiepoo ❤️

Hung out with Tita Chiqui at her cafe, Tilde in Poblacion. Best merienda place, everything is just so yummy!

IMG_E7336

And dinner with these lovely ladies.

Fourth grade all over again (plus two pitchers of Mango Mojito, one pitcher of Sangria, one bottle of Cabernet and one bottle of Cuervo).

 

Short but sweet, I still have sepanx up to now. No dull moments here. Thank you so much for the weekend! I’m missing you guys already. ❤️

IMG_7379 2

 

xx

DMV

 

%d bloggers like this: