Posts Tagged ‘trip’

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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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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.

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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.

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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).

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Finally complete. Well, almost. Happy birthday Maryrose!

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

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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. 😂

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

 

xx

DMV

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Mommies Day Out | Taiwan 2018

September 13, 2018

Mommy break in Taiwan.

Scorching summer heat but still fun nonetheless especially with the company I was with. Seriously nonstop laughter from the littlest, nonsensical and most random things.

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Day 1

First stop – North Park for breakfast since our flight was not until later in the evening.

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Left for Taipei around 7pm and arrived past 9pm. Our hotel is in Ximen, we checked in at Diary of Taipei, (very conveniently located near the Ximendeng shopping district, Taipei main station and is only 5 km from the airport), and walked around to look for dinner.

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The famous Hot Star Chicken. There was still a queue even when it was already late.

Day 2 | Taipei

Patriotic Park

Went early to see the changing of the guards but apparently it was closed.

Shilin Main Presidential Residence

The former residence of Chiang Kai-shek and his wife turned into park and tourist spot. Did not finish exploring this area though as it was a scorching 40C but still decided to climb up a long stretch of stairs to go to a pavilion that wasn’t even impressive and got myself unnecessarily drenched lol.

National Palace Museum

Houses 8,000 years of Chinese history. Some pieces date back to the 10th century and are still amazingly very well preserved.

Shuangxi Park and Chinese Garden

We just passed by this park on our way to the museum and decided to check it out after. Built in 1974, park features different types of bridges, pavilions, courtyards and lots of lily pads, the place is so beautiful!

Baishihu Suspension Bridge

The first long span suspension bridge in Taipei and on the other side is a strawberry field.

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Shilin Night Market

Fun finds and lots and lots of street food.

Day 3 | Northern Taiwan

Yehliu Geopark

When sea erosion form beautifully shaped rocks.

Jiufen

A mountain town in Northeastern Taiwan, packed with tea houses, narrow alleyways, street-food shacks and souvenir shops.

Shifen

Was supposed to go the Shifen Waterfall but it was soooooooo crowded. So here’s a picture by the bridge going there lol.

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Went to Shifen old street, lit a sky lantern and let our wishes fly.

Day 4 | Ximen

Woke up late yaaaaay! Lunched at the popular Modern Toilet. Food is surprisingly good, generous servings too.

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Tried out the street food around this area. Did not try the stinky tofu.

Geography Bar and Cafe

A little tricky to find, we got lost a couple of times looking for this place but it was so worth it. Place is small but cozy and they make their cocktails very meticulously. Their playlist also included a couple of OPMs lol.

Xinyi District

View of Taipei 101 at almost midnight.

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Barcode

Known to be one of the poshest and most sophisticated chill-out spots in Xinyi District, this was a really pretty bar. Thing is, it was a Tuesday when we went so we were like the only ones (and a few tables) there. Stayed until closing, they close at 2:30am.

Day 5 | Home bound 

Did a little shopping for some goodies to bring home and well, never ending milk teas.

Refreshing break indeed despite the summer heat thanks to these awesome ladies.

On another note, best time to go to Taiwan is between December to May, weather is much cooler they say.

 

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.

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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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Last of Summer | 2017

May 29, 2017

One last beach trip with my boys before school starts and summer is officially over.

Photo set | Punta Ballo, Sipalay

Day 1

Thomas and Friends go to the beach



God’s art and my life in one frame


Day 2

Day 3

Punta Ballo is (I believe) an unspoiled beach paradise located south of Sipalay, approximately 4 hours from Bacolod City. A stretch of white sand, spectacular scenery, calm waters, clear skies — what an awesome weekend.

Some suggested accommodations in Punta Ballo:

Nataasan Beach and Diving Resort

Artistic Diving Beach Resort

Robinson Cruse White Beach Resort

Southwest Sipalay Resort

Perth Paradise Resort

DMV

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Borabiba | 2017

March 24, 2017

Let’s open summer!

My friend who was celebrating her birthday and at the same time her and her husband’s 5th wedding anniversary, one random night, was looking through old pictures of our laboracay trip 2 years ago. Nostalgia got the best of her so 26 of us decided to celebrate in Boracay and it was one helluva trip!

Day 1

We rented a bus to accommodate all 30 of us (lol).

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And the party started waaaay too early.

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Pit stop at Ramboys! Mouthwatering-melts-in-your-mouth liempo for lunch. Yum!

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Off to the island!

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Checked in, lazed around for a while and met everyone around sunset. We stayed at Beachcomber in Station 1.

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The only thing pretty about this place. Boracay sunsets are the best.

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Epic party. Happy birthday Michelle!

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Day 2

Party day. Everybody’s complete!

Body clock woke me up pretty early so went down, had breakfast and did a little sunbathing. I think I overcooked myself. Waited for the rest to arrive from Cebu, Capiz and Iloilo and call time was 5:30pm.

Sunset sesh about to start!

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All set for the party!

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DJ Melvin Baridiano

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This view would never get old.

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Beer and beach = perfect mix

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Dig!

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DJ Slippy

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All out party. I leave all the memories and juicy stories in our Viber group (hahaha)!

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Day 3

Chill Sunday. Beach was clearest this day so we did a bit of paddle boarding and took lots of pictures.

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Sunset sesh at Spider house.

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Chilled by the pool till late evening and talked about GYM and WORKING OUT (lol).

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Day 4

Time to go home!

But first one last photo shoot.

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Stopped over at Rosa’s for that famous longganisa.

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Thank you Raymond and Michelle for the awesome weekend! Thank you Boracay for the great memories and thank you friends for the super fun time!

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xx

DMV

Photo credits: BORAbiba Viber group

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Kids’ day out

July 4, 2016

Instead of throwing a party, me, my sister and her husband decided to take the kids to theme parks in Manila for Lily’s 2nd birthday.

 

July 1 – MNL Bound

All set! So many firsts for these kids.

From the airport we went straight to Enchanted Kingdom.

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Nice that we still got to avail of the weekday rate plus government discount plus student discount.

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Happy birthday Lily!

Enchanted Kingdom rates here.

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We had Lily’s birthday dinner at Mandarin Sky complete with birthday cake and Tagalog birthday song (haha).

 

July 2

Mark took the boys to buy car parts up at Banawe and had them try Mamonluk.

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Then we met up with fam for Lily’s birthday lunch,

And went to Dreamplay at the City of Dreams in the afternoon.

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Tired chipmunk (haha).

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Dreamplay rates here.

Sneaked in a couple of slots at the Casino while the kids were playing (lol).

Dinner with fam at Dampa and went home at exactly midnight.

 

July 3 – HOME

Our flight was supposed to be at 5:30pm but was very very lucky to be chance passengers for the noon flight. Yay!

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Such a great weekend! Kids really enjoyed, weather was really good, flight was a bit bumpy but we all got home safe and in one piece. Thank you God, thank you universe and Happy Birthday Princess!

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xx

DMV

 

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