Before the year ends, i'm changing my domain name! Now my site looks legit! Woot woot!

Here's a snippet where i've been to this 2012. I'm looking forward to more adventures and travel this 2013. Excited for Cambodia, Bangkok, Hanoi and Dumaguete!

January: Potipot, Zambales


Iloilo 2012: Day 1

This blog post is an exercise to hone my (travel) writing skills, a good excuse to write a blog post :)

Iloilo - Guimaras trip happened last (07/19 - 07/21/12) this a pefect definition of backlog. It's hard to write after a vacation, the next day your back at work, working your butts off to pay for the next trip haha it's a vicious cycle.

Boat ride from Guimaras to Iloilo


Guimaras 2012

It truly is Thanksgiving haha! since today is a US holiday, I can sneak a blog post during work hours while my boss is away and it's downtime here in MNL. Since, I'm grateful, let me share to you our crazy adventure in Iloilo - Guimaras.

Booked the tickets 8 months before the trip and yet again, Airphil never ceases to amaze me, they have once again, changed our flight details, from our early morning flight to afternoon flight, sorry I can't remember the exact time, it wasn't worth remembering haha.

We arrived at Iloilo airport around 12noon I guess, all I remember was being hungry and dying to try Iloilo's batchoy.

First order of the day: BATCHOY!



Teaser: Puerto Princesa

Spent the long weekend in Palawan with my brothers and boyfriend. It was 4 days of fun filled adventure and food trip!

Never a dull moment with the boys! Finally get to spend time with my brothers less the parents. Budget wise it burned my pocket haha! It's all good, time well spent with the fam!

Photo dump after the jump


Bangkok Day 2 : Ayutthaya & Bang Pa-In Royal Palace

Day 2 started early, we have booked a day tour package from the hotel for 1,200 baht inclusive of pick up from  hotel, lunch and fees in Ayutthaya and Bang Pa In Palace .

Next to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Ayutthaya was part of  my travel bucket list, I wanted to see all Unesco World Heritage sites here in Asia. Lucky me, the day started really well, the weather was hot but it was a good day to see the temples and learn bout Bangkok's culture and history.

I have no DIY tips for Ayutthaya as I find it convenient to join a travel group, I don't need to think about how to get there and how to get to one temple to another, It would be cheaper if we did DIY but it's less hassle for 2 girls who has no sense of direction to get a travel package.


Bangkok Day 1: (PM version)

After roaming around MBK & Siam, we went back to our hotel and freshened up for the Chao Phraya River Cruise.

I think this should be part of every traveler's itinerary in BKK. It was my first time to go on a river cruise and I was in awe with the beautiful temples along the river. We booked the dinner cruise for 1200 baht, they'll pick you up in your hotel and take you to the port.

I'm no food enthusiast but the selection looks really good, the ambiance was superb, like dining in a 5 star hotel and each passenger is pre-assigned with a table. We were seated at the upper deck, where the table for 2 awaits with chips, nuts and drinks.

Surprisingly the entertainers on board were Filipinos! The singer, was really entertaining and she can really sing, from Korean songs to Taiwanese songs, she was the whole package, sing and dance. She even greeted each table according to their nationality and language. Filipinos are truly amazing ;)

for more info about the river cruise, click here

Photo dump below again:

Bangkok Day 1: (AM version)

Our day started early, we left our hotel at 7am, took the free shuttle service to the airport again and rode the BTS to Phaya Thai.

If there was one thing I learned, never ever rely on maps, better to really ask the hotel about the directions and transportation hahah! right after we got off the train station we didn't know what to do, where to go exactly, you see it's very disorienting, people don't speak English, they'll just point you to where you should go, then after that you'll be like, what? where? sorry? should we cross the street? ahaha!

After getting directions, we finally decided to hail a taxi and hand our hotel address to the driver, this was the first part of getting ripped off by a cab driver. See the map above, according to google map, it's a 10 minute walk from the station. Since we had our luggage's we opted to take the taxi. The taxi driver charged us 100 baht! we didn't even argued as we just wanted to get to our hotel, we were following a strict itinerary during that day (Yea right!).

We realized that it was better that we took the taxi to our hotel, but the distance from the train station to the hotel is not worth the 100 baht. The ugly truth slowly came in, we should have taken the tuktuk for 50 baht, a less expensive mistake, my mother was afraid to take the tuktuk, thinking we might get scammed hahah well it was the other way around. Note to self, research more, ask the hotel how to get to your destination.

Finally reached our destination and was able to check in early. I don't have photos of our room but it looks pretty decent.

First order of business was to ask about the travel tours the hotel offers, choose then change currencies and book. After all the shebang, go to the malls, MBK & Siam Paragon. We went out and started to scout what's within the vicinity, by the way the original plan was to walk all the way to Platinum Mall. It was raining, so we hailed another taxi, it was easy! we told the driver to take us to MBK, he said yes, but for 100 baht and we will drop by a shop. I kept on telling the driver we will pay 100 baht, just take us straight to the mall, he kept on insisting that we will just drop by a shop, we can look around and then he will take us to MBK. So the driver won, we gave in to his suggestion.

We went to the biggest jewelry store in Bangkok, my mother a regular in BKK, has seen this shop and even bought earrings for me from her previous trips. Hurriedly left the store empty handed, we were not keen on buying jewelries, the driver ended up with no gas. According to the driver, if we bought jewelries worth 2,000 baht, he'll get 5 liters of gasoline. it's like his referral fee for bringing in customers. He kept his word and brought us to MBK, but didn't exactly dropped us in the mall haha we got off in a train station near MBK, a little walk won't hurt. I think we called it quits, he didn't get his gas and we get to walk to MBK.

Nothing much happened in Day 1. We just went around MBK & Paragon, checked out the fishes in Siam Ocean World.

Photo dump below


Bangkok Day 0

This is a blog post about my adventure in Bangkok, how life is Ironic, how we got scammed by a Taxi (not just once, but twice the same day) and how we managed to get around BKK with no Map haha ;)

We left Manila around 10:30PM, the same time it started raining, the wind was blowing and we were soaking wet when we entered the plane. It didn't help that the tube was under construction, there goes our travel tax, terminal fee. 

The plane left on time and it was a rough take off, the weather was crazy and I was trying to calm my nerves and trying to detach all morbid scenarios that goes into my head (mind over matter I say) well before this trip, I researched and read tons of stuff about anxiety, turbulence and the whole shebang about a fearful flyer. I even blogged about it, to remind myself that the ratio of plane crash is 1:11 Million (hahah research freak!). Life is truly Ironic, so besides mind setting and preparing myself, life has this funny way to test me, why not let's take off while the storm is about to start and shake the plane a bit and make it a bumpy ascent, then let's make the passenger go "woooah, waa" and I try to concentrate by reading the magazine, while I can feel my mother clenching to her seat. I calmly even told her "Ma, stay calm, probability of plane crash is 1;11 Million" the only thing that I can hold on  to, that ratio haha. 

After 3 hours and I can't remember how many minutes, we finally arrived in Bangkok. Since we took the red eye flight, I arranged a hotel near the airport to sleep in and moved to the city in the morning.

In transit to Phaya Thai

We took the BTS (Bangkok Mass Train System) to Phaya Thai, it was the express train, travel time was 45 minutes. Our Bangkok Adventure starts here.

To be continued, next post...


Tondol Beach Day 2

Photo from Sir Efren

Woke up early and the sun was up! Just in time for our Island Hopping! I was hesitant to join the group, you see i'm not a big fan of boat rides, I have this notion that I will die because I don't know know how to swim haha thanks to my banana boat experience, it scared the shit out of me. But fear won't keep me from going to places ;) So here I am, quietly sitting and praying for calm waters haha.


Tondol Beach Adventure Part 1

I'm to lazy to go into details about this trip hehe. If there's a travel groupie, that would be me! As long as I have resources, i'll go if you say let's go!

Hats off to Doms for another successful trip! :)

I have no idea where I'm going, according to my brother, it's not the destination, it's the journey.

Trip started early and loud. The energy was contagious, we haven't seen each other for quite some time and we have tons of catching up to do. We left Makati around 5:30am and first order of the day was to have breakfast at Jollibee, NLEX.

Photo from Efren 


Singapore 2012: Day 2 (Mint Toy Museum)

We started our day late, we had an exhausting day 1 at USS & Sentosa. Left the hotel around 10am, our itinerary was to go the MINT  Toy Museum, check out Funan Digital Mall & walk around Esplanade area. This time around, we don't have any tour guide, our cousin has to go back to work. Our parents went to the Botanical garden, we agreed that we will meet at around 3pm to go the night safari, which didn't happen by the way, reason will be revealed in my next blog post. 

Asked for directions on how to get to the Mint Museum, thank god for Maps.

Getting lost along the way


Singapore 2012: Day 1 (USS & Sentosa)

This our first out of the country family trip and birthday gift to the boys, see my parents are very cost efficient, they planned that my father and brothers must share the same birth date, isn't that perfect? :) this was also the first time I didn't go crazy-planning-mapping-researching for directions and Itineraries, thank god for my cousin who served as our tourist guide! :) 

Disclaimer: This post may not contain any useful information on how to go to Sentosa ;) hahaha so please bear with me, as I savor the day, I became an ordinary tourist and share my day 1 in SG :) 

We left Manila around 10pm and arrived after 3 hours, took the cab to Fragrance Hotel Balestier for 60 SGD


Caramoan Islands: Day 2

Second day of our Caramoan adventure, we started by going to Barangay Tagbon where the Our Lady of the Holy Rosary is located, in order to see the 26 foot shrine/image, we have to conquer the 530 plus steps (I think) I lost count on my way up, as I was a eager beaver to see what's up there!


Caramoan Island Day 1

My parents are both Bicolano and every summer, we visit our relatives, go to the beach, hit the mall, eat and spend sleepless nights bonding with cousins. This year, we decided to do something different, since our parents were born and raised in Bicol plus, they haven't been to Caramoan, we opted to push thru this trip, even if it means we have to take a 1 hour and 30 minutes jeepney ride at 5am to Sabang port, 2 hour boat ride to Guijalo port and 15 - 20 mins tricycle ride where we will stay.


Potipot Expenses

Day 1 for 2  
Dinner 160  
Bus to  Sta. Cruz 928 * 464 each
Grocery 106  
Bus to  Market 44 * 22 each
Market (Food) 300  * 150 each
Jeep to Dawal 18 * 9 each
Buko 100  
Ice Cream  20  
Boat 80 400 RT
Entrance  600 * 300 each
Cottage 150 500 overnight
 Total 2506  

Day 2    
Softdrinks & Chips 20  
Bus to Olonggapo 352    *174 each
Bus to Cubao 424     *212 each 
Dinner  80  
Bus to G.A Tower 42  
Dinner (KFC) 80  
 Total 998  
Grand Total  3504  

Potipot Island: Hits and Miss

Potipot from Uacon Shore line
Starting the year with a trip to Zambales with my office mates. The timing was perfect when the Government declared a long weekend holiday last January 21 - 23 (chinese new year).

We all decided to not plan the trip (not a good idea) just pack our bags,meet at the bus station and go. Read a couple of blogs and tips for Potipot, how to get to the island but the rest is yet to be unfold, not all who wander are lost.

With high spirits we trooped to the bus stations, then came the first challenge.


Vietnam: Day 3 (Cu Chi Tunnels)

Our last day in Saigon and we got our money's worth having Mr. Binh, a war veteran and half filipino as our tour guide. He shared with us his knowledge about the war and the other side of the story, the American version. I have no idea of what happened during the American - Vietnam war, this trip was very educational.

it's a 2 hour bus ride to Cu Chi Tunnels which i think is almost close to the border of Cambodia, we booked the tour from our hotel for $6 (Half day), we get to crawl and chicken out for the first 5 mins of the cu chi tunnel experience :) thank god they have like emergency exits along the way haha :) but the experience overall was superb! Mr. Binh is like a rockstar of all tour guides, he explained everything in a concise way that we can get it, he told us what he really knows, not by the book but the strategies they really used. it was a plus that he was very entertaining and honest, which makes this trip more memorable.

stopover to PWD center and store


IMO: Pleased and Pissed

Twitter land was abuzz last Thursday for the new launch of DOT's campaign, my timeline was filled with the hashtag #1forfun and how excited everybody in twitter was, so I was excited too :) I was hopeful that this could help our tourism. Come Friday, the launch of the new campaign. Minutes later we were already trending worldwide. I wouldn't be surprised, what's the point of being a (CELLPHONE) TEXT CAPITAL if we can't place our candidate to the top 15  for a beauty pageant, we can also trend worldwide on a regular basis, may it be because Jose from Eat Bulaga was so funny that the Filipinos can't help but tweet and share about it. Plus point for DOT, using social media would help make noise for the new campaign. It was a successful launch, the hashtag #itsmorefuninthephilippines was trending. As a Filipino, I was very hopeful, I was happy. You see, recently I've discovered this passion and love for traveling, then came the opportunity to see other countries (HK - Macau - Saigon) it opened up my eyes to how different our country is, how we can help to entice foreigners to visit our country and what our government could and should do.