Cebu Adventure: Expenses

Starting the write up of our Cebu adventure :).

Travel Date: March 13-17, 2013
Destination: Cebu
Pax: 2
Set up: With guide and transport rentals for Bantayan Island, DIY in the city

Bantayan Island: Kota Beach
Cebu City: Pacific Pensionne

Below is a detailed list of our expenses.

More of Paete, Laguna

Aside from Tatlong Krus, there are also lots of wood shops and art galleries in the area which you can visit if you want to stay longer in the area. Some friends were able to buy stuff which they say are much cheaper there as compared to the malls in Manila.
You can also visit Paete Church which is located in the plaza. Paete Church is also known as St. James the Apostle Church, originally built in 1646.
It was the Feast of the Sto. Nino so the atmosphere was festive. We were even able to watch the parade at around 4 PM. Tatay, the owner of Capati Kainan was hospitable enough to let us stay in his resto so that we can watch inside without getting wet.  It’s a tradition to spray people in red with water that day. As per Tatay, when you are wearing red, it means you are participating in the tradition of getting wet.  One friend enjoyed spraying the people in the parade when the shop owner passed her the hose haha.
Still feeling adventurous, we decided to return to Manila via Rizal, again only with the Caliraya map hehe. It’s not as confusing as we thought. You’ll not get lost as long as you know which town/barangay comes one after the other. It’s even faster because there are lesser vehicles on the road. And the view is amazing. Mostly, you’ll be passing by fields and mountains until you reach Rizal/Antipolo area. However, some parts of the road are winding so people not used to it may get a little dizzy. As always, we had a blast!

Visiting Tatlong Krus in Paete, Laguna

After reading a friend’s post about her solo adventure in Paete, Laguna, I’ve invited some friends to go and explore the place too – right away, last January 15! Haha. We used it as an excuse to prepare for our CDO-Bukidnon-Iligan adventure, which we were advised to do some cardio prior the trip since most of the activities we’ll be doing involves trekking.

My friend decided to bring her car so that we won’t have problems with transportation. And since we were not commuting, we should have a map with us. Unfortunately, the only map I can find is that of Caliraya, which has the same route going to Paete. Fortunately for us, we had fun and we were successful in navigating with the help of the map. J

Below was our actual itinerary.

 6:30AM – left OSMA, Pasig

7:00 AM – reached SLEX Shell, had breakfast at Jollibee
7:40 AM – proceed to Paete, Laguna
10:00 AM – arrival in Paete. For those bringing cars, you can park at their plaza. 
10:30 AM – start trek
11:10 AM – reached Ilaya Sur (blue waiting shed). There’s a fork. Take the left to go to the summit and straight ahead to go to Matabungka Falls (which is a short trek from here). There’s a water source by the shed which is potable as per the residents.
11:55 AM – reached summit (with a very slow pace. some may actually take it for around 40 minutes to 1 hour). Picture taking, snack time, enjoyed the cool breeze.
12:45 PM – left the summit
1:00 PM – reached Ilaya Sur. Proceeded to the falls just below the waiting shed.
1:45 PM – left Ilaya Sur
2:15 PM – back in Paete market, had lunch and change of clothes at Capati Kainan
4:40 PM – left Paete via Rizal
6:30 PM – back in your arms, Manila

Things to note:

  • No registration and registration fee required.
  • The path is cemented steps, uphill. Get ready for a real workout for your lungs and legs!
  • When we went there, the steps were a bit wet so it was a little slippery because most was wet so be careful.
  • You will pass by a creek. Although there are stones where you can step on so as not to get wet, the water maybe stronger especially after a rain so it’s best to be ready with your footwear.
  • You can use mojos, trek shoes or even slippers, whichever you’re comfortable with.
  • Bring mosquito repellent. 
  • Bring trail food in case you get hungry along the way.
  • Water-500 ml to 1L depending on your consumption
  • Bring umbrella, shades, head gear or anything to combat the sun as it can get hot especially if you start late. Of course, you can always check the weather forecast for Paete prior your trip.
  • The people of Paete are friendly and accommodating. You can ask them kindly should you need a restroom to change clothes.
Since my friend brought her car, she just requested for Php 100/pax for gas. That and money for breakfast and lunch. Allot for some treats for home or for some shopping though coz you might not resist the items you’ll see there! 🙂

Another reference for IT when commuting (from my friend’s blog):  

 Three crosses at the summit
 View of Laguna from the summit
 The name that cracked us up! 🙂
 Bamboo bridge
Matabungka Falls in Ilaya Sur where you can take a refreshing dip

It’s Nice to Meet You, Magalawa Island!

** This was written sometime in May, right after this trip.**
Magalawa Island is located in the municipality of Palauig, Zambales Philippines. It’s a small island where you can rent for accommodations or pitch your own tents and cook your own food. We visited the place last weekend and it was a perfect weekend getaway. 
How to get there from Manila:
  • Take the Sta. Cruz bound bus at Victory Liner Caloocan. You can take the LRT 1 to Monumento then walk to the back of Victory Mall to get to the terminal. Else, you can always take the cab. :p
  • Drop off at Barangay Pangolingan, Palauig Zambales. This is at corner Radio Veritas Road. The bus drivers are familiar with the place so just tell them that you’re alighting there and you won’t get lost. Travel time is 6-7 hours, including stop overs.
  • Ride a tricycle that will take you to Oslet Armada Fish dealer compound in Brgy. Luan. When we went there last weekend, fare was Php 150.00 per tricycle with 2 pax (so that’s Php 75/pax).
  • From the compound, take a mini boat going to Magalawa Island. Since we availed of the package, boat fee is already included so I’m not sure how much they charge but I’m guessing that would be around Php100.00/pax. Travel time is approximately 10 minutes.
Then, welcome to Magalawa Island!
Estimated expenses is at Php3,200.00 but this is because we availed of the package which already includes accommodation, 4 meals, boat transfers, bamboo rafting and snorkeling (snorkeling gears were provided with no additional fee). This can be much lower if you bring your own camping gears and cook your own food.
Playing loud music is prohibited. People should use earphones if they wish to listen to music.
If you’re looking for a quick and relaxing weenend getaway and you don’t mind the long travel time, try Magalawa Island.
For our booking, we contacted Ate Grace. Here’s their Facebook page.
And I leave you with these photos 🙂
Pictorial with the star fishes. Don’t worry, we brought them back to the water after :). Oh, don’t mind my long sleeves. I didn’t want to get more tanned since I was somewhere else almost all weekends of the summer!

 Off to the snorkeling site with the beautiful, amazing friends and the little niece. Teenager niece didn’t want to join us anymore. We were being pulled by another boat! Very exhilarating! When we got to the site, the little niece and I transferred to the boat. Didn’t snorkel coz I had to babysit :p.

Enjoying the waters with the little niece. My arms were hurting after this outing. My niece wanted to practice swimming so I had to hold her everytime she wants to practice ker kicks :p.

Rise and Shine and Get Ready for Kwebang Lampas!

We woke up at 7AM and breakfast was already waiting for us. We sure were spoiled by A’s relatives! 😀 By 8:30AM we were already on our way to Kwebang Lampas. We’ve been to Kwebang Lampas 2 years ago for the same occasion so we were a bit surprised with the changes we saw.
  • Before you even reach the parking space (I’m estimating that this is around 3 KM away), there’s a checkpoint/gate where you have to pay an entrance fee. Not sure how much but they charge differently for cars and tricycle
  • You are not allowed to pass by the trail anymore. You need to take the boat to reach the other side where you will trek further to the beach. The charge is Php 10/head. I doubt if they even have the permit to operate those boats. They don’t even have the basic safety precautions such as the life vests and they allow more than 15 people in a small boat, thus you’ll take the trip standing. I was a bit worried because I was with my 2 nieces before who were kids.
  • The caretaker at the entrance was rude. I don’t know the exact details but those who were ahead of us were asked to wait until all of us were complete before he allowed us to enter the premises. What’s wrong with just collecting a fee for those who have gone way ahead of us then collect from those who were behind? Also, don’t be grumpy please. Not a good way to greet your guests, if I may say so.
  • On the way home, we decided to just walk on the same trail we used 2 years ago. Upon reaching the parking area, we were shouted by the people there because apparently, we were not supposed to use that trail anymore. Well, sorry but there was no signage and nobody mentioned it to us when we arrived in the morning so we thought it was ok. But to be rude and shouting was unacceptable to us. We suspect that the reason why they were pissed off at us was because they were not able to earn from us via their boats :p. I do understand but then again…this is supposed to be a “tipid” trip as well :p.
  • They still have water problems and when we requested in advance for water in the morning for our use in the afternoon, they told us that we just request it from them in the afternoon. When we arrived there in the afternoon, there was no water available. Because of the rudeness we experienced earlier and water unavailable, we decided to just leave the place and go back to A’s relative’s place and wash up there.
Oh well, despite all these mishaps, we still had the time of our lives at the beach. I just hope that the people there were friendlier. Their place is becoming popular these days but people may just be disappointed because of how they handle their customers.
Anyway, as agreed, we will just go back to A’s relative’s home for wash up. Unfortunately, when we arrived there, they also don’t have water available! LOL. We tried with their other relatives to no avail. We considered other options and one mentioned that we can try the Grand Central Terminal because they have restrooms there where one can take a bath for a minimal fee. Since we were 15, others had to commute. Unfortunately, those that should be commuting were having a hard time looking for a ride so we fitted everyone in the Inova hahaha. 15 peeps! Whew. Off we went to the terminal where we will later on find out that taking a bath is only allowed from 5 AM – 7 AM. Disappointed a bit because we can’t convince the one in charge for us to bath as well, we just told her that we’ll just change into clean clothes then. But of course that did not happen…and that must have been the quickest bath I took in my entire life :D.
We parted ways after wash up. The others took the bus at the Grand Central and we also headed straight to Manila after that.
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