Hello Summer, Hello Quezon Province!

** This was written sometime in May, right after this trip. **

It’s my friend’s birthday this 19th of May so to celebrate, we headed to Quezon province last May 14-15. Our itinerary was to have a picnic at Yapak ni Hesus on the 14th, spend the night at her aunt’s place then proceed to Tayabas, Quezon for another picnic on the 15th. However, everyone was more interested in going to the beach so we went to Kwebang Lampas in Brgy. Polo instead of Tayabas River.
I was also with my other friend and 2 nieces (a 7 year old and a 14 year old) on this trip. We met with the gang at around 5 AM and proceeded directly to SLEX where we met up with the rest of the group. We brought private cars by the way. We did not commute. We were supposed to drop by Shell SLEX for breakfast and to buy our lunch from KFC but we missed the right turn. Assuming that there’s also a KFC in Petron, we proceeded there. Unfortunately, no KFC so we just had a quick breakfast at McDo then resumed our travel, now in search for a KFC. We did not find any so we ended up buying chicken from Andoks instead. Not KFC but still chicken :). We also dropped by the market to buy some mangoes and have a CR break.
We arrived at Mang Domeng’s place at around 10AM. After changing into our swimming attires and rechecking items to be brought to the river, we started the trek going to our spot, the mini-falls (mini to me at least :)). It takes around 30 minutes to reach the place. It’s a combination of river trekking and land trekking (if the way is the land beside the river). When we reached our spot, everyone was already hungry so forget 12 PM, we were already having lunch by 11 AM LOL. After a hearty meal, the others went down to the falls while my nieces and I and some friends stayed at the shallower part of the river. The stones were slippery. Maybe because it was not yet raining often during that time so the muds are not yet washed out.
At 3PM, it was time to head back to Mang Domeng’s for wash up. On our way back, the others, including my older niece, entered the cave. At the cave, there’s a pool of water where the local believe to be miraculous. During the first time I was there, Mang Domeng poured water unto our heads while we say our wishes. True or not, it doesn’t hurt to wish right? 🙂
At around 6PM, we were already on our way to Pagbilao, Quezon to my friend’s relatives’ home where we’ll be having dinner and spending the night as well. Other friends and Pastour Emata (yes, the Filipino M.t Everest summiteer) met us there as well. They had prior appointments so they were not able to join us in Yapak ni Jesus and opted to just follow.
Our hosts prepared delish dishes for us! My friend’s cousin’s specialty was . it was with cheese! Would you believe that? A viand with cheese! 🙂 But then again, I love anything cheesy so I may be biased a bit but everyone said it was yummy as well so I was not the only one captivated by it :D. The other dish that struck me was . it was shrimp with grated coconut, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed to perfection. Home cooked food is and will always be glorious :).
Of course after that sumptuous dinner was socials-stories, laughter, jokes- over a bottle of beer and of course endless picture taking. We called it a night at 1AM and proceeded to our designated sleeping quarters for a much needed rest.

Me and my nieces
Yummy yummy dinner!

Exploring CDO-Camiguin-Bukidnon: Expenses

Travel Date: March 10-13, 2011

Here’s a breakdown of our expenses.

  • All in PHP per pax
  • There were four of us including the tour guide
  • All group expenses were divided into 3 as we also shouldered the guide’s meal, transpo, accommodation, and entrance fees (if applicable)

Cebu Pacific Airfare: 375.20 (bought during the 10.10.10 sale :))

Day 1:
Terminal Fee: 200.00
Breakfast: 100.00
Motorela fare: 7.00
Bus to Balingoan Wharf:  142.50
Fastcraft to Benoni: 200.00 (150.00/pax)
Transfer fee: 2.25
Lunch: 220.50
Entrance to Katibawasan Falls: 15.00
Entrance to Ardent Spring: 30.00
Dinner: 93.33 (our total bill was only 280.00 for a 5 hungry peeps-including the driver)
Drinks: 33.33 (we bout some alcoholic drinks for the tour guide and the driver)
Groceries: 45.00 (personal)

Day 1 Total: 1,038.91

Day 2:
Boat to White Island: 133.33 (400.00/boat)
Registration: 20.00 (free for tour guides)
Breakfast: 300.00
Day 1- Early Day 2 Accommodation: 446.66 (1,300.00-room, 40.00-coffee)
Van: 733.33 (2,200 from Day 1 12PM to Day 2 around 3PM)
Soda Spring: 20.00
Shirts: 300.00 (150/shirt-cheaper at Katibawasan Falls)
Motorboat to Mantigue: 183.33 (550.00/boat)
Mantigue Entrance: 20.00 (tour guide not included)
Mantigue Environmental Fee: 26.66 (20.00/pax)
Table: 16.66 (50.00/table)
Coke: 20.00
Fastcraft to Balingoan: 200.00 (150.00/pax)
Taxi to CDO: 150.00 (total 450.00, 50.00 was for tip)
Mass Spec accommodation: 371.66 (Twin room-840.00/night, 275.00/extra bed)
Dinner: 168.33

Day 2 Total: 3,110.00

Day 3:
Van: 1,166.66
Zipline: 666.66 (although all rides is only 600.00. we forgot our change so we just split the whole amount amongst ourselves)
Certificate: 100.00
Brunch: 383.33 (we ate at a buffet resto. total bill is 1,150 for 5 peeps)
White Water Rafting: 700.00 (Beginner’s course)
Tip: 33.33 (for the WWR guide)
Fare to Kagay Office: 9.33 (7.00/pax)
CD: 83.33 (250/CD, video not included)
Fare to Steves: 10.00
Outdoor shop: 240.00 (personal)
Dinner: 183.33 (total bill-550.00 for 4 peeps)
Fare to lodge: 9.33
Lodge: 371.66
Guide fee: 1,333.33 (we paid him 4,000. his original rate was 4,500.00 and he’ll pay for his own meal. however, upon arrival, he requested us to just pay for all his meals and deduct later. upon computation, he was left with around 3,200.00 but we decided to still pay him 4,000.00)

Day 3 Total: 5,290.29

Day 4:
Taxi to airport: 100.00 (trip costs 300.00)
Terminal Fee: 30.00
Pastel: 400 (estimate for 3 boxes. forgot the exact price. it’s still cheaper outside of course)
Breakfast: 250.00 (estimate, Shakey’s airport)
Fare to Makati: 50.00

Day 4 Total: 830.00

Total Expenses: Php 10, 64.44

Hello Binondo

Part of my plans for 2011 is to explore other areas in Metro Manila.
So last weekend, a friend and I went to Binondo for some exploration. Here’s how we got there.
  • Took the MRT from Shaw to Taft
  • Rode LRT 1 and alighted at Carriedo station
  • Took the exit on the Baclaran-bound side
  • Walked towards D.Jose station and turned left on the first street
  • Looked for Onpin St. and our walk started there
Across Ongpin St. is the Sta. Cruz church. There are also a lot of jewelry shops that sell real (I hope) gold accessories. I want some! I’ll have a pair of earings as birthday gift to myself hihi. We just walked along Ongpin St. looking for someplace to eat. It was raining so we didn’t do much exploration. We found a place to eat near the San Lorenzo Ruiz church. I forgot the name of the place hehe but it looks like it’s owned by Eng Bee Tin as well. We just ordered pancit bihon and pork siomai and soya milk. I liked teir pancit. Flavorful. We also bought some goodies at Eng Bee Tin after.
We just walked where others were walking. our goal was to go back to Carriedo using a different route. We were surprised when we reached Recto Ave. hahaha. We had to ask for directions several times. It was a lonhg walk, scary in some parts even but we were back in Carriedo in one piece. Why in Carriedo? Why not just D. Jose or Recto? Because I wanted to buy accessories there hihi. Lucky for us, there were two shops still opened since that was around 7PM already. So there, I was able to buy a few items. Now, I want an accessories stand! :p
Where to next? Baclaran maybe.

Had Fun at Burnham Park

Went home last weekend of October to spend some time with my family. Together with me was my niece (brother’s daughter) from Tagaytay (their home). Since it was only her 2nd time to visit, we went out on Sunday to attend mass, and picnic at Burnham after.
Burnham Park is one of the tourist attractions in Baguio. There are different parts of the park depending on what you prefer to do. There’s the Children’s park, Biking area (separate for children and adults so it’s safe especially for kids), Burnham lake and the Rose Garden to name a few. You can find the perfect spot for your picnic in any of these areas. For photography enthusiasts, this is also a nice place to take lots of pictures.
For my family, it has always been the Children’s park so that the kids can just play around. After lunch, the kids went biking for an hour.  We rented just one with side-car where it was manuevered by my nephew and his passengers were my 2 nieces. The area was beside Burnham Lake so after their biking, they requested us to go boating wich I obliged because believe it or not, I haven’t tried that myself. :p
We had the option to paddle the boat ourselves or just have someone do it for us for an additional fee. Being the nervous aunt that I was that time (I was the only adult in the group :p), I opted for the later. Rowing back and fourth took about 20 minutes. I’m not very much familiar with the existing rate but I paid Php 230.00 for the 30-minute boat ride, and the fee for the boatman.
Here are some pictures of that day.

 @the Children’s park
 biking weeee!
 posing at the boat
my niece concentrating on the paddle. she had fun doing it!

If you’re visiting Baguio, you can’t miss the place because it’s located at the city proper.

Bacolod: Wrapping Up


Airfare: Php 2,292.64
Rebooking fee: Php 939.68 (I had to change flights since I did not push through with Kanlaon)

Day 1-3: Php 3,682.00 (includes fare, meals, tip, terminal fees, souvenirs etc. from the time I left the apartment until the time I was back)

Accommodation: Php 1,600.00 (2 nights)

Total: Php 8,514.32

This is not a tipid trip especially that I had no one to share common expenses with and I rode taxis most of the time hehehe. But I guess it would still be more expensive if I stayed overnight in Mambukal, which I decided against since I’m sure it’s better to have companions there when staying overnight or more. 🙂

Some thoughts:

  • This time, I decided not to ask my friends to accompany me because I would really like to know how it feels to roam around alone. And I want to do it in a place where I am at peace because I know there are friends nearby hehehe
  • This is also an opportunity for me to know myself better and practice talking to strangers because I’m sure I would need to ask for directions or anything often. You see, I don’t research much on places before I actually go there so…I really have no idea at times
  • Bacolod City is thriving in business. I have seen 2 (or was that 3?) familiar call center companies there. It’s great that these companies decided to do business outside of the metros. It gives a boost to local economy.
  • Bacolod is a sugarcane plantation area. It’s sad however that some of these plantations are now being converted to subdivisions and business district. I am all for progress and development but I would prefer a diversified one. Hopefully, not all the plantation areas will be replaced with tall buildings. It’s still nice to see green around.
  • The Silay International Airport is built just a few years ago to replace the old one. They say that this is one of the best airports as it meets international standards. Long runway, located in a non-residential area, and seeing greens all around (IMO) to name a few.

Thank you Bacolod! I shall see you again. 🙂

Thank you Father God. I am forever grateful.

P.S. I’ll try to upload pictures if I’m lucky to still have them.

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