Thousand Versions

 

In a world of thousand versions,
I see you staring at me
Moving closer beneath the mint tree.

There’s magic in that glance
That i dont want to miss a chance
To be cared and loved by thee.

Fleeting, chasing slowly cuddling
Your hands above mine
Carefully caressing the moonlight fang.

Then again i wanna chase you
Surrender to you
Feel your love and
Create  thousand versions of us.

justjenandthesun
072316
15:34

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WALA NA AKO PERA? MALAYO PA SWELDO. PAANO NA? (HOW TO SAVE?)

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Okay, I am not a financial expert, I am not a business tycoon or a  rich kid. I just want to share my experiences in handling money which could be helpful to some of you.

I coined myself as “kuripot na gastador” ang vague ba? Ganito kasi yan, I am very thrifty when it comes to important things but when valueless things I’m super “waldasera.” These are the things that made me waste my hard-earned money.

1. Food Hopping – they type that I would eat in this restaurant or fast food joint ‘cause I’m craving for burger, pizza, ice cream, sisig and others. The usual cost of every dine ranges from 200-500 pesos. Ang gastos di ba. So I ended withdrawing money for my savings. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. Very bad for my pocket as well as for my health. Pwede naman kasing mamili na lang sa grocery then cook.

2. Shopping – I really love strolling in the mall. Pampa-tanggal stress pagkatapos ng trabaho. I don’t know why I am fascinated with clothes that I always wanted one every now and then. Siguro kasi habang lumalaki ay hirap din kami at lahat ng damit ko ay bigay lang kaya ngayon todo pamimili basta may pera. Kung dati settle na ako sa ukay at tiangge, ngayon ginawa kong tambayan ang Uniqlo, H&M at Forever21 kaya ang laki ng gastos, labas sa budget. Ang ibang damit ko tuloy tambak na lang.  Another thing is SALES, grabe! Sumpa yata ito, ewan ko ba kung bakit ang hilig    ko    sa SALE samantalang old stocks / style naman ang nabibili dito.

3. Regular Travel – before, I used to travel a lot. Tipong lingo-lingo dapat may gala ako. Wala lang gusto ko lang puntahan ang mga lugar na bago at IG worthy. I spent minimum Php. 1,000.00 for every travel (day tour lang ito) and Php. 3,000.00 for two days, ang gastador di ba?

My goal in life to be stable and financially able. How did I do it? 

1. Savings   

      a.Bank Account – since I started working, I decided to open a savings account. I used to save Php. 500-1000.00 per month until it increases to much higher amount. I didn’t follow the 80/20 scheme basta I saved enough in my bank account for emergency funds. I also open up another savings account just in case lang.

    b. Piggy Bank – even though I saved in the bank, I have a piggy bank with me, I put Php. 20.00 every day and when it’s reaches around Php. 2,000.00, I saved it in my other savings account.

2. Investment

 a.Insurance – I have a Family Secure Insurance from Philam Life. It’s a variable type of insurance where I have my insurance and at the same time having an investment. My premium is Php. 20,000.00 annually and when I checked my investment money – it’s growing (I can withdraw this money if I want to). If you are young, better to get an insurance for security purposes.

b. Memorial Plan – I got a St. Peter plan for Php. 650.00 per month which I need to pay for five years.

c. Stock Market – I have COL account. Before investing my money here, I attended an orientation and study the companies where to put my investment;  I opted to be an investor rather than a trader. For Php. 5,000.00 you can open an account with COL. I also attended Bo Sanchez’s seminar on stocks and it is very helpful for first timers. Now, the stock market is down, and it is an opportunity for the stockholder to buy more stocks. Kaso ngayon, wala ako pera. Hahaha!

d. Equity Wealth Fund – also for Php. 5,000.00 I open an account at Manulife. Since, I have experienced in stocks, I invested all my money to stocks. Risk –taker din ako since I am looking for long time investment goal. According to my agent, I can fund more in my account.

d. House – Everybody dream of having a house. Me, ever since this is a childhood dream but the problem is “mahal”, “out of the budget” kung bibili ng bagong bahay. What I did was to buy foreclosed house  from Pag-Ibig Fund, ito ang mga bahay na binawi ng Pag-Ibig sa mga hindi nakakapabayad ng loan sa kanila. Mas mura ito compare sa mga bagong bahay. Pwede din hulugan sa loob ng 10 taon or mas maikli depende sa’yo. Luma na ang bahay, ikaw na lang magpapaayos, meron naman bahay na maayos pa at kumpleto naman. Basta occular mo muna bago ka kumuha. Anyway, may pa-seminar din ang Pag-Ibig dito.

Aside from Pag-Ibig, Bangko Sentral is offering the same scheme.

e. Education – I considered education as an investment. I studied Graduate Studies, mahal man ang tuition pero I used it to gain more knowledge and skills at the same time I worked as a part time teacher. So the money I earned from teaching were for investments or for future travels.

3.   Travel – Of course, hindi lang puro ipon kailangan din mag-enjoy. I prepare all my travels. Now, I promise my self to have at least two best travels in a year (1 out of the country and 1 around the country – basta malayo, hahaha). I booked my flight five months ahead of target schedule (mas mura kahit paano, hindi na din ako nakiki-gulo sa seat sale – hirap kasi makapasok). Once settled flight, I searched for my accommodation – usually I looked for Agoda and booking.com ( I haven’t tried other sites), I got cheaper rates and room here plus I also checked the reviews. I also provide a piggy bank for my travels which I fill every now and then, I used the money for visa application or travel tax. I also have Getgo and Mabuhay miles for the points. In fairness, to Getgo, I used the points in going to Caticlan.

4. Practicality –  you may wonder on how I handled these savings and investments, it’s because of I am practical now. I no longer buy splurge in shopping, I rather go home than go to the mall, with this I am not tempted to buy clothes or eat in a restaurant. I just do my grocery and cook at home. I didn’t buy gadgets unless it’s broken, my cellphone is LG Magna series of 2015, ang tagal nya mga Bes at ang tibay. Kahit minsan gusto kong bumili ng lumang Iphone or bagong Samsung, iniisip ko na lang okay pa naman ang phone ko. If I want a good picture, I asked my companion to take me a  shot using their beautiful / latest phone (mautak lang).  I am not interested in new gadgets kaya walang problema. Hanggang okay pa ang appliances, ito pa din ang gagamitin ko. Buying a car is not on my list, hindi kasi ito practical para sa akin, saka nagde-depreciate and value nito unlike ng lupa, alahas and iba pa.

Of course, I am supporting family members and giving back to Church. I guess, as I mature mas alam ko na lang kung paano i-handle ang pera ko. I am not only thinking for future but also enjoying the present.

Here’s the link of the investments I mentioned above. Maybe you are interested and think of investing or planning for your future.

 

Pag ibig Fund Acquired Assets : http://www.pagibigfund.gov.ph/AA/

COL :  https://www.colfinancial.com/ape/Final2/home/HOME_NL_MAIN.asp?p=0

Manulife Asset Management:  http://www.manulifeam.com/

Philam : http://www.philamlife.com/en/help-support/philam-funds.html

P.S. photo not mine

The Perks of a Joiner

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These past few months I tried joining group tours for my travels. I remember the first time I joined a group tour was Mt. Pinatubo tour five years ago and it never happened again since I prefer Do-It-Your-Own. Now, let me share to you my reflections  of joining a group tour or being a joiner.

1. Less expensive – yes, being a joiner is a lot cheaper than traveling on your own or with group of friends. I think your expenses are fixed when you joined a group. For example: a tour would cost Php. 1000.00 -1200.00 plus Php. 500.00 for other expenses such as food, pasalubongs, cottages, entrance fee (it depends kung ano inclusion sa tour mo), in a group tour, I tend to spend Php. 1300-1800. But doing DIY, I tend to spend around Php. 2500.00 – 3000.00 per  tour (includes transportation, food, cottage, entrance fees, boat ride and others). We are talking for just a day tour here, hindi pa kasama kung overnight or 3 days tour.

If you analyze, parang ang tour fee is like paying your transportation in the travel. Mas nakakamura kasi if you are many than you are alone. There are some tour packages that includes meals kaya sobrang makakamura.

I also felt that I spend more when I travel with friends / relatives than joining a tour ( I don’t know kung ako lang ba nakakadama ng ganito. Hahahaha)

2. Gain friends – in joining a tour, you get to meet a lot of people from someone who is mending a broken heart to someone who just wasting money to see the world. Hehehe, anyway meeting people is bliss, you tend to share a molecule of you and started to build friendship with that person. Masaya lang makihalubilo sa mga tao, malalaman mo ang reason nila for traveling and you just reflect on something “ganoon din ako.”

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3. You can go to places you thought is impossible – we have bucketlist, we ticked a place or an activity that we wanted to go or experience with. Minsan ang hirap isipin kung paano mo magagawa ang isang bagay eh ang laki ng gastos, ang layo, walang public transpo papunta doon, private ang resort – wala ako membership – kaya travel tour ang sagot dyan. Be patient in looking for the travel packages that you want to tick in your bucketlist. I am looking forward to Vitalis Villas  in Ilocos Sur (may travel tour dito).

4. Coordinated – well, I used to be the planner of the group during barkada or family outings, that’s why I spend most of my time looking for the best resorts, service and planning an itinerary. But with being a joiner, I just study the itinerary, if it favors with my time then go. Hayahay ang buhay ko, ang dami pa namin mapupuntahan dahil kaya itong ayusin ng coordinator

One downside lang siguro is sometimes ang daming nakalagay na tourist destination sa itinerary pero hindi mo naman type iyon, kaya no choice ka lang kung sumama o maghintay sa van.

5. Waiting Game – this is what I don’t like in group tour, there are joiners who were slow at primadonna ( kung kumilos ang tagal, ang bagal. Parang walang naghihintay sa kanila kung umasta lalo na sa kainan, bihisan, liguan etc). Kaya ang itinerary hindi nasusunod. Sorry, mabilis lang kasi ako kumilos. Saka wala ako sa bahay para umasta ng dona.

6. Cancelation – this is the most heart breaking, you scheduled the trip, filed a leave, prepared your OOTD and save money but due to lack of joiners to fill the tour- they needed to cancel it. Hay! Sakit sa puso. Lagi ko pinagdadasal na wag ma-cancel ang tour, kung pwede lang akong mag-alay ng itlog para di bumagyo o umulan at matuloy ang tour.

Note: Be mindful in choosing a travel agency. Better search their portfolio in social media, mahirap na at madaming manloloko ngayon. If they have ratings, checked it. Also ask referrals from friends.

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Sagada sa Ganda

February 2017

Amihan season it was, when I landed my feet to Sagada through a package tour with Tripinas. I was unplanned getaway after one month of stressful activities at work. Finally, I was able to recharge and recapitulate.

We left Manila at 10 evening of February 16. We were 10 in this tour. Traveling solo brought me a lot of perspective about myself, the place and the culture.

We reached Banawe at around 6 AM, it’s still dark. People were having their pictures taken at the ark but I choose inside the van since I already been to this place. It was past six in the morning when we reached the famous Banaue Rice Terraces viewing deck, it’s 17 degree that time and it’s freezing cold. I went out of the van even my knees almost collapsed  due to the cold.

After the side trip we directly go to Bondoc. I think it was two hours long drive getting there. We reached the town proper at 10 in the morning. My homestay was located in a secluded area.

 

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ITINERARY

Itinerary and activities may vary to adapt to the volume of tourists, the road and weather conditions as well as the tribal festivities.

Meet up:  Chowking  EDSA South bound, Cubao, Quezon city on February 16th, Thursday at 8:15pm

  • Meet the dispatcher – Pay your balance – Sign the waiver form – Orientation

Day 1: February 17th, 2016, Friday
0800 Estimated time arrival in Sagada

Meet your tour guide/coordinator. Breakfast, check in at the hotel and rest
1230 Lunch
1330 Sagada cultural walking tour (Visit of Ganduyan Museum, St. Mary’s church, Echo Valley and Hanging Coffins and Sagada weaving)

1830 Dinner

Day 2: February 18th, 2016, Saturday
0700 Breakfast
0800 Cave adventure tour (on clients’ account)
1230 Lunch
1400 Visit of Sagada pottery

1830 Dinner

Day 3: February 19th, 2016, Sunday

0430 Check out from Hotel

0520 Sunrise watching at Kiltepan peak

0630 Breakfast
0730 Bomod-ok falls tour

1230 Lunch
1500 Estimated departure time from Sagada (stop-over at Banaue rice terraces on the way unless the weather is bad)

Arrival in Quezon city is on February 20th, Monday around 2 or 3am

I highly recommend Tripinas. They were with me during Mt. Pinatubo hike. Thumbs up to them for efficient service.  Visit this site, TRIPinas Travel and Tour Ventures 

http://tripinas.com.ph/ and see our Sagada picture here: <a href=”http://sagadatour.blogspot.com/“>Photo credits</a>

 

A short clip in regards to Sagada adventure

Cebu-cation

 

BeautyPlus_20180328204505_saveFive in the morning is our call time kay Kuya Jun (van driver) for Oslob trip, he arrived on time and we are ready for this adventure. Since the travel time is three hours, all we have to do was to sleep in the van (kanya-kanya kami ng layer). We passed by several towns in the Southern part of Cebu and I was amazed with the old churches that we passed on, (surreal! It’s like I’m on history books). We also chat with Kuya Jun about his work as a driver and he shared several experiences in touring tourist around Cebu and some parts of Visayas.

It’s 8:30 in the morning when we reached Aaron’s Beach Resort in Oslob, there were several tourists in the area. A lot of resorts offering different packages on Whale Shark watching and other activities.

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We paid Php. 1880.00 for whale shark watching good for 30 minutes (two seniors for whale watching only and two individuals for swimming with snorkeling gear), Php.600.00 / head ang swimming with gears. Renting some action cam was Php. 700.00 but we never rented since I had an action cam with me.

 

 

We headed to the port but first we had an orientation for the activity, never ever touched the whales. We were with two Swiss nationals in the boat, the boat was quiet small (hindi naman pwede ang big boats kasi baka masaktan ang mga whale sharks. We were so excited and nervous at the same time, baka kasi hindi ko makita ang mga sharks sayang ang moment but as we arrived in the area, numerous of sharks were swimming. It’s super enjoyable moment to see them around but the problem was the wave (ang lakas ng alon), since I don’t know how to swim, I was struggling in the water. Good thing was one of the boat men was helpful to us, he even got the camera to took some videos.

I felt tired balancing myself and the waves, I wanted to see many sharks but the waves were strong. 30 minutes ended and we were exhausted (sobrang nakakapagod, kung marunong lang kami lumangoy). But it’s really worth it, I never thought in my wildest dream that I would swim with the whale sharks. I would never forget that moment.

On the other hand, I felt guilty also for what happen with the whale sharks, I mean, invading their privacy and some of them got hurt because some of the tourist violates the rules, there were instances that due to the waves, they got hit by the boats. Hay! Hirap! Let’s respect their habitat, tayo dapat mag-adjust at hindi sila.

After the Whale Shark watching we rode the multi-cab of Aaron’s for Sumilon adventure, we paid Php. 1,5000.00 (four persons just for boat ride, I don’t know how much each since we have two seniors), there’s Php. 20.00 per head entrance fee to the island to be paid in docking area. We ate first in a carinderia (sort of brunch) before hopping in the boat. We were just alone in the huge boat, around five minutes going to the island and malayo pa lang, ang GANDA na ng island, walang exgeration, sobrang blue ng tubig at kitang-kita na ang sandbar. We were giggling in excitement while approaching the island, it’s a GEM. We plan to stay here for 30 minutes lang kaso lang sana kaso dahil ang lakas ng alon hindi kami agad nakakababa sa Bangka.

 

 

We splurged and enjoyed the island, tampisan and played with the waves. Hundred of photo-ops were done. If we have more time, we can stay here until the afternoon. The planned 30 minute stay turned into an hour (ganoon kasi ka-ganda). Expectation vs Reality – this time nanalo ang Reality.

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Struggle is Real ang boat going  back the docking area, ang lakas ng alon and going down the  boat, hinahampas talaga ng alon ang passengers, thank God sa malalakas na mga boat men dahil hindi kami pinabayaan.

Our next stop was the Tumalog Falls (still in Oslob), as we reached the jump-off point, we need to ride a habal-habal (motorcycle) going to the falls because of the steepness of the area. The falls is amazing especially when the rays of sun passed the falls, “ang ganda niya” sarap lang titigan. Blue din ang water (not as blue as Kawasan falls, based on what I saw in the pictures) pero malinis daw ito, we decided not swim na lang but capture amazing photos. By the way, entrance fee is Php. 20.00 per head. Habal fare is Php. 50.00 (round trip)

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We passed  by Cuartel (also in Oslob), it’s their version of Ruins but for me it’s the walls of Intramuros, meron din ditong baywalk that was good to unwind and stroll. There was also an old church there and I felt happy seeing old structure like that.

Our  last stop was Simala Shrine in Sibonga town. We were here at four in the afternoon and they closed at five. The church was huge, I never been to any Catholic Church na ganito kalaki, usually kasi ang napupuntahan ko na monastery ay maliit lang. Parang nasa ibang bansa at kingdom ako dito sa lugar. Of course, what we did here was to praise God and pray a lot.

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I can say that Php. 7,500.00 (van fare for this Oslob trip) was worth it, sakit man sa bulsa mga bes pero hindi mapapantayan ang saya at memories namin sa Oslob. Ang dami pala magagandang lugar sa Cebu na masarap i-explore. Sana next time, makapag- Kawasan, Malapascua at Bantayan naman ako.

Thank you Oslob and of course, Simala for these wonderful treasures. It will remain in my heart forever.

Information:

Kuya Jun (Van rental) –  0942-5194654 ( to any point of Cebu) I recommend him, bukod sa mabait, maingat din mag-drive. We felt protected and safe.

 

 

 

 

 

If you have time, watch our Cebu-cation. Please bear with me, my first time to vlog. Hahaha!! matututo din ako. :))))))

Tara sa Tarlac

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After my Mt. Ulap hike, I opted to join a tour. It’s my first time to join a tour alone, a lot of things came in my mind (baka scammer ang tour coordinator at pagdating ko sa venue wala naman, baka rapist o holdaper ang other joiners and the list goes on). It’s seemed legit on facebook, I also have strong gut feel in terms of people I’m dealing with. I met them at McDo Panay Avenue at 5:30 AM and the left at 6:00 AM, we were seven in the group kaya maluwag kami sa van and I took a nap.

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The first stop was Monasteryo de Tarlac, I really want to go here and because it’s not accessible for public transpo (or I guess quiet expensive), it’s a win-win for me. We reached the place at 8:30 in the morning and had an hour to explore the place. I like the church; I felt the solemnity and a good venue to have quiet time with God. The huge Jesus Christ structure is a must see, Brazil feels.

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Our next stop is the Capas Shrine (it’s not really in the itinerary but it’s okay), it’s like traveling back in time – time to salute the great soldiers who fought for our freedom way back Japanese era. At around 11:30 we stopped at Chowking for some lunch.

We reached Gosen Resort at 12:30 PM, the swimming pool is close (nagkamali daw ang technician ng lagay ng color, instead of blue naging green), since the place has the Greek  – Roman feels, we just had a lot of photo-ops and rest. It’s also the time when I get to bond with other joiners and our tour coordinator. I learned a lot about tour organizing so when I put up my own travel agency, I know how it works. Our tour coordinator, Roan is very friendly and accommodating. She said that the pushed the tour even though it’s 7 joiners, (it’s break even than cancelling it, tutal sa kanila naman daw ang van).

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Some joiners had a blast through riding an ATV ride near Mt. Pinatubo, the rate is Php. 1000.00 for an hour. Some parts of the resort is still under construction and I’m sure when it’s done this summer, mas lalong gaganda at breathtaking.

We were at Paris Café (in Clark) at 4:00, a replica of Eiffel Tower was the main attraction but it is better at night. We dine at the Café and ordered some cakes,  this time I had a chit-chat with my co-joiner Kat. We talked personal stuffs and inspiring stories. I think, this is one of the perks of going solo, you tend to know other people and eventually became a friend. After some photo-op we left the place at five in the afternoon and back in Manila at 7:00 in the evening.

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I had a great time in this tour, I never thought that Tarlac would be that amazing and there’s a lot of things to do in this province. I am glad that Tarlac is starting to create it’s identity  in terms of tourism.

 

Php. 1200 (tour package)

Php. 150  (snacks and souvenier at Monasterio de Tarlac)

Php. 120  (lunch)

Php.  40   (drinks brought in Gosen Resort)

Php. 50     (brought mani from an Aeta  in Clark)

Php. 180   (snacks at Paris Café)

Total:  Php. 1740.00

 Contacts: I Love Adventours and Travels (09178172537 look for Ro An Sarmiento)

 

Five Fingers Adventure

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I decided to go as a joiner in a group tour last February 26, 2018. The meet up was at  Teleperformance Shaw Boulevard, one o’clock in the morning. I joined a group of 30 individual (2 vans). The van arrived at the venue passed 1:30 AM, siksikan mga bes (unlike the other tours na napuntahan ko, upong komportable), then tambay muna sa McDo Centris na akala namin may pick-upin ng madami iyon pala isa lang at sa kabilang van pa. Grabe lang, we stayed at McDo for 30  minutes, (sayang oras mga mumshie). At ayon na nga, the tour went along and lahat yata ng stop-over na McDo ay hinintuan namin for some bathroom break at wala naman nag-rest room sa mga joiners.

We arrived at Jollibee Mariveles  past six in the morning, we had a breakfast there for more than an hour (actually, hinihintay namin matapos ang mga  coordinator kumain). We reached the docking area past eight but we were waiting for the boat (wala pa daw yung boat). Okay, pero mag-aalas nueve na at hindi pa nagsisimula ang tour, sayang talaga ang oras. My self talk is “okay lang yan. Mahaba pa ang araw…”

So there you go, we started the tour at nine in the morning, the waves were a bit strong but can manage, we arrived in the first cove Nagbintana Cove, it’s spectacular – ang ganda lang at sobrang instagramable ang lahat ng anggulo. So I met Divine her and pretty much we get along. Pinagdaanan ko din ang pinagdaanan nya, kaya alam ko malalagpasan nya ito.

Then we went to the next cove which is Tinanlakan Cove, dito naman pwedeng mag cliff dive, syempre walang nag-dare pero ako wish ko talaga magawa ito soon. The next cove was bats sanctuary which they named Pulong Kawayan, parang Palawan lang ang rock formations and best for swimming and snorkling daw.

 

Sobrang nakakapagod ang boat ride, as in. Our energies was 20180225_13570120180225_13393320180225_112804BeautyPlus_20180226194627_saveBeautyPlus_20180226194523_save20180225_104751consumed sa picture taking pictures  sa Nagbintana cove. Medyo may kalayuan din kasi ang interval ng mga coves kaya ganoon. Ang sarap matulog sa the Bangka. We arrived at the last cove (4th pa lang, nag request kami na last ito kasi gutom at pagod na kami…Hahahaha! Kami ang sumuko sa tour), beach ito na may gray sand or they call it Apatot Cove. Okay naman sya, prang secluded island na wala talagang means to survive. I mean, no shades, no stores and all, kaso sa sobrang init ang hirap magtagal.

At the start of the tour, we were reminded na sarado ang Laki Beach (ang ganda pa naman doon based sa instagram) so the option was the other beach  which they called Lusong Beach, may Php. 100.00 entrance fee na hindi kasama sa tour package. It is underdeveloped beach, own by San Miguel daw yung kalahati, samantala yung kalahati ay sa isang local family. Kaya yung local family ang nagma-manage dito, sa kanila ka din magbabayad. Well, frustrated ang mga joiners because of this, it’s an ordinary beach pero gusto ko iyong dagat, it’s calm and sarap mag-meditate, light brown din ang sand kaya keri na din.

We ate our lunch here, actually the cottage has also payment but I forgot kung magkano. There is also a store (nag-iisa lang ‘to), they have water, drinks and some chichi / biscuits; they also sell Buko for Php. 25.00. The beach has a bathroom but because of lines, we decided to ask the store owner if we could take a bath in their house – gladly they agreed (pwede daw magbayad, pwede din hindi – bahala ka na pero nagbigay ako ng Php. 20.00).

We left at 4:00PM and the waves are stronger now, good thing is that it only took us 20 minutes to reach the docking area. Ang nakakainis lang dito, we supposed to leave the place at five in the afternoon pero dahil naligo at hinintay namin ang guide, umalis kami ng 5:30 PM (kung tutuusin nga, 4:30PM ay okay na ang lahat ng joiners, naligo na kasi ang karamihan sa beach pa lang kaya ready na. Iyon lang ang mga coordinator ang matagal). Biruin mo puno na ang dalawang van pero wala pa din sila (unprofessional). Kaya ayon, fiesta pala sa Mariveles kaya traffic, 7:30 na ng nakalabas kami ng bayan ng Mariveles and based on our schedule, we should be in Manila at eight in the evening. We ate dinner along the way at reach Balintawak at 10:30 PM.

I hope coordinators are more professional in dealing with their clients. Follow the time at hindi papampam. Be respectful with the clients also, I noticed that the coordinators were bullying the joiners (as if close or kahit na hindi ito excuse). Ayoko na mag-name ng tour because I messaged their lead regarding these concerns.

 

Expenses:

Php. 999.00 ( tour package)

Php. 100.00 (entrance to Lusong Beach)

Php. 20-30 (cottage share)

Php. 200.00 ( Jolibee breakfast and lunch)

Php. 25 .00 (buko)

Php. 20.00 (donation to the rest room)

Php. 25.00 (mineral water)

Php. 160.00 (dinner somewhere in Bataan)

Total: Php. 1559.00 (plus may baon kasi akong bread, junkfoods and water)

 

Reaching for the Ulap (Mt. Ulap Hike)

MT. ULAP ECO-TRAIL
Itogon, Benguet
Entry point: Brgy. Ampucao, Itogon
Exit point: Brgy. Sta. Fe, Itogon

January 27, 2018

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1846 meters above sea level, we are ready to conquor Mt. Ulap. My cousin and I joined a group tour in this journey, we left Quezon City at around 11 in the evening and reached the jump-off at 3:00 in the morning. The wind was so cold, naisip ko nga na dapat dito ko dinala ang winter breaker ko kaysa sa Mt. Pulag. We ate light snacks, para ready na din sa hike at busog na,sa camp 2 pa daw ang sari-sari store.

I am more ready here than in my previous climb to Mt. Pulag, I just brought a fanny pack containing important things and a bottle of water, ayoko ma-hassle na ang dami ko dala, good thing, we had a van where we can leave our things.

We started the hike at 4 in the morning after a quick orientation and meeting our guides. Flat pa lang ang trail sa simula, I think mga 10-15 minutes na ganoon (warm-up muna),  then there is a cemented assending part na sabi pinaka-mahirap daw pero for me kaya naman (mas mahirap yung cemented area ng Mt. Gulugod), from there, smooth naman ang trail. There is up and down slopes, so better be ready with your headlamps.

Our guides wanted us to reach Gungal Rock Formation early because of the long lines there for picture taking. They pushed us to move a little faster, after daw kasi ng Gungal, pabebe hike na lang kami.

It’s 5:30 in the morning when we reached Camp 2, we are faster than expected according to our guides and coordinators. As we go along, we couldn’t help but to mesmerize with the beauty of mountains and clouds along the way, we just awed and non-stop picture taking occurred.

At 7:30, the sun is up but the cold wind was still embracing us, we reached Camp 2 or the Gungal Rock. Filing up were numerous of hikers taking photos in that iconic rock formation. But behind that rock formation was the crumpled clouds in the air. Hay! ang sarap lang tignan.

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At 9:00 in the morning, we reached Camp 3 or the summit. We took a rest here for more than an hour, enjoying the view and thanking the creator for allowing us to see this breathtaking sight.

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The most crucial part of this hike was the descending part. Panalo sa hirap dahil pababa lang sya sa bundok ng pine trees. Better ready your lower body. Literal na mahirap talaga. Ang sarap na lang magpagulong pababa.

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By the way there are  two  7-11 (mini store) in the descending part where you can energize by drinking buko or munckin ice candy.

I can say that my hike here is my favorite so far, less baggage plus a great weather and beautiful scenery. If you are first climber and you choose Mt. Ulap, just prepare yourself more. Wag papetiks lang. Para sa akin kasi ang Mt. Mabilog (San Pablo) ang para talaga sa first time climbers.

The whole tour cost Php. 1,300.00

Thank you for reading. Hope this write-up will be a good help.

Staff Eating

 

My office mates explored the streets of Maginahawa Quezon City  for some food sessions.

Our first stop. Rib City along Maginhawa St. Teacher’s Village, Quezon City. The place is quiet small but at least we got the whole venue for ourselves. We waited for 15 minutes for our orders

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We ordered the following:

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Not Just Nachos, Php. 248.00

 

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Wharft (Tempura Platter), Php. 498.00

 

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Big City Mix, Php. 898.00

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Tater Skinners (Potato) , Php. 198.00

Our Verdict: ( In order )

Regine’s  Top 3: Potato, Tempura and Nachos

Matet’s Top 3: Ribs, Tempura and Nachos

Cynthia’s Top 3 : Potato, Ribs and Tempura

Gina’s Top 3: Chicken, Nachos and Ribs

Jenny’s Top 3: Potato, Tempura  and Ribs

Me:   Potato, Nachos and Ribs

Overall Ranking:

Top 1: Ribs

Top 2: Potato or Tater Skinners, Nachos  and Tempura

Top 3: Chicken

 

RB CTY / Rib City Quezon City

63 Maginhawa St.UP Village, Quezon City(0917) 871-468

XO Heritage Bristo Experience

We had good dining experience last Sunday at XO Heritage Bristro at Estancia Mall. The food is excellent and the staffs are warmth, they were speaking full Filipino language while communicating with their guest.

Our orders were composed of the following:

Nilasing na Hipon, Php. 295.00

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Sinigang Salmon Php. 475.00

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Fried Chicken Meddala, Php. 395.00

Laing, Php, 295.00

Pinakbet ng Laoag, Php. 355.00

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Sisig Kapampangan, Php. 390.00

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Crispy Pata, Php. 765.00

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Adobong Batangas, Php. 585.00

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Tinapa Rice, Php. 240.00

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Garlic Rice Platter, Php. 185.00

Calamares Crujiente, Php. 395.00

Pansit Lomi-M, Php. 195.00

They also have service charged.

And they have complimentary snack too.

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My favorite among their menu are the calamares, crispy pata and pinakbet ng  Laoag.

 

 

 

Mt. Mabilog

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First climb in Laguna this time, it was Mt. Mabilog situated in San Pablo, Laguna. From San Pablo town proper we rode a jeepney bound to Nagcarlan or Liliw and got off Barangay Sta Catalina . We walked to Pandin Lake (one of San Pablo’s seven lakes) in able to climb the mountain. We passed by Lake Yambo.

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Photo-op at the lake is mandatory, kasi madungis na kami after the trek. Guide’s fee is Php. 300, we were just two. Mt. Mabilog is 441 MASL, the trail was mostly banana plantation and what happened to me was I stumble and fell for more than five times. The supposed to be two hours hike turned out to three hours. We started at nine and reached the summit almost 12 noon. The cloudy skies prohibited us to enjoyed the summit, after few minutes of rest and recreation, we decided to descent because the heavy rain started to fall. At around 1:30 in the afternoon we were at Lake Pandin, we were more faster descending, the halo-halo was a bliss for me after the tiring trek.

We also swam in the lake along with the locals. It’s kinda clean naman kaya kebs lang. It’s refreshing to swam while the heaven was crying loudly – iba din sa pakiramdam. We had fun with the locals, chatting with them about their lives and means of fun which is splurging in the lake.

The bad side in this trip, we got sick after.