I Have Been Weak

Sunday, August 20, 2017 4 Comments A+ a-

Do you know how it is to agonize over shoes? I know. Because I did. And it was silly.

There is this shoes that I totally have a crush on. But I already bought a pair of sneakers (the same brand) last March, a pair of sandals, loafers, and boots last July. Having another footwear that I barely even use because I don't go out of the house often is not practical. I have repeatedly scoured a few online websites for weeks though, only to die a little bit inside each time I see they don't have my size. I told myself bitterly those shoes are not meant for me.

I decided to just totally forget about it and move on. After all, there's nothing like having an epic epiphany to slap me in the face and remind me of the things I need to save for. Hoy, may incoming trips ka pa, Sarah! Tigil mo na yan.

How We Wreaked Havoc on Color Manila's Blacklight Run

Friday, August 18, 2017 0 Comments A+ a-

I was one of the bloggers chosen to run for the recently held Color Manila's Blacklight Run because I am fit. Wait, let me state that accurately. They thought I was fit.

It has been what? Eight months since my last strenuous activity. I have a legitimate excuse though: my left knee is injured. I know I could've done better. But honestly, most of my days were spent warming my butt and knocking back beer bottles. I'd do a few workouts every now and then, only when I remember. And when I remember, only when I don't get lazy. And when I don't get lazy, only when I have the time - which is something I barely have because I kept myself preoccupied with non-productive tasks such as reading emotionally draining books and watching my cat lick his balls, trying to figure out when is his next attempt to kill me.

4x4 and Sandboarding Experience at Paoay Sand Dunes

Friday, August 11, 2017 4 Comments A+ a-

Ilocos Norte is the farthest we've been to in the Philippines (maghintay ka lang Batanes). And like every eager first time visitor, we did almost everything touristy! But also like every thrill-seeking adventurer, we just had to do something that can turn on the rush.

Photo Diary: Vigan's Calle Crisologo

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 3 Comments A+ a-

I tried to be a regular blogger. Hence, the lame attempt to strike those blogger poses in the quaintest street I've ever been to: Calle Crisologo.

It wasn't as crowded as I thought it would be. So I thought it's a perfect time for photo ops while Jan and I wait for our tummies to go hungry again just after eating okoy and empanada. I'm not really the type who takes a lot of photos, let alone strike a pose. Like I always say, I don't have an ounce of talent for it. There were even times when Jan would ask me, "dili ka magpicture?" (are you not going to take pictures). Sometimes I would. Most of the time I wouldn't. But then I realize I need to breathe life into my Instagram account, my Facebook page, and this blog. Simply put, I just want to have an interesting online presence.

Jan is so supportive about this hooey and has been patiently taking my photos no matter how awkward and annoying it gets. He shows willingness to be one of them - you know, Instagram boyfriends - just so I can master the art of striking those blogger poses which isn't really beneficial to my life, his life, or to anyone's life. But for the love of blogging, social media, and let's just say, art... here goes...

And oh, please excuse the newbieness. 
Where na u? Dito na me. Sent via pigeon.

Ilocos Norte: South Burgos Tour

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 3 Comments A+ a-

After enjoying the top tourist attractions in Pagudpud, we had our lunch at past 1:00 in the afternoon and headed to Burgos for our South Tour.

HOW TO GET AROUND ILOCOS NORTE
If you are going for a DIY tour, the best way to get around Ilocos is to ride a tricycle. You may opt for a cheaper alternative which is riding a bus albeit waiting for the next bus will just eat all your time up.

Once you get off from the bus, tricycles are just everywhere. They offer South (Burgos) and North (Pagudpud) tours at a standard rate. Each tour costs Php 600 (max of 3 pax per tricycle) and you will be taken to the following places:
South Tour (Burgos) North Tour (Pagudpud)
-Cape Bojeador Light House
-Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
-Bangui Windmills
-Kabigan Falls
-Bantay Abot Cave
-Patapat Viaduct
-Blue Lagoon Beach
Tricycles in Ilocos are quite small. So it is best to only have two people in one tricycle if you want to travel comfortably. You can do both South and North Tours in one day.

You may also want to read: DIY Pagudpud Tour

Ilocos Norte: Pagudpud Tour

Monday, August 7, 2017 0 Comments A+ a-

Before we landed in Laoag City, we HAD a planned itinerary. The weather forecast app warned us about heavy rains and scattered thunderstorms. So we had it all planned out. Let's do Plan A. If weather does not permit us, we'll do Plan B. But traveling does not always work that way. However convenient traveling from Davao to Ilocos by plane is, still got our energies drained. It was raining when we got there. So we just decided to sleep for the rest of the day, scrap all our plans out, and do what we do best: go traveling spontaneously.

Ilocandia Trip

Sunday, August 6, 2017 2 Comments A+ a-

One of the reasons why I was so excited about this trip is because I would finally be reintroducing myself to my roots.

I am an Ilocano. Both my parents and most of my relatives from both sides are Ilocanos. But since I was raised in Davao, I never really got to know my roots. The only evident thing that would give away the Ilocano in me would be my skin and my love for gulay, suka, and bagoong.

When we booked this trip, I thought my Ilocano speaking skills would give me the upper hand to act like a local and haggle for prices and avoid being taken advantage of as a tourist. Alas, my accent just doesn't cut it and I sound so hilaw. Haha

Anyway, this post will not have a lot of details about the trip, but rather a summary of our adventures and mishaps. But don't worry guys, I'll also be sharing with you our DIY Itinerary. So please stay tuned for that. But for now, here's how our Ilocandia Trip went:
Calle Crisiologo

Sampung Dahilan Kung Bakit Nagustuhan Ko ang Pelikulang Kita Kita

Sunday, July 30, 2017 2 Comments A+ a-

Isa. Isang beses ko pa lang napapanood ang pelikulang ito. Take note of the keywords "pa lang". Oo, kung may pagkakataon, gusto kong tumawa, masaktan, at tumawa ulit. Paulit-ulit.

Dalawa. Dalawa lang ang cast ng pelikula pero napakalakas ng kurot at napakalaki ng emosyon ang ibinuhos dito. Dinaig pa ang all-star cast ng big productions ng pelikulang Pilipino. Walang sinabi ang Jadine at Kathniel.

Tatlo. Tatlong salita talaga yung tumatak sa kokote ko. Saging, puso, at repolyo.

The Sunday Currently Vol. 8

Sunday, July 23, 2017 3 Comments A+ a-

No one's really interested about what I do on Sundays. But I'll write about them anyway.


CURRENTLY...  

Reading 
George Orwell's 1984. I've been looking for this book for ages and finally hit a jackpot. I didn't have all the time to read it yesterday but I'm now halfway to it. Sure it does have a slow start but I got absorbed. It is so unsettling I wish my brain would stop giving me the imagery. I know it's too early for a review but then I can already see a masterpiece out of it

Writing
This. What else? Oh wait, I should be plotting our itinerary now. But then, I still have ten days to do that.

Listening
to Despacito. Ugh. If I hear another despacito song again, I swear I'm gonna lose it.

The Sun Goes Down

Friday, July 21, 2017 5 Comments A+ a-

Last night, I received an email saying I screwed up a website big time. But I wasn't worried because I knew I've triple-checked my work before I delivered. So, if there's anything, it was definitely not my fault. I decided to just sleep it off and send my reply the next day only to wake up to a much more terrible news.

Chester Bennington took his own life.

iVideo: Stay Connected on the Road

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 0 Comments A+ a-

When Jan and I traveled to Singapore, one of our concerns is the internet. Sure, we can avail the ones offered by the hotels we booked to. But to travel in a completely foreign land, we definitely need internet on the road to stay connected, communicate with friends who are living there, and to easily navigate to places.

I thought we only had two viable options available. Either to use Jan's existing network subscription, which is really expensive when set to roaming; or buy a sim with data, which can also be quite pricey considering data is just limited.

But thankfully, services that allow foreigners to rent a pocket wi-fi device with unlimited data at a reasonable cost such as iVideo existed.

Confessions Vol. 12: My First Starbucks Experience

Sunday, July 16, 2017 10 Comments A+ a-

It's 2017.

Remember when I said I've never had any Starbucks before? Well, technically, I've had one when Renz and I decided to do our planning at Starbucks for our second public speaking stint. That was my first time to hang out at Starbucks.

Ever.

Confessions Vol. 11: I'm an Easy Girl

Thursday, July 13, 2017 4 Comments A+ a-

I've had three boyfriends in my life and not one of them has ever courted me.

I don't play hard to get. If I like I guy who likes me too, it wouldn't take long before I commit.

I was 14 when I had my first boyfriend. He was my close friend and our relationship was born out of a deal. "Let's play a game. Kapag nanalo ako, tayo na". Parang ganun. It was nothing really serious. We were still too young and scared. Konting kilig dito, holding hands doon. Ganun lang.

I Just Want to Be Pabebe for Once

Monday, July 3, 2017 5 Comments A+ a-

Half the year has gone and as much as I want to take some time to review how my life has progressed in 2017, I just kept rolling my eyes.

Enter July. It has been raining lately and getting out of the bed every morning is becoming more and more difficult. But I do love waking up to cold mornings and grey skies. It's perfect for lazy people like me... which I think is also a bad thing because I still have more blog posts to put together. Product reviews, events, and a few travel posts that I keep putting off because... well. I am just damn too lazy.

I don't think I'll ever make it as a travel blogger nor will I ever be a good blogger. The fact that I simply don't like taking pictures of everything I do just amplified the truth that I am a terrible social media influencer.

But I am trying, really. I have just revived my Instagram account from the dead in hopes of sending my content across in a different way. Because truth be told, people (including me) are getting lazier and would rather scroll down through the photos than read posts. This kind of blogging style is dying. But I will keep on writing just so I have something to ponder on when I get old.

The rebirth of my Instagram is nothing but throwbacks of the travel photos I've never posted before, and some unflattering and awkward poses of me. I barely have followers. In order to create a cult following, one needs to have a curated feed and well-staged aesthetically-pleasing photos - something that I am struggling to have. I know, barf. More than ten years of blogging and it was only just recently when I decided to build my personal brand. That means I have to create more social media profiles with information about me fully (or selectively) fleshed out, not to mention I have got to learn slayin' those pina-blaggir poses. Oh gawd. Why do I have to do this? No one's going to be interested anyway.

Anyway, I just bought a dress online because I just want to be pabebe for once. It says it's free size but best fits small to medium frames. No offense meant, but I didn't know that plus size is the new small. Hindi naman siguro ako ganyan kapayat. Am I? Believe it or not, my waist line is 26. I wear a 27-28 pants. But I'm too lazy to return the item and argue with the seller. Gawin ko na lang syang daster pambahay. 
Expectations vs Reality. False advertisement at its finest.

Why Traveling Solo Is Not For Me

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 13 Comments A+ a-

Traveling, among many other things, is my passion. But my love for traveling only sprung up on an epic scale when I met the love of my life. Unfortunately, my travel budget is not directly proportional to my passion. Otherwise, I would have been writing this blog post while enjoying a souvlaki on a boat as it tours around Santorini right now.

I'm not exactly a big traveler nor would I consider myself well-traveled. I'm not the one who could just quit a day job, pack, and never be seen again. I have my priorities and non-negotiables too. But I travel with every chance I get. Long weekends, holidays, vacation leaves, name it.

I've traveled to more than 20 provinces in the Philippines just within the past 3 years and most of the time, I shared it with Jan. Solo travel you say? Did it few times. Didn't die. But I would not say it's something I want to do again.
Wish Jan was here because I know he'd be creeped out by these dead mangroves that look like thorns. Haha *evil grin*
You see, I can easily make friends with strangers, I am not afraid to take risks, I don't mind eating alone, and I can do things on my own. I CAN TRAVEL SOLO, no problem. I just choose not to. And here are the reasons why:

1. I prefer traveling with someone to whom I can share my adventures with.

I've traveled as far as 900 miles away from Davao without anyone close to me. It was great! No doubt. The thing is, every awesome experience, every delicious food I eat, and every beautiful thing I see would just leave me mumbling, "Damn, I wish Jan was here. He would definitely love this."

2. Traveling brings us closer together.

And by us, I mean me and my friends, my family, or Jan.

Most especially with Jan. I have never been so grateful for having him as my constant travel buddy (partly because it's good to have someone carry some of my bags. Haha). I swear I am not needy. I can handle myself very well.  I do crave for me-times. It's just that I find it better when we do things together. Traveling is significant to both of us since a big part of our relationship is built on shared experiences. Sure, we have our quiet times. Sure, we have our share of misadventures. Sure, we have our little dramas. Sure, we've seen each other's worse. It isn't always perfect but we enjoy every minute creating memories, strengthening our relationship in new places together.

Traveling with someone will either make you or break you. In my case, I have not yet traveled with anyone I do not like. And honestly, it's more fun being with a company you already know - all the more reason why I'd rather not travel solo.

3. Traveling solo makes you confident, helps you conquer your fears, makes you know yourself more, and it gains you new friends.

So does traveling with someone.

The only striking difference I see is, solo travel is more expensive. And I must admit bitterly, I do not have the luxury to do that.

4. Traveling solo can be lonely.

It can be fun, yes. But it can also be lonely. For someone like me who is not accustomed to be alone, I can get lonely pretty quickly once I return to my hotel room on my own.

Traveling solo creates memories. But it does not leave you with memories that you can share for the rest of your life with the same people you created them with. It does not leave you that warm fuzzy feeling when traveling with someone you love. And I would not trade it for anything in the world, not even a solo travel to Paris.

Yes, traveling solo is great, fulfilling, and liberating. I might even do it again. But right now, I choose to share my adventures with the people I love because someday, I would love to relive and laugh about those memories with the significant people I have shared it with.



Pusan Point: Where the Sun Shines First

Sunday, June 18, 2017 4 Comments A+ a-

Just when I thought there won't be any travels for me in the next two months, the curse month really has its way of telling me that things will never go my way because I just found myself traveling to the easternmost point of the Philippines only to have my breath be taken away by this gorgeous sunrise.

Once You Go Clack, You Never Go Back

Saturday, June 10, 2017 4 Comments A+ a-

Keep writing.

That's what Jan told me when he gave me a mechanical keyboard. I've always wanted one but I feel wary about spending too much for a goddamn keyboard that pretty much does the same thing a cheap keyboard would. I never really thought of actually owning one.

But Jan knows better than spoiling me with flowers and teddy bears. He knows me too well. He knows I'll go gaga over this. And naturally, I went gaga over this typing just every word I know. Ketchup. Turtle. Benevolent. Oblong. Sound. Glorious. Sound. Much. Amaze. Wow.

Vlog#3: El Nido

Sunday, June 4, 2017 6 Comments A+ a-

This is not a blog post. In case you didn't know, I am starting my YouTube channel. It doesn't have much yet; just a few of travel vlogs that I can't seem to perfect editing, but I'm getting there.

Also, I'm asking the high heavens to give me patience and perseverance in filming, editing, and publishing videos. I never thought it would be this effortful. God-forbid I succumb to laziness.

Anyway, here's our El Nido vlog, I hope you watch and enjoy it! And if you like this video, please don't forget to give it a thumbs up, comment, and subscribe. :)

Hey June!

Thursday, June 1, 2017 0 Comments A+ a-

Hello there, cursed month! We meet again. And I'm not surprised I'm starting you off with a terrible cold.

You came in just to bring me bad news, huh? Did you think I was going to sulk in the corner knowing I'll be spending the whole month with you just miserably working my ass off and going no further than the kitchen? You think I'd cry my eyes out because my birthday trip to Siargao is not happening?

You only have 30 days, dude. So try to do what you do best. You know, beat the crap out of me. But you're not going to win this time. You will fail. I will not be intimidated even if you stare at me with your uncanny ways of always coincidentally bringing mishaps in my life at this time of the year.

I will just suck it up. Take you one day at a time. You are only a mere thirty freakin days. And when I'm done with you, I'm going places, June. Places!
My kind of window.
Oh wait, July will also be working with you? Then bring it on, you two!

But really, please be good to me.

P.S. Nothing serious here, folks. This is just my obnoxious way of saying there will be no travels for the #LakwatSARAH in the next two months. Which could only mean, this blog will only have something new if sh*t happens. Otherwise, it's really going to be quiet. Haha. Bummer.

Mars Shallow

Saturday, May 27, 2017 1 Comments A+ a-

Only three things make up my Facebook wall: travel, shameless plugging of my blog, and politics. And since I am living in Mindanao, the crisis might have gave way for you to guess that my Facebook wall is currently active. I made 4 posts since the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao three days ago and I think that's already a lot.

So if you want to see how I am doing with my life or if you want to look for something to blackmail me with, dig into this blog. I have cringe-worthy and hideous photos buried here since 2007. Stalking my Facebook profile won't do you any good and will only leave you with one question, "nagtatrabaho pa ba itong babaeng ito? Bakit puro gala ang nakikita ko." (That's what I've been always asked at least). There are far more interesting things you can find here. Things that I never post on Facebook. But I'm warning you, there are some things you cannot unread. LOL.

Anyway, this week has really been crazy. In fact, the past few weeks have been batshit crazy I would be terrified if I go through a week with no sh*t happening at all. Not!

I Did Not Succeed As a Nurse. So What? Part 2

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 12 Comments A+ a-

When people ask me about my current job, I tell them one thing. When asked about what my college course was, I tell them another. And then everybody gives me a second look in awe or most likely in utter disbelief and blurts out, "As in?! Ang layo!"  Kung sa Bisaya pa, "atik?! layua ui!"

I participated in a survey from students who are conducting a study about people who changed career paths after graduating in college. I thought of posting it online because it just might inspire other people who figured out their college course isn't all they want after graduating. So here goes.

And oh, what you will read below are not the exact words I wrote on the questionnaire.
BSN 3C. First duty at Delivery Room, DRH

What is your course and where did you study?
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (major in Dancing. Haha, Kidding!), Ateneo de Davao University.

Why did you choose this course? 
I wanted to take Medicine. Since my folks wanted me to study in AdDU, I only have two choices for my pre-Med course, B.S. Nursing and B.S. Biology. I chose the former because nurses were so in demand abroad at that time (actually, that was my deciding factor). Plus, I would still be able to land a job to greener pastures in case I don't pursue Medicine. Unlike the latter, there's not much I can do with a Biology degree if I didn't make it to Medicine. Where do Biologists in the Philippines work anyway?

Top Ten Summer Favorites

Sunday, May 21, 2017 12 Comments A+ a-

This summer has been the summerest so far. The sweltering heat and my tan lines just said it all. But more than that, I was able to do a lot of things and see a lot of beautiful places.

Picture this... On the first day of April, I went beach bumming at Island Garden Resort in Pangubatan. Two weeks later, I completed a Basic Mountaineering Course, which includes camping, trekking, and rappelling. Then I went diving the whole day at the Taklobo Farm and Coral Gardens just a week after that. The next day, I found myself on a spontaneous road trip with friends and spent a day and a half riding the waves of Dahican. And then the week that followed got me more and more sun-kissed in El Nido. And since summer isn't over yet, this weekend was spent for a much needed rest and relaxation in Isla Reta. (Hashtag that QuotaKaNaSarah)

The last two months were the busiest and have gotten me overdosed with vitamin sea. But I definitely had a blast! And I think I enjoyed it even more because of these top ten favorites that have been rockin' my summer off.

1. Swimwear from Mermaid Catalogue
Swimwears are one of my guilty pleasures. I think I have more than what I need. And among all those rash guards, one-pieces, and tankinis that I have, this bikini has got to be one of my favorites:
El Nido, May 2017
When you have this kind of view, being toasted is the least of your concerns.
I love how it looks classy, sexy and wholesome at the same time. I got this from Mermaid Catalogue. And I swear, if only I have a lot of money, I would buy their entire collection - which is, by the way, also worn by celebrities and known bloggers and personalities. Anyway, I'm glad I don't have to look far for that perfect Instagrammable bikini without busting a budget. They are just within arms reach, ordering from their website is such a breeze.

Challenges of a Public Speaker

Friday, May 19, 2017 3 Comments A+ a-

I change my mind.

I do not dream of becoming a sports and outdoor TV host anymore.

This is the third time in a row that I am invited to speak in public. And I wouldn't say I'm good at it. I just watched my last public speaking stint and boy, was I so fidgety. I can hear my voice tremble. Maybe it was the lack of preparation. Maybe it was the air conditioner in full blast. Maybe it was the stomach ache. Or maybe I am just not cut for it.

She Bangs

Monday, May 15, 2017 3 Comments A+ a-

I once trimmed my bangs back when YouTube tutorials do not exist yet. I wanted to sport the same bangs like the celebrity most kids looked up to - she's no other than the legendary mother of all jologs:
Jolina Magdangal (image from pep.ph)


And no doubt, I had the most perfect bangs ever. I was even certain I looked like a celebrity.

Only, it was this celebrity:

What's Up, Doc?

Thursday, May 11, 2017 4 Comments A+ a-

I already told myself a million times that I'll never ever take any advice from Google whenever I feel something unusual in my body. It's a terrible idea. But if you knew me very well, then you'd know what I would do. And I did what I shouldn't have.

I have a pancreafuckintitis.

Hiking Taraw Cliff

Saturday, May 6, 2017 6 Comments A+ a-

I think scaling mountains on our anniversary is an unspoken thing. It's never in our intention to hike every anniversary, but it happens all the time.

I guess, part of it is the need to pause from climbing the corporate ladder and have a breather. Another part is simply because we have always been in constant search for adventure and we love doing offbeat things together.

So for our third anniversary, Jan and I conquered El Nido's highest, the Taraw Cliff.

Taraw Cliff, El Nido


I would say we are truly blessed that we don't have to go too far to experience one of the world's greatest wonders. I am so grateful to have experienced El Nido first hand (and with the one I love). And to see such magnificence from a bird's eye view made us so alive. However, getting there is quite an ordeal (as what I've heard from a first-time climber).

Oh, El Nido!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 5 Comments A+ a-

I wonder how many pieces of my heart have I got left because I keep on leaving them everywhere I go.

This time, I left my heart in El Nido.

El Nido, Palawan

El Nido wasn't really part of our travel plans this year. Yes, we've always wanted to go to El Nido but not anytime soon. I guess, luck was on our side and the impulse to explore something new was so strong, we unexpectedly made El Nido happen, not to mention sooner than expected.

Tres

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 3 Comments A+ a-

Almost all of our trips were unplanned. But the latest one is the most spontaneous of all.

Two days before the long weekend, Jan and I were still unable to decide whether to celebrate our 3rd anniversary in Asik-asik Falls in North Cotabato or Cape de San Agustin in Governor Generoso.

Asik-asik falls is unique, stunning, and unspoiled. But a visit there only takes a day and after that there's no place else to go around North Cotabato. Not for a romantic celebration for that matter. Yes, we want to see this together but I think it's best to go there with friends.

Cape de San Agustin, on the other hand, could give us the romantic vibe because of the scenic and peaceful beach. But then, two days is already enough for that trip. And we have four days to spend. 

Then Palawan happened.


Jan: Hui! Asa ta karong weekend? (Hey! Where are we going to spend the weekend?)
Me: Wait. Mag-research ko. (Wait. I'll search for places.)
*after a few hours of being torn between two places*
Jan: Mag-Palawan na lang ta? (Let's go to Palawan then?)
Me: Taraaaa! (Let's goooo!)

Yep, just like that.

Two days after that discussion, we flew all the way from Davao to Palawan and had the best, amazing (and dramatic) time of our lives.

So here's to us and to more years and places to conquer! Happy 3rd! :)
May 2016 - May 2017
I think I am getting less and less cheesy with every year that pass (you might want to read my previous anniversary posts: Uno, Dos). But don't worry, my love. I love you more today than I did yesterday. Tinatamad lang talaga ako. Haha

What Happened?

Thursday, April 27, 2017 4 Comments A+ a-

I promised myself I will become a better blogger. And by that I mean, take better pictures like how most bloggers would do.

I've been going places and doing stuff lately that would have been blog-worthy. But I failed big time.

Just a few weeks ago, I took a Basic Mountaineering Course and had my first ever rappelling experience at Tagbaobo Falls.  And then last weekend we had an awesome diving experience at the Taklobo Farm where I saw the biggest and most fascinating giant clams my whole life.  I came home with hives and a puffy face from eating too much seafood while island hopping at Samal. And right now, I am 50 shades darker from spending a day and a half basking under the sun in one of my favorite beaches in the world, Dahican.

But why haven't I blogged about this when I had all the time?

Five words: I. Do. Not. Have. Photos.

I don't have photos that will make the reader want to read my post. You know, save you those long and boring posts and just let the photos to do all the talking - specially now that I'm starting to become lazy with words.

Well, at least, I have one decent shot:
Dahican Surf Resort

Make Your Own Chocolate at Malagos Chocolate Museum

Thursday, April 20, 2017 2 Comments A+ a-

Honestly, I am not a big fan of chocolate, unless it's dark. I'll take a Caesar Salad any day over a milk chocolate. Yeah, I do have a weird taste. I mostly say no to anything sweet.

But then, who am I to say no if given the chance to know how the "food of the gods" were made?

Ladies and gents, Davao is more than just the durian, pomelo, and mangosteen. We've got the best and most distinct-tasting chocolates here too. So if you are in for a literally bitter-sweet treat, may I present to you the first and the only Chocolate Museum in the Philippines!

The 230-square-meter museum is seated inside Malagos Garden Resort, just beside their Chocolate factory. So if you have been curious how their delicious, award-winning chocolates are made, step in and learn how the sweet magic happens.

The Chocolate Museum will help promote not only our locally-produced chocolates, but the awareness of cacao farming as well, which in the long run will open more job opportunities.

Here are some snaps inside the museum:

How Travel Changed My Life

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 3 Comments A+ a-

Traveling did not change me.

I have always wanted to travel but adulthood caught me completely off guard. I would have considered myself successful though because I have a job that pays - only if it wasn't slowly taking my life away. I realized life is too short to be stuck daily in traffic and hating my boss. The world is too big for one lifetime that I would never want to end up regretting not doing the things I could have done. I longed for freedom. And so, I created mine.

I traveled one place after another to make a temporary escape from routine, cultural norms, social paradigm, work... pretty much everything adulthood has laid before me and be gone somewhere else where life is completely different. Well, it is indeed different.

I was welcomed with uncertain hitchhikes, uncomfortable habal-habal rides, slow buses, suicidal vans, delayed flights, and nauseating boat rides that have slowly opened my eyes to the ugly truth about traveling. How it isn't really an escape. How it pulls you back to reality. The reality not every traveler really talks about.
Balut Island overlooking Sarangani Islands
Traveling usually looks exciting and Instagram drool-worthy. Well, in some ways, it absolutely is. But traveling is not always pretty. It isn't always a journey to paradise as I would have hoped. It chews on your bank account and feeds on your time. It is physically and mentally draining. It can be disappointing. Heartbreaking, even.

4D4N Travel Budget and Things to Do in Singapore

Friday, April 7, 2017 4 Comments A+ a-

A few months ago, I read Budget itinerary: 5 Days in Singapore for P9,500 and got excited about it. Who wouldn't?! We're talking about Singapore here. It got me optimistic that I wouldn't go home broke after our trip. But it's a good thing I've read quite a few blogs that led me to a conclusion that a 9,500 budget for 5 days in Singapore is impossible. And just imagine the horror if you get offloaded at the immigration for not bringing enough money to fund your trip.

While $10 USD is more than enough to get you a room for some Asian countries like here in the Philippines, the same amount is just enough for two meals in Singapore. Singapore is undeniably expensive. But with its clean streets, efficient mass transportation system, superb food, and interesting attractions, it is definitely a place you don't want to miss.
Things to do in Singapore

When we booked a flight to Singapore, we told ourselves that we'll go on a budget-friendly trip. Honestly, we tried. But making the most out of Singapore and budgeting don't really go well together. In short, we went a little over our budget but I would say it was definitely worth it.

So in this post, I will show you the things that we did, places we visited, how much have we actually spent, and how ridiculous it is to set a budget for a 5-day trip to Singapore for less than Php10,000 (airfare included).

A Simple, Peaceful, and Romantic Getaway at Island Garden Resort in Pangubatan, Samal

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 8 Comments A+ a-

Whew! That's a long title. But not as long as the road that we took just to get to this paradise.
Island Garden in Pangubatan Samal


Situated more than 40kms away from Babak, Samal, the Island Garden Resort in Pangubatan is not known to many (at least for me). I've never heard about this resort until Jan's office mates decided to have their quarterly event here. But for some reason, the event didn't push through - which could only mean, Jan and I ended up having the whole weekend all to ourselves!

To My Favorite Human

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 4 Comments A+ a-

"It's not always easy and sometimes life can be deceiving. I'll tell you one thing: It's always better when we're together"

I would definitely say everything is a hundred times better when we are together. Back then, all I thought is that every relationship entails a lot of work. But with you by my side? It's amazing how things can become light and breezy.

Today is your birthday. And I know you aren't really hyped about birthdays. But I just want the world to know that I am thankful for this day because your existence made a huge difference in my life. I am genuinely happy and contented in more ways than I could imagine.

There are so many things I wish I could remember to thank you for. But let me start with this: THANK YOU FOR LOVING ME. Thank you for giving me the kind of love that only few people are lucky enough to have. You may not be the sweetest man I have ever met but you are definitely the most sincere.

Thank you for extending your love to the people I love, to my friends, my family, and especially to Rhett. I guess, I have take back what I said. Yes, you are not the creative-romantic type and all, but this is really sweet.

Thank you for always taking good care of me, for listening and sitting through my rants, for always being there for me, and for being my number one (perhaps my only) fan.

The things you do for me, and the love, support, and inspiration you shower me propel me past my fears, dramas, and insecurities. I wouldn't be where I am right now if not for you. Keep being the wonderful and kind-hearted man that you are and I will keep growing as the woman you have helped me become - better, stronger, and more beautiful than ever.

You are not perfect. But I love you and your flaws without doubt and without restrictions. And I couldn't be more thankful that you are doing the same. You are, and will always be, the love of my life. I know I don't say this often, but whenever I say I love you, I mean it. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, JAN! And even if you think that I have already loved you with every part of my being and with all that I can, there is still, and there will always be, a room to love you a little bit more.


Happy birthday, my love!

I wish you happiness, success, good health, and a lifetime full of adventures with me. Stay awesome, handsome!


The Sunday Currently Vol. 7

Sunday, March 19, 2017 0 Comments A+ a-

No one's really interested about what I do on Sundays. But I'll write about them anyway.


CURRENTLY...  

Reading 
travel blogs about the places that I want to visit. Actually, I don't have solid travel plans. But I know something exciting is going to happen. The question about when and where still remains. But one thing is for sure, and I will quote my old friend Bilbo Baggins on this, I'm going on an adventure!

Writing
The Sunday Currently. I was supposed to write my a detailed itinerary from our Singapore trip but then I realized that I don't have a lot of photos to show. What happened to the promise of becoming a better blogger? I think I got too preoccupied with vlogging that I was not able to take photos at the same time. Either that, or I was just living the moment.

Listening
to 90s boyband hits. Backstreet Boys, The Moffats, Westlife, 98 Degrees, Boyzone, N'Sync anyone?

Watching
my first real vlog one week after I first launched it. Aaaand I just realized how shy I was. And it's something that my friends have noticed too. But I have an excuse: THAT WAS MY FIRST VLOG. And yes, it's really awkward when people stare at you. I hope I start not giving a shit about it soon because I can't wait to see my natural self in my upcoming vlogs. I promise to do better next time.

Thinking
about this one quote that caught my attention today: "You don't realize how poorly you've been treated in the past until someone comes along and treats you the way you should be treated." Damn. I still couldn't be thankful enough for having Jan in my life. :)

Hoping
for a positive and less stressful week.

Loving
this.

I did not spill that on purpose. And I'm going to eat that anyway.

Wanting
a drone. Is that too much too ask? Haha.

Needing
a much needed rest and sleep. My unexpected and unwanted guest is home. And he's been with me for almost a month now. Stop being too clingy, Insomnia. Just leave me alone already.

Feeling
Hungry. I'll be raiding the fridge after this.

Wishing
Jan a fruitful year ahead. Yes, his birthday is coming in a few days and I wish him good health, happiness, the good things in life, and more exciting adventures (that includes a lifetime with me. haha)

Clicking
why is this question even here?


I wish everyone a great week ahead! :)


Join The Sunday Currently blog link up by Siddathornton.

Singapore: My First World Refuge

Sunday, March 12, 2017 5 Comments A+ a-

As an Asian living in a third-world country, Singapore is definitely my first-world refuge. Here, you can experience fast and reliable internet connection, efficient transport system, clean streets, fresher air, and lower crime rates. Mind you, I was able to walk for more than an hour ALONE in the streets of Singapore at 3am just because I couldn't sleep. I decided to walk from our hotel to Mustafa Center just to pass time and tire myself. I came back still with complete limbs and 5 packs of chocolates. Yes, it is that safe. Although I would say I can do the same in Davao, the only difference is, Singapore is a hundred times more progressive.

Yes, life is definitely in Singapore. But it comes literally with a price. Singapore isn't cheap. It lives up to its reputation being a FINE CITY.  Fine law-abiding citizens, fine food, fine transpo, fine malls, fine streets, and yes, hefty fines. So if you think you can get away with a petty crime (even as light as jaywalking) just because you do not see a law enforcer around, think again.
Haji Lane ♥ Thank you so much Paymaya and Voyager Innovations for this cool bag! :)
I am glad Jan and I were able to discover and experience the fine things Singapore has to offer. Our goal is to travel more often and see the world and I'm glad we started off at Singapore.

Please stay tuned for our detailed itinerary in the incoming posts. For now, you just might want to watch my vlog. And if you like this video and want to see more of our travels, please subscribe to my channel. :)

Blue Cheese and a Week of Hell

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 2 Comments A+ a-

Last Monday was the first time I ever had a blue cheese and I almost gagged. In front of scholars, businessmen, and the Australian ambassador to the Philippines. But since everything else on my plate was utterly delicious, I was able to compose myself, swallowed the cheese whole and immediately stuffed my mouth with the best Australian pie I ever had before disaster could ever happen - afraid that I may never be invited to such event again and be remembered as the girl who caused ruckus just because she cannot eat cheese (as if the overwhelming judgement I face regularly as someone who doesn't love cheese is not enough).
I cannot fathom how people could eat a mouthful of blue cheese as if it was just a chocolate or something. Cheeses cries! What's wrong with you people? And why do scientists have to conduct a study about why some people hate cheese like it's some rare and mysterious disease? How is it unnatural to naturally dislike cheese? Telling people you don't like cheese is like telling a devotee you don't believe in their god and they will spend all day persuading you to see the light.

Taking My Travel Adventures to the Next Level

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 8 Comments A+ a-

2017 looks promising to me.

I am putting my travels to a whole new different level. And since I am not built to be a solo traveler, of course, Jan has to tag along with me too. Haha.

Confessions Vol. 10: A Guilty Pleasure

Sunday, February 12, 2017 5 Comments A+ a-

I don't remember the last time I binge-watched over a tv series because I have never really watched anything since Burn Notice ended.

Call me a loser. I've never seen The Walking Dead, I couldn't even get past episode 1 of the Game of Thrones, I don't know what's strange about Stranger Things, and not even a single thought of jumping into the Korean drama bandwagon crossed my mind - which is probably a good thing.

But I ended up giving Riverdale a try. Seriously? I probably deserve a good punch in the face for missing on the good shows and giving this a second look, not to mention, time to blog about this. I'm not even into highschool-centric dramas (Mean Girls is an exception). But since I was a big Archie comics fan back then, I decided to watch the pilot episode after the teasers gave me a hunch that they got the characters wrong. And I was right.

I think I got emotionally traumatized for it did not stay faithful to the comics. Turned obviously straight characters into gays and lesbians (I'm not against LGBT). And filled what's supposed to be fun and innocent with sexuality and murder. So in the event that they turn Jughead into a vegan, then I'm done.

Honestly, I don't really like it. Teen soap and awfully cliched? I've seen likes of this before and it didn't go very well, at least for me. But I don't know how Riverdale seems to be so inviting I will be lying if I say I am not hooked. Perhaps because it's dark and edgy, and because somebody ended up dead that I would love to see where the show goes.

Well, I could just pretend it has nothing to do with the comic books that I devoured as a kid and just watch it as just another mystery tv series not because I have nothing better to do but because it's actually pretty good. And oh, some of the characters are hot af. That's good enough for me. ;)
Lazy sundays be like


Rabies Shots and a Jaywalking Ticket

Thursday, February 9, 2017 8 Comments A+ a-

I think my cat, Appa, thinks I am super adorable that he decided to bite me. Well, if I had it my way, that's how I would show my fondness to Jan too. Except, there will be no bleeding.

Appa is actually sweet and affectionate. He follows me wherever I am. He sits on my lap whenever I work. Snuggles beside me when I'm on my bed. And right now, alcsfnhacflhan ;j;dh;jhb[dtu[ he's helping me write this post. Awww... thank you so much, buddy! His sweetness makes me forget that cats are naturally shady characters. Perhaps, he was actually trying to murder me because his breakfast was not served on time. I did not see him the whole day, so I can only assume he's plotting his next move after a failed murder attempt.

But if my cat did not kill me, the rabies shots will. Google simply told me that one vial costs more than a thousand pesos and I need at least 3 shots for it. 4 if he's proven rabid (which I think he's not. I believe he's just a murderous, raving lunatic). The cost did give me a heart attack but not close to killing me though. Try harder, Appa.

Anyway, I rushed to the Animal Bite Center and had some tetanus and rabies shots. And surprisingly, I did not have to pay for the shots. Yaaaas! I just have to shell out Php 82.50 for the injection fee for all sessions. Then I went off my merry way knowing I just got off the hook from dying a horrific death.

Afterwards, I decided to have a burger for breakfast and walked mindlessly towards Jollibee when a CTTM Officer called my attention. And the next thing I know, I am scheduled to attend a mandatory pedestrian orientation for violating the city's Anti-Jaywalking Ordinance. I think I could've died of embarrassment while being apprehended in public. But I was just laughing inside my head asking what the fudge have I gotten myself into this time.

Well, shit happens. And it's a fact in life that we can never get away from. But it's not permanent. So that's okay. My mornings usually follow the same boring routine. A bite from a suspected murderous cat and a jaywalking ticket just added a little flavor to it. But I will certainly not have any of that ever again because it doesn't taste good. But hey, I had Jollibee's Chiken Joy for lunch with Jan at home... so it's not a bad day after all. :)


SarWrites' First Blog Giveaway

Sunday, February 5, 2017 4 Comments A+ a-

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It's February. Love is in the air! And since I love you guys and 2017 has already blessed me so much as early as February, I'm going to share my blessings with you!

I'll be giving away some really awesome stuff. So watch the video if you want to see what you can get if you join and win this giveaway:

This giveaway is free. You don't have to pay any fee or no purchase is necessary. But you need to complete three simple tasks to join:

1. Like SarWrites Facebook page.
2. Like and Share this photo. Remember to set your post to public.
3. Not required but highly appreciated to subscribe to my Youtube channel here. I know my channel is pathetic, but I'll be vlogging all my travels from now on. So yeah, magkakalaman din yan. ;)

Terms and conditions:
1. This giveaway is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Facebook or any social media network.
2. This giveaway is open to Philippine residents only. I will shoulder the shipping cost as long as it is covered by JRS Express or LBC.
3. I have the right to invalidate any entry that did not follow the mechanics.
4. The prizes are not convertible to cash.
5. The prizes are transferable (in case you want me to send these as gifts to someone).
6. The contest will end on March 9, 2017.
7. The winner will be raffled via RandomPicker. I will collate and base entries from those who liked and shared the photo. So make sure you set your post to public.
8. The winner will be announced here on my blog and on Facebook.
9. The winner will be contacted via Facebook. And in the event that the winner will not be able to respond immediately within 48 hours, the prize will be forfeited and I will be choosing a new winner via RandomPicker.

Good luck everyone!


Feb-ibig All Year Round

Wednesday, February 1, 2017 3 Comments A+ a-

I spent two days racking my brains out trying to fix a bug that I have coded. I already gave up on it, I wasn't willing to pull an all-nighter, and I was so ready to deliver a half-assed job.

Then Jan came to the rescue and it only took him less than an hour to fix the issue. While I was so amazed at his awesomeness, honestly, I felt so bobo at that time. Haha. Pucha bai, dalawang araw kong hinahanapan ng solution yun. Sa kanya, wala pang isang oras na solve nya na. Okay, for the record, I graduated with a degree in Nursing and was not schooled to develop websites. So I'll make that an excuse for that moment of kabobohan. Haha.  

But then, It can't be denied that he's really smart (intelligence is really sexy and it pays to have a smart boyfriend). But more than feeling so noob for not being able to fix a VERY SIMPLE bug, I felt so loved. He stayed up late at night with me even though it was already past his sleep time and mind you, he still has to work the next day. Well, it's not the first time he has gone the extra mile for me. It's not the first time he has done so much for me. It's not the first time he has pulled me right up whenever I start giving up. And I can't be thankful enough for having him in my life.

So now I am thinking... since his birthday is coming next month, I might as well buy this guy a helmet. Baka mauntog pa ulo nito at matauhan sa pagkahumaling nya sa akin. Haha.
Yes, a recycled image. Haha
Ang ganda ng pasok ng February ko. Feb-ibig is really in the air. But then, with him around? Feb-ibig goes all year round. :)

I wish everyone a month year full of love!


My First Vlog Ever

Sunday, January 29, 2017 4 Comments A+ a-

I finally mustered the "confidence" to do a vlog.

It really isn't as hard as I imagined it to be. But perhaps, I got through it too easily that I think it sucks. Really.

No matter, I had so much fun doing this. I don't remember the last time I laughed for no reason at all and it took quite a few takes before I could get it done properly.

Please don't hesitate to tell me how much it sucks because that will really help me a lot. :)

And oh, please don't forget to subscribe.

Crabtastic and Crabsolutely Delicious Crabs in Town

Friday, January 27, 2017 2 Comments A+ a-

I pity those people with seafood allergies. They are missing a lot. Actually, I am allergic to crabs. But unlike others, I can still eat a bucketful without throwing up or blowing up like a balloon. I would just have a few really really itchy red spots all over my limbs that's just easy deal with. It won't send my lungs to an overdrive or worse, kill me. And that's a pretty good thing knowing my absolute love for crabs is non-negotiable.

A week ago, Blue Posts Boiling Crabs and Shrimps invited me and a few blogger friends to their private launching of their third branch here in Davao City. Of course, I would rather kill myself if I have to say No to it. Kidding! But it would really be a bummer if I missed it. This is Blue Posts we're talking about. I've heard great stories about this. It's something I definitely don't want to miss.

And the stories were right.

The food was so good, it's no surprise that I ate a lot.
Photo by Ria of diyosalife.com

DIY Pen Holder 2

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 3 Comments A+ a-

Everybody knows that I am into arts and crafts. I can DIY whatever the hell I want. It's just that... I am lazy. And I don't have a lot of patience for it.

Today, I installed a new cork board and a whiteboard for my workstation - which is pretty boring. And even though I am lazy as can be, I can't have it that way. So to add a little pizzazz to it, I created a pen holder that will hold my whiteboard markers so that I don't have to reach far if I want to write something on it. I saw this somewhere on Pinterest and decided to make one myself.

And bam! My cute DIY pen holder:

DIY Pen holder

Materials you need:
- Cutter
- Scissors
- Empty shampoo bottle
- Art paper
- Glue
- Double-sided foam/mounting tape

I really don't have to make a detailed instruction on how to do it because the crafting part is pretty straightforward and I will leave the creatives up to you. But if you're feeling crafty and looking for something to recycle, I hope this post helped. :)

P.S.
You might also want to check the other pen holder I created last year: DIY Pen Holder


Mt. Capistrano Dayhike

Sunday, January 22, 2017 11 Comments A+ a-

Hanggang saan aabot ang bente pesos mo?

Sa Mt. Capistrano po.

Standing just around 600+ mASL, Mt. Capistrano has become a favorite hiking destination for newbies and seasoned hikers alike.

The unique rock formations at the summit urged me to climb this mountain even though I was advised not to do any hikes until my knee is fully healed. But then, you're talking to Sarah. When has Sarah ever listened? #WagGayahin

We originally planned to hike at 6AM. But since we wanted to catch the sunrise and be able to go to other places in Bukidnon, we decided to start trekking at 4AM (even without headlamps). Thankfully, our phones can also function as flashlights - which we were actually very reluctant to use just so we can still have enough battery to take photos with it when we reach the summit. Haha. Again #WagGayahin.

I am not lucky but...

Thursday, January 19, 2017 5 Comments A+ a-

While some people are exceptionally lucky to always win raffle draws, I am perpetually the opposite. Perhaps I'd be struck by a lightning a hundred times before I even get a chance to win a scratch off lottery game.

But then again, I am still lucky. Just in a different way.

Several days ago, I won a nationwide Blog Writing Contest from AirAsia Philippines. And this isn't the first time I've won a contest. I've won several quiz bees, Math challenges (I detest Math, though), extemporaneous speeches, sports (MVP and Best Goalkeeper), and poster-making contests during my prime childhood and teenage years. I've won quite a few international logo and web design contests, too. And in the recent years, I've bagged some nationwide and local blog awards.

Yes, it does sound like I am blowing my own horn here because I am indeed blowing my own horn. And I am not ashamed to admit that. But what I'm only trying to say is, I've never won a contest I didn't work hard for.

And this is how my luck comes in.

My luck came in the moment I won genetic lottery. My mom's a straight-A student and my dad graduated with a lot of degrees. Their combined genes produced good looks *wink* (although you don't need to know that). But more than that, I was lucky to be born to two hard-working parents who gave their best to send me to a good school. And since I had better education than most kids, I see how that made a perfect sense how well my talents and skills were honed.

I believe I am smart, talented, and skillful. But it doesn't stop at that. The hard thing about the kind of luck I have is that I have to orchestrate my own success. I cannot just rely my fate on the stars or lucky charms or mathematical patterns. I have to be the captain of my ship and do things not half-assed. So I hope you won't take it badly when people put their faces upfront to brag about their own successes and achievements (like what I am doing now). Because our achievements, no matter how big or small they are, are reminders that we are continuously improving. We worked hard for it, we tell the world about it. I think we all deserve that shining moment.

Even though I do not have the same luck as those people who won the lottery twice in a row, I would say I am blessed. I am blessed to have people in my life who inspire me and push me to become better. I am blessed to know that I am being valued. And that is enough to make me always look at life positively. I am blessed beyond compare and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Make your life your best masterpiece.


Laswitan Lagoon

Monday, January 16, 2017 7 Comments A+ a-

I am beginning to think this blog is turning into a travel blog. Or a pseudo one for that matter. I haven't been writing a lot of my crazy thoughts lately and a handful of getaways are in store just this first quarter of the year. So yeah, go figure.

Anyway, to start the year right, Jan and I decided to go all the way to Cortes, Surigao del Sur to witness and experience something amazing and spectacular.

The stunning and jaw-dropping Laswitan Lagoon.
Laswitan Lagoon, Cortes, Surigao del Sur
Photo taken by my mom on a different date.

Kitanglad - Dulang-dulang Traverse (K2D)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 4 Comments A+ a-

There must be a hundred blogs written about Kitanglad-Dulangdulang traverse already. And I will be using that as a lame excuse not to write another one.

I have to admit, I really don't know how to write a story anymore. While remnants of pain from the knee injury I got there still linger to remind me that it was not an easy climb, I do not know how to put into detail everything that happened during that climb. After all, it has almost been a month. So if you're here to know about our itinerary, how much time we've spent on the trails, yadda yadda... I am sorry but I will fail you at that.

But if you're interested how our K2D climb went, hop in. I can best summarize it into 3 words: Difficult. Exhausting. Rewarding.

Photo Dump: The Best of 2016

Sunday, January 1, 2017 4 Comments A+ a-

2016 was a roller coaster ride. A lot of sh*t happened. But then again, a lot of great things surprised me too. And here are a few pages of the 365-page book that I have just finished writing.

First Quarter
L-R, top row to bottom
1. Salomon City Trail Run (12k)
2. Archery. Not bad for a first timer. ;)
3. Twas a dream come true to finally paint the walls of the streets
4. Strawberry picking at Baguio
5. Sea of Clouds at Mount Pulag
6. Won Electrolux's blog writing contest
7. Adopted this little fella and named him Appa
8. One day luxurious weekend getaway at Lorelei
9. My favorite human turned 31 ♥
10. Sunrise at Mount Apo
11. Ran for the rehabilitation of Mount Apo
12. Team building with Z fam at Maxima Aquafun