Showing posts with label Luzon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Luzon. Show all posts
This is a long overdue post. And since I convinced myself that I am busy, I never really got to post about the weekend that was well spent in Manila.

We only have a little more than 48 hours and it was Red's first time in the metro so we did all things toursity! Here's how we spent it:

Of course, obligatory pose na pang Instagram!

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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.

Honestly, I could skip any other tourist attractions around Ilocos but not the sand dunes - the only known sand dunes in the Philippines. So despite being pressed for time (thanks to my friend, insomnia, for keeping me company at night and asleep by the day), we managed to find ways.

Our original plan was to go there before sunrise or before sunset so we can avoid the scorching heat of the sun. But since we scrapped all our plans out and did all things spontaneously, we went there after lunch. Midday. High noon. Beat that.

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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.
The street looks more dramatic when it rains.
This is how you take "buwis-buhay" photos in the past. Make it quick or you'll be run over by the calesa.
I love this guy.
Old meets the new
Charming. :)
I think I have this thing for doors.
Calle Crisologo at sundown.
So how did we do?

Weapon of Choice (as if I have a choice haha): Nikon Coolpix s7000 Point and Shoot Camera

Ilocandia Trip:
Pagudpud Tour
Burgos Tour
Vigan Tour
4x4 and Sandboarding Experience
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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.

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
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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.
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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

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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).
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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.
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I have got to admit, I rarely ever check my blog email. Yes, the one I posted on my contact page so people can get in touch with me. I wouldn't know that I was getting a handful of emails until Kuya Andrew (Davao Bloggers Society's President) asked me if I got an email from Resorts World Manila (RWM). So I checked and behold!

I have been exclusively invited to the RWM Christmas Familiarization Tour.

As interesting and exciting as it sounds, I was quite apprehensive at first because I have never been invited to an event this big. And knowing RWM, the words world-class, prestigious, and elite are always attached to it. And buddy, I am none of those things.

This is something far-fetched and different for me. But then, different is something that I always love to try. It is definitely an experience I wouldn't want to miss. So even if it means working double time to make up for the two work days that I won't be around, I gave out a faint, sexy whisper: Resorts World Manilaaaah.

Here. I. Come.

DAY 1: Lunch with the Biggies, Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, and Media Appreciation Night

We flew all the way from Davao City and arrived at RWM just in time for lunch. Five of the media people from Mindanao were invited, the two came from Davao Bloggers Society (DBS). It is such and honor that Julie of and I got to represent DBS. We had a sumptuous lunch and small talk with some people carrying the big names of RWM.

We even had the chance to take photos with director of Annie, Mr. Michael Williams!

After stuffing our tummies with Korean and Japanese food goodness, we checked-in at the premier room of Remington Hotel. And this was my lovely home for two days:
I got this large and cozy room all for myself.
Nothing gets better than this after work has deprived me of sleep the night before the flight. So I threw myself to bed and took a little nap to prepare for the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony and Media Appreciation Night.

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Since I am dressed to kill and it's not all the time I would give a damn about my hair (though I had a messy bun that time), a few vanity shots wouldn't hurt. Although I wish I knew how to put a makeup on, para level up sana ang ganda. Char! I even asked Julie to do the brows for me. But since we ran out of time, di na ako nakapagkilay. Di ko tuloy alam kung ano nga ba talaga ang ibig sabihin ng "Kilay is Life". Haha. Geez. Sarah, tigulang na ka.

To welcome the holiday season with its annual Grand Fiesta, a ceremonial tree-lighting ceremony at The Plaza in Newport Mall was held. And we're so glad to witness and be part of it.

Magic is indeed everywhere in Resorts World Manila's Grand Fiesta Manila 2016. Topnotch performances like Yugyugan Nation - featuring the classic dance hits of 70s Filipino icons, Air Supply, and hit children's TV show Hi-5 Fairy Tale of Australia, are just a few ones to watch out for.

Here are some snaps:
The cast of Annie surprised us with a Christmas song
Christmas tree lighting was led by the RWM executives and the cast of Annie.
I can feel the spirit of Christmas!
And of course, photo ops and selfie just because.
Media Appreciation Night
We proceeded to House Manila, Remington Hotel right after the ceremony. It was indeed a grand party for Media people from all over the Philippines. Prizes pa lang malulula ka na sa bongga (at maiinggit at magiging bitter lalo na kung di ka mananalo tulad ko). Mga international trips and cruises lang naman yun. Sigh. But anyway, just by getting invited to this event is more than enough that I would consider myself a winner. I am grateful to have experienced this. Really.

It was a night of music, entertainment, and drinking. But since mga manang kami ni Julie, behave lang po kami. Pati champagne, inichapwera namin. Boo! Walang mag-react please. Haha.

DAY 2: Marriott Grand Ballroom and Annie
We had a chance to tour Marriott Hotel's Ballroom. But before that, picture po muna. Pagbigyan nyo na ako. Everybody knows that I RARELY (almost do not) ever take selfies. Ngayon lang, pleath.
Barefaced. But damn, I love Ecoskinlove's baby pink lip balm. And the lighting's good too (hindi po ako maputi ha. haha) :)

VisMin represent! With friends from Cebu Bloggers Society and Mindanation. Photo by Julie via Davao Bloggers Society

Here are some of Marriot Hotel's interesting interiors:
This house is edible.
What followed was a lunch at Passion's in Maxims Hotel. Then I slept until we had dinner at Victoria Harbour CafĂ©. Then at night came what I was so excited about:
You see, I have been part of big and small plays in school and church. So it's no surprise that I get ecstatic about musical plays. And I've not seen a real one with grand production. Ever.

But first, since I kind-of prepared for this night (at pinahirapan ako ng buhok ko), let me take a selfie:

This is it! :)
The play was about a story of an orphan named Annie who was adopted by a billionaire Oliver Warbucks and it changed their life forever. Yeah, that's pretty much everything.

I know I suck at giving summaries that's why I always get a B on my book reports. Haha. But anyway, it was a heartwarming, wonderful pre-Christmas treat that will inspire you and teach you hope and will definitely make you look onto the bright side of that hard-knock life. It took three hours of my life but it was definitely worth it.

And of course, we also had the chance to have pictures with the cute little darlings of Annie. :)

To cap off the night, would be another selfie. Promise, last na to. I was all smiles for having experienced such prestigious event. Thank you, Resorts World Manila! And everybody from the RWM team, especially Mae and Cristina for spoiling us and taking good care of us. We definitely had an awesome time. No amount of words can express how grateful I am.  Again, thank you so much! 'Til then. ♥

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