Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas with the Fam!

Music: Bruno Mars and The Temper Trap (In that order)

picture not mine: artwork found from the worldwideweb

All the kids are hanging out and playing their PSP’s. My cousin is at the kitchen finishing up all her cooking and I’m right in front of the computer typing this and fixing my playlist (since I busted my laptop, I haven’t updated it yet with my new tunes).

We weren’t really going to have the Christmas eve here in Laguna but my cousin (ate claudine) insisted we have to. See, we lost our cousin last November 8 and it kinda felt like a part of us died. Well it still does feel like that up to now since his birthday is comin this 29th. We miss him dearly. So Ate decided we have to spend time together (even though her freakin house is like a gazillion miles away from where we live haha).

So far, we discussed a lot of things and the stuff that had happened over the past. Great thing about this is that she never gets old with her crazy antics. Shes one of my favorite cousins and I always spent my free days back in the province at her house or she would stay in our living room all afternoon with her kids just watching TV and doing nothing on a weekend.

My mom is not here (we miss her dearly) so as my brother. Maybe this is the way we can extend our selves and somewhat spend Christmas without missing anyone that much. It has been a few years since we have spent Christmas together. We usually would go home to the province but it’s really difficult to go home this time since we don’t have any ride or wouldn’t wanna risk the chaos in goin home by bus.

Anyway, like I have said before, there is no need in having one to many foods on your table to share with the family. It should be the other way around. One too many family members all gathered up in one house to enjoy the holiday and just be plain merry.

I like this. I will remember this. I love this.

Merry Christmas everyone! May you enjoy your time with your love ones like I am right now (tho we are spending a few minutes apart, its not midnight yet haha)

Have a good one!!

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Amazingly Mystical (Siquijor and Dumaguete Trip)

Music: Snow Patrol and She & Him (Shuffled)

Welcome to Siquijor! (we took this leaving the island haha)

Have you ever heard of “Don’t be a stranger in your own country?” Well if you have, then you know what it truly means. For so long I have been dreaming of just going out and experience what the Philippines can offer. I have been to a few. I started traveling at the age of 15, for free, under a different circumstance. I was able to enjoy Bacolod City for free with allowance because I was part of the Badminton Team for my region (played for national games against all the regions in the country). But I did not enjoy it much due to so many constraints. Still I dream of being in another place and another.

I told myself that I wouldn’t go out of the country unless I visit the places I wanted to be here in the Philippines but that did not happen. Instead I crossed borders first before enjoying what the country has to offer me.

This time was different. I was contemplating on not going due to the fact that I just lost my cousin a week before the scheduled trip. I do not know whether I have the right to enjoy and that I still don’t wanna accept the fact that he is with the Lord now (as we all go through under the circumstance). My friend talked me in to taking it. He said I had to, it is much needed. So I did. A few days later, I boarded the plane to Dumaguete straight from having a training in Baguio.

We reached the Dumaguete airport around 8:30am and went straight to the port for Siquijor. Trust me I did not know the entire itinerary. I was just there going with the flow. We were 18 in the group. Three I have known for years and the others just during the plane ride. They are my friend’s colleagues. Fast forward. There I was waiting in the port for the ferry to Siquijor listening to the warnings my friend has been saying the moment we reached Siquijor.

The mystical island of Siquijor is amazing. It is beyond compare. It has its own unique way of welcoming its tourists (which is not so many due to the myths it has). A mini bus picked us up to bring us to the resort (the driver was nicknamed “Rocky” coz he looked like Rocky Salumbides from PBB haha). We ate first near the Siquijor Church. All 18 of us ate a lot and the cost was just around 2000 pesos, good food too! We went around the towns before heading to the resort – pictures below and the name of the places. 

Bell Tower, Siquijor, Siquijor

Lazi Church

Lazi Convent - the Oldest Convent in the Philippines

After going around, taking pics at the Lazi Church and the oldest Convent in the Philippines as well as seeing Cambugahay Falls where my friends took a quick dip, we went to the resort. The ride was hard due to the fact that we were cramped up inside a minivan with so many bags and the seats didn’t have any cushion or whatsoever – it takes 2 hours to reach the Salagdoong Beach resort in Maria, Siquijor. 
Cambugahay Falls

Hotel Agripino - Salagdoong Beach Resort

We were housed in Agripino Hotel which I could say more than what we have expected.  Dinah the manager was very accommodating. Staying in Salagdoong Beach proved that Siquijor has so much to offer. That people should explore it more than just listening to hearsays regarding the island.  We stayed there overnight where we enjoyed the afternoon, the night and of course the morning. The place was just super magical for me.

After staying there for 2 days, we went back to Dumaguete taking the last trip. It was a long 1 and half ride and I fell asleep which was good. The bell tower in Dumaguete is also amazing. The architecture there like in Siquijor is something that you can really appreciate. We stayed in Drill Shack Resort (which had salt water for pool water haha different). We didn’t really swim there but just used the place for boarding. 

trying to do the lift here at Salagdoong Beach, Maria, Siquijor

the sunset in Maria, Siquijor

taking a walk at the trail

November 27, 2010 proved yet again that I have so many things to see. We woke up early, around 4am to prepare for the ride. It takes 2 hours (40 km) to Bais, Negros Oriental. Itinerary for the day was whale and dolphin watching. We did not see whales tho but we saw a few dolphins from afar. We didn’t wait for them to join us so we went straight to the amazing Sandbar. I was in so much awe when I saw the place from afar. So beautiful. I didn’t swim like in Siquijor because I was already nursing a roasted skin haha. Instead I acted as the reliable photographer as always. Words cannot express how much appreciation I have for this place. You decide with these pictures below.

Boatmen in Bais, Negros Oriental

Sandbar at Bais, Negros Oriental

doin the tourist post at the Sandbar

my friend Anto and I always do this whenever we can haha

My Dumaguete – Siquijor trip last November 25-28, 2010 strengthened the promise I made that I will keep exploring what the Philippines has to offer me. I am humbled with so many beautiful sights and I will come back to these places in a heart beat. Til the next time!

Side note: you may ask how to get there

Flights:  MNL to DGTE

PAL or Cebu Pacific to Dumaguete  depends on how much the fare during the season

Going to Siquijor: from the airport get on a van (costs 200 pesos for us) and ask them to bring you to the port. Get tickets to Siquijor (prepare 200 pesos that includes the ferry fare and the terminal fee).

You have to make sure you have a minibus to go around the place. I think we rented “Rocky’s” ride for 2500 pick up from and to. I recommend staying in Agripino Hotel in Salagdoong Beach resort. It is the place to be. I have Dinah Palacio’s number if you guys want it. Ride takes 2 hours from port to the resort.

Then back to Dumaguete to Bais, Negros Oriental for Sandbar Resort.

Minibus ride 2 hours then boat ride that would cost 3500-4000 pesos for the whole trip.

For more info: research the places.

leaving you with this! til next time!

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