Monthly Archives: May 2015

An automobile accident ten days before his high school graduation Shane Vermoort classified as a quadriplegic. A friend was killed in the accident.
All of his life, Shane had wanted to be a doctor. But was it still possible for him as a quadriplegic - or was it really the impossible dream?
Shane went through a year of rehabilitation and then went to Southern Illinois University, where he received a B.A. in physiology. His goal was medical school, but he was rejected time and again by medical schools all over America.
Eventually, he was accepted at the Medical College of Georgia. He excelled in his preparation and received the Clinical Neuroscience Award, was elected president of the Medical Honor Society, and became the first student to graduate from the college in a wheelchair. Shane reflects, "People have a tendency to reflect on what we don't have. If people would just look in the mirror and focus on the good things, they would be a lot better off."

Shane is telling all of us not to look down in despair on what we don't have but to look up in hope and use what we do have. It certainly worked for him and I'm convinced it will work for you. 
1. Today I will review my positive qualities and will be grateful for the talents and abilities I have.
2. Today I will ______________.

To look at him today you would find it difficult to believe that in August, 1974, Clarence Gass awoke unable to breath. However, the forty-one-year-old eventually regained his breath.
His breath problem that August night was no mystery. He was going through three and a half packs of cigarettes and twenty-four cans of beer a day. He stopped weighing at the 265-pound mark when he had a forty-three-inch waist. That very morning, after his frightening experience, Clarence Gass got down on his knees and asked God to help him. 
He quit drinking and smoking. He began to walk and then jog every night. Before the year was out, he was jogging four to five miles a day. Clarence went from more than 265 pounds to 150 pounds. His blood pressure dropped from 150 over 100 to 120 over 72. He has now run in ten marathons. 
According to Gass, "It takes more courage than you can imagine for a fat person to get out and run in front of other people. It's a slow process and you must be patient. But it is possible. You can do it! Don't quit!

                           

Think about it: the odds are great that your physical condition is not as bad and your personal habits are not nearly as destructive as Clarence Gass's were in 1974. However, the odds are even greater that his physical condition and personal habits are both better than yours today. The question is this: If Clarence Gass can change to health and activity is there any real reason why you can't? 
1. Today I will remember to ask for God's help in all my activities.
2. Today, I will exercise in some fashion. It ay be for five minutes or for one hour, but I will exercise today.
3. Today I will _____________________________.

SAGADA has been the ultimate goal I've set for myself this summer. I've had several summer getaway during summer, but SAGADA was unique. I want to go there alone. Some may think, "gusto ko lang mag #hugot" but no. I wanted to witness the beauty of the place it self. In fact I just wanted to check it out for myself. 
It was not an easy trip going to SAGADA but would be all the rush, sweat, late meal, and every penny. One friend of mine asked, "pretty place" I undoubtedly said, "pretty" is an understatement. SAGADA had several activities and spots to offer. And it's beauty is indescribable.
I came to Metro Manila primarily to attend as part of the entourage of my very good brother in Christ Mr. MP last May 15, 2015 #MLBiyahengPagibig051515. But I was booked for a flight back to Cagayan de Oro City on the 18th early morning. Which means that I still have time to go somewhere over the weekend. 
I was thinking, can I really do it? I mean SAGADA? First time and alone? But I know "me". I love adventures! Of course, the urge to say YES is greater than the urge to say NO! So, the day just a couple of hours before my brother's wedding, I went to Victory Liner to book my ticket to Baguio. And guess what! Fully booked! 
Hmmm, what if I go to BALER, and not SAGADA? But Baler wasn't the priority this time. It's really SAGADA. I think the universe may have heard my whispers in the wind that it urged my friend AM to prod me to pursue my SAGADA plans. I told him, Victory Liner is fully booked, it's not unusual because it's summer and the next available trip is already the following day. He said, NO! It's not just Victory Liner that goes to Baguio, there's still Genesis! I've tried it before, and it was okay, my friend said. I said, let's try. 
We did go to check Genesis out. On our way to their Avenida Terminal, Getting a cab nor riding a jeep was already an adventure. Even the jeepneys are full! Seriously? All taxi seems to not care about passengers. Don't we exist here? Hello! Taxi? But no, we didn't get any cab. 
Until that destined jeepney going to Avenida, came and we were allowed to enter and take our precious seats! Yes! After around 30-40 minutes of looking for a cab or jeepney. Finally! (Don't sing ariel please!), A jeepney passing just for us! (LOL actually, we just had the opportunity to hop on it first). 
As we arrived, we saw there are buses parked in Avenida. And yes, it's Genesis! But they call their bus, Joy Bus? They said it's the same. We asked if I can hop on one of the parked buses. I got a stern "no". All were fully booked except that which would leave by 1:00 AM. Wow! Seriously? Fully booked again? But since there's a chance to have that 1:00 AM bus, we decided to stay. While we were trying to find something to fill our stomach. We left the terminal, thinking that it's still 11:00 or a couple of minutes after 11:00 PM. We went to a nearby Jollibee to feed ourselves. After having our meal, we went back to Genesis' terminal. Guess what? The bus intended for 1:00 AM has already left. Whaaat? Are you kidding me? 
TIP: Do not believe in time schedules when it's peak season like SUMMER! 
We were informed that as soon as all the seats (allowed capacity) are filled, the bus will travel even if it's not yet the scheduled time for the bus. Amazingly, most bus companies going to North has this practice! So never rely on their schedule. Book ahead, ensure your schedule! Be there earlier than your travel time! 

I did not give up! Thanks to my very supportive friend Mr. A.M. for pushing me! haha 

I was able to travel earlier than 1:00 A.M still, riding the bus, initially intended to travel by 2:00 A.M. because again, it got all filled before the scheduled time.

I arrived in Baguio at around 7:30 A.M., and guess what!? The bus going to Sagada is fully booked again! The next trip to SAGADA is by 11:30 A.M! Wow! Although there is a trip to SAGADA at 9:30 A.M. but the available seats are center seats. The trip is for 6 long hours from Baguio, so don't choose center seats unless you don't have a choice because of the schedule. Before the 9:30A.M. came, we've already left the terminal. Again, because it's full! 

We arrived in SAGADA by 3:00 P.M. There are I believe 3 bus stops that Lizardo bus usually makes their stop. Or should I say, their drivers stop. So you can be sure you can have somewhere to buy your food, if you didn't bring anything with you. But I am a light meal eater when on travel, so every bus stop I just usually pee and not really eat. I don't smoke, so I usually just use the time every stop for site and sight-seeing.  

Upon arrival in SAGADA there's the Town Hall, but that's not where you register. Go to your left where there is a Municipal Hall, register as a guest. Pay your environmental fee of P35.00. If you haven't booked a travel agency or guide yet. Ask for a guide there. Also, ask for a map! They have one to give to each guest/visitor/tourist.

Because it's already late. I went to find a hotel. I walked couple of meters away from the hall, and all hotels were fully booked! 

Another tip: If you haven't booked ahead of time, you have internet, and credit card, use www.agoda.com! They have room for everyone.haha because I was afraid I couldn't find a room for a night, I did browsed through Agoda. Thank God, there's a room available in Masferre for US$36.00. Few clicks, and my booking was confirmed.

I walked couple of steps from the hall, and yeah! It's Masferre Inn! I asked for my booked room (just a couple of seconds earlier). Then I was ushered to my room where I left my things.

I lost no time to freshen up. Went out, asked for  my guide. And off to my first SAGADA adventure!

My first adventure is CAVE Connection. According to the guide the adventures starts with a 40 minutes walk from the town center to the entry point at Lumiang/Burial Cave. Wedged at the entrance are piles of coffins. Deeper into the cave are awesome rock formations to satisfy your eyes and some rock climbing, and crawling for those thirsty for a more challenging physical activity. the exploration usually takes about 4-5 hours, ending at Sumaguing/Big Cave. I took this cave connection and just made it to the end within 1.5 hours only. Quite fast. 

Last entrance to the cave: 4:00 P.M.
Route: 

Dokiw Hanging Coffins viewpoint

Lumiang Burial Cave Entry point

As shared to me by my guide, these are small coffins, not because the people before have heights less than 4 ft. but because these people buried here, are put in the coffin in a fetal position. They believe that when a person dies, he/she goes back to how he/she came into the world, thus the fetal position when placed in a coffin. He also added that the burial in this area was a festive and happy one. The people buried in Lumiang Cave are those who died of old age. There are different places for different categories of death. People celebrate when a person dies out of old age. When he's accumulated several grandchildren and wealth, that's something to celebrate. For them, it means, they've lived their life well.

Inside the cave you'll have several physical activities including rock climbing, crawling and even rappelling. 

But it's worth it, as you'll see nature at its best under the cave! 

Sumaguing Cave exit point

Rice Terraces view point - this is something I only read about in my geography class. Not knowing, I'd come here at least for once in my life time!

Guide Fee: P800.00 for 2 visitors or less and P400 for each additional visitor.

After the Cave Connection I asked my guide's contact number for another adventure the following day. Mang Lacsim was happy to help and tour me around SAGADA. He suggested we go to Kiltepan Peak for the sunrise early in the morning, then to any of the tourist destinations afterwards. 

I went back to Masferre and relaxed! I had a long day of travel and adventure! Thank God, Masferre serves delicious food! It somehow relieved me of the physical exhaustion I've had for the day's activity.

The following day! Mang Lacsim called me at around 4:30 A.M., he's already outside the hotel to fetch me. Yeah! The sunrise! On our way to Kiltepan Peak, where sunrise can be seen magnificently along with the aerial view of the rice terraces and mountain ranges. It's best to go there on summer. However, on the day that I went there, it's very cloudy. And we haven't really witnessed the beauty of sunrise at Kiltepan Peak.

I saw, however, the "kubo" where Angelica Panganiban (That Thing Called Tadhana) shoot the scene with JM De Guzman. The famous #hugot (#whogoat) place!

The movie started the phenomena of #whogoat which also features SAGADA as the best place to relieve one's heartaches and pains with the place's scenic and serene views! As my guide put it, "Jan po sumigaw sigaw si Angelica sir!" (That's where Angelica shouted/screamed sir!). Pointing at the "kubo".

Because it's summer, tourist flocked to SAGADA like ants in a colony. They are just everywhere. Even in Kiltepan Peak. You could barely have a space for yourself. It's hard to take a selfie. Everyone is just every where.

I asked my guide to usher me back to the hotel as I will be having breakfast. I asked him if he already had one, he said he's going to have it too but outside the hotel, I asked him to join me and I'll take care of the bill, he gladly accepted! I had Filipino Style Breakfast with Native Longanisa while he ordered Filipino Style Breakfast with Boneless Fish (Bangus). 

After breakfast, it's time to decide where to go! I have a lot to choose from. But very limited time. I asked him which water falls would have lesser people and that it's possible to go there and be back by 10:00A.M. he said it should be Pongas Falls in Anikeleng, Sagada, Mountain Province. I told him to bring me there as I would be going back to Baguio before lunch.

On the way to Pongas falls, are greeneries. It's a refreshing place to be in. You will see different crops, it somehow had me revisit my childhood days, memories in the past when I see almost every day these kinds of view. 

These are newly planted cucumber. They just can't stop planting. They plant after every harvest. The guide told me that their guide services are in demand only in the summer, but after the summer they'll all go back to farming. Sagada's local population is mostly comprised of farmers, whose income mainly depend on agriculture. 

 I also have to stop and take a picture of this great scene! Green leaves of "palay"/rice. With the great mountains on the background!

 These are peanuts! Since I've been seeing different crops, I was looking for peanuts, and yes, the guide gladly told me that there are peanuts! Here they are!

Of course, this is the plant/herb that made our family's living possible. I remember back in my childhood days, I will walk for couple of miles to get ready to consume bananas! I can't let it pass. I have to take a picture, as my brain traveled fast back to my childhood days!

There's corn too! Corn has been an alternative to rice for my family. Back when I was a child, we cannot always afford to have "rice"/palay in the table. They're just so expensive. While "corn rice" are way cheaper. So as an alternative, for a rice eater, we will have steamed "corn rice". And they said it's good for health. Maybe, because we remained alive and grew up! haha

Closer look at the almost golden seeds of palay! 

 I am also not surprised by the presence of sugar cane in the field. 

In the middle of the trek, we stopped by at the what the locals call as the "Bad-ay", my guide expertly explained to me what it is. Bad-ay is a the place where the locals (native) specially, back in the old days, convene, discuss, try a case, and socialize. It's also the place where they perform rituals, during planting season and harvest season (both are festive events/rituals). Bad-ay is also the place where the men, back then, sleeps. Because their houses are very small, it can only accommodate the women, and therefore, men choose to sleep outside or in their tribe's "bad-ay". When we visited, it's evident that a ritual has recently been performed. My guide showed me the evidence. 

The trek going to Pongas Falls was enjoyable as those above were present, however, it's also challenging as it's a climb! Up to the falls, would be several thousand steps.  There are stairways and hanging bridge. 

Then when we reached Pongas Falls, there's only me and the guide! My solo experience of Pongas was amazing! You need to climb up to the top to see the majestic beauty of the falls. Up there, is the small pool, where you can get soaked, wet and sun-kissed!

I've not been to a falls where I am alone, or atleast it's just me and the guide. The guide happily watched me be amazed by the beauty of this falls. It's not well marketed yet, not yet well advertised so it's not populated at 9:00 A.M. I was thankful I chose to visit this place over Bomod-ok. Although, when I get back to SAGADA, I'll definitely, visiting Bomod-ok. 

I didn't stay longer in Pongas, as much as I'd want to, I need to catch up the bus trip by 11:00 A.M. So after getting all the positive energies of the universe through this falls, I went down with the guide, and head to the hotel. 

When we get to the hotel, I paid the agreed price for the guide, and fetched my bag at the hotel, then went directly to the terminal. A few steps from my hotel. In my arrival, bags are already lining up for the bus trip. Indicating that a person has reserved a line for a slot of seat in the bus.

I also took advantage of the waiting time, trying to document the fact, that foreigners (non-filipinos) are also in Sagada, specially this summer, they are all around! (welcome to SAGADA!) of different nationalities. Of course, our favorite neighbors and co-asian Koreans are also here! πŸ™‚ While filipino tourists are also flocking in to SAGADA!

Traveling alone to SAGADA was a rich experience for me! I became more aware of time, direction, and even had the chance to reflect and be thankful of all the things that God and the universe has allowed me to enjoy!

Some more scenes I took to and from SAGADA I'll be sharing below.

I will always treasure this first trip to SAGADA, and I am definitely coming back here! 

What I haven't visited or done in SAGADA yet, will be my priority on my next visit. (According to their publish map and travel guide). Use this as a guide for your complete SAGADA trip! Complete guide including trips schedules, fees and transportation, accommodation, etc. When In Sagada, What To Do? How Much for Which?

1. Balangagan Cave Spelunking - Also known as "Marcos Cave", it boasts of fine pure white flowstones and stunning stalactites. Be prepared to climb up its chambers or crawl along tight passages. The rock formations inside the cave are delicate and sensitive. Please avoid touching the rock formations.

Last entrance to the cave: 4:00 P.M. 
Guide fee: P650 - 4 visitors or less.
Transport Fee and Schedule: P650
8:00 A.M.    - 20 pax
10:00 A.M.  - 20 pax
12:00 N.N.   - 20 pax

2. Bumayeng Twin Falls - the trek to the falls starts at the drop off point in Barangay Bangaan, and will pass through some rice fields through natural trails/pathways.

Fee: P2,500 - 5 visitors or less (includes guide fee and packed meal).
Hike duration - 3 hours or more, one way
Transportation - P650 two-way.

3. Bomod-ok - 3 hours hike (back and forth) from Bangaan drop off point to the falls, passing through rice paddies and natural trails.

Fees: P500 - 10 visitors or less
Transportation - P650 two way vehicle hire via Aguid P500 two-way vehicle hire via Bangaan.

4. Bokong - one of the favorite picnic areas in central Sagada, it's swimming pool was carved by nature. 

Fees: P200 - 10 visitors or less
Transportation: P250 two-way vehicle.

5. Eco-tour 3 hours ofloop hike to Echo Valley Hanging Coffins, Sagada Underground River entrance, St. Mary's Church and Bokong Natural Swimming Pool passing through small river, valley/canyon, rice fields and Sagada Weaving.

Guide fee: P600 - 10 visitors or less.

6. Adventure Trail - 3 hours trek to Echo Valley Hanging Coffins passing through St. Mary's Church, enter the Underground river, forest trails, river crossing, Bokong Swimming Pool.

Guide fee: P1,000 for 10 visitors or less.

7. Echo Valley Hanging Coffins - a short hike to the view point and a challenging, slippery walk to have a close-up view of the coffins.

Guide fee: P200 - 10 visitors or less.

8. Camp by the fire - includes a Boodle Fight Dinner at any preferred campsite (Kiltepan Peak or Danum Lake). Arrangements may be done at the Municipal Information Center.

Minimum of 4 for only P1,800.
Inclusions: meals and shuttle back and forth.

9. Lake Danum/Sunset - the lake is a venue of some legendary tales, which includes how Sagada got its name. Drop by the Sagada Stoneware Pottery on the way to the lake.

Leave for Lake Danum at 4:30 P.M. 30 minutes drive from town center.
Transport fee: P550.

10. Mt. Ampacao Traverse - A loop hike from town center to Lake Danum view point then to Mt. Ampacao and down to the village of Demang or Ambasing or vice versa. This will take around 3 hours or so depending on your ability to walk on natural/mountain trails. The Ilocos Range and a hazy outline of the Ilocos coast can be viewed along the way.

Guide fee: P800 - 10 visitors or less.

11. Grassy Land/Marlboro - 2-3 hours of back trekking. It is also a camping site and a sunrise viewpoint. Rice terraces and limestone formation can be seen along the way. 

Guide fee: P600 - 10 visitors or less
Shuttle fee: P650

12. Langsayan Danum Traverse - 3 hours hike or more, passing through mossy and pine forest. The area overlooks 2 municipalities and a vast view of mountain ranges, rice terraces.

Guide fee: P1,000 - 3 visitors or less.

13. Mt. Sisipitan - The highest mountain in SAGADA, it is 2,200 meters above sea level. It is an excellent area for a day hike.

Guide fee: P2,000 each.

14. Mt. Polis - is nestled between Mt. Ampacao and the "Grassy Land/Marlboro". It provides a good view of Sagada.

Guide fee: P1,500 - 3 visitors or less.

15. Marlboro Hill - Blue Soil Traverse Trek - 4-5 hours trek passing through rice terraces and limestone formations.

Guide fee: P1,800 for 3 visitors or less.
Transportation fee: P1,350

16. Sagada to Mainit Hotspring  rek or travel by jeep to the minicipality of Bontoc to enjoy the natural hot spring in Mainit. A trip to experience the Maligcong Rice Terraces can also be included in the itinerary.

Guide fee: P2,500 each visitor (for trekking)
Additional fee from the hot spring to Maligcong.

REMINDERS FOR CAVING:
Attire: 

  • shirt (loose t-shirt), shorts/loose pants
  • rubber sandals/flipflops/rubber shoes
  • Optional - gloves
No entrance to the cave after 4:00 P.M.
Expect waist deep water in some parts of Sumaguing Cave.
HOTLINES
SAGADA PNP         0908 225 8115
Municipal Mayor      0999 991 1800
Municipal Tourism   0999 991 1801
Sagada Municipal Tourist Information Center
Poblacion, Sagada, Mountain Province, 2619 Philippines
Email add: sagada.mayor@gmail.com
Open: 7:00 in the morning
Close: 6:00 in the evening

SCHEDULE OF REGULAR TRIPS

SAGADA-BAGUIO (GL/LIZARDO BUS)
Bus fare: P220.00 5-6 hours

Morning Trips:
1st Trip: 5:00 A.M.
2nd Trip: 7:00 A.M.
3rd Trip: 8:00 A.M.
4th Trip: 9:00 A.M.
5th Trip: 10:00 A.M.
6th Trip: 11:30 A.M. Depending on availability of bus

Afternoon trip
Last trip: 1:00 P.M.
***Trips usually start ahead of schedule if seating capacity is full.
***No booking/reservation. First come, first serve.

SAGADA-BONTOC
Jeepney fare: P45 - 45 minutes.

Morning Trips:
1st Trip: 6:00 A.M.
2nd Trip: 7:00 A.M.
3rd Trip: 7:30 A.M. 
4th Trip: 8:00 A.M. 
5th Trip: 8:30 A.M.
6th Trip: 9:00 A.M.
7th Trip: 10:00 A.M.
8th Trip: 11:00 A.M.
9th Trip: 12:00 N.N.

Afternoon Trip
Last trip: 1:00 P.M.
***Trips usually start ahead of schedule if seating capacity is full.

BONTOC-BANAUE
Bus Fare: P150 - 1.5 hours 
Morning Trips only
1st Trip: 7:00 A.M.
2nd Trip: 9:00 A.M.
Jeepney Fare: P150 - 1.5 hours
1st Trip: 8:30 A.M.
2nd Trip: 10:00 A.M.
Afternoon Trip:
Last trip: 1:00 P.M.
BANAUE - MANILA
Night Trips only 10 hours
Olympus Bus: 7:00 P.M.
INNS/LODGING/RESTHOUSES - There are several of them. I suggest you look for them in Agoda, but if you need their contact numbers. Please feel free to request on the comment below. πŸ™‚

Our family is from Cagwait Surigao del Sur, and I haven't heard of Britannia until my friend Ms. RA invited me to join in their trip. I was very happy to join as I want to go on an island hopping! Although, I did not have much idea, but it was summer, and it's an island, the beach! Aaah, was so excited then. But what I've seen is beyond my expectation. 
Britannia is a group of island in Surigao del Sur. It's a paradise! White sand, clear blue-green sea water. It's not that known yet, but it's getting noticed as the years passed. It's only today, that I was browsing through my travels did I realized that I haven't written something about it, or at least show to the world, what really is there. 
What we did was we took the bus going to Butuan at around 7 or 8pm, around P220 or P250 pesos fare, we arrived around 11 or 12 mn. Then we stopped for a while in Butuan, and travel by 3am using the Montero of my friend's family. πŸ™‚ 
I will be sharing to you some photos taken at Brittania, while we were enjoying the island hopping! Photo credits to Ms. RA and Ms. MT.
There are around six islands:
1. Hagonoy
2. Naked Island
3. Britania 
4. Hiyor-hiyoran
5. Tagoan
6. Panlangagan
It's a fantastic Sunday morning! Nature just welcomed us with a the Sun's fresh morning kiss! Ayee! 
Who wouldn't be in-love with this scene? C'mon! 
And that's not it, there's more! When travelling to places like this, your system just can't help but take pictures as much as you can! There's no stopping you, specially if you have an underwater camera  ready! 

These are just beautiful snippets of what's really in Britania! How can one miss this place? Mindanao has indeed pride itself with a lot of things to offer, and surely, Britania is just one, if not top of the list! 
My friends, can't help it too! They just want to document that they set foot on Naked Island!
Even under the sea, you can't help but pose! haha Struggling face! Diving into the clear and cool sea water!
One of my friends wanted to just experience diving while we sail, we ordered the boat to be stopped for a while, and just swim!
Of course, why would I forget my obligatory jump shots? haha this time I am joined by my good friend EM.
When I'm in the beach, I always reconnect with the universe! Feel the sun's kiss, sand's texture, the breeze's whispers and touch, the just dip my body into the cold water! Just plain simple feeling it! Would create a rejuvenating energy within me. 

I took no chance of losing the opportunity to take pictures everywhere I'd see a wonderful background! 

Of course, our groupfie/wefie are no way to be forgotten!

We've definitely enjoyed the island hopping! Experiencing Britania's beauty first hand is priceless! It was a day well spent! 
Ever wonder what happens next to Island hopping? haha here take a look! LOL!
Experience Mindanao! Experience Britania! Hail to the beautiful islands! 
The Island hopping itself, would be around 3-5 hours depending on your stay on each of the islands. Do you want to go there? Do you have questions you want to ask? Please feel free to drop it on the comment box below. πŸ™‚

Since I was blogging about my Cebu Travel, the recent one was when I realized I can't get enough of Cebu! Not yet! Why Can't I Get Enough of You! Cebu! was really my cry. I also shared my Canyoning/Canyoneering Experience in Cebu here. And well, back in 2014, I've shared my encounter with the gentle giants in Oslob here. What I haven't written was our trip back in 2012 when we visited Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island, Cebu! So here, I am making this throwback (not thursday), post for Bantayan! Another destination in Cebu!

I've always been in love with nature. And beach is part of nature, I have an inclination with beaches. I just love stayin on it, playing and just witness sunrise or sunset! Bantayan was my first Cebu trip!

We stayed in a cottage (one room) with comfort room and a terrace. It's in a resort in Sta. Fe, I forgot the name of the resort, but it was a good place to stay. Internet wasn't that strong, but at least there is an internet. 


Beach is also one of Bantayan's tourist attraction. It's undeniable that we've enjoyed the view and the beach!

Of course, it's a small island and we can't let our days in Bantayan be wasted without going around the Island. 

We visited old church, mangrove plantation, a some places where we could just connect to nature. We even took a picture in one of the great scenes in their street. Where green trees formed an arc of the street, and it feels like we were entering an enchanted place. 

Bantayan is a one great haven for relaxation and getting connected with the universe once again. I am blessed to have experienced it before Typhoon Haiyan (not sure with the spelling) came and destroyed some parts of it. 

I am sure though Bantayan right now has recovered. It would be fantastic to revisit the place. πŸ™‚

Our Bantayan Island trip was supposedly just for 1 and a half day then we wanted to go to Camotes, but because of a storm that time, we were stranded/stuck in Bantayan. Still we were thankful we were safe. And was still able to go home on time. Camotes! Wait for me. You've been so elusive since then. I'll have some time to visit you soon. πŸ™‚

I believe the universe always works for what you constantly envision yourself to be in. I have initially decided not to go with my friends, I have planned ahead to go to Iligan City for another trip. But fate has it, that I should join the Cebu, PH adventure! The day before the trip to Iligan, my friends who agreed to go there with me told me that they can't make it. So, I contacted my friend Ms. R if I could still join the Cebu trip. She gladly welcome the idea, only that we are not sure, if I could still get a ticket on TransAsia. And when I inquired, yes, it's fully booked! She suggested I check online for airline tickets, and she searched for flights too. She ended up booking me up for a flight to Cebu. And yes! I was able to join the Moalboal-Badian, Cebu Trip! 
The first day of arrival May 1, we stayed in Basdaku, Moalboal, Cebu. Chillax time. We decided to cook our own dish. "Sinugba" (Grilled) Pork chop. But before we get to the cooking part, there was a gorgeous painting in the sky shown by the universe as we walk along the shore.

Then I went on to my job! haha It was actually me and Mr. J (another friend of mine) who did the grilling of the pork. The grilling area is free for use to all occupants of the cottages in the resort where we stayed in for only P1,000 per night (we were 5 in the spacious room).

Then the next morning we had the Canyoning/Canyoneering at Badian, Cebu. Click that activity to see what it is. 
The beach in Moalboal, is so pure, fresh and you could call it Virgin! It's just magnificently beautiful. 
  
We had a long beach walk every sunset. It really captured our attention as we make every step in the beach sand. It feels great to literally be on foot in a white sand beach. 
We didn't stay too long the night before the Canyoning/Canyoneering (May 2) so that we'll have enough energy stored. Thank God we survived the activity. For photos of the adventure click here.
But of course, our stay in Basdaku, Moalboal, wouldn't be complete without a night in the beach. It's where I said, can we have this kind of night every so often? It feels great to just feel the sea, sand and sun! And well coz it's night, the moon. What could be better than the #beach #buddies and #beer?


Then the next day May 3, we were scheduled for the Dolphin watching, Island Hopping, Turtle's Nest (Haven) visit, and then Sardines run.
We started the day at 5:00 A.M. It's best to start early so you won't get burned by the Sun's heat. First stop, Dolphins! Sad, I didn't get a picture of the Dolphins who sort of welcomed us, as we approached the area. They jumped/flew like they were our friends. The boat man keep making a sound as if to call them, and they do show up. 
Then we went to an Island, where the healthy corals were very enticing. We did some snorkelling in one of the island, where blue, yellow and colorful fish were just amazingly swimming with us. I fell in love with the sight. If I could only live there! Haha wishful thinking!

Then we visited the Turtles' haven, unfortunately they were a bit shy, they only show their heads. And they didn't come near us. Although, they've shown up, we were unable to take pictures. But yes, they are there! My friend Mr. J tried to swim around and have an encounter but they were elusive, and it adds to the difficulty that there are some jelly fish (according to him), whose sting has made him climb up the boat again. But it was an amazing place to see the turtles!
Next stop, Sardine run. Would you believe you can swim with the sardines around and have pictures with them? Astonishingly, they have warmly welcomed us by staying close to our boat. 

I couldn't believe I let go of the life vest, and just dived into the unknown depth of the sea. But what I saw down there made me say, it was worth the risk! Wow! 
Then, we went Island Hopping! We thought it was over as we went back on our way to the resort, but we passed it, then we were told, we're going to another place where some islet exists. 

The whole Cebu trip was splendid! Super! It was the trip of the year so far! These photos wouldn't be enough to describe how elated I was to have experienced all those! Philippines indeed is more fun! There's just a lot yet to be discovered in our country. Cebu alone offers a lot! I have yet to explore some more parts of Cebu. But yes, this is the best yet. 
Photo credits: Ms. MT, RA, and Mr. JD
Trip summary/Itinerary/costs:
Cebu south terminal to Moalboal - P120/person
Moalboal bus stop to Basdaku - P30/person
Basdaku to Moalboal bus stop (pick up for canyoning) - P30/person
Moalboal to Badian (multicab) - P70/person
Badian highway to start area of canyoning (habal2) - P50
Entrance and exit (canyoning) - P200/person
Guide fee - P750/person
Foon (snacks, snacks, snacks for 3 days) - P3,000 or P600/person
Island hopping - P2900 or P580/person (group of 5)
Day 1: Chill time
White sand beach
Sunset
Cook dinner (grilling!)
Night swimming
Day 2: Canyoning 
Basdaku to Moalboal
Moalboal to Badian
Badian to start of Canyoning
Canyoning to Kawasan falls
Badian to Moalboal
Moalboal to Basdaku
Day 3: 4 hour trip in the water! 
Island Hopping
Turtle 
Dolphin
Sardine Encounter
Back to the beach resort. Pack up! Back to the city! Sail  or fly back to your city of origin.
I will definitely come back! Camotes and many more is yet to be explored! Wohoo! C'mon universe!
If you wish to travel and have questions in mind, pop them up below, might be able to answer your queries. πŸ™‚

  1. Canyoning (known as canyoneering in the U.S.) is traveling in canyons using a variety of techniques that may include other outdoor activities such as walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, abseiling (rappelling), and swimming.
I did not have an idea what it is, all I am for, is to travel and explore! As explained to us by the guide, Mr. Choy, this is an extreme adventure sports. As defined by Wikipedia above, that is Canyoning or Canyoneering! I was excited!
The trip to Badian would be around 4-5 hours from Cebu South Terminal via bus. We stayed in Moalboal the night before so we will be able to get to Badian, earlier the following day. Badian will be about an hour trip from Moalboal. From Badian highway, we needed to ride "habal-habal" to get to the peak where we will start our Canyoning. 
As we arrived in the site, we were asked to get ready, and put on our vests and head gears. We were also advised to put all other things, specially non-water resistant gadgets on the dry bags we brought along! Thanks to my travel buddies, who were amazingly prepared with everything. So we were able to bring cellphones along the way. Although, we didn't use it. 
The first challenge is the 15-feet jump at the start. 
We needed to jump to start, so we don't actually have a choice. Everyone will be looking at you if you don't jump immediately. So, it helps that you are pressured, and you will be able to jump! haha thankfully though, we are a bunch of jumpers, we needed no pressures, we just love jumping. πŸ™‚
The scenic place with the blue-green colored water, with the rock formation on the side, and the green trees' view are just amazingly stunning! I couldn't help but swim with my head up high, watching the scenery.
The track is not easy to traverse, but all worth the pain and adrenaline rush! The above pictures are all actual footage of my friends' go-pro cameras. The track includes, jumping on a cliff, jumping from rock to rock, trekking, swimming/diving, walking. The activity, would really test your stamina. I was armed with only chocolates as boosters. And yeah I survived. 
The entire activity is around 4-5 hours. We started at around 9:30 in the morning and ended around 2:30 in the afternoon. When we reached the 30-ft jump (actually only around 25 to 27 ft), we had a break. Snack! Then I had my highest jump so far.
Was it exhausting? Yes! Very exhausting. In fact, while we were walking/trekking downstream, I can feel that my feet is hurting, but I have no choice, I needed to complete the activity. After around 9 jumps, and several hundreds of steps if not thousands, we went solid trekking for couple of minutes and no more jumping. As we approach Kawasan falls, we have seen people enjoying the waters. The waters we swam and jumped on earlier. 
I was enchanted with the nature's beauty found in the farthest top of Kawasan falls, where we started our Canyoning. And yes, it's a must-do for all adventurers! It was my best so far.
I was advised that we needed to pay 
P750 each person for the guide
P200 for both entrance (P100) and exit (P100)
P70 for the multicab from Moalboal to Badian
Things to bring and wear on a canyoning activity:
1. Dry bag - you'd definitely need this. You will be 200% going to get wet. So don't risk! Save your phones! And other non water-resistant items.
2. GoPro cameras (with monopods) - because they are waterproof, they are mostly good for documenting the entire activity! You might do it just for once, so better be ready for what you need.
3. Rash Guard - it's advisable because although it gets wet, it easily dries up. And well, it is relatively lighter to wear. I used mine, from Maui and Sons. 
4. Food - snack items are advised to be brought since the activity will take you around 4-5 hours, you'll have to stop and have a break. This would include bottled water.
5. Aqua Shoes -  it is advisable, since you will have all those swimming and jumping activities. Rubber shoes are good alternatives (although it's heavy to wear so choose the lightest one coz you're gonna be swimming remember?). I used however, not aqua shoes nor rubber shoes, I used rubber sandals of Sandugo. It is tied around so it does not easily loosen up when I swim or jump.
I think, Canyoning, got me. I've been looking for places to go next. I wanna do it again. I would love to do it again in Badian, but if there are still places to explore too, I'd love to do it there as well. 
My Canyoning experience, is the best so far! Thank you Brad R.A. for getting me to join you in this activity! I was overwhelmed, and fell in love with adventure once again!  
Below I am sharing with you more of the pictures we took. Enjoy watching! And hopefully you'll visit Badian, Cebu as well. πŸ™‚ Two Thumbs Up for Cebu's Canyoning!

If you want to try this one, Mr. Choy Daruca, is the guide to get. Contact him via facebook here
Some of the pictures of their Canyoneering are available on his timeline too. πŸ™‚

I was informed that it's best to stay or go to Paradise Island. Well, Samal is a white sand beach island, so it's not just the beach. It also has something to do with the accommodation or service of Paradise Island why, they have been consistently endorsed by several people I've known who is from Davao or who have been to Samal. So here my Paradise Island experience.

We arrived early in the morning and of course, I can't miss the sunrise! It's just so beautiful!

As soon as we stepped, our stomach demanded to be filled. The only vice that you can't really leave. Eating! Breakfast is just the first thing we wanted to do. We didn't care where to go, we just want to eat. It's around 6:30 AM. We were told we can stay anywhere in the area, restaurant area is where people with no food are allowed to stay and eat. You can choose from their menu below, some of the food items they serve.

 So I tried their bacon breakfast, with egg. Then I wanted to taste their "Durian cafe'", so I ordered one.

Here you go, my first sip of the Durian coffee. It smells and tastes like Durian of course. But I like how it was blended with a coffee mix. Superb taste! Good job! Whoever made the menu, "thumbs up" to the Durian Coffee! πŸ™‚

Then I also tried their Pineapple Orange Fresh Fruit Juice! Since it's fresh fruit, the juice is really extracted, and I can tell it's fresh by its taste and the granules  or extracts are evident in the juice itself! Another thumbs up!

After we've obliged to our tummies' demands, we needed to do something. I browsed through the net where we can possibly go. And we did have a tour. More details are posted here.

After we had our tour, we went back to Paradise Island. We had a ticket to be allowed entry without paying once again the entrance of P200.00.

As we entered the restaurant area this time (already in the afternoon around 3:00 P.M.) we were welcomed by the sound of music played by the live band.

I went around checking the place out, I found this area. Billiards! Wow! If you're into it, you can play here. I checked, and it's for a per hour fee. I just didn't know how much per hour.

There is also a self-service area, for guests with food and drinks including fruits and snack items. If you want to go on budget, you can choose to buy and bring your own food.

I didn't want to miss this scene. A relaxing view of the beach, sea, sun and sand in an afternoon!

I also noticed there's a table tennis area too!

And who wouldn't notice this? Giant pieces of chess.

If you are coming with kids, no problem they have something to play on! Haha ride on kids! C'mon! πŸ™‚

They also have a souvenir shop. They sell of course Samal Souvenir Items.

They also had a poster of getting around the Paradise Island area. So there, you have an instant guide!

This is their kitchen area. Where food comes from.

 Some information regarding their entrance fees:

 Read their rules and regulations too.

Tariff for room rates, etc.

Of course, I took a close look at their restaurant's menu in the afternoon and I was presented a different menu book. Here it is for the items and prices of Paradise Island's restaurant.

We weren't hungry as we just had our lunch at around 12:30 P.M. so we just tried their Halo-halo. I ran out of battery then, so I wasn't able to take a photo of the halo-halo. Typical, sweet taste halo halo. πŸ˜€

Review:

Service: 4.5 Took them a bit longer to serve the food. Although I would understand it's peak season. The crew really don't know where is which item. I tried asking for something  at the reception and I was pointed at one direction then when I asked the crew in the direction I was told to go, I was pointed back to the reception. haha well, again let's give them the benefit that they are very busy because tourists are flocking in by tens or more in almost every say 30 mins. I also didn't receive smiles while I was asking questions. So, yeah, they needed to improve this.

Ambiance: 5.0 it's a cool place to stay. I love it there. There's just so much to enjoy. My P200.00 entrace fee was worth it!

Sanitation: 5.0 I didn't have problems with leftovers on table when we were searching for a place. When I used their comfort room, dressing room and shower room are all cleaned up. Water supply is also good. Didn't have problem. Thumbs up on cleanliness of the area.

Price: 4.9 I guess it's reasonable, considering we only paid P200.00. Their room rates are also reasonable, if you'd look at it. I am evaluating the prices based on the ambiance I've experienced. Worth the penny.

Even with the petty issues I've experienced, I'd still recommend this place for stay. πŸ™‚ Thank you Paradise Island! πŸ™‚

We originally planned to go backpacking and not stay there for one night. We'll just go to Davao for the seminar and go home afterwards. We'll sleep while riding the bus back home. But when my appointment was canceled, I immediately suggested change of plans. And yes, the plan was changed. We were left with no choice but to stay, and enjoy Davao! We're going to Samal the following day! So, we found a good and cheap place to stay! Efemela!
When there's already a need, resources immediately becomes within sight or periphery. It's as if, the resources are just around, waiting to be tapped. Isn't it that sometimes, you don't notice the thing before the need for it arises? That's exactly what happened. Thanks to the good souls who accommodated us. 
Efemela is within the City of Davao. Their address and contact numbers are found here:

They have cheap rooms as low as P650 for Single room. Contac them on those visible numbers of the above picture. They are very welcoming and warm to guests. 
They also have monthly packages, if you wish to stay longer. They have monthly rates here.

But you see, it's not just the rates. I like their set-up too. The place is so cool with these wall.

And here's a snapshot of our room, I was not able to take a pic on the side where the TV was hung, and a little cabinet/closet for things and clothes. Rooms have their own comfort rooms as well.
We had a comfortable rest and sleep in Efemela. And would surely stay again there, if I'll visit Davao in the future. πŸ™‚
Review:
Service: 5.0 We were actually asking about the packages, ways, and tours in Samal, and the girl on the reception was just too patient answering all my questions! Thanks to her. We were able to go to Samal. Our reservation was duly noted, and we were given a very accessible room.
Sanitation: 4.9 It's clean, but there are areas in the comfort room, I found a little stain or should I say dirt on some areas of the comfort room. But very negligible, I was just meticulous.haha I saw it. And didn't escape my sight.
Price: 5.0 Very reasonable and affordable. A go to dormitel if you're looking for good quality, cheap-priced, comfortable, temporary dwelling.
Ambiance: 5.0 Very comfortable. Quiet. Accessible. It's in front of a kitchenette where great tasting food are served. I just didn't remember I'm not sure if it was Mhalda. Or something sounds like that. A good place to stay.

I have recently compiled several jump shots in places I visited. Here are some of the jumpshots I made so far. I will update this post soon as I visit some more new places.
1. This was at a wide space just right in the street going to Tuasan falls in Camiguin. I had to take a jump shot with the razed mountain on the background.
2. Taken when we visited the Lady of Good Voyage in Dipolog. A vessel traveling from Dipolog to Cebu and vice-versa. 
3. This was a shot taken when we passed by a beach at Dapitan! 
4. A shot taken at Dapitan's Rizal Shrine!
5. A jumpshot taken at Dapitan with the beach view as a background!
6. A jumpshot taken at Samal Island, with pearl farm and another island as a background. The shot was taken at the top of Kaputian.
7. A shot taken with the Sunset of White Beach, Basdaku, Cebu!
Many more jumpshots to come! πŸ™‚