Mid-January 2015, the Pope visited the Philippines which meant three days of vacation for employees, like me, in NCR. Being a person wants to get away whenever she can, I grabbed the chance to take some R&R and bugged my dad to take us somewhere nice. He was so into vacation-mode since we stayed at Montemar Beach Club (Sosh!).
Montemar Beach Club supports Pawikan Conservation
Montemar offers a wide range of room types for couples and families. The loft-type is our favorite. You can find more information about Montemar here.
The next morning, we took a walking, guided tour of Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar, a heritage resort with a collection of restored Spanish-Filipino houses by Jose Acuzar. The resort transports you to 18th Century Philippines. Each house/casa has a unique story to tell. According to our guide, some parts of some of the houses like the banisters, beams, walls were from the original house and some houses were replicated on-site. Houses (original or replica) of some Filipino heroes, politicians and prominent people during the Spanish rule in the Philippines can be found in Las Casas. The place is so instagramable.
See? Very IG friendly place. Next time a holiday pops up, explore Bataan, you guys.
‘Til the next sosh tour,
The holidays are upon us. Where will you be heading? Here’s an idea.
Our 2014-2015 Christmas break was spent in the province of Sorsogon. We spent a week wandering around the towns of Bacon and Irosin. It rained on us in this trip, but that did not get in the way of our wanderlust.
We enjoyed grounded karaoke microphones while it rained on us in our beach hut in Paguriran Island, which is located Bacon, Sorsogon, which is actually just a sandbar connected to a lagoon you can just walk up to and which has a shore full of dried, unique-shaped corals. How awesome?
We did a short trek to a falls called Bayugin in Irosin, Sorsogon and froze off our fingers and toes in the cold, cold water.
We did some hanging around the hometown too. The province may be a little sleepy and sometimes there’d be nothing to do but keep your eyes open and you’ll surely find something fun to do and photogenic to shoot.
The province makes you slow down, it always does.
PS. Dad always drives us to Bicol. It usually takes us around 24 hours to cover the road trip since we stop for naps but you can get to Bicol in 10 hours via land trip in a Penafrancia Skybus Premiere. Click here to book your trip.
‘Til the next rain drenched adventure,
A photo walk around circa 1950 Intramuros, Manila.
A UNESCO Heritage Site, Intramuros (Spanish for “within the walls”) has a lot of stories to tell within it’s walls. The kalesa rides, brick wall structures, Spanish-style houses, period lamp posts, old churches represent all that is Philippine history.
Charming, enchanting place. You should definitely visit.
Til the next kalesa ride,
Looking for another charming place to visit south of Manila aside from Pansol and Tagaytay? Visit the Lakes of San Pablo, Laguna! A colleague brought us here some two years ago for some fresh hipon and pako salad lunch aboard a balsa while cruising Lake Pandin, one of the seven (yes, there are seven) lakes in San Pablo.
We were only able to cruise Lake Pandin and see its twin lake, Yambo by going up a little hill from the banks of Pandin. We were not able to swim since we didn’t trust the water which got murky from the rain.
We then went to the Underground Cemetery in Nagcarlan the next day.
Since the Philippines is a country rich in folklore and horror stories, this cemetery is haunted according to locals like all the other cemeteries in the country.
Until the next balsa ride,
After two hours of riding a bangka on Camarines Norte waters, islands called Calaguas welcomed me with their white sand and pristine waters and I couldn’t say anything. Calaguas literally took my breath away, and all I could let out were muffled shrieks of wonder and delight as I splashed the crystal clear and cool waters.
I will once again fail to document this travel in words but I tried during my short stay, capturing the beauty of these shores.
Experience this paraiso. You have to go to Calaguas. Here’s a little guide:
How to get to Paracale, Camarines Norte : Ride a bus bound for Daet/Paracale from Cubao or Turbina.
How to get a boat to Calaguas from Paracale, Camarines Norte and find a tent: Call Mang Boy at 0908 546 0683.
Where to stay : Pitch a tent under the stars.
What to do : Gaze at stars. Swim the turquoise waters. Climb the hill overlooking the islands and sea and try to fathom how tiny you are in this universe.
Enjoy life in transit,
Back in April 2014, we watched the sun set in La Union. I’ve got only one word to describe it and one photo of it that just can’t give it justice.
Til the next sunset,