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,




Secluded (A Photo Diary)

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. img_2381img_2411img_2413


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,







It was a beginner’s trek, they said. It will be fun, they said.

Mount Makiling in Laguna stands at 1,090 meters above sea level, which I only found out in 2016, and we climbed this mountain in January 2014!

Now, let’s talk about that trail.

The first few parts of the trail was a thick foliage. Trees labeled with their scientific names, after all the trail to Mount Makiling’s starts near the Forestry area of the University of the Philippines in Los Baños, flowers in colors I only see on the internet and moss on rocks and trees here and there.  img_1001


The middle parts of the trail is where the guides ask you to wear your jackets. They asked us to bring light jackets since Mount Makiling is a rainforest, but they asked us to wear our jackets for a different reason: creatures which they call “limatik” were said to fall randomly from trees as they’re attracted to warm bodies! Vampires! I didn’t know what limatiks were, but I wore the jacket. I saw one fall on a fellow hiker’s arms and it was, in one simple word, icky. It’s a skinny little leech! When I saw it crawling, which looked more like standing on its mouth or sucker, and sort of began burrowing its body on his skin, I knew that this trail was no trail for beginners. What trickery?!


Anyhoot, the last parts of the trail was the forest which they fondly call “wilderness zone”, and that area really lives up to its name. Without a guide or expertise in climbing mountains, one can easily fall off a ravine or get lost in the undergrowth. Branches with thorns you can’t grab on to, ladders made of bamboo that you have to cling on to for dear life and mossy mud that sort of swallows your shoes and feet, not to mention the strain on your legs while climbing. The last parts of the trail were steeper than steep. My then-crush, now fiancé (kilig), slipped and grabbed one of those thorny branches. Ouch! Of course I helped him remove the thorns. Eep! *wink*




We got to Peak 2 at around 2pm, had our lunch, rested, took pictures, and started to re-think why we’re up there that day and if we can still walk back. The view from the peak was a little bit of Laguna Lake and some parts of Laguna, I think, but due to the thick shrubbery, the view was not all that grand for me but being on top of a mountain, for the first time, gave me the chills. I made it. I climbed a mountain. I knew that day that the Makiling trail will just be the first of the many trails I’ll tread.


Til the next mud covered trail,



Seize every opportunity to  leave, travel and see places. One way and probably the best way to do it is to go with your family. It’s fun, funny, fulfilling and it’s free!

The holidays for me, always involved a 12 hour++ road trip (dad is our driver and he stops to sleep on the road a lot),  going home to see relatives in the province, smelling my lola’s old iskaparate (closet) in our little balay (house), walking the dingy but comforting alleys of the Rilanse (wet market), sprawling along the shores of Sabang Beach, eating lots of seafood especially kasag (crab), enjoying the company of childhood friends and eating more kasag.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset


Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

My dad was born and raised in probably the farthest, littlest town in Bicol: Bulan, Sorsogon and I already considered it to be my hometown too, even if I grew up and spent most of my waking days in Laguna.

Being in the province has always calmed me down. Time seems to be slower near the sea , the little shacks that line up that community and seeing hunched up para-uma(s) (farmers) makes me realize how richly blessed I am.


IMG_0662We never leave this hometown without seeing other equally stunning places within the bongto (town) and in the neighboring bongto. This trip made me discover a Lake Bariis located in Sta Remedios in Bulan!

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

And our visit would never be complete without getting our feet scratched on the corally shores of Sta Magdalena Beach in Matnog, Sorsogon.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset


In all manner of speaking, going home is always worth the journey that takes more than a day. It has always been and will always be awesome.

Enjoy life in transit,





The island most visited both by local and foreign tourists in the Philippines. Regarded as one of the best islands in the world according to the world wide web and several travel magazines. Its shores boasting of  long stretches of powdery, white sand, cerulean waters and limestone boulders. Maligayang pagdating sa Isla ng Boracay!


Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

I toured this island with six of my officemates. We island hopped, fly-fished, parasailed, snorkeled, tried helmet diving, swam, walked on the beach, drank shakes, ate chori-burgers, failed at skimboarding, played in the soft sand,  walked a lot around town and had breakfast at the same place everyday for three days. I ain’t complaining. It was all fun, sun and sand everyday and it was worth it being stingy. Our lunch and dinners were all the good kind of food anyway.

Skimboard Fail


Processed with VSCOcam

Boracay is always known to be a an island of late night revelings and all. We got lost in the party crowd one night after we ate out for dinner and it was crazy. I don’t like that kind of crazy and I’m always a daylight kind of person, so I am always back in my room before midnight.

Boracay in 3 words: One fly adventure.

Enjoy life in transit,





The quiet little town of Sagada in Mountain Province was my first out-of-town trip which I lovingly documented with my then-serious-now archaic-but-still-gets-the job-done mobile phone.

It was in February 2013 when some friends and I joined a three-day package tour to explore some rice paddies, waterfalls and yogurt. We slept through an eight-hour long and winding drive in a van that reeked of soiled socks and brake fluid. When we arrived in the morning, our trip provider looked for a transient house for us while we sleepily took off to take photos. The first day was a tour of the town’s old churches, houses, narrow roads, stone table and little cafes.


Town Sagada 2

Cafe Sagada

The next two days was pure adventure and a whole lot of walking. We had the privilege of walking along the well-tended pilapils of the mini rice terraces along the way to Bomod-Ok Falls and we got bat droppings on our hair inside Sumaguing Cave.

Sagada Trek
Bomod-Ok Falls, Sagada

This Php 2,900++ package tour was the journey that spurred my interest in travel. It made me want to see more of the Philippines. It moved me to share how much beauty there is in my country. It made me crave for more mountains, more blues and greens, more sunsets, more colors and more life.

Town Sagada

It made me realize that as Filipinos, we should all try exploring Pilipinas muna, because really…

“It’s funny how you can live somewhere your whole life, but not really see it.”

Kami Garcia, Beautiful Creatures