Showing posts with label Travelling kids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travelling kids. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I have always wanted to travel to other places in the Philippines, however, several factors such as family responsibilities, work schedules, and financial constraints played a big factor and limited my travel escapades to nearby provinces in Luzon.

After a decade of working in the BPO industry, I was able to get a much deserved weekend in one of the world’s best islands – Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

The beautiful island of Puerto Princesa, is located 591 kilometers (367 miles) from Manila. Flight time is approximately 75-90 minutes. Getting there by plane is faster than traveling from Quezon City to Makati by car! 

Planning for this trip was done months before, and we were fortunate enough to avail of discounted air fare. We chose a reasonably priced hotel in Palawan, close to the airport and made reservations too. Can you imagine the thrill we had as we counted the days to this memorable vacation? I just can’t describe how giddy with excitement we were when that day finally came.

We planned on maximizing our three day vacation. All of us agreed to go island hopping in Honda Bay. Starfish Island, Luli Island and Cowrie Island were on our list. We also planned on visiting popular restaurants to sample the local cuisine. Of course, a trip to Palawan won’t be complete without a visit to the Palawan Subterranean River National Park . That was on our itinerary too! 

Day 1

First leg of the trip was the moment we boarded the Cebu Pacific plane at NAIA Terminal 3 to the time we landed at the Puerto Princesa Airport. It took us an hour and 15 minutes. A short walk took us to the hotel where we unloaded our bags, showered and checked out the hotel amenities.

We asked the concierge if they could recommend some tour packages for our Honda Bay island hopping adventure, and they did provide us with a good deal. We paid for the tour package and secured our trip for the next day. Since we arrived mid-afternoon in Puerto Princesa, we decided to take a walk around the city and check out the restaurants, bars and souvenir shops. We came across this nice, cozy place called Kinabuch Grill and Bar. We checked out the menu and found lots of options to satisfy hungry tourists for a reasonable price. We had our dinner here. We got back to the hotel stuffed to our throats with delicious seafood, grilled pork and tuna belly!

Day 2

We are not really morning persons  but this day was different. We were all up early, bright eyed and bushy tailed. Amazing what a trip to Palawan can do! We met up with our tour guide in the hotel lobby. We boarded their van, together with other tourists. The drive from the hotel to the boat station in Honda Bay  took around an hour or so. The tour guides were very courteous. We were briefed about safety measures and before we boarded the boat, they checked if our life vests were properly secured. 

The tour took us to Cowrie Island first. This island has huts with thatched roofs for tourists to rest or to shield themselves from the bright sun. There are “bars” too where you can get refreshments. Of course, my children were not interested in those things. They dove into the clear water and had a great time swimming! 

Next stop was Starfish Island. How can I describe it? One word. Beautiful. I’ve never seen so many starfish before! My children had a great time. The waters were unbelievably clear and the beach was pristine! I enjoyed taking photos of the kids! We had our lunch here and we were served a buffet of grilled fish, seafood and pork belly. I loved the eggplant, mango and tomato salad, although I was not courageous enough to try the “Tamilok” or wood worm. My sons did, and they said it was a little gritty and tasted just like wood. 

The last island we visited was Luli Island. The name of the island, according to locals, is short for “Lulubog-Lilitaw,” (Sink and Rise). Visible only during low tide, this island is actually composed of sandbars. Huts have been built on these sandbars where tourists can take a rest and enjoy the view which is nothing else but stunning!

Weary from swimming, diving, and snorkeling, we boarded our boat at the end of the day to take us station. Our tour van was waiting for us there to take us back to the hotel. What an awesome experience we had!

Day 3

Our last full day in this beautiful Palawan. This was the day my children took a trip to the Palawan Subterranean National Park. I wanted to go to, but I have slight agoraphobia. Being in a dark, underground river, no matter how beautiful it may be is something I would rather leave to the more adventurous soul. Thank goodness my children are so brave. They came back with lots of photos and loads of stories to tell. 

We spent the rest of the afternoon shopping in souvenir shops, taking pictures, and of course, eating! We just can’t get enough of the fresh seafood! 

That evening, we started packing our bags for our early 9am flight back to Manila.
This has been the best vacation I’ve had in a long time and I am happy that it was worth every penny.
Here's our vacation video:

If I had the chance to travel to any destination in the Philippines, I’d choose Palawan again!
Hope to see you again, Palawan. You are our very own little slice of paradise.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

A trip to a museum always guarantees a great time. It gives us the opportunity to travel back in time or marvel at the creative genius of the artists.

In Quezon City, Philippines, there is a museum that is a fun place to visit. The place is called Art In Island, a 3D museum that houses 50 murals created by Korean artists. These murals show depth when photographed at certain angles, and visitors can have a great time using these murals as backdrops for their selfie photos. It would seem like you are actually in the mural itself.

Art In Island is different from other museums because it is interactive and touching/photographing the murals are allowed and even encouraged by the museum staff. 

My sister and her daughter, together with some friends visited this unique museum recently. I wished I was able to go with them. It would have been so much fun!

Anyway, I am sharing some of the photos they took while they were there. 

My sister Rochelle and her mommy friends

So cool!

My 10 year old niece Tyra

She's naturally shy, but not today! Hahaha.

Amazing backdrops = Awesome photos!

Art in Island Museum is located at 175 15th Avenue, Baranggay Socorro, Quezon City. They are open Tuesdays to Sundays, and Holidays, from 9:30 am to 9:30 pm. Entrance fees are Php 500 (US$ 10.81) for adults, and Php 400 (US$ 8.65) for students. Children below 3 feet tall get free entrance. They also offer special discounts for senior citizens and persons with disabilities. 

If you are anywhere near the area, make sure to drop by for a one of a kind experience!

Check out their Facebook page too - and feel free to upload your photos!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

5 Amazing Bodies of Water ~ My Beautiful Planet Earth!

Our planet is amazingly full of natural wonders. Hills, valleys, mountain ranges and bodies of water so beautiful you'd think you are in paradise.

Today, I am writing about some amazing bodies of water. Looking at their pictures alone leaves me awe-struck! So without much ado, here is my list of my planet earth's amazing bodies of water.

Great Blue Hole, Belize

The Great Blue Hole is a large sinkhole off the coast of Belize. It is located near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 70 km (43 mi) from the mainland and Belize City. The hole is circular in shape, over 300 meters (984 feet) wide across and 124 meters (407 feet) deep. It is a popular dive spot where scuba divers can marvel at the crystal clear waters, stalactites in submerged caves and rare species of fish.

Lake Hillier, Australia

Lake Hillier, also known as the "Pink Lake," is a salt water lake located in Middle Island, which is part of the Recherche Archipelago off the south coast of Western Australia. Its vibrant pink color is believed to be caused by the reaction of the salt with the organism Dunaliella salina, The pink hue is permanent, unaffected by temperature or weather changes. 

Mosquito Bay, Puerto Rico

Mosquito Bay is located in Vieques, Puerto Rico and is known to be the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world. In the waters of Mosquito Bay, the organism Pyrodinium bahamense, which is classified as dinoflagellates, are abundantly thrive. The magical blue luminescence is produced when these organisms come into contact with another larger organism, or when they are agitated. 

Jellyfish Lake, Palau

Jellyfish Lake is a marine or saltwater lake located in Eil Malk Island, Palau. History states that the lake was once connected to the ocean, however, geological changes occurred that caused salt water to be trapped in the lake basin, isolating it and the organisms that thrived in it. The jellyfish that are found in abundance in this lake is the Golden Jellyfish. Through years of evolution and little to no predators to disrupt them, these jellyfish lost their stingers. Humans can safely swim in the lake without fear of being stung. It is now a popular destination for swimmers, snorklers and divers from around the world. 

Taal Lake, Philippines

Taal Lake is one of a kind in the world. Located in the southern part of the main island of Luzon, this freshwater lake fills the Taal Caldera, which is a large caldera caused by a series of volcanic eruptions some 500.000 to 100,000 years ago. What makes this unique is that Taal Lake, according to folklore, is known to be a crater lake, and that the surrounding towns are part of a giant volcano. Why is this so? You would notice (as the photo shows), there is a landmass in the middle of Taal Lake. That is the "Volcano Island" In the middle of the volcano island is another lake, the main crater lake, and in it is another tiny island, called Vulcan Point. Therefore, this unique body of water and land formation is aptly described as "An island (Vulcan Point) within a lake (Main Crater Lake), within an island (Volcano Island), within a lake (Taal Lake), within an island (Luzon)." 

I hope you enjoyed reading through this post. What other bodies of water have amazed you? Feel free to share them in your comments. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Almost a month ago, on August 8, my youngest son went on a school field trip to learn about resort operations. It was a three day, two nights seminar. On the last day of their tour, they were given a "free day" to explore the beauty of Hundred Islands in Alaminos, Pangasinan. 

Located along the northwestern seaboard of the main island of Luzon, this National Park has 123 limestone islands spread out on a total area of 16.67 square kilometers (6.47 square miles), roughly 250 kilometers (155 miles) from Manila. Getting there would consist of a travel time of 4-6 hours by land, either by private vehicle or public transport (provincial buses).  The islands vary in shape and size and are believed to be millions of years old. The tranquil blue-green waters are simply breathtaking!

Only three of the islands however, have been developed to provide lodging and other basic amenities. These islands are Governor Island, Quezon Island and Children's Island. Governor's island provides a viewing deck to showcase the beauty of the natural formations. There are many activities that one can enjoy while visiting the place, aside from enjoying the sand and sea, you can also go island hopping, snorkeling to view the giant clams, kayak, trek, and explore the caves.

Here are pictures of my son's trip:

Arrival at the site. He does seem excited, doesn't he?

Doing the "Rose and Jack Titanic Pose" while standing on an outrigger

A happy boy he is

Mickey on the viewing deck of Governor's island. Great view!

Riding the ferry to start the island hopping adventure

"Alright now, we're done with those. Let's move on to the next." - Mickey

And now, time for some snorkeling fun!

Back on the beach. This is a tiny lighthouse.

He loves the beach so much.

Enjoying the nice breeze and warm sunshine.

"Perfect!" - Mickey

On his Facebook page, Mickey tagged this photo as "Future Chefs"

No field trip is complete without those wacky jump shots!

Before they started their trip back home, Mickey took the rare opportunity to have his picture taken holding the super moon in his hand. 

Mickey got me a souvenir shirt! Isn't he thoughtful?

Hundred Islands is worth a visit. Its won't cost much, its accessible by land, and it gives you the opportunity to see how beautiful our country is. The best part of it, though, is after you have visited the place, you can be proud to say,
"One hundred twenty three islands visited! Only 6,984 more to go!"

The Philippines.
Definitely more fun.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Beauty of Baler

Baler, Aurora is located on the southeastern part of the island of Luzon, around 230 kilometers (143 miles) from Manila. Accessible by land through zigzagging mountain roads, with travel time lasting 5-6 hours. The province of Aurora was named after the wife of President Manuel Quezon. It is a go-to destination for nature lovers because the province is 70% forest cover. It is also gaining popularity among surfers, and the best time for riding the waves are during the months of September to March.  


Last summer, my son Aton's best buddy Mikey came home for a vacation. He's been staying in Canada for the past two years where his parents live. They were inseparable the entire time Mikey was here! Why wouldn't they? It was just like they were "brothers born of a different mother and father."

"Surprise, Aton! I'm back!!!" - Mikey
They planned a trip to #Baler, Aurora together with their closest buddies from the UST Yellow Jackets. It was their first time to go there which added to the fun and adventure. They hiked, trekked, took a dip in the cool waters of a river next to a waterfall. They went to the beach and tried surfing when the waves picked up. Gauging from their photos, they did have a good time. Oh, the things you can do when you're young and fit. (a bit jealous here. haha)

The UST Yellow Jackets

Time to explore that big Banyan tree

Conquering the roots of the tree

Practically "inside" the tree

Those tree roots are huge!

That's Aton and his girlfriend, Marga

The lovely waterfall

Taking a dip in the cool waters of the river 

Photo-op while taking a break from hiking

That's Aton and Marga

Another photo-op break

Mikey taking a breather on the river banks

Marga and Mikey

The coastline of Baler

First time to try surfing!

Mikey's send off party at Garahe 25 Bar and Resto. Best buddies for life!

I am happy my children know the value of friendship and how to treasure them. It may be a few more years before Mikey comes back for another visit, but who knows? It may be Aton who will visit him in Canada. :)