My Rizal walk @dapitan

always been a Rizalista in my own little way…I admire his life, works and dedication to this country that I considered to join the actual organization before but thank God I did not.

Heard a lot about the city from friends in college, blogs and other print ads that this humble place is nice to visit.

Gabby and I headed to this quiet and laid back city after out Visayas leg last October 5 and 6. From dumsville we found ourselves running to catch the 7AM Cokaliong trip going to Dapitan City. The bumpy boat ride in the middle of the day was new to us, I mean don’t get me wrong but it was really wahhh and whooah and my first time to experience. Enough said, we docked at the port and immediately looked for a ride going to the Hotel I booked online for a day.

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Travelbee Hotel is a heritage house of an old clan in Dapitan. The hotel was clean and staff were friendly to give us tips about hows and whats around the city. We checked Kamayan Resto to dine for a late lunch but ended to eat at some carenderia near some State University since the service was too slow and only one old lady attended those who just came in. With less than php200 bill for friend chicken and bbq plus rice we somehow filled our grumbling tummies.

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Took tricycle and started our own Rizal walk at the replica of where the great Dr. Jose P. Rizal stayed for years. Few pics were taken as proof that I was here at Rizal’s House where he found and discovered additional and interesting facts about plants, animals and others and also the love of his life Ms. Bracken. After almost an hour of tour with the real Rizalistas we headed back to the city and managed to love every bit of frames we took from the beautiful St. James Parish, to the Parochial School, Rizal Park.

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Before we called it a night, grabbed BBQ and cold beer…

Isla del Fuego for a day

Spaniards called Siquijor the Island of fire during the colonial time and also associated with mystic traditions.

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As described by bloggers, you may able to tour the island for a day. True enough we completed the tour for about 7-8 hours with the help of one of the very courteous tricycle driver Kuya Dennis. He was nice enough to at least take our pictures with good angles and background plus a little history of what we are about to see and visit.

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Our first stop at St. Francis of Assisi Parish and the Bell tower next to the church. The beauty of this church amazed me as well the  simplicity of its facade. The mystical Balete Tree was next on the list. It is captivating as Baler’s does. Another church crossed-out our third list – St. Isidore Parish in Lazi and the old school across.

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After a quick lunch downtown we headed to see the Cambugahay Falls. It was painful steps given I am still suffering the fruits of my marathon and steps aren’t my best friends during those times. Nonetheless, I managed to go down and conquered the almost 200 steps going down and back.
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Another attraction I am very excited about Siquijor is to see St. Rita of Cascia in the town of Maria. The mystical image of St. Rita holding a cross and skull made it more special and interesting to visitors. The temperature was so hot we decided to head to the beach and flip our tails to lower the temperature a little cooler at Salagdoong.
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Kuya Dennis guided us as we literally toured the entire island, we dropped in one of their protected areas, mangrove village, century old house and lastly market to buy freshies for our dinner. Also he volunteered to help us find a nice place to stay – Diamond de Siquijor for a night php650 for non-AC room with nice and clean bathroom and WIFI.

a stop @dumsville – Dumaguete City

Dumaguete City – capital of Negros Oriental and nicknamed “the City of Gentle People”. Also referred to as “University City”.

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I first visited the city last 5 years ago for a day with friends who celebrated the Siliman foundation day. We had a hectic schedule back then, from meeting friends of friends, to witnessing cheerdance and partying til morning. I did not have to luxury to explore the city much but had no regret.
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A plan of going to Siquijor is best enjoyed if you take a boat via Dumaguete. Indeed we spared at least whole day if we count night as day though. Started the day with hotel checking since I did not booked any for there are a lot listed to be good for a night’s rest. We ended at Worldview Hotel/Pension and paid php 700 good for 2 people with AC and flat-screen TV.
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Given I was still in pain after my marathon earlier that day, we decided to look for a good place to pamper ourselves and treat it with manicure and foot spa. We were not contented so a decision was made, looked for a massage that will help me ease my muscle pain from waistline down. An hour of Thai and Shiatsu somehow made me feel a little lighter and relieved and even joked about it with Gabby on of the best I had for a long time, by the way it was with Grand Royal Spa somewhere in National Highway. Said our thank you at the Redemptorist Church.
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Concluded the day with a cold beer after we grabbed dinner at Capt. Ribbers, ordered their best ribs as they say it’s the house special added with garlic tuna at pork belly.
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Rainy and Wet Bolinao trip

After the Aurora adventure we decided to continue the bus trip somewhere since Tuguegarrao was no longer on the plate the fact that it will be a long trip going up north and Gabby’s flight going back to Cebu is early on the 5th. Though we already had few options, schedule and weather still part of the considerations.

No direct bus from Baler to Bolinao, so we found ourselves riding the Cabanatuan 6:30AM and after 3hrs, we were salivating and loving the delicious pastries of Edna’s Cakeland after our visit at St. Nicholas de Tolentine’s Cathedral and Gen. Luna’s statue.

Arrived at Bolinao via Tarlac around 6PM and it was raining hard, the good Kuya driver was nice enough to mention that since its late and raining it would be difficult to buy food nearby. Room was pretty much the price we paid for, with queen sized bed, a fan, clean comfort room and small table. We decided to call it a day after we shared the dinner bought near the Terminal.

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We woke up early for a morning walk at the beach and what surprised me was the sand – its white and pristine, though it’s a little rocky on the part of the beach where we stayed. Sun was bit shy, we must admit that the beauty was exceptional and can’t deny we love it and a quick swim was next.

Packed our things for the day tour… here’s what next for us.

Bolinao lighthouse was just as beautiful as Burgos in the North.

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As described by bloggers, Patar beach is truly magnificent from sand to waves to people. Took gazillion pictures and decided to enjoy the Rock formation nearby. We thought that it was all Bolinao can offer and we are done for the day. Kuya driver graciously brought us to see Earth’s wonder – a pool inside a cave, Wonderful and Enchaned Caves both in Patar amazed me much. stayed there for an hour each cave and the 5-7ft wonder were visited by celebrities and locals. Still raining so we both decided to skip the Falls and directly took the bus going to Alaminos.

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Summer in August – Baler, Aurora

A trip was planned early this year that Gabby will be spending 5 days away from work and booked flight going to Manila. I was a little excited given I have the luxury to book where to and what to. Fortunate that after MSN closed, I was still in TWC training and will have the opportunity travel and enjoy the break even for awhile.

Multiple options were laid out…Manila to Bataan, Manila to Laguna Province, Manila to North luzon, and it was Baler we decided to visit given the possible weather and the place is just perfect for rainy and windy adventure.

We took the 1:30AM Genesis bus, a 6-7hr trip straight to Baler, Aurora. I had no chance to take any quick nap either since my training schedule still in the graveyard, nonetheless it was a wonderful morning when we arrived at Baler the town of the late Pres. Manuel L. Quezon.

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Tricycle driver was nice enough to agree for the whole day trip for 600php and dropped us off to a nearby carenderia for a bite.

Started the day tour at Dona Aurora’s mansion and then the town’s Church with students and pupils outside practicing for the upcoming fiesta on the 19th of August. Third stop was the millenium old Balete Tree and then followed by the mysterious and beautiful Ditumabo Falls. Last stop was the Baler Museum and plaza.

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Checked-in at June Homestay, non-zircon room for two for only 600php. It was nice enough for a quick stay in Baler. Had our chance to check the seashore, she shells and seaman? hahaha.

Grabbed late lunch at a local carenderia near the plaza instead of the rolling jollibee or Chowking followed by an order of local halo-halo nearby. A stroll will not need more than half day to see happy faces and hospitable locals.

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Dinner by the bay was the choice and a bottle of beer called it a day.

Legian St – how we partied at Kuta

i love Boracay no doubt since I spent 3 bdays already and still love the party of the island but after a night in Legian St. of Kuta Beach Bali…i think i’ll be spending my next beach birthday in Bali.
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The beach was more of surfer cup of tea since the waves was just few meters from shore and i was just there observing the creatures enjoyed the sun and sand.
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After an afternoon of walk at Kuta we decided to enjoy the party before 11PM and found ourselves as Bounty. Crowd was crazy great… from music to drinks to ambiance. Legian is one big street party!!!

Grand Mega Resort and Spa Bali

as a member of Agoda you are entitled to perks and discounts…receiving notifications helped me find our hotel in Denpasar Bali – Grand Mega Resort and Spa Bali.

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Booked a twin-bed room for May 21, 2014 for three and surprised that they upgraded our room to De Luxe and asked no additional payment for extra bed given we wont be staying in the room since we only have two days allotted in Island of gods.

Excited we checked our room and whoaahh it was big and clean. Fully-furnished with flat-screen TV, bathtub, nice shower, and others. The location of the room was great too, knowing we just need to open the curtain and there you are looking at the beauty of the pool and of course the people enjoying it.

We spent the next hours dipping and loving the cold pool with beers and smiles.

The next day was sumptuous…breakfast was served deliciously.