Category Archives: travel

The Mt. Apo Experience

On top of the world!

I love vacations. They allow you to disconnect and free you to be a non-functional individual of the human race.

Despite not pushing through with Camiguin & rafting as planned, to say that climbing Mt. Apo was memorable is a huge understatement.

Definitely, this was the hardest physical battle I’ve had. At times, I’m sure I lost, bruised, wounded and sprained, but the learnings I took from the experience were priceless and unexpected ones, and that’s always a delight.

Thinking about the whole Davao experience sends my head in all directions, but it’s the tiny details that stick. The sight of the clouds way below your feet. The roar of the river as you cross. The pinch from your ‘battle scars’ and the numbness from cold. The canopy that swallows you whole. The feel of the boulders and the smell of sulfur. The glorious sunrise that makes it all worth it.

I’m definitely no good in giving justice to what it was like, so i guess I’ll just let the pics do the talking, as soon as they come.

To the Lakay Apo team, saludo ako sa inyo. Daghang salamat, you guys saved my butt out there. Sana balang araw makabawi ako. Kudos!

For more pics, check out http://picasaweb.google.com/ishgagno/LakayApoTeamMay2007. Thanks Lillian and TJ for posting your pics!

It’ll definitely difficult to top this summer, as I never thought I would be given the chance to literally explore Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. But hey, who knows? Do i hear a Sagada, Bohol and Camiguin? Woohoo!

——————–

Winning Quotes:
[habang malakas ang ulan ngunit umaaraw]
“Buti pa ang tikbalang, kinakasal; ako single pa rin!”

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Bugsy Takes on Manila

sometimes, the best plan is to not have a plan at all.

i woke up a little bit earlier for a non-work day, since i had to meet tidoy and ke for some wedding-cake-tasting. yes, it’s every bit as delightful as it sounds. this was my first cake-tasting event, and i tried not to appear too giddy as we helped ourselves to the baker’s creations. the baker was a certified chocoholic, so aside from the lemon butter, apple walnut, and other cakes, she also gave us fudge filling, dark chocolate cake and white chocolate bars. my sweet tooth shall not be denied, braced as it may be.

i also got to confirm my level of maturity when we flipped through some wedding cake magazines for ideas. as tidoy and ke were gushing over these classic, elegant cakes, i went gaga over a blue & yellow beach-themed cake, complete with gumpaste shells & starfish and the cartoonish bride and groom with oversized heads. haha, fun. 🙂

as if we hadn’t had enough, the three of us decided to go on a food trip for lunch. after several quips (tagaytay? indian resto? mediterranean?), we decided to invade Old Manila. Our quest to find Hizon’s failed, and we nearly settled for Robinson’s Ermita in desperation. Good thing another option was still open — Intramuros. We set off for the cobbled roads and dropped by Barbara’s, a fancy date-place resto on the second floor on what used to be a gobernadorcillo’s house. In true Bugsy-bakya fashion, we whipped out a cam and went trigger-happy with our photo ops (never mind that any second an ‘orb’ may just appear in the shot. nyay!). good thing we found this resto — the ambiance was perfect, the food was great and the staff were really nice — triple threat!

after our brief romance with Barbara’s pasta, we went exploring and looked around the nearby museum. for the complete turista experience, we entered the Manila Cathedral and were dumbfounded with awe. i mean, i’ve seen stained-glass windows before, but these were something else. not to mention that the Cathedral never fails to dwarf anyone. astig.

it was still too early to call it a day, so tidoy suggested that we check out Cartimar street, which was a strip of ‘Divisoria’ for pet-lovers. ke & i already got attached to a yorkshire terrier, although deep inside i know that that dog (or any dog, for that matter) is better off without me, unless you want to watch how trauma manifests in dogs.

after cooing with birds, dogs, cats, fishes and worms (yes, even worms), the three of us punctuated the trip with a cool halo-halo at Razon’s (haha, umabot pang Buendia.) we also drove by ziggurat and a persian restaurant near jupiter, places that are already in our food-trip hitlist. can’t wait.

yep, today, the kaladkarins conquer Manila. just goes to show how much there is more to discover in the grounds you take for granted, and how you don’t really need to travel far to have fun. in the end, it dawns on you that it wasn’t so much the place as much as the company.

this was probably one of the best Labor Days i’ve ever had in my lifetime. yey. hope you guys had a fun non-work Labor day too. 🙂

top 10 great things about boracay

1.) Getting to leave your laptop behind, and shutting your phone for 4 days. Enough said.

2.) The beach, of course. It was like one giant pool, all for the taking. Bahala nang ma-nognog.

3.) Jetskis. Talk about ‘road’ rage! It was one hell of a driving lesson… can’t wait til the next time!

4.) Parasailing. Flight’s a beautiful thing. Far from the adrenaline rush I thought it would be, it was relaxing, sedating even. The world’s literally at your feet.

5.) Escapism heaven. As I write this, I’m lying on a lounge by the beach, sipping my watermelon cooler, with Jack Johnson in my ear. Need I ask for more?

6.) The parties. Whether it’s trance, reggae or simply chill out tunes, Boracay would not be without its shindigs.

7.) Shopping havens. It was just like Greenbelt, only sand was at your feet and everyone’s in bikinis.

8.) And speaking of swimwear, the bods. No matter what they say, Boracay is indeed full of beautiful people. It’s 300 all over again.

9.) The Boracay stories. These are the souvenirs you can’t buy, from the Swirly Bits, the Sand Slumber & the All-Night Laugh-o-Rama. Of course, dear friends, what happens in Boracay, stays in Boracay.

10.) Getting to have it all with your friends. Of course, you can have your fill of the beach, water sports, & parties, but cliche as it might seem, all is meaningless without people to enjoy it with. Thanks to our marvelous PMs, She & Nic for pulling off this long-needed getaway. Although I can’t thank you enough, thanks everyone for making this memorable, for making me forget every worry, for just being there. Sa uulitin. 🙂

feeling light

it’s funny how the sky cleared up looking up from the window in my nook. it was just as i cleared my today-turned-to-do-turned-pending list to just 2 remaining tasks. *sigh* what a relief to reconnect finally with sanity. *pwera usog*

spent valentine’s with bugsy yesterday. yes, love in all its forms is the ultimate refresher.

also had the chance to bond with SWAT last weekend at Vic’s in tagaytay, doing what we all ultimately wanted to do — bum around together. movie marathon + chow + videoke + drinks = happy bum fest. =)

jan, mike and i met up with kian and denise to climb mt. talamitam in nasugbu the next day. what can i say? chow + reststop + photo ops = happy sorta bum fest part 2. :o)


Ish: Tayo ba ang nawawala, o yung trail?
Kian: Hindi tayo nawawala, yung trail yung nawawala!

Tama.

Want more pics? then check this out: https://picasaweb.google.com/108800249052978959532/Talamitam021107JanSCam#.

or check this out: http://www.youtube.com/v/mtGY44OOpRg.

from team bugsy to team bagyo

From jam’s rat-up-your-pants surprise during the ride going to Irosin, I knew this trip was going to be eventful.

Surely enough, Caloy greeted us with rainfall on our arrival. Here we were, an overexcited bunch on a getaway five years in the making, and we were welcomed by the rainy season’s first storm.

Caloy does not know us very well yet. A storm’s not enough to get us down. As soon as we settled at Mig’s house, we went off to Bulusan Lake to, well, to see the lake and Mt. Bulusan. Next stop was the hot springs, which never fail to spark a discussion about Dante’s peak. Add some of Irosin’s giant ensaymadas and you get a lot more grins.

Since I just got my wisdom tooth pulled out, I stocked up on soup mixes, thinking I would have nothing but soup. But the moment someone mentioned ‘Bicol Express’ and ‘Tinuktukan’ during dinner, I knew that thought was out the window. Yum!

The storm brewed during the night, with a wind that went ‘whoosh’ and rain sprays through the window that go ‘haha! basa ka na!’. It was house arrest for us during the 2nd day, with no electricity nor water. Kamusta naman ang buhay probinsya? But with true self-entertaining Bugsy spirit, we passed time with our friends Poker, Psycho Game and Pinoy Henyo. (Btw, probably 70% of our photo ops were made inside our room. Haha.)

The third day brought light… literally. I couldn’t help but gasp, ‘SUN!’, once awake. We trooped the Dorotan private beach. My last days as a dependent were actually had a lot of firsts for me. For those who don’t know me, I’ve always had this morbid fear of the sea. For some reason, although I love Dory, sea+corals+fishes+me = love<->hate relationship. But thanks to Tidoy, Dana, Migs, Mace and the whole troop who put up with my whining, I actually got to dive and sea the marvels underneath, even if just for a few minutes. It was also the first time I got to play frisbee with my bikini-clad friends (sorry guys, you missed out). It was also my first beach-MTV (haha! eto nagagawa ng nawawala sa sibilisasyon!).

Fast-forward to day four: It was also my first time to attend mass in Bikolano. We were leaving Irosin that day, onto Donsol where the butandings await, commonly more known as whale sharks. No, they’re not whales, they’re sharks. For a sea-coward like me, this actually means a whole lot. What the heck was I doing swimming with sharks? Yes, they only devour planktons, but who said they haven’t got any other shark friends?!?!

But once our butanding spotter shouted ‘Go!’, all thinking stops and you find yourself jumping off the boat. You look down and sea the butanding swimming under you. Ayos! For those going to Sorsogon, you simply have to do this.

Then off we go home. The stop at Casagwa wasn’t originally in the itinerary, but it was a pleasant surprise nonetheless. The sight of Mt. Mayon was enough to dwarf anyone. You know that tiny church tower peeking from the ground in Mt. Mayon postcards? I never expected to see that up close anytime during my life; that really made my day.

Never mind that I almost niffed my first day at work. Never mind that I arrived 6 am at home to my frenzied family worried about the 9am shift I had that day. It was all worth it.

Here’s to Team Bugsy and to more adventures. :o)