** This is a looooong-overdue post, from my journal entry from almost exactly a year ago, when we first brought my then 9-month old son to the Philippines. Hopefully, when a COVID-19 vaccine is available and things clear up for travel again, we can come back and create memories in Mövenpick once more.
Here I was in Boracay, one of my happiest places on the entire Earth, and I was downright miserable. Things were awry starting from when we got to the island. The supposedly “premium” transfer airport-to-hotel service we book was so awfully coordinated, that a DIY would have gone much smoother. The hotel I booked was also nothing like I expected. Is there nothing worse than being greeted by cockroaches in the bathroom for 3 days straight? My morale was dangerously spiraling down to zero. I definitely needed a break from this vacation.
Enter Mövenpick to the rescue. After my husband (sanely) talked me out of wasting money by rebooking another hotel, we decided to find a compromise and “splurged” on a day pass on one of the fanciest hotels in Boracay. At 2k pesos with 1.6k pesos consumable, I actually found the day pass rates downright reasonable for a hotel of this caliber, for the refuge and facilities they offered.
Love it or hate it, 2016 is definitely a year to remember. It was when I felt the wind getting knocked out of myself, as it seemed that one by one, the world seemed to veto the principles I thought were universal. It was the year when I realized, more than ever, that there is much to the world that I have yet to know, more perspectives that I have yet to comprehend, more life experiences that I have yet to open my heart to. Continue reading “What a year! Top 12 Highlights from the Rollercoaster Ride of 2016”→
A lot of magical things happen when you play it by ear. One moment, we were thinking what movies to marathon for the long weekend. Four hours later, we’ve just booked tickets for a far-off island gem in the south of the Philippines.
Siargao’s not exactly the easiest island to go to. Leave it to Filipinos to be blessed with beaches at their disposal, but still need to hop on a plane, van, boat, tricycle, to get to the best ones. But as with any far-flung beach, it was worth all the cartwheels through logistics. Continue reading “Wow, Siargao!”→
One big perk of living in an archipelago is that surprises ALWAYS await. A new island, a new beach, a new destination comes out of the blue, daring you to call into mind another place that is as breathtaking as where you are now. It makes you shake your head in disbelief, as you ask yourself, ‘How could I have not known this before?’
Song: All Smiles All Day by Dexter Britain
Dumaguete is an excellent home base to explore the jewels of Negros Oriental. Here are links to some of my trips wherein Dumaguete was the jump-off point:
Apo Island – where you can swim with giant turtles and laze away at tranquil beaches
Oslob – where you can swim with the whale sharks, snorkle at lively reefs and enjoy a majestic shower from a waterfall
Siquijor – where you jump off and dive from a waterfall, scour peaks, and chill to the island’s pace of life
Glorious. That’s how I shall remember everything that went on that day. From my first step on Apo Island’s rocky surf, to my first peek underwater, only to see a giant turtle casually snacking at the aquatic greenery. Simply glorious. Continue reading “A Day Trip to Apo Island”→
Ever since I stumbled on the Holstee Manifesto, it has been my beacon for when I’m lost, or for when I lose sight of my real dreams. What’s so striking about it is that it speaks of things that you already know true, but also things which you just need help being reminded of every now and then.
If you want to learn more about the story behind the Holstee Manifesto, or if you want to download your own Holstee wallpaper (like the one below), you can check out their site at www.holstee.com.
Some countries have provinces. We have pockets of paradise.
It’s been a long time since I’ve last explored the island gems of the Philippines, that when I first laid eyes on Coron, I was simply stunned. Stunned speechless, even. Coron was gorgeous beyond words! I’ve felt like I’ve searched far and wide around the globe to come upon something grandiose, and yet one of the most breathtaking places I’ve ever seen was right at home. Continue reading “The Perfect Summer in Coron”→
1. Surfing, snorkeling, playing beach volleyball all day — some things are worth the sunburn. The pain of being sun-scorched will eventually go away, but as for regret — that often stings for a lifetime.
2. So you’re loaded. And really smart. And gorgeous to boot. But can you leave the shore and swim? The world belongs to the brave.
Don’t you love it when stars finally align your way? 2013 has been really good to me so far; I’ve garnered a lot of good experiences and memories that I’m sure will last — and we’re barely halfway through the year!
Here’s a vid of one of my favorite escapes so far — Siquijor is simply one of those places that just makes me grow fonder about growing up in a blessed archipelago. Enjoy!
It was hard to believe what was right in front of our eyes — the cascades of crystalline blue-green water had me hypnotized, and we had the waterfalls all to ourselves. I look around and think — friends, we’ve made it to paradise.
Siquijor is a gem of a find, one of the places that really makes me want to know my home country better. It blew my mind thinking how an island as accessible and gorgeous as this one could stay under the radar for so long. As I looked around to see my co-passengers at the ferry from Dumaguete, almost more than half were actually foreigners, aside from the few locals making their way home. And then there were us, a gang of giddy local backpackers — not a usual sighting, I guess. Continue reading “Enchanting Siquijor”→
My heart beats hard against my chest. The guide calls for my niece to cling on to the rope and descend into a dark abyss. I steal a peek over the edge and my eyes bulge at how easy it is to slip and break all arms and feet. My niece makes it all the way down; I draw a breath.
My sister is about to go next. As I see her dangling on the rope, all I can think of is, ‘What have I gotten ourselves into?!’