DIY Dingalan Daytour

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What a lovely view! Breathtaking indeed! ❀

I want to share to you my first experience of traveling solo πŸ™‚ I saw posts in DIY Travel Philippines from women who have tried going to Dingalan alone so I decided to try it also. Here are the places I visited plus some tips along with the expenses.

How to get there:
Bus to Cabanatuan – 3hrs (There are terminals in Cubao and Pasay. I picked Fivestar in Cubao)
Van from Cabanatuan Terminal to Dingalan – 1.5hrs (If it’s a weekend, vans may leave as early as 4am when its full. In my case, it was a weekday so the van left at 6am, even if it was full or not.)
I already contacted a tourguide in Dingalan beforehand, Kuya Jeff – 0948 409 8651. He’s very nice and I highly recommend him He captured some of my breathtaking photos. He’s really good He will not let you down, unlike your ex. Haha πŸ˜‚
When I arrived at Dingalan, my guide fetched me from the “Kalabaw” monument area and from there, we went to feeder port for registration and payment. This is a must. If you don’t have a guide yet, they will provide you once you register at the port.

🏝 Going to white beach, you can ride a boat especially if you go there by group. But in my case since I was traveling solo, I chose to trek with Kuya Jeff going to White beach (30-40 mins)

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White Beach, Dingalan


β›° From white beach, you can trek to the lighthouse (30-40 mins). The lighthouse is closed but you can still take pictures. The view from that area is nice.

β›° From lighthouse, you can trek to Mountain view (30-40 mins). This one is my favorite The view is perfectly beautiful! I understand why it is called Batanes of the East The area was so relaxing and breathtaking. I would want to go back there soon.

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After the wondrous time at the mountain view, we went back down to white beach. Kuya Jeff and I were tired so we had softdrinks and took time to relax for a while. I didn’t want to say goodbye to the beautiful place but I was also going to Baler that day and time was gold. So I decided to ride a boat back to the port since there was a couple who was going back too. I was already tired anyway to trek from white beach to the port so I opted to join the couple and be the third wheel. Jk!

πŸ’¦ You can have a sidetrip to Tanawan Falls if you still have plenty of time
If you plan to have an overnight stay in white beach, you can try Lourdes and Buboy Cottages or ask your tour guide where you can stay.

If you’re heading home, it’s easy as how you got there. Just ride a van that’s going to Cabanatuan at the terminal. Then from there, ride a bus going to Cubao or Pasay

All in all, I can say that the experience was great! I’m proud of myself because I enjoyed traveling solo for the first time and I believe I picked the right place to do so. I never felt afraid that I was alone. I would definitely want to go back to this place when I have the time. No doubt that this place is highly recommended to those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life and would just want to relax and enjoy the gift of nature. The views are truly majestic!


Expenses:
Manila – Cabanatuan: 185/way (bus)
Cabanatuan – Dingalan: 100/way (van)
Per tourist spot: 200, trek to white beach: 200
Entrance fee to Lourdes and Buboy’s Mountain View: 50 per group. If you’re alone, you still have to pay the same amount.
πŸ’Έ Feeder port registration: 50
Budget : 1.5k+ with food if solo

*200 per tourist spot (good for 5 pax)

Breakdown: Lighthouse – 200, Mountain View – 200 Trek to and from White Beach – 200

Plus 200 if Tanawan Falls is included πŸ™‚

Feel free to send me a message if you have questions. Safe and happy travels everyone<3

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Fortune Island – Overnight πŸŒπŸŒŸβ€οΈ

November 19-20

Itinerary:

Day 1

4:30am – ETD Nasugbu πŸ–

8:30am – ETA Nasugbu πŸ–

8:30-9am – Breakfast 🍴

9am – proceed to Fortune Island Resort

9:30-11am – Boat ride to Fortune Island β›΄πŸ

11-11:30 – Fix things and set up tents11:30am-3pm – cliff jumping + swimming

3pm – late lunch πŸ˜‚ 

4pm – free time

8pm – star gazing

10pm – 😴😴😴

Day 2

5:30am – sunrise watching

6:30am – breakfast 🍴

7:30am – pack up things

8am – swimming 🏊🏼

10:30am – boat ride back to resort β›΄

*prices and contact number at the end

Last Saturday, me and my cousins (plus my boyfriend) went to Nasugbu’s Fortune Island in Batangas. We left home in Manila at 4:30am and arrived in Nasugbu at around 8:30. We had breakfast first at Jollibee then headed to Fortune Island Resort.

At Fortune Island Resort


We brought our own private cars with us and parked them at the resort. Car keys should be left at the reception just in case it needs to be moved. At first we were hesitant, but hell, what choice do we have? Haha! So we left the keys and rode a boat going to Fortune Island.

The boat ride going to the island took about 1.5 hours. They charged us 750/pax RT. We were unlucky because the boat we rode didn’t have a shade/roof. We were not yet swimming and enjoying the island and yet we were already toasted πŸ˜‚

Upon arrival at the island, the boatmen did not want to dock at the shore because the waves were too strong and wild πŸ˜‚ we had no choice but to go to the back of the island and dock there. Problem is, we brought a lot of things with us and we didn’t expect that we’d have to bring our stuff (bags, boxes and coolers) with us and climb high steps just to get to the island’s camp site. We just got there and yet we were faced with a tiring/agonizing task. Hahaha! The back of the island didn’t have a shore FYI.

We got off our boat and needed to ride this “balsa” just to get to the island’s ladder πŸ˜‚

See that boat there, that’s the area were we alighted. And now this is the height where we needed to bring our things. Insanely high right? πŸ˜‚


After the tiring situation with the things we brought, photo ops of course! 


After photo ops, caretakers of the island set up our tents. They charged us 400/per person for rental regardless of how many tents we needed.


After getting settled, we went cliff jumping!!! It would be exciting they said. It would be fun they said. I thought I could do it on my first attempt but I got scared. The cliff we picked was too high! The highest I’ve jumped so far!!! It was terrifying but I jumped anyway! I had to πŸ˜‚

 

Thought I couldn’t do it! But I had to take the leap πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌ


After cliff jumping was swim time! We had no life vests so swimming was very tiring πŸ˜‚


Next was photo ops at the acropolis πŸ™‚



Beach bumming for the rest of the afternoon. There were light drizzles throughout the day but thank God it never rained! (Hooray!)


We drank a vodka mix by the shore. Told stories to catch up. It’s been a while since me and my cousins had a getaway (last one was 2 years ago). We had a good time swimming until the sun has set already. 

Before anything else, I forgot to mention that the island has no fresh water. HAHAHA! Like OMG right? How are you supposed to take a bath? Do your usual night rituals? It was a nightmare we had to live with πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Going back… We were by the shore till 8:45, just chilling, drinking and stargazing. My boyfriend downloaded this app on his phone where we can look at the sky and see what constellations were present. He was a huge fan of the sky and the universe.

He said the sky makes him realize that a person is only a dot to what the universe is as a whole. How little are we in this planet to matter? There’s a whole lot more that the universe holds. Are aliens real? Are there other life forms out there? Can Mars accomodate living things? Haha! These are the questions that haunt me πŸ˜‚

While stargazing, me and my boyfriend had a deep conversation. I got to know him more too during that time. I felt happy I can talk to him wih deep sense and meaning. I love how I learn from him also, he’s something… ❀️

After stargazing, we went back to the camp site to eat dinner πŸ™‚ and drink some more! Only a bit. Haha.

Then, me and ate Ly were very enthusiastic to take pictures of the stars with our gopro. Ate even called her friend for the settings that we can use. It was a night to remember 😍🌟

Here are some of my shots:


The next day, we were very eager to get back early to the resort so that we could take a bath already!!! I felt so sticky and gross πŸ˜‚ 

I won’t really recommend that you stay overnight on this island… But if you want stargazing, spend the night there. It made the stay worthwhile ❀️

Our contact at the resort:

0915-504-7166

Boat ride: 750/pax RT

Tent rental: 400/pax

Osaka, Kyoto and Nara Trip – Japan ο»Ώ2016ο»Ώ

Shell Philippines schedule trips to different countries every year for their dealers. If you’re station is on their top 100 list, then lucky you because they’ll sponsor one person per station for a vacation outside the country – all expenses paid!

But! They only sponsor one person! So if the rest of the family wants to go, you have to pay for it. That’s where they get their money back for those who they sponsor. The trip was too pricey! Haha! But anyway, the accomodation they picked was right at the heart of Osaka! Shop till you drop! Haha. And it was a 5-star hotel! Wow. It is connected to a train station and the hotel is already connected to a mall itself! More shopping! Haha

Anyway, it was a 5-day trip (more like 3 days only because 2 days were for flight time only πŸ™„πŸ˜‚) and here are the places we visited:

  • Shinsaibashi District
  • Todaiji Temple
  • Nara Park
  • Golden Pavilion
  • Kiyomizu Temple
  • Universal Studios Japan

It was already dark when we arrived in Japan on our first day – around 7pm. So upon arrival Osaka’s airport, our private coach headed to our hotel for unloading of bags then proceeded to bring us to our dinner place.

DIY grilling! Plus unli rice πŸ˜‚

Delicious!


On our 2nd day, we went temple hopping.

First off, Todaiji Temple – which was by far my favorite. Its picturesque view even as you begin to enter the temple was perfect. Upon entering, I got to see how the Japanese have their own rituals; how they practice their faith. I was really curious but I didn’t want to stare at them. (That’s rude. Haha)


After visiting Todaiji, we proceeded to Nara Deer Park. You can feed the deers there. They would even chase if they see you with a snack on your hand πŸ˜‚ it was a fun experience!


On to our second temple, the Golden Pavilion. It’s locally called Kinkaku-ji. Our tour guide said that 2 out 3 stories of the temple was was made of gold leaf. In the past, a monk burned down the temple. So what we saw was a restored version of it. We just walked around the area; people were not allowed to go inside.


The last temple for that day was Kiyomizu Temple. There were a lot of people present! (Well, in all places) Probably because it was a holiday week when we went to Japan. In this place I got to witness again how Japanese people go about their faith. Some were ringing a bell before saying a prayer upon entering temples. Others were drinking from some sort of fountain. They say it can heal you from within. Amazing right? I didn’t drink though! πŸ˜‚


Our 3rd day was meant for Universal Studios! Our tour guide said that we should get going early. Call time was 7am. Upon arriving at the theme park and securing tickets, we lined up first for the wizarding world of Harry Potter. The 4D ride was ~ wow. It was a fun experience! While we enjoyed the ride, my mom told me she got scared. Haha. She’s not into rides πŸ˜‚ 

A lot happened at the Universal studios but I’ll just show it through pictures πŸ™‚

4th day we had our free day. Which meant – SHOPPING! We walked through Shinsaibashi district and the shopping centers around it. I was supposed to buy Stan Smith there, it was way cheaper! Plus tax free! You’ll get a pair at around 3.5-4k! Neat!

But I ended up buying shoes from Nike. Haha! Too many Filipinos already – wearing Stan Smiths. Some with fake ones! So I opted to buy Nike instead. I just saved around 500-600 pesos compared to the price of the shoes here in the Philippines. Oh well. Tax free advantage! πŸ˜‚ After shopping, (it was raining that day) we just strolled through Japans busy streets. The weather was cold and I loved it ❀️

OOTD πŸ˜‚ I always want to go to a cold place then dress up for it!

I enjoyed my short trip to Japan. (Cost of living is really expensive though, 80 pesos for a bottle of water! Geez! πŸ˜‚) In the future, I’d want to visit the other cities of Japan. Tokyo, Hokaiddo and Okinawa ❀️

They say you have to visit every city separately as to not just breeze through the places. Take time to see everything without time pressure πŸ™‚

ο»ΏBurias Group of Islands, Masbate

My first trip, the trip which ignited that spark and made me a wanderer, was at Masbate’s Burias Group of Islands. Plus, Quezon’s Alibijaban Island was also included in the itinerary! Wonderful!

I saw this event in YTB’s (Your Travel Buddies) facebook group. We paid a total of 3,450 pesos for the trip. It includes all meals on the island and RT van transfer.

Basically, our itinerary was:

Day 1…

9am: ETA San Andres (had lunch before taking a boat ride)

12pm: ETA Sombrero Island (fix things first)

*start of island hopping*

1pm: Animasola Island 

3pm: Tinalisayan Island

6pm – onwards:  Go back and camp at Sombrero Island

Day 2…

11am: Island Dapa (cliff jumping)

12nn: Lunch

1pm: Alibijaban Island

2pm: ETD – Manila

12mn: ETA – Manila

From the port, the event organizer chartered a boat and off we go to Sombrero Island. 1 cottage was reserved there, and the rest brought/rented tents. We fixed our things, changed our clothes and proceeded with the island hopping.

First off, Animasola Island.


The exotic rock formations in this island are stunning. At the back of my mind I was thinking “How amazing is our God? These rocks just happened to be here and they are so beautiful!”. I didn’t expect what I saw. I think I fell in love. But this was not confirmed until I saw the next island…

Tinalisayan ❀️

This island has this sandbar that was beautiful as well and yes, I fell in love! The view was breathtaking! I even had the chance to view the sunset in this island and it was one of the memorable ones indeed.

Breathtaking!


It was already 6pm when we decided that we should get going because we need to get back to Sombrero Island for our dinner and socials night. To our surprise, the boat we were supposed to ride back to the camp site has malfunctioned. We rode a big boat instead. (They were heading back to Sombrero Island also.) It was already dark and it was scary because it was so wavy. No islands on sight. No lights! We were praying for our dear lives! Haha! It was an unforgettable experience πŸ˜‚

But alas, we arrived at Sombrero Island! I think it was already 8pm by that time. We were hungryyyy!! The food was being prepared when we arrived. The residents of the island were the ones who cooked the meal for us. It was delicious! 

After eating, we rested for a while. Some had their tents set up, including us. Tent rent was 350, good for 2-3 persons. Well, we were three so we had to make it work somehow πŸ˜‚ 

Tent is already up, now what? Time for socials! But first, we had this lighting of lanterns activity! You make a wish before you let it fly πŸ™‚


Wishes have been whispered… I hope we somehow get what we wanted ❀️ We were teasing the ones whose lanterns failed to fly! Haha! It was funny! Their wish didn’t even have a chance to become a reality πŸ˜‚ or maybe their wish was just impossible πŸ˜‚

It was socials night, some were drinking and some were playing. It was a night of getting-to-know each other. I was even asked to sing in front of them. They saw my video cover of Roses. Haha! I was so shy but I appreciated their enthusiasm, they really wanted to hear me sing – LIVE πŸ˜‚ socials night ended with a game of “Never Have I Ever”. Simply put, you’ll state something that you’ve never done before, and if someone in the group has done that already, they have to raise their hand πŸ˜‚

It was a fun night. We slept at around 4am and woke up at 6am to see the sunrise. 


Breakfast was served and my travel buddies enjoyed playing game cards after eating their breakfast. As for me and my friends, we were already getting ready for the next activity. Island hopping – again! 😁


Cliff jumping on Dapa Island! I didn’t jump though. I thought of struggling while climbing the rocks just to get to the top. People had to step on the guide’s shoulder just so they can start climbing the rocks πŸ˜‚ I didn’t want to πŸ˜‚

After all the jumping, we went to Alibijaban’s mangrove. It was very nice ❀️


All in all, the islands and beaches we went to were all mesmerizing. I’d like to go back again to Sombrero Island’s aquamarine waters and Tinalisayan’s sandbar 😍❀️

Plus, YTB peeps are so fun to be with. I enjoyed their company and I really felt the love with this new family. I would really like to join them again on their next adventures ❀️

Chasing Waterfalls Pt. 2

April 30, 2016

YTB has again hosted an event. 

Itinerary (Places Visited):

  • Bukal Falls
  • Taytay Falls
  • Kamay ni Hesus

I’m with my friends on this trip! Fortunately, our schedules were in sync! Time to chase waterfalls, again! πŸ™‚

We went to Cubao at around 3am for the assembly there with our YTB family. Athan, the event organizer rented a van for our trip. So off we go to Laguna.

First on the list was Bukal Falls. This is probably the best falls I’ve ever been to!!! The trek going there took about an hour. We we always asking “Malayo pa ba?” (Is it still far?) There were horses on the trail. You can ride them but you have to pay for it. I was telling my friends that the trek to Bukal was nothing compared to what I’ve been through during our Hulugan Falls trek. (Que horror! Haha!)


Though the trek took so long, it was definitely worth it! I fell in love at first sight! 😍 


Bukal is such a magical place I definitely want to go back! Its super clear waters and its majestic blue color was mesmerizing. It was fairytale-like! ❀️ 
Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my gopro’s waterproof cover. I didn’t have the chance to take a lot of pictures. Oh well…

Its magical waters was super cold! But I went for a swim anyway. I wouldn’t want to miss the chance to swim in it! There was a rock there where you can cliff dive! It was not that high… And so I jumped! Twice! I enjoyed every bit of this falls! It was my first time for cliff diving! It felt exhilirating! Definitely worth coming back for!

For a moment there, our tour guide asked me if I wanted the drinking water I brought to be cold. So I said yes and he just let my bottle float in Bukal’s waters. After our swim, I wanted to drink and to my water and it was indeed cold! Ice cold water you’d like to drink after a tiring swim/trek! Perfect!

Enough about Bukal (which I can’t seem to stop talking about), next stop: Taytay Falls. I’ve been to this one already. And yes for the second time around, the falls was still super crowded!!! You won’t have the excitement to swim just looking at how many people were there! πŸ˜‚ so we just took pictures instead πŸ™‚

Yes, it was crowded! I was not exaggerating! πŸ˜‚


After Taytay Falls, we had a sidetrip to Kamay ni Hesus. It was my first time to go there. There were a lot of steps before you could reach the top. 

But the view you get to see on the top is beautiful! I’m glad I climed those steps!

Here are some of our pictures! Always a fun time with YTB! πŸ™‚

Chasing Waterfalls Pt. 1

I was bored and I wanted to take a trip anywhere. No one was available so I turned to my brother and invited him. I was so happy that he wanted to accompany me. We joined an event by HYVE Mountaineers on Facebook. We were going to chase waterfalls!

Hidden Falls, Hulugan Falls and Taytay Falls.

We went to Hidden falls first. The trek was fine.


But little did we know that we were into some hard sh*t. Haha! The trek required rapelling at some point. I was like 😱😩 HAHAHA! Plus! My brother was asthmatic and I was worried about him. He kept complaining he was already tired and that he couldn’t breathe 😩 the struggle was real! We didn’t expect it to be like some sort of hike. LOL

Hidden falls was a beauty though when we saw it. Almost everybody wanted to be soaked because of tiredness.

On to our next falls, Hulugan!

The trek going there was so difficult! The trail was so steep! I thought I was going to die! Haha! Jk! On a serious note, I thought I was going to give up. But you know how others say that you get to know yourself more when you travel? It’s true. You do get to know yourself more and what you’re capable of. I was so proud of myself at that time! Really! (I feel like crying right now)

We were able to reach Hulugan Falls. (Finally) Too bad I felt that my effort was wasted. It was summer time and the falls was close to running out water. Yes, it was disappointing. We didn’t know it was going to be like that. Oh well. At least me and my brother had bonding time ❀️

With our new found friends πŸ™‚


The last waterfalls we went to was Taytay.

My brother was to too tired and didn’t want to swim. So we ate at a cafeteria near the entrance of the falls. We went in again to look for our buddies. The place was too crowded though… But the water is divine!

Chasing waterfalls is tiring but fun! I have never forgotten this day because it made me realize that I can be extraordinary ❀️

One must believe he/she CAN. Never give up! You’ll never know what you’re capable of doing unless you try πŸ™‚

The Beginning

Someone once told me that I was adventurous. I couldn’t believe it myself πŸ˜… I didn’t know if this person was just trying to make me feel good about myself… (we were breaking up at that time)

To cut the story short, one day I decided to make it believable. (I guess a was a little bit lonely too and I wanted to prove something to myself). I researched places, visited travel blogs and poof, I saw this post from Jonathan Muelle at Pinay Solobackpacker’s blog. He stated there that if I wanted to travel but I don’t have anyone to accompany me, I can just join their group on Facebook – YTB ( Your Travel Buddies). So I joined and signed up for an event (April 8-10, 2016). I also invited my friends to come with me. I was scared to go alone because it was my first time to be a joiner. It was a trip to Masbate’s Burias Group of Islands. (More on that on a separate post.)

And that was it. That was the start of the fire that kept on burning. The desire for me to travel more was awakened. And. I. Couldn’t. Stop. Traveling.

I promised myself I would at least travel once a month to a different place. I made it happen. I am still making it happen…