WAS THE COKE STUDIO HOMECOMING EVENT LAST NIGHT A DISASTER?

Was the Coke Studio homecoming event last night a disaster? I was not invited to the event but most of my lifestyle blogger friends were. My newsfeed last night till this morning was all about it. Some were ranting about how they were inconvenienced about the event cancellation while most were thankful and fully understood why the event had to be cancelled.

I am just glad that my blogger friends like Lhyzie Bongon and Mommy Lars got out of it safe and sound. I saw a clip on Facebook how rowdy the crowd was.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2212218978801815&id=100000412042550

Here is my piece… I think that the organizers were actually preventing a potential disaster similar to the tragic Wowowee event that happened years ago in Ultra, Pasig. And nobody… I mean nobody wants the same thing happening again.

Let me refresh your memories by watching the video I found on youtube below:

Thanks to John Paulo Caparros of Strategic Works, Inc. for sharing what the management of Coca Cola Philippines has to say about the whole incident.

Below is Coca Cola Philippines’ official statement:

On December 07, 2018, the Coke Studio Concert organizers, Philippine National Police, the City of Pasay, and SM Mall of Asia decided to reschedule the Coke Studio Christmas Concert to early next year to prioritize the public’s safety.

The safety of everyone is of utmost importance to us. The unsafe behavior of portions of an estimated 15,000 spectators such as pushing, jumping on the barricades and throwing bottles, threatened the safety of the rest of the concert-goers, despite numerous reminders from authorities present.

There were some who sustained minor injuries and were immediately given medical attention. After careful assessment, and repeated requests for the public’s cooperation, Coca-Cola together with all the artists, PNP, the City of Pasay, and SM MOA, deemed it necessary to reschedule the concert to a later date.

We thank the PNP, the local government of Pasay, and SM MOA for their full support in helping ensure everyone’s protection, the artists for their passion and fully supporting the decision to prioritize their fans’ welfare, and lastly, to the concert goers for their understanding and support. We recognize that a lot of them have traveled far to see their favorite artists. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. Rest assured that we will continue to coordinate with the relevant parties to further tighten control measures in our next events.

Again, we thank everyone for their understanding and their continued support.

Coca-Cola PH

I hope that we learn more about discipline as a people. We all can have fun and feast without having to act like wild animals. Better safe than sorry.

What do you think about the cancellation of the Coke Studio Homecoming last night? Let me know by putting your comments below.

Signing out for now. Peace.

BORACAY REOPENS AFTER SIX MONTHS & HERE ARE THE DO’s & DON’Ts

Boracay Station 1 during the reopening on October 26, 2018 after 6 months of rehabilitation.
Boracay Station 1 during the reopening on October 26, 2018 after 6 months of rehabilitation.

Boracay, the country’s prime jewel, has finally reopened on October 26, 2018 for tourism after six months of rehabilitation. Fortunately, I got the opportunity to visit Boracay on its reopening day.

Click here for my blog entry regarding Boracay closure.

Thanks to my good old friend Jen for tagging me along. We were billeted at the Red Coconut Hotel from October 26 to 31 before moving to Frendz Hostel & Resort Boracay to join other friends from October 31 to November 5, 2018.

Now that this masterpiece of an island paradise has finally reopened, let us do our part and be good stewards. Let us stay on guard in keeping the environment clean and green.

Boracay Do’s and Don’ts

Below are the do’s and don’ts when visiting Boracay:

Boracay do's and don't's

  • Do dispose your garbage properly
  • Do smoke on the designated smoking areas
  • Do avoid using single use plastic bags instead use an eco bag
  • Do use public rest room, toilet or lavatory
  • Do all establishment maintain the cleanliness on their respective areas
  • Don’t litter on the beach and in other public areas
  • Don’t smoke on the beach and in other public areas
  • Don’t extract or collect sand and pebbles in the beach areas
  • Don’t carry or clutch glass bottles or any beverages in the beach areas
  • Don’t urinate or defecate in any public place

The above are Municipal Ordinances. Anyone caught doing what is not allowed by law will be dealt with accordingly by the authorities with corresponding fines and penalties. There are roving police officers and marshals. Hence, it is in your best interest to just follow the law while enjoying Boracay.

Drone flying is also prohibited unless authorization has been sought by the drone operator.

From the airport, go DIY and proceed to the tricycle queue just across Caticlan Airport. I shared a tricycle ride with Riczi Dio whom I just met at the queue. Tricycle fare is Php 50 per person. You can also rent the whole tricycle by your lonesome. You just need to pay Php 100.

Tricycle ride with a new friend from Caticlan Airport to the Caticlan Jetty Port
Tricycle ride with new friend Riczi Dio from Caticlan Airport to the Caticlan Jetty Port. Fare is Php 50 per person.
Boracay Tourist Verification Center, Caticlan Jetty Port
Boracay Tourist Verification Center, Caticlan Jetty Port

The number of tourists allowed to enter the island is limited and monitored. Ensure that you have your hotel voucher with you upon registration at the Caticlan Jetty Port. If you are traveling with family or friends who will be staying with you in your hotel room, make sure that their names are listed on the hotel voucher as well.

Boracay Tourist Verification Counter, Caticlan Jetty Port
Boracay Tourist Verification Counter, Caticlan Jetty Port
Boracay Reopening October 26, 2018
Thanks to the Department of Tourism for welcoming me to Boracay with this necklace.

Once verified, proceed to the counter to pay the following:

  • Pump boat fare Php 25
  • Terminal fee Php 100
  • Environmental fee Php 75
Caticlan Jetty Port Pump Boat Fare, Terminal Fee and Environmental Fee
Once verified, proceed to the counter to pay the pump boat fare Php 25, terminal fee Php 100 and environmental fee Php 75.
Pump boat from Caticlan Jetty Port to Cagban Port
Pump boat from Caticlan Jetty Port to Cagban Port, Boracay.
Cagban Port
Cagban Port, Boracay

The boat ride from Caticlan Port to Cagban Port was smooth and only took twenty minutes. At the Cagban Port, Riczi and I shared another tricycle ride for Php 120 or Php 60 per person to bring us to Boracay D’Mall where we would go our separate ways. E-trikes are also available. Fare is Php 20 per head. The tricycle ride from Cagban Port to D’Mall took about thirty minutes versus the usual fifteen minutes because of slow traffic and ongoing road and drainage constructions.

The New Boracay

Borcay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.
Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.

I stayed in Boracay for eleven days, probably the longest I have ever been on an island. Why? Well, simply because I fell in love with the place again. Despite the ongoing road construction and establishment repairs, it seemed that everything was in its proper place. It felt like the Boracay I first saw way back in the early days. But then again, this is me. Some like it wild and cluttered. I like it serene and clean.

I had a chance to talk to Tita Connie, owner of Red Coconut Hotel. She has been living on the island since 1982. She shared that after six months of closure, Boracay now looks like the Boracay of the 1990s. She feels sad though that the locals had to suffer the brunt of the closure. There was practically no business going on on the island for six months. But she believes that the closure was necessary to save Boracay from being a cesspool. I have spoken to a number of locals as well and they all feel the same thing. After six months of rest, they are now more than ready to welcome tourists on the island.

Yes! No more bed mats or umbrellas near the shore. No clutter. All beach front properties have to follow the 25+5-meter no-build zone. This means that there should be no private structures built within the 30-meter easement between the shore and the beachfront property.

Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.
Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.
Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.
Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.
Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.
Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.

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Missing Boracay. People close to me know that whenever I travel, it's "more footage and photos more fun for me" and these two were so patient and never left me while I set up, fly, swim and run around like there's no tomorrow just to capture moments and memories. See you soon! When they say that what happens in Boracay remains in Boracay, I somewhat disagree 'coz I am taking all my memories of my recent trip with you to Boracay with me. Keso na kung keso. lols. See you guys around soon! #Boracay #Aklan #islandlife #itsmorefuninthephilippines #travelbloggers #travelblogger #travelblog #travelph #travelphotography #travelphotos #pinoywanderer #wanderer #wanderlust #globetrotter #asianwanderlust #Philippines #whitebeach #digitalnomads #diginomads #pinasmuna #online #content #creator #island #diy #theworldexplorers #beach #sea #whitesand #friends

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Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.

Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.

Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.

Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.

Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.

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Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.

One afternoon, I went jogging from Station Two to Station One. It was only a day after typhoon #Rosita and I noticed that the strong waves brought by habagat (south wind) have pushed ashore a number of garbage.

On the beach of Station One, I found a big ziploc plastic bag. I picked it up. After a few steps, I saw candy and Rebisco wrappers. I picked them up and put them in the ziploc bag. Then, I saw one and yet another trash. Picked them up and placed them in the bag. Not soon enough, the big ziploc bag was already full of plastic trash I picked up from the shores of Station One.

Near Station Two, I saw an empty sack. I placed the already full ziploc bag inside and continued my way picking trash. By the time I reached the front of our hotel, my sack was already heavy and full of plastic garbage. I gave the sack of garbage to the hotel staff for disposal.

Boracay finally reopens for tourism after six months of rehabilitation
By the time I reached the front of our hotel, my sack was already heavy and full of plastic garbage.
Boracay Plastic Garbage
A cement sack full of plastic garbage which I collected from the shores of Boracay Stations 1 and 2.

I felt proud of myself because I was able to contribute in my own little way in cleaning the newly reopened Boracay. So when you do get to visit Boracay or any of our beautiful islands, please be responsible and leave no trash behind. I was guilty of it in the past.

I also hope that more trash bins are installed in Stations One and Two like the ones donated by The Juan Effect of Cebu Pacific Air in Stations Two and Three.

The Juan Effect Trash Bins from Cebu Pacific Air
The Juan Effect Trash Bins from Cebu Pacific Air

Kudos also to the staff / volunteers of Department of Environment and Natural Resources for regularly collecting trash on the beautiful beach of Boracay.

Kudos also to the staff / volunteers of Department of Environment and Natural Resources for regularly collecting trash on the beautiful beach of Boracay.
Kudos also to the staff / volunteers of Department of Environment and Natural Resources for regularly collecting trash on the beautiful beach of Boracay.

I will be back very soon. Booked my tickets already for February 2019. I might be back even before that though. And when I do, I hope to see the same, if not better, Boracay.

Remember to never stop exploring the world one story at a time. Signing out for now. Peace!

Click here for ongoing AirAsia #RedHotSeatSale:

VISIT THE NEWLY REOPENED BORACAY THRU AIRASIA’S FINAL RED HOT SEAT SALE

Have you been meaning to visit the world’s number one island paradise Boracay after its reopening last October 26, 2018? Then, here is your chance! Thanks to AirAsia, the World’s Best Low-Cost Airline.

Avail of promotional fares from as low as Php 16 (for BIG members) all-in and one way only now available at airsia.com with AirAsia’s final Red Hot Seat Sale for 2018.

  • Booking Period: November 12 to 18, 2018
  • Travel Period: May 6, 2019 to February 4, 2020
  • Travel Period for Clark to Taipei: May 4, 2019 to October 25, 2019

Book here now.

Be an Air Asia BIG Member and enjoy these perks:

  • Redeem trips to over 130 AirAsia destinations
  • Save up to 90% on AirAsia flights
  • Receive exclusive offers and free gifts

Sign up here:

AirAsia Final Red Hot Seat Sale

Promotional seats are available for flights from Manila, Cebu, Clark and Kalibo to various domestic destinations like

  • Caticlan (Boracay)
  • Cagayan De Oro
  • Iloilo
  • Palawan
  • Tacloban
  • Tagbilaran (Bohol)
  • Davao

Fly to Tacloban to visit the country’s longest bridge, the protected Cuatro Islas and the famous Kalanggaman Island.

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Digyo Island is one of the four islands of Cuatro Islas off the coast of Inopacan, Leyte that I was blessed enough to visit in this lifetime. The island is powered by solar energy during the day and a generator from sundown to 11pm. Charging is P40 per gadget. And guess what I have 10 or so gadgets to charge everytime. Blogging soon. #Leyte #inopacan #cuatroislas #inopacan #Leyte #backpackers #islandlife #dronephotography efuninthephilippines #Anilao #travelbloggers #travelblogger #travelblog #travelph #travelphotography #travelphotos #pinoywanderer #wanderer #wanderlust #globetrotter #asianwanderlust #Philippines #digitalnomads #diginomads #pinasmuna #online #content #creator #island #diy #theworldexplorers #roadto #kalanggamanisland #dronephotography

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Red Hot Seat Sale is also extended to the following international flights from as low as Php 551 only for BIG members:

  • Taipei
  • Kaohshiung
  • Shanghai
  • Shenzhen
  • Guangzhou
  • Macao
  • Hong Kong
  • Bali
  • Bangkok
  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Kota Kinabalu
  • Singapore
  • Korea

AirAsia Philippines CEO Captain Dexter Comendador said,

“Red Hot Seat Sale is our final promotional sale for the year and now is the best time to make your travel plans not only for domestic destinations but travel all over Asia and beyond with over 130 destinations across AirAsia Group’s extensive network.”

The AirAsia Group is the leading and largest low-cost carrier in Asia by passengers and services an extensive network of over 130 destinations. The airline is proud to be a truly Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) airline with operations based in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines as well as India and Japan, servicing a network stretching across Asia, Australia and New Zealand and the Middle East. AirAsia has been named the World’s Best Low-Cost Airline at the annual Skytrax World Airline Awards ten times in a row from 2009 to 2018.

MY FAVORITE BED AND BREAKFAST IN BATANES

Batanes is an island group province located at the northernmost tip of the Philippines. Undeniably, Batanes is one of the most sought after places to visit in the Philippines because of its mystifying beauty. In fact, Batanes is the only province in the country that is protected in its entirety, both landscapes and seascapes and was listed in the Tentative List of the Philippines for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site.

Batanes is the country’s smallest province in terms of population and land area and is composed of only ten islands. The three largest of which are the only ones inhabited. These are Batan, Itbayat and Sabtang. I was able to visit two, Batan and Sabtang.

What made my stay in Batanes memorable, more than the picturesque sights, was really the warm welcome that I got from the Ivatans or locals whom I met. Not unknown to many of my friends and followers, I lost my drone on day one to the mighty winds of Batanes during the first and the last time I visited. Because I lost my main video equipment, I was not able to produce a travel video which was the primary reason of my trip. Watch the vlog here.

The entry point of Batanes by air is Basco, the capital of Batanes. Basco is located in the island of Batan.

Basco, Batanes Welcome Arch
Me at the Basco, Batanes Welcome Arch

Upon arrival, I met Tita Elda, her son Mitchel Lechuga and family of Safetravel Philippines at the airport and brought me to a quaint bed and breakfast inn in Basco, the Katuvang B&B.

Katuvang B&B in Basco, Batanes
Katuvang B&B is a quaint bed and breakfast inn in Basco, Batanes.

Owned and managed by couple Mike and Edna Acebes, Katuvang B&B offers exquisite accommodation with casual elegance. The couple are pretty much hands on in making sure everything is in place and each guest is taken good care of.

Katuvang B&B in Basco, Batanes
Katuvang B&B in Basco, Batanes is family-owned. It used to be the ancestral home of Ms. Edna Acebes family.

I woke up in the morning of my first night with Tito Mike tending the front yard and Tita Edna asking me if she should prepare my breakfast already.

Katuvang B&B in Basco, Batanes
Katuvang B&B owners are hands-on in making sure that every guest is taken good care of.

Katuvang B&B is also located near the town center or Basco’s Historic Plaza. On my first morning in Batanes, I went jogging. It felt as if I was in a small town abroad where the only and most convenient means of getting from point A to point B was by walking.

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Jogging muna (naks)

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Below are Katuvang B&B’s room rates:

  • Room with breakfast for 2 persons- Php 2,500 per night
  • Room with breakfast for 3 persons- Php 3,250 per night

Katuvang B&B rooms are comfortably spacious and properly air-conditioned with the option to use the ceiling fan. I loved their linens. The bed also felt luxurious. The room came with complimentary toiletries, extra beddings and breakfast for two. They have rooms ideal for friends and families.

Katuvang B&B Gate
Katuvang B&B Gate
Katuvang B&B in Basco, Batanes
Katuvang B&B in Basco, Batanes
Katuvang B&B in Basco, Batanes
Katuvang B&B foyer
Katuvang B&B in Basco, Batanes
Katuvang B&B Dining Hall
Katuvang B&B in Basco, Batanes
I enjoyed my stay in Katuvang B&B. I felt a warm welcome comparable to family. Thanks to Tito Mike and Tita Edna Acebes
Katuvang B&B in Basco, Batanes
Katubang B&B. My room during my stay in Basco , Batanes.
Katuvang B&B in Basco, Batanes
Katuvang B&B offers luxurious accommodation comparable to that of a five star hotel in the city, I must say.
Katuvang B&B in Basco, Batanes
I especially loved the bed. It felt luxuriously comfortable. I cannot wait to be back!
Katuvang B&B in Basco, Batanes
Katuvang B&B Toilet is so clean and well-kept. They also use top of the line toiletries.
Katuvang B&B in Basco, Batanes
Katuvang B&B owners maintained the Ivatan heritage in the feel and look of the inn.

I enjoyed my stay overall in Batanes. Batanes will always occupy a special place in my heart. To all my friends in Batanes who treated me like family… Dios Mamajes and see you again very soon.

For bookings and inquiries, visit Katuvang B&B’s Facebook Page here or contact Safetravel Philippines here.

SELAH GARDEN HOTEL | ONE OF MY BEST CHOICES FOR STAYCATION IN METRO MANILA

If you just can’t wait to have that elusive vacation but do not have the time and budget to go out of town whether alone or with family and friends, then the Selah Garden Hotel in Pasay City could be your best option.

The Selah Garden Hotel, Pasay City
The Selah Garden Hotel, Pasay City

My brother was here two weeks ago on a short nine-day vacation. He is a flight attendant based in the United Arab Emirates. We wanted to maximize his short stay with fun and excitement without having to leave Metro Manila. So the day he arrived, I packed my bags of clothes and shooting equipment and we booked a Grab Car and headed to the Selah Garden Hotel.

I love the Selah Garden Hotel
The Selah Garden Hotel in Pasay City, Metro Manila.

The Selah Garden Hotel is a boutique hotel near the Makati Business District and various historical landmarks such as Intramuros and Luneta Park. Likewise, the Selah Garden Hotel is accessible to the airport and the Mall of Asia (one of the biggest shopping malls in Asia).

The Selah Garden Hotel
The Selah Garden Hotel is an 83-room boutique hotel located near the Makati Central Business District and historical landmarks such as Intramuros and Luneta in Manila.

Upon arrival, we were warmly welcomed at the lobby by the receptionists with refreshing welcome drinks. Check in time is 2 PM and check out is 12 noon. We stayed in a Flagship Double Room.

The Selah Garden Hotel Infinity Pool
The Selah Garden Hotel Infinity Pool

The Selah Garden Hotel has 83 rooms of varying types that can fit different guest preferences. Below are Selah Garden Hotel’s type of accommodations and corresponding published rates:

  • Flagship Room at Php 3,200 per night for two with breakfast and Php 3,800 per night for three with breakfast
  • Cozy Room at Php 3,800 per night for two with breakfast
  • Fantastic Loft at Php 5,100 per night for four to five occupants with breakfast
  • Fantabulous Loft at Php 6,700 per night for seven occupants with breakfast
  • Fabulous Suite at Php 5,900 per night for five to six occupants
  • Stellar Suite at Php 13,000 per night for ten occupants
  • Bunk Room at Php 800 per occupant per night, good for four, six or eight occupants
  • Clique Room at Php 800 per occupant per night, good for ten occupants
The Selah Garden Hotel Room
The Selah Garden Hotel has 83 rooms of varying types that can fit different guest preferences

Amenities include:

  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Complimentary wi-fi access
  • Welcome drinks
  • Safety deposit box
  • 24-hour room service
  • TV with cable channels
  • Daily complimentary bottled water per person
  • Hot and cold shower with toiletries set
  • 24-hour elevator service
  • Refrigerator
  • Laundry service upon request

Hotel features include:

  • Function rooms
  • Table Restaurant
  • Spa by Selah
  • Infinity pool
  • Scuba diving course
  • Team-building facilities with high rope activities

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It was a tiring but fruitful day one at the Selah Garden Hotel. My brother and I tried out Selah Garden Hotel’s high-rope activities such as wall climbing, zip line, control descent, Burma Bridge, multivines, Jacob’s Ladder and broken bridge with the other bloggers. We also joined the team building activity arranged by the hotel staff.

The Selah Garden Hotel Zipline
The Selah Garden Hotel offers extreme activities to spice up one’s stay in the urban oasis.

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It was a hot and humid day and the infinity pool was just too tempting. I, however, conserved all the energy I had left and postponed swimming the next day. It was, anyway, going to be a long and fun Karaoke night with the gang as we celebrated our fellow blogger and friend’s birthday at the TLC Room of the Selah Garden Hotel.

The Selah Garden Hotel TLC Function Room
The gang at the spacious and super comfy TLC Function Room of the Selah Garden Hotel to celebrate Lee’s birthday.

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After eating a sumptuous dinner, chugging on some drinks, singing our hearts out and basically had one of the most fun get-together’s we have ever had, we called it a night.

The next day, my brother woke up early and decided to have an early swim. I, on the other hand, slept in and woke up much later.

I had breakfast with some of the not so early birds. After breakfast, I went for a quick swim and met new friends. I also took some aerial shots. I did not fly my drone too high because I am not so at ease flying my drone in the city.

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Overall, my brother and I had a grand time in The Selah Garden Hotel, a quick getaway found right smack in the middle of the city.

For more information, visit The Selah Garden Hotel’s website here.

For booking and inquiries, please contact:

  • Mobile: +63917-9582760, +63925-5111131, +63998-8810864
  • Landline: +632-5111331 or +632-8997080

You may also book via their Facebook Page here.

Signing out for now. Remember to never stop exploring the world one story at a time. Peace!

On the way to Masasa Beach, Tingloy  Batangas.
On the way to Masasa Beach, Tingloy Batangas.

LANAS BEACH RESORT | BEST PLACE TO STAY IN CARABAO ISLAND

Carabao Island 2

Carabao Island (or Hambil), officially known as the Municipality of San Jose, is the southernmost island of the province of Romblon. It sits right smack in between the islands of Tablas, Romblon and Boracay, Aklan.

Carabao Island has a lot of potential in becoming one of the best islands in the country. Its sheer beauty, i.e. clear waters and amazing landscape, is enough to capture one’s fancy. Carabao Island is a mere 20-minute boat ride from one of the most sought after resort islands in the world, Boracay, which happens to be closed for tourism as it undergoes rehabilitation. Hence, to those who have already booked their flights prior to the government’s announcement of Boracay’s closure last April 26, 2018, Carabao Island might just be a good alternative. While Boracay is closed, Carabao has got your back!

I had the opportunity to explore Carabao Island when I tagged along with fellow travel blogger Cai Dominguez of Travelosyo.com. From Manila, I arrived at 1335H via Air Asia in Caticlan Airport. Outside Caticlan Airport, I met Cai who traveled all the way by bus from Iloilo to Caticlan and Kuya (big brother) Yolly Loquinto of Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11.

Watch my vlog here:

From Caticlan Airport, we rode a tricycle to Sambiray Port in Malay, Aklan. After paying the environmental fee of Php 50, we boarded a small boat to bring us to a bigger boat that would take us to Carabao Island. Total boat fare was Php 100 per head. There are two daily boat trips from Caticlan to Carabao Island. The first one is at 9 AM. We took the 3 PM trip. Return trip to Caticlan is at 6 AM. Quite honestly, I did not know much about Carabao Island. I would hear about it though from boatmen in Boracay as part of their island hopping tours.

The 45-minute boat ride to Carabao Island was smooth despite the gloomy weather. I must say though that I was a bit disappointed because I won’t be able to fly my drone as much as I initially planned because of the strong habagat or south wind.

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Upon arrival at Said Port, I could not help but be amazed by how alive the waters of this island was. It was crystal clear. From the wharf, I could readily see a number of starfishes darting the shore.

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Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 is situated on the western side of the island. Hence, from Said Port, we had to ride a habal-habal or motorcycle that took us through the poblacion or town of San Jose. It was a twenty-minute-or-so ride on a narrow and winding path. The habal-habal fare ranges from Php 150 to 200 with luggage. The locals discourage tourists from renting habal-habal without drivers to avoid any untoward incidents because the roads are not as paved. Even Kuya Yolly, admittedly, still finds them challenging.

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On the way to Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11, Carabao Island reminded me so much of the virginal Boracay of the late 90’s before commercialization set in. The green lush, pristine waters, fresh sea breeze and the “innocence” of the island took me to a trip down memory lane.

Where To Stay In Carabao Island

To date, Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 tops the list of resorts in Carabao Island. They offer warm accommodations and the best of home-made organically grown meals. They can also arrange a land tour for in-house guests to visit the amazing spots on the island.

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I believe Carabao Island has a lot of potential. It is just a 20-minute boat ride from Boracay and reminds me so much of the old Boracay, serene and pure, before all the commercialization set in. When in #carabaoisland, try Lanas Beach Resort. They offer warm accommodations and the best of home-made and organically grown meals. They can also arrange a land tour to visit the amazing spots on the island.#carabao #itsmorefuninthephilippines #travelbloggers #travelblogger #travelblog #travelph #travelphotography #travelphotos #pinoywanderer #wanderer #wanderlust #globetrotter #asianwanderlust #Philippines #digitalnomads #diginomads #pinasmuna #online #content #creator #islandlife

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Accommodations

Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 has 5 suites and 2 apartments (rates below are inclusive of VAT):

  1. Villa Sol Suite, top floor, for 2, Php 2800 per night or Php 3584 per night with breakfast
  2. Villa Sol Suite, ground floor, for 4, Php 2800 per night or Php 4368 per night with breakfast
  3. Light House Suite (ground or upper), for 2, Php 3360 per night or Php 4144 per night with breakfast
  4. Villa Bo Apartment, top floor, for 2, Php 3920 per night or Php 4704 per night with breakfast
  5. Villa Bo Apartment, ground floor, for 6, Php 3360 per night or Php 5712 per night with breakfast

Below are some of the photos that I took of the Villa Sol Suite and Villa Bo Apartment.

Lanas beach Resort by Oceans 11 Villa Sol
Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 Villa Sol and Villa Bo

Villa Sol Suite (Ground Floor)

Villa Bo Apartment (Top Floor)

We stayed in the the Light House Ground Floor Suite. It has a veranda that opens up to the sea. It is the best place to have a drink or two while watching the sunset.

Light House Suites

Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 Light House Suite
Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 Light House Suites

With windows all over, the Light House Suite on the upper floor to me is the best suite in the resort. Imagine waking up to the beautiful sight of the ocean while cuddling up with your significant other.

Complimentary water and toiletries are provided upon check-in.

All accommodations have air-conditioning. Cooking is discouraged in the rooms but may be discussed with the resort management if necessary. Pets are allowed as long as the guests abide by the House Rules.

Be ready to embrace the island life when in Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11:

  • No electricity from 6 AM to 2 PM
  • No WIFI but there is a strong mobile internet signal by Globe to upload your photos on Instagram
  • No TV


Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 also offers the following resort services to make your stay as fun, convenient and relaxing as ever:

  • Boat Rentals:
    • Small Boat for 6 persons: Php 3500
    • Medium Boat for 16 persons: Php 7500
    • Big Boat for 20 persons: Php 8000
    • Speed Boat for 3 hours: Php 8500
  • Land Tours: Php 1000 for the whole day, includes visits to
    • Bat Cave (Mireton)
    • Cathedral (cliff diving)
    • Kuding-kuding (sea cave and cliff diving)
    • Bugtong Bato
    • Poblacion (San Jose)
    • Boracay View Point
  • Massage Service: starts at Php 500
  • Laundry: Php 60 per kilo
Cathedral Cave and Cliff Diving, Carabao Island, Romblon
Cathedral Cave and Cliff Diving, Carabao Island, Romblon
Cathedral Cave and Cliff Diving, Carabao Island, Romblon
Cathedral Cave and Cliff Diving, Carabao Island, Romblon
Five PM Viewing Deck, Carabao Island, Romblon
On a clear day, catch the sunset at Five PM Viewing Deck, Carabao Island, Romblon

Food

What I liked best about my stay in Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 was their affordable gourmet food. The Resort Manager happens to be the Executive Chef, too. Chef James Altas made sure that our dining experience was memorable.

They have a fixed menu but they also serve “Catch of the Day” meals like the one that we had during our first dinner in the resort: Seafood Laksa and Sea Urchin Omelette. Being a sweet-tooth myself, I celebrated eating their Turon a la Mode for dessert. Mind you, the ice cream topping was home-made.

Chef James also generously showed us how to cook Chicken Binakol. Chicken Binakol is chicken stew (similar to Tinola) cooked in coconut water instead of water. I got this on video and will publish a vlog soon. Stay tuned!

Restaurant

Both in-house and walk-in guests may enjoy the gourmet offerings of Lanas Beach Resort Restaurant, located just steps away from the white sand beach of Lanas. It has a seating capacity of up to 30 people.

Lanas Beach Resort Mess Hall
The restaurant has a spacious mess hall perfect for big groups.
Lanas Beach Resort Hut
The beach hut is perfect for couples who would love to wine and dine while enjoying some privacy and view of the beach.
Lanas Beach Resort Restaurant and Bar
They also have a bar that serves drinks such as fresh fruit shakes, cocktails, beer and hard liquor.

For more information, visit their website here or follow their Facebook page here.

For bookings, call +63-32-4164021 or +63908-1363319 or email info@lanasbeachresort.ph.

I believe that Carabao Island is not just a good Boracay-alternative but will be one popular island destination soon. I cannot wait to be back in Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 and explore the island. I only got to visit a few of the tourist spots last time and was not able to do cliff diving because of the inclement weather.

Signing out for now. Peace!

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Oh well… the choices we make #atm #islandlife

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MY DRONE FLEW AWAY IN BATANES

Here is how I lost my drone in Batanes.

For better definition, watch it on youtube here:

I went to Batanes to cover the wonderful and amazing tourist spots. I went to Vayang Rolling Hills and took off. My first attempt failed as I chickened out and decided to land as soon as I felt the gustiness of the wind. I told myself, “next time, Jaws… next time.”
And then in ten minutes, I took off for the second time. I struggled piloting my drone…. until I could no longer control it. I wanted it to return to me but the wind just won’t let it. I could feel my drone’s yearning to come home to me… I stared at the distance counter on my mobile go higher and higher as my drone went farther and farther away. I watched my drone as it grew smaller and smaller in the horizon until we lost contact.
Thanks to my fellow travel blogger Cai Dominguez of Travelosyo and Kuya Wilson for staying with me and helping me look for my drone. Special thanks, too, to Mark Lawrence B Lechuga of Safetravel Philippines and Mike Barcelona Acebes of Katuvang B&B for their concern.

I will never forget Batanes. Batanes will hold a special place in my heart not only because of this unfortunate experience but because of its sheer and mystical beauty. I am going down in history as the first person to lose his drone while in flight in Batanes.
I am not giving up. I am only on my second day in Batanes. I will come up with a beautiful travel video featuring Batanes with or without a drone. Not yet signing out… sorry. Peace!

ROAMING ROOMIES EXPLORE SIARGAO, SURFING CAPITAL OF THE PHILIPPINES

WATCH and let me take you to some of the amazing spots in #SIARGAO #RoamingRoomies #dronescapades.

It was a short last minute summer getaway. I intended it to be a #solotravel to Siargao. Coincidentally,  my best buddy Jeff, who I have known more than half of my life and is now based in Paris, also flew all the way to Siargao for a quick visit. The last time I met him was more than a decade ago. Without any travel itineraries and pre-booked tours, we rented our own bikes and explored the island.
The places of interests that we visited were Cloud 9 in General Luna, Taktak Falls in Santa Monica, Magpupungko Rock Pools in Pilar, Naked Island and Daco Island in just 3.5 days. Because it was just a short visit, I was not able to visit other places like Guyam Island, Corregidor Island, Sugba Lagoon and a lot more. I plan to go back soon, perhaps, after the rainy season.

This blog will be updated soon for the back story, some travel guides, photos and tips.

I hope you enjoy watching this short video and do subscribe for more travel videos. Signing out for now. Peace!

 

TREKKING, CLIFF JUMPING & SWIMMING IN TANGADAN FALLS, SAN GABRIEL, LA UNION

Almost every three months, my Dubai-based brother and I would spend quality time together by visiting a destination that we have not yet been to. #BROSontheROAD.

San Juan, La Union Road Sign
Surfing Area Road Sign, San Juan, La Union

Last April 2018, we went to San Juan, La Union with our mom and aunt who both opted to stay in the hotel room most of the time. On the other hand, my brother and I spent most of the time outside as expected.

On our first day, we went frolicking in San Juan’s Surf Town. I will post another blog about how we spent our day in San Juan. That night, I suggested that we go check out Tangadan Falls the next day. My brother said he would rather just stay in San Juan. I said “Okay, I am going anyway.”

I guess he felt I was so determined to go even by my lonesome. That is why the next day he woke me up and told me he was tagging along to explore San Gabriel and check out Tangadan Falls.

Trivia: I was told that San Gabriel is Vice Ganda’s hometown. 🙂

Below is the short #BROSontheROAD Travel Video featuring Tangadan Falls in San Gabriel, La Union. We went trekking, cliff jumping and swimming.

For better definition, you can watch the travel video posted on Youtube below instead:

There is also an IG TV version. Watch it below:

 

Getting To Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union

Flotsam & Jetsam Hostel Entrance, Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union
Our Mom and Auntie in front of Flotsam & Jetsam Hostel in Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union

 

We were billeted in Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel, Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union. Just outside the hostel was a tricycle queue. We hired a tricycle to bring us to and from Tangadan Falls’ Jumping-Off Point  for P 500 or P 250 per head. I guess we got a good deal already since getting to San Gabriel would normally take about 45 minutes worth of gas tops and tricycle fare would be P 300 per person.

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We wore comfortable clothes and footwear and put on a generous amount of sunblock and insect repellent.   We left Flotsam and Jetsam at 8:15 AM. We got to the jumping-off point to meet our tour guide, Leo, at about 9 AM.

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It was an hour-trek to the cliff jumping point. Although, it was fairly an easy and enjoyable trek, I must say that one must be fit and ready for an hour of walking, climbing and crossing streams. Bringing the kids and elderly members of the family along may not be a good idea.

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There was also a resting area where snacks and refreshments were being sold.

Tangadan Falls Trek Vendor

Upon reaching the cliff jumping point, I immediately assembled my drone to get some aerial footage. My brother, on the other hand, did not waste time and went straight for the cliff and jumped into the water. I needed to stop whatever I was doing to capture his jump on video.

After ten minutes of flying, I packed my drone and jumped off the cliff to get underwater footage.

I would have wanted to stay a bit longer to get more photos for my Instagram feed but my brother was in a hurry and was already giving me the look. By 9:30 AM, we were back on the trail to the main attraction of San Gabriel, the Tangadan Falls. I asked my brother what was bothering him. He said he was worried that we would not be able to make it back on time to the hotel for check-out. Our check-out time was 11 AM.

At the rate we were going, I highly doubted we would make it back on time. But this I kept to myself and tried my best to entertain him in between climbing rocks and crossing streams. I told him not to worry in that our aunt can handle the check-out process. I also told him that I would advise our aunt via SMS that we might be running late and that she would have to just wait for us to get back. By the way, our Mom left early in the morning. She could not be away from her fur-babies for too long. Tough luck, there was no telecommunication signal in the area and was not able to advise our aunt just the same. LOL.

After 20 minutes, we reached Tangadan Falls. We paid the Environmental Fee of P 30 per person. I unpacked my drone for some #dronescapade while my brother… well… jumped immediately into the water.

My brother having a grand time in Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union.
My brother having a grand time in Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union.
Life vests for rent for P 50, Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union
Life vests for rent for P 50.
Tangadan Falls Souvenirs
Souvenirs for sale onsite.

My brother, ever since, has always had a strong affinity to water. Even as a toddler, he could and would stay in the water until his skin got all wrinkled up. And so, he swam away in Tangadan Falls and completely forgot about the check-out time. LOL. We stayed in Tangadan Falls for almost two hours.

Swimming in Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union
My brother has always had a strong affinity to water. Even as a toddler, he could and would stay in the water until his skin got all wrinkled up.

On the way back to the jumping-off point, we opted to rent a habal habal (motorcycle) for P 250 each. However, we had to do another twenty-minute trek to get to the pick-up point. Talk about delaying self-gratification. The trek to the pick-up point was quite challenging. It was a steep climb. I was literally gasping for air on the way up.

Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union
Raft or balsa for rent for P 250 per hour

The motorcycle ride back to the jumping-off point was another highlight of this trip. The concrete-paved road was narrow and full of peaks and troughs. It was like riding a roller coaster. I had fun being the adrenaline junkie that I am. The only downside was… well, we were not given crash helmets to wear. Perhaps, this is something that the local tourism office should address to ensure the safety of tourists.

Paved narrow road from the trail head of Tangadan Falls to the jumping-off point
Paved and narrow road from the trail head of Tangadan Falls to the jumping-off point.

We arrived at the jumping-off point by 12:30 PM where the same tricycle and driver were waiting. By the time we got back to Flotsam and Jetsam, it was already 1 PM. True enough, our aunt single-handedly managed to bring out all our stuff from the room, did the whole check-out process and was cozily waiting for us at the reception area. Thanks, auntie Bing!

Not all road trips with my brother is smooth sailing. Just like any siblings, we would bicker a lot and agree to disagree (NOT). I must say though that every road trip with him is memorable and always an opportunity to get to know each other more. He will be coming home this month. We have not yet finalized where we will be going to next but I am sure we will both have a grand time.

Screen Shot of  Jem's Post on his Facebook Page describing our trip to Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union.
Screen Shot of Jem’s Post on his Facebook Page describing our trip to Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union.

 

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Me with our tour guide, Kuya Leo, in Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union.

Signing out for now. Peace!

HOW TO GET TO BATU CAVES, KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

When I visited Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in January this year, I missed Batu Caves. Batu Caves is one of the most popular Hindu Shrines outside India. It is located in the northern part of Kuala Lumpur.

Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I already paid for the day tour online while in Manila. A city tour was scheduled in the morning and Batu Caves in the afternoon. A separate blog post about my Kuala Lumpur City Tour will be published soon (I hope, lol). My flight back to Manila was in the evening and I had to be at the airport by say about 7 PM.

By noon, the city tour was done and we were on our way back to the tour operator’s headquarters to switch vans and guides for Batu Caves. During the switch, I grabbed a quick lunch at a nearby eatery. After lunch, I boarded the van with other travelers. I was so excited because it would be my first #dronescapade outside the country.

Unknown to me and to my companions in the van, the tour included three stops before Batu Caves, being the last stop. After the first stop, the tour guide approached me and told me that I might miss my flight to Manila should I proceed any further with the tour. So they left me at the nearest train station to catch a trip back to KL Sentral and then to the KL International Airport unfortunately.

Me on board a train to KL Sentral Station
Me on board a train to KL Sentral Station

I did not know any better but had I known, I could have just taken the bus & train to Batu Caves from KL Sentral Train Station and not booked that day tour in the first place.

In March 2018, I traveled to Jakarta, Indonesia. My flight back to Manila had a long lay-over in Kuala Lumpur. I grabbed the opportunity to finally fly my drone in Batu Caves. I did not book a van for a day tour anymore. I did a DIY tour of Batu Caves and other places of interest in Kuala Lumpur. #solotravels

Getting to Batu Caves From the KL Sentral Train Station

Rapid KL Bus to Sentul Station from KL Sentral
Rapid KL Bus to Sentul Station from KL Sentral
Bus Terminal at the KL Sentral Station, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Bus Terminal at the KL Sentral Station, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

There were no trains available that would take me from KL Sentral to Batu Caves. Apparently, a construction of the railway directly connecting KL Sentral and Batu Caves was (and still is) ongoing. Hence, I took the one-hour bus ride compliments of Rapid KL Bus from KL Sentral to Sentul Train Station instead. At the Sentul Station, I took the train to Batu Caves (only four stations away) for a meager 3 Malaysian Ringgit (approximately Php 40).

From the Batu Caves Train Station, the Batu Caves Shrine is a mere 10-minute walk. Devotees may buy flowers to serve as offering from a number of vendors just outside the gate of Batu Caves.

Flower vendors outside Batu Caves
Flower vendors outside Batu Caves
The Batu Caves Main Gate
The Batu Caves Main Gate
Batu Caves at sunrise
Batu Caves at sunrise

I arrived at the shrine’s parking lot before sunrise and was allowed to fly my drone by the park’s security on duty. Personally, I really prefer flying outside peak hours to avoid big crowds. I also kept my distance to avoid getting in the way of a huge flock of pigeons in the area.

Batu Caves early in the morning.
Batu Caves early in the morning
Huge flock of pigeons in Batu Caves
Huge flock of pigeons in Batu Caves
IMG_8835Huge flock of pigeons in Batu Caves
Pigeons pigeons everywhere. I kept my distance when flying my drone to avoid getting in the way.

Below is a 60-second video that I prepared featuring Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

For better viewing, you may also watch the Youtube video below instead:

272 steps to Batu Caves
272 steps to Batu Caves

After flying my drone, it was time to climb 272 steps to get to Batu Caves. Batu Caves is located about 100 meters above ground. At the foot of the staircase is the the world’s tallest statue of Murugan, a Hindu deity.

The world's tallest statue of Murugan, a Hindu deity
The world’s tallest statue of Murugan, a Hindu deity, can be found in Batu Caves.

Monkeys darted and congregated on the steps on the way up. I was cautioned by one of the visitors to be very careful and to keep an eye on my mobile phone and other belongings. The monkeys are notorious for “stealing” the visitor’s belongings just out of curiosity.

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There are souvenir shops near the entrance of Batu Caves. They sell religious artifacts and mementos.

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Inside Batu Caves is a temple cave featuring various Hindu shrines and characters. The interior is so huge. It looked like a giant carved a cathedral out of the belly of the mountain.

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Me overwhelmed inside Batu Caves, one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India. It is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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After taking photos and being mesmerized by the sheer grandeur of the Batu Caves Shrine, it was time to leave and catch the next bus and train to the city. People were also starting to pour in.

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Before leaving the shrine, I had a quick snack at an eatery inside the park. I had my favorite LiqaLic by MFruits and tried Black Currant Fruit Drink by Ribena. Click here to know more about how much I love MFruits’ LiqaLic.

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I had a great time visiting Batu Caves. I got to fly my drone and got a good workout from climbing up and down a flight of stairs, 272 steps to be exact. Signing out for now. Peace!