Wednesday, January 30, 2013

boracay: itinerary, expenses and some link loving ♥

I do not have much words right now 'cause I'm in a hurry. Domestic works are waiting for me. So here yah go guys,  seven freaking days in Boracay for almost P13500!! That would even be more than P20000 if I add all other miscellaneous expenses - clothes, swimsuits, cover-ups, toiletries.. Yikkeess!
 


Links, links, linkkkss!!







Monday, January 28, 2013

day7: some good things never last


Day 7. It was time to go home! Our flight's ETD was 12:30 pm so at around 8 am we were already taking outfit shots outside St. Vincent. Noticed my braids? Got that the previous night for P150. It felt weird at first, I felt bald! Hahaha! It's also the first time that I got to see the shape of my head. Can't thank heavens enough I only had half of my hair braided. It must have felt a lot weirder.

last outfit, goodbye boracay

While waiting for Ruel and Ken, we killed time taking photos. Mark and Dwin were the photographers. Ano ba naman bago dun? :P


As soon as we were all ready, we went to the beach for some last shots. We left Boracay at around 8:30 am. 

 

badjao and friends bidding boracay goodbye

Same as how we got there, tryc from station 2 to Cagban Port for P25, boat ride from Cagban to Caticlan Jetty Port for P125 {boat fare and terminal fee, no more environmental fee}. From Caticlan, we hired the same van for P1200 again to bring us to Kalibo airport. After 2 hours of van ride, we arrived in Kalibo airport at around 11 am. 

Since our flight was at 12:30 pm, we had lunch first at Bagobos Resto Grill. I had a sandwich and shake for P180. 

brunch at Kalibo

When we got in the airport, we found out that most flights got delayed hence it was full of people. Our flight originally scheduled at 12:30 pm got moved to 1:30 pm. Why, thank you again, Zest Air. We had a lot of airport memes, massage being on top of the list.


We were back in Manila at 2:45 pm. From the terminal, the guys walked a mile to where they can ride jeepneys. Monique and I settled for a cab to our condo in Eastwood. The taxi driver charged us P400 but we didn't mind. Pagod kame, try to understand. Hahaha! 

Back in the condo, I slept the rest of my Saturday away. :D

Sunday, January 27, 2013

day6: fishing and snorkeling


Day 6. Our last day in La Carmela. The extension of our accommodation was only until Friday because they were fully booked already. Although our checkout time was at 12 pm, we looked for another place early. Kuya Ace recommended St. Vincent Cottages near La Carmela.We transferred even before our checkout time.

lipat bahay

As soon as we have settled, we went out for brunch, where else.. at Andok's of course! 

while waiting for our food

We then headed to station 3 to begin with our fishing and snorkeling adventure. By the way, station 3 is where all the activities start. The operators' booths are there. All the speed boats, jet skis, etc. are parked there. It is as such obviously for safety. Stations 1 and 2 are mainly for swimming. Most accommodations and restaurants are there. The difference would be station 1 is more for the upper class if you know what I mean. :)

So anyway, we got our fishing/snorkeling package for P1600 {or P1200? Let me get back to you on that :P}. We went fishing first. Boy, it was so frustrating. Only Mark was able to catch a fish but still with the help of one of the boatmen. He even said he can't claim full credits for it. Hahaha! We were even playing jokes to the boatmen that they brought props and they were only pretending to have caught each fish.

on our way to the fishing spot

all smiles before we got frustrated

mga mapangpanggap!

After fishing, we went to the snorkeling spot. The good, they have acceptable snorkeling equipment. The bad, I am not fond of snorkeling. Hahaha! I got so tired of it after our Puerto Princesa trip. So instead of snorkeling, I spent the entire time floating. Lying in the water, not caring about everyone else. After some time, we all hurried back to our boat because jelly fish has conquered the area. It's like we were attacked. Haha! On our way back, we found buko and ice cream vendors. Grabe, only in the Philippines. I was amazed!

snorkeling time

We had ample time to rest and freshen up before dinner. I've been forcing them for several nights already to try other buffets, particularly seafood. It was the night they finally agreed to. We availed of a seafood buffet for P300. Definitely the best meal of our Boracay trip. You know I go crazy over seafoods too. Om nom nooom! xD

on nom noomm

After dinner, while the rest headed straight to St.Vincent's, Juvani Ruel and I stayed out. I had my hair braided, Ruel and I had our henna tattoos retouched and Juvani got a massage. Yet another day well spent. 


Saturday, January 26, 2013

day5: helmet diving and parasailing ♥


Day 5. The day activities were back! Remember Kuya Ace? I knew from the start he had hidden agenda. As we were having breakfast {at Andok's again, goodness gracious}, he offered us a helmet diving-parasailing package for a lower price than what our original guide offered us {the one from day 2}. Kuya Norman's rate was P1300. P600 and P700 for parasailing and helmet diving, respectively. Kuya Ace gave it to us for P1200. Good thing we haven't committed to Kuya Norman yet. Kung hindi, prinsipyo o isang daang piso ang labanan. Hehehe. :P

they made me their official secretary. meeh

Kuya Ace was nice enough to offer photo op session before boarding the boat. We ended up rather frustrated as we can't get a good jump shot. Okay na, move on na tayo!


failed jump shots

For some reasons, Kuya Ace suggested that we helmet dive first. So on we went to the helmet diving site. Among all the different operators, kuya chose Shingley. Together with the other groups, we were briefed first of how helmet diving goes, how the experience is like, the rules and most importantly the hand gestures you'll be using in the process - to signal that you are ok, if you want to go up already, or if there's something wrong.

But first things first.. group picture! They will be using this as a cover to your CD so make sure you all look decent. Hehe. By the way, the package includes a CD of your photos taken by your guides underwater. Always be on the look out for their signals so that your underwater shots won't look like stolen shots. :P

cover photo :')

How was the experience like? It was scary at first especially while we were waiting for our turn. I'm a daredevil, given. But I'm always like that. Nervous, but will do it anyway. Remember my mantra, "do shit that scares you". 

So anyway, the helmet is pretty heavy. You have to hold onto it the entire time. It's kind of annoying for me because there's nothing else I can do with my hands. I saw the guys hold it in place using one hand. I cannot do it myself so I ended up just walking underwater the entire 20 minutes. But alas, it's also not easy to walk. I was like tiptoeing the entire time. Hahaha! I felt silly. Nevertheless, it's worth experiencing. 

fish feeding time!

Update 07.29.2013
Here's our video. Don't judge. This was taken when I still haven't gotten the hang of walking at the bottom of the sea. And remember? Water is my Waterloo. Oops! Did I just sound redundant?

video

After helmet diving, it took a while before we were picked up by our contact for parasaling - Napoleon. While Ruel and Monique were being the water creatures that they are, the rest of us were killing time taking pictures. Thank you so much to our guide.

the best way to kill time :D

In Napoleon, our patience were tested waiting for our turn to parasail. As far as we know, we were the first group who booked for the day. When we arrived there, they said we're the third and that we have to wait for a group of eight and for another group of four to finish.They only have one speed boat and one parachute. So that's 15 minutes per two people for a total of one and a half hour waiting time. Add to that the travel time to the parasailing area and the preparation for each pair to parasail. 

Then our turn came. Wanna know what they said next? That we still have to wait for their speed boat to cool down. One reason came out next, that they run out of crude oil and they have to borrow from other operators first. Wtf, really! Never ever get Napoleon's services. They will suck all the good vibes out of you.

What made it worse is that it was Monique and I who decided that we wait for our turn, after all we're already there. The guys wanted to just leave and return the next day. I only felt a little guilty when Napoleon never runs out of reason and everyone was mad and starving already. We already skipped lunch at that point.

killing time yet again

Then finally, our turn came. For real, this time. Mark and Juvani were the first pair to fly. Their fifteen minutes up there felt forever for us. Monique and I decided that we go together but they did not allow us. So Ken and I went next. As usual, he's being the crazy kid that he is, fooling me that he'll remove the hook of my seat from the parachute. Monique and Ruel went next followed by Dwin.

yaaay! worth the wait

Part of what we paid for is our boat ride back to station 2. But instead we asked them to bring us to station 1. Looking haggard and all, we went to station 1. We spent some time swimming and beach bumming. By dinner time, we went to the carinderia where we ate the previous night. I had rice and binagoongan for P81. I skipped the shake though. After that, we went back to Jona's. For the third time, I chose chocolate peanut. That's how bad I am with anything I really like.

kiddos at heart

We took  a tryc back to La Carmela and immediately gave ourselves our much needed rest. Best day in Boracay, I'd say!

Friday, January 25, 2013

day4: beach boom booms


Day 4. Long story short, the boat operations resumed late not allowing us to catch our flight back to Manila. You know what happened next. We had to book another flight and the cheapest we found is on the coming Saturday. That made our trip extend for 3 more freaking days. Hahaha! We also had to extend our accommodation in La Carmela but this time around we gave up the executive room to cram ourselves in the standard room. Seven people in one room. You bet we all got closer after. Haha!

All the chaos happened after our breakfast, which by the way, was at La Carmela again. Thank God I had the liberty to choose what to eat. Complimentary breakfast no more, at least for me. I had ham and cheese sandwich for P95. I also asked them to wrap an egg sandwich, P85, for my baon in case we made it out of the island. Well, we didn't. 

After we have settled everything, we went out to the beach again. What else we're supposed to do, huh? Still no water activities, thank you sooo muuucch Pablo {the typhoon}. So we spent the entire day beach bumming!! It was my sunbathing day two. Now stop wondering why I went home super dark. 

What made my morning though was the indian mangoes and alamang, of course. Alamang, malamang. Hehehe xP Three mangoes for P45. I won't tell you how many I devoured. But sure, I went crazy over it!  I even bullied Job to buy more. And now I'm craving for it again. Baaadd. O_o

me, my camp and my mangoes

While I'm busy with my emo time, everyone else was busy with their own lives - playing frisbee, skimboard, doing headstands and burying themselves in the sand. Ruel even found new friends in the form of the skimboard gang. So to make the most out of them, we ask one kuya to take our group picture. He obliged instantly and even took generous shots. Ayan ha, next time bring your tripod guys! :P

rare chance of a group photo

Then came a random guy with a paddle board. Rent na naman sila, pambihiraaaa! Ruel, Monique, Dwin and Job went paddle boarding while Ken, Mark and I fooled around. Lotsa goofy photos that's for me to keep. I mean to hide. Hehe.

And since again, there's nothing much to talk about, let's talk about my swimsuit. Monique and I kind of invested on swimsuits prior to the trip so I only wanted to share. Got it again from Nothing But Water, another Anemone swimsuit for around P1700. Other brands that carry fashionable pieces are Soak and I Love Koi but I haven't bought anything from them though 'cos I only got to visit Nothing But Water and Nudo prior to our trip. Let's buy from them soon? :D :D

fooling around with Ken

We also met Kuya Ace then, one of the guides in Boracay. He toured us for "free" and helped us find a place to have lunch for the day. Ayun, sa Mang Inasal bagsak namin. Hehehe. So much for all the effort roaming around Station 2. I had chicken inasal and iced tea for P124. Budget meals forever because we're running low on funds, well, except for Ruel. 

Come night time, we went to Station 1 just for the heck of it. Malayo-layong lakaran. We had dinner at a random carinderia. I had beef mechado and rice for P81. But maannn, they have the best chocolate peanut shake. It costs P110, P30 shy from a Starbucks drink, but it's really worth its price. Take it from me!
 
before heading to Station 1

On our way back, we saw the famous Jonah's fruitshake and decided to give it a try. I tried they chocolate peanut shake too as according to them, it's a bestseller. It's for P110 by the way. The verdict? I love my first chocolate peanut shake better! Looking at the photo below, the one in garapon xP is from the carinderia while the one in plastic bottle is from Jonah's. Shake overload for the night!

shake overloooadd

We then opted to take a tricycle back to La Carmela. It's either we take a tryc or gutom ulit kame pagbalik. Hehe. Back in La Carmela, we rearranged the room strategically to fit seven people. 2 double beds plus one extra mattress. Go figure!



ELSEWHERE

Thursday, January 24, 2013

day3: got inked xD


Day 3. Could have been our last chance for the other activities had we not been extended. But that would be a story for later. 

We started the day with what else.. La Carmela's complimentary breakfast! Haha! Had ham, eggs and rice this time. But you know what? I am definitely not impressed with their services. Here's what happened before we got served with our breakfast. We headed to their main hall first. We were told they no longer have vacant tables and with that we can proceed to the convention hall. At the convention hall, we were told they are not serving breakfast there for the day as the conference rooms are being used. Fine. We went back to their main hall and finally got served there. The thing is, some of their staff are not well informed thus giving incorrect information. Although aside from that, everything about La Carmela is just perfect for a budget travel.

Moving on, as soon we went out to the beach, we were informed by the guides that there are still no water activities due to the approaching typhoon. At that moment, I swore to myself I am going back to Boracay! There's no way I'll miss helmet diving and parasailing in this lifetime. Hahaha! I can get exaggerated at times, I know. :P

So guess whaaatt? We spent the entire morning taking pictures again. We rarely swim to be honest. And at this point, Mark hasn't gone swimming yet. The bad side of being a photographer. I mean a real photographer and not just some poser. You know the guys with DSLR but understand nothing about photography. Hihihi. Hindi porket may DSLR ka, photographer ka na. *mean mode*

si tita Cory ay buhay sa puso ko. :P

See my footwear? Island Girl refer to it as sockies. My impulse buy of the year. Hahaha! Got it from Island Girl at Boracay for P995 the night of our second day. I just knew it would be perfect for the next day's outfit. Sure it's perfect, sure it's expensive too. Mehehe.


Let's talk about my swimsuit for the day because to be honest there's not so much to share about the third day of our trip. It's a pleated highwaist from Nudo for P1250. Nudo is way more affordable than Nothing but Water but if you're after quality I suggest you go for the latter.

lifesaver.. not!


group shots.. well, obviously!

But the highlight of the day would be getting our henna tattoos! Can you believe getting a henna tattoo can actually be a highlight of the day in Boracay? Hahaha! Losers! But it can, really, if you have no other choice. I got mine for P100. Until now, I have that cross on my legs. Only that it's no longer henna, rather an uneven skin color. When it's gone, that's the time I know for sure that I have my real skin color back. Now I wonder, kelan pa kaya yun?


While others chose to spend the rest of the day with some serious pictorial {well hello there, Ken and Monique}, I, on the other hand, bathed under the sun with high hopes of getting tan lines. Kung bakit, hindi ko rin alam.  

sun bathing, why yes?!

To cap the night, we availed of La Carmela's dinner buffet again. I love their fish fillet but it was fast gone. And  our topic over dinner? The possibility of getting stranded. If I remember it right, by that time, cost guard has stopped the operations of small boat transfers already. It either gets lifted or we will miss our flight the next day. You don't have to wait for my day 4 story to know what happened. I'll tell you now, we got stranded!

Ruel approves of our dinner

Even before bed time, we were brainstorming of our game plans. Haha! What happens if.. what about if.. Are there cheap flights available? Where are we going to stay? How about our work? I swear the night was crazy.  Add to that the crazy wind that's banging our windows.

brainstorming slash kulitan sessions

So stay tuned to know what happened next. This is gonna be exciting! Except not really. xP 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

day2: banana boat and atv


Day 2. We all woke up early, perhaps unconsciously excited for the activities that await us. We had two complimentary breakfast for each room from La Carmela and we took turns in availing them. We ate breakfast at around 8 am. I had corned beef, egg and rice. Absolutely nothing special. I didn't even finish my food. Pfft! Complimentary breakfast indeed.

goodmorning, Boracay

After brekky, the guys were quick to explore the place. Monique and I, being the girls that we are, took some time prepping up. When we went to the beach, we saw the guys busy with frisbee and skimboard. As expected, Mark was busy taking photographs. Which brings me to my point.. For the record, he was our official Boracay photographer. 

The entire morning was spent taking pictures! You can't blame us, it was our first morning in Boracay and we  were still in awe with the place. Speaking for myself, another reason would be because I love my outfit so much. Yes, girls will always be girls.

I love my trousers :')

Eventually, I gave up with the pants to make way for my swimsuit. Remember I went gaga for this pair? It's an Anemone Swimwear from Nothing but Water and I got it for almost three thousand pesos. It's classy anyway and I'm pretty sure it will last for several summers. Although I'm pretty sure too that no matter how I defend it being classy and all, hindi pa rin lulusot 'to sa nanay ko. 

thanks Mark for these :)

my favorite shot, obviously ♥

And of course, there are group shots. Readers, all three of you, meet the Badj Gang! Short for Badjao because almost everyone's dark. Not to discriminate or anything. There is totally nothing wrong or bad with being dark-skinned. Just thought I need to clear that one out.


more of us

For lunch, we went back to Andok's. It was our official food sponsor for the trip for obvious reasons - it was affordable and we were lazy to look for some other place. This time I had quarter chicken and rice plus mais con yelo again all for P113. We were crazy after that dessert, most especially Mark. We should have counted how many glasses of mais con yelo he was able to knock down the entire trip.

Then it was time for the most awaited activities. To our surprise, they only had Banana Boat, ATV and Zipline at that time. Typhoon Pablo was approaching then and the operations of the other activities had stopped. Funny how the bad news changed Monica's mood drastically. She wanted to try Parasailing so bad. Pero ganun talaga, ang mga bida, nagpapaapi muna sa simula. 

Not having so much choices, we availed of banana boat first. It was for P200 each for 15 minutes of water fun. It was actually my first time to try the said activity. I had the chance back in 2011 at Puerto Galera but it was the time of the month so there's not so much I can do aside from die of envy.

woot woot! banana boaaattt!

The sharing of experiences after the banana boat ride was hilarious. It would be too much though if I share. What happens in Boracay stays in Boracay. ;) But just the thought makes me laugh inside.

We took some rest and freshened up before the next activity which is ATV. No one really bothered to give Zipline a try in Boracay. Definitely.Not.In.Boracay. It's just everywhere. So anyway, at around 3 pm, we were off to try ATV. It was P400 each for an hour of freaking ride. What the heck really if you don't know how to drive. Hahaha! I was with a guide all along and all I had to do was to control the speed. But no, I won't make it a goal to learn how to drive. Not yet. Or maybe not in forever. xP

no more ATV for the rest of my life

By sunset, Mark, Juvani, Dwin and I found ourselves taking silhouette shots. I do not know where the others are at this point but what I know for sure is that it's hella fun to take this kind of shot. There's always a first time. I am obviously amazed. Can someone please explain scientifically how silhouette shots happen? Hahaha!

sunset fun

At around 7 pm, we had dinner at La Carmela. It was a buffer dinner for P275. Mediocre, I should say. Despite having a good number of choices, none impressed me. Tara, Andok's na lang ulit! 

boriiinnggg

After dinner, I met my classmate back in college, tatay Joemar. I forgot to mention in my previous post that Ruel, Monique and I also met him during our first night and we got McDo treats from him. Thanks, tatay! :) This time around Ruel bullied him to buy a pair of light poi. I tried it too and got hurt several times in the process. Haha! It was fun though. A never ending firsts within a day. ♥ 

poi dance with tatay

We then headed back to La Carmela for some drinks then dozed off. xD

That's about all for tonight. My sister is making me sleep now 'cos we'd go jogging tomorrow morning. I mean later. Eeeepp! Got to hit the sack!



ELSEWHERE