TRAVEL

Weekend Baguio Trip

Note: This is a super duper late blog post about Baguio.

It’s been weeks since my friend and I went there. Some Baguio-goers would follow the usual Baguio itinerary. What we did was so simple. We just visited the museums and allowed ourselves to immerse with so many artworks.

Ben Cab Museum

Museums are gift of humanity to the world. I would never skip any museum in every place that I visit. Hehe. Here are some of my favorite art works from Ben Cab.

 

Baguio Museum

We rode a taxi from Ben Cab Museum going to Baguio Museum. That cost us 120PHP I think. Unfortunately, Baguio Museum was being renovated so there were only few pieces for exhibit shown when we went there.

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Baguio Food Trip

After visiting some museums, we did our personal errands like eating lunch, strolling around the Burnham Park, and eating merienda. At 2:00PM, we went to our hotel and leave our bags there. We napped for a while, then went out again to eat Visco’s cake!!!

Here are some pictures taken at Burnham Park.

Lastly, we also visited Baguio Cathedral. Here’s what you can see inside.

 

Baguio Night Market

We looked forward to visiting Baguio Night Market. Here are some photos we took there. This is my favorite part of the day btw! 🙂

These photos are taken at the streets.

Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad, Benguet

Of course, we cannot skip Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad, Benguet. You can pick strawberries for 400PHP and up. It depends.

Here’s an up-close look at freshly picked strawberry.

Mines View Park

Okay. We went here because we bought pasalubong at The Good Shepherd’s Convent. Here are some of the flowers we saw at Mines View Park.

Mt. Cloud Book Shop

This bookshop is one taxi away from Mine’s View Park. Well, everything is accessible with taxis! Haha. Mt. Cloud Book Shop is an indie book store that sells indie and some traditionally published books. I believe, they are friendly to new authors. Don’t skip this place in your Baguio Itinerary! 🙂

There are really lots of places to visit in Baguio. You can enjoy Baguio in weekend as long as you could prioritise the places you wanted to visit. Hehe. For us, it’s mostly museum, food, and of course, church.

Here is our suggested itinerary in Baguio for weekend.

Baguio Weekend Itinerary

Day 1 

5:00AM – 8:30AM – Travel time to Baguio

8:30AM – 10:00AM – Breakfast at The Ruins

10:00AM – 12:00NN – Ben Cab Museum

12:00NN – 1:00PM – Baguio Museum

1:00PM – 2:00PM – Burnham Park

2:00PM – 3:00PM – Checked in our hotel

3:00PM – 5:00PM – Strolled at Session Road. Lunch. Etc.

5:00PM – 6:00PM – Dinner along Session Road

6:00PM – 9:00PM – Strolled at Night Market

 

Day 2 

9:00AM – 11:00AM – La Trinidad Strawberry Farm

11:00AM -12:00NN – Slow down for personal errands.

12:00NN – 2:00PM – The Good Shepherd, Mines View, and Mt. Cloud Book Shop

2:00PM – 4:00PM – Lunch at SM Baguio, Coffee, and Merienda.

5:00PM – 11: 00PM – Rode the bus going home.

 

Here is our basic Baguio Budget for Weekend.

Joy Bus going Baguio – 520PHP (Student Discount)

Victory Liner – 400PHP (?) (Discounted)

Hotel for one night – 1,500PHP (split into two)

Food, Entrance, Taxi – 2,500 (Estimate)

So that’s roughly 4,170PHP. We splurge our money on food and taxi. So if you want to explore Baguio budget-friendly, then public transportation is really recommended. 🙂

 

Stay safe and sane, guys.

 

TRAVEL

Taiwan Trip 2019

It’s my first time to travel abroad. Thanks to Taiwan-visa free perks for Filipinos. I am so excited and hyped about this trip. Thus, writing about this experience took me two weeks. So, let me share this unforgettable trip with you.

How do you plan your trip abroad?

I applied for my passport. I only got the chance to use it after two years. Then, we booked a flight going to Taipei-Manila, and Manila-Taipei via Airasia. I paid 6,200php for roundtrip fare. We booked a hotel near the Taipei Main Station (their version of MRT). After that, we planned for our itinerary. I searched for the places which we could possibly visit in three days. We based our activities on that itinerary. Most of our activities were booked on Klook. Lastly, we prepared for our money, wifi, and lots of prayers.

For our wifi, it is better to book it at Klook. For your currency, some blogs say that you may opt to use US dollars, then have it change for NTD. We had our own ways. We exchanged for foreign money at the airport.

 

What to do on the same day of your trip abroad?

I was so anxious days before our trip. It’s my first time. So, I searched lot of vlog about some questions asked at the immigration. I oversearched, I guessed, because when I was already there, the immigration officers, asked me tolerable questions.

The very first thing that we did upon our arrival is to proceed at the counter of Airasia. Then, the teller checked our passport, boarding pass, and told us to pay our travel tax. That time, we paid 1,620php for the tax. This could be paid through debit, credit, or in cash. After that, we checked-in our baggage. There, we were asked to fill-out the immigration card. We filled that out with the details about our trip. After answering that sheet, we went to the immigration officer. There was a long line. Hence, make sure you arrive at the airport ahead of time.

The immigration officer asked my two companions first. So, when it was my turn, she asked me about my companion’s names. She asked me about my job. I told her I am a teacher. Also, she asked me if I am really a teacher because I looked too young to be one. I responded with yes, questioning my choice of clothes that day.

Thank God, we passed those questions. We waited for our flight. We were two hours early for our flight. Take note. Waiting for our flight earlier is better than rushing up to the gates.

 

From Taiyoan International Airport to Taipei Main Station

We lined up, again, showed our passport, and gave our fingerprints. It was quite fast. Then, that’s it. It was about two in the morning when we arrived at Taiwan. We claimed our Klook wifi right there at the airport.

Guess what’s our next problem? The way to the Main Station. We only had 1,800NTD in our pocket. The fare going to the city cost 1,500NTD. Can we risk that money? Thank God because while strolling around the airport, we saw a bus outside. We only had to buy ticket from the booth nearby. That was about 75NTD (not accurate though). The thing was, this was way cheaper than a taxi. The MRT that time was still closed. So, we had to ride bus. It was an awesome experience by the way. We paid less.

 

At the Taipei Main Station

Friendly tip: Book your hostel near the Main Station. All forms of train pass there.

From the Main Station, we headed to our hostel. However, upon seeing a 7/11 store nearby, we decided to eat our dinner there first. We tried noodles, and their coffee (which is quite the same). Noodles was not salty. Hence, it’s a big YES for me.

After eating, we walked going to our hostel. That was nine minutes away from the main station (if you are familiar with the streets). Thanks to Google Maps for being so efficient. We found our hostel, left our baggage there, and got ready for day one.

 

Day 1 in Taiwan

Our Day 1 started at 6:00AM. We ate some breakfast sold at the street. My friend’s sister treated us with lots of food. Hence, the inner me was so delighted. Hehe.

We bought Easy Card for 100NTD and loaded it up with 500NTD. This was enough for us for three days. We even had excess fund before going home.

  1. Our first stop was at Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall.

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  1. Then, we headed to Taipei Zoo.

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  1. We rode the Maokong Gondola Cable Car.

 

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  1. We ate stinky tofu and their Taiwanese chicken.

 

  1. We passed by at their National Museum.

 

  1. Of course, we took pictures at Taipei 101.

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  1. We ate so much at Taiwan. That’s it. Too many to mention.

 

Day 2 in Taiwan

Our Day 2 was a bit calm. We booked our tour via Klook. This was convenient for us, since the tourist attractions at northern part Taiwan were far. Here’s what we did at Northern Taiwan.

 

1. We went to Yehliu Geopark.

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2. We lit up Lanterns at Shifen Street.

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3. We looked at the Shifen Waterfalls.

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4. We took pictures at Jioufen Old Street.

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What I loved about this trip was the streets of Jiofen. It felt like the old times! I was immersed with their culture by merely looking at the food stalls, souvenirs, and different artsy locations there.

Our Day 2 in Taiwan ended at Ximending Night Market. It was just a stree full of stores, milktea shops, and mostly souvenir shops.

Our Day 3 was quite peaceful because we only ate breakfast, and rode MRT going to the airport.

Here’s my favourite photo:

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I would never forget this experience. I will forever treasure new learning from this journey. I am praying for more adventures because who knows? God may allow these future journeys to happen.

 

 

 

 

 

TRAVEL

Puerto Princesa, Palawan 2019

I’ve always wanted to visit Puerto Princesa City Palawan, specifically the famous Puerto Princesa Underground River! Thank God this happened last October 28-30, 2019.

Also, if there’s one thing I always look forward in a year, it’s semestral break. We used to have two weeks of vacation. But, due to some constraints, we were only given a week to rest. But that is okay! We can always find ways to enjoy sembreak.

My workmate and I went to Puerto Princesa City, Palawan! It was one of my dream destinations! Yay. On this blog, I will write our itinerary in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, our budget, and our best trip experiences ever.

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Day 1 – Honda Bay Island Hopping

We arrived Puerto Princesa at 7:30AM. We were fetched by our hostel owner, Kuya Joven. He already arranged our Honda Bay Island Hopping trip. It cost us 1,500pesos.  Kuya Joven saved our first day because my friend and I didn’t really have a concrete plan at all. We know what to do, we just didn’t know how and where.

At 8:00AM, we were fetched at our hostel (which is 10 minute away from the airport). After leaving our luggage at his hostel, we were fetched by our tour guide.

After few minutes, we arrived at their port, rode on a boat, and went to three different islands.

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If you’ve noticed, it’s a bit cloudy. Good thing, it only drizzled. Also, we went to three amazing islands such as Cowrie Island, Luli Island, and another island which I forgot. Sorry.

We ended the tour at 2:30PM. We headed back home at around 3:00PM, and decided to rest. My friend and I went to SM Puerto Princesa to buy connector for my powerbank. We also had our dinner there.

This trip was slow trip. I mean, we travel one place at a time. Ayoko nang nagmamadali.

Day 2 – Puerto Princesa Underground River

The next day, we were booked by Kuya Joven for an PPUR trip. We were fetched at 8:00AM. You know what, we were a group. We were ten in a group. Some are Chinese, Romanian, from Morocco, and two amazing retired Filipino couple (who was celebrating their forty years wedding anniversary)!!!

It was a long trip. We had a quick break at a store. Then, we headed to Mangrove Boat Paddling Station. There, we had our short and informational trip about mangroves.

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This took us 45 minutes, and we only paid 350 php. It was very informational, and we learned about the mangroves, and the animals that live there.

After that trip, we headed to the port where we need to ride a boat going to the underground river. But, before that, we ate our lunch at a buffet at that place.

THEN, after waiting for our tour guide to process our permit, we finally jumped in our boat and started the exploration.

Would I suggest getting tour? YES. In our case, we find it easier to have someone to process the papers. It saved us time.

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If there’s one thing I’ve regret about this trip is not going here sooner. I should have gone here earlier. PPUR is indeed one of the wonders of the world. The stalactites and stalagmites are both natural and made by nature. Who would not be amazed by the way it formed? It was formed for hundred years. Just imagine. Grabeng pinagdaanan nila before they achieved their best form. I guess, it’s also a good metaphor about life, eh?

Going back to the city took an hour of our day. We went to SM Puerto Princesa and watched Unforgettable movie. Ticket is only 210php. Haha. After that, we ate our dinner, and went back home.

Day 3 – Puerto Princesa City Tour

Please, skip the 600php/head tour. It’s costly. Let us support the local tourist guides (just choose wisely) who offer tour for only 600php-700php. Kuya Justine, our driver, willingly sent us to the tourist spots in the city such as Butterfly Garden, Baker’s Hill, Mitra Ranch, Kuyba Almonica, Immaculate Conception Cathedral and Plaza Cuartel.

After visiting these places, we bough our pasalubong (which is hopia). We went back home and slept until an hour before our flight.

Puerto Princesa is indeed a charming place to visit. It is filled with scenic spots that would make your heart melt. Here’s our Palawan Budget btw.

Airfare – 3,200php

Hostel – 1,000php (2 nights)

Honda Bay – 1,500php

PPUR – 2,000php

Miscellaneous – 2,000

Total – 9,700php

If you are a thrift traveller, the expenses could be lessen. In our case, we ate so much and we did so many activities.

I also think, three days and two nights is enough to explore Puerto Princesa City.

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My trip was complete after seeing the airport where my favourite movie, Mr. and Mrs. Cruz was taken. PPS Airport is indeed a classic. However, there are only limited food stalls. So, if you wish to stay there a little longer, you should bring your food inside.

I am so thankful for the blessing in funding this trip. 2019 has been extra loving with me. I hope to be more matipid next time. Hehe.

May your days be filled with wonder and wanders. God bless, pips!

TRAVEL

Sorsogon Day Trip

Sorsogon is 12 hours away from Cubao. Yes, it’s 12 long hours of travel. It’s a short and quick trip with my Mom. So far, this is my first travel with her.

We left Cubao at 7:00PM. Then, we reached Sorsogon after 12 hours. The travel was so tiring. Imagine sitting in an uncomfortable bus, with insufficient leg space 😦 I could not find my way to sleep because the bus was so shaky.

So when we reached our relative’s house, we just ate brunch. I slept.

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One of our relatives lives up here. She has cable, and things that she need. Wow.

When I woke up, we went to the mountain-ish part of the baranggay where my mom’s dad lives. There we found him. After that, we strolled and visited some chapels of Saint Vincent Ferrer in the said town. After that, we went back to our relative’s house, and headed to the city. At six PM, we rode the bus going home.

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Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in Sorsogon City
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The interior part of Saints Peter and Pau Cathedral

We visited the cathedral in Sorsogon quickly, uttered a prayer, and took pictures. After that, we went to their pier, had some pictures taken. Luckily, we were able to reached the bus stop on time.

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To more quick travels with mudra and self soon. 🙂

This quick travel was quite different. It brought back memories of childhood. It reminded me to be more rooted of the past, as I step forward to the present, and look forward to future. It reminded me to value other people’s stories.

I am grateful for this experience. I am humbled on how this short trip melted my heart and taught me things. Thank You, Lord, for the opportunity and resources.

TRAVEL

Bacolod Trip for Four Days

After my trip in Iloilo, I planned for next trip to Negros Island, specifically Bacolod to Dumaguete and Siquijor. However, due to unpredictable weather and some circumstances, I needed to stay in Bacolod City.

Basically, this trip was exploring the undiscovered parts of Bacolod. These places were never mentioned when I googled this place. Also, this trip allowed me to appreciate my solitude during the second half of my trip. As of this writing, I missed how I wake up without tons of worries. It’s detoxifying my mind from stress.

Again, this trip is not the fast kind of trip. It was reallyyyyy slow trip. A time meant for stories, new found friends, and moments with thyself.

Day 1 – Arrival, Iloilo Airport
After riding the shuttle going to SM Iloilo, the very first thing I did was to eat La Paz Batchoy in Iloilo. I missed their Batchoy because it’s just one of a kind. Nothing beats its Super Special Batchoy, dude. Paired with hot pandesal, this Batchoy would never go out of style.

I met my friends also in SM Iloilo. We were five in this trip. I was a stranger to most of them (at first) for I only know one friend, the rest were mutual friends. Teehee.

Then, we went to the port to ride a ferry. There were schedule for trips going to Bacolod. The trip from Iloilo Port to Bacolod was one hour. We took the 9:10am trip.

When we reached Bacolod, our friend, Carl, offered to tour us in Bacolod. Thus, I could not fully explain things regarding transportation. But then, Bacolod was easily explored through Jeepney. I swear. You’d love it there. Jeep. Trike. Grab. You wouldn’t be lost.

First Stop: DSB Cafe
It’s an overlooking cafe. It’s cute and breathtaking. They’re proud of their special coffee. However, I wasn’t able to try it because it was not available that time.
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Also, we passed by a certain park in DSB.

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Second Stop: La Guada Cafe
Same with the first cafe, it offered an overlooking view. We paid 50php for entrance. Free parking. Meals and drinks were affordable. But, we didn’t eat much because we were still full.

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Third Stop: Bacolod Inc
Bacolod Trip wouldn’t be complete without tasting their Inasal. It’s legit chicken. I tasted no preservatives. Huhu. Everything was sooo perfect. Even the rice. Wow.

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Fourth Stop: Orange Gallery
There were artsy stuff in this place. Murals were on the wall. But, I was so sleepy and had no power to take lots of photos. I regained energy after drinking coffee which I poured on chatting to my friends.

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Day 2: Duyan Cafe

Our Day 2 started, really, with our breakfast at their local market. Then, we passed at their local park, and took pictures in front of San Sebastian Cathedral.

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Duyan Cafe is such a haven for nature lovers. It’s like a coffee shop in the middle of Negros. You’ll see Mt. Kanlaon as you sip coffee and eat their special chorizo with two eggs and iced tea.

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After we ate our lunch, we went to a street in Silay City that is filled with Mansions! Also, we explored Negrense Museum.

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we went home and rested. We also attended the Mass in San Sebastian Cathedral. Then, we ate our dinner and ate cakes at Calea!

 

Day 3 – The Ruins, Talisay City 

My friends went home already. I was all alone in the third day. That time, I had no worries (thank God). I was all by myself. I enjoyed how this venue captured the hearts of every traveler. I admired its perseverance. Like, it was definitely worth visiting.

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I also drank coffee at their cafe. Then, I journaled some stuff and plans. After that, I went back to my hostel to rest. It was a cozy afternoon. Then, I ate lunch, bangus this time. Also, went back to my hostel. I attended the mass at San Sebastian Cathedral.

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After attending the Mass, I walked going to SM Bacolod, drank coffee, and reflected on my life lately. Then, I watched movie at my room, too. Punong-puno ng pahinga, friends.

 

Day 4 – The Negros Museum, Lagoon, and The Negros Forest Park 

In my second day of being solo, I really enjoyed how I owned my time. I decided on my own. I worked on my own pace. Certainly, this was one of the books! Thank God for the gift of time. 🙂

Negros Forest Park was not on my list. I just saw this sign on my way to Negros Museum. I dunno, but it was not shown in any of blogs that I read. Inside this park was the natural floral and fauna of Panay Island. They have Philippine Eagle Owl, btw, and a bird with a bleeding heart (its name). There were deers, pigs, and snakes. Oops.

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After a short stroll here, I went to Negros Museum. This building has second floors. First floor was filled with varies artworks and sculptures. I guess, it is more of an exhibit rather than a museum.

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Then, I walked and passed by their Lagoon, and their municipal hall. It was like walking in Luneta. It was Tuesday morning. There were only few people  who were strolling that time. Grabe. I enjoyed my pag-iisa.IMG_7561

After strolling here, I went home and watch a Filipino movie entitled “She’s the One.” Then, I packed up, left my hostel, and bought some pasalubong.

I went to Robinson Bacolod and ate lunch. Also, I rented a computer there. Then, I drank milktea. Huhu. Hanggang Bacolod talaga. Then, I rode a shuttle going to Bacolod Airport. I only read books while waiting for my flight. It was reallyyyyy an exciting adventure! Na-miss ko yung paglalakbay na ito. Kinakabahan ako noong una. Kasi, nasanay na ako nang maraming kasama at kausap, kaya nakakatakot na babalik na naman ako sa pag-iisa. Kaya, sobrang salamat sa Diyos sa gabay at lakas. Nagawa na naman natin ang isang makabuluhang paglalakbay at pagkilala sa sarili.

My Takeaways

  • Being alone is not equivalent to being lonely.
  • Meet new friends, after reconciling with yourself.
  • Value personal time and self-care.

Also, ‘wag kalilimutang uminom ng tubig. Ayun! Nag-enjoy ako last weekend, sana kayo rin. Not posting pala to brag or what, medyo masaya lang akong nagawa ko siya. Thank God for the gift of friends pala, si Kuya Jarell, Aljhur, Cess, Luke, Ryan, and Carl.