HOW TO DRAFT BASIC SKIRT PATTERN

In this post I will be sharing this tutorial on how to make a basic skirt pattern. For those who are interested in learning how to draft your own patterns, everything starts from the basics. Once you know how to make a skirt and bodice pattern you can easily modify it into different styles and this will help you achieve any design you desire.

There are many pattern drafting methods and techniques you can use in turning your basic block into a gorgeous vogue. So I will be using this method I’ve learned from the school. 

In order to draft this pattern you will need these measurements:  

Measurements:

Waist, Hips, Bust Distance, and Skirt Length

Tools needed:

Pattern paper, Pencil,Marker, Fashion Curve, Ruler, Eraser, Scissor, Masking Tape, and Tape Measure

Ruler measurement I use

Here’s the sample chart:

SIZE 26Actual Size+1 Movement Allowance1/21/4
Waist26”____136 4/8
Hips36”3718 4/89 2/8
Bust Distance7”____3 4/8____
Skirt Length22”____________

Let’s get started:

  1. On your pattern paper, start on the upper left part and draw a horizontal line (½ of hip measurement). See the chart. As you can see the actual size of hip measurement is 36 plus 1 inch movement allowance is equal to 37 inches so divide by 2 is 18 and 4/8 inches.  
  1. Once you draw a horizontal line, draw another line vertically (this will be the skirt length). Choose any skirt length you desire. Here I use 22 inches. Then complete the rectangle.

  1. Once you complete, divide it vertically by 2. And that would be 9 ²/⁸  inches.

This line in the middle would be your side seam

Label  each rectangle as Central Back CB and Central Front CF

  1. From the waist, measure 8 and ⁴/⁸”(standard size) down below and mark as your hipline. 
  1. From the center back (CB), mark ⁴/⁸ inch in and curve down to hips (take note always starts at the 1” mark on your  fashion curve). 
  1. How can we get the back side seam or BSS?

From your NEW CB (central back), get the ¼ measurement of the waist (as you can see in this chart, ¼ of the waist is 6 and ⁴/⁸ inches plus 1 and ²/⁸ inches (standard total measurement of back dart openings). Then curve to hips

Here : 6 ⁴/⁸ + 1 ²/⁸= 7 6/8 inches

7. How to draft a Back Dart? In order to draft a back dart we need location, openings, and depth.

Location: this is halfway between new CB and BSS. In this chart the measurement of my new CB and FSS is 7 and ⁶/⁸ and I get halfway is 3 and 7/8″

Openings: ⅝ inches on both sides of location (standard)

Depth : 5 ⁶/⁸ inches (standard)

  1. How can we get the FRONT SIDE SEAM or FSS?

From the Center Front, get the ¼ waist measurement plus 1 and ⁴/⁸ inches (standard total measurement of front dart openings). 

Here : 6 ⁴/⁸” + 1 ⁴/⁸ = 8”

Then curve down to hips.

  1. How to draft Front Darts? 
    • First Dart
      • Location: in order to get the location of your first dart, get the  ½ measurement of the Bust Distance. In this chart, bust distance is 7, and half of it is 3 ⁴/⁸. Mark it starting from the Center Front.
      • Depth: 3 ⁴/⁸” (standard size), mark it from the location down.
      • Openings: ⅜ “ on both sides of your location (standard size). Connect each opening down to the depth. 
  1. Second Dart
      • Location: to get the location of your second dart get the halfway between your first dart location and FSS, that would be 2 ²/⁸”
      • Openings: ⅜ on both sides of the location
      • Depth: 3 ⁴/⁸” mark it from the location down

10. Transfer Values

  • Mark ²/⁸” IN from FSS toward CF
  • Draw a line down to Hemline
  • From waist, curve it down to hipline
  • Mark ²/⁸” OUT from Central Back CB
  • Draw a line down to Hemline
  • From waist, curve it down to hipline

11. Waist Shaping

  • Cut the pattern and fold the darts
  • Close the darts towards side seams and pin it or put masking tape
  • Front – mark ²/⁸” up from FSS waist and curve to first dart
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  • Back – mark ²/⁸” up from the BSS waist and mark another ²/⁸” down on CB waist. Curve it passing through the 2 marks including the top of the back dart

Hope you guys enjoy it, I would love to hear your feedback or comments. See you on my next blog I will be sharing How to Draft Basic Bodice 🙂

How to Make Banana Cake in Easy Steps

Let’s take advantage of this opportunity while we are on lockdown. Food is a great way to bring joy to the day. Make something special for your family or loved ones. 

These simple and easy steps of banana cake can be done by everyone at home. It will be more fun and enjoyable if you could ask a family member to help you out preparing this delicious and simple recipe. 

What is the difference between  banana cake and banana bread? They look almost the same. But no matter what you call it is still delicious to eat. Isn’t  it?

Cake flour is better for cake recipes, so if you want to make it soft, pliable and moist reach for cake flour. Cake flour is so delicate and low in protein content. Whilst All purpose flour has a lit bit higher protein content but still it performs very well. 

 I prefer less sweet so I only use ½ cup of sugar to this recipe. But If you want something sweeter you can add more. Overripe bananas make the best for banana cake or bread.

How do you know when the bread or cakes you are baking are done inside? 

I use a toothpick and insert in the center of the cake or bread, if it comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it or if there is uncooked batter or damp crumbs on the toothpick put the cake or bread back to the oven again.  Bake for a few minutes. When the cake or bread is done, the edges will begin to pull away from the side of the pan.  Use your own judgement for best results

Preparation time is 15 to 20 minutes

 Without further ado let’s get started

 

Banana cake

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup of cake flour or all purpose flour

½ cup of brown sugar

1 large egg

½ butter softened

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of vanilla or banana extract

2 medium size  bananas

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Preparation

Preheat the oven to 170 to 175 degrees celsius.

In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients such as flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Whisk well and set aside.

 In another bowl, or mixer, combined softened butter and the sugar until well incorporated. 

Add the mashed bananas. Egg and vanilla extract. Then mix all together. 

Gradually add the mixed dry ingredients by sifting until a batter is formed.

Grease your prefered loaf pan or you can use baking sheet on it, then pour into the mixture

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 In a preheated oven bake it for 45 to 50 minutes. You can check it by using a toothpick test. 

Remove the loaf pan from the oven.

Let it cool for a few minutes.

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Serve and enjoy.


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I can’t wait to hear how this cake turns out for you. HAPPY BAKING!

How to be Productive Amidst Covid-19 Lockdown

We understand that this coronavirus is the biggest social, economic and health emergency we are facing now. As citizens we play a big role, being responsible and helping each other to prevent spreading the virus. It is important that we follow the precautionary measures from experts. And simple as that to understand #stayhome.

We have to accept and learn to live differently for a while.

Being on lockdown doesn’t mean to be bored and just sit and do nothing. C’mon don’t be a lazybones.

Plan your day ahead. It is essential that we plan our day to day and include some activities. Setting up a specific routine the time we get out of bed could have a big impact on our mood and productivity levels throughout the day. It also cultivates a positive attitude. Take some time to think about what a good morning day looks like for you. Things that make you feel good.
Here are some activities you can do at home.

EXERCISE

For some of us getting up early in the morning can be a struggle sounds like a torture doesn’t it? Most of us can relate, if you are not an A-PERSON, why not try and challenge yourself? How many times you promise yourself you are going to do your exercise but nothing happens. Lol! Is it true? Don’t make some excuses that gyms are closed. You can do it at home! Be motivated to rise each morning. Maintain a healthy lifestyle. It gives us more energy and boosts a good mood. In the end this will just benefit ourselves.

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READING
Tired of reading news about covid 19. Everytime you open your social media and scroll down you read how many people get infected all over the world and deaths every day. It’s frustrating right? It affects our physical and mental health. Pick some good books. Try to read some motivational or inspirational book, this way it helps us lower our stress. Reading at least a little each day can improve our focus and memory function.

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COOKING OR BAKING

Busy or no time, these are always our excuses for everything. We all know that we are jam packed with errands, school, meetings, business and so on and so forth… nevertheless if we really want to do something, there’s always a way. Everybody loves eating, who doesn’t want to? So let’s take advantage of the time we are home. There are a wide selection of online cooking videos you can watch and try. Cook something healthy and delicious for your family and love ones. Be creative, make your own recipes. Enjoy and have fun with what you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes forget about your “what if ‘s” If you never try you will never know. Be a chef of your own kitchen. Do you like cooking or baking? I will be sharing some of my recipes on my other blogs you may want to checkout 🙂

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Image by Pexels from Pixabay

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Image by Pexels from Pixabay

GARDENING

Move your ass from the couch and don’t spend too much time on social media. Spend some time outdoors, start organizing your home garden. Watering, replanting or even just cleaning some wild weeds from your garden would make your plants happy. Save some vegetable or fruit seeds from your kitchen and plant them.

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ORGANIZE YOUR WARDROBE

Most of us, especially girls, have at least some pair of clothes that we’ll never wear again because we don’t like it anymore or it doesn’t fit the way they used to. It’s time to tidy up your messy closet. Get rid of those stuff you don’t like, do some kindness either give them to your neighbours you think they need, donate to charity or simply you can recycle them. Refashion your old boring clothes to a new style.

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Image from Pinterest

WRITING

Whether you are writing poetry, prose or simply in your diary, expressing yourself through writing can help you share your thoughts, feelings, and perspective. When writing ideas, information or opinions in your own words helps you assimilate your knowledge. This helps you build a structure that will allow you to express yourself better and communicate multiplex ideas in a much more effective way. And you understand yourself fully. It eliminates the stress that causes having many thoughts hitting your head

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Have you ever considered writing down your daily journal? this may sound boring right? My routine isn’t so interesting. What am I gonna write in there? well think again.
I have been writing my journal for the last 15 years. Fortunately this has been helpful to me in my personal growth and goal achievement. This is a great way to organize my thoughts, think of great ideas, learn to appreciate the present and plan the future, goals and dreams.

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image from Pixabay

Rereading or reviewing what I have written is a good way to see my progress. I have learned so much from my past . It helps me improve my ability to navigate the difficult times, and not only live a happier life, but I also grow as a person. You accept things, you forgive people, and you move forward.

IMPROVE YOUR HIDDEN SKILLS AND TALENTS

Probably you wished you had been born with some type of gift or talents that you see from other people. Picturing someone who’s incredibly talented like a celebrity, an athlete, a musician, a designer etc etc. don’t feel bad about yourself. We are all born unique and special. Your unique talents show you why you make your own choices, enjoy certain activities and are better at some things than others. You have hidden talents or skills that you may not be aware of. Discover yourself, develop the things mostly you really enjoy doing.

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Want to learn piano? check this out @https://instagram.com/dimitris_petrovas

 

This will not be permanent. We’ll get through this together. #stayhome #staySafe #stayhealthy

kisssssses

BORACAY TRIP WITH FAMILY

Planning to take your family to one of the top tourist destinations in the country? I’ll be sharing with you here our budget – friendly itinerary to Boracay Island. 

Before I share with you guys our Boracay trip, first here is my short journey to get to our hometown where my parents live. hehe! You can just skip reading this haha!

I was kind of exhilarated two days before our leading departure. I woke up so early to prepare myself to go to the airport. My flight schedule was 5 in the afternoon from Manila to Legazpi City. I already estimated the time from Subic to Manila, so I got no worry about it. But unfortunately unexpected things happened. It took so long for the bus to arrive. Parang buhay Pag ibig ko, ang tagal dumating.  haha! So I missed out my flight. And I just walked. lol !!!!

I arrived in Pasay exactly 5 o clock, and it will takes at least 30 minutes to get to the airport. I couldn’t make it anyway just lesson learned. hehe!

I just bought a bus ticket for a night trip and takes about more than 12 hours.

Yay !!!! Finally I’m home!

When the day came, I can see the excitement built up on their faces and nervous at the same time. Well I feel them when it was also my first time in the plane haha! Years back I was not even prepared. The Stomach sinking feeling. Lol! I think you can relate… I remember when my nephew told me that his stomach was like having bubbles inside. Lol

If you are looking for a place where you can let your worries drift away, then head to this small island in Western Visayas, located in the province of Aklan municipality of Malay. This gorgeous island, well its famous all over the world for being one of the top destinations for relaxation. The new BORACAY. 

HOW TO GET TO BORACAY

The province has two airports provide access to boracay island. KALIBO International Airport that serves the general area of Kalibo, the capital of Aklan. Another one is the GODOFREDO  P. RAMOS AIRPORT known as CATICLAN AIRPORT in the town of Malay -this is the nearest airport to boracay island. 

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Arrival at Caticlan Airport

Once you arrive at Caticlan Airport you can see this transportation counters, where you can buy tickets the “van and boat package” to Boracay island.  It cost 150 per person, this is hustle free and more comfortable especially if you are travelling with family members  with seniors and kids. You can also opt to take a trike outside the airport  its way cheaper. About 7 to 10 minutes ride to Caticlan Jetty Port from the airport. Once you are in Caticlan Jetty Port you may proceed to registration and fill out the form. Then proceed to pay the terminal fee cost u 100 pesos and environmental fee is 75 pesos per person. Once you have paid, you can proceed  inside the port building and go through security check.  If you avail the package transfer you don’t need to wait in line just go straight to the boat.

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Travel time is less than 30 minutes. Once u are in Cagban Jetty Port (Boracay island),  plenty of electric trike outside the port and will take you to your accommodation.

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We paid 120 pesos for the 5 of us, trike can not get in to the beach so  you have to walk  a little distance if your hotel is on the beachfront.

ACCOMODATION

Since the reopening of the island last October 2018 there are new rules and restrictions. Limiting the number of tourists allowed to enter the island. No eating or drinking allowed on the beach, no smoking, no more fire dancing on the beach, and no commercial sandcastles making, umbrellas and chairs are banned on the beach. If you are wishing to stay in boracay island you must have a hotel booking or reservation to show. 

Finding your ideal hotel can be stressful sometimes. But because this is one of the most developed destinations in the country, looking for a place to stay is relatively easy-breezy. There are hotel booking websites or apps you can use to find your perfect hotel room at your best budget. 

We stayed the at Taj Resort and Spa for 3 nights, great location and only few steps to White beach of station 2.

On our 4th night on the island we moved to another hotel called YCL. It is located along the main street. For  a Superior room it has two queen size bed,  small flat screen tv, mini fridge, split type AC, hot and cold shower, some basic toiletries, hair blower and small balcony. Not bad for the price. 

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The island is approximately seven kilometers long and one kilometer wide. It is a dog-bone shaped. The island consists of three barangays; Manoc-Manoc, Balabag, and Yapak.  Boracay has two primary tourism beaches,  The White Beach facing the westward and Bulabog Beach facing eastward, these are located on opposite sides of the island’s narrow central area.

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WHITE BEACH 

This beach is truly amazing with this stunning long stretches of powdery white sand and crystal clear waters plus the coconut trees lined along the beach to give a picturesque view to visitors. . The main tourism beach, and it is divided into three stations. Station 1, Station 2, and Station 3.

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my chocolate legs sprinkle with confectioner sugar lol
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Willy’s Rock

Station 1 the northernmost part of the white beach and widest beachfront. If you are the type of a vacationer who wants to experience the atmosphere of tranquility and luxurious holiday then this is an ideal place for you. Where excellent hotels, and resorts are located. Accommodations are costing the earth, but the quality is generally the best. 

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Happy Kyle

Station 2  The most crowded area, the center of tourists commercial establishments. Numerous hotels and restaurants. This is where the D’Mall located- considered as the main shopping center. Most of the shops are open till midnight. For party lovers who wants  to experience the surreal nightlife of Boracay, then this would give a tropical vibe while enjoying your favorite drinks and making a great combination of music and meeting new friends.

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me and my nephew
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Happy feet
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Station 3 this is the southern part of the stations, this is the most greener laid back part of white beach, there are great beach bars, restaurants. and souvenir shops. And more on budget friendly accommodations.

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Witnessing this spectacular view of sunset. As we watched the sun disappeared into the horizon, turning the sky into orange and red, my favorite colours.  This is one of the reasons why I love about Boracay. Even though they say too commercial or over crowded, well no complain about it and will definitely visit again.

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BULABOG BEACH

Probably a good escape from the hustle and bustle in white beach. About 10 to 15 minutes walking distance from white beach. There are few accommodations available in this area. It is known for kitesurfing and windsurfing activities. 

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TAMBISAAN BEACH

ACTIVITIES

Helmet Diving

One of the water activities in Boracay Island. it does not requires good swimming ability. Enjoyable and exciting experience! Get close encounter to marine life. It cost less than a thousand pesos for 20 minutes reef walking with helmet diving equipment. Plus free souvenir  photos and videos underwater.

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photo credit from Hazel together with her friends

Stand Up Paddle board

Experience how its like to float on the water surface from this paddle board. this is a good exercise to maintain your balance and strengthen your body while paddling into the water to workout your arms. Either you can do by standing up on the paddle board, kneeling or sitting down what makes you comfortable. It was enjoyable experience. It cost 600 pesos per hour. There are guys on the beach offering tours and water activities.

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PUKA SHELL BEACH

Another vantage point to watch the stunning sunset,  this rustic white beach you should not miss when you are in BORACAY. About 15 to 20 minutes ride away from the center. 

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photo credit from hazel
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WHERE TO EAT

Consider doing some research in advance before leaving  your hotel to avoid wasting time looking from one place to another or going back and forth , or ended up eating in an over budget restaurant. Pheew…

Boracay offers a wide variety of restaurants, from fast food type to good quality one. lined along the white beach from station 1  up to station 3.

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Paraiso Bar and Grill 

A seafood restaurant that serves a good quality filipino foods. it is located in the heart of station 2.

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Planning ahead is a pivotal part of a successful trip. Saving some energy, money and time. Just be patient and wait for low fares could score you some cheap flights. Do some more research and compare prices. 

Here are the samples of our itinerary

FLIGHT TICKET

Legazpi to Cebu via PAL————5,615.88

Cebu to Caticlan via Air Asia—– -3625.44

Caticlan to Cebu via Cebu Pac—- 5717.36

Cebu to Legazpi via Cebu Pac.— 9,458.08

ACCOMMODATION (4 nites and 3 days

Taj Resort and Spa 3 nights——- 7,918.41

YCL Hotel 1 nite ————————2,663.16

Estimated budget at least 2500 pesos per meal everyday. 

Plus additional expenses if you are going to have some activities/tours, transportation, buying Souvenirs or pasalubong.

But this is not about the how much money you spent, what matters most is the experience, happiness, creating memories and the quality time with your families. 

Thanks for reading…. hope you guys enjoy the trip with your family.  Until next time kisssses

EL NIDO PALAWAN

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Palawan will never fail to surprise you when it comes to natural beauty. From Puerto Princesa, known for this massive limestone caves and underground river listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and voted as a New7Wonders of Nature.

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In the town of Coron known for world class diving sites, crystal clear freshwater lakes, coral reefs, and limestone karst landscape.

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To this truly unique beauty of San Vicente the unspoiled longest Golden white sand beach.

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And the most visited destination in Palawan – El Nido.

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The most visited destination in Palawan. El Nido is known for its white sand beaches, coves, lagoons, coral reefs, and the astounding craggy limestone cliffs that would definitely mesmerized the visitors for its enchanting dreamscape of Bacuit archipelago. 

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Located in the northernmost tip of  mainland Palawan. It is composed of 45 islands and islets, each has its own unique geological  formations. The highest peak is at Cadlao Island.

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HOW TO GET TO EL NIDO

Direct Flights to El Nido. This is definitely the fastest way to get to El Nido.  AirSwift offers daily flights from Manila, Cebu  and other spots in the Philippines. The flights land directly to Lio airport, located about 5-6 kilometers from El Nido town proper. 

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Lio Beach few minutes to Airport

The second option to get to El Nido is fly via Puerto Princesa. Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and AirAsia offers daily flights. Book your ticket in advance to get a cheaper price. Once you arrived at Puerto Princesa get ready for 5 to 6 hours trip to El Nido. Shuttle vans are available, there are travel agencies that could arrange the transfer for you or simply book it online. Mostly vans are fully air conditioned, and roads are fully paved. There are also buses you could choose but it takes  7 to 9 hours trip way too long. Another possibility is to rent a private car or motorbike. 

Another airport located in Busuanga Coron (FRANCISCO  B. REYES AIRPORT)Travelling from Coron to El Nido or vice versa has two options, the fast and slow ferry. For more info about ferry transfer you may visit other websites.

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The newly opened San Vicente Palawan Airport, travelers allow to bypass Puerto Princesa en route to the resort town of El Nido.  Philippine Airlines offers daily flight from Clark to San Vicente Palawan. Once you arrived at San Vicente Airport there are Shuttle vans available to take you to El Nido. If you are going to stay in the sleepy town of San Vicente there are also electric trike to take you to your hotel. We paid 120 pesos for the 3 of us (sharing with other travelers) going to the town. Travel time from San Vicente to El Nido takes around 2 to 3 hours. 

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At San Vicente Airport

EL NIDO ACCOMMODATION

Though this is a small town but it has plenty of nice places to stay in  and easy to find your ideal room at your own budget. El Nido has a range of budget friendly accommodation from small cottages to a high end resorts. 

For those who are into parties or get along with other travelers staying in the heart of El Nido town would be ideal. Travelers could fully enjoy the nightlife do bar hopping, good live band music, and numerous restaurants and the fascinating view of Bacuit Bay. 

Travelers wishing to stay away from the bustling center but still want to enjoy the stunning Bacuit Bay.  There are also few accommodations in the area.  A ten minutes drive from the center, located in barangay Corong Corong – a nice and quiet beach with lots of shades, perfect for relaxing. 

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Palm Bay Beach Cottages – a few meters from the highway.  Good location, nice garden landscape, and just a few steps to the beach. Fully air conditioned room and  it was quite nice and clean, comfortable bed and wall fan backed up. Free wifi.

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Palm Bay Beach Cottages

Lolo Panding Inn

Located in barangay Maligaya along Rizal highway. Affordable price  basic rooms with flat screen tv. Free wifi but difficult to get signal especially in the room. It has a balcony and a nice view of the cliff. 

Citrine Tourist Travel Lodge

Located in Barangay Corong corong along the national highway. It has also a small balcony where you can get signal in the room. Fully air conditioned room and ceiling fan. Hot and cold shower. Small flat screen tv.  Free coffee. Friendly staff.

Eastwind Beach Club

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RESTAURANTS AND CAFES

Scene Onsight Seafront Inn and Restaurant

A fresh seafood restaurant and it has a great view of the beach. Located in the heart of El Nido

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The Cavern

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ArtCafe

The restaurant is on the second floor…and walking distance from the beach.  It has a decent menu selection at a reasonable price. Strong wifi connection. 

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Cafe Athena

a Greek restaurant right in front of the beach

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The Vegan Cafe PH

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Trattoria Altrove

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Subasko Music Bar and Restaurant 

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Crocodile Sisig

Coco Bar

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Sava Beach Bar

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Amos Restaurant

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Rooftop Bar

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La Plage

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ACTIVITIES IN EL NIDO

The best way to experience this breathtaking views of Bacuit bay is by island hopping tours. From tour A to tour D these will take you to a different stupendous beaches, caves, best snorkeling spots and lagoons. 

These joined tours starts around 9am to 5pm, and these would include a nice buffet lunch and drinks (purified water) and a local tour guide. There are many traveling Agencies around El Nido town that could arrange a tour for you. Online booking tours are also available. This way you can save a little less. 

El Nido Eco Tourism Development Fee (ETDF) requires all the tourists to pay 200 pesos  before going to any tourist destinations within El Nido. This One-time fee will be valid for 10 days. 

EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING TOURS

TOUR A – Php 1200 per person

ISLANDS: Big Lagoon, Shimizu Island, Payong Payong, Secret Lagoon, and Seven Commando

TOUR B: Php 1300 per person

Hop on the boat and take a plunge of yourself into these beautiful beaches, caves, and the long stretch sandbar in Bacuit Bay. Including Cudugnon Cave one of the important anthropological sites. Also where locals used to hide from Japanese invaders during WWII. Swim and enjoy snorkeling in Pinagbuyutan island. Fine white sand beach and so peaceful island. Discover and explore the Snake Island known for its unique sandbar in the middle of the sea. Hike and enjoy the stunning view on top of the mountain at snake Island. Here you can also see the wild pitcher plant and encounter the wild Bayawak (monitor lizard). 

ISLANDS:

Cudugnon Cave

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Cathedral Cave

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Entalula Island

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Snake Island

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Monitor Lizard

Pinagbuyutan Island

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TOUR C: Php 1400  per person

This is probably the most popular amongst El Nido tours. This will take you on a journey to one of the most stunning beaches, islands, and best snorkeling spots.  

I booked this tour for only 1250 pesos via klook app. We left the port past ten o’clock because it was a joined tour expect that it wont leave at exact time. But so  far it was a great experienced and really enjoyed it. 

ISLANDS:

Secret Beach

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Hidden Beach

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Hidden face @ Hidden Beach hehe!

Matinloc Shrine (100 pesos entrance fee)

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Delectable buffet lunch

Aside from puzzling stories about this island, also one of the best views in El Nido its just INCREDIBLE!

Helicopter Island

Dilumacad Island this is also known as Helicopter island because of its limestone cliff  that looks like an helicopter. The island itself is small by land mass, but is rich in vegetation and has a thick, dense rainforest, along with some bare rock, that seems to rise directly out of the deep blue sea.

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TOUR D: Php 1200 per person

ISLANDS: Small Lagoon, Nat-Nat Beach, Cadlao Lagoon, Paradise Beach, Ipil Beach and Pasandigan Cove

ANOTHER SPOTS TO VISIT IN EL NIDO

MARIMEGMEG BEACH or LAS CABANAS

Also known as The Las Cabanas Beach. Located around ten to fifteen minutes from the center of El nido. It is easy to find and tits very common for tourists. You can hire a tricycle for 150 pesos good for 2 persons. If you are on your motorbike just head to the south of El Nido town about 3 km away.

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A great place to sit and relax. Enjoy during happy hour while watching the spectacular sunset.  Or do the zipline across the ocean.The beach is clean and good for swimming not overly busy. 

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Currently they are building up a new commercials area named Vanilla Beach – souvenir shops, restaurants/cafe, spa etc. There are also plenty of tricycle parked along the highway beside Vanilla Beach. 

First time I went to this beach it was raining but still I did manage to enjoy the warm water and walked along the shore, and checked out some hot guys around… lol

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Las Cabanas Resort
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After a few days I get a thrill out of coming back to this beautiful beach, yay! finally the sun came out. A perfect day indulging into the water, relaxing under the shades, looking up in the sky, cherishing every single moment into nature.

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NACPAN BEACH

Head to the north  part of El Nido- this 4 kilometers stretch powdery golden-hued sand beach and pristine azure waters which is an hour drive from the town. The road to Nacpan is not yet fully developed. There are sections of the road as you go near the beach that are still unpaved and can be very muddy when it rains. So always drive safely. You can go by renting a motorbike starts at 400 pesos a day. Or hire a tricycle for special trip price starts at 1200 pesos. There is also a shuttle service from 9am to 7pm daily. Departs from Discover El Nido Office in town. For single trip rate is 350 pesos, and round trip is 600 pesos. 

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Nacpan Beach
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Ranchos Beach Restaurant

DULI BEACH

Duli beach is about 25 kilometers from El Nido town a 45 to an hour drive, and located in barangay Bucana. If you are looking for a truly relaxing and quiet beach then is a must visit. A picture-perfect of a 2 km long stretch of golden sand beach. Duli beach can be reached by tricycle, van or motorbike. Once you get off the national highway, be prepared for a challenging rough road, and up and down hill  drive. The surfing spot of El Nido. 

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Some part of the road  to Duli Beach
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Road Up and Down Hill
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Welcome to Duli Beach
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Relaxing Beach
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Peaceful and Quiet Beach

There are just plenty of sand flies or nik-nik so beware. I had few bites and it was very itchy.

LIO BEACH

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A hidden Eco-Tourism paradise located beside the only airport that fly directly to El Nido. It is 15 minutes away from the main town.

Lio Airport – there are daily flights via AirSwift from Manila Terminal 4. And other direct flights to and from El Nido: Boracay, Cebu, Bohol, PPS, Clark, and Coron (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun) 

This is perfect with its long coastline, not crowded, and very inviting… its packed with excellent restaurants and bars along the beachfront. 

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This is another hidden spot around El Nido. I f you are travelling by motorbike you can find this place near El Nido Cove Resort. If you are coming from the town once you passed by the said resort on the left side you can see a small alley about 200 to 300 meters from the entrance to this peaceful beach.

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SIBALTAN ADVENTURES

This is a 45 km east of El nido and can be reached by van or motorbike. A peaceful fishing village rich in heritage and culture. About 15 mins away from Sibaltan is the New Ibajay where you can find the ILLE CAVE -one of the most important archeological sites in the country. You could also visit DEWIL VALLEY MUSEUM nearby to see and learn about the artifacts found in Ille Cave.

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Museum
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Thanks for reading…. kisses 🙂 🙂 🙂

THE LONGEST BEACH IN THE PHILIPPINES, San Vicente Palawan

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San Vicente Long Beach

ABOUT SAN VICENTE

Located in the northwestern side of the main island of Palawan, known for this Long golden white sand beach which is about 14.7 kilometers – the longest beach in the Philippines, almost three times the length of Boracay’s most famous coastline. Basically there isn’t much in the shore but this is what makes it truly UNIQUE. This charming and uncommercialized Long Beach, travelers can enjoy and appreciate the unrefined quietude scenery. During low tide it’s also possible to drive the motorbike and explore the long stretch sandy shore. It has two rocky cliffs interrupting the coastline and dividing the area into three distinct coves. 

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Hindi kita Tinalikuran, Ikaw ang kusang lumayo hehe!

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Ngayon hahabol habol ka lol

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Long Beach

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Long Beach

If you are into visiting the Long Beach these are four barangays spans the coastline – Poblacion, New Agutaya, San Isidro and Alimanguan. There are few accommodations and restaurants but mostly found in Poblacion. Around 10 -15 mins drive to the coastline. Renting a trike from Poblacion to the beach cost 150 pesos (one way). But because it’s difficult to find trike back to the town you could ask the driver to pick you up on your prefer time or can wait for you. 

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Sunset in Long Beach

The best choice would be renting a motorbike to get around in San Vicente price starts at 6oo php per day. 

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Long Beach

This is from Picardal Lodge located in Poblacion, a friendly budget accommodation. A few meters away you can find a restaurants called Nipa Hut and Mango Bar a decent restaurants in Poblacion.

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Picardal Lodge

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Nipa Hut

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Mango Bar

I only stayed one night in Poblacion, then packed my things and moved the next morning headed to Taytay Palawan.

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ACCESSIBILITY 

HOW TO GET TO SAN VICENTE

BY AIR

The most practical way  to get into San Vicente is by air. The newly opened airport in San Vicente is served by Philippine Airlines providing a convenient direct flight from Manila and Clark. Another option is fly to Puerto Princesa then travel by land.

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San Vicente Airport

BY LAND

San Vicente is accessible by land from Puerto Princesa City. Buses and shuttle vans traverse the 186 kilometer highway that links these two destinations. Travel time is approximately 3 to 4 hours. San Vicente can also be reached via Roxas about 48km and an hour trip, Taytay about 75 km. about 2 hours trip, and El Nido about 137 km. around 3 hours drive.

Traveling by motorbike gives you the freedom to enjoy the long ride. From amazing concrete road to the never ending sight of lush greenery mountains, cool breeze embracing your skin, the calming tweets of the birds and this loud sounds of insects from the forest. This is to perceived how lucky we are to experience this natural beauty of nature. So impressive!

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TAYTAY PALAWAN

When we talk about Palawan we are all familiar with these three FAMOUS places – Coron, Puerto Princesa and El Nido. Where you can find these spectacular beaches limestones, caves, lagoons and other gems of the country. Apart from that,Taytay is another hidden treasure of the province located in the northeastern coast of Palawan – the best escape from crowded. 

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Taytay known as “Estrella Del Norte” which means “The Star of the North”. – one of Palawan’s oldest municipalities and was also the first capital city of the province.

Philippines has the lowest internet speed among the countries in South East Asia, so when you travel to remote places like Taytay, don’t expect too much to get a high speed connection.  The hotels in Taytay provide free wireless internet, but sometimes the connection is really slow.

WHERE TO STAY

There are also various accommodations located in the town center or Poblacion of Taytay. I stayed in Tay Lelong’s Pension House quite a nice place and affordable price. It has a pool and good ambiance. 

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Another nice place to stay is in Casa Rosa, a budget friendly accommodation located on top of the hill and an overlooking view from the restaurant the Spanish Port/ Fort Santa Isabel and the bay . 

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View from the Restaurant of Casa Rosa

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ACTIVITIES IN TAYTAY

VISIT FORT SANTA ISABEL

Fort Santa Isabel or Kutang Santa Isabel in Filipino, Fuerza de Santa Isabel in Spanish. Also known as Taytay Fort – a coastal fortification in the town of Taytay Palawan. It was built originally in 1667. It was named in honor of Queen Isabella II of Spain. 

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The structure was replaced in 1738 by a coral limestone fort and was primarily used by the Spanish as a defensive structure where they fire cannons against Muslims raiders riding on war boats. 

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This historical landmark is worth visiting  and has extensive views of the bay and the town of Taytay. The captivating touch of the past. 

I really enjoyed the views especially the trees and few flowers were in bloom and took some lovely photos, a quiet relaxing place and well maintained garden. It has an entrance fee of 20 to 30 pesos. There is a small museum where you can find some artifacts and interesting piece of history. 

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Museum

 

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View from Fort Santa Isabel

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Fort Santa Isabel

The morning after couple of hours at Fort Santa Isabel I left Taytay and headed to El nido……

 

Visit my El Nido Travel Guide 🙂

SUBIC LIFE

Before I moved to Subic near the end of 2014, I was working as a call center agent in Pampanga for a few years. For me it was an exciting year when I got to Subic, a new place, new people around, and new self discoveries.  

Walking on the beach, for at least 30 minutes, is part of my morning routine. Then having my coffee to start my busy day. Sitting on the porch to feel the cool morning breeze, listening to the beautiful sounds of birds. My home away from home!

 

There are many advantages when you live near the sea and you understand that it isn’t just for summer. It gives you the best feeling you could imagine for yourself, fulfilling your body, mind, and soul.

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Subic Bay is located on the west coast of Central Luzon, Zambales, Philippines. Only two and a half hours drive from the capital city of Manila.

Formerly the site of a major United States Navy facility named U.S Naval Base Subic Bay. It is now the location of an industrial and commercial area known as the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ) under the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority. Today, the bay, as well as the towns and establishments surrounding the bay are collectively referred to as Subic Bay.

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Because of the history of the military base up until 1992 however, a tarnished image is suffered by the neighboring town of Olongapo, known for prostitution.

Still interested? keep reading……

Some of my friends asked me… what am I doing in Subic?

Well, living in Subic is not bad, as a matter of fact Subic is recognized as a booming haven for tourism and commerce. It is considered the “Fastest Growing Free Trade Zone” in Asia, a place to invest in. Whether you are searching for business or career opportunities, destinations, adventures, leisure – this is a bundled place for you.

In my few years of living here, I have never heard of any street crimes. There are Police officers around the area for peacekeeping. People are friendly and easy to talk with.  As a local the costs of living is much higher compared to other provinces in the Philippines to which I have been however I can manage the daily needs.

Subic Bay has everything accessible just few minutes away – beach, markets, hotels, restaurants, hospitals, shopping malls and much more…  

 

GETTING TO SUBIC

Getting here is easy. Only two and a half hours drive from Manila. It is accessible through land transportation. If you are coming from NAIA you could take a bus from Pasay going to Olongapo City which would cost less than 300 pesos.  Another option is to take a taxi but it would cost you around 4000 to 6000 pesos. There are also hotels that offers an airport pick up service for less than 1000 pesos.

Mode of Transportation to Subic

Bus – there are two Bus Companies operating in Subic Bay, Saulog Transit Inc. and Victory Liner,  both terminals are located in Olongapo City. Victory liner has different routes available. If you are  travelling to Manila and other nearby provinces like Pampanga, Tarlac, Bataan, Pangasinan, Dagupan, Baguio there is also the new Point to Point (P2P) Service.

Taxis –  available at the main gate of SBMA/SBFZ. You could also find them in Ayala Mall Harbour Point and SM Mall. They have fixed rates that are displayed in the taxis. There is no meter service.

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Jeepney and tricycle drivers wear uniforms and I.D.’s for identification and public utility jeepneys are color-coded. But they are not permitted inside SBMA/SBFZ. Olongapo was the first in the Philippines to develop this color coding scheme and then it was copied across the country.

 

Trike – you can find trikes everywhere except Subic Bay Freeport Zone as they are not permitted to operate inside the base.

Blue Jeepneys this route is from Olongapo City to the edge of Barrio Barretto on to Subic Town. Blue is to represent the beautiful coast of Olongapo. You can catch this blue jeepney beside Victory Liner Terminal. Cost is only 13 pesos going to Barretto and Baloy.

Brown Jeepneys – this route is from the new public market to the edge of barangay Cabalan. Brown represents the serene mountains of Olongapo.

Green Jeepneys This route is from Barangay Mabayuan to the Olongapo City’s New Market. Green represents commerce and the fresh fruits and vegetables found at the Olongapo Markets.

Orange Jeepneys – This route is from Pag-Asa to barangay Gordon Heights. Orange represents two of the city’s main Jeepney Color Red and Yellow and goes in between their route thus the color orange (red and yellow).

Cream Jeepneys – The route is from barangay West Bajac-Bajac to Gordon Heights. Cream represents the sincerity of the people of Olongapo and an inside joke was during the 1980’s because the Mayor was Mestizo.

Red Jeepneys – The route is from Gordon Heights to the Main Gate of the Subic Naval Base. Red was the favorite color of Amelia Gordon who at the time as Mayor founded barangay Gordon Heights to primarily house the transients and Illegal settlers of Olongapo, to give them a proper home.

Yellow Jeepneys – This route is from the biggest barangay of Olongapo City, Sta. Rita, to the Main Gate of the Subic Naval Base. Yellow represents the Main Roads of Olongapo as the Color of the pavement thus explains its route. Another inside joke was Yellow was easy to see for drunk servicemen so they could go back to work by easily spotting a yellow jeepney.

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ACCOMODATION IN SUBIC

Subic Bay offers a variety of accommodation types. From a budget-friendly bed for the night through to one of the many decent hotels. There are also apartments available for a short stay or long term accommodation.  

 

DINING IN SUBIC

There are hundreds of Subic Bay Freeport Zone/ SBMA RESTAURANTS

– these are just some of the restaurants I have enjoyed

Fortune Hongkong Seafood  Restaurant

This is located inside the SBFZ , great Asian Cuisine, plenty of choices from the menu, it has a good ambience, wheelchair accessible entrance. Staffs are so affable that gives you a comfortable feeling while enjoying the food.

Texas Joe House of Ribs

Texas Joe’s House of Ribs is an authentic American Smokehouse restaurant.  Serve an excellent taste and quality foods. Spacious dining area, it has also outdoor seating area and ample parking space.

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Seafood By The Bay

Good location and it has reasonable price. Accessible for wheelchair and good atmosphere.

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Moonbay  Marina Leisure Resort (Sands Resto Grill)

Given this classy surroundings and gracious service, a place where you can relax and enjoy while dining.

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Sakura Japanese Restaurant

What I love about Japanese cuisine is that they serve in a dainty portions, enough for my small tummy. hehe!

I am afraid that I cant get the food using the chopsticks…so I often buy for take home lol… shhh

 

Subic Park Hotel (Horizon Restaurant) 

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Ben’s Kitchen

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TGI Fridays Restaurant

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Kuya J’s Restaurant

 

 

Barrio Barretto and Baloy Beach

These are the beach areas where you can see plenty of Western people/Tourists. It is 15 to 20 minutes drive to Olongapo City and SBMA. Just walking distance to resorts,  hotels, restaurants, salon and spa, bars, markets, convenience store and hospital. And if you run out of cash there are few atm machines or Money Changer around the area.  Most of the hotels accepts major credit cards.

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Barrio Barretto

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Baloy Beach Road Entrance

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Baloy  Beach Road

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Baloy Long Beach

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Strolling Baloy Beach

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When my friends visited me

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Baloy Long Beach

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Barretto Beach Sunset

 

RESTAURANTS located in Barrio Barretto

Arizona International Resort  

Visited this place couple of times, Quite pricey! But hey it provides excellent quality food and serve a large portion. What more can you ask for. The staffs are so amiable that gives you a comfortable feeling.

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Me and my friend Guen enjoying the Margarita

 

Playa Papagayo Beach Inn and Restaurant

Been here few times for dinner, they serve good quality Mexican foods and decent cocktails especially the Margarita. The restaurant just right next to the beach.

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Wild Herbs Restaurant 

This cozy restaurant along the national highway of Barrio Barretto, a place where you can find a mouthwatering Asian dishes. A must try!

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Fish Finger

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Chicken Curry

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Panang Nua

Sayuri Japanese Restaurant

This place is located inside the Subic Grand Seas Resort, great foods but quite expensive. It has a good ambiance, few sets of outdoor tables right in front of the beach.

This time dine in…..Uh oh  I’m struggling getting the foods from my plate seems like my  chopsticks doesn’t work…lol! Give me spoon and fork please?

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Rainbow Maki

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Teppan

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Icove Beach Hotel

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Pie Lady Bakeshop and Cafe

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Rico’s Fastfood & Restaurant- serves Filipino food and eat-all-u-can budget-friendly restaurant.

 

Whiterock Beach Hotel and Waterpark 

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RESTAURANTS located in Baloy Beach 

Blue Rock Resort it has a wide selection of foods open 24 hours restaurant, and  live band every night, relaxing ambiance.

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Fish Au Gratin

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Hehe! No wonder I love Cocktails 🙂

 

Amanentez Beach Front Resort

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Treasure Island

Few steps to the beach. It has a nice outdoor swimming pool.

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The Lagoon Resort

A fine dining experience combine with a good live music.

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Baby Back Ribs

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Beef Steak

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Osso Buco

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Beef Oriental

 

Johan’s  Beach Resort

Open 24 hours beachfront restaurant. It has the overlooking view of Subic Bay. Serves a good selection of European and Asian cuisine.

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SIGHTS AND ADVENTURES

Subic is a great  place to be in when it comes to entertainments. It provides luxury activities like Golf course, Yacht clubs, and Casinos. Locals and tourists could also enjoy a wide array of attractions and activities. From historical landmarks to modern-day sites, dining and Shoppings, nightlife, Spa and Gyms, Beauty Salons, Amusement Parks, Boat Tours, and do the Water Sports.

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Subic Yacht Club

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Most resorts offer water sports activities such as kayaking, parasailing, jet skiing, banana boat, and many more. Also offers a laid back holiday for all kinds of travelers.

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During weekends and summer Subic beach are jam packed of local and foreign tourists. Enjoying the water under the  heat of the sun. Around the beach area you can see few vendors selling souvenir items and sometimes there are the native Filipinos (Aetas) selling their own handmade piece of art.

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Baloy Beach During Summer

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Ocean Adventure

The most fascinating creature in the sea gives the visitor a welcoming splash. Dolphin and seal presentation, great attraction for all ages, an extraordinary experience. Could also visit some souvenir shops or dine in their restaurant.

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Shopping Malls

These are the places where I used to  go during my free time.

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Spanish Gate

One of the historical landmarks in the country.  A remnant of the Spanish Naval Station in Subic. It was originally entrance to the Spanish colonial fortress which was built in 1880’s and used as a jail during the Spanish and American occupation.

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Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is popular throughout the Philippines and international divers arriving each year for this great experience in the country. Subic Bay is one of the most popular dive site- called as “Pearl of the Orient”. Rich of marine life, and the history from the bay – the shipwrecks. The majority of the wrecks are the result of the 1898 Spanish-American War . That there were numbers of Japanese Vessels were sunk by the U.S Aircraft.

 

Boardwalk Park and Waterfront Road

A Boardwalk park along Waterfront road this ia a favorite place for beachfront walkers, joggers and strollers. Offers a scenic view of the bay and as well as other interesting buildings around.

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Cruise Ship Dock in Subic

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Zoobic Safari

A 25 hectare forest adventure park located in Subic Bay Freeport Zone. A close encounter with the biggest members of the cat family. A 2 and a half hours tour. Attractions including Zoobic Park, Train Ride, Forbidden and Zoobic Cave, Savannah, Aetas Trail, Bone Museum, Tiger Safari, Croco Loco, Serpentarium, Tiger and Lion Close Encounter, This  thrilling experience you would never forget.

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Croco Loco

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Albino Water Buffalo

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Monkeys in the Wild

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Eye of the Tiger

INFLATABLE ISLAND

The biggest floating playground about 4,200 sqm. It contains inflatable slides, towers, bridges, human launchers, swings and more. We really enjoyed the inflatable playground. We felt like being kids again. The lifeguards in every stations were helpful. Though foods and drinks are not allowed at the Bali Lounge but you can still buy at some food stall inside the resort. Remember to wear proper swimwear. Play Pass starts from 499 pesos and up.

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Yellow Bali Lounge

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Pink Bali Lounge

Bantayan Island Travel Guide

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TRAVEL CONTENTS:

  1. How to Get to Bantayan Island
  2. Where to Stay and Eat
  3. Getting Around the Island
  4. Things To Do

Looking for a nice quiet and relaxing place to visit? There are more than 7 thousand islands in the country to explore. Whether you are on your solo trip or with your travel buddy, friends or families, this is another place you must include on your bucket list. Head to the north of Cebu and be amazed with this pristine white sand, clear blue waters, coconut trees and cooling breeze from the ocean – the island of Bantayan. 

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Santa Fe beach
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About 136 kilometers from Cebu City, Philippines. Bantayan is the main and largest island of Bantayan group of island. It is divided into three municipalities. Bantayan (largest municipality covering the central part), Madridejos (the northern portion) and Santa Fe (the eastern part). The island group also includes numerous smaller islands.

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Every island has its own uniqueness, from local to foreign tourists they love this place because of its  peaceful ambience and impressive beauty of nature – the sunset.

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This fiery orb gradually receding into the waters  and the sky consisted of colours ranging from yellow to orange to red. I gazed in amazement at the resulting reflections on the water before me.

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HOW TO GET TO BANTAYAN ISLAND

From Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Grab a taxi and head to the North Bus Terminal.  From there, take a bus going to Hagnaya Port, Ceres Liner cost 175 pesos (air conditioned) and travel time is approximately 4 hours.  At Hagnaya Port buy your ferry ticket for 180 pesos (Super Shuttle Ferry) and 5 pesos terminal fee. Travel time is an hour going to Santa Fe Port (Bantayan island). Ferries leave every couple of hours from 5.30 am until 5 pm. At Santa Fe Port you have to pay another 30 pesos for tourism ecological fee. Then take a trike  going to your hotel.

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Roro vessel from Hagnaya to Santa Fe port are also available.

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WHERE TO STAY IN BANTAYAN ISLAND

Beach resorts, hotels, restaurants and cafes are mostly found in Santa Fe.

Budyong Beach Resort this place is just right in front of the beach. It has a nice spacious garden with coconut trees. A native style cottages for accommodation, from fan room to air conditioned room. They could also arrange for your island hopping tour, boat or motorbike rental.

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Coucou Bar Hotel and Restaurant this is located in the heart of Santa Fe. Just a few minute walk to the beach and other nearby restaurants.  Room rate starts at 1600 pesos air conditioned and a backed up wall fan, with hot and cold shower and private cr. It has a small flat screen tv with cable. Wifi are available in the restaurant and hotel rooms. They also have free shuttle from the port to their hotel and v.v. 

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WHERE TO EAT AND CHILL

 MJ Square this is a food hub where you can find different bars and restaurants.

Chef Panyang this is the busiest amongst the restaurants at MJ Square.  They serves more on Filipino foods at affordable prices. So if you are on a budget this place is good to have a try.

Bantayan Burrito Company this place serves a good quality mexican dish, and vegetarian friendly. Fair price. I enjoyed sipping the frozen margarita with a free shot on the side. Sorry….just forgot to take photo was so starving 🙂

CouCou Bar and Restaurant they serves Filipino and international cuisine. And you can get a good quality pizza for affordable price. Enjoy and relax  in a two outdoor gazebo that has a comfortable seats and landscape garden. They also have plenty of choices of drinks and cocktails. 

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Filipino breakfast

Boulangerie Française a french bakeshop that serves a good breakfast.  Enjoy a freshly baked bread and a real quality coffee.

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THINGS TO DO IN BANTAYAN ISLAND

Island Tour

Visiting Bantayan without an island hopping will not make your  holiday complete (In my own thoughts) lol. In Santa Fe there are few guys around offering an island tour from 800 to 1000 pesos good for two persons. Hotels could also arrange it for you at the same price.

Hilantagaan Island, Marine Sanctuary and Virgin Island

These was part of the itinerary for a day tour. I was so thrilled while on the way thinking what to expect in the island, would it be nice?

Hilantagaan island is a small fishing village. There were few sari sari store good for buying some snacks.

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Hilantagaan Island

At the first sight it didn’t disappoint me.  It amused me! Crystal-clear turquoise water and fine white stretch sandbar and few starfish on the shore. But it was different from Kalanggaman long sandbar (it was my expectation lol) it was different beauty. As I stepped on the sand it was so fined, the breeze gives you a cool feeling. You won’t mind the heat of the sun at 12 noon. As I walked along the shore there were few fishermen busy on their boats and kids playing and gives a welcoming smile at me. 🙂 We didn’t stay longer in the island, and we headed to marine sanctuary. Good for snorkeling, clear water, different fishes in various colours, corals etc. etc…I have always been fascinated by this marine lives. I did enjoy the snorkeling and taking photos.  We decided not to go to Virgin Island, it is a private beach resort and you have to pay 500 pesos. You can still enjoy the beach at Santa Fe for free.

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marine sanctuary
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Hilantagaan Island
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bilad pa more lol!

Land Tour

There are ways to enjoy while you are in Bantayan Island. If you are adventurous  and brave enough, rent a motorbike to explore the island, prices starts at 250 pesos per day and provide your own petrol and hit the road.

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Oboob – Marikaban Road
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Bantayan – Madridejos Road
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Around Bantayan Municipal Terminal
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around Santa Fe

Another activity you could do is renting a bicycle, roam around the town of Santa Fe. price starts at 150 pesos per day.

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Sto. Nino Catholic Parish Church, Santa Fe

Hire a trike for a land day tour and they will take you to the place you would like to visit. starts at 350 pesos up. Depends which place and how far.

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Around  Santa Fe

Saint Peter and Paul Church

An old Roman Catholic church located in municipality of Bantayan. Across the plaza town you will find this 500 year old historical St. Paul and Peter Church. It was built using corrals and stones from the island. The original church was destroyed several times by Muslim rebels and natural disasters

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Omagieca Oboob Mangrove Garden An ecopark that has a bamboo walkway through  mangroves which gives a refreshing stroll, nice view, and good opportunity for photo shoot. Good for a short visit. Entrance fee is 50 pesos per head

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Bicol Travel Guide – Charming Albay Legazpi City

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Just had my short holiday weeks ago and I had the chance to write about Albay- this beautiful place of Oragon, my hometown. Albay has a lot to offer…from adventures , relaxation, palatable cuisine, gracious people and many more….
There are still some destinations in the province that have never been featured in travel literature and still waiting to be discovered.
A place where you can see this world famous active volcano renowned as the “perfect cone” and for their “Black sand beaches” located in Albay- a province composed of 15 municipalities ( Bacacay, Camalig, Daraga, Guinobatan, Jovellar, Libon, Malilipot, Malinao, Manito, Oas, Pioduran, Polangui, Rapu-Rapu, Sto. Domingo and Tiwi. And 3 cities (Legazpi, Ligao and Tabaco) located in the Bicol Region in Southeastern Luzon of the Philippines. Legazpi is the capital city. The people of the region are called Bikolanos also known as “ORAGON” which means strong and brave! Bicol is the primary language spoken in Albay. It has many dialects, specially in inner towns. The majority of the Albayanos also understand and could speak English and Filipino.

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Black sand Beach Rawis Legazpi City

HOW TO GET TO LEGAZPI CITY

If you are planning to visit Albay province there are three ways to get there, by air, land, and sea. Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific operates daily. Book your ticket in advance to get a cheaper price. Travel time is 45 to 55 minutes either from Manila (NAIA) or Cebu (MIA) to The Legazpi Airport. Another Airport located in Daraga- The Bicol International Airport but construction is underway. Traveling from Manila to Albay (Legazpi) is easy and convenient via bus liners that operate several daily trips. Like Cagsawa Travel and Tours Inc., ALPS The Bus Inc., Philtranco, Penafrancia Bus, Isarog Bus, RSL Bus, Amihan Bus Lines, DLTB Bus Company, Superlines, and Raymond Transportation. Buses vary from ordinary to deluxe coaches with modern amenities. Travel time ranges from 10 to 12 hours. Travelers can proceed to any point of the Bicol Region from the Legazpi Grand Central Terminal. And buses from the South carried by Ferries. The province has also two international Sea Ports located in Tabaco and Legazpi City.

THINGS TO DO IN ALBAY and PLACES TO VISIT

CAGSAWA RUINS (Daraga, Albay)

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The remnants of a 16th century Franciscan church, the Cagsawa church. It was originally built in the town of Cagsawa in 1587 but was burned down by Dutch pirates in 1636. It was rebuilt in 1724 by Fr. Francisco Blanco, but was destroyed again during the eruption of the Mayon Volcano. The ruins are located in Barangay Busay Daraga Albay. One of the most tourist destinations in Albay. Entrance fee is 25 pesos per head.

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Don’t wait for someone to bring you flowers… you can pick some here….. lol! This lovely garden- a truly sight to behold.

Another feature in Cagsawa Park – these colourful flowers added to the beauty of the surroundings. So if you are planning to visit this place, be ready for your different poses- perfect for photo shoot. Entrance fee is only 10 pesos per head.

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ALBAY PARK and WILDLIFE

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This place is good to bring your kids, family or friends. There are different animals in the zoo and could do some outdoor activities like biking, paddle boat, or just sit, eat and relax or do picnic. The park is relatively spacious.

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KAWA KAWA HILL and NATURE PARK (Tuburan, Ligao City)

The hill is known as Kawa Kawa Hill and has become a popular religious site in Albay because of the unique, life size statues which depict the 14 Stations of the Cross. … Kawa Kawa Hill takes its name from the local word “Kawa” meaning a cauldron, because its shape resembles a cauldron.

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BAMBUSETUM or KAWAYAN-TINIK PLANTATION

Another newest attraction in Kawa kawa natural park is the “Bambusetum or Kawayan Tinik Plantation” – a two hectare bamboo forest, and a nursery garden that has 15 species of bamboo seedlings. This beauty of nature would definitely give you a calm and relaxing experience.

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SUMLANG LAKE

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One of the attractions in the province located in Camalig Albay. Another perspective to view the majestic Mayon Volcano. Enjoy the scenic view of the mountain and green lushes that would give you a peaceful and relaxing day. Though swimming in the lake is not allowed but you could still enjoy other activities. Experience the bamboo raft or balsa cruising the lake while you can sit in a stylish chairs and gazebos made of local materials. Entrance fee is 20 pesos per head and 50 pesos for balsa cruising.

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I really enjoyed watching the duck swimming on the lake where you can see plenty of lotus plant growing. This aquatic herbaceous plant and floats on top of the water that has a large round leaves smooth and shiny. Awesome!

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MAYON VOLCANO or Bulkang Mayon

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One of the major tourist destinations in the country and famous landform in Albay and in the whole Bicol Region. This majestic Volcano delights scads locals and travelers from around the globe. The most active volcano in the Philippines, renowned as the “perfect cone” because of its symmetric conical shape. The stratovolcano of Mayon standing at around 2,462 metres (8,077 ft), is the highest point of the province.The most destructive eruption of Mayon occurred on February 1, 1814. The volcano belched dark ash and eventually bombarded the town of Cagsawa with tephra that buried it.

RANAO LAKE

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Although this place is a private property but we had the opportunity to get in and see this panoramic view of Ranao Lake and rice paddies located in the boundary of barangay Bonga and Pandan in the town of Ligao City. Watching this spectacular beauty of nature makes you want to stay here forever. hehe!

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QUITINDAY HILLS AND NATURE PARK

One of the hidden gems of the province located in the town of Camalig Albay. Named it as “Pili nut Hills”. A version of Chocolate Hills in Bohol.
From the town center of Camalig rent a trike which cost 500 pesos v. v. maximum of 4 persons in one tricycle for an hour trip. It was not easy to reach the place because of the rough road and up hill. Needed to get out from the trike few times when we get there. But worth seeing this numerous mounds when your on top , will take your breath away.

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FOODS

Bicol Express

Was named after the passenger train from Manila to Bicol region. Bicol express is a popular dish for all Filipinos (especially in Bicol) for its spicy taste, made of pork, chillies, coconut milk, shrimp paste, onion and garlic…. siram sana! (so delicious). Bicolanos often using gata (coconut milk) for their dishes, also a famous product in the region.

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Chili Ice cream

This sweetened frozen food typically eaten as a snack or dessert. This unique new taste that would give you the scrumptious fiery flavor. Try this Sili ice cream of Bicol at 1st Colonial Grill. Indulge this one of a kind hot yet cold sorbetes when you visit Albay. Gives you a delightful senses, eye popping- this kind of taste you don’t want to miss when you visit the province. It has 3 levels of spicy-ness. Another luscious flavours of ice cream you would enjoy- “tinutong na bigas (roasted rice flavor), malunggay (moringa leaves), ginger, taro, and many more….

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Let’s do some sili – ness lol!

Pili Nuts (Canarium Ovatum)- a fruit bearing tree endemic to the Philippines especially found in the Bicol region, yields a kernel precious to the country’s food sector. It is green when when young and turns to deep purple or black when ready to harvest. The Pili Nut has the flavor of pumpkin seed when raw, and takes on an entirely different identity when roasted. It is soft yet crisp, with an easy crunch that surprisingly melts in your mouth, making it a favorite snack food among Filipinos. The same delighted acceptance is true even in other countries that have already obtained the nut as an imported staple.

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Pinangat – a Filipino native dish especially in Bicol region popularly known in Manila as laing- a delicious dish which combines taro leaves, chili, coconut meat or seafoods, and coconut milk. Favourite among locals and becoming known for tourists. Once you smell the aroma will gives you a mouth-watering.

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Puto sa Abab (rice cake) – a rice cake steamed in coconut shells and filled with some type of coconut jam. A variation of the puto sa abab uses purple yam added to the ground rice.

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credit from the respective owner

Sinapot (battered fried bananas) – Bicolanos favorite snacks, a nice crisp ripe peeled- cutted saba banana dipped into the batter (rice flour, water and pinch of salt and sugar ) deep fry and placed on top of cacao leaf.

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credit from the respective owner

Balisungsong & Suman – a native delicacy or kakanin- steamed rice in banana leaves, this is always on the table for special occasions like fiesta, birthday, or anniversaries. It is made of sticky or glutinous rice, coconut milk and sugar, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed or boiled. There are varieties of suman prepared in the Philippines, different regions has its own version of cooking.

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Cebu- Bohol Travel Guide

Travel Contents:

  1. How to get to Bohol from Cebu
  2. Cebu-Bohol transfer
  3. Things to do in Bohol
  4. Where to stay in Bohol

Nothing can be better than having your travel getaway right? It says, better spend the money on the experiences rather than material things. Travel as much as you can, as long as you can. Nobody can steal your experiences and memories – these are the treasures forever that brings you happiness.

Are you planning soon for your next  holiday? Wanna visit one of these natural riches of the Philippines? Thinking to visit Bohol? Don’t forget to include this on your bucket list. Curious of the Chocolate Hills or this small primates in the country?

I hope this guide will help you a little or give some ideas to prepare for your next vacation.

Bohol is located in Central Visayas, region of the Philippines. The province is a popular tourist destinations for its white-sand beaches and resorts. These numerous mounds of brown coloured limestone formations are the prominent attraction – the Chocolate Hills. Bohol is the tenth largest island of the Philippines, and Tagbilaran is the capital city. The main island is surrounded by 70 smaller islands.

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HOW TO GET TO BOHOL

There are ways to get to Bohol either by a plane or ferry.

MANILA – TAGBILARAN 

There are airlines that fly directly from Manila to Tagbilaran (Bohol) – Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific or Air Asia. Book your ticket in advance or wait for a seat sale. This way can save you some peso. Trip takes about  one in a half hours.

CEBU – TAGBILARAN

The most convenient way to get to Bohol from the neighboring islands is by fast ferry. If you are coming from Cebu-Mactan International Airport take a taxi (be sure that the driver uses his taxi meter) it cost 250 pesos going to Pier 1 approx 20 minutes, and depends on the traffic.

There are 5 ports in Cebu, don’t get confuse. Head to Pier 1 for Ocean Jet or Supercat fast ferry. Expect for a long line when buying your ticket specially when its high season.

We booked a ticket from Oceanjet which cost  450 pesos per person for an open air. It was not a comfortable seat as its too narrow room for the legs. Business class is a little higher cost 1000 pesos perhaps spending a little extra money for a comfortable seat might be wise.

Once you have your ferry ticket you can proceed for check in and pay 25 pesos terminal fee. The departing schedule can be seen on tv monitor.

Travel time is about 2 hours. 

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Finally, we have reached Tagbilaran City Port. What to do next? If you are planning directly  to Alona Beach, from there you can choose what kind of transportation you want. If you take a tricycle it would cost 400 pesos and Van is 500 pesos. Going to this pristine beach takes around 30 to 45 minutes.

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THINGS TO DO IN BOHOL

  1. Land Tour

There are ways to explore this alluring  island of Bohol either by hiring a motorbike or book a tour package in travel agencies or hotels.

If you are looking for a real adventure renting your own motorbike to explore the island is a better idea. Don’t be afraid to get lost. All you need is your google map and pay your own petrol for your motorbike and don’t forget to wear your helmet. Daily rental rates starts at 350 pesos a day, sometimes you can negotiate to the owner and get a little discounts also it depends how many days you want to use the motorbike.

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Booking a tour package is more convenient specially if you are travelling with your kids or elderly family member. We booked a Land tour on our first day cost 450 pesos per person. These includes in our itinerary Blood compact Shrine, Baclayon Church, Tarsier Research Center, Sevilla Hanging  Bridge, Loboc River Cruise, Man-made forest, and Chocolate Hills. It was whole day tour. Starts at 9am and back to hotel around 7pm. 

  1. Island Tour

On our second day we booked an island hopping tour for Dolphin watching, Balicasag Island snorkeling, and Virgin Island, and cost us 850 per person. We woke up early for the exciting island hopping tour, we headed to the beach around 6am. But of course do not expect that it would leave the boat on the exact time because it was a join group tour. First stop was the Dolphin watching. Even though it was my second time  taking the tour, still I was like over the moon seeing this extremely intelligent playful mammal. It was not that easy to spot the animals as there were many boats around. But after a few minutes of waiting, u could just hear the people in a high spirits sounds means finally  they show up. It was an amazing day tour,  Balicasag Island is also famous for diving and snorkeling. Enjoy swimming and watching huge sea turtles and other incredible  marine life. 

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The Chocolate Hills  considered as one of Philippine’s natural wonders in Bohol – often referred to as the Jewel of the Philippines. There are about 1,776 hills spread over an area of more than 50 sq km. They are covered in green grass that turns brown like chocolate during the dry season. These unique mound-shaped hills are scattered by the hundreds throughout the towns of Carmen, Batuan and Sagbayan in Bohol.

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The Sagbayan Peak is a mountain resort and recreation center, offering a completely another view of these cone-shaped hills aside from the Chocolate Hills Complex in Carmen. This gives an alternative for tourists to see Chocolate Hills in another perspective.

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Tarsier Research Center – the Philippine tarsier known locally as  mawmag (Visayan/Cebuano) mamag (Luzon). Tarsiers are small animals with enormous eyes. It measures only about 85 to 160 mm in height, making it one of the smallest primates. The small size makes it difficult to spot.

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Hinagdanan Cave. This is the most popular and easy to reach among the caves of Bohol province. Classified as a karst cave, it is located in the town of Dauis in Panglao Island. The cave boasts of a large number of stalactites and stalagmites and leads to an underground spring pool where visitors can take a dip. Water is icy cold where the spring gushes forth yet a bit warm at the outlet where it meets the sea.

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Mag Aso Falls this fascinating Mag Aso falls one of Bohol’s natural treasures. This twin falls is absorbing against a backdrop of tall trees, wild plants, and deep ravines. From the distance you can hear the sounds of the stream cascading the rocky outcrops. As you get closer increasing the deafening sounds of water gives you more excitement to see this marvelous beauty of nature.

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Loboc River Cruise one of the major tourists destinations for locals and foreigners. Located in Municipality of Loboc. Experience this one of a kind floating restaurant that provides great dining experience while cruising the unpolluted river of Loboc. Enjoying the vista of lush tropical vegetation such as nipa palms, coconut trees, banana groves, and bushes. Plus seeing the children climbing up the tree and then plunging towards the deep turquoise green water. These  floating vessels are made up of a covered platform on top of two large outrigger boats which are joined together. The boats can accommodate up to 50 people.

During our land tour, this was included in our itinerary but we paid additional 550 pesos per person for the lunch buffet. You would never be disappointed for this marvelous experience. The wonderful service, good local music and the delectable foods combined to make your first visits unforgettable.  

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Xzootic Animal Park and Butterfly Garden this is located in Agape, Loay, Bohol this was also part of our itinerary land tour, good for a quick stop not much animals to see. Visiting your sisters and brothers in the cage (monkeys) lol… Pythons, some birds, crocodile, iguana, and sorts of butterflies.

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Blood compact shrine  (Spanish: Pacto de sangre, Filipino: Sanduguan) was an ancient ritual in the Philippines intended to seal a friendship or treaty, or to validate an agreement. The contracting parties would cut their wrists and pour their blood into a cup filled with liquid, such as wine, and drink the mixture.

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Bohol Souvenirs – don’t forget the pasalubong….. hehe! there are plenty of souvenir shops around Bohol, you can see few vendors alongside of Blood compact Monument. Cheaper price for these cute keychains purses and other souvenir items. If you go Hinagdanan Cave there are also many shops nearby especially for good quality shirts. You can find at the malls as well.

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Baclayon Church is a Roman Catholic Church in the municipality of Baclayon. This was founded by the Jesuit priest Juan de Torres and Gabriel Sanchez in 1596, and became the oldest Christian settlement in Bohol. When magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck Bohol and other parts of Central Visayas in 2013, the church building sustained major damage. Reconstruction by the National Museum of the Philippines started in 2013, and was completed in 2017.

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Sevilla Twin Hanging Bridge – crossing the Sipatan river this bridge is made of bamboo and rope, and supported cable made of steel. Give this a try if you are scared of heights for you to overcome your fear. Afterall it was enjoyable. When I visited in 2015 it was only one, now it has two. Movement of the bridge make you feel a lil dizzy as it was swaying. But I was so happy that I could manage crossing the two bridges. yay! A nerve-racking experienced hehehe!

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Bilar Man-made Forest a mahogany forest stretching in a 2km densely planted trees located in the border of Loboc and Bilar towns. Once you enter the forest you definitely feel the hasty changes of temperature. It is cooler and gives you a refreshing feeling.

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Beaches Bohol has numerous white-sand beaches. Momo beach, Bikini beach, Dumaluan beach, and Alona beach. Alona is the most famous in Panglao island. Plenty of hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops. You can also do some water sports activities like kayaking, snorkeling, jet skiing, or kitesurfing etc. Or be amaze of fire dancing performers at night.

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WHERE TO STAY IN BOHOL

Plenty of accommodations to choose from in Panglao Island.  From backpacker hostels to luxurious hotels. I booked our hotel thru online booking site. On our first night we stayed in Innbox Bed and Bath, for less than one thousand pesos you can sleep in a comfortable air-conditioned room. Only few steps to Alona beach. Another hotel we stayed  was  in Panglao Regents Park Resort, room rate starts from one thousands five hundred pesos and above. Relax and enjoy the nice and clean room and wifi available. It has nice swimming pool as well. The resort is less than 10 minutes walk to Alona beach. We also stayed in Paragayo Resort located at the intersection of the main road and the beach access road. Just less than 5 minutes walk to the beach area. This property is very convenient and reasonable price. Wifi available only outside but you can sit and relax at the cottage in front of the room.

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Panglao Regents Park Resort

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Paragayo Resort

 

Thanks for reading…. Godbless 🙂

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