Archives

October 2014 – The Wild Side of Melbourne (Day 3)

After recharging back to our normal selves in our first two days at Melbourne, we were beyond ready for a little adventure. Of course, our definition of adventure would be the tamest one possible – in this case, a day of strolling in comfortable, cool weather, on the hunt for our first sighting of Australia’s unique wild animals.
_DSC0460

Continue reading

May 2014, Davao – Boiling Crabs + Bone Collector’s Museum

Here are two more places in Davao that would be pretty hard to find without prior research or a local. Actually, the Boiling Crabs restaurant isn’t that hard to find, but I couldn’t think of another way to phrase the previous sentence, so here we go! 😀

Boiling Crabs Continue reading

April 2014 – Pandan Island (Occidental Mindoro, Day 2)

MindoroHere we are for day two of the Mindoro series! Just to tell you, fresh tomatoes and grilled eggplant don’t leap to mind when I think of breakfast, but after having this breakfast, I suddenly had the feeling that I wouldn’t want it any other way. 🙂

A good breakfast for a whole day of adventuring!

Continue reading

December 2013 – Hainan

HainanHello again, blog! LOL this might just really turn out to be a travel blog, as I don’t even bother to photograph my new nail polishes now :p maybe I’ll get the groove back soon? Well, for the meantime, I give you a sunny photo diary of our recent trip to Hainan, the tropical part of China!

HainanHainanHainanFirst, where we stayed. After staying in a non-hotel where we almost got apprehended by police, you’d think we would have a nice, normal hotel, right? Well… it was better. We stayed at a retreat center for senior citizens! Yes, that place where you drop off your grandparents or parents when they get old and cumbersome, LOL. The place is called Gong He Fan (can’t type Chinese characters now, please just look at the pictures later), and it is beautiful and serene. Can’t be thankful enough!

HainanHainanHainanHainanThe place is also open for outsiders to rent, though. During the time we were there, not only did we share the place with the resident seniors, but we also saw other businesses and organizations holding their conferences there. One of the reasons why? Rates are crazy cheap for the high-quality amenities they offer: our meals were only 50RMB (roughly 350 pesos) a pop! Next time, you might want to consider this place. Here’s the card with the information you need on it:

HainanHainanHainanSorry for the shot with my washed socks, but I just wanted to show you how amazing the weather was in Hainan. I just fell in love! We went there early December, where people all over different parts of China were starting to bundle up in two layers or more. But Hainan stayed pleasantly cool, with temperatures around 13-20 degrees Celsius. Cool, but not freezing. My kind of weather! Suddenly, I don’t hate winter any more! LOL

HainanHainanOne day, after our duties were done, Ptr. Jim, Tita Lui and I decided to go take a walk under the wonderful sunny weather. We heard that there was a beach nearby, but neglected to find out that it would take about 30 minutes of walking LOL. However, we were in no-sweat weather, so it was win-win, actually! We walked to this place called Bai Sha Wan, which turned out to be a sprawling park with a non-swimmable (is there such a word?!) beach.

HainanHainanHainanA pretty creative and different way to present the usual “history of the place” markers you usually see at those famous places…

HainanHainanHainanHainanThe park is really such a vast area – you can walk around it the whole day. They also have shops in the form of small lodges like the one above, but we didn’t bother to check the prices. Most probably, ridiculously expensive.

HainanHainanHainanWe actually got to the beach first before the other areas of the park. If you live in the Philippines or any other country known for its beaches, you actually feel nothing special for beaches like these. The Chinese, however, treasure whatever beaches they have, and most if not all of it are here at Hainan.

HainanHainanHainanHainanHainanAfter taking some shots and getting my feet exfoliated, we went on ahead to the other areas of the park! One thing about the Chinese, though, is that they really know how to utilize nature and make their parks really picturesque.

HainanHainanHainanHainanHainanFun fact: after ooh-ing and ah-ing over these sleeping puppies, we turned around and… came face-to-face with their mother. Good thing she wasn’t in a hostile mood. Haha!

HainanHainanI’d like to end with several shots of what our participants did in one of their exercises:

HainanDSC_6463DSC_6461DSC_6462The Christmas season is right upon us! In fact, tomorrow is December 25, Christmas day by unofficial appointment – the day that children of all ages love and adults smile at once mentioned. But with Jesus at the center of it all, with the memory of His love and sacrifice always fresh in our hearts and minds, it gives us meaning and happiness that transcends the superficial. 🙂 Merry Christmas, everyone!

signature

April-May 2013, Beijing – The Beijing Zoo 北京动物园

Beijing ZooIt’s time to go to the zoo! (And for my last blog entry about Beijing, yay! Time to move on LOL) As might be predicted, our older teacher companions weren’t excited about this, but the, ehem, younger friends and I were super stoked about this! As it turned out, the day had so much more in store for me.

Beijing ZooFirst off, the pandas. This was actually my second time to see them up close, the first being at Chengdu. Personally, I think the environment for pandas is better done in Chengdu, but anyway. Seeing pandas for the second time around made me ooh and aah at how cute they were, especially with their antics; but at the same time, I realized that they are never going to be truly happy and free in their glass cages, even if their natural environment has been mimicked for them. Looking at them, I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of sadness for them.

Beijing ZooBeijing ZooThis guy, though, looks like he’s doing just fine! Or that is his bored pose. LOL 😀

Beijing ZooBeijing ZooThere were also outdoor environments, where we can photograph the pandas with better natural light and without the glass walls.

Beijing ZooBeijing ZooOur hearts melted when we saw this panda banging at the gate where the panda workers usually deliver their food or interact with them. It’s interesting to see how the panda has developed a reflex where he knows the place to go if he needs or wants something. I would have given anything to be that lady at the gate, even for only five minutes!

Beijing ZooLooks like he didn’t get what he wanted. 😦

Beijing ZooBeijing ZooBerber & I went off to see as much sections of the HUGE zoo as we can in an hour. I’m so sorry if I couldn’t name certain animals; I had a lot of first-time “looks” here!

Beijing ZooBeijing ZooBeijing ZooBeijing ZooThis pheasant had an unusually long tail that flowed beautifully whenever it walked. Such a shame I didn’t get to take more pictures of it, as it didn’t want to move anymore. 😦

Beijing ZooTHIS guy, however, I devoted a lot of my time and attention too. This pudgy bird caught my attention with his natural blue mohawk! LOL take that, mohawk wannabes!

Beijing ZooBeijing ZooBeijing ZooAs the folks at America’s Next Top Model would have said… FIERCE!

Beijing ZooBeijing ZooBeijing ZooCute little raccoons!!

Beijing ZooBeijing ZooI got super excited when I saw the lemurs, and couldn’t help but break into song. “I like to move it, move it…” Okay, Madagascar movie, this was your fault. If King Julian was among them, I wouldn’t be surprised! LOL

Beijing ZooBeijing ZooBeijing ZooSaw quite a number of foxes, which intrigued me, but unfortunately they were all sleeping or moping around. I guess night time really is their time for activity. 😐

Beijing ZooBeijing ZooThis boar (I think?) was a hot mess. LOL it just kept running around in circles! As in!

Beijing ZooBeijing ZooBeijing ZooAaand TA-DA. My first elephant! Woah. Seeing in it person for the first time took a little while to sink in.

Beijing ZooBeijing ZooBeijing ZooIt didn’t look particularly majestic, though, mainly because it was so thin. Again, seeing him made me feel a mixture of elation (at seeing an actual elephant!) and sadness because although he is fed, he still is not in his natural habitat.

Beijing ZooTiger time! Look at this cute sign!

Beijing ZooBeijing ZooThe tiger was inside a glass enclosure similar to the pandas above (with good reason), which allowed me to get a safe, good look at my first tiger. Roar!

Beijing ZooBeijing ZooScrawny wolf. I wanted to throw it a nice, fat, juicy rabbit or something.

Beijing ZooTo end this post – guess who? Tough, eh? Haha 😀

Beijing ZooBeijing ZooOH yes it’s the mighty leopard. Him lying around there was the perfect opportunity to take a shot – can’t believe I was that close!! I would’ve loved a bit of action – hunting prey around, for instance – but all he gave us was a sudden leap, and THAT already scared the hell out of me. Maybe him lounging is a good idea after all.

signature

P.S. Our deadline was called and we had to go home, but we just had to rush to the polar bear enclosure and get a glimpse at the polar bear. IT WAS BROWN! 😮 Berber said that’s because it’s summer and there’s no ice around, but all the same, it pretty much gave me a new insight into polar bears.

Pulo

DSC_4175Yeah, we were here a few days ago. Jealous? Okay, I won’t rub it in. 😉

DSC_4166Joking! 😀

DSC_4160DSC_4161DSC_4163I’m not kidding you – you drive to a certain place and hike a looong way to get here, but one of Mom’s friends happened to work at the Pagbilao Power Plant (that red-and-white striped tower on top), so you can drive through inside the power plant and into a gate considerably nearer this piece of paradise. This was what we took advantage of; if not, you have to fare like how we did the first time and hike a good 30 minutes or so to the place.

But I mean, look at that water rushing. When we stepped out of the gate and into our little hike, the wide expanse of sea and the crystal clear azure water raging through the rocks just pumped us up!

DSC_4167Friendly reminder: avoid hiking at the sun’s peak hours of 10am to about 3pm. Pure torture, not to mention you’re practically asking for a sunburn.

DSC_4170DSC_4171DSC_4211AND HERE WE ARE! Look at that water! Look at that pristine white sand! We always call Pulo our “secret Boracay” because in terms of natural beauty, Pulo easily levels out Boracay.

DSC_4178DSC_4183DSC_4177Not to mention it has its distinctive cave, called Kuwebang Lampas. I tried crossing the cave to the other side of the ocean (not an easy swim, I tell ya), and… wow. It’s breathtaking. Pictures next time, though! Kaia’s not so waterproof right now. 😦

DSC_4188DSC_4185DSC_4186A swim is definitely recommended. Bring your snorkels and goggles, because even on the shore – yes, on the shallow waters where water goes only up to your knees – you can see Nemo and all his fishy cousins and relatives there. Crystal clear. Isn’t it amazing?!

DSC_4190DSC_4198DSC_4195DSC_4189Sounds perfect to picnic in, right? Weeell, that’s the catch. The area hasn’t been developed much yet, so now there’s only a few straw huts that charge you a fee for each person and the cottage. Don’t count on restrooms too, because they’re crude, and they charge one peso for each visit. Hmmm.

Well, some things have to go slow, right? I mean, the very first time we visited, there wasn’t even a restroom.

DSC_4199DSC_4192DSC_4231To show you how the huts generally look… and to campaign for our family friend. 😀

DSC_4206DSC_4204DSC_4205LOOK. AT. THE. WATER.

DSC_4210DSC_4202DSC_4213Having some fun with the cave 😉

DSC_4217DSC_4237DSC_4221Now this is a good idea to enjoy the waves without getting burned to a crisp. 🙂

DSC_4217DSC_4229DSC_4226The Dan photoshoot that ended with this hilarious shot. 😀

DSC_4234DSC_4236DSC_4238DSC_4239This shot went all skewed, but upon transferring it to my computer, I actually loved it. Ahh, Pulo, you are too picturesque.

All I can say is, if you know someone from Quezon Province (preferably the cities of Lucena or Pagbilao), this is an alternative worthy considering over the more expensive Boracay. 🙂 Just uhh, bring your own tents and airconditioning or something. HAHAHA 😀

signature