I survived Sagada…

I survived Sagada…

Years ago, not only 2 close friends of mine asked me to visit Sagada. I am not that interested. I am perplexed by the thought of no more trips after dark? Why? I used to ask what’s with Sagada? I’ve been to Baguio anyway.

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The view from our room...

I’ve read several blogs about it, heard about the many interesting activities you could do there, spelunking, there are distinct falls, historical sites, sightseeing, breathtaking views, hospitality in all sense of the word, good weather, (you will hear an impetuous sound thinking that it’ll rain in a while only to find out, it was just a strong wind coming), and the rain itself will without any warning.

Their local cuisine, not to forget their own locally grown coffee, the list might be endless. Honestly, I am awed with those blogs. I thought I would try writing mine…

Sagada as they say were meant only for the adventurers as it is almost too difficult to reach it or to get there, you will count hours (by land), you can’t avoid crossing deep valleys, bumpy rides, ravines, creeks and cloud forests. It isn’t for those like me who got used to traveling by air than by land with those swelling buttocks and suffer from dizzy spells due to too much sights and sounds (and varying smells from the aircon bus with a cubicle where you can pee while the bus is running).

Trip schedules are actually limited due to the not so safe trail to reach Sagada. But after the loooong trip, Sagada is for everyone to enjoy the very essence of rural life in the highlands especially for us who’s accustomed (or maybe at times tired of the city life), the place exhibits the wonder of a rich culture and simple life.

I wonder how it feels like being based in such a famous and well – visited place yet simplicity can be seen in all their eyes. Not only simplicity, but bliss and an enduring hospitality which Filipinos are known for. I noticed that half of the passengers in our bus were foreigners. I then again got mystified with the common trait of travelers to discover something beautiful and be changed by it instantly. It was funny to find myself nibbling on Yogurt cake in Sagada.

Yogurt cake...

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There’s this one foreigner who owns an Inn/ Resto – Masferre who was tagged to be the Father of Philippine Photography. I am astonished what took the likes of these foreigners to hold such love for a country other than their own (which reminds me of another photographer during People Power Revolution who was weeping while taking pictures of that event and claimed that most of them (Americans) were complacent of the freedom that they always have while these people (Filipinos) were defiantly willing to die fighting for their freedom.

How I wish we can see our country through these foreigner’s eyes… Masferre boasts goodies (all kinds of fruit jams) which we bought some for our loved ones. I wistfully yearned to describe Sagada like repercussions of my past experiences, good and bad.

I dropped the other activities and treated the “Hanging Coffins” as the highlight of this trip.

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Instead of being aghast with the sight of coffins literally hanging in the mountains, of course I am scared, I felt admiration to their strong belief of an undying love when one has physically died already. The unyielding belief of being one with your loved ones and your Creator at the same time. An adulterated love.

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Whew!

As I sauntered to these valleys…heart-stopping long walk…

to the unknown (we didn’t hire a tourist guide/ the fact that we can hear the other tourists voices killed our fears and made us continue trekking until finally we were inches away from the coffins), running out of words to describe Sagada, let me end this to claim that this is an adventure like no other…

Chilling out at Casa San Pablo…

Chilling out at Casa San Pablo…

Casa San Pablo is actually the first on my list to visit with the help (and enticement) of Viaje del Sol. http://www.viajedelsol.ph/

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Viaje del Sol is an adventurer’s road trip guide to the provinces of Laguna, Batangas and Quezon. List are endless when it comes to beautiful places to visit in these neighboring towns. As rich as its’ culture, each has a lot to offer fellow Filipinos and foreigners alike.

It was always dancing and prancing in my mind. And finally, I got there. I’ve first fallen in love with it when I saw it in a local magazine. It featured their Casitas, with those murals, and paintings of some famous Filipino painter, individually themed (very distinct from one another), decorated with hard to find antique stuff, and those clippings from magazine mounted in their walls boasting good reviews about this quaint B&B place. It is found at the heart of San Pablo, Laguna.

San Pablo is a jewel though a little city. It offers a lot of interesting places. It brings you closer to nature, closer to God. Casa San Pablo is in sync with that. It speaks of Summer. Some local artists assemble here maybe because they are anticipating that the beauty of Casa San Pablo will instantly bring out the best in them.

It is homey, and the inn-keeper as expected is so friendly, he has a way of connecting the guests with each other. Or if a guest would want privacy, he will know it instantly.

Everyone from this place (including myself), the whole time I was there, are all smiling.

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I could have slept here…(–,)
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So serene…
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In deep thought! (i wanna go back here!)
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Look at those cute vintage flat iron! (–,)
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Each room is packed with interesting reading materials. I was actually tempted to sneak one (The Joy Luck Club), out of guilt), I ended up listing it down and was able to buy the same book from a bookshop cum cafe in Tacloban City. (–,)
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The day trip includes a lunch and 2 snacks. This one I ordered separately. Iced cafe latte. The milk that they served was fresh cow’s milk..Oh, I love the province! ❤

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lunch

plates

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Cool! ❤
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Serenity…

Casa San Pablo is located at Colago Avenue, Barrio San Roque, San Pablo City. You can contact them at: 0917 812 6687 and  211 2132. You can also check the place  at: http://www.casasanpablo.com/

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Awesome Twosome in Singapore

Awesome Twosome in Singapore… 

“Happiness is real, only when shared.”

Our trip to Singapore took us almost a year of planning. When to go, where to stay, whom to tag, what to wear in big time excitement. It was our first time to travel together. Me and my soul buddy. It was also our first time to missed a flight.

Waiting for the next flight...

It was just good to know that my soul sis is good at sprinkling positive vibes amidst tough times. We were about to cry when the guard told us that we do not have any choice but to wait for the next flight. It meant 4 hours and a few hundred dollars.

We reached Singapore late afternoon. We roamed at Marina and had dinner in Burger king with their American size burger, that honestly we can’t consume.

Had we known,it's this big,we cud have shared in one!

It was funny that the condiments were on display and you can get as many as you can, I can’t help but hoard. ahahaha! After then, we strolled and explored Esplanade like kids.

We passed by the Furlton hotel and Clark Quay

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clark quay

We had our picture taken by a group of Filipinos with Merlion behind our backs. As planned we had dinner at Clark Quay. And the whole time, I had a hard time in pronouncing the “Quay” part. Ehehe…

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We were transfixed and didn’t stop until we get to capture this building with lights changing its’ colors after a few seconds. It was amazing.

This is in in fuchsia which matched my pink shirt at that time. It was such a pretty site.

Awesome!
Green!
d4.My favorite shot!
My all time favorite color!
Don't you agree? (--,)
And blue… =)

My buddy was able to get reservation from Penang Hotel, it isn’t a grand hotel, yet its’ clean, the white sheets are crisp, our bathroom is equipped with hot and cold shower, personalized soap, shampoo, conditioner and toothpaste. Expectations met if not surpassed. There are enough maps in the lobby which I hoarded not as our guide but for me to cut and paste for my scrapbook.  The hotel is at the heart of the city.

Day 2, we maximized by reaching Jurong, Sentosa, Raffles and Chimes.

I learned why they are pink. Flamingos feed on red shells leaving their skin pinkish as they grow.

Strike a pose.
One rainy afternoon.

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Night Safari. =)

We were able to squeezed in to check the malls,

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and find time to visit a church along the way.

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My buddy’s turf being a traveler is making itineraries. Chimes according to some blog is full of life during the night, you wouldn’t believe, it used to be a convent.

gimikan sa singapore-chijmes-formerly a convent!

Day 3 is our final day to hop from one place to another. We went to Butterfly park, had coffee at Starbucks, ride on the cable car,

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met a high school friend and dined together at Newton.

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With 2 of my closest friends! Malet n Jayne!

We intended to visit Malaysia by bus, but we drop it as we do not want to miss another flight again.

It was such a gratifying experience, what made it prettier was our astonishment that the place is so clean and so orderly, there was no traffic jam, because vehicles are limited, besides, it is unnecessary to some since the people are well provided by the government of a very systematic commuting scheme.

Buses are coded, some are even decked, there are subways (card can be acquired with sensors that can be easily read by the machine) and voila! No need to fall in line just to buy your ticket! My favorite station is Dhoby Ghaut, I don’t know why it sticks in my mind. There are enough cabs, commuting is truly stress-free and walking had been a way of life. Walking is safe and enjoyable in Singapore.

We noticed too that they are very fashionable, they do layerings, they use colors smartly, trendy shoes and bags and blings are a staple. Singapore is worth re-visiting.

It is such a small country with all the things any traveler will enjoy. It felt like dragging our feet to the airport. It was nice seeing you – Singapore! I would love to go back again! ❤