Cebu Habal-habal DIY City Tour

On our last day at Cebu we didn’t have exclusive tour since Cebu Travelers were already reserved on that day. We didn’t have time to look for other agencies. Without a comfort of a car, we took this opportunity to fully experience how to commute around Cebu City on our own. Thus having our own little adventure.

This blog is part 2 of my Cebu Adventure posts. If you’re interested for the part 1, just click the links below.

Part I

Day 1 Arrival and 10,000 Cafe’
Day 2: Moalboal Tour with Cebu Travelers Tour Agency
Day 3: Oslob and Sumilon Island Tour with Cebu Travelers Tour Agency

And here’s the outline of the part 2 of my Cebu adventure. You may click per topic if you want to jump immediately on one of them.

Part II.

Day 4: Habal-Habal DIY City Tour

0. Going to JY Square Small as Starting Point of Habal-Habal
1. Sirao Garden
2. Temple of Leah
3. Pasalubong hunting in Taboan
4. Dinner at Kogi Q in SM City Cebu
5. Final Night Accommodation: Express Inn

0.Going to Square Mall As Starting Point of Habal-habal

We started at the location of our hotel “Sampaguita Hotel” situated in Plaza Garcia Bldg, Magallanes St, Cebu City, Cebu. Base on our research, habal-habal pick-up point in the city is located at JY Square Mall. When were looking for jeepney rides, that’s how we learned that in Cebu, routes are often designated by codes. These codes are largely displayed on top of every jeep. Such as shown below.

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Since we don’t know the right code going to JY Square Mall, we had no choice but to ask around. They answered in unison that we should look for jeeps with code “C” on them. I think we rode 4C . Maybe if you’re somewhere in Cebu city, better ask around on what’s the correct code base on your location.

It took maybe around 30 minutes before we reached JY Square Mall (Supermart). I guess the driver was annoyed at this point because I kept asking if we were near JY Square Mall already. We were paranoid and we didn’t want to get lost. So sorry about that. Anyway once we got off the jeep, we didn’t have to look for habal-habal. Several drivers approached us quickly and offered their services.

We accepted the offer P400.00 per person, round-trip. Here’s a clip of us during our trip. At the beginning, it was perplexing to be exposed in the middle of smoke and traffic. But once we approached the mountain where Sirao Garden is located, we started to see magnificent views and clean air along the way. It finally became an enjoyable ride.

1. SIRAO GARDEN

After around 45 minutes, we finally reached the famous Sirao Garden. Entrance fee is only P60.00.

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There are parking lots available here so it’s pretty accessible for those who have cars.

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And finally, picture taking time. These photos were all taken with Samsung A50 mobile phone.

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This was the most blockbuster landmark here, the hand. The line was long for this one. I think it took 10-20 minutes before we had our turn.

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I must say the views of the mountains was a bonus. It felt like you’re on top of the mountain even we didn’t trek.

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Yellow flowers
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I adore this life-size nest. They even have a prop egg.

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Please notice the butterfly on my elbow.

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After an hour of photoshoot session, we took a break by eating some corn and drinking bottled water. These stalls were just outside the Sirao Garden.

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We also met the habal-habal driver once again and proceeded to another destination nearby, the Temple of Leah.

2. Temple of Leah

Our motorcycle had to climb a very steep road to get here. I thought it would be really hard to get here just by walking. There was also an entrance fee. But I can’t remember the specifics. I’m sure it was less than P100.00.

Learning the story behind Temple of Leah amused me. This was built by a business tycoon (Adarna Clan) in memory of his late wife Leah Albino Adarna. This is a testimony of his love and endless devotion to her. This temple will be the home of all travel souvenirs and collections Leah had acquired from her travels in her lifetime. As said in one of the signs there, Teodorico Adarna had to literally chop a mountaintop to place this temple. This is the reason why it is often hailed as “The Taj Mahal of the Philippines” , a testament of love to a deceased wife by grand display of wealth. The construction is still not finished but it’s already open to the public.

Temple of Leah

The design of “Temple of Leah” was inspired by Parthenon of Greece. So aside from being Taj Mahal of the Philippines, it was also called the Parthenon of Cebu.

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Some rooms are not yet furnished like this one. But some Leah’s collection were already there. Leah loved figurines and vases.

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This Leah’s golden statue was inspired by a photo when she won a “beauty-queen” like award in her school. I wished they displayed the real photo here.

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They say that this statue alone costs millions already.

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You can also have an almost 360 degree view of Cebu City here in Temple of Leah.

At last, here’s the open letter of Teodorico Adarna Jr. on why he built this temple.

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Given this history of the temple, one can’t help but to be curious on what does Leah Albino Adarna looked like. She must be goddess of beauty. The clue would be her actress granddaughter “Ellen Adarna” who most likely inherited the genes. I searched the internet but I only found this one in this link.

Our habal-habal driver offered us to have another destination which hey called “TOPS” . But we opted to return to the city. He dropped us in a gasoline station and then we paid him P800.00 plus P100 for the waiting time. This already covered two of us. From there we rode a jeep going to Taboan where our friend was already waiting.

Final Verdict for our Habal-habal tour.

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3 out of 5 stars. Actually we were also offered by a taxi driver for the same tour. He offered us P1200 roundtrip for the two of us. We thought it was expensive. But as I think about it now, the difference of the price was not that big compared to overall price we had with habal-habal. Also in habal-habal, we were exposed directly by sunlight and pollution. For that reason, I think we should have took the taxi ride tour instead. But the habal-habal driver itself was nice to us. I have no complains.

3. Pasalubong Hunting in Taboan

This was our last day in Cebu so we need to do some pasalubong shopping. Taboan is a popular destination as it has string of stalls offering affordable delicacies. Most notably the danggit or dried fishes.

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This is some of the notes on the price of danggit and dried pusit.

Danggit P700.00/kilo
Pusit P1050/kilo

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You can order up to quarter a kilo and you can request the packaging to be divided. We also bought boxes here so we can seal all “pasalubong” in one box. We sealed it heavily so it won’t have any problems in the airport.

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4. Dinner at Kogi-Q at SM City Cebu

Our last accommodation was near SM City Cebu so we went there for our last dinner at Cebu.

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For the last hoorah in Cebu, it was a time for Eat -All-You-Can Buffet for only P399.00. They have wide range of meat to choose from.

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Final Verdict for Kogi-Q

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4 out of 5 stars. The food and the service are great. But most memorable was their Kimchi. I generally don’t like kimchi as much. But damn, I just had unlimited kimchi that night.

5. LAST ACCOMMODATION: EXPRESS INN CEBU MABOLO

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Because we had short of time to plan and book accommodations, we got to transfer again for our last night. It was a hassle but the good thing was I got to know three affordable hotel accommodations to share in my blog.

Express Inn is also located in the city and situated beside a main road. It is near SM City Cebu and also minutes away from the airport which was great because our flight going back to Manila tomorrow was super early. This hotel has many awards displayed in the reception because of its affordability and accessibility. I didn’t take note of the price when we got it. But we booked it once again through Agoda. I have shared the link below where you can check this one out.

Where to book: Express Inn in Agoda.com

FINAL VERDICT

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3.5 out of 5 stars. I like the simplicity and cleanliness of this hotel. A big plus of it’s proximity with malls and airport.

Oh my did I just finished my Cebu Adventure blog? I think I got myself a little celebration. I must admit I should improve my blogging workflow. Being a blogger is not that easy. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the events and the piles of pictures and thoughts you have to organized. But I love blogging. It might be tiring but it always feel good to immortalize memories and share information with others. However, I would appreciate any tips on how to write a blog faster. Just put in the comments if you have one.

Once again I invite you to subscribe to my youtube channel “Gurezu Reviews“. I’m just starting so there were just 4 videos as of this writing. If you also have youtube channel, let me know also so I can follow back.

Again here’s the Highlights of my Cebu Adventure in ten minutes. Photos and videos in this blog were taken with SamsungA50.

Thanks everyone for hanging with me! And remember that you’re awesome!

❤

GUREZU 

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My Jomalig Adventure

One of my travel goals is to visit Jomalig (pronouced as Humalig) Island. But for these past years,  I was intimated with the fact that this would take a  6-hour boat ride. I don’t know if I can. But this year I finally gave in when WeekendExplorersPH invited me as a joiner on a tour group as they tailor an organized trip to Jomalig. Our group would consist of 14 people. A big group that would split the cost nicely as this is a DIY Jomalig trip.

Just a brief folktale about  the origin of the name of the island. Long time ago, the leader of the island has a beautiful daughter. A suitor came to ask for her hand. However, the leader of the island gave him a challenge to win her daughter. And that is to spear 3 fishes in every seawater of the island. The man accepted this challenge but did not succeeded. As a consolation, he requested a kiss from the leader’s beautiful daughter. When the girl kiss the man, the people were shocked they started shouting “Humalik!” which means to “Kiss” in local language.  Soon Humalik became Humalig and now spelled as Jomalig due to American occupation. Love these kind of tales! I have many questions though. So the girl also like the young man? What happened after that? Did they elope or something? 

But that does not matter though. It’s time for the photo documentary of our trip to Jomalig Island.Our group meet-up place was in Petron along Boni Avenue. I am nervous because I know the travel time I have to endure and also, it’s my first time to be a joiner. I only know a single soul in this trip.  (Main concern: Who would take my photos specially my bikini pics? :P)Our van departed from Boni at around 1am. 

Some notes about the Van Rental (cost slit among 14 people)
Driver: Mikel Calimag
Rental Fee going to Quezon: P6,000.00 (to be split between 14 passenger)
Driver Food: P150.00

Port Real Quezon

Then we arrived at Port Real Quezon at around 5 am, We took our breakfast around the area and finally got a chance to talk with some  people in the group. It turns out I am not the only one who’s a joiner here. Also I felt relieved to see that our ride was not exactly on a small boat just like we had in Calaguas. We were about to ride on a ferry boat! With seats and a top load where we can lie and sleep!

Time check: Our boat departed the port at around 7 am.

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Ferry at Real Quezon going to Jomalig

These are some scenes at the topload of the ferry boat. I totally recommend to grab a spot here if you want to catch some sleep. Also it’s not so hot there.

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Sun rise
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Someone old me that this pic looks like a drug trafficking scene. Haha!

Free lunch! I did not expect that our ride has a free meal inclusion. And I love the food. It tasted good, even better than my breakfast that morning.

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The free luch aredeliverd by plate
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My Jomalig Travel Buddies
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Some notes about the Ferry Boat Trip (cost split among 14 people)
Port  Fee: P140.00
Environmental Fee: P2380.00
Boat: P5600.00

Arrival at Jomalig and Lunch at Ate Lara’s House

The ferry boat is prohibited to touch the shore. So we have to transfer another smaller boat in order to finally reach Jomalig Island. It turns out that we will be staying at the house of “Ate Lara”

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In addition for the house, Ate Lara’s added service is cooked food. They welcomed us with Filipino staple food “Adobo”.

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Introducing our temporary humble home

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Even if we were tired and sleepy, one should not waste the opportunity the catch swimming time under sunset in Salibungot Beach.

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Some cost notes. Split among 14 people
Entrance Fee at Salibungot Beach 1400
Boat to Resort by Ate Lyra P840.00

Home Accomodation (P380.00 room, P200.00 papag only) P3800.00
Rice + Adobo by Ate Lyra P1010.00
Water + Ice 170.00

Home Accommodation by Ate Lyra
Contact Numbers: Globe-09561048356, Smart-09307968665

Second Day: Habal-habal (Motorbike) Tour

 I did not expect that the essence of Jomalig adventure is the motorbike tour. They can be acquired on the spot. Just ask a local or Ate Lyra’s assistance if want a habal-habal tour . I’m scared of riding motorbike because for me it is accident prone mode of transportation. It just feel so unsafe in the city. But of course, will I let my fear spoil my Jomalig trip? I have no choice!

1st STOP: Ang Puno ng Walang Forever (The Tree of No Forever)

The tree is lonely because it grew in the middle of a space or field. Likened to a love that will forever be unrequited so you end up alone like this tree. Due to that, it became immensely popular that it was one of the tourist destinations. Picture taking here comes with a minimal fee of P65.00.

The tree might be sad but it might be angry too. With all the tourist riding its branches for pics the whole day, it might be bottling some resentments to humans . I just hope that the tree will be taken care of. I sounded like a killjoy here somehow. Instead of climbing the tree I made make-believe photos of me riding the motorbike on my own.

By the way here some snaps of our habal-habal bikes and guys.

By the time it’s our turn to take a pic with the tree, the light rain fell causing some mist and confusion in this pic.

2nd STOP: Golden Sand

It was raining when we arrived here. So the photos are kind of gloomy. I prefer sunny days during travels. And this honestly bummed me out. I prayed that the it won’t be like this the whole afternoon.

The beach was rocky and the golden sand would have been shining under a summer heat.

But of course, we will still push through with our bikini pic plans. Although quite prankly I am not in the mood here.

Yep, totally not in the mood.

3rd STOP: Little Boracay

At last! The Lord heard my prayers. The rain went away and the sun finally shone above. Just in time because Little Boracay looks so great. The white creamy sand truly resembles “Boracay” the most popular beach in the country.

Finally I was able to proceed to take a lot of pics this time around.

Aside from swimming, you can chill while drinking fresh buko juice.

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Here’s my new friend @ steffiiish who collaborated with me to have each of our own bikini photos. I am so lucky.

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Free Lunch at Stranger’s Household because It Fiesta Season in Jomalig!

Now, to add our lucky stride with the weather, our habal-habal drivers invited us to eat lunch at a nearby town which was currently celebrating their Fiesta. It’s a customary here in the PH to invite and feed strangers during this times for free! We had lovely lechon kawali. If you are curious when we toured Jomalig, we went here from April 27-29. This is really a good time to visit Jomalig I must say. The household invited us for dinner too but of course, we declined politely this time. We don’t want to abuse their kindness.

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4th Stop: KANAWAY

One of the most breathtaking sites here. Golden sand,clear waters and sandbar. A very serene place.

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5th STOP: LINGAYEN BEACH aka LITTLE BATANES

Wow Jomalig really has something to boast about. It has nuggets of popular destinations in the country. I have never been to Batanes myself so I could not really compare. But it could have been because of the rock formation, the sight of the large waves and strong breeze why they call this the little Batanes of Jomalig. The long stretch of a golden sand is also a great sight here.

A “Lost” inspired group-pic

Photography by Pabs

End of Habal-habal tour

By the end of the Habal-habal tour, I could say that my fear of motorbikes was wiped away. For the first hours, both of our hands clinging to the driver’s shirt for our dear life. But by the end of the tour, we were taking videos and pics already. Below is the short clip of our ride. It was truly an enjoyable and exciting experience seeing vast fields and farm life on our way.

Video by steffiiish!

By the end of our adventure, I was thankful that this is a habal-habal trip. Because if its not, like if its inside a car, trike, or anything that has comfortable seat, I could have been tinkering my mobile phone to upload pics for myday or browsing photos in my camera. In habal-habal, we were forced to detach ourselves from mobile phones and strictly enjoy the views passing by. It also helps that there are little to no mobile signal along the way. It’s good to detach in digital world sometimes and appreciate God’s creation. Moreover, at the end, I trampled my fear of riding motorbikes.


Some Notes of Expenses. Split by 14 persons.
Puno ng Walang Forever P65.00 (as group)
White Beach/Golden Sand Entrance P260.00 (as group)
Little Boracay P390.00 (P30.00 each per person)
Kanaway Entrance: P650.00 (50.00 each person)
Little Batanes: P650.00 (P50.00 per person)

Going Home

At around 9:00 am in the morning we traveled back to the port to catch ferry boat back to Real Quezon. Here we bought souvenirs while waiting. Here are some pics I captured at the port to catch some final glimpse of this paradise.

And once again, our ferry boat ride has an inclusion of free lunch. It was Mongo Stew for now. It tasted great.

Just a clip of our ride. I am just so amazed with the sights of the mountains and trees of nearby islands.

Notes on Expenditure
Ferry Boat with lunch :P400.00 each
Van Rental + Driver Meal: P6150.00

SPECIAL THANKS !!!

Special thanks to WeekendExplorersPH for organizing this DIY trip and doing their best to make this affordable convenient for the joiners like me. Like their Facebook Page here WeekendExplorersPH . They are team of adventure lovers dedicated in sharing weekend travel itineraries and affordable tour packages. You may like and inquire at their facebook page. Just click this link:  WeekendExplorersPH

Introducing the couple behind the Weekend Explorers PH, Patrick and Ella.

Thank you all the boys of the group who did all the groceries, chores and cooked wonderful breakfast and dinners for the group.

The following photo is not mine. Credits to Ella of Wandering Explorers PH

 Thank you also to Steffy for the patience of taking photos of me. Please follow her ig. She’s a certified adventurer who’s contantly conquering mountains. Read and be mesmerized by her adventure stories. This is the link of her ig: steffiiish

Here’s the summary computation for our group. As you can see below, the estimated expenses for each person was p3119.00. But bear in mind that this does not include other meal expenses we had. I suggest an individual should at least have P4500.00 and join a travel group for more savings.

Important Contact Numbers:
1. Van Rental + Driver: Fb: Mikel Calimag Contact Numbers: 09771557607,09567359807
2. Homestay Acommodation by Ate Lyra: Globe-09561048356 Smart-09307968665

And…that’s a wrapped! So is Jomalig worth the grueling 4-hour land travel and 6-hour boat ride?

A big YES! Jomalig surprised me with its variety of beach offerings; a beach with golden sand (sometimes pink),a beach one white sand , a beach with rocky formations and a beach with amazing sandbars. It boats nuggets of Boracay and Batanes. Not only pristine beach waters but it also showcases vast farm and field life sights. Everything rolled in one place that is Jomalig. 

Thank you all for reading our Adventure. I hope you include Jomalig in your travel bucket list because it’s definitely worth it.

Remember you are awesome!

Gurezu ❤


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El Nido Adventure- Tour C (Palawan Day 4)

and  Before we jump into the last day our Palawan Adventure, here’s our Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3.

Hidden Beach

Off to our first destination is the Hidden Beach. Our journey going there made me realized why it was named this way. We have to swim, make our way through curves and giant rocks to reach this place. Actually we “cheated” the swimming part. The tour guides just instructed us to float and he pulled our life-jackets while swimming. If they didn’t drag us through the waves, we might have spent full hour swimming to reach the place.

.Just like before, a short time in the boat going to this island made me instantly hungry. The first thing,  search for food or drinks. Here is a short clip of me ordering a coconut for P60.00 from the boat vendor.

Finally, this is me with my “buko”. Take note of the crystal clear water. Too bad we only brought mobile phone here. I did not dare to bring my camera anymore due to the damage it had from yesterday’s adventure. Also, it was kind of stressful to bring a full-blown camera. I was lucky that I had a reliable waterproof bag. If not, I would go home with a dysfunctional one.

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SHIMIZU ISLAND

This island was named after a a Japanese diver who died while exploring the El Nido and eventually was found in the shore of this island. His surname is Shimizu.

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The source of it’s name could be born out of tragedy but hey look at this! With its pristine water and white sand, being here is far from being tragic.

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Of course, pardon me for having my photoshoot again. I travel for pictures with me in it.

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Lunchtime in Shimizu Island

We spent longer hours here in Shimizu that any other island because this was the place where we had our lunch. This photo is an evidence on how my friends guarded our table. Their eyes fixated on the food. With the spoon and fork in their hands, they were so ready to attack.

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What do we have here? Crabs, fish, liempo, eggplant salad, cucumber, banana , pineapple, coke and rice.

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Snorkeling Area

Here’s one thing I hate about myself. I don’t like underwater activities. Snorkeling , Scuba Diving, and any other activities I might not know that involves a lot swimming and going into the deep. I’m not scared. It’s more like I easily get tired. The “I-am-going-to-die-tired” kind of way. But one thing I like about myself, I do it anyway. Who would like to miss the sight of the corals? I only lasted less than 10 minutes though.

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SECRET BEACH…NOT!

What disappointed me in this trip is we have to skip Secret Beach due to large waves. A local said it should have been the highlight of tour C since it the most adventurous to reach. We have to swim through a small crevice in a cave before to enter this mysterious place. It also known as the real inspiration for a bestselling novel ” The Beach” written by Alex Garland. Although the novel was set in Thailand, Alex Garland derived the geography of the setting from Secret Beach during the time he spent vacation here in Palawan. So that’s we have missed. But safety first, right? And we can always go back.

Helicopter Island

This island was named this way because it is truly shaped like a helicopter in a distance. It is not the only thing that sets this apart from the other destinations we toured. The sand of this island is golden! A fresh sight from all the whites we have seen.

Here’s a short clip of our arrival in this island.

And yes, photoshoot again and again!

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Here’s a short clip of me just enjoying the waves and fooling around. I just let my action camera stood by a tripod. Enjoy the sound of waves that will surely calm any restless heart.

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TIP: When you feel stressed, one of the things you can do is to listen to the sounds of nature. One of them is the sound of beach waves. Of course we are not always in the beach. But we can always search online, plug our ears with earphones and close our eyes. Here is me contributing to the #soundOfWaves available online. This is captured while we are chilling in the Helicopter Island, the last beach from Tour C and our last stop overall for our El Nido Palawan Tour. It is unique among the beaches we visited because its sand is more golden than white. And that's why it is special. I'm glad I took some time to capture this moment. I miss the beach already. #goldenbeach #elnidopalawan #travelph #travelclips #xiaomiyi #yicamera #yiactioncam #bloggersofinstagram #Travelph #travelgram #itsmorefuninthephilippines #travel #palawan #helicopterisland #beachplease #vitaminsea #dagat #beachph #beach #gztravels #stressreliever #stress #dealingwithstress

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ENJOYING THE SUNSET AT THE PORT

Helicopter marked the end of our Palawan Adventure. But we couldn’t get enough. So even if we were tired, we went back to the port to watch the beautiful sunset. What a sight to behold.

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But before I truly end this blog entry, I will share the awesome and affordable accommodation we had in El Nido Palawan.

St. John Island Pensionne House, Truly Affordable!

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My friend booked the room thru Agoda. It has no fixed priced and is according to season.

But I just checked in Agoda now that I’m typing this and it is still around this price. You can also visit their official facebook page.

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As of this writing, its P1,768 per night, 4 persons, inclusive of breakfast.

What I like about this place. It is spacious. It has t.v, aircon and clean bathroom. They also have towels for four. They also provided hot water and coffee. The free breakfast is satisfying enough. They also have other meal offering just in case you are too tired to dine outside. It is also just walking distance away from the tour ports which is convenient. And its really affordable. If you split the price per night to 4, it would only cost P442.00 person per night. However, please take note that we went there off-season. The prices may subject to change.

What I don’t like about this place is they don’t have free water. They do sell water but it was too expensive. A bottle of mineral water costs P40.00 which would normally costs around P25.00 at Manila 7-eleven. Generally, the price of groceries n El Nido Palawan was really steep. But it’s understandable considering we had super affordable accommodation here.

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This is the dining area.

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You can see the shore from this area.

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They also have a mini-bar here which I had my self-portrait shoot. I have another blog entry for that. Their mini-bar was really cute. And it was completely empty! Here’s one of my photo. Check out more on my self-portrait indulgence on my other blog: Alone at The Bar (Photoshoot)

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Finally! I finished my backlog from last year. It’s hard to pick my favorite part of the trip but I got to choose Shimizu Island because that’s where we got to eat. Haha!

I hope this Palawan blog series would help you decide to go on a Palawan adventure specially in picking your accommodation. If you are not from the Philippines and you are interested to go here, you must not really skip Palawan. This is truly a paradise.

 

Remember, it’s not too late for everything,

Gurezu ❤

Lets’ connect!

IG: https://instagram.com/gurezu/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Gurezu/

Baker Hills and Astoria Wedding (Palawan Day 2)

Nothing much can be said with our Day 2.  This day is for the wedding of our college friend and classmate. We had time in the morning and we managed to at least visit Baker Hills and Puerto Princesa Public Market to buy some goodies we can take home.

Baker’s Hills is literally the hills of bakers. They gather here to offer the best pastries and delicacies like hopias, cakes and bread at a very affordable price. it’s a shame that I had taken photos of it. But I assure you that at a price of P500.00, you can buy many goodies to take home it would be hard to fit it in a  bag.

Baker Hills is not only for food but also a romantic site for photoshoot. There are a lot of cute fixtures spread all over the place. However, we were not able to maximize our time here due to we are on a tight schedule.

Gigantic Paperbag
Gigantic Paperbag
BAKERS HILLS
Baker’s Hills Goodies Room
Fake Bicycle
Fake Bicycle. It does not move at all. Haha!
Fake Bicycle
Fake Bicycle. It still does not move at all.
LOVE
GIANT LOVE
GIANT LOVE
GIANT LOVE
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Snow White and the Seven Dwarves statues
Giant Pot of Sunflowers
Giant Pot of Sunflowers
Tree of Hearts
This is my favorite of all displays, the tree of hearts. Each heart has messages on it most of which are hugot lines. But there are sensible ones too like the one below.
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Tree of Hearts

ASTORIA PALAWAN

The wedding we attended happened in Astoria Palawan. I got a shock of my life and  when John Arcilla was part of entourage. He’s one of the respectable actors in the Philippines today. Most notable for playing Antonio Luna, an ill-fated story of a Filipino General in times of Spaniards Colonization in the Philippines.

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This is his blockbuster movie poster which is now available for viewing in Netflix.

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It’s rare for me to completely doll up these days. So I took the opportunity to have many photos as much as possible. Sadly, the sea was on low-tide that day. It is a good backdrop nonetheless.

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A Girl in A Pink Dress in a Low-Tide Shore of Astoria Palawan
A Girl in A Pink Dress in  a Low-Tide Shore of Astoria Palawan
A Girl in A Pink Dress in a Low-Tide Shore of Astoria Palawan
A Girl in A Pink Dress in  a Low-Tide Shore of Astoria Palawan
A Girl in A Pink Dress in a Low-Tide Shore of Astoria Palawan
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Girl in A Pink Dress Having a Selfie
Fabulous Comfort Room
Fabulous Comfort Room of Astoria Palawan
My Beautiful Travel Buddies
My Travel Buddies

My friend was the one subjected to the game of garter and flowers haha!

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Right after the wedding we traveled straight to El Nido Palawan for our sea adventures. The travel time was about 4 hours. To say we were exhausted was an understatement. But we have to be in El Nido by the next morning if we want to maximize the tour.

Thanks for Blessed Journey Tours and Travel for bringing us safely to our destination.

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And off on our next home in Palawan, St. John Island View and Pensionne House.

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Tomorrow will be the Day 3 at last where the real Palawan Adventure took place! So excited to blog about the photos we took of the beautiful seas that is El Nido, Palawan.

That’s all folks for today.

Remember You Are Awesome!

Gurezu ❤

Filling Station Bar Cafe’ is a Time-Machine

I just want to share how I’m so delighted with this restaurant. And it’s not hard to tell that the reason was it is instagrammable. (Well aside from the food food). We came here after we had dinner in Firefly Roofdeck DiningFirefly Roofdeck Dining. Our stomachs were already full so we were just looking for desserts and for more pictures. Filling Bar Station Cafe’ was just perfect. I heard that the milkshakes here were great. More importantly, this restaurant is popular because this is “Riverdale-inspired”. I was not watching Riverdale but it was still thrilling how this restaurant transports you to old American restaurants in the 50’s.

Restaurant: Filling Bar Station and Cafe’

Cuisine: American

Exact Location: 5012 P Burgos, Makati, 1210 Metro Manila

Opening Hours: 24 hours in 7 days

Parking: Not sure on this one.

Contact : Official facebook page

fillingstationbarcafe@gmail.com

Number: (02) 897 2053

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This car fixture is the highlight of the resto. It’s actually just one of the tables which you can occupy with minimum consumable order of P 3000.00 .

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and the photoshoot ensued.

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Most kids nowadays probably has not experienced calling by this rotating dial phone.

Fooling around with Elvis Presley.

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And now enjoying the milkshakes. I must say the milkshakes tasted great. One of the best!

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My brother insisted on tea only because he’s on a diet. But he wanted to take a photo and pretend he’s drinking beer.

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Will I go back here? Of course! We only spent 1 hour only here and there are too many fixtures to interact to.And there’s the food I haven’t tried yet. . I even didn’t catch the details for the milkshakes. Maybe I’ll go back with my friends next time. It’s perfect for late night chikahan since it’s open for 24 hours.

Repeating the details:

Restaurant: Filling Bar Station and Cafe’

Cuisine: American

Exact Location: 5012 P Burgos, Makati, 1210 Metro Manila

Opening Hours: 24 hours in 7 days

Parking: Not sure on this one.

Contact : Official facebook page

fillingstationbarcafe@gmail.com

Number: (02) 897 2053

No-sweat Sea of Clouds of Treasure Mountain

The moment I saw Treasure Mountain in Facebook, I know I have to go there someday. It promises an easy pass to “sea of clouds”. You don’t have to climb a mountain so to speak. Not that I am not fond of climbing mountains. Sometimes you just want to relax, take things easy. You want to take selfies in the mountainside without looking haggard and sweaty. (This is great for pre-nup shoot actually. I saw this in their page.) Manila habitants would also rejoice since it can only takes 3 hours to get here. More importantly, this is for the people who are incapable of climbing mountains for health reasons. In my case, I brought my mother here. I can never bring her to rigorous hiking. But thank goodness , there is treasure mountain.

Allow me to manage your expectation first. There is NO GUARANTEE you’ll see sea of clouds. It depends on the mood of the nature. But on the morning of June 24, 2018, we got super lucky.

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Treasure Mountain is located at Sitio May Sawa Brgy. Cuyambay, 1980 Tanay, Rizal. I will categorize the ways to go here in three modes.

A. Chillax Mode. There is less commuting efforts and there is definitely no hike involved. Straight to the mountain beshies.

  1. Go to Tanay Public Market with this 3 options.
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  • From Starmall in front of Megamall, ride a jeep or FX (UV express) going to Tanay Market
  • From MRT Cubao, ride an FX or Jeepney going to Tanay Market.
  • From LRT Santolan, ride FX going to Tanay Market.

2. From Tanay Public Market, ride a tricycle straight to Treasure Mountain. This will cost P500.00. I think that could accommodate  four persons already, as long as you fit in one tricycle. I got our trike near Puregold, somewhere around Public Market.

B. Adventurer Mode. I called it this way because it takes a lot of commuting and it gives you an opportunity to have 20-minutes trek to sea of clouds.

  • Ride a van or jeepney going to Cogeo Gate 2 or Padilla
  • Ride a jeepney bound to Sampaloc, Tanay
  • Get-off at Sitio Maysawa, waiting shed or the jump-off to the Maysawa Circuit
  • Trek for 45 minutes or take a tricycle to Treasure Mountain

C. Detour Mode. We did this one unexpectedly.

We came from Antipolo because we visited Luljetta Hanging Garden first. The original plan is from there, we will travel to Treasure Mountain and stay overnight. I even reserved a room. But there was quite a heavy rainfall. Aside from that, all jeepneys going to Tanay were all full. Tricycle from Antipolo woudn’t even agree to bring us even in Tanay Market because it was too far. I was highly discouraged and actually decided to go home already. We stopped by in a restaurant in Morong to have dinner. We had a chitchat with the crew there and they suggested we stay in a low-cost apartelle nearby to rest then just travel at 2 am. We decided to take this advice.

This is Hanson’s Apartelle in Teresa, Antipolo and it have crazy low rates. Great for the people who went on Antipolo tour. Or people who want to have shorter travel time for their tour in Tanay, Rizal.

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We took the 6 hours Aircon room. This is for two people only. We just added P100.00 for extra person. So all-in-all we spent P550.00 pesos. Not bad right?

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This is the room. There’s no much facility here. No wifi, no extra outlet, the t.v was old.  I But who would I to  complain? It is expensive and a truly decent room to stay for a short time. The CR is okay too. It is clean.

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At 2:30 am, we took a jeepney going to Tanay. We dropped-off Puregold near Tanay Public Market and immediately got a trike going straight to Treasure Mountain. Even though it was still dark, we already saw a LOT of sea of clouds along the way. I was so happy.

REGISTRATION

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I am quite disappointed with this one. We arrived at around 4:30 am. But we were greeted with an empty registration area. (Well except dogs were there.) I read that the day tour starts at 4 am so I expect that it would open at this time. Time is of the essence for me. Sea of clouds may disappear And I need to set-up in a good spot for photos. Also we were also there for the sunrise.    I  think the staff arrived at 5 am.

Entrance fee is only P 150.00 each person for DAY TOUR.

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But there’s no time for bad vibes. Sea of Clouds is waiting for us and we have to hurry!

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I intentionally brought this skirt for awra purposes haha!

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Nang umakyat si Inang Kapatagan sa Kabundukan…

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The Sea of clouds rose up from where stood. There was a moment of zero visibility here. If this is water, we were drowned for sure. But this is clouds and we are happy to drown. Now, it’s great for coffee drinking session.

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FOODS and DRINKS

After taking so much photos, it’s time to get hungry and satisfy our coffee cravings because of cold temperature.  Treasure mountain has a small restaurant which is open from 6 am to 9pm.

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These are the rates of the food here. It’s quite pricey for silog meals but reasonable since we’re on top of a mountain. Coffee by the way is P20.00 per cup.

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Another resto option that I haven’t tried is  The Lounge at Treasure Mountain.

These are some of the dramatic photos I took

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Thanks to my sister for assisting me for these shots  taken during sunrise.

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RATES SUMMARY base on Treasure Mountain fb page as of October 5, 2017: 

Entrance Fee

  • Day(4am to 3pm): P150.00
  • Over- night(4pm to 1pm): P200.00

Overnight

  •     Tent Pitching: P300.00
  •     Tent Rental: P500.00 / tent for a capacity of 2 persons, P800.00 / tent for a capacity of 4 persons
  •      Sleeping mat rental: P200.00
  •      Room Lodging: P500.00 minimum of 2 persons and maximum of 5 guests. Sleeping mat inclusive.

Side-Trip

  •  Bosay Falls : P500.00 for tour guide, maximum of 5 guests

Cars are welcome to go directly here but be warned that there are parts of  the road that has still no pavement year. This will be on the driver’s discretion.

They have decent CR too. Quite muddy and dark but understandable since this is on top of a mountain.

Going back to Tanay Public Market is easy too. There’s a tricycle terminal just walking distance away from Treasure Mountain.

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That’s all for now. I have a lot of videos here that I have not processed yet. Overall, this is a beautiful place for relaxation and mountainside photo-ops. It’s inexpensive and require no long travel time from Manila.  The cons are  late opening of Registration area and very slow-response in their fb page. My reservation for a room took about 4 days to be processed. But still, I will definitely come back here because I haven’t roamed the area. I have missed beautiful spots for more photo-ops. And I haven’t done the original plan of Astrophotography practice here.

For inquiries, here’s the link Treasure Mountain Fb Page.

Bye Beshies for now!

I’ll leave you with this GIF.

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And this BTS photo taken by mother that I’m really fond of.

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And a MORAL LESSON!

RAIN is not always a bad thing.  After the rain, there will be rainbows. And also SEA of CLOUDS!  (Wew that was deep -_- ….)

Kidding aside, if we gave up because of the heavy rain,  we would have not seen this breathtaking view. That translate to real life as well. So don’t give up with life struggles. Always looks for detour to get what you want.

Our Staycation Experience in Wind Residences Tagaytay

You know the popular woes of adult friendships; you rarely see each other. And if you all do discuss it, your schedules are all conflict with each other. For months, my college tropa has been planning to travel again. It’s been years since our last getaway. And we’ve been going on cycles, suggesting, turning down, screwing up the whole plan. It was truly difficult to reach the concensus. But amazingly (finally!) , we all agreed  on May 5, 2018  (except for one with totally reasonable reason) Since we could not travel far because of other commitments, we just chose to have staycation just few hours away from Manila.  So I browsed Airbnb and found these amazing condo unit with panoramic view of Taal.

Hare’s the link: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/5301771

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With the free wi-fi and parking, we’re solved!  It accepts a maximum of 6 persons. Of course there are other units in Wind Residences with this great view. But this is the one I have found in Airbnb and we settled because of the freebies and reasonable price.

So this is the glimpse of the Taal just right at the window. It is absolutely panoramic!

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Doing some night long exposure shots. I tried my best.

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The condo unit itself truly delivers. It has appliances for light cooking. There was TV with HDMI cable for gaming, chandeliers and bed. The host was quick to respond to all our inquiries.   The only thing I could complain is it only has two towels and two blankets. They mentioned it beforehand but it is easy to slip in our minds. Anyway if you plan to book this yourself, just don’t forget to bring  extra towels and blankets if you are more than two people. But generally, this condo unit ROCKS!  I totally recommend it for those who are planning to have a chill and relaxing weekend.

As for the evidence on how the condo unit looks and how much we enjoyed our stay, please refer to the following section.

MY CRAZY COLLEGE FRIENDS  and THE FUN THINGS WE DID 

Being with them is ALWAYS guaranteed fun-filled and full of laughter ride. I mean just look at this. They are all meme-worthy.

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(NSFW guys. Just for fun only)

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GROCERY TIME

Upon arrival, we checked it and head-off  to the nearest supermarket just walking distance from the condo unit. Apart from necessities, we bought bottles of Soju, Renato (leftmost side guy) had a sudden penchant for Soju eversince I treated them in Oppa Chicken for my last birthday. It amazes me that he really became into it.

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And some portrait photoshoot on the side

Photoshoot with Taal Volcano. Of course I didn’t let this moment slip without capturing the majestic view. I imagine how it feels like to wake up in the morning with this kind of sightings. But  then again, I realized that if you are used to something, even how beautiful it is, you would  get tired eventually. People are just like that.

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Boardgaming Night

This is becoming the banner activity of our friendship everytime we meet. It’s fun and you put down your phones because you got to really interact with each other. We played two games that night. First was the dead of winter wherein you as players are going to do your best to survive a zombie apocalypse together. It’s not a simple game. But I want to commend our game master Aldrich (below) for patiently explaining everything for almost one hour!

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He’s been our ever reliable game master. No one could replace him and no one would be willing. (Gahd ang hirap kaya mag-aral ng game. Daming pag-aaralang instruction. I can’t for a life of me!)

The second game was Avalon. It is our most favorite so far. It’s a game of Bad guys a.k.a “Minions of Mordred” and Good guys a.k.a “Loyal Servant of Arthur”. In this game you should have an ability to deceive or investigate the behavior of your co-players. It is truly a fun game and its not hard to learn.

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It’s been a long time plan to document and edit a reality-game show type coverage of us playing this game. But it’s not easy to edit. And I’m still struggling. But for now, here’s the glimpse of us playing as the bad guys caught in camera standing on a tripod.

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Foodtrip.

Just one ride away from Wind Residences is a restaurant called “Green ATS”. You can choose in a “kubo” where there is a great skyscraper view of Tagaytay City. You just have to pay 1500 but that is totally consumable to food. And whenever we go to Tagaytay, our table won’t be complete without Bulalo. The food is great but nothing compared with the Bulalo in Mahogany also here in Tagaytay.

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Birthday Surprise!

Even I was surprised with this birthday surprise. I was not part of the plan. We were playing “Just dance” when Renato suddenly said that he forgot something and he had to go back to the car. He disappeared for almost half an hour. When he went back, he already has the cake. Even I was stunned. I really didn’t know.  I guess they know I’m not a good actress and it would be hard for me to keep the plan hhahaha. I won’t blame them. I’m a girl with unrestrained secrets haha!

Nice surprise!

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Finally soju time. Renato has been waiting for this

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Just Dance!

Apparently, Drich and Leonard has this amazing gaming console  called Switch. It looks like this.

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When you connect to a T.V with HDMI, you can instantly play any games offline or online. I am really not much into gaming that’s why I don’t things like this. But if I have to choose a game, that has to be a dancing game! I love to dance. It’s a hobby that I love that doesn’t love me back. In a very rare occasion, all of us get up and join the game. So here it is, sharing with you our shameful dancing in the tune of 24K Magic by Bruno Mars.

And the best dancer goes to… The birthday boy, Leonard!

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But allow me to display this meme-able gif again.

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BREAKFAST

Allow me to introduce you the party mother of our group, Chard. He cooked, cleaned and washed the dishes all by himself. He woke up early  just to prepare the breakfast. When we got-up, everything was on the table already; hard-boiled eggs, tuna, pancit-canton, sausage and juice. See? It’s truly a blessing to have a friend like Chard.

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Swimming at  the Wind Residences Clubhouse

This is exclusive in the accommodation. It only costs P150.00 each in the accounting center.

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Because we were afraid of the sun, we opted to swim in the indoor pool.

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DRONE PHOTOSHOOT

Renato has small drone that he was afraid to fly unto the  hole of Taal Volcano. So we just tried around the Wind Residences clubhouse.

LUNCH in MAHOGANY

Exactly 12 PM we checked-out of the condo unit. We had our lunch at the place called Mahogany. There is a string of carinderia style restaurants here. Among of all these is the one featured in Kris TV because of its heaven-sent Bulalo. And not only Bulalo, but also “Crispy Tawilis”. I’ll be writing a separate blog about this soon. Just writing this triggers drooling for me and I’m writing this here in the office with Tagaytay like temperature. OMG! Help!

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That’s it!

Now that I’m finished documenting our mini escapade, I realized that I have new names for my friends; Renato is the “Soju Boy”, Aldrich is “The Game Master” , Leonard as “the Dancer” and Richard as “the Party Mother”. I was thinking what is my role in this group. But since I documented everything,  I guess I’ll be and always be, yours truly, ‘The Blogger Friend”. Haha!

Credits:

Special thanks to Renato for the additional photos and GIF.

Our Mini-Photoshoot in the Office with the Theme “Black”

I am officially blogging about my photography journey. Let me vent out some feelings a little bit. I’m actually feeling frustrated and anxious right now. Apart from the feeling that I feel like I’m starting again in blogging world, I haven’t reach a level of confidence that I wanted when it comes to photography. I overthink and at the end, I don’t start and finish anything. I argue myself these past few days. What matters is I love to write and take pictures right? After a lot of self-negotiation, I’m finally throwing any emotional baggage at the moment and decided to blog about our first photoshoot of the year . #WriteAndShoot2018, here we go.

Last year I transferred to another company and eventually joined their photography club. Almost every week, we organize a photoshoot to hone our skills. We do our shoots inside the office since our models are also from the company and we are just borrowing their time. For this year, we are starting our photoshoot series with the theme “BLACK” inspired by the Korean series with the same name. Actually our model proposed this concept herself. And that’s good because I won’t have to overthink on the concept.

Before photoshoot, we prepare what we call a “mood board”. Actually it’s just a collection of pictures from the internet which fits the mood of our theme. It serves as

1. inspiration for the photographers

2 idea for the models to know what kind of expression they would exude for the photoshoots.

Imitation is an effective learning style. So at first we look at these photos to learn how those effects were made. Apart from that, we play a sort of playlist in a background for added atmosphere related to our theme. It also helps our models feel homey and at ease. For this photoshoot, we just played the theme song of the korean series BLACK. To tell you the truth, we got this photoshoot workflow from the free seminars we attended in Camerahaus. Actual photoshoots were really like this. Let’s copy from the experts haha!

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(Photo credits: Dan Olarte)

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We were five in this session. Or beautiful model, Hasz. Our mentor which is also my manager, Sir Ge. EJ, Dan and yours truly as photography proteges, char!

(Photo credits: Dan Olarte)

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Behind the Scenes Photos featuring my behind hehe. (Photo credits: Dan Olarte)

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For some reason, this photo looks funny to me. I just can’t look at it without silently laughing bwahahahahahahahaha! (Photo credits: Dan Olarte)

So here are my output for this session. A mix of edited and unedited pics. And some technical notes I could remember.

Would You Trust my Eyes?

Just a short note. My godox flash was set in manual master mode channel 8. It served as a trigger for the honeycomb flash located beside the model.
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WARM MEMORIES

Achieving Warm Tone. Just a short note, I set my camera in high Kelvin values for this but for some reason it didn’t work. My mentor Sig Ge set the RGB adding red levels.
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“Goodbye Darkness”

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There were sorrow and regrets beside you.
But there’s also rest
And a lot of time to reflect
Only with you I can see the light
And I’m seeing it bright now
Before I say my farewell
You must know there’s a joy within you too
Goodbye darkness

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And guess what, EJ which is actually a videographer suprised us with a BTS video of our shoot. I was really amazed with his editing skills.

BTS | Hasmine | All about BLACK from straightforwardvideo on Vimeo.

That wraps our first photoshoot session for this year. This also marks day 1 of my 30 days blogging challenge. Yes, I’ll be posting everyday for 30 days! I was inspired by another wordpress blogger boredsensei whom I also met in recent blogger meet-up. She is an English teacher in Japan. As of now, she’s already in her Day 12 already. I love how she chronicles her daily life in Japan because it is very informative. It has been my dream to go to Japan because I was into anime’ before. I even studied basic Japanese. Reading her blog makes me feel I’m getting myself ready for my own visit soon. LAW OF ATTRACTION PLEASE!!!!

Ending my blog with my photos of the session taken by my co-photographers.

Title: When can I go shopping without me looking in the price tags?
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Photo credit: Dan Olarte

Photos by: G2Photography

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Credits:

Model: Hasmine Ajihil, ig: hma_016

Photographers

  1. Mentor: Gerard Dangca of G2Photography
  2. Mary Grace Sabado of Gurezu Blog
  3. Dan Olarte
  4. EJ Delinquina of straightforwardvideo

Blogging Music: Trust my Eyes (Black Opening song) and Warriors by Imagine Dragons.

Time and Location: 7:14pm , Coreon Gate Cafe’

Weather: Rainy and cold. In a company of strangers mostly students from La Salle.