Sulfur Hot Springs and Whale Sharks

After our trip to the US this summer, I veered far away from the big cities and crowd and ventured to my favorite place in the world, Dumaguete <3

Two of the highlights were the Baslay Hot Spring and the Whale Sharks in Oslob. 

Baslay Twin Hot Spring


Baslay is a municipality under Negros Occidental, a good hour drive from Dumaguete City. From the municipality’s market place we hopped aboard three habal-habal going to the rough road to the hot spring. 

The hot spring was unfortunately half destroyed due to a big flood last year, but good thing the pools were still clean enough to swim in. There were four separate pools each having a different temperature, one of them was too hot to dip to. 

The reason why this hot spring is so famous is not only the view and the location but also because of it’s sulfur which is believed to be good for the skin. 

We did not miss out on the fun of playing with the cream like mineral. Sulfur hot baths in other parts of the world is said to be expensive, good thing we had a free therapeutic bath here. 

There was also a small falls where the water was cooler.

It was pretty funny though that while we were walking down the 200 plus steps stairway how ironic it is that we were heading for a HOT spring on an equally HOT and HUMID SUMMER afternoon.

Nonetheless, we had so much fun that we forgot how warm the weather was. 

Whale Shark Point in Oslob, Cebu

I have heard and seen photos of Oslob and it’s famous Whale Shark Point where tourists can enjoy snorkeling with the gentle giants of the sea. The country’s tourism department recently issued an all out protection on these mammals, where locals are assigned to keep watch on the whale sharks at the same time let the people enjoy them in their natural habitat. 

From Dumaguete, we rode one of the ferries crossing to one of the provinces in Cebu, a good 20-minute ferry ride then an hour bus ride. 

We just told the bus driver to drop us off the Whale Shark Point when in Oslob, it’s pretty popular so you won’t get lost.

Good thing we went on a weekday, the guide said there weren’t much tourist in the site. 

There were about 3 groups of guide companies which was identifying by color, some will greet you as soon as you get off the bus, they’re very accommodating, we just followed them to the site. 

There’s a quick orientation before you can swim with the giants, a guide talks about how one should not touch the sharks and that there should be a good 6 meter from the sharks, etc etc. Sorry, I wasn’t quite listening as I was too excited to get on the bangka and swim with the whale sharks already!

Don’t forget your souvenirs! Shirts and mini Whale Sharks for sale everywhere.

Here we are prepped and ready to snorkel! 

We rented an underwater cam for the photos ahead. So much worth it.

It was hard taking photos while keeping afloat and keeping an eye out for the large group of small boats and people though but you forget about that because of the marvelous site you are going to see. 

The Whale Sharks are about 12-15 feet long, they’re adolescent sharks compared to the 30-feet full grown adults. The guides have grew up with some of the sharks, they even said they use to rode them before it was illegal to do so now. 

Swimming with these amazing creatures was one of the best things I have ever did. It humbles you how vast and beautiful the sea is; how little we think we know and how small we really are. 

I hope your summer was as awesome as mine! <3


"Butanding"
- Oslob, Cebu, Philippines

"Butanding"

- Oslob, Cebu, Philippines


music and road trips with you

music and road trips with you



driving to along Malibu &lt;3

driving to along Malibu <3


Summer Escapade No. 1: Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Hello wanderlusts! Since it’s now summer in the Philippines or spring break abroad, I’m going to start a reminiscing series of posts about my favorite summer vacations around the Philippines, giving you tips and photos of how my journey went.

PALAWAN

To describe Palawan to someone eager to travel there would take a good hour or so conversation while sipping caffeine in the nearest cafe.

To start off, Palawan is an island province and the largest of that in the country located in Region 4  composing of several groups of islands around it, among which is the controversial Spartly Islands.

Palawan is world-known to be one of the most beautiful places on earth because of its biodiversity and the wonders of nature, and recently one of it’s tourist destinations, the Underground River, has been graced to be one of the 7 Wonders of the World. 

Arriving at Puerto Princesa Airport. Oh! Do not and I mean do NOT forget to bring sunscreen, light clothes and a good pair of sunglasses, but you can always buy em’ on every tourist spot or corner of the island.


One of the first beaches we went to had this amazingly white sand that if you stared too long it’ll look greyish. 


One of Palawan’s MUST buy souvenir are PEARLS, yes, you heard me right real PEARLS. All around the country pearl are basically more expensive compared to Palawan pearl shops where a lot are located at the heart of Puerto Princesa.  

Anthony Bourdain said “your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride” and what better way than to try new food when you’re on a different territory, or just try new food for the sake of adventure! 

We went to two well-known restaurants in Puerto Princesa, one was Kinabuchs Grill and Bar and the other Kalui.

One can never go wrong with fresh seafood, be sure to include that on your menu! Palawan has a wide variety of exotic food to offer but two of the more famous we tried during our stay were Alligator meat and Raw Worms. 

This is Kinabuchs’ specialty - Alligator sauteed in Coconut Milk and spices. Or locally known as “Buaya”

Surprisingly, Alligator tastes like beef! Only more leaner and has that aftertaste. 

Another of their specialty and the island’s MUST try is fresh, raw Mangrove Worms or “Tamilok” with vinegar, chili and onions for its dipping sauce.

Don’t let the ickyness fool you, worms are known for its high protein content. I did have a bit of trouble swallowing the critters, but you have to try it only if it’s just one worm!

 As previously said the seafood in Palawan is as fresh as it can get so expect the fishes and shrimps there to be not only juicy and delicious but also abundant and inexpensive.

 Kinabuchs Grill and Bar is located at Rizal Avenue, 5300, Puerto Princesa. Just hail a pedicab or ask your tour driver to take you there for dinner, best to reserve though! The place is always pack during summer. And DO NOT forget to order the country’s world famous San Miguel Pilsen Beer to go along with your raw worms!

Kalui is as local and as Filipino as it can get. From entering the restaurant, you have to leave your footwear outside at designated shoe racks. The place is made out of native wood and entering the restaurant, you feel as if you’ve traveled back in time to the old Filipino days, although there are some modern twists, like the occasional art exhibits inside. You can choose different tables, whether you sit indian-style on the floor or the more modern way of sitting on chairs. They specialize in seafood menus and don’t forget to try their Wheatgrass in Coconut Juice with Native Honey! They’re located at 369 Rizal Avenue.


One of my favorite places of Puerto Princesa was Dos Palmas which located on a small island on the Honda Bay, one has to take the resort’s outrigger boats or bangka to get to the beautiful resort. 

Everything about this delightful little island was perfect - from the delicious buffet to the native furniture and to the friendly and accommodating staff service. 

My sister and I spent the whole day riding bikes around the island, playing pool, going inside their cool art gallery, kayaking and the very best was the snorkeling! I’ve been to a lot of snorkeling spots around the country and in Hawaii but I’ve never been so marveled at the sea life the sea around the island had to offer. We saw a lot of fishes where you can feed them small chunks of bread with, there were giant clams living peacefully amount the assortment of fishes and the guide told us there were sightings of turtles and dolphins nearby.

One cannot simply got to Palawan without going inside the Underground River! It’s the longest navigatable underground river in the world, up to 4.3km that would take you on a 45-minute boat tour inside. There will be bangkas taking you to the part of the island of where it’s located.

There were so much more to be seen in Palawan, my family and friends were fortunate enough to had traveled in Puerto Princesa and immensely enjoyed ourselves in what man and nature had to offer. It’s a trip worth going back to and we sure will this summer! 


Ultimate!

The last time I was into a sport was way back in high school when I was in our school’s basketball varsity but ever since college everything went busy crazy and little time was allotted for sports. But since law school was too stressful, my law school buddies and I got into Ultimate or “Frisbee”. 

It started out with a small frisbee disc we bought and early morning wake-up calls to start the games then usually followed by road trips and evening beers if our schedule permitted. 

We even got to compete in our university’s Ultimate Tournament, which didn’t go so well and broke our team apart eventually :(

early mornings were easier to wake up to back in the day :P



team “Law“‘s first tournament! black uniforms are awesome. with only 2 of us girls on the team, there were no such things as subs >_<

—-

But since I got the semester off law school I continued to play the sport and got to meet new team mates and upgraded my playing skills. 

It started when two of my classmates and I bought a frisbee disc to our city’s sports center and got to play with fellow Ultimate enthusiasts, from there we played everyday and exchanged tips and techniques on how to play the game. Much later we formed an Ultimate team which we entered to a citywide tournament! Our very first tournament as 

Freeze Beer and Team H.U.K.A.S were united to play the Disc Is It! Ultimate Tournament where we competed with national award-winning teams such as Nayagak and Disc Junkies. There were 6 teams in all, and happy to say we placed 4th in the tournament! Making us the highest ranking “newbies” to place in the tournament! Since 3 of the teams were no strangers to tournaments which left us three of the teams the newbies. 

And of course, with hours of practice, our team bonded and along with that came after-practice beer nights and beach trips!

we called ourselves “Team H.U.K.A.S” which started as an inside joke. “Hukas” means to “strip naked” since during our practices the guys would always take off their shirts leaving the women pressured :P 

bless this red tent as it shielded us from the harsh afternoon sun that day

warm-ups! the first we ever did this! haha! and a sample of Team H.U.K.A.S!

our first win was a 10-04! 

but this left one of our team mate with a sprained ankle :( 

What makes Ultimate the ulitmate team sport to play are:

1."Spirit of the Game" as official rules state “Ultimate relies upon a spirit of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the player.”

Since there are no referees and only marshalls during the games, it is up to the players to call upon foul play or bad spirit. 

2. Equality Among the Sexes - although World Ultimate Tournaments have men and women division, some play the 5:2 Ultimate game which translates to 5 men and 2 women per team. And as I played the game the women are not to be taken for granted, they’re usually the endzoners or the runners of the team making them very hard to guard. 

3. It’s Fun and Healthy! - unlike other outdoor games, Ultimate is not your usual  contact or physical type of sport. There are very minimal situations where the offensive player and defensive one can cause injuries to each other as there is a distance to be maintained between them. But of course, one cannot always contain an adrenaline, endorphin-high player from stealing a mid-air disc.

The sport requires a lot of running, sprinting and cutting. The sport can take place indoors where some cities have indoor Ultimate courts but usually it is played outside on soccer fields or on the beach. One can expect a lot of footwork and techniques to improve your position in the team and everybody has a crucial part to play and perform.

In a nutshell, Ultimate is an easy, fun, competitive and great way to bond with friends while being out in the sun.  The gears are inexpensive and the sport can be played almost everywhere, but most of all, Ultimate brings out the true spirit of sportsmanship :)


Dumaguete + Siquijor

I can never get enough of Dumaguete, I posted about going to Dumaguete two years ago when we covered the Unigames, this trip was about my Dahling and I venturing into his turf as our sem break offered us days of freedom before hitting the books again.

I love travelling by boat rather than with plane. We hauled ourselves into a good half-a-day ferry ride that leaves CdeO only on Sundays to Dumaguete. We arrive at around 6am and the sky was threatening rain, good thing it got clearer by midmorning.

One of the many reasons why I love Dumaguete is Silliman University. The alma matter of my Dahling and the dream school I never had the opportunity of enrolling myself back in college. I wanted to be a MassComm student in Silliman but fate did not allow so, instead, I got to be with a die-hard Silliamanian nurse! Close enough! And it’s his turf, his crib, he knows every inch and corner of the beautiful city like the back of his hand

 

Another reason why I love Dumaguete is Noritier, the city offers THE original and first Noritier in the world (one in Manila and another in Korea) Dumaguete’s is the homebase of the lovable, creative, Korean-inspired cafe. On my last trip, I swear I took every inch of detail of the place, I got a little calmer now on my second visit but could not resist to indulge in house specialty waffle.

Picking a place to eat at Dumaguete is no easy task as the city offers one of the widest variety of places to eat I’ve ever been. One of my favorite from my last travel is Kri. An American/Filipino fine dining resto offering good, old American cheeseburgers to salabat. I’m currently on a quest to finding the best burger anywhere so I sampled Kri’s Cheeseburger and I felt a piece of heaven. The presentation was star quality and I loved the appetizing salsa and cassava chip sides! Washed it down with a cold glass of salabat (ginger with usually brown sugar, but this one had honey and lemon in it) 

Shem talked me into eating Panda’s Fried Ice Cream one morning. I was reluctant to have ice cream at 8am, let alone a fried one at that but my adventurous/TLC-lover side got the best of me and I sat down a tried to finish (but failed) eating this one. The ice cream was creamily delish but I could not quite swallow the crusty shell.

What else did we do in Dumaguete aside from eat you ask? Well, it was good timing cuz the Sunday we arrived, it was Buglasan the city’s annual festival! I also had the chance to witness the weekend-long festival last year but this year, the fireworks competition was as close as we could get, sitting on Boulevard with our feet dangling off the sea wall.

The Fireworks Competition featured different barangays of the city sparking their way to victory, each barangay had minutes to display their best firework presentation. I loved playing with the lights that night.

After the fireworks, we went around town via pedicab. I even got to try Bosing’s Tempura level 5! Shem has been telling me stories about how no one can dare eat tempura with the level 5 sauce without jerking a tear, except for a friend who is from Palawan. Haha! I conquered that challenge but got tearful after a few bites, but being the spicy food lover that I am, I was trained to eat Bosing’s Level 5 Tempura! Haha! We even got to explore the man-made cave, with matching fake rubber bats and an air conditioner. Epic! 

How cool would it be to kayak in a lake you ask? We got to do that! Booyah.

Balanan Resort was a good hour to two-hour drive from Dumaguete. The resort offered outdoor pools and a lake to kayak from one island to another where a good trek to waterfalls await.

Good thing I’m used to our Water White Rafting in Cagayan de Oro, paddling with a double oar was not alien to me. But the feeling of kayaking on a very deep, green lake with thoughts of Lake Placid and even Jaws popping into mind every stroke or so was not so comforting. 

 

SIQUIJOR

Siquijor, by our culture, is known to be the land of mythical creatures, witch doctors and black magic. There’s even a movie about it having monsters and witchcraft, but lo and behold. The short ferry ride from Dumaguete to Siquijor proved the rumors wrong. I felt instantly in love with the quiet towns, friendly people and rugged adventure that waited before us. 

The port’s beach was this. This kind of beach elsewhere in the Philippines or even abroad would be a 3-5 star resort. But no, Siquijor had this amazing white, fine, clean sand beach as their port. 

Immediately from the port, we rented two motorcycles for the 5 of us. It was hella of a cheaper than I thought. For our P100 starting rent and P30 for the exceeding hour, inclusive the gas, our short trip around Siquijor would be in a grand theft bike. 

Siquijor’s main tourist attractions aside from its folklore tales are its beach and aquatic resorts and spots. We first headed to the nearest fine resort, that took us around an hour or so of hair-raising ride from the port. 

Their outdoor cemented sea pool was awesome.

I so love this part of the drive as the whole stretch of road was covered with tree branches, shielding us from the noon rays. It was like as if I were in a movie narrating my own thoughts. 

We went waterfalls jumping too!

Siquijor is one of those places one adventurous soul has to visit before kicking the bucket. The wind in your hair during a 100km/hr motorbike drive bythe sea and the site of old Spanish structures along the way is incomparable. I came to the island with thoughts of witches and cobras in bottles ointment in mind but came home with more curiosity and a little better knowledge of the mythical island. In a nutshell, I would tan myself dry like I did all over again for another day in Siquijor.

My trip in Dumaguete and Siquijor was short yet sweet, our thirst for adventure was only half-quenched. There was so much to see and experience in so little sem break time. Shem and I already planned a comeback, 2-weeks, no less We’d rent a motorbike for our duration and a little beach house away from the city. I’d still have to teach myself different Bisayan-related languages from the neighboring Negros Occidental cities and towns, and still have to teach myself to ride the motorbike. Needless to say, that trip left me wanting more. 


Needles seems to like Apple :P

Needles seems to like Apple :P


Needles want to hide but she can&#8217;t.

Needles want to hide but she can’t.


1
Aug 23
City&#8217;s fiesta! (Taken with instagram)

City’s fiesta! (Taken with instagram)


1
Aug 21
Fiesta, baby! (Taken with instagram)

Fiesta, baby! (Taken with instagram)


Aug 17
Tiki Wacky Chicken Salad (Taken with instagram)

Tiki Wacky Chicken Salad (Taken with instagram)


Aug 06
Cuppa love (Taken with instagram)

Cuppa love (Taken with instagram)