Monday, December 27, 2010

What to Wear in Sagada’s Cave Connection Adventure

I poured time and effort in researching the proper spelunking/caving attire. I browsed forums. I read blog posts and studied what they wore. Seriously. Wa-poise galore yata ito, so kelangan bumawi sa outfit.

I found this post in SAGGAS’ website the most helpful. They maintain a pretty neat website as well. Go check it out.

Cave Connection Outfit:

















Friday, December 17, 2010

Sagada Saga – The Cave Connection Adventure

If you are scared of heights, darkness, drowning and bats, banish all of them for a couple of hours. This adventure is not for the faint-heart.

The next adventure for Day 2 is the famous Cave Connection adventure of Sumaging and Lumiang Cave. It is a self-inflicted torture worth four hours that necessitates you to climb, crawl, rappel, slip, slide, squirm and butt-walk through cave ravines, underground streams and numerous types of cave formations. With raindrops of Guano (bat poop) along the way. For the love of photo op, we managed to smile all the way.

I never thought caves could be so enchanting. Caves are supposed to be this dark and cold place but Sagada changed all that. Too bad my point and shoot camera is lousy in these types of settings. I found Lumiang Cave more enthralling than Sumagin Cave – more challenging too. For the not-so-fit adventurers, the cave connection is not recommended – for safety purposes as well. Sumaging Cave exploration is more appropriate.

Pose pa rin! Parang madali lang.



















Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sagada Saga – Kiltepan Viewpoint and Sagada Pottery

Day 2 of our Sagada Saga required us to wake up at around 4am-ish to witness the sunrise at Kiltepan Viewpoint. I did wake up along the lines of 4am, but getting up was another story. It was so darn cold and I was feeling some sore spots from the trek the day before. But the excitement of our itinerary for the day made me finally get up.

The trip to Kiltepan Viewpoint took approximately 30 minutes. I was still feeling drowsy during the trip but the cold breeze kept me awake. We arrived at the viewpoint with ample time to take in Sagada’s morning.























Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sagada Saga - Bomod-ok Falls

After being a solo participant in a group tour, I gathered the courage again to join TF’s Conquer Sagada. I registered on the week of the trip itself (pasaway).



















Conquer Sagada
Mountain Province, Philippines
July 10 – 12, 2010
Sagada, Mountain Province, Philippines
Travel Factor’s 3 Days and 2 Nights adventure tour to the Mountain Province.
PACKAGE RATE
P4,800 per person
PACKAGE INCLUSIONS
* Roundtrip Aircon Bus: Manila – Banaue – Manila
* Roundtrip Chartered Jeep : Banaue – Sagada – Banaue
* 3D/2N accommodation in Sagada
* Day 1 – breakfast, lunch
* Day 2 – breakfast, lunch
* Private Jeepney during tours around Sagada (see itinerary)
* Cave Connection Adventure (Sumaguing and Lumiang Cave)
* Environment permits and entrance fees
* Service of the Local Guides & Cave Guides with lamps
* Service of the tour director
* Travel Insurance
* Travel Factor ID, Conquer Sagada souvenir t-shirt
















Monday, November 29, 2010

Travelling vs. Traveling

In building this blog, I was presented with a spelling crisis.

Blogger identifies "Travelling" as misspelled and suggests "Traveling".
MS Word identifies "Traveling" as misspelled and suggests "Travelling".

Hello confusion.
So of course, I Googled (Googled is now a verb nowadays, eh?)

It is "Travelling" in British English and "Traveling" in American English. According to various sources. So there.

I'm gonna use both. ^_^

Pangasinan Budget

We were lucky enough to find a van who charged us relatively cheap. We got it at Php 12,000 for 3D2N. Others charged us Php 15,000 excluding gas for the same itinerary.


Approximate Cost per pax

Van Rental with Gas(Php 12,000/9 pax)

1,333.33

Punta Riviera Rooms (Php 11,500/9)

1,277.78

Meals in Bolinao

500.00

Transient House in Lucap (Php 3,000/9)

333.33

Contribution for food in Alaminos

300.00

Entrance fee of Hundred Islands Park

20.00

Lunch on the way home

100.00

Pasalubong/Souvenirs

500.00

TOTAL

4,364.44


Pangasinan Paradise - Hundred Islands

I’ve seen plenty of postcards of the Hundred Islands in Pangasinan. I dreamed of seeing the actual beauty of the place someday. But I didn’t plan to see the place reeling from the aftermath of a typhoon.















Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pangasinan Paradise - Bolinao

After Conquering Coron with my officemates, we were itching for another trip and a second trip was set-up. We want another one and we want it soon. It was summer. We booked the Busuanga flights for Coron five months in advance – too long of a wait. A land trip will be much easier to arrange. We settled on invading Pangasinan – to see the sunset of Bolinao and the Hundred Islands in Alaminos.



















Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hidden Costs When Travelling

Being the diligent cost-monitor, I’ve compiled a list where my travel contingency fund goes to. The travel package could be all inclusive but there are just some expenses that one could easily overlook.


Terminal Fee
Is the Philippines the only country who charges such? This Php 200.00 is levied on Filipino passenger going to domestic destinations.

This cannot be avoided nor minimized. Just put it in your budget.

















Monday, November 8, 2010

Palaui Paradise: The Budget

Budget breakdown for this Palaui trip:


Approximate Cost (in Php)

TravelFactor package

5,500.00

Restroom fees

10.00

C2 drink in San Vicente port

20.00

Coffee at the resort

30.00

Trike to Budyok

10.00

Dinner at Budyok (pansit with drinks)

60.00

Kalesa back to bus stop (shared by group)

20.00

Pasalubong

400.00

Cab on the way home

100.00

TOTAL

6,150.00























Sunday, November 7, 2010

Palaui Paradise: Baua Beach Resort

I was elusive to bid farewell to the beauty of Cape Engano; but I was giddy for my meeting with the toilet and take a refreshing shower.

Baua Beach Resort had rooms for big groups. The common bathroom was located outside. Private houses/villas were also available. The resort was quite spacey – with a playground and a spacious lawn to roam about.


















Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Palaui Paradise: Cape Engano

Cape Engano was an hour’s worth of boat ride from Anguib Cove.

After a rainy night, the weather was cooperating. Look at those clouds.



















This is where and when I got burned. Make sure to protect your skin with sunblock. The climb is high but easy. And the view will make it leisurely.

Palaui Paradise: Anguib Cove

I mustered all my courage and confidence to join this trip. I’ve been browsing TF’s website for quite some time and I’ve been itching to go somewhere. I was suffering from the I-just-came-from-a-trip-and-I-am-looking forward-to-the-next-one syndrome after my Corregidor trip and I got interested in TF’s Palaui trip. It was far far far and unheard of. I registered as a solo traveller, I prayed and emailed my reg form and paid the fee.

And what a nice surprise, May 3 was declared a holiday! Wohooo!

I would this that this was the trip that gave me “freedom”. It was the first time I travelled solo with a bunch of people I did not know. The hardest part here was waiting in McDo El Pueblo. I didn’t know anyone and I was feeling kinda shy so I stuck with myself while waiting. My Ipod and mobile phone browsing kept me company. Note to self: bring books when travelling. And good grief, the bus was delayed for about two hours so I pretty much drained the battery of my phone.

The plan:














Monday, October 25, 2010

Corregidor Costing

Corregidor Costing:

Breakdown of costs for an overnight tour:


Approximate Cost (in Php)

Fare going to port

34.00

Sun Cruises package for overnight

2,500.00

Sound and Lights Show

150.00

Dinner Day 1

180.00

Breakfast Day 2

200.00

Lunch Day 2

200.00

Extra Tours

150.00

Zipline

150.00

Fare going home

41.00

TOTAL

3,605.00


Culture and Corregidor: Night Tour

The night tour begins with a sunset viewing at 5:30 pm. Our guide was so enthusiastic that he taught us how to pose creatively for sunset shots. Unfortunately, none of my shots were good enough to share. Nyahaha.

Lovely sunset. Lovely colors.




















Culture and Corregidor: Daytour

I tagged along Beth and her friend. They are touring the Philippines. Since April 9 was declared a holiday (Araw ng Kagitingan), tourists were expected to flock Corregidor. We opted for an overnight stay for April 7-8, 2010. That’s two days worth of leaves for me.

This is the plan:

Day 1 – April 7, 2010

7:30 AM

Check-in/ Boarding Time

8:00 AM

ETD Manila

9:15 AM

ETA Corregidor

9:30 AM

Start of Guided Tour

1:00 PM

End of Tour


Proceed to Inn for Lunch (included in the package)

2:30 PM

Free time

5:30 PM

Start of Night Tours

8:00 PM

End of Night Tours

Dinner (own expense)

Day 1 – April 8, 2010

5:30 AM

Call time of Sunrise Tour

6:00 AM

Complementary tunnel trek

6:30 AM

End of Tour. Head back to Inn

7:00 AM

Breakfast (own expense)

8:00 AM

Free time

Zipline, explore the beach, roam around

12:00 NN

Check out

1:300 PM

Transfer to the ferry boarding area

2:00 PM

ETD Corregidor

3:45 PM

ETA Manila



Commute to the pier – which is actually just beside CCP.

MRT to Taft: Php 15

LRT to Vito Cruz Php: 12
Orange Jeep to Pier: Php 7

I made it on time...barely. A coaster bus will take you to the drop off point of the ferry boat. Remember to take the meds if you get seasick. Since Araw ng Kagitingan was near, it was quite a special day for the war veterans. They had this ceremony/event ongoing and they were quite a big group.




















Saturday, October 9, 2010

Calaguas Costing

The Budget


Approximate Cost (in Php)

TravelFactor package

3,900.00

Restroom fee in jump-off point

5.00

Cold water

20.00

Tricycle fare to Daet town and v.v.

20.00

Graceland Halo-halo and fries

90.00

Pasalubong

500.00

Cab on the way home

100.00

TOTAL

4,635.00




















Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Calaguas = Paradise

I've heard so much about this paradise called Calaguas tucked in the islands of Camarines Norte. I explored the island with new travel buddies I met from my Palaui trip with TF. Of course, we joined TF's Calaguas trip.


UBBE Calaguas + SURFVIVOR Bagasbas
Camarines Norte, Philippines
PACKAGE RATE
P3,900 per person (ALL IN)
















Sunday, September 12, 2010

Coron Costing

The Budget


Approximate Cost per pax

Package

6,000

Airfare

1,920

Terminal Fee- NAIA 3

200

Terminal Fee- Busuanga

50

Souvenirs

2,000

Tips et al

200

TOTAL

10,370




We were 11 in the group which brought the cost down to 6,000/pax for the 4D3N tour. Package includes breakfast and lunch in Days 2,3 & 4, boat rides, land transfers, entrance fees. This excludes the rent of the snorkeling gear (Php 100 or 150/day).

We flew via PAL Express (now Airphils).

I splurged on souvenirs. *facepalm* Bought Danggit (for Php 350/kilo), kasoy, accessories, and what-nots.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Conquering Coron: Twin Lagoon, Kayangan Lake, Siete Pecados

Toasted.

Be sure to leave the hotel will all your batteries charged. This is the ultimate camwhoring day. This is the plan:

7:00

Breakfast at the hotel

8:00

10 minutes transfer from hotel to Lambingan Bridge/Pier


Twin Lagoon


20 minutes boat ride to Skeleton Wreck


Swimming and snorkelling to see the skeleton wreck, fish and nearby corals


10 minutes boatride to Banol beach


Swimming, camwhoring, picnic lunch


Kayangan Lake


Siete Pecados


Swimming, snorkelling, camwhoring

6:00PM

End of tour




















On the way to Twin Lagoon. Cheese time begins!



















Conquering Coron: Calauit Safari Tour + Island Hopping

The alarm clock goes off at 3am. Snooze. Alarm. Snooze. By 3:20, I gathered all my energy to get up and get ready. Calauit day.

4:00

2 Hours 30 Minutes boat ride to Calauit island


Breakfast in the boat

7:00

Viewing and feeding of African Animals, Palawan Endemic Animals while on jeep

10:00

Leave Calauit Island

10:30

Start of Island Hopping

12:00

Lunch, Swimming


Island Hopping, Snorkelling

16:00

Travel back to CoronTown


Our day started really early. Our guides advised us that we should be in Calauit around 7:00am to maximize our safari experience. So we had to be ready to leave at 4:00am. No snoozing of alarms allowed. Boat ride to Calauit Island lasts for almost 3 hours. Enough time to get some shuteye on the boat. Just bring your sarong to serve as your blanket else expect to freeze. Remember to take your meds if you go barf-ish on boat rides. We had our breakfast DURING the boat ride. This requires a balancing-you-plate skill.

Good morning Coron!
















Calauit Island can also be reached by land. However, you’ll miss seeing the other pristine islands of Coron.
















After almost three hours...























Landing...






















We’ve landed in Calauit.


We rode a jeep to go around the place. They allow toploading.
You can feed the freely-roaming animals. The guide will teach you how to not scare them off.
























Nice animal pictures, these are not my shots though.
















Animals are not malnourished here.




















We left Calauit around 10:00am. It was scorching hot by then. Off to Island hopping.



















The only island I recall though is Dibutunay Island. Eeeep! Forgot the others.



















To say that the corals at Dibutunay Island are AWESOME is an understatement. I have words. I have no pictures either. I didn’t have my underwatercamera back then.
I guess you’ll just have to find out for yourself then.


















I noticed that the boatmen were careful not to break corals when the boat treads in shallow waters. Someone stands in front of the boat as a lookout. Kudos to that!



















Your beach buddies: sunblock, sunglasses, hat/cap, sarong and your fully-charged camera! If you have your own snorkelling gear, bring them. You can rent it at Php 100/day.

Around 4pm, we started our splashy journey back to Coron town. Expect to get wet if you sit at the front of the boat!
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