Friday, November 25, 2011

An Island that Fits your Taste – Guimaras

My team and I decided to have our team building in Guimaras. We chose Raymen Beach Resort since its the resort with complete amenIMG_0618ities that will make our stay really comfortable. After our shift, we then pacIMG_0595ked off and proceed to Libertad Terminal, took a Pulupandan bound jeepney that will be our jump off point to Guimaras. 45-60 minutes boat ride depending on the sea condition.  There are several jump off to Guimaras: Iloilo, Pulupandan and Valladolid. The latter were both in Negros Occidental. 
Guimaras is known to everyone as the Mango Capital of the Philippines. Its home of the Manggahan Festival. I would agree they have the sweetest mango I ever tasted. The first time I went there was last April 2009, summer of course and yeah I tasted the best Mango Shake :)
We are all very excited for this trip. Some of the members of the team said that its their first time to go to Guimaras  some said they missed Guimaras and  its been a while since they stepped into the place.
Off we go cruising from Pulupandan to Guimaras, the sea is a bit rough so we didn't really enjoyed the ride. But thank God we arrived safely. We settled our stuff and prepare ourselves to have lunch, some preferred to rest to recharge the energies.  Its almost sunset when we decided to take a big splash, yeah, the IMG_1031beach is really relaxing, even the image from afar will make you smile.  After that afternoon dip we started prepping for our dinner and the most awaited activity of all the time: Bonding-IMG_0697Drinking-Chismisan Session. I have spared myself, after dinner, we had small talks and then i dozed off.  I need to prepare for my most awaited part of the trip – the Island Hopping/Snorkeling/Swimming in the open sea :).
Call time 7 in the morning as we need to start this activity by 9 so we can fix our stuff and go home after lunch to catch the boatrip back to Bacolod. Yeah, Guimaras never failed to amuse me with its wonderful scenery underwater.  I will never get tired swimming here because I can see only beautiful creatures.  A thing I promised myself is to get an underwater Camera so that i will not miss capturing the beauty under the sea. Before I even forget, this is Markie’s second life because he almost drowned himself when he jump off the boat in an open water.
This place is jam-packed with everything you need to unleash the stress and be relaxed even for just a day. There are pristine beaches (white sand) of course, they can also offer mountain resorts and a great site for diving and snorkeling.  Some activities that we did during this visit: Island Hopping, Snorkeling, Swimming and Beer Drinking (LOL). We had a great overnight stay in Guimaras that made us bonded as a team. If you are looking for a great vacation without ruining your budget, Guimaras is the place to be.
Map of Guimaras Island

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hundred Words may not be enough to Describe 100 Islands Experience


IMG_0303The whole object of travel is not to set foot on a foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.–Gilbert A. Chesterson

The Hundred Islands National Park Pangasinan: is a tourist destination located in Barangay Lucap,Alaminos City , Pangasinan..This is the first national park of the Philippines. Three Major Islands maintained and developed just for tourists: GOVERNOR, QUEZON and CHILDREN.

It was a close encounter to nature and a fun adventure. It took us 6 hours bus ride from Manila to reach Pangasinan and another hour to Alaminos where the breathtaking and spectacular Hundred Island Experience awaits us. We stayed overnight on one of the Transient Houses in Alaminos because it was already dark when we arrive and some of the boat man encouraged us to hop the islands first thing in the morning. We have the option to stay on one of the island but, ‘safety’ first. Anyhow, the magnificent islands can be more appreciated during daytime.



We started our official Hundred Island Escapade 7 in the morning. We rented one medium size boat to take us to the different islands, of course with full gears for the much awaited splash on the clear water. First hop was the famous ‘Governor’ island where the Pinoy Big Brother House was located. There was a trail for a quick trek on the island that we need to follow to get to the top and witness the stunning beauty of the surrounding islands. They are like green mushrooms sitting on a crystal blue water. It was overwhelming from the top because you will get to see different shapIMG_0332es and forms of the Islands. (I tried counting them though, but I never get to reach 100 )

Second stop; the well-known Quezon Island, we just had a dip on the water and went back to continue our tour. We saw most of the Islands but I am not sure if we were able to rove everything like the entire 100+ islets. We had the chance to go on caving as well. Another extreme experience, I called it “the fearless jump off” --- we have to jump from an 8-10 feet height hole just to get to the water and create a big splash. It was memorable though because “Greggy” conquered his fears and jumped off. I don’t know how deep the water was but nevertheless it was a great splash of Fun. Another unforgettable experience was the real underground cave experience where we have to swim from a narrow hole to get to the other end of the cave. It was dark inside it but when you get to the IMG_0382other end and see a tiny hole with the light shining through it, a ray of hope, a sense of fulfilment and pride taking over. Success!!!
We ended this trip with a sumptuous lunch. Feasting ourselves to seafood’s served in front of us.

The Hundred Island Experience was truly splendid and will forever mark in my Travellers Spirit. It did not only made allow me to discover one true paradise in our country, but also, made me realize, that there is more to life only if we give ourselves a chance to live it! Discover your interest and wear your passion!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Capiz and Iloilo Vacation

I had a chance to visit a College Friend and she was kind enough to offer her place for me to stay in for this very short vacation.

I stayed in Dumalag, Capiz and experienced a very simple yet contented life of the people out there. Seeing my friend happy despite simplicity in lifestyle made me smile. Now I can say, that she has found her heaven...

Just in time for the festivity and the birthday of TL Hadji's mom. I was invited and get the chance to experience how Capiznon (specifically Pres Roxas') celebrates their festival. It's not as famed and celebrated as we have in Bacolod but the sense of fun and pride on the faces of the people is quite the same. Simple yet meaningful event showcasing their homegrown talents.

«Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by its breathtaking moments.» — Michael Vance

Thanks to Mrs Krishiel Fontanilla and Mr Hadji Dolorfino for this experience...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Northland Inland Resort

Manapla, Negros Occidental

Northland Resort and Hotel is located 42 kilometers away from Bacolod. You can reach the place via BUS or any Public vehicle plying the route of Victorias, Cadiz and Sagay. It’s a first class destination located up north with first class amenities.

Northland Resort and Hotel is a good place to visit. Away from the bustling streets of Bacolod, Northland offers a place for you to relax and enjoy, may it either be with family, friends, office mates or loved ones.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Water Garden Resort (formerly Forest Park)

Taculing, Bacolod City

The Water Garden at Forest Park Resort in Bacolod City is a grandeur. The resort boasts of a huge swimming pool enough for a thousand simultaneous swimmers, a lazy pool, beautiful promenades, gazebos, mini-zoo, overnight villa facilities, canopy trees, a 500-capacity grand gazebo, dazzling lights at night, and a lot more.  At left is the entrance of the park’s water garden area.

The Water Garden at Forest Park Resort is bigger, better and more relaxing, recreational, enjoyable and educational resort is the ultimate destination for the whole family– be it a weekday or a weekend. The resort, surrounded by canopy trees, has a  “lazy river”- with water current pushing one around the bend, a 2,000 sq. m. wide “big pool”, a “play fountain”, and a mini zoo are located. It has Mini Gazebos for 30 to 70-person gatherings.

It has Villas for complete overnight stay with amenities. It also has a 500-person capacity Grand Gazebo. Also a Food Court. It has a Mini Zoo as well. Also board room facilities, Wireless Internet Access, audiovisual equipment, and other facilities.

Ive been here for more than 5 years and honestly its my first time to step into this place. Good thing that it has been renovated as Ive heard stories before that this place is the haven of all types of mosquitoes thats why they dont prefer going here.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Manapla Seaside Resort

Manapla, Negros Occidental
A 45-minute to 1-hour ride from Bacolod City, the capital city of the province of Negros Occidental, will take you to a quiet and small town or municipality of Manapla.
The Manapla Seaside Resort provides facilities like Visitor’s Lounge, Multi-Purpose Hall, Adult Pool, Air-Conditioned Rooms, Karaoke Bar, Bicycles, Roof Deck, Kiddie Pool Side Canopy. The Kiddie pool gives the young ones opportunity to enjoy swimming with a slide. While the young ones are enjoying, the adults can take a plunge on the Adult pool about 5 feet deep.
You could also enjoy countless conversations and share hilarious commemorations on the canopies provided all over the area. Plus you get to reward yourself with the view of the beach in front of you.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Another Colorful Way to Celebrate Life - Dinagsa Festival in Cadiz City

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The Dinagsa Festival of Cadi527241_3385803037479_1674681107_nz City is celebrated yearly on the 4th Sunday of January. This is similar to the Sinulog Festival of Cebu - a celebration in honor of the Santo Nino.

This festival is one of the most awaited fiestas in the province because of the fun-filled activities like the Dinagsa Queen, Ati-Atihan competition, and the Lamhitanay Festival.

The highlight of the festival is the colorful and radiant Ati-Atihan competition to be held  at the PNU to City Park to the Public Plaza.  This competition is considered as one of the most entertaining to watch.

One of the most unique activities in the festival is the Lamhitanay Festival  where people roaming around the streets smother and wipes paint among each other. This is not something you experience often. The Lamhitanay Festival adds more color to the festival and the people.

My team and I went to Cadiz and experience this fun festival, we ate, joined the merry making and street party and of course also blend with the locals in spreading colors all over the town. We enjoyed it although the sun is really scourging hot.

Cadiz City invites the residents and tourists to experience the colorful and vibrant Dinagsa Festival.This is one festival you should not miss.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Celebration of Life - Dinagyang Festival


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One of the most celebrated event in Iloilo City is the Dinagyang Festival. This is a religious and cultural festival held every fourth Sunday of January. It is held to honor the Sto Nino and to celebrate the arrival on Panay of Malay Settlers and the Subsequent selling of the island to them by the Atis.

This is my first time to be in Iloilo to celebrate Dinagyang as I have been hearing a lot of stories about this and wanted to experience how to they celebrate and have fun myself.

I went there with a friend and will stay with my cousin as he has been working in Iloilo for quiet sometime. Not only the festival made this experience memorable but also the way we got to Iloilo departing Bacolod. Out of curiousity and adventure seeking spirit, Zie and I decided to take a "Ro-Ro" from Bacolod port to Dumangas. The travel is quite boring because the vessel is really moving very slow, but this is a nice trip if you wanted to go on sight seeing :) I am a person who wants things done faster and since I seek for adventure this what I got. Nevertheless, lets not spoil this trip by feeling bad about the wrong decision. Upon arriving at Dumangas Port we had to ride for about 165733_1745727236609_2939739_n45 minutes to go to the PUV terminal bound for Iloilo City. Waaah the dust and the bumpy ride, more regrets coming in.

Time to regain our senses when we reach SM City; tired, exhausted and hungry, we feasted for a Pizza and Pasta at Sbar180605_1745742596993_862438_nro Restaurant. Weeh, this is going to be a great celebration!! While waiting for my cousin to arrive, after that great and belly bustling lunch, we roam around to find my "First Dinagyang Souvenir Shirt." My travel plan is not complete and satisfying if I will not be able to take home one.

Dinagyang is indeed really Fun. Prior to the highlight of this event which i the street dancing competition and tribal parade, we had a night of party all over the city. Prior to the intensifying night, I had the chance to watch my favorite Side A band. Weeeeh, reminiscing the past, the song "Forevermore". After the concert we headed to Iloilo's famous party place. "Smallville" and of course party people all over the place meeting everywhere, we also met a couple of friends from Bacolod and CVG. That was a hell out of fun night, party till dawn. 

The second day, marks the highlight of the said festivity, the entire Iloilo city main not everything though was closed to traffic. So prepare yourselves for an early way to the cross of walking and walking under the scourging heat of the Sun. Of course, you will not enjoy this festival if you will not watch it live :) Seeing the tribes in action, dancing to the drum beats i167007_1745729436664_3862029_ns just nothing but awesome.

Dinagyang is truly one great festival that Ilonggos' nees to take pride of and for those who were not able to see this one, better check and mark your calendars and fly your way to Iloilo City and have fun!