Monday, March 31, 2014

A Quick Out of Town Break at Pagbilao Quezon

I have always been spontaneous and it really feels great to keep it intact during time of needs. I awe this Puting Buhangin and Kwebang Lampas trip to the powerful FB group events. Sometime in March, i got invited to Pinoy Travel Addicts Group and this is where I saw a post for this trip. They need 8 more joiners, and i thought, it will be another great weekend escape from the hustle of Manila. I got excited after my slot got confirmed. My weekends were full, Saturday was a trip at The Manila Museum and Sunday is spared for Pagbilao, rock on The Blue Rider.

A bit tired and lacking sleep I woke up early morning of Sunday to prepare as we are meeting at 2 AM. I am a bit apprehensive if I got the instructions correctly with regard to the meeting the meeting place, luckily, i got it right. After few minutes of waiting for the rest of the joiners to come, we finally come to the closing of the van’s door and started traversing all the way south past 2 in the morning.

A bit sleepy so I started feeling comfortable and sleep along the way. I just woke up when the van stopped for a quick stretch and pee break for all of us somewhere in..nyahaha..I don’t know. After that short stop over, we continue the long road to Pagbilao, Quezon.

Kwebang Lampas is located in Barangay Isla Polo in Pagbilao Quezon. About 140 kms south of Metro Manila and travel time is about 5-6 hours if you take the public transportation. For those who will be driving or taking a private vehicle, 4 hours is a safe estimate. Since this is a group tour, we hired a van and it took us roughly 4 hours before touching Pagbilao. A beautiful day is awaiting as the sunrise started to show up.



We arrived at the jump off port (actually not a port because we will be cruising a very short mangrove river to get to the other end). We will be taking a motorized boat to cross the river.  While waiting for water to rise, the boatman told us that they can take us straight to the seashore for additional fee, but we prefer to do a little trek to make this trip more exciting.



This is just a quick boat ride and I started taking pictures of the sights along the way including the lighthouse of the Power Plant. Just a sight I couldn’t help but photograph.

Arriving at the other side of the lake, we continued treading until we saw gorgeous rock views and the sea with Pagbilao Power Plant serving as a great backdrop.  We stopped for a while and took some photos.



We continued traversing the visible way following the signs along the road until we entered a forested area, slowly engulfed in the thickness of of the trees. The trek and trail is a bit slippery but not that bad at all but proper care is still recommended.  We have a kid companion but was able to manage it without any problems, so I am pretty sure that adults will be able to do it hassle free.  We continue walking until we arrived in the area with coconut trees, the grounds for Puting Buhangin :)


Of course, it’s a Sunday so I am expecting a lot of beach bummers and campers. The challenge for us here is to look for a perfect spot to keep ourselves protected from direct heat of the sun. We’re lucky we found one, right in front of the beach and the center of the cove.



We started to settle and had breakfast. Weeh, great to know that these people are also into a lot of travelling and thanks to Minie for cooking a great breakfast for all of us.

After feeding our hungry stomach, we started enjoying the beach. Some went on swimming while others started exploring the cave. As for me, I just wanted to lay down and enjoy the sea breeze. Since the sea is calm, no crashing waves.

I took the liberty to roam around and check the resort facilities, if there’s any. For those who wanted to spend overnight in the resort, sorry to disappoint but there’s no room for rent for you to stay. You can pitch your tent anywhere safe and you are ready to spend the night. There were only few nipa huts with tables and benches designed for day trips only. They have Toilet and washroom as well, but don’t expect it to be cozy.  There’s no drinking water available so it’s a must that you bring your own. Definitely, no electricity in the resort so come prepared especially for those who will go on overnight. Make sure to bring flashlights or headlamps to be able to move around. Like in remote places, mosquitoes can be notorious so insect repellant should come handy. 


After my own ‘take-a-look-around’ trip, we all went to the limestone cliff to check what’s in store for us. Of course, for another Photo Op Session with the gang. The road to get to the top is a bit tricky and you need to make sure that you hold on the right rocks to keep you steadily safe. Happy me when this spectacular view greeted when I reached the top.  It’s breathtaking and simply mesmerizing.  They say an experience could never be created twice and I agree with that. Glad, i went all the way up here, it’s just simply beautiful. You can see crystal clear water all the way from here, and cliff diving is allowed in here (take extra care though, DIVE AT YOUR OWN RISK). Lastly, before I forget, be careful with the sea urchins too.




It’s one hell of a happy beach – secluded, serene and stunning. Nature at its finest. The emerald green water is sparkling. The sand is white, the shore is clean and most especially the water is calm.


After we had that short aerial view of the cove, it’s time to take a splash. We enjoyed the calm water but not the rocks. They’re a bit sharp and slippery. I recommend you use coral shoes when you come here and swim. You can also go inside the cave if you can resist the cold salt water. Launch shots of my Action Camera..acceptable!



Since, i prefer this day to very light, i just took few minutes in the water and went back to the shore to just consume the beauty before my eyes. This is one of the reason why I so love beaches even if that would mean getting burned under the sun and sticky/coarse hair. Beaches keep me calm and rejuvenated and by simply looking at the vastness of the ocean, I felt grateful.

After few hours of swimming, beach bumming and sun bathing, we had our seafood fiesta lunch :) Yeah, I can live with seafood all my life. That being said, I  could have been a sea creature in my past life, hehehe!



After having lunch, some went back swimming, others went up to the cliff and dive and me, I went to sleep. heheheh! This is all I wanted to do today, to sleep and chill beside the beach. Music playing, the winds are blowing, I can smell the sea water and I started closing my eyes and drifted away.

After 2 hours of napping, I freshen up! It’s time to get back to girl scout and CAT days wherein you have to really live within your means. I bought 5 liters fresh water to clean up myself (Php 50.00). After taking a bath, we all prepped up to go home.

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Puting Buhangin and Kwebang Lampas is just a daytrip but I never underestimated the experiences and discoveries I will have. This does not only recharged myself and get ready for my next week’s battle at work but also gave me a different perspective in traveling. I have always and will always prefer to travel alone, but it’s always good to find company at some point. Not to highlight getting someone to talk to and share cost on your trips (I spent Php 700.00 all-in for this tirp) You will get to meet a lot of personalities, great people with great stories and experiences to tell. People who share the same passion as you do, people who always aim to explore, to travel and to experience ‘life-on-the-go’ that will eventually become your friends.

Here’s the breakdown of expenses for those who wanted to experience Puting Buhangin and Kwebang Lampas in a day (taken from Mam Ron’s Damage Report)


Total Cost

Van Rental + Fuel Php  6,000.00
Toll Fees Php     414.00
Parking Fee Php     100.00
Food and Drinks Php  3,177.25
Entrance and Boat Fees Php  1,890.00


Php 11,581.25 (to be shared)

We found Php 500.00 along the way so we had an extra fund. Total cost Php 11,081.25 / 17 joiners , that makes it Php 651.83 each person (budget travel indeed)

Thanks to Mam Ron for allowing me to join this group and find future travel buddies maybe not just in the Philippines but also abroad. It’s one of the  best Happy Beach Sunday experiences.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Day of Reliving Prehistoric Cultures and Civilization

March 29, 2013, one fine Saturday, no plans on going out of town or whatsoever as it was spared exploring The Manila Museum’s exhibit. Luckily, i bumped into one online deal and got a whole day pass at a promo rate.

I don’t have any idea where the Manila Museum is located and when I checked Google maps, it just pointed me to CCP complex and a bit near Star City.  The Manila Museum is actually located inside Boom na Boom Park, at the back of Wensha Spa. It’s my first time to explore this part but thanks to powerful maps, i was able to arrive here safe and sound. It’s past 3 in the afternoon when I entered the museum. I have the impression they closes at 4:00 PM, that’s what the personnel stated when I called in earlier but when I got there, it actually closes at 5 PM. So I got one more extra hour to enjoy the place.


I am fond of Ancient Greek an Egyptian culture since I learned about God’s and Goddesses, Trojan wars and of course the famous structures. In Egypt, I have been fascinated by the powerful Cleopatra and the Pyramids. Ancient Chinese Civilization is just a plus to what I already know. 

Stepping back from modern scene and learning ancient civilizations, arts and inventions, this is my how I will be spending my Saturday. This is perfect for all history enthusiasts as it features and replicates famous historical artifacts. I am excited to discover Greeks’ gods and goddess such as Zeus (sky), Poseidon (sea), or Venus (love) and know them more as well as the other Greeks legacies at the museum.

Though known for her lavish lifestyle and stunning beauty, Cleopatra is not enough representation of early Egypt. This country boasts wonders such as pyramids, Great Sphinx, and 4 Colossi of Ramses II. Speaking of ancient civilization, China has numerous legacies like their famous Forbidden City, Great Wall, abacus, porcelain and dynasties. These are some of the things I am thrilled to see.




Please click on the  link below to learn more about the things I rediscovered from each places:





Experiencing an exciting way to learn early history in a day is simply remarkable. Oh yeah, and there’s an additional memorabilia. I get to dress up as an Empress (China) and Cleopatra for a Photo Op. Sadly, there’s no costume for Greek Goddess.


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For information about ongoing exhibits, you may visit The Manila Museum’s Website

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Recognizing China’s Treasures and Contribution to the Modern World

Speaking of ancient civilization, China has numerous legacies like their famous Forbidden City, Great Wall, abacus, porcelain and dynasties. Here are some of them:



Believed to be used in ancient ceremonies that dates back 12th century BCE, this bronze head were found in a place called Sangxidui, a buried place assumed to be an ancient Chinese City now known as Suchuan, China



This is a sculpture that is dried in the sun after being formed then it was placed in the ashes of open hearths to harden. IT was classed as a ceramic material after being fired to high temperature



These are bamboo frames with beads sliding on wires. It is a calculating tool used primarily in many parts of Asia, especially in China. The abacus was in use centuries before the adoption of the written modern numeral system and is still widely used by merchants, traders and clerks elsewhere



He is one of the famous Chinese generals during the late Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms era of China (206 BC – 220 BC). He was always carrying one Guan Dao sword. He played significant role of establishing the Kingdom of Shu. He is respected as the epitome of loyalty, moral qualities and righteousness. Guan Gong is being worshipped by Chinese people from the time of his death until today



The king of weapon in ancient China, not only was this sword used for a very long time, it was also one of the greatest masterpieces of Chinese craftsmanship. This was used by the cavalry and the infantry, irrespective of the functions that the regiment performed




It is an ancient Chinese vessel shape, a large metal pot with legs a lid and two facing handles. These were used for cooking, storage and preparation for ritual offerings to ancestors. Production can be traced back as early as the 18th century BCE



This was used as a cooking artifact, it was made during middle late Zhou Dynasty 850 BCE. This Ancient Chinese relic is 12 cm high and 11 cm in diameter



These are plates, bowls, jars made of ceramics produced by heating materials like clay in the form of Kaolin, a mixture of clay minerals and chemical compositions formulated by the Chinese since 1,600 BCE. As early as the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), porcelain was already being exported to different parts of the world



Pottery is made by forming a clay body into objects of a required shape and heating them to high temperatures that changes their share. Glaze is a glassy coating on pottery, the primary purposes of which are decoration and protections. Glazing potteries in China started as early as the 600 CE



A collection of Terracotta Sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210-209 BCE and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife. The figures were discovered in 1974 by local farmers in Shaanxi Province.  Current estimates were over 8,000 soldiers majority of which are still buried in the pits near Gin Shi Huangs’s Mausoleum. Terracota is made of clay ceramics




A Chinese temple is a worship place of the Chinese folk religion/Shenism, where people revere ethnic Chinese gods and ancestors.




It is a light, two-wheeled cart consisting of a door-less, chair-like body, mounted on springs with a collapsible hood and two shafts; it was drawn by a single rickshaw runner. Although believed to have originated in Japan, it became a very popular transportation in China. It was first seen in 1886 and was used for public transportation. Rickshaw transportation was an important element in urban development in 20th century China, as a mode of transportation, source of employment and facilitation of migration for workers



It is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China in part to protect the Chinese Empire or its prototypical states against intrusions by various nomadic groups or military incursions by various warlike people or forces

Despite its being one of the four greatest ancient civilizations, the Chinese had a slower progress than any other. They have made countless contributions to the world including paper money, porcelain, noodles and other things that are part of our lives today. There were also many great works of architecture,such as,  The Great Wall of China.

Chinese is the only of the four greatest ancient civilizations that managed to survive and have lasted into modern times. The present-day China is the continuation of that evolution. We, as Filipino’s have been greatly influenced by China and even embracing their cultures and traditions.

Satisfying Curiosity on Greece’s Great Stories and Artifacts

The art of ancient Greece has exercised an enormous influence on the culture of many countries from ancient times until the present, particularly in the areas of sculpture and architecture. Greek life was dominated by religion and so it is not surprising that the temples of ancient Greece were the biggest and most beautiful.They also had a political purpose as they were often built to celebrate civic power and pride, or offer thanksgiving to the patron deity of a city for success in war.



It is an ancient Greek Temple on the north side of a Acropolis of Athens in Greece which was dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon. The caryatids – six draped female figures is called the “Porch of the Maidens”




It is a large, deeply concave, circular covering made of wood and bronze. The Greek shield is effective covering when being attacked



It took its name from the city-state of Corinth. It was a helmet made of bronze which in its later styles covered the entire head and neck, with slits for the eyes and mouth. A large curved projection protected the nape of the neck. It also protected the cheek bones, which Greeks adored



A hoplite vest was worn as protective clothing covering the upper extremities in times of battle by heavily armed foot-soldier in Ancient Greece from the 7th to 4th centuries BCE



The Trojan Horse came from the tale about the Trojan War when the Greeks entered the city by hiding inside the wooden Trojan Horse. The Greeks pretended to sail away and the Trojans pulled the horse into their city as a victory trophy not knowing that Greek soldiers were inside to defeat them



It was introduced around 800-400 BCE, leaf-shaped blade effective for slashing and stabbing. The ancient Greeks regarded the sword as strictly a back-up weapon, one that would never replace their battle-proven reliance on the spear



It was a fast, light, open, two-wheeled conveyance drawn by two or more horses  that were hitched side by side. Chariots were used for war and mobile archery platforms, as well as more peaceable pursuits such as hunting or racing for sport, and as chief vehicle of many ancient race, when speed of travel was denied rather than how much weight could be carried



It is a tip, usually sharpened, added to an arrow to make it more deadly or to fulfill some special purpose. The earliest arrowheads were made of stone and of organic materials; as human civilization progressed other materials were used like bronze



The Scythians were masters of both horse and archery deadly with their small compound bows firing arrows form horseback tipped with arrowheads. The small profile of this arrowhead made it highly accurate when fired from a moving horse as it was not as susceptible to crosswinds compared to broader-shaped projectiles



It is used in ancient Greece for about 300 BCE to 200 CE. The earliest Greek lamps were wheel made. It is used for rituals and ceremonies. It is a symbol of connection to sacredness



Pottery was important to the ancient Greeks for storage. Everything from wheat to wine was stored in pottery. Pottery was made by shaping clay on a wheel, decorating  the pot, and then heating the clay in a kiln. In early Greece, (1000 to 700 BC), pots were decorated with geometric designs



The Ancient Greeks were among the first people in the world to use coinage system starting in the 7th century BCE. The central denomination of this coinage system was the drachm, meaning "a handful"


Greek mythology consists of stories belonging to the ancient Greeks concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and the origins and significance of their religious practices. The Greeks invented athletic contests and held them in honor of their gods. They also started the famous Olympic games which has been tested through times.



It is a from of combat sport involving grappling type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds. A wrestling bout is a physical competition, between two (occasionally more) competitors or sparring partners, who attempt to gain and maintain a superior position. There are wide range of styles with varying rules with both traditional historic and modern styles. Wrestling techniques have been incorporated into other martial arts as well as military hand-to-hand combat systems.



The Olympic flame is a symbol of the Olympic Games. Commemorating the theft of fire from the Greek god Zeus by Prometheus, its origins lie in ancient Greece, where a fire was kept burning throughout the celebration of the ancient Olympics.



The Diskobolus of Myron, the Discus thrower is depicted about to release his throw, is a Greek sculpture that was completed towards the end of the Severe period, circa 460-450 BCE



It is a combat sport in which two people engage in a contest of strength, speed, reflexes, endurance, and will by throwing punches with gloved hands against another opponent. The birth hour of boxing as a sport started with ancient Greeks as an Olympic game.

Greek mythology consists of stories belonging to the ancient Greeks concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and the origins and significance of their religious practices.



He is the great Olympian god of the sea, rivers, flood and drought, earthquakes, and horses. He was depicted as a mature man of study build with a dark beard and holding a trident.



He is the god of the underworld, was a son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. Has two brothers, Zeus, the youngest of the three and Poseidon. Hades and his two brothers, Poseidon and Zeus, drew lots for realms to rule. Zeus got the sky, Poseidon got the seas and Hades received the underworld, the unseen realm to which the souls of the dead go upon leaving the world as well as any and all things beneath the earth



He is the most popular of all Greek heroes, famous for extraordinary strength and courage. Alcmene, wife of Amphitryon, made love to both Zeus and her husband on the same night and bore two sons. Hercules (son of Zeus) and Iphilicles (son of Amphitryon). Hercules incurred the everlasting wrath of Hera because he was the child of her unfaithful husband



She was the great Olympian goddess of beauty , love, pleasure and procreation. She was depicted as a beautiful woman usually accompanied by the winged Eros (Love)



He is a great Olympian God of animal husbandry, roads, travel, hospitality, heralds, diplomacy, trade, thievery, language, writing, persuasion, cunning wiles, athletic contest, gymnasiums, astronomy, and astrology. He was also the personal agent and herald of Zeus,m the king of the gods

These are just  portion of what Greece have contributed to the world and have influenced our modern world in many ways. Most of the infrastructures nowadays are still designed with tradition in mind. The sport stadiums built in Greece for their Olympics are much like our own present day stadiums. Also, we have incorporated statues on our modern architectures.

Aside from that, the Greeks valued human strength and performance. They are the inventors of the Olympics. More than human strength, competition was valued, which included not only a demonstration of human strength but a demonstration of human against sport.