Month: June 2015

Palawan (Part 5): The Unexpected Charm and Charisma

Second day in El Nido but our third in the island of Palawan. We thought that we have seen the most of what El Nido can offer as it is very hard to top off what the first day of island hopping tour can offer.

Started the day a little late but nonetheless we enjoyed our time waiting and enjoying the beauty of Bacuit Bay. By the way, Bacuit Bay is the gateway to the islands in El Nido. This is where all sorts of accommodations and socials can be found. It is a small town where you can see a typical Filipino province plus citizens all over the world.

 

The Beauty of Bacuit Bay

 
We arrived at our first island around 10 in the morning. Named as “Helicopter Island” as from afar, the island resembles a helicopter.

We weren’t expecting the waves to be so strong. Scary but we managed to still get out from the boat. At the time our boat docked in the island, most of the best people are already leaving. A good sign that you can enjoy the island. It comes in a some sort of a blessing that we started our tour a little late.

   
  

Splashing Waters

  

Secluded Island

  The sands in Helicopter Island is not as white as the other islands but it is as powdery or even more fine than the islands we have visited on the first day of island hopping. The constant strong waves splashing against the shore also give a different charisma to the island.

 

Driftwood

  

El Nido’s Version of Skyscapper

  

Tropical Charm

    

Splash of Colors

  Helicopter Island is just the first island we have visited for the day, and more beach bumming (or photoshoots?) in the next few posts.

 

Chill Vibes

  
  

‘Til the next pose & post!

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Palawan (Part 4): Caves and Cove

Like I always say, El Nido is a post card ready place. It is a haven for photographers (both professional and casual), as wherever you look, there is something to capture. Each place has something unique to offer.

Some of the last few places we have visited for our second day in Palawan are included in island hopping tour B. Like I said in my previous post, the said island hopping tour is the one tour that you shouldn’t miss.

Just after our lunch, we visited Cudugnon Cave. From afar, it looks normal but heck there’s a catch: you need to slither your way to get in. Since I’m already there, I didn’t pass on a little adventure. Everyone is very helpful as they make sure to out some make shift cushion to avoid getting bumps and bruises from sharp edges of the stones. Once you get inside the cave (and after a minute or so of slithering), you will be transported to another dimension. As a teenager, I used to play RPG such as Grandia, Suikoden, etc. I can’t help but think of all those caves in the games and can’t believe that such wonder do really exist.
 

Sharp Edges

  
  

Summer Crew

  

Na, na, na, na 🎵

  We also have the chance to pass by Cathedral Cave. We have decided that we are satisfied to have our picture taken at the mouth of the cave. Though if you have the energy, you can kayak or swim your way inside and explore what it has to offer.

 

Cathedral Cave

  

The Entrance

  

Just Happy

  Lastly, we visited “Seven Commando Beach”. This island is quite popular and when we got there, a lot of people are taking their time to play beach volleyball, bum in the beach or eat. Yes, this beach is a social beach where you can mingle with a lot of people and enjoy the beach with either a beer or a fresh coconut juice (by the way, I selected the latter). This island is also the perfect spot to catch the sunset.

 

Seven Commando Beach

  

Fresh Juice

 Ended our first day of island hopping tour with a very burned skin and a smile embedded in my face.

‘Til the next pose & post!

Palawan (Part 3): The Perfect Spot

El Nido is a true paradise. Never have I ever been in love with such place before. Been to some of the best beaches in the Philippines but El Nido is completely on a different level (in my own opinion).

Postcard Ready Island

On the first day of our island hopping, one of the last islands we have visited that day is Pinagbuyutan Island. From afar, it screams “Come to me”. I have to say that Pinagbuyutan Island is my favorite place/ island in El Nido. This island is part of Tour B route, so make sure not to miss tour B and most importantly the island.

 

Walk At The Beach

 
    

Stop, Stare and Appreciate

 

Pinagbuyutan Island offers pristine, soft, powdery white sands that can be comparable to some of the world’s most famous beaches. Too bad that I haven’t really tried to enjoy the waters but based on what I’ve seen that day, shallow and crystal clear waters which is perfect for swimming (young and young at heart alike). Ok, I wasn’t able to enjoy the water because I was too excited to have my picture taken on almost all spots you can imagine. Anyways, as you probably know by now, I love going to the beach but it is very seldom that I get to swim or get wet. I’m more of a beach bum: the one who lays in the sands, have pictures taken, read a book than being the adventurous one and do sorts of water activities.

 

Secluded

  
   Another added factor to the island’s charm is those coconut trees lined as if someone has meticulously measured the distance from one tree to another to create an organized chaos with trees. Those trees are just perfection and will always be in your mind as what summer is really all about.
 

Coconut Trees

   

Pinagbuyutan Island is picture perfect, ready to be captured by the camera or your senses anytime. Again, the island is my personal favorite in all of El Nido.

 

Selca Time, My Friends Are Kinda Busy Too

  

Freedom

  

Picture Perfect

  

Mountainous Backdrop Of Pinagbuyutan

  

Heart And Smile

  

College Friends

 

‘Til the next pose & post!

Palawan (Part 2): Blue Lagoon And All Sorts Of Blues

El Nido is our summer destination for this summer. Located at the northern tip of Palawan which houses some of the best beaches/ islands in the Philippines (and in the world).

El Nido is actually a paradise masked as a tourist destination. Island hopping is one the countless activities you can do while vacationing in El Nido. For the first two days of our stay in El Nido, we have decided to take boat tours.

 

Morning In El Nido

 
For the first day, we have visited multiple islands and beaches. All of which are uniquely stunning and picturesque.

 

First Photo During The Island Hopping

  

Normal View in El Nido

  

Can’t Wait To Go Down

 

We started with the Small and Big Lagoons. These lagoons are amongst the most popular and most pictured places in the entire El Nido. The lagoons are very calm and serene, a perfect place to enjoy and chill in El Nido. Most people tend to swim or kayak in the Small Lagoon while bigger boats roam around the Big Lagoon.

 

Kawaii in Big Lagoon

  

Beauty

  

I Wasn’t Able To Try Kayaking in El Nido

  

  

  

  

Next stop is the Hidden Beach which reminds me of the movie “The Beach”. Though the beach is not really hidden, it is still a challenge to reach this area because you have to enter a very small hole just to get in. Though once inside, you’ll be mesmerized by the hidden beauty of this place.

   
  

Hidden Beach

 Just before lunch, we stopped by Snake Island. Don’t worry, no snakes are living on the island. It was names Snake Island asthe sand bar connecting the two islands looks like a snake during low tide.

 

Taking In The Beauty

  
  

Top of Snake Island, A Viewdeck

      

We Were There During Hightide, We Missed The Sandbar

  

Out Of Place ~ Alien

 

First day of island hopping is not yet over, stay tuned for the next part from this series.

‘Til the next pose & post!

Palawan (Part 1): The River Under The Mountain

Palawan, known as Philippines’ final frontier and The World’s top island. It’s a pleasure to visit this wonderful province/ island in the western part of the Philippines. At least once in your life, you should visit this island. For this summer, me and college friends’ destination is this wonderful island paradise.
 

Colllege Friends: Me, Amor, Ehlaine, Lara and Doreen

  

Early Morning Flight: Manila’s City Lights

 

Started our journey to very early in the morning, 04:30AM to be exact. We booked the earliest flight to Palawan. It would only take a little more than an hour plane ride from Manila to Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

The agenda is to enjoy the beach in El Nido but before we do so, we have decided to take a day tour to one of the New Wonders of the World, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park or more popularly known as “The Underground River”.

It is fascinating to know that even after less than 2 hours drive from Puerto Princesa city center, the Underground River is still part of Puerto Princesa. And believe me, two hours worth of drive in Palawan is a long drive as we never experienced traffic in that place. The journey to the Underground River is an experience as well as you will pass by some of the most fascinating natural wonders. From cliffs, seaside view, etc. If I would describe Palawan in one word, I will use the word “head-turner”.
 

Just A Pitstop to PPUR

         

If you are planning to visit the Underground River, make sure that you have secured a permit. They only limit a number of people each day to visit this place. Believe me, never attempt to go there as a walk-in tourist, you will just waste your time. Anyways, a lot of legit travel agencies can help you book your tour to the Underground River including transfers, permits, entrance tickets and food.
  

Aside from the van transfer, you will also ride a boat to the mouth of the Underground River.

 

Boat Transfer

  

Touchdown Underground River

 
    

Considering that we have visited Palawan while summer is in it’s early stage, a lot of people are visiting the area (Filipinos and foreigners alike).
 

Komodo Dragon?

  

Paddle Boat Group

    

The Group Before Ours

  

Entrance

 

Also make sure that if you will ride the paddle boat to tour the Underground River, take the front seats just like we did. My only problem is, “Are there crocodiles here?”. Fortunately, there were none but still I cant help to think that some random moment, something is snaking or swimming beside the paddle boat. Scary thought but that never happened. The hired tour guide for the Underground River is hilarious. So make sure to listen attentively to what the guide is saying. Though some says that next year, they will use audio guides (the ones you use while touring museum in other countries) instead of live tour guides. Honestly, I don’t know if that is a good idea or not but hopefully that will not affect the livelihood of the tour guides.
 

The View

   

Full tour of the The Underground River will last a whole day, so make sure to a lot a day for this tour and I guarantee that it is a must see!

  

This is just part 1 of our Palawan trip. Next stop: El Nido!
  

‘Til the next pose & post!

Black and Blonde

Do blondes really have more fun? That is one question almost everyone is trying to answer. Some beg to disagree especially the brunettes, while blondes definitely agree on that statement. I’m back to being a blonde, specifically an Asian blonde, for almost 10 months of being a brunette. Nowadays, more and more Asians are being more experimental with changing their hair color as influenced by a lot of factors like emerging cultures, entertainment industry, etc.
 

Day Out In A Black Ensemble

  

Blonde In A Garden

 
This style post is my first post after going blonde again. For a day out in a museum tour, I opted to wear something breathy and light, in terms of materials used or fabrics. It is still summer here in Manila and that means temperature on 30s mark during broad daylight. Despite that it is still summer, I decided to wear an all black ensemble for a day out. The trick for using black ensemble, again, is to choose light fabrics. Black may not be a summer color but this classic hue can work it in any season.
  

Drop tail top for Factorie. Opaque light leggings from H&M. Wide rimmed hat from H&M. White sneakers from Moonstar.
  

‘Til the next pose & post!

Gimme, Gimme That Ice Cream

Summer in Manila is scorching. As in like very hot. Though, as per the weather agency, summer will soon end and we only have until the second week of June to enjoy or hate this climate. For other countries, summer is just starting; but for us here in the Philippines, summer is almost over. Anyways, do not overthink it, we have summer almost all year long with the exemptions of the days/ weekends/ weeks we have a tropical storm in our territory. We have officially the months of March, April and May as our summer months but in fact you can hit the beach almost any day of the year.

All summer long, I’ve noted all the ice cream places I’ve visited. I’m no food blogger/ specialist but all of us have that foodie inside of us. Ice cream has always been my guilty pleasure and my to go to dessert (or sometime snack, lunch?). Aside from that, ice cream looks good on your Instagram feed. They are my favorite food subject for all those #Nomnom or #FoodPorn. Are you guilty of that? Yes, I am!

So here goes my shortlist of my favorite ice cream stops I’ve had this summer 2015:

MILKCOW – Located in Eastwood Mall, Libis, Quezon City
   


  

Milkcow is a popular ice cream chain from South Korea that serves soft serve ice creams. What makes it standout is the variety of unconventionally toppings that you can add or choose from like honeycomb, macarons, cotton candy among others. To make it easier for you, they have their menu so that you easily select which combinations you like. Not enough toppings or wanted that cute macaron on topof your sundae? Fret not as you can add those sweet things ala carte. 🙂 And Lee Jong Suk all over the shop, add on!

MAGPIE CAFE – Maginhawa Street, Teacher’s Village, Quezon City

  
Magpie Cafe is part of a new neighborhood food complex in Maginhawa Street called “Streat”. This cafe has some serious Korean vibe in it. Small space who can only accommodate less than 10 people at a time. Though it has a very limited sitting, that gives a relaxed vibe and ambiance. Magpie Cafe serves coffee, pastries and bingsu. Ever wonder what a magpie is? Magpie is actually a type of bird that can be found in Korea.

RITA’S – UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City

  
Rita’s Ice is a gelato parlor that originated in the Unites States but gelato are Italian desserts. You need to go to this place multiple times as they have great variety of things to offer. They have gelato, custards and all sorts of sweet things. You can even have a bubble gum flavored iced water!

COLDSTONE CREAMERY – Branches all over Metro Manila.

  
Variety. They have a lot! You can choose from all those flavors. Good thing is that you can have different size for your ice creams and you can try up to 5 flavors in one cup or serving. Craving for the same flavor? Worry not, just tell the them that you want all your 5 scoops with the same flavors. Just after they took your order and prepared the ice cream, make sure that you are literally ready to catch your ice cream as they will throw it to you. Don’t worry if the ice cream falls in the ground, they will make a fresh one for you. All just for fun!

KOOL KIDS – SM Mega Fashion Hall, Megamall, Mandaluyong

  
Ice cream made using some experiment and done in front of you. Think of Dexter’s Lab meets ice cream. Once you have ordered, they will make your ice cream while you wait. It’s not a long wait by the way, just around a minute or two. They just put the ingredients together and some cold smoke comes out from all the chemical reaction, viola you have your ice cream!

FLAFE (FLOWER AND CAFE) – Cityland Tower, Ortigas Center, Pasig City

  
One of my most fave coffee shops in Ortigas area, aside from the fact that the owner is very friendly and nice, Flafe offers different things and all sorts of Korean sweet treats. I have done an article about Flafe before. They have updated their menu, so when you haven’t visited Flafe the longest time, feel free to drop by and enjoy their new offerings. Of course, the patbingsus (bingsu) are a must-try. Pick a flower on your way out, they have such great flower arrangement. That’s a cute combination, flower and coffee!

SNOW CREME – Maginhawa Street, Teacher’s Village, Quezon City

  
Shaved flavored ice are the best coolers. Every country in East and Southeast Asia has their own version of shaved ice. Snow Creme is a concept from Taiwan. Taiwan has been known as one of best shaved ice in the world. So it only means one thing. Try their milkteas and snacks too, you will not be disappointed.

CAFFE BENE – Citywalk 2, Libis, Quezon City

  
Caffe Bene is known as Korea’s most popular coffeehouse chain. No wonder why they are named such as. Aside from their very unique coffee offering, they also have tons of things to offer like gelato, toasts, pastries and bingsu! All items are Instagram worthy. Aside from how cool everything looks like, the taste is as cool. You want to stay in this coffee house as long as you can. Daydreaming like you are in a K-Drama scene. Literally, the ambiance is among the best I ever experience in a coffee shop. Or maybe at that time, it was not a primetime when we visited the place and we were the only visitors. Best time to visit is during opening time. Though Caffe Bene opens a little late for a coffee shop.

Morelli’s Gelato – Shangila Mall East Wing, Mandaluyong City

  
Been eyeing this place for quite some time but always failed to go there as it’s either we already had dessert somewhere or my friend already have something in mind where to get their sweet fix. Morelli’s offers a great deal of classic sundaes in a very fancy packaging. Don’t be fooled by how it looks as how tasty and delicious their sundaes are, Morelli somehow is quite reasonable for it’s price. They have usual classics like chocolate & strawberry mix, you can order gelato by the scoop and correct me if I’m wrong as I might have seen someone having a banana split in Morelli’s?

And my top picks are:

FARMACY – Net Lima, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

  
Think old school ice cream parlour. That’s heaven, right? Farmacy is the same group who are responsible behind Wildflour Cafe and Bakery. Farmacy indeed bring us back to the golden time of the 40s and 50s. Though it is not my generation, I can relate to the real ice cream classics. The classics really are for the young at heart and young alike. Classic knows no generation especially when we are talking about ice creams.

CAFE SEOLHWA – 2nd Floor Forum South Global, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

  
Been here multiple times this summer, Cafe Seolhwa is a newly opened Korean desserts cafe. Cafe Seolhwa has been my automatic to go to desserts place for Summer 2015. I love everything this cafe offers but my forever favorites are the bingsus. My recommendations: Injeolmi Bingsu and Mango Cheesecake Bingsu.

Not too late to have an ice cream and I hope I gave you an idea where to get that cold and sweet fix. Cue Red Velvet’s song “Ice Cream Cake”.

‘Til the next pose & post!