Travel Diary

Cebu (Part 4): Virgin Island in Bantayan

Cebu is known to house some of the best beaches in the Philippines. Being a beach lover myself, I will never pass the chance to visit one of the beach spots gaining popularity in Cebu. I’ve heard about this place a couple of years back, thanks to one of my closest college friends who is a Cebuana but raised in Manila (which by the way you can visit her blog by clicking HERE). I’ve been waiting about this part of my Cebu trip and definitely an icing on top of a great trip we had.

Toasted

For our last iterinary in Cebu, we went to Bantayan Island in Sta. Fe, Cebu. Bantayan Island has its own rustic charm as if time slows down when you are in this area. It is quickly gaining popularity among beach lovers and travellers alike. Though this is not a travel blog which normally gives directions and tips about the places I’ve visited, my blog is more of a personal online space for me to diary my travels and for the readers to find inspiration to travel as well. I’ll leave it to professionals to come-up with a legit travel blog.

The Virgin Island

Bantayan Island houses a lot nice beaches and even the beach front of Anika Beach Resort, where we stayed, boasts pristine white sands.

Pristine

Greenery 

One of the orders of business is to visit Virgin Island. We hopped on a boat instead and visited Virgin Island.

This is The Virgin Island

With College Friends

I did not set any expectations for this visit in Virgin Island as I do not know that this small island exists or even part of our iterinary. I have to say that this is a must visit place in Bantayan.

White Sands

Elements

Virgin Island feels like you were castawayed from the busy society. Perfect place to get a tan, enjoy the white sands & clear water and just enjoy.

Getting A Tan and A Lot of Memories

Slow Down

Somewhere Out There

‘Til the next pose & post!

Cebu (Part 3): Blooms and Blooms

Now, this got to be one of my favorite parts of our Cebu trip.

Happiness When There Are Flowers

I always love flowers and my Instagram feed is the living proof for that. Starting from the time that I heard and seen about this place, I hava a permanent mental note that I should visit this place. I will not let this Cebu trip go by without visiting Sirao Flower Farm/ Sirao Peak.

Colors


 

Be Always Blooming

Sirao, as I know, is still part of the city (Correct me then if I am wrong). Located atop of a mountain lies a wonderful place full of blooming flowers. Going up to the peak is a little bit of an ordeal but I have to say it is all worth it. Don’t worry though, as cars, taxi and other mode of transportation are readily available from the city center going to Sirao.

Flower Power

Sirao Garden is sometimes called as “Little Amsterdam” as it it reminiscent of blooms from that city.

Me, Being Sweet and Montochromatic

Every corner is Instagram worthy and for a flower lover like me, you will be consumed in your own little space taking in pictures of the flowers, taking selcas and asking your friends to take a photo or two (or hundreds) of you.

Sirao Peak is a must see place in Cebu. We went there on a Saturday morning and the place is a little packed but as you can see the in our pictures it seems that we are the only ones there. Thanks to the other visitors who let us take our photo without a photobomber. I guess it’s a give-and-take unspoken relationship we had with the other tourists. If you really wanted to have the whole place for you, maybe you can visit really early and on a weekday.

‘Til the next post & post!

Cebu (Part 2): All Sorts of Water From The South

After the tiring early afternoon trek in Osmena Peak and seeing what the highest peak in Cebu can show, we are off to the first beach in Cebu, which is Moalboal.

I never really knew about Moalboal until I came here. Good thing that my friend Amor is actually from Cebu. Moalboal is located in the southwestern part of Cebu. Pristine white sands and rich underwater are the main selling points of this part of Cebu. Scuba diving, free diving and snorkeling are the activities to do in this part of Cebu.

Long Stretch

I’ll Trade Anything For This Moment

Since Moalboal is facing on the western part, this means great news – superb sunset. Yes, the sunset here is nice, divine, and breathtaking and all the adjectives I can think of. I always make it a point to see the sunset whenever I am on a vacation.

The Moalboal Sunset

The following day, we opted to go to one of the islands to see in the Moalboal area which is known as Pescador Island.  This part of Cebu boasts rich marine life that can match the best diving spots to all the places I’ve been to. I never tried scuba diving but by simple doing a free dive or snorkel, you can easily see the greatness needs to be seen just after you jumped off from the boat. I marked this as a must visit place to visit while in Cebu.

Memories Shared With Friends

Rich

Two Completely Different Worlds

I Love To Try Free Diving Soon

Are They Trying To Drown Me? 😂✌️

After a morning of sea salt, we headed straight to Kawasan Falls. Originally, I did not intend to join this part as you know, I rather be the passive type of traveler, but hey, thank goodness that I’ve given it a go. I never knew that I will have so much fun jumping from a 30-foot waterfall and hurt my butt off after. It was exhilarating yet fulfilling at the same time. We took so many pictures in Kawasan Falls but I honestly think GoPro is not my camera of choice. There are water splashes all over; pictures were out of focused so I guess this part of this vacation will hold dearly in my mind.

Floating

Kawasan Falls

Under The Veil

Damn, My Make-up’s Ruined! 😂

Literally a Concrete Jungle

‘Til the next post & post!

Cebu (Part 1): Peek at the Peak

Finally, I will now be able to start my Cebu series. This is way overdue as our Cebu trip happened last October 2016. Honestly though, it felt as if I was just there last week and I feel nostalgic, happy and bittersweet everytime I look at the photos.

Just, Wow!

Greenery For The Win!

Hanging In There

If This Is Aint Perfection?

First stop: Osmeña Peak. Ok, I know what you are thinking! Does it mean trekking? Can Orange really trek all the way to the top? Actually, I did given that I am a passive type of tourist who prefers lounging at the beach, enjoying boat rides and the same but trekking or mountain climbing is even on Orange’s vocabulary? Yes, I even surprised myself but I think this would be the few or rare vacations that I will do this and let me say that I have not regretted it at all.

Cloud Game is A+

Happy Kid – First Time To Go Up The Mountain

Taking In or Busy With Instagram?

Osmeña Peak is known as the highest point in the island of Cebu. Good thing about climbing the peak is that you do not need to be a pro-mountaineer to enjoy the breathtaking view. All you need to have are friends to talk and joke to on the way up and a lot of water. I think we were fortunate enough that on our way up, the sun is covered by the clouds (and there is fog, even). But I guess we prayed enough and mixed with a little bit of luck that when we reached the peak, the sun let us peek what is there to see at the peak: super nice view.

Peak-A-Boo

Like I said, I have never climbed any mountain and prefer observation deck over anything but Osmeña Peak is on a different level. Have to say that, visiting Osmeña Peak is a must do when you are planning to visit Cebu.

Closer To The Sun

Me and My College Friends Turned Travel Best Friends

😇

PS. The climb (or more appropriately called walk up) only took us 30 to 40 mins but as per the tour guide, it will only take 15-20 minutes. So I guess you do the math of how slow we walked all the way up. So there.

‘Til the next pose & post!

Palawan (Part 8): Twin Beach and Last Day

What I not so love in a vacation is the last day. I find it sad that the vacation is almost over but at the same time looking forward to what the last day of the vacation can offer. Sometimes, or let’s say most of the time, the cliche “saved the best for last” may be true. Not in the case for El Nido as every moment spent in the paradise island is a moment to treasure. Palawan is called the “Final Frontier” for so many reasons. I may have put in the superlatives in my previous posts, but those adjectives are still not enough to give justice to what you can see, sense and feel while vacationing in El Nido.

We started off the day a little early than the usual as we headed to El Nido’s famous twin beach. Honestly, I don’t think the twin beach is still part of El Nido town as the ride going to Nacpan- Calitang twin beach will take a little less than 60-90 minutes drive depending on your ride. You get it, it is too far from the main town of El Nido.

 

Off The Islands

  

Scenic View of Nacpan Beach

  

Stretch

 

Walk, Walk and Walk

Nacpan Beach is a long stretch of sands that extends around 1 or 2 kilometers. That’s not the exact measurement, but it is so long. So, if you like to spend your mornings walking in long stretch of fine sands, this is the perfect place for you. Aside from that, if you want to avoid the sun but still craves for the sea (the crashing waves and cool winds) this is also the perfect spot in El Nido for you. The entire stretch of Nacpan Beach is lined with coconut trees that will give a cool shade under the summer sun. Too much tan can sometimes kill you, eh?

 

Cue SNSD’s Summer Song “Party”

  

Early Morning Walk

  

To The Waters!

  

Can’t Help But Play Taylor Swift’s “Style” in My Head. 🎶

 Further to left when facing the waters of Nacpan Beach, you can climb a steep hill that will give you the best unobstructive view of the twin beach, Nacpan and Calitang Beach. Not too worry about finding your way up as the helpful stray dogs would be your own tour guides in the steep and sometimes narrow road up the hill.

 

(N) Nacpan; (S) Calitang. Collectively Known as Twin Beach

 
 

Forever Summer Gang

  

I Feel Freedom

 After a quick tour of El Nido’s twin beach, as we only stayed there a little less than two hours, we thought that the vacation and our “tour” is over. But we were wrong. Luxury of having connections to help you rent a private ride in a province. We went straight to Marimegmeg Beach which is located on the opposite side of the cove of Bacuit Bay. Marimegmeg Beach is a great alternative to Bacuit Bay if you are looking for a more relaxed ambiance for your accommodations. This is where you can literally stay under the coconut trees in a canopy and beach bum while reading a book. What a life! Marimegmeg Beach is known as where to view the best sunset in El Nido. Too bad we were not able to experience that sunset in Marimegmeg but our own little sunset in the middle of the sea is hard to top off.

 

Forever Summer View

 
 

Summer, Sun and Sands in Marimegmeg

  
   

Testing The Waters

   

Right Back At You!

    
 That wraps up my summer vacation in Palawan. Actually, I stayed an extra night in Puerto Princesa so technically this isn’t the last day of my vacation. I will definitely go back to Palawan and El Nido soon. Still too many islands and spots to discover. Our El Nido trip is definitely a one for the books (and one worth sharing). Travel more and experience what your country can offer.

 

See You Soon, Palawan! 💋

 
‘Til the next pose & post!

Palawan (Part 7): Pocket Beaches and Lagoons

Last few islands for our second day of island hopping tour and El Nido keeps on revealing its beauty.

One of the last islands we have visited is the Cadlao Island/ Lagoon. Once you step in this lagoon-slash-island, it gives you the feel of being transported to prehistoric time as if any moment now a dinosaur will come out and play. Seriously, no dinosaurs in this place but extra careful with the monkeys. The water is calm and a little deep at some point. Perfect spot for beach bumming if you are too tired staying and tanning under the sun as the beach has eternal shade from the high limestone formations.

 

    

Frontier

  

Rugged Rock Formations

 
Pasandigan Beach is our next destination, just a short ride from Cadlao. This beach is for you if you like long walks in the beach. From this beach, you can see the El Nido town. In fact, some of the tourists opt to kayak from El Nido town to Pasadigan Beach.

   

Serenity

  

Airblown

 
Last island for the day and last island destination in El Nido is Bukal Island. A pocket island near Bacuit Bay. Calm and shallow waters are here perfect if you need that much needed photoshoot for your Instagram. Not much activities here but travelers can stay here for the night to experience an authentic island accommodation which is sleeping under the night sky either with or without a tent, which by the way is not my style.

 

Photoshoot Galore

  
  

El Nido Captured My Heart

 
On our way back to El Nido Town, we were lucky enough to experience and see the sunset in the middle of the ocean. As you know by now, sunset is my favorite part of the day and I make it a point to capture sunset wherever I go. I will never get tired of watching the sunset.

 

Sunset In The Middle of The Sea

 
That wraps up the second day of our island hopping in El Nido (and third day in Palawan). Bittersweet moment as this travel series is coming to an end.

 

The Not So Sleepy Town of El Nido

 
‘Til the next pose & post!

Palawan (Part 6): Shrine in A Tropical Island

After enjoying the waves and shore in Helicopter Island, our tour commenced and got a very pleasant surprise which is in Matinloc Shrine.

Matinloc Shrine is one of the abandoned islands in El Nido. I really wonder what happened to this place but despite the island is an abandoned one, a lot of tourists are frequenting this place because of many reasons. In terms of design and architecture, Matinloc Shrine boasts a design reminiscent of Grecian aesthetic. The place also has that eerie feeling but not that scary feeling. Who will get scared with group of tourists enjoying the trip under the afternoon sun? Not me.

   

The Shrine

    

Port Like

  

Where People Bask Under The Sun

  

Stage?

  

From My OOTD Post

  Aside from the shrine in the island, it also has a very good view deck which will let you experience an unobstructive view of the neighboring islands and the vast waters of El Nido, at least on this side of town.

 

This View Is Heavenly

  

Giddy Kid

    

Happy Summer Crew

 After enjoying Matinloc Shrine, we stopped by a neighboring island to have a little rest and lunch. I have to say that each corner in El Nido is a gem.

 

Corner Pocket Beach

  

Amazing Rock Formation

    

Me and Lara Tried Snorkeling, The Rest Bummed By The Beach

 El Nido never cease to amaze me every time we visit any place. Hands down, El Nido is definitely one of the best places in the entire world.

  
‘Til the next pose & post!

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!

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!