New Year, New Trips!

The travel fast is FINALLY over!

I did a voluntary (but painful) travel fast in 2018 because I didn’t want to suffer from travel fatigue (2016 and 2017 were crazy in terms of my travel schedules, among other things).

But now it’s 2019, and I’m officially free! Happy new year to me!

To celebrate, I’ve already booked two trips (I need to learn about moderation, honestly): a four-day trip to Taiwan in March and a long weekend getaway to Coron, Philippines in October. Might end up going to one or two more out-of-town trips aside from those two so I’m pretty excited.

YEY.

Anyway, I’m way behind schedule for my 52 Give Challenge, but I’m already working on it so I’ll be posting something really soon.

How about you guys? Any planned trips this year? Or any travel tips you want to share?

Advertisements

52 Give: Week 2 (Visayas Travel Tips)

This Tuesday, a former churchmate asked me for tourist spot recommendations in the Visayas because he plans to vacation hop this month. I gave him a list, and threw in some tips as well. Here’s what I told him:

  1. If you’re into beautiful beaches + island hopping, Gigantes Islands and Guimaras are a must. If you’re planning to visit Gigantes, it’s better if you come from Roxas City (Capiz) and head for Carles, Iloilo since it’s nearer. And while you’re in Roxas, you may want to do the Cadimahan River Tour, too. Or at least get a relaxing massage or foot spa in one of its floating cottages.
  2. Foodies should definitely do a food crawl in Iloilo before heading off to Guimaras. Make sure to try the city’s famous La Paz batchoy (I recommend Netong’s and Deco’s) and Roberto’s siopao. Then drop by Margec’s in Jaro for your pasalubong needs. Their cream horns are famous, and for good reason! For other food recommendations in Iloilo, check out my post Top 5 Foods You Need to Try in Iloilo.
  3. Bacolod also has loads of delicious food, such as chicken inato and kansi. Make sure to visit Calea’s and try one of their cakes. You can head out of the actual city for other tourist spots (there’s a hot spring in Mambukal), plus the famous The Ruins in Talisay City. If you plan to visit The Ruins, make sure to do it close to sunset (4 p.m. should be safe) because the structure changes color as the sun goes down (spoiler: it’s eggwhites).
  4. For a more relaxing city crawl, spend a day in Dumaguete City, the City of Gentle People (check out my post Top 3 Things I Discovered on my Dumaguete Trip). Then hop on a ferry to Siquijor and do a day tour: The beaches there are lovely, plus there’s a super high diving spot that dared not try.
  5. Chocolate Hills in not the only tourist spot in Bohol. There’s an underground cave, a sand bar, clear waters on a beach, and other exciting places you can visit. (I’m adding this to my list because my churchmate said he wasn’t interested in Bohol because it’s only known for Chocolate Hills. I had to prove him wrong.)

Got anything to add to my list? What’s your favorite Visayas travel destination? I want to hear from you! Who knows, I might be able to use your tips for my next trip!

 

52 Give: Week 1

First week’s done, and I’m already late in posting. This is going to be a thing, won’t it? O_O

I’ve been trying to decide which “act of giving” to write about for last week, but it took me quite a while. I don’t really keep track of what I do everyday, especially the little things. And then I remembered I facilitated our discipleship group’s meeting last Saturday, so I figured, I can write something about that.

The thing is, I don’t really like facilitating anything. I feel I’m already working on so many things, so I don’t usually volunteer to lead a group unless I really have to. My excuse? I just don’t have time to do it. I don’t have time to prepare, I don’t have time to learn that week’s topic, I don’t have time to go to the meeting because I’m so busy with everything. Half of the time, that’s my default excuse for refusing new responsibilities.

So I decided to give our discipleship group my time last Saturday. I could have told them that no, I need to finish working on a side project (true), or that I haven’t studied the assigned topic (also true), but in the end, I confirmed with our Dgroup leader and told her I can facilitate the discussion.

And I did.

Was it life-changing? Not really. Is the world now a better place because of what I did? I have no idea. But I’d like to think that because I gave time to discuss the topic with our group, I was able to help everyone gain insights about the topic that they can bring with them when they go home. How that will affect their week, I’m not really sure. But if somehow their week become better because of it, if they apply the lessons they’ve learned last Saturday, then I think giving my time to them has been worth it.

Onto Week 2, yes?

52Give: Week 0

Wow, I haven’t written anything in this blog in more than a year. One, because I haven’t had the time (I know, I know, I can’t keep blaming real life for this), and two, because I haven’t really traveled this 2018. Call it travel fatigue or travel sabbatical, but there you go.

Anyway. I just turned 34 yesterday (don’t feel any different though), and to celebrate (and give something back), I’ve decided to participate in a slightly modified version of  365Give. The idea behind the challenge is to develop a habit of giving, one day at a time. (You should check out the site if you have the chance, it’s full of wonderful, heartwarming ideas and testimonies.) But since I can’t commit to writing a blog everyday, I’m modifying the challenge to 52Give, and I promise (yikes!) to post about something I did for the challenge every weekend until my next birthday.

Finding the thin line between being truly generous and bragging about your kind acts is a challenge, and I’m pretty sure I’ll struggle with it more than once. Which is why I will try my best to focus on the recipients, acts, or the lessons behind them rather than on myself. I think that will be a good place to start, right?

So, any ideas?

Top 3 Things I Discovered on my Dumaguete Trip

People go to Dumaguete for different reasons. I wanted to travel solo and Dumaguete felt like a place I can explore on my own. And so, armed only with a small backpack, three days’ worth of pocket money, and lots of courage, I flew to Dumaguete, with only my usual travel buddy Kitteh to keep me company.

Continue reading

Tourist Visa Application for Filipinos

Because it is so easy to buy cheap airline tickets these days, many Filipinos now have more opportunities to visit other countries. Many of these countries require a visa, and I’m sure most travel enthusiasts have heard of at least one horror story of a visa application gone wrong.

For this blog’s first guest blogger, my friend and co-owner of What’s In Your Cup?, Iya, took it upon herself to make a quick guide for anyone interested in visiting a country with visa requirements.

Continue reading

The Great Burger Hunt: Big Better Burgers

I love burgers. I am always and forever searching for the perfect burger sandwich. Last June, my search led me to Ayala Serin, when a friend introduced me to Big Better Burgers, her favorite burger place in Tagaytay.

Big Better Burgers has nine premium burgers and the Triple XXX (so that’s really nine Xs  all in all), which is their version of Champ or Big Mac. They also have a selection of pastas, rice meals, and other sides. My friend and I decided to split one 3 Cheese Explosion Burger and one Wild Mushroom Pasta. BBB does not have set meals, so we had to pay an additional P39.00 each for the fries and drinks. Our total bill reached P398.00, which is not bad, considering the sizes of their servings.

Continue reading

Binging on Bengals: Bengal Brew Cat Cafe review

Located at Manhattan Garden City in Araneta Center, Cubao, Bengal Brew is a small cafe that houses more than fifteen bengal cats of different colors and sizes. The cafe’s claim to fame is that it’s the first cat cafe in the world that showcases solely bengal cats (hence the name) in an indoor tropical rainforest setting. Pretty neat, huh?

Continue reading