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One week trip

one week trip

Imagine if you’re granted a whole week leave, plus 10,000php to spend only in the vacation, where will you go?

How about we take you to our week-long trip? No heavy preparations needed so pack your bags and get ready coz today we, The Alagad ng Sining Princesses, are taking you to our one week trip.

At first, we were thinking how to make a normal day special? I mean we wake up, take a bath, eat a lot, explore things, travel around, buy some stuff, have fun a little, then we go to sleep. There’s nothing special about them.

*ehh?* (1.wake up… 2. take a bath… 3. eat… 4…)

How about we spice them up with a bit of travel destinations near you? Let’s start by refueling the battle wagon and head to Batangas!
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  1. Wake up in an Island, Fortune Island, Batangas – A lot of you might be familiar with the noon time fanta-serye in GMA7, Encantadia right? Four girls with the power of elemental gems in a wondrous place with ruins that look like straight out of a fiction novel. But wait! All is fantasy, but those ruins on top of a rock? That is so real. It is located in Fortune Island, Nasugbu, just few clicks from the Batangas mainland. It is beautiful and ironic for being unfortunate as once a private owned island by Laurentina Pestano and was a devastated by a strong typhoon. What is left are the beautiful ruins on top of a rock, ship wreckage, and over-grown houses.  We spent only 2200php per head to survive there for two days and one night, sleeping on the sand beside the fire, and wake up in a blue sky and clear sea. And that marks the start of our one week journey.
  2. Take a bath in Pansol, Laguna – When we talk about bath time, nothing beats a warm bath in a hot spring pool. And when we say hot springs, Laguna is the first place that pops-out in our heads. It’s because Laguna is home to 24 mountains most of which are inactive volcanoes. The Mt. Banahaw, being an active complex stratovolcano in the province, is home to multiple hotsprings. There are many Hot Spring Resorts in Pansol and we personally prefer the pools in La Vista. The rooms are big, the rates are low, and the pool is clean. For a group of people who visited Laguna just to take a bath, I don’t think a queen-sized bed or a flat-screen cable TV is necessary. 3,500php per 11 hours divided to three of us, then 1,160php per head only! And we didn’t even have utilized the whole 11 hours, because we’re hungry.
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  3. Eat lunch in Tagaytay – Who’s cold? Who’s hungry? Wear your jacket and make sure your tummy is empty. Because if we’re gonna try Bulalo, the perfect dish for cold weather, why not try it where it is the best? They say Tagaytay has the best Bulalo in the Philippines so let’s give it a try. Tagaytay City is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations because of its scenery. The cooler climate provided by its high altitude is what makes the steaming Bulalo the ideal meal you would likely to order. Those are the days when google is at most useful to find the best Bulalo restaurant. We landed in Leslie’s and ordered what we came for. Their special Bulalo is great and only 599 php per order, good for 2 persons. Good thing, Cinderella is on tough diet. Lucky for the 2 of us.
  4. Explore the islands of Caramoan – Caramoan Island hopping is the best way to enjoy dozens of different islands in one day. Sadly, since you’re only there to see the place and not really to swim, you need to scoot early so that there’s more time to check the other islands. Swimming should be in a separate day. You had your plenty of swim in Laguna anyway so maybe 5-10 minutes in the sea water won’t be so bad. The Sand of Manlawi Island is the largest sand bar in the Philippines with 2 hectares of sand bar during low tide. The Caramoan trip for 3 persons is 2,000php per head. They even got the meals covered. Sweet~

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    (m) Marvin Cruz (c) Aaron Racelis
  5. Travel Road Trip to North – We have tried this for so many times and we will still do it now. Travel Road Trip from South to North is a daring but fulfilling experience for travelers. While some people can’t find comfort in a long journey, others find it satisfying. I for example, would sometimes ride a bus from Fairview to Baclaran because I feel relaxed in a long travel. And for the ones who can’t endure the butt-aches, like Rapunzel over here, there are always bus stops that sell some sweetened nuts and walis tambo. But you know where is the good place to buy products like that?

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  6. Go to Baguio and buy them yourself – Vigan is the ideal place to visit when traveling to the north, but as for the beginners, Baguio City is enough. We see caravans selling brooms, baskets, and cursed mirrors in a weaved frame but we don’t know if they really came from Baguio. So why not buy them there yourself? Doesn’t it feel good when you say to your next post “I came to Baguio just to buy a broom” or “I only eat freshly-picked strawberries.”? If you go to Baguio City to buy something, you gotta make sure you have enough cash. But for us who just visited the summer capital to only try Strawberry Taho and to buy Walis Tambo, 500php is more than enough. And lastly,
  7. Party All Night in The Quarry, Las Pinas – After all these travel destinations, there’s still no place like home. But Before we go straight home, let’s have good time in The Quarry Beer Garden to celebrate our successful one week long travel with our best buddies as we survived the horrific waves of the sea, pushed the van under the scorching heat, and the amount of patience we pour on Snow White‘s world class naps while on the trip. Just 299php for 1 bucket of cold beer. The meals are good too! We’re partying here all night because we earned it. And we’re partying here because it’s easier to go home when we get too drunk.
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Next time, we’ll definitely visit the Visayan Islands. See you in our next trip.

By
Cinderella
0cinderella

Rapunzel
0rapunzel

Snow White
0snowwhite

 

 

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The CARAMOAN ISLANDS Adventure

I’m currently in the state of rejuvenating my skin from sunburn last week. Aside with my toasted skin arms, everything that happened for 3 days in Caramoan Island is absolutely amazing! Let me share you what happened so if there’s still at least 3 days remaining in your vacation, you can still visit Caramoan Islands.

Let me share to you my adventure and the secrets of Caramoan Islands.

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The Caramoan Peninsula is located at Camarines Sur, near the City of Naga. The municipality covers approximately 277.41 sq.kilometers with approximately 41 miles of irregular coastline surrounded by the vast ocean, bay, seas, and swamps. It is 500 kilometers from Metro Manila which gives you a hint that you’ll be spending almost half of your day travelling by bus. A real pain in the butt. But looking info and photos in the internet is nothing compared to the real experience, so we planned our adventure and immediately booked a trip to Naga City to make this out-of-town before it become straight out-of-paper(a drawing).

We got a tour guide and settled all the payments including food, a place to sleep, and a boat that can take us to the islands. As the day finally came, we packed our gears, charged our gadgets, and board the bus going Naga City.

There are 2 ways to get to Caramoan: You can either ride a plane to avoid the dancing PUVs and busses on zigzag and cliff-sides, or spend a night riding a bus then: tricycle, van, boat, and van again to reach the ideal Villas of Caramoan. Plane is the fastest way to get there but it’s very expensive. The boat is big. It can accommodate 1 whole bus passengers in one trip.

sea taxi

The boat ride is more than 2 hours. You can’t feel the sunny weather because of the cold breeze from the vast sea. The boat constantly slows down whenever we go near an island over very low waters. The crewmen are so careful not to hit the sea floor and the starfishes around.

The next day, our tour guide came to pick us up. We arrived to check-in at La Vila De Leonila Tourist Inn, Caramoan. The area is booming with tourist inns, beer houses, sea food restaurants, and souvenir shops. Upon walking around, we noticed that some shops have a distinctive familiar merchandise of Survivor Philippines.

We got there late and missed the chance to check the nearby islands. But there’s still time so after an hour of resting, we set sail and managed to visit 2 of the 5 islands on the list: The Laos Island and Matukad Island. The Laos Island is like 2 small islands divided by sand bar while Matukad Island is the home to the two mythical Bangus (milkfish). According to the Legend, no one knows how the fresh water fishes get in that mysterious lagoon and how they survived for a long time.

saan aabot ang vacant mo

The next day, we climbed the Mt. Caglago – Grotto of Our Lady of Peace, Bugtong Island. We endured the 500+ steps and reached the top with 360 view of Caramoan. Then jumped to the next island of floating cottages to eat our lunch, the Manlawi Island with 2 hectares of Sand Bar during low tide, holding the record of the biggest sand bar in the Philippines. you can literally walk on water. After lunch, our boatmen showed their boat-driving skill to avoid hitting stones and sea creatures to get us close to Guinahoan Island and see a real light house up-close. After that, we chose Cotivas Island as our final Island for our wondrous adventure before heading back to the inn.

 

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Our tour guide was planning to visit a specific island where tourists are not allowed to take photos. But unfortunately, the visiting window is too narrow (plus we’re a bunch of rule-breakers too). This should be a secret island but locals will tell it to you anyway. I won’t tell you, so that you will discover it yourself. The souvenir shops, the amount of foreigners, and the flags will tell you. Something that proves the beauty of our islands internationally. A secret that will keep Caramoan a top tourist destination for decades.

with patrick

On our 3rd and last day, we visited the old town church to thank God and ask for protection on our long journey back to our homes. We bought pasalubongs and souvenirs and finally said goodbye to the inn keepers of the villa at Caramoan, and to our awesome tour guide.

It’s one of the best adventures of my life. The effort and budget I gave is worth it. I wish I can show everything to you, but like what I’ve said, info and photos in the internet is nothing compared to the real experience. If you’re going there, do me a favor:

“Be a responsible tourist and please keep the secret.” okay?

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By Snow White
1
Special thanks to my friends (you guys know who you are), to the people of La Villa De Leonila Tourist Inn, to our 2 rocking boatmen, and to our Tour guide Sir.Macky (0918-678-1103 or 0905-230-4464).