Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Apo Island

This has been the itinerary I am most excited about but turned out to be the experience I got most disappointed. 

Tuesday, August 20th is my birthday. We woke up early about 6am to catch our free breakfast that came along with the booking. We chose from longganisa, tapa and corned beef. Among the choices includes American breakfast but all of us (5) in the group opted for a heavy breakfast before we go off the road. I ordered my longganisa which I didn't regret at all though it was just two little pieces with garlic rice and a sunny side up, it tasted real good compared to hubby's corned beef that tasted a little bland tasting Argentina.

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I didn't bring my 90mm so this is as bad as it gets on my close-ups.

A little past 7am, Kuya Benjie sent an SMS saying hes already outside waiting. It was an hour drive to where the boats are stationed going to the island. There were a couple of people at the site which I assumed might also be waiting for their transport. We immediately filled up the manifest and got ready for another bumpy ride on the boat.

Siyempre laging may group shot.

Monsoon season.

It was a 30-minute boatride, the waves are awfully big. It scares the hell out of me, especially Joy, she screams occasionally the whole trip. Anyway, manong tried to get us to the back end of the island but he said he is not able to do it anymore so we went back. The waves came crushing on our faces and I am saddened by the fact that we cannot go near the sanctuary. And so we ended up getting all warmed up to swim the front phase of the island. There is an environmental fee of 100Php per head. I remember Em said that we shouldn't be paying it since the place doesn't look like it is being maintained at all. There were some cottages, first come first serve. An hour past and the other tourists came to the island. Found out we can opt to trek to the other side of the island to see the sanctuary but its too late now, it will take us more than 3 hours back and forth. It's disappointing but we just enjoyed diving to this obscure spot where manong was headed. We saw little fishes and enjoyed the swim until we got tired and decided to go back. The waves grew bigger as we were traversing the ocean. I promise I felt nostalgic about it just like the one I experience on our way to Malcapuya Island at Coron.


 Yep, that's a flare!
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As the day ended, we went to this Lab-as Seafood restaurant. Tara took us there. I had a little too much of the baked clams, thank God for the pineapple juice! This is the part where I regret not bringing my camera, the moon was shining bright and had a beautiful reflection at the sea sight. Instead we just walked it off at the plaza to get the engine running since we are fueled up.




can you see the divers? 
Kimahri Ronso on Vimeo.
 from Kimahri Ronso on Vimeo.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Chubby Cheeks!

It was another rest day where all I do is watch CSI series. I was done watching one episode of the latest season so I decided to go out of my room. 

This adorable baby is busy flipping the pages of his hardcover book while in his walker. It was a nursery rhyme book, he was mesmerized with the colorful pictures in it.





The lights coming from the window was dazzling so I grabbed my camera to take photos. Then this idea of a movie poster popped up while I was trying to view the output. It's not that good but it was entertaining enough for me. 

In addition to this, here is a shoot they had with Papa Mark a few days before his birthday. 

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Photography by Mark Olea, post-processed by Me.

Happy Birthday to our dearest chubby cheeks! 

Love and miss you baby, come home soooon! 


sources from deviantart and dafont

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Manjuyod Sandbar, Negros Oriental

It was a desperate move when we reached the hotel. I actually think Kuya Benjie is an angel for having offered much cheaper tour prices. Since we landed at 11am in Dumaguete City, we went to the resort right away to deposit our baggage. The Supreme room was available so we left our things there. We hurriedly gather our beach must-haves and off we went to the Town of Bais. 

Oh, we had a detour to tank up our stomach bags with the super deli grilled chicken originally from Dumaguete, Jo's Inato. We had 1 chicken pecho each and tried their ensaladang talong. One piece chicken wasn't enough but we had to go since we are on the run to catch a nice scenery before the day bids goodbye. It was already 1PM, its a little too late to start island hopping. But we did it!


Manjuyod Sandbar, a small island located in the town of Bais. Land travel about 1.5 hours from the city and a 15-min boat ride to reach the breath-taking sandbar. The houses built with stilts were no longer looking like it was rented by people who can stay for a night. One was being constructed but the others looks too old. Seems no one has checked in the place for quite sometime. 


This is a 180 degre turn of the camera, to give you a view of the sandbar.

We enjoyed taking photos and took advantage of the amazing view. It was white and fine sand. Some parts were pebbles and starfish filled.

ikr? I only had my UWA lens.

As soon as were done taking photos, we geared up to dive into the ocean. Since we hurriedly carried ourselves to the van, I didn't notice I forgot my rash guard. I feel so dumb for neglecting to put it in my water proof bag.


The boat was hinged into the sand but half of it, you can see the darker shade of blue water. The sandbar was a humungous mountain in the middle of the ocean. Just 3 steps and you'll realize you're walking on top of its peak. 
What made us quite lucky are the small white school of fish playing around near the boat. We also enjoyed using the rear end of the boat as a diving boat since we cannot even reach the sand bank after 3 steps from where the sand is still visible.

It was a fulfilling day since we went there. We just setup the tour the minute Kuya Benjie said he can also send us to a tour. I never thought we can still arrange one on a last minute!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Dumaguete City Negros Oriental

If it wasn't for the sale seats, there wouldn't be a trip to Negros Oriental.

We have booked the trip since March and planned to go on August 19-22. As we were researching on places to go, I realized that I will always have lesser time to see all those wonderful places. 

From Singapore, my trip went smoothly with more turbulence from my previous flights caused by the heavy rains in Manila. It was the typhoon Maring that flooded the city. Fortunately Maring was gone about 24 hours when I landed. Although it was still raining when I got there, the weather forecast in Dumaguete City was cloudy. We were all absorbing positivity as we waited for our next flight, praying the weather wouldn't spoil the trip. 

We made it before 11AM at the City airport. Feeling lucky, the sun was shining bright on this side of the country. 

There was a band playing their tunes welcoming parties. We were on time for Siliman University's Founders Day. We didn't have our tours booked for Dumaguete but we had one for Siquijor.

As we exited the small fences outside the airport, domestic airports looks so much alike by the way. There was a crowd of cab drivers offering rides. Unfortunately, a tricycle which I read from blogs is nowhere to be seen. Kuya Benjie was pricing us 300 for a ride to the resort. But the others says 200. We tried to manuevered going to other cab drivers but he gave up the fight to 200. Now that's haggling! It got better when he offered a tour for us. Island Leisure hotel but is more of a resort had given me a price of P1,775.00 per head for the Apo Island tour. We managed to compared the prices and cancelled the tour from the hotel right there before we checked in. 

See breakdown below; Cost in group package:

Manjuyod Sandbar:
1.5hrs to and 1.5hrs from ; Van  = 3,000.00
--- This includes stationing for lunch at Jo's Inato
Boat that took us to the sandbar = 700.00

Apo Island = 2,000.00
Boat           = 2,250.00

I was too lazy to bring my camera when we went to town, I did however captured photos of Dumaguete City's Cathedral Church.





Watch out for more of our Dumaguete-Siquijor Trip!