Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Rang de Holi 2015

As usual this is a late entry. I can't believe I forgot to write about this festival. It's been four months and I just recently ran through this album. Anyway, this was March 7th this year. I was curious about what is happening during this festival. I saw a lot of photos in rich colours in magazines. Although mine is nowhere near it. Here's my collection.

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Lucky enough to attend this gig with DSLRs allowed at a vacant lot just outside Kembangan MRT. I was able to gather a couple of photos worth posting. For a little bite of trivia, Rang de Holi is also known as festival of colours which came from an ancient Hindu religion meaning the celebration of victory of good over evil.

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This festival is primarily observed in India and Nepal with holi frolics. Holi powder is the one being used to blow and shower people for fun. It is said to be washable but I haven't completely removed the ones in my shirt as of yet. Right now it looks convenient with a shade of spattered colors blue, red, yellow and green.

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The event was more like a party. Everyone seemed to be dancing in the limelight. People were frenzied. Some danced like a pro but some were dancing foolishly. Me? I was just bouncing around and throwing all the holi powder I have in my hands, just like my friends. Thanks for the company by the way, Fer, Donna and Christian. Hope we could still have a 2016 Rang de Holi event. And Oh, thanks for the friendly subjects on these photos. Hope you like it if you happen to see this entry.

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Donna and Fer
The music was endless. They also had short program where they had kids danced, well practiced and choreographed. The last number was a raffle draw, we were attentive like we are about to win?! Yeah right! Haha! The numbers were called but none of them was ours. The show was about to end with a another craze when we decided to go home. There were still tons of people enjoying the lively setting. I'd say we had a blast!

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And the photos I specially love in this entry:

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powdered hands:

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Sunday, August 9, 2015

5 Things To Do in Ticao Island Resort

The sun was bright when we left Tabaco. Unfortunately, it was gloomy when we reached Bulan Sorsogon. The rain started to fall as we on board the boat. An hour passed, as we alight the boat, I didn't like the weather as the rain fell hard. We alighted at San Jacinto but we're stranded there for about an hour. I did not pre arrange any transportation to the resort so as a result, the dogs were barking pretty hard trying to get a commission on delivering us to the island 20-30 minutes away from the port. Literally, the tricycle drivers about 6 or 8 of them circled us trying to get a bargain. 

I called the resort a few times but they were not able to get ahold of any bangkero at that time. Eventually we asked around and found a deal about 800Php to take us to the resort. Boat ride took about 45 minutes which is 25 minutes longer than the information I gathered.

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The resort is not situated in a white beach. This resort is more efficient for divers. The beach front cabanas are quite old but clean. The attic inside the cabana is lovely. The rates are not cheap but includes full board food which is not bad because all food served to us was certified delicious! 

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I read there is a rock formation that is a must-see when you go island hopping, go check it out since we weren't able to. We just made it to Haleya National Park which is an amazing place with turquoise waters. Boat rental costs 3500Php which I got from Ate Vicky, the acting manager on our stay at the resort. No other means except you opt for a smaller boat maybe you can ask the locals they're just on the other side of the fence. No regrets on renting a big boat, the waves were quite vigorous when we sailed. Thanks for the friendly accommodation Ate Vicky! Cheers!

What to do?

1. Eat and stay at Ticao Island Resort

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2. Row your boat, free charge. Kayak does have fee.

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3. Scuba Dive -- Inquire at Ticao Island Resort

 http://www.ticao-island-resort.com/activities/scuba-diving/

4. Discover a tranquil nature at your cabanas front and backyard.

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5. Swim, go caving and explore Haleya National Park

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If you need to know how we got there, there are 3 ways to reach the resort but here's the path we took from their website:

Via Bulan and San Jacinto:
  1. From the Legaspi Satellite Terminal, take a public bus, van, or shuttle to Bulan (approximately 2.5 hours). There are vans and buses that leave Legaspi every hour starting from about 5AM to about 4PM. This will cost about PHP200 per person.
  2. From Bulan, take a public ferry to San Jacinto. (approximately 1 hour). This will cost PHP120. The Bulan to San Jacinto ferry leaves at 6AM, 8AM, 10AM, 1PM, and 3PM. The return trips from San Jacinto to Bulan leave at 5AM, 7AM, 9AM, and 12PM, and 2PM.  If accommodations are needed at Bulan, One Conception Place is a 5 minute walk to the Bulan Pier. The room rate is about PHP800 per room per night. There are other inns in Bulan which are lower priced. A local tricycle driver will be happy to assist you should you need accommodations in Bulan.
  3. From San Jacinto, take either a motorcycle (approximately 45 minutes) or hire a boat to Ticao Island Resort (approximately 20-30min). The motorcycle rate is PHP150 per motorcycle with 1 person riding behind the driver and a boat good for 8 people will cost about PHP1500.
  4. Total travel time (not including layovers/waiting time) is approximately 4 hours and total cost would be about PHP500 per person.

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Oriental Hotel - Legazpi City Albay

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Scheduled to fly back to Singapore and I am missing this town already. Before heading back, we decided to go to Legazpi earlier so I could still catch POEA office for my OEC form. I had it completed 3 hours before my flight so we still managed to swung by the now famous hotel lying at the top of Taysan Hill. 

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This is probably their priceless facility, the infinity pool with the amazing view of Mayon Volcano. 
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There was this convention where Filipinina costumes were displayed seems to be everywhere. Demonstrated skill of true Filipino pride on exhibit. I never thought this is a huge hotel. We roamed around and saw there was plenty of decent rooms. And the view of the famous swimming pool on its 2nd floor if I remember it right. Two main restaurants, and the one we tried was the one at the Veranda. 

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Here are some of the interior of the hotel. I was just passing by to see the view so I don't have the room rates and look.

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This one is their restaurant with a veranda. We just recently tried their breakfast at the main restaurant later after I took these photos. Their "puto" (rice cake) is just amazing. Made with a soft and spongy texture, the taste is just perfect that melted in my mouth. That's how I loved it. Buffet breakfast is worth 399Php and the puto was the best, I guess I just had to say. Price could've been lower, the price is just overwhelming. There were a lot of desserts but there isn't any signature dishes in the breakfast.

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Going back to the original plan before I leave the hotel, I have got to taste the food. So we got ourselves Bicol's best Pancit Bato and Pancit Bicol Express. Bicol's finest delicacy. Didn't fail to amaze me. Bicol Express Pancit (noodles) Bato was popularized from a place called Bato in Camarines Sur. Bicol Express  sauce was obviously gata (coconut milk) and it was creamy. The garlic bread was a perfect dip.  

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The sugar however in the watermelon smoothie needs less, it was too sweet to our liking. It was forgivable since I was able to forget about it in less than 15 minutes because of the strong wind occasionally blowing. How I missed life in the province.

 
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