Maafushi Island

Travel Dates: July 25 to August 2, 2015

     By the time we arrived to Maafushi Island, we don’t have a prior hotel booking, but some staffs from nearby hotel were waiting at the port and offered their room to us.  We followed them and stayed at Picnic Inn for 45 USD a night. This is for off-season rate, because it is 2-3 times higher during peak season.  Then we moved to Dhonveli View and Narnia.  
     Staying in hotel in a local island will save you a big amount of money for accommodation and food.  While a private island resort with beautiful white sand beaches and over water bungalows will cost you about 500-1500 USD a night for a room only.  But we don’t want to get stuck in one island and will not get to experience the daily life of locals.
     The next day, we went for snorkelling with a lunch at sand bank.  Riding a speed boat with other tourists, our first stop was Banana Reef.  Here we saw a forest of corals already bleaching due to global warming.  We didn’t see some mant…

Maldives on a Budget: It's Possible!

Travel Dates: July 25 to August 2, 2015

     One day, my boyfriend was very antsy to book a flight anywhere.  But all domestic flights were pretty expensive during that time.  So we waited for the following days for any airline promos.
     A week after, he received an email from Tiger Air that there is a sale going to Maldives.  At first, he was hesitant, but he insisted that the airfare is really cheap.  Well, for me it is not, so I ignored it.  But after thinking it over and over again, he booked us a flight to one of the most popular destination in the world.
     Maldives is known as an expensive holiday destination among newly married couple.  But we are not travelling for honeymoon, we just want to see the islands and underwater treasure it has to offer.  With little knowledge about the country, I started searching the web on what to see, what to eat, how to travel via local ferries, and where to stay.  He even bought a Lonely Planet Maldives Travel Guide book!  So by the time …

A Hike to Taal Crater

Travel Date: April 19, 2015

     One weekend, we decided to ride a bus to Tagaytay to hike the smallest volcano in the country.  We took the DLTB bus bound to Nasugbu and we got off to Rotonda Tagaytay and rented a tricycle to take us to Talisay.  From there, we rented a boat to take us to Taal Volcano jump off point.
     Taal Volcano is currently active, but it is safe to hike.  The trail is steep and dusty.  You can walk up to the crater for 2 hours or simply just ride a horse.  We chose to walk instead and at the same time we caught all the dust from the horses that are carrying tourists.  Since I don’t exercise, I easily get tired and out of breath.  I stopped a couple of times to rest and determined that I will reach the top soon, even when there were times that I feel like I want to pass out.  
     Near the top of the crater, there are a few areas where hot steam comes out of the earth.  We watched it only for a few minutes.
     However, when we got to the top, we were mesme…

Calaguas Getaway

Travel Date: February 7-8, 2015

     We decided to visit Calaguas in February, because there was no rain and the weather forecast was good.  But we overlooked to check the gale warning which is how strong the force of the wind during that week. 
     Our boat sailed the beautiful greenish river with scenic banks going out to the vastness of Pacific Ocean.  From afar before we reach the mouth of the ocean, we can see already the towering raging waves.  We were so frightened and unsure if our boat can pass through.  At that time, you will think of withdrawing or continuing the trip.  But our boat managed to ride the huge waves for an hour.
     The fear was gone the moment we came closer to Calaguas Island.  The nearby islands we passed by were so beautiful and virgin.  All beaches boast a long white sand and lots of coconut trees.  The moment our boat approached the beach of Calaguas we were amazed with the fine white sand and the emptiness of the island from commercialization.  I lo…

Corregidor Island

Travel Date: November 26-27, 2014
The Long Mile Barracks
     The Japanese-American War during WWII happened many years ago, but its battlefields remain some of the most popular historic landmarks we have in the country.   One of the most important is Corregidor Island.

     But the trip here is quite expensive if you will book a regular rate.  Luckily we grabbed a good deal at CashCashPinoy website for a package tour to Corregidor.  It includes hotel accommodation, guided tour, lunch buffet, and a round trip ferry transfer.

     Here in Corregidor Island you will journey back in time and tour through tunnels, ruins, batteries, and graves via tranvia bus.  The tour guide will bring the battleground to life through stories plus the light and sound animation effects inside the Malinta Tunnel (main tunnel only).  With the guided tour, you will learn more about the island aside from the information that it was fortified with artillery batteries and ammunition magazines to defend Manila f…

Pinto Art Museum

Whether you are an art enthusiast or not, you will love Pinto Art Museum located inside a village in Antipolo City.  The museum is big enough for you to consume 2-3 hours going around and interpreting their artworks.  The galleries are painted in white and designed like a vacation houses.  The garden is lovely.  It’s like you’re spending some time in your favourite resort.
     They have great collections of Filipino contemporary arts.  Colourful paintings and even black and white.  Intricately designed mixed media and sculpture - small and big.  So many for your eyes to feast on.
     If you get tired and hungry, you can visit their cafe and order some food and drinks.  Although, we never tried it.  They look delicious, I guess... 
     I highly recommend this place because it’s not your ordinary type of museum.  It’s educational, enjoyable, and relaxing at the same time.  
One of the galleries

The Cafe

PHP180 for regular ticket PHP150 for senior citizens and PWD with valid IDs …

Tanay: A Day Trip from Manila

Travel Date: June 15, 2014

     A popular day trip among locals and just 2 hours away from Manila, we travelled to Tanay, Rizal to visit Daranak Falls and Calinawan Cave. 
     The hike to the falls is easy and near the entrance area.   Entrance fee is cheap and you can rent a cottage if you want.  There are public toilets and canteens to order food.  The falls is small and the water is clear.  It is deep so you can jump if you want.
     After the falls, we hired a guide to bring us to Calinawan Cave.  For only 15 or 30 minutes of hike, we reached the area and hired another guide to the cave.  Going down the cave we saw stalactites and stalagmites.  What amaze me were the shiny stalactites crystals.  I never expect that I will see one here because of its proximity to Manila.  There were number of levels to explore, but we did the easy one.  The cave is beautiful and for those who are planning to go there should not touch the formations, because the stalactites and stalagmites will d…