Category Archives: Tolits Travels

Camping at Nagsasa

The Busy Boys are back for another summer adventure. This year, me and the boys decided to give beach camping a try. Schedule conflicts make these adventures tricky to plan, but we still make it a point that we get to do it at least once a year. This trip had a chill start with everyone getting picked up from their houses (almost everyone. Lol). The drive to Zambales was quite eventful, we teased, bullied and caught each other up with what we’ve been doing since we last got together. Once there, we dropped by the town’s public market to pick up the supplies we needed. This is an activity that I really enjoy whenever I go on out of town trips. I’m not yet sure why, I just do. Hehe.

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It was back on the road for us after that. Google Maps lead us to this resort (I did not really pay attention to the resort’s name so I can’t recall what it is now, plus they overcharged us, so no free advertisement, Sorry.) where we left our ride and rented a boat to take us to our destination. What followed was the longest boat ride ever. Apparently the cove we chose to go to was the furthest of all the coves of Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales. Our late arrival (past 11:00 am) at the resort did not help either since the waves were already high at the time and if the boat went too fast, we run the risk of capsizing.

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I was wondering why the guys manning the boat gave us big garbage bags and asked us to put our stuff inside. I got my answer five minutes in to the boat ride. We were riding against the waves and every so often sea water would splash inside the boat giving us a salty shower. I was lucky to be seated at the back, before the water reaches me it will hit my companions first. Lol. After an hour and a half, with some of us dripping wet and all of us tanned, we finally arrived at the shores of Nagsasa Cove.

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We were led to a nipa shed which will be our accommodation during our stay. The bangkeros helped us pitch the tents while we organized our stuff.  When everything was settled, I got the chance to look around, suddenly I forgot about the long boat ride or that my stomach was growling, (I exaggerate, I was very hungry. Haha.). It was all worth it. Nagsasa Cove was a far cry from the hotel type resorts we were used to. Mountains. sand, trees, nipa sheds and tents, the vibe was very chill and relaxing. The place was awesome.

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With everyone exerting effort in preparing our (very) late lunch from scratch, we were able to sate our hunger in less than an hour. Not bad for a group of boys huh?

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Our accommodations in Nagsasa

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One of us brought a portable stove

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Portable, waterproof, shockproof speaker.

Upon our arrival we were all quick to notice one thing,  there was no mobile reception in Nagsasa. This meant no phone calls, no text messages, no mobile data. This might sound scary to some, being cut off from the outside world, but it was a welcome change for me. Electricity supply was also limited. The place gave us the chance to go back to the basics that we often neglect back at home, talking and interacting in person. That’s what we did for the rest of the afternoon.

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Shot na!

When the heat of the sun became bearable, we took our session to the beach front.  The sea breeze keeping you cool, the sun as your light and the sand as your cushion, nothing beats sessions by  the beach.

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Bury a Buddy Part 2

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We pretty much stayed there till sunset, only breaking for a quick dinner then we went back for a night time chill out session by the beach around a modern bonfire.

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The darkness of Nagsasa was not frightening, it was peaceful. The only source of electricity was a generator. Anyone who wanted to have a light had to pay Php 100 for it. Aside from that, it was total darkness.

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Thanks to the LED lights of our mobile phones and disposable styrofoam cups, we were saved from the trouble of building a fire and enduring its smoke. The night was warm so fire would have just made it hotter. The modern bonfire was a stroke of brilliance.

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No firewood? No problem. Modern bonfire.

Eventually, the excitement wore off and tiredness due to all of our activities for that day caught up with us. We called it a night and retired to our tents.

I wish I could say it was the most peaceful night’s sleep I’ve had, that I slept like a log. It wasn’t and I did not. Sand may seem soft when we walk on it, but sand serving as a bed to sleep on was a different story. The tent was the only barrier we had from the sand and it was like lying on a lumpy rock. Haha. I woke up with a stiff neck, sweating (sun plus closed tent equals sauna. Lol.) but still in a good mood. It was a great experience since I have never slept in a tent before this. It was something I’m glad I was able to do but its not something I’d like to do on a daily basis. Hehe.

It was just around 5:00 am and my buddies were still sleeping so I decided to walk along the beach and maybe catch the sunrise, one of my favorite things to watch when I go to the beach. Armed with my camera I walked towards my destination.

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Gotcha!

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I lost track of time, it was already 7:00 am when I got back to our camp. The boys were up, and one of them showed me what was left of our food. A stray cat or dog beat us to it while we were sound asleep. Lol. We had no choice but to buy some “golden” (cost Php 10 each!) eggs  to cook for breakfast. To take our minds off food or the lack of it, I showed them the photos of the lagoon I discovered this morning, it was at the far end of the cove but we had time to spare.

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See you at the crossroads

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We had all the time we needed. Lol.

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Photographer duties

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My turn! Haha.

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The part that connects the lagoon to the sea was shallow but the current was strong enough to carry us. We had a great time laying there, floating and letting the current propel us from the sea to the lagoon. We did his several times. Lol.

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One of us had this awesome idea to stick the monopod in the sand, and set the timer to my mobile phone’s camera so that we could all be in the photo. From the LED light bonfire to the monopod turned tripod, we Busy Boys will never run out of brilliant ideas.

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Test shot.

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Dadbods. Haha.

As the well worn cliche goes, all good things must come to an end, same goes for this adventure. Me and the boys left Nagsasa Cove with awesome memories. We arrived back to the unnamed resort after a two hour (Yup, took us longer now, it was less wet though.) boat ride with me singing loudly halfway through the trip to distract myself from feeling nauseous, I did not want to end up feeding the marine life. Lol. All things taken in to consideration though, I’d say this adventure is one for the books, or in my case, the blogs. Hehe.

Foodie Fridays : Baler Food Adventure

A pimped up Volkawagen beetle used as a BBQ grill. Drinking fresh buko juice, moments after it was taken from the tree. Fresh and healthy Pako salad. Unlimited seafood and dessert buffet for two hundred bucks. These are the thoughts that come to mind when I look back at this food adventure. This post will kick start the summer posts for the Foodie Fridays series.

After a being tossed around by the waves of the Pacific Ocean, our group was famished. We decided to leave the resort for lunch and explore a bit of Baler after.  Our trusty friends, GPS and Google lead us to the bay walk area of Sabang Beach. From what I’ve heard this part of Baler is quite popular with surfers, true enough there were surf boards on display. Surfers and those who want to learn how to surf were out on the beach.

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It’s safe to say that the place where we had our lunch took its inspiration from its location. Baler Surfer Grill is an alfresco food place that offer grilled meat and seafood. The food choices are split in  two categories, the Pro Surfer meal and the Beginner meal, they are basically the same except for the serving size. While eating the sea breeze will keep you cool and the sound of the waves will be the background music.

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The bright red Volkswagen beetle immediately caught my eye. I found it odd that they have it displayed there, it did not seem to be cohesive with the theme of the place. I got my answer after a few minutes when my buddy pointed it out to me. The beetle was a BBQ grill! How awesome is that?!

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After ordering our lunch, two of our companions set out to buy our drinks and came back with buko, fresh from the tree. Here was my lunch.

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Baler Surfer Grill’s Bulalo BBQ, Pro Surfer size at Php 200

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A quick groupie before eating.

The whole dining experience was extremely satisfying, all senses being fed at the same time. If you are planning to visit Baler be sure to include Baler Surfer Grill in your itinerary.

We went ahead with our plan and explored Baler, more on that on my next posts. After our mini field trip around Baler we visited the public market to buy goods for our dinner that night.

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I was pleasantly surprised that we only had to pay twenty bucks for a kilo of native tomatoes and a half a kilo of green mangos. The pako was also not that expensive compared to how it is priced here. After buying chicharon and singkamas we were done and ready to go back to the resort.  Here was our spread that night.

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1425978186655Pako Salad

The next day was our last day in Baler. After a day full of adventures we decided to have lunch at this buffet  restaurant that is famous among the locals and was even named the best place to eat in Baler by a television show. For only two hundred bucks one can enjoy unlimited seafood and dessert buffet at Gerry Shan’s. I was so excited to eat that I only got to take a picture of the food on my plate and nothing else. Lol.

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One hack I often use when eating at  buffet or even at parties and fiestas is to get a bit of rice and small portions of all the dishes I wanted to sample, that way I get to taste all of what is served before feeling full. Needless to say we all left the place happy and satisfied. The food was worth every cent that was paid for it. Gerry Shan’s is indeed one food places you need to visit if you ever find yourself in Baler.

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Biyahe ni Tolits

Over all, this awesome Baler food adventure gets five, unexpert Foodie Fridays  stars.  Good job Baler!

The Practical Dude : Tale of Two Sandos

It’s time to put those jackets, cardigans and sweaters back in storage. Summer is just around the corner and it would be tank top season again. For this post, instead of tank top, I’ll use the word sando just because it sounds better for the title. Haha.

When I first started the Practical Dude series I mentioned that I would try to give some tips. I think I have given three so far. Here are some more, this time on how to look awesome this summer without breaking the bank.

Tip #4 : There is always a less expensive alternative.

This is the mantra of a practical dude. This is a bit tricky since choosing the less expensive option does not mean you have to sacrifice quality.

Check out these two sandos. Except for the color, the two are quite similar and can come from the same line. Can you guess which one is from Forever 21 and which is unbranded?

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Sirit na?  Hehe. Alright here’s the deal..

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Forever 21, it was on sale when I got it but it originally priced at around Php 500+.

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Unbranded, scored at a local mall for 100 bucks.

Tip #5 : Dress appropriately.

Wearing a hoodie during summer while on the beach, bad idea. If you’re worried about your skin, use sunscreen.

Here’s what I wore on two recent summer adventures.

Puting Bato, Mount Arayat, Arayat , Pampanga

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printed cap, (Oxygen), sando (unbranded), shorts (Baleno), mandals (Sandugo), backpack (unbranded)

Sabang Beach, Baler, Aurora

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straw hat (SM Accessories), sando (Forever 21 Men), swim shorts (Portside), mandals (Sandugo)

Comfort is the keyword for summer dressing. Aside from sandos you could also opt for light colored shirts, Dri-fit shirts and tropical button downs with subtle prints.(avoid Lito Atienza prints, unless you want someone to suddenly sing the Maynila theme song when you pass by) What ever look you decide to sport this summer season, the main thing is you enjoy your summer adventures.

The Arayat Adventure

Sitting on a huge, uneven rock halfway up Mount Arayat, while my eyes feasted on a spectacular view, the internal debate I’ve always had about the choice of where my ideal place to live will be was going through my mind again. Is it on a mountain top or is it by the beach. It’s like there were two separate teams inside my head, vying for the championship title.

Team Mountain has the view from the top, how things look different from a vantage point, how one can almost touch the clouds. The fresh mountain air. The sounds from trees and other living creatures. Team Beach on the other hand has lying on the sand, hearing the sound the waves make when they hit the shore, watching the sun rise then set, feeling the cool sea breeze. Both offer priceless sensory overload in their own distinct way.

I’ve been to several beaches and it was one of my goals this year to try and climb a mountain. Like an normal person today, I posted this goal on Facebook. That status quickly became a chat box, friends sharing their suggestions some even offering to come with me. (Thanks guys!) February 8, was the day I was finally able to turn this goal into an adventure.

I try to approach each new adventure with a positive mindset. There is always that possibility that things will not go as planned and I make sure that it will not ruin the adventure for me. That was how I managed to still be smiling and excited for the trip even after waiting for an hour and finding out that the driver of our rented jeep was not able to wake up early and we will be riding a tricycle all the way to our destination instead. Hey, at least we’re not walking and our new ride was less expensive.

The level of my excitement shot up even more once we reached the the base of the mountain. That was it, I really will be doing it! We started walking, along the way we passed by life size statutes depicting the stations of the cross. I think this part is called Bundok Banal, I could only imagine the crowd of people who visit this place during the Holy Week. We passed by a DENR outpost where we submitted a signed waiver, which by the way I just signed but did not read since it was prepared by the people I was with. That’s how much I trusted them. It could also be because I was just too lazy to read it.

Before, I had wanted to climb a mountain with the help of an elevator. I wanted to avoid the effort of the actual climb thinking I am not capable doing it. This adventure changed that. I found myself enjoying the effort of the climb. Kaya ko naman pala eh! You really will never know if you can do something, until you actually do it.  

There was so much to see, I was so absorbed with exploring and appreciating what I was seeing that there were moments that I forgot that I had companions. During our climb, I was half expecting to get even just a glimpse of monkeys or birds, but I did not see or even hear any. The only creatures I saw were two bugs in the process of procreating and ants industriously working their butts off. Kuya Jun, our guide said before there used to be a good number of labuyo (wild chickens) and monkeys in Arayat, but due to hunting they’ve either gone into hiding or are just plain gone.

The path we took up the mountain was marked with yellow paint, mostly painted on rocks. It was obvious that this was the path people took to reach the summit, which was our original plan. We would pause every so often to drink, eat, catch our breathes and take pictures. Until finally we reached the spot our guide called the White Rock. This is where we will be eating our lunch. It was also the spot  where we decided to reschedule our goal to reach the summit.

I found the rock I was sitting on after lunch. It afforded me a bird’s eye view of the land below. It felt really good to just sit there where everything seems so near yet so far. It was like you can touch it all at the same time. In some ways we do. Every trash that is thrown carelessly touches it in a negative way. On our way up I saw the amount of trash people leave behind and it saddened me. We are used to city living where someone will always be there to clean  after us. It’s different here, no one will be there to clean after us. It wouldn’t really hurt if we bring down with us the trash that we brought up.

It is often said that it’s hard to get to the top. This is true, both literally and figuratively. However on our way down, I realized that going down is twice as hard. We had to carefully watch each step we took since one wrong step can send us sliding down the rocky terrain. I enjoyed this process though, thinking of it as strategy game, planning each step before I make it, each one taking me closer to my goal. This can also be likened to the way we choose to work our way up in our lives. Always respect the people you pass by during your ascent and not treat them as mere stepping stones to reach your goal. Remember, they will most likely be the same persons you will meet on your descent.

Although we were not able to reach the summit, I still consider this a personal achievement. Not bad for a first try if you ask me. This trip definitely won Team Mountain major points. I am still undecided though and that’s awesome, I still have more adventures coming to help me decide whether it’s Team Beach or  Team Mountain.

Shout out to Kuliat Mountaineers, Kuya Jun and The Legendaries for making this adventure possible. Big thanks guys!

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more adventures coming..

 

 

 

 

 

Trip lang

Ever had those moments where you suddenly had the desire to go on an unplanned trip? Then you end up talking yourself out of it because you don’t do things that randomly, so you revert back to your normal planned out existence. *long deep sigh.

Back in October, (Yep, still working on my backlog. Haha.) I was on Facebook chat with a couple of college buddies, we haven’t seen each other for quite some time and was throwing ideas back and forth as to how and when will we have a session. I jokingly suggested they come over to my place and we’ll have our session here. Next thing I knew, my off hand invite was taken seriously and three people were on their way here and I was not prepared for it. As I have mentioned on my previous posts, one of the perks of living in the mountains is when I invite people over they come up with excuses not accept the invite. Clearly this was not one of those times. Lol. Lucky for me, my buddies are not “maarte” and can make do with what was available.

Long story short, they were able to reach my place, no thanks to me because apparently I was no good in giving directions. Haha. Good thing they had decent navigation skills or they would have been lost. After buying session supplies, one of my buddies and I started talking about our long overdue trip to Morong, Bataan to visit our good friend who currently works there. He suggested we go ahead with that visit that night, an unplanned road trip. My first reaction was to ask him if he was serious, he was and I was up for it. The one who owns our ride agreed to the plan, the other one was passed out in the back seat, drunk from a prior drinking session, so he did not have much say on the matter. Lol.  So we informed our friend that we were on our way to visit and we were off.

It was 10:30 in the evening, with our meager supplies we began our road trip. One of the good things about a late night road trip is that there is zero traffic. The downside though is you could easily get lost which almost happened to us several times. Hehe. The trip was uneventful until we reached Subic and was pulled over for swerving. We caught a lucky break though and was just given a warning. After a couple of wrong turns, one even leading us inside the Zoobic Safari, we finally reached our destination, Phi Phi Beach Resort. It was 2:30 am then.

Our drunk buddy chose that time to wake and throw up. After that he got the pleasant surprise of finding that he woke up in Bataan. Haha. After a couple of miles and few hours we were finally able start our session. I noticed how mature we have become compared to when we were in college. Our session lasted till sunrise with us talking about work, misadventures, love, politics, and life in general.

After a power nap, though still a bit groggy, I decided to explore. The resort was huge. Its was October so there only few guests, the place was quite peaceful. The blogger in me kicked in. I knew I had to write about this adventure. I walked around, took some pictures with my trusty smart phone then went back to our room.

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We ate cup noodles and bread for breakfast then slept again. We woke up to brunch given to us by our sweet friend who we were not able to bond with because when we arrived she had to sleep for her work the next day. If you are reading this, big thanks to you not for the food but for the friendship, Thank you.

We slept again after eating. (#batugan) Woke up wanting to swim. A quick dip and it was time to leave as one of my buddies had to go to work.The trip home was a chill drive broken only by a quick stop at a fastfood for late lunch.

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I was home by 6:00 pm with great memories of an unplanned adventure.

I look forward to more unplanned and unexpected adventures this coming 2015. Sabi nga ni Sheyee at Sam Pinto, “Pinakamasaya ung di pinlano..”

more adventure coming..

Peace out!

Sinagtala

These past few days I have been posting photos and videos of my recent adventure on my Instagram and Facebook accounts. The posts resulted into a lot of questions about the trip. Here’s the overdue visual diary of that adventure, which hopefully will answer those questions.

My brother from another mother invited me to come along on a trip that was by planned his special friend and her best buddy. A best friends adventure! Hehe. Due to the weather conditions and the fact that I was almost broke that time,  I was a bit hesitant to go at first, but I’d like to think that I’m the kind of person that keeps his word. I told my buddy I was coming, so I did. Of course I must admit that the prospect of a new adventure also contributed to my decision. Hehe. Let’s just say I did not regret my choice.

It was agreed that we will meet 9:00am and go food shopping. One of my bad habits made its presence felt and I was late. By the time I arrived they were done with the groceries. Hehe.

The four of us boarded a bus bound for Mariveles Bataan and started our adventure. During the ride I was struck by inspiration and finished writing a post about one of my bad habits, being late. Lol. Including traffic and pit stops, travel from SM Pampanga to Orani, Bataan took about an hour. Bus fare was P75 each. Not bad at all.

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Not sure who K of C is, but they love Orani too.  

Two of my companions have this thing. They say whenever the are together, it rains. I did not really believe this until we got off the bus and this happened..

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Totoo nga! Haha.

There goes our plans to visit Orani’s public market and buy food. We decided to proceed to the resort and just plan for food later on. Now on to our next mode of transport, the tricycle. We were told that the it can fit a maximum of four persons. They were right, what they forgot to mention was it would be uncomfortable, especially due to the rain. Haha. If you ask me, its these unexpected and uncomfortable moments that make an adventure more fun. After 30 minutes of wet, muddy and cramped tricycle ride, there we were at last, Sinagtala Farm Resort.

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Five minutes into our tricycle ride, the rain stopped and the sun slowly peeked through the clouds,

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By the time we reached the resort, it was fully out. Yey! Hehe.

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Peaceful. Beautiful. Amazing. These are the words that quickly came to mind upon seeing the place. The trip was just a few hours but it felt like we were on a far away place. Away from all the noise and stress of the city. A smile was permanently plastered on my face. Sulit ang biyahe!

We were assisted to our accomodations by one of the staff. We were staying on room 1 of the house called Duyan.

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Here’s a glimpse inside Duyan 1.

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two single beds,

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bay windows with great views,

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interesting paintings,

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an indoor cactus,

a ceiling fan, a dresser and a surprise. What surprise you say?

Here’s a clue.

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Surprise!!

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An open rest room!

Two guys and two girls sharing a room with only a swinging door to seperate the restroom from the bedroom, equals an akward situation when the call of nature strikes. Hehe. We were told that all of the available rooms were set up like this so basically we have no choice. I guess we just have to be discreet.

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Shhh.. Haha.

Like what I said before, when placed in an situation that you do not like but can’t do anything to about, just smile and enjoy it.

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 Taking a mirror selfie won’t hurt. Lol.

After we got over our shock and amusement, my companions went to the dining area to prepare our lunch.

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I on the other hand was tasked to wait for the additional airbeds to be set up.

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Once done I joined them in the dining area for the main event.

Let’s pause for a moment of silence and appreciate the shrimps prepared by the resident chef.

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After a very satisfying lunch..

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Obvious ba? Haha.

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Burrpp.. excuse me.

It was time to do my blogger duties. Hehe.

The dining area was filled with interesting decors. Most of them were wood works of religious images.20140726_133050

 Sto. Niño

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Child Jesus, I think. Hehe.

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This one caught my attention, it seems.. headless?

Aside from the religious images, here are the other unique pieces that caught my eye.

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The other side of this red wall is our room.

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 Can anyone help me name this? Hehe.

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A grown man can easily fit inside this barrel.

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This is not a selfie. Haha.

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How cool is this.. ahm, vase? Hehe.

That’s it for the indoors! The three of them went back to our room to rest, I went ahead and continued my blogger duties outside.

Sinagtala is not only a resort, it’s also a farm. Towering coconut trees, fruit bearing trees, and colorful flowers contribute to the natural beauty of the place. My smile never left my face.

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This rambutan tree was just my height.

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 Outside our room.

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Perfect spots to enjoy the sunshine and the view

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Flowers look way better planted and alive instead of being inside vases.

From the paintings inside rooms to garden statues, whoever designed the place seems to have an affinity to topless women. Hehe.

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It was now 2:00pm, the sun was out at its hottest, but something caught my eye when we arrived and I just had to go  there and check it out.

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Forgive me..

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Its my first time to see an infinity pool! Lol. 

All senses now satisfied, I walked backed to Duyan 1 to rest for a bit. After a while we decided to check out the cafe that we passed by on our way in, to order food for dinner. The sun was still shining but it was not that hot so it was the perfect condition walk to around and explore. Maybe it was because we were on higher ground, and the air was thin so by the time we reached the cafe we were all sweaty and breathing deeply. Hehe. While catching our breaths, we ordered our food for dinner. We were told that our orders can be delivered to our room, which was very convenient since I don’t think anyone of  us would like to walk back there in the evening to get the food. Hehe.

On our way back we passed by a beautiful chapel. The word beautiful is overused in this post. It’s the one word I can think of that best describes the place. Hehe. After saying a prayer of thanks, I resumed my blogger duties.

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The chapel was made of concrete, wood and glass. It was on elevated ground and with big glass windows that provided a 360° view of the lush greenery outside.

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Here are other things that caught my eye inside the chapel.

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Sacred Heart

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Mama Mary

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Dove-shaped capiz light fixtures

I stepped outside to do more sight seeing. That’s when I noticed that the wind was picking up and the dark clouds were slowly rolling in.

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Before we get drenched by the rain, we decide to return to Duyan and rest before we experience the infinity pool.

On the way back, I called for a groupie. The first attempt was an epic fail and so was the 2nd one, at this point it was already raining so we ran back to Duyan. Haha.

Aside from pictures I also took videos to document this adventure. Unfortunately the audio of the videos was really bad, you can see my mouth moving but you can’t hear what I’m saying. Good thing I found this app that turns plain videos into amazing montages. Here’s Sinagtala Day 1

One of the plans that was affected by the rain was our plans for a meat and seafood barbeque. Good thing they bought a bag of hotdogs at least we still had something to grill. We prepared that and took groupies. Lol

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It was challenging to ignite the charcoal, they’ve already used up the alcohol and still no luck.

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Kaya pa Chef? Haha.

They must have spent a good 20 minutes using various things to fan the charcoal and make it burn before I realized that I did have foldable fan that can be used. Haha. Well, what can I say? One can not have it all, you can’t be good looking (Ehem!) and alert at the same time. Hehe. Cut the story short we were finally able to cook the hot dogs. Lol.

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Success! 

Half a dozen hotdogs later, we were ready for the infinity pool. One of the perks of being a dude is that you just ditch your shirt and you’re ready for a swim. That’s exactly what me and my buddy did while the ladies changed into their suits.

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We already raced a few laps (which I lost. Haha.) when we realized something. We have not paid the pool fee! Haha. Sinagtala charges a separate fee for the usage on the infinity pool. P200 entitles one to unlimited use of the pool from 7:00am to 9:00pm.

The water of the infinity pool  was so cold we were actually shivering. So we raced some more and of course I still lost but at least it helped keep me warm. The water did not have chlorine and I loved that, its not often that you get to swim in a pool of fresh water. The experience was even made extra special as we were treated to spectacular views.

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Our beautiful companions who planned this amazing adventure. Photo bomb! Hehe.

We stayed and played at the pool till evening,

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I’m glad we did. Because we got to see this..

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Infinity pool at night.

Around 7:00pm our food was delivered and we were done swimming for the night. It was dinner time.

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 Boneless bangus

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Lechon kawali

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The spread.

We also ordered Sinampalukang Manok, which tasted really good. So good I forgot to document it. Hehe. Right after we were done eating, right in cue, drops of water started falling from the sky.

We had several visitors during the night. These visitors are the best proof that the environment of Sinagtala is clean and safe.

This dude showed up right above the door to our room. It freaked out the girls a bit then after awhile, it left.

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Tuko! Tuko!

I was outside enjoying the cool evening breeze when I noticed something different on the rambutan tree which was not there earlier. Turns out, it was two birds, heads together, resting.

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Sweet!

Following the birds’ example, it was now time to sleep and restore energy for next day’s adventures.

I woke up early the next day. It’s how I am when I’m on a new place, its like I have this energy that I can’t quite contain. I needed to go out, to explore. That’s what I did. Sadly I was not early enough to catch the sunrise which I planned to watch by the pool deck. The view and the feeling of the morning was still amazing though.

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Thought I’d try to capture it in moving color. The audio now is better since I discovered that I just had to speak louder. Haha. In the interest of keeping it cohesive with the first one I just made it into another montage, Sinagtala Day 2.

Our accomodations included breakfast and their atsara was the best! Atsara is a Kapampangan side dish made of grated bits of unripe papaya fruit, chopped carrots, raisins ,fermented with vinegar. The older it gets the better it tastes. (Disclaimer: This is just based on what I know. Lol.)

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I was not satisfied with the time I had with the infinity pool the previous day. Bitin ako. My mind was set on swimming after breakfast. The girls required a bit of coaxing but my buddy was game for it. There was light rain at that time, but it was all good.

We met an elderly guy who told us that there was a river nearby, and if we’d like to see it we just have to follow the downhill path. We all agreed to go ahead and check out the river. It was only after we returned from it that I realized that we just came from a place that none of us knew following directions from a person we did not know. Haha.

Energy and excitement was high as we began our descent, but that slowly dwindled as we progressed down the path. We were now realizing that it’s going to be a daunting  trek. There was indeed a path but the further we got the less visible it became.

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The trek downhill was made even more challenging by the slippery ground due to mud. We also had to be careful for any wild animals that we might come across.

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Luckily, the only wild things we encountered were wild plants and mosquitos. We passed by this weird plant, its fruit looks like a guava but instead of growing on branches the fruit grows on the tree trunk itself.

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The lower we go, the steeper the terrain became and the sound of rushing water became louder.

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We had to take short pauses to catch our breaths. Ahh. What did we get ourselves in to?! Haha.

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After a few hundred slippery steps, buckets of sweat and several mosquito bites, finally we got a glimpse of our goal.

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A short distance away I noticed something very out of place, something you would not expect to see in the middle of the woods.

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It seems to me that the people here are quite fond of the idea of open rest rooms. Lol.

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We did not go all the way down there just to gawk at the river, we had to experience the it.

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I was not content with the stagnant water, I went to the part were the water hit the rocks on top speed.

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Kalabaw moments

After the refreshing dip we began our trek back to the resort. We thought going down was hardest part, oh boy were we wrong. The trek back up was very challenging.

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Half way through it I was breathing like and asthmatic and my legs were shaking. I was so happy when I saw the first sign of the resort. I felt accomplished, like I just finished a race. Hehe. All together the trek took an hour at the very least.

We still had an hour left before we had to check out and we spent that goofing around at the infinity pool.

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All good things, at one point will end. We will be leaving Sinagtala with priceless memories. It will not be a goodbye. I will be back Sinagtala, I will be back soon.

Sinagtala Farm Resort is located at Brgy Tala, Orani Bataan. We shared P2,000 each on this trip and it was more than enough to cover all expenses. That’s it folks!

Looking forward to the next adventure. Peace out.

Roadtrip

After posting Perks, I knew right away what topic I wanted to take on next. There was just one minor hitch. Writer’s block. On my second post. Yey. Haha. So I thought, what to do when words fail?.. Pictures! Yep! This post will be made up mostly of pictures.  A visual diary. Problem solved! Lol.

We’ve known each other since the start of college. By 2007 our brotherhood took on the name Busy Boys,  and the rest, as they say, is history.

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Fast foward 2014, and here we were on a short breather from our day jobs going on a road trip up north, so begins our out of town adventure. 

Turns out our rented ride had issues. That was discovered on our stop over in Subic. We were at Pier One, looking for a public rest room but sadly we did not find one. Lol. On our way back, we found the boys pushing the car to make it start. The attempt was sucessful so we did not think much of it and went on our way. Guided by GPS, (thank God for technology!) the adventure continued.

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After a quick photo op at the town of San Marcelino, we picked up a couple of supplies.

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A good way to experience a place’s culture is to visit its public market. You get to meet and interact with the locals. We even met a vendor who was also a Kapampangan. One important tip though. Do not forget to pay for what you buy. I did. It was embarassing. Haha.

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Seafoods. Seafoods, and Seafoods!

Once done, we left the public market with heavy loads and lighter pockets. We were now ready for the beach, but apparently our ride had other plans. It would not start.  Again.

When the situation seems to play with you, play with it! Have fun!

Eat ice cream.

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Take groupies. (group selfies. Haha.)

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After an hour and half we were finally on our way to the beach. To be honest our expectations were quite low since we were informed that the place was fully booked. We were expecting a crowded resort. Oh boy were we surprised.

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Pine trees on the beach! It was like Anawangin but with cell reception and electricity. Hehe. The place was huge! Far from being crowded. We were stoked.

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House of Ezra

Crystal Beach Resort offers nipa huts, like the one we stayed in, and other traditonal Filipino houses to its guests. I find this set up very refreshing since most resorts now have hotel type accomodations. It brings you back to the simple way of living.

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We also had a tent. No one really used it though. Hehe.

Once settled, we all fell into our roles. One cooked, the others helped and I took pictures. Haha.

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Seafood grilling by the beach. Sarap! Our fresh water source is that old school deep well on the far right. How cool is this set up?!

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The resident Chef in action. Girls, single pa yan!

Now for the best part.

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Galit galit muna. Mangan tana!

Eating good food in the company of good friends while the sea breeze keeps you cool. It was one of the best dining experiences I’ve had so far. Hunger satisfied. It was still quite hot to go out to the beach so..

Groupie time!

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Then they played cards. Me? I took pictures. Haha.

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After that,  we played with the camera.

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Sessions by the beach. This is the life. Lol.

Then it was swimming time! Leggo!

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We played games. Its was like being a kid all over again.

1)Pose off

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2)Bury-a-buddy.

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3)Ride the barrel.

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That ends our first day in Zambales. What happened during the night is for us to know, and for you to think about. Right boys?! Lol.

 

Day two started with this spread which was included in our accomodations.

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After breakfast it was time to explore and of course take pictures! This time we tried the photo app Retrica. Here are the results.

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Then it was time to leave. Or so we thought. Of course the car would not start. Again. Haha. Good thing one of our fellow guest helped us out and was able to get our very reliable ride to start. Now it was time to go.

All was well until we reached the exit to Subic. The car stopped. Haha. We weren’t really suprised about that, we just thought we’d reach Pampanga before this happens. This is very frustrating since one of us still has to go to work, one needs to shop for an anniversary present and all of us wanted to go home and rest.  

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When placed on a situation which you do not like but have little control on, instead of wasting energy on negativity, try to make the most out of it. “Mayli ka man o magbusit ka ala namang magbayu, edi mayli naka mo. Pogi ka pang akakit”. That’s exactly what we did.

Trip to Holy Land.

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We kept seeing these signs around so we decided to do some exploring. The place was nice and creepy at the same time.

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These three were walking ahead of us. Then suddenly they started running back like they were being chased by something. Instinct took over and I ran too. Without really knowing why I was running. Haha. I stopped when I realized I was the only one running and all of them were laughing really hard. Then I laughed too. Ang lagay ba eh sila lang ang masaya? Haha.

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After that episode we walked backed to the gas station to wait for our replacement vehicle.

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By 8:00 pm we were finally on our way home.

In the roadtrip called Life we get to experience a lot of things and meet a lot of people. Im glad I was able to meet these kolokoys whom I now consider my brothers from other mothers.

Overall, even with the car troubles, this road trip will go down as one of the great adventures I’ve taken so far. Looking forward to the next one. Boracay ba tayo next boys? Hehe.

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Crystal Beach Resort is located at Brgy La Paz, San Narciso, Zambales. For more details visit their website http://www.crystalbeach.com.ph 

For the complete photo gallery the Zambales adventure of the Busy Boys,  click this link http://www.facebook.com/KingofWrongmistakes.