Category Archives: fun

Why I wish I didn’t travel alone to Bacolod

Colorful masks. Genuine smiles. Authentic chicken Inasal. These are some of the words we associate with—yes, you guessed it right—Bacolod.

It was another awesome solo travel experience, although I wish I spent it with someone, with family, or with a bunch of friends, as there were moments that were far better shared. It was thrilling nonetheless.

A huge colorful mask on display outside a commercial building in Bacolod City.

Another thing that got me excited about my Bacolod trip was my first time to fly via Philippine Airlines, thanks to the promo fare that I chanced upon way back March, 2017. Roundtrip airfare for only P1,300 was absolutely a great deal. It’s not every day that you get to fly via the Philippine flag carrier for that amount. Plus, seat selection on the airline’s online check-in portal is free!
Continue reading Why I wish I didn’t travel alone to Bacolod

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The traveler goes to Batangas

Before I proceed with sharing another travel adventure, let me first confirm a particular matter as regards my previous post which was about starting over again.

I’ve got a new job.

It’s not at a big TV network as I originally planned and badly wanted. Nevertheless, it is a job offer worth accepting, because first, it dwells on my passion which is writing, and second, the company belongs to a big, fully established and well financed corporation that operates in accordance with Philippine labor laws.

So, what am I?

I’m the copywriter of a real estate company situated within one of the high-end locations in Metro Manila–McKinley Hill in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. People around me said that it would be quite hard to live and work in Manila, especially that I would just be renting a place and become independent (which means I cook my own food, wash my own clothes, clean the space, do the dishes and all other household chores). I agree. But, to the person who said such a thing with the intention of ridiculing me and not because she was concerned, I’m up for the challenge (s).

The set up is corporate, somewhere I only imagined myself to be without the sheer intention of becoming an office person. But, as I stepped onto the premises, I told myself, “Why not?” Besides, since I need to do a coverage of events, I will have to be physically present at places where they will be held. Which means I get to travel!

And speaking of travel, on my second day (June 3, 2014), I got what I wanted.

Our company’s Marketing and Business Development Division (where I belong) held the first quarter awards for Sales Suntrustees (sales people of the company). The venue was Matabungkay Beach Resort in Lian, Batangas, about a 1.5-hour drive from Metro Manila.

It’s a vast land on which the resort sits. It looks old, though.

Truth be told, I wasn’t amazed with the place, maybe because, first, the place is old and it is not properly maintained, and second, there is nothing extraordinary and jaw dropping with the beach. Fun and adventure, though, is present, so guests will definitely have fun still.

Along the shore, boatmen greet tourists and offer them a boat ride for a fee. Snorkeling may also be enjoyed.

For those who don’t want to get too far from the shore, there are other activities that can be savored. Pedal boats (I’m not sure if that’s what they’re called) await passengers along the shore. For P300, a group of six can experience fun and leisure off the waters for 30 minutes. Banana boats and kayaks are also available.

Just like in my previous job, the one-day event was a work-leisure combination which, though this early, I love about my job. And with that, I say, “More adventures are about to come!”

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Blissful night and day on Cabalitian

Experience paradise on this island

I didn’t experience rest right after graduation. In fact, a few days before the last of my college life, I began working and practicing my craft.

And since my schedule at my job was hectic as that was the campaign period for the 2013 midterm elections when we had to do a series of coverage, I needed a stress buster.
I was really hopeful I could get that perfect relief from the hustle and bustle the election season ensued. So, when it came, I didn’t have second thoughts even though it meant spending a part of my first salary. (Well, I’ve been known to be a stingy person.)
Cabalitian getaway
Over a year ago, my friends went to a beautiful island in Sual. The trip was a few days after the end of my third year in college. I failed to join them because my budget was scarce that time. When we met with one another again in a get together, they euphorically shared the experience on the marvellous island and how much they enjoyed their getaway. I felt envious and wished that one day, I would get the chance to be captured in wonder and be amazed with the place.

LEAVING THE ISLAND Boats line up the shore, waiting for guests leaving the island. You will, however, find yourself hesitant to leave because of Cabalitian’s natural beauty.

It is called Cabalitian Island. The trip may last for one hour and 45 minutes to two hours via public transport and a maximum of one and a half hours if you use a private car. From Dagupan City, take a Victory Liner bus bound for Sta. Cruz, Zambales. The route that passes through Domalandan in Lingayen makes the trip shorter.
Alight from the bus when you reach the coast along the national highway in Sual, about a kilometer before the town proper. There you may rent a boat which will take you to Cabalitian. The price may vary according to your agreement with the boatman, but regular rates may still apply.
It is advisable that you take the boat before late afternoon, so you won’t have to endure a scary, rocky and wavy 30-minute ride to the island. Believe me, it will freak the hell out of you. I experienced it myself on our ride back.
Don’t even sail at dusk unless the sea is calm. Otherwise, when night falls and darkness engulf you amidst huge waves, you’ll freak out all the more.
Well, in other words, don’t do what we did. We sailed at dusk (because of our friends who arrived almost eight hours late) and arrived on the island when it was night time. Good thing, the sea was calm, so we were relaxed the whole trip.
Upon arrival, we felt our stomachs complaining of hunger, so we prepared our supper and got all set for a sumptuous dinner together.
Here’s another tip: make sure that you’ve got everything that you need for food preparation. Unless you’re confident enough to borrow almost all cooking and eating utensils from the cottage’s caretaker, you could only get by if all you’ve got are canned and ready to eat goods that no longer require you to use those cooking skills that you have.
Falling in love with the place
The very first thing you’ll love about Cabalitian is its pristine water. It was already dark when we arrived, but the light coming from the cottages enabled us to see how clear the water was. It will surely give you that clean feeling when you plunged into the cool water.
After a hearty meal and happy chit chat, we changed into our swimming outfit and off we went to enjoy the water where we crazily played and enthusiastically swam around (or few of us did while the rest just pretended to).
A dip in the cold water under the starry night sky and cool evening may make every living cell in your body shiver, but you’ll definitely enjoy it because you won’t worry about getting sun burned.
The second thing that you’ll love about it is even if you’re ten meters away from the shore, you’ll still find yourself only three fourths deep into the water. If you aren’t a good swimmer, but still want to go farther from the shore, it won’t be scary at all.
After getting our heart’s fill, we prepared for a warming and comforting sleep and tucked ourselves in.
Best sunrise
I strongly suggest that you spend the night on Cabalitian Island because a precious and sparkling fresh scenery will be greeting you in the morning.
Spend a few days on Cabalitian and if you’re not a morning person, then you’ll surely turn into one. You will always love to wake up in the morning and witness the gem-like morning sun peeking atop the hill, gradually extending its glorious warm rays to the sky like gentle hands touching your delicate skin.
GOLDEN SUNRISE Waking up early in the morning will surely be a habit when you live in this place. How can you ever resist this lovely and picturesque view of the morning sun coming out?
Looking at the sun slowly rising to the sky that fades from tangerine to clear whitish blue will undeniably make your eyes sparkle with joy and your heart fall in love with another wonder of nature.
It was the most beautiful sunrise I had ever seen so far. Just staring at it while sitting on the shore hit by calm and sweet sounding waves made me grateful of God’s creation.
The beautiful sunrise is one of the highlights of Cabalitian, something you never want to miss. A good picture of it will surely make you fall in love with Cabalitian Island and seeing it for yourself will unsurprisingly make you stay.
That morning, I found myself admiring the place even more. I trained my eyes around and happily examined the island from point to point.
There’s a hill covered in lush green previously blocking the rising sun. The shore is lined with cottages that are up for rent for guests. The grainy sand is brownish in color, that kind which you can put into an aquarium (that’s not a suggestion though).
There are boats docked along the shore, waiting for a trip to the coast on the other end of the sea. The bluish water on the horizon was meets the nearly clear blue morning sky.
I was there, sitting outside the big cottage, ogling at and savouring nature like I’d never done it before.
The cave
After our delicious and mouth-watering breakfast, we headed to another highlight on the island—the cave. The area is dotted with picturesque rock formations—those kinds that you see on television and films—and made up more exciting by giant waves hitting the rocks.
ON THE ROCKS Rock formations dot the area near the cave and the clear water around them entices guests to take a dip into the cool water.

With the sun getting higher, a splash of cool water is a welcome relief to the hot temperature. The cave’s mouth is blocked by a stone bed where you can find stones of various sizes and shapes. Lying on it, the waves rocked me back and forth.
There were deep parts and some deeper portions where we were very careful because of the slippery rocks we were stepping on.
After playful moments on the cave, we walked our way back to the cottage for lunch. Once again, we admired the scenery we had passed by and repeatedly exclaimed how beautiful it was.
The rest of the afternoon was spent on swimming in the sea which turned us into human pumpkins because of the sunburn it caused. Well, I couldn’t blame myself for my overpowering desire to take a dip in the water after many years since my first time on the beach.
Leaving the island…for now
It was nearly dusk when we left the island and headed back towards the coast, sailing in the midst of strong waves hitting our boat. That was one hell of a ride, but it still felt like I enjoyed the experience. That’s something you don’t live with every day.
My skin was sore and red, but the cool memories were a neutralizer. It made me wonder when I would be back on Cabalitian Island, another potential tourist destination. I just hope that when it develops into one, it stays in its natural beauty and doesn’t get destroyed by undisciplined tourists. Taking care of the virgin island is much more important than the boost it will give to Sual’s booming economy.
I left the island happy about the fulfilling experience. And I’ll definitely be back.

Published on FOCUS (focusweekly.net), a corporate news magazine established in Pangasinan.


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Pangasinan Food Tour 2014: Calasiao

Eat like a Don

Not very far from our last stop, Kuya Max, is another diner, this time in Calasiao, offering the usual Filipino cuisine but not forgetting to concoct twists to make a client’s food experience one of the best. Many have tried experimenting on different recipes, but only a few have stood out. Don Armando’s may not ring some bells when others hear about it, but the fact that customers come rushing in and out of the place is proof that it is getting there sooner rather than later.
Evidently, the owners, husband and wife John Paulo and Teng Bauzon, have poured extra effort into this venture. Not to mention the fact that they also cater to customers looking for an American cuisine through Pizza Don.

The Food Tour team

Don Armando’s Chicken

Sisig

Leche Flan
Friday Special and Pizza Don Special
The dish, however, which really stood out during our visit was Binakol, Don Armando’s sinigang na may buko. 

With dedication and passion combined with the owners’ and their staff’s perseverance to provide their customers the best dining experience, Don Armando’s and Pizza Don will surely succeed in making a big hit.


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Pangasinan Food Tour 2014: Dagupan City

Food trip to the MAX

Going beyond and offering more than what others do will surely turn on customers looking for dishes other than the regular fare that can be found in most diners. These are acts put together by Maximo Alexis Tan, the owner of Kuya Max Grill and Restaurant in Dagupan City.
About 15 minutes from Mangaldan, our next stop during the Pangasinan Food Tour 2014 exceeded the satisfaction rating that our stomachs can give. It was lunch time when we arrived at Kuya Max situated along De Venecia Road, Dagupan City. We could hear our stomachs grumble at the sight of food. Add to that the inviting ambiance of a combined stone and wood architecture which gave us the cozy feeling of dining.
Soup
Many restaurants and eateries in Pangasinan offer clam soup to their customers. So does Kuya Max. But what makes Kuya Max’s version exciting is its spiciness, a perfect appetizer for a big feast which was the scene at the restaurant during the food tour.

Sizzlers
Three sizzling dishes were served to the tasters: Sizzling Boneless Bangus (milk fish), Sizzling Bangus Max and Sizzling Pork Binagoongan (with talong). Literally gone in less than five minutes, the last one obviously became a favorite (and the top sizzler on that day).
Fish
Inihaw na Bangus (grilled milk fish) and hito (catfish), regular finds in restaurants in Pangasinan, were also presented to the group, only this time, the bangus was boneless and the hito, crispy. What everyone was curious about was the Crispy Bunor, small fried fish with a vinegar dip, a dish which can serve as finger food.

Veggies
Vegetarians will never miss out on their healthy diet. Kuya Max introduced to the group its version of the Ilocano specialty, Pinakbet. What makes it different is the tomato sauce which renders a flavorful mixture of vegetables. The Gulay (vegetable) Kare-kare is equally delectable. The rich flavor of peanuts in the sauce brings the taste of vegetables to a whole new heavenly level.

Pigar-pigar
And because Kuya Max is located in the city which is most famous for Pigar-pigar, everyone will definitely look for it. Sure enough, Kuya Max offers this delicious dish. It boasts of its take on Pigar-pigar where in real Angus beef imported from the US is used. The tender meat cooked to perfection instantly became a hit.
Thirst quenchers
With a wide array of food served to us, we definitely needed some fluid intake to drive the bits down. Kuya Max served us with Frozen Lemonade which indeed has a cooling effect. Kamias Shake, however, held everyone’s attention.
Offering old favorites in a different light is one act mastered almost perfectly by Kuya Max. The twists are indeed enticing, making diners enjoy an extraordinary food experience.


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Blessed year of savory mix

Whoa! Time is indeed quick! Year 2013 is over and we’re now greeted by 2014—another year of happiness and laughter, of sadness and pain, of excitement and energy.
When 2013 started, I wrote an entry on my previous blog about words describing each month of 2012. Now, I’m listing down 13 of the most significant and unforgettable events and experiences I went through and dealt with last year. We’re now more than halfway through January, but I hope this post isn’t late yet.

Undeniably, it was a year of ups and downs (well, which year wasn’t), of joy and sorrow, of laughter and tears. But, guess what, even though 2013 was a roller coaster ride, and even though there were instances I thought of giving up on some things, I survived. I stand with my hopes high and my dreams getting fulfilled every step of the way.

Oh, about the list, here it goes:
With or without a grand celebration, my birthday (January7) will always be memorable for me. Last year, unlike the one that I had in 2012 (an escapade in a resort in Pampanga, although that wasn’t for my birthday primarily), we just had a small get together at a friend’s house. I feel guilty, though, for I didn’t reserve that special day for my family.

My elder sister, Lauren, was generous enough to order a pizza for my pre-birthday bash last year.
That was the last press conference I attended in college as a staff of our student publication, The Students’ Herald. In a few months’ time, I’d be leaving the university. And so it felt like I received the grandest gift in my life so far as my colleagues and I went to Albay for the Luzonwide Higher Education Press Conference. All my life, I wanted to see Mt. Mayon and last February, it stood in front of my very own eyes, screaming its heart-warming welcome to this traveller. What made it more special was that it was my first time to ride on a plane!

I was really looking forward to our Albay tour. Unfortunately, we were left by the bus at the hotel. Not that we were late. Coordination was not done properly, that was why.

3. My application for graduation got approved.
With all the pressure and heap of tasks in college, it would sometimes feel that you would fail to graduate on time. But, after I wrote on the blank spaces and filled the boxes on the form, I filed my application for graduation. When it got approved, I knew in my heart—and I was sure about it—that 2013 would definitely be the year I would finish my course.
4. Four years after, I finished my course.
And so, it did happen. In April 2013, after going onstage and bumping fists with the university president, I got my diploma. (Well, not my diploma; only the case. I received the real deal a few months after.) I even recited our pledge in front of my fellow graduates. After four years of many sleepless nights and stressful days, I earned my college degree…without spending a single centavo on tuition as I had a scholarship. That was a great help to my parents, a blessing I would forever be thankful for.

Definitely, after graduation, a person faces bigger challenges in the bigger world. And with that, I mean looking for a job. While others chose to take a rest, I got to my feet and made a career move by submitting my resume to the company I used to render my service at as an intern. Guess what, I got hired right away. Well, it actually happened four days before graduation, so rest was alien to me.

Bloggers’ at Talk, one of the productions we worked  at Talk TV Global on one month after I got my job.

6. This is something I’m absolutely not supposed to talk about. So, let’s move on to the next one…
7. The beginning of a relationship.
I’m not really the type of guy who talks a lot about my relationship with my girl, but I just would like to acknowledge how significant it was for me when our relationship started in summer. Exchanges of sweet messages made the ants go gaga, although we were still on the courtship stage back then. Before it all happened, we were two happy individuals with separate lives, minding our own business and contented with our single status. And then it hit us. Cupid’s arrow struck us at the time we both least expected it.

8. …and on June 5, our relationship became official about two months after courtship. That day she said yes to me was one of the happiest days of my life.

Fast forward to November. My credibility as a blogger (that’s how it felt, at least) was recognized as I attended the annual gathering of bloggers, Blogapalooza, at the SMX Convention Center, SM Aura Premier in Taguig City. It was a business-to-blogger meet up where companies offering diverse brands participated and presented their products to bloggers who gladly received freebies and gift certificates. Hopping from booth to booth made me immensely ecstatic especially that it was the first blogging event I’ve ever attended.

Photo op with Bogart the Explorer.

10. I was at the Mobile Festival 2013.
True enough, learning doesn’t stop at finishing a degree. It continues even at work. On Nov. 25 at the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia in Pasay, I’ve been enlightened on the growing trend among companies—international and local—of going mobile, thereby reaching their target market anytime, anywhere, without having to place commercials on TV, or put their ads on billboards. Creating a mobile app for your company and product is one remarkable innovation.
Remember my plan to go to Hundred Islands on my birthday last year which didn’t push through? Well, I’m quite grateful that before 2013 ended, I finally got the chance to marvel at the world-renowned tourist destination. It wasn’t purely leisure, though. It was part of my job as co-manager of GBG Pangasinan. We were there on Dec. 17 for the inaugural meet up of the group.
12. That very special Bolinao getaway.
Now, this is a travel that was not work-related. The level of enjoyment reached the sky as I got the chance to explore Bolinao, a place where you can enjoy the clear water of its beach and the marvellous seascape on the view deck of the Bolinao Lighthouse.

13. And yes, I was overjoyed to end the year and welcome 2014 with my family. My aunts and cousins came home from abroad, and the celebration at my grandmother’s house in Novaliches was a happy get together with them, a prelude to our grand reunion.

You might think that my 2013 was all leisure and enjoyment because of the things listed here. Well, no. There were lots of sadness and pain, just like the previous years I went through, which I won’t write about because there’s no use in doing that and focusing on the negative side of things.

It was a rough year, but one that I truly savored and enjoyed nevertheless. It marked memories and etched another set of principles on my being.
God blessed me with a load of wonderful gifts that I’m quite thankful for. And I’m certain that 2014 will be grander and more alive as God continues to bless me and my family.

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Tasting Pangasinan

In my last post, I talked about how wonderful it is to learn about stories of people you meet when travelling. Isn’t it heart-warming to feel how comfortable they are in sharing with you, a person whom they’ve just met, some of the most significant fragments of their lives?
This time, though, I won’t be talking about another story I was enlightened on during another travel. But this post is something about one of the most exciting activities you can do when travelling—food trip.

Cela’s Tapa and Meat Products’ version of the ever famous pigar-pigar. You can find that in Mangaldan, Pangasinan.

Pangasinan boasts of not only cool tourist destinations and scenic views but also of delicious foods and delicacies that will tickle your palate—another good reason for you to travel to this place. So, if you’re looking for that perfect destination for your food trip, head out to Pangasinan.

As one of the advocacies of Google Business Group (GBG) Pangasinan and Dagupan chapters that is the promotion of food tourism in the province, Pangasinan Food Tour made tummies glad and full on Jan. 10-12. The event which was another awesome way to kick off 2014 with is a prelude to the upcoming creation of a food map in Pangasinan.


Indeed, Pangasinan is a total package when it comes to food. The best tasting bangus (milk fish) is in Dagupan City. That sticky puto (rice cake) with a texture you’ve been looking for is in Calasiao. How about a mouth-watering bagoong (fish sauce) and alamang (sautéed shrimp paste) that can be a perfect match to your grilled bangus and green mangoes? You’ll find both in Lingayen.
Whatever food you’re craving for, Pangasinan surely has that. And expect the satisfaction your taste buds will get.
Pangasinan Food Tour 2014 featured seven towns—Alcala, Laoac, Pozorrubio, Mangaldan, Calasiao, Binmaley and Lingayen—and one city—Dagupan. Guests coming from Manila and from the media, and our team visited several restaurants and eateries during the three-day event, making my stomach so full it felt like it would burst.
Some of them offered regular finds like inihaw na bangus and hito (catfish), and kare-kare. Others dared to be different by adding a twist to ordinary dishes—like putting tomato sauce in pinakbet and making a clam soup spicy. Still others weren’t contented and created their very own recipe out of the available ingredients in the province—like the bangus siomai and veggie noodles.
But, it wasn’t just my tummy that was happy; my heart was glad as well, for I got the chance to know more about the place I live in.
It may have been a job-related task of tasting food and dumping everything served in front of us into my stomach, but I also consider it a reward after a year of hard work. Still, I would say that the event was another great—and tasty—combination of work and leisure, something I’ve quite loved since getting this job.
Well, I’ll leave the excitement hanging for now. You’ll get to know more about the restaurants and eateries we featured, and our delectable finds in my succeeding posts. Meantime, let your taste buds crave as you feast on photos posted on my Instagram account.
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A story carried by the wind

Most tourists only find cool destinations, extreme adventures, scenic views and picturesque landscapes in places they visit. Little do they know that there are stories waiting to be told; simple realities that touch a heart and draw a curve on the lips. Simple realities made more alive by the characters figuring in every story.
One of these is the story of Aling Rosa—a story we learned about during our taping in one of the places we featured on Traveldotcom.


Rose Rosas lives in Imbo, Anda. She is an abaniko (fan) maker for which she has been called ‘Ate Palaypay’ by her townspeople.

She does it all by herself. She cuts the leaves she uses for the fans she makes. She dries and dyes them, then she crafts them into beautiful big fans. Later on, she sells each for P25—an amount just enough to pay for all her effort.
At most, she finishes 15 fans per day.
She has children whom she tries to teach how to make fans themselves. But they are not interested with the skills she intends to pass on to them. They have other interests from which they say they can make money. That leaves no one to inherit the craft.
She no longer has a husband. She says she has returned him to his parents after learning that she had ‘co-owners’—eight to be precise. For many years, she has performed the role of both a mother and a father to her children with only her fan-making business and other side line jobs to get by and provide for her children.
Despite all the hardships, though, one trait resonates in her personality. She is jolly. She is a person full of humor, with a face drawn with a sincere smile, with wrinkles sketched by many years of loud laughter.
We ask why she never married again and if she would. She quips with a grin, “It is better to be alone than to have a bad companion.” Yes, she speaks English from time to time. She talks about her amigas from other barangays asking her why she speaks English. Then she continues to say, “Kelan ko gagamitin ang aking Ingles? ‘Pag ako’y patay na? (When will I speak English, then? When I’m dead?)” Then she laughs.
She never seems to get tired. Not even a bit. Not even for a second. It seems that being tired is a luxury she does not have time for. She does not stop working. She stops perhaps only to answer nature’s call, or to do other chores. She does not quit talking. She pauses only to breathe and get ready for another round of stories. Above all these, she does not lose her confidence, her comic self, her resilience, her fighting spirit.
She lives a simple life in a simple home with a simple business.
She originally hails from Lopez, Quezon. In 1987, she had moved to Anda.
She is Rose Rosas, Aling Rosa, Ate Palaypay. She is happy. And this is her story.
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Exploring Anda by island hopping

Out of all the beaches I’ve been to in Pangasinan, Tondol White Sand Beach is so far the most fascinating. Its shallow water is a feature hard to miss. 

Delivering my spiel on the shore.

This cool beach is located in Anda, the lone island municipality in Pangasinan. Using public transport, you can reach Anda by taking a mini bus bound for Anda from Dagupan, or from any point along the route, then ride on a tricycle cab from the town proper. From Manila, you can take a Victory Liner or 5 Star bus bound for Anda.
You can be sure that a fun and exciting activity waits in your destination. And that’s exactly what we featured on Traveldotcom.
Well, that time, island hopping wasn’t officially offered yet because of the necessary arrangements still being underway. But, since we were doing a feature for a show, we experienced it exclusively.
As we set foot on Tondol White Sand Beach, I immediately noticed the shallow water which was really enticing. My estimate is even if you’re 50 feet away from the shore, the water will only be waist-deep. A nice plunge into the clear water on a sunny day would really be a great treat, but I had work to do.

The clear shallow water of Tondol White Sand Beach.
Entrance fee to the beach is P5. That’s very affordable considering that you can stay there all day.
Cottages lining up the shore can be rented for P300 each. During the peak season, however, prices go as high as P500 per cottage. Peak season starts every December and continues all the way through summer time.

There are also resorts offering rooms which can be rented overnight. A room for two costs P700-P1,500. For a group, rooms can be rented for P3,000-P5,000. Affordable, right?
Itinerary
Three islands are included in the itinerary. Our first stop was Pannacalan Island 15 minutes away from Tondol Beach. It is a sand bar which is considered special because of its amazing feature—it changes locaton every time. It’s not magic though. It happens because of the varying heights of the tide. Hence, the hut in the middle of the island changes location, too.

The sand bar–Pannacalan Island.
According to the tourism officer, Dennis, when they visited the island a few days back, the hut was on the right side of the island. When we were there, it was on the left. Snorkeling on the fish sanctuary near Pannacalan Island will also be offered soon.
Next on our itinerary is Tanduyong Island. From afar, it looks like either a slipper or a toothbrush depending on your position on the sea. It’s a bushy island filled with plants with thorns (I didn’t ask what they are called), so you have to be careful when moving around the island. There isn’t much to see though.  But, the local government is set to develop Tanduyong as part of their plan to boost Anda’s tourism industry.
The last island we visited was Cory Island. It’s a huge heap of corals of various sizes. Obviously, that’s how it got its name. Just be sure to wear your slippers on the island because the corals will surely hurt your feet. And indeed, it was difficult to walk around the island barefoot.

Setting foot on Cory Island.
It’s a huge heap of Corals of various sizes. Some even come with colors.

We didn’t stay long on Cory Island because it was getting dark. We, then, headed back to Tondol Beach where we wrapped up the day’s adventure.
Absolutely, it was an exciting day. Experiencing fun and delight while hopping from island to island is really unforgettable. Nature’s wonders never fail to satisfy my eyes and  soul. I’ll definitely be back in Anda and that time around, it’ll be more fun!
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Festive atmosphere

8:31 PM

In a few hours, we’ll be celebrating Jesus’s birthday once again. We’re hyped up because of the festivity. The excitement reaches the sky as we wait for the time that we can open our gifts. Our stomachs grumble as we prepare for Noche Buena awaiting in the dining room.

Christmas carols echo in the neighborhood. The Church’s bell rings in the background. Christmas lights seem to be dancing, following the beat of every song cheerful children sing in front of every house.

Well, indeed, in a few hours, we’ll celebrate Christmas, the time of the year we’ve all prepared for. When the clock strikes 12, let us all be merry and share holiday cheers with everyone.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS 2013!

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