Majestic Mt. Pinatubo

Pinatubo 20

I’m psyched to share my first hiking adventure with you. Yey! I’m no expert, so if you’re looking for pro-tips, you won’t find it here. But stay with me, I’m sure you can pick something useful—or not. Kidding!

Btw, this happened last February. Soooo..yeah.. Super late post! Guilty as charged! O.O

Going back to the topic. Make sure to do some preps, a few weeks before the actual trek. Go for a jog or run or cycle, anything that will help in increasing your endurance and in conditioning your muscles before an intensive activity.

Things you need (or the things I brought):

  • 1L of water (our guide provided another 1L so that makes it 2L of water)
  • Towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Cap
  • Scarf
  • Snacks (I brought jelly sticks—no judging please)
  • Money (prepare small change—you need it when using the toilet)
  • Slippers / extra clothes (change to something comfy after the hike)
  • Toiletries (if you are want to take a bath after)
  • Phone / Camera (you know why)

We started our ascension around 6 in the morning, so we were able to witness the sunrise on our way. Before the actual hike, we had to ride a 4×4 for around 2 hours or less to drop us at the starting point. The ride will be bumpy and dusty, this is where the sunglasses and scarf will come in handy.

We had a quick stop at this place they called Toblerone Hill (I guess because of the shape) to take some photos and selfies.

Be prepared for a rough and rocky terrain. Do yourself a favour and make sure to wear durable shoes. And if you are planning to wear trekking sandals, do wear some socks. This will save your precious feet from blisters. Also, do not force yourself. Take your time and don’t get pressured by others’ progress. Better be safe than sorry. Take quick breaks and enjoy the view. Hiking is something that can de-stress you, so have fun and take it easy.

The real challenge was the 30minute trek to the crater but it was worth it! The view was…beyond words to describe.

When we reached the crater, it was already drizzling so the view is quite gloomy. Rain or shine I think the scene will be breathtaking. Be the judge.

Pinatubo 18

And as enticing as it is to jump into the water, swimming is prohibited. It was quite an experience and would love to go for more hiking trips. Hopefully anytime soon.

A Secret Garden

Spending most of your time around a bustling metropolis can be quite stressful. If you are longing for a peaceful break, I suggest taking some time off and get your rest at Sonya’s Garden.

Sonya’s Garden offers bed & breakfast so we planned to spend a night there. We really enjoyed everything—scenery, people and food!

Our room was Ah-Mazing! It was relaxing and just spend some me-time immersed in the sound of mother nature. The name of our cottage is Fennel.

Even the bathroom is nice.

I got a new camera, replaced my Fuji X10 with X100T. And so far, I am loooving it! All the photos in this post was taken using my new cam.Sonya's Garden7

Our stay includes a tour around their garden. Sonya’s promotes wellness so they grow organic food. And even their chickens only eats plants that grows in their garden. Ate Lonya was the one who showed us around the area.

Here are some of their homegrown produce.

This flower taste nice—sweet and tangy. They include it in their salad. I just forgot the name! If anyone knows what is this called, please let me know. Please please..Sonya's Garden11

We ended our day with a very relaxing massage. The three of us tried the Signature Sonya’s Massage (P879.00) that lasts for an hour. So relaxing. zZzZzZ….Sonya's Garden26

The next morning, we went out to do some gardening with Mang Bernie. He showed us how he plants the lettuce and some herbs. According to him, mint is the easiest herb to grow for beginners.

Upon checking out, they gave us a gift—each of us got a mint and tarragon plant. Hopefully we can grow these plants and have a lifetime supply.

For more information on Sonya’s Garden Bed & Breakfast, drop by their site.

K-bbq in the South

I love Korean food so much!! There’s not a week I’m not craving for it. So my friend and I tried out Sariwon Korean Barbeque Restaurant in BGC.

Korean side dishes is love. Weeee! But I wish they were refillable as most Korean restaurants offer.Kriscel Go 2013 Sariwon-3

Jeonju Bibimbap (P300.00)

Japchae (P350.00), is good for sharing.

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We got free dessert. Yey! It’s called Sikhye─a traditional homemade sweet drink with malt and rice. The taste is light and refreshing, a great way to end a meal.

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Verdict: 4/5 (The experience was great and I really love their food. I would go back and dine here again if I have the chance. Just make the side dishes refillable! Lol) And it’s a bit pricey.

Address: 7th Ave, Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines
Operating Hours:
Monday to Sunday
11:00am to 11:00pm

Chocolate-y Christmas

It’s the holidays again. Time flies so fast. And here we are, spending Christmas in Bohol. Yey!

Touch down at Tagbilaran Airport!

14 THINGS TO DO IN BOHOL:
1. Visit the Chocolate Hills.

I love how colour-coordinated we are.Kriscel Go 2012 Bohol-22

The locals will ask you to pose on a broomstick. The effect is like you are flying over Chocolate Hills. But I think ours didn’t achieve that. Lol We were laughing the whole time while taking this photo—it was sort of hard because we’re six and we can’t get the right timing to jump together. But we tried our best. Ha haKriscel Go 2012 Bohol-21

2. Visit some Tarsiers at Tarsiers Conservation Area.

Before entering the park, there’s a brief orientation on the Do’s and Don’ts. Kriscel Go 2012 Bohol-13

Remember, no flash photography and keep noise at a minimum.Kriscel Go 2012 Bohol-15

Hello there little fellow!

3. If you like butterflies, you can drop by the Bohol Butterfly Sanctuary.

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You can try out this as well—”I’m a beautiful butterfly” pose. Lol
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A great way to beat the heat is to eat this yummy natural fruit ice cream. Mine was cheese flavoured and it has cheese bits inside. I died! It’s good! For all those cheese lovers out there, you have to try this!
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4. Go on a River Cruise at Loboc River. It also includes native lunch on board.

5. Drive along the Bilar Man-Made ForestKriscel Go 2012 Bohol-74

6. Say “She sells seashells by the seashore.” Kidding. Check out Nova Shell Museum.

7. Pass by the Blood Compact Commemorative Shrine and the “Shiphaus”, it’s ship looking house that’s owned by a former ship captain. That’s a mouthful of ships. Lol

8. Visit some of the oldest churches in Bohol.

  • Baclayon Church
  • Dauis Church

9. For those who like some adventure, go to Loboc Eco-tourism Adventure Park and try out the zipline and cable car.

10. Another place you can visit is the Hinagdanan Cave.

11. Crossed the Tigbao Hanging bridge.

12. Visit Prony, the world’s biggest and longest native phyton in captivity at Bohol Phyton & Wildlife Park.

13. Eat healthy/organic/fresh food. Dine in Bohol Bee Farm.

The ingredients they serve came from their own garden. Nom! Here are some of the dishes we tried:

Aside from honey products they also sell potted herbs.

 

14. And of course, buy some souvenir shirts.
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WHERE TO STAY:
We stayed at Bohol Beach Club. And the overall experience is quite nice.

Our room:

The beach is also lovely!

They transformed the dining area to be extra special because it’s the Christmas Eve.

Coron, Nature’s Paradise

This entry is long overdue! I was supposed to post this months ago. So, my friends and I went to Coron, Philippines in mid of August.

If you are nature-lover slash beach lover slash island-hoppers slash divers or those sun-worshiping adventurer. Any of those description that fits you, you have to go here! I promise you won’t regret it.

Upon arriving from the airport, it took us about around 45 minutes to get to the city. We headed for Coron Village Lodge to leave our things before going around town. The lodge is pretty decent for a budget-friendly accommodation. My priority for lodging is that it is clean. The package we got includes 4D4N lodging with two breakfast plus 3-day tour for P6230/person or about 142USD. Aside from the occasional power and water shortage, everything else was good.

Day 1
We stroll around Coron Municipality before heading off to the sea port. We set out to climb Mt. Tapyas. A total of 700+ steps, which was really worth climbing when you reach the top and see the view.

At last!We made it. WOOHOO! Among our friends, the 4 of us were the first to reached the top.

Don’t forget to bring some water—you are going to need it. Or you can just from the vendors around the area. A bottle of water costs around P25. One of them took our photos at the peak of the mountain. He even asked us to pose like this. Too cheesy…

Mt. Darala

FYI, tapyas is a Cuyunon term which means “sliced from the whole.” According to the locals there, the Japanese used this mountain as a hiding place during the World War II. And when the Americans discovered it, they bombed it so a part was chipped off ergo the name Mt. Tapyas.

We dropped by Maquinit Hot Springs before having dinner. Unfortunately, I have no photos because I didn’t bring my camera with me, too scared to get it wet. You can go to this link for some info about it.

We had dinner at Bistro Coron. I suggest eating here when you’re in Coron. Their food is really nice. I ordered Mexican Chicken for P205.

Day 2Dicantuman Beach

First stop, Dicantuman Beach. The island was somehow have an “exclusive” feel to it. There were no other tourists but us—it’s like having our own private island. LOL We took a swim first while waiting for our lunch which Kuya Butchoy, our guide, cooked.

What is an island-hopping without the famous coconut. The spoon Drew’s holding was made out of the coconut husk.

Coconut

Exploring the island

And after having lunch, we’re off to the famous Kayangan Lake. It is one of the seven lakes in Coron and it is saide to be one of the cleanest lake in the Philippines. I don’t dare argue with that as the water is so clear that it’s like there’s no water at all. This place have that enchanted vibe to it. Like you can feel the place is somewhat magical. You’ll know what I’m saying when you go there. Definitely one of the best places I’ve been to.

Dinner at Manneken Pis Restaurant. My order was their homemade burger steak for P210. Nothing beats homemade patties.:)

We saw a newly opened coffee shop—Dad’s Coronzy Coffee and Tea. We took the liberty to try it out.

Dad's Coronzy

Day 3
We were not able to follow our itinerary because of the bad weather which included the Pass Island, Siete Pecados and Lusong Shipwreck. We had to spend the whole morning in another island called Banua-Atwayan.

Luckily, the rain stopped in the afternoon. So we’re able to got to Barracuda Lake. You first have to hike up and down before reaching the lake. The hike was nothing compared to Mt. Tapyas though. The water was as clear as the Kayangan Lake and the place was serene. After that we’re off to Marine Coral Garden. It was AMAZING! Like wow! Sadly, I don’t have an underwater camera so I can’t show you how beautiful the corals underwater was. Remember to visit this place when you go to Coron.

Coral Garden
Last dinner in Coron is at Santino’s Grill. I forgot my things at the lodge. (What’s happening to me, I keep forgetting my camera!) Anyway, this restaurant is famous for their baby back ribs, and I now I know why. It is one of the BEST ribs I’ve tried! Falls of the bones kind of ribs. Yum!!

Day 4
Last day of our trip. We went to Sea Dive Restaurant for brunch. I got the Sea Dive Tapa plus French Toast. Before heading to the airport, we bought some souvenirs first. And of course some cashew nuts.

Sea Dive Tapa

Hope to see you again Coron!!!