What to do and see in Bohol?

One weekend last September, I have the chance to visit Bohol and I enjoyed every inch of our trip!

Took Philippine Airlines’ morning flight and before noontime we have landed at Tagbilaran Airport. I just wish they improve the airport as it was a little cramped for a plane full of passengers getting their luggages. Don’t expect an air conditioned airport.

We were picked up by the service bus of Henann Resort. It was about 30 minutes or so until we reached the beautiful Henann Resort at Alona Beach. While waiting to be checked in, decided to take some photos.

It’s a fine day and just seeing the beach from afar excites me.

Lunch was served at their restaurant and we waited so long before we were checked in. But I must say, it’s worth the wait. We got a villa but it doesn’t have the pool access.

Our colleagues got the villa with direct pool access, it’s basically the same room except the pool is just outside their balcony.

Supposedly, this is rest time. But instead of resting inside the room, I decided to explore the beach. I love how it’s not hot and humid anymore. It’s so breezy and lounging in front of the beach doing nothing is the best!

Nightime came, had dinner again and after resting, we managed to schedule a massage at Nuat Thai Panglao outside the resort. You could ask Nuat Thai to pick you up from your hotel. Then we walked back when we realized it’s just so near.

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The combo massage was oh so good! I had a good sleep and ready for a whole day of tour and activities!

First on our list – The Bohol Bee Farm. We learned a lot here! The bees give you no harm because they are European bees and they are not aggressive. Got to hold the frame that contained hundreds of bees. According to our speaker, whatever happens, don’t panic. The bees will just be aggressive if they think they will be harmed. Even if it stays on your skin, just let it be. These bees give us the high quality honey we enjoy whether for beauty use or for consumption.

They also promote organic farming here. They promote the different uses of these plants as it could really be helpful to our everyday life.

They also provide livelihood activities in the farm, the women weave bags, display scrolls and even hammocks. They use only the best quality.

I tried their Ice Cream and it’s so sweet – the flavor I chose is Peanut Kisses, the famous cookie pastry shaped like the chocolate hills. What I like the most is its Cassava cone. Totally different from the usual sugar cone.

After shopping, we went ahead and drove to our next destination.

Baclayon Church
La Purisima Concepcion de la Virgen Maria Parish Church

The church was founded in the year 1596 by Jesuit priests. Became a parish 1717 and the coral stone structure was completed 1727. It is the oldest coral stone church in the region. It was destroyed when an earthquake struck last 2013. It was fully restored just this 2017. Thankful that we were able to visit the place and say a prayer, it just reopened last February 2018.

Next stop – Tarsier Sanctuary

The Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary aims to protect the natural habitat and the extinctions of tarsiers. They do so by promoting awareness and establishing protected areas in the whole province of Bohol. Little research has been conducted and this should not be the case. This gentle creature should be protected at all cost.

And we must thank people like the ‘Tarsier Man’ who has dedicated his whole life in protecting them. He used to hunt for them when he was little as his father was a taxidermist. They sold each tarsier at Php250.00. At 12, when he realized that the numbers of tarsiers were dwindling down, he decided to care for one and learned about it. He started breeding and was successful. From then on, he has dedicated his life in raising awareness to protect these tiny primates. Good job and thank you Mr Lito Pizarras.

After our cute encounter with the tarsiers, we proceeded to the Loboc River to have lunch while cruising aboard a ferry.

Loboc River Cruise

Don’t expect too much with the buffet spread, but be awed with the beauty surrounding your floating restaurant. The Loboc River Cruise is certainly enjoyable because of its uniqueness. Imagine you are aboard a floating restaurant, with food, a very good singer serenading everyone, a beautiful scenery, and the famous Loboc Children’s Choir singing and dancing as the grand finale of the cruise. Guests could also join them in their “tinikling” (bamboo) dance.

I got teary eyed watching these families perform, they were so happy and grateful with whatever we could give them.

On our way to see the Chocolate Hills, we passed by the Loboc-Bilar Man Made Forest. Beautiful and tall mahogany trees line the road and stretch for about 2 kilometers. Once you enter the forest, you will feel that it’s cooler compared to the hot and humid non forested part. Tourists often stop and risk their lives trying to get a good shot in the middle of the road, because cars won’t stop and let you have your picture on your own sweet time.

And before we finally see the majestic hills, we went on to have an ATV adventure along the foot of the hills. This 30 minute or so drive was exhilarating! I got all muddy during the drive, it’s so hot that I got so sweaty and red, but it was worth it. When we finally reached the highlight of our route, it’s amazing.

It’s my first time riding ATV and it will definitely not be the last.

Finally, we come to the finale of our daytour, the Chocolate Hills.

This is the view when you don’t want to climb the Observation Deck. But I wanted to go up because I want to see the Topview.

One has to climb about 214 steps to get to the Viewdeck which is the highest of all the hills.

Thousands of these hills surround the town of Carmen.

The 214 steps uphill climb left me breathless but it was so worth it. The view was breathtaking.

Went back to the hotel, had dinner and rested before enjoying ourselves in the pool for Happy Hour.

The next day, woke up early so I could enjoy the beach.

That ends our Bohol Trip. So much more to explore. Till next time!

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Sunday Parkday

On an unexpected Sunday, all family members woke up and went out to JOG and EXERCISE!!!

Groggy and hungry, we drove to Makati and found ourselves in the midst of Washington Sycip Park and Legaspi Active Park.

These 2 parks are just across each other. Not that big of a park but definitely a nice place to be.

Washington Sycip Park

There’s an artwork dedicated to Washington Sycip, it’s called “The Mangrove-nature Embrace.” Like these trees, our purpose is to strike balance in our planet.

Another nice thing about the park is that they put labels on the trees so one will know what kind of trees they are and what their uses are.

Tamarind Tree
Tamarind is a leguminous tree in the family Fabaceae indigenous to tropical Africa. The genus Tamarindus is a monotypic taxon. The tamarind tree produces pod-like fruit that contains an edible pulp used in cuisines around the world. Other uses of the pulp include traditional medicine and metal polish.

*Wikipedia

Fire Tree

Delonix regia is a species of flowering plant in the bean family Fabaceae, subfamily Caesalpinioideae. It is noted for its fern-like leaves and flamboyant display of flowers. In many tropical parts of the world it is grown as an ornamental tree and in English it is given the name royal poinciana or flamboyant. It is also one of several trees known as “flame tree“.

*Wikipedia

Palm Tree
The Arecaceae are a botanical family of perennial plants. Their growth form can be climbers, shrubs, trees and stemless plants, all commonly known as palms. Those having a tree form are colloquially called palm trees.

*Wikipedia

Bagras Tree

I love the natural color of the trunk of this tree. It’s Bagras Tree and this is from our very own Mindanao.

Eucalyptus Deglupta is also known as the Mindanao gum tree, named after the island of Mindanao in the Philippines of which the tree is native to. Gum trees are a group of eucalyptus trees that are characterized by their smooth bark that periodically sheds. E. deglupta are commonly planted as ornamental trees in frost-free climates such as Hawaii, Southern California, Texas, and Louisiana.

*Wikipedia

Narra Tree
It is somewhat astonishing that the Narra-Tree (Pterocarpus indicus / Red Sandalwood tree), belongs to the national-symbols of the Philippines, especially because in the past the tree could be found in most deeper and middle regions of South East Asia and because nowadays the Philippines have only small, scattered and endangered remainders of the tree.

*Insights Philippines

Mahogany Tree
Mahogany is a kind of woodβ€”the straight-grained, reddish-brown timber of three tropical hardwood species of the genus Swietenia, indigenous to the Americas and part of the pantropical chinaberry family, Meliaceae.

*Wikipedia

Balete Tree
Balete tree are several species of the trees in the Philippines from the genus Ficus that are broadly referred to as balete in the local language. A number of these are known as strangler figs wherein they start upon other trees, later entrapping them entirely and finally killing the host tree.

*Wikipedia

Quiet spots around the park

They have gazebos where you can sit and rest, or do taichi, arnis or zumba.

Legaspi Active Park

They have 2 play area for kids. One under the shade of trees and one under the sun.

It has also a jogging path with start to finish lines. It also has markings of 50m, 100m, 150m, 200m and 240m on the path so you could monitor how much you have jogged.

Kids enjoyed jogging for a while then played in the playground. Nice to bond with the family over something healthy. We might do this regularly and the kids are now planning to bring badminton rackets the next time around.

To add, street parking is free around the area of the parks.

Plenty of sun, greens and fun with family makes my heart healthy and full. ❀

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Aquaria Water Park and Beach Resort

Our last beach outing before we went back to school! Taking this trip with friends who turned into families made it more worth the while.

This was just an overnight beach trip but we really felt the bond with nature. Why wouldn’t we when our houses were located in front of the beach! The beach wasn’t that perfect but the fact that it was just a few steps away from where we stayed took all the stress away. I love how I was woken up by the sound of the waves crashing to the shore.

Aquaria Water Park is located in Calatagan, Batangas. It is just an hour and a half drive from Tagaytay.

Accommodations:

We booked our beachfront villa through one of the hotel sites. One side is all glass (with curtains for privacy) so you could hear and see the beach a few steps away from you!

I could stay on this swing all day! What can beat fresh and windy air.

Sofa Bed is available for use.

You can choose to have a queen bed and a double deck or 2 double decks!

The shower and toilet area’s just the right size.

Amenities:

Beach – a long stretch of fine sandy beach can be enjoyed.

There is a bar by the beach and instead of the usual bar chairs, you have swings!

Kids washing their sandy feet with the ‘banga’ (huge jar filled with water) outside our beachfront villa.

The kids and adults enjoyed the beach!

I personally was at a high just taking these wonderful pictures of the beach. I could just stare and immense myself in the beauty of God’s gift.

Pools:

The whole resort has about 5 pools everyone can enjoy. They also have a lot of cottages / spaces where you can lounge and chill while the kids swim.

Enjoyed this slide pool! It’s just tiring to go up with the inflatables, but so fun to go down!

Restaurants:

Taza Coffee – they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner plus coffee, shakes and liquors

Some of our breakfast…

The Sands – this is the main restaurant.

Some of our food for lunch and dinner.

Service

The service personnel were all very accommodating, nice and friendly. Not even the strong wind and rain at nighttime can hinder them from servicing us and our needs. 2 thumbs up for them!

Best of all, there’s not much people around when we were there. It’s like us and nature only. I would definitely like to be back and just chill.

Our beachfront villas are booked through Crusoe Cabins, you may book directly through their website by clicking the picture below!

You may also check their Facebook page, Crusoe Cabins.

Life’s a beach!πŸ–πŸπŸ–

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Caerus Cafe and Bistro

Your beloved neighborhood coffee shop has just moved to a bigger and better place in the Scout Area in Quezon City!

It is now a full blown coffee shop and restaurant!

The interior is very homey and bright. Really good for those casual night outs with friends, a family day or even a date!

I super love this girl on piano. These are actually books! You have to see for yourself and be amazed!

Very extensive Drink List they have here! From coffee to juices to shakes to teas!

And yes, they now serve liquor to cater to friends who are not coffee lovers.

Our drinks for the night. House blend Iced Tea for me. Slow Brew Coffee for hubby. Iced Latte for a friend.

Their food is worth the trip as well. They have a fusion of cuisines available and the chef is still continuing to discover more dishes to offer.

Their Happy Sisig will really make your tastebuds happy.

*Jumbo sized Happy Sisig due to our party that night.

Their Sinigang na Liempo has the right sourness and spiciness.

Grilled Porkchops and Inasal na Chicken are both marinated with that yummy tanginess of barbeque sauce!

And of course, a coffee shop isn’t a coffee shop without the sweet desserts.

They have a lot to offer and I can’t choose so I tried 3 of them. It’s all good!

But wait, here’s the best part. The whole cafe looks so nice that almost every corner’s IG friendly. Just look at our amateur shots ↓↓↓

My team’s so happy and we’ll definitely be back!

Check out their FB page, Caerus Specialty Coffe and Bistro

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Killing Time (at Greenhills Shopping Center) in the Middle of A.P.E.

When you’re employed, having an Annual Physical Exam is required. It usually takes up a whole day or more if you need to do some follow up tests or if you need to see a different doctor. In my case, today is my 2nd follow up and I came in as scheduled for my laboratory and blood work. However, I needed to do some more tests which can only be done in the afternoon. Instead of going back and forth, I decided to just stay and roam around. It’s the best thing to do, and one of the reasons I chose Health Cube in Promenade Greenhills. It’s 12nn and I basically have 5 hours to burn.

This is how I killed time. I went up to the ground floor, browsed at Fully Booked and bought the 3rd book from the Crazy Rich Asian series, Rich People Problems.

Planning to read it while waiting. I also thought of watching a movie but went against the idea. After paying for the book, I felt my stomach grumble so off I walked to the other side of Promenade and to the foodcourt. I have charge slips to convert into GCs at Bonchon. #freelunch πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I had my lunch there and I stayed about an hour. To my surprise, the chicken’s so juicy.

After my 1 hour lunch. I decided to walk towards Shoppesville and VMall. I passed through all the different restos. There’s Bizu, Cibo, Gerry’s Grill, Isla Pulo, Pedro and Coi, Hokkaido Santouka Ramen and many more.

I crossed over to Shoppesville, the main shopping area of Greenhills Shopping Center! So many things to see here.

The fountain which you could only see from the 2nd floor, it’s situated in the middle of it all. Too bad it’s covered by the shops on the ground floor.

2nd floor is dedicated to the gadgets and accessories, it has a passageway going to the Vmall. I didn’t go through this area because I didn’t want to be offered left and right, I also have no intention of buying any gadgets or accessories.

Back to the ground floor where I mostly walked (and shopped), it has aisles and aisles of clothes, bags, and home decors.

Scored some super affordable everyday wear. I love the colors and the fabric of these blouses I bought. These 3 blouses set me back for less than a thousand bucks! πŸ€‘πŸ€‘πŸ€‘

And I am so loving the black one. ⬇⬇⬇

There’s also an area for home decors, artworks and antiquities.

An area’s dedicated to shoes that are locally made, The Shoe Center.


If you like branded watches, bags and shoes (Class A to Class AAA), you could definitely find it here. There are also rows and rows of jewelries especially pearls.

Another thing that Greenhills kept from way back is the open garden that connects two areas. It also has a chapel where shoppers can say a prayer or two.



After Shoppesville, I also went to the Shoppesville Plus and the Toy Area near the Theatre Mall. I enjoyed looking at the toys I forgot to take pictures!

After about 3 hours of non stop walking, I was so thirsty and tired, I decided to go back to Health Cube and just read and wait there. The doctor came early and I was done by 530pm.

The Greenhills Shopping Center also added a new building for Uni Mart, a grocery store, and O Square 1 and 2, where you could find mostly restaurants.

So there, I hope you learned a thing or two from my experience today. Share share share!

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Taiwandering 2018

Detailed itinerary of our Taiwan Trip.

August 30, 2018

Took a red eye flight to Taiwan to maximize our weekend.

August 31, 2018

Arrived and passed through the immigration in a swift. Got our WIFI in the Unite Traveler Kiosk and we’re good to go.

Portable WIFI Rental by KKday

Good thing a friend’s mom arranged for a car to pick us up. We were surprised that it was actually a Benz. πŸ˜€

What a nice ride! Thank you to our sponsor auntie. 😘

If you do not have an auntie who can sponsor your ride, you can either take the airport taxi – a few taxis were waiting in the taxi stand. There are also fixers who offer you a ride, but this is scary. I think the best thing is to book a Klook Pick Up Car Service. I have checked and it’s about Php1400.00. This is both convenient and safe.

We arrived in our hotel way earlier than expected. We can’t check in yet so we just deposited our luggages and off we went to explore the area – at 3am!

Tomorrow Hotel – Ximending

Most of the shops are already closed. The only shops open are the Watsons outside the hotel and the 7-11 beside the hotel.

Out front there is a Toy Catcher Shop that I think never closes. And you can see these kind of shops all over Taipei.

We didn’t know that Carrefour is open 24 hours. If we did, we might have stayed there and browse the aisles slowly. It’s only a 15 minute walk from the hotel.

We managed to find a restaurant that is open. It closes at 4am. So we have an hour to relax and to eat. It’s a quaint Japanese restaurant with a 3 man team.

Their menu is limited since it’s almost closing time when we arrived. So we just settled for these.

It’s a little cold so we ordered a clam soup.

Clam Soup

I love Gyoza and theirs had a thin buttery and crispy flake.

Gyoza

We also ordered a Beef Rice Toppings

Beef Rice Toppings

This was our super early breakfast. Tasted great especially the beef.

We again roamed around to check the area if there are still shops open, turned out Ximending closes at 1 or 2am.

We eventually found ourselves in a 24 hour Mcdonald’s nearby. Just like in Hong Kong, food order must be in their kiosk. This Mcdonald’s is pretty nice.

Thank you to to Mcdo for letting us stay for 3 hours. We stayed here until the night 🌚 turned into day.🌞

This was the first time we did it and it’s not highly recommended! Better catch an earlier flight and just book a hotel so you could have rest before charging on to your itinerary.

After preparing ourselves, we head on to our tour. I booked this with Klook – Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen and Shifen Shuttle Bus Tour from Ximen. The bus will take you to Northern Taiwan and back, particularly Yehliu, Jiufen and Shifen. You can enjoy these places without having to worry about getting there. The bus meet up point is just walking distance from our hotel. GaKuDen Bakery is located at Exit 4 of Ximen Station.

For an 8:30am bus, we need to be there by 8:15am. The tour guide, York, checked on our vouchers and let us in on the bus. York is an English speaking tour guide so it’s very easy communicating with him. He is knowledgeable and he gives out advices on the best things to try out, the best food to eat and the best places to go to! He is the best!

Toured Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen and Shifen from 8:30am to 6:00pm. This was a long hot and wet day for us.

Super hot when we were in Yehliu. A little humid when we were in Jiufen. Rain fell down when we were in Shifen.

To read more about this tour, check Klook: Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen and Shifen Daytour

We were back at Ximending by 6pm. Decided to check in our hotel first before having dinner.

Tomorrow Hotel Taiwan

After resting, this was about 9pm already, we went down to enjoy Ximending. It’s the weekend so the place was packed! People walking down the streets, chattering, eating, and laughing. I love the vibe!

Here are some of the sights that night!

September 1, 2018

Woke up late to recharge. First on our list today is to have a meal at the Original Din Tai Fung Branch. But before anything else, we bought a 24 hour Taipei Metro Pass. This is only NTD180.00 or about Php 320.00. You get unlimited train and bus rides within the Metro line.

Din Tai Fung’s First Branch can be found in Zhongzheng District. To get here, take the train and alight at Dongmen Station (Red Line), then take Exit 5. Go straight and you’ll find Din Tai Fung in Xinyi Road.

Original Din Tai Fung – A Review

While waiting, we managed to discover the pastry shop called Red Sakura. Aside from yummy pastries, they also have a lot of Hello Kitty themed pastries and cookies, plus some merchandise.

After eating the best xiao long baos (steamed dumplings), we took the train and went to visit Taipei 101.

Taipei 101 used to be the tallest skyscraper until Burj Khalifa snatched the title. However, in 2011, it was awarded the tallest and largest green building in the world.

We alighted at the Taipei 101 Station

There is a high end mall and they have an exhibit that day. Take a look at some of the artsy Marvin the Martian displayed.

A few minutes in the outdoors and a few more minutes inside the mall, off we go to our next destination.

Back to the train and off to Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall. Take the Exit 5 and you will be greeted by the magnificent structure that is the National Theatre.

Exploring Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

The rain poured yet again while we were there, got so drenched – shoes wet, clothes wet – no choice but to go back to the hotel and change.

Someone informed us to drop by the Taipei Underground Mall, which can be reached through the Taipei Main Station. Except for the extensive food selection, there’s not much to do here.

Back on the train again to head to Raohe Street Night Market – known to be the oldest night market.

Literally a stretch of food kiosks of a variety of yummy treats. It’s a bit out of the way to get here. At the end of the Green Line, Songshan Station is where you can find Raohe Street Night Market. Take Exit 5 and walk a few steps, once you see the temple, Raohe is on the left.

After eating at Raohe, went back to the train station again, to the Red Line, to Jiantan Station. Take Exit 1 to get to the biggest night market, Shilin Market.

Shilin Market has a lot of these balloon games, where you could win a stuffed toy for your bae.

Check out what we ate at Our Taiwan Food Trip.

September 2, 2018

Went to visit my uncle in the morning. Checked out of the hotel already so that we don’t have to be back by 11:00am check out time. Unless we want to be charged NTD 200.00 per hour of excess.

Back at Ximen Station by 10:59am, this is the end of our 24 hour Metro Pass. Went straight to the place where we have been buying our pork floss since we were kids.

Learned that Carrefour (the 24 hour grocery) was just around the corner. Bought biscuits and rolls for our kids. Took the taxi cab for NTD 80.00 to get back to the hotel in just 3 minutes!

Bought some more pastries at Red Sakura. Repacked our luggages to stuff the things we bought.

Walked around Ximending for the last time. Chilled at this Jap Resto by the alley of the hotel.

Until the driver picked us up to send us to the airport.

The end of our trip! Hope you enjoyed and learned a thing or two from our trip.

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Kkday: Portable Wifi Rental (Taiwan)

It’s very important to be connected nowadays, especially since we left our kids back home. We needed to check on them even if we were away. We also need to have Google on call.

Good thing, I found Kkday’s Portable Wifi Rental. Would have gotten Klook’s as it was just the same price, but they didn’t have a 24 hour pick up site. Kkday did, so I booked it.

We arrived in the wee hours of the morning. Just as you got out from the main arrival hall, turn to your right and go straight ahead. On the corner, you will see Unite Traveller’s Kiosk.

You show them your voucher or the QR code, they will ask you to fill out a form and you will receive your portable WIFI. You will also be asked for a credit card. This will be charged when you fail to return the WIFI on the stated period.

Inside this red case, the portable WIFI, a charger and its cable.

This is so worth the money, for just Php 138.00 a day, you’re connected to the internet. From contacting family members to researching what to do or where to go, everything is possible with your own internet connection!

And yes, it’s easy to return as well. All terminals has their own Unite Traveler kiosk. You go up to the staff, they check it and the paper you signed on the pick up kiosk will be returned to you!

The kiosk is outside the immigration area, so better not forget before you go in. Don’t fret about returning the WIFI early, you can still connect to the airport’s WIFI all throughout your stay at the airport.

More of our Taiwan trip:

Taoyuan International Airport Themed Lounges

Taiwandering: Pre-flight

Tomorrow Hotel

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Sleeping at Camp Netanya

Our room keeps up with the theme of white and blue, complete with basic hotel amenities like mini fridge, bathroom essentials, hot & cold water, hair dryer and fridge. The downside of this room was the aircon. It was too small that it couldn’t cool the whole room. Good thing service was great, they checked on the a/c twice and when it really couldn’t do its job, an electric fan was given to us.

Our room was located on the upper part of the resort, so guests have to go up and down a high flight of stairs before reaching the pool. The elevator’s not yet working. 🀐 For youngsters, it would be okay; but for oldies, this could be a problem!

I got our Deluxe Twin Room with a corporate discount so I paid about Php 6,000.00 instead of the usual Php 8,100.00.

Read and see more of Camp Netanya – 🏊🏊🏊

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