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    PALAUI ISLAND – CAPE ENGAÑO

    After a long land travel from Manila, we have finally reached the hidden paradise in Cagayan Valley, the Palaui Island. Yes, the island is not one of the easiest place to get to but definitely worth the visit. There’s also a rolling hill, just like in Batanes!

    How to get there:

    1. Ride a bus that is bound to Tuguegarao City. — 14hrs
    2. From Tuguegarao City, ask the tricycle driver to bring you at the van terminal that is bound to Sta. Ana (it would be better if the van driver could drop you off at Vicente Port). — 3hrs
    3. If the van drops you off at Sta. Ana, ride a tricycle going to Vicente Port. — 15mins
    4. From Vicente Port, there will be a local guides that could assist you going to Palaui Island. — 20mins
    5. Another option: Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines have flights going to Tuguegarao City. — 1hr

    Where to stay:

    Note that visitors are only allowed for an overnight stay at Punta Verde, they will also allow you to stay if you have your own tent. For a home stay that costs P250/person only, you may contact Rinaliza Nobela at 09273061553

    The Palaui Island was twice used as the location for the Survivor TV show. With its raw beauty, the island is a perfect place for nature lovers. Since the island is preserved, they use Solar Panel and generators as their source of electricity.

    Don’t miss out the beauty of sunset or sunrise at Cape Engaño! 15 minutes walk from the Cape Engaño Light House is a mini fall, you will walk in a forest trail that is homed by wild animals. I even saw forest crabs for the first time!

    The local guide said that these are wild carabaos, they are even taller than me! It’s obvious that they are healthy and enjoying their stay Cape Engaño.

    While getting ready to take a picture of them, the mother and child carabaos looked at me. lol.

    Package Tour:

    Punta Verde (Trek going to Cape Engaño) — Php 2,500

    Overnight: Punta Verde + Cape Engaño — Php 2,800

    Special Trip: Punta Verde + Cape Engaño + Crocodile Island + Anguib — Php 3,500

    Special Trip Overnight: Punta Verde + Cape Engaño + Crocodile Island + Anguib — Php 3,800

    You may contact Kuya Benmar thru 09269064657 to assist you in Palaui Island tours.

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    U.S.A. TRIP: EXPLORING TEXAS

    Arriving in the U.S.A. was an achievement of mine for the year 2016 while exploring around in different states for three weeks was another big thing! Thank you Philippine Airlines for being on time!

    From L.A.X., we had another flight going to San Antontio, Texas – where we spent most of our days during the trip. Tip: Staying in a relative or friend’s house could save you a lot of money that you may use for your food or tours. 😛


    PAL Flight 112

    In this post, I will share the places that I have explored and toured around the state of Texas thru visual and short descriptions. Texas is too big to be explored for a week! But I’m glad that I am able to be around in some of its cities. Outlets where we shopped are not included in this post. Here we go!

    Gruene, New Braunfels

    Since it was a holiday season, the streets around the Gruene Historic District were filled with Christmas lights that made it more beautiful at night and best to visit during Christmas. Though even without the Christmas lights, it’s really fun to just walk around the town, listen to the great music and wander around the old properties. So, there’s this one antique shop that we took advantage the Christmas design! Hoho!

    Festival of Lights, San Antonio

    Another to visit at night because obviously, it’s Festival of Light! 🙂 A multi-cultural holiday celebration that happens every December to January. What to expect? Breathtaking giant illuminated displays, street food, performances and carnival!

    Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Fredericksburg

    I must say, this is one of the best parts in touring around Texas. There are several trails that you could go to and in each trail, you’ll see something new! At the top, you’ll have a 360 view of Texas. It was a big park, but they are limiting the visitors to avoid being too crowded. So if you’re staying around the Fredericksburg and looking for some get-away from the city, this park is a to go to!

    Fredericksburg Town

    Also known as the “Little German Town” because of its history. This small town will make you feel like in German because of its interesting shops in the Main Street, historical museum, open parks and restaurants that also serve German cuisine. It was 24th of December when we visited the town so there were only few open shops and restaurants, most of them probably took a day off to get ready for the Christmas Eve.

    The State Capitol of Texas, Austin

    The architecture is something to be admired! Even the interior of bathrooms. Haha! A great place to visit with your family and friends. They also offer a group tour if you want to know more about the history of the State Capitol. If you prefer to roam around without a guide, make sure to read the history. Oh, there’s also a library inside of the Capitol! 🙂

    The Oasis, Austin

    A restaurant that sits on top of a hill that gives an overlooking to Lake Travis, a breathtaking view that must be seen! There are also souvenir shops around and the whole place was beautifully decorated. The romantic atmosphere explains the love locks outside. 🙂 I don’t know about their foods because we just went there to see the view. Worth the drive though.

    Space Center (NASA), Houston

    One word: AWESOME! My first time to see a REAL spaceship and different kinds of astronaut suits! *cries* Kids and adults will learn so much about space thru different kinds of activities, documentary shows, artifacts and exhibits. Will definitely get you thinking more about the earth and what’s outside of it. Two thumbs up for me!

    Riverwalk, San Antonio

    Mall, restaurants, park, you name it! So many things to see in here! The Riverwalk is a walking trail in San Antonio downtown that is surrounded by colorful umbrellas. We also went on the river boat and we’re glad that the guide was very knowledgeable with the place, nice and funny. The place gives you a different kind of atmosphere, depending on where you are. It gave me a romantic feeling by just looking at the bridge and imagine that there’s an ongoing marriage proposal, WHAT A ROMANTIC SCENE! Sweet! Definitely a gem in the city! Haha. 😛

    Disclaimer: Since I’m with my boyfriend’s family, my first visit was more of being a tourist — visiting a place for pleasure, sight-seeing, planned trip, and etc. — than a traveler, IYKWIM. So I wasn’t able to document everything, though I tried! 😉

    If you have any suggestion on where else to go around Texas, please comment below! TIA!

    Hope you enjoyed!

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    I’d Like To Visit…

    Everyone has their own “Top Places To Visit” and so, I’m going to share mine too! 🙂 These are the local and international places that I would like to visit for this year; hopefully, I’d be able to visit them ALL. I know that the expense will be my greatest hindrance here, but hey! If there’s a will there’s a way. 😛

    1. Masbate Province, Philippines

    Photo grabbed from http://www.idreamedofthis.com/

    Photo grabbed from http://www.idreamedofthis.com

    I first found out how wonderful and what Masbate can offer is through the blog post HERE’S WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT MASBATE. of my personal friend and a fellow blogger as well, Simon Gonzaga. I wasn’t really interested in visiting Masbate until I’ve seen his post. Now, it’s number one on my list! Thanks for sharing it and inspiring me, Kuya! 🙂 Then another friend of mine went to Masbate recently and posted his photo of the Milky Way! I repeat, MILKY WAY! Really, wow!

    2. Sagada, Philippines

    Photo grabbed from http://dangwerelost.com

    Photo grabbed from http://dangwerelost.com

    I’ve been in Baguio for many times already but have not gotten any chance to visit the gorgeous Sagada. This place became even more popular because the movie “That Thing Called Tadhana” – where do broken hearts go, eh? 🙂 I even read somewhere that there is this place called Marlboro Country where you could spot wild horses. I wonder if I’d still be able to spot wild horses in there because if yes, that would be really one of a kind experience for me! I also know that it’s always crowded in there now but, I don’t care! 😛

    3. Japan

    Photo grabbed from http://thetummytrain.com/

    Photo grabbed from http://thetummytrain.com

    Tell me, who doesn’t want to visit Japan?! Definitely, not me! My dream country to visit since I was a child, probably influenced by my Otousan who worked there for years and of course, the Anime. Currently, I don’t know which city to visit yet because I think I’ll enjoy the place as long as it’s in Japan. Haha! I prefer to visit during Autumn instead of the season of Cherry Blossom~

    These are my current top picks, though I’d like to visit more than three places for this year.
    How about you? What are the places you’d like to visit? 🙂

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    We Live To Explore

    In my previous blog, I have shared that I bought my first camera, Fujifilm X-A2! The Fujifilm X-A2 is a mirrorless camera that is good for entry-level and upon research, these are the key features of X-A2:

    • 175° tilting LCD screen with face and eye detection (hello, selfie!)
    • 16.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
    • Newly-developed Eye auto focus (AF), Auto Macro AF and Multi-Target AF
    • 5.6fps burst shooting
    • Built-in wi-fi (photos from the camera could transfer immediately to mobile phones)
    • A pop-up flash and external hotshoe
    • Classic Chrome film simulation mode
    • Full HD video recording capabilities at 30 frames per second and a multiple exposure mode

    I am currently using the new XC 16-50mm II (24-76mm) F3.5-5.6 OIS zoom lens, which I think is the most basic kit lens of X-A2 (correct me if I’m wrong). What I also like about this camera are the built-in range of film simulation modes and creative effects, which helps me to take better photos. 🙂

    Last week, I have spent my off-days to get lost and wander with my camera, just so that I could try out its different features… They think I’m crazy for doing it, but no! You know how much I like going out, right?! Haha! That’s why the title of this post is “We Live To Explore“. With that being said, let me share with you the unedited photos that I have taken. SOME of the photos that I have uploaded on my Instagram account are edited and filtered using VSCO app. However, if you’ll look at the unedited photos, there’s no need for filter anymore. 🙂

    Any thoughts, comment or suggestion about my shots? 🙂 If you haven’t noticed, I like playing with sunlight and shadows. <3

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    Weekend Getaway at Baguio City V.2

    It was surely an unplanned Baguio visit with my team mates. Februrary 26, 2016 – we didn’t even know that it’s Panagbenga Festival! *chuckles*

    We all agreed to meet in Victory Liner, Cubao at around 5AM. I told them that I’ll buy bus tickets for us since I’m the first one to get there. Sad to say, the earliest possible that we could get was at 10:30AM. Yes, I did buy the tickets because #YOLO, it’s now or never! Haha. So we had to wait for 5 more hours and was hoping to be a chance passenger in earlier trips, but still nah.

    Chance Passenger

    Arrived in Baguio City at 5PM then we checked-in Hotel Veniz. I have missed the Lomo Ribs of Canto so I dragged them at Ketchup: The Food Community to have our dinner.

    Lomo Ribs

    No definite plan afterwards, so we just had a night walk around Wright Park, Burnham Park and Session Road. After the long night walks, we finally decided to go back to hotel at around 11PM then watched The Conjuring on HBO!

    Burnham Park

    © Dominic Dawat

    Burnham Park

    On the next day, we went back to Burnham Park. The gorgeous scenery and the cool weather, oohh… the things that I always miss to see in Baguio City!

    Mines View Park

    Nothing much have changed since my last visit. Still a popular place to get cheap pasalubong, plants and to have a cliff overlooking the mountains.

    The Mansion

    We rode in jeepney from the Mines View Park going down to The Mansion –  the summer residence of the Philippine President. Only good for taking pictures because going inside the mansion is not allowed and other than that, there’s nothing else to do.

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    Wright Park

    Right in front of the Mansion. We often joke that the place and the vibe look like the same from what we see in Koreanovelas. 😛 We have enjoyed the sight of the people walking around, the horse back ride, the pine trees and all the other things that the Wright Park could offer!

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    Botanical Garden

    Botanical Garden is just 10 minutes walk from the Wright Park. A cool place with nice flowers, photo opportunities and interesting structures such as Chinese pagoda, Golden Gate Bridge, various other bridges and walkways with plenty of shade.

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    Golden Bridge, OTWOL feels!

    Laperal White House

    Another famous spot along the Leonard Wood Rd. is the Laperal White House. A Victorian style house with a dark history but it was now transformed into a gallery of Filipino artworks based on bamboo and wood.

    IMG_0003 IMG_9976

    Bagiuo Museum

    It was my first time here. The Baguio Museum is a 4 storey building that proudly presents the history and the transformation of Baguio City. There are also displayed paintings that they sell.

    IMG_0018 IMG_0011Panagbenga Festival

    Just a few shots of the Panabenga Festival because it’s almost time for us to go back to Manila. 🙂

    Long walks around Baguio City is so worth it!

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    CD-R (CJ, Doms and Rika)

    Weekend Getaway at Baguio City V.1

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