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    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.


    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.


    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!

    IMG_9926 IMG_9938

    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.


    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!


    CD-R (CJ, Doms and Rika)

    Weekend Getaway at Baguio City V.1



    U.S. Tourist Visa Application Experience

    Getting U.S. Tourist Visa is one of my goals for this year! It was January 15th when I set a schedule for my visa interview and the earliest possible date by that time was February 2nd; I chose February 5th at 8:00AM (Friday).

    For Non-immigrant Visa application, these are the 3 steps:

    1. Go to and answer the DS-160 online form (Note: You will need to upload your picture, preferably in a neutral facial expression).
    2. Pay the visa fee, which costs $160; keep the visa fee receipt because you will need it during the appointment.
    3. Schedule your visa interview thru their website or call center agent. Remember, gadgets are not allowed so better leave it at home.

    I’m ecstatic about the interview, so I kept on Googling about U.S. Tourist Visa blogs and then I have noticed that these are the questions that the consular commonly ask:

    1. What is the purpose of your visit?
    2. Do you have any relatives or friends in the U.S.?
    3. How long will you be staying?
    4. Countries you have visited for the past 5 years?
    5. What is your work?
    6. How much is your monthly income?

    U.S. Visa Appointment Day

    My boyfriend (he only accompanied me) and I have arrived at the US Embassy around 6AM and I think I’m the 6th person in the line for the 8AM appointment. At 7:45AM, we were on our way inside the embassy.

    Once inside the embassy, the first step would be a pre-interview (checking of printed DS-160/appointment form) this is also your last chance to change any answer in your form, the second step is a fingerprint scanning and lastly, the start of a waiting game for your number to be called for the interview.

    Calling out of the number is randomized, as what the guy staff explained, it is random because the number that was first to enter into their system after the fingerprint scan will be called immediately, so don’t get mad if you saw the last person in your line to be called first. 🙂

    I wasn’t wearing a watch on that day (because I thought it is also prohibited) so I assume that it took me an hour before being called. Maybe I’m just lucky that there were fewer people went for an interview on that day, other people waited for 2-3hrs. (Tip: Bring a book that you want to read while waiting because it might take hours before you’ll be called).

    The consuls looks nice, approachable and good anyway, unlike the stories that I have heard. Before my turn, I could hear a lot of people being interviewed and most of them got approved.

    The Interview

    I was feeling nervous while waiting for my number to flash in the screen, but during the interview, my nervousness suddenly went away!

    Consul: Hi, how are you?
    Me: Good morning, I’m good. *smiles*
    Consul: So, what’s the purpose of your visit?
    Me: I will visit my relatives
    Consul: What is your relationship with them?
    Me: My aunt and my grandmother
    Consul: How long do you plan to visit?
    Me: For 2 weeks
    Consul: So you work in *********?
    Me: Yup
    Consul: For how long?
    Me: For ** years
    Consul: From which department?
    Me: From **** department
    Consul: Oh, the **** store. What’s your work?
    Me: *explaining my work*
    Consul: Who will pay for your trip?
    Me: Myself
    Consul: Okay… So you’re saving up for yourself?
    Me: Yes

    And that’s how I got my U.S. Tourist Visa application approved! 😀 The excitement and the visa fee are all worth it! Haha. After 5 business days, my passport was delivered to our house… The US Embassy gave me 10 years! I think most of the questions were about my work because it will be the main reason why I’ll return here in the Philippines. Also, they didn’t ask for any supporting documents during the interview. My ultimate tip for the interview would be:




    Majestic Tinipak River and Mt. Mamara Day Hike

    Hiking is now one of popular outdoor activities and a weekend getaway nowadays. So I’ll have to remind everybody, including myself, that do not hike in mainstream mountains a day before the holiday because there will be too many people!

    We originally planned to hike in Mt. Daraitan but since there were too many people at that time, we were not lucky enough to be with the 300 people that were allowed to go up.

    Good thing, we were still able to hike Mt. Marmara and Tinipak River which are also located in Barangay Daraitan, even though it’s crowded as well. Personally, I haven’t heard about the Mt. Mamara so I did not have any idea about its difficulty and what to expect at the summit.


    Before you reach the starting point of Mt. Mamara, you’ll get to see and enjoy the Tinipak River first. The Tinipak River is characterized by cool clear waters, amazing rock formations and colorful stones by its banks; most of our time was spent taking photos near the river and on top of the rock formations. It was a 30mins walk from Brgy. Daraitan to the campsite and another 5mins walk going to the start point of Mt. Mamara; at the same time, it is the part of the river where you could swim around.

    me 3

    Our hike from the starting point of Mt. Mamara up to the summit took us almost 2hrs and 30mins because we had to stop most of the time to give way for those hikers going down. The mountain is not yet developed and upon reaching the summit, I’m a bit disappointed about how crowded it was and there’s nothing much to see! You wouldn’t think of it as the summit. There wasn’t enough space to sit so most of us had our snacks while standing. I hate to say it, but the view doesn’t worth our climb at all… While going down took us only 1hr and 30mins.

    There is also the Mamara cave, however, it was also crowded. We had to wait for the five groups to be finished (30mins for each group) before our turn so our group decided to skip the cave for us not to go home late and just go swim around Tinipak River.

    Expenses: Tour guide – Php500 | Environmental Fee: Php25

    © Allysa Pajarillo

    © Allysa Pajarillo



    Philippine Map Pinboard

    Philippine Map Pinboard

    Isn’t it fun to know where you’ve been and haven’t been by marking it on a pinboard map? Listing down the mountains that you have conquered? A pinboard that will help you remember the moments you had in a certain place. Memories that will be remembered forever.

    Just finished my Philippine map pinboard today; it may have look simple, but the point of it is to let me remember where I have been. More than 20 years living in Philippines and as you can see, I still have a lot of Philippine provinces to visit! I’m not even in the half yet! Haha. On the left side, I plan to list down the mountains that I have conquered.ListsWhat else do you think should I add to it? Were you also able to track down the places you’ve been? Comment below. 🙂


    Cork Board | Wooden Frame| Construction Paper | Dressmaker Pins | Glue | Pencil | Scissor | Permanent Markers (Black and Silver)

    PS: If you are interested to have one, just send me a message. 🙂