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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Canyoneering from Alegria to Kawasan Falls, Badian

Canyoning (known as canyoneering in the U.S.) is traveling in canyons using a variety of techniques that may include other outdoor activities such as walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, abseiling (rappelling), and swimming. 
Cebuanos have always took pride how pretty Kawasan Falls is.  Unknown to many, there was an undiscovered river canyon that led to it that runs from Alegria to Badian.   According to our guide, some two years ago, a foreign tourist discovered this eco-tourism spot and introduced the canyoneering activity.   For the past year, it has gained much attention on social media, it has been flocked by more and more local and foreign tourists.  Hold on to your seats and watch the teaser of our adventure down the river canyon of Kanla-ob, Alegria to Matutinao, Badian, Cebu.

Does this video make you giddy and envious?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Coastal Walk at Bondi Beach

Conveniently accessible by one bus stop from the CBD, we took the 389 bus right outside Marimekko along King's Street to Bondi Beach for 3.80 aud per way on a Sunday.  We got off at Glenayr Avenue near Hall Street.  From there, it's a two minute walk to the beach.  Thanks to a friend who has been schooling in Sydney for a while he lead the way and we took the bus for the first time.  A break from the countless (and expensive) taxi rides we've been taking.

fish and chips quick please!  we're hungry.
Since we spent the morning hearing mass at St. Mary's Cathedral, we arrived in Bondi Beach around 1 in the afternoon.  From the bus stop at Glenayr Avenue, we rushed down Hall Street and looked for food.  We stopped by the corner before crossing the street to the beach and grabbed a bag of fish and a lot of chips.
inviting pristine blue water and fine sand
We came unprepared and just sat on the sand with imaginary beach towels for a random picnic lunch.  The waters was so inviting, we were tempted to swim in the ice cold water.  We took a quick dip in the ice cold water (okay, twas just our feet).

Monday, November 16, 2015

Anything Goes in Sydney, Australia

Coming to Australia has been on the bucket list for the longest time.  Two months ago, Philippine Airlines came up with a promo and for 550$ my friend and I just grabbed a good deal, just enough time for us to apply for a visa.  We took the red eye flight out of Manila to Sydney.  Since the plane wasn't full, we were lucky to lie back in a four-seater economy seats the entire 8 hour flight.

Visa Application

Visitor Visa (600) application was seamlessly lodged online via by creating an account with   All documentary requirements such as proof of income, travel history, passport copy, pictures, application are scanned and attached online.

In spite of having a US visa and quite extensive travel history, I was granted visa 30 days later, contrary to what they consider as fast lane which only takes 3 days.  (Notice of grant was sent via email and is accessible through the online account stated above.)  Thus, it is important to apply for a visa at least 30 working days prior to your flight, I have known several people who failed to get their visa on time or just 24 hours before the flight.

I opted this service over  because the latter charge an extra service fee on top of the visa fees.

Arriving in Sydney

We breezed through immigration upon arrival in Sydney.  The first thing I have notice while on queue for the airport taxi, was that many locals are just wearing fitflops!  I was even told they go barefoot while malling.  Well, hello surfer dude!  I welcome myself to this land down under with a lot of sunshine and cool breeze.

When travelling with a buddy who is particular with thread counts, I had to forgo staying in hostels and checked in at Four Points by Sheraton overlooking the Darling Harbour.  The location was good. Although the bus stop is still a block away, it is within walking distance to Queen Victoria Building, Cockle Bay Wharf of Darling Harbour, Chinatown, shopping areas of York Street, George Street, Pitt Street and Martin Place.  It was a bit of a long 25 minute uphill walk to the Circular Quay or Sydney Opera House (or about 25 aud for taxi).


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Tips on What and How to Pack for Mt Pulag

For a first timer, packing Mt Pulag was one of the challenging preparation to take. 

  • 2 sets of extra clothes (1 for day 2 and another in case you get soaked in the rain)
  • 2 Uniqlo ultra light packable down jacket, 2 gloves, scarf, bonnet
  • 3 liters of water, 1 liter of gatorade
  • First aid kit, wet wipes, tissue
  • Poncho, garbage bag, spare zip locks
  • Trail food (nuts, cookies, sweetened dried fruits)
  • tupperware, spoon and fork, cup for hot drinks
  • plastic
  • headlight
  • sleeping bag
  • earth pad (as cushion and keep your back insulated from the cold and hard mountain grounds)
    foil-faced bubble wrap or insulation foam in lieu of earth pad
    sold at about P150/m at hardware stores
Since we joined a packaged tour with, our guide took care of these and did not have to pack these:
  • burner and cookware
  • food and water for cooking
  • tent
Pack your stuff in ziplock and double pack in garbage bags.  In the mountains, it is important to keep yourself  and your stuff dry.  Once you get wet, it can get too cold to handle.  

Try not to overpack, yet be prepared for any type of weather as it can be totally unpredictable.

Tip:  If your shoes gets wet, wear plastic over your dry socks and feet before you slip it in your wet shoes.

Where to Eat in Bangkok

When planning for a trip to Bangkok, you probably heard how good the food is in Samboon Seafood, Bangkok's most famous seafood restaurant. (they opened a branch in Central Embassy) or advised to chill at Banyan Tree.

In a recent trip to Bangkok, my palate was delighted by a random food trip to less famous places but equally good restaurants.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Peaks of Osmeña Peak

Instead of hitting the beach, I'm climbing mountains.  This was suppose to be a practice climb for Mt Pulag. Since our schedules did not permit, it turned out to be a post Mt Pulag Climb.

It is always a challenge to pool a big group.  With short notice, we were surprised to pool a group of fifteen on a holiday that falls on a weekday.

Osmeña Peak is the highest peak in Cebu standing at 1,013 meters above sea level (MASL). It's 100km from the city center, about three hours drive including light traffic.

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Walk Above The Clouds: Mt Pulag

Summer is here!  Instead of hitting the beach, we're climbing mountains.  Inspired by the movie That Thing Called Tadhana, where do broken hearts go? We head north!
literally a walk above the clouds

Read more about our best summer ever!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Arriving in India, Enroute Udaipur, The City of Lakes

Day 1  Flying into Udaipur

I was a bit anxious taking a domestic flight around India for a few reasons.  I was afraid that the domestic airport is disorganized like the ones in Vietnam and that the plane ride may smell.  Fortunately, our experience proved our fears to be false.

Security at the airport was tight, they checked every person's plane ticket and passport before one can enter the terminal.  We were then met by a representative from Creative Travel.  There was a long queue at the check-in counter but a guide breezed through the check-in counter for us.  I was pleasantly surprised to see a clean, organized, enormous airport at par with airports from other parts of the world.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How to Apply for Tourist Visa on Arrival to India

In an unfortunate event last week, we were denied to board the plane by Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong to New Delhi, citing that effective December 2014, Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) is now required for Indian Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA).  This means that even the visa will be issued upon arrival, application must be done online prior to entering India, an ETA is mandatory.

Looking at the website of and that of the Indian Embassy in Manila,  it clearly states that:

Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) for Philippine nationals
Philippine passport holders, travelling for the purpose of tourism only, can avail of the visa-on-arrival facility at Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata airports.  With effect from 15th August 2013, this facility has also been extended at Trivandrum, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Kochi airports.  

For inquiries, you may email the embassy of India in Manila: