Saturday, March 24, 2012

GENSAN: An Amazing Race Adventure with Marxtermind (lol!)

Don't go chasing waterfalls, please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to. ♫ Kung marunong lang kumanta ang nanay ko, yan ang lullabye song niya bago ako umalis.

I still can't get enough of the experience as of this writing- the thrill, the adrenalin rush, the epic habal-habal fall, ang kainang walang hanggan, ang pananatili sa Saranggani sa loob ng 10 minuto lang, at ang hindi maiwasang pagkakaugnay ko ng salitang Gastos sa Gensan. hahaha! Hay!

Anyway, I'm really glad I pursued this trip finally. Naunsyame na ang unang plano ko before to do solo backpacking in Gensan. I can say I made the right choice to experience the thrill with someone. I bet I won't be doing solo trip ever if I did it alone. Trauma. lol! (Hep! Bago maging bayolente ang reaksyon, at paratangan ako ng paninirang puri, patapusin muna ako ok? oo bitter ako... bitteeeeeRRRR!)

I would like to thank Marx for inviting me and arranging the trip. Dakilang kaladkarin ako for three days. Tinanong ko lang sa kanya kung magkano gagastusin. hahaha! I didn't research any aside from what I've read a year ago (thanks Mica and Angel for your entries).  The usual reply I got was "Anong meron dun? papapicture kay mommy D?! hahah!" Until I got used to it an just replied back with a smile. Ngiting aso lang. 

I hate that my mom saw the Map of the Philippines few days before I left. (may atraso sakin ang nagkalat nun. hmp!) It contributed to to nervous breakdown. hahaha! Nabother sila ni papa lalo at nasa kadulo-duluhan na pala ang Gensan.. Kaya pala nakuha ko pang managinip sa plane.

Mama: Sino ba yang kasama mo? Boypren mo?
Me: Hindi ah! Pero first time ko lang siya ma-mi-meet.

Mama: Mas mabuti pang mag solo ka na lang anak.. :)

Ang sarap irecord. hahaha! Mama ayan ha! Ikaw na nagsabi.. hahahah! Expect more solo backpacking for next year. woot woot!

See you soon Mommy D! (lol!)

Magandang Gensan!
Marx was one of my few blogger friends na kahit hindi ko pa nami-meet in person, feeling close na kami pareho. hahaha! His office is just a few blocks away lang samin pero sa Gensan pa kami nagkita. Ganun kami ka-busy. (Charot!) I was really looking forward to that day. I've been doing solo backpacking lately so.. I think I need to give my parents a break... that's what I thought. lol!

I met him at Amigotel. He arrived there the day before kasi naubusan ako ng seat sale nun so nag solo siya for a day. We just laughed at each other the moment he opened up the door. Iba talaga pag nagsama ang mga hayok sa galaan. Click agad. Parang may lukso ng dugo. hahaha! (Apir Marx!)

To kill the curiosity of those who asked me what to do in Gensan.. oh! para sa inyo.

1.) Ride a habal habal.

At chansingan si Marx! hahaha! Joke. It was my first habal habal ride and I had so much fun!

2. Zipline to the max!

Where's the other end?


3. Riding in Tandem. ^_^
"Anak! meme na!" hahaha!
4. Try the open air cable car. (Remember my EAT Danao trip in Bohol? I never had a chance to try their sky ride dahil sa duwakers kong friends. Masyado daw torture sa utak ang ilang minuto mo sa taas at kung ano ano ang maiisip nilang paraan ng pagkamatay nila. hahaha!)

I was surprised to see almost all of the crew on the other end after we tried it.
Marx: Hala bat ang dami nila?!
Me: Ewan ko. Ano ba to dry run? (ginawa pa ata kaming Guinea Pig. hahah!)
Marx: Baka titingnan nila kung hindi bibigay to at makakarating sa dulo ng buhay. hahaha!

My mom asked me  "Ah! yun ba yung pinapang tawid gulay sa bundok ng mga magsasaka nak? E di may kasama kayong gulay?" hahaha! Napanood niya ata kay Korina before. Akala ko rin. Sa Sariaya, Quezon pala yun. Tramline ang tawag nila. I'd love to try it too.

5. Mag sight-seeing

6. Visit South Cotabato's Summer Capital - Lake Sebu

7. Learn the Tboli dance

8. Chase the waterfalls. Woot woot!

9. Zipline above 7 falls. (Yes you read it right.. 7 falls dude! Wapak!)

Akala ko dati Maria Cristina falls lang ang meron sa Pilipinas. hahah! Paki update na nga ang Sibika at Kultura books please. And did you know that one of them is the tallest in South East Asia? Amazing isn't it?

10. White Water Tubing in Maitum Saranggani.

Watch out for my next entries on how much effort we took just to try this one. Hihihi! And yes, dito kami nag-stay ng sampung minuto lang at umuwi pabalik ng Gensan. Alamin kung bakit..

All these in just 3 days. Pagod na pagod talaga ako but it was all worth it. Pume-preview muna ako. I'm busy and lazy at the same time (ang hirap ng pinagdadaanan ko no? lol). Na-realize ko, kumpleto pala ang Gensan sa lyrics na pinost ko kanina (Press Ctrl + Home now.) Ciao!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Experience Astoria

Break muna sa travel post. Well.. I'll be leaving tomorrow anyway. Hihihi! Nauubusan na ko ng kwentong lakwatsa. I was scanning my camera to check if I have enough memory for my trip and found these. Tamad talaga akong mag delete ng pictures. To give you an idea, my Anilao trip with Chyng Reyes last September 2011 is still on my cam. My friend once scolded me saying "Uhmm. Maki! hindi mo ba alam ang salitang BACKUP!?!? Gusto mo i-brief pa kita?!?!" lol!

I got an invitation from Astoria Plaza Hotel before Christmas last year. I thought it was because of my blog or something. Ang feeling lang. hahaha! I found out it was my friend who referred me (Hi Mich! I miss you). E PG mode ako nun, so I grabbed that chance. Since it was a free buffet dinner for two, I immediately dragged my brother dahil sulit na sulit sa kanya ang mga ganyang kainang walang hanggan. hahahah! Peace..

They promised they would give me GC for an overnight stay in Bohol. Its validity is until March of this year. Who am I to refuse right? But there's a big BUT attached to it. I need to stay for 45 minutes after our dinner for a short presentation and tour around the hotel. Keri boom boom lang. So yun na!

My first meal
On buffet meal, my mom gave me these guidelines: (Oo.. Habang dumudukot ako ng pagkain, naiimagine ko siya. Parang siyang konsensiya sa SafeGuard soap commercial nung araw. hahaha!)

Mom: Rule #1: Don't eat rice and pasta (which I obviously violated. lol!)

Salad bar
 Mom: Rule #2: Try their salad at least once


Mom: Rule #3: Avoid soups. They have a special ingredient to make you feel full quickly. (Engk! I just did.)


Mom: Rule #4: Avoid too much desserts. Sweets increases "Umay" factor. (My mom knows me well. Hindi pwedeng hindi ako dudukot pag may nakikita ako sa mesa. hahaha!)

Hindi ako nakapagpigil. hahah! Ayan at may kagat.

Mom: Rule #5: Eat just a small portion of everything else.

Me: Uhmm... How small is small kaya? ^_^

I'll leave it up to you if you think I followed the last rule. hahahah!

Moving on.. we were serenaded by.. uhmm... the singers?! lol! I don't know them. But their performance was superb. Ayoko pa sanang umalis ng may dumating ng pogi sa harap ko. Syempre sumama ako sa apaf! Mas yummy sya kesa sa pagkain. hahahah!

Wala siya diyan sa picture kung siya man ang hinanap mo..

He invited us to tour around their rooms. Bakit ko ba naisama sama ang brother ko. Panira ng jackpot moment. hahaha! Charot!

Imagine nyo na lang solo DAPAT kami sa ganitong lugar...hmp!
I was impressed. Great interior designs they got there. The space were maximized. The unit is following a minimalist mixed with tropical style. Aylabet! <3

Si Matet

That tall guy? akin siya! bwahahaha! The other guy is my brother... bored.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take a picture of him. Shyness. Oh well... Let's all move on and get into the room..

For Kids only

The Master's Bedroom... hmmmmmm.. hahaha!

Overlooking Ortigas Center
After that, he started offering their membership and the privilege I can acquire through it. I almost said yes because attached to it are great discounts for my future travels locally and internationally. Unfortunately, I have other priorities and I don't really have something to give out that time. Just to make it up to them, I'm writing this entry now. hihihi! They gave me the gift certificate as promised though I didn't gave in to their offer. Still, I'd like to thank them you for the great experience.

Mukha lang akong mayaman pero hindi. Chos! If you're going to ask me if I will be using it, No. I'll be off somewhere in Mindanao tomorrow. Ciao! Until next time!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Calitang: I love you, beach!

Move over Boracay and make way for my new found love! Char! I've never been to Boracay actually. Hahaha! But if you hate the crowd as much as I do, this is definitely for you. The moment I saw this beach, it makes me want to buy a lot at the end of this endless stretch. (Donya mode is ON. lol)

My definition of Paradise o_O

It was the first time I saw a strip of beach na ganung kahaba at kaganda. A friend of mine told me, "Dito ka lang makakakita ng beach na pag tumingin ka sa kabilang dulo, ni hindi mo na alam kung tao pa ba ang naglalakad." Great teaser indeed. So instead of trying Tour B and D island hopping packages, I found myself packing and heading to Calitang on my Day 4.

Yes I have a friend who had spent his childhood in El nido. Pure eh. Kainggit no? hihihi! Unfortunately he couldn't make it because he'd been assigned somewhere. To make it up to me, he asked his sister to take care of me while in Calitang. Free accommodation that is! Yahuuu!

Calitang is an hour away from El nido town proper. You can go there by boat or by land. I chose the latter since I was alone and only a few know the place. Aside from I couldn't afford to hire the whole boat by myself, my friend suggested a tricycle driver, Kuya Kano. He charged me 400.00 for a one way trip. If you don't want to hire a tricycle, there are daily trips to Calitang every 12noon sa terminal. However, you might need to walk for 30minutes since the jeep will just stop at the highway. Ayokong magpaka-baluga.

Spell S-O-L-O
Smooth lang ang first 20 minutes of the ride. Bumpy and dusty na yung the rest. Naging pink ang red luggage ko. hahaha! Kuya Kano turned down the volume then he suddenly whispered, "Malapit na po tayo ma'am..". My excitement meter exploded. I arrived at Ate Rose's house at around 11:00am. They're very welcoming. Their master's bedroom became my temporary haven. Ganun sila kabait.

As I peeked into the window, voila. Parang painting lang. Nandun na mismo sa dagat. I can hear the waves kahit nakasara pa ang buong kabahayan. I love the feel of gentle breeze. Very promdi mode. I shared my lunch with them. Good thing I brought canned goods and knorr corn soup. hihihi! Nakakahiyang makikain. After that, I headed to the beach.
Let me take you there...

rock on!

Sana lang walang nagkakalat..

I found this rocky side at the other end. I stayed there for about an hour. Nagmumuni-muni. hihihi! I wish I was with someone. Well, hindi naman ako naiyak.. Baka may sumulpot na shokoy pag nag inarte ako dun. hahah! Oh and yeah, that's where I learned how to make the rock bounce three times at the water surface. O ha!

ako yun...
It was love at first sight I must say. As I've mentioned on my previous post, if I would make a list of why  should I go back to El nido, this would definitely be on top. I don't know if there's a beach as long as this one. I googled it to show you how long is long. lol!

Aerial View (See?)

O eto na ang actual... yiiiihii!

Obviously I was with someone. Thank you kiddo for taking the pic. You're such a pro. Hindi ako natakot na baka itakbo niya ang camera ko. Wala siyang ibang way kundi ang bumaba. hahaha!

Some call it twin beach. The other side daw (boat docking area), is called Nacpan Beach while the other is Calitang Beach. Well I trust the locals more. Forgive me. hihihi! They told me Nacpan is another baranggay dun sa kabilang dulo ng stretch. Yes they might be sharing the shoreline however, the portion where this sand bar is located, it's still part of Sitio Calitang. Nacpan is just a part of Calitang so we can just say Calitang Beach. Peace out.

breathtaking indeed
Wanna know why I let the kid took the picture? Kasi hindi ko kayang umakyat. hahaha! Matalahib. But honestly I was tempted to go up the hill after I saw his shots. Iba talaga ang mga bata dun.

After a few hours, I saw 2 foreigners arrived. I thought they're the cast of Bourne Legacy. hihih!

I haven't seen any pinoy tourist while I was around. Sign that only a few experienced this paradise. Lucky me!

thanks ma for the dress! hihihi! ang negra ko lang.. but I don't care

Diana Zubiri?

The coconut trees add to the picturesque view
Naglalawa na ang kili-kili ko kaya kailangan ng bumalik to freshen up a bit. hahah! I grabbed that moment to get to know Ate Rose' family. Mingling with the locals came easy. Though I don't get their dialect and it's pretty hard for them to talk in tagalog, we managed to understand each other. 

Their cute house is made up of sawali. They don't have fan or any other appliances (anyway, electricity runs from 7pm to 10pm only so what's the use). I'd be sleeping in a mat with no foam at all. Their comfort room... uhm.. well that's the part I couldn't bear. Forgive me. I was just a kid when I last pee in an improvised CR where the walls is made up of  rice sack patched together. Dun yung latest. hahaha! Ang classic dun, I need to take a bath sitting or else, baka nasa local news paper na ko kinabukasan. Ooopsy! Kitang kita ako pag tumayo. hahaha! Ate Rose was kind enough to stay with me, well sa labas ng banyo, habang naliligo ako. hahaha! Parusa rin ang tubig kaya I was very thankful na pinag-igib pa nila ako.

They kept on apologizing because of the life they shared with me. I can't seem to find any comforting words to say. For me, being taken care of by someone I met for the first time is really a blessing. If only I could help them in any way.

I slept for a while. Sabi ko maliligo ako sa dagat ng bandang 4pm. I woke up dizzy. I had a headache so Ate Rose' didn't allow me to catch the sunset. Baka matuluyan daw ako at hindi nila ako pauwiin the next day. She and her hubby told me to just watch it from the window. I was sad and all. You know what they did? They captured it for me. It was a very very kind deed.

Look at how the sunset transforms the view

It may not be the best but it's the loveliest sunset for me. Thank you Ate Rose and Kuya Ting! I owe you bigtime
I bought dinner for them. That's the least thing I could do. By the way, flashlight is a necessity. There were dogs roaming around so better grab a patpat if you don't want to be their meal. I saw an eatery just near their house and one of their specialty daw is buttered garlic shrimp. Tatanggi pa ba ko?

I got back and saw group of people just beside Ate Rose' house. Nagkakagulo. "Hala! Anyare?" Nanonood lang pala ng DVD. hihihi! Usually daw, kina Ate Rose ang venue but since I was there, and they didn't want to ruin my night, dun muna daw sila sa kapit bahay. Hang sweet! Yun lang ang libangan nilang lahat dun. Super feel na feel ko ang pagka promdi ko. Kulang na lang mag duster ako e. hahaha!

As the clock strikes 10, all of the lights shut down but only Ate Rose' house was left with lights on. How come? Her hubby, Kuya Ting, turned on the portable generator just for me. Grabe, gusto ko ng maiyak sa sobrang bait nila sakin.

We slept. I didn't mind the foam-less banig. I may be tired and I badly need to recharge but my heart was full of happiness. It was a peaceful sleep. I woke up at 5:30am sharp (salamat sa alarm clock). I peeked on to the window and witnessed another majestic view..

"Para kanino ka gumigising?"

I just love their "sinaunang" window style. May kahoy talagang itutukod para lang mabuksan mo ito at hindi sumara. Cute!

uu sa bintana pa rin yan.. ganda noh?
I strolled a bit for the last time to check out their morning routine. Calitang is a quaint town, laid back and badly need road renovations for it to be more accessible to tourists. It's pretty hard for the community to travel by land. But they have boat though. However, the chance for it to be progressive is very little. The sea is their only life source. Hospital is nowhere to be found. But crime rate? Zero for these past few years. Matagal na daw nung may huling nagtagaan dun. :~

I saw one lodging house (and I don't think you can find any other). They call it Jack's Place (09162945645). Located just along the beach side. Lakad lang ang katapat. You can call him beforehand if you want to book a room. He'll charge you 500.00 per night. Aside from one big white house, there's no other establishments to be found. Bring enough food and drinks.

Men at work
Ito ang perfect timing. Napapalakpak ako sa kanila. hihihi! Please watch it.

I wasn't able to swim since I preferred staying at home more. Anyway, I've seen the best. I love to spend my last hours in El nido with them. They have a son whom they call "kalbo" for obvious reason. hahah! He's so cute. Ang sarap kidnapin. hahah! So I became a yaya too for a short period of time. :) I bid my goodbye and promised to be back if time and money permits. I didn't post their pictures here because they don't want to. Shy sila.

I just called Kuya Kano to pick me up and he charged me 400.00 ulit. Kinldy contact him if you want to visit the place. Here's his number once again -09997296650. Siya na ang pinakamura sa lahat ng blogs na nabasa ko.

I'll be coming up with another entry.. the last one perhaps. Please bear with me. hihihi! check out my other entries:

Until next time!