Bataan is surely an interesting place for its laid-back environment, not to mention how you can go back in time with Las Casas. We were invited by a friend to join this day tour and since I was really looking forward to visiting Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, I immediately said yes!
Places we visited: Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar | Dunsulan Falls | Mount Samat National Shrine
I have been hearing a lot of great places to see in Baler and since we were on a limited time the first time I was there, I had to say yes when my colleagues/ friends were planning to organize for a weekend getaway to this place. What I really wanted to visit at first was Dingalan Lighthouse because of all the photographs I see on the internet but Trish said it was too far so she just included Dicasalarin Cove to our itinerary, she said they looked almost the same anyway.
The road to Dicasalarin Cove was like a smaller version of the Kennon Road in Baguio and when we catch of glimpse of the cove, we were roaring with much excitement.
The place was too picturesque we couldn’t stop taking pictures.
This secluded place was like a haven of peace, we wished we learned earlier that we can do camping here so we could have stayed overnight. Dicasalarin Cove, for me, is like a piece of heaven in the Philippines.
Nagsasa Cove is one of the most underrated places I have been to but I found it very close to my heart. I think it because life here is simpler and more peaceful and that is what I have long been looking for.
Nagsasa Cove | My Kind of Happy Place
It was our first time to be joiners of other groups which was organized by sir Avel who I came across in one of the Facebook backpacking pages. The trip was actually an island hopping to Camara, Capones, and Nagsasa Cove which we had an overnight stay. The package was P1800, with 3 hosted meals, which is super sulit. Plus sir Avel is the nicest organizer ever, and for that, until now, we still join his organized tours, whether its beach bumming or mountain hiking.
We had a very limited time to the first two islets and I was so disappointed as I enjoyed the beach at Capones so much, the water was very warm and it was so clear.
We had camping at Pamimi Campsite and the vibe was just what I exactly needed. Unlike those crowded places, I found a much needed inner peace and had a perfect place to relax and disconnect from the all stress and hustles of the city I am currently living in. The place lacks phone and internet signal so I completely disengaged with my phone, yay! I realized that having the time to interact with others feels great since we joined a completely strange groups who became friends at the end of the trip. Aside form enjoying the magnificent view, we spent the day sharing stories, swimming together, taking pictures and it made me appreciate the gift of life even more.
Days at provinces like this where there’s not much to do are usually longer and that made me miss living in my hometown. At night, we had the traditional drinking game while telling ghost stories over a bonfire. I guess, this is really usual for large groups to talk about scary stories during outings.
The next morning, sir Avel took us to some hiking and cliff jumping and the view on top of the hill was the most beautiful. The way down to the cliff is a little risky though but tiwala lang. My knees were already trembling when we reached the cliff so I chose not to jump anymore before my fear of heights completely dominate me.
Ryan did it and so does the others while I just enjoyed swimming until a jellyfish started to prick my arm. 😦
It was a short stay we had at Nagsasa Cove but it was one of my favorite weekends so I will come back real soon.
I have always wanted to cross cliff jumping off my bucket list but I haven’t had enough courage to do so until this time. Last December, I saw another cliff jumping spot here in Boracay called the Magic Island but we were unable to go. I heard about Ariel’s Point from Lisette so I made sure that this comeback to Boracay would include a day trip so I can finally try this adventure.
Ariel’s Point Boracay was an all-in package of a whole day activity at the island, lunch and an open bar, snorkeling, kayaking and of course, unlimited cliff jumping. All for P2500.
The tour starts at Ariel’s House at Station 1 where all guests are welcomed to chill while waiting for the boat.
Ryan was one of the first brave ones to try it on the 8-meter platform, ikaw na!
And he has the guts to try it at the highest point (15 meters)!
My turn, but I only opted to try it at the lowest platform which is 5 meters. Actually, the lifeguard has let me try it on the 3-meter platform first as I was deeply terrified but I was determined to go on to the next level so I did it, yay! It took me about half an hour to convince myself to jump.
And here I go..
I liked the Ariel’s Point Boracay package as a whole because the place was great, I love swimming by the clear waters. The only downside is that it had too limited time, it started late and they just let us wait for more than an hour for the boat to arrive, we could have enjoyed swimming and had more time to relax if we arrived earlier. And the food too was not so great, the meals offered for the island hopping was much yummier.
Summer came in early this year when my good friend, Lei invited us to join them for an island camping in Caramoan. It is a place far far away from Manila and she told me that we’re going to commute so I thought that would be a long and tiresome trip but I gave in anyway, its a beach we’re going so I couldn’t care less.
It was a 13-hour bus ride to the municipality of Caramoan so were totally worn out the moment we arrived at the town. Afterwards, we have to ride this big tricycle to reach the boat that would charter us to the island. I spent approximately P2500 for this trip.
Before we arrived at the campsite, we went island hopping first.
The place was so charming. The clear waters, however, was very shallow that time so we can’t enjoy swimming but the view is just so lovely so photo ops na lang.
We had camping in Matukad island where we had the place to ourselves. We were isolated over the night as there was no electricity and signal, just our tents and lamps. It was my first time to go island camping so at night I was kinda scared because we were the only ones in that island and the townsfolk lives afar but over time, I was assured that the place is safe for campers.
While there was still sunlight, we rushed on setting up our tents and prepared for our dinner. It felt really good to disconnect for a while where all you can do is enjoy the peacefulness of nature. It was a long long night so after dinner, we had some drinks and went swimming.
And we had to climb these edgy rock formations to see the mysterious giant milkfish in a lagoon. The view on top gave us a wide panoramic view of the entire Matukad Island, so lovely!
I saw a little resemblance of Caramoan islets from Palawan islands, although for me no place compares the beauty of Palawan especially El Nido.
Our first visit to Palawan was the moment I realized how truly blessed and beautiful the islands of Philippines are. The main highlight of this trip was to experience island hopping in El Nido and as a sea lover, the place instantly became my most favorite and convinced myself that I would definitely go back.
El Nido Palawan | A Place Like No Other
It was those first trips where Ryan and I were not yet into budgeted travels so I felt like Palawan was quite an expensive place to visit but I guess it was worth every penny to what beauty I have witnessed during our whole stay. The islands were filled with pristine beaches and the crystal-clear waters made me so much in awe of the offerings of the place. I was also moved by the warmth and kindness of the people we were able to meet plus the food was delectable (thinking of these makes me want to go back like right now).
The five-hour van ride from Puerto Princesa to El Nido was quite nerve-racking because of the narrow rough roads and lack of street lights (we traveled at night time) coupled with kuya driver’s swift driving. It was around 1am when we reached the hotel and I was so excited hearing the waves and I hardly got enough amount of sleep. I remember waking up at 5am and the sun wasn’t out yet so I just went for a walk on the shore and it was the most relaxing walk I have ever had for years. When I finally came to see the morning view, I swear, the sleepless night was worth it.
I always thought that people living in a beachfront house are the luckiest and I was beyond thankful for those two mornings we were able to have our breakfast with a very much impressive view. Aah, #takemeback.
Island hopping, yay! According to the resort staff, the best tours offered are A & C so we availed both for two days but the next time I visit, I’ll make sure to go with all four and I would stay for a whole week, para sulit (and that is if I have enough money).
I never have much love for long hours of boat sailing until this point of time in my life because of the magnificent view all around. All the islets have different beauty and I came to know the reason why everyone regards Palawan as a paradise for the living. I know the photographs I have do not represent the picturesque view I am talking about but believe me when I say it is breathtaking.
What’s more lovely with the island hopping tours was that they serve buffet lunch. The guides would grill while sailing and during lunch time, they would serve us a delightful meal with wide selections of yummy-grilled seafood and barbecue to fresh vegetables and healthy fruits. I know, what a life, right?
One of my favorites was this view on top of a hill in Matinloc Shrine, it gives a panoramic view of crystal clear blue waters. The stairway was somewhat rocky though and has lots of mosquitoes but I couldn’t care less because I was stunned and excited the whole time. I also loved the beach at Seven Commandos, the fine white sand and the clear waters made the place a haven of peace and the several snack shops offering fresh buko shakes are the best. I was skin burnt the whole time as I had way too much time enjoying the sea that I kept forgetting to smear sunscreen.
I also loved how in the afternoon we would chill by a beachfront restaurant nearby enjoying the seafood paluto while sipping cocktails.
Our 2-day stay at El Nido, Palawan was one of the happiest moment of my life and I wish to be back real soon.
Since our flight back to Manila was scheduled in the afternoon, we opted to do the city tour in the morning. There’s plenty of places to see but due to limited time, we shortened down the list to Baker’s Hill, Crocodile Farm, Plaza Cuartel, bay walk and we also had some time to try out chaolong at the famous restaurant Bona’s.
Baker’s Hill was a small village located on top of a hill and the place was surprisingly good. Aside from their wide variety of yummy pastries (I love their hopias and chocolate crinkles), I like how they converted this shop into a mini-park where family and barkadas could bond.
My favorite spot in the park was where this two kids playing sungka, it gave nostalgia to my childhood days where we would enjoy this game. Look at those precious smiles, I still prefer these traditional games over the latest technologies because they bring simple joys and not to mention I love simpler life. Given much more time, I would have loved joining them for one round, of course, I still remember how the game goes.
I was surprised how historic the province of Palawan is and I am glad that they were able to maintain some of the historical places for modern people and tourists to see.
I was quite disappointed with the bay walk because of the bad smell, I would have loved biking or walking around without it.
Top priority on my Puerto Princesa list is to enjoy a bowl of chaolong at Bona’s so I really made sure that we don’t run out of time trying this out. Best paired with banh mi, It was really good and so affordable.
I also learned that there is a small Vietnamese village in the center of Puerto Princesa which served as a home for Vietnamese refugees after a Vietnamese war. Introducing their culture including their cuisine is a simple way to show their gratitude for the hospitality of the locals.
It was one of the few trips where I nearly cried when going home so I really promised to come back to Palawan and so this year, I planned for a trip to Coron this time, hope this trip would turn out to be as memorable as our time in El Nido.