Posts Tagged ‘beach’

Around two weeks ago, Vlad mentioned that he was planning on a weekend getaway with his High School friends. Since I was also free, I happily tagged along.

They initially planned on going to Cagbalete but a storm signal was raised on Thursday and the Coast Guard were not allowing boats to sail off. Everyone else was hell bent on hanging out at the port and wait til the Coast Guard raises the sailing ban. However, given my previous mishap with Quezon’s Coast Guard, I insisted we settle with a different beach. Our Plan B was Kuwebang Lampas and that is where we spent our Saturday night at.

We broke camp early on Sunday and after a very filling brunch at a floating restaurant, we made our way to Kamay ni Hesus. They persuaded me to climb up to the very top (never again LOL) and then we rewarded ourselves with Pancit Habhab at Buddy’s (Lucban.)

I managed to capture most of the weekend on video and condensed it in a 4 minute montage. Check it out below.

 

Have you ever been camping? Where is your favorite camping spot?

 

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This year’s Holy Week vacation, I brought along Cris and our friends (Tina and Timmy) back to my hometown – Ilocos Norte. I took them to places my family usually visit when I am home or if we have visitors over. Most of the places we visited are at most 10 minutes away from home, including the small mountain/hill that we climbed to get a sweeping view of the newly-erected windmills in our town. I also took them to the infamous Paoay Church and Malacañang of the North. Please watch the video below – though Youtube butchered the video quality. Enjoy! 🙂

 

Have you ever been to Ilocos Norte? What is your favorite tourist spot to visit there?

While looking for a hotel in Alaminos, I came across numerous posts with recommendations to try the food at Maxine by the Sea’s in-house restaurant. Not wanting to pass up the opportunity to eat good food, we decided to book a room and stay there for the night to be able try out as many of their meals as we can.

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Before I get to the restaurant and the food, I will quickly talk about their room accommodation. We reserved a room that could fit all 7 of us because we wanted to stay in just one room. We’re clingy like that, LOL. The room we got had 3 double beds and we requested for an extra single bed. With all the beds in there, the room didn’t feel too cramped – we still had space to move around. It was pretty basic, exactly just what we needed.

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The restaurant is built on the water and it offers a vast view of the distant Hundred Islands. You are able to smell the sea breeze as you eat in their al fresco dining area. It was quite perfect to beat the summer heat. It is also extra calming to stare out into the open sea while you wait for your food to be served. Service could get real slow during busy hours so you really need to calm yourself down LOL.

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Our accommodation came with a free breakfast which we eagerly gobbled down upon waking up. They have a selection of the traditional -silog meals and I had the Bangus-silog. When in Pangasinan, eat bangus! It was perfectly deep-fried and the marinade was mild yet tasty. We also ordered a platter of fresh fruits in season and everything was so fresh and sweet. The day before that, we all had our fair share of their fresh fruit shakes – I especially loved the ripe mango shake.

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But my favorite was the SEAFOOD GRILL PLATTER. Capslock para intense haha! This was what we ordered for our lunch during the whole day island hopping tour and OMG it tasted even better than it looks. It had grilled eggplant, boiled okra, grilled shrimp, bangus, liempo, squid, chicken, seaweed ensalada, kinilaw na oyster, fried saba and unicorn blood and glitters. HAHAHA. I am seriously drooling right now! We also brought bottles of gourmet tuyo and bags of chicharon. I mean, heaven right? It was a VEEEERY satisfying lunch.

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We all thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Maxine by the Sea and especially loved their food. I would definitely stay there again if I ever go back to Alaminos and I highly recommend you stay there, too. Or at least taste their food because it was THE BOMB DIGGITY.

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Maxine by the Sea Lodge & Restaurant is located near Lucap Wharf and you may check their website out for more information –> http://www.maxinebythesea.com/home/

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After our mini trek to the top of Governor’s Island, we made our way to our next destination – Quezon Island, which was named after our late President Manuel Quezon.

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Out of all the other islands, Quezon Island seems to be the busiest. There are large concrete huts all over the island dedicated to all sorts of recreational activities. When we got there, all tables were already occupied mostly by families and we did not even bother fighting for one because we were more interested in swimming rather than just lazing around. We plopped our things under the rock with the Alaminos City sign, and immediately got into the water.

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We swam all the way to that floating gazebo (pictured below) mainly because we had nothing else to do, and also because the water near the shore is a little murky due to more construction still ongoing all over the island. I’m afraid this island will be over crowded and abused in a few years’ time. 😦

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Midway, we realized that we underestimated the distance of the gazebo from the shore. Not wanting to let our efforts go to waste, we pushed through anyway and made it after quite some time (the strong winds didn’t help much either). It was like a private party in the middle of the sea because not many people dared to swim that far off. When we got back to shore, our boatmen led us to where the giant clams were, but no photos because I didn’t have an underwater camera with me that time. Nonetheless, we thoroughly enjoyed the view of the Giant Clams and corals inhabited by a variety of fishes.

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After that long swim, we were quite worn out so we spent some time rolling around the fine white sand, people-watching while trying to get re-energized.

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By this time, we were more than ready for our lunch but our boatmen insisted that we just eat when we get to our next destination – which I will share with you next. 🙂

Edit: LOL scratch that last part. As it turns out, I do not have any photos from the day’s last destination but believe me when I say it’s amazing. We rolled around the beach’s powdery white sand and hiked up a hill just to jump down a large basin of water inside a cave. I swear it was amazing. But no pictures, bummer! 😦

The Hundred Islands National Park in Alaminos Pangasinan is composed of over a hundred islands covering a land area of almost 2,000 hectares. Only three of these islands were developed for tourists namely Governor, Quezon and Children’s Island.

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Governor’s Island was our first stop of the day. We planned to stay for a maximum of 30 minutes as there isn’t much to do in that island anyway – the beach front was too crowded with boats to be conducive for swimming.

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Our boatman said we could climb up Governor Island’s hill to get a view of the surrounding islands. The climb was short and uneventful except for a little patch of overgrown foliage where one could rest from the heat of the sun, or take photos with a nice (green) background.

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Reaching the viewing deck at the top of the hill, we were immediately greeted by a nice view of the Hundred Islands. However, we only stayed there for not even 10 minutes because it got too hot to handle. More groups of people were also getting to the top so we decided to get out of their way after getting our group photo taken. One could only stare at little islands from afar for too long until they begin to look alike anyway.

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The trek down was shorter, thanks to gravity. The steps are high so it could be quite a challenge for some with shorter (cuter) legs. As we got down, more boats were arriving, good thing we got there early.

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Apparently, the infamous Big Brother House is perched in this island but we did not bother checking it out anymore. I heard it could be rented for Phph10,000 per night. I think it could be quite an adventure to stay there even just for the night, but the lack of immediate boat transfer for emergency purposes scares the paranoid in me.

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Borawan is a play on two words – Boracay and Palawan. It’s an island named so because, as some people claim, it has white sand reminiscent of Boracay and rock formations the same as Palawan’s limestone cliffs. If one gets the chance to have the Boracay and Palawan experience in one at a measly price, one grabs it.

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My friends and I boarded a bus bound to Lucena, got off at the Grand Terminal. Got on a mini bus and alighted at the town of Padre Burgos where we got on tricycles that brought us to the port. From there, we rented a boat that would take us to Borawan Beach. Someone gave us a tip that people usually do the Borawan to Dampalitan route so we decided to go against the flow of people and camp out at Dampalitan Island instead.

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Upon arrival to the island, we pitched our tents and settled down for the day.

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In all fairness, Dampalitan Island’s sand could pass up as Boracay’s shores from afar. While the sun is shining its brightest, the white sand seems to glow it almost hurts the eyes.

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After lunch and a quick nap, the water level went down low enough to reveal a little sandbar. We walked on the sandbar and took photos farther out into the sea. That entertained us for about 30 minutes until it got too hot to be enjoyable. We went back under the shade and napped some more while waiting for the sun to go down. When it got a little cooler, we explored the opposite side of the shore and came across some sea friends.

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We watched the sun set and it was beautiful. It was made better by the absence of a big crowd. Guess going against the norm paid off, after all.

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When it got dark, we cooked and had our dinner. We built a fire and drank and danced around it. We also roasted marshmallows for our s’mores. It was a great night. 🙂

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The next day, our boat came by and brought us to Borawan Beach.

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I had to agree that the cliffs do resemble the limestone formations in Palawan albeit being miniature compared to the real thing. When we got to the island, there was a group of rock climbers uhmmmmm climbing the rocks LOLOLOL. We contented ourselves in climbing on top the less intimidating ones and swimming around the clear waters. We didn’t really do much at Borawan Island and I have to say that I liked Dampalitan better.

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Borawan is being marketed better than what it actually is. But if you’re looking for a new beach to explore this summer, it is still worth the try.

Last summer, I was finally able to visit the Hundred Islands in Pangasinan. Along with six other friends from work, we boarded a bus bound for Alaminos and sat through a 5-hour long drive. After a simple silog breakfast at a restaurant near the Public Market, we jumped on a tricyle that would take us to our chosen accommodation – Maxine by The Sea.

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After changing into our swimming clothes, we walked to Lucap Wharf to rent out a boat for our whole day Island Hopping Tour. We chose a Medium Service Boat for Phph1,800 and paid Php20 per head at the Tourist Information Center. While waiting for our boatmen, we saw other boats and tourists getting ready to sail out.

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For this entry, I am not going to talk about our island stops just yet. Instead, I will just share with you some photos I took of the (unidentifiable) islands that we saw while in the middle of the sea.

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I noticed that some of the islets look like mini versions of Coron’s rock formations. Way smaller but beautiful, nonetheless.

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This island looks like a great place to just sunbathe and pass the time. Look at that mound of white, fine sand. It looks so soft and inviting!

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I was getting antsy seeing these islands from afar. I couldn’t wait to dock in one of them, and jump into the clear blue waters.

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I will share our first stop (Governor’s Island) in my next post. I could have condensed our Pangasinan trip into one long post but decided to chop it up into shorter separate posts so you could appreciate their individual beauty. A little anticipation never hurt anyone, right?