Dinadiawan and Baler Trip 2020 | Wonderful Views and Experience | Aurora is not Quezon

I have always wanted to go to Baler. Do you also like going to the beach? I mean, the sound of waves, breath of fresh air, slow moving clouds, blue sky, enticing sunrise, calming sunset, footprints on semi-white sands, close Sierra Madre mountain range, coconut trees, what else? We can add good food, party at night, and hospitality of locals. Can you picture those in your mind suggesting relaxation? Yes? So, let’s go!

Baler

I or some of you may have mistaken Aurora as a part of Quezon. Are you guilty of that? Let us search on Google through Wikipedia and dig some info. The Aurora Province was named after Doña Aurora Aragon-Quezon; the wife of one of the Philippine presidents; President Manuel L Quezon. Doña Aurora has a very interesting biography.  Aurora Province is located in the eastern part of Central Luzon, its capital is Baler.

It used to be a part of Region IV, however in May 17, 2002, the president by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued an Executive Order No. 103 which made it a part of Region III. While on March 6, 1979 through Proclamation No 1828, s. 1979 on this date was set for the holding of plebiscite to decide the conversion of the sub-province of AURORA into an independent and separate province. In May 20, 1979, President Ferdinand E. Marcos set the date by virtue of power vested by law and pursuant to Batas Pambansa Building 7 for the holding of the plebiscite to determine whether the sub-province of Aurora shall become a separate and independent province. Having said so, Aurora is not part of Quezon anymore, it is a separate independent province called Aurora Province. I hope that helps. Quezon and Aurora are two neighboring provinces.

Political map of Aurora

Political map of Quezon

Aurora consists of 8 municipalities namely; Baler, Casiguran, Dilasag, Dinalungan, Dingalan, Dipaculao, Maria Aurora, and San Luis. The common languages spoken are Tagalog, Kapampangan and Ilocano. Its climate is Tropical rainforest, expect rainfall throughout the year, which we unexpectedly experienced when we were in Dinadiawan beach. We actually traveled back to Baler from Dipaculao on a moderate rainfall. We were soaked wet, but it was still fun. Let me start the journey.

Dinadiawan Beach, Dipaculao, Aurora Province

Dinadiawan

Dinadiawan, Aurora

First stop, Dinadiawan beach! Nowadays, if not with our kids, my husband and I travel using his motorcycle (Yamaha Aerox S) which he also use for motovlogging (YouTube channel: Motor ni Juan). Travel on a motorcycle lessens the heavy traffic experience. During a long ride, we usually leave between 3am and 4am to make sure we start the day early and less exposure from the heat of the sun. We targeted 2 towns in Aurora; Dipaculao and Baler. According to Waze, our travel time will take us almost 6 hours going to Brgy. Dinadiawan, Dipaculao, Aurora Province from Bulacan.

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Our route to Dinadiawan, Aurora

Why Dinadiawan? Because we wanted to swim first. We all know that Baler is one of the surfing spots in the Philippines, which suggests stronger waves. If you want a relaxing swim experience, Dinadiawan Beach is the place to be. We went on a weekday, (most of our travel days), because we always hope for less crowd to enjoy the views and experience. We had few stop over to stretch our back, gas up, and took our breakfast which made our trip 7 hours in total. After 3 hours of ride, we stopped by at the eatery which we encountered along the way, somewhere in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija; Kainan ni Mai. The distance of every eatery is far from each other, so you’ll never know where is the next one. Unless one is familiar with the location. We were starving already. To be honest, I was not happy with the food choices. We were supposed to take breakfast but the menu were for lunch already. I was on NO RICE DIET and it was hard to choose. I ended with Pork Sisig and Monay. hehe.. I was expecting something else. But because we were so hungry then, though it was a difficult decision to make, but I had to eat.

On the way to our destination, we were mesmerized by the beauty that nature presented to us. Caption these:

Nueva Ecija

Along Nueva Ecija

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Along Aurora

When I chose our destination, I opted the one with an infinity swimming pool. Not all resorts in this area has a pool amenity, I just want to keep my option open. From the picture posted below, the pool looks like the beach is an extension where you can freely swim and enjoy the waves. But in reality, the pool was few meters away from the beach. The resort has hospitable and attentive staff. There were only few guests, it is the advantage of a weekday trip; there was some sort of privacy. They also offer Filipino food if you do not have time to buy outside the resort. It is a perfect location to fly the drone and capture the breath taking view. Needless to say, watch the video to be posted a little bit later. For update will post the video link here.

Sabang Beach, Baler, Aurora Province

Next destination, Sabang Beach is known for strong waves which made it a surfing venue for surf enthusiasts whether you are a beginner or a pro. Local surfers are just waiting anytime you need their assistance, with a fee of course. The fees are reasonable and worth it. Fee starts at PhP 300 and up.  If you need boards only, surfing boards rental are also offered. When we arrived there, strong waves and high tide welcomed us. Honestly, I did not have the courage to go and try surfing. Boring?! I really have phobia in water even on shallow part of the beach or a pool. I enjoy being in the beach and wearing swim suits for photo op. I almost lost my pair of sandals because it was high tide. From the step of the stairs where I put them, the water unexpectedly reached the step. I just saw them floating away from me. I hurriedly run after my sandals (my own pace of hurry). I was lucky enough to recover them. In the afternoon, my husband and I played around the beach and the splash of waves and see where it will bring us. I find it really fun. I do not know if it was the “Tita of Manila” in me saying this. ;,) (wink) Given the chance, I will do it again. By the way, Happy Women’s month (March) and Women’s Day (March 8) 😉 March is also the birthday month of Juan, Fourth and Cheska, celebration awaiting soon.

Strong waves in Sabang beach

While Juan; my husband was flying the drone to get a birds eye view of Baler, a local who sells pearl accessories approached us. He identified himself as a Muro-Ami. That they harvested those pearls by themselves without any safe as oxygen or any diving paraphernalia. Impressive huh! According to Wikipedia, Muroami or muroami is a fishing technique employed on coral reefs in Southeast Asia. It uses an encircling net together with pounding devices. These devices usually comprise large stones fitted on ropes that are pounded into the coral reefs. Just like what we have seen in the movie Muro-Ami by the actor Cesar Montano, directed by the late Marilou Diaz-Abaya. They are also called Reef Hunters. Sad to say, he sold to me the bracelet at a higher price compared to other peddlers. I learned about it when another peddler approached us and offered the same item. My bargaining skills did not work in Baler. I cannot do anything, anymore, I was just thankful that we are blessed. Still, it was a beautiful piece of art and nature. I wear them even when we were back home. Love, love, love

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Muro-ami and the Pearl bracelet

Our accommodation in Baler was sponsored, booked via Agoda. The building has several rooms enough for 2 guests with a swimming pool within the vicinity. Other rooms are bigger and can accommodate groups. Having an option on where to swim is always an advantage. There was also shared kitchen where fee is P300 (per stay? not sure). We did not really cook because food place was just around the corner. We just want to eat, swim, rest and repeat. 7-Eleven was walking distance like less than 1 km from where we stayed. We had food and drinks even in the middle of the night. And how can I forget Angels Burger which is the landmark of the block you will turn to going to the Sabang beach, Buton Street to be exact.

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Baler Tourist Information Center

On the following day, we tour around Aurora, not too far from where we stayed. We were tired to go farther than what we can imagine. To help the BALER TOURIST INFORMATION CENTER with the data of their tourists, we went to their office not too far from Sabang Beach and enlist our names. The lady was very helpful in giving information about the towns of Aurora and the famous spots. They handed as a map to guide us through. Like this one below.

Baler 400 Years Monument

Walking distance from the tourist center, the Baler 400 years monument is situated. On the 400th year anniversary of Baler Township, this monument was dedicated to all the people of Baler. Jaynee; the artist of this monument designed it with 4 pillars representing 400 years, interconnected with 100 horizontal bars. The symbol of this solid monument is the inner strength and bright future of the town. The platform of the 40-foot monument is made of Vigan tiles which symbolizes Baler’s Kayumanggi race. The town gave birth to the first president of the Philippines and 2 Senate presidents. It is located few feet away from the famous BALER letter signage.

Museo de Baler

After the monument, we went to Museo de Baler with a minimal entrance fee of PhP 30 per tourist which comes with the entrance to Doña Aurora’s replica house. The Museo de Baler was built with the help of Senator Edgardo Angara. Commemorative items can be found in the Museo, even the Filipiniana dress of Dona Aurora is in a glass house for proper safe keeping. On the second floor is a gallery of latest work of art by students as written on each piece. Not sure how long they are going to stay in the gallery. Few steps away from the Museo, we found the monument of President Manuel L. Quezon.

Baler Church (San Luis Obispo de Tolosa Parish)

On our way to Dona Aurora’s House, we found the Baler Church. Mass was on-going for a special event where students were the attendees. I just had a shot on the facade of the church. It looks new compared to the other churches which seem 100 years of age or so. Reason is, it was renovated in 1939. It was first constructed in 1611. It is also called the site of the “Siege of Baler”.  54 Spaniards were trapped inside. It took them 11 months to surrender without knowing that the Spanish colonization already ended when Philippine independence was achieved.

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Baler Church

The front of the church has a path with footprints which looks like they are going away. It was believe that it represents the surrender  of the Spaniards when they were under siege.

Doña Aurora Aragon-Quezon’s House

This house is just a replica of Dona Aurora Aragon-Quezon in honor of her fine cooperative efforts in social welfare to the people of Aurora Province as the first lady of President Manuel L. Quezon. The house is made of  native materials such as nipa, bamboo/kawayan, and wood. Parts of the house include dining, living, kitchen with native made furniture and wares, mini library, walls with memorabilia, and garden outside.

Gerry Shan’s Place (Eat-All-You-Can)

It was lunch time and we were dead hungry. We learned that there were some eat-all-you-can for 200 each only in town. We found Gerry Shan’s Place. There we had lunch with Filipino-Chinese cuisine with lots of choices plus desserts. Drinks have separate charge and their drooling seafoods as well. Not bad for 200 per pax. Credit to the blog of HellowKimmy on Blogspot for these mouth-watering food images. We were not able to furnish photos, because what we had in mind was just to eat. It was past lunch time then. Basically, they have Filipino and Chinese fusion on the buffet table.

Balete Tree (Millennial Tree)

When we were done with lunch, next destination was the famous Balete Tree or also known as Millennial Tree. It is huge. I am just a petite lady but I felt smaller like a dwarf when I saw it in person. I tried to climb few steps up, but it is limited to 3 meters only. We also experienced being inside the tree with huge branches or stems of Balete Tree. Some pasalubong items and souvenirs can be bought at the shop near the giant tree. Entrance fee was  PhP 15 pesos plus parking fee which starts at PhP 10 depends on the vehicle. You can also try to get inside this huge tree for only PhP 10 each. Watch in the video, to be updated here.

Yellow Fin Bar and Grill

After the tour within Aurora, we had rest and enjoyed the beach again. It was night time and we wanted to have dinner in a cozy place. We first targeted Baler Surfer Grill, to our disappointment, it was closed that night. Yellow Fin Bar and Grill is one of the famous go to in Buton Street. It was so easy to find. Food choices are not limited. They have Silog options, grilled meat and seafood. Alcoholic drinks are available by the glass or in bottle.

Caute Bar and Grill

The night actually was so quiet. It was Thursday night, not yet the weekend, so party was not the ambiance yet in Baler. We walked along Buton Street and was lucky  to have found Caute Bar and Grill. Cauti I think was farthest from the entrance of Buton Street. They have LIVE BAND every night. The band for the night (sorry forgot the band name) played acoustic music. The music was relaxing. We ordered drinks and finish them. It was a little off for me though because the lead vocalist was pregnant and rubs her tummy every now and then. The Baler Beach Club was open yet no live band, it was open mic night. We did not intend to listen to other guest’s videoke songs. Their place looks cozy. Maybe next time when we come back on a weekend, we can enjoy night life in Baler. Credit to the source of these images http://quedank.com/, our phone was drained in battery.

Cauti Bar and Grill

Overall, our Aurora trip was a blast! We really enjoyed the ride, the beach, the view, the food, and the hospitality of the people. All of which, we encountered during the trip. We will surely go back. Looking forward to be with our kids on our next visit.

Please like and visit my Facebook page for more updates. Share your Aurora stories and pictures with us. Stay beachy always! 🏖️

NOT Your Ordinary Baguio and Benguet Trip! Search for Paradise! Buwis-Buhay!

It has been countless times already that I have been to Baguio and Benguet, but this time it is different, really different from previous’ experience! Continue to read and see how this memorable experience was made. Whew!

My husband is  now a motovlogger; “Motor ni Juan“. I initially planned the trip. From the time I was planning the trip, Google maps indicated that it would take us 6 hours from our location. Laban! No expressway,  only highways since our Yamaha Aerox S has 155cc displacement (not allowed in expressway). Imagine the trip? It would be exciting as I thought then.

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On the actual trip, November 2019, we left Bulacan at 3:30AM. Our journey began which was a bit different if we were in a car. The scenery looked more lively and on point. We were geared up with Benkia padded riding jacket (him), Nitro padded riding jacket (mine), Vemar knee and shin guard (him), Evo Full Face Helmet GSX 1000 (him), Evo Modular Helmet VXR 700 (mine), Full face mask (him), and SSPEC motorcycle gloves (him).

Along the way, it was cold since it was the wee hour when we left, aside from Christmas season is coming. On the road, we encountered some motorcycle accidents, which reminded us to be safe always and be more vigilant since others are KAMOTE riders (irresponsible and inconsiderate)! We got hungry for breakfast at Pangasinan area. We found Carmen’s Bulalohan and Kambingan. We spent only 150 with 3 rice, 2 ulam and 2 black coffee. Busolved!

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On our way going up, we tremendously felt very cold that our mouth had smoke. Or it is called “Breath Vapor” or “Steam”. In medical term, it is EBC or Exhaled Breath Condensate since the process is condensation. Fogs were prominent and it felt like heaven. We were like kids who seemed to saw it first time. It was so calming.

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We arrived in Baguio City at 10am+ at the accommodation we booked ahead of time. We saved a lot through Agoda. It is located near the Burnham Park. It was decent enough for the purpose of rest and safe keeping our stuff while we were on tour. We were early for 2pm check-in time. So, we started our Baguio and Benguet tour. Below are our destination and experience for each.

1. SM BAGUIO

The mall was already opened. We wanted to go to SESSION ROAD, since motorcycle is not allowed at the area, we parked our Aerox S in SM, and left our 2 EVO HELMETS at the package counter. The attendant says, it is good for 1 hour only. Ok then. We just walked down and crossed the street to reach Session Road.

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2. VIZCO’s at SESSION ROAD

Remember the movie Glorious starring Angel Aquino and Tony Labrusca in 2018? It was a story of a young man who fell in love with an older woman. At Vizcos was their first date. Kilig! They offer variety of food but their specialty is their sumptuous cakes. We had pizza, a slice of Strawberry torte, and a slice of Mango cake. Delicious as it looks and way better than others that we have tasted.

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3. UKAY-UKAY AREA IN SESSION ROAD

It was very cold, I needed pants to survive for the entirety of our stay. We found maong/jeans pants and a jacket which were so cheap for its brand. We also found wigs which was funny because of the curly short one, like the natural hair of our Baby Fifth.

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4. STARBUCKS at SM BAGUIO

We still had to kill time and wait for the check-in time. We sat down for a bit and had coffee while the wig was on. It is also the season of stickers for the most sought Starbucks Organizer. I had 2 stickers there. Then, we head to the hotel we booked for 2 nights.

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5. MT. YANGBEW at TAWANG, BENGUET

Our NOT SO ORDINARY adventure began here! It was afternoon, from our hotel, we head straight to Tawang Baranggay Hall to pay environmental fee which costs PhP 30 each tourist. It was really adventure going there because most of the roads are uphill slope. Riding in a motorcycle on such road was so thrilling. I did not look at the road most of the time as it may make me dizzy. Kuya Willy was the attendant at the time. He was friendly and accommodating.  No need for a tour guide. They say it is just easy trek. Alright easy huh? Few minutes away from the Baranggay Hall is the way up to Mt. Yangbew. There was cemented part going up. At the end of the road is where the trekking starts. We parked our motorcycle and started to walk our way up. They say it is a 30-minute walk. Well this depends on your stamina to walk uphill. This is a beginner’s hike. We qualified as beginners because it was really our first time. I had to stop a few times to rest. It was all worth it! See for yourself!

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Mt. Yangbew peak

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Mt. Yangbew peak

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Trek trail

6. BAGUIO CRAFT BREWERY

I have been to Baguio many times, but this was the first time I visited Baguio Craft Brewery. They serve different flavored beers not to mention fruit flavors. The best part was their FREE TASTE. I got to taste most of the beers they offer. They have Caramel flavor which smells really good. I ordered the Strawberry flavor beer along with our food orders for the night. Their menu are infused with beer. Try it there! Their menu starts at PhP 200 and up.

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7. VALLEY OF COLORS

The next day, going to our destination, we passed by these houses built on the mountains. It looked pleasing to the eyes because of its different colors. It is located along the road, it can be easily seen. You won’t miss it. A donation of any amount shall be given if you want to capture their community. Just that, take a picture and leave.

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8. RAINBOW CAFE at AMBONGDOLAN BARANGGAY HALL

To start another adventure, environmental fee has to be paid first. We headed to the Ambongdolan Baranggay Hall to pay for the environmental fee and tour guide plus other applicable fees. With the help of the late Ms. Gina Lopez, she managed to organize the tourism location in Ambongdolan. Some spots were created to add value in the beauty of nature. What a very lovely and inspiring woman.

There is where Rainbow Cafe is situated. They sell food and drinks there. Also, some souvenir items such as shirts, keychains, mugs and others. Ate Jennifer is the attendant at Rainbow cafe. While his husband Kuya July is in-charge of the tours. They have lots of tour guides to help you out enjoy your trip. Ours was Kuya Urbano. The ratio of tour guide to tourist is 1:4. Do the math if you are a group of more than 4.

I ordered our lunch for the day before we left going to the caves. Ate Jen took care of our food. It was served after our caving and trekking. What we did was, we ordered Filipino food, then they will have it cooked for you and ready for lunch time. Be specific with your menu and what sides you want to include. They charge affordable fees for their food. They usually buy at their COOPERATIVE nearby. They have No refrigerator or freezer yet to store food. If anyone has the capacity to donate, I am knocking on your door for them.

I would advice everyone who reads this to buy stuff from them, you will help the community in a big way. They really touched our hearts in a very simple way by letting us feel that we are a part of their family. We really felt the warmth in their hearts.

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Contact Kuya July for inquiries and reservation 0921 970 7382

9. AMBONGDOLAN CAVES + BLUE LAGOON at AMBONGDOLAN TAWANG, BENGUET

This is it!!! I could never forget this experience!!! Imagine a MAN VS NATURE tour? Hiking, trekking, rock climbing, without any experience, without any harness. What we had were flashlights and safety vest. I am not discouraging you. I am inviting you to a challenge. We did it and so will you.

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Paterno cave

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Bengaongao cave

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Blue Lagoon

You do not have any idea how Buwis buhay it was to go through all those big rocks, climbing, trekking, including slipping down a few times. I almost gave up but there is no coming back. It is now or never!

Go out of your comfort zones! Test your limits! There is no coming back! Explore the Philippines before other lands. I am proud to be a Filipino.

Please LIKE my Facebook page. Comment your experience. Ride safe! Enjoy life!

 

Nagoya, Japan Tour 2019 – SAHM Goal Achieved

It took me a while to leave for Japan due to some personal reasons. I got my Japan Visa in June 2019 but I was able to travel in September 2019 (almost the end of visa validity). However, it was God’s grace that this trip came into a reality.

Please read here on How to Apply for a Japan Tourist Visa. I do not mean to discourage the visa applicants, yet it was not true that it was easy. As I  mentioned on the post about visa application, while waiting for my turn, 2 applicants were denied of Japan Visa. They were told to apply after 6 months if they wish to. It is imperative to be very careful with the requirements and specifics such as the A4 size paper, the info on the forms should be consistent, the itinerary and others. When you follow the guidelines appropriately, it will be easy to acquire your dream visa to Japan.

Let us move on! I realized, when you travel, it is important that you know what is your purpose on that specific trip. For example, personally, I want to take a rest from the house chores, and all that there is in being a Stay at Home Wife for years. Can you relate? Comment down if you do. Tell us more about it. Who understands me on this sentiment? Having said so, I did not intend to go to Disneyland or the like. I want to be there with my kids. I was more on, having peace; walk in the park; experience eating authentic Ramen, Sushi and Yakiniku; experience the transportation system in Japan, shop chocolates, buy at least 1 branded bag and whatever I could think of. I wanted to see Sakura but it was not the season anymore of Sakura or Cherry Blossoms since it blooms in March, I traveled in September. So, I need to go back!

I was and is still very thankful to my friend Eloi and his husband Bong for accommodating me in their humble abode. I had a nice time with the kids too. I was able to stay in a house which is not just Japan-inspired but a Japanese house in reality. I had culture immersion on how it is to live in Japan. And how it is to live in a residential area with Japanese neighbors. How quiet it can be. That was indeed one of the great experiences on my first travel to Japan!

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Their transport system is very organized. You can travel with ease. Why did I say that? Everything is ON TIME. You know when the train and the bus will arrive and leave. No pushing, everyone is calm while entering and alighting the train and bus. Japan has different reloadable cards where you can use at the bus and train ride and even 7/11, Family mart and Lawson stores to purchase food and other you might need along the way.

There was just a slight challenge because only few people speaks English. What I can advice is to download Google Translate and make use of Google maps on your mobile phone. These 2 mobile applications can be very useful in your travels not just in Japan. You can travel Japan with ease. And do not forget to book wifi device on Klook as it will be very useful as you travel all over Japan. Choose the one that offers unlimited data.

Want to know another reason why I said that you can travel with ease in Japan? My friend for some unexpected reason was not able to pick me up at the airport on my arrival date.  Something came up from her work. I have nothing against my friend. In fact, it was an exciting one. I arrived at Chubu Centrair International Airport a bit earlier than expected, around 8:20PM. It was also a good one that airports in Japan have strong internet connection. We were able to call each other on Facebook Messenger from the moment I queue at the immigration, which way to the exit, where to buy train tickets, which train to ride, which station to go, until she arrived on that train station.

The pocket wifi I ordered, was late for delivery at their house, reason why I did not have it yet with me. And the counter at the airport closes at 6PM, my arrival was supposed to be almost 9PM, so I ought to have it delivered at their house. The Japanese Telco immediately reply and refund for 2 days (days late) is in process going back to my Klook account. Thank you!

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Intro is over! What did I do in Japan? Where did I go? What food did I try?

Gusto Cafe in Higashiura, Obu, Aichi Prefecture

I left our house in the Philippines with my husband; Third at around 8AM. We had brunch in Cubao while waiting for the P2P bus going to NAIA. My last meal was 10AM. I only had crackers while on the plane. It was almost midnight in Japan, guess what? I was so hungry then. Eloi brought me to Gusto Cafe. I was so amazed with everything there. My ignorance hit me. But I like it. I want to learn and discover new things, specially in Japan; a first world country. I let Eloi order for me. Then, she added the Drink Bar where you can have unlimited or bottomless flavored coffee, flavored juice, flavored tea, flavored soda and chocolate drink with added flavor. Your choice if you want it hot or cold, amazing isn’t it? Since, I liked it a lot there. I went there again, alone and planned to compose a blog post or anything that I can write. It was cozy there and serene. It was there that I film my review of Japan Trip 2019 and how to order without knowing Nihonggo.

Little World Museum of Man in Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture

My experience with my friend Eloi in Little World was fun and unforgettable. The moment I arrived in Japan, I kept saying, “I’m in Japan”. I could not believe it. Eloi, would just stare at me and smile. She understood that I was happy to be with her in Japan. I read on some blogs that you can have a passport to go around the world inside the Little World and have it stamped by yourself in every country then, you can have a gift as well on your last stamp at the reception before you exit the premise. Walking around the Little World was tiring yet exciting. We got motivated by the stamps that we had to complete and the gift after the trip. I swear, you need motivation! If not, you might give up after visiting only few countries. You can try different national costume of each country destination for a price of 500 Yen. There is a coaster as a transport to use to roam around but, we did not try it. We enjoyed walking though it was a sunny afternoon. It was still Summer time when I arrived in Japan. Fall was approaching when I left Japan. Check out our YT video representing different countries below:

Daiso Japan in Arimatsu, Aichi Prefecture

I know we have Daiso also in the Philippines but I happened to reach this big Daiso outlet store in Arimatsu inside the Aeon Mall. Most of the items there were worth 100 Yen or if we convert to our money is PhP 47 – 50 (depends on the prevailing rate) plus 8% sales tax. I bought some goos and slime for our kids, also some make up items. There are lots of items to choose from. Other items will have price tags which are worth above 100 yen. Watch my video and see what you can find below:

BIC Camera in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture

Bic Camera is one of the go to shop in Japan if you want to have variety of options at a lower cost compared to the other shops when it comes to gadgets, appliances and other electronic items. We found a good price for 1TB Hardrive which my friend bought. There is also a voucher for discounts where you can get online at their website, on Klook, and at the nearest tourist reception center of the area where you are in Japan.

Shiromaru-Base (Authentic Ramen) in Kanayama, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture

Diz iz it! Ramen is becoming famous in the Philippines next to Samguypsal chains. As we all know, Samgyupsal originated in Korean with grilled food where you can choose marinated beef and pork on variety of flavors while Ramen originated in Japan with  noodles and flavors to choose from. We noticed that there were men more than women who looked like they came from work/office. I was so excited because I have not tasted Ramen even in the Philippines, I wanted it as authentic as it can be. My Japan visit is just perfect! Now, I understand the cravings! Watch my first encounter of Ramen on my video of Mukbang Ramen, Japan edition here:

Aeon Mall – Food Court in Obu, Aichi Prefecture

I dined in here and found those displays right near the entrance of each restaurant chain. They are very inviting and looked so real to me. Check it out here! What will you order?

Don Quijote in Sakae, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture

This is the place to be if you want to shop pasalubong to take back home for your family and friends. The branch that my friend and I went into was in Sakae near the Nagoya TV Tower and Oasis 21. Just in front of Sunshine Sakae. You won’t miss it since there are a lot of lights and posters that says TAX FREE or TAX REFUND. This store location has 4 floors. 1st floor has food, chocolates, drinks and groceries. 2nd floor has make-up and medicine, 3rd floor has toys, gadgets and accessories and 4th floor has perfumes, shoes, watches, luxury items such as bags of different brands. See for yourself here:

Sunshine Sakae in Sakae, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture

It is a mall at the center of Sakae. It has a ferris wheel in front of its building. It is operational and it could be a nice experience to ride.

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Nagoya TV Tower and Oasis 21 in Sakae, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture

Nagoya TV Tower and Oasis 21 are two of the most visited spots in Sakae. The Nagoya TV tower was said to look like Eiffel tower in the evening because of its lights and structure.  Unfortunately, there were no lights on that night. While the Oasis 21 is like a huge spaceship that shifts colors from time to time. When we were there, we went live on Facebook. You can ride an elevator to reach the top level where you can walk around the transparent water filled roof which changes its flooring color. On the 2nd level is a garden set up where tourists can relax and chat with their company. The ground floor has shopping and dining options.

Conveyor Belt Sushi at Oasis 21 in Sakae, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture

It was a dream come true to finally dine in authentic conveyor belt restaurant. It was bit pricey from where we dine in at Nigiri No Tokube located in Oasis 21 compared to other local sushi restaurants in another area where there is 100 yen per plate. The price per plates was discussed in our YT video.

Nagashima Resort in Kuwana, Mie Prefecture

The Nagashima Resort features a hotel, onsen spa, an amusement park, and shopping at Mitsui Outlet Park. It is said to be Japan’s largest amusement park and natural outdoor bath in one. Both adults and kids can enjoy and have fun here. I only have few photos and video since my phone battery died. Overall, it was fun and relaxing. Not to mention, my friends Eloi, Lez and I bought a bag with same design which I called our FRIENDSHIP BAG from Coach. We had fun at Chanel outlet store too. We found those jaw-dropping prices and another jaw-dropping reaction after we saw how the prices dropped making it SUPER SALE! I will surely come back. Can you read my mind?

McDonalds in Japan

We all know what McDonalds is. But it is still different when its there. I had to do it. And besides if you are on a budget, you will have that moment when you will tell yourself, it might be a little different here. 🙂 Oh well, their meals start at 500 yen If I remember it right. The easiest way to convert it into Philippine Pesos is to divide it into 2. The exchange rate of 1 yen to PhP ranges from .47 to .49 depends on the current rate. My order is worth around 250 pesos.

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Yakiniku King in Anjo, Aichi Prefecture

What can I say? Speechless with the taste and the chunky serving of the meat here. Plus the bonding time with my friends. It closes at 12mn. Our friend Lez brought Eloi and I to the most unforgettable Yakiniku (for sure) I can ever experience. Thank you Lez.

Nabana No Sato in Mie Prefecture

It was an enchanting experience to see thousands of flowers, real ones and not paper roses. The Begonia Garden caught my attention. There was also Onsen inside, but we did not bother. Watch what I have seen. My pleasure to share with you all.

Toilet in Japan (Ignorance strikes)

I was so ignorant and amazed how toilet looks like in Japan. I do not know if we have it in the Philippines. I know a bidet from the toilet but that’s just it. Not with all thise sound effects of flush, flowing water, hot or cold, etc. Do we? Please comment down where? Watch how ignorant I was in my YT video here:

 

Overall experience, my first trip to Japan was a blast! Experiences of eating authentic Japanese cuisine was a remarkable experience one can have. I enjoyed the feeling of ignorance in a country I have never been before. I was also surprised to know that there were not much trash can in Japan. You can only find them beside vending machines. They segregate their trash and only bring it outside on scheduled pick up dates. Watch here:

My goal of “me time” was achieved! Stay at home moms need sometime for themselves. I will surely go back. I will plan my next itinerary based on my goal as what I did.

Thank you to my husband for the funds and support.

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Share your plans and experiences in Japan. Let us know what you have in mind. Like my Facebook page.

Taiwan Trip 2019 – A VISA-FREE Couple Travel Date

We wanted to take advantage of the VISA-FREE trip to Taiwan this year; 2019. The announcement of the VISA-FREE trip was effective until July 31, 2019 only. I booked our trip to Taipei by May 2019 for June 2019 travel. Sometime in June another announcement was made that the privilege of Filipinos to travel in Taiwan VISA-FREE was extended until July 31, 2020. So, hurry now and take this opportunity!

I am close to being an OC (Obsessive Compulsive) kind of person, so, everything has to be prepared and planned in advance. I want it to be almost perfect (if not perfect). See below the pointers in your travel just like what we did or you can personalize.

Helpful websites

  1. Agoda – for the hotel booking with discounts
  2. Skyscanner – for the round trip air fare with many choices
  3. Klook – travel package, entrance tickets
  4. Several blogs and YouTube vlogs about Taiwan travel – for tips, ideas and suggestions

Planning  our trip

  1. Leave from work was filed to make sure there will be no conflicts.
  2. Booked early the air fare to have choices for lower rates. Round trip tickets to and from your choice of destination. We chose Clark International Airport, less congested and best optioninn terms of proximity from our residence. Fast travel time, because there was no heavy traffic.
  3. Booked the hotel where we are going to stay for the duration of our travel date.
  4. Planned our itinerary for the entire trip.
  5. Checked the weather in Taiwan and specific other destinations.
  6. Made a list of the stuff we needed to bring such as clothes, gadgets, travel documents,  etc.
  7. Read travel blogs and watch travel vlogs in Taiwan specifically our choice tourist spots.
  8. Booked necessary tickets, wifi device, or tour on Klook
  9. Checked-in early and printed the boarding pass so, less hassle in queue at the airport
  10. Activated debit/credit cards by calling bank’s customer service.

Useful links through Klook

4G Wifi Taiwan Pick-up 

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Shifen Shuttle Bus from Ximen (with Tour Conductor) 

Yehliu Geopark Admission Ticket 

THSR One Way Ticket to or from Taichung 

Taipei 101 Observatory E-Ticket 

Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village Day Trip 

Taipei Double Decker Bus 

Taipei at Night with Din Tai Fung Dinner 

Taipei Pub Crawl 

Departure day

  1. Bring passports (most important)
  2. Bring boarding pass (also important)
  3. Check the list of “to bring”
  4. Secure the bags/luggage
  5. Bring debit/credit cards and cash
  6. Give 3 hours allowance before your flight schedule
  7. Bring cash for Terminal fee and Travel Tax to be paid at the airport

At Taiwan Airport

  1. Queue to immigration
  2. Claim the luggage
  3. Pick up wi-fi device (if any) (a must)
  4. Buy train ticket from airport to hotel destination
  5. Check-in at the hotel
  6. Follow itinerary

For complete tips and suggestions from our Taiwan trip, you may watch our YouTube video. Please support us by hitting SUBSCRIBE and the BELL ICON at youtube.com/c/TEAMCADIZ

 

Places we visited in Taiwan

1. Ximending Night Market in Wanhua District

In my opinion, it is A MUST to visit the Ximending Night Market. Aside from food, clothes, milk tea, shoes, accessories, there are bags here. What I am talking about is the RobinMay brand original only from Taiwan. RobinMay bags are affordable and fashionable. I bought one bag on our first visit then bought again on our next visit. They accept credit cards. They do not ship to the Philippines. It is bestto buy one when you get there. Here, you can also find the most sought HOTSTAR. It was really good. Expect a queue. It is located on the ground floor where you can see KFC at the 2nd flr. Do not worry because there are lots of claw machines where you can spend time while waiting for your assigned number at HOTSTAR. The UNIQ-LO shop there is huge. You have lots of choices. There are also lots of coffee and milk tea shops. I saw a STARBUCKS shop, if you want to buy mugs or any souvenir item with Taiwan print. You can also buy luggage from different stall there. I heard it is cheap there.

2. Sun Moon Lake in Nantou Township

Sun Moon Lake is the largest lake in Taiwan. The name is inspired by the round-shaped lake on the east side and the long and narrow lake on the west side just like the crescent moon. It is said to be in-demand, it is safer to book their hotels early. Taichung is the train station to go if you are from Taipei. We tried the High Speed Rail to shorten the trip. It would take 3.5 hours if you will take the usual train. Through THSR, we saved half of the travel time. We purchased Klook voucher here. You can have it one way or round trip. From Taichung, took a bus to Ita Thao (pier area going to Sun Moon Lake). We purschased our package tickets at Taichung. In Ita Thao, we took a boat going to Sun Moon Lake. There are a lot of activities which you and your family can enjoy. Some takes 2 days to roam around and use the packaged ticket. What we love there was the SML Ropeway. Choose the Crystal Cabin when you get there. There is also Formosan Aboroginal Culture Village which you can access through ropeway. It is a themed park with rides and shops. We did not get that package since we were not with our kids. You can watch our experience here.

3. Shilin Night Market in Shilin District

We were hungry, and the next night market to visit is Shilin. It opens from afternoon to late night. We found different stalls of food, souvenirs, game area, funky stuff, clothes and others. Milk tea? You can see a lot from left and right. I also saw TIGER SUGAR. I love boba. There was slight waiting time, but understood. I suggest, buy stuff you want to bring back home. It is cheaper compared to other spots we had been. We had Shrimp Thermidor for dinner. Good thing, this stall has a space for tables and chairs, and they have rice! You will  miss rice a bit in Taiwan.

4. Yehliu Geopark at Wanli District

Yehliu Geopark is like a garden with different rock formation. As a cactus and succulent enthusiast, I was able to see Lithops or Living stones. Get a map from the admission office to learn which rock formation it is and where exactly. I strongly suggest to go directly to the Queen’s head. There is a line to take a picture with its rock formation. Then, stroll anywhere after. Depends on the weather, but an umbrella is a must as well, rain or shine. Watch our tour here.

5. Yin Yang Sea in Ruifang District

Yin and Yang is a Chinese principle of natural concept of duality. The sea is a  mix of colors blue and yellow. It is a local belief that the coloration of the sea was due to the pollution of mining activities from the past. Therefore, it is not recommended to go near the water. We had few minutes of picture taking from across the road where the 13 Remains is located. It used to be a copper and gold smelter plant.

6. Golden Waterfalls in Ruifang District

Just like its name, Golden Waterfalls is golden on color from afar. It is also not safe to come near as it may contain toxic chemicals from the past mining activities. But, it is a very relaxing scene to witness and hear as the water falls down.

7. Jiufen Old Village in Ruifang District

The Jiufen Old Village became more popular in 2001 when the movie Spirited Away resembles the location with No Face as the ghost. It was the mountain village of gold miners from the past. As we went there, its is a narrow alley with lots of tea houses, food stalls, souvenir shops, and others can be found. Free tastes tea and food were from left and right. We enjoyed our lunch there as well with authentic Taiwanese food.

8. Shifen Waterfalls in Pingxi District

There is a train station down the waterfall which was built along side the Shifen Old Streets for coal transport. Today, it serves as a reminder of Taiwan’s history. It was another calming experience to witness the water falls down and create a rainbow effect. We had snack and a drink as we listen to the sounds of the falls.

9. Shifen Old Street in Pingxi District

This is my favorite part in our Taiwan trip. I have always wanted to fly a lantern. I was mesmerized by the sky lantern. Our Taiwan tour made it come true. My husband and I wrote our wishes. There are 4 sides available. The staff of the stall will be the one too take your pictures and video as you fly the lantern. Colors will be given with different symbolism. We picked color red.

10. Raohe Night Market in Songshan District

It was a rainy night then. We had a hard time though we brought our own umbrellas. Stalls of food, clothes, toys and gadgets can be found there as well. but I like Ximending better. So, we head back to Ximending night market after Raohe.

11. Taipei 101 in Xinyi District

The Guinness World Record 101 storey building. The Observatory Deck recommended visiting time is late afternoon. You will have a scenic view of day and night. The time we were there, it was cloudy. We decided not to go up, where you can purchase the ticket on the 5th floor. We will not be able to view the breath taking view from above. The mall has a number of branded boutiques to choose from. Watch our tour here.

12. Din Tai Fung inside Taipei 101

Xiao long bao is the star of Din Tai Fung. We had our lunch there. Din Tai Fung has resrtaurant branches in Metro Manila, but we planned to dine in Taiwan first to taste its authenticity. Expect a queue when you get there. Make it earlier. Food and service are 5 stars for me. Will definitely visit those in the Philippines.

13. Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall in Zhongzheng District, Taipei

CKS Hall was built in memoriam of the first president of the Republic of China; Chiang Kai Shek. You can witness the changing of the guards on hourly interval. The building is amazing and the garden is wonderful.

14. National Theater and National Concert Hall in Zhongzheng District, Taipei

Both are performing arts venue in Taipei. These 2 venues were designed like a Chinese traditional palace located inside the Liberty square. There are also cultural gallery and performing arts library where tourists can visit.

Our tour was short because of our obligations back in the Philippines. But, we really enjoyed each day spent in Taiwan. Memorable experience indeed.

Comment your experience in Taiwan and if we were able to help you with our Taiwan travel tips.

Please support my Facebook page by hitting the LIKE button. And our YouTube Family channel. Subscribe and hit the bell. Comment your experience. Thank you.

 

How to Apply for a Japan Tourist Visa?

Disclaimer: This post is from my very own experience. It may vary with others.

I am very excited to visit Japan. I heard lots of stories about how clean their country is, how disciplined the citizens are, how quiet they can be, those beautiful tourists spots and others. May I add, Japan banned counterfeit and pirated goods. All they sell there are original and authentic products ONLY! Imagine most of the branded and signature bags, clothes and accessories you can shop there. Budget is the key.

I know a few relatives and friends from Japan but I did not want to bother them in my VISA application. If I declare them as a sponsor, they need to send legal documents in the Philippines just to help me in this Visa application. I visited several websites and looked for the list of requirements. One cannot apply directly to the Japan embassy. There are  accredited agencies to apply for a visa. Usually they are located in Makati, Pasay, Cebu, Davao, and Quezon City (latest). Their fees vary depends on the agency. Consider the proximity and convenience of your travel to chosen agency. The Visa will take only 2-3 days to be released. You can pick it up or it can be delivered (as experienced from Attic Tours). Here is the list of accredited agencies.

 

 

There are also different types of Visa to apply, depends on the purpose of your travel.

  1. Visa for Tourism
  2. Visit Friends or Distant Relatives
  3. Visa for Visiting Relatives
  4. Visa for Commercial Purpose
  5. To attend Conference by Private/Public Organization
  6. Visit Relatives/Friends Invited by US Military Personnel (SOFA Status)
  7. Visa for Spouse of a Japanese National (Temporary Visit)
  8. Official/Diplomat
  9. Visa for house servant hired by Official/Diplomat
  10. Visa for application with Certificate of Eligibility Issued in Japan
  11. Visa for Transit
  12. Visa for Medical Stay
  13. NIKKEI-JIN (JAPANESE DESCENDANTS)
  14. Visa for Filipino Parents of Japanese- Filipino Children (JFC) who are traveling to Japan with the children
  15. Single- Entry Tourist Visa for Philippine Nationals Joining Package Tours Organized by Registered Travel Agencies
  16. Multiple Entry Visa for Tourist
  17. Multiple Entry Visa for Business Purpose and Cultural or Intellectual Figures 

Mine is #1 Visa for Tourism. You can go to Japan with your own itinerary or you can also book a tour package from the listed agencies. Below are the list of requirements for Tourist travelers. Remember that ALL documents should be in ORIGINAL (unless stated otherwise) and in A4 size. DO NOT STAPLE or paste the pages of documents. Or your application will be rejected, possibly, you will be asked to go back with the correct papers. We want to avoid that. It is imperative that we read each requirement and adhere to avoid delays and inconvenience.

TOURISM REQUIREMENTS

1. Philippine Passport
• Broken passport is not accepted. Passports must be signed and must have at least two (2) blank visa pages.

2. Visa Application Form
• Available at the Embassy website, at the entrance of the Embassy or at any of the accredited travel agencies.
• Application form should be filled out all items correctly, If item is not applicable, please fill in [N/A]. Embassy may not accept application with blank item, no signature or no date in the form; may deny the application that is filled out incorrectly or wrong information.

3. Photo
• Specs: 4.5cm x 4.5cm, with white background.
• Photo must be taken within 6 months.
• Please write applicant’s name and birthdate on back side of the photo.
• Photo must be pasted on the application form.

4. Birth Certificate
• IT must be issued within one year from PSA Main Office/Serbilis Outlet Center (Nationwide).
• If the birth certificate from Philippine Statistics Office (PSA) is unreadable, or has incomplete information, please submit the birth certificate issued by PSA together with a birth certificate issued by the Local Civil Registrar.
• If the birth certificate is “late registration”, please submit in addition, a baptismal certificate and school record (Form 137) from high school or elementary and School Yearbook (if possible).
• If there is no record in PSA, please submit a “Certificate of Non-Record” from PSA together with a birth certificate from the Local Civil Registrar.

5. Marriage Certificate (if the applicant is married)
• IT must be issued within one year from PSA Main Office/Serbilis Outlet Center (Nationwide).
• In case there is no record in PSA, please submit a “Certificate of Non-Record” from PSA
together with the Marriage Certificate from the Local Civil Registrar.

6. Daily Schedule in Japan (TAIZAI YOTEIHYO )
[If applicant will shoulder part or all of his/her travel expenses]

7. Bank Certificate
Validity of Bank Certificate is three (3) month from the date of issue

8. Applicant’s Income Tax Return (Form 2316) clear Photocopy (latest)
[If Guarantor who lives in the Philippines will shoulder part or all of the applicant’s travel expenses]

9. Guarantee Letter

10. Proof of relationship between applicant and guarantor (e.g. Birth Certificates etc.)

11. Bank Certificate (original) and Income Tax Return (ITR Form 2316) (clear Photocopy) of Guarantor

[If Applicant is not Philippines nationality ]

12. Foreign residents with long-term or permanent status in the Philippines applying for a visa must submit, in addition to the above requirements (except birth and marriage certificates), a copy of their Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) issued by the Philippine government.

Visa application of foreigners who are on short-term (temporary) visa in the Philippines
cannot be accepted. Please apply at the Japanese Embassy /Consulate General with jurisdiction over the area in which the applicant resides or over the country of which the applicant’s passport was issued.

[NOTICE]
Size of document for application should be A4 size only. If document is other size, please
submit copy that is already adjusted in A4 size from its original and without staples or pasting pages.

Applicants are exempted from submitting (4) and (5) Indicated above if they can submit
old/valid passports with used Japan visa.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that he/she meet the requirements for the grant of a visa. Submission of any supporting documents not listed above is encouraged (e.g. applicant’s economic or social ties with the Philippines, urgent reasons for visit: medical certificate, wedding invitation).

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Practice lang 😉

WHAT TO DO?

  1. Make sure your passport is signed and is still 6 months valid on the date of travel.
  2. Request for your Birth and Marriage Certificate from PSA (can be requested online and paid online or thru over the counter payment example Bayad Center). Mine arrived within the week from the time I requested.
  3. Request for Bank Certificate on your designated bank of savings or current account. (valid within 3 months)
  4. Have your latest photo taken with 4.5cm x 4.5cm on white background or tell the photo studio you need a picture for Japanese visa.
  5. Write your itinerary matching the days of your stay in the application form. Or else, you will be asked to submit another itinerary. Tourists are allowed 15 days of stay for Single entry visa. Validity is within 90 days from date of issue.
  6. Secure your ITR (a clear photocopy is accepted)
  7. If you have a guarantor, a Guarantee letter must be signed and will need proof of relationship such as documents and/or pictures.
  8. Choose your agency. Again, pick the one that is near you for convenience purposes. Knowing the traffic condition in the Philippines, it is best to be practical. Attic Tours Visa Fee is PhP1,620

As I went to Attic Tours in SM North EDSA, I got a number and waited for my turn. While waiting, there were already 2 Visa applicants who were told that they can re-apply after 3 months. Ouch! Their Visa application was DENIED! And the lady before me,  submitted itinerary for 7 days only, where on her application form it says she intends to stay in Japan for 15 days. Every details has to match. She has to come back to submit the complete requirements. Sayang ang effort, pamasahe, oras at who knows ano pa. Kaya siguraduhin po na tama at kumpleto as stated above.

Nagdagdag po ako ng mga property titles, business permit and others just to support that I am capable to travel and I have reason to go back to the Philippines.

After 3 days, I received an sms that my passport is ready for pick up at Attic Tours. Pagdating sa Attic, kinabahan ako syempre, parang exam. Hindi mo alam ano resulta. Hindi na kukuha ng number pagpasok, sabihin mo na lang na mag pick up ka ng passport. Bring your receipt. IMPORTANTE na dala ang resibo at valid ID. Baka hindi ibigay ang passport. Ikaw lang ang pwede mag pick up. Hindi pwede ang ibang tao. Hindi ako sinabihan na pwede ako mag reapply so parang alam ko na, na-grant ang visa application ko, At ganun nga ang sinabi ng staff sa Attic. Sinabi rin nya hanggang kailan valid ang visa. Thank you!

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This is how the Japan Visa looks  like. Important details were hidden for security purposes.

Below are the possible forms you might need upon application:

See you soon Japan!!! If given a chance, my next application will be Multiple entry visa. I know I will enjoy it there. I will visit a friend. Mommy-cation coming soon!

Please like my Facebook page for more informative posts. 🙂

Extended Summer in Boracay (Q3 2017 )

Family is the best company every where you go. How about extending the summer in August of 2017 with them? Sounds fun and relaxing yeah? My cousin went home for a vacation from Dubai to celebrate her mom’s/my aunt’s 75th birthday. 2 surprises awaited my aunt; Boracay vacation and dinner party celebration. I am very proud to say, I was part of the whole plan.

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Let me start the Summer in Q3.🏖 We found this apartment in Boracay and booked our accommodation for 3 nights 4 days. 50% down payment was required to be sent before the actual booking, then the remaining balance was given soon as we arrived. I can say it really was a budget room for a group of 8 with huge space more than enough to accommodate us. 10-12 people would still be fine, I guess. (Request for extra mattress). It has its own kitchen where we cooked our meals, own dining table, own sink and own bathroom. And of course, I volunteered to cook on one of our dinner time. All of us knows how to cook, so we took turns. Our group consisted of 3 senior citizens whom I called The Single Ladies. Why? Because they are all single by default; widow. To add, 4 adults and 1 minor. I will write this post as vivid as I can remember.

 

Our flight was booked at different time and dates, yet same flight schedules for 2 way. Hence, the plane tix charges differed from the others. I volunteered to check-in our flights online for easy and no-hassle flight. None of us had check-in baggage, only carry-on bags. Mine and my daughter’s were back packs. I printed 16 boarding passes. We almost missed our flight from Manila to Kalibo because earlier that day, when my cousin verified the flight schedule of our plane, we were told it was at 12nn where originally it was 10:55am. Grrr… good thing I double checked at 10:20am, there was no flight changes. So, when I was able to verify the info, we hurried to the boarding gate where our names were already being called.😳 The first bus going to the plane already left.😑 It was fun though. More exciting… Imagine the single ladies (senior citizens), trying their best to reach the boarding gate as fast as they can. Yet, I advised the ground steward we were waiting for 3 senior citizens so, please bear with us. And they did. Very nice of them. 😊😔🤓

Airplane here we come! It was my daughter’s first plane ride. So, I took her pictures. Flight was delayed by about 20 minutes, so we reached Kalibo airport past 1pm. It was a peaceful flight.

At the Kalibo airport, several companies with boat and van offered us their service. Then, a lady approached me where she gave me a free lunch/dinner buffet voucher for 4 persons. She said it normally costs PhP650 per person. They are giving it for free because their hotel is new and it was part of their promotion. Good thing we were expecting free dinner! One check for budget meal 101! My cousin finally booked our van and boat service at PhP 125 per person. The trip was about 1 and a half hours from Kalibo airport to the port for a boat ride.

At the port, was it Tabon? Please tell me. It was not the famous jetty port of Caticlan. Waves were big as advised. It was a different port. One of my aunts has fear in riding a boat, I think that was dealt accordingly. Environmental fee and Terminal fee should be paid at the port before the actual boat ride, PhP 100 total. The boat ride took only 10 minutes going to Caticlan. Then by land, we took an e-jeep big enough to accommodate the 8 of us. It was another 10-15 minute ride. We had to walk for 25-50 meters (estimate) to reach our booked apartment. It has a restobar in front. We finally reached our destination and rest our feet. We had not taken our lunch yet. We went down and looked for a decent place to eat. We found Cowboy Cucina and ordered Sinigang na Tanigue sa Sampaloc, Adobong Pusit, rice and drinks. OMG the price was higher than the usual. Our famous line there, ” Anong magagawa mo nasa Boracay tayo?” 🤓😎😲😄

It was almost sunset when we got done with our late lunch. We were already tired that time. So, we went to our room and rest. We recharged for our activity the following day.

We woke up early to have a walk along the shore with my daughter, my mom and my aunt (Sanse). My other aunt (Ninang Puring) was still asleep. We had photographs from every corner they wanted. I was happy to see them happy while enjoying the nature.

I took advantage of my “ME” time. My 2 boys were at home, no mommy duties. Sometimes, we mommies should also take time to enjoy. After all, we are still individuals with personal needs.

I am sharing our pictures. My memories.. ❤

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Ray-Ban Rectangle from my Dad

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Had a long walk going to d’ Talipapa where you can buy seafoods, meat, veggies, souvenirs such as shirts, caps, keychains, wallet/purse, skull accessories, etc., and other grocery items you might need. There is also Paluto restaurants beside it, Dampa style. If you want fresh seafoods newly-cooked and served hot there is where you can find it. Below is my vid with my daughter as we explore Bora and d’ Talipapa.

Pretty much these are our 4 day stay in Bora. I will update if I remember more details.

Feel free to share your experiences. For first timers, ask me! I will try to answer specially about tipid tips.

Please like my Facebook page for more interesting posts. Ciao!

Bohol, Philippines Adventure – Summer 2017 (Day 2)

This was the last day of our trip! Our second day in Bohol! Our day was limited because later that day was our flight back to Manila. We witnessed the beauty of nature that God created. Amazing! Exquisite! Unwinding! I did not want to leave at all. Below was our itinerary. (Highlighted in yellow were skipped due to time constraint)

Bohol IT 2

We woke up early to have breakfast (included in our overnight package). Hubby chose ham and egg, while I had corned beef and egg, both with garlic rice plus your choice of iced tea, coffee, or juice. (We waited though longer than expected) It was heavy breakfast for me.

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Using the motorcycle we rented at Hey Joe, we drove all the way from Tagbilaran to Panglao; about 16 km distance and 30 minutes travel time. I did not search through Google any picture before this trip. I wanted to be surprised by what is in store in Bohol.

As we arrived Panglao, specifically the beach area, I felt mesmerized! I told my hubby immediately, “Can we just stay here?” Then, he smiled. He knew I fell in love right there. You can choose among Alona Beach, Bohol Beach Club, Dumaluan Beach and a lot more.

See to appreciate.

The Beach

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These videos will tell all!

Needless to explain why I did not want to leave? Did you appreciate Bohol now? Come and visit the Philippines! Feel free to contact me for any details.

Hinagdanan Cave

Hinagdanan Cave is a cave in the municipality of Dauis on Panglao Island, in Bohol Province, in the Philippines. It is a naturally lighted cavern with a deep lagoon and many large stalactites and stalagmites.

The cave is lit by sunlight which filters through holes in the ceiling. The underground lake is a popular swimming spot, but it has been known to test for high levels of various pollutants, since it is fed by ground runoff.

Hinagdanan Cave is made of limestone. The entrance of the cave is a hole of about 1 metre wide in diameter, visible from a limestone hill. Cemented steps lead to the interior of the cave. The cave is slippery, but there’s a railing made of rope to hold on to avoid accident due to slippery stones of the cave. The cave is filled with sleeping birds in small holes in the ceiling. – wikipedia.org

From the beach, we hopped to Hinagdanan Cave. It is about 10 km from the beach where we came from and about 18 minutes ride. After paying the entrance fee, (viewing fee OR viewing + swimming fee), we brought with us our snorkeling gears and went down to the cave. Our tour guide kuya Boni (short for Bonifacio) was very informative and helpful with our photos. He took our pictures using our smart phones. He even had effects used to make our pictures impressive. He also told us that the water level usually is 12-15 feet. We spend our time there swimming, the water was cold, like those from the fridge.  See to believe!

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Watch our video in Hinagdanan Cave!


We bought peanut kisses for pasalubong. After this adventure, we went back to Aliria. The motorcycle we rented will be picked up at Aliria 24 hours from the time it was delivered. Then we packed our stuff and changed clothes going back to Manila through Tagbilaran Airport. Our flight back was 2:55pm. We parked at NAIA Terminal 3.

But we did not head home yet. We had to go to Quezon City to celebrate Mommy Tita’s 79th birthday at Cabalen located at Quezon Avenue. Then we head home. We were excited to give our pasalubong and see our kids after 4 long days.

Our 4 day Cebu-Bohol journey ended here. I hope you enjoyed too. Feel free to ask me about this trip.

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See related posts:

Cebu Day 1

Cebu Day 2

Cebu Day 2 (last night)

Bohol Day 1

Bohol, Philippines Adventure – Summer 2017 (Day 1)

We were late for this trip! From Cebu, we took the Star Craft Ferry. It was 1 hour ferry ride from the Cebu Port 1 going to Tubigon Port in Bohol. We overslept, probably tired because our two day trip in Cebu was jampacked with activities. We should have left the hotel earlier to make it to the first trip which was 5:45 AM. Even if we arrived at 5:45 AM, the ticketing booth was already closed to accept passengers for the first trip, instead we were for 7AM trip.

The ticketing booth is not located inside the port. It can be found outside. I had to ask the guard where it was. There was a challenge, it was still raining. As soon as we bought the tickets, the service arrived at the ticketing booth (which did not look like it was a ticketing booth but an abandoned commercial space). That service gave us a ride to the port. Nice. We did not have to run in the rain.

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There are two ways to travel from Cebu to Tubigon, Bohol. First is through the Fast Ferry. It is a high speed passenger service. It is about three times higher the fare of a regular ferry. But, its first trip from Cebu Port is at 8:45AM. We wanted to arrive early in Bohol to utilize the time we have left. So, it lead us to the next choice. Second is through the Star Craft (what we availed). It is the cheapest. It cost us only PhP250 each (if not mistaken) but not 300. Then, there is Ocean Jet, its route is Cebu to Tagbilaran. It is for about 2 hours trip at PhP800-PhP1,000 each. You can check the schedules here https://www.bohol.ph/article107.html

When we arrived in Tubigon, we took a trike going to the van terminal which brought us to another trike terminal. The fare at the van was PhP90 each. We also paid for our luggage as another person. It was cheap, thinking we had a roller coaster ride. Whew! The passengers inside the van were like in a can of Ligo Sardines; no space to move. The van even stopped in front of a waiting shed and got another passenger. What? Hubby and I were just looking at each other. Well, I want to enjoy the trip, so I just smiled.

Welcome to Bohol! Below was our itinerary. We missed those highlighted in yellow due to weather condition and time constraint.

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Soon as we arrived at Aliria Bed and Breakfast, the motorcycle we rented for 24 hours was already there waiting for us. Free delivery by Hey Joe Motor Bike Rentals as requested. You can contact them sir Tim (foreigner/business owner) at 09152781949 and 09205821355. We rented a Honda Click 125i 2016 with a rental cost of PhP700 per day. It was a new model from what I knew. It was fast and smooth to ride on. The motorcycle rental was inclusive of 2 helmets. Requirements were photocopy of driver’s license and/or passport. We were wearing another personalized shirts I made with Tarsier of print and texts “Third & Porsche explored”.

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Loboc River Cruise

The Loboc River Cruise is also known as the Loboc Floating Restaurant. We were so hungry since we did not have breakfast yet from the time we left Cebu. We hurried to Loboc. It was around 35 minutes motor ride with 25km distance. Hubby took-in-charge. I am not capable of driving a motorcycle, I can only drive a car. We enjoyed the view, 25km was a little far from what I expected. When we arrived, we were given a number and waited to be called to pay our fee. When done, we were instructed where to go and which floating restaurant we should be. It was #1!

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Here is a video while we were at Loboc River Floating Restaurant

The food was good enough for a hungry tummy, nothing great. Yet, we really enjoyed the view, the vibe, and the quality time we spent as a couple. A live band was playing near the buffet table to entertain the passengers while on cruise. I observed, I had to ask for a refill of the dessert after it ran out before they did. We were with foreigners on that cruise. I bet they enjoyed too.

Man Made Forest

On our way to the Tarsier Conservation Center, we witnessed how awesome this Man Made Forest was. Speechless!

The Bohol Man-Made is a mahogany forest stretching in a 2km stretch of densely planted with Mahogany trees located in the border of Loboc and Bilar towns. Before and after you reach the man-made forest there are also naturally grown forests of Loboc and Bilar which has a thick kaleidoscope of green foliage, different kinds of trees and giant ferns lining the road. – wikipedia.org

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Tarsier Conservation Center

We got lost at first. Waze pointed out to the previous location of the Tarsier Conservation Center. We stopped by a house and asked a lady doing her chores. She pointed us to the right location. Loay Interior Road, Loboc Bohol is the new location. A fee must be paid on the entrance. Strict policies were: DO NOT touch the Tarsier and NO camera flash. Fair enough to secure the tarsiers. I observed the staff there were mindful of the tourists. They said “No” and “Excuse Me” a couple of times, when the tourist was getting near the cute endangered species. I asked how many tarsiers can we possibly see there, I was told only 10. The rest were inside the conservation area. After the experience with the tarsiers, you can buy souvenirs from their shop such as wallet, keychains, ref magnet, bags, pen holder and other stuff with tarsier in it.

An initial three-hectare area is now ready for tarsier viewing with pebbled pathways for visitors laid out around the wooded sanctuary while a thatched-roofed waiting area showcasing tarsier souvenirs has been constructed to accommodate the expected influx of visitors. Tourists can still have the opportunity to see these cute primates but the centralized effort now makes sure that stricter rules are implemented for the benefit of the tarsiers. Visitors may amble on a pebbled pathway meandering around the three-hectare mahogany forest and see the tarsiers in their natural habitat. From big to small. From reptile to primate. From monstrous to the cutest. Bohol is home to not just the world’s biggest snake in captivity but also one of the world’s smallest primates. – http://www.thepoortraveler.net/

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The Chocolate Hills

I remember my son; Fourth when we reached there. The Chocolate Hills was already part of their lessons in school. We had to go up the designated photo taking area to get a perfect view of The Chocolate Hills. It was 214 steps! I had to stop once in awhile and catch my breath. There should have been a lift. How about the senior citizens? How can they reach the top? It felt that I cannot make it at all, but of course I did! I had this idea that on our way down, to be more exciting, there should have been a slide straight to the bottom. What do you think?

The Chocolate Hills (Cebuano: Mga Bungtod sa Tsokolate; Filipino: Mga Tsokolateng Burol) are a geological formation in the Bohol province of the Philippines. There are at least 1,260 hills but there may be as many as 1,776 hills spread over an area of more than 50 square kilometres (20 sq mi). They are covered in green grass that turns brown (like chocolate) during the dry season, hence the name. – wikipedia.org

 

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I don’t look happy.. yeah? I cannot breath anymore.

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Pangas Falls

We never planned to get to Pangas Falls. We never knew it from that time. On our way back to the Aliria Hotel, we saw an arrow sign that says, “Pangas Falls”. We asked the tricycle drivers from the said road. It was about almost 5km, if I remember it right. Since, we had a motorcycle we wanted to give it a try anyway. At first, it was a cemented road, the next part of the road was not at all. Some part were even slippery because of the rainfall. I was glad we made it. A PhP10 fee was asked with a receipt from the Bohol government. Have a look!

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Looks like a turtle right?

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Loboc Church

What we saw there was ruins of the earthquake in October 2013. According to the news I watched, the Loboc Church is currently undergoing renovations. No mass service there since the earthquake for security reasons. There are still a lot of work to do.

The San Pedro Apostol Parish Church (also Saint Peter the Apostle Parish Church), commonly known as Loboc Church, is a Roman Catholic church in the municipality of Loboc, Bohol, Philippines, within the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tagbilaran.

Loboc Church before

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Photo credit:  akrosdayunibers.com

Loboc Church as of March 2017

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Bell tower

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Across the Loboc church is a vacant lot with stalls for snacks such as BBQ, balot, and others. beside where we ate was the ruins of the bell tower. There were also comfort rooms for men and women. A stop over won’t hurt. We had a nice time there.

Check this video!

Fields along Loboc Road (Random)

Appreciating nature…

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Aliria Bed and Breakfast

Before we went back to our Aliria Bed and Breakfast we looked for a decent place for dinner. However, we were too tired to park, sit down and order. So, as we reached the hotel, we used their landline phone to call Jollibee for food delivery.  After dinner, shower and had the rest we deserved! Early again for tomorrow’s itinerary. Day 2 Bohol trip was the best on this trip! See my next post.

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Feel free to leave a comment or if you have any questions, just shoot!

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Cebu Tour Day 1

Cebu Tour Day 2

Cebu Tour (Last Night)