Thursday, April 30

Lakbayin ang Pilipinas - Hundred Islands

Aside from the Pic of the Day posts, I've decided to make Lakbayin ang Pilipinas posts too. Lakbayin ang Pilipinas means Travel the Philippines. This way, I get to share my favorite places in my country and share a bit of my culture too. :)

The first place I picked is Hundred Islands in Alaminos, Pangasinan. It is located 250km away from Manila, our capital city. There are exactly 123 islands of different shapes and sizes here, hence the name. Not all islands are converted into resorts, so the beauty of it all is preserved. Only three islands were developed for tourists - Children's Island, Governor's Island and Quezon Island. We stayed at Children's Island. Just to give you an idea, here are some of the islands:
I went here with my friends on an environmental trip several years back. It was a great adventure, we really roughed it out and faced nature. We stayed in a bahay kubo, or nipa hut - a cottage made out of bamboo and nipa and anahaw leaves. The bahay kubo is a primitive type of house. I didn't get to take a photo of where we stayed, but this is an example:
Not all the islands have primitive accommodations, lol. There are resorts in the others. But we were on an adventure trip so it was perfect there. So anyway, there were no beds, we had to sleep on bamboo cots. There was no electricity there too which made it really exciting and it really pushed us out of our comfort zones. Especially me. There is a bathroom of course, but it was a good 5 minute walk away from our hut. It was perched on a hill. And also, there was no running water in the shower room. Only in the toilet. So we had to get our water from the poso at the bottom of the hill. We had to carry our pails up to the hill so we can bathe. The poso is a manual pump. Again, an example:
We were surrounded by lush greenery, the sea, and the wonderful salty breezes. It was really fun being around nature. Also, we had to cook our meals using manual fire. Like literally starting fire from two stones rubbed together. We had lots of grilled meat and seafood for our meals, yumyum.

First, some pictures:

this was on our boat ride going there
I took this in one of the islands that we hopped on to
this one too, those are two of my friends
and this is me, photo taken by my friend Ruthie :) (Hi Inay!) as you can see, the sand was really powdery, which I loved
I took this because it was cool. Procreating insects. I'm not sure what they are though, and they were really small so it was hard to take a close up picture using a digital camera.

Anyway, the main reason we went there was to do a coastal cleanup. It was just a bonus for us to do some kayaking and boating to explore the islands, and participate in an Amazing Race kind of game. We did all sorts of tasks, hopping from one island to the next. My team won! :) Also, my favorite part of the trip was when we found this really high cliff (approximately 25-30 feet, more or less) on one of the beaches that led to a secret cave-like corner that looked out to the deep water (around 10 feet or more). I wish I'd taken a photo of it, but no one would hold my camera because we were all jumping. So yeah, it was really cool! I was quite scared at first because I'd never jumped off anything that high before. But it felt so effing amazing when I lifted my feet off the cliff and plunged into the water. I wouldn't forget that moment.

We only stayed for 3 days. I still felt that 3 days isn't enough. There are still many places to explore, and many things to do, and I wish there was more time to enjoy the greenery, the sea and the sun and the sand. Guess it's pretty obvious by now that I love the beach and the sun, huh? The whole trip was just so much fun and there were so many memories. The entire place was so beautiful. I really wish I took more pictures, if only I wasn't too keen on spending all the time in the water :p I'd love to go back there with the same set of friends someday. :)


Wednesday, April 29

Pic of the Day - Mr Clown.

I thought I'd post a random pic everyday, just because. Let's see how long I can keep this up. :)

So as you all know by now, I've been trying to practice photography. This is one of my first ever attempts at capturing artistic (if its considered as such) shots. This clown is found in our garden, he has two other clowns sat on the bench with him but I just chose to shoot him. I never really liked clowns. I just thought that this was cool.


Are you ready?

Oh my lord. Short shorts on the loose.
(brought to you by the lovelies from vcf_fangirls)

Ohaaaaiiii Albiol. I see your bum. Higher please? And to Mr Stripper on the left, why don't you just strip everything? Yes?

Come on, spread the loooove. Good job Chente, now get the other boys to strip too. Especially the following: David Josué Jiménez Silva and Alexis Ruano Delgado. Oh, and David Villa Sánchez. Ktnxbai.

Now seriously, is this what you call a joke of a football club?


Tuesday, April 28

Taiwan - Day 5!

Our last day! We had time to spare in the morning as our flight was still in the afternoon, so we went to the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Plaza. Chiang Kai Shek is a former president of Taiwan. It was beautiful. And the weather was beautiful too. I loved it there. Again, excuse some of the camerawhoring. :)

The National Concert Hall
The National Theatre. Weeee
The Gate of Great Centrality andUprightness. Again weeeee

I really like this shot
erm, I chased pigeons haha
his turn :p
The building where the Chiang Kai Shek monument is
the monument
view from the topmy brother took this, in the MRT

Before we went back to the hotel, we passed by a bakery. Taiwan is known for its yummy pastries, cakes and breads, so we sampled them too. I bought a yummy danish, and a slice of black forest cake. We also bought tea eggs again.

the danish, I almost forgot to take a pic haha
tea eggs

It was time for us to go to the airport. We passed by the Grand Hotel, Taipei. It's supposed to be a tourist spot, it's the grandest (hence the name) hotel in the city. It is also known as The Dragon palace. It was built to accomodate foreign ambassadors who were visiting Taipei. Apparently there are secret passages all throughout the hotel made for Chiang Kai Shek. Boo that we didn't have time to check it out anymore :( Besides, it was too far from where we were staying.

We ate lunch at the Tea House, in the airport. Wonton noodles, siopao and milk tea for me. Then it was time for our flight home.


Taiwan - Day 4!

Day 4.

It was cold again, 14-15 degrees with slight rain. Again, I didn't have warm clothes with me, lol.

Mom and I roamed the streets in search of good breakfast food, we were tired of the hotel buffet and McDonald's. We decided to be adventurous and tried every single food item we saw on the carts along the streets. We sampled different kinds of buns, dumplings and sandwiches. My particular favorite was this roast pork and omelette sandwich, with milk tea of course! Too bad I forgot to take pics of all the food.

We then went to the Taipei Zoo. I was so excited about the Pandas but I was very unlucky, turns out that the Panda exhibits were closed on every first Monday of the month. :( The zoo didn't disappoint though, there were still lots of interesting animals to see, and the landscape and trails were just beautiful. We spent a good 5 hours there just walking in nature and seeing everything.
Also, we ate yummy food again! We had siopao (pork buns), tea eggs (eggs cooked in a secret tea recipe - super yummy) and beef noodles.

Piccys! I practiced my skillz with the camera again. I hope I'm improving. I only chose some. Ok there are a lot, but there are way too much more. And I, uh, camerawhored a bit, haha.

cute squirrel

the grizzly black bear was lazy :(
hello there Mr. Owl

one of my attempts using the macro lens (whatcha think?)
and another one
just because I love butterflies and wanted a pic with it on my palm

just because I love my hair in this pic haha
another attempt
and another one
this black butterfly was just too beautiful
sleeping koala!
because I was desperate to see the pandas I had to make do of the giant stuffed one
my brother and I goofing off
lemur! I like to move it move it (it was really hard to take pics of them, they kept on moving)
hippo conference
hello camels
white rhino bum
king penguins! *squeee* (I had to choose only one or else I'll end up posting them all)
more of them, african penguins this time (stupid glass panes)
I had to console myself with the red panda who was too shy
again excuse the camerawhoring, I like my outfit
I loved the lamp posts, too cute

It was almost dinner time when we finished our trip to the zoo so we decided to eat at this yummy Chinese fine dining resto at Shinkong Mitsukoshi to celebrate my dad's birthday. :)
meet my family :)
some of the food

And then we went to the Shilin Night Market again for more shopping. There were more street food there and I tried these yummy candied strawberries on a stick. They were fresh strawberries dipped in strawberry syrup candy. My mom, dad and brother found it too sweet, but I didn't. I loved it. We also bought more cuttlefish. I guess its obvious by now that we love to eat, no? :)
walking around the night market

the candied strawberries <3

Back in the hotel, I couldn't help myself and ate some custard again. And also fresh strawberries. And vodka! Wooo! And then I remember Valencia killing me with joy. I was watching the highlights of the game, with Silva and Mata killing me with their teaming up on that goal. Also Albiol's goal and celebration. Guh. Sweet.