Shy was at Baguio Village Inn

Shy was at Baguio Village Inn
Warm, Quaint and Homey Room for only P350! :)

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

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Sh*t People Say or do to Solo Female Travelers

1.  "Oh So why are you alone?" and then give you the pity face.

2. Don't you have a boyfriend or a friend to go with you?

3.  Oh so you have traveled for more than a week now.  What do you do? Do you even have a job?

4.  Okay a table.  For 1 person, right?

5. Eating alone at Mcdonalds.  People stare at you like.

6. You're sitting or standing alone at a foreign country and people be like...

Publisher: Shy - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Saturday, April 23, 2016

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15 Things You Need to Know Before Doing Your Nagsasa Cove Adventure


So you have probably browsed DIY's and have a rough estimation on how much you'll be spending and what you'll be doing in Nagsasa Cove, but on this post, I'll tell you things that people haven't touch up on.

Things to Know before Going to Nagsasa Cove

1. Battery operated fan

Staying inside the tent is as good as being in an oven sometimes.  So if you could, try to bring a battery-operated fan, and if you may, point it to an ice block, and viola, you have an AC blowing off cool breeze into your direction.

2. Going in groups is better than going there as couples

The beauty with being in a group is that some people could look after your stuff while you're away, and you could return the favor when they leave and you're around.  Although stealing isn't really rampant there, it's still a possibility so better be safe than sorry.

3.  The sand is dangerous

When temperature hits a certain point and it stays that way for hours, expect the sand to be burning hot.  Minutes barefoot could potentially damage your skin.  I had my toes touched when I was on my way to the boat, and it was just seconds but mahn I felt like I got burnt.

4.  Tents are used for many other things than sleeping

Most of the time you couldn't sleep in there anyways.  It's hot and humid during the day.  It gets a bit better at night but still not convenient. And can I mention the attention-hungry people who keep on howling and laughing even after midnight?

5.  Bring a free standing flashlight 

Some people who we went camping with us had trouble using their hand held flashlights especially when they wanted to find something inside their tent at night. Had they used a free standing flashlight and just position it at one corner, it would have been way easier for them to do what they needed to do.

6.  No need for off lotion

I've read on several sites suggesting to bring mosquito repellant but I haven't felt a need to rub on one when I was there.

7. When it's summer season, expect tents to be pitched close together

As close as 1 inch apart.  If you want to have fewer company, you may want to schedule your trip off season, like from July onwards.  But be wary of the monsoon season too.

8. The boat ride could get rough

Big waves could constantly hit your boat.  Expect getting splashed on randomly.  If you don't like this kind of ride then you better think about heading to Nagsasa Cove because it would take more than hour to get there.

9.  Waterproof your gadgets

The boat ride like I said could get pretty rough so protect your camera in a waterproof bag or container.  Make sure you seal it tight or else you know what will happen.

10.  Campsite culture

People camping are more or less between the ages 15 to 35 years old, and so there's some kind of culture that's going on.  There's something that unifies everyone in there.  There's a friendly environment that is present.  It's like one big barkada who just don't talk to each other.

11. The toilet

There's 6 shared toilets for the entire campsite and it could get really queuing especially when packing time is near which is around 10 to 11am.  So to avoid it make sure to swim in the beach early morning and shower afterwards before everybody starts to pile up on the line, especially the ones with the toilet.

12. The store there opens at 5am

So if you're like my partner who doesn't want to bring a lot and who prefers paying extra cash, then go ahead splurge.

13. Grilling and bonfires

Camping could not be totally complete without these two.  I mean, those are essential camping activities that you would not want to miss out on.  If I were to choose, I'd rather put more effort to do those things than not.  It's not everyday that you get to enjoy those.  Some beaches don't allow bonfires so it's better to just take the opportunity.  Go ahead and make one.

14.  DIYS are always cheaper

There's a misconception about tours and deals.  It doesn't always save you money.  If you want to have control over your spendings better go for DIYS, but if you don't want to be bothered by logistics and all, then go for the packaged tours.  It really sucks because I thought I have saved my self some money by availing of Metrodeals tour package.  When I did a bit of research, internet showed me some trips that cost cheaper than what I had paid for.

15.  Always say YES to adventure

I wouldn't have better stories to tell had I not say Yes to activities that at first sounded hard work and silly.  Just go and you'll be glad you did.  However, always take precaution.

Publisher: Shy - Saturday, April 23, 2016

Thursday, April 21, 2016

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My Nagsasa Cove Adventure

Once you have a taste of El Nido it's difficult to appreciate just any beaches.  And my view still stands today.   After 2 years of being in a beach hiatus, I have came to push through with one beach camping adventure that would cap my Summer.

Yes I finally did it.

Over the weekends, I went camping in Nagsasa Cove after having purchased vouchers from Metrodeal which involved island hopping tour, and 2 meals.  We added P800 more for van transfer since we didn't want to be bothered looking for a public transport to commute to and fro.  

The Journey

The journey going there was treacherous.  Even with a 3am call time at SM North, we reached Pundaquit Municipality at around 8am.  This is after a couple of stops along the way.  This is the place where we could buy the things we needed to buy and withdraw money because we would be heading to the island, which doesn't have electricity and the food sold there are 2x or 3x over the normal price.  There we paid 100 for the Entrance fee.  Before the boat transfer, the staff from the agency started collecting the vouchers which I missed out on printing because I was too focused on printing the waiver which was also indicated as a requirement.  They asked for the paper which I didn't have and didn't bother for the one which I do have.  Long story short, with my partner's strong persuasion skills aka pagtataray, we were able to go ahead of the group.

Capones Islands and Its Frills

That was not a way to start this trip and I was already crossing my fingers that it will all be fun in the end.  But that hope was fading as we had to ride through big waves for an hour or so.  First stop was the Capones Island which you'll recognize by the light house seated at the top of its hill. Going up to the lighthouse was some sort of Survival challenge, since the boat was anchored 15-20 meters away from the shore and the only way to get to the island was for me to hold on to the rope tied at the edge of the boat.  The rope is all taut and stretched out and ends as it is tied tightly around a steady rock at the shore. I had to float and swim and grab the rope and pull my way forward up to the shore even when the water was just knee deep because I didn't want to step on a grassland of brown algae.  The texture was so icky.  We only knew about it when we were in the water.  The boatman said it was in season.  Well it was really obvious because that thing was everywhere.   But nevertheless it made the experience a lot more interesting; not to mention the slippery big rocks at the bottom which makes standing up impossible, and the stubborn waves that were incessantly pushing us, knocking us down even more.  It was a challenge, yet we were all laughing that we were tortured that way, which was weird.

The Hike

Once reaching the shore we have to start the hike.  It was really hot at this time as it was already 11am.  There were birds hovering above the island, like vultures waiting to devour carcasses of people who couldn't survive.  Humidity was nada, the sun was blazing heat waves by now, the sand was roasting and there I was at the middle of it all thinking whether the lighthouse was worth to see.  The trek was a chore.  It would take you 10 minutes at least to get to the light house filled with all sorts of rubbish inside: plastics, wood, leaves, dirt, practically everything that you could see in a place that is left behind to rot.  What greeted  me as I entered the gates of the lighthouse was a familiar sound of a bell ringing.   Ice cream?  In the middle of the island, in this abandoned lighthouse there's a diligent ice pop vendor.  Well what do you know... For people who are hungry for something cold down their throat, it would be a God-sent.  But the sight of the light house and the effort that I put in coming to see it, didn't set the appetite for an ice pop.  In attempt to at least squeeze out some history out of the place to make my trek seem worth it,  I asked the ice pop vendor if he knew anything about the place and who built it, and when it was constructed.  From that inquiry, I got  that it was an old place during the Spanish era.  And feeling satisfied that I got a touch of history,  I excused myself from the group of friends who got their ahead of me and were eating ice pop.  Surprisingly, my partner followed me halfway down the trek and went with me on my way back. 

Anawangin Insight

So the whole Capones thing was fun.  Yey, next stop was Anawangin which was an hour ride.  It's more crowded and smaller than Nagsasa, but many people go there because it's closer.  We went there and got us halo halo sold for P35.  While eating my halo halo under the shade of the store, I had a chance to do some people watching and noticed  that women, young and old, have a dress code which I didn't know of.  It's a long sleeve spandex top and a pair of swimming shorts.  That was what the majority of the women who went with me were wearing, and the same goes for the women in Anawangin.  I thought people are a bit liberated this days.  I was expecting bikinis since it was a beach event, but I haven't seen any woman wearing two-piece other than a 12 year old girl, who wore a 2 piece black bikini with a black see through overall.   At this point I was feeling a bit left out.  Which part of the internet did they say anything about this.  Anyways, finally we were heading to Nagsasa after that.  Everyone in the boat was feeling cranky because it was already 1pm, it was hot, we had only few hours of sleep and we have not eaten yet, and did I say it was hot?  

Finally! Nagsasa Cove!

So by the time we got to the Cove, we were all eager to eat and settle down.  It took us awhile to do so because we have to wait for the staff to accommodate us, we have to wait for the food that was included in the voucher, we have to wait for our tents.  

Our lunch was finally served and our tents were finally pitched, we have settled in, but the sun was still ablaze that lying inside the tent would be lying in a sauna minus the moisture.  With not so much sleep, some of us just ignored it and tried to pitch their tent under a shade, but some like me, couldn't.  It was just unbearable, so me and my partner waited for the sun to go down and went for a dip to release the heat.  The beach was great.  It was all sand no big corals at the bottom so it's ok to swim barefooted.  The location of the cove was beautiful.  It was smacked at the middle of a C-shape island bordered by grassy towering hills.  And shading the campsites were tall pines trees that gave it character and novelty.  All these seemed to make the journey worth it, and at that point I was satisfied.  Thinking that it would be my first and last time in this place, I anchored myself to be fully in the moment as I was trying to float my whole body parallel to the sea, steadying myself whenever the waves were rocking me forward and backward.  Ahhh this is the life.

At Night

Nagsasa Cove at night offers a different scene.  People are noisier, bonfires were out.  And as the night grew deeper, people moved closer to the beach, sleeping on mats, because the tents were not, once again made for nice sleeping.  It was still humid.  If there were any wind that pass by it would just circle around us at the top and only some would pass through us on the ground.  All we could hear are  whooshing of the the wind passing, which was annoying.  It feels like there's a cake but you couldn't eat it.  Unable to sleep inside, I went out to spread my mat near the beach which some people already have done.   The stars were awesome like they always are but suddenly firecrackers blew up in the sky right above us.  I rattled to cover my face afraid that some smidgens of fire would fall on me.  Thankfully they did it right the second time, firing it to blow directly above the sea.  So much for surprises.  The night was long thanks to a group of cold-hearted youngsters who didn't mind shouting even when they knew people were sleeping. 

The Weird Sound 

Anyways, somehow when everyone was asleep, only the whooshing of the wind could be heard.  It sounded like there was a space ship hovering above us, or that it was raining but you wouldn't see or feel raindrops falling.  And when I got up to check what exactly it was,  there was nothing but sound and an eerie feel that enveloped the camp.  I went in and tried to sleep again. 

Morning Madness

Morning came, and we went for some quick dip, and trekked one hill after.   The path was narrow and cliff was threatening.  One wrong move and you're a goner.   The view from up there though was spectacular.  It reminded me that it was really worth going here and that it was indeed a special place.  We ate breakfast as soon as we got back.  The store opens at 5am so don't worry about getting your coffee fix.  They sell hot water for P5, coffee with hot water and cup for P20, and coffee with hot water for P7, if am not mistaken. Sodas were sold for P25 plus which normally are sold for P7 to P12 in the city.  Halo halo are also sold but they cost only P40. 

I showered, after that to avoid queue that was going to be expected come 10am or 11am.  For some reason, our boat arrived 2pm.  The only time I had a good sleep was inside the van.  And I finally reached home at around 10:30pm.   

Long journey it was, I was burnt but still glad to have done it anyway.

Publisher: Shy - Thursday, April 21, 2016
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