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Monday, January 9, 2017

Mt. BATULAO Old Trail-to-New Trail Traverse

It was as far back as 2011 when I first planned of climbing this mountain. I started that year with a very memorable climb in Mt. Maculot in Cuenca Batangas and immediately set my eyes on Batulao. But news came of somebody rolling down the mountain and died. We cancelled the climb and never pushed through until late last year.

It was more of a coincidence than careful planning. I joined this charity group and they planned to have an outreach in Alfonso Cavite in December so along with another member of the group, Jake, we decided to camp in Batulao the night before the outreach.

We left Manila past 2:00 pm. Quite late so it was already dark when we arrived by the highway in Nasugbu which is the set-off point to Batulao. We happen to meet a group there who were about to join their peeps already in the mountain. So friendly they first approached us to join them in the hike.

Finally. Naakyat natin kita. This mountain was so illusive.
At akala ko madali challenging din pala

Good riddance because even Jake who has hiked twice got perplexed by the trail at night. We could have wandered up and down blindly if not for them. The old trail although easier , until campsite, is confusing at night as it goes through grassy areas and at times small forests. We decided to follow the lead of the other team and they wanted to hike from the highway to the base of the mountain and then up.

The first part of the hiked proved very challenging as it has been raining for days prior to our visit. Although the sky was clear and the stars were out that night, the road leading to Batulao's base was so muddy and slippery and sticky. In short, papasok palang kami sobrang challenging. So we were very slow. We started climbing 7:00 pm and arrived at the camp site past 11:00 pm. Starved and exhausted.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

PAPER PLANE HOSTEL Kuala Lumpur: New, Chic, Value for Money and Very Homey

No.15 Jalan Sin Chew Kee 50150
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+603 2110 1676
+6012-703 1676
Email: hello@paperplanehostel.com

I am very glad I found this place online coz I heard they opened only last quarter last year. I find it really posh. Good job for transforming an old two-storey link house (row house) into a modern interiored, artsy, spotless hostel it is now. White walls a perfect choice so as give a more spacious and clean feel. The drawings on walls indeed very artistic.

The wooden floor at the 2nd floor where I stayed I love walking barefoot on. Room locks including that of of the hostel maim entrance door are high tech, airconditioning very efficient and toilets always kept clean. I stayed for three night with first two nights in a private bunk room with only 1 bunk bed and high ceiling and the last night in a twin room with queen size bed. 


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Heineken Brings Armin Van Buuren in Manila 2016 #Valkyrie @CaratPh

I am not the party-type. At least not one who is a regular patron of pubs but I still know how to have fun. And I thought "this might not be my crowd" but if it is Valkyrie and Armin Van Buuren playing, "who am I to resist".

Armin van Buuren has been named number one in the prestigious DJ MAG Top 100 poll four times in a row, as the first DJ in the history of the DJ Magazine and an indication of his prolific output over the more than 14 years he’s been dj’ing and producing. Being the official World’s Most Popular DJ is just one of his many achievements, but the driving force behind his success is an overriding passion for dance music.


The Dutchman discovered a passion for dance music by listening to mix-tapes and radio shows, and taught himself how to create his own. 20 years later, his very own radio show A State of Trance has grown out to legendary heights. Nowadays, 15 million listeners tune into his 2 hour selection of trance and progressive, every week. For 9 years in a row and more than 450 episodes already, the A State of Trance show has been and still is a weekly highlight to many dance music lovers.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Stunning Villa Caemilla Beach Boutique Hotel Wins 2016 World Luxury Hotel Awards! @villacaemilla #Boracay

Villa Caemilla Beach Boutique Hotel was excited and honoured to be awarded yet another prestigious accolade by the internationally respected World Luxury Hotel Awards. Heralded for the second year in a row as the number one ‘Luxury New Hotel’, the picture perfect beachside hotel gives Conde NastTraveler’s ‘Most Beautiful Island in the World’ yet another top title to be proud of!

The recent award is certainly not Villa Caemilla’s first – shortly after opening, in 2015 the hotel fought off some of the best establishments on the planet and won their first prestigious accolade at the Boutique Hotel Awards, for the much-coveted ‘Best Newcomer’ award. Soon after, they took top spot at the World Luxury Hotel Awards, winning ‘New Luxury Hotel’ and ‘Hotel of the Year’ awards. Earlier this year the hotel got listed as one of the World’s Best Bars and won “Best Boutique Hotel of Year 2016” with the ‘Luxury Travel Guide’ awards.


The globally recognized World Luxury Hotel Awards took place on 29 October, 2016. Well known in the industry for giving recognition to top hotels for exceptional service and world-class facilities, a panel of hospitality professionals chooses nominees, and a wider audience votes for the award winners. Villa Caemilla was delighted to have been voted into the top spot for the second time in a row!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Christmas Promotions to Spread the Sparkle N Cheer #ChristmasAtNovotel @NovotelManilaAC

It was a simple yet much anticipated ceremony on December 1. No big celebrities to thwart the intimate and relaxed mood of the event. The true attraction, the lighting of the hotel and Versailles Event Garden & Tent for the holidays .This officially ushered in Christmas at Novotel Manila Araneta Center.

Versailles Event Garden & Tent is a favorite events place in Metro Manila and it just got more appealing and I would say romantic thanks to the Christmas lights. It was a night of choir singing Christmas carols and overflowing wine with the classic hot spiced wine spicing up the Christmas mood. This resonates all over the hotel, in the lobby, at the 6th, at hallways leading to elevators. There is no stopping Christmas at the hotel and Novotel Manila Araneta Center doesn't stop at simply delighting your sights. They have a bunch of Christmas promotions that you will surely love.



Thursday, December 8, 2016

Shakeology – The Weight Loss Solution - Does It Work?

Shakeology Shake is a tasty solution for losing weight while boosting your energy, reducing cravings, increasing your digestion, and making you feel healthier. It might well be worth your consideration.
This healthy shake claims to offer more than just fueling your body and their claims seem to be true! Their selections of flavors are really very tasty. Let's take a closer look at its overall effectiveness.

The makers of Shakeology claim their shakes offer more than just helping people lose weight. They specifically chose the ingredients to decrease your cravings for junk food, increase your energy level, improve digestion, and, in general, makes you feel healthier. This shake does help you lose weight and if you have a Shakeology before a workout, you will discover an improvement in your overall performance. It could possibly provide a more demanding workout as well.


When addressing the product's ability to aid with your digestion and start up your internal processes, you will be very pleased to learn that it's true! It contains probiotics and fiber that will keep you regular while eliminating toxins that accumulate in your digestive system. The mixture of probiotics and prebiotics help improve your intestinal tract's health and therefore provide a better digestion. A healthy digestive system is able to absorb important nutrients easily.

The developers of Shakeology also claim the drink will improve brain functionality by improving awareness and improving your mood. It also claims to improve blood sugar levels while building healthy nails, hair, and skin. The shakes improve libido support while facilitating hormone and endocrine balances.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Surviving Chinese New Year in Kuala Lumpur: Paper Plane Hostel, Thean Hou Temple, Sky Bar at Traders Hotel, Tom Yum Campur and more

I know how it is like in HK on Lunar New Year, it' s crazy! Loads of Chinese mainlanders swarm the small semi-autonomous territory and going around pretty requires lots of patience and will-power. It is exactly the opposite in Kuala Lumpur ---the city is next to being dead -- as the significant majority of Malaysians with Chinese blood and locals alike move out of the capital and into their hometowns. That means less traffic but it also means less businesses open and therefore less choices to enjoy.

So what the hell was I doing here on a Lunar New Year? Well, I just thought of trying something different since I was also on vacation. It was not a bad move after all since less people means less hassle going around. To be fair, at least public transportation in Kuala Lumpur was as efficient as ever.

I left Manila via Air Asia. Weather was good but since I flew alone 3.5 hrs to KL was a hit rigorous for me. I noticed Air Asia got new in-flight meals on offer and they have wifi on-board too! That's cool for a budget airline. Going through immigration in KL is no hassle. They are far less strict there than our immigration in Manila. I was even directed by one security officer to pass without putting my bag on the X-ray machine. Maybe he thought I am Malaysian. Since I have been in Malaysia a couple of times, I am already familiar at where to exchange Ringgit and which bus to take to the city. I was at the city center in no time.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Pandan Island x Apo Reef with Panikian Lake via g@dventuresph

It was the tour that was supposed to e cancelled/postponed due to inclement weather. A storm was ravaging Northern Luzon but Metro Manila and even as far South as Occidental Mindoro was affected. But participant couldn't find common time for reschedule so we convinced the organizer to push through with the trip despite no assurance that we could go to our main destination being Apo Reef which is 3 hours off the coast of Sablayan Occidental Mindoro.

We left Manila Friday night all praying for improved weather but it even worsened the next day. It was so rainy in the early morning we arrived in Sablayan. Our plan b was to stay in Pandan Island which is only 15 minutes away from town. It was here where we stayed for the night thus another hope for improved weather the next day. Again, it failed. But that didn't stop us from having fun.


We left Manila 9:30 pm. Arrived in Batangas port 12:00 midnight. Everybody's asleep along the way. Boarded RoRo Ferry at 12:30 am and by then the fun started. We were like a bunch of unruly kids, noisy and play by the side of the ferry while other passengers were asleep. We were drinking tequila and chatting and listening to music using Bluetooth speaker. 

Our group was so diverse, people of different backgrounds and humor. The trip normally takes 2 hrs but our ferry was old so it took us three hours to get to Abra de Ilog port. From there our van was waiting and it was another 1.5 hrs to Sablayan. We had a quick breakfast by the public market and off we go to the island.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Y2 RESIDENCE HOTEL MAKATI: At the Heart of all the Action --- leisure, shopping, dining, business and more @y2residencehotel

A few months back, one of my students from South Korea visited the Philippines for the first time. Knowing that I am a travel blogger, she asked me for a recommendation on where to stay in Makati. Her main destination was El Nido so she didn't want to overspend for accommodation in Manila. Surely, $100 would go a long way in El Nido so the trick is to find a hotel below $100.

Y2 Residences Hotel instantly came to mind. I highly suggested it to her not because I have already experienced staying there but because I have been dying to try the place.

For one, the hotel is managed by Hii. A hospitality group managing other chic hotels in the Philippines like that of Azumi Boutique Hostel in Alabang which I really like.


Also, I was mesmerized by the photos of their rooms, the accent, the unique character their designs and interiors exude. And the pool, I've been wishing a dip at their poor with a very nice view of high rises around.

And my student from South Korea was nothing but praises for the hotel. She really enjoyed her stay. A few months on, I finally got to experience Y2 Residences Hotel by myself. I have tried countless hotels before so it was a tall order. Plus I couldn't mute my expectations of the place. Good thing it didn't disappoint. It was well above what I wish it would be.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Art Circle Cafe Makati @Y2 Residence Hotel

Art Circle Cafe
G/F Y2 Hotel, Santiago Street Cor. Valdez and Singian Streets Makati, Philippines
Call (02) 801 5383
Open: 10:00 am-10:00 pm Daily

Whilst there are so many tempting food choices around the hotel, we decided to sample what Y2 Residence can offer in terms of the gastronomic experience. That afternoon, we sampled some of the comfort food they have at Art Circle Cafe locate at the ground floor.


In their Facebook page it says, "Art Circle Cafe is a place for Art lovers where all kinds of art activities and cultural events happen". True enough, the place lives to its name as an Art Cafe. It has a very beautiful interior adorned with art pieces. And not just ordinary art pieces. One can tell that the paintings, wood carvings, metal works and other items here are on a class of their own. Best of all, they are all for sale! Yes, you will not just enjoyed the ambiance and the pleasant view but you can buy and take home artworks that you will like.
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