Posts Tagged ‘ beach ’

Why Wait For Summer? We’re Off to the Beach!

“Where do you guys stay?”, that’s the question that I’ve been avoiding for 3 days we’ve been to Boracay as we’ve been asked by people we know and kind strangers as well. We stayed at Shangri-la Boracay. Yeah I know, “sosyal!” and I’m crazy to spend unbelievable amount of money for it, but to tell you the truth, its F-R-E-E. The lucky bastard out of me did it again by winning at Mango Magazine’s launch grand prize raffle when I already have a booking for Hey Jude Hotel for December.

Oh well, I said to myself in a so apathetic manner, I know what to do with this Shangri-la 3 days and 2 nights stay GC. 😛

Even though I am not much a fan and strongly disagree of the construction of these modern type of hotels in a nature embraced Boracay. Its best, I think, that I thank God for the unexpected blessing and take the opportunity to explore and experience the luxury of staying at the newly erected and overly grandeur Shangri-La Boracay.

The food (the best they can offer), the staff, the place is amazingly pleasant. Shangri-la got everything we need and, due to time constraint, we didn’t even get to explore everything the hotel got in store for the guest residents like the one we just saw before leaving on the 3rd day: the beautifully decorated Entertainment room. Plus there are other places, like the gym, their other restaurants, the other beach (they have two), etc.

If you are going to Boracay only because you miss the ever pristine beach of it? Then I recommend that you get a beachfront hotel on White Beach instead, not in Shangri-La. Though they have their own beach (and pool) for the guest residents, nothing still beats the overall beauty–the sand, the party places, the beautiful people, the beach, the food, the nature, etc.–of White Beach, Boracay.

But everyone can never neglect the best thing about Shangri-la Boracay–the FOOD. It is something to die for and is something that you’ll surely miss when you get back to Manila. Here’s the situation and is probably the best description that I can give about the food: do you know the experience of eating something that is so insanely delicious that you just take a bite of one of their food and while absorbing the taste of the delicacy, you blissfully close your eyes as you are suddenly in a state of culinary trance and you just don’t want to give up the food to your esophagus just to savor more of the taste? Boom! Thats just it I miss it already! My waist line before leaving Manila was 31, and now as I am writing this blog, I just adjusted my belt (an inch?) to a less tighter notch. Whew!

A lot of thanks to Linds for lending us the Canon Powershot D10 for the underwater shots.

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A Sneak Peek of Cebu

The Magellan’s Cross

 

June 12-14, 2009

Long weekends are just not enough for escapades. We went down south the second time this year, to the city of Cebu or some people call it in Spanish as Sugbo. 3 days and 2 nights is all we got to squeeze everything in the itinerary from the travel package we got online. We planned for a tour in the said oldest city in the Philippines, to visit the famous eating places and island hopping at the coast of Lapu-lapu city.

We stayed in one of the pioneer in the hotel industry in Cebu, Cebu Beach Club, a sister company of the Tambuli Beach Club. It is noticeable in the room that they are indeed one of the few who started hotel business in the City, evident that is the age of the furniture and the place shows. Looks like the staff who helped the business to success before already left at this time due to old age. Unfortunately, it also appears that they took with them the hospitality that is now lacking within the current employees, particularly the front desk, welcoming us with no smile or enthusiasm at the moment we arrived at the hotel. Even the breakfast served in the morning is having deficiency of vibrance; we dare not look forward starting our tomorrow with the same pale morning rations.

We thought of trying out the famous eating places then in Cebu, but to our surprise, the taxi getting out of the hotel is paralyzing as we have to pay 200 pesos each time we get out of the inn. Leaving us with not much choice, it is better than being exhausted by a long walk to the main road.

Eager of seeing the Cebu places and food, I was expecting so much of the famous Tongs, Su-to-kil and Cebu Lechon that I was drooling in my sleep going to Cebu. But I think I was expecting too much and the two being over-rated by many. Good food indeed but not as orgasmic as I was thinking. But I still do understand why the Cebu Lechon is so prominent not just all over the country but of the world. Yummy!

We were greeted by an effervescent tour guide in the second morning by a man named William. A lively person who is all smiles you can see his enthusiasm in what his doing. A man with much gusto reminds me of a good friend in GMA, Mr. Larry Ligunas, who sounds and talks like the good man as well. 😛

Me, being a Philippine enthusiast enjoyed the city tour, it was educating and fun seeing its famous places and lending a good ear to the history of the city. But then again, the much needed time is of scarcity.

Interior shot of Basilica de Sto. Nino

 

There are many things to do in Cebu, and we still have long unmarked points on our to-do list. What we did after the tour is to enjoy Island hopping and snorkeling cum diving in the middle of the sea, with fish bread crumbs and a life jacket. It is amazing to see the fishes and the color of the deep sea. I am very eager to share with you the photos in my mind at that moment but the lack of an underwater camera prohibits me to do much of that here. My getaway partner, Yule, being not into deep waters, obviously missed a lot. She only enjoyed our tasting of the Viagra-like Black Sea Urchin meat in the middle of the sea, being caught by our Muro Ami like tourist guides/boatmen.

To sum it all up, the Cebu getaway is so much bitin especially after being ruined by bad weather in the late afternoon. Oh well, hopefully Bantayan Island, Bohol, Plantation Bay, that Crowne Plaza top coaster something, and the other tourist spots won’t be going anywhere when we get back packed with monetary ammunitions and the much needed vacation leaves. 😛

A freshly caught black sea urchin

 

Hundred People’s Island

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Talk about man spoiling nature. Yes, this was how things happened here, when you bring in a hundred loads of people in one amazing small island beach, trust me you won’t be having that tranquil vacation you’ve been longing for.

Heck! You won’t even have a room to swim freely and you can barely notice the beauty of nature! Its like you came in to hundred islands with the overpopulated, cluttered atmosphere of Metro Manila all around you. Then you’ll see the cottages/huts placed on the cliffs of the island filled with people (there even got a sari-sari store!), wonderful ain’t it? Can you imagine it just yet–a look of a squatter area in one of the islands of Pangasinan.

Lesson of the long weekend for us: “Do not go to hundred islands on long weekends or peak seasons.”

One of the islands, also known as Quezon Island, got an amazing beach scenery. It’s just that I wish the the ones in charge of hundred island tourism should limit the people who can come in the island in a day. They must think first of how to preserve the islands’ wonders than of the profit these people can bring to their pockets.

But, eventhough with all these rants, I still do recommend the trip (on off-peak seasons that is!). The vista is breath-taking when you get onto the top of Governor’s Island and feast yours eyes on the mushrooms of Hundred Islands of Pangasinan. You’ll realize that 5 hours of slacking your bum on the car seat on the way to Alaminos is all worth-it.

Oh! There’ll be another draining 5 hours of it, this time going back to Manila. Enjoy!

Carasscal, Surigao del Sur

A visit to Jem’s hometown in Carrascal, Surigao del Sur last April 10-12, 2009.

Should’ve been April 9-12, but we got a 1-day delayed departure flight. And so, it spoiled the trip from the start.

Those brainless people from PAL ticketing office in Robinson’s Galleria didn’t get to advise us of that the plane assigned to us is no more in operation. This stupidity occurred even though we booked the fare ticket 3 months early. I am so pissed I’d rather demand my money back, cancel the flight, spend the whole vacation at home and make sure that they don’t profit from my hard-earned pesos.

Just to not disappoint my friends, I agreed to still go with them in the transferred flight schedule for April 10.

Our thanks to Jem and her family for being so hospitable and welcoming us to their town. For Jem’s mother for letting us stay overnight in their place in Makati as well.

The town is a 3-hour roadtrip from the city. You can see that the road is still under construction by the government, so you will really have to use a stern jeepney or tough SUV to get to Carrascal through the mountain roads.

Didn’t get to tour the whole Surigao though, particularly Siargao, because we are at the other side of the province; but its indeed worth it to spend time with the people of Carrascal and its wonderful town.

The beach shots were taken in one of the islands of Surigao del Sur of which I don’t know the name. Breath-taking beach though, very much alike Boracay’s.