Sunday, May 27, 2012

Gailie's Day off Series: Anawangin, Zambales

From Evernote:

Gailie's Day off Series: Anawangin, Zambales

Part 3: 

Night Time

Problem #1 : no light on shower stalls

As soon as we arrived at the campsite, we head to the shower area and take advantage of the light the setting sun brought. Problem #1 solved! 

Problem #2 : Light for dinner

Now, time for dinner. The problem with cooking rice and spam was resolved earlier that day. Our second problem was light, I had the flashlight in mind but in a hurry to meet Mina and AnnKat, I left it at the apartment. The ever reliable girl scout that she is, Mina brought a penlight and a whistle. We were laughing so hard with Mina's whistle but come to think of it a whistle would be handy in case of emergency. As Mina said, she had been to several camping trips, so she's prepared. Wahaha! Problem #2 solved!


Problem #3 : No utensils.

Dinner is served. The plate that was used to served the spam was used by AnnKat/Unna as their dinner plate. We transferred the spam to a foil wrapper of Chips Ahoy. Wahaha! Talk about being resourceful. Then the cover of the pan as our plate (Mina and I). We can't scoop out the steaming hot rice with our bare hands so we make use of the plastic divider of the cookie. Bright idea right?! Eating dinner with no utensils: SOLVED! 


Problem #4 : Pillows/Mattresses

Bags as pillows
My towel as bed sheet
My sarong as kumot
Mina has a sweater to keep her warm during the night

Problem solved! Word of the night: Improvise! 

We hit the sack as early as 830pm too tired to talk, we just lay there and closed our eyes. A few minutes of silence inside the tent, we collectively expressed disappointment over how hot it is. Not to worry the girlscout has a fan! Prepared for all kinds of weather. A sweater for the cold and a fan to beat the heat! Veteran camper talaga! wahaha! To let the air in we just let the entrance of our tent open. Passersby can see us from the outside but we didn't care we want air to come in. Still its hot and humid inside. I didn't know but we all fell asleep to be awaken by rain. We're so glad that it rained thinking it would make the tent a little colder but still its humid. We just closed our eyes and prayed for a miracle. 

The morning after

We survived a humid night! Wow! We made it! Wahaha! Surprisingly, we didn't have mosquito bites but AnnKat and I had a few insect bites in our arms and legs. Oh well... we still made it! Had a good laugh about the things that happened last night. Up until now we can't stop teasing Mina and her sweater.

After a quick breakfast, we set out for Capones Island.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Gailie's Day off Series: Anawangin, Zambales

Part 2:

With life vests on, we braved the sea. 

The waters were clear, so clear that you see the bottom. On route to Anawangin, we passed by big mountainous rocks. It was breathtaking.

After the 45mins boatride, we've finally reached our destination; Anawangin. Fine gray sands greeted us as we docked; oh bummer! I was expecting white sand beach but not to worry the water is clean and clear that the sand didn't matter at all.

Kuya boatman, set up our tent and we discussed the schedule for next day. Pick up time is 7am for us to see Capones island before going home.

When we finally settled and had our things arranged, we found a swing and hammock by just a few steps from our tent. Like children we were excited to play and relax by the hammock. 

After giving in to our childish whims we set off to explore the island. We went beyond the camping area and discovered a river which we crossed. 

There was a lush vegetation and to our surprise another river. We call it the spa river. The water is shallow and you can see big smooth rocks which gives that spa vibe. wahaha! :) 

AnnKat was looking for another river which she saw in the internet. Told her that I think this was the river she was talking about but she insist that it was different from what she saw. Still determined to see that river we went to the far left side of the shore. With AnnKat's persuasion we climb the steep hill, one misstep and we will fall on the rocks by the sea. It was all worth it because the view was spectacular.

At last AnnKat found the river she was looking for it can only be seen from a high place. We can't go further up because Mina and I got scared. The path was slippery and steep, we assessed that it was to risky to try  to go up. And so we stopped and went down. Going back down was equally difficult that we had to sit to avoid slipping. 

After that risky trek, we found our spot. Its where the river meets the sea... we stayed there till the sun sets. Another beautiful scene to witness. 

where the river flows toward the sea and the sea meets the river with its waves.

Before the island is engulfed in darkness, we went back to the campsite to shower and get ready for the night.
Ah... night time, where the fun misadventures started!

to be continued... 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Gailie's Day Off Series: Anawangin, Zambales

Part 1:

Spur of the moment

Actually there was no planning stage. Everything was just spur of the moment. Weeks before AnnKat's arrival we talked about going somewhere. The date was set, May 10-11 but we haven't decided about the place yet. Our first choice was an overnight stay in Tagaytay, but since we've been to Tagaytay many times before, we scrapped the idea. May 8 AnnKat arrived from DXB, we talked and decided it would be an overnight stay in Anawangin. May 9 evening time, we just discussed about where we will meet and what time. That's it! Everything else will leave it to faith. haha! We'll just make arrangements when we get there. All we know is that Anawangin is an island with a camping site that has no electricity, no internet connection and phone signal, sounds like an adventure! 

Anawangin from afar

The Wheel(wo)man, The Navigator, The Girl Scout and The Cutee

AnnKat was the one behind the wheel, I was the navigator, Mina was the girlscout (you'll know why later) and Unna's the adorable cute girl who was always smiling throughout the trip. 


AnnKat and Unna (AnnKat's daughter) picked up Mina somewhere in Makati around 0500, by 0630am they picked me up in Clark. And off we went to an amazing experience. The road trip begins…


From Clark we took the SCTex route to Subic, in no time we've reached Subic. Finding the road that leads to Zambales was kinda confusing. The girl whom we asked for directions pointed to us to a different route, (she told us to exit at Main Gate and just go straight ahead when we see the Ulo ng Gapo statue). We were busy chatting when we discovered that the road leads to Bataan! We realized that if we had exited to the other gate instead of Main Gate we would just have to turn left to reach Zambales. So were back on track and within an hour or less when we were in San Marcelino, Zambales. We looked for signs that points to Anawangin but found none. In San Marcelino city proper instead of turning left we turned right and found ourselves racing with the buses going to Iba, Zambales. HAHAHA!

So, we got lost twice and we had a good laugh about it. The endless teasing, 'kantyawan', jokes, reminiscing and boy talks just like the old times during our heydays in NAIA are back!  The 1 hour detour was barely noticed. That's what I like with roadtrips; the bonding, the 'kwentos' and of course unexpected misadventures those unforgettable memories you know you'll laugh about in the future.

Ate and Kuya

Finally, after asking several people for directions we've reached Pundaquit, the jump off point to Anawangin and Capones. We found a Kuya boatman (who we don't know the name, we asked him but he didn't tell us) and Ate Maria the store keeper. Kuya showed us where we can have the car parked overnight and where the boat is. We asked Ate Maria on what to expect on the island. She asked us if we have cooking utensils, spoon and fork, tent, food for dinner/breakfast, firewood and light all of which we answered with NO. Wahaha! She said to us, 'Hinde kayo prepared!' TRUE!!! Wahaha! But were in for an adventure! AnnKat said, we're gonna do it Survivor style! Wahaha! She told us that we can buy food, firewood, water and other essentials at the island but it would be expensive. She advised us to buy canned foods and just have it cooked there for a fee of 50php. Not bad, so we bought cups, rice, spam and canned tuna. We're covered! 

buying our essentials to survive the night

One more concern was the shower area, Ate Maria said there are toilets there and water pump.  We got all our answers so we were off to an adventure of lifetime, Anawangin!

to be continued…

camp site

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

i was here

From Evernote:

i was here

These shots were taken last May 10- 11 as second part of my Gailie's Day Off Series. Can you guess where is this?

Thanks to Annkat for taking these wonderful photos and thank you instagram for making the shots more dramatic. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Gailie's Day Off Series: Puerto Princesa

This is not my first time to visit Puerto Princesa but that was 10 years ago. Its  just fitting to revisit this beautiful place once more.

visiting Puerto Princesa 10 years ago

Josh and I set off early to go island hopping. Surprisingly, Honda Bay is about 30minutes ride away from the city. From Honda Bay, we rented a banca to bring to us to different islands. 

island hopping, here we go!

First stop is Cowrie Island, named after the cowrie shells found abundantly within the island. The beach is isolated as explained by our boatman, not many tourist visit it coz its just very near Honda Bay. So Josh and I took the opportunity to swim and have the beach to ourselves. 40 minutes had passed before we set out for another island.

swimming in cowrie island

between the sand and sea

Next stop is, Luli island. Luli is short for LUlubog LIlitaw island. During high tide the island is submerged in water and will resurface during low tide hence the name. We didn't swim but we took photos and scanned the area. There were privately owned houses, I wonder how much did the island cost.

beautiful sandbar

colorful flags

fish feeding and snorkel area

We opted to skip the snorkel site. 

Next is Starfish Island, this is my favorite island. There was a big frame where you can take photos and a sandbar, mountain and sea serves as your background. We took a swim for more than an hour till we heard our tummy rumbling. It's almost lunch time. The boatman said, the last stop is where we will have our lunch. 

starfish island

frame up!

sand, sea and sky as background

with manong boatman

I forgot the name, I think its Pandan Island. This is my least favorite island, everything is so expensive. Aside from that, there were so many tourists. The entrance fee is 100PHP per person. Then you need to rent table or cottage for you to eat or rest, a small table cost around 300PHP As for food, they allow guests to bring their own food. Unfortunately for us, we didn't brought any food. So, we just bought crabs and dried squid from a store and have it cooked. 

chow time

After lunch, we went back to the city. Josh still needs to go to work while I stay at the hotel to rest. 

On my 2nd day, we woke up late. There are no plans for this day. We don't want to avail of the city tour coz I've been to those places before. I just had a quick stop at a souvenir store to buy some cashew nuts. Then went back straight to the hotel to pack my things and sleep before my flight.

see you again Puerto Princesa

My 2 day stay in Puerto Princesa was a  relief; a great way to escape from all that stress. In span of 10 years, the beaches are still amazing and clean. I wish authorities can maintain it for the next 10 to 20 years. 
Can't wait for my next short day trip! Hmmm… where should I go?! Any suggestions?