Summer Paradise: Coron, Palawan

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Hi, Readers! I’m MIA for quite long cause I came home to spend summer time with family and friends. I want to share to you what happened to my well-deserved vacation and budget tips on how to travel without being broke. So the adventure begins! YAY!

I went to Coron, Palawan together with my college besties. We’re planning this trip for 2 years cause our broke-college-students-dilemma put us on hold. Now that we’re employed, finally we made it to Coron! It’s always been in my bucket list to travel Coron cause of the stunning pictures that I saw on the internet and blogs saying how majestic the rock formations of this beautiful island is. Truly I was not disappointed, Palawan is a paradise.

We’re group of four all girls and stayed at Momita’s lodge for 3D2N for only Php3,500 each including tour, accommodation and daily breakfast. I surely recommend Momita’s for anyone who wants to travel on budget.

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We took this picture inside Momita’s lodge.

I didn’t managed to take a picture of the whole room cause we got too excited but as you can see, it’s really wide and spacious. It has 2 double beds, 1 single bed, fully air-conditioned, 2 ceiling fan, 1 stand fan, 4 towels, 4 soaps and private bathroom. Momita is the owner of the lodge and this is also what the guests called her. She is really nice and welcoming I can see my grandma to her. She offers variety of rooms depending on your budget and how many persons. You can search her website online at www.mommitaslodge.jimdo.com  for more details.

Day 1

1st Stop: The Hunt for Food

We have ample of time to roam around the city before our tour begins..

So we decided to look for restaurant cause we’re really hungry fresh from our 30mins flight from Manila to Busuanga..

One of the many restaurants that are flocked together at the city of Coron. We choose this place cause this is the nearest to our lodge and the food looks appetizing.

Stingray in Coconut Milk

What makes this restaurant different is they served stingray in coconut milk. This is the first time in my entire life to eat stingray. It tasted like Bicol Express but the texture of it is like shredded tuna meat. All in all, it’s delicious worth a try!

And of couse, the undying love for Pork Sisig! Nothing beats the authentic Sisig back home. 2 cups of rice please!

2nd Stop: Mt. Tapyas

Momita only told us that we’re hiking 721 steps to the peak of Mt. Tapyas. We didn’t bring anything not even money cause right after hiking this mountain we’re going to Maquinit Hot Springs and there will be no lockers to put your belongings. So being the vigilant us, we decided not to bring valuables. It was a really bad move not to bring money cause we’re really exhausted and thirsty after hiking, good thing our tricycle driver is really nice. He lend us money to buy water. Thank you, Kuya! lol

On the way to city tour and Mt. Tapyas

We take pictures in between to ease our tiredness..

and to make everything worthwhile lol

3rd Stop: Maquinit Hot Springs 

This is my first time to actually bath into a natural hot spring. The view and scenery is therapeutic and the soil is really red. That’s when you know it is all natural. The warm water is so relaxing and it has pebbles underneath like a massage for your tired feet. This is a must-see if you die for a scenery like this especially, if you’re too fed up with the city life. There are also cottages in the place and grill joint where you can eat and drink.

The hot springs are divided into 3 parts: 1 big pool and 2 smaller pools

The path on the way to the hot springs

4th Stop: Where to dine for Dinner?

After a long day, we came back to our hostel just to fix ourselves and look for dinner. We landed at Carl’s BBQ just along the city of Coron. Their food are delicious, really affordable and serve in platters. Their ambiance makes you feel like you’re really in an island and good for groups and family.

We ordered crispy pata, calamares, baby back ribs, mango shake and bucket of beer for only Php1,265. Traveling in groups really shrink the expenses cause it is always divided by how many of you. I’m so sorry didn’t managed to take a photo of the food due to hunger.

While waiting for us to be seated, we asked the waitress to take a photo of us. I love the people of Coron they are just so accommodating.

They have different types of cottages to choose from. They have tree house set-up, long tables, and this cabbana style cottage.

Our first day ended full of laughter until you’re stomach hurts. It feels so good to just laugh like that again, can’t remember the last time we experience it. Also to catch up with my friends cause didn’t saw them for too long and we have many stories to tell. True friends are indeed gold.

Day 2: Island Hopping

The day we’re waiting for! We are all excited about this tour cause we can finally see the majestic rock formation, clear water and priceless scenery. There are places you can’t go without life vest, aqua shoes and mask and snorkle. They are just being careful cause of the 2 tourist died at Coron recently.

1st Stop: Twin Lagoon

I am so excited cause I can finally see and experience the beauty of it. The place I’m always dreaming about is right here in front of me. The pictures has no justice how atonishing the place is.

They have improvised stairs in between the rocks for you to go to the next lagoon. It is quite steep and the rocks are really sharp so be extra careful when using the stairs but it’s just a few steps.

Twin Lagoon has different water temperature vary from warm to cold. Amazing isn’t it?

On the way to Twin Lagoon

Look at those rock formation. Amazing God!

2nd Stop: CYC Beach

It’s a small white sand beach with clear turquoise water where you can swim, drink and eat ice candy cause locals sells them in their boats

The view is jaw-dropping

That clear water says it all

3rd Stop: Kayangan Lake

This is the controversial lake cause this is where the 2 tourist died. I heard from the locals it was temporarly closed but luckily, it is opened again the time we visited it. You have to hike in order to get to the lake, it is quite long so be prepared. But the hike is always worth it cause of the stunning scenery. Tour guides doesn’t allow the tourist to enter the lake without life vest.

The entrance to the hike..adventure begins!

The view that will welcome you when the boat dock at the entrance of Kayangan Lake

A photo in the actual lake. Clear water and rock formations are love.

4th Stop: Sunken Japanese Wrecks

It was a Japanese war ship during the WW2, I was mesmerized by the beauty of this ruins. It is amazing how something so destroyed can be this beautiful. Truly, nature has its own way of healing itself.

 

No filter photo of the sea. Be amaze!

That is the shipwreck surrounded by many marine life. The beauty of ruins another no filter photo

5th Stop: Coron Reefs

This was our last stop for our Island Tour and definitely the most beautiful one. It feels like I enter into a ‘whole new world’. It is a long trail of mesmerizing coral garden with shades of pink and blue, alive corals that are breathing, a home of many marine life. Philippines is so beautiful, I’m craving for more. All credits to the Most High, our world is beyond beautiful.

It was so beautiful that I actually forgot to take pictures because I was so busy just enjoying the moment and appreciating all beauty in front me. I’m sorry.

Day 3: Last Day/ Souvenir Shops

Filipinos definitely won’t forget ‘pasalubong’ for loved ones. Before our morning flight, we decided to roam around the city to look for possible souvenirs to take back home.

 

The mandatory t-shirts and keychains in every souvenir shops.

Also the ref magnets, but I love this wood type.

 

So that’s how our Coron Adventure ends. If you want peace, nature and sightseeing definitely, Coron is for you. The island is really small, it’s like a size of a subdivision back in the city. You can finished the city tour within a day. In terms of safety, we traveled Coron all girls we go out until midnight walking around the city and we didn’t experience any danger at all. The locals are really nice, polite and helpful maybe because you can notice that the major livelihood of the people are their tourism. So they really take good care of their tourists and guests.

Also Coron is really budget-friendly and affordable, I’ll show you the breakdown of the total expenses I had:

  • Airfare from Manila- Busuanga vice versa via Skyjet: Php5,319
  • Tour and Accommodation (Momita’s Lodge): Php3,500
  • Pocket Money: Php3,000
  • Total: Php11,816

My entry for Hana’s Travel Bucket List: Coron, Palawan, Philippines CHECK!!

xoxo

 

 

 

 

Changing habits

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I found myself really drained and exhausted because I felt like everything in my life is just a routine. I’m craving for change and getting in touch of who I am because of that I’m becoming more aware of mental health. I read and watch shows on how to understand the way our brains work. I started with small things; keeping a journal of the things I am grateful for at the end of the day, wrote down all my toxic habits and why I need to change it. At first, I want results right away. I told myself I want to change but I don’t know where to start cause I wanted to do all things at once. It made me overwhelmed until I remind myself that I have to do this one step at a time.

After 6 months of doing those activities to improved my mental health and I already got the routine for it. I decided to level it up into working on my physical health. I set my alarm every morning at 7AM with or without work and started working out 10 mins every day. Eat a lot healthier food but this one is still trial and error. I can’t give up any food what I did instead is sub it with healthier options; example instead of having full creme milk I replace it with almond milk.

I saw the results and by this time I can finally say to myself I felt lighter and happier. This habits and lifestyle changed didn’t happened overnight. It is a lot of work and took a lot of motivation and courage to finally start it. So far being a morning person is the best decision I’ve ever made cause it is life changing. I never knew this day will come cause for 24 years of my life I am a night person. I know this is not much but for me this is already a big change. I am learning how to properly take care of myself in all aspects be it mentally and physically. I will continue to rebuild myself and align it in the quality of life I’m trying to create.

xoxo

All is well.

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Being in mid-20’s a lot of my friends are lost, we tend to feel the pressure of the society. Finances, relationships, career and social life being pin down all together with you and I dare you not. I know this is not easy. The decisions we’re making right now can either make us or break us.

I feel guilty because as of the moment I am living my best life. I never felt this free, happy and contented in all aspects of my life. Everything seems going well and hearing their stories makes me want to hug them but I know to myself that they are happy as well with what’s going on with my life right now.

As a friend, I know they don’t need advice because most of the time they just need a listener and that’s my role. I feel blessed and lucky that I can be someone who is mentally healthy and prepared to help a friend. This is the first time I’ve been in this position because for the past few years I am the one who needed helped.

I am glad I didn’t gave up with myself. My friends were there for me in my darkest days and now they are going through storms and I am here just to walk with them. I am at the point of my life where my love for myself is overflowing, soul is joyful and mind is clear that I can share part of me for the people who needs me. Hang in there, Love. Things will get better.

xoxo

Quarter life crisis is real

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Today is one of those days where I keep questioning all the decisions I made and wondering where I’ll be 3 or 5 years from now. A lot of my friends were going through almost the same thing. Some quitting their jobs, planning to move out of the country, getting married, having babies. But as for me, I am craving for unfamiliarity because everything in my life suddenly just fell into it’s places and everything just became a routine.

My early 20’s life was not easy and because of that I felt like I did everything in a rush cause I wanted to be an ‘adult’ as soon as possible. I survived and now mid-20’s I am lacking of purpose and new beginnings. I don’t know what exactly I am looking for but as I do my reality check I know to myself something is still missing. It’s easy to just go with the flow of life specially when everything is falling into it’s places.

It’s okay to be confused and questioning your life cause it means we’re not stagnant. Keep watering your plants, learn a new language perhaps. Shifting season is coming but I hope you guys all have someone to go through with it!

xoxo

 

 

 

self-love.

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I’m writing this blog while I am a mess. I truly believe we can’t have the best of both worlds. If you know me personally I am practical and street-smart but when it comes to love it is where it all comes down to hill.

I beg for time, attention and love in my past relationship and it seems like I never learned anything from those experiences cause I keep on repeating the same mistakes I did in the past. I am always willing to make time, shift all my plans and be available for those half-ass men.

I just realized I am being too hard on myself. I guess self-love will take years to build. I want to see myself in my own eyes and view that I AM WORTH IT. But I know in order to do that I have to love myself first. See my own worth, but as of now I need to build my core. To start again. I gotta go out and just do me for now.

Don’t ever blame yourself for making the same mistakes you did in the past. We are humans. It is okay to fall asleep crying and when you open your eyes you feel the same pain you are trying to forget. It is okay. Let yourself feel those pains. We might not understand now but I am pretty sure that it won’t last. It is just one day. One step at a time. Keep in mind we just have to survive one day. This pain won’t last.

The hardest part of living in Japan

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It’s almost 4 years now since I moved to Japan and this year is nothing but amazing. I was able to got home in Philippines last month for two weeks, my friends visited me here in Japan and it is their first time to travel abroad. It’s just March of 2019 and I can already say that this is gonna the best year ever. 2018 was really dramatic for me, depression, anxieties because of all the calamities happened in here that I had to face alone. But thank God I can say all the tears I cried was all worth it cause I am at my happiest right now.

Living and working in Japan for a quite while now, everything got so much better because I got used to the life I have right now. I built routines, met new people, more settled and got more matured at handling my life. There will always be mistakes and stupidity it’s part of life.

Being away from all your love ones is the hardest part, missing out important occasions like birthdays, weddings, Christmas, New Years and not to mention holidays that you always celebrate alone. Friends you want to see and hang out with were thousand miles away from you. Sure, I met new people and made some new friends but you know, you’re ‘go-to people’ ‘homecourt friends’ will always be different. They get you, the real you, you get each others humor that nobody else will understand but them.

I wrote this to give highlight to my friends who kept in touch for the last four years and made an effort to stay in my life even though I am already thousand miles away from them. It means a lot. I consider myself lucky and blessed enough to have people in my life that is so supportive that I can turn into when life is kinda overwhelming. They keep me grounded and reminds me of who I was before I came here. Life in Japan can be tiring sometimes and it is important to not lose yourself while living in this fast-paced life.

‘Keep swimming’

xoxo

24. soon.

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Every time it is year-ending I can’t help but to feel sentimental cause it means I am one year older again and it makes me reflect what the whole year has brought me. I am going to be 24 soon, mid twenties is coming and I don’t know what to feel. I admit I felt the pressure at first when everyone around me is either getting engaged or having babies. My facebook timeline is full of people found ‘the one’, someone to share their lives with and friends asking me to be their babies Godmother.

I was afraid to be alone. I was terrified to live this life alone and no one to share it with. I was hopeless romantic always searching for the one great love. Until I realized, it is way more scarier to get married with the wrong person just because you don’t want to be alone. I decided to change my perspective. I am living independently for almost 2 years now. I can completely do this life alone. I underestimate what I can do just because I relay my happiness with looking for someone until I realized nobody can make me happy except me.

23. 24 soon and finally I can say I am now emotionally independent. I am taking my time to know myself and I am not pressured anymore that I am alone because so what? I love my life. I am embracing this life alone the good and the bad and actually enjoying it. I am not bothered anymore if no one is out there for me because for me I am already enough for myself. This isn’t easy journey a lot of trial and error but you know what it’s all about mindset and perspective. Love yourself hard and when that love is full that’s the time to share it with someone else. As of now, I am contented with where I am and happy. I never felt this peace in my entire life. If someone is gonna be out there for me in the future, I will think of it just a bonus from above.

Braver 2019! Let’s go!

xoxo

Reading between the lines

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Like any usual after work habit, I’m scrolling thru my timeline at facebook and I came across to an article from Japan Times saying that according to a study Japan might be the loneliest country to live with. As an immigrant in this country for almost 4 years now, I cannot comprehend how accurate that article was.

For Japanese culture they have to follow social norm and most of the time you have to be mindful of your actions as to not bother anyone. It can be so tiring because humans are social being and we are created to interact with one another. As the saying goes, no man is an island but here you have no choice but do everything on your own.¬†Clear example, Japanese tend to overwork so practically, you know their free time is so precious that you’ll think twice if you will ask for help even if you guys are friends or family.

Sadness and loneliness is like your friend in here. The world here is so fast and everyone seems to care only on material things as they prioritize their work not relationships or family. I don’t know but it makes me think that when you get older, your work won’t take care of you. I am not sure how true my observations are but the fact that there are lots of senior citizens here that is living alone or dying alone makes me think all of my assumptions are true. Forming a genuine relationship with someone be it romantically or friendship is far more valuable than any of the things that the world could offer.

I love this country for sure because it’s part of my roots as well but it makes me so sad. People seems like robot. I just hope one day..just one day they will start to see the things that I see. Life is too short to not actually living on it.

xoxo

An Open Letter to Myself

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Dear Self,

Lately I know you feel so disconnected with everything that’s going on with your life. Everything is just going down the hill¬† and you’re getting tired of keeping up with this strong facade. Then it hits you, drowning with your thoughts again..

You have to stop expecting people to give love and happiness to you. You owe it all to yourself because the only person who can give you all of those is no one but you. Nobody is responsible to make you happy. Only you, remember that. Love yourself so much that no one will ever dare to hurt you again. Self-love is never a selfish act. It’s about time to give all the love you are giving to people who are not worthy back to yourself. This is way long overdue. It’s about time to see your own worth.

I know nobody will understand your decisions when all you are trying to do is save yourself. You already gave so much. They will look for you once you stop doing things you usually do for them but don’t get swayed by half-baked efforts. You are worthy of all the love, effort and attention. Remember that. You are brave and strong. I know you will make it, like you always do.

Sincerely,

Self

xoxo

Conquering Mt. Fuji

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Summer time in Japan means climbing season for Mt. Fuji. I was caught in the middle of my life so stressed, depressed and unmotivated to do anything, so I decided to book a tour to climb Mt. Fuji last minute, it was a spontaneous trip with my friends who also just want to get away with the routine of life.

I took overnight bus from Osaka to Tokyo where the meeting place is. I was part of a tour with other tourist from all different parts of the world. Our tour guide explain to us the guidelines while climbing the mountain and they said we are very lucky cause the weather at the mountain is perfect cause the typhoon just passed by the other day.

11:30AM. Our tour bus took us directly to station 5 where the climb will start and we have to climb until station 10, sounds easy? No. Station 6 is okay but station 7 until 8 is very rocky and stiff, I suggest rent trekking pole it will save your ass from sliding, falling and it will give your more stability while climbing or walking.

6:00PM. When we reached station 8 where we will stay overnight, have dinner and rest before we reached the summit. That’s the only time I somehow properly wash my face, used bathroom and clean myself a bit cause I still can’t take a shower. They offer post cards which is exclusive only at the mountain where you can send to your loved ones or yourself.

1:45AM. The most difficult part for me climbing at dawn with 4-5km/hr wind and 5 degrees weather. The way to the summit is very stiff and dark it took us 2 hours before we entirely reached the summit.

4:15AM. The most rewarding part waiting for the sunrise! As the sky clears and you can see all the clouds beneath looking so soft and fluffy that I actually want to dive in feels so unreal. Then, me watching the sunrise at the summit of Mt. Fuji I just can’t think of anything. It might sound so cliche but as I watch it, everyday is literally and figuratively a brand new day!

That moment in my life will definitely be one of the books and I will always look back at when I’m so tired with my life. Imagine everyday the sun rises for all of us and me as a night person personally watching it, I never knew how amazing it can be! It feels like magic and surreal. I felt completely happy, high, positive and energized after I witnessed it. There are no words and adjective to describe how great it was.

xoxo

Love and pain

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You know you love truly when the pain you’re feeling is unbearable knowing they won’t be part of your life anymore. They say better to feel pain than to live life and go on without knowing how to love. Why we humans are addicted to love when we know it can also cause us pain?

You know you truly love the person when you genuinely wish them happiness even if it means you’re not part of it anymore. No matter how cliche this might sound but it’s true. Letting you go is the greatest pain and challenge I will ever have to deal with. I’m strong and independent I can do things on my own but not having you in my life is so painful. I know I have to let you go when we cause each other more pain than happiness.

This is so hard. I hope there is an easy way to ease what I am feeling right now. But for now, I will let myself feel everything. Maybe one day…just maybe I’ll get tired of crying, overthinking where went wrong, why us. Maybe one day we will get all the answers we were searching for all these years.

As I get older, I realized love is a gift from God, a privilege. Not everyone were blessed to found love, lucky those who found it. Some are married but no love, some are single but at some point of their lives they experience great love. Call me hopeless romantic but I’m not asking for too much, I just wanted someone who I can connect with and talked to anything under the sun, above the universe and everything in-between cause life itself is tough we need someone who we can share simple things in life and won’t get tired of us.