Siquijor Series: Municipality of Maria

Maria is at least 2 hours away from the port. The easiest mode of transportation is via habal-habal. You ride a motorcyle and travel on mostly unpaved road that is lined with gigantic and ancient trees. I understand now why Siquijor is dubbed as a mystical island, the land of mambabarangs. I don't believe that the people there mean harm to anyone, I think they are just really close to nature. They have a special bond with the environment; most of us city dwellers have already forgotten this bond, this communion with nature.

The town public market is rustic and quaint, with only a handful of stalls selling vegetables and fish.

This is Sta. Maria Church, the residence of the creepy statue of Sta. Rita de Cascia.

Siquijor Series: Siquijor City

Remember that time when Pinay Celebrity Isabelle Daza got slammed for using #siquiWhores when she vacationed with friends in Siquijor? I discovered that netizens have been using it way before Isabelle Daza but since she's famous, a lot of people noticed. Anyway, this story has nothing to do with my post but I've been to Siquijor last month and I did not use the hashtag, to be safe. Hehe. I flew from Manila to Dumaguete and from there, I took a fast craft to Siquijor.  

The port is so amazing. From experience, it's the only port where the water's still clear and blue and there's still a lot of fish swimming around!

Ohayo San Beach and Dive Resort in San Narciso, Zambales

Singapore Ice Cream Sandwich

If we Pinoys have ice cream on a monay, in Singapore, they have ice cream on wafers! You can usually meet these vendors near the Merlion statue in Marina Bay. They sell the ice cream sandwich at 1 SGD each. There are lots of flavors like durian and ube! A must-try if you're in Singapore!

Sentosa Island, Singapore


If you take the boardwalk entrance from Vivo City Mall, you will need a 1 SGD entrance fee using your MRT card. You can also go to the island via the monorail which will cost you 4 SGD. There are entrance fees for Resorts World and Universal Studios and if you feel that the fees are too expensive you can just chill outside where there are lots of installations and attractions for free!

A Refreshing R&R at The Stilts in Calatagan, Batangas

There are lot of things things going on in my life right now. Lately I always find myself complaining a lot. And this can't be good because I'm too young to be bitter about life. Good thing I had the chance for a 2-day R&R in a resort in Batangas. Being away from it all actually helped me clear my head.

It was a four hour drive and that day was particularly sunny, way too sunny actually, that I suffered a headache the whole trip (yep, complaining again!). But the bright-colored flowers that greeted me were a sign of good things ahead.

It was a private-by-invitations-only resort, so save for a few other visitors, the place was pretty much empty.

When I was a kid, my family would always go to the beach every summer. We would rent a jeep or a truck and drive to the nearest beach and spend a whole day swimming and eating. This is what I miss most now, being with family and close friends, not doing and thinking about responsibilities and obligations, but just having fun.

To me, bougainvilleas are the best representation of summer. They bloom brightly during summer, they do not get wilted even during the hottest hour of the day. And they spread and crawl and attach themselves to walls and trellises, making canopies that resemble the sky filled with nuclear mushroom clouds.

During the night, I can hear the waves softly crashing to the posts and the wind whistling through the windows and the slits between the wooden floor panels. The rhythm of the waves ebbing and flowing lull me to sleep.

I realized that I may not be alone with this feeling. We all feel jaded sometimes. We all feel under appreciated. We all feel unloved.

But the most important thing I guess is to never let the light of your enthusiasm and passion go off. I realized that I've been doing things the wrong way for the past three years. I don't need to rush my masters degree. I don't need to take a full load every semester. I don't need to be all serious with work. I don't need to always prioritize my work. I realized that it's good to let go sometimes.

I skinny-dipped for the first time.

Long, quiet walks can actually be good for you. I realized that being alone is actually not that bad.

Candi Borobudur in Central Java

It is a misnomer but Candi (temple) Borobudur is actually in Magelang, Central Java and not in Yogyakarta, which is about an hour away. This temple compound was built in the 9th century CE under the Buddhist Sailendra Dynasty. The structure has since undergone several restorations. Aside from tourists, Candi Borobudur attracts hundreds of pilgrims worldwide.

There are public buses from Yogyakarta which you can take to go to Borobudur. Bus fare is 10,000 to 15,000 Rp and travel time is one hour. The bus' last stop is at the foot of the hill where Borobudur is located so no need to worry about getting lost. From the terminal you can walk straight to the temple but if you're feeling a little lazeeey, there are lots of becak (trishaw) around the terminal which can take you there. Be warned though, the becak drivers will charge tourists higher than the normal 5,000 Rp fare. The last bus leaves the terminal at 5:00 pm for Yogyakarta. So the best time to go to Borobudur is in the morning!

Entrance fee:

Foreigners - 250, 000 Rp (~ 25 USD)
Student-Foreigners - 120,000 Rp (~ 12 USD)
Locals - 12,000 Rp (~ 1.5 USD)