March 2011

My trip to Iloilo for the Dinagyang Festival was not my first this year. I thought it would be but who would ignore a beach weekend getaway?

Thanks to a dear friend’s invitation, I was lucky to have joined Trippers (adventure organizers) one sunny weekend last January.

I, along with thirteen people, rode a private van that took us to Palauig, Zambales in four hours. We transferred to a boat and sailed for 10 minutes to reach the starfish-filled destination – Magalawa Island.

Upon arrival, we immediately pitched our tents and changed into our swimwear. I was extra excited to dip in the cool waters of the island because I had with me my Pentax W90, that outdoor camera I bought last 2010.

With my dear friend Maila

Starfish Barkada



After lunch, it was time for the bamboo raft ride. It brought us to coral spots around the island. Cool! 😀

Five fingers

Sea fairy

After about an hour or two, we got back to the island. The night was ours.

I spent the following morning playing along the shore. Forgive me, but to have my nickname spelled by sea stars is a childhood dream.

They were just out of the water for 5 minutes (we collected them on a big plastic bag filled with water) and then thrown back to the sea.

It was so much fun I had to jump.

And jump.

And, uhm, jump.

Thank you, Trippers, Maila, and to the Magalawa caretakers.


I miss you.

I remembered seeing you first on an email. Your powdery sand and sparkling water are seductive; I knew I had to leave Manila to touch you. I endured seven hours of cold, butt-numbing van ride to Daet (Camarines Norte), waited three hours for the boat at Vinzons Port, and sailed two hours to finally see your magnificence.

Your picture did not fail me.

Boracay minus the city vibe

You have a place in my heart, Calaguas.

I know it will be more wonderful than this when I see you again.

As of today, I only have one confirmed trip this month and it’s going to be hectic. How can I cover Penang (Malaysia) in less than twenty-four hours?

I booked three seats with Cebu Pacific Air for a three-day visit to my cousin who is now working in Penang. I’m going with my mom and my cousin’s mother. Our itinerary receipt says we’ll be in Kuala Lumpur on March 22 at around 1350H. Then we’ll board an Air Asia flight that will arrive in Penang at around 1745H. Because my mom wants to see Kuala Lumpur, we have to leave Penang on the 23rd at 1455H. In short, the two of us can only stay in Penang for only twenty-one (21) hours.

I made some research and wanted to do the following:

  • See the snakes in Chor Soo Kong Temple – Viper snakes slither on this temple to protect the deity Chor Soo Kong, a healer.
  • Pay homage to Thee Kong Tua – I am fascinated to Taoism, so I have to see this temple dedicated to the Jade Emperor or the supreme ruler of heaven.
  • Pray at the Kek Lok Si Temple – Also known as the Temple of Supreme Bliss, this is the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia. It houses the towering statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy.
  • Ride a trishaw around George Town – This is a Unesco World Heritage Site. I have to see it.
  • Walk along Gurney Drive and eat hawker fare.

I hope we can do everything in this short list.