Nagsasa Cove, May 2016

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Forgive the couple shots. Always happy to have some alone time.

Hiking to the hilltop, Nagsasa Cove

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To get the iconic crescent moon aerial shot of Nagsasa Cove, you head to the rightmost part of the beach, pay an Aeta guide P10, and climb the hill that introduces Mt. Nagsasa. It was hard to resist the urge to keep going up and up and up – but I was in a pink maillot and flimsy slippers which were no match for the rocks and occasionally loose red clay.

Here we spent a few moments taking in the 4pm sun and playing with a dog that stayed with us throughout our quick trek.

Please do not be inspired by Ranie’s decision to climb up that tree hanging by the cliff.

Capones Island, Zambales

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05.20.2017

These are our photos from Capones Island, a side trip from our weekend in Zambales.

Breaking up sharing about this getaway into separate posts because I love all our pictures so much and it was so hard to curate! It figures that the smaller the party is, the more photos there are, in our case (or more specifically, in my case. #Blessed to have a patient partner when it comes to posterity lol).

Ranie booked this tour package a few months ago. Php1000 (excluding food) is enough for island hopping and camping in Nagsasa Cove. The last time I was in Zambales was in 2011, with my colleagues from Solar. That trip was significant because it gave me enough thinking time (amidst sea, sand, sky…) to decide to leave my first job.

Now, six years later, am back with Ranie, with no life crossroads (just some major plans!). We just wanted some time together, away from cellphones and laptops.

It rained on the day of our arrival, and the included accommodations in the package left much to be desired. Fortunately, the sprawling, quiet beauty of Nagsasa Cove made up for the gloomy skies + dank tent we had to sleep in + unmentionable toilets. The overcast weather was actually cozy and we had more than enough time to hike, walk, rest, eat, swim, sleep, and take pictures. Lots of pictures.

I love our pictures, because they remind me of how easy it is to be with Ranie, and how much we value and enjoy each other’s company, even if we would have disagreements about whether he should climb a tree hanging by a cliff or I would forget his neck pillow in the van. ❤

More to follow!

Mt. Daguldol and Laiya

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YES to a tandem weekend of hiking and hitting the beach!

On a fine, sunny Saturday, we went to Batangas with the intention of hiking the less popular Mt. Hugom, but the Barangay office informed us that it has apparently been closed to the public indefinitely because someone already owns the property (whut). So we ascended Mt. Daguldol (672 masl) instead. It’s all uphills and forests, and the terrain hardly has “lost in nature” feels because there are many locals (offering shade! and halo halo!) living along the trail. The summit is a rolling hill that has a bit of a view of the blue sea, which gives you enough motivation to get back to the jump off fast enough to enjoy sunset along the beach.

After the hike, we drove for about 10 minutes then pitched our tents at Laiya Coco Grove’s camping site, which we initially found a little expensive at P600/head. But it turned out to be worth it – the CRs were clean, had strong water pressure, and were actually cozy, the dining huts have lights and outlets, and after a day of pretending to be rugged mountaineers we craved our LTEs and chat apps, in-denial workaholics we all were (we all used to debate in college, and I don’t know if that’s a factor). Our dinner spread: Angus beef patties, cognac, roasted chicken, grilled zucchinis, wine. So good.

The next day, we had enough time for a sunrise swim and lunch at Cafeño before heading back home to our moms for Mother’s Day.

Enjoy the video recap below!

All photos by Ranie Catimbang

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A quick swim with the family during Labor Day weekend. Shot by Ranie.

Mt. Ulap, February 2017

Mt. Ulap (Ampucao-Sta. Fe Ridge) in Itocon, Benguet offered quite a few firsts for me – cold-weather hiking (in the PH at least), camping at the base of a summit, and at 1856masl, it’s the highest local peak I’ve reached so far.

We traversed this “Mini-Pulag” last weekend, when the temp reached at least 10 degrees Celsius (but felt like a 6), and there was a dense, delicious fog that permeated the trail. (“Forks!” said Justine. I completely missed the Twilight reference). Continue reading “Mt. Ulap, February 2017”

Tinipak River and Pililla Windmills, April 2016

Daraitan-April-2016-27Tinipak River is usually a side trip item for hikers headed to Mt. Daraitan in Rizal/Quezon. But it’s also a solid destination on its own, especially for a big group of first-time trekkers like ours was. Last weekend, I, my brother, and our respective SOs tagged along my Mama’s lakwatsa with her friends from work.  Continue reading “Tinipak River and Pililla Windmills, April 2016”

La Union, April 2016

Processed with VSCO with e3 presetSan Juan, La Union – a veritable surf town, a paradise for backpackers, and a very accessible getaway for those who want to ride waves, relax, and slow down time for a little bit, for a little while, or forever.

It wasn’t hard to understand why so many people I know (friends, co-workers, people I stalk on Instagram) have fallen hard for this place. On the weekend we headed there, the swell was barely present, but we managed to get a couple of hours of lazy waves. Next time, we’ll make sure to check out those wave forecast websites.  Continue reading “La Union, April 2016”

Norte, February 2016

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Went to Ilocos with a few good friends two weekends ago. At one of the northernmost provinces of the Philippines, we found good food, scary waves, icy mint waters, and a breathtaking awareness and gratitude for nature’s Creator.

More photos after the jump!  Continue reading “Norte, February 2016”

Snapshots: Art Fair Philippines 2016

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My favorite works from this year’s Art Fair run. The turnout and the explosion of snap-worthy contemporary art just gets bigger year after year. Art patrons and selfie-crazy youth mingle with local and international artists to gawk and enjoy paintings, sculptures, installations, and multi-media presentations.

More photos after the jump!

Continue reading “Snapshots: Art Fair Philippines 2016”