How to apply for New Zealand Visitor Visa (60 days or less)

1. Application Form:
INZ 1189: For use by people outside New Zealand travelling for tourism or business intending to stay for less than 6 months. To use this form, the applicant, or the employer (if travelling for business), must fund their travel.
INZ 1017: For other visitors, including those who are sponsored, staying for more than 6 months, or undertaking short term study.

2. Fees – waived if you stay not longer than 60 days.

3. Valid passport

4. Evidence of financial ability
a. completed Sponsorship Form for Visiting New Zealand (INZ 1025) http://www.immigration.govt.nz/NR/rdonlyres/31F1BFFC-2BB2-442D-981A-30FB01F4C18E/0/INZ1025November2010.pdf
b. Bank certificate
c. Bank statement
d. Credit card statement

5. Certificate of employment with salary, position and approved date of leave

6. Travel itinerary (flight bookings, hotel accommodations)

7. Birth certificate

8. Copy of previous visa

A paradise called El Nido

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THE BEST KA EL NIDO, IKAW NA! Can’t help falling in love with this place. Pristine water, white sand beaches, cool rock formations, amazing water activities, good restaurants, nice locals, everything you need are ALL here!

El Nido

Day 1:

Okay, our flight was moved from 5:50 am to 7:25 am, great! We arrived in Puerto Princesa, Palawan around 8:30 am. At the airport, we booked a van for Php 600/pax. Van would take 5-6 hours to El nido. If you prefer to ride the bus, ride a tricycle and head to the terminal. This is cheaper but with longer travel hours due to more stop overs. At El Nido terminal, ride a tricycle going to your hotel (for Php 50). We arrived at The Alternative Inn around 4:00 pm.

We had dinner at a newly opened restaurant called Mezzanine. It’s a french owned restaurant with cozy ambiance with good view of El Nido. Don’t forget to take off your footwear upon entering this resto! Try their pizza and avail of their happy hour, buy one take one on cocktails only 4-6 pm (as I remember)! :)

Day 2:

Oh the sound of the fan dying! Oh no, it’s 6 am! Power cut!!! It’s just power cut, don’t panic… Get on your feet, it’s the best time to explore El Nido! For breakfast, head to Sea slug’s for a Php 150 meal complete with coffee (not brewed though, urg!).

What to do next? Perfect question, head to The Alternative Inn’s tour guide, Kuya Edward (kuya means big brother in tagalog) and ask if he still have seats for you on his daily island tours. He was going to do Tour A on that date and luckily there were available seats for us! The tour costs Php 1200 but I used my haggling tactics and paid Php 11o0/pax. This fee does not include the Php 200/pax environmental fee which expires for 10 days. Pay the environmental fee at the Tourism office and you are good to go!

Our group on Tour A consist of 3 guides, 3 Chinese girls, a German girl and Iranian dude (a couple) and us – 10 people on the boat! The first destination was the Secret Lagoon which is located in a small island reminiscent of the movie “the Beach”. It is surrounded by limestone cliffs. You have to enter a small hole to witness a massive caldera used to be a cave which collapsed and now is surrounded by karst cliffs.

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Can’t swim so I need a lifebuoy lol! After this tour we went to Shimizu Island where our guides cooked our sumptuous lunch.

Selfie selfie pag may time!

Selfie selfie pag may time!

After the lunch we headed to Big Lagoon and Small Lagoon where the views are S-P-E-C-T-A-C-U-L-A-R!!!

Lalalagooooon

Big lagoon

Seven Commandos Beach was our last destination for that day. The island was named after the 7 remaining Japanese commandos who lived in the island as stragglers after World War II. The view there is great with white sand and palm trees not to mention a sari-sari store selling ice cold beers and some cocktails! It was awesome chilling here!

As you can see below, Anth is enjoying his bottle of San Miguel. Did you see his sunburnt skin? That’s because he wanted to have a tanned skin like mine! LOL

Helicopter Island

It was such a nice trip- Thanks to Kuya Edward, our guide from The Alternative!

 

Day 2:

Because Anth is so sunburnt, we never went on a tour on the second day. We just stayed and chilled at our hotel and went out for meals and drinks. Went to a romantic French restaurant and had candle light dinner because there was no electricity in the island. How romantic!!! Kilig to the bones, lol!

El Nido at night

There are couple of nice bars that we like in El Nido. One is Pukka Bar where a Reggae band performs every night at 8pm. This restaurant/bar is pretty famous so be sure to be there early so you can have seats! Another one that we love is Sea slugs where we ate our breakfast in the morning and drink our bourbons at night. Unfortunately there were nights that these two bars won’t have seats for me and Anth so sometimes we settle to those less lively bars along thee beach.

Lights lights

 

Day 3:

This is Tour C time and time to discover more rock formation and more amazing views in El Nido! Did you know that part of the movie “Bourne Legacy” was shot and filmed in the islands of Dilumacad and Matinloc?

First stop is the Hidden Beach which is famous. Unfortunately, the waves were being wild and the current of the water looks strong. Most of the people on the tour stayed on the boat. Others went swimming and went back immediately as they almost drown. :(

Dimalucad and Helicpter Island were our next destination. The island resembles to, guess what, a helicopter! We spent some 45 minutes there to sunbathe and swim (jeez, I almost drowned, thanks to Anth for saving my life!).

Anth the pogi

Helicopter island

Another fantastic s spot in El Nido is where the guides prepare a sumptuous lunch by the beach – Star Beach. While you are discovering some cool corals and fishes, or sunbathing or swimming, the guides will grill seafood, steam rice and prepare some fresh fruits.

Star Island

After a tummy-filling lunch, we headed to Matinloc Shrine which is formerly known as Shrine of Our Lady of Matinloc. This place used to be a seminary which closed due to environmental concerns. The seminary looks like a mansion that some rich family used to lived to. Wonder how they get to build that in a secluded island!

Matinloc shrine is believed to be haunted

Matinloc shrine is believed to be haunted

Matinloc also has an amazing view. Just climb up steep and sharp stones and see below images:

View atop Matinloc

View atop Matinloc

View atop Matinloc

View atop Matinloc

Take some selfies on the edge of the limestones!

Me and Anth atop Matinloc

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Hidden beach was our last destination.

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After arriving from the tour, we checked out from The Alternative and checked in to El Nido Beach Resort. Had a nice dinner at the Altrove that serves brick baked pizzas and sumptous pastas. Be sure to be there early as there are plenty of tourist lining up to fill their stomachs with real good food.

Day 4:

After buying some pasalubong we checked out at 1 PM and hired a tricycle going the van terminal. Our trip to Puerto Princesa begins. We truly had an amazing time in El Nido and can’t wait to get back!

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Coron Birthday Blast

Day 1, January 24, 2013

First trip of year 2013! There were supposed to be nine of my officemates joining this trip but ended up to four confirmed goers. This trip is very inexpensive. We were able to find a contact that offered us tor and accommodation for 3D/2N for Php3, 000 each.

We arrived at Francisco Reyes Airport at 1:20 pm and outside were our ‘sundo’. The tour comes with airport transfer so no more hassle in looking for a taxi. It was a long way from the airport to the city (I think it’s like an hour).

We were booked at Darayonan Lodge and its location is perfect because it is in the City.

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Our room is good for four. It has a small TV, small fridge and hot and cold shower. The resort too has a very cool ambience – very quiet and serene. There is a pool within the resort where you can chill with your friends.

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Within the resort is a souvenir shop

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While waiting for another friend, we had lunch at Lolo Nonoy’s which is just walking distance from the resort.

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Kare kare, chicken curry and adobong posit

After having lunch, we went to the store and bought some chips and foods for the following day.

Our friend Tey finally arrived at 5:30 pm. We went straight to Maquinit Hotspring and take a two hour dip.

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We each paid Php 150 (which was reimbursed to us by Kuya William, our tour coordinator) for the entrance.

I was surprised about how hot the water here is – REALLY HOT! People say it’s good for those who have arthritis. Surprisingly, a lot of tourists are here even at night (which I think is the perfect time to visit a hot spring). Anyway, Maquinit hotspring closes at 9pm and we stayed there until 8 pm.

We went to Kawayan Grill to have dinner after.

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This where the famous Subascu bar is located which is unfortunately empty that night.

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Food is a bit expensive and has very small serving. My favourite dish is the Ulo ng baboy (pig’s head).

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After having dinner we went back to the resort and chilled at the pool drinking mojito and vodka we bought in the afternoon.

Day 1 expenses:

Lunch at Lolo Nonoy’s – 110

Food and drinks – 90

Dinner at Kawayan Grill (1280/4)- 320

Day 2, January 25, 2013

Breakfasts are served at 6 am to 10 am and you have to order your desired breakfast the night before. I had corned beef and egg and we ate at the resort’s beautiful garden.

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Kuya Jaymark (our tour guide) fetched us at 9am.

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Our first stop is Siete Pecados where the most beautiful corals can be seen.

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Second stop is the most beautiful place I have ever been to – KAYANGAN LAKE.

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You have to climb a cliff before reaching the peak where there is a cave and the most beautiful view of the lake.

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You have to climb a cliff before reaching the peak where there is a cave and the most beautiful view of the lake.

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Climb down the other side to swim in the lake and see the wonderful rock formation.

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Third stop is Twin peak where we went snorkelling again.

We stopped by Banol Beach to have lunch.

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We had fish, quids, crabs, lato and veggies for lunch

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After lunch we headed to the WW II Japanese ship wreck. It was eerie I didn’t like it too much so I returned to the boat. However, fishes there are amazing.

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6th stop is CYC Coral Garden where the most beautiful coral can be seen.

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We headed to CYC beach after snorkelling.

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Last stop for the day is Twin Lagoon. There is a small cave upon entering the lagoon

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The rocks are just amazing.

We ended the tour by a great sunset view by the sea.

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We had dinner at Santino’s grill located near the port

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Day 2 expenses:

Merienda at Palengke – 60

Tricycle to Snatino’s – 10

Dinner at Santino’s – 190

Total – 260

CDO CDO CO

Day 1: November 29, 2012

I arrived at Lumbia Airport at around 9:30 am. I was supposed to take a jeep to the city proper but a cab driver asked me if I don’t mind sharing a cab with another passenger and pay only Php 150. I meet my friends coming from Butuan City at Lim Ket Kai Mall. After withdrawing some cash, me and my friends went to another friend’s house in Regency.

After having lunch at Mcdonald’s near Ateneo, we hop to the jeepney to start our rafting adventure.  We dropped by the Great White Water Tours and pay for Php 1250 each and leave our valuables

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It took almost an hour to reach the place where we would start rafting.

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Our guide taught us the basic of rafting (how to move forward, backward, left, right, etc.)

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Our package is advanced – that means that we’ll be trying out 24 rafts J

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High five after a raft

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Row row your boat

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Yuko yuko stones and snakes ahead

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My friends standing in the boat (I have no guts, I have bad sense of balance)

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After 4 hours in the water, we still have the rush :)

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After taking a bath, we went back to our friend’s house.

We had dinner at Tita Fannie’s – it is a local restaurant that serves local delicacies. Sorry I have no picture L

After pigging out, we went to Ateneo (they are celebrating a festival).

We went back home at midnight

Day 1 expenses:

Taxi to Lim Ket Kai – 150

Lunch at Chowking – 78

Van to Regency – 20

Taxi to Ateneo – 140/4

Lunch at Mcdo – 52

Rafting fee – 1250

Tricycle – 10

Taxi to regency – 150/4

Van to Ateneo – 15

Dinner – 92

Gellato – 50

Jeepney to highway – 10

Tricycle to Regency – 8

Total Expenses for DAY 1: 1807.5

Day 2: November 30, 2012

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We left the house at 5am and took a van going to the port at Market City. It took almost an hour before we left Market city because the van has to wait for other passengers.

We reached the post at almost 8am.

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We reached Camiguin at 10:30 am and had a quick breakfast upon landing.

This is an impromptu trip and we have no booking for any accommodation and tour. So we asked around the people in the canteen where we could rent a multi cab with driver to tour us around.

We found a very cheap tour for only 1500 (for four of us) to tour us around Camiguin for a day.

First stop is Katibawasan falls. After paying 20 pesos, we headed to the coldest falls in Camiguin.

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It is the coldest falls I have been to.

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We ate Kipling – a local delicacy

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We headed to Sunken cemetery after.

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After finishing off our buko, we went to Church ruins.

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After praying, we went to Cold Spring.

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And then hot spring…

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We went back home (Lydia’s cottages) at 6 pm calling it a day

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After having dinner at the nearby canteen, we went to a store and bought liquors and chips for a party by the beach.

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DAY 2 EXPENSES:

Taxi to terminal – 150/4

Van to port – 120

Fare to Camiguin – 175

Breakfast – 50

Multicab rental – 1500/4

Katibawasan falls entrance fee – 20

Kipling – 10

Lydia’s accommodation – 1300/4

Buko at Sunken Cemetary – 20

Cold Spring – 20

Hot Spring – 30

Dinner and Liquors – 100

Total Expenses for Day 2 – 1282.5

 

DAY 3: December 1, 2012

We woke up in a morning rain waiting for the hired boater to knock on our door.  Sandbar!!! Here we come!

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The weather was quite bad (a typhoon came after we left Camiguin) so it felt like rafting we were in the sea. The sandbar was awesome, before you get there you could see corals surrounding it.

A vendor approached us and offered us some sea urchin for 20 pesos. It was my first time eating that haha I must say :ppppp

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We headed back to CDO before lunch time.

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We reached CDO at 3pm, we had a quick stop at Missy Bon Bon at LimKetKai to buy the famous pastel (buns with yema inside)

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Day 3 expenses:

Fare to white island – 500/4

Fare to terminal – 10

Van fare to port – 30

Fare to CDO – 170

Psalubong – 140

Total expenses for Day 3 – 475

TOTAL EXPENSES:  3565

Lonely Traveller: Jalan jalan at Brunei Darussalam

5J409 ETA 0140 hrs on 30 Sep 2012.
5J410 ETD 0225 hrs on 03 Oct 2012.

I’m back! And I am taking this lonely traveller to one of the richest country in Asia – Brunei Darussalam. But first of all I would explain why I chose to go to Brunei ALONE. It was January 2012 when Cebu Pacific had a piso fare promo. I checked almost all the regional flight and no more available seats on my desired date until I check Bandar Seri Begawan. I was able to book a flight at a very cheap price. I asked around my friends if they would like to come with me but no one responded. So okay I’ll be alone, no worries MALAKI na ako (I’m a big girl).

Accommodation and tour to Brunei is kinda hard to find so I asked my friends from Reliable International Services (where we got our Hongkong tour package) if they have promo for the said tour. Unfortunately they don’t offer such but instead they referred me to their partner Fullyrichman International Travel Services with Ms. Sani Pigon as contact. I was able to get an accommodation and tour package for a very reasonable price considering I will be alone.

The day of my first flight ALONE abroad arrived and I was ecstatic and nervous at the same time. I arrived at Brunei International Airport safely. I met my tour guide from Mega Borneo – Mohammad. My hotel – Trader’s Inn Hotel was just a 10-minute drive from the airport.

The first time I saw my room, I said OMG this is huge. The whole room is carpeted, the comfort room is clean. I was really happy J.

DAY 1:

I woke up at around 8am and had my breakfast at the hotel. I meet up with Mohammad at the hotel lobby at 10am to start the city tour.

Our first stop is the Istana Nurul Iman – the official residence of Sultanof Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah. The palace was designed by a Filipino architect Leandro V. Locsin and constructed by a Filipino firm – Ayala International. The palace is open only during  Hari Raya (the festival after the end of the Muslim fasting month). This is the largest residential palace in the world  containing 1788 rooms, 257 bathrooms, a banquet hall which can accommodate 5000 guests, a mosque which can accommodate 1500 people, 110 garage, and 5 swimming pools. AMAZING!

Second stop is the Royal Regalia Museum which displays the Silver Jubilee chariot, armory, and collections of gifts to Sultan from different countries.

The gallery is the only area where you can take pictures. There is a locker where you have to deposit your bags including phone and camera.

Next stop is Jame’asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque – the largest mosque in Brunei and was built to commemorate 25th anniversary of the sultan’s reign.

Phone and camera are not allowed inside so you need to deposit it in the locker area. Also women must put on a black robe upon entering the mosque.

The staircase behind me consists of 29 steps (the current sultan is the 29th to rein). For every crowned Sultan, a new mosque and palace should be built.

Next stop is Brunei Museum. This is located in Kota Batu about 3 miles from Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB).

There are lockers inside as you can not bring bags, camera and phones.

The museum consists of the following galleries:

  1. Islamic art gallery
  2. The history and technology of Brunei Darussalam’s petroleum gallery
  3. Brunei traditional culture gallery
  4. National history gallery
  5. Brunei Darussalam archaeology and history exhibition gallery

Next stop is the biggest Malay water village, Kampong Ayer which has houses in stilts. The place is also known as the Venice of the East.

We stopped at a local resident’s house who offered local refreshments.

I just slept the whole afternoon hahaha.

At around 8pm, Ms. Sani and his husband Jojo (a pianist at the Empire Hotel) picked me up at the hotel for a dinner. We dropped at Gadong Night Market where everything is just one dollar.

We had dinner at The Mall in Gadong.

Water and other foodies 2.25 dollars
Souvenirs 20 dollars
Lunch at hotel 7 dollars
TOTAL EXPENSES FOR DAY 1: 29.25

DAY 2:

It’s Monday and I am finally on my own. After having breakfast at the hotel, I head to the bus stop just across the place where I was staying. I took Bus No. 55 to Bandar (1 dollar) where I took Bus No. 39 to Muara. At the port in Muara, transfer to Bus No. 33 going to Pantai Muara (Muara bridge).Be very patient in waiting for a bus. It took me 20 minutes to wait for Bus No. 55 in Gadong and it took me an hour to travel to Muara.

It was 11am when I finally arrived at Muara beach. There were a few people mostly students (it’s a school break) because it is a weekday.

The beach has white sand. The waves are wild so it is not advisable to swim during that day.

I met an Indian national named Mahe who was kind enough to take picture of me at the beach.

Mahe offered me a ride to port and have lunch there. I refused the offer and instead ate lunch at the resto in the beach and waited for a bus.

I waited for an hour for a bus going to the port. It took me another 30 minutes to wait for a bus going to Bandar.

I arrived at Bandar bus station at around 4pm. I waited another 20 minutes to wait for Bus No. 57 going to the Empire Hotel.

The driver was a Filipino named Jov! He’s so pogi (handsome) hahaha! It took an hour to get to the Empire Hotel. Kuya Jov was kind enough to offer me a ride going back to Hotel (he would borrow a car to fetch me) but I told him I will just take the cab at the hotel J.

It was almost 6pm when I arrived at the Empire Hotel which is a perfect for a view of sunset at the beach.

Oh I was truly amazed by this 6-star Hotel! I wish I could have booked a night or two here!

I left at around 7 pm. I asked the Transport counter at the lobby for a cab going back to Gadong. It cost me 30 dollars.

Well the cab doesn’t look like a cab at all! It could be a black Mercedes (this costs more) or a in my case a Toyota with leather seats with an English speaking driver. Again, I was amazed!

I had my dinner at a nearby local restaurant.

I had a short stop at Supahsave to buy tea and mixed nuts.

Fare to Bandar 1 dollar

Fare to Muara Port 1 dollar

Fare to Pantai Muara 1 dollar

Lunch at Muara beach 3 dollars

Fare to Muara Port 1 dollar

Fare to Jerudong 1 dollar
Taxi fare to Hotel 30 dollars

Dinner 5 dollars

Foodies 7.6 dollars

TOTAL EXPENSES DAY 2: 51.6 dollars

DAY 3:

MY THIRD AND LAST DAY! I left my hotel at around 9am after having breakfast. I took bus going to Bandar. I haggled with a water taxi driver to take me to the mangroves and observe the proboscis monkeys. We agreed at 20 dollars.

We finished the tour for an hour.

After the trip to the mangroves, I went to see the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque which was built in 1958. This is one of the world’s most beautiful mosques.

I also did a short shopping at a nearby grocery store.

I rode a bus going back to Gadong. I was supposed to check out at 12nn but the Filipino staff told me I can stay at my room for free but just until 4pm. So I did stay and rest for awhile.

I checked out at 3:45 pm. I left my bags at the hotel so I can roam around Gadong for few hours (so I could shop for pasalubongs).  I took a bus going to Gadong and walk going to The Mall. The Mall is the biggest shopping mall in Brunei. Not a lot to see, though. I went shopping at Utama super market and Jaya Supermart. I had my dinner at Pasta Mania where almost all of the staffs are Filipinos. 

 

Ms. Sani and Sir Jojo picked me up at 9pm. We had a short stop at a Catholic Church and Omar Ali Saiffudien Mosque which looks exquisite at night.

We went back to the hotel to pick up my bags and then went to the aiport at around 10pm. The Cebu Pacific counter opened at 11pm. After checking in and paying the terminal fee I ate another meal at Jolibee.

My first trip alone abroad was a blast! Not only I met a lot of new friends, saw a lot of beautiful places, I also proved a lot about myself: that I can travel by myself in a foreign place where I do not know anyone, that I can decide based on my own guts and instincts. This trip opened my eye how other people live in a very rich country and how our country differs. In Brunei, there are no taxes and almost everything is free from the government. Almost all the people have his own car and yet the place is not polluted. It is very rich yet the people live simply. Simple, quiet, rich and beautiful…BRUNEI DARUSSALAM.

Fare to Bandar 1 dollar

Trip to the mangroves 20 dollars

Lunch at Bandar 4.5 dollars

Fare to Gadong 1 dollar

Fare to The Mall 1 dollar

Pasalubong 70 dollars

Dinner at Pasta Mania 7.9 dollars

Terminal fee 12 dollars

Dinner at the airport 4.5 dollars

TOTAL EXPENSES DAY 3: 121.9 dollars

TOTAL EXPENSES FOR 3 DAYS: 202.75 dollars/ PHP 7096.25

Roundtrip Airfare –PHP 2500

Accommodation and Tour – PHP 12000

TOTAL EXPENSES FOR THE 3-DAY BRUNEI TRIP: PHP 21596.25/approx. $500

 

 

Lonely Traveller: Exploring Davao in 2N/2D

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Manila to Davao

ETD: 16:55

ETA: 18:40

And I am not afraid to try it on my own

And I don’t care if I’m right or wrong

I live my life the way I feel

No matter what I keep it real…

It’s time for me to do this ON MY OWN…

This trip was supposed to be shared with my co-consultant, Allyssa. But she was assigned for a project in Butuan City. I am scared to travel alone but I can’t miss the chance to experience Davao. Well, as the song says, it’s time for me to do this on my own.

I was advised to take taxi from Francisco Bangoy International Airport to Downtown Davao but because I am a very thrift person, I took public transportation. From the airport, I walked to the National Highway (500 m). I went to the other side of the road through the underground pass. I was supposed to take Claveria jeep but because my eyesight doesn’t work well in the night and I was super scared, I took the first jeep that stopped in front of me. The conductor drops me off Bajada where I took a Claveria jeep. I asked the driver if he could drop me off My Hotel but instead he dropped me off Magallanes where I catched a jeep with San Pedro signboard.

I checked in for two nights in a non-airconditioned room at My Hotel. The toilet and bath are being shared. There is a sink inside the room for the customer’s convenience.

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There is an eat-all-you-can inside My Hotel for P 120 but I decided to have dinner at Kusina Davao just across the street. I ordered Seepo rice toppings and a softdrink.

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Jeep from airport to Bajada – P 14

Jeep to Magallanes – P 8

Jeep to San Pedro – P8

Room Accommodation – P 600 (P 300 w/ TV, P 250 w/o TV ). A key deposit of P 200 was collected and shall be refunded upon check out.

Dinner at Kusina Davao – P93

Day 1 – P 723

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Day 2

I woke up at 4:30 am to prepare and left at 5:00 am. I had a quick breakfast at Kusina Davao and ordered Arozcaldo. I took a Route 2 jeep going to Ecoland. Traffic in Bankerohan was heavy even if it’s early. I reached Ecoland Bus Terminal at 6:00 am. I took a Cotabato-bound bus going to Digos City and dropped off at the New Digos Terminal (this is the second terminal from Davao, the first one is in Sta. Cruz. If you see the Lion statue in Digos, you know you’re near the terminal). It took about two hours to reach Digos City.

From the new terminal, I rode a tricycle going to the “Old” Digos Terminal where I can ride a van going to Kapatagan. It was 7:40 am when I arrived and no passenger was in the van. The driver said I have to wait for the van to get full before it leaves. I waited for an hour and still no passenger. I could no longer wait so I decided to ride habal habal. As soon as the driver agreed on the fare we left Digos at 9:15 am.

For those who are afraid getting sunburns, make sure you put on a sunblock before riding habal habal. Also, wear a hooded jacket to protect you from the heat and dust of the city and the cold in Mt. Apo. At first, I thought that riding a habal habal was a bad idea because of the dusty, bumpy and muddy streets but this is where the actual adventure begins. I reached Kapatagan at 10:10 am. I trekked for 20 minutes to reach Camp Sabros.

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The foggy grounds of Camp Sabros

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There were few tourists at the camp since it was a weekday. One of the staff was nice enough to take pictures of me while on the zipline.

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My first ever zipline ride

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The zipline at Camp Sabros offers the great view of lush greeneries of Mt. Apo

Second ride is 400 meter long

Third ride is a cable lift

Fourth and final ride is the 820 meter long zipline

The four rides took me 30 minutes to complete.

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The travel and rides made me hungry so I ordered porkchop.

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Camp Sabros also offers room accommodations

I left the camp at 1:00 pm. The staffs called a habal habal driver to take me to Digos City.

From the terminal, I took a bus going to Davao. I dropped off Calinan where I rode a jeep going to Malagos. From Malagos I rode habal habal to Malagos Water District. I reached the Philippine Eagle Center at 4:00 pm.

Pay P 5 entrance fee at Malagos Water District

Pay P 150 entrance fee at Philippine Eagle Center

There are also other animals at the center

After buying souvenirs, I left Philippine Eagle Center at 5:00 pm.

I rode habal habal to L3 where I took a ride going back to Davao City. I reached Ateneo De Davao at 6:00 pm. I then rode a jeep going to Buhangin and dropped off at Victoria Mall. I waited for a co-consultant assigned in Davao so we can both have dinner together at Abreeza Mall. From Abreeza I took Sasa bound jeep and got off at San Pedro.

 

Breakfast at Kusina Davao – P 40

Jeep to Ecoland – P 8

Bus to Digos City – P 80

Tryk to Old terminal – P10

Habal habal to Kapatagan – P 200

Zipline ride – P 550

Lunch – P105

Habal habal to Digos – P 200

Bus to Calinan – P 80

Jeep to Malagos – 30

Habal habal to Water District – 30

Water District entrance fee – P 5

Entrance fee to Philippine Eagle Center – P150

Habal habal to L3 – P 20

L3 to Downtown – P 45

Jeep to Victoria Mall – P 8

Dinner – P 100

Jeep to My Hotel – P 10

Day 2 – P 1686

 

09-01-12

DAY 3

Okay! This is my final day in Davao, gotta make the most out of it! I woke up early for Samal Island. I took a cab from My Hotel to Sasa Wharf, from there I rode a Bangka to Paradise Island Resort.


I watch sunrise at the beach, there are few tourist at this time.

I had my breakfast at 8:00 am. I ordered omelette, garlic rice and durian frappe

 

I left the beach at 9:30 am.

From Sasa Wharf, I took a jeep going to San Pedro. Travel time from Sasa to San Pedro is about 20 minutes. From San Pedro I walked a few blocks back to My Hotel. I checked out from My Hotel at 11:30 am and walked 2 blocks to People’s Park.

It was 12 noon and the park opens at 1:00 pm. When the staffs knew that I was from Manila and will leave at the night, they let me inside the park. However, since the park is still closed, the fountains and waterfalls are not yet opened to enjoy

The staffs suggested that I go to Pasalubong center just beside the park.

 

I was supposed to go to Magsaysay Park but when I asked around people, they said the park is not that beautiful. I took a cab going to the Crocodile Park instead after a quick lunch at a near carinderia.

Paying the P 150 entrance fee will let you access the Crocodile Park, Tribu K’ Mindanawan and the Butterfly House.

Pay P 40 to hold a python or a baby croc plus the photo.

Tribu K’ Mindanawan shares different types of Bahay Kubo around Mindanao. A fire show is scheduled at 5:45 pm on that day.

The butterfly House is not that huge

At around 4:00 pm it started to rain and it such a hassle to commute. I took a cab going to Magsaysay to buy fresh durian.

Durian cost P 50 per kilo. It is advisable to have the fruit opened and stored in a disposable container (P 20) and then placed in a styro (P 70 in the market, P100 in the airport). Note that it should be placed in styro to be checked in.

From Magsaysay, I rode a Tarum bound bus and dropped off at the airport’s entrance.

I went to Davao with no clear itinerary. Believe me; I was having second thoughts of going to Digos City to experience riding a zipline. But when I saw Mt. Apo, all the “pagod” from 3 hours of commuting were gone with the fresh breeze of pine trees. I was quite disappointed by the Paradise Island though as the shores were covered with “bubong” and there were litters on the water. The next time I’ll go to Samal, I’ll make sure to book at Pearl Farm and try different water activities there. Buying fruits at Bankerohan is a lot cheaper than in Magsaysay but I am not sure if they have the containers and styro there. Also make sure that the Crocodile Park is your last destination as this is the nearest from the airport (I know, I should have bought durian in Bankerohan). Don’t worry about your things as you can leave them at the guardhouse at Crocodile Park. Don’t dare to commute going to Crocodile Park unless you want to walk a few kilometres. People in Davao are the nicest, the drivers are honest, and the people entertain questions from a very “makulit” girl like me. Don’t be scared to ask people about directions because almost all Davaoos understand tagalog (I am just lucky to have Visayan-born parents that’s why I understand a few bisaya words).

Nevertheless, this trip is memorable to me because it is:

  1. My first time to ride a zipline
  2. My first time to ride habal habal
  3. My first time to trek alone
  4. My first time to see an eagle, a tiger, an owl and a lot of animals
  5. My first time going to the beach alone
  6. My first time to hold a crocodile
  7. My first time to eat mangosteen, and
  8. MY FIRST TIME TO TRAVEL ALONE

 

DAY 3:

Taxi to Sasa – P 131

Bangka to Paradise Island Resort – P 15

Entrance fee (with P 50 consumables) at Paradise Island – P 200

Breakfast – P 255

Bangka to Sasa – P 15

Jeep to San Pedro – P 14

Lunch – P 80

Taxi to Crodile Park – P 145

Entrance Fee – P 150

Photo with the animals – P 40

Taxi to Magsaysay – P 135

Bus to Airport (Tarum bound) – P 40

Day 3 – P 1220

TOTAL COST OF DAVAO TOUR – P 3629

 

Backpacking at Ilocos

This trip was never planned. I visited Cebu Pacific’s website September last year and found out a promo. I immediately contacted my best friend Riza and ask if she wants to go to Laoag with me.

Since Riza cannot take a vacation leave, we only booked a one-day trip: leaving Manila on Saturday morning and leaving Laoag on a Sunday evening.

We arrived at Laoag on a late morning. We were lucky to catch the red bus of Laoag which offers free ride from the airport to different points of the city. 

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We dropped off the Claveria bus terminal going to Pagudpud beach. We ate our lunch first at the carinderia near the terminal. The fare from the city to Pagudpud is around Php 70-80. We dropped at Gaoa (Bing Bong restaurant as a landmark) and took a tricycle going to Kapuluan Vista resort. We paid Php 60 to the driver. It was a long ride, approximately one kilometre. We arrived at around 5pm.

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Our room is a dorm type fan room which is the cheapest – Php 650 per person. It includes complimentary breakfast and welcome drinks.

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We had a quick stroll at the beach

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It was March so expect big waves. The shore near Kapuluan is rocky so we went to the shores near Hannah’s beach resort to take a quick dip.

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Kapuluan Vista Resort is known for it’s sumptuous meals. We ordered Bagnet and one meal I forgot the name. haha.

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The meal cost around Php 250-300 each. Kinda costly for me, but it is WORTH it!!! We also had the welcome drinks (you get to choose from margarita and iced tea). It was my first time to drink margarita and I loved it!!!

3-11-12

Riza and I get up early so we can watch the sunrise and swim. Unfortunately the weather was not good. Strong winds hit the beach creating HUGE waves.

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Even if the weather is not cooperating, Riza and I still went outside to take some picture.Image

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As soon as the fogs clear up, we took photos of the Timangtang Rock Formation.

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It was extremely cold so going swimming is a big challenge. We still managed to get ourselves wet but left the beach immediately so not to get sick.

We had our breakfast at 9am. We ordered the famous Vigan longganisa with egg and tomato on the side. And Oh! The coffee, which I super love! Image

We took photo on the bar before leaving the resort

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The surf board here were signed by celebrities who visited the resort.

We left the resort at 10 am and paid Php 60 to the tricycle driver. We catch a bus going to Bangui for Php 25. From Bangui, we hired a tricycle to give us a ride to the windmills, we paid him Php 200.

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The windmills are bigger that you imagine. It looked to me like a spaceship. Haha.

According to manong driver, the Bangui Windmills were built by a Japanese company.

Pasalubong here are cheaper, so make sure to bring home one. I just bought my mini windmill.

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After 30 minutes, we left the Bangui for Burgos. Bus fare is Php 20. Again, we hired tricycle to get us from Burgos to the Kapurpurawan rock formation for Php 250.

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Manong driver said it is prohibited to climb the front part of the rock so went climbing on the back part

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It is UNBELIEVABLE to see this white rock formation. Spell A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! Be careful when you climb the rock as there are slippery parts.

The wind here is crazy. It can literally push you, so always keep your balance.

Make sure to bring water when you go to Kapurpurwan because you will surely sweat it out during the trek.

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We left after an hour heading to Laoag. We catch a bus at Burgos and paid Php 50. It is a 2-hour ride to get to the city so brace yourself.

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We had lunch at Macy’s in Laoag.

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The whole meal cost us Php 340.

After the meal we walked around the city to get to the Bell Tower

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It was a Sunday, so the Ilocos Museum is closed. 

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The Ilocos Capitol is just nearby.

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So as the park

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After lounging at the park, we rode a calesa going to the market for Php 26.

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It was my first time riding a calesa so I was completely thrilled!

At the market we bought some kornik, empanada and longganisa.

The one-day Ilocos tour might be so much bitin (there are a lot of places we were not able to see) but it was very FUN! Bangui windmills are UNBELIEVABLE and the Kapurpurawan rock formation is AMAZING plus the Pagudpud beach is BEAUTIFUL. I will definitely go back to Ilocos!

 

 

Boracay Experience part 2

The weather was perfect for some beach activities! We started the day by a sumptuous meal (thanks to Mam Len and JR for a great cooking!) and then ask one of Kuya Toto’s friends, Michael to give us options on activities we will be doing for the day. We haggled for the best deal! We soon end up paying Php 1100 (there were 5 of us) each for island hopping, Crystal Cove Island entrance fee, snorkelling and Fly Fish.

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We were all excited to try Fly Fish for the first time.

 

Soon after gearing up, we found ourselves “flying.” We all gripped the handle as if it was the grip of our life. Luckily, I was able to survive the whole experience at hindi ako nahulog! Thanks to my super tight grip. Although some of us were dropped we all had a great time riding the Fly Fish. We recommend this activity to those who are bored with banana boat.

After riding the Fly Fish, we went to the Crystal Cove Island to go caving.

The island is super nice.

This place is so amazing; a lot of tourist go and eat their lunch here

Getting to the first cove is quite easy; you just have to pass a very small opening with a spiral stair leading to the cave

 

Getting to the second cove is tough. You have to crawl to get there.

 

Be very careful in entering this cave. You don’t want to get some “bukol” in your head. Also, you don’t wanna take off your footwear here if you don’t want to get bruises (which happened to me).

 

It was my first time snorkelling. I did not try it during our Bantayan trip because I was scared to drown (FYI, I can not swim). It is such a wonderful experience to see the underwater world. Too bad I cannot share underwater pictures yet (I don’t have a underwater camera at this moment).

We went back to Boracay Island with smile on our faces for the adventures we did for the day. We had a little snack at Jonah’s and then stroll around the beach.

It was sunset; all our cameras were lowbat but were still able to get some amazing photos.

 

The picturesque beach with its powdery white sand relieves us from all the stress we had in the city.

 

 

Boracay Experience

I arrived at Caticlan airport at 7am via Cebupacific. I was the first one in our group to arrive so I decided to walk from the airport to the Jetty Port (approximately 5 mins) to cut some cost. At the Jetty port, I paid Php 100 for terminal fee, Php 75 for environmental fee and Php 25 for the Bangka fee. It would take 20 mins to get to the port. From the port, I rode a tricycle with 4 other passengers, paying only Php 20. I took off PCTV cable at Station 2 where I was supposed to meet Kuya Toto of AJ Traveller’s Inn where we will be staying. Unfortunately, there was no signal for Globe Telecom and there was no way to contact him. I ask people around the area but no one seemed to know the place. Luckily, I came across one lady who knows the place.

The whole place is really nice. Since I was the first one to arrive, I get to choose the bed first. Our room has a nice toilet and bath, 2 beds and one huge LCD TV. It was really tiring since I spent the night at the airport and didn’t get enough sleep. The whole place was so comfortable, I fell asleep immediately.

It was lunch time when Mam Len arrived. We were both hungry and decided to go to D’ Talipapa and buy some fresh seafoods to make “paluto” at the restaurants. We ate buttered shrimps, grilled fish and stuffed squids. We also bought some pork meat to cook for dinner. It was late afternoon when Tope, JR and Tey arrived. Few minutes later their arrival, Jayson also joined us. We ate dinner early so we can go strolling at the beach.

While strolling we get to see a lot of fire dancers. It was my first time seeing this kind of entertainment. The dancers are super amazing!!!