from the beach to the casino

I had a fun, food-filled weekend. On April 19 to 20 the department went to Palm Beach Resort in San Juan, Batangas. According to their website, “The Resort is designed to be a private retreat for those who prefer the tranquility and peace of a place with a well-preserved natural setting as an alternative to other overdeveloped destinations.”

It is definitely a private place. It’s a long drive from the main road (it felt like the edge of the earth), and there is no signal.

But it is serene and beautiful.

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Where we stayed, and the path to the dining pavilion. They serve good food!

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On Sunday, we visited Solaire with J’s mom to have lunch at their sosyal food court.

Solaire Resort & Casino has beautiful decor.

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And fresh flowers!

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The food court looks great, but I think the food is too expensive.

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Cute take-out box. :)

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updates galore

Life updates! Work updates! Bookswap updates!

Bookswap on April 14, where we met Kat’s friend Aych for the first time. I love doing this meetups with the girls (and occasional boy). Book nerds! Love it.

Kim and Almi weren’t present because they were celebrating their monthsary. Next time!

On April 18, J’s sister V gave birth to the cutest baby boy.

Proud uncle.

I realized then that it has been years since I last touched a baby. They’re so soft! (And so small!)

I told myself that I won’t blog about work, but this isn’t really work. The Marketing department had a team building activity at Stilts in Calatagan, Batangas on April 20 to 21. Not my first time here, but my first time to stay overnight. I’d like to go back sometime for an overnight trip with the family, or just with J.

I had fun, despite being generally cynical toward any kind of team activity.

Feeling at home.

First time to see Stilts at night...

...and in the early morning.

Office mates enjoying a quick dip.

Just look at the water! Beautiful.

We had a stopover in Tagaytay. Lunch at Dencio’s and we bought pasalubong from Amira’s and Rowena’s. J enjoyed some eclairs and ube tarts when I got home.

stilts

Maundy Thursday’s the only day the entire department is available to go anywhere as a group (no newspaper for Good Friday so the office is closed), and this year we grabbed the opportunity.

We went on a daytrip (8 am to 6 pm) to Stilts in Calatagan, Batangas. Left Makati at 4:30 a.m. We were able to arrive and leave on time, it was ridiculous. On the itinerary: lunch on the beach, swim, camwhore, dinner on the way home. Special thanks to Boss Kate for making it all happen.

Her notes: “Technical notes re this trip: Entrance to Stilts was at P350/head (daytour). Since we brought in our own food and drinks, we also had to pay corkage of P100/head. (Food at the resort was around P300/meal). We also rented an open hut good for max of 15pax for P850. How to get there:View map here. Rented a van for P3,500, excluding gas and toll fees.”

Photos from Ate Julie, Andrea and Kate, Almi, and my camera.

I was happy to see that the beach wasn’t crowded at all. (Even though we ran out of parking space.)

We were given green mango juice as a welcome drink. Sour and yummy.

The Research Team: Marielle, Almi, Schatzi, Lawrence, me, Kate (plus Andrea and Jaykie!)

My beachmates.

Lunch was Andok’s chicken!

Stilts also has a pool –

Those were Jaykie's legs. Definitely Lawrence's idea.

and a raft, to fulfill your camwhoring needs.

I have never been in a successful jump shot before. UNTIL NOW BWAHAHA.

See Jaykie jump! Howeeee!

Final pose before packing up:

Wheeee wiiiiind.

The water was cold and the beach was stony but the weather was fine and the company was great and the place was beautiful. I had fun! Next year uli!

palawan – day 3 and departure

Up early for the Honda Bay Tour!

Land travel to the Sta. Lourdes Wharf.

On to the first island!

Snake Island!

WARNING: My hot and sexeh bodeh.

Boom.

I didn’t go snorkeling. Basically all I did was submerge my camera in the water, and press the button to take a picture haha. (It was incredibly pathetic.)

Richard took this picture.

The sea took Jaykie’s slipper away! A moment of silence for this loss.

Okay, lunch!

Lunch, c/o Kuya Obet and company, was scrumptious. I loved the shrimp.

Pandan Island is next!

Looking at these pictures now, it didn’t look as if it was incredibly hot on the island. It was incredibly hot. It was skin-cancer hot. Maybe that’s how I must describe myself. “I’m skin-cancer hot.”

More fishies!

The last island was Luli Island (lulubog-lilitaw). The island disappears during high tide.

There’s a rest house on the island, incredibly enough.

Dinner was at Balinsasayaw. I had nido soup for the first time! I liked it.

Day 4

Jaykie and I couldn’t be with my friends for the City Tour because he had class. I bought pasalubong at the Pension and at the airport.

That was a fun trip.

Accounting

Okay. Without the City Tour, Jaykie and I spent P2,452.22. This included the Underground River tour,  the Honda Bay tour, food during the tour, entrance fees and tips. Take note that there were nine people in our group.

Accommodation was 800 per night, so that’s P2,400.

Add the price of the ticket (highest is 4k I guess, but there are seat sales!), the terminal fees (240), food for dinner (let’s say 2k), and pasalubong (let’s say 1k), and that amounts to around 12k pesos.

Recommendation

Seriously, get Kuya Obet Fallorina as your tour guide (also driver and cook hehe). He’s really nice. :)

Text him! 0912 539 8983

Acknowledgments

Me ganito talaga?! Thanks to my friends, esp. to Ghia, Grace, and June. Sa uulitin!

palawan – day 2

We had our breakfast at 6 am (so early!) at Puerto Pension’s Tribu Restaurant. It’s located on the roof deck and faces the Puerto Princesa Bay. Quite a view, really.

The free breakfast consists of 1) a hot beverage 2) an egg 3) bread and spread 4) fruit 5) juice.

You’ll need to shell out P88 for an upgrade. For a Filipino breakfast, you can add rice and a viand (like a hotdog), and unlimited eggs. You read that right. Unlimited eggs.

Jaykie had an American breakfast. Waffles and bacon!

Then off to Sabang Wharf. Our tour guide, Kuya Obet, picked us up in a van.

It’s a long drive to Sabang Wharf so we had two stop-overs.

Sabang Wharf. We’re early, so we went for a quick dip.

Ooh, look at the waves.

After lunch, we got on a boat that would take us to the St. Paul Subterranean River National Park.

I enjoyed the boat ride because of the waves! Whee!

We’re here! We now need to register, get a hard hat and a life vest.

I look like a guy lol.

The Underground River tour was fantastic! I’ve never been inside a cave before. The formations are just amazing. And! We saw a snake! (The appearance of the snake abruptly changed the weight distribution of our boat haha.)

That night, Kuya Obet drove us to Badjao Seafront Restaurant. (You’ll need wheels to get to this resto because there are no trikes to take you back to the hotel.)

We were told that all of the tables were reserved. But this cannot be! So we talked to one of the waiters (talked, bullied, whatever) and asked when one of the reserved tables was needed. He said 7:30. It was 6:30 then. So we took a menu, ordered quickly, ate quickly, and was out of there by 7:30. A leisurely dinner was out of the question, but I chewed my food enough to note that I loved the lemon chicken. Order it.

We tried Itoy’s Coffee Haus, said to be Palawan’s version of Starbucks.

I recommend their leche flan cheesecake and their black forest drink. Yummmm.

The Superior room was big enough to host an inuman session, so:

Okay! Time for bed!

bohol, day 3

Last day. Grabbed our final meals by the beach and just lounged around and camwhored, waiting for the van to pick us up.

We also saw this big-ass display of a page from the Inquirer. I didn’t bother approaching it when we first arrived, but on the last day I thought, why not take a picture.

I wanted to see the byline, and YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW EXCITED I BECAME WHEN I SAW

HOMAYGASH IT’S ATE KATE! AND THE DISPLAY WAS BIG-ASS!

Here’s Jaykie for scale:

Dapat kapag pumunta ka ‘dun Ate Kate, libre ka na! Haha.

The flight back home scared the crap out of me, but we arrived alive and well at NAIA 3. My thanks to organizer Jme, also known as Xena the Warrior Princess:

HGC peeps and honorary HGC peeps: I had fun with you guys, sa uulitin. ;)

Back home, Jaykie and I went to MOA. The boyfriend’s birthday is in June and I bought him a pair of glasses as a gift. (That’s what he asked for LOL.) We took a long time trying to choose a frame within (my) budget, but I finally found a pair that’s perfect:

I like! <3

Epic weekend. :D

bohol, day 2

Snorkeling and diving was scheduled for Day 2, but I was sure, with my lack of swimming skills and my tendency to panic in deep waters, that I would do NEITHER. So I just enjoyed the beach.

We took a van to Alona Kew. We didn’t like their shoreline too much, it was rocky and in the span of 30 minutes we saw a jellyfish, a sea urchin, and a starfish with spikes. Yikes.

But still, beautiful spot yeah?

We waited for the divers to come back and took a boat ride to Balicasag Island for snorkeling.

The island! (Gasp.)

I didn’t snorkel, just flapped around in the water and made Jaykie nervous. Gah. Haha.

Back to Dumaluan for dinner and more beach and a game of Bluff and Pusoy Dos and tsismisan!

Jaykie shoots an imaginary ball: