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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Weekend at Hamilo Coast, Pico de Loro

The plan to spend a weekend somewhere out of town was brewed around August or September. Me and my friends decided that we spend it in Tagaytay. We wanted to relax, get some fresh air and basically spend some time together since it has been a while when we all went for a trip.

The planning started and we had met once or twice to discuss the details. Until we made a new choice that is Pico de Loro. After all the talking and excitement, we all agreed to scratch Tagaytay and choose Pico de Loro. In fact, the photos and blogs we've read were very effective in attracting us to head out there and take the more than 3 hour drive to Nasugbu, Batangas.

From the blogs that we checked online, we were able to find the option to rent a condo unit in Pico. This fits our budget perfectly although there is also the option to stay at their hotel. The advantage of renting a condo unit is that you can bring food that can be cooked. The condo unit we stayed in has a fully furnished kitchen so it was very convenient for us.

It was very easy to arrange the accommodation. I only had to email Ms. Cresil (full details at the end of this post) about our intended dates, deposit to the bank and advise and email her the scanned copy of the deposit slip.

Yes, even though Pico is a private resort, non members can still get in if they know a member. Ms. Cresil provided the authorisation and needed docus so the check in was very easy and seamless when we arrived in Pico.

Our rented condo for 6 pax costs 4,950. The price depends on the season, peak or non-peak, long weekend or holidays. Better check with the contact person. Aside from the rent, you also need to pay an entrance fee in Pico which costs 500 per person (non-peak rate), 1000 for a peak rate. The entrance fee gives you access to the Pico beach and country club but not on the Beach club unless the member accompanies you.

Anyhow, too much of this talking here are some photos that will really get you to see the place with your own eyes!

Entrance to Hamilo Coast. It was drizzling on the way.

Lagoa Restaurant in Pico Country Club

Play room for kids also in Pico Country Club

That's me at the Pico Beach, next to the Beach Club

Other condo buildings opposite ours. We stayed at Myna B.

Seeing so much greenery is so relaxing. I just want to take all the fresh air in.

The country club on the far end opposite the Pico beach.

Pools! They are clean and well maintained. They have lovely colours at night too.

Pool side view. This is also in the country club.
Super fun weekend at the beach. Love it!
That's me. Lounging near the pool. What a weekend! 
Ahh! This is the well known Taal volcano viewed from Tagaytay. We made quick stop in Army Navy for some snacks.

Our contact for the Pico condo:
Cresil Tagle
Pico De Loro Condo Rental - Studio & 1 Bedroom
+639175028488 (viber only)

How to go there:
1. Via Cavitex.1hr & 45mins drive only from Mall of Asia.
After Cavitex, you will pass by Naic, Ternate & Maragondon. Please look for the sign of Hamilo Coast along the way. Same route as going to Puerto Azul but you will pass by Puerto Azul. Look for the way to Kabiang Tunnel (Ternate-Nasugbu Tunnel)
After you pass by the tunnel it will take you around 20 mins to reach Hamilo Coast.

2. Via SLEX Sta. Rosa exit
  • Make a right on Tagaytay National Road. You will pass by the Tagaytay Rotonda (Ninoy Aquino Monument).
  • Go all the way.... On your Left side, you will pass:
    • Taal Vista
    • Splendido
  • On your Right side, you will pass:
    • Robinson's
    • SM's Save More
    • Bag of Beans
  • When you reach the Junction of Lemery (Petron Station at the Left), bear right and take the road that will lead you to Batulao. Consequently you will
  • pass the “Welcome to Nasugbu” arch. You will pass by Ever crest on your Left and Chateau Royale on your Right.
  • When you reach the Junction of Balayan (Caltex Station at the Right), bear right again to go to Nasugbu. (You will pass Central Azucarera de Don Pedro on your left side)
  • When you reach the Shell Gas Station (Left side), bear right to go to the Nasugbu Town Proper.
  • Go straight until you reach the road that will take you uphill. You will pass by the “Brgy Wawa” arch:
    • Canyon Cove
    • Kawayan Cove
    • Terrazas de Punta Fuego
    • Maya-Maya
    • Tali Beach
    • Peninsula de Punta Fuego
    • Pico de Loro/Hamilo Coast
  • Go further uphill until you reach Pico de Loro. Follow the signage of “Hamilo Coast”
Approximate expenses

Saturday, October 5, 2013

I'm 29, now what?

So I turned 29, last 2nd of October. I thought, well, I've never felt my age for a long time. I still feel I'm in my 20's trying to figure out how I could conquer the world...I mean, to travel around the world!

Nothing too special happened on the day except for the landslide of FB greets and a surprise cake from my youngest sister, who recently just got a stint at Dulcinea! Those little things are special but I guess the thing that I was looking forward to on my 29th is the start of my 30 to 30 bucket list.

Because I love listing stuff and things I want to do.

So for the next 365 days, my goal is to try to tick as many items in the list before I turn 30 next year!

I love challenging myself especially when that challenge is to travel to as many destinations that I could with the budget and time that I can afford. To juggle both work, personal, family and social responsibilities is quite a tiring task. I have to be patient but still keep my enthusiasm to keep and achieve what I want!

But yes, sometimes, I do get tired of chasing everything and everyone. Like, why can't I just stay home and wait for payday...joke!

Well, I'm just thankful that at the age of 29, I have achieved things I never thought I would achieve at my age. When I look back I felt it could probably be a mix of hard work, patience, stroke of luck and support of the best people around me!

So what's in store for me in the next 365's a preview...

Dubai - The Palm

Petra Jordan

New Year's at the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Vang Vieng, Laos

London, UK

Photo Credits: All photos are not mine and belong to their rightful owners. Click on the pic for the direct resource.

Sorry, the travel bug is active again!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Two Week Aussie Getaway

I'm supposed to continue writing about the details of the Batanes trips early this year. Yes, a more accounted write up of what happened in the 5 days that I stayed up north, but I decided to skip that and write an overview of the sort of "unplanned" Aussie trip last July.

While it is true that I didn't foresee another trip to Australia this year, I still had the nerve to prepare an itinerary. Besides, making the itinerary is one of my favourite past times! I was supposed to travel with my cousin, and that was the big ticket entry why I really had planned the trip.

Due to some delays, I had to go ahead and do the trip on my own. It was a shame that my cousin wasn't able to travel with me, but well, things happen and there is still another chance for us to travel, so don't worry!

I have planned this trip to cover other areas and states outside of New South Wales. I have been to Sydney a number of times and although I admit I won't get tired of it, I think it's my chance to try other places outside Sydney.

My itinerary includes a quick stop in Brisbane, then a week in Sydney, a day in Canberra, a weekend in Central Coast, two days in Melbourne and then back to Sydney. It was so exciting. I want to do something like this again. There were only a few days I thought about work, but most of the time as I was on the road, I didn't have chance to check emails and worry about stress from work. It was a nice breather for me.

Story Bridge at night

Australian War Memorial

Parliament House

The 12 Apostles - Great Ocean Road

Friends I met during the Great Ocean Road Tour

Hyatt Hotel and Louis Vuitton in Melbourne

Flinders St. Station

Snowboarding at Mt Buller

Art and graffiti in Newcastle

Pelicans and The Entrance

La Perouse

Fish and salad lunch near La Perouse
Anyhow, I will start listing the basic expenses for this trip. The thing that took up bulk of my expenses is the airline tickets Manila to Sydney and back. I stayed with relatives and friends for the most part of the trip so it was such a big help on my pocket.

The tours and transpo also took a bit of my budget. The bus to Canberra, the flights between Brisbane and Melbourne. I'll let you know about it. It does help that I also got to avail of the cheaper tour in the Great Ocean Road and Mt.Buller tour from the Metro Deal voucher! Got this tip from a CS friend - Kcia!

The trips wasn't just about going around places, I've been so happy to meet all my relative, friends, acquaintances, new friends and even my work mates. It was such a memorable time that it wasn't easy for me to move on from the hang over of this trip! The travel bug keeps on bugging me...

First Camping Trip of 2013: Pagbilao, Quezon

You know what I miss when it's weekend like this?  It's the camping trips I've done with a group of CS friends. I've been on a camping at Anawangin and Nagsasa. Both are really unforgettable and fun.

Last camping with CS is at Pagbilao, Quezon's Puting Buhangin which was another fun weekend.

Unfortunately, I think I already lost track of the expenses for this trip. But I remember since it was organised by CS, we just had to pay for our share in the transportation and food. I think it must be around 2000 pesos.

My friend Abby has her tent, which we shared for the night.

The boat on the way to the beach

We flew lanterns in the evening...lovely sight

The beach in the morning

Camping buddies - Abby and Drei

Photo before we put down the tent
Going to Puting Buhangin we took a bus, a tricycle and then a boat. Sorry I will try to include the cost next time! haha

So if you fancy a quick trip outside the busy city, head to this beach and camp with your friends!!!

Cebu: 2012's Year-End Trip

I have to thank the bed weather today. I finally got the impulse to start writing again here in my humble blog. 

Looking at my last post, I can't believe it was as far back as May when I last wrote something! I feel really lazy these days, swamped with work the past few months so I'm just happy I have weekends to savour and do stuff like writing.

There's a lot that has been going since my last post. I went to a 2 week trip to Aussie last July and by far it was one of the most wonderful trip this year. There are few more trips remaining for the year. Anyhow, I'll post more about those in my succeeding blogs. But for this time, I have to go ahead and continue with some backlogs.

Last December of 2012, I was gladly been invited to my classmate's wedding in Cebu. I know, we have to fly all the way to Visayas. Well, I took it as another way for me to travel and probably enjoy other sites I haven't been to in Cebu. It will only be my second time in Cebu, and the first time I went there was when we had a quick stop for our Dumaguete-Siquijor trip. So there were still some sites I haven't explored yet.

I booked my flight care of my Mabuhay Miles. So I only had to pay for the taxes. I think the total only went down to 900 pesos for that round trip flight. I was booked into the Business Class seat since there isn't any seats left on the economy. I flew via Philippine Airlines (not the AirPhil express) and there isn't really that much on the Business Class actually.

Personal On-seat TV/Monitor

Thank you Mabuhay Miles!

My in-flight snacks
I stayed in Tunes Hotel with my other classmates in UST. The wedding happens the next day.

2 Bedroom Accommodation

Tune Hotel just a walk from Ayala Center
It was quite a nice and clean hotel. It looks to be new and just got the basics. The twin room for 2 persons almost cost us 3000 pesos, with aircon and toiletries. You actually have to pay for the aircon and toiletries separate from the room accommodation.

It was a short walk from Ayala Center Mall so it was very convenient for us if we need to eat or buy any thing we need.

If I remember, I arrived in Cebu in the afternoon. I came with my aunt and cousin who are both staying at our relative in Cebu.

The following day was the wedding.

The wedding was held at the St. Joseph shrine and the reception at Crimson Hotel in Mactan.

That's me looking classy...:P

Crimson Hotel's Infinity Pool

The Beach just across the venue of the reception
Crimson Hotel was really nice and the beach looks refreshing. There was an infinity pool and by the looks of it the place seems expensive. Maybe one day I'll be back and try to stay there.

The day after the wedding, I was supposed to fly back to Manila but my aunt insisted I extend my stay so I get to attend my Lolo's 92th birthday. So I did. Without a blink of an eye, I bought another flight leaving on the day before new year!

I had a great time with my extended stay. Aside from meeting our relatives in Cebu, I finally got the chance to visit other places. 

We went up the top of Crown Regency. Dropped by the TOPS, it was one of the stops in the Amazing Race Philippines. We also went to Plantation Bay Mactan and Fort San Pedro.

Magellan's Cross

I want the Dora balloon haha
Edge Coaster at Crown Regency

Getting a view of Cebu City from the top of Crown Regency

Nice and quaint bar in TOPS
Cebu is almost like Manila. Very commercialized too.

Anyhow, I consider this trip a great year-ender for my 2012. I would probably go back again to Cebu to see Oslob for the whale sharks unless I get to see them already in Donsol. Yes, it's on my bucketlist too.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Brisbane Trip Day 3

It was my last day before I fly back to Sydney.

The plan for the day is to go up Mt. Gravatt and check out the view of the city. We also did some bush walking.

Some info and map on Mt.Gravatt

Overlooking view of the city

Quick trip to childhood. Haha

Playtime with Sharlyn

What a tall tree. I look soooo small

Wishy wish flower/plant.

What am i doing...haha
After the bush walking, we head to a mall to take lunch. A few rests and then we went back to the house to pick up my things. It was so fun hanging out in Brisbane. Hoping next time, I'll have more time to explore other sites.

I wish I could also go far as the Great Barrier Reef.