Saturday, January 28, 2012

7,000 and More Reasons to Choose the Philippines on Your Grand Vacation

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sail Away with Puerto Galera Yacht Club

Destination: PHILIPPINES, Mindoro Island, White Beach

Picture this! Me, sailing in a white catamaran, wearing solid white, stylish yachting clothes, while sea breeze blowing on my face on a sunset cruise.... Socializing in beautiful, tropical Puerto Gallera with like minded individuals, reveling the pleasures of sailing.....

Oh yes, my mind was sailing away when I told you that I'm planning to revisit Puerto Gallera.

You know what?  I did! But I didn't go cruising  :-(


'Twas my second time to visit the jewel of Mindoro province later last year with my favorite travel buddies Peachy and Anney. Our cousin Joff , CIL Beck, and niece Shy joined us to celebrate Ykaie's Hawaian themed Birthday Party.

We took a bus from Buendia terminal to Batangas pier, about three hours ride. Ticket was Php 170 per person. When we reached Batangas Port,  Father and Son Lines crew arranged our transfers to and from Puerto Gallera.I forgot how much it cost but what I remember was we also paid P50 environmental fee and the P30 terminal fee each.

I would say that it is the most favorite destination of the residents of Metro Manila because of its proximity to the City. During long weekends and holidays, local and foreign tourists flocks to this beautiful destination. Im sure, rates are kinda high during those seasons.

I've found out, there are many reason to revisit Puerto Gallera if you hoped for water sports activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, and my ultimate dream....cruising.

Puerto Gallera has three ports, Sabang , Muelle, and White Beach. Anney, picked White Beach the farthest of the three. Our first stop was Sabang, the ferry  needed to drop and pick-up passengers. Argh... the long wait was killing me. Next time, I'll DIY my transfers so that I could save time to enjoy my trip.

Next ferry stop was at Muelle, located on the northeast coast of Mindoro Island.

Inside a historic, natural typhoon shelter.....

.... there lies all the glory of Puerto Galera Yacht Club at approximately N13° 30.75' E120° 57.25' 

Look! a parade of  white and blue yachts! 

The yachts were very shy, unaware of the their beauty capturing my soul...

My growing desire to cruise was haunting me again when I saw these beautiful yachts silently seducing me,   but sailing was out of the picture when we planned this three day vacation. 

On other day in paradise perhaps, I convinced myself.

I wish I could print it like the way I see it in my naked eye. 

So here, I made this post to remind me of this personal goal. 

Plus, I made a little research on how much would it cost. 

Puerto Galera Yacht Club offers sailing courses (Basic, Intermediate and Advanced) cover three days of full time tuition with maximum time on the water. Sailing courses are supervised by a full-time instructor, safety boat and crew. All safety equipment is provided as part of the course fee. Click here for the rates and thorough information.

I think, I'm gonna revise my bucket list and put cruising on the top list of the things I need to do before I die...hmmm..

Puerto Galera Yacht Club

P.O. Box 30450 Sto Niño
Puerto Galera
Oriental Mindoro

Telephone: +63 43 287-3401
Facsimile: +63 43 287-3401
Mobile Phone: +63 917-520-5874

Healthy Living with Walgreens

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walgreens for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

The biggest hindrance in traveling is sickness. You won't be able to enjoy your vacation if you are suffering from terminal illnesses or even simple diseases like migraine. A lot of people agree that prevention is more better that cure. That is why I am taking careful steps to a healthy living so I could travel more, explore more places, meet more people, learn more ideas, and gain more experiences.

In my effort to continuously living in good shape I am pleased to share with you the latest discovery I found online. This is about an online pharmacy, Walgreens. The website has a wide range of  programs that won't only teach you healthiest methods but will also lead you to healthy rewards.


-Savings on more than 8,000 brand-name and all generic medications
-Discounts on flu shots, pet prescriptions, nebulizer and diabetic supplies
-Bonuses when you purchase Walgreens brand products and photo finishing services

The biggest health news never ends there, because Walgreens is offering a special discount on annual membership for its Prescription Savings Club:Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens . For $10 a year, a family membership covers everyone in your immediate family, including a spouse, dependents 22 and younger and pets. Individuals may join for $5. Join and receive discount prices on your prescriptions.

I would say that this is another brilliant and innovative healthy ideas. On behalf of Walgreens, I'd like to welcome you to a more healthier lifestyle! Join Walgreens on Facebook and Walgreens on Twitter  to learn more!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Discovering. More Fun in the Philippines

***This post has been revised.

Yesterday, this post title was "Chasing Rainbows. More Fun in the Philippines"

The Mitra's Ranch picture has been deleted.

The image owner, through a common friend, requested to delete it because she'll be selling it.

Sorry Marj, seems that your "love omen" will be sold soon.

So I made one to replace it....

Seems that every travel blogger have their own "More fun" slogan.

Here's my take on the Department of Tourism's "Its more fun in the Philippines" slogan.

Here's another one from Marcial Bolen...

and one from Faye Esteban, taken in San Vicente Palawan one summer day.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Join! Pimp My Cube Contest and Win Approximately $1200 Office Makeover

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Contest Factory for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
You and your team did not meet the deadline last month-end because of the poor internet connection and outdated software.

You are sipping the worst instant coffee from the vendor machine to keep you awake.

You are tired to see the clutter surrounding around you because your company doesn't even have a garbage can for your department.

You want to move to another company but you can't because you love what you do, you love the people around you and you are committed to the organization you are working with.
You definitely need an Office makeover!
This is the time to make a big difference!  Join the Pimp My Cube Contest!
The contest has a total grand prize value of approximately $1200. The prize is to upgrade your office with one of three prize packages.

New high end computer system, New Desk, Chair and Decorations, New Entertainment Package with high end stereo, espresso machine etc.

More Prizes!
A second sweepstakes prize of a $200 gift card will be awarded to the registered user chosen by random drawing at the end of the contest period.

Here are the mechanics;

1) Upload a video showing your worst, most pathetic and messy  workspace and explain the details about why it is horrible and why it is so important that Contest Factory come in to ‘Pimp’ your cube.

2) Invite your friends, family and coworkers to register at (Pimp My Cube Contest) and vote for your video. You will get sweepstakes entry points for registering, voting, commenting and inviting others to register for the contest.

The grand prize of your cube being ‘pimped’ will be selected by CF judges based on various criteria including for the most votes, best (really worst) video and most compelling story.

The contest period is from 12/5/11 at 12:00 PM to 1/31/12 at 12:00 PM. Right now no one has uploaded a video yet so the chances of winning are very good.

Remember,  your video should be fun and witty – anything goes!!  Be very creative! The better the story, the funnier the video – the better chances of winning.
So what are you waiting for,  go register on Pimp My Cube Contest!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Utopia 2012 Preview

At the break of dawn,
I'll see you in this shore.

The beach,

the lakes,

the mountains,

the waterfalls,

are my brothers...

Stories about them will be told throughout my adventures this year.

My Gest continues,

I will never stop until I reach my destination, Utopia.

The birds,

the wild flowers,

the fish,

are my friends and companion through this journey.

This year's gest will be the best of local destinations, 

Let's  re-explore the Philippines' top summer destinations, Puerto Gallera and Boracay.

Hopefully, trace my footsteps going back home, Palawan. perhaps on the 2nd Quarter.

I'll show you the best way to El Nido at the end of this year.

Almost definite, I'll be your personal attendant in Bellaroca this merry month of  May.

I'll buy Human Services books for this.

Let's Go!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Philippine Festivities || January 2012

I heard from the news that the Department of Tourism's new logo will be launched today. I had a quick visit to the website but the new logo was not yet available, maybe later today. Browsing the website, I clicked on the Philippine Calendar of Festivities for January and thought of sharing this to y'all.

January is the best month to explore the Visayas region where majority of the festivities are being celebrated. Apart from its beautiful tropical islands, festivals like Ati-atihan, Sinulog and Dinagyang are the most popular among local and foreign tourists. The BORACAY INT’L FUN BOARD CUP, the country’s biggest windsurfing event is the most awaited event with participants from all over Asia

Philippines, being dominated by Catholicism, celebrates the Feast of Sto Nino throughout the country. Sinulog in Cebu City is the biggest biggest and most popular festival honoring the Holy Image of Senyor Santo Niño de Cebu. Meanwhile in Manila, millions are expected to join Nazarene feast.

Here's the complete list of Philippine Calendar of Festivities in January 2012 taken from DOT's Website.

STO. NIÑO FESTIVAL | Nationwide | Every first week of January
A grand procession of over two hundred well-dressed images of the Child Jesus.

BULAKLAKAN FESTIVAL | Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila | January 1
Annual procession, parade of flowers and costumes.

ATI-ATIHAN FESTIVAL | Kalibo, Aklan | January 3- January 16
Scene of a yearly celebration in honor of Sto. Nino held every third week of January, popularly known worldwide as Ati-Atihan. So called because Aklanons, domestic and foreign tourists, wipe soot on their faces and done ethnic paraphernalia and masquerade around town as Negritos and make merry and dance in the streets to the beat of ambulant ethnic troubadours.

BAILES DE LUCES | La Castellana, Negros Occicental | January 5
The town’s celebration of Charter Day and a befitting culmination of the Christmas season, the festival is conceptualized as a festival of hope and thanksgiving. Thanksgiving for all the blessings received in the year that was and hope for a prosperous new year. Its unique feature is the use of lights or “luces” as props and adornment and its nocturnal festivities and streetdancing.

| Lingayen, Pangasinan | January 9
Commemoration of the liberation of Lingayen from the Japanese forces by Gen. Douglas Mc Arthur of the US Pacific Command.   

FEAST OF THE BLACK NAZARENE | Quiapo, Manila | January 9
An intense, day-long festival highlighted by a mammoth procession through the streets.

ARAW NG KORONADAL | Koronadal | January 10
Translated literally, it means "Day of Koronadal" and indeed it is. Hinugyaw Festival, dubbed as the "Festival of Festivals", is a celebration of the different cultures that has dwelled on the fertile valley of Koronadal for many years now.   

BINANOG FESTIVAL | Lambunao, Iloilo | January 10- January 16
Binanog is a yearly festivities celebrated by the Lambunaonos every January in honor of infant Jesus. Binanog means a pool of dance by the people in hinterland of Lambunao. The following are the Binanugan, the dance depicting the movement of the birds, the Inagong sayaw-sayaw, a celebration dances and the Dinagmay, the courtship dance. The dance movement is accompanied by lively drum beatings.

SINULOG (KABANKALAN) FESTIVAL | Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental | January 10- January 16
Revelers garbed in distinctively colorful costumes with bare bodies painted in black soot take to the streets to the riotous and frenzied beats of drums celebrating the feast of El Señor Sto. Niño.

MAKATO STO. NIÑO FESTIVAL | Poblacion Makato, Aklan | January 16
The ati-atihan festival of Makato dates back before the Spaniards came to sow the seeds of Christianity into this land. During the celebration, thousands of Catholic devotees from all over the country and those from abroad felt the urge to come and join in the wholesome, frolic and religious fervor of thanksgiving to the Holy Child, Sto. Niño.

PASUNGAY FESTIVAL | San Joaquin, Iloilo | January 15
Celebrated every 3rd Saturday of January. This spectacular & exciting event find its origin on a hillside in one of the inland barangays of the municipality when resting farmers witness for the first time the fight between the two raging bulls, set loose by their herdsmen. It caught the fancy of the barangay folks and soon it became a popular entertainment in most barangay fiestas. During the municipal fiesta, the best bulls from different barangays are pitted against each other by weight category in a “Bull Derby”.

KAHIMUNAN FESTIVAL | Libertad, Butuan City | January 16
Butuan''s version of the Sinulog of Cebu which has an equally lively and spectacular street dancing.

PANGISDAAN FESTIVAL | Brgy. Tangos, Navotas | January 16
One of the highlights of the Navotas Day celebration featuring a street dancing and float competition focusing on the fishing industry.

KINARADTO FESTIVAL | Buenavista, Guimaras | January 16
This cultural festival makes maximum use of the rich cultural tradition of the oldest municipality of the province. The presentation of songs, dances and musical tableau depicts the various influences Buenavista has been subjected to. Celebrated in honor of the town’s patron saint, Sr. Sto. Niño, Kinaradto promises the participant loads of unforgettable positive experiences.

BATAN ATI-ATI MALAKARA FESTIVAL | Poblacion Batan, Aklan | January 16
The participants celebrating this festival wear masks made up of paper mache and prepared costumes. The festival is celebrated in honor of the Sto. Niño with merry making for a bountiful harvest, peace and prosperity, street dancing along the streets and plaza of the poblacion. A holy mass is celebrated before the start of the contest on Sunday morning proceeded with a parade of participating tribes.   

FIRE WORKS DISPLAY & CONTEST | Arevalo, Iloilo City | January 16
Highlights of this District Fiesta of Arevalo are the multicolor fireworks. The skyline becomes a celebration with the dazzling display of sparkles and blazing lights.

BANSUDANI FESTIVAL/FEAST OF THE DEVINE SAVIOR | Bansud, Mindoro Oriental | January 17-19
A thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest which coincides with town fiesta. It features dances and cultural presentations by schools and barangay communities.

| Janiuay, Iloilo | January 19
“Sadsad Sa Kalye” is a dynamic mass presentation expressing the beliefs, views, visions and aspirations of the Janiuaynons based upon tradition, historical experiences, and culture of the people of Janiuay. It is a street-dancing affair buoyed by the kaleidoscopic prism of cultured grace and fineness that reflects the embodiment of all that are beautiful in man’s body and soul. “Sadsad” is a native word meaning dance.

SINULOG FESTIVAL | Cebu City | January 16
Celebrated every 3rd Sunday of January, is Cebu''s biggest and most popular festival. The feast is in honor of the Holy Image of Senyor Santo Niño de Cebu. Fiesta Senyor, as it is widely known, is the most celebrated among Cebu''s festival where people converge along the routes of a grand solemn procession and partake in the gaiety amidst a mardi gras parade immersed in wild colors and the constant beating of drums.

PANDOT SA BACOLOD | Bacolod City, Negros Occidental | January 20
A true to life dramatization depicting the life of Bacoleños during the Spanish times and the life of being a Catholic

BINULIGAY FESTIVAL | Jamindan, Capiz | January 20
A cultural and fiesta celebration.   

ALTAVAS STO. NIÑO FESTIVAL | Poblacion Altavas, Aklan | January 21- January 22
This day marked the end of the Fil-American war in Altavas. Since then, January 22 is being celebrated as an Annual Thanksgiving and Armistice Day in Altavas. Later, the date was adopted as its municipal town fiesta. This is the continuation of the joyous celebration of peace when Fil-American war ended in this municipality.

DINAGYANG FESTIVAL | Iloilo City | January 22- January 23
A spectacular street merrymaking in honor of the Holy Child Jesus.

A spectacular street merrymaking in honor of the Holy Child Jesus.

A religious feast in honor of its patron saint Sto. Niño, held by transferring the holy image of the patron from Ibajay Cathedral Rectory and enthronement at St. Peter Parish Church, by way of amusing the image from where it was originally discovered and brought to the church

DINAGSA ATI-ATIHAN FESTIVAL | Cadiz City, Negros Occidental | January 24- January 30
A revelry from sunrise to sunset, with ceaseless and rhythmic beating of drums. A sea of humanity in cadence with black soot “ati” performing rituals, all in honor of El Señor Sto. Niño. A spectacular fluvial parade where the Infant Jesus is carried aboard a fishing boat around the river, out to sea and back. “Dinagsa” connotes the sudden surge of good things washed ashore, such as the generous catch of fish and other sea foods, which Cadiz is famous for. Throw all cares to the wind as you street dance with gaily-costumed ati-tribes. Be game however if you find your own face painted black by playful ATIS.

SANA-AW FESTIVAL | Jordan, Guimaras | January 28
Primarily a celebration of the economic endeavor that made Jordan what it is today. Sana-aw also pays tribute to the skillful artisans and the enduring workers in an endearing characterization through dance drama.

HINIRUGYAW FESTIVAL | Calinog, Iloilo | January 30- February 6
An annual festivity of Calinog’s devotion to Sr. Sto. Niño. It is a nine day event and its activities consist of an opening salvo, food fest, live Sto. Niño contest among young boys not older than seven years old, Search for Lin-ay Kang Hinirugyaw and the contest proper for all participating tribes in three judging areas.

STO. NIÑO FESTIVAL | Malolos, Bulacan | January 30
The Malolos Sto. Niño featuring a week long exhibits, a month procession featuring more than a hundred caros of drivers Sto. Niño images.

BALOT SA PUTI FESTIVAL | Pateros | January 31
One of the highlights of the Pateros Town Fiesta celebration

BORACAY INT’L FUN BOARD CUP | Bulabog Beach, Boracay, Malay, Aklan | January 31- February 5
The country’s biggest windsurfing event drawing participants from all over Asia.

PABIRIK FESTIVAL | Paracale, Camarines Norte | January 23 - February 2
Held in the town of Paracale,  highlighted by “pabirik” street dancing depicting the gold mining industry in the province.  It coincides with the 400th year Foundation Anniversary of Our Lady of Candelaria, the town’s Patron Saint. 

SAN PABLO COCO FESTIVAL | San Pablo City, Laguna | January 3-16
A weeklong celebration highlighted by a Mardi Gras with participants’  costumes made of coconut-derived materials.

FEAST OF THE THREE KINGS | Poblacion, Gasan, Marinduque | January 3
A feast honoring the Three Kings who are visiting the houses around the Poblacion of Gasan.

FLUVIAL PROCESSION - Batangas City | Batangas City | January 7
Fluvial parade at the sea to Calumpang River and merrymaking at the capital town.

BINIRAY FESTIVAL | Romblon, Romblon | January 9
Fluvial parade at the sea, merrymaking and  street dancing contest at the capital town.   The feast honors the Sto. Niño.

KAWAYAN FESTIVAL | Magdalena, Laguna | January 16 – 18
A celebration highlighted by street dancing competition with  participants’ costumes made of bamboo grass materials.

SIKHAYAN FESTIVAL | Sta. Rosa City, Laguna | January 18
Held every 18th of January, the Bayanihan Foundation Parade is a street fest displaying the bayanihan or Filipino command spirit of cooperation which makes seemingly in possible feasts realization.  The event highlights the four evolution of the town from aquatic, agriculture, professional and to a industrial progressive city.

SALIBANDA | Paete, Laguna | January 17,18,24 & 25
A religious festival honoring the Sto. Niño or Jesus, the Holy Child. This is characterized by street dancing, Mardi Gras with participants pouring water among each other, recreating perhaps, the baptismal rites of  the old.

DUGOY FESTIVAL | Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro | January 18
The event showcases the rich cultural heritage of the indigenous people, specifically that of the Mangyan people, through activities such as street dancing, exhibits and cultural shows.  The main concept is to promote and celebrate the “Dugoy Spirit” of camaraderie among the people of different culture and the harmonious relationships of the Sablayeños.

A procession held at the Lumban River, where the icon of the patron saint San Sebastian together with hundreds of devotees is afloat on  “Kaskitos”, or bunch of big boats.

FEAST OF STO. NIÑO | Buenavista, Marinduque | January 19
A celebration in honor of its patron saint, Señor Sto. Niño characterized by street dancing and other religious and cultural events.

HARING KALABAW | Brgy. Hupi, Sta. Cruz, Marinduque | January 3rd Week
Carabaos are dressed and paraded around the barangay; Dancing and Singing events are likewise held.

FEAST OF SAN ILDEFONSO TOLEDO | Tanay, Rizal | January 23-24
The town fiesta in honor of San Ildefonso de Toledo is held every January 23rd . Musical  band sponsored by the nine barangays  roam around the town.  The musical exhibition and competition is held in the afternoon of January 24.  Painting exhibition,  carnival and amateur  singing competitions are likewise held.

| Candelaria, Quezon | January 31 to February 2
A three-day celebration from January 31 to February 2, to reflect the devotion of the people of Candelaria in “Nuestra Senora de Candelaria” likewise known as the Candlemas Virgin. It shows insights on the magnificence of the culture and tradition in the locality.  The candle float parade and street dancing competition are among the major activities of the festival.

KANNAWIDAN YLOCOS FESTIVAL | Ilocos Sur | January 27 - February 3
Activities include: mass at the St. Paul Cathedral,  procession  around the city, “Talent Night ti Saniata” where local songs will be aired, beauty contest,  “Partuat ken Patanor Trade Fair,” concerts, Delphic Games, horse race, Quiz bee, on-the-spot painting, Iloco poem writing, Kannawidan a pay-ayam-Sarsuela Ilocana, Bingo Game and Battle of the Bands