Friday, March 28

The 5th Philippine International PyroMusical Competition

I love festivities and New Year's eve is one of my most favorite.  Me and my travel-blogging friends were given the opportunity by our sponsors to witness New Year's Eve again on the last night of the The 5th Philippine International PyroMusical Competition held at the SM Mall of Asia grounds where USA was the last performer and the Philippines showcased its special exhibition.

The venue was already filled with people from all walks of life as early as late afternoon.  They patiently waited for the show to start as the fireworks will not light up the sky until around 7:30 PM that night.  For those who love sunsets, getting there early is a sure bonus as you can catch front row seats facing the lovely Manila Bay.

Test fireworks were shown which were more than enough to solicit shouts from the eager crowd. As the lights dimmed, the DJ announced the start of the event. USA performed as the last contestant of the competition.

Atlas Pyro Vision

After which, the Philippines grandly took the stage.  

Platinum Fireworks, Inc.

A buffet-style dinner was served free. As tokens for us, we were given media passes, one free gold ticket and first-come first-served front-row seats.  Please forgive me for the humble fruits of my labor as this was my first time to cover a fireworks competition.

This even was made possible by all its sponsors

The announcement of winners capped the night wherein Canada was in first place, China in second place and United Kingdom in third place.

See you again in the next year's event!

Tuesday, March 25

Wander Photo: El Nido

Wow!  It's been a year since I have visited and fallen in love with El Nido.  Four days were not enough to fully explore the place but it was more than enough to declare her the love of my life. Let's go back to El Nido and fall in love with me once more.

Wednesday, March 19

That Big White Ship

The wind coming from the sea caused my friend's ticket to go aflutter on the floor, causing a bit of panic in her.  If not for the reminder from the kind woman behind us, hers would have been lost in the hustle and bustle of Bacolod City's port where the cackles of bound chicken and distant barks of dogs were our background music. What happened was funny because that almost convinced her to turn around and flee.

As we boarded the gigantic ship, I clearly remembered my heart began to pound wildly in my ears.  
I felt the staccato beating of my heart, as it grew louder with each step that I made on the wooden stairs, whilst feeling this weird urge of wanting to drop my heavy luggage to the waters below.  I stared up at the long line of people being swallowed into the ship's swollen belly.  It reminded me of a giant sea creature, lying on the sea shore, diligently waiting to be fed.

We found ourselves entertained in the idea of going on a sea voyage. So it was both exciting and nerve-racking for first-timers like us.  After checking into our room, my itchy feet longed to wander and my curious eyes began to roam around.  I began taking pictures of myself in the reception area, slipped into the small store nearby and silently cursed after seeing how expensive the prices were.  Talk about going on diet that night!  Then again, it was a trip that carried a lot of memorable firsts.

Wednesday, March 12

Burot Beach

It has been months since my last foray on the road and I was excited as a bumble bee when my itchy feet finally took their first step outside on a cool Sunday morning.  I sent my friend a message a week before asking if she wants to hit the beach.  She immediately said yes and suggested we visit Burot Beach upon seeing the nice photos across the web.

Since we are not living within Metro Manila, I found it hard planning our logistics since we hail from Sta. Rosa City, Laguna.  Not wanting to arrive at sunset, we met and left at four in the morning and took the longer route by public transport.

Tuesday, March 11

India Trip at a Glance

Ah, and finally my India series comes to a close. It seemed like years but it has just been several months since I came home from India.  I am very grateful that I did not decide not to come here as I know I would regret it for the rest of my life.  I still remember butterflies were dancing in my stomach as me and buddy Marx were waiting for our late afternoon flight to Bangalore.  It was like meeting a potential boyfriend on a first date.  Only this time, the love story is much better.

Brave in Bangalore

Lal Bagh Botanical Garden

For what seemed such a long time, we encountered several bloopers before we finally settled down in our hotel in Bangalore.  Here where was I had my first taste of everything Indian.  From spicy food to seeing animal-drawn vehicles in the busiest parts of the city streets.  Bangalore's cool weather helped calmed the nervous me.  

Friday, March 7

Cheap Accommodation in Baler: Jam Jen's Lodge

Updated Rates | 2014

P 800   - Double Room | 2 pax (no heater/shower)
P 1000 - Double Room | 2 pax (with heater/shower)
P 1400 -  Double Room | 2 pax (tv, aircon)
P 1500 - Double Room | 2 pax (tv, aircon, hot & cold shower)
P 4000 - 6 pax (tv, aircon, hot & cold shower)

Location:  Jam Jen's Lodge, Bahia I, Baler, Aurora
Contact persons:  Marlon or Marivic
Contact numbers:  09215983588 | 09162001731

Tuesday, March 4

Off to Pattaya!

After spending two full weeks in the incredible country that is India, Marx and I decided to spend one night in Thailand before finally departing for our home country, the Philippines.

Being an employee of the world's largest hotel chain (InterContinental Hotels Group), gave us the privilege in staying in this posh hotel at a very low price.  Marx was ecstatic upon seeing our room with a view. ;-)

Holiday Inn Pattaya