Category Archives: Travel

Beach Bound (1/2)

This is not a post-summer escapade or an early summer treat. This is merely having FUN. 

When you choose to go to the beach during off-peak season it is because you can save a lot, certainly because there is rain and it was raining gigantic cats and dogs the time we left for Boracay. Boracay though was still in a summer hangover exactly the same time when the recent heavy monsoon rain was striking Manila. It was blistering hot and the sun I’ve been chasing in in the metro was just there all this time. The wind was rather strong, quickly morphing ripples to waves.

I will not share my personal musings on the vacation. I choose to share things that might be helpful to some who are planning to go on a trip to Boracay in this season.

The crowd: It wasn’t jampacked as we expected but the place doesn’t look like it is on its off the peak season. It seems that their resources are just enough to cater the number of people during that time. It made me realize I should avoid Boracay in the summer for a vacation should be easy and relaxing and waiting in a long queue is never in my itinerary.

The majority were foreigners. There were Americans, Iranians, Chinese, Japanese (most were inked with big tattooes and I can’t help not to be reminded of Sandi Fellman’s photos of these Irezumis)  and a lot of Koreans. Some greeted us in their native tongue, “Annyeong haseyo” and it felt necessary to answer with the same I we did. But it’s strange that it’s us who needs to cope. I should have said “Kamusta”, my friend then quipped, “Sabi sayo tayo ang turista dito eh.” Well, after learning that the facilities we used in the activities (below) were funded by Japanese investors, bubble thought popped, “Aba, medyo parang ganun nga ah.”

Here are the things we tried in chronological order. We’re lucky we’ve sequenced the activities right—from light to extreme.

1. ATV

The brief briefing. He tackled the ATV controls and safety precautions. There were to routes to take and we chose the Aviary + Ocean Tower trail but with additional cost. The other path is a one-stop ride, straight to Puka beach. 

  

This may be the least extreme but it’s a steep cliff you’re going to roll onto and some edges of the trail have no barriers. 

I bumped into these tires and got stuck in between them less than 5 minutes into driving the ATV. My helmet threw in a projectile (just to emphasize the impact haha). Good thing the crew were quick to rescue (sobra naman) but I was even quicker because I was able to take a photo of the view from where I was stuck. And that was our first “epic” stop.

 

At the aviary

still in the aviary

Ocean Tower, they said that this is the highest spot in Boracay. You can see the island in a bird’s eye view here. 

2. Zorb

You’ll get inside a big ball, it can accommodate up to three persons. The ball will then be pushed to roll. There’s water inside, so the tendency is for you to swing in obtuse angles. 

Tsk tsk, this is long already. To be continued…here.

Fotonotes: Photos were either by me or Richard Mandras, edited (naks) by yours truly using Pixlr-o-matic. 


Beach Bound (2/2)

…continued from here.

I came, I saw, I conquered Manila flood for beach waves. I ain’t so proud of it but hey this was booked months before. So here we were, veni, vidi, beaching!

3. Helmet Diving

It is walking on seabed and feeding the fishes with bread. The fee includes photo and video coverage. 🙂

4. Island hopping  and Snorkeling 

I cannot remember much from here except going inside caves in Crystal Cove (resort) which started the argument about the difference between a cave and a cove. The debate is over identifying which of the words is in present/past tense. Tough.

The way to enter one of the caves…

The water at the end of caves is too salty, it stings.

On our way to the next cave… I figured this should be called cave hopping.

Using the same boat we headed to the snorkeling area

5. Flyfish

This is so unlike your ordinary banana boat. It hops on the surface of sea and when goes vertical as the speedboat pulling us accelerates. You have to grab the handle really really tight especially if you have someone behind you. If you lose grip chances are you slam his face with your entire self.

The first casualty, my friend behind me. He can’t stand my butt on his face so he decided to go offer himself to the sea even before I let go of the ropes.

In the end, we all ended up in the water and the Flyfish boat literally flew. Here we were after losing our wits to the sea. 

6. Tornado Jet / Turbojet 

The Japanese won’t call these “tornado/turbo” for nothing. It’s an overspeeding boat that drifts (as in a car drift) in some alanganin places like along the shore of Puka Beach and somewhere near a huge rock we almost hit. It turns 360 degrees at moments you can’t predict. Our bangkero must be a pro! Here’s the only photo and nothing more followed. We totally lose ourselves.

Other activities to try are parasailing, scuba diving, jetskiing, helicopter tour service and a lot more but our wallets chickened out.

Fotonotes: Photos were either by me or Richard Mandras, edited (naks) by yours truly using Pixlr-o-matic. 

——End——-


Universal Studios Singapore by the Wondering Wanderer

The next thing that happened after seeing the graceful turning of this globe was us screaming (in falsetto like bitches lol) in disbelief. We’ve never seen a globe this big! haha.  No, it was a dream that has just came true.  It must be the smoke effect that added to the drama.

We jumped on our way to the entrance, we just don’t know where to start.

My first 4D experience, at Shrek’s castle 

One of the attractions: Enchanted Airways, it’s like the Roller Skater in Enchanted Kingdom, a junior roller-coaster.

Here are some shots while on the ride

The theme park has 7 divisions: Ancient Egypt, Hollywood, Madagascar, Lost World, Sci Fi City, New York and Far Far Away

Revenge of the Mummy, one of the attractions from Ancient Egypt. It’s an indoor roller coaster in total darkness! We have overcome it twice. 

Treasure Hunters, a jeep ride for kids.

Dino-soarin, I missed my neice Kelly, she’ll definitely not miss this flying dinosaur.

My favorite: Sci-fi City, it has two of the most amazing attractions

Transformers, it’s a 4D movie like Shrek but less vigorous and not done in a theater. It has 3 or 4 screens and the little car you ride will go about the next screen for the next scene. This is not your typical 4D movie experience I swear. With Transformers, they make sure you are a big part of the movie. 🙂

Battlestar Galactica: Two roller coasters intertwined—Cyclon (blue rail) and Human (the red rail). Human  was pretty lame, haha, can’t help not to compare it with Enchanted Kingdom’s Space Shuttle. Cyclon  though was so bad-ass! A lot of twists and turns and loops then stops. The best roller-coaster ride in my entire life!  If only I could bring a camera to capture the speeding ride, but you’re not allowed to bring anything but yourself, so I left my camera and my friend. Haha. No, she wouldn’t go for thrills like this.  

Note: Be patient to get a seat on the front row. The view is a lot better, everyone wants a seat there. 

Some pictures from the Hollywood and New York 

Checking out pasalubong items while eating churros 🙂

There’s a whole lot more to USS but here’s what I can share for now. 

—END—


My Singapore Flyer Story as told by Diana Mini and Bell + Howell

The facade

Each of the 28 capsules can hold up to 28 passengers. Engineers, why 28?

Hundreds or maybe thousands of steel cables hold the wheel safe and tight. 

A breathtaking view of the Marina bay, the Art Science Museum (lotus flower) on the left and the Esplanade (hardly noticeable) on the far right

Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Sky Park. Gorgeous but can’t run away from a raging tsunami. 😛

A diagonal shore shot from the top of the wheel *goose bumps*

More shots half-way down the wheel *not much excited to set foot on the ground*

Here’s a view of the facade from the capsule right before we alight. 

THE YELLOWS > Lomography Redscale XR 50-200 on Diana Mini 

THE BLUES > Kodak Ektachrome E200 on Bell + Howell BF 35

—END—



The Faces of Singapore

The one-man orchestra

The oldies barkada chillin’ by the Tiong Bahru Road. *Naks “chillin’”*

The half-blind man in transit

The McDonalds cashier said, “Anong sa inyo?” in a strong Indian accent.

Cheerful grandma heading to the market 

Chinese New Year promotional mascot at VivoCity

Senior citizen utility girl happy to serve

Universal Studios cashier

The sales talk master

The commuter at the bus station so eager to small talk 


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