Random Thoughts + Happy birthday MELA!

Sorry about the week-long absence, yet again! I know, I know... I should try to keep you guys entertained. Hahaha.

Anyway, there isn't a lot of things going on recently so there's nothing to blog about. So in this post, perhaps I will just share my thoughts recently.

So I'm kind of interested in going to Australia. I know, I know. It will be difficult for someone like me--a single, average-earning, 23-year-old girl.; 3 ; No, I have no properties... Not alone a proper bank account. Hahahaha. Anyway, tomorrow, perhaps I will open an account. It will be so busy tomorrow! I have lots of things to do. I have at least three things to accomplish *OUTSIDE* of the comfort of my house. OTL and I need to go to the University to get my grades too *sigh.*

Back to the Australia thing though... Yeah. Do I even stand a chance to get a VISA?! Darnit. I wanna see the world... But my passport (and my budget) is limiting me. TT_TT I wonder if I can make it? I need some advice and some tips so someone please message me! Hahaha. :D

Also, today is my good friend's birthday! We couldn't have a celebration/gathering because she has some stuff to accomplish and I have work... But I did buy her a cake. Yey. Truth be told, I wanted that cake so you can say I kinda bought it for my self too. Hahaha. :'D

Here she is squatting on the floor with the roll cake. Hahaha. Didn't even take any better picture that day, huh? XDD

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MELA! <3


P.S.
I meant to post this on the night of her birthday (10/30) but it completely slipped my mind! Woot. Haha. Anyway, it's the thought that counts, right?!

********************::

Now, I was saying earlier in this post that I'm "interested" in going to Australia. But today (10/31), I read some stuff on a forum that made me think twice about my travelling. Sure, I super love travelling and I definitely want to see the world! But, as you all guys know, I spend *all* as in literally *all* of my savings when I travel. After getting home from vacation I have na-da~ OK. So just a little money to help me survive until next pay day. TT_TT But you get it.

I turned 23 this month... And I have NO savings. I don't know if it's lucky I found that thread in the forum today... Cause now, suddenly, I want to start saving for my future. So how about my travels now, huh?! I would save a little over 50% of my money every time I'm saving for my travels... But now, I'm thinking, I should divide that and keep maybe 20% for personal savings and 30% for travel. Yeah right? Travel still gets the bulk. lol

But what do you guys think about it? It means I will have to save for a longer time for my adventures and try to spend less as well. Oi... No more spa? How sad. And I *want to* make myself promise not to touch my personal savings unless it's for investment. Wow! Look at me... Spurting out words like investment. Haha. Goodness. I sound like an adult. lol

Well, what are you thoughts though? How old exactly are my readers, anyway? Do you have savings/investments? If you do, when did you start saving?! I feel like I'm totally lagging behind since I graduated 3 years ago, you know. Haha.

Anyway, if you're curious this is the thread I was talking about. This is a local thread so I don't think most of you will understand it. But if you can, I think, you know, join this forum! They cover a lot of topics and the content and advice members give there has been useful to me for more than one occasion. It's worth browsing then, right?

Anyhow, it's time to say goodbye now! See you all next time! <3

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Palawan 3 - Dos Palmas

I think this will be the final leg of my Palawan posts so be ready for a very long post with lots of pics ok! Hehe. This might take time to load for you so be patient. :P

Today, we will be talking about Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa formerly known as Dos Palmas Arreceffi Island Resort. It was a bit notorious before because back in 2001 a terrible, terrible incident happened there. If you are curious about the 2001 event, you search it up yourself, I don't really wanna go into details about that. BUT note that now, everything is safe and there is NOTHING for visitors to worry about.

Side note, I just checked out the website and it's waaaay better than before my trip! Haha.<3

Anyway, in the beginning there was difficulty communicating with Dos via e-mail. They would take over 3 days to reply to my e-mail sometimes and it got a bit annoying... But when we got there, all of these annoyances melted like ice cream under the sun. That island--it's a paradise!!!

The moment I set foot on the Dos Palmas dock, I was greeted by like, hundreds of different fishes swimming under my feet! I got so excited about it because at Sabang Beach, there were barely any.

Dos Palmas
Check out the clear turquoise water with lots of fishes right under my feet!!!

Dos Palmas
First glimpse of the white-sand beach. <3

Dos Palmas
We get greeted by tribal music playing and some welcome drinks!
Miss Nurse is right here in this pic too. She was so kind and she helped me take care of Kinopi when he had fever~ <3

Dos Palmas
Dos Palmas Sign at the front desk. We were provided with suggested itinerary during our stay on the island. Wonderful, wonderful service. <3

Dos Palmas
I love how creative they were with the towels. <3

Dos Palmas
Two big beds and lots of gumamela (hibiscus) scattered around the room.

Dos Palmas
There were lots of trees and flowers everywhere. These are called talatalaan according to the gardener.

Dos Palmas crabs
Walking along the shore, we spot two crabs! I think they were fighting or something. :P
We also spotted two horseshoe crabs very near the shore! Would you believe that?! I couldn't take any picture though. What a shame. T_T

The afternoon was spent snorkeling. I actually wanted to try diving but I can't swim and I have a fear of deep water. Anyways, snorkeling was more than sufficient for me! It's like a whole new world under the water. Here are some snapshots from my boyfriend's camera.

Dos Palmas
Check out all the colorful fishes!

Dos Palmas
Our instructor tempting a giant clam. Haha. This is much bigger than it seems!

Dos Palmas
Fish feeding! They flocked to us when we offered food! One even bit me. Hahaha.

Dos Palmas
Corals and fishes!

The sunset at Dos was so enthralling! I have said on many occasions that I love sunsets. I have taken so many photos of sunsets more than I'd like to admit. Hahaha.

Dos Palmas beautiful sunset
This shot is taken right in front of our villa. We had some mangroves blocking the view and it gave a dramatic effect on this shot. Hehe. <3

The night was spent sleeping comfortably in the large beds provided for us. I just wished the pillows were softer. The ones at Sheridan's were much more comfortable for me. But my boyfriend said he didn't notice any difference so I guess it still works. Haha.

The next day, we visited Isla Puting Buhangin (translated as White Sand Island). This is part of the property of the Dos Palmas resort but it is a 10-15-minute ride from Arreceffi Island. It's just a small island covered in just, well, white sand! The surrounding water is shallow and you can go for a dip or hunt for some marine life. :P Unlike in Arreceffi Island, there were fewer fish here. I only managed to take a glimpse of some anemone fish and sea urchins. >_< My boyfriend was able to find some corals about a few hundred feet away from the island though and he said it was good. But, I wasn't able to see it. Fish are easier to find at Arreceffi. Hahaha. :P

At Isla Puting Buhangin, you can relax and maybe have a picnic.

Dos Palmas
Taking some pictures on the way to the island. The water is so beautiful, isn't it?

Dos Palmas
Here, you can see Isla Puting Buhangin.

Dos Palmas
Shallow water and a sand trail in the middle of the blue! Soooo pretty! <3

After coming back, we used the kayaks. It was my first time to ever use it. Sooo tiring!!! But now, our trip is about to end...

It's so sad we could only stay for a short while at Dos. I absolutely loved this place. The people were also so kind!

We were supposed to leave at 6am (based on their official guest boat schedule) for our 4pm flight because the next boat schedule is at 1:45pm which is a little too late for us. But during the late afternoon, after kayaking, one of the staff approached us and offered to board us on the 9am boat the next day! I was sooo happy about this as this means I do not have to wake up so early and I can go snorkeling again early morning. Hahahahaha. <3

Dos Palmas
That day, we witnessed yet again a beautiful sunset. I love Dos. I love love Arreceffi. <3

After breakfast, a 45-minute snorkeling adventure and a super-quick shower, it's time for check-out. T_T 
Dos Palmas
While checking-out, the staff were also preparing for the arrival of new guests (presumably from the 8am schedule as previously mentioned in my first entry about Palawan).

Dos Palmas
So you aren't surprised, I just want to note that the island is undergoing a make-over. Some facilities might be under renovation too. BUT this will not disrupt your vacation. I barely even noticed this.

Dos Palmas
Last snapshot. Good-bye Dos! I will so miss you. T_T

Arriving at the mainland, we boarded the free shuttle service of the resort and went to their office to leave our luggage. The Dos Palmas office is near NCCC mall. I thought it was a big mall and we can go explore it before going to Ka Lui for lunch, but frankly, it's nothing special. So we decided to go to Robinson's instead.  I asked the staff how much we should pay for a tricycle ride and he said about 50 pesos because it was far. During the ride, the tricycle driver said we can go to the souvenir shop too because it is on the way. I hesitated at first because I had a hunch of what I will find there already... But we still agreed and we went to the souvenir shop.

Puerto Princesa, Palawan
I swear you can see the same things in EVERY souvenir shop all over the Philippines. Haha

I ended up buying six tribal-mask refrigerator magnets for 100 pesos. And that's about it. ; 3 ; So, to my friends asking for "pasalubong" I'm sorry!!! But if you want one of the magnets, I'll give you. Be sure to ask soon as there are only 6 pieces. Lol

Afterwards, we went to Robinson's and when we got there the tricycle driver suddenly demanded for 100 pesos! I was like, wait why??? He said it's because he waited for us at the souvenir shop and that in fact it was just out of his kindness and it was a free service. Wtf. I told my boyfriend earlier that I wanted to give him extra because he waited for us, but now he is demanding for it and it is so annoying!!! I told him (the driver), "The price is only 8 pesos per person, right? And I asked the Dos Palmas staff and he said it was ok to give only 50 pesos." But he insisted he wanted 100 pesos. Damn! Some people are such cheating greedy monsters! I mean, it's not a lot of money and I would have offered it to him but he was insisting it was the fair price when I know IT IS NOT! I hate people like this. Anyway, we ended giving him all our loose change and that was about 70 or 80 pesos. But he went on and on as to how driving us to the souvenir shop was a free service and giving him 100 is only right. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODNESS!

Anyway, Robinson's is much better than NCCC. Haha. But it's nothing like the malls in Metro Manila. Hehe. We wasted about 2 hours there before going to Ka Lui, comparing prices of the commodities in Japan and in the Philippines. Lolol We bought some drinks and snacks so we can pay for tricycle later.

Going back to the Dos Palmas office, we were charged 60 pesos by the tricycle driver. >_> Going to Ka Lui, however, even with our heavy luggage on board the tricycle, the good and honest man only charged us 8 pesos per person even if he knows we were both tourists and my boyfriend is a foreigner. Yes, sir. There are still good-hearted, honest people in this world. Kudos to you, Mr. Tricycle Driver. I wanted to give him 100 pesos for his honesty, but again, I had no smaller bill with me. >< So sorry! But he so totally deserved it. Honest people deserve way more than greedy people!

Finally, to Ka Lui! My blog post is getting so long. Hahaha.

The interior of the restaurant was so interesting. It feels very ethnic. The "Ka" of Ka Lui is actually how Filipinos would address older, respected men in the past. So I guess, the restaurant was aiming for old-style Filipino interior. Pretty cool I think! And oh, before stepping inside, they will ask you to go barefoot. There are lockers and baskets where you can keep your shoes/slippers.

I wasn't able to take pictures of all the food because I forgot it. T_T

Anyway, the food was good! We also ordered sashimi and my boyfriend said it's good... I personally don't like raw food so much. ; 3 ;


Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Kitchen~

Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Sea catch tempura~ A mix of prawns and fish.

Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Free dessert! Couldn't finish this because I was sooo full! We ordered too much for two people.><

Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Low table.

After lunch, we had to go to the airport soon for our flight. The tricycle driver charged us 50 pesos this time. I guess it's typical for tourists? I don't know. ; 3 ;

Good-bye, Palawan! <3


We arrived to Manila past 5 o'clock and checked in at Midas Hotel. It's very near the Heritage Hotel and SM Mall of Asia! We got upgraded to an Executive Suite too. Nice! The view from our room was stunning. Late at night, there were some fireworks from afar. Are they celebrating my birthday?! Haha. Oh yes! I almost forgot. It was my birthday that day.<3

Midas Hotel
The view from our room.

Midas Hotel
BVLGARI toiletry. o_o

Midas Hotel
Lobby area~

For dinner, we went to Abe's at Serendra. It was a long ride from Pasay to Taguig... but my boyfriend really likes this place. When we got there, there was a queue! Instead of waiting there, we decided to make a reservation for a little later and strolled around the place. Kinopi had a bouquet of flowers made for me (I kinda forced him actually hahaha). So sweet. <3

Abe's at Serendra
Birthday dinner @ Abe's~ Kinopi wanted bamboo rice but it was sold out when we ordered! Hahaha. :P

I love my boyfriend~
My bouquet. <3

Me posing with my flowers back a the hotel. :P

The next day, it was my boyfriend's flight back to Japan. T_T

So there you have it! I can't believe how long this post turned out to be!!! I can be so carried away with story-telling. Haha. Also spent a lot of time on this. I hope you enjoyed my pictures! Thank you and see you again on my next post! <3

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Palawan 2 - Underground River Tour

















So in this post we start off with 15 pics from outside and inside the cave! Thanks to my new camera, I was able to take some decent shots! My old digicam would not have been sufficient for this.  TIP: If you want to take pics inside the cave be sure to bring a camera with STRONG flash with you or else take a pic of the darkness!!! >.<

Anyways, NEW CAMERA! Yeeeeeeah! I got a new one and I'm like so happy. lolol I've been wanting a PEN since like over a year now. And for my birthday, I finally got it! Too happy. More camwhoring to come then. Hahaha.

Butttt, back to trip details. So, inside the cave is super dark! When you board the boat you would hear some staff/boatmen say "good night" more than a couple of times while entering the cave. Figures. It is pitch black inside. I dropped my hard hat in the boat (luckily) when I looked up the ceiling. I tried (and failed) to look for it... to no avail! Mr. Boatman helped feel it for me. ; 3 ;

One of the people in your boat would have to hold a torchlight. The British sitting in front held it for us. The boatman was offering me the torchlight but no way I wanna take pictures for you guys. lol

You might also feel a bit uncomfortable as there would be some water (HOPEFULLY) or bat pee dripping from the ceiling of the cave. My poor new camera and myself got a bit wet because of this. ; 3 ;

Inside the cave is so fascinating!!! My photos absolutely do not give justice to the magnificent feeling you will experience while inside! The boatman had lots of funny jokes too so that's a plus! If you will go here, please bring some change or small amount of money for tipping! We absolutely had no small money and failed to give a tip for the boatman. So sad because I thought he was so funny and totally deserved it. >_<

The tour lasted only about 2 hours going to and from the wharf. We were only allowed about a kilometer in the cave but it stretches for a little over 8 kilometers (that's a 3-hour boating tour sans boat to and from the wharf).

Sheridan arranged the tour for us and it costed 1,500 pesos per head. If you go and arrange the tour yourself you only have to pay about 750 pesos. It took a little over a month for a confirmation of the tour too!!! TIP: IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO GO TO PALAWAN FOR THE UNDERGROUND RIVER, TRY TO SECURE A TOUR PERMIT AT LEAST A MONTH BEFORE or else you run the risk of not being able to go!

So ok! That's it for this post! If you have any questions in your mind now, feel free to shoot! And oh, Palawan is a must-see place! Don't miss the Underground River ok! See ya! <3

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