Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Going for A Walk

One of the simplest things Mr. M and I enjoy the most (apart from eating, haha!) is walking.  It's one of our common denominators.  Dealing with men can sometimes be like rocket science to me, so thank God for walking.  We both found something we love to do, and may I add, something that doesn't cost us anything!  Hahahaha! Talk about being romantic and practical at the same time. Whether walking leisurely at the mall, briskly walking from our subdivision's gate to our house, walking slowly as we talk about each other's day, or just walking after dinner to aid digestion, we just love to WALK!

And visiting this wonderful place in Marikina is like perfect icing on my cake last Friday.  Ayos!  FYI, the Marikina Sports Park is open for 24 hours.  :-)

It was already 5:30 PM, but a couple of health buffs still mill around the oval.
 Go, go, go.  A man tries to finish a few more meters.
 Lovers in the track and field.  Sweet, noh?

 Mr. M and I dream of walking through those rubberized tracks soon.

TRIVIA:  Did you know that you just have to pay Php 10 to use the facilities of the sports park (excludes swimming pool and gym facilities)?  That's a very small price to pay for health and well-being!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Boracay Diaries

 I enjoyed staying out in the sun, snorkelling and just appreciating all that nature had to offer in Mindoro.  
But my arms had to pay a high price for overexposure to the summer heat.

 Pandan Island is quite undiscovered, as compared to Boracay and Puerto Gallera, which are becoming more and more commercialized.  Only 50 people can be accomodated in Pandan on a daily basis.  Reservations sometimes should be done six months in advance.  But the trip is worth it.  And I must say, Pandan Island's sand and beaches can rival Bora's anytime!

Remember Sablayan from my last year's holy week escapade?  Walking on powdery white sand and swimming in crystal-clear, blue-green waters of the beaches in that part of Mindoro have instantly become my favorite vacation activities, that since then I vowed to visit that part of our country as often as I could.

Or better yet, hop on to other islands of the Philippines and sunbathe in other white sand beaches of our glorious territories.  :-)  Hey, you have to blame Mindoro for this.  Sablayan and Pandan Island spoiled me that much, to the point that I benchmark all beach destinations to the magnificent experience I had with Summer 2009.
Last March 3, I booked my older brother, myself and Mom roundtrip flights to Kalibo via Zest Air.  
We set the vacation on April 2-4, 2010.  I initially thought one month's advance booking was enough.  
I was wrong.  All flights with Cebu Pacific, PAL and Seair were sold out.  The remaining ones were way too expensive for our budget.  So Zest Air it is.  We didn't regret the decision.
 The flight, however, was 30 minutes delayed.  As usual, Mom read her papers.
 Yay!  This has got to be the second time I'm riding a plane in my whole lifetime.
 Just got to have that Zest Air logo on the pic.  Hehehe
 I just couldn't resist the cute formation of the clouds.
 ...and a few minutes later we were already 17,000 feet above ground.  
Suddenly, everything looked so small and insignificant. 
 We're here:  the flight was only 1 hour.  What took longer was the bus ride from Kalibo 
which brought us to the ship ports of Caticlan.
 A picture in Caticlan:  we're standing in front of the Fairways and Bluewater welcome center in Caticlan.
To our back is the ocean, and about 10 minutes of boat ride after that is the gorgeous island of Boracay!

Bora was disappointing at first.  As you can see, the water's a bit murky.  
The green stuff behind uswas the lumot which, surprisingly, people just ignored.
Pandan Island was way way better than this side of Bora's public beach.

When we got to the island, the place was just brimming full of people.  You could literally step on
someone else's feet, or be stepped on!  It was hardly my idea of a perfect and quiet vacation.

I tried not to let my dampened spirit show.  I pre-judged Bora too early, and my verdict was that it's just slightly better than your ordinary swimming pool:  loud music everywhere, overpopulated and crowded places, and ultra commercialized surroundings that makes you wonder whether you flew out of Metro Manila.  But when we got to our resort, boy oh boy, I love Bora!  Now I'm a believer hahahahahah
FB golf resort was almost at the extreme side of the island, which was good because we were away from the maddening crowd.  The public beach doesn't really knock the socks off my feet.  Our resort occupies about 1/10 of the whole Boracay island.  It has about ten hotels, a golf course, an athletic field, a private beach resort, a horseback riding field, ATV facilities, an open-air amphitheater, a spa, zipline facilities, an infinity pool and a large freshwater swimming pool.  If those amenities aren't even enough, then I know what is.

Talk about relaxation.  Would you care for a massage?

The infinity pool was just too inviting...

...and this Korean family couldn't resist!

This is one half of the private beach of FB resort.  Now that's my kind of beach --- private, quiet and tranquil.

Morning pose:  Mama and me pose before the beach overlooking the keyhole.

This is the chapel within the resort.

Closer shot of the chapel.

This is Mulligan Hotel where we stayed for two nights.
Did you know that we paid only 60% of the room rate?  
Best bargain ever!

Sleep your stress away.

Contemporary yet classic furniture
Luxurious bathroom amenities
Ah, this is what I call THE L-I-F-E!!! hehe

You can snorkel and swim in the beach...

...or stay afloat in the pool...

...or just enjoy the cool breeze and nice view...

...and yes, don't forget the photo ops...

We also visited Puka beach, at the far right end of the island.  It's the cleanest public beach I know in Bora.

When will I probably have the guts to wear a two-piece?  hehe

Puka shells for souvenir
Instead of the usual island-hopping of which my mom is not a fan, we opted to climb up Mt. Luho, the highest point in Bora.  For only Php 50, you can have unlimited views of the best spots in the island.  Awesome experience.
Cute slippers and sandals being sold at the foot of Mt. Luho
Foreigners and Pinoys alike love to ride the ATV.
Too bad time wasn't enough for me to try it.
This is one of the magnificent views of Bora from Mt. Luho.  Did you know that all the strips of white sand on the photo belongs to our resort?  It's that HUGE.

This is the opposite side of the picture earlier.  Beautiful and breathtaking, isn't it?
 Mom and I enjoying the views.  More, more, more!!!
 We flew back to Manila very early on the morning of the 4th, when only a handful were willing to travel back to the city.  But if I had it my way, with the beautiful surroundings and great food, I'd rather stay for a few more days.
 Back to the Urban Zone.  Manila as caught in my cam from my side of the plane.

It has been one week since I returned to the Urban Jungle.  After a long weekend, I have resumed working, and since then my mind was once again consumed with thoughts related to my job.  But at night, I still dream of the foamy, clear water, white sand and the gentle breeze of Boracay Island.  Now I know why this part of the Philippines has become a world-class destination.

My verdict?  I want to go back!!!!!  Every peso was so worth it.  

Now I know what to save for in 2011  :-)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sneak Preview: Fairways and Bluewater

I'm back.  And (I'm) wishing I could extend for a few more days...hehehe

Three days.  Two nights.  Two companions.  Seven kilometers of divinely white sand beach.  One great, luxurious and ultra private resort.  And one unforgettable summer.

Here's a peek for now before I spill more Boracay kwento in the next few days.