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I’m RomBlown Away

Happy to have been romBLOWN away by Romblon.

This is one of those destinations that I never thought I’d be visiting soon. That is, until I saw its breath taking pictures all over the net! I am glad that I visited the Marble Capital of the Country with my med school travel buddies Mowty, Marilyn, and Taro. Originally, only me and Mowty planned to visit Romblon before the start of the semester. Due to the unpredictable schedule though, we were only able to do so after the semester finished. And with so much hullabaloo going on in med school, I did not even have the time to study this trip (something that i NEVER do). Luckily I was with Mowty, and I am so thankful of her for arranging our Itinerary beforehand. It is also worth mentioning that this is my first time riding a ship again since I was 6 years old 🙂

Important things to consider:

Time

-We maximized our limited travel dates to 1 island per day (Sunday – Transpo; Monday – Sibuyan; Tues – Romblon; Wed – Tablas; Thurs AM-Manila). We didn’t jampack our daily itineraries. After reaching a few of our destinations, we realized that the distance from one spot to another is rather remote (like on the minimum, 1 to 2 hrs travel time).  It is also worth mentioning that there’s a uniform and limited schedule of public transportation within the three main islands, so if you did not make it on time to the pick-up point, you would have to wait for the next scheduled pick-up which may be a few hours to even a day later. You may also opt to rent your own private vehicle (pump boats for sea travels, and tricycles for land travels), but of course it comes with a higher fee. Romblon is best visited with a group, for this reason alone. So as a tip, allot time for transportation, and negotiate and haggle with the tricycle drivers.

Language

Most of them speak in Bisaya. But, they also know Tagalog. Good thing “Kabalo ko gamay,kasulti ug gamay,so makasabot ko:)”

Transportation

  • Tricycle
  • Roll-on/Roll-off Ship (RoRo)
  • Pump boat
  • Small boat

The tricycle drivers in Romblon were very accommodating and kind. We did not haggle that much even if we were on a tight budget.  I think I need to emphasize that in renting private tricycles, we should be considerate of some factors, like the driver’s trade-off income for the day, the extra income that they need to earn, and the price of Gasoline (which is quite expensive in the three islands). As mentioned, it is best if you bring more friends so you can share the fees of a private vehicle. A typical romblon tricycle can fit 6 to 7 passengers. But there’s a lot of traveling, and not all the roads are cemented so naturally I felt bad for the driver and his tricycle every time we passed these roads. Since it is an island, the gasoline is probably expensive.

 

ITINERARY:(c/o Mowty)

Day Summary

DAY 1 – Sibuyan Island
-cresta de gallo
-‎seabreeze inn

DAY 2-Romblon, romblon
-cobrador island
-‎bonbon sandbar
-‎nonok beach
-‎marble factory/shopping center

 DAY 3-Tablas Island
-Aglicay beach
-‎Looc fish sanctuary

 


—————————————————————————————————————————————-

DAY 0

  1. RoRo Ship Ride via Montenegro Shipping Lines

All four of us started the journey from Quezon City, so we first had to ride a Jam Liner bus in Kamias headed to Batangas Pier. We arrived at the pier at 4pm. The queues were disarrayed and we really had to be vigilante in order to get our tickets. It was humid and  vastly crowded as well, and this may be attributed to the upcoming elections. We were able to write on the enlistment form for the 5pm RoRo. Unfortunately, we only managed the “chance on board” passenger type and we didn’t have a bed to rest on. We nested on the side of the ship, seated on the floor, facing the ocean. It doesn’t seem as bad as it sounds, because we were probably breathing the freshest air in the ship. (I think there is also Batangas to Sibuyan via Navios but that was at 4pm, we came later than that.)

2. We reached Odiongan Port at 2:30am.

When we arrived at Odiongan, we didn’t know the importance of “unahan basis”, so we just gradually walked out of the the RoRo and therefore missed the only 2 topload jeeps headed to San Agustin port. (Because we are heading to sibuyan)This resulted in us renting kuya _________’s tricycle for P1,000 (haggled from the original P1,200).

3. At San Agustin Port, porters immediate come to assist you, and it’s in your discretion if you will want a porter (they will ask for a small tip). The Starhorse RoRo going to Sibuyan isnt that far of a walk, but you will of course need to secure a ticket first before getting a chance to board it. In our case, we opted for the porters so that we would be secured seats  in the RoRo (our bottoms were still numb from the nearly 10-hour boat travel, plus 1 hour tricycle travel) . The porters did deliver, and all four of us were given seats in the air-conditioned section of the RoRo.

It was really a nice vessel. I was shocked it really looked good inside, plus the AC was really cold. The comfort rooms have AC as well. This was their economy class, the one that has lowest price.

4. When we reached Sibuyan, we hired another tricycle (P1,500) going to Azagra Port. This is where you hire a boat going to the famous Cresta De Gallo. BTW, we chose to travel from the farthest then to the nearer islands, so it would be easier for us for the succeeding days to go back to Batangas.

Landmark

We came straight from our travels, so we were still on empty stomachs. We thought that there would be a local eatery in the area, so we did not bother buying food before arriving.  Upon arrival though, there was only a small store that sold snacks and water, so that was all that we bought. It’s best to prepare food in advance

I suggest you wear your swimming attire before you head on this place as there is no designated changing area. Mowty changed during our ship ride and I think, that’s the most favorable time to do it. As for us, we just used her malong to change in the island itself. (Mowty is so ready:D)The boat ride is a bit shaky, and you may get wet during the boat ride. Also, secure your things or gadgets in a waterbag for a worry-free sea travel to cresta de gallo that took almost 2 hours. It was visible from Azagra. We really thought it was near haha.

WE can already see it!!:))YEY!

5. Cresta De Gallo

Touch down!

We really traveled a lot for this. Its white sand and crystal clear water did not fail us. It is really worth it. Tip: I think it is better if you bring more friends with you to share the price of the pump boat. (P2500).

Look at the crystal clear water.

There are only a handful of visitors here.

Hayahay life. There are no cottages so The trees serves as Resting shades.

Here is a mini clip of our boat ride:  https://photos.app.goo.gl/4QmJTJXOvjmIGADR2

Back to Azagra. I think we reached this at 6pm.

6. Benj’s Place and Sea Breeze in

This is how the sky looks from Benj’s Place, an eatery near our place of lodging

This is where kuya Marvin, our contact boatman, suggested for us to eat.

In fairness, we loved their sisig and pansit. It is tasty and delicious. Their sisig is like dinakdakan with some carrots on it. We also ordered tuna sinigang. The cook even made chika to us.

This is the veranda.

The rooms we had were decent for their price. (OK NARIN FOR OVERNIGHT:P) We had fully air-conditioned rooms. Ours was really cold that we had to turn it off in the middle of the night. They also have common living rooms. We did not really have a chance to roam around the place because if you might have noticed, this was our first actual rest since leaving from Kamias. One thing I can say about Sea Breeze Inn though is that if you don’t feel like staying in a sawali-walled room, you may opt look for another place/room to stay. Also, they have common bathrooms. So you really have to wait for your turn. The bathroom on the second floor where we stayed is just for pee and poo. The water supply can’t go upstairs. (My rating for their bathroom is 5/10. If you are picky for bathrooms, then you may consider a different place for this reason). But the people were really accommodating, despite the fact that we did not have any reservations. I am glad there is a room available for the four of us.

The view next morning.

P800 rm with AC

P600rm with AC


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAY 2

The view in front of See Breeze

Sibuyan Island Road trip (going to Magdiwang port)

Off we go!:) I am not sure if it is comfortable to ride on the side street for more than an hour ride!Must be painful for your bottoms

We stopped here at their bayan to buy breads and coffee for breakfast :))

BTS

Lighthouse (but it is non-functional though.)

 

We stopped at a random corners in the tricycle’s route. After a few land travels in the Romblon islands, you will start to realize that, apparently the only roads built on the Islands are in the peripheries. If you’re fond of seeing raw nature, then you’re in for a treat! Tricycle rides may span for hours, but all your eyes will gaze upon are blue seas, blue clouds, the greenest of grass and trees, and birds all over. Taro was mostly the backseat rider, and he didn’t complain one bit. He probably took more than 100 photos of the scenery alone! And I am willing to bet, this will surely be a pleasurable experience for you as well 🙂 Oh but do bring sun screen and a mask. It’s raw nature, and nature is sunny and dusty. haha (Yes,dusty that I had some breakouts:( My Skin care and SummerLove failed me. Please give me tips regarding this:((( What do you use when you go out?What are the best water-resistant sunscreen that are also eco-friendly?)

We saw someone swimming there too:))

Then here…

Behind us is the view of Romblon island and Tablas Island:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s me on the Driver seat!haha

I AM GLAD WE MADE IT:)

Happy Fiesta!!We saw this as we approach magdiwang Port.

We reached Magdiwang Port earlier than expected.

The schedule is at 10pm. Do not forget your ID’s for student’s and senior citizen’s discount.

This is supposed to be queue . But people are not falling in line. Everyone is rushing to get a good seat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodbye for now, Sibuyan! (See you when I go back for G2 in God’s time):)

Here is the video during the ship ride : https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZqK4iJ6x25XeWBrH2


Romblon,Romblon

We set foot here at  around 1:30pm. Upon arriving, we looked for a trike driver and luckily we met kuya Jun. He also made suggestions on how we could maximize the rest of our day there. . He looked for a boatman who can tour us to  the nearby islands. He was really nice and accompanied us.

We ate our lunch here at Yum’s delight.It’s just near the port.

2:00-Then, we checked in at Nonok’s beach resort (10-15mins from the port)

2:30pm -Island tours

Cobrador island.

We only docked at Cobrador island.

Our attention was caught by the kalachuchi flowers.

 

We had to walk a little to get to the other side. (It was really hot that time.)

 

 

 

In less than 10mins, we reached this place. It actually lookes like a modern community already. They have a basketball court, a barangay hall, and a school up front. This was island 1 of our island hopping, and it’s rather surprising to find a barangay in your “hopped” islands. On a side note, I think it would also be nice to have a project here.

 

There were kids who were collecting flowers. They were shy at first, but they gave us flowers. They said that they were preparing for Flores de mayo.

This is the view of the sea. Unfortunately, we did not swim because it was really, really, tremendously hot at that time.

We also stayed near Tagoso island to enjoy the view. We did not stay that much because we were trying to catch the sunset and the sandbar at bon bon beach, and we were running out of time. We might have overstayed a little at cobrador, and the tide was already low so we couldn’t dock or even go near the shores of another beach, Logbon.(sayang din!)

BonBon beach

Good thing we were able to arrive on time before the sunset. The tide is still low and we were able to walk on this sandbar. It is not actually the kind of sandbar that you can walk bare foot (because there are rocks and dead corals).Wear aqua shoes,or outdoor sandals. also our boatman noted that we were fortunate because BonBon beach tends to be unreachable due to the tide.

Sun sets

It is actually fun to see the sunset spectrum of colors’ reflection to the water.

Capping off Day 2

After this, we went back to the port. Eat dinner at a near local eatery. Then, we stayed at Nonok Beach resort to spend the night. The sky there is so clear that we were able to look at the stars so vividly, something that we do not usually see in the metro. It is so priceless. The wind was also gentle and mind.


DAY 3

 

We got the tent accomodation for 1200. (It fits four people). We were lucky enough that there were no renters of the nipa hut adjacent to us. We got this whole area to ourselves.

It was a peaceful morning. It seemed as if we rented the whole place. We already settled our payment when we checked in so we did not have any hassle as we left the following day.

 

 

 

Our tent is above stilts. The veranda was sturdy enough. That is where we planned to sleep the previous night until it showered.

 

 

 

The view from where I am waving(refer from the pic above)

5:30am

Goodbye and thank you,Nonok!

Our tricycle driver kuya Jun happened to know a boatman that manned the Pumpboat to Tablas. The fare P100 (P90/student) which is paid on board. But you have to pay for terminal fee 10). At 6:45am, we were once again fortunate to be included in the trip, as the last passengers even. As a tip, get enlisted ASAP because of course, there is a max capacity, and missing this trip might delay you for the afternoon RoRo at 1pm. If you’re not willing to wait, the only means you can travel to tablas is by renting a private vessel.

Just to share my experience, I was uneasy during the whole boat ride because the lady in front of me was so agit and restless. The back of the vessel smoked for a few minutes and we had to stop in the middle of the sea. There must be something wrong but the boatmen remained calm, unlike the woman. Whatever happened, I think they were able to fix it right away and we were able to dock safely. But my heart was really racing that time. I am not afraid to swim but I was not able to “waterproof” my bag.

Here we are at the Marble shopping center. I was able to buy the a cellphone stand in a shape of a hand. The others stores were still closed.

I think it was already a good deal.

This is kuya Jun saying goodbye as we were dropped to the port of the pump boat going to Tablas.Thank you po.

(I cannot emphasize this enough. Make sure you know the timetables of your transportation. This can make or break your itinerary, especially when you’re on a limited budget and are trying to maximize your day.)


Tablas Island

9:30am Touch down San Agustin Port.

We had a hard time looking for a driver who would agree with our itinerary and our price offer. Good thing, there was one who agreed, kuya Noel. We were running out of sunblock, and apparently only 2 stores(pharmacy) sold them. Unfortunately they were both out of stock. So I just used the minute amount that was left.

After, we agreed on the price we immediately started our travel by land.The travel time took a lot of time even if we just stopped once on this part of the road. All through out the ride, we can see the waters. It was such a breather.

11:30am Aglicay beach

From the highway, you still have to drive for about 15-30mins(?) depending on your vehicle. Ours was a trike so it was really bumpy for us. It almost overheated that it needed to rest. Good thing, another trike driver came by and offered to drop us off on a flatter ground. We arrived 30mins before the lunch time. We just ordered our food from their restaurant.  With their P70 entrance fee, who would not want to stay at Aglicay beach for a daytour. It also has a good deal for visitors who are BUDGETarian. I think their tent accomodation cost around P150 per night(?). They don’ have a corkage for any food and drinks that you would like to bring. The place is so cozy and wonderful. I would’ve wanted to stay more

We noticed that the waves were continuous and strong (but not so strong for surfing or so. haha)so we asked kuya if there was any news about people taken away by the waves, he said there was none. He also mentioned a “story from words of mouth” saying that some of the white sand here are from Boracay. I still had to use my aquashoes here.

We no longer rented a kiosk because we won’t stay that long.

But we managed to rent this table in front of the beach near the swing.

 

 

 

Time for a real Splash!!Swimwear:MagindaraPh

Who wouldn’t love a lunch in front of the beach.Here is Kuya Noel With us!

 

As you can see, they also have volleyball nets behind us:)

You can trek on that side…

It would probably take around 10-15minutes to hike that.

You can pass on this as you walk to the jump-off.

Start

the view from top.

Actually, there is another trail going to the left side but we did not bother going down there because it was hot.  There was no any shade. Good thing, we brought our umbrella!.(ALWAYS BRING WATER AND UMBRELLA.They are lifesavers.haha)

That’s the view of Aglicay beach.

3:30pm Looc

This is the Looc bay marine sanctuary. You still have to ride a pumpboat so you can go here somewhere in the middle of the bay.

It was actually a good place to visit because of its accessibility and affordability(P100 fee;Snorkel P60).The place is until 4:30pm.

I remember the front lady there, she is the one who is in direct contact with the tourist. She just told us to read the rules and regulation outside.Then, someone on the adjacent table told her, “Explain it to them. Don’t tell them to just read it because they are first timers”.

 

 

I’m glad somebody just said it. Because “HUMANS” out of excitement or out of lack of concern would not care about reading these.) Locals of Looc, protect your marine sanctuaries.Please Educate your tourists!

There is a division there. That part is shallower than the other parts(about 4-5feet). That is where you can see the marine creatures and the coral reefs. On the left side were grasses. It ‘s waist-deep.

Swim free fishes.🐟🐠..i don’t have any food for you🐟🐠 🐠🐟
I hope Looc will be able to preserve this sanctuary.👮 🕵 they should be strict about educating people about their rules and regulation that are posted in front of their office…😟😔i have mixed feelings about this… I just went and observed. I remember myself telling people not to touch the starfish or take them out of the water as well for pics.🙅🙅🙅

 

 

This is actually the area of fishfeeding. (We did not give them any food.)You are not allowed to swim here.

This is where Kids can start to appreciate marine life.This is the best place where Older generations can teach them how to RESPECT MARINE LIFE and  to care for the ENVIRONMENT.

Things is because of the accessibility and affordability, many tourist may flock on this place without being educated rightfully.#NoToFishFeeding #respectMarineLife

 

There were shallow areas and deep areas but it was divided by a long rope up to the lighthouse..

I cannot imagine how some people walk easily because they couldn’t see clearly what is under. Snorkel rents costs P60. And only a few rented when we went there. Do you think they are just stepping whatever is under?We are actually cautious not to touch anything down there even if we were just floating. This is actually a nice place, I am telling you. Your kids will love it. I am not against this but we should uphold “Responsible Tourism”. Most People just needs to be educated.

This part looks so cool. This is the cottage area and the stay is free. You can bring your snacks and food.There are no stores here. I am glad I did not see any trash floating.

Last ITI before we bid goodbye. We needed to return to manila that night and they still have to continue their Romblon trip to Carabao Island.

The more we “go to places/ go out” , the more we appreciate the environment, the more we wanted to protect it.That is why you should “go out”(because “Travel” is such a big term. LOL)

This is our last itinerary for the day, capping off our whole Romblon trip.

Good thing kuya Noel was really knowledgeable of the island, and gave us many suggestion to our trip.

The other drivers suggested that the price was P2,000, but we haggled. Good thing, there is one who agreed.We were able to haggle but as we go on with our trip, we realized that the places to visit are far  plus he is “mabait” so we just paid 2k. He said that the gas was really expensive. and the locals really have time for the things that they do(like going to the market).

It was actually challenging to change the iti if you do not rent a trike.(Just like us, if we go for a jeep to odiongan, we have to leave at 2pm. In that case, we won’t be able to maximize this day.) He just dropped us on the  port.We boarded Starlight going to Calapan at 10. This one is also good and very orderly.

 

Our Recent Romblon trip include a lot of travel time by trike, or boat because we tried to travel its 3 islands. (There is one airport in Tablas Island.)We tried to lessen our expenses but this was what we have tried given the situation. It was such a breather especially after our final exams. I used to be very vigilant against treacherous sellers or drivers by the way they rate but people here are very honest and you can see their pure intentions. For me, it is still worth the experience. You should go here too.:)


Day0 to Day1
1:00pm-4:15pm Jam liner (P140)
5:00pm-2:30am Batangas port to Odiongan (Montenegro) (P734)
4:15am San Agustin Port (P300)   Expenses:Trike 250; Porter 25
8:30am Magdiwang Port
10:30am Azagra port
11:30-430 ETA Cresta de Gallo
5:30pm Et back to azagra port
6:00pm dinner at Benj’s place
7:00pm-Sea Breeze inn

Day2
5am wake up call
630-9am travel to Magdiwang port  via trike
1030am-1:30pm Romblon Island
2:00pm Check in at Nonoc beach, Lunch at Yum delights food station
2:30pm start of island hopping (Cobrador,tagoso, bonbon)
7pm end of trip

Day 3
5am wake up call
630am check out nonoc
645am settle terminal fee for pump boat
730am leave romblon;travel to tablas
900 arrival at san agustin port
9:30 hire trike for inland beach tour
1130am Aglicay beach
330pm Looc bay
645pm odiongan port
930pm-1230am travel to mindoro via starlight
1230- 215am Mindoro to calapan via van
330-530am calapan to batangas via fast cat
6am- batangas to cubao via jamliner
————————————————————————————————————————-SUMMARY OF EXPENSES

Day 1
P140 Fare to Batangas Port
P734 Fare to Montenegro
P30 Terminal fee
P300 Fare to Sibuyan via Starhorse
P650 Boatride fare (P 2500 for 4)
P250 trike to san agustin port
P250 trike to azagra port
P300 accommodation seabreeze inn

—-2654

Day2
P300 Trike to Magdiwang Port()
P200 montenegro to romblon, romblon
P12 terminal fee
P350 nonoc beach accomodation
P350 island hopping(1400)
P100 special trike (400)

—1312

Day 3
10 terminal fee
90 pumpboat to tablas student fare
50 trike
500 trike hire around tablas(2000)
290 Starlight (2hrs) (tf-13)
250 van to calapan(2hrs)
230 fast cat to batangas(2hrs) (tf 20)
140 jamliner bus to cubao

—1560

Grand Total=P5526

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Romblown Away

Happy to have been romBLOWN away by Romblon.

This is one of those destinations that I never thought I’d be visiting soon. That is, until I saw its breath taking pictures all over the net! I am glad that I visited the Marble Capital of the Country with my med school travel buddies Mowty, Marilyn, and Taro. Originally, only me and Mowty planned to visit Romblon before the start of the semester. Due to the unpredictable schedule though, we were only able to do so after the semester finished. And with so much hullabaloo going on in med school, I did not even have the time to study this trip (something that i NEVER do). Luckily I was with Mowty, and I am so thankful of her for arranging our Itinerary beforehand. It is also worth mentioning that this is my first time riding a ship again since I was 6 years old 🙂

Important things to consider:

Time

-We maximized our limited travel dates to 1 island per day (Sunday – Transpo; Monday – Sibuyan; Tues – Romblon; Wed – Tablas; Thurs AM-Manila). We didn’t jampack our daily itineraries. After reaching a few of our destinations, we realized that the distance from one spot to another is rather remote (like on the minimum, 1 to 2 hrs travel time).  It is also worth mentioning that there’s a uniform and limited schedule of public transportation within the three main islands, so if you did not make it on time to the pick-up point, you would have to wait for the next scheduled pick-up which may be a few hours to even a day later. You may also opt to rent your own private vehicle (pump boats for sea travels, and tricycles for land travels), but of course it comes with a higher fee. Romblon is best visited with a group, for this reason alone. So as a tip, allot time for transportation, and negotiate and haggle with the tricycle drivers.

Language

Most of them speak in Bisaya. But, they also know Tagalog. Good thing “Kabalo ko gamay,kasulti ug gamay,so makasabot ko:)”

Transportation

  • Tricycle
  • Roll-on/Roll-off Ship (RoRo)
  • Pump boat
  • Small boat

The tricycle drivers in Romblon were very accommodating and kind. We did not haggle that much even if we were on a tight budget.  I think I need to emphasize that in renting private tricycles, we should be considerate of some factors, like the driver’s trade-off income for the day, the extra income that they need to earn, and the price of Gasoline (which is quite expensive in the three islands). As mentioned, it is best if you bring more friends so you can share the fees of a private vehicle. A typical romblon tricycle can fit 6 to 7 passengers. But there’s a lot of traveling, and not all the roads are cemented so naturally I felt bad for the driver and his tricycle every time we passed these roads. Since it is an island, the gasoline is probably expensive.

 

ITINERARY:(c/o Mowty)

Day Summary

DAY 1 – Sibuyan Island
-cresta de gallo
-‎seabreeze inn

DAY 2-Romblon, romblon
-cobrador island
-‎bonbon sandbar
-‎nonok beach
-‎marble factory/shopping center

 DAY 3-Tablas Island
-Aglicay beach
-‎Looc fish sanctuary 

 


—————————————————————————————————————————————-

DAY 0

  1. RoRo Ship Ride via Montenegro Shipping Lines

All four of us started the journey from Quezon City, so we first had to ride a Jam Liner bus in Kamias headed to Batangas Pier. We arrived at the pier at 4pm. The queues were disarrayed and we really had to be vigilante in order to get our tickets. It was humid and  vastly crowded as well, and this may be attributed to the upcoming elections. We were able to write on the enlistment form for the 5pm RoRo. Unfortunately, we only managed the “chance on board” passenger type and we didn’t have a bed to rest on. We nested on the side of the ship, seated on the floor, facing the ocean. It doesn’t seem as bad as it sounds, because we were probably breathing the freshest air in the ship. (I think there is also Batangas to Sibuyan via Navios but that was at 4pm, we came later than that.)

2. We reached Odiongan Port at 2:30am.

When we arrived at Odiongan, we didn’t know the importance of “unahan basis”, so we just gradually walked out of the the RoRo and therefore missed the only 2 topload jeeps headed to San Agustin port. (Because we are heading to sibuyan)This resulted in us renting kuya _________’s tricycle for P1,000 (haggled from the original P1,200).

3. At San Agustin Port, porters immediate come to assist you, and it’s in your discretion if you will want a porter (they will ask for a small tip). The Starhorse RoRo going to Sibuyan isnt that far of a walk, but you will of course need to secure a ticket first before getting a chance to board it. In our case, we opted for the porters so that we would be secured seats  in the RoRo (our bottoms were still numb from the nearly 10-hour boat travel, plus 1 hour tricycle travel) . The porters did deliver, and all four of us were given seats in the air-conditioned section of the RoRo.

It was really a nice vessel. I was shocked it really looked good inside, plus the AC was really cold. The comfort rooms have AC as well. This was their economy class, the one that has lowest price.

4. When we reached Sibuyan, we hired another tricycle (P1,500) going to Azagra Port. This is where you hire a boat going to the famous Cresta De Gallo. BTW, we chose to travel from the farthest then to the nearer islands, so it would be easier for us for the succeeding days to go back to Batangas.

Landmark

We came straight from our travels, so we were still on empty stomachs. We thought that there would be a local eatery in the area, so we did not bother buying food before arriving.  Upon arrival though, there was only a small store that sold snacks and water, so that was all that we bought. It’s best to prepare food in advance

I suggest you wear your swimming attire before you head on this place as there is no designated changing area. Mowty changed during our ship ride and I think, that’s the most favorable time to do it. As for us, we just used her malong to change in the island itself. (Mowty is so ready:D)The boat ride is a bit shaky, and you may get wet during the boat ride. Also, secure your things or gadgets in a waterbag for a worry-free sea travel to cresta de gallo that took almost 2 hours. It was visible from Azagra. We really thought it was near haha.

WE can already see it!!:))YEY!

5. Cresta De Gallo

Touch down!

We really traveled a lot for this. Its white sand and crystal clear water did not fail us. It is really worth it. Tip: I think it is better if you bring more friends with you to share the price of the pump boat. (P2500).

Look at the crystal clear water.

There are only a handful of visitors here.

Hayahay life. There are no cottages so The trees serves as Resting shades.

Here is a mini clip of our boat ride:  https://photos.app.goo.gl/4QmJTJXOvjmIGADR2

Back to Azagra. I think we reached this at 6pm.

6. Benj’s Place and Sea Breeze in

This is how the sky looks from Benj’s Place, an eatery near our place of lodging

This is where kuya Marvin, our contact boatman, suggested for us to eat.

In fairness, we loved their sisig and pansit. It is tasty and delicious. Their sisig is like dinakdakan with some carrots on it. We also ordered tuna sinigang. The cook even made chika to us.

This is the veranda.

The rooms we had were decent for their price. (OK NARIN FOR OVERNIGHT:P) We had fully air-conditioned rooms. Ours was really cold that we had to turn it off in the middle of the night. They also have common living rooms. We did not really have a chance to roam around the place because if you might have noticed, this was our first actual rest since leaving from Kamias. One thing I can say about Sea Breeze Inn though is that if you don’t feel like staying in a sawali-walled room, you may opt look for another place/room to stay. Also, they have common bathrooms. So you really have to wait for your turn. The bathroom on the second floor where we stayed is just for pee and poo. The water supply can’t go upstairs. (My rating for their bathroom is 5/10. If you are picky for bathrooms, then you may consider a different place for this reason). But the people were really accommodating, despite the fact that we did not have any reservations. I am glad there is a room available for the four of us.

The view next morning.

P800 rm with AC

P600rm with AC


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAY 2

The view in front of See Breeze

Sibuyan Island Road trip (going to Magdiwang port)

Off we go!:) I am not sure if it is comfortable to ride on the side street for more than an hour ride!Must be painful for your bottoms

We stopped here at their bayan to buy breads and coffee for breakfast :))

BTS

Lighthouse (but it is non-functional though.)

 

We stopped at a random corners in the tricycle’s route. After a few land travels in the Romblon islands, you will start to realize that, apparently the only roads built on the Islands are in the peripheries. If you’re fond of seeing raw nature, then you’re in for a treat! Tricycle rides may span for hours, but all your eyes will gaze upon are blue seas, blue clouds, the greenest of grass and trees, and birds all over. Taro was mostly the backseat rider, and he didn’t complain one bit. He probably took more than 100 photos of the scenery alone! And I am willing to bet, this will surely be a pleasurable experience for you as well 🙂 Oh but do bring sun screen and a mask. It’s raw nature, and nature is sunny and dusty. haha (Yes,dusty that I had some breakouts:( My Skin care and SummerLove failed me. Please give me tips regarding this:((( What do you use when you go out?What are the best water-resistant sunscreen that are also eco-friendly?)

We saw someone swimming there too:))

Then here…

Behind us is the view of Romblon island and Tablas Island:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s me on the Driver seat!haha

I AM GLAD WE MADE IT:)

Happy Fiesta!!We saw this as we approach magdiwang Port.

We reached Magdiwang Port earlier than expected.

The schedule is at 10pm. Do not forget your ID’s for student’s and senior citizen’s discount.

This is supposed to be queue . But people are not falling in line. Everyone is rushing to get a good seat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodbye for now, Sibuyan! (See you when I go back for G2 in God’s time):)

Here is the video during the ship ride : https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZqK4iJ6x25XeWBrH2


Romblon,Romblon

We set foot here at  around 1:30pm. Upon arriving, we looked for a trike driver and luckily we met kuya Jun. He also made suggestions on how we could maximize the rest of our day there. . He looked for a boatman who can tour us to  the nearby islands. He was really nice and accompanied us.

We ate our lunch here at Yum’s delight.It’s just near the port.

2:00-Then, we checked in at Nonok’s beach resort (10-15mins from the port)

2:30pm -Island tours

Cobrador island.

We only docked at Cobrador island.

Our attention was caught by the kalachuchi flowers.

 

We had to walk a little to get to the other side. (It was really hot that time.)

 

 

 

In less than 10mins, we reached this place. It actually lookes like a modern community already. They have a basketball court, a barangay hall, and a school up front. This was island 1 of our island hopping, and it’s rather surprising to find a barangay in your “hopped” islands. On a side note, I think it would also be nice to have a project here.

 

There were kids who were collecting flowers. They were shy at first, but they gave us flowers. They said that they were preparing for Flores de mayo.

This is the view of the sea. Unfortunately, we did not swim because it was really, really, tremendously hot at that time.

We also stayed near Tagoso island to enjoy the view. We did not stay that much because we were trying to catch the sunset and the sandbar at bon bon beach, and we were running out of time. We might have overstayed a little at cobrador, and the tide was already low so we couldn’t dock or even go near the shores of another beach, Logbon.(sayang din!)

BonBon beach

Good thing we were able to arrive on time before the sunset. The tide is still low and we were able to walk on this sandbar. It is not actually the kind of sandbar that you can walk bare foot (because there are rocks and dead corals).Wear aqua shoes,or outdoor sandals. also our boatman noted that we were fortunate because BonBon beach tends to be unreachable due to the tide.

Sun sets

It is actually fun to see the sunset spectrum of colors’ reflection to the water.

Capping off Day 2

After this, we went back to the port. Eat dinner at a near local eatery. Then, we stayed at Nonok Beach resort to spend the night. The sky there is so clear that we were able to look at the stars so vividly, something that we do not usually see in the metro. It is so priceless. The wind was also gentle and mind.


DAY 3

 

We got the tent accomodation for 1200. (It fits four people). We were lucky enough that there were no renters of the nipa hut adjacent to us. We got this whole area to ourselves.

It was a peaceful morning. It seemed as if we rented the whole place. We already settled our payment when we checked in so we did not have any hassle as we left the following day.

 

 

 

Our tent is above stilts. The veranda was sturdy enough. That is where we planned to sleep the previous night until it showered.

 

 

 

The view from where I am waving(refer from the pic above)

5:30am

Goodbye and thank you,Nonok!

Our tricycle driver kuya Jun happened to know a boatman that manned the Pumpboat to Tablas. The fare P100 (P90/student) which is paid on board. But you have to pay for terminal fee 10). At 6:45am, we were once again fortunate to be included in the trip, as the last passengers even. As a tip, get enlisted ASAP because of course, there is a max capacity, and missing this trip might delay you for the afternoon RoRo at 1pm. If you’re not willing to wait, the only means you can travel to tablas is by renting a private vessel.

Just to share my experience, I was uneasy during the whole boat ride because the lady in front of me was so agit and restless. The back of the vessel smoked for a few minutes and we had to stop in the middle of the sea. There must be something wrong but the boatmen remained calm, unlike the woman. Whatever happened, I think they were able to fix it right away and we were able to dock safely. But my heart was really racing that time. I am not afraid to swim but I was not able to “waterproof” my bag.

Here we are at the Marble shopping center. I was able to buy the a cellphone stand in a shape of a hand. The others stores were still closed.

I think it was already a good deal.

This is kuya Jun saying goodbye as we were dropped to the port of the pump boat going to Tablas.Thank you po.

(I cannot emphasize this enough. Make sure you know the timetables of your transportation. This can make or break your itinerary, especially when you’re on a limited budget and are trying to maximize your day.)


Tablas Island

9:30am Touch down San Agustin Port.

We had a hard time looking for a driver who would agree with our itinerary and our price offer. Good thing, there was one who agreed, kuya Noel. We were running out of sunblock, and apparently only 2 stores(pharmacy) sold them. Unfortunately they were both out of stock. So I just used the minute amount that was left.

After, we agreed on the price we immediately started our travel by land.The travel time took a lot of time even if we just stopped once on this part of the road. All through out the ride, we can see the waters. It was such a breather.

11:30am Aglicay beach

From the highway, you still have to drive for about 15-30mins(?) depending on your vehicle. Ours was a trike so it was really bumpy for us. It almost overheated that it needed to rest. Good thing, another trike driver came by and offered to drop us off on a flatter ground. We arrived 30mins before the lunch time. We just ordered our food from their restaurant.  With their P70 entrance fee, who would not want to stay at Aglicay beach for a daytour. It also has a good deal for visitors who are BUDGETarian. I think their tent accomodation cost around P150 per night(?). They don’ have a corkage for any food and drinks that you would like to bring. The place is so cozy and wonderful. I would’ve wanted to stay more

We noticed that the waves were continuous and strong (but not so strong for surfing or so. haha)so we asked kuya if there was any news about people taken away by the waves, he said there was none. He also mentioned a “story from words of mouth” saying that some of the white sand here are from Boracay. I still had to use my aquashoes here.

We no longer rented a kiosk because we won’t stay that long.

But we managed to rent this table in front of the beach near the swing.

 

 

 

Time for a real Splash!!Swimwear:MagindaraPh

Who wouldn’t love a lunch in front of the beach.Here is Kuya Noel With us!

 

As you can see, they also have volleyball nets behind us:)

You can trek on that side…

It would probably take around 10-15minutes to hike that.

You can pass on this as you walk to the jump-off.

Start

the view from top.

Actually, there is another trail going to the left side but we did not bother going down there because it was hot.  There was no any shade. Good thing, we brought our umbrella!.(ALWAYS BRING WATER AND UMBRELLA.They are lifesavers.haha)

That’s the view of Aglicay beach.

3:30pm Looc

This is the Looc bay marine sanctuary. You still have to ride a pumpboat so you can go here somewhere in the middle of the bay.

 It was actually a good place to visit because of its accessibility and affordability(P100 fee;Snorkel P60).The place is until 4:30pm.

I remember the front lady there, she is the one who is in direct contact with the tourist. She just told us to read the rules and regulation outside.Then, someone on the adjacent table told her, “Explain it to them. Don’t tell them to just read it because they are first timers”.

 

 

I’m glad somebody just said it. Because “HUMANS” out of excitement or out of lack of concern would not care about reading these.) Locals of Looc, protect your marine sanctuaries.Please Educate your tourists!

There is a division there. That part is shallower than the other parts(about 4-5feet). That is where you can see the marine creatures and the coral reefs. On the left side were grasses. It ‘s waist-deep.

Swim free fishes.🐟🐠..i don’t have any food for you🐟🐠 🐠🐟
I hope Looc will be able to preserve this sanctuary.👮 🕵 they should be strict about educating people about their rules and regulation that are posted in front of their office…😟😔i have mixed feelings about this… I just went and observed. I remember myself telling people not to touch the starfish or take them out of the water as well for pics.🙅🙅🙅

 

 

This is actually the area of fishfeeding. (We did not give them any food.)You are not allowed to swim here.

This is where Kids can start to appreciate marine life.This is the best place where Older generations can teach them how to RESPECT MARINE LIFE and  to care for the ENVIRONMENT.

Things is because of the accessibility and affordability, many tourist may flock on this place without being educated rightfully.#NoToFishFeeding #respectMarineLife

 

There were shallow areas and deep areas but it was divided by a long rope up to the lighthouse..

I cannot imagine how some people walk easily because they couldn’t see clearly what is under. Snorkel rents costs P60. And only a few rented when we went there. Do you think they are just stepping whatever is under?We are actually cautious not to touch anything down there even if we were just floating. This is actually a nice place, I am telling you. Your kids will love it. I am not against this but we should uphold “Responsible Tourism”. Most People just needs to be educated.

This part looks so cool. This is the cottage area and the stay is free. You can bring your snacks and food.There are no stores here. I am glad I did not see any trash floating.

Last ITI before we bid goodbye. We needed to return to manila that night and they still have to continue their Romblon trip to Carabao Island.

The more we “go to places/ go out” , the more we appreciate the environment, the more we wanted to protect it.That is why you should “go out”(because “Travel” is such a big term. LOL)

This is our last itinerary for the day, capping off our whole Romblon trip.

Good thing kuya Noel was really knowledgeable of the island, and gave us many suggestion to our trip.

The other drivers suggested that the price was P2,000, but we haggled. Good thing, there is one who agreed.We were able to haggle but as we go on with our trip, we realized that the places to visit are far  plus he is “mabait” so we just paid 2k. He said that the gas was really expensive. and the locals really have time for the things that they do(like going to the market).

It was actually challenging to change the iti if you do not rent a trike.(Just like us, if we go for a jeep to odiongan, we have to leave at 2pm. In that case, we won’t be able to maximize this day.) He just dropped us on the  port.We boarded Starlight going to Calapan at 10. This one is also good and very orderly.

 

Our Recent Romblon trip include a lot of travel time by trike, or boat because we tried to travel its 3 islands. (There is one airport in Tablas Island.)We tried to lessen our expenses but this was what we have tried given the situation. It was such a breather especially after our final exams. I used to be very vigilant against treacherous sellers or drivers by the way they rate but people here are very honest and you can see their pure intentions. For me, it is still worth the experience. You should go here too.:)


Day0 to Day1
1:00pm-4:15pm Jam liner (P140)
5:00pm-2:30am Batangas port to Odiongan (Montenegro) (P734)
4:15am San Agustin Port (P300)   Expenses:Trike 250; Porter 25
8:30am Magdiwang Port
10:30am Azagra port
11:30-430 ETA Cresta de Gallo
5:30pm Et back to azagra port
6:00pm dinner at Benj’s place
7:00pm-Sea Breeze inn

Day2
5am wake up call
630-9am travel to Magdiwang port  via trike
1030am-1:30pm Romblon Island
2:00pm Check in at Nonoc beach, Lunch at Yum delights food station
2:30pm start of island hopping (Cobrador,tagoso, bonbon)
7pm end of trip

Day 3
5am wake up call
630am check out nonoc
645am settle terminal fee for pump boat
730am leave romblon;travel to tablas
900 arrival at san agustin port
9:30 hire trike for inland beach tour
1130am Aglicay beach
330pm Looc bay
645pm odiongan port
930pm-1230am travel to mindoro via starlight
1230- 215am Mindoro to calapan via van
330-530am calapan to batangas via fast cat
6am- batangas to cubao via jamliner
————————————————————————————————————————-SUMMARY OF EXPENSES

Day 1
P140 Fare to Batangas Port
P734 Fare to Montenegro
P30 Terminal fee
P300 Fare to Sibuyan via Starhorse
P650 Boatride fare (P 2500 for 4)
P250 trike to san agustin port
P250 trike to azagra port
P300 accommodation seabreeze inn

—-2654


Day2
P300 Trike to Magdiwang Port()
P200 montenegro to romblon, romblon
P12 terminal fee
P350 nonoc beach accomodation
P350 island hopping(1400)
P100 special trike (400)

—1312

Day 3
10 terminal fee
90 pumpboat to tablas student fare
50 trike
500 trike hire around tablas(2000)
290 Starlight (2hrs) (tf-13)
250 van to calapan(2hrs)
230 fast cat to batangas(2hrs) (tf 20)
140 jamliner bus to cubao

—1560

Grand Total=P5526

0

A Different Dose of Vitamin Sea: Skindiving👌🐟🌊

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This is me taking the “deep” into a different level.😀😍🙌Never thought I’d be able to do it. Crossing it out in my bucketlist but not in my heart. ❤❤❤
#AchievementUnlocked

There are many times we have said that we love something or someone, but we do not say it is true love until we love everything about it, including its depth and its darkness. The same goes with the sea.  This time, I will challenge myself to do something that I am scared of.That is going deep as in Skin Diving.

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

Tips:

(I am not an expert so this is not about the technicalities. My tips are for rookies like me.LOL.)

  1. Do not be afraid. But,if you do be afraid enough so you will follow the standards and the safety techniques under water.
  2. If you are really that afraid to try,  pretend like you are not.  If you get a good team of mentors who will guide you. Just trust them. Allow yourself to learn
  3. Do not feel like you are in competition just go to your level of comfort. Readiness is of importance. It is only you who can assess yourself when is the right time to go deeper. Relaxation is the key. Do not stress out.
  4. Never dive alone. Always make sure you have a buddy with you to be your spotter or photographer !haha!
  5. More than the pictures and advancing the level of your diving, do not forget to savor the feeling and enjoy!Best of luck!

THE STORY OF THE SEA SHORE LOVER

Take it from my experience. I know how to swim.I know how to float. I can swim in a 6feet pool but I can’t afford to spend a lot of time there. I even won a “cute” swimming competition in school–Part of breast stroke relay(I told u,my participation was cute). However, i never really had the confidence to go to deep sea waters without a life vest. I was afraid that I might have leg cramps or i easily exhaust myself and drown myself instantly.

 

I love the sea-The way it rests calmly above the stretch of ocean floor gives me tranquility. But, i rarely go beyond the shore.I just stay there because the thought of floating without anything for my feet to step on or anything for me to hold on creeps me out.

 

I was not a fan of Masks and snorkel. Seeing snorkeling in any iti did not really me excite me. I was already satisfied by staying in the beach with its waves fanning to the sand,taking pictures and selfies because other people would love to go farther.

 

All of these are true until I met SkinDivePH.

 


 

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Sometimes you just have to face what’s coming.

Last December, I was looking for something different but would fit my budget. I mean, c’mon this is my last(crossing my fingers on this) legit sure vacation before my clerkship, this must be effin awesome. That’s when I thought of skindiving or freediving. I even posted something like:

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I began looking for some classes or getaways related to this. But I got busy. So thanks to Mowty, who is also an adventurist like me, for finding this page/package.She also went hiking with me in Mt.Sipit Ulang. Our original plan was to go Romblon, but we detoured because of the unpredictable weather.haha.At least we have #ganap #lakwatsa #escape before med takes us away in 2018. 

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It is worth a try!Actually, upon going there, I was really not expecting to get the skill . I was even thinking about the possibility that I would return manila without doing it or That I would just waste my money because of my fear of deep water. But thank God, it turned out the other way. When something catch my interest, I am never reluctant to learn even though I am scared. As for this, I am so happy that I can now float vertically without threading or finning or holding to a floater . (with snorkel,haha).I can see the fishes and corals underwater. I can reach them because I learned how to dunk dive deeper and hold my breath longer.

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Me, Zach and Jigs

I am also happy for my friends, especially to my new friend Aubrey who was a non swimmer.She even had intense fear of getting into water.Now, her fear was lessened and she can even dunk dive.:)  Indeed, just like what our Mother(ms bev )said, everything fell into its places.Hahaha.

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That’s Aubrey.

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That’s Mowty. I wonder if she asksed,”Anong Nemo?(Anong name mo)”HAHA

 

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This is Jigs.

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This is Zach

We were noobs and rookies but we did it. I  bet you can do it too. (Haha!I appeal to those who are still afraid.)I’m telling you it’s worth a try.

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Waterbending with Mowty lol.


The People

It was really fun.The organizers/instructors are very approachable. They are very supportive and good in building up one’s confidence. It’s a plus point that they know how to acknowledge effort as well as give constructive criticism in a nice way. The usual worry people is that they don’t know how to swim, afraid of deep water.But these guys know how to make you calm, so everything starts with TRUST, Trust your mentors and trust yourself. They will guide you from the basic until you advance to the next level. There was a even a discussion by Ms. Bev in the morning. And the application in the afternoon by Sir Chard. Well, i like the way it was organized. The organization per se will make you feel like you can really trust them. 

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Sir chard instructing…

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The people will make you feel like you belong, as in like you are already long-time friends. We had socials. Everyone had a share of good laughs as people get comfortable of sharing bits and pieces of their own experiences whether from their funny childhood or present diet(If you know what I mean.Haha).The iti was flexible and we were given ample rest time.

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The DEAL

Is it FREE?Oh and BTW, Do not think that Free diving means you don’t have to pay anything since it is called “free”😅.You might think it is funny but it is a common misconception👍.(Don’t hate.Educate.✌).

As for the package fee, I can say it is very reasonable. We stayed in a clean,cozy and airconditioned room with private CR, memory pillows and towels. (That is good for 4pax)

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Our Accommodation

We only paid the transpo to and from Manila. Everything else are already included-snorkelling gears and meals for breakfast,lunch,dinner and meriendas.(Breakfast for day1 not included.)

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BTW, the resort where we stayed is Bus stop dive resort.It is located in Bauan,Batangas. I did’t know that it is also a marine sanctuary.

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Bonus. The magnificent sunset.

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with sir Chard

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Where you can rent the snorkeling gears and suits for SCUBA. Ours is included in the deal.

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BUS STOP DIVE RESORT

 


 

Thoughts:

Little did I know that the joy of seeing the sea from the shore, or from the surface is so much less than the euphoria of being able to learn going deeper. That the tranquility from plainly looking at the sea is so much more when you learn how to skin dive or freedive.

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Once you get it, you will appreciate the sea and its aquamarine creatures such as corals and fishes more.It is true that you begin watching them live in HD.  Had i known this before, I would have appreciated the sea more. I wish I learned this before going to El nido.It would have been a better experience.(But anyway, there is always a next time.)

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When you start it,you will be hyped. Because you are hyped, you crave for more, DANGGG, it is really addicting. Like I did not even know the time passed or  if I was already going farther. You yourself would want to make sure that you are doing it correctly. You will feel the difference of doing the right thing. You feel the pressure.You see the light until it feels right. Little by little you  improve yourself.

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 It was like you’re in a dream. When you are under the sea, you hardly hear anything.Probably the murmurs or the sound of your breathing or the tinkling bubbles whispering on your ear. You will really have a chance to free your mind and find solace. It is like you are introduced to a new world.(probably not new for others, but yes for me.haha)

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Haha..I don’t look really good while holding my breath..

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Wonderful. I cried at the sight of this view. Hahaha..Too bad my salty tears mixed up with the hypertonic ocean! haha. This site was already deep for me. but I was able to go there. So much kilig feels.Lol!!!


 

Self-assessment:

Don’t get me wrong,I am not saying that I am already good.I was still unable able to go deeper yet. There are many things  I have to improve like  breath holding,finning and equalizing. But for a beginner, I deserve a pat on my back. Yeheyyy!!

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HAHA!!! I think I can be a fan of masks and snorkels now.

 

Will I do this again?

Of course, and I prolly will tag these same people. Bring some more people. Yeheyyy!! Like I want to go there RN.ASAP.

 

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Batch 25.Thanks Fam!:))

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MESSAGE

To SkinDivePH, Thanks for introducing me to the world under the water.

Thanks Sir Chard and Ms. Bev(Mother), Sir Jon and sir Timo for the lessons, touring and guiding us, as well as for constructive criticisms. There had been no second that I felt I was out of place, may it be on land or water. Thank you so much. 

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with Ms. Bev,

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1st row(left to right)-sir chard, sir timo, sir Jon, wnd row, jigs and ms.bev

 

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If you want to inquire or learn more about them, let us dive here.

(PS. I am already on my 1st week of 2nd semester class of my third year.But because I loved the experience and the Team so much,I decided to have a blog of it right a way. what a way to open up my year.)

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Now this is the kind of “Litaw” and “Lubog” that I love.Most of us ayaw makaexperience ng pagkalubog.Okay lang din naman nasa ilalim,may pressure,may sakit, but you just need to learn how to equalize. Relax.Aangat ka din.The same goes with real life.Allow yourself to go with the process.Kaya mo yan!

Til next adventure.Med is calling me again.Adios!-R

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TaiWander 🇹🇼

 

Thinking of which country to go for on your next vacay? Let Taiwan be the one 🙂Image may contain: one or more people, sky, skyscraper and outdoor

Taiwan is one of our neighbor countries in Asia. It’s actually directly on top of the Philippines. I believe that you should include this on your bucketlist as well (haha, “bucketlist” seems to be an overused term nowadays), especially now that they’re going to be visa-free soon. It is very convenient to go here, even if you are a first-timer in travelling abroad.

If you have limited time, make sure you choose in advance the places you want to go. Try to squeeze in the attractions that are near from each other. Many tourist destinations are very accessible via MRT, and the stations are even conveniently named after them. You will really enjoy the different trips that Taiwan may offer – may it be nature trip, food trip or a shopping trip.  Its currency New Taiwan Dollar has almost the same but a little higher rate than Philippine peso, so it is relatively cheap compared to others (Especially if you usually convert Philippine peso before buying like me. Sorry but I can afford trips because I am a budgetarian. For this trip, however, my mom will treat me. LOL. Yehey!!!!! Thanks mom! haha).

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The Taoyuan Airport

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Welcome to Taiwan, Republic of China :))

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When we visited the country, It was already the rainy season. I prayed hard that it wouldn’t rain so we could push through with everything in our 3-day itinerary. I was with my mom, dad and bro. When I planned the itinerary several nights before, I had to consider my mom who was not used to walking a lot, and  my dad who might get “agit” if ever I’d suck big time in navigating. LOL!!! But seriously, that was the most challenging part (but you know, I was able to make them hike the elephant mountain trail! hahahaha..That is like a great achievement for me). They managed to move fast enough so we were able to maximize the time (Clap!Clap!).

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This was at around 2-3am. We just arrived in Ximending. I thought it was that busy of a place that it didn’t sleep anymore. haha

 

XIMENDING

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These pictures that I posted were in Ximending, which is best known for its shopping and foodtrip spots in Taipei, and definitely a must-visit. This was where we stayed. It actually looked like a mini Times Square. (well, for this particular blogpost, I will focus on Ximending). BTW, it is a 40-hr drive from Taoyuan airport.

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Hahaha.. Of course, I didn’t call. Who else would I be talking to? Photo ops only! LOL

 

At night.

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look at that! A performer…. I believe he tried to talk to me, but I turned away. I am not a snob.. too bad i could not understand what he was saying.

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DIARY OF TAIPEI WANGUO

It is located in Hanzhoung st in Ximending. We chose this because of its proximity from  MRT Ximen station exit 6. It’s easily seen because it is just beside Ximen Uniqlo and it has the same building as the Cinema.

We booked this standard quadruple room in Agoda and it cost us around 3000php  for 4 persons per night (10k for 3 nights). The staff, especially the hotel receptionist, were accommodating and very helpful. They changed the linens and provided new towels everyday. They also gave us bottles of water, free coffee and tea. The facilities were clean. We also had free breakfast from KFC. They will give you coupons in the AM and you can get it there directly. They also allowed us to leave our baggage on our last day. Overall, the experience there was good.

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With our very kind receptionist, Roach. He helped us book slots in Starbucks of Taipei 101,35th floor. The highest starbucks. (Read more. )


COMMUNICATION

We no longer bought a sim card to use. I think it would be wiser if you just rented a 4G pocket wi-fi. You can rent it from the airport or from your hotel. As for us, we got the one from our hotel. Its rate is NT$150/day. That is what we use for our communication there. It can accommodate 5-8 gadgets. You can also avail from klook, that was our first option but we decided to get from the hotel 🙂 Their internet is fast there (just in case you are wondering).


TRANSPORTATION

It is fast and easy to roam around Taipei with their MRT. It operates from 6:00 to 24:00. You just need to get a map, learn to switch to different train lines, and know which exit you are going to. The lines are also color coded with English translation Labels. You won’t get lost. If you are lost, you can just ask the officer roaming around and they will guide you. If there is none nearby, you can ask a local about it. Prepare your feet for a lot of walking. As for us, we just rode the MRT. We got an easy card, which is very convenient, and loaded it with 300 for the first time. BTW, The minimum load is NT$100.

If you are going to take the bus, just know which particular route numbers to take. Sometimes, taking taxi cabs can be more convenient or wiser depending on how many people are you in your group and your situation.

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We are with dad. We couln’t be wrong. haha

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TRA in Reifung Station

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For “Aura” purposes only. No,we didn’t have any destination that requires us to ride HSR.


LANGUAGE

If there is one thing that you need to be concerned of when travelling elsewhere, it is verbal communication. You wouldn’t need to worry about getting lost as long as you know how to ask for directions. Before going to Taiwan, I was able to ask some of my friends who had been there before, and they said that Taiwanese people do not really speak English very well.

When I finally arrived in Taiwan, I was surprised to know that most really did not know how to use or had a hard time with the english language. Most of them spoke Chinese

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Most signboards are written in Chinese Characters. Good thing there are also English translations in some places. And only those who are in the tourism-related jobs knows how to speak english.

As a solution, I submitted myself into a “crash course” of Chinese Mandarin while I was there. I just searched for the basics online. And just so you know, it’s not as easy as it sounds, because Chinese is a tonal language. A different tone may mean differently. So even though I read it correctly, they still couldn’t understand some of the words that I said. I hope that they appreciated my effort for trying hard though! LOL! hahaha… If you can’t relay the message, show them pics of where you want to go. Downloading google translate and Chinese mandarin app are also helpful. You can let that speak for you.

But you know what, even if there was the language barrier, I could say that most of the people I asked were willing to help. They are friendly peeps who were so willing to assist us. After the trip, I found this very good channel on Youtube – Seemile . Ohhh, If only I had known this before. So, If you still have time, try to learn the basics.


FOOD AND SHOPPING

There are plenty of street-foods to try. Make sure you allot money for this. Haha! You can also try Din tai fung, which is one of the famous restos out there and is known for their xiao long bao. We were not able to go there anymore though (sorry, I am not really a fan, so it was a little fine with me). As for shopping, you can go to Ximending. There are plenty of night markets in Taipei, such as Raohe and Shilin night market and

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MONEY MATTERS

We changed our money while still in Taoyuan airport. Here’s our estimated expenditure.

Estimated expenditure: (some of it,I rounded off)

Lodging (quad standard room for 4) = Php10,500

International Travel Fee = Php1,620 x 4 = Php6,480

Air Fare RT = Php3,500 each x 4= Php14,000

Transpo (easy card) = NT$400/pax x 4 = NT$1,600 = (Php2,560)

Transport from airport taxi(RT) = NT$ 2,000 = (Php3,200)

Yehliu Entrance= NT$80 each x 4 = NT$320 = (Php512)

Wifi 4G = NT$150/day x 2days = NT$300 (Php 480)

Starbucks (minimum charge in taipei101) = NT$200 x 4 = NT$800 (Php 1,280)

Taxi(chartered travel:Yehliu,shifen,jiufen)=NT$2800=(Php 4480)

Pocket Money/Shop and Food(depends on you 🙂

Total: Php43,492 divided by 4 = Php10,873. More or less 10k per person for this trip:))(TAKE NOT,THIS AMOUNT INCLUDES AIRFARE.So it depends on how “Abangers” you are for seat sale tix.)

Without airfare: 43,492-14,000 (airfare)=PHP29,492 for 4person or PHP7,373/pax


 

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Familiarizing Taipei Metro Map

We spent more than half of our day in Ximending before we hit our itinerary. We waited for the temperature to cool down a bit so that it would not be so hot. Funny thing was that when the time came that it was not too hot anymore, I worried that it would start to rain. So we hurried to go to the Taipei Main Zoo station, where the Maokong gondola was. The operations of Maokong gondola was weather-dependent, so pray that it won’t rain or that it won’t be windy. I have to say that during our whole trip in Taiwan, we did not experience rainfall until the last day. Probably, Taiwan is sad that we were leaving.

Day 0

8pm Airport

11:15pm ETD Taiwan (1 hr & 45 min)

Day 1

1:00am ETA Taiwan

2:00pm Check in Ximending/Diary of taipei hostel

7:00am  wake up/Prep

8:00am  breakfast KFC(free coupons from accom)

10:00 Roam around ximending/Temple/Personal agenda

1:00pm Lunch at Ximending

3:00pm Visit Maokong Gondola

4:30pm Visit Maokong Station/Foodtrip

6:00pm Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

7:30pm Shilin Night Market

11pm Back to accomodation


MAOKONG GONDOLA/STATION/TAIPEI ZOO

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CHIANG KAI SHEK MEMORIAL HALL

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SHILIN NIGHT MARKET

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To continue reading our Day 1 in taiwan, click here.


Other Experiences/Places in Ximending

Taipei Tianhou Temple/Ximending Mazu Temple

While walking along the streets of Wanhou, we noticed this temple. It may go unnoticed for the tourists because it’s between two shops. People may think that Ximending is all about shops and so, but they can actually visit this small but beautiful temple.

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Since this is our nest in Taiwan,we still go out and walk at night after our day tour. (as in Super sinusulit ang place. Hahaha)

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Being on the medical field, this digistamps or “trodat” booth caught my attention! hahaha. These are so cute :))

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Mango Shaved Ice

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with Taro Balls(NT$100)

Taiwan Castella

This tasted sooo good. At closing hours, they usually sold 2 pieces for the price of 1. So upon returning to Ximending, we went to other places first, only to know that it was already sold out when we returned. HUHUHU The Regret!!

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Lunch

(Chinese name… so I forgot:( but it’s above this famous food stall)

We want to try Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodle/ A Zong Mian Xian, well known for serving the best meesua in Taipei.  They had no seats so we chose to go to the restaurant upstairs. We were told that it was nice there as well.

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TAIPEI CITY HOSPITAL

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Taipei City Hospital

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I saw this sign here. Might help someone out there..Hahaha!!!

The streets are mainly used for pedestrians, so there is a designated parking area in the heart of Ximending–the Emei Parking lot. It’s in front of this hospital. So you know where to go just in case something happens.

Modern Toilet – We probably came very early so it was still closed when we passed by. My parents are not very cool with this though. Haha Rap and I would have loved to try.

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Eslite bookstore/LAttea

This is near the Emei Parking lot. It was so refreshing to find this kind of bookstore here in the midst of all the RTW clothes, food stalls, etc.

I actually bought one book about human figures. It was written in chinese though. But hey, I’m for the illustrations. I should have bought the watercolor art book as well. Hahaha.. I think the prices are not that expensive if compared here. (What do you think?). There were also lots of cute stuff to be found.

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Lattea is found inside eslite. we ordered the tea with cream cheese on top.

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STARBUCKS – very cozy place to study. I wish we have this in Ph. Very spacious and there were lots of seats.Image may contain: people sitting, table and indoor

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This is in 711..haha..For Shinichi kudo’s and Ran’s fans, you might want to hang out here. Lol.

 

D M-Beef Noodles

(checking google:I think it is No. 97號, Section 1, Hangzhou South Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100) It was recommended to us by a friend so we gave it a try.  It was just so perfect for the cold weather 🙂 BTW, it is said to be the home of one of the best Taiwanese beef noodles. haha It was delicious, even the appetizers are also good. (Last foodtrip in Taiwan, as I’ve told you it rained during our last day).

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Click here for more info about our trip:

Day 1- This blog and Taiwander2:Maokong,CKS memorial hall,Shilin

Day2-  Northcoast tour: Yehliu Geopark, Shifen and Jiufen

Day 3- Taipei101/Starbucks 35th flr ,  Elephant mountain

 

For you to visualize the destinations, I included here the map for you to see

click here.

DAY 2

7am wake up

8am breakfast

9:15am MRT to taipei main station

9:54am TRA to Reifung stn(9:54am 40mins)

11:00 eta reifung

11:30am etd yehliu geopark(40mins)

1pm

2:30-3:30pm Shifen waterfalls

3:30-4:30pm Shifen old street/flying lantern

5pm-7pmJiufen

7:25pm ETD Reifung stn to taipei Main Streer

11pm Ximending

 

DAY 3

7:30 am wake up/prep for early checkout (checkout is 12nn)

8:00am-10am breakfast

11:00 Starbucks 35th floor/ taipei 101

1:30am Elephant mountain

3:20 end of hike / Shongshan temple

4:30 back to ximending/ Tidy up

6:00-8pm M Beef Noodle soup

8-10pm Eslite bookstore/Lattea

10:00 ETD to Taoyuan Airport

11pm ETA Taoyuan Airport

1:15 ETD to Manila

3:30 ETA in Manila

Comment below if you want a printable file.:)

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TaiWander2:Maokong, CKS memorial hall, Shilin

Ni hao!!I still can’t get over about being a TaiWanderer so I would continue my blog here.LOL. By this time,you have probably read the 1st part of my Taiwander blog. Well if not it is just fine, you can go back here. We spent most of our day in Ximending but you can adjust your time depending on your own iti.

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Day 1

1:00am ETA Taiwan

2:00pm Check in Ximending/Diary of taipei hostel

7:00am  wake up/Prep

8:00am  breakfast KFC/

10:00 Roam around ximending/Temple/Personal agenda

1:00pm Lunch at Ximending

3:00pm Visit Maokong gondola

4:30pm Visit  Maokong station/Foodtrip

6:00pm Chiang kai chek memorial hall

7:30pm Shilin night market

11pm Back to hostel


MAOKONG GONDOLA/STATION/TAIPEI ZOO

How to get here:

1.From ximending, ride blue line up to Zhongxiao Fuxing stn.

2. Swith to brown/Wenhu line.Alight at taipei zoo station. You can walk from there. You won’t be lost,you can see it from there.Believe me.

We just used the easy card here,it is very convenient.I think it costs us NT$120/pax. You can do round trips via but we decided to get one way only. Maokong Gondola is until 5. Pray that the weather will be fine so they can fully operate the cable cars.

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We no longer included Taipei zoo in our iti.We just prioritize going to gondola because the weather is just fine for it. It depends on you if you want to do both because these two attractions are just near from each other. From the taipei zoo station, you can already see maokong Gondola station.

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We no longer bought our tickets here since we are using our easy cards which we bought from Ximen station.Thank God there are no long queues.

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There are few stations between Maokong station and Taipei Main zoo. We thought the travel time was just fast and the personnel will be asking us to go down in every station we were stopping. But as it turns out, they just said hello and we continued the ride. We were able to take pictures and enjoy the view at the same time.It takes about 30mins.

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Take the crystal cabin with transparent floor for better experience. This will also test the courage of those who have fear of heights.Imagine how we manage to do some pictorials without photobomber in this small space.haha

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The view was spectacular.You can see the city side as well as the mountainside.Very relaxing.BTW, the brochure says it is closed during mondays for maintenance.So it is open from Tues to Sundays,starting at 8:30 or 9.Max number of people in crystal cabin is 5, and standard is 8.

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It is Taipei’s first high-altitude gondola.

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This how Maokong station looks like.Very nice view of the Maokong Mt.

 


MAOKONG STATION

Maokong,which means No cat,is known locally grown tea and its scenic spots.

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There are different street foods.As for us we just tasted their match ice cream(The one that has an edible cat on it).I think  it is around NT$80. Once you are done with this place, you can return to the taipei zoo main station via taxi.They are easily seen. we are actually standing the taxi bay. The rate is standard and it costs $75/pax. And I didn’t know they could include a joiner there. I mean, we took the same ride with another tourist.

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I felt a little dizzy when we went downhill because the taxi which we rode on smelled like cigarette fumes. This ride takes around 30mins. So, just in case you’ll be taking a cab, try to sniff in first if you can tolerate it. Haha!Of course,we would not want to spoil the rest of our iti just because we don’t feel good anymore.(Sad face!like huhuhubells)



CHIANG KAI SHEK MEMORIAL HALL

How to get here:

1.From taipei zoo stn(brown line),alight at Daan stn.

2.Switch to red line until yo reach Chiang kai shek memorial hall station. Go to exit 5.

You can’t say you have visited Taiwan if you have not seen this historical landmark. This was built in memory of Chiang Kai Shek, a former president of Republic of China(ROC). (Just in case you are wondering, ROC is Taiwan; and People’s Republic of China is China)haha.I’d rather not say anything about their politics:))

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looks like a hat:)

If you wish to know more, click here to view their site.

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We might not be able to witness the changing of guards because it is until 4;but, we saw the flag lowering ceremony which is usually done at 5:10pm”At least,may ganap”Haha

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This is surrounded by a park,  Liberty Square on its East. On its north and south are the National Theater and National Concert Hall.

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Also,we saw the place lighted up.:)I usually have end-of-the-day anxiety but this brighten my mood:))weeee!!!Winner!Wuhoo.LOL!

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Winner pic to.I like it.I almost kissed the ground while taking it.LOL!!haha


SHILIN NIGHT MARKET

How to get here:

From Chiang Kai shek memorial hall, take the MRT at red line.Alight at Jiantan station(not shilin).You can see it across the street. If there is more time(you can prolly squeeze in some minutes to visit the National palace museum in Shilin stn before proceeding here.) I’ll reserve that for next taiwan adv(God willing:),So help me God!)

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The facade.

You still need to walk before you get here. Don’t worry !When you alight at Jiantan station, you will see some food stalls and shops immediately across the street.You won’t get lost.Plus, You won’t get bored because of the amusing view of people eating street foods and the mere sight of the street food starts at that corner of the street.

There are so many things that attracts the eye-from food to souvenirs as well as mini amusing games.

This looks easy but no!hahaha

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This is the road I am talking about.You have to walk through this before you reach Shilin Night Market. It is just near.

 

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This is one of the sweetest fresh orange juice I have tasted so far. Certified thirst quencher. The girl vendor was so sweet and jolly. She also gave us lots of free taste. You can choose between sour and sweet.(NT$55 or 70(?)

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Probably, we got really thirsty from the all day walking so we were enticed easily by these colorful,sweet and juicy fruits.This picture below is a pork strip/sheet. It somehow tastes like tapa for me(?),thinner and dried tapa:)Get the idea?Tell me if we have same thoughts once you tasted it.hahaha

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Foodie

Even in Manila, we like eating shaved ice so imagine our delight when we found this. (BTW,Have you tried the Baobing in Caution hot and snow creme in maginhawa? )Well, here we have found their relatives.We tried the mulberry and the one with pudding.

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Foodie

This is the Potato prince cheese. Imagine the long queues I had to endure for this.HAha I almost did not want to buy anymore but I was like, “No, I could not miss this!!”

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Blowtorched steak-looks so appetizing but we did not eat this anymore.

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Foodie

Foodie

This we have tried. NT$100 for scallops and NT$150 for the oyster.It is also blowtorched.It is cheesy.Haha

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Tired feet but with happy tummy:))

I heard the following are also must-try’s: Stinky tofu, squid-whatever-on-a-stick, sausage.Taiwanese meatballs (We feel full. LOL(How ironic. Prolly because of the great amount of fluid we took in)



 

Click here for more info about our trip:

Day1:  TaiWander 🇹🇼TaiWander2:Maokong, CKS memorial hall, Shilin

Day2-  Northcoast tour: Yehliu Geopark, Shifen and Jiufen

Day 3- Taipei101/Starbucks 35th flr ,  Elephant mountain

 

Comment below if you want the printable iti.

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TaiWander: Jiufen Old street

 

Jiufen old street

Jiufen

 

If there are things I can relate Jiufen old street to, those are wholesome gastronomic experience, overlooking sceneries and red round lanterns. It is said that the  film, Spirited away, based its location in this place. Read more about that similarities here:  Spirited away.  And I could say that just like Chihiro’s parents, i was enticed by the delicious variety of food offered within its streets. For the whole two hours that we spent there, I could say that it was short but sweet. This was our last stop for our Northern Taiwan tour for our second day. Good thing I was able to see it in daylight and nightime.

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This is the entrance. .Haha.I could sense that the placement of 7-11 beside the entrance is very strategic.Imagine everyone who will be taking a photo there. Ah!very good advertisement…haha. From that entrance, Food sellers are already giving some taste samplers. They will not hesitate to give you some more if you would ask.

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Aside from the food, some stores are also selling souvenirs and various items.

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Wines

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Raprap,my brother, was starting to buy some peanut-rolled ice cream.It was cold and tasty.You can taste the peanuts. It is like lumpiang shanghai or burrito ice cream with crushed peanuts.

Busy narrow streets. Sometimes there will be slow traffic as the tourists stops in front of a store or food stall to check or buy on something.

Food everywhere

Here are some of the food I have tasted and seen. I may not remember all their names but I remember more what they looked like. The reason why I placed this food section of this blog is that I want you to experience how I felt when I was walking the narrow streets of Jiufen. (Super takaw-tikim everywhere)I did not taste everything though.I just pick those that is visually pleasing and tasty for me. Haha. But Please don’t get tired scrolling I still have some stories to tell you below.

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Vermicelli noodles,dumplings

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Rice cake

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Jiufen

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tea

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Look at me.I did not know which food stall to go.hahaha

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I remember that I almost got my stomach full just by passing by the free taste.HAHA!!!I was not able to take pics of the others though.(If I did took pics of all the food that  saw, then this blog would have been longer.HAha)

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Because we got tired from this all-day walking, we decided to eat our dinner.We actually had a hard time looking for a place to eat since there are many restaurants to choose from. However, this resto got our attention because it looks so clean and bright. The prices are also very affordable. You know we are not that hungry because we could find something to munch on with all these street food and taste samplers.  They just wanted to eat and sit. Good enough for a hungry stomach and tired legs.

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Jiufen

 

When you continue walking straight, you will reach this place.Many people are here to take photos and see the overlooking view from Jiufen.

Jiufen old street

You can continue walking there. But as for us, we stopped here to take breathtaking photos of the view and looked for the famous century-old tea house

Jiufen old street

Jiufen old street

My heart was captivated by this view.

Jiufen old street

Jiufen old street


A Mei Tea house

We asked the nearby store where this is.This got me so curious that I want to see it for myself. This is said to be the inspiration of the bath house in Spirited away. Plus, This is seen in one of the post cards in Taiwan and if you happen to visit this particular place this is the one you shouldn’t miss.

Jiufen old street

Jiufen old street

You know, this place where I was posing?It was narrowed by people wanted to take a pic of them with the teahouse. It is almost impossible to take a picture without photobombers. So expect that you need to have a good timing to take good pictures  or if you can snap asap.

Jiufen old street

This is the entrance.

Jiufen old street

Jiufen old street

We no longer went inside because we still wanted to roam in the old street.Plus,there were so many tourists inside that time.

 

Jiufen old street

Also, funny thing was, this bay or area where we took this pic happened to be a staircase that leads to another tea house.That teahouse’s staircase was full of tourist wanting to take pictures of the A-mei tea house.

 

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Jiufen

Jiufen old street

 

Jiufen old street


SHENGPING THEATRE

When you go down further you will see this Shengping theatre, which is a landmark at Qingbian Road. This was actually built during the Japanese occupation.

Jiufen old street

After we saw this as we go down, we returned immediately because we wanted to go back to the grape seed juice stall.(I’ll tell it to you in a while)


A TUNNEL OR A PORTAL?

So this place was originally a gold mining area.It is not so surprising to see small tunnels just like this one. This is actually near A-mei tea house.Would you dare entering this one?

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Jiufen old street

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Jiufen old street

https://web.facebook.com/reezlie/videos/10209318354183795/

It looks a little creepy. So we did not go inside at first. But curiosity hits us and we continued walking. We ended up in a place like this.It is actually more tranquil place.Like literally it offers a place to breathe away from the crowded streets. There was no one there at that time so just took pics and left immediately.

 

Jiufen old street

Jiufen

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, mountain, sky, tree, outdoor and natureIn spirited away, there was also a tunnel but that one is a portal to the magical world.And that is how the story started.


The View

If you follow the path from the entrance and walk straight, you will see the view in the pics below. Jiufen is located in a mountainous area in the Ruifung district in the Northeastern part of Taiwan. So it is nearer from the Reifung station of TRA. It has some Baguio(Philippines) or Santorini(Greece) vibes because of the strategic placement of houses and establishments. Up there, it offers the stunning view of the pacific ocean.

Jiufen old street

Jiufen old street

Jiufen old street

BTW, look what I have found at Guidetotaipei.com. Jiufen is “Founded during the Qing Dynasty, this small town was a relatively isolated village until the discovery of gold during the Japanese occupation in 1893, quickly developing the town due to a gold rush. Many buildings in the town remain unchanged to this day, reflecting the Japanese influence on both architecture and culture on the island. During World War II, the town housed a Japanese prisoner of war camp where captured Allied Force soldiers (mainly British) were forced to work in the gold mines. After the war, gold mining activities declined, and the town today exists mainly as a tourist destination remembering and celebrating Taiwanese history and culture.”read More


Before we leave

We really returned in this stall before we left. We bought this grape seed concentrate from Ms. Precious. I am telling you, you should really try this one. She gives a lot of taste samplers. You would definitely want for more.

Jiufen old street

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TIME

I think the best time to go here is around afternoon until the sunset. You will see the red lanterns light up:).We stayed here until 7pm. It was not that dark yet.But the stores at this hour already starts to close.

Jiufen old street

Jiufen

Just before we finally leave the place our driver, Mr. Bingo Chen, asked us if we want to take a picture in this area or stay for a few minutes to appreciate the view. Look at that those are very nice to look at. Glad we just hailed a taxi for this trip. Buses don’t stop in this place.

Jiufen

Jiufen old street

https://web.facebook.com/reezlie/videos/10209318370024191/


Overall:

I do not know if it is just the resemblance of the film’s location, Spirited Away, to Jiufen. But I could say that it already had made a mark in heart. My brother was a little disappointed though because he expected the place to be so similar with that movie. You know, “No face” can be seen everywhere as key chain or stuffed toy.It was fun walking through that tunnel only to find out a different set up on the other side. It was a quieter place.It is like you can get lost and avoid the crowd in an instant. Probably there is more to see in Taiwan, but I encourage everyone to visit this place.

How to get here:

-You can ride the MRT and alight at  Songshan station.Then,take the take the Keelung bus 1062

.-As for us, we rode MRT from Ximen up to Taipei Main station.Switch to  TRA up to Reifung.Then, we took a cab from the Reifung station to cover our Northern Taiwan: Yehliu,shifen and jiufen street.(It costs us NT$2800  for 4pax.)

 

Day2-  Northcoast tour: Yehliu Geopark, Shifen and Jiufen

Day 3- Taipei101/Starbucks 35th flr ,  Elephant mountain

 

 

1

TaiWander: Yehliu Geopark

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“We will rock you” is an understatement here. Well, this is the Yehliu geopark, which is a peninsula that runs about 1.7km. At first, I did not thought that the place was huge since I am just seeing the rock formations in pictures. I did not realize that I will be appreciating these pieces of oddly-looking but beautifully and naturally designed rocks even though it was hot..  (Read more about the rocks here.)


How to go there there:

1.Take Mrt to Taipei Main station.(Main station connects to different lines, such as TRA,THSR,Taoyuan Airport MRT).Do not be surprised.You really have to go out of MRT to switch trains.(I’m telling this to you because I was surprised that we had to go out. I thought we just needed to switch lines.LOLLL)

2.Buy a ticket and take a train to Reifung station.(40mins travel time.Note the timetableOurs was 9:54. (We only added NT$100 on our easy card.)reifung is in the middle of Shifen and jiufen, but the latter is nearer. Afraid that we might hop in to a wrong train, we asked some people to confirm it first.

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3.You can ride a train going to shifen. Take the pingxi line and alight at Shifen station.There are also buses which you can take.

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As for us, we rode a taxi. Outside the train stations is a taxi terminal. Since we also wanted to visit YehLiu Geopark,Shifen and Jiufen(separate blog), we just negotiated the taxi driver to customize our trip. It was a bit challenging at first because they know only few English. Our whole trip covers:Yehliu,shifen waterfalls and jiufen. It costs us NT$2800. (Sounds okay for me, lower than the price if we had availed package tours.It is also more time-efficient and convenient.At least we can save the extra money for food and lantern which are still excluded in the tour package)

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Good thing, Mr Bingo Chen can speak a little english so he was the one we negotiated with. Other drivers didn’t talk to us.


This is our whole day itinerary: DAY 2

7am wake up

8am breakfast

9:15am MRT to taipei main station

9:54am TRA to Reifung stn(9:54am 40mins)

11:00 eta reifung

11:30am-1pm etd yehliu geopark(1 and 30mins)

2:30-3:30pm Shifen waterfalls(1hr)

3:30-4:30pm Shifen old street/flying lantern(1hr)

5pm-7pm Jiufen(2hrs)

7:25pm ETD Reifung stn to taipei Main Station

11pm Ximending


YEH LIU GEOPARK

 

You will pass through this as you approach the area.
IMG_1110 The entrance IMG_1256

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The first part was shaded by trees.
IMG_0038 Then, there will be a clearing.You will see this. DSC_5511

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IMG_1274 BTW ,here is the map as well as the attractions you have to look at in order for you to find the unique rocks. IMG_9903

AS you roam around,There will be times that you would think that the huge rock beside you is just ordinary but No.Later on, you would realize that it has a particular name.
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Take note of signs like these. They are there to guide you.
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It is actually a huge park.If you have a limited time, you have to–let us say,strategize or quickly plan which way you go first for you to see everything. Expect that there will be many people wanting to take their own pictures so again strategize. If you don’t want photobombers on your shot go to a less crowded area first. If you do not have a choice then you cannot do anything about it.You can’t tell them to leave.Haha. Just enjoy the scenery.

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During our visit, it was kinda hot and windy at the same time. We cannot use umbrella or our hats(unless it has a tie on it) because the wind will blow it away. SO wear sunscreen or sunblock as you will be exposed to the sun.(If it is sunny,of course.) You might as well tie your hair or clip it in place. I remember myself brushing my hair out of my face and it was sort of a hassle.

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Honeycomb rock

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Mushroom rocks.They actually look like truffes to me.

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This is the cute princess.Is she really cute?:D

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The Iconic Queen’s head.You have to fall in line in order for you to take a pic with it.

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A park is not complete without their souvenir shop. IMG_0041

IMG_0044 Yehliu Aquapark is just near the area. It is not included in my iti so we did not go there anymore DSC_5686

So we were given 1hr and 30mins to stay and roam around at this place. Even if we are in control of our time, it is a must that we adhere to the suggested time. This is to ensure that we could complete the list in our itinerary. We were a bit late buy 10minutes though because we had to go to the restroom to freshen up. After this is Shifen waterfalls and the old street. I’ll finally see you guys!yehey!

Check out the other Taiwan-related trips:

Day 2: Jiufen,  Shifen waterfalls and the old street. 

Day 3: elephant mountain, starbucks and taipei101