Sunday, August 28, 2016

Calaguas Island

There are several ways to go to Calaguas from Metro Manila.
By plane, by bus and by private van.
We took the easiest way!

Calaguas Island is part of Camarines Norte in the Bicol region which is South of Luzon.
Since our driver and owner of the van is from Paracale, he knew the road very well and we got there in 6 hours.

When we arrived in Paracale, we had breakfast in the carinderia.
Don't expect much from this little town.
We had to buy everything we need at Paracale to bring to the island.

After we registered in Paracale, we took a boat which brought us two hours in Calaguas Island.
There were very few tourists that time as there was a southwest monsoon.
We were all determine to go. Good thing a boat captain was brave enough to bring us there.

Boat ride was calm at first but the water became a little rough in the middle.

Don't expect much when you get to the island when it comes to lodging.
No hotels around.
It's a camping place.
Electricity runs from evening until midnight ran by a generator.

Water pump is available.
You either do it on your own or pay someone for 10 pesos per bucket.

If you don't have your own cook set, they have a kitchen where you can cook.

You can rent a hut if you want to but it's just the basic.

Next to where we stayed, there was a more glamorized hut. According to one of the tourists who stayed there, it was around 3,000 pesos good for 4. What you see behind me is the hut plus some matress.

ann d explorer

Very ... very ... limited mobile networks here. There are
just a couple areas and when you do find it,  it's really weak.

The beach area was super clean.

Since there was no internet, we went back to playing kid's games like patentero, luksong baka and volleyball.

Then we would go dip in the water then back to the sand and just chill.

The water was crystal clear.


The fine white powdery sand!
In and out of the waters.

ann d explorer

We enjoyed every moment of it as it was off-peak season and there were very few tourists.

ann d explorer

The following day, we woke up early to set free sky lanterns.


It was very challenging at first because it was really windy.
It was a struggle with the lighter.

But we were able to be successful with just two sky lanterns.
We were suppose to have one each.

You can walk bare foot without getting hurt.

ann d explorer

We met "Whitey"
He followed us while we explore the beach.
Sometimes we thought he was gone but he was just there.

We enjoyed each other's company.

He's as white as the sand.
He would camouflage.
Paw prints in the sand!

Oh ... of course we were the team explorers while the others did their own thing.

ann d explorer

A hermit crab!

Lester and Kim had a body roll race.

We were suppose to do island hopping but the water was rough so we trekked instead.

Trail is very easy. 
It'll only take half an hour.

This is our guide.

They were always ready for a photo.

The view was awesome at the top.

We saw water buffalos and goats.

The view was just incredible.

Hung out with a couple of local kids.

ann d explorer

Group photo.
This group was called TMT and this group is just the best!

Going back to Paracale was very challenging.
It was longer because the water was crazy rough.
The waves were huge to the point that some of our friends were WET!
I was prepared.

We only spent two days and one night at this wonderful island.
This is by far, the most beautiful beach I have ever been to so far.

ann d explorer

This trip we had was very budget friendly.
We spent 2,200/person (12 pax in a group)
Inclusion (Van, 5 Meals, Boat rental, Cottage, Environmental fee, Guide fee and tips)

Credits to Don of TMT for the other photos. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Mt. Bromo, Indonesia (Part1)

I saw a photo of a friend who had an amazing shot in Mt. Bromo and I immediately wrote Mt. Bromo on my Travel list of places to go to before I die.

Because Cebu Pacific had a promo, we booked a trip to Ngurah Rai International Airport (Denpasar).

My first time to be in Indonesia. I wish to go back again.

While waiting for our driver at the airport . . .
Selfie time!

This Indonesian man is also a driver. He helped us in contacting our driver.
He was so nice that he even offered his phone to call our driver without any fee.

Our money.
We had millions but if you convert it into peso, it's not much.

We were surprised when we got inside our car.
We had free drinks.
You don't see that in the Philippines.

Our driver in Bali is Hendrix who drove us 3 hours from Denpasar to Gilimanuk port, which is West of Bali Island.
In Java, Hendrix endorsed us to Wan, his brother and our driver/guide.

In between selfies.

Gilimanuk port.

A boat ride for 30 minutes.

My friends took every opportunity to sleep.
They slept inside the plane.
They slept inside the car.
They slept inside the boat.
I tried not to.
I don't want to miss anything.

When we got to Ketapang port in Java Island, it took us 6 hours more to get to our lodge in Mt. Bromo. We got there late. We slept right away because we need to be early the next day for the sunrise.

No photos while trekking because it was dark and freezing cold.
Trek was just short and easy.


The two happiest people in this activity.
We love trekking.

The sunrise.

No sea of clouds.
But . . . the view was wonderful on its own.
Mt. Bromo and Mt. Semeru.


The viewdeck is below but there were too many people so we decided to advance a little.

Selfie with Mt. Bromo and the other mountains.

ann d explorer

We shared the spot with just 4 other tourists.
We met two artists from Thailand.
A lot of filipinos say I look like a Thai (Korean, Japanese and Chinese) more than a fiilipino.
Do I look like them?
They spoke little english so I just understood the part that they were photographers focusing on landscape.

I can now put a check mark on my travel list.

ann d explorer

Wan brought us coffee while we  enjoy it looking at the amazing view.

No. He is NOT the one.
Just a random photobomber.

I have sooooo many selfies with the wonderful view.

Group photo!

Our guide in Java Island, Esnawan "Wan" Alysius.
You may contact him in Facebook or contact his numbers:
+62 812 3626 276
+62 361 9235007
What's App is also popular in Indonesia so you can contact him there too.
Shoot him an e-mail if you want at

ann d explorer

Our next activity, is to get to Mt. Bromo.

Please wait for the Part 2 of our Bromo experience.
It gets better.
I promise to post it SOON.