Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Reef Walking a.k.a Helmet Diving in Boracay

 I have never thought I would do helmet diving as being in deep water freaks me out. When I did this, I did not know how to swim. Well........ guess what? You don't need to know how. My heart was beating three times the normal it should when we were preparing to go inside the water. I was the second brave soul from our group. I wanted to do it right away because fear might eat me alive. I tried not to panic because I might forget all the instructions and hand signals. We were assisted by two divers where one was taking the photos and videos while the other diver was just swimming around making sure everyone was okay. We went down on 15ft on helmets with oxygen on the boat. Though we had to hold on to the helmet which had a bit of a weight but not too heavy as kids can handle it. It was amazing down there where you would see different school of fishes and their amazing colors. The diver will give you bread to feed them. I did not mind the little prickles I felt on my long as they are not sharks (I guess if they were sharks, I would never see my fingers he he he) A group of five can spend 30 minutes down there. I unconsciously stayed there and spent the experience with the second group (I was from the first batch)  I was having so much fun and they let me stay there until I got tired. The price is not bad when you're in a group. It would be around PhP200 - PhP300/each for locals. They offer different rates for foreigners. I would definitely do this again.

Going down

I just have chinky eyes but it's wide open ha ha ha

Fish was talking to me =)

with the first group

with the second group

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Brain eater

Most people eat everything inside a cow, pig, chicken and other animals. I've eaten intestines, gizzards, chicken ass and liver. So why not brains?

One Saturday afternoon, we decided to have kebab. We headed to Uncle Moe Shawarma Hub at City Golf Arcade in Julia Vargas, Pasig. It's an affordable Mediterranean resto with good music. The Ox brain on the menu for starters caught our interest & immediately ordered one for only PhP88. 

An ox is said to have around 450g - 500g of brain. It is high in cholesterol and less on protein content. It has a li'l taste of an omelette with less salt and msg.  You can eat it with a spicy condiment to balance the taste. It's important that when you taste/eat it, condition your brain that it's not a brain or else you'll feel like gawking. It's not something I would order again but it was good to try.  It is not true that only zombies can eat brains so I suggest you do it also.

It looks and taste a li'l bit like egg

Don't worry...this is not a side effect of eating Ox brain hehehe
Our video of eating the brain 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Sinking Bell Tower

The Sinking Bell Tower is a famous landmark and tourist attraction of Ilocos Norte located in the city. It is claimed to be the tallest bell tower in the Philippines and was built by the Augustinians in 1612. It got its name because it was built on sandy foundation and the reason why it has been sinking at around an inch per year. It's said to be 150 ft high. I'm just not sure if that's the current or the original height of the tower. If you notice on the photo, it doesn't have a church beside it. The bell tower is part of St. William's Cathedral which is 85meters across the street. A bit far from the church but it still serves its function as the bell rings to inform of the Catholics of the mass.  

Sunday, September 18, 2011

La Paz Sand Dunes, Ilocos Norte

I don't think we'll survive in the desert. 

This realization came about when we went to La Paz Sand Dunes which is a protected sandy coastal desert near Laoag City in Ilocos Norte. 

Locally known as Bantay Bimmaboy, it is a favorite spot for shooting films.  The panoramic view was gorgeous with the compliments of the bluest sky and great cloud formations. The dunes are said to be 10 - 30meters. Activities like trekking, sand boarding and a 4-wheel vehicle or an all-terrain-vehicle (ATV) ride would be fun here. The place is a 15 minute ride from the city and can be accessible by jeepneys, tricycles or hired vans. 

We stayed there for maybe 10 - 15minutes. The sun was all smile and was scorching hot. We didn't see other people or a vision of any of the activities I mentioned. I guess we weren't the only ones who were in a hurry to leave. A few picture taking and of course, just so to have an activity done there.....we did jump shots......and more jump shots. Then rushed back inside our hired van to get the heavenly air and away from the burning hell. I think we were there close to noon which is a time I do not recommend.

Now you know why we won't survive in the desert on a summer and this is just in the Philippines which has a tropical weather. I can just imagine being in Sahara Desert or somewhere in the Middle East. Though if we had arrived earlier, you might probably see us lying down on the dunes and would have more creative shots with the dramatic view.   

*photos 3 & 4 by Chando

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fort Ilocandia Resort

No, we did not stay here as we try as much as possible to travel cheap but comfortable (clean, safe and with aircon) but still our tour guide in Laoag, Ilocos Norte took us to see Fort Ilocandia Resort in case in the future we would want to stay in a 5-star resort hotel.

It's a bit far from the city but when you're there, you can be busy with the recreation and facilities that they offer. Outdoor activities to name a few are All Terrain Vehicles (ATV), horse riding,  hot air balloon, shooting range, paintball, tennis, fishing, snorkeling and a lot more which other resorts does not offer. A mini zoo, swimming pool, casino, shopping arcade and restaurants are also available inside the resort. It is also accessible to the Golf and Country club. In time, when I get rich, I'd like to go back here and try all the activities  *=)