Sunday, July 29, 2012

Fortune telling

I remember my mom and grandmother were into fortune telling. I'm not. Though I remember having my palm read once I think in college by a random person and he said that I would be married by 23. 
It passed and I'm still single he he he

I don't believe in this and I don't recommend but I just had to accompany a friend. I also wanted to see Quiapo, Manila. I've been hearing so much about the place. The church and the fortune tellers. We knew we were in the area already when everything got busier.  The place is also known as a marketplace with lots of thieves and snatchers. So we were paranoid and alert. 

We went there simply dressed. We headed outside the Quiapo church. The fortune tellers were not hard to find as they were all lined up just beside the church. With their chair, little table, umbrella and their tarot cards. 

There are those who uses regular cards

We picked a fortune teller randomly. He was the only one we saw smiling. 
For 100 pesos you get to know you're fortune.
He shuffled the cards and had my friend place her hand and asked her in her mind to ask three questions she is looking for an answer to.

He laid down the cards and started blabbing.

There were times he asked to pick a card from the pile. 

After the cards, he asked for my friend's hands. This was a trick.
When we were done, she gave him 100 pesos but he said that there was an additional payment for the palm reading which was an additional 100. My friend said she didn't know that there was an additional fee since he just asked for her hands. The fortune teller answered that she never asked. He told her he was going to help her pray for an additional 1500 pesos I think. He will need to buy the things he needed for it. Good thing my friend was sane enough to know he was squeezing money out from her.

I then asked my friend if all her questions got answered. It wasn't. 
I guess it was just a matter of playing one's mind. For a single woman, normally the questions would be about love. The fortune teller was good in story telling. I sat there observing and checking for consistencies in what he was saying. I'd say I got bored near to the half of it because I was able to sense inconsistencies already. 

I wasn't able to get a lot of photos because it was scary to show your phone and camera to those observant thieves around. It was quite an experience or should I say an observation. I really can't believe that a lot of people believe in this. I find it really silly . . . in my opinion.

Most of the things the man said to my friend did not happen :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Surf in La Union

A friend sent an invitation to surf in San Juan, La Union. I was a bit hesitant at first because I don't know how to swim then and you can't surf with a life vest. But then that time I had a rib injury and so, I can't surf. Still I went because it was something new to me. 

We met up midnight at Partas Bus line in their Cubao terminal. Cubao always freaks me out but this terminal was spacious, well-lighted and has security in it. It also has wi-fi access that I was able to use while I wait for my other companions.

Since the 1:00am trip was a premium bus, we had no choice but to take the De Luxe where we had to add like a 100+ to the regular fare, which wasn't bad at all.
My seat.
There are only 3 seats in a row.
De Luxe seats mean more leg room . . . more comfortable . . . it has a recliner too.
The trip was also fast because we had only one stop. 

We arrived at our destination in 5 hours. If you pass by this sign, it means you miss your stop :)

If this doesn't tell you that you're already at the surfing area, I don't know what will he he he

This is River.
He just stares at you and just like the surfers,  he just lies there and chills.

The weather was just lovely and perfect when we got there

I've always associate Mango shakes with beaches  so I make it a point to always order  one
My San Miguel Mango Shake

I was left being the photographer because I had a rib injury and can't surf

Saw this man on the rocks. This is safe when the waves aren't big but it can be dangerous  when there are huge waves. It can throw you out on the sharp rocks. I watched an episode in Bondi Rescue where the waves had no mercy in throwing tourists while having a photo shoot with the waves behind them.

The whole time, she had her umbrella
Cam you tell how many woman are there?
They were a happy group. They did not surf but just waited for the waves to hit them. If I did not have my ribs injured, I would have joined them though not as daring as their swim wear.

Three things you need before the surf; Sunblock, rash guard with high spf and board shorts

Surfing lessons are everywhere in this area. Of course, Billabong is well-known in the surfing world. We also have them here in the Philippines. You can also rent rash guard.

Surf lessons

Picking your board. The long boards are good for beginners. The short ones are harder to use they said.
Once you have your board, you tie them to your ankles while on land.

You have to carry your own board or you can have your surf instructor carry it for you he he he
A kid as young as her can do it! She was fierce!
Surfing instructor guiding Ria to the waves
You also need to watch your area. Give courtesy to others.
Just like this photo where they could have crashed into each other.
There will be times that you have a moment with your instructors because the waters are flat and you just wait for your waves
Patience is a virtue. You'll get your wave.
She did a good job on her first time to surf. You would see the smiles on her face every time she gets up on the board.
He looks like he does this every day
They had another session after lunch but the sun hid and the waves were always breaking and turns into whitewash.
They got frustrated and easily got exhausted.

Everyone happy!
I met another friend and this dog was just beautiful sitting next to me while we watch the surfers
Aside from the thrilling experience they had, here are the other souvenirs they got aside from the body pain.
They were fine with it and proudly can say they had a great time, they were able to do it and laughs about the bruises.

This was just a day trip. 
We then decided to have dinner in Baguio which took us about 2 hours to get there.
We took the Partas Bus again bound to Baguio.
This was hilarious. If you notice, we went to La Union with class . . . sitting on De Luxe seats and we ended up with center seats . . . little kid's mono block seats ha ha ha but we were tired to complain.
After this experience, I immediately went to swimming classes    
to overcome the fear of whatever might happen to me if I was left in the open water. I did not get a chance to go back and try surfing because schedule did not permit it with other travels.
Though for sure one day, I will! 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Crocodiles in Palawan

When you speak of Palawan, they say that one of the things that a tourist must see 
is the Crocodile Farm. 
I did not want to see it.
I wasn't too thrilled about seeing crocodiles.
I loved Steve Irwin, the Crocodile hunter. I loved his shows. I was super sad when he died (seriously). 
But still . . . I never became a fan of crocodiles.

It was part of the City Tour we got. I had no choice.

The Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center is at the southern part from town. We rented a van. Though this is accessible  by a jeepney or a tricycle which you can rent from town. This may take you roughly around half an hour.  

The tour is 40 pesos only

A real crocodile skin with the skeleton below. It is said to be very old that's why it died.
But rumor has it that they killed this creature because it ate a child.
So why did they not make the skin as a bag or shoes . . .  skin was too old. 

The nursery area. We were told that even if they're young, they aren't kittens and puppies where we can  pet them with our hands.
The young ones are called hatchlings. They are usually the leather bags, shoes, wallets and  food, 

There are two kinds of crocodiles in the Philippines. The saltwater and freshwater crocs. You'll see the difference here.

These are the adults . . . chillin'
They are nocturnal so they are asleep.
I can't tell the saltwater crocs from the freshwater ones . . . because we got busy with picture taking and the voice of the tour guide became just a buzzing sound to our ears.

A nature park after the croc farm

We wanted to see a porcupine but since we lost our tour guide, we did not attempt to even walk around fearing that a croc might be on the loose he he he

The protection act. Thanks for the info.

They said there were monkeys . . . I didn't see one so we just took a photo on this he he he

I couldn't understand our driver and the handler's pronunciation . . . I thought they said it was a meerkat. Funny, it didn't look like the meerkats I watch in Animal Planet.
Later I found out that it's a Palawan Bearcat. I feel sorry for this animal. It's nocturnal also but the locals are getting money from this by having them work for picture taking instead of making them sleep and rest.
The Bearcat is heavy and it is blind . . . I think at day. It likes to sniff and they're very heavy.
(You just give donations here)

What the heck! I took a photo with it. I feel sorry for the young croc too. Again, they should be resting and these people are making money out of it. But the experience was great. I love the skin. It really did felt like a leather bag.
It's 30 pesos for different poses.

I've been to this place several times but because I had friends and family who wanted to visit so I had no choice but to go with them.

Near the parking lot, there's a carinderia where the signage will get your attention.

They say it's healthy

A Swedish tourist who I guided to go here wanted to try the crocodile meat. I said no but she insisted. I didn't like crocodiles . . . what more to even eat them. 

Great, they had to put a croc around the plate which reminds you that you really are eating a croc

A very curious Louise :)

She took the first bite and when she didn't turn into anything, I got my bite.  

I had no choice when she ordered it and place a plate and rice in front of me. It was okay. A bit chewy. I really am not sure if it was really chewy or psychologically, it was hard for me to eat it and that I had to cover it with lots of rice.

We did not finish it and had to put it in a doggy bag.

This place is educational but there really are certain areas I am against at like the photo shoot with the Bearcat, the hatchling and eating the crocodile meat (which is a young croc)
I realized this after doing it that I am against it.