Friday, January 23, 2015

Another Day In Palawan: From Marianne Hotel To Honda Bay

Wowed by the beauty of Honda Bay last year, I told myself that I will be back. Never thought that it will be this soon. Thanks to the generous and very accommodating people of Marianne Hotel - Puerto Princesa and Maple Travels and Tours, me and John just started the summer season of 2015 very early.

For those whose idea of Palawan is Coron, El Nido and the Underground River, you're on the right track. But there's more to the Philippines' biggest province in land area and fifth largest island (Yes, I love geography). Sixteen of its 1,769 islands comprise the Honda Bay. And you read that right. Palawan has the political jurisdiction of almost a quarter of the total islands this country owns. I am just not sure how many of these islands are being claimed by the Chinese. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Water Sports in Grande Island Resort - Subic

grande island resort subic

While doing some freelance jobs, one of my American bosses have this habit of sending snow photos every morning. As you probably have seen in the news, rivers are freezing at the northeast regions of the US. My boss knows that we don't have that situation here. She wants me to know the real winter scenes firsthand, whether if it's good like a beautiful image of a thick snow sitting on her porch wooden chair or unpleasant like how challenging it is to drive from her home to the office. 

She laughs at me everytime I complain that it's cold in Manila, especially when I told her our temperature dropped to 19 degrees in Celsius one early morning last week. She said, they'll be happy when they get that. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

63rd Miss Universe: The NatCos Hate and the Preliminary Favorites

After the most- watched preliminary show of the Miss Universe, the favorites of beauty pageant sites have changed. Our own list is included. There were a lot of expectations for some early front-runners who disappointed us during the preliminaries while there were emerging beauties. 

Our very own bet, Miss Philippines MJ Lastimosa's evening gown received a lukewarm reception from her fans but she was stunning as expected in her swimsuit. It can't be denied, however, that her National Costume is a total disaster. Forget about looking for meanings, the costume's portraying of the Filipino culture, and how MJ tried to salvage her opening look. Let's face it, that national costume was a huge setback to MJ's really bright chances of winning the third Miss Universe crown. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Helmet Diving at Grande Island Resort - Subic

The peace sign now also means take a picture, even underwater. 

I was listening closely to our Japanese and Filipino diving instructors when they were teaching us the hand signals for helmet diving. The DOH 'OK' sign means everything is good while the 'so-so', 'not sure' palm dance means you need help. You Boracay kids already know what the rest are but of course, when your index and middle fingers are doing the V shape, the camera should be ready. :) 

It was my first time to helmet dive, or some tourists call it seafloor walking. It looks fun in pictures but for someone who is suffocated easily with breathing apparatus, I never thought I will try it. It looks fun in photos, but it is more fun in reality. Thanks to Grande Island Resort in Subic for offering this water activity, I finally experienced it.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Face To Face With The Pope

Flickering candles in the rain are being held by people who hid themselves in coats of different colors. For a moment they're quiet but tears and cheers erupt when the Pope in his jeepney-inspired mobile go near them. "We love you, Papa Fransesco!" others say. Some can't talk. So overjoyed, they just weep. 

Media agencies say six million people are here. They're here despite the cold. They're here even if it's raining non-stop for 7 hours now. They're here even if the weather bureau said that it's storm signal number one. 

My knees are shaking even if I was only out in the rain for roughly 45 minutes. I have such low tolerance for cold. But I am looking at the mothers who I know have been here for hours and hours just to have a glimpse of the Pope. I shouldn't be complaining I told myself.