2011: The Year That Was

And here goes my year summarized in photos taken from all over the Philippines. I have thus proven that once bitten by the travel bug, one can never go back. Thanks to all the friends I met online at first, on the road eventually. I hope 2012 has a lot more in store for me and my itchy feet. ๐Ÿ™‚ Cheers!

Pundaquit Weekend Getaway | Nagsasa Cove: Of Bonfires, Treks and Private Beaches

Aside from being a great camp with a lesser volume of people in the grounds, Nagsasa Cove provided us with a private beach. yes, away from the mad crowd, we traversed atop sharp rocks to reach a secluded mini-beach with a native spear-fisherman whose spear turned out to be a fishing rod, and whose underpants, to jenny’s disappointment, was from Bench. Goodbye to thoughts of discovering a lost civilization. haha.

Jenny pitched the tent. Uno daw siya sa camping e. ๐Ÿ™‚

We gathered round the bonfire, listened to indie folk, belted out adele tunes, and shared 2 bottles of vodka with salt on the side (as the planned tequila proved to be too elusive, thanks to the city ordinance ban on purchase of liquor from 10pm to 8am).

We retired early (we knew it was still early though we had no sense of time nor urgency nor hygiene) and arranged ourselves inside our humble tent and shared our lousy concept of a sleeping bag, my malong.

I got up to the angry dog’s version of a trumpet wake-up call, all recharged and ready for the promising day ahead.

We climbed the mini mountain behind the camping grounds and beside the lagoon with a size twice that of Anawangin’s. The climb looked easier than it really is. Some rocks were not anchored and one wrong hand or foothold would send you tumbling down lalaland. We thought about our song of triumph, as the group who climbed before us had one. But we all hate Miley Cyrus. (sorry for the shortage of photos. i vow to bring an extra batt next time i go on a 2-day trip to a place without any source of electricity.)

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Pundaquit Weekend Getaway | Commuting back home with a trusty companion – the greatest of luck

From our gracious hostโ€™s residence in San Miguel, we rode a tricycle to San Antonio Town Proper (for 20pesos) with the hopes of catching a Victory Liner bus bound for Cubao. But with a dozen other backpackers lounging by the shed, I knew the chances were slim. So we hailed the first ordinary Olongapo-bound bus that passed by. The fare was 40pesos and the ride lasted for an hour. We sat at the back since all other seats were taken and we imagined this to be a class fieldtrip and that we were the class bullies. Ha!

In Olongapo, we took refuge in a Dunkin Donuts branch and had coffee before the 3hr journey ahead of us. It was already 5:30 pm. All pumped up, we headed for the Victory Liner Terminal and the situation was in every bit similar to the subject enlistment process at university. THE LINES WERE TOO LONG! I think I saw a loop already in the works. It was hopeless.

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Pundaquit Weekend Getaway | En route to San Antonio: the perfect host, the perfect timing

We were already at the Victory Liner Terminal in Cubao around 5:30 in the morning. Seeing the throng of vacationers lining up to get tickets had my hopes hit bottom, but to my relief the queue was for Baguio. Why of course, Baguio afterall is the summer capital of the Philippines.

As there was still no posted trip for Iba, Zambales, I was thinking of getting on the Olongapo Bus and just hopping on another Iba-bound bus from there. Fortunately, an employee announced the 6:30 am trip for Iba so I booked for 4 people, 270pesos each.

We decided to get a quick caffeine fix via countrystyle coffee and doughnuts situated just outside the terminal. While we were sipping coffee and battling sleep deprivation, we ranted about not being able to buy booze from the convenience stores due to a city ordinance banning the purchase of liquor from 10pm to 8am. Tequila was on the menu; we already stocked up on lime and salt so it was really frustrating. And we also doubted the availability of tequila in San Antonio, our drop-off point in Zambales.

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