I promised my friend, Allysa that I will accompany her to an out-of-town getaway when I get back from my long month Mindanao travel. So the weekend right after I got back in MNL, we headed to Manuel Uy Beach in Calatagan Batangas. Since I wasn’t the one who planned the trip, I had no idea what it’s going to be like and how the place would look like. It was Allysa’s first camping experience and she was so excited that she prepared so lit for everything that we needed like tent, mattress, pillows, blanket, cooler, water gallons, food, charcoal and even grilling pot! I didn’t even brought anything except my car! She’s amazingly ready to camp for life. 😅
We left Metro Manila around 8:30pm, braving the Payday-Friday traffic. Thank goodness for Richmond (Allysa’s bf) who graciously drove the car from Makati to Batangas. With all the traffic, stop-overs, etc, we arrived in Manuel Uy Beach around 12mn, Saturday.
We immediately looked for a spot and assembled the tent so we could settle and payed P50 each for the entrance.
The caretakers of the beach property lighted a bonfire for us for P100, that includes woods and their service. They also assemble electrity lights but we didn’t avail it since the moon was bright enough that night.
We grilled hotdogs, toasted marshmallows and had a few drinks while listening to tranquil music until we felt sleepyheads and called it a night.
On the next morning, we got up early and prepared our breakfast. We grilled Spam and hotdogs and reheated our rice with adobo.
After eating, I decided to take a nap because I still felt groggy while my friends had some few beers. After an hour nap, I felt a lot energized so I got up and I was back to being myself again.LOL! 😅
We decided to have our late lunch in Tagaytay before going home, so we left the beach around 12:30nn and drove to Tagaytay and grabbed Bulalo for lunch.
After lunch, we looked for place to chill a bit so we headed to Dreamsland Arts & Crafts Cafe before going home.
Gas* – P250 each
Toll* – P120 each (back & fort) P175/way Sta Rosa exit
Entrance – P50 (P150 for 3)
Bonfire service – P100 (optional)
Tip – P150 (optional)
Food – P100 (optional)
* Gas and toll are optional for people who prefers to bring a car. Commuting will be cheaper, I guess. Everything in my breakdown is optional except the entrance fee. That means, all you need to camp at the beach overnight is P50 for the entrance, everything else is optional. 😉
Island hopping- P150 each
Bring your own food, tent, ice cooler, and other stuff you need. In our case, thanks to Allysa for bringing everything we needed. lol. 😂
Hi everyone! I am still in Zamboanga and yes, I’m in the mood to write an almost up-to-date blog post about my adventure last weekend. It was an adventure that almost didn’t happen. Almost. But of course it did! I, together with my aunties (the 90s’ kids) pushed through. I am staying in my father’s auntie & uncle (meaning, my lola & lolo) for a week now. Of course being a protective granny, daddy (lolo) didn’t let me go to the island. You know, perks of living in Mindanao (haha!) and being a retired Navy, he’s just worried I’d be kidnapped. And me being stubborn (a member of “you tell me don’t do it and I will do it” squad), I still pushed through with what I wanted. Okay guys, relax. Mommy (lola) gave us the blessing to do it, okay? She works in the Coast Guard and she knows, the island is S-A-F-E. PNP escorts are everywhere in the island. I actually feel safer here than in Manila. LOL!
So on a Saturday morning, we got up at six and prepared our stuff then drove to the nearest Jollibee drive-thru to grab some food to bring along in the island. Yes, we didn’t bring the usual food prepared on a normal beach outing but instead brought our Chickenjoy. Haha!
Our starting point going to Great Santa Cruz Island was Paseo Del Mar. I can’t remember how many minutes we waited for the weather to be steady. While waiting, I already munched my Chickenjoy. The weather was a little gloomy and we were advised that if the weather won’t cooperate, our boatman (provided by the tourism office) will pick us earlier than our scheduled time.
So after we got the signal from the tourism office that the weather is safe to board, we payed our terminal fee (5php), proceeded to our assigned motorized boat, advised to wear our life jacket at all times while in the boat because the water current of the adjacent Basilan Straight is strong. Did I just say Basilan? Omg. And after 20 minutes, we arrived in the island!
The island greeted us with its warm hues of faint pink even from the boat. I expected it to look like an ordinary white sand because it’s what I saw from the photos online. But it looked pretty pink when we arrived. According to our guide, the color varies depending on position of the sun (position of the earth towards the sun actually). During noon time, where the sun’s reflection is direct, it looks more white. But during 9am to 11am it looks pinkier. Perfect timing for us because we arrived past 9am!
The Great Sta Cruz Island is probably Zamboanga’s pride among its gems. There are more spots for adventures like mountain climbing and waterfalling in Zamboanga but I chose to prioritized Sta Cruz because there are only few pink beaches in the world. And I cannot miss this one. 😁
The weather that day was a little bit unpredictable from gloomy to fair to little gloomy again but nonetheless, everything was perfect. And this is my photo diary from my little adventure in Great Sta Cruz Island..
*My photos were all post-processed in VSCO because I can’t help it, VSCO IS LIFE. Hehe! But believe me, it looks pink even without VSCO. 😊
The island is actually white sand but due to years of surf erosion, the red organ pipe corals were pulverized and mixed with the white sand making it look like a pink sand in the naked eye. Look at my photo below. 👇🏻
The red organ pipe corals in this photo (👇🏻) are actually 70 kilos in weight. According to our guide, the red organ pipe corals don’t look this vibrant when alive. The coral’s color turns into vibrant orangey to red when it is dead.
I was lucky enough that the island wasn’t crowded on a weekend during my visit. So of course, I did a mini photoshoot with the help of my company, kuya Jhong (our guide), and my tripod for self-portraits. 😅
I love this spot in the island because the sand is so fine.
The sea gets deeper with just few feet away from the shore. So be careful when swimming, especially that current is strong. I was snorkeling few minutes while trying to shoot a video a school of fish, and it was kind of tiring to swim against the current. Really.
The island is one of the protected areas in the Philippines. High security and officials from the City Mayor’s Office are always present supervising the landscapes and seascapes of the island. We met Kuya Jhong, our tour guide to the old Muslim burial site. He is the resident forester in the island, he told us that the island doesn’t only boast on its pink sand and mangrove forest lagoon but also on its rich history. The island was first inhabited by the Subanens and then the Badjaos. At the current, there is a Badjao village near the mangoves but we didn’t get to visit but instead we visited the old burial site.
This is the sight going to the old burial site. 👇🏻 It’s solemn and untouched.
I find it interesting to visit unique burial sites like this one in our country. I remember the hanging coffins in Sagada. But this is special too. Instead of ‘lapida’, the Badjaos used a boat miniature placed on the ground of their deceased loved one. It is a symbolism of their journey on the sea throughout their lifetime. The Badjao tribe is widely known as the “sea gypsies” living on houseboats where they make their livelihood solely on the sea as expert fishermen, deep sea divers, and navigators. Isn’t it amazing?
For this area, kuya Jhong said that deceased are mostly the Sama Bangingi tribe with some Tausugs and Yakans who are our Muslim brothers. As you can observed, there are mostly mosques on their ground.
I also saw these wild grasses that look like sea urchins in the island . Kuya Jhong took this photo btw. Hehe!
I am planning to come back hopefully I will be able to witness the releasing of the newly hatched hawksbill sea turtles. This breed of sea turtles are critically endangered according to kuya Jhong. He let us watch the video of his footage of the last time they released the hawksbill and they were so many but sadly one 1% of the population of the baby sea turtles will survived according to Kuya Jhong. 🐢😔
On our way back home, I wanted to make a stop at the Little Sta. Cruz Island. This island is a protected area and a military base so going to the island without permission is illegal. We weren’t able to explore the island itself but we were able to dropped by at the sand bar connecting to Little Sta. Cruz. It wasn’t low tide enought to see the full bar afloat. The sand is little course but then it’s worth the stop for a jump shot. Lol!
The Great Sta. Cruz is a very interesting island that I’ve been to with a lot of stories to be told. And all I can say is..
🐚 Paseo del Mar is the starting point going to The Great Sta Cruz Island Pink Beach.
🐚 Register and pay your terminal fee for 5php/person.
🐚 The trip going to the island is from 8am-3pm only. But subject to change depending on the weather situation.
🐚 Travel time is about 15-20minutes by motorized boat/vinta.
🐚Boat rental is 100/person roundtrip for a group of ten (1000php). Tip: for solo travelers or less than ten, ask for other travelers if you can join their group, or else you have to pay for the whole 1000php.
🐚 In the island, entrance fee is 20php/person and cottage rentals range from 100php-200php. Tip: you may stay under the Talisay trees if you want more laidback feel and of course, no rent!
🐚 Camping is not allowed.
🐚 There is no resort/restaurants in the island, so bring your own food. But during my visit, there were fresh seafood for sale. There is also a grilling facility that you can use for ihaw-ihaw.
🐚 There is no fresh water in the island, so bring your own water. 💦
🐚 If you plan to explore the island, please ask for a tour guide. You’ll thank him/her for the knowledge after the tour.
🐚 Visit the mangrove forest when it’s high tide.
🐚 Ask to visit the sand bar in the Little Santa Cruz Island, because it’s pretty cool it the lowest tide.
🐚 Play volleyball and meet new friends! 🏐
🐚 The island is a protected area, so LNT. Leave no trace.
I was able to side trip during my work while I was in Ilo-ilo. I planned it quickly when my boss told me he’s going to send me to Ilo-ilo. Since it’s biglaan, I have no company. I decided to travel with or without companion. Fortunately, a friend from Cebu accompanied me (thanks Gelo!). Although I did all the planning and diskarte (like asking around where to go and what to do), he did one of most important things, to capture moments. He was my official photographer. haha! 😀
Before my trip, I did a little research on how to travel Gigantes Island. I read about the famous places to stay (like Hideaway Inn) and some travel packages. I learned about the pros and the cons and all in between too.
So my initial plan was to stay in a non-airconditioned room in Hideaway Inn but not avail their island hopping package because I’ve read a bad review on its monopolization in the island (whether it’s true or not). Who knows that could be a black propaganda. lol!
So what did I do?
I made a DIY travel plan. Asking around the cheapest way possible on how I can enjoy Gigantes, I discovered a remote area in Gigantes Sur, it is not the usual place tourists would choose to stay because there’s no hotel or any resort in the area. But I chose to stay here because of Joy. The place is not commercialized. You’ll enjoy a pure local experience.
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS A TRAVEL DIARY NOT A TRAVEL GUIDE. I do not encourage anyone to do the same like I did. But if you’re a risk taker and kind of adventurous, you’re welcome. 🙂 I spent around 1500php-2000php my whole trip. Expenses tallied from my starting point: Tagbak Terminal to Gigantes Island and vice versa.
DAY 1. Exploring Gigantes Sur
As soon as our pump boat boarded the shore, we immediately settle our things in the house and headed to the beach for a stroll. Accompanied by the local children, we went to stroll around as far as our feet can go. Some kids were following us wherever we go. lol! Gigantes Sur is a laid-back island rich in sea shells. Toilet, water, and electricity are very limited.
Here are some cool stuff I found in the island:
And a land of shells!
While strolling the island to look for food, we met these ladies cleaning scallops. They excitingly shared to us how the scallops are prepared for export. They separate the white meat from the black and orange meat using scissors. They sell scallops (with shell) for 15php-20php per kilo. While the tenga (white meat) which are ready for export are sold for 150php/kilo.
We stayed at Joy’s house during the trip. They were very welcoming and hospitable. Even their neighbors were joyous to welcome us in the island. Some even invited us to a small chat and they were telling us that they are so happy that a visitor chose to stay in their island.
DAY 2. ISLAND HOPPING
Our second day was the my most anticipated day! Right after I woke up, I immediately ran to the shore to buy fresh fish the fishermen caught.
Joy found a small scale pump boat for the island hopping for 1000php. 500php each for Gelo and I! Way cheaper than the island hopping packages offered in the internet!
While waiting for our boat, I was busy putting tattoo stickers on these kids! haha!
ISLAND HOPPING! THIS IS IT!
FIRST STOP: BANTIGUE SAND BAR
They say the best time to go here is during the sunset and during low tide but it was too late for me to know because we went here during high tide. The sand bar wasn’t full, but at least there were few people so that means less photo bombers. haha!
The water is crystal clear perfect for snorkeling and swimming. The sand bar is too clean, the cleanest island among the Gigantes group of islands if I may say.
SECOND STOP: CABUGAO GAMAY
Cabugao Gamay is the said to be the icon and the most photographed island among the Gigantes group of Islands although there are more equally beautiful islands around.
THIRD STOP: ANTONIA ISLAND
Antonia Island is famous as camping site for those who would love to camp out. You just have to pay P100-P150 per person if you have your own tent. For those who don’t have their own tent I think the locals offer P200/ person a night on a first come first serve basis because of the limited tents. For day tours, the entrance is 40php per person.
Few feet away from the shore lies the coral reefs rich in marine life. It’s best to bring snorkeling gears and fins with you or if not, you can rent snorkeling gear for 50php.
Antonia Island also provides a venue for spelunking. They say it will take 15min to reach the end of the cave where you have the option to cliff dive during high tide. Since we do not have a tourist guide with us, we did not explore the end of the cave. We might end up somewhere and not be able to find our way back. LOL!
I just enjoyed the beach view from the cave though.
FOURTH STOP: TANGKE SALT WATER LAGOON
Tangke literally looks like a water tank. It’s a natural swimming pool surrounded with a beautiful rock formations. Truly enchanting! The color of the water changes depending on the tide. During low tide, it’s kinda greenish and it becomes bluer during high tide.
We dropped by during the low tide, which the water was just my knee-level. The good thing about it was that there was no crowd, only monkeys around. WILD MONKEYS.
Before leaving Tangke, don’t forget to ask for the cliff dive spot! My knees were shaking but it was worth it! (see my video on facebook)
FIFTH STOP: SEA URCHIN HUNTING/ SNORKELING
Our fifth stop was the sea urchin experience and a bit of snorkeling 🙂 This is not offered by the usual island hopping package, but you can request if you really want to. I was taught how to eat fresh sea urchin and giant seashells. It’s a little gross but worth the experience. 🙂
(video will be uploaded soon)
DAY 3. DEPARTURE
BUDGET BREAKDOWN. (From Tagbak terminal as our starting point to Gigantes Island and vice versa.)
VAN FROM ILO-ILO TERMINAL TO ESTANCIA TERMINAL -150PHP
TRICYCLE FROM ESTANCIA TERMINAL TO ESTANCIA PORT -10PHP
PUMP BOAT FROM ESTANCIA PORT TO GIGANTES SUR- 50PHP
PUMP BOAT RENTAL FOR ISLAND HOPPING (INCLUSIVE OF GAS)-1000PHP (500PHP EACH FOR GELO & I)
ANTONIA ISLAND ENTRANCE-40PHP
BOAT FROM GIGANTES TO ESTANCIA- 80PHP
TRICYCLE FROM ESTANCIA PORT TO ESTANCIA TERMINAL-10PHP
VAN FROM ESTANCIA TERMINAL TO ILO-ILO-150PHP
*HOMESTAY AND FOOD NOT INCLUDED IN THE TALLY.
For home-stay, the original plan was a 200php/night budget the same rate for non-airconditioned room in Hideaway Inn, but we decided to give Joy more because our experience was more than worth it.
For food, I wasn’t able to record the exact amount spent. But seafood is really CHEAP AND PLENTY in the island. You can even fish if you know how to!
So if we stick to our original plan, we would only spend 1,410php for our transpo + entrance fees+homestay.
Always do a research before going to unknown place to avoid being taken advantage of.
Always be VIGILANT and WISE when talking to strangers.
I tagged along my friend Tristan to Pagudpud during my stay in Ilocos Sur. We left Sta. Maria around 8am and then dropped by at the nearby Jollibee for breakfast. After our breakfast, we headed to Pagudpud sleeping throughout the trip because we only had 3 hours of sleep the night before. We arrived in Pagudpud around noon time.
Our first plan was to visit the lighthouse, but when we arrived at the entrance, we were told that we cannot bring our car due to road construction, because it was so hot and we were all hungry, we decided to skip the lighthouse and headed to the beach right away.
Since I was still groggy, I don’t have my usual energy. But the moment I saw the beach, Bam! I GOT MY ENERGY BACK! So after our lunch at Hannah’s Restaurant I ran off to the beach and started shooting with my iPhone. I use my phone in almost all my travels.
Since the weather that time was a bit darkcast, most of my photos were bad. Good thing I was able to adjust the lighting during post-processing, thanks to VSCO. For most of my photos, I used hb2, hb1, a6 or c1 depending on the mood I want for my photos.
No filter. The skies turned darker and we suspected it would rain, so before it happened we managed to change location so we can maximize our road trip.
Our next stop was Patapat Viaduct. It is long bridge connecting Ilocos Norte and the Cagayan Valley. And it’s the fourth longest bridge in the Philippines.
The bridge offers great view of the bay. Truly breathtaking and enchanting. <3
I just have to try the Nature’s spring. hehe!
After Patapat Bridge we headed to Bangui Wind Farm, unfortunately it rained so I asked our driver to leave and hopefully catch the sunset in Kapurpurawan. Luckily, leaving Bangui as soon as the rain started was a good choice. We arrived in Kapurpurawan right before the sunset.
I captured this beautiful rainbow. I love rainbows. For me, it’s a personal reminder that God keeps His promise.
I enjoyed horseback-riding to the White Rock Formations. This is Jay-Ar, my assigned horse. Thank you for being well-behaved Jay-Ar. I hope to see you again when I come back. 🙂
When we got to the White Rocks, I wasn’t able to maximize the beauty of the whole rock formations because there were a lot of tourists that came before us. So I am in the corners, trying to enjoy my own view. haha!
We waited for the sun to set before we head back to Ilocos Sur.
We had different route on our way back home and dropped by this beautiful Catholic Church in Paoay.
There were lots of places and experiences that I have missed. But it’s fine because I’m coming back to Ilocos anyway. 🙂
PS. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to include budget and expenses breakdown because this trip was free. Hehe!
I don’t know about you, but I love view (sounds like I love you too) I mean, I love cinematic views. I’m gonna tell you something, one of the few things I dreamt of was to become a director-cinematographer but I disregard that dream of mine, for now. So while we were on the road, my mind was filming of the shots I wanted to capture. In my head, I was already a one-man prod team. LOL! Mountainscapes, roadside waterfalls, vegetable terraces and beautiful skies, these are just few of the things one can enjoy going back and forth to Sagada. <3
Cheap yet decent hotels
Hotels in Sagada is probably one of the cheapest in country ranging from P250-P350 per person a night. We stayed in Lodge Labanet for only P300/person. We had a private bathroom with hot and cold shower, and free WiFi too! Lodge Labanet also offers massage spa services for P350. Perfect night-ender after long exhausting activities in Sagada!
Cafés with charming sceneries
Sagada is a modest town yet has very alluring cafes. Curious of these character cafés, we ended up café hopping. HAHA!
Imagine breathing the crisp scent of pine trees while sipping a cup of your choice from Sagada coffee, Tablea Chocolate or Sagada’s local mountain leaf tea with a view of rice terraces and breath-taking mountainscapes. Truly refreshing. What a wonderful break from the usual four-cornered cafés in the Metro that makes us all feel like inside a box.
Good culinary selection
More than I expected, there are actually variety of cuisines to choose from when in Sagada. There are Korean, Continental, American and of course Filpino cuisines to choose from in case one doesn’t want to eat Sagada’s local cuisines. Sagada has their own delicacy called ‘pinikpikan’, an Igorot way of cooking chicken stew. But PLEASE DO NOT EAT IT.
The live chicken is battered with stick until its skin turns blue. It’s their way to clot its blood so the meat will be tastier and tender. It’s literally “killing me softly” chicken. 🙁 Although I understand it’s a part of the Cordillera tradition, I just don’t like the idea of slowly torturing a live animal to its death.
Watch my quick review of the cafés and restaurants we’ve tried during stay in Sagada below:
Spelunking at Sumaging Cave
Sagada has around 20 caves in total but the municipal tourist only offers three to four caves open for public. If you’re a first timer or newbie in spelunking like me, I suggest choosing the short course caving in Sumaging. It is also called the Mother Cave because it is the main cave having connecting routes to the other caves in Sagada. Although entering the cave doesn’t require special training and equipment, the first 100m descent is very steep and even slippery especially during rainy days. After the very steep descent, we were required to take off our shoes as our feet have better grasps on the flowstones than our Nikes. Haha! The cave holds quirky limestone formations; some are even named after human genitalia.
Walking through the rice terraces
While on our way to Bomod-ok Falls we passed through narrow trails and rice terraces. Look at these beautiful man-made creation! I hope the locals will not forget to preserve these beauty.
There are actually A LOT of waterfalls to visit in Sagada, but we only visited Bomod-ok Falls since it is the biggest among all the waterfalls in town.
Going to Bomod-ok Falls requires descending through concrete steps along the mountainsides (one wrong step and goodbye Earth). I tried counting my steps but I lost count, one thing is for sure, it was a long exhausting descent. Imagine how much more exhausting it is going up. Good thing our guide’s dog accompanied our trek. I was fond of him because he’s so smart! He actually led the way. Haha!
Watch our video of our trek to Bomod-ok with our special guide below:
It was raining when we trekked to Bomod-ok so as soon as we had a sight of the waterfalls, we refused to swim because it was icy cold and we don’t want to suffer from hypothermia. LOL! Ascending back was more exhausting. *Gasps air*
Sunrise at Kiltepan Viewpoint
Sunrise in Sagada needs no filter! It’s afterglow colors changes from lilac-peachey-orange to golden hue when it’s full. AH-MAZE-ING!
The famed sunrise at Kiltepan was worth the early wake. Before going to Sagada, make sure to check first the weather forecast because during bad weather fogs conceal the sun and be sure to come early so you get a good spot. Also, people flocks around weekends so better come on a weekday like we did.
Shout your hearts out at Echo Valley
While most people shout their lover’s name, I didn’t know what to screech so I just shouted “Hoy!”
On our way to Echo Valley we passed through an Episcopal Church and Calvary Hill
Up-close view of the mysterious Hanging Coffins
The Igorots practice unique funerary custom where the dead is buried in coffins that are nailed to the side of cliffs. The dead is placed inside the coffin in a fetal position due to their belief that a person should exit the earth the same way he/she entered it. They also believed that placing the coffin on the side of a cliff would bring the deceased closer to heaven.
Latang Underground River
The road going to Latang underground river is just a 300-meter walk from an old gasoline station in Nangunogan. The trails are narrow and slippery at the time we passed because it was raining at the same time. When we entered the cave, I immediately heard the flowing sound of the river inside the cave but I couldn’t see anything. But of course, our phones have flashlights so that saved us.
Sagada Weaving Shop
Sagada Weaving Shop is the town’s pioneer institution when it comes to weaving. When we got to the shop, it was already 6pm so we were not able to witness how the fabrics are done, but we met a local outside the shop named, Kuya Ezra. We were unaware that he is the owner of the shop, but we had a wonderful time chatting with him.
Rock climbing a 99 feet cliff
So lately I’ve been overcoming acrophobia by cliff jumping whenever I have the chance. But during my trip to Sagada, I tried to experience something I haven’t done before, and it was rock climbing. I honestly didn’t feel nervous at the time I climbed but I felt tired of finding a spot to grasp my hands onto (wala kaseng pointers kung san hahawak, bahala ka maghanap, ganon.) So I asked my guide to let me down but he told me to keep going because I’m near to the topmost so I carried on and continued ascending until I reached the top. OH YES! I MADE IT! My rock climbing experience was like a parable of never quitting until you reach your dreams. Because the moment when we are about to give up, it is the moment when we are the closest to reaching our dreams. Analogy it is!
Getting my hands dirty at Sagada Pottery
Get your hands dirty with pottery. It’s a wonderful experience of turning a piece of mud into a beautiful piece of art. Like a metaphor, my experience speaks much of God as the Potter and we are just a mud. It’s a wonderful reminder that even in our nothingness and filthiness, God can create a beautiful work of art with His gentle hands. <3
Sagada is the perfect place for people who love nature and adventure at the same time. Packed with bunch of natural beauty from caves to falls, from sunrise to sunsets, and even sea of clouds. Sagada also has one of the most unique landscapes and mountainscapes I’ve ever laid my eyes on. I’m personally planning to comeback to trek to Marlboro Hill and Blue Soil Hill and experience all the things I haven’t experienced during my four days stay. Actually, there are a lot of things I missed, but it’s a good thing at the same time so I have a reason to come back again. 🙂
Everyone knows I’m a big fan of VSCO filters. Even if my raw photo is perfectly okay, I’d still like to tweak and alter its colors through VSCO app. I personally love how easy it is to maneuver VSCO app on my phone. I also use Snapseed, PS Express and other apps on my phone but VSCO is the most user-friendly! It also gives my photos cinematic effect which I love the most. It adds instant mood to my photos.
VSCO is always my to-go app especially when I need SOS for my photos like in the case of REALLY BAD LIGHTING.
So here are some of my photos in raw and in my top pick VSCO selfie filters:
Btw, my swimwears are all from The Mix and Match Shop. 👙😊
The filters below were originally shot in low-light since the weather that day was gloomy, instead of lighting it up by adding exposure, I took the advantage of putting gloomy filters to make my photos look more dramatic. I’m a fan of blue hues so I used more of HB2 and F2 presets.
The photo below was shot during mid-day when the sun was out. In my case, it’s easier to maneuver the colors when the sun is present. That’s why I love the sun!
The photos below are shot in a gloomy weather (particularly in the afternoon before it rained)
Btw, I was wearing 3-way bikini from The Mix & Match Shop. I can wear my bikini in 3 other ways! Cool right?
In case you like my swimmies, they’re available at The Mix & Match Shop. 👙😊
Disclaimer: Costs and expenses may vary depending on how you negotiate. But this was how I did my ‘diskarte’, I hope you’ll get some tips from me. LOL!
Happy bargain! 😉
I’ve been eyeing to come back to Southern Cebu ever since the day I experienced the whale shark watching & swimming in Oslob. So when I had the chance to return to Cebu for work (meaning airfare cared of my work expenses), I immediately took advantage of my chance to explore the South, particularly, Moalboal.
I only had one and a half day in Southern Cebu to check off my to-do list that could fit in my budget.
My ‘to-do’ list:
1. Try Carcar’s Chicharon
Carcar is known as the heritage city of Cebu and a home to diversified Spanish- and American-eras structures. It is evident along highway when traveling to Southern Cebu. Aside from that, Carcar is also known as the major purchasing capital of chicharon (Crunch!) along with lechon, ampao, bocarillo, and shoes.
Being time-restricted I wasn’t able explore Carcar even there are a lot of reasons to. Luckily, our bus stopped in Carcar, so we bought some chicharon and ampao brought to us by the vendors inside the bus.
Since it was already past lunchtime when passed by Carcar, para na din kaming nag kanin at ulam sa chicharon (pork cracklings) at ampao (pop rice). HAHA!
My beach-bum friends and I decided to head to Aurora Province over the weekend. Our first plan was to stay in Baler but later we changed our minds and stayed in a laidback cottage in Dinadiawan instead. Surfing in Baler was on the last list of our agendas (of course not the least).
So we headed to Baler on our last day. We arrived in the town proper around 12noon and had our lunch at Yolly’s Ihaw-Ihaw and Seafood Resto. After our lunch, we set off to Sabang Surf Beach immediately!
As a first timer to surfing, I was freaking excited to try. My adrenaline were already pumping at the same time I was nervous because I heard a story of a friend who was hit by the surfboard and broke his front teeth. I don’t want that to happen to me! No! Haha! But as soon as I caught my first wave, all the inhibitions were GONE. Surf is life! LOL.
Another item checked off my buckelist! ✔️
I want bigger waves. I want my own surfboard. I want more of this! ❤️ Looking forward to the ‘ber months. Counting days before I hit Siargao this September! Hopefully, it will not be postponed! Fingers-crossed.
Most of my frames were post-processed in HB2 preset in VSCO. The sky that day was kinda gloomy so I had to adjust the exposure to lighten the photo. I also used Snapseed to heal. Blurred areas are commonly due to water spots in GoPro, others due to Snapseed healing. I know, my healing skills are kinda bad. 😁✌🏻️