Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Palms Farm Resort

I love the beach. My close friends know that every time I take a vacation leave from work, I am always beach bound. They call me a certified beach bum. 

I had a good chat with a surfer last time I went to La Union and I learned about the nice surfing spot in Bagasbas beach, Daet, Camarines Norte. When i filed that vacation leave, Bagasbas beach was the only thing I had in mind. 

I took the night bus from Alabang at 10pm and reached Naga around 6am. I had breakfast and a good chat with one of the locals there . I was told that their town has so many tourist spots which deserve recognition. One particular place I got interested in was Cayucyucan Beach.  It was the first time I heard that place and that aroused my curiosity. I got the directions on how to reach the place. It was a spur of the moment decision. Check in time at the hotel in Bagasbas beach was at 2pm. I had all the time in the world to explore that other exciting beach in CamNorte. So, I headed immediately to that sweet destination.

 I got the direction and scribbled it on paper. I took a jeepney bound to Mercedes, after a little over 15 minutes I stepped on the Mercedes fish port then went to the far end and reached the Manguisoc Wharf , where the boat going to Cayucyucan Beach is. 

 The boat ride was only 5 minutes and I only paid 4 pesos. 

 From there, I took tricycle to Brgy. Cayucyucan. Travel time was approximately 30 minutes, it was a rough , rocky road ride. I paid 50 pesos. I could have paid less if I waited for other passengers but I was so bored and I wanted to see the beach right away. I was asked by the trike driver which resort I was going and I didn’t have any idea in mind. I just let him choose which he thought was worth seeing. 

He brought me to Palms Farm Resort. 

When I reached the resort, I uttered a big wow. Tall pine trees greeted me. 

 The entrance fee was 30 pesos for a day tour. I stayed at the resort for about 5 hours. I enjoyed the landscapes and seascapes. Postcard – like place. 

I got an awesome view of a mountain called Mt. Susong Dalaga I love its name so much. 

I couldn’t put into writing how great the place was so lemme just share the photos I took. You be the judge.


 I actually waited for a long time to get a tricycle ride back to the wharf. I experienced riding a jam packed tricycle and it was so much fun. Imagine all the different body odors I sniffed. LOL. 

The resort was really a good find. The beach was great. I couldn’t ask for more.  

After seeing this place...I went straight ahead to Bagasbas beach. It was my original plan anyway.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Nature at Its Finest

"Don't bother looking at the view. I have already composed it"
-Gustav Mahler

" It is easier to go down a hill than up but the view is much better at the top "
       - Henry Ward Beecher

"Don't look back unless it's a good view"

“There's a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they're absolutely free. 
Don't miss so many of them.”  
 -Jo Walton

"To go out with the setting sun on an empty beach is to truly embrace your solitude."
-Jeanne Moreau

----------------------------Donna's Personal Photo Challenge---------------------------- 

THIS is my entry @Donna's Personal Photo Challenge which runs every 2nd Saturday of the Month. To JOIN and INFO about the challenge, click HERE.

A Personal Photo Challenge

Friday, November 8, 2013

the best things in life are free

"There ain't no such thing as a free lunch " is a popular adage communicating the idea that it is impossible to get something for nothing. 

Whoever said that was absolutely wrong. The most satisfying experiences do not cost any money. I have proven it true.

I was lucky to be at the right place and time. I went to GSIS museum. It was an art exhibit and I just admired the artworks of one of the painters.

What caught my attention was the ABSTRACT PAINTINGS in PASTEL COLORS. The artist made use of pastel colors, managed to control the hues in different range. The lines and shapes exude power.
Very visible are the harmony and rhythm of the brushstrokes.




There were 5 questions on my mind at that time:

1. What am I looking at? 
2. What are these paintings about? 
3. Why do I feel something while looking at the paintings? 
4. Who made these paintings? 
5. Can I afford to purchase even just one of the paintings?

I got the answers to all my questions: 

1. I was looking at the painting called: “EMOTIONS in 3 Series” 
2. The paintings were about Infatuation, Affection and Passion 
3. I had goosebumps looking at the paintings because they were made from the heart, so moving and intriguing and made with so much love and passion. 
4. The painter’s name : MARILOU DE VERA 
5. I CAN’T AFFORD TO BUY ANY OF THOSE PAINTINGS. I don’t have any cash, money . . . no budget. 

So, I just admired the photos. Nevertheless, I was lucky to have met the artist and had a good conversation with her. She explained how she came up with them.

Marilou was so accommodating, so warm, loves to share her talent and appreciate people.
We became friends in facebook. I made a blog about the experience I had during the exhibit. I wrote a review and feedback. I scribbled about my impression on her as an artist. 

After some good chat … I just received a personal message from her while I was away from my laptop. She asked which among the 3 paintings I like the most. I immediately answered “the passion” was the best because of its vibrant colors and powerful shapes. 

Few days passed. I got the best personal message which I found hard to believe. She informed me that I can visit the museum to claim the painting. There were doubts. I couldn’t believe it. However, since I so love to have the painting, I went to the museum.

I was flabbergasted, speechless, dumbfounded. I was only expecting to have the “PASSION”.
Instead, she gave all the series of emotions. All 3 of them.

Whoever said that "there ain't no such thing as free” was absolutely wrong.

Need I say more?

My dear friend, Marilou,

          Thank you so much for letting me have your artworks. They brought joy into my heart. I will take good care of them. They are so priceless. My close friends and relatives envy me because of all these. I consider them as cherished possessions. 
Continue sharing your God-given talent. 
         Paint more. Let other people discover you because I am quite sure that they will also feel the same way I  had the first time I laid my eyes on your masterpieces.

I thank God cause I found you.

         May you have good health, great life and more power.

        The best is yet to come.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

wow . . . macau . . !

Macau is one of the world's most popular tourist destinations and is also one of the major gambling centers in Asia. Obviously, most of the people who go to Macau set out there to gamble, but I found some other reasons which have nothing to do with gambling so I went there. . . TWICE. 

The first time I went there was an abrupt decision. It was month of February and I happened to be surfing on the net and I came across Manila-Macau promo fare offered by Tiger Airways. It was a round trip ticket which cost only approximately two thousand pesos. It was an “early bird promo”. I bought the plane ticket however, the trip was on July. Fare enough… I mean fair enough, right?

Few months passed, I almost didn’t make it because I forgot to take a vacation leave from the office where I work. I asked my big boss to allow me take that 3-day leave. I showed the plane ticket to Macau. He said it was okay as long as I can find someone else to take my work slot. I begged on bended knees to ask my office mate to swap schedule with me. I got what I wanted. I only have to buy keychain as pasalubong. So, I headed to Macau … but on a very tight budget. It was an adventure of a lifetime. I didn’t know where to stay I just had my credit card and a few cash. Back at the Macapagal Airport in Clark, I met someone who was also booked to the same flight I had. His parents were based in Macau and stay in a decent apartment. We had a good conversation at the airport while waiting for the flight. When we reached Macau airport we met his dad and they offered their place. How can I say no? I got an accommodation for free. I was a lucky duck.


1.Historic Centre of Macau. The listed building are: A-Ma Temple, Casa Garden, Cathedral of the "Nativity of Our Lady", Dom Pedro V Theatre, Guia Fortress, Holy House of Mercy, Leal Senado Building, Lilau Square, Lou Kau Mansion, Mandarin's House, Moorish Barracks, Mount Fortress, Na Tcha Temple, Old City Walls, Old Protestant Cemetery, Ruins of St. Paul's, Sam Kai Vui Kun, Senado Square, Sir Robert Ho Tung Library, St Lawrence's Church, St. Anthony's Church, St. Augustine's Church, St. Augustine's Square, St. Dominic's Church, and St. Joseph's Seminary and Church.

It was an all day walking tour. I put on my favorite sneakers and had a great time on foot , admiring the great buildings and architecture. I remembered I had to change my tshirt  3 times and had gulped down quite a number of bottles of water, tea and some soda.

2.Casino trails of Macau. Macau is considered as the Las Vegas of the east . The best and great way to experience the nightlife of Macau is by visiting the grand array of the casinos. Venetian is the biggest casino and was my favorite. Next was Lisboa, Sands, MGM ang Wynns. You can visit them without any restrictions, even if you are not interested in gambling. The Fountain-Show at Wynn Macau was certainly something worth watching. It features a beautiful combination of sound, lights, bursts of fire and water pyrotechnics.

It was very spectacular. The show was roughly 10-15 minutes long and there were quite a few different shows that evening, so I didn't just watch one, I watched about 4 fountain shows and never got bored.


3.Macau Tower Convention & Entertainment Centre.  The best time to come here is right around sundown when the city lights come alive. Pay the entrance fee and it gets you to the indoor and outdoor observation decks -- you can get an amazing view of Macau from there. Macau Tower also features sky walking and bungee jumping.

I wanted to do bungy jumping but  didn’t  because it is time consuming. It will take about an hour or more. Wait, I am lying. I actually didn’t do this because I was on a very tight budget and it was only my first night in the the city. Don’t have the slightest idea where and what to do on the next 2 days of my stay there. I might be needing the cash for something else. Still, bungy jumping is on my bucket list. I will go back that tower and do it…soon!

4.Macao Fisherman's Wharf.  It is a cultural and themed attraction. It also has dining, shopping, entertainment, accommodation, convention and exhibition facilities in one single location. It is made up of three main sections, including Dynasty Wharf, East Meets West and Legend Wharf. The Dynasty Wharf is home to many traditional Chinese towers in the imitation of the Tang-style. The East Meets West encapsulates oriental traditions and features of western design. 

This is another walking tour. I never noticed the time I spent on foot. I was amazed with all the scenery. They were all feast in my eyes. Though the weather was so hot and sunny, I didn’t mind. I just enjoyed and adored everything I witnessed. After the tour my feet started to complain.

5. Hac Sa Beach. (literally "Black Sand Bay") It was said to be the largest natural beach in the former Portuguese colony of Macau. It is on the southeast side of Coloane Island. As its Chinese name implied, Hac Sa Beach is famous for its black sand.

I am a beach person and I definitely enjoyed this beach. It was surrounded by pine trees instead of the usual coconut trees. I even met some locals who sat with me and shared food. Like a typical picnic.

My trip to Macau was tremendous. I witnessed an outlandish blend of Chinese and Portuguese culture that cannot be spot anywhere else on the globe. I was surprised to see Catholic churches knowing that I was in China. The city has a distinctly European feel although I still saw more Chinese people. 

Cheap round trip plane tickets, free accommodation. One great place. Need I say more?