Yup! DAUT and I turned SIX! 
What a blessing to kick off our 6th year in Camarines Sur! Another one for the books! This time, with TOMAS and FRIENDS. Haha.

November 26, 2011
Bally, Jeanette and I arrived in Mactan Cebu Airport 3ish am for our departure to Manila at 4:20am. Our flight to Naga was scheduled at 9:30am. I had ZERO SLEEP from PM duty. No bed? No problem! Save cash and sleep at the airport. Right, Bal? :)
Daut arrived from Davao just a few minutes before our boarding time to Naga. Timing is everything. Early bummer though because our flight to Naga was delayed for 3 hours! Gotta catch more ZZZZZZZz......

Kate, Daut's long lost cousin who lives in Naga City was waiting for us in the airport. At last! We arrived 1ish pm. We rode a shuttle to Camsur Watersports Complex (CWC) for free! Thanks to Kate's PR POWER. Haha. There were a lot of people (mostly "cool" foreigners) in line for the wake boarding. We had lunch while watching the PROS do it. I really wanted to try wakeboarding but at the same time was too afraid to put myself to shame. There were no slots available though so we moved on to Lago del Rey.

The aquapark is situated inside the CWC. We had a blast around the giant inflatable structures. My favorite would have to be the iceberg. Felt like a player in "Wipeout". It's not as easy as it looks. We had to exert effort in swimming, climbing, jumping through the obstacles and pulling ourselves to the top of the iceberg!

We invited Kate to come with us to paradise. The more, the many-er! After we had dinner in SM Naga, we hired a taxi to Sabang beach resort, an hour+ away from Naga. The creepy security guard welcomed us and showed us our cottage. The sound of ocean waves treated us to a good night's sleep.

November 27, 2011
Sabang Beach Resort is within walking distance to the port. At the break of dawn, we were oh so ready to sail to paradise. The boat left at 6am and the weather was quite unpredictable with rainshowers.

We arrived in Caramoan after 2 hours and it was raining hard. Our transportation service (multicab) picked us up and brought us to La Playa Camp and Picnic Grounds. It was a 30-40 minute journey on a rocky, muddy, winding road. We checked in and started our island hopping amidst the gloomy weather. We prayed real hard for Mr. Sun to show up!

HALLELUIA!!! The rain finally stopped and the sun has come out in full force. Happy! Happy! Tanning under the scorching heat. Instantly, I fell in love with Caramoan Islands. My jaw dropped when we reached our first destination. Please forgive me. I forgot some of the names. But trust me, it's paradise.

Our boatman, Kuya Roger left us in another island because they had to go back to the resort and get another boat. But hey, I don't mind getting stuck in here. Feeling survivor, we ate our sumptuous lunch and enjoyed the breath taking island. You can find the exclusive Gota Island just across our area. We were restricted to go there for some reasons. tsk

Just when I thought I've seen the best, I see Matukad Island. Awhhhhhhhh....I was completely mesmerized!!! It was absolutely BEAUTIFUL like WOAHHHHHHHHHH...

And then there's Lahos, Sabitang Laya and Baging Island.

It's so hard to pick a favorite! Each island offers a distinct enigmatic feel created by its natural rock formations, captivating white sand and crystal clear water. But nothing can be so perfect than experiencing all of these with good ol' friends...

...and of course, some quiet moment together with my Daut! Heee *lubdub*

Our last stop was Tabgon Grotto. Kuya Paul, the tour guide welcomed us from the docking area. He told us many stories about the grotto and Caramoan. I'm so proud of myself to be able to climb 553 steps to the shrine of Mama Mary. Nevermind the sweat, shaking knees and tachycardia. The overall scenery from up above was again, AWESOME!

"I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue 
dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. "

We visited around 7 islands all in all. And we could not ask for more! We had enough ooooohhhhhsss and aaaaahhhhsssss already! So we headed back to camp and little did I know, Daut arranged a candlelight dinner for two beneath the Caramoan stars, under the rhythm of the waves. :)

*CHEEZY ALERT* Daut is the master of Surprises. This time, he prepared sky lanterns for me. Surprise! So did I! Haha. Apparently, great minds think alike! Haha. We had a total of 9 lanterns! Time to send our wishes to the night sky..
This one's for you and me living out our dreams. And now all I wanna see is a sky of lanterns! :D
 Props to Jeanette's cre8tive sky lanterns! Patok na negosyo ah! Haha.

Novermber 28, 2011
It's time to bid paradise goodbye. On our way to Guijalo Port, we stopped by St. Michael Church. I love visiting old churches. This was built during the 15th Century.

And we made it just in time for the first trip to Sabang at 7am. I hate to end my love affair with the gorgeous islands. I will forever be smitten by your unspoiled, idyllic and breathtaking beauty my dear Caramoan. Truly, it is one of the Philippines' best kept secret. And I hope it remains that way.

Added bonus to the trip was the majestic view of Mt. Mayon. The last time I saw her, she was covered by a haze of clouds. But this time, she showed her FULL DROP DEAD GORGEOUS BEAUTY! Even the boatman can't stop staring at her.

One last hirit before going home. A quick detour to deer farm. It is located at Sta. Cruz, Ocampo, Camarines Sur. Meet Udong and the rest of the Australian deers.

DIOS MABALOS!!! CHEERS TO SIX YEARS!!! :)))))))))))))))

-CWC Rates http://www.camsurwatersportscomplex.com/rates_prices
-Lago del Rey Rates http://lago-delrey.com/
-Taxi From CWC to SM Naga = P350
-Taxi from SM Naga to Sabang = P900 (1 hour+)
-Sabang Beach Resort = P600/cottage
-Boat from Sabang Port to Guijalo Port = P120 (2 hours)
-Guijalo Port to La Playa Picnic Grounds Pick up service = P300 (one way 30-40 mins)
-La Playa Picnic Grounds = P1,200/room (max 3 persons) - Highly recommended since it's the jumpoff point for island hopping plus they serve really good, affordable meals! :)
-Island Hopping = P1,500 (additional P500 for far islands)
-Taxi from Sabang Port to Naga Airport enroute deer farm = P1,100 *If you're on a budget, you can ride a jeepney (P90) or van (120)
-Total Budget = P4k-5k (SULIIIIIIIIIT!!!!)


Oh Sweet Siquijor!

Siquijor has been on my bucketlist for the longest time already. I've always wanted to experience the mystical island which has been masked by sorcery and witchcraft. So last Wednesday and Thursday, I went to Siquijor with some of my friends from CCMC. It was our way of destressing from all the beating in the hospital. BUT, I found myself in a different kind of stress when we started our lil adventure. Haha. Chiela, Mandel and Dave were waiting for me inside the bus bound to Liloan, Santander. Just when I arrived in the terminal, the bus left! I had to ride another taxi and catch them. Good thing, the bus driver stopped for awhile and waited for me. Whew! I felt like I was in the Amazing Race. Haha.

After roughly 3 hours plus bus ride, we arrived in Sibulan. Rode a jeepney to Dumaguete proper. Then tricycle to the Port for Siquijor. Here's the schedule of trips for reference. (Deltacraft fare P160 + Terminal Fee P15. Travel Time: 45 mins-1 hour)
6am every Monday
9am daily
1:30pm daily
4:30pm daily

Siquijor to Dumaguete
5:55am daily
12:30pm daily
3pm daily

We arrived in Siquijor around 5:30pm and I tell you..Sunset in Siquijor is BEAUTIFUL! Some of God's awesome creations just can't be captured in photos. But I can try...

We were welcomed by the powdery, white sands and crystal clear water of Siquijor. A lot of tricycle drivers were also waiting for guests to arrive. Kuya Dennis served as our tricycle driver/ tour guide/ photographer. Tour around Siquijor Island cost P1,500 depending on your haggling skills. Kuya Dennis agreed to P1,400 which includes the town of San Juan, Siquijor, Larena, E. Villanueva, Maria. We missed out Lazi. Our first choice for accommodation was Coco Grove but it was too pricey for us. Kuya Dennis showed us a more affordable place to stay but still meet our expectations: air conditioned room-check! shower with heater-check! pool-check! beachfront-check! Charisma Beach Resort was our home for the night. Room Rate P1,250 (2pax). Addtional P350 per person.

After checking in, Kuya Dennis dropped us at Castaways where we had a sumptuous dinner. We had to wait for some time before they served our food but at least it was oh so delish! Total bill = P640 (Good for 4 persons)

There was no tricycle going back to the resort, so we had no other choice but to walk. Ate Jeziel, the owner of the resort said it's just 1km away but it was toooo far. Ate, do we use the same metric system??? Haha.

Tales of witches and sorcerers aside, Siquijor island is a very peaceful province with zero police records of kidnapping, carnapping, etc. That's why we felt safe while walking. But the dogs were barking! Eeerrie.

Back in the resort, we had a few sips of beer (We are no San Mig Light drinkers!) then went night swimming in the pool until almost 10pm. It was time to rest our weary bodies.
The beach was not swimmable when we woke up early in the morning. Hello, Low tide!

We explored other parts of Siquijor after the most important meal of the day. Filipino Breakfast in the resort cost P180/meal (No choice! Hehe)

First stop was Salagdoong Beach Resort. Just an hour away from San Juan. It is tucked in a cove, fine white sand perfect for swimming, sunbathing, relaxing, fooling around and doing the art of nothing! :)

Are you having fun yet? I can stay here all day. But we had to leave and catch the 3pm trip to Dumaguete. Lunch before going back. Total bill = P640 (Good for 5 persons)

Gotta drop by some churches first.

Thank You Lord for blessing us with all the beauty of nature! The trip was short and sweet. We needed the change of scene. What a great breather! So long Siquijor...

Can I just say that Siquijor has the cleanest pier? Seriously, if there was a contest, Siquijor for the win!

The trip back to Cebu was one helluva ride. Attack of the killer buses!!! The driver was driving so fast in a psychotic manner, it nearly made me throw up. Normally, travel time from Dumaguete to Cebu takes about 3 1/2 hours but we made it in less than 3 hours! I hope there will be no more reckless drivers. Please don't ruin my love for long bus rides. I'll see you again, Siquijor. You were magical! Thank you Chiela, Mandel and Dave for making the trip extra fun! :)


A Quickie in Apo Island!

The Pediatrics ward has been really really busy lately. Our census goes really high during the "ber" months. In my station, it's usually just me and an average of 25 patients. So I get so busy from one to the next and back. Don't you think nurses deserve some R & R? Thanks to our supervisor for granting us double off on Tuesday and Wednesday! Yahoo! After night shift, Chiela and I went straight to Apo Island. Ahhh just the break we need and deserve. So if you've got 48 hours to spare, here's a guide for a quick vacay!

1. Ride a bus from Cebu South Bus Terminal to Lilo-an Port. Fare P169.00 (approx 3 1/2 hours)
2. Fastcraft to Sibulan, Negros. Fare P62 (approx 20 mins.)
3. Ride a Jeepney (EZ ride) from the port to Dumaguete. Fare P10 (approx 20 mins)
4. Ride a pedicab to the terminal for Zamboanguita. Fare P8.50
5. Ride a jeepney to Malatapay Market. Fare P20 (approx 30 mins)
6. Ride a boat to Apo Island. Fare 2k good for 2-4 persons (approx 30 mins)

We departed from Cebu 10ish am. Here are the fresh faced-walking zombies. FPJ movies on the bus kept me half awake and half asleep. :)
We finally arrived in Apo Island 5ish pm. Yes, we made it! It's good to be back after 8 years! We settled in Ronor's lodging for P500/night with free breakfast. Not bad, huh? Thanks to the lady from Apo island who recommended it. We immediately went swimming until sunset. FYI: There is no electricty in Apo Island. But there is a generator from 6pm-10pm.
We had dinner when electricty came out. The landlady prepared fresh, inihaw na isda which was huge, black and so so. We had to put patis and calamansi to make it tasty. Hehe. We were dead tired after being awake for more than 24 hours. We fell asleep before the lights were out.

We woke up before 6 in the morning, had breakfast (bread, pancit and coffee) then we started climbing to the lighthouse. Of course, being fit and healthy, my knees were shaking and I was sweating like a pig. After 315 steps, we reached a grassy field. Then we didn't know where to go. There was no person around. Oh, I wish the goat could speak and lead us the way. So, we decided to go back. The walk down was easier though.

We registered at the Apo Island Protected Landscape/Seascape Office. Entrance Fee P25. Snorkeling P35. Life Vest P100. *Tip: Tell them you're from Dumaguete to avoid extra charge*
We met Kuya Rey and he served as our guide. I was so happy to see tortoise underwater! AMAZING!!! Too bad I didn't have an underwater camera to capture those magnificent creatures. Here's an image from the net.
We had another round of snorkeling at the Marine Sanctuary and it was just AWESOME!!! The corals are so alive and beautiful! Apo Island is also famous for their clownfish city. Hello, Nemo! Apo is truly a PARADISE. A little piece of heaven underwater. Aww I'm so grateful to God for creating such beauty! :)

All the walking, swimming and snorkeling made us hungry. We treated ourselves with a sumptuous lunch at Apo Island Beach Resort. Time is so slow in Apo Island. If I only I could spend more time there away from all the mortality and morbidity in the ward. What a great breather! :)

Our boatman picked us up at Apo Island around 2pm. And the waves were so strong! We were all soaked when we got to the mainland. If only I knew, I would't have changed into clean and dry clothes and wore my swimsuit instead. Haha. We spent a little time in Dumaguete where we bought some pasalubong from Sans Rival. Then we checked out the boulevard. Yayish, much? Haha.

We were back in Cebu City 9ish pm on Wednesday. I'm still feeling itchy from all the jellyfish sting and whatever bit me underwater. But it's all worth it!!! The bites will go away and Apo Island will always have a special place in my heart. Pasok sa top 3 ko! :)