Princess’ Travel Diary: Calaguas

It was kind of a spur of the moment decision for us to go to Calaguas. Summer is almost finish and the monsoon season is already effective in Manila but because of my enthusiasm and insistence of pushing through our trip, we did even without extra cash.

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My friends and I decided on having an adventure trip instead of the pre-planned packaged tours. There were only seven of us anyway and the package tours usually requires at least a minimum of 10 persons.

It was a long weekend for us and we opt to take the trip right after our graveyard shift. It was a wrong move for us because most buses are for reservations only, luckily we were able to book our ticket on one of the bus liners along EDSA.C360_2016-05-29-08-10-18-194C360_2016-05-29-08-07-32-944.jpg

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The day trip took 12 HOURS instead of the usual 9 hours land trip from Manila to Camarines Norte (Eastern part of the Philippines) but it was just fine for us since we just got off from work and a long trip means long sleeping hours for us. There were several stopovers for bathroom break, to smoke and/or to eat anyway.C360_2016-05-29-11-45-23-145

We arrived in Camarines Norte at 11PM and we have to commute (no buses anymore) to Paracale, the town where we will take the noat trip to Calaguas. We rented a tricycle instead and upon arrival in Paracale, we checked in to one of the motels to spend the night. At 5AM we bought our food supplies, grabbed a bite, checked out after an hour and then off we went to find us a boat that will take us to the island.20160530_053005C360_2016-05-30-05-15-41-966

While finding the port, we met a guy and when we asked him where the port is, he didn’t just take us there through his jeepney for free but even looked for a boat for us. Like I said on my previous travel diary (Cagbalete Island), it pays to befriend the locals. πŸ™‚C360_2016-05-30-05-26-50-836

C360_2016-05-30-05-26-33-614Prince Joshua was our boat (see contact below) and the “crew members” were more than happy to accommodate us. They even chose the best spot on the island for us to camp. The boat ride took a little more than an hour but we were never bored because the view were great. Upon approaching the island, we can’t wait to feel the sand and soak in it’s clear, blue waters. The commute we had was all worth it. It was still summer there. Calaguas is a paradise.C360_2016-05-29-16-47-18-892

Princess’ Tips and Reminders – Calaguas:

  • It is best to have a reservation (bus fare is around 500 – 600 depending on the schedule and the bus line) if you don’t have a private transportation.
  • Night travel is advisable – less traffic, less humid. It would also mean that you won’t have to spend a night in Paracale thus less spending.
  • Bring (or buy) your food supplies – rice, chips, viands, if you can bring an ice cooler with tube ice the better. Goods in Calaguas are a little bit pricey (a 3 peso ice in Manila costs 20 pesos there, no kidding).
  • You may ask the resort attendants/caretakers to cook for you and you can just pay them. Cooking charge is up to you, we paid 50 pesos when we asked them to cook our rice and another 50 pesos the following day for our breakfast.
  • Recharging your phone will cost you 30 pesos, so I suggest to bring a power bank.
  • I am not going to post here where the best spot on the island is because I want you to discover it. That spot has the best camping ground, powdery white sand, great snorkeling area and has a secluded beach with a great view. πŸ™‚
  • You may ask a guide if you want to go trekking but you may do it on your own (entrance to the trekking trail is 20 pesos).
  • Trek before sunrise.
  • Wear sandals or slippers when exploring the island.
  • When snorkeling, please make sure not to damage the corals. πŸ™‚
  • You can’t take an ugly picture of Calaguas.
  • All pictures posted were taken by me, I didn’t use ANY filters on the beach photos. I had to use filters on the sunrise photos for dramatic effect.
  • I don’t have to tell you this but enjoy and have fun!!

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Movie Review: Warcraft

I am not a fan of online games and never played one in my entire life ever but the trailer of this movie was kind of exciting and I thought that it may interest me so I decided to watch it without any knowledge about the online game where it was based on.

Synopsis:

An orc chieftain seek the help of the humankind after opposing the evilness of their king (I guess). This evilness was being driven by wanting to find a new kingdom to rule thus the humankind did everything they could, with the help of a powerful guardian, to protect their people and their kingdom.

 

Likes:

Effects – more than anything else, it’s what made me see the movie. They could have made it more realistic though because I feel like watching a version 2.0 of Beowulf but it’s tolerable. It’s not as good as the LOTR franchise but it’s okay.

Story – it was there though not deep and complicated enough but it works. It was understandable except for some confusing parts. It would’ve been more comprehensible for me if only I know something about the online game. πŸ˜€

 

Dislikes:

Acting – It just shocked me how an orc holds a cup with her pinky flicking like a proper lady. Animated facial expressions doesn’t work for me either and I’m confused on their underacting and overacting technique. πŸ™‚

Subplots – The love angle was too forced. Father and son relationship and conflict was too shallow. “Saving the child” was too biblical.

 

Over All Impression:

It was an okay movie for me. I just thought that for starting a new franchise film, the producers and the director should’ve made it more epic. It was kind of bland and lacks an oomph factor. I also thought that they should’ve cast at least one or two more known and good actors to help audiences like me to have that feeling of familiarity at least. It would make us, non-Warcraft gamers, more excited I guess.

Four tiaras out of ten.

Movie Review: X-Men Apocalypse

X-Men Apocalypse is one of the most awaited movies of the year and as soon as I knew that it’s already showing here in the Philippines, I went and watched it right away (second day of showing). Of course, prior to watching I had to know how many, if there are any, post-credit scenes. Bought a large glass of iced tea and some raisins to nibble on and then I went inside very excited. Yey!

Synopsis:

Without Professor X, the new breed of X-men went to save the world (and the Professor) under Mystique’s lead against a powerful mutant and his four minions. That’s pretty much it.

Likes:

Quicksilver – I thought that he deserved to have his stand alone film under a different director with a fresh approach. HeΒ  shone here more than he did from the previous X-Men film until the script crippled him literally.

Sophie Turner – she’s refreshing and a great new addition on this franchise.

I paused and think for several minutes to think of anything else I like in the film but I can’t think of any. Gahd!!

Dislikes:

Editing – what happened? There are unnecessary scenes that didn’t help the flow of the plot.

Cinematography – almost non-existent. It’s 2016 already!! I was really bothered on the final battle scene. They were just fighting in someone else’s junk yard.

Script – when did it become cheesy? I realized that even how much acting caliber an actor has, if the script is bland… urgh!

Plot – I thought that it was too convenient for the protagonists. No complicated conflicts, love angle was forced, poignant moments were laughable. Urgh!!! What happened?!?!?! There are a lot of plot holes even. I thought a lot of questionable inconsistencies in the continuity of this film saga. AND that’s it for Wolverine?

Direction – I like Bryan Singer but it seems that his energy has burned out. No fresh approach, nothing at all. I’m so sad.

Actors – I had high hopes that the multi-awarded actors can carry the film but even their stars were dimmed by the direction. 😦

Over All Impression:

It’s like watching the characters from Glee in costumes trying real hard to win the regionals. What’s with the awkward poses and tableau?? What’s with the cheesy lines?? I guess, it’s about time that 20th Century give the rights for X-Men and let Disney take over. Even the humor in the film is forced. I only liked Quicksilver’s scenes and that’s it. Sorry. The film was a joke. And I can’t believe I compromised my sleeping hours for this. Urgh! I’m so disappointed and sad.

Four tiaras out of ten. (I gave this rating generously.)

Happy Mother’s Day!

I remember reading a funny anecdote before that kids are like dogs when they’re still babies up to the preteen stage: cuddly, needy, attention seeker, affectionate and playful; then during the teenage years they become cats: moody, sense of entitlement is too damn high, won’t even look at you when you call them and would sleep all day; and then when they hit adulthood they become dogs again.

When I was a kid, I always make my own card for every occasion for my parents but when I hit adolescent I stopped doing that and like most teenagers, became distant and kind of disconnected from them especially my Mom. I have to admit that I’ve always been very close to my Mom but there were times that I would really question her upbringing but like they say mothers know best.

The first few months of my independence was a bliss – no nagging, no irritating inquisitions and no one to tell me to wash the dishes or to clean my room. After that couple of months, I started missing my Mom’s cooking and basically her caring. I missed her terribly and I would sometimes like “see” her in a crowd or anywhere. I then decided to have her accompany me here in the big city and after a few years, we kind of migrated here in Manila (we’re originally from Bacolod).

Our relationship has changed tremendously compared to what we had during my teenage years. When I was a teenager, yes there were a lot of fights and we would often clash and would not speak to each other for months but during a truce, we talked and laughed and would bond regularly. Now, I may not share about personal things to her as much as she wanted me to but she knows that I’ve become this emotionally independent adult yet still her needy child. πŸ™‚

I thought that it’s how I compartmentalize, I separate my work, personal, and domestic life. I am a different person when I’m at work, when I’m with my friends and when I’m with my family, that’s how I become after surviving adolescence. And my Mom respected that and I’m grateful for it. She would ask me from time to time if I’m okay or if I’m going through something at work and I would always answer none and she will respect that. No more prying. No more digging into. She knows if I’m going through something but she will respect if I won’t share, it’s her way of letting me know that she knows and that she also knows that I can handle it and that if ever I can’t that she’s there, always…to listen and help. It’s a mutual understanding and respect we have developed through the years.

Going back to the reason I asked her to move out here with me in Manila was selfish but deep down inside, I wanted her to be with me because I want to spoil her. It’s my way of giving back and making sure that she’s okay. I wanted to experience new things and go to new places with her. Her happiness is my happiness thus I always treat her or surprise her.

I remember when I asked her that we’re going to Baguio City (one of her dream destinations) the night before our departure as my birthday gift for her. She thought I was joking but when she realized that I was not, her reaction was epic. It was one of the best surprises I gave her.

Another surprise was when I told her that we are attending an office mate’s birthday party. I asked her to dress nicely and to go to my office. We were then picked up by my co-worker and went to an excursion to Eat Bulaga! (the longest and most popular noontime show) – she was able to take pictures with some of the hosts and even had a chance of getting hugged by Alden Richards. Hahah! Another surprise I like was when I bought her a smartphone. I gave it to her as a Christmas gift and her excitement was priceless. Finally she can play Candy Crush and can access Facebook which she always wanted to do.

These little surprises are nothing compared to the sacrifices she made for us and to the heartaches I gave her. And I would never be able to repay her love for me and my siblings, there’s just no amount nor value to what she gave us. It’s the least I can do to somehow show her how much I love her.

My siblings and I may not be as expressive as were but she knows how much we love her.

One thing I am very thankful for having her as my mother is that she was never disappointed in us. No matter how much failure we thought we had she was never disappointed. She was always proud of us.

Happy Mother’s Day Mama!!

Mama