Unforgettable Traveling

What are your unforgettable experiences while traveling?  Or should I say the “buwis buhay” or tragic/bad experiences kind of trip?  It’s not all happy and enjoyable while traveling.   Some things will turn out not the way you expect it to be.  Not the smooth sailing kind of travel that you planned.

  1. Flight. There will always be that delayed flight.  I am still grateful that I haven’t experienced a canceled flight from different airlines.  I only experienced an almost 6 hours delayed flight, unlike my friends who had different experiences.  There was one who was canceled for 1 day or 2 days because of the bad weather.  He experienced it three flights consecutively – going back to Manila from Tuguegarao, Puerto Princesa and in Singapore.  There was a friend whose plane made a U-Turn going back to NAIA 3 because the plane couldn’t land in Albay due to bad weather.  She eventually made a flight in the afternoon and made it to Albay.
  2. Turbulence. There are the turbulences in the plane and the unsafe plane landing that you’d experience during a flight.
  3. Boat rides – I had experienced 3-4 meters of waves because of a low-pressure area in the Andaman Sea. The Andaman sea was where the Boxing Day tsunami happened in 2004.   Locally, a low-pressure area going to Camiguin was seen during our flight. The waves were rough where the cargo boat swayed to the docks and banged the port area.  I almost thought I couldn’t make it to our destination.
  4.  Attacked by a Jelly Fish.  Jellyfish season comes every hot temperature of the sea. Along the coast, in Borawan I was stung by a box jellyfish.  I felt a blast of hot, itchy dotted ink on my legs while taking a swim.  I got out of the water and found the back of my two legs swollen with blackened spots.
    Look for the jellyfish

      I was treated in Puting Buhangin in Padre Burgos where the locals gave me vinegar and calamansi.  Overnight, my left leg with the worst attack started to be very painful, I wasn’t able to walk properly.  I also had a fever after.  The blackened spots lightened but there were still visible on my legs even after 5 years that it happened.

  5. Northwest monsoon or Habagat – The northwest monsoon before was not like the monsoon we experienced since 2009.  It comes every year from July to September in the Philippines and makes the seaboards rough.  Nowadays it also creates a “splash surge” and an enormous amount of rain.  And because of the surge, my friends and I experienced a really near-death experience because of the roughness of the waves and lightning across the open sea in San Antonio, Zambales.
  6. There were other trips that were canceled.  One was the trip to Oslob during the height of Typhoon Ruby.
  7. Some tourist destinations only have motorbikes for their island tour.  After hitching a ride with a motorbike my legs slid to the hot “tambutso” and my skin got burned.
  8. Some tours that are not regulated by the local government would charge you with high island tour rates. Some would even make a ploy after agreeing with the cost, they will charge you high after the tour.

Surfing Sites in the Philippines

The Philippines is blessed with beach breaks in the swells of the Pacific Ocean and the West Philippine Sea. There are so many different reef breaks throughout the archipelago. Surfing has become more popular in the Philippines.
Below are the surfing sites I visited while traveling in my country. I am not a surfer but I love seeing people learning to ride the surfboard. I love watching the experts doing their skits and dancing with the waves.

Siargao Island, Surigao Del Norte

Siargao is the number 1 destination for experts, intermediates and newbies. The surfing capital is exposed to strong swells from the Pacific Ocean.
The widely known surfing spot that made Siargao famous to the international community is Cloud 9. Cloud 9 is blessed with a world-class wave and rated as one of the best surfing spots in the world. It is known worldwide for the perfect barrelling right-hand reef break. The waves are recommended for experts only.


When it gets crowded in Cloud 9, surfers go to the QuickSilver Surfing area. It is also called Cloud 9’s little brother and also has a similarity with the right-handed wave. It is best for intermediate and beginners. Near QuickSilver is Jacking Horse which is also best for intermediate and beginners
Other famous spots are called the Cemetery Pesangan Right and Cemetery Pesangan Left, with a jump-off near the Pesangan Cemetery in General Luna good for intermediate and beginners. Other breaks are for experts is the Tuason Left, Tuason Right, Pacifico and Burgos break.
There are other spots known by the locals which can be good for intermediates.
The best months to surf in Siargao is between September to May. Though there are waves from June to August which also good for newbies. The local and international surfing competitions are held every September.

How to get there

It is located in the northernmost tip of Mindanao. There are no International Flight going to Siargao. Direct and connecting flights to the island are available in Manila, Clark, Cebu and Davao. You can try the airlines like Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and Skyjet. The airport in Siargao is called Sayak Airport in Del Carmen.

Surfing Schools

Siargao Surf Camp, Harana Surf School, Turtle Surf Camp, Kermit Surf Resort, Kanawy Surf School

Baler, Aurora

Baler is one of the most popular surfing sites in the Philippines as it is known as the “Birthplace of Philippine Surfing.” The Baler gigantic waves have made it in the international surfing community after the filming of the 1979 War Film ‘Apocalypse Now.” The production crew left the surfing boards to the locals and the surfing was born. Charlie’s Point is the surfing spot where the memorable scene in the movie was shot.


Baler boasts a meter high waves during the surfing seasons of September to February. During the months of March to June, the waves are calm and are perfect for beginners.
Cemento Reef can be experienced with a 4.5-meter barrel which is usually the spot for the annual Aurora Surfing Cup. This is a perfect spot for the experts. For beginners, Sabang Beach is a good place for surfing lessons. Other surfing spots in Baler are Dicasalarin Point, Lindy’s Point and Dalugan Bay.

How to get there

It is 6-hours away from Manila and 3 hours away from Clark. There are buses coming from Manila going to Baler. If you’re traveling from Clark International Airport, the best way is to hire a 4×4 going to Baler.

Surfing Schools

Aliya Surf Camp Resort, Mahdox Surf, North Shore Surf Camp, Big Z Surfing School Surf Spot

La Union

The primary surf beach is in San Juan, La Union. La Union or ‘Elyu’ is known as the “Surfing Capital of the Northern Philippines.” The waves can reach 2.5 to 3 meters during the surfing season. The best time to visit with the challenging swells is from October to march. The La Union Surfing Break is held annually during October.


The three peaks in San Juan are named Beach Break, The Bowl and The Point. Other surfing areas near San Juan are Sunset and Car-rile
There are other towns in La Union for surfing, it is in the towns of Bauang and Bacnotan. For Bauang, there’s a beach break near the cemetery and an abandoned beach resort. The famous surf spot in Bacnotan is Darigayos.

How to get there

It is located in the Northern part of Luzon. It is 6 – 7 hours away from Manila and 3 hours away from Clark. There are buses from Manila and in the nearby town in Clark called Mabalacat, Pampanga.

Surfing Schools

San Juan Surf Resort, Sebay Surf Central, La Union Surf School, Kahuna Beach Resort and Spa

Daet, Camarines Norte

Another beach along the coast of the Pacific Ocean for riding the waves is Bagasbas Beach in Daet Camarines, Norte. Several summer surfing festivals are held in Bagasbas beach for beginners. Surfing board rental and surfing lessons are available along the stretch of Bagasbas Boulevard.


Bagasbas Beach is also widely known for Kite Surfing. The best month to go surfing in Bagasbas is from July to January.

How to get there

There’s a direct bus going to Daet, Camarines Norte and travel time is 8-10 hours. The airport is located in Naga, which is a 2-hour drive to Daet.

Surfing Schools

Bagasbas Kite & Surf Shop, Bagasbas Whitewave Hotel and Surf School,

San Antonio, Zambales

Magic Left is a popular surfing spot in Zambales. It is called Magic Left because it offers a long left-handed wave it produces at the Pundaquit Bay. Another beach break called Mags is also good for intermediate to advance.
Other surfing spots are located in Liw, Liwa, San Felipe called Hig 5 Lahar. Another one is in Crystal Beach Resort, San Narciso.

How to get there

Its close proximity to Manila which is only 3 hours away and an hour away from Clark makes it a popular weekend getaway for city surfers.

Surfing Schools

Crystal Beach Resort, Quicksilver Surf School, Zambales Surf Camp, Liwalize It Surf Camp, Kapitan Liwa Surf Resort

Other Surfing Sites in the Philippines

1. Pagudpod, Ilocos Norte
2. Real, Quezon
3. Mercedes, Camarines Norte
4. Puraran, Baras, Catanduanes
5. Nagtabon Beach, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
6. Dahican Beach, Mati, Davao Oriental
7. Lanuza Bay, Surigao Del Sur
8. Guiuan and Calicoan Island, Eastern Samar

Backpacker vs Flashpacker

How will you differentiate a backpacker and a flashpacker? If you’re traveling with a backpack, does it count that you’re a backpacker or a flashpacker?
What does backpacking mean? According to Wikipedia, it is low-cost, independent travel. For backpacking, the budget travel and destinations are relatively cheap. A trademark of a backpacker is the use of backpacks to carry around for long journeys or long periods of time. Backpackers often choose public transport and check-in in a hostel or any cheap accommodation. They usually don’t stay in one place but travels to different places, sometimes even to the wilderness to mingle with the locals, to check out a different culture or to even learn the language, or to discover the part of the place that nobody dares to see or experience.


But time evolves, backpacking changes to flashpacking. Flashpacking means traveling with more money and going to fancy hotels equipped with different gadgets. On a simpler definition, flashpacking is backpacking with a bigger budget. Some flashpackers still travel with a backpack but they are not necessarily backpackers. They may travel with the backpacker’s sense of adventure but spend extravagantly to enjoy their vacation. They’d go to nice hotels, sophisticated restaurants and have a thrilling adventure along the way.
I’d always thought I am a backpacker or maybe I used to be when I was younger. I used to travel without an itinerary. I checked on places when I get there. I go wherever my itchy feet take me. There were times that I had to scout the area first before finding a cheap inn or hostel to stay in. I had to ask the locals where to go and what tourist destination to see. I always travel light. One backpack is enough for my journey. Sometimes you call it a do-it-yourself trip. No plans, but an instinct on where to go once your there.
With the use of the internet and popping out of the different gadgets, traveling became easy. Information about the place is available. Now, I plan and research my itinerary ahead. This saves time for venturing the place. You know where you want to go. You know what to do beforehand. Gadgets and wifi connection became a must while traveling.

A stranger I took a photo

I still travel light. That’s one of the things I have mastered for a long time of traveling. I could fit everything in one bag, but this time I carry an empty bag that can be folded and fit in my backpack or if I chose luggage, just in case I need to buy things or if my clothes become bulky. I’d check out restaurants and coffee shops that were mostly on the top of the list of previous travelers. My accommodation varies. I could still go to a dorm, a cheap inn, a hostel and sometimes in an expensive hotel for accommodation. It depends on my mood or depends on the place where I’m going. I do go on planned tours. Sometimes it’s cheaper, but it really depends on the place. Other tour packages cost a lot.
The best part of being a backpacker or a flashpacker is getting to know locals and being friends with different tourists or travelers.
I guess I can be both depending on the place and the people I am with during traveling.

GSA Summit

Mentors are invited for the Annual Global Science Alliance (GSA) Summit in The New York Academy of Sciences in New York for the annual gathering of young scientists, international researchers, mentors, mentees and their parents or guardians. It is held every July and it was on its third year.

I went to New York to attend the Summit last July 24 -26. The highlight of the event was the gathering of the future STEM leaders across the globe, showcasing their projects and achievement from the different mentoring programs of the academy. I also met notable persons from the academy especially those program managers who handles the GSA and the Mentoring programs.


While the mentees were having their activities, the mentors were also invited a talk by Josh Henkin.

On the third day the mentees were also awarded with their winning projects.

I was glad that there was a lot of young scientist from my countries whom I met during the summit. There were seven from young Filipinos who attended the event.

For more information about the mentoring program please check NYAS Mentorship.

NYAS Mentorship

I submitted my application in September of 2018 to the website of The New York Academy of Sciences. I was reminded of completing the application by an email in which I didn’t finish. The mentorship is in cooperation with the United Technologies Corporation. One of the qualifications of being a mentor is graduate students, postdocs or professionals working in STEM-related fields with expertise in green buildings and sustainability or related topic area. Other criteria are to be passionate about engaging and inspiring the next generation of STEM innovators.
I was able to complete the application and I was scheduled for an interview by another mentor in October. After the interview, my background was checked by a vendor to provide a secure and comfortable mentoring environment to the NYAS program. It took 3 weeks to finally be cleared of the background check.


In the first week of November, I was admitted to the program. I was given access to the portal. We were then given a welcome package on how to use the portal and what are the reminders of being a mentor.
I received an email that I was matched with my mentee in the second week of December. My mentee is budding 17 years old girl from Bulgaria who wants to be a Chemical Engineer. I was matched with her because I graduated with BS Chemistry in college.
We were introduced and our first meeting was in the same week. She’s a very pretty girl who is active in her hometown in different science-related activities and also with her advocacy with her community as one of the young leaders. She planned to study in a different country and she’s learning French.
There are four modules with the STEM U that will also help and guide the young generation and it was distributed for the whole school year. They are an interactive module that helps the mentee with their personality and personal goals going to STEM.
At the end of the school year, both mentees and mentors will receive their certification in being a part o the program.
For more details about the mentoring programs, you can check the website www.nyas.org

Trends in Biobank and Genetics

A symposium with a title of “Trends in Biobank and Genetics” was conducted last 18th of July in the Shangri-La EDSA in Mandaluyong City. It was a seminar of Technidata in collaboration with St. Luke’s Medical Center Human Cancer Biobank.

The symposium was attended by the different Hospitals both private and government hospitals and research institutions. researchers, medical technologists, doctors and scientists took part in the seminar. The rain was pouring heavily in the morning and the traffic going to the hotel was really bad, but luckily the turn out of the participants was really high.
The first part was the introduction of the Technidata corporate profile by the General Manager, Ronan Mage. The second part was the Future in Cancer Genomics and Cancer Biobank by Dr. Daphne Ang of St. Luke’s Medical Center.  After the very highly anticipated talk of Dr. Ang was a snack break.

The third part was about TDGenetics of Technidata by Kristine Agustin, the Business Development Manager of Technidata before they proceed to the lunch break. After lunch, Carlo Fernandez, Technidata’s Senior Service Engineer talked about TDBiobank and had a demo. The last part of the seminar was a talk by Loraine Kay Cabral of St. Luke’s Medical Center.

The best part of the symposium was the sharing of knowledge and ideas with regards to biobank issues related to the industry and the problems that arise from the different laboratories on how to set up the facilities. The biobank is still new in the Philippines. There are many hospitals and researches who want to put up their biobank lab to preserve the different specimens to help researchers.

Camiguin Island

Planning a trip and booking a flight earlier has ups and downs. It is good to plan beforehand, where do you want to go, buy a ticket during seat sales and do some research about the popular tourist destination in the place. But one of the downsides of it is the weather condition especially nowadays due to climate change, you never know when will a low-pressure area be spotted in a certain place.

How to get to Camiguin Island

We had an early flight to Cagayan de Oro. We ate our breakfast at the Agora Bus terminal and rode a bus bound for a 3 hours drive to Balingoan Port, Misamis Oriental. Earlier that evening, a low-pressure area was spotted in the east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Norte according to PAG-ASA. It was not raining in Cagayan de Oro when we arrived, but as we get near Balingoan, it started to rain and had cloudy skies.
We arrived around 11AM at Balingoan Port, and we bought our ticket towards Benoni Port in Camiguin. There was a parked ferry boat in Balingoan. They told us that within thirty minutes the boat would sail to Camiguin. As passengers flocked the port, strong winds and heavy rain were seen outside the terminal. Locals of Camiguin assured as that there would be a ferry boat that would take us to our destination. Then we started to check our watches, and at 2PM, they decided to board us to the ferry amidst the strong winds and rough waters. While we were waiting for our boat to sail, a very huge wave struck us and the ferry went sideways towards the docks, slamming us to the side of the ferry. I got scared but looking at the locals, they seem calm. My friend and I decided that if ever the ferry was in its right position, we would go down and head back to Cagayan de Oro. The crew of the ferry where vigilant that they managed to turn the boat again to its docking position. We were about to go down but the ferry sailed to the waters toward Camiguin.
The boat ride was supposedly only 2 hours, but because of the LPA, we sailed at a very low paced. My worries about the weather altered when somewhere in the sea, I saw dolphins swimming. We arrived at Benoni Port at 6PM, where we don’t have a place to stay. It was supposedly a do-it-yourself trip, but due to unforeseen event and we were already tired, we decided to ride a van and told the driver to take us to Bahay Bakasyunan, an expensive resort in Mambajao.

Bahay Bakasyunan

Bahay Bakasyunan was really a very nice and cozy place to stay. The amenities were good and the staff was very friendly. We had our lunch in the bar, the room was spacious in a modern Nipa hut setting. My friend and I just laughed at what happened the whole day and decided to enjoy our stay in the resort. The following morning we availed of their van rental for the island tour.

White Island

The following day, it was still raining and cloudy. Our first stop after our breakfast was the White Island of Camiguin. We road a small boat near the famous Paras Beach Resort towards the island. The shape of the sand bar of White Island differs depending on the weather. When we got there, the waves were rough and we weren’t able to have a glimpse of the famous Mount Hibok Hibok from the island.

Katibawasan Falls

We headed to Katibawasan Falls, where raging waters were flowing from the top. It is one of the beautiful falls of the island.

We had our lunch J&A Fishpen, a fishing restaurant in Barangay Benon, Mahinog. We ordered seafood and fishes that could be seen and caught in Camiguin.

The driver asked us if we wanted to go to Mantigue Island, but because the coast was also from the side of Benoni Port, we decided not to try the rough waters there.

Santo Nino Cold Spring and Soda Water Park

Then we went to Santo Nino Cold Spring and the Soda Water Park.

After which we went to Guiob Church Ruins and view the Sunken Cemetery. The Guiob Church was damaged due to the volcanic eruption on May 13, 1871 while the cemetery was buried under water. The church was built from coral stones.

Mt. Hibok Hibok Ardent Hot Spring

We stayed in the Ardent Hot Spring for more than an hour to enjoy the benefits of the water from the hot spring coming from the mountain of Hibok Hibok.

Our last stop was the Vjandep bakeshop where we bought Camiguin’s famous pastel.
Sunday morning of February 13, the sun was up but it was time for us to head back to Cagayan de Oro, for us not to miss our flight in the evening to Manila.
For some people, it would have been a disaster trip. But not for me, I believed that it pushes me to my limits, that I can brace all the storms. I was reminded of one of the travel quotes I read somewhere..replace the fear of the unknown with curiosity. And when the time comes, I might head back to Camiguin again, to experience it with the sun, and to view the four stratovolcanoes within the island..and to get the chance to explore the Mantigue Island, the one we skipped from our island tour.
And up until now, I never stop having my adventures.

 

A Summer in the United States of America

The United State of America was not part of my bucket list. I only wanted to go there because of studying. In 2004, I was admitted to Central USA to pursue a Master’s Degree and the second time was in 2017 when I applied for EMBA with scholarship. I did not pursue both. Maybe studying there was not really for me.
Last year I joined being a mentor for the New York Academy of Sciences in New York City. Somehow, I knew I would be going to the USA for the GSA Summit, an event for mentees and mentors every summer. I asked for assistance with an invitation letter last March and interviewed on the last 7th of May. After 3 days, my passport arrived with a multiple 10 years entry visa to the US of A.

I started planning for the trip to where I should go first. My initial plan was to stay on the East Coast. I was only planning to meet my friends from New York and New Jersey. I asked a friend to help me find a hotel there but he offered his place for me to stay during my New York trip. He started planning for us to go to Washington D.C. and to stay for one night in Virginia. He also told me to visit our friend in Dallas.
So I contemplated on where to go and then after a week, I asked some friends and they offered their place for me to stay. I chose to stay longer with my long lost closest friend from my F days, and then meet other friends separately. I filed a leave from work, finalized the days where I would be staying and when to meet friends and bought my ticket. The flights were Manila – New York – Dallas Fort Worth – Los Angeles – Manila from July 20 to Aug 5.


I arrived at my first destination at the wee hours of the morning at John F. Kennedy Airport. I took a cab and the taxi was caught by NYPD because of beating the red light. It was scorching hot when I arrived because of the heatwave and my friend Chester toured me to the City on a 94 Fahrenheit weather. I would give the details of the places I went to in another post and when I was alone. I also met Karen, my favorite client from UPMSI and Patriz’s family, one of our classmates in the UST Chem.

I attended the GSA Summit and met those people who organized the event, the different STEM mentees and their parents. I attended a seminar with Josh Henkins. I met so many wonderful people like Ann, Adrienne and many others.
I got lost while traveling alone, but it was easy to find my way in Manhattan. I saw so many different places in New York, enjoyed my time and the city. Enjoyed walking, the subway and the bus. I love the Museum Mile and Central Park where the apartment was located.


On the following weekend, we went to Washington D.C. to explore. Going to Washington D.C., the bus needed to go through the highways of New Jersey and Maryland. We spent the night in Virginia and went back again to New York the following day.
When I was having fun being a New Yorker for almost 8 days, and I had to leave the city already. On July 29th, it was time for me to go to Dallas Fort Worth Airport.


Texas is like a laid-back place that is a part of Central America. It has a different vibe from New York City. Well, Texas is so huge that I feel I could be lost and I could not find my way back home. Every city and town I saw had their distinct beauty. What I love most in Texas was the old and historical McKinney and the museums.
I reconnected with my old friends Beah, Louvette and Robert and meet different people like May, Ted, Marissa and Mitchell and the whole family of Beah.

My friends decided where we should go. The best plan is when you have no plans at all and everything turned out well. Although there were some bumps in the road or should I say expected things that didn’t happen. It was a summer worth remembering.

I would like to thank all of my wonderful friends who managed their precious time to be with me, for letting me crashed their homes for a while, for those who had to take their days off and had to travel 1 to 3 hours to join me with my trip. Thanks to all the friends who sent me messages to meet them, I’d like to travel to different states but there will be next time. And just in case I decided not to come back. I already went to the East Coast and Central.  I had a glimpsed of West Coast thru Lax Airport. I went to 4 States and the District of Columbia. I fell in love with America with its chaos and silence. I fell in love with the United States of America.

For the USA tours click here

Penang Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

I tried the Hop-on Hop-off in Penang, Malaysia when I visited last 2016. This was my experience during the tour. There may be changes already as it has been three years already.

It is a double-decker bus tour throughout Penang Island that has two pick-up points – CITY and BEACH routes. The different routes cover the most popular and visited attractions on the island including the beautiful landmarks of Georgetown, a UNESCO cultural heritage and the second famous destination Batu Feringghi.

Where to avail tickets

The 24-hour ticket cost 45 Malaysian Ringgit. The tour goes by the Hop-on Hop-off concept at any designated stop with the choice of the ticket validity for 24-hours or 48-hours or a single trip.  You can buy the ticket on the double-decker bus; Gurney Drive (Stop 1) counter and in Chowrasta (Stop 7) counter; in authorized agents and authorized hotels. Make sure to get a brochure of the Hop-on Hop-off Bus to have a detailed schedule and information about the tour. The brochures are found on the bus and on the counters.

City Route

There are 8 stops for the City Route. The different City stops are Gurney Drive, Penang Hill, Komtar, Chowrasta, UNESCO Heritage, Cruise and Francis Light Tomb (Stop 7). The schedule time for the City route may also depend on bad weathers, road closures and traffic congestion, especially during peak hours and weekends.

There are so many popular landmarks for the City route. The most visited are Gurney Plaza, Gurney Hawker, Botanical Garden, Penang Hill, Kek Lok Si Temple, Komtar Mall, Chowrasta Market, George Town UNESCO World Heritage City, China Town, Little India, The Goddes of Mercy (Kuan Yin Temple), Clan Jetty, Penang Ferry Terminal, Tanjung City Marina, Victoria Memorial Clock Tower, Penang Town Hill, Fort Cornwallis, Penang Museum & Art Gallery, St. George Church, Cheong Fatt Tze (Blue Mansion), Dharmikarama Burmese Temple and many others.

Beach Route

The pick-up point and the first and last stop of the Beach route are in Gurney Drive. There’s a schedule time for the beach route. The 10 stops for the Beach route are Gurney Drive, Straight Quay ,Flamingo, Miami Beach, Holiday Inn, Golden Sands, Hard Rock, Tropical Spice and, Entopia (Stop 15). From Taman Rimba, the bus will make a U-Turn going back to the different stops and the bus will interchange again in Gurney Drive.

There are 18 attractions for the Beach route. The destinations are Straits Quay Lighthouse Mall, Flamingo, Miami Beach, Holiday Inn, Batu Ferringghi Beach, Hard Rock Café, Tropical Spice Garden, Teluk Bahang Fishing Village, Penang National Park, Pantai Keratchut, Bt. Kerajaan Forest Reserve, Batik Factory, Toy Museum, Escape, Entopia Butterfly Farm, Taman Rimba, Teluk Bahang Dam and Teluk Bahang Forest Reserve.

 

Sightseeing from Hop-on Hop-off Bus City Tour

I waited at the Penang Time Square Mall (Stop 05) and availed the 24-hour ticket since my hotel was near the area. Since I already had my walking tour in Georgetown, I decided to tour it by bus and to see the different places from the top.  But the main reason I went for this tour was going to Penang Hill and to tour the Beach routes.

Penang Hill is the second stop (Stop 02).  It is the oldest British hill station in Southeast Asia way back late 1700’s.  The highest peak stands at 833 meters above sea level.  The funicular service started in October 2013 and the existing train is the 4th generation system which started in April of 2011.  The Penang Hill funicular tunnel is 79 meters long and 3 meters wide with the steepness of 27.9 deg.  It is the steepest tunnel track in the world.

Penang Hill offers a panoramic view of the city.  At the summit, there is a flower garden, a mini bird park, and owl museum, bungalows, guesthouses, love-lock area, old train, restaurant and the historic Bellevue Hotel.  The ride is every 15 minutes going down and going up. I went there during the day, but Penang Hills offer a different view during night time.

I ate at the highest restaurant in Penang Hill called The Summit.    I also went to the two temples around Penang Hill.

After which I again traveled the City tour of the hop-on and hop off.  I had a look at Kek Lok Si from afar, the State Mosque on the right side.    I alighted at Gurney Drive Stop 01 to transfer to the Beach route bus.

Exploring the Hop-on Hop-off Beach Tour

From the bus ride, I saw Strait Quays, Masjid Terapung, Miami Beach, the gates going to the National Park and Tamban Rimba where the Teluk Bahang Dam and Teluk Bahang Forest Reserve were located.

I went down to Tropical Spice (Stop 19) and lingered at the white sand beach around the area.  It was also called Teluk Bahang Fishing Village.  I enjoyed a meal in the fishing village. At the far end are rock formations overlooking Batu Ferringhi at the left side.  I went to Hard Rock Café to check the store and went to Batu Ferringhi.

Batu Ferringhi is the most popular beach area because of its winding stretch of the sandbar.  Water sports are available in the area.  Different restaurants, shops, hotels and hostels are found in the area.  I explored the long stretch of the white sandy beach of Batu Ferringhi. I waited for sunset in the area while watching the different water sports activities in the area. I also enjoyed the view while I sat at the sand.

While waiting for the bus I checked out the night market. When the bus arrived, it was already night time and I enjoyed the cool breeze from the top of the double-decker. We were dropped off at Gurney Drive. You can also see the Gurney Plaza and the Gurney Drive Hawkers food stall.

I explored the different hawker’s food stall and bought Satay or Marinated Meat Skewers and Char kway teow or stir-fried rice cake strips. The Gurney Hawkers offers delicious hawker food in Penang Malaysia.

Ayala and Yuchengco Museums

Since it’s the International Museum Day, I’d write about the other two museums I like. If you’re in Makati are, there are two museums that are worthy to visit, Ayala Museum and Yuchengco Museum.

Yuchengco Museum

Yuchengco Museum is located at the RCBC Plaza in Ayala Avenue corner Gil Puyat Avenue.


There is an interactive Samsung Digital Gallery, Likhang Pinay, The Rizal Gallery, Yuchengco Gallery and the Art Gallery during the time I visited. Some of the exhibit change depending on the theme. There are different activities also that you can check on their website: https://yuchengcomuseum.org/

Ayala Museum

Ayala Museum is located at Greenbelt. The whole museum was restricted in taking pictures. What I like the most in Ayala Museum was the gallery of golds and the rich history of the Philippines as one of the producers of gold. There were other exhibits like the Fernando Zobel, Indigenous Textile, Ceramics and Philippine’s collection of garments. Some of the galleries exhibit also change depending on the theme.

Ayala Museum is offering free admission on May 19th with this year’s theme is “Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition.” They are highlighting the role of museums in the respective communities. Ayala Museum will be closed for renovation later this month. For more information check out their website: http://www.ayalamuseum.org/