Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa

Sheridan Resort is dubbed as the first green resort in the Philippines. It is located in the towering mountain ranges and the clear turquoise waters of the West Philippine Sea.

The travel from Honda Bay Wharf to Sheridan Beach Resort was about one hour and thirty minutes with one-stop to a simple store along the way. The road going to the resort mostly curves and up and down. There were so many of us who were nauseated and vomiting going there. But my van mates were really cool in thinking that we were riding a roller coaster. The view of the road was limestone formations trees and green mountains.
Sheridan Resort is dubbed as the first green resort in the Philippines.

It is located in the towering mountain ranges and the clear turquoise waters of the West Philippine Sea. Upon reaching Sheridan Beach Resort we had our welcome drinks. Our room was located on the first floor with the pool view. We explored the place and found the beachfront area of Sabang Beach.


My colleagues enjoyed the different amenities and recreation of the resort-like spa, pool, Jacuzzi, gym, billiards and darts. I enjoyed swimming in the pool. Some of my colleagues were also enjoying the basketball while swimming. And others were sleeping and resting in their rooms. While enjoying the pool, you could also order in the Wet and Dry Pool’s Bar, just between the two pools of Sheridan.


We had the superior room in the Pool View. I love the private balcony in front. We had our company dinner set up in the spacious garden near the pool area.
The breakfast is always at the South Sea Restaurant.
The best part of the Resort is Sabang Beach. I love the wide sand bars and the crashing waves from the beach.
For more information please visit http://www.sheridanbeachresort.com

For other posts about Palawan, please check:

Puerto Princesa Honda Bay Island Tour

Honda bay is found at the east of Puerto Princesa City’s center. It was our company’s outing and the first leg of our outing was the Honda Bay Island Tour. Upon arrival, we were greeted by our tour coordinator and the welcoming party of Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa. We went to the van and our luggage was transferred to the office in the city and we changed for our tour.

Honda Bay Wharf

We stopped at the Panz Mask and Snorkeling Shop on the way to Honda Bay Wharf to rent for snorkeling mask. At the Honda Bay Wharf, we waited for the guides to have our permits to tour the islands in Honda Bay. As we waited we took pictures along the wharf. Our group in the van were the last one to get a boat, and we joined the other group for our island hopping since it was the last boat rented by our company.

Pambato Reef

After donning with lifevests, the group was ready to start the tour and we went to Pambato Reef Snorkeling, a small protected underwater reef. The staging area of the created structure just beside the reef comes with a large turtle on top. There was a briefing first before we were able to check the reef.

Luli Island

Luli island was named because of the Lulubog (floats) –Lilitaw (sinks) sand bars, the sandbars vanished during high tide and long sandbars during low tide. Thankfully it was low tide when we arrived here and the sand bars were wide and long.

Cowrie Island

Our group was really hungry after and we were asking our boatman for lunch. He said that we had to go to Cowrie island were our lunch would be served. We were all quiet but after seeing the island from a distance we were very excited and grateful to have our lunch.

We took pictures first and then head to the lunch prepared at the end of the island.
This was our first tour before going to Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa.

Discovery Shores Boracay

It is the number 1 travel destination in the Philippines. It even ranked number 1 as the best beach in the whole world. It’s in the bucket list of every Filipino who loves to travel. It will always have a special part of everyone who has seen the island. It will always be a travel destination of every “balikbayan” Filipinos. It will be a dream destination for foreigners. And yes, I’d been there for the nth time, both for leisure and for business.
I’d tried a backpacker’s lodge and some good resorts in Boracay. It was a dream for a backpacker like me to be able to try a five-star luxury resort. And I would say, I’d been able to try it one of the Top Hotels in the country, Discovery Shores Boracay, a kick-off meeting organized by our foreign counterpart.

Upon arrival at the Caticlan Airport, we were greeted by the staff of the hotel and gave us bag tags to ensure that we were the hotel’s guests. We then waited for the van to arrive and we were transferred to the lounge near the port before we boarded our boat to the island. The boat was airconditioned, snacks as served snacks and we were seated comfortably in our boat and within 15 minutes we were at Jetti Port. We took a van again that would take us to the resort.

Discovery Shores Boracay is located in Station 1, Balabag. The staffs were accommodating, friendly and courteous when we registered to get our keys and assisted us in our rooms. There were a welcoming note and snacks when we arrived at our room.
Our room was a junior suite, double sharing queen-sized bed with a veranda. The features of the room were really amazing. The amenities were excellent.
They also have a Terra Wellness Spa, Fitness Center, the Sandbox Kids room, and swimming pool. The resort beachfront gave a stunning view of the sunset.
And since we had a business meeting here, the food served during breaks were superb. The buffet breakfast was served in the Sands Restaurant. Our lunch was fused of Asian culture because our guest was from the different Southeast Asian countries. The party organized on our second day was organized in the Sandbar, which includes band, fire dancers and fireworks. Our guests from the nearby countries were astonished by the Discovery Shores, Boracay and the view of a magnificent sunset.

Bahay Bakasyunan sa Camiguin

I always do a Do-It-Yourself trip but because of the foreseen events when I was in Camiguin, my friend and I decided to stay in the most expensive resort in the province. But well, we were very satisfied and we really enjoyed our stay in Bahay Bakasyunan sa Camiguin.


It is a tropical resort located in Mambajao. The staff is friendly and they accommodate us very warmly when arrived during stormy weather or should I say during LPA.


The room is a nipa hut with a veranda and the room is very spacious and homey. There’s a restaurant inside the hotel to dining with all your Filipino favorite dishes and fresh kinds of seafood. There’s also a bar if you want to unwind overlooking the sea.


There’s a spa, gym facilities and a pool. They also offer an island tour around Camiguin. And we were accompanied by the staff all throughout the day (sorry I forgot his name) and he was also our tour guide explaining everything about the beautiful island of Camiguin.
And as their tagline says: Bahay Bakasyunan sa Camiguin is a premier resort of the south. Please check their website https://bahaybakasyunan.com/
For more post about Camiguin, please check: Camiguin Island

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.

 

Yehliu Fishing Village, Taiwan

Known for their national parks and national scenic areas, this country also offers a 1,700-meter-long-cape, a geological park just an hour and half away from the central city of Taipei. Nestled against the mountains, between the sea of Keelung  and Jishan, there is a fishing village called Yehliu.

Yehliu Fishing Village

On the northeast coast of Wanli District in Taiwan after the fishing village is a cape known as Yehliu Geopark. Yehliu provides a scenic view of the sea and the coastal geological formation of rocks formed by wind and waves.

Gangdong Road

The Gangdong Road towards the cape are lined with different sizes of fishing boats at the fishing harbor and on the other side are seafood restaurants, shops and houses.

Baoan Temple (Protection Temple)

A temple called Baoan Temple (Protection Temple), Yehliu Ocean World, and the only hotel called Yehliu Boutix Resort is seen before the entrance of the Yehliu Geopark.

Yehliu Boutix Resort Hotel

Yehliu Boutix Resort Hotel is a 5-star hotel with the view of the East China Sea.  Across the hotel is Yehliu Ocean World with a huge parking lot to accommodate tour bus for the Geopark and the Ocean World. The Ocean World is an Oceanarium that offers dolphin and sea lion show.  In front of the Ocean World is a bay walk area where locals are fishing or admiring the ocean view and the stretch of the whole Geopark.

Yehliu Geopark

Yehliu Geopark is crowded even in early morning as tourists heads to the park before it opens at 8 AM.  The long cape which is full of sea water eroded holes as well as numerous rocks of different shapes.  Because the rock layer of nearby shore contains limestones, it was subjected to marine erosion, weathering and earth movements.

The cape is also known as Yehliu Promontory which forms part of Dalao Miocene formation.  The long stretch into the ocean as geological forces pushed Datun Mountain out of the sea.

Mushroom rocks are prominent here, in which almost 180 rocks of these shape had gone through marine erosion due to the impact of wind, rain, sea-water and strong northeast monsoon.  The tourist enjoys the famous Queen’s Head, which becomes the landmark of the geopark.

Another significant rocks are the ginger rocks, in which the softer surface had been washed away as a result of long-period erosion, the calcium concentration of rock further squeezed by earth movement to take the shape of the ginger.  The famous of which is the Fairy’s shoes where legend says, that the piece of shoe was left by a fairy who visited the earth.

Candle shaped rock is conical standing erectly on the ground and being surrounded by circular groves like a candle tray.  Other significant formations are sea caves, potholes and traces of fossil.

Yehliu Geological Park is one of the beautiful creation of nature.  The natural conservation of the cape has benefited the locals of Yehliu and for tourist to enjoy.

For more posts about Taiwan, please check Maokong and Ximending, Taiwan and Yehliu Fishing Village, Taiwan

Maokong and Ximending, Taiwan

Maokong is a peaceful village on the top of the mountains providing a scenic view of Taipei.

How to go to Maokong from Ximen

To go to Maokong you can ride Maokong Gondola is located at Wenshan District in Taipei. It was about 30 minutes from Ximen station to Taipei Zoo. From the Banaan Line we transferred to Zhonghe-Xinliu Line, we hopped into the Zhongxiao-Fuxing, one of the busy station in Taipei. We walked to the Taipei Zoo Station and lined up for the five-stage gondola system. We used our e-card for the entrance. It has 5 stops, but you can only go down at the Taipei South Zoo Station, Zhinan Temple Station and the Maokong Station. The whole journey to the last station is about 20-30 minutes. The gondola closes when the wind gust reaches 18 m/s and if there’s a typhoon or earthquake.

Maokong

We went up to the Maokong Gondola station, and there were tea and milkshake and other restaurants to eat. Street foods also lined up the street going towards the different temple. Maokong village is the best place to have tea.

The  Zhinan Temple is located at the 4th Station. There other temples in Maokong like the Buddhist temple and Zhangshan temple. There are different parks in Maokong.

Ximending

The Diary II of Taipei where we stayed is located at Ximen. Ximending is a busy tourist spot where there are so many malls, shops and restaurants located here.

I tried the Black Tomato Steak and Wawa Dolls restaurant.

Black Tomato Steak, the house specialty which was named for the restaurant. I love mine with the black pepper sauce. Every order of their steak comes with unlimited soup, toasted bread, drinks and ice cream.

Wawa Dolls is one of the themed restaurants located at Ximen. You can find different themed restaurants here.

For other posts about Taiwan, please check Yehliu Fishing Village, Taiwan and Taipei City, Taiwan

A Summer in the United States of America

The United State of America was not part of my bucket list. I only want to go there because of studying. In 2004,I was admitted in Central USA to pursue a Masters 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 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 on 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 stay a 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 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, the bus needs 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 cities 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 fell in love with America with its chaos and silence. I fell in love in America.

Taipei City, Taiwan

Listed as No. 1 in 2015 from a survey of CNN’s top cuisine in the world, a land of hot springs and mountainous terrain, a country of rich cultural traditions lies on the western edge of the Pacific Ocean.

We arrived in Taoyuan International Airport around 11PM and there are only a few and passengers were flocking from different airlines. Most tourists arriving were from mainland China.

Diary of Taipei II

We lined up for a taxi and told the driver to take us to Diary of Taipei II in Zhonghua road. The skyway was long and it took us about an hour to reach our hotel. The driver got confused though because he stopped in Diary of Taipei I, and not the Diary of Taipei II. He took the voucher of my hotel where there was a Chinese character of the hotel and the address and turned around to go back, just one block away from where he stopped.
We arrived at the hotel at the wee hours of the morning, luckily, the staff of the hotel was available 24 hours. Our room was also upgraded to a Family room instead of the Standard Room, and our room was located on the 11th floor. The room was okay for a budget traveler because we were upgraded, our room was spacious and artsy.
Breakfast was served at the 12th floor, a buffet of the traditional Taiwanese food. The hotel provided an MRT guide and a map of the Ximending area where our hotel was located. Just a five minutes walk from our hotel is the Ximen MRT. We bought an e-card and load it with money which you could use for both the train and MRT.

Lungshan Temple

Our first stop was the Lungshan Temple, one stop away from Ximen. There were signages that would direct you to the temple, so you need not worry about it. It was a Saturday morning and as early as 9AM, there were lots of Buddhist who were offering food and prayers.

Chiang - Kai Shek Memorial

From Lungshan, we went to Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. Along the MRT hallway going to the memorial hall, paintings hang on the wall that showcased the artistic sides of the Taiwanese.

A park with 2 enormous temple-like building awaits you and these are the National Theater and the National Concert Hall. The Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall was at the far end of the Liberty Plaza with 88 steps going up the stairs towards the top, which was the age of Chiang Kai-Shek. The view from the Memorial Hall was also amazing as you could see the designed garden of flowers. Inside the memorial hall is a monument of the famous Chiang Kai-Shek, the founder of Taiwan.
We also walked through the garden with the lake before going to the famous Taipei 101, the tallest bamboo-shape skyscraper in Taipei.

Taipei 101

It was already past 12 noon when we arrived at the busy train station of Taipei 101. We proceed to the Food Court which was located in the basement of the building. The food court offers different cuisine but mostly Taiwanese food. We ate at a food stall where we ordered squid with beef and bean sprout, eggs and tofu. Afterwhich, my mother and I toured the Taipei Mall which was fully branded and signature shops while we wait for my brother to arrive.
When my brother arrived, we availed tickets to the Taipei 101 observatory, a promise of 360 degrees view of Taipei City. The entrance was 500 NT dollar. Tourists invaded the tower. The only problem was it started to rain, and thunderstorm swept across Taipei. We waited for about an hour in the observatory and when the rain stopped, we started to explore the different sides of Taipei 101 and took pictures of the scenery of the South, North, West and East of the city.


We then checked the level 88 for the wind damper. The mass tuned damper supports the Taipei 101, and it was designed to withstand typhoon winds and earthquake tremors. The 91st where the Outddor Observation deck was located, was not open to the public during our visit.

Sun Yat-Sen Memorial

After which we went to Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall. Sun Yat-Sen is another heroic figure in Taiwan. He’s the forerunner of the Republic of China. The memorial was built in 1972 in his 100th birthday. After which we headed back to Ximen and ate at the nearest mall in the station. The skyscraper Taipei 101 had a good view while your walking in the garden of the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial. We weren’t able to go inside of the memorial because there were activities happening at that time we arrived.

For other posts about Taiwan, please check: Yehliu Fishing Village, Taiwan and Maokong and Ximending, Taiwan

Kuala Lumpur in 24 hours

After my vacation in Koh Lipe, Thailand, I had to go back to Langkawi in Kedah Malaysia to catch my flight going to Kuala Lumpur.  I waited at the beachfront and bid farewell to the beautiful island of Lipe. It was another two hours ride to the port of Langkawi.

From Langkawi port, I hailed a taxi going to Langkawi airport and waited for my scheduled flight going to Kuala Lumpur. KL was my last stop from the 10 days of my Penang – Langkawi – Koh Lipe – KL trip.

Kuala Lumpur

I arrived at 7 pm in KL and my friend Rae picked me up at the airport. We boarded a bus going to KL Sentral, the central transit hub of all connecting stations in Kuala Lumpur. The KL International airport is 45 mins to 1 hour away from the city center called KL Sentral. You can also ride Klia Ekspres for a shorter time going to the city.

Petronas Twin Tower and KL Tower

I booked my hotel in My Hotel in Brickfields, 5 mins away walk from KL Sentral. After checking in and dropping off our bags, we went to the KLCC or Petronas Twin Tower. We took the train from KL Sentral by Kelana Jaya Line LRT and alighted at KLCC. The KLCC LRT Station is connected underground to Suria KLCC Shopping Mall and Petronas Twin Tower.

We tour the Suria KLCC Shopping Mall and walked going to the famous landmark of Petronas Tower in which we took photos of the night view of the Twin Tower. After which we went to Hard Rock Café in which we also had a view of KL Tower.

 

From the nearby stalls, we bought food and brought at the My Hotel where we had our late dinner.

Batu Caves

In the morning, we had our breakfast at the hotel. After an hour we went to Batu Caves.

Batu Caves is located at  Selangor Malaysia and is 40 minutes by train. From KL Sentral, alight a train going to Gombak. The caves are located at limestone hills and one of the top destination in Malaysia. There are series of caves and cave temples across Batu Caves.

There are 272 steps going up to the main cave. But because I am dressed with above knee-level, I was not allowed to go up so I decided not to explore the stairs and just enjoyed the park below with the birds.

From Batu Caves, we went to Merdeka Square or Dataran Merdeka. It is a square or Independence square situated in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

There are so many notable places around Merdeka Square like the Kuala Lumpur City, the open field for Royal Selangor Club, and Cop’s Fountain.

For other posts about Malaysia, please check: What to see in Georgetown, PenangGeorgetown, Penang, Malaysia Penang Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour