Friday, May 28, 2010

Feeling the Heat: Batanes Experience

It has a been a dream of mine to go to Batanes for as long as I knew the place existed. I don't think there is any other place (locally) that I wanted to go to so badly. So I was so happy to hear that there was a buy 1 take 1 seat sale in SEAAIR. My family instantly went to MOA to buy the tickets and by a couple months' time, we were off to Batanes.

To tell you honestly, it wasn't everything I hoped it would be. First off, it was burning hot there. We were under the impression that it would be really cold we were shocked to feel otherwise. Don't get me wrong, the place was absolutely stunning! It was as if we went to five different countries at once; Jerusalem, Greece, New Zealand, USA, and Africa. We took literally more than a thousand pictures in our 5day stay there. We made the most of our trip by going to all three of their inhabited islands; Batan, Itbayat, and Sabtang.

If you are interested in an extreme experience, I suggest you go to Itbayat. It's an island without a single beach! You need to ride on a boat for 3hours from Batan to get there. (Experience the refugee-like boat ride! No seats, just sitting on the floor and watch dozens of flying fish hovering on the water!) Aside from the journey to the island, going around the place was also quite the experience. They do not have vans and jeeps there, only pick-up trucks! So you have to ride at the back of the trucks, sitting on wooden benches (bangko). The experience is hard to explain in words, you just have to experience it for yourself. You will also hike a long way to go to a cave. On the way there, you will walk on a white limestone path that is absolutely breathtaking! Definitely worth the trouble. You can also go to a separate island, and stay there overnight if you prefer to laze on the beach. But you have to give them advance notice, because they have to prepare the place for you. That is if you have enough time on your hands...

Batan Island is like the center of Batanes. It has the most establishments, even internet cafes have found their way there. The Marlboro Hills are located here and also the world famous Honesty Coffee shop. If you do not know how to ride a bike, i suggest you learn before you go there. I didn't know how to ride one so I had to miss out on going solo. >.< SAD! Going around the Island on bike is refreshing and you can experience things you might have missed while on the van.

Sabtang Island has the most number of stone houses in all three islands that we have visited. It is also home to a 103 year old man! We talked with him and he didn't seem his age. It was as if you are talking to a 70 year old man. His secret: NO VICES! This is also the place where you can frolic on the beach and eat lobster. You can also watch locals weaving their Bakul (native straw hats) and buy them straight from the source.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I Think Therefore I am for GIBO TEODORO

This is the last campaign day; last day of those annoying commercials. Thank goodness.

As the title denotes, I am for Gibo Teodoro. Popularity aside, I think that he has the best chance of improving the situation in our country. He will not be preoccupied with his personal vendetta and trying to please other people. He would go right down to business and run our country. He strikes me as a no nonsense kind of man; a man who is not ruled by his emotions when it comes to making decisions.

I want to shout at people who say "sayang lang ang boto ko sa kanya, hindi naman siya mananalo e." Well I say, mas sayang ang boto mo kung iboboto mo ang isang taong popular nga, pero wala rin namang magagawa para sa bansa natin. Contrary to popular belief, elections are supposed to be a system wherein we vote for people based on credentials and not on POPULARITY. This is our NATIONAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS and not a popularity contest in school. Vote based on credentials and merit, not based on relatives and endorsers.

Do not pay heed to the surveys because "I was not asked by the survey." Survey companies admitted that they only surveyed roughly 2000 respondents. That is not a reliable representation of the entire voting population. Ask the friends of your friends, I'll bet that none of them were asked by the survey.

For my VP, I will vote for Bayani Fernando. As a marikenyo, I know how effective he is in public administration and implementing laws and statutes. He will be the man of Political Will to discipline the Filipinos and execute our otherwise good existing laws.

First Time ^-^

After three renewals and a flooded passport, I was finally able to get it stamped! First stop was Macao. Since we arrived late, we had to pay 40MOP for the cab. >.< The meter said 17.50 but the cab driver insisted that we had to pay an extra 20MOP for the luggage. Good thing that our hotel was superb and it quickly turned the bad into good.

Our stay in Macao was short but sweet. The following day, we had to jet off to Hong Kong where it was raining pretty hard. Thank goodness that it was only for our first day. Our trip to Disneyland and the Giant Buddha was bright and sunny. A fair warning, if you avail of the city tour package, make sure to ask if you have to pay extra for additional rides. We had to pay 50HKD for the boat ride in Aberdeen garden because our tour guide didn't inform us of this small detail...what a joke. For the city tour alone, we shelled out 100HKD (50 for the boat lady and another 50 for the guide). The picture they took of me was nice, but it costs 160HKD for the set. Too expensive! So I didn't buy it. LOL

For me. the highlight was that of our tour in Ngong Ping 360. The cable car on our way to the Giant Buddha and Po Lin Monastery was just superb! When I go to Hong Kong again, I will most definitely go there once more and buy more Mochi. LOL