Saturday, April 30, 2011

Coron island-hopping: Doggies on the beach and other highlights

I've always been fond of dogs even if I was bitten in the face by one when I was eight. And I especially love it when I see them on the beach, this little pup included.

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As mentioned in a previous post, My Bibe and I went on an island-hopping tour on our second day in Coron. After a brief moment of enjoying Kayangan Lake without other people around, we snorkeled a bit at Twin Peaks. Had it not been for the numerous jellyfish that stung us, we would have stayed a bit longer. But everything was still fine, much so when I saw our boatman cooking our rice (and later our fish) on the boat! 'Twas quite a sight to behold, amusing even.

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We proceeded to Atwayan Beach for lunch. And it felt good again to get there when there weren't still so many people around. As with most other beaches in the area, Atwayan is just a small pocket of sandy beach nestled between karst formations. There were several huts around and we staked our claim on one under the shade of a tree.

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I booked our tour with Calamianes Expeditions Ecotours, operated by good-looking couple Al and Mae Linsangan. One good thing about them is that it's a community-based operation where the boat owner, the boatman, guide, food preparer, etc. all get a share from the Php 3,000 that we paid. There were cheaper alternatives for Php 650 or Php 750 per head with packed lunch but we weren't keen on joining a group. My choice allowed us to have some control over our time, a semi-buffet lunch, and exclusivity for me and My Bibe. And this was what they served for just the two of us:

[Daily Doodle] April 30, 2011

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Kayangan Lake: Getting there before everyone else did

On our second day, we went on an island-hopping tour in Coron, which was why we stayed there in the first place. I won't really detail every attraction we visited or every site where we spent snorkeling because everybody knows about Twin Peaks, Twin Lagoon, CYC Beach, etc. Plus, of course, there were still a lot of spots we haven't visited (you need several tours for that), including Malcapuya that I've been aching to see. But I can't have it all in one day.

But what I did have that day was about an hour of peace and quiet, of exclusivity, at Kayangan Lake. It was really on top of my list and thankfully it was our first stop. I was after the chance to photograph the place with no people around since in a lot of pictures I've seen of Kayangan, orange life vests dotted the frame, instantly ruining everything. And boy was I lucky, if only momentarily. So let me share with you a couple of shots I took.

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Picture-perfect scenery. A mixture of fresh and seawater, Kayangan Lake has been touted as the cleanest lake in the Philippines, in Asia, in wherever - I don't care. It's clean, period. 

Friday, April 29, 2011

[Project Look Book] Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday, yes! It feels so good to have just started my workweek yesterday (was on leave for the three days before that) and then immediately have it ended today.

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I'm wearing this toggle hoodie from Penshoppe that I've forgotten about already. Well, almost. Got it last December while on vacation in Baguio.

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The shirt was a kris kringle gift from an officemate (Folded & Hung). Put on black skinny jeans from Topman and a pair of Chuck Taylors and I'm good to go!

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Happy weekend!

[Daily Doodle] April 29, 2011

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

[Project Look Book] Thursday, April 28, 2011

It was back to work today. Apart from sporting my new tan, there's nothing special with today's outfit, though. I already wore this shirt in January except that I paired it with pants in a lighter shade of brown then. Today it's dark brown.

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Shirt (Paul Smith); pants (Dansen at SM); shoes (Zara).

Princess of Coron (and our limited experience around town)

Instead of staying at the Club Paradise resort all throughout our holiday, My Bibe and I opted to spend our first two nights at Coron town. Not only was it more economical but it was also much nearer as a jump-off for island-hopping tours in Coron.

After a series of inquiries, I found us a room at Princess of Coron (sounds like one of them passenger vessels from Sulpicio Lines). Although as expected accommodation was never a wow, but I liked the shaded, garden feel upon entering the vicinity.

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Princess of Coron is owned by the Hauffmans. I think the guy is Austrian (since Princess calls itself an Austrian lodge) although he speaks a lot of Tagalog. "Akala ko puti," he remarked at me one night. He said he thought I was white. Well, just half-white. Speaking of night, that same spot above looks like this:

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Outside, the lodge looks less of a lodge and more like a modestly rich family's residence. You enter through a gate.

[Daily Doodle] April 28, 2011

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

[Project Look Book - Resort Special] Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It was time to say goodbye. After a last-minute mini-exploration around the island I had to get ready.

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For the journey back home, I opted for an ensemble that afforded me that nautical feel. So it had to be blue and white. Was supposed to wear blue and white espadrilles as well but we were expecting our feet to get wet while boarding the boat so never mind.

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I got the shirt from SM, and I actually wear it to the office (see here). I don't remember where I got the shorts from but I think Surplus Shop. The shorts aren't all white; it's got red, blue and white stripes on the sides as shown in the photo below, which are also present on the waistline (but I don't have a photo).

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Till my next vacation (which is about two weeks away - yay!)...

[Daily Doodle] April 27, 2011

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[Project Look Book - Resort Special] Monday, April 25, 2011

For Day 2 at Club Paradise, it was all about sunbathing, swimming and snorkeling.

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Wore a sleeveless shirt from Bench and swim shorts from Marks & Spencer. Okay, so the shorts aren't in full view so here's another shot:

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Yeah, right; like I play beach volleyball. And for dinner I wore this embroidered shirt I got at SM and maroon fisherman's pants from Ko Phi-Phi in Thailand for that island vibe.

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Funny, this shot. As with most resorts they tend to keep the light low for "ambience." And with my equipment being very basic, I positioned the lamp to add illumination to the subject somehow and to temper the unflattering effect of camera flash at the same time.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

[Project Look Book - Resort Special] Sunday, April 24, 2011

After two nights in Coron town, My Bibe and I spent another two nights at Club Paradise in Dimakya Island, which is still part of Northern Palawan. We checked in on Easter Sunday, and this was what I wore that day:

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It was stifling (as expected in the summer) so I wore this chest-baring shirt with a really low neckline from Topman. The sleeves are also cut shorter than usual. Got the shorts from Surplus Shop at SM and the straw hat from Bench. I don't own any expensive sunglasses and even if I do, I don't intend to wear them to the beach. Seawater can be very corrosive. So I found an alternative in these wayfarers from i2i for about 300 pesos. Not bad.

And after an afternoon of soaking up the sun, I somehow got what I wanted: a darker, sun-licked complexion (if only temporarily).

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Oh, notice the really short shorts? Also from Folded & Hung. Tank top from Bench. And another oh, I almost forgot about dinner.

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Paired this collared pullover from Hermes with cheap shorts from Surplus Shop. We realized it was Luau Night when we arrived for dinner, and what I wore was definitely not luau. Too late but who cares?

[Project Look Book - Resort Special] Saturday, April 23, 2011

I'm back from a vacation in Palawan. Will just rest for another day at home before facing reality at the office once more. With the number of days stricken off my Project Look Book, I've decided that to make up for it, why not post what I wore during our vacation? So because there was no internet connection at our resort for the last three days (Isn't that wonderful, detached from everything else?), the posts are likely to come one after the other. So here goes...

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On our second day at Coron in Palawan, My Bibe and I went on an island-hopping tour. So what else is there to wear but swim shorts?! Was on the hunt for short swim shorts for some time now. I wanted them above the knee and it was quite a task as all you see around in stores are those droopy board shorts that I have since outgrown. At least for now. So I was lucky to find these short-enough shorts from Folden & Hung.

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Yes, I'm baring all my surgery scars. I originally had a tank top on but after searching through photos, there was no shot where I had it on. Who cares about them scars anyway? Wearing flip-flops I just picked from SM Department Store last year. The dry bag's from Rudy Project.

[Daily Doodle] April 26, 2011

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Anda, Bohol: Around town

See related posts:
Anda, Bohol: The shoreline going south
Anda, Bohol: The shoreline going north
Anda, Bohol: Anda White Beach Resort


It's Good Friday and six years ago in 2005 My Bibe and I were walking around the sleepy town of Anda, Bohol, dripping wet from swimming. Last year we didn't do much exploring anymore. But after featuring the resort where we stayed, as well as the coastline, let me show you a glimpse of what the town is like.

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The open field fronting the beach. In the background are the church and some stalls that dot the perimeter of the field.

Anda is a 5th class municipality. So everything is very basic here and the area is sparsely populated. Apart from fishing, folks also engage in farming. Oh, and this town has some history behind it dating back to Spanish colonial times. But I won't go there. You can just Google that one up.

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The municipal hall, located near the shoreline.

[Daily Doodle] April 22, 2011

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

[Daily Doodle] April 21, 2011

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Anda, Bohol: The shoreline going south

In my last post I've shown you how the beach along the poblacion in Anda, Bohol is like.  But that was north of our resort. Now let me take you to the other direction.

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I must say the beach going to the town proper is much better than it is here. I personally don't like to go swimming in an area with rocks and seagrass since I prefer a sandy bottom. But it also has its own charm nonetheless, especially at low tide.

Anda, Bohol: The shoreline going north

Last year My Bibe and I vacationed at Anda, Bohol. It was our second time there and we still love the place. The beach may not be as fantabulous as Boracay but it has its own charm. For one, there's much less tourism going around and although there are a bit more resorts than there were five years earlier, they're far apart from each other, nestled in between fisherfolk's homes and uninhabited areas. So you still manage to get that "untouched" feel to some extent.

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Taken during low tide near the poblacion. It's a common sight to see people walking along the exposed white sand beach.

While Anda White Beach Resort is still a good 15 to 30 minute leisurely walk to the poblacion, our resort during our first time here was much farther away. We took a cue from some German guy's blog post and did what he did: we went walking along the beach in Anda all the way from his resort to the town proper. It was a fun experience that took us the whole morning to do, with several stops along the way for some picture-taking, sunbathing, and swimming. We approached a dead end and walked through cornfields because we didn't want to swim around to get through, came across a "mini-cave" and back again to the shoreline.

The cornfields, by the way, was not your usual farmland. It was littered with limestone rocks and farmers planted corn wherever they can find some earth in between. It was a reminder of how hard life it must be for them.

Anyway, My Bibe and I did "the walk" once again but this time it was much shorter. Here are a few snippets of what it's like along the beach.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

[Project Look Book] Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Since it's the last working day of the week, it's like Friday today. More so, we did a lot of housekeeping at the office today - organizing files, getting rid of documents you don't understand why you've been keeping for so long, clearing file cabinets - the works. Frankly speaking, an entire day is not enough.

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Haven't worn this shirt in a while. It's from Topman and surprisingly, it's a size Small that fits me!

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Black skinny jeans also from Topman; boots, Frank at Traffic; watch, Aldo.

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It's really summer here already. Can't deny it with temperatures nearing 37 degrees. I'm so ready for the beach.

Have a good long weekend, everyone!

Anda, Bohol: Anda White Beach Resort

I'm excited over our Coron vacation this Friday. But let me share where My Bibe and I have been to Holy Week of last year - Anda, Bohol.

Anda is a municipality in the province of Bohol that's around 1.5 to 2 hours from Tagbilaran City, the capital. Five years earlier, our travel time clocked in at 3 hours. Oh, and we had to endure a hefty powdering of dust as there were no air-conditioned buses plying that route then. Thankfully, the roads are now concrete, allowing for a faster drive. So much has changed.

Back in 2005, My Bibe and I were as gung-ho as we could be. We went to Anda and didn't have any reservation but we managed to find a room at Dapdap Beach Resort where amenities were very basic back then. Last year, however, we opted for some comfort instead and booked a room with Anda White Beach Resort.

The resort had a small strip of beach in front, and this was how it looked during low tide:
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It's not very inviting for a swim but it's much better during high tide, as you can see here:
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The resort is owned by Grace, a Filipina married to a German I think. She was very welcoming and was frequently engaged in conversations with her guests without being intrusive. I remember her worrying over finding a jeepney for hire because she had guests arriving soon who wanted to ride a jeepney from the airport all the way to the resort. Funny but their bags will be in an air-conditioned vehicle.

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Accommodation can be relatively expensive at close to Php 5,000 a night but personally I thought it was just fine. First of all, our room was really huge. And so was the bed.

[Daily Doodle] April 20, 2011

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

[Project Look Book] Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Yahoo! I'm wearing new shoes today!

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They're from Pedro. Got them over the weekend at Bonifacio High Street in Makati while looking for a dry bag. Yes, the purchase was unplanned - an "accident" as I would like to call it. But I don't get to go to BHS that often, plus there ain't any other Pedro stores in Makati. At least I was able to restrain myself from getting another pair.

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And because the shoes are quite loud enough already, I kept everything else simple today with a pullover from Giordano and black pants that I got from Bangkok.

[Daily Doodle] April 19, 2011

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Monday, April 18, 2011

[Project Look Book] Monday, April 18, 2011

It's a really striking color for today. But why not?

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The shirt's Martin Box that I got last Christmas at Linea Italia. I actually got the same shirt in two colors, orange and this one. I wore the orange one last January (see here). Curiously, while linking back to that post, I just realized that I'm wearing the same pants, the same tie, same tie clip, same belt, and the same shoes! Purely unintentional, I insist.

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Pants, tie, and belt, all from SM; shoes (Aldo); tie clip (Merger).

[Daily Doodle] April 18, 2011

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Beautybrick Hair Art Studio: a one-man show

Paid a visit to Beautybrick Hair Art Studio yesterday with My Bibe as it's been around a month already since my last haircut.

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It's always a pleasure to see this little fella greeting you at the salon entrance:

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The salon is owned and run by a Korean I've simply known since, like, five years ago as Mr. Shin. I have no idea what his full name is. That's him in the left side of the photo texting in between haircuts.

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The salon has about six seats or so, you'll think there are several stylists around. But Mr. Shin is a one-man show. Seriously, he's the only stylist at the salon and I don't know where he gets his energy from. From opening till closing, Mondays through Saturdays, it's just him.

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