Writing about this challenge made me reminisce about the first time I met with my recent partner.
I could hardly remember what we had for our first date but one thing's for sure, I did all the talking.
Sorry for broadcasting lover. ..
Anyways, this is tough.
Because usually, I just really go with the flow.
Yet I have to confess,
I am a sucker for SPONTANEITYand SURPRISES!!!
for a lady like me who's short attention span is similar to that of a toddler's, I prefer casual dates that do not bore me to death.
a. Candle-lit dinner?
- Not exactly my cup of tea. It's too uptight and stiff.
Unless the guy has an unbelievable sense of humor and tries to crack me up once in a while then why not? It's the great conversation that counts.
b. Indulging in food trips
- One way to my stone cold heart is through my stomach. I love trying out new tastes, flavors and dishes. I'm up for anything that challenges my taste buds. Exotic delights perhaps? - I would never declare no for an answer!
c. Exploring the outdoors
- Yep2x! I just love the outdoors. A nature lover like me you can never go wrong in taking me trekking to the hills, snorkeling, surfing or diving into the depths of the ocean, wakeboarding, road tripping, skydiving(haha) or anything else that keeps me up for the entire date. Demanding much? haha.
d. Anything creative and unusual - Anything that's new and stimulates the mind definitely works for me. I will be always open for anything interesting and fun at the same time.
e. Surprise me - There's nothing more exciting and amusing than a surprise date. It's definitely a major turn on if guys know how to spice things up especially in establishing a new relationship.
First dates would either make or break a new relationship. However, it would not really count how amazing or grandeur your date would be. In the end, what matters most is the honesty, sincerity and respect the guy shows to the lady.
I call it a celebration of Myvan's new found romance!
1. Brian's Baby Back Ribs p188. Sinfully good. It's hard to forget the first time I have tasted this dish. The 3rd time around was still a blast! The steak's sauce was just unbelievable plus the mashed potatoes and corn and carrots as side dishes, it was a paramount celebration of love over comfort food.
2. Pasta Penne.p158. I want to be really honest. As much as I love pasta, I was not sure if I'd appreciated this one. Although the penne was cooked impeccably, the mixture of the sauce and dressings were just all over the place. I could not distinguish a certain flavor from the other. The onions were too abundant, it overpowered the other flavors. I give it a score of 6 out of 10. Serry. ;(
So there you go,
I never realized it's this enjoyable criticizing about food.
In case you did not know, I have always dreamed of becoming a food critic as a profession!
Is that even a profession?
thanks to our dear friend, Myvan for this sumptuous treat.
5 Reasons why I l♥ve Donsol, Sorsogon 1. Accommodation
March 27, 2011. Just after lunch. After an hour drive from Legazpi, we arrived at Amor Farm Beach Resort and settled our reservations with the personnel assigned. The accommodation was not that bad in fairness! The place was serene, tidy and the staffs are very friendly.
We went hastily inside our rooms and settled our backpacks. We got ourselves a fanned room since we were on a tight budget. Our room costs us only p1,2000 equipped with a queen size bed, a single bed, electric fan, air conditioner (which can not be switched on), hot and cold shower and a neat bathroom. Thank God for neat bathrooms. I could afford sleeping anywhere even in the most inconvenient way as long as the bathroom is clean! hehe.
Other than the rooming house, Amor also has a restaurant offering good Filipino and western dishes at reasonable prices.
2. Great Food at reasonable costs
I vowed to myself not to spend much on food since I was really in a tight budget. Hoping to find cheap sources of budget friendly eats, my quest failed. However, the restaurants we went to offered great tasting dishes at reasonable costs. So I set aside my worries regarding my budget because every bit of eats I consumed was all worth it anyway.
I. Top left: Kawnkita's Why Noy? Kinunot. sting ray meat mixed with 'gata' and malunggay. One of the best I've tasted so far!
Plus some breaded porkchop, tuna carbonara and cheeseburger (not in the photos)satisfied our appetite as well. Food prices range from p50 - 120 ish. not bad huh?
II. Top right: Chicken adobo
Bottom left: Pansit Guisado
Bottom right: Pork Sisig
all from Shanneylei's or Shannylouis'? my apologies for forgetting the seaside restaurant. Blame it to my memory! ehe. The food was uber good as well and the servings were huge. Food prices range from 150 - 250 ish.
3. The friendly and hospitable locals One thing I love about the place is the people residing in it. The people we met were just so accommodating and kind. They were polite and they do not take advantage of the tourists in terms of the financial aspects. So BIG thanks to; a. Kuya Ariel and his brother - for being our official tricycle ride around Donsol b. Ate Agnes - for arranging our reservations in our accommodation and for being patient in entertaining our endless inquiries c. Kuya Rey Mirabel
- for giving us worth p600 of a comforting taxi ride back to Legazpi
d. Ate of Binalot from Bohol
- for providing us hot water for our cup noodles for our quick breakfast before heading to our whale shark encounter e. Kuya Sinong and the rest of the banka crew
- for bearing with us and for permitting us to experience one hell of an adventure the second time around
4. Firefly watching
One of our side trips include firefly watching. Donsol provides tourists sight seeing in the evening of their infamous fireflies by cruising down their 100 kilometer stretch and 100 meter wide river lined with coconut trees, mangrove forests and shrubs. The tour costs around p1,250 allowing 5 persons per banka ride. We had a concern regarding the number of people allowed in the boat ride. We were 6 people all in all and the person in charge did not allow further considerations regarding this matter. We understood anyway because it was all for safety purposes. Good thing our 'suki' tricycle driver, Kuya Ariel offered us an alternative. We pursued our firefly watching on land instead. There were other sightings of fireflies along side the road few kilometers away from our resort. He offered us p300 per tricycle. It was way cheaper, so we head on despite the gentle rain showers. When we reached our destination, we were awed with what we witnessed. I have never seen so many fireflies in my entire life. They were hovering around mango trees illuminating like that of Christmas lights on pine trees. It was indeed a heavenly and wonderful sight in the cold and damp night. ;)
5. Chasing and Swimming with them Whalesharks
The highlight of our trip awaits. The whale shark a.k.a the 'butanding' as what the locals refer them are the biggest fish in the world. A fish that's approximately 60 feet long and weighs 40 tons is sure not to miss. They seek refuge in the waters of Donsol from December to May. To achieve an encounter with them all you need is a snorkeling equipment and you'll be astounded with these colossal graceful creatures. The whale sharks swim from surface to mid-water and with their size they're hard to miss. If you have any doubts in terms of your swimming skills, you need not fret because you can always put on a life vest.
Just put on mind not dare to touch them or threat them in any ways. Give them the respect they deserve and you'll sure have the experience of a lifetime! Banka ride: P3,500 Donsol Tour Registration Fee: p100 Snorkel gear: p150 per pair Fins: p150
As much as we anticipated a time of our lives feel, we were quite disappointed in our early morning encounter. We set off on our banka at 7 am and for at least 3 hours or more there were no butandings at site. We were so down in the mouth and upset. We suggested to our banka crew that we extend because we can not afford leaving Bicol without having to experience the most awaited highlight of our trip. Good thing the banka crew were considerate enough and allowed us to extend after lunch for another 3 hours more for just p2000!
Luckily, in our second attempt for butanding sighting, God was really good. We started out and sailed around 12:10 in the afternoon and after 30 minutes, our BIO (Butanding Interaction Officer) spotted our first whale shark. Like literally, our hearts almost blew out from our chest due to extreme excitement and everything was just an adrenaline rush!
We had a total of 6 sightings all in all, and boy, no exaggerations but that was the most surreal and most amazing experience in my entire life. No words and photos could do justice to what we just experienced.
Here's a short video clip arranged by our friends Daut and Askal, enjoy guys and die of jealousy! Bwahahahaha ;)
Our post butanding high faces!
Nothing beats this experience of a lifetime.
And all divine synonyms of AWESOMENESS!
There, I said it again. Because it's definitely the truth!;)
Million thanks to the banka crew for bearing with us and for not giving up on us.
The best ka Kuya Sinong!;)
Them DDGs will always be the coolest travel buddies around!
Still feeling groggy with 2 - 3 hours of sleep and slightly exhausted from the previous day's road trip, we managed to stay awake as we headed towards the NAIA for our early morning flight bound for Legazpi.
As soon as we got on the aircraft, we all tried to catch some more sleep. Few minutes had passed the speaker in the airplane announced a heartbreaking news. The captain just declared signs of poor visibility in the cloudy skies nearing Legazpi. In addition to that, he said that the Legazpi airport was closed. I was like WTF! My heart just sank and all I did at that moment was I prayed hard that everything would fall into place.
A few moments later, the speaker alarm went on again and everybody seemed to be attentive as to what the captain might have to declare.
" We are now on our final descent. The airport is now open."
God. That must have been the greatest news I have ever heard in my entire life so far! Thank God!
Legazpi City is a small urban center kind of similar to that of Dumaguete City. Available transportations include v-hires, tricycles, taxis and rent a vans. The city is relatively small so I doubt you could get lost here.
As much as we wanted Mr. Sun to show up, the weather did not cooperate. Legazpi's climate was really moody. First thing you know it rains hard, after a few minutes Mr. Sun shows up again. Then again, rain showers come pouring again. Yet despite all that, we pursued our tour around the city.
I. Daraga Church, Albay
(March 27, 2011)
An 18th century flamboyant church that stands on hill with splendid views of the sea and Mayon Volcano. Its stone structured build is adorned with statuary, carvings and alcoves at varied heights. This church was said to be built after Mayon Volcano erupted which covered the original church in the town of Cagsawa.
II. Cagsawa Ruins (p10 per head)
The Cagsawa Ruins Park is one of the most visited spots in the area. From here, the tourists are allowed to witness the majestic view of Mt. Mayon and appreciate it's world renowned perfect cone.
The Cagsawa bell tower is the only one that remains today. It is a formidable reminder of events that took place during 1814 eruption wherein it was recorded as the worst eruption of Mt. Mayon. A number of people sought refuge in the church during the eruption but they all died as the church was buried by the flowing lava.
Despite the awful story behind the park's history and the continuous rain showers, we still enjoyed taking photos which were choreographed by our new friend whom we met in the place. Credits to 'Sam Milby' as what we fondly called him, for giving us directions and for taking our cool pictures!
III. Embarcadero The Embarcadero is Legazpi's lifestyle hub and entertainment center. The place offers bars, retail shops, bowling alley, karaoke house, a Celebration plaza and a lot more. It is similar to that of I.T. Park here in Cebu however it is situated in a coastal area.
IV. Lignon Hill
(March 28,2011) (p15 per head)
Lignon Hill is another brilliant landmark in the city behind the Legazpi Airport and beside Albay Wildlife Park. We ascended towards it's peak in the evening and we were awed with the magnificent view of the sparkling city lights and enjoyed the chilly breeze from the ocean.
The friendly locals advised that it is best to walk up the hill early in the morning just before sunrise when the air is cool. Tourists would have the chance to appreciate Mt. Mayon all in its naked glory.
But in our case, we just arrived from Donsol late in the afternoon, so we went for the alternative and explored the hill in the evening which was amusing as well.
Aside from taking pleasure of the spectacular site of the city lights, we gathered around as Daut treated us for dinner. We enjoyed reminiscing the moments we had our whaleshark encounter earlier that day.
(Donsol, Sorsogon blog update still to follow, so stay tuned!)
V. Mt. Mayon (March 29, 2011) (p1,800/pax/ATV; as you'd notice, we are two persons riding on an ATV, well, go figure! *wink*)
What better way to witness the majestic view of the elusive Mount Mayon than a hardcore ATV ride on rough and muddy trails towards the lava formation.
Rough riding along the uneven paths.\m/.
Along the way, we were able to appreciate the culture and the livelihood of the locals residing within the area. What made me even smile more was when kids extended their arms out and gave us high fives whenever we passed by.
As we reached our destination, we made our way up a towering wall to the lava formation through a 5 - 10 minute trek. Climbed up the jagged edged boulders and large rocks that were loosely piled on top of each other.
It was quite exhausting and we had to stop for a while to catch our breath. But the moment we took a glimpse of the foot of the volcano, we knew we just had to keep going.
And then behold, Mount Mayon, all in it's naked glory.
Regardless of the cumulus clouds suspended proudly on its tip, the scenery sent us chills and goosebumps all over our body.
What more could we do to cherish this awesome moment?
Here we go again with our choreographed pictures!
Big thanks to the friendly and considerate tour guides and staffs of the astounding ATV ride!
VI. Albay Wildlife Park
(p20 per head)
This was our last stop before we bade goodbye to Legazpi City. Since the park was just accessible from the airport, we stopped by to take a brief tour around Legazpi's picnic grove and park rolled into one.
Say hello to my dream pet! If I were crazy enough, I would steal you in the middle of the night and take you with me in the morning flight!
So that ends my Legazpi adventure.
And all divine synonyms of AWESOMENESS!!!
More exciting escapades to come in our Donsol, Sorsogon trip till my next blogger update!