DIY Travel Philippines goes to my hometown

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If there’s one Facebook group that I am most engaged and hooked – it would be DIY Travel Philippines. DIYTP was indeed a  lot of help when I was travelling over the past year. Seriously. If not for this group, I won’t have tipid travels from Mike of Tripidito Travel. (I had the pleasure of getting their services for my mom’s birthday in Palawan and my Be Whole in Bohol escapade). There would’ve been no discounted tours, no random weekend getaways, not to mention the guides I have contacted for my Cebu adventures, Rizal hikes and of course – the friends I gained along the way.

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Speaking of friends, here they are to name a few, L-R: DIYTP Admin Midas, Dwynn, JP aka The Rustic Nomad, Redg, Ynoh, Mommy Edna, Wilbert, Joyce and another admin Bryan.

For the longest time, I have been planning on bringing my friends to Isla Verde.  There were plans, chat groups, official hashtags, even memes, but it never panned out. I can even fill an entire sketch pad with our island life drawings. Well not until last November 2016 where I actually brought three of my closest friends at work in my hometown. So – I wasn’t planning of returning anytime soon. However, there were recent unforeseeable events that literally blew me in a bad, bad way. For me to cope with it, I had to do something, I needed to be anywhere. I had to forget and think things through. Then, the DIYTP Summer Getaway happened.

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I didn’t quite realize how much the island changed the last time I was here – maybe because I was excited to tour my friends back then. But now, those “recent” events took me to a dimension like no other, a perspective no one should see. There was this certain gloom that loomed in the island. Perhaps since most of the people I know were either dead or relocated in the city.

Yes, this is a happy post, an eventually you-will-feel-good write up. Bear with me.

We arrived at Surface Interval resort around 3:00 pm. Some of us were tired and hangry (I think, aka me), but the DIY admins were very apologetic and accommodating you were not gonna be mad at them. Oh come on, we’ve been in their shoes – organizing, planning an event then things spiraled out of control.  We understood. And boy, the admins made it up to us big time. Feeding us with lechon, raffling off loads of stuff, tours to Cebu / Pangasinan / Sagada among others, travel gadgets and the coveted Trip for 2 to goddamn freaking Maldives! Thanks, Dragonfly Holidays #BakaNaman. The items to be given away were too many, we ended up getting one or two (or more – hello Mark with the three power banks). Thanks also to the organizers that sponsor the event, Robin, Geri, to name a few. Even Kim of TripZeeker was there, too!

The funny thing was, the first item to be raffled was a GoPro lanyard. The first ‘casualty’ to receive this item was a 16 year old girl named Joy. Little did we know, Joy would be the last. Yes, she got the grand prize! How lucky can she get, right? From lanyard to Maldives, real quick. Congratulations Joy!

Props to Midas and Jad who aside from hosting the program, made us laugh all the way through. Such fun times!

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DIY Admins preparing the feast. (L-R: Rach, Mich, Jad, Gold, and Midas)
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And by feast, I mean these!
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Everyone got their prize/s – now waiting for the announcement of the grandest prize of them all – Trip for 2 to Maldives c/o Dragonfly Holidays!

What did I win? A free trip to Hundred Islands from LMTA for one. Yes, I guess I’m going solo. Rub it in, DIY.

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Gimme some Open Forum vibes before Socials (pina susyal na term for walwalan)

The part I was looking forward – the walwalan portion. I had shisha c/o Muhamed, free flowing drinks, and this ingenious card game which will defo get you drunk. Thanks to Midas the mastermind. What more can I ask for! We were done at around 6am. Oh yeah, we drank, laughed, shouted, cursed more than we should, sang a few songs and maybe cried a little bit, the entire night. After we cleaned up the area, I took a nap on a bench and had breakfast on light head.

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I spent a total of 3 mins inside this tent. So much for walwaling.

The island tour began – first off to Bgy. San Andres where my father grew up. My brother and I used to go here almost every summer during our childhood days. I sort of toured some of the DIYers in the area and brought them to the light house, yes, it’s a photo ops spot.

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View from Lighthouse

Next spot, the infamous Sampalukan corals. We snorkeled and free dived – it was exhilarating! Not that this was important, but these corals happened to be a few meters away from my cool Lolo’s place.

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Sampalukan Sunset

Want to DIY Isla Verde? See my itinerary and expenses here.

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Sunset view from Surface Interval

Before I forget, the reason we’re doing this summer getaway was because DIYTP reached another year! We are now 2 years old with over 459,000 members and counting. So if you’re still not part of our community,  go ahead and join this wonderful bunch. Not only will you get access to countless itineraries, events, tips and promos, you’ll definitely gain new friends!

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Even Facebook took notice! Hi Tim and Mommy Edna who I met here in this summer getaway…
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Lighting up candles for that, congratulations DIYTP!

To know more about DIYTP, kindly visit this link. Yes DIYTP is expanding. Stay tuned for some exciting news.

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“Buti pa yung kahoy, may picture” #SquadGoals #KuyaKamiNaman

Let’s take it to the top, shall we?

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drone2Thank you JP for giving me permission to use your sick drone shots! Perhaps I bored you with words – let me show you some live visuals then.

Video credit to the amazing Tim of The Secret Adventures of SkywalkTim.

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Til my next escape to Isla Verde…

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Quickies, out!

 

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Since there’s no Laboracay 2018

I have created a short video on my trip last year to one of the most pristine beaches in the country, in the world rather.

What’s Laboracay though? It is a summer beach party there in Boracay during the Labor Day weekend. Hence, the coined term Laboracay is born, Labor x Boracay, you don’t say?!

Escape with me and take a quick plunge to Boracay, Philippines!

PS. Videos taken using GoPro Hero4 and Hero3+. Check out the entire adventure here.

PPS. Laboracay can kiss my ass!

Til my next travel, quickies out!

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4D/3N Boracay in less than 7K

Yeah! You read it right! I spent less than 7 thousand pesos (< $150) for my 4 days/ 3 nights stay in Boracay. Well if not for my katangahan and alcohol addiction (that’s overstatement; an exaggeration for this literary piece), anyway, I would have spent way less.

Boracay in all its glory can shut you up and take all your hard-earned money. BUT my quick escape will show you that it’s possible to spend less and enjoy more…

Boracay has been consistently named one of the best, if not, the best beach in the world. And I felt terrible having to live with the fact that most of my friends got to set foot on that island. Even other nationalities fell in love with Boracay while I sulked in misery.

But not anymore.

A friend from Couchsurfing hooked us up with a roundtrip ticket (dated July 25-28) to Boracay via Cebu Pac. It was worth a staggering 700 pesos. I was skeptical at first… Kidding! Hahah I jumped right in the second he offered to book me one.

I’m guilty of the airport selfie… (sungit ni ate)

We landed on a one fine, hot afternoon in Kalibo. Opposite to the Pagasa forecast, thank God. It took us about an hour and half to reach Caticlan port and about 20 minute boat ride to get to my dream destination this year.

Day 1

The boat selfie… (I can see you Boracay)

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Well now it’s a dream come true! I’m in frigging Boracay!

My jaw dropped as soon as I saw the beach front. Since it’s off peak season, less hotties, cheap hotel rates, affordable foodporn certainly went unnoticed. Yeah, there will always be a compromise. But on second thought, less populated Boracay allowed me to fully enjoy the island (which was really the point why I was here in the first place and not the sizzling bods I secretly hoped for… Hmmmm)

Okay enough selfies for one day (sorry I just can’t help taking these picturesque views with myself spoiling it hahah)

My friends and I hopped from one station to another. We really took our time to see all the establishments this island has to offer. And we can conveniently choose where to eat,  to chill,  to drink due to low volume of tourists on our goddamn time. How cool is that?!

Might I add, we also stayed here in Station 1. No silly, I didn’t go to Boracay to waste money on hotels. But I’m not kidding either –  we did stay in Station 1 for three days and I paid 1350 pesos for my entire stay!  That’s 450 per night and it’s an A/C room of course.

Imagine I get to drink beer for 39 pesos in Station 1.

39 pesos for a beer, Station 1 and this goddamn view. I cannot stress it enough. This is the life!!!

Perks of off-peak season.

Since the night’s still young, I managed to invite a friend I haven’t seen for 13 long years (he’s now living here in Boracay). We’re friends during our freshman year in high school but due to personal matters he transferred in Kalibo. Thank you Rian for dropping by! I will see you again when I get back.

L-R: Mark (the I.T guy soon to be PAL cabin crew), Mik (Chief Finance Officer of Sen. Nancy Binay), Rian (Concierge in this freakin island!), myself, Darren (Attorney & businessman)

Please check out Fairways & Bluewater Resort and look for my buddy there. He gives discount! (Kidding!)

Day 2 

The “I woke up like this” selfie…

Behind is Balabag beach where the sun sets, while on the other side, Bulabog beach is where the sun rises and most of the water activities take place.

Speaking of water activities, Kuya Ferdinand and our group agreed on paying P1,700 for 5 activities which include:

Helmet diving (make sure to equalize!)

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The fifteen minute Fly Fish ride that will drain the shit out of you (so much competitiveness not to fall)

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Snorkeling (be careful not to step on anything, well that’s not really a problem here…it’s crystal clear!)

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Puka Beach (sea shells everywhere, perfect for pasalubong shopping!)

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10 meter cliff jumping in Magic Island (of course I jumped! Video will be posted if I have the funds to upgrade this site hehe)

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That my folks was a whole day run of fun activities. I wouldn’t trade these experiences for the world! Such a hot, tiring, yet exhilarating day in paradise.

We had so much fun during the day, it’s just right to reciprocate that during the night. Hashtag equality. This is the ever jampacked Exit Bar (at first I thought the bar was named that way cos people are already at the exit partying).

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To minimize beer expenses, you can buy a handful at sari-sari stores then bring those to the bar of your choosing. Voila, the rave is on! You can easily lose yourself in this island; just know your limits and you’ll be fine.

Day 3

My friends were knocked out last night so I sneaked out the room and started another selfie journey. Don’t waste that precious time on your bed people! You can do that at work (hehehe)

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Well I stand corrected as my friends did catch up with me. We scoured the shores of Boracay til we reached this far end of Station 1…

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Apparently, we are not alone. Look at that, you can even see the shadow of that guy snorkeling. So frrracking amazing!

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Thanks Mik for letting me borrow your breathtaking shots.

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And why would I not include the infamous Willy’s Rock where the grotto is situated:

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This sanctuary all to ourselves…

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I realized that even if we didn’t avail all the water sports being sold in our faces as we took the shores of Boracay, the feel of the water hitting your soles is more than enough.

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My first attempt on stand up paddle boarding. Mik and I got this deal for 275 pesos for 1 hour.

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Struggled at first but hey got to take this priceless cloudgasm. And yes I was standing when I took the photo, not defensive.

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Savoring our last night in paradise…

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Day 4

Last selfie stretch before I leave this already-taking-a-special-place-in-my-heart island..

I can lie on this beach for hours (or before the sun roasts my fair skin).

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So long, Boracay! You know I love you…

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Itinerary x Expenses

Day 0Php 700 Air fare via CebuPac (roundtrip)

Day 1 (approximately Php 1,600)

Breakfast at ILLY: 245

Kalibo to Caticlan (taxi + boat ride): 1,000 / 3pax (333/person)

Environmental fee: 100

Lunch at Island Chicken Inasal: 175 for inasal w rice, 90 for unlimited iced tea

Dinner at Victory Diver (seafood buffet): 280

1.5liter bottled water: 50 at station 3

Beer at Gerry’s (in front of Mito’s place): 70

Club Paraw entrance: 100 + 90 (san mig light)

Day 2 (approximately Php 1500)

Breakfast (beside Mito’s place): 130 (chicksilog w coffee)

Water activities 10am – 4:30 pm: 1,700 / 4pax (425/person)

Pasalubong: 100 (I have matured and definitely have the will power to limit myself from over spending on pasalubs)

Bottled water: 15 at Crystal Clear

Dinner at D Mall: 200

Beers at Exit Bar and District rooftop: 700 (sorry for party rocking)

Day 3 (approximately Php 650)

Breakfast at Jasper’s: 80 (cornsilog w coffee)

Jonah’s shake: 120

Lunch at Big Meal J: 130

Stand up paddle boarding: 275/pax for 1 hour

Dinner at Caruso, Station1: Mik’s treat so hell yeah

Day 4 (approximately Php 2,500)

Breakfast at McDo: 130 (forgive me, this is my last day here)

Mito’s Inn: 1,350 for 3 day stay

Caticlan to Kalibo (boat x van): 250

Terminal fee at Caticlan port: 100

Terminal fee at Kalibo airport: 200

Pasalubong 2.0: 200

Dinner at Burger King, NAIA: 110 (I advised not to but we’re starving, so there)

Cab to Pasay: 100

Total Expenses: Php 6,950 (roundtrip air fare included!)