May 31, 2012

Sydney Hop On Hop Off

I was told the weather was gloomy the past days, but for some reason, the clouds cleared during the only day Jerry had some free time. We had a limited window before he needed to leave for the cocktail event that night. Thus, we had to cram some sightseeing as much as we could and bought tickets for the combined Sydney-Bondi hop-on hop-off tour.

*Tourist-mode / Paparazzi-mode on*







We're getting better at this jump shot thingie, don't you think?

A First Timer Down Under

By some stroke of luck, I was given a chance to go on a trip down under to join my husband who was to attend the CeBIT in Australia, in place of D. Although time was tight (as we were coming in from Siargao on May 18 and the flight to Sydney was on May 20th), we made adjustments to accommodate the last minute travel plans. It was to be a first trip to Australia for the two of us... yey! And... there were no kids in tow. LOL.

The flight was about 8 hours from Manila via PAL. And since it was the start of winter in that part of the globe, I worried whether I packed enough.

We got to Sydney at almost 7pm and the arrival area was crowded. The airport was okay and not far from how our own NAIA2 looks, IMO. There was no queue by the taxi terminal so we were on our way to Ibis Hotel in no time. The lady at the front desk graciously greeted us and said they gave Jerry a room facing the Darling Harbour.


Jerry went down to buy something from Oporto (if I remember right) near our hotel and when he came back, he brought some salad. It was not a big portion but we shared nonetheless. Ah yes! I realized I was already hungry after the irregular meal times inflight. "How much is this?", I asked (my brain on peso default started to convert), and I almost choked on the lettuce when I heard "10 AUD".


The view of Darling Harbour from the hotel room window...

001 hotel DSC07262 sunset...

001 hotel DSC07265 night...

002 a DSC07269
...and during the day...

May 30, 2012

Not Quite Ready To Go

On our remaining days in Siargao, we opted to stay put and have our own family photoshoot. Our venues were the town plaza which they call "boulevard", Mama Sol's (my maternal aunt) beach house and of course at Junnie's beachfront.

We had several cameras on hand which is why it was more difficult to have everyone in one shot. Luckily, we had Lolong who gladly took our shots at the boulevard. As for the beach, the timer doesn't help much when you have the sand and sea making your run to your post quite a challenge. So we settled by taking turns being the paparazzi.

Here are the choice pics of the bunch:


Pa and Ma, looking good together at 70 and 73 years old :)





And though we were not too keen to go, this post closes our Siargao sojourn for now. We have lots of happy memories, hard and digital copies of great times that will fill our family conversations until our next adventure.

May 28, 2012

Magpupungko - Beach, Tide Pool or Rock Formation?

It's actually all of three.

Magpupungko is in the municipality of Pilar, a good hour's drive from General Luna. There is a P50 entrance fee that is a very small price to pay for a fantastic view of the beach, the rock formations and the tidal or rock pools that appear only during low tide.

Wearing beach shoes is advisable as the area leading to the rock pools is rough. These pools vary in depth and can be as deep as 18 feet. It is safer for kids to stay near the fringes where it is shallow and more suited for wading / swimming. The view under is lovely. It is best to have snorkels and goggles because there are colorful schools of fish and corals similar to what can be seen when diving or snorkeling.

It started cloudy that day with a light drizzle, but as soon as we got to Magpupungko, the weather got better and was a treat. Being there was one of the highlights of our trip. We all had fun swimming and taking in the beauty of the scenery up until the tide began to come in - our cue that it was time for the rock pools to disappear again...

0207 pungko 126_4310
While on the road to Magpupungko, we chanced upon a jeepney on its way to another town. Overcrowded is an understatement for this jeep

0208 pungko 126_4311
Some parts of the road are being improved...

0209 pungko 126_4312
And another jeepney filled to the rafters...

Family pic by the rock pools and the rock formation

With the extended family

Pics do not justify the beauty of the place

0257 pungko DSC06985 2
A closer look at the smiling faces...

0240 pungko 7207985732_c24a4a7d2d_o

0236 pungko DSC06972

0237 pungko DSC06973

0247 pungko 7208011388_27149b87aa_o

0263 pungko 126_4332
The beach when the rock pools disappear during high tide

A Piece of Heaven

This is just a piece of heaven which we experienced while in Siargao, May 2012.

by Junnie

May 26, 2012

Pansukian Island

It was formerly called Pansukian Island. Now it is more commonly referred to as "Naked Island" by the locals and visitors. Wikipedia describes Pansukian as: "Off to the right, well within the massive coastal reef, lies a shining white sand bar, (Pansukian, or Naked island) some 200 meters long. The tide of Siargao is diurnal with tidal curves typically present, especially on the east coast of the island.

The Island's Pacific-facing reefs are situated on the edge of the Philippine Trench, and the extremely deep offshore waters assure the ocean swells have undiluted power when they encounter the many coral and rock reefs."

Getting to Pansukian by boat from General Luna, Siargao takes about 15 minutes. From Dako Island, which is nearer to the former, it took us shorter than that. It was our last stop for the day to complete our island hopping trip. And because we wanted to get back to General Luna before sunset, we wasted no time. After the short play and swim session, we took photos like the day wouldn't be complete without it.

0178 naked 126_4284

Approaching Pansukian Island / Naked Island

0179 naked 126_4288

The hardworking bangkero...

0182 naked 126_4291

Guyam appears like a small dot in the middle of the 2 islands. Dako Island is on the right...

0183 naked 126_4292

The approximate length of the entire sandbar

0196 naked DSC06957

Photo op: Ready....

0181 naked 126_4290

... 1 ...

0190 naked DSC06951

... 2 ...

0191 naked DSC06952

... 3! ... (Nilipad! LOL)

May 21, 2012

Dako Island

I was excited but was also mumbling prayers while our boat cruised from Guyam Island to our next stop: Dako Island. It really didn't help knowing that we were out in the open sea near the Philippine Deep. Haha! Scaredy-cat!

Dako Island is bigger than Guyam. Thus, the former's name literally means "big" in the dialect. One side of it has sudden drops with depths not safe for frolicking kids.

0149 dako IMG_7114
On our way from this side of Dako... (tiny Guyam in the background)

Dako Island
... to this side which is just awesome! Powdery fine white sand...

Dako Island
The boys enjoyed their dip

Dako Island
...while Pa did business on the phone. Yes, Globe reaches Dako Island. :)

0175 dako DSC06946
A little fun with seaweeds after the business call

Dako Island

Dako Island
And here we are (okay okay, just me) looking "dako" too. LOL

Next stop: Naked Island
Photo credits: Junnie, Mitzi, Matt and Pa(parazzi)

Guyam Island

After attending a town fiesta in Siargao where we had lunch, we went island hopping. Following are pictures and commentaries:

0091 gl DSC06920
The boys eagerly wait for the rest of our group to board

0094 gl DSC06926
Here is part of the group fronting our cousin's place while making our way to the boat. My Pa is the one with the red towel. For some reason I was scared of treading on the boardwalk... visions of me tripping and falling off into the deep kept flashing through my mind (*shudder*). Look at how I was clutching Jerry's shoulder to his amusement. Ha-ha!

0117 guyam IMG_7087
This is where we were headed - Guyam Island. It is an uninhabited tropical island with pristine white sandy beach surrounding some coconut trees. It is about 5-10 minutes away from Gen. Luna depending on the boat speed.

0118 guyam IMG_7090
I love seeing nice beaches, but I am not too fond of riding a (small) boat to get there. What a worrywart I'm turning into. Tsk!

Despite the fretting (lol), I wouldn't exchange the beautiful scenery and being with my favorite boys, and spending time with other loved ones, for anything.

0141 guyam DSC06933

0143 guyam DSC06935

0147 guyam DSC06941

0127 guyam IMG_7102

0122 guyam IMG_7094
With my son, brother and nephew here

Next stop: Dako Island
Photo credits: Junnie, Mitzi, Matt and Pa(parazzi)