BATANES, the Dream Destination

When my future husband, at that time, told me that he did not want to go out of the country for our honeymoon, I only had two dream destinations in mind; Batanes or El Nido. Since our wedding was in December and I didn’t want to go swimming during that cold weather, we decided right away that we were going to Batanes. Although, there were a lot of reasons that we encountered that made us hesitated. First, a lot of our friends said that it was cheaper to go to some Asian countries than to go to Batanes. Second, that it was impossible to get a promo fare since only PAL and Skyjet airlines are the only two that flies to Batanes, and third, that the accommodations were also costly. So we prayed for guidance and financial help since we had a very limited budget.  God had blessed us with PAL tickets that was within our budget. It was not a promo fare but since we bought our tickets almost ten months earlier we got it in a reasonable price.

For our accommodation, I looked for the cheapest. Amongst all the lodges, MARFEL LODGE had the best review. We got a room with a fan for only P350 per person. It was December and was very cold so the fan was already enough. The great thing about this lodge is that their kitchen and dining is available for all their guests. Their kitchen has a mini honesty store where you could buy canned goods, noodles and even bottled iced tea and soft drinks. Guests may also cook and may use all their utensils. So if you are really on a budget, you can just cook your meals and save a lot for souvenirs.

Marfel Lodge

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We hired a tricycle for all our tours. The good thing about hiring a tricycle is that you can take pictures as long as you want. Unlike in a group tour where every destination is time-bound.

These are the following tours available in BATANES.

NORTH BATAN ISLAND– This tricycle tour costs P1000. This consists of the following:

Mt. Carmel Chapel

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PAGASA

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Pacita Fundacion

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Japanese Tunnel

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(with our tour guide Mang Larry)

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Vulugan Boulder Beach

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Rolling Hills

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Naidi Hills Lighthouse 

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(Tourists may rent these hats and baskets for only P20)

SOUTH BATAN ISLAND– This tour costs P1500. This consists of the following:

Chawa View Deck

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Shelter Port

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Alapad Rock

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San Carlos Borromeo Church

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Honesty Store

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Racuh A Payaman (commonly known as the Marlboro Hills)

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Tayid Lighthouse

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House of Dakay

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Old Spanish Bridge

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Maydangub White Beach

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SABTANG ISLAND– For this tour, we hired Mang Larry to bring us to Ivana Post. we paid P75 each for the boat ride going to this Island

Sabtang Island Lighthouse

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St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel

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Barrio Chavayan

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Chamantad Cove and Tinyan Viewpoint 

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Ahao Natural Arch at Morong Beach

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FOOD TRIP- The viands ranges from 200-400, it is a bit expensive if you are on a budget. But the serving is good for 2-4 persons so it is better if you have friends with you. Here are my two favorite restaurants.

Octagon

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Pacita Fundacion

Food here are a bit more expensive. It is the most elegant and it has the most amazing view amongst all the places you could checked in. But since we are on a real budget trip, we just dined there cause accommodations are almost P20k per night.

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Amazing View

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My Favorite Calamansi Pie

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Ivatans’ Version of Adobo- Lunis

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Our favorite – Tokwa’t Lunis

BASCO – Since our schedule was not so hectic and we did not booked any group tour we were able to go around Basco by renting a bike for only P25. We were able to bike around the Basco Port.

Basco Port

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Basco Bible Baptist Church

We were also able to go to church.

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We will definitely come back here. If you visit Batanes during summer you can also go to Itbayat Island when the waves are not so strong. Aside from the amazing view, the things that I won’t forget about this trip are the honesty and the kindness of the people. This is the only place I have been were I did not really have to worry where I put my things, cause it will still be where I left it. It is great to know there is a place in the Philippines, where you could 100% safe and worry-free

 

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THE ROAD TO CK LIFETIME MARATHON

If you are couple-runners and getting married this blog might be of help.  Since both of us are runners, we decided to make a marathon –themed wedding. We called our wedding #CKLifetimeMarathon.

After years of praying, the Lord has given me my lifetime running mate. After six and half years of dating we decided to finally get married. My boyfriend and I had a very limited budget. So we really had to pray for every decision that had to make and by God’s grace we were able to have a very simple yet uniquely memorable wedding.

 

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These are the things we prepared for our CKLIFETIMEMARATHON

  1. FLOWER BOUQUET – Since we had a very limited budget, we opt to make our bouquet since it was very expensive. We also did not want to have flower decorations because we think that it would be just a waste after the wedding. So we made a paper flower bouquet.

THE BRIDES BOUQUET

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THE BRIDESMAIDS’ BOUQUETSIMG_0345 IMG_0346

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Here are the materials used:

IMG_0352Tissue’s Core Board – We did not need to buy these. We just had to keep the core boards of the tissues that we used

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Colored Board Papers – This costs P125 per 100 pcs from Divisoria

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Styrofoam balls – This costs P29.75 from National Books Store.

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Shoelaces – This costs P10 per pair from Divisoria also.

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Glue Gun, Glue Stick, Cutter, Scissors, Blue Poster paint and brush – The only material I bought from this picture is the glue sticks which cost P 100 per 50 pcs from Divisoria also.

Here are the very simple steps in making the Paper Flower Bouquet.

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  • The Flowers – I followed Michelle Coyle (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TUyiJC3jkg) in making these paper flowers. There are actually a lot of tutorials in the net but I chose this one. If you noticed I printed little rubber shoes in the paper to make it in line with our theme. All my bridesmaids kept their flower bouquet because they love it so much and because I made it myself. So it also served as our souvenir to them.
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  • The Core Board. I made the core board a little thinner so it can be handled easier like in the picture. I used glue sticks in sticking the two ends of the board.
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  • The Styrofoam Balls – I sliced the Styrofoam balls in half. I used only half for each bridesmaid but I used the whole Styrofoam balls for my bouquet because I want to have a bigger one hehehe.
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  • Then I inserted the core board in the middle of the Styrofoam.
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  • The next step is actually optional. I painted the Styrofoam because I wanted to keep it a secret.
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  • Then cover the tissue core board with the shoelaces. You may do it anyway you like.

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  • Then cut strips of paper and fold it into halves like in the picture. Then I glued them at the bottom of the Styrofoam.
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  • Then I  glued the flowers from the bottom side up to the center top.

2. SAVE THE DATE , INVITATIONS, GUESTS’ NAMES and THANK YOU CARD- We decided to make our invitations like a running race route inside and a race bib as the cover. I did the lay-out so we only bought the envelopes and the board papers. I had a printer so we spent nothing on printing.

ck invitation with ribbon

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3. SOUVENIRS- We were not actually planning to give out any souvenirs but our Ninang Mathet willingly sponsored it so she bought us running ballers. Thank you so much Ninang! For the sponsors we gave out sports bottle (P100 each with printing) and since my Ayat is an artist, he drew all our sponsors running. Then we bought frames which cost us P50 each and P60 for printing each picture.

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4. WEDDING CAKE- Of course we designed our wedding cake, and our Ninong Pastor Ryan and Ninang Dra Chelle sponsored it, we are indeed super blessed. Super thanks Ninong and Ninang!


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5. TABLE SET UP The table is set up was one of the exciting things we prepared for. We collected Gatorade bottles as our vase for five months from friends, families and students and sometimes from strangers. Then we used the shoelaces that were left from the flower bouquets and made simple flowers. We used distances as table numbers to really have that marathon ambiance.
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6. The Pictorial and Photobooth – We added our rubber shoes in our pictorial since we can’t wear them during the ceremony because our wedding was held inside the church. We also did a running post. For the photobooth, I based the lay out from our invitations.

THE BRIDE and THE BRIDESMAIDS

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THE GROOM and THE GROOMSMEN

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THE PHOTOBOOTH LAY OUT

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7. This last item is a must for every marathon-themed wedding – the marathon pillars.

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Hope this blog had given you idea for your wedding. Best Wishes and God bless you on your lifetime marathon!!!

to dream and to conquer CORREGIDOR

After two years, we ran a total of 11 races, one 3K, three 5Ks, two 10Ks, one 16K, four 21Ks,  and one 25K. So we decided to run a full marathon already. It took us a while to choose which full marathon are we willing to make our first. Finally, I have chosen Corregidor Marathon 2015, for the following reasons:

1. Its amazingly beautiful route which consists of historical ruins and cannons, lovely forests and beach.

2. Its finisher’s medal which weighs .5kg and 5 inch diameter.

3. and its date, January 17 falls on our monsary.

Unfortunately, it was moved to March because a NO-SAILING POLICY was declared on the 17th of January. I cried when I learned this but we know that all things work together for good to them that love God (Rom 8:28) so i stopped crying and thank God for another couple of months to train.

Then the long wait was finally over, we arrived at the Sun Cruises Terminal at around 11:00 am. We got our board passes and waited for the cruise to arrive.

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My handsome ayat Carlos, me and his cousin Jonathan at the Sun Cruises Terminal. IMG_3818

The board pass was a sticker that you have to put somewhere in your shirt.

The cruise came about an hour late, we were supposed to board at 1:30 but it arrived after 2:00. So the cruise left the port at around 3:00pm.IMG_3860

There’s the cruise ship behind us.

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It was air-conditioned inside the ship. But there was an open area at the back of the ship and that’s where we stayed since it was our first time. IMG_3913

There was a snack bar also inside the cruise ship.

After almost an hour and a half, we arrived at the Corregidor port, and several unique buses welcomed us and very friendly tour guides and organizers.

IMG_4043IMG_4150IMG_4129IMG_4104The buses tour us around the island, then we had our carbo-loading buffet. It included potato salad, chicken, pansit and rice. It was really full of carbohydrates to prepare us for the next day. We slept early and woke up at 4am. We prepare everything that we needed the night before. At 5am we ate our breakfast which consisted of egg, hotdog and fried rice. After that we headed to the starting line.

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   The race did not start on time because it was still very dark at six. The gun shot was fired at around 6:15am. The route proved its toughness after only the second kilometer (i think) where our momentum slowed down cause we had to run up, or maybe climb up, is more appropriate, a very steep uphill. It was angled at almost 50 degrees, i think, that runners were not able to run up the hill. My body was almost at a crawling position, and that cement road was at least a kilometer long. Then after that excruciating uphill, a very beautiful scenery replaced it so it was all worth it.

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This was after we passed the tunnel for the first time. Unfortunately, i fell to my knees after we got some El Lobo drinks. At that time, i didn’t feel any pain thanks to my adrenaline.

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Then we went inside the forest. It was beautiful there for it did not make me feel tired at all. The wind refreshed my every breath and the crunchy sound of the leaves every time we step on them was addicting. We were protected by the branches of the tall trees and it gave a serene touch to my sight. Monkeys were everywhere as if they were marshals checking on us.

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Our eyes feasted on history as we pass by some mysterious ruins, cannons, and of course the ETERNAL FLAME MONUMENT, which reminded us of the indomitable spirit of our fellow Filipinos. They did not cease to hope for victory in spite of the darkness that strangled their freedom during the second World War.   IMG_448911034331_898434240219180_936004347836082691_o1974400_898434173552520_2742650971829996417_oSnapshot 1 (6-20-2015 7-30 PM)Snapshot 4 (6-20-2015 7-32 PM)

There were some breathtaking beaches. The first one was beside a kilometer long road that took every strand of my weakening muscles and uplifted my soul and mind. The second was right beside us, we ran along its sandy and rocky shore but i was delighted cause i felt like its sand and tiny rocks were massaging my aching feet.

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As we passed these banners indicating the distances that we have finished, I felt closer and closer to the end of this unforgettable experience. I, together with my loving ayat, who helped me build up my collapsing strength, will go back to this day and remember how we held each other and prayed together for the will and strength that we needed. Every frame of this beautiful island definitely kept our body and heart going, but when the sun scourged us with its heat we were literally dragging our legs. Then after we pass through the tunnel for the third and last time, we soon saw the most fulfilling sight runners will ever see -THE FINISH LINE. IMG_4492Snapshot 1 (6-20-2015 7-52 PM)

I started crying already and i started feeling the pain in my knee. But i didn’t really care especially the moment we crossed that line after seven hours, received our huge medal, and hugged and kissed each other. WE SURVIVED OUR FIRST 42K, FULL MARATHON in CORREGIDOR which happens to be ASIA’S TOUGHEST MARATHON! I also have to acknowledge the organizer of this race, they definitely did a great job. They provided us with nuts, raisins, sliced bananas (lakatan and saba), honey, ice, cold water and El Lobo energy drink and they provided us with coke as we were nearing the finish line. They also partnered with the RUNNING PHOTOGRAPHERS which i have to say, are by far the best in this aspect. I get my running photos from different groups but theirs are always the best.

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TO GOD BE THE GLORY! HE WHO TOOK AWAY THE PAIN IN MY BLEEDING KNEE, AND TO HIM WHO PROVIDED US WITH AMAZING SCENERY AND PROVIDED US WITH THE HEAT THAT MADE US TOUGHER AND STRONGER TOGETHER!

WE WILL DEFINITELY COME BACK!

THIS RACE, IS A MUST FOR EVERY RUNNER!


Dream White, Dream BORACAY

The truth is that this BORACAY dream only reached the shore, for travelling consists of people and sometimes some have limitations. Nevertheless, a dream is still a dream, and these limitations may be surpassed for there is always a brighter side which one indulged in. Adventures may be limited, but never in the eyes of someone who looks deeper.

The first sight of this December summer dream called Boracay had drowned her with silence. As much as she wants to describe the pure extravagance and the calming serenity in front of her, she just couldn’t for she unfortunately or could be fortunately had no vocabulary that would give justice to what her eyes felt.   

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But her every calmness must be completed with the beauty of  cacophony, and this she found when she strolled the middle of the very long shore.

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  There were plenty of things to be owned, too many that people get so confused which one to value and which one to reject. Each of them hopes that they bring home the best, but as for her, its not the clothes, the hats not even the enormous serving of food.

The Lemoni Cafe

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Estacio Una

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Tres Amigos
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But it was the world she found in Boracay. It was overwhelming for her to meet the entirety of earth in her domicile for three very short days.

The men who could be living a life of solitude in this beach of pure white sand where they may be hoping to find sweet lovely pleasure with someone for a night, a day or two, or even a lifetime. She believes that this place could just be perfect to fulfill the emptiness each of them do not deserve. 

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 She would like to think that these Koreans have no intentions of invading this island and the rest of the country. But they just seem to be everywhere. Every turns she makes, every time she sits, walks, or even just stand in one corner, they just seem to populate each space there is.  

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The romantic couples that added the ingredients to the vulnerably sweet delight that turns the bits and pieces of the white sand into the most inscrutable shade of love.  

IMG_1675IMG_1466IMG_1472IMG_1469IMG_1605IMG_1760IMG_1762IMG_1771IMG_1830And the undeniable handsome men whom women hope they’re searching for love cause there are many who would be willing to take the risk in the deep water just because an attraction captured their eyes, and often times not the soul that makes these eyes look beyond.


IMG_1480 IMG_1436 IMG_1382Like the various rocks on the sand, this paradise consists of various beings:

friendsIMG_1431IMG_1458,

bikersIMG_1448IMG_1441,

runners IMG_1098IMG_1607,

a man full of tattoos IMG_1467,

brothersIMG_1483,

familyIMG_1274,  

and a pregnant womanIMG_1773.

Certainly, different dreams reached the beautiful and miraculous shore of Boracay and one of those was hers. It was not what she expected but it was so much more than just experience and adventure. For her it was capturing unknown lives but those lives will forever keep the mysteries of their presence in her memory and that is simply wonderful.   

Dream GREECE

They say that if you dream, dream big. Well I have always been a simple person with very simple dreams. My greatest dream and at the same time my most realistic dream is to be married with my Ayat, to have at least three children, to live in a simple house and to go to church with my family every Sunday wherever God wants us to be. With this dream, I also pray that we will be able to raise our children with the desire to serve God and to fulfill God’s plan in our lives. When all that is done, i prays that me and my husband will still be able to serve God till our last breathe. That is my greatest dream. But aside from this dream, there will always be something that a person would want. This something is a dream that would be hidden somewhere deep in my heart and in my mind. A dream that may not be fulfilled and may not complete oneself but would always be something, something that would lighten up my face every now and then, for others it may be a million or a billion dollars, golden mansion, a championship trophy, diamonds but as for me, it is GREECE and its marvelous, intricate, and mysterious history.

Why GREECE? As a theater major, Greece has always been a part of me as it has always been a very essential and astounding part of the past. In every book, we can all trace the beginnings of theater in Greece. Because of this, I havealways dreamed of these places where the Greek Theater are said to have begun.

1 dionysus theater

Dionysus Theater

2 theater of Herodes

Theatre of Herodes Atticus

3 delphi

Delphi Theater

These are just some of the ruins which also relives the mythology that I have always been in love with.

 4 parthenon

Parthenon

 5 temple of poseidon

Temple of Poseidon

I dream of Greece not only because it is where the birth of theater and literature dwells but it is also because I am a runner and that marathons were actually rooted in the town of Marathonas, Athens, Greece and a soldier named, Pheidippides, ran from the Marathon Bridge to the Athens Stadium, bringing the news that Greece won over the Persians by shouting, “Niki” which means victory.

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 2011 Athens Classic Marathon Starting Line

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2013 Athens Classic Marathon Medal

Athens Classic Marathon happens every second week of November where the runners take the original route which Pheidippides had ran.

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Statue of Pheidippides

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The Runners Statue

If I would be running this marathon, I would definitely stop, and take a selfie with my runningmate, Ayat with the Runner’s Statues and Pheidippides.

What would be the best way to celebrate a marathon like this? What else could it be but to take a deep into the beautiful beaches and sights of Santorini.

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A dream, a wish, a prayer that may come true, granted and answered but until then I would enjoy dreaming and would be grateful that there is such thing as oneiros, as dreams.

keep dreaming…