Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sample Baguio City Itinerary

For people with limited time for a vacation, 2 days and 1 night to be spent for a get away is already enough. It's just a matter of planning and organizing your time and arrangement of location to visit for easy transfer and save on vacation cost. The itinerary I made below requires you to travel at night 11pm is ideal as you will reach in about 5 to 6 am in Baguio. Check in early and rest for a while then start your Baguio day at 9am.

Day 1

9:00 am - Strawberry Farm
10:30 am - Mine's View Park
12:00 noon - Lunch
1:00 pm - Wright Park, The Mansion, Baguio Botanical Garden,
3:00 pm - City tour (Burnham Park, Baguio Cathedral, SM City Baguio view deck and other nearby places)

Day 2

8:00 am - Camp John Hay
10:00 am - Philippine Military Academy
12:00 noon - Lion head
1:00 pm - Lunch at downtown
2:00 pm - Lourdes Grotto, Baguio Public Market
6:00 pm - Go back to Manila via Victory Liner (bus choice for most travellers going to Baguio. They have 2 bus terminals bound to Baguio : Pasay and Cubao)

Check out on hotel check out time on the 2nd day so your hotel charges would only be 1 night stay. Some hotels allow guests to leave their baggages at the hotel counter for at most 24 hours for free.

Baguio Vacation 2009

Getting to Baguio City during summer is a bliss especially if you're a resident of Manila. I got here in Manila just last May 23 for good and I had a hard time getting myself used to the heat. It's very hot in here. Davao has its own share of heat too but it's bearable. And so, the vacation I made to Baguio was really welcome. I loved Baguio's temperature and as always it's cute setting. I have been to Baguio twice last year and I was back for more just yesterday. My itinerary was still the same but I still took pics when I get there. It's the people you're with that counts. I really had a great time having done my Baguio vacation with my family for the first time.

It was just a simple vacation, not much on frills, just wonderful moments with the people I wanted to be with.

Bus Ride With Papa

Just got back from Baguio City. I was with family for a vacation. It was supposed to be a 2-day vacation but papa and I just had it for 1 day. I need to complete my employment requirements for smooth boarding with my new employer. So, mama, sisters and others went ahead and papa stayed so I can have companion when I travel to Baguio. It's about 6 to 7 hours ride from Manila. I was so disappointed coz I'll be missing a lot. But it turned out to be a blessing. I had a great time talking to papa. It's been a while since we had that kind of conversation. Papa told me about his fears, struggles, and dreams when he was still young and single. About the things he wanted but was not able to do. About the things he worries when we we're growing up. We never knew about all those things when we're still kids coz we really don't know what life is. But papa told me now. And I'm glad we had the chance to bond even for a while. Right now, I'm already in Manila, so far away from my family. Those times I spent with them was a real treasure.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

"Island to Highland" Davao - Samal Itinerary

One Day Adventure

Itinerary 1

6:00 am - Catch the barge for vehicles at Sasa going to Penaplata
6:15 am - catch a motorcycle to Aquafun Maxima
6:30 am - lots of fun activities to do at the resort (Maxima Beach Resort at Samal Island; Aquafun at Maxima)
2:00 pm - leave Aquafun Maxima at 2pm by motorcycle then catch the bus at Penaplata to Davao at about 1 hour and 30 minutes travel
3:30 pm - Catch a taxi to Crocodile park and watch the animal show at 4:30 pm for Fri, Sat and Sun; 4:15 pm Mon and Wed) 1 hour show only
5:30 pm - catch a taxi to Hill Top at Zip City to try the zip line at night (Zip Line at Zip City)

Itinerary 2

6:00 am - Catch the barge for vehicles at Sasa going to Penaplata
6:15 am - catch a motorcycle to Aquafun Maxima
6:30 am - lots of fun activities to do at the resort (Maxima Beach Resort at Samal Island; Aquafun at Maxima)
2:00 pm - leave Aquafun Maxima at 2pm by motorcycle to Hagimit Falls just a few meters away from Maxima
4:00 pm - go back to Penaplata and catch the bus going back to Davao for about 1 hour and 30 minutes
5:30 pm - catch a taxi to Hill Top at Zip City to try the zip line at night (Zip Line at Zip City)

These will surely make your day!

VoltRank: Link Exchange

From Island To Highland

From island to highland - this is what Davao tourism is trying to establish. Example of this is the tourism business set up by Dizon. There's the famous destination crocodile park and the white water rafting which are all in the city of Davao. He extended his tourism business to Samal Island where he opened the Maxima beach resort and the Aquafun featuring water and air adventure by constructing the tarpaulin slide, the canopy walk and the zip line packed in one resort. This would be one hell of a full of adventure day in an island including the speed boating and the snorkeling or diving if you like. And then there's the Zip City where you climb up a little higher from downtown Davao City to glide above seeing the spectacular view of the metro at night. This is truly one of a smart concept where there is truly "Island to Highland" experience :)

Zip Line at Zip City

After the island adventure we went to Zip City to end our adventure day with a zip line. It’s the most accessible zip line destination because it is just within the city. It is located at Hill Top along diversion road just before you reach Dencio’s Kamayan at about 100 meters. It was the first time that I’ve tried the zip at night. The superman I did at Camp Sabros and the zip line above water at Samal Island was all done at daylight. It was nice gliding at night looking at the whole city of Davao at a height of about 120 ft. and a zip of about 320 meters long for only Php 200.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Aquafun Maxima

I had the chance to visit the Aquafun Maxima which opened just April of this year. I've been wanting to visit this place because of the feature made by Sports Unlimited. And I was never short of my expectation :) The tarpaulin slide which I heard is the first in the world? This is what Bong told us, a friend tour operator who was with us. He brought us there for us to enhance the Samal Adventure Tour website as this may be one of the destinations he will going to bring his clients. It was great to be there. The slide was about 40 meters long with a drop of about 5 ft. when it's high tide and about 12 ft. drop on low tide landing on a 120ft. deep water (oh no!!!) It's not scary though coz they have competitive staffs and it's not allowed to slide without a staff stationed at the top and on the dropping point. Wearing a life vest is also imperative as they make sure that everybody is safe. Gears are also available for rent if you would want other water activities. All water parts of the resort is very deep but non-swimmers should not worry as they have plenty of life vests ;) We went snorkeling nearby where the corals and colorful fish are located. We went a little farther and saw the seawall and the place where we've landed. It was so scary. It was dark and looked like an endless abyss that will devour you any moment. After seeing what's under I was suddenly afraid of the jump offs I did moments ago haha

The resort was not really finished yet. Their Canopy Walk is still under construction and a Zip Line going down you may end up splashing on the water. We will know when it opens on June. But I'm already in Manila when that happens hahay. Will just do it on my vacations here in Davao.

ready, get set, go! :D


I love my messy hair. Too much fun to fuss over it wahaha!

Snorkeling :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Maxima Beach House at Samal Island

I had a super fun weekend at Maxima. It's one of my best aqua experiences. Everything is already there - fun, leisure and adventure. It's a family-owned private vacation house. Good thing it was opened for Php 10,500 a night already good for 10 persons. The place is amazing as you can just jump off the house, wear snorkeling gears and you will see the fish sanctuary. There's too many fish in there you will feel you are one of them ;) The house has 4 rooms fairly set for a great island get away. Everything is spectacular whether underwater (fish sanctuary), above water (gorgeous deep blue sea), horizon (majestic Mt. Apo). We we're just visiting the Aquafun Resort owned by the same owner of Maxima. Good thing we have with us Bong Suico, a tour guide operator, who brought us to Maxima house to see and to experience it for a while. The place was just a speed boat away from the tarpaulin slide :)

From Aquafun to Maxima house

Maxima House

We jumped off the house to see the fish sanctuary. Amazing underwater.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hitting Off The Gym Again

I went back to gym again after a year. Never realized it's that long after I decided to try the Marco Polo Fitness Center. I got gym passes from the package of joining the Marco Polo privilege club. Went there last weekend and we had a nice time. We'll go swimming on Thursday, it's also at the Fitness Center. Love it there! :)


Sauna... my favorite! :)

Mirror mirror on the wall... :)

As if! :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Samal Blue Jaz Resort

We went to Samal Blue Jaz Resort last weekend and I didn't like my experience. Sure it has the longest slide in the Philippines but the service was poor. We never brought food with us thinking we could just order at their restaurant. Never thought they will starve us. It took us about 45 minutes before they took our order. For several times we called the staff on the counter but they kept on ignoring us. I didn't know what's wrong with them why are they ignoring people on the counter who tries to order. They just look at us and do their stuff as if they never heard or saw us. That was really annoying. Until I picked up the menu stand and bang it a bit on the counter so I would get their attention. I don't mind if I get it damaged. That was when they get our order. I dunno what's with them they're doing business but they don't want to earn income huh? They were really annoying. We were really hungry at that time. They could have made it up if their food is exceptional but it wasn't. The food was not good and they're charging as if it's a real restaurant. It wasn't worth our money.

Another thing is that, they have a very small swimming place. And not enough comfort rooms and bath rooms! What a resort! That time, too many people came to the resort to have fun but there's not much of a place to swim. Like me, they were also deceived of the good advertisement they get from Sports Unlimited which featured the big slide of which I could say, is the only thing you would want to see in there. The swimming area at the beach is small, the swimming pool is small too. The pool surrounding the slides is very small its just enough for you to make a splash when you reach the bottom of the slides. No enough swimming area for everybody and they still keep on admitting visitors. The place looked like a crowded park. Their surroundings looked like a backyard to me and it's dirty. It didn't looked nice on pictures. I think it's over publicized. It's really deceiving. I don't trust their zip line too. If you see it, you'll be afraid for your life. The rope is very thin, it looks like a laundry line where you hang your clothes. And the rolling blades looked unsafe they just hang it on the cable and when it deviates, you know what will happen to you.

This is an honest review in the eyes of a customer. If someone from Blue Jaz will be able to read this, it's your chance to improve your place. I will never go back to that place except for the slide.

Boat ride to Blue Jaz Resort

This is the only nice view in there. The entrance haha

After we have our lunch. We're able to smile now hehe
This one is nice though.

Blue Jaz Resort Entrance

Japanese Tunnel

We went to Japanese Tunnel last weekend too. I wanted to explore the tunnel before I leave Davao. It's one of the places I wanted to see but never have the time to go until I've finally went there for a swimming after being pissed off at the Blue Jaz Resort. We went inside the tunnel. It's the very tunnel the Japanese soldiers used during the World War II. The guide said it was about 1 kilometer long but they just allowed us for 200 meters exploration as the other side of the tunnel belongs to another's property. It was my first time to be in a tunnel and historical at that. We saw the "bartolina" prison and wondered how it is to be imprisoned in there and so we went inside and pose for a picture ;)

We ordered food at their restaurant and paid less than we paid the Blue Jaz Resort Cafe but their food was really good, I love it! We asked it to be served at the pool and went swimming after. We had a nice time with The Japanese Tunnel. The customer service was also good they even accomodated us even if the tunnel guide went home already. At least they made it up to us. It wasn't at all that bad a day :)

The Japanese Tunnel

Happy prisoners :D

Making friends with the Japs ;)

Swimming at the pool ;)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Apo View Hotel Davao

I enjoyed my evening swimming at Apo View Hotel. Nice place to relax. After the swim, we went pigging at Toryanos just beside the hotel with their yummy chicken grill. Their chicken have a distinct taste. It's really good.

(wishing and hoping) Synchronized swimmers ;)

Little mermaid with legs ;)