Travel Video: Camotes Islands

I know I still need a lot of practice when it comes to creating travel videos. This is my way of learning how to put all my video clips together. Someday, I will learn how to take better videos. For now, I hope you still find my video interesting enough that it would make you think about a trip to Camotes.

No Stress in Camotes

A month ago, I got a message from my friend, Shirly, asking if I want to spend her birthday with her. I missed her big birthday bash in Phuket last year because I had work. This time, I did not have vacation plans for November and my work schedule is manageable. It was so easy to say “Yes!”. She planned to go to Cebu which was convenient for me because we just have to meet halfway.

I booked an overnight ferry to Cebu. I specifically asked for a top bunk because I feel more secured when I can see everyone.

Good thing, I was also placed near the window so I can see what is outside.

I took the boat because it leaves Nasipit port at 7pm and arrives at the Cebu pier at 5:30 am the following. I have enough time to catch the 9AM fast craft to Camotes Island. Shirly took an early flight from Manila so we agreed that I drop by the airport to pick her up (with my cab from the pier) and proceed to the wharf which was just around one kilometer away from the airport. The cab driver got lost actually. He brought us to Island Mall in Lapu-lapu instead of the Island Central Mall in Mactan which was just across the more popular Marina Mall. Inside the mall was a ticketing counter of Jomalia Shipping. The wharf was just a walking distance from the mall. It was just near the Cebu Yacht Club.

We arrived Camotes at around 10:30 AM. Our tricycle from the resort was already waiting for us. We were booked at Sunset Vista Seafront Guest House. It was located in Esperanza, a quaint and secluded barangay in San Francisco, Camotes Island. Shirly said that we were easily sold at the “quaint and secluded” description because we both wanted the peace and quiet areas. (The tita blood in us is showing! Ha!)

Esperanza was a quiet fishing barangay.

Our first order of the day was to find a place to eat lunch. Our guest house was not serving lunch because their cook was on vacation. Good thing there was good pizza in the next resort.

We had nothing planned for the afternoon because we were chill like that.  Ha!  We took a nap and before we knew it, it was time for dinner.  We were there to relax. So, relax we did!

We did all the touring the next day. Here is our guide showing Shirly all the spots we would be visiting.

Timubo Cave

I learned that both of us were non-swimmers. Before we entered the cave, we asked the lady at the entrance if there was going to be a guide. She said no. We asked how deep the water was. She said the deepest part was 6 feet deep so we were both careful. So careful that we only dipped near the steps and never went further down. Ha! Better safe than sorry!

Lake Danao

It was a beautiful lake. There were kayaks and boats you can hire. We  just opted to sit in the grass and let the sun dry our clothes a bit.

Paraiso Cave

The cave was underneath a well-manicured garden.  Stairs, lights and railings were there to make it easier for tourists to access the cave pool.

Amazing Cave and Beach Resort

Yes, there was a cave in this area. I just do not have a picture. I have a video clip though. I will post my Camotes video on my Youtube channel once I am done editing it.

Mangodlong Rock Resort

After all the cave pool swimming, we were looking forward to the beach. We found one in this resort.  They also have a large octopus-shaped slide that dropped to the ocean.

Santiago Bay

If only we have known how nice and wide this beach area is, we would have booked a resort near this place. Next time, next time. We went on a weekday and an off-peak season so there were few tourists and beach-goers. This is the kind of vacation this introvert likes the most- peaceful and no crowds.

San Francisco Baywalk

We were wondering where the market area was since all we saw in Esperanza were small stores. We found our answer when we visited the Baywalk area.

Tulang Diot

Our last stop was Tulang Diot. It is a small island near Esperanza. It was not part of the usual tour package of the Camotes. You need to pay additional fee to get there but since our resort was just a short walk away from where boats were docked to cross to the island, we were not charged for the trip.  We just have to hire a boat. It was a short boat ride and, as a bonus, we have Moana on board!

The beach was pristine. For a Php5 environmental fee per person, the beach was kept clean and immaculate.

It was raining on and off when we arrived Camotes.  Since we were billeted in Sunset Vista, I have been looking forward to seeing the sunset. I was glad to finally see the sunset in Tulang Diot.

As a bonus, we also saw a rainbow. I hope you can see the rainbow in this photo.

What a beautiful way to celebrate a birthday! Happy Birthday, Shirly! Thank you for inviting me on this trip!

A Quick Trip to Davao City

I spent 4 years of high school in Davao City. However, this is only the 4th time that I have visited the place after I graduated xx years ago.  It is because the bus ride from Butuan takes me 7-8 hours of travel. But because my friend, Maea, who lives in Singapore, was visiting and it might take a while before she will be back again with the family, I agreed to meet them. I arrived Davao the day before our scheduled get-together.   I arranged to meet up with my cousin, Baby (who got a new job so  yay!) and my friend, Gail, who was so kind to let me stay in their house.  Gail, Maea and I went to same high school and university. We also lived in the same dormitory in college.   Gail is my foodie friend so we went to a food trip as soon as I arrived (with my bags in tow!).

Food Trip

The first stop was in Kaizen.  It offered Japanese cuisine in a street resto setting like those in Tokyo. Gail was happy we got a table because  she said the place was usually packed with people. True enough, there were people waiting for their turn when we left. We got some ramen, katsu, curry chicken and DU30 roll (named after Davao’s famous resident).

Next stop was Yolks! We were easily attracted to its flowery display window. We got cream cheese cupcakes.

Our last stop was The Vegan Dinosaur.  Who would have thought that plant-based food can be filling?

 

Malagos Garden Resort

My friends and I finally met and we went to Malagos Garden Resort. There are so many activities for the kids and kids-at-heart. We saw a bunch of kindergartners on a field trip so we quickly went ahead to avoid the crowd.  Our first stop was the bird feeding area. And a bird landed on my head and I am not even feeding it!

There was a petting zoo.

There was a woody area. I felt like Little Red Riding Hood or maybe Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz since I have my red shoes on or maybe Alice in Wonderland because those cupcakes would be great for a tea party.

Actually, we were really in a real-life Chocolate Factory! Gail and I chose this place for the chocolate making activity! For a fee, you pick two molds and 3 toppings/fillings. You are then given 200 ml of chocolate.

Voila! These were some of our finished products.  The kid’s chocolates looked way better than mine so I made up for it by “prettifying” my box. Ha!

There are other activities you can do with the family here.

 

Davao Bamboo Sanctuary

Since we were already in the Malagos area, we might as well visit this resort whose photos made viral on social media.  Gail panicked when she learned I did not bring clothes for swimming. She was relieved when the resort staff told her that they sell swimwear. Ha! The manager of the resort welcomed us and the tour started with a little background presentation. The place was initially built for as a private family resort until a guest posted the photos and it went viral that they were forced to open it to the public.

We spent most of our time in the pool. The pool water came from the springs.

I am happy we had the chance to spend time together even for just a day.  Thank you to my awesome friends! Thank you for all the laughter. I miss all the chitchats on the van, while walking around the resort, while swimming, while eating and the list goes on.  See you next time!

 

 

 

Why Natural Remedies are Safer for Anxiety Symptoms

Over the past few decades, doctors tended to treat anxiety with prescription drugs. While these drugs work quickly, they are now known to be inappropriate for any long term use. These benzodiazapines, and similar prescription medications, are exceptionally addictive. People that have taken these drugs have reported a quick addition. When they tried to stop, the withdrawal from these drugs was horrible. Withdrawal from many prescription anti-anxiety drugs is also extremely dangerous as individuals can have seizures and other medical emergency conditions. It is best to only use natural remedies, like RediCalm, for anxiety to ensure safety.

These types of natural remedies can be found in better nutrition stores. These wonderful health-based stores often have accompanying online shops for the ultimate in convenience shopping. It is known that anxiety and stress depletes the body of necessary stress regulation substances. The important ones are serotonin and GABA. Doctors are now prescribing antidepressants to increase serotonin levels, but these drugs come with side effects that many people find distasteful. Natural supplements for anxiety can be a safe and side-effect free alternative treatment. Be sure to purchase from a reputable natural supplement or health product retailer for quality and safety.

There are natural anxiety/stress reliever supplements thought to replace the depleted GABA and serotonin supply. Unlike some prescription anti-anxiety medications, these wholesome supplements do not cause dizziness, confusion and severe drowsiness. When taken as recommended, these health aides help the body fight stress and anxiety in a holistic and healthy way. Best of all, these are not addictive, and they do not need a physician prescription to obtain. Anxiety can be debilitating. Left untreated, symptoms often continue to worsen. The body goes into overload from lack of sleep, irritability, shakiness, constant worry over insignificant things and may even lead to full blown panic attacks.

There are things that can lessen anxiety. Learning better health habits enables the body to begin the recovery process. Individuals that notice stress or anxiety related symptoms should ensure plenty of sleep time, utilize relaxation techniques and eat healthy meals on a regular basis. It can help to have a wind down bedtime routine that can train the body to slow down and relax close to bedtime. To promote healthy sleep patterns, try taking rediNite, warm milk or calming herbal tea. Keep bedroom lights low. Avoid watching violent or stressful television shows several hours prior to bed, and never place a television in the bedroom. Also avoid taking cell phones, laptops or other communication or electronic device into the room that is meant for sleep.

Regular exercise is a fantastic stress and anxiety buster. Even short walks outside can encourage deeper breathing which promotes relaxation. Some people join an exercise class for a fun way to get fit and promote calm. It goes without saying that individuals prone to stress should determine the cause and avoid those things, people or situations when possible. The health benefits of supplements made with natural earth ingredients is far reaching.

There are countless ways to reduce stress. Take warm, soothing baths with scented candles that provide healing aromatherapy. Avoid excessive caffeine, especially after dinner. Try to avoid working late in the evenings. With patience, determination and a strategy plan, stress/anxiety will fade.

So I Turned 40, What Now?

As I try to reflect on the past month, it is hard to pinpoint what I have accomplished in the first month of being 40. Nothing much happened on the surface but internally, I am more relaxed and happier. I think this has something to do with just being grateful. I like the person that I am now than the person I was 10 to 20 years ago. Life experiences enriched my soul. I am looking forward of the many life experiences that will add layers to who I am. I trust God’s will in my life. I cannot thank Him enough for all the blessings in my life. Although it is not all bed of roses for me, I am thank God for the strength to survive whatever setbacks that came my way.

So what was I up to the past month?

Catching up with family and friends.

Two of my uncles turned 70 and 80.

My friend, Glenda, also celebrated her birthday and invited us to dinner.


An aunt and uncle celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. What a feat! There is forever!


Finally, my cousins and I were able to go to the food parks we wanted to try and stuffed ourselves with these food. Ha!


My friend, Pia, is finally back from more that a month long trip to South Korea. We have been following her adventure. I love her photos so much that I wanted to go to South Korea. We had dinner with friends to catch up.

Photo swiped from Pia’s FB.

Practicing my landscape painting skills.
My friend asked me to paint landscape in watercolor for her. She already sent some samples of the type of painting her husband likes. I already researched on some inspiration for the final painting I am doing for them. Below are two of the practice pieces I have done to prepare.

Practicing some baking.
My friend, Dinah, just celebrated her birthday and she saw that I baked my own durian-filled birthday cake. She wanted one for the gathering she planned soon. So while I had have the time, I tried to bake this Durian-flavored Japanese cotton cheesecake which was a failure. The cake was supposed to rise to a certain height and this one did not. It still tasted good but this is not pretty to look at.


It was supposed to look like this.

Photo from Rasa Malaysia.

Good thing that this was just practice. Maybe I should stick to the same recipe I did during my birthday.

Chilling with this cutie.

Lately, Blessy has been hanging out with me- sometimes in my room and sometime in my work area. I placed a clean, old curtain on the floor for her sleep on. Sometimes, she looks at me chilling in my bed that she wanted to chill with me, too. once in a while, I give in and let her hang out in my bed. I love this dog.

I love Joaqui, too, and we still miss Peachy.

I am loving my 40’s so far. This week, I need to finish the painting and I have a workshop to document. Plus, I have the cake to bake for Dinah.

Bye for now!

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