Vacation Home Pleasures


When you go on a vacation with your family, you might think that the only option for somewhere to stay is at a hotel. There are Singer Island vacation rentals and other homes that you can stay in that have most of the amenities that you would find at home. These types of rentals have more room and are ideal for large families or a group of friends who want to stay under the same roof instead of getting a few hotel rooms.

If you want to stay in a location that is quiet and away from all of the sights and sounds of the city, you can often find a vacation home much easier than you can a hotel. There is plenty of space, including separate bedrooms and a living area as well as a kitchen so that you can prepare meals together. Most vacation homes allow pets where hotels usually don’t allow pets. This makes it easier when you are faced with putting your pet in a kennel while you are out of town. While you are in the home, you will likely be in a residential area. You can see what life is like if you are thinking about moving there or if you want to go back in the future.

#WhereToNext with AIRBNB

Airbnb was a lifesaver to us last year. Last year was the first time that my friends and I had to look for a place to stay in Manila without any help from other friends.  A friend of ours, who had a place in Manila, had already migrated to Australia which left us in search of a place to crash (Just an expression. We are nice people!). We did not prepare well for that trip and we were in a budget. It was crunch time. Internet search led me to an Airbnb listing in Quezon City. It was my first time to use this service so I had my apprehensions.  I have read of good reviews from people who have tried it so I was easily convinced give it a try.

We had a wonderful host named Katz. We have not really met her but she was prompt with the replies that it felt like she was really there for us. She sent her assistant, Rose, to meet us when we arrived at her condo. We arrived early from Tuguegarao and I have requested to check-in early. She was not able to accommodate the request because another person was booked at the time. We just wanted to freshen up before we head out so she offered that we use the shower rooms at the pool area. We were also able to leave our things at the reception at the condo.

Her unit was clean and had everything we need to have a comfortable stay. It was better than booking in a hotel. It is seldom that you have your own kitchen in a hotel.  Look how chic her place is! ( And it is so affordable!)   So, we took lots of photos.


Bathroom is clean.


We had rainshower!


This is a loft so a photoshoot in the stairs is a must.  hahaha!


There are two bedrooms upstairs. Two of us stayed in this room. I did not have a photo of the other room.

Sorry for the bad angle.

Sorry for the bad angle.

The entire unit is air-conditioned.


We really enjoyed our stay here.

We have a trip coming up and my friends already told me to look for a place to stay. I would have wanted to book Katz place again. However, there will be around 10 of us in this trip. Katz place can only accommodate 4 people.


I am eyeing on Gella’s place. Gella just recently listed her place  so I have to ask her for some details of the accommodations because she showed an empty loft. I have already contacted her and she replied quickly. I pick her place because it can accommodate a lot of people. The location is near the malls.  My friends usually rely on me whenever we travel to Manila.  However, I will be visiting other friends in our next trip so getting a place near malls would be easier for them to navigate the area without me.  This is number one on my wishlist. I have yet to show the photos to my friends.

The place looked well-lit and airy.

With Airbnb, I cannot just stop at one listing. I have added another place to my wishlist. Antonio’s place looks nice, too.  However, it only accommodates 8 people  but I am putting this on my wishlist in case someone would not be joining us on the trip. He has good reviews from guests who have stayed in his place.  Plus, there is access to a pool!

One thing I loved about Airbnb is that it allows me to live in a place like a local- like a home away from home.

You get a discount when your book a value of $75 or more in any listing, this is my referral link to get that discount: book now! You can also list your place through the link. If you have extra rooms in your place, you can be host through Airbnb  and earn from it. That is a good business idea.


#WhereToNext #Airbnb #AirbnbPH

A Weekend in Lanuza

My friend invited me to a trip to Lanuza. It was a free trip. I would be with my good friends and I have not traveled with them before so this would be a new experience. How can I say no to that offer? I sent prayers to high heavens that I do not have to work that weekend. God answered my prayers so off we went to Lanuza one November weekend.

It was the annual surfing festival in Lanuza. Lanuza is a surfing town in Surigao del Sur. Their surfing season starts in November. My friend works for a company that is a major sponsor of the festival.

We arrived at noon. The awarding of prizes for the champion surfers was scheduled in the evening so we had the afternoon to spare. Lanuza is a charming surfing town. You’ll meet kids slathered in sunblock carrying surfboards in the streets.


Our first stop is the white house.


This is a century-old mansion.



A descendant of the original owners showed us around. We were treated to a rich cup of chocolate.


Look at the dish dryer!
We were all happy to see this plate. All of us had this plate at home when we were growing up.

Our next stop is the Marine Sanctuary.


We walked to a Bantay Dagat outpost.


This is the view from the outpost.


Our host took us to the next town in Cortez. He showed us photos of what we expect to see. We were convinced.  By the time we reached the site, we were blown away by the sight. It was an AWESOME place.  I have not seen anything like it before.

Friends, this is Laswitan in Cortez, Surigao del Sur!


It looks like one but that is not a waterfalls.

It is actually a rock formation. Waves from the sea crash against those rocks.


The waves overflow.


When water drips down, it looked like this.


You can actually swim in the lagoon. The unsafe area is cordoned off.


We left at 5PM.  It is a beautiful place.


It was so beautiful that my friend went back two weeks after. She told me that the waves did not crash against the rocks and the friends she brought there missed the experience we had.  I guess we were lucky to experience this phenomenon.

In the evening, we attended the award ceremonies.


We went to Lanuza during the anniversary of Supertyphoon Yolanda. As part of the program, sky lanterns were released.


We left Lanuza the next day but not before doing some activities in the morning. We were scheduled to do more sightseeing so we were not sure if we could try surfing. We spent some time on the beach to observe surfers.  Kids as young as this one already knew how to surf.


We went spelunking in the morning inside the Campamento Caves. We spent almost an hour inside the cave.  There were lots of interesting formations inside. Can you see the bat?


My friend took a dip at the Hubason River.


We still had time to spare in the afternoon. So my friends took a short surfing lesson. Look at them!

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I was not able to try it because I got that monthly thingamajig.  :( So I just posed for a photo.

Thanks to my friend, Ernelyn, for inviting me to this trip.  It was one memorable weekend.

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Lovely Palaui

My friend, Barbara, and I had been toying the idea of visiting Palaui ever since she showed me a similar photo as this one.


When we finally got the chance to go there in August, we wasted no time. From the airport, we proceeded to the bus terminal in Cubao for buses bound for Tuguegarao. Yes, it was a night bus. We arrived Tuguegarao the following morning.

We had this for breakfast: Pansit Batil Patong! This is supposed to be one serving but I was not able to finish this one.

To reach Palaui, we need to go to the town of Santa Ana, which is three hours north of Tuguegarao. We still have time to go other tourist spots since our Palaui trip was scheduled the following day.

Off we visited Callao Caves. We climbed 183 steps to reach the mouth of the cave.

There is a church inside. Remember that Bea Alonzo movie? There was a scene that was filmed here.

The cave has seven chambers. This is just one of them.

It is not difficult to navigate the cave. Look at my friends. They looked like they were strolling in a park.

We visited churches on our way to Santa Ana.



One church had large stations of the cross in its compound.
Since we are already going north, we visited Aparri. This is the doppler radar of PAGASA.

And this is where the Cagayan River, the Philippines’ longest river,  meets the Babuyan Sea.


This gorgeous sunset greeted us when we reached Santa Ana.


We called  it a day.

Off we went to Palaui the next day. Palaui is an island an hour away from the Santa Ana Port.We hired this motorboat.


We climbed up a hill to reach the lighthouse. We took photos on the way up.



This is the lighthouse.



At the back of the lighthouse, we went down to a grassy area where we had the best view of the islands.



Because of the large open flat space, we tried this camera trick.


This is the view we loved.

We went to Anguib beach after. Anguib is where Survivor Cagayan was shot.  The boat ride from Palaui to Anguib was one of the scariest I have experienced. It was raining. We can only see a dark horizon and an unending sea on the left side and uninhabited island on the right. We see no other boats around that my friend really asked, “Where are the others?”  Fortunately, we arrived Anguib safely and we spent some time swimming.

We dropped by Crocodile island when we headed back to the port.  It was called crocodile island because of the shape of the rock formation. Can you imagine the crocodile head in this photo?


We returned to the resort we were staying, had dinner and slept tight.

The day after  was travel time for us. We took a van bound for Tuguegarao where we would ride another night trip to Manila. It was a long trip. We slept through the night filled with thoughts of this memorable trip.

Tungao and Lawigan: The Road Less Traveled

An invitation to a new destination is music to my ears.  If you give me an opportunity to visit a new place, I would get excited even at the thought of exploring it. It does not even matter what kind of transportation it takes to reach a new place. I say yes to adventure!

That is what happened two fine Sundays of August.


Tungao is the second to the last barangay in Butuan City before you reach Esperanza, Agusan del Sur. It is a 45-minute trip by public transportation. And public transportation is a very large jeepney.


It is so spacious that we can stretch our legs inside. We thought so. As it turned out, we were in for an experience. See the bench?  They would put the bench in the middle and allow passengers to occupy the bench.


So if people occupy the middle, how does the konductor collect the fare? The answer: through the window.


The konductor climbs through the side railings of the jeepney and taps the passengers to collect the fare while the jeepney is in motion! Yes, we have a real-life spiderman in Butuan. I should mention that this jeepney had passengers on top, too! Only in the Philippines!

We really did not have an itinerary. We just wanted to check out what was in this place and just explore.

We found a nice wall in church so my friend, Titit, posed for a photo.


We met a durian vendor. We did not buy because he was going to the city proper anyway.


One major improvement of this place is the road. The road to Tungao is all paved. Years ago, it would be very difficult to get there. Imagine their type of transportation in a rough road.  We were lucky we get to visit the place using better roads. Now, I hope they do something about the transportation.



During the last week of August, my friends and I got invited to a fiesta! The family of my friend, Mau, came from this small barangay in a town in Agusan del Norte. The place is Lawigan in the municipality of Tubay. It is their annual fiesta. She invites us whenever she visits the place but we never had time until that August.

Look how pretty!


It was challenging to reach this place. This is the remotest barangay in Tubay. To get here, we have to ride a bus for Surigao City and asked to be dropped somewhere near Jabonga. Mau had arranged a driver to pick us up at the intersection.  The driver was a motorcycle driver.  Yes, motorcycle. Two wheels.  My friend and I hopped behind the motorcycle driver. No helmets. Halfway, the road was paved. However, there were areas that remained dirt roads. We had to cross the mountain before we reach the coastal area.  There was an area where we had to walk because the road was slippery and inclined. Did say  it took us an hour to get there? An hour on a motorcycle. Oh, the things I do to feed my wanderlust!

Good thing the place was postcard pretty.


After we devoured the fiesta food, we took a stroll along their beach.


They have big boulders. Perfect for photography.


It was a fine weather while we were strolling and hopping through these rocks. It started to rain on our way home. Imagine two of us behind the driver sharing his raincoat. We remember those signs we saw along the way: “Landslide-prone area”.  Oh, the things I do to feed my wanderlust!

Lawigan can be reached via a jeepney from Cabadbaran City but there are no trips on Sundays.  One can also opt for a boat ride from Cabadbaran. Small boats. No lifejacket.  I cannot swim. I will try when weather is better.

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