Friday, July 11, 2014

Traveling Kitty - La entrada, Britania & Laswitan lagoon

Hey guise. Sup.
Yeap! la entrada britannia laswitan sounds like an old Spanish colonial word but they're actually must-visit spots in Mindanao. When you're here, you are visiting an agricultural place with mostly coconut and bananas, I'm not even kidding. If you travel around my hometown, you're gonna be in a coco-banana ride, and of course a lot of pomelo vendors, and that's the fun part because almost half of the population here sells fresh fruits in the corner of the highway; so I suggest you buy them at highway fruit markets than in malls because they're way cheaper and sweeter (I buy my pineapples across the street, sliced by the amazing pineapple slice masters! seriously! I'll take a video next time).

I welcome you to another one of my adventures with my mom.

If you haven't read the first part of this story,
please do: http://moonlitplaces.blogspot.com/2014/07/traveling-kitty-tinuy-falls-casa-de.html

A long drive (as always) from Bislig City to Britania San Agustin, a 1 hour and 3-minute ride to our destination. It took us long because of the curvy lanes, road constructions and some truck traffic too, overall it was good since we traveled during the day. We were heading to La Entrada resort, a resort that offers affordable island hopping and room accommodation. Be prepared for an entrance fee before you enter the barangay though, but the resort entrance is free so don't worry.

La Entrada

La entrada is a really cool, chill place surrounded by mangroves. It may look like a crocodile might pop out of nowhere but no, la entrada is safe and there will be no croc popping. The water will rise eventually but not as much as getting you wet. If the water rises you will see tiny fishes swimming around and some hermit crabs. You will also smell something fishy literally but that's because you're on top of the water.

We rented the floating cottages or cabin, it looks like a tiny cabin. The rooms were pretty simple and comfortable, and like I said before, better put on mosquito repellent lotion and use the blanket when you sleep since they have air conditioning system in each room and below is a damp area thus you can't ignore mosquitoes.

A must-visit place, and they also have a restaurant with t.v. and wifi.

You can watch clips of Britania Islets in this video I made!




I took this with my Iphone, pretty neat huh?


When we got here the sky was looking furious like a storm about to come but don't fret! it was only a little rain.


As you can see it was low-tide. The Terrace and rooms.



This bed is only fit for one, but this is just the 1st level near the bath room.


The 2nd level is quite spacious and can accommodate 3 persons, and the air condition works pretty well. I didn't stay in this section though, I can't sleep when it's unnaturally cold.


So this is where I stayed, an extra bed in the 1st floor which was more comfortable and my boyfriend slept on the bed. I liked the wide matress more than falling off the bed lol. My mom and big bro slept upstairs.


There's always time for a gopro group shot! hehe.


Dinner at la entrada restaurant while watching PBA I think. The food was great, I ordered pinakbet and clam soup because I was feeling a little sick from eating mostly protein and less fiber.

After dinner, I stayed in the restaurant a bit and tried to connect through the internet, sometimes it really sucks, or it always does in the Philippines, wifi was so slow but a few minutes online was enough, then I went in our room to relax. Reminder: tell the desk attendant to reserve you a boat for the island hopping in the morning, they said the perfect time is 5 a.m. sharp thus the waves are flat and not crowded with people.

Britania Islets

The sun rose and we didn't make the 5 a.m. island shopping but we did... at 8 in the morning because we needed to fill up before doing something with no baon.


The weather was cooperating, good source of vitamin d, high-tide, a lil' wavy and we were really excited! We visited four islets but since we were limiting our time because we had to hit the road again, we only visited three. Doesn't matter, all were beautiful and never forgotten.


I can't forget the beauty of the places we went to but I forgot their names haha! The first islet was the farthest. The guide said we should take the farther ones before the nearest. Anyway it was gorgeous like most white sand beaches and tiny so you can explore the place.


More reasons to visit Britania.


Last group shot I took before leaving the island and hopping to the next one.



That's the first islet, and the second hop was supposed to be that bed of sand you see on the bottom picture, but my mom refused because the sand was almost identical as the first one (although it was only a tiny lump of sand lol). I would have enjoyed it but we were also limiting our time. I think it's called a shoal.


La entrada also offers island hopping to not just four islands but more, I bet every islet you can find here.


Arrived at the 2nd islet.


Definitely the number one reason to visit Britania islets is their clear and clean water.


This islet had a grotto, and some enormous rock formations (or corals).


Its fun! jump into the water but don't dive of course, this is only 4 feet under lol.


This was at the back of the grotto in a massive rock.


Another group shot with the other islets surrounding us.


A cute family of angelfishes, how did I know? I have a book about fishes in the coral reef. There were four of them, two were tiny and two were sort of like mom and dad. To see such life is an honor.


More underwater pictures and wearing sunglasses please? that's totally necessary.
Welp.


My mom.


Friends.


The whole crew. haha!

Well, moving on to the 3rd island...


This one was more laidback, a lot of coconut trees - more shade and some marine life.


The most legit group shot we ever had lol. As you can see, there are seaweeds surrounding the shallow area, and the video I took of the school of fishes was around this tree, round-n-round they swam.


Ending the island trip with a kiss :* Yes that's extremely necessary for flings like us :P haha!


Back in La Entrada, high-tide at the mangroves.


Lunch, and if you noticed there were also a bunch of people in the restaurant, I think they're attorneys and doctors, the wealthy folks perhaps and held their lunch here with lechon and all that crabs.

Laswitan Lagoon

After lunch, packed up, and set to go road tripping again. This time the place is a hidden paradise, risky and far. Not many people would come or maybe a few during the holidays, but we went here by June and the whole area was deserted. The problem here was there are no arrows to point you the exact location of the lagoon because it's not a resort, it's a natural pool. You will see some signage when you reach Cortes but only a few. Somehow journeyingjames' blog says that it's in Barangay Madrelino which is 5 km. away from Cortes Poblacion. However since it wasn't the 'amihan' season, the waves were mostly a feet high thus it didn't create a natural waterfall as it is named Laswitan falls & lagoon, but the place was beautiful and serene and we were the only people who went there during that time.

By the way the road is so rough, I suggest that if you were driving lowriders then back off! lol. I think the best transportation here is a motorcycle or a 4-wheel drive.


Some of the most awesome rock formations I've seen here in Mindanao.


In one of my research, this place was supposed to be more natural without that rope dangling around it, but I think for safety reasons since people flock here now, they needed to do that.


When we got here, it wasn't actually scary. I think it's scary if we saw two men holding a knife. The place was so majestic; my fear about scary, risky, deserted places got totally erased out of my mind instead I cherish this place.


You can totally practice rock climbing skills here, I had fun climbing and looking for brilliant rocks.


Speaking of brilliant rocks, this is just a typical rock crystal 'milky quartz'. Yes I managed to mine some but only bits. It wasn't out of greed FYI, I just love collecting rocks especially this one which was formed naturally from gas and fluid


It's a little long way down to the lagoon, if you can walk through rocks which serves as stairs going down &up then better wear something comfortable for your feet that doesn't slip.


The only visible guardian when we got to this place. There were two of them, and as large as a 2 year old baby, I'm not joking! They're called ravens right? Beautiful creatures will last in my memory! (I didn't bring my 200mm lens fark!).

So we ended this journey with a raven watching us, guarding the area and actually their sound literally startled me. No, it's not even true when you see black creatures something bad's gonna happen. I saw this and I was like "fuck! they're huge!" and I smiled, life is beautiful friends... life is beautiful.

Alright! to sum it all up...

Considerations:

1. Make a reservation in La entrada first before going there, and ask them to check their appliances in your booked room like the air con (if it works well). This is the only contact no. I can find: +63 949 971 9630
2. Considering we went to Surigao del sur, they were having their Araw ng Surigao so you will see locals busy preparing fiesta necessities on the road.
3. Regarding the Araw ng Surigao, Laswitan lagoon was deserted I think because of the fiestas and some road construction; like I said we went here last June and June is the end of summer vacation in the Philippines.
4. Laswitan doesn't have a place to stay overnight so I suggest you wait for my next post about where to stay in Surigao del sur, road trip style.
5. Since Laswitan was completely deserted, especially the gate where you pay the fees (sorry Laswitan guise) we got inside for free. Why? a guy showed up and told us we can go inside without paying anything because no one was around.

So guise...

Mark your date and visit these places :) enjoy and have a safe trip!


haaaa.. I'm a dolphin looking through your soul. ciao! :)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Traveling Kitty - Tinuy-an Falls, Casa de Babano & Ocean View Park

Hey guise. Another adventure awaits us; a very popular falls and the widest in the Philippines according to its reputation, but also the easiest to locate and access with your preferred transportation.

The falls is so majestic, absolutely beautiful. It was my first time to see such wide formation. I've been to Lake Sebu number one falls and my reaction was quite different, lake sebu was extremely scary because it was tall and windy while this one, I felt relaxed and the wideness of the falls left me breath taken, literally lol

I have to stop my introduction and start sharing, but if you haven't read my first post in this itinerary, please do: CLICK ME

After Marky's Hostel, we went to our next destination which was in Bislig City. Hinatuan to Bislig is a 39 min. or an hour drive. If you're wondering where we had our brunch, we had pancit canton at a nearby shop in Mangagoy. Why? because our van got totally messed up and we had to stop at Mangagoy to get it fixed. Good news was we can still drive it without using the aircon, signal lights and sound system, bad news it will only be fix by tomorrow morning. Thank God though we got to our destination as fast as we can.

If you may watch this video I made for my family and friends,
in and around Surigao! clips in tinuy-an falls are in it too.





Tinuy-an falls is an easy drive. It has a huge parking space, and it was already breathtaking.


If it doesn't rain, Tinuy-an is lowtide. We stayed here until past noon and it rained a bit, the falls began to get stronger yet still accessible :)


This three-top falls is measured 180 ft from top to bottom. Yes it has three tops, first level is the widest, 2nd not so much and 3rd smallest.


You don't wanna miss this rafting experience too and it's not dangerous. It goes directly to the harsh point of the waterfall, like ping pong balls thrown at you haha! trust me it's really good.


See, my mom and bro liked it! this explains a free massage haaah!


But of course don't forget to jump in the dark waters, 30 ft. if you can manage the current. I saw someone who swam maybe more than 10 laps already, I think he/she is a professional swimmer practicing his/her usual routine.


Inside the falls is this stupendous wall. You can even stand with just the right position, a bit slippery though.


After the raft ride we went to the 2nd level of the falls, about as amazing as the 1st level. Make sure you like a little hike going up surrounded by nature because I forced my mom to go with us lol


Tells how happy and excited we were, mother and daughter adventure yay!



This is the 3rd level of the falls, the upper part was not accessible anymore, I don't know why but it seems there was no way going up there. Try if you must :) lol


Everybody should marvel the beauty of this wonderful place, respect as it is and never abuse such creation.

Suggestion:
1. We went here June so it wasn't as crowded as the usual summer holidays.
2. Rainy season means a lot of slippery areas so be careful and don't run.
3. Be prepared for an entrance fee, but the driver is always free.
4. Its best to bring your own food, but if you want to order they usually serve seafoods.
5. I think the rent of the life vests is per 30 min. or 1 hour, so if you're not using them anymore better give them back.

Recommendation:
Yes! everybody should come, your grandma, grandpa, grand grandma, grand grandpa, everyone! cause you don't need to hike; just when you park your car, this magnificent falls is there to greet you.

For more information about this place, visit: http://www.tinuyan-falls.com/

After a few swims, and a lot of sight seeing in Tinuy-an, we needed a place to stay.
Casa de Babano is the answer for that! yes, my research skill is very useful because internet lol. Casa de babano pension house is laidback, affordable and hip. It has all actually! a hotel, a restaurant with eat-all-you-can and a karaoke bar, what more can you ask for? The place is actually easy to locate but you can ask the locals about it and they will surely help.

Be aware of traffic laws too, you might see signs like "no entry" so don't enter because Bislig is like Davao, smoking is prohibited in some areas and traffic rules are observed by patrols.

I didn't take pictures around Casa de Babano, but I did take a few shots in our room and restaurant.



The room's quite clean and simple; I liked the beds with that minimalist look, a black and white combination. This room is very spacious that we made time for our workout routine, the airconditioning system was also working good, and the cable tv may be a bit small but okay. The bathroom & toilet was clean and okay. I think this is the Triple Sharing Bed room.


Dinner in their restaurant. They have yummy foods in their menu. They also serve free breakfast for overnight stays but depends on the maximum persons in the booked room. Don't worry, their food is affordable and reasonable. Furthermore, don't forget to try their special brewed coffee, not the coffee machine but the one you can order for just 50 php, no ragrets.

My mom and these guise had a good night at the Karaoke bar, I didn't get to be with them as I was dead tired and fast asleep. The karaoke session is unlimited as long as you order drinks and food. The bar was clean and nice, they really had a good time.

Casa de Babano pension house is located at Caramcam district, Mangagoy, Bislig City
contact no: (086) 853 1297 / (086) 311 0940
Room rates: 900 - 1500 php
Extra bed: 200 php
Excess person: 50 php

for more information, please check: Casa de Babano pension house

Morning came, fixed our breakfast, fixed ourselves, packed up and hit the road again. I didn't wanna pass the doll house I was hoping to get a glimpse so we went to Ocean View Park first before heading up north.

Ocean View Park is just a few km. away from Mangagoy; still in Bislig City. This park is a restaurant with an awesome view and a ridiculously amazing collection of dolls.


But before you reach your destination, you must go up these stairs and perspire lol


Don't worry, your effort won't go to waste as this beautiful landscape will greet you while you inhale fresh air.


Since we got here during lunch time, it was time for a feast haha (burned a few calories going up too). However, one of the waitresses told us that they were only serving snacks and desserts for the meantime because their official chef which is also the owner of this restaurant and doll house was out of town. It didn't bother us cause we wanted to try out their burgers and salad instead.


This is the cutest placemat I have ever seen! D: I'm jelezzz!





Yessss! look at it! look how tasty they are! yes, they were absolutely delicious and so right for our diet. The salads were refreshing, fresh greens all the way. Beef patty cooked to perfection and the fries, HELLYEAAAH! I'm spazzing right now STOP ME! lol. Seriously guise, they do serve super affordable snacks and nicely presentable. No ragrets again.


I was so eager to go inside the doll house, I remember my childhood years where I had a lot of original barbies which I've already re-painted them into scary beings. I'll just give you a partial view inside.


 Uhh... overloaded with kawaii


 Attractive dolls. More sexier than barbie! :p


 Paper doll house of perfection!


Yeah... barbie...


For coffee connoisseurs. Someday I will collect coffee cups as elegant as this D:


WHY???!!! why are you not mine? lol


If I had long black hair, wearing a black dress and the lights were dim, you would totally freak out right now, I would too.


This doll museum is a lolicon dream place, I'm just kidding, everybody is welcome here!

Info:

Entrance fee - 20php/Adult
                      12php/Youth
                      5php/Child
                      Free for all Kindergarten

for more information, please visit: Ocean View Park & Doll House

"I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move."
                                                                                                 -Robert Louis Stevenson