, , , , ,

Mary Kay Philippines Beauty Consultant Experience

It was just an ordinary day when my roommates asked if I wanted to tag along going to Baguio City. At first, I declined, as I was really craving for some time to sleep. I was tasked to go to my new job for January 2nd in the afternoon and was planning to attend one of my best friends’ baby shower, so I thought sleeping in the morning would allow me to restore some energy.

After a lot of convincing and thinking, I decided to tag along at Baguio City, in which, I thought wasn’t on the same day. But then, I didn’t know we’re also going to Makati to attend a Mary Kay event.

After a few hours of small-talk with different people, my roommate, Jessica, and I signed up to be part of the Mary Kay Philippines Team. It was also out of impulse but for me, it was a good decision since I’m also a fan of cosmetics. I love how we’re getting freebies and all other stuff, and how we’re also eligible for a sales and beauty training help a week after.

I attended the ESRS (Essential Steps to Reach Success) Training where we were taught selling skills (which totally helped me with my next job) and tons of beauty tips in skincare and health. Like, for example, you have to exfoliate your face’s skin every Wednesday and Sunday because our skin changes skin every three days; or that, it’s really important to cleanse, tone, and moisturize the skin to maintain a young-looking skin.

There’s a lot to learn, but I did enjoy the training. Eventually, I got me my ESRS Completion Certificate. I’m now eligible to give advice for skin care and health, especially with MK Products! 😍💖

After a while, I conducted my first (impulsive) mini-event in Embarcadero de Legazpi when I went home to celebrate Christmas and New Year. It was a FREE makeover and skin analysis for my attendees. Cherry and Jessica helped with it.

Thanks to Embarcadero de Legazpi’s Marketing Head of wanting to have me blog their newly-established restaurants, I was able to get a hold of a place to conduct an event! I got to display and demonstrate the products there for FREE.

As mentioned, it was an impulsive beauty fairand we weren’t really prepared. To be honest, we were only planning to ‘do’ it and give my Facebook friends my promise of giving them a free makeover, but I figured I could use the ex-deal agreement I had with Embarcadero.

So voila! This is what we’re only able to get a hold of. 😂

Here are some of the photos during the event:

Ate Georgia (left) and friends. I honestly didn’t expect them to attend, so I really really do thank them for doing so as I thought this event would flunk!

And then followed by these heaps…

These three beautiful ladies… and many more.

I have many other attendees at night since this event lasted from 3 PM ’til 6 PM (ingressed at 1 PM). Due to not having proper lighting the photos don’t look good anymore. 😌

Thankfully, it went out well, as I can also leverage this opportunity in making a business out of these products, which you can browse here.

Mary Kay Philippines taught me all I need to know about traditional selling and basic-intermediate skincare routine, so if you ever need a beauty consultant, you can have me.

Just contact me at 09952431210 for a free makeover using these products, if you want to test it out, or if you want to make a business out of it as well.

Also, if you subscribe to my email list here and order some items from this Instagram Business Account here, I will give you freebies like lipsticks, foundations, even their best-selling charcoal mask.

Let’s help each other be and feel beautiful! That’s also always my goal why I aspire to be an expert in skincare. 😍💖

Visit my Instagram Business Account here and browse for more items! 💖

, , , , , ,

My Baguio-Nueva Ecija Trip: How The Last Weeks Of My December 2018 Went (A Super Late Post)

December 15 – 19, 2018

Going to Baguio City after like… 18 years?; and to Nueva Ecija was one of the most unforgettable and fun things I did with my roommates unexpectedly.


If only I knew we’d go here, I would have recreated these photos. 😂

I was just lying on my bed; wanting one hell of a long sleep, when my former roommate, Cherry, asked me to tag along to Baguio City. I’m not sure why that was, but I honestly didn’t feel like going. It was also one of my best friends’ baby shower happening that night, and I was also tasked to drop by at work before starting on January 2nd. So yes, all I wanted to do that morning was to sleep!

I was then talked out of my senses when Cherry and Jessica – my roommates – convinced me to finally tag along. Eventually, I said “yes” with us, having different agenda in the afternoon at first (I went to my soon-to-be new job, and my best friend’s baby shower and gender reveal, while the two of them went thrift shopping at Baclaran).

Before dusk, we also went to Mary Kay Makati where I officially became a Mary Kay Philippines Beauty Consultant. My certification was done the week after. You can read more about my MK Experience here.

At 8 PM, I went to my best friend, Ery’s, baby shower and gender reveal along with our college friends. I honestly didn’t know we’d be off to Baguio City at midnight. I was just texted we’d go after my mini-gathering with college friends. 😂

I thought we were leaving for Baguio the next day, I didn’t know it was going to be that night! So when we arrived at midnight in QC, we immediately packed all our stuff and went to Baguio. Cherry rented a van that time.

Here’s our back-to-back Baguio-Nueva Ecija Escapade on December 2018

Baguio City Itinerary

We went to check-in at Albergo, one of the most finest-looking hotel in Baguio. I swear, this was too beautiful for a hotel! It’s like a condo-type hotel with a complete set of furniture and kitchen utensils.

The bed was a cool double-decker where Jessica and I slept at the bottom bunk. It has drawer-like beddings underneath the queen-sized bed (bottom bunk), so if there was a need for an extra, say, a companion; (but of course we wouldn’t just let the driver sleep where we sleep), it can just be pulled out!

At lunch, we went to eat at Good Taste Restaurant where the food served were merely lutong bahay (home-cooked viands) and gulay (vegetables). Yum! 😋

In the afternoon, we went to Strawberry Farm to see some strawberries…

… and sunflowers…

And then proceeded to The Mines View where I did me some horse-riding… 😂

… and a dramatic pose on the view uphill… 😂 LOL! 😆

Then we went to The Mansion at almost 6 PM…

And finally the next day, at the famous Burnham Park…

It was freezing cold in Baguio City and some folks even told us it was ‘sunnier’ that time. Meaning, it could have been colder if we went some other day. 😨😂

I’m not sure how you can go to Baguio City via bus as we rode a Montero that time, but here’s a bit of information on how to get there via commute and/or private transport:

Via Commute

  1. Go to a Victory Liner bus in Manila bound for Baguio City. You can either ride from Pasay, Cubao and/or Caloocan. Regular fare is 450 Php (depending on the bus company).

Via Private Transport

  1. Take the NLEX (North Luzon Expressway) going to the SCTEX from Manila at Exit 85.
  2. Drive from SCTEX to Tarlac City, then turn left to a road.
  3. Continue driving until you reach Mc Arthur Highway.
  4. Turn right, drive continuously along Tarlac City roads and Pangasinan province until you reach Rosario, La Union.
  5. From Rosario, La Union junction, turn right to Kennon Road.
  6. Turn right again to Marcos Highway.
  7. That’s all the way to Baguio City. Just drive along!

Nueva Ecija Itinerary

Okay – so I’m not sure what happened AGAIN, but we all impulsively thought of going to Nueva Ecija as part of our roommate’s “job.” I’m not sure what she does honestly, all I knew was that we went there as well to have fun.

We arrived at around 9 PM and went straight to Villa Liza Resort and Restaurant to stay in for the night. Aside from having dinner, we went straight to sleep.

Mornings in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija be like…

… and BREAKFAST! 😍

Fried sunny-side up eggs, longganisa, and corned beef for breakfast

After breakfast photos be like…

And of course, by the pool-side…

I can’t give full directions on how to get there since we were using a rented car to go straight ahead. But here’s what I was able to get a hold of:

Full Address: Villa Liza Resort and Restaurant, Aurora Rd., Bongabon Nueva Ecija
Contact Number: 09494095323 / 0917 710 9600

We should be getting back to Manila by Monday morning but things got out of hand, and my former roommate asked if we could stay one more day. I forgot what the reason was, but the extended stay on Monday was spent going to Pantabangan Dam.

I looked chubby-AF there, though. 😂

Just by looking at this picture, the sunset with nature just feels serene-AF for me. It’s very heart-warming! I don’t know if it’s just me or what, but this picture looks peaceful. ❤🍃

Not to mention a VIEW with the waters feels divine! 😍 I am very in love with everything that is Pantabangan Dam (I am a super fan of the ocean, so waters like these make my soul feel good)! 😍💖

We extended ANOTHER night after Monday, as we went straight to Minalungao National Park after leaving Bongabon, Nueva Ecija for some sightseeing and exploration on Tuesday morning.

The view at Minalungao National Park was super amazing, I bet this is the REAL AND BEST highlight of our impulsive trip!

Here are some of my photos in Minalungao National Park

I posed like I was owning it. Hell-yeah! Haha. 😂

And this view? Dang! It’s a must-see! 😍

This one’s across the river near the cave. My other roommate, Jessica, and I would have gone to the caves if only dogs didn’t run after her that time! Hahaha! I literally ROTFL-ed that time as she even went to HUG a random stranger out of fear. 😂

Everyone was laughing including me! 😂😆

Here we are (with me overcoming my fear of heights), as we took our picture in the middle of the HANGING BRIDGE! 😂

And here’s me, and well… my favorite purple socks! 😂😆

If only we had one more day to stay, we would have seized it as there were TONS OF OTHER ACTIVITIES you can do here at Minalungao National Park:

  • Bamboo rafting and swimming
  • Walk the hanging bridge
  • Hike and/or Trek
  • Go Zipline!
  • Cliff Dive
  • Spelunking/Caving
  • And many many more! 😍

To get here via commute (because I wasn’t able to keep track of how our private transport went)

  1. Ride a bus from Cubao or Pasay (whichever is near to you) going to Gapan or Cabanatuan. Travel time is 3 hours. Fare is 150-200 Php, but I’m not sure if this still hasn’t changed.
  2. Afterward, ride a jeep to General Tinio.
  3. Then, ride a tricycle going to Minalungao Park. Fare is 50 Php.

You also have an option of riding a tricycle from Gapan to Minalungao park, but that’s around 500-800 Php at 1.5 hours average.

We eventually went home on Tuesday evening after all the extended travels.

To be completely honest, going on with this impulsive trip had caused me my work ethic. I went absent for so many days at work (I was on a pre-resign state that time), and I literally didn’t go to work on purpose anymore out of guilt. Hahaha! I know, I know. It was my bad as this wasn’t a good idea; I should have resigned properly yada-yada-yada (I swear it wasn’t as ‘easy’ as you think… but I also swear I won’t do that again)… but I won’t trade this soul-searching experience for a 9:30 PM – 6:30 AM job that only elevated my severe depression during (hence my short hiatus on blogging for almost 3 months).

This experience helped me breathe and find myself again. And I must say it is indeed true that ‘traveling’ really opens up your soul for brand new things to see. Traveling is really food for the soul; so when one tells you this, you’ve got to believe them as it did me.

Despite the judgment I’ve gotten for what I did for the first time, I wouldn’t trade this opportunity where I got close to healing. I wouldn’t trade this experience of healing my soul over some judgment that, “I don’t have a ‘proper’ work ethic” because THIS EXPERIENCE was what healed me from a job that only made my depression worse (throwing some shade aside).

This experience and opportunity opened up my eyes to ways on how I can deal with my deteriorating mental state moving forward. It’s not just about ‘traveling’ per se, although that’s part of it. It’s about the lessons, divine interventions, learnings, and growth along the way.

Ergo… every risk was worth it! 😊💖

self love
, , ,

Confessions Of A Hopeless Romantic: This Is Why I Don’t Regret Dating So Many Guys In The Past, Because It Taught Me Self-Love

I’m a hopeless romantic.

And being a hopeless romantic, especially in a sea of people playing filthy games called “modern dating,” is a special kind of torture. It’s impossible not to lose your self-love… or so I think.

Hopeless Romantics.

These people are the usually called, “marupok” in Filipino slang, referencing the English word, “breakable.” They easily fall for the people that never had the intention of loving them back because their hearts are full of love, they only want to “give.” They also invest all of themselves even in exchange for nothing just to ‘feel loved’ for a second or minute. And they usually come off as “easy to get” because a little amount from you feels like grand. They won’t, for a minute, second-guess or reconsider their situations, because loving you is just what’s on top of their mind.

Without noticing, this is how they put themselves in danger. And I, myself, couldn’t agree more.

Being a hopeless romantic is being the person who chooses to be naive because they always see the best in people. Quite the reason why they’re always called a “fool,” but these are the people who will choose to fight for you, even if you’re not worth fighting for in the first place.

They are the types of lovers who will choose to look right through you no matter what you’ve been through, or what culture had developed you. They see your heart before anyone else. And they will look right through it despite other people’s judgments.

In a society where people judge first based on the superficial, there are the “hopeless romantics” who dig deep into your heart first before appreciating what’s on the outside. And unless you’re not looking for a commitment or something serious, a hopeless romantic is the one who will make you feel truly loved.

I remember how people always judged me for having dated so many guys in the past because of my hopeless-romanticism. People thought I was too hungry for love, and sometimes, they thought I was just the typical kind of “flirt” who knew her way with boys. 

They never knew what I went through because of that, however. All they’ll ever tell you was how they “didn’t care.”

They never knew the trouble I faced when a new rumor was up. They never knew the heartbreak I overcame alone because I loved and trusted too much again. They never knew the pain I endured when I was already questioning my self-worth; asking why I always ended up like that. And they never knew how hard it was getting up every time I hit rock-bottom for the same old situation, believing it would be different this time around.

Consequently, they will never understand how I only wanted to have a fairy-tale kind of love story. How I wanted this daydream, wishing I’d “real-life” it someday. And they will never understand how hopelessly hopeful I just was to feel and experience that from every guy I meet through serendipity… even on Facebook chat.

Silly me.

I don’t know if there’s anyone who could understand the heart of a hopeless romantic, but they – we – are just the type of people who are, by definition, in love with love. Sometimes, we couldn’t foresee and determine what’s only the “idea” of it and what’s really it. Other times, we disregard both the idea and the reality because we only care about feeling it.

And because our kind is empathetic by nature and sees the beauty in just about everything, this includes the heart of a broken fuckboy who, to everyone’s eyes, only has the intention of toying with a woman.

Our kind knew there’s more to them than just that deep inside, that we don’t realize how we’re falling for a trap.

And when we get hurt, we knew we couldn’t do anything about it. Because in the eyes of people we chose it, but in our hearts, we knew we just felt like flowing with it.

self love

Bruised lips, soft skin, beige dress, and a heart that’s all over you.

In my case, the saddest part of it all was when I got toyed, and I never got to defend myself. I was always afraid of what the universe might cost me if I fight back. I never got to have vengeance because that wasn’t me. And the only thing I could do about it that time was to shut myself out… or vent it out using my passion or a hobby.

Although I did rant some of these on social media, it only made people think I was “guilty.”

I wasn’t there to defend myself from the critics. I didn’t care at first, of course, because I knew better about myself. I even cracked jokes about it, not thinking it would register differently to other people’s minds. And even if I knew myself better, I didn’t know that was my ticket to ruining myself in the long run, and it did affect my reputation entirely.

The aforementioned reputation preceded me until… last year? I’m not sure if until today I still do, but what I knew was that the more I spoke against it, the more I was perceived as “guilty.” 

And the more I ignored about it, the more I gave them opportunities to talk differently about me every day.

I never knew my place. I always appeared angry when I was still ranting on social media. I didn’t have any friends to talk to about this, and people judged me as an “attention-seeking whore.” They’ve never seen the agony I had to go through being in a tough situation over a guy who I never planned to like or date in the first place. Most especially, they’ve never felt the struggle of having no one to talk to about this dilemma, that I thought I only had Facebook to deal with it.

I am beyond thankful for my recent best friend, Kate, who listened to me every single day I had sad thoughts going on. She was the reason I stopped ranting on social media because I finally found someone in her who would actually listen. And she was the reason I was able to learn the essence of privacy because I hadn’t known that when I thought I should always “post” my side in defense to those destructive criticisms. Along with that, she taught me how to trust and muster up my courage because my other best friends were just waiting for me to hit up.

To be honest, no one realized this was what created all those rants. When these experiences and bottled-up feelings created a strong-ass, straightforward woman all along, they thought I changed for the worst, creating a monster out of me. Of course, that’s what they only saw. Even my former best friend of 12 years thought likewise hence the partition.

I don’t regret it though. Maybe it was for the best.

I also never knew this was going to be the reason why guys thought they could easily have me. I never knew one rumor could change everyone’s perspective about me.

The usual cycle goes like this.

I post a picture of me on social media, and a guy would either compliment me or chat with me because of that. I ignore them at first of course, until they make an “effort” to talk to me. Being a hopeless romantic myself who has no one to talk to except a “best friend” who only talked about her love life, those mere gestures were already grand. What can you say, that’s how the hopeless romantic’s heart operates  – always the appreciative ones.

… or maybe I just needed someone to talk to every day.

When I got to know them as days goes by, I feel like I have someone to “brag” about to keep up and ease my feelings of being “left out.” I also feel like, there’s someone who I can finally “talk to” about my thoughts and feelings …anxieties included (as per mentioned, I never had someone to talk to about things unlike today, because even the aforementioned former best friend hated me for posting too much).

And when a guy finally notice how I’m slowly falling for their gestures, they would want to meet up in person to test the compatibility. That’s not the case, most of the time, however. They would want to meet up so they could test the waters and see if the rumors about me were true. Sometimes, they would even want to have sex on the first date.

Guess what? That’s how I knew there wouldn’t be “Date number 2 or 3.” That’s how I knew I was going to be “ghosted.” And that’s how I also knew I was about to get stuck in an “almost relationship.”

And I wasn’t able to realize all of these then until today.

Because those rumors about me reflected otherwise, they knew they had to run away before they can even catch the disease  – my disease (err, feelings). What lesson I learned from all of this is to never give your heart out too easy to not lose yourself in the process. It’s really essential to get to know the person first, and my biggest mistake in all of these was I jumped quickly without testing the waters first.

Absorbing the wrong people’s energy and getting too familiar with them would make you change you to meet them halfway when it’s impossible. And when you change yourself for the wrong person, you slowly lose who you are and what you fight for, for their demands. When you do this, it’s impossible for you to find your way back, unless you go back to how you achieved ‘step one’ of your healing processes. And if you think step one was really hard to attain the moment you decided you wanted to heal, imagine how harder it would be going back at it again and again.

The only problem with me was that… I overlooked it. I hoped it wouldn’t be the same in every guy I dated. That’s why the “numbers” went high, and I gave me the reason why anyone has the right to call me that.

As time goes by, I realized… guys who say they want me just want to test the waters. And if they don’t want you enough to be with you, they’d save themselves the trouble of ever confronting with you.

I’m happy to be the person who doesn’t crave that much love from anyone today because I have learned to really love myself for good during the process.

I don’t understand, and I even feel bad about saying this, but when I lost that aforementioned “best friend,” I felt like the “pressure” of having a boyfriend went along with her. Maybe it was because she hasn’t really listened to what I have to say because her priorities were divided, or maybe it was just because I felt envious of her situation and she wasn’t sensitive enough to realize it, that I thought “being with a guy” was the way to keep up with her. Nevertheless, she was indeed a good friend  – a best friend if I can describe that entire 12 years we’ve been together, side-by-side. Maybe, it really wasn’t just meant to be. And it really had to take me losing her to finally figure out the lesson I had to learn all these years.

I’m glad I finally feel “free” from all that awful baggage I’ve been carrying all my life. Unlike before when I usually dwell on my heartbreak because my situation has been repetitive all these years, I’m glad I finally saw my worth this time. I’ve witnessed this myself when this Leo guy I loved has hurt me, and I neither ranted nor felt bad about it for a long time. Instead, I craved to be a better person than I was before, I yearned to be a stronger woman, and this time, a wiser one at that.

When one of my best friends showed me his picture together with his new girl together, I knew I finally moved on because I literally and sincerely wished him happiness and peace of mind. I knew that’s what he needed, and I genuinely wished him that. My heart feels happy for him, without losing my hopeless romanticism in me because that’s who I am.

All I can say right now is that I’m happy with the lesson, growth, am glad for my soul, and am extremely joyful for my heart. I don’t despise myself for having this kind of personality anymore, because to be honest, I figured, this is what makes me, me. ? And I believe someday I would be loved for this.

Thinking so, I guess this is what you call self-love. ?

, ,

Throwback 2015: Type X Production Goes to San Miguel Island!

I found a draft of this ‘San Miguel Island’ escapade on my list of unpublished articles today when I was double checking a few on my archives.

I don’t know why I hadn’t finished the blog post, I don’t even know when I started one and how I just left it sitting on my archives, but since I wrote both of my experiences in Calaguas Island and Muladbucad Beach recently, I might as well include this one either.

My San Miguel Island escapade way back in 2015 was actually one of the best island hopping I ever experienced. No, we didn’t have any awesome itinerary going, I just spent it with my best friends in the world!

Type X Production is actually the name of our group in thesis production. Our academic requirement mandated nine persons per group, and ours during this trip had my four best friends in college, Alan, Jenno, Fiona and Ery, three of my friends in the first squad I had during my freshmen year, Mecelle and Donna (Chelsea, the ninth person of the group, wasn’t around that time), and Fiona’s ex-boyfriend, Borj.

The outing was supposed to be a surprise birthday party for our friend, Alan. San Miguel Island is actually Ery’s hometown (yep, she’s one hell of an island-er), and we decided to celebrate it by going island hopping.

November 3, 2015

I slept over the night before at Ery’s place along with Fiona and prepared foods for the picnic the next day. Everyone brought a fair share of their food, and Alan brought his contribution as his birthday bash.

Everyone decided to meet at the Legazpi Grand Terminal going to Tabaco city. We hit the road around 7 AM and touched-down at around 8-9AM.

Afterward, we just went to the seaport and waited for Ery’s uncle for the motorboat ride. Hell, it was so amazing, that was actually my first-ever boat ride!

We arrived on the island at about 10 AM, settled and fixed where we went picnic-ing, played charades, had a little fun-shoot, took pictures and videos, and went swimming.

Here are some of the cool pictures I took.

That’s me, Fiona and Ery from left to right after our sleepover at Ery’s place. We were the first ones to arrive at the terminal, waiting for the others to come.

… and yes, I literally was SLIM back then, with 48kgs weight at best. ??

This was taken by Jenno so he isn’t in the picture. ? We were almost ready to hop in that jeepney and travel to Tabaco city! ?

Fast forward to the get-go of our first travel together, we arrived at the port around 8-9 AM and waited for Ery’s uncle for the motorboat ride. Usually, since it’s a chartered boat for rent, there would be other people riding in with us. But, nope… we were on this solo!

My friends took advantage of my former BlackBerry Z10 phone because I was the only one who had a phone with a good camera back then.

Here’s a picture of me with the motorboats at the back upon arriving at the island.

I wasn’t able to take pictures of the scenery, but I’ll show you a glimpse.

San Miguel Island

Photo credits to Legazpi City Page

Right? RIGHT? I know! Beautiful! ??

We took another group photo upon reaching the island and rode another one to get to that island part above.

Us before taking a trip to that isolated island at Brgy. Rawis, San Miguel.

Upon reaching the island, there we went, settled the foods, the sheet-cloth we used as our picnic mat, and our bags.

After all of that, we just took pictures, some of us went eating, and me… well, I did this! ??

Ew, my hair looked ugly way back ugh ???

… and this… ?

I still can’t believe how Jenno made me pose like this. I looked stupid! Lol. Plus the hair, it’s… ugly! ?? Why, 2015 self? ?

… and this. ???

Posing like that under the heat of the sun at 12 noon, on slimy, melted rocks that went hard was what caused my sunburn in 2015. I looked really bad and haggard, ’cause I have this sort of theory about sunblocks not being “sun-blocks.”

It took me almost two years to get my skin color back, and a lot of exfoliating and whitening soaps, lotions, supplements, even body scrubs to have my fair-looking skin back. Thank God it did not just come back, it also improved! I posted some of those here at my shop.

On the brighter side, I looked sexy on some pics just as this one…

… and the one that looks like I’m still talking for Pete’s sake. ???

Way to go, Mangga (Jenno)! ??

Overall, even though we didn’t have any other itinerary going, it was amazing laughing and having a good time with my friends.

More more pictures going home. ?

We really made sure to ‘seize the time’ before graduation (this is one of the basis I used in the lyric of my friendship-themed song, ‘Feel The Vibe’ for our Christmas MTV and songwriting project, which you can watch here), and really made memories before we parted.

I even learned that the craziest way to cease a sea urchin’s sting was to either put lemon in it… or pee! LOL.

Weird. ?

I would always look back at that day, nonetheless. ?

muladbucad beach
, ,

Throwback 2017: My ‘Muladbucad’ Soul-Searching Experience

I haven’t thought of this for a while, but there was yet another beach that fascinated me during my summer escapade last April 2017 – the Muladbucad beach!

muladbucad beach

Talk about another impulsivity, but it was when I went back to Bicol in March 2017 after I resigned at my previous job in Manila for 11 months. I don’t know why or how, but I suddenly felt depression kicking in when, this time, I knew there wouldn’t be a salary to look forward to every 15th and 30th day of the month, and that, my last paycheck could still be claimed a month after. Ergo, I was broke.

That was also the time I got diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in late January 2017 due to my on-again-off-again fever which didn’t stop for a week! I thought it was dengue until I decided to get checked at St. Luke’s Medical Center, BGC. Back then, my OB asked me to take contraceptive pills so my period would regulate. But since it was making me super fat, I immediately stopped the prescription.

In all honesty, that was what triggered my initial concealed depression, aside from the crucial diagnosis being the cause. But it was later that year when I realized it was because of the contraceptive pill I stopped taking. If you happen to experience delayed menstruations and irrational hormonal imbalance, you might want to check out this article to see if you’ve got PCOS too.

Anyway, going back.

Due to my unemployment, I decided to go back to freelance writing and editing academic papers. To cut the long story short, I landed a few jobs at Upwork, and had this offline client from De La Salle University (DLSU), Manila who paid me P5, 000 ($100) for three essays. I’m glad I helped her get a grade higher than she was expecting.

Since I’ve got spare money after paying my bills, I decided to go travel alone.  At first, I was rooting for Paguiriran Island in Sorsogon, but thought it was too far away from home. Eventually, after posting a Facebook status asking how to get there, my grade school teacher sent me a message recommending yet another option: the Muladbucad beach in Manito, Albay.

The night before, I bought myself a new one-piece swimsuit, snacks, a selfie stick, and packed money. Since my mom and dad didn’t allow me to travel alone yet, they told me to bring my brother with me.

Here’s the instruction on how to get there if you’re from Legazpi:

1. Ride a jeep going to Manito, Albay at the jeepney terminal located near the Legazpi Bus and Van Grand Terminal. If you happen to miss the ride, proceed at the back of Albay Cathedral.  There are jeeps you can find there that are on standby to wait for early passengers. It’s going to be a long 1 hour and 30-minute drive from Legazpi, so you better grab your breakfast before boarding.

2. Once you arrive at the Centro of Manito (Manito proper), rent a tricycle going to Muladbucad beach. That’s roughly a 15-30-minute ride.

You will end up on a small esikinita (lane) going to the beach as it is located underground. What’s cooler is that you’ll be experiencing free trekking until you hit the bridge where you can pay the entrance fee of P10 (¢2 cents) before you get there.

This is how amazing Muladbucad Beach experience was! It was really fascinating to look at!

See? I told you contraceptive pills made me fat! ??

The main reason why I did this is that I wanted to break free from stress and soul-search. I wanted to heal so bad that I really did end up going to places just to search ‘me.’ Glad it was worth every penny. And I’m GLAD I DID BRING my brother with me (although I shouldered all his expenses) because it really would be TOO boring to go alone.

We’ve had an amazing conversation about life, love, and all of that – which we rarely do nowadays due to our busy schedules – and had a good laugh with the local kids there, thinking I was a celebrity because they thought I looked ‘too beautiful.’ LOL!  ?

My brother and I went home at 1 PM and got back in Legazpi at 3 PM. We’ve had late lunch at Biggs’ Diner, Ayala by then.

Overall, this experience was amazing. Although I found it too boring because I didn’t go to the waters that much, and my brother and I didn’t have many itineraries to go to. The good conversation we had, the waves of laughter, good food, and the amazing view that deemed worthy was what saved us.

Actually, I didn’t swim much because I was scared to get tanned after ‘feeling traumatized’ from the sunburn I got on our San Miguel Island escapade in 2015… not because I didn’t know how to swim… which I actually really don’t. Lol. ??

I asked my brother to keep taking pictures of me, and I can’t believe the stolen ones looked better than the ones I actually posed for! ?

Here’s me on the crystalline part of the water…

… and there’s me on the seashore! LOL! ?

If you’re from Manila (or outside of the Philippines, having your vacation there and are interested to visit this unspoiled beach), here’s how:

Via Bus

  1. Book a 12-hour bus ride from Cubao or Pasay going to Legazpi, Albay (Bicol). Usual air-conditioned bus fare is at P800 – P900 pesos.
  2. Apply steps 2 and 3 from the “From Legazpi” directions.

Via Plane

  1. If you’re going for a plane ride, and touched-down Legazpi airport, ride a tricycle from the Airport exiting Airport road.
  2. Ride a Letter “B” going to Legazpi and drop-off at Pacific Mall, Metro Gaisano mall. You have the option to walk or ride the Jeep terminal there, so it’s entirely your choice.
  3. Apply steps 2 and 3 from the “Legazpi directions.”

Now, this is if you want to go there at a minimum cost. However, if you’re feeling excited to be there at the beach, you can always call for a taxi ride from the airport.

By the way…

I’m pretty sure you’ll appreciate the beach much more as it is raw, untouched, and unspoiled, unlike any other white sand beaches. Muladbucad beach in Manito, Albay isn’t commercialized yet (or so it was in 2017), unlike that of Calaguas Island.

Everything feels serene, peaceful, and happy. It’s perfect for people who want to relax and have peace of mind. And mind you, there is no signal there, so if you’re literally escaping from the toxicity of the urban jungle, Muladbucad beach is one of the best choices!

, ,

My Unexpected, Last-Minute Calaguas Island Escapade: The Cool Things We Did On The Island

Believe it or not, I’m not a fan of traveling… although I’m a huge fan of oceans.

Don’t hate me, though. I just hate the feeling I get whenever I know I’d be sitting back for long, tiring hours. Not to mention the fact that it would be so uncomfortable to sleep around during the whole trip.

My travel to Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte was… let’s say, “Unexpected.” I was with a friend eating porridge at Biggs’ Diner, Albay when he asked me if I wanted to tag along. I was heartbroken back then, and he [my friend] thought that I should free my mind off my heartaches during the weekend. When I asked who was tagging along, he said they were his long-time friends. At first, I was a bit hesitant about joining because I’m kind of introverted. I was shy, plus I really wanted to just sulk in my bed and cry over the weekend.

He was persistent then. But eventually, I did come to my senses and went with him last minute, thus meeting these new cool people.

Hooray for new friends!

calaguas island vacation

Photo credits to my friend, Shanti. The reason I was actually part of this island trip. LOL.

It was the night of June 13th when we, along with these new friends, decided to have a night trip at 8 o’clock going to Paracale, Camarines Norte. It was fun. That was actually my very first road trip in my 22 years of existence. Aside from making new friends, I was able to experience a few firsts like learning how to play cards, “traveling” with a real tour guide, trekking, snorkeling, and many more.

We got there at the seaport around 2 AM, which was quite early. We waited for a few more hours to have breakfast, rode a 2-3 hour boat ride going to the island at 7 AM, and settled around 9 AM.

calaguas island travel

Paracale, Camarines Norte Seaport

Well, to be honest, I slept it through the entire boat ride. LOL. But when I got up 30 minutes before we hit the island, I saw amazing rock formations, beautiful, small islands, and huge mountain tops.

calaguas island vacation

This picture’s supposed to be “LIVE,” but oh well. LOL.

Fast forward to the get-go of the vacation, we arrived there at Calaguas Island around 9-10 AM. New friends gathered around to set up their tents, some went on to play some card games, and me?

Well, I just took a good shower. LOL.

calaguas island

Photo credits to Shanti.

It was nearly lunch time and to tell you honestly, the food was amazing!

Here are some of the foods we had… to specify some.

calaguas island

Well, this one’s our Day 3 lunch: Chicken curry, Calamari rings, and Gulay na Santol (Bicolano cuisine).

calaguas island

This is called, Gulay na Santol. One of the most prominent Bicolano cuisine where the Sandor/wild mangosteen/cotton fruit (Sandoricum koetjape) is minced and cooked in coconut cream with pork and chili.

I think this photo was taken during our first-day lunch. Haha. ?

Without further adieu, here are the cool things we did during our stay on the island, even if I’m not a fan of traveling myself:

Day One: Trekking

calaguas island

Believe it or not, I was complaining how exhausted and bummed I was back there with my shorts wet while trekking.

That pose? Stolen.

calaguas island

And so… before we hit the top part of the hill, there’s that cute little waiting shed that looks like a house… or so I think.

calaguas island

And there I was… with the amazing view as my background… never thinking how AMAZING this whole trekking thing was. Like, how wasn’t I fan of traveling and all these stuff?! LOL!

calaguas island

And, of course… my “victory” pose. LOL. Look how wet that short is!

Overall, if you’re a fan of nature, the crystalline waters, and the soothing waves of the sea, then Calaguas Island is for you.

calaguas island

Day Two: Island hopping, Snorkeling

Before we headed to our next activity the next morning (i.e. island hopping), we rode on a boat first at around 9 AM going to this island that’s just as stunning as its view!

calaguas island hopping

And yeah, we took pictures…

calaguas island hopping

The island was just amazing, even I was REALLY FASCINATED with what mother nature has offered!

calaguas island travel

Afterward, we just went snorkeling. Funny story, we were told not to do this anymore due to high tide. Our tour guide thought it would be risky, but meh, new friends were daredevils! Haha.

calaguas island snorkelling

Now, I hate and refuse to admit this, but I was the only one there who didn’t know how to swim! ? Unlike my new friends who were actually good at it, there’s me, always appreciating the seashore and the white sand beach.

calaguas island white sand

Meanwhile, I took the risk either and joined them in this snorkeling activity that made me dive deep into the waters at about 50,000 feet (exaggeratingly)! I deserve a slow clap. LOL! Haha

calaguas island snorkeling

Since this island is one of the few gems of the Bicol region, here’s how you can get here even if you’re traveling alone, far away from Bicol, Philippines, or just want some plain directions:

From Manila…

  1. Book a bus (from Cubao or Pasay) or plane ticket going to Naga City. Travel time via bus is 8 hours, the plane is more or less 30-45 minutes. The terminal going to Daet is just at the back of SM City Naga mall.
  2. From Naga City, ride a UV Express Van going to Daet or take a bus. Since we were on a road trip back then, I suggest you just take a bus ride because there are Superlines which travels to Paracale directly. But if your bus or van is bound for Daet first, you can take a van going to Paracale after. That’s a 1-2 hour drive.
  3. If you availed of a travel package, a chartered boat going to Calaguas is readied for you. However, if not, you may hire one. That’s another 2-3 hours boat ride.

From Legazpi…

  1. Book a UV Express Van going to Naga City at the Legazpi Bus and Van Grand Terminal across SM City Legazpi mall. Travel time is 2-3 hours. The fare is Php 210.
  2. Next, proceed to the terminal going to Daet that’s just at the back of SM City Naga mall.
  3. Take step 2 from the Manila guide.
  4. Take step 3 from the Manila guide.

If you’re outside of the Philippines, wanting to experience this whole island adventure thing, just book a flight going to Manila and apply the same steps. Personally, I think it’s easier.

I could recommend you the travel agency they booked from, but I wasn’t there during the negotiation so I’ll just update this article if I ever get that.

Heads up, by the way!

There are going to be LOTS of “photo-bombers” out there called “boats” and “people” …to name drop a few. LOL. Also, there are no cellular signal and electricity on the island so you better charge your phones full-batt and text people that matter you won’t be able to keep in touch for how many days you’re staying.

There’s a generator that costs Php 50 ($1) for mobile charging though, but that’s only available during the night.

Here are some of my panoramic shots taken during our 3-days-2-nights vacation:

At the seashore…

calaguas island seashore

Trekking in the hills…

calaguas island hills

Sunset from the hilltop…

calaguas island sunset

Dusk at the beach…

calaguas island dusk

Day 2 Island Hopping…

calaguas island hopping

…although I kinda ruined the panorama shot here. LOL.

In conclusion, the scenery was amazing. Although the place was a bit crowded during the sunset, you can see folks of different skins and cultures scattered around, having the time of their lives too!

The whole trip all-in-all was worth Php 3,500 (that’s $70 in USD). Supposedly, it should be Php 2,500 ($50) including the gas contribution and fee, but we extended one more night hence the aforementioned.

Personally, my stay on the island was amazing except I really got sunburned. Thanks to my not-so stubborn mindset about sunblock lotions, I didn’t put on one because I’ve always thought to put on will just cease the burning sensation, and still get tanned nonetheless (which I dislike).

When I got burned, everything was awful! But I was able to get my skin color back in just two weeks using these new products I tried and tested. You can also read how I was able to do that in this article.

Overall, everything about this trip was amazing. For someone who has never traveled this far for an adventure and loved it, I think this kind of experience was worth it.

If only I hadn’t gone there with a heavy heart, I could have really enjoyed the trip to the fullest. Perhaps, next time with my main squad? Or maybe, with my new favorite person and/or family?

I’d really die for that!