Monday, September 30, 2013

Resort Review: Bahay Bakasyunan sa Camiguin

Location and Reception 

This resort is just a 10-minute drive from the airport (see map for relative location). The grounds of the resort are quite lovely, with a well-tended lawn in between the nipa hut-rooms, and swaying coconut trees dotting the grounds.

The reception area features an interesting ceiling installation made entirely of halved coconut husks, prompting our guide to exclaim, "Ilang bahay kaya ang hindi nabunutan dahil dyan?"

There's also a proud photo display of celebrities who have stayed in Bahay Bakasyunan. They also included the celebrity's room number, so you can say you can stay something like,"I stayed in Christian Bautista's room!" 


Bamboo bungalows  line one side of the resort while newer A-frame cottages, line the other.  

The "Cluster A" rooms are the ones with the best ocean views from the mini porch, and they are nearest to the pool area. I stayed in Room 120,  which was right beside the mini Day Spa.

It's a deluxe room,  with walls made of rattan, and it had a single bed and a double bed, with the usual hotel amenities -- cable TV, telephone, and hot /cold shower.

There are several wifi networks scattered throughout the resort, and their different passwords are thoughtfully provided on the room's desk.

The nearest network to my room was the one at the Mini-Day Spa, and though it worked fine, it was a tad slow.

If you're a light sleeper, there's a good chance you'll get roused from sleep by the unholy crowing of the roosters in the wee hours of the morning. While I usually don't appreciate waking abruptly at 3 am, this time I actually welcomed this, as we had a 5am call time for our White Island adventure.


We ate here twice. First was for lunch, which was served al fresco on a long table facing the ocean. They served surol (native chicken in coconut milk, with oregano, and chili),  squid, fish, shrimp and vegetables. 

We ate the buffet breakfast one morning -- pretty basic fare -- eggs, longganisa, fried fish, rice and fruits for dessert. I didn't like that their orange juice is powdered, but I did love their sikwate (hot chocolate).


There's a cute mini Day Spa located in a hut, and there are basic  gym equipment also inside a hut. A pool table is also available at the game room.


The hotel can fix up a tour for you, which include Katibawasan Falls, the hot and cold springs, and other top Camiguin sights. 

They can also facilitate an island hopping tour which includes White Island and Mantigue. But if you would rather go at it on your own, you motorbikes and bicycles for hire are available too.

To check the room rates and make other inquiries, here are the contact details of Bahay Bakasyunan:

Bahay Bakasyunan sa Camiguin
Balbagon, Mambajao, Camiguin
Tel. No.: +63 (88) 387-0131
Mobile: +63 (917) 721-2798

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Camiguin: What You Need to Know

Camiguin is a pear-shaped island lying on the Bohol sea, some 54 km southeast of Bohol. Presently, it is 248 square kilometers, only slightly bigger than the smallest province in the country which is Batanes (219 square kilometers). Truth be told, Camiguin used to be much smaller until Mt. Bulkang Daan (Old Volcano) erupted in 1948, spitting out land and lava that eventually cooled to become an extension of the island.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Travel Jump Shots

You know Youtube sensation Matt? The guy who would do his signature dance move in various exotic locations? Well if you haven't you can click this link to see this very exhilarating, inspiring video.

Many others have started their own travel traditions as well. Like that guy who takes a photo of the back of his girlfriend as she leads him all over the world. Or Philippine  model/host Bianca Gonzalez who does a tumbling shot in the various world cities she has gone to.

Jotham and I, we have our jump shots. We really didn't plan on creating this jump shot tradition. And the photos we've started with, in Korea and China are very amateurish. But we're getting better (just look at the one in Tagaytay!) And it's something to look forward to, in the trips that are to come. 

I'm posting them here today, because  I for one, could use a little inspiration to work harder, so I can travel more, on this dreary Wednesday morning.

What about you? What travel tradition will you start?  

Just after climbing the Great Wall of China at Jinshanling. 

Jotham's amazing jump shot at the Great Wall in Jinshanling.

Autumn in Seoul, especially in the grounds of the Gyeonbokgung Palace, is quite lovely.  

Sunset jump shot at Taejeongdae Park in Busan, Korea, with Jujeonja (or "Kettle" Island) in the background. 

Cold, cold day in Haeundae Beach in Busan. 

On the 14th try, we finally got this somewhat blurry shot in front of the Bird's Nest, in the Olympic Park in Beijing. 

Right across the Bird's Nest in Beijing -- the glowing Water Cube. It doesn't look it, but our faces are frozen solid at this point. 

In Haedong Yonggunsa Water Temple in Busan, overlooking the rocky ocean.

And this last one was taken in a private backyard in Tagaytay, with the best view of Taal volcano that I've ever seen. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

White Island, Camiguin

White Island, Camiguin

White Island in Camiguin was one of our stops at the media tour organized by the Philippine Tourism Board. For four days, I toured Camiguin, Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro along with other writers, bloggers and photographers. It was a wonderful way to spend the week. 

Will be posting stories and photos soon, about our Northern Mindanao adventure. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Manila Sundance Bazaar

It's September, and for all Pinoys, you know what this means. Christmas season is here! And as we plunge head-on into the "ber"-months, it would be just prudent to get a bit of Christmas shopping done, wouldn't it? Unless you take some masochistic pleasure in elbowing your way through the crowds and braving the Manila traffic for some last minute rounds of the malls, shopping in September is the way to go. 

So swing by the Manila Sundance Bazaar at the Metrotent in Ortigas from September 6 to September 8, at 11 am to 10 pm for your September shopping here in Manila. See their featured bloggers like Break My Style's Laureen Uy, and the booths of Nudo Swimwear, and Tutum shop, among others. See you there!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Best Korean Food: Part 2

 The second part of my post on Korea's best food. The first part is here.

1. Bibimdangmyeon (spicy buckwheat noodles)

Enjoying bibimdangnyeon in an alley in Busan

Monday, September 2, 2013

Best Korean Food: Part 1

I fell in love with Korean food when my Korean friend Lucy, first brought me to an authentic Korean restaurant here in Manila. We sat crosslegged on the restaurant's floor, as a veritable feast was laid out in front of us --  kimchi, potatoes, Korean pancake, toppoki, tossed spinach, beef brisket, fish cakes. 

You could say my fondness for Korean food is quite reactionary. Raised in the greasy, fried, heavily-smothered-in-thick-sauce of Filipino cuisine, Korea's relatively healthier fare was a welcome change. 

And so one thing I was greatly looking forward to for our Korea trip last  year was the food. And the country did not disappoint. From street stalls, to 24-hour eateries, to market restaurants, Korean food is just so amazing -- (mostly) healthy, delicious, flavorful, and just so inventive. 

I want to write about them all, but decided to concentrate on a dozen or so. Here's the first five: 

1. Hoddeok (sugar nut pancake)

Let's Eat Alley's hoddeok or sugar nut pancake which is so warm and toasty is the perfect autumn snack.

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