All The Way To Tagaytay

Another long overdue article here. πŸ˜€

I did mention in my previous articles I have quite a pile of article drafts for editing and publishing and I am in a rush to publish them all (hopefully) while I am in a period of waiting and time is still on my side.

The summer escapade for me and hubby along with his family for this year was in the cool breeze of Tagaytay. We just had to take advantage of the summer season before the rainy days start to fill the last quarters of our calendar. It was a short holiday break thus the rest of the family members were all free to have this short family time and get-together.

It always is a privilege to spend some quality time with the family despite the busy schedules and varying demands of priorities in life – something that is far too precious to waste. My parents are in Bicol which is a 17-hour land travel to get directly to our hometown. Now that is something that I don’t have the privilege to do. Going to my hometown meant allotting 1 day for travel time then another day to rest which, after doing the Math, requires at least a week if you want to make the most and the best out of your family get-together. Simply put, visiting my family in Bicol is synonymous to careful planning ahead of the scheduled visit.

But well, this is the part where I need to thank God for technology. Skype made the term β€œhomesickness” just a term. Again, family time meant quality time and this requires we set aside time for this despite the busy schedules. If most of us have the same free time, my family and I are able to Skype with one another once a week. And Skype-ing in the family means this – the minimum talking time is 4 hours starting at around 9 or 10pm.

Wuhaaat?!?! πŸ˜€

Yep, you can already hear the rooster crowing and we’re still on our β€œhigh” conversing with one another. Well, that’s for us, women in the family. For the men, 2 hours is the maximum and they bid their β€œgoodbyes” in the middle of our conversation. The ever popular difference of men and women, eh? πŸ˜€

Anyway, going back to the Tagaytay escapade, we tried the Pamana restaurant with its awesome overlooking view of the Taal Lake and the food was superb too. I only captured shots of some dishes though, the long trip sure made us all pretty hungry.

I also loved the interiors which exude the ambiance of an old Hispanic house. Indeed, the concept of the restaurant matched with its name β€œPamana,” a Tagalog term for heirloom/inheritance.

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Captivating, isn’t it?

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We also scouted for anything new in the area which includes this food park called β€œStrEat.” We didn’t get to try the food stalls though as it’s flocked with a huge crowd when we got there. The next day, there was no plan where we will have our summer escapade. We’ve been traveling without a destination actually and we came to that point of giving up and just head back home because all the resorts we’ve inquired were fully booked. Well, it’s summer so we kind of expected that.

When we were on the verge of turning back, voila, God gave us one resort that’s not so jam packed with visitors but the place was nice (and budget friendly) enough to bond with the family. Hotel Monticello was indeed “heaven sent”  hubby and I actually thought it’d be perfect for a wedding reception too. We couldn’t spend overnight though as we’re only geared up for a day tour. When we arrived, we had all the pool to ourselves which means this – LOTS OF SELFIES! Hahaha πŸ˜€

Nope, don’t get me wrong, I seldom take selfies. You can actually check my Instagram account for that. I just choose moments best for selfies and those moments that are not. And I only take selfies when nobody’s around, not even my hubby. πŸ˜€

Hotel Monticello

Selfie moment. My ever seldom selfie moment. 

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But really, when it comes to moments, there are just those that a camera snap isn’t enough to capture them all. I guess that’s the reason why God created our memories, an infinite storage at the back of our heads where every single memory is captured and safely stored.

So this one article is up in the memory of my head, but in case I have amnesia days or years from now, I have WordPress to retell and rewind them for me. Ah yes, the joys and perks of blogging – your online journal indeed. πŸ™‚

P.S.

WordPress, please don’t ever shut down. Like, EVER. πŸ˜€

Oh and check out this amusing video of my hubby and sister-in-law. Reminds me of my brother and I – siblings moment, they are. πŸ˜‰

 

 

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Summer Splashin’ at Anawangin Cove

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The hilltop view of the ocean.

The choice of our summer destination came just out of the blue. It was a random decision to have our summer getaway at Anawangin when I came across one advertisement over Facebook about tour packages.

We chose Anawangin Cove in Zambales for two reasons: 1) it is near the metro we wouldn’t be traveling for long hours and 2) the camping in the pine trees idea seemed interesting and exciting enough. So off we went planning and organizing the getaway.

Came the day of our summer escapade and we were absolutely thrilled the moment we set foot on the first island during our island hopping. It was Capones Island. A secluded, tiny island host to an old lighthouse. The island was littered with white, big stones smooth enough for you to walk on barefoot but I don’t recommend it at all as the stones tend to get really hot during the day until mid afternoon.

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Beach of Capones Island

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Me and Ja at the old lighthouse of Capones Island.

After Capones Island, we went to Camara Island, an island smaller than Capones with beautiful rock and cliff formations. After taking photos for a couple of minutes, we then headed to our final destination, the Anawangin Cove.

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Rock and cliff formations.

When we got to the venue, the first thing that my gaze searched for were the pine trees. You wouldn’t see them right off the beach but only after crossing the lake that’s between the beach and the camping site. Our package included the camping tents that we will use, our meals for our overnight stay, 5 gallons of water, entrance fee, boat fee as well as fees for our tour guide.

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The Anawangin Cove

We have no problems with the dressing and comfort rooms as there are about 14 of them and there’s enough water supply for all the campers. The toilets are clean although all of them do not have proper locks so I suggest you have a companion waiting for you outside when dressing up or using the comfort room.

The camping site is clean and all the staff are very generous in helping us with our needs and in providing assistance. Better prepare yourself with a good flashlight as there is no electricity and inform your family beforehand that there is no signal in the island for all communication networks.

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The camping site.

The seaside is very clean and the pristine, shallow waters a few meters from the shore made it suitable for non-swimmers like me to enjoy swimming big time.

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Our boat.

But what I wasn’t prepared at all was the trekking to the hilltop overlooking the Anawangin Cove. We were all not prepared for the treacherous hike with its very steep slope, rocky and slippery trail which resulted to shaking knees and extreme exhaustion. But tolerable enough to make your way up and down the hill. So, don’t worry. πŸ™‚

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The hill.

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Onset of the trekking.

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Halfway the climb, almost there.

But cheer up for all your efforts are just completely worth it when you reach the top and be amazed by the beautiful, picturesque scenery that’s in front of your eyes. Ahh the beauty of wonders that forever remain a wonder. πŸ˜€

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Finally made it to the top!

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The Anawangin Cove

After the trekking, my friends and I decided to take a dip to cool down our exhausted and tired bodies and then prepared for our departure from the island.

It was a wonderful experience that made me say I am VERY MUCH FULFILLED indeed. I am definitely looking forward to going back and appreciate the beauty of the Anawangin Cove once again. It’s beauty is endless, it is just plain captivating. Captivating enough to make your memories of it worthy reminiscing. Praise be to God for these awesome wonders! πŸ™‚