Weekly Photo Challenge: A Day in My Life

What does your day look like? Here’s your chance to share with everyone a day in your life! Here are some suggestions to get started: snap a picture once an hour and share what your day was like, walk us through a typical day for you, or even just what happened today!”

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On March 28 to March 31, 2013 we went to Caramoan, Camarines Sur for our summer getaway.  It might not be a typical day for me, but it’s typical that summers here in the Philippines are best spent on the beach.  I’m going to break my Caramoan posts into two so I can post about the details of getting there and what we did and another post for the different islands, because I want to do justice to the beautiful islands.  While planning for this trip, I searched a lot about other people’s experiences in how they got to Caramoan and what they did.  So to help those who are planning a trip in the future, here’s a rundown of each day of our trip. 🙂  It’s a long post but if you plan to go to Caramoan, you really need to know what your going to encounter.  Or you can just skip the blah blah blahs and enjoy the pictures. 🙂

March 28, 2013 (Thursday)

  • Me, my hubby, my sister, my sister’s boyfriend, 4 of my cousins, one of my cousin’s friend, my best friend, her husband and her 2-year-old daughter all met up in Jollibee Molito (somewhere in Alabang) where the van would pick us up.  You can take the plane or the bus as well, but we couldn’t all afford plane tickets and you couldn’t tell a bus to have a stopover if it’s not part of their schedule…
  • We left at 5:30 pm from Alabang and arrived at Sabang Port at 3:30 am… (that’s 9 hours of travel with a 1 hour dinner break at around 8 pm)…  The van was brand new so it was comfortable during the  9 hours.  I couldn’t sleep though, because being the oldest in the group, I felt responsible in making sure our driver wasn’t sleepy while he was driving.
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Mommy prepared our packed dinner. Chicken adobo with hard boiled egg. And Hotdogs for snacks. 🙂

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Yummy adobo! Favorite food for outings…

March 29, 2013 (Friday)

  • At Sabang Port (since it was high tide the boat was on the other side of the island so it was easier to get on) the first boat leaves at 5:30 am.  So I wrote our names in the manifesto and we waited to board at around 4 am.  We were told that if we had come at a later time, the lines would be longer and the place would be crowded.
  • We sat somewhere in the middle and I have to be honest, that’s probably the most uncomfortable 2 hours of my life…  Our bags were under our seats and so I couldn’t stretch my leg…  The seats were made of wood with no padding. So I wasn’t surprised that after 30 minutes my a$$ started hurting…
  • After 2 hours we finally reached Guijalo Port.  The boat wasn’t going really fast, so the ride felt pretty smooth. (Not sure how it’ll be during the rainy season though…)
  • We booked rooms at Residencia de Salvacion (RDS) and they had our rides ready when we got to Guijalo Port.  It took us around 20 minutes to get to our board and lodging.  We had our breakfast, settled in our rooms, showered and changed outfits.  Let me take this time to tell you about the place where we stayed.  The best way to describe it is that it’s like a home away from home.  It’s a home that has been fixed up to accommodate boarders.  It’s clean.  They have the most delicious food.  The staff is friendly.  And the package deal left us with no headache at all when we got to the island.  They had transportation ready for us and the food was taken care of during our island hopping.  Here’s their Trip Advisor reviews to prove that this is a great place to stay.
  • At 10:00 am we were ready to island hop! We rode the tricycle to where the tour boats where.
  • Kuya Dex, a staff from RDS, helped us get on the boat they rented for us.  It took us about 30 minutes to get to our first island, which is Lahos/Lajos Island.  We ate our lunch there after exploring the beach a bit (RDS packed lunch for us.  It was delicious and a lot, so we shared it with Kuya Dex and the people on the boat.)
  • We stayed on the island until around 2pm before we left to go to our second island, which is Matukad Island.  It was just across Lahos Island.  Matukad island was closed last year because the 26th season of Survivor was being taped.  We were glad it was now open to public. We didn’t spend too much time here because there were a lot of people, so we headed to our 3rd and last island, which is Minalahos Island.
  • Minalahos is just across from Gota Island, which I heard had an entrance fee of P300 to use their beach and which was also closed last year because the Survivor staff were all staying there.  We had our snack on that island, packed by RDS.  We left at around 5 pm and headed home.  There were no lights in the islands so we didn’t want to get caught there in the dark.
  • We got back at RDS at around 6pm.  We took our showers and got ready for dinner. Dinner was DIVINE!  We had laing (which is a Bicol delicacy), lumpia and gigantic shrimps!
  • We watched a scary movie in our room where the boys joined us.  I kept dozing off in between and I woke up just in time to see the scary parts and join the screaming and laughing.
  • I was told there was a short power outage sometime after midnight, but I think even if the world ended, I wouldn’t have been able to wake up from my sleep… hehe

March 30, 2013 (Saturday)

  • We woke up at 6am so we could have more time on the islands.  This trip took us about 1 and a half hours in the boat this time.  Our first island was Cotivas.  It had a cottage which was paid for by RDS (P50) and we ate our lunch there then walked to the sand bar, played with the starfishes, and we spent some time there before leaving.
  • Our boat was caught on low tide, so the boys got off and helped push it to deeper waters.  My best friend’s husband, unfortunately stepped on a sea urchin… (No, we did not pee on it… I think he used calamansi on the injury.)
  • After getting into deeper water, we headed to our second island, which is Manlawi Island. It also had a long stretch of sand bar, but we opted to rent a floating cottage (P200) because we wanted shelter from the hot sun.  We also had our snack there.
  • Our last island was an hour away, so we knew we were near the port now.  Our third island was Sabitang Laya Island.  The water was now waist-high so it was a break from the previous islands with ankle-deep waters.  It was getting dark and diving in the water felt like the perfect ending to our island hopping.
  • We headed home by 6pm and stopped over to grab some souvenirs.  I got magnets, key chains and Survivor t-shirts.
  • After dinner (which we gobbled up again…) we showered and got ready to watch a movie.  I ended up talking to the owner of RDS with my hubby instead until we felt too sleepy to continue.
  • The water pressure was really low to non-existent,  they said that usually at night it’s like that but in the morning the water comes back.

March 31, 2013 (Sunday)

  • Woke up at 5am to get ready.  We ate our breakfast and left around 7:30 am.  😦
  • It took around 10-15 minutes to get to Guijalo port, where we paid for the terminal fee and they gave us our number.  There were a lot of people already there waiting.  The first trip is 7 am.  The rest of the trips depend on whether the boat gets there on time or if they have enough people to fill it.  We were part of the group that was last to be seated so some of us ended up sitting in front of the “engine room”.  My sister said she sat on what seemed to be just the size of wood used for hand railing  instead of a normal wooden benches…
  • When we got to Sabang Port we were surprised that it wasn’t the same place where we boarded last time.  They told us that it was low-tide on the other side so they couldn’t drop us off there.  So we had to be dropped off on the beach side.
  • We had to ride a floating bridge that took people from the boat to the shore.  There were lots of guys on the beach telling us they could carry our bags safely to the shore, we didn’t let them though because we didn’t want to pay.
  • Finally, we got in our van and headed for home.  Since it was Sunday, which is the day vacationers head home to the city, we got stuck in traffic in Quezon and San Pablo.  So from 10:30 am at Sabang, we reached Alabang at around 10:30 pm as well, the 9 hour travel time became 12 hours!
  • But we thank God we got home safely.  We also thank God for such a wonderful experience.  Seeing the beauty of His creation never ceases to amaze me. 🙂

Lessons Learned

  • Next time take the plane…  Or plan the trip during the off-peak (but still sunny) seasons.
  • Take more pictures and videos and get a good underwater camera or casing.
  • Visit more islands.
  • Bring a small pillow for you to sit on during the boat ride.
  • Use backpacks instead of shoulder bags.
  • Buy a good pair of aqua shoes.
  • Use ziplock bags for your gadgets just in case your bags fall in the water.

So now it’s back to reality……. KJSO

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