Before we bid goodbye to Boracay

The 4 days we spent at Boracay has to be the most awesome thing ever happened to us this year. Flashing back, I wish I could stay a bit longer to enjoy the sea and the sun. This will be the final episode of my Boracay post. I will still write a summary of the top place to visit and exciting activities to do at Boracay later on.

Many may know that other than the beautiful beach and sea, Boracay is also famous for it’s sandcastles. It was made by local children who earn a living by helping tourist to take photos of their masterpiece. I will never be able to make this sandcastle all by myself. Armed with only a spoon, the children can make the sandcastles in just 5-10 minutes. The sandcastle is utterly awesome right?

As it was our last day at Boracay, we spent some times shopping around. Advised by some local friends, we went to the D’Talipapa market which is a only stone throw away from Boracay garden. This market offer goods at a much cheaper price compare to those shop lots at station 2.

We got ourselves some t-shirts as souveneirs as well as some local crafted bottles for our display cabinet at home. Darling made me promised to buy something for this cabinet wherever we go. She hope to have the whole cabinet filled up as the years go by.

Other than clothing and souvenir, the market also famous for its fresh seafoods. Lobsters are in abundance here…

In our last evening, we strolled over to station 1. Station 1 is famous for a cleaner and quieter beach. Those who are looking for a quiet place to relax and away from the hustling station 2 will opt for here. One of the famous landmark at station 1 is Willy’s rock. According to locals, Willy’s rock is the most photographed place in the island.

On top of the rock is the statue of virgin Mary. During low tides, it is accessible by wading through the shallow waters. I found that it is a snorkeling spot too. A lot of fishes are swimming around the rocks attracting children and fascinated adults.

While waiting for the sun set at station 1, we hop over to Jonah’s for a fruit shake to quench our thirst. For the uninitiated, Jonah’s has the best fruit shakes in Boracay. The first sip down my throat proves that. We tried a lot of fruit shakes around Boracay but no one seems to beat Jonah’s. Their shake is rich with flavors and creamy. Our thirst is quenched almost instantly.

It was a cloudy evening and the sun is hiding behind the clouds all the time. We are disappointed as we could not see the last sun set at Boracay. But as the twilight draws nearer, we felt our surrounding turned into a beautiful blue color.

As we admire the beautiful blue sunset, I suddenly feel like drawing on the sand. The first time I drew on sand for darling is around 4 years back in Redang island, just before our ROM. Time flies…Here is what I have drawn.

Up until today, I still miss Boracay. The island brought many fond memories shared between me and darling as well as a precious little gift.

Posted in Family, Our love and joy, Travel, Wifey | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Of Paraw sailing, Puka beach and Boracay garden

Paraw means sail boat in Tagalog, but it has double outrigger to accommodate passengers at both side. If you want to find a romantic way to view the sunset at Boracay with your loved ones, paraw sailing is your best bet. Watching the sun setting in the middle of the sea is just as amazing as watching the golden sun setting from the sky.

No matter how good is your swimming skills, life jackets is a must in a paraw. There are 2 person operating the paraw – a captain and a balancer. Captain will be sitting at head of the boat maneuvering the boat through the waves. The balancer will be on the outrigger, trying to balance the entire boat. We, the passengers will be sitting (or lying) on the outriggers, to enjoy the sea and the sunset.

It was a perfect evening with calm waves. As the paraw break its way through the waves, the warm sea water splashed onto our bare feet, bringing us back to the embrace of mother nature. We did not strike any conversation. All I heard was the sound of the waves and chirping of some faraway birds. Darling moves closer to me and lie down on my chest as we enjoy the warm ocean breeze sweeping towards our tired body. I will never forget this moment.

We went to Puka beach the next morning. Puka beach is an entirely different beach from the white beach. While white beach has the finest white sand on the island, Puka beach is a shell beach. Be careful if you wish to go barefoot here!

One thing I love about this beach is its seclusion. Puka beach is around 15-20 minutes away from the white beach by a tricycle, and it is not as crowded as white beach. At some parts of the beach, I feel like the entire beach belongs to both of us. Behind us is the famous snorkeling spot – crocodile island. Does it look like a crocodile to you?

My beautiful darling enjoying the clear blue water of Puka beach.

If you want some quiet time together, Puka beach is a place to be. We walked along the beach for some time, while enjoying the morning ocean breeze, but eventually we has to get back to our hotel as the sun is getting too hot.

We checked out from Red Coconut after we come back from Puka Beach, and checked in at Boracay Garden resort. Darling loves this resort to bits that she told me that she want to spend all her time in the resort and do not want to go back to the beach anymore. We did spend most of our time swimming and sun bathing on the resort.

And darling got to show off her beautiful bikini (swim wear) bought along the white beach. Isn’t she beautiful? If you loves swim wear and beautiful dresses, Zalora Malaysia’s online shopping site offers a huge variety of swim wears and dresses too.

This is such a wonderful resort that we spent most of the time inside relaxing. Life is certainly full of bliss at Boracay.

Posted in Family, Our love and joy, Personal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Helmet diving and Parasailing at Boracay

With turquoise blue water and fine white sand, Boracay is a perfect getaway for honeymoon couple like us. From pure relaxing and sun bathing to rigorous water activities, the island has everything that every traveler are looking for. While a lot of foreigners were enjoying their morning sun bath at the beach, we walked around the beach barefoot to get a feel of the soft white sand. As we strolled down the beach for shopping, a lot of vendors were approaching us, trying to coax us to try out the activities they offer. We asked about the price and tried to exercise our haggling skill. Normally, they would give a higher discount to Filipinos. We tried to get a discount by ordering a few types of activities from the same vendor, just like bulk buy.

The first water activity that we tried is helmet diving. Some people called it underwater walking because it feels like walking under the sea with fishes swimming around you. Remember Ariel the mermaid? But you will walk instead of swim.  Whatever you called it, this is definitely an activity worth trying here. Helmet diving is done on floating platform at the opposite side of the white beach aka Bulabog beach. It is just around 10 minutes or less walking distance from station 2.

According to our local guide, these helmet weights around 20 kgs, but I just could not feel its weight underwater. Can you believe it?

And here are the oxygen tanks to supply the air through the helmet.

We were briefed on air equalization before our dive. It is the same concept as when you are travelling in an air plane. However, the atmosphere inside the plane were adjusted to suit our ears during landing and take off, thus a very minimum impact. Equalization is very important because the pressure under the sea is much more severe than what we are experiencing on the plane. Here I am, getting ready to go under the sea…

We were given a piece of bread each to feed the fish. But before the camera man able to take our photos, half of the bread is gone. Damsel fishes appeared out of no where and came in big group to bite the bread off our hand like crazy. It was a feeding frenzy.

This activity  is called reef walking, but it is near impossible to walk around. We’ve actually drifting around, rather than walking. And, we need to hold that helmet with one of hour hand, else it will be drifted away too. Darling and I got separated during the feeding frenzy, and oh my….it is so hard to get back to her. I had to jump on the reef like an astronaut to get back to her.

At a cost of P450, this is an activity you would not like to miss out at Boracay. There are helmet diving at Malaysia too, but the price is very much higher than this. And the best part is, the cost includes a CD that showcase the photos and videos taken under the water. That is certainly a good souvenir to bring back from this activity.

We had our lunch break and took a rest at the beach before proceed to parasailing. There is a pair of  Korean couples with us on the same boat. Out of courtesy, they offered us to take our ride first. But we politely declined, not because we do not want to go first, but we started to feel worried. Are we going to fall down?

We give it a go when it was our turn. We had paid P150o/head for this, so by all means, we have to get on that thing. And here we are….going UP!!!

And higher…

Awww…the island looks so small up here.

In a nutshell, this is one of the most awesome activity we ever did at Boracay. The scenery was breathtaking and the experience is both exhilarating and a bit adrenaline pumping. You feel like the entire sea and beach belongs to you as you sail along across the sea. It was romantic too, when the wind is blowing gently on us, and my wife resting her head on my shoulder as we watches the evening sun slowly make its way into the horizon.

I love Boracay so much for creating so much beautiful moments for both of us!

Till then..More of Boracay in the next post!

Posted in Family, Holidays, Personal, Travel, Wifey | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Our journey to the island of wonders – Boracay Part 2

By the time we reached Boracay, it was already late at night. We’re both hungry and tired, but we’ve happy to see our room. Ours were a pool side room, and I’ve arranged the hotel to put these lovely towel swans on our bed. This looks more like a honeymoon right? As we’re too tired after the hectic trip, we quickly shower up, took some pictures of the swan towel and went outside to search for any edible foods. We found a typical Philippines food stall just a stone throw away from our hotel. As it was raining, we do not wish to wander around and just settle there. Darling ordered a barbecue pork and I got myself a fried chicken. The barbeque pork was surprisingly good with its tender and juicy meat, while my chicken is only mediocre. Both sets came with potato gravy for that extra flavors. I do not know how long I slept, until I was awaken by the sound of splashing and people laughing outside. I took a look at my watch and could not believe my eyes. It was 9 am in the morning. It has been some time since we ever slept that late especially after we have the little alarm clock (Kenji boy) at home. He often wake up at 7 am and will climb to our bed to wake us up too. We got ourselves ready, and went outside to this inviting pool. I wanted a morning swim to freshen up, but darling insist on breakfast.

By the way, we stayed at Red coconut hotel, a 4 star hotel located right in the middle of station 2. We stayed here for 2 nights before moving out to another resort. In a nutshell, this is a nice hotel with friendly staff. At one of the day, I told the front desk that we accidentally step on our bed without washing our feet, hence causing a lot of sands on bed. I’m asking whether they can help to clean it up and they did it when we are back from our breakfast. I’d suggest station 2 for first timers in Boracay because this location is the center of all activity. A little noisy at night, but I love the place as it is very happening all day long. Those who would like to have a quiet place to be can opt for station 1 or 3. Here we are relaxing at the sun beds provided by the hotel. Lazy bug caught me as soon as I lie down. I wish I could lie down and sleep for a while as the gentle morning breeze is very accommodating and relaxing. As I almost dozed off, I felt a tug on my arm. It was darling. She wanted to walk around before the sun is getting too hot. Well, her request is always my command.

As we walked along the beach, we’ve approached by a lot of vendors asking us to try their water activities. We politely declined because we just had our breakfast and only wanted a brisk walk on the beach. As we walked along the beach, we’ve awed by this stretch of yacht parked along the beach.

I will share more on the yachts as well as the water activities we did in part 3.

Posted in Family, Our love and joy, Travel | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Gift of God

Let’s take a break from the Boracay post. I just came back from Manila after staying there for 5 long weeks. It was a total bliss to come back to my own country, a place where I belongs. I started to dread business trip and I’ve been missing my wife and boy dearly throughout the trip. Although we are connected through all sorts of apps and smart devices everyday, I’m missing their touch, the kisses and the bonding time together.

I took Kenji boy to the park nearby our area last weekend. Kenji boy loves the park as the park houses a very big man made lake, where hundreds of fishes live. They will swim to the surface at a very sight of human, waiting for their share of breads by kind park visitors. We normally will bring a big bag of bread slices, purchased from a bread shop in town, and Kenji will have a fun time throwing all the breads for the fish.

The evening sun was blazing hot that day. Both me and Kenji was perspiring. I’m suggesting to go home as the heat is almost unbearable, but Kenji pull my hand towards his favorite place in the park –  the playground. As we walked towards the park, the rays from the sun hit on us mercilessly from one side. I took the place where the sun hit on us, and tried my best to over-shadow Kenji from being exposed to the heat. I’m trying to follow his pace but the rays from the sun still hit on him every now and then, no matter how hard I tried.

God protects us the same way I’m trying to protect my son. As much as he tried, sometimes hardship fell on us, but this is where we fell down, pick up and stand up again to be more matured and experienced. I used to have a friend who used to ask “Why me?” when he encounter problems. Now I know the answer to his question.

Posted in Family, Kenji, Our love and joy, Parenting | 4 Comments

Our journey to the island of wonders – Boracay Part 1

Those who know me, be it personally or Facebook friends, would know that I’ve been travelling to the Philippines frequently nowadays due to duty calls. That is also part of the reason why I do not blog nor blog hop lately, as time is no longer a luxury I can afford with for the time being. I hope things will settle down soon, and I can hop around the virtual world like I used to be.

Enough of that. I do try to take some time off from my schedule for a honeymoon with my beautiful wife, the woman who has been supporting my back and taking care of my family when I’m not at home. We are fortunate enough that Malaysian Airlines is throwing out promotions in June, and we manage to get a return ticket for her at RM600. That is quite a steal, isn’t it?

Andrew & Ice on the flight to Manila

The travelling time to Boracay island is a gruesome nightmare. The flight from KLIA to Manila is taking us 4 straight hours, and without proper rest, we need to transfer to Terminal 4 NAIA for domestic flight departure. For the interest of those who do not know, Manila Ninoy Aquino airport is divided into 4 terminals. And bear in mind that these terminals are not next to each other. It took us a 30 minutes “sardines can” shuttle ride from Terminal 1 to 4. The shuttle is full of people jostling around. Some even have to sit on the luggage bags. If you plan a trip to Boracay, do consider travel by Air Asia or Cebu Pacific as both economy airlines land at terminal 4, which would surely save you some transfer time.

The next one hour is another restless nightmare. We are literally stranded in Terminal 4 due to flight delay. We could not believe our second honeymoon started with such a long wait. The flight from Manila to Kalibo took us another 50 minutes. Upon landing in Kalibo airport, we’re greeted by our local travel agent who bring us to our van. The journey from Kalibo to Caticlan took us another 2 hours of bumpy and exhausting. Darling almost puke at the end of the ride. Lesson learnt – should take direct flight to Caticlan rather than to Kalibo.

We arrived at Boracay after a 15 minutes boat journey. Thanks goodness, but the rain started to pour in like cats and dogs when we arrived. Armed with only an umbrella, I’m totally drenched from the rain, and by the time we reached the hotel, I looked nothing more than a wet chicken. What a day!

Despite of our weariness, my plan starts kicking in when we checked into our rooms. Yes, I get the hotel to help me to put some decoration in our rooms to make it more romantic for our honeymoon.  And the most awesome thing is, we woke up next morning to this beautiful view of the white beach @ Boracay Island.

I will share more of our awesome trip in the next post. :)

Posted in Family, Holidays, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Kenji’s Birthday @ Aug 8

It has been a while since my last post. I was not procrastinating, but rather busy with my work now. Those who know me, I’ve been staying at Manila to keep an eye on my subcontractor factory here. This is a belated post for Kenji boy, but I’d still like to have this post in my blog as this blog is meant to document down all my boy’s progress.

Well, Kenji boy just celebrated his second birthday 3 weeks ago. Time flies. We thought we just celebrated his first birthday yesterday. Looking back, Kenji has grown a lot – taller and smarter in his own way. He knows how to converse with us, forming eloquence sentences in cantonese with his grandparents. His English vocabulary is improving as well, but still need practices.

We have been asking him what type of cake he would like for his birthday. He will gave a different answer every time we asked. Sometimes he will said car, and sometimes it would be balloon. Most of the time, it will be hovering between this two item. We decided to have “The Cars” themed cake for his birthday. My thoughts is he can still play with the toy cars after we have finish with the cake.

And on top of that, we went to Aeon the day before, and he got himself some balloons for his birthday. You can see how happy he is with his balloon. I bet he like the balloons more than the cake. I do not know why he is so obsessed with balloon. Every time we went to Aeon, he will keep asking for balloon. We had to go around to see which shops are giving away balloon to children, but luckily Aeon have free balloon to giveaway almost every weekend. That cheers my boy a lot!

This is also the first time he blew the candles. He could’t blew the candles when he was one year old, but now the candles are out in one blow. My little boy has really grown up. I wish him to be healthy, and continue to be cheeky, but not naughty. :)

Posted in Family, Parenting | 6 Comments