Wet and Wild at Masasa Beach, Tingloy, Batangas

Two weeks after our Baler trip, one of us invited us to try free diving and snorkeling at Masasa and Anilao, Batangas. All I heard was “beach, beaaaaaach” and I was sold. Even if it seemed that it would be another cloudy and steel-grey looking sky. Nope. It was a stormy steel-grey sky. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Going to the NEW Cubao Bus Station as early as possible was a problem, and good thing there was the 6:30am bus trip from JAM Liner. I still wished I just took a taxi, not a bus. The bus I took unloaded me somewhere too far from the station. Fortunately, it deposited me right in front of Andok’s and I bought roasted chicken and BBQ. I took a taxi and arrived just in time.

The new bus station almost looked like a mini domestic airport lounge with security, clean and air-conditioned lounge, ticketing area, and food court. We were pleasantly surprised with the comfortable bus assigned to us. For around P170, the bus was almost new, clean, decked with multiple television screens and a portable restroom.

Travel was a quick affair, left at 7am and arrived at around 9:30am due to it being in the middle of the Halloween and All Saints & Souls’ Day holiday season. Expect at least 3 hours from the New Cubao Station to the Batangas Grand Bus Terminal.

The Batangas Grand Bus Terminal was a new place with lots of ongoing construction and is a bare – minimum type of bus station. Good thing there was a 7/11 Convenience store and mini sari-sari stores to buy last minute items. You can choose from jeeps or “taxis” or U-Hop for travel. Opted for jeep to the port. It was a 1-hour, 35-peso travel until we arrived soaking wet at Anilao port.

What blew our minds was that the water is clear enough to see the bottom and children frolicked and asked us to throw coins they could collect in a dive. We paid an environment fee (P10?) at the port then around P80 for the boat. We were just glad to be able to sail even though the ultramarine waves were slowly growing stronger.

We arrived at rainy Tingloy Island after nearly an hour and immediately hopped into the tricycle (we were five) and sped along sinuous and winding roads towards the opposite side of the island where Masasa Beach was located.

Our homestay was a simple location. There was an open-air common area with hammocks and videoke, two kitchenettes, three small baths, rooms and two nipa huts. We took one of the nipa huts, which has a sitting room for eating, and two beds. Two slept on the sitting area, two in one of the beds and I took another, being the only woman in the group.

Going to Masasa Beach was a muddy walk on the open rice fields but you would be surprised by the crushed corals and shells-strewn cream colored sand and calm, clear blue water. The pawikans or sea turtles were a bit farther and one had to drop from a boat with snorkeling or diving equipment to see one. We enjoyed swimming for the rest of the late afternoon.

The next day at 7am we enjoyed another dip and then had our “island tour” which is basically nearly going back to the Tingloy town side but through a wondrous boat ride in a sea of alternating colors of ultramarine blue and turquoise and glimpses of corals and marine life below. It would have been a blue visual feast if not for the perennially grey skies and occasional rain.

We spotted several small pockets of sand and we were dropped by a snorkeling place. Many opted to brave the rocks to visit the “hidden caves.” Our boat man then brought us to another snorkeling and diving spot. I was only able to enjoy the underwater spectacle for a short time because my snorkeling gears were defective. Then on the way back to Masasa, the boat moved at a leisurely pace and the guys were on both sides of the boat, hands holding onto ropes and heads underwater to see the fishes, creatures and corals below. I only got shadowy glimpses and a short underwater shot thanks to my phone encased in waterproof case.

I was persuaded to try it when we were at Masasa Beach as it would be just a short distance to the safety of the shore. Even with a gear that threaten to leak water on my face, I still managed to see the large yellow pawikan (sea turtle) grazing lazily at the sea bottom. All worth it 😀

So after that we initially planned to go to Anilao so we can try free diving, but the weather seemed to get worse so we decided to eat and pack up to leave. Unfortunately, the supposedly low pressure area became a tropical depression and the seas were rough. No boat. We were kind of stranded in the island. So what’s the best to spend the idle time but to sing our hearts out with the videoke? Yep, we further incited the wrath of the storm with our singing. Boom! Crash!

While the guys played card games, I retired to my bed and watched Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 but I felt sleep creep in. In several times my consciousness awakened, I heard the storm pounding down with heavy rains and thunders. I woke up too early… like before 3am and tried to get news from the internet. Cellular signal was a problem in those homestay near the beach and communication could be really challenging. Nonetheless, the strong rain stopped into drizzles the moment I was fully awake. We decided to go ahead for Tingloy port. A short uphill walk, then a bumpy tricycle ride, and we arrived at a jam-packed port full of vacationers just wanting to go home, as you know, we were supposed to leave yesterday and be able to report back to work today.

The boat would not start but it did eventually and we heaved a sigh of relief at the weather that slowly returning to a bit better and almost no strong waves to batter the lowly boat.

The travel was smooth-sailing literally and figuratively. We rode the jeep back to Batangas City, then the bus. We arrived in Cubao and parted ways under stormy steel grey skies, the same skies when we left.


From Redditors: Haler Baler!

If we tell people of decades ago that it is now a norm for one to post an invite for a trip, interested people would communicate by, let’s say, written letter or notes, and meet random strangers to join in said trip when it’s time for departure, I think it will blow their minds. Questions of safety, trust, and even money are at stake! However, this is the digital age, and that guts and a few finger strokes can be a start of a something wondrous.

So it happened that a new member threw the stone of invitation in this internet pool I would call Reddit and the ripples reached several people who seemed interested, most of them first timers to the world of surfing and I guess, traveling with unrelated people in general.

An aspiring surfing hobbyist decided to go back to dear Aurora’s watery embraces and tow a few people who were inclined to go and posted details in r/Philippines’s Random Discussion Thread. I was one of those who got interested. My reasons? First, I am getting old and still have not experienced out of towns with friends, let alone strangers. Second, it is part of my training for improving socialization skills and perhaps meeting new people and friends. Anyway, some of us met up beforehand to pay up, discuss the logistics and had some bonding over ramen and card games.

Lowdown on Logistics

So, the selling point of this weekend trip is its value for money. One Redditor would have booked us a house with pool via AirBNB but some people backed out, so we booked bunk beds at The Circle Hotel for P500 per each confirmed person. We added some more when others contacted us. The trip master rented a van for 11 people for P11,000 all-in plus P500 for additional trips near Baler. The rest of the expenses were variable factors and one may go cheap or go all out.

Early Morning Trip

We met up at one Redditor’s home Friday evening and waited for the van to pick us up by 2am. Van was a Toyota GL Grandia that can comfortably fit 11 passengers and driver. Early morning means faster travel and we breezed through NLEX, SCTEX and the winding highway along the mountains within 4.5 hours. We arrived at the hostel before 7pm and since we were too early for check in (9am), we decided to eat silog meals nearby. P60-75 per meal and P10 for coffee sachet.

Center of The Circle (Hostel)

9 am check in and we were given one pillow, blanket, bed sheet and pillow case each. Towels can be rented for a fee. We were lumped in together at one-coed room with 5 bunk beds = 10 persons. Two would just share a bed. Small lockers were in the room for valuables but we had to go to the town proper to purchase pad locks at P40 each.

The nipa-hut hostel was a no-frills area but it would be good for solo travelers. Cement grey walls were splashed with graffiti and inspirational quotes and drawings. Top-naked locals and visitor lounged around before going out for surfing.

• Lots of electric and ceiling fans

• Three shower cubicles with hot water per gender

• Three toilet cubicles with tissue and bidet (water spray)

• Area to practice balancing at the surfing board

• Open kitchen with microwave, toaster, refrigerator, water dispenser, utensils, dinnerware etc.

• Common Areas for socialization

• Next-day breakfast of pan de sal, bananas and peanut butter

Surf’s up at Sabang Beach

One hour surfing lesson and board rental is at P350 and can be coordinated directly at the hostel and to be paid upon check out. We got transported by van to that side of Sabang Beach with weaker waves and surf boards were brought in by tricycles.

Sky was a dull light grey and so were the waves.

A female Redditor and I shared one board and instructor for a 30-minute lesson. Man, I think we only lasted 15 or 20 minutes each. I did get a rare chance to be able to stand on the board on water and ride it for let’s say nearly 1 minute. A guy kept trying to sell us pearl earrings for P100 per pair. Not bad for the price, but it was cheaper by the garland (of pearls) in Palawan. Since we do not want to wet the van with our wet bums, we opted to ride tricycles back to the hostel for P17 per trip (three-four persons).

Downtime at the Nipa Hut

The best part of the hostel was the airy and spacious common area above the skateboard / surfing board practice area. We actually slept there later that night.

For the meantime, we ordered food from the hostel. For example, my Pork Salpicao with 1 cup of rice is at P80 pesos. Pasta was at P100 plus. Some tried the Cala-mint (P50-60, cannot remember the price) and it was a refreshing mix of cold calamansi juice and mint served in mason jars. We had our phones charged and claimed our bean bag chairs and pillows. We also got to meet an aspiring singer, a redditor – lurker, fellow local and foreign surfers.

Wonder-fall Ditumabo Falls

As the others opted to surf once more in the afternoon, some of us decided to pay a visit to Ditumabo Falls at the neighboring area of San Luis, Aurora. The trip was part of the P500 extra fee to driver and was shared among 7 people. It was a 20-30 minutes travel by car. Paid Parking (P20-30 I think) at the foot of the mountain was alright, good for 10 or more light vehicles. There were well-maintained restrooms and Eco-fee of P30 per head.

A tour guide helped us, well, mostly me, brave the 1 km trek to the falls.

I was the one adamant to visit the falls that late in the afternoon for fear that we would not be able to next morning, but the trek through uneven rocks and river crossings proved to be hard without slip-resistant footwear. It took us around 20-30 minutes one-way and it was faster when going downhill.

We saw a smaller falls and then the dam, and then the Mother Falls itself. The thunderous hitting of the water from above was strong that we could feel the mist of water spray from several meters away. It was hard to take a picture lest you risk wetting the gadget but the tour guides were surprising good with the imaging technology that were our smartphones, DLSR and compact cameras.

Jumping into the water basin took away our tiredness as the ice-cold water embraced us. We swam in its crystal-clear fresh water and took pictures with the Go-Pro. Unfortunately, the moment got cut short by rain threatening out already perilous trail and all of us in the area had to go down quick.

Again, I was the last to arrive at the food stop because of my clumsiness and inappropriately slippery slippers. We ate kakanin, hotdog and tokneneng (P10-20 each). At the end of the trip, we gave P200 for the tour guide’s fee and I added P50 for tip, because she helped me all the way.

I’d strongly advise to schedule the visit early in the day to make the most out of the falls’ basin.

Heaping Servings at Kusina Luntian

Tired from the trek, we rested for a while then looked for Kainan Luntian, an unassuming resto-bar. We sat on the bamboo floor and was served our food in banana leaves without utensils, kamayan style.

Many of us opted for the Wapang-Wapang na Liempo meal at P95. This came with a large cup of rice (more like 1.5 cups of rice), the meaty goodness of liempo, topped with half a salt egg and the pako (fern) salad. The fern salad was delightfully drenched in sweetened kalamansi juice dressing. This meal was so good and heavy on the stomach that some of us had difficulty finishing it off.

I also tried the Home-brewed Calamansi Juice with Thyme at P65 per mason jar. This one tasted sweeter with a barely distinguishable hint of thyme. Calamint from The Circle was better.

Octobrewfest@TheCircle – The Night Life

We got a taste of the Night Life at Baler with houses converted to bars and inns having their own drinking sessions and singers for the night. We looked for Smirnoff Mule and and found it at the jam-packed house compound-turned Cauti Bar. We went back to the hostel and enjoyed listening party music, then to one group’s impromptu singing session, then to chill late-night music. The local brewery present offered craft beer by the liter (P150-200 per liter).

Tired and drunk for the day, we went up the airy common area to play games with our resident game-master Redditor leading the Uno game, then the Categories game, which revealed too many “feels”. It was really cool at the common area so we slept right here and there.

(Peanut) Butter, Bread and Banana Breakfast

We woke up to a sunny morning and loud crashing of waves. The hostel staff brought bananas, pan de sal and peanut butter for a power breakfast. We also got the time to chit-chat with fellow bed spacers there. One of them was this Fil-am guy with sun-burned skin, nearly grey eyes and can speak a bit of Tagalog as well. We mostly talked about history and government.

Sunny Days at Diguisit Beach

While some of us were mastering the art of surfing and some were sleeping again, I visited the other, cleaner side of the beach where the sand was black mixed with yellow and the waves were strong. As I get pounded by the waves crashing onto the sand, I watched the pro surfers glide effortlessly along the water.

I came back quickly to invite the others, and then one of guests at the hostel told us stories of their motorcycle trip the day before. Apparently, they rented motorcycles (P250 or P350 per day) and went to the other beaches like Cobra, Cemento and Diguisit. Struck with an idea, I asked our driver to bring us to Diguisit Beach and Rock Formations.

Only 30 minutes ride from Sabang, Baler, Diguisit Beach was a tiny white sand beach with a kiddie pool nearby, with corals and rock formations abound instead of fine white sand on water. On shallow areas you could see tiny fishes and sea creatures or float in deeper pockets of coral / rock floor. Many would walk gingerly on uneven rock formations to take picture.

There was a hidden small pool by the rocks where strong waves may crash on it. The beach was not ideal for chill swimming as the rock formations were sharp and serrated. There was the pool, anyway.We paid P30 per head for the entrance fee.

Our other companions trekked the sand and reached the hill with a lighthouse. Not sure if it was the Dicalasarin Cove light house of another one altogether, but they could not get nearer because of natural barriers.

Afternoon Delight

We went back in town after 1 hour at the beach to eat and our driver took us to where he usually ate. We spent P60 to P120 for our meals. The Bulalo for 4-5 people was P300, the inihaw na posit or grilled squid was P200 and was for 3 people, rather than 4.

Afterwards, we got ready for check out. Our trip master collected payment from various expenses like the food, items, fare, fees etc. We surrendered the pillows, blankets, bedsheets and pillow cases at the front desk, and chilled at the common area while waiting for our van.

Back To Reality

We left Baler at around 3:40 pm. We stopped at the first gas station in NLEX for some Jollibee goodness. I requested the trip master and the driver to drop me in one of the exits so I could travel back home faster. It was more expensive than if I dropped off with the others in QC, but the travel time was cut short considerably.  If I were correct, the van reached the Quezon City stop at around 9:30 or 10pm.

It was a fun first trip for me, my companions were game to do thing even if tired and we did not have issues with the shared expenses. My only regret was that we did not have a group picture. Introverts that we are, perhaps, it was not necessary anymore. The memories and a chance for future trips and meetups are enough.


Summary / Itinerary

  • Van Rental for up to 11 people – from OLX –  P11,000 all in (driver and his food and lodging, GL Grandia van, toll fees) + P500 for tour trips nearby
  • Accommodation – The Circle Hostel – P500 / head at in dorm / bunkbed / hammock or P1000 in a room for 2-3 persons
  • Surfing lesson and board rental – P350 / hour (tip encouraged)
  • Food – P60 above per meal depending on location and preference
  • Alcoholic drink – P30 above per bottle
  • Tricycle – short trip to Sabang beach – P17
  • Tricycle – rental for visiting attractions – P500 – P800 for 3 persons
  • Motorcycle – one day rental – P350 excluding driver
  • Diguisit Beach entrance – P30 / head
  • Ditumabo Falls Eco Fee – P30
  • Ditumabo Falls Tour guide – P200
  • Ditumabo Falls parking – approximately P20-30

Preferred Itinerary:

Day 1

2-3am ETD from Manila

8 am Arrival and Breakfast

9 am Check in

10 am Town visit (museum, municipal hall, church, Aurora’s house etc) OR Sabang Beach surf (interchange with trek to waterfalls)

12 pm Lunch

1 or 2 pm Ditumabo Falls Trek and Swim (interchange with town tour or surfing)

4 or 5 pm Surfing

6-7pm Dinner

Day 2

7 or 8am Breakfast

9am Sabang beach / Diguisit Beach and Rock Formation / other beaches and sites to visit

12pm Lunch

2-3pm Check out

3:30 or 4 pm Balete Tree (if it’s on the way home, we scrapped this one)

10pm ETA in Manila

Just Checking In

June 24, 2017.

Was it over already?

The fun? The friendship? Socialization?

I went out of the wall and got hurt real quick and now I ensconced myself back inside that wall again. Refusing to get out again.

Have I make a fucking mistake again? I’m figuratively burying my head in my hands in mixed exasperation and shame.

I can’t even bring it up. I can’t type the details or I’d go rambling like mad, and it’s nicer to just spit it out to let go of the steam or whatever.

I feel too tired and lazy to get out. Even if I just have to just fucking sit on the family car, a few hours of socialization, heck they’re just with family members but I still don’t wanna.

I’m spiraling down the well. I knew. I know. I will.

I’ve cut ties again. I see them and I feel sad or angry or envious.

I’m just wondering how long would it take for me to waste away.

I’m nearing thirty. Well, two and a half years, to be exact.

I’m giving up hope of finding like-minded friends.

I’m giving up trust that I’d find that “zing” with someone.

I’m giving up my old dreams and just trudge on my current path in my career.

I’m just letting them go, letting them flow. Let the torrent of tears wash away everything that so far has only given me pain, until it erode my heart. My heart eroded. My mind washed clean.

I long for the day I’m an empty shell. But fuck it you’ll never know because my persona is so well-fucking-built you’ll never know until you see my eyes and I don’t know if you can peep at something or anything there.

This fucking cycle doesn’t seem to end, does it? I do hope it wear me out eventually.

Can someone really die early with a grievous heartache?

Would I even qualify, this coward who cowers at a paper cut?

This is a drag.

I hope that tiny white furball we adopted grows so fast I could hug him for real after two weeks. This one had made me happy so far.

It Was But A Fleeting Moment

It was only a month but I couldn’t remember the feeling as if it was a memory from a very long time ago.

You see, I thought it would be just another evening, where I smile my politely pained smile and utter pleasant nothings at strangers I barely knew and then I would go home and just forget their faces, as I do not even bother to memorize their names.

A wallflower.

No, I would not be like that tonight.

I had a potion that would tear the walls and release the real me.

The night was sensual in its darkness and warmth. Voices sounded like lilting music. Breaths mingled. Laughter roared. The scent of alcohol wafted.

The night was intoxicating. The faces were blurry but the banters were crystal clear. Chinks of bottles for toasts and well wishers.

I was bare. And I was safe. But not for long.

You were the life of the party and the death of me. Your banters and laughter and antics nearly brought me in tears. Words exchanged were daggers in my chest. Your gestures caught me by surprise and it wounded me. My heart was trapped.

Such a wicked man you were. A daredevil with the heart of stone and eyes of flint. A bloodsucker. Prey of virgins and sluts alike. All hidden by a winning smile. Ah, those smiles overshadowed everything else. You see it, you get blinded.

A fucking tease, that was you.

I went back to my lair with a death sentence and I was euphoric about it. I saw cupcakes and rainbows and hope where none existed. My white dress were done, my vows were memorized, and and was ready to jump into the unknown. However it consumed me, this feeling that reached a hundred degrees. It took me away from my roles, from my ministrations, from my reality. I was trapped in an illusion of my own doing.

It took hundreds of owls sending secret notes, several bottles of sobering potions and antidotes, and the suggestive powers of three wizards to wake me up from that slumber.

From euphoric to miserable I went down the hill. The cold was harsh. I gnashed, shook my fists towards the heavens and utter innumerable curses towards no one in particular. For deep in my aching heart, it was, ultimately, my fault. I let my guard down.

And mine eyes laid upon a lone star up in the dark sky. All went black as a vision took over.

The night was sensual in its darkness and warmth. Voices sounded like lilting music. Breaths mingled. Laughter roared. The scent of alcohol wafted.

The night was intoxicating. The faces were blurry but the banters were crystal clear. Chinks of bottles for toasts and well wishers.

I was bare. And I was never safe. I saw the way he moved, the way he flitted from one place to another, the predatory glint in his eyes. The honeyed voice hiding a menacing tone. My heart skipped a little and then it went still.

I have loved and lost. But I’d revel in that loss. The loss made me see the world in a new wavelength. However, I couldn’t deny that, you were a promise, but was a disappointment as well.

I would be a wildflower.

I saw you in the market the next day, a lady hooked in your arms. We shared a look. But in that look I have already whispered your real name. In that brief second our eyes met I have already whispered truths and words that will someday bring you down.

If I have met you at an earlier time, I would have loved you even more. It was just so bittersweet. I could not handle it so I went to the pool of forgetfulness and bathed in its bliss.

A fleeting moment, that was you.

So today, in the company of people and wizards alike in the very same place, I have a vague memory of someone I met and lost. Perhaps he died, I thought. Again, just a fleeting memory.

I smiled a rueful smile.

It was but a fleeting moment.

  • CT. 04.22.17.

(Reposted)We Only Fall in Love with 3 People in Our Lifetime—Each One for a Specific Reason.

We Only Fall in Love with 3 People in Our Lifetime—Each One for a Specific Reason.

“Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning.” ~ Unknown
It’s been said that we really only fall in love with three people in our lifetime.
Yet, it’s also believed that we need each of these loves for a different reason.
Often our first is when we are young, in high school even. It’s the idealistic love—the one that seems like the fairy tales we read as children.
This is the love that appeals to what we should be doing for society’s sake—and probably our families. We enter into it with the belief that this will be our only love and it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t feel quite right, or if we find ourselves having to swallow down our personal truths to make it work because deep down we believe that this is what love is supposed to be.
Because in this type of love, how others view us is more important than how we actually feel.
It’s a love that looks right.
The second is supposed to be our hard love—the one that teaches us lessons about who we are and how we often want or need to be loved. This is the kind of love that hurts, whether through lies, pain or manipulation.
We think we are making different choices than our first, but in reality we are still making choices out of the need to learn lessons—but we hang on. Our second love can become a cycle, oftentimes one we keep repeating because we think that somehow the ending will be different than before. Yet, each time we try, it somehow ends worse than before.
Sometimes it’s unhealthy, unbalanced or narcissistic even. There may be emotional, mental or even physical abuse or manipulation—most likely there will be high levels of drama. This is exactly what keeps us addicted to this story line, because it’s the emotional roller-coaster of extreme highs and lows and like a junkie trying to get a fix, we stick through the lows with the expectation of the high.
With this kind of love, trying to make it work becomes more important than whether it actually should.
It’s the love that we wished was right.
And the third is the love we never see coming.
The one that usually looks all wrong for us and that destroys any lingering ideals we clung to about what love is supposed to be. This is the love that comes so easy it doesn’t seem possible. It’s the kind where the connection can’t be explained and knocks us off our feet because we never planned for it.
This is the love where we come together with someone and it just fits—there aren’t any ideal expectations about how each person should be acting, nor is there pressure to become someone other than we are.
We are just simply accepted for who we are already—and it shakes to our core.
It isn’t what we envisioned our love would look like, nor does it abide by the rules that we had hoped to play it safe by. But still it shatters our preconceived notions and shows us that love doesn’t have to be how we thought in order to be true.
This is the love that keeps knocking on our door regardless of how long it takes us to answer.
It’s the love that just feels right.
Maybe we don’t all experience these loves in this lifetime, but perhaps that’s just because we aren’t ready to. Maybe the reality is we need to truly learn what love isn’t before we can grasp what it is.
Possibly we need a whole lifetime to learn each lesson, or maybe, if we’re lucky, it only takes a few years.
Perhaps it’s not about if we are ever ready for love, but if love is ready for us.
And then there may be those people who fall in love once and find it passionately lasts until their last breath. Those faded and worn pictures of our grandparents who seemed just as in love as they walked hand-in-hand at age 80 as they did in their wedding picture—the kind that leaves us wondering if we really know how to love at all.
Someone once told me they are the lucky ones, and perhaps they are.
But I kinda think that those who make it to their third love are really the lucky ones.
They are the ones who are tired of having to try and whose broken hearts lay beating in front of them wondering if there is just something inherently wrong with how they love.
But there’s not; it’s just a matter of if their partner loves in the same way they do or not.
Just because it has never worked out before doesn’t mean that it won’t work out now.
What it really comes down to is if we are limited by how we love, or instead love without limits. We can all choose to stay with our first love, the one that looks good and will make everyone else happy. We can choose to stay with our second under the belief that if we don’t have to fight for it, then it’s not worth having—or we can make the choice to believe in the third love.
The one that feels like home without any rationale; the love that isn’t like a storm—but rather the quiet peace of the night after.
And maybe there’s something special about our first love, and something heartbreakingly unique about our second…but there’s also just something pretty amazing about our third.
The one we never see coming. The one that actually lasts. The one that shows us why it never worked out before.
And it’s that possibility that makes trying again always worthwhile, because the truth is you never know when you’ll stumble into love.
“You found parts of me I didn’t know existed and in you I found a love I no longer believed was real.” ~ Unknown~

Minahala Kita – Julianne

Minahal Kita – Julianne (AKND) – lyrics

from the indie movie Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa

kung sakaling nakikinig

alam kong maari ding hindi

ngunit kelangan ko ‘tong sabihin

di ko na kayang ilihim



ito ngayo’y sumisigaw ako sa hangin


na sana di pa huli ang lahat

sana malaman mong minahal kita

sa abot ng aking makakaya


ako sana’y patawarin

di ko ginusto ito

makitang kang nalilito at dismayado sa akin

di ko sinasadyang talikuran ka’t saktan


di ko rin kayang masamain

kung mayroon ibang higit sa akin

di ipipilit ang sarili

kung hindi rin lang ako makakabuti sa’yo



ito ngayo’y sumisigaw ako sa hangin


na sana di pa huli ang lahat

sana malaman mong minahal kita sa abot ng aking



di inasahang

mauuwi sa ganito

kinailangan lumayo

para hilumin ang puso

nagtitiwala sa maykapal

na kung ikaw nga at ako

ibabalik ako sa’yo



ito ngayo’y sumisigaw ako sa hangin


na sana di pa huli ang lahat



ito ngayo’y sumisigaw ako sa hangin


na sana di pa huli ang lahat

sana malaman mong minahal kita sa abot ng aking



buong puso minahal kita sa abot ng aking makakaya




from this youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6R6l_6187U


Cheap Thrill: Global Village

Whoohoo! So my brother and I are avout to leave Dubai for good this November, and the Global Village just opened this fine, kinda – cool month. Would be great not to pass the opportunity to visit different countries in one place! First and last time I went was on my first year here and that was in 2013!!! Maybe things got better. 
Problem is that our eldest brother nor our flatmates would’t even consider coming along without an easy-breezy car ride. Good thing is there are dedicated public transport buses to the Village in the desert.

Special trip 103 bus starts at the Union Bus Station in Deira, and we took the second 104 bus trip (3:15pm) from Al Ghuibaba Bus Station. The trip is approximately 30 munutes.

We came at just after 4pm, the park’s opening but the crowd were already thick. The Taj Mahal-like entrance facade was equipped with ticket-reading scanners, greeters who loudly welcomed you at the Global Village and a spacious VIP entrance that offered Arabic tea.

We spent 4 hours visiting nearly every one of the 25 or so pavillions representing different countries! Each pavillion is meticulously designed and there is no shortage of wonderful souvenir, gift and food to buy. A small stage is also set up in a corner for country or culture-specific performances. 

Amenities like ATM locations, toilets and Prayer rooms were plentiful / sufficient and well-maintained. There are restaurants and a lane with food stalls aside from stalls scattered around, although the prices will put you off. 

There was also a space for amusement rides and games, not unlike the carnival or perya. There is also a short canal and boats/abra to take you sailing. 

There is also a big stage with seashell design where entertainers dance, sing, and perform various stuff for all.
On a personal level, these are the things that I can vividly remember about my second and final 😦  visit at the Global Village:

  • Indian guys toting  very large metal tea pot sized jugs (or actual tea pots) like it’s a bagpack and selling karak tea (chai or Indian milk tea).
  • The bus trip was more or less 30-40 minutes instead of the estimated 1 hr. travel time
  • Mini Burj Khalifa
  • Vividly colorful glass tea / coffee glasses
  • The outstanding pavillion designs esp. the Arabic and Asian ones.
  • The near-full moon looking much larger than usual.
  • An orange kitten bolting across our path
  • Canary yellow Zafran (saffron) ice cream with hot pink Rose Syrup for AED 10
  • Effin expensive Turkish Ice Cream that I declined to buy (AED20)
  • Insanely expensive drinks except chai / milk tea, tea or water.
  • Nearly life sized statue of Japanese woman in kimono
  • Anime-inspired keychains at AED 35 😥
  • Insanely priced 1 tola of Arabic perfume oil at AED500 (discounted to AED 250 but no thank you)

Total Spend:

2 500ml Bottled Water = AED 2

One-way bus trip x 4 = AED 40

2 Entrance Tickets = AED 30

Slush drink = AED 10

Saffron Ice cream with Rose Syrup = AED 10

Olive Oil Soft Black Exfoliating Soap for Moroccan Bath (Actually light brown) and exfoliating gloves = AED 50

Thailand Elephant Refrigerator Magnet = AED 10

1 Bottled Water (inside)= AED 2

Poutine with cheese = AED 20

Buko Pandan Juice = AED 10

Whoa, so per person, it’s AED 20 two-way bus trip, AED 15 entrance fee, at least AED 4 for bottled water, maybe minimum of AED 20 for food. A separate shopping fund can go as low as AED 5 (just 1 tiny keychain or super mini wood figurine) to infinity. Another fund will go for rides and games, like AED 12 for 1 game token, or AED 30 for a Ferris wheel ride.

All in all, this is a great shopping, walking,