December 31, 2015

Camiguin Christmas Vacation

Since Nanay died, our family has been spending Christmas away from home. Last year, we were in Tagaytay. This year, we went to my father's hometown in Camiguin. Camiguin's a beauty, but more importantly, we were able to reconnect with our relatives from my father's side. The last time I was there, I was only 4 years old so I met most of them for the first time last Christmas. I must admit Christmas hasn't been the same since Nanay left, but thanks to the love and hospitality of our relatives in Camiguin, Christmas was a lot better this year. We were with family and we were home.

Drama aside, here are my top 10 things to do in Camiguin. :)

Stay in Bahay Bakasyunan, a bit pricey but if you want quiet and relaxation, it's the perfect place.
On the way to Catarman from Mambajao, don't forget to take a picture in the popular viewpoint. Preferably during sunset. 
Dip in Ardent hot spring.
Or if you don't like it hot, you can go to Sto. NiƱo cold spring instead.

Eat kiping, a local delicacy that's like a crepe made of cassava.

Swim in the majestic Tuasan Falls.

Photo op galore in the beautiful Old Church ruins.

Go to White Island during sunrise.

If you want beach and a Survivor-like forest, Mantigue Island is for you.
Have a seafood feast in Tanguines Lagoon. 

Favorites of 2015

Favorite Movie - Mad Max: Fury Road

Favorite Music Video - Sia "Elastic Heart"

Top 5 Favorite Songs

1. Kygo feat. Conrad Sewell "Firestone"

2. Rihanna feat. Kanye West and Paul McCartney "Four Five Seconds"

3. Drake "Hotline Bling"

4. Ariana Grande "One Last Time"

5. Justin Bieber  "What Do You Mean?"

What about yours? :)

December 29, 2015

Top 10 Things To Do In Hanoi

My sister and I went to Hanoi, Vietnam last October for the first time.  I honestly had low expectations going there but the trip exceeded my expectations and Hanoi pleasantly surprised me.  The beauty of Hanoi is not only in its charm but also in its people. They are, by far, the most hospitable locals in all the countries I've visited. The city was friendly and safe. Manila should have been like this had it not been corrupted and polluted. The side trips we had were also amazing. Ninh Binh is a beauty and Halong Bay definitely deserves its status as one of the wonders of the world.

To those planning to visit Hanoi, here are my top 10 things to do in Hanoi (a.k.a. my Hanoi trip highlights!)

1. Sign up for a free Ba Dinh Square tour on Hanoi EBuddies and learn about Vietnam's complex history.

2.  Stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake and discover local sights and sounds.

3. Visit Hoa Lo Prison and learn about the horrors and atrocities during Vietnam War.

4. Go on a day trip to Ninh Binh province and bike around picturesque Van Lam Village.  
5. Boat along Ngo Dong River and experience having a bad-ass female driver who paddles with her feet.   (We booked our Ninh Binh day trip via Vic Travel.)

6. Back in Hanoi, drink Vietnamese coffee.  Their iced brown coffee is one of the best I've tasted, and I'm not a coffee drinker.

7. Vietnamese pho noodles are a must, but I also recommend that you taste bun cha.  It is the best!

8. Drive around Hanoi in a motorcycle. Or in my case, have a local Couchsurfer drive you around town in his motorcycle.

9. Go on a cruise in Halong Bay (MUST DO!)

10. While in Halong Bay, climb up and go inside Sung Sot Cave. It is the most beautiful cave I've ever seen and I'm not exaggerating.

Feel free to comment below if you have questions about Hanoi or if you want me to share my 5-day trip itinerary.