“Backpacking” trip day 10: joke backpacker

(All photos from celphone + random thoughts. CDO.)


Some times you do things so you will know that you do not need to do it. (A crappy saying but oh well that’s somehow how this “no-airplane policy” of this backpacking trip turned out to be.)

After a whole day of milling around the malls of CDO city to wait for the 2GO boat’s departure at 12midnight, and then being informed so delayed about the boat’s delay which will be like another whole day inside a boat plus the previous epic fail of non-existent boat schedule of jagna-camiguin, finally mark raised his hand to surrender his “backpacking idea” of no airplane rides. 

And so he booked a plane ride while i claimed for a refund. In fairness to 2GO, the refund process was easy.

Between mark and i, i’m probably the person who will pick a boat over a plane ride because i’m more patient.  But nevertheless, with the ongoing fare rates, i will still pick a plane ride over a boat because however romantic it sounds to be, i just don’t… So when Mark insisted that we’d go by boat all the way, i did not question it much because there must be something in there that i do not know.

Anyway, we ended up extending our stay in CDO. We left our luggage in Tune Hotel because they offer “luggage counter” service, but we also ended up depositing our body there for an overnight stay sleeping over waiting for our flight following day.

On our supposed to be last day in CDO and of our “backpacking” test trip (if not for very delayed 2Go boat), I was just “people watching.” Some things i noticed:  
* 2 of 5 taxi drivers we encountered are from Cebu. I always got curious as to where people are from in a city / town, and usually it’s not unusual to find someone who has been to cebu. Like Puerto Princesa have a lot of people from  Iloilo, Davao is really a mix of people from
Different regions, Camiguin are mostly from Camiguin and a dose of expats, dumaguete has expats and people from the sugar plantations, etc.
* For some reason, taxi drivers can easily recognize as Cebuanos. They said that it was base on our “accent.” So it’s usual for to be welcomed inside the taxi, “taga Cebu mo, ma’am?”
* 7 out of 10 restos in the malls are from or can be found in cebu. I think if you want to see local cdo restos, there’s a better luck in divisoria or that “borja” street. But yeah, it’s hard to find what’s that “CDO” taste really like.

* i do not know if it’s a holiday or what but malls were packed, restos are packed. I think CDOs are quite moneyed. 
* for some reason, CDO is quite a dusty
Place. I mean cebu is “abog” but CDO is just extra dusty which makes just killing time being “tourist” walking around the city hard, thus we’re inside malls.
* CDO is more of really just a port city, where people landed to go to other destinations – camiguin, iligan, bukidnon as the most popular destinations.
* for a city to be just near bukidnon – grower of coffee beans, it was hard to find a local coffee shop that serves decent hot coffee, and not coffee shops that are good on fraps. It’s a frap-coffee kind of city, me thinks. 
But Roadhouse Cafe served a good steak. So maybe they’re more of a “steak” city. Roadhouse claimed they offer steak from organic-fed animals.
Circa resto in Tune Hotel was also a nicely interior-designed restaurant. Mark
Loved it. Except for its concept, food was just so-so for me though But still worth visiting!

3 cities, x number of boat / tricycle / bus / taxi rides, and 1 airplane ride, and I really don’t know what was that all about. But i guess that’s it! Nothing! πŸ™‚ 
I guess that’s what i “love” about Mark. He can do a lot of ass to prove that he’s an ass. This time, he or we did a lot of ass to prove that we’re a big joke of a “backpacker.” 
(No more backpack! Lez get done with business.)




“Backpacking” trip day 9: the trail run

(All photos from celphone + random thoughts. CDO. )


So it’s race day of ROX MAPAWA TRAIL RUN. Watch out for my story soon http://aktib.ph. 
Did a bit of promoting the event, you somehow have a view of what happened behind the race. It’s totally a different experience when you get to see what’s behind it. And, yes, it was a paid promo gig. And yes, i would be happy to do it for free because i love trails, and hope that it will get more cities in mindanao to do trail running events not only because they have beautiful mountains, but i’m wondering if trail running can change the image of mindanao (not that they have image issues though) and maybe convert the “lost arms” to be trail runners (sorry if i have a wrong impression of the region).

It was Mark’s birthday, and poor bebeboy was sick therefore he could not join the run. πŸ™ 
So I went home straight after i reached the finish line.
Lunch was leftover food from my breakfast which was served the night before. Then we went to Dave’s Coffee beanery. I tried their “green coffee” which has 2 shots of espresso in your brewed coffee, which was good but still lacking the attitude.  Unfortunately, i haven’t been inside a local coffee shop in CDO that serves coffee with that extra attitude. Disappointing to think they’re just near Bukidnon or Davao?

Mark turned 34 yesterday

(In response to mark’s “I turn 34 today” birthday post http://markjeee.com/posts/453/i-turn-34-today.)
Thank you for remembering him. I mean who does not forget a person who always makes a point in having his presence known.
Like you know he posts about a blog his 34th birthday, so we would know.
He said he had / has been thru many battles. Can you imagine how it is living with a person who is always in battle?!? 
OMG! Did he just talk about limitations? I wanna cry. #huhubels Can you imagine living with someone who thinks he can do all the things he can think of?!? On top of trying to save your ass from his many battles, you also have to ready yourself of those impractical “goals” he will put his ass on.
He now accepts failure. Wow! Can you imagine seeing a loved one go thru failure after failure, and you feel helpless just because it’s in his DNA — failure, battles, no-limit-zoned?!? 
He can’t be a lot of things. And he wants to focus on caresharing and family. Wow! Are those not a lot of things?!? Those are already a lot. He alone is already a lot to live with. 
He sees his self to live up to 80 years old. Oh God, please take me by 59. 
He said he is an entrepreneur, then he will be an adventurer. I wanna laugh. So what we have right now is the MISADVENTURES yet. Can he not say that he will also want to be a meditating zen buddhist who will just sit still in one corner forever?
He wants to be present. After messing with the future, he now wants to mess with the present. Oh “present” please tell him you’re fine with him being in the future.
Yes, resilient and agile he is. Because he’s never been sure and stable. Can you imagine living with someone who is all over the place?!?
Yes, we are in a trial trip! And he’s been sick all the time. And, it’s so damn painful seeing him trying to be “present” in his trial trip.
Yes, he has 3 kids. God bless their souls!!!
Ow he’s writing a diary, and keeping a photo journal. Ow it will not be long. He’s just saying that because he’s trying to be “present” and he’s already bored to death in his trial trip to be a backpacker and surfer dude. So don’t worry, that will just pass.

“Backpacking” trip day 8: CDO

(All photos from celphone + random thoughts. CDO. )


This is The day before ROX MAPAWA TRAIL RUn 2014. I was not looking forward to moving around. I guess having been “travelling” in the past week took a toll or  i guess there was nothingg much i find worth checking in CDO. People kept suggesting water rafting or zipline in Dahilayan (which is actually already Bukidnon). I’m scared of rafting, and not a fan of zipline.

Having been here last year, i guess the only place i went to was Malasag, which is like the “tops” version of Cebu from my POV. 

Looking back, i did not really have any expectations of this trip, which turned out to be too long. As always, i don’t have any itinerary. Mark does all those planning.

We went to lim ket kai in the afternoon to buy some food for the race. Then mark complained he’s not feeling well overall. Be’s having rashes in his legs, he’s feverish, coughs and colds.

So we went home right after getting some supplies, and had coffee at the balcony of the place we’re staying. 

He’s too sick we had dinner served at our room. Then, he decided he’s not going to join the Trail run any more.

Bummer! @.@ 
I guess, this was part of not-better days. Or i guess when i “travel,” i always expect for things to be not-the-usual but then well that’s demanding too much from “travel.” 

“Backpacking” trip day 7: “Strange Couple”

(All photos from celphone + random thoughts. Camiguin to CDO trip. )


Binoni sounds like Santorini(not sure) of greece where KC and richard gutz had filmed a movie. It sounds like Balesin where Heart and chis will have their wedding.

 So friday, we’re in Port of Binoni, camiguin to head back to CDO. Happy to see a familiar face, Engr. Ira. He’s the RD of Camiguin360 Ultramarathon (march 28, 2015). And, he’s one of the runners that I admire.

Anyway, after breakfast and setting our bills at action gecko, i had a chance of talking to the manager or owner or dive instructor Weng of the resort. He mentioned that they rarely have Pinoy guests, and most of the time Pinoys kind of “unlike” their resort type. It’s a long story but i get what he meant. Every time we get to be in their kind of resort (the “backpacker style” with that european kind of vibe w/c is probably cheap to european but not to pinoys because it’s usually just basic kind of accommodation so i guess that’s where pinoys whine abt), we received that kind of comment. Somehow management would expect us to whine and rant why there’s no aircon, swimming pool etc etc. 

So the usual “how was your stay” question from him, and I told him that i love their place (maybe exaggeration in there but i would be defnitely staying there again) because it has no frills. And he said that we’re a “strange couple.” 

And i asked why. Because he said they usually get a rant or whining from
Pinoy guests. So i told him (just like what i told any “backpack” resort manager) that you should put an infinity swimming pool in your resort to make pinoys happy; and we laughed. 

Anyway, i get to learn a few things about camiguin and handling different kind of nationalities from Weng.

So what i like about camiguin.

I like their black sand beach with the colorful stones. But funny that Camiguin is popular for their “white sand” sandbar.

I like their “mountains” or maybe it’s a volcano. My goal is to climb a peak each year in camiguin. They probably have 3 or more peaks.
I like the camiguin-ons. Of course, it’s probably superficial to say since i don’t really know them well. But i like that they’re not “pushy” towards tourists. I guess because they are busy with their own “living.”
Even their dogs are nice. And yes they declare their island to be rabies-free zone.
I like their color-coded motorela.
And they tried as much to be plastic-free.

Then, we’re in CDO!

I guess we’re “strange couple” because we’re trying hard at being backpacker but would jump at the first sight of comfort. πŸ™‚

“Backpacking” trip day 6: The Girls of SAAI

(All photos from celphone + random thoughts. Camiguin trip. )


I think Mark has been feeling a better today. So we started the morning walking to the Ardent Hot Spring. It was only 3.5km away from where we stayed. It was a continuous uphill so it was not at all an easy walk though.

Road FORKS

I love forks, and hate it at the same time. Because it’s a door to an adventure, but hate it because I cannot take all the forks because “time.” So yeah, often than not we go for the road most travelled.
Some house of words

What i like about Camiguin is that every one seems to have a “dignified” living. Of course i don’t know them well but they seem to be self-sufficient. 

The animals look happy with their plants.
The plants are in a happy messy state. 

The people have their business among their plants and animals.

Generally, camiguin is just green.

Ardent Spring

We had breakfast at La Isla Cocina. It’s the “coffee shop” sign board that got me.
If only i found a place who serves decent coffee, 100% i’ll be over inlove with Camiguin! @.@
Mark said we’ll go to a well-known destination Katibwasan Falls, and a less popular Saai Spring after lunch. Saai needs trekking, i guess why it’s not that popular. I said let’s ditch the falls, and go for the trek. But he said i must see the falls because everyone has seen it. Duh!
Owkeis. Life’s too short not to take a dip in a falls, and  photoshopped your face in a poster! πŸ™‚
Inlove that kiping. I guess it has to do with the “latik!” 
Falls – checked!
The Girls of Saai
So this was a bit tricky to go. The locals had this reservation of giving us directions because duh “city kids” we looked like.
Anyway, it’s not really that hard. It’s actually part of the town proper of Mambajao.
So anyway, on the 2nd trail head / 2nd attept we went to, as usual the locals had this reservation of instructions.
But luckily, we chanced upon the GIRLS OF SAAI! (Ow no photos of them in my celphone!)
They live in the place where wxactly is the SAAI SPRING. 
From the trail head, we trekked one hill, and then suddenly you’re in what seems to be like a valley, in the middle of mountains, looking at the great outdoors of Camiguin. And my heart just melted! 

“Backpacking” trip day 5: top spots from everyone’s top checklist

(All photos from celphone + random thoughts.)


I got interested with “travel” because of “running.” So my idea of going to a new place is to cover as many area with my feet. 

So i’d rather trek one place for a day than go check every must-see places in a list. But over time, i realized i’m asking too much for that for a “short travel.” And i think “travel” does not really make me know a place because i think if i wanna know more deeply about a place, i need to invest time in it.

Anyway, mark with friends had been in camiguin a few times so i’ve seen a lot of photos of this place. And, serioisly, based on my social network timeline, i’m
Probably the last person to be here.

So on our 2nd day in camiguin, mark made sure that i go to every places they go which is every place i’ve been see in their photos! Horror!!! But he’s sick, and i got too tired from all the commuting days before…

So let’s get on the checklist of top 10 things of camiguin on everyone’s list.

White Island

I could see it from the place where we are staying, and i could see how busy the boats are going there and back transporting people to have the most coveted white-island selfie. So yeah, i’m happy looking it from afar, and saving it for next coming here.

Random photo along the way

Cloud with attitude

If tarsier has equal billing with the governor in Bohol, dogs are for in Camiguin.

“Old Volcano” way
I forgot the “real name” but it’s this typical “Station of the Cross” tourist attraction. I think “Station of the Cross” is an SOP in the Philippines for a place to be considered a tourist destination. There is probably a higher divine reason for it, but i just could not take seeing or posing with statues of Jesus suffering. 
But i love the trek. 

We “dated” on top of the last station (this is one of the reasons why i think it’s not appropriate to make “stations of the cross” a tourist destination”). We probably stayed here for 30minutes.

I took a photo of “sunken cemetery” so i don’t need to go there close.

The “Ruins”

I don’t have a photo of it in my celphone. But the caretaker took a photo of us with this gorgeous giant tree while lying on tje ground. Mark and i got tongue-tied. @.@
Soda Pool
Because the water tastes like “soda” thus the name of the place. It tasted like coke added with lots of water, which i don’t have a photo again. But here’s mark at the “diner” beside the soda pool.

Hotcake/pancake!

Because you cannot miss the lovely yellow color!
J&E fishpen and zipline
This was highly recommended by our foreigner resort-mate. But any thing with zipline, i should have trust my instinct, and avoid it. 
The lagoon was pretty except that those wires / harness from zipline is making it ugly! 
Casa Roca
Our last on our checklist for the day. We planned to have dinner there, and some coffee #chos.
I was really excited for the “coffee” when i saw they’re using “french press” because i had not found any perfect place for coffee yet. But i haz sad when she poured like 4cups of hot water to what seems like ground beans good for 2 cups! @.@ The staff probably thought she’s doing us a bonus! @.@
It has a beautiful view of sunset. 

Sunset here is probably not that o-so-stunning bursting with colors. But it’s more of a peaceful / serene kind of sunset.


“Backpacking” trip Day 4: 200km land + 12hour water travel @.@

(All photos from celphone + random thoughts.)

I’m usually the patient person between mark and i. But today, i felt like mark is enjoying the ‘slowness” of eveything as if he’s like enjoying seeing me “tortured” with it.

The overnight boat ride from tagbilaran arrived almost 5am. Thankfully, he changed his mind and decidd we should take the tricycle instead of walking. 
Then for some reason, fate was playing along, we chanced upon the most chill bus ride. It’s so chill like it took the bus around 2 hours for 40km. I wanna cry.

When we landed at the Balinguan bus terminal, i devour a kilo of rambutan! Balinguan is where we’ll take the boat for Camiguin. There’s actually a fastcraft in CDO, but mark wanted every thing slow.

Boarding on the camiguin-bound boat, ow that looks fancy! 
When travel takes so long, it kinda feels i appreciate more the “arriving.” It took 200km of land travel via van, tricycle, bus, multicab plus 12 hours+ of boat ride, compared to a 45-min plane ride, i cannot help to be extra grateful upon arriving. But still i would pick any thing over overnight boat ride. 

It just dawned on me that it’s Lanzones Festival when saw this dancing along the way to the resort. (I’m not so big about being in a place during festival.)

Mark’s sick so we just had the rest of the day at the place we’re staying — Action Geckos. 
It’s one of those accommodations that i like. No frills!
It happens to be one of the 2 places in camiguin that served “ok” coffee. 
The beach in front of the action gecko.

Action Gecko’s homemade icecream and pumpkin cake. πŸ™‚

Of the very few islands i’d been to, i think Camiguin tops on my list for now.

“Backpacking” trip Day 3: backpacker in the mall

SOne of the tips i often read from travellers is “keep an open mind.” Like duh!

Anyhoo, it was used on this day.
We broke our “backpacker rule” for this day by getting a “van for hire” instead of “bus (public transpo.) because mark’s sick.
The reason why we call this “backpacking trip” because we’re gonna act like parent-financed college students going for a travel. Or whatever.
For some reason, Mark acted to “be so present” this day – meaning he did not check the details down to the T. The plan was from Panglao/tagbilaran, we’ll go to Jagna, some 70km away, where we’d ride a boat to Camiguin. It sounds like a perfect plan. 

The travel to Jagna went smooth… Except that when we arrive there, there’s no boat going to Camiguin. All boats were being fixed. @.@ It will be back by Wednesday. Ownose, do we need to go back to Cebu?!? (Note: only during summer time that jagna-camiguin boats travel on a daily basis. On other times, better call them.)

How did it ever happen that kind of situation to Mark?!? The mark who plans his outfit from day 1 until he comes back home. The mark who makes reservation a month in advance.

After some back and forth conversation with the people at the Jagna port, they mentioned there’s a CDO-bound boat later at night in Tagbilaran. So i guess it’s the most sensible option over going back to Cebu.

So after we got a pricey van to bring us smoothly to jagna, the van had to bring our asses back to tagbilaran… well at least, it was still a very smooth ride! @.@ 

Lunch at this cozy diner in valencia. 

We’re dropped at Island City Mall. So basically, our 3rd day was spent at the mall.

Dinner at the port’s “boulevard.”

And the big boat!!! My first time after like 17 years to be in an overnight boat ride again. Call it “maarte” but it’s not my thing. πŸ™ It’s scary, and it reminded of a hospital.

It was eventful uneventful. Keep an open mind.


“Backpacking” trip day 2: BEE Present

Maybe because mark is reading “the paradox of time” by zimbardo (highly recommend this book) that mark’s like talking about “be present” again and again. Or maybe bcause life lately gets so extra crazy.

Anyhoo, i tend to have this conversation inside my head always. And i guess that’s why i “write” a lot. I wish, one time, that there will be an app that my thoughts will be encoded straight to the computer. I will be laughing reading my thoughts. I blamed it on my being “only child.” I read somewhere “only-child” tend to talk to his / her self. 
So what’s the connection of “be present” and my talkative mind? I blamed it for my having a hard to “be present.” I can be so still but my mind is flying away all over the places.
Our best attempt of being present — sitting at the beach. I guess this is our first time to “lounge at the beach.” Mark has this “allergies” so we don’t usually do this for the fear of him getting itchy and all.
(At alona beach, bohol.)
But we cannot beat them. 

—–
Earlier of this day, we went to “blackforest restaurant” owned by a german chef in the hope to find “coffee.”

He said he called his resto “blackforest” because he bakes the real deal “blackforest” cake because what we have here, according to him, is just chocolate cake. But we’re not able to have the blackforest cake because he cannot make it on regular basis because of lack of ingredients.

We had his cheesecake though he admitted it’s not that a-class ingredients. He had to do with what is available ingredients in Bohol. 
But i love his bread. Coffee was “owkei.”

Blackforest resto Located near the Dauis bridge, before crossing to Panglao Island. Though owner said that they will be relocating near the town proper.

So Bohol is not really a coffee place, or maybe i miss it. But it has the best “tableya tsokolate,” even the stalls in the public market can make that thick tsokolate drink.
At “The Buzzz” cafe by “Bohol Bee farm” which i would say is like any where in bohol!
So we stAyed at bohol bee farm, had tsokolate at the buzzz, and ice cream at their food truck! They’re like eBEErywhere!