The Road from being Unfit to Fit: My Weight Loss Story towards Fitness!

I’m back.

Yes. After almost months of being on hiatus, I’m finally back to tell the story of my absence.

You see, 3 months ago I made a decision that I know will change the path that I’m trekking – particularly my travel-ful and adventurous lifestyle. You may have wondered why suddenly I’ve stopped travelling. No more blog stories, Facebook travel posts, status updates, etc.

I’ll admit, I missed it all. But I’ll also have to be honest, that I haven’t regretted anything – and I’m happier to come back fitter and stronger.

stronger than yesterday

Transformation Challenge

Three months ago, I started becoming conscious of the change that I’m witnessing in my body. Obviously all this traveling, eating and unhealthy food choices are already taking their toll on me – making my clothes tighter, my belly bigger, and my Facebook photos uglier to look at. Continue reading

Beautiful Batanes Valentines

Oh what perfect way to celebrate the love month with a trip to one of the loveliest places here in the Philippines – Batanes!

It was on the morning of the 14th of February when I set my foot first on this lovely islands.

While the rest of the country celebrates this romantic day with a bouquet of flowers, chocolates & romantic dates, here I am in this quaint island where you won’t see the grand festivity of the so called ‘Valentines Day’, no flower shops to be found, no expensive chocolates, nor megamalls and cinemas for those romantic dates.

But what could be found here is much much much more beautiful than what usually lies and what the rest of the country experiences today.

Gone Biking in Batanes

So on our first day in Batanes, we just spent the day roaming around this lovely island on our rented bikes. Nothing to worry, nothing to hurry, we still have more time.

Batanes

Asul na bato
Sa tuktok ng mundo;
Sa makipot na pinto
Nakatagong paraiso


Along walang humpay
Sumayaw at maghintay;
Hiwagang nakasampay
Sa hangi’y nananalaytay

Batanes…Mailap
Sa puso ng dagat nahagilap;
Batanes…Pangarap
Katuparan mo ay alapaap.

Credits from : http://allpoetry.com/poem/5599751-Batanes-by-second-born

How to Plan a Budget Trip to Batanes

“All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.” ~Walt Disney

Biking on Batanes

Biking on Batanes

Traveling had once been a distant dream for me – not until I started to switched jobs leaving the traditional office employee workplace and started becoming a freelancer. Yes it may be unstable but as they say nothing’s really stable in this world, even corporate companies that you thought are stable goes into bankruptcy.

So here I am after 3 years of being a freelancer, still holding on, enjoying the freedom I have – and now with my dreams slowly coming true.

Let’s begin with this dream trip that I’ll share to you today. A trip that almost every traveler here in the Philippines wishes to have – however most are afraid due to the high cost that usually accompanies a trip to Batanes.

Is Batanes really expensive?

But is it really that expensive? A question often asked by many. But what would you feel if I’ll tell you that it’s not that expensive at all? Let me show you how to achieve that dream of yours of a budget trip to Batanes.

1. Find a Promo Fare for a Flight to Batanes

Begin by trying to find promo fares for flights going to Batanes. If there’s one thing that makes Batanes really expensive, it’s the air fare. For this trip I was able to find a promo fare from http://www.flypalexpress.com (Philippine Airlines Pal Express) for only roughly 900Php one way, around 1,757Php roundtrip all in.

Welcome to Batanes

2. Finding an affordable Homestay in Batanes

A trip to Batanes is best enjoyed if you’ll be staying long enough in the island itself to fully appreciate the wonders it has, probably one that will last for 4 or 5 days or even better , more!

For you to accomplish this and still stick with your budget, it will be best to stay in a Homestay than in expensive hotels. Yes, hotels in Batanes can be really expensive. Rates start at 1,200 pesos per night

Where to Stay in Batanes?

I’m sure you’d love it if I’ll tell you there’s a homestay in Batanes where you could stay for just a very affordable price  of 350/day.

Marfel’s Lodge

One of the newest homestay facility in Basco is Marfel’s Lodge. Operated by a local resident Felomena Batan Fitero, Marfel’s has two locations – the original one located just a few meters away from the airport, and the new Annex near Petron Gas Station in the center of Batan (this is where we stayed).

Other facilities include a common toilet and bath, a small living room, a dining area, and a kitchen that you could use to cook your own food (saving you from spending much eating out), and a WIFI connection is also available. A perfect budget accommodation in Batanes!

Another thing that I love about Marfel is the kindness and hospitality that Ate Fe has. I could say that in all my travels she’s the kindest caretaker I’ve ever met.

Ate Fe – 0908-8931475 (Marfel Lodge Contact Number)

3. Avail an affordable Batanes tour

Another thing that’s a plus when you’re staying at Marfel’s is that you’ll have no difficulty arranging your tour. Ate Fe can contact Ryan Cardona from used to work for Batanes Cultural Travel Agency (BCTA) but now a freelance tour guide anytime for you to be accommodated in his tour groups.

Ryan Cardona (Smart 0998-9885898).

How Much Batanes Tour Cost?

Enjoying the View at Vayang Rolling Hills

Enjoying the View at Vayang Rolling Hills

A typical packaged 3-day tour at Batanes if you’ll avail Ryan’s package is quoted for 4,000 pesos each. It includes tours in Batan (North and South) and Sabtang islands, 3 lunches, permits/fees, van/jeep, guide, land transfers, boat ride (Batan to Sabtang and vice versa) and water while on tours. It is important that you get an accredited tourist guide that will not just show you the tourist spots but will also share information about the place.

DAY 1: Batan North (Requires at least 5 hours)

DAY 2: Sabtang Island (Requires at least 1 full day)

DAY 3: Batan South (Requires at least 8 hours)

Batanes DIY Tour

You could also opt to hire a tricycle if you’d like to have your own DIY tour and do not want to join the big groups. This way you get to manage your own time.

Tricycle Rental in Batan cost – 200/hour, maximum of 2 persons per tricycle.

For our tour, me and my buddy decided to take the trike tour in our Batan North (1,000Php for 2 pax)  & Batan South (1,500Php for 2 pax). While the Sabtang Island tour I suggest it will be better to join the big group of Sir Ryan as the trip includes arranging a boat ride, pre ordered meals, etc which could quite be a hassle if you don’t have contacts in Sabtang Island.

So for the whole tour we just spent Sabtang 1,900Php + North Batan 500Php + South Batan 750Php each for a total of 3,150Php.

Oh destiny.. Was surprised to have my favorite number as the number of the trike we've had for the tour - this was randomly contacted by Ryan.

Oh destiny.. Was surprised to have my favorite number as the number of the trike we’ve had for the tour – this was randomly contacted by Ryan.

Batanes Itinerary & Total Expenses

So for our total expenses and daily itinerary, here’s a breakdown. This is a per person cost (there were 2 of us for this trip, you’ll likely to get discounts if you’ll be traveling with a large group I guess).

Airfare: 1,757Php

Accommodation: (350day x 5 days) = 1,750

Day 1 (Feb. 14, 2014) – Batanes Valentines Day gone biking around Batanes – Pictures here – bike rental (50Php x 2hrs) = 100Php, Lunch (350Php), Food for cooking bought at the market (200Php) = TOTAL COST: 550Php

Day 2 – Sabtang Island Tour (inclusive of lunch) – 1,900Php

Day 3 – Sunday bumming around Basco, foodtrips, souvenir buying – 1,000 Php

Day 4 – Batan North – 500Php + Pizza for lunch at Casa Napoli (150Php) = 650Php

Day 5 – Batan South 750Php + Lunch & Dinner – 500Php = 1,250Php

TOTAL: 8,857 Php including airfare from Manila

*Not included is the Davao – Manila airfare, and those whimsical souvenir buys that you’d like to have & cravings.. For this trip we’ve allotted 8,000Php allowance.

Stay tune for more posts of our adventure & tours around the magnificent attractions in Batanes. Kapian kamu pa nu Dios!

Beautiful Batanes

Beautiful Batanes

Day 5: City Tour Around Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

Greetings from one of the worlds smallest and also wealthiest countries, tucked away on the north coast of Borneo – Brunei!

Brunei Walking Tour

Brunei Walking Tour

This seldom-often-traveled nation is famous for its Sultan and head of state, General Haji Sir Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah. Although anyone would consider the entire island of Borneo to be rich with natural resources and abounding with fresh fruits of this earth, Brunei received an even more world-wide valuable practical resource: crude oil and natural gas.

It was just yesterday when I’ve decided to take the ferry to Brunei from Kota Kinabalu. I was surprised as soon as I exited the ferry terminal by how quiet this country is – far away from the typical Asian country with loads of people and touts hustling to sell a ride in their cab. Instead there were a few taxi around and you could seldom find people walking in their streets.

So few that while we’re doing our DIY walking tour around the city – I sometimes thought that the roads are all mine. Haha! Or just maybe we’re that poor since everyone here got their own ride while we don’t.

I own this road in Brunei!

I own this road in Brunei!

The city was quite the opposite of characteristic Asian cities, lacking all roaring traffic, masses of humanity, and clouds of pollution. Instead it was marked by pleasant greenery and quiet neighborhoods. Drivers even halted out of nowhere to let humans cross the street (opposite to what we have in the Philippines). Though Bandar Seri Begawan is the capital and largest city of Brunei, it had such a unique feeling – possibly the quietest and most peaceful capital in Asia.

So off we went with our walking tour.

Jubilee Park

Brunei Jubilee Park

Brunei Jubilee Park

Jubilee Park, Bandar Seri Begawan

Jubilee Park, Bandar Seri Begawan

Brunei Jubilee Park  Playground

Brunei Jubilee Park Playground

Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque

Bolkiah Mosque

Bolkiah Mosque

Considered as one of the grandest monuments to Islam in the whole region built in 1992 to celebrate the 25th year of the current sultan’s reign, the magnificent Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque is the brainchild of His Majesty the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah

Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque

Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque

Brunei Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque

Brunei Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque

The fine artistry of the structure’s basic design as well as the interiors shows the meticulous attention to details and reveals the depth of the love that inspired the vision to build this splendid symbol of devotion to Islam.

Jame'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque

Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque

The stunning edifice with its artfully landscaped gardens and fountains that add to the serene ambience, is a memorable place to visit and certainly a must for visitors

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Visiting Hours:
Sunday to Wednesday: 8am to 12noon, 2pm to 3pm & 5pm to 6pm
The mosque is closed to non-Muslims on Thursdays. It is open on Saturday provided that there is no official function the following day. DSC_0669

Royal Regalia Museum

Royal Regalia

Royal Regalia

The Royal Regalia Museum which was built in 1992 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of His Majesty’s the Sultan of Brunei accession to the throne in 1967. The museum houses a collection of royal paraphernalia and also an exhibition on the constitution of the nation.

Brunei Royal Museum

Brunei Royal Museum

Witness its central feature, a spectacular new circular gallery topped with a mosaic-tiled dome sitting in the cup of the original crescent-shaped building.

Royal Regalia Brunei

Royal Regalia Brunei

When called upon to present a gift to the sultan of Brunei, you must inevitably confront the question: what do you give a man who has everything? Here you’ll see how various heads of state and royalty have solved this conundrum. (Sadly, picture taking’s not allowed where the royal presents sit)

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Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque

Considered as one of the most beautiful mosques in the Asia Pacific, it is a place of worship for the Muslim community, a major landmark and a tourist attraction of Brunei.

Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque

Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque

One of the most iconic symbols of the city is the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, a truly spectacular structure covered in an Islamic dome of gold.

Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque

Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque

Named after Omar Ali Saifuddien III, the 28th Sultan of Brunei who also initiated its construction, the mosque serves as a symbol of the Islamic faith in Brunei and dominates the skyline of Bandar Seri Begawan. The building was completed in 1958 and is an example of modern Islamic architecture.

Brunei Saifuddien Mosque

Brunei Saifuddien Mosque

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Built in an artificial lagoon on the banks of the Brunei River at Kampong Ayer- the “village in the water”, the mosque has marble minarets and golden domes, a courtyard and is surrounded by a large number of trees and floral gardens.

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Though I was only in Brunei for a single day, I had a luxurious time wandering around and seeing a few of the famous existing sights.  The incredible views from Brunei in such a brief time and the uniquely peaceful culture they have is something that will truly be memorable, something that made me felt like I was Royalty of some exotic fairy tale.

Royal Regalia Museum

Royal Regalia Museum

This travelogue is part of a travel series for my birthday trip to Kota Kinabalu & Brunie, if you haven’t read the previous posts, here’s the link http://bit.ly/KKBruneiDay2http://bit.ly/KKBruneiTrip

 

Day 4: Traveling to Brunei from Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia by Ferry

If you’d like to cross the boarders of Kota Kinabalu & Brunei, I suggest you start early. We took a taxi to Point Jesselton Ferry Terminal at around 7:00am from where we are staying at Stay Inn.

Travel tip: Be there earlier if you are traveling on a weekend as there are greater number of passengers.

Upon getting to Jesselton terminal, proceed to counter 4 for Labuan and Brunei ferry service and buy a ticket to (KK-Labuan and Labuan-Brunei) for RM60 (adult) and RM43 (children – 11 years and below).  Another RM3.60 (adult) and RM1.80 (children) will be collected as terminal fee.

Jesselton Point, Kota Kinabalu

Jesselton Point, Kota Kinabalu

Continue reading

(Day 3) Celebrating Chinese New Year at Kota Kinabalu: Island Excursion at Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park& City Tour

It’s January 31 – Happy Chinese New Year! Let’s all welcome the Year of the Wooden Horse, which also happens to be my animal birth year also!

Chinese New Year 2014

Chinese New Year 2014

This travelogue is part of a travel series for my birthday trip to Kota Kinabalu & Brunei, if you haven’t read the previous posts, here’s the link http://bit.ly/KKBruneiDay2 & http://bit.ly/KKBruneiTrip

Island Hopping at Kota Kinabalu

After braving the mountains of Kota Kinabalu on a cold and chilly weather yesterday, we now will proceed to its serene waters & majestic islands.

Island Hopping at Kota Kinabalu

Island Hopping at Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu has a few gems lying less than 30 minutes off its coast. A bundle of small islands that are a part of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park that are connected via speed boat make for a great day trip and break from the city.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Park (TARP) consists of a cluster of islands comprising Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sulug. The five islands of the Marine Park are characterized by shallow waters, sumptuous coral gardens and all boast splendid white sandy beaches. The largest being Gaya Island, while Mamutik is the smallest island in the group.

To make things more convenient, we also availed a package tour for the island hopping covering the 3 Islands of Manukan, Mamutik & Sapi for only 90MYR perhaps the cheapest I found as majority of the tour cost around 130-160MYR.

Port for the Island Hopping

Port for the Island Hopping

Kota Kinabalu Island Hopping Tour (3 Islands) : RM90.00/ pax

Schedule: Day Trip

08.30 am – Pick up at preferred hotel & Transfer to Sutera Habour Resort Jetty.
09.00 am – Speedboat journey of a 15 minutes ride to Island Arrive at’Mamutik/manukan/sapi’ Island. Free & Easy
3.00 pm – Transfer to Mainland.*** The day will be at you own leisure .
*** Water sports such as Para sailing, Windsurfing, Kayaking and etc are available at your own expenses.

Tour inclusive of:

  • Island boat return transfer (On Time Boat Departure)
  • 1 way land return transfer
  • Terminal fees and Sabah Park entrance fees
Items to bring:

  • Sun block lotion
  • Towel
  • Personal toiletries
  • Swimming attire
  • Flip flops
  • Extra clothing

Contact: Borneo BeacHouse (Backpackers)`
http://www.borneobeachouse.com
borneo.beachouse@gmail.com (look for Nick)
Tel: +6088 218331

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park Islands

1. Manukan Island

Manukan Kota Kinabalu

Manukan Kota Kinabalu

Manukan Island, which is shaped like a boomerang or some said a dolphin, is the 2nd largest island (51 acre) of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park (TARP). The island boasts a pristine rainforest and long stretch of beautiful white sandy beaches, surrounded by protected coral reefs.

Manukan Island

Manukan Island

Another thing I loved about Manukan Island is that it’s the first beach island that I’ve visited with Pine Trees in it. So I guess the weather here must be cold to support such.

Manukan Pine Trees

Manukan Pine Trees

Manukan Island beach

Manukan Island Pine Trees

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2. Mamutik Island

Compare to Manukan and Sapi, Mamutik is the least crowded, yet it offers almost everything the other two have.

Mamutik Island

Mamutik Island

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Lunch is often served here for guests who availed tours inclusive of meals. Mamutik Island offers BBQ style cuisine, with prawns, fish and chicken are the main selections. While having a good time with the tasty meal, guests also get to enjoy the cool breeze blowing in from the sea.

Happy Chinese New Year from Kota Kinabalu!

Happy Chinese New Year from Kota Kinabalu!

3. Sapi Island

Sapi Island, which is shaped like a star, is smaller than Manukan, but is the 2nd most developed and popular island of the Tunku Abdul Marine Park (TARP). The island boasts white sandy beaches and crystal clear turqoise waters. Voted as one of the best snorkeling spots among the TARP islands, there are many colourful fishes and corals that you can find here.

Sapi Island

Sapi Island

Around Sapi Island

Around Sapi Island

Beach Bumming

Beach Bumming

After our Island hopping, we still have time to go around the city since tomorrow we’ll already be leaving for Brunei. So here are some landmarks that are worth visiting to, note though that we haven’t visited all.

Kota Kinabalu City Tour

Jesselton Point

Jesselton Point

Blue marlin statue erected near the waterfront

Blue marlin statue erected near the waterfront

The rest of the City that you could explore:

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  1. Atkinson Clock Tower
  2. Sabah Tourism Board
  3. Sabah Museum
  4. Heritage Village
  5. State Mosque
  6. City Mosque
  7. Menara Tum Mustafah
  8. Sabah State Assembly
  9. Central Market
  10. KK Plaza

Day 2 – A Cold Birthday Trip to Kota Kinabalu: Exploring Poring Hot Springs & Mt Kinabalu Park

It’s January 30 – Hurray! Happy birthday to me!

This travelogue is part of a travel series for my birthday trip to Kota Kinabalu & Brunei, if you haven’t read the first part, here’s the link http://adventuroj.com/2014/02/09/borneo-travel-itinerary-a-birthday-trip-to-kota-kinabalu-and-brunei/

Birthday Luck Continues..

Our day started early. I woke up with a drizzling rain outside, quite hoping for the sun to shine later, and worried for we haven’t brought any rain gears with us in case this weather will worsen.

Luckily at around 8am, Mr Sunshine already showed up and the rain stopped though the weather’s still cloudy with dark clouds hovering from a distance.

Kota Kinabalu Roads

Kota Kinabalu Roads

Guess my luck still’s with me, for we found out that the tour group we booked had already left and that perhaps there’s no more room for me and my buddy – so instead of joining us with them, we were offered a private tour – a small car with only the 2 of us (my travel buddy & I), and the tour guide, Nicolas, and his fiancé.

Sounds good to me for we could manage our own time, talk to the guide and have him all to ourselves without any other people joining the tour – for the price of a regular tour (more expensive to really opt for a private tour I guess).

So here’s our itinerary for today.

Mt. Kinabalu Park and Poring Hot Spring Tour

  • 8.00am: Pick up from hotel
  • 10.00am: Reach and explore Kinabalu Park.
  • 12.00pm: Lunch and head to Poring Hot Spring
  • 2.00pm: Canopy walk and leisure time in Poring Hot Spring
  • 4.00pm: Head back to Kota Kinabalu city

What to Bring:

  • - Camera
  • - Swimming Attire / Towels / Toiletries
  • - Extra Clothings
  • - Comfortable Walking Shoe
  • - Flip-flop
  • - Sun-Block Lotion / Insect Repellant / Hat / Binocular
  • **Temperature up in the mountain can dropped to 15c-25c during the day, so please bring some warm clothing to cover up.

Poring Hot Spring Tour Pictures

Poring Hot Spring Tour

Poring Hot Spring Tour

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Around Mt Kinabalu Park

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Birthday Gift

After the tour, Nicolas even gave me a gift from the travel agency knowing it’s my birthday today. So say hello to my newest pal, the Probosci Monkey – one of the popular species of monkeys known in Kota Kinabalu.

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Where to stay in Kota Kinabalu?

After our tour, we checked in at Stay Inn Hotel – Quality yet affordable hotel at the heart of the city

This one’s already a 4-star hotel complete with amenities and strategically located just near the Seafood Restaurant – for only 1,000Php per night for 2pax (so that’s like 500Php per person), value for money indeed!

Eating Around Kota Kinabalu

The rest of the evening was spent exploring the city, looking for places to eat.

Here’s what dinner looks like here at their Seafood Restaurant – where literally they have their foods ‘fresh’ as in fresh from water, alive and kicking pa nga in an aquarium. Just choose whichever you want and have it cooked.

Tried this Nasi (which means rice) Goreng (meaning beef) USA

Nasi Goreng USA (8MYR)

Some soto ayam..

Borneo Travel Itinerary: A Birthday Trip to Kota Kinabalu and Brunei

This year which also happens to be my birth year – year of the Wooden Horse, I decided to set my travel soles on my birthday to a place that’s not so often visited, a place whom I could compare myself to – simple, not that into elegant & fancy fashion statements & accessories like that of a city, but a suburb with a hidden beauty inside. Perhaps more of the countryside part of the town.

Every year on my birthday it seems that this foot wanders into the mountainous side of the world – 2 years ago I spent in trekking the province of Bukidnon, and last year I hiked Mt Pulag in a freezing zero degree temperature.

Mt Pulag Philippines

Mt Pulag Philippines

Zipline in Bukidnon

Zipline in Bukidnon

And this year, it will be a trip to Kota Kinabalu crossing the boarders to Brunei.

About Borneo

Borneo is the third largest island in the Malay archipelago. This landmass is shared by Sabah and Sarawak states of Malaysia, Brunei, and Kalimantan provinces of Indonesia.

Just ignore the text.. This is just one of the nicest maps that includes Brunei & Kota Kinabalu in one map :)

Just ignore the text.. This is just one of the nicest maps that includes Brunei & Kota Kinabalu in one map :)

There were many awesome nature trips, outdoor tours and places to travel in Borneo. Six days wasn’t exactly enough to experience everything Borneo offered.

Overview: Kota Kinabalu and Brunei Itinerary

  • Day 1 (January 29, evening): Departure from the Philippines
  • Day 2 (January 30 *Happy Birthday to me!): early morning arrival to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, East Malaysia – then nature trekking to Mt Kinabalu Park & Poring Hot Springs
  • Day 3 (January 31 *Happy Chinese New Year!): Went on an Island Hopping adventure at Taman Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, then a walking tour around Kota Kinabalu city center
  • Day 4 (February 1): Crossed Kota Kinabalu to Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
  • Day 5 (February 2): City tour around Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei , late night flight back home

Day 1

I started my trip with a flight from my hometown in General Santos to Manila, where I was even accompanied by my family to the airport (thanks much!). Then followed with a flight from Manila to Kota Kinabalu via Cebu Pacific air, a promo fare that I purchased for only 700 Pesos.

My sweet, big loving family!

My sweet, big loving family!

A Birthday on top of the Clouds

One thing that I really looked forward to is that this will be my first trip outside the country on my birthday – not just that I’m also excited to have my birth date stamped on my passport. Haha!

  • January 30, 1:00am – Arrival at Kota Kinabalu International Airport – Terminal 2
    • Pass Malaysian Immigration
      • Free Visa on Arrival for Philippine passport holders

Getting out of Kota Kinabalu Airport Guide

  • Flights from the Philippines – whether with Cebu Pacific or Air Asia, arrive in the evening, during which the buses are no longer available. The only option, therefore, is to take the taxi, which costs RM 30 (around 420 pesos), to sleep in the airport, or to sleep at a nearby hotel within walking distance.

Being a budget traveller, guess which option we took? At first we thought it might be better to just sleep at the airport however since their terminal 2 is a small airport, sleeping might be difficult – luckily we found out a nearby budget backpacker hotel – Borneo BeacHouse (Backpackers) which have a dormitory type room for only 380Php (forgot the amount in MYR).

Borneo BeachHouse Backpackers: A Buget Hotel near the Kota Kinabalu Airport

From the airport, the hotel’s within just walking distance, around 10 minutes. The Marketing Manager, Nick, had also been very kind & accommodating in replying to all my queries via email. They’re also providing affordable tours around Kota Kinabalu in case you need one. I availed their Poring Hot Spring & Kota Kinabalu Park tour (190MYR) and 3 Island Hopping (90MYR).

Birthday Luck

Guess I was feeling lucky on my birthday, apart from a surprise when I saw my face on one of travel tips corner of the inflight travel magazine of Cebu Pacific, Smile Magazine, I even won their inflight games!

Surprised to see myself again at the Travel Tips corner of this month's issue of Cebu Pacific's Smile Mag.. Glad that it's for the month of January, my fave month!

Surprised to see myself again at the Travel Tips corner of this month’s issue of Cebu Pacific’s Smile Mag.. Glad that it’s for the month of January, my fave month!

Got myself an early birthday present for my first flight of the year. Thanks Cebu Pacific #CebuPacificInflightGame

Not just that, to our luck when we arrived during the night at Borneo BeachHouse Backpackers, it turned out there were no more vacant beds in their female dormitory (the one we originally reserved) so admitting it’s their fault, they just provided us with a free room upgrade to a private room. Better I guess! =)

So off we slept at around 2am in preparation for the morning’s tour.

I’ll be posting the remaining travelogue of our travel tomorrow so stay tune!

2014 Travel Calendar, Plans & More!

Howdy fellow adventurer?

I’d like to welcome you to this brand new year! I know last year we haven’t seen each other that much – you could probably say that I’ve been on hiatus. But don’t worry, this year I will be back!

Yes, Adventuroj is back again, WITH MORE!

Each new year holds an exciting promise — whether it’s a blank canvas for a new beginning or an opportunity for improvement on what’s already great. We have the potential to do whatever we set out to accomplish as long as we keep a positive perspective.

Year of the Horse

So this Year of the Horse 2014, this adventurer, born also on the Year of the Horse, will set to do more, go far & make a difference!

As they say, “Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”

2014 Travel Calendar

2014 Travel Calendar

  • January 29 – February 3, 2014 – Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia – Brunei Birthday Trip!

  • February 14-19 – Batanes Valentines!

  • February 22-25 – Let’s Conquer Sagada!

  • March 8-10 – Hike up Mount Pinatubo!

  • March 15-16 – Calaguas Island & Bagasbas

  • March 20-23 – Bantayan / Malapascua Island

  • April 11-14 – Whaleshark Diving at Donsol, Sorsogon

  • April 19 – Holy Week, Passion Play and Crucifixion at Cutud, Pampanga

**The remaining trips you’ll find out later in my blog. Stay updated!

Cheers to a fruitful and travel-ful 2014 ahead of us! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” —Mark Twain

 

AIR ASIA vs. CEBU PACIFIC Promo Fares, Which is better & cheaper?

Ok. This post came out as a desire to give information for all budget travelers out there who’s fond of availing promo fares.

I was trying to book a promo fare from Cebu Pacific Air just tonight (saw from their Facebook Page the ongoing 99Php Seat Sale.. but was shocked to find out how their company charges A LOT today than they’ve had before (probably brought by their popularity) – tried comparing it to AirAsiaPhilippines which is way cheaper.

Take a look at this.

Air Asia vs Cebu Pacific Promo Fare

Now you choose, which do you think is a more ‘budget‘ airline?

*Both fares are quoted round trip Davao – Manila for 1person. Slight difference in base fare: Cebu Pacific Air 99Php ; Air Asia 14Php.

Imagine the difference of almost half the price! Is this still a ‘Promo’ fare?