Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Seven Random Things

Grace of Filipina Soul tagged me to share seven weird or random things about myself. Actually, at first I wanted to concentrate on listing 7 weird things because I thought that making this list would be easy because I am quite weird. So, when I sat down to actually write it down, it turned out that I am perfectly normal because I cannot find anything to write. After about 2 weeks of thinking, I finally have to include random things as well:

1. I work on a molecular biology technique called DNA microarray. I didn't think this was weird until I tried explaining to my mother and to my sister just what it is that I do. If you don't know what microarrays are and would like to know please check the wikipedia.

2. I don't know how to drive.

3. One of my greatest frustrations in life is not being able to buy shoes. Here in Switzerland adult shoes start at size 36 and children's shoes end at size 34. I am size 35 (size 5 in the Philippines). I have to go home to the Philippines to buy shoes.

4. My favorite dish is crispy pata (crispy pork knuckles).

5. I can't swim (even after taking 2 swimming lessons). When snorkeling, I use a life vest. I guess I have to learn how to swim if I want to learn how to dive.

6. I jog about 10 kilometers at least 3 times a week.

7. I dream of running the New York Marathon within the next 2 years.

So, now that you know that, in return, I would like to tag 7 blogs. I chose these blogs because they are my recent favorites.

1. Zherwin of My Thoughts

2. Arpee of Pinoy Life at Large

3. Chris of Nomad4Ever

4. Rye of Hola Filipinas

5. Jamunoops of Why not coconut

6. Earvin of Carrot Prince

7. You! If you feel like sharing something about yourself.

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share seven random and/or weird things about yourself.
3. Tag seven people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Wish List : 1. Cagbalete Island

Nice huh?

While blog hopping the other day I came across a series of posts from Zherwin's blog My thoughts about this relatively unknown island called Cagbalete. The pictures he posted and his description (of the beach and the crispy pata) of this island paradise made me itch to go home to the Philippines again. What is even more great about this island is that it is very near my home town of Laguna. No plane ride necessary to reach this place. A few years ago, we tried to explore this area of Luzon and we reached Abalat island. The lack of information about a lot of places makes it really difficult to go. It is great really that through blogs we discover that there are still lots of beautiful and relatively unknown places in the Philippines just a few steps away. You can find a more detailed description of this island in My thoughts and in http://www.cagbalete.com/

Next year, I am quite sure of our route. Cagbalete, Donsol and Caramoan!
picture taken from http://www.cagbalete.com/



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Thursday, May 15, 2008

News: DENR sues mayor, others for mangrove destruction in Boracay

Abs-cbn news reported that "The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Thursday filed a case against several officials, including the mayor, of Malay town in Aklan after a hotel company was allowed to destroy mangroves to build a hotel in Boracay island."

Finally! This story makes me very happy! I applaud the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for holding these Boracay officials responsible for the destruction of the environment just so more hotels can built in that very small island. Even though most probably no one will get convicted because government officials never get convicted anyway.

As if there are not enough hotels in Boracay already. What these officials should understand is that tourists flock there because it is beautiful. If they allow more and more hotels to be built, and in consequence destroying its nature, NO MORE TOURISTS will go to Boracay. That is quite easy to understand I think. Even a person with an IQ of 10 can understand that. So, my conclusion is that they really don't care about sustaining Boracay's beauty. All these government officials care about filling their bank accounts as fast as possible before their term in office expires.

If only we have government officials who have the Filipino people's well-being in their hearts then my country surely will be a much better place. This is very frustrating to some of us who really loves the Philippines.

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Friday, May 9, 2008

Coron Island, Palawan Part II

As I mentioned in my previous post, Coron Island may be one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life. The place looks so unreal, as if it was taken straight out of a Pirates of the Caribbean movie. The contrast between the towering gray limestone cliffs and the clear aquamarine sea is beyond beautiful. The brackish water lakes with it's clear waters and strange corals in the middle of limestone mountains is magical. As we entered the island for the first time through Blue Lagoon, we were mesmerized. The only sound coming from our mouths are oohs and ahhs.
I understand why the Tagbanuas consider this land as sacred and I salute their efforts in preserving it. As we swam in Kayangan Lake, I didn't dare make so much noise lest I disturb the sacred beauty of the place with my shrieks. I didn't mind at all to pay the entrance fee to the lakes or to pay to go the beach. I respect the Tagbanua and I consider it a privilege to be allowed to admire their island.
The snorkeling around the island is very good as well (Siete Pecados is excellent), one can see diverse species of coral in many different colors. Try holding a piece of bread in the water and many different fishes will swarm around you. We saw also sea horses and sea anemones with nemo(clown fish) swimming in and around it. Just please resist the temptation to ask the boatmen to take you in a snorkeling place where you don't have to pay. The problem in this case is there are no permanent anchors for boats in these areas. Your boat would need to anchor independently and use tikin (bamboo) destroying many corals which would take many many years to recover. Just for this reason one should stick to the "usual" snorkeling sites.
There are no accommodations in Coron Island itself, one needs to stay in Coron Town, or any of the nearby island resorts and then do a day-trip to Coron Island (boats cost 1500-2000 php for the whole day, take note this is excluding fees to Coron Island and snorkeling sites which can be from 150-300 pesos per site). In Coron Town, we stayed in Sea Dive which is built on a protruding platform on the sea. It is a popular place for tourists. Rates are on the cheap side but the service is good and the rooms are acceptably clean. I also like their bar and restaurant. One can also rent boats cheaper (1500 php) from Sea Dive.

Accomodations in Coron Town:
Sea Dive
Crystal Lodge
Kokosnuss Resort

Nearby Island Resorts:
Evergreen Diving Resort
Coral Bay Beach and Dive Resort
Sangat Island Reserve
Banana Island - 0063 (0) 9214741602 or email: sexy_shiela13@yahoo.com

Related Posts:
Busuanga-Arrival
Busuanga: Evergreen Diving Resort
Coron Island

More pictures of Coron and the Philippines:


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Of all the flights to london, the most expensive flights are the one boarded at the last minute. This is true for orlando flights as well. In a similar way, the cruise ship visits are also most expensive at the end, according to the adventure vacations guide.
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Sunday, May 4, 2008

Coron Island, Palawan

Coron island may be one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life. This video doesn't do justice to how beautiful the place is in reality. The video just cannot capture the real beauty of the colors of the sea, lakes and mountains. Here is a video of our trip to Coron Island.



Note: This video was edited using Videospin by Pinnacle which is free and works better than Windows Movie Maker (WMM) because it doesn't crash. It took me a long time to make this video because windows movie maker crashed on me several times wasting my precious time. Hopefully, I found videospin. I still have to learn it fully but it works similar to movie maker.

Related Posts:
Busuanga-Arrival
Busuanga: Evergreen Diving Resort
Coron Island Part II

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