Posts

How To: Create Your Own Bottlenir

bottlenir1
Got extra sand in your pockets after hitting the beach? Here’s a little DIY for making a bottlenir which can serve as a small memento for keeps or souvenirs you can give out to friends. I got this idea when I just remembered that I had a bunch of tiny bottles lying around in my room. It was supposed to be for some future craft work but I guess this is one of those. Here’s how you can store your tiny memories of places you’ve been to. An example here would be the sand found in various beaches in Siargao when I had my week long vacation. I was practically wearing the same pair of shorts for every beach outing we had and along the way I didn’t notice that I was collecting a handful of sand with me. I only realized this when I got home and did some serious laundry.

bottlenir

Materials:

  • A tiny glass bottle (Anything that suits your fancy would be fine)
  • Cork stopper
  • Random dry objects (things you’re going to put inside)
  • Glue
  • Tweezers
  • Tiny Labels

bottlenir4

First of all, clean your bottles if they’re dirty. Here I’ve made my own little labels and cut them out like so.

bottlenir3

Now I put a dab of white glue to the surface. Make sure to put just an amount that’s good enough to cover the whole surface. Trust me you don’t want to put in too much because it’s going to be prtty messy later on.

bottlenir2

Now with the use of tweezers. Carefully insert the label to the bottle without touching the sides as much as possible. This is going to be slightly messy if you put in too much glue. Slowly stick the glued surface to the side of the bottle. Keep in mind to avoid air bubbles before the glue completely dries out by apply a little bit of pressure on the unglued side. Make sure the label is aligned with the bottle. Now patiently wait for it to dry at about 15 minutes or until you can see the glue becomes clear.

bottlenir1

Now you can fill it up with anything you like! After you do this, don’t forget to glue the sides of the stopper to the bottle and wait for it to dry before displaying or using!

 

The Rileys Go To Siargao

I got the chance to visit Siargao again for the start of this year! My dearest cousin Erika has already tied the knot and I got a new cousin-in-law named Cj who is now part of the family. I also get to meet my other lovable cousin Ian whom I have not seen in fifteen years and we’re out to explore the world! You could say I became the tour guide on this adventure.

s5 This time we checked in at The Hangout and settled our things there. It was something new for them since the place had a really island feel to it with its rope ladder, sandy floor and the mesh beds. You could say it might be described as an adult’s play place in the tropics.s3 next thing we did was to try out Aventino’s pizza who just opened their second branch and was already gaining good reviews around the island. Their pizzas were pretty good and tasty.

s9s4We then went to Villa Maya to try out that mini ramp overlooking the whole golf course. I made two attempts wherein both ended up as fail (but hey, atleast this girl tried). Had there only been enough time to spend I could have had the confidence to land successfully after several bruises or so. We were tired that day so we tucked in early after going to Mama’s Grill.s8We went island hopping the next day after some family drama with them passing up the offer to come with us. This time I finally got to the third island which was pretty rocky so you gotta wear slippers there. That’s us all barefaced tormenting our bottoms by the seashore. On the way we caught the sunset and it was pretty mesmerizing.s6The next day, our plan was to chill for several hours at the Pagoda beach bar and then head on for some surfing lessons. Along the way we meet several people off for some drunken carabao racing but unfortunately there were two ladies who fell from one of the carabaos and hurt themselves badly. We helped them out by driving them to the clinic thanks to Ranger Ryan in a jiffy. s1  This might prolly be the only surfing photo of us and this was the part where Erika and I bumped boards and it kinda looks like she became the figurehead of my surfboard. The only time I was forced to end the surf sesh was when the sun had already set and the pitter patter of rain had already begun. s7Just look at these newlyweds enjoying the view. It just gives me a smile across my face despite the drama. We took part in another Monday Funday. No photos because we didn’t bother to bring any phones or cameras because our gameplan was to just simply have a good time.s2 It got pretty rough the next day because it was time to go home and guess what. We missed the ferry this time so we had to take another route via a pumpboat. We even got to pass by Sohoton (the one with the stingless jellyfish) but did not make the detour since time was a precious commodity that time. I recommend you watch the video (in HD!) just to see how much treachery was involved. We had to take an 11 hour bus ride before we finally made it home.

So as you may have noticed everything was in such a fast pace that it felt like a blur. It’s making me wish to stay there longer and hopefully someday in the future I might do that! Ciao lovelies and thanks for reading through this personal entry!

On A Reset at Siargao, The Surfing Capital of The Philippines

No nudes at the Naked Island

Siargao’s Naked Island. No nudes though. Wanna read the tiny tidbits? Just click on the photo!

I’ve been away at a slightly longer time than expected dear reader! Good thing the frenzy to write is still at it’s peak period. I have also decided to write in a semi-organized way. This said post won’t be exaggeratedly long but will rather contain tidbits with where I and my travel buddies went to and the other fuddy duddy stuff. There may be a shameless selfie here and there but that is for you to find out! I’ve been wanting to travel to Siargao for a long time and would have supposedly gone there last September in time for its Surfing Fest but my body gave up on me *weeps*. My surfing skills on a scale of 1-5 is definitely at a 0 unless you count the ones where I do surf sleeping. Wanna read the tiny tidbits? Just click on the photo!

sneak6Pagoda Beach Barsneak8sneak9sneak4sneak19sneak10DCIM109GOPROD4siargaosurf24sneak21sneak14sneak12sneak1DSCF6489sneak22sneak7sneak25sneak16sneak18SiargaoD3qsneak17DSCF6151sneak20

Travelling to this little island proved to be quite a challenge with a total travel time of about 17 hours! Still, I guess it was worth it with the adventure in store for us. It’s not only the place for surfing but there are ideal places for non-surfers and are food inclined such as myself. There are also many places and scheduled events to go to when you’re the partying kind. The ratio to tourists and locals is quite high that you may actually think you’re at somewhere abroad. We actually went to two of them!siargaoD46sneak23sneak15shaka2sneak24

They told me it was silly to learn to surf there since the waves were of mammoth proportions and I’d be swept away the moment I try to stand on the board! They were wrong! Siargao is absolutely the best place to learn how to surf with all the locals there being competent surfers and very much willing to teach you a thing or two about it! The island vibe really got me. I wish to stay longer next time but for now, I’ll be sharing my four day travelogue going to/while/leaving the surfing capital of the Philippines! There are so many things to do there and so many places to see. I only stayed about four days and am longing to go back already!

sneak2

Wanna read the tiny tidbits? Just click on the photo!

Photo credits to: The ideal travel buddies someone like myself will ever have in this lifetime Leia Khu and Jessica!
Here is Leia’s very informative post pertaining to our travel: http://reiyakhu.tumblr.com/post/138023947140/siargao-travel-guide

Check out more of my Siargao related reads with:

 

On Cloud 9 to Jacking Horse and G1

D4siargaosurf7D4siargaosurf1 D4siargaosurf8D4siargaosurf2 D4siargaosurf3 D4siargaosurf

We finally got to visit the infamous spot named after a chocolate bar, Cloud 9. Why did we not come here sooner!? I daresay one must wear any type of footwear especially when going there at 12 in the afternoon. The floorboards get insanely hot and it felt like my soles were being barbecued to the core. This is the spot where the annual surfing cup is held. The view is breathtaking here from the seeping cloudy skies up to the enormous barrel waves trying to kiss the shore…..and no we won’t be surfing this area yet…for now.

We’re off to another new spot called Jacking Horse which is just about 3 minutes away from where we were standing. The waves aren’t too rough for beginners like us and I look forward to the new spot! There were some paddle boarders here and there, I was told it may get crowded sometimes but luckily for us there were not a lot of people then. What I wanted to learn this time was how to catch a wave on my own. I was told in advance this requires a lot of timing and picking the perfect swell.

D4siargaosurf4 D4siargaosurf5 D4siargaosurf9

Here are some useful tips to share when you’re planning on surfing in the island:

  • Wear lots and lots of sunscreen. The higher the Spf, the better.
  • Don’t have an action camera? There are people you can hire for 150php who will take photos of you with their GoPro provided you have a microSD card with you. You can even let them use your camera…..DSLR’s included.
  • Surfing lessons will be at 500php per hour. Some will already include the board. Most instructors are locals who are expert surfers.
  • You can rent a surfboard at 200php/hour or 500php/day. I’ve heard of trading in your skateboard/longboard but have not tried it yet.
  • If you have a GoPro, you can request a surfboard with an already attached mount to it.
  • The bottom of the sea can be quite rocky, make sure you watch where you’re stepping.
  • Wear a rash guard. I like to wear a one-piece swimsuit underneath in case it gets wiped out. Free nipple shows often happen here.

D4siargaosurf11 D4siargaosurf12 D4siargaosurf10

Here are several must do’s I have learned from my summed up surfing experience:

  • Make sure your surf leash is not strapped to your dominant foot.
  • Don’t lean back too much and don’t lean too forward either. The balance is at the center.
  • Paddle like there is no tomorrow. (This will result in strained muscles on the first day for the untrained, bring meds!)
  • Stand immediately once you start feeling the speed of the wave.
  • There will be false swells. The key is to start spotting the right one from afar.
  •  When facing whitewashes, just lift your chest and do a cobra pose.
  •  Get a wristwatch. You will definitely forget the time when you’re having fun!
  • You can turn sideways by shifting your weight either left or right, whichever you want to go.

D4siargaosurf13DCIM101GOPRODCIM101GOPROI’m still at baby waves for now and by golly this sport is making me want to stay on the island just a bit longer! Must not give in. Here’s an after surf photo of us in our well worth it tans! We then headed to Shaka Siargao after this to grab a quick snack.D4siargaosurf14You thought I’d be done eh? Heck no, we’re far from that dear reader! After going back to base, we hurriedly went to G1 yet again because we were told that the waves were looking pretty good there. It’s slightly far but it’s an adventure worth going to! There were good omens along the way (see torn image below and yes I’m barefoot again. haha). One thing for sure is that Carabaos don’t take kindly to surfers.D4siargaosurf18D4siargaosurf19 D4siargaosurf20 D4siargaosurf21 D4siargaosurf22 D4siargaosurf23

D4siargaosurf24

The sunset view is a sight to behold at G1

 

Check out more of my Siargao related reads with:

Over Powerbowls and Tea at Shaka Siargao

shaka8shaka12

Shaka Siargao is one of those go to spots for those wanting to do a digestive reset. They serve cold pressed juices, smoothies and bowls of the freshest fruits and vegetables found on the island. Trying where possible to keep their products organic to maximize its flavour, and throwing in a few superfoods here and there, you will be left feeling rewarded, as well as satisfied for giving your body the goodness it deserves. They’ve also got a wide selection of teas as well. We stopped by here after our surfing sesh at  Jacking Horse. I was thinking of getting some tea but the menu caught my eye….

shaka1 shaka2 shaka9

The view is amazing since it overlooks Cloud 9. I passed by unusual looking trees a couple of days ago thinking they were lemons. But naaaaah. I thought lemons were imported from some other country. Turns out their lemons are locally grown and look more drop shaped than the usual ones you see at grocery stores. Shaka Siargao doesn’t just do smoothies and bowls, they  offer photography services as well. The place also serves as a gallery of awesome prints and they’re up for sale! Guess who just found out he had a photo here…

shaka13shaka10shaka11

I was thinking of this just being a light snack for today’s lunch. Turns out this became the lunch itself because each bowl packs quite a punch. Their servings looked a tad small at first since it was served on coconut shells, just as I was about to finish it midway my stomach was already telling mo to give up. All of them were very satisfying, fulfilling and not once did I feel guilty indulging myself since it was all fruits and fiber! We tried…

 

shaka6

the Bom Dia. This one had the biggest serving compared to the other two. This one had fresh fruits and granola in acai coconut blend.

shaka5

This one is the Green Bowl. It’s made up of kale, saluyot, pineapple, mango, honey, ginger, cucumber, coconut water and a double shot matcha to boot! This was the one I least liked in terms of flavor but the nutritional content is definitely worth finishing to the last spoonful. It was like a fruity cold vegetable stew that was very popular among vegans in the area.shaka7 The Cloud 9 Kook which was a superbowl made up of bananas, oats, mangoes, berries and sprinkled with a dash of chocolate. This was by far my favorite. The chocolate really went well with the tangy aftertaste of the fruits. I loved the texture of the oats and nuts because it went well with the smoothie underneath.

 

Check out more of my Siargao related reads with:

 

Day 4: Let The Good Tips Roll

siargaoD42This would probably be out last day at the island and just thinking about it is making me all forlorn. Leia and April left this morning because they had their reasons to get home ASAP. I on the other hand decided to stay just to spend more time with Jess. It’s been a while since we last saw each other and I really wanted to be there for her first surf lessons in the island!  I awoke at 7AM and proceeded to wake the others (Jess and Ryan) as well. It was the perfect day for the last surfing sesh. I am enjoying surfing immensely despite the accidental bruising, rocky bottoms, wipeouts and other things some people might complain about. Had I stayed here longer, i’d be surfing bigger waves everyday, but that’s just the dreamer in me talking. I do love to stay here longer probably like a month or three? I have also kept in mind some tips which will really be useful on the next visit!siargaoD4siargaoD47

  • Do not ever forget to bring a pair of slippers…unless you want to go barefoot around General Luna for the next couple of days, like me.
  • Bring lots and lots of sunscreen/sunblock or skin products that will protect you from sun exposure.
  • Combing your hair is optional. Your hair will still turn out soft and sleek even after five days of going comb free.
  • Locals and foreigners are extremely friendly around these parts. The island is small, so you’ll tend to see them again unexpectedly.
  • Get a dry bag, it will be your best friend the next couple of days when you’re going near bodies of water.
  • Grilled food is excellent food especially when it’s seafood!
  • Bring a longboard/skateboard and trade it in for a surfboard. Learning how to balance is crucial.
  • There is no thing as insufficient swimwear. A rash guard is the most crucial piece of clothing you will ever wear here.
  • One should get a wristwatch. I have lost track of time ever since I got here and my phone is always in the dry bag.
  • I must learn how to dance next time…scratch that, I will never ever shake my booty on the dance floor ever again.

siargaoD43siargaoD46siargaoD45

Just me, Jess and random dog chilling at Pagoda Beach Bar. Waiting for the waves to become sufficient enough to surf. Did I tell you this place is a party hotspot at night for tourists and foreigners? Because it is and we hit Monday Funday last night. I’m pretty sure most of the people who went there are nursing a hangover now. We had this place to ourselves the past couple of days and this would probably one of my favorite spots to laze around. I love the decor and quotes. I was told you were free to stick your art or sticker anywhere of you wanted to.

siargaoD410 siargaoD49siargaoD41 siargaoD44

The Swedish guy with a surfboard is Max, he’s the current owner and all around nice guy with his dog Django. The guy’s a surf enthusiast and he was nice enough to let us crash for a couple of days at their homestay.

siargaoD48

Check out more of my Siargao related reads with:

The Hangout at Siargao

SiargaoD312

This would probably be our third visit at The Hangout Siargao. This was supposed to be our  third visit to this simple but interesting place worth staying. At 250php a day, you can stay here and sleep on mesh beds found at their second floor which you can easily climb up with a rope ladder. I think it’s a cool way for those who want to overcome their fear of heights or those who want the thought to be basically hanging in the air while sleeping. There’s also an option to stay at their attic room. The Hangout is a house open to friends, friends of friends of the owners, and also to travelers visiting Siargao Island.

SiargaoD311SiargaoD310SiargaoD313We were planning on staying here since Leia was a good friend of the owner but they were full that time. The hangout is a very traveler friendly accommodation and i’d consider staying here the next time i’ll ever be around the island again. It’s a very friendly and open place to meet new friends. Just keep your voice at a bare minimum during the evenings because that’s the time when most of the people are asleep. There are basic house rules though but it’s all good vibes and chill when you visit this place.

SiargaoD315SiargaoD316SiargaoD317

Before we end our night, we decided to see what Monday Fundays are like at Pagoda Beach Bar considering that the party itself was at the front beach yard from where we were staying. The place was packed with tourists who had various reasons to go there ranging from having a good time, getting buzzed and meeting people. It was a funday, meaning anything could happen then like men wearing pigtails in dainty backless sundresses, some people stubbing their toes on extremely low tables and swearing furiously, others just asking to be dared….and even a shooting star or two. Leia hated me for the latter, she didn’t get to see one because I asked her to check the timer on her phone and looked up when it was already gone.

DSCF6489SiargaoD33 SiargaoD34

Check out more of my Siargao related reads with:

Margarita Pizza and Penne Vodka at Kermit’s

We headed over to Kermit Siargao for a hearty dinner after that island hopping with our newly acquired golden skin tones. I was looking forward to trying out their Margarita pizza! Did you know they cook their pizzas and calzones in brick ovens? The dough is homemade and you can watch how they bake and create their goods. The Italian receipt are all authentic with fresh ingredients form the market and imported from Italy. The service was quite fast since we surprisingly got our orders in less than 20 minutes! The area is quite spacious and is ideal for groups and families. The staff were very friendly and you can even request to have your photos taken. They also have a book borrow section, Wi-fi and board games! You can check out their menu hereSiargaoD35SiargaoD36

SiargaoD39

(left)Cold cuts & cheese platter. (middle)margarita pizza. (right)Penne Alla Vodka. All tasty and not a hint of regret was given that night.
Photo by Leia Khu Bartolome

SiargaoD37 SiargaoD38

Check out more of my Siargao related reads with:

It’s Daku Naked Island Hopping Time

SiargaoD3o

Photo by Leia Khu Bartolome

SiargaoD3zcThe best way to travel around the island would be through the use of motorcycles! Siargao Rentals is definitely the one to run to. We hit the boulevard at about 10AM. The waters were calm and clear and the weather was quite inviting. The familiar scent of the tangy sea got me all excited as we  walked toward the boat we were renting for our island hopping.

SiargaoD3p

Photo by Leia Khu Bartolome

Naked Island

First stop would be a 20 minute boat ride to Naked Island. Nope, no naked folks but rather some sort of sandbar just like Camiguin’s White Island! The only visible creatures there were a flock of seabirds which immediately took off when they sensed our human presence. The clear shallow coast around it is perfect for swimming activities but there are some hard corals on some parts too.SiargaoD3zdSiargaoD3zfSiargaoD3nSiargaoD3ze

It was a nice place to chill and spend some down time had there been no refuse. Sadly there were remnants which weren’t supposed to be there like rusty cans, fluorescent lights and a toothbrush? Srsly!? It’s not right to just irresponsibly leave these things behind. It’s a hazard with animals choking on them or other people accidentally stepping on the shards. I tried to put them in one place and I’m posting this photo as an awareness to other travelers who plan to visit there or at any beach. We have to be aware of our responsibilities to the environment. #LeaveNothingButFootprints

Daku Island

The next island on our list would be Daku Island whose name comes from a Visayan word which means big.The area offers a long strip of angled white beaches, breathtaking views and random greenery. They have cottages to rent that can fit a dozen people. The one we rented was at 300php. It’s the perfect place to chill for beach goers and absorb some natural Vit D. More pictures of our beach bumming below!SiargaoD3x

SiargaoD3y

Photo by Leia Khu Bartolome

SiargaoD3zbSiargaoD3uSiargaoD3rSiargaoD3qSiargaoD3v

Before I let my silliness take over me, look what I found after I scratched my head… a micro sand moon and star! Did you know they also sell various seafood there ranging from 200-300php per bucket. They can also cook and prepare them for you in various ways at 50php per kilogram. We had grilled and ceviche-ed octopus, grilled Saang(spider shells) and a baby giant clam soup!

SiargaoD3wSiargaoD3s SiargaoD3zaSiargaoD3z

Guyam Island

Ryan, Jess and I decided to leave earlier than the others to catch some surf time so we hitched a boat ride. Sadly we didn’t get to set foot at Guyam Island but we had the best glance! There’s Maligaya too! Pagoda’s house puppykal stowaway of the day. The sea was starting to get slightly troublesome because the waves were getting bigger! I tried my best to not get seasick by not looking at the horizon but rather focusing on the sea at hand. I’d compare it to a saltwater coaster ride though with the boat crashing on to huge waves while beyond it are more waves going at it as high as 15ft in barrels! If ever you’re in the island, try joining a S.E.A. Movement activity!SiargaoD3lSiargaoD3tSiargaoD3m

Siargao: Day 3 Beginnings

SiargaoD3b

I am starting out my third day in Siargao with a groggy eyed quick doodle because I promised to do this last night. It’s for tonight’s event at the Pagoda Beach Bar which we will check out later on after dinner. We then prepared (girly stuff included) for today’s itinerary which would be island hopping to Naked Island, Dako Island and Guyam. Leia then informed us that we’d be meeting our fellow island hoppers over at Pleasure Point Cafe.  SiargaoD3a SiargaoD3dSiargaoD3cSiargaoD3fSiargaoD3e

Pleasure Point Cafe is located at Purok 5, General Luna. It’s got a cozy seating which kind of looks similar to a Yoga dojo. The staff were very accomodating. We got a tad bit lost and even passed by some unusually shaped lemon trees. It was a sunny day and cold tea was very much obliged. They also offer breakfast, brunch, smoothies, great espresso coffee…and movie nights. Their prices are reasonable enough ranging from 60php – 200php. Sadly, I wasn’t able to try any of the breakfast food because they ran out of supplies. 🙁SiargaoD3iSiargaoD3kSiargaoD3jSiargaoD3hSiargaoD3g

Check out more of my Siargao related reads with: