Thursday, April 27, 2017

Calaguas Island 2017: Part Two

This is the second installment of our Calaguas Team Building.

We literally spent the whole afternoon in the beach because we took tents for our accommodations that day. I loved the idea kasi never pa kaming nag tent and I was excited for Jami because kids love  bahay-bahayan diba? Jami likes going under kumot and magtatago daw sya. This time, he will have plenty of time to go hiding. Haha! =)

As I said from the first installment, we immediately swim our heart out after we arrived. I was surprised to see that Calaguas Island has a long stretch of white, fine sand.

We walked from our tent to one side of the island with a lot of rock formation. I was looking forward for more photos near those rocks and to go to the other side but Jami was a little cranky at that time, probably tired of our long ride.

After some time, I have decided to clean up before our lunch was served by the organizers. Sorry I don't have photos of the food but I could say na hindi tinipid. It will be served buffet style and if they see that the food is running low, maglalabas pa sila. Our food was also shared by another group (yung mga nakasabay din namin sa jeep) so it was a good thing kasi walang napag iiwanan na hindi nakakain. 

Later in the afternoon, we were told we'll go Island Hopping so we changed back to our swimming clothes. I left my phone in our tent because I was thinking na baka mabasa and we don't have a plastic or waterproof bags to put it on. Yun pala, we won't even swim. Hahahah! I was so annoyed with myself na hindi ko dinala yung phones so we don't have pictures from here on. Good thing, my team mate agreed to take photos of us kung hindi, nganga. Hahah!

This island was pretty close to Calaguas. You have to trek and I could say na mejo matarik sya ng slight. I wasn't wearing slippers during this time kaya nag trek ako ng naka paa.

In fairness, ang sakit nya sa paa. Hahaha!

We were at the highest point of the island and it was so peaceful except na mejo madaming tao that time. Someone from another group went down on the rocky side of the island (left side of this photo). Big rocks + big waves means danger! The girl who went down with her group took pictures in one of the flat rocks tapos biglang may malaking alon so she was dragged and got injured. She was slashed by big rocks on her legs and arms but it wasn't that fatal from the looks of it. I believe they called for a rescue because it will be really hard for her to climb back. Mabuti na lang talaga yun lang ang inabot nya because when you look at the place, sobrang dangerous to go down. So next time, safety first! May maganda ka ngang selfie, tegi ka naman diba?

Our tent

After around 45 minutes to 1 hour, we decided to leave the island and went straight to snorkeling. It was very near Calaguas Island lang. I didn't dare to go down the bangka because it's getting dark. I am also worried with Jami na baka matakot because we will leave him with my teammates sa bangka.

When we arrived, Dinner was served shortly after. Mejo hassle lang ng slight yung pagligo because there's only one poso near our place and since we are a group, mahirap maligo. Although they provided 5 restrooms, yung pagkuha ng water ang slightly challenging.

By this time too, naubusan na kami ng battery ng phone and our power bank wasn't charged 100% so ayun. We have no phones for the night. There's no electricity in Calaguas except at night when they open mobile bars. You can get your gadgets charged at a local store for Php20 per gadget.

Good thing, my officemates allowed us to get our gadgets charged thru their powerbanks. =) 

We slept at around 9pm. I struggled a bit because Jami's so pawisin. He was looking for electric fans or AC but since he got really tired the whole day and the night before, he slept immediately.

I woke up around 5am because it was really cold.

Our breakfast was prepared a little later along with our lunch since we have to leave at 10am. The coast guard advised us a day before that waves will get really huge.

I was still looking forward to go trekking pero our officemates decided not to. I lost track of time and didn't realize that we left the island at 8am. It was a good decision because we were the last bangka to be allowed to leave the island.

The waves were really crazy sobrang tataas talaga. Imagine for almost 3 hours of boat ride, malalaki yung alon na kasabay mo??

As in literally parang gustong tumaob ng bangka. I was so scared pero si Jami, tulog na tulog. Daryl got dizzy and masusuka na daw sya, it rained also while we're in the middle of the ocean! Sobrang saglit lang naman so hindi naman kami basang-basa. Now it make sense why locals sell huge plastic bags before you go to Calaguas island.

By the way, we didn't take a bath before leaving the island since there's a chance we'll get wet during our boat ride. True enough, it rained so when we reached Vinzon, we paid 10 or 20 pesos per head to use the bathroom.

 We booked our bus ride the day we arrived in Daet. We rode the Deluxe Bus instead of the first class because it will leave Daet at 4pm than 9pm for the latter. We paid Php550/head. I recommend the Superlines Buses because the ones we rode on were brand new and malinis.

I would say that Calaguas was quite an adventure and I really loved the place. However, I don't think I am going back anytime soon. Halos malaglag ang puso ko sa sobrang takot on our ride back to Vinzon. My advise is to go there during mid April or May to make sure that the ocean will be quiet.

Total Spending in Php:

Calaguas Package (Tour, Transfers, Tents, Food) - 2,300/head
Bus Fare from Cubao to Daet and vice versa - 1,200/head
Breakfast at Vinzon - 180
Use of Bathroom at Vinzon - 40

The rest are personal spending like snacks and Jami's food.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Calaguas Island 2017: Part 1

I never mentioned here in the blog that I recently got promoted. Well, slightly lang naman. Not really promotion levels because I was transferred to another line of business or we call it LOB in call center term. It was the same company and business but it's a different scope of work from when I started. I consider myself so lucky that finally, after 3 years of hoping to join the team, it came true on an unexpected way. :)

Anyhow, I was informed that the team is having an outing in Calaguas. I really got excited since my kumares have been planning to go there sometime ago but it didn't push through. When I received the notice of passing the final interview. Nag happy dance ako! Heheh. It's as if hitting two birds at once. Calaguas and Promotion! Woooo. =D A L A G U A S !!!


It made me happier to know that we were allowed to bring our families with us. Alam nyo naman ang motto ng family namin. "We all go together or we don't go at all." Hahah. But yeah, I always wanted to bring them with me when I travel. Hindi complete and #travelgoals pag wala ang mag-ama.

Going back, we left Cubao at around 9:30pm riding a first class bus of Superlines. I could say that the seat were really comfy with matching leg rest, socket for charging, really cold AC units and a clean portable restroom. We paid 650 pesos/head and I would say na sulit naman talaga. We decided not to pay for Jami's seat and just make him sit on our lap. However, since the trip to Daet would take 8 long hours, hindi ko naman kaya buhatin ng ganon katagal so we shared my seat and occupied some of Daryl's too. It was really uncomfortable especially if you are trying to sleep so if you are willing to pay extra for your kid's seat, please do so to avoid the hassle of trying to squeeze yourselves into one seat. Hahaha.

Waiting to depart

You will be assigned your seat number as first class buses requires early reservations. Just go to their terminal and pay your seats to avoid the hassle.

It only takes an hour and we were all sleeping. I would say that the bus ride was a breeze until we reached a zigzag road. Over talaga sa pagka zigzag that made me woke up. I was a having a very uncomfortable-shared seat with Jami tapos may ganong daan pa. Naloka ako ng very light but it was surprisingly shorter than Baguio or Baler, Aurora so thank God for that.

We arrived in Daet at around 4:30am. We waited in the terminal since we have an officemate and his family that we left behind. They didn't make a reservation so they have to ride a regular or a deluxe bus that would take a 10 hour drive because of stops along the way. When the sun has risen, the kuya who will drive us to Vinzon arrived. We rode a jeepney and thought it was all for ourselves pero hindi pala, we waited for some group in a Jollibee along the way but that's fine. It was a little masikip but you'll get along kasi it's a really short ride lang naman.

After around 20 minutes of jeepney ride, we arrived at what looked like a port kasi madaming bangka. Heheh. But before that, we bought breakfast in one of the local store. There were a lot of local kids who are selling plastic bags. Akala ko para talaga sa used clothes so I wasn't planning to buy kasi 16 pesos each eh pero gave in later on. Yun pala, the purpose of it is to put your bags inside the plastic to avoid it being wet while riding the banca. It took us about an hour before we left Vinzon because of the coast guards approval. They asked us to fill out a paper form with our names, address and emergency contact person in 3 copies. Hindi uso ang carbon paper so we have to manually fill out 3 papers which took a while. We left Vinzon past 8am.

Our boat ride took 2 hours to get to Calaguas Island so we had time to nap. The sea was calm  as well so it was a smooth sailing. I could say that this was the longest boat ride that I ever took in my entire life. After a while, we saw wonderful islands and I am surprised to see that the sands were white and fine. It didn't last long until we docked in the island.

I was so glad to see Calaguas finally!

The sand is as fine as Boracay but the water is a lot better.

We will be sleeping on tents that day which was one of our many firsts as a family and what made our trip more exciting. I always wanted to try to sleep on a tent. Hehehe! It was kinda humid that day so we dragged the tents under the small trees around. The ones on your right are our group's tents.

To ease out the hot weather, we decided to swim immediately.

Could you see the cabanas and tables over there? That is where our tour guides/organizers serve our meals (included in our package are full board meal breakfast, lunch and dinner).

Stand by for the continuation of our Calaguas Trip. =D

Monday, April 17, 2017

Break Free by Don Soriano : A Review

I am an aspiring entrepreneur and financial freedom is my long term goal. I know I mentioned here in the blog about me reading a book or two about finances and how to improve them. I even wrote down my short term and yearly goals. However, most of the books that I have read so far mainly focus on how to manage finances and only mentioned about starting a business is a good idea too but didn't dwell on the How’s. When I found out about Break Free by Don Soriano, I got interested and sign up for it.

One thing that caught my attention in the cover was "Principle # 1 Don’t quit your job". If I didn't love the new department I am on, it's one of the choices I have in mind - to quit and focus on my small time business. Just like the book says, I want to become an employer in the future.

So how did I find the book helpful? I have read some of the things written to the previous' financial books I came upon with. However, I also found new information that is helpful to those who are aspiring to establish a business in the long run. I guess all books have their own strengths right?

To begin with, this book is really short. It can be read in an hour or two depending on how fast you read a book. I for example tend to read books longer because I kept on reading a part that wasn't clear before going on to the next page. I make sure that I have my full understanding and saw what the writers are pointing out.

Two, the book mentioned about the "Power of Leverage" that I think I haven't encountered before. The book discussed about how to smartly use other people's money, time, experience and knowledge and lastly, other people's risk to get to your goal of financial freedom faster. I tried to internalize what Don meant with all these and if I am unconsciously using them. I realized that OPM or other people's money isn't a new concept to me. I have been borrowing money from my sister and using it as a capital on my small business. I think as of this point, I am not into using other people's time, knowledge and experience most especially other people risk so I have to look into that too. I like the concept anyway.

Three, Don wrote about choosing the right people. I personally have friends whom I would say have a negative impact on my small business as they weren't as open minded on ideas as I am. He was right in saying that when you discuss a business idea in a pool of businessman, they would most likely to encourage you as they have the same mindset - which is business. Try to discuss it to someone who is scared to start up a business because of the thought of being bankrupt, they would definitely see the negative side of the idea and would drag you down. Looking back, I have ideas that was turned down because the people who surrounds me doesn't have the experience and mindset the same as I am.  Although they remained as friends, I am trying to limit the communication of business ideas to them and talk to those whom I know can give me a thing or two beneficial advises and feedback.

Four, and my favorite part was when he shared his strategy on how he managed to raise from debt to having a self-sustaining businesses. I guess it's for you to find out when you buy the book and this is what made me fall in love to it. Besides, if you really want to establish a business and become an entrepreneur, you have to invest in yourself by reading books etc.

Fifth and the last strong point of the book was the proper mindset. I for example has not realized I can bake until I had the proper mindset of learning how to. Now it has been my small time business and brings extra money to the family. Aside from that, since it's a hobby that I enjoyed the most, I don't feel like trying hard to make for a living. When we have the proper mindset, we can achieve whatever we have in mind.

Now I suggest if you think you are into business and want to achieve financial freedom, this book is a steal. I just hope that Don Soriano elaborated more on the part where he shared about a secret. I would love to read how he managed to come up with business plans and ideas along with the ups and downs of it. I know I could learn a lot from that just like I did on this book. At this time, you can order this book thru Don Soriano's Facebook Page at

Let's spread the word and make more people achieve their financial freedom. :)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Completely Potty Trained

As far as I know, I blogged about Jami being semi-potty trained last year. He's able to pee during the day and some nights where we don't use diaper at all. However, he still uses one whenever he poops and I had quite a hard time making him use the toilet back then. I accepted the fact that he might not be ready yet so I have to wait for the perfect timing.

Wait no more! I am glad to write about his new milestone!

He now knows how to use the comfort room. He can sleep at night without wearing one and won't pee on our bed. Just to make sure, I always ask him to clean himself up (brush his teeth, change his clothes, and pee) and remind him not to pee while sleeping. Although there were days that I would still make him wear a diaper especially if he feels tired with a whole day activity, or if he fell asleep without having to pee first. On some days, meron din syang presence of mind when he feels that he's peeing on his shorts, he will wake up and would ask me to accompany him sa restroom. During our most recent trip in Calaguas Island, I made him wear diapers while we're in the bus as it's a very long ride.

I am so impressed that he started using the comfort room for when he feels the need to poop. It started when he's having a tummy ache couple of weeks ago. Instead of making him wear a diaper, which if I may add, quite expensive tapos konti lang naman ang i-poop nya, I asked her to go to the bathroom and use the toilet bowl. He was resisting at first but since he really needs to get the poop out, he didn't get a choice. That's when he realized the use of the toilet bowl and how convenient it will be for him. You see, when he does number 2, he would hide himself in our bedroom or anywhere na walang tao. I am glad he found the comfort room the perfect place to use for his number 2 activities. Lol! =D

It was really timely since I am planning to make him start a summer school this month. I know it will be easier and economical for his teacher to help him use their toilet than make him wear diapers. Haha! =) There was a time when I came home and he told that he used the comfort room to poop. I talked to him about Mommy being happy with what he did. I was surprised to see him delighted knowing that his done a good job!

I can't wait to witness more milestones specially this coming months when he start going to school. I made an inquiry in a small school near our house for a start and I can't wait to tell you that new challenge too. =)

My selfie/video buddy. :D

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Weight Loss Journey: 65kgs down to 60kgs in 8 weeks

You all know that loosing weight was a real pain in the ass for me. Back in the day, before Jami came, I was at 54kgs. I was actually in the boundary of my body mass index but I am quite happy with it. I have a normal weight for my height, I may not get a flat tummy but I could always tuck them in if necessary.

I tried morning jog in the past but it didn't work because my mind was not in to it. I could kill myself going on cardio but if I didn't change my diet, I will accumulate more weight for sure. So in February, after our Annual Physical Exam here in the office, I realized that I gained more weight compared to last year's result. I was 63kgs in 2016 to 65kgs in 2017. Sad isn't it? That's where I decided to officially start going on a diet.

Baler 2016

Initially, I was planning to go on a no-rice diet. That's the easiest that I could go I think. When I got used to it for about 1 week, I downloaded an app on my phone "My FitnessPal" where it could help you track the amount of calorie intake everyday. It also has a recommendation of 1,200kcal/day for me to achieve my goal. With this app and some more research, counting calories became easier. Cooking and preparing meal did matter as well. Although I wasn't tracking my intake for about 4 weeks now because we don't have internet in the office, I am still mindful of the things and the amount of serving that I eat.

I also tried to go on a military diet that I found online, which I would love to share with you too in the coming days. While working on the military diet, I am still tracking the calorie intake on the app and realized that there were days I am going below 1,000kcal which is unhealthy so I have to add some food not included or double the food indicated on military diet. I'll explain this on a separate post too for a more detailed information and how did it go for me.

The struggle of preparing a healthy food is real. When I ran out of ideas, I started ordering the Calorie counted meal which I will tell you all about on another post too. :)

Calaguas 2017 wearing the same Rash guard

Pardon the photo. I am banging my head in the wall now for not taking photos of before and after. The first photo was our Baler trip in March 2016 while the last photo was our recent Calaguas trip. Notice that there's a difference in the belly area? I am trying to find a much decent photo and a close up one but I really can't find one. Why? I stopped taking photos of my body because I felt I am too fat. Due to this change, my lost confidence is starting to go back and hopefully, I could also improve my arms and legs and my tummy part further.

Anyway, as of this writing (04/05/2017) I am weighing 60kgs so I mainly lost 5kgs in 8 weeks. I just noticed that my weight loss is getting slower now that my body has adjusted with the amount of food that I eat so I have to add workouts to my routine. I felt I need more of a cardio to remove excess fat then tone the muscles later on. At this time, I can't still find the time to do it because my body clock is adjusting to my new forever schedule of 8am-5pm. I am giving myself at least 2 weeks to adjust then I could include the workout.

In total, I am so proud of myself for finally pulling this all together and making a progress. From 65kgs (143lbs) to 60kgs (132lbs), that was 5kgs (11lbs). It was really amazing! I have to give up sodas, sweets, junk food (chips), fast food etc. Although I don't deprive myself too much. I still get the chance to eat fast food when family goes out but I always make sure that I eat on a minimum. It's been 8 weeks since the last time I drank a soda and from time to time, I eat cakes (one small serving). I realized that the more you starve yourself, the harder you'll gain weight. The truth is you have to make sure you are consuming the right amount of healthy food, healthy snack while avoiding those fancy food. I learned so much in the past weeks and I will share it with you in the coming days.

My new target is at 57kgs (125lbs) and that hopefully can include routine cardio to help my body adjust. I don't want to impose a harder goal just yet because I want to take it one step at a time. Lol!