Summer Is Here In Boracay!

The Boracay Getaway!:D

I ‘was’ never a fan of Boracay. When I see it in news during summer, it’s too crowded and I’m not the type to go for crowded beaches even if it’s the best. I’d rather be in an isolated island to have my privacy. I go for a vacation to relax. Duh! How can I appreciate the beauty of a place if people are walking here and there in front of me? BUT, that was …. before.:)

So many friends encouraged me to go and visit this famous beach, until I finally agreed!:D

How To Get There: 

We booked our flight a year ago. Our flight was from Manila to Caticlan, but since it’s really hard getting a round trip promo flight to Caticlan, we’ve decided to book just 1 way. We waited for another promo and then we booked Kalibo to Manila.

(As of February 2013)

1. From Caticlan Airport, there are tricycles waiting for passengers. Right at the tricycle terminal, you can pay both the tricycle (Php 100 per tricycle) and the boat fare (Php 25 per person).

2. At the port, you have to pay Terminal fee (Php 100/person) and Environmental fee ( Php 75/person), which as far as I can remember is free if you are a resident. The boat ride is approximately 15 minutes that will take you to Boracay Island.

3. Just hop in a tricycle or van and they’ll take you to the White Beach. It’s  Php 100 per tricycle if you are going to Station 2.

Since we arrived there at 10AM and are too early for our check-in, we decided to just spend the remaining hours waiting at D’Mall. There, we had our brunch.

Welcome to Boracay!

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Station 2

Seems like we are the foreigners here. You can count the Filipino tourists, but foreigners are everywhere especially Chinese and blondes. Filipino guides and vendors are multilinguals. lol! They’ll judge you by the look and speak your language. Too bad, they got me wrong! One vendor talked to me in Chinese! lol just like the saying, “Don’t judge the book by its cover.”:D

It was raining when we got there. Too bad. 😥 But still you can already see the beauty of the beach.:) Good thing, the rain stopped at noon time.

We walked our way from D’Mall to Tonglen Beach Resort, where we booked our stay for 4 days and 3 nights (Php 10,500 for 4 people). It was a loooong walk! The check-in time should be at 2PM, but they were kind enough to let us check in at 1PM. Tiring!

So, we rested for a while. After a 3-hour rest, we then went to D’Market to buy some fresh meat and seafood that we would grill at Tonglen. Too bad, they only have seafood here. No meat!!!:'(

The first night, we just played badminton and table tennis since Tonglen has a play ground, as well as bounced till we get dizzy on the trampoline. After having our grilled dinner, we went to the beach just to check the night life. We saw the residents making sand castles, who were asking for ‘donations’ to take a picture with it.

Boracay Sand Castles
Boracay Sand Castles

The 2nd day was… beach time!!!:)

It was cloudy.>.< Oh come on! When can I see the real beauty of Boracay!?

The positive side is… we can swim without getting sun burn! lol

As time passes, so is the sun beginning to appear. At noon time, the sun was already scorching. You can already see the white sand and the blue sea. Oh… indeed it’s beautiful!:D

Boracay-beach
At Station 1, Boracay

The sand in Station 1 is really fine like flour. I also love that the beach is clean and has a huge shallow part since I’m not a good swimmer.

The sun was really hot in the afternoon so we tried looking for some refreshments. We looked for Jonah’s shake, a well-known fruit shake in Boracay. What’s funny is that we got in the wrong restaurant! Hahah we went to Jony’s, which also has fruit shakes!:D I’m not sure which one is the original.:D Fortunately, their fruit shakes were also delicious and the ambiance is really good. Coz if not… >.<

We spent the entire day in Station 1.

Here is the famous Boracay sunset… lovely!:)

Boracay sunset

Before dinner, we went back to our hotel and prepared for dinner. We had our dinner at the Palutuan in D’Market. The food? Huge serving, but the taste is fairly average. Not something to look forward to.

3rd Day

We  went to Puka Beach. It is a 15 to 30-minute ride from Station 2 that costs Php 150/tricycle.

Unlike the White Beach, Puka Beach has strong waves. It’s so scary that we didn’t even get to swim. The sand is also not as fine as in the White Beach. So we just spend that afternoon eating, sleeping, and collecting shells. There are also souvenirs being sold as well as melted ice cream, which is very expensive.

Puka Beach
At Puka Beach

Most of the people here are foreigners. This is where liberated foreigners go.  Since it’s quite private than in White Beach, you can find topless foreigners here.

We went back to the station 1, and this time we really looked for Jonah’s shake.:D So, we compared, the taste and price are quite similar to Jony’s. Although Jony’s restaurant is quite better in terms of the place itself. However, I’m not sure why people frequent Jonah’s more than Jony’s. Oh well, I don’t know why. We had Jonah’s pancit as well and it’s a …. winner!:D

At dinner, we planned going for a buffet but we missed it since we’re buying souvenirs.:'( There’s only 1 outdoor restaurant left offering an all-you-can-eat dinner so we had no other choice. Seems like we just had the left-overs.:'(

Day 4 – Last day……….. 😥

All our bags are packed but….. we’re not yet ready to go.:'( Tonglen allowed us to extend our stay for an hour for free. Thanks!:)

We went to D’Mall for lunch and to find the dessert we saw the first day. That mouthwatering dessert I cannot take off my mind.lol

So we found it here in Hallowich.

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That mouthwatering dessert in Hallowich

It’s a Korean restaurant that sells this huge dessert with crushed ice, fresh fruits, sundae, and syrup. Delicious! It’s like a Korean version of halo-halo. The serving is too big for the 4 of us. We just ate half of it.:'( But I really want to return because of you Hallowich!:D

Time to go…

From Caticlan port, we paid for the terminal fee – again. We also paid for the van going to Kalibo that costs Php 175/person, which we think was a wrong idea. We should have taken the bus instead. Our flight is at 7:30 PM so technically, we have to be at the airport no later than 6:30. We arrived at the van terminal at 3:30 PM. The dispatchers said that “we’ll leave, we’ll leave early… etc. etc.” My goodness, it’s already 5PM but we are still waiting for passengers! We’re already worried about our flight. They said the approximate travel time from Caticlan to Kalibo is 2 hours. They said there are still 4 passengers coming. Then 1 dispatcher asked us, “are you the 4 passengers we are waiting for?” We’re somewhat annoyed and said, “Yes, we are!” Patience! Patience! So we were waiting for… US??? We thought we’re still waiting for another 4 passengers. They even asked us for another Php 50/each. So the dispatchers argued a bit and then we FINALLY left at 5:30PM.

They were confident that we will not be late. They told us. But the way the driver drove is already a sign that we can be late! He was so fast that he does not care for humps. He asked for Php 50/each but he was still looking for passengers along the way. wooh!

We arrived at the airport at 6:30PM, already the time for boarding and it was like we are in Amazing Race! We were the last passengers to be accommodated. Thank God! It could have cost us a lot to buy another ticket!

Lesson: It is better not to buy tickets for the van in Caticlan port. There are buses and other vans there that do not have to wait for passengers that long.

Anyway, this is the only saddening part of our stay in Boracay. Good thing it still turned out to be good because we did not miss the flight.:)

Tips:

1.  Out of town trips MUST be planned AHEAD of time. It’ll give you enough time to save up and wait for great promos and discounts!

2. Look for transients/inns where you can cook (well, that depends on your preference) that would save you a lot of money. Food is expensive in Boracay.

3. Haggle! Haggle! Haggle! Anyway, I think goods are not that expensive in Boracay. What’s expensive is the transportation cost.

4. Hotels need not to be expensive nor to be booked before hand, except of course during peak season. Just look for a safe place where you will not worry leaving your stuff behind. Since you’re always at the beach, no need to pay for luxurious rooms. Also, there are people here and there who will offer you great deals. Furthermore, it’s better if you see the hotel first before you book. Some just look way different from their websites.

5. Avoid going during peak season! The cost of everything  doubles during this season, as well as because there will be too many people there, it will be too crowded for you to enjoy your vacation.

6. If possible, go during weekdays. That will make you have more options and enjoy the resort for yourself.

That would be all for now. Till my next getaway!:D

Boracay, I shall return!:D

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Brain – Korean Drama Review

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Brain! Brain! Brain! You just occupied my wandering brain that wanted to rest. 🙂

How do I start writing about this fantastic drama? I couldn’t think of the exact word to describe this one. Anyway, to start with, we just finished our project at work so I’m a glorious bum for an entire week.:) After an exhausting project, I managed to have my free time to enjoy my favorite hobby – and that’s watching Korean dramas. Too bad I ran out of dramas to watch. Actually, I’m a bit disappointed with Korean dramas nowadays, some are just incomparable to their previous works. I browsed for some good dramas, but couldn’t find any. I’m not in the mood for heavy dramas nor romantic ones. I just wanted something different.

Then I saw this drama so-called Brain. I haven’t heard of it before. The main actor, at first glance, does not appeal to me at all. I tried browsing for the reviews, and I found out that it’s a great work. So… I decided to try it! Anyway, I’ve always been a fan of medical dramas since I really admire doctors. They look smart and neat!lol

Meet The Doctors:

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Dr. Lee Gang Hun, portrayed by the Legendary actor Shin Ha Kyun, is an outrageously arrogant neurosurgeon in Chunha University. He’s a perfectionist, ambitious, but…. a genius young neurosurgeon whom everyone hates. Technically, he is Mr. I-Know-It-Better-Than-Anyone-Else. He is embarrassed of being poor so he neglects his loving mother and sister. He has a past that he wants to cover up with his achievements. Proving he’s the best, he always competes with his fellow doctor and former classmate who was born with everything, Dr. Seo Joon-Suk (Jo Dong Hyeok).

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Dr. Yoon Ji-Hye is a kind and warm-hearted, however a careless neurosurgeon. She is hardworking but often commits errors in her practice. She hates Dr. Lee Gang Hun due to his arrogance. However, as time passes by, she saw Lee Gang Hun as someone who needs help. She tried to help him until she fell in love with him.

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Professor Kim Sang Chul is the best neurosurgeon in South Korea. He’s a great doctor in terms of his skills and his treatment to his patients. He is very kind, which Lee Gang Hun finds as hypocrisy. Like Lee Gang Hun, he has a past that he buried but when he met Lee Gang Hun, all those nightmares start coming back to his life.

Here it goes…

Surprisingly, the first episode already hooked me up. The surgeries are nerve-wrecking! Come to think of it, I am not a fan of bloody things. I just can’t look at it. But because I find this drama really interesting, I swallowed it up and focused my entire attention to it.

The story is just typical. It has neither too complicated twists nor fairy tale romance – it’s plainly about the lives of these surgeons inside the hospital. That’s why this drama is just brilliant. They managed to pin the viewers with its simplicity. Every episode is dragging, you will not get bored. It’s actually fast paced. Issues are here and there, but are solved the next day. I also love that there’s no annoying third party involved.

The music whenever they have a surgery is really heart-thumping. My goodness, I’m even praying that the patient wouldn’t die!lol This is how this drama affects me. What I also love the most is when Dr. Lee prepares for his surgery! He’s really gorgeous when he does that scrubbing thing and when he enters the OR with his hands up. waaaahhhhh!!! Can’t believe a 40 year-old actor would make me feel this way! >.< He is indeed oozing with appeal and intelligence when he’s in his gown. Yes, admit it, he’s not the best-looking Korean actor out there, but his role as a doctor just gave him a hundredfold share of appeal.

I remembered first seeing him in one vampire movie before when he’s a geeky freak (lol you won’t believe it’s also him) and in Welcome to Dongmakgol where…. oh well I barely noticed him there. If I didn’t watch this drama, I wouldn’t have realized it was him. It’s also funny when he flips off his gown to show his arrogance and when he wants to walk to show off.

Aside from those physical facts, I love his wit. But I really hate his arrogance. He’s too ambitious that he can sacrifice his pride for it. Actually he’s already annoying because of his ultra-magnetic-super-sonic arrogance!:D He’s always full of grudge that’s why he seldom smiles. And when he does…. >.<

Out of all these stresses they show inside the hospital, what a breath of fresh air is the slight romance between Dr. Lee Gang Hun and Yoon Ji-Hye. It is very minimal, but sweet and simple. Who wouldn’t want to see how this conceited doctor acts when he’s in love? It’s really cute when he’s pretending not to care and keeping his blossoming feelings inside. >.<

Aside from the romance, applause for the lead actors for delivering such great performances. I admire them because they seem to really study how doctors move. It’s effortless. Anyway, I’ll just mention the performance of Professor Kim Sang Chul and of course, Shin Ha Kyun as Lee Gang Hun. Lee Gang Hun just made me angry, tremble, and cried A LOT! His eyes convey it all since it’s his character to keep his emotions inside. I can feel the pain when that tragic moment (not to spoil) happened. When he cried, I cried the more!lol Also, when he’s being humiliated and he’s trying not to cry, I really pity him. When he screams, I got scared!

I still have a lot of things to say with regard to this drama, but I’ve decided to make it short and leave the rest to those who watched and who will watch this drama. All in all, Brain is fantastic! A masterpiece yet to be uncovered. I just don’t know why this is not so popular. Maybe because it’s not a romantic drama and it has no big stars to start with? Oh well, it’s really a waste not to watch it. Now, this is one of my favorites! Ahm, in terms of medical drama, then this is the best for me.:)

I just wanna tell Shin Ha Kyun, if you can read this… I am now your fan!:D

Great job to all casts and crew of Brain! Applause. I hope there’s a part 2! The ending left me asking for more… 😥

Bye bye Shin Ha Kyun! Till your next work of art!:D

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My overall rating for Brain is 10 out of 10.

Arang and The Magistrate Review

Could have been….

Oh well, what can I say with this drama? Hmmm… This drama could have been one great hit. The story is there, the humor is there, and the characters? OMG! They cast 2 of SK’s finest celebrities. But, what happened?

Based on my point of view, the writers might have tooooooooooooooooo many ideas to fit in a 20-episode drama. The first few episodes are hilarious, then it went drama, romantic, sci-fi, action, thriller, and then what? Well, there’s nothing wrong with using all genres in one drama, but the problem is they were not able to sue them very well. There are loopholes and questions left unanswered everywhere.

The Magistrate’s mother took over almost the entire story. I’m thinking, this is not entitled The Magistrate and His Mother, right? Arang is just peeking in and out of the picture. It’s just so saddening because I really admire South Korea when it comes to complicated twists like web, however in the end, they are able to make clean endings with questions answered and you will just say, “Oh, so that’s why.” Arang and The Magistrate lacks in that sense.

Another thing is the issue of the Jade emperor. Excuse me Yoo Seung Ho. Although I really really like you a lot, I have to be honest with my review!:D His plans and so-called wisdom does not make sense at all. Or should I say, he was not able to justify the wisdom needed for a Jade emperor. Well, it’s not about Yoo Seung Ho in particular, it’s regarding his role. It could have been brilliant!

There’s only one scene that I really love here because it’s so sweet – and that’s when the Magistrate is getting Arang’s measurements. That’s all!;)

I’m not sure what really happened, but seems like the production decided to do this and that. Unfortunately, it didn’t end great.

My rating for this drama is 4.9 out of 10.

Disclaimer: This is just my personal review in Arang and The Magistrate