My Adventure Partner (a short essay)

This is an entry to Wanderlass Adventure Partner Contest.

I have two complimentary yet contrasting partners whenever I travel: my kickass research and organization skills and my ability to just go with things.

Even though I love to travel, my first no-parents-allowed trip as an adult happened just last April 2010. My friend and I ended up in Australia – our first time in Cairns but my second time in Sydney. As I’d been there before and my friend’s only stipulation was a budget cap, planning everything fell to me. I looked up all the places I went to and enjoyed, the best ways to get there, a good hostel located within walking distance from the attractions, and most important of all, possible ways to get discounted tickets. After all the research, I presented my friend with three possible itineraries complete with projected costs. Thanks to me (*pats myself on the back*), we made the most of our five days without breaking the bank. My only regret was being two weeks early for the John Mayer concert and not knowing “Wicked” was staging just blocks away from the hostel.

However, just letting go and going along with what other people want to do has its upsides too. During my latest trip to Antique, Guimaras, and Iloilo, my friends did all of the planning. All I did was buy my ticket and contribute towards group expenses. Thanks to them and friends-of-friends, we visited a hacienda, went diving, island hopped, celebrated someone’s birthday, and ate tons of seafood in just four days!

/end essay

Notes: yay I’m writing again! Yes the impetus was winning a kickass backpack but I really have been meaning to get writing again. I have lots of adventures to document, most especially the trip to Antique, Guimaras, and Iloilo. I want school to be over ASAP!

Bolinao, Pangasinan

I got my first taste of grad school field work last March 5-7, 2009 when we visited the UP MSI Bolinao Marine Laboratory in Bolinao, Pangasinan. I took more videos than photos this time around (I’ve recently been inspired to do more video blogging. haha) and I’m hoping to be able to edit them together into a nice introduction once the semester ends in 3 weeks (wheee). I did take some nice photos though:

Aquaculture is one of the main sources of income here:

Aquaculture is one of the main sources of income here

Downtime with my classmates:

Downtime with my classmates

The giant clam garden of the institute. They’ve managed to increase stocks to 34,000! 🙂

Giant clams

The town pier:

Bolinao town pier

One of the oldest churches in the Philippines:

Bolinao church

Motorcycles and tricycles (motorcycles with attached side cars) are the kings of the road here:

Motorcycle

Bolinao is famous for its shellcraft:

Shellcraft

Looks like I’ll get lucky this summer: Baler, Aurora is already firmly in the summer itinerary, with Batanes being actively negotiated. Huzzah! And if I’m really, really lucky, I might even get to sneak in Baguio, Boracay, and El Nido. Wheeee 😀

it was fun while it lasted

The emails to potential Top 50 candidates have already been sent out and unfortunately, I didn’t get anything. Ah well. It was fun while it lasted. I hope to keep in touch with the members of the Ning community though, as they’ve got great ideas how to keep the site interesting even after the contest ends. I’m also curious as to what kinds of people made the Top 50. Based on those who’ve said that they got The Email, a lot of the potentials are media pros. Huh.

Beachside bumming

This is what the view from Marber’s looks like:

view from Marber's

view from Marber's

Imagine yourself sipping drinks while gazing out at that. Oh, and the apple-and-cinnamon and chocolate-banana-rum pancakes are excellent too. The island is Cadlao (the largest island in Bacuit Bay) and the yacht (though you can’t really tell it’s a yacht because the sails are down) is the M/S Vianelle, the largest trimaran yacht in the Philippines.

Sabah Sky (yes, another one)

Sabah Sky at near-sunset

The Sabah sky close to sunset

Ack. I forgot to post this with the rest of the photos from my trip to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia last April. Ah well. Better late than never 🙂

Date taken: April 6, 2008

Where: off Sutera Harbour Resort, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Camera used: Canon PowerShot A80 << see? you don’t need an expensive camera to take good photos 🙂 I’ve had this with me since college.

Rafts

rafts at Kota

We went white river rafting on our last full day in Kota Kinabalu last April. According to the guide, the rapids are graded on a scale of 1 to 6, with 6 being the roughest. The rapids we encountered during the 8 kilometer trip were only grade 1 and 2. Haha. My three-year-old cousin even enjoyed it. In contrast, the rapids in Sagada in the Northern Philippines are grade 5 and 6. On her last rafting trip there, my aunt got thrown out of the raft and got sucked into a whirlpool. She survived thankfully, but she swears that she saw her life flashing before her eyes. Definitely not rapids for a three-year-old.