Paradise Palawan Part 2/2: El Nido!

This post is a continuation of my previous post about Puerto Princesa. El Nido is a municipality located northeast of Puerto Princesa, the capital city of Palawan in the Philippines. It is known for its flourishing marine ecosystem, pristine beaches and island-hopping tours.

I stayed at the Og’s Pension, which is located at the beach front. It is a budget hostel among many other hostel/hotels in the area. But this to me is the most affordable, considering its location.

Og's Pension
Og’s Pension
The view from Og's Pension. Beautiful!
The view from Og’s Pension. Beautiful!

 

There are 5 island hopping tours (Tour A ~ Tour E) available in El Nido, and most of the hotels/hostels offer them and can be availed at least a day before the intended tour. Some of these packages can be combined to fit a one-day schedule, like Tour A & C (although I would not recommend it), but ideally, 1 tour package a day would be the best option. In my case, I chose Tour C.

The tour starts early in the morning, around 8:30~9am with the boat waiting at the seashore to pick up the tour’s passengers. You have to be there at the scheduled time since they would not wait for latecomers. In case you don’t make it, you have to re-schedule again on the next day!

Some essentials to bring:
-Water (LOTS of it)
-Sunblock (LOTS and LOTS of it!)
-Sunglasses
-Hat
-Shawl (preferrably a long one, if ever you sit at the side of the boat that’s facing the sun)
-Ziplock case (For your gadgets. The locals sell them at the beach front, but it’s better to bring your own case)

Tour C Itinerary
Talisay Island

It is about half an hour away from the El Nido beach front. We only stayed for less than an hour snorkelling and then we headed to our next destination.


Hidden Beach 

As a person of novice swimming skills, reaching this place can be a bit of a challenge. We had to jump off the boat and swim our way to get to this place. But I must say it was all worth it!

Matinloc Shrine

This is where we had lunch. I have to commend the boatmen for cooking the scrumptious meal for everyone! We had grilled fish, eggplant, tomato and cucumber salad, as well as bbq and fresh fruits. Perfect meal for an island hopping trip.

The most we could do while we were here was to do some sight-seeing and just chill!

Secret Beach

This wasn’t called “Secret Beach” for nothing. This is another swim-your-way-to-get-there kind of beach. You have to go across a narrow passageway so be careful of the sharp rocks on the side. I bumped my knee into one!!

You can also snorkel here and there are lots of fishes frolicking around!

Helicopter Island

This is the last part of the tour C package, and we arrived here at around 3 or 3:30 in the afternoon. It’s my favorite destination out of the 5 islands ’cause it was serene and you can just appreciate the views and calm waters.

 

So there! It sure was a very rewarding trip and I got to marvel at our country’s famous travel destination! If you come to the Philippines, make sure to include Palawan!

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Philpop 2015 Winners Declared!

For the past 2 years I’ve been following the Philpop Songwriting Competition, an annual contest open for all Filipino amateur and professional songwriters. Ever since I watched the 2013 winning song’s music video which was “Dati”, composed by Thyro Alfaro & Yumi Lacsamana and interpreted by Sam Concepcion, Tippy Dos Santos and Quest, I started to keep tabs on the next songs that will be showcased in the coming years.

Last June, they released the lyric videos for the entries of this year that made it in the finals, followed by the official music videos weeks after. I must say that the batch of songs this year is by far the best one yet (at least in my opinion)! Then yesterday, July 25, the grand finals night was held and the winners for the 2015 Philpop Songwriting Competition were announced! And it was just as I have predicted, my top 3 bets were the top 3 songs!! 🙂

2nd Runner-up: “Sa Ibang Mundo” by Mark Villar (interpreted by Kean Cipriano and Nadine Lustre)

So Kean is a rocker. On the other hand, Nadine is known for her teen pop songs. Who would’ve thought that they would go so well together in a collaboration?? To whoever who paired this two up for this song, you sir/ma’am are the real MVP! 😉

It’s also refreshing to see Nadine perform a duet with someone other than James Reid (her on-screen leading man who also has an entry in Philpop 2015), and such a pleasant surprise that her vocals were highlighted beautifully here. And of course, major props to Callalily frontman Kean Cipriano for an equally great performance. 🙂 This entry was also selected as People’s Choice.

The song is about falling in love with someone you can’t have. And thus the title “Sa Ibang Mundo” (or in English, “In Another World”), because the song talks about two people who think that maybe if they were in another world or lifetime, they would’ve ended up together.

1st Runner-up: “Paratingin Mo Na Siya” by Davey Langit

It’s catchy. It’s right in the feels. It’s VERY RELATABLE (hello single people!!! :p)! Davey Langit’s song captured the struggle of the average twenty-something looking for love. WHERE IN THE WORLD IS MR./MS. RIGHT?! I loved this song the moment I heard the first line.

“Paratingin Mo Na Siya” is a song wherein the person is praying to God (actually, even pleading) to let him (in this case Davey, the singer) meet the one who’s destined to be his love, because he’s getting tired of being single and all his failed relationships in the past.

Grand Winner: “Triangulo” by Thyro Alfaro and Yumi Lacsamana (interpreted with Jeric Medina)

NO SURPRISE THERE!! As expected from the winners of the 2013 Philpop Competition. I can’t even begin to describe how clever the lyrics were written. Personally, I was hoping that Mark Villar’s song would be hailed as the winner, but Thyro & Yumi’s victory is well-deserved. The harmony the trio had was topnotch and of course, the lyrics! Well played, Thyro & Yumi, well played indeed. *Slow clap*

“Triangulo” (in English “Triangle”), is about a woman who has a boyfriend, but it still has feelings for her ex. She has to choose between the two of them, however, she remains very confused. And it also talks about that love can only be for two.

Here are other entries that I really liked:

“Edge of the World” by Johann Garcia (interpreted by Josh Padilla and Yassi Pressman)

“Musikaw” by Melchor Magno (interpreted by James Reid feat. Pio)

“Walang Hanggan” by Ramiru Matano (interpreted with Donnalyn Bartolome)

“Nasaan” by Lara Maigue

 

I hope that there’ll be more variety of songs that will make it in the finals of Philpop next year! Philippines has many talented musicians, songwriters and SINGERS, without a doubt. This contest is definitely a big help in keeping the Philippine music industry alive.

To know more about Philpop or how the contest works (for those who are interested to join), go to this link.

Long live OPM!

 

 

 

My Ed Sheeran Multiply Concert Experience — Totally Worth It!

It was a night to remember for all Filipino fans as Ed Sheeran held his much-awaited Multiply Concert in the Mall of Asia Arena last night. I was lucky enough to avail a ticket without hassle. When I got there, it was around 7:30pm, and supposedly, the concert should start at 8:00 but like most concerts here in Manila, whether foreign or local, oftentimes, they start at a later time. So I was there at the entrance outside the building and inside the MoA arena, I could see that there were still lots of people lining up to enter the concert hall itself and some even buying food. Once I got inside the concert hall, the place was already pretty crowded, as expected. I was at row T in the VIP1 section, almost right in the middle, near VIP2. And I’m like, image There were ocassional screams from the audience, but everything went batsh*t crazy when the lights dimmed. The seating arrangement in the VIP section went straight out the window as people ran to the front like bees swarming over honey, with some (including myself.. hahaha) stepping over the chairs just to get a better view (I know it’s shameful, but what can I do?). At first, the security tried to get the situation under control, but when Ed came out, they knew there was no stopping the crowd. So we all ended up standing on the chairs and from row T, I think I went as near as row J or K (just an approximation 😉 ). Ed started out with his song I’m A Mess and went on to play his other songs like Photograph, Tenerife Sea, Bloodstream, Runaway, I See Fire, Don’t, Sing, among other songs from his second album. He also did a short cover of Michael Bublé’s Feelin’ Good and mashed up Iggy Azalea’s Fancy. He also included a handful of songs from his previous album such as The A Team, Lego House and You Need Me, I don’t Need You during his encore performance. He also sang All of the Stars, the OST he provided for the The Fault in our Stars, which according to him was not really part of his lineup of songs.. 20150312_220045

Continue reading “My Ed Sheeran Multiply Concert Experience — Totally Worth It!”

Guess who got a ticket to Ed Sheeran Manila 2015 Concert…. ;)

Finally I had the time to claim my ticket for the Ed Sheeran Multiply Tour in Manila.

VIP. Oh yeah. >:)
VIP. Oh yeah. >:)

I know it’s still a long way off, but just the sight of this ticket gets me excited!! To all the other Ed Sheeran concertgoers, see you when I see you! ^_^