Nov 8, 2013

Undas 2013 Trip Summary

trip documentation can be tedious at times

Nothing quenches the thirst of a wanderlust soul better than a multi-day, out-of-town road (food) trip. The year 2013 witnessed a halt in my travel and outdoor life, and a few days of travel is like raindrops on hot and humid desert for me. I crave the airport scene, the plane rides, commute with the locals, the inquisitive looks and conversations and of course new food fares to explore.


TRIP HIGHLIGHTS:

One of the barges at Mukas Port (Lanao del Norte)

Day 1, October 30 – I travelled from Manila’s old domestic airport to Laguindingan International Airport in Misamis Oriental, then travel all the way to Dipolog City by land and sea in Zamboanga del Norte. I got to witness the famous boulevard scenes at night, and visit the usual night spots of the city’s gimikeros and gimikeras. I was also impressed by the cheap and delicious sardine meal I had for dinner. Some well-behaved kids at the boulevard who can’t get enough of the local tempura shared my first taste of the stuff.


breakfast scene one fine morning #greenkitchen

Day 2, October 31 – I managed to get myself up Linabo Peak after resting from outdoor activities for a few months. I must admit that the short hike took its toll on my sedentary legs. Next order of business after the hike is to dine at the must-try restos that I have on my list, and I have to do it fast. It’s already dark when I headed to Dapitan City to spend the night, another realm in Zamboanga del Norte. I pride myself to be brave and courageous, but when I entered that Horror House inside Fantasy Land in Gloria de Dapitan…I lost that bragging rights. Hahaha.

Sunset Blvd. view from Kamayan ni Manay resto

Day 3, November 1 – Dapitan City is famous as Rizal’s exile place, so it’s rich in historical area for a tourist to visit. However, due to my preference of staying comfortable, I have foregone other activities save for a quick visit to Ilijan Hill and the St. James Church. The day progressed to be a toxic one for me, since I endured long waiting time for the bus heading to Ozamiz. Added stress is the cramped space for passengers. I had to stop at Oroquieta to go around the capital of Misamis Occidental even for a while. I had my first clear glimpse of the majestic Mt. Malindang. Upon arrival at Ozamiz, I can already feel the unwelcoming ambiance of the place and the people. That feeling was heightened by the rude character of a masseuse in Thai Boran.

Mt. Malindang range from afar (Port of Ozamiz)

Day 4, November 2 – Despite my disappointment the night before, I woke up with high hopes for the day’s activity. Who wouldn’t look forward to dining all at sea, and a possible dolphin interaction afterwards? I headed to Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park (MOAP) hoping to have the chance to catch the first trip to Dolphin Island. The boat left without me so I settled instead in the restaurant. There, I had one of the best seafood fares I ever tasted… Prawns in Buko-Pandan Curry Sauce. Hands-down. After, I then hopped on a barge going to Mukas Port in Lanao del Norte, and took another gruelling bus ride to Iligan City. In Iligan City, I got the best deal in hotel/lodge, and got to try the uber creamy durian shake. Saving grace for the day. Whew!

Enroute to terminal proper of Laguindingan International Airport

Day 5, November 3 – We all know Iligan as the Waterfalls Capital of the country for the numerous captivating waterfalls that the city hosts. Too bad I also have to forego the falls trip, including the Mt. Agad-agad hike. However, this day turned out to be the day I am most thankful for. Not because I eagerly wanted to go back to Manila, but because on this day…I met the masseuse I have been looking for all my life and was introduced unexpectedly to body realignment massage. I have never felt so relieved of my body aches! Also, I have reached the point where I can’t eat anymore but still feel the need to do so for the love of food blog entries. Travelling comfortably back to the airport, without time constraints is something new to me. I’m glad that I arrived in Laguindingan International Airport within reasonable time. Back in Manila’s Terminal 3 airport, I still can’t stop eating. I fell in love with the cheesecake served in Le Amoretto, and my curiosity was satiated by trying the milo toast of Kopi Roti. I swore that it wouldn't be until my December vacation trip that I'll enjoy that much food indulgence again.


TRIP LESSONS:

1. In order to keep up with the idealistic itineraries, try to lose some pounds. It will help you enjoy travelling more.

2. Never ever tell locals that you're from Manila. Live up the charade as long as you can.

3. There's a reason why some people choose travelling as an escape, and not as part of their real lives.

4. If facing a decision/choices, always choose the thing that is new to you, especially with food. It's always worth it.

5. Dress to blend in. Don't wear clothes that will expose your light skin tones.

6. Have a budget for comfortable transportation.

7. Online reviews about hotels are not as accurate as the real deal. Always give those with bad reviews a second chance.

8. Ask for official receipts every time.

9. Try to imagine the route of your transport in relation to the position of the sun to avoid unwanted prolonged exposure to the heat that may cause migraine.

10. Always do stretching before a hike.


11. Smile and be courteous always.


All in all, I covered 5 provinces that I can check off my Lakbayan list. I have planned so much activity for this 5-day getaway but managed to just score off a few. I don’t lose heart over it, and instead promise to make myself more ready for an action-packed itinerary.


PS: Expect more details of this trip in the upcoming posts.

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