My Hyperactive Year of 2012

As compared to my 2011, my To-Do-List for 2012 has fewer items.
I was just surprised to when I realized I've also accomplished a lot of things which I really didn't plan to do this year.

January. Since it was the month of festivals, Carla and I faked our identities and grabbed some free airline tickets. Exciting pero wag tularan. Anyway, we've finally experienced the very famous Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo. The energy and vibe were all over the place. It was priceless to be part of this celebration.

February. The love month brought us a complimentary stay in this lovely and luxurious resort of Misibis Bay. Aside from the facilities and the Armada toiletries, the excellent service made our stay very memorable.

Then I was very delighted to receive a blogger's pass to be the first ones to explore The Mind Museum. I really planned to visit this place before I got retrenched from my job then. Anyway, it's just 200 meters away from our office building so I just bribed by former boss to let me go to the science museum while it's still office hours. Hehe

Summer time was fast approaching so a close encounter with the whale sharks in Oslob Cebu took place. This was controversial though because of the improper handling of this activity. Nevertheless, it was surreal to finally see the gentle giants, extreme up close.

On the other hand, I received a retrenchment letter from my previous company. To celebrate our last happy days in the office, my teammates and I went to Baler and surfed our hearts out! This trip was one of the happiest this year.

March. My much awaited Southern Eskapo with Dong Ho finally happened. Our route: Zamboanga - Basilan - Tawi Tawi. It was heart pounding and eye opener at the same time. Im very thankful for this learning-beyond-books experience.

ranks 6th in my Best Beaches in the Philippines list

Im a budget traveler but I do love splurging as well. Whenever my dear friend Rob is home, it's time for some fabulous staycation! Next year, we'll really target The Farm at San Benito. Right Rob? =)

April. I officially became a glorified tambay! I took advantage of having all the time I have to explore the best beaches in the country. Summer is simply the best time to be unemployed! I started by organizing an open trip to Apo Reef. Thank you guys for joining. Ansaya neto!

ranks 5th in my Best Beaches in the Philippines list

Right after this, Donnie and I flew to Mindanao and sailed our way to the island of Siargao. It was paradise. And of course, to swim with the stingless jellyfish in Bucas Grande was nothing but surreal. Thank you sir Edelito and your family for accommodating us.

ranks 2nd (if I wasn't biased) in my Best Beaches in the Philippines list

May. It was such a privilege to be part of a reality-travel show called PHL360 - 8 Travelers, 4 Destinations, 1 Full Circle. The challenges were 1. i dont know where the crew would bring me 2. i dont who would be my partner 3. i dont know what challenges await us in there. The week-long trip was unpredictable but fun! I salute the whole team, specially the crew for the effort. All out for the love of travel.

  8 Travelers, 4 Destinations, 1 Full Circle

awesome PHL360 team - east leg

the water split for me, Im one with the sea
Bontod Reef, Masbate

believe it or not, my assigned partner Hannah and I only met on the day of our trip
and for the record - there were no dead air moments and we NEVER did fight! haha

watch  PHL360 episode here --->

June. My skin was so black and burnt but a day after my birthday, my dearest friends and I attempted to explore Gigantes Island. Although it wasn't a success, this trip was sooo fun and crazy! Also, out of the money I received from being retrenched, I was able to buy my very much desired gadgets: Canon's latest underwater camera and a waterproof watch. Ansarap ma-retrench!

super fun birthday trip with my dearest friends
gadgets: katas ng retrenchment

Btw, after doing a lot of traveling I got bored. I decided to finally start working again. My funds needed to be replenished. Hehe

July. I was finally convinced to have a dental surgery to remove my two wisdom teeth. The healing process was more painful and not fun at all, specially I can only eat soft food. Imagine, I was only eating mamon and mashed potato for 4 weeks!

August. I have no plans of renting a place near my work area in Taguig. It's just boredom that struck me and made me decide I needed to experience something new. I moved out and rented an apartment. Boredom really kills. ^_^

September. Nothing was remarkable for this month, including this so-so buffet at Circles Makati Shangri-La.

October. It was a lot of firsts- first time to apply for a visa, first time to visit a first-world country, and first time to experience autumn! The place to be is South Korea.

A day after I got home from South Korea was supposedly our Davao trip for Remay's birthday. Unfortunately, a lot of unlucky things happened and we missed our flight. Oh well, Davao is still not meant for me.

November. The 4-day long weekend brought Remay and I to the world renowned island of El Nido in Palawan. The clear blue water, breathtaking limestone formations, the laid back lifestyle, and the good vibe of the enthusiastic tourists are the obvious reasons why everyone hails El Nido. 

 lazy time in the beaches of El Nido

December. After the sweetest Misibis Bay escape, the next thing I really looked forward to is to experience Bellarocca. I knew this day would come, the day a group buying site would offer a great and irresistible promo deal! ^_^

Our annual outreach will happen on the 29th of this month. Thanks to those who have already given their support.

im very excited to have a day out with the girls!

Alright I admit it, I just can't keep my still. PHL360 was right. One minute Im luxuriating in a 5-star resort, the following week Im roughing it out in the far flung provinces of Basilan and Tawi-Tawi. Well, this is just me getting bored. (nakakapagod pala when I get bored. san ba nakakabili ng pampa-kalma?) 

I feel blessed for the exciting year the Lord has given me. It may not always be as I planned, but Im sure the alternative road always leads me to new friendship, new discoveries, and new realizations.

Thank you 2012 for the hyperactive journey! ♥

This post is my contribution to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers' Blog Carnival for the month of December with the theme This Year in Travel.

Compilation hosted by Gay Mitra-Emami of Pinay Travel Junkie.

Bellarocca Resort | The Buy 1 Take 3 Promo Deal

After the sweetest Misibis Bay escape, the next thing I really looked forward to is to experience Bellarocca. I knew this day would come, the day a group buying site will offer a great and irresistible promo deal! ^_^

The Bellarocca Anniversary Deal c/o Deal Dozen: Stay 1 Night and Get 3 Nights for Free! This is absolutely amazing! That's a total of 4 nights in this premier and luxurious resort for the price of P30,000. Yeah, it's still a bit pricey I know. Good thing were a group of 4. In that case, P30,000 is split into P7,500 per person and all of us will have a 2-nights stay in a Hotel Deluxe Room in Bellarocca. Achieve na achieve!

the Santorini-inspired resort of Bellarocca

All along, our group was convinced to take the long way to the province of Marinduque. The 8-hour land and sea journey is fine with us. However, the bus and RoRo schedules aren't really that convenient- specially to us who still need to work late night prior to the day of our Bellarocca trip.

Only Zestair flies to Marinduque. Though I have read a gazillion of horror stories regarding this reckless airline, and the fare is very expensive considering this is only a 40-min flight - we asked ourselves if we do have any other choice. Sadly, we don't.

Okay, pikit mata kaming nagbook ng P2,241 one-way flight ticket to Marinduque via Zestair. This is the most expensive ticket I've purchased, ever! The worst part is, we don't even know if the flight won't be cancelled on the day itself. Just so you know, Zestair is very well known for its super delayed and cancelled flights.

Getting to Bellarocca 

flying via Zestair for the first time
this is the most expensive ticket I've purchased, ever!

The flight got delayed for only an hour, hallelujah! The aircraft is a 56-seater twin-engine jet propeller. Okay naman, there's just this awful aircraft smell that made us all feel dizzy.

lots of t vacant seats on this Zestair propeller plane

Compared to the 8-hour land and sea journey, we arrived in Marinduque just after a 40-min flight. Oh well, convenience has a price.

From the airport in Marinduque, we were welcomed by Bellarocca's airport representatives. To reach Bellarocca, guests need to travel a 40-min land journey via their private van and another 5-minute sea transfer via their speedboat.

40-min land transfer

and a 5-minute sea transfer

This could be nicer if a yacht is used. Not all guests love to sunbathe. Could be nicer too if fresh towels are provided to cover our things to avoid water splashes. ang dugyot ng towel. ^_^

First glimpse of Bellarocca
The resort is beautiful. Im happy to know that we have a luxurious and private resort like this in the Philippines. I heard a Japanese and some Filipino businessmen own this place.

 hello Bellarocca

the Marina

the loveliest part of this resort is the view of Mt. Malindig

fresh flower necklace for newly-arrived guests

We were picked up by a golf cart and brought us to the reception area. There are lots of other groups when we arrived. I am sure all of us were voucher holders, the staff told me this. Hehe

blue and white is the theme

welcome drinks

Hotel Deluxe Room in Bellarocca
After the briefing, we were assisted to our room. Ours is just located near the reception area and the lap pool. The cheapest room in Bellarocca is the Hotel Deluxe Room which costs $680 per night (around P27,000), while the most expensive is the 2BR-Villa which costs $2,200 (P90,000 per night).

the welcome cookies are gone
nakain na namin agad ^_^

a very spacious deluxe room with super comfy king sized bed
excited to use all 5 pillows!

the bed and the bathroom is divided by a clear glass
don't worry, blinds are available for privacy

toiletries w/out the lotion, why?
i asked for other brands too, but the staff told us this is the only one available.

spacious bathroom with bathtub

the guests by the mirror

cabinets behind this full sized sliding mirror 

tv, mini fridge, and writing table

Okay, this entertainment system fell below our expectations. Ang old school ng tv, mas high tech pa ang tv namin sa apartment. Hehe Maybe the more expensive rooms have better entertainment system.

Also, those Toblerones for sale tasted differently. They are not creamy at all. For a luxury resort like this, they should be selling nothing but the best kinds.

Moving on, we all love this view from our veranda. Who wouldn't?

the mountain and the sea are right outside our room

splurging in Bellarocca

our favorite part of the room - the veranda

Since we already knew that the food in Bellarocca are overpriced, we brought our snacks and drinks with us. No corkage fee was charged

Lap Pool
After we had enough rest, we decided to explore the resort. Right outside our room is the lap pool.

gorgeous lap pool

i love how the architectural design, looks very glam

Im not really a fan of mountains, but I was really in awe everytime I see the majestic Mt.Malindig.

one of the villas, right infront of the sea

luxurious stay in this villa costs $1,200 per night

At sunset time, we decided to have our early dinner. Gutom eh, hindi naglunch. ^_^

alfresco dining setup
the mountain really made this place more beautiful

indoor dining setup
lakas maka-formal event

we really adore Mt. Malindig, ang ganda nya grabe.

There aren't really many selections in the menu but I must say prices are still tolerable. This is an isolated and luxury resort, of course prices are a bit steep.

As for the service, hhmm. Yes, all the staff are very accommodating and kind, but we felt most of them were still inexperienced. It makes a big difference between giving what's been asked and offering things that you might ask. Get the point?

Beef Brocolli with Fried Rice for P500++

Not the best version in town, but it's a good choice for dinner. We also ordered sinigang and I forgot the order one. We also would appreciate if there are some live music compared to the classical instrumental ones. There's only 1 couple in the resort, and most of us were traveling in groups. Di bagay yung mellow and instrumental music. ^_^

After dinner, we looked for someting to do. There's a public videoke and bar but a big group (hello Oyis and friends) were already occupying it. We just decided to spend time in the game room.

 billiards table and public PC for guests

Island Tour
It's a brand new day to relax and do nothing in Bellarocca. We started our day by having our buffet breakfast. Yay, all guest got an upgrade! Originally, the promo deal only includes a set of continental breakfast. Im not a fan of bread and eggs and jams pa naman. ^_^

best place to have breakfast
Mt. Malindig, bakit ang ganda mo palagi? wala kang anggulo?

beans, beef tapa steak, mixed veggies, hash brown, and cheese ♥
2 mornings na yan mismo ang pagkain ko, and i still loved it!

After breakfast, we headed to the reception area and confirmed our reservation for the island tour. Yes, reservations are needed.

golf carts for the island tour
no, you cannot drive the golf cart

The tour guide / driver drove us to the different villas and terrazas in the resort. He also shared stories of the celebrities who already visited this place. #showbiz

This is the hall where weddings are held. For sure the staff would turn this place into an elegant hall once a wedding event is scheduled.

wedding hall at Bellarocca

Honestly, I prefer Misibis Bay's glass cathedral more for a wedding. While the amphitheater with stonehenge is a more romantic place fora proposal. Just saying out loud. ^_^

Infinity Pool and Beach Area
Man made luxury and natural wonder at its finest.

santorini-inspired architecture

camwhore #1

camwhore #2

Our skins haven't recovered from the sunburn we got from El Nido, but it's hard not to bathe in the sun and enjoy this man made luxury.

man made luxury

panoramic view of the mountain and the sea

the artificial sand is made up of shells and corals

Just in-front the beach area is the Infinity Pool. This is the most photographed spot in Bellarocca.

the sea, the lounge, and the infinity pool

to infinity and beyond

natural wonder. man made luxury. co-existing perfectly.

a very nice lounge chair in Bellarocca

The area is really nice. This lounge and infinity pool alone made our stay really luxurious.

However, because most of the guests in the resort were also in this area at that time, Im not sure how we could really enjoy this place. Hehe

After camwhoring, we decided to go to our room and sleep. Our rooms are cleaned and the toiletries are replenished. At 2pm, we got hungry so we proceeded to the restaurant again to have our lunch. This time, we ordered the Fisherman's Platter.

Fisherman's Platter for P800++
this grilled platter includes prawns, fish, squid, and mussel

Deep Fried Coconut Ice Cream served on a Fruit Coulis for P180 ++

By the way, the public areas are wifi zones as they said but the internet connection is really weak. But then again, okay na din kesa wala. Patience is a virtue, I need to update my FB and twitter once in a while. ^_^

At 3:30, we decided to go back to the Marina area and try their complimentary water sport activities. Only kayaking and snorkeling are free. All others are not.

lets go kayaking and snorkeling, game!

The guide in Marina is nice and accommodating. He even kayaked with us so we can have a picture. As for the snorkeling activity, well there are jellyfish as much as the ordinary fish. Hehe Scary!

could be nicer if the jelly fish are not around

After snorkeling, we asked the guide for some fresh towels and bottled water. Again, it would make a big difference if they'll provide things even without being asked.

This is how we spent our last night in Bellarocca.

chill and relax

in the infinity pool and the ever awesome Mt. Malindig

thank you Bellarocca for the experience!

Overall, we were very pleased to finally experience this Santorini-inspired resort of Bellarocca. It gives me pride to know that even foreigners are impressed with the architectural design and service of this luxurious resort in the Philippines. A beautiful place like this adds more options to the couples who want to have their wedding and honeymoon in a luxurious and private place. Im happy for the locals too, this brings jobs for them.

the best things in life are free, but if not then discounted rates would do! ^_^

So which is better, Misibis Bay or Bellarocca Resort? I'll blog about it, pag sinipag ako...

 Bellarocca Island Resort
Buenavista, Marinduque, Philippines
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...