Of kindness and new Facebook friends along the road

I know! I know it's been almost a week since I have not posted a new one.  I have been very busy *as always*. Just a week after I went on a surfing trip to Zambales I have to pack my bag again to the islands of Caramoan in Bicol. This is actually the third free trip from a travel partner for two so I tagged along my sister Mitch.

On the way back to Manila, I  had a glimpse of the Mount Mayon which almost made me decide to head home instead to see my family whom I last visited August of 2013 but my emails are already "knee - deep" so I have to take care of those first. Plus I feel like Manila is my home and where my heart is... for now.


There is a story of kindness and a few awesome girls I met in the beach resort slash hostel at Zambales I want to share to everyone.   Let me start the story of kindness. Travelling alone sounds fantastic. But for a lady like me in a remote area on a late night, sounds absolutely not good!  The bus that took me from Manila is until Olongapo only. It was already 10PM when we arrived. Meaning I need to take another bus ride to Zambales for 1 - 2 hours including the tricycle ride that will bring me to the place where I booked in.  

The Circle Hostel in San Felipe, Zambales

Much has been said about The Circle Hostel online from fellow travel bloggers. I thought their Marketing Manager did a very good job for tapping influential people on the net to talk about their brand. Their tagline "There is no stranger here" is very appealing as well for me to check it out myself as most of the time I travel alone but would love to meet new friends along the way.  I said "I really got to see this out soon!"

The long weekend courtesy of the commemoration of the Holy Week was the perfect timing so I packed my backpack bag for a swimming and surfing getaway.  I am not actually a die - hard beach bum, all I ever wanted is to get out of the city, take some rest and have fun. I also learned that The Circle Hostel offers a very affordable beach lodging so this really sounds good!

Here's one of the ironies of my life, I help others prepare their trips every single day that I cannot even attend to my own! With less than 24 hours to prepare for my trip, I checked their website. They have two locations: La Union and Zambales. I honestly do not know what to choose. Again, I only wanted to get out of the city and watch a sunset sitting in the sand.


Dolphin watching and Sea lion encounter at Ocean Adventure, Subic Bay

Camayan Wharf, West Ilanin Forest Area, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, 2222, Philippines
 Ocean Adventure, Subic Bay
Are you looking for an outstanding performance of trained dolphins, whales, sea lions and a lot more kinds of animals? Well, you only need o take a 2-3 hour ride from Manila to Olongapo. 

I hope my visit to Ocean Adventure in Subic Bay Freeport Zone can help you choose your next most affordable getaway for the whole family especially those who have small kids in tow. I am very confident that they will be very much delighted by the extraordinary tricks they will see. Take note, this is not just - another - animal - show because the founders of this as described  in their official website are leaders in animal care and welfare, true environmentalists and conservationists. Their show is not designed entirely to delight the audience but also to remind everyone to take part in the conservation of our ocean, forest and the environment we live in. 

When it comes to the location, again borrowing their very own words, Ocean Adventure is nestled between the blue waters and a  triple canopy forest. How is that for a home to different species with spectacular talents?  The Ocean Adventure is a half - day performance divided into 4 segments: Dolphin Friends, Walk in the Wild Side, Balancing Act with the African Acrobats and the Sea lion Marine Patrol. 

Once you get inside, make sure to keep the show schedule printed in a piece of paper that will be handed over to you. Please do not lose it because it will tell you the order, time and duration of each show. Since the part is quite big, the map of the place is very useful. You will save a lot of time from asking where is the next one.

Let me now give you a glimpse of what's going on here:

1. Dolphin Friends

Three kinds of dolphins (bottlenose, rough - toothed and pantropical spotted) and a whale (false killer) will showcase their incredible talents. They will dance, do some tricks, create sounds, flip in the water at an eye blink and toss their trainers up the air at the speed of the wine coming out from the glass after the cork has been opened up for the first time etc.

 Ocean Adventure in clark

 Ocean Adventure in clark

 Ocean Adventure in clark blog review


2. Walk in the Wild Side

The bear cat, giant fruit bat, grass owl, palm civet, sea eagle, reticulated python are animals that have become quite rare nowadays. Their kinds are not the usual ones being domesticated in a typical Filipino home but in this show, they will prove that they can.

You will also learn how the Aetas survive in the thick forest and be able to make fire using just the stone and bamboo only, cook food etc.

 Ocean Adventure in clark review

 Ocean Adventure in clark review

 Ocean Adventure subic review


3. Balancing Act with the African Acrobats 
This is the only segment that showcases human participation.  A group of African acrobats will fascinate you by showing their very agile body moves,  those you see in a circus play. Then another dancing performance will follow bearing a message of conservation to our environment.

 Ocean Adventure subic review


 Ocean Adventure subic

 Ocean Adventure subic  entrance fees

4. Sea lion Marine Patrol

I find sea lions literally ugly but after the show, I realized that they are one of the most intelligent and entertaining animals I have ever seen there.  This also reminded myself that you really cannot judge anyone or anything by the outside appearance. NUNCA... I enjoyed watching one lucky participant who was able to shake the flipper, get a kiss and a hug from one of the sea lions out there.



 Ocean Adventure subic  entrance fees

 Ocean Adventure subic  entrance fees


There's a lot more that Ocean Adventure can offer aside from the ones I narrated above for the young at hearts. You can swim with the dolphins or have your family (6 persons maximum) to enjoy an exclusive dolphin encounter in the shallow water.  For certified divers, they can go deeper and activities and feed blacktip reef sharks, jack fish, sea turtles and an array of reef fishes. The best of all is to join their animal training team for half a day of fun.

And oh I and my sister Issa loved taking photos in front of the aquarium filled with a lot of fish and squids. Our reflections show and we loved it.



 Ocean Adventure subic  entrance fees



 Ocean Adventure subic  entrance fees

 Ocean Adventure subic


 Ocean Adventure subic


The Ocean Adventure address is Camayan Wharf, West Ilanin Forest Area, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Olongapo City,  Zambales 2200 For more details you may visit their official website here

The 1st Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival 2014 in Lubao, Pampanga

Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta
Watching those hot air balloons of different colors and sizes slowly going up the sky through my own eyes is a childhood dream.  It was finally granted when I checked out the 1st Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival 2014 a few days ago. In December of 2013, the group that has been organizing this same event for the past years announced that they won't have one this year. This made me sad. 


And because I am not the only one who is really looking forward to see this, in fact a lot of people really made efforts to express their deissapointment via social media, the Pilipinas International Balloon Festival in cooperation with the Arts, Culture and Tourism Office of Pampanga and the Department of Tourism made everything possible in such a short time. FYI, our very own hot air balloon festival is said to be the biggest of its kind in SE Asia, so the reason given by its former organizing committee as "too soon" I think is not fair enough.

Feels like the Universe is with me now!

The book "Aleph" is the only one I have read of all Paulo Coelho's writings.  I loved the story so much that even though I have so little time to grab a hardbound book, I really made efforts to read every single page of it. But if I am to answer which of his famous quotes is my favorite, it would be the one he mentioned in his book "The Alchemist."

He said "when you want something, the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it".  And I think I feel the same way now. When you really want something so bad, then you put all your heart into it... everything else will follow.  

I have almost nothing when I left my 8 year old job in August of 2013. I did not know how to start a new life as a bootstrapping entrepreneur. My friends and family members are not into this. I was desperately looking for an environment of like - minded individuals who are into this as well. I think if not because of the online world where one can easily connect to another one, I am still stuck somewhere.

Bicol Tour Package and Itinerary

3D2N Bicol Tour Package
P4,600 each for a group of 12
P4,800 each for a group of 11 
P4,800 each for a group of 10
P5,300 each for a group of 9
P5,700 each for a group of 8
Additional P800 each for Donsol Whaleshark interaction
** Prices change without prior notice. Please send us a message for the most updated rates

For more information please email mariaronab@gmail.com or via mobile 0998 989 3921 anytime.