Manila Ocean Park: Marine Life Encounter

Slowly but surely, I sneaked into my son’s favor by the treats and trips that I’ve laid down for him the last year. He and Mama spent some of their time in our Kyusi apartment and we were able to explore some parts of Sikatuna Village, QCMMC, nearby Malls such as Trinoma and Araneta Center, Antipolo City, and Manila Ocean Park. The little one could not stop talking about the places he visited and one of his most talked about is his Manila Ocean Park Adventure.

We woke up early on a Sunday, celebrated Sunday mass in my favorite community church – Sacred Heart Church in Sikatuna Village. After having brekkie, we took a cab that will bring us straight to Manila Ocean Park. Though I’ve constantly checked online for deals on MOP packages, I was still confident that the park have promos of their own. And they definitely did. We got the Marine Life Encounter package that is composed of Jellies Show, a visit to the sea lion habitat, sea lion show, and the oceanaruim.

We decided to watch the sea lion show first scheduled at two in the afternoon. Soon as we settled, the rain started to pour, yet the show pushed through to entertain a full-packed audience. Teloy was quiet all throughout the show, though he requested for food sometimes the pop corn stand ran out of pop corn so we just waited for the show to finish before be took a bite at some of the stalls inside.

Afterwards we proceeded to the Jellies show which really amazed Teloy and made him curious of the creatures displayed. We headed to the sea lion habitat next to observe the sea lions we’ve watched earlier. The tot requested for an ice cone while we waited for Ninang Jane to arrive, and when she did, we ate again! We also explore a bit and Teloyskie took photos of things that interest him.

Ninang Jane no longer joined us on the oceanaruim tour and just contented herself exploring the rest of Manila Ocean Park. Meanwhile, there are no words to describe Teloyskie’s excitement and amazement at seeing all the marine creatures.

I knew that this is going to be one of his memorable trips during his childhood and I’m so thankful I was able to give him something that he will treasure as he grow up – a childhood that is full of adventure, fun and excitement!

Bagasbas Beach Surfing and the Bagasbas Lighthouse Beach Resort

This is part 2 of mommy and Teloyskie’s first ever backpacking experience together in the Bicol Region. We first explored Calaguas Island before coming to Bagasbas.

Soon as we landed in Vinzon’s port, our group boarded 2 tricycles and headed to Bagasbas. I was really very excited to see the waves here and boy they did not fail me! I’m no pro at surfing but the big waves in Bagasbas seem to call on to me, I got goosebumps just looking at the continuous waves coming in, but our tummies got the better of us and we started the search for food.

We wanted somewhere we can rest and rinse, but the establishment lining the stretch of Bagasbas beach disappointed us a bit. They were more like beerhouses and bars, so we settled for the pricey-looking Catherine’s  in Bagasbas Lighthouse Beach Resort.

The resort itself looked comfortable with a pool area, restaurant kiosks, kiddie jungle play area and coffee shop/bar. The shower area was open even for us diners and we asked if we can leave our stuff in the kiosk while we find surf instructors since the resort can’t provide for us. We had a hearty bicolano lunch and yummy milkshakes before heading down to the beach and finding surf instructors.

Except for Teloyskie who is still quite terrified of the waves and the water, the whole group enjoyed being pushed and splashed on by the waves. Teloyskie kept playing with the camera and behold, there’s no one single shot of mommy’s wave riding spree!!

A Dip in Calaguas Turquoise Waters: A First of Many

It’s been a month since Teloyskie moved in with me and we started living a sedentary life. He got summer school and photography workshop for the whole month of April, while mom worked at the adjustment required from a mom. Our world then revolved around one another, his summer classes, mum’s office, adventure time and hotdogs.

Outings were limited to malls, cafes and fast foods until that one fateful invitation – are you going to Calaguas with us? You and Teloyskie?

That fateful day came like a breathe of fresh air. I left the office at noon that Friday. Hurried home and packed my stuff, I was anxious at the getting good seats in the van from Daraga going to Naga and from Naga to Daet, Camarines Norte.

This is my first time to go traipsing with Teloyskie in a place we both don’t know and I thought it would be that easy. Sitting in the jump seat of a cramped van with my kid on my lap and his pack on his lap, my only though was…

“how in the world can they do this and make it all look so flawlessly easy?”

After more or less 5 hours of land travel, we arrived at our destination for the night – Daet, Camarines Norte. We stayed in Pink Diamond Hotel and explored downtown that night. The hotel is more like an apartelle, it has crappy internet connection and cable but it sufficed. Come morning we’ll be off to Calaguas!

We met with our companions at 6AM in Jolibee Daet-Bayan and soon found ourselves in a jeepney bound for Vinzon’s port.

teloyskie’s lifejacket
yawn… are we there yet?
Teloyskie was soo cool about everything and never did he complain about the 2 hour boat travel to Calaguas nor the oversized life jacket that swallowed him whole. He just ate, slept, looked around, slept and woke up when we arrive at our destination.

A Blue so Blue

Ate and I cannot find the exact words to describe the blue, the aquamarine, no the turquoise waters of Calaguas. It was so darn beautiful for words and Teloyskie turned to the temperate clear blue waters at once!

The long stretch of creamy white sand reminded me of Boracay Island. It was so powdery soft that you wouldn’t feel stones poking your soles when you walk around. The only issue we had was it was HOT! It was considered peak season for Calaguas beach camping thus the limited trees on the beach was surrounded with tents wishing for shade. The water was dotted with lots of service boats obscuring what could have been gorgeous view of beach.

There was a multitude of beach combers and the island was full of activity. I suddenly felt a pang of nostalgia for the true blue beach camping experience I had in Anawangin and Nagsasa were you can count the campers in your hands and you prepare all your food from scratch (or from the can/pouch). But that would have been an experience with a capital E for one with tot that keeps vanishing from sight every 10 minutes or so.

Teloyskie spent most of his time playing in the water in the morning, after lunch I successfully convinced him to rest and take a nap for him to re-charge and have more energy for more playing the afternoon. At sundown, asked one local to get us some water for rinsing at P10 per balde. After dinner, we settled down and prepared to sleep. Teloy still is reluctant to do so and make incredulous comments just to irk mommy. I know he’s enjoying this activity and I can see that he’s taking backpacking like a duck to water.

Woke up from a comfortable sleep and settled outside our tent to admire Calaguas at sunrise. My little lion still sleep soundly in the tent, but soon he stirred and stretched. And while he was stretching, he said “Mommy, I’m gonna swim…” so we did.

After brekkie, we spent all our remaining time down the waters and baking “siopaos” and “siomais” in the sand. And even when we are about to leave, ate and I still can’t find the blue that is Calaguas.

Our Calaguas experience was made oh-so-convenient by a local tour operator. Andy and Rocky of Calaguaslocal.com made sure that each and every one of their guest enjoyed Calaguas.

My little backpacker even had the privilege of occupying the “top deck” of the boat to and fro the island.

5 Unforgettable Days Out For Your Kids

Are you tired of forking out vast sums of money for holidays that your kids barely appreciate? Make your family trip an unforgettable experience by providing the children with activities that they will enjoy. A bored kid is an unhappy kid. Distract them with any of the following exciting excursions, so everyone finishes their trip with a smile on their face:
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Surf School
From Whitesands Beach in St. David’s, to the more exotic shores of Bali, entering your children into surfing school will keep them out of your hair for the whole holiday. Not only will they be having a whale of a time (chuckles…), but once the lessons are over, they’ll be practicing their moves on the waves, leaving you to kick-back, relax, and sample all the flavours of ice cream available at the nearest surf café.
Making Their Own Perfume
So this suggestion is a little leftfield, but you hardly want boring advice, do you? Head to Bali and sign up your children for a perfume master course. At L’atelier Perfums Et Creations they provide child-friendly lessons, where kids can make their own smellies. Using all sorts of exotic, Indonesian fragrances, your kids will be able to take home a bottle of their own perfume, as well as a diploma.
Being a Grown-Up
If your little ones are forever imagining what it would be like to be a grown-up, Minopolis in Vienna offers a kid-sized town that they can take over for the day. Here they can spend hours roleplaying as a firefighter, shop assistant, nurse…whatever they like! Kids can make pizzas at the local pizzeria and handle the town’s money. They will even be paid a currency at the end of the day!
On Safari
Make like the Wild Thornberrys and go on a safari! Whether you head out for the real deal at Kruger National Park or keep it close to home at the zoo, learning about wildlife is great for your children’s development. Not only does it teach kids important lessons about being respectful of other beings and empathy, but they can learn about conservation too!
Heading to Africa for a safari visit will expose your kids to a whole new world, so it’s advisable to take only older children with you.
Learn How to Cook
cooking kids
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to come home from work and find that your children have made a delicious dinner, so you don’t have to? Okay, okay, so that might be a distant dream, but sending your kids on a cookery course prepares them for being a health-conscious and independent adult. Although there are plenty of options at home, where else should they learn but the capital of cuisine, France?

At the Ecole De Cuisine Alain Ducasse, your kids can learn how to make anything from chocolate mousse to crème brûlée. Who knows, maybe they’ll even be able to out-chef you at the end of the course!

This post has been contributed by Zoe, a lifestyle and travel blogger from the UK. She has written this post for Knowsley Safari Park. If you’re based in England, Cheshire days out come in an abundance and are a great option for fun in the countryside!

Staycation Idea: Quezon City Memorial Circle

December is just a few weeks away, and my son excitedly talks about visiting mommy here in Manila. Though I feel really flattered, I know that part of his excitement is knowing that he’d be able to explore once more the different parks, play areas and malls around. Last time he was here with my mom, I took them for a budget “pasyal” which I know Teloyskie will enjoy and will talk about for the next 6 months – Quezon City Memorial Circle.

Going there takes only 1 jeepney ride from our place. Qc Circle as it is popularly called is the melting pot of traffic coming to and fro Commonwealth Ave., East Ave., Quezon Ave., North Ave., Visayas Ave., and Kalayaan Ave. The Quezon City Hall stands overlooking the park and an underpass/tunnel connects this park from the grounds of the Hall.

We got there are around four in the afternoon and kept to the shades even with Teloyskie wanting to run around. We headed to the place called Circle of Joy and allowed  our boy to socialize with the other kids. I was impressed with how the city government of Quezon City came up with this play areas for families to spend fun and relaxing day picnicking and bonding together.

woman at the park

Teloyskie was having fun but I know he’d be hungry in a while. I didn’t have any foods with us. We decided to walk around the park and passed by the Circle of Fun. It was a carnival of some sort with rides and all.


For the entrance fee of P40, I only paid for myself yey! Mom, being a senior citizen and Teloyskie were free. Each ride costs around P30 to P40 pesos and I let Teloy choose the ride he wants. There were also featured placed such as the Jurassic Park, the Egyptian something and Alien attack house, but we forgo these because we were already feeling hungry.

dusk at the qc circle runnex

On one side of QC Circle, are tiangge stalls and a line of food stalls with tables for the hungry hawkers. I allowed Teloyskie to choose his foods and he picked out pizza and mango juice, while mom and I had goto, arroz caldo and kwek kwek. It was a tiring yet fun and enjoyable day for us.

We ended the day watching the dancing fountain.

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Teloyskie still kept on talking about it and comparing it with other parks in Daraga and in Masbate. Now that December is nearing, he reminds me that we should go back to that big park and play once again.

Day Trip to Masbate City (Revisiting After 10 years)

Both parents are from Masbate, specifically Batuan in Ticao Island – one of the two larger islands of Masbate lying in Ticao pass. During my growing up years, our parents take us there to spend vacation time with the olds. My college research was conducted in Masbate City in 2002. It was my first time to stay in the city and roam around searching for graduates from my school (we had a tracer study of Political Science graduates in Masbate).


So, 10 years after I was again able to trace back my route – Batuan to Lagundi via motorbike, then Lagundi to Masbate port via an outrigger boat. This time though I wasn’t alone, I had Teloy with me to share a happy hot hot day trip with the Mom and the Tita. We left Batuan at 5 in the morning with a anxious Lolo Dad fussing and repeatedly cautioning the motorcycle driver to drive slowly and carefully. The wind was really cold and it was creepy passing on some of the areas that’s not populated.

We transferred to the outrigger boat just before the sun peeped in the horizon. Teloyskie enjoyed looking out of the water and excitedly pointing out fishes that flies out of the water.

The ride took around 45 minutes, and we reached the city just before 7AM. We walked around port area while Mom showed me and Teloy where she buys bread and stuff during her high school years.

She took us to the church and showed us the school next to it, Liceo de Masbate and said that was where she and Tita attended high school.

After that we had breakfast at Jolibee and headed to Mobo, Masbate to visit Tita’s home.

Bontod beach, a strip of beach with bright white sand was just 15-20 minutes away boat ride from Tita’s kitchen.  I really wanted to go there but due to time constraint I just longingly viewed it from their back yard kubo while the Mom collected plants from Tita’s garden.

We headed back to city and asked the tricycle driver to take us to the Social Center because Mom wants to check out what she can buy from there.

 It was a street near the park where vendors abound with their vegetable produce and dried fish products. After buying these and those, we headed downtown to do groceries. I find the improvements around the city quite impressive and there were a lot of banks around too. Teloy asked another round of Jolibee before we catch the 12noon trip back to Lagundi. 

It was a long, hot and tiring trip, but seeing the wonder and amazement in Teloyskie’s eyes on everything that’s happening around him made the trip all worth it. He was particularly interested in seeing fishes, jellyfish, sea horse and other sea creatures while we’re at sea so I promised him a visit to Manila Ocean Park this coming December.