Boards up!

Whenever I feel like I want to start a project and I am totally blank on ideas, I always look for pegs. Back in the days ( I hope I don't sound too old), I cut-out from magazines and books and stick everything on a cork board.  Luckily, with onset of technology, we can do everything in just a click.

Pinterest is a visual bookmarking tool which aids in idea creation and inspiration. It makes discovery easier because with just a simple search, numerous results are displayed which you can further categorized and breakdown to a more specific topic as necessary. All pins are linked back to the original creator/author so you can always read more details about a particular photo which caught your interest. 

I use Pinterest to keep my pegs organized and more structured. It's where I can get inspiration for fashion, art, design, calligraphy, photography - and a whole lot more! I like doing room or desk revamps so I'm always on the lookout for interior design ideas and those photo-worthy add-ons like succulents and terrariums. I just started pinning recently and I.CAN'T.STOP. It's like I want to pin everything down to leather bags which I all want to buy!!!

If you are not yet on Pinterest, sign up via this link (which runs for a very limited time only). Follow me on Pinterest too and let's do some paperless pinning, shall we? 

Let the pinning begin!

 

xx

Magalawa Island

Exploring the Philippines more is one of my targets for 2015 and to start the year, I headed out to a small island off the coast of Palauig, Zambales. I didn't really know anything about the area until I randomly saw a Facebook post about "Magalawa Island" and it got me all curious - "Wow may ganung area pala sa Zambales?"

Panoramic View of the Sandbar in Magalawa Island

Panoramic View of the Sandbar in Magalawa Island

Travel time from Manila to Palauig (NLEX + SCTEX) is about 6 hours. Boat ride from Oslet Armada fishdealer compound to Magalawa is just 10 minutes. (More details on how to go there on this link)

The Oslet Armada compound has parking slots at Php 150/night. It is gated and secure. I left my car there for 3 days and they even washed it for free!  Here's quick snapshot of the mini-port in the Armada compound:

There are only 2 resorts in the island. I stayed at the Magalawa Island Armada Resort. There are campsites, fan rooms, and rooms with aircon. Not all rooms have restrooms inside. Also, the restrooms have a manual flush a.k.a buhos mode of flushing. If you are a bit picky with bathrooms, you might not like it here :p We got the Php 3,500 package for a 3d2n stay. You can view the rates in this link: RATES

The resort offers a package deal: accommodation and meals. They have a nice floating restaurant and the food servings are very very big! 

Floating Restaurant in Armada Resort

Floating Restaurant in Armada Resort

We did a bit of a tour of the island and spotted some sites for spearfishing and snorkelling. My only comment is that there are a lot of jellyfish in the area and when you're not wearing rash guard, it will be a stingfest for them!

Fresh Urchin as snacks

Fresh Urchin as snacks

I used to be afraid the ocean. Last year, I pushed myself to swim without lifejackets and take risks. Been doing these crazy underwater stints since then. I still have A LOT TO LEARN. 

Spot the jellyfish

Spot the jellyfish

Trying some breath hold

Trying some breath hold

Summer is here and I can't wait to explore more beaches in the Philippines!

xo

North Trip: Part 2

December 28, still, at Buscalan Village.

It was time to get a tattoo! Grace is the grand daugther of Fang-Od (by Fang-Od's sister). She's the only one in the tribe/village who is interested in continuing Fang-Od's tattooing legacy. However, she's pretty much influenced by today's trends (she says "Boom Panis") unlike Fang Od, who spent most of her life inking warriors and villagers.

The mambabatok's tools include bamboos, thorns, and charcoal. Grace and Fang Od sketch out the artwork using charcoal first, and then they do "batok" to ink it into the skin. It's somehow similar to hammering something. The sound seems so painful but actually, it is tolerable. For me, perhaps since my chosen designs are relatively small, it's not as painful as getting inked using a machine. 

I also met Dr. Analyn Salvador-Amores, author of Tapping Ink, Tattooing Identities. She was there do another round of research and she was nice enough to take photos of me getting inked!

First few taps and I go like OUCH

First few taps and I go like OUCH

Left to Right: Fang Od, Dr. Analyn, and me!

Left to Right: Fang Od, Dr. Analyn, and me!

My boyfriend also getting a tattoo from Fang Od

My boyfriend also getting a tattoo from Fang Od

The people of Buscalan reach up to a very old age. I guess living a simple, stress-free life can really make you live longer? Fang Od is already 96 years old and she can still effing tattoo (and feed her pigs.) Whoa!

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My Hawk/Ginawang (Ifugao) tattoo means messenger of good fortune. In the old days, the hawk's flight patterns were used in hunting expeditions. It somehow symbolized that a prey is near. My other tattoo, Rain (Kalinga), means water/blessings. Raining meant that the crops will grow thereby bearing fruits of the farmer's hard labor. I've always been fascinated with elements/forms of water so I know I had to get this ink. My heart is fat with joy. Yay for new inks.  

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I honestly like the vibe in Buscalan. It's steady and quiet. Plus there's lots of coffee! Though time flies by too slow. I also had a nice time with the new people I met (from Manila too) and we decided to go to our next adventure the following day - although we were quite unsure where to head out to next. 

Things to note:

  • Tattoos cost around Php 400 - Php 2000. Mine was Php 400 each but they didn't have change for my money so the change sorta counts as your tip to them.
  • You can request for the thorn used after.
  • If you are indeed getting a tattoo, it is highly suggested to stay overnight because the trek up can be a bitch (plus the last jeep to Bontoc is at 12nn). Get some rest there.Hang out with the villagers and drink lots of good coffee.

Cheers to turning 29 and to new memories. Off to the next destination!