A Trip to Legazpi! (Part 2)

Heya! How are you guys doing? I'm back for the second part of my trip to Legazpi!

So we left off at Ligñon Hill (see the post here), and had a little lunch at the top of that hill (awesome). After we had our fill, our next stop was at the Wildlife Park, which was just at the bottom of Ligñon Hill. The ride was a little under 10 minutes.

The Wildlife Park
As expected, the wildlife park had a lot of "wild life" in it - animals (thankfully NO creepy-crawlies). There were very few people due to the heat and time of the day, but for those who were there, they were obviously having some quality time with each other.

From here, I shall let the photos speak for themselves, though some I'll have to talk you through, haha.

Remember the song "The 12 Days of Christmas"? '
"Four calling birds, three french eggs, two green birds, and a partridge in a pear tree..."
Hahaha, it just came to me after seeing these two awfully cute birdies. :) Seeing them behind a metal cage though makes me so sad. Birds should be free and crazy and wild. Not kept in some cage at a local zoo.

This fellah was extremely noisy as we approached their section, and as he gripped the bars, I guess he felt the call of nature right at that moment and urinated. Hahaha. RIGHT IN FRONT OF US. Good thing it wasn't a shower.

This crow was no doubt a photo-addict. It kept following us and waiting for me to take its picture! Hahaha. Extremely photogenic, I say.

We circled other sections and decided to take our shoot to the water-side-with-bridge. As usual, mom just had to have her picture taken. :) Hahaha. What can I say? XD

Meet the driver who was patient enough to drive us around haha.

The snakes were by the exit (GENIUS, right?) so it was the last animal we saw before leaving. Don't let the photos fool you - they were LARGE. Very.

As it was too hot for us to stay longer, we immediately moved on the our next and final stop on our trip: Kawa-Kawa.

Pilgrim's Journey: Kawa-Kawa
As if we weren't tired enough, we made our way to the famous "Kawa-Kawa" (it's a term used to call a bowl-like container in the Bicol language) where people are said to come most during Holy Week (during April) to make a pilgrimage to the 12 stations of the cross. These 12 stations seem so far from one another due to the extremely tiring walk up a steep road.

The road doesn't look too hard to walk on, but trust me, when you visit this area and you're not well-prepared for a tiring hike, you're sure to NOT make it to the very top. Every step makes you feel heavier, with gravity pulling on you with each step. The scenery was very well done though, so if you're me who dig "scenery", you wouldn't mind the long walk.

One of the great things about this place is its chairs or rest areas. There are various places to sit down while you hike up, which is useful for when you feel too tired and need a short break. The photo above was taken at the first station.

I tried to take a picture of my brother while we rested and had our snacks but he made it almost impossible. Haha. Thanks to the continuous shot feature, I got to take this. Gah.

Our cousin. Camera-shy, but the color of her shirt was just right for the shot.

Steps like these are also found across the mountain, and it takes lesser effort to climb, compared to the normal road. Unfortunately, the steeper road is what you'll have to climb up on for most of the hike.

Mom only made it the third station, but I don't blame her. It really was a tiring walk, and we weren't prepared. Maybe next time, if ever. I really want to reach the top!

 You must be thinking: Won't I ever get a decent front photo of my brother? Hahaha. Yes, but not here, I guess.

We only made it to the third station (sadly) since I had to go to the bathroom (drats, haha) due to drinking too much water and had to leave early. I'm sure I want to go back there again, and this time, I'll complete the 12 stations, just to accomplish this "Kawa-Kawa". Those who've made it to the top have told us that there's a view from above that looks like a bowl when you peer over. I want to see that!

That day was pretty exhausting, but incredibly fun and new. I haven't been to these places, but thanks to our adventurous mom, I got to travel. If you ever plan on coming to the Philippines, these places would be really cool to visit.

'Til the next post!
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A Trip to Legazpi! (Part 1)

Good day everyone! I'm back, and this time, it's all going to be about our recent trip to Legazpi City in Bicol, Philippines on the morning of May 22, 2013.

Filipino Time
So the previous night, I set my phone's alarm for 4:15 AM, since the cab we hired to drive us would arrive at 6 AM. Unfortunately, my inner sleepy head got the better of me and I snoozed the alarm 5 times. YES. This has become a "tradition" since summer vacation started, and as much as I tried to get out of bed, my body would't cooperate. To speed things up, I got up at around 5 AM instead. I applaud the cab driver though - he was in front of our house at exactly 6 AM. O___O Much to my embarrassment, he had to wait for another 30 minutes before we were all set.

The "To"
The main purpose for our trip that morning was the renewal of my passport, which was going to expire that very same day (mom had been taking day-off's during the previous four Friday's, but something always prevented us from leaving). We left at around 7 AM and got past Pili at around this time:

(Gah, I'm a bit on the hairy end. >__< Pardon the "fluffiness".)

The day was going to be awesome, and it took me a while to remember I brought my DSLR with me. Figures, huh? When I finally did get the camera out, very few "photographic" landscapes remained.

(This was taken from the car so it's a little blurry. It was a really bumpy ride!)

There wasn't enough scenery to bother with, so I stopped snapping photos at this point.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (a.k.a. DFA)
We arrived at the mall (since it was stationed inside) at 9:45AM, but when we started to enter, the guards told us that the mall wasn't open yet. That explained the number of people waiting outside, haha. We drove around until 10AM and went back to the just-opened Pacific Mall.
I mentioned "just opened", right? Well, imagine our surprise when we saw the long line in front of the DFA office. I peeked inside and saw a number of people already waiting in the processing area, and there were around 50 more in line!  I wanted to document the rest of the way, but the sight of the guards by the entrance and the stares of the other people prompted me to keep the camera inside.
We were behind two other ladies (perhaps mother-daughter) and that would've been a normal thing, if it weren't for the rudeness of the mother. Really! She had a sort of "sequence" going on: She'd hiccup, then cough, then clear her throat really, really loudly. I know - she might have a cold or something - but she could've at least covered her mouth or turned away from other people! I was eating waffles as she did that so I had my back to her instead.  People.

When I finally got inside the office, I spent around 30 minutes waiting for my turn in the Processing area, 5 minutes in the Cashier window, and another 15 minutes in the Encoding side of the office. Oh, and 5 minutes in paying for my passport home-service delivery. (By the way, the two ladies I mentioned earlier couldn't wait for their turn long enough so when their numbers were called, they were MIA. I got to skip a few minutes of waiting because of their little impatience.)

I finally finished after three hours at 1PM.

Before going off to another place in Legaspi, we went to McDonald's for some fries and flavored floats (yum and refreshing!). That certainly aided the heat.

Mother. :)

Here, the fun begins!
Legazpi City is a 2-hour drive from Naga, so with the time on our hands and with mom wanting to use every minute of our stay to the maximum, we asked the driver to bring us to three different places: Ligñon Hill, The Wildlife Park, and Kawa-Kawa.

1. Ligñon Hill

We were famished and, fortunately, we brought food along the trip (mom has a thing for packed lunches and picnics, and it saves money too). Mom had always wanted to go to this area, so we started the drive up the mountain (slowly, but surely).

The road was a steep one, with a great view of the city below the mountain on one side. We saw a very thin bridge (who would even dare go on that fragile looking thing?) and a cable for Zip-Lining, a sport that has become very popular here in the Philippines. We had to turn off the air conditioner on our way up to save fuel, as the drive burns enough as it is. A few more minutes and we made it to the top!

Say hello to Mt. Mayon!

Isn't it lovely? We had a perfect shot from Ligñon Hill, and the fine weather gave way to this picture. It would've been 100% better if the top of Mayon actually showed from under the clouds, but all's well.

While the wind blew and the sun shone, we happily ate our lunch and our fries/floats. :)

Right after lunch, the photo taking galore started!

The epic jump shots! Hahaha. This was hilarious. It took us around 3 times to take good enough shots! All this while the sun was blazing. Worth it.

Photo-loving people! Hahaha.

This side of Ligñon Hill overlooked the Legazpi airport, and we caught a glimpse of a plane on touch-down. :)

The vast, blue ocean. Relaxing place.

More photos and other stories in Part 2!
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5 Gadgets I (sort of) can't live without (plus a bonus!)

Hey! How has your day been so far? Mine? The usual - full of procrastination and really bad time management. Hahaha, just kidding.

I've been seeing lists everywhere on the web lately, and most of them are about gadgets they're addicted to or those which they use often. So today, I've made my own.

In no order:

1. Samsung Tab - This was given as a gift to be used for university, and I'm glad to say I've been using this for more than just reading PDF's, and making notes. The great thing about this is that it's 3G capable, so I use this both as a phone and as a tablet. :) It's been really handy, and though receiving a call from this baby prompts stares while I hold it up (I don't bother using headphones), all's fine.

2, Headphones - Ah, the purple, almost-never-bought headphones. Why, you ask? This awesome purchase wasn't planned at all, but when I saw this sitting by itself on the shelves inside a department store i Naga City, I felt the urge to buy it. It felt like if I didn't buy it, someone else would. Now, I'm not a shopaholic, but I DO know when I can or cannot let an object pass. So, with nagging my mom a little while she went shopping, I got to buy it. :) THE MUSIC IS MADE FROM HEAVEN. I LOVE listening to music with these. The bass just kills it (in a good way).

3. Philips GoGear Raga Player - My personal favorite and the longest gadget I've ever possessed. My dad bought this in Oman for me when he came home for vacation, a few (maybe 2) years back. I've never had issues with this, and the battery life is amazing. The songs are easy to locate and it can create a "smart" playlist which automatically plays songs of the same genre. When on shuffle, it plays your most commonly played music, so you won't have to keep skipping a song. I don't think I'm ever going to let go of this one.

4. Blackberry Phone - Another gift from a dear relative of ours, when she came home last year (or early 2013). It's been previously loved, and with it now in my possession, I plan to do the same. I've been taking good care of this phone, and it's been really great so far. I use a different sim for this of course. Lovely, lovely gift.

5. Nikon D5100 (the bonus - and the most obvious) - I don't have a photo of it (though you'll find millions on the internet if you Google it), but I think you have a clue about how much I adore this gadget. Dad bought the DSLR in Oman and sent it over for me to use in one subject at school that tackled basic photography. I've been having fun with this since last year, but I have yet to discover more of its features. The next thing on my to-buy list is a macro lens and a wide-angle lens. :) Just a few more months.

How about you guys? What are the Top 5 Gadgets that you use often (or simply can't live without)?
Leave a comment!
I'd love to hear from you!
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