Sony Xperia 48-Hour Challenge

I was asked by Sony to join an amazing Instagram challenge, the 48-HR challenge with my #Xperia Z3! It was perfect timing because I had scheduled a trip to Tali, Batangas with my friends. I highlighted 2-day battery life, waterproofing, and camera in low light for a whole 2 days, non-stop. Here are some photos I posted! This fun challenge got me saying, look at what #ICan do! #EverydayExtraordinary

"ise and shine!! Waking up Jim who's too sleepy to get up but I'm ready to seize the day with my Xperia! So much to do, so little time!! #ICan #Xperia #EverydayExtraordinary @sonyphinc"
“ise and shine!! Waking up Jim who’s too sleepy to get up but I’m ready to seize the day with my Xperia! So much to do, so little time!! #ICan #Xperia #EverydayExtraordinary @sonyphinc”
I love city getaways!! Day 2 of our Tali trip. Last night the electricity went out so I didn't get to charge my phone but it's still at 70% from yesterday!!! Unbelievable. #Xperia #ICan #EverydayExtraordinary @sonyphinc
I love city getaways!! Day 2 of our Tali trip. Last night the electricity went out so I didn’t get to charge my phone but it’s still at 70% from yesterday!!! Unbelievable. #Xperia #ICan #EverydayExtraordinary @sonyphinc
Look who I bumped into at the beach!!! HI @marquismisa!!! #ICan #Xperia #EverydayExtraordinary @sonyphinc
Look who I bumped into at the beach!!! HI @marquismisa!!! #ICan #Xperia #EverydayExtraordinary @sonyphinc
Cliff diving and taking photos thanks to my #Xperia Z3. #ICan #EverydayExtraordinary @sonyphinc
Cliff diving and taking photos thanks to my #Xperia Z3. #ICan #EverydayExtraordinary @sonyphinc
What a beauty - taken with my #Xperia Z3, the best in low-light photography. I'm starting to see the beauty in shadows. #ICan #EverydayExtraordinary @sonyphinc
What a beauty – taken with my #Xperia Z3, the best in low-light photography. I’m starting to see the beauty in shadows. #ICan #EverydayExtraordinary @sonyphinc
Tonight's feast!!  #Xperia #ICan #EverydayExtraordinary @sonyphinc
Tonight’s feast!! #Xperia #ICan #EverydayExtraordinary @sonyphinc
Getting ready for a long car ride home! I'm all set with my 2-day battery life #Xperia!! #ICan #EverydayExtraordinary @sonyphinc
Getting ready for a long car ride home! I’m all set with my 2-day battery life #Xperia!! #ICan #EverydayExtraordinary @sonyphinc
Plenty of stop overs but there's no stopping us! Just like my #Xperia's battery life!! Hehe. Almost home <3 #ICan #EverydayExtraordinary @sonyphinc
Plenty of stop overs but there’s no stopping us! Just like my #Xperia’s battery life!! Hehe. Almost home
Cooling down after working out! Making a splash with my #Xperia @sonyphinc #ICan #EverydayExtraordinary
Cooling down after working out! Making a splash with my #Xperia @sonyphinc #ICan #EverydayExtraordinary
Can't sleep? Take your dog out for a walk. Haha! My bear is so happy!! Captured it perfectly even if it was dark outside thanks to the low light capability of my #Xperia Z3! #ICan #EverydayExtraordinary @sonyphinc #JoeyBear
Can’t sleep? Take your dog out for a walk. Haha! My bear is so happy!! Captured it perfectly even if it was dark outside thanks to the low light capability of my #Xperia Z3! #ICan #EverydayExtraordinary @sonyphinc #JoeyBear

I captured awesome memories thanks to the challenge. I’ve been very lazy to take photos lately because I think it’s such a hassle to stop and take a photo when you’re having so much fun. But since I HAD to finish strong with the challenge, I realized that taking a few seconds in order to forever remember moments is really worth it. Thanks to Sony for the reminder that everyday can truly be extraordinary.

48 hours. 48 cities. One Xperia world.

For updates and much more, check out Sony’s Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/SonyPhilippines), Twitter (https://twitter.com/sonyphinc) and Instagram (http://instagram.com/SonyPHInc)

♥,
Saab

Nancy, Sebastian, and SUSI

My friend Cholo sent me a text last Monday asking to hang out Tuesday because his couch surfers were arriving and he was a little nervous. Cholo recently joined Couchsurfing.com, a website that lets you literally sleep on the couch of a stranger. You can see why we were concerned about our friend letting strangers stay in his place! Although as a wannabe traveler myself, I could see the appeal of going around the world and not having to pay thousands of dollars on hotels. It’s kind of like Airbnb.com but a lot cheaper and more intimate as you get to share your life with your host.

So Candy and I went to The Fort to meet up with Cholo and the couchsurfing couple from Germany. I was honestly ready to meet some weirdos. But when I saw them, they looked completely normal. In fact, they looked really cool. Haha.

Sebastian and Nancy
Sebastian and Nancy

They do not eat meat and it just so happened that Candy and I passed by a super cute vegan and gluten-free place called Susi in Burgos Circle.

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We asked if it was dog-friendly and we were so surprised to hear that it was totally fine to bring my beautiful Joey inside!! We stayed in the enclosed room you can see from the photo above.

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YAY
YAY

It was so nice getting to know Sebastian and Nancy. They have been together for 10 years, married for 2, and for the past 7 months they have just been traveling the world. Can you believe that they quit their jobs, sold everything they had and just started traveling? Home, furniture, everything. Nancy said it was her grandparents who gave them the idea of traveling now while they are still young. It’s always the goal to earn a lot of money and retire before traveling. That was her grandparents’ plan but her grandma got sick so they were not able to travel anymore. It was a very good point and it’s so inspiring to just live in the moment.

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They have very interesting names for their dishes. This one is called Moby Dip(s) - 3-dip platter: olive tapenade, sun-dried tomato hummus and pesto served with toast. Named after animal lover Richard Melville Hall, aka Moby.
SUSI has very interesting names for their dishes. This one is called Moby Dip(s) – 3-dip platter: olive tapenade, sun-dried tomato hummus and pesto served with toast. Named after animal lover Richard Melville Hall, aka Moby.
Mac and Geez - macaroni and "cheese" topped with arugula and paprika. Is it as good as actual mac and cheese? Of course not. But it's not bad.
Mac and Geez – macaroni and “cheese” topped with arugula and paprika. Is it as good as actual mac and cheese? Of course not. But it’s not bad.
I have no idea what I ordered basta it was really yummy but I ended up spilling it all over my bag because I am a klutz like that
I have no idea what smoothie I ordered basta it was really yummy but I ended up spilling it all over my bag because I am a klutz like that

I’m so glad I met Nancy and Sebastian and I’ll be seeing them again tonight at our Cheats gig. I think they plan to go to Cebu and Palawan while they’re here. I suggested Siargao and Vigan even though I’ve never been to either. I really want to go to both!! If you have any suggestions, swing by Saguijo tonight.

♥,
Saab

TALIBORDAY

For the younger crowd “Labor Day” is synonymous to a weekend partying it up in Boracay. On the contrary, Labor Day is a public holiday that celebrates workers and their rights. It remembers back in 1913 when 36 worker’s unions got together to protest their long unethical work hours (12 hours+ a day). Now, laborers usually only work a maximum of 8 hours daily but many still struggle for a better work environment. I’ve got nothing but props for the workers who stage demonstrations during Labor Day to call attention to their grievances. Still, it’s common practice for most of the working force to just take the day off and relax. Admittedly, I am part of that working force.

My friends and I went on a quick overnight trip to Tali, Batangas for Labor Day. Of course I had the brilliantly waley idea of calling it TALIBORDAY (Tali + Labor Day) as opposed to the usual LABORACAY (Labor Day + Boracay). It was a beautiful day of eating, swimming, and eating some more.

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Tina, Maxx’s college best friend, was gracious enough to host us at her family’s beach house. She also brought her 4-year-old son Elian along and everybody fell in love.

Maxx and Elian
Maxx and Elian
Elian enjoying his cheddar jalapeño Cheetos. He LOVES the stuff. Doesn't care that it's spicy!
Elian enjoying his cheddar jalapeño Cheetos. He LOVES the stuff. Doesn’t care that it’s spicy!

As soon as we got there around 10AM, we set out to help Lauren with her planned boodle fight lunch!

Lelz
Lelz
Hi!
Hi!
I peeled and cut these mangoes heeheehee
I peeled and cut these mangoes heeheehee
Chef Lauren!! GOOD JOB
Chef Lauren!! GOOD JOB
FIIIIGHT!!
FIIIIGHT!!

It was my first boodle fight and it was DA BOMB!!! Megan suggested we keep all our phones before having lunch so we wouldn’t be distracted. Sa bagay, we were using our hands to eat the food so we wouldn’t have been able to check our phones anyway hehe. All meals should have a no-phone rule!

Post-lunch wine
Post-lunch wine
My peach, Adrianne, chilling under the shade!
My peach, Adrianne, chilling under the shade!

Elian was a ball of energy!! He kept throwing mangoes (grown from their backyard) into the pool and then fetching them.

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Playing with his chosen girlfriend hahaha
Playing with his chosen girlfriend hahaha

Wayyyy later he passed out on his minion beach mat.

He is such a cutie pie
He is such a cutie pie

Elian was so cute in the pool and I had just purchased a back screen monitor for my GoPro Hero 3+ so I could keep replaying videos. I wanted to show Tina (who refuses to be caught on cam haha) how cute her baby boy was on cam. Obviously, while the unit is in its waterproof case, you can’t use the touch screen. The smart thing would have been to wait until I’m out the pool before checking the footage. But I couldn’t wait. I opened the case, pressed play and showed Tina the video. YOU GUESSED IT: My GoPro fell in the pool. For 1 second. It was the worst. Hahahaha. So we took it apart (monitor, unit, battery) and placed it in a bowl of uncooked rice because that’s what the Internet says you should do if you get a gadget wet. I tried to turn it on that night. The lights would blink, it was making the sound but the front LCD and week-old monitor wouldn’t respond. My heart almost broke but I didn’t make a big deal out of it because I just wanted to have fun with the girls.

Last photo I took before accidentally dropping my GoPro in the pool!
Last photo I took before accidentally dropping my GoPro in the pool!

After we watched the sunset by the Tali cliff, I helped Lauren make sloppy joes for dinner while Adrianne made cheese hotdogs. We had dinner, played 30 Seconds (super fun trivia board game), had tea, took a shower, watched Maxx on Aquino and Abunda, played Cluedo with Lauren and Vic, went to sleep, woke up at 6AM, had breakfast, left at 7AM. I was afraid we were going to get drunk at night but wow we are such titas now. Hahaha. It felt good to go to sleep before midnight and wake up very early for breakfast. I was also excited to go home because it was my first night away from Jim (I think) since we got married and I was looking forward to seeing him again. Hehehe. Sepanx?

Anyway, when I got home, I checked my GoPro and it was working perfectly fine. Praise the Lord. God loves me. I am so happy. Hehehehe. I’m currently uploading a video I put together from our Tali trip so stay tuned for that tonight :) Hope you had a great long weekend as well!

Will update this post with the video in an hour or so when it finishes uploading!:)

[UPDATE May 6, 2015] Watch our video below. Sorry it took a while, it was originally set to Carly Rae Jepsen’s I Really Like You but Vimeo/YouTube does not take kindly to people who use songs without a license. So I had to choose from YouTube’s usable audio library. This one is called Pink Lemonade by Silent Partner. Imagine niyo nalang may boses ni Carly Rae… See Maxx’s Instavid for reference.

♥,
Saabae

Summer Siren Festival

Why complain about the summer heat when you can bask in all its hot hot glory? Can’t wait to hit the beach this Friday with my best buddies and bandmates. Cheats is going to Crystal Beach, Zambales for Summer Siren Festival this April 17th.

The whole festival runs from April 17-19 with a wide variety of activities for everybody to try:

  • Flow Arts Workshop by FlowArts Philppines & Planet Zips
  • Summer Workouts by Crossfit Alpha Strike
  • Beach Volleyball Match
  • Beach Frisbee Game
  • Surf Lessons

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summer siren day 2

Since Cheats is performing, the organizers have graciously provided rooms for us but Lifestyle Network’s GLAMPING (glamorous camping) package looks so fun and enticing, don’t you think? No need to pitch a tent, make a fire, etc. It’s nice for people who want to experience camping for the first time without getting overwhelmed by the nitty gritty.

glamping

It includes roundtrip transportation (Manila – Zambales – Manila), 2 nights accommodation in a glamping tent (tent comes with an airbed with linens and pillows, a lamp and a fan), Summer Siren festival passes, welcome BBQ dinner, daily hearty breakfast, butler service, Lifestyle Network glamping kit, Summer Siren festival kit, travel insurance, and a whole lot of freebies. They had me at ‘butler service’ hahaha. They’re also bringing in more activities but don’t worry if you didn’t get the glamping package, you can still enjoy them!

  • Ukelele Workshop
  • Shirt Deconstruction
  • Hairbraiding by Dove
  • Make your own Dreamcatcher by DMCI
  • Archery

Will make sure to drop by the glamping site to take photos, stalk some folks and secretly wish I was in their place. Hahaha! Unless they don’t have a nice bathroom. You can drag me almost anywhere and I’ll be good as long as there’s a properly-working toilet. Are you going?! OMG will we become best friends??? Lelz! Try your luck if there are still packages available over at TravelFactor.org. I hear you can also just bring your own tent and stuff and just pay 1,000 to pitch it on the camping site. ADVENTURE TIME! See ya!

http://www.summersirenfestival.com

♥,
SAABae

summersiren day 1

summer siren day 2

Going Up Fushimi Inari Temple

I totally forgot about my last batch of Japan photos!! Here’s a photo diary of our last day in Kyoto when we went there for our honeymoon! So here’s a photo diary I hope you enjoy it as much as much as the other Japan entries :) Some photos taken with my iPhone 6, other with my Sony NEX 5N.

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Cutie pie
Cutie pie
UGH ganda
UGH ganda
The walk to the temple is lined with so many vendors and they insist on giving out samples of their items
The walk to the temple is lined with so many vendors and they insist on giving out samples of their items

Here’s a brief background of the shrine we visited from what I gathered: There are 2 major religions practiced in Japan – Shintoism and Buddhism. In Shinto, people believe in kami or the Japanese word for god or spirit. Inari is the kami of general prosperity and worldly success. A lot of people visit the shrine to pray for their businesses but first and foremost Inari is the god of rice.

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Kyoto’s Kitchen: Nishiki Market

Our fourth day in Japan was spent going around the famous Nishiki Market (Kyoto), a really long and narrow arcade that stretches for five blocks. It’s lined by over a hundred shops and restaurants. It’s known as The Kitchen of Kyoto because you can sample many of the city’s cultural delicacies all in one place. The history of the place is amazing:

Nishiki has a long history that originated about 400 years ago, but its true beginnings go back even further. When Japan’s capital was first transferred to Kyoto, the distribution network for goods was undeveloped and citizens couldn’t enjoy eating a wide variety of foods. In 1573, a lot of local merchants visited Kyoto’s Imperial Palace to dedicate local products, such as fresh fish and game for meat. Gradually, they got used to cooperating in order to keep these products fresh by utilizing the abundance of freezing underground water beneath Nishiki, which remains 15 degrees C even in summer. Even today, this water guarantees the freshness of fish sold in the market. (source)

Here are some photos I took that day.

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Jim “gathering good energy and balling it up” for good vibes
We're heeere
We’re heeere

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The Wonderful Wizarding World of Harry Potter

It’s been such a crazy week, I’ve hardly been at home and my laptop’s battery has died on me. It doesn’t want to work unless it’s plugged in huhuhu. At least I’ve got a reason to get a new one! Hehehe. Soon! Anyway, here’s a very delayed photo diary of our 3rd day in Japan also known as our day in Osaka which is about an hour and a half away via train. We rode our hotel’s free shuttle to Kyoto Station and began our adventure!

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Got no time for breakfast? Grab these delicious sushi thingies from Family Mart!

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Living in the danger zone o_O This guy gave us a heart attack!

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Layers
Layers
OMG this is really happening
OMG this is really happening – “ACCIO SAAB & JIM”

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Itadakimasu!

On our second day in Kyoto, we were set on taking a cooking class we found on TripAdvisor. If you’re not familiar with the app, it gets your location and tells you the top-rated restaurants, attractions and activities nearby. One of the top activities near our area was a traditional Japanese cooking class held by WA Experience Kafu and it had rave reviews, mostly for the very friendly instructor named Kimi! I e-mailed her in the morning and asked if there was an available slot for the day and inquired about how much it would cost for 2 persons. She replied within the hour and said we could go at 2pm and a class for each person cost 7,500 yen (a little less than PhP3,000). So we finally got out of bed and checked the weather outside.

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My husband the dinosaur

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English Menu, Please!

When we had lunch with our principal sponsors tito Dot and tita Gina Escalona (parents of our friend Ryan whose family has been close to Jim for years), they asked where our honeymoon would be. We said we were postponing our planned NY honeymoon to next year because we wanted to be practical and use our money to do a little renovation project in our condo instead. Also because we are taking a European cruise with Jim’s family later this year anyway, so the two of us can just extend our stay in Paris or something – whatever we decide! The Escalonas said it was important to take a little break in between the wedding & going back to work. Right then and there, they said they would like send us anywhere in Asia for a week as a gift. I KNOW, RIGHT?! We couldn’t believe it either. But they insisted! Of course I said Japan because Japan.

The last time we were there, Jim proposed to me in Tokyo. This time we wanted to explore Kyoto and Osaka! Sharing photos I took on our first night in Kyoto!

We left 3pm of Tuesday, 3 days after we got hitched. Flew Manila-Osaka (Kansai airport) and rode a bus to Kyoto. Including airport transfers and all, we got to our hotel around 9:30pm Japan time (they are an hour ahead of us).

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Jim says airplane food is his “third favorite food.” Go figure!

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Boracay Birthday 2014

After a horrible start to the weekend (read about it here), things went really smoothly once we landed in Boracay. It was our first time to stay at a new bed & breakfast called Agos Boracay on Station 2 — Jim’s parents gave us GCs because their friends own it. I like a luxurious hotel room just like the next person but I personally think if you’re in Boracay, your room should just be for dropping off your stuff, taking showers, and sleeping! That’s why Agos Boracay is perfect for travelers who would rather enjoy the view of the beach from the actual shoreline instead of spending a beautiful day indoors. Spend half of what you’d normally spend on other hotels and you’re only 2 minutes away from D’Mall! The room are very nice and clean, too! It has a well-deserved rating of 5 stars on TripAdvisor! www.agosboracay.com

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When we got there, Cholo arrived shortly and we headed out for dinner. We found a highly rated restaurant via the TripAdvisor app called Tilapia N Chips and it looked really good. True enough, the food was served in large portions and it was a great meal. We ordered Fish N Chips, Tilapia N Chips, and a burger.

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We walked along the shore to Station 1 where the sand was so pristine and we tripped out on how beautiful it was when the water washes away all the footprints. Boracay is really the most beautiful beach. This photo doesn’t do it any justice. Not at all.

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I barely took any photos so some photos in this post were taken with my phone! We walked really far up Station 1, all the way to that bright place in the picture below.

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There was a cute little wedding reception happening and we sat down beside it, ordered 2 bottles of red wine and just talked while enjoying the music from the reception. I think that’s more than enough proof that we are growing older if we’re drinking quietly in Boracay on a Friday night. Haha! We went home a little past midnight and we slept very soundly, a bit drunk on childhood memories and wine.

Agos Boracay does regular housekeeping and they provide the usual free bottled water daily but they do not have a restaurant nor do they have room service. As an alternative, they partnered up with a restaurant nearby for complimentary breakfast.

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Honestly, I say skip the free breakfast because it’s nothing amazing. Try exploring other options for breakfast instead. Maxx arrived early in the morning and we met up at her hotel.

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We laid out under the sun for a while and listened to music until lunch time when we went to Epic. I ordered these amazing mozarella cubes and a seared tuna salad.

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Cholo got spaghetti and meatballs – nakakainggit. Hahaha.

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I refuse to go to the beach without having at least one frozen margarita. It just kind of completes the moment for me.

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After lunch, we went back to Station 1 where we once again lounged about, had amazing conversations, and took photos before sunset! The obligatory jump shot,

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Hello po.

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Group shot!

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Ang saya nung group nila, they had a drone camera taking photos of them

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Boys being boys

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Konting PDA

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Had a quick buffet dinner at Seawind where you just point to what you want and they’ll cook it for you. Sarap!

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Cholo surprised us by signing us up for Boracay Pubcrawl! He just recently came home from Spain where he also participated in a pub crawl for the first time. A pub crawl is when you’re part of a group that goes from one bar to the other. The rest of us were so excited because we’d never done anything like this before. You can sign up early to get a discount, in our case we only paid P790 each for boys and P690 each for girls (well technically we didn’t pay for anything cos it was Cholo’s birthday treat! Yay!) instead of P990 which is the price you’d have to pay if you sign up on the spot.

We all had to meet up at 8PM in Station 1 near Starbucks. That’s where you get a t-shirt that gets you a 10% discount in all partner restaurants, a baller band that gets you happy hour rates at partner bars even beyond happy hour, and a shot glass for all the free shots you’ll get that night. It was nice watching all the people cutting up their shirts to make it more unique, it was like a Project Runway in a sweaty, loud bar. Haha! Our first task was to make 4 new friends and learn one interesting thing about them.

We tried making new friends right away

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It was very scary for someone who gets anxiety around strangers like me. There was a lot of “getting-to-know-you” activities at the start of the night with strangers. Slowly, though, I began to just go with the flow and felt more relaxed with these people I’d never met before. Being in a group was still very much like a security blanket though. Luv u guyzzz~

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It’s a wonder how we were all so sober in the midst of such crazy drunk people. Haha. Sa first stop palang, ang dami nang nagmo-momol! It really was fun meeting new people who come from all walks of life. I found this one Australian guy really interesting because he was doing volunteer work to help urban planning in the Philippines. Just one of the many people I got to talk to that night! He looked like someone from Hollywood and although he kept saying he was often mistaken for Matt Damon or Andrew Garfield, we figured out at the very end of the night that he looked more like Quentin Tarantino. Ang layo sa Matt/Andrew claims! Haha!

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We went to 5 different bars, the last one was the most interesting because it was a silent disco. We were all given headphones with really loud music and everybody was going crazy because it was the last stop and we were having so much fun. It was very interesting to take off the headphones and watch people dance to no music haha!

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When midnight struck, they gave us cakes for our birthdays along with our new pal Emily who was also celebrating her birthday! What a sweet surprise!

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I decided to give my cake away to the little kids roaming around so late on the beach.

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So cute! But I made them promise that they’d go to bed already. After a quick stopover at Andok’s with some of our new friends, we all went back to our beds to get some sleep! What a great experience, I highly recommend joining the Boracay Pubcrawl the next time you’re on the island. They have pubcrawls on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays. Check them out at www.pubcrawl.ph!

The morning of our birthday was the Pacquiao-Algieri fight so we grabbed a bite to eat before it started. Diyos ko, puro pagkain ang laman ng blog post na ito!! Two Seasons has the best 4-cheese pizza talaga! Reminds me of the cheese pizza in Bellini’s Cubao, also a favorite of mine!

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We went back to Maxx’s hotel to watch the fight! It was pretty strange that it wasn’t as rowdy as we expected. Probably because the guests were mostly foreigners so they weren’t particularly cheering for Pacquiao.

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Kebs! Cheers parin to Pacman!

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We can never truly be happy when watching boxing.. Lagi kami naaawa sa natatalo. Huhu.

DSC03642We predicted Manny Pacquiao would win and he did. Congrats! Now back to swimming and lounging!!

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We used to always wear matching outfits when we were young and it just so happened that we packed the same swimsuit and sheer pineapple top in different colors! So meant to be! Haha!

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And then we ended the night playing our favorite boardgame, Munchkin, while drinking whiskey!

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It was really intense. Hahaha!

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The morning before we left for Manila, we got an outdoor massage at Ambassador and it was pure ecstasy. I have to commend talaga the staff of Ambassador, they were all so nice and accommodating!

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It was an amazing, PEACEFUL trip. Himala hindi kami nag away ni Maxx!!! Hahaha!! Sobrang saya talaga, we’re even planning to book again for our birthday next year as early as now hehe. Omg ngayon ko lang napansin na mukhang isang pata ko lang yung nakikita niyo sa pic above but no, natakpan lang ni Maxx!! Dalawang thighs ko yan, ano ba??? Hahaha! Thank you for all the birthday greetings! We love you!:)