South Peak of the North (Mt. Arayat Expedition – 1,004m Elevation)

… “She won’t know we took home fruits and animals. They’re so plentiful, she won’t know the difference.” Because of the locals’ greediness, Sinukuan appeared before them and turned them into swine. She made fruit trees and animals disappear and from then on, she never allowed the villagers to see her again. The legend of the mountain goddess that enfolds Mt. Arayat.

A day spent at the deck of south peak. Our bodies not warmed up and trained for hikes like this yet we still pushed through. Thanks to Sir MRP for the wheels that brought us to the foot, and for those travelling by means of private vehicle, just take Simon exit at NLEX. Mount Arayat National Park which is located at San Juan Baño in Arayat, Pampanga is one of the entry points to reach the summit. We started the trek at around 0930AM after buying foods for lunch in a local carinderia (though it is advisable that you start early and bring packed-lunch if you’re really into short budget). And off we go…

After several flights of steps, I can already hear someone panting behind me. =)

Make sure that you wear something that will cover your arms and legs for mosquito-bites (perhaps, you can bring off-lotion). One more thing, bring enough water with you; there’ll be no source of water once you’re in there.

And finally we reached the peak at around 0130PM (4 hours the most, depending on your pace). The Southern Peak offers view of Central Luzon, including the Pampanga River.

We started to descend at 0200PM and reached the base by 0400PM (1 ½ to 2 hours estimate). Overall, we paid a fee of P1,100 (P275 per pax) for the two guides though based from other blog reviews, P500 is already reasonable. With limited time and money, our little weekend club survived Maria Sinukuan.

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Game Over

As part of shoti’s birthday celebration, we took a ferry from Hongkong to the mainland of Macau.

Ferries run from the (a) Shun Tak in Sheung Wan in Hong Kong Island and from the (b) China Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) in Kowloon. From TST, ferries run every thirty minutes from 0700AM until 1200AM with travel time between 60-75 minutes depending on sea condition. For economy one-way ticket, prices range from HK$133 (around PhP700) to HK$175 (PhP900) depending on the scheduled day and time.

Macau is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China which is located across the Pearl River estuary from Hong Kong. One of the world’s most densely populated spots, Macau is best known as Asia’s largest destination for gambling taking in even more revenue than Las Vegas. – source: http://wikitravel.org/en/MacauAlso check this site for additional insights http://www.macautourism.gov.mo/en/index.php

We spent the day trailing the busy streets and hopped to different casinos via shuttle buses; take note that these buses offer free rides. It was actually my first time to enter a casino and tried my luck in the spinning wheel of fortune where you have a chance to win an item (don’t know if it’s the right term, not really a gambler =).

It is worth to watch City of Dreams’ Dragon’s Treasure as it’ll take you to a ‘totally immersive 360 degrees multimedia journey’. You will be transported to another world as the four Dragon Kings explore the mysterious powers of the Dragon Pearl and introduce you to their magical kingdoms.  https://www.cityofdreamsmacau.com/entertainment/dragon-treasures for show times and ticket information.

Steps to the Ruins of St. Paul’s (Sao Paulo) Church Facade and made our way to the Senado Square.

We concluded the trip by going to The Venetian Hotel, which was opened in 2007 with a distinctive inferior that resembles the beautiful city of Venice, Italy. I’ll definitely go back here in Macao as I have not yet fulfilled one of my things to do in my bucket list: Bungee Jump at Macau Tower (just waiting for time to heal).

Novice

My first time to board the plane and travel abroad alone, but only up to Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) in Kowloon.  From the HK International Airport, I searched for the bus terminal that will lead me to TST. Travel time took approximately an hour. I have been to Hongkong twice already and this second time around, I am with my family.

Though HK is only a portion of the People’s Republic of China, there are still a lot of places to go to (from Disneyland, Ocean Park, Lantau, The Peak, Bell Tower, HK Island skyline, etc.) No wonder why most Filipinos visit this region apart from the fact that it is just a two-hour ride from Manila. I cannot anymore remember the details of this trip but the good thing is that I still have these photos with me.