Beautiful Baler (Day 1)

Cycling our way to Ditumabo "Mother" Falls.

Cycling our way to Ditumabo “Mother” Falls.

You know that girl next door you always wanted to ask out? That’s not Baler. Baler is the best friend of that girl, the one you forgot to notice.

Only 6-7 hours away from Manila, Baler is the new Baguio – lush, clean, and gentle. Last weekend, my traveling buddies and I headed to the beautiful capital of Aurora, Baler, armed with our bikes and camping gears, “S24O” style.

How to get there?

  • Take a Joy Bus from Cubao, Metro Manila
  • A comfy deluxe ride for only P700 per person (one way)
  • It will take you straight to Baler Terminal
  • We left at 1:30am and arrived in Baler at 7am.
Loading our bikes inside Joy Bus. No additional fee for bikes.

Loading our bikes inside Joy Bus. No additional fee for bikes.

Pusakalye power couple, Devaki and Rodel Guinto, ready to tour Aurora. Pack and pedal!

Pusakalye power couple, Devaki and Rodel Guinto, ready to tour Aurora. “All our bikes are packed and ready to roll.”

DAY 1 ITINERARY:

  1. Bike and hike to Ditumabo “Mother” falls (15kms from Sabang)
  2. Lunch cook-out (in Ditumabo) – Kubo rental P200
  3. Bike to Balete “Millennium” Tree Park, Maria Aurora (22km from Ditumabo) – P10 fee/head
  4. Bike to Museo de Baler (15km from Maria Aurora) – Donation only
  5. Check-in at Sabang Beach – P700/kubo with fan (very secure)
s24o in Aurora

s24o in Aurora

We rented a Kubo at the bottom of the mountain to keep our bikes and gears.

We rented a Kubo at the bottom of the mountain to keep our bikes and gears.

The hike to Ditumabo Falls.

The hike to Ditumabo “Mother” Falls.

"This is our playground."

“This is our playground.”

Afterwards, we walked back to our kubo and cooked some lunch. Along the way there are sari-sari/mini stores where you can buy banana-q, camote-q, buko juice, and other refreshments.

Chef Mel doing her thang!

Chef Mel doing her thang!

"Prinsipal ka ba? Dami mong alam eh!" - Mel

“Prinsipal ka ba? Dami mong alam eh!” – Mel

After lunch, we pedaled our way to Maria Aurora to check out the Balete “Millennium” Tree Park.

We then headed to Museo de Baler. It felt like we were doing our very own ArtBike in Aurora simultaneously with Rock Drilon’s Artbike in Taguig, Manila.

Museo de Baler

Museo de Baler

Finally it was time to call it a day. On our way to Sabang Beach.

Finally it was time to call it a day. On our way to Sabang Beach.

To be continued…
(c) Nityalila Saulo

Calatagan Weekend

Another epic weekend with biker buddies in Burot, Calatagan.

With my gal, Melissa Sambajon, travel extraordinaire.

With my gal, Melissa Sambajon, travel extraordinaire.

Take a bus from Coastal Mall Provincial Bus Terminal to Calatagan:

  • Celyrosa Express leaves every hour.
  • Non-aircon bus until 9am, after 9am, AC bus is available.
  • P140/head
  • Non-stop 3-4 hr trip
For P150-P200, a trike can take you to Burot beach. We rented one to carry our bags.

For P150-P200, a trike can take you to Burot beach. We rented one for our bags.

Our first stop was the nearby market where we bought:

  • Drinking water
  • Food & Snacks

Make sure to buy everything you need because everything else in Burot is more expensive.

We grabbed a quick bite at the market, then pedaled our way to the beach (estimate 5KM). If you’re planning to bike to Burot, ensure that you have good wheels. The road is rough and full of sharp rocks. At one point, I had to walk because it was too bumpy for my small wheels.

The famous Burot sunset.

The famous Burot sunset.

Camp site

Camp site

Tent is the only option for accommodations in Burot. If you don’t have a tent, you can rent one for P300 – P500 depending on the capacity. Best to bring your own because the island can run out of tents during peak season.

For only P100/head one can go sandbar hopping. We went to 3 sandbars. If you really want to swim, take this offer.

There's always time for a selfie!

There’s always time for a selfie!

Loving the beach life!

Loving the beach life!

After 2 hours, we returned to our camp. When leaving your campsite, make sure to lock your tent and take your valuables with you. Rumor has it that visitors have lost stuff. In our case, we left Jen Mai behind. Well, she volunteered. Thanks dear!

Chef Melissa in her element.

Chef Melissa in her element.

Melissa makes the best vegetarian pasta with her ever reliable camping cook set.

Melissa makes the best vegetarian pasta with her ever reliable camping cook set.

Part of camping is preparing and cooking your own food. Master chef Melissa got it covered.

The next day, we biked to the lighthouse in Cape Santiago, about 10KM away from Burot.

We made it!

We made it!

Side trip: The Stilts. Normally, you have to pay a minimum amount of P350/head to enter The Stilts, lucky for us, we didn’t have to. I’m not really sure why… I think the guard had a crush on Jen Mai (Hahaha).

Thank you Calatagan!

Thank you, The Stilts!

We had to get extra seats for our bikes. The AC bus has a smaller compartment than the Non-AC bus.

Thank you Calatagan!

Thank you Calatagan!

More photos here!

 

Kwebang Lampas Weekend

Kwebang Lampas, Pagbilao Quezon, Philippines.

Kwebang Lampas, Pagbilao Quezon, Philippines.

Simplified beach life at Kwebang Lampas. No electricity, no amenities.

  • We took the bus from Manila to Lucena Grand Terminal via JAC Liner.
  • P209.00 / head (one way)
  • No stop over
  • 3-4 hours road trip

Buy everything you need at Pamilihang Bayan ng Pagbilao (Local market). Include these:

  • Three 5 gallons of water
  • A styro ice box
  • Food + Snacks
  • Drinks
  • Ponkan Ponkan Ponkan (an ideal beach snack)
  • Native fan (pamaypay)
Eat where the locals eat.

Eat where the locals eat.

  • Puto – P20.00 for 5 pcs.
  • Biko – P15.00 each
  • 7Up – P8.00
  • Cassava Cake – P35 / box

Getting there:

  • Rented jeep – P1,700 (good for 20pax)
  • Boat ride to Kwebang Lampas – P100.00 (inclusive of entrance fee)
  • Trek duration – 10mins.

Pack light. Bring only what you need. Must have:

  • Your own tent
  • Tissue paper
  • Black trash bag
  • Lots of drinking water
  • Hammok
  • Sarong
  • Travel towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Swimsuit
  • Shads + Cap
  • Power bank for your gadgets
  • Flashlight
  • Camp Kitchen (knife, paper plates, chopsticks, can opener, etc.)
  • Air pillow
  • Aqua shoes
  • Action camera (GoPro w/ extra batteries)

Simple amenities on the island:

  • Water for bathing (5galons) = P50.00
  • Drinking water (small bottle) = P40.00
  • Ice (nawasa) = P20 – P50.00
  • Weewee = P1.00
  • No.2 P5.00

GOPR3066

Bring aqua shoes! If you want to enter the cave, wear slippers or aqua shoes. You’ll thank me for it!

My home for the night. A very good purchase indeed. Coleman's Peak1 tent (good for 2 pax) proved to be a good tent during this trip. Waterproof, good ventilation, and spacious!

My home for the night. A very good purchase indeed. Coleman’s Peak1 tent (good for 2 pax) proved to be a good investment during this trip. Waterproof, good ventilation, and spacious!

The campsite

The campsite

Morning dip!

Morning dip!

Island hopping cost – P3,500 / roundtrip (good for 25pax). We visited Borawan but it was too crowded. We decided to skip Dampalitan too because it would be the same case. So manong Edwin took us to a sand bar. It was perfect! Just us and a place where we could swim privately.

Read with your feet, travel!

Read with your feet, travel!

Thank you #mamech!

Cambodia Discovered

Whether locally or internationally, the point is, travel. This year’s destination was Siem Reap, Cambodia. Discovering the city on wheels, setting foot on ancient temples, waking up for sunrise, chasing the sunset, hunting for good Khmer vegetarian food, getting lost, and finding our way back home.

When: February 13 – 17, 2014
Where: Angkor Friendship Inn
How: Cebu Pacific promo fair

More photos here:
https://www.facebook.com/lilafairblog

My Fresh Lumpia Addiction

Fresh Lumpia

Almost every Sunday morning, I ride to The Legaspi Sunday Market just to get a bite on my favorite fresh lumpia by Yan Ching. For only P60 you get a fat fresh lumpia filled with lettuce, sweet and salty ground nuts, mixed veggies with toge, fresh wansoy (cilantro), seaweed budbod, and garlic, served with their special sweet and salty brown sauce. The best part about it is that it’s vegetarian friendly!  At a nearby stall, I buy my freshly squeezed dalandan drink (p30) to partner with my fresh lumpia. Simply amazing!

Fresh Lumpia Fresh Lumpia Fresh Lumpia Fresh Lumpia Fresh Lumpia Fresh Lumpia Fresh Lumpia Fresh Lumpia

The Legaspi Sunday Market is open every Sunday from 7am to 3pm. Cheers to a healthy lifestyle!

 

 

 

Cleansing Exprience

Been on a raw food and home juiced fruits and veggies diet for the past 5 days. Loving it and going strong!

Juice Recipe:
5 carrots
2 cucumbers
2 fuji apples
1 lemon

Juice them all except for the lemon. Put them in 4 bottles (12oz) and you’re good to go. That’s breakfast, lunch, mid-day snack, and dinner!

Juice Fast

 

Bacolod Pension House

When in Bacolod and on a tight budget, stay at 11th Street Pension House. The only thing that bothered me was that the AC couldn’t cool the room enough because of the heat outside. Make sure to choose a room with good AC. Towels and basic toiletries were provided, spacious rooms, nice lounge/dining area, and most importantly, good wifi connection everywhere. Unfortunately they didn’t have any vegetarian dish on the menu but they were kind enough to fry eggplant and chop tomatos for me.

All rooms serve free breakfast. They can also call a cab for you if you need to go somewhere. Good place.

11th Street

11th Street

Entrance

Entrance

With Dakila Freedom Warriors Team

With Dakila Freedom Warriors Team

Getting ready to leave for Moises Padilla.

Getting ready to leave for Moises Padilla.

Inside the grounds of 11th Street Pension House.

Inside the grounds of 11th Street Pension House.

Check out these photos from their facebook page. For more information, check out their link on Trip Advosory.

CMR January

This year’s first CMR by Firefly Brigade was a success. It was nice to see old-timer and new bikers again after the Holidays. I believe it was well attended because everybody missed everybody and maybe also because a lot of new riders made it their New Year’s resolution to be more active and healthier this year. It was a great start. Hopefully we continue to see this kind of number every month. The more the merrier. (CMR Schedule)

Assembly point. Greenhills Shopping Centre.

Assembly point. Greenhills Shopping Centre.

At 7am, Jeans and I arrived at the assembly point. During the assembly, Tina DC, the Firefly Brigade President made some announcements and gave an orientation on road safety and road ethics. Shortly after that, the ride commenced.

(Photo by Al Castillo)

(Photo by Al Castillo)

CMR January 2013

During CMRs, women are encouraged to stay in front to pace the peloton. (Photo by Al Castillo)

CMR January 2013

Doc Arman and Stephen on their folding bikes. (Photo by Al Castillo)

Emergency

Emergency

During the ride, Tina’s fender encountered a problem, thankfully many bikers were more than willing to help.

CMR January 2013

It was a perfect bike weather. (Photo by Al Castillo)

CMR January 2013

On our way to Binondo, Manila. (Photo by Al Castillo)

CMR January 2013

(Photo by Al Castillo)

CMR January 2013

Waiting for the peloton to regroup on the bridge. (Photo by Al Castillo)

Streets of Manila.

Streets of Manila.

Passing by Luneta

Passing by Luneta

Marshals on duty.

Marshals on duty.

What I admire most about the Firefly Brigade’s monthly CMR is that they have very committed marshals who make sure that all riders are safe and that no one is left behind.

CMR January 2013

The photographer, Al Castillo.

(Photo by Tina DC)

(Photo by Tina DC)

Kalesas roaming the streets of Old Manila.

IMG_1990

Binondo, the final destination.

IMG_1994

Folding bikes.

Advocafe, a new vegetarian and bike-friendly cafe in Manila.

Advocafe, a new vegetarian and bike-friendly cafe in Manila.

After the CMR, we had lunch at this new cafe near Roxas. Check out Advocafe.

FACTS ABOUT CMR:

  • CMR means Critical Mass Ride
  • Organized by the Firefly Brigade
  • It’s FREE, no registration fee.
  • Wearing a helmet is highly encouraged
  • Open to all kinds of bikers (newbies or oldies)
  • Usually 20km – 25km distance
  • Slow and easy pace
  • Mostly flat roads
  • Very few inclines

See you again fireflies. Ride safe. Cheers to a healthier lifestyle.

La Lost in Laiya

Umbrella trees.

Umbrella trees.

An amazing weekend with the #Mamech! Bus, bike, and beach. From Manila we took a bus to Lipa, then biked our way to Laiya, a total 0f 59.3KM. Stayed the night then went bimodal back to Manila.

Notes:

  • Bus ride from Manila (Buendia Station) to Lipa is P124.00
  • Jam Liner offers free wifi.
  • Folding bikes can easily fit under the bus’ compartment, however if you wish to bring a regular sized bike, you can also do so just detach both wheels from the frame.
  • Distance from Lipa Jam Liner station to La Luz Laiya is exactly 59.3KM.
  • Batangas in general is not a vegetarian friendly city, however you can request some carinderia to cook a simple vegetable meal for you, just ask what vegetables they have in their pantry.
  • Transient style accommodations in Laiya is offered by many locals, you just need to ask around. Camping on the beach is not encouraged.

SEXY Vegetarian

Photo by Noel Abelardo. Press Release by Dakila - Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism.

Photo by Noel Abelardo. Press Release by Dakila – Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism.

Most people are going green and healthy, but for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA, it is not just about becoming healthy but mainly being compassionate to our fellow earthlings, the animals, by establishing and respecting their rights. PETA Asia Pacific has released its list of nominees for this year’s sexiest vegetarian celebrity.

Nityalila Saulo, a Filipina singer-songwriter, is one of the hundred celebrities across Asia Pacific who was chosen to vie for the sexiest vegetarian celebrity of 2012. Nityalila, the daughter of eco-friendly lifestyle bag owner Yadu Saulo, was born and raised vegetarian. As a musician, she was nominated for Best Performance by a New Female Recording Artist at the 2008 Awit Awards and has performed in various International Music Festivals. She was recently invited to hold music workshops and performances in Taiwan.

Nityalila is not only a vegetarian and PETA activist but also one of the artists of Dakila – Philippine Collective Modern Heroism, a group of Filipino artists, musicians and individuals committed to advocating social consciousness formation through creative platforms. One of her advocacies in the group is Tik Tok Pilipinas Campaign for Climate Action. She is also a proud member and volunteer of Yabang Pinoy, a campaign that hopes to unite Filipinos in believing in Filipino products, in themselves and in fellow Filipinos. Nityalila is also the founder and producer of Flippyknows, a community where Filipinos all over the world converge to share creativity and technology with each other.

A healthy lifestyle advocate, Nityalila regularly bikes with her peers Mamech (A group of women cyclists in Metro Manila) and the Firefly Brigade, and run with her friends from the Greenhills Running Club 1502. She spearheads projects for Dakila such as the Ride and Rock Relief Drive for victims of Typhoon Sendong. She also leads Dakila’s latest advocacy on food justice by promoting the consumption of organic Brown Rice. Nityalila is truly an example of a true advocate who practices what she preaches and uses her talents to promote her advocacies.

Among other Filipino vegetarian-hotties nominated in the search are international multi-awarded director, Lav Diaz; actress and environmentalist Chin Chin Gutierrez; Sandra Seifert, Geneva Cruz, Isabel Roces and RJ Ledesma to name a few. Alongside these Filipino prides are international stars and politicians Natalie Portman, Jason Mraz, Anne Hathaway, Jared Letto, Lea Michele, Russel Brand and former US President, Bill Clinton.

“PETA will decide the winner based on four factors with equal consideration: the celebrity’s commitment to vegetarianism, PETA’s assessment of the celebrities’ attractiveness, media-friendliness of each celeb’s personality and number of votes received online” said PETA.

To make Filipinos the Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrities of 2012 cast your votes now! Online voting is until May 15, 2012.

Click on the link below and follow the 4 easy steps:

http://www.petaasiapacific.com/featureSexiestVegCeleb2012-Eng.asp 

  1. In the boxes, write down your: First Name, Last Name, Email Address and Choose Country.
  2. On the WOMEN’s List: Click on the Name Nityalila Saulo. (It’s in Alphabetical order)
  3. On the MEN’s LIST: (You have to choose a Men Celebrity too) Click on whoever you want. 🙂
  4. Click on the SUBMIT button.

and Voila! Thank you for Voting! 😀

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Credits:
Photo by Noel Abelardo
Press Release by Dakila – Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism