Archive for the ‘Philippines’ Category

Yeah. I’m sure you’re thinking winning millions in cash. I was hoping that too. Still winning unexpectedly in Bank of the Philippines'(BPI) monthly draw for "Be the next Millionaire… with BPInoy’s P2 Million Thanks to You Promo Part 2" is still great. Mavis was entered automatically through her remittance transaction with BPI for my mom […]

Here are the photos of the Butterflies in Camp John Hay’s Butterfly Sanctuary from our 2008 Philippine Vacation.

related links:
Camp John Hay Butterfly Sanctuary


Here are more photos from our vacation. This time, we went to the Butterfly Sanctuary in Camp John Hay as we spent 10 days with Mavis’ family in the mountainous city of Baguio.

We were supposed to leave early but we got to the Batterfly Sanctuary at 10 A.M. By that time, it was starting to drizzle. This was good and bad it seems. Good because the butterflies are to lazy to fly and so the so-called "Butterfly Whisperer" can place some butterflies on you and have your photos taken. These are real butterflies! The Whisperer was getting to be irritating as he kept talking and yapping how he was able to place butterflies on some of the PHilippines’ actors and actresses like Aga Mulach, Christine Bersola, Carmina Villaroel and even President Gloria Arroyo! Xiane was actually scared to have them placed on her cheeks so we didn’t insist. Understandable for a kid who doesn’t like insects that much, especially the dreaded mosquito.

As it was drizzling, we found it difficult to find butterflies when we first went around the sanctuary so we just took some photos. However, after 30 minutes and with the sun slowly shining a bit, we saw more and more butterflies fluttering around. Even those butterflies being used by the Butterfly Whisperer didn’t want to stay put and opted to fly. We probably saw about 30 or so butterflies and was amazed as it’s rare to see these number of butterflies going from one flower to the next to sip some nectar.

So if you’re going to Baguio, you may want to go visit the Butterfly Garden (best to visit in the morning) at Camp John Hay. It’s near the entrance gate and on your right when entering the camp. You have to pay a small fee to get it but would be worth it.

related links:
Butterfly Photos in Baguio

We woke up early as the van was to pick us up at 6:00 in the morning. I got the tour package from Kawayanan as I was too lazy to do some research on doing the tour ourselves. I could have just rented a van which would be far cheaper than getting the tour. Anyway, the trip from Puerto Princesa to Sabang was said to take 3 hours and then the boat ride from Sabang to the island where you have the Underground River another 30 minutes.

The road to Sabang was rough to say the least. You’ll notice a lot of children walking to school throughout the trip and we found out the there was no transportation system in place so people and even children would walk for miles just to get to school. They also plant their own crops as there was no market to speak of. The trip just took us about 2 hours instead of 3 probably because we had the van for ourselves and didn’t take any unnecessary stops or detours.

After registering, we went sent to our boats. We were divided into two as the boats can only accommodate 6 people. The ride to the island was almost unbelievable. The water is so clean that you can see the corals more than 10 feet underwater. We even got to get a glimpse of a Sea Turtle (Pawikan) swimming! The surrounding islands have cliffs and were postcard perfect. After landing on the beach and getting out photos taken, we took a minute walk to where you can ride the boat to the Underground River.

We were able to fit on the boat and one of those in front was to hold the light for us to see the natural rock formations in the cave. It was Den (My sister Lyn’s husband) who was holding the light at first but after missing out on some of the formations that our boatman was referring to, my sister Tin got the light from him. However, we had the same problem with her not being able to follow the boatman’s instructions on where to point the light so either we see the formation too late or not at all. The boatman kept saying “Ma’am, right po. Ma’am right, right, a little more to the right” and then she’d miss it altogether and the boatman would say “Ma’am left. Left. Left ma’am.”

After 45 minutes and going through the “fruit and vegetable” section, the religious section, and even the Edsa Flyover, the boat trip was over. Then we had lunch brought our tour guide. We were also able to see some monitor lizards and monkeys after we ate. After taking more photos, we were off and back to the bumpy road that leads us back to Puerto Prinsesa.

We arrived at Starfish Island at about 3 P.M. after visiting Snake Island. It is called Starfish Island because there are a lot of starfishes in its shallow waters (we later found out that the high tide and the low tide make a big difference on the island – see photos below).

Again, there were available huts to stay on. You are also warned about stepping on Stone Fishes and thus it’s safer to wear water shoes when swimming. We actually didn’t swim as we saw that the sand of the beach wasn’t that good for swimming. And we were already tired so we just took photos of us roaming the island. Of course, we also got photos of ourselves with the starfishes. We left after just 30 minutes so we could rest early as we were to go to the Underground River tomorrow and knowing that we’d be back in Honda Bay a day after tomorrow.

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It's been 10 years since the San Juan Family started their blog documenting their lives in this little spot called Qatar. Follow Chris, Mavis and Xianelle as they share what Doha has to offer.

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