Life in Flip Flops: Saying Goodbye to Summer in El Nido, Philippines (Part 2)

A beach holiday wouldn't be a beach holiday without lots of photos of the water. I'm not one to just hang out by the shore all day when I'm at the beach - I love the water, love to swim freely and float around looking up into the sky thinking about nothing. So our holiday at Lagen Island Resort was perfect - we were surrounded by pristine waters to swim in, and there was a slew of other water activities to try. We swam with massive carnivorous fish in Miniloc Island, explored beautiful lagoons,  and took a kayak to an empty,  deserted beach. We wanted to try the Hobie Cat at Dibuluan Beach Club but the conditions weren't ideal for sailing, unfortunately.  Maybe next time.

In any case, it's always a good holiday in my book if you spent at least half of it in the water, which we definitely did when we were in El Nido!

Life in Flip Flops: Saying Goodbye to Summer in El Nido, Philippines (Part 1)

My friends and I travel more often than we take a holiday - usually our trips have itineraries ranging from chock-full to intensely hectic,  with only a few breaks to chill and relax in between. They're refreshing and provide a great escape from our daily routines, but are hardly relaxing physically.

So our holiday in Lagen Island Resort in El Nido, Palawan couldn't have come at a better time - it was going to be Mabelle's birthday celebration,  my job was on the verge of going crazy so I needed a relaxing long weekend before all hell broke loose, and Rissee had just come from her own stressful moments. The best part? We got a crazy awesome deal from the Travel Expo last February - around PhP 27,000 all in for an entire 3-day package. And given the facilities,  the service, the food, the activities, and just the whole magic of the weekend, it was absolutely worth it.

I have so many photos from our holiday that this is only photo set 1. There's plenty more where this came from, which I'll publish in the next posts!

A Weekend Well Spent at The Circle Hostel La Union

Summer was ending, it was the first weekend of June and I was starting to get busy with my new job when I found myself spending a weekend with strangers-turned-friends at The Circle Hostel in La Union for a much needed break from the city. I had been meaning to check out their first hostel in Zambales but hadn't found the time to do so, so I was more than thrilled to be part of the blogger event they organized for their new branch in La Union.

It was a swell weekend to say the least (pun intended, though there were actually no waves and we weren't able to surf when we were there). My corporate sellout self badly needed the break - the fresh air, the afternoon spent hanging out in the common area talking about random things while listening to Jason Mraz and eating green mangoes freshly plucked from a nearby tree, the random drinking games, the night spent by the beach lying down on the sand looking out for shooting stars, and the chance at meeting new and interesting people. I had been to La Union more than a couple of times prior, but it felt like a new place all over again mostly because of the people I got to hang out with that weekend. The coolest thing was realizing how small Manila is - at The Circle Hostel I spent time with people I had either met before (I was even in a meeting with one of the guys once! Hello Jake! How random is that?) or had random common friends with.  

There's just something about The Circle Hostel that makes it conducive to making new friends. I'm not usually the chatty-chatty type (really, I'm not!) with strangers but during our weekend  in La Union, apart from the bloggers I went with, we also met the guys from GoodLifeCrewPH, and all it took was a few questions about their GoPro gadgets (and they sure had a lot of them gadgets!) and an offer of green mango slices. Two of them, after leaving their jobs in Singapore, are setting out on a journey across the Philippines and documenting their trip with their GoPro cameras. How cool is that? Theirs was just one of the many inspiring stories I heard that weekend about stepping out of ordinary routines and stepping into extraordinary, exciting lives.   

If you're looking for a quick weekend getaway and can't find any friends to take with you, book a bed in The Circle Hostel Zambales or La Union - you would've set out on your own but you'll definitely come back with at least a few friends!

Myanmar Travel Tips

Traveling to Myanmar is a great adventure you shouldn't miss, and one you should take soon, before it gets crowded with tourists. Read on for a few tips we gained from our recent trip to Yangon and Bagan. I hope these are helpful when you go on your own Burmese adventure!

Life in Flip Flops: Girly, Pretty Things at Heima and Vanilla Cupcake Bakery

When I'm not traveling I long for other sources of inspiration, and in the past few days, rather serendipitously, I chanced upon two places in the city that have given me just that. I love very feminine lifestyle and design blogs like A Field Journal and A Beautiful Mess (thanks for the tip on the latter Eds!), and these places are like those blogs coming to life! I'll write more about them soon, but for now I'm spamming you with photos. Enjoy!

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