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Pawikan Conservation

For the month of February, my friends and I decided to spread the love by joining Route +63 on an eco-voluntourism trip to the Pawikan Conservation Center at Morong, Bataan. Once again, I am blown away by the Earth, its people, and our amazing country.

Reasons why I loved this trip [and why I think all of you will love it too]:

3 hours away from Metro Manila:

Can you believe it? That’s the same amount of time I spend commuting to and from work! We left Mindanao Ave. at around 7 AM and it took us 2 hours (again, wow) to get to Mt. Samat, and about another hour to get to the Pawikan Conservation Center.

I was asleep for most of the ride [and even if I were awake I’m always lost] so you can’t really count on me or this post for directions. Hehe.

Clean beaches:

The sand is grayish brown, but really fine. It isn’t glamorous, but props to the center for keeping it really clean. My favorite part about the beach, however, is the not-so-salty salt water. I am the biggest wuss about having salt water in my eyes, but I was actually able to go goggle-less and it didn’t hurt at all. #achievement

Mama Turtles:

Pawikan

At around 9-12 mn, you can patrol the beach to look out for the Pawikan hens [or Mama Turtles as I like to call them] visiting the beach to lay their eggs. Note that the night patrol must be done with the volunteers from the center so you don’t scare away the Mama turtles.

Sky full of stars:

Can I just say, I LOVE STARS. So even if you don’t actually see a Mama Turtle [like us], the night patrol is still such a beautiful experience because you get to see this:

My shaky camera definitely did not do this one justice.

My shaky camera definitely did not do this one justice.

WOW RIGHT? I can’t even explain how absolutely awesome it was to just chill under all of those stars.

Trivia: Pawikan hatchlings find their way to the sea because the reflection of the moonlight on the water makes the sea twinkle. If that isn’t the most magical first memory of the world, I don’t know what is.

BABY PAWIKANS:

NEED I SAY MORE?

No, but I will anyway. IF there are hatchlings, the volunteers will get to [give them a name] and release them on the beach. Watching them walk/waddle/whatever on the sand is one of the cutest things ever. When you see them finally hit the water, it will be a mix of #ProudParentMoment and thinking about Crush from Finding Nemo.

NOTE: Flash photography should not be used on the Pawikans (both the mother and the hatchlings) as this may temporarily “blind” them.

Trivia: Once they hit the water, baby pawikans go on a swimming frenzy (non-stop swimming) that can last for several days. Yup. Cute. I know.

Photo by Lourdes Tan

Click the photo for the full video by Lourdes Tan

NOTE: Swimming with the baby Pawikans is highly discouraged unless you are experienced in dealing with wildlife. Your movements may startle them and cause them to drown. Lulu (Lourdes Tan) asked permission from our guides before taking this video and she made sure to keep a safe distance from the Pawikan’s path. Enjoy responsibly, people! 🙂

Last, but not the least, my lovely travel buddies:

Thanks for the Turtle-y awesome weekend! 🙂
Photo by Kat Boado

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Kodanda Archery
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Kodanda Archery Range

I believe that new experiences make wonderful gifts. As with our previous birthdays, we decided to celebrate by doing something we’ve both never done before. So for Joel’s birthday this year, we became archers for a day! #SurpriseBirthdates

I apologize in advance for the lack of photos of the place. We were running low on battery. Hehe.

Kodanda Archery

Happy campers

The Kodanda Archery Experience: Continue reading

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Veg Finds II: Greens Restaurant & Cafe

So I’ve decided to turn my vegetarian restaurant finds into a series of posts. Part I was Agico Vegetarian Cafe. In addition to Maginhawa & Marikina, we will now try to discover all of the Sam-friendly restaurants @ Tomas Morato & the rest of New Manila! Our new find this week is Greens Vegetarian Restaurant & Cafe at Scout Castor St., near Tomas Morato, Quezon City. My main reason for paying a visit to this restaurant was the Vegan BBQ meal. For P100 you get two sticks of juicy vegan barbecue, java rice, and atchara. It definitely did not disappoint. I can’t be too sure because it’s been 4 years since my last pork barbecue but I think it tasted pretty legit.

Vegan BBQ meal

Vegan BBQ meal (P100)

Aside from the barbeque, I also ordered the sisig. This was one of their bestsellers so I had to give it a try. Contrary to popular opinion, Continue reading

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Mogu Tree Noodle House

It’s my first holiday since I started working! The start of the rainy season was not going to keep me from enjoying this day. So we had a mini adventure at one of my favorite cities ever. Yup, Marikina! Woot.

After visiting the kids at CRIBS we took a cab to Lilac Street, Marikina. The cab ride was awful but that’s not what this post is about so I’ll save that for later.

For those of you who are in to the make-your-own dish restaurants, this is a definite must-try! You get to pick your soup base, type of noodles, and toppings.

 

Continue reading

Maginhawa Adventures: Fruili Trattoria

After dessert at A Taste of Heaven Milkshake Hub, we decided to have lunch at Friuli’s.

It took a while before we actually got to order because there were so many pizza choices (and there were actually more than two veg-friendly ones yay!) We settled for the mushroom pizza (P 185). It was pretty good but I think it would have been better if we ordered one of the bestsellers. Rookie mistake on my part. The price was puwede na because they were pretty generous with the ingredients (especially the cheese! Yum!)

Mushroom Pizza

Continue reading

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Veg Finds I: Agico Vegetarian Cafe

My mom and I are on the hunt for vegetarian restaurants in Metro Manila. Our newest discovery is the Agico Vegetarian Cafe in San Juan. I love the veg-life, and I never want to go back to eating animals, but sometimes I crave for good ol’ burgers. This was the perfect place to satisfy that craving because their veggie burgers are amazing!

Bacon Mushroom Veggie Burger from Agico Vegetarian Cafe

“Bacon” Mushroom Veggie Burger (P276)

I ordered the “bacon” mushroom burger, one of their bestsellers. I’ve had my fair share of veggie burgers, but nothing beats this one.

Continue reading

Bowling Alley at the UP Diliman Alumni Center

Cheap Finds: UP Bowling Alley

After visiting the sunflowers, we decided to pass by the UP Alumni Center, where the bowling alley is located (full address and directions located below). As was to be expected of a weekday afternoon, the place was packed and all of the lanes were occupied.

This place is absolutely adorable. It’s definitely far from your conventional bowling alley. They use duckpins and small wooden bowling balls. The floors aren’t always perfectly flat so your ball may not always go the right way. You also have to manually record your scores. You don’t even need to brig socks because bowling shoes aren’t necessary! Continue reading

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Sunshine on a Rainy Day: U.P. Sunflowers

Visited the UP Diliman campus yesterday to see hundreds of sunflowers (the best flower ever!!!) ready for the 2014 Graduation Rites. Once we found the flowers, the rain started pouring! It was pretty crazy because it’s the middle of summer and there we were standing in the middle of a downpour. Despite everything, the sunflowers were definitely worth the trip.

Photos & my happiness care of this guy

Photos & my happiness care of this guy.

Baby Love: CRIBS Foundation Inc.

My first blog post is dedicated to my babies at the CRIBS Foundation. CRIBS is an organization that caters to abandoned babies (Receiving Homes) and abused girls (New Beginnings). It is located at Major Dizon St. Marikina City, Philippines.

I could write a book about all of my stories about these wonderful kids and that still wouldn’t be enough to capture the experience. So instead of telling you about all of that, I’ll use this post to help & encourage you to have your own experiences with them.

I started going to CRIBS about two years ago and it has been a staple part of my week ever since. The kids are great. It’s not always easy to handle them, especially when they are sick or have consumed too much sugar. There are also days when they hardly respond to your attempts to play or talk to them. But all of that is worth it when you see them having fun, when they call you mama (even though that breaks my heart all the time), and when they give you hugs, kisses, and fist-bumps (yes, they now know how to give fist-bumps).

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The babies are divided into three groups: the infants, crawlers, and toddlers. You’re not allowed to visit the infants but sometimes they are brought out of their area. The crawlers are babies that are 1-2 years old. If you are the type of person that prefers to cuddle and feed babies, then this is the area for you. The toddlers are babies that are 2-4 years old. They are rowdier and harder to handle than the crawlers, but I personally prefer this area because you can actually talk to them.

If you have nothing to do or you’re looking for a new place to go with your friends, family, or even your date, then I suggest you visit the CRIBS babies. I guarantee that they will be 100% more entertaining and fulfilling than going to the mall.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Visiting Hours:

9:00-11:00 AM

2:00-4:00 PM

Protocol:

  • Call or text CRIBS (number found below) the day before visiting to make sure they will be there. Sometimes they go to the doctor, have outdoor activities, or are sick and can’t have visitors.
  • If you will be throwing a party or want to take them out on a field trip, please contact CRIBS as soon as possible
  • Strictly no photos of the kids

Tips:

  • Activities are not required but it would be better if you had some for them. The toddlers love to color.
  • CRIBS accept donations. I will update with a list of donations they accept.

Required Attire:

  • White shirt (avoid wearing expensive clothing)
  • Socks
  • Pants are preferred
  • Accessories are not recommended because the toddlers like taking them

Contact information:

CRIBS: 09175112742

My e-mail: dizonsam@ymail.com

http://www.tugon.org/

Address:

Industrial Valley Complex, 15 Maj. Santos Dizon St, Marikina 1802

Directions:  (Commuting)

From Cubao:

  • Take a jeep  (Antipolo, Cainta, Angono, Binangonan, Cogeo, or Montalban)
  • Get off at Major Dizon St.
  • Walk to CRIBS

From Marikina/Antipolo/Rizal:

  • Take a jeep to Cubao
  • Get off at Riverbanks
  • Go down the stairs
  • Cross under the highway (near the Riverbanks)
  • Go up to Major Dizon St.
  • Walk to CRIBS