All posts by Jillian Cariola

Jillian Cariola is a content writer for, a leading real estate brand online and print brand in the Philippines. A writer beyond office hours, Jillian also dabbles in blogging through, a food and travel blog.

Sagada, Day 2: Are we there yet?

(Wow, have I kept people waiting for a long time. I hope I haven’t lost you since Day 1. Sorry about that, but anyway…)

I woke up at about 5:30 so I could get dressed and go out to grab an early breakfast before this morning’s escapade: Bomod-Ok Falls. Despite the burning I was already feeling in my muscles from yesterday’s spelunking, I went out and looked into different convenience stores to find some pandesal for breakfast, then went back to the hotel to have coffee. Finally, 7 came around and so did the empty van, into which the three amigos and I piled, all in the back (remember the girl’s request yesterday?)

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Sagada, Day 1: Into the belly of the beast

So it’s been almost two weeks since I went to Sagada, and as I type this, my account of my first day, I’m still nursing an injury I believe I sustained from the trip. I hope this isn’t going to be a trend for me, gathering painful little mementos instead of souvenirs to remember my trips by (remember my great Bohol burn?). But I don’t want to get ahead of myself, so let me start by actually saying I’ve been wanting to go to Sagada for a long time now, even before that damn movie came out (Filipinos know which one I’m talking about). No offense, I mean I haven’t seen it, but enough with the tired quotes and references already, people! Anyway, as I was saying…

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Caramoan, Day 3: Just another mad, mad day on the road

I woke up about 5:30 that morning oddly enough with the feeling of relief that I get to go home today. I say ‘odd’ because I normally feel wistful when my vacations come to an end. Then again, more than a couple of things about this outing did not exactly work out for me, so that’s probably why I was looking forward to leaving.

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Caramoan, Day 2: More today than yesterday

I woke up at 5AM to get myself ready for the day’s adventure (we weren’t due to be picked up until 7, but I hate feeling rushed). Good thing my headache from yesterday had finally eased; it got so bad, I was seriously considering the night before to skip today’s tour. Fingers crossed, today would be better than the less-than-stellar activities of yesterday.

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Caramoan, Day 1: The survival game

(So it seems I’ve fallen into my old habit of not updating my blog again. I know at this point you won’t be buying whatever excuse I make so I’m just going to get right to it.)

Caramoan has never really been in my list of must-visit places, to be perfectly honest. To me, Caramoan is what fries are are to an ice cream place: you don’t really go there for it because the place is known for better options, but it’s nice to know you have it around in case you ever want it. But this French fry gained popularity when Survivor filmed a season there, and I have to admit, it’s what piqued my interest in the first place. I’m a sucker for nice beaches, so this seemed like a good place for my last hurrah for the summer.

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From scratch: No-bake crispy chocolate and peanut butter pretzel bars

Summer vacation is here, and so are my nephews. They’re spending a couple of weeks with us, passing the time watching Skylander Academy, playing dominoes, destroying things on Xbox, moving to Just Dance, petting my sister and her husband’s puppies, and doing all other things that 11- and 7-year-olds find entertaining.

Like most kids, they can be picky eaters sometimes, so I consider it a personal victory when they come over and eat (and enjoy) food that I make for them. So far, I’ve been successful in having them eat homemade pancakes (thank you, Alton Brown), and my chicken and mushroom tomato alfredo pasta. Yesterday, I thought I’d try making them something similar to the no-bake chocolate peanut butter bars I’ve made before, with a twist.

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Feeling at home at Alona KatChaJo Inn (hotel review)

When I planned my trip to Bohol, I knew overspending would be a possibility since I would be going solo. Accommodations usually take up a big chunk of my estimated budget, so I had to be careful of the hotels I pick. I wanted one that was affordable, but would have the basics I need for a comfortable stay, and that’s how I stumbled upon Alona KatChaJo Inn.

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Bohol, Day 3: Everybody hurts sometimes

(This is going to be a long one, so bear with me. Oh, here’s Day 1 and Day 2, in case you missed them.)

On my third day, I woke up fully aware that I could take it easy since I had no concrete plans for any tours. My agenda simply involved spending some time at the beach before checking out and transferring to my hotel in Tagbilaran. After a filling breakfast of bacon, eggs, and toast, I set off on foot (dry bag in tow) towards Alona Beach.

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