(If you haven’t read Day 1, here you go.)
On my second day, I got up at 5 to get ready for my dolphin watching/island hopping tour. I had to skip breakfast since my pick-up arrives about the same time they serve it. I just stuck a few crackers into my bag to have something to eat in case I get hungry during the tour. At precisely 6 AM, a tricycle arrived to take me to Alona Beach, the jump-off point for the tour.
Growing up, I was bombarded in school by books showing off photos of tiny bug-eyed primates clinging to branches with their tiny little hands, and hills that supposedly imitate Hershey’s Kisses in the summer. It piqued my interest enough to harbor a secret desire to see these things myself, and it didn’t help that I was constantly being reminded by Instagram that people were enjoying these attractions and I wasn’t. Having to constantly live on a budget restricts me from covering as much ground as possible, travel-wise, so when another Cebu Pacific Seat Sale came around, I immediately hit “Search” on Manila-Tagbilaran flights and booked a four-day trip.
(Finally, the last of my Davao updates. Thanks for bearing with me.)
This is the first hotel we actually booked, when only two of us were confirmed for Davao. Again, I only learned about this on Agoda. The photos looked good, so we went ahead and booked it. It’s slightly more expensive than our other hotels, but we were prepared for it. We wanted a great hotel with a pool so we can relax on our last day, and Hotel Tropika is rated as one of the best hotels in Davao on Tripadvisor, Agoda, and Booking.com.
On our first day in Davao, we stayed at a small accommodation called Pacific Palm Suites. According to Agoda, Pacific is affordable and accessible, two of the things that were important to us because we were doing this trip on a budget. Looking at online photos, the place seemed nice too, and reviews were generally positive, plus it came with breakfast, so we agreed to book a night’s stay.
(Haven’t read the first part? Click here)
We got up early the next morning excited to start the day, which happens to be Samal Island day. Beach day. Swimming day. Kick-of-your-shoes-feel-the-sand-between-your-toes-and-splash-around day. Yep. Excited. After a quick breakfast, we hurriedly packed up, checked out of Pacific Palm, and met Kuya, who was waiting for us at the parking lot. He suggested that we buy lunch here at the city that we could take to and fork down at the beach. So after stopping at KFC for a looot of chicken, we headed to Sasa Wharf, where barges take people, whether on foot or on wheels, to and from Samal. We were in Kuya‘s vehicle, so we paid Php250 and off we went.
Okay, I know, I suck at keeping promises. Earlier last year I swore I’d write regularly, and I haven’t been able to do that in the past few months. I could just say I’ve been incredibly busy, but the truth is there are just some days when I haven’t felt up to it. I mean, we all have lazy days, right? But you know what? I do appreciate all of you who follow me, so I’m going to thank you by really buckling down and writing more often, starting with my long-delayed account of last year’s final trip: Davao. To make up for lost time, it’s going to be a long series, so I hope your seat’s comfortable.
I love the beach, that much I’ve made clear. My whole family is a group of beach bums, in fact, so no arm-wringing was necessary when we decided to go to Bataan for an overnight trip. My nephews were about to sign up for different summer activities, so we figured this would be one of our last hurrahs before the new school year started.
A couple of weeks ago, a friend and I went to the Aurora province, and I mentioned in my post about the vacation (click here if you haven’t read my blow-by-blow of the experience) that I stayed at AMCO Beach Resort and that I’d tell you about it in a different post. Well, that time has come, so I hope I get the word out soon enough about the place to those who are considering going to Baler and staying at this hotel.
After taking a solo tour of Pangasinan, I was ready to do it again when I read up on Aurora province, where surfing is all the rage. But I learned that a friend was available to accompany me on this trip, so I decided to save the ‘going solo’ idea for another destination. Instead of paying for a tour, we agreed to go rogue; we’d go to Aurora and just get a local to give us a tour. (Warning: this is going to be a long post, so grab a snack and get comfortable before you proceed.)