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What to Do in La Union: Visit Aringay

Screen Cap on Aringay, La union website.
This event wasn't planned thoroughly, we talked about it in just a week time. Yung tipong naisipan lang, kaya ito, hindi man lang ako nakapagresearch, wala tuloy akong maishare na inyong kakaiba, maski history nga-ngers muna tayo huh, sa susunod babawi ako, pure history tayo sa susunod. Pero sa ngayon, ito lang pwede kong maishare sa inyo, medyo pribado kasi tong ginawa naming ito. Burned out and stressed out kami masyado sa karerang pinili namin, hindi ko alam kung bakit, kaya ito kailangang aliwin namin ang mga sarili namin.

A lot of the attendees came from their shifts. So from 5AM, which was their log out time, they waited us up until 7AM somewhere in Cainta. Instead of commute, we prefer bringing vehicles to save time and money. Kaya medyo limited yung information kong maishare sa inyo in this journey, especially with regards to the itinerary and budget.  When the head counts were completed, we left the meeting place passed 7:30AM.

 Photo above by Lhany
Yosi break, nakalimutan ko kung san to, basta bago mag TPLex yan, dun sa gasoline station.

Syempre, likas na sa team namin ang pagiging balahura, bastos, maingay at kung anu-ano pang masasamang katangi-an; at yun ang nagpapaligaya sa aming lahat. Habang nasa sasakyan, nandyan ang tawanan, biruan, Alaskahan – kaya nga tinatawag kaming “Alaska Boy, Girl, Bakla at Tomboy” complete set up namin diba?

Word for the day: "Pagkatapos ng Agoo, Aringay na!" "Pagkatapos ng Agoo, Aringay na!" may napansin ba kayo?? Paulit-ulit diba? hahaha. Buong araw akong pinaligaya nyang statement na yan. Anu ba yan, wala na akong masabi. Okay! Travel time: more than 5 hours. Expenses: Diesel/Gas and the snacks.

Basilica of Our Lady of Charity - Agoo, La Union
While in the car, I easily recognized an old bell tower. It captured my heart and soul, because I truly love old churches, even I am not a Catholic by faith. According to wikipedia.org, this church as founded and completed 1578, by Franciscan friars Fray John Baptist Lucarelli and Fray Sebastian de San Francisco. The original church was destroyed by the 1892 earthquake and repaired in 1893. The present church was designed by Architect Ignacio Palma Bautista.

 After the long highway journey, we finally arrived in Aringay, La Union. Took a short break and proceeded to the river at the back of the house. Bonga! The sun was really hot but the wind was cool and fresh in that area, so relaxing, so refreshing and of course, so relaxing. hahaha. paulit-ulit nanaman ako. After that relaxing moment, time for our sumptuous lunch.

We chartered 3 tricycles going to ---- Resort. Travel Time: 15-20 mins. Trike Fare: 100 pesos. After getting off the trike, proceeded to the concierge and processed the entrance fee and cottage rental, while the others were preparing their swimming attire. Habang kami'y palakad-lakad, hindi ko talaga maiwasang sumilip sa swimming pool na kalapit lang nang reception area, tapos andaming naliligo. hahaha

Photo above: taken at Paradiso Resort
 As expected, the waves in this part of Northern Philippines is suitable for surfing. But still, who can stop those people who wants to enjoy the gorgeous sunset by the beach, right? Walang paki-alamanan kung nagmukha silang mga dugong na nagtatampisaw sa nagtataasang mga alon. Makita ko lang na masaya sila, masaya narin ako, napaka-motherly figure ako no? Sana lang wag nilang mabasa yung dugong, dahil kung nagkataon -> patay tayo dyan -> eh ganun talaga.

Photo above: taken at Paradiso Resort
Galing ng camera ko dito sa shot na to, ganda ng sunset! Mga hapon ko na nakuha ang shot na yan, kaya nga "sunset," magsunset tayo minsan sa umaga, para naman maiba. I love the shadows of the nipa hut, I love the orangey ambiance, I love the fresh air -> ramdam nyo ba sa picture na to yung fresh air na sinasabi ko?

(On the Right) Photo Courtesy: Teban. When we felt that the breeze was cold, it's survivor mode. The boys picked dried woods, leaves and others; pero nung mga panahong nag-papaapoy na sila, medyo nahirapan sila. May pabuhos-buhos pa ng alak, kasi daw alcohol, hahaha, hindi naman gumana, next time makinig kasi sa chemistry teacher. Kasi aapoy lang yan because of the vapors coming from the brandy and since brandy contains water, nabasa lang yung dried leaves.  Paglapit ko dun sa may sinisigaan, konting arte-arte lang, tapos ayun, umapoy na. hahaha. Yung ang nagpapatunay na I am really HOT.

Photo Above: by Lhany. Nung medyo madilim na, naghanda kami ng isang maliit na salo-salo ng kwentuhan habang may #boomfire. Walang pagkain, hanggang kwento nalang at tawanan ang kaya namin ihanda, at kahit papano, nabusog naman kami, sumakit pa nga tyan ko nung time na yun eh, kasi napuno ng hangin. Sadyang nakakamiss ang mga ganitong eksena sa buhay ko. First time kong sumama sa isang ganitong event kasama ang mga bagong katrabaho na wala pang dalawang buwan ko palang nakakasama. Iba talaga wave natin mga mam and sir no?

May mga horror topics, open forum, true or there at kung anu-ano pang aktibidades ang aming pinaggagawa habang nakatingin sa liwanag ng buwan. The wind was cool and so refreshing; it was a relaxing night that I ever experienced "by the beach." At around 8PM, we left the beach and went back to the private residence we stayed. Tidy Up. Then dinner time. The next part was the socials. Kwentuhan, tawanan, video streaming, kantahan, emote at kung anu-ano pa. At ako po ay . . . ayun . . . nagawa ko ang aking pangarap -> kung anu yun?? Sekreto! Kinaumagahan, ayun medyo umiikot ang mundo ko. Hindi nakapag-breakfast, hindi nakapag-lunch dahil sa kakaibang pakiramdam. Pabalik na nang Maynila, sa may TPLex bumalik ang tunay na pagkatao ko. Ang dahilan? Mga riders . . . Ang ibang impormasyon ay pribado, kaya medyo kulang ang diary ko. Till next time.

If you have business establishments like resorts, bars, stores and others in La Union; wants to be included in this post to reach more customers, please send an email here: mytravellingcup@gmail.com

Definitely Japan. Definitely Kojie.San

I am a type of person who loves extreme challenges. In my interest, which are hiking and travelling; I don’t care if I get wounded, get rashes, get insect bites or even get dark and dull skin, as long as I am enjoying everything I am into it! Those marks coming from those instances can be removed thru science, but the memories and happiness will remain the same.

Before hiking or travelling, I consider everything; from my personalized itinerary, budget, weather and my personal stuff. My personal stuff will depend on the weather of the location I want to visit. We all know that the sun UV rays is the most comment reason why we have skin problems; so it is advisable to use skin protections: like long sleeves, lotions, creams, and others. So right after the journey, and after using the protections, it's time to use my skin's best friend.

One thing that I need to make sure that it’s in my backpack, my Kojie.San soap. For me, this is my skin’s best friend, regardless of what happened in the journey, Kojie.San makes my day complete. As it protects, revitalizes and exfoliates my skin after the tiring travel. Kojie.San soothes my tired muscles, cleanses my skin from the dirt and grimes and at the same time nourishes for a better skin tone. Remember, skin tone is like a mirror, it reflects individual's positive outlook and how he/she handles everything. So, if you have radiant and beautiful skin, it means you're less stress.

 Aside from being an outdoor enthusiast; I also work for a BPO and a freelance talent, so I also need to consider my physical appearance. It's really challenging to maintain good physical appearance versus being into outdoor sports, but still there are products who can help us achieving our dreams and at the same time, maintaining the richness of our glow -> it's the Number 1 Kojic Acid Soap in the Philippines.

What is Kojie.San?

1. Kojie.San is the first kojic acid soap to be commercially available in the Philippine market.

2. Kojie.San has a micro peeling effect which makes it a potent whitening product.

3. It does not contain any harmful chemicals.

4. It contains anti-oxidants and 100% all natural ingredients.

Why Kojie.San?
I grew up in the province, so when I started working in the BPO based here in Metro Manila, I met a lot of new individuals and friends. My friends always said: “you’re the perfect example of the old Filipino’s, kailangang ilagay ka sa Museum.” Because of my character: “Maitim, Sarat and Ilong, Makapal ang Labi at Kulot ang Buhok.” I know that it was just a joke, but still I felt I was degraded. After few weeks of being harassed and bullied, I started using peeling and whitening creams just to improve my skin tone. I tried several products and I noticed some changes. It was a good indication that there’s still hope for my problem.

 Just three years ago, Kojie.San was introduced to me by a friend. She mentioned that she’s using this product for quite sometimes and it perfectly worked in improving her skin tone. So, I conducted a research and studied online about this product and the benefits that I can get from. Here are the facts about Kojic Acid soap: Using Kojic Acid soap on a regular basis reduces the dull appearance of age spots, reduce freckles, reduce skin discoloration, strengthen cell activity, good in exfoliation and many more. I also read the comments from the users and they were all positive. So I tried it!

The trusted Kojic Acid Soap prescribed by dermatologists is now available in Kojie.San Skin Lightening Soap. Kojie.San uses the original and pure Kojic Acid to make sure that users will have a positive improvement on their skin tone – like me. It also contains sweet orange, VCO, Glycerine, Vegetable Extracts and Vitamin C, who are the best friends of human skin.

In my point of view, there’s no need to be afraid of the skin damages that you might get in discovering new things and ideas. No need to spend your money for those expensive brands which you’re unsure about the results of those products. For an affordable price, there’s always a solution and prevention; with Kojie.San soap, you have the right to choose both happiness in doing you interest and at the same time gaining an improvements with your skin and health – as a whole.

Mt. Manabu

This is part of our "Mt. Malipunyo Traverse to Mt. Manabu - Day Hike"

 Mt. Manabu was my second mountain, after Mt. Pundaquit, and it was a night trek as part of our FreedomClimb 2012. At first, I was really amazed by the weather and ambiance of this mountain. The surroundings are covered with views from afar. Everything was really great!

This is our PART 2 of our traverse. We left the summit of Mt. Malipunyo at around 1:30PM. We took the same trail led by our guide, Tatay Muring. Unfortunately,  during my fifth step from the summit, I got the same issue with my knee. I felt the pain every time I bend it. Tinatamad kasi akong magpacheck up eh. For me, it's more challenging the descending part than ascending. The soil was dry and the dust made the trail slippery. Since I was wearing my slippers and I was comfortable using it, everything was smoothly done. We passed by the fork going to Peak 2, but we proceeded to Peak 1 instead. 1:55pm, we were at the Peak 1 and took a rest. And we then talked about the Balete in the area, and I don't know why.

After few minutes, we started descending and the group was still led by our guide. There was a fork trail where we took the other side, the other one is the back track trail. We crossed two streams that contain little and dirty water but Tatay Muring didn’t mind that. He drank the water coming from that water source. This part, the trail was covered with trees, but still the sun shine was really striking, I felt it.

We reached the famous “Tree House” at around 2:30PM (photo above) with Mt. Susong Dalaga on the background. Clean and potable water source is available here. The area is wide and open, so we were at the back of the house the whole time. We took sometimes chatting with Nanay, the owner. She mentioned that she really wants to offer “coffee” but she doesn’t have sugar. Sayang, mamahalin pa naman kape nila. Pampatulog ko kasi ang kape eh. The residents were hospitable to the hikers who visit their place.

Fifty meters from the tree house, we also passed by the rest house of our guide, it was a cute and nice hut. He visited and checked his veggies, like squash and my favourite banana. He also offered his ripe banana to me, so I was really happy – with his ripe banana. Eto nanaman yung bibig ko, hindi ko nanaman mapigilan, medyo may pagka-bastos talaga to minsan eh.

Photo Above: that’s Tatay Muring, our guide, who was pulling his improvised backpack and trekking pole, taken at Biak na Bundok at around 3:21PM. According to him, hectares of grasslands and newly planted trees were burnt because of the wild fire. I asked him if who planted the seedlings and he added that they were students of UP who exerted effort and provided the budget. Since the area was open, the sun shine was extreme; plus there were two hills on both sides, which block the cold wind.

Photo Above: Don and Te Bing with Mt. Susong Dalaga on the background. As what you can see, the area was brown instead of green. Good thing that grasses started blooming and it somehow gives a refreshing ambiance in the eyes.

Can you see how wide the affected area of the wild fire was? In this part, we met 3 hikers who were trying to do a back track because according to them they were lost because of the fork trails. They also came from the Malipunyo. So, we encouraged them to be with us instead, going Manabu’s summit. At first, they were hesitant because they almost out of water. So Janneth offered her bottled water to them, bait no?? So from 5 + 3 = we were 8 ascending to Manabu.

After the burnt area was a trail with grasses, vines and trees on the both sides. In short, medyo masukal na yung part na to. Then, there were uphill and downhill as well. Another epic moment happened when we were on a downhill part. Eh dey si Tatay Muring, Don, Janneth, Ako, Te Bing and the 3 new found friends. Pag-hakbang ko ng right foot, dumulas sa buhangin yung tsinelas ko, then out of balance na. Eh dey bumagsak yung right side ng katawan ko sa ground. Dahil pababa nga yung trail, gumulong katawan ko ng tatlong beses tapos hahampas pa sana katawan ko sa kahoy na nakabara pero hindi nangyari yun, kasi agad akong bumangon at tumayo bigla, while still holding my camera with my right hand. Tapos tahimik bigla ang group, tapos ako unang tumawa, saka naman sila tumawa, epic diba? Nawala bigla sakit ng tuhod ko sa nangyari pero lumipat ata sa likod ko. Hahaha. Napahiya ako sa tatlong bisita namin.

We were almost at the camp site of Manabu at around 4:30PM. We took a rest and interviewed those 3 guys. Shared foods and everything. The wind was cold and the skies started changing its colour to orange. After 20 minutes, we ascended to the summit. Photo above: my TravellingCup with the Malipunyo ranges. Can you see that highest peak? We came from there, then passed by the “burnt” area.

We left the summit at around 5:10PM. We hurriedly descended the summit, because we need to make sure that there’s still the sun light who’ll guiding us. Tamad kumuha ng head lamps eh. There were hikers who were ascending that time. We just said: Hi, Hello and take care to them then proceeded. The trail was guided by the ropes in most parts up to the house of Tatay Pirying.

At last we were able to reach the house of Tatay Pirying at around 5:30PM. Tatay Pirying wasn’t there, so Tatay Muring was the one who served the sumptuous coffee to us (photo above.) We even got water from the jug at the kitchen. Again, if you can see the photo above, it’s BEFORE and AFTER.

We left Tatay Piying’s house at around 6PM. The skies were really orangey and the trail was dark but we can still see it. We proceeded, we stopped talking for few minutes, karir kung karir habang naglalakad, but after that, ayun bunganga ulit gumagana. We crossed dry streams, passed by some residents houses. Said Hi and Hello to some locals. Then proceeded! We arrived at the jump off of Brgy. Sulok at around 6:39PM. Then the store owner greeted us. Ordered refreshments and took a rest. Tidy up! Met the other hikers who did night trek. Chartered a tricycle going to SM Grand terminal for 40 pesos per head. Dinner then took a bus bound for Manila. Nakanga-nga habang tulong buong byahe. Tapos itong si Kuya na hindi ko kilala na katabi ko sa upuan, nakahilig sa shoulder ko tapos ang ulo ko naman nakahilig sa ulo nya. Ang sweet namin diba?? Hindi naman kami magka-anu-ano.

This is my very first day hike with few summits involve. It was a challenging one because of my knee injury; but in total, it was a great experience. It was full of happiness and stories, pati sakit ng katawan, meron din. You can also check the PART 1 of this traverse. Click Here: Mt. Malipunyo

Hiking vs. Pimples

Most individual when they reached puberty stage, a lot of changes happen in our body. Those changes may give a good or bad effect to us, agree? But in my case, it was a bad effect A day after my 21st birthday celebration in 2010, a nightmare appeared on my face –> pimple. Akala ko nung una, okay lang, kasi isa lang naman, pero habang tumatagal, lumalaki pa sya nang lumalaki, tumitigas at namumula-mula pa (wag green minded.) At nang tumagal pa, dumarami pa sila hanggang halos matabunan na ang left and right nang mukha ko. Yucky talaga, please see the photo on the right.

Pimples are kind of comedo and one of the many results of excess oil getting trapped in the pores on the skin. They are also small pustules and papules, skin lesions, and inflammations of the skin. Nosebleed no? Feeling ko naman alam nyo kung anu yang tinutukoy ko no? Sinubukan ko lahat including diet and hygiene, but it was not working.

Sabi nang isa sa mga naging dermatologists ko, the reasons why pimples develop on skin are: Stress, anxiety, depression, hormonal changes, too much extraction of sebum by the sebaceous glands, sun exposure, poor hygiene, clogging up of the pores (trapped oil, pollution, dust, dirt, make-up and other cosmetic products) unhealthy lifestyle, and heredity. Sabi pa nya nasa severe stage na raw ang mga pimples ko, kaya kailangan nang i-treat. Syempre mayaman lola nyo, kaya ayun sige lang nang sige sa mga derma-procedures na talagang madugo at kung anu-anong mga reseta ang pinagbibili ko sa kanya, ma-stop lang ang problema ko. It’s been two months when I noticed na parang walang nangyayari, parang gumagastos lang ako sa wala. So I stopped it, then sabi ng friend ko, try kalamansi juice, kahit alam kong masama ito dahil it’s a form of acid, sinubukan ko parin and hoping na gumana, pero wala paring nangyari.

Naghanap nanaman ako ng bagong derma na maaaring makatulong sakin, pero this time medyo mas madugo; dahil nga severe stage na, binigyan nya akong Benzoyl Peroxide, isoTretinoin and other anti-acne creams. When those regimens did not work, I tried laser and light therapy. Medyo nabawasan sila ng kaunti, then I underwent to Chemical peels and microdermabrasion to remove the marks. Noong una okay pa, pero nung tumagal na since irregular na akong magpa-derma dahil medyo kulang na sa budget, bumalik yung mga pimples ko, at the same stage.

Two years din akong naghirap at nasa proseso ng Science to stop my pimples, but when I was introduced to hiking, I was hesitant because I was afraid that my pimples might get worst because of the sun exposure and bacteria. But because I love nature, I tried it! It was summer, and I was sweating the entire hike. I even noticed that I lost few pounds during my first hike. I thought sweating might bring a bad impact to my pimples, but there’s none. I tried searching some remedies online, and I found out that sweating is good to pimples, as it brings out the trapped oils, pollution, dust, dirt, make-up and other pollutants that cause pimple breakouts. I also learned that, since I am enjoying being with the nature, there’s no time for stress, anxiety and depression which are also considered as causes of pimple. Diba? Check the photo above, I am wearing blue, that's my latest pic. Ilang taon akong nag-antay tapos hiking lang pala ang kailangan to stop my problem. HIKING - It’s really More Fun in the Philippines! Ikaw may pimple kaba?? Bakit hindi ka mag-hike.

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