Archive for the 'roaster’s choice' Category

Dive Galapagos – check!!!

it’s been a little over a month since my buddy and i took our first backroll into the waters of the other side of the Pacific Ocean.

but i can still feel the thrill…the excitement…the butterflies are still there ♥

and if it isn’t enough, i’ll share some more sea luvin, which i co-wrote with wanderlass here:



good to be back in Cebu after the epic Sinulog

it’s not work. it’s like another holiday :-)

when i sometimes feel i’m in the wrong business, i tell myself “think again, whiner!”

10 for 2010

we just put up the tree at my parents’ home. quite late already if i’d base it in the family tradition. but hey! we still got  a few days to catch up before sweet november ends.

if you’re havin a hard time, i’d make your life easier, baby! :-)

1. Canon S95 + Ikelite UW Case

Canon S95

Ikelite UW case for S95

was actually eyeing for the G11 + Canon UW case for my new P&S and UW camera, and i have already set my heart to it. whilst i was checkin prices in HK shops last week, wanderlass had me changed my mind with her 2 reasons:
– G11 is old, G12 has been long out. S95 is the best P&S now!
– she’ll be my tech support

price wise it’s not far from my choice. feature wise, woooow! i’m no techy freak but this small beast is loaded!!!

i’m now a sell out! :D

for review:

‘get ikelite it can reach up to 60m, we can use if go tech diving. regular canon UW casing is up to 40m only’ – wanderlass

ok i’m again a sell out! :D

and looks like somebody is pursuing the tech diving soon!

2. Backgammon board

Backgammon board

i don’t even need a fancy one. i just need a board i can play on. i miss playing it already. i can’t find a shop to buy here in Manila.

3. TIMEX Ironman Triathlon Heart Rate Monitor Watch NIB

Timex Ironman Data transmitter Heart Rate Monitor Strap

4. Nike SB Bruin


saw this first thru C. and ooooh wooow! what a lurve at first sight! ♥♥♥

5. Diana F+ kit (deluxe set)

diana F plus kit (deluxe)
i just scored Holga 120N, but when i saw this set, my heart skipped a beat :-)

6. Melissa Joy
Melissa Joy

my feet have not experienced Melissa’s comfort! please be my Santa and send a pair my way! :-)

7. Polarized Juliet-Plasma-Ice Iridium or Commit SQ-Polished White-G30 Black Iridium
polarized Juliet-Plasma-Ice Iridium obssessing oakley

i feel i have extra ganda points whenever i try it on. but man!!! oakleys are effin expensive in MNL! i gotta be back in US!!!

8. Longchamp Le Pliage Large Tote Long Handle

Le Pliage Large Tote Long Handle

plain, in Navy Blue please?!!

but i want it from Paris cuz it’s half the price if i get it from there. i can’t take the additional bucks if i get it from HKG or Sg. arrrrg!

9. Newton Neutral Performance Racer

newton neutral performance raceri just got 2 weeks ago Nike Lunar Elite. and i think it’s too much to get another pair when i have not even ran a half mary officially. but i can’t wait for February for the Condura Race, where i plan to do a half mary. i want another pair soon!!! i feel i deserve it, especially when i’m more than ever, serious about logging those miles up for the TBRDM :-)

10.Japanese Classic Bike from flyingpigeonproject

vintage bike! i want!

after months and months of search, Silverprodigy pointed me somwehere in QC where i can get it at a steal!!!

PS: a basket and a krung krung would complete it! Please PM me if you’re feeling generous. At P3,000 only, you can make me immensely happy! :D

sweet escape

A weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city, to some, is such a cliché. But to those souls willing to be closer again to nature and experience the great outdoors, the adventure it warrants shall never lose its novelty to true weekend warriors. Afterall, it’s the harrowing 8-hour grind on weekdays which makes the weekends  sweeter and lovelier.

Five (5) girls with shared passion for diving, even in a dinner meet-up with new found diving buddies (thanks to the failed Tubbataha attempt), an Anilao weekend dive can be conceived.

Seems like the stars were aligned perfectly – long weekend, couple of days only before hopping on the boat for the crew’s second attempt to Tubbataha and Ford Philippines has reserved one of their vehicles for us, Wandersoles, to use for our next adventure trip.

Yes you got it right! Ford Philippines is generous enough to lend Wandersoles to test drive their 2010 Escape to wherever destination we fancy! :-)

Ford 2010 Escape

We took our sweet time at Paseo Center where we had a sumptuous Japanese fare dinner. After a couple of backgammon games against Wanderlass, with the smooth ride from Silang Cavite to Mabini Batangas, it didn’t take me long to be lulled and join Pinaydiver to sleep ;p Hey I was just lucky like that!!! ;p Wanderlass, Silverprodigy and Indayguapa (alternating respectively) volunteered to take charge of the wheels during the trip but the city driving was left to my care. Being a Ford Everest owner for three years, driving an Escape for the first time was a refreshing idea. And though I know I am not ready yet to let go of my perennial travel buddy, Gabriel (my Everest’s name),  I can’t deny my instant attraction to Escape’s sleek body yet spacious passenger & cargo room.

We arrived at Planet Dive a little past midnight. In my solid whole year of exclusively diving with PD, logging about 100++ during my freshie year only, I’ve been fantacising of getting booked to what was dubbed as the Party Room of PD. It is that big room that comfortably sleeps 5-6 persons with open air ventilation and stunning window view of the horizon and the blue waters.  Boy! Was I surprised when we were led to the dream room that night!

Slept soundly for 7 hours and was woken-up only by the familiar voices and echoing laughter of our Mamburao dive buddies. Their arrival signaled the commencement of the day’s adventure.

Our day started 830ish and did an easy dive to Beatrice’ beautiful landscape. It never fails to sweep me away with the burst of colors of corals, fish and nudis which in my neutrally buoyant state, I can only gush about with tiny, rhythmic bubbles. Little did we know that our first dive was just a prelude of what would be an intense dive at Mainit. On our second jump off the boat, only 5 minutes into the dive, Mainit right away prove its reputation of having strong current condition which sometimes border to washing machine condition. We stayed closer to the reef and tried to reach what they call the shark highway but the attempt became futile and the two groups got divided to even several, smaller groups. It wasn’t actually a dive for faint-hearted, we’re thankful though that we’re all advanced divers and are equipped for some difficult diving. Some even able to document the whirlpool condition on vids and still photos. We all came out of water relatively unscathed with only little marks on our rashies of how intense the action underwater was. We felt like rock stars ready to take whatever the upcoming Tubbataha trip has in store for us.  Saved by the delicious lunch buffet and the long SIT (Surface Interval Time) we had, we recovered from the beating we just went through at Mainit. In just a few hours, we found ourselves again gearing up and getting ready for a shore entry to Twin Rocks. We were on our own this time (DM’s knew we don’t need a guide anymore as we know the landscape like the back of our hand already) and I found myself at the front of the pack and somehow leading the group from the barge towards the twin rocks. It was a good 55min dive, registering only 18m as the deepest point we’ve reached. It’s more than enough time for those with new underwater toys to play with muck (macro photography) whilst others enjoy doing the role of a spotter of bizarre, cryptic yet colourful macro creatures.

dive pre-briefing with the crew

banggigay with her new shorty

at twin rocks

at twin rocks

cute anemone fish

We finished our 3rd dive half hour past four only, and though we have actually planned for a 4-dive day trip (4th dive being a night dive), we submitted without a fight to just chill at the inviting sundeck and watch the sun gorgeously set on the horizon.

view from Planet Dive's sundeck

wandersoles during SIT

Pre-Tubba dive

For as long as…there’s still an adventure that underwater has to offer…sunsets still hold certain magic that can charm even the restless divers…beautiful people to share wonderful experiences of the day…weekend escape from the hustle and bustle will never be a cliché :-)

thanks to indayguapa, pinaydiver, Noel & SPD for the photos

with the hope to grow gills

in 10days, my solemates, our extended dive buddies and i would go on board pacific explorer to commence our 8-day live aboard dive adventure to Apo Reef – Tubbataha Reef (transition trip).

to say i am soooo excited is an utter understatement!!!

come on, who wouldn’t?!! excitement has been building up since June last year when we made the entire charter boat reserved for ourselves (just for 5 of us) without hesitation that we’d be able to complete the numbers for the transition trip (24 pax).

and now that it’s just few days away, it feels like i have this constant sweeeet grin across my face.

dove a couple of beautiful dive sites both in (Coron, Anilao, Puerto Galera, Dumaguete, Apo Island, Lubang Island, Boracay) and out of the country (Malaysia, Indonesia, Viet Nam, Thailand) already, but these two sites – Apo Reef & Tubbataha Reef can be what i’d call my dream dive destinations!!! yes, i may be dreaming of diving Palau, Sipadan, Red Sea, Maldives, French Polynesia, Galapagos, Sudan and the list goes on…but these two are the pinnacle of all!

let me give you some facts to give you a glimpse just how amazing this trip would be:

Apo Reef (infos are from diveapo, UNESCO and asiadivesite)

– second largest contiguous coral reef in the world and the largest one in the Philippines

– a marine national park currently nominated to be part of the UNESCO World heritage site

– has an area of 15,792 hectares including land and water areas

– home to 385 species of colorful marine fishes, including sharks, stingrays, mantas, tropical fish and morays, including the endangered Green Sea and Hawksbill turtles as well as 500 species of soft and branching types of hard corals

– hosts 47 species of migratory and resident birds. it has three islands, namely Apo Island , Apo Menor (Binangaan Is-land) and Cayos del Bajo, all with white beaches

– the steep walls are well covered with corals, sponges, tunicates, nudibranchs and slugs. the coral formation at the plateau is magnificent. green and hawksbill turtles, and a multitude of fish including damselfish, butterflyfish, batfish, surgeonfish, snappers, fusiliers and trevallies are common. strong currents increase the chance of sighting sharks (hammerhead, blacktip, whitetip, grey and tresher sharks), great barracudas, tunas and manta rays.

– wall diving is second to none and you won’t have to go too deep to experience a wide variety of life.

Apo Reef

Tubbataha Reef (infos are from 7natureswonder, asiadivesite, and TRNP)

– is home to some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world. Rising from the volcanic depths of the Sulu Sea in the western Philippines, these magnificent atolls encompass an astonishing diversity of marine life.

– site was declared a National Marine Park in 1988 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, a place of global importance being preserved for future generations of humankind.

– the atolls and Tubbataha Reef are a sanctuary for more than 1,000 species. lots of pelagics such as tunas, school of jacks, barracudas, whale sharks and reef sharks, hammerhead and grey reefs, manta and eagle rays,  lionfish, tortoises and clownfish. there are 300-350 coral species, 400-500 fish species, and numerous bird life.

– only diveable between the months of March to early June. mostly wall drift dives.

– encompasses 239,000 acres (968.24 sq km). the reefs and atolls are guarded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

(if video is not loading properly please click here)

click here for some fantastic photos of tubbataha by tommy schultz.

and i have not even posted what seasoned divers of all nationals have said / written about the two sites.

Philippines, center of the marine biodiversity, it being a part of a Coral Triangle, scuba divers’ paradise. how can be diving any better than diving its waters?!?! wooohooo!

i don’t like scuba diving…

…when water is below 25C! brrrrrrr!

been months since my solemates and i dove together. and the inch thick dust our SCUBA equipment has gathered can tell you how much we all wanted to breathe dry compressed air soon.

thus the day-trip dive Z & L planned became a reminiscent of our bellarocca escapade (deserves a separate posting), when all 5 of us – wandersoles plus G are present. the world was still asleep but there we were, 6 girls, giddily chant for the awesome dives ahead!

830ish we were already parking at Planet Dive. oh Planet Dive! i luv how the words roll on my tongue. i miss the resort big time, especially after diving 5 weekends without fail last August-September (till i flew to US). glad to have also all my girlfriends agree to join me in PD, my turf! :-)

scuba center

off to dive #1

10ish off we’re off to Sombrero island. we requested our DM to dive Batok, which he easily said yes to. dive plan was to dive Batok but to continue hovering till we reach Beatrice (one of my favorite dive spots).  volunteered to do the first jump, and oh boy!!! sun was up, but water was rather cold!!! but then again we were warned during the brief, and we thought we’re here to brave the cold waters of Anilao!

true enough, halfway through of the dive, i’m getting uncomfortable already. i thought the water is getting even colder. my dive computer registered 24C. brrrrr. plus there was a moderately strong current too. it could have been a different story if there was a good visibility so i can enjoy the sea life. we’re close to Beatrice when our DM gave us the daisy chain signal already.

back on the boat, inspite it not being a ‘macho’ dive, head felt like being hammered. good thing, DM decided to go back to resort and have our lunch first before proceeding to our second dive.

lunch as always was great! buttered tulingan + pork bbq (skipped it though) + vegetable salad + sweetened banana slice = happy diver.

2ish we headed back to the waters re-energised. second spot was Mainit, so we’re looking forward to seeing white-tip shark around 70ft below. descent was easier cuz there was no current initially. but after 10mins has lapsed i felt the hammering again on my head. boooo! even with gloves on top of my 3mm wet suit to insulate me, the 24C water can spoil what could have been a great dive. if not for the huge hawksbill sea turtle we saw and the numerous cute little nudis, it felt like forever underwater. so i made up my mind and signaled to my buddy, i’m going ahead. i’ll just finish my safety stops and i’d surface to water.

sea lion


on our way back to the resort, all i can think about was to lie my back on the deck and be warm under the sun. i knew i insisted to my solemates that i want to have at least 3 dives, but with water like that, i’d rather chill under the gorgeous sunset on the deck.

gorgeous sunset

PD sundeck
our dive fix may have been far from being great, but with crazy beautiful company, lovely sunset and good conversation, i can’t think of a better way to kick-off wandersoles’ 2010! i’m pretty sure it’s gonna be a swell ride once more! :-)

chillin like villains

so do i really dislike SCUBA diving now?? no way!!! only when it’s effin cold like that! :-)


– photos courtesy of my solemates, indayguapa & wanderlass

– cross-posted to wandersoles

sweet little victory

had my feet analysis (yes first time! would you believe?) just this afternoon at Runnr, not to be scientific with my approach in my come back runs BUT:

-to justify my whim to purchase a new pair of shoes :-) i just bought a pair last November and it has only logged about a little less than 150Km. but i dont like it anymore just because. dooh! i guess what i had was a short-term fascination only to it. i bought it 30s after i saw it. and now we have not even shared 30 good long training runs, and im tired of it.

-to validate my sudden liking for very loud colored running shoes when i’ve always opted to get the safe and neutral colored ones.

-to rationalize why i’d buy that rather expensive *swallows hard* pair when i can get something about 30% cheaper but is at par to its features.

so there, i was told i have a neutral foot type and a medium arch type. and that i can choose among the shoes on the rack categorised to provide ‘stability’ .

reposting from here:

Neutral foot type: The outside of the heel strikes the ground first and the foot rolls inward slightly absorbing the shock more effectively which allows the foot and ankle to properly support the body. The foot pronates, but not excessively. The foot pushes off evenly at the end of the gait cycle with mild pronation. Your ankles and feet maintain the vertical line of the lower leg.

when i was checkin for what shoes to get, lo and behold! the pair i just bought is there on the rack.

so did i go home whistling with a paper bag in my hand?

NO!!! :-)

cuz i thought better! realized, i just need to rekindle my recent flame with my Zoom Equalon+ 4 by logging more runs with it and appreciate how despite my impulsiveness in buying it, i’m lucky to have chosen the right shoes for my feet type :-)

afterall, i promised to save some this year by dramatically reducing my impulsive purchases :-)

tweeting here


good ol’ brew

burst of colors

my luv affair to my islands

My Lakbayan grade is B+!

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