Vacation with the Kids

 Seven years ago, our group went to Bohol and after that we kept talking about a group trip again but no plan ever pushed through and this year we actually made it.  I always wish for my kids to be friend with our kids so I am happy they spent time together.  It’s truly a blessing.  How fast time flies and how they have grown from then  

Previous entries: Touring Bohol November 29, 2007

Ananyana Resort Bohol December 2, 2007 

Bohol Bee Farm December 9, 2007 

Eskaya January 4, 2008 

Ananyana Resort Foodie January 5, 2008 

A National Geographic Moment January 6, 2008 


My “city boys” were so mad at me for planning our vacation but I am so glad they walked in the mud,


rode a bangka,


went snorkelling,


went shopping in a public market,


ate with their hands,


spotted some dolphins,


swam in the beach,


bonded with friends,


bonded with us :-)


visited some churches and prayed


swam with the whalesharks,


saw and amazing waterfall and swam in it


and everything else they would not have done had they stayed in the comfort of the house and the city.  Mission accomplished! :-)  And did I forget to mention ….. THEY ENJOYED!  



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It’s More Fun Dining in Dumaguete

In case you missed this, I wrote about our Dining adventures in the Philippine Star!  



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Planning our Summer Vacation in Negros Oriental and Southern Cebu

I am so used to just going on a trip and just following the plan!  My Mom or my sister or a friend does it all and I just go and follow.  But this trip was one trip where I really did all the planning!!!  Now I realize and appreciate what my friends and family do every time there is a trip! :-)  

This all started in 2010 when my friend, Mig, mentioned to me that his family opened a place in Dumaguete and he was telling me to visit! I featured it though  

Previous entry:  Florentina Homes, Dumaguete May 12, 2011  

I proposed it to the group  back then but we did not pursue for many reasons


Then April last year, our friends, Ned and Janet, went and they had such a great time in Dumaguete


Then in May, I saw this!!!  Juampi and Laura went to Sumilon and Oslob! And this is when I really decided to plan something and made it our family vacation


I asked for help from natives in Dumaguete - Sandra Teves, sister of my sister in law, Pam.  They live in Dumaguete so what better way than to ask natives of the place :-)


I also interviewed my batch mate , Marla, who was also just there.  


She had a tour guide named Angelo Villanueva, who I heard is tons of fun - thats him in the bikini haha!!  James knows him since he is a batch mate from San Agustin ( CSA )  


but we had already hired the services of our own tour guide recommended by our friend, Ned.  Meet Jac Senagan.  He knows everything!!  He can talk all day and tell you many stories about everything.  All my questions are always answered.  He’s such a great guy.  


He is an all around guy- he snorkeled with us,


he helped us shop for our food in the market, he cooked and he spotted the dolphins for us.


 Jac is a DOT ( Dept of Tourism ) accredited tour guide and birdwatcher.  


He is connect with the provincial tourism office as the resident tour guide.  If you want to hire Jac do contact him at ( 0906) 849-3390.  We love Jac.  We will never scrimp on having a tour guide wherever we go.  It’s always nice to have a native with us to tell us things about the place, answer all our questions, take us to places where we want to go that is not in the itinerary :-)  and just someone to guide us during out stay and we can call when we need something.

We covered two areas - Negros Oriental and Southern Cebu.  We had two groups as well.  The first group we were just two families and the other 3 families followed on the second part to Southern Cebu

I love this map of Negros Oriental.  It shows how many things you can do here.  This was taken from Florentina Homes.  I wish I saw this before the trip, I only saw it when we got to Florentina Homes  

Previous entry:  Florentina Homes Dumaguete May 12, 2011


I worked with Jac on an itinerary - we worked on this for a month with so many revisions!  I had to research and ask everyone above until we came up with this.  And now I can officially call this the Heart2Heart Dumaguete Tour.  Actually, people always say Dumaguete but Dumaguete is a very small city and a small part of Negros Oriental.  There is much to explore and you will be going out of Dumaguete often to get to the different sites.  Price may vary or change depending on your requirements or what you decide to do.  We skipped Twin Lakes because the others were tired already from Bais and it was raining.  

I recommend this tour - you can add more depending on how active you are.  We were even thinking we could have slowed down the itinerary and made it more relaxing so we could see more things.  So it is up to you to adjust faster pace or slower pace - and to add more sights.  We did not even get to do Siquijor which is nice too and other waterfalls and lakes.   


We focused on this part of the map


Another map from my friend, Marla


We said goodbye to Jac and we moved to Sumilon.  On this part of the trip, I worked with the people from Bluewater who were very efficient, the owner Julia, Margie and Edna.


 We came up with this itinerary.  Again this can be adjusted depending on your pace.  We wish we had more time :-)


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Lab As

On our last day, we took the boat from Bluewater back to Dumaguete and had lunch in the city before taking our flight back to Manila.  We arranged it with Lab As beforehand and they gave us this nipa hut for our group :-)


Sandy the chef and owner was there :-)  

Previous entry:  Taco Surf July 23, 2014 


Beautiful view from the hut


Baked Oysters with cheese


Lumpia Bangus and Kangkong


Kinilaw na Tanguinge


Chili Crabs


Dumaguete Express


Inihaw na pusit


Sizzling pusit


Prawn Ala Lab As


Grilled tuna belly


More dishes Ron added :-)


We also tried the Native Chicken by Conchings


And had Buko Halo :-)


There was a game going on which entertained us while eating - the one who reaches and touches the flag wins P 2,000.00 :-)  


Beer pong


 201 Flores Avenue, Piapi Beach, Dumaguete City  tel #:  (035) 2253536 or ( 035) 2263677  Email: 

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Dining by Tumalog Falls

We went to Tumalog Falls in the best way :-)  We booked all our tours with Bluewater and even in Tumalog falls, they catered our lunch!  They are the only accredited caterer for Tumalog falls.  They will set up everything for you and there is an area there which is designated for dining  


Picnic mats on the ground with pillows :-) facing the waterfalls.   Still rustic but with a little comfort and style :-)


Our lunch!! P 1,500 per person.  Free for kids below 12 and yayas.  You can order cebu lechon too.  I did not know I thought it was included already.  So next time make sure to order your Cebu lechon!!


Everything is cooked on the spot!!  Grilled!!





The liempo was so so good!!!!  We had liempo plenty times but this particular one at that particular moment wa just so good





Rice cooker :-)  



You can open and eat the decor :-)


Kamayan by the falls :-)


OMG!! Of course when in Cebu, you must have danggit!!!  


Watch them cook it right in front of you!! SO YUMMY!!!


There are benches as well if you don’t want to sit on the ground :-)


Very handy here :-)  There’s nowhere else to wash your hands.  Good thing I keep these from the airlines :-)


The blue water staff who are truly amazing to be able to do all this!!

Previous entry:  Bluewater Sumilon July  26, 2014 


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Tumalog Falls Oslob

From the whale shark, you have to go to Tumalog Falls!  It’s only a few minutes away.  Bluewater provided the vans for our group to take us there.  WOW!! Just looking at this as we got there was so spectacular.  This photo cannot interpret how I felt standing before it.  You can hear a bit already of the falls from here and see it.  The van stops at this point 


Beautiful views


It goes downhill so I highly recommend that you walk this to appreciate the scenery and the greens



There are many motorcycle guys there and you can hire them for P 25.00 one way but again I am worried that they do not have helmets and they do not provide helmets as well.  So as much as possible, walk! Uphill is very difficult so I took it going up



Jeanne walked with me and we were just so amazed at the views



Walking down some more- It is a pleasant walk because it is not yet noon time and it is not hot at the time we were there


There’s the falls






The bottom of the falls where the water ends.  That’s the first thing you see


Just AMAZING!!!!  TRULY SPECTACULAR!!! Love the bamboo criss crossing to create that shade in the area towards the falls


To take a full photo, you need to go into the water and take it from there.  I went into the water but I did not bring my camera :-( So this is a peek photo :-)  


Almost full size photo but now :-)  It is very tall.  


Everyone takes photos in this spot :-) 



Ron and his “dalaga” pose by the mini falls on the side :-)


The water is very cold and murky but you have to go in and go under the falls :-)


Beautiful bamboos!!





Going up is difficult so almost everyone took the motorcycle :-)


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Tips on How to Take Photos With the Whalesharks

I will try to share as much as I can for those who have not done the whaleshark experience yet.  There are so many things I would have done had I known what to expect.  So for those of you who have not yet been to Oslob, here are some of Heart2Heart’s tips :-)  

I was panicking and almost bought an underwater camera just so I could take photos of our whaleshark experience,  but apparently and I am so glad, you can rent right there and then!!  For P 500.00 per camera :-)  I talked to the girl and I told her - galeng ng business na ito! :-)  


We got one camera per family to make sure we capture as many photos as we can.  Though having thought about it again and since we did not know we were going to share one bought with another family, maybe one camera per boat would have been enough.  But again to be sure, it is better to have one camera per family :-)


Make sure you get a camera that can take videos and photos.  Get the Go Pro camera which looks like this.  Make sure you have them teach you how to use it before you leave.  You can practice already even if it is not underwater 


 Be prepared with what type of photos you will want.  Plan it like how you plan a wedding photoshoot in the church :-)  ( This is really serious!! haha!!  )  Then discuss this with your boatman.  Your boatman is very expert in taking photos. They know what angles to take already so the whaleshark will be in the photo.  So, discuss this with him and do it before you even board your boat.  You only have 30 minutes to do the interaction so you do not have much time in the water to discuss these things :-)  Don’t forget you can also take videos.  You can get the camera from the boatman and take your own photos as well.  Someone has to orchestrate between the one taking the photo and the one who will be taken - just to be sure it is orderly and that everything is cover  


You don’t want to regret later on that you don’t have a family photo with the whaleshark like us! :-)  Had to cover myself because it was a funny pose.  This was our only family photo haha!


Those goggles they provide look funny :-) My face looks distorted :-)


Maybe when it is picture taking time, you can try to remove it like what Bulgin did- I don’t know how it will be on the eyes with salt water.  Or maybe use goggles that are smaller


Do not make bubbles or your photos will look like this!  They will keep reminding you anyway also :-)


Since this is salt water, it is quite difficult to dunk yourself in the water - you have to keep pushing up so you can submerge yourself in the water or you have to pouch on the bangka wings to push you down!  


So you have a tendency to look like a CRAB in the photo :-)  


Just be conscious about this and make sure you are posing just like if you were in land - pose :-) Bulgin really did a great job posing!!


Good idea to take selfies with the Whale shark, but make sure the whale shark is behind you haha!!


Like this :-)  


The whale shark does not have to be very near you - you can take many shots with it and it will look close.  The boatmen know how to do it.  Then you can also do trick shots like what Cheska did :-)  


These are the really daring shots my friends did - Bulgin really went near and made an effort to take these shots!





This is Newton :-)  


Great capture of Ron so near the whaleshark!!!


And this too!!


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Alexander Charriol Human Flow IV Exhibit


Previous entry:  Alexander Charriol Human Flow IV May 16, 2014 


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Swimming with the Whalesharks in Oslob

 The second group came mainly for the weekend to do the whaleshark experience.  


We all woke up very early to have our breakfast and then leave for Oslob which is only 20 minutes away from Sumilon.  It’s the best way to enjoy the whaleshark experience



A beautiful day :-)


There are several boats and boatmen by the shore waiting to take passengers



Before you go, they will give you a very short briefing


There is a special desk for residents of Oslob and they get a resident rate


Again Bluewater was with us all the way - with Erik and Raul, all the towels that we need, they watched our things while we were with the whalesharks, the boat to take us there and the vans


Snorkels and masks 


The handsome boys! :-)  The life vests are only to use from the shore while you are on the boat.  Remove it right away when you are going to go into the water because you will not be able to go underwater :-)  


The kids all excited!! It’s much more fun when you are in a big group


They put two families per boat which we thought was too much- I do not really know what the rule is, but I suggest you get one boat per family or group


Just our group alone we were 26 and there were a few more people around us.  I would also arrange that they give your group a separate time slot and not be joined with others so you can enjoy more and have the whalesharks to yourselves




FACEBOAT! :-)  Only in the Philippines


They must have some strategy on how they put the boats and where to position the whalesharks


 I should have taken a shot but underwater - down below - there are divers swimming around watching everyone on top - making sure that no one is breaking the rules and also just watching out for everyone swimming by the whalesharks.  It gives me more peace of mind and so I jumped in too :-)


Tama si Philip, he made us kwento that the position of the whaleshark is slanted horizontal.  Philip next time we want to be with you in your boat :-)  


Reese and Rianna were not scared at all, they both jumped in with Papa Ronnie and Mama Laura


Even Erik of Bluewater was with us in the water :-)


 Look closely at this photo - that is our friend, Bulgin, who stayed in the water when everyone went up - you will see the whaleshark swimming towards him!!  He looks like he is closing his eyes but he was wiping his face when I shot the photo :-)


 Another shot of Bulgin very near the Whaleshark!  His family is just watching him from the boat! :-)


I asked the guys to let the whaleshark go near our boat - I was brave because we were up already :-)  These are just babies but they are already very big!


 That’s krill in the plastic bag- the food for the whaleshark.


  Another staff from Bluewater assisting our group - Eric


 You can take a shower after :-)  


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