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‘Cause everyone is instagramming these days, I’ll now share with you the most requested blog post and that is where do I usually shoot and what are the editing apps I used to maintain my feed.

If you’re from Ilocos Norte, you’ll probably know these spots.

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Location: Laoag By-Pass Road

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Location: Malacanang of the North (Paoay, Ilocos Norte)

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Location: 365 Plaza (Brgy. 01 San Francisco, San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte)

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Location: Rice Farm at Brgy. 16 San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte

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Location: La Paz Sand Dunes, Ilocos Norte

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Location: Kaangrian Falls, Burgos, Ilocos Norte

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Location: Marcos Staduim, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte

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Location: Fort Ilocandia Resort Hotel (Brgy. 37 Calayab, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte)

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Location: Sarrat Santa Monica Church

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Location: Pasuquin River and Pasuquin Bridge

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Location: Pink wall infront of Joe 10’s Coffee

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Location: Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, Burgos, Ilocos Norte

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Location: Paoay Lake

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Location: Kadilian Beach Resort, Currimao, Ilocos Norte

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Location: Laoag City Guilbert Bridge

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Location: Fort Ilocandia Resort Hotel (Brgy. 37, Calayab, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte)

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Location: La Paz Sand Dunes

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Location: Agua Grande Park, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

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Location: La Paz Bridge

My Photo Editing Apps:

1. Snapseed (free app) – this is an all-purpose photo editor for image enhancements and corrections.

2. VSCO (free app) – this app consists of elegant filter presets and this app is really common to Instagrammers. If you want more filter selections, you have to purchase. It usually ranges from PHP 100-200 if I’m not mistaken.

3. Picsart (free app) – this app is a versatile photo-editor. It provides image editing tools, large variety of attractive filters and collage.

4. Squaready (free app) – If you really want to maintain a square sized photos, this app is for you.

5. Afterlight (free app) – The only thing I use in Afterlight is their instax inspired editing tool.

7. Lightroom – I only use this app when my photos are taken by phone shot. Swear, it can really turn your phone shot into an HD one.

8. Light Write (free app) – this app will light up your photos with neon fonts and light effects.

How Do I Maintain my IG Feed?

>With the help of UNUM App (Free app), it became easier for me to maintain my IG Feed. How? UNUM is a visual planner for Instagram. On this app, you can organize or rearrange your grid before uploading it on Instagram. You’ll get the chance to plot your upcoming posts and check it first the color balance if your upcoming uploads will correspond to you color palette.

Other features of UNUM:

  • You can have multiple accounts. If you’re like me with personal and business account, UNUM makes it easy to switch between different accounts.
  • You can check your analytics. I know business accounts on Instagram has this feature already but what if your account is just personal? Don’t worry because UNUM will do that for you. It lets you know when you gained followers or you’ve lost them. Aside from that, it also tells you what your top posts are and what times of the day are best to post.
  • You can schedule your content. Just click the hour glass in the upper right corner and it will take you to this.

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Don’t you know that Santorini can now be experienced in Philippines? There’s a Santorini inspired resort hotel in Brgy. Sabangan Santiago, Ilocos Sur just few hours drive from my province, Ilocos Norte and can be located via Waze app.

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Visiting this Santorini inspired resort hotel is perfect for this coming Christmas season. Know why by scrolling down the photos below.

About Vitalis Villas

Vitalis Villas is the most exclusive of luxury accommodations perched high on the mountain cliffs overlooking the sea and the beautiful Santiago cove. The villas are crafted in traditional Greek architectural style and offer the warmth of Filipino Island charm and the convenience of modern amenities.

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Step into the dove-white houses, cobalt blue sea and powdery white sands of Santiago, Ilocos Sur. The landscapes will overwhelm you, the sunsets will enchant you and its history will fascinate you. You are bound to become yet another fanatic, capturing majestic landscapes that you will not find elsewhere in the world.

Rooms and Amenities:

1.  One Bedroom Villa

The one bedroom villa offers the utmost in privacy and comfort. This one-storey villa is crafted in traditional Greek architectural style and the convenience of modern amenities. Guests may enjoy a spacious living area and master’s bedroom, a luxurious bathroom ad a fully equipped kitchen. A Butler service is also offered for utmost convenience.

    Amenities:

  • 40-inch flat screen television with cable
  • Complimentary Internet access
  • Express check-in
  • Luxurious robes, towels and slippers
  • Vitalis Villas toiletries
  • Contata Coffee and Tea Machine
  • Well Stocked mini bar
  • Refrigerator

2.  Two Bedroom Villa

Perched on the hillside with ocean views, the two bedroom villas offer the utmost in relaxation and luxurious living. This air conditioned villa is airy and bright, accented with allusions to Greek architecture including dove white stone walls and big windows for that stunning view of the cobalt blue sea. Guests may enjoy a spacious living area and 2 bedrooms, 2 toilet and bathrooms, an elegant dining area and a fully equipped kitchen. A Butler service is also offered for utmost convenience.

     Amenities:

  • 40-inch flat screen television with cable
  • Complimentary Internet access
  • Express check-in
  • Luxurious robes, towels and slippers
  • Vitalis Villas toiletries
  • Contata Coffee and Tea Machine
  • Well Stocked mini bar
  • Refrigerator

3. Two Bedroom Villa with Pool Access

Feel right at home in this beautifully designed villa where you will feel the serenity of the sea and the comfort of your own home. The living room is furnished with soft and comfortable chairs, the luxurious bedroom, with the most comfortable bed and softest pillows and linens, a luxurious toilet and bathroom, an elegant dining area and a fully equipped kitchen. A Butler service is also offered for utmost convenience.

Amenities:

  • 40-inch flat screen television with cable
  • Complimentary Internet access
  • Express check-in
  • Luxurious robes, towels and slippers
  • Vitalis Villas toiletries
  • Contata Coffee and Tea Machine
  • Well Stocked mini bar
  • Refrigerator

Activities:

  • Jetski
  • Kayak
  • Banana Boat
  • Private Pool Access
  • Wakeboarding
  • Infinity Pool
  • Zipline
  • Petting Zoo
  • Wellness retreat at Inmaculada Concepcion Chapel
  • Live acoustic band every Friday and Saturday from 6PM to 10 PM
  • BUDGET TIPS:

    If you’re on budget and would love to experience the Santorini vibes by just exploring Vitalis Villas and not for staycation in any of their rooms, that’s possible!!!! How? I know their rooms are pricey, right? That’s why we opted not to book a room.

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    Vitalis Villas is semi open for public (no enrance fee) which means you have the access at their Inmaculado Concepcion Chapel, souvenir shops and take pictures outside the white and blue painted villas (only villas near the entrance of Vitalis Villas).

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    You can also swim for free at the same beach where Vitalis Villas is situated. How? Just go back at the barangay hall area of Brgy. Sabangan Santiago, Ilocos Sur. From there you can see a beach, cottages plus view of Vitalis Villas. If you prefer to spend nothing, just bring a round towel with you or mat instead of renting a cottage. If you worry where are you going to change your clothes and take a shower, there’s a public restroom and shower area near the barangay hall.

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    For more information on Vitalis Villas, check out their FB page and website for regular updates.

    Facebook: VitalisVillas

    Website: http://www.vitalisresort.com

    Telephone: +63 2 3733333

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    HAPPY TRAVELS!

    Love,

    Jamila


    Our second day in Bangkok, Thailand was spent by visiting Terminal 21. Based on my research, Terminal 21 is one of the famous shopping malls in Bangkok having a large number of privately owned shops plus this mall has this concept of having unique themes per floor that’s why it’s really a must visit.

    How to Get There?

    Just take the BTS Skytrain going to Asok Station and direct access the skywalk going to the mall. Easy access right?

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    BTS Skytrain

    What Makes Terminal 21 Differ from Other Malls?

    Terminal 21 is very modern. Each floor is named and decorated after an International destination plus they have exceptional restrooms per floor and excellent food outlets.

    I really fell in love with this mall because of their:

    • Themed Floors.One of the best things about Terminal 21 is that each floor’s designs are based from key cities worldwide. Each level is themed according to the country/city it represents.
      1. Lower Ground (Caribbean) – It is where you will find the Supermarket.
      2. Ground (Rome) – This floor consists almost entirely of high-end clothing stores.
      3. M Floor (Paris) – Get beautified on this floor because this is where you will find The Body Shop and Victoria’s Secret.
      4. First Floor (Tokyo) – This floor is for women’s clothing.
      5. Second Floor (London) – This floor houses athletic stores.
      6. Third Floor (Istanbul) – This floor is definitely the most random of the entire mall. It houses bags, shoes and house decors.
      7. Fourth and Fifth Floor (San Francisco) – If you want to fill in your tummies, fourth ad fifth floors are the answer.
      8. Sixth Floor (Hollywood) – This floor houses cinemas and fitness first gym.
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    Ground Floor – Rome

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    Sixth Floor – Hollywood

    • Toilet Facilities. Even their restrooms are exceptional! Who would imagine you’ll      get the chance to travel the world right at Terminal 21’s very own restrooms? Check out these photos:

     

     

     

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    Japanese inspired restroom at first floor

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    Restroom at Fifth Floor (San Francisco)

    • International Fashion Outlets. Ground floor of Terminal 21 houses international fashion brands like Nike, Kipling, Adidas, H&M, Uniqlo and Levis.
    • Food Court. You will find inside Terminal 21 the best and cheapest food court in town. You can score dishes at around THB 30.

    ***Operating Hours: 10 AM to 10 PM

    ***Address: Sukhumvit Soi 19, Sukhumvit North Klongtoei, Bangkok, 10110

    Happy Travels!

    Love,

    Jamila 


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    If you like to see Thailand’s beautiful ruins and try to ride an elephant, then you must include a small town North of Bangkok called Ayutthaya in your trip.

    This travel guide to Ayutthaya is for someone who wants to explore in a practical way. It includes cheaper options for food, activities, and accommodation while still having a high-quality travel experience.

    BUDGET: PHP 2, 395.18 
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    Brief History of Ayutthaya

    Ayutthaya is the ancient capital city of Thailand and was founded in 1350. It is situated about 76 kilometers, north of Bangkok and the city itself is surrounded with 3 major rivers, The Lopburi on the north, the Pasak on the east and the Chao Pha Ya on the south and the west.

    ACC1ACA6-7724-4667-A015-677C70AD11D5 The kingdom of Ayutthaya had been the capital of Thailand for 417 years between 1350 – 1767 with 33 kings of five dynasties ruling the successive kingdom.

    Things to Do & Places to Go in Ayutthaya

    1. Visit Ayutthaya Elephant Village and Ride an Elephant
    2. Wat Yai Chai Mongkol
    3. Wat Mahathat
    4. Wat Thammikarat
    5. Wat Lokayasutharan
    6. Wat Chaiwatthanaram
    7. Wat Ratchaburana
    8. Wat Na Phramen
    9. Wat Phra If Sanphet
    10. Experience Night Market (Hua Ro and Bang Lan)

    How to get to Ayutthaya from Bangkok the cheapest way?

     

    If you’re in Bangkok, the cheapest way to get to Ayutthaya is by taking the MRT to Hua Lamphong station and exit towards the train station. From Hua Lamphong station, go straight to the train ticket counter (make sure to look for the Bangkok to Chiang Mai timetable) and buy ticket going to Ayutthaya.

     

    *****Travel time from Hua Lamphong station to Ayutthaya: 2h16m

    *****Ticket price: THB15.00 (3rd class)

    Bangkok to Ayutthaya Timetable and Fares

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    This is their 3rd class type of train . 

    Where to Stay?
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    Receptionist Area

    Stockhome Hostel – situated in Tha Wa Su Kri. This is the perfect place to experience Ayutthaya and its surroundings. It offers easy access to the city’s must see destinations. To name a few of the hostel’s facilitites, Wi-Fi in all rooms, daily housekeeping, restaurant and laundry service.

    *Price: PHP 316.27/day/pax -tax included 1510662216190

    Top attractions nearby:

      • Wat Ratchaburana (600m/8m walk)
      • Wat Phra Mahathat (700m/9m walk)
      • Ayutthaya Train Station (1.1km)

    1510643381662 Detailed Guide:

    DAY 1 – Suvarnabhumi Airport to Ayutthaya

    9:00 AM – Arrival at Suvarnabhumi Airport

    9:00 AM to 10:00 AM – Arrival procedures at the airport

    10:00 AM to 10:40 AM – Travel going to MRT Makkasan Station via Airport Rail Link

    10:40 AM to 11:00AM – Travel going to MRT Hua Lamphong Station from MRT Makassan Station

    11:00 AM to 12:55 PM – Lunch at the train station, purchase ticket at the ticket counter and wait for your train to depart

    12:55 PM to 2:31 PM – Travel from Hua Lamphong Station to Ayutthaya Train Station

    2:31 PM to 2:45 PM – Travel going to Stockhome Hostel

    2:45 PM to 3:00 PM – Check-in procedures at Stockhome Hostel

    3:00 PM to 4:00 PM – Quick rest and fix things

    4:00 PM to 6:30 PM – Experience night Market at Hua Ro (walking distance from Stockhome Hostel)

    6:30 PM – Dinner at Earl (walking distance from Stockhome Hostel)

    **********End of Day 1

    Expenses for Day 1:

    • FREE – Suvarnabhumi Airport to Makassan Station (free ride during our trip       because they are celebrating the Royal Cremation of His Majesty the Late King)
    • THB 30.00 – MRT Makkasan Station to MRT Hua Lamphong Station fare
    • THB 15.00 – Hua Lamphong to Ayutthaya Train Station fare
    • Spent nothing for lunch because we have sandwiches and biscuits in our luggages (bought in Manila).
    • THB 60.00/head – Ayutthaya to Stockhome Hostel via tuktuk (THB 120/tuktuk)
    • PHP 316.37/head – First day of stay at Stockhome Hostel
    • THB 80.00 – Dinner at Earl

    TOTAL: PHP 545.29 or THB 351.98

    Conversion Rate:

    PHP 1.00 <-> THB 0.6455

    THB 1.00 <-> PHP 1.549

    DAY 2 – Ayutthaya

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    Wat Yai Chai Mongkol or The Great Monastery of Auspicious Victory

    8:00 AM to 8: 15AM – Travel going to Ayutthaya Elephant Village via tuktuk

    8:15 AM to 9:00 AM – Ayutthaya Elephant Village (riding an elephant)

    9:00 AM to 9:10 AM – Travel going to Wat Yai Chai Mongkol (Mongkhon)

    9:10 AM to 1:30 PM – Explore Wat Yai Chaya Mongkol and lunch

    1:00 PM to 1:15 PM – Travel going to Wat Mahathat

    1:15 PM to 2:00 PM – Explore Wat Mahathat

    2:00 PM to 2:10 PM – Travel going to Wat Thammikarat

    2:10 PM to 2:40 PM – Explore Wat Thammikarat

    2:40 PM to 2:50 PM – Travel going to Wat Lokayasutharan

    2:50 PM to 3:20 PM – Wat Lokayasutharan plus snack time

    3:20 PM to 3:30 PM – Travel going to Wat Chaiwatthanaram

    3:30 PM to 3:45 PM – Explore Wat Chaiwatthanaram

    3:45 PM to 3:55 PM – Travel going to Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Na Phramen and Wat Phra If Sanphet (these temples are just beside each other)

    3:55 PM to 5:00 PM – Explore Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Na Phramen and Wat Phra If Sanphet

    5:00 PM to 5:25 PM – Travel going back to Stockhome Hostel

    5:25 PM to 7:00 PM – Rest/shower time

    7:00 PM onwards    – Dinner at the hostel

    **********end of Day 2

    Expenses for Day 2:

    • PHP 316.37/head – Second day of stay at Stockhome Hostel
    • THB 325.00/head – Tuktuk rent for whole day tour (8 temples + Ayutthaya Elephant Village) (THB 650/tuktuk, good up to 6 passengers)
    • THB 300.00 – Elephant ride (10-15 mins ride)
    • THB 20.00 – Entrance fee at Wat Yai Chaya Mongkol
    • THB 40.00 – Lunch at Way Yai Chaya Mongkol’s food stalls
    • THB 50.00 – Entrance fee at Wat Mahathat
    • THB 20.00 – Entrance fee at Wat Thammikarat
    • FREE entrance at What Lokayasutharan (Reclining Buddha)
    • THB 50.00 – Entrance fee at Wat Chaiwatthanaram (We opted not to go inside and pay for the entrance fee)
    • THB 50.00 – Entrance fee at Wat Ratchaburana (We opted not to go inside and pay for the entrance fee.)
    • THB 20.00 – Entrance fee at Wat Na Phramen(We opted not to go inside and pay for the entrance fee.)
    • THB 50.00 – Entrance fee at What Phra If Sanphet (We opted not to go inside and pay for the entrance fee.)
    • Spent nothing for merienda (biscuits, cakes and sandwiches) and dinner (cup noodles) because we had our grocery first in Manila to save and fit our budget. As for the water, there’s a water dispenser at the hostel.

    TOTAL: PHP 1,749.20 or THB 1,129.11

    Conversion Rate:

    PHP 1.00 <-> THB 0.6455

    THB 1.00 <-> PHP 1.549

    DAY 3 – Ayutthaya to Bangkok

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    Wat Thammikarat – The monastery was built by Thammikarat, a son of King Sai Nam Phung.

    7:30 AM – early checkout at Stockhome Hostel

    7:30AM to 7:40 AM – travel from Stockhome hostel to Ayutthaya Train Station

    8:00 AM to 12:00 PM – Ayutthaya Train Station to Bangkok, Thailand

    **********End of Day 3 in Ayutthaya

    Expenses for Day 3:

    • THB 50.00/head – Ride from Stockhome Hostel going to Ayutthaya Train Station via tuktuk (THB 100/tuktuk, good for up to 6 passengers)
    • THB 15.00 – Ayutthaya to Bangkok (MRT Hua Lamphong) fare

    TOTAL: PHP 100.69 or THB 65.00

    Conversion Rate:

    PHP 1.00 <-> THB 0.6455

    THB 1.00 <-> PHP 1.549

     

     

    OVERALL EXPENSES: PHP 2, 395.1

    • Day 1: PHP 545.29
    • Day 2: PHP 1,749.20
    • Day 3: PHP 100.69

    MORE PHOTOS:

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    Wat Yai Chai Mongkol

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    This arch can be found at Wat Thammikarat.

     

     

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    Selfie with the reclining buddha at Wat Lokayasutharan

     

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    View from the Chedi of Wat Yai Chai Mongkol

     

    Happy Travels!!!!

    LOVE,

    JAMILA

     

     


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    Most of my holidays are spent by doing household chores then travel afterwards. And so last Christmas vacation while cleaning our book shelves in the house I saw a book titled “Heritage” and I don’t exactly know why I got interested in it. I immediately stopped cleaning, took a sit and scanned the book and right there and then I saw this beautiful picture and review of Kaangrian Falls which is found in the town of Burgos, Ilocos Norte. I’ve grown in the province of Ilocos Norte but I never heard this falls. Since I’m the travel initiator and organizer in the family, I decided to visit this falls for our Christmas family outing.

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    Oops let’s have a trivia first. Do you ever wonder what does the word kaangrian means? “Kaangrian” came from the Ilocano term “naangri” which literally means “stinky or smelly” in English. Well this sounds Ironic for such a wonderful place that lay hidden amidst the forest of Barangay Paayas Burgos, Ilocos Norte. According to the residents of Burgos, this falls is well preserved and continues to be a must see spot in Ilocos Norte because no doubt that it really looks like a paradise-so calm and very natural scenery. But before reaching the said falls, you have to go through a non concrete, non limestone road and just a piece of advice, use a car recommend for adventures or else you’re going to face difficulties because it is really a rocky road and only good for one way. After that rocky road you will see a vacant lot wherein you can leave your car and start now the 15-20 minutes trek before you get to see the jaw dropping beauty of Kaangrian Falls.

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    The place was very peaceful. The water was so blue. All the stress in travelling just to witness this creation will all be eased out. More photos below:

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    Worth the climb to the top!

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    Way up going to Kaangrian falls, you will be able to see the full view of the famous Bangui Windmills.

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    More adventures to come! #JamilaGoesAround

     


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    Who would believe that this trip is free, yes this trip is free because of the prize I got from the Travel Expo last March 2015 in SMX Convention Center. My family are really planning to have a vacation then suddenly this plan came into reality after I attended the Travel Expo. I never had been to Visayas that’s why I don’t know much of the places and the people in there. As I’ve noticed during our stay in Bohol, people there were really friendly and kind. They really deserve their title to be the “City of Friendship”. There are a lot of churches and tourist destinations to be seen in Bohol plus sumptuous foods. I was truly amazed when I saw the Chocolate Hills even though it was a little bit damaged because of the earthquake but they are trying to recover. The really highlight of our tour was the Eat all you can in Loboc River Cruise. It was really affordable to try the Loboc River Cruise, with just the amount of Php400 you can eat whatever you want (seafoods) plus a serenade and different entertainments and experience the river cruise. It was really an amazing experience. 

    Special Thanks to Villa Belza Resort for the accomodation.

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    The church is under renovation because of the earthquake last 2013.

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    According to the tour guide, you can form a picture of Padre Pio if you would look closely to to the wall.

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    buffet lunch at Floating Restaurant

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