10 Things I love about UAE

10 Things I love about UAE

Ten (10) Things I love about UAE 🇦🇪

10 things i love about the uae - iamjmkayne.com

As a continuation of my 10th year anniversary of being an expat in the UAE for the past decade, I am sharing ten (10) things that I love most in the Emirates. I could give more than 10 but this are the ones that comes first.

 

1. Accessibility

Everything is accessible. I mean transportation is efficient and bus timing are on time. Of course not perfect but surely you can depend on it. Access to schools, hospitals, parks, malls are easy.

2. Baqala

This is a mini-store (sari-sari store) version of Abu Dhabi. So far I haven’t seen this in Dubai. But this baqala is a mini-store usually on the ground floor of a building, residential building. A store that you can just call and they will deliver it in your flat! In fact I have heard a few expats having an experience that they are even allowed to do a credit! 😀 How cool is that!? hehe

3. Openness to Christianity

Hats off to the rulers of this nation. Yes it is a muslim country, but they are open to other religions. In fact Catholics (and other Christian denomination) have been able to build our own churches. That is why all over the Emirates have a Roman Catholic church in their city (or even 2 & more).

4. Security & Safety

For the longest time, I praise God for the safety and security I feel whenever I go around the city. I have been able to roam around the streets (in Abu Dhabi) at 2 or 3 am and yet feel safe. With and without police presence within the city have built that secure environment and feeling to the residents.

5. Nationality Diversity

Yeah right! Aside from Indians and Filipinos – UAE has almost all nationalities around. Citizens all around the world have gathered in this nation as a melting pot to all of Arab nations, Africa and even Europe. And because of that diversity – you’ll be able to expose yourself to different cultures, language, religions and more. An opportunity to learn and get to know other people too.

6. Dubai Metro

Well, it’s only half a year that we moved here in Dubai but I have to say that Dubai metro and I have just went from complicated to “in a relationship!” hahaha … yep – my story a few months has it all. 🙂 I would say that my 2-hour metro ride almost every Friday has made me feel at home. Read: My Love Affair with Dubai Metro.

7. Filipino shops

Opppsss, it’s not only shops but to be specific Filipino restaurants. It makes you feel like you’re home. Products from home are all around the supermarkets, baqala and other shops. It also gives me a little pride and happiness whenever I see foreign people buying our products. Bananas, pineapples, chips, shrimps, crackers, tuna, noodles and more! How lucky are we! 😀 So whenever I miss home, I take a walk and get into these places!

8. Fun and Adventures

Legoland, Ferari World, Warner brothers and more and more themed parks. Water parks, Desert Safari, Zip lines, Sky Dubai. If you’re not as busy as we are, these parks and fun adventurous activities will really give you a treat. So far I have ticked off a camel ride and also hopping into the world’s fastest roller coaster! 😀 Of course there are still more to work on. Let’s see how it goes soon…

9. It’s natural beauty

Before heading to Abu Dhabi, my picture of this place is the “desert”. To be honest in 2008, there’s already Google and I wonder why I didn’t check out the photos. Haha but here’s a story: I was packing my stuffs as I head off here in the UAE and was so worried if I should bring my high-heels shoes… I was worried it might go down with the sand… peace… I was so innocent and gullible then.. lol 😀 sorry about that! Only to realize that the place where I lived was all buildings and were all cemented. Poor me! ^^ Anyway – my favorite activity is the desert camping. Such a lovely view to see the serenity of the desert. An amazing gift from God to the Emiratis. Here in the UAE we can have both worlds of the buzzing city and the serenity of the desert. Such a grace!

10. CFFL community life

I know now (or at least 5-6 years ago) that I am destined to be here in the UAE. Because I am destined to be a part of CFC-FFL community, where I have been an active member and servant for almost a decade now. As an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker), having a community life such as CFC-FFL/CFFL is a blessing. A true test of being a Christian. A true training ground of the reality of His teachings in loving our neighbors and a great reminder to prepare and be ready for the real life ahead.

 

These are just  ten (10) of the many things I love about this nation. What are you favorites here in UAE? (Abu Dhabi/Dubai/Sharjah/Ajman/Umm Al Quwain/ Ras Al Khaimah) Comment them below…

 

God bless,

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#UAE10

On Honesty & Dishonesty (Transpo Edition)

On Honesty & Dishonesty (Transpo Edition)

honesty & dishonesty transpo edition - iamjmkayne.com

This is a long overdue blog post. I’ve intended to publish this while I was still in Cebu. It’s actually a short sharing on #Honesty & #Dishonesty in these five (5) types of transportation in the Philippines.

 

  • TAXI  – LTFRB set a new calibration scheme for taxis in Cebu. That is a 40 PHP flag down, an additional 13.50 PHP for every kilometer and 2 PHP running for every two (2) minutes waiting in a traffic. This set up though is only applicable if the taxi franchise has calibrated the new meter and has installed the new requirements before using this fare format. As I sat on the taxi and noticed that it has updated with the new system, I asked the driver; (in Cebuano) So, kumusta man ning bag-ong scheme bai? How’s this new scheme bai? (bai – is like “bro”) He said this idea is better for both the driver and the taxi franchise owner, but a bigger expense for the passenger. In fact over the past weeks, his personal experience is that the number of passenger is lower than expected. Nevertheless, he is expecting it to pick up and the riding public will eventually get used to it… Sad for the passenger, better for them. An #honest answer!

 

  • TRICYCLE  – My house to Gaisano Fiesta Mall will take 15-20 minutes by tricycle (it’s a motorcycle with an attached cart that can accommodate 6-7 persons. #Honesty: Although I know that the fare is 7 pesos, I have intentionally asked again. He said 7 PHP. #Dishonesty 🙁 On the way back, I rode another tricycle, didn’t ask this time and gave the 10 PHP coin, only to end up receiving 2 PHP change. I was surprised but can’t complain because I paid as I went down from the tricycle and it went off fast.

 

  • TRISIKAD – Our neighborhood takes around 10-15 minutes walk from the highway to our house. Trisikad makes it shorter. My cousin who visited us for the first time took the “trisikad” (it’s a bicycle that has a cart that can carry 2-3 persons in one round. It’s one way fare is 5 PHP per person. But as he came to the pick up point, there was no other passenger, he was alone and took the trisikad. The driver seemed to recognize that he is a first timer –  took advantage and asked for 20 PHP!!!!!! #Dishonesty 🙁

 

  • JEEPNEY – This time, let’s talk about the #honesty that a passenger abides by pure honesty and conscience. Majority of the people in the Philippines have been truthful and trustworthy that they are giving the fare. Of course, some might do the tricks [#dishonest 🙁 passengers!] but I want to emphasize more on the veracious act all Filipinos riding a jeepney. I’ve been outside the country for almost a decade and yet this honest system still works! Hats off to all of those who are reputable and truthful! 🙂 

 

  • UBER + GRAB – It is given that using GRAB or UBER will cost more than a taxi. So most drivers tend to choose and sometimes will not take your booking if its out of their way… What my personal experience on the other hand is an #honest driver who willingly explained to me and my friend on the ins and outs of becoming a GRAB/UBER driver (even though his place is north while ours is going south) … Another honest and alarming thought he shared too is that it is a fact that both companies have made Cebu more congested and traffic! 🙁 

 

So this post resurrected because of my current encounter here in Dubai. 

I went out to meet a friend…

To commute in Dubai means you need to take the bus, the taxi and the metro. As I draft this, the dark side has been tempting my mind to use the Silver* card (for the train/metro) but ride in the Gold* cabin. I actually have both and because community service events are way too far from our location, Kokobear and I have intentionally purchased the Gold card for long train minutes or hour/s as applicable. Anyway, of course; “I fought that thought” and did the right thing.

Now I took the taxi going to the first metro stop (@JLT Station) because I’m a bit out of schedule. Took a cab and asked him to drop me to JLT. A couple of minutes before reaching the destination, his meter broke… He didn’t panic, neither do I. He called someone over the phone and although I didn’t understand the whole convo, I know he was asking the cost. As we reach the station, I gave the fare and he was ready with his change. He charged me 16/- AED. I stopped and asked 16? His face changed – a bit worried I supposed. Yes, my friend told me so, he answered. I smiled. Gave him an additional 2 AED, I think it’s 18. Here, thank you for your honesty! I responded and got off.

 

This simple encounter, made me smile and has reaffirmed my trust to the honesty of humanity. Not that I don’t have, but just a concrete example here.
Praise God for that! 🙏

 

Be blessed & be God’s blessings!

 

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*Dubai Metro (NOL Card) has color coding metro and bus cards, it has blue, red, silver and gold. Although majority uses Silver – for the general public and Gold – a special cabin that has lesser passenger because it costs double than the regular fare with §the silver card.

Concert Experience: Hillsong United Live in Dubai

Concert Experience: Hillsong United Live in Dubai

Dubai, UAE: Hillsong United Live in Dubai!

Ticking off a bucketlist when the chance is at hand? Why not!?!

Right after hearing that Hillsong United is visiting the UAE this 2017, Kokobear and I decided to level-up praising God with this concert! It is actually one of our bucketlist! It’s a 2-day concert and 28th April just went soldout. So here we are on the 2nd day, 29th April – Saturday! Our transportation was arranged with fellow CFFL member, we rented a carlift and hit the road at 5:00 pm to reach Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium inside the Irish Village.

We arrived at quarter to 7, right in time when the gates opened. Sis Rose, Sis Dianne, Sis Mariel & Sis Vielinda of SFL were with us! But we have to part ways because we’re in the platinum area!

Here are a few of the songs they’ve performed in this 2 and a half hour concert:

  • Touch the Sky
  • Oceans
  • Prince of Peace
  • I surrender
  • Let There Be Light
  • New Songs: Beautiful Name, Even When it Hurts, One Day.

If I have counted it correctly, there were around 22 songs and every single one speaks directly to the heart. I have to mention too, that the in between prayers were as powerful as the songs! And one of the many is this:

. . . “Don’t just go to the church, BE THE CHURCH” – JD

Song after song, I found myself swept away. Memories of life comes flooding through my thoughts. I found myself having difficulty in containing the emotions especially when From the Inside Out was playing. I raise my hand, sang, shouted, cried, lifted my heart and of my pains, worshipped and praised God. Never did I expect an emotion so strong that made me feel every single word of the lyrics to be so full, soulful and meaningful at its peak! Such a spirit filled ambiance, I hear some people praying in tongues. Emotions? ECSTATIC! In Awe of how Great JESUS is!

Let me share some lyrics that have captured my heart and indeed pierced it:

“Every word u have spoken, I will not be shaken”
.
“A Passion worth living”
.
“Oh be Still My Heart, I know u are God, I know u hear my prayer”
.
“Spirit leads me my Trust”


Check out these few snaps we’ve taken during the event.

Who wont remember this?!? – “LET THERE BE LIGHT” – Photo by Bro. Gab Rios of SFL Abu Dhabi

You can see more of our photos in this concert at #ByahengKokobears – Hillsong.

A #MustExperience and I highly recommend this concert to everyone!

God Bless!!!

All other photos are by yours truly and of my husband (Kokobear – Darrelle) of Ellerrad.

Travel Guide : Simala Church Cebu

Travel Guide : Simala Church Cebu

Cebu is one of the first seat of Christianity in the Philippines, it is full of churches that represents the countries long  history of Catholicism – accompanied with various festivals in honor of Jesus, Mary and all the different saints. A municipality in southern Cebu named Sibonga has become a tourist/devotee destination because of the #EuropeFeels / #ItalyFeels  – SIMALA Church has. It is a façade in honor of Mama Mary.  

This January, I went on a vacation and took a trip down south to visit the church and paid homage to the Blessed Virgin for all of her blessings she and her son have showered to me and to my family! Here I’m sharing you a travel guide.How to get there:
1 – Go to Cebu South Bus Terminal.
Various of bus going South is available, known to pass by Sibonga is Ceres. Take it and ask the driver or his assistant (known as konduktor) to drop you in Simala. Travel takes about 2 hours. Fare varies as per bus company but it should be between 80 to 100 Php. Your best land mark will be that 7-11 shop on the right side built as the ground floor of an old house.

For bus schedule visit this link of Cebu Gov’t Bus Schedule.
2 – Upon Arrival in Brgy. Simala– Look for motorcycles (habal-habal) going up to the sanctuary. 
Habal-habal (or motorcycle) is the most common transportation going up to the church. Fare is around 20-30 Php per person, each motorcycle can accommodate at least 2 passengers.

3 – Going Home. 
Motorcycle drivers are just around the corner, you can choose and they will drop you right in the highway! In the highway, all you have to do is wait for the bus going back to the city  and you’ll be home. Fare will be almost the same as to going  back and forth.

What can you do:

  • Pray! – Among the many reasons why we visit Simala is to simply pray. Thanking God/Mama Mary for their blessings and this should be the primary reason.
  • Visit the Miraculous Statue of Mary – At the back of the church altar , there is a way where you could offer your flowers and prayers.
  • Write An Intention – Along the way to the statue are writing stations where you could write a letter to Mary. And if your generous enough – feel free to share your blessings!
  • Light a candle – Color-coded candles are available for a specific intention, pick what fits your prayers.
  • Buy – Memorabilias, small statue, prayer guides, rosaries and more are visible on the right side of the church. 
  • Finally, Take a Picture!  – Of course every Filipino won’t miss that chance to take a photo of this beautiful, stunning and amazing structure.
And at all times, be mindful of your noise, stay calm and avoid disrupting the other people who are praying. Please be respectful as well on the way you dress up. Avoid shorts and sleeveless blouse. 
* * * 

I prefer not to get into more details of how was our visit. I’d like you to experience it yourself. All I can say is that it’s my 4th visit and every time I set forth my feet into this amazing place, I’d say it is an encounter with Mama Mary and of our Creator.  

Take a look at some of the photos I took. 

“This crown structure is memorial of the victorious and powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mother thru the Penitential Rosary Walk in 1998, against the killer epidemic hat struck the place, where several lives of poor children and infants had died. Built to honor Mary on the 8th year anniversary of the Monks arrival in Lindogon. Blessed on the 27th day of February, 2004.”

On Facebook I posted: In awe of His creations! Mama Mary, thank you for giving us your son. Amen. 
Lord, I am confident of your love, mercy & grace! Excited na ko sa imong gift nako!
#ThankYouLord #Sibonga #Cebu #cebu2017 #Simala 
DOME. This is the dome of the church. I took this photo on our way going to the back of the altar where you will have a closer encounter of the miraculous statue of Mary. 
See more photos of this amazing & stunning place on
* * * 
 
Also known as  as the Monastery of the Holy Eucharist (for locals, it is known as “Birhen sa Simala”) is located at the Marian Hills of Lindogon Simala, Sibonga Cebu.  It started with a miracle that Mother Mary cried  with a blood and was witnessed by some of the devotees and believers.  Furthermore, the Monks of Mary (Mga Monghe ni Maria) lives and started the cause of building this palace-like church. Devotees, faithful and just merely the curious people started to flock in this location, thus the support and donation of the faithful has made this #EuropeFeels – instagram worthy photos facade is built (and still on the process of making it better).

Believed to have fulfilled many prayers, a row of “aparador” / cabinet of testimonials of various stories on passing of the board exams, miraculously cured cancer, baby prayers and more will inspire you. An array colorful of candles can also be seen in some areas; color-coded depending on the prayers & intentions you would like to lift up. Red, blue, green, pink, violet etc. –  stands for a specific purpose – wanna know what are they? Go ahead and visit this place! 🙂

Most importantly, attend a mass! 

Here is a guide to the regular mass schedule of the church. 

I would also suggest to avoid Fridays, Saturday & Sundays if you wouldn’t want a crowded place. Pick a weekday and enjoy the peaceful ambiance that Simala Church has! May your prayers be granted!

God bless!

Book Review : Tuesdays with Morrie

Photo taken from the shelves of Abu Dhabi Mall’s book store 🙂
Among many writers, Mitch Albom is one of my favorite! My first ever book review published in Zee – Cebu’s Lifestyle Magazine was another book of him entitled For One More Day.
 
This one is the second book I get to read from this brilliant author! “TUESDAYS with MORRIE“. From the title alone, it gives you an impression of a regular meeting (on Tuesdays) with a person named Morrie. What is the compelling story behind these Tuesdays will make you re-think about how to approach life.

Many would say that “Tuesdays with Morrie” (TWM) is a dying man’s last hurray about life, indeed it was but more than that,  it’s an inspirational detailed lessons for the last time of a student (Mitch) as his professor recounts his life – his passion, marriage, family, life and facing death head on.

After being featured in the late night show, Nightline; Morrie Schwartz has gained popularity that many people who experienced ALS have shared their own story & that have gained inspiration as to how he handled it. Albom was saddened with this news and thus quickly reconnect with his old professor. There were 16 Tuesdays that they’re together and to name a few of their topics, Morrie was giving the last lectures of his life which includes aging, culture, society & more.

 

An excerpt is this:

We all know how to be a child. It’s inside all of us. For me it’s just remembering how to enjoy it.”“We all yearn in some way to return to those days when we were completely taken care of — unconditional love, unconditional caring. Most of us didn’t get enough.” Now if that isn’t getting the most of an unfortunate situation, I don’t know what is!   

– Morrie

Morrie spent his life doing what was right for him, against what was right according to the society’s standards. But he sees the problem that we all are raised to the thought of becoming unique & independent when if cat we all have the same needs. Society says we are different when we are alike. 
 
When all are said and done, when the Almighty takes us back into His kingdom – allow people to remember you with your deeds not with what you have – not your possessions. Let us invest on people and on our relationships. There are hundreds of beautiful quotes from this book but I will leave it for you to read and have your way in joining Morrie and Mitch.
There are hundreds of beautiful quotes from this book but I will leave it for you to read and have your way in accompanying Morrie and Mitch.
But let me share you some of my favorites as I slowly close the final chapters of this brilliant book!
 
ABOUT HOLDING ON TO SOMETHING
“Don’t cling to things because everything is impermanent.”
ABOUT DEATH and RELATIONSHIP
 “Death ends a life, not a relationship.”
“The truth is, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.”


ABOUT CULTURE
“The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.”


ABOUT LOVE & BEING GONE
“Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.”


ABOUT FORGIVENESS
“Forgive yourself before you die. Then forgive others.”


ABOUT TRUTH:
“Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them too-even when you are in the dark. Even when you’re falling.”
 
ABOUT AGING:
“As you grow old, you learn more. If you stayed at twenty-two, you’d always be as ignorant as you were at twenty-two. Aging is not just decay, you know. It’s growth. It’s more than the negative that you’re going to die, its also the positive that you understand you’re going to die, and that you live a better life because of it.” 

ABOUT LIVING:
“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”  

ABOUT LOVE
“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love and to let it come in.”

“If you don’t have the support and love and caring and concern that you get from a family, you don’t have much at all. Love is so supremely important.” 


ABOUT SERVICE and SATISFACTION
“The truth is, you don’t get satisfaction from those things. You know what really gives you satisfaction? …Offering others what you have to give.” 

SRI LANKA Day 1 – Kandy & nearby areas

SRI LANKA Day 1 – Kandy & nearby areas

 
After the “CEYLON” intro blog and the summary of our SRI LANKA Itinerary, here comes day 1.
 
Day 1 – Kandy and nearby areas
– Left the hotel at 6:30 am
– Elephant Orphanage
– Spice & Herbs Garden
– Temple of the Tooth
– Tea Estate
– Ramboda Waterfalls
–  Head home, dinner on the way @ Dee Tree
– Arrived hotel at 10:30 pm
Elephant Orphanage @ Dept. of National Zoological Garden (Colombo Zoo) www.colombozoo.lk – Pinnawalla Rambukkana

   Entrance Fee – 2500 Rupees (67 AED) – with 1 AED = 37 Rupees
The elephants are trained to carry their own food and even some logs.
We witness a big number of elephants inside the orphanage wherein they are being taken cared of the Sri Lankan people working in this place. They feed them, give them milk, tame, clean and train. We also witness milk feeding time for 5-8 months elephants and get a chance to take a picture with them. Tried to sneak a touch too, not allowed though. hehehe 🙂

Spice & Herbs Garden @ Susantha Spice & Herbal Garden
   Entrance Fee – Free
   Herbs/Oils/Creams etc – between 2000- 20,000 Rupees ++ (20 – 500++ AED or more)
A worker from the garden will tour around you and explain the different spices and herbs with its corresponding health benefits. We’ve seen cacao, small pineapples, aloe vera, garlic, ginger, lime, cinnamon and more. At the end of the tour they will guide you to their store and show you some of the products, well it is up to you if you want to take some. 
Temple of the Tooth in Kandy 
   Entrance Fee – 2500 Rupees (67 AED)
   Shoe Keeper – 100 Rupees (2.75 AED) – You need to leave your shoes because you  
have to go  inside barefoot.
This was the photo that should not be taken… (No photos should be taken against the temple – as the notice says) but the security said don’t take pictures “behind” which we mistook as the “back” of this temple…
As you buy the tickets from the booth some tour guides will approach you and will ask / charge 300-500 Rupees (10-20 AED more or less), but in our case we went inside by ourselves. No one toured us so we just try to read. We’ve watched and observed the faithful buddhist, some of them offering lotus flowers, prayed and more. Taking pictures are allowed but it’s not allowed to take a photo with your back against the buddha/statue which made us misunderstood when we were reprimanded and asked to delete the picture we took.
   Entrance Fee – Free (Donation is open) – no tipping as mentioned on site
   Tea Products –  300 – 8000 Rupees (10 – 200/500 AED) – Depending on the type of tea
you want. 
This is sea of tea plants in the area that we passed by along this day 1 itinerary.
It took us around 1 hour to reach this site going up to the hills, the way is like that of Baguio/Osmena Peak in Cebu. You will see a sea of tea plants, and a line up of pine trees that makes the atmosphere really cold. More stories about this Tea Factory visit will be shared in a separate blog.
Ramboda Waterfalls

   Entrance Fee – Free 

There were lots of small waterfalls along the way to the tea farm but as we left the place, our driver/tour guide showed us 3 big once and was able to come closer to one of them. I was in awe with the beauty of being near to Ramboda Falls and the photos will tell…
These 5 sites are our first encounter of Sri Lanka. I am making another blog about my impressions of this country and 10 other stuffs about the people, food, transporation and others… 

Among these five (5) sites, I am happy to learned about TEA. I love drinking tea and it helps to actually understand and know about how it is being processed and prepared. From 6:30 am to 10:30 pm it took us around 3 and half hours travel and another 3 hours back to our hotel. Day one is fun. I wish I could share all the photos but cant… A trivia? – we’ve taken 87 GB all in all for this trip. Will be sharing some from the cameras that we brought… See more photos of it (from my mobile phone) on Nothing but Memories – SL Day 1. (link to be given soon)

Check out our Day 1 Sri Lanka adventure video:
—————-..—————-
Up Next :
Photo credits to Kokobear! – +ellejulie0116 SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

 


 

www.iamjmkayne.com

www.iamjmkayne.com

25 June 2016 | Sunday
Today, I launched my new blog site address.
Yes! I have decided to take my blog into the next level and get myself a personalized domain.  Cheers!
 
From https://i-amjmkayne.blogspot welcome to my new site address as www.IAMJMKAYNE.comA new address but with the same content of the stories #InMyHeart – blog posts about Faith, Family, Travel, Foods and more about life!

 


 

 


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Underground River – Palawan

Underground River – Palawan

Palawan has been a familiar name to me ever since I was in high school. A cousin of mine married someone from the place so they settled in this place known as the cleanest city in the Philippines, Puerto Princesa Palawan. See the #ByaheNgKokobears Palawan Adventure overview here.

 

I have been curious about the world renowned Underground River and just last year (2015) December I had my personal experience of this enchanting place!
Let me start by saying at first I thought we were unlucky to be in Palawan during these final days of the year wherein the last sets of typhoons are also scheduled to hit the places we are ought to visit (Bohol & Palawan). We stayed at Astoria Palawan for 4 days & 3 nights. We had our itinerary full packed but have to be adjusted depending on the weather condition.

Also know as Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, is first on our list and was supposed to be a day 1 experience but has to postpone it on the day 2 because of heavy rains and that no one is allowed by the coastguard to travel that way of the sea. But to our surprise, our tour provider advised us that there is an alternative way to get there! 

How we get there:
Because our accommodation was far from the city – we have to travel back to the starting point of the underground river for about 30 minutes. We had an exclusive van all for only the 2 of us! 🙂

The adventure started!
Our tour guide & driver accompanied us to the registration area where they have assigned a local kid () to be the internal tour guide as we hike up to the mountain and go to the other side of the underground. He was only 15 years old – a bit shy at first but as we sweat off and go further for the next 30 minutes of walking through the wet forest he started to be talkative. The forest was all green, several of plants surround it and different sizes of trees filled it.
Excuse the blurry pic! Our tour guide moved right after clicking the button of our GoPro 😀 Imagine how big this tree is!!! 

The soil was a bit brownish/orange-gy and wet, a rain was about to come. We have to hold some plants us we ascend to the next level. There were 4 stops. Where we could take a rest, drink water or take some photos. And in each stops there are rescue team as well whenever there is a need.

One of the stops… 


We have to go up and down with various man-made stairs (made of wood) which will definitely test your breath!!!

Way to go!!! Climb pa more!
This one is on the way back to our hotel… where we stop by in some of the mountains that shaped like an Elephant and a photo of this yellow tag wherein 2 Amazing Race were done!
The underground
We met with other tourist who also took the challenge to walk for 1 and half – 2 hours just to see one of the world’s wonder! We hurry to fill the little boat, put on our head gear and sail. Of course some briefing was made.
Inside is all black! It is the darkest at its finest. It is natural and should be maintained to keep the bats stay underground. 
Inside or underground are beautiful natural creations of stalactite and stalagmite! Formations of people, food, church and all! A plus factor is that our guide seems to know when and where to stop amidst the dark place and a sense of humor while introducing the spots.
Preparing….
Off we go! 🙂
A fellow tourist exiting as we enter…

Above are some of the captured photos while we were inside… there actually videos but I chose not to put them in to keep you curious and find your way to this beautiful place!

All the walk and pain and tiredness have gone once you get a glimpse of this amazing underground river. I realize it as we went home and see the mountains that under those mountains is the river enchanting as it is even while imagining it.

The Beach

There is a special beach or shall I say photos only beach – white sands shore that makes an impression of a faraway island, secluded yet majestic! 🙂 … Had our time to do the snaps and take a minute or two to feel the beauty amids the stormy & wavy sea during our time.

Credit to the owner.

We have our own photos but somehow misplaced it. Will update this once I see it!