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Ilocos: Tourist Spots, Where to Eat, What to Buy

It was 9:00 pm and I was still a bit sleepy from my 2-hour bus ride from Laoag City to Vigan. I waited anxiously at the Partas bus terminal amidst the flurry of passengers and conductors. I had arrived earlier this morning from Manila and the idea that I am finally in Ilocos was still simmering.

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For years I have planned to go to Vigan as many people have been urging me to visit this heritage town once inhabited by the affluent Chinese-Ilocano mestizos. A town that is unparalleled in its preservation of Spanish colonial towns. After meeting Edmar Guquib (blogger and author of Explore Ilocos) during a previous fam trip in Puerto Princesa, my resolve to visit was stronger and we finally made time to plan a visit on April.

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Black is Back: Ella Naturals Active Charcoal Mud Mask

With all the layers of makeup, skin care, and gunk that bombards our face every day, we need to spike up our skin care routine regularly. Aside from the usual cleanse-tone-moisturize and bi-monthly facials, another good way to improve, detox, or boost moisture in skin is to use a mask.

I’ve favored detox masks more than anything, especially since my complexion is more on the combination type with somewhat oily T-zone. I am currently enjoying Ella Naturals’ Active Charcoal Mask made by fellow blogger, Gellie Abogado.

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If you’re my Instagram contact (if not, go ahead and follow me at @kirasworld), no doubt you’ve seen my IG stories applying the mask and making fun of myself once to twice a week. Lovely playlist courtesy of my Spotify, of course.

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The hidden beauty of Burias Island, Masbate

What constitutes an ideal beach trip? For me it’s being able sink my toes into fine, powdery white sand, basking in the sun whilst enjoying the cool breeze (and napping thereafter), swimming in the clearest azure waters, and enjoying simple amenities on a far-flung island with literally no data or mobile reception. Yes, Burias Island was this and more!

When I booked my trip, I had only one simple desire: to relax by the beach away from the big, bad city. I had researched previously and I knew the beaches here were exquisite, but had no idea they were this beautiful. The trip made me more grateful and proud to live in such a beautiful country. But wait, I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s explore Burias Island together, shall we?

HOW TO GET TO BURIAS ISLAND

Burias Island is one of the three major islands of Masbate frequented by adventurers and backpackers. The other two are Ticao Island and Masbate Island.

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The jump off point to Burias Island is Pasacao Port in Naga City. From Manila, you can choose to drive (8 hours) to Naga City or fly. Not surprisingly, I chose the fastest and more convenient route:

  • fly to Naga City via Philippine Airlines (50 minutes)
  • take the jeepney to the terminal, take the padyak trike to Pasacao Port (approx. 1 hour ++)
  • take the public passenger boat to San Pascual, Burias Island (2 hours)

*If you’re coming from Masbate City, travel time to San Pascual is extended to 6 hours via boat. 

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Let’s go on a Bambike Ecotour!

Temperatures are rising and I bet the lot of you are planning either a beach escape or flying to somewhere cooler. If you prefer to stay within city limits, there’s actually a couple of fun things you can do — and going on a Bambike tour is one of them.

What is a Bambike tour?

It’s basically a tour around the ancient walled city of Manila (Intramuros) on a bamboo bike. Depending on how much time you’d like to allot, you can choose from a full 2-hour tour (Php 1200 per pax), Express Tour (Php 600 per pax), or you can just rent the bike and go exploring on your own (Php 200/per hour).

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I’ve always wanted to do this but you know, life would always get in the way. With Pepe Gaka visiting Manila, we finally had the chance to experience this popular attraction and a way for me to showcase the oldest district and historic core of Manila.

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Beautiful Promises Kept with Avon True Color

Avon has truly gone a long way, from the basic makeup I used in grade school (I had a tinted lip balm) to the trendy options we have today. Everyone has fond memories of this brand, and for sure most of us knew (or were even related to) Avon ladies. My secret guilty pleasure? Reading their monthly brochure and relishing in their new products — I could never get enough! Each product held so much promise and I was never left disappointed.

So when I received the Avon True Color box filled with makeup (about 27 pieces I believe), I immediately trimmed them down to my favorites. Together with the beautiful Ae of An Artechoke, we created a quick and easy look that you can wear on a date.

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Love, Z Bakery & Patisserie

Being a creature of habit, I usually stay true to my tried and tested food places. But once in a while when I’m feeling adventurous (ha!) I go out of my way and try new things. In this case, a new patisserie. Venture a little bit north and you’ll find the lovely Love, Z Bakery & Patisserie outside Filinvest Gate 1, stop number 2 on our Manila Food Trip 2017.

Love, Z is the brainchild of a group of friends brought together by their love for food and good conversation. Having spent so much time in restaurants, cafes, and other establishments, they eventually decided to create a place of their own and thus Love, Z bakery was born.

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We welcomed their freshly baked pastries, cakes, breads, and our beverage of choice (I had coffee, of course). Having had our fill of rice and heavy servings of chicken from the previous food crawl, it was nice to just sit down, chill for a bit, and catch up. I was seated with Rocky and Gellie, fellow coffee lovers and dessert aficionados.

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