Sunday, August 2, 2015

283: the Coast Calls: A Quick Get Away to San Juan

If I can move out from the city and live a provincial life, I'd definitely choose to move to La Union. This place is starting to get its way into my heart. In Urbiztondo, I found my other home.

What I particularly love about Urbiztondo is its people. The people there are friendly. It was easy to find friends with the easy living surfers, and local people. In fact, I've made too many errors in riding the right jeepney to my destination but these drivers were nice to take me nonetheless. These drivers didn't even accept my additional payment for the hassle.

So last week I found myself back in this wonderful place. I went there with my good friend to celebrate her birthday. While I stayed twice at Sebay surf, this time I told myself to stay at San Juan Surf School Resort.

If you want to know, the San Juan Surf School Resort is just next to Sebay Surf. The reason why I chose not to book myself here initially is because judging by exterior it looks expensive, so I didn't bother. But when my other friend said that Sebay and San Juan Surf School is almost as the same price, I told myself to give it a go.

.. and I'm glad I did.

While I like Sebay Surf, the San Juan Surf School Resort offers a modern, and classy style. Just as Sebay, the San Juan Resort rooms have a cabled t.v, air-conditioning, fridge, and their shower has a cold and hot temperature dial. For 2, the room was priced as 1,986 PHP (as of July 2015 see prices here). But what I particularly love about the place is its restaurant-bar.

I swear I have weakness for good aired restaurant and bar. I love that some of their tables allows you to have a (partly) view of the beach (but this is where the Sebay beats them in terms of beach view from the bar).


I wish I took more photos! Forgive me though because I swear after the 9 hours travel all I wanted to do was to lie on the bed. So apologies I never thought about taking a picture of the room, and it never crossed my mind. But I would next time. Rest assured though those that you will see in the tripadvisor was enough to give you visual projection of what to expect.

All in all, it's not obvious that I will be back in La Union soon enough, and if you are going to ask me where I will book myself, it's no brain-er because I'll definitely book myself at San Juan Surf School Resort again -- again just because I am a sucker for a good restaurant - bar.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Investment Matters: 3 Reason Why You Should Invest in Arca South

In the metro, it cannot be denied that the expanding projects of developers are popping everywhere. These expanding projects are in fact a good news, because these developers sees the future growth of the economy and the future development in the area. One of the great things in investing in real estate is that it's one form of passive income. But with many projects, being developed where do we actually put our money?

I've particularly set my eyes on Arca South. Here are my 3 main reason why I think Arca South is a great investment.
Arca South in the Future

1. It is being developed by the Ayala Land Inc. Do I need to say more? Ayala Land had proven its credibility in the market for as long as we can remember.  The company started in the industry dated back in 1988's (please see profile info here), and had been expanding projects ever since. We've heard of its projects: Ayala Land Premier, Alveo, Avida, Amaia, and BellaVita. Ayala Land also have contributed in the growth of the following cities: Makati, Taguig, Cebu, Nuvali, and etc., Ayala Land Inc had already made its name in the industry of real estate, if you wanted to feel comfortable as an investor, an Ayala Land project is a sure way to go.

2. They are in pre-development phase. If a project is still in a pre-developed phase the price is still affordable compared to when the project is already completed. One logical example of this scenario is when the BGC was still under developed. A payment terms in that phase is not too painful. However, considering that the BGC is one of the most developed cities, a property, a rent there probably costs as high as they skyscrapers in the area. In fact, according Global Property Guide "In Bonifacio Global City the average price for a 3-bedroom condominium increased by 9.5% to PHP 133,175 (US$ 2,968) per sq. m. (5.3% inflation-adjusted), or a 1.1% q-o-q growth." (reference) This kind of scenario would probably be the same once the Arca South has been finished (projected by 2018). Currently, Ayala Land's AVIDA allows 20% downpayment that is stretched to 36 months payment. an estimated 7000 - 8000 monthly (may vary depending on your terms) may not be a bad investment, if the property will be projected to hike in price once the project is completed.

3. Where it is Located. The Arca South will be located in FTI. The Ayala Land will revolutionized the once known 'bagsakan' to be the next business district in the South of Manila. Additionally, the location will also be accessibility to the three major infrastructures: the Skyway and C5/C6 connection road, the Skyway Exit, and the NLEX-SLEX connection road' (Philstar) makes the place 'in sync' to major cities.

Arc South Map

One of the things that others worry about the place is if it's standing in Fault Line, if this is also your worry, fear not because it was certified by the PHILVOCS that Arca South is not standing along the fault line (See Certification)

If you plan to invest at all, I would recommend to check out the payment terms immediately. Time is expensive, do not wait until the project gets developed as the price increases by 3% per 3 to 6 months. All in all, Arca South is one of the next cities to check out for those who wanted to invest in real estate. 

If you feel that this may be the next investment for you, feel free to contact me, and let's check out.

Monday, June 1, 2015

282: Finding the One in Caramoan

Last weekend my friends and I went to Bicol, then to Caramoan for our summer get away. This vacation is my 3rd and my last summer vacation. Having this place as the last is a great choice for a conclusion.

Before we settled in Caramoan, my friends and I arrived in Bicol last Saturday through Cebu Pacific. We were able to book our flight for 1,700++ (again, thanks to the Promo). I'm not sure how much is the regular cost, but the 1,700++ price to get a once in a lifetime experience is a winning case.

Before we proceeded with activities, my friends and I ate in Bigg's Diner at Albay. The place was a decent restaurant and with a good diner ambiance. Although the location does give you a local ambiance, it however, serves local favorite dish. The one I had was a pork chop with laing. It was the best! I love the laing and amazing soft meat of the pork.

Our first stop in Bicol is the Lignon Hill. This hill was supposed to give you a great view of the Mayon volcano. The ever shy Mayon volcano was not in humor that day, she hid her peak with the clouds all through out our stay. But it was such a majestic view to see her beauty in person.

here are my friends and I in the Lignon Hill
I believe that there are few activities that you can do in the Lignon Hill. I saw that there's a zip line activity and there's map for travelers to check out. We just passed by because it was so hot during that time that we cannot afford to stay longer in the place.

After the Lignon Hill, my friends went to Cagsawa Ruins. The Cagsawa Ruins is actually the historical place that we often see in our books in high school whenever we talk about Bicol. It's great that it's being preserved and kept clean in spite of the many visitors that it had.

During on the Cagsawa Ruins, there are these guys who roams around the place looking for interested tourist who wants to trek the volcano using an ATV. We paid 800 per person, but you can haggle if you are in large group. We were lucky enough that we are 13 and we were able to get the best deal.

The 800 would allow you to trek only on the foot of the volcano, but there's this 1800 price per person that will allow you to trek the 'lava trail'. We travel for a few kilometers and honestly, you'll enjoy the scenic view that you'd want to go even farther. If you'd ask me, we should have gotten the 1800 instead. But the 800 was not bad, at least you get to ride the ATV and have a decent view of the volcano.

My friends and I in the ATV
The one day trip in Bicol was great. The activities that we did were just the tip of the iceberg. I believe that there's so many things that Bicol can offer. It's just unfortunate that we did not stay long as our real goal was to get to Caramoan.

I hope you'll have your chance to immerse yourself in Bicol and get to know it as better as we had because it really deserves to be checked out.

When my friends and I got into Caramoan, one of the things that struck me the most is the scatted little islands, and rock formations. In fact, My friend, who had been to Palawan, said that Caramoan looks like a little 'Coron' . I, however, were in silence as I was trying to marvel on what I am seeing.

Oh, hi there!

Indeed, Caramoan is one of the place that one should visit, as it offers different variety of activity and at the same time experience. In spite of its found fame, thanks to Survivor Franchise, Caramoan remained commercialized. I really pray that the place would keep its provincial, and quiet look and not follow the footsteps of Boracay.

If you are wondering how much I spent for the whole journey, it costs me around 5 thousand++ (not including the airfare, and we are 13 in the team). This 5 thousand includes the stay at Rex Inn (read the review in the tripadvisor here), payment for the island hopping, eat in a hut in the middle of the sea, and souvenir shopping.

What I particularly love about my experience here is that this is where I experienced free diving, riding on top of the jeep, eating in the middle of the sea, and incredible happiness with my friends. I think so far this adventure in Caramoan  is one of my memorable experience ever.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

He dug so deeply into her sentiments that in search of interest he found love, because by trying to make her love him he ended up falling in love with her. Petra Cotes, for her part, loved him more and more as she felt his love increasing, and that was how in the ripeness of autumn she began to believe once more in the youthful superstition that poverty was the servitude of love. Both looked back then on the wild revelry, the gaudy wealth, and the unbridled fornication as an annoyance and they lamented that it had cost them so much of their lives to find the paradise of shared solitude. Madly in love after so many years of sterile complicity, they enjoyed the miracle of living each other as much at the table as in bed, and they grew to be so happy that even when they were two worn-out people they kept on blooming like little children and playing together like dogs.”

― Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Friday, May 1, 2015

281: "To me, you'll be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world"

"...To you I'm nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each
other. To me, you'll be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world ..."
- Antoine Saint Exupery ; The Little Prince
I knew that from the time that I've stroked the head of my wonderful dog, I knew it will be the last.

Don't worry Michi. We'll pray to Lord Jesus to heal you, and we'll talk tomorrow. I promise.

The last time I gently brushed my hands on her head, it was the longest. It was unusually the longest time. Maybe it's the fact that I knew deep inside that it will be the last time that I will ever pat my wonderful dog.

Lord Jesus, I pray to you to please heal my dog.

I woke up in the morning with the news that my dog has died. Indeed, God cured her permanently. My dog was with us for 11 years, I knew Jesus has a better plans for her. 11 years being with us wasn't so bad. We had 11 years of good memories. But I miss her terribly. I miss how she would wag her tail enthusiastically when I reach home and would be the first one to greet me.

Oh, Michi. How you took my heart with you. But you are with Jesus now. You are in a better place. Please, say 'hi' to Jesus for me.
I shall see you again, Michi. But not too soon, I'm afraid. I miss you my good friend.
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