DeeWanderlust: Paoay Church and Culili Point Adventure

I’m so happy that I’m finally doing another travel post after such a long time! This one is about Paoay, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. When I went on holiday, I had to visit the Northern part of the country as I hear so many good things about it but I just never had the chance to really visit. It was quite far away from the area where we usually stay and yes that equals to long drives but all I can say was it was worth it. We went to so many amazing places in the North that I had to break my blog post in few parts but for now here is my Deewanderlust adventure in Paoay, Ilocos Norte:

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As you can see in the photo, Paoay Church also known as San Agustine Church is absolutely beautiful. It’s overall design of Gothic and baroque emphasises its beauty and history. I am not surprised why it is considered as one of the oldest and most beautiful churches in the entire Philippines. It is under a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Site under the group of Baroque Churches of the Philippines.

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How I wish I got to show the interior of the church as it also looks amazing. It had coral stones, bricks and impressive architectural styles. The locals were explaining to us how the church stood the test of time. It had obviously survived countless typhoons and earthquakes. However, it was partially damaged during the strong earthquakes in 1865 and 1885. Nonetheless, I still think that it is stunning and the history behind it makes it even more beautiful. It almost reminds me of our local church in Morong Bataan (Our Lady of the Pillar Parish Church).

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Culili Point Sand Dunes Adventure – 4×4 ride and sand boarding

I’ll start off by saying that this was the highlight of my visit in the North!!! I loved the 4×4 ride adventure. I was sceptical at first and a bit overwhelmed as it wasn’t really part of our itinerary but my uncle decided to take us to this place because he said it will be fun. He was right, it was super fun and extreme! We went in a big group but only few of us rode on the 4×4 but can you believe that even my dad’s older sister joined us.

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We had to stand at the back of the ride and I remember the adrenaline it gave when we knew that we were going steep and downhill, so fun!

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The view was absolutely stunning, the sand, sea, sun, dunes, desert everything!  Sometimes it’s nice to see an empty space as it makes you appreciate nature more. Lucky enough our driver stopped a few times for us to be able to take photos, I mean if he didn’t I would have asked him to anyway. 😊

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There was a sand boarding area at the end of our driving experience. However, I didn’t get to try this. Some of my family members had a go and they said it was fun and had an amazing experience. I mean how often can you surf in the sand? 😊  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to stay in this area for too long as we had other places to go to. As you can see I was wearing a dress that day, I decided not to try it as I think I was not dressed appropriately for it and honestly, I was not in the mood to surf in the sand but I enjoyed watching and cheering other people surf.

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Overall, I loved my 4×4 adventure and would recommend it if you have the chance to visit the place. Not only that Culili Point will give you an amazing experience and the adrenaline rush but there are also loads of other beautiful places to visit within the area.

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 What is the best adventure you have done so far or planning to experience? Give me ideas, I need to add some on my bucket list!

Lots of love from,

dsb

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DeeWanderlust: Boracay, Philippines 

Boracay is a small beautiful island located in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. Every time people would find out that I’m from the Philippines, most especially my co-workers, I would always get asked if I have been to Boracay or either they will tell me their experience when they went there. I have been seeing and hearing how amazing Boracay is from international travel magazines, blogs, vlogs and other social platforms. Therefore, when I had plans to go to the Philippines for holiday I definitely made sure that this beautiful island is on top of my list.

Check out that fine, soft and white powdery sand!

No wasting time, I wanted to get all the photos done as quick as possible so I can enjoy the beach 🙂

I love how clear the water is, it is so beautiful. Upon arrival, I was offered if I was interested in the activities. Boracay offers so many activities such as parasailing, paraw sailing, helmet diving, mermaid lessons, island hopping and so much more.

Yummy four cheese pizza from Two Seasons Boracay Resort.

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Boracay has the best sunsets! Well, I believe generally Philippines has the most amazing sunsets ever. For the whole time that I stayed in Boracay, I would never dare to miss the sunset. This is also the time when a lot of the paraw sailing comes out as it is the best time for photography.

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Boracay is also well known for its night life. There are so many venues to choose from, therefore I am sure the there will be something that will fit your style, whether this may be a wild party or a nice relaxing lounge with live music. There are a few clubs to choose from but if you prefer a certain style of music, it is worth checking their Facebook page first as they usually  post what they will be playing on the night.

As you can see I opted for a nice relaxing night!

Bar Hopping with Pub Crawl is really popular in the area. They bring people together and rotate between nine bars/clubs and visit five of them each night.

However,  I clearly did not go down that route. I rather have my own drinks and chill!

These are some of the souvenirs that they sell in Boracay but of course they also have the usual key rings, shirts and accessories made with shells. Usually they are able to personalise them and this is what we have bought for friends and family.

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This is Kuya Jay, he was the vendor that was walking around by the beach. We purchased some of our souvenirs from him such as craft engraved rock/stones that he made himself. I have read a few blogs and some of them mentioned how annoying the local vendors are as they won’t leave people alone to enjoy the beach. I must say that I had the complete opposite experience, we saw Kuya Jay when we stayed at the Station 1 of the beach and we  have told him that we are not interested in purchasing. This is due to my desire of walking  around the beach and was not willing to carry items with me at the time. Kuya Jay politely went and walked away from us. However, after seeing him a few times after that, we have bought some of his souvenirs. We had such interesting conversations in regards to how it is being a local in the island. He gave us tips on where to go and eat, which are not the usual tourist spots. In addition to that, we have kept in touch and every few months he sends us sunset photos of Boracay via email. It was so nice to have met some of the locals and made friends with them.

I was so happy that the water was so clear. I was skeptical at first because I was aware how crowded the island gets. However, as you can see the water was so nice and at some point I was able to see the little fishes swim around (that’s how clear it was)!

I missed taho* so much, this brings childhood memories for me. So when there were taho vendors at the beach, I would not think twice to purchase some. It is best to have early in the morning while strolling around the beach before it gets packed with people!

*Taho- is a Philippine snack food, made of fresh soft/silken tofu, arnibal (sweeter and flavouring) and sago pearl (tapioca pearls).

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I will always love walking around the beach, it is definitely my thing!

Jonah’s fruit shake and snack bar is a place that I definitely would recommend. It is not a fancy place to eat in but they do have such affordable, refreshing and delicious milkshakes. When we went there, the place was packed with people but we preferred to have our milkshakes by the beach anyway, so it wasn’t a problem for me at all.

Sunsets are so beautiful and dreamy

Loved the clean and clear water, it was so picture perfect with the hues of blue as the water goes further down. It was so relaxing to be in it especially when it is a hot sunny day.

I have this thing with palm trees, theres something about it that makes me feel good. I guess its the tropical, summer vibe it makes you feel. I took a few more photos of palm trees but of course I do not want you to get bored of it so I only uploaded the one below.

I must admit I don’t think all my adventures would have been as fun if it wasn’t for this guy right here. My travel buddy, best friend and life partner! I’m forever thankful for him and I am so grateful that it is him who I share experiences and create memories with. He is such an amazing person and yes I am one lucky girl!

Boracay will always have a special place in our hearts. We have created so many beautiful memories that we will forever treasure. From simple walks while talking about our future, watching the sunsets, having conversations by the beach and exploring the place are some that I  will never forget. As the day goes by, I fall even deeper in love with this guy. He makes my life so much more beautiful than it really is and I’m so excited for more adventures with him.

I hope you enjoyed reading my DeeWanderlust- Boracay Island post. Thank you very much for taking the time to read it.

For now, it is time to plan our next holiday destination. Do you have any holiday plans? If so, which destination are you looking forward to go to?

Lots of love from,

dsb

 

DeeWanderlust: Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar 

Another post on my DeeWanderlust series and this one is all about Las Casas. I very much enjoyed the experience I had here because I have always been fascinated with Filipino history. I was told by our tour guide that some of the houses were built way back from 18th-century. I believe that the houses from different parts of the Philippines were reconstructed ‘brick by brick, plank by plank’. I enjoyed looking around the mansions, wooden houses and stone buildings. The cobblestone streets definitely added drama into the place. It creates that feeling of re-living from the ancient times. The ambiance was lovely; seeing mountains, rice fields and a running river with matching beautiful houses in one place was truly amazing!

Location: Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, Brgy. Ibaba Bagac 2107, Philippines

I think having someone tour us around the place was worth it. We were told some stories behind the Casas and it literally took us back in time.

The view was breathtaking; mountains, river, cobblestone and ancestral homes.

The Hotel de Oriente is a premier luxury hotel located in Binondo, Manila. However, this has now re-opened at the Las Casas. The hotel was originally built in 1889 and it served as Philippines first premier luxury hotel.

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I got to see the artistic and cultural elements not only of the ancestral homes but as well as its interiors. The paintings has got to be one of my favourite one. The photos below shows some of the paintings inside the houses:

How I wish I can have big paintings like this around my own mansion one day. It’s free to dream right? 🙂

I like the details of this particular house. It’s so cool!

Overall, I had so much fun. As I was entering the premises I read something along the lines of ‘pride in giving you a glimpse of the past, reliving the age old yet distinctive Filipino traditions’. This is exactly what happened, for few hours I got to relive the past and learnt so much about the Philippine heritage but in such a fun way.

Thank you for reading and taking interest in my adventures! 

Lots of love from, 

dsb

DeeWanderlust: Baguio City, Philippines 

Baguio City is the summer capital of the Philippines as it is one of the coolest places in the country.

Last time I was there was more than a decade ago. I was so sure that a lot of things has changed. Therefore, when I knew that I was visiting Baguio City I was so excited. I had so much plans; the places I wanted to go to, things I wanted to see and dishes I wanted to try. However, the problem was I did not have much time to stay in this city. I wasn’t able to stay as long as I had planned to but I did not let that get in the way. I still had so much fun even though it was only a short sweet visit!

Mines View Park is one of the oldest attraction in the city. The photos below shows the entrance of the park. There are no fees to enter the premises.

This is such an amazing photo of the Cordillera mountains.

I love the backdrop of this photo. This shows the lovely view of Benguet’s gold and copper mines as well as the Cordillera mountains.

I had the chance to dress up in full Cordillera regalia. As you can see on the photo below, I got to wear tapis, vest, necklace and a headdress. For men’s, they usually make them wear the bahag, and accessories such as necklace, shield and spear.

In addition, souvenirs were everywhere around this area. They offered different items such as knitted wears, woodwork and food. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to take photos of the souvenirs/market stalls. However, I can say that strawberries, ube jams, cashew, peanut brittle and lengua de gato are the most popular ones. They also have the usual souvenirs such as key rings, t-shirts, hoodies and many more.

I know. I know. I know. How pretty is this pink horse? As soon as I saw it, I just had to take a photo with the adorable pink horsey.

Where have you been recently for your holiday? Comment below and share your experience. 

 Lots of love from,

dsb

 

DeeWanderlust: Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is such a beautiful place and it will always be special to me. The sceneries are breathtaking, the food was nice and most of all the people were lovely. The people I came across were all so friendly and helpful. I didn’t feel any language barrier as most of them knew how to speak English very well. The place was also not crowded at all or maybe I just got used to living life in the very busy London town. Below are some of the random pictures I have while I was in Budapest:

This is called the Budapest Castle Hill Funicular (Budavári Sikló) and it has two stations. The upper station is the Castle Hill and the lower station is located at the Buda end of the Chain Bridge. Initially, the plan was to take the short ride up to get to Castle Hill. However, when I noticed that there was a walkway to go up the hill, I decided to climb the stairs instead. It was tiring because the hill was quiet steep but it was all worth it as I got to see such an amazing panoramic views.

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These are the shots that I took when I got up the hill. It was almost like it doesn’t matter which angle you take it from because the place is truly beautiful. In the pictures below, you can see the Chain Bridge. This was the first bridge to connect Buda and Pest. It was definitely worth it go up the hill to see the beautiful view. It was the perfect time to reflect on life as it was so peaceful where I was standing while overlooking the busy Budapest.

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This was when I was actually standing on the Chain Bridge. Looking over Danube river and enjoying the view was so peaceful. It reminds me a little bit of our River Thames here in London.

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While walking on the Chain Bridge towards the Parliament, I found a perfect place to chill. As you can see, it has sand and beach benches. It seems like it was a couples’ spot because I remember looking around and seeing couples everywhere. People were drinking beer by the river and watching the sunset.

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The architecture in Budapest is amazing the most obvious one in my photo below is the Hungarian Parliament Building. It looks stunning both in day and night.

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My favourite place in Budapest has got to be the Fisherman’s Bastion (Halászbástya). The place was located on the Buda side of the Danube, on the Castle Hill. I remember seeing it and being so speechless because it literally felt so magical. It felt like I was in one of the real Disney palaces. The real palaces with rich in history and not a colourful with glitters girly version.

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It got even more amazing when I went up the tower’s terraces. I felt like a real princess inside the castle and being able to look at the overview of Budapest. The Danube, Margaret Island, Pest and the Gellért Hill existed. I will never ever forget the excitement that I had while being there as I loved every second of it! I still can’t believe that it did not even cost me any forint to enter the Fisherman’s Bastion.

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I was so glad that I stayed right near Keleti Pályaudvar station as it was very much accessible to mostly all the places that I wanted to visit.

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Of course my DeeWanderlust series in Budapest, Hungary will not be complete if I did not try the best food in the city.IMG_6516IMG_3455

 

Overall, I totally enjoyed my holiday and would love to go back there again. Have you been to Budapest? If so, how was your experience? If not, where was your recent holiday and how was it? 

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 Lots of love from,

dsb

Introduction

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Hi everyone,

I’m sure you can probably already tell that my name is Denisse Samantha. I’m based in London, UK. I’m an accounting and finance graduate, who is interested in anything fashion and beauty related. I enjoy writing and my passion are beauty and fashion, therefore I decided to create my own blog. This is a place for me to express my own personal style, reviews, recommendations and experiences. I will be sharing my favourite beauty products, the latest launches and outfits of the day. I will also share my travel diaries and adventures in my daily life (DeeWanderlust*).

Blogging is something that makes me happy. I used to blog few years back but I regretfully didn’t continue on, as I got discouraged with it. I felt like no one was reading my posts and I kept comparing myself to other established bloggers. But now I’m finally back and ready to write again. I know for a fact that I will be taking those two valuable lessons I have learnt from the old me, which are not to compare myself to others and just keep going. I know that it is easier said than done but I will try my best to do it. I will make sure that I look ahead to the future while appreciating my journey of being in the process of getting there.

Thank you for showing interest in what I have to say. Feel free to comment and ask if you have any sensible questions, as I will be more than happy to answer them all.

Lots of love from,

dsb

*DeeWanderlust is a series on my blog, where I will share my personal travel adventures.