One Breath: PH celebrities who freedive

One Breath: PH celebrities who freedive

In case you need even more inspiration to take that freediving class.

Most of us are content with swimming in pools or strapping on a life vest and goggles, but these celebs have taken these to an extent where they can enjoy the open sea without the need for scuba tanks. If the magical underwater world of the Philippines isn’t enough to entice you to freedive, maybe these local stars will:

Sam Pinto

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Ocean child 💙

A post shared by Sam Pinto (@sampinto_) on

The former actress is a full-on child of the sea; so much so that she’s developed her own line of swimwear (@sirenaswimwearph) and now runs a resort in Baler (@LSirene_). As someone who loves the sea, it’s no surprise that she also freedives.

Drew Arellano

He’s a triathlete, a father of two, and has one of the most enviable jobs in existence: hosting a travel show. He’s quite comfortable with open water (it’s a requirement if you’re exploring the Philippines), and has added freediving to his skillset after learning the basics for an episode of Biyahe ni Drew.

Megan Sebastian

She’s a radio DJ for local radio station YesFM 101.1, and an events host. She’s also someone who’s fond of the ocean, which is apparent on her IG feed.

Rachel Anne Daquis

She’s a professional volleyball player, model, and businesswoman who’s best known for her time with the FEU Lady Tamaraws. She recently took up freediving with the help of @nofinsfreediverph, a group of avid freedivers who “aim to encourage anyone who’s willing to learn freediving, at the same time, help save the ocean.”

The basics
Freediving classes are available with various groups in Metro Manila (pool dives, usually at Scuba Studio in San Juan) and Batangas (the closest open water freediving spot to Manila).

Featured photo by Miles Hardacre from Pexels

5 must-visit beaches in San Vicente, Palawan

5 must-visit beaches in San Vicente, Palawan

We went on a cove-hopping expedition in the country’s last frontier’s sleepy town, and these are what we’ve found .

San Vicente is looking like the next big thing for the coming holidays’ travel, with its 14.7-kilometer-long Long Beach and the backpacking haven that is Port Barton, notable for its laid-back hostels and array of seaside bars fringing its shoreline.

Truth be told, the town is a mirror of what Palawan’s got in its golden days when the crowds haven’t arrived. It has pristine beaches with powdery cream sand, unspoiled nature, hardly any construction. It’s a peaceful setting for a true away-from-it-all experience, which you can amp up by visiting these beaches:

Daplac Cove

Daplac Cove is for those who want to be away from the crowd.

This is one of the more pristine beaches on Boayan Island, which is home to other coves that will have, at most, one or two other people on them. It’s a small, 300-meter stretch of powdery white sand that’s a good pitstop for lunch. Sea turtles sometimes graze on the seagrass offshore so make sure you keep a sharp eye out for them (or ear, since your boatman will usually spot them first).

Daplac Cove is on Boayan Island, about 30 minutes by boat from Poblacion.

Exotic Island

Clear waters for swimming, white sand beach for bumming, and a sand bar that’s waist deep to get across to the other island.

The name is a massive cliché, but this island does it justice. It’s a small island with a white sand beach and crystal clear waters that will entice even non-swimmers to take a dip. It can get a bit crowded, but there’s a sandbar between this and Maxima Island in waist-deep water that you can use to “escape” that crowd.

Exotic Island is found within Port Barton Bay, a 15 to 20 minute boat ride from Poblacion.

Inaladelan Island

Spend a night here. It’ll be worth it.

We can’t talk about beaches in San Vicente without talking about Inaladelan Island, also known as turtle island. This private island resort has a 300-meter white-sand cove at its southeastern tip that’s populated by coconut trees and a couple of cabanas. Take a spot on a hammock between the coconut trees and enjoy the view, or book a tent for the night and have this island all to yourself. The highlight: turtles you can swim with just several meters off shore.

Know more about Inaladelan island here <Inaladelan article to be linked after publishing>.

White Beach

It’s a fairly quiet beach that’s away from the bustling backpacking paradise of Port Barton.

This one’s a bit tucked away (and also happens to be a private resort), but White Beach (or Esmeralda Villa as it is now known) is one of the better beaches in Port Barton. It’s not as crowded as Port Barton’s front beach so you’ll feel like you own the place. There is a Php50 entrance fee, but this beach is worth it.

Esmeralda Villa is a 15-minute drive from most inns in Port Barton. You can rent a motorbike to get there for about Php600/day.

Irawan Beach

Hardly a resort in this spot, and it ALWAYS gets confused for its longer neighbor.

The last one on our list has a bit of a reputation as the first photo you come across whenever you look for San Vicente or Long Beach. It has cream-colored sand and stretches looks quite long from the top of Bato ni Ningning, but Irawan Beach is more secluded than its longer neighbor. There are hardly any resorts within the area; this means the beach is about as empty as it gets. Perfect for those sunset selfies!

Irawan Beach is a 20-minute drive north of Poblacion in San Vicente, located in Brgy. Santo Niño.

The basics
SkyJet Airlines has direct flights from Manila to San Vicente 4 times weekly, which will increase to 6 times weekly beginning October 27, 2019.

Photos: Harvey Tapan

Irresistible events in October 2019

Irresistible events in October 2019

We’ve got a vengeful barber going around for the best travel deals to a certain island for a fruit festival before seeing a celebrated artist’s works of art. Confused? Scroll down to understand.

Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

October 11 to 27

A musical that’s not for the faint-of-heart visits Manila as the unjustly exiled barber Sweeney Todd (Jett Pangan) makes his way into The Theatre at Solaire for revenge on a judge who was very much into his wife. He “operates” out of his old apartment with the help of Mrs. Lovette (Lea Salonga), who has taken a liking to the now-vengeful barber.
The Theatre at Solaire, Solaire Resort and Casino, 1 Aseana Ave., Entertainment City, Paranaque City; Ticketworld.com.ph

Travel Sale Fair

October 11 to 13

You can run on the beach after you’ve made a run at the Travel Sale Fair this October. Photo by Harvey Tapan

There’s nothing like scoring a travel deal that seems impossible to get, which is why people flock to travel expos. Get a headstart on your travel plans for 2020 and block off October 11 to 13 for Travel Sale Fair 2019, happening at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. Find the best travel deals at amazing prices to destinations you used to only dream of being able to go or want to revisit.
World Trade Center, Pasay Extension cor. Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Pasay City; Travelsalefair.com

Lanzones Festival

October 20 to 27

Tons of people will visit Camiguin this October, and it’s not just for this tiny sandbar. Photo by Daniel Soriano

It only happens once a year: a week-long celebration of Camiguin’s top export. The annual thanksgiving festival, which happens every third week of October, gives you a taste of Camiguin’s culture with events like Street Dancing, presentations, an agro-industrial-tourism trade fair, various sporting events, and their search for the Mutya sa Buahanan. The lanzones may not come as often as they used to, but this festival reminds the people of Camiguin to always be thankful for their annual harvest.
Camiguin

Van Gogh Alive – The Experience

October 26 to December 8

A tease of the experience from their exhibition in Zurich. Video from Showhouse.

See works of celebrated artist Vincent Van Gogh come to life at Level 4, One Bonifacio High Street this October as the Bonifacio Arts Foundation, Inc. brings you Van Gogh Alive – The Experience. The touring exhibition from Grande Exhibitions has delighted audiences in 50 cities worldwide and promises a different way of seeing Van Gogh’s most celebrated works of art, like the Starry Night and the Potato Eaters.
Level 4, One Bonifacio High Street, One Bonifacio High Street Park, 5th Ave, BGC, Metro Manila, Tickets: Php750 for adults, Php450 for children, vangoghalive.ph

Featured photo by Wendy Wei from Pexels

Inaladelan Island Resort: a tropical paradise

Inaladelan Island Resort: a tropical paradise

Yes, it was once an island meant for treasure hunts, or so the locals say. But from then and now, one thing stays: it’s Eden on earth.

The name might be a bit of a tongue twister, but make no mistake: Inaladelan Island Resort in San Vicente, Palawan is a place you’d want to visit and spend a night in once you’ve had a taste of it.

A bird’s eye view of Inaladelan Island. Photo by Harvey Tapan

It’s usually a lunch stop for tourists on an island hopping tour of Port Barton Bay. A private resort, Inaladelan (still referred to by some locals as German Island) is a 12-hectare island that’s about  20 minutes from Port Barton and 30-45 minutes from San Vicente, by boat.

It has a 300-meter white sand beach and waters so clear you can see the bottom even if you’re standing at the shore. Just a few meters from the shore is a turtle sanctuary, where you can see sea turtles grazing on seagrass during their hatching season (October to April).

Beach beds and hammocks underneath palm trees give you a place to rest from the sun. There’s a large pavilion towards the back if you’re looking for a place to eat. It’s also a great place to meet new people as there are visitors that come during lunch.

Sleep

This is one of their many camping tents that they let their guests sleep in. Photo from Inaladelan Island Resort

Camping is the way to go at Inaladelan Island. They provide you with camping tents that have foam beds and pillows for a comfortable night’s sleep. It’s as raw of an island camping experience as it gets. Step out of your tent in the morning and wake up to a beautiful view of Port Barton Bay.

Eat

Since you’re on an island, you’ll be served with grilled meat, fish, or poultry. It’s all cooked fresh on the island for dinner and breakfast for overnight stays and lunch if you’re only on the island for the day. You can have your meals served in the pavilion, though we suggest you go with a dinner-by-the-beach for a more romantic vibe.

Grab a refreshing cocktail by their bar and chill underneath a palm tree. Photo by Harvey Tapan

There’s also a bar right on the island where you can get drinks in case you’re thinking of having a few cocktails or shots to spice up your stay.

Do

You can frolic on the beach…
Photo by Harvey Tapan
… or go beneath the waves and swim with the turtles. Photo from Inaladelan Island Resort

Apart from spending the night camping on the island, you can also go for a round of beach volleyball with your mates or swim with the sea turtles. Have the staff set up a bonfire for you at night for a complete camping experience.

Verdict: 8/10

It’s an island escape you’d definitely want to try at least once. The idea of camping on a tropical island and sleeping underneath the stars.

The basics
Php2,500 (USD50) per person for overnight camping (minimum of two people). The rate includes roundtrip boat transfers from Port Barton or San Vicente, a tent, foam bed and pillow, and dinner and breakfast.
Php1,000 per person for day visits (minimum of two people), which includes entrance fee, roundtrip boat transfers, and lunch.

Inaladelan Island Resort, Port Barton, San Vicente, Palawan
Inaladelanisland.com

J&A Fishpen Resort and Restaurant

J&A Fishpen Resort and Restaurant

It’s the seafood place in Camiguin, an institution that should be in your Camiguin itinerary.

As an island province, Camiguin will always bring in the freshest of catches from the sea. While most restaurants can serve you good seafood, there is a place in Camiguin that even locals from the other side of the island would flock to: J&A Fishpen Resort and Restaurant.

There’s the “traditional” seafood resto look.

It’s one of those places we like to call an institution, i.e. something that’s consistently been there since time immemorial. In the case of J&A, they’ve always been the go-to for the best-cooked seafood on the island. Of course, it helps that they’re sitting on the surface of the Taguines lagoon, with some of the island’s best clams ready for the taking.

And then, there’s this: a couple of over-water “cottages” with panoramic views of Taguines Lagoon.

The views you’ll get while you eat are both relaxing and amazing. You’ll feel like you’re on a big boat out in the middle of the sea. It also doesn’t feel bad to have access to the island’s first zip line to date.

Food

Their signature catch: fresh lapis or shellfish, cultured right in the lagoon. This one is adobo, but it can go in a sinigang or tinola.
It’s simple, yes, but fried malasugue (a local fish) tastes better because of how fresh it is.
Also, nothing says fresh quite like fresh kinilaw made with malasugue.

This is clearly where J&A Fishpen shines. Sitting on a lagoon that’s full of lapis (a clam cultured right in the lagoon) and being able to get the freshest catch from the sea, their seafood is on a different level. They’ve got live fish pens to get their fish as fresh as possible. Make sure you try out their “Catch a Fish, Will Cook It Free” promo.

Drink

If simple drinks don’t soothe your thirst, there’s always this: a palayok full of sinigang na malasugue.
They also make a mean sisig, which surprisingly goes well with fresh coconut juice or coconut shake.

Drinks at J&A are quite simple. They have a selection of fruit juices that are either fresh or those in cans, shakes, and beer. Fresh coconuts are the way to go, though, since it adds to the whole fresh-from-the-sea vibe.

The basics
Php800 (USD16) for two people
Taguines Lagoon, Benoni, Mahinog, Camiguin

SkyJet Airlines has direct flights from Manila to Camiguin 5 times weekly.

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