Surfing is an adrenaline-filled water sport that is increasingly becoming popular among Filipinos, not just for adventure- and thrill-seekers but also for families wanting to try something new and exciting. I never thought I’ll ever be able to go surfing because a) I didn’t realize we have it here; b) I always thought it’s expensive and c) well, I was never sure if I’ll ever be able to stand on my board and look cool like everyone on TV!
I know it’s already five months overdue but still, I would like to write a personal post about my 26th year, highlighting the travels I’ve had and the people I met along the way.
Contrary to my 25th year’s travels which were mainly as a solo backpacker or with a travel buddy, 2013-2014 was more of a group travel kind for me. It’s also during this span of time that I’ve met several important people in my life — from CouchSurfing acquaintances to really great friends, and from total strangers to favorite companions and partners in crime. And yes, ’twas also late last year that I met someone whom I’m looking forward to have more travels and adventures with.
On our way back to Puerto Princesa after the Underground River tour, we stopped by Sabang Beach to partake of the buffet lunch that was part of the tour package. Though I think it isn’t a top tourist, at least for tour package enjoying Pinoys, Sabang Beach is actually pretty cool — blue waters, nice sand, and a lot of coconut/palm trees. Eating all you can, enjoying the waves, and basking in the midday sun — just some of the things you can do while chilling by Sabang Beach, even just for an hour or two. >
Last night, at the Thirstday Thursday CouchSurfing Manila meet-up, there were two CouchSurfers from Vietnam and with other Filipino CS members, we talked about Cu Chi Tunnels, perhaps one of the most visited and most popular tours in Ho Chi Minh city.
Together with Indians-but-Singapore-based Sid and Sulabh, whom I met in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, I went to Cu Chi Tunnels in the morning (it’s a half-day activity) to see for myself how the Vietnamese lived underground for years during the Vietnam War. Continue reading Backpacking South East Asia: Vietnam – Cu Chi Tunnels Tour
One fine December day in 2010, we went to Star City and channeled our inner kid personas. Do you believe that there’s a kid in everyone, no matter how old we get? Well, I do! And apparently, my friends and family too!
I think that before this, the last time I went to Star City was with Jed and Lalai in May of 2010. Before this, my last Star City day was probably way back in grade school. You see, school field trips in the Philippines usually have a big chunk of the day reserved for amusement parks. For the fun of the young ones and maybe the same for their teachers who secretly want to take that roller coaster ride!
And, even in Philippine festivals, there will almost always be a “carnival” aka “perya” area set-up a month or weeks before the actual fiesta.
It’s like a small version of amusement parks or theme parks like Star City or Enchanted Kingdom in Laguna. The “perya” comes and goes once a year unlike the more permanent Star City and EK.
Of course, the rides are smaller and lesser and the shows and aesthetics are not as great in the “perya” but hey, Filipinos are known for being able to make the best out of any situation!
Apart from the thrilling rides, there are also games and sports that people can play while in Star City. You can go for basketball, gun shooting games, throw-a-hoop games, and all other sorts of games for fun and enjoyment. There’s also the lazer blaster (I loved this one!) live action shooting game to keep your blood pumping!
The amusement park tries it’s best not just to cater to the kids but to all age groups. If you can’t take the adventure rides, you can always go for the “interactive” attractions at Star City like the Pirate boat ride adventure. Maybe you’ll find Jack Sparrow or Captain Hook somewhere. Or they might find you!
If you want to relive the time of dinosaurs, you can check out the Dino Island and Museum. There’s also an attraction for the horror house (not my favorite as I get scared easily!) if you are feeling Ghost Buster-ish.
And for those who are looking forward to adrenalin rush, there’s always the Surf Dance (a major, major attraction at Star City) and the outdoor roller coaster ride (for baby steps, go for the smaller indoor version first!) which also commands a long lie of passengers!
If you’re into “driving”, you can try the famous (aka long line) bump car ride. And yes, I know you want to bump ‘em cars!
If you are looking for a more subtle choice, you can go for the water bump car. Don’t worry, the water is not that deep!
So yeah. Star City does offer each and every visitor a chance to be like Peter Pan for a day. Or, ok, to not be gender bias, Alice in Wonderland? I am not sure if comparisons are correct but what I’m trying to say is, if you are in Manila and you don’t have the time to go to Enchanted Kingdom or the money to go for Universal Studios in Singapore, why not visit Star City instead?! Let Star City give you a chance to channel the inner kid in you!