Story of the Week: Sagada Adventures with Mel

Q: What motivates you to travel despite your busy schedule?
A: My inner wanderlust.

I agree with this. I know that for some of us, our work doesn’t permit us to enjoy a vacation, but if you have that inner wanderlust, you will surely find yourself lost in the beauty of nature! 


This is their hospital. Mel admired the simplicity of life here in Sagada.

Q: Which do you prefer: Day Tours/ Backpacking (for weeks or months)/ A few overnight stays?
A: I haven’t experienced the backpacking yet, but I would love to. So far I prefer Overnight Stays, day tour is too short.


Q: What are your preparations before going on a trip?
A: Before going on a trip, I usually prepare the things that I need to bring with me. I packed my clothes, toiletries and other essentials a day before. I make sure that I’m in good condition for travelling, I would like to have a good night sleep but because of excitement I just can’t have. Haha.

Q: If you can travel for the next 3 months, where would you like to go? Why?
A: If I can travel for the next 3 months, I would like to go to my country’s 81 Provinces. I did have trips on the few and it will be awesome if I got to visit them all. Just like what I’ve said, I always wanted to explore the beauty of PH.


Sagada Lake. “At that time, the water looked like chocolate. It just rained but it was still beautiful.”

Q: What do you like most about this place?
A: Philippines natural wonder.






Q: Did you have expectations prior to your visit? Did your experience live up to the expectations you had?
A: Of course I have but not much. I just wanted to enjoy my stay and appreciate the beauty of the place that I visited. As for my experiences there I can say that it somehow exceeded my expectations.

Q: What is your message to our friends who would like to travel but can’t find time out of their day jobs?
A: You can always opt to have travels on weekends ( also you can take a leave once in a while, remember it’s your privilege(, don’t get confined in that 4 corner wall. Make time for yourself and enjoy! If you think travelling is the cure to your stressful life, go pack your bag now and explore!


Thank you Mel for sharing your experience here at Sagada. I was able to feel your excitement while telling this story and I’m sure that there are more places you can share with us. 

So for you guys, just enjoy the place and have fun. 

Visit Sagada someday! 🙂

Mountain Adventures with Nikhsplorer!

Hi everyone! I’m back with another post!

Today, we’ll hear from Nikhail. Recently,  she is going to many places and I am glad that she agreed to share her traveling adventures with us. So if you haven’t been to the Philippines yet, here’s some itinerary you might want to add in your plan.

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Q: What’s your name?
A: Nikhail Grace Z. Gonzales aka nikhsplorer hehe 😅

Q: Where are you from?
A: I am from Batangas but been working and living in Makati since 2012.

Q: What is your dream?
A: LOTS 😂 i have lots of dreams on different aspects but since this is about travel so my dream is to travel and explore different places in the philippines and even other parts of the world with a purpose. So Travel and explore with a purpose. A purpose that is more of others and less for self. You’ll know more about it in my succeeding trips. Hehe

Q: When have you decided that you want to travel? Is it something that you have always wanted?
A: Since I started working. Since I started earning on my own. Yes, always! 😃

Q: Where did you travel recently?
A: We had a day tour at Minalungao in Nueva Ecija last Feb. 26. And a trilogy hike in Nasugbu (Batulao, Talamitam and Apayang) last Jan. 14. And last dec 2016, had a 3 day trip in Agusan del Norte. Went to tinuy-an falls, enchanted river and island hopping at Britania group of islands.


                                                                   Minalugao, Nueve Ecija                                                                       Photo source: Nikhail Gonzales


                                                                                Batulao                                                                   Photo Source: Nikhail Gonzales





                                               Apayang                                                      Photo source: Nikhail Gonzales

Q: Is that your favorite place so far? If not, please tell me your favorite, and why?
A: So far, my favorite was the trilogy experience because I must say it is really an achievement to have climbed 3 mountains in one day with a side trip pa to caleruega church.

That’s indeed an achievement Nikhail! I think it’s amazing to climb 3 mountains in one day. I can imagine the thrill and satisfaction in every climb. 🙂


Q: Was it difficult to go there? How long did it take you to get there?
A: No it’s not. Since we left manila so early, we only had 1.5 hours of travel to nasugbu.

As you know, it’s always traffic in Manila so leaving early can give you a big headstart! Beat the traffic by leaving early. 🙂

Q: How much did you have to spend so you can experience the adventures at its best?
A: 3 mountains for only Php746.00 😁

Wow! That’s an awesome deal Nikhail! Guys, Php 746.00 is only 14.82 USD. You should include this in your next travel plan. 

Q: How often do you travel?
A: I aim and look forward to have a monthly get away on a budget.

Q: What motivates you to travel despite your busy schedule?
A: Hunger for learning and experience. It is when i travel i get recharged. It is when i travel i learn. It is when i travel i met new people. It is when i travel i get to know about different places. It is when I travel i get to know myself more.

Q: Which do you prefer: Day Tours/ Backpacking (for weeks or months)/ A few overnight stays?
A: So far, we go for DIY day tours.

Q: What are your preparations before going on a trip?
A: Read blogs and itineraries.

How about you guys? Do you do this to? ’cause I do! And it helps a lot. 🙂

Q: If you can travel for the next 3 months, where would you like to go? Why?
A: Batanes. Because of its breathtaking views like New Zealand in PH.

Q: What is your message to our friends who would like to travel but can’t find time out of their day jobs?
A: Make time! That’s the only thing. Or else they won’t be able to travel for the rest of their lives if they always have an excuse.

So there you have it!
Thank you Nikhail for sharing such an exciting experience. Hopefully we helped you get motivated. Life is short. Some things aren’t easy but we have to make time for it just like Nikhail.


If you have adventures like this, feel free to send me a message. Let’s talk! 🙂

Story of the Week: Mel’s Oohhlala Sagada Experience

Hello everyone! Here’s our first Story of the Week this March. We are very fortunate to have Mel as our contributor this week since there are so many awesome sights you can see in the North. If you haven’t been to Sagada, then read up! 🙂

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Q: What’s your name?
A: Hi I’m Mel

Q: Where are you from?
A: Batangas, Philippines

Q: What is your dream?
A: I wana go to Neverland! Joke! ( I want to explore my country and other places in the world as well.)

Q: When have you decided that you want to travel? Is it something that you have always wanted?
A: When I entered the corporate world and became more aware of what life has to offer. I might say, YES! I always wanted to travel.

You’re right Mel! Sometimes, all we need is a wider view. So for those of you who haven’t traveled yet, then start now! It’s not too late. Experience is more valuable than the amount of money you’ll spend. 🙂

Q: Where did you travel recently?
A: La Union, Philippines

Q: Is that your favorite place so far? If not, please tell me your favorite, and why?
A: Not my favorite, but I love this place 🙂 My favorite is Sagada in Mt. Province, Philippines, the place where broken heart goes and move on as what the movie “That thing called Tadhana” has implied. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not broken hearted when I went there. Hahaha. Sagada is my favourite because of its simplicity, it’s peaceful there and the cold won’t bother you because of the warm welcome of its locals. The place is also surrounded by nature.


                                                   Marlboro Mountain of Sagada                                         Source: Mel

Q: Was it difficult to go there? How long did it take you to get there?
A: It’s not that difficult to go there, from Manila to Baguio its six hours then from Baguio to Sagada approximately 4 hours a total of 10 hours.

Q: How much did you have to spend so you can experience the adventures at its best?
A: For me, you don’t have to spend much just to experience the best adventure. You just need to learn the art of appreciation and always be ready for life surprises, like where is the thrill when everything is just planned, right?


town proper


source: Mel

My trip in Sagada just cost me around Php 5,000. Php 2,900 for the whole package 3D2N tour inclusive of transfer, entrance & environmental fees and accommodation. For the food Php 100 – 150 per meal (I did make sure that I got to taste & eat the most famous grab at the places that I visited) the rest is for small souvenir and pasalubong.

Q: How often do you travel?
A: When my time & budget permits.


So there you have it!

PART I of Mel’s adventures. 🙂

Watch out for PART II. 🙂


Couchsurfing Special: Yulia’s pre-Fiesta Experience in Lipa City, Batangas

On a good day I write, all day. ~Nick Flynn


We were awakened by the barking of the dogs and the majestic sunlight shining on our faces. Everything was prepared for breakfast and we just dove into the regular Filipino breakfast; a table filled with rice, egg, longganisa, and suman.

We don’t usually eat suman for breakfast but we just had to let Yulia taste this delicious treat.

We then went for a morning stroll, admired some beautiful flowers and greeted our friend Mr. Cow


He was busy eating, so we didn’t bother him anymore. 🙂

Hours later, we decided to go around the city. We looked at some clothes that we can use for our future trips.  There were so many options to choose from, so it made it even more confusing for us. xD

Next, we strolled around Lipa and found various items including ricecakes. 🙂


Walking for quite sometime made us hungry. Gladly, there’s a small store nearby.


It was Yulia’s first time to try this. I am so happy she liked it. 🙂

Then, we bought Bibingka, a popular kind of rice cake. 🙂


We were having fun and enjoyed having long walks. I never thought I would walk every day for 3 days. It was such an unexpected moment for me, but I really enjoyed it. Along the way, Yulia and I were just laughing. 🙂

Later that day, we went to Mang Inasal. Can you guess what she ate? Well, it wasn’t their famous Chicken Inasal. She tried the halo-halo. 🙂




I can remember how delighted she was when she tasted the Ube ice cream. It was so nice to see that she enjoys trying our each ingredient from the famous dessert in the Philippines. 🙂

On our way home, we saw a group of people getting ready to play their music for the fiesta.

So that’s it for today! 🙂

See you soon. 🙂

Antoine in the Philippines

Bonjour! I am very excited to say hello to all of you and see the beauty of El Nido, Palawan through Antoine’s experience. Let’s learn more about this trip.  Whether or not he enjoyed his experiences, let’s see what Antoine has to say. 😀

Conventional short form: Philippines
Local long form: Republika ng Pilipinas
Local short form: Pilipinas
Etymology: named in honor of King Phillip II of Spain by Spanish explorer Ruy LOPEZ de VILLALOBOS, who visited some of the islands in 1543


Image result

Q: Where are you from?

A: France Flag France animated gif 120x90


Q: Why did you go to the Philippines? Where in the Philippines did you go to?

A: From Palawan to Manila (4 different islands). Because that’s an awesome country and people are really nice. The weather is hot and some of my friends already went there and loved it.

Q: Can you tell us how you traveled from FRANCE to PHILIPPINES? How many hours was the trip?

A: By plane. It’s like, 18 to 19 hours plus 2 or 3 hours between the 2 flights.


Q: What do you like most about the Philippines?

A: Landscape, people and girls 😇 




( Hahaha! Very good Antoine. I guess I’ll have to agree with you on that one. How about you guys? What’s your take on this one?)


Q: What is the most delicious Filipino food you have ever tasted?

A: Pork Adobo 🙂

Image result for Pork Adobo in Palawan

Q: Where can we buy that food? 

A: Every restaurant or people selling fooood in the street. 🙂 Really cheap like 2 to 4 €.


Q: What are the cities you recommend?

A: Go to Palawan it’s the best island for me but i would rather go to Indonesia next time. 

Q: What’s the season in the Philippines?

A:It was a hot season. 


Q: What is your message to our friends who would like to travel?

A: Definitely a good trip but maybe not my favorite. I’m planning to go to Indonesia and South America. I think it will be better even if Philippines was fun 🙂

Read more:

*Pork Adobo in El Nido



Couchsurfing Special: Going to Taal, Batangas with Yulia #2


Next is Taal Volcano. 🌋
We woke up at 4AM, had breakfast and prepared for the trip. At almost 6AM, we arrived in Taal, Batangas. We waited for our guide and then we started exploring the mountain. At first, we rode the car down to the steep part of the mountain. Then we rode a boat and saw this beautiful view.


The boat ride ranges from 1,000 Php to 2000 Php, you just really have to find someone who will help you get the best discounts possible.


Then we started hiking.

You can see the horses below. You can rent them for 500 Php (if you are coming from the other side of San Nicolas, although I can’t tell you which one). Obviously, all of us did not feel the need to ride this poor horse. Besides, hiking is good for our health.

It actually surprised me that I was okay after the hiking since I haven’t exercised for a long time. But Yulia, I have no doubt. She walked happily and hiked really well.


Then we saw this breathtaking view.


…and took a photo.

Of course, we didn’t let the chance of eating traditional food, go to waste.


After eating a heavy meal, we started sipping our fresh “buko” or Coconut.


Here’s Yulia, enjoying the view of several fresh coconuts in one table.onestepadventures_cont_allie_fresh-coconut1

After a bountiful meal, we sipped our share of coconuts.

We went down to see Mr. Carabao whom Yulia gave a kiss. 💋


Below, you can see the Antona Cave in the mountains of Laurel, Batangas.

However, it’s not a tourist spot, but if you can find this then you are lucky. 🙂


previous post: Couchsurfing Special: Welcoming Yulia in Lipa, Batangas #1
next: Couchsurfing Special: Short Lava Walk in Batangas

Couchsurfing Special: Welcoming Yulia in Lipa, Batangas #1

Здравствуйте!  (Hello!)  How are you doing? I hope you are all doing something fun and you are happy. So, I actually didn’t expect that I would be writing something about this trip. I just really want to share something that I have never experienced before.

Having Yulia in my house for a few days had been so much fun. My place isn’t something that offers a lot of fun activities, but we were lucky to have seen some beautiful places.

Since it’s her first time here, one tourist spot that she wanted to see was the “Taal Volcano”. Although it wasn’t as exciting as having a party, this was focused on appreciating the beauty of nature.

On Tuesday, she arrived in Lipa. Prior to her arrival, she stayed with an Awesome host in Manila. First stop was mom’s office and we left her bag there for a moment. Next,  Fat Grill! It’s not a tourist spot, but if you are looking for some really good food, then look no further because you’ll definitely find these awesome meals.

We ate:

Fat Boy’s Liempo – which is composed of fried Anchovies, Liempo and some slices of tomatoes + a cup of rice.

Krispy Kare Kare (KKK) – The traditional Kare-kare but without the overwhelming soup. They offer a small bowl of soup and the meats are especially made Krispy added with the complementing taste of alamang.

Baby Come Back – it’s Baby back ribs that are really tasty and delicious. Awesome! you should try it.

Sadly, I don’t have beautiful photos to share with you regarding that, but if you are interested to try it, please check out the link down below so you can visit Fat Grill itself.



Couchsurfing Special:  Going to Taal, Batangas with Yulia #2