Monday, December 15, 2014

Geminids Meteor Shower in Siargao Island

When I woke up yesterday, the first thing Naldo said to me was "Check your Facebook. We'll go out on a date after we close." Past midnight we went to the beach. The sky was dark. There was no moon and not a single star. And right after setting up, it started raining. Luckily there was a hut nearby so we took shelter. And since we brought food and drinks, we decided to make the most out of it and just have a rainy midnight date instead.

But ten to fifteen minutes later... the moon started to peek through the clouds.

A few more minutes after, a star showed itself.

 Eventually more and more stars appeared. 

I saw the first meteor. Then Naldo saw one too. Our total count: Naldo = 9;  Shirl = 19;  and 9 we saw together. That's a total of 37 shooting stars within an hour. Yeah, it wasn't 120 meteors per hour but 37 meteors/hour on a supposedly rainy night with a 3rd quarter moon lighting up the sky was pretty awesome to us.

And I bet Naldo would have seen more than I have if he wasn't fixing the camera from time to time.

We only got one shot that captured a meteor. heeee!

By the way, the Geminids meteor shower can be seen from December 4-17.

That's all for now. Enjoy and remember "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out."

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Things to do in Siargao Island: For the Non Surfers

For us, the best time to visit Siargao Island is during the sunny season which is March to early November. This island is surfer’s paradise but it can be a non-surfer’s heaven as well.

Ø  You really have to come in the summer if you want to go swimming with the sting-less jellyfish. Honestly, we haven't been to Sohoton Lagoon yet but they say it's a piece of heaven. We'll write a separate post about it when we go visit.

Ø  If you don’t like to try surfing, there are other water activities you can do. Turtle Camp (look for Enrique) and Buddha's (look for Stefan) offer kite-surfing lessons. There are kayaks for rent.

You might also be interested in paddle-boarding or diving.

 There are also fishing tours available.

Ø  You don’t have to go deep water to appreciate marine life. Siargao water is amazingly rich. We suggest you bring your own snorkeling gear and underwater camera. Don’t let the weedy parts of the beach fool you. Careful where you step and take a closer look because even in ankle-deep water, you’d find the likes of Emperor Shrimp, Clown Fish and all sorts of colorful sea creatures. Example:

Chocolate Chip Sea Star (Protoreaster nodosus)
This is the best-named sea star ever, yes?  

(By the way, no creatures were harmed in taking these photos.)

Hermit crabs are everywhere too so watch out when picking shells.

Ø  Siargao Island is for nature-lovers and people who know how to appreciate detail. The island’s real beauty is not something you just go to, pay for and see. You have to explore around and you have to be keen. Look carefully at the coconut tree trunk and you might see the lizard known as the Flying Dragon. 
Draco volans locally called "Tambokaka"
We've seen the Flying Dragon glide in action but :-( we're always too slow to take a shot.

     Siargao Island is simply a zoo to the curious. Look up and on the tree branches you might just see bird species you haven't seen yet. Like the...

Asian Glossy Starling (Aplonis panayensis
These birds truly live up to their name (glossy) and their eyes are like rubies.

White-Collared Kingfisher or Mangrove Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris)
Wish this photo shows how blue the kingfisher's wings really are. Guess we'll have to take a better/closer pic next time. ;-)

Ø  Kermit Resort offers the Drunken Carabao Tour.
This tour is a unique way to explore General Luna's hillside, enjoy the island's beautiful sunset and get drunk with friends.

Ø  Try to learn ahead if there’s going to be a full moon because the full moon here is spectacular.  And such night is perfect for sharing a bottle of red wine with your partner or having s’mores with friends.

 After, you might want to check out the bars or resorts that're holding a full moon party. 

Ø  Explore. Motorbike rental is available at Papa Wave Store. And if you don't know how to ride a motorbike, then rent a buggy. If you're into selfie, these places provide amazing backdrop:

1.       Magpupunko Rock Pools  
2.       Burgos (where we think the best beaches are)
3.       Mangrove areas
4.   Malinao Beach (where Dedon Island is)

Ø  Siargao is known for its waves but there are times in the day when the ocean would be so calm that you’d forget you’re looking at the Pacific.

After a hot, hot day (during summer) take a dip around 4 pm, close your eyes and you’ll find yourself feeling like you’re in a hot spring.  The water is sooo relaxing.

If  you happen to visit Siargao during the rainy/stormy season and you can't do any of the above, then we suggest you at least make the most out of your trip.

Ø Go and check how insane the waves are at Cloud 9. And if you're in luck, witness Kyrone Rathbone, the Tasmanian Madman, in action.
Ø Enjoy a therapeutic and relaxing massage at Harmony Massage, Emerald House. 

Ø Go on a food Trip.  Restaurants and bars here are owned by different nationalities.  

Ø Go shopping. UPDATE!!! AS OF MAY 2015 UNTIL NOW- PAPA WAVE STORE IS CLOSED. Papa Wave Store has home-made souvenirs like fridge magnets and other trinkets made by local artists. Souvenir shirts will be available on February 2015. 

Please don't forget that this is an island and there's no such thing as having a definite itinerary here.

That's it for now. Meanwhile, enjoy and remember: “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller   

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Skin color was skin color.

In all honesty, I love my skin color and I have loved it since I can remember. 

Back in high school, I was out in the sun every chance I got. I climbed trees, picked fruits, went to riverbanks and looked for naturally-polished stones, went running around with friends, looked for strange-looking insects, and explored as far as my feet would bring me. I only went home whenever my nose bled from too much sun exposure. 

And because the nose bleeding had been frequent, a time came when I finally made my mom angry. She yelled at me and I remember every word. “Mary Shirl!!! Dumudugo na naman ilong mo! Ang  taas-taas ng araw at ang itim-itim mo na! KULAY VIOLET ka na!!!"  ("Your nose is bleeding again! It's too hot and you’re so dark already! Your (skin) color is violet!!!”) And I remember how I silently giggled while being scolded. I actually liked what I heard.

I guess I really was a strange kid. I was and still am fascinated with the world of fantasy, magic and superpowers. Back then, my heroes were the X-men and Raven/Mystique happened to be my favorite. So imagine telling a child, who adores a blue-skinned character, she’s turned violet. That’s just one of my cherished memories.

So yeah... my skin color or anybody else's skin color never really bothered me. For me, skin color is just color.

Anyway, I love the sun and I looove being outdoors. I love living on the island. And my skin color is my armor from sun damage. There’s just no way I’d hate something that equips me to do what I love to do. I guess I'm lucky because I love what I have.

So if you’re someone who’s feeling bad about your skin color, stop it. Don’t be insecure about it. Instead find a reason to love your skin whether you’re too pale, too dark, or even too violet (*wink). 

And if you're someone who loves your skin color, share why and comment below. Let's give others more reason to love their skin. 

I'd like to end this post with a kick-ass quote.

 “Besides, skin color was skin color, right? It was just the color of your goddamned skin. There was nothing anybody could do about that. You were born with it. Like some people were born with big feet or blue eyes."  -Pete Hamill, Snow in August

Have a colorful day!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Phat Kat Bikes

We thought we'd want less things once we're on the island but we were so wrong. Being so close to nature makes us very interested in all sorts of island gear. And two on our wishlist are the kick-ass beach-perfect PHAT KAT BIKES!!!

These are exactly the colors we like. They match our Papa Wave logo. ;-)

And you don't have to live on the island to appreciate these bikes. Big wheels rock anywhere, anytime! Plus they make awesome anniversary gifts, don't you think? Adventure + exercise = . priceless moments together (*awww!). Hmmm... Christmas is not so far too, you know. (*hint *wink!)

These Phat Kat bikes are now available here in the Philippines. And YES, the bike/s can be shipped to you. Here are the contact details for the Phat Kats. Email:     Phone:    +0933-450-7732. Or please click link -> Phat Kat Bikes

That's it for now. Have a great day every one!

p.s. Phat Kat bike photos are owned by John Bercic. (Thanks :-) John! heee!)

Friday, September 19, 2014

5th year anniversary - Wood

One of the things that make us "Naldo and Shirl" is that we ALWAYS celebrate our marriage.  This year's wedding anniversary theme is wood. We wanted our fifth year to be extra memorable so instead of celebrating in one day, we decided to dedicate ourselves to all sorts of wood projects throughout the entire year. And it’s the perfect time too since we've already planned on opening a store. It's like hitting two beer bottles with one stone. (We know the saying says "birds" but we'd rather not hurt the wonderful creatures. lol!)

So yeah... our first wood project this year was these two pillars. We got them in January. They're hard wood and they call it "ti-ga" here on the island. These pillars mean a lot to us because they came with a hard lesson. They’re also our very inspiration for coming up with Papa Wave Store’s interior design which is “rustic-cute”.

The second wood project we did was these shelves↓ ↓ ↓.  We didn't have a sanding machine back then so we had to do it the old-fashion way – very, very tough.  Naldo did putty and paint; I installed the boards. 

The shelves are not perfect but we’re proud of them. 

Third wood project is the store’s counter and souvenir wall. We had professional help but we did the final touches.  This time we got ourselves a sander - it's worth every peso.

Fourth wood project is the store’s logo board. We made two: one for indoors and the other for outdoors. We ran out of paint so Naldo burned the wood a bit (thus the charcoal black). I then applied varnish to seal the color. 


 The next projects won't be in order. By then, we just didn't take notes anymore. Anyway, we LOVE drift woods. They make fantastic decorations. Check ↓ ↓ ↓.

Okay... so the driftwood, bottle and boomerang don't make any sense but they look really nice together. Just consider this our little corner of random things.

This clock's original base was plastic which we broke two years ago. Good thing we kept the clock because we were able to create a base (out of driftwood and Palmera wood) for it and now it looks better than the original. 

We also made the store hour sign here and welcome sign below ↓ ↓ ↓ . And in case you're wondering, we get our drift woods from the beach. Whoever said "the best things are free" totally nailed it.

We also built a backroom shelf out of the extra pieces of wood we had. Since construction materials are sooo expensive on the island, we had to make sure nothing went to waste.  

This microwave table is more like Naldo's project for now because I haven't done my part yet. I'll apply paint or varnish in the future (???). ;-) We're already using it.  

 So as you can see it truly has been a WOODEN fifth year for us. We still have several wood works in mind like the store front ↓ ↓ ↓ . We'll have tables and chairs, more wooden signage, etc. We wish to accomplish all by the end of the year. We'll update this post then.

Meanwhile we hope this post has, in a way, inspired you in celebrating your marriage. To couples out there, stay in love and be happy. 

p.s. Next year will be candy. Now that will be a tough one. lol!
To know more about our 4th year wedding anniversary theme, please click this link.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Authentic Thai Massage in Siargao Island

Naldo and I work in Papa Wave Store 16 hours a day. Sounds crazy but we love what we do. And it helps that we're able to divide work depending on who does it best. Anyway, all work without play is never healthy. So during our rest day and that is every Monday before 4 pm, we make sure we go out and do something different.

Today, we visited Harmony Massage and gosh... the service is really, really awesome. First, they have a real massage bed which already promises comfort. That's a big deal because no massage shop here (that we know of) has one. Also the sheets were obviously clean, newly washed and not reused. 

Second, the oils they use are from Thailand and are all natural. When they showed us their coconut oil, we could tell how pure it was because of its color, clarity, and odor. Low quality coconut oils are usually yellowish and the odor is too strong that they almost smell bad. Third and most importantly, they give AUTHENTIC Thai massage. I've had my share of so-called Thai massages and in the end it felt like I've been mushed and crumpled (as if I'm no human being). But in Harmony Massage, the experience was totally delightful. The massage was energizing. The strength of the pressure applied is relevant to the body part and the massage rhythm is very consistent. There's a clear art and learned skill to it. 

So if you happen to be in Siargao, please check out Harmony Massage. They offer foot massage, oil & aromatherapy massage, sunburn treatment, waxing and a lot more. It's located in Emerald House Village, Cloud 9.

Now I know exactly what to give my mom on her birthday.  ;-)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Magpupungko Rock Pools

One of our favorite destinations, every Monday, here in Siargao Island is Magpupungko rock pools. 

What makes this place worthwhile for us is its natural aquarium. It's the perfect place to go snorkeling. The pools are just full of life!

All photos were taken using a simple S3 phone camera. And if it matters, the only thing we did to the photos was add a watermark. What I'm really trying to say is the place is naturally amazing. You can close your eyes, take photos, and the pictures would still come out beautiful. 


1. The best time to go there is during low tide otherwise you won't have access to the pools. So please check websites or ask locals for tide info.
2. There's really no need for you to hire a tour guide to go there. If you know how to ride a motorbike, rent one.  There are lots of motorbikes for rent in Gen. Luna and they cost around ₱500 depending on the model, etc.
3. Make sure your gas tank is full. Magpupungko is located in Pilar, Siargao Island and is around an hour and a half away from Gen. Luna (depends on your speed of course).  Oh! And don't forget to check your tires.
4. Honestly, you probably won't enjoy the place as much if you don't go swimming. So please bring your swim wear.  And if you're a devil-fruit user (like us), bring a life vest or a swimming aid because the pools are around 5 to 10 meters deep. (Note: Devil-fruit users are characters from "One Piece" who have ingested fruits that gives them special powers but make them lose the ability to swim.)
5. Speaking of things to bring, don't forget your snorkeling gear with you. Again, the pools are natural aquariums. 
6. The place is pretty isolated so please bring your phone. 
7. Don't leave your valuables unattended. Bring a reliable dry bag.
8. Entrance fee is ₱50 each person.


That's it for now. Have a great day everyone!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Bottle bottom designs do matter!

Don't you just hate plastic bottles with bumpy bottoms like these ↓ ↓ ↓?

They topple sooo easily especially when they're placed on wire shelves of display chillers. Annoying!

They're like bottles with ADHD. Setting them up inside the chiller is like stacking dominoes minus the fun. I understand the bottles were designed that way to make them sturdier but they're just inconvenient.

Anyway, I'm just saying. Meanwhile, you have a great day.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Papa Wave Store, Siargao Island

Hi friends! We're.... back! So where have we been? Well, we were busy achieving goals and we're still working on a lot more.


But last May (this year), we officially moved from the city to the island of our dreams.

Island life is exactly how we imagined it.  Awesome view, fresh air, unlimited access to the beach, various outdoor activities, free coconut water, delicious seafood, etc. 


But we tell you, life on the island is not easy and certainly not cheap. So unless you're a millionaire, you can't slack off. We definitely don't. 

I'm blessed to have a husband who values work as much as I do. Aside from doing freelance work online, we're now running a small store. We sell island souvenirs like fridge magnets and key rings that we made ourselves. We don't sell shirts yet  but we're already working on original designs. So yeah we'll have t-shirts in the very near future. We also sell cigarettes, cold drinks and snacks.

So if you happen to be in Siargao Island, please visit us at Papa Wave Store. -UPDATE!!! SORRY BUT AS OF MAY 2015 UNTIL NOW THE STORE IS CLOSED.

 Our store logo was designed and sculpted by Naldo. (Gosh, it's awesome to be married to an artist.)

Papa Wave Store is open til 1 am every day. ;-)-UPDATE!!! SORRY BUT AS OF MAY 2015 UNTIL NOW THE STORE IS CLOSED.