Beach on Christmas

I must have skipped three trips out this year due to work, which is a pretty good situation in my opinion. Still, flying out or even just a drive for a change of scenery has always been a personal favorite of mine, and sometimes when I get bouts of spontaneity I just book and “bahala na si batman” it.  Just nearby countries/places (Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong) or islands (Boracay, Palawan, etc.) naman, nothing that drastic or deadly to the pocketbook. Most of the best trips I’ve had were the ones I planned the night before, and though a little pricier than if I planned months ahead they have proved to be the most fulfilling. It’s one thing to get away from it all, and one thing to do so ever so conveniently. That’s why this Christmas, I planned a trip out to Balesin Island! Can you believe you can reach the island in less than an hour? This includes the trip to the airport/hangar, and flight combined! It’s probably the most convenient and hassle-free flight to an island location.

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Skies were gloomy over the tarmac, which had me worries for a bit.

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Nothing like gazing at clouds to relax and contemplate.

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I enjoy everything about flights, the airplane taxiing, takeoff, turbulence (slight), landing, and just the overall timeout which lets you listen to a music album all the way through or finish reading that novel you’ve been using as a cellphone caddy.

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Rainbow over the island, befitting of the tropical paradise.

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Landed after only 25 minutes of flight!

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Arrived in the morning so attacking the scrumptious breakfast buffet at the Balesin Clubhouse was definitely on the itinerary.

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For lunch it was at Sakura, the delicious japanese restaurant also at the Clubhouse. They have teppanyaki tables so perfect for big groups!

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“Popped” rice. Actually edible, save for the stalks.

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Considering our heavy lunch, opted for a light dinner at Bali overlooking a clouded sunset. 

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By far the most relaxed Christmas day I’ve had, slower paced yet a good recharge from the season’s rush of parties and shopping for gifts. I’ll post more of this trip soon, stay tuned.

For information on Balesin, you can visit their site here.

http://www.balesin.com/

PARIS ’11

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Paris is always so visually stimulating and the 10 degree weather was a few degress lower than refreshing.  But the mornings were great. Having croissants, coffee and fresh orange juice with the occasional celebrity spotting here and there (Kanye West, Karl Lagerfeld, Bradford Cox from Deerhunter and Atlas Sound).  Getting to our hotel was a breeze since everything was ironed out months before our trip, which was expected since Rajo, Divine and Malu are the most organized people I’ve come to know.  I often joke that they should put up a travel agency, or a liaison office.

I really wanted to go to the tourist spots and areas again despite mild protestations from the group.  I lightly defended that there are many good reasons why everyone flocks to Arc Du Triomphe, the Eiffel tower, Le Georges (Pompidou) Grand Palais, Champs Elysees, Place Concorde, etc.  Because aside from these places being synonymous with Paris and must-visits, they are also very picturesque and a great backdrop for portraits of you and your significant other or friends/family.  Eventually went to more places that were off the beaten track for some light shopping since I hardly shop when I travel, I’d rather taste new cuisine, take pictures and absorb the change of scenery.  But clothing store, Kitsune Maison along Rue de Richelieu always plays an exception to my flexible rule.  Though this trip I just got a pique polo and a compilation cd.  I guess I was just excited to take photos since the light during our stay was more than flattering.

I hope you guys enjoyed the pictures as much as I did taking them.  If you have questions for places to go in Paris, drop me a line in my (refer to CONTACT section).  I’d be more than willing to share local haunts and obscure African bbq chicken places where Snoop Dogg and Rihanna rave about.