Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Marvelous Trip to Underground River

Time check: 2:35 AM…the frap kept me awake until this time.  Instead of counting sheep, I settled on blogging my way to sleep.  I surf first about the result of the New Seven Wonders to see if our very own Puerto Princesa Underground River made it to the list.  The result was announced last November 11, 2011 (11/11/11)  Wow! How great it is to know that it was included in the “provisional list” (one vote from me \(*_*)/).  The provisional list was arranged alphabetically so it means there was no significant order.  The final ranking has not been revealed yet as it will be announced in the first part of 2012. 

That news brought me back to my Underground River experience with one of my best buddies Cecil way back in 2008.  That time, the voting for the elimination round for the New7Wonders was ongoing and the Underground River already made it to the semifinals.  When we went to Puerto Princesa, a tour to Underground River was not in our itinerary but through the advice and goodness of great people we met there who offered to provide us a free tour to the site as they said that it was a very rare and precious chance to visit one of the would-be seven wonders, it was an opportunity we could not resist. We were told that the road trip would be more than 50km from the city proper to Sabang pier thus we need to leave early at 6AM the following day to be ahead of the throng of other tourists.  They already made a prearranged tour for us so as to avoid the hassles of waiting for many hours (they did not want us to waste much time waiting for a boat ride since we also have other places to visit in Puerto Princesa and we need to leave early the next morning).

On the day of our trip, there was typhoon in Puerto Princesa but our adventurous attitude was more profound than our fear of being stranded in the midst of the storm.

It was great that the road was paved that made our three-hour road trip more bearable. Halfway through, while traversing the mountainous road and our vehicle beaten with gusty wind of 150 kph, Ces and I were praying for better weather and were being optimistic.  Our companion told us that if there would be no motor banca available to take us to the site due to the bad weather, we would be traversing what they call as the “monkey trail”.  It is an alternative route to get to the Underground River but one has to walk about 1-2 hours to get there.  It sounded more exciting but we didn’t think we could take the chance to push our luck further at a stormy weather.

It was an answered prayer that when we arrived at Sabang pier, the weather was clearer and there were motorized outrigger boat to take us to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean National Park. 

What was more unbelievable was that the sea was calm despite the typhoon. The boat ride was one superb experience as we get to see the picturesque beauty of Palawan.  It took us about twenty minutes to get to the park’s entrance.

Then we walked the wooden trail

until we arrived at the site where other tourists were waiting for their turn to get inside the cave.  As it would be another boat ride, we were told to put on appropriate clothing gears first, a hard hat and a life vest which were mandatory to be worn by every passenger.

We had an orientation while waiting for our turn and took pictures of almost every spot.  The guides told us about what to do and not what to do inside the cave. 

So off we went inside the world-famous Underground River…

it was too dark inside the cave and the only light we had were those on our hard hats.  We were greeted with “Good Evening” by American tourists on another boat we met along the way.
I just can’t explain the feeling I had while inside the cave.  It was more like I was taken inside an unknown dimension.  Our boatman explained every detail of the rock formations we encountered, the stalactites and stalagmites, and even scientific details on acidity factors affecting the formations of those rocks.  Whew…I was amazed of all the knowledge he imparted to us that reminded me of geology in high school.
water reason we need something to protect our heads
glossy rocks
my cam caught a bird creature..obviously not a bat which is aplenty inside. But this one, I can't tell what exactly it was
just one of those astounding rock formations
Refuted to be the longest navigable underground river in the world, the overall trip took us almost an hour.   

Cecil and I were too thankful that we were given the opportunity to visit one of the seven wonders.  An amazing design of nature that every Filipino should truly be proud of.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Nuffnang Story

My first encounter with Nuffnang:
It was in December 2009 when my husband and I thought of a family vacation abroad.  The first country we had in mind was Singapore since we heard a lot of interesting places there that our kids would enjoy.  I told my husband that I would research first over the internet all about Singapore before we decide on our planned trip.  I googled “Singapore experience” that returned me “Indulge in the Uniquely Singapore Experience” from +flaircandy website to be the first on the list.  I clicked on that link, too excited to see what it was all about.  I read each post from that website that pertains to Singapore until I was taken to a post with pictures of beautiful young ladies in their formal attire.  In the picture was the title “Nuffnang Blog Awards 2009”; that was my very first encounter with +Nuffnang.  Curiosity landed me on the pages of Nuffnang just to see more about the blog awards.  Although I have been blogging since the time, I guess, when the word “blog” has not been widely used yet, I only do it all for the love of writing.  After I saw that post from Hannah, I learned that there were more exciting things in blogging than just expressing one’s thought.  Still with Singapore in my mind, I researched more and it took me to Adaphobic and  Micamyx pages.
Merely looking at the photographs from their websites, one could tell that they were all together in that blog awards night.  Wow!!! These pretty young women surely have something in common that took them to what appeared to be a prestigious awarding ceremony.  Well, aside from being active and talented bloggers, they all ran Nuffnang ads on their websites.

Getting to know more about Nuffnang:

So while reading about Singapore, I also got interested about “Nuffnang”.  The name definitely sounded so foreign and I didn’t have the slightest idea what was the meaning of it.   I came back to its site at and there I learned that it’s a “real cool” advertising community for bloggers.   As more and more exciting facts about Nuffnang unveiled right before my eyes, I became eager to be a part of that progressive community. I officially became a member of Nuffnang in February 2010 and from then on, my once dull blog life has never been the same.  Nuffnang changed me and my site in more ways than one.

What I gained from Nuffnang:
First, Nuffnang made me realize that I am not a lousy writer after all.  As a matter of fact, I was selected as finalist in the very first blogging contest I participated in.  I learned of the contest through Nuffnang that was the Pantene-sponsored “I Commit to Change” program.  Although I did not win the grand prize, simply being selected as finalist was a rewarding experience, indeed! 

Second, Nuffnang let me share some pieces of the good life with family and friends.  I had the chance to win a free ticket to a movie screening that I shared with a very close friend.  I was also invited to special events but sadly, I regret that I failed to attend those as I got a very demanding 8-5 job.  Sometimes I have this thought of bidding farewell to my regular job and decide to become a full-time blogger and be in the loop of every events in the metro.  That could be an exciting experience, I guess.  Then I also received free products, a dozen Johnson's baby bedtime soap bars
which I shared with my cousins and my in-laws. 
Receiving that package was too memorable and surprising that I even stored its LBC pack as souvenir.

Third, Nuffnang expanded my horizon because it introduced me to new friends and nice people here in the country and even in Malaysia, Singapore and Australia.  Although I only meet these people online, their presence made me a better person as I get to learn more about their culture through their blogs. I was too thankful for meeting them that I even dedicated one of my poems to these people that goes like this;

         To all those people I only know by name
             With whom I swapped letters roughly each day
             Each common task we accomplished together
             Brought relief or achievement, if ever

              Thanks for the friendship that developed out of it
             Genuine support and respect was a gift
             Will we see each other? I never know.
             Still I hope good relations will grow.

(You can read the whole poem here)
Fourth, Nuffnang taught me perseverance.  I always remind myself of that in every contest that Nuffnang opens for its members. Just imagine to be more than 70th in the list with only 70 members to be selected for the win. (*_*)

Even if everyone has an equal opportunity for the prize, with their contests, you can only be steadfast or be left out.  And it helped that I also learned the virtue of accepting defeat.  This is where I have proven to be true the infamous line “try and try until you succeed”.  Like I said, I also got the chance to win prizes sometimes. 

Fifth, Nuffnang opened a chance for me to be paid for my hard work. Although I haven’t taken this too seriously yet, (as I wasn’t as active as Hannah, Ada or Mica) but learning from other Nuffnangers who already received a huge paycheck, it was truly a career milestone.  Well, well, well…that I still have to see so I resolve to be more active in blogging and start receiving that hefty figure paycheck.

What I look forward to as a Nuffnanger:

Come 16 December 2011, 500 bloggers from around the Asia-Pacific region will flock to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards 2011 in Putrajaya Marriott. The Award aims to not only honour the region's best bloggers, but also to bring together blogger communities from across Asia-Pacific. The Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards is made possible by Volkswagen Malaysia and Putrajaya Marriott.
I admit that I was enticed to become a member of Nuffnang honestly because of the great opportunity it offers.  Aside from the freebies and the opportunity to earn, I also aspire to spend memorable moments with bloggers whom I admire.  This event is an extraordinary chance to talk and dine with those blogger friends I meet online and a rare opportunity to meet the finest and the best people in the blogosphere.  

Like those bloggers Hannah, Ada and Mica who introduced me to Nuffnang, I also dream of sharing my own story of an enriching and memorable experience, if I would be lucky to attend the big event at a five-star Marriott Hotel.  I also wish to take my readers to fascinating places in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia through my blog, to also help them find factual and interesting information about its people, culture and its community.  If that happens, only then can I say that I am a certified "Nuffnanger".   

Know more about the Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards 2011 here.