Early Birds because we had a 5AM flightArrived at Caticlan!
I haven’t opened my blog for a long time because of personal reasons but, I decided to upload my recent trips again cause I don’t want to forget that these did happen and I wouldn’t want to regret disregarding them. So bear with me as I recall the details of these trips cause they are quite vague already 🙂
This is my first ever travel trip with one of my closest friend Gee, we met way back in college through our common friends then luckily she became my group mate and the rest is history. Since she migrated to the US we weren’t able to hang like before so hence we decided to go on trips whenever she goes back here to The Philippines.
Even though I’ve been to Boracay before I still wanted to go back because it’s easy to say that it is one of the best beaches in the world. It has the finest sand and the clearest water according to many people. The first time I went there was thru Kalibo Airport but this time we opted for Caticlan Airport because of it’s convenience, though I should say it’s a bit pricier than Kalibo. If you’re flying from Clark daily flights to Caticlan is now available via Philippine Airlines.
JC de Vera and the other crewBanana split filming their summer special
We decided to stay at La Carmela Resort because we wanted to be at Station 2 cause that’s where we can catch all the activities and where the hip cafes are. Supposedly we were to stay at the main hotel which is beach front but for some reason there were no available rooms, they just upgraded us with a bigger room at their annex hotel at the back. Blessing in disguise? I think so. We also had this weird chance to fly with the whole team of comedians from the “Banana Split” crew. My friend was obsessed with Kuya Jobert and only asked to have a picture with him and not the other stars. It’s actually my first time to have this experience, it was fun to observe them off camera they were all close to each other and acted like they were a family. Oh they were also staying at the same hotel as us. We got to watch them film their summer special at the beach.
We had a bed for each person lolBalcony view
Back in October last year, We went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan, and I think this is one of the most memorable experience in my life. As a Potterhead this is a dream come true moment . First of all I have no chance of going to UK to see real places and sets that they shot the movies at and of course I have no chance of visiting Florida, USA where the bigger WWoHP is, so I’m just thankful that this place is just four hours away by plane! I’m gonna try to share how to purchase tickets and some other tips.
Universal Studios Japan or USJ is located in Osaka so if you’re travelling in this prefecture you’re in luck cause you don’t need to travel far. There is a specific train line going directly to USJ that’s why it’s so easy to get there (JR Yumesaki Line).
The theme park usually opens at 8:30am and closes at 9:00pm, the food inside the park is expensive so we suggest that you buy some snacks at convenience stores and save your money for those awesome Harry Potter merchandise.
How to buy Studio Tickets:
So.. I was not the one who bought our tickets because Wakana arranged this trip while she was in Japan, but I’m gonna teach you guys on how other people did it.
- Online thru Travel agencies
- Partner Hotels (ask your hotel if they can arrange your USJ tickets)
- Ticket booths, on the day that you will visit the park (I suggest doing this, just be early)
Check out the park website for more info: Universal Studios Japan / Ticket
What is an express pass?
If you hate wasting time lining up which can take hours to ride attractions then I recommend that you buy this pass. This is an additional pass that you need to buy aside from the Studio pass. So Studio pass + Express pass = more time to enjoy! This also gives you a time ticket for the WWoHP.
There are many types of express pass and you can see them here including their price:
What is a time ticket?
Okay this is gonna sound confusing but try to read carefully. WWoHP can get so crowded especially on peak days. To avoid over crowding USJ is issuing time tickets so that it won’t cause a surge of people to enter the area (cause it’s not that big). It’s also FREE. You can get these time ticket when you buy an express pass or get it inside the park at the Numbered ticket booth near the “JAWS” attraction. You won’t get lost it’s in the central part of the park.
Disclaimer: We entered WWoHP without the time ticket. I know.. so why did I tell you all those things if we could enter without it? because we were there when there weren’t a lot of people so “just in case” you should know this.
We allotted a whole day for this cause I wanted to spend most of the time inside WWoHP haha, I actually didn’t care much for the other attraction as USJ, well there was supposed to be an Attack on Titans attraction but unfortunately it was done when I went there.
I took a lot of photos cause why not? I enjoyed this trip so much cause everything looks so real, how they replicated the shops and stuff.
Harry Potter everything even the theme song was playing while we wait for the gates to openTadaima!!Oh yeah Hogsmeade in winter!
Wakana was studying English back in Tagaytay Heights for almost two months, when she returned back in Angeles she said that she still have some stuff left at the school because she couldn’t carry them all. I tagged along when she decided to get them back. The schools owner Junichi-san allowed us to stay in one of the rooms for a night so we don’t need to book a hotel, the place was really quiet and peaceful it’s so much different from the environment here in Pampanga. The houses there were big and has this old and unkept look.
Since we were only staying for a night we couldn’t go around that much and we decided to check one place out that afternoon when we arrived and planned to meet our friend Aya the next day before going back to Pampanga. It was particularly easy to commute via a bus from Dau to Tagaytay, it’s just the traffic that is annoying so mind your travel time
How to go to Tagatay from Dau Bus station:
- Ride a bus going to Cubao Farmers Market or ride a bus going to Pasay and get off at Hotel Sogo in Pasay you will find the Cavite-Batangas Bus Station around this area (map below)
- Ride the bus going to Nasugbu, fare costs around 80-100 pesos.
- If you want to go to Sky Ranch and the other places nearby it’s okay to get off at NBI Cavite.
I was feeling so tired that afternoon so we just went to the nearest place that Wakana could think of which is Charito by Bag of Beans the place is good for those people who loves class and elegance. The place is perfectly located where you will have the view of the Taal lake while dining. Food wise I wouldn’t say they have the best ones cause I can bet that the menu might just be the same as what you can see here in Angeles City and would cost far less. So far I’d go back here for the dining experience but not the food.
An old house converted into a fine dining restaurantVeranda diningWe spotted some instagrammers posing So peacefulBaby Back RibsShrimp GambasInteriors were on point
Shuri Castle is a Ryūkyūan gusuku in Shuri, Okinawa. It was the palace of the Ryūkyū Kingdom. In 1945, during the Battle of Okinawa, it was almost completely destroyed. Beginning in 1992, it was reconstructed on the original site based on photographs, historical records, and memory. (Wiki)
Okinawa has a long history of having Chinese Kingdoms thus most architecture has some