Allea Real Estate

Allea Real Estate
Real Estate in Davao City, Philippines

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Singapore- Water World

While I was browsing some pictures, I realized that I never posted about Universal Studio's Water World show. It's a pity because it was one of the best shows I've watched while we were in Sentosa, Singapore.

John and I were just wandering around Universal Studio when we saw flocks of people going inside a barn type structure. Wondering what was going on, we followed them and realized that more people are waiting inside, sitting on benches.

We found a nice spot on top and sat there. It's a good thing that we did, because the waterworld actors started splashing water to the excited audience. :)

The show was a copy of the movie "Water World" starred by Kevin Costner. The setting is supposedly on a distant future, when the polar ice cap melted and covered all the land with water. Hence, the title Water World. Hmmmn... with all the floodings these days, I am wondering if this could possibly happen. Not a good idea for those who cannot swim, like me. huhu... Tsk.. tsk.. I guess, I need to start learning huh!

With a loud noise, the show started and the audience started clapping.

As the story continues to unfold, I was amazed by how good the actors were. It's like watching Kevin Costner and Jeanne Triplehorn once again. Only this time, I felt like they're just infront of me. hehe...

The stunts were astonishing. The actors were mostly in their 20's. And I was amazed by the trainings they did before working in the show. Imagine doing the same thing several times in a day, seven days a week. Tiring huh? But their performance did not show such. Infact, they were all great!


The show really delivered. :) With the boats, jet skis, the plane and the explosion at the ending, it was just amazing! Dumbfounded. Flabbergasted. Those are two of the words I could think of to describe how I felt. The rest of the audience probably felt the same way because everyone stood up and started clapping.

I am glad that I have this memory to cherish of, in one of our travels....

                                                        Lea C. Walker

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tips on Travelling

Most people think that when you travel, you're rich. Or you have a lot of money. :) Hmmm.. might be true for some, but any ordinary "Juan" , to borrow that word from Cebu Pacific, can now travel these days without spending too much.

So with my limited experience, I am sharing with you my tips.

1) Plan Ahead.

     With John and I, we know which places we would like to see. So planning ahead gives us time to prepare. Not just the financial part of the trip. But all the details we need. It took us one year of planning for the South East Asian trip we did last August. I paid everything months before our trip. So we don't have to think of unexpected expenses while travelling.

2)  Book A Ticket:

       I signed up an online membership with Cebu Pacific. So before their promo comes out, I get an email from them ahead of time. Plus I wake up really early (before the roosters, remember? haha) so I have time to scout for cheap tickets , air promos , etc.  You know, a P99 ticket to Manila, for instance. That's a big saving  already right? For those who can afford to splurge, do it if it makes you more comfortable. :) My opinion is that, if I can travel the same way, without spending too much I would take the opportunity so I can use the money for our other businesses. But then again, that's the "kuripot" me talking.  Cebu Pacific does not have much of a leg room. So John and I realized something during one of our trips. I usually pay for an advance seat booking when I buy a ticket online. John told me one time, why do you get these seats always when you can get the front row seats or the seats beside the exit door. And I thought, hmmm.. you're a genius! That means, I am not so bright for not thinking that in the first place. LOL  (You would have to excuse me though because I do this normally around 4 or 5 in the morning. I think I was still half asleep then. hehehe.. Nice excuse right?!) Seriously, if you can get those, travelling would be a lot better because of the bigger space.

3) Research On Line:

       Once you know where you're going, then start researching online. Specially about VISAs and stuff. There are countries who have Visa On Arrival facilities. But with most western countries, you need to get a visa. Tsk..tsk.. did that before with the US embassy, but luck wasnt on my side that day. So I got declined, without the consul,  looking at my documents. Sucks right? :(  But from what I read from fellow bloggers, with Canadian and European embassies, they let you submit the documents and those will be properly inspected. That should give anyone the chance to prove yourselves.

      During our South East Asian trip, the time I spent researching on a place , its people, culture, places to go, what to do, etc. really paid off. It made travelling a lot easier for both John and me. Except at the boundaries of Thailand and Cambodia. Gawd, that was such a mess! (Tip: if you want to go to cambodia, take a plane and land at Siem Reap Airport. Lesser stress that way. You'll understand if you read my story about that last August. )

4) Book A Hotel in Advance:

     The website,, has an extensive list of really nice hotels at a cheap price. Just type your destinations and date, then voila! A list of the hotels which come with photos, customer comments, prices, etc. will automatically be presented to you. Booking was safe and my stay with the hotels were really memorable. Choices from hostels to high end ones are available. You just have to choose what fits your needs and budget.

5. Money Exchange:

       If you're going abroad, the first thing you will need outside the airport is fare money. So be prepared. Go to a money exchange center and make sure that you have the  local currency of the country you're visiting before leaving yours.

        Arriving in a foreign land is stressful enough, so make sure everything is ready before you leave. That way, you'll have time enjoying the little things while you're there. :)

6) Make A List:

     Of what to do before you leave, ie: make sure that cellphone roaming is activated. Note: I was probably the only one who didn't know that smart will charge you for received calls while abroad. Really stupid of me huh? For not knowing it, that is... But yes they do, so if clients call you, be aware that charges run expensively by the minute. hu That was an expensive lesson learned.

     Of what to bring, ie: cellphone charger, extra battery for the camera, sunblock, mosquito repellent (this is a must in any Asian trips. Being tropical countries, mosquitoes abound. So if you don't want to get malaria or dengue fever, bring the mosquito lotion!). When we got back from our trip, I looked almost black. I did not know that mosquito repellent and sunblock lotion don't go well together. hehe... So my skin got burned. But I got home safely. So between Dengue and a burned skin, i'll take the latter anytime. :)  

7. Bring "baon" :

       If you're on a road trip in the Philippines, chances are you will be exposed to mostly mountains with no stores in between. So bring your own baon. (BYOB) .. Per experience, fried chicken and beef steak last longer than most. Bring bread, water, rice, etc. It's cheaper and home cooked food is better , anyway. Right? :)

8. Bring a Bag...

    That has a long strap. So you can put it  on your shoulder and hold it infront of you, specially when there's a thick crowd. Why? So it's difficult for the thieves to steal it. I've heard and read about these things when you're travelling. So before we left for our South East Asian trip, I bought a new bag with a very long strap. 

                                                    Taken in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

    The bag I'm using when we were travelling was a big help. John had his own backpack -  for water , towels and other stuff.

9. Shopping

     I don't normally shop when we're travelling. Why? Because it's expensive! duh.. Specially in Singapore. That's an expensive country. So I just buy souvenir items like : ref magnet, scarf, tshirts with the country's name in it. More than that, nope. I have to discipline myself and ask if I need it or not. Most often, the answer is no. Besides, airlines charge expensively on excess baggages these days. So it's really not advisable to shop abroad unless of course, you don't mind the expense.

10. ATM Withdrawals:

      When you withdraw abroad, it comes with a fee in US dollars. :( And it is not cheap. So make sure like I said above, exchange your currency to US dollars or the country's local currency. And make sure that you bring enough. To avoid additional expense.

11. Keep track of your budget:

      During vacations, it's easy to splurge because you're having a good time. But life goes on after that. And if we're not careful, we'd end up paying more than what we can afford. So make sure that your expenses are recorded so you stay within your means.

These are just my practical tips based on personal experiences. What about you? Do you have something more to add? :)

                                                             Lea C. Walker





Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Day of Respite.. at the foot of Mt. Apo. :)

Much have been said and written about Kapatagan. Camp Sabros for extreme zipline adventure. Lake Mirror for a mountain resort. The Art of Kublai which is nestled on top of a valley. Mine is probably the boring one. haha.. But it's memorable to me because we witnessed the wedding of a family friend.

I woke up around 4:30 in the morning and prepared our breakfast. We were told that we had to leave early because Sta. Cruz road is being repaired and we might get stuck for a long time.

               Freshly baked biscuits, bacon, egg and orange juice - prepared by yours truly. :)

So by 7am, we were already on the road to Digos. Contrary to what we expected, it did not take us long to pass through Sta. Cruz. True, the road is being repaired. But traffic was moving fast.

What we did not expect was how bad the road to Kapatagan was. There's a stretch of more or less 8kms of their  road that is being repaired from the highway to Brgy. Soongon. So it is torn to pieces. John had to drive 30kms per hour to avoid mishaps.

Finally we found the concrete one. And then the rough one. And the concrete road once again. hehe.. For an hour or so, that's what we experienced. Suffered the bumps and the shaking in silence. John jokingly said -"are we ready to go back yet?" .. Which Mama, Nanay Ligaya and I replied with "nope" in a chorus.

Kapatagan is actually 38 kms only from Digos City. Travel time just takes longer because of the road condition. But we didn't mind it because we were entertained with the mountain views.

As we continue to go up, the temperature changed. The breeze became cooler so John turned off the aircon of our Starex van. Opened the windows , felt the cool air and inhaled the fog. Yes, it's still foggy on top even at 9 in the morning...

For me, everything stopped for awhile. It's a far cry from the city's hustle and bustle. I thought, if I was in Davao, I'd be stressing with work... :)

I was amazed that water glistened and trickled down from the mountain beside the road. No wonder the people living there have flowing water in their houses.  

Finally, we reached Kapatagan center. We were met by Dandan because we didn't know where the church was. The wedding was at 10 a.m. I am glad that we were just in time. :)

Pearlie, Ruben and my 3 nephews left one day ahead because they had to take care of the balloons, the flowers, etc. I told her through text the other night that I envied her because she had the time to experience Mt. Apo during sunset. She told me that it was so cold, smoke come out of their mouths, everytime they speak. haha.. That reminded me of a hollywood movie during winter time. Or the picture which my sister Daisy sent me last December, while playing with the snow at her father inlaw's farm in Tokyo. 

Of course, it wasn't as grand as that... But the people there told Pearlie that sometimes it's so cold the mist would turn to droplets of ice. That sounded like hail? Pretty amazing to be living at the foot of Mt. Apo huh! :)

Wedding Memoirs:

                                                                John and Blaire.

                                   The couple, Ronald and Shiela , being blessed by the priest.

                                                        The couple and the little kids ... :)

                                                         John and Me, infront of the church.

                                       The party planner, Pearlie and Ruben with Wemce.


I love their church. It's open and it's surrounded with huge trees so there's no need for an electric fan anymore. There's free cool air, all around. And their sound system was not so loud, it made the wedding ceremony very solemn and holy....

After the lechon filled lunch at the reception, I walked around the neighborhood. I saw earlier a garden full of "sayote". So I looked for the owner and asked if we can buy the fruits. I was told that it's only P1.00 / each. So I told her that I'll take 20 pcs. I love sayote, I just don't know why. hehehe.. Plus of course, there's Nanay Ligaya. Mama. Pearlie loves it too. So 20 pcs were just enough for us. haha

                                                          My favorite - "sayote" ...

                 Under the Sayote garden. :)  Mama, the neighborhood kids, Nanay Ligaya and Lynette.

                                        The garden at the back of our friend's house.

I would live there, if I could. Think of the fresh fruits and fresh vegetables I could get there. Then, the view of Mt. Apo and the hills, and the valleys... The cool air, the mist and the fog on my skin.. That sounds like a dream to me.. 

I am glad that I experienced Kapatagan, not as a tourist but as one of them. :) Thank you to the newly weds, Ronald and Shiela. If not for them, I wouldn't have experienced a beautiful day of respite and fun!

                                                        Lea C. Walker

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tinuy-An Falls

Tinuy-an Falls is located in Bislig , Surigao Del Sur. It can be reached by bus or passenger vans from Davao City via Compostela Valley and Agusan. The trip takes at least 6 hours. But in our case, it took us a day to reach Mangagoy because we went through the whole East Coast first. I blogged about it here -

This majestic waterfalls is more or less 15kms away from Mangagoy, the town center where hotels and other commercial establishments can be found. The road to the falls isn't concrete but it is well-maintained by the local government since it is their main tourist attraction in the area.

The trip to Tinuy-an, for me , is already a treat. Mainly because of the view. Ricefields abound with giant trees all around. The lake and the river, on a rainy day looked foggy but enchanting and mystical.. 

The falls is enveloped by a thick forest with century old trees, making it a wonderful sight to behold.

                                                John, Ruben, Pearlie and Matthew - when the rain stopped. :)

I trekked towards the main waterfall on a wet and slippery pathway. Then, the rain started again. But it didn't stop me from taking another picture of it.  I stood in awe for awhile, thanking God for this magnificent beauty.

Tinuy-an Falls, tagged as the Niagara Falls of the Philippines , has a 55 meter height and 95 meter width. There are at least 3 cascades from the top to bottom which gives ample space for swimming in between.  Entrance Fee: P20.00 per head.

How To Go There:

From Mangagoy, there are tricycles or motorcycles, going to the area. It's better if you have your own car though if you're in a group. Our nissan van comes in handy during road trips because it can accomodate at least 12 people.

Where To Stay:

There are so many hotels and inns in Mangagoy. But make sure that you have a booking, specially if you go there on a holy week. It's packed with tourists during that time. So it's all fully booked.

     Paper Country Inn
     Address : Post I, Tabon, Mangagoy, Bislig City
     Telephone : +63 (086) 853-3079

     * PCI is a little expensive but it's a comfortable place to sleep in.

     Shiela's Pensionne House
     Espirito Street, Mangagoy, Bislig City
     Telephone +63 (086) 853-1510

     St. Francis Pension House
     Espiritu Street, Mangagoy, Bislig City.
     (086) 853-2106 and 628-2107

                                                                 Lea C. Walker


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Things To Do In Cambodia

Cambodia isn't just about its famous Temples at the Angkor Archaeological Park. I've experienced so much more and I loved every bit of it!

FISH SPA: (My most unforgettable experience... hehe)

I found this type of spa really fun. The fee is $4.00 inclusive of a back massage and one can of beer. I'm not into drinking but the combination was relaxing for me. The moment I sat down at the aquarium, I couldn't stop myself from giggling. The little fish eating a part of your feet is really a weird sensation... You just have to try it to experience it. ha.. ha..

            It took me a long time to put my feet in the water.. ha ha.. It was such a weird feeling.


If you're in Siem Reap, never miss this! I've seen a lot of paintings there that are priced so cheap. What I love the most was the sunrise picture of Angkor Wat. The painters there really got talent. Other than that, they have scarfs made of really good materials, polo made of cambodian silk, etc. With all the products I've seen, if passing through Customs isn't such a hassle, I would probably try selling them here. hehe...


I was first introduced to Cambodian music when we were in the bus on the way to Siem Reap. I didn't understand the lyrics but the melody was so nice. Then, when we were at the temples, I've seen the landmine victims playing their music for a small donation. So John and I sat there just listening to them.


The best way to enjoy the place is to mingle with the local people.

I found it interesting that like Filipinos, some of the Cambodians are rice farmers too. :)

Then, I met those who are making sugar blocks made of palm fruit.  That was really cool! :)


The Angkor Archaeological Park is such a beautiful forest. Aside from the temples, what makes it a place to remember is the park itself. With the motes and the trees surrounding it, if you stop and take a breath, you would enjoy nature at its best...


I saw this display on the way to Banteay Srei.  I did not see these products at the Night Market.


Tuktuk is like a tricycle in the Philippines. I loved riding in it on our way to Angkor Park because I could feel the fresh air touching my face. The park was surrounded by century old trees that once the leaves sway, you'd think they're singing because of the relaxing sound and the breeze it brings... Beautiful experience..


At the Resto Bar called "The Barrio". It's just across the street from Somadevi Angkor Hotel and Spa. It's owned by a French national. The food was really tasty and the price is just right...


Ahh.. this is one of my favorite experiences in Siem Reap. I love the dancers who elegantly showed their culture through their dance. Tip: eat somewhere else. :) The buffet dinner was not good. Sorry.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ho Chi Minh Tours

Since John and I had limited time in Ho Chi Minh City, we decided to just join the city tour. I coordinated with the staff at Sanouva Hotel and after a few minutes, it was agreed that we will be picked up by the travel company at the hotel. I paid $16.00 each, which included lunch.

By 7am, the tour guide came for us. And after picking up other guests from their hotels, off we went to the city tour.

We passed by HCMC people's park. From there, I noticed several older women doing the "Tai-chi". It reminded me with Magsaysay Park. I remember, we have chinese-filipinos do the same thing there every morning. I wonder if they still do that now?

Vietnam will not be Vietnam without the motorcycles right? :) So I took photos of people going to work using their motorbikes. We were told by the guide that there are millions of them in the city alone. Mostly from China because it's the cheapest.

Then we reached our first destination.


This was the least of my favorites during our South East Asian trip. That's why, it took me forever to write about Vietnam. 

This museum showcases the remnants of the war between Saigon and the US. It was suffocating seeing all the pictures and the remains of the war. But here they are anyway...

                                                    The torture chamber...

                                    I'll just let you use your imagination, as to what this is for....

I decided not to see the 3rd floor anymore, after seeing the displays on the 1st and 2nd floor. I found it revolting. If you ask me, I think wars are stupid. Nobody wins in it. Except those who earned out of it at the expense of the innocent civilians.


The lanterns on top have prayer requests on them. Once lit, it stays for 2 weeks. So it's like being prayed for continously everyday for the next week or so. When you go to HCMC, try it. I realized that most of what I prayed for was granted.

                                                       I got that for me and John. :)


This is like Divisoria in the Philippines. They sell everything there from flowers to textiles, silk and a lot of other give aways.

While everybody was shopping, John and I decided to go to the KFC place across the market. We figured that since the ones in  Davao are ok, it would be the same there, if not better. But i'm sorry for saying this, the place was a dump. They need to clean it more and have the ants and cockroaches treated.. :( Plus it was so loud, I feel like my ears are still ringing , everytime I remember it.

John and I were laughing when we remembered that we had a free lunch. It turned out to be a really good one. It's just too bad that I forgot to write down the name of the restaurant. But it was just walking distance from our hotel.


We were told that this used to be the residence of the President. I've never been to Malacanang Palace in Manila. So I thought, maybe it's more or less, the same. LOL

NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL: (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica (Vietnamese: Vương cung thánh đường Đức Bà Sài Gòn or Nhà thờ Đức Bà Sài Gòn), officially Basilica of Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception (Vietnamese: Vương cung thánh đường Chính tòa Đức Mẹ Vô nhiễm Nguyên tội) is a cathedral located in the downtown of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Established by French colonists, the cathedral was constructed between 1863 and 1880. It has two bell towers, reaching a height of 58 meters (190 feet).

The church still looks so beautiful considering that it was built in the 1800's..


I was surprised to learn that they have shopping stalls inside their post office. I know, right?!  And yes, our post office is way behind than theirs. LOL

                                                            Lea C. Walker