Sand and Stars

You never stop daydreaming of the next places to see, within the city, within the country, around the world. A thrilling chase of happiness that always leaves you wanting for more. A nomadic soul constantly thinking of leaving when you haven’t even arrived. Every uncertainty of the road gives you the euphoria that your soul aches for, everyone is a family regardless of color, regardless of language and culture. To those like you, home is not necessarily the place you were born into but all the places where you become yourself. That is why you travel, to reveal who you are and you realize that you are synonymous with the world. The more you explore it, the more you explore yourself.

Travelling during my birthday week has been a three year tradition. Growing up, my birthday approaching has been a total dread. I don’t remember enjoying celebrating it with a bunch of people my mom invited instead of my own actual friends. I can only remember being forced to smile for pictures, and being denied when requesting to go to amusement parks or swimming trips instead. That’s why I decided, every March 25th, I’ll do what I enjoy best – travelling!

  • 2015 – Majayjay, Laguna
  • 2016 – Northern Luzon Roadtrip (Tugegarao, Cagayan, Ilocos, La Union)

2017 – Sand & Stars Beach Resort, Dinadiawan, Aurora

We took the Genesis Bus from Cubao towards Baler Aurora – we left 4:00 AM in the morning and arrived at the Baler Bus Station a few minutes to 10:00 AM. It was roughly a 6-hour drive (with 2-stops). First things first, we went to the market (a merely 2-mins walk from the station) to buy ourselves food to cook at the resort because sadly, they do not have a restaurant so we have to rely on our cooking skills in order to survive our 3-day glamping adventure. From Baler, we rode a non-airconditioned van towards Casiguran to reach our destination: Sand and Stars Beach Resort in Dinadiawan, Aurora.

Our skin felt like melting under the scorching heat of the sun, when we arrived and looked for Ate Merly she was so occupied with the overwhelming guests and tasks but still happily managed showing us to our beach-front tent. Warning: tents are like human ovens during the afternoons, do not attempt to rest inside. It cools down around 4:30 PM and gladly the resort has some hangouts spots with hammocks around where you can chill.

Let’s talk about the resort – some parts are still under construction, there are around 6-8 air conditioned cabanas and 6 glamping tents complete with foams, lounging chairs, and pillow – a rustic comfort. The beach was magnificent, wide stretch of fine cream-colored sand and the water although not crystal clear was immaculately clean.

The favorite part of the trip was the starry night sky – you can even see the milky way but the most memorable part was getting to know the kids that sells souvenirs around. We got to befriend them and although some were a bit too attention-seeking for my taste they were overall very gleeful and a joy to be with, there aren’t a lot of entertainment choices within the place so they basically compromised for it. There was ‘Julia’ who stood out – carefree, bubbly and most strikingly a young queer. She said she has a crush on two of her friends, Ednalyn and Mizsie., she even stole kisses from them! I’m glad the kids are not making fun of her and stayed friends with her despite her differences. She was the highlight of my birthday trip and she totally reminded me of how blissful it was to be a child. I hope the world do not destroy her glowing soul, and if the world would like it always does, I hope she’ll find a way to light it up again.

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One thought on “Sand and Stars

  1. […] Manila to Baler  – Genesis Bus (P450 regular airconditioned) 6 hours with 2 stops – Joy Bus (P650 (semi-deluxe or P730 deluxe) 4-5 hours nonstop – walk from the bus stop to the terminal near the market (around 5 minutes) Baler to Dinadiawan, Dipaculao Aurora – Ordinary bus to Casiguran (P85 – 6:30am trip only) – Van to Casiguran (P200) – Hire a tricycle (will take two hours and will cost you about Php 700) *Drop off at Dinadiawan (Sand and Stars Beach Resort) *Note: Be mindful to remind the conductor or driver to drop you off at Sand and Stars or  else you’ll miss it or towards 1 hour of the trip open your GPS like I did and hail the  van/bus to stop at the exact location. Heading back from Dinadiawan to Manila Going back to Baler via commute is a bit trickier. The bus/vans only travel early in the morning (before 9am) or late in the afternoon. You can either hire a tricycle to take you all the way to baler for Php700 (contact Kuya Jo restaurant) BEST OPTION: Ask the resort (Ate Merly) if there are other guests traveling to Baler so you can all pitch in for the van rental which will cost around Php 1,500. Make sure to book roundtrip seats if you’re traveling via Joy bus especially on weekends. OVERNIGHT RATES Glamping Tent  • 2-4 pax • P1,500 (2 pax) • Breakfast included Beachfront cottages  • 4-8pax • P2000 – fan room • P2500 – ac room • Breakfast NOT included BOOKING – Try going on a weekday, weekends would most likely be booked during the summer months. – Kindly text your <type of accomodation>, <name>, <location>, <contact number>, <preferred date>, <number of pax> to both 09178057082 and 09956242280. And wait for the confirmation, which will take a while. Please use CAPSLOCK so it would be easy to find. FOOD  Market  – Buy ingredients to cook at Baler Public Market before heading to Dinadiawan or – Purchase at Dinadiawan Market 15- 20 min walk or 5 min tricycle ride (P40) – Stove and griller use at resort (P200) – Beer, canned juice, and soft drinks available at the resort (P35) – The resort may have fresh seafood available for purchase, be sure to ask them before heading to the market Food Delivery  • Kuya Jo Restaurant located at the market (P50 delivery fee) • Contact number 09126726921 EXPENSE BREAKDOWN ( 3D2N /per pax / 2pax) – Transportation P1100 – Food P500 – Accommodation P3000 ÷ 2= P1500 Total Estimate Cost per pax = P 6200  FOR PICTURES & STORIES PLEASE REFER TO MY PREVIOUS POST […]

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