It's 3 AM And Today's My Birthday

Hello. It's 3 AM, I'm lying here in my bed and today's my birthday. Yes, there will be no celebration or parties happening today here in my place. However, I'm inviting you all to celebrate my birthday online by supporting these two significant, awesome campaigns I have launched.

Together We Share I
Santa Ana, Cagayan, Philippines
TOGETHER WE SHARE

This is an outreach program helping an Aeta Community in Santa Ana, Cagayan. On December, we're heading back here to distribute books, groceries, school supplies, flashlights, medicines and slippers. We are also aiming to provide basic hygiene needs, garbage bags and other cleaning paraphernalia. Your contribution will spell a big difference in the lives of the Aeta children and their families, helping them achieve a healthy and safe environment.

Malay natin, baka isa sa kanila maging nurse, doctor, guro, sundalo or maging presidente ng Pilipinas in the future.
Getting inked by Apo Whang Od
Buscalan Village, Kalinga, Philippines

We, the netizens have been lobbying Apo Whang Od to be one of the National Living Treasures since 2015. Until now, Apo Whang Od haven't received any recognition. I believe that now is the right time to have her recognized.
The petition will be delivered to President Rodrigo Duterte. Please sign the petition, tag your friends and don't forget to share.
Together We Share I
Santa Ana, Cagayan, Philippines
I am thrilled to continue what I've started and to see what lies ahead. Of course, I don't want to miss out on amazing new things. Make your time more precious by inspiring other people. If you're at home and couldn't travel for now, use your internet, think of something inspiring and awesome today. Let life show you what opportunities were waiting for you somewhere on the road.
Manage your own expectations and balance your life. You can't be perfect in everything. Please don't let fear or insecurity stop you from trying new things. Believe in yourself. Do what you love! Besides, we're only young once -- so travel, inspire people and just have fun!

Together We Share I
Santa Ana, Cagayan, Philippines

Travel Guide To Caramoan Island

Undeniably, Caramoan is one of the most beautiful islands in the Philippines. It is considered as a first-class municipality with a 4,000- hectare limestone forest and it's land extends into the waters of the Maqueda Channel on the north and east and the Lagonoy Gulf on the south.



According to the 2015 census, Caramoan has a total population of at least 48,000 people. The town is politically subdivided into 49 barangays. Caramoan is bounded on the north by Garchitorena, Camarines Sur and the Philippine Sea; on the north-east by the island province of Catanduanes; and on the west by the municipality of Presentacion, Camarines Sur.
To date, Caramoan remains unexploited from commercial tourism. The island boasts of having perfect white sand beaches, tranquil lakes, deep caves, coves and rich marine life. Survivors, ready?



HOW TO GET TO CARAMOAN ISLAND

OPTION A -- Direct Land Travel
From Manila, ride a bus heading to Caramoan Island. Most bloggers recommend Raymond Transport Bus. I've never tried their service so I have nothing much to say about them yet. Bus terminals operating to Caramoan Island are mostly located in Cubao, Quezon City; Pasay; and Sampaloc, Manila. Fare is around Php 1,000 per person and the travel time is approximately around 11 to 12 hours.

For faster and more convenient experience, choose an air-conditioned bus. Boat transfer is no longer needed just in case you choose this option. Mas tipid to, bes!

OPTION B -- Naga City to Caramoan Island
From Naga City, head to Naga Central Bus Terminal then ride a bus heading to Caramoan Island. Bus operators include Florencia Bus, MRR and Raymond Transit. Fare is around Php 250 per person. Travel time is around 3 to 4 hours. Please be mindful of the bus schedules: 3:00 AM; 6:00 AM; 9:00 AM; 12 NN; 2:30 PM; and 3:00 PM daily.

OPTION C -- Via Plane to Naga City
Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air has direct flights to Naga City. Travel time is around 45 minutes. 

OPTION D -- Manila to Catanduanes to Caramoan Island
The easiest way to get to Caramoan Island is through a plane bound to Virac, Catanduanes. Only Cebu Pacific Air operates to Virac. Travel time is around 45  to 55 minutes. Then, ride a tricycle heading to Codon Port. Travel time is around 30 minutes. Once you reached Codon, hire a bangka heading to Guijalo Port of Caramoan Island. Travel time is around 30 minutes.


PLACES TO VISIT IN CARAMOAN ISLAND
  • MATUKAD ISLAND -- Of all the small islands in Caramoan, Matukad Island is the most photographed. Visit this island early in the morning to get yourself an Instagram-worthy photo. You will surely enjoy the beauty and serenity of the island. Matukad has the most popular limestone cliffs where most tourists climb, overlooking a beautiful lagoon. At the top of the cliff, you'll be mesmerized because of the breathtaking views of the sea including its nearby islands. Amazing, right?
  • LAJOS ISLAND -- Lajos Island is one of the nearest islands from the jump off. It is one of the most visited islands in Caramoan. The beach here is incredibly beautiful. It has fine, white sand. Couples, this island has the perfect spot for a pre-nuptial photo shoot. Swear!
  • TINAGO ISLAND -- As the name implies, Tinago Island is hidden to most people visiting Caramoan. New and young boatmen doesn't aware that this island exist. This cove is concealed from the view when you traverse the lenght of Caramoan peninsula. It is also accessible from the sea through a narrow passageway between two limestone mountains. The water leading to the narrow passageway is quite rough. Serenity is waiting for you here.
  • HUNONGAN COVE -- Hunongan Cove, facing the Pacific Ocean, is being surrounded by heavily forested cliffs. This is the perfect spot if you want privacy, peace of mind, and serenity. 
  • Other places to visit in Caramoan includes Tayak Lagoon; Minalahos Island and Cave; Our Lady of Peace at Mount Caglago-Tabgon; Sabitang Laya Island; Bag-ing; Pitogo Island; Cotivas Island; Lahuy Island; Bugtong Beach; and Manlawi Beach. If you're staying longer in Caramoan, for sure, your tour guides will tell you more about the beautiful places that aren't listed here yet. 

WHERE TO STAY IN CARAMOAN ISLAND

TUGAWE COVE RESORT
Brgy Colongcogon, Colongcogong, Caramoan



CASITA MIA BED & BREAKFAST
Brgy ILI-Centro, Malabog, Caramoan



LA CASA ROA HOSTEL
Teoxon St., Tawog, Malabog, Caramoan


THE CENTRAL DISCOVERY HOTEL
109 Paz Street, Malabog, Caramoan



WEST PENINSULA VILLAS
San Andres, Salnopan, Malabog, Caramoan



OTHER ACCOMMODATION CHOICES
  • VILLA JULIANA INN; 0921 226 1395; 0929 488 4928; 0907 655 7984
  • REX TOURIST INN; 0919 882 1879; 0919 308 9675
  • CMC VILLA CARAMOAN; 0906 420 5644; 0920 903 0226
  • CARAMOAN KAYAKS INN; 0921 987 3157; 0920 474 2637
  • BC HOMETEL TOURIST INN; 0927 402 7220; 0921 835 7454
  • GOTA VILLAGE RESORT; +632 8170831; +632 7109086; 0928 308 3969
  • RIVER VIEW VACATION INN; 0908 865 5322; 0919 395 5743
  • CARAMOAN BED & DINE; 0920 476 8619; 0915 826 8563; 0920 476 8577
  • GOLDEN HUB TOURIST INN; 0908 262 6173; 0908 894 8252
  • WOW NA WOW TOURIST INN; 0919 599 9673
  • VISTA DEL MAR CARAMOAN; 0919 813 6766; 0920 281 6362
  • LA PLAYA CAMP & PICNIC GROUNDS; 0920 281 6362; 0918 342 0823; 0919 813 6766
  • SEA BREEZE & WAVES COTTAGES; 0919 831 9497
  • HUNONGAN COVE; 0928 308 3969

TRAVEL BUDGET
  • Bus Fare from Manila to Naga City; Php 700
  • Van Transfer from Naga City to Sabang Port; Php 100
  • Boat Transfer from Sabang Port to Guijalo Port; Php 120
  • Environmental Fee; Php 30
  • Snorkel Rental Fee; Php 150
  • Island Hopping Tour for Two Days; Php 3,500
  • Regular airfare starts at Php 3,500 to Php 4,500; one way
  • Please note that rates and fares varies from time to time



TIPS & THINGS TO REMEMBER
  • Caramoan Island is a long drive so make sure you have enough food and drinks stored at your backpacks
  • Bring your power banks and extra batteries for your smartphones and other gadgets
  • Make sure your dry bags and waterproof pouches and gears are ready
  • Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air has direct flights to Naga City
  • Only Cebu Pacific Air operates to Virac, Catanduanes
  • Some islands may not be visited due to Survivor filming
  • Charter a boat for Php 1,500 to Php 4,000; good for six at Bikal Port in Brgy Paniman if you're on a budget
  • Travel with your friends to split the expenses
  • Tricycle fare is around Php 10 per person
  • Most restaurants, lodges and souvenir shops are located at the downtown
  • Most business establishments closes on or before 8 PM everyday
  • The best time to travel to Caramoan is on March until May

16 Shameless Money-Saving Tricks

A Guide for Solo Backpackers

One is never too young or too old to start travelling the Philippines and the rest of the world. Aside from the thrill of learning about different cultures, meeting new friends and seeing the famous landmarks, shopping and eating is definitely on top of my lists. However, I’m always on a budget and I don’t want to break the bank — so, I’m on bare-backing-back-packing!

Here are the 16 shameless money-saving tricks you should know!

1. GO ON FOOT so you get to interact with the locals. Sometimes, getting lost in a certain place can be an adventure itself. You never know what surprises you might encounter while wandering.

2. BE A TRAVELER and not as a tourist. Take in the local scene and opt for a home stay experience. Surely, you’ll get the cheapest food and board while living with a friendly host family who can serve as your local guide.

3. WORK TO PLAY. On your next business trip, arrange for a later return flight and squeeze in an extra vacation leave for a day or two. Just enjoy the preferential rate at the hotel you’re staying in and use the time to build a good relationship with your business contacts. Locals love to show off their town to visitors. Remember that.

4. PICK YOUR PARADISE. Before booking a room, find out whether you will be spending a lot of time canoodling in your hotel or sight-seeing outside. If you will be mostly outdoors, skip the five-star service and go for a budget digs like hostels or pension houses which are safe and more affordable. If you’re on a group, consider renting a house instead of a room — it’s cheaper and more private.

Sabtang Island, Batanes, Philippines

5. THE SENIOR ADVANTAGE. Travel with an elderly. Imagine the gazillion other things you can do because you saved 20% from food, lodging and even entrance fees! PUVs are also discounted, so traveling long distances should cost less than bringing a car.

6. GETTING TRAVEL INSURANCE especially when traveling abroad. Check your credit card company or airline if they offer this. Make sure you choose the one that allows you to avail of a medical assistance without cashing out in case it’s not part of your budget. Bring lots of medicines!

7. WEAR YOUR HEAVIEST GEAR like jeans and cardigans on travel days, so you don’t have to worry about fitting them in your suitcase. Of course, you don’t want to pay the extra kilo for your baggage, right?

8. GET A REWARDS CARD. Use a travel rewards credit card to earn points and miles that can be redeemed for free travel.

Mount Mayon, Legazpi City, Albay, Philippines

9. COUCHSURF. Sign up to Couchsurfing or Travbuddy to get a free place to stay and get to know locals with hospitality networks. I haven’t tried this. However, most of my friends have Couchsurfing accounts and they said it is very helpful. I will sign up very soon!

10. JOIN FACEBOOK TRAVEL GROUPS to score the cheapest travel deals and promotions being offered by travel and tour operators. Join a group, meet new friends while enjoying the nature. Usually, these groups offer a day hike or out of town activities at a reasonable price.

11. TRAVEL AT NIGHT to save an accommodation. You can sleep on the bus while heading to your destination.



12. USE THE FREE DAYS. Visit museums or tourist sites during free days or when they are discounted. Check out their websites if they offer free days or discounts.

13. SIGN UP FOR EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS to receive updates especially when Cebu Pacific, Air Asia or Philippine Airlines has on-going promo. Special promotion codes can save you money and you can also be notified of last minute deals.

14. WALK AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. Walking is free. Papayat ka pa! 

15. BRING YOUR OWN FOOD or eat  the street food! I guess, this is self-explanatory, right?

16. CREATE A BUDGET. Track every single purchase or payment to your Excel or on your Notepad. As much as possible, save the 30% of your monthly paycheck for travel. If you can’t do it that much, then start saving just the 5% of your monthly paycheck.

James Bond Island, Khao Phing Kan, Phuket, Thailand

You Are Beautiful

To set yourself free means that you are opening yourself to a world of criticism and you have to be prepared for that.

Putting on makeup to make yourself look like someone else may be your thing but it will not completely mask the deeper issue. Feelings of deficiency, unworthiness will never be smeared away by a blush brush. True freedom is rooted in confidence -- real, solid, unshakable confidence can never be reduced nor taken away.


Recognizing the fact that you are not required to wear makeup gives you two kinds of liberty: freedom to wake up and go out, zits and all; freedom to put on as much eyeshadows as you please.

Believe that even without makeup, you are good enough.

Believe that you are beautiful in your own right. Whatever your skin color you have, however thick or thin or long or short your hair may be, however flat or sharp your nose is, whatever shape your eyes or lips are, you are beautiful.

Yes, you don't need a filter. You are beautiful.

I Failed As A Digital Nomad

On our first blogiversary, I've detailed all the accomplishments of Noel On The Road this past year, thanking everyone because this blog is still up and running. I even ended the post informing you, my readers, that Noel On The Road isn't just a travel blog anymore. It is a name, a brand, an identity, becoming a part of who I am and what I stand for.
However, I failed as a digital nomad. I'm going home. Very soon.
Kapit lang!
After a year, here I am, sharing my stories. True stories. Yes, I'm heading home the soonest possible time to re-strategize everything, uncovering what went wrong and to get back out there. If you're currently or aspiring to become a digital nomad, please continue reading this post. What were the mistakes I made as a digital nomad and how can you learn from them?
On my post, "On Travels, Quarter-Life Crisis & Adulting", I have admitted that I was sitting on a mountain of debt. I have warned you to slow down with your travels and start managing your finances very wisely especially when adulting hits you.


REALIZATIONS
  • You need a job to sustain your travels.
  • Don't plan too much as it narrows down your views and disposition about life.
  • If necessary, decline bar hop and shopping invites.
  • Grab new opportunities even if they're a left-turn. Don't just go straight ahead. 
  • Start an online business i.e. buy and sell, t-shirt printing, etc.
  • Manage your own expectations, keep on eye to your bills and balance your life.
  • When you fall, get up and start again. Its never too late to start all over again.
  • Keep moving on. You'll be a better person.
  • There's no perfect job. You can be whoever you want to be.
  • Travel blogging is not always fun. It is a responsibility. 
  • Choose your friends wisely.
  • Invest to stock market and life insurance.
  • Adulting is real. You can't get rid of it.
  • Plan your retirement as early as now.
  • Healthcare is a necessity. 
  • Travel with friends to share the expenses.
  • 'I quit my job to travel the world' isn't real.
  • Sometimes, sleeping is more fun than waiting for an airfare promo during wee hours and when you're about to continue booking, airline websites encounter server issues.
  • Everyone you meet has something to teach you.
  • Start loving yourself for everything you already are.
  • Attend digital nomad events, meet the experts and learn from them.
Basco, Batanes, Philippines
I keep telling you to just go, travel and have fun because we're only young once. I was traveling too fast and stability is hard to come by. Slow down if necessary.
On my previous posts, I've mentioned that I have big dreams for my life. I want to create a life that I love. Anything is possible, right millennials?
Unfortunately, I'm giving up all my paid GoDaddy subscriptions, from domain, hosting to WordPress. I have decided to continue blogging on free and simple platforms like Facebook and Blogger. All my travel guides and life hacks published on noelontheroad.com will be saved and transferred to here very soon. Stay tuned.
Yes, I'm earning through my Google AdSense. However, the traffic on my previous website is continuously decreasing every month because of the following reasons:
  • I'm not paying anyone for my search engine optimization. Yes, you need to pay an expert, making your articles land on top searches on the Internet. You can manage your search engine optimization yourself by using a free widget but it's not always a guarantee to land on top searches due to the competition among bloggers.
  • I'm still discovering my blogging and fashion styles.
  • My travel guides can be found on Facebook. I prefer having you, my readers, to just read my blogs there rather than clicking on a certain link, directing you to open a browser on your mobile phones or computers. I'm helping you save too! If you're on free Facebook browsing, you can always read my blogs there. You're welcome!
Mount Maynoba, Tanay, Rizal, Philippines

The engagement of my Facebook page is really overwhelming. Last month, this travel page have reached almost half million people and has a total engagement of 2.6 million. Thank you for all the love and support. Thank you for liking, commenting and sharing my posts on your feeds. And, thank you for inviting your friends to like and follow my travel page.
I forget about my personal life. I haven't been on a date this year. I've been single for almost four years now. Managing this travel page and other social media accounts alone is not easy. I need to cool it on the travel for a bit. Of course, I am thrilled to continue what I've started and to see what lies ahead. I don't want to miss out on amazing new things.

As what I've mentioned earlier, attending digital nomad events will help you grow as a person since you will be learning from the experts. I have a good news for you! There's an upcoming digital nomad event which is happening in Bali, Indonesia in June - it's call the Running Remote Conference 2018. This event was carefully curated to teach you next-level, actionable strategies, and tactics you can utilize to manage and grow your remote team.

Experts will be discussing several topics and that it includes their best practices in hiring remote employees. This event will surely help you a lot. I can't wait for you to meet these experts while exploring the beautiful Bali, Indonesia! Buy your ticket now!

Learning is a continuous process and is dynamic. Go on with your life and keep on learning. 
Noel On The Road is always changing as am I.

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