Adventures | Surviving Mt. Maculot Rockies

Mt. Maculot Summit
Mt. Maculot summit - view from the rockies
Mt. Maculot is one of the famous day-hike destinations near Metro Manila. It is located in Cuenca, Batangas and stands at the height of 930 MASL (meters above sea level) on the summit, 706 MASL on the rockies. It is considered a minor climb with difficulty level of 3/9 and trail classification of 1-3 (source:

We planned our climb to Mt. Maculot end of September and scheduled it on the first weekend of October. A day before our climb, PAGASA issued a rain and thunderstorm warning in the vicinity of Batangas so I thought the plan would not push through, plus it's actually raining in Manila that time. However, a friend/mountaineer inquired from some of her friends if it's safe to climb Maculot when its raining and they said it's fairly safe, so off we go to Batangas the next day.

Malaysia-Singapore | Trip Highlights, Itinerary, Expenses

I've written here several posts about our 2012 summer adventures in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Singapore. It was such an awesome trip, a thrilling adventure; we rode (trains, buses, cabs), we walked, we climbed, we visited places; some are interesting, some are not. With this trip too, I smiled, I cried, I freaked out! But all these made this escapade a very memorable one; indeed, an unforgettable experience!

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

A trip to KL would never be complete without visiting their skyscrapers, the KL Tower and the Petronas Twin Towers. These towers, specifically the Petronas Twin Towers symbolize Malaysia's progress and development. And it draws tourists from all around the world, this twin towers being one of the world's tallest structures. There are other interesting landmarks here worth checking out too and these include among others, the Istana Negara, Masjid Negara and Tugu Negara.

If you're a food lover, street dining in Jalan Alor in the Bukit Bintang area is a must-try experience. Jalan Alor offers a dining experience of different cuisines from Malay, Thai and Chinese, a one-stop-dining experience actually.

If you're into temples and willing to climb 272 steps to get into it, you may want to visit the Batu Caves Temple, a Hindu temple at the far north of the city famous for its 140-feet Lord Muruga statue, the tallest statue of Hindu deity in Malaysia. However, if you're one of those travelers who like to shop till you drop, you may want to visit the Chinatown in Jalan Petaling, a street market where you can haggle and shop for less. These are some of the interesting places we've visited in KL; if you want to read more about our adventures in these places, you may click the link to read more about them.

Anyway, for a more detailed account of our adventures in KL, here's our itinerary and actual expenses. I'm not the type who prepares itinerary beforehand; all I do whenever I'm planning a trip is check out interesting places, list down these places and then decide  on where to go and what to do when I'm already there. But I learned to take note of the actual places I visited and the actual expenses I incurred, so here it goes:


Singapore is the smallest country in Asia but despite its size, it is the third richest country in the world, next to  Qatar and Luxembourg. And being one of the richest countries in the world, living here is expensive, much more touring it. If in Malaysia, I spent less than four thousand pesos roaming around and visiting KL's famous attractions, here in Singapore I spent more than twice of what I spent in KL.

Anyway, Singapore is famous for its themed-parks and a visit to this city/country usually entails going to these themed-parks. For our SG escapade, we visited Sentosa Island where I experienced crying while riding the cable car. It is also where I freaked out for riding the skyride, a floating chairlift that gives panoramic view of the Sentosa Island. We've also availed of a one day tour to Universal Studios Singapore, enjoying out different rides from a kiddie-ride Madagascar Crate Adventure to a more thrilling adult ride Battlestar Gallactica. We also tried riding the Singapore Flyer, a giant ferris wheel that gives a panoramic view of the Marina Bay and the surrounding area. For a detailed account of our adventures in SG, you may click the links and read more about them. By the way, following are our itinerary and actual expenses:

~ oo00oo ~

These itineraries do not reflect our overall expenses for our KL and SG escapades but I hope this post somehow gives you an idea of how much a tour to these two countries would cost. I didn't include the cost of our package tour as I know it's a little bit expensive if compared to a DIY airline and hotel bookings, especially nowadays that a lot of seat sales are offered by airline companies.

~ oo00oo ~

Date of Visit: May 6 - 10, 2012
Note: Currency conversions are just estimates, only the expenses in MYR and SGD are actual.

Singapore | The Flyer and the Glittering Cityscape

The Singapore Flyer
For the benefit of those who have not read my previous post regarding my Sentosa night experience, I freaked out in the cable car and skyride. I've fear of heights and those rides, especially the skyride,  really scared me out of my wits. So as we make our way to the Singapore Flyer, I'm asking myself "am I  ready to face my fear of heights yet again thru another ride"? And my answer? Yes! Because I wouldn't let my fears dictate or limit my adventures in SG. I don't know if I could ever set foot again in this country so better to experience everything I could while I'm still here. And so, after one whole day of exhilarating and fun-filled adventures in Universal Studios, we hurried our way to Raffles Avenue for the Singapore Flyer experience.

Singapore Flyer, a giant ferris wheel located in Raffles Avenue is another one of the famous attractions of Singapore. Standing at the height of 165 meters (equivalent to 42 stories high building), Singapore Flyer is the world's highest observation wheel.

another shot of Singapore Flyer, from Merlion Park
It's already past 7PM when we reach the SG Flyer so we immediately bought our tickets (SGD29.50 per person) and hurried our way to the boarding platform (last boarding time is 7:30PM). Unlike my experience with cable car and skyride, a ride to SG Flyer is a very relaxing and enjoyable experience. Although at first I still felt a bit scared; the capsule's flooring is a transparent glass I can see thru it. And when I looked down, it felt like I'm floating in the air. Nevertheless, I was still able to enjoy this ride as I feel safer in it. The Flyer's capsule is very stable even when we walk around it; we didn't feel any movement whatsoever. If not for the changing views as the giant wheel turns around, we wouldn't know that we are moving or turning at all.

Anyway, at one point during the ride, one other tourist who is with us in the capsule mentioned that we could see Malaysia from the Flyer, at least that's how we understand his words. But when we asked him where it is, only then did we realized that he's asking us where Malaysia is rather than telling us where it is. Tsk, talking about language barrier here, hehe! But he was not lying actually, I've read from somewhere that on a clear sunny day, one could really see Malaysia from the Flyer. Too bad it's nighttime then plus the fact that we don't know where to look at so of course, we haven't seen it. ;(

Anyhow, the view from the Flyer is truly breathtaking. I was in awe at the glittering cityscape and the magnificent structures along Marina Bay. I enjoyed taking photos, too. Below are some of my shots; not very good I know, with visible reflections too, so just please bear with them. ;(

the glittering cityscape
Marina Bay Sands
the Marina Bay
Gardens by the Bay - Flower (right) and Cloud Forest (left) Domes
SG highway @ night

~ oo00oo ~

SG Summer Escapades 2012:
* - Singapore Flyer and the Glittering Cityscape

Singapore | A Day at the Universal Studios

Universal Studios Singapore - the most-photographed revolving globe
Universal Studios, a movie theme park located in Sentosa Island, is probably one of the most, if not the most visited attractions in Singapore. It features 7-themed zones - Madagascar, Far Far Away, Lost World, Ancient Egypt, Hollywood, New York and Sci-Fi City. It is a must-see attraction for kids and kids-at-heart, so of course it's included in our SG summer escapade. However, instead of having a DIY tour to Universal Studios, we availed of a package tour worth SGD71 (we were convinced by our city tour driver/guide to get a package tour, regular 1-day pass however costs SGD68). The package includes one way van/bus ride to Sentosa and a 1-day pass to USS (1-day pass includes ride-all-you-can to all USS rides).

Before the city tour driver/guide dropped us at our hotel, he reminded us several times to be at the hotel lobby at exactly 8AM the next day, our pick-up time for the USS tour. And we are glad we did as we were told, the driver (not the city tour driver) who picked us up for the USS tour is very particular with time, the other tourists who are not on time were scolded and embarrassed for being late. And you can't take the driver's words, they were so embarrassing even us got tongue-tied though we're not the ones who are late. Note: Singaporeans are very punctual, they will leave on time and will not wait for you. So if you are going to get a package tour which includes a transfer ride, make sure you are ready at pick-up time to avoid embarrassing situations with snappy drivers, like what we have witnessed.

Anyway, because of the very punctual driver, we make it to USS before its opening, we have so much time taking our photos with the most-photographed part of USS, the haunted revolving globe at the park's entrance (photo not published though). ;P

at the Madagascar zone - A Crate Adventure
Madagascar's A Crate Adventure was our first ride at USS. I am not fond of animation movies (am not a movie fan actually, animated or otherwise) so I'm not really familiar with the characters or animals in the Madagascar zone but the ride actually features a boat ride on a man-made river while listening to the story of the characters and watching some animations/experiencing real-life effects, as if you're a part of the movie. This ride is highly recommended for kids but of course, kids-at-heart are also welcome here. ;)

still at Madagascar Zone - King Julien's Beach Party-Go-Round
We also tried the carousel ride, a bit embarrassing for me because I find this ride really for kids but I don't want to be left alone so of course, I joined them. Enjoyed taking photos here, though... ;)

USS' Far Far Away
Far Far Away Castle
USS' Far Far Away Zone is inspired by the animation movie Shrek. The attractions here, like Shrek 4D Adventure (a 3D film showing with physical or natural effects as if viewers are part of the show) and Donkey Live (an interactive live show featuring Shrek's sidekick Donkey), are basically for kids but still we watched it, we're kids-at-heart remember...hehe!

Lost World's Canopy Flyer
USS' Lost World is the area that features adventure rides, mostly for adults but kids measuring at least 3 feet in height are allowed to ride here as long they are accompanied by adults. This zone has two main themed attractions, the Jurassic Park (based on the Steven Spielberg movie/Michael Crichton novel) and the Waterworld (based on the Waterworld movie starring Kevin Costner). Jurassic Park has two rides, the Canopy Flyer and the Rapids Adventure but we only got to ride the Canopy Flyer; we don't have extra clothes so we didn't try the Rapids Adventure (this adventure will get you wet). And yes, even though I'm afraid of heights, I rode this roller coaster, 'tis a fast ride eh so I've no time getting scared...hehe!

For the Waterworld adventure, I just found out that I have no photos from there, but I have a video of the show. Unfortunately, the video file is too large, I can't upload it here. ;(

USS' Ancient Egypt Zone
Ancient Egypt Zone features Egypt during the ancient times, with statues and structures typically found during that era. The zone is also set up based on the movie The Mummy and features another roller coaster ride, Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride. It is a fast ride with sharp turns, steep ascend/descend and fast reverse in a dark enclosed area. With this ride, you can only feel and imagine the heights but you won't actually see it, a ride advisable to those with fear of heights. I rode this one too! :D

Battlestar Galactica - Human and Cyclon
Battlestar Galactica Cyclon - upside down ;D
There are some other rides that we've tried here at USS; some were kiddie rides (Enchanted Airways, Treasure Hunters and Accelerators), others were also adventurous and thrilling like Transformers: The RideBut the ultimate USS ride for me is the Sci-Fi City's Battlestar Galactica (Human and Cyclon), the world's tallest and intertwined high speed dueling roller coaster ride. Battlestar Galactica Human is a sit-down roller-coaster ride while Battlestar Galactica Cyclon is a suspended roller coaster ride that turns your world upside down. Battlestar Galactica is an exhilarating ride of twists and turns and drops at a zooming speed of up to 90 kilometers per hour, truly a thrilling ride, an adventure of a lifetime. Try it when you go to USS, you'll miss half of your life if you don't. Remember, I've fear of heights but I conquered these rides (Battlestar Galactica, Human and Cyclon); therefore, you should too! ;P 

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* Allot 1 day for USS tours and rides, you need 1 whole day to fully enjoy this park.
* Bring extra clothes, some rides will get you wet so you'll need extra clothing.
* Recommended for kids: Madagascar and Far Far Away zones.
* Kids height requirements (for most rides): at least 3 feet.
* Must try (adults): Canopy Flyer, Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride, Transformers: The Ride, Battlestar Galactica (human & cyclon)

~ oo00oo ~

SG Summer Escapades 2012:
* - Singapore Flyer and the Glittering Cityscape