Pangasinan | Bolinao DIY Tour: Patar Beach Resort/Bolinao Rock Formations

Patar Beach - Bolinao, Pangasinan

It's past summer time and this post is long overdue but nonetheless, here it is - a continuation and the last part of our day tour in Bolinao.

Bolinao is a popular summer destination up north and prided itself with its pristine beaches. Beach resorts abound in this town; many are pricey but there are some public resorts, too. One of these public resorts is Patar Beach.

Patar beach is situated on the west coast facing the West Philippine Sea. It boasts of a long stretch of  creamy white fine sand and expansive beach front. It is a public beach with no entrance fee so expect to see a lot of crowds here, especially during summer. By the way, since Patar Beach faces an open sea, the beach looks kind of rough even during summer. I find it not safe for young children, probably even for non-swimmer adults, so make sure you watch out for your kids/each other at all times.

Sand's kind of beige but really fine, you can walk around barefoot.
Play, get drunk, chit-chat with your family and friends - some of the things you can do in Patar Beach

my newphews, with the crowd!
I'm somehow  afraid for my nephews' safety but I let them enjoy the waves and the sand for a few minutes, of course,
with my older nephew holding both the kiddos at all times and me kind of nagging him to never let go of them even for a few seconds
the not so friendly waves of Patar Beach :P
play volleyball, if you're tired of swimming

Bolinao Rock Formations in Photos

Our tricycle tour guide brought us in this resort, with 'rock formations' something in its name. Is this the real thing? Am not sure, all I remember is that I paid 50 Php per person as entrance fee here, including the kiddos. No kids discounts! A rip-off, I must say. I saw almost the same formations in the far stretch of Patar Beach.  Anyway, didn't take much photos in here, can't look/walk around because of the little kiddos.

my travel buddies!
lion king!

How to get to Bolinao/Patar Beach

  • From Pasay/Cubao: Go to Five Star Bus Liner terminal in Malibay (Pasay) or Victory Liner (Cubao-EDSA) and take Bolinao-bound bus; get off at Bolinao bus terminal; fare is around 500 Php for aircon buses, one way; travel time is around 6-7 hours.
  • In Bolinao, take a tricycle going to Patar Beach, fare is around 150 Php, one way. 

  • In our case however,  we get off at Church of Saint James since we came from Bani (via a jeepney). On the side street across the church are tricycles offering Bolinao tour; cost is 600 Php, round trip; tour takes around 3-4 hours, depending on how long you stay in each of the tour destinations.

~ oo00oo ~

Patar Beach is part of a DIY tour my nephews and I made last 2015, while on vacation at my mother's hometown Bani. Just like my Ilocos Norte adventure, it was also via a tricycle. Bolinao DIY tricycle tour costs 600 Php covering four of Bolinao's tourist destinations - Bolinao Lighthouse, Enchanted Cave, Rock Formations and this beach.

Patar Beach
Patar, Bolinao, Pangasinan
Entrance Fee: None
Shower Fee: 10 Php
Date of Visit: May 3, 2015

Financial Wanders | Wandering New Track: My First Step Towards Financial Freedom

"A big part of financial freedom is having your heart and mind free from worry about the what-ifs of life" ~Suze Orman
Life's journey is full of twist and turns. There's no such thing as straight line to happiness and/or success. At times, it seems so twisted it looks like we'll never make it. But this doesn't mean we should quit. Oh, WE MUST NOT!

credit to the owner

For around three quarters of my life, I've been working. It's been so long that nowadays, I feel like quitting. Sadly, I can't. Not yet! I still need this 8-hour day job to go on living. But don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I'm merely stating facts. And this post isn't about work anyway, this is all about the new track I'm taking, the road to financial freedom. :)

Last year, we got a new boss in the office who introduced us to stock investing. (Oh by the way, we're an IT company; it's just that this new boss is into stock investing and told us about it.) I got so curious that since then, I started reading a lot about stocks and investments. After reading a lot and finding out that it should be the money working for me instead of me working for the money, I tried applying and opening an account with COL Financial, a registered online broker. Last February, I downloaded COL's registration forms and diligently filled-up everything. Because I have no time personally submitting the forms, I sent it via courier. Yey! I've done the first step, I'm on my way to financial freedom. Or so I thought!

Unfortunately, after waiting for more than a week, I got a reply (via email) from of one of their customer relations officer informing me that I've submitted incomplete documents. She's asking me to fill up the forms again without telling me what's missing. I got disappointed that instead of going through all their forms again, I went to BDO the following weekend and open an account with them. After getting my ATM card and registering for an online account, I applied for BDO Nomura (also an online broker affiliated with BDO) account via BDO Nomura website. No forms, no couriers, all online! After two days, I got an email telling me that my application is approved. I waited for another day or two and got another email, this time from PSE Tradex giving me my temporary trading PIN. I then logged in to my Nomura account, nominate a permanent trading PIN, fund my account and started trading and investing. That easy! No sweat, isn't it? Yes, first step done!

I'm into stocks trading and investment for a month now. I gained some, lose some. I'm still learning the ropes, the ins and outs of stock market but I know in time, I'll get the financial freedom I'm dreaming of, little by little, one step at a time. I know there will be lots of twists and turns but I also know that if I work hard for it, I'll be rewarded, if not soon, then later. When that time comes, I'll be making money work for me and not the other way around. What about you? Are you heading your way towards that financial freedom?

~ oo00oo ~

For those interested in opening an online trading account with Nomura, check out this link: 5-minute 5-step to opening BDO Nomura account. For more info and review of other online brokers, check this out: A Review of Online Stockbrokers (COL, First MetroSec, BDO Nomura, Philstocks, MakeTrade and BPI Trade) in the Philippines. If you still have more questions, I'd be happy to answer them and help you go through it, just post your queries below. I can only help you with opening and setting up a BDO Nomura account though, I ain't no stock guru. I, myself, is a noob! :) 

PS: This is a story of my personal experiences, this isn't a sponsored post.

Happy Sunday everyone, God bless!

Quezon City | 10 Things To See and Do at Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center

Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center

~ oo00oo ~


Last year, for the first time in my life, I've been to the clinics every quarter of the year; having myself checked for various symptoms and pains I'm experiencing. I've found out I'm having elevated BP, my uric acid level is above normal range, I have GERD and I have chronic shoulder/back pains. So aside from regular check-ups and doctors' advice, I read a lot of health and fitness articles online and found out I could eliminate all the pains I'm having if I will just lose weight. Since then, I realized I need to get out more and move more if I want to live a healthier life, free from medicines and diet restrictions. No more Netflix and mobile games now (I'm trying hehe). So this 2020, I started again this #sitlessmovemore mantra. Everyday on my way to work, I walk from MRT to my office  instead of riding a cab. And I didn't just walk, I do brisk walking, in order to keep my heart pumping and improve my VO2 max. And every Saturday, I went to Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center to jog/walk for at least an hour. I still couldn't do straight jogging for 1km but I'm working on it.

Enough about me and my health and fitness issues, back to the reason why I'm updating this blog. One of the commenters below wrote new rates and that NAPWC charges more to foreign visitors. I didn't know it back then so when I started again this weekend jog at the park, I inquired about their new rates. And he's (or she's?) right, NAPWC rate for foreign visitors is 100 Php, higher than the entrance rate of local visitors. Actually, all NAPWC rates were increased; rates got tripled, more than triple for some fees, actually. But the entrance clerk quickly mentioned that they're not implementing foreign rate as of now as they don't have 100 Php tickets, yet. I don't understand why foreign visitors should be charged higher than the locals but for now (or until they have printed 100 Php tickets), foreign visitors out there who want to explore NAPWC can enjoy the 30 Php entrance fee, same as local visitors. Below is the copy of the updated Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center entrance, parking, facilities and commercial filming rates.

Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center 2020 entrance, parking and other fees
Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center 2020 entrance, parking and other fees

~ oo00oo ~

Sit less... move more... explore!, my mantra this 2017. This is because I realized I'm not getting any younger that getting physically fit is a must. And one way of achieving it without getting bored is to go out and explore the city (am living in Quezon City) around me. One of the first place I explored is the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center.

Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center (NAPWC) is a 22 hectare zoological and botanical garden located in Diliman, Quezon City, very near Quezon City Memorial Circle (just across QCMC's North Avenue entrance). Aside from being a park, it serves as a temporary refuge for donated, abandoned, rescued and confiscated animals. Several government offices under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) are located there, including the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB), an agency in-charge of the management, protection and conservation of protected areas and wildlife including those sheltered in NAPWC.

Anyway, if you're like me who wants to move more without spending more, Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center is one of the place to be. It's very near and it's cheap (only 30 Php entrance fee), a very good alternative than going to a gym. In NAPWC, you'll lose some extra pounds while exploring your very own city; you'll even learn something new that will raise your awareness of the environment.

forest in the city

Exercise: Walk/Jog around the Lagoon

As I mentioned earlier, NAPWC is a good place to do your walking and/or jogging. You can walk and jog here anytime of the day since the park is mostly shaded with trees. Walking around and exploring the park would take about three hours so imagine the calories you'll lose. I did it the first time I went there. The next time around, I did my walking/jogging just around the lagoon, circling around it at least two times.

jogging/walking around this lagoon and taking photos, too :)

Picnic/Play With Family/Friends

For QC dwellers, NAPWC is known as a picnic park. Many families go there especially those with young children. They play around, do some catching up (probably some gossiping, too... hehe), eat together and just sit and relax. Some even celebrates a family member's birthday. Cheap yet fun, right?

a family celebrating a member's birthday
playing around with friends
pink-themed picnic :P
more picnics
picnics pa more


Walking around the park, I noticed several photo sessions here and there. I've also seen some groups shooting and directing some plays. Majority involves children dressed like a princess and/or using their (probably) favorite character's costume. I've also witnessed an on-going photography session with aspiring (I suppose, hehe) models. If you're a photography enthusiast, drop by NAPWC and be inspired by those photographers. You may even ask to join them, I just don't know if it's free.

kid's in a photo session...
dressed like a little princess...
briefing before the photo session...
photographers in action...
heard the theme's about the sang'gres, you be the judge!
photographing the photographers ;)

Wedding Prenups

If you're on a budget but still would like to have that dreamed prenup photos and video to showcase on your wedding day, consider NAPWC as your photo shoot location. You and/or your photographer will surely find a nice spot to do it; you may even bring some props and kits to help with your theme. I've seen several couple doing it, just be creative.

Wildlife Rescue Center

As mentioned above, NAPWC is a refuge for donated, abandoned, rescued and confiscated animals. There is this particular section of the park dedicated for them, the Wildlife Rescue Center. It's a bit of a cramped area with cages all around that housed various animals - birds, snakes, wild cats, crocodiles and many others. Check them out and make your children be aware of those protected animals.

Wildlife Rescue Center
caged chattering lory... aptly named,
she (beautiful color so I assume a she's a 'she' hehe) never stopped chirping and chattering
not within the rescue center area but still caged
caught him (I assume he's a 'he') munching on his food
Philippine Eagle: he (again, I assume he's a 'he') seems sad
probably he wants to be free
looking for a way to escape?!
Haring Ibon: pambansang ibong ng Pilipinas

Fishing Village

I wasn't able to enter the fishing village premise but I suppose you can rent the place for a special occasion. I saw it fully decorated with caterers/waiters waiting around to serve its guests. You may ask the park's administration, for a more accurate information about this one.

The Fishing Village

Gazebo and the Amphitheater

Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center is a photographer's haven. And the Gazebo is it's most photographed section, I suppose. A lot of people gathered there to do their selfies, some others (young and young once) in photo session with their photographers.

where people do their selfies :P
the amphitheater: just don't know if it's for free
saw teenagers practicing their dance steps here, though
where selfies and photo sessions abound...
you can do some bamboo rafting in here, too

The Aquatic House and the Serpentarium

In case you don't know, NAPWC also has this section for sharks and other marine life. It doesn't look well-maintained and with only a few fishes but if you want to introduce your children to marine life, then you may check out their aquatic house. It is located just beside the serpentarium.

hammer head sharks and me ;)
the aquatic house...
The Serpentariun
several snakes can be seen in here

Food Trip

If you and/or your family didn't bring some food, there are several food stalls and vendors inside NAPWC. Rice meals, noodles, dim sums, ice cream, chips and other junk foods - you'll find them there. For a rice meal, price ranges from 50 Php to 60 Php; noodles and other snacks are of course, cheaper. For a minimal amount, you'll never get hungry in this place.

the food station, where I took my brunch :)
because me and my wallet's on a diet ;)
food vendors...

Relaxing, Dating, Training, Meetings and a lot more

relax with your daughter, on a hammock
Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center is a popular field trip destination
even on a weekend, many buses arrived here transporting children for their field trip
don't know who they are but it seems like they're here for a training
sleep under the canopy of trees
date with your special someone...
fresh air, peaceful environment and most of all, free (almost!)

~ oo00oo ~

Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center
Diliman, Quezon City (near QC Circle)
Entrance Fee: 30 Php - adults; 15 Php - student; FREE for SCs/PWDs/children below 7y/o
Parking Fee: 150 Php - bus; 60 Php - jeep/coaster; 45 Php - cars/SUV; 20 Php - tricycle/motorcycle
Operating Hours: Tuesday - Sunday; 7:00AM - 5:00PM