solo traveller · Travel

The Whale Shark Expedition – Cebu, Oslob

The flight took me over 5 hours via Silkair as there was a layover time of 45-50 minutes, hence AirAsia / Cebu airlines will make better options to save time. However, I melted as soon as we were approaching the destination with this view from the top:

Since this is the first time I am travelling without a pre-booked transfer, I decided to take a taxi to my hotel in the city which cost me only about 400peso for an hour ride to Hotel Elizabeth Cebu. Traffic isn’t as smooth even on a weekday, so I could barely imagine if is over the weekends.

Cebu City

Next early morning I set off to a nearby iconic church – Basilica del Santo Niño. A visit to the Cathedrals in the city would be the least I could spare before heading south. I also made the effort to queue up with the locals there to make offerings and gave thanks. According to the locals faith and belief, Santo Nino blessed their many generations. They ask not for wealth but only to live humbly with great health and harmony.

Basilica del Santo Niño
Basilica del Santo Niño
Basilica del Santo Niño

Just by the streets opposite the church, this thirst quencher is a must have from the overwhelming heat in the city! A cuppa melon juice, freshly squeezed of course! The boss was elated when I wanted to take a photo.

Cebu City

After checking out from the hotel, is time for a 19km bus ride down south! I actually booked a room at Alcoy – Mangrove ECO Resort and there are only 2 options to travel there :

  1. Local bus – Ceres Liner from South Bus Terminal or
  2. Hire a private car / taxi for 3500 pesos minimally

Of course I took the chance and went for the first and tadah! It cost me only 140peso which is equivalent to SGD4. Not too bad a deal since is a full 4 hours ride with air-con. Downside is it would possibly take me only 2.5-3 hours for a private hire as there are too many frequent stopovers for alighting and boarding of passengers.

Ceres Liner bus ticket

A usual routine to embark to a supermarket since there isn’t any 7-11 or convenient stores around. I took their tricycle which resembles a “tuk tuk” in Bangkok and paid only 20pesos for about a 4km ride. And yes… the supermarket to them is also known as our wet market but pretty much has every needs:

Aloy town aka “supermarket”
Aloy town

After a stormy night for my arrival, this was the sunrise view at 5:30am. Yup I was all ready by 5am just for another bus ride to Oslob for the whale sharks

Sunrise at Mangrove ECO Resort

It was an hour ride further down this time at 43pesos only and the locals were so friendly enough to help me prompt the driver for me to alight as I was the only foreigner on board.

There are plenty of vendors you could pick from but since I wasn’t aware, I took the one by the corner and wasn’t too impress by my view… On the other hand, I am not a multi-tasker with my go-pro and snorkels cos I almost didn’t turn the recording mode on a few times. The ones that swam by to my view are huge but not as gigantic and only managed to catch a few glimpses only when the feeder passed by to our corner. After being there then did I understand the controversial on the impact of the behaviour and habitat of whale shark tourism – overfeeding and congregation of the sharks in an area.

Eventually, I hope that the marine conservation will continue with the monitoring of these delicate and vulnerable ones.

Whale Shark – Oslob

Tumalog waterfall was next, total was about 1,900peso as a package including snorkelling with the whale sharks. I appreciate waterfalls but not highly fond of.

Tumalog Waterfall

Eventually it was only 11:30am when it all ended there, I was then recommended to take a ferry to Sumilon Island for a decent beach. Have to mention to take the ferry via Bluewater Sumilon Island which cost me about 1,500peso on a weekday including buffet lunch at the resort. Finally a decent beach for a bummer! Too bad my phone and go-pro died on me pretty early but I had more snorkelling by the sandbar and their lagoon till sunset.

Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort
Sumilon Island
Sumilon Island
Sunset at Sumilon Island

So the other purpose was also for me to trial dive which turns out disastrous due to my sinusitis! It wasn’t ok for me when it hit me hard to realise how serious my sinusitis is.

My first dive

Afterall, I am happy for just a getaway not just discovering a new destination – Cebu but also myself once again =)

So long now till my next trip up to Palawan and Coron Islands

blogging · Poem · Poetry · singapore bloggers · yoga pants and messy hair

When The Stars Shines And The Heaven So High

Please don’t judge me if I talk to the stars up above the sky
For this is how I send my messages up to heaven 

Please don’t ask me why the stars and not the moon
For I know that is where they belong to ever shining

Please speak of nothing and stay just by my side
For this moment in time is precious 

Please be gentle with your breathing and possibly close the eyes
For the essence of silence is not in denial

In loving memory of my mum and dad

blogging · singapore bloggers · Uncategorized · yoga pants and messy hair

Opening speech and script for Savasana

When I begin to teach I struggled with a script on the opening and during Savasana and it took me some time to get it all adjusted and tuned to my own style. Putting in too much words could get too confusing and too few could not get the class momentum. To me, these 2 carry a lot of weight in leading and guiding the students to the right intentions and allow me to control anonymous force of unwanted energy whenever I felt.

Opening speech:

Sit on your mat comfortably crossing the legs or in half lotus, or in virasana pose if that suits you.
Resting the wrists or the palms by the knees, just roll the shoulders back a few times then begin to close the eyes, allowing the upper lids to turn heavy.
Sit tall by rooting the sit bones to the earth, fill the space in each vertebrae of your spine, extending the crown of the head up towards the sky.
Relax all your facial muscles, creating the space in between the eyebrows.
Relax the cheeks and jaws, softening the shoulders. Allow the elbows to hang loose. Keep connecting your wrists or palms to the knees.
Release any tension from the hips, knees and down to the ankles.
Building the awareness in each of your own breaths.
As you inhale, feel the warmthness; as you exhale soften the neck and down the shoulders.
Inhale to create the vibrations; exhale to release any tensions.
(Then continue to 5 rounds of cleansing breaths)

Savasana speech:

Begin to lie on your back with feet wider than hip distance apart, palms facing up towards the sky slightly away from the hips.
Surrender yourself by sinking the lower back, shoulder blades and the back of your head into the earth.
Allow the toes to fall onto either sides, relax the skin around the knees and release all tension from the hips.
Soften the skin around the stomach, through the chest and up to the neck.
Release both shoulders down to the earth, relaxing the elbows and wrists.
Create the space in between the eyebrows, relax the cheeks and jaw, parting the lips lightly.
Sinking the back of your skull down to the earth, allow your eyeballs to roll back into the sockets.
Surrender and keep surrendering…

Though they are not too fanciful as I do have a bad memory hence these are my most comfortable scripts by far and always trying to fine tune to fit best for sure!

Namaste xoxo

blogging · singapore bloggers · Uncategorized · yoga pants and messy hair

WEEKEND IMMERSION WITH JANI JAATINEN – Gokul Vinyasa Masterclass 26 March 2017

I was still breathing, but not sure if I was still alive after 90minutes into the flow. It was progressively dynamic with several peak postures that I had never done before. The confidence in this sequence is awe-inspiring as sequencing a vinyasa class has to be energy nourishing, focused on the natural flow of the breath,  yet fun and creative.

Though it was a 2 hours flow, the energy building was fluid in the class and even though my body was suggesting a break with the hunger but I just wanted to continue as much.

What matters most is not so much about the poses but how effective are the transitions and drills to get us into them. There were about 7 to 8 peak poses however, there are a few that made such imprints to me:

1) Paschimottanasana with elbows (This was such a good one and I believe it will be part of my routine practice as of now)

2) Internal rotation of shoulders (this is one hell breaker seriously but the after effect was just like an after massage from all those chaturangasanas)

3) Though we are familiar with this pose, but with the feet turned down and toes tucked under, I would have to give more love to my toes and balls of the feet more often now =(

And of course our finale inversion of a headstand then a shoulder stand thereafter was just so needed. As the masters always say: Doing yoga is not the same as taking photos for Instagram. So yup… I always have to agree on that

All photos credits by Outta Hatha Yoga

Thanks to Gokul Yoga and Jani Jaatinen

blogging · singapore bloggers · Uncategorized · yoga pants and messy hair

Weekend Immersion With Jani Jaatinen by Outta Hatha Yoga – Handstand & Forearm Balance 25 March 2017

This is his second immersion and I am more than honoured and humbled to attend again =)

There are plenty of workshops to begin with and I can only make time and invest just for a few of them. And this is one of them I couldn’t afford to miss since the last one he was here. So I was just at the Handstand & Forearm Balance yesterday since I have always been practicing and trying to perfect on my pinchamayurasana. I must say that his approach is very grounded, inspirational and  filled with the abundance of knowledge that at times I can barely make out whatever that was spoken. I take that as a bonus since my purpose for any workshops is to gain far more and beyond of what I have acquired.

During this workshop, we did nothing of kicking our legs up to get into the posture but we were presented with the fundamentals of rooting down our forearms. As much as I am concerned a solid foundation builds up a higher probability of being elevated and habitual good muscle retention rather than executing an asana with no intention or awareness.

Didn’t manage to take photos but I would say I personally experienced out of the usual engagement from the root of my palms, outer elbows, shoulders and towards the lower back.

With handstand being shared next I am more than delighted with the sharing of some tips especially when it comes to the placement of our hands. I had some discrepancies and concerns with how the position of the palms and fingers should be placed and here is goes:

Root of the palms – Thumb and Index fingers

This has been taught to me from the beginning from downward dog (adho mukha svanasana )to ensure the space between the thumb and index fingers have to be rooted.

And yup this should be the case anyhow:

However, I have also seen some of my students and practitioners with fingers grasping / gripping:

  1. with root of the index finger and thumb and finger pads sinking down  OR
  2. with only the wrist and the finger pads sinking down

Not to mention I did try all 3 methods and the last was the worst I ever felt with discomforts as if my wrist was going to be disconnected and break away from me. Though the second option was slightly better I couldn’t feel the stability, or possibly my core isn’t strong enough. Of course the first approach is highly recommended all time and even applied to whenever I teach my students what grounding means. This will also prevent any unnecessary wrist pressure so long as we are in any inversions typically in downward dog.

As from the controversial methodologies applied, we also discussed on placement of the feet – flexed or pointed toes in which I can only continue in my next post.

Looking forward to the next session tomorrow morning – Gokul Vinyasa Masterclass