Australia Family Trip (Day 6) – Melbourne City Tour, Last Full Day in Australia

April 19, 2014. It was our last full day in Australia. We had booked a city tour of Melbourne, and the guides took us to the standard sights around downtown Melbourne, including some shopping arcades. We were eventually dropped off at Victoria Markets, somewhere uptown. That afternoon was spent packing up for our trip back home. With a whole night to spare, I decided to take a walk, as I often do, around downtown, for a few hours that night.

Australia Family Trip (Day 5) – First day in Melbourne

April 18, 2014. The ten-hour train ride to Melbourne went by quickly as we slept through it during the night. We woke up on a Good Friday morning in Melbourne, our hotel just almost across the train station. Upon checking in, I took a walk around downtown by myself, as I often do, only returning to the hotel to join my family for lunch. I took another walk that afternoon after taking a nap, that time taking my little sister with me. Since it was Good Friday holiday, most of the establishments were closed. I was guessing the number of people in the streets that day, numerous as it seems to be at times, was less than normal.

Australia Family Trip (Day 4) – Walking around Sydney, Train to Melbourne

April 17, 2014. Greeted Mama with a birthday cake as soon as I woke up. I had secretly bought one the night before when I went out with a friend. It was our last day in Sydney, and we had the day to ourselves, no tours booked whatsoever. Guided with GPS and Google Maps powered by prepaid mobile internet on my phone, we wandered around downtown Sydney, did a few shopping, before hopping on our ten-hour train to Melbourne.

Australia Family Trip (Day 3) – Blue Mountains, Kangaroos, and Friends

April 16, 2014. We were booked on a tour to the Blue Mountains, a national park west of Sydney. Spectacular views. We were likewise brought to a small zoo where we were able to interact with some kangaroos, koalas and emus. Instead of taking the road back to Sydney, we were ferried on a, well, ferry along the Parramatta River as the sun was setting down. I met up with a childhood friend and her sister for a night out in Sydney.

Australia Family Trip (Day 1) – Sydney


April 14, 2014. One reason why my family chose Australia as our destination for a family vacation this summer was that I had told Mama that being in the Southern hemisphere, temperatures in Australia would be much colder as their seasons are opposite those of us in the ‘North’. Borrowing a tagline from a popular television series, “Winter is coming,” to Australia, for real.

Our first day was spent walking around Darling Harbour in Sydney. We went through the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, ate at McDonald’s, and celebrated my younger brother’s birthday at a Japanese restaurant a few blocks from our hotel.

Briefly in Batangas, then Pangasinan

My paternal relatives have been taking advantage of every opportunity to get together after my paternal grandfather passed away a few months ago. Lolo used to be the reason why the extended family gets together, usually during hospital visits in Manila. Now that he’s gone, any paternal relative’s birthday is a reason for our family to spend the day in upland Cavite or in Batangas. I hope it stays that way.

Last weekend, we went to Nasugbu in Batangas for the birthday of one of my young nieces. We spent the night and the rest of the day-after leisurely at Canyon Cove Resort.

A day after our trip to Batangas, I took a bus to Pangasinan to join my fraternity batchmates from UP Los Banos in a brief leisure outing. After a little more than four hours on the road from Manila, I reached the municipal hall of Bugallon, Pangasinan. I had asked for the bus to drop me off at the landmark where my fraternity brothers were to pick me up. They had arrived hours earlier and had gone sight-seeing ahead of my arrival.

I took the opportunity to go around the plaza taking photos while waiting for my companions. After meeting up with my brods and sisses, we proceeded west of Lingayen to Alaminos, where we spent a few moments at the town’s docks with the famed Hundred Islands in the horizon. Unfortunately since we only had a day and a few hours to stay in Pangasinan, a Hundred Islands trip was out of the itinerary.

Pangasinan w/ Frat Batchmates (Oct. 26, 09) Pangasinan w/ Frat Batchmates (Oct. 26, 09) Pangasinan w/ Frat Batchmates (Oct. 26, 09) Pangasinan w/ Frat Batchmates (Oct. 26, 09) Pangasinan w/ Frat Batchmates (Oct. 26, 09) Pangasinan w/ Frat Batchmates (Oct. 26, 09)
On our way back to Lingayen, we passed by the place of the mayor of Alaminos, who is apparently a fraternity brother also, but we didn’t catch up with him as he was somewhere else. We spent the rest of the afternoon till early in the evening at the wide stretch of beach right behind the provincial capitol in Lingayen. I don’t remember being in a beach that wide-stretching. Like a public park, locals and probably a few tourists were all there just having a good time. The rest of the night was spent at one of our batchmate’s family rest houses in town. We did have to go back to Manila right after midnight since some of us had to attend to our own functions by morning.