GIVEAWAY: Where's Nika Turns One

June 15, 2017

Inflatable Island Giveaway
Photo Credits to: Bea

You read that right. My blog is almost a year old and I'm really proud and happy about it! My friends know how inconsistent I am with things and how quick I change my mind about almost everything but actually maintaining this blog for almost a year is an achievement for me.

Blogging has always been my thing. I can't remember how I got in to all this shindig but it has been that way since '09. I started from Multiply, then I discovered Tumblr where I fell deeply in love into blogging. Tumblr had been my home for more than 5 years - started off with reblogging until I finally decided to take it to the next step and got myself my first domain name, littlemissnika.net. So it went on for years until I got lazy and I felt like I wasn't living in the moment anymore. I was MIA from then on.

You're probably wondering why I'm here now. See, blogging was also a therapy for me. There was that time that I had a nervous breakdown I had nowhere to vent out all the stress and anxiety so I opened my Tumblr back and started typing. It dawned on me how much I missed blogging - it's not just the writing part but also the web designing part because hey - one can never have enough theme for one blog. Designing your blog is the most exciting thing!

On a different platform, I decided to return to the blogosphere. I no longer want to share my day-to-day/personal stuff though, that's why I'm in the Travel niche. I first went with gypsy-soul.me as my domain but I realized how silly it sounded! Haha. Knowing that the .com and the .net were unavailable, I should have figured that the url is unquestionably common. 

Now I'm here with www.wheresnika.com as my online travel journal with the hopes of inspiring people with my stories of travel and adventure.

Through this blogging journey of mine, I have found new friends and a lot of inspirations. I have no regrets in ever putting up a blog even when I know that having your thoughts online today means opening yourself up to criticisms aka haters/bashers.

But enough about that, let's cut to the chase. (I wanted this post to be short and simple, why am I making this dramatic?! Haha.) As I mentioned, it's my blog's first year anniversary this coming July! And it's time that I give back something for my lovely readers and followers for all the support! If it wasn't for you guys, I would not have been able to keep this going. 

G I V E A W A Y


wheresnika.com inflatable island giveaway
As a treat for everyone, I'm giving away 2 tickets to the Inflatable Island in Subic, Zambales to one lucky reader. 

AND... *drumrolls*

If you have been following me on Twitter, you know how I've been super psyched about this giveaway and that I said I have a surprise for everyone. 

To make things extra special, I've teamed up with Daydream Republic for this giveaway! Yaaaay! I was so overjoyed when Sasa, the girl behind Daydream Republic accepted my request for a collaboration. That said, we're giving away 2 Bucket List Notebooks from Daydream Republic! HOW COOL IS THAT!

Follow mechanics on the rafflecopter widget below to join.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note:
  • Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter so be sure to do all the steps for a better chance of winning. 
  • Winner #1 will get 2 Inflatable Island tickets + 1 Bucket List Notebook from Daydream Republic
  • Winner #2 will get 1 Bucket List Notebook from Daydream Republic
  • Winners will be announced on all my social media platforms on JULY 1, 2017 - so tune in!
  • Your accounts must be public
  • This giveaway is open for Philippine residents only.
* Inflatable Island Tickets are half-day passes and is valid until September 30, 2017.




The One With All The Succulents

May 27, 2017

secret haven cafe

If you're from Cavite you probably already have been or heard of this cafe, if not, then here's another good cafe for you! Let me take you to the Secret Haven Cafe hidden in Noveleta, Cavite City and here's what awaits for you.

+ OUTDOOR SEATING

secret haven cafe

secret haven cafe

secret haven cafe

secret haven cafe
Upon entering the gates - you'll be surprised at how pleasant the place is, it gives you a warm feeling as if it's your own home. If you look around, you'll notice how the place is surrounded with different kinds of plants and a number of succulents as well. You can also get some cool boardgames outside that you can play with your friends!

I realized they had a bunch of succulents because the gate next door sold succulents! I bought 3 for myself for P100. I had a little chat with the plant dealer, and it turns out the the cafe owner and the plant business owner were siblings! There's a fun fact :)

+ INTERIOR
secret haven cafe

secret haven cafe
 It is quite small inside, but it still is nice! The couch is the best seat inside, it is super comfy! We're not allowed to go upstairs but they put a really nice touch on the stairs. They also got books for bookworms who'd like to read while waiting for the food or maybe if you just feel like reading. They got the set of Game Of Thrones!

+ FOOD
secret haven cafe
Golden Gate P90 (Crispy Mojo Potato - seasoned potato rounds with garlic mayo/honey mustard dip)

secret haven cafe
Colosseum P130 (Classic spaghetti alla Carbonara)
secret haven cafe
Gulfoss P180 (Bacon Mushroom Burger)



They serve sandwiches, burgers, pasta, rice meals, and a number of appetizers to choose from. Serving also milkshakes, frappuccinos, coffee blends, and other beverages. They got cupcakes and some local Filipino local desserts like turon. I tell you, that the food do not disappoint! I had the pasta and AJ had the burger and they both tasted as good as they look on the photo.

They were pretty big on the serving size so you can share with your friends - the price per serving is fair.

+ THOUGHTS
The place is very instragrammable better get your cameras when you go here. The staff were very friendly. We came in just when they opened the cafe so we had the place for ourselves during lunch, which I recommend the best time to go to avoid the crowd. Though I bet the place looks even better at night :)

secret haven cafe


Secret Haven Cafe
Location: Jordan Estate Subdivision, San Jose II, Noveleta Cavite
Follow Secret Haven Cafe on Instagram: @secrethavencafe
Like their Facebook page: Secret Haven Cafe
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Pagkilatan Diaries

May 10, 2017 Batangas, Philippines

I've been flooding my Instagram feed with photos from Pagkilatan, Batangas. If you must know, Pagkilatan is a small town hidden in Batangas City. My uncle owns a house there and lets family use it for vacations. We went there for a day when a cousin from Ireland went home to have a vacation, but we pretty much go there during summer or special occasions. 

Beach goers might not enjoy this place as it is still underdeveloped hence the rocky shores - but if you love the ocean as much as I do, then you will definitely have a great time. Water is as clear as a crystal and it is unlike any other. The sea also have a very healthy marine environment - there is no need to rent a boat to see them. It's a sanctuary.

This is also where I got to put my new Sony A6000 to test and so far so good! I can't wait to buy new lenses for it. The A6000 has lots of great features, it literally blew me away. It also has filters (Picture Effect) and Creative Style feature. I was amazed by the Intelligent Auto mode and by far it's my favorite feature. I'm yet to discover a lot (hopefully) more features and functions on my new toy, so stay tuned. Enjoy the photos and tell me what you think! :)

Pagkilatan Batangas German




Pagkilatan Batangas
Pagkilatan Batangas Dive Spot

Pagkilatan Batangas Sunset


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The One Where We Got A Free Room Upgrade

May 4, 2017

Photo credits to tripadvisor.com.ph

I have just realized that I promised a review of the Inn we stayed at when we were in Panglao last August! I really was having second thoughts on whether I should still blog about it since this post is long overdue. Whilst I was contemplating on that thought, I searched for photos from our Panglao trip and it turns out I have no other photos of the Inn whatsoever. I probably lost them when our computer crashed to hell along with my old photos and files. However, I believe I must write on.

I decided this will not be a "review". I just want to share the weird experience we had when we were staying there.

As soon as we landed on Tagbilaran airport we rented a trike to take us to our accommodation in Pangalo Island, Acacia Sunset Village Inn. We we're booked there for two nights as we'll be touring Panglao for two days before we go to Tagbilaran. Upon entering the resort, I was in awe. They have a private pool which I loved (because I'm a water baby). Though we booked a standard fan room, it was neat and clean, I got exactly what I paid for. I had no complaints!


We checked in at about 4PM. We settled in first before we decided to have an early dinner because our stomachs we're already rumbling when we arrived. We hurriedly went downstairs in the dining area to order food, it turns out they do not offer or sell dinner, they only serve breakfast meals. So we asked for an alternative, and they had one. They gave us a menu of a restaurant in Alona. Knowing that we are far from Alona, the food will take time to get to the hotel. But we didn't have a choice, did we? So we gave the lady our orders and they called the restaurant immediately.




After four or five tries, there was still no answer. Damn, we we're so hungry it made me pissed. Since we could not reach the restaurant's phone, we decided to buy food on the nearest karinderyas (eatery) or sari-sari stores (convinient store) as a last resort. We went for a stroll and saw a few stores open but none of them sell cooked food. We decided to buy a canned tuna but we still needed rice! After a few more kilometers, we finally saw the light. There was one girl setting up a barbecue stand and it gave us hope! There was an eatery too, but there were almost no food left. With our luck, the lady in the store had just finished cooking the rice. It really warmed our hearts, and our stomachs.

There I realized that not every place in the Philippines is as busy as Manila. I mean, yeah there are stores and establishments, but they don't serve as many people like in Manila, and most of them close early. I guess we were just too far away from the city. Nonetheless, it was such a great experience for me, an eye-opening experience.

Related: Panglao Island Travel Guide

When we got back, the owner asked us nicely if we could move to another inn for our second night as her family would be using our room for the night instead. She told us that it was just at the back of their inn and that it was owned by her sister so there would be no problem with the switch whatsoever. To top off that deal, she said that if we agreed, we can have a free breakfast in the morning. So of course, we agreed. Partly because of the free breakfast but mainly because we knew we would be touring the whole day the next day so it won't be that bad if we switch rooms as we won't be spending much time in there anyways.

The next day, we moved to Isla Divina Inn. Funny thing is, the switch was a total upgrade!  From a standard fan room to an air conditioned room. There was also a fridge so it is definitely a plus. I found it weird because, was it usually like this? Is the room/inn switching normal? I don't know, it was just unsual for me. But it was great! So if you're ever given an opportunity like this, don't be afraid to say yes, yes? :)

Book your hotels now via Agoda and get the cheapest rates!

Acacia Sunset Village Inn
What they offer:
+ Airport transfers
+ Air conditioned rooms
+ Studio Rooms
+ Double Rooms
+ Standard Fan Rooms
+ Breakfast Meals
+ Balconies
+ Wi-Fi
+ Swimming Pool
+ Karaoke
+ Bar
+ Tours
Rates: PHP 800 - PHP 4,500 per night
Isla Divina Inn
What they offer:
+ Airport transfers
+ Air conditioned rooms
+ Studio Rooms
+ Double Rooms
+ Standard Fan Rooms
+ Breakfast Meals
+ Balconies
+ Wi-Fi
+ Swimming Pool
+ Garden
+ Bar
+ Tours
+ Shared Kitchen
+ Laundry Service
Rates: PHP 650 - PHP 1,400 per night




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