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The RM400 ground cost and kelam kabut trip

As a start, ok wait…warning this is going to be long…haha…as usual…but if you find it interesting then go ahead…oh and thank you…hehe

Now now, I just got back from Palembang, South Sumatra for my 5D4N trip…covered the Palembang city and also Pagaralam…mostly Pagaralam though…the kelam kabut was I didn’t even plan my trip…not until last minute…yes I bought the tickets months before but somehow too caught up with works…that Friday (6th Feb – the day of my trip started) was the day I planned everything, from getting my rupiahs to even plan where to go and how should I do my trip…I didn’t book my accommodation just plan to go there and walk in…and I only limit my budget with RM400…thus, the kelam kabut trip…haha…

officially my trip to South Sumatra was on 7th – 11th Feb…that 6th was the day I went to KL for an overnight stay at Capsule in KLIA2 cause my flight on 7th to Palembang was around 8A.M…Capsule was great, my only issue was I can’t fart and I have to hold it in like craayyyzayyy…hahaha…oh and expect a basic hostel accommodation…

oya, this is also my third solo trip…so let’s do this…

DAY 1 – 7th Feb 2015

Flight AirAsia from KL to Palembang on 8.30A.M. Touchdown around 9+ A.M. local time…then straight to find taxi wanted to go to Pagaralam…the taxi driver, Kamil was so nice…he told me few things and when I said I wanted to go to Terminal Karya Jaya he was quite shocked…said that the terminal is an abandoned place and no one really wanted to go there anymore…however, he told me since I did my research, he brought me there too and showed me how abandoned that place was…there were quite a few bus operators there but it was quiet…quite creepy I must say…then he brought me to loket for buying bus ticket to Pagaralam…loket means counter so if you want to find bus you may go the one near Ampera Bridge (the opposite side from Masjid Agung Palembang) and just by the road you will find quite a few loket to buy ticket. Bought ticket to Pagaralam scheduled to leave at 2P.M. While waiting for the bus, I went to the town bought me a map of Palembang…then I just walked to Masjid Agung Palembang and crossed the AMPERA Bridge…also get to see the MONPERA…since I only have around 2 hours before my bus, so I decided to explore the city just a bit…cause it was quite a distance to walk…haha

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#funfacts

1) AMPERA stands for AManat PEnderitaan RAkyat which is the symbol of rakyat rules the place…

2) Masjid Agung Palembang was built on the 18th century.

3) MONPERA stands for MONumen PErjuangan RAkyat which was built in remembrance of the battle of the rakyat for kemerdekaan dated on 17th August 1945…

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AMPERA Bridge

AMPERA Bridge

Masjid Agung Palembang

Masjid Agung Palembang

MONPERA

MONPERA

then around 2.20P.M. moved to Pagaralam… (the bus was late!)…did a stop at Prabumulih after around 4 hours of travelling time…oh the usual time from Palembang to Pagarlam is roughly 7-8 hours…so nipis bontot!!!

however, due to traffic jam I arrived at Pagaralam around 12 midnight…frikkin 10 hours on the busssss…oh and the good part about bus system here is that they will send you to your particular destination…I did my research and found Mirasa Hotel so I just asked the driver to drop me off there…nicely enough, since it was midnight the bus driver decided to wait for me…and he said in case there is no vacant room (since I didn’t book any) he will send me to the next hotel…thank God there is a vacant room and checked in at Mirasa Hotel at 150000 Rupiah…around RM50 though…

once I settled down, to my fear, I lost my emergency cash of RM200…yeah somehow I lost it…didn’t really know how…but thank God my other cash especially the Rupiah were safe…

Day 2 – 8th Feb 2015

Woke up early…but turned out it was raining…and around almost 12P.M. only did the rain decided to stop…lost half of my day…oh I met the owner of the hotel I was staying at though…a 72 year old Nenek Yati…able to chat for a while…then hired ojek (means motorcyclist as far as I can conclude) to visit some of the places I have been listing out from my last minute research…went there with Mas Safri…not really Mas cause he is at the same age as me…haha

1) Megalithic structure of Besemah people

2) Mount Dempo area

The megalithic structures that I have seen were around the Tanjong Aro and the Tegur Wangi archeological site…the Tanjong Aro one were a house and also a statue of a couple constricted by a snake…then at the Tegur Wangi the place was said to be a holy and sacred one…because people used to have ceremony when death happened…they will be in traditional clothes and be beautiful to pray for the safety of the souls and also themselves…the distance were quite far though…but then got to know there are few more structures in Pagaralam…

A house at Tanjong Aro site

A house at Tanjong Aro site

Statue of a couple strangled by a snake

Statue of a couple constricted by a snake

another house at Tegur Wangi

another house at Tegur Wangi site

Batu Beghibu

Batu Beghibu at Tegur Wangi

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#funfacts

1) the ‘Batu Beghibu’ structure were the ‘altar’ for their offerings…it was said they would place all of those offering on or near the statue…’Batu Beghibu’ means statue with jewellery on their ears therefore it was often the women wore beautiful jewellery on their ears when the ceremony is held…

2) These Megalithic structures were estimated to be around 3000 – 4000 years old

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For Mount Dempo area, I went to Cughup Mangkok which is a waterfall in the shape of mangkuk thus the name…then went to Tea Valley of Mount Dempo…it was spectacular…but it was a long journey and pegal (cramp in the language there) riding the motorcycle up until around 1800 metres above sea level high which is the entry point for climbing Mount Dempo…the weather was rather nice, windy with clouds and at times a little bit of rain…

Cughup Mangkok

Cughup Mangkok

Tea Valley

Tea Valley

Tangga 2001 at Tea Valley

Tangga 2001 at Tea Valley

Safri and I at end of Tangga 2001

Safri and I at the end of Tangga 2001

Entry Point for climbing Mt. Dempo

Entry Point for climbing Mt. Dempo

Tugu Rimau

Tugu Rimau

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#funfacts

1) Mount Dempo is a volcano and there are two peaks called Dempo and Merapi. The hiking time would be around 6-7 hours from the entry point. If you knew the way, you can climb without the help of a guide usually you can hire one to help you with a cost of 400,000 Rupiah. The fees to climb is just the entrance fees around 10,000 – 15,000 Rupiah per person.

2) Tugu Rimau is at the entry point. I was told once upon a time there were a lot of tigers in Mount Dempo, therefore the tugu might have been built to ensure the tigers were at peace and leave the hikers alone.

3) I was also told those who are originally from Palembang cannot climb Mt. Dempo. It was unsure but maybe there was a curse behind it. People said every time a Palembang-ians climbed, there will be a catastrophe. Recent event was a climber found dead and his body floated on the crater lake. After the family members of the climber came to say sorry to the mountain, only then the body sink into the lake. But this is more towards scary fact.

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Then I end up my exploration day with Sup Buntut and Sup Kerupuk. The foods were greaaattttt!

Foods!

Foods!

The Sup Kerupuk is on the left side and Sup Buntut is on the other…For me sup kerupuk is more like laksa in Malaysia cause of the asam and the soup was made with fish…I really thought sup buntut was the bontot part of cow (or was it bull??)…but turned out it was just Sup Ekor for us in Malaysia…haha

Day 3 – 9th Feb 2015

The day I checked out…woke up quite late cause of exhaustion…explored the city of Pagaralam…yeah on foot of course…but as I was exploring around 1+ hour it started to rainnnn…so decided to go back to the hotel and stay there…my bus ticket to Palembang was on 9P.M. so I had wayyyy long hours to wait up until the time to be picked up at the hotel…

Quite jakun when I walked at the city…because they have this mini petrol station (oh they called it bensin) in front of almost every shop there…I was fascinated by it…it was called ‘Pertamini’…

Pertamini

Pertamini

However, my waiting time was not wasted because I got to have pretty long chit chat with Nenek Yati and staff there especially Safri and Nanda…they were so nice…Nenek Yati even served me with biscuits and some local kuih…she even offered to serve me with hot tea or coffee…but I declined and bought the teh botol instead…so local stories with teh botol…hehe…after a while, Nenek Yati went to rest and Nanda joined me to share stories…after that Safri came and more of the staff…they served me with drinks and guringan which happened to be pisang goreng, ubi goreng and also cucur sayur…

Oh buah salak is also one of the famous tanaman in Pagaralam…I did bought them and they were really nice…however, Nenek Yati told me the ones that I bought were small and they are usually bigger…the bigger ones are sweeter…oh I was also told that buah salak is so fine that the finest ones will be sent to the istana and the authority…

Nenek Yati

Nenek Yati

Guringan

Tasting guringan

buah salak

buah salak

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#funfacts

1) Bahasa kampung at Pagaralam is different from Bahasa Indonesia…surprising enough their language is almost the same with Bahasa Melayu semenanjung…they are also using,“mane”, “ape”, “name”…but with different accent…their “mane” was more panjang…they would be saying,“maneee”…harakatnya panjang sedikit…haha

2) Upin Ipin is seriously famous…I knew in Indonesia Upin Ipin was quite known but never knew in Pagaralam it was REALLY FAMOUS…they said not even the kids are watching…but the adult too…and they love Upin Ipin because they said Upin Ipin is just their distant relatives due to the same language…oh the fame of Upin Ipin is not stopping there…since most of the people are petani I was even told one time, people in Pagaralam tanam “Sayur Sawi Upin Ipin”…coolness!

3) Mirasa Hotel has been running for 35 years.

4) Working in Malaysia is their version of American dreams.

5) Culture in Pagaralam…if you put a lighter on your box of cigarettes it’s an indication that you are kedekut.

6) Wesi or WC is toilet or kamar kecil.

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Then around 9+ P.M. the bus came to pick me up…Nenek Yati even gave me some local kuih as my bekal on my journey to Palembang…but silly me I left it on the table at the waiting area of the hotel…sobs3

Day 4 – 10th Feb 2015

Arrived at Palembang around 6 A.M…walked from the loket to Masjid Agung Palembang and take my bath there then get myself some rest…around 10 A.M. then I moved to explore more on city of Palembang…I did covered a few places before it rained (again!)

1) Benteng Kuto Besak

2) Museum Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II

Okay the thing about museum it will always be creepy right…but then I just entered it and coincidentally I was the only one inside…the staff were all at the entrance…there were so many of the historical displays from inscriptions to ancient manuscript to ceramics from Ming Dynasty in China to the colonial times…and so I arrived to this beautiful section of local traditional wedding…the first sentence that came out of my mouth was,”this is quite creepy” then just went along reading and taking pictures…and so I came to this part of room arrangement for malam pertama (I think)…I took picture of it then approached to take a nearer shot…as I approached the curtain on the right side of the bed moved and there was a sound like “rrrr”…I swear to God there was none wind producer that would make the curtain move…then I have goosebumps all over and I felt a presence…something was there…and I moved away then the curtain stand still like nothing has happened…see the picture below (yes, I managed to snap while the incident happened)

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Tried to go to Masjid Cheng Ho (distance away from the city) cause I saw it on my research and it was a beautiful work of architecture…but then I was on foot and it was raining therefore decided to just explore the city…I did try the famous Palembang dish, which is pempek…it was actually like a dim sum…however the dumplings were made from tepung and ikan…you can have variety of fillings with them or none…it was good…but since I was quite short on money decided to only have three only…but yeahhhh nice foods…

another view of Masjid Agung Palembang

another view of Masjid Agung Palembang

Benteng Kuto Besak

Benteng Kuto Besak

Pempek

Pempek

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#funfacts

1) Benteng Kuto Besak was built in 18th century…the inception took 17 years long and used to protect the governing centre…Kuto Besak is where the palace of Sultan was…

2) The museum was once a palace of the Palembang Darussalam Sultanate, built at the same time with Masjid Agung Palembang in the 18th century…once called Keraton Kuto Kecik / Kuto Lamo.

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Planned to walk to airport though since it was still morning while exploring the city…my plan was just walk to airport then would arrive there before the sun set…yeah it was that far but I still planned on getting there by foot…then I would just rest at the airport while waiting for my flight back to KL…limited budget you see…haha…as I walked, Pak Kamil found me…the taxi driver on that Saturday…he remembered me and immediately called me for a ride…I did say no, but he insisted on me having a ride with him since he was so worried (airport is frikkin far)…oh and it was raining…so he was quite membebel also la…haha…but he charged me with minimum fees though…

But as Pak Kamil drove me to airport…my plan went down cause I arrived there by 12 P.M…and my flight will only be the next day at 9.25 A.M…haha dannggg…but Pak Kamil showed me the airport’s masjid and told me to just rest there…so I did…

Day 5 – 11th Feb 2015

Woke up early bought me some breakfast and teh kotak…waiting for the counter check in to open since I had problem with my check in…then met Pak Kamil again and he asked how was I, was everything safe and all…a really nice guy…then around 9.30 I was off, back to Malaysia and Goodbye Palembang!

Palembang

Palembang

So that’s just it about my solo travel this time…I will definitely come to Pagaralam again because I would love to climb Mt. Dempo…since I knew some people, the next time might be easier…so till the next travel post from me!!see ya…

2014: The Highs and Lows

and like the past years another review of my year…the 2014 review is here!!not quite sure what I am going to write but let’s just move along so the flow will sip in…

alright so let’s start;

#ADVENTURE-ISH LIFE

okay in March 2014 I climbed the Mt Kinabalu for the first time…twas awesome…although I can say it’s frikkin tiring…oh I faced cramp on my whole lower body halfway…but continued with the pain and when I arrived at the Low’s Peak, the sun started to get up, IT WAS WORTH EVERY SINGLE PAIN THAT I HAD…seriously, I felt like I need to be back again! Here’s a shot of South Peak.

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after that, my FIRST EVER SOLO TRIP in April…been planning it for months…2014 was also the year I decided to travel…by myself…was quite nervous but hey it ended up well…where did I go??Philippines…the first country for my very own personal trip…specifically Cebu and Bohol…but I spent most of time exploring Bohol Island…wrote a post on it so you may read it HERE

Mactan Cebu International Airport

Mactan Cebu International Airport

then in August, tried Paragliding and yes for the first time too…though it was just for around 5 mins but it felt like 30 mins…the view and most of all how free you are flying was just indescribable…plain awesome and pure satisfaction…

paragliding

in October came another one of my trip…again in Philippines but this time went to Taal Volcano in Batangas and Boracay…the trip was awesome and I really can’t wait to go back to Philippines to explore more…anyway, I did also write a post regarding this particular trip…click HERE if you want to read it…here’s a shot of Ilig Iligan Beach in Boracay…

boracay

after that mostly I was kinda settling down…oh wait I did go to Simpang Mengayau…yes for the first time…haha…it was awesome (well I have a thing with beach – no pun intended)…

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#WORK LIFE

well nothing much to say here other than I’ve been 1 year in service…that’s it…

#LOVE LIFE

hah! another one with nothing…

#SOCIAL LIFE

people come and go…what do you expect??

#SUMMARY

basically I don’t have that much of life-s to describe other than what I did…overall 2014 was just the same as 2013…more bad stuffs other than great ones…I know should count my blessings but my year was just terrible…and I wouldn’t even be surprised if 2015 turned out to be suck as well…2014 was the year that I gave up on mostly everything, that I decided to let things be…I am that sick of trying…

so for 2015 I expect nothing and hope for nothing…whatever come then that will happen and so be it…anyway happy new year!!

I

What there is to ‘I’??
Unknown waiting to die,
For such single letter,
Tonnes of complexity, pester…

Searching for ‘I’,
Nothing but a lie,
Fostered for a soothe,
To be one, without truth…

Found ‘U’, just beside,
Walls down, none to hide,
‘U’ and ‘I’ have sworn,
To catch, whenever thrown…

‘I’ dipped the Great Falls,
Utter screwed, life calls,
Too messed up, far drown,
‘U’ left without a sound…

May be ‘U’ is tired,
Keeping it together and got hurt,
For dealing with own mess,
And with ‘I’, become unrest…

That one thing ‘I’ wonders,
Through those times, all those years,
Is there any significance,
For one slip, turns into trance…

What happened to the words,
Being there though it hurts,
Said ‘U’ and ‘I’, side to side,
Always that best, prepared for fight…

In the end, it’s just ‘I’,
To forget, staying high,
For things set aflame,
There’s ‘I’, one to blame…

Battle

Liar Liar Liar Liar!
All deemed to be a liar,
Strutting lies, pure desire,
Parading facade with no fear…

Faces after faces,
Destroying, murdering senses,
Fall from that holy grace,
With nothing but a mess…

It demands to be felt,
The pain, they said,
Utter excuse, utter deceit,
For inflicting on repeat…

Mirror said go ahead,
Let them in, let them fed,
For things will be at ease,
For once, at a peace…

It takes just one swing,
At that point, releasing,
The tortures, the confusion,
For once, no extortion…

No!
Conscience crept up, uncalled for,
Whisper soft and slow,
“Once started, none, stop the flow”…

Taal Volcano & Boracay

ok so I had my vacation on 1st October until 8th October…been planning it months before because I was excited to have my very own vacation…back again to Philippines after my very first solo trip (see my previous post HERE) earlier this year…my trip was divided into two…first I had my adventure-ish trip and the second one purely vacation relaxing and stuffs…yes this will be another long post…haha

FIRST HALF

Ok so for my first half I planned on exploring Luzon because I have around 3 days there…so did some research and found Taal Volcano…it is in south of Luzon, in Batangas to be exact…since that time it is quite interesting soooo I planned on exploring that volcano…ok here are some of interesting facts about Taal Volcano:

1) It is the smallest active volcano in the world (based on what I read)

2) Second most active volcano in Philippines

3) (This is the interesting one) There is an island inside its crater lake (Vulcan Point they said) however the island of volcano (called Volcano Island) itself is in a lake (Taal Lake) which happened to be in an island (Luzon Island). So we can say that about Taal Volcano, there is an island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island…island-ception!

4) Based on the local I have asked, there are actually two volcanoes there…one is the known today as Taal Volcano and the other one is a dead volcano…

5) Taal Volcano is also featured in Katy Perry’s Roar MV. (uuuuuuu)

6) google for more!lewlz

let’s start with my journey…took a flight to Manila on 1st October from Kota Kinabalu…around 11.30 A.M…touchdown earlier than ETA, before 1.30 P.M…arrived at NAIA Terminal 3, thank god cause previously it was in Terminal 4 which was just too damn crowded…as I walked out, the terminal was just as crowded as Terminal 4…damn son…and I only got to be at the arrival hall, cleared the immigration nearly at 3.00 P.M…it was late cause I wanted to travel south of Luzon, and the place where I am staying is Tagaytay in Cavite which is 65km away from Manila (googled!)…well if I were to say 65km will be around 40mins but Manila has been known for its traffic…asked the tourist information centre, got a map and some options to go there…the girl said I would need to go to Coastal Mall where bus to Tagaytay will always be available…since I am kinda on a budget let’s just use the cheapest way possible…they have bus to go there but as I wait, 3.30 P.M the queue was still long and I was quite running out of time…so decided to use the un-metered taxi…boy it costed me around P850…damn that was expensive with only less than 10km journey??oh well couldn’t afford the waiting time for the bus…the taxi driver, Jason was quite awesome, we shared stories along the way…took around 30 mins cause man, traffic in Manila was unbearable…frankly, I wouldn’t be able to live there just because of the traffic…and it was not even after working hour…so by 4 P.M. managed to hop on the bus (it was leaving actually…closed one) to Tagaytay and have to pay P76…and that is cheap…

the time passed…and arrived at Tagaytay around 7…yeahhhhh 65km in 3 hours…tiring…then hire a tricycle to go to my place of stay OMP Tagaytay Hostel…there, I was greeted by Eva the staff there and inside I met Bert (don’t know how to spell his name) my roommate…and then was greeted by Onie too, one of the staff…the staff were welcoming and realllyyyyyy supperrr niceee…should try to go to OMP Tagaytay Hostel if you are going to Tagaytay…and it’s cheap…only booked my bed for RM50 for two nights, breakfast included…oh on that night Eva was cooking dinner too and shared with the guests…so 4 of us had dinner…FREE DINNER yay!!but well she was cooking pork so had to say no…so I cooked Maggi Kari instead…and got them to taste it and said,”you can only get this in Malaysia trust me (tell me I am wrong but it’s only in Malaysia right?)”…haha…and they said it was pretty good…hah tasting a Malaysian dish!!ok maybe not so Malaysian…haha…slept early cause was quite tired…

02nd October 2014

The day I went to Taal Volcano…Onie was saying to me that there are 3 girls wanted to go to Taal Volcano too…he said better tagged along cause we can divide the cost…oh and he volunteered himself to talk to the tricycle driver because I was supposed to go to Taal Volcano by 8 A.M…and turned out the tricycle driver wanted me to go alone which means he wanted me to pay the expenses all by myself…luckily, the tricycle driver was quite nice since he was able to accept on me going with three other…so went to Taal Volcano with these ladies around 9++ A.M…

the ladies

the ladies

At our take off point

At our take off point

rode a motorised banca to Taal Volcano…on the back there is the Volcano Island (picture above)…they said people often mistaken that the one in front is the Taal Volcano…but actually that is the dead volcano while Taal Volcano is at the back…but it is part of Taal Volcano…so people always assume that is Taal Volcano…had a ride about 20mins like that…once there you will need to pay P50 as entrance fees…you can choose to ride a horse with P450 two ways…however, chose to walk cause well thought it will be worthy…okay for me to go to Taal Volcano, here are the costs you would need to keep in mind:

1) Tricycle fee from Tagaytay to take off point (that is if you are going from Tagaytay though) : P500…Onie told me you should not be paying more than this cause it is the maximum and standard price…if you got lower then you are lucky!

2) Motorised banca fee : P1500

3) Entrance fee (per person) : P50

4) Banca parking fee : P50

Therefore, it is actually a wise move if you can find other people to join you…tricycle maximum occupant is 3 (it will be quite tight though cause apparently tricycle in Luzon is smaller than the one I rode in Cebu and Bohol)…and the banca fee is per banca which means we got to divide by 4 on the P1500…oh the banca parking fee is also per banca…you may divide it too…so my trip was cheaper thanks to the three ladies…oh also the people there are very persistent in trying to get you to hire a horse and also a guide…so if you are in a budget kindly say no…the walk up was less than 1 hour…so still, worthy…

if you decided to walk, please do not forget to have your drinking water, and maybe a towel…oh just wear shorts, flip flops and you would prefer a singlet…cause it was extreeemeelyyyy hooottt…double the heat, from the sun and also from the volcano itself…my t-shirt was already wet on the first 10 mins of walking…and I was wearing my long pants…so twas quite terrible…

on my way

on my way

C360_2014-10-02-10-55-02-622

the trail

see the steamy ground??yeah that was hoottttt…and the trail was really beautiful…as you arrived to the top, all the sweats and the wet will be rewarded…well for me yes because I’m a sucker for nature…cause you might get feedbacks from people that the scenery there was overrated…but still for me the view was awesome…so you will be seeing this…

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Crater lake of Taal Volcano

then walking down it took us around 30 minutes…around noon back to the take off point and off to hostel…was planning to explore Tagaytay city on foot but my head was pounding…the heat was making my head ached, real bad…walked to buy me some lunch and then just decided to rest…bed ridden…sad enough had to decide to stay at the hostel…that night too met Michelle a staff of the hostel…was nice and kind too…

03rd October 2014

That morning returned back to Manila for one night stay…said goodbye to Eva, Onie, Michelle…awesome people and I really hope I can meet them again…

From left, Me, Onie, Michelle and Eva

From left, Me, Onie, Michelle and Eva

and was in the bus for few hours…spent the day at the airport…arrived at hotel before sunset…and rest for the night…

SECOND HALF

04th October 2014

So the second half of my trip commenced…flight to Boracay…been dreaming to be having my vacation on this island since one of my friends showed me pictures of Jericho Rosales in Boracay…twas beautiful so have been aiming for Boracay since then…went to Terminal 3 and tried to check in…and when asked the information counter the domestic terminal is at Terminal 4…crapppp I really forgot that most of the domestic flights will be at that terminal…thank god it was still early so managed to be there with some waiting time…

and another almost one day of travelling…flight to Kalibo…oh Air Asia Zest provides you with all in ticket to Boracay (bus to jetty, ferry ticket, environmental fee, terminal fee and jetty to hotel transfer) so you can buy em on the plane with P520…avoid the hassle though…however you can get cheaper if you buy at the counter though…cause I’ve seen some of the ticket booth that sold tickets at a cheaper rate…the journey to Caticlan Jetty took around 2++ hours…

oh I think if you want to pay at a small amount maybe you can try to pay/buy those things separately…instead of in a package like I have mentioned…because you have the option to ride a banca to go to Boracay which I think would be wayyy cheaper than a ferry ticket (which is through the package)…but it’s gonna be crowded at the Caticlan Jetty though so you might be in a queue for quite some time…

the ferry ride was about 15 mins…and arrived in Boracay!!then have to wait for quite some time at Cagban Jetty for the ride to hotel…stayed at Mecasa Hotel near Bulabog Beach…settled down quite late around 4 P.M., unpack and then went to White Beach to watch sunset and do some exploring…spent the night walking on White Beach from Station 2 to Station 1…if you want that night life, Boracay is also one of the places you can go…

Sunset at White Beach

Sunset at White Beach

05th October 2014

Woke up early to watch sunrise at Bulabog Beach…the sunrise in Boracay was around 5.41 A.M. that time…here’s a shot on the sunrise…

Sunrise at Bulabog Beach

Sunrise at Bulabog Beach

then went to get some sleep and woke up again for breakfast then went to explore D’Mall plus exploring Station 3…and from what I can say Station 3 has the best beach…although still White Beach but that part was less crowded (wayyy less) and I thought the water was prettier too than the one at Station 2 and Station 1…spent the day exploring places too especially where to eat…there is only one Halal restaurant in Boracay (if I’m not mistaken)…called Kingdom of Boracay…served arabic dishes…it is situated at an alley near Starbucks if you are at White Beach, and there is JJ Resort Boracay also along that alley for easy marking…you can have from Thai, to Mexican, to Italian, to seafood, to local dishes when it comes to food there…so plenty of choices though…but it can be hard…haha…oh if you are at Boracay kindly try the fruit shakes…awesome…was recommended by Fieza to try them at Jony’s at Station 1…indeed awesome…my favourite was mango shake…oh when it comes to shakes be careful if you are at Ilig Iligan Beach…will tell you later cause visited the beach on 6th October…

Station 3, White Beach

Station 3, White Beach

06th October 2014

The last full day in Boracay…woke up quite late, missed the sunrise…decided to try island hopping and ATV to the observation deck for a 360 view of Boracay…island hopping costed around P2500…and then tried snorkelling FOR THE FRIKKIN FIRST TIME!! around the Crocodile Island…yes I have been afraid to get into the water (one of my fears) so was quite terrified even when I was wearing that life jacket…cause I was really uncomfortable trying to breathe by using my mouth…was about 15 mins to get myself calmed and tried to submerge my face under the water…eventually got used to it and it was PRETTY…was always thinking about getting a diving licence but my fear of water was the one thing that turned me off…haha…after that went to Ilig Iligan Beach for having lunch…but decided not to have lunch, instead had buko shakes…which was expensive and small…unworthy…the beach was beautiful though…

oh but be really careful when you are dealing with the seller/promoter or any names you called them cause they will try to persuade you to the max…and will say this but ended up denying (what I faced though)…okay it was the island hopping…this lady was willing to get it P1000 cheaper and inclusive of Crystal Cove Island fees and two guides…agreed to that…but to make it short, somehow the English speaking guide were not informed we were supposed to be entering Crystal Cove Island (think he cursed too)…and he told that Ilig Iligan Beach was the last stop…but I insisted on going there (which got him cursing(?) even more) and paid first then thinking on about claiming it later…visited Crystal Cove Island (a private island) and the view was really breathtaking…went back and tried to claim the fees but nope she said it wasn’t included…too lazy to argue and ended up halalkan saja lah

Ilig Iligan Beach

Ilig Iligan Beach

View from Crystal Cove Island

View from Crystal Cove Island

back around 2 P.M. and ATV would be around 4 P.M.. ATV ride costed P750 per person including the entrance fees at the observation deck…then went out to have dinner and rest early…as the next day would be the day to leave Boracay…

07th October 2014

Woke up early to watch the last sunrise in Boracay…went to rest and packed stuffs…had breakfast then bought ticket on 2.45 P.M. off of Boracay…had some time to hang out at White Beach before went to the jetty…

The Goodbye Boracay Shot

The Goodbye Boracay Shot

then said goodbye to Boracay.

arrived in Kalibo around 5P.M. with around 4++ hours to wait for flight…last flight out of Kalibo to Manila around 9.30P.M.. arrived late and waited for bus transfer to Terminal 3…really tired and was blurred…seriously that was the time that I had too much on my mind that it turned to nothing…all I can think of was just,”I don’t know” and “Entah”…had really late dinner (supper) and slept at airport…

08th October 2014

Had breakfast at surau at the airport…it was on level 2…there was a lady that sold breakfast in the surau there…so went there, bought breakfast and had chat with the imam there…instead learning to speak Tagalog, was teaching the imam to speak Malay…he was quite excited when he got it correct…oh he knew a little bit of Malay too…he introduced himself as Sultan Abdul Halim (as far as I can remember) and the reaction was,”uuuu kerabat diraja”…haha…but awesome fellow…

Imam of NAIA Terminal 3

Imam of NAIA Terminal 3

flight was quite early…but had to wait before the take off…and said goodbye to Philippines once again…

So that’s it on my journey this time…next on my “Explore Philippines” list is Palawan…ahhh can’t wait for that time…till next time Philippines!

A Way Out

Have you ever been,
Lost and just confused?
Path can’t be seen,
Stood there, somehow abused?

I did,
Something just bleed,
Something just broke,
Without me knowing, I choked…

Questions clouding,
Head spinning,
What am I doing?
Right or wrong, nothing…

It is just wordless,
To describe, useless,
What you feel, how it burns,
As the pain taking turns…

Somehow it kills,
Somehow it hurts,
Somehow I, can’t find the cure,
Somehow I, can’t endure…

Cause after all,
I want, nothing but one,
Before the fall, before my call,
To be saved and be gone…

The solo trip

this is gonna be long…haha… *inhale and exhale* so i just had my first ever solo trip…was quite nervous and excited…well you know going out alone…but i have been planning my trip since December last year…so more towards the excited part…hehe…where did i go??Cebu, Philippines…why??because i was thinking if i go there i would see beautiful scenery and beaches…and well of course that time AirAsia opens direct flight from KK to Cebu so it was dirt cheap…dirt cheap as in i booked my return ticket for only MYR92…yes Ninety Two Malaysian Ringgit (minus the foods and the baggage)…

as i was excited for my trip, in March i got news from AirAsia that direct flight KK-Cebu and return has been cancelled…i have to change my itinerary to KK-Manila-Cebu…well at no extra charge…but my time in Cebu was cut short…like really short…sigh…so my trip was officially KK-MNL-CEB…the date, 12th – 15th April…

12th April

flight was at 11.30A.M. local time…KK to Manila…and i just brought PHP3600 (around MYR270) in cash…i did bring MYR cash though and some dollars for my back up…arrived in Manila around 1.30P.M. local time (well it’s just the same as Malaysia though)…but only cleared immigration in Manila around 2.30P.M…long queue, only two counters were opened and the airport was quite small and under renovations…but i think it is also because the airport is the terminal four which is known as domestic airport…thus the small size…

NAIA Terminal 4

NAIA Terminal 4

so that’s the terminal…then have to hop on my next flight which was Manila to Cebu ETD 4p.M…again too many people…oh you have to show your itinerary to the security guard at the airport entrance so you can come in…one security guard only…that was also the reason for the long queue…then went through those scanner stuffs…and as you want to go to the boarding gate another guard will check the ticket and then through the scanner stuffs again…another long queue…around 3.30P.M. was on the plane to Cebu…4P.M. moved and all excited…

on plane to Cebu was seated next to a Cebuano / Bisaya kid named VJ…or Von Joseph…6 years old…he was all chatty and frustrated because i was speaking all in English…he was all Tagalog and Bisayan with me and his guardian (i think his sister) told him to speak in English…somehow i was lucky cause i still can catch up with what he was saying although most of the times i went,”i don’t understand”…flight for 1 hour to Cebu was accompanied by him…nice kid…and around 5P.M arrived in Cebu…

VJ

VJ

Mactan Cebu International Airport

Mactan Cebu International Airport

when i was out and saw this, and i went,”ohhhh i am hereee…omg I AM HERE”…haha…fetched up by my friend Niel, the airport was in Mactan Island though so have to go to another island for Cebu City, checked in at hotel (stayed at Golden Prince Hotel & Suites) then went out to Ayala Mall (as far as i can remember the name) for dinner…first impression on Cebu City, just like KL…the city centre that is…and the mall is huge kinda Pavi meets MidValley i think…again at the entrance, security guard will be checking on you…

Ayala Mall

Ayala Mall

that’s the mall…Niel went to have his TGIF we departed and i spent my night resting…cause was planning to go early for my Bohol trip…

13th April

woke up around 5A.M. to catch my ferry to Bohol…cause my friend was saying since it was holy week, it means holiday time so there would be a lot of people…oh saw the picture below near the tv…

the rematch

read it and,”damn it’s here in this hotel!”…just downstairs…but had to skip it cause i had plan to go to Bohol…around 5.30A.M. took a taxi to Cebu Port…and the cost was PHP200…then as you want to be dropped off the terminal or Pier they called it, you need to pay PHP10 for the taxi to enter…oh for the ferry make sure you know which Pier you want to go and check the schedule beforehand…went to the wrong Pier and costed me another PHP50…bought myself ticket to Bohol through Tubigon for PHP220 by using Starcraft…

Paid PHP10 for vehicle to enter

Paid PHP10 for vehicle to enter

ok some tips…there are two ports to go to Bohol from Cebu…which are Tagbilaran and Tubigon…Tagbilaran is the famous one but the longest one and cost you a bit more…it is near Panglao Island in which most accommodations are situated…so if you want directly to go to your place of stay and feel the beach first then choose this one…i chose Tubigon because it is shorter and cheaper…half the price…then because i planned to directly have my Bohol tour so Tubigon is nearer…

so after i bought my ticket the taxi dropped me off to continue my journey at Pier 1…

Pier 1

Pier 1

as you want to enter the departure you have to pay terminal fee of PHP25…oh and go through security check, the scanner stuffs…the insides were quite cozy and quite spacious…they have around 8 gates (as far as i can remember) and a number of facilities including wifi…

Ticket to Tubigon

Ticket to Tubigon

The insides

The insides

the facilities are like the ones below…on the upper side, first one is the charging station then they have kids’ corner…on the bottom, first one is the meditation room, second is first aid room and then the third one is the breastfeeding station…the last one is the departure / boarding gate…

Facilities Pier 1

around 7A.M. boarded the ferry to Tubigon. 8A.M. arrived and the weather was quite gloomy…Tubigon Port is still under renovation so it looked quite messy and dusty…

Starcraft's Ferry

Starcraft’s Ferry

Port of Tubigon: under renovation

Port of Tubigon: under renovation

as i went out was approached by few tour(?) providers…well not sure what word to use so the ‘tour’ because they provide tricycle or van for you to rent and the driver will get you to places you want to go…and so i rented tricycle with PHP1500…PHP400 for the petrol or gas or fuel or anything you called it and PHP1100 for the service…

another tips…make sure you know places you want to go…because i had a hard time conversing with the driver but luckily i knew where i wanted to go…you will be brought to places they think you wanted to go…so if you are on a budget better know your places…and also it’ll be cheaper if you want to tour Bohol with few people…because a van will cost you around PHP2500 or PHP3000 which can accommodate around at least 5 people i think…

while i was on my way i still can see that Bohol is still recovering from the previous disaster…you can see they are still rebuilding churches, houses even the road in some places still under repair…but it was nice to see despite all that they are still strong…you can see people crowding the temporary churches they built…and there were so many of churches although they were just the size of a classroom…

When i was on my way

on my way

my first stop was Chocolate Hills

wanted to take a look at the famous hills…so i went to Sagbayan Peak…the place was just reopened on November 2013…and yes it is still going through its rebuilding…but the place has theme park-ish feeling on it…they have quite a lot of cartoon characters figures…entry cost was at PHP30…oh starting at the entrance as you went up you will see these messages people wrote on the tragedy…really heartwarming…

messages

Sagbayan Peak

Sagbayan Peak

other than the viewing deck (to view Chocolate Hills) there are butterfly dome that you can go to and kidstown…and so here’s a shot from the viewing deck…and yes a selfie…haha

selfie uu

and so move on to the next one…still Chocolate Hills but this one is Carmen Chocolate Hills Complex…this is the famous one…entrance fee PHP50…you can see the hills are nearer when you are at the viewing deck….oh you would need to climb quite the stairs…and they were quite long and steep…haha…

the stairs

but then as soon as you arrived there…voilaaaa the scene was quite mesmerizing…although few minutes after i have arrived fogs are coming and it was raining…still the beauty is or was there and it was calming with the wind blowing…

View from Carmen Chocolate Hills Complex

View from Carmen Chocolate Hills Complex

ok tips…if you wanted a cheaper and still looking at Chocolate Hills minus the hassle and take pictures all you want feel free to go to Sagbayan Peak…less crowd…the cost is PHP30…i was alone when i was at the viewing deck…and you can go see butterfly dome and fooling around at kidstown (however i didn’t enter that place)…although the setback was the view was quite far…you can see the differences in my pictures…Carmen Chocolate Hills Complex will cost you PHP50 but the view was nearer…you would feel like you can touch that hershey’s kisses looking thing…haha…however since the complex is famous, you would need to bear with other people…everyone wanted to take pictures so it can be pretty hard to get nice shots…but when you got it…awesome it is…

there were few souvenirs stalls before the ticket counter down the complex…paid PHP200 for 10 pieces of keychain and got one free cause i bargained non stop…haha…later i will compare which place has a good deal of souvenirs…

cost for Chocolate Hills stop:

Entrance Fee: PHP30 (sagbayan) + PHP50 (choco hills complex) = PHP80

Souvenirs: PHP200

Total: PHP280

2nd stop: Loboc Tarsier Conservation Centre

in Bohol this one is also quite the famous one…Tarsier…one of the smallest primates…active by night…the biggest one that i saw was just the size of my palm…anyway while i was on the way, passed through Bilar Man-Made Forest…it was all serene plus it was raining so the view was awesomely nice…it was kinda refreshing…you know that after rain feeling…that was the mood…haha…managed to capture few shots of the forest…here’s one…

Bilar Man-Made Forest

Bilar Man-Made Forest

then arrived at the conservation centre…paid PHP60 to enter…and you got a postcard as your ticket…

Tarsier Postcard

Tarsier Postcard

there were six of them at that time…first arrived at the viewing site the staff kept pointing her fingers to one of them so i can see…it was quite hard to see…and the first that i was pointed to was the smallest one among the six…and it was there on that branch curling on its tail sleeping…yes they were all sleeping because they would only be active by night…one time, there was one tourist trying to snap a picture of the Tarsier by using monopod…the Tarsier woke and i think it just got weirded out what the hell is this thing doing here so it just stared at the phone…and i saw the eyes were round and biiggg…way cute…haha…managed to get a decent picture of the Tarsier though…

cute tiny lil pie was sound sleeping

cute tiny lil pie was all sleeping

then as you went down the viewing site there will be few souvenirs stalls waiting for you…there bought 4 pieces of fridge magnet for PHP100…but try the one outside (beside the coconut stall as far as i can remember) as you exit the centre cause for me that was cheaper…they offered Tarsier (quite big one!) fridge magnet for PHP100 for 4 pieces…so i just bought two because i did buy 4 SMALL pieces of fridge magnet…my loss…and bought Peanut Kisses, quite the signature sweets in Bohol…brought back to Malaysia…it’s basically like the hershey’s kisses but only peanut instead of chocolate…bought it for PHP70

cost for Tarsier stop:

Entrance Fee: PHP60

Souvenirs: PHP100 (1st stall)  + PHP50 (2nd cheaper stall) + PHP70 (peanut kisses) = PHP220

Total: PHP280

3rd stop: Sevilla Bamboo Hanging Bridge

ok after thinking really hard while i was on my way…decided this one would be my last stop…because in my pocket i only have around PHP1700…and i still need to pay my tricycle driver PHP1100…the setback of being under a budget you calculated each thing and restrict your cash outflow…haha…the entrance fee was PHP20…and you can see how they just made bamboo into a bridge and how strong they made it…it looked like the bamboos were weaved…easily…nicely done…there were two bridges one for entry and one for exit…as you enter and go to the other sides souvenirs stalls await…and fresh coconut (i think got little money so no spending anymore…haha)…there were some locals singing…so you can be entertained…oh each of the stalls will persuade you to buy…like really persuade…haha…i said to them i don’t understand Bisayan or Tagalog…you know when people were talking you get the idea of what they were talking about through their tones although you don’t understand what language they were using??somehow i managed to catch up what they were saying and i got the feeling they thought i was a snob because i only speak in English…heard that as i was leaving…so decided to turn and said,”no i am not filipino ma’am” and laughed…that lady was quite shocked and said,”oh i am sorry, i thought you are filipino” as she put on her towel to cover her face…haha…so i left with laughters…ececeh

the hanging bridge

the hanging bridge

cost for hanging bridge stop:

Entrance Fee: PHP20

Souvenirs: NIL

Total: PHP20

okay after visited those three places…for me, better buy souvenirs at the hanging bridge…the Chocolate Hills Complex was cheap and Tarsier Centre was cheaper but at hanging bridge was the cheapest of all three places…small fridge magnets you can get 5 with PHP100…and because the people there were persuading, i think you can bargain more to get it cheaper…tshirts also were cheaper…

so after that went directly to Panglao Island for my place of stay…i chose Doljo Beach because as i studied the place, Doljo were not packed with accommodations…so i think it would be less crowded…Alona Beach area is the famous one though…and you get plenty of options there to choose for accommodations…but i think i have made the right choice for staying in Doljo because that time was the Holy Week…so people were having a 1 week holiday…and my friend said beaches will be crowded since April is the summer…because i don’t want to be in a crowded beach…not my cup of tea…haha…oh also be reminded, Cebuano is kinda like Spanish…so the pronunciation for Doljo is Dolho…was saying Doljo with J instead of H so driver was confused…when he asked the around only he was,”ahhh Dolho”…haha…arrived and checked in at Muro-Ami Beach Resort…

Muro-Ami Beach Resort, Doljo

Muro-Ami Beach Resort, Doljo

and so i said goodbye to the tricycle driver (actually i forgot his name…local name but was hard to pronounce…and i am really bad with names so i tend to forget)…paid the remaining PHP1100…however PLEASE prepare extra and give the driver some tips…at least for him to eat…since i was short of cash i can’t give him some…and i really feel bad about it…i was saying sorry all over and explained to him that i am short of cash…my short of cash was at the point that i may be stranded in Doljo if i did give him tips…i mean i did prepare extra but only in my range of budget…as i was sure i don’t have anymore extra to pay for…but yeah that was the extra one…tips for the driver…didn’t account that on my budget thus my action…not sure if he understands but he was saying,”it’s okay…thank you”…bless you, bless you…so make sure to include tips in your budget…don’t be like this loser here…

checked in at Muro-Ami and first thing was, asked the receptionist on money changer…he was saying there is a money changer near Panglao Public Market and said yes MYR also accepted…so i walked and it was around 4KM to go to the money changer…haha…and then my luck was they only accepted USDOLLARS…greaatttt…i was thinking yessss i will be stranded here…haha…okay no, i have USD20 in my pocket…so changed that for PHP879…then from the money changer rode Habal-Habal (motorcycle) to Muro-Ami for PHP15…

spent my evening stayed at the beach feeling the breeze, the peacefulness and the sound of the wave and strolling around the shore…

Doljo Beach

Doljo Beach

that night after finding out the option to choose to go back to cebu, had myself an early and good rest…decided to use Jeepney from Panglao to Tagbilaran because i asked the locals they said less than PHP30 while taxi can cost you around PHP600 and tricycle PHP300…

14th April

the day to go back to Cebu…chose the route from Tagbilaran to Cebu…first took Habal-Habal (thank god easily found one!) to Panglao Public Market to catch my jeepney (bus)…paid PHP20…and thank god also because as i arrived the jeepney was taking off so i was on time…around one hour made it to Tagbilaran city…paid PHP25…oh for me, you must ask for the rates because you would need to ask for your change…they will not return your change unless you asked…so better have exact change or simply, just ask…then from the city hop on to tricycle to Tagbilaran Port with PHP20…oh and Tagbilaran Port is also still under construction…

Tagbilaran City

Tagbilaran City

in the tricycle

in the tricycle

Tagbilaran Port

Tagbilaran Port

went to the ticket counter and chose Weesam Express because they have quite plenty of trips scheduled for Tagbilaran-Cebu and vice versa in a day…paid PHP500 for the ticket…then upon entering you would need to pay a terminal fee of PHP15 to depart…

ticket

the inside of Weesam Express

the inside of Weesam Express

and so said goodbye to Bohol Island…as i was leaving, went out and stayed for a while near the stern, backside of the ferry…and enjoying the last view of Bohol…

Goodbye Bohol!

Goodbye Bohol!

my 2 hour ride to Cebu City was accompanied by Michael, a 73 years old, from UK…he had been going in and out Philippines for quite some time…stayed there for few months then went back…we had a nice conversation…he was saying that they in UK were too much spoiled…mostly supported by government unlike in Philippines…he told me got this one time he knew this family had a daughter suffered from leukemia and had to sell everything in their possessions just to treat her…then he was saying,”we do know leukemia has been known to have no cure so it’s quite pity cause they sold every single thing”…then what got me cringed was when he said,”head they will lose, tail they will lose too”…even he as a pensioner, were paid GBP100 per week…so he said,”we both are lucky”…we talked about different things, told me about jokes, then some history lessons…learnt that Lapu-Lapu City got its name from a National Hero named Lapu-Lapu that killed Magellan…awesome chap and nice conversation…

Meet Michael

Meet Michael

so the cost for my Bohol Tour:

Ferry ticket: PHP220 (Cebu-Tubigon) + PHP25 (Terminal Fee) + PHP500 (Tagbilaran-Cebu) + PHP15 (Terminal Fee) = PHP760

Tricycle Rent: PHP1100 (service) + PHP400 (gas) = PHP1500

Chocolate Hills: PHP280

Tarsier: PHP280

Hanging Bridge: PHP20

Transport: PHP15 (Habal-habal: Money Changer-Muro Ami) + PHP20 (Habal-habal: Doljo-Panglao Public Market) + PHP25 (Jeepney: Panglao-Tagbilaran) + PHP20 (Tricycle: Tagbilaran City-Tagbilaran Port) = PHP80

Total: PHP2920

after i arrived at Pier 1, mistakenly rode a trishaw costed me PHP15 due to miscommunication, and ended up in Pier 3…then just decided to take taxi to my next place of stay Express Inn in Mactan Island…which costed me PHP200…and then spent my time resting because my flight out from Cebu the next day was schedule at 5.45A.M…

15th April

the day my flights out of Philippines…woke up at 2A.M. and took a taxi to Mactan-Cebu International Airport with PHP150…as i checked in, was asked,”which seat do you prefer sir??isle or window?”…so i said,”window and is it possible to be at the back?”…because i wanna see as the sun rise you know…then was given my ticket and there was seated at the isle…sad but what can i do…so said Goodbye to Cebu and off me go to Manila…

CEB-MNL, ETD: 0545

CEB-MNL, ETD: 0545

almost 7.00A.M. arrived at Manila and straight for checking in MNL-BKI ETD: 0900…ask specifically to be seated at the isle…and thank god i was seated at 19F…haha…so board myself on the plane around 8++ and said goodbye to Manila, to Philippines…will see you soon Philippines!!

Goodbye Philippines!

Goodbye Philippines!

It's more fun in the Philippines

It’s more fun in the Philippines

so the total cost for my trip was:

Cash: around MYR350

Accommodations: around MYR250

Flight: MYR92

Total: around MYR692

next up is Manila and Boracay perhaps??looking forward for my next trip…haha

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