Exploring Guam (Day One)
There's just about a number of things I love about Guam, but to name two reasons it would definitely have to be that Guam feels like a home away from home, and second how chill everything and everyone is. It's a great vacation spot for families who just want to relax and do some outdoor activities, and being only 3 hours away by plane via Philippine Airlines makes it all the more appealing. Some quick facts:
- Guam is an island far off mainland U.S.A, it's a place that both acts as a territory of the United States (although they apparently cannot vote during U.S. government elections) but also can act as its own country (They have their own Miss Universe candidate, and they also have their own Football team for the World Cup)
- Being an American territory, you would need a U.S. Visa to visit (it's not that difficult to obtain one. You can read about my U.S. Visa interview experience here.)
- The Chamorros are what you call their natives,
- and the population is practically more than 50% Filipinos. I kid you not. Everywhere we went you can be 100 percent sure there would be a Filipino either working there or a Filipino family dining out or shopping -- it was like being back home in Subic Bay or something, a place I frequented with my family during long weekends growing up.
- They consider more than 5 cars on the road as "traffic" while that just equates to a typical Pacquiao match day for us
- The weather is pretty much the same as ours, only the air they breathe is cleaner so summer heat isn't as unbearable.
- "Håfa Adai!" means hello in Chamorro and is used as a greeting everywhere around the island. It's the equivalent of our "Mabuhay!" except we don't really use Mabuhay that much anymore!
I along with fellow bloggers Reese Lansangan and Robbie Becroft, with Fritz from the Guam Visitors Bureau, spent a total of 4 nights exploring the island, doing tours, stuffing our faces with food, shopping, and attending two nights of the Guam Live Music Festival, which I would say was the highlight of the trip, but more on that later :)
I was at NAIA Terminal 2 by 6PM and through with security checks and immigration by 7:30PM. Our flight to Guam was due to leave around half past 10 PM, which meant I had a lot of time to kill. I didn't mind at all. I've mentioned it countless times how the airport was a place I just loved to be in. I spent majority of my time playing Sims 4, and when everyone else had arrived, we all waited together and killed time by exchanging stories about travel, airplane accident stories (I know, right?) and other random things.
First photo & Snapchat with my Guam Squad, that would be Robbie on the left and Reese on the right.A few days before I left, Keep It MNL sent me these really useful travel organizers! I'm the most unorganized and messy person ever, so these definitely helped me keep things neat. I don't know how I ever lived with just placing important travel documents and my important gadget plugs/wires in random places in my luggage. City lights from high above during takeoff. I love night flights exactly for this reason, because I get to see Metro Manila, my home, lit up with so many lights, without the congested look of the city.In my comfy window seat, and I had the entire row to myself.
This wasn't my original seat. I was sitting next to a baby who wouldn't stay still, kept touching and hitting me, just doing things babies love to do (ie. annoy people). A stewardess noticed I was starting to look uncomfortable and a little frustrated, so when the cabin doors had been shut she offered me another seat in case I wanted to move. Plus points on your attentiveness, kind stewardess! I wanted to hug her!
My inflight meal of choice was pork asado, which came with the usual dinner roll and a side of chicken cream pasta
I love that Philippine Airlines always has inflight meals no matter how short the travel is. 3 hours is practically nothing in travel time and some airlines will just give you a bag of peanuts and leave you to starve. No desserts for this inflight meal, but I loved the chicken cream pasta (upper left, doesn't look too appealing but looks can be deceiving!!!) so much I ended up asking for another, which they happily provided :-)
Selfie with the PAL flight crew. Apologies for the blurry photo, apparently I still can't get the hang of setting the right focus for the selfie mode of my camera!
The rest of the flight I spent trying to sleep (and failing), and before getting off the plane I was able to take a selfie with the entire flight crew! It was really nice of them to accommodate me considering it was 4 AM, but I wanted to let them know that I enjoyed the flight and their service. PAL is improving A LOT, so I didn't hesitate to let them know how pleased I was of their service. I mean, it's no joke working that kind of shift and still being all smiles and very helpful towards all kinds of passengers. So, kudos to PAL! <3
On our way to the hotel from the airport, this is around 4:30 in the morning. Photo by Robbie.
My home for the next 4 nights: Pacific Star Resort & Spa Hotel
A fruit "basket" and a personalized welcome letter from the general manager of Pacific Star Resort & Spa Hotel, what a great welcome to Guam!A king sized bed all to myself!!!!
The view of Tumon Bay from my hotel room balcony, right before sunrise and right before I fell asleep.
Running on zero hours of sleep since I woke up on the day of our departure, I was desperate to get some kind of rest. Thankfully my hotel was extremely comfortable and the bed was so nice and warm. It's one of the simple things that make me happy, being able to burry myself in thick comforters in a very cold room, and my pillow is fat and fluffy and my head just disappears into it. I always get the best sleep in hotels like Pacific Star.
First meal of the day in Tony Roma's, before starting our tour of the northern side of the island of Guam
Exploring Guam's North Side via Hagåtña Heritage Walking Trail
Guam's own Lady Liberty statue in Hagåtña Harbor at Paseo Park, a few days before we arrived there was a storm that passed by and basically ruined the trees around the islandThe first Catholic Church in Guam, the Dulce Nombre de Maria, has been renovated a few times due to natural disasters that have ruined the original structure.You'll find these manmade holes around Guam, which dates back all the way to World War II, when the Japanese took over the island and instructed the Chamorros to dig these holes as hiding spots for the Japanese against the Americans.
Fort Santa Aguada
Reese & I saw this tiny open space which we called a hobbit house. Not really sure what the purpose is, since the open space inside isn't more than a 2 meters wide. Still, made for a cute photo though!Beautiful view of Guam's north side
It was quite a gloomy + windy day
A definite stopover when visiting Guam is Two Lovers Point. This startling cliff line in Northern Guam, overlooking the glimmering Philippine Sea, is the site of an ancient Chamorro legend. The legend tells of two lovers who, forbidden from being together in life, leaped to their deaths from the cliffside so they could be together in eternity. Love locks all over this fence on the bridge.At the front desk taking shelter from the sudden rain, drinking our coconut + mango + strawberry shakes (and again, I have yet to get the hang of focusing on group selfies!)The illustrations read: Forbidden, Devotion, Despair, Tragedy, Forever
These illustrations and how they were placed confused us a bit. You actually are supposed to read it from right going left, as opposed to the usual left to right, so the story of the two lovers goes: Forbidden, Devotion, Despair, Tragedy and then Forever. Since we all entered the place and reading this from left to right, we still figured the illustrations made sense that way. When you fall in love, you first think it's Forever, until Tragedy happens, and you feel Despair, and you move on and find someone new and feel Devotion for them (rebounding) until you realize you're still not over your past love, and because you're with someone new you're Forbidden to love someone else. Reese, Robbie and I spent about 5 minutes discussing this and concluding that our version makes more sense and is the modern version of what love seems to be. Haha
The seashore below where the two lovers probably jumped to be together ~forever~Terrible overcast weather, this entire scene reminded me too much of my Jeju Island trip 2 months ago.
Candid photo of me by Robbie Fritz, Robbie, me & Reese
An aquarium you can dine in. Just don't order seafood as I would imagine that would be a little weird and ironic.Tiny little jellyfishies!A beautiful, venomous, but somewhat useless Lionfish.Another marine specie that contributes nothing except to be pretty and sting people randomly... Jellyfish! Nemo playing in his anemoneMe with NaginiMy big slab of ribs for dinner at UnderWater World. I stayed away from seafood.
We ended the night with a show at SandCastle that included magic, illusions, acrobatic acts and dancing. It was all great entertainment to end the night.
So, that just about wraps up my day one recap of my first 24 hours in Guam! I hope I was able to document it enough to show you guys what I love about the island so far (that being "home away from home" and "chill"), but if not, I've still got days two-four to blog about so stay tuned for those :-)
A big thank you to Guam Visitors Bureau for the invitation and Pacific Star Resort & Spa for accommodating us :-)