Farah Ramos' Blog

My Pursuit of the Bali Magic

Posted in Adventures by Farah Ramos on March 31, 2017

On my 30thbirthday, I promised myself I’d let go of all my baggage. All the sufferings I’ve experienced for years, all the wasted sacrifices, the shattered dream, and my mistake of choosing a wrong mentor. I had to be reassured that all the stress of the past was part of a higher plan.

I booked myself a week of solo travel in Bali, Indonesia in the hope of healing my worn-out soul. In the movie, “Eat, Pray, Love,” Julia Roberts found love in Bali. But for me, I wanted peace of mind to be back in my being.

On my first two (2) days, I got thrilled when my Indonesian friend, Fita Pamela, told me that she also had plans to go to Bali and told me we should go together. She even picked me up from the airport, what a darling! We wasted no time! As soon as we deposited our luggage in the hotel, she toured me around… she drove a rented scooter and I was riding at the back. First we went to Padang-Padang Beach. It was about 40 mins away from our hotel in Kuta. On our way there, I smelled the familiar scent of Indonesia. I don’t know why, but I felt like I was home. I felt like I was within the comforts of a safe zone — no one and nothing to harm me.






On the way back, we got a flat tire. Fita drove the scooter and I had to walk when we were looking for a vulcanizing shop. Even this couldn’t kill my vibe. I told Fita, it’s still a good day!

When our scooter was good as new, I was brought to Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park in Uluwatu. Majority of the population in Bali practice Hinduism and this cultural park is devoted to the Hindu God Vishnu and his mount, Garuda, the mythical bird who became his companion (source: Wikipedia).




Last stop for the day was the famous Kuta Beach. I didn’t really see the point of all the hype about this beach, to be honest. I didn’t see anything special about it. But still, I enjoyed seeing the sunset, as always!

Farah010.jpgThe next day (and Fita’s last day in Bali), we went to Oceans 27 and Bali Garden Beach Resort just at the back of Discovery Shopping Mall which was a 5-minute walk from our hotel. I loved it. I told myself I have found my perfect spot.





Meet the cantik (which means beautiful in Bahasa Indonesia), Fita! Thank you very much for showing me around! 🙂



After that was the beginning of my solo trip. My friend, Michael Lastimosa, introduced me to his friend who’s based in Bali. He was probably scared for me for doing this trip on my own. Hehe! And so I got invited to a beach party in Finn’s Beach Club, Canggu thanks to Oan Sevilla and his boyfriend Nico Nico Mare. Although the DJ wasn’t really good, I had a ball with my new friends. Plus, I met Gary Marsiano and her group! Such cool people! I ended up tagging along with them the whole night. We went to different clubs and finished at around 5am! Haha! I ended up staying at Gary’s house too. Yes, she adopted me!




The next day, we went to Love Anchor Canggu. And in that instant, I fell in love with Canggu. I should have gone straight there. I love how peaceful and laidback it was. I wish I had a chance to wander more but I had to go back to Kuta.


On my last night in Kuta, I experienced another “first.” I went to party by myself! Hahaha! I went to Potato Head in Seminyak. I wish I went there a little earlier to witness the sunset. It was one of the best spots to watch it while having a cocktail. Anyway, a few minutes later, someone approached me and we became instant friends! Her name is Melyna and she’s from Mauritius. I really enjoy meeting people and sharing stories with them! Here’s a photo of us:


And the much-awaited visit to Ubud has finally come! I fell in love with Kuta, then realized I was more in love with Canggu but when I got to Ubud, I knew it was what true love is. Haha!

I stayed in Swan Inn (near Monkey Forest). Later I found out that this is how traditional Balinese houses are. It’s dominated by pavilions and a central courtyard. Each house has different functions. They also have a family shrine in their compound. Ours is a modern version… with the pool and more houses than the original basic houses.

Every single day I was in Ubud, I made sure I go to a Yoga class. I went to Radiantly Alive Yoga Studio, Yoga Barn and Ubud Yoga House (my favorite because it was located in the outskirts of Ubud and you’ll pass by the rice paddies). I felt very calm and relaxed. The practice just brings out optimism, relaxation and positive energies. I loved every single class I took plus I even got to enjoy a beautiful view of the rice paddies and I could hear the sound of nature too.

Another thing I appreciated most about Ubud was that I got my “alone time.” I enjoyed going to restaurants with nice ambience and just read a book I bought in a book sale. I liked eating by myself too without having the need to speak. These are moments I treasure because I like spending time with myself.



And suddenly I realized I had to see more of Ubud… so I booked a cycling tour. I got to see the Tegalalang Rice Terraces, saw how Luwak Coffee is processed, and I got to cycle around for hours! It was non-stop downhill and a little uphill. We didn’t really use the pedals that much, haha! It even rained but of course I didn’t give in. Good thing there was a couple in our group who wanted to continue the tour as well. I felt so free as I go around with my bicycle!


On my last day, I had the best yoga experience at Ubud Yoga House and Balinese massage afterwards. I wanted to stay longer but thank goodness I got everything I needed out of this trip.


Kuta, Uluwatu, and Canggu served as distraction from all the pain and suffering I dealt with during the past years. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed every single thing I did but Ubud… Ubud was where I found the Bali Magic. The whole place just brought peace of mind to my lost soul. I realized there will always be people who will drag you down, who will never be happy for your achievements. I also realized I can always build new dreams… dreams that will allow me to be happy. I spent years trying to save a sinking ship. But you can never save a sinking ship with a passenger who doesn’t really care about the ship. It’s just there but it’s letting you save it yourself. Even if you know it can really help you, it still won’t. I got burned out so I just left the ship. I swam and found peace in the ocean until I found the shore. I saved myself.

I thank Bali for casting its spell on me. I got to save myself before I started this trip but I had to save my soul. Yoga and the peaceful vibe in this trip just made me love life once again. The old me who used to be inspired every single day, motivated to work all the time and the me who was full of optimism died… and Bali resurrected my old self. And that to me, is the Bali Magic.


My Friend’s “Last Fling Before the Ring” in Hongkong

Posted in Uncategorized by Farah Ramos on September 3, 2014

Aug 24-27, 2014 — Thina, my volleyball teammate in college, is getting married in December and it is just the perfect excuse for the ladies to pack our stuff and have a quick getaway in Hongkong for her “last fling before the ring!”

Aside from the bridal shower, the trip is also a way for us to take a breather from work. It is high time to walk slowly, appreciate our surroundings, shop a little, savor the taste of our food, laugh a bit louder, have girl talks before going to bed, and dance the night away!

Our arrival in Hongkong was just in time for dinner. We left our luggages at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Mongkok and then headed off the streets to look for a perfect place to eat.

Let me introduce the beautiful ladies I was with during my trip. These are (from left to right) Lady Riva, Dianne Pagtalunan, my college teammates Thina Abando (the bride-to-be) and Sugar Mesina, me, and Angelia Ong.


We didn’t take photos of our dinner but we had A LOT! One order is already for sharing and we didn’t know that so we ended up trying our very best to finish what we ordered. The food was delicious!


The next day, we planned to go to the Window of the World in Shenzhen, ChinaIMG_4813

We reached the borderline of Hongkong and China. But we got the saddest news when we applied for our visa. Filipinos and Americans weren’t allowed to enter their country. Our passports were collected and we were held at the immigration. We waited for about an hour. We attempted to ask why we were held but thanks to the language barrier, they couldn’t explain.


When finally they returned our passports, we walked back to Hongkong (woah, I never thought I’d ever say I walked to Hongkong, haha!) and again, we were asked to wait for half an hour. And then this photo happened. I was the only one frowning, haha!


So anyway, we had to change our itinerary because of the unfortunate thing that happened and so our feet took us to Times Square. And that’s exactly what great company does! Despite the sad thing that occurred, we still managed to have fun! IMG_4816

Touring and shopping at the same time!

All day, we were on our feet. We walked, climbed the stairs, rode the trains, and back to walking again. When we got to the hotel, we were all so exhausted. The jacuzzi was perfect for our sore back and legs. It was such a perfect way to end the night, it was very relaxing.

[Thanks so much, TRIANGL SWIMWEAR for my pair of Winnie Miami Mint swimwear!]

On our third and last day, I spent the afternoon by myself. It’s very therapeutic to just appreciate the beauty of the things around you, and that was what my afternoon was all about. Seeing unfamiliar surroundings and being surrounded by total strangers have a calming effect on me. Getting lost and finding my own way quenches my thirst for adventure, even for just as simple as this one.

At the rooftop of the IFC Mall at the Central, I got to enjoy the wind and this fascinating view. IMG_4839


After my alone time, I decided to walk to Lan Kwai Fong where me and my friends were going to meet for our much-awaited girls’ night out. I asked a passer-by where I could find it, he accompanied me and showed how to get there. Eventually he asked what I was going to do there that early, it was only 5pm. I said I was just going to have dinner while I wait for my friends. He then recommended I go to Soho and again gave me the directions.

To get to SoHo (South of Hollywood), I had to get to the Central – Midlevels escalator, the longest escalator in the world. (The complete system of several escalators runs for 800m and climbs a total of 135 meters, some of the ascents can be very steep. Source: http://gohongkong.about.com/od/whattoseeinhk/a/midlevelsescala.htm) Thanks to Mr. Stranger for directing me to one of Hongkong’s best wining and dining areas.

Finally, I chose La Piazzetta, an Italian restaurant. The owner of the resto approached me and asked where I am from. We chatted a bit, talked about the their best dishes then I eventually decided I’ll have my dinner there. Chef Paolo, the owner, told me that his resto has been there for nineteen (19) years and is the second resto that opened in the district.IMG_4886

Here’s Chef Paulo showing how their “pasta of the day” is being cooked. IMG_4885

With his recommendation, I ordered their best-selling Seafood Marinara and I got a white wine as a compliment. My photo didn’t give justice to the palatability of the dish though but it’s very delicious! It’s actually good for sharing but I finished everything, it was that good!IMG_4869

What a coincidence! Chef Paulo’s step-daughter, Rein, was with my friends at the Sugar Bar in East Hotel.


That night we had wine, some shots at Sugar Bar then after that, we headed to some clubs and danced the night away!


The next day, we flew back to Manila. And the question now is: WHERE IS MY NEXT ADVENTURE GOING TO BE? Hmmmm, I can’t wait either! 🙂

DoubleDragon Boat Race 2014 in Iloilo

Posted in Adventures by Farah Ramos on August 29, 2014

The DoubleDragon Boat Race 2014 that was organized by Sen. Pres. Franklin Drilon, Double Dragon Properties and the Iloilo City Government (with Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and Cong. Jerry Trenas) was held at the Iloilo River last August 23, 2014 . It was formerly known as Sen. Frank Drilon Boat Race and started in 2012.

The race is an effort to raise public awareness and concern towards the Iloilo River. The story itself on how it became as clean as it is now is truly inspirational. 

I am lucky to be the Media Coordinator of the event. We all checked in at the Injap Tower, the tallest building in the city. Here is my photo with half of the press people on our way to the venue of the race:



I am proud to say that my good friend, Councilor Jay Trenas, is one of the people behind the cleaning of the Iloilo River. It’s such an honor to be friends with someone who is responsible for the development of this beautiful city.IMG_4728


After having witnessed the dragon boat race, I’ve become interested in trying out to be a paddler. I want to experience it!IMG_4742

Here’s just the tricky part. I got so involved in the race that I couldn’t forget what happened. During the finals of the men’s division, I was so amazed by the Boracay All-Stars. They were trailing behind the Boracay Sea Dragons. A few meters away from the finish line, that was when they paddled harder. If you were there, I swear, you’d think the Boracay All-Stars won. It was a close fight… like seriously a close fight. 

I spotted one of the paddlers from Boracay All-Stars, Kiko Rustia, and had a photo taken with him. I was that amazed, I am now a fan!IMG_4740

When we were on the way back to the hotel, I found out that it wasn’t the Boracay All-Stars that won, it was the Boracay Sea Dragons. But of course I didn’t believe immediately. I had to ask the organizers for confirmation and then I saw this photo that was posted on the Internet:
IMG_4792Imagine, the Boracay All-Stars were defeated by 52 milliseconds! 

But anyway, congratulations to Boracay SeaDragons for winning! 🙂 Such an amazing first for me to witness a boat race and it was a really really nice race, tight competition! 


For more info about this event, you may check out these articles:

Ian Ulpindo of DragonBoat.ph: https://www.facebook.com/DragonBoatPH

Richard Dy of Spin.ph: http://www.spin.ph/watersports/news/double-dragon-boat-race-iloilo-city-watersports-boat-racing-philippines-boracay-all-stars

Frank Calapre of The Manila Times: http://www.manilatimes.net/breaking_news/boracay-sea-dragons-rule-iloilo-doubledragon-boat-race/

Ramil Cruz of Abante http://www.abante.com.ph/sports3/other-sports/12313/double-dragon-boat-race-papalaot-ngayon.html

Soul Surfed in San Juan, La Union

Posted in Adventures by Farah Ramos on November 2, 2013

It was the long weekend, the last weekend of October 2013 and lucky me, I was invited to go to the La Union Soul Surf Festival 2013. I love the beach, I like surfing, and it’s a music festival so there is absolutely no reason for me to pass up this opportunity to travel and have fun with friends.

My first time to surf was in Baler, Aurora… so I was so curious as to how crazy the waves were in La Union. They say Baler is a haven for first-time surfers and they go to La Union once they’ve improved their surfing skills. That was exactly my impression. But since it was dubbed as “The Surfing Capital of the Nothern Philippines,” San Juan, La Union has perfect spots for beginners, intermediate, and advanced surfers. So no need to worry guys!

One good thing about festivals is that sponsors put up booths in the event area. Some have photographers so that you could take home some photos that show the memories you’ve had in the event. And what’s even better? They give out free booze, prizes, and there are interactive games and activities!


Here’s just an inevitable shot by the beach. The sound of the waves calms me and basically the reason why I’d love to visit all the other beautiful beaches here in our country.


I just wanna share this guys… I downloaded this new App called Paktor since my friends asked me to. I downloaded it a month ago but it was not until my trip to La Union that I decided to use it. I was surprised when I saw a lot of my friends and even my crush in it! So what does this app do? It connects you to people you’re interested in —- awesome! And it’s all anonymous until that someone you like, likes you back. Even more awesome! 🙂 So if you’re gonna ask me what I do when I’ve nothing to do, I open this app and swipe. Haha! Trying to check out the hotties nearby.


Always, always one of the boys! I was with these two gentlemen (Jal Emata and Kelvin Mangilit) the entire time!



Look who I bumped into! It’s Justin Quirino of 95.5 RT! Good seeing you again, after a long time! 🙂


Notice that I kept bumping into familiar faces during my stay in La Union. And guess who I saw on our 2nd day? My girls (Grace, Thina, and Royce) were there too!


We joined the beer pong contest at the Rayban booth. It was me and Royce against Thina and Grace. Royce and I made a great team-up: I did the shooting while she did the drinking. It was just a great strategy since I shoot better and she could handle alcohol way better than me. Oh did I mention that WE WON??? 🙂


And I kept bumping into more friends that I haven’t seen in a loooooong time! Here’s a photo with Phawie Reyes (we were both interns at Saga Events) and Miah Gomez.


Listened to the beats of DJ Kulkid, R.A.C., and Panic City! The entire music scene at night was amazing that we danced all night!


My new partner-in-crime, Kelvin! Yes, he’s one of the guys I was with in Malaysia and Singapore. 🙂


The booze and the girls! 🙂 (Kelvin, Royce, me and Monique)


And that ends our La Union trip. On the 3rd day, we decided to move from the beach to the mountains. We went to Baguio for lunch!


I havent introduced the entire amazing group yet so here: Krissy, Jal, Monique, Chris Star, me, and Kelvin


St. Bernard’s are pretty popular in Baguio, they were all over Mines View Park. They are HUGE and wear shades like that! COOL!


And again, the group:


And even in Baguio I get to see familiar faces! My beb, Chantal, was there with her oh so cute and adorable son, Andoni!


The fun didn’t stop there. We decided to have dinner at the Isdaan Floating Restaurant in Tarlac. I didn’t take a lot of photos there because they transformed it into a horror house. We were welcomed by a scary shokoy at the entrance. I had goosebumps upon seeing that thing. You see, I don’t even enter horror houses nor watch horror films so I asked the waitress if there were any more scary creatures in the restaurant and asked her to tell them not to scare us. Good thing she obliged.

And after that “challenge,” we roamed around while waiting for our table. It was a long weekend so there were a lot of customers.

I will always be a “bata-batuta” in my mother’s eyes:


And again, the group:


This was a memorable trip… we all laughed at the corniest jokes, ate like pigs, danced all night, and laughed again at the corniest jokes! I am looking forward to another adventure with this group in December. I really hope it pushes through! 🙂

Prepare for Spontaneity: Wandering the Streets of Kuala Lumpur and Singapore

Posted in Adventures by Farah Ramos on October 2, 2013


September 15-22, 2013 — I booked myself for a week of vacation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I’ve always wanted to be an independent traveler, I want to explore other countries by myself. But I found myself locked up in my hotel room for 2 days. I was scared. Never did I hear a single positive thing about the country. My friends told me it’s boring in KL, that there’s nothing for me to see in the city. Another friend even told me how dangerous it was in there. That she doesn’t wander the streets by herself whenever she’s there for work.

It was not until my 3rd day when I proved that every single negative thing my friends told me wasn’t real. My model friends Kelvin Mangilit and JM Manalang (click on the links to view their Facebook pages) arrived in KL that morning. And I was so giddy that I couldn’t wait any longer to meet up with them. I needed to feel safe in this foreign country. I decided to walk from Cube Hotel in Jalan Pudu. I passed by Bukit Bintang and finally reached Jalan Hang where Arenaa Luxury Hotel, our meeting place, was located.

Jalan Hang was totally different from my area. It looked like a totally different world from my place. The street was clean, there were some Universities there, some nice hotels, and a decent crowd. Aside from that, it’s totally accessible. I would recommend travelers to choose this area in booking their hotel.

Anyway, one of the biggest factors why I believed my friends was that Jalan Pudu, compared to Jalan Hang, appeared shady. There wasn’t any good view from the hotel since the street was under construction. Aside from that, there were beggars on the sidewalks. Indians were also everywhere. Not that I’m afraid of them, but my friends said they were bullies and that they could harm you.

That was my biggest mistake. I let fear overpower me. So the consequence? I wasted my first two days in KL.

Here’s a traveling tip: Never let fear overpower you. Yes, some places could really be dangerous. But can you tell me a place where it is 100% safe? Live life dangerously, my dear friends. That’s where the fun starts.


Since I was enveloped in fear, my brothers from the modeling world tore my walls of fear. We didn’t waste another minute. We instantly traveled on foot to the Petronas Towers (click the link to get to their website)!

The twin towers were a feast to the eyes. They’re undeniably fascinating. Here are some photos of us at the Petronas Towers in broad daylight:

Petronas Towers

With Kelvin and JM:Petronas with towers

Inside the towers:


And again, we traveled on foot to the KL Tower, the highest viewpoint in Kuala Lumpur that is open to the public.


The KL Tower served as our pastime to check out how the Petronas Towers looked like at night. Once again, we traveled on foot to the twin towers. Did I mention that the sun sets at 7pm in KL? So we were wandering the streets up until 7pm. Non-stop walking, people! Anyway, here’s a photo with the twin towers at night:



We walked the whole day. After seeing how beautiful the towers were at night, we went back to our hotel to freshen up and grab a few drinks at a bar nearby for a nightcap. JM and I were ready to call it a night when we reached the hotel but Kelvin convinced us that we had to experience the nightlife in KL. So JM and I dragged ourselves out of the room… but first thing’s first. We realized we haven’t had dinner.

We dined at Bistro Tom Yam. I only remember the Chili Paddi, JM and Kelvin’s favorite. Since I don’t eat anything spicy, I didn’t finish my food. The food was undeniably delish… I blame it on my choosy tongue.  A few exchange of stories after comes…..


How did this happen? My cray cray friends JM and Kelvin thought their return flight to the Philippines was 3 days after. But thanks to my observant eyes, I remember their return flight… it was 2 days after. So right then and there, we asked Kuri, a waiter at Bistro Tom Yum, where the bus station to Singapore was located. He said it was just right across and that the last trip was at 2am. It was already 1:20am then. So we were back on our feet, brisk walked to our hotel to collect our important stuff and went back to the bus station. Hello to spontaneity! 🙂

5 hours later, we arrived in Singapore! A few more hours passed and we were at the Universal Studios Sentosa!


It was my 2nd time in Singapore and at the Universal Studios but I was still excited to go there since I didn’t get the chance to ride this huge ass roller coaster. Unfortunately, it was under maintenance. Ugh. 😦


Oh, haha! Cuz Miley you’re my idol… not!


Hey baby Shrek!




Welcome to Hollywood!



Watched the performance of our Kababayans: The Streetboys! Proud to be Pinoy!!!




Bye, Universal Studioes, Sentosa! We had a great time!!! 🙂


You’ll find the man-made beach 2 stations away from Universal Studios. I insisted on going there since I didn’t have the chance to go there on my first SG trip. I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about this place.


The bar behind us is called Bikini Bar. Cute name! This area is full of bars. So basically it has a Boracay feel in it, minus the clear blue water. I was only referring to the party scene by the beach.

And in this photo, we were deciding where to go next. And we decided to check out the Marina Bay Sands.


WHOOPS! No photo at the Marina Bay Sands. Imagine we were on our feet for 2 consecutive days already without getting a proper rest. We found the train going to Marina Bay Sands but the train in SG was so confusing. So we went back and forth and found ourselves at the exact spot were we were. I was almost losing my patience. When we got off to the Marina Bay station, we walked inside the Marina Bay Hotel looking for the spot were we could take a good photo with the hotel as our background. Again, we went back and forth. It took us hours to finally locate the place. And we were already tired by then. I wasn’t in the mood for photos ops anymore.

10pm on the same day, we were on the bus to Malaysia. It was freezing cold in the bus so I had a difficulty falling asleep. But when I finally did, we all woke up 7 hours later. We should have gotten off the bus 2 hours earlier.

It was already 5am when we learned that we were in Ipoh City. We thought it was already a remote area since no one spoke English when in fact people in Malaysia converse well in English. Anyway, good thing we were approached by a taxi driver. He said the only way we could get out of there was via train. The train station opens at 7am so we had to wait for 2 hours. He offered to take us at a nearby famous restaurant.


The taxi driver didn’t disappoint us. Restoran Kam Ling is a famous restaurant in the area. And we were welcomed by a friendly waitress (or probably she’s the owner) who spoke a bit of English.



What do we have for breakfast? :O




Glutinous sticky rice is my favorite! It’s a sticky rice with a chicken wing inside. It’s really really really yummy!


Paying for our pasalubong! I got home-made egg tarts for my mom! Yeyyyy!


Meet the taxi driver! Thanks so much, manong driver, lol!


Take a peak at their train station. It is spacious, and well I am really amazed with their train system. I felt like I was at the location of Harry Potter (sorry for my exaggeration haha!).



Two hours later, we were back in Kuala Lumpur. We freshened up at the hotel for a few minutes… I decided to switch into my rubber shoes because by this time, my feet were already killing me!

I was asleep on our way to the Batu Caves. I was exhausted but I just wanted to take on the challenge and also to see the caves. I even fell asleep at the station while waiting for our train. Haha, a stolen photo by JM:


If I gave in, I wouldn’t have seen this beautiful site. Check that out! And that was our next goal: to climb 272 steps without even having enough rest.


And so, I made friends with Red Bull! :))


Inside the Batu Caves, we were all smiling! We did it!!! 🙂


And of course all good things must come to an end. We were off to Manila that night. We stopped by the hotel to collect our belongings and freshen up. That was when we realized we never really slept in our hotel. We spent our nights at the buses for 3 days.
GOING HOME. We took a bus going to the airport. But before we reach the bus station, we had to walk from our hotel to the KL Station. Luckily, I was with these machos so they carried/ dragged my luggage going to the station. The wheel was broken so you could entirely feel the weight.
All in all, our trip was a 3-day amazing race! Haha! It was full of challenges where we had to test our strategic thinking skills. That’s not all, it also required a lot of patience.
So after that trip, we would always challenge ourselves. And comes our follow-up questions, “are you gonna give up? Are you gonna quit?”