Sailing, Snorkel & Seafood in Lapu-Lapu, Philippines! Unif rainbow kimono.

unif rainbow tie dye robe

I chalked up a lot of amazing travel memories this year, from the lost city of Petra to petting owls in Japan. However, one of my absolute favorite days of 2014 was the one I’m sharing with you now.

My team and I were in the Philippines to film a video about Pacific Cebu Resort (did you see my post about this gorgeous place?) We met the mayor of Lapu-Lapu — one of the biggest cities in Cebu — and she arranged for her tourism board to take us on an island-hopping beach excursion. 

ksubi bellatrix round sunglasses

I’m all smiles before we sail away for the day. I wore Ksubi Bellatrix sunglasses from West LA Boutique. Love the anime-Goth round shape of the glasses.

unif colorful kimono, coverup

There’s no better backdrop for this Unif rainbow tie-dye robe, also from West LA Boutique (check out their fabulous online store, which carries brands like these). It’s the perfect swimwear cover-up, with a fringe that moves in the wind. Unif also makes a rainbow tie-dye skirt and colorful sneakers.

philippines sailing, boating

We met our Lapu-Lapu guide, and hopped onto a boat. I walked the front plank like a pirate, and let the wind blast through my robe and hair.

unif fashion blogger

(The above 5 photos are by K of Bright Production in Hong Kong. The rest of the images are by Melissa Rundle and Eric Bergemann.)

unif dollskill clothing model

A Titanic moment, at the bow of the boat. How I love my Technicolor dream coat. 

caohagan island, cebu

About 30 minutes later, we docked at Caohagan Island. I couldn’t believe my eyes: white sand, pristine waters, and almost no-one else there.

Travelers tend to overlook Cebu as a beach destination, which is a mistake. It’s not expensive to stay in the Philippines, and you get a far more authentic experience than if you went to a place like Phuket, which is over-run with tourists.

mantis shrimp prawns

There aren’t any Starbucks on this island. You pick your seafood fresh from the local vendors, and they’ll cook it up for you.

What on Earth is this striped sea-creature?

big southeast asian shrimp

It’s a mantis shrimp, a lobster-like Southeast Asian crustacean. They move in a creepy-crawly way, as you can see in my Instagram video.

philippines shellfish

I find it thrilling when I come across local food that I can’t recognize. Not sure exactly what type of conch and clams these are, but I’m willing to try.

caohagan island seafood

Our Lapu-Lapu tourism rep took charge and ordered a selection of seafood for us to share.

filipino jewelry

While we waited for our meal to be cooked fresh, we browsed other stalls that sold handmade jewelry. The Philippines is an easy destination to visit because many locals speak English, and accept American dollars as currency. 

cebu boat, caohagan beach

Black Mustache meets Rainbow Brite. Filmmaker Melissa and I waded into the calm and warm shore.

skeleton swimsuit, goth swimwear

The waters are so shallow in Lapu-Lapu that you can walk between some of the islands during low tide! Here’s a shot of my skeleton-print swimsuit, similar to this ribcage one in black and white.

black heart shaped sunglasses

In the reflection of Melissa’s heart-shaped sunglasses (get them here), you can see the palm trees and beaches of Caohagan.

cebu vacation tour

Apparently, these Japanese men are in on the secret! Cebu is not far from Japan and Hong Kong, but still, not many people think of it when they plan a vacation.

philippines fish seafood

Time to chow down on seafood, lightly seasoned with Asian flavors. Crab, squid, fish, abalone, mantis shrimp, conch… I’ll let the photo above speak for itself.

cebu ocean beaches

After, to wash off, all you need to do is jump back into the ocean. Ah, the island life!

cebu village hut

Only a few hundred people live on this tropical isle, mostly working as fishermen and craftspeople. I enjoyed seeing how the residents of Caohagan lived.

filipino kids parade

It didn’t take long to walk across the barangay (or village). We ran into a lively parade of Filipino schoolchildren! 

philippine school children uniforms

They all waved and smiled at us. So sweet, these school uniforms.

asia jungle treehouse

Aren’t you tempted to climb this treehouse, camouflaged by leaves?

southeast asia smiling kids

These children insisted on posing for photos. I must have taken a dozen snaps of them.

island hopping cebu

Sad that we had to leave Caohagan, but there were more islands to explore. Since the waters were so shallow, we had to ride this little “jukung” in order to board the larger “banca,” or pump boat.

sailing in cebu, lapu lapu

By now, I’m sure you see why this Lapu Lapu adventure was one of my favorites this year.

tie dye hippie coat

Cebu’s weather is humid, and I was glad to cool off during the boat ride.

boat tour lapu lapu

We arrived at Nalusuan Island, a resort and marine sanctuary. Located in the Olango Reef, these waters are rich with sea life.

starfish seaweed ocean

Case in point: this is what the sea floor looked like, from the pier. How many starfish can you count? 

nalusuan island Resort and Marine Sanctuary

Sipping a fresh coconut in the Philippines, under waving palm trees. If this doesn’t convince you to come here, I don’t know what will.

nalusuan island cebu

Cebu has it all. Marine diversity, snorkel and scuba, white beaches, clear waters, an intriguing culture, flavorful local food… and at much lower prices than Bali or Bangkok. 

snorkel underwater camera go pro

As I mentioned before, I have some eye and skin sensitivities that make activities like snorkeling impossible. Melissa and I stayed on shore and threw fish food at Eric, and he filmed them splashing around.

snorkeling fish underwater

He used a Go Pro underwater camera to capture the experience of snorkeling. We’re excited to show you the fish in action, when we release our travel video.

philippines boat tour islands

Huge smiles for Lapu-Lapu — what a perfect day! None of this would have been possible without the sáv Hospitality team, which brought us to Pacific Cebu Resort.

How do you like my rainbow Gothic beachwear? Were you as surprised by Cebu as I was?



  1. MelissaR
    Posted November 13, 2014 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    This is seriously the BEST DAY EVER!!!

  2. Jezra
    Posted November 13, 2014 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    nice to see you had so much fun the Philippines

  3. Sher
    Posted November 13, 2014 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    we were pleased to have you here as well! hope can see you soon!

  4. Alyssa
    Posted November 13, 2014 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    love !

  5. Brett
    Posted November 13, 2014 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    loving your enthusiasm. and the fashion!!!!

  6. Haruhi
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    I love you la carmina!! <3<3<3

  7. Kate
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    Glad you had fun! <3

  8. Cathy
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Come to see me!

  9. Emma
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    What a life :)

  10. Haruhi
    Posted November 14, 2014 at 10:07 pm | Permalink


  11. Libby Fox
    Posted November 15, 2014 at 2:32 am | Permalink

    I’m sold. The Philippines is now on my ‘To Visit’ list.

  12. Orelover
    Posted November 15, 2014 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Lovely coconuts

  13. Clair
    Posted November 16, 2014 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the outfit photos! Looks great.

  14. Jake
    Posted November 16, 2014 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Pretty girl. Xo

  15. Stylen
    Posted November 16, 2014 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    You’re so cool! This is grand.

  16. Martha
    Posted November 16, 2014 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    You look wonderful and your style is beautiful! I love the outfit so much & I follow you +1. xoxo

  17. Reileen
    Posted November 17, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    That tie-dye kimono is gorgeous (as are you)! One of my relatives in Bohol actually lives in a tree house by the seashore — it’s pretty great! (Except for the lack of air conditioning.)

    • lacarmina
      Posted November 19, 2014 at 3:47 am | Permalink

      haha true, I was glad to get some cool wind from the sailing!

  18. Tseireirei
    Posted November 17, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    more place you can visit here

  19. Reverence
    Posted November 17, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    wow… its such an amazing trip… thats how adventurous…

  20. Christian
    Posted November 17, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    WOW lovely kimono and all them awesomes pics heaven on earth

  21. Jointy
    Posted November 18, 2014 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    so lovely!

  22. Kazuya
    Posted November 18, 2014 at 9:46 pm | Permalink


  23. bar
    Posted November 18, 2014 at 10:40 pm | Permalink


  24. Kai
    Posted November 19, 2014 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    I am like beyond happy because you visited my country.

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