November 28, 2014.

When we were in Padas, the Chinese couple we met, Sunny and his husband were asking us what we have done so far. We said that we just arrived so we have not done a lot of things yet. Sunny, whose name is so apt for her personality, immediately said that we should see the fireflies. She said they lit the trees like Christmas lights and I was at awe that I forced Shernan to do it before leaving.

Thankfully, we found a company that has that activity for only 95RM, which is still well within our budget. We were to leave by 2pm, so we woke up early since it was our last day, and we decided to take the bus and check out the other spots we weren’t able to visit: the mosque and the famous rotating building. However, the bus was taking too long to be filled with passengers that we decided against it.

We hopped off the bus and shopped for souvenirs instead.

Some more KK walking haha!




Malaysian money left lol






By 2pm, we were up and about and ready to go to see the fireflies, never mind the monkeys, heh. The fun part was that we were still able to see the mosque and the building on the way there. Not up close, but still. So I promise to come back to Kota Kinabalu to visit the places we’ve never been and finally climb the highest peak in Southeast Asia: Mount Kinabalu. I just have to be physically, mentally and financially ready for that climb. Haha!

Commercial break: Kung Pinoy ka at naiintindihan mo ito at gusto mong umakyat sa Kinabalu mountain sa mas murang halaga, kontakin mo si Darwin sa +60146557966. Nakilala namin siya ni Shernan sa pagtanaw-tanaw naming sa pier. Tulong na rin sa isang Pinoy. Apir!



It was raining when we got to the Firefly Paradise. Ah Hung, the guide said that hopefully, the rain would stop so the fireflies will come out. I kept my finger crossed the entire time.


IMG_6687IMG_6697see the monkey? I was only using my iPhone 5c, and super zooming in ’cause we can’t be really close or they’ll go berserk, I guess. Haha!

We rode a boat to reach the mangrove area where the proboscis monkeys live. Proboscis monkeys can only be found in Kota Kinabalu and they are kind of shy so spotting them is a bit hard. Good thing though, we were able to spot some of them. They were a bit orange-y and they have big noses and that’s what making them different from the other kinds of monkeys.

We docked the boats and had dinner. By 7pm, we went back to the boats to see the fireflies. The guides use flashlights to attract the fireflies. We went deep into the mangrove areas. Suddenly, there were little lights twinkling among the trees. The fireflies are here. More fireflies twinkle in the darkness. It was like a show of lights. Hundreds, then thousands lights fly. Suddenly, the fireflies left the trees, and they went to our boat. You can hear the ooohs and aaahs of the people. We were of different races and different languages, but in that moment, we were able to understand one another.

IMG_6711a firefly flew on my arm. Can’t take a decent picture I had to open my phone’s flash and the guide reprimanded me, haha, saying “Pangako sa’yo, no flash” daw! Didn’t know, I’m sareee! They call Pinoys “Pangako sa’yo” because apparently, it is big in KK during our trip, so is Marimar. They get even more hyped when they found out I work where Marian Rivera works!

IMG_6709this is what happens when you try to take a photo: total darkness but there are lots of fireflies! Swear! That speck of light right there is a firefly!

It was very magical. I can’t quite explain how I felt back then. It was the first time I saw fireflies. They’re these little bulb of lights that fly around you. It was like a scene from a movie, only the fireflies weren’t added via CGI; they are there. Mother nature sure has a way of leaving me at awe with its beauty. It was the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in that trip, and yet no camera was able to capture it. You’ve got to see it and experience it firsthand because it is just so beautiful. I’m glad I get to see fireflies. I hope they won’t get extinct. I hope I get to see them in the Philippines.

Then we returned to the hotel. It was a nice last activity to cap off our Kota Kinabalu trip.

Then we were back home, to Manila: to the twinkling lights of the city, the hustle and the bustle and the pollution. Ah, Manila. Why do you have to be such a nightmare? But I love you anyway. No other city is going to make me love them the way I love you. Always.