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One Weekend in San Juan, La Union

April 27, 2017

It’s a nice feeling to get lost in thought while appreciating the wonderful view by the beach. You can hear the loud waves crash by the shore. You get to see the beautiful sunrise/sunset by the beach.  That is what we exactly did last weekend, April 1-2 in San Juan, La Union.

San Juan, La Union is known as one of the surfing spots of the Philippines. This is where surfers go to if they want to surf and have a quick getaway. If you are not fond of surfing, you can laze around, walk by the beach and watch other people surf.

It was my first time to go to San Juan, La Union with my college best friend and her boyfriend. We decided to go to La Union (despite the long travel) because we wanted to explore the North and a change of scenery. We left Manila around 11pm via Partas.

Around 4 in the morning, we arrived San Juan, La Union. We had a lot of time to wander around since our check-in time in Barkadahan is around 12pm. We decided to chill by Flotsam and Jetsam and talk about life. We were able to watch the beautiful stars and sunrise by the beach.

Around 8am, we had a quick breakfast in Flotsam and Jetsam. After, we decided to go to back to our hotel and have another set of breakfast. We enjoyed our 2nd breakfast because we ordered corn beef which is our favorite breakfast dish!

To pass time, we decided to try out different restaurants along San Juan, La Union. The first restaurant we went to was El Union. Let the photos do the talking of the restaurant.

Next, we tried out Tagpuan since my friend told me that they serve bagnet (I highly recommend you watch I’m Drunk, I Love You if you want to know about the hype of bagnet). Their bagnet was yummy! But I found it expensive for its food serving.

Around 2pm, we were able to put our things in the room and dressed up for the beach. Good thing it wasn’t that hot when we went to the beach around 4pm. We took a few pictures (for me and my best friend’s blog) and enjoyed the beautiful sunset by the beach.

Around 7pm, we had dinner in Surf Shack. Surf Shack was just alright. I found the restaurant quite expensive and since there were a lot of people, the staffs were all over the place. It was hard for us to call a staff and we kept on reminding them about our orders. After our dinner, we decided to go back to the hotel and we had a good rest.

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The next day, April 2, we woke up around 6am and prepared for another day ahead of us. We went back to the beach because my best friend still had one more swimsuit to wear and have photos with it. In the process of her photoshoot, my shorts got wet! I wanted to have a picture with her by the beach and the waves were too strong. But it was all good because I had extra shorts.

After her photoshoot, we had a quick lunch in Olas Banditos. The price of their food was just right. The ambiance was laidback and suited with the theme of the restaurant. I am for sure going back to this restaurant!

After lunch, we bade goodbye to San Juan, La Union. It was a bittersweet and quick getaway. For sure, we are going back and we will be more ready since we will know what to expect.

P.S. This is leaning more on a personal travel post. I actually miss writing these kinds of posts for the blog.

Personal

Late Night Thoughts

March 24, 2017

It’s these late night thoughts that matter. Still awake around 2-3 in the morning, looking towards your ceiling and questioning about your life. You embrace the quiet room and the loud thoughts coming through you since you are busy during the day. Am I worth it? What have I achieved so far? Is there someone out there willing to listen and be vulnerable with me?

With these late night thoughts, I start to feel lonely. During the day, my walls are strong. But once I’m alone, little by little my walls break down. To be honest, I hate this feeling. People will see you as a weak person. But you know what? It’s okay not to be okay. This makes me realize that we are human and everyone gets to feel these emotions. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be frustrated. Everything will be okay.

Sooner or later, I will get to discover what my purpose in life is. I will soon make an impact in other people’s lives. I will eventually find my true happiness – be it through love or life.

Food

To Experience Tuscany Through Marcia Adam’s Restaurant

March 15, 2017

I discovered Marcia Adam’s Restuarant through a Booky post: 20 of Tagaytay’s Best Kept Secret Restaurants. Seeing these kinds of posts makes me want to go to Tagaytay every weekend and try them. In my first visit, I had dinner along with my parents. I wasn’t able to take a lot of photos that time. Last Friday was my 2nd visit and was with my college best friend and a close friend.

We decided to have lunch in Marcia Adams. It was a good choice to have lunch in Marcia Adams on a weekday because we had the whole place to ourselves and we were not shy to take lots of photos. What I love about Marcia Adams is its ambiance – Tuscany setting. As you arrive, the first thing you will notice is their wooden door. Once you enter the main gate, you will get to see their garden. Their garden makes me feel at home and I felt like we were in a maze. You don’t have to worry though because there are signs that will point you to the right direction.

Our Set Meal in Marcia Adam’s

I ordered the following: Baba Ganoush (appetizer), Chicken Kebab (main dish), and Fried Bananas w/ Chocolate Dip (dessert). I find 700php to be just right. Along with your main course, you also have your own appetizer and dessert.  All you have to do is pick your desired appetizer and dessert. Debbie, my close friend, ordered Tzatiki w/ Lettuce Chips (appetizer), Chicken Kebab (main dish) and Strawberry Yoghurt Icecream w/ Berry Compote (dessert). Patty, my best friend, ordered Hummus w/ Whole Wheat Tortilla (appetizer), Chicken Kebab (main dish) and Panna Cotta w/ Lemon Sauce (dessert).

For the appetizers, I still preferred the Tzatiki w/ Lettuce Chips. I actually do know where you can buy lettuce chips. Just comment down below if you want to know where! For the dessert, I should have gotten Strawberry Yoghurt Icecream instead of the Fried Bananas. The fried bananas is good but I was not able to fully enjoy it because I was full from the main course.
Baba GanoushTzatiki w/ Lettuce Chips Hummus w/ Whole Wheat Tortilla Chicken KebabFried Banana w/ Chocolate DipStrawberry Yoghurt Ice Cream w/ Berry Compote
Panna Cotta w/ Lemon Sauce

Marcia Adam’s Restaurant is perfect for those who want to experience a short getaway and experience a Tuscany ambiance. Their food is just right (taste wise and budget wise). Aside from Instagram worthy, you can bring your significant other and have a relaxing date while being one with nature and the beautiful view.

Marcia Adam’s Restaurant FB: https://www.facebook.com/MarciaAdamsResto/?fref=ts

For reservation only. To make a reservation, please contact this number: 09178011456

Personal

Life Lately 10: Finding Motivation

March 7, 2017

Usually, I write these Life Lately posts because I don’t get to post any new content. This session of my Life Lately post is more on finding my motivation to keep on going. I also feel like I haven’t been myself these past few days. I always have this routine: wake up, take a shower, get ready for work, attend work, go home, go to the gym and/or continue watching missed series and go to sleep. But as I lay down, I feel like the world is eating me up alive. I tend to feel the pressure on my chest.

In order to motivate myself again, these were the things I did in order to get out of that funk:

  1. Last Saturday, I attended a HipHop dance class. I’m actually glad that I went back to dancing. Dancing has always been my passion and my 1st I can’t imagine myself without dance. For sure I’ll go berserk.
  2. A few days ago, I was able to talk to my college best friend. I told her that the feeling of loneliness crept towards me and I’m tired of being strong all the time. It came to the point that I even told her that I just want to break down my walls. She totally knows how strong of a person I am. But, she reminded me that sometimes I would need a time off from myself. Time off from reality and the people that tries to bring me down. Due to what she said, from the longest time, I broke down. She made me realize that it’s okay to break down. It doesn’t mean you are weak. It just shows how strong you have been towards your whole life. It also shows that we don’t have to be perfect because that’s what makes us human.
  3. Due to this talk with my college best friend, I decided to have my alone time by going to a coffee shop near home. I had a chill session in the coffee shop by watching a movie with a good iced coffee on hand.
  4. I had the opportunity to lie down on my bed and savor the moment. It felt comfortable and I wasn’t pressured to do anything that day.
  5. Last Sunday, I was able to watch an indie film called Baka Bukas. I watched this movie on my own. Little by little, I felt like I was getting out of the funk.

 I know I still want to do a lot of things like travelling solo, to have my own business, etc. But I must take it step by step because I don’t want to pressure myself from doing all these things in a short amount of time. Also do know that despite everything I’m feeling right now, I am still open to listen about your problems. That is the kind of person I am. Always ready to lend a helping hand no matter what the situation is.

How have you been lately?

Food

Banawe + Binondo Food Trip Part 1

February 23, 2017

I have been wanting to go on a food trip in Banawe and Binondo for some time now. The only problem is finding people to go with since my parents won’t allow me to go on my own. Thankfully, my cousin was available last Saturday. Get ready to join our food tour and discover the yummy restaurants in Banawe and Binondo.

Banawe Food Trip

1. Banawe Soybean Curd

According to my cousin, Banawe Soybean Curd is one of the oldest soybean places in Banawe. In fact, it’s actually one of the best when one craves for soybean. Since both of us didn’t eat breakfast, we decided to have our first meal here. They have different options to choose from – cold taho, hot taho, different flavors. We decided to go for their bestseller which is the cold taho.

What I love about Banawe Soybean Curd is that it is all natural. You also have the option to buy from their store and give it as a gift to a friend or family member. If we were not in a hurry, we could have decided to go back here to buy for the house. There is always a next time!

2. Hugki Dumplings

Right in front of Banawe Soybean Curd is the famous Hugki Dumplings. We ordered their famous steamed kutchay dumplings. We got so fascinated with this restaurant because the food is cheap and yummy! It only cost us 130php w/ 10 pieces! You will feel like you are in heaven while eating their kutchay dumplings.

After our short Banawe foodtrip, we decided to head straight to Binondo. We decided to pass by the Binondo Church to offer a short prayer to the Lord before we resumed to our doings.

Binondo Food Trip

3. Lan Zhou La Mien

For our lunch, we decided to eat in Lan Zhou La Mien. It was quite hard to find the place because the signage of the restaurant were in Chinese characters. Just remember that it’s beside Wai Ying.

We decided to have our separate bowls. My cousin ordered the Beef La Mien while I ordered their Mixed Beef La Mien. The only difference is that I have additional toppings like dumplings. My order cost 190php while my cousin’s was around 140php. It’s still cheap due to the size of the bowl and we love the fact how juicy their beef is and how flavorful their noodles is. Expect us to go back here! (but of course, we will be sharing one order by then since we got full easily)

4. Dong Bei Dumplings

Since we were too full from our meal in Lan Zhou La Mien, we decided that Dong Bei be our last restaurant stop for the day. We ordered another kutchay dumplings. This time, they had 14 pieces! It only costs us around 150php. Such a steal right?! We were supposed to order their Xiao Long Bao as well but it was not available that time. This gives us the reason to go back here!

This is Part 1 of our Banawe and Binondo Food Trip. We are definitely going back to discover more restaurants in the area! Stay tuned for more foodie adventures!

Hotel Reviews, Philippines, Travel

Damires Hills : A Short Getaway in Janiuay, Iloilo

January 23, 2017

The main reason we went to Iloilo was to celebrate New Year with the relatives. The original plan was to go to a beach like Lakawon Island and do a day trip. But, we lacked time to prepare our beach trip. So, my aunt suggested to visit a nearby resort instead. This resort is Damires Hills.

Damires Hills is becoming quite known in Iloilo. Located at Janiuay, it’s a resort that offers nature and adrenaline activities. It’s a nice place to unwind and appreciate the beautiful view. There are a lot of activities that is perfect for kids and adults.

I appreciated this resort because I love nature and there were a lot of activities one can do. The only activities I was able to try were the Canopy Walk and The ATV. My younger cousin and her other cousins from the mom side had the chance to swim. Other activities include zipline, Kids Adventure Park and Team Building.

Upon our stay in this resort, we were able to rent a cottage. Inclusive of the daytime cottage are the food and drinks which was reasonable. The food was just right, nothing special with it. If you want to sleep in this resort, they offer overnight cottages.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Janiuay is  a 30 minute – 1 hour drive from Iloilo City.
  • Entrance Rates: Adult/Kid – 100; Senior Citizen – 80; Swimming – 120
  • Daytime Cottages (w/ food and drinks):
    Gardenia 10,000 / max of 40
    Dahlia 10,000 / max of 40
    Kalachuchi 8,000 / max of 30
    Gumamela 3,000 / max of 12
    Bougainvillea 3,000 / max of 12
    Azucena 3,000/ max of 12
    Margarita 3,000 / max of 12
    Sampaguita 2, 500 / max of 10
    Dama de Noche 2, 500 / max of 10
    Yellow Irish 3,000/ max of 12
    Santan 3,000/ max of 12
    Daisy 3,000/ max of 12
    Aster 3,000/ max of 12
  • Overnight Cottages:

Balay Mangga – 4,500 (8 pax) + 300/head in excess (max 0f 9)

Balay Durian – 4,500 (8 pax) + 300/head in excess (max of 9)

Balay Badiang – 4,500 (8 pax) + 300/head in excess (max of 9)

Balay Bugnay – 4,500 (8 pax) + 300/head in excess (max of 9)

Balay Langka – 4,500 (8 pax) + 300/head in excess (max of 9)
Balay Chiko – 4,500 (8 pax) + 300/head in excess (max of 9)

Upper & Lower House – 3,500 (6 pax) + 300/head in excess (max of 7)

Adelfa, Begonia, Cattleya, Rosa & Zinnia – 2,800 (Good for 2 pax max of 3 with free breakfast for 2 persons)

Damires Hills Adventure:

  • Zipline (Sitting) 200
    Zipline (Superman) 300
    Bungee Trampoline Free
    ATV Ride 300
  • Contact Information: (033) 396-8144 / (033) 531-6519 [Landline] ; 09399060689 / 09176325901 [Mobile]
  • Website: http://www.damireshills.com/

GENERAL THOUGHTS

Damires Hills is a great getaway if you don’t have the time to get out of the city. There are a lot of activities one can do there. You can enjoy Mother Nature there. If I do get the chance to go back to Iloilo, I might would want to consider going back to Damires Hills.

Food

Jeepney Stop Restaurant in Boracay

January 16, 2017

In the Philippines, the main mode of transportation is the jeepney. Jeepneys were made from U.S. Military jeeps from World War II. As the U.S. was starting to leave the Philippines, they sold these jeepneys to the Filipinos. Filipinos would start to accommodate passengers and decorate the jeepneys with vibrant colors.

In its present time, jeepneys are not only used as transportation. You can even see it in restaurants.  The concept of putting jeepneys in restaurants started with Gerry’s Jeepney. Located in Maginhawa, they would let their customers have the option to eat inside the jeep and do it “kamayan” style. Another restaurant that has the jeepney theme is Jeepney Stop.

Jeepney Stop Restaurant – D’Mall Boracay

Jeepney Stop is a new restaurant in Boracay. Located at D’Mall, they serve Filipino dishes and turned the jeepney into a bar area. When we saw this restaurant, my mom’s officemates and I thought that the owner of Gerry’s Jeepney also owns this branch. We decided to give it a try.

The food we ordered were sisig, chicken kawali and calamansi tart. If I were to rate the food, I will have to give it a 3.5/5. The sisig was just alright. The sisig in Manam and Gerry’s Jeepney is much better. I would have to commend the chicken kawali. It had a flavorful taste to it and made me want to eat more. For the calamansi tart, there was this refreshing feel to it and it was yummy as per my mom’s officemate.

Jeepney Stop is a restaurant that is perfect for Instagram-worthy pictures. But when it comes to the food, don’t expect me to come back soon. And ifever I do get back to eat here, for sure the chicken kawali will be the one I will order again.

Food

Jamie’s Steak Room

January 11, 2017

A day before the New Year started, my parents and I went to SM Iloilo City to roam around. As lunch time approached, we discovered this new area where there are new restaurants. My dad and I LOVE eating steak. So upon seeing Jamie’s Steak Room, we decided to give it a try.

Jamie’s Steak Room is a new food haven. Located at the 2nd floor of SM Southpoint, this restaurant offers affordable steak and different dishes. It was the interior of the place that made us decide to try out this restaurant. The interior had this “high class” vibe that focused on minimalist design. Instead of a regular table, they used a grill- type of table and used a wooden type of flat surface. Instead of using regular lights, they decided to go with the hanging light bulbs.

Dad and I had the same order – the Porterhouse Aussie Meat but Dad added an appetizer which is The Clamchowder. Mom, on the other hand, only ordered a Southern Chicken Salad with Mango Vinaigrette. If I were to rate the restaurant’s food, I will give it a 3.5/5. The steak was just alright. It became flavorful when I placed A1 sauce. It could have been better if they could put more flavor on the steak so that I won’t need to put any steak sauce. My mom found their salad to be alright as well.

If you are looking for a restaurant that is Instagram-worthy, Jamie’s Steak Room is a good option. If I were to crave for steak, I won’t go back to this restaurant not unless there are no good options left to eat at.

Personal

My 2016 Journey

January 9, 2017

The year 2016 was not a good one for me. I lost a few friends and some relatives have passed away. I also know that 2016 was not a good year for the whole world. There was a lot of killings being shown in the news and Trump winning the presidency. As of now, I do not want to elaborate these happenings because it’s a start of a new year.

What I love about 2016 was that I was able to travel. I went to Boracay for the Labor Day, Cebu for Sinulog Festival, Buscalan Village in Kalinga to visit Apo Whang Od and the main event,  Europe (London, Iceland and Norway). These travels made up the bad experiences. I felt free like a bird. I felt I knew myself more in this whole journey. Listed below are my 2016 journey:

January – Cebu : Sinulog Festival

February – rest day

March – Les Miserables LIVE in Manila

April – Paradise IMF

May – Boracay : Labor Day

June – Kalinga : Visit Apo Whang Od in Buscalan Village

July – Cambodia

August – September : Rest Day

October – November : EUROPE TRIP

December – New Year Celebration in Iloilo

I do believe that 2017 will be my year. I will do everything I can to gain more adventures and find these things that truly makes me happy.

What can you say about your 2016?

Financial Matters

Ways To Save Money For Travel

December 21, 2016

A lot of people nowadays (especially millennials), want to travel the world. But, their main concern is money. They keep on saying that they don’t have enough money in order to travel to a certain destination. I do believe that all of us have the means to travel. You just need the guts to get out of your comfort zone and do the unexpected. In this post, let me share to you different ways on how you can save money for travel.

WAYS TO SAVE MONEY FOR TRAVEL

  1. Learn how to BUDGET. I can’t stress enough the importance of budgeting your money. As early as planning for your next vacation, you have to start saving a certain portion of your salary. To save 10% to 15% of your salary is a good start. Also, create an Excel file where you can track your expenses. This will guide you on how to spend your money right. If you still buy coffee everyday in Starbucks, I suggest that you make your own coffee at home and bring it with you to work. If you still buy food for lunch, I suggest that you pack your own lunch at home and bring it to work instead.
  2. Wait for airline promo fares. Airline promo fares help A LOT. If you are able to catch the promo fare, chances are you can get a huge discount for the travel fare. For instance, when you travel within the Philippines, Cebu Pacific loves to hold promo fares. If a regular fare to Dumaguete can cost you 6,000php roundtrip ($120), with the promo fare you can buy a roundtrip ticket worth 1000php ($20)!
  3. Sell your items. I’m sure there are a lot of items in your property that you can sell. With having the idea of selling some of your unused items, you are able to give other people a chance to use them and make others happy.
  4. Rent. If you think you don’t have any items to sell, then why not try renting your home or apartment? If you have your own apartment, I highly suggest signing up in AirBNB.
  5. Use your credit card’s points for airfare. If you are not able to catch any promo fares, using your credit card’s points to buy airfare tickets is also a good option. Before getting the promo fare for the trip to Europe, we were supposed to get Business Class seats. My mom has a lot of points stored in her credit card that with her points available, she can purchase 2 Business Class seats for free.
  6. Stay in hostels and guesthouses. Hostels in the Philippines can be priced around 400php/night ($8/night). Aside from its cheap price, you have the ability to interact with different people from all over the world!
  7. Do some freelancing. If you think that your salary in your 9-5 job can’t still be enough, having a sideline like freelancing is the way to go. You will be your own boss and call the shots. It will be up to you on how much you want to earn every month. You can be a virtual assistant, website design, SEO, online marketing, etc.
  8. WALK. If you are in another country, I highly suggest that you walk alot. When you walk a lot in an unexpected place, you will suddenly get the hang of the place. It will also be easy for you to know in which way to go.
  9. Bargain. When buying things in night markets, make sure to haggle. You will surely save a lot if you get to do this! When I went to Cambodia with my cousins, we went to their night market and bought items like shirts. They were selling a shirt to us for $10. We found it too expensive so we were able to bargain it for $5 instead.
  10. TRAVEL INSURANCE. When you travel, the travel insurance will be your best friend! If an airline lost your luggage, they will have to pay you a certain amount as placed in the travel insurance you bought at. So, make sure to keep on looking for great travel insurance that you think it’s right.

 

What other ways do you think you can save money for travel?