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Philippines

Photoblog – Batanes

February 13, 2018

It’s my 2nd time to be in this wonderful paradise yet the views in Batanes never fails to amaze me. The main reason why I went back to Batanes was to attend my childhood best friend’s wedding with the love of her life.

Here are the links to my 1st visit in Batanes : Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

The church wedding was held in San Jose de Ivana. Their reception was held in Fundacion Pacita – Cafe De Tukon. It was a simple and intimate wedding. All the people close to the bride and groom were in the wedding.

After the wedding, we had the chance to tour around the island again. We were able to go to Sabtang Island despite the huge waves. There are a lot of old stone houses which I hope they preserve it. Their beaches are wonderful which makes you think you’ve been to Europe already (Iceland, specifically).

Anyone who has been to Batanes can attest to how beautiful and scenic the place is. You can imagine yourself, being in “Switzerland” and breathing fresh air. The unique charm of Batanes can never go away and as responsible travellers, we have to make sure that the Filipinos do their part to protect and conserve our country and this island. I hope the pictures I took will make you feel like you’ve been to Batanes.

Update: As of Feb 12, Cebu Pacific offers flights to Batanes already.

Another Update : I finally made a vlog of my Batanes experience! Will post the video down below 🙂

USA

3 Days in Washington D.C. – Travel Diary

December 1, 2017

Our 3 Day trip in Washington D.C. was a spur of the moment. For the remaining days of our stay in the USA, we had no idea on what to do. My aunt suggested that we go visit Washington D.C. because there are a lot of things one can do there.

G E N E R A L  I N F O R M A T I O N

  1. Originally, a land trip to Washington D.C. from New Hampshire should take you around 7-8 hours. But because of traffic and we had a lot of stops along the way, it took us 11 hours.
  2. There are a lot of museums in Washington D.C. The nice thing about these museums is that it is free entrance. Since there are a lot of museums, you won’t be able to finish all of the museums in a day or two. You need to allot at least a week in order to fully appreciate the museums. The museums we went to are the following : National Museum of the American Indian, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, National Museum of American History.
  3. To buy food and drinks is expensive! I suggest you bring your own food and water bottle. There are water fountains – be it in the park or museums. So, there is no reason for you to not bring any water bottle with you.
  4. Aside from visiting the museums, there were the major attractions like The Pentagon, Lincoln Memorial and The White House. If you were not able to go to any of these major attractions, you haven’t fully experienced Washington D.C.
  5. Since we went during a summer season, expect the weather to be humid. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes so that you can properly walk around Washington D.C.
  6. There are Hop On, Hop Off Bus Tours in Washington D.C.  But, I only recommend this tour if you don’t have enough time to explore or with someone who can’t stand long walks.
  7. If you are on a budget, staying outside of Washington D.C. You can always take the Metro. In our case, we decided to stay in Best Western Hotel located at College Park, Maryland.
  8. Truth be told, there are still a lot of museums and attractions that I will have to check out in Washington D.C.

Below are the photos I took during our 3 Day Stay in Washington D.C. :

  1. Abraham Lincoln Memorial

2. Washington Monument

3. The White House

4. National Museum of American Indian

5. National Air and Space Museum

6. Smithsonian Institution

7. Holocaust Memorial Museum

8. National Museum of American History

Care to share other museums worth going to in Washington D.C.? Leave a comment down below!

 

Food, Travel

Restaurants Worth Going Back in San Juan, La Union

November 10, 2017

San Juan, La Union is the easiest surfing spot to go to from Manila. Although La Union is known for their waves, tourists also go for their food. Along the highway are restaurants, cafes and food stalls. This post is dedicated for those restaurants I believe is worth going back to.

L A  U N I O N  R E S T A U R A N T S

  1. Tagpuan sa San Juan

Tagpuan is a hole-in-a-wall restaurant where partygoers usually go to sober up after having drinks. It’s located at the side of the road that’s why it’s hard to find. What’s interesting about Tagpuan is that they serve delicious meals and prices are affordable. Other restaurants in the area would cost you around 200-300php. In Tagpuan, one meal can already cost you 90php and above.

They are known for their Tapa and it will cost you 95php. Their bagnet, on the other hand, costs 120php. When my best friend, her boyfriend and I went back to La Union, we ordered the bagnet again because that’s how much we missed eating this dish. Please remember that La Union serves great bagnet and that is one should not miss.

What I love about Tagpuan’s bagnet is how juicy and crunchy it is. It goes well along with the tomato salsa at the side. Although I love this meal, I still found this quite expensive because of its servings.

 

  1. The Coffee Library

Beside Tagpuan lies this new coffee shop called The Coffee Library. They originated from Baguio City, specializing in Vietnamese and Italian coffees. I am impressed with its interiors – wood is the majority of the material used. The café gave off a homey and cozy ambiance. A must try is their Iced Mocha. The taste of the mocha wasn’t that strong, just right. I did not get the chance to try their Vietnamese coffees. I will gladly go back just to try them out.

  1. El Union Coffee

This is a popular café in La Union that’s been gracing our Instagram feeds. Aside from their craft coffee, they also serve different kinds of food which a lot of people take for Instagram. One look at their café, you can feel and see how surfing influences their theme.

 

  1. Coast Call Kitchen and Bar

Located at San Juan Surf Resort, it’s a restaurant that offers international dishes at a reasonable rate. We ordered their bestsellers which are Coast Call Special (325php) and Buffalo Wings (265php). Among the two dishes we ordered, I would have to go for their Buffalo Wings. It consists of classic crispy chicken wings coated with your choice of flavor garlic parmesan, smokey barbeque and spicy hot. It was easy to eat the wings and the flavor we chose (garlic parmesan) complemented it.

  1. Makai Bowls

Makai Bowls is a known food hub in La Union. This is a place where people who are health conscious would go to. Itused to be located in Flotsam and Jetsam. It is now found at the back of El Union Coffee. A must try is their Amianan bowl (240php). It consists of dragon fruit, mango, papaya, banana and acai juice. Do take note that this bowl is seasonal.

Hostel Reviews

Staycation in the Metro : BGC Boutique Hostel & Dorm

October 23, 2017

When you do solo travel to another country, your #1 concern will always be “where will I stay?” It’s actually hard to find a good accommodation in another country because as a solo traveler, you want a room that is affordable and practical. A solo traveler would want a place where they could meet and interact with different kinds of people while exploring the country. This is where hostels will come in.

A hostel is an affordable and sociable accommodation where guests usually share a room with other people through bunk bed style. There are other hostels that offer mixed, all-female and private rooms. Bathrooms can either be shared or private. Hostels usually have this common area where guests can mingle with one another.

Back in 2015, I was able to experience my first hostel stay in Singapore. We all know that Singapore is an expensive country. To stay in a hostel with my cousins became to be a lifesaver. Not only were we able to save money but also meet different people from other countries. We made friends with people that came from Malaysia and Russia. Apparently, staying in a hostel for these travelers is common for them. During the year 2015, there wasn’t that much hostels in the Philippines because it was looked down upon other people. They generalized hostels as a place that is not safe and not clean.

Nowadays, the hostel industry in the Philippines is slowly increasing. Hostels are slowly popping out in the Metro, making people’s stay affordable and practical. A hostel is also a perfect way for budget travelers living in the Metro who wants to do a staycation.

There are usually a lot of hostels in Makati City. Makati City is the perfect place to put up a hostel because it is the busiest business district. Aside from being the busiest business district, Makati is between the areas of going to the North (Q.C. area) and going to the South (Alabang area).

There’s this hostel in Makati that deserves to be recognized and it is BGC Boutique Hostel.

 

BGC Boutique Hostel… isn’t that in BGC?

 

Nope, my dear friends! BGC stands for Be At Your Greatest Comfort.

L O C A T I O N

BGC Boutique Hostel is located in Danlig, Makati City. To reach BGC Boutique Hostel, you have to turn right once you see Mercury Drug and Petron along EDSA. The Mercury Drug that I’m talking about is located at the northbound of EDSA. Parking space is limited so I suggest you take an Uber/Grab or commute to this hostel. The nice thing with this branch is that it is near Bonifacio Global City.  Their other 2 branches are located in Quezon City and Manila.

E X P E R I E N C E

Since October 2015, BGC Boutique Hostel became to be a place where people who came from the province would book an overnight accommodation. For only 499php($9.69)/night, you can already rent a bunk bed plus other amenities like fresh towels, a pillow and a blanket, free internet, locker & electronic key card, privacy curtains and reading lamp.

On the gathering area, they have a desktop computer, visitors lounge, laundry facilities, and board games. The gathering area is the perfect place to meet new people. Hats off to the one who thought of the design of the hostel. They executed their design very well in which it can be Instagram worthy. When it comes to security purposes, they have CCTV cameras installed & a guard to watch over the hostel.

Q U E Z O N  C I T Y  B R A N C H

The next branch is their Quezon City branch. It’s good to know that there’s already a hostel in Quezon City. If I crave for a staycation, I can easily go to this branch.

BGC Boutique Hostel is known as Panay, Kain, Tulog, Atbp. It is located along Panay Ave. It’s inside a small complex where there are a lot of known restaurants like Mandarin Sky Wok, Artsy Café, Komedor, and Tailored Cuisine. It’s easy to find this branch because the hostel’s signage can be found at the entrance sign of the compound. There’s parking available for those people checking in the hostel. But if you will be checking in their dorm, they have a separate parking.

The hostel is located at the 2nd floor of the building. It was quite hard for me to find the reception area at first because there wasn’t that much signs. Good thing I followed my instincts by walking through the hallway til I saw a small room with staffs of BGC Boutique Hostel in it.

Since I stayed in a shared room in their Makati branch, this time I was able to experience staying in their private room. The place was small, which can only accommodate 2 people inside the room. Outside of the room lies a common area where you can get to interact with other people who also got a private room. If you want to use their internet, there’s a bigger common area located at the reception area.

M A N I L A  B R A N C H

The last branch I stayed at is in their Manila branch. Their 3rd branch is near University of Sto. Tomas. Since it’s near UST, students who would like to rent a dorm can go to BGC Boutique Hostel & Dorm. For their dorm, it will cost you 9,000php per month.

Among all  the branches I’ve been to, I could say that their Manila branch is one of my favorites. Its interior design has this connection with travel that makes you want to book a ticket to your next destination.

 

TIPS DURING YOUR STAY:

  • make sure to bring toiletries with you like toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap. Hostels don’t usually include toiletries.
  • I would really suggest staying in the lower bunk if you don’t want any hassle going back and forth to the bathroom.
  • Beside the Makati branch is a karinderia. So if you feel hungry, just go there to have a meal.
  • It’s a different experience to share a room with other travelers you haven’t met. If you are the type of person who wants his/her own privacy while staying in a budget, then I suggest getting a private room.
  • All 3 branches have CCTV installed and a guard to watch over. I can assure you that it’s safe to stay in there.
  • All 3 branches have great staffs. They make sure to prioritize everything that you need.

FINAL VERDICT

I enjoyed my overnight stay in all 3 branches. If you have not tried staying in a hostel before, I urge you to experience one. If it will be your first time, I recommend that you bring your friends along so that it will be an unforgettable experience.

G E N E R A L  I N F O R M A T I O N

MAKATI BRANCH

Address: 2855 Danlig Street Barangay Pinagkaisahan, Makati City

Contact No: 822-7514

QUEZON CITY BRANCH

Address: 23 Panay Ave, Diliman, Quezon City, Metro Manila

MANILA BRANCH

Address:  870 Vicente Cruz St, Sampaloc, Manila, 1015 Metro Manila

E-Mail: bgcboutiquehostel@yahoo.com

 

*This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are mine. 

USA

Museum Finds : Museum of Modern Art

September 7, 2017

In one of my classes back in college, we would get to talk about different kinds of artworks. From classical to modern artworks, these caught my attention. As we get to discuss more about these different artworks in class, the Museum of Modern Art would constantly be shown in discussions. I told myself that I should definitely visit this museum when I get the chance to go back to New York. Lo and behold, mom and I were able to go back to New York. Among all the museums I had to see in New York, I made sure that Museum of Modern Art will be the very first museum I should visit.

Museum of Modern Artknown as MoMA, is an art museum located at Midtown Manhattan of New York City. Different kinds of modern and contemporary artwork can be found in this museum. There are 2 locations for this museum but I was only able to go to one since we lacked time.

G E N E R A L  I N F O R M A T I O N

  • Address: 11 West 53 Street, New York, NY 10019
  • Open from 10:30am til 5:30pm, 7 days/week
  • Ticket Adult Price: $25, Seniors: $18, Students: $14
  • 16 yrs. old and below are considered free entrance

H E L P F U L  T I P S

  • If you love going to museums, I highly suggest that you only visit one museum in a day! You’ll get burned out and overwhelmed from seeing too much.
  • I suggest that you start early for this museum. It’s a big museum so you’ll be seeing a lot of artworks. The line to buy tickets also tends to get long.
  • Since time was of an essence, we had no choice but to hurry up. We were only able to stay in the museum around 2-3 hours. So I highly suggest that you take your time when visiting museums.
  • There are audio guides if you want to know the story behind these artworks.

From Andy Warhol’s “Campbell” artwork to Van Gogh’s “Starry Starry Night”, these artworks made a different impact on how I was able to view art. Without further ado, allow me to share the different artworks found in MoMA.

Andy Warhol – Campbell Artwork

Andy Warhol – Marilyn Monroe 

Vincent Van Gogh – Starry Starry Night

Travel

Top 10 Attractions of The Lake City- Udaipur

August 8, 2017

I have always been curious to visit India. India has this certain vibe that makes you want to explore and understand their culture more. Himanshu of Pearls India Tour is here to bring us to The Lake City – Udaipur and to make us fall in love with their country.

T O P 10 A T T R A C T I O N S

Historically speaking, Udaipur is one of the richest sites in India. Named after the Rajput ruler, Maharana Udai Singh, Udaipur used to be the capital of the Sisodia clan of the Rajputs (“Son of a King”). Udaipur is located in the western state of Rajasthan in India, and is the administrative headquarters of the Udaipur district. It is about 403 km from Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan.

Udaipur has also been nicknamed the “Venice of the East” owing to its many lakes and majestic palaces from the ruling era of the Rajputs. Due to its picturesque look and prosperous air, made even more prominent by the impressive structures, Udaipur has been the site of many Indian as well as international productions. If you are planning your first expedition to India, in particular western India, be sure to visit the “City of Lakes” as Udaipur is endearingly called, with ample time on your hands. Short tours are also possible with a good understanding of the plethora of sights well beforehand.

You’ll be smitten with this imperial consignment from the past and will end up feeling like royalty yourself! We bring you the top 10 most sought after destinations of this regal city.

  1. Bagore Ki Haveli 

    Bagore Ki Haveli is the perfect time machine for the history lovers and will take you through a magical walk in the royal past of the kings from eons ago. The enchanting mansion was built in late 18th century, between 1751- 1778, by the Prime Minister of Mewar, Shri Amarchand Badwa. Located on the scenic bank of the Pichola Lake at Gangauri Ghat, it brings to light many windows that show us glimpses of the rulers in the era of their primes. The interior is beautifully furnished with various artifacts of the Haveli itself, as well as modern art. Two peacock glassworks are among the most popular adornments in it. Items used in the heyday of nobility such as floor coverings, costumes, paintings, hookahs, low tables, traditional arts and crafts with other everyday household objects are displayed, in addition to some of the rooms having been converted to imitate living conditions of the royal era. A puppet gallery can also be viewed, with the turban collection, which houses the world’s largest turban. The Haveli is open all days of the week (10 am to 7 pm) with a puppet show and a folk-dance performance in the evenings from 7 pm to 8 pm. With 138 rooms, corridors, balconies and courtyards there is a whole world to explore in the royal quarters, dressing rooms, living rooms and many other alcoves from the stately times.

  2. City Palace

    City Palace is a stunning complex of many palaces which have been standing for hundreds of years and they hold innumerable stories from the legendary days of the Rajput rulers. An astounding conglomeration of different palaces, City Palace is a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture which were built across an impressive duration of more than 400 years. This was started in 1559 by Maharana Udai Singh of the Sisodiya clan. The balconies of these palaces bestow a panoramic view of the Jag Mandir on one side with the city of Udaipur on the other. Gardens, courtyards, corridors, terraces and intricately decorated mosaics of the interiors await you as you enter through the Tripolia- a three-arched doorway, built in 1725. City Palace also houses the world’s largest collection of crystals; additionally, two palace hotels and the City Palace Museum are also located within the palace complex. Make sure you attend the hour-long Mewar Sound and Light show at the complex. It is in the list of things to do in Udaipur. City Palace has been the location of many movie productions too. You can visit it daily from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.

  3. Lake Palace (Formerly, “Jag Niwas”)

    The ultimate luxurious quixotic getaway for all your romantic wishes, the Lake Palace will impress you and leave a lasting imprint on your mind.

    Renowned as one of the most romantic hotels in India and the whole world, the Lake Palace is located on the Jag Niwas Island in Lake Pichola. The most gripping attraction of Udaipur, Lake Palace has 83 rooms which are exquisitely adorned, with the upper room built in a perfect circle. The floor is assembled of black and white marbles while the walls are lavishly decorated with different colored stones. The beauty of this palace is further emphasized by the Aravalli Hills and the city itself in the milieu of the sight. Concept of the palace is like that of Jal Mahal Palace in Jaipur, a must-visit.

  4. Lake Pichola

    A watery wonderland of endless sights and beauty, Lake Pichola will take you on imaginative journeys as you take a tour of the lake. Lake Pichola, along with Fateh Sagar Lake to which it is connected by a channel, make up the largest of the man-made lakes in Udaipur. Lake Pichola is the domicile of four islands, the “Jag Niwas” island on which the Lake Palace is built, the Jag Mandir which houses a palace of the same name, the Mohan Mandir and the Arsi Vilas. You can indulge in the charming views of the Lake Palace as well as the City Palace complex with a beautiful view of the havelis and the Ghats that line the lake by taking boat rides on the lake. Boats can be boarded from the Rameshwar Ghat (from City Palace gardens) and Lal Ghat (which includes stopping at Jag Mandir) with reasonable fares.

  5. Shilpgram

    The rustic yet charming nook of rural Rajasthan is beautifully re-created in this expansive location with lots to see and buy!

    Translated as “Village of Craftsmen”, Shilpgram is best described as a living museum of Rajasthani lifestyle, costumes, crafts and villages. About 3 km away from Udaipur, this was established in 1986. Countryside style of living comes to life in this life-size representation of not just Rajasthani culture but also of the neighboring states. Admire the authentic architecture and spend delightful hours of shopping traditional craft items and wares. Folk dances are also performed here. It is a sprawling complex of 55 acres that is packed with revelry during the Shilpgram Arts and Crafts Fair, or the Shilpgram Utsav (celebration) held in late December. It is open from 11 am to 7 pm.

  6. Saheliyon-ki-Bari

    Be it lovebirds of the introspective traveler, Saheliyon-Ki-Bari is just the thing where you can get some serene privacy and sit in nature’s copious lap of graceful beauty.

    This “Garden of The Maids” was fabricated by Maharana Bhopal Singh for the 48 lasses who had been a part of the dowry of a princess, and had escorted her to Udaipur. This garden is an idyllic setting for romance and love and had been portrayed in many Indian movies. The fountains, marble artifacts and sculptures and pools make for a relaxing and tranquil experience. It is open every day during the week from 8 am to 7 pm and a small nominal entry fee is needed to be paid for accessing this soothing nook of Udaipur.

  7. Udaipur Ropeway, or, “Karni Mata Ropeway”

    Exciting, yet mesmerizing, the Udaipur ropeway offers an incredible view of the lakes and islands with palaces and other structures.

    The famous Karni Mata Ropeway features short one way trip on a ropeway in red cable cars in between Deen Dayal Park (Dudh Talai) to the Karni Mata Temple. Being a popular tourist appealer, the queues can be extensive at times. Once you dismount from the cable cars, you can catch a stunning yet leisurely view of the sunset from a viewing platform.

  8. Jagdish Temple

    A touching and fortifying boost awaits you in this hypnotizing place of worship. The Jagdish Temple is one of the most impressive beacons of Udaipur that simply cannot be missed. With its striking white structure and rich embellishments of elaborate carvings immersed in a fusion of Indian and Aryan architecture, it is a hard-to- miss milestone. Built in 1651 by Maharana Jagat Singh, it is located in the City Palace complex, near its entrance. The most revered deity is a black idol carved from a single slab of stone, representing Lord Jagannath, one of the many manifestations of Lord Vishnu. It is open daily from 5 am to 2 pm, and from 4 pm to 10:30 pm. The “aarti” (ceremonial worship) held every morning and evening is reminiscence-inducing and leaves you feeling touched and uplifted.

  9. Vintage Collection of Cars Museum

    The ultimate destination for the lover of olden ages and mechanical buffs, this museum has a splendid compilation of old cars in functioning states.

    For the car aficionado, this is a must-see. Classic cars borne from the era of sophisticated and lavish routines continue to rumble and run in this car museum. This archetypal anthology of four-wheelers from the day’s bygone belong to the current Maharaja and all preceding royal lineages. With all the automobiles in working condition, you can not only admire them, but also be awed by the living, reverberating machines which have seen and moved through many pages of history. It is open from 9 am to 8 pm, all days of the week.

  10. Pratap Smarak

    To honor one of the greatest and most loved warriors of ancient India, this memorial boasts of a remarkable full-sized statue of Maharana Pratap riding on his beloved horse, Chetak. The Pratap Smarak is a memorial dedicated to the famous warrior and ruler, Maharana Pratap and his loyal steed, Chetak. This is life-sized bronze statue of the Maharana on his favorite horse is evocative and alluring to the history buffs as Chetak was known to be faithful and very protecting of his master. Before he died of his wounds in the battle of Haldighati, this heroic steed whisked away the Maharana away from the perilous milieu of the raging conflict. Located atop Moti Margi (Pearl Hill), this is a reverential site to pay homage to the warrior and his devoted companion. For the photographer, this location is bountiful with scenic views and magnificent angles.

    Much More to Behold

    The City of Lakes has much more in store than you can possibly fit into one single journey. Do make sure to also visit the Sajjangarh Palace, the Ek Ling Nath Ji Temple, Udaipur Solar Observatory, Gulab Bagh and Zoo, Dudh Talai, Pratap Museum and Ahar Museum.

    Author’s Bio:

    Smitten by the lavish views of Udaipur, Himanshu yearns to share his trips and travels to other breathtaking locations in India and share them with the world through PearlsIndiaTour.

USA

New York Travel Diary

August 7, 2017

Last June 26, my mom and I officially left for the United States of America! The main reason why we had to go to the States was for my grandma. It’s her first time to experience an international flight and we wanted her to enjoy. So, to officially start this USA journey, we started off with New York City (making this trip my 2nd time)

New York City – a place where there’s something new you can do every day. From Staten Island til the Bronx, you surely will not run out of interesting things to do and experience in New York.

Here are a few things you should remember when visiting New York:

  • New York is a walkable city but if you need to go from one place to another, you can always take the subway or taxi.
  • Study the subway and the map of New York. These will be your lifesavers when you  navigate around New York.
  • Wear comfortable shoes since you’ll be walking a lot.

A T T R A C T I O N S

  • Times Square 

You haven’t been to New York if you haven’t experienced Times Square. New York Times Square is a major tourist hub. Giant billboards and bright lights. Costumed characters and people playing instruments. Broadway shows, a lot of tourists and crazy traffic.

  • Museum of Modern Art

Known as MoMA, it’s a museum that showcases different kinds of artworks done by famous artists. Famous artists like Andy Warhol and Van Gogh can be found here. Be wary though, it’s a big museum so expect to have your stay in the museum around 2-3 hours. There is also an entrance fee which will cost around $25. It’s expensive but it will be worth it – that is if you are really interested of museums and artworks.

  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral

This is a famous Catholic Church found at the heart of New York City. What makes this cathedral interesting is its architectural design. The Cathedral is made out of brick but overlaid in marble. Once you enter the Cathedral, you can feel at peace and being one with Christ.

  • Broadway Shows

If you love watching Broadway shows, then it’s a MUST for you to experience watching one in New York. Fortunately, I was able to watch Anastasia. If you get lucky, you get the chance to meet the casts of the certain play you would want to watch. Since I watched Anastasia, I was able to meet Derek Klena (who plays as Dmitri), John Bolton (as Vlad) and Christy Altomare (as Anastasia).

F O O D

Finally, there is this fast food chain that I believe beats McDonalds. It is no other than Shake Shack. Everywhere we went to in New York, you can actually see Shake Shack. When I get the chance to go back to New York, will definitely try their shakes this time!

Umami is a Japanese term that stands for “deliciousness”. They stand true to their word. With every bite I took, I felt like I was in heaven. You can actually taste how juicy their beef was cooked. The size of the burger was just right and worth your money.

Cafe Lalo is a small cafe located at the Upper West Side of Manhattan. They serve mouthwatering pastries that makes me want to go back. We got Strawberry Tart & Carrot Cake. When eating desserts, I tend to share with someone since I can’t really finish it. Lo and behold, I was able to finish the Strawberry Tart by myself. That’s how yummy it was!

Fun Fact: Cafe Lalo appeared in the 1988 movie, You’ve Got Mail.

  • Bibble & Sip

Bibble & Sip is a 3rd wave & hole in a wall coffee shop. I am glad I was able to try this coffee shop. I went to this place twice within a week! They have cute interiors that made me want to stay longer. Sadly, limited seats were available.

O T H E R  A T T R A C T I O N S

Since it’s my 2nd time to go to New York, we didn’t bother going back to the other attractions in New York (Grand Central Terminal & Central Park specifically). At the same time, I still have to go back for the 3rd time because we were not able to go to other attractions when we were there.

  • Statue of Liberty

  • The Oculus

  • Brooklyn Bridge

Care to share other attractions I should go to when I get the chance to go back to New York?

Personal, Philippines, Travel

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.

Philippines, Travel

A Hidden Gem: Pinto Art Museum

February 1, 2017

I was just browsing through my camera then suddenly, I saw pictures I took in Pinto Art Museum. I totally forgot to make a blog post about it – how wonderful this museum is.

Last 2014, my friends and I visited Pinto Art Museum. We decided to check this museum because we saw great photos of this museum in Instagram and we love discovering new places. We had high expectations. Join us as we discover Pinto Art Museum!

Pinto Art Museum is located in a subdivision. It is quite hard to find the subdivision since you will have to get in an esquinita. Just be wary while driving – you should be able to see a sign that points you to Grand Heights Subdivision. Once you are by the area, there are no available parking but you can park along the street.

A Hidden Gem

Pinto Art Museum is not your typical museum. It’s a large property where you will be doing a lot of walking and climbing of stairs. The architectural design of the museum reminded me of Greece. There are also a lot of plants and trees. Aside from visiting the museum, this is a perfect location for pre-wedding photos. When we went there, we saw a couple having their pre-wedding photos taken.

Upon getting inside the museum, you will get to see different artworks. These artworks are so interesting that it made me want to buy one and put it inside my room. The nice thing with these artworks is that these are all made by Filipino artists. If you enjoy looking at artworks, you can surely last the whole day.

Pinto Art Museum is the type of museum that will spark your love for art. From the architecture til the paintings, it is already a work of art. Aside from having your pre-wedding pictorials, you can bring your significant other and have a chill and relaxing date. I can’t wait to go back to this museum. Who knows, there might be new and interesting artworks.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Open from Tuesdays til Saturdays
  • 200php – regular ticket
  • 180 php – senior citizens & PWD
  • 100 – students & children
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.