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Philippines

Museo Orlina – One of A Kind Artworks

February 16, 2016

Museo Orlina isn’t your typical art museum. One would think that this focuses on paintings but actually, it’s glass art. It was actually my first time to hear that kind of artwork in the Philippines. This is something different I thought. With my mom and my family friends, we decided to check out Museo Orlina.

While touring around the place, we were able to gather facts about Ramon Orlina. One fact is that Ramon Orlina studied architecture in UST and he later discovered how to use glass as a form of art. You can see different kinds of glass arts done that you might think how is this even possible? Hahaha. There were even some artworks of his that were being sold. The cheapest would have to be 100k and the most expensive would have to be millions of pesos. Napalula ako sa presyo. I just had to understand because you are buying artworks due to the artist’s talents.

Among all the artworks we saw, I have to say my favorite would be The Schott Crystal Glass. If you are not fond of artworks, then you may find these pieces as a simple artwork. But, if you appreciate art, then you can find these works as a gem. Each of us has their own meanings towards artwork. There was something about The Schott Crystal Glass that got my attention.

If you want to experience a different form of artwork, I suggest that you visit Museo Orlina. All his artworks are made out of glass that will leave you in awe. You might never know, by visiting his museum will your creative juices flow out of you.

Note : entrance fee is 100 but if you are a student, 80 pesos.

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Personal, Philippines

Manila Ocean Park

February 16, 2016

I have been to Manila Ocean Park a few times already but it is only now that I get to make a decent blog post for this short adventure.

January 23,2016

My uncle and his girlfriend decided to visit Manila Ocean Park. It was the first time of my uncle’s girlfriend to fully explore Manila. So, I decided to be a gracious host and make her stay in Manila as fun as possible. Good thing they decided to check out Manila Ocean Park since there was a discount for the packages. We got the package that includes Oceanarium, Trails to Antartica, Snow Village, and the Symphony Show. This package costs 600/head so it was not a bad deal for the tickets.

In Oceanarium, this is where you can see different kinds of marine creatures in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. Even though I have been to Oceanarium a lot of times, I still enjoy seeing these marine creatures. This makes me appreciate what the Philippines can offer. All we have to do is to take care of our environment in order for these marine creatures to last long.

The next exhibit was the Trails to Antartica. This is where you can see and discover the coldest and most mysterious place on the Earth. I am actually curious to what I can see in Antartica. So if I want to know all about Antartica, I can just go to this exhibit and read more about it. Second, you can see different penguins in this area. They actually allow visitors to feed the penguins. It was only during our visit that the site was closed for feeding.  Along with this exhibit is the Snow Village. You get to go inside this cold room and it will make you feel like you are in another country. Truly, a lot has changed when I went back. The interior and the feels of the place was waaaay better before.

Last but not the least is the Symphony Show. What I love about The  Symphony Show is that you get to watch some water dancing (teehee).The movements of the water resembled like a person’s movements on dancing. Always at the end of the show would be splendid fireworks!

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mop4My spirit animal must be a penguin LOL

mop3Ended the day with water fountain show

Hotel Reviews, Philippines

The Forest Lodge at Camp John Hay

February 16, 2016

When I was still a kid, it was a long drive to go to Baguio. Back then, it would take us 6-7hrs by land that was why I tend to get lazy to pack for Baguio even though I love going up there. Baguio and Tagaytay kind of have the same weather but it is much cooler up in Baguio. Due to advanced technology, the government decided to make another route to Baguio. This new route makes our travel time a lot easier and such a breeze. What better way to enjoy your stay in Baguio is through staying in The Forest Lodge.

The Forest Lodge is located inside Camp John Hay. There is another hotel located in Camp John Hay which is The Manor Hotel. The Manor Hotel is what I consider the “high-end” hotel. The Forest Lodge is more of the cheaper version but the service is splendid just like The Manor.

Upon entering the hotel, the lobby is spacious and there are a lot of couches where guests can stay. There is a fireplace that represents what a lodge should look like. It’s nice to chill with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine with you. To top it off, their WiFi is free plus it’s fast! During Christmas season, it was our 2nd stay in the hotel. They never failed to disappoint guests with their creativity to make the lobby full of Christmas spirit.

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At your left side, this is where you can find the mini bar and the music room. What I love about their music room is that they were able to preserve the phonograph (commonly known as record player). Since I love anything vintage and music, it was truly a piece of heaven. It would be really nice to have your own record player at home and act like you went back to the 40’s.

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At your right side, this is where the restaurant is, known as TWIST. What I like about Twist is that they offer affordable dishes and they get to fulfill our stomachs with yummy local dishes.

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Upon entering the room, I actually felt like not getting out of the hotel anymore because the room was spacious plus the beds were very comfortable. Since the beds were comfortable, I tend to have a hard time to wake up and craved for more sleep due to the cold weather as well. Regular rooms in The Forest Lodge can accommodate 4 people. They don’t have any aircon in the room, instead a ceiling fan is placed. Basic amenities in the room can be found as well like cable TV, phone access, hair dryer, hot and cold shower, mini refrigerator.

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The Forest Lodge is a piece of heaven with affordable rates. The staffs are accommodating and they make sure your stay will be enjoyable. All the basic amenities you need in the hotel are there plus the fast WiFi. The food in Twist is splendid with affordable rates as well. You can be assured that you will have a safe and peaceful stay.

If you have any plans to visit Baguio, I definitely would recommend The Forest Lodge. To know more about their rates, please visit their website which is campjohnhayhotels.ph. If you do get to stay in this hotel, please do share your experiences as well! I would love to hear from you 🙂

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 
Personal, Philippines

Revisiting National Museum of the Philippines

February 12, 2016

Ever since I was young, museums made a great impact in my life. Going to museums made me appreciate history and different kinds of art. Now that I’m older and a graduate of college, I believe it’s high time to visit museums again to refresh your memory on the history of the Philippines. What better way to do that is by visiting The National Museum of the Philippines.

The National Museum of the Philippines plays a big role in our history. This is where we can find different artifacts and artworks that represents our country. The museum has 2 buildings located at Padre Burgos St. in Manila. The first building that can be seen along the streets of Manila is where you can find the National Art Gallery. The famous “Spoliarium” is located here. The other building is where you can find the Museum of the Filipino People. Artifacts like the handwriting “baybayin” and the traditional Filipino clothes can be found in this building. The museum is open from Tuesdays to Sundays (10am-5pm) and charges 150 for adults. If you are a student, all you have to do is show your ID and they will usually charge you 50php. If you want free entrance, they usually do it every October. October is the month where entrance in museums are free of charge.

Please do take advantage of visiting The National Musuem of the Philippines. The administration has done a massive improvement to make sure a lot of locals and foreigners get to experience the wonder and beauty of being a Filipino. Without further ado, please do look and appreciate the photos I took.

unspecified-10The famous Spoliarium painting

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Philippines

Kawasan Falls – Badian,Cebu

January 23, 2016

Before going to Cebu, I have always dreamed of going to Kawasan Falls to experience the falls and Mother Nature. And since we had last minute preparations of going to Sinulog Festival, we decided to put Kawasan Falls in our itinerary. We left for Kawasan Falls on a Sunday early morning, after the Paintensity free party and getting our stuff in the apartment.

Kawasan Falls is located in Badian, Cebu and you can see the works of Mother Nature – clear blue waters and pristine waterfalls.The blue water really looks like the drink, gatorade! We were not able to cliffdive because the locals watching over Kawasan Falls didn’t allow anymore due to an incident before. In order to cliffdive, you have to do canyoneering. (Canyoneering will be checked off my bucketlist next year!) We were only allowed to swim and go to the falls. You can rent a lifejacket and/or rent a raft. The nice thing about renting a raft is that the guide can bring you to the falls and let you experience how strong the current of the falls is. (If you plan to go to the falls without the raft, then I highly suggest you rent a lifevest since the water’s deep and strong current of the falls)

Here are the ff. prices needed to pay when in Kawasan Falls:

300 – rent a table
300 – rent a raft
300 – for the guide (we were able to get this for 200 since we had a local with us and got a bit discount)
50 – lifevest

*For the rental of a cottage and a raft, I suggest that you should be a lot in a group so that the expenses won’t be heavy on the pocket and I also suggest to bring your own food rather than buying in their restaurant.

From the city proper, it will take you 3hrs to reach Kawasan Falls. From the entrance, you have to walk uphill to reach the 1st waterfall. You don’t have to worry since it is just an easy walk towards the 1st falls.

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Philippines

Simala Monastery – Sibonga, Cebu

January 23, 2016

Cebu is known to have a lot of churches due to the fact that the Cross of Magellan is located in Cebu as well. But a lot do not know that there is this grand and picturesque church on top of a hill in Sibonga, Cebu. This is none other than the Simala Monastery.

The Simala Monastery originated in the year 1998 by the Marian Monks from Pampanga. This monastery came about due to the fact that there were a lot of miracles that happen in the area. From that time on, a lot of devotees would flock to this church and pray to Mother Mary. Before the place became fully developed, roads were still rocky and cars can’t pass through thus devotees had to walk going up the Marian Hills. Aside from the devotees, this church also draws tourists since it looks like a structure in Europe.

Travel time to the Church would usually take you 2-3 hours, depending on the traffic conditions. You have the option to ride the bus or rent a van if you are many in a group. Visitors have to respect the Church which includes dressing up properly and being careful with their actions. Once you get in the Church, you may proceed to the altar where the miraculous Virgin Mary is. Before proceeding inside the altar, you have to leave your footwear by the entrance. You have the option to leave donations for the Church. You also have the option to choose the colors of your candles, light them and say a short prayer. These colored candles have meaning and these are the following :

  • Gold – Healing (Good Health, Recovery, Spiritual, Family Tree)
  • Green – Prosperity/Success (Exam, Study, Financial, Business)
  • Blue – Perseverance (Employment, Career, Assignment, Promotion)
  • Violet – Achievements (Plans in life, Struggles, Endeavors, Journey, Voyage)
  • Red – Love (Unity, Friendship, Engagement, Family)
  • Yellow – Peace (Courage, Strength, Hope)
  • White – Purity (Enlightenment, Guidance, Right Path)
  • Orange – Reconciliation (Sweetheart, Wife, Husband, Enemy, Family)
  • Pink – Thanksgiving/Happiness/Joy
  • Black – Souls
  • Brown – Vocation
  • Gray – Deliverance
  • Cream – Conversion/Faith

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Philippines, Travel

Experience Sinulog Festival

January 22, 2016

If you have plans of visiting the Philippines, I would highly recommend YOU to celebrate Sinulog Festival with us next January! So what is Sinulog Festival?

Sinulog Festival is a lively celebration that is usually held every 3rd Sunday of January in Cebu. This festival aims to celebrate the coming of Sto. Nino with a grand parade that lasts for hours! Because of this grand parade, cars can’t pass by the major roads anymore. You have no choice but to walk towards your destination.

What happens usually in a grand parade is street dancing. Groups of Cebuano and Cebuana dancers would create dances with colorful costumes and props. They would even use music to make the festival lively and for the audiences to dance along with them. And when they dance, they usually say Viva Pit Senyor! I was not able to fully watch all the dances of the festivals (just clips of it) but it was surely grand.

To sum it all up, my first Sinulog experience was truly intense and at the same time memorable. Imagine, my friends and I had to walk through a sea of people. In order not to lose one another, we had to hold on tight to each other and push other people away to  move properly. To add, you should experience having paint all over you! It’s a festive celebration so why not make yourselves dirty and enjoy for a day or two!

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Sinulog_heat                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    (c) cebutours.phSinulog-720x358                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 (c)techinasia.comSto._Nino_Basilica_de_Cebu_from_the_Pligrims_Center-francisco-pajares(c)tripinislands.com
Philippines, Travel

The Amazing Sitio La Presa

December 9, 2015

Last December 3 – 6, my family and I were given another opportunity to visit Baguio City all because of my dad’s golf competition. Despite Baguio being a small city, you would still get suprised that there are other places you can look forward to. In order to maximize our short break, we decided to visit Sitio La Presa.

Sitio La Presa first came about in the TV show, Forevermore. This stars Liza Soberano as Agnes and Enrique Gil as Xander. If you are an avid fan of Forevermore, then you must truly know about Sitio La Presa. Sitio La Presa is actually called Sitio Pungayan located in Tuba, Benguet. From Baguio City, it will take you a good 30 minutes to reach the destination. We were thankful that the fad of Forevermore has gone down since there was no traffic plus no entrance fee to visit Sitio La Presa. You are also free to park your car wherever you please. We could even drive fast to reach the summit but we had to be careful due to the large fog.

Reaching the top of Sitio La Presa was pure heaven. I actually felt like I was on cloud nine. All the worries and stress that I carried with me, I brought it all out in this wonderful place. There’s a view that is similar to Banaue Rice Terraces and there’s another view overlooking Baguio City. We decided not to check out Agnes shooting place due to time constraint.

If you feel like chilling after a tour in Sitio La Presa, Cafe in the Sky is perfect. Cafe in the Sky is a restaurant that offers great dishes and allows customers to rest in their mini hotel. A cup of joe, a good book plus the view will be a great way to end the day.

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Tita Cathy & Juliane

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Ice Cream!!!

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Hot Choco + Hot Milk

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The view of Baguio City

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Philippines, Travel

Balaan Bukid, Guimaras Island

November 29, 2015

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Last November 16-20, there was a big event celebrated in Manila called APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation). During APEC, leaders of certain countries (prime ministers, presidents, etc.) attend this event to discuss certain topics and help each other prosper as one. Since there would be traffic and given one whole week to have a break, I decided to fly to Iloilo. I left for Iloilo on a Sunday.

On a Tuesday, during my stay in Iloilo, the cousins and I decided to go to Guimaras Island for a day trip. What better way to do a day trip in Guimaras is through trekking Balaan Bukid. Balaan Bukid is a known landmark in Guimaras Island. During Holy Week, lots of people trek the place to do the 14 stations of the cross. Aside from trekking, you can visit the chapel, take a photo of the famous cross (as seen in Iloilo City) and appreciate the view of Iloilo City.

Before you can actually reach Guimaras Island, you have to ride a pump boat from Iloilo City. It will usually take you 15 minutes to reach Guimaras Island. From the port, take a tricycle ride to the foot of Balaan Bukid.

Trekking Balaan Bukid is relatively easy. For a few minutes, you can actually ride the tricycle to reach a certain destination. Through that certain destination, that is where you start trekking towards the top. It will usually take you around 10-15 minutes. In our case, it took us a good 30-45 minutes because we were 5 people in one tricycle and the tricycle cannot accommodate us.

THINGS TO BRING :

food (if you want to have a picnic)
own trash bin.
take care of the environment!
extra clothes
money if you still have plans to roam around Guimaras Island

 

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On our way!

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The chapel that can be found on the top of Balaan Bukid

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The famous cross. This can be seen in Iloilo City

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Appreciating the view of Iloilo City from the top of Balaan Bukid

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Philippines, Travel

Long Weekend in the City of Pines – Baguio City

November 5, 2015

Ever since I was a little girl, Baguio has been one of my favorite destinations to go to. The place has a cool weather & wonderful scenery. The cool weather always reminds me of America & the wonderful scenery is due to the pine trees & mountains that Baguio can offer. But sadly, we seldom would go to Baguio due to its long drive. The drive back then would usually take 5-6 hours.

Since a lot has changed, thankfully, the government was able to find a shorter way to Baguio. Due to the shorter route, mom & I decided to go up to Baguio to be with Dad & cheer him on with his golf competition.

Victory Liner

Our mode of transportation to Baguio was via Victory Liner. We availed their Deluxe Bus that travels only for 4 hours non-stop, lazy boy chairs & a comfort room inside the bus. If planes have flight stewardess, the deluxe buses also has a stewardess on board. This costs around 740php/one way which is a good deal since you get what you pay for. If you would like a cheaper bus ride, then they have the regular bus ride which costs around 400php/one way. Your travel time would be around 6 hours max since you will be doing a lot of stopovers.

Forest Lodge

Upon reaching Baguio, we availed of a taxi to bring us to Forest Lodge. Forest Lodge is located inside Camp John Hay so for sure, you know you can feel safe inside the place. (Disclaimer : Will be making a separate blog review about Forest Lodge.)

Places & Restaurants to go to Baguio

Even though Baguio is a small city, a tourist can still get lost while driving because there are a lot of roads that can confuse Manila drivers. In order to fully explore Baguio, one of dad’s good friends actually lives in Baguio. We were thankful that she cleared her schedule to be with us and toured us around the place.

If you are an art enthusiast, you should go to BenCab’s Art Museum located in Asin Road. BenCab (real name : Benedicto Cabrera) is a known national artist that is famous for his paintings like women with silk on them. It will take you an hour drive to reach his museum & there are lots of paintings to view at so I really suggest you do that first thing in the morning.

If you love eating healthy food, one must try Oh Mai Khan. Oh Mai Khan is a famous Mongolian restaurant that is widely known for their 200php buffet that serves purely on vegetables & healthy food options. Since I enjoy eating veggies, I kept on going to the buffet table to make my own healthy meal & we give it to the chef to cook our meals for us.

If you love eating ice cream, one of their famous dessert places to go to is Strawberries & Ice Cream. Basically, from the name itself, they mostly serve strawberry ice cream. A must try is their Simply Strawberry. It’s a big bowl of ice cream with strawberries on it so if you are not a heavy eater, it is advisable to share your order with someone else.

Another good restaurant to go to is Secret Garden. It’s a restaurant that is well hidden & it is perfect for a lazy sunday morning where you just want to chill & enjoy the beautiful scenery. I ordered their Pesto Pasta with Hot Chocolate. Their Pesto Pasta tasted alright but what lacked was the creaminess of the pasta. Their Hot Chocolate was splendid & quite big for its price. I would love to go back for more ! (Full review will come !)

There are still other places that I have yet to discover & I will come back for sure !

The famous White House
Diplomat Hotel
Baguio Craft Brewery