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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.

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.

Personal, Philippines

Enchanted Kingdom Escapade

March 8, 2016

When going to different countries, there are a lot of theme parks you can visit. For instance, the famous DisneyLand and Universal Studios in the United States of America. There is also Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan  known for the Harry Potter attraction. In Korea, there’s the famous Lotte World and Everland Theme Park. When visiting the Philippines, you can definitely visit this theme park called Enchanted Kingdom.

Last Friday, my cousins from the province went to Manila to celebrate our cousin’s debut. We decided for an out of town trip to Enchanted Kingdom. Enchanted Kingdom is located at San Lorenzo South, City of Santa Rosa, Laguna. We had plans to leave Quezon City around 9:30am so that we can start early and make full use of our time. Instead, we were able to leave around 12pm and I drove all the way to Santa Rosa, Laguna. Around 2:30pm, we finally arrived Enchanted Kingdom.

As we went inside the theme park, the first ride we went to is EKstreme Tower! EKstreme Tower is a thrill ride where you get to see the view of Enchanted Kingdom. This will take you to the top for a minute and a sudden drop at 76 kph. I’m a big fan of extreme rides because there’s the feeling of adrenaline rush and pumps up your system. Although I love riding extreme rides, I still get nervous and scared. That’s the beauty of these rides – when you get to endure these kinds of rides, you can endure anything in life.

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The second ride was Anchors Away. Anchors Away is my favorite ride among all the rides in Enchanted Kingdom. It’s a pirate ship where it swings back and forth and can reach up to 70 degrees.

If you want to get wet, there’s the Log Jam and Rio Grande Rapids. In Log Jam, you are seated in a dug-out log, takes you up and down a lift and splashes you with water. In Rio Grande Rapids, you are seated on a raft and traversed in raging waters. After riding these water rides, we went to Flying Fiesta to dry ourselves. You can expect your clothes to start drying in Flying Fiesta due to the rotation speed of the swings.

The famous rollercoaster, Space Shuttle, cannot be missed. This turns 6 times – 3 times forward and 3 times backward. In all the rollercoasters I’ve ridden, this is the only rollercoaster where I get to open my eyes and enjoy the ride.

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There are new rides like Air Race and Disk-O-Magic. Air Race is an acrobatic plane where it makes acrobatic stunts that will surely make you feel dizzy. There are certain times the planes will do a 180 or 360-degree turn. In Disk-O-Magic, this takes you on a spinning and rotating motion. You are seated like riding a motorcycle while there’s protection at your back so that you won’t fall off the ride.

enchanted kingdom 2016 (8)Disk-O-Magic

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There’s Rialto where you get to watch and experience 4D. In all fairness, Rialto has improved. Before, it was all about the chairs moving to the direction of character in the movie. Now, there are “real life experiences” to make you feel YOU are the main character of the movie.

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If you want some horror feels, you can visit Kubot: The Aswang Khronicles. This is a walk-through experience where you get to feel chills and feel scared by Kubot. A Kubot is a kind of aswang where they squeeze the victim’s internal organs. I am a huge fan of horror films. But to be honest, I cannot stand if the horror theme park is walk-through. Just get your heart ready if you get gulatin. Take note: 75php for entrance.

There’s the Dodgem a.k.a BUMP CARS! This is such a classic but this never gets old. Kids and adults would surely enjoy this ride. Get ready to bump other people!

Listed below are other information needed for the theme park:

Ticket Rates

500PHP – regular, unlimited day pass (weekday)

600PHP – regular, unlimited day pass (weekend/holiday)

250PHP – junior, unlimited day pass (weekday)

350PHP – junior, unlimited day pass (weekend)

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Philippines

Cebu Taoist Temple

February 17, 2016

January 18, 2016

It was time for the friends and me to go back to Manila since Sinulog Festival was done. Before heading off the airport, we decided to roam around Cebu City one last time and savor the moment. The first stop we did was the Cebu Taoist Temple located in Lahug.

To reach the Taoist Temple, you will have to enter a village. This village is where prestigious people live in. And when you see the temple, it resembles the Great Wall of China. Due to the resemblance of the Great Wall, I felt like I have been to China already.

What I love about the temple is how clean and serene the place is. Non-worshippers are allowed to visit the place but they will have to follow the rules. One rule is that you are not allowed to make any noise once inside the altar. There are people praying to their loved ones. You are also not allowed to take any kind of photography inside the altar. When you are wearing shorts, make sure you have something to cover your legs before you get in the altar.

Truly, this kind of temple is a gem in our country.

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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