It could be the city's cool climate or its stunning vistas that lures my interest to make a repeat trip, whatever it is, Tagaytay is always a convenient choice for a quick weekend getaway. The place is very ideal, aside from its proximity to Metro Manila, it has so many things to offer -- food, relaxing atmosphere, gorgeous tourist spots and breathtaking view of the romantic skyline at night time.
And yesterday was another day of fun and leisure at the country's second summer destination! It's no longer summer season in the Philippines though but I still love visiting Tagaytay because of its ultra-relieving countryside scenery!
Had been planning for months to dine at Bag of Beans and visit Sonya's Garden to buy herbal plants but kept stalling the idea due to other weekend tasks until yesterday when we finally decided to give it a go. Unfortunately, due to drizzly weather, we're not able to go to Sonya's Garden, so we went to Puzzle Mansion instead.
Got these oh-so-inspiring travel destination suggestions from other "stumblers" while adding my websites in Stumble Upon. I love nature and I adored Europe so these suggested European holiday getaways really caught my attention.
What made these getaways very interesting is its terrific location in the countryside, calm, quiet, and romantic with a vibrant scenery of rolling hills, streams and valleys, a perfect diversion from the redundant beach resorts and luxurious amusement parks regularly mentioned in travel magazines and websites.
So let's get to know more about these spectacular villages in Europe we rarely read in travel columns.
Well, my closest friends know I am obsessed with England. :-)
Bibury village in the Cotsworld Region, Southern England
Image source: Stumble Upon
I love everything about Britain, from the afternoon tea tradition, beautiful countryside to castles and royalty, it's cool to explore the archipelago even just in my thoughts.
I've been researching for quite sometime now how to travel to Britain (Great Britain is composed of three countries which are ancient in existence: England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland is not part of the geography of Britain but it constitutes the whole part of the United Kingdom, the official name of Great Britain) and read everything about its beautiful countryside, Northumbria, Grasmere, Cornwall, Gloucestershire and the Scottish Loch ness for instance, but I didn't know anything about Bibury! I read stuff about Cotswold, which is known as the area of outstanding natural beauty, and its breathtaking sea side but haven't heard anything about its villages.
Okay, so here. According to the source, Bibury is a beautiful English village at the Cotswold region in Southern England. So lovely that by looking at the village's cobbled houses and pathways through photos you will be instantly entranced with its extraordinary beauty of nature!
According to the image source, Bibury has relaxing lush meadows that serve as a natural backdrop to the ancient stone cottages with steep pitched roofs in the village. The most scenic area is the Arlington Row, a lane of sepia-hued cottages believed to be built around the 17th century and has been preserved up to the modern times.
Oh I love Cotswold! This Southern England region is really fantastic and dreamy. The countryside and the beaches are captivating and I believed the Isle of Mull (correct me if I'm wrong) is part of this region.
Before going elsewhere in the continent, let's have another taste of wonder at England's nearest neighbour, Ireland. This might sounds strange as some globe-trotters never included this country in their list of favourite travel destinations, but did you know that Ireland, known as the emerald isle, is equally interesting as England? Or so I thought (I just read it in the book).
Classic Victorian architecture of Ashford Castle in Cong, Ireland
Image source: Stumble Upon
I'm not quite familiar with Ireland, aside from its capital, Dublin, and the Giant Causeway, the only Irish village I know (through books) is Limerick. But Oh, there's one, Cong! What a name!! Never heard about it.
Cong is a lovely village whose topography straddles between the County of Mayo and Galway dominated by vibrant meadows, lakes and lush plants, it has medieval cottages that survived up to the modern times. The most fascinating thing about this village is that it is home to Ashford Castle, a grand Victorian estate that has been converted to a luxurious hotel.
Cong, Ireland might not be your ideal travel escape but with its amazing gift of nature and interesting culture, it's not bad to include this place when travelling to Ireland.
Known to the world as the Land of Midnight Sun, Norway is equally interesting as the rest of the countries in the Scandinavian peninsula. Its countryside is covered with fjords, streams, lakes, rugged terrain, rolling hills and beautiful blooms.
Experience the snowy travel in Reine, Norway
Image source: Stumble Upon
Everyone knows Norway's capital is Oslo, but only few travellers are aware that the country has an extraordinary and lovely lakeside. Here, let's find out more about this lakeside sort of thing and discover Reine, one of Norway's wonderful villages which has a direct access to the Arctic circle.
According to the source, Reine is located in the North of the Arctic circle, so expect to experience a terrible blizzard of ice during winter when visiting this place. Basically, Reine is a fishing village in the Lofoten archipelago which is shrouded by the breathtaking wilderness of Nordic!
This village offers visitors an extraordinary experience of breathing the cool fresh air from the Norwegian sea and the amazing view of the summer midnight sun through its cottages and cabins which are directly facing the sea side.
Oh! Another unpopular European destination, you might thought. But no, Slovenia is as lovely as Austria and Germany.
Bled is a small Alpine Town in Northern Slovenia cradled with lake, mountain and meadows
Image source: Stumble Upon
To make things easier for everyone to know Slovenia, here's a little background:
This country is once part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, when this Kingdom was partitioned and thoroughly erased in the map of Europe, Slovenia for a time was annexed to Serbia until 1991 when it became an independent country. Now, this small nation is one of the most interesting places to visit in Central Europe. The country's capital is Lijublijana.
It borders Italy, Austria and Croatia and what's interesting about the landscape of Slovenia is its ideal location near the Alps! So just imagine how romantic it is to visit Slovenia during winter or even Autumn.
One of its amazing villages is Bled. The atmosphere is so relaxing because this small Alpine town is cradled by mountain hilltops, meadows and a lake whose glacial blue waters encircled the tiny island with a baroque church smack in the middle.
While we never gone yet to Bled, Slovenia, we can easily picture out how everything runs when we travel to this place someday. After visiting the church and marvelling at its placid blue water, a quick mountain trekking is somewhat ideal and experience the soothing breeze while throwing glances to the panoramic view of the Alps. Picture-perfect isn't it?
There you go, the amazing European villages we almost never know as these are rarely featured in the travel magazines and articles. Countryside travel is ideal especially if you want to discover the natural beauty of the country you are visiting and experience the stillness of the mother earth.
On Sunday, June 15, the world will celebrate Father's Day!
Here comes a special occasion that has long been touted as only a second fiddle, back-up support to the flowers-and-fashion laden celebration of Mother's Day.
But it's no ordinary. It's a special day of the year dedicated to the first man in every girl's life and the first superhero in every boy's life -- Papa.
But why it is often called a second fiddle celebration to Mother's Day?
Well, because fathers are not choosy hehe! As with most typical men in the world, fathers are very easy to please than, ahem, mothers, maybe because men in general are very spontaneous, they don't like elaborate rituals and ceremonies, they settled on simple things, unlike women who love to ponder on tiny details of almost everything.
So naturally, choosing something for our fathers, is not an agonizing mission :-D, just pick something and you're on the go! But it's not as simple as that, of course we want to make it a little nicer for our Papa.
No matter what circumstances we would encounter later in life, whether we would grow increasingly distant and alienated with our fathers or closer than ever as we count more years in our existence, we really owe the guy something for what he has done. And no matter how upset we are with him, he is still worth a celebration.
Father's day allows us to revisit the fond memories we shared with our Papa, so for this special day dedicated solely for them why not make it extra special?
Buying gifts can be a little punishing, aside from pondering on what items to buy that would compliment his personality and taste, the varied options offer by different business establishments seem redundant and lifeless. So why not do something extra special instead?
Family bonding is always special to parents, it brings warm memories, there's nothing more important than seeing their children unite and share a day in one place. Take it from me who has an emotional father hehe! Every time we are together at home, my father would easily reduce to tears.
No expensive gifts or luxurious celebrations can ever compensate the value of seeing their beloved children come together in one place. Memories dart sweet notes to their heart, it refreshes their lives.
So for this year's celebration of Father's Day do an extra mile by taking an escape to a relaxing place, a resort or a countryside retreat, bringing the entire family and share meals or whatever activities you have in mind with Dad as the center of the show. The bonding will relive all those beautiful memories you shared together while growing up, believe me, this tripping-down-memory lane moment with your father will make a big difference to the event. Sharing conversation and laughter over food in a beautiful, soothing place with the rest of family members ignites warmth and affection.
Taking a road trip closer to the city with your family in time for Father's day can be a good option. What destination to choose depends on your preferences and your idea of this special celebration.
Here are two options for a weekend father-centered celebration escape:
Aquaria Beach Resort in Calatagan, Batangas
Aquaria Beach Resort in Calatagan, Batangas,
can be a great option for the entire family to spend a day with Dad for Father's day
I've been to this place once and I found it ultra nice for family bonding. Aside from the sleek design and modern swimming pool facilities, this resort has a beautiful and sprawling beachside where fun activities can be shared by the entire family, this will most likely pleased your Dad. The cliche? This resort will allow you to bring foods without corkage fees. Entrance fee is Php 400.00, for more details read my blog about this weekend destination (scroll the item below this site).
Tagaytay where else?
Tagaytay is a good option to take a road trip on weekends if you need to chill down after busy days at work. Aside from the cool weather and beautiful countryside, the place is closer to Metro Manila which makes it more ideal to tuck the whole family on a quick trip.
There are lots of relaxing spots around Tagaytay to choose. Your option depends on what's your purpose of coming to the place. Are you looking for something to pick your energy or you just want to spend the day over food under a romantic and spectacular view of the countryside vistas.
Some of the best destinations in Tagaytay to loosen up with your family are Picnic Grove, Sonya's Garden along Buck Estate or you may drop by at Bags of Beans.
One sweet morning in Tagaytay :-)
Picnic Grove is a good spot to spend the whole afternoon with your family, it has a spacious ground to relax and play, an area to grill foods and cottage options to rest on. The environment is cooler when you visit the place beyond 4:00 in the afternoon. Visitors are free to bring food.
I've never been to Sonya's Garden (Still finding enough time to visit) but I've read beautiful reviews about the place so this too can be a wonderful choice. This is an ideal destination to chill for gastronomic bunch. Sonya's Garden offers organic, scrumptious meals and has a beautiful landscape to stroll around, a perfect option to bond and celebrate Father's Day.
Bags of Beans has a beautiful ambiance and the surrounding is terrific for a cozy celebration for Dad. Its wide menu options include pasta, grilled meat, desserts, salads and fabulous coffee concoctions. Your dear father would be pleased to smell a freshly baked bread while enjoying a cup of aromatic, mind-soothing freshly brewed coffees which this food destination is very famous of. Located along 3650 Aguinaldo Highway, Mendez Crossing West Tagaytay City, Bags of Beans is not far from Sky Ranch and Buck Estate entrance gate.
There you go...the two destinations to spend a relaxing weekend with the family. Your choice depends on how you define love and gratitude to your father.
Father's Day is only a one-day event so make it extra special for your Dad, punch the celebration with love and memories. For new fathers (that is, with babies who are still super young to understand the meaning of the celebration), maybe your wives have greater plans to make it very special for you, just prepare for the surprises. Hahaha!
I'm far from home so I cannot spend it with my father. I'll just send something for him to mark the celebration. To all fathers in the world, Happy Father's Day!!
Gelatissimo Cafe 2F Greenbelt 5 Makati City Tel No (2) 728-3587
While contemplating for my next travel adventure (still no plan at the moment ^___^) I'll just update this blog with foods! Yeah, travel experience is incomplete without taking a side trip on something that could satisfy our hunger pangs.
Gelatissimo, the real taste of Italia, is located at the second floor of Greenbelt 5 in Makati
Oh-so-yummy Gelato! Smooth taste and creamier than traditional ice cream in the market
Last Sunday, after attending mass and watching Maleficent, with my friend, Rowena Tagaan, I was so intensely craving for ice cream that we walked around Greenbelt 5 in search for an ice cream parlor, until we reached the 2nd floor and found Gelatissimo Cafe.
We're quite surprised upon reaching the store and found many people standing in a queue, this must be something extraordinary I thought. We moved closer to the glass shelf with several choices of mouth-watering Gelato displayed.
Insanely delectable Gelato! Dairy and Sorbet flavors that would really
satisfy your cravings for creamy coolers
Each medium cone will cost you Php 170.00
My eyes popped in amusement upon seeing the eye catching options, it took 10 minutes before I made my choice - Almond, Rowie opted for Hazelnut. It was my safest choice because I wasn't sure how other concoctions would taste, I might purge in disgust if I would take an adventure on strange flavors.
We chose the cone variant and to our surprise it's a lot expensive than the traditional ice cream in the market. Each cone costs Php 170.00 and the small cup costs Php 150.00. What's with the skyrocketing price?
The taste of Almond Gelato is not bad though I was expecting for richer Almond nuts mixtures, but it tastes great and creamier than the traditional ice cream. Insanely scrumptious and very refreshing!
Gelatissimo Cafe offers other options for a more delicious Gelato experience, I heard they have Bambino cone choices, sundaes, premium roasted coffee concoctions and Gelato shakes. So it's worth visiting!
I am always on the "look-out" of the best and finest tea in town. This healthy beverage picks up my sagging energy especially in the afternoon when I am almost consumed with stress. But sometimes I would kick the habit of grabbing a cup of hot green tea in the morning when my breakfast consists of fatty or too-sweet foods, the bitter taste of tea balances everything and helps prevent my appetite from blowing up!
I love this exquisite British tradition - Afternoon Tea Party! Because it has something to do with my fascination in life--the British monarchy haha!
The fashionable Afternoon Tea Party, which has been continued by the Queen in the Buckingham Palace every summer, started during the time of Queen Victoria of England in the 19th century when one of her ladies-in-waiting, the Duchess of Bedford, initiated the tradition by inviting her aristocratic friends to the palace to have an Afternoon tea.
So after our arrival from Calatagan, Batangas, (and because we wanted to attend the Sunday afternoon mass at the Mary Mother of Hope chapel in Landmark, Makati), we hopped in at Ayala station from Taft.
After attending the mass (we left our pack bags at Landmark's baggage counter :-P), we excitedly proceeded to Greenbelt 5 and giggled upon reaching the lobby where TWG Tea situated.
It's an opulent Tea Cafe originally established in Singapore, so luxurious that by looking at its design and interior, you would instantly feel the aura of grandeur and glamour that the cafe exemplifies.
I was nervous. You know what? Because I was afraid the rate per order at this magnificent Tea Cafe might left my wallet bleeding in disaster lol! Good that my friend, Rowie, foot the bill, it was her treat for my birthday because I always wanted to have an Afternoon Tea Party but never got a time to organize it.
We entered the cafe with a hesitant mind but with an excited heart!
Finally, we settled in a remote corner because we wanted to observe how the richy richy patrons behaved, we did not dream to put ourselves into great embarrassment so a little observation was a good idea :-D
TWG Tea, though Asian in nature, follows a very European attitude in dining, the etiquette, the setting, the mode and all those intricate details in holding cutlery and tea cups.
PLEASE DO NOT COPY OR USE MY PHOTOS IN YOUR WEBSITES OR FOR DISTRIBUTION ANYWHERE IN THE NET WITHOUT MY PERMISSION, PLEASE CONTACT ME IF EVER YOU ARE INTERESTED TO USE ANY OF THE IMAGES.
Another Summerfun adventure with my best travel buddy, Rowie Tagaan! This time at the gorgeous resort of Aquaria in Batangas!
Well, as life revolves into different shades of surprises, my choice of leisure also undergone a little make over. I wanted something magical and strange :-P
I got to know Aquaria one afternoon when I was painstakingly searching for a resort around Calatagan, Batangas that's something magical, fun and new. I've longed been wanted to visit the scenic province of Batangas since I moved here in Manila from Davao last year, so the quick sojourn last weekend was a sort of fulfillment in my part.
Aquaria Beach Resort is located in Brgy. Sta. Ana, Playa, Calatagan, Batangas. I was in awe with the spectacular photos I saw around the net of this resort that I immediately made a travel itinerary and informed Rowie.
Aquaria is truly amazing! It offers the best of
both worlds - an elaborate swimming pool with a sunken bar, a beautiful winding path, spiraled slides and a beach side with a long coastline to cool down. Perfect for a soothing holiday getaway!
The resort is very far from the town of Calatagan, almost located in the middle of the wooded land of Barangay Sta. Ana but the travel is not really exhausting because the road leading to this resort is not scary and isolated, in fact it is wide and fully developed so no fear of any inconveniences along the way, the only down side is that there's no available public utility vehicles going to and from this area.
If you are a commuter, the only way to reach Aquaria is through a tricycle ride from the town proper of Calatagan, the travel is about 30 minutes, and in order to ensure your trip back to the town, you must make an arrangement with the tricycle driver to fetch you towards the end of the day.
Elegant entrance of the resort
Aquaria is equipped with state-of-the-art modern swimming pool facilities with a beautiful garden, relaxing cabanas, kiddie pool area and lined-up umbrellas to rest on. It has a sunken pool bar, a spiraled three-storey slides and a very comfortable rest rooms, chic, clean and luxurious!
The resort opens from 9:00 in the morning and closes at 6:00 in the evening. Entrance fee is Php 400.00 and no corkage fee for foods.
The restaurant area is facing the beach side so the feeling is very soothing and cool when you dine! Refreshing breeze of the sea air will give you a more gratifying feeling of being in a beautiful environment. The beach side has a sprawling area where ball games and other fun activities can be held. The only bad thing is that the sand along the shoreline is not very refine, so you must wear your slipper/shoes all the time.
We did not take the plunge at the beach because when we arrived the sun was terribly hot and I was afraid my skin might be roasted :-P but the water, which sparkled under the beaming sun, seemed like invigorating that your fear of being "burned" might be compensated. But I hate the idea of experiencing that stingy feeling on my skin due to sunburn (though I applied sunblock, it doesn't guarantee of anything,) so I chose to remain in the shade and waited until afternoon before taking a beach side strolling :-D
Strolling along the beach area with Rowie
Sun-kissed beachside of Aquaria!
Relaxing afternoon walk during low tide!
Sweltering heat of the summer sun! You have an option to take refuge in the cool shade or roast your skin under the harsh rays of the sun, the choice is yours, hehe!
We chose to protect our skin so we decided to rest at the pool side
Ultra-modern pool facilities
If you're coming as a group, you may book one cabana along the pool side, it can accommodate up to 10 persons, rate is around 1,200.00
Kiddie Pool area complete with water sprinkler
My overall review of the resort:
Aquaria has an ultra-modern swimming pool. Beautifully design with an impression of grandeur and fantasy. I loved the garden and the intricate details of flowers around the cabanas. It's ultra romantic! I enjoyed the wide sleek pool side, spectacular, magnificent and truly fantastic! The beachside is just fine, if you're not into sun bathing or getting yourself tanned, don't stay along the beach side longer because the harsh sun rays will badly roast your skin. But I like the wide beach front, you can frolic leisurely, it's good if you want to play ball games with your friends! The food options are equally great!
How to get There:
If you are travelling via bus: Go to Coastal Mall and look for a route going to Calatagan, Batangas but this is very rare as buses to Calatagan are only few, take Lian route instead. Tell the driver or the conductor to drop you off at Lian near the public market.
Upon arrival at Lian, look for a tricycle that would take you to the market, it is there where you can find jeepneys for Calatagan. Tell the Jeepney driver you're heading to Brgy. Sta. Ana so that he can drop you off near the terminal of tricycle in the town proper of Calatagan. Don't forget to make an arrangement with the tricycle driver to fetch you after your stay in Aquaria because there's no other way to get back to the town.
Aquaria has no overnight accommodation as it does not have cottages or villas yet, they don't allow tent also so you better plan carefully your travel. You may look for transient inns in the town of Calatagan to spend the night away or you may choose to stay at nearby beach resorts like Casa Astillejo or Calatagan Beach Resort.
Good Experience with the Resort:
Okay, so here's my little story about our trip. We know that Aquaria does not have an overnight accommodation and originally we planned to go to Casa Astillejo to spend the night, so we asked the number of the tricycle driver so that we could text him at 6:00 in the evening.
The big trouble came around 6:00, the driver's cellphone number lacked one digit! We could no longer contact him and there was no way to look for a tricycle in the area, argggh!! We're the only people left in the resort so we asked the staff how they could help us. The staff, about four of them, were extremely kind and generous with their time, they made effort to really help us, one of them contacted their friend whose father is a tricycle driver, to assist us. The staff did not leave the area until we're safely secured, they assured us the driver is a good man, in fact his son worked also in the resort.
Whoaa! It was truly a strange adventure! Hahaha! Thank God, we reached Calatagan safely and the tricycle driver brought us to a transient Inn, whose owner looked like his friend because they knew each other, it was just a walking distance from the bus terminal. The accommodation was just right for backpackers but not if you're particular of comfort and convenience. It was a little hot with just electric fan in the room, but at Php 400.00 rate per room for 12 hours, what do we expect? The most important thing --- we're safe, never mind the comfort :-D
We travelled back to Manila on the following morning, Sunday, May 18. It was a comfortable travel and we arrived safely.
Here's the list of expenses we incurred for this weekend getaway (in Philippine Peso, amount is per person):
Bus fare from Coastal Mall to Lian, Batangas: 149.00
Had a good time with colleagues last April 26 at Cattleya Resort in Antipolo City. It was just an overnight stay, the fact that we're in a hurry to leave the area on the following morning, I wasn't able to take nice shots of the resort.:-D
Pool side of the vacation rental home within Cattleya Resort
Cattleya is not your usual idea of a typical resort, it's more like a village with several vacation rental homes. But the place is not disappointing as you might think, in fact it is ideal for people who may want to escape the extreme hot weather in the city and cool down privately.
It is extremely private with just only visitors who booked at its specific rental home can occupy the pool area and the ground. The swimming pool is not really huge, you should take extra precautions, especially if you have kids, when walking around the pool area, you will topple if you won't look on your steps.
And journeying back to myself...to the deepest part of my spiritual sense, honouring the solemnity of the Holy Week season and remembering Jesus Christ's suffering and death on the cross.
Holy Week is the only period in a year that Christians are given a chance to commemorate solemnly the sacrifices, pain and suffering of Christ. It's not a whole year round event, it is just one week, so why not offer it to Jesus alone?
Over the years, my belief and concept of observing the Holy Week did not change. I am still following the traditional practice of spending the days quietly at home or visiting the church. The most crucial days of the week -- Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Black Saturday and Easter Sunday --- celebrate the four sacred events that constituted the life of a Christian faith --- The Lord's Last Supper Mass (Maundy Thursday), The Passion of Jesus Christ (Good Friday), The Easter Vigil and renewal of our Baptism (Black Saturday) and The celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus (Sunday). I can take a vacation any time of the year but not during Holy Week, I always considered it a very special and sacred week that must be spent only in the church and getting in touch with my faith devotedly.
Yesterday, Good Friday, I was able to complete the devotion of Visita Iglesia, one of the most enduring Roman Catholic traditions that can be traced back from the early times. It is a pious tradition where believers visit seven churches during Maundy Thursday or Good Friday to meditate on the Passion of Jesus Christ and venerate the Crucifix.
The seven churches I visited represent historical significance of the Roman Catholic Church life in the Philippines. Most of these churches had survived calamities and disasters, including two World Wars and foreign invasions, that hammered the country in the past centuries.
When I am very hungry, the first thing that would come to my mind is devour oriental foods! ^____^
Yeah, I love everything about oriental cuisine from Chicken Teriyaki to Maki to Gyoza to Siomai. It satisfies my cravings and hunger. I love the way oriental meals are prepared, the taste is just right, there's always excitement in every bite!
So here, presenting my food walk to two oriental restaurants!
Scorching heat of the
sun, tormenting weather, blistering temperature even at night! These
environmental symptoms only indicate one certain condition --- Summer!
When summer season hits the landscape of the Philippines, the weather is terribly punishing and the atmosphere inside the house is almost as hell, so taking a relaxing escape elsewhere to chill down is definitely on everyone's mind. And where that “else” would be, depends on
one’s idea of a soothing getaway.
I've no definite travel
plan at the moment, maybe I’ll do another backpacking adventure with friends
somewhere else haha!
I want to take a
relaxing road trip in the countryside, marvel at the cool shade of nature, trek
at the rolling hills, smell the freshness of the lush tropical plants,
experience the stillness of the surroundings and feel the smoothness of the
afternoon breeze. Serenity at its highest form!
Hot Spring Resorts (especially in Laguna) are good but beach is a tempting option, so maybe a quick trip to Batangas is a
good consideration. Though I hate the scourging heat of the summer sun, I love the idea of frolicking
in the shoreline than romp off at the pool side with the crowd, the tropical environment of Philippine beaches is so refreshing and soothing plus the bellowing of the waves is a relaxing view to cool down tired senses.
They say, you’re not a certified travel adventurer if you never tried backpacking!
The idea of backpacking does not confine mainly in mountain hiking, trekking unexplored trails and valleys or diving a cliff. It also refers to travelling without a well-coordinated and organized travel plan, you're just out there and see what you'll be getting.
Most travel bloggers defined
backpacking as travelling to a place you have never been before without a proper
itinerary and travel organizing and planning, no hotel booking, no tour guide,
no specific budget, you'll just go to a place, explore the area, sleep anywhere and find out what you’ll discover.
My first backpacking adventure!
At the Picnic Grove with my bestfriend, Rowena Tagaan
Backpacking is every travel
blogger’s dream, because it reflects freedom, courage and extraordinary determination plus there are lots of things
to share in the travel diary. Somehow, it defines one’s ability to handle
complications and discomfort of being in a completely strange place without
anchors, without no one to turn to and without the presence of luxury. For thrill-seeking travellers, backpacking is an ultimate blaze of
Food is part of every traveller's fascination because it provides comfort and respite while on the road. There is something in food also that I personally find very relieving when I am outdoor, it's the delight of keeping my stomach full while enjoying the beauty of the surrounding. In other words, I love eating lol!
So here, I will be presenting the scrumptious meals/pastries I devoured recently and the joy it gives to my often-times-insatiable appetite.
I went out last March 9 with my close friend and former colleague in the University, Rowena Tagaan, to watch movie in Trinoma Mall and because we're both passionate towards eating and have hearty appetites and easily get hungry with no apparent reasons, we agreed to wolf on foods!
When I am outdoor my craving for pasta is excessively epidemic, so naturally I suggested that we would look for a food establishment that offers pasta concoctions.
WORLD CHICKEN, TRINOMA MALL
While walking around, looking for a food house, something caught my roving eyes, a list of menu at World Chicken. I saw several sets of meals composed of pasta and boneless chicken that looked so insanely delectable!
And that's it! We came closer and navigated the menu and chose my all time favourite--- Fettuccine Carbonara! Rowie chose the Asian Noodles meal.
Insanely scrumptious pasta meal at World Chicken in Trinoma Mall!
First set: Carbonara, Toasted Garlic Bread,
Boneless chicken drizzled with custard cheese sauce. Price: P170.00
Second set: Asian noodles with Mashed Potato with gravy,
Boneless chicken drizzled with mushroom sauce. Price: P150.00
World Chicken offers a wide selection of pasta concoctions from Fettuccine Carbonara to Pesto to Bolognese and a lot more. The boneless chicken is equally satisfying! I love this set of meal because the pack is so huge it can be shared by two persons per order.
CAKE at GOLDILOCKS
I am not a cake person, much more chocolate, I rarely eat cake because I don't like sweets that much, it makes my head swirl in anxiety, but this cute layer of Chocolate mortle cake from Goldilocks is so mouthwatering I was not able to resist the temptation when Rowena bought one layer for my sister's birthday.
Lush Chocolate mortle Cake with Cherries!
Mouthwatering cake! So rich and creamy, yum!!!
Rowena is a Starbucks fanatic and I am not into coffee that much, I don't like the after-taste of coffee and chocolate but when we go out, I would support my friend with her cravings hehe! It's impossible to finish our adventure without passing by at Starbucks!
Belgian Waffle drizzled with smoothie cream and heavy chocolate syrup!
Green Tea Frappuccino, when I am at Starbucks
I always prefer this smoothie concoction, I love green tea!
Starbucks coffee house has been known with its unique blending of flavours among its coffee concoctions, but I am not really into it because aside from its intensely expensive prices, coffee always gives me a terrible after-taste that lasted almost an hour, but because my friend is really a coffee lover I got to support her every time we're on the road!
So there you go folks! The meals and other foods/drinks I devoured for the past weeks. I'll post more food finds in my next travel adventure! Thanks for visiting my travel blog!!!
I must admit, I am not fond of attending or watching any sort of
festivals because of the heat and exhaustion brought by thick spectators, I hate to squirm in the
middle of the crowd. When I was still in Davao City, I rarely watch the
float parade and the street dancing during the Kadayawan Festival.
But Panagbenga Festival is
different, it is incredibly unique and famous and to be a part of the
crowd of this extremely popular celebration in the country is somewhat
fantastic. An opportunity I should never miss and as a travel blogger,
this sort of social activity is crucial to my passion :-)
The Panagbenga Festival, also known as the Flower Festival, is a month long celebration in Baguio city which traditionally kicks off on the first week of February and ends on the first week of March.
This is one of the most highly anticipated festivals in the country due to the unique atmosphere of the celebration --- the spectacular display of lovely blooms! So enchanting!! No doubt, it drew thousands of visitors annually, transforming the little city of Pines into a crowded cosmopolitan. Well, apart from the wonders of blooming flowers, people flocked to the summer capital every February to relax and enjoy the cool weather and the beautiful scenery of nature.
Panagbenga comes from the native dialect of the people in the Cordilleras which has a literal meaning of "season of blooming". And indeed, it was. All over Baguio, I saw nothing but stunning blooms of all kinds of flowers, in different shades and shapes.
I travelled to Baguio with friends, the trip was sponsored by Ms. Gemalyn Avila as her treat to her staff, we just get on as extra baggage haha!
We left Mandaluyong City on February 22, 2014, Saturday, at 5:00 in the morning. It was a beautiful feeling being able to relax after a whole week of work in a nine-hour job. We brought so many foods for this trip! So we did not worry too much about our budget.
We also decided not to book for a hotel room and just sleep in the car instead. For a festival like Panagbenga, it's so rare to find vacant rooms in all tourist inns in Baguio, you need to make an advance booking several months ahead to get one. So the van of our friend, Aldrin Banas, became like a moving room :-P
At the Wright Park
At the Good Shepherd Convent
We had a stop over at Kennon Road to view the famous Lion's Head Monument. Despite the sunny weather, the environment was awfully cold! After 30 minutes, we're back on the road, up to the rolling hills of the Benguet province. We arrived in Baguio at 12:00 noon and we found ourselves stuck in the middle of a heavy traffic along the Brent road! The car barely moved, gosh!
One of the cart entries at the float parade on February 23, 2014
Since we arrived very late we did not witness the street dance parade so we proceeded to the Wright Park to stroll, then to the Good Shepherd convent. We wanted to go to Burnham Park to have our lunch but we could not find a vacant parking space due to tons of private vehicles so we're on the road again travelling to Botanical Garden, there, we found a spacious parking area and had our lunch inside the car.
During my first travel to Baguio City last April 2008, I wasn't able to visit Botanical Garden because it was very late in the evening when my colleagues decided to go to this area and I was already tired walking around the market and Burnham Park so I just stayed in the Betania Retreat house. This time, I did not miss the opportunity of going down to the Botanical Garden, the blossoming flowers are incredibly lovely!
At the Botanical Garden
We went back to the Wright Park after our botanical garden strolling. Then crossed the street to visit The Mansion, the official summer residence of the incumbent Philippine president. Visitors are not allowed to go beyond the manicured lawn of the mansion so we just contented to pose for pictures in the background.
And guess who we saw upon leaving the mansion? Paolo Contis! I wasn't sure what he did in front of the camera and the crowd, the only thing I knew, he was filmed while having a scene with another actor.
Freezing night at Burnham Park!
By 7:00 in the evening, we had another round of a joy ride as we could not find a parking space in almost all areas in Baguio City. We decided to park the car in the intersection leading to Burnham park to take a rest. The night was so freezing and very cold so after staying a little while at the riverside of Burnham park, we decided to go back to the car.
In this travel, I experienced how it was like to be a backpacker, you know that weird, but exciting trip of a travel adventurer where one just go into different places with no particular itinerary to follow and no hotel room to rest on. Yeah, that was exactly what we did in this trip, backpacking adventure!
Though it was slightly uncomfortable, the experience provided me a different travel experience. We spent the whole night in the car, the environment was insanely cold so I covered myself with two layers of jackets, wore hand gloves and socks and put on my bonnet. We just used a public comfort room to wash our face and body and changed clothes. We felt like attending a jamboree but it was a very good adventure, so many funny memories!!
Around 4:00 in the morning on February 23, we're awaken by a gentle knock on the window of the car, someone telling us to move out of the area because it should be secured by the police in time for the preparation of the float parade later at 8:00 in the morning. Again, it was a total agony because we could not find a vacant parking space. We ended up having another joy ride all over Baguio City at the very early morning. Until we found a vacant space in front of the University of Baguio, very far from where the float parade is passing.
We rested for a while then had our breakfast inside the car at 6:00. At 6:30, we started walking the narrow street, joining the thick crowd to be in the road for the float parade. But the moment we arrived near SM Baguio the street was already fully occupied and we could no longer find a vacant space.
at the PMA ground
We ended up standing at the upper part of the hill in front of Baguio Cathedral with nothing to see except branches of trees, we only saw the blossoming float carts on top of the heads of the crowds, so I felt so sleepy and tired.
The float parade was so amazing because the cart entries were decorated with different flowers and plants, my first time to saw such massive display of blooms!. We saw celebrities like Marianne Rivera and Alden Richards joining the float parade. The street dance presentation was also fantastic. The only thing I regretted was our location behind the trees preventing us from getting a perfect view of the floral parade.
Around 9:30, we decided to leave the area and went back to the car. At 10:00 in the morning, we went to Camp John Hay to visit the Philippine Military Academy. Nothing has change at the PMA ground from the first time I visited the area in 2008.
At 11:30, we left Baguio and travelled back to Manila. We had a stop over in Urdaneta, Pangasinan for our lunch. We arrived in Caloocan at 7:00 in the evening. What a two-day relaxing adventure at the city of Pines!! Thanks to Gemalyn Avila for this trip!!