Category: Adventure

Tara, Isabela!

Isabela is the largest province of the Philippines and the largest on the island of Luzon in land area. Its capital is the city of Ilagan. We have our Mengal festival yearly. Where Miss Earth pageant’s Resorts Wear and Talent Portion Competition was recently held at my hometown. I am from Echague, Isabela. Yes, I am an Ilokana and I absolutely love pinakbet, inabraw, inatata and most especially native tinola!

Now, let me tour you first before we talk more about our delicacies. Tempting, I know right!

Magat Dam Magat Dam

First of all, Magat Dam. A major source of power and water supply in Northeastern Luzon, and Southeast Asia’s biggest hydroelectric dam. It is located at the boundaries of Alfonso Lista, Ifugao and Ramon, Isabela. There is no entrance fee so if you want to breathe fresh air while enjoying the nature, you can come here. In addition to that, you can bring your bike or just stroll when you are with friends. My daughter were so thrilled upon seeing fishermen on their boats that she wanted to ride it there and then. While my Daddy took pleasure in fresh and live fish. He bought kilos of fish back then.

Ilagan Sanctuary Image result for ilagan sanctuary

Next destination is the most accessible natural tourist spot in the whole province. Located in a portion of Fuyot Spring National Park that comprises the Northern Sierra Madre National Park. A hike of about 2.5 kilometers from the caves will lead to Pinzal Falls which is the main source of water for the swimming pools right by the picnic areas. The sanctuary also houses several parks and recreation areas including a botanical garden, boating area, a hanging bridge, zip line, fish pond, and a mini-zoo.

Crocodile SanctuaryRelated image

Also, we have the Philippine crocodile or bukarot is considered the most threatened crocodilian species in the world due to hunting, destructive fishing and habitat conversion. It was rediscovered in the town of San Mariano in 1999. The crocodile sanctuary protects this special animal by keeping hatchlings in a rearing station before releasing them in the wild 18 months later.

Image may contain: 6 people, including Bianka Alejandro, Deborah May A. Garcia and Bea A. Alejandro, people smiling, people sitting
With my Mom, nieces and kids. We always have our family picture taking here at the butaka.

Butaka

In addition we have the butaka. Have you heard of it? It’s a reclining lounge with a lengthy back, extended arms found in many homes here. Isabela is the home to the world’s largest lounge chair (weighing 2,368 kilos) which was built to promote woodcraft/furniture industry. The gigantic chair measures 9.7 feet wide, 20.8 feet long and 11.4 feet high. Found in a shed at the Freedom Park in Ilagan as a town landmark. Both my parents own a butaka at our house. They had their supplier made a little verison, a customized one for their apo, my daughter Grey. And it’s still sturdy. I feel cozy every time I’m at the butaka. I can fall asleep quickly. Likewise, my parents are like my butaka. My security blanket.

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Honeymoon Island

Furthermore, as one of the most beautiful beaches in the Philippines with its crystal clear waters teaming with live fishes and corals is a sure haven for sea folks. At around 3:00 in the afternoon, a major low tide affects the area which reveals crazy rock formations, small basins of corals and live fishes. A virgin island that will capture your mind & soul.

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Palanan Related image

Moreover, stargazing in the coastal town of Palanan is a definitely a must do. The night sky lits up with billions of lights that you could go on staring at them. Aside from the fact that it has wonderful beaches to offer, too.

Now, lets go to our delicacies!

Seafood

The local tribe of Isabela – the Dumagats, still practice barter trading. You can trade a can of sardines for freshly caught lobsters. Yes, you got it right, lobsters. The Dumagat Tribe is one of the oldest tribes in the country. Dumagat tribe is perhaps the oldest living tribe in the Philippines. I think it would be my privilege and honor to get to mingle with them up close and personal. One day, I will bring my kids to play with them.

Pancit Cabagan Image result for famous longganisa in cauayan

The most popular local specialty to try. It is made of stir-fried, fresh miki noodles with mixed vegetables, quail’s eggs and topped with cripy lechon de carajay or fried pork bits. You can try this in many restaurants but locals recommend always Josie’s Panciteria & Restaurant in Cabagan, Isabela as serving the best variety. But I found a nearer place at Cauayan, Isabela called Triple J’s restaurant.

Aling Luring’s Gotohan

Image result for aling luring's goto
“Sobrang sarap po nitong mga inihain sa amin aa Aling Luring’s! Serkele, Goto, Lumpia, at Okoy, lahat okay! Definitely a must-try kapag napadaan po kayo sa Cauayan, Isabela” ~Sen. Bam Aquino. Cauayan Mayor Bernard Dy (white polo shirt) and Isabela Governor Bojie Dy (black tshirt) with Sen. Aquino.

Originated at J.M. Basa st. Concepcion Baliwag, Bulacan. Established in the early 70s by Leonila “Nanay Luring” Castro Trinidad. The concept of a traditional filipino “meryenda” (snack) such as goto- a rice porridge with stewed ox tripe, serkele, palabok, tokwa baboy, lumpiang gulay, chicken arrozcaldo with puto & kutchinta was born and is continually in existence at this place. The family’s food business branched out to the far northern part of the Philippines at Cauayan, Isabela in 1985. The concept and the original menu has not been altered since then, with the addition of sweet dessert like biko, sapin sapin, pitchi pitchi, bibingka and the fast rising popularity of the side dish “okoy” with special vinegar for dipping.
Good heathy food that will nourish not just your appetite but also your soul.

Inabraw Image result for inabraw picture

Inabraw or dinengdeng is a tasty combination of different fresh vegetables such as jute leaves, bamboo shoots, young corn, patola, eggplant, tomato, okra, malunggay, bitter melon, string beans, squash flowers, and other products with bagoong. This is one of my comfort food. My mom would add malunggay and fried fish, too. Yummy!

Mushroom Image result for mushroom cauayan

Cauayan City  is the “mushroom city of the North.” You can find unique dishes made from farm-grown mushrooms here like the mushroom empanada. It’s filled with sliced oyster mushrooms and sauce instead of meat. The town’s Mushroom Center produces other unique mushroom-based dishes like mushroom pickles, mushroom tempura, mushroom patties, mushroom sisig, mushroom shake – and even mushroom ice cream. I would say, vegetarians will love this.

Inatata & Corn Coffee

Image result for inatata & binallayIsabela is the rice granary of the North. You can find rice delicacies like tupig and suman in different towns. Inatata is a glutinous rice creamed with coconut milk, sugar and a pinch of salt. The name comes from a combination of the words for mother and father “ina” and “tata” to reflect the labor of love from parents because of the care in which it takes to wrap the rice treats. It looks like ammunition belts of a machine gun but paired with hot choco or hot coffee will make your day.

As a corn capital of Philippines too, Isabela offers variety of corn delicacies. One of which is the corn coffee.  It lacks caffeine so you can consume it anytime of the day. Aside from corn coffee, they also have nachos, corn shake and pastillas that are all made of corn.

Binallay

Image result for binallay

 

Another homegrown rice cake is Binallay, made of glutinous rice wrapped in banana leaves. “Balay” means “house”. This has religious significance and traditionally served during the Holy Week, to help Isabelinos endure hunger during the fasting period.

 

Native tinola Image result for native tinola

I grew up eating my vegetables like malunggay, saluyot, eggplant, sigarilyas, string beans, squash and even bitter gourd. I love my mother’s famous tenderly delicious beef steak and her adobo that meat will almost fall on its bone. My all-time favorite is native tinola. Why? Because my father will butcher one of his native chickens then my mother will cook it. See the tandem behind the preparation & cooking? I love the partnership my parents have. That’s called labor of love. They are my Yin Yang. So every time I am home, my dad & mom will cook for me. Native tinola tastes no other. Nothing compares to the aroma and invigorating soup. It warms my heart and my stomach is full, too.

Finally, I would like to add the most prominent celebration in Isabela is the Bambanti Festival celebrated every January. Named after the Scarecrow which guards the fields from birds and pests, the Bambanti Festival celebrates the agricultural industry, natural resources, culture and industries of the entire province. This year’s festival has got them in Guinness World of records.

I will make another blog about what adventures and where to stay when in Isabela. For now, let’s satisfy our hunger.

HONGKONG-MACAU 2019

HONGKONG-MACAU 2019

Traveling to Hongkong-Macau is special to me because it’s my and our first time to travel with my girlfriend outside of the Philippines. But actually we’re not alone, we have her whole family with us. As the quote saying, “The family that stays together travel together” and yes indeed true. Why not. As Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” and that’s what we did. We made it. VIOLA!!!!

Pre Departure: We stayed in front of NAIA Terminal 3

Yes, you read it right. We stayed in front of NAIA Terminal 3. But not literally in front of the airport. Hehehe. We just booked an AIRBNB located in front of the terminal so that it is hassle-free from all of us going to the airport since our departure was 7 am in the morning and also we have my girlfriend’s grandmother and her niece. So think of it, its quite hassle if we will coming from afar. Nice move right?

Boarding Time

Everything was smooth. We checked in, paid for travel tax and passed at the immigration. The immigration that everyone was afraid of. We’re lucky that our officer was kind and don’t have any questions at all. Just luck though.

We boarded on time. Thanks to Cebu Pacific. No delays at that time.

Touch Down (Hongkong International Airport)

Hong Kong International Airport is the commercial airport serving Hong Kong, built on reclaimed land on the island of Chek Lap Kok. The airport is also known as Chek Lap Kok Airport. The airport has been in commercial operation since 1998, replacing Kai Tak Airport.

What did we do in Hongkong?

Enjoy the enchanting view of Victoria harbour

The harbour is a major tourist attraction of Hong Kong. Lying in the middle of the territory’s dense urban region, the harbour is the site of annual fireworks displays and its promenades are used as gathering places for tourists and residents.

Visit 1881 Heritage

In a city that preserves its traditions while looking firmly to the future, 1881 Heritage fittingly combines historical attractions with more contemporary pursuits.

Visitors can shop for international fashion brands and enjoy fine dining on the grounds where pirates were incarcerated and a daily signal was watched by ships in the harbour as they prepared for long and treacherous trans-global journeys. Tradition and innovation, past and present, 1881 Heritage is a real Hong Kong experience.

Enjoy Hongkong Disneyland

I remembered back when I was a kid, I love watching Disney movies/cartoons. I bet when we say HongKong, every one of us will firstly think of the Disneyland in Hong Kong. Right? We enjoyed our whole day stay inside Disney land.  I keep on saying to myself that someday I will be back in here. And of course with my child hopefully. Because I know it was everyone’s dream.

Facts: Although HK Disneyland is smaller than that in other countries, the Adventureland section is the biggest Adventureland of any Magic Kingdom park around the world.

Visit the “Las Vegas of Asia”, MACAU

Traveling to Macau from Hongkong was just a quick 1 hour of travel via BUS. That’s why it’s a must.
FACTS:
Today, Macau (澳門) is formally known as Macao Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. It is an autonomous territory, so even though it is officially part of China, it has its own currency and immigration policy, separate from that of mainland China or Hong Kong. In fact, even visitors from the mainland and HK will have to pass through immigration and customs check upon entering Macau.

Macau has a lot to offer. Some of the places that we visited are as follows:

  • Senado Square

  • The Parisians

  • Ruins of St Paul

Walking around Macau really amazed me because there are many Filipinos working and traveling there.  It’s really true that everywhere there is a Filipino.

So what are you waiting for? Travel now with your loved ones.

“Time is free but is priceless. You cannot own it but you can use it. You cannot keep it but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it. you can never get it back.”-Marvey Mackay

Adventure in APAYAO

Looking for new adventure? Are you tired of working all through out your life? Come to Apayao and free yourself from restless paper works, from your boss and have piece. Refresh yourself from corporate world.

” Jobs fill your pockets, but adventure fill your soul” – Jaime Lyn

Apayao is considered the last ecological frontier on Cordillera region and the country. Apayao preents one of the best opportunities for ecotourism development. Ecotourism can boot the economic development of Apayao while protecting its natural environment and local culture.

Indeed, Apayao offers countless and hidden natural wonders. These are one of the best scenery in APAYAO that I have been to. But there are still many more to visit in Apayao.

    1. Lussok Cave and Underground River
    2. Dupag Rock Formation
    3. Bayugao Falls

Sagada beckons

My family has been planning to visit Sagada for a long while now. ­­­­­­­­­ After years of postponing and allowing ourselves to be intimidated by its distance, we finally took the courage to make the trip in December 2018. From our home outside Manila, it took us about 14 hours to get there. We arrived exhausted but excited to explore this place known for its hanging coffins and rice terraces.

Dubbed as the Shangri-la of the Philippines, Sagada has become a very popular tourist destination. The town is nestled in a valley in the Central Cordillera mountains and carries a unique charm and coziness that you cannot find elsewhere. It is cold especially in December, but the landscape is welcoming and its people warm. The land is colorful and enthralling, and by Steph’s account “the sunrise creeps softly over the mountain slopes, the sunset even softer, envelopes the open sky”.

Walking around town is pleasant. There are many little souvenir shops and cultural markers in the area. Visitors have a variety of food options. If you rely on web-based reviews, you won’t be disappointed. We were pleasantly surprised with the quality of fare and service. Just don’t look for anything uniquely local or indigenous; this after all, is a tourist town that has adapted well to the needs of travelers.

There are many places of interest; we just couldn’t do them all in this short stay. We took the Adventure Trail through Echo Valley to visit the hanging coffins. Along the way we received lessons on culture and tradition. It was cold and windy; weather was a bit erratic with on-and-off drizzles.  The scenery was captivating and the vibrant green landscape more than compensated for the uncooperative weather.

We meant to do our first cave exploration in what is believed to be the deepest underground chamber in the country: Sumaguing cave. The cave looked mysterious, but its entrance quite inviting. Local guides are available. Because of physical limitations, we had to be content at staying at the mouth of the cave and postpone this adventure to our next visit.

The rice terraces around Sagada were always a sight to behold. We had to make unplanned stops to marvel at their beauty and grandeur. We never cease to be amazed at how indigenous people carved the terraces on mountain slopes largely by hand using basic tools.

After a full day of moving around town, we set out for Lake Danum. The sunset was so relaxing and the landscape so serene. As we watched the sun descend behind the mountains, we marveled once again at the majesty of our Father’s creation.

There’s a lot more places to explore in Sagada, so we promised to return. Hopefully with better weather, we shall take the Eco Trail to Bokong Falls and Sagada underground river, explore Sumaguing and Lumiang caves, hike to Marlboro Country for a spectacular sunrise.

Suroy sa Misamis Oriental

Credit to Eat Bulaga Miss Millennial 2018

When we heard about Mindanao some people think negatively because of the chaos that happened at Marawi City. The Martial Law in Mindanao declared by President Rodrigo R. Duterte still ongoing and tourists and travelers afraid to visit some beautiful tourist spot of Mindanao. Well, you should not be afraid, why? because the Provinces of Mindanao has their own unique, beautiful, delicious delicacies and friendly people. Let us talk about one of the provinces in Mindanao “Misamis Oriental”

Why Misamis Oriental on your travel bucket list? Why not! Misamis Oriental has lots of tourist spots where you can choose depending on your personality and hobbies. If you love adventure Misamis Oriental has different adventure places like Water rafting at Cagayan River, Dahilayan adventure park where you can experience extreme rides and the dual longest zipline in Asia. Another new is pragliding its new in Misamis Oriental where you can experience to fly and to see the heart of the city at the top. And not to forget the new seven seas water park where you can experience extreme water slide.

Misamis Oriental, as a coastal province, is dominated by two bays to the north; the Macajalar and the Gingoog Bay.[3] The central portion of the province features several rivers originating from the highlands of Bukidnon, such as the Cagayan. And because of that many beautiful beaches, waterfalls and water springs in this province.

If we’re talking food and pasalubong Misamis Oriental has different kakanin or native food. We have sweet Bibingka (rice cake), Puto Maya, Binaki (sweet tamales) biko (sticky rice) Toasted Peanut by cheding’s and many more to say. Each town of Misamis Oriental has their own story they have their own souvenirs too. In our town which is Salay Misamis Oriental, we have Salay Handmade Paper Industries Inc. (SHAPII) they cater a different kind of souvenirs that made by their creative hands. You can visit their facebook page to see how beautiful their products are.
https://www.facebook.com/salayhandmadeproducts

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” Explore, Experience Life is short, Philippines has 7,107 islands to visit. Take every chance you get in life, because some things only happen ONCE. What are you waiting for Tara suroy nata sa Misamis Oriental!

HIDDEN TREASURES OF QUEZON PROVINCE

Quezon Province has quite a list of natural attractions you can explore if being out under the sun, surrounded by water and mountains is your idea of one great adventure. Although this may not be a popular nor the usual travel destination, some of the tiny and sleepy towns have some of the most stunning white sand beaches and crystal clear waters that are mostly untouched and undeveloped. Often overlooked by tourists and travelers, let’s discover other hidden gems of Quezon province that will surely entice you to explore more!

ALIBIJABAN ISLAND

It might be new to most of you but this small island in San Andres Quezon could be a new hideout for your summer escapade. The pride of the island is their white sand beach with clear turquoise water, the view of the sea forest and the mangrove trees, not to mention the beautiful sandbar with lots of starfishes.

Photo credit to Damn Good Travels

WHITE RIVER OF REAL

Now when someone says river rafting,  people would probably think of Davao, Cagayan de Oro or Kalinga, but what most of us don’t know, however, is that there is also a river in Real, Quezon—oftentimes overlooked and outshone by other nearby tourist destinations and by other towns in Quezon Province.

Here, the locals of Real, in Barangay Tanauan took advantage of their natural resources, a combination of rafting and tubing: inflated tire tubes were tied together in a wooden frame to make an improvised floating device, while all the people needed to do was sit down, hang on to the wooden frame, and go to where the rapids may take them!

MALAOG CAVES UNDERGROUND RIVER & PUGTO-PUGTO CANYONS 

This may not be a 7th Wonders of Nature like Palawan’s Pride-  The Underground River, but still, Malaog Cave in Sampaloc, Quezon is still indeed enchanting and worth trekking for.

To get there, it will take about 45 mins of a hike, crossing Malaking Bato (Boulder), but not to worry as you will also be escorted by a couple of friendly local dogs. Not to mention some side trips to the historical Spanish Arc (Arko) and river banks where you can swim and cliff jump. To take visitors deeper into the narrow cave, they must board an improvised boat made up of water containers tied up to a bamboo raft.

Pugto-Pugto (layers of gigantic rocks where the river pass through)

It feels like you’re in search of a treasure when exploring through these massive canyons and the river is clear if not raining. Who would have thought that one can find such a magical place like this slumbering in the tiny town of Sampaloc deep in the Sierra Madre mountains? I would say these are the real treasures of the earth.

MALICBOY FALLS

Located in Barangay Silangan Malicboy, Malicboy Falls is a towering cascade with a shallow catch basin. Along the river going to this waterfalls and further upstream are smaller and unnamed but going upstream means braving the nearly steep and narrow trails of the mountain. Often visited by the locals and people from the nearby towns.

The trailhead starts near the waiting shed and Malicboy Bridge in Pulong Giting, on the left side of the road from Pagbilao town proper to Atimonan. Just follow the concrete trail of the irrigation and turn left at the trail junction going to rice paddies all the way to the river then trek along the river upstream.

There you have it! These are just some of the off-beaten paths in Quezon Province, next time you crave for another amazing adventure, you might want to check these cool places out.

Visit the Highland Paradise in the Heart of Mindanao: BUKIDNON

credits to the owner

Some people maybe afraid of visiting the Province of Bukidnon specially if it’s their first time because of the bad reputation they heard from the news. However, the people of Bukidnon is naturally peace loving, hard working and very warm despite its cool weather.

The province lovely mountains high, fertile soil makes ideal  tourist  destination for those who wants to enjoy scenic views and rest a while from the busy crowded cities. Bukidnon is known as the highland paradise in the heart of Mindanao because of its  rich culture, booming agricultural economy, healthy poultry and livestock, green lushing forest and panoramic views.

The province is perfect for nature lovers because it surrounded with mountain ranges  that host several watersheds and homeland of the indigenous people and endangered species such as Philippine Eagle. Mt. Kitanglad is the second highest peak in the country next to Mt. Apo. Definitely, the province is typhoon free, has cool refreshing climate and moist throughout  the year.

It is located at the center of Mindanao, Southern part of the Philippines, it’s a shoreless province bounded by the Cagayan De Oro on the North, North Cotabato and Davao City on the South, Agusan del Sur and Davao del Norte on the East, Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur on the West.

How to get here:

Laguindingan International Airport in Laguindingan Misamis Oriental is the nearest  airport and the port of Cagayan de Oro is the closest seaport. Since it is a landlocked province, bus and van for hire are the most convenient  way to reach the province. About  104 kilometers from Cagayan de Oro City, almost one and a half to two hours ride you can reach Malaybalay City, the capital of the province.

                       Baguio in Mindanao: Dahilayan Forest Park

 

Mindanao’s Favorite Extreme Playground
Brgy. Dahilayan, Manolo Fortich

 

If somebody is not into trekking and mountain climbing, Dahilayan Adventure Park in Brgy. Dahilayan, Manolo Fortich is the perfect place  to bond with your family and friends.It’s one hour ride from the City of Cagayan De Oro.

It was tagged as Mindanao’s favorite extreme playground.

The activities depends on your guts and intensity of the rides. Aside from its famous 840M Asia’s Longest Zipline, you can have skyjump. ropes course , flying lizard, atv rides and a lots of packed activities everyone can enjoy. The youngster will surely enjoy the challenges. You can choose package or pay  any activity of your choice. However, older ones can simply enjoy cardio opportunities like walking around the park and feel the cool air and enjoy scenic views while children can have the playground. There’s a cafe that will cater your thirst and hunger or you can packed your own food for practical reasons.

You can stay overnight in their hotel with wifi in the lobby, rooms and function rooms. Hotel rooms ranges from Php  3,500 – 5000.

The mountain filled with pine trees, cool breeze and fun-filled activities together with your loved ones are truly a treat to behold.

Kaamulan Festival

 

credits to the owner Tribal folks during the Street dancing  competition

Just like shooting three birds in one stone, the best way to visit and experience adventure in Bukidnon is during the Kaamulan Festival in Malaybalay City. It is an annual celebration and only authentic  ethnic festival in the country.

Book your vacation in the second half of February to March 10, which latter date marks the anniversary of the creation of Bukidnon as province.

Kaamulan is a gathering of tribes people for a purpose. It can mean a datuship ritual, a wedding ceremony, a thanksgiving festival during harvest time, a peace pact, or all of these put together.

You can witness unique indigenous culture of Bukidnon. The tribal folks representing these seven hill tribes of Bukidnon gather in unity with the local dwellers in town, wearing their woven costumes, with trinkets, anklets, earrings, necklaces, leglets, headdresses and amulets. They dance together, chant, perform ancient rituals, and compete in indigenous sports.

Street dancing competition and ethnic ground presentation are among the highlights of the said event. Furthermore, there are Garden Show, Food Fest, Bazaars and Agri-Fair to showcase the province products and establishments. Tourist can try the province’s delicacies like pineapple based pastries, binaki (a kakanin or local snack made of corn and milk) and enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables from different places in the province.

Motocross, off-road competition, concerts, basketball tournaments and several others are also line up into the festivity.

Each activity is a meaningful ceremony that reflects the richness and diversity of the Bukidnon culture.

Eiffel Kubo

credits to the owner

Eiffel Kubo is  a fusion of French and Filipino culture. It is a place to stay whenever you are in Malaybalay City. The ambiance is relaxing that add to the repertoire menu of Filipino-French cuisine.

Try their lechon sa sinigang, humba with a touch of French cooking, chicken pops and fillet. The crepe is refreshing and yummy with a complimentary drink of fermented ginger with calamansi (local lemon). Their soufflé is definitely a must try too.

The place is very attractive and clean. The rooms were affordable since they don’t have  air-con because the weather in Malaybalay is a bit cool.

The owners, William and Angelie, are very accommodating as well as their staff. They are located at Claro M. Recto St. Malaybalay City.

 

Eat.Love.Adventure.Pray

credits to the owner

We are all pilgrims in this world. One of the perfect place to visit when you are nearby Malaybalay, Bukidnon is the Monastery of Transfiguration of Jesus in Barangay San Jose.

The place is beautiful as it with great architectural design perfect for photos opps.

If you want a peaceful place to hangout, the church is very solemn and perfect place to pray and meditate. They offer daily masses. They also have religious items, souvenirs and its own products for sale. They are known for its Monk’s Blend Premium Coffee, Monk’s Blend peanut butter, roasted peanut, peanut brittle and Monk’s Blend tablea.

It’s an open place for all. The monastery is run by Benedictine monks. You cannot go inside with if you are wearing sleeveless and shorts .

 

 

LBMX the Reborn (BMX Street Competition)

LBMX the Reborn (BMX Street Competition)

The very first BMX Event in Los Baños, Laguna, PH (February 25, 2017)

 

The very first BMX event in Los Baños, Laguna was “LBMX the Reborn”. This event was basically for street BMX category only. The concept of conducting this event came from “LBMX”, the group of people in Los Baños, Laguna that share the same passion with street BMX and the only one BMX group in Los Baños, Laguna. The group started 2001. The group was originally named “ELBI Riders” and eventually renamed to “LBMX” just before the event. This was also the reason why the event was named “LBMX the Reborn”, because LBMX was the reborn of ELBI Riders. The main objective of this event is to revive the BMX scene in Los Baños, to meet and greet other Local BMX riders and to recognize the LBMX group in the BMX scene Philippines.

The preparation for the event didn’t come so easy for us, as a matter of fact, the original date supposed to be December 2017 and eventually moved a couple of  months later. We struggle financially since most of our members are students. The group gradually set meetings to discuss what will be the strategy for the event preparation.

First thing we have to do is to build a Bike Obstacles. We raised funds from our own pocket. We also seek help from our friends. Eventually the fund was raised. Pcs by pcs the obstacle were build. Everybody participate on building up the obstacle. Even some of our skater friend helped us to build the obstacles. The good thing is, one of our member, actually the elected president of LBMX has a machine shop so we didn’t struggle that much with the construction of the obstacles.

The obstacles are finally done, but the next problem is the event venue. Since we only ride BMX on street “literally street”, we don’t have venue for the event. Once again we set a meeting and come up with a target event venue. We targeted the “Batong Malake Basketball Court”. We talk to the barangay Captain of Batong malake, Los Baños, Laguna, Capt. Janos Lapis.  To our surprise the Capt. Janos Lapis agree and give us permission to use the covered court for our event. It was relieve for the group. But he only give us permission to use the open court.

The event is coming and we still don’t have funds for the prices for the event. We contacted BMX stores locally and seek for sponsorship for the prices. We also contacted nearby businesses, some of them gives cash and others gives their own product like tarpaulin, t-shirts and tumbler. We are very thankful to all who sponsored our event, Scrap bikes, Orolfo Bike Republic, Okulto, JRL, WTLK Bmx clothing, Multo Media, Bike Kings, Mio Soul Nation, The Goat Farm, RC De Villa Construction, MW Irons, Stargate, Free Damn BMX, Kabalikat Civicom Los Baños, Black and brew and lastly, Monster Energy Philippines. Were in a big surprise with the sponsorship of Monster Energy. One of our friend, a girl, a skater contacted Monster Energy just a week before the event and monster energy didn’t hesitate to give sponsorship.

All are ready except for the trophies and medals. We are already out of budget, so we think of something. We gather all of our old Bike parts and create a trophies and medals from it. The outcome of the trophies and medals was amazing, it was a very unique. Thanks to the creative mind of our group President who designed those trophies and medals, at last the preparations are done.

The night before the event, we start bringing the obstacle to the venue. Everybody helped on carrying the obstacles. Although we looks like scavengers walking on the road while carrying those obstacles, we are very happy that finally the very first BMX Event in Los Baños, Laguna is coming to reality.

The day of the event has already come. All of us were exited in the event. Almost all of the BMX rider that we have invited came and support our event. Even the flatland BMX Rider, Dirt BMX Rider and skater was there to enjoy the event and we are more than happy to see all of them. It was like a “BIG BMX Event” we’ve seen on youtube.

The very first to come are the Riders from Las Piñas, They even jam with us by the time they have arrived. One by one the other groups arrived, some carry their bike on a tricycle, some bring jeepney, others bring cars and others just ride their bike on their way to the event. Just as expected the event will not be that perfect, the sound system was late so we started the event without sound system. The sound system was about 30 mins late but no problem, we manage to start the event without the sound system, but here’s a good thing, Capt. Janos Lapis gives us permission to use the covered court since the sun was too hot because the event was scheduled 12pm. While the event is ongoing, one of our sponsors came, “Monster Energy”, riding in their pick-up truck carrying 2 big barrel of Monster Energy drink. The BMX Riders felt energized seeing the 2 barrel of Monster Energy Drink. Everybody were given a can of Monster Energy Drink and everybody enjoyed.

The competition started first with the highest bunny hop competition, then Class-B Competition and lastly the Class-A Competition. The BMX riders enjoys riding, while others are enjoyed watching the amazing tricks. Every player who participates give their best trick to entertain the crowd. The crowd reactions were spectacular.

Watch this video for the full event:

Over-all, we did not expect “LBMX the reborn” to be that successful. The numbers of BMX riders who participate and the number crowd were overwhelming. We do even have sponsors for Emergency response to assist in case of accident. Thanks to the event sponsors and to all of the BMX Group who came to our event, Sto. Tomas Extream Crew, Tanay BMX Crew, P-Rata Crew Lucena, Unfriender Crew, Freedamn Crew, Tayabas Bmx Riders, Batasan Bmx Crew, Pasig Bmx Crew, Fail Bmx Crew, Goatfarm and most especially to “God” who gave us a wonderful weather and keep all of the BMX Riders safe.

We believe that this event encourage others to support the BMX not only in Los Baños, Laguna, but all throughout the Philippines. This event also inspires other BMX Riders from different side of the Philippines to promote BMX on their own community. To encourage our government to support extreme sports, just like the support that Capt. Janos Lapis gave us, and to show to everyone that Filipinos can excel even to extreme sports.

Just like any other event, it never ended just with the “LBMX the reborn”. It was just the beginning. After the “LBMX the reborn”, several other events was conducted by LBMX group like, Under Privi Ledge, Open Jam and 17 years anniversary Jam. Our network of friendship expands in every event that we conducted.

P.S. BMX is not about cool tricks, or how many trick you can do, or how many competition you won. BMX is all about friendship, brotherhood and passion.

Bakasyonista- Borawan Island Paradise

Borawan- Heaven on Earth

Warm sun, breathtaking view, the sound of the waves calms my troubled soul.

This is exactly what I need. Away from the crowd, a simple getaway to forget about the stressful city life even just for a day.

5 to 6 hours drive from Manila, Philippines to Quezon Province, a shy island that boasts its beauty upon exploring it. Borawan Island, Padre Burgos, Quezon Province.

I’ve read some blogs about the island and learned that the name was derived from Boracay (known for the white sand) and Palawan (famous from its rock formation), both are located in the Philippines. Isn’t it amazing to be able to visit one place that both offers almost the same?

So anyway, I came here with my friends on Jan 15,2018, a good time to visit since it’s not really crowded yet. Had an overnight stay in a rented open cottage that costs Php 1,250.00 . Slept in a comfy tent good for 3-4 person which costs Php 200.00. Kuya Ron and some of his friends assisted us throughout our island hopping which includes 2 islands and a Sandbar. Overnight entrance fee for Borawan Island is Php 220.00/each. Sand bar costs Php 600.00 good for 6 person. Dampalitan Island day tour entrance fee is Php 80.00 each and boat rental is Php 1,500.00.

I enjoyed the stay although I didn’t have much photos to share due to my lack of knowledge that there’s no electricity and no power bank to charge my device. Let alone, my first time to try and visit a remote island. I’ve got no idea what to bring.

But nonetheless, the entire stay was great! Friendly and helpful community, affordable accommodation, delicious foods fresh from salt water, no electricity, but lots of water and peaceful mind, what else can u wish for?

If only I could stay here forever, wish I could. I promised to bring myself here again sometime next year. Next time I’ll bring action cam, extra batteries, power bank, and a fully charged device so I could snap the beauty of this place.

I’ll see u again Borawan. When I return, I’ll make sure to be ready. Until next time.

Your admirer,

Girlie W.

Splendor yet Undiscovered, The Town of Magalang

Proudly, A Magaleno

Magalang, officially the Municipality of Magalang, is a 1st class municipality in the province of Pampanga, and also part of the First Congressional District of Pampanga where Angeles City and Mabalacat City are also included.

Connecting it to the neighboring province of Nueva Ecija, Magalang is the northeastern municipality of Pampanga.

In 1598, Magalang was mentioned as visita of nearby town of Arayat. But in 1605, it was separated from Arayat and attained township status due to bajo de la campana system.

Magalang was initially called Magalo, derived from Kapampangan word “Galo”, which means wavy and moving; describing the dangerous water flows of Parua River.

The town proper was located in Macapsa but because of the natural calamities, it was nearly abandoned. In 1734, it was moved to San Bartolome. Due to the overflow of Parua River in 1863, it was swept by the flood and transferred to the present site in barrio San Pedro Talimunduc.

Nestled at the foot of Mount Arayat, our town is another tourism hot spot with its heritage, cultural and ecotourism sites. Yes, I said it right, “our town”. I am proudly from this town, the Municipality of Magalang.

Must Know

Heliograph Towers

Our town is a place blessed with historical sites.

One of these are the two remaining Heliograph towers in the country. These old structures are built by the Spanish forces in the 1800s,  and are used to send and relay signals to warn soldiers of an impending attack by the advancing enemy. One is located in Barangay Santa Cruz, and another in Barangay San Isidro. These towers will soon be recognize as National Cultural Treasures by the national government.

The Historical Heliograph Towers

19th Century Town Hall

Aside from the towers, Magalang has other attractions like its town hall that was built in the 19th century.

The original site of the municipal building was donated by Capitan  Pablo Luciano y David, who was then the Gobernadorcillo. The first building or “Tribunal” as it was called, was built high and consisted of one story. In 1896, the building was reconstructed and it was built low but also of one story.

The 19th century Town Hall of Magalang

The San Bartolome Parish Church

Another grand structure preserved through the Spanish and Japanese wars, the San Bartolome Parish Church.

Established by the Augustinians in 1605, this 3-aisle church is made of stone and wood. It is 55 meter long, 21 meter wide and 7 meter high. Interplay of arches, as seen on the main entrance, doors and niches, pediments and fenestration, including those of the bellows and adjacent convent suggest a touch of baroque.

The San Bartolome Parish Church

Must See

Dalan ning Cruz Park (14 Stations of the Cross)

Magalang is also a Holy Week destination for pilgrims at “Banal na Bundok” or The Holy Mountain.

Located in Barangay Ayala, where I live, Banal na Bundok features life-sized Stations of the Cross from its foot at the First Station until the 14th Station, which is 1.6 kilometers toward the summit.

This grandiose dream of spreading out the Fourteen (14) Stations of the Cross on the foot of Mt. Arayat, going uphill, with an amazing overlooking view of Pampanga and nearby provinces, is a project spearheaded by SOROPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL OF MAGALANG.

One of the Stations of the Cross in Banal na Bundok

The Mount Arayat

Mount Arayat is an inactive basaltic volcano on Luzon Island, Philippines, rising to a height of 1,026 metres (3,366 ft). It is located in a flat agricultural region at 15°12′N 120°45′E. The southern half of the mountain lies within the municipality of Arayat, Pampanga, while the north half and the mountain summit lies within Magalang.

The Volcano is a popular Tourist destination for people visiting the central plains. It is considered a mystical one, the legendary home of Aung/Aring Sinukuan/Sinkuan/Suku or the Fairy known as diwata Mariang Sinukuan depending on which version of the story the readers or listeners prefer. But in ancient Kapampangan folklore, it was and it is the abode of Apung/Aring Sinukuan, rival of Namalyari of Mount Pinatubo, who is in varying versions, the son of Cargon-Cargon who was mortally wounded in a fight with a giant from the Zambales Mountain Range which is said to be the home of Apu Namalyari.

The Mount Arayat

There are two trails lead to the peak of Mount Arayat. First is the Mount Arayat National Park Located at San Juan Baño in Arayat, Pampanga. It has a trail to the southern Peak, taking around 3–4 hours to reach the peak. The Southern Peak offers views of Central Luzon, including a view of Pampanga River.

The Southern Peak of Mount Arayat

 

The northern or higher Peak can be accessed  in Magalang, taking a similar time to reach the peak. This route takes you through the Arayat Amphitheatre and the so-called White Rock which legend claims to be the Home of Apung/Aring Sinukuan or Sinukuan.

The White Rock of Mount Arayat

Must Try

PSAU Cold Spring Resort

The only surviving cold spring water resort in Central Luzon.

PSAU Cold Spring Resort and Eco-tourism Park is situated 5kms from the town proper of Magalang. Located at the end of rough and rugged terrain from the entrance of Pampanga State Agricultural University (formerly Pampanga Agricultural College), approximately 2kms from the campus main gate of PSAU.

The PSAU Cold Spring Resort As the water flows from Mount Arayat

The  Sweet Tamarind of Magalang

The picturesque and agricultural town of Magalang is not giving up on its dream of becoming “The Sweet Tamarind Capital of the Philippines” through a program that aims to also contribute to the fight against climate change through farm tourism.

There are a lot of sweet tamarind trees here in Barangay Ayala and some of these are owned by my father-in-law. By the month of January, my father-in-law starts harvesting the sweet tamarind from our backyard and at the foothill of Mount Arayat. We sell them by order, but sometimes even before the harvesting months, fruit vendors go to our house to negotiate with my father-in-law for the sweet tamarind.

Sweet Tamarind from Magalang

Me, my husband and my father-in-law. Harvesting sweet tamarind at the foothill of Mount Arayat

Abe’s Farm Resort, Country Cuisine & Spa

Experience a different world and discover new adventures in Abe’s Farm Resort, Country Cuisine and Spa. Located here again, in our Barangay, Barangay Ayala, you will enjoy the quiet and relaxing atmosphere of a private mountain home or spend the night in a cozy air-conditioned Ifugao hut. You can also take a late afternoon dip in a warm pool in a garden setting and indulge your taste buds in the comforts of a dreamy bamboo and antique wood rest house, or experience a spa to reinvigorate the body and ease the mind.

The four-hectare farm also provides facilities for friends and family to enjoy. Play ping pong, badminton or simply have fun with board games. Facilities are also available for events such as wedding banquets, seminars, workshops and planning sessions.

Abe’s Farm Resort, Country Cuisine & Spa

The Kamaru Festival

The first Kamaru Festival was held on August 21, 2012. The said festival was in commemoration with the celebration of the feast of their patron saint, Saint Bartolomew.

Kamaru Festival 2012

Kamaru Festival is a blend of history and festivities in the municipality. It will be demonstrated by inter-school street dancing and free interpretation competition open to all private and public schools. Our Mayor , Malu Paras-Lacson said that the kamaru is very much similar to Magalang’s potential to “hop” to greatness. She added that the kamaru also demonstrates similarities with the resilient character of the people and is representative of the rural character of Magalang.

 

Our town is on its way to be known as another culinary attraction as it promotes home-made pastries and candies by Carreon and Pabalan, the two homegrown  stores.

Come, and know more about our town! Experience the adventure and lot of amazing things here in Magalang, Pampanga.

 

 

THE REVIEW OF THE NEW RELEASE MOVIE “Pacific Rim: Uprising”

THE REVIEW OF THE NEW RELEASE MOVIE “Pacific Rim: Uprising”

Shortly before I headed to a screening of Pacific Rim Uprising, a Vulture colleague wondered aloud in a meeting, “What’s the difference between the robots in Transformers and Pacific Rim?” to which I emphatically responded, “They’re not robots! They have people inside!” It’s true that the giant Jaegers are not robots, but is that really all it takes? Is the narrative suggests that there are little humans inside those otherwise generically hulking, dusky CGI carapaces enough to imbue Guillermo del Toro’s mecha with sufficient soul to carry us through two hours without a crushing, alienated headache? Weirdly, I would say the answer is yes. Even more surprisingly, it’s even enough to carry us through some — but certainly not all — of director Steven S. DeKnight’s dumb, formulaic, but still ineffably zesty follow-up.

Uprising is set some ten years after the events of the first Pacific Rim, after the war with the giant kaiju that has left all Pacific coastlines from Sydney to Santa Monica in ruins. Idris Elba’s impeccably named Marshal Stacker Pentecost is long gone, but his son Jake (lol) Pentecost (John Boyega) is living as a smuggler and Jaeger parts dealer, crashing in abandoned mansions and attending rubble-pile raves. During a deal gone wrong, he runs into a young orphan and prodigy pilot named Amara (Cailee Spaeny). Their daring escape draws the attention of the inter-Pacific military, from which Jake defected years ago. Begrudgingly, he returns to the fold to help his old piloting partner Nate (Scott Eastwood), and Amara goes into pilot training.

Meanwhile, in China …

This is meant as no ding whatsoever, but Pacific Rim Uprising has to be the most China-bait blockbuster I’ve seen to date, and I have seen all of the Transformers movies. The first film was a modest success in the States but killed overseas (it had the sixth-biggest Chinese box-office opening for a Hollywood film) and that bears out in the sequel, which has entire plotlines in Mandarin, and substantial roles for Chinese stars Zhang Jin and Jing Tian. The result is a more cynical, market-driven version of the kind of international popcorn fare that Luc Besson and Bong Joon-ho have come up with in recent years, but I found it disorienting in a not-at-all-unpleasant way. I’ll put it this way: No other U.S. studio movie outside of the Pacific Rim cinematic universe is going to have an Asian woman executing the Han Solo–saves-the-day move in the final act, and I’ll take it for now.

Anyway, in China: Shao Industries, headed by the ruthless Liwen Shao (Jing) is busy manufacturing drone Jaegers that will supposedly be more efficient in the event of another kaiju breach. But Shao has been infiltrated via Dr. Newt Geiszler (Charlie Day), who, the film is more than happy to remind us, mind-meld “drifted” with a kaiju in the first Pacific Rim and may now be more than a little sympathetic to their cause. This all plays out how you might imagine, but some of the steps along the way are delightfully pulpy in their embrace of practical effects, especially once it’s time to slice open some giant kaiju brains.

Other times — and probably too many other times — the steps are just locksteps. There’s a redemption arc for Jake that you can guess in its entirety from the first shot of Boyega; there’s some hint of a love triangle between Jake, Lambert, and a woman played by Adria Arjona about whom I couldn’t tell you the first thing. Uprising’s script isn’t great at jokes or nuance or originality, but it’s pretty good at shuttling us from one set piece to the next. And when those set pieces are good — as is the case with an early Jaeger fight in Siberia, or the gee-whiz silliness of the climactic battle in Tokyo — it’s easy enough to overlook.

When they’re bad, however, you do find yourself asking what the difference is between this and any other clanging, soulless CGI spectacle. I guess that’s the not-quite-drift-compatible problem at the center of the Pacific Rim movies — the humans inside the giant suits are what make it more palatable, but the movies are pretty bad at giving those humans anything interesting to do. But when they’re locked in drift mode, battling giant monsters like some kind of VR interpretive pairs skate, it’s pretty undeniably thrilling. Universal can make the third installment entirely in Chinese and replace everyone with Scott Eastwood if they want, but as long as it ends with some glowing giant monsters and a synchronized dance routine, I’ll find it hard to complain.

If you like to watch the full movie. Click the link below.

A day in Mt. Maarat

A day in Mt. Maarat with my siblings and their family

Mt. Maarat is located in San Mateo, Rizal within the west border of Quezon City and south borders of Antipolo and Marikina City while on the northern side is the province of Rizal and Pasig City, Manila and Bulacan Province are in the east border.

 

To conquer this mountain, you have to go for a steep uphill ride with approximately 5-kilometer distance from the foot of the mountain which makes an extreme challenge for bikers in neighboring cities such as Metro Manila, Marikina, and Rizal.

Trekking all the way to the summit of Mt. Maarat is a very challenging task, especially for heavy build person like me but it’s a great opportunity to test your endurance. However, it’s a rewarding experience as you glimpse the breathtaking panoramic view of Metro Manila while being surrounded by lush green trees and fresh mountain breeze.

While enjoying the overlooking panoramic view from the top of the mountain, nature embraces you with the sound of silence and a perfect opportunity recuperates your body and mind from stress.

Although we took a ride with private car from the foot of the mountain so that trekking the summit will be less effort to us as we consider the safety of our kids who come along with us. This one of a kind endurance challenge is one of the most memorable experience for us.