Spent the weekend with Lalaine and Russ.
Had lunch at this South Indian Restaurant.
Spent the weekend with Lalaine and Russ.
Had lunch at this South Indian Restaurant.
Last minute overnight trip to Baguio. Tried our luck at the Safari Lodge and they had a budget room available for us. It was my first time at this place. Maybe next time I’ll try their much better rooms. Was not able to take pictures of the rooms, but took some of their common areas.
They also served complimentary breakfast. Got my self a longganisa meal.
Safari Lodge is located along Leonard Wood Rd, right across the Botanical Garden and near Teachers’ Camp.
Decided to join our Canadian guest for a trip to the historical island of Corregidor. I have heard about some great feedback about the tour but never got the chance before. I am glad I did now.
We were at the CCP terminal of Sun Cruises as early as 6:30 AM.
We boarded the ferry at around 7:15 AM and left at 8:00 AM. Arrived at Corregidor Island shortly before 10:00 AM.
We boarded the tram assigned to our group. We had Mang Bobby as our tour guide. He was a funny, interesting guy. Not as intense as Carlos Celdran but he was interesting on his own right.
Mang Bobby introduced us to the tour by saying that this island was heavily fortified by the Americans from 1902 to 1932. It had hundreds of tunnels, many battery of guns and 5 regimens of American and Filipino soldiers.
Our first stop was at one of the main tunnels of the island that links the main island and the tail end. We also watched the lights and sounds show.
Had an early buffet lunch at the only hotel on the island. It had a good view of the water and the island.
Stopped by the ruins of the Middleside Barracks where a regimen of American soldiers lived during World War II.
First of the battery of guns that we visited.
Near the battery was the largest gun on the island.
Spanish Light House
This is the oldest light house in the country. It is the highest point of the island.
Before visiting the memorial, Mang Bobby took us to the edge of that area of the island to see the tail end of the island.
Here’s a view of the Eternal Flame (of freedom, I think) and the White Dome at the memorial.
This is where MacArthur left the Philippines to go to Australia. He was actually in Australia when he said ‘I shall return.’
Last stop of our tour. The Japanese government did not know about the Japanese cemetery until 1986.
It was a worthwhile trip. Great to know more about our history and how a lot of people sacrificed their lives for the country to get to where we are now.
We left the island at 2:30 PM and was back in Manila at 4:00 PM.
To book tours to the island, go to http://www.corregidorphilippines.com.
It was definitely different from the other walking tours I have taken. The tour guide was like no other. The encounter with Carlos Celdran himself was a unique experience. He was so passionate and could get really intense on some topics particularly on the part when Manila was caught between the war of United States and Japan and thousands of Filipinos were killed and Manila was bombed, destroying the beautiful city. The 30+ mix of Filipinos and foreigners laughed and cried with him as he shared facts and events in the past that affected the way we are today in Manila (and Philippines in general).
Thank you, Carlos Celdran, for such an amazing experience. It was not only an informational tour but an eye opener even for us Filipinos. I will never look at certain things the same way again.
Last stop was a Barbara’s where halo-halo was served while Carlos was wrapping up the tour. Amazing tour! Carlos got a big applause from everyone.
We walked a few meters a way to take a look at the Manila Cathedral which was under renovation.
Love this poster! I will definitely take another Walk This Way tour
For tour schedules, visit http://www.carlosceldran.com.
To reserve, text (63) 920 9092021.
Meeting place is at Fort Santiago, Santa Clara Street, Intramuros.
Back in Boracay after 6 months!
Was blessed to be invited by my good friend, Bucky, at his wedding in Boracay this weekend. Bucky was my batchmate in college at the Ateneo de Manila University and we both stayed at the college dorm, Cervini Hall for the guys and Eliazo Hall for the girls. When he mentioned that the wedding will be in Boracay, didn’t think twice about it! I immediately booked my flight and hotel.
I arrived in Boracay last Friday night at 11:00 PM, two hours later than expected. The plane could not leave Manila because of some congestion in Kalibo. Apparently, flights to Caticlan were redirected to Kalibo because of some event. So, I did not get a chance to meet with dorm friends who were already in Boracay.
The wedding was not until 2:00 in the afternoon. So, I decided to have a relaxing morning by the beach. Got my simple breakfast at One Crescent Place before heading out to the beach. In my beach bag was a book, sunblock, my phones, phone charger and, of course, some money. I planned on having a massage at some point by the beach. Yes, massage by the beach. And it only costs PHP 400 at most (around US$ 10).
When I got to the beach, this was the sight that welcomed me.
While walking by the beach to look for a good spot to hang out, I accidentally saw Roldan, another dorm friend from Ateneo waiting for his breakfast at Jony’s. Then we were joined by Albert who was checked in at Jony’s along with his fiance, Cor. Albert is also from the dorm. We went to Jonah’s for some fruitshake. Their milkshake is a must-try. Albert got an avocado milkshake, I got a mango milkshake and I think Roldan got a banana-mango milkshake.
Since we still had time, we decided to get a massage by the beach. We went back to Jony’s and they helped get a masseuse for us.
By the time Roldan and Albert were done with their massage, the water has reached the table. It was high tide!
Got to the Holy Rosary Parish church a little bit before 2:00 PM. It was so cool to see these cool Cervini guys again. Back in college, there was a group of 15 guys in Cervini who called themselves the ‘Lonely Hearts Club’. Their goal was to make sure all of them find the one for them and get married someday. Bucky was the President. He is now officially resigned, the third to the last to get married
A few minutes later, we were all asked to take our seats. The doors were opened, and the radiant bride walked in.
Father Lito Mangulabnan, SJ, who was our Head Prefect for a period of time at the dorm, officiated the wedding. He knew Bucky well. During homily, he assured Kaye that she was marrying a really good man.
The newly weds served cocktails at Sea Wind. Wong hosted the event along with one of Kaye’s lady friends. Wong was hilarious! I think he did a great job making the program fun for everyone.
After cocktails, we were asked to join the newly weds for some pictures with the sunset in the background.
A section by the beach was setup for dinner.
Got this beautiful shot of the reception area and the bluish sky after the sun set and the little moon came out.
We welcomed the newly weds to the party with sparklers!
Kaye’s bestfriend opened the party with a heart-felt message to Kaye and Bucky. Then, he surprised them with a number from their friends – a dragon dance! According to Wong, the dragon dance was for prosperity and fertility!
I was just telling the guys at my table that I wanted to watch a fire dance by the beach. Then, these wonderful people came in! According to Wong, the fire dance was also for fertility! Lol
During dinner, Kaye’s father asked if he could sit with us at our table. He was overwhelmed by the entire thing. But he was very happy for his daughter. He went on to share with us how they brought in the butchered cow that was roasted on the spot for the wedding. They hired a boat from Bacolod to Aklan. They brought all the stuff they needed to roast and the men who will do it.
Dancing ensued after the dinner and program. Fun times!
It was so warm that night that the guys, led by Wong, took off their white shirts and danced the night away. Even the groom took off his shirt! Haha! By the way, Wong – as Bucky asked throughout the event, how did you get that physique? ;D
Unfortunately, I could not stay long at the party since my flight the next day was at 9:30 AM. I had to leave the hotel at around 6:00 AM. Boracay is about two hours away from Kalibo. I needed to take a 15-minute boat ride to Caticlan, then another an hour and a half land trip by van to Kalibo airport. There is also an airport in Caticlan but the flight I got was in Kalibo.
One Crescent Place
This boutique hotel was not on the beach front, but it was right behind the church and was only 3 minutes away from the beach on foot. Found it on Expedia. Why I picked it? The rates were reasonable, the reviews were good, and it was close to the church. I actually did not know where the church was except that it is in Station 1.
It was a very neat place and the room was cozy. But, what I liked most was the service. When I told the guy during check-in that I will miss breakfast on Sunday, since it is normally served at 7:00 AM, he said they can serve my breakfast before 6:00 AM. And they did, and they made sure I was already awake to take my breakfast at 5:45 AM.
Spent the holy week with family and friends in my home province, La Union.
My sister’s friend, May, and her family joined us for the trip.
Our first stop was San Juan Surf Resort.
Met with my good friend, Rhea, in Aringay to join the procession. A lot of people joined.
While most people are heading to the beach, we went up the mountains! We went to Baguio for some cool breeze. Had picnic in Cam John Hay and played with the kids.
Later, we went to Mines View Park. Stopped to get some grilled corn.
Had a quick visit to Singapore to get some ‘stuff’ from my good friend, Edward, and to meet up with good friends I have not seen in a while.
This time, I chose to stay with another good College friend, Hazel.
Since I was arriving on Friday noon, Edward decided to take the day off to accompany me during the day. Edward picked me up at the airport. We left my bags at Hazel’s place first then went to get late lunch at a Japanese place.
We went around the mall to look for Singtel to inquire about their iphone 5. My sister’s been bugging me to goto Singapore to buy one for here. Edward offered to use his renewal plan to get the phone for free. My sister can pay him at a much lower rate.
Dinner with College Friends
At around 7pm, we went to look for Artichoke – Hazel’s pick for dinner.
Gail wasn’t able to make it to dinner, but glad Aldhel made it.
While waiting for Gail, we decided to go get some dessert.
Lunch with SVI Friends
The next day, met up with my girlfriends from SVI – Rege, Chris and Ela.
Singapore Flyer Ride
After three hours of eating and sharing stories, went to ride the Singapore Flyer
After the ride, we had some Authentic Singapore snacks.
Marina Bay Sands
Then we went to Marina Bay Sands, my first time there as well.
A few minutes after 8 PM, we went out to watch the light show.
After walking around Marina Bay Sands dor hours, we decided to have a late dinner at Kraze Burger.
At Hazel’s Place
Passed through this artsy tunnel on our way to Supertrees to have lunch with some College friends.
These Supertrees generate natural electricity!
Zoe’s Birthday Party
At around 2:00 PM, I got ready to meet up with Chris to attend Zoe’s birthday party at Hard Rock Hotel in Sentosa.
Dinner at Dian Xiao Er
Met up with Edward for dinner at Vivo City before heading home.
Went to Laguna for a weekend getaway with my sisters in Pagsanjan to see the majestic falls.
We stayed at a place called Villa Socorro Agri-Eco Village. It’s a cool, quiet place. They also have a banana plantation within their premises and a banana chips production plant.
Since we arrived late in Pagsanjan, we decided to try some of the must try places in the area.
We tried the best halo-halo in Pagsanjan – Aling Taleng’s Halo Halo.
And ate dinner at one of their popular restaurants – Calle Arco. We liked it so much we had lunch the next day at the same restaurant.
The next day, we woke up early for a boat ride to the falls. We were told tha the best time to go is early in the morning.
It was a very interesting boat ride. I will let the pictures (video to follow) speak for themselves.
Going Through the Falls
Behind the Falls
All wet on the ride back from behind the falls.
On our way back, we filmed the boat ride.
That same afternoon after we got back from the falls, we did our share of planting a tree in the Eco village.
Did a little sight seeing, too. This shelter was apparently featured in some American movies.
I arrived in Pleasanton the day before from my week-long trip in New York. As soon as Jazel arrived from Seattle, she picked me up at my hotel, we had a quick lunch at Stoneridge Mall, then headed out to Napa in time for the 4:00 PM wedding rehearsal. We can’t be late or else the beautiful bride will not be happy We had a fun ride catching up on things. Well, I did not have much to share, not much has happened to me. Jazel had more exciting things to share that I cannot share here (nor with anyone else… haha, nang-intriga pa)
Beautiful, isn’t it?
Dinner with the family, close friends and entourage
After the rehearsal, the group went to this elegant Italian restaurant. Shared stories with old and new friends.
After dinner, Elaine suggested that we give Lalaine a bridal shower since many of us are from far away places (Jasmine from LA, Jazel from Washington, Aileen from Virginia, and me from the Philippines) and could not get together weeks before. We decided to meet at Crush (and we got lost going there, haha!)
Pictorial before the Ceremony
At the Ceremony
Could not take pictures, but snuck this one
Pictorial again after the Ceremony.
We tried to catch some of the light. Had a hard time going up and down the hill in my 3-inch heels. Well, Lalaine had a much harder time in her 4-inch heels! I should not be complaining.
What we did before going to Meritage for the preparations for the wedding.
Jazel, Aileen and I took a walk around the area and took some silly pictures, haha! We decided we need some exercise!!!
Instant weekend getaway to accompany some visitors at work who wanted to visit Boracay.
We checked in at Discovery Shores. Immediately went to the shore when we arrived. Look at that view!
Got these awesome welcome sweets in my room.
Here are some pictures we took while walking by the beach.
We went island hopping the next day. I forgot what this island was named, but it was such a pristine place.
Our food was prepared by our boatman when we got to the island. Hmm, so delicious!
Back at the white beach, we took pictures of the grotto.
Went to this little coffee shop named Real Coffee. They were known for their calamansi muffins.
These are what you see when you walk by the beach near Station 2. A lot of people will approach you to convince you to try the various island activities.
Took this picture while drinking a mango milkshake from Jonah’s. A must try in Boracay.
Here’s a view of the island from the plane on our way back to Manila.