Friday, December 28, 2012

Peninsula Mountaineers in Mt. Talamitam

The 18th day of November brought me to my 3rd summit on 3 consecutive weekends. This time, its another tree planting hike on Mt. Talamitam with the newly-formed Peninsula Mountaineers. Our group is composed of 20 veteran and newbie hikers, who share the passion of enjoying the outdoors and doing community service as well.


We left Peninsula Manila by 4:00 am, arriving at Barangay Aga in Nasugbu, Batangas by 6:00 am. The leader of the guides in the area, Mr. Ted Calimag, joined our pre-climb briefing after we arranged our registration fee, guides, and tree seedlings. The local white dog in the area (I forgot his name) also joined our hike, because we give him food from time to time, hehe.
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dayhike of Mt. Cristobal in Dolores, Quezon


A week after a very short hike in Tayak Hill, our AKAC Group or Abot Kamay Adventure Club, went to climb Mt. Cristobal via the trail in Dolores, Quezon. Seven of us met at San Pablo City by 6:00 am, where we’ve had our breakfast, before proceeding at the public market. We chartered a jeepney at Php 1,200 for a round trip travel to and from our jump off point.


We registered first at a barangay official’s house in Santa Lucia, before the jeepney driver took us to the last point of the unslippery cemented road. Donation is optional, and we gave Php 20/head. We arranged our gears, did our stretchings, and said our prayers at the jump off point, while local residents are cleaning and packing their harvested radish and sayote.
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Light Show in Ayala Triangle Makati

Last Sunday, I took my family on a side trip to Makati, for them to experience the light & sound show at the Ayala Triangle. The photos below offer a glimpse of what we've seen, but nothing beats being there in person.


The nightly show starts at 6:00 pm every 30 minutes, and ends at 9:00 pm until 30 December 2012. The million LED lights goes on and off, in sync with the tune of Filipino Christmas songs, on instrumental mode.
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Short Hike to Tayak Hill in Rizal, Laguna

From Nagcarlan, we retraced our route back to the little-known town of Rizal in Laguna, before reaching San Pablo. We turned left on a small road opposite the Rizal Elementary School, for about 20-minute drive to Tayak Hill's chapel.


The road is approximately 90% cemented but narrow on some parts, so it will be hard to maneuver when two vehicles meet on such parts. It became very steep as we get near the hilltop, so its important that the vehicle is in good shape. There is wide parking space, a variety store, and new toilet facility at the jump off point. The tarpaulin poster below greets the visitors, with the photos of politicians who I assumed developed the place.
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Nagcarlan Church, Cemetery & Presidencia

Completing our mini-Visita Iglesia from Liliw, we proceeded to the St. Bartholomew Church of the neighboring town of Nagcarlan. Originally, it was made of light materials in 1583 by Rev. Thomas de Miranda, who successfully pioneered the cultivation of wheat on uplands of Nagcarlan. 


This church of brick and stone was built in 1752, repaired in 1781, then a choirloft was added in 1845 by Rev. Vicente Velloc. Like the church of Liliw, it is also situated on a hill, to provide a vantage view of the town.
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Old Church and Tsinelas Shops of Liliw

After our enjoyable lunch at Chef Mau restaurant, we went back to the town proper of Liliw, to see its church and the famous tsinelas (slipper) shops. After dropping the ladies at the slipper shops along Gat Tayaw St., the kids and I proceeded to the uphill church of the town.


Named as St. John the Baptist Church, the original church and adjoining convent was built in 1605, but was seriously damaged by the earthquakes in 1880. It was reconstructed thereafter, and was partly burned in April 1898. When the Americans came, they renamed the town into Lilio, but the residents renamed it back to Liliw in 1965.

Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chef Mau Restaurant in Liliw, Laguna

Two weeks ago, some nieces from Bulacan stayed at our place in Binan. To make their visit worthwhile, we decided to take them to a road trip in western Laguna. Our first stop was at Chef Mau's rustic restaurant in Liliw, to satisfy our lunch craving after 2 hours on the road.


The place is a house converted into a 2-storey restaurant, along the main road that leads to Magdalena town. I read somewhere that its owner is a dishwasher-turned-chef, who now runs Chefs Quarter chain of restaurants. The furnitures at the second floor are made of wood, while I saw some monobloc chairs at the ground floor. The decors are simple, supporting the native ambience of the place.
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

BPI - Jollibee Promo, 16 Nov. to 31 Jan. 2013

For those who are asking if BPI credit cards has a follow up promo after their Chowking tie up here, I'm posting their latest promo below:


Greetings from BPI Express Online!

Please be advised that we already have a new promo

Promo Title: Holiday Buckets of Joy, Yours for FREE  

Promo Period: November 16, 2012 to January 31, 2013 
Redemption period: November 16, 2012 to April 1, 2013
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Conquering the Roof of Visayas: Mt. Kanlaon

Two weeks ago, I joined the 9 participants and 2 guides of Trail Adventours, to climb Mt. Kanlaon for three days via the Guintubdan trail. Initially, I arranged with Mr. Angelo Bibar my own permit and a guide to do a solo traverse via the Mananawin-Guintubdan trail. But I realized that it would be boring, so I joined the party of Trail Adventours, even though it will cost me more.


Mt. Kanlaon is the highest mountain and most active volcano in the Visayas group of islands. Pinoy Mountaineer has this technical description of the mountain, with my own revision:

MT. KANLAON (GUINTUBDAN TRAIL)
Negros Occidental

Entry & Exit point: Guintubdan, Ara-al, La Carlota City
LLA: 10°24'44"N, 123°7'55"E, 2435 MASL (#27)
Days required / Hours to summit: 3 days / 8-10 hours
Specs: Major climb, Difficulty 6/9, Trail class 3

Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Afternoon Delight in Bacolod City

After our 3-day hike of Mt. Kanlaon, I asked the climb organizer to drop me at Robinsons Mall in Bacolod City, along with my trekmates who also have a flight to catch at 8:20 pm. Since we have almost 4 hours to kill before we go to the airport, I decided to buy pasalubong first at the mall.


To relax a bit while thinking of what I should do next, I decided to have coffee at Cafe Bob's just outside the grocery. I asked the lady at the counter what light snack will go well with their brewed coffee, and she suggested their chicken empanada. It was indeed a good match, as the reheated empanada is a winner. Total food bill is about Php 80.

Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Pleasant Travelers Pension & 18th St. Palapala

On my first night in Bacolod, I stayed at Pleasant Traveler's Pension House along the 13th Street. Its walking distance from Lacson St. where many restaurants and hotels can be found.


From the Ruins, I boarded a Libertad-bound jeepney and told the driver to drop me at 13th Street. The landmark is the cluster of bars named Sorrento Piazza.
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

The Ruins of Talisay City, Negros Occidental

Straight from Silay Airport with a mountaineer's backpack, I went to the Ruins of Talisay City, just two weeks ago. Actually, I plan to visit it after I drop my luggage first at the Pension House, but the Nyala tours van from the airport does not pass Lacson St. and it stops at the old terminal. By the way, Nyala tours van charge only Php 35/person, compared with the regular airport vans that charge Php 150 per person.


Since the drop off point is already near the Ruins, I boarded a Bata-bound jeepney, then transferred to a tricycle that goes to the Ruins at Php 20 fare per person.
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Dayhike of Mt. Daguldol in Batangas

A month ago, I joined my friends in Abot Kamay Adventure Club (AKAC) for a trek to Mt. Daguldol in San Juan, Batangas. It was almost 7 pm when I arrived at Bgy. Hugom, where I registered for Php 35/person. Cellphone signal is very weak at Naambon Resort, so I had a hard time contacting my friends while I was looking for them along Laiya beach.  


I was the last one to arrive in Naambon Resort where we camped the night prior, at Php 100/head fee. Its a 30-minute walk along Laiya beach past the rocky portions on the right side. It was a challenge to trek alone and at night along the rocky beach part, where I believe my Columbia sandals got damaged. Here's a dawn view of the coastline that I navigated from the back of the rocks, as pointed by the arrow.

Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuna Grill, Kabayan Nelson, & Blugre Coffee


General Santos City is also a food haven for tourists. Being the country’s tuna capital, tuna dishes are something that should not be missed. So on our first night at the city, we tried this touristy restaurant Tuna Grill along Pres. Quirino Avenue.


Judging from the picnic-style tables on their photos, it has a casual ambience, though they also have air conditioned dining areas with more formal setup.

Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Lake Sebu and Zipline above its Waterfalls

After breakfast on our second day at GenSan, we proceeded to Lake Sebu, the name of the town with many lakes and waterfalls. Its more than a 2-hour trip with lots of transfers, yet its all worth the time and effort.


From Amigotel, we rode a tricycle to Bulaong bus terminal to board an airconditioned Yellow Bus to Koronadal City (formerly known as Marbel). Fare is Php 75/person.
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Amigotel & Wet Market in General Santos

One of the least expensive lodging options in General Santos City is Amigotel. Located at Cagampang Extension, it provides easy access to public transport and malls.


Room rates are very affordable, while amenities include only bath soap. On our first night, we took the bigger matrimonial room at Php 610/night. The building and fixtures are old but clean.
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bumming at Gumasa Beach in Sarangani

Right after dropping our luggage in Amigotel at General Santos City last month, we asked a tricycle to drop us at the van terminal beside KCC Mall, to get a ride to Glan, Sarangani. We like to see their white sand beach in barangay Gumasa, where resorts dot the coastline.


Past 8:00 am when we arrived at the van terminal, and waited for at least 30 minutes for our van to get full with passengers. 
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Monday, October 8, 2012

Orient Buko Pie of Los Banos, Laguna

Orient Buko Pie in Los Banos, Laguna is the number one buko (coconut) pie for me. It has the right sweetness to it, and full of coconut meat, unlike other brands with lots of flour and extenders. Even after 2 days, the pie does not dry out, and still delicious. 


Price as of last month on their store is at Php 150/whole pie. Usually there is a long queue on their store along the national road, but its worth it. I bought 2 pies one Saturday afternoon, and they are all finished at home before Sunday lunch time.

See my previous personal ratings of buko pie brands here.

Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Getting Fishy in GenSan's Tuna Fish Port

During our second day at General Santos City last month, I made sure to include a visit to their fish port, to see their booming tuna industry. This 32-hectare complex contains ice-making plant, various freezers, water pumps, market centers, bank, even a small food court with barber shop for workers.


From Amigotel, I boarded a trike from the market across, for less than 30 minutes of travel. Fare is Php 20/person at a trike that could fit 6 passengers, like a can of sardines. I was seated with 5 fishport workers who are already wearing white rubber boots. The guards at the fishport complex asks for an identification card of visitors, who won't be allowed to enter if they are wearing sandals or short pants.

Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Opposing RA # 10175, the Cybercrime Law

Tomorrow may be the end of absolute internet freedom in the Philippines, specifically the freedom to express one's opinions, whether through blogs, forum sites, social networks, etc. This is because RA # 10175, otherwise known as Cybercrime Prevention Act, takes into effect on 03 October 2012.


I was trying to get a soft copy of this new law, and found one here. From what I've read from the web, these are the highlights of the law as follows:

Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Balicasag & Virgin Islands in Bohol

I missed Balicasag island on my last year's trip in Bohol. So this time, I made sure to see it, which part of our group did on our last day in Bohol. Paul Incon provided us with a car for a half day tour of Ballicasag, including a brief stop at Hinagdanan Cave, for Php 1,200 from Tagbilaran.


We arrived in Alona Beach by 6:00 am, to board a motor boat that will take us to Balicasag island below for Php 1,500 rental. After about an hour at the sea, we never saw any dolphin, so we just docked at the island and transferred to paddle boats at Php 150 charge per person. The paddle boats are supposed to take us to the crowded snorkeling area, which are accessible by a 5-minute walk from the beach anyway. 
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Revisiting Bohol 2012 with HRCCAP

My first visit in Bohol last year has been a very enjoyable experience here. So when an opportunity to see it again this year came up, I made sure that my colleagues in HRCCAP won't miss what Bohol has to offer.


We arrived on a Sunday afternoon, dropped our bags to Vest Pension House, then proceeded to Punta Cruz Watchtower in Maribojoc. There were more tourists in the area that time, but the views are equally nice. 
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Amazing Solo Hike to Mt. Balagbag in Rizal

Last Saturday when a coworker invited us to his advance birthday celebration in San Mateo, Rizal, I decided to climb Mt. Balagbag as well to maximize my trip from Laguna. My initial plan was to be at the jump off point in Sitio Karahume by 11:00 am, and do the 2-3 hours ascent via waterfalls trail. However, I need to attend on some family matters earlier that day, so I was only able to leave Binan by 11:30 am.


Arriving at Alphaland Mall in Magallanes by 12:10 pm, I took my lunch there and bought a sandwich for mountain snack. Afterwards, I boarded the MRT train, alighted in Santolan station, then rode a Fairview Tungko-bound bus by 1:10 pm. Bus fare to Tungko is Php 55/person.

Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Thursday, September 13, 2012

BPI-Chowking Promo, 12 Sept - 15 Nov. 2012

So after the BPI credit cards' promo with Pizza Hut group had ended last 31 August 2012, they tied up now with Chowking for a new promo that runs from 12 September to 15 November 2012. Below is a repost of their email to me:


Greetings from BPI Express Online!

Please be advised of our latest Shop Anywhere Promo"
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hotel Preciosa & Grand Astoria Hotel

During our two nights of stay in Zamboanga City, we also stayed in 2 different places. This is the only trip where I did not reserved our accommodation, thinking that our arrival date is off peak period anyway, but I was wrong. From our 6:00 am arrival in Zamboanga airport, we asked the tricycle driver to take us to Hermosa Hotel, one of the inexpensive hotels in the downtown.


Upon arrival, I was surprised that they are full, and would not allow me to temporarily store our luggages. Besides, my youngest son is uncomfortable on their dark gloomy lobby, so we tried the adjacent Grand Astoria Hotel. Unfortunately, the better-looking and more expensive Grand Astoria also was running at full occupancy, yet they allowed us to temporarily store our luggage on their place.
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Oops! ..I Did It Again - Sen. Tito Sotto Spears

Last 13 August 2012, the Phil. Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente "Tito" Sotto III delivered a speech against the Reproductive Health Bill, blaming a brand of oral contraceptive (Diane) that eventually killed their 5-month old son in 1975. But according to the drug manufacturer Bayer, they introduced the Diane pill in the market on 1978, and only in 1985 was it released in Asia. So did Sen. Tito Sotto used his son's death for political mileage?


Two days later, his speech was criticized for plagiarism, for copying and pasting parts of his speech from 5 sources. The most notable plagiarized part came from Sarah Pope's "The Healthy Home Economist", which he denied at first, but his chief of staff Hector Villacorta later admitted on copying-pasting parts of the blogger's post. 
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Friday, August 31, 2012

Food Trip in Zamboanga City

Our first food experience in Zamboanga City was at the eateries beside the Puericulture Center. It was a breakfast of balbacua, a soup dish with ox tail and skin. Sold at Php 40-50 per portion in the carinderia ambiance, it fits the appetite of diners on a budget.


Lunch on first day was along the beach of Sta. Cruz island. It was a different kind of crab, smaller and with less meat than any common crab. The lady vendor cooked about 8 pcs for us with steamed rice and vinegar dip, for a total bill of only Php 150.
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Captivated by Merloquet Falls of Zamboanga

For me, the best natural attraction of Zamboanga City is their magnificent Merloquet Falls, found in Sitio Merloquet, Barangay Sibulao, northeast of the city proper. I don't think that our travel to Zamboanga City would be complete, if we failed to see this awesome waterfalls, carved by nature over thousands of years.


Since renting a car going to the falls would be too expensive, we utilized the public transportation to visit this natural wonder. From our hotel, a tricycle took the 4 of us to the Guiwan bus terminal, where we had a quick breakfast and bought Twins fried chicken for our lunch meal. The air conditioned Rural Bus left the terminal when it was full of passengers. Fare is Php 125 per adult person.

Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Walking Tour of Zamboanga's Downtown

Zamboanga City is a nice quiet place with century-old structures and culture well-preserved, despite the advent of modernism. They have many parks which thankfully continue to maintain their presence, unlike in Manila where parks are being displaced by giant malls.


From our hotel along Mayor Climaco St., we just walked to the modern Metropolitan Cathedral to hear mass. It has three levels, where the second level is the venue for regular mass, and accessible by 3 flight of stairs on two sides. A large cross is visible on its facade, to show that the city is dominated by Christians.

Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Pasonanca Park & Jardin de Maria Lobregat

On the afternoon of our last day in Zamboanga City, we checked the Pasonanca Park and Jardin de Maria Lobregat, on the hilly northern portion of the main city. We flagged a tricycle from the hotel, which asked for Php 80 as fare to Pasonanca Park.


The area is covered by lots of acacia and other trees, which makes the temperature colder, aside from its high altitude. We went first to Camp Jose Atilano, a camping ground of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, and a temporary shelter by DSWD for street children. 
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Yakan Weaving Village in Zamboanga City

Another good place to visit in Zamboanga City is the Yakan Weaving Village in Calarian, northwest of downtown. From the city's public market, we rode an Upper Calarian-bound jeepney in Volderosa St., which fills up passengers before leaving. Jeepney fare is either P10 or P12, for about 15-minute ride. Ask the driver first if he's passing Gate 2, because the other Upper Calarian route that enters Gate 1 would not pass the weaving village.


The place is easy to miss, as it only has a small tarpaulin signage in an ordinary-looking neighborhood. In fact, the jeepney driver forgot to drop us to the place. I just told the driver to stop when I noticed the small signage of the weaving village, since we were seated beside the driver at the front seat.

Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Around Paseo Del Mar in Zamboanga City

After recharging our tired bodies from enjoying the beach of Sta. Cruz island in the morning, we spent the remaining part of our first day at Paseo del Mar. There were a lot of people when we arrived, as it was the launching day of Vinta Sailing, a new tourism initiative by the local DOT office and city government. We saw local press people covering the event, doing interviews to the guests, including Mayor Lobregat.


This is where we met Ms. Ludy of the Dept. of Tourism, who helped us visit the Merloquet Falls the following day. Like with all the people that day, she invited us to ride the vintas for free, but my kids do not want to get wet again from sea waves.
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sta. Cruz Pink Island of Zamboanga City

Mindanao island group in the Philippines has been portrayed in the news as a dangerous place, with kidnappings by Abu Sayyaf group, and some clashes between the government troops and muslim rebel groups. With rich natural resources and tourism potential, its unfortunate that the region has been branded as such, though there are cities in Mindanao which are peaceful and more orderly than Manila.


Zamboanga City in southwest Mindanao is one of the nice cities in the region. Dubbed as the Latin City of Asia, its one of the strongholds of the Spanish colonizers during the 19th century when they built a fort on it. Many of these Spaniards chose to remain in the area despite the revolutions and wars in the history, carving their own micro culture and Chavacano language in the city.
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Old Spaghetti House's Combo Meal

Last Sunday, Wife got a hankering for pasta at Old Spaghetti House. So after our aborted visit to patient confined at Asian Hospital, we proceeded to The Old Spaghetti House in Festival Mall, Alabang.


For an afternoon snack, four of us tried their Celebration Trio priced at Php 800. It consisted of appetizer platter (calamares, fish, and chips), a spaghetti dish (we chose w/ pesto sauce), a pizza (we chose the supreme flavor), and a dessert item. The items were served on a 3-layer metal stand, but I was not able to take a photo.
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bulalo of MerBen Canteen in Tagaytay

After our climb in Mt. Talamitam, we decided to have a late lunch in Tagaytay, despite the quite heavy traffic from Alfonso to Mendez crossing. Having tried more than 10 bulalo specialties in the area, I still like to explore other options, so we stopped at MerBen Canteen after a friend recommended it.


MerBen Canteen is beside Bulalo Point, and has more individual dining huts for privacy. Parking is not a problem, with a blue guard assisting their customers on their open space at the right side. Its signage has a large "Tapsilog" written on it, but I haven't seen other customers ordering it. Perhaps their tapsilog is more popular in early mornings, while bulalo is their bestseller on lunch onwards.
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Fun Climb to Mt. Talamitam in Batangas

The other Sunday morning, I took my 2 sons and a nephew with me for a fun day hike to Mt. Talamitam in Nasugbu, Batangas. Its about 10 km. farther than Evercrest Golf Club, the jump off point to its neighboring Mt. Batulao. Pinoy Mountaineer has the following description of Mt. Talamitam:

MT. TALAMITAM
Nasugbu, Batangas
Jump-off point: Sitio Bayabasan, Brgy. Aga, Nasugbu (KM. 83)
LLA: 14.1158° N; 120.7577° N; 630 MASL
Days required/ Hours to summit: 1 day / 1.5-2.2 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 3/9, Trail class 1-3 with steep assault (100m)



The jump off point in Sitio Bayabasan is at the road on the right side after the Km. 83 sign post, immediately after a grade school. We parked outside the compound of Mr. Nick Wicangco, who is working on restoration of japanese soldiers' statues of Fort Santiago. 

Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Where to Shop for Cheaper Prices in Manila

Frugal or expense-conscious people are always on the lookout for "bagsakan" or cheaper sources of products. Buying from the source is usually cheaper, like if you buy from farmers or fishermen in case of fresh produce. For consumer goods, factory outlets are popular among buyers, like the Citygate mall in Hong Kong.


In Metro Manila and neighboring provinces, there are places known and becoming popular bargain havens. From my professional and personal buying experiences, I compiled below a list of such places per product category. Prices become a lot cheaper when buying in bulk, and when you've canvassed first before haggling for lowest or last price.
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Different Tag Price vs. Bar Code Price

Last Sunday, I bought products from two stores that has different bar code prices against their respective tag/shelf prices. On the two cases below, I cannot allow myself to be cheated or taken advantage by a merchant, so I exercised my rights as a consumer by contesting their higher bar code prices. Why is it that if there is a discrepancy or system error, it usually works to the merchant's favor?


It started that morning in Handyman's Store at Waltermart Carmona, as I looked for a waterproofing compound for our roof, which is undergoing repair. The 4-liter waterproofing product I chose has a tag price of Php 1,645 per pail, but their bar code scan displayed a Php 1,730 price on the checkout counter. The cashier told me that the price had increased, and asked me to pay Php 1,730. 
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Old Church of Basey in Samar

The town of Basey in Samar is known for its caves and rock formations in the Sohoton National Park. On the same park is the Panhulugan Cave, an ambush site during the Filipino-American War, when the Filipino guerillas were chased by the Americans after the Balangiga massacre. The Guinness Book of World Records recognize the Basey town for creating the longest "banig" or woven mat.


The above St. Michael Archangel Church of Basey adds to the colorful history of the town. Built by the Jesuit priests on the late 17th century, it is one of the most beautifully preserved church in Samar. It was transferred to the care of Augustinians in 1768, then to Franciscans in 1795. It served as meeting room and theater during the Japanese occupation, then a relocation site during the American liberation.
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Sohoton Park Caves & Natural Bridge in Basey

On our 3rd day in Eastern Visayas, we went to the town of Basey in Samar, to see the caves and natural bridge of Sohoton National Park. This amazing 840-hectare park contains many caves, rock formations, underground rivers, as well as rockholes or sinkholes.


From the new bus terminal of Tacloban City, we rode a Basey-bound jeepney with fare of Php 25 per person. After crossing the beautiful San Juanico bridge, the vehicle stopped on Samar side to load farm goods on its roof. In 45 minutes since leaving Tacloban, the jeepney dropped us at the Basey Tourism Office near the public market and wharf.

Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Salcedo's Locsoon Cave and Jagnaya Beach

At the quiet town of Salcedo in Eastern Samar, they have a well-kept secret, that even the residents of nearby towns (including our tricycle driver), doesn't know about it. I guess this post will be one of the very few accounts of this relatively unknown place on the world wide web.


The secret I'm referring to is the natural saltwater pool along Jagnaya beach that extends inside Locsoon cave. On low tide like during our visit, it is more beautiful, as the clear water is more defined along the submerged rock's edges. 

Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Guiuan's Church and Airport, Eastern Samar

The town of Guiuan in Eastern Samar is an off the beaten travel path. Except for surfers who know its Calicoan Island as a prime surfing destination, its not on the usual tourism radar, even for Filipino travellers. But when I searched about the things we can do in Samar, it yielded a must-visit plan to Guiuan, the easternmost town in Visayas group of islands.


Due to its location, the town serves as the "doormat" for typhoons, as it sits directly on the western edge of the Pacific Ocean. As expected, PAG-ASA has a monitoring station in Guiuan to track typhoons. During the rainy season, the ocean sends huge waves to the town, to the delight of surfers in Calicoan Island. 

Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Traversing the iconic San Juanico Bridge

San Juanico Bridge is the country's famous 2.16 km bridge that connects the island provinces of Samar and Leyte, over the San Juanico strait. Its "L" and "S" shapes makes it more impressive than the longer yet straight Candaba Viaduct, a land bridge in NLEX where itlog (egg) becomes ebun (bird  in Tagalog), when crossed from Bulacan to Pampanga.


Built from 1969 to 1973, this beautiful bridge was touted to be the late dictator President Marcos' gift to her wife Imelda, who hails from Leyte. These are photos taken from a moving jeepney, on our way from Tacloban to Basey, Samar.
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Binagol and Moron of Tacloban

Visitors in Tacloban should not miss their famous delicacies -- binagol and moron. I was lucky to chance upon these 2 Visayan delicacies in Aida's store along Zamora street, near the Jollibee restaurant. The shop owner said his goods come from Abucay daily, but came in late that morning, so they are still very warm. 


The binagol above is a sweetened gabi (taro) cooked with sugar, coconut and condensed milks in a coconut shell, then wrapped with banana leaves. Its a sugar overdose, so diabetics must watch their intake. Here's a closer look of an opened binagol, where the ingredient mixture have caramelized:
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A DIY Tour of Tacloban and Palo in Leyte

The other Friday, I brought my two sons and Mrs. Noelizm in Tacloban to see the sights in Leyte and Samar. Upon arriving at Tacloban Airport, we just rode the San Jose-Tacloban jeepney at Php 13/person fare, instead of taking the expensive taxicab or vans to the downtown.


We arrived at Welcome Home Pensione by 11:00 am to drop our bags. Luckily, our reserved room is unoccupied, so we were allowed to check-in early for Php 800/night with 2 double beds. The room is basic yet clean. Only bath soap and bathroom tissue are provided as room supplies. Wifi is available at the garden area.
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pitaya or Dragon Fruit

Have you ever wondered how dragon fruit is grown? Here are some photos taken from the cluster of dragon fruit plant, grown by my mother-in-law on her front yard.


The fruit comes from a fruit-bearing cactus species, known as pitaya in South America, its native source. Like most fruits, the dragon fruit start from a flower bud. See the upper right side portion of the photo below.
Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Useless Online Customer Service

Have you experienced clicking on a website's pages, only to encounter an error or a link that doesn't work? Or how about sending an inquiry through a website or an email, but you did not received any response? Well, I've experienced them many times.


My recent similar experience is with Gohotels.ph. Six weeks ago, I was trying to get their room rates in Tacloban by doing mock booking. However, their website's new window link freezes when I tried doing that, so I sent an inquiry through their message form under the "Contact Us" link. 

Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Climbing the Tarak Ridge of Mt. Mariveles

The other Friday, I took a leave from work just to join the two couples in the AKAC Group, for an overnight camping at Tarak Ridge of Mt. Mariveles in Bataan. We boarded Bataan Transit in Cubao, which dropped us to Bgy. Alas-asin of Mariveles. Bus fare is Php 267 each, and registration fee at barangay office is Php 40/climber.


Early lunch at a roadside carinderia costs only Php 55 for a dinuguan & rice meal. After loading up some supplies and wearing our climbing gears, we started our hike by 10:45 am over cemented road. A few minutes later, we were walking into a dirt road, while the scorching sunlight started to deplete our energies. 

Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

CJ Corona's Impeachment Trial in Funny Pics

Now that the Philippine Senate have bestowed a "Guilty" verdict to the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, the nation can hopefully focus on other things, like the standoff with China, etc. The senate can also do their prime duty, which is to legislate or enact laws.


People have many opinions on this impeachment trial. For me I think he's guilty, and should have just quit his job to avoid battle scars, like what the former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez did. Well, this blog post would not touch on those serious matters or arguments about the merits of the trial. This is just to show the lighter side of it, for a change, hehe.

Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Conquering the Roof of Luzon: Mt. Pulag

After a difficult traverse of Mt. Timbak via Atok-Kabayan trails here, we took a brief respite at Kabayan Central, where we've had breakfast meal at a local restaurant being run by Chinese owners. They allowed me to charge my mobile phone there for about 30 minutes, at Php 5 fee.


For lunch meal, we bought sauteed pancit (noodles), plus loafbreads and bananas. Gatorade and bottled water there are understandably expensive, making me shell out Php 120. We need to replenish our supplies and our tummies, for the very challenging trek ahead of us to Mt. Pulag, ascending via the Akiki trail. Pinoy Mountaineer has the following technical description of this trail:

MT. PULAG (TRAIL)
Kabayan, Benguet
Major jump-off: Brgy. Doacan, Kabayan (Akiki)
LLA: 16°34'58"N 120°53'15"E, 2922 MASL
Hours to summit / Days required: 10-11 hours / 2-4 days
Specs: Major Climb, Difficulty 7/9, Trail class 3

Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon DiggIt! Del.icio.us Yahoo Technorati Google Twitter FaceBook