The Merlion

Singapore---Tourists are everywhere.

Mall of Asia's Eye Wheel

Las Pinas--- The "Eye wheel" is the tallest and largest ferris wheel in the country.

Concert at the Park

Manila---Mix presentations from dance, theater, and musical performances can be seen at the historical urban park

Sand bar

Marinduque---The place is called Palad because the sand bares during regular low tide, located in Maniwaya.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Gastronomy at World Food Expo 2013

World Food Expo (WOFEX) is the Philippines most anticipated show in the beverage and food industry.

In this year’s event, WOFEX marketplace got bigger as they took two venues for their exhibitors and culinary competition. It was held from July 31 to August 3, 2013 at World Trade Center and SMX Convention Center.

WOFEX is also the home of the 2013 PHILIPPINE CULINARY CUP, the most prestigious culinary competition in the country.

Here are some of the photos of delicious desserts snapped from the event.

Award-winning pastry showpiece made by Makati-Shangri-la (JR Mañas and Brian Dimayuga)

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Laoag City

1. Museo Ilocos Norte 
The museum is a learning place of Ilocos traditions and culture. The museum is situated in Laoag city.
Museo Ilocos Norte

2. Sinking Bell Tower 

There is no explanation needed why this structure is called the sinking bell tower. The Bantay bell tower is loacated in Laoag and just near from St. William Cathedral.

The bell tower sank because of its heavy foundation composed of pure sand and bricks. The heavy and tall structure is believed to be sinking for about one-inch annually. The front door of the bell tower sank half way from its original height.

Sinking Bell Tower
3. St. William Cathedral 
Few steps away from the sinking bell tower is the St. William Cathedral which is built in the 17th century. It was named after the city’s patron saint. The church has undergone to series of repairs in because of calamities that struck the city.

Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon 

Blue Lagoon is known for its white and fine sand beach. It’s dubbed as “Boracay of the North.” It has a long shoreline. There are many transient houses and hotels around the area. During peak season the cost of room is doubled. So it is better to enjoy the place during off peak.

Bantay-Abot Cave

Bantay Abot Cave
Bantay Abot Cave 

It is a huge hill with a hole. It is situated along the rocky part of the beach.

Timmangtang Rock

Timmangtang Rock

Timmangtang Rock 

Timmangtang rock is just a few meters away from the Bantay-Abot cave. It was funny because at first we didn’t appreciate its sight but our guide said the rock is known because of its odd location. The rock looks dragged from the other huge rocks or being moved away.

Paraiso ni Anton

Paraiso ni Anton

Paraiso ni Anton is just a few meters away from the Agua Grande river. It was surrounded and shaded by trees. The abandoned mansion across the stream with a grotto made the place a kind of creepy.

The stream in the place was believed to have healing powers that’s why many visitors fill their bottles with the water from the stream.

Agua Grande

Agua Grande

Agua Grande is a river park located near patapat viaduct. To our surprise, Agua Grande has strong current which makes it a mini-hydro electric plant which produces electricity to the residents of pagudpud. This project was initiated by the Late President Ferdinand Marcos.

Patapat Viaduct

Patapat Viaduct

Patapat viaduct is the 5th longest bridge in the Philippines with the length of 1.3 kms. It's a snakey bridge that connects Laoag, Ilocos to Cagayan valley starigh to Cordillera region. It was constructed in 1986 by the Late President Ferdinand Marcos. It was build to prevent to solve the problem of landslide that causes vehicular accidents in the area.

Kabigan falls

Kabigan falls

Kabigan falls is the first stop we made upon reaching the North of Pagudpud. The falls is a 30-minute walk from the registration site.

The trail is easy that it’s just like a walk in the park. We passed through rice fields, trees and stream. Unbelievably the stream was so clear.

The stream going to the falls was knee-length and the current was really hard that i think it can take me away.

Kabigan falls was derived from the Tagalog word “kaibigan” (friend) which signifies the connection of the falls to the river and stream.

Bangui Windmills

Bangui windmills

Another must-see when you visit pagudpud, Ilocos Norte is the giant wind turbines which are facing the West Philippine Sea.

These windmills are used to produce electricity from the wind. A total of 20 wind turbines were constructed and according to our tour guide, their local government was also planning to construct windmills on top of the mountains to see if they can generate more electricity.

The windmill project is a brilliant product of late President Ferdinand Marcos when he was still a Governor in Ilocos. The creation of this windmill was a solution to power shortage in ilocos during his time.

Cape Bojeador lighthouse

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse

The lighthouse is also known as Burgos lighthouse. It is a heritage structure build during the Spanish colonial period in 1982. The lighthouse is facing the South China sea.

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

This rock formation is one of the most visited spots in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. Your Ilocos trip would be not complete if you haven’t seen this nature’s art rock formation.
Kapurpurawan was also known as the white rock formation derived from Ilokano word “pura” which means white.

It is very evident that the rock formation was mostly white. It is like stepping on an iceberg because of its whiteness. Maybe it took thousand of years before the huge white rock was formed. Kapurpurawan rock formation was sculptured by nature’s changing weather through wind and currents from the sea.

Sad to say that according to our tour guide, the rock formation slowly disintegrates as time passes by. According to him, it was reduced to 50% from its original size. And we think, it is because that tourists and visitors are allowed to step on the rock formation which is mostly made by sand which is hardened by time. So i felt a little guilt stepping on the rock formation as my slippers scrape its floor.

Things to consider in Traveling to Ilocos

Our itinerary trip was adapted from the blogs I stumbled across while doing my research for this trip.

As a first-time traveler in Ilocos, of course, I needed a little help from travel blogs. This gave me an idea to travel Ilocos from north to south so it will lessen our traveling time returning to Manila.

Things to consider if traveling to Ilocos:

1.       Planning this trip requires a lot of research because it was our first time to visit Ilocos region. Aside from that, I’ve seen online that there are many scenic places to visit in this region that’s why there should be a list of places not to be missed in visiting Ilocos. Your research should include the places you’d like to visit.

2.       Make an itinerary after listing down the places you would visit. Itinerary is important because you don’t want to miss something on your list. Of course, you can know these places from your tour guide but is better if you’d make you own research of the places you’ll be visiting.

Make sure that you have enough time to see the places on your list. Ilocos trip is best for three days and two nights. However, I adjusted our itinerary for two days and a night.  

3.       Another thing we have considered is the budget. Make a specific budget list—from transportation and food expense to accomodation and tour rates. My Ilocos buddy kept on asking me how much money we should allot. That’s why I also have to research the expenses and at the same time contact people in ilocos for the accomodation and tour rates.

Rates are expected to increase triple on peak season. Unfortunately, we haven’t booked our flight to Ilocos ahead of time because this trip was decided three weeks before the actual date.

4.       Plan ahead and book your flight months before the actual date of your trip. Also, watch out for airline promos because this can give you cheap thrills.

Since I don’t want to spend for a pricey flight, I preferred to take a bus going to Ilocos, besides, I think we can endure long hours of travel.

Don’t forget to allocate for contingency just in case you overspend. But please, stick to your budget plan.

5.       Search through internet an affordable place you can stay. I already expected that hotels and transient houses in Ilocos are fully booked because this trip was scheduled on a Holy week. I contacted more than ten hotels and transient houses until a tour guide that I texted (his number was posted in numerous blog) helped us in finding a stay-in house for a night. I also inquired him about the rates he could offer as our tour guide. He was so kind and helpful.

6.       Bring more foods and water for the 10-hour trip. Don’t worry about taking a pee because there are buses with toilets. Also, the bus going to ilocos has stop-overs where you can de-load and buy foods.

Also, bring more foods if you’re planning to stay near the blue lagoon area in ilocos norte because foods there a bit pricey. You don’t want to either get yourself hungry or tear your pockets out.

7.       Bring sunscreen, first aid kits, and other necessary things in your trip. Don’t forget your camera!

Ilocos Norte and Sur Trip Itinerary

Below is our do-it yourself itinerary trip to Ilocos Norte and Sur. This was adapted from the blogs I stumbled across while doing my research for this trip. 

Day 1 (Pagudpud) 
Pagudpud South: 

1. Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, Burgos Ilocos Norte 
2. Cape Bojeador in Burgos, Ilocos Norte 
3. Bangui Windmills, Bangui, Ilocos Norte 

Pagudpud North: 

4. Kabigan Falls 

5. Patapat Viaduct 

6. Agua Grande 
7. Paraiso ni Adan 
8. Timmangtang Rock 
9. Bantay Abot Cave 
10. Blue Lagoon 

Day 2 (Laoag, Paoay, Batac, and Vigan) 

Laoag City: 

11. Museo Ilocos Norte 
12.Sinking Bell Tower 
13. St. William Cathedral 

14. Paoay Church 
15. Sand Dunes 
16. Malacañang of the North 
17. Paoay Lake 

18. Marcos Museum 
19. Marcos Mausoleum 

21. Calle Crisologo 
22. Plaza Burgos 

Contact Persons:
Homestay (near Blue Lagoon) and tour guide: Kuya Rolan Villaluz (0927-559-0818) 
Laoag-Paoay-Batac tour guide: Kuya Jimmy (0910-7906205)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Filling Bar Station in Makati

Filling Bar Station is a 24-hr bar cafe situated in P. Burgos st., Makati City. It can be your usual breakfast place in the morning or it can be your chill out bar at night. 


Wine and drinks will welcome you upon entering the place.


The bar cafe is located at the second floor of the building so you really can't miss the classic movie posters and artifacts on the walls because it's everywhere.


The bar cafe is known for its American diner 50s theme.

The place is full of classic movie posters, vinyls hanging from the ceiling and other kitschy items. 
It's odd to see bikes hanging from the ceiling.
And a motorbike inside a bar
Jessi and I
There's a billiard pool for the customers.

I bet this place would look like child-friendly in daytime with all those life-sized statues of Elvis, Superman, Wonderwoman, Batman, Superman and other fellas (minus the yellowish light :P)
Nostalgic for a 90s kid.

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