Saturday, March 8, 2014

Bacolod: The sweet weekend escape

Ay namiss ko bigla mag blog. hihih! Gusto ko sana ichicka ay kung pano ako naadik ngayon sa candy crush kung kelan flappy bird era na. Kung pano din kiligin ang mga boss ko sa best ever ending daw kaya iunblock ko daw ang streaming sa opisina. At ang nag inspire sa kin magsulat muli... yung chismis ng officemate ko na galing sa burol. Bawal daw kausapin ang nabyuda pagkalibing kung hindi sila ang susunod. Kung ako ang nabyuda, ichika ko ang nagsabi nun ever. Hindi ko sila tatantanan hangga't walang nangyayari sa kanila. hmp! Hindi ko magets.. parang yung galit lang ng tatay ko kay Daniel Padilla. Papatayin bigla ang TV pag G2B na. Maghain na daw. Hindi ko alam kung gutom lang talaga siya or yummy lang si Daniel. lol!

Namiss ko tong ganito. Yung inuuna pa ang blog kesa trabaho. hahahah! O sha... ishare ko na ang lahat ng kamalasan ko sa Bacolod. Nabuo ang ideang to dahil lang sa inggit nung nag seat sale si Air Asia. All of my officemates booked to different destinations. So we thought, why can't it be? Why can't it be the two of us?♫ lol! At dahil nagkakaubusan na ng Mandatory Leave, bakit hindi gawing weekend ang lakwatsa. Amazing race! Sh*t! Kating kati akong i-status ang "Weekend in Bacolod :)" sa FB. hahah!


It's actually my first time to see Bacolod Silay airport.The last time I went there, it was via Iloilo. (I did not kiss the floor don't worry.)  First stop, Manukan Country for the taste of authentic Chicken Inasal. It was also the first time for me to try it. I have no idea where is the best restaurant to stop by. Good thing we chose the one with a lot of people. Taste was good. Unfortunately I forgot the name since this post is long overdue. hahah! Forgive me.



Now this is authentic!
If there is one place I would never get tired of going back, it's The Ruins. I always brag it to Aymee. "Ruins lang solb ka na." Before heading there, we dropped by Felicia's which has a branch in Robinsons Bacolod, which is luckily beside our hotel. We bought a few cakes Mr. Angel Juarez suggested (great fan by the way. hihihi!)

Aymee and the candy crush like cakes. Sweet!
Since it's only 1pm then, we decided to drop our bags to Go Hotel first. Let me tour you inside.


Comfy beds and cool foldable desk space

"♫May bilog may bilog na hugis itlog♫"

Mirror mirror..
We ate our cakes, changed our outfits for the next location and waited for the 3PM call time. Charotina Aguilera! hahah! The Ruins is at its best during sunset. This time, I made sure to arrive there ahead of time. Exciting.

My fave chocolate cake, strawberry shortcake and dulce de leche. Great choices!
Upon arriving at the tricycle terminal, one big banner with "CLOSED at 4PM" boldly written on it was hanging on the first tricycle on the line. We arrived at 4:05. Unfortunately, it was closed for wedding reception venue. We were like "why-the-hell-did-they-married-that-day!" I asked the driver how long are they going to close it. They replied, until tomorrow morning. Did I mention our flight is 1pm the next day? Great isn't it?

Ok. So I went back to Bacolod only to miss the sunset in Ruins (Oh eh at least consistent! hay naku talaga.) We decided to move on to our next stop, Balay Negrense in Silay. So we headed back to where the airport is. It was getting dark when we arrived in Silay. We asked around where the old house is. Being friendly and all, the locals are very accommodating.. but not until we reach it. Again, for the second time, it was already closed and the care taker did not let us in. I was almost losing faith that this trip will work out as planned... oh wait.. did we really planned on this?! hahah!  

Behind bars :(

Since we're already hungy, we found ourselves heading to El Ideal. I've heard so much about it and I'm glad I found it in the verge of giving up. Chos! We ordered a comfort food - batchoy. (I love saying it.. BATCHOY! bwahahaha!) Sayang di ako naka bili ng guapple pie. Simut sarap na rin kasi ang bulsa ko.

Not quite a view but it tastes so good


We went back to the City and dropped by Calea, where the famous moist cakes are. Great portion of my budget was allotted here.. and I tell you it's worth it.


There we made a plan of going back to The Ruins early morning. Aja!


And so we did.. ^_^


Ang lakas maka Let it Go nito. hahah!

dead fountain
♫ Don’t let them in, don’t let them see, Be the good girl you always have to be, Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know, Well, now they know♫



♫Let it Go! Let it Go!♫ 

Someone saw us having our picture taken beside the dead fountain so he turned it on (and someone got turned on as well). Yeeekeeeehh! hahah! I saw his picture on the walls of the ruins. If I'm not mistaken, he's one of the grandson of the owners.

pa-girl din pag may time. tabatina!




Meet the funny inhouse guide Roger
Even if it wasn't my first time to listen to him, I had a great laugh just as before. hahah!

We were still lucky enough to cover this much in a span of one whole day (arrived at 11am Saturday, then left at 1pm Sunday.)  Parang namili lang sa Divisoria at umuwi. hihhhi!

Sayang ang experience kung hindi ib-blog.. krek? (sayang din ang makapanindig-balahibong mini-skirt kung hindi ipopost) bwahahah!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Surf's Up: Baler Edition

 
(naks! parang ang dami lang napuntahan.)
 
I availed a scheduled leave last April 6-9, 2013 but I failed to book a flight prior to that date so wala akong lakad kung nagkataon. Chaka naman na apat na araw akong walang pasok tapos sa bahay lang?! Purica Paralejo?!? Yoko nga. So I decided to just go to Baler with my whole family since I've never been to that place. Zac is turning two but we never got the chance to test drive it that far. So I thought... this is the moment in time. Let's make it shine. 
 

Clean Sabang Beach

We embarked on our journey early morning since we are expected to arrive in Baler at 12:00 noon. We left our house in Rizal at around 6am in the morning.

Source: http://www.aurora.gov.ph/about-aurora/getting-there/
Ang liit lang diba? hahah! May pa gif gif pa e no.

We took that purple road. Longer but smoother equals shorter time. But if you aren't good enough to read maps like me, here's the very wordy yet helpful tips:

Via Private transport
1.    Go to Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija via the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) or Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX). You can reach Cabanatuan via NLEX-Bulacan-Gapan route or NLEX-SCTEX-Tarlac-Sta. Rosa Route. The latter route would be longer but takes a shorter time.
  • NLEX-Bulacan-NE route. Go to NLEX. Take the Sta. Rita exit. Take the road passing through Plaridel, Baliuag, San Ildefonso, San Miguel, Gapan NE, Sta. Rosa to Cabanatuan. 
  • NLEX-SCTEX-Tarlac-Sta.Rosa route. NLEX up to Clark Logistics Interchange. Enter SCTEX going to Tarlac. Exit at Amucao, Tarlac (End of SCTEX). Turn right to La Paz up to Sta. Rosa, NE. Turn left going to Cabanatuan.
2.    From Cabanatuan City, there are two routes going to Baler, The Baler Bongabong-Road and the Canili-Pantabangan Road. We recommend taking the Canili-Pantabangan road because the roads are better even though the route is longer. The Baler-Bongabon road is for the more adventurous kind and will take you to winding rough roads across the Sierra Madre.
  • Canili-Pantabangan Route. From Cabanatuan take the Maharlika Highway going to Talavera, Nueva Ecija. Turn right to the road going to Rizal, Nueva Ecija then Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija. The road will take you to Canili, Maria Aurora, Aurora. The road will pass through the Sierra Madre until you reach the Poblacion of Maria Aurora. From Maria, Aurora you can then go straight to Baler.  
  • Baler-Bongabon Route. From Cabanataun take the Maharlika Hiway and turn right to the Nueva Ecija – Aurora Road (landmark: crossing with Shell Gas Station and NE Restaurant). The road will pass through Palayan City and Bongabon, Nueva Ecija. From Bongabon turn right to the road going to the Sierra Madre mountains. After two or three hours of winding road you will reach the municipality of San Luis and then Baler. 

Via Public Transport

1.    Ride a Genesis bus with daily trips to Baler. Genesis transport terminal is located at #33 Edsa  corner New Yor St., Cubao, Quezon City. The earliest Genesis trip to Baler is 1:00 am in the morning. Fare is less than 400 pesos.

2.    Ride any Cabanatuan bound bus. Recommended buses are Genesis, 5 Star, ES and Baliwag (fare: less than 200 pesos). At the Cabantuan Central Transport terminal, you can ride buses (Genesis, D’ Liner, etc.) or vans going to Baler (fare 200 or below). Trips going to Baler are only up to 5:00 or 6:00 pm.

Source: www.batangbaler.net

The zigzag road is unbelievable. Feeling Baguio lang. I felt like throwing up after several hours. We passed by Nueva Ecija, the Rice Granary of the Philippines (kumu-kuya kim?! lol!). It was my first time to see those huge rice fields. Gusto ko sumakay sa kuliglig. hihih! Promding Promdi kasi ang peg. Retired na ata ang mga kalabaw. I was lucky enough to try the old version during my childhood.



Noon

Ngayon
You won't get bored on the long drive. Some sceneries are comparable to Baguio or Tagaytay believe it or not. I saw a lot of pine trees. Yey! Though we did not try opening our windows to see if the weather's cold too. Sayang!




Pantabangan Dam
I already have contacts to Baler beforehand since I have read a lot of blogs about it. I was planning to try  Gonzales homestay but there are conflicts with my family's schedule so I did not pursue it. Basta. Mr. Edwin Gonzales passed us on to his cousin, Sherwin. I was very excited since I already read a lot of great reviews of this guy as an artist. He's famous I supposed since most of his artworks are displayed in Museo de baler. The house is not located at the beach front. You can reach Sabang beach via tricycle for I think 7-10 minutes.

Here are some of my pics of the house:





The place is ok and decent since we can cook our own food; it has 2 bedrooms and bathrooms; we owned it by ourselves. I was just disappointed at some point. The water stinks bigtime. I'd rather soak myself in sea water rather than using it. My mother already told the owner that we really couldn't bear the smell. He got an excuse that it is due to the earthquake few days before we arrived. Thought he was spared by that reason but no. My younger brother and I transferred to his classmates' family owned business - Carlito's Inn on day 2 but the water was clean and no signs of dirt or anything. Had I known that it would be much better, we could have booked there on our entire stay. I hope he would be able to read this because his place needs some serious renovation. 

Moving on.. (I noticed I'm always on the nagging mode. Not good.) The reason why I went to Baler is only because of one thing. Naku pwede ba wag na tayong magpanggap, surfing lang naman ang nangungunang activity dito no! Dali!

Surfing is one of the sports I've been dying to try. Gusto ko lang malaman kung may sense of balance pa ba ang katawan ko. Isa pa, kulelat na ko sa lahat ng bloggers. Lahat sila nasubukan na yun. hihihi! I was hesitant at first, but after watching a lot of newbies having their own ligwak moments, hindi na ko nagpatumpik tumpik. We chose Mahdox Surf School only because it's the first stall we passed by. hahah! Tamad lang. 

Surfing rate is 350/hour with a trainer (or should I say taga-tulak? ^_^) As a newbie, you really can't get up without their help. I highly recommend it. Believe me since we tried renting just a surf board on second day but none of us was able to stand. They brief us a bit. For those who don't know how to swim like me, you can tell your trainer so he won't position you on the deeper part.

I asked someone before if you can wear life vest while surfing. The answer is no. Shokota Fanning! hahaha!
 
I really can't figure this out
Sinabi ko lang kay kuya na ready na ako.. pero di ko talaga alam kung ano ba dapat ang stance na para sakin. Itutulak ka niya para malaman niya kung ano ang paang unang babagsak. But it's for you to know kung san ka talaga kumportable.  Game!

Since it's 3pm, waves are not in a rush. It's actually perfect for first timers. You'll have more time to contemplate on life, love, happiness, world peace.. charot! Best time to surf for pro and feeling pro is early in the morning and late afternoon. 




We waited for a few more minutes.


then we slept.. hahaha!

Suddenly the trainor shouted "READY!"... I felt the rush. Then he finally yelled "Up!" and then I plunged into the water. hahah! Walang kalaban laban. Minsan, sa kabagalan ko, di pa man nakakatayo, lusaw na ang wave. Badtrip lang. hahah! For 1 hour, I can proudly say I was able to stand only once. Ang yabang ko na nun. hahaha! Tsk!

uy! happy na siya..
 
o ha!

ang yabang
 
San ang marathon teh?

 Semplangs are the best part isn't it? Here we go.. lol!

"huwag ka lang mawawala"
 
"sa bingit.."

"lamon"
 
Hihihi! We had fun fun fun! ^_^ I'll go back to Baler for the love of surfing.

vain alert!
My brother and I stayed for one more day just to surf. Kami ng naadik. Unfortunately we weren't able to visit few of the scenic sites in Baler due to extreme body pain. Alaxan iF-R moments. lol!
 
More of Baler sa aking pagbabalik.. Ciao!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

weh!? di nga?!?!

Ako ba to? Parang hindi naman.. Hindi ko alam kung matutuwa ba ko nung nakita ko to. Naglinis ako ng cabinet sa office 2 weeks ago. Lalamukusin ko na sana to pero naisip kong pwede ko siya iblog, pangpadami din. Second home ko ang Baguio when I was still in school. Kada bakasyon nandun ako. Nakikitira sa mga pinsan ko. I've been to Tamawan several times. Naiinggit ako nun pag may nagpapa-paint ng fez. Kaya sabi ko sa sarili ko papagawa ako nito balang araw. 2008 when my officemates and I went there. E may nag udyok.. nainggit na naman ako. Langya! alam mo yung feeling na pinagtitinginan ka ng mga tao habang nakangiti sa harap ng artist.. tapos sabay maiiba yung ichura nila pag nakita na nila yung finished product?!?! Ang sarap pumatay. Nung nakita ko na.. lalong ang sarap pumatay. Gusto ko ipa ambush si kuya ora mismo. Bakit parang naging kamuka ko si Ara Mina? or si Michelle Branch? bat ganun?!?!


Ayan.. nai-blog ko na. pwede na i-shred. haha! Next week ulit! 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Puerto Princesa: Completing my Palawan Series


Hi there! Kala ko hindi na ko makakapag blog. lol! Muntik ko ng makalimutan password ko sa tagal. Anyway.. eto na ko ulit.

Finally after visiting Coron for the third time, and El nido once (and I booked another ticket for next year), now I took the time to try what Puerto Princesa could offer. I admit. I already set my expectations with this place before I even set foot on it (bias lang?)... that it will not surpass the beauty and magic that the 2 has brought me.. that there would be a lot of people in all of the sites.. that it would never be as quaint as the two.. that I could not call it a vacation at all.. that you would ask me why the hell I visited that place e puro reklamo rin pala ang aatupagin ko dun. hahah!

But I gave it a try. Yun naman ang importante dun diba?

Nagulat ako nang malaman ko kay Mica na may pagkain na palang pinapamigay sa Airphil Express. First time ko na-experience yun that time. PAL na PAL ang peg! May biscuit, mani at kape. 

Bangkay na lang ang kulang..

Anyway, I started searching for cheap lodging house few weeks before my trip and I saw Palawan Village Hotel. P650.00 per night sa fan room with breakfast. It's only a five minute walk from the airport. Kaya hindi na ko nagtaray nung nag offer sila ng free airport pickup tapos hindi naman dumating.

"Ate, ang ingay pala dito no. Di ako makatulog kagabi e." sinabi ko habang nag-aalmusal. Sagot naman ni ate, "Ah mam.. nakalimutan niyo atang malapit tayo sa airport. Eroplano po yun." Ok naman ang serbisyo nila. Narealize ko na ang kwartong de-aircon pala, pag pinilit gawin fan room, pugon. Hindi ko na kinailangan ng moisturizer sa gabi. Moist na moist na ang muka ko sa pawis. Pag nagtitipid, I'm sorry but I will not recommend this place.

Eto siya.. baka sabihin niyo naman e nilalapastangan ko sila. Maayos naman ang room.. at MALAKIII!

 
Kung feel niyong maging elepante at dambahan ang mga kama sa hotel, hindi niyo yan pwedeng gawin dito. Magkaron ng awa sa sarili.




WiFi is superb at the lobby. Pag nasa room naman kayo, latak ng wifi ang naghihintay. Wag ng magreklamo kung 650.00 lang naman ang ibabayad niyo tulad ko. ok?

I started the city tour already. Hindi ko balak umangot sa kwarto maghapon. Anyway I arrived there early and the room was not yet available. Hala! Gora!

I asked the receptionist how much is the standard rate for a City tour on a tricycle. She answered "800 para sa turista, 500 sa kuripot. Depende sa convincing powers mo ma'am"  I managed to be the latter. heheh! Yun nga lang, 4 hours lang ako tinour ni kuya. Pero no regrets. Masaya na ko sa 4 hours. Kung di nga lang polusyon ang kili kili ni kuya, malamang iextend ko pa ang oras ko.

First stop, Butterfly Sanctuary. Hindi ako masyadong mahilig sa kahayupan sa totoo lang. Medyo naboring ako but I learned something when I went there. The average life span of a butterfly is only 2 weeks. Kaya sa mga batang mahilig mange-alam ng mga bahay uod na naka biyabit sa puno? Yung tipong aalugin pa at chaka bibiyakin ng dahan dahan. Makonsensiya kayo! (kaisa ako don't worry. gawain ko rin yan nun.) 

I never thought they can produce golden pupae. Amazing!
Magpupuslit sana ako ng isa pero wala akong kahon ng posporo. hihihi! Ang pangit ng pagkamatay niya pag nagkataon. Pisat!

Second stop, Crocodile Farm..

Kuya: Ma'am kunan kita dito
Me: Hindi na kuya.. ok lang po (ang chaka ng background e. hihih!)
Kuya: Hindi mam sige para may souvenir ka.
Me: Ok lang talaga kuya wag na nga sabi.
Pinilit niyang kunin ang camera ko ng walang kalaban laban kaya nagkaron ako ng picture na to. hmp! I hate him. hahah!
ewww!
Hindi ako ma selfie-ng tao sa totoo lang. Kung hindi siguro mala-siopao ang mukha ko baka pa.


Plano kong kumain dun since it's already 12:00 noon. My officemate, who's also in Puerto Princesa that time with her hubby, told me they ate Crocodile Sisig at the Crocodile Farm. Interesting. Once in my life, kahit papano, napadpad ang buwaya sa food cycle ko. Tinanong ko ang lalaki kung nasan ang canteen na may sisig. Naiimagine ko na ang sarili kong kumakain ng wallet, bag at sinturon ng biglang sumagot si kuya ng "Ma'am.. Crocodile farm ito. Nag-aalaga kami ng Buwaya. Tapos magtitinda kami ng crocodile sisig sa loob?!?!"

May point naman siya. Hahaha! Napag alaman kong pinagbawal na iyon ilang buwan na ang nakalipas kasi nga ang awkward lang. ^_^

Next stop, Baker's Hill.



Bigo pa rin akong makakita ng Crocodile Sisig sa lugar na to. Hay! Marami lang dito hopia. The taste is good pero kung itatanong niyo kung dadayuhin ko ba yun dito, no. Mas masarap pa Eng Bee Tin sa Binondo. 

Gutom na gutom na talaga ako. Kuya told me to eat in Dampa sa Mansion. By the way, if you don't have a budget to treat your driver there, you don't have to since there will be free meal for them at the canteen. Ang boring lang kumain mag-isa. I ordered buttered garlic shrimp. If I had known that they will put a lot of sugar, I will ask them to change its name to "Asukal na nilagyan ng bawang at hipon". Fail talaga.

Next, Mitra Ranch. Wala lang. Pwede kang mag zipline if you want.


Gusto ko sana pumasok sa bahay ni Mitra pero hinarang ako. hahah! Parang isang picture lang e. Hindi ko naman nanakawin ang mga antique nila ah..


And my city tour ended. I slept at the hotel till 7pm. I did a little research (salamat sa libreng wifi). I found out that Vietnamese dish, Chaolong Noodles, is well-known in Puerto. The most popular one is Bona's so I hopped on the tricycle and asked him to bring me there. I was surprised to see a lot of people lining up. This must be really good. It took a while for me to find a seat. I left my umbrella (sign of reservation) and ordered. It was served right away. Verdict? Forgive me but it sucks! Weird smell. Pasintabi sa mga kumakain pero parang galing CR lang ang amoy. Ewwness talaga. I was observing some people if they will have same reaction as mine pero parang sarap na sarap talaga sila. Hindi ko maintindihan. hahahaha! I tasted it a bit. Hindi ko talaga kayang kainin. Kung pwede ko lang ibigay sa kabilang table dahil mukang hindi nagalaw yung pagkain ko. Hay! Or maybe it's just me.

Parang ayaw akong pakainin sa lugar na to. lol! Luckily, I found Haim Chicken Inato. At least I know what a barbeque taste like. Safe.
 

And I happily ate my chicken. Yummy! Ambiance in this resto is superb. I asked first if it's ok to eat at their kubukubuhan without any additional charges. Buti naman at wala. hihihih!


First installment of my Puerto Princesa series. Sana hindi tatlong buwan ang pagitan bago ko to masundan ulit. hihihih! Happy reading!