Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ay-ayatenka ILOCOS

This has been my second time to visit Ilocos. The first was 2 years ago with my office mates but this year I'm with my closest friends at work. Though some of them are working in different companies good memories are always there to keep. It feels good remembering crazy antics together, sharing ear breaking laughter and keeping each other on the loop. Hope to see  the others on our next get together.


We left the office (pick-up point) almost 12 midnight. It will be long 8-hour ride going to Vigan (Ilocos Sur's capital). It was somehow a comfortable ride because the van is good for 12 pax and we're just 8 inside (excluding the driver ^^). We had stop overs in between (CR break, food break etc.) until we finally arrived in Cafe Uno where we met our guide (sorry forget her name). We had our breakfast at Grandpa's Inn and Restaurant. The place is cool not because of its modern architecture but because of its old junks inside, from clock to telephone to figurines etc. You can feel Vigan's heritage once you enter the place. The food is good and affordable, for Php 95.00 you can have a breakfast meal (longsilog + coffee/milo), Of course it's longganisang Vigan! After our meal, we took souvenir photos of the place, the receptionist are kind enough to help us take our group pictures (sorry jenjie hihi).

Upper left - group pic courtesy of the receptionist; Right -  Longsilog;
Bottom left: Group picture before our breakfast; Right - si Carlo kulit
Upper Left: Another group pic ^^; Right: The Reception
Bottom Left: Calle Crisologo painting; Left: moi ^^
Day 1 tour...

Our first pit stop is Baluarte, owned by Gov. Chavit Singson. You can bet that this person is really an animal lover, an expensive animal lover i must say $.$

The zoo was properly maintained by the owner. Entrance is free, you can ride the mini kalesa, photo ops with the colorful birds and snake. You will definitely enjoy the place especially young ones.

hanapin niyo ako! hehe
Our 2nd stop is Pagburnayan Pottery Making. The burnay is an earthenware jar crafted by a potter’s hands with the aid of a potter’s wheel. They said that local bagoong (fish sauce), sugarcane vinegar and basi wine would not taste as good if not fermented in stoneware burnay jars. (source:

The potter made an introduction and showed us how to make a small vase. We watched him closely as he form his master piece out of the small clay. In just a snap, the vase was finished! holy crap! 

Of course we also took the opportunity to try this out...

Panis kayo sa gawa namen kuya! hehe

After the muddy challenge, its our time to visit the museum. We visited the famous Syquia Mansion. 

Syquia Mansion is owned by Dona Alicia Quirino, wife of the Philippines 6th President Elpidio Quirino. Memorabilia of the family are well kept in the house. As per the caretaker, all furniture in the mansion are on its original state, some of them are the kalesa, the huge murano mirror in the living room, the wooden tables, chairs, beds and of course the ming dynasty vase. It is a well maintained spanish era mansion, the caretaker is very informative and gets you involved in family history. So if you're already in Calle Crisologo, don't forget to visit the place, its all worth it :) 

Few blocks away from Syquia Mansion is the photogenic Calle Crisologo. Photogenic because the street is beautiful in any angle. Our guide said that it is the only place that was saved from World War II because of love story hmmm interesting right? pang MMK! The Japanese General love to his Filipina wife saved the town from destruction.

Calle Crisologo is also a venue for souvenir items in Vigan, you can see local products along the street like vinegar, tobacco, antique furniture etc. You will definitely enjoy your walks here.

some group shots.. panira ng kalye hehehe :D

swaggers :D

We headed our way to Batac City where we took our lunch, where? Of course at the famous Empanada and Mami stalls in Batac. For just Php 60.00 (Php 35.00 for empanada and Php25.00 for the mami), you can have a tummy filled lunch.

Also in Batac you can drop by at Marcos Museum and Mausoleum. The place shows memorabilia of the late President Ferdinand Marcos, from being a student up to his presidency. The solemn mausoleum of the president where his embalmed body has been on for public display are actually
prohibited for picture taking. Some says its just a wax version of the president and the real body was already buried but history says that mortician confirmed that the corpse is real. Well, I actually don't know whats real hehehe..

Oye! @ Marcos Museum and Mausoleum

Another property of the Marcoses is called Malacanang of the North. The rest house is now turned into a museum. I personally like the structure of the house, it has a huge lawn and was facing the Paoay Lake. Its cool and refreshing inside because of large window panes that allows the wind to enter the house. The thing i liked about old houses is the spacious arrangement. The furniture are basic and well placed (wala ganong burloloy).

Malacanang of the North ~ “MalacaƱang ti Amianan”  in local dialect

We also passed the famous church of Poaoy, also called St. Augustine Church of Poaoy. Our guide said its an example of Baroque church. The church was made of shells and baked clay. This is the second time that i see the church yet I still feel ecstatic. Its the same feeling the first time i stepped out of the van, out of words.. just full admiration to the century-old structure.

Its been a tiring day. We arrived at Java Hotel safe and sound. Good thing we're already in the hotel when rain started to pour generously. Some of us went out to swim and play basketball.We had Chowking delivery for dinner and my guy friends ended the day with a toast of liquors.

Thanks to Gladys, Kiko and Jenjie for the pictures.

Day 2 and 3 to follow (pag sinipag ulit) ^^

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Lifehouse in Manila

Last May 26, me and 2 of my friends watched the Lifehouse concert at Smart Araneta. I'm really not into concert scene as I've seen it not practical to spend thousand of bucks for just 2-hour (or less) concert but there's something about the band that I really liked most, and yes i don't know why! hahaha maybe because it's comforting or maybe because their music makes you think about relationship (inside and outside). That's why some says Lifehouse's definition of love is interesting. Some themes of their songs includes not giving up, holding on, faith in relationship and believing in second chances. It matches my life somehow. My relationship to God, family and love ones. That's why when I learned about their concert I really want to see them perform live. hihi ^^ 

I'm sharing with you some happenings that night. Special thanks to those who took the video ^^

Hanging by a Moment ~ I like how they pull off this song. All fans are singing, yelling and rocking the big dome. What an intense feeling!
Video courtesy of MOZA Productions

Who would not love "You and Me"?
super cute ni Jason dito lagi naka smile ^^

Here's a 10 minute acoustic song performed by Jason. Songs are randomly requested by fans (Storm, Everything, Blind, Breathing, Sick Cycle Carousel, From Where You Are)
Video courtesy of Happy Red Panda

Here's the set list of the Concert: 

All In
Here Tomorrow Gone Today
Nerve Damage
You and Me
Whatever It Takes
Wrecking Ball
Storm, Everything, Blind, Breathing, Sick Cycle Carousel, From Where You Are (acoustic medley, by audience request)
Take Me Away
Falling In
Hanging By A Moment
First Time

Halfway Gone

For me they are the best live. Super happy to see them perform. Hope it won't take another 4 years to see them on stage again :)

Happy souls :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Zero Plastic Challenge

Speaking of going Green. I decided to support this campaign on plastic waste residual. I wanted to challenge myself of how am I going to survive this not just for a month but hopefully for good. 

Here's the details and please feel free to share :)

This coming June, we will refrain from using anything plastic - plastic bags, sachets, plastic packaging, etc. for a month.
(Recyclable and reusable plastics will not be included in this challenge - at least not yet. We're focusing on residuals at this time.)

1. In joining this challenge you don't have to do it for a month too, you can try the challenge for a week or even for a day only. 
2. Post a comment for every day that you join the challenge. Post every time you are able to say no to plastic, and share whatever alternative you are able to discover;
my addition: You can also track your activity then publish it in a weekly basis. 
3. Commit to a consequence. Choose your own consequence every time you use plastic, and stick to it. Here are some examples of a consequence:
a. For every plastic that I use within the challenge, I will volunteer for a day to any organization.
b. For every plastic that I use within the challenge, I will donate P5 to my favorite charity.
c. For every plastic that I use within the challenge, I will share this page to my FB friends.

Let's do it!

You might also want to read 7 Dangerous Lies About Plastic

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Good Times.. Good Music.. Good Memories..

credit to the owner of this photo ^^

I consider myself a Youtube fan from the time I've landed on this video-sharing website. Everybody loves music. Even the weirdest person has a favorite song. For me I consider music as my salvation as it never fails to save me from whatever moods I have (masakit ang tiyan, ulo, ngipin, mainit o malamig na panahon, may sipon o wala) hehe.. ^^

Here's my personal picks in no particular order (lahat ng yan maganda sa pandinig ko ^^). My most played songs for the past four months and so. Hope you like it. Enjoy listening! :)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mt. Palay-Palay & Pico De Loro (One more time!)

It was October 2010 when I first visited Mt. Palay-Palay & Pico De Loro (I used to call it PDL). We traversed the mountain and descended our way to Nasugbu, Batangas. When I saw the parrot's beak that time, I know at first glance I will not make it so I just patiently wait for the boys and our new found hiking friends from PNU. I acted as photographer, baggage counter and stage friend...hehe, just want to ensure that I capture their moments ^^
going to the rock tower
Ambin and Buying
with girls of PNU-MC
Those guys at the right tried their convincing power over me but acrophobia attack is stronger than this two men HAHA!! nice try but the answer is NO or rather I CAN'T :D
After 1 year, 5 months and 3 weeks.......

Last week (Apr 21), I finally got the chance to visit the place again. I got to invite some of my office friends to join us. I was a bit worried as the first plan was a traverse day hike, but before the date Marvin said it will no longer be and will just try to do a side trip in Marine base camp (hopefully swimming na ito!). The thing is, I never thought that joiners will outnumber the members of Juxta.. hahaha.. very happy indeed! Just to give you an idea, we're sixteen! crazy sixteen!!

We set our call time at 4am in Baclaran but we left the place at 5AM. From Baclaran we took Ternate bound bus. We met up Bhie and Joel at the bus terminal (konti nlang bayan na ng Ternate), they arranged a jeepney to take us to DENR. Environmental fee is Php 20.00.

@ bus terminal
picture-picture muna while waiting for Bhie and Joel
moi, Ann, Karen, Jhen, Bonna, Jess
Photo courtesy of Gladys
boys namern!
Chiz, Ron, Dyok, Jigen, Marvin, Ryan, Felix
Photo courtesy of Gladys
Photo courtesy of Gladys
The jump off is less than 10 minutes walk from DENR site. We took our souvenir photos and prayed before we start our trek. I didn't bring camera as two of my blogger friends /office barkadas are with me.. hahaha.. good job Jess and Gladys!

Chiz (Gladys' bf) took this pic.. Thanks Chiz!
empre indi ako papayag na walang jump off picture c Chiz
I took this shot..
nagsisimula na ang daldalan..
We started our trek at easy pace with high spirits and lots of laughs. Jhen do the talking most of the time. I can't even remember those jokes that we had while on trek (wala pa kami sa camp 1 niyan ah!) haha.. We took several photos while on our way to camp 1. 

team chillax.. hehe..
visit Gladys @
with Gladys
uber thanks Chiz!

girl power!
Dyok and Buying sa background
from FB:
Dyok: nice hehehe! and cute ng nasa likod ohh!
Jigen: oo nga parang nasa bohol lang cla
* laftrip lang eh
** Photo courtesy of Jess 

We rested for 30 minutes at Base Camp 1. Heat was really a big factor in this trek though most of the time we walk in a shaded trail, you can feel the sun kissed. We need to replenish every now and then. 1.5 liters of water is not enough, you probably need 3 liters for the whole tour. 
We had to register for another Php 20.00. 
with Jhen and Bonna
Gladys took this shot
with Juxtapeeps
moi, Marvin, Jigen, Ron, Felix and Bhie
*Joel took this shot from Bhie's camera
**Tostillas from Jhen
After the registration, we decided to continue our trek to camp 2. We passed by Alibangbang park (approximately 30 minutes continuous walk from camp 1), we rested for a while to replenish and then started our joke/trek to camp 2. As we nearing to camp 2, the trail was getting a lot steeper. I was a bit exhausted but I know I can still manage. I asked Bonna to exchange our bags so she can continue. Marvin offered his help, so I asked him to carry Jhen and Bonna's bag. Jigen took one of the bags. Despite of  hardship as we continue our assault to reach the camp 2, we still able to do crazy antics during the trek (untog moments, dulas dulasan, pick up lines, joke time, malayo pa ba?). Indeed, Hiking More Fun in the Philippines!

*Photo courtesy of Jess
sniper @ Alibangbang Park.. hehehe
*Photo courtesy of Bhie
Team chillax and unli take 5.. hehehe..
*Photo courtesy of Gladys
Team competitive (as per Jhen).. ang bibilis nila eh.. hehehe
*Photo courtesy of Gladys
Jessie enjoying much the trail! you go girl!
*Photo courtesy of Gladys
Buying and Joel.. team leaders ng competitive group ^^
*Photo courtesy of Gladys
*Photo courtesy of Gladys
When I saw very steep ascent, I know that we're just few meters away from camp 2. Then at the last stretch of the trail we finally saw the bamboos, it give us relief after seeing the campers nearby. Some took photos of the camp. After few minutes of eyeing the scenery, we decided to have our lunch. I know everyone was already starving that time.

Camp 2
ang asong pinagpala sa lahat.. ang tumira ng aming mga tirang pagkain.. ang laging busog at tulog..
*Photo courtesy of Gladys
*Photo courtesy of Bhie

Juxtapeeps with Joel and Felix!
*Photo courtesy of Bhie
nag pa deliver kami ng Jobee!
*Photo courtesy of Bhie

After our tasteful lunch, we rested for a while. Some took their souvenir photos, some are doing chit-chats (isa ako dun!), yosi, exploring the campsite etc. After all these activities, we finally headed our way to the summit (approprimaxtely 30 minutes assault from camp 2). The way to the summit was never easy as you need to literally crawl going up. What mother earth can offer is just a grass to hold on.. hahaha.. If you're a girl you need to double your effort. But of course, our boys are always there to help us and carry our load. In the end we're just so happy seeing the parrot's beak and 360 degrees view from the summit. Jigen was naming some islands/mountains but I wasn't able to take note (sayang!). So? picture picture ulit!

Parrot's beak
*Photo courtesy of Gladys  
summit group pic
*Homer (climber) took this shot
ang girls talaga kelangan may group pic
*Photo courtesy of Gladys
**Chiz took this shot
fave ko to Gladys! kenkoy mode lang hahaha..
Bhie and I decided to join the boys in going to parrot's beak (Eto na wala na talagang bawian, tsaka ito naman yung goal ko this time eh!). I was actually confident that time and I don't know why, maybe because I've been to the place or maybe I'm braver this time hahahaha.. I really don't know!! I just told Bhie that we can stay at the foot of the rock tower and wait for the boys if we feel that we cannot make it (char-char lang!) hehehe. So, we started our trek going to parrot's beak, it was a steep descent from the summit (FYI: dito ako malula-lula nung ng traverse kami before kasabay ng malakas na hangin muntik na akong di makababa.. hahaha..). This time, no wind factor to consider so I just need to concentrate and take my time...hehehe.. Joel and Jigen assisted us going down the summit. Felix was the sweeper. 

the braver me! lol!
*excited talaga lagi tong c Buying nangunguna lagi hehe..
*Photo courtesy of Gladys
going down
*eto na talaga wala ng baywian! hehe
**Photo courtesy of Gladys
Felix, Bhie, Jigen and moi
*konti nalang nasa foot na kami ng rock tower
**Photo courtesy of Ron
Gladys took this beautiful shot from the summit
*finally arrived at the foot of the rock tower
The technical part of this adventure is concurring the parrot's beak. Aside from rope, expertise and lots of diskarte are the keys in making it possible to go up. Jigen was prudent enough to hook the rope on us (Bhie and I) so we will not be overwhelm with the heights as we passed by the tilt rock. 

Bhie trying to overcome the tilt rock. 
I remembered Marvin telling me "Bheng nanginginig ka" hahaha pero bakit di ko naramdaman lol!
di ko tuloy alam kung joke na naman yun.. haha 
with other climber who joined us going to the rock tower
*Photo courtesy of Ron
Buying managed to go up without a need of rope. He tied the other end of the rope and was instructed by Jigen to put some stress on it so climber can easily go up on the wall. I can say that this is the hardest part. The wall is a narrow way going up and the thought of having a cliff at the right side of the rock is actually a factor (acrophobia attack!). But as soon as you finish climbing the wall you just need to compose yourself again and climb all the way to the steep cliff hanging rock tower!

Felix going up and Buying on the top
team parrot's beak
may entrance pala ako hahaha..
*Photo courtesy of Gladys
voltes five!
*Photo courtesy of Gladys
si Jigen at Ron nalang ata ang kulang
*Photo courtesy of Gladys
disappointed with vandalism
how ironic you say.. leave nothing but footprints :(
*Photo courtesy of Gladys
Planking More Fun in the Philippines!
*Photo courtesy of Gladys
group shot with Homer (guy on the upper left)
going down the parrot's beak
shot from Ron
Though we don't have enough time to visit the Marine base camp, it is still fun filled climb experience. I know everyone enjoyed this hike (kita naman sa mga mata db?) and all the joiners are willing to do it next time. But for me, I've seen much of PDL and will definitely remember it as a challenging mountain despite of it's low elevation (664 MASL). Today, PDL is one of favorable day hike destinations in Manila. It has friendliest trail (walang ligaw moment) and breath taking view at the top. Highly recommended for all climbers!

1. We don't have itinerary for this day hike.
2. Budget is around Php 600 + contingency (it's cheaper for us coz we're sixteen!)
3. You need to arrange transportation jeep/tricycle for day hike since PDL is not normally accessible by public transportation.


I got to post my PDL cover before with my favorite verse from bible.

Until my next post! ciao! :)
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