Saturday, August 25, 2012

Tagaytay: Peace & Quiet

Nothing beats a quick drive or even an overnight peaceful trip to Tagaytay to recharge and slow down from the stressful city life. I put together a Tagaytay Peaceful Weekend Itinerary that you can add in yours. Have a peaceful one!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Surfing trip: Zambales

Roadtrip. Fresh fruits. Waves. --Some of the few things that keep you high in Zambales, a province in the central part of Luzon (Philippines). For some people in Manila, it's good to go to South and wander under the sea but some prefer to check out what's there going North and ride on top of the sea. But I suggest to do both and cherish the two unique experiences with genuine appreciation of the beauty of their purpose.

With my enthusiasm to explore and experience surfing, I packed and went on a quick trip to Zambales. I just had surfing in mind with no other expectations about the sea and accommodations. But I was surprised on how that simple trip turned out as one of the best trips I had, first, because I was able to cross-out something in my long bucket list- surfing. Second, because I realized that I had explored and had a wonderful break. Who would ever think that I'll do so many things in that place aside from surfing? (Here's the things I learned about surfing).

We stayed at my friend Josh's usual hiding place, the Crystal Beach Resort. With very amiable staffs and very friendly locals, I enjoyed breathing fresh air and listening to the waves while:

1. walking around the shore and attempting to play beach volleyball.

2. Playing and climbing up in their obstacle courses with a real-life chimpanzee friend (that's a joke among us cause we look like chimpanzees when falling from the surf board), Daisuke.

3. Being one with nature and having quality time to rest and recharge my spirit in the tranquility of the place in their duyan made from tires.It was really nice to close my eyes, feel the sun shines to my face, breathe in, smile and listen to the birds chirping.

4. Campfire we met again! Yey!
5. Pretending to be a pro when checking out surf boards.
6. Playing around. Wonderful conversations.
7. Getting more and more wounds.

8. And of course, San Miguel Beer in the middle of the day with my wonderful people.
9. Becoming invisible like me in the photo below:

I will always recommend a trip to Zambales, whether you'll be trying out surfing or just simply lying on the beach while playing music all day. Even if you'll visit alone, it just feels good to be surrounded by very lively people trying to ride every wave as if it was the last.

By the way, that guy below, my Kuya Josh, was still starting to surf when that photo was taken. Look how he falls! haha. But now, he's riding unlimitedly and winning! Thanks for the fun trip Kuya!

San Narciso, Zambales-Pangasinan Road

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Taal Time Machine.

It seems like I traveled back in time when I stepped in the town of Taal in the province of Batangas. Aside from its very beautiful Church that stood strong for a long time, I am listing my few unconventional favorites in Taal!

1. I like these hair brushes, hair pins and mirrors from so-long-time-ago! I feel like there are some magical powers that will make my hair shiny and bouncy! You'll see them as you visit the ancestral houses together with beautiful vintage luggage!

2. I wonder why this eyeglasses is not in the market now, seems like a specialty to me.

3. For the growing passion in photography among us, Filipinos, you might want to visit the impressive collection in their Camera Museum!

4. Of course, the rumor is true! You can dress up and live like an Illustrado in the Spanish era at Villa Tortuga! I like the hospitality of everyone who serves the local food while wearing Filipiniana and the extensive knowledge on Philippine History of the great Camp Suki designer, Lito Perez.

5. Looks like a portrait? This is my favorite placemat in Villa Tortuga. It portrays the old Manila. Manila would be so beautiful with people walking around in "saya!" I think this placemat is also for sale!

6. Among all the things that I've discovered as we check out the museums and ancestral houses, this is my most favorite. I flew back in time as I looked down the hole and imagined how Andres Bonifacio and several other Katipunan heroes conducted their meetings there with a gas lamp as their only light. I could imagine how passionate these people were in bringing the democracy to the Filipinos. 

7. But the most memorable food I had was the Tsokolate Eh which is a thick and rich chocolate drink which used to be a status symbol among affluent Spaniards and Filipinos during the Spanish Colonial era. It was matched with suman, a native rice cake wrapped in banana leaf. Taku and I always joke around that it will just be Tsokolate Ah for us, a lighter and watery chocolate drink that is good for sharing for everybody!

The Taal fun continues as you ride the cold bus on the way to Manila. We were feeling sick with too much coldness because it was a rainy day when we visited and he tried to tie the curtain over the aircon but the most successful technique was to put some old breads in it, doesn't look good but helpful. haha.

PS. Don't forget to buy tablea and balisong!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Oh! The Japanese is young!

So here's what happened when Taku visited my hometown:
  1. He worn mask in a non-air conditioned bus because it was too dusty and watched "Lie to me" Season 1 in the entire 8-hour trip!
  2. He was able to use once again the words, "Mano po!" to everyone with glasses and white hair (even to some person we just talk to in the market).
  3. He visited with us Dad's new home.
  4. He tried to pray with the "manangs" for Dad's pa-siyam.
  5. He cooked and goof around while everyone's so amazed that there is a Japanese young guy in the Philippines! (contrary to the stereotype that most of the Japanese in the country are old and likes KTV. haha).


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