Tokyo, Day 1: Arrival + Food Trip in Tokyo

Thanks to our company, I was able to go to my dream country since high school. Since it was in January, it was still winter in Japan so being from a tropical country, it was a challenge to look for and buy winter wear.

JANUARY 14, 2016

Thanks to our company, I was able to go to my dream country since high school. Since it was in January, it was still winter in Japan so being from a tropical country, it was a challenge to look for and buy winter wear. I already had a few winter clothes from our Korea trip last 2014 but I saw Uniqlo Megamall selling HEATTECH EXTRA WARM tops. I knew that I had to buy at least two since I tend to feel cold easily. A few tips when looking for winter wear:

  • Uniqlo and H&M are go-to places for both clothes and accessories. Best to go there during sale since you can get 20-70% discount.
  • I was lucky that our Korea and Japan trip happened in mid- to late January so I was able to take advantage of the end-of-season sale in various stores.
  • Some of my friends also told me that you can get good items in ukay-ukay stores. I went with some of my office mates before our Japan trip and true enough, everything was cheap — boots around Php 300-600, coats for about Php 400-800.
  • “Cheapest” way is to find a relative or close friend who has the same size as yours and borrow some clothes and coat. 😉

Back to my actual travel — our first day was dedicated for our flight to Tokyo, and we arrived at Narita International Airport around 4PM. Note that Japan is 1 hour ahead of Manila.

Thanks for the safe flight, Delta Airlines!

We met with our tour guide, Toshi-san — even if he is already a senior citizen, he walked so fast and he was quite talkative! From the airport, he took us to an area near Akasaka to have dinner at TOFURO RESTAURANT.

Hello Tokyo! ❤
Dinner for 1st night: Tofuro Restaurant

Most of the dishes we had tasted good. There were only 2 dishes that I was not a fan of, but mainly because of personal preference — these had white/red beans in it.

Salmon Carpaccio

After dinner, we headed to HOTEL MONTEREY AKASAKA for check-in. The room was quite small for 2 people but not really complaining since the bedroom and bathroom were both really clean and neat. Japanese toilet is also awesome, by the way. Toshi-san warned us though that it is not advisable to buy and bring one home since as far as he knows, the water used in Japan and Philippines are of different kinds.

Once we have checked in and rested for a bit, we decided to go out for midnight snacks. But first, we had to look for Uniqlo so that a few of our office mates could buy winter clothes and accessories…

Unfortunately, one of my office mates and I got separated from the group. Getting lost was not that bad though since we were able to see a few more sights in the area…

Tokyo Skytree from where we were

Eventually, we were able to contact each other (thanks Viber!) and decided to re-group in our hotel. After getting back together, we decided to look for a place to have our midnight snack. We passed by Gindaco Highball Sakaba which was full of people standing up — both inside the store and outside the freezing street. We roamed around the area for a few more minutes until we decided to go back to Gindaco. The only available table was only outside but we did not mind since we were hungry already. Interesting to note that it is a standing bar so all customers were just standing while eating and drinking. It was unusual for us but a cool experience.

Back to the food — I was so excited to order since their main item is takoyaki. Yay!

Their takoyaki was really big compared to those sold here in MNL + each plump ball contained a big chunk of octopus. Each bite was really good and even Hana’s (Little Tokyo) paled in comparison with this one. They also offer other variations of takoyaki such as green onion and cheese.

After eating, we headed back to our hotel and called it a night so that we have lots of energy for Tokyo Disneyland the next day.




Tokyo, Day 2: Tokyo Disneyland

Tokyo, Day 3: Mt. Fuji, Komagatake Ropeway, Lake Ashi + Cruise

Tokyo, Day 4: Meiji Jingu, Imperial Palace, Sensoji Temple, Ueno Park

Tokyo, Day 5: Akihabara, Shibuya – Tokyu Hands, One Piece Mugiwara Store, Ichiran

Tokyo, Day 6: Tsukiji Market, Kawagoe, Maisen

Tokyo, Day 7: Revisiting Asakusa

Ilocos Norte (Burgos, Bangui, Pagudpud)

So after a month hiatus, I’m back blogging! I am really excited to share the vacation trip I had with my family this weekend but I actually don’t know where to start. I guess I’ll start with telling where we went… Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur! There were eleven of us (plus a one-year old baby) during the trip so we used two cars. Our first stop was Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte which is 10 to 14 hours away from Manila, depending on the traffic. We left our NLEX stopover last Thursday at around 10PM and we were already in Candon, Ilocos Sur by 3AM. How fast, eh? By 9AM, we reached Burgos, Ilocos Norte (and our first stop which was Cape Bojeador Lighthouse).

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
Cape Bojeador Lighthouse — entrance is free!


The view was breathtaking and we were really thankful for the sunny weather. I guess the charms I had (sun nail arts, typing lots of sun in my notes) worked. 😉 However, apart from the great view, there is not much to do here since the lighthouse is closed to the public. Also, the whole structure could use a bit of restoration. It’s quite disappointing that this cultural heritage is not given much attention and care.

No Entry! 😦

Our next stop in the town of Burgos was the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation. My sister and I figured out that we would be walking under the blazing heat of the sun so we put sunblock all over our body.

_MG_4560bUpon reaching the place, a lot of guides offered us horseback riding. They said that we still had to walk a loooong way before reaching the rock formation. Of course that meant additional expenses so we declined and decided to walk instead. If not for the heat of the sun and lack of umbrellas, we would have walked farther (towards the area shown in the pictures below). 😦

_MG_4569b _MG_4573bWe took a picture instead in the nearest white rock formation we saw. We’re lazy heat-sensitive people.


After a few pictures and sightseeing, we left the place and traveled to Bangui, Ilocos Norte. The place is famous for the Bangui Windmills which help generate electricity for the town. The sight of the windmills and the sea just took our breath away. “Panoramic” and “tranquil” are the two words I could think of to describe the place. Of course we could not pass the opportunity to have our pictures taken with the windmills but I had to use my Instax Mini since my DSLR battery ran out already.

Bangui Windmills — entrance is also free!

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We went straight to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte after the windmills so that we could check-in at the place we were going to stay. We had our reservations at Britanya Lodge which was just a hundred meters away from the beautiful Saud Beach. The owner of the lodge was very accommodating and kind enough to help us with any requests we had. However, my cousin and her family had to complain about the room they were assigned — clogged drainage in the bathroom which caused a nasty odor to spread in their room. 😯 They were transferred to another room right away but the toilet flush was not working. Good thing my uncle was able to fix it right away. The staff was very commendable but we think that maintenance of the facilities should also be prioritized.

We had lunch at a nearby restaurant. The food was just so-so. We slept afterwards since everyone was exhausted from the travel, especially my tatay and cousin who drove for us. At around 3PM, some of us decided to explore a few more spots in Pagudpud. We went to Patapat Viaduct, which is a concrete bridge elevated above sea level. Anton Diaz of further describes the viaduct as “[being] constructed to solve the problem of landslides in the area which have caused so many vehicular accidents in the past.”

Patapat Viaduct
Patapat Viaduct

After a few pictures, we went to Blue Lagoon Cove a.k.a. Maira-ira Beach. (By the way, Patapat Viaduct is farther than Blue Lagoon.) The place is as beautiful as Saud Beach. Blue Lagoon’s edge, however, lies on its sand which is whiter and finer. An entrance fee of PhP20/adult must be paid before entering the premises. Oh and before I forget, the famous Hannah’s Beach Resort is actually found along the shores of Blue Lagoon. There is also the Timmangtang Rock where you could get your picture taken. Aside from the interesting fact that it was once a hill, there is nothing interesting there._MG_4625b

With my cousin and my mama
With my cousin and my mama
Family picture! With my mom and little sister.
Family picture! With my mom and little sister.

Since travel time from Saud to Blue Lagoon is approximately 30 minutes and it was already 4:30PM, we went back to Britanya Lodge so that we could swim before the sun sets.

Saud Beach
Saud Beach


Romantic feels
Romantic feels


Grilled Papakol
Grilled Papakol

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Grilled Pork
Grilled Pork
Grilled Squid with Tomatoes and Onions
Grilled Squid with Tomatoes and Onions

My uncle and tatay bought fish and shrimps and they had the staff from the lodge cooked it (of course, for a certain fee). Strolling the beach at night time is one of the things I love doing. You also get to see lots of stars as compared to when you’re in the city. I slept early that night, perhaps because of the vodka mix my cousin made for me… or I was just too tired. Our first day in Ilocos was really great and I could not help but feel excited for our next two days in the region. 🙂


Britanya Lodge: Saud Beach, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte (

*One room for four pax is P2,500

Foodgasm episode 16: Pamana Restaurant (+ Enchanted Kingdom)

A week ago, we set April 6 as the day my family and I would go to Enchanted Kingdom (EK). But, before going to EK, my uncle had to attend to a few business matters which included a project in Tagaytay.

We arrived at Tagaytay at around 1PM and we haven’t eaten lunch yet. My cousin suggested eating at Pamana Restaurant which is one of the famous food spots in Tagaytay. Pamana Restaurant is owned by Happy Ongpauco, cousin of celebrity Heart Evangelista.


Photo © Dianne Reyno


I love the interior of the place because it gives a homey feel. There are lots of Ongpauco family pictures, antique furniture, and quaint pieces of home accessories (e.g. rocking chair, fireplace) inside.


We decided to seat ourselves at the second floor. I don’t know if sitting inside was the better choice. It was VERY hot that day and we only had one electric fan to keep us cool inside. I did not notice any signs of the wind blowing outside so there was a possibility of sitting outside as a not-so-good idea, too.

Front cover of Pamana Restaurant's menu
Front cover of Pamana Restaurant’s menu
Water with pandan leaf
Water with pandan leaf (free)

On to the food we ate at Pamana! By the way, I was too hungry to take note of the names of the dishes we ordered and their corresponding prices since I did not eat breakfast that day. I did my best to search for a menu online but there was none. 😦


The bowl of Bulalo was really big so imagine this bone sticking out of the bowl… I thought that this was probably from a dinosaur. Kidding! We asked for extra soup and the waiter was kind enough to grant our request. Pamana’s Bulalo had a meaty flavor and the meat itself was very soft to chew. I was just a tiny bit disappointed with the soup because it was not very hot. But of course, that is already a personal preference.

Bagoong Rice

Since the start of 2013, I have been on a low-carb diet and one of the things I did was to substitute whole-wheat bread for rice. The only “rice” I cannot refuse to eat are my mom’s fried rice, bagoong rice, and aligue rice. So, when I saw that Pamana has Bagoong Rice, I knew that I had to order it. Pamana’s Bagoong Rice (good for 2 to 3 servings) has scrambled egg, binagoongang pork, and green mango strips for toppings. It’s actually a meal on its own already. I enjoyed stuffing my tummy with this that I did not bother getting a big portion from the other dishes.

Davao’s Baked Sugpo sa Taba ng Talangka

The aligue in Davao’s Baked Sugpo sa Taba ng Talangka went well with the cheese. This combination complimented the sugpo (large shrimp) well. I only got a piece of this since this dish was for my cousin who cannot eat pork, chicken, and beef due to fasting.

Crispy Lapu-lapu

This was the only dish I was not able to taste but seeing the rest of my family get second helpings of this dish means that this was delicious enough for them.

Crispy Squid in Black Ink

The squid was not overcooked so it was easy to chew. It tastes good but it was not too outstanding for me.

Crispy Pata

Dun-dun-dun!!! The highlight of our lunch goes to the Crispy Pata (deep-fried pork leg). I saw my little sister get a huge chunk of the skin. Huli! I tried a small piece of the skin and it was really crispy. I also grabbed some meat which was easy to munch. Pamana brought out the savory and meaty flavor that I want with crispy pata.


After our business with Tagaytay, we headed towards Laguna. Enchanted Kingdom!!! The last time I went here was around eight years ago, during my high school field trip. It was no surprise that there were a lot of people last Saturday since it was a weekend and students are now on their summer vacation.

My little sister and I were able to use our student IDs to avail of EK’s discount (ticket = P450/student). The regular rate for adults is P500 for weekdays while P600 for weekends. We were disappointed to know that EK removed the ticket rate for adults who wish to enter EK but do not have any intention of riding any of the amusement park’s attraction. My aunts and uncles had to pay P600, too. 😦


The first attraction we went to was the Grand Carousel. We felt like kids again even though my little sister and I are already in our 20s. Obviously, we were surrounded by kids but who cares. My parents also rode the cute horsies. Kids at heart!

Map of Enchanted Kingdom
Ate Sandy, Chippy, and me
Ate Sandy, Chippy, and me

The three of us decided to separate from our group so that we could ride any attraction we wanted. My parents, aunts, and uncles went with my nephew and niece to see what attractions these two kids could ride.


Dodgem!!! It was my first time to drive a bump car. I was a bit nervous since while I was waiting for our turn, I saw a few people who were stuck at the sides and could not move their cars. My cousin told me to just keep on turning the steering wheel until my car moved. I was glad that I did not get stuck and I was able to drive my car. *happy dance*

Roller Skater

Roller Skater is the roller coaster for kids and for adults who cannot ride the Space Shuttle (like me!!!). I was shocked with this attraction because we only went around the track once. Hindi man lang nag-init pag-upo namin. I know that the last time I rode this was eight years ago but back then, we went around the track two or three times. Now that would make the ride more worth it, right?

Bump n’ Splash
Wheel of Fate

We were not able to ride this because of the loooooooong line plus my relatives wanted to go home already when we decided to fall in line. 😦

Jungle Log Jam

Hello to the random people in those pictures. LOL. During our ride, Ate Sandy, Chippy, and I talked about how we should smile (or at least try to) when we reach the last downhill part of the attraction. There was a camera at that portion of the ride and you can opt to have it printed on a photo paper or tumbler. Jungle Log Jam was still fun to ride but we were frustrated when we saw our picture. It was too dark! It was already past 5PM but I think that is not a valid excuse. They should have activated the camera flash at that point.

Space Shuttle (view from Jungle Log Jam)


Finally a solo picture!

At around 6PM, our group met with the rest of the family since we planned to ride Rio Grande Rapids. When we arrived at the attraction, the line was the longest I had seen that day. It extended even outside the attraction. We decided not to ride this anymore and headed to Rialto instead so that my nephew could watch a 3D clip.


Rialto’s featured movie

Talk about another disappointing attraction. The movie clip EK showed was from Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, specifically the part where Dwayne Johnson and his gang were riding bees and were being chased by abnormally huge birds. I haven’t watch the film but I did not like the movie clip. I would have preferred cartoons or animation films over it. Well of course our seats moved forward, backward, and sideways to let us feel as if we were also part of the film but no, it just didn’t work.

Flying Fiesta

I love amusement parks at night because the place becomes more magical with the colorful lights. Anyway, meet Flying Fiesta, one of my favorite rides in EK. This attraction is located just right in front of Rio Grande. Whilst the line for Rio Grande was looooooooooong, there was none at Flying Fiesta. Hooray! If we had more time, I would have ridden this three or four more times.

_MG_4343 _MG_4344 _MG_4345Our last ride was the newest attraction in EK, the Disk-O-Magic. I convinced my cousin to ride with me and my little sister since I thought that this attraction was fun. Not much screaming as compared to EKstreme Tower… or so I thought. When it was our turn to ride, one of the staff asked us to leave or bags at one corner. No seat belts for this ride but there is a cushion for the back, which magically pops out from the bottom of your seat.

So what happened to us during our ride? Screaming and screaming and screaming. The first three seconds were still fun. All of us were clapping our hands to the beat of the EK music but after that… Damn. We were spinning then we were going from one end of the ride to another. I thought I would be thrown out of the ride any moment (but I knew that I was safely tucked in my seat). At one point of the ride, I just had to close my eyes because I could not scream anymore. After the ride, my hair was all over my face. But, I swear this was really the BEST ride I had that day. I made a GIF of Disk-O-Magic to show how the ride works: click HERE!!!

After Disk-O-Magic, we left Enchanted Kingdom and went home. It was a tiring day but the happiness I felt that day made me forget how tired I was .Weekends are really the best when spent with the people you love the most. ❤


Pamana Restaurant: Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City (near the Tagaytay rotonda)

Enchanted Kingdom: San Lorenzo South, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna

Kamay ni Hesus + Foodgasm episode 15: Buddy’s Pancit Lucban

Holy Week for 2013 just ended. Last Good Friday, my family and my relatives were supposed to do the Stations of the Cross in Via Dolorosa. It was just a ten-minute drive from the home of my relatives, which made it very convenient for us. Finding a parking slot was not difficult but what surprised us was what we saw near the entrance of Via Dolorosa. There was a horde of tourists waiting for their turn to go inside the place. “Horde” might actually be an understatement. Devotees were divided into batches, according to who came first. My aunt decided to postpone our activity then suggested that we go instead to Kamay ni Hesus (Hand of Jesus) the following day.

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So many people at the grotto!
So many people at the grotto!

And so, we did. We left for Quezon province at around 5AM. We got a bit lost since it was my tatay‘s first time to drive to Kamay ni Hesus. When we arrived at around 8:30AM, it was already hard to find parking spaces since apparently, lots of devotees were also there. Kamay ni Hesus, which was built under the initiative of Fr. Joseph “Joey” Faller, draws thousands of people especially those who are in need of hope and miracle. _MG_3883b _MG_3886 _MG_4057 _MG_4058 Upon entering the area (or even before that), I noticed that there were various stalls at one side of the pathway — there were hats, shades, bags, and of course, pasalubong. I regretted not buying a hat after our Stations of the Cross at the grotto. The heat was a killer! Later that day, I heard from the news that the temperature was the hottest for 2013. ヽ(#`Д´)ノ _MG_3885b This guy was seated near the entrance of the shrine and whenever visitors enter the place, he would ask each group which city or province they came from. He would announce that the visitors were from whichever city/province then tell them that they would surely enjoy the place. Every minute or so, he would announce how to go to the comfort room. Probably lots of people kept on approaching him for directions.

My little sister and my mom ❤
“Plaque” of recognition for those who pledged and donated for the shrine
Kamay ni Hesus Church


We left my ama (Chinese for grandmother) inside the church since she might not be able to handle the crowd at the grotto as well as the number of steps to reach the grotto’s top. There was no scheduled mass for Black Saturday; nevertheless, the church was jam-packed. Piano masterpieces of Catholic songs were played and these were even heard outside the church.

That’s one tough polar bear! Still standing despite the heat.

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Eve and Adam
Eve and Adam

One of the attractions that kids will love in this place is the Noah’s Ark. I did not get the chance to capture photos of all the animal statues they had at the garden because we were in a hurry to get to the grotto already. Children and adults alike were going from one corner to another in order to take their pictures with the animals as well as with the huge ark of Noah. If the public was allowed to go inside the ark, I would have stayed behind and explored the ark first. Hah!


View from the bottom of the grotto… Lots of plants plus the glaring morning sun!

1st Station: The Last Supper
2nd Station: The Agony in Gethsemani
3rd Station: Jesus Before the Sanhedrin
4th Station: The Scourging and Crowning with Thorns
5th Station: Jesus Receives the Cross
6th Station: Jesus Falls Under the Weight of the Cross
7th Station: Simon of Cyrene Carries the Cross of Jesus
8th Station: Jesus Meets the Pious Women of Jerusalem
9th Station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross
10th Station: The Repentant Thief
11th Station: Mary and John at the Foot of the Cross
12th Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross
13th Station: Jesus is Laid in the Tomb
13th Station: Jesus is Laid in the Tomb
14th Station: Jesus Rises from Death
The resurrected Jesus Christ

I did my best to capture images of each station before starting the prayer for each station with my family and relatives. Upon reaching the top of the grotto, a huge statue of Jesus Christ awaits the devotees. People prayed here for their personal intentions; some even opted to place their hands at the granite pillar beneath Christ’s feet while praying. The heat of the sun and the number of steps we took were nothing in comparison to how much Christ suffered since He was arrested up to His last breath.

One of the things that annoyed me though is when people stopped at every station, or even every corner of the grotto, to have their pictures taken with whatever sculpture was near them. Most of the people climbing up the grotto only passed by each station; some did not even bother looking at the station. I know that I am in no position to tell these people to follow and do the Stations of the Cross properly but what they were doing took away part of the place’s solemnity. I guess it was more of a tourist attraction for them.

My only solo picture for the day… and the wind just had to ruin my hair.
After climbing down the grotto 🙂
Breathtaking view at the top of the grotto

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These are just some of the statues/sculptures you will see when you visit Kamay ni Hesus.

Buddy’s Pancit Lucban

After the Stations of the Cross at Kamay ni Hesus, we decided to have lunch at Buddy’s Pancit Lucban. The two branches of this resto that I know are in Market! Market! (Taguig City) and Kalayaan Avenue (Makati City). Of course, the first thing we ordered was the Pancit Lucban since this is the resto’s claim to fame. You might be thinking that it’s the same as pancit canton. That’s not the case though. There are three things that make Pancit Lucban special (and my favorite!): 1) lechon kawali is mixed with it; 2) the dish is not totally dry [look at the picture since there’s sauce]; and 3) mixing their vinegar makes the dish more flavorful. I’m actually big fan of vinegar. *wink*

Buddy’s Lucban Longganisa, one dozen

Since we were also in Lucban, I made it a point not to miss the chance to eat Lucban longganisa (longganisa is the Philippine version of sausages, BTW). It was a good thing that my uncle was also a foodie so he bought it right away. Yay! Buddy’s Lucban Longganisa did not disappoint. It was a bit garlicky so this was a plus for me. My uncle told me that Vigan longganisa was more garlicky though. Can’t wait to have a taste of it!

Buddy’s Pizza Supreme, small

My little sister is a picky eater and she does not eat longganisa. She ordered Buddy’s Pizza Supreme instead to make sure that she would be full after eating. She was very happy with the pizza since there were generous amounts of cheese and meat.


Here’s a photo of me with my little sister. I still like to call her my “little sister” even though we only have a one-year gap and we almost have the same height. #oldersisterfeelz LOL. On another note, I must end this entry and start attending to my last college requirements. Leggo!


Kamay ni Hesus Shrine and Healing Center: Lucban-Tayabas Road, Lucban, Quezon Province

Buddy’s Pancit Lucban66 General Luna St., Cor C. M. Recto Tayabas, Quezon Province

Foodgasm episode 13: Xtremely Xpresso Cafe (+ Subic Treetop Adventure)

Before we get to the gastronomic part of this post, let me share the Subic Treetop Adventure experience I had with some of my most favorite companions — Chippy, Eyong, kuya Paul, and ate Kharm. For me and Chippy (ze younger sister), this is our second time in Treetop. We (except kuya Paul) decided to choose package H but the staff informed us that Silver Surfer is not available; thus, package G and H cannot be done. As to whether Silver Surfer is unavailable for now or forever, that’s what I do not know. Chippy and I were quite disappointed since we were not able to try that “ride” out when we first did Treetop Adventure.

We chose package F instead since it’s the closest to the “do-all-you-can-in-Treetop” experience then added Interactive Free Fall to the list of things we would do. So, that’s 720 bucks plus 250 for the free fall and you get PhP970 per person. Here’s a print-screened image on the different packages Subic Treetop Adventure offers:

Treetop Adventure packages
Treetop Adventure packages

This is how we arranged the activities we did in Treetop:

  • Tree Drop (Eyong and ate Kharm)
  • Canopy Ride + Canopy Walk (Chippy, ate Kharm, Eyong, me)
  • Trekking with Jungle Survival Demo (+ kuya Paul because this is the only activity where heights are not involved)
  • Interactive Free Fall (Chippy, ate Kharm, Eyong, me)
  • Superman Ride (Chippy, ate Kharm, Eyong, me)
Eyong -- tree drop
Eyong — tree drop
Ate Kharm -- tree drop
Ate Kharm — tree drop

Once is enough for me and Chippy. We refused to do tree drop since we were not in the mood (or more like we’re afraid to do so). Ate Kharm and Eyong were both game since this was their first time to do it. In fairness, hindi sila napasigaw. They hang you up above a 60-foot tree and before you know it… down you go!

All geared up for the canopy ride and canopy walk!
All geared up for the canopy ride and canopy walk!
Chippy and ate Kharm -- Canopy Ride
Chippy and ate Kharm — Canopy Ride

Canopy Ride and Canopy Walk is a combination of crossing suspension bridges and riding motorized cable seats to let you see the tranquil and beauty of nature. One ride can take a maximum of three people but since we were four, we decided to do it in pairs. You can also ask the kind kuyas to make the seats face each other.

On a leash called harness
On a leash called harness
One with nature
One with nature

Whenever I’m in a place surrounded or filled with trees, I always take an overhead shot like this especially if it’s sunny. We were all thankful that there was no sign it was gonna rain so we were able to enjoy all of the activities in Treetop Adventure.

Time for some trekking!
Time for some trekking!

Finally! Kuya Paul joined us for the trekking and jungle survival demo. The canopy ride & walk ended just in time so we made it to this activity. There’s a schedule for this activity with a 2-hour interval in between each time slot. Ours started at 2PM although the whole activity lasted for just around 40 minutes.

Why, hello there!
Why, hello there!


You’ll see lots of these lamp posts and of course trees, trees, and trees. Yay! Our trek guide was kuya Jun and I commend him for having a good sense of humor. Even though our trek had lectures, his jokes and punchlines prevented us from getting bored and sleepy (although how does one get sleepy with trekking, right?).

How to make a bamboo cup
How to make a bamboo cup
Complete bamboo meal set -- kainan, inuman, spork
Complete bamboo meal set — kainan, inuman, spork
How to make fire. Huzzah!
How to make fire. Huzzah!

_MG_2203Voila!!! This is what kuya Paul was waiting for. Find a dry bamboo when stuck in a deserted island. Make sure you have a bolo and you’ve memorized the six essential steps kuya Jun taught… then you’re good to go! No need for matches, lighter, oil, magnifying glass, and sunlight. Oh and kuya Jun also showed us a type of vine where you can drink clean water. Those who were able to taste it said that there was a lemon -ish flavor.


We also watched three types of Aeta dance — hunter dance, dragonfly dance, and monkey dance. The hunter dance was the best because the Aeta dancer shot an arrow straight to the box near our seat. *clap clap* Hindi niyo lang alam, pangarap ko kasi maging archer! Haha.

Happy campers ang peg
Happy campers ang peg
Chippy and ate Kharm -- Interactive Free Fall
Chippy and ate Kharm — Interactive Free Fall
Chippy and ate Kharm -- Interactive Free Fall
Chippy and ate Kharm — Interactive Free Fall
with Eyong -- Interactive Free Fall
with Eyong — Interactive Free Fall
with Eyong -- Interactive Free Fall
with Eyong — Interactive Free Fall

This ride lasts for 7 cycles. At first you’ll think that 7 cycles is too long but if you have a penchant for adventures and extreme rides, Interactive Free Fall is quite fast. Bitin is the best word to describe it. Every time the contraption goes down, it feels like I’ve left my heart somewhere above the tree. Definitely not for the faint-hearted!

Chippy and ate Kharm -- Superman Ride
Chippy and ate Kharm — Superman Ride
with Eyong -- Superman Ride
with Eyong — Superman Ride

Finally, we reach our last activity in Treetop Adventure! Dun dun dun dun. Say hello to the Superman Ride! You can flap your arms, wave it, or do a Superman-like pose. Just don’t try to remove your arms from the acrobat-like thing. Our adventure ended a few minutes before 4PM and we realized that we haven’t eaten our lunch yet. I did a bit of research and spotted a restaurant that people showered with compliments. I’m talking about Xtremely Xpresso Cafe.

The Menu
The Menu
Creamy Mushroom Soup (PhP120)
Creamy Mushroom Soup (PhP120)

One of the most delicious mushroom soups I’ve had! Actually, this was Chippy’s order and I just had a spoonful of this. Mix the soup well before tasting it so that the herbs (which taste like basil) are evenly mixed. It makes the soup tastier. 🙂

XX Cappuccino, Tall (PhP80)
XX Cappuccino, Tall (PhP80)
Strawberry Milkshake (PhP120)
Strawberry Milkshake (PhP120)
Iced Coffee, Tall (PhP80)
Iced Coffee, Tall (PhP80)
Eskimocha, Grande (PhP100)
Eskimocha, Grande (PhP100)
Mango Cremo, Grande (PhP100)
Mango Cremo, Grande (PhP100)

I didn’t get the chance to taste the other drinks since I was too happy sipping my strawberry milkshake. It’s really yummy but I feel like Johnny Rockets’ Milkshake is better. I just heard everyone say that their own drink was good so I’ll take their word for it. 🙂

Garlic and Cheese Quesadilla (PhP150)
Garlic and Cheese Quesadilla (PhP150)

Anti-pasti with a chef’s recommendation. Definitely did not fail my expectations. Uy, rhyming! Haha. There’s a generous amount of garlic per quesadilla and you can even see from the picture that cheese is oozing from each piece. It’s a must-have though to have a toothbrush+toothpaste or candies that are very minty… unless you want to talk people, letting them smell that garlicky odor and figure out what you ate for lunch/merienda/dinner.

Big Ben pizza, Large (PhP749)

I included people in this picture just to show how big this pizza is. Quoting what was written in their menu, Big Ben is “loaded with pepperoni, sausage, bacon and beef… on veggies… garlic, onions, peppers, mushrooms, black olives… and two kinds of cheese.” At first I thought that we would be able to take a few slices home but then again, we were too hungry for that.

See, the pizza slice does not even fit the plate
See, the pizza slice does not even fit the plate.

We had three slices each then someone took the remaining (fourth) slice but I can’t remember who. Not me because I was too full already after my third slice. Oh! And I just remembered that there’s another Big Ben version is the “Big Albino Ben,” where you can have the Red (aka tomato sauce) removed. 😉

This is probably the longest post to date but I did my best to make it short without compromising the details. Hope you guys enjoyed reading this. When in Subic, visit these two places. You won’t regret it. 🙂


Subic Treetop Adventure: JEST Area, Upper Mau Cubi Point, Subic Bay Freeport Zone

Xtremely Xpresso Cafe (Subic): 1 Dewey Avenue, Olongapo City

A week with nature and churches

This year’s holy week has been the busiest so far.

Maundy Thursday

As usual, my family did Visita Iglesia which is a tradition done either on this day or Good Friday. We visited seven churches so that we can distribute the fourteen stations of the cross equally. Here is a rundown of the churches we visited that day:

Archdiocesan Shrine of Divine Mercy (Mandaluyong)*

San Roque Parish Church (Mandaluyong)

St. Francis of Assisi Church (Mandaluyong)**

Christ the King Parish Church (Quezon City)

Sta. Maria della Strada Parish (Quezon City)

Monasterio de Sta. Clara (Quezon City)

Dambana ng Ina ng mga Walang Mag-ampon (Marikina)

Good Friday

We went to Batangas since my cousin and her friends were there as well. Some of my relatives came with us. I was ready to hit the beach but I found out that a swimming pool was what the place has to offer. Since I did not have any decent sleep the night before, I decided to sleep the whole afternoon. But, before sleeping, I decided to take some pictures.

Sunrise (post-processed, obviously)
Yummy pork adobo
Snapshot of Taal Lake

When we were about to leave, my mom told me that we would go to Laguna the next day.

Black Saturday

Majayjay Falls / Taytay Falls / Imelda Falls

My camera and I were excited since the town we were visiting in Laguna was rural so there would be a lot of nature stuff to photograph. With some of my cousins, aunts, and uncles, we went to Imelda Falls since it was scorchingly hot. When we got there, I was shocked to see lots of people who camped out there. I was very disappointed to see trash everywhere, even under the water. I got out of the water after I saw a woman near me brushing her teeth, gargling water then spewing it right back to the falls. Just gave me a reason to stop wading in the water and start grabbing my camera to take some pictures.

This photo would’ve looked better if it was sharper. >.<
Asked my uncle to catch a dragonfly… and he did!

Before going home, we went to Liliw, Laguna to buy some souvenirs. My tatay parked near a church which was called St. John the Baptist Church. There is a belief where you must make a wish if it is your first time to visit a certain church. I’m not sure, though, if this one is just a belief in the Philippines or it exists in other countries.

St. John the Baptist Church

Finally, a picture with me in it!

A tiring week indeed. But, a very spiritual one as well. 🙂

* – picture by MMCCV

** – picture by Loewe Lagdan

Summer 2012

This year’s summer is supposedly my last vacation as a student. However, since my bachelor’s degree requires us to be an intern during the summer after our third year, my two-month vacation is gone. Instead, it will be two or three weeks na lang. I’m not sad, though. I’m actually looking forward to what’s in store for me, especially since I will be working in a market research agency.

To make this summer more worthwhile, I vowed with my two best friends that we will accomplish the seven things we listed down two weeks ago.

Looks like this year’s summer will be very busy. 🙂