That Empty Feeling…

This year’s Lantern Parade was my last since I will be graduating on April. Compared to the previous Lantern Parades I’ve attended, this year’s was the only parade where I went on my own. Challenge accepted to do the #foreveralone peg in this prestigious UP Diliman event. While waiting for the parade to start, I took these pictures to distract myself…







Palma Hall looking grand and majestic



The only lanterns I saw were up until those from the Asian Institute of Tourism. Before I left the area, I saw College of Education’s lantern nearing AS Steps.

Reason #1 why I left early: My only companion, best friend Kim, can attend the parade but she had to go home early. Since all the good spots were already occupied and she hasn’t arrived yet, we would not be able to have a good view of the lanterns.

Reason #2: A lot of people standing had cameras and whenever a lantern was approaching, everyone would flock there. Curse my height because I could not see anything anymore; thus, I could not take any good pictures.

Reason #3: Lantern Parade is a signal for me that Christmas is approaching but for some reason, I don’t feel the Christmas vibes. The spirit of Grinch and Uncle Scrooge has probably possessed me. I’m crossing my fingers that they’ll be exorcised this week, though. 😦

Anyway, here are the only pictures I had during the parade…










































Whenever I think that graduation is fast approaching, I feel ecstatic and at the same time very sad. I will surely miss sceneries like these, especially during sunsets.



Spent the rest of the evening with Kim. We headed to TriNoma to hang out and catch up with each other’s life. I missed you big time, propphi! 🙂

Best friends forever <3
Best friends forever ❤

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