Mount Gulugod-Baboy + Sombrero Island

DIFFICULTY LEVEL (according to TA site): 2/10

Just like the previous hike, I booked this trip via Trail Adventours and was accompanied by Tin. Our main guides this time were Jeric and JP, who were both funny and easy to talk to. We were blessed that we had a good weather that day so we did not worry about muddy trails and getting wet in the middle of the hike.

MAY 21, 2016

DIFFICULTY LEVEL (according to TA site): 2/10

I became lazy again to update my site — it’s always an on-and-off relationship with blogging, or more of documenting travels as I always tell (or correct) my friends since I rarely write here.

So, after exactly 9 months, I have decided to finally write about my 2nd hike last 2016, which happened in Mount Gulugod-Baboy.

Just like the previous hike, I booked this trip via Trail Adventours and was accompanied by Tin. Our main guides this time were Jeric and JP, who were both funny and easy to talk to.

We were blessed that we had a good weather that day so we did not worry about muddy trails and getting wet in the middle of the hike. We had 2 main rest points, wherein we spent about 15 minutes in each point to catch up our breath and eat our trail food. It was also the place where we got to know fellow hikers in the group — plus shared our food (and be on the receiving end too – yay for free snacks!).

We reached the summit in about 2 hours and the view was absolutely stunning! We spent almost an hour there before starting our hike back to the parking lot for lunch time.

 

 

After lunch time, we changed into our swimming attire since TA package included a trip to Sombrero Island (called as such because the island is hat-shaped). We hopped on the rented boat and according to the guides, the island was once a free-for-all place. However, it has been declared as a “private property” hence there are fees to be paid, including renting a cottage. The island was just small but it looked quite difficult to go around the whole island since there were areas which were too rocky.

Swimming in the sea was more than welcome because we were there at past 1PM and the sun was shining bright (so much that it was awfully hot). We had to wear our slippers though while swimming since the bottom was full of small rocks instead of purely sand. Nevertheless, the sea was crystal clear and had different shades of blue.

Hello Sombrero Island!

 

We left Batangas mid-afternoon and while the traffic going back to Manila was quite heavy, the exhilarating hike and swim were more than enough to maintain a really happy mood. Another great hike from TA and we will surely be booking another hike with them soon!

Mount Palay-Palay (Pico de Loro)

DIFFICULTY LEVEL (according to TA site): 4/10

Tin and I spontaneously decided last March to hike a mountain. I was curious of the popular monolith in Mount Palay-Palay (more popularly known as Pico de Loro) so I decided to book a trip with Trail Adventours.

APRIL 24, 2016

DIFFICULTY LEVEL (according to TA site): 4/10

Tin and I spontaneously decided last March to hike a mountain. I was curious of the popular monolith in Mount Palay-Palay (more popularly known as Pico de Loro) so I decided to book a trip with Trail Adventours.

Had a bad experience with TA’s Mount Pinatubo team last May 2015 but I decided to give them another shot since the Pico de Loro team would be led by a different set of guides. Well, turned out I made a good decision to give TA a second shot. Our guides (Sir Eugene, Agnes, Brent, and Desiree) were all awesome! They kept on encouraging the team throughout the hike and they interacted with everyone — qualities which I did not see from our Mount Pinatubo guides.

We saw that the level of trail difficulty so we thought that such score would be okay for beginners… we missed out the part that the overall difficulty was intermediate. We eventually got left behind (but not the very last) but we were able to make new friends because of that. Sandy and (another) Tin!

The hike to the campsite took us about an hour and a half. There were a lot of steep slopes and rocky trails so we took a rest every chance we get. Nakakapagod paakyat! LOL.

 

 

 

 

When we reached the campsite, we were reunited with the team who went ahead of the pack. Yay! We replenished our energy by resting, eating, and drinking lots of water as we need to prepare for our short hike to the summit.

When everyone was ready to start the hike to the summit, we left the campsite and the locals told us that it was the best time to do so since there was no big crowd yet. Apparently, the summit can get so crowded to the point that there will be a long line of people waiting for their chance to be at the summit.

The hike to the summit was no joke. It was quite steep and the path was just dry soil and a few big rocks. One of our guides told me not to be afraid since I had good shoes. He said that what I needed to avoid were the small rocks because those do not have a strong hold on the soil. His words gave me the courage to move faster and the next thing I know, I was already at the top of the summit. Yay!

The famous monolith (restricted access to anyone during our visit but a lot were pasaway)

We spent about half an hour or so at the summit to marvel at the view around us. Sir Eugene even told stories from years ago when there was no developed trail yet and how their hike in the area would take more than a day.

After taking in the sights + taking pictures at the summit, we started our descent back to the campsite.

Near the campsite, there were a few more areas we could explore so Tin and I used the opportunity to roam around those areas.

The hike back to the parking lot was much shorter. While we took almost 2 hours to hike up to the campsite, it took us less than an hour from the campsite back to the parking lot.

It was tiring but every sweat was worth it! While Tin and I questioned our decision to take on a hike with intermediate difficulty, we did not regret doing this hike with TA. Cheers to more hikes this year! 🙂

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!

_MG_4549b

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.

_MG_4533
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.

_MG_4567b

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.

_MG_4592b
Bangui Windmills — entrance is also free!

_MG_4593 _MG_4589b

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 OurAwesomePlanet.com 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

_MG_4700

Romantic feels
Romantic feels

_MG_4729

Grilled Papakol
Grilled Papakol

_MG_4743 _MG_4742

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 (http://www.britanyalodge.com/contact-us.html)

*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.

pamana

Photo © Dianne Reyno

_MG_4140

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.

_MG_4144

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. 😦

_MG_4174
Bulalo

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.

_MG_4177
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.

_MG_4178
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.

_MG_4183
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.

_MG_4184
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.

_MG_4185
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.

_MG_4194

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. 😦

_MG_4214
“Kids”

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!

_MG_4227
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.

_MG_4245
Dodgem

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*

_MG_4248
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?

_MG_4255
Bump n’ Splash
_MG_4261
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. 😦

_MG_4266
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.

_MG_4283
Space Shuttle (view from Jungle Log Jam)

_MG_4286

_MG_4296
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.

_MG_4320

_MG_4331
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.

_MG_4341
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.

_MG_3846 _MG_3847 _MG_3848

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.

_MG_3897
My little sister and my mom ❤
_MG_3915
“Plaque” of recognition for those who pledged and donated for the shrine
_MG_3920
Kamay ni Hesus Church

_MG_3925

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.

_MG_3929
That’s one tough polar bear! Still standing despite the heat.

_MG_3930 _MG_3931b _MG_3933b

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!

_MG_3936

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

_MG_3946
1st Station: The Last Supper
_MG_3948
2nd Station: The Agony in Gethsemani
_MG_3950
3rd Station: Jesus Before the Sanhedrin
_MG_3955
4th Station: The Scourging and Crowning with Thorns
_MG_3964
5th Station: Jesus Receives the Cross
_MG_3970
6th Station: Jesus Falls Under the Weight of the Cross
_MG_3971
7th Station: Simon of Cyrene Carries the Cross of Jesus
_MG_3974
8th Station: Jesus Meets the Pious Women of Jerusalem
_MG_3989
9th Station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross
_MG_3979
10th Station: The Repentant Thief
_MG_3986
11th Station: Mary and John at the Foot of the Cross
_MG_3996
12th Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross
13th Station: Jesus is Laid in the Tomb
13th Station: Jesus is Laid in the Tomb
_MG_4009
14th Station: Jesus Rises from Death
_MG_4015
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.

_MG_4040
My only solo picture for the day… and the wind just had to ruin my hair.
_MG_4030
After climbing down the grotto 🙂
_MG_3891
Breathtaking view at the top of the grotto

_MG_3887 _MG_3889 _MG_4020 _MG_4021 _MG_4022 _MG_4024 _MG_4026 _MG_4027 _MG_4028 _MG_4029

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

_MG_4076
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*

_MG_4077
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!

_MG_4078
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.

_MG_4085b

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

Breaking up with you…

Goodbye, my love. I will surely miss you. I don’t know if I will get to see you again but I know that if I do, it won’t be the same ever again. We were together for just a short time but I had a lot of memories with you. There were days when I was too busy to pay attention to you but when I was free, I made sure that I only paid attention to you. It was just for two short months but each day was worth remembering.

I bid you farewell, summer. It’s time to start my relationship with the rainy season.

 

————————————————

Start of classes this week. Still too lazy to go to school. Right now, I’m trying to condition my mind that I’ll be given tons of school work again especially since this will be my last year in college (hopefully!). So many things happened this summer and I’m glad that I learned a lot of things during that time, and I have my internship to thank for that. The only thing that I regret this summer is that I was not able to swim. Yep, no outing either at the beach or swimming pool. Sucks, right? Thus, the picture of a swimming pool in this post. That’s in Maxim’s Hotel, by the way. And then, I suddenly realized that this is the last time I’ll be experiencing a two-month summer vacay. *sigh* 😦

On another note, I’m looking forward to the rainy season a.k.a. sweater weather. Yay!

The Mind Museum – A must stop for geeks, nerds, and people who are (madly) in love with science

EDIT: To all those who shared this post via Facebook and/or Twitter, thank you very much! I wish there was a way to trace the people who shared this entry so that I can give my thanks to each one of you. :< Anyway, keep on spreading the link to this entry. If you’re not very busy, try to read my other posts in this blog. I’m sure you’ll like it especially if you looooove food. :>

Finally! The museum I’ve been anticipating since last year is now open to the public. I invited my best friends right away since I know that they will totally looooove this place. What made us more excited to go to this museum is the fact that we only get to pay PhP150 since we are college students from a public university.

The Mind Museum
(leftmost: Kim and Mico; bottom right: Me and Kim)

If it isn’t obvious from the title of this entry and from this picture, the museum is called The Mind Museum. It is located in Bonfiacio Global City, Taguig City (near Deutsche Bank). I still have a hangover from visiting this place so I’ll try my best to give a detailed entry on what’s in store for you. And yes, based on the numerous pictures I have for this entry, picture taking is allowed inside the museum. Perfect!

Meet Aedi (you can actually talk to her!)

We (Kim, Mico, and I) were greeted by a female robot called Aedi. She said that it would take more than one visit to fully enjoy each section in the museum. We would also embark on our own adventure because we are the ones who will choose where would we start. At this point, my best friends and I could not contain our excitement anymore. We wanted to start the tour already. Good thing that Aedi’s speech was just short and upon bidding us goodbye, the people went their own ways.

First stop: Philippine Science Hall

(RIGHT – top to bottom: Kim and the trivia boards; Information on whale shark; Interactive whale shark figure)

This was the section nearest to Aedi’s. There was one part where it was full of trivia related to science organizations. Mico and Kimberly said in a sarcastic tone that the stuff there was not bias since they saw a few answers (i.e. Institute of Physics, Institute of Chemistry, Institute of Mathematics) related to the University of the Philippines. Famous tourist spots in the Philippines, such as Donsol and El Nido, had their own exhibit in the museum. Donsol boasts the abundance of whale sharks (butanding in Filipino) in their province. There were buttons in the whale shark figure which made learning more fun.

Good proof that learning is indeed fun

Before leaving the area, there was a touchscreen TV where you have to drag each animal (except for the rafflesia) to the corresponding Philippine province where they can be found.

Second stop: Universe Gallery – The Majesty of the Universe

At the entrance of the Universe Gallery

We just could not ignore this area because of the star-like lights that illuminate the place. Besides, we just totally love everything related to the universe so we proceeded to this place right away. We were so envious of the people who donated to the museum because they got their own star.

(top: Constellation of my zodiac sign; bottom: Mico, keeper of the stars — because he was the only one who was able to use the touchscreen TV. Daya!)

I saw the constellation of my zodiac sign but I found out that it was already bought. Damn! Someday, I’ll buy the Virgo constellation. Or better yet, the Milky Way galaxy. Haha! There were lots of interactive thingimajig in this section, such as controlling a moon buggy and moving the planets in the solar system. We decided to leave the area by going through the tunnelcraft called “Universe to Earth Corridor.”

Kim controlling the buggy. Oh, and they even used memes for repairing notices. Me gusta!

Something to take note of in this area. They have a planetarium here but, sadly, it can only accommodate a maximum of 40 people. Also, seats are limited slots and the passes are given for the early birds. We arrived at exactly 3PM so goodbye to the chance of visiting the planetarium.

Third stop: Earth Gallery

Meet my new buddy, Stan the T-rex

Got a bit dizzy upon entering this place since we went here via the tunnelcraft with spinning space objects around us. The highlight of this section is the replica of the skeleton of a tyrannosaurus rex (T-rex). I wanted to hug the T-rex after seeing it! Not a lot of people know that I am very interested in dinosaurs. 🙂 Stan, the T-rex, is actually the first thing you’ll spot in this gallery. Another attraction here is a device where you can create a tornado ala-Storm from X-Men.

Fourth stop: —

Fractal Wall

I forgot to look at the name of this section because at this point, I was already too excited to look at each exhibit. Anyway, one of the interesting exhibits here is the Fractal Wall, where you will see the same pattern as you keep on zooming in the image that you see on the screen. Our (Kim’s and mine) favorite pattern was the Spider (Math Equation).

We just kept on zooming and zooming until the image said that the computer is already out of memory.

In the fungi exhibit, we found different mushrooms that looked like plushies. I wanted to take them home and put them in our living room. 😀

Fifth stop: Life Gallery – The Exuberance of Life

(CCW: Sign of the gallery; Parts of a cell; Sign of an exhibit; Interactive videos for Strange Dear but True Dear; Interactive exhibit for Bernoulli’s principle; Kim and Mico being eaten by a whale shark)

The whale shark was one of the main attractions here and lots of people just can’t help but take a picture in front of it — pretending to be eaten by the whale shark. But of course in reality, it is close to impossible for whale sharks to eat humans since they only feed on plankton. There are lots of interactive stuff here such as the following: learning the different parts of the human cell, exploring the human body (e.g. muscular, skeletal, digestive), understanding how food webs work, and finding out the principle responsible for making birds and airplanes fly. Mico and I played a quiz game related to DNA but there was a technical mishap since the program went back to the 1st question when it was supposed to display the 6th question.

Sixth stop: Inner-Space Track

On one of the walls, there is a video projection about the DNA — its purpose, how it works, the pairs of proteins, and many more.

Seventh stop: Atom Gallery

(LEFT – top to bottom: Organic Molecule exhibit; Visualization of pitch)
(RIGHT – top to bottom: Formula for paracetamol; Static exhibit; Shadow box exhibit)

This was Kim’s area (she’s a Chemical Engineering major!) and we just can’t help but get excited after seeing organic chemistry stuff. There was also an exhibit related to the principle of static. It was funny seeing people whose hair just stood out. Literally. I was not able to try this since my palms were sweaty and I’m sure I would get electrocuted if I tried it. Bummer. Interactive exhibits included “seeing” what a pitch looks like, how whirlpools work, and taking a picture of your shadow.

Eighth stop: The Lightbridge

The Lightbridge and the map

They constructed their map here based on the different light waves that we know of — from gamma rays to radio waves. Definitely cool! Not much of interactive exhibits here but lots of helpful information to store in our brain.

Ninth (and last) stop: Technology Gallery

(TOP LEFT, CW: Mico and I sitting on the toilet; Bag inspection ala-airport; Scent of lavender; Toilet buddies doing a secret technique)

At this point, I was quite tired from walking. Still, not a reason to stop me from enjoying and exploring this place. This is the only gallery in the museum located at the second floor. It was fun smelling stuff like lavender, citrus, cedar, and cinnamon. I definitely loved the scent of the first two.

(TOP: Managed to fit the eleven boxes… with brute force)
(BOTTOM, L-R: Mico plays the binary dance; Kim polishes her drumming skills; My best friends playing the harp with laser thingimajig as strings)

Exhibits with touchscreen stuff included trying out different shoes for an avatar, listening to random songs from different decades (from the 60s up to the 00s), and playing arcade games (from the 60s up to the 00s). We also got to try how security people in airports inspect bags. There were also nerdy games here like playing binary dance ala-Dance Dance Revo and fitting eleven cubes within a limited space.

With my sister that destiny forgot to gave me /propphi/ 🙂

Kim and I just had to take a picture here because the caption above us has a special meaning for us. We call each other “propphi” which is a combination of the words “prop” and “phi.” “Prop” is the prefix used in organic chemistry for the number three while “phi” is magical and perfect number in the entire universe. These are our favorite numbers so we decided to combine them and voila! Propphi is born. How nerdy, huh. 🙂

Trying to get a decent picture of the mirror for measuring body proportions

Speaking of beauty, there is a mirror in this gallery where you get to see if the different proportions in your body are perfect. If they are, then you have the perfect body! Turns out I don’t have it. Height pa lang, bagsak na! Oh well. Can’t do anything about that. Haha!

(Mind Movers who explained how printing worked decades ago; Mico and me holding our souvenirs; Kim with her “printed” souvenir)

We managed to have a free souvenir from The Mind Museum when we checked out the exhibit where the staff will demonstrate how the first printing press worked.

We were about to leave the place when one of the staff stopped us and told us to watch their 3D short film of how the planet Earth and its inhabitants came to be. It was around 15 minutes and it was so coooool! Definitely loved the part where the dinosaurs were the stars in one part of the film.

Turned the Science Demo Area into a studio. LOL.

Being with awesome people in an awesome place makes this day an awesome one. Too much use of the word “awesome.” Haha! By the way, we had the 3-6PM tour and explored the museum on our own. We’re thinking of having a guide next time.

We’re definitely coming back for you, The Mind Museum. 🙂

PS. We went to Market! Market! afterwards and ate at Buddy’s. The restaurant is famous for their Pancit Lucban and I’m glad that Mico and Kim loved it since I’m actually a fan of this dish. Yep, I can’t resist the urge to include food in this post.

My share of Pancit Lucban. Did not manage to get a picture when it was just served. Too hungry to think e.

Note 1: The Mind Museum ticket prices are as follows:

Adults – PhP600 | Private School Students (up to college) – PhP450 | Public School Students (up to college) – PhP150 | Teachers – PhP150

Note 2: Time Slots –> 9AM-12NN | 12NN-3PM | 3PM-6PM | 6PM-9PM (during weekends only)

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. 🙂