Sunday, May 14, 2017

We Have The Most Fun: Pahiyas Festival 2016 on Video

Pahiyas is a thanksgiving festival for the bountiful harvest and to honor the patron saint of the farmers - San Isidro Labrador. This is one of the most colorful festival in the Philippines which is being celebrated every 15th of May in Lucban, Quezon. It showcases houses decorated with colorful kiping (leaf-shaped wafers made from rice) with palay, fruits, vegetable and plants. Every year, the Pahiyas route changes to give way for other household to participate in decorating their houses.




Shot using GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition and edited in iMovie. Background music is from Jingle Punks - We Have The Most Fun by Mobster Bisque via GoPro free music.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Pahiyas Festival of Lucban Quezon




Last year, I've crossed out another item in my travel bucket list. I joined Huglet Travel and Tours Pahiyas Festival tour package for Php 899.00 with some of my officemates slash travel buddies. The activity is a one day tour exploration on the streets of Lucban, Quezon plus side trips to Nagcarlan, Liliw and San Pablo in Laguna.




This is a reality of a dream, an item in my bucket list since my childhood years when I chance upon a TV documentary about the festival. After convincing my office friends many times, they finally agreed to join and travel with me to Quezon province.
 



The tour package includes transportation from Quezon City to Lucban and vice versa only, other expenses will be shouldered by the participants. We left QC at 3AM and travelled to Lucban for almost 4 hours, we arrived at the venue before 7 in the morning. We are allowed to roam around the town until 1PM only. The rest of the afternoon was spent in the Underground Cemetery of Nagcarlan, St. John the Baptist Church of Liliw and San Pablo Cathedral. We left Laguna at around 8PM and arrived at QC at 12MN.




Pahiyas is a thanksgiving festival for the bountiful harvest and to honor the patron saint of the farmers - San Isidro Labrador. This is one of the most colorful festival in the Philippines which is being celebrated every 15th of May. It showcases houses decorated with colorful kiping (leaf-shaped wafers made from rice) with palay, fruits, vegetable and plants. Every year, the Pahiyas route changes to give way for other household to participate in decorating their houses.




HOW TO GO TO LUCBAN QUEZON:

Public Transportation
From Cubao or Buendia, take a bus going to Lucena City and from the Lucena Grand Terminal, ride a jeepney to Lucban town.

Private Transportation
Via SLEX, you may exit via Calamba and pass through the different towns of Laguna until you reach Lucban. You may also exit via Sto. Tomas and pass through the towns of Laguna and Quezon province until you reach Lucban.

Take note that vehicles are not allowed to enter the town proper, you may park your vehicles outside the town and ride a tricycle going to the Pahiyas route.




WHAT TO DO DURING PAHIYAS FESTIVAL:

1. Hear the early morning mass at the San Luis Obispo Parish Church at 6AM.



 
2. Join the morning procession and roam around the streets of Lucban and take pictures of the decorated houses. You can ask permission from the owners to take a picture from inside their houses.




3. Enjoy the local food scene, try the following food being sold along the Pahiyas streets.

 
Pilipit - a street food made from squash for Php 7.00



Pancit Hab-Hab - usually served on banana leaf, eat it with vinegar using your mouth without using any utensils for Php 10.00


Grilled Lucban Longganisa - garlic flavor local sausage for Php 15.00


Kiping - best if eaten with sugar, priced at Php 10.00


For breakfast and lunch, you may try Buddy's Pancit Lucban or Abcede's restaurant. Reminder not to go during peak hours to avoid the volume of tourists, in our case we had our lunch before 11AM.

Pasalubong can be bought at Pavino's Bakery, try their cookies and breads like broas, apas and camachile.


TRAVEL TIPS AND REMINDERS:

1. Leave as early as possible to avoid heavy traffic going to Lucban because other Quezon province towns are also celebrating fiesta on May 15.
2. Bring your own eco-bags for your pasalubong since the town is strictly implementing a no plastic policy.
3. Always drink water to avoid dehydration.
4. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes as you will be walking under the heat of the sun. You must also bring your sunglasses, cap/hat and umbrella.
5. Wear sunscreen or sunblock lotion to protect your skin.
6. Bringing of bulky bags are not recommended, as much as possible, use sling or body bag than backpack. Always keep an eye on your important belongings.
7. Do not forget to bring a camera.




For other information about Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, you may visit their website at www.pahiyasfestival.com.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Celebrate Summer with Bulacan Resorts

It's summer time once again and the best thing to do is to dip in the cool water to beat the heat of the scorching summer sun. If you need a quick getaway with family and friends, you do not need to go far away from Manila to celebrate summer. Bulacan may not have white sand beaches and crystal clear blue water but it will offer you relaxing pool resorts for your next affordable summer getaway.




Here are some of Bulacan pool resorts you could consider to enjoy a quick and stress free summer vacation with your loved ones.


#1 Amana Waterpark Resort

Amana Waterpark Resort located in Pandi, Bulacan offers a 3500-square meter wave pool with 13 magnificent waves that produces the biggest wave called Tsunami wave. It also has a 40-foot tall man-made waterfall and a 500-square meter kiddie pool. The waterpark is surrounded with more than 100 life-size kids and kids-at-heart favorite cartoon characters and superheroes.

Day swimming rate is Php 250.00 for adults and Php 200.00 for senior citizens and children. Their themed cottages can be rented from Php 600.00 good for 8 persons (Baler) up to Php 2500.00 good for 30 persons (Calatagan). If you prefer for an overnight stay, room rates are from Php 2000.00 to Php 3500.00 good for two people.




Location: Santisima Street, Bagong Barrio, Pandi, Bulacan
Contact Details: 0925-899-0868 / 0917-886-6220 / 0939-923-3089
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/amanawaterparkph


#2 St Agatha Resort

St. Agatha Resort is a garden resort located in the municipality of Guiguinto, Bulacan. It is a few meters away from NLEX Sta. Rita exit. The resort offers kiddie pool, lap pool and wave pool. It has its own floating restaurant named after its owner (Bistro Ambrosio) which offers Filipino cuisine at affordable prices.

Day swimming rate is Php 200.00 for adult and Php 185.00 for children under 3ft. Their umbrella cottages that can cater 4 to 6 persons can be rented for Php 800.00 while their nipa huts that can cater 10 to 12 persons can be rented from Php 800.00 to Php 1000.00. For groups with 10 to 15 persons, they have an available hall for Php 2000.00.

If you prefer for an overnight stay, you can book they summer cottages located within the resort area. Large cottage good for 3 to 10 persons is at Php 4000.00 while the small cottage good for 3 to 5 persons is at Php 3,400.00. Their hotel room prices are from Php 4,200.00 to Php 4,900.00.




Location: St. Agatha Homes, Sta. Rita, Guiguinto, Bulacan
Contact Details: 0923-217-5468 / 044-794-5272
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/St.Agatha.Resort.Hotel
Website: www.stagatharesort.ph


#3 Grotto Vista Resort

Grotto Vista Resort is one of Bulacan's premier resort 15 minutes away from Manila and located in the City of San Jose Del Monte. The resort offers 8 different pool including their iconic Galleon Ship Pool.

Day swimming rate is Php 200.00 for adults and Php 150.00 for children under 4ft. Cottages for small group is from Php 350.00 to Php 500.00. Big groups can rent their cottages from Php 1000.00 to Php 5000.00. Overnight stay in their air-conditioned rooms is from Php 2000.00 to Php 3000.00.




Location: Graceville, City of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan
Contact Details: 0917-839-0327 / 044-815-0943
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/GrottoVistaResort
Website: http://www.grottovistaresort.com/


#4 Grass Garden Resort

A small but beautifully landscaped garden inspired resort in Plaridel, Bulacan. The resort offers one adult and one kiddie pool only but the place is perfect for families and friends who wants to enjoy a peaceful and relaxing summer.

Day swimming rate is Php 200.00 for adults and Php 150.00 for children. Cottages are from Php 300.00 to Php 1,500.00 that can accommodate from 4 to 40 persons. If you plan for an overnight stay, they have available rooms for Php 2,500.00 plus entrance fee of Php 200.00 for 6 persons with breakfast.




Location: Purok 4, Sipat, Plaridel, Bulacan
Contact Details: 044-795-0124
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/thegrassgardenresort
Website: http://www.grassgardenresort.com/


#5 Klir Waterpark

One of Bulacan's most promising resort that offers four different kinds of pool including it's latest technology wave pool which is the biggest in Bulacan at an estimated size of 3,500 square meters. The place is just 30 minutes away from Manila and can be found just near the NLEX Sta. Rita exit.

Day swimming rate is Php 250.00 for adults and Php 200.00 for senior citizens and children. Cottages can be rented from Php 500.00 to Php 2000.00 that can accommodate 4 to 40 persons. Hotel room rates are from Php 3,220.00 to Php 4,490.00 for 2 persons inclusive of swimming entrance fee and breakfast.




Location: Kabilang Bakood, Sta. Rita, Guiguinto, Bulacan
Contact Details: 044 892 0227
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/klirwaterparkresort
Website: www.klirwaterparkresort.com.ph


#6 Bahay ni Kuya Resort

Bahay ni Kuya Resort offers a vacation that feels like home. One of the closest getaway from Manila, the resort is just 30 minutes away from Balintawak via NLEX. It has public pool and wave pool, it also has a private swimming pool for exclusive family celebration.

Day swimming rate is Php 100.00 and cottages are from Php 300.00 to Php 700.00 that can accommodate 6 to 20 persons. Standard room rates are from Php 1000.00 to Php 2,500.00 good for 2 to 12 persons while VIP room is at Php 3,500.00.




Location: 124 NIA Road, Ligas, Malolos City, Bulacan
Contact Details: 0919-914-2088
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/bahaynikuyaresort
Website: www.bahaynikuyaresort.ph


#7 Falcon Crest Resort

Falcon Crest Resort is team building venue with an area of 9.5 hectares surrounded by trees and mountains. The place offers the following amenities: swimming pool, retreat house with 16 rooms, a pavilion for special occasion and team building facilities like rappelling, zipline, rope courses, cargo net and many more.

Day swimming rate is Php 120.00 while overnight swimming rate is Php 170.00. The pool can be rented privately from Php 12,000 to Php 18,000 depending on the time of stay. Rooms are from Php 1000.00 to Php 6000.00 that can accommodate 6 to 20 persons. Camping tent are also available for Php 1800.00.




Location: Partida, Norzagaray, Bulacan
Contact Details: 0917-880-9046 / 0917-795-2119
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/falconcrestresortbulacan
Website: www.falconcrestresort.com

Saturday, March 25, 2017

SONY A5000: Your Perfect Travel Companion




Gone are those days that traveling are meant for rich people only. With the rising numbers of do-it-yourself travel blogs and the birth of budget traveler's group on social media, we are given a lot of options to travel at the cheapest possible ways

Majority of travelers nowadays prefer to travel with their backpack than carrying heavy and bulky luggages. Backpacking requires a skill to pack all the important things you need for your entire trip inside a small bag.

A camera is an essential element of every traveler's journey. It will be their tool to document in photos and videos their precious and priceless moments. DSLR is the best choice for travel photography but more tourists and travelers are now gearing towards the use of mirrorless camera because of it's convenience that can also produce high quality photos and videos like of the DSLR.

If you are planning to buy a new mirrorless camera for your next trip, you should get the Sony Alpha A5000. It would be the best travel companion because of its features suited for every type of traveler. 

Let's take a look why it is the best camera for a traveler like you.


#1 PERFECT for Size and Weight Conscious Travelers a.k.a. The Backpackers.
It's portable, you can bring it wherever you go.

It is the world's lightest interchangeable-lens digital camera weighing only 210g for body only or 269g with battery and media, perfect for the 7 kilos allowed hand carry baggages of some airlines.

The camera size with measurements of 109.6 mm width, 62.8 mm height and 35.7 mm depth is not space consuming, there's still room for your shopping haul and pasalubongs.




#2. PERFECT for BUDGETarian Travelers.
It's cheap but powerful and flexible.

Travelers will most likely to invest their money on experiences rather than invest it to expensive material things. But Sony A5000 will not break your bank because it is priced at PHP 22,999.00 only, cheaper compared to other mirrorless camera in the market today.

It's powerful enough to provide you with good quality photos and videos of your adventures. It is equipped with the following features:
  • 20.1 MP Exmor HD APS sensor to achieve high resolution and DSLR quality images.
  • BIONZ X image processing engine to get truer color rendering, better noise reduction and faster burst mode shooting.
  • Full HD movie recording in high quality video formats.

It is also a flexible interchangeable-lens digital camera that gives you the freedom to shoot beautiful photos depending on your subject matter. Whether you are in landscape, portrait or macro photography in your travels, Sony has a list of accessories and lenses compatible for your device.


#3 PERFECT for Social Media Addict Travelers.
It is wi-fi enabled, time to level up your instagram feed. 

There is no need to wait for you to get home to transfer photos from your camera to your personal computer before you upload it on your Facebook photo album. No need to put #latepost on your instagram gallery. It's time to use #ATM (At The Moment) because with Sony A5000, you can wirelessly connect it to your smartphone and upload your picture on your social media accounts anytime and anywhere as long as mobile data is available.




#4 PERFECT for SOLO Backpackers.
It's a selfie or groufie friendly device. 

With Sony A5000 tiltable LCD screen up to 180 degrees, you can capture beautifully composed self portraits in just a snap. No need to ask other travelers's assistance to take your picture or bring those bulky and heavy tripods.


Not convinced yet? For more details about Sony A5000, you may visit their Sony Philippines website here or any of their Sony Centers near you.


Joel Clavio
Corporate Slave on Weekdays
Wanderer on Weekends

Disclaimer: All photos used are from Sony Philippines.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tara Let's Eat: Baguio City Foodtrip


          Baguio City is one of the most famous out of town destinations outside Metro Manila for families and group of friends because of its cool climate and picturesque places. Aside from it's popular tourist attractions like horse back riding in Wright Park, boat sailing in Burnham Park and strawberry picking at the strawberry farm, Baguio is also home to different worth trying restaurants. Here are the list of the restaurants I've visited during my stay. 


1. Canto Bogchi Joint

          One of the restaurant found in Ketchup Food Community in front of the Wright Park. They offer the best lomo ribs in town. Their grilled barbeque pork ribs with homemade barbeque sauce is served with cascade salad, rice or mashed potato. Half slab cost Php 240.00 while full slab is Php 460.00. 
 

Lomo Ribs


          You may also try their Canto Burger with their homemade beef patty with cheese sauce and shoestring potatoes.


Canto Burger


Canto Bogchi Joint can be found in Ketchup Food Community, Romulo Drive, Brgy. Lualhati, Baguio City, Benguet. 


2. Happy Tummy

          Another restaurant inside the Ketchup Food Community is the Happy Tummy. The restaurant offers home cooked Thai comfort food that caters to the taste buds of the Filipinos. We ordered the following in their affordable menu list: Bagoong Rice - small service cost Php 120.00 while large serving cost Php 150.00, 4 pieces chicken pandan for Php 195.00 and 5 pieces fried spring rolls for Php 175.00.


Fried Spring Rolls, Bagoong Rice and Chicken Pandan


Happy Tummy restaurant can be found in Ketchup Food Community, Romulo Drive, Brgy. Lualhati, Baguio City, Benguet. 


3. Cafe Sabel

          Cafe Sabel is the restaurant inside the BenCab Museum named after the artist's famous muse  in his paintings. The cafe is overlooking the forest and the pond, it offers fresh and home cooked dishes. After the museum tour, we tried their blueberry cheesecake for Php 120.00 and their seasonal halo-halo for Php 150.00. 


Café Sabel Interiors
 

Café Sabel Halo-Halo


Cafe Sabel can be found in BenCab Museum, 6 Asin Road, Tadiangan, Tuba, Benguet. 


4. Pamana Restaurant

          Pamana restaurant is a fine dining Filipino restaurant that served heirloom recipes handed down from generation to generation, a sister restaurant of Barrio Fiesta of the Ongpauco Family. We had a sumptuous lunch with their Seafood Aligue Paella with fish, shrimp, tahong in aligue sauce for Php 420.00. 


Seafood Aligue Paella


Pamana Restaurant can be found in Igorot Stairs, Upper Session Road, Baguio City, Benguet.  


5. Choco-late de Batirol

          A garden cafe restaurant that offers hot chocolate, the perfect drink in the cold Baguio weather. The tsokolate is made from local cacao beans and the drink is made using the traditional way of mixing it in a metal pot and a batirol. The traditional blend cost Php 70.00 while other flavors like strawberry, cinnamon and almond cost Php 90.00. Their tsokolate drink is best paried with their bibingka which cost Php 95.00. They also offers breakfast meals from Php 160.00 to Php 180.00. 


Bibingka, Choco-late Traditional Blend,
Cinnamon Swirl Cold Version and Longanizang Vigan


Choco-late Batirol can be found in Igorot Park, Camp John Hay, Baguio City, Benguet.


6. Cafe by the Ruins
 
          Baguio City's best loved restaurant is a cafe rose from the ruins of World War 2. It's Cordillera inspired menu offers locally grown and seasonal fresh from the market ingredients. 


Café by the Ruins Entrace
 

Hundred Island Sinigang

 
          They recently opened Cafe by the Ruins Dua in Session Road, their second store and only branch. The place offers elegance with it's beautiful interior design and artistry. The must order foods are their biscuit and bread ranging from Php 60.00 to Php 100.00, Mt. Data Tapa and Baguio Longganisa for Php 340.00 each which comes with tomatoes, egg, rice, drink and fruits. You may also try their Hundred Island Seafood Sinigang for lunch or dinner. 


Mt. Data Tapa
 

Baguio Longganisa

 
Cafe by Ruins can be found in 25 Shuntug Street, Baguio City, Benguet while Cafe by the Ruins Dua can be found in 225 Upper Session Road, Baguio City, Benguet. 

 
7. Hill Station
 
          One of the best and highly recommended fine dining restaurant in Baguio City. The restaurant is inside Casa Vallejo, the oldest hotel in the city. The owner - Mitos Benitez-Yniquez, is a well-travelled culinary expert, the reason behind the dishes in Hill Station's menu are with influences of American, European and Asian cuisine. For lunch, we tried their Lechon Kawali with Laing sa Gata for Php 320.00 and Cambodian Coriander and Garlic Chicken for Php 360.00. For dessert, we tried they homemade ice cream palette with five scoop of different flavors - dark chocolate with cayenne, salted caramel, vanilla cinnamon, Benguet coffee with choco chips and mango rum served in a painter's palette for Php 110.00.


Hill Station
 

Lechon Kawali with Laing sa Gata
 

Cambodian Coriander and Garlic Chicken
 


Ice Cream Palette


Hill Station can be found in Casa Vallejo, Upper Session Road, Baguio City, Benguet.