Archive for April, 2012

Bacolod 2011 – Familia Adik on the Loose <<< Click on the link to check slideshow

Family @ Aida's Manokan

my favorite inasal.. Aida’s Manokan…

Finally! After rebooking my flight four times, I was able to set off to the City of Smiles. Initially, this was planned to be a 7 – day family escapade but due to changes of schedule and my transfer to Cebu, some of my brothers were not able to join and I had to do several rebookings.

My family arrived in Bacolod 2 days ahead of me. Boarding a Cebu – Bacolod flight, I arrived on November 10, 2011. It was and early morning flight and I remember dropping by the office before I left. I was able to catch a cab in front of Ayala Center Cebu and as soon as I arrived at airport, I was already looking for food. Believe it or not, the only store open is Dunkin’ Donuts. While waiting for my flight, I had my usual ham and cheese bunwich and water.

Since Mimay transferred apartment, I was nor sure whether to meet up with them or go straight to her place. From Bacolod- Silay airport, i opted to ride a shuttle and be dropped at Robinson’s place instead of getting a cab. Shuttle service is only Php150.00 from Airport to Bacolod compared to Php500.00 for a cab. From Robinsons’ I decided to take the cab since I am not sure of what public transportation to take to get to Villamonte.

Finally, I saw my papa waiting for me at the gate of Xaver’s Apartment. Breakfast is served and we are off to our exploration.

DAY 1 : We first head off to Robinsons’ place. We went around for a while and looked into antique furnitures. I also looked for fiorgelatto and I was disappointed to learn that the store no longer exists. We also had our arcade time before lunch. As expected, I told them that I want to eat inasal for lunch. We head off to Manokan Country and dined at Aida’s Manukan. Atlast, after almost two years I was able to taste the best inasal! I ordered batokolon (gizzards) and paa (legs). After lunch, we went to SM City Bacolod, just a few meters away from Manokan Country and did our grocery for our day 2 get away.

Mamamia and Sophia

after lunch @ Aida’s

DAY 2: We agreed to have an overnight stay at Mambukal Mountain Resort and leave early on Day 2. From Villamonte we took a cab to Libertad, where we rode a bus going to Murcia – Mambukal. You won’t be lost via public transportation since Mambukal Resort is the last stop. On a private vehicle, it may only take you 45 minutes to get to Mambukal but since it’s a public transpo, spare about an hour and a half or two (depending on the number of pick ups and stops the bus may have). After paying our entrance fee and selecting our cabin for our overnight, we stayed by the swimming pool cottage until check -in time (2PM). The cabin we chose is good for 6 pax at Php1800. After securing our things, we had a stroll and took pictures. We visited the dipping pool (but did not dipped.. hehehe), hot sulfur, wall climbing and slide for life areas, lake, butterfly garden and bath houses. Mimay arrived just before dinner.

Mambukal Entrance

yes! we are in…

@ Mambukal

where we are staying for night… just in front of the big pool…

Hot Sulfur it is

it’s not pure sulfur… don’t worry…

Mambukal Cabins

pick your choice…

DAY 3: We were up very early on our 2nd day in Mambukal. Being the kitchen master, I prepared breakfast while my sister Janers kept on taking pictures of Mamamia and Papapicolino. After breakfast, we had a walk and finally dipped in the dipping pool. For Php 50.00, we were able to enjoy the hot and therapeutic ala – spa sulfur pool. We headed for more walk and picture taking. The bats didn’t fail us as we’ve seen them flying around like birds do. We had a quick lunch and headed back to Bacolod. I met with some friends at Kuppa and of course indulged in my ever favorite Wimpy Burger. Mimay took us to Pope John Paul II Tower in reclamation area. It’s a 6 floor building near SM City Bacolod which was built to stand as memorial of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Bacolod in 1981. There are a lot of pictures and memorabila of PJPII. From downtown Bacolod, we decided to have dinner at Cookies and Crumbs. This is just in front of the Government Center which we wanted to visit before we end the day.

Family Pic @ Mambukal

ready for our morning walk…

Bats @ Mambukal

we thought they were birds.. yep! they are bats!!!

Family @ PJPII Tower

just before we climb the stairs…

Pope John Paul II Tower

Pope John Paul II Tower @ Reclamation Area…

Government Center

Government Center at night

DAY 4: My last day it is. We started the day with a visit to Carmelites Monastery. I was hoping to get some chips (caramel flavored hosts) but it was not available. After praying and feeling inner peace, we headed off for lunch to Greeno’s Pizzaria at 6th Street. If i remembered correctly, it is also the day of Pacquiao Vs. Marquez bout. We ordered the larges pizza they offer, 3 towers of iced tea and enjoy. We headed back to the apartment after, had some rest and headed back to Cebu.

family @ carmelite monastery

before lunch….

Janers and Sophia @Greeno's Pizzaria

it’s really big!

The 4- day vacation I had is just what I needed to a week long client visit back in Cebu.

I really love Bacolod, as a matter of fact, we are again booked to visit the city of smiles in March 2012.

It's more fun in the Philippines!

with Apl.de.Ap @ Hundred Islands

For me and my cousins, 2012 summer is at its peak and we have to enjoy the scorching heat of the sun! We wanted to enjoy our summer and at the same time add a place to my LIBOT PILIPINAS map. So we decided to join a group trip to Pangasinan.

We first explored Bolinao and then set off to Alaminos to visit the Hundred Islands. As expected, we had the usual island hopping and picture taking. Manong would stop by an island and give us trivia about the island and he is very much willing to answer random questions about Alaminos too.

Since it’s about lunch time the other boatman signaledmanong to dock to Quezon Island (the island where most tourists stay for lunch).

It’s around 11:30 am and the weather is not disappointing us! It was so hot and i would kill for a glass of cold water.The boatman told me that I can get cold buko juice in the island for only Php20.00. Considering the location, I would agree that it’s cheap.

Buko de Ap

i could kill for a glass…

All of a sudden my sister Mimay screamed and pointed to the island saying — “Oh My God! Si Apl.de.ap yun diba?!”. Everyone looked and zoomed in our lenses and saw people lined up buying Buko Juice. Buying buko juice from Apl. de. ap. then posing for a picture.

serving the juice

serving the juice

WOW! Twenty pesos for a glass of ice cold buko juice in the middle of 123 islands surrounded by the water of South China Sea, served by Apl.de.ap with picture taking? That is way cheap!!!

the stand

the juice stand…

As soon as we are off the boat, we went straight to the juice stand and laughed. We are now part of the long line waiting to order and claim our juice from Kuya (an Apl.de.ap look – a- like).

Apl. de. ap

LMAO

Buko Juice Price:

  • Small – Php 20.00
  • Large – Php 40.00

Now that is effortless marketing!

Imagine all of these people lining up on Buko de Ap juice stall to get themselves ice cold buko juice and pictures taken with the owner doing nothing to advertise. What he did is to capitalize on his look and use it to attract tourists. Who else can think of that if not a Filipino?

more fun!!

more fun in the Philippines!

Hats off to Kuya. He tells the tourists to take pictures with him with the Hundred Islands signage seen in the backgound.

Group Pic!

He asked for a wacky shot… lol

Innovation, Business, Marketing Strategy and a lot more are FUN in the Philippines!

View from the top

Mimay and I were arguing on how to spend the weekend after Tita Ela leaves for Hongkong. I kept on suggesting a cheaper alternative by organizing a summer outing with our cousins to Pansol. She would not agree to it and would always go back to her swimsuit reason. Apparently,ย  she bought swimsuits perfectly designed for beach outings. Before the end of the day, we posted an invite in our FB group for the proposed outing and as expected, Denzy as active as always, responded to the invite and started helping out in listing possible venues.The suggestions included Puerto Galera, Laiya, Pangasinan, La Union and Bicol but with the budget and time crunches we have, we think it would be impossible to have everyone join.

Then a text message arrived — Darnel is asking if I am interested in revisiting Bolinao and Alaminos.

We started packing early Friday morning for the trip with the printed itinerary on hand. We were supposed to join Darnel’s group at HSBC Alabang but they later changed the pickup point for us to Ortigas. Instead of heading to Podium, we met the group at Robinson’s Pioneer. There were two vans for the trip. We joined the green van with Darnel and as expected, we would not leave Manila without a comedic antic completed. Instead of picking us up along the taxi bay area, we had to run along Edsa and get in the van. (Classic!).

Our first stop is for pee break, 12am. I suddenly remembered that my last visit to the north (which means my last exit to NLEX) is nearly 5 years ago. We grabbed some quick munchies from the convenience store too and of course I had to take my yosi break as well.

With five hours of roadtrip ahead of us, i made sure my phone is fully charged nd Bon Jovi is in good condition. I am a time freak and I have a feeling that this trip would not go according to plan.

Proposed Itinerary

Hoping to follow you on the dot. ๐Ÿ™‚

The two day itinerary is already prepared and the contribution is set to PhP 2, 500.00 per head which coversย  the van/ gas, food, lodging and tour guide expenses. The printout stated it very clear, we are to stay in a house with two bedrooms to be shared by 20 people and this trip is to be enjoyed in a cowboy mode.

Since we are using a privately rented van, we passed though the alternate route to SCTEX heading to Bolinao.

  • 4:00am – arrival at Tito Larry’s and Mama’s place
  • 5:00am to 7:00am – rest
  • 7:00am to 8:00am – prep time
  • 8:20am – departure for Bolinao Experience (20 minutes late as planned; expect delays when 20 pax share 2 washrooms).

Places to Visit :

  • Balingasay River Sanctuary
  • Bolinao Lighthouse
  • Patar Beach
  • Enchanted Cave

We were supposed to take pictures in the river sanctuary but the guys decided to go straight to the lighthouse.

Treasures of Bolinao

The expected trekking…

Where shoudl we head first?

to the lighthouse or to the beach?

the girls

pichoor!

Ang Parola

wala naman lalaki sa parola eh…

While we were taking pictures and enjoying the view, Mama and Tito Larry went to Patar Beach to check for available cottage as we were scheduled to have lunch by the beach. After 30 minutes of perspiration due to picture taking and walking under the heat of the sun, we met withMama and Tito Larry at the waiting area. We were informed that we would first visit enchanted cave and would be going to the beach later.

So off we go the Enchanted Cave!

  • Entrance Fee – PhP 70 (viewing only) and PhP100 (viewing and swimming)
  • Parking Fee – Max of PhP 50.00

Enchanted Cave is one the many caves in Bolinao where tourists can enjoy underground swimming. It may not be as long as the underground river of Palawan but the caves in Bolinao offer crystal clear water. Different cottage sizes are available which are strategically situated within the resort. Hammocks are also available for guests to use during siesta. Their outdoor pool is small but is perfect for pictorial ๐Ÿ˜€

Entrance

we are now entering an enchated place ๐Ÿ™‚

inside the cave

ready to swim?

Stairs to the highest point

i won’t go up… no i won’t!

Hammocks are available...

Mimay trying the hammock ๐Ÿ˜€

Outdoor Pool

my gurlz posing pool…

We had our lunch and spent more time taking pictures and swimming. After our afternoon snack and charades, everyone prepared to head off to the beach.

patar beach

i tried a panoramic shot .. i think i failed ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Our next destination, Patar beach.

group pic @ patar beach

its was a long walk.. i swear!

There are lots of resorts in this area. Some offers hotel – like accommodations while some are offering backpacker accommodation. Patar’s sand may not be as white as Boracay’s but the pristine water it offers is comparable. Many bamboo/ nipa hut cottages are available for day trip accommodation as well.

mimay and me

Beach bumming weekend —wish some true!!

sunset

Mimay enjoying the sunset… no sun in the pic unfortunately…

We spent the night at Tito Larry’s / Mama’s place in Bolinao and the the following morning is all about Alaminos Adventure. After our breakfast, we set off to Alaminos. Not everyone is decided to swim and others would just like to do relax by the beach.

welcome to hundred islands

we were here!!

I have been to Alaminos before and have seen the beauty that the hundred islands has to offer. . We rented a boat for PhP 1800 for the trip. The usual island hopping and triva Q&A with the boatman are completed when we were all starstrucked by Apl.de.ap. See this blog why : Marketing Strategy, more fun in the Philippines!

hundred islands

using a my cybershot.. justified?

hundred islands

another shot from my sony digicam…

Activities completed : Snorkling, Cliff Diving, Picture Taking, Lunch and a lot of malditahan moments ๐Ÿ˜€

boatride

okay, i have to jump!

shadow concept

we are the word, we are the children!

jumpshot

we need to have this shot no matter what…

We headed back to the wharf at around 3:30pm. Shower is available at Lucap wharf for Ph10.00 but if you are in a hurry there are a lot of pension houses offering it for Php20.00

were back!

and we are back!!

We were back in Manila at around 12:00am.