Discover places you'll love in the Philippines
Looking for a last minute getaway before school starts? Then this is definitely the place to go to. The historic town of Vigan. The city is located on the western coast of the large island of Luzon, facing the South China Sea. It is also the capital of Ilocos Sur. Vigan is one of the few remaining 16th century towns here in the Philippines. It is well preserved and gives you that Spanish era feel when you go there. It's a romantic place for lovers, but for me it is a town filled with a historical ambiance that gives you this nostalgic feeling inside of you. Personally, I prefer people going to Vigan at night to stroll along the famous Crisologo Street because it's much more beautiful at night which gives you this romantic kind of vibe. Also Plaza Burgos opens up to St. Paul’s Cathedral while on the other side, Plaza Salcedo opens up to the Municipal Hall. Vigan has remained it's authenticity because of it's grid street pattern and the houses built along it. At present, some houses in Vigan are well maintained by the owners to preserve the authenticity of it while the other houses are neglected by their home owners which makes it out of shape. Preserving this place is a must because it's such a historical town and it represents a unique design and construction which gives the whole place the European look. This place is definitely a must to visit and I'm glad I did. #henrysinstaxgiveaway
McKinley is turning into a foodie destination with its new restaurants and beautiful still-under-construction Venice Grand Canal Mall. I decided to reserve a table at Toni & Sergio, a new Italian-Spanish restaurant in the new mall for Mother’s Day after reading about a positive review about the place. Hello, Toni & Sergio. We got to the place half an hour earlier than my reservation but we were graciously accommodated by the staff and directed us to the corner table with a couch. Since the place was a bit dark though, we moved to the one near the window for some natural light. ️ With grumbling tummies, we quickly ordered the following: Truffle Cream Soup (PHP150), Creamy Baked Spinach (PHP200), Paella dela Casa (PHP490) and Lasagna 6 Cheese (PHP520). While waiting for our food, I admired the restaurant's nice interiors and beautiful tiles. The bowl of truffle cream soup was served first and it was not as creamy as I thought. It was quite light in texture but it was definitely flavorful. However, I think it would have been better with some croutons as the soup was a tad too salty to be enjoyed in one sitting. I had to split the bowl with my mom. The Creamy Baked Spinach was served next and it was delightful. It was just like the one from Cyma. Creamy, cheesy and spinach-y if there is such a term. It was a wonderful dip or topping for the toasted bread. We loved it so much that we asked for more bread which they gave for free. The paella was served soon after and it was pretty big and definitely good for more than 2 persons. (The menu says that it is just good for 2.) It had a nice tangy taste that went well with the prawns, mussels, clams, chicken, chorizo, marinated artichokes, black olives. I loved the harmony of the textures and the rice was definitely cooked to perfection. My only negative remark on this is that the mussels and clams were a bit small. Last served was my sister’s 6 cheese lasagna. It was huge and looked very sinful with the butter around the sides. The layers of pasta was al dente and each bite was packed with cheesy flavor. It wouldn’t be a surprise though given that the lasagna is made with cheeses like Mascarpone, Talleggio, Gorgonzola and Parmigiano Regiano e Pecorino. If you are a fan of cheese, this is a must order. But one order is good for 3 unless you really love cheese and do not mind the calories and cholesterol. Since Toni & Sergio is still new, they usually give demo receipts. But you can ask one of the servers for an official receipt and they will give you one in no time. I’ll surely be back to try paella negra and other pasta and pizza dishes.
The country's Apo Reef is a coral reef system located on the western waters of Occidental Mindoro. Overall, the reef covers 34 square km and is considered the world's second largest contiguous coral reef system (next to Australia's Great Barrier Reef!) and the largest in our beloved country. Known for its pristine underwater glory, Apo Reef is famous for diving. Teeming with an array of beautiful underwater flora and fauna, Apo Reef is a wonderful destination to explore. To get to Occidental Mindoro, you can either go by plane or by a ferry from Batangas. Apo Reef is under the municipality of Sablayan. From Abra De Ilog, ride a van or a bus to Sablayan. A ride costs Php 220. From Sablayan, you must charter a boat by coordinating with Sablayan's tourism office. Standard boat rate is Php 8,000-9,000. This is ideal for bigger groups to cut down the boat expenses. It is also possible for you to coordinate with the tourism office in advance so that they can book you together with other people who are going. Unfortunately, when we arrived, no other guests booked. Php 9,000 was too much because it was only me and my boyfriend. We opted to go to nearby Pandan Island (I'll write a review soon!) to kill time. Since Pandan Island is one of Sablayan's biggest resorts and dive operator, we were able to book our trip to Apo Reef. There were 4 other people who were just waiting for more companions to cut down the boat costs. The boat ride to Apo takes about 3 hours but when you arrive there, you'll be in complete awe. (If only I could take pictures with my eyes...) We also went to Apo Reef Natural Park right after. Go up the lighthouse and see a stunning 360-degree view of Apo Reef. You can also visit the lagoon which is home to various marine animals and birds. As always, practice the 'leave no trace' policy. Let's keep our seas clean, our beaches unspoiled. ️ #henrysinstaxgiveaway
Some people are addicted to beaches. Some are big fans of mountains and trees. Some love to swim all day and some just want to laze around. Doing these usually takes about a couple or more of organized trips to different places. But there's this one place in Batangas (yes, very near the Metro) that can accommodate both kinds of people. I am that person by the way. I love to submerge myself in the water (the sea particularly but a pool will do), and I also love to chill under the shade of a tree in the middle of a hot summer day. Villa Crisanta is a resort that can house both people who just want to have a dip in the pool for the day and those that want to have a private, quiet time with friends or families for a few days. Their place is huge. When you get inside the gate, drive a little further and you will see the pools on the left with cottages and some other amenities that I missed to see. On the right, the main hall/reception is located. It's usually where you can have your organized parties, or events. The main hall is open to the public. Further down, you will see a wide area where you can also hold your activities (I saw a horse standing in the middle of the grass area), then, as you enter the Mahogany lane, you will see how beautiful it looks when the leaves that fell carpet the road. In this area is where you can find the private accommodation. Usually it's for exclusive rental, meaning you have to rent the whole area including the pool, but I guess it all depends on how you communicate with the resort. Hehe. They have 3 kinds of accommodations at Mahogany, the kubo, the villa, and the cabanas. The one we stayed in has 1 room with basic amenities (TV, fridge, aircon), 1 bathroom, a sala, and a kitchen so I think it's safe to say that you are allowed to cook your own food because at the moment, they are not serving any food unless requested. The owner said that usually the ones renting the place are those that do team buildings or TV shoots. Probably because of the size of the area and the amount of things they can do while enjoying the place. I explored the place the next day and found this Balinese-inspired area somewhere near Mahogany and the intricacy of the details was awesome. I also liked the fact that the trees are covering the place, and most of them are fruit-bearing which can be harvested and bought when in season. They said if you just want to eat it outright (and not hoard), you can just pick the fruit for free. So, if at any given time whether rainy or sunny, you feel the need to get away from all the madness of the city, this place is a good candidate. The place is quite picturesque by the way, so expect to find a lot of areas where you can express your talent in posing. Lol.
Dubbed as 'Asia's cleanest lake', Kayangan is one of Coron's eight majestic and sacred lakes. Surrounded by 200+ year old limestone formations, it is managed by the Tagbanuas of Calamianes. Along with Barracuda Lake, Kayangan was once off limits to the public. The rest of the lakes remain restricted from the public. The people of the Tagbanua tribe believe that spirits dwell in these places. To get there, rent a boat for island hopping. From the docking area, walk until you reach the staircase which will take you up the enchanting lake. The uphill climb takes about 15-20 minutes. Halfway through, you can see the picturesque Coron - it's like looking at a perfectly crafted painting, I swear. Don't forget to bring your mask, snorkel and fins - the underwater limestone formations are just breathtaking. The environmental fee costs Php300 but EVERYTHING IS WORTH IT. Lastly, when you visit Kayangan, please practice the 'leave no trace' policy. Let's respect our Tagbanua people and the sacred place they call 'home'. #henrysinstaxgiveaway
Now that my first year of med school is finished, I finally have the time to put exercise (and catch up on Grey's Anatomy) on top of my priority list! I recently signed up for a GuavaPass account which you can use to get access to different classes or personal training sessions to A LOT of fitness studios in the metro for PHP 2,999. If you want to sign up, please do so by using my referral link (http://bit.ly/1TQGmiF) hehe. We can both get PHP 750 off!!! Let's help each other save money hihihi. I was very happy when I found out that one of the many partner studios of GuavaPass are 2 of the 6 branches of Options Studio. A single class (private or group) here ranges from PHP 600-1700 so this studio was one of my target studios to try out. So far, I've tried their Silk Suspension and Core Reform classes (both priced at PHP 750 each per class). Ok so in order to avoid having really long paragraphs, I'll just list down reasons why I LOVE Options 🏼 They keep their classes really small. When I tried their Silk Suspension class, we were only 2 students while the Core Reform class (which uses the really cool Pilates reformers) I joined had 7 students. I don't know which I liked more though. Both had my arms, core and thighs shaking halfway through the session but Silk Suspension was a lot sweatier (as in kadiring tagaktak mga besssss!!) than the Core Reform class. 🏼 The studio is GORGEOUS! Look at those chairs??? And that locker/changing room??? Their bathrooms are really nice too (no need for squatting on the toilet mga bessss???). Although you might have to wait for your turn to shower if there are a lot of people since they only have one toilet and shower each for men and women. 🏼 Parking isn't a hassle because even if the studio is on the 6th floor of the building, they actually save parking spots for people who will go to Options. It's great!! Ok tatlo lang pala yun. My only issue would be the prices of their classes. But I guess for the equipment, the certified instructors (they're also a licensed Pilates training center, according to their brochure), the really really really nice studio, and most importantly the satisfaction you get after working out... Pwede na??
You will love this place. There's a lot of people are going there. It is a gallery place and I really loved it because I am a artsy type and love to take pictures. What I really loved at Bahay na Bato is the ambiance. You will see the House that made of rocks. While you're walking you will see a lot of rocks there. The ticket costs cheap. And you will love it! The first spot is the house that has a obsolete things, crafts, artifacts and other man made that has a great value. At the back of that house is the beautiful beach that shines like the blue skies and the sun was reflecting. The air was so good, if you breathe you will feel relax and enjoy the beautiful view. At the side of the first house a few walk you will see the Bahay Na Bato house that made of rocks. Inside of the house of rocks at the first floor you will see the mini store, the souvenir shop, the tables for sitting and relaxing, the frames and other beautiful chronicles. At the second floor you will see the crafts, artifacts and other historical facts. At the third floor you will see the small balcony that captures all of the view the beach, the other house and the biggest house besides the Bahay na Bato and it has a two swimming pools, but it has no water. Outside the beautiful houses, they have a beautiful wishing well or simply a deep well and it's so nice and beautiful because it's made of rock and it's color red. And if you have to fun they have many statues there. If you love art, galleries and taking pictures you will love the Bahay na Bato! It is located at Luna, La Union.
I have been eying this restaurant beside Green Pastures ever since I pass by it on my way home from St. Luke’s Medical Center. I thought it was an Italian restaurant as I read it as Passioni. (I was not wearing my eye glasses then hence the added letter.) But while waiting for K and J, I decided to pass by the shop and buy a pastry I saw featured on a food blog. Hello, Passion by Gérard Dubois! This brightly lit restaurant was packed when I visited. Luckily, there was still one available table inside. I quickly told the server that I want to get a Strawberry Danish (PHP108) as soon as I entered after seeing that there was only one left. Since it was self service, I got my order right after paying. I took the last available table and started to enjoy my beautiful dessert (or appetizer as I was going to Grind right after for dinner). I took a bite and it was simply delicious. I loved the flakiness of the base and the smooth and creamy custard. I also love the fact that Passion didn’t scrimp on the strawberries. They used huge and fresh ones. I immediately fell in love with it! I would have ordered another one but they only had one that night. I’ll definitely be back at an even later time as they have a buy two, take one free promo after 9 p.m.. I just wish that the servers told me where to get water. I was just waiting for them to see that I was thirsty. (Note: Pitchers of water and glasses are available near the first table from the entrance. It's quite easy to miss it though.)
The first Sandbar I've ever visited and I swear it was worth the trip! Took us 9 hours to get in the Maniwaya Island and almost 12 hours going back to Manila, but I didn't mind at all. We all had fun with our DIY trip! It feels like a dream to have visited the beautiful and magnificent Palad Sandbar. I was in awe all along. We visited the Sandbar on our first day at around 3PM, when the tide was still high. It's amazing to see how the sandbar shows up slowly. There were a lot of boats and people that I didn't appreciate it at all. It suddenly became crowded. Until we left for the rock formation. When we're about to head back to the resort, I noticed that there was only a boat left. Our bangkero, Kuya Leandro (not his real name), was thoughtful enough to ask if I wanted to go back while I was pointing my finger to the sandbar. Albeit a little at around 5PM, knowing that it was just 5mins boat ride away from our resort, I immediately said YES. We finally arrived! One wouldn't imagine my excitement. Although the sun has almost set, it was that time that I got to enjoy and appreciate the breath-taking Palad Sandbar!!! On our second day, we went back. I was literally hooked and in love with it! At morning, the wave was a little stronger and the tide was yet to get high. The sandbar was flawless due to the high-waist water level. We were able to take our #gothrow shot, did a little snorkeling near the sandbar, and left before lunch. It may not be the most beautiful one, but witnessing how it happens was just an awesome experience! Aaaah! Looking at the photos, I want to go back right now! The sand wasn't really fine, but it didn't matter because of the little waves and the crystal clear water that we all enjoyed. We played at the sandbar and took lots of photos and before heading home, we just watched the clouds move and listened to the waves of the water. The sanbar divided the sea where the other side was shallow with all the shells and stones, while the other was a little deep that seemed like a pool. We had the sandbar all to ourselves and I couldn't thank Kuya Leandro enough for bringing us back. I felt extra happy that I was able to convince both my elem and college friends to join me and boyfie in the same trip. It was an amazing adventure overall and all I can say was WOW!!! I will definitely be back here!!! Super grateful!
Pahangog Falls is located in barangay Guingoyuran in the town of Dimiao, Bohol. This fantastic waterfalls is also called "twin falls". It's about 15 minutes drive from the town proper. To get here, you can take a bus or habal-habal from Dimiao town. The habal-habal driver can take you up to the barangay hall or even up to the walking stairs of the falls. If you are going here in car or private vehicle, you can park at the barangay hall and start walking from there. I personally prefer walking from the barangay hall than riding a motorcycle going to the falls because the road is narrow and it's just not safe at all. Walking takes about 30 minutes to reach the falls. You would sweat but you would definitely enjoy the views around specially the small rice terraces. Going to the falls is easy. You will have to walk about 300 steps down to get to the falls. The challenge is going back up. I seriously didn't like to go up again when I reached the falls. The falls is clean and really beautiful! You can swim in its nature-made lagoon and do picnic or camping here.
This was part of our Bohol daytour and I would say it is one of my favorite parts of the trip. No, the food wasn't at all great. Food was meehhh. It was the relaxation it gave as we cruised along the Loboc River while munching on some fried chicken and pancit, and being serenaded by a local band. (Great voice, BTW) I liked how during the cruise, we were able to see locals who lived nearby who were doing laundry or fixing their little banka and we also saw some children bathing in the water and some even 'wreckingball'-ing on some branches then jumping to the river. It looked so much fun! Another thing I loved about this experience was the sing and dance performance of the kids. Some guests on out boat even went to the stage and danced along! It was something really heart-warming to see. I just had to give a big tip because I enjoyed their performance so much! Haha. Definitely something unforgettable especially that I got to experience it with my family. ️
I've been fighting the urge to save myself the calories but I just couldn't on this particular night. Lately I've been craving for Cocoa with Rock Salt and Cheese and so I headed to the nearest branch of Happy Lemon and grabbed one. I came here solely for the drink but when I was about to order, I saw one of their crew handed on an eggettes to one of their customer. And I was like, "luh! Meron pala ang Happy Lemon!". I immediately ordered for one. To my surprise, they actually have not just one flavor to choose from but three! Classic, Chocolate, and guess what? MATCHA. OMG. Have you guys tried these before? If you like green tea, then you are completely on board with this. The waffles are made fresh to order where I waited for 10-15 minutes. I chose their matcha egg waffle which costs 105 pesos. It was warm and chewy in the middle with light crispy edges and a balanced matcha flavor that lends a bittersweet flavor to the waffle. While most green tea sweets go for just a hint of tea or a fat wallop, these waffles fall in the middle. Eggettes are just so fun to eat because of its shape of jumbo packing bubbles. You can pull them apart and just pop those suckers right in your mouth. Overall, their Eggettes was just aight! But if you're a foodie that have a soft spot for waffles, ill recommend this as a go to place to try! Happy egg waffle grubbing!
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