April 30, 2013

East Coast White Sand Beach Resort

We leave some parts of us in places or people we have been with. Maybe that’s why for some, it’s a struggle to be whole. You ask me what I want, and I answered the most common thing every other people want.

Life is never simple or straightforward, but I know it is full of beauty. Even the waves returning to the shore isn’t just a natural pattern in the universe, it is an act of adoration.








 

The East Coast in Anda makes a refreshing stop-over. The cove never looks the same anytime of the day. And I guess that’s the true beauty of life - its uncertainty and wonderful surprises.

I don’t know where I’m going but I do know I want you to come with me.

East Coast White Sand Beach Resort
Candabong, Anda, Bohol
Tel. No.: 0928-7629730

April 17, 2013

Napa Restaurant and Bar

A casual dining restaurant inspired from the rustic vineyards of Napa Valley, Napa Restaurant and Bar serves American-Italian comfort food, perfect for a laidback lunch or fancy dinner.
 
 
 
 
Crispy chicken salad
 
Grilled salmon in lemon butter
 
Napa special pizza
 
Lava cake
 
 
 
There can be no greater ecstacy than savoring a lava cake, oozing with hot sexy chocolate filling bursting with passion once it finds its arms around the conservative cold vanilla ice cream. And it doesn't just end there for there is still a cherry to pop. This dessert, I swear, could make you ditch even the love of your life.

Napa Restaurant and Bar
#12 Scout Borromeo St.
South Triangle, Quezon City
Tel. No.: 414-8272

April 10, 2013

Mt. Pico de Loro

“The question in life is whether or not you are going
to answer a hearty ‘yes’ to your adventure.”
- Joseph Campbell
 
Considered the highest mountain of Cavite, Mt. Pico De Loro (also known as Mt. Palay-Palay) is so called because of a unique rock formation shaped like a parrot’s beak near its summit. It was said that the name was given by Spanish mariners who have used the mountain as a directional landmark whenever their galleons approach the port of Manila through Manila Bay. But whoever said that it was a minor climb with a level 3 difficulty, hesalayer hehe. It was actually a long, arduous trek for ordinary pedestrians or unseasoned climbers. The ascent was equally tiring as the descent. But once you get to the summit, you will be rewarded with a 360 degree magnificent view of the Caraballo Mountains, Hamilo Coast, and the Batangas-Cavite shoreline.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The cost of this adventure is more or less P600.00 but the joy of being with friends and meeting new ones, ang mawala na naman sa bundok, ang makita ang mga mukhang-ginahasang first time climbers pagkatapos ng mahabang lakaran, at makita si Reina Marie Calvo na mag four-wheel at gumapang hanggang summit, they’re priceless.

April 7, 2013

Blanco Family Museum

The family that paints together exhibits together.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It was first in the Philippine history when Blanco family - headed by the late Jose “Pitok” V. Blanco and Loring and their seven children Glenn, Noel, Michael, Joy, Jan, Gay, and Peter Paul - held exhibit at the National Museum in Manila in 1978.
 
The evocative, stirring and folk-realist artworks of the famous family of painters can be viewed in their private museum in Angono, Rizal. Their paintings and murals capture human spirit and real emotions from a simple joy of a mother to the anguish of the whole town folks. But what’s admirable is the love for family represented in each artwork. Surely, these modern classics touch and warm the heart and soul.

April 3, 2013

Bangkong Kahoy Valley: A Pilgrim’s Haven

“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have,
for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
- Hebrews 13:16
 
Part of loving is sacrificing. When God sacrificed His only Son for the salvation of mankind, it was because He loved us more than anything else in the world. At least that’s what Holy Week has taught me - that sacrifice is the purest and most selfless way to love someone. 
 
Last Holy Week brought me to a place somewhat closer to heaven. Despite the crazy holiday-traffic rush and sweltering summer city heat, I returned to the famed pilgrim site of Kinabuhayan in Dolores, Quezon, but this time trekked all the way to this exceptionally beautiful valley surrounded by the summit view of twin mystical mountains of Quezon – Mt. Banahaw  (the holy mountain) and Mt. Cristobal (the devil’s mountain). Named after the live tree trunks and branches shaped like a bench or bangko that could still be found in these mountains, Bangkong Kahoy Nature Retreat and Field Study Center truly captures the beauty of nature, recreation and spirituality.
 
 
  
 
Mt. Banahaw
 
 
 
 
BK breakfast meal of tinapa, talong, itlog and papaya
 
BK burger meal with kamote fries and raspberry juice
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
Mt. Cristobal
 
Spared by the hands of modernization, this 21-hectare lush greeneries at 2,900 ft. above sea level, is a private property of Dion Pullan, descendant of Agripino Lontok, believed to be the first mystic to declare Mt. Banahaw a sacred mountain way back in early 1900s. Pullan opened BK to public in 2006, with the hope of sharing to everyone the natural charm and beauty of the place, at the same time educate them the importance of preserving and protecting the environment for the future generations to enjoy. A self-appointed steward of the mountain, Pullan is an environmentalist, enthusiastically sharing his expertise and knowledge to guests about conservation and sustainability.
 
By word of mouth, BK is now fast becoming an eco-tourism site. It offers various activities from those simply seeking peace and serenity to those who want a more thrilling adventure like trekking, bird watching, mountain biking, horseback riding, fox flying (ziplining), ATV rides, sports game of tennis and basketball, and farm tours.
 
Those who want to stay overnight could pitch their own tent at BK’s camping site for only P100 per person per night or stay comfortably in BK cottage or lodge with rates starting at P2,000 per room. Rooms don’t have aircon but who needs them anyway when you can savor cool fresh mountain air. I love waking up to a sight of morning dew on the glass windows overlooking mountains enveloped in fog, as if shrouded in mystery.
 
The food in BK Valley is fresh and organic, mostly home-grown. I love their Banahaw brew coffee and raspberry shake, but what I’m really going to miss is their carbonated water that comes straight from the mountain spring. Fresh fruits and vegetable are also available for sale. Pullan had educated the locals about organic farming to help them earn a decent livelihood without exploiting the forest.
 
My BK Valley experience was truly rewarding. A Dolly Parton song sums it appropriately “Yes I see God where the mountains reach the sky.” It was as if my spiritual battery was recharged, making me appreciate more the simplicity and abundance of life. Maybe if I plant a tree in my heart, a butterfly might come.
 
How to get to Bangkong Kahoy:
1. From Manila, take a bus bound for Lucena and get off at 7-Eleven, San Pablo (near the public market).
2. From the public market, take a jeepney bound for Kinabuhayan and get off at the junction going to Bangkong Kahoy.
3. From the junction, you could opt to trek the almost two kilometer way to BK Valley or be picked up by their Hummer for a fee. I suggest you hike; it isn’t that much a sacrifice to walk especially with the beautiful scenery.
 
Bangkong Kahoy Nature Retreat and Field Study Center
Sitio Bangkong Kahoy, Kinabuhayan
Dolores, Quezon
Tel. No.: 0929-8198537, 0918-5093224