December 31, 2014

Hidden Valley Springs: Found at Last

The world is filled with hidden feelings.

It’s rewarding to find something hidden, especially if that something is beautiful and somewhat untouched. Somewhere in Calauan, Laguna tucked between the mystical mountains of Makiling and Banahaw, is the Hidden Valley Springs, a secluded, sprawling mountain spring resort which seems like an enchanted forest blessed with exquisite natural springs.

Reception area
The 300+ year old fallen amlang tree made into a walkway

A haven for nature lovers, Hidden Valley boasts of three distinct natural pools – Warm Pool, Soda Pool and Lovers Pool. The Warm Pool is heated by volcanic rocks since it is believed that the area used to be the crater of an extinct volcano. The Soda Pool has water characteristics similar to the Vicki and Fuji Waters of Japan. But it doesn’t taste like any regular soda. The more remote Lovers’ Pool is ideal for couples who want more privacy from prying eyes. But it’s not off limits to singles.

Warm pool

Soda pool for children
Soda pool

Lovers' pool

Mini Lovers' pool

The resort has wonderful casitas and cottages in a garden setting surrounded by tall coconut trees, for those who want to stay overnight.

For day trippers, a sumptuous Filipino buffet lunch and afternoon merienda await.

Fresh garden salad

Beef tapa and liempo

Chicken pastel and relyenong bangus


The journey to Hidden Valley ends right at the heart of a jungle, where one would pass by different fauna and flora, until one reaches the majestic Hidden Falls.

Hidden Falls

Just an hour and a half away from Metro Manila, the resort is a perfect place for people who take comfort in the sight of abundant greens and lush surroundings, who enjoy listening to the cacophony of nature, and who love to take a dip in refreshing cool or therapeutic warm natural waters coming straight from the mountains. 

And I like to believe there’s always a good reason why someone chooses to hide what they truly feel. Why even envy exists right at the very embryo.

Hidden Valley Springs
Brgy. Perez, Calauan, Laguna
Tel. No.: (049) 818-4034

December 26, 2014

Victorino’s: A taste of the North in Quezon City

It wasn’t Paoay Church or Blue Lagoon that captured my heart the first time I set foot in Ilocos, it was actually Vigan longganisa. And I’m happy to find an authentic Ilocano restaurant in Quezon City that serves my favorite Ilocano dish.

Owned by the family of Ilocos Sur Vice Governor DV Savellano, Victorino’s is a home-themed restaurant specializing in Ilocano cuisine. It was named in honor of their late father - former mayor and judge Victorino Savellano of Cabugao, Ilocos Sur.

Treasure trove of chichacorn


Masa podrida

Wreath of garlic

Pako salad

Longganisa platter


Turon nga saba

Brewed lungo forte

I feel guilty right after eating the bagnet with all its yummylicious taba. But then I’m just human, judgmental at times. And no matter how mouthwatering and colorful as Christmas, Chef Heny Sison’s cakes are, I think they truly belong to the future.

#11 Jamboree cor. Sct. Rallos
Laging Handa, Quezon City

December 19, 2014

The Manor at Camp John Hay

You might think I don’t care with what you’re going through. But I do. It’s just that sometimes, I feel like my life is controlled by what is and not what I want.

If only the truth is as easy telling you like Baguio on the average is eight degrees cooler than any places in the lowland or that the Manor is undoubtedly the quintessential recreation destination in the city of Pines, perhaps you’ve already heard it from me right from the start.

Pres. Manuel Quezon guarding the Manor

Feel the log cabin warmth of the Piano Bar by the open fireplace

Deluxe room with garden view

Do you know the Manor has a secret Jacuzzi?

The spa

Children's playroom

Le Chef

Warm bread

Seafood pasta

Grilled salmon


Fresh luscious strawberries

The enchanted garden

The tip of Manor's totem pole of bravery

Bell House

The Lost Cemetery

Bell amphitheather

A cold, foggy morning

I can’t expect to smell the sweet scent of pine trees or taste fresh strawberries everyday, but I’m certain it’s best to fight for things worth keeping. And I would be lying if I tell you that everything never mattered.

The Manor at Camp John Hay
Loakan Rd., Baguio City
Tel. No.: 687-6710, (074) 424-0931 to 43