Wednesday, March 25, 2015

SAN PABLO, LAGUNA TRIPPING

I was watching a nightime local tv show last Saturday (Something To Chew On) and they were featuring must try restaurants in San Pablo, Laguna. My gastronomic excitement shoot up especially when they were eating the baby shrimps in coconut milk. Its my favorite! And so the following day which was Sunday and we didnt have any agenda on the following day, we drove to San Pablo for some food trip adventure.

It took us about three hours to reach our first destination - Casa San Pablo. This is where the tv show tried the baby shrimp I was talking about. Casa San Pablo is a bed and breakfast venue with few accomodations. The place is big and peaceful and ideal for company outings. It has a small pool and facilities for team building. Little did we know that those featured food on the tv show were only by reservation only. The restaurant offers breakfast food only on their menu for the walk in guest. To our dismay, we just had some pica-pica and fresh coconut shakes.


Entrance to Casa San Pablo welcomes you with this sign and a carabao statue along the national road.



A private villa inside the resort.


Selfie-ing at the restaurant while waiting for our food.

Photo ops inside the resort.

The dining area and some interesting pieces.


Since we didnt get the food that we wanted in this resort, we just enjoyed ourselves with a fresh coconut shake and some pica-pica.

At the souvenir shop where they sell all terracotta artworks by the owner.

Some nice stone arts.

After staying for almost an hour in Casa San Pablo, we proceeded to our next destination to have our formal lunch - at Sulyap Gallery. Its only took us about less than 10 minute drive from Casa San Pablo. The food here was fantastic and the dine -setting was nostalgic. And while waiting for our food, everyone was too busy taking pics around the place.


The 2 level old pinoy and spanish architecture restaurant. Its a small restaurant with a small al fresco on the side.

My lovely table setting.

Inside the restaurant.

Some of our food - Kare kareng sugpo, Kulawong na talong ( grilled eggplant in coconut milk) and Pinais na Kabute ( grilled mushroom wrapped in banana leaf).

Some photo souvenirs.



After lunch, we went to their small museum which is just infront of the restaurant.

We were suppose to go back to Manila after our Sulyap's lunch but Regina said to make the most of our time in San Pablo by going to the lake. ( San Pablo is a province with seven lakes.) Based on our research, the lake that has balsa ( bamboo raft) facility is Pandin Lake and its just about 30 minute drive from the city proper. So off we went to Pandin Lake.


The way to Pandin lake requires a 15 minute trek .


Though not the biggest of the 7 lakes in San Pablo, Pandin lake is a beautiful and serene lake.

As posted on my Instagram account.

The balsa (bamboo raft) where you can rent for around 180php per head without food and 360php with food.


It was drizzling when we arrived in the lake.




The food offer consist of pako (fern) salad, frilled fish, baby shrimps in coconut milk, banana and bottled water.

Some photo ops.


San Pablo is a worth province to explore. I will definitely go back and try other adventures it can offer. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

VALENTINES 2015

My Valentine was spent simply by having a good meal and some little shopping by my 'date' - my beloved daughter. Together with Gian, the three of us were date partners that day. We planned to just have a simple dinner in a nearby resto but Regina wanted to buy a metallic pair of sneakers which can be found only somewhere in Taguig area. And so we decided to have a dinner at Paul - a favorite restaurant of Regina because of their Creme Brulee. Its Gian's first time to dine here and he enjoyed it much.

After the dinner, we went another some little shoppings around Bonifacio Global City and we ended the red day happily.



Dinner.



At SM Aura with their beautiful Chinese New Year display.


Wackying after dinner.


At Cath Kidston. Love my new pen.


The metallic sneakers that Regina was so obsessed about.


My gift - huggable bear and a bouquet of fruits which they call frui-quet.



Back at the house with Cola and her Valentine balloon.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

FRIDAY THE 13TH

Two days before Valentines day, I traveled to Naga City for some business purposes - to meet the mayor and visit site for our future project. Since there's only one flight to Naga daily, we are forced to spent overnight and leave the following day, February 13. You know everytime I have a short business trip that requires to fly, I'm always stressed. Why? Because I always think of the time wasted on waking up early and waiting time in the airport. Like in this Naga trip at 9am, ideally you have to be in the airport 2 hours before the flight which mean I have to be in the airport by 7am which means I have to wake up around 4:30 am to be on the road by 5am, 2 hours alloted for the traffic going to the airport. That was a totally insane for only an hour flight! It goes the same to all other domestic travels. But i feel different though if its a travel for holidays or on a pleasure trip. Maybe because I dont think much of works and i'm with people im close with. Hehehe.

So to continue on my Naga trip, our flight back home on Friday, February 13,  was cancelled due to heavy clouds and bad weather. It was a nightmare and we all didnt want to spent another 'useless' day in that city. We hurriedly went to the next airport which is Legaspi City which is about 2 hours away to catch the last flight back to Manila. We already had another option if cant catch the flight or if the flight would be cancelled also - to travel by land! Either we take the bus or hire a private van. Anything we will take just to be back home before the Valentines day. And we made it ! We caught the plane and we boarded BUT we were stalled for an hour because the pilot said that there was air traffic congestion in Manila that they need approval to take off! So we waited and finally we took off after an hour and flew back home finally. It was indeed a Friday the 13th experience. Not scary but stressful to the max! 



Travelling is good but not the waiting.


With the city Mayor.


Good lunch at this restaurant called Bob Marlin which is frequented by celebrities and VIPs.


We also shopped for some pasalubong and my favorite is this brand.


We had a wonderful dinner at this restaurant where we tasted the best Bicol Express.



My hotel room at Villa Caceres.


It took us an hour to take off because of air traffic problems in Manila. So while others are sleeping, I kept myself busy with taking pictures for Instagram. Hehehe.

At the Legaspi airport with the Mayon Volcano at the backdrop. It was a rainy and cloudy day. 


Monday, February 16, 2015

MY 2015 BIRTHDAY

Our latest travel to Guangzhou, China last first week of February was the most memorable one of all our travels in Guangzhou because the date fell exactly on my birthday. The original schedule was moved due to some important commitment on my side which is the confirmation day of my daughter Regina. So I had to choose between the two - to attend the confirmation or my birthday. Of course I chose the confirmation because it happens only once and my birthday can be celebrated later on with my daughter.

Aside from the birthday, it was also the first time to travel with my partner Gian in China and also the fist time to celebrate my birthday in a theme park with my closest friends in our company! It was really fun and this time I must say that I had the most wonderful Guangzhou experience.

Most of these pictures were posted on my Instagram already. 


Travelling is good but waiting (spending too much time on the airport) is not.


My travel companions every year for China and I consider the closest friends I have in our company.

After doing all our duties in Guangzhou ( to source out badminton stuffs for our upcoming badminton tournament this June or July) our friend Steph treated us on the day of the birthday to Chimelong Ocean Kingdom down Guangzhou near the border of Macau. Its a very new marine theme park that features the world's biggest marine aquarium.


The entry tickets to Chimelong Ocean Kingdom. The entry fee is slightly lower than Disneyland.


The park has not so many rides and this one is the most adrenaline pumping of all rides which my friends tried minus me. Hahaha.



The awesome entrance to the park. The huge LED ceiling is amazing and huge! The walls are elaborately designed like a coral reef.


I can say that Chimelong has the most beautiful design of all theme parks that I've seen. The sculptures are huge and amazing like this gigantic whale shark on my background.


Admiring the entrance of the park.


This is the only time I saw many polar bears in one park.


Another magnificent sculptures of walruses.


My first time to see a beluga show. I must say that belugas are more intelligent than a dolphin and they are scary looking because of their size compared to ordinary dolphins.



The souvenir carts.


Watching the parade shows.


On a separate fee, the circus show is a must when in Chimelong. Our generous friend, Steph, gave us a VIP seats in the front row.


Chimelong has the Guiness world record for the biggest and the largest marine aquarium. It houses 3 young whalesharks and a lot of manta rays and some big fishes.


We witnessed the feeding time of the manta rays and sharks.


Another beautiful sculptures at the entrance to the beluga show.


Some photo ops.


With Steph at the snowy mountain area.


Unlike Disneyland and other theme parks, the place is not so crowded when we were there.


Photo ops.


Photo ops.


Wacky-ing with some sculptures.


With my companions.


Gian and I at the Beijing Lu.

Chimelong hotel.


Photo ops at Beijing Lu.


Walking along Pearl River after a sumptuous dinner.


Pearl River at night.


At the seafood market restaurant.


Some delicious foods we had.


The biggest scallops and freshest salmon I've had.


Authentic Chinese cuisines.


Street foods are also a must while in Guangzhou.


Our favorite beer.


The colorful Guangzhou.



Wacky-ing with my companions.


Photo ops.

My hotel room view.


I got this bear on the circus show.


On the night of the birthday, my friends surprised me in my hotel room with this beautiful cake and a birthday song.


After China, we took the train to Hongkong for a day tour.


The best part of our Hongkong day tour was dining at the original site of the famous Tim Ho Wan dimsum restaurant.


The lively HongKong at night.