Weekend in La Union (Part 2)

Woke up early to watch some of my  friends surf and paddleboard. The line up isn’t that crowded if you get to it 6-8am.

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Some of us just lounged around, exercised, buried friends in the sand,

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and posed as a surfer. Literal na poser. :p

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Dropped by the (arguably) most popular coffee shop in Elyu which is El Union. Only got some take out coffee because there were no available seats.

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Didn’t get to ask what makes their horchata dirty.

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Went to Gefseis Greek Grill for brunch which made me swear that I will not die without getting to visit and enjoy Santorini.

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Gefseis doesn’t have a lot of dishes to choose from. The sandwiches and omelet were so-so. We liked their yogurt, iced coffee and lemon cake.

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Some of us went back to Flotsam and Jetsam for Makai Bowls, while some of us went back to the beach and had a bottle or two of ice cold beer. Hulaan niyo kung saan ako d’yan. :p

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Ended our LU weekend with a late lunch at Seanymph Café, where we all ate grilled tuna with spicy mango salsa. Mmmm… why can’t we be in the beach everyday?

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Weekend in La Union (Part 1)

This trip happened 3months ago. Only blogging about this now because I’ve been lazy plus the prime time to go to La Union (LU/Elyu) is during this rainy season anyway. That is if you plan to surf.

I got used to staying in LU for 4-5 days, that our 2-day vacay was definitely bitin. I had fun nonetheless. 🙂

First order of business was to see Tangadan Falls. Click this to see my very first time to get into this kind of adventure!

We were famished when we got to San Juan that we didn’t bother checking out our rooms in Sebay first. We headed to the Seanymph Café for a superlate lunch.

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Thank you Randy for recommending this gem! Mura na ang chibog, ang sarap pa! Kahit ang layo ng itsura at lasa noong ibang dishes sa kung ano ang nasa isip ko, masarap pa rin! Hehe! We liked this place so much that we went back here the following day for another late lunch. 🙂

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Some of the dishes we had were stir fried pork, broccoli salad with tausi, Greek salad, gambas (na masabaw at hindi maanghang pero panalo sa lasa), and the pinaka-panalong dish… grilled tuna with mango salsa. All of us had grilled tuna on day 2 kasi lahat kami nainggit kay Randy noong day 1. :p

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After lunch, we went to Sebay- our home for the weekend- to rest and be really close friends with the aircon. Remember how hot it was in Manila last Summer? Multiply it by 3 in La Union.

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We left our cool cozy rooms in the late afternoon to lounge by the shore and catch the sunset. Here’s our happy group also known as Randy and Friends (hahaha)- Randy, Ruth, Red, Biel, Gerald, Mitch, and me. James was sleeping when this was taken and I don’t know where Joy was, but then again, her blog isn’t called JoyGoesPlaces for nothing! 😛 (Joy, nasaang place ka ng panahong ito?)

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The beach… in fairness to the locals, they really make it a point to keep their beaches clean. I encourage all us tourists to do the same!

Do remember that the Urbiztondo beaches tend to be really crowded during summer, and

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it’s up to you to find spots where you can still find peace and quiet in the afternoon. Glad I found this part of the beach where I was able to witness the sunset and a kid flying a kite. Note to self: bring a kite to the beach next time.

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In the evening we went to Flotsam and Jetsam. It’s an artist beach hostel that has excellent ambiance. There’s live music (loved the singer’s mash-up of an Adele song and a Daft Punk hit), outdoor film showing,

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delicious cocktails and delicious food. Food’s kinda pricey, but worth it– especially the pizza and the porkchops with banana blossom side dish.

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My friends went back there the following day for Makai Bowls. That’s a smoothie bowl with granola and fruits and other yummy stuff. I wasn’t able to go with them because I had too much to drink and I’d rather stay in bed. :p

Photo Challenge: Earth

The Narita Countryside

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Taken the first time I went out of my beloved Philippines. It was an absolutely humbling experience to see a part of Japan from the clouds. It made me feel miniscule and insignificant in this Earth so large and mighty.

Looking back, I now realize that I am truly fearfully and wonderfully made to have experienced that awesome vacation which was just a dream when I was a little girl and a prayer a few years back.

A Trip to Tangadan Falls – San Gabriel, La Union

It wasn’t hard for my friends to make me say yes to a trip to La Union, because I was thinking of surf and sand. Didn’t expect that there’s a side trip to Tangadan Falls that would involve a mountain trek. I developed a fear of this since I slipped and fell down a mountain in an Ethnographic Research project we had in Botolan, Zambales almost a decade ago. But I conquered this fear when I thought being judged as the killjoy of the group if I do not join was more scary. :p

From San Gabriel Market (15-20minutes away from the surf town of San Juan), we met up our guide Pedro. It’s about an hour long drive to the trek site. The  road is narrow and steep. Only one vehicle can effortlessly pass by, so the hugot of the photo below is, “Ang masikip na daan papuntang Tangadan, parang pag-ibig lamang. Kapag hindi nagbigayan, may tiyak na masasaktan.”

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Thank you Lord that after the moments of panic and pressing on prayer, we made it safely to the site. We arrived around 11am, definitely not the ideal time, because the heat was close to intolerable. just had to remember na ginusto naman naming na tumuloy ng ganong oras kahit na several hours delayed kami sa original start time. :p

Here’s our group na todo fresh pa. :p (L-R- Gerald, James, ME, Joy, Ruth, Mitch, Red, Biel, Randy)

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Wala pang 10 minutes na lakaran at babaan ng bundok portion, gusto ko na mag-give up. I really felt na babagal lang ang grupo because of me, kasi nangangatog talaga legs ko sa takot. Buti na lang sobrang motivating ng mga kasama ko. At buti na lang, sa akin na nila pinadikit ‘yung guide para mas madali ako makababa sa site. Best tip I got was not to step on the dry leaves kasi madulas.

The trek was almost an hour. Thank goodness about 100 meters from the falls, may stairs na! 😀 There’s also a banyo naman, so hindi naman kailangang mag#1 or #2 sa gitna ng gubat at gawing pamunas ang dahon na levels. Hehe.

Because it’s the weekend and kasagsagan ng summer, there were a lot of tourists who went to see Tangadan Falls too. I guess ‘yung iba locals na gusto lang ring mag-relax-relax at magswimming at amgpicnic. Tangadan’s pretty alright, but it’s not the best waterfall I’ve seen (not that I’ve seen many) and the experience there wasn’t that great because it’s hard to appreciate nature when there’s a lot of background noise. What I really appreciated was the trek getting there, because it’s my first time to do something like it. Plus shempre I was with friends. Any adventure is always better with people to talk to and to laugh with. 🙂

I think I spent more time sa cottage eating chichirya and drinking Coke. Coke Mismo costs 20pesos and a small bag of V-Cut costs the same. Hindi naman taga ang presyo, tamang tubo lang. 🙂 I think the cottage rental was 500pesos. Hindi ko maalala kung magkano ang renta sa balsa.

Our trek back was easier for me emotionally (hahaha) but harder for me physically kasi paakyat. Hingal galore and dehydrated to the max ako, but it’s okay kasi at least I wasn’t scared na. Nakaubos yata ako ng dalawang 500ml mineral water (20pesos each) na binebenta doon sa may parking.

wala na kaming group picture after trek, so ‘eto na lang ang selfie ko. Parang bagong ligo, noh? Bagong ligo talaga. sa pawis. Hihihi! May banyo naman sa parking malapit na pwedeng puntahan to freshen up.

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Salamat uli sa guide namin na si Raymond Macaraeg aka Pedro na saksakan ng kwela at very good sa customer service. Pedro’s contact numbers are 0995 3992099 and 0946 2222102. Five years na siyang guide papuntang Tangadan Falls at suportahan po natin siya kasi proud siya sa trabaho niya na nakakatulong sa kanyang makapagbigay sa pamilya at maiayos ang sarili rin niyang buhay. mabuti daw na doon siya busy kaysa naman daw magdrugs siya. Odiba? Love it.

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There’s another route to Tangadan Falls that’s shorter and involves cliffdiving. Ask Pedro for more details! Btw, the tourguide fee ranges from 70-100pesos/person.

If you plan on commuting to Tangadan Falls, from San Juan, get a San Fernando-San Gabriel jeep. Then from downtown San Gabriel go to Bucao, Duplas. Hire a tricycle to bring you to Duplas which passes through Barangay Bucao and ask the driver to bring you to the drop-off point to Tangadan Falls at Barangay Duplas.

Next stop: San Juan! But before that, look! Galing pala kami ng Jerusalem! :p

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I’m-Leaving-The-Country Meme Gone Viral

I’ve been on house arrest (doctor’s order) since last week and it’s not the sickness that’s bothering me. It’s sheer boredom. So I have been making memes and posting them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep myself occupied with my own humor, hoping that I’d make a couple of my social media contacts laugh as well.

Didn’t expect that the travel/political meme I made this midnight (a product of a whole lot of boredom and a dash of melancholy) and posted on my wall and on DIY Travel Philippines would generate 20k+ likes and 10k+ shares as of 6PM today. Didn’t know about it until my cousin tagged me on another travel page that reposted it.

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Good thing I put @takawtrip | @iyassantos there. Not really concerned about the text because I only based it on a meme I saw somewhere about the US elections. I’m concerned about the image because it’s one of my favorite photos from my trip to Tokyo last year.

I’m amused and amazed that many people identified with that meme. Minsan kasi akala ko ako lang nakakaintindi at nakaka-appreciate ng sense of humor ko. I’m glad that I was able to make people laugh in my own little way. How I wish I could create something greater and more socially beneficial. Hehe. Pero sige hindi naman ako choosy. Happy talaga ako for now na a simple offshoot of my downtime became something enjoyable for a lot of netizens, including one of my favorite standup comedians Tim Tayag!!! So thrilled when I saw him repost it on his wall!

That’s it. Just wanted to share the highlight of my day. Oh and if you’d like to see more of my memes, feel free to add me on Fb and Ig. Brace yourself for a handful of political posts like these:

Katuwaan lang! Enjoy!

Lunch at Sonya’s Garden

Brought my two dates to Sonya’s for a late lunch. It was their first time to eat there, so I was psyched to see them experience one of my favorite lunch spreads and give them a tour in the gardens.

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I love their buffet because I can eat a lot and not feel guilty after because everything’s just so healthy! The veggies and herbs are all from ‘the gardens of Sonya.

There’s just a few dishes to choose from, but everything tastes wonderful, so it’s still worth the payment of P1,030/person. they have white rice and spaghetti, ratatouille, sautéed shitake mushrooms, chicken in mango and cream, tomatoes in olive oil, salmon belly, glazed sweet potato and banana spring rolls.

My personal favorite is spaghetti with salmon belly and tomatoes, mushrooms, capers, olives, and parmesan. I can also eat a plateful of the minatamis na kamote. I think nilagyan ng cinnamon kaya ang sarap. 🙂

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Shempre, let’s not forget the unli-salad na nakakalula sa dami! Crisp lettuce, arugula and flowers served with cups of pineapple, mango, papaya, crushed peanuts, cucumber, onions, tomato, singkamas, hardboiled egg, and the super secret salad dressing.

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There’s also the freshly baked bread that comes with cheese, pesto, chili, and pate. Bread and salad pa lang, nakakabusog na eh! Dagdag mo pa ‘yung unli-fresh dalandan juice nila.

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Other dishes included are pumpkin soup (creamy and sweet!), roast chicken (tender and herb-y), chocolate cake (super moist), and tarragon tea (ginagaya ko ito sa bahay).

 

Bondat kami as I expected. That it took us an hour yata before we were able to visit the spa, shops that sell toiletries, teacups, books, bags and other pretty things, the panaderia and the gardens of course!

 

It’s also hard to resist taking some vanity shots because the place is so pretty! It just cements my dream to turn my patch of land in Bataan into a garden as lovely as this! Pero mas maraming gulay ‘yung garden ko! At fruit-bearing trees!

Sonya’s Garden also has a bed and breakfast and event halls for wedding receptions and such. There are times when Sonya goes around her garden. The last time I saw her, she was signing her book. Siya na. Siya na talaga. Peg!!! 😀

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Sonya’s Garden
Barangay Buck Estate, Alfonso, Cavite, 4123
0917 532 9097

The Mediterranean House – Nasugbu, Batangas

Last February when we didn’t think we’d get any good accommodations in Tagaytay during the Valentine’s weekend. We went several kilometers farther and checked in at The Mediterranean House. The place is small and inexpensive. Okay ito for quick quiet getaways.

The room we booked was good for 2 costs P2,500. We added an extra bed for an additional P500.00. Breakfast inclusive already. The room has a closet, tv with cable, toiletries like soap and toothbrush and toothpaste. It has its own bathroom with a hot and cold shower that wasn’t working in our room. The water pressure was strong during the day pero sobrang struggle ‘nung gabi. mas malakas pa ‘yung tubig na from the bidet compared sa shower. Not sure if this was because our room was at the 2nd floor or because more people were sharing the water supply during night.

There were only a few guests when we were there, so feeling naming nasa retreat house kami. :p Very conducive to the kind of rest and relaxation Donnie, Colleen and I wanted to achieve that weekend.

In fact, from 4pm in the afternoon until early evening, we had the pool to ourselves!

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Loved the night view of the pool area. Lakas maka-Mediterranean talaga ng effect!

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And you know what I moved more? Eating at the pool area! For dinner, we had their Pizza Mexicana, calamares, lasagna and two bottles of South American red wine. Total bill was around P2,000. The food was great, especially the calamares except the dipping sauces that came with it. The wine was pretty good too for something that was 500php I think. They also have white wine, beer and a few kinds of  rum and tequila based cocktails.

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The kapeng barako they have is a good blend. Kahiya naman kung hindi dahil nasa Batangas sila di ba? Hehe. Their breakfast was so-so. We had bangussilog, tapsilog and cornsilog. Medyo mabagal nga lang ‘yung service. I guess they were understaffed that morning. Good thing the courteousness of their staff made up for the delays. At may free wi-fi sila. mabilis pa ang connection! 😀

The restaurant is located at the top floor. They also started a garden at the back. Gagawin yatang vineyard. There’s also a bar near the bool and I know that they have videoke, we just didn’t use it because we were okay with the sounds from Donnie’s laptop.

Here are some snapchat from our weekend stay–

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Pasensiya na may pagkabanidoso talaga kaming lahat lalo na pag nagsama-sama.

Remember, if you are coming from Tagaytay, the Mediterranean House is 6kms away from the Arc of Nasugbu. Landmark is Metropolitan Chateau Royale and the 2nd basketball court at the right side with a chapel. ‘Wag masindak sa sa makipot na daan papasok dito. 🙂

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Mediterranean House Restaurant & Hotel
KM 74 Sitio Calo, Kaylaway, Alfonso, 4231 Cavite
0917 995 5037