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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sagada: Itinerary, Budget, Where To Eat, & What To Do's



Weeeee! So, I have just ticked off another one from my bucket list. Hooray! Hooray!

I dreamt of visiting Sagada for a long time or should I say, when I started having this interest on watching travel shows. I found everything so amazing that since then, I included Sagada in my Dream Destinations.




How To Get There:
Sagada in Mountain Province is 275 kilometers north of Manila. It can only be reached via Baguio or Banaue. Via Baguio - From Manila, take Victory Liner. Ideal trip would be 10:00 PM so you will reach Baguio around 5AM. From Victory Liner Baguio, ride a cab to Dangwa Terminal (less than 10 mins travel time). GL Liner has 4 daily trips to Sagada (Fare Php220); you may take the first trip which is scheduled every 6AM. The bus ride to Sagada is approximately around 6 hours with 3 stop overs.

Where To Stay in Sagada:
 * George Guest House (Main Building & Annex)
Contact Nos 09185480406,09209483133,09206070994,09399020996

* Residential Lodge Sagada
Contact Nos 09196728744

* Misty Lodge
Contact Nos 09994459899

* Rock Inn Cafe
Contact Nos 09209095899

* Travelers Inn
Contact Nos 09207992960

What To Do/Where To Go in Sagada:
Sagada has been a long-time Dream Destination for me so expect that I had done a lot of research and planning. I even downloaded a couple of Sagada maps which were my bases in creating my own Sagada Itinerary.

To my surprise, when I got off the bus, it was like everything on the map was in front of me. Those famous Sagada restaurants and a handful of best spots that I thought were too far can be seen immediately from the bus drop-off point. That's how small Sagada is.

To be honest, I got stuck for about 2 minutes from where I was standing; doing nothing at all but watching Sagada for the first time. It seemed that I was watching a live travel show - people were busy and laid back at the same time, well, I cannot describe it exactly. All I know was, at that very exact moment, I uttered, "Grabe! Ang liit lang pala ng Sagada!"

Realizing how small the town is made me more excited. I thought to myself, "What's with Sagada? It's just a small town but it's very popular in travel shows and even in travel magazines.

* Pay a visit to St. Mary's Church
* Watch the sunrise at Kiltepan Peak
*Explore the Sumaguing Cave
  * Visit the Lumiang Burial Cave
* Learn something new at Sagada Pottery
  * Spend an afternoon at Lake Danum
* Watch the sunset at Lake Danum

SAGADA ITINERARY (5 Days-4 Nights)

Day 0 (Thursday)
10:00PM  ETD Victory Liner Edsa

Day 1 (Friday)
04:00AM  ETA Baguio City
04:30AM  Dangwa Terminal (Lizardo/GL Transit)
06:00AM  ETD Baguio to Sagada
11:00AM  ETA Sagada Municipal Hall
11:30AM  Check-in at George Guest House
12:00NN  Lunch at Masferre Restaurant
01:30PM  Book tours and guides at SAGGAS and at Municipal Hall
02:00PM  Tour Sagada (Sagada Weaving, St. Mary's Church, Souvenir Shops, Make a reservation at
                
Log Cabin for Saturday Night Buffet)
04:30PM  Merienda at Lemon Pie House
06:00PM  Dinner and Inom-inom at Sagada Pine Cafe

Day 2 (Saturday)
02:30AM  Rise and Shine!
03:00AM  ETD Van to Kiltepan Peak
05:30AM  Watch sunrise at Kiltepan Peak
07:30AM  Breakfast at Rock Inn's Cafe Bodega (can include Orange Picking activity if in season)
08:30AM  Back to George Guest House (chill and prepare for Lumiang Cave and Spelunking)
09:30AM  Visit Lumiang Burial Cave
10:00AM  Start Spelunking at Sumaguing Cave
01:00PM  Lunch at Pinikpikan Haus
02:00PM  Back to George Guest House (chill and prepare for Lake Danum)
03:00PM  ETD Van to Sagada Pottery-Lake Danum
03:30PM  ETA Sagada Pottery
04:00PM  ETD Sagada Pottery to Lake Danum
04:30PM  ETA Lake Danum
05:00PM  Watch sunset at Lake Danum
06:30PM  ETD Lake Danum to Sagada Town Proper
07:30PM  ETA Sagada Town Proper. Dinner at Log Cabin.
08:45PM  Back to George Guest House

Day 3 (Sunday)
05:30AM  Rise and Shine!
06:00AM  Sunday Mass at St. Mary's Church
07:15AM  Breakfast at Yoghurt House
08:00AM  Enjoy Sunday Market (Try Halo-Halo w/ Macaroni.)
10:00AM  Visit the Hanging Coffins at Echo Valley
11:30AM  Lunch at Salt and Pepper
01:30PM  Other tours (Options: Bomod-ok Falls, Bokong Falls, Sagada Underground River)
05:00PM  Chill at Persimmon Cafe
06:30PM  Dinner at Misty Lodge Cafe

Day 4 (Monday)
04:00AM  Rise and Shine!
05:30AM  Check-out at George Guest House
06:00AM  ETD Sagada to Baguio
12:00NN  ETA Baguio
12:15PM  Lunch at Good Taste
01:15PM  Buy Tickets at Victory Liner Baguio
02:00PM  ETD Baguio to Manila
08:00PM  ETA Manila :) 

Sunday, March 01, 2015

That Place Called Sagada: Of Fog, Tea, Momma Spits, and Pag-Ibig




"Para sa mga umibig, nasaktan, ngunit umibig pa rin. You know, tatanga-tanga."
- That Thing Called Tadhana


I wonder how many people embarked on a sudden road trip to Sagada after watching the romantic film, 'That Thing Called Tadhana." Funny though, 'coz of this adorable movie, it may now be valid to cry while on a bus somewhere. For sure, a lot of people tried to look for that famous juicy hotdog in one of the stop-overs too. And last but not the least, hmmm... I wonder how many girls flocked to Mt. Kiltepan to cry out, "Ayoko na! Ang sakit-sakit! Ayoko Na!"




So here's your quick guide to Sagada Province to guide you in your 'That Thing Called Tadhana-ish' trip:

Para sa mga umibig, nasaktan, ngunit umibig pa rin. You know, tatanga-tanga.
Para sa mga umibig, nasaktan, ngunit umibig pa rin. O para lang sa mga gusto lang talagang pumunta ng Sagada.
Sagada in Mountain Province is 275 kilometers north of Manila. It can only be reached via Baguio or Banaue. Via Baguio - From Manila, take Victory Liner. Ideal trip would be 10:00 PM so you will reach Baguio around 5AM. From Victory Liner Baguio, ride a cab to Dangwa Terminal (less than 10 mins travel time). GL Liner has 4 daily trips to Sagada (Fare Php220); you may take the first trip which is scheduled every 6AM. The bus ride to Sagada is approximately around 6 hours with 3 stop overs. It's a long WINDING scenic journey, so make sure to take Bonamine (I had to take one, sleep, take another tablet, and sleep again. That's how winding it is!) The bus will stop in front of the Sagada Municipal Hall; that's where you start. :)

"Gusto kong mag-Baguio."
Not really sure why Baguio and Sagada are always on top of the list of the heartbroken. It could probably be the weather - the tranquility and coldness in Sagada. The 0% crime rate (so it's kinda safe for the 'tuliro). Or it could probably the mere reason of going somewhere no one knows you; somewhere you are allowed to cry and be weak. Naks! Spell deep, spell hugot. 

O baka naman sa dahilang para yung tipong kapag nag-emo ka, may fog-fog effect pa! Bongga di ba! Bonggang #Feels!
Where do broken hearts go nga ba talaga?
Taken at Mt. Kiltepan, Sagada Province while waiting for the sunrise.

"Paano ba makalimot? Gaano katagal yun? One year? Two years? Three? Four? Five?"
While waiting for yourself to move on, you can stay at the following. Take note, moving on cannot be done overnight. Ideal stay in Sagada would at least be 5 Days and 4 Nights.
* George Guest House (Main Building & Annex)
Contact Nos 09185480406,09209483133,09206070994,09399020996

* Residential Lodge Sagada
Contact Nos 09196728744

* Misty Lodge
Contact Nos 09994459899

* Rock Inn Cafe
Contact Nos 09209095899

* Travelers Inn
Contact Nos 09207992960

"Ang bottom line, hindi ka na niya mahal."
And I say, "Dahil ang pag-ibig ay parang Tsaa, kahit gaano kainit, lumalamig din."
I can say that "Sagada Tea" is one of the attractions in this small quaint town. All of the restaurants/eateries in Sagada offer tea. My favorite is the one being sold in Persimmon Cafe. That's the best Sagada resto for me! :)
You may also try the following:
* Log Cabin
* Lemon Pie House
* Yoghurt House

"Pati sa ketchup naaalala mo siya?... Naaalala ko siya sa lahat."
Let go of the memories that you once thought were too good to forget. Create new memories. These will replace the old... these new happy memories will replace all the pain. Start by doing these activities:
* Pay a visit to St. Mary's Church
* Watch the sunrise at Kiltepan Peak
*Explore the Sumaguing Cave
* Visit the Lumiang Burial Cave
* Learn something new at Sagada Pottery
* Spend an afternoon at Lake Danum
* Watch the sunset at Lake Danum

SAGADA ITINERARY (5 Days-4 Nights)

Day 0 (Thursday)
10:00PM  ETD Victory Liner Edsa

Day 1 (Friday)
04:00AM  ETA Baguio City
04:30AM  Dangwa Terminal (Lizardo/GL Transit)
06:00AM  ETD Baguio to Sagada
11:00AM  ETA Sagada Municipal Hall
11:30AM  Check-in at George Guest House
12:00NN  Lunch at Masferre Restaurant
01:30PM  Book tours and guides at SAGGAS and at Municipal Hall
02:00PM  Tour Sagada (Sagada Weaving, St. Mary's Church, Souvenir Shops, Make a reservation at
                 Log Cabin for Saturday Night Buffet)
04:30PM  Merienda at Lemon Pie House
06:00PM  Dinner and Inom-inom at Sagada Pine Cafe

Day 2 (Saturday)
02:30AM  Rise and Shine!
03:00AM  ETD Van to Kiltepan Peak
05:30AM  Watch sunrise at Kiltepan Peak
07:30AM  Breakfast at Rock Inn's Cafe Bodega (can include Orange Picking activity if in season)
08:30AM  Back to George Guest House (chill and prepare for Lumiang Cave and Spelunking)
09:30AM  Visit Lumiang Burial Cave
10:00AM  Start Spelunking at Sumaguing Cave
01:00PM  Lunch at Pinikpikan Haus
02:00PM  Back to George Guest House (chill and prepare for Lake Danum)
03:00PM  ETD Van to Sagada Pottery-Lake Danum
03:30PM  ETA Sagada Pottery
04:00PM  ETD Sagada Pottery to Lake Danum
04:30PM  ETA Lake Danum
05:00PM  Watch sunset at Lake Danum
06:30PM  ETD Lake Danum to Sagada Town Proper
07:30PM  ETA Sagada Town Proper. Dinner at Log Cabin.
08:45PM  Back to George Guest House

Day 3 (Sunday)
05:30AM  Rise and Shine!
06:00AM  Sunday Mass at St. Mary's Church
07:15AM  Breakfast at Yoghurt House
08:00AM  Enjoy Sunday Market (Try Halo-Halo w/ Macaroni.)
10:00AM  Visit the Hanging Coffins at Echo Valley
11:30AM  Lunch at Salt and Pepper
01:30PM  Other tours (Options: Bomod-ok Falls, Bokong Falls, Sagada Underground River)
05:00PM  Chill at Persimmon Cafe
06:30PM  Dinner at Misty Lodge Cafe

Day 4 (Monday)
04:00AM  Rise and Shine!
05:30AM  Check-out at George Guest House
06:00AM  ETD Sagada to Baguio
12:00NN  ETA Baguio
12:15PM  Lunch at Good Taste
01:15PM  Buy Tickets at Victory Liner Baguio
02:00PM  ETD Baguio to Manila
08:00PM  ETA Manila :)

Contrary to usual budget concern, a trip to Sagada is not just for bourgeois (Burgis!). I only spent around less than Php5000 for this 5 Day-4 Night Sagada trip (including the pasalubong).

So how about you? "Pag may dumaang shooting star, anong iwi-wish mo?"
Ako, sana makabalik ako ng Sagada. :)


Unless otherwise stated, all #Hugot lines are excerpted from "That Thing Called Tadhana", a Pinoy romantic comedy film intelligently written and directed by Antoinette Jadaone.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Revisiting Burot Beach, Calatagan

The last month of 2014 had been a very busy month for me - got team buildings and out of towns every weekend that I almost got tired. To wrap it off, we escaped for a relaxing beach getaway in Burot Beach, Calatagan.

For some quick facts about Burot Beach, click here.

I was with my whole family when I visited Burot Beach for the first time. And whenever people ask me about Burot Beach, I would always say how beautiful, accessible, and cheap it is to go there. I would always relay how I enjoyed the beach and how safe it is for the kids. I could say that I'll give it 7/10; the 3 point deduction would only be because of the super dirty comfort rooms.

I admit, I am 'maarte' in terms of using public CRs but just like what I always say: "Mas okay sa'kin ang walang CR, kesa may CR pero madumi." Probably that was also one of the reasons why I had some hesitations to go back to Burot with my friends - I just simply don't think I can handle the CR anymore.

Anyways, the trip pushed through. We arrived there 2 hours past 12 and we immediately set up our tents under the tree. After having our lunch, we decided to explore the place.
Summer is here!

 At the rocky side of Burot Beach

The not so comfortable CR in Burot

Hotdog and Marshmallows Party at night. Woods for bonfire can be purchased for Php200

Since we are all used to working at night. We were all awake at 2 in the morning and were doing some chitchats and some party-parteey on one of the rafts. At around 4 in the morning, we saw a guy walking on the shore who was looking for some fish and shrimps.

At first, we did not believe that it is possible to get some along the shore. But hey, look!

Ahmm... we ended up buying these fresh "Sugpo" for Php150. Would you believe that??!

What's for Lunch? -- Buttered Prawns in Burot Beach


What's new in Burot?
- Henna Tattoo is now available for Php100. The artist roams around the beach and shouts, "Henna! Henna po kayo!". He carries around this clearbook of henna tattoo samples. You cannot haggle. Period.
- Presence of various stores. They claim they have everything that you need - kikiam, ice cream, merienda/snacks. :)
- You may rent a griller for Php100.00.
- Island hopping is now for Php500 per boat.

So since in a few months time, summer is here; why not try to visit Burot Beach? Burot is one of the best beaches near Metro Manila. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Sanctuary of Truth, Pattaya Thailand: The Magnificence of Heaven Recreated on Earth



The Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya which is also known as Prasat Mai is a gigantic wooden construction. The whole building is made of wood only - no steels, not even metal nails.
Outside the very artistic 20-storey-tall building of wood carvings


The entire construction is very detailed that even the wooden stairs are made up of small details.

Since the whole building is made up of wood, it uses the Old Wooden Technique Construction. The details and process can be found outside the construction.

The main hall inside the Sanctuary of Truth

The construction has been ongoing for about 30 years already. During the tour, you will notice that some parts are still being constructed. The main reason also why wearing a helmet is a must.
The ceiling is just so unexplainably amazing!

Entrance fee includes a helmet for each visitor and a tour guide for the group. Before the tour, you will be asked of your nationality and preferred language.
Our guide speaks English fluently. :)


The Sanctuary of Truth is located at 206/2 Moo 5, Soi Naklua 12, Naklua, Banglamung, Chonburi.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Go Crazy with Bagoong Ni Sisa

Bagoong or shrimp paste is one of the household staple in the Philippines. It is a famous condiment in the Philippines and even in some Asian countries. There is a wide variety of bagoong; they may differ in taste, texture, recipe, etc. Its texture may even range from a smooth-slash-pourable sauce to a super thick paste. There are really a lot of choices, as in, a lot! Good thing that we found that perfect home-made sautéed shrimp paste - Bagoong Ni Sisa.
Bagoong Ni Sisa comes in these cute mason jars

Bagoong Ni Sisa is 100% all-natural. It does not contain any preservatives. Sure, one will go crazy over the perfect mix of sauteed shrimp paste (not to mention each bottle comes with real pork bits and chicharon).

All-time favorite Green Mango and Bagoong

Well-loved match - Tortang Talong and Bagoong

A popular accompaniment of Filipino Traditional Dishes like Pinakbet

Stir-Fried Kangkong Topped with Bagoong

Each bottle costs Php150. Bagoong Ni Sisa is available in 2 flavors: Original and Ba-SILI-o (Basilio or spicy).

For orders and inquiries, please contact 09479926415.
Like Bagoong Ni Sisa in Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/TheBagoongNiSisa
Follow 'em on Instagram - @BagoongNiSisa

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Philippine Travel Events 2015: Schedule of Travel Bazaars, 2015 Festivals, Church Events, Etc.


It has been more fun in the Philippines last year with our country's success in showing the whole world that - "It's More Fun in the Philippines". This year, 2015, DOT's looking forward to attract about 10 million tourists to visit our country with its new theme/slogan, "Visit the Philippines 2015".

For your reference, here's the list of 2015 Travel Events and Festivals in the Philippines:

JANUARY
* January 9 : Feast of the Black Nazarene (Manila)
* January 15-19 : Papal Visit/Pope Francis' Visit in the Philippines (Manila; Tacloban)
* January 18 : Ati-Atihan 2015 (Aklan)
* January 18 : Sinulog 2015 (Cebu)
* January 25 : Dinagyang Festival 2015 (Iloilo)

FEBRUARY
* February 12-15 : Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival (Pampanga)
* February 19 : Chinese New Year (Manila)
* February 19 : Babaylan Festival 2015 (Bacolod)
* February 28 : Panagbenga Festival (Baguio)

MARCH
* March 5-8/March 14-15 : Malasimbo Music & Arts Festival 2015 (Puerto Galera)
* March 7-8 : Kaamulan Festival (Bukidnon)
* March 28 : Earth Hour 2015

APRIL
* April 3 : Moriones Festival (Marinduque)
* April 3 : Cutud Crucifixions (Pampanga)
* April 9 : Araw ng Kagitingan/Bataan Day
* April 13-19 : Panaad sa Negros Festival 2015 (Negros)
* April 22 : Earth Day 2015
* April 23-25 : Aliwan Fiesta 2015 (Manila)

MAY
* May 10 : Mothers' Day :)
* May 15 : Pahiyas 2015 (Quezon)
* May 17-19 : Obando Fertility Rites 2015 (Bulacan)
* May 28: National Flag Day

JUNE
* June 12 : Philippine Independence Day
* June 19 : Dr. Jose Rizal's Birthday Anniversary
* June 21 : Fathers' Day :)
* June 24 : Parada ng Lechon Festival (Batangas)
* June 29 : Pintados/Kasadyaan Festival 2015

JULY
* July 17 : Eid'l Fitr
* July 25-26 : Bohol Sandugo Festival 2015 (Bohol)

AUGUST
* August 16 : Kadayawan sa Dabaw 2015 (Davao)
* August 28 : Kagay-an Festival 2015 (Cagayan De Oro)

SEPTEMBER
* September 19 : Penafrancia Viva La Virgen 2015 (Bicol)
* September 23 : Eidul Aha
* September 29 : Iligan Fiesta 2015 (Iligan)

OCTOBER
* October 18 : Masskara Festival 2015 (Bacolod)
* October 24-25 : Lansones Festival 2015 (Camiguin)

NOVEMBER
* November 11-15 : Diwal Festival 2015
* November 22-23 : Higantes Festival 2015 (Rizal)
* November : Pasungko Festival 2015 (Misamis Occidental)
* November 30 : Bonifacio Day

DECEMBER
* December 12 : Giant Lantern Parade 2015 (Pampanga)
* December 25 : Christmas Day :)
* December 30: Rizal Day


Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Travel Tour Expo 2015 by PTAA

The Travel Tour Expo will be held this coming February 13, 14, and 15, 2015 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City. The 22nd PTAA Travel Tour Expo is set to be participated by 262 exhibitors with over 701 booths; it will be a mix of domestic tour operators, travel agencies, hotels, resorts, airlines, cruise liners, and other travel-related entities.

So, make your 2015 your travel year!
Get great travel deals and awesome tour packages in the 22nd PTAA Travel Tour Expo.

For more information, log on to http://www.ptaa.org.ph/tte2015/.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Duplex Hot Spring Resort Laguna


Looking for a perfect venue for team buildings, family gatherings, or barkada getaways? Why not try Duplex Hot Spring Resort in Los Banos, Laguna?

Duplex Hot Spring Resort Group or commonly known as Duplex is composed of 5 hot spring villas where everyone can chill and celebrate. It is also an alternative venue for corporate seminars, meetings, or strategic plannings with an atmosphere of a vacation home. The modern hot spring boutique is complete with amenities like mini-mart, mini-bar w/ disco set-up, restaurant, and outdoor theater.

Over the weekend, we got to try one of the Duplex villas - Duplex Villa 3.

Villa 3 rates are as follows:
Day (8AM - 5PM) ...................... Php9250
Night (7PM - 6AM) .................... Php11250
22 hrs ........................................ Php16500

Duplex Villa 3

3 Airconditioned Rooms

Villa 3 has 3 airconditioned rooms with a total sleeping capacity of 28 pax.



All comfort rooms are clean with rainshower and colorful toilet fixtures

Furnitures are all new and world-class

Duplex Villa 3 Hot Spring Pool

Duplex Hot Spring Resort Group is located in Park Merced Village, Barangay Lalakay, Los Banos, Laguna. For inquiries and reservations, you may contact the following numbers - 09985399343, 09258810840, and 09176355641. Visit their website at www.duplexhotspringresortgroup.com
 
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