Thursday, September 15, 2011

Travel Plans

After finishing my already scheduled Cebu trip this end of the month, there are a few other places that I want to go to before the year ends. And, with the current commitment to tour Mindanao first, there are three places that I want to visit, as follows:

  1. Mati, Davao Oriental. I've been to Mati countless times before but I want to visit at least one more time before 2012. It's good to visit my grandparents and other relatives there. Also, this coming November, waves in Dahican would be surf-worthy so I might check that out.
  2. Surigao (and maybe Siargao). I have had an interest in surfing before but it has waned already. But I did not totally lost the interest. I still want to go to Siargao and take surfing shots. Surigao's Tinuy-an Falls and the Enchanted River are creating much buzz these days. I want to go there too!
  3. Glan. I've been as far as Batulaki but did not have enough photos to prove that. There was no such thing as digital camera that time and underwater cameras were expensive and scarce. Now, Glan has a lot of resorts already and I've heard the roads have been improved and cemented. I want to go to the place they call as "Little Boracay." There is also a place called "Gumasa" and I've seen a lot of beautiful beach photos which are so inviting!
Good luck to these travel plans!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Tagaytay (the second time around)

After visiting the Ilog Maria Bee Farm, we proceeded to Tagaytay. I've been to Tagaytay before but this is the first time that I would go to People's Park in the Sky. I was actually curious about this place because the name "People's Park" is controversial here in Davao. If you want to know the story, here's the short version: A new park was being built in Davao and there was a contest about how DavaoeƱos should name the park. The winning entry was "People's Park". A few days later, controversies sparked around the city questioning on why the name "People's Park" won in the contest. Despite the controversy and the name being soooo not unique, the park is still named People's Park until today.

Anyway, People's Park in the Sky is located in the windy Tagaytay. If you plan to go there and commute, it is best to go to their Jeepney terminal in Olivares, Tagaytay. You can find jeepneys there going to People's Park in the Sky at a fee of P17.00 per person.

Below are the shots we've taken from People's Park in the Sky, Tagaytay.

Walking uphill

Are you ready for this challeng?

Would I recommend going there? It depends.

I like Tagaytay, the cool wind despite the hot sun really amazes me. If you're fit and able to walk up on hills then you can go to Tagaytay and enjoy the view. But, it you're having thoughts on muscle strain, varicose veins, arthritis, rheumatism, and other body pains, then skin People's Park in the Sky. I recommend going to the various restaurants with good views of the Taal Lake and Taal Volcano.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Ilog Maria at Silang, Cavite


I've read about Ilog Maria Farm a few years ago and it was just recently when I was able to browse their website. My curiosity grew when I found Ilog Maria products on the shelf of our local HB1 store in NCCC Mall. I did not buy any of the Ilog Maria Product and restrained myself because I want to be able to visit their farm first.

Ilog Maria Farm is located in Silang, Cavite. I was in Manila the past weekend and going to Silang, Cavite was on my itinerary. To get there, we boarded a bus going to Tagaytay and paid around P70.00. We asked the bus conductor to drop us at Ilog Maria.

When we alighted from the bus, we discovered that there were only very few tricycles in the vicinity. We should have alighted near their downtown area or terminal. I was with four other companions so we just decided to walk 700meters going to Ilog Maria Farm. The weather that day was cloudy so it was just okay to hike.

The road going to Ilog Maria Farm 
The road had some narrow parts and there were private vehicles coming in and going out. When we finally arrived at Ilog Maria, the place had many visitors. Cars were parked outside. Some of our photos are posted below:

Geese freely roaming around their farm

Curious about resin, propolis, and all other new bee-terms

Just playing around with my sister

You may visit their Bee Museum if you have pre-booked at least 30 guests.

That's actually the comfort room at the background.
They have the best "outdoor" comfort room that I've ever seen!

Some stuffs to buy. Honey Shampoo, Virgin Honey, etc.

Here reading and discussing about what bee propolis and bee pollen are

Now it's time to walk again.... =)
I was a High Dessert baby. If you don't know what that is, I'm sorry I can't tell you more. My dad used to sell High Dessert products when I was still very small. High Dessert products are also based on honey so basically, I'm not new being "honeyfied".

If I am given another chance to visit Cavite, I would definitely go back to Ilog Maria and purchase a lot of stuffs there. =)

Monday, September 05, 2011

Maxima Aqua Fun

Located in Island Garden City of Samal, Maxima Aquafun tagged itself as "Home of the Abyss."

I've been meaning to post this soon after we went to Maxima but I don't know what got into me. This never really made the cut until, uhmmm, nine months later! Haha! It's already September 2011 and we went to Maxima last December 2010.

Anyway, the photos below would sum up what you can do at Maxima:
Find some Nemos and Dorys.
But be careful!
Some fishes are territorial - they bite!

This one does not have the gears on him.
Proper diving gears are available.
This guy was just watching the giant clam up close.

If you are brave enough, you can try this!
Don't leave Maxima without trying this!

This one is fun when done with friends.

This one is really fun!
Other features in the Maxima Resort are Canopy Walk, Banana Boat Ride, and Jet Ski. Remember that when you are in Maxima, you are not allowed to remove your life vest, for security purposes. For a complete list of their services, facilities and rates, please visit their website here.

Note: Maxima Aqua Fun and Maxima Beach House are different. I believe that they are run by the same company but they have different locations and different facilities. This post is about the Maxima Aqua Fun. Visit for other information.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Magandang Gensan!

I have been to General Santos City already but this is my first 3D/2N stay at the beautiful GenSan. I almost always mix business with pleasure so, even if I was on official business to attend a PICPA Seminar, I also met up with one of my closest friends, Ross.

Malls in Mindanao, generally, close early at around 8pm. Luckily, there are still a lot of places where you can hang out even after mall hours. Our place of choice: Coffee Club 101 located just outside Robinson's Mall. I know there is another Coffee Club 101 branch in GenSan but unfortunately, I did not get it's street address.

A bottle of beer for me and Tuna Panini

Inside Coffee Club 101, Robinson's Branch
Since I will be staying for a couple of nights, I booked at Phela Grande Hotel, thinking that Phela Grande Hotel is just located at the same place where the Phela Granda Convention Center is. However, as soon as I stepped inside the tricycle and told the driver to go to Phela, the driver asked me whether I was referring to the Phela Hotel or the Phela Convention Center. OH MY GOSH!!! I was not prepared for it! I soon found out that Phela Grande Hotel is just around the downtown area while Phela Grande Convention Center is located a little off-city. Anyhow, Phela Grande Hotel's rates are reasonable enough and the service is also very good so I decided to stay there even if I had to pay P20 for the tricycle fare in going to the convention center.
At the Hotel Lobby

Hotel Rates
Phela Grande Hotel Rates start as low as P854 for a single room. If you have an additional guest and ask for an extra bed, you pay additional P500. It's really amazing that the additional guest also has free breakfast in the morning. It's not the same with other hotels where extra persons need to pay additional fees (aside from the extra bed fee) to have their breakfast.

The hotel was fully booked when I first checked in and I could not upgrade my single room for that night. Too bad I was not able to get a photo of the room. It cost me P956 and I wondered why they have different rates for their single rooms depending on which wing it was. My room had an appropriately-sized single bed, tv, hot and cold shower, and what excited me most was the LAN connection. There was no WIFI but there was a LAN cable. Yehey! One thing that I have noticed, though, is that the single room had only one power socket. It was a good thing that I brought my cellphone USB cable so that I could charge both my laptop and cellphone simultaneously.

For the second night, we've upgraded to the twin deluxe room located at the building's different wing. Also, wing A is not accessible by elevator. Phela's Wing B has an elevator. It's a little confusing on how Wings A and B are connected. We had a difficult time trying to figure out how to reach Second Floor A via the elevator. Long story!
Just woke up. =)

Tempt me NOT!!!


I love wood tiles! Oh, you can see my bag there. =p

The twin deluxe room has bigger space. I think it's thrice the size of the single room. You can do tumbling shots here, really! It has a bath tub and mini bar. Plus, you have more power sockets! =) But, there is no internet connection in this part of the building. No WIFI, and no LAN cable. Telecommunication signal strength is strong so you can use your internet kit if you have one.

Generally, our stay at Phela Grande Hotel is a breeze, stress-free, and I will definitely recommend this hotel. Special thanks to one of the hotel staff, Faith, for being very very helpful and accommodating. And yes, Faith is a guy. When you're in Phela, you can ask him why his mom named him Faith. Hehe!

General Santos is a city in bloom. I've seen how much it has changed over the years. If you visit them now, you can readily see their progress. By the way, an SM Mall is currently under construction. Before, people from Mindanao would go to Davao being the center city sometime ago. Now, there is Cagayan de Oro in the North and General Santos City further down South.

Do you have any beautiful experiences in GenSan?

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Our very own Abreeza

My sister looks so happy! =D

Roads lined with bamboo trees

That portion with the white roofing is the food court

Strolling inside the mall

The Kadayawan vibe is in the air!

It was Gracie's first time to visit Abreeza Mall of Davao and she was super excited! Her main goal for this day is to buy alkansya (piggy bank) and not just another piggy bank but one with a lock and keys.

At first, she was excited to roam around the new mall and even played in the railings located at the open-air food court. When we were already looking for the alkanysa in Saizen (located inside Robinson's Department Store), she got mad because they didn't have the alkansya that met her meticulous requirements. I saw a can-shaped coin bank there and I really liked it but Gracie was already frowning and complaining and demanded we go to another mall to look for her alkansya. So, off we go.

I'm sure Gracie enjoyed her Abreeza experience, even giddily saying, "Kagwapo diri oi!" (It's very beautiful here!). If not for the alkansya, we would have stayed in Abreeza longer. Haha!