10 June 2017

My 2016 Travels: #BlessedStill

My 2016 travels has still been a bit busy, for my standards that is, and I have been blessed to have been given the opportunity to step foot in the lands that I have been to for this year.

This post is 6 months late because I have been very busy with work (no joke!) and though I have resigned from that work already, I am now establishing a new phase of my life with me as an, ahem, entrepreneur. Yes, I have finally decided to give this a go and will see where this new role will take me. Hopefully, to more travels for 2017 even if it's the middle of the year now.

Without further ado, here is my 2016 wanderlust series:



My favorite place to unwind and immerse in some historical past. Every year, I go to Intramuros several times and it never fails to amaze me. What transpired in the past and how it is being valued in today's times is sure is fascinating stuff for me.
At the Baluarte de San Diego. Finally was able to come here! It was surreal. I tried imagining what actually transpired here during the days of the World War II.



Our annual panata, or pilgrimage, that I fondly call Visita Iglesia de Paa. Why this name? Because we take the laborious route from Quezon City to Baclaran, stopping by 13 churches, on foot. Well, we have shoes, of course, but we do it old school. This is my dad's panata which I have joined him for the past 10 years and counting. The heat and the whole trip is exhausting and draining but once you reach the end, it's all worth it.

Quaipo Church, or otherwise known also as the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene.
The largest Filipino-Chinese Friendship Arch in the world, located at the world's oldest Chinatown, Manila Cinatown.
The unusually uncluttered Pasig River. Quiet day it was.



Hello, Tanay! We travelled far and we were rewarded with this welcoming signage.
San Ildefonso de Toledo Parish Church, commonly known as the Tanay Church. Old structures, especially churches, never fails to amaze me. So many history embedded in these walls. If only they can talk. But if they can, that would be spooky. Haha!
The Regina Rosarii Institure for Contemplation in Asia, or simply known as Regina RICA. A 71ft statue of the Queen of the Holy Rosary is housed here and you can climb up inside the statue. 

This was our main target. MASUNGI GEORESERVE. A conservation area surrounded by towering limestones with ancient sinkholes that you cannot avoid to see but better be aware of them. It has a myriad of trails and challenges that will make you face your fears as well as, for me, physical challenges. It was really tiring, a shame that I was not able to finish it because I got dehydrated. I was not fully informed that their ration of 500ml of water was not enough to quench the thirst. My bad. Charge to experience. But it was fun, exhilarating and panoramically beautiful.
Things I do for experience. Next step, trek an actual mountain and call myself a mountaineer for a day.



The Tierra de Maria was a revelation for me. I did not know that this existed. Thanks to the internet you get to know places like this.

It was a serene place except when tourists want to have a lot of photo ops then that distracts you of that much-needed peace.



A dream come true! Truth be told, I really want to go to Middle Eastern countries. Why? Culturally rich and at the same time, visa here is not easy to get a hold on. So I was happy to have had the chance to go here in Doha, Qatar even for just a few days. After the business side of the trip was done, that is.
The Doha Corniche as viewed from the balcony of my room from the Doha Grand Sheraton Hotel. Fancy view!
The sight that greeted me upon our arrival. Surreal!
I thought I was in Europe. Nah! This was at the Souq Waqif. 
At the Katara Cultural Village.
And the famous giant teddy bear at the Hamad International Airport. We were twinning!



Arresting view. Taken around 12mn, after our hearty dinner at the nearby Makansutra Gluttons Bay.
Great graffiti work found at the Hajji Lane. The Muslim cultural side of Singapore. 


The Petronas Towers are majestic especially at night. The well-lighted structures are very picturesque.
Outside Kuala Lumpur you can find the Batu Caves. The climb up the 272 steps is quite the workout but it's good for a one-time experience. There's not much to see up there but it sure is beautiful from below.



Wright Park on a very beautiful day.
The haunted Laperal House. Spooky vibes it was but I gathered enough gumption to have my photo taken but at the facade only.
The Bencab Museum view from their balcony. 
Food trips are epic in Baguio. It's diverse and choices are aplenty. Good for whatever budget that you have. What I liked in this specific photo is Tsokolateria. The champorado was sinfully and chocolatey good! A must-try!


The land of Kpop and Kdrama! Finally, a dream come true again. Unfortunately, did not see any famous oppa but the whole experience made it so worth it. Up until now, I still have the hangover from this place.

Tried their traditional Hanbok and posed at the Gyeongbukgong Palace.
Futuristic feels at the Dongdaemon Design Plaza. So cold, that night! Freezing!
Welcome to Nami Island! 3-hrs commute away from the city. 
At the Bukchon Hanok Village. Go here while it's still very early to avoid throngs of people.



As hard to believe, it IS indeed my first time here to see the aquariums and other attractions. It was great! Next time, I have to stay at their H2O Hotel.

Awesome 2016! Claiming more to come for the rest of my 2017. =)


Check out the other years of my travel life:

2015 Travels

2014 Travels

2013 Travels

2012 Travels

19 May 2017

Baguio Eats: Zola Resto Cafe

I have been on a 3 month hiatus and I do not like it one bit. My yearly new year's resolution is to blog regularly but that has been so impossible with my work schedule. My life literally stopped or was put on hold. But now, since I have resigned and will venture into something new, I will have more time for myself. Let's see how this goes.

So to continue my Baguio Eats series, I have now Zola Resto Cafe along Session Road.

We went there for a quick dinner. My family and I were still full from our heavy lunch at Sage Restaurant so we just wanted something to munch on. Mind you, it was a jampacked night and all seats were filled but thank goodness for senior citizens (mother dear and papa dear), we got seats after a few minutes but it was situated at the balcony and my mom did not want that so she requested for a table inside.

We ordered their Calamari and this was surprisingly delicious. In a span of a few minutes, the plate was wiped out and we ordered another.

Our pizza order. It was good that they allowed two flavors in one pizza. I think we had the Buffalo Chicken and Grandslam flavors. I recall that the chicken was spicy so my dad and brother were not so fond of it. But they liked the other one. For me, I liked them both.

The food was good and prices are pretty fair so I have no complains. But, I do have some and it is directed to their service which was a bit slow. We had to request and call multiple times but to no avail so instead of ruining our night, we just opted to get the heck out of there the soonest.

It's a chill place for the younger set of crowd at night and not for the parentals like what we did and smoking is allowed so don't complain about it.

I'd still give it a shot next time, But maybe I will try during daytime.


Zola Resto Cafe
Session Road cor. Fr. Carlu Road, 
Baguio City, Benguet 
Tel. #: (0915) 904-1977 
Facebook: Zola Resto / Cafe

30 January 2017

Baguio Eats: Sage Restaurant

Our Baguio food trip continues with our lunch stop at the Sage Restaurant.

As mentioned in previous posts, I researched where we should eat and Sage come up on the top 5 of the list.

Located at the Military Cutoff Road, it is one of the must-go to places and in this area you have other great options for your next meal.

Ultimate Nachos Platter (P240.00)
Seriously big! And with a lot of toppings and sauces. And, seriously great tasting too!
Sulit sarap!
Salmon Picatta (P280.00)
Per brother dear, a bit dry to his taste. Well, it was. Kind of resembled  fried bangus to me. I would have preferred it to be a bit moist.
Walnut-Crusted Butterfly Tenderloin (P280.00)
A bit dry and a bit tough. Enough said. Wrong order for me, I guess.
Creamy Bulalo Steak w/Mashed Potatoes (P280.00)
Now this was something that I liked! And the size was generous! Both the meat and the gravy. Can be shared by 2 people. Tender meat flavored fantastically! Thumbs up!

One thing I can solidly commend on are the serving sizes, truly generous! Oh, and the prices too! Very reasonable.
Infused service water

Brownies ala Mode (Php 120.00)
The brownie size was small, cute-sized! It was good. And very affordable, don't you think? 

Green Tea Cheesecake 
Very mild tasting so this is good for those who are not fond of too much sweetness in their cakes. I forgot the price but I am sure that is is below Php150.00.

Some of their cake options.
Small and cozy places and gets pretty packed during peak hours.

Overall, we had a pleasant dining experience. The service was very good and the food was good. Value for money is great! Though not all were hits but I think I just need to go back and try their other dishes.

Sage Restaurant
95 Military Cutoff Road, 
Baguio, 2600 Benguet

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