Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hiking at Mt. Batulao, Nasugbu, Batangas

This post first appeared here. This is a guide to hiking Mt. Batulao in Nasugbu, Batangas.

April 24, 2013
at the Summit of Mt. Batulao
Last Sunday, April 13, we went on a day hike to Mt. Batulao in Nasugbu, Batangas. Armed with information from Adaphobic and Pinoy Mountaineer, we decided that we could do it because it was an "easy climb."  And yeah, it was like a walk in the park. But the park was located at the top of the mountain, and it was very dusty and it was very hot.  But it was very scenic, it was very beautiful and it was very, very worth it!
There were 5 of us in the group and meeting place was McDonalds in Pasay-Edsa-Rotonda.  The bus station is behind McDo.  Fare was 125 and we told the conductor to drop us off at Evercrest.  One member of the group lives in Nasugbu so she just met us there.  At Evercrest, a kid approached us, offering his service as a guide for P300 so we agreed.  We also rented a tricycle for P20 each going to the jump-off.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Manila Churches for Visita Iglesia

Visita Iglesia in Manila

As I have said in an earlier post, we have been doing Visita Iglesia since 2012. And for last year, we visited these 7 churches in Manila:
1. Most Holy Redeemer Parish, Santol Quezon City- we live just a street away from here so we started our Visita Iglesia in our very own church.  This is located near Brixton Hills in Araneta Ave, near the Soen Factory.
2. Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Sta. Mesa, Manila-located just beside Jollibee in Stop and Shop, near Teresa in PUP Main.
3. National Shrine of Saint Jude Thaddeus-located inside the Malacanang grounds. This is in San Miguel, Manila, near CEU. Our very first time to visit this church and there were devotees doing self-flagellation when we went there. St. Jude is also know as the patron saint of hopeless cases and many students studying for board exams come here to pray.
4. Our Lady of Montserrat Abbey-the church is inside the San Beda college, also in Mendiola. This was a very, very beautiful church. It was also my first time to visit this church and I was in awe of how beautiful and serene it looked.
5. St. Anthony Shrine-just a little way off Mendiola is Bustillos where you can find the "Twin Churches of Sampaloc or "Twin Churches of Bustillos", one of which is this shrine. These two churches are just beside each other.
6. Our Lady of Loreto-is the other church.  You can exit from the side of the other church to proceed to this one.
7. Manila Cathedral-our last stop, because we just had to see it after its re-opening due to reconstruction. My husband and I used to work in an office just a stone's throw away from Manila Cathedral so we are quite familiar with this church, but we were awed at its beauty after its renovation.  It is now air conditioned!

There are many, many more churches in Manila that you can visit for Visita Iglesia, such as the Quiapo Church, San Agustin Church and Binondo Church to name a few, but always remember the reason for your visits is not to take pictures, but to say your prayers and relive the Passion of Christ.

Our First Family Visita Iglesia Experience

This post was originally posted here, but this a guide for those who wants to do Visita Iglesia, from Araneta Avenue in Quezon City to Montalban, Rizal.

Apr 8, 2012
I have never done any Visita Iglesia in my life but for this year, I want to do it for the first time with my family. I printed the prayers and the stations of the cross for each one of us, and on the dawn of Holy Thursday, we were off to visit and offer prayers on seven churches. The plan was to see those churches en route to our home in Montalban where we will be staying for the long weekend. 
Sto. Domingo Church
Our first stop was at the Sto. Domingo Church in Araneta. The church was still closed but when we saw people praying at the door, we followed suit.
St. Peter Parish
Our next stop was at St. Peter Parish along Commonwealth. It is a very beautiful church, inside and out! I will post more pictures about it on separate post later.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Air Asia's Red Hot Piso Sale 23 March 2015

Happening right now (or at the stroke of 00:01 of March 23, 2015 is Air Asia's Red Hot Piso Sale, and yes I am still awake and waiting for it.  This is how you save on airfare: you wait for the seat sales! So happy hunting guys!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Dampa in Ortigas Home Depot

Garlic Butter Shrimp, Chili Spicy Crab, Lemon Grilled Tanigue, Fried Rice

Did you know that there is the 'dampa' style of seafood paluto in Ortigas Home Depot? The only other dampa I knew near Ortigas is the one in Libis so I was pleasantly surprised that we have one so near our office!  We chose to eat at Sis Seafood Bar and Restaurant, although there are other paluto restaurants there like Aling Tonya's and Justine's. 

So, how to go there? Click below for google map.
 Sis Seafood Bar and Restaurant

From the Ortigas side of Robinson's Galleria:
Ride a jeep to Rosario, and get off at Meralco Ave. (landmarks are Ortigas Bldg. and Home Depot.
Walk 2-3 blocks along Ortigas Ave. to Meralco Ave. The dampa is opposite the entrance to Home Depot.

So, enjoy Dampa-style in Ortigas Home Depot!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Mt. Pamitinan Day Hike

so much worth it!
As mentioned on the previous post, I and group of friends went to hike Mt. Pamitinan last Sunday. The ambitious plan was to do a twin dayhike of Mt. Pamitinan and Mt. Binacayan. But during the registration, I was ambivalent because I was not sure whether the group can do it.  Upon consultation with Kuya Joni, we opted for the Pamitinan cave tour, up the summit of Mt. Pamitinan and wawa river traverse for our itinerary.  

We start the hike with registration at the Barangay (no fee, just donation), registration at DENR (P2 and waiver) and at the Tourism office.  Since we were going to visit the cave, we paid for P50 helmet rental and P5 cave entrance fee.  Our guide was Kuya Nestor, and we started with our hike at precisely 7am.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Hiking at Mt. Pamitinan, Brgy. Wawa, Rodriguez, Rizal

Last Sunday, I and my friends decided to hike Mt. Pamitinan in Brgy. Wawa, Rodriguez, Rizal.   The original plan was for twin dayhike, but since I was not sure about my companions, I told our guide that we will just visit the cave and hike Mt. Pamitinan, the easier of the two.  It was actually a good call because we didn't even get to do the traverse to Wawa river. Anyway, I will be blogging more about this later.  For the meantime, below are directions on how to go about hiking Mt. Pamitinan.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Sample Davao 3D/2N Itinerary

We went to Davao in June 2013 and below is our itinerary (click image below for bigger view). I am not sure if prices have changed already but at least you can use it to make your own budget and itinerary. Davao is such a beautiful place and I especially love the food and the fruits.  Hope I can go back again!
Sample Davao itinerary with expenses (as of June 2013)
The original post appeared here

How I Travel On A Budget: Ticket Purchase

I will share my strategy on how I am able to travel on a budget when it comes to airline ticket purchase.  It is not a secret at all.  

First. I save on airfare because I book my tickets during seat sale. I do not travel during peak season and I really plan my travel ahead.  As an example, here are two tickets I bought for Manila to Cebu (8pax) and Cebu to Manila (5pax) via Cebu Pacific. 

I bought the ticket below during Cebu Pacific's Piso Sale in January 28, 2015.  I couldn't find a Piso fare on the return flight so I opted to just buy one way. Notice that I did not buy any baggage allowance.  For a group of 8, our ticket comes out to only P335.52 per passenger.  Before the fuel surcharge was removed, you would pay around P500 more per passenger, depending on your destination.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Sample Sagada 3D/2N Itinerary

Everyone I know wants to go to Sagada.  Well who wouldn't want to see the famous Mt. Kiltepan sunrise after that recent hit movie, That Thing Called Tadhana? Me, I have always wanted to see the hanging coffins and most of all, the rice terraces. This trip, along with many others, have always been on my To-Visit list.

And lo and behold, we are planning a trip to Sagada! Thanks to a comment on Facebook, everything is being arranged by my all-time kaladkarin travel buddy Ehms.  And she is in charge of the planning, and hopefully, execution!

So, here is a sample itinerary and approximate expenses, c/o of Ehms:

sample only, can be modified according to schedule

Immaculate Conception Parish, Balayan, Batangas

Immaculate Conception Parish
I was born in Tuy (pronounced as Tu-Wi), Batangas but we moved to Manila when I was in Grade 2.  But we visit the province regularly.  In one of our visits, I took a photo of the Immaculate Conception Parish, which is listed as one of the National Cultural Treasure by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.  There is also a school attached to the church.

Also know as the Balayan Parish, this is one of the many churches in Batangas that you can visit for Visita Iglesia.

Quick Facts About Balayan:source
  • Balayan was a Philippine province for 151 years (1581-1732). 
  • It was the first municipality in Southern Tagalog and the first province in Southern Luzon. 
  • It was also the cradle of Christianity and seat of civilization in the region during the early centuries. 
  • Although Parada ng Lechon is its most celebrated event, Bagoong is Balayan’s recognized main product.

How to get to Batangas from Manila:
on private vehicle:
From Manila via SLEX,  take the Sta. Rosa toll exit, then Tagaytay City. At the boundary or after the Tagaytay City Marker, turn left to go to Calaca, Lemery, San Luis and Taal.  From Nasugbu Highway, take right at the Palico Junction to go to Calatagan, Lian and Nasugbu and turn left to go Tuy, Balayan and Calaca.
on public transport:
There are bus terminals in Cubao and Pasay Area.  For vans, go to the terminal at the back of Metropoint Hotel near the Kabayan Hotel.

I'm on my way...

This post first appeared on To Be. To Be. Tutubi.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

When is A Good Time to Book Your Tickets?

The best time to book your ticket for a budget travel is during a seat sale.  Now that the fuel surcharge has been removed because of the lowering fuel prices, air travel has once again become so affordable. Today, Cebu Pacific is having a sale! 

The P100 fare will only come out to more or less P500 per way, including taxes. Not bad, right?

So, book now! 

Travel Quotes Friday: Time for Another Adventure!

Genting Highlands, Malaysia

The Great Baguio Adventure

first family travel to Baguio
We went to Baguio in February 2007.  It was our first trip as a family and I was so excited. I over packed clothes and I overstocked food.  I think that's how it was for your first travel.  And since I was with kids and I didn't know how cool it was in Baguio then, I brought a lot. I ended up bringing home more clean clothes than dirty ones, hahaha.

Anyway, I will not give you details on how to Baguio (you can find it here) since we rented a private van for our group of 14 adults and kids and we stayed at our company's rest house.  And besides, it was too long ago.  But what I can remember was my disappointment over Mine's View. It was not what I was expecting and so I was disappointed.  Since then, I have learned to research the places where I was going, and to always keep an open mind.  I think that is the best attitude when you travel: do not have have expectations, rather, be ready to be surprised!

Maybe, I will go back to Baguio again with my sister. Now, that's a plan. 

I'm on my way..

Original post can be found here

Places To See Before I Die

In October 2008, I wrote this on my first blog:

Reading other people's blog and seeing their pictures, here are just some of the places in the Philippines that I wish to visit before I die. They are listed in no particular order and will be updated every time na may makita pa ako :-)
Anawangin Cove in Brgy. Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales -Undiscovered paradise talaga, parang hindi sa Pilipinas ano?
Caleruega in Brgy. Kaylaway, Batulao, Nasugbu, Batangas -I pass by Batulao every time I go to my hometown in Putol, Tuy, Batangas but I never had the time to visit this place! Even Pink Sisters nga e.
Sagada-Ang tagal ko na gusto mag-Sagada pero di matuloy-tuloy.
Puerto Prinsesa-Vangie, sama ka na ha! You should hear Vangie gush about the caves and the beach. Yaan mo, next year.
Batanes -All storm passes through Batanes! Parang Marlboro country. Hirap lang, what if ma-cancel ang flight mo?
There are a lot more places in the country waiting for us to visit. Huwag maging banyaga sa sariling bayan and with promos left and right from Cebu Pacific, every juan can fly!

Past-forward to 2015 and I have only been to 2 out of 5 places in that list! Something must be done about it!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

How to Apply for a Tourist Visa to Japan

My trip to Japan was for business so my office arranged for my visa. With the relaxation of visa requirements to Japan, it is now easy to apply. Here are the requirements for tourist visa application to Japan.  

1. It is very important to note that you need to apply through accredited agency (click here for the list).  There is no visa fee, but you may be charged a service fee by the agency.

2. Requirements for TOURIST VISA. Make sure that you submit complete requirements to avoid delays.

A Taste of Japan

at Narita Airport

Last January, I was in Tokyo for work and I had a very short taste of how beautiful Japan is. And for sure, I will come back! I only have good things to say about the country:

  1. I love the weather. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see snow. 
  2. I love how everybody looks so good in winter clothes, including me! 
  3. I love how efficient their train system is.
  4. I love the food.
  5. I love the Japanese hospitality.

Anyway, for the very short stay in Tokyo, we still managed to see Shibuya and have authentic Ramen in Ichiran. That's aside from the welcome dinner and another formal dinner from our Japanese hosts.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Piso Traveller is Born

Patapat Viaduct, Ilocos Norte

I have been blogging for more than seven years now and when I reviewed my entries, it seems that most of my posts are about travel. And so piso traveller is born. Why Piso? My first plane ride was for a trip to Bohol with my family because of the Piso fare of Cebu Pacific. That was in 2009 and since then, I have developed a strategy or an appetite for travelling on a budget.  

So this blog will be about my travels, whether by air or by land, over mountains or over seas, or just around the metro. As they say, 'the world is a book and those who do not travel, read only one page.'

So, here is to more adventures! I'm on my way...