Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘enjoy’

Breathing Adventure: The 8D 1D Challenge At Cavite, Batangas and Tagaytay

Visiting eight destinations in one day may sound tiring but it’s worth the try. This travel tour on Facebook gave us the chance to take a day tour around three places in South Luzon: Batangas, Cavite, and Tagaytay.

1. Marian Orchard

This sanctuary in Batangas was our first stop. This place is perfect for peace seekers, as well as for those who are camera-obsessed. It would be good to stay here to medidate but that would be impossible if only 40 minutes were given to roam around.

2. Taal Heritage Town and Taal Church

These two are joined together as the 2nd and 3rd destinations in our bucket list. Like this picture below, many of the old Spanish houses in the town are well preserved. I would have loved to visit each one just to see what’s inside.

The church itself is the main site to visit in this area. But we were not able to come any nearer because we only had an hour…

…to enjoy a bowl of Batangas’ hot, steamy, special lomi. Lunch time, folks!

3. Villa Jovita

Participants in this trip were given the chance to take a dip and relax in this resort in Batangas. However, most of us were not in the mood to wade into the water, although we were given two hours to enjoy the moment.

I guess we love to capture every moment in our lenses instead.

The river beside the pool.

4. Fantasy World

Visiting this place is a wish come true for me. Who wouldn’t be curious to know what’s inside this mini-theme park? When we came in, we were stunned to see…

…fairies and wizards unleashing their power…

…monks of great wisdom gathering for a revolution…

…and, my, my! Be a queen for a day!

What’s best in this place is to be in your best OOTD with your friends.

Sadly, the theme park rides were all closed because of the rain and strong winds.

5. Gingerbread House

If ever Hansel and Gretel would visit Cavite, I’m sure they would poke their noses in this place. Fortunately, there’s no wicked witch to fatten them up. Visiting here is like having an early Christmas because everything here reminded us of sweet, childhood days.

The rain was a spoiler because it had caused a power outage around the place, making it quite a bit dreary. Still, it did not stop me from looking around the bakeshop that was peppered with everything cheery like this giant gingerbread man.

A Christmas dining table and other Christmas decors.

Make your wish upon this wishing well. The wish below is not mine, by the way.

If there’s something I would wish for, I would wish for loads and loads of money to buy everything here.

Instead, I had found out it’s free to fit in this gingerbread house.

They also have a souvenir shop (especially for the ref magnet hunters like me).

6. Diner’s Bulalo House

Any trip would not be complete without dinner at Tagaytay and any dinner in Tagaytay would not be complete without bulalo. It’s like a fitting salvo to the cold, drizzle that was pouring at that hour.

7. Sky Ranch

The last destination was this huge theme park. I would have been excited if it were not for the rain. Besides, it was already quite late to get in. At least, we had the chance to see it…finally.

Visiting eight places in a day is surprisingly possible. I just felt some of the visits were too short because we were given very limited time. I believe we could have had more time to roam around some of the places if the tour group was not late because of the early morning run. Still, I appreciate our tour guides because they were very accomodating and friendly. For a P1000 budget, the experience was not bad at all, especially when you’re with people you enjoy road tripping with.

The Magic Of Dinner Over Movies (Eighth Bite): At Home In the Metro In the Hammock Kitchenette

wp-1468025228049.jpgMy initial impression of eating in the suburbs is too commercialized and a bit crammed at most times. We are treated with an endless choice of fast foods lined up on every street corners, offering a variety of burgers and fries that is only made distinct by their packaging.

But hidden in the corners of Mandaluyong is a kitchenette that is closer to home. Safely tucked away from the noise and toxicity of the rushing main roads, the Hammock Kitchenette is the place where you can eat, relax, and swing away from the fast paced city life.


Books to keep you excited while waiting for meals

Small but dandy, the place is not crammed like any other restaurant. This is ideal for a wp-1467684302951.jpgnoisy group like ours, who needed to giggle and laugh our hearts out on a weekend. The Hammock will instantly give you a warm welcome, homey feel upon entering. Some of furnishings remind me of home. On one table was a sungka board, where I tried to play with the white conch shells by myself. The other end was lined up with books, all yours for picking and reading while waiting for your food. (Just a reminder, not one is yours to take home)

The place won’t keep you hungry and bored, especially if you have fun friends to joke


Mylene doing her artwork 🙂

around with and colored pencils to play with. In such hungry moments, creativity is unleashed. This place allows one to doodle or color mandala designs as meals are being prepared lovingly.



A sample of their menu

The menu feature mostly Filipino food. Pasta, sandwiches, and shakes are also served. Prices range from Php70-100 for the shakes and Php120-200 for the main course. When it was served, the servings appeared little, to which I did not expect it to be heavy and full.


And my, my! The food is indeed worth the wait. First served is the Bagnet in Tamarind Soup (Php120) which is served with rice in a pot. The soup is


You won’t regret when you try thier Bagnet in Tamarind Soup

not your usual salty taste as it boasts of something more unique. One of my friends ordered Pakbet ala bagnet (Php120) which was very healthy because the tasty bagnet was partnered with a lot of vegetables. My Chicken and garlic sausage pasta (Php130) was very tasty and satisfying because it is not lacking in meat pieces and the sauce. It was perfect combination to the Nutty Banana Shake (Php70).


Anyone for desert? Who wouldn’t? We took


Go healthy with their Pakbet ala Bagnet

the chance to try Hazelnut mallows sandwich (Php70) which was a hazelnut version of smores which nearly overflowed to the side of our sandwiches. That’s the best finishing treat. Too bad we have to go.
Before we go, I left my little piece of artwork in the kitchenette. It’s would serve as a memorial on how I enjoyed the good food, friendly staff, and memorable place. I hope my little puppy would bring good vibes to the next visitors who would come here.




Pasta and doodles can go together

Whenever you would be bored with fast food chains around the metro, drop by the Hammock Kitchenette. It is just located at 40B Basilan St., Brgy. Malamig, 1550 Mandaluyong. Its street is located just opposite of Rizal Technical University. Remember to bring your friends along so you can have someone to share the enjoyable moment. Bon apetit!


My artwork proudly sits at their little art gallery. Enjoy! 🙂










Breathing Adventure: Fluttering Fun On the Weekend Where Everything Flies at Clark Airbase (Angeles City, Pampanga)

Tourism has been one of the main highlights at Angeles City in the province of Pampanga. When looking for a good restaurant or an amusement center, Angeles City would have one at every corner. Deca Wake Park is worth the visit even if it’s located in a quite isolated village away from the main city. And with Valentine’s Day smooching the air two weeks ago, Clark Freeport Zone has been packed with tourists that fell in love with everything that flies at the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. We were one of the first visitors to check in just to see hot air balloons for the first time.

(I acknowledge my friends Cristina Sison and Ritz Ricardo for their pictures in this wonderful one-day event. I am awestruck by the beauty of their shots.)


Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta:

12734128_552344794932700_9105380592415042712_nWe had a nearly fifteen-minute walk along the dusty highway from the point where the tricycle was allowed to pass. Tired but happy, we stopped in for a late lunch at a mall near Clark Freeport Zone. We were expectant because all of us were first-timers at the Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.

The Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is a yearly airshow event where aviators from around the world gather to showcase the beauty and awareness of aviation. Entrance to this event was at Php300 (US $6.31). February 11 was the first of the four-day event  and a lot had already arrived.


A paraglider


Kites littered the sky

I was thrilled at the sound of jet planes zooming above us. Paragliders jumped into the air like rainbow dandelions, gently dropping upon the green treeless field. Kids and adults alike raced around the open spaces with their fancy kites dancing with the wind. Sights and sounds filled the air with excitement. Everybody was waiting for the flight of the hot air balloons at dusk and most of them were there since morning.


Various booths were set up all around the venue while everyone was waiting for the day’s12743731_552336404933539_2509382586622421281_n main highlight. Some of these booths are from the Philippine Air Force, where visitors could try their military gear and machinery. I smiled as I posed for the camera while wearing the heavy bulletproof vest, helmet, and safely locked gun. It’s no joke lifting these weapons around. I wonder what kind of discipline these soldiers undergo to wear such heavy gear while going into battle.

IMG_20160211_165949The interesting part in these photo ops was the military camouflage. Imagine my uneasiness while wearing grass all over 12688241_552341161599730_1024070137905064264_nmy body while trying to focus on the target (even though there was not one). I then poked around the exhibits of various military air gear, other weapons such as hand granades and smoke bombs, and military planes and other vehicles. It’s a privilege when we civilians have been given a glimpse of how a soldier’s life goes. Because of what I had experienced and seen at the exhibit, I salute the Philippine soldiers for their discipline and stamina to serve the country.


Exhibit of military air gear


Exhibit of hand grenades and smoke bombs


The balloons carrying the name of various sponsors

The announcer at the main stage gave everyone a heads up that the balloons might not fly that day because the winds might be too strong. If the balloons fly when the winds are fast, it might pose danger to the balloon and to the operators of the balloon as well. Fortunately, some of the balloons were able to fly at dusk. However, most of them were commercialized balloons.

So, did we get to ride on one of them? Nope. We don’t have budget for that yet. How much would a balloon ride be? I better not guess.

After some minutes of balloon showcase we went around to check on some of the booths we haven’t seen. We passed on more military planes on display. When we thought that the


A baby dinosaur is coming out of its balloon shell! Roar!

hot air balloon showcase was over, more of them came up into the night sky!

Too sad our cameras could not catch the beauty of some of these fancy balloons in the dark. Besides that, the gang wanted to go home to catch the bus to Cubao early. I was fortunate to take a ride straight back to my hometown in Bulacan. And it was the last trip of the day!

I assumed that the last day of the Philippine Hot Air Balloon Festival would have had more fancy balloons than the first day. Still, we had fun at our visit and I would like to return again to see more fancy balloons next time.


The Magic of Dinner Over Movies (Fourth Bite): Spaghetti and Sundaes as Stress Debriefer

I was suppose to publish this the week after my birthday. It happened exactly February 6. It’s almost a month after but I guess it’s still worth sharing 🙂
Spaghetti and sundae as stress debriefer...even if the sundae has already melted!

Spaghetti and sundae as stress debriefer…even if the sundae has already melted!

Again, I’ve arrived at the point where I couldn’t think much. This is the week when the work load and pressure go way beyond your head. Such is also the time that I don’t want to talk to anyone and wished to be sleeping soundly on my bed. If only the hands of time has rocket turbo to end this assignment for once and for all.

Then one of your friends texted she would be coming for a visit.
Truth is, I was irritated because I thought she had come at the wrong time. Still, she arrived while I kept on hustling around against a deadline. With my hands full, I felt so miserable to leave her there waiting for me. Until, she offered me snacks.
Aw…I just realized she wanted to share her time to celebrate my birthday.

An attempted "selfie" with Lans

An attempted “selfie” with Lans

I just remembered how I lamented for receiving no gift on my very birthday. Then, here comes my dear friend Lans to spend her time with me.
Spaghetti and sundae wouldn’t be so bad at all. The sad news is how the sundae couldn’t wait while I go to and fro the editing and news room.
As the night darkens, my friend waited, along with our meal.
Stopping for a while, I sat down with her at the waiting area and shared with her a few laughs. Setting aside my frustrations at my job, we would look back at good memories when we were at our former job.
"Mirror selfie" anyone? :)

“Mirror selfie” anyone? 🙂

It’s not as grand as the dinners I had with my other friends before, but I guess her time and her visit meant more than the simple dinner we shared. Never mind the dull waiting area or the small space where we were eating. This time was like a refreshing break in my almost breaking point.

It’s one of the gifts that I’d really be grateful and I’ll forever cherish.
My work may go like a useless rat race but I couldn’t turn away a simple visit.
And her spaghetti and sundae is also a plus. 🙂

The Magic Of Dinner Over Movies (Third Bite): Lunchbreak Mode

This post was supposed to be published October last year. But due to forgotten circumstances, well, I guess it’s not yet too late to share a short lunchbreak mode with my crew in the middle of a busy day 🙂
photo (3)This is no dinner. But I’ve enjoyed this lunch as much as I enjoy dinner with friends. But this time, I had it with my crew right after an interview.
I’ve long been dreaming of this, eating in one of those unusual — if not common — restaurants in Timog at Quezon City. I wanted to have my own food trip but never had one. Instead, I had it with my team, who was fun to be with at work and at food trips. 🙂
For the first time, we tried Buddy’s at Timog in Quezon City. With a tinge of Pinoy relevance mixed with fast-food-resto culture, I loved its light and cheery atmosphere emphasized by the handcrafted sunflowers on the walls, chairs, and tables. The place looked quite airy and less crowded, much like welcoming us to take our time, even if we only got one hour.
Then here comes the Pansit Lucban in its sophisticated form. Origianlly, it

My cameraman, Kuya Albert and then assistant cameraman Gerry, enjoying the very Pinoy pancit lucban and bibingka (a Filipino rice cake)

My cameraman, Kuya Albert and then assistant cameraman Gerry, enjoying the very Pinoy pancit lucban and casava cake

was eaten without a spoon or fork. Traditionally, this kind of pansit is eaten straight from the banana leaf (which served as its plate). This is also called “pansit habhab” in Lucban, Quezon. Its strong, tasty, marinated flavor was even more emphasized with mixed with this sour and tangy vinegar. I just have to set aside its meat as I only wanted the vegetables and noodles.

Lunch was even made wonderful as it was ended with a sweet, soft, bite of the casava cake. A traditional kakanin (or “rice cake”), this one is made of  Even though three of us shared this seemingly small desert, it made us almost hard to breathe because we were too full.
But what’s meaningful from that lunch is not only trying a restaurant for the first time, but being ourselves while we eat, relax, and enjoy.
I could get to enjoy something new with people that I trust and enjoy to be with. These guys are just some of the best on the field, but are even better when they crack jokes out of the blue. But most of all, when we shared who we are, way beyond from what we are during work mode.
It’s not only the food that one can enjoy, but it’s the fellowship that we share. That one short hour is better than any quick lunch taken alone. Life is not what we can do by ourselves, but how we take worth of others and who we really are.

My First Working Trip

Even though far away, still busy writing news for the dayDarn, I can't prove that Mt. Mayon is just outside the window...shoo, clouds! >_<

Oh, Bicol…my parents’ hometown. For the fourth time, I was able to return…thanks to the president’s event there. I consider this a blessing, that right after the event, we’d stay at a nice, clean hotel and eat good food – all for free! But what I’ve looked forward to is being back to my blood ancestors’ birthplace. From here, races were mixed, and hope again, for the nth time, I’d be able to trace my Oriental and Hispanic roots. Plus, I hope my budget is enough to buy pili nuts haha. I don’t mind if I have to write a lot. Right now, I’ll just write to my heart’s content. :))

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