Category: Trips

Angelo’s First Field Trip

Time to play “yaya” and “mommy” to Angelo last August 12. It was their school field trip in Laguna, and I just couldn’t let him go on his own (though some kids went without companions, since the school hired professional tour guides anyway).

So off we go, and that means I had to take a leave from work, to follow little Angelo with Rox’ trusty digital camera to document his first ever field trip.

We left JRU Grounds at exactly 6am. On our way to Laguna, the kids were entertained by Tour Guide Aileen of Outbound Tours, the company that arranged the trip. Along the way, the restless Grade Ones sang, played games, and eagerly listened to Aileen’s stories, in preparation to the long day in store for the kids.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking now. 🙂

First Stop: Rizal Shrine in Calamba Laguna

Second Stop: St John the Baptist Shrine

Third Stop: La Vista Pansol Zoo and Animal Rehabilitation Center

Fourth Stop: Gardenia Bakery Factory and Plant Tour


We were home at 5pm that day. That was one long and tiring day nevertheless! However, seeing Angelo all excited and giddy even after the tour, I can say that it’s all worth it. Next year, I think I can already let him go alone, so that he can experience how it is to be independent. 🙂

A Weekend Getaway at CALLOSPA

I’m a big fan of short but sweet weekend getaways near the metro. It’s a cheap and effective way to relax and de-stress, and most especially, bond with C and/or my family and friends. During these trips, I love exploring hidden and cozy BED AND BREAKFAST INNS! This series will guide you through our search for the best B&B in the Philippines. Let me know if you have any suggestions! 🙂

The idea for our second monthsary is just to relax while enjoying each other’s company, since the past weeks have been very stressful for both of us. So instead of celebrating on July 2 which falls on a weekday, we just decided to skip it altogether (just had dinner at Cibo in Rockwell) and head somewhere out of town last weekend.

After browsing through several blogs and forums, we decided to book a room at Callospa in Antipolo.

Callospa is a garden spa resort located in Brgy. San Roque in Antipolo, just an hour away from Makati. Their spa facility is complemented very well by the medium sized pool, badminton courts, a conference hall for weddings and other events, and several rooms for those who want to spend the night.

Touring Ilocos for Less than 5k!

Here is our general itinerary going to Ilocos last June 2009, featuring the sights of Pagudpud, Laoag, and Vigan. Hope this will be able to help those who are planning to explore these wonderful sights of North Luzon.


We chose the cheaper but more time-consuming route – via bus – going to Ilocos. We would have wanted to try Florida Bus Lines’ more comfortable units but since we didn’t buy tickets beforehand, we weren’t able to secure seats. Good thing, I did a back-up reservation at RCJ Lines just across the street (they accept pencil reservations). Bus fare costs Php 500 (per pax/one way), travel time: 12 hours, bus leaves at 9pm.


Backpacking Ilocos


Picturesque sights. Breath taking view. Historical landmarks. Powder white sand. Deep blue sea. Friendly people. Awesome food. Affordable rates. Find out why ilocos is the backpacker’s ultimate dream destination.
Armed with our bags, cameras, and an itinerary written in a small piece of paper (we have the trusty lonely planet anyway), Cholo and I bravely faced our fears to conquer our dream of exploring Ilocos. It took us almost two weeks of planning and research and another two weeks of eagerly waiting before we were finally able to pack our bags for 4 days and 3 nights in Ilocandia.
  Why Ilocos? It is for three major reasons, initially: Number 1 is accessibility. We can just hop on the bus, and there aren’t any boat rides. (The plane is also an option but we chose not to book anymore because of the erratic weather. PAL’s cheapest offering is 800 one way to laoag, not bad!). Number two are the beaches of pagudpud, said to be the boracay of the north. Third, but not least, is Vigan. And because we’re both wannabe photographers, we have been looking forward to click away in calle crisologo even before this crazy idea crossed our minds! 🙂


So last June 11, we boarded RCJ Lines – the bus that will take us to Ilocos. 


Twelve hours and four stopovers later, we knew, the long and bumpy ride was worth it. 

 The verdict? Best vacation ever! Follow our footsteps in Amazing Ilocos by clicking the links below: 



Pagudpud Paradise 


Food Trip in Laoag 


Photoholic Vigan 

Pagudpud Paradise

Friday, June 12, 8:30am – got off the bus in Sentro (Pagudpud townproper). We were picked up by Kuya Joseph, our designated tour guide as referred by Mean, the owner of Polaris BeachResort. The resort is strategically situated a few steps away from Saud Beach, and is very popular in the GirlTalk threads. The rate of Php 1000 per night is a steal, and the only downside is that the rooms don’t have television sets. The rate doesn’t include breakfast yet as well.

We had breakfast at the Polaris Restaurant/Bar at the Ground floor, rested for a few minutes and called up Kuya Joseph so we can already start the tour.

Food Trip in Laoag

Saturday, June 13 – Kuya Joseph picked us up again to bring us to Sentro where the buses going to Laoag are situated. There aren’t any available aircon buses, so we settled for the regular non aircon rides that lasted for two hours. After getting off at the bus terminal in Laoag City, we went straight at La Elliana Hotel to freshen up, before enjoying what Laoag has to offer.  

Photoholic Vigan

Sunday, June 14 – Travelling from Laoag to Vigan is much longer and tiring than our previous Pagudpud-Laoag trip. After getting off Vigan Town Proper, we hailed a tricycle to bring us to Villa Angela, where we are booked to stay overnight.

Villa Angela Heritage House

Villa Angela is one of the well known heritage houses converted to a hotel in Vigan. This is where Tom Cruise stayed when he was filming “Born on the Fourth of July” in 1989. We spent the night their Cuatro Pequeno room, with four poster beds complete with hanging white curtains to ward off mosquitoes.



Sweet Tagaytay Love

Packed our bags for two days of fun and quality time in Tagaytay. It was our first time to go on an out-of-town trip together, and I think it can’t get any sweeter… I loved every minute of it.

We’re in Tagaytay proper a little after 1pm. Checked in at Econo Inn, a small but modern hotel along Tourism Avenue in Barangay Francisco. We reserved their De Luxe Room with view a few days before, but we were led to a De Luxe Room without view! Better be sure and double check if you’re thinking of staying here. 🙂 Parking can also be a problem, but the guards were accommodating enough to help us find one.
The room size is just enough, complete with all the basics.
They also have a viewing deck, overlooking Taal Lake. Too bad it was foggy at that time, so the view wasn’t as clear as I have expected.

Tootsie’s Tagaytay
Forced ourselves to get up and went to Tootsie’s for our super late lunch (or early dinner?). Cholo’s friend, Hanna, runs the place and she entertained us with stories, and gave us suggestions on what to order.We tried Baby Back Ribs with Beans, Laing, Watermelon Shake.

We were also given complementary Palitaw for dessert. Real palitaw ha! Not the coffee ice cream topped one that disappointed us in a restaurant in Greenbelt a few weeks ago.
If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the common Tagaytay food destinations like Leslie’s and Antonio’s, I suggest you try it. You’ll love it!

Spa at Sonya’s Garden

After the hearty late lunch, our next stop: Sonya’s Garden. I specifically requested for this to be included in our itinerary because my body’s really aching for a massage for weeks now! I also read in one of the GirlTalk threads that they have really good, but affordable massage services there.

And besides, that’s going to be Cholo’s first spa experience, so it has to be really good. J

We availed of Sonya’s Signature Massage for 735 pesos for one hour. They also have Swedish and Shiatsu, but since those are also available in other spas, might as well try the best that they can offer, right?

The massage room is spacious, as compared to other spas I’ve been to in Manila. Each room has its own shower area, with complete sets of body bath and soap (I think it’s organic. Peppermint perhaps?) They provide towels and wrap around sarongs as well.

The massage is A-Okay for me. Nothing spectacular though it’s indeed relaxing, especially after a hectic week.

We weren’t able to take pictures of the place because by the time we got out of the spa, it’s already dark outside. And besides, both of us are already looking forward to rest our bodies after a long day.

Day 2, May 3


After checking out of the hotel, dropped by at Leslie’s for lunch. Pacquiao’s fight just finished so they don’t have much guests at that time. Still, we weren’t able to secure a table in the veranda, overlooking Taal lake. Too bad.

We ordered Ginataang Alimasag (my favorite!), and they were generous enough to give us one bowl of yummy Bulalo soup!

Panaderia at Sonya’s Garden

Drove at Sonya’s again after lunch to buy some pasalubong. Hanna suggested we buy their Cheese Hopia and Spanish bread and we did! Super worth it! My sisters and officemates loved our pasalubong.

This time, we had the chance to take pictures. I’d love to go back as a guest next time. 🙂

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