Couchsurfing in Manila

Couchsurfing in a jiffy:
1. Couchsurfing is a website/app for travelers who are either willing to host other travellers, are looking to stay in a host’s place, or are looking to meet fellow travelers in the area.
2. Although the norm is to stay without having to pay for anything, a surfer is expected to follow the house rules of the host, and to at least be polite enough not to ransack his/her home.
3. Treat your host as a good friend, and don’t just leave your stuff in your host’s place and go elsewhere without saying anything beforehand — hosts aren’t lockers/hostels.
4. Be active in the Couchsurfing community in your area — aside from the regular meetups, events and even the discussion page in the website are some of the ways to be connected with this awesome community.
5. Don’t forget to leave a reference on the profiles of those you’ve hosted/those who’ve hosted you…. and other people you met through CS.

one of the couchsurfing meet ups I attended... :)
one of the couchsurfing meet ups I attended… 🙂

I’ve had my profile for a little less than a year now, but I’ve only been active in the community for about a month. It was when I curiously went through the website that I met a now-good friend, Andi. Helping her out through a small transportation trouble led me to know more about the wonderful world of Couchsurfing. Since then, I’ve met lots of wonderful people through the regular meet-ups and I’m looking forward to sharing more time with them. I haven’t joined any of the tours that are organized through Couchsurfing but I’m looking forward to joining when I have time. I’m thinking of organizing some tours as well… 🙂

To know more about Couchsurfing, click here.

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My First Solo Trip: Bacolod (pt.3)

Day 2 (August 20)

Breakfast is until 10 A.M. and unfortunately, I woke up late :'(. Nonetheless, I still ordered Tapsilog. The food in Saltimboca was simple — just the basics to start the day right. It’s a good thing I ordered cold calamansi juice though, since the orange juice that came with the Tapsilog was made with powdered juice mix which I’m not a fan of.

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After breakfast, I waited for cousin-in-law and the kids. I have planned for museum visits and a visit to Ruins, but the weather just wasn’t cooperative on the second day so I decided to just spend the day with the kids and my cousin. We went for a swim at the pool for a while and it was so much fun! 🙂

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I was walking around the night before and saw Nena Rose just around the corner of the 14th street and got intrigued by it. With a little help from tripadvisor, I found out that they serve good inasal as well, so we decided to have lunch there with the kids.

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After lunch, we were torn between going around museums and just watching Inside Out – since it might take a while again before I can see the kids, I decided it’d be better to watch the movie and just go to the arcade afterwards, so we went to SM Bacolod.

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Panicking while packing for my trip caused me to pack an insufficient number of shirts… >__< It’s a good thing I brought a dress along for my 3rd day (going back to Manila). Nonetheless, I bought a spare shirt in SM Bacolod, just in case I’ll need it.

I originally intended this trip to go around, and just be on my own… but how could I resist the charm of a niece whom I last saw two years ago and a nephew whom I met for the first time? I usually avoid going to malls when travelling around, but staying in SM with the kids and my cousin-in-law isn’t so bad. After all, it’ll take a while to see them again.

I was a little bit hungry when I got back to Saltimboca so I walked along Lacson Street to see if there’s anywhere I can eat. It was already quite late at night so I settled with the restaurant around the corner, Amboy resto bar and grill, where I was able to get a serving of spareribs for only p85.

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Day 3 (August 21)

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pasalubong!!! 🙂

I bought pasalubong on the last day of my trip. Napoleones, Piaya, and Barquillos are on my list, and on top of that list is out childhood favorite — butong butong. It’s easier to get this sugary treat in Ilo-ilo than in Bacolod. Luckily, I was able to find them in a small store at the Central Market. My cousins and I then went to Merci’s for Napoleones and Bongbong’s for some Piaya and the rest of the pasalubong I needed to buy.

After some shopping, we headed back to Calea for some cakes and coffee.

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By this time, I was already fighting tears and doing my best to focus my thoughts on what I needed to do at the moment.

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An hour later and I was on my way to the airport where I would be stuck for another few hours due to delay. Nonetheless, the past couple of days have been awesome, and though I didn’t really plan out everything for this trip, I’m actually glad how everything just fell into place. 🙂 I’ll definitely be back to Bacolod. 🙂


SLTB

My First Solo Trip: Bacolod (pt.1)

Hi guys! I’ll be in Bacolod till the 21st and I’m pretty excited about the whole thing! 😀 I will be flying solo for the first time ever, and thinking about it just makes the butterflies in my stomach flutter around. This is my second time to be in Bacolod, so I’d like to visit the places I went to before, with Manokan Country and Calea on top of my list, and I’ve made a list of other places I haven’t visited before.

With just a couple of hours before I have to leave for the airport, I must say I’m doing a terrible job with my stuff. And I’m blogging now… Gahhhhh what do I do? What do I do?!? Haha! I’ve semi-packed my luggage, and I can’t seem to think what else I could’ve missed. For 3 days, should I have this much clothes??? Aside from my clothes, toiletries, and some pasalubong, I’ve decided to bring my crochet WIP (work-in-progress) to work on at the airport and while on the plane. OMG I’m flying SOLO!!! Gaaaaah! I’m sort of excited and panicky and happy and scared and terrified yet super duper looking forward to this trip and I honestly don’t know what to feel first… haha! 🙂

Anyway, I’d better go now… See ya later!


SLTB

A Quick Trip to Tagaytay

Wanting to avoid the stress-filled city, my sister and I decided on a random trip to Tagaytay. Just an hour or so away from the city, Tagaytay is the usual go-to place for those who wants to go on a roadtrip, but doesn’t want to go too far, or for those who wants to escape the sweltering heat of Manila.

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We went to Tagaytay with no specific destination in mind so we just got off the bus at Magallanes square. It was there where we decided to go to the Puzzle Mansion. We had to ask for directions from the tricycle drivers there, got on a jeep that goes to Alfonso, got off at Asisan, and took a tricycle to Puzzle Mansion.

cool trike! :)
cool trike! 🙂

Initially, 1-way was p60 for the two of us. Since it seems difficult to get another tricycle going back, we asked the tricycle driver to just wait for us, and he charged us P150 for both trips. Entrance at the museum is P100 per person, and every minute spent in the museum was worth it.

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Sissy and I were famished by the time we finished our museum tour, so we decided to get back to Magallanes square. Along the way, however, we passed by Bag of Beans, so we asked the driver to turn around and drop us off at the restaurant. I love Bag of Beans and any reason to go to Bag of Beans is a valid reason, even if it means just passing by it. 🙂

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After dinner, we were able to hail a bus right across the street that goes back to Coastal Mall terminal for P85 each (so convenient! 😀 ). Oh, and I just have to mention, the Cavite-Batangas Bus is awesome! The bus we took was new, and it has two cctvs at the front part of the bus inside.

Aaaaaand that, my friends, was how we had our quick trip to Tagaytay. 🙂


SLTB

Breakdown of fees:
Manila – Tagaytay Bus: P60 x 2 = P120
Magallanes Square – Asisan Jeep: P12 x 2 = P24
Tricycle (Asisan – Puzzle Mansion – Bag of Beans): P150
Puzzle Mansion Museum: P100 x 2 = P200
Dinner at Bag of Beans: approx P750 (for two)
Tagaytay – Manila Bus: P85 x 2 = P170

A Fambam Weekend at Pia Heart Resort

Aug. 1-2, 2015
Pansol in Laguna is the usual go-to for people in Manila who are looking for a quick getaway from the city. Less than two hours on the road and you’re there. I’ve been to several resorts in the area and I’m not really impressed with the quality of those I’ve been to, so I wasn’t really excited about the whole thing. But then again, it’s family… so I had to go. To my pleasant surprise, I liked the place — it’s very simple, yet very clean and spacious, which is nice because among the numerous resorts in the area, it is common to find resorts that aren’t very well maintained so I’m giving Pia Heart Resort a thumbs up on this.

This is where the rooms are (pardon the towels, hehe)
This is where the rooms are (pardon the towels, hehe)

The rooms are simple, has air condition, and has lots of futon style beds that can be used for a big group. The bathrooms are clean and well maintained as well. Aside from the huge pool, a kiddie pool, and a whirlpool, we had a blast at the karaoke machine and had a great fun at the billiards table.

The guys playing billiards.
The guys playing billiards.
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Whirlpool fun 🙂
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A view of the pool.

Overall, I’d recommend this resort for those who are looking for a venue for family reunions or team buildings. So far, I’d say this is one of the nicest ones in Pansol. 🙂

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A not-so-complete family picture 🙂


SLTB

Facebook (I found two, so I’m not sure which is the official one):
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pias-Resort-Pansol-Laguna/653307851410416
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pia-Heart-Private-Resort-Pansol-Calamba-Laguna/280544182144540

A Baguio Weekend (Day 1 – November 21)

[This is a late post]
November 21-23

BF has to go abroad next month for quite a long time, so for our last major out of town travel, we decided to go back to Baguio. He’s been to Baguio a lot of times already, but it’s technically my first time to actually be in Baguio to go around (I got to get a glimpse of Baguio after my Pulag trip, before going back to Manila last time).

Day 1

Our first official stop when we arrived was at the iconic Lion’s Head along Kennon Road.

The lion's best angle is it's side, I guess... It's not too photogenic here, haha!
The lion’s best angle is it’s side, I guess… It’s not too photogenic here, haha!

After a few pictures and a cup of strawberry taho, we were on our way to the city.

Though this trip was planned for a couple of weeks already, we didn’t bother with the itinerary. As for the place to stay, I was searching for a room through TripAdvisor while BF was looking around as he was driving.

We inquired at a couple of hotels, but none would fit our budget. We were about to inquire at Roccio Inn, but ended up being assisted by a person to a Condominium unit beside it that’s available for rent. It worked for us because the unit that we got was cheaper and more accessible since it’s a few minutes away from Burnham Park. Find out about the accommodations here.

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We went for Pizza for lunch, as we decided to check out Amare La Cucina. We got lost, though, ending up at the old location  of the restaurant — this is were we stumbled upon a sweet surprise: Glyco Sweetshop. Their pretty facade just grabbed my attention and I simply had to go inside… and OMG, if you love cakes/cupcakes, please do go to this store ASAP! Their chocolate cake pops are to die for, and the strawberry cupcakes have just the right amount of sweetness.

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Going back… LUNCH.

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We checked again online, and voila! We found the directions to the new location of the restaurant. Tip: their servings are big… We ordered pizza and wood fired ribs here and we were soooo full afterwards.

We went back to the condo to rest up for a bit before going to Cafe by the Ruins for light dinner. On our way to the restaurant, I couldn’t help but admire the night scene at the Burnham Park:lake

Because of the carbo-overload, we decided to order more carbs! Lol! Kidding aside, we had an order of carbonara split into two… we were just too full so half an order was just right… he had extra room for Ruins Coffee, and we shared an order of Leche Flan afterwards. 😉

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What’s Baguio without ukay-ukay, right? Before heading back to the condo, we went straight to the night market for some shopping… To get a clear shot of the whole stretch of the night market, BF and I went up to on of the foot bridges, and I was just surprised to see its length.

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food and drink stalls – bbq, lugaw/goto, fried stuff, etc.
night market
night market