Baguio City Guide: Where to Eat in Baguio City?

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I don’t know how many times I told this but I always love going back to Baguio. Baguio is a place that no matter how many times you’ve been to, you’ll always find yourself getting back even without knowing the reasons. Baguio gives me so much unexplainable feeling that every time I visit, I found myself being comforted and drowned with so much solace. I would say “Baguio ang aking pahinga”. Aside from its cold weather and tourist attractions, another reason to go back here is their food! A trip wouldn’t be complete without trying Baguio’s best food places. So here are the places you have to definitely tick off the list once you visit the beautiful city of Baguio:

  • Canto Bogchi Joint

First in the list is the Canto Bogchi Joint. This cozy restaurant is located in Kisad Road just across Burnham Park and needless to say, a given blockbuster due to its appetizing meals. On our third trip to Baguio, we didn’t even get a chance to eat as the waiting time was too long. On our fourth trip in the city, we promised to ourselves to eat here no matter what. Upon dropping off our things in the hotel, we jumped right away to Canto and finally made a seat! The restaurant was undergoing a renovation at that time that maybe people thought they are closed. Good thing, we still went up to check and found out that they are serving on their smaller shelter across their main building. Don’t miss trying their famous Lomo Ribs (a grilled barbeque pork ribs) and Chicken Pastel (a stew of chicken and vegetables in creamy sauce, topped with mashed potatoes and melted cheese). We also tried their pumpkin soup, a perfect meal to sip for Baguio’s cold weather.

Lomo Ribs
Chicken Pastel

Address: 25 Kisad Rd, Baguio, 2600 Benguet

  • Grumpy Joe

This might sound biased but Grumpy Joe is my personal favorite in this list because of my love for their Aloha 5 Cheese Pizza! This well-known restaurant gives American and Italian food choices in a generous serving for a reasonable price. Waiting time may also be long especially during weekends and holidays. For our case, we usually wait for around 30 minutes to 1 hour just to be seated. Aside from their best comfort foods, I also love the interior of their place. The place is spacious and has homey interiors that could level up your overall dining experience. My favorites here are Baked Ziti, Breaded Parm Chicken Breast with Mozarella Cheese Stuffing and of course, their Aloha 5 Cheese Pizza.

Baked Ziti, Mojos and Aloha 5 Cheese pizza
Grumpy Joe's interior
Breaded Parm Chicken Breast

Address: 15 Gibraltar Rd, Baguio, 2600 Benguet / Upper Session Rd, Baguio, Benguet

  • Good Taste Cafe and Restaurant

Photo from Good Taste Restaurant Facebook Page

A Baguio food trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting Good Taste. It is probably the most famous and most recommended restaurant for both tourists and locals. What made them famous is that they serve large servings of their Chinese and Filipino cuisines in a very affordable price. Honestly, servings here are much more than what stated in the menu so this place is really a gem for budget travelers. It is a common thing to see a long line in front of the building they occupy along Otek St. across Burnham Park but no worries, waiting time could not be that long as the restaurant is huge and few floors are used to accommodate customers. They are famous for their buttered chicken and one viand serving good for 4-5 people will only costs you Php 200–Php 300. My personal favorites here are Lechon Chopsuey and Buttered Chicken.

Address: Otek St, Baguio, Benguet

  • 50’s Diner

An America diner that serves burgers, milkshakes, steaks, rice meals, sandwiches, etc. with an ambiance that will definitely bring you back in the retro 50’s. Our first dine in experience was on their General Luna branch but from what I heard is they already closed that OG branch but continued their legacy on branches that can be found in Porta Vaga Mall (Session Rd.) and Military Cut Off Rd. Honestly, the food here are kinda generic but knowing the price, how big their servings are and experiencing a retro aura, definitely worth at least a go.

Address: 166 B Military Cut Off Road 2600 Baguio City / Porta Vaga Mall, 105 Session Rd, Baguio, 2600 Benguet

  • The Farmer’s Daughter Restaurant

If you want to savor Cordilleran cuisines, then this might be the place for you. Get a first hand experience of Cordilleran tradition by tasting authentic cordilleran food choices and ambiance as it is located in a place designed as a traditional Igorot house that stands just beside the famous attraction, Tam-awan Village. Don’t missed out to try local dishes such as Pinikpikan which is a cordilleran version of chicken tinola, Dinakdakan and Pinuneg.

Inside the farmer's daughter restaurant

Address: Tam-awan Village, Long Long Benguet Rd, Baguio, 2600 Benguet

  • Sizzling Plate Baguio

It is the first ever restaurant we tried on our first Baguio trip and surprisingly, didn’t disappoint. It is also one of the Baguio’s classic restaurant and a home of quality yet affordable steaks. Aside from their hearty meals, the cabin wood style interior of this place will surely add up on the vibe and will fit to your Baguio cold weather experience. Main steak meals are served with java rice and soup and you can’t help but crave as you see and hear how your steak sizzles as you pour their in-house gravy or steak sauce. Don’t also miss trying their famous sansrival for your dessert.

Address: 86 Session Rd, Baguio / Leonard Wood Rd, Baguio / 4 Carino St, Baguio / SM City Baguio

  • Ili-likha Artists’ Wateringhole

Used to be known as Ili-likha Artist Village, this place was conceptualized by film director, Eric De Guia or known as “Kidlat Tahimik”. It is a food hub where good food and art collides. The place is like a tree house with few floors and paths or holes that will lead you to its different food stalls. The entire place is made of overgrown trees, recycled materials such as woods, steels, tiles, a wall that is made of glass bottles, Ifugao sculptures, and many more that you couldn’t imagine. It is definitely a must visit when touring around Baguio City! If you want to know more about this place, you can read a more detailed blog about it here.

Address: #32 Assumption Road, Brgy. Kabayanihan, Baguio City

  • Vanilla Café

Vanilla Café is a French-inspired café located inside Kamiseta Hotel. It is for sure, the most beautifully decorated café I’ve ever been so far. Chairs, tables and furnitures used here are all vintage in style that will make you feel staying in a royal palace. The whole place is well lit with their high glass windows and sitting beside it is surely the best spot to eat your meal. The cold breeze and the smell of pine trees outside the café will make you fall in love in the place even more. When it comes to the food they serve, honestly, it’s a so-so for me and a bit pricey. But with the ambiance and view you can get from here, it is surely worth the time even just for once.

Address: 20 Brgy Lualhati, Ignacio Villamor St, Baguio City

  • Mang Ed Bakareta House

Just like The Farmer’s Daughter Restaurant, Mang Ed Bakareta House offers authentic cordilleran cuisines. The difference here is that, it gives a lutong-bahay or karinderya vibe that could give you a different dining experience from the other food places on this list. As what I heard, there are other Mang Ed branch that is more modern and airconditioned but we opt to went on their branch in the Slaughterhouse compound that has a turo-turo style setting to get a more local experience. We tried Pinapaitan, Kilawin, Dinakdakan and my most favorite is their Tinuno or grilled liempo served with blood sauce. I was skeptical to try it first because of the sauce, but surprisingly it was good and it is comparable to the crispy dinuguan dish.

Address: Slaughterhouse Compound (Main-Inside Basketball Court Slaughterhouse Compound (Extension-Infront of Brgy. Hall, Baguio City

  • Pizza Volante

I’ve been hearing this restaurant for so long and we were able to finally try it during our fourth visit in the city. The place offers pasta dishes, desserts and of course, pizza as their name suggests. I would recommend you trying their pizzas as you could get a well topped meal in a very cheap price. We visited their branch along session road (second floor) for an early dinner and it made the feels more special. How could you not love eating a slice of pizza with an overlooking view of the iconic Session Rd. as the sun sets for the day?

Address: Session Rd, Baguio, 2600 Benguet / Wright Park, Romulo Dr, Baguio / Ordonio Dr, Camp John Hay, Baguio

  • Choco-late De Batirol

A café restaurant set in a garden located inside Camp John Hay. This place is famous for their chocolate drinks traditionally prepared. We went here during afternoon to take a rest after a lengthy walk since morning and I love that their al fresco setup gives so much relaxing feeling. We had their Baguio blend (strawberry) hot chocolate and iced batirol in almond flavor perfectly paired with their turon with chocolate drizzles. They also serve meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Baguio blend hot chocolate
Iced batirol in almond flavor

Address: Igorot Park, Camp John Hay, Baguio

  • Baguio Night Market

A Baguio trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting the famous Baguio Night Market in Harrison Road. Aside from buying ukay-ukay, many people go here for a food trip session. Food stalls are now placed on a parking lot beside the Harrison Road to accommodate more people. You’ll have a lot of food choices here from Filipino food such as sisig, dinakdakan, arroz caldo and mami, Mediterranean food like kebab and shawarma, Korean street foods such as tteokbokki and mandu and of course, don’t forget to try tasting their strawberry/ube flavored taho. The night market is open every day from 9:00 PM until 12:00 AM.

Address: Harrison Road, Baguio City

Kawai Beach Camp: Beach Glamping Experience in Lobo, Batangas

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kawai Beach Camp

It’s summer time again for us, Filipinos! And what we love about living in this tropical country is to enjoy our beautiful beaches especially on this time of the year. If you’re looking for a beach less crowded, you might love this resort we discovered. It’s not your normal beach resort but they offer a total beach glamping experience located in Lobo, Batangas. Here’s a travel guide to Kawai Beach Camp.

Lobo, Batangas

I rarely hear Lobo, Batangas when it comes to travel and beach destinations in Batangas as it always been overshadowed by the more famous white beaches of Laiya. If you haven’t heard about this coastline town, Lobo is located in the southern tip of the province of Batangas and just about a 3-4 hour drive from Manila. They have white sand and pebble beaches along the coastal barangays of Fabrica, Olo-Olo, Sawang and Malabrigo. Aside from these beaches, you may also visit their mangrove eco park and hike to Malabrigo Lighthouse.

How to go to Kawai Beach Camp

Option 1

From Manila, ride a bus going to Batangas Grand Terminal. From Batangas Grand Terminal, ride a jeepney going to SM City Batangas. Jeepney terminal to Lobo is located at the back of the Most Holy Trinity Parish Church located just across SM City Batangas (Fare is Php 100). Once arrived in the town of Lobo, ride a tricycle going to Kawai Beach Camp. Fare is Php 150 per ride and since the resort is quite new and drivers may not be familiar of it yet, just tell the driver that it is located beside Punta Malabrigo Beach Resort.

Option 2

From Manila, ride a bus going to SM Lipa. From SM Lipa Grand Transport Terminal, ride a mini bus to Lobo (Fare is Php 125/each). Once arrived in Lobo proper, charter a tricycle that will take you directly to Kawai Beach Camp.

Kawai Beach Camp

I’m glad that I found this beach camp when I am browsing over facebook where to go for an overnight beach trip. Kawai Beach Camp is located in Brgy. Malabrigo, Lobo, Batangas just beside Punta Malabrigo Beach Resort. We arrived at the resort at around 1:00 PM and we were welcomed by the owner of resort. What I first noticed is how warm, friendly and welcoming both the owner and their staffs.

The camp during the night

The resort has 7 glamping tents where 3 of them are airconditioned while the rest of the 4 tents are in a fan setup. Tents can be 1-bed setup good for 1-2 pax, 2-bed setup for 3-4 pax or 3-bed setup good for 5-6 pax (depending on its availability). Here are the current rates of the resort for the month of March to May (This already includes breakfast that can be served from 7AM to 10AM).

Photo from Kawai official Facebook Page

Note: Prices are subject for change without prior notice. For any recent update of their rates and for other inquiries, visit their facebook page here.

Here’s also a rough map of the resort for your reference:

We booked the tent number 5 which is an AC tent and we were surprised on how big the tent is and how clean, comfortable and aesthetic the overall style of the accommodation. It’s complete with furnishings you will be needing for your stay such as mini cabinets, baskets, table, own trash bins, additional fan (above your AC) and power outlets to charge your gadgets. You also have your own fairy lights inside the tent, another tables and chairs outside each tent for guests use and bean bags you may seat and lie on to relax. It has 4 common toilets and 4 common showers and based on my experience, since they only have limited guests due to limited number of tents, there’s no queue in using these common areas.

The resort is beach front so you may access the beach anytime you want. Staying also includes the following:

  • Unlimited Kapeng Barako
  • Unlimited purified drinking water
  • Use of grill
  • Fresh towels
  • Soap and shampoo (provided in the shower area)
  • Free bonfire at night

Don’t expect the beach here to be powdery as what most of beach bums like. The shores of Malabrigo beach are pebbled and the waters are crystal blue. We walked along its shore and take some photos on few rock formations we found near the resort. We also had a mini trek going to the Malabrigo Lighthouse. I love it here as you can really have a day of solitude away from the chaotic crowd. We had our bean bags settled in the beach front and witnessed how lovely the sun sets from this point.

Malabrigo Beach just in front of the resort
Malabrigo Lighthouse

During the night, you can enjoy the bonfire inclusion on your stay. Staffs may ask you when do you want the bonfire so they can set it up for you. For dinner, you may order in the resort as they also offer food on their menu to serve. In our case, we had Pork Sinigang for Php 395 good for 3-4 pax. Here’s the resort’s complete menu for your reference.

Other things to know before going:

  • Check-in time is 2:00 PM and checkout time is 12:00 Noon
  • Resort does not offer any Wi-Fi service but Globe/Gomo are reliable cell signals
  • No smoking of cigarettes within the premises
  • The resort requires 50% down payment to reserve that can be paid through Gcash or BPI
  • The resort does not allow bringing of portable stoves and appliances for cooking
  • Access to treehouse is for tent 7 guests only
  • For other inquries, contact Kawai Beach Camp on their official facebook page here

Overall, this is a fun glamping experience by the beach that I would recommend for everyone to try. From the accommodation up to the excellent services of the resort, I would definitely love getting back. Book your stay now at Kawai Beach Camp!

Roxas City, Capiz Day Trip: The Ruins of Alcatraz + The Edge of Roxas City

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I would like to start this article by saying “No, Capiz is not a home of aswangs or a terrifying creature of our Philippine folklore”. Capiz is a province in the northeastern part of Panay Island known to be the “Seafood Capital of the Philippines”. Aside from its delectable fresh seafoods, the province is home of some historical landmarks, beaches and caves. I got a chance to have a quick day trip to Roxas City, the capital city of Capiz, during my last visit in my hometown in Iloilo. It’s about a 2 hour drive away from the City of Iloilo, so a daytrip to the city would be really possible. I got a chance to visit the famous Ruins of Alcatraz and The Edge of Roxas City, so here’s a DIY trip guide you can follow.

How to get to Roxas?

From Iloilo, ride a bus bound to Roxas City from Tagbak Bus Terminal. Upon drop off on Pueblo Panay Roxas Terminal, you can ride a tricycle to drop you off in any point in Roxas.

From Manila, there are daily direct flight from Manila going to Roxas City.

Ruins of Alcatraz

We ride a tricycle upon drop off at the bus terminal, we told the driver that we wish to visit both the Ruins of Alcatraz and The Edge of Roxas City. The driver offered us to stopped by the ruins first, then he’ll wait for us so he can drop us off in Culasi Port where The Edge is located. A pretty much convenient deal we can’t hold out against.

No entrance fee is being solicited in the ruins but there’s a minimal parking fee if you have a vehicle/tricycle with. The Ruins of Alcatraz, located in Brgy. Culasi, Sitio Nipa, Roxas, City, is abandoned unfinished resort owned by Bermejo Family. It’s supposed to be a grand resort facing the seashore of Roxas but due to circumstances, it is remained deserted. The place and its weathered walls are so cinematic in sight that I can compare it to the set of Maze Runner. Perfect for cinematic photos and a perfect spot to be mesmerized by the shores of Roxas. They named the place Ruins of Alcatraz because the place and its vibe somehow resembles the famous prison island of Alcatraz.

Please be minded that there’s a lot of kids who will approach you upon entrance of the vicinity and offers you a tour of the area and take photos of you with the walls. Even you don’t say yes, they’ll still follow you around and insist. I don’t have issue with the kids offering this kind of services for extra income but it’s kind of annoying, that some kids get mad or ask for more if you didn’t give them enough (at least for them). They’ll demand you a hundred pesos or more by just tailing you for some time in the area. Lol

The Edge of Roxas City

From the Ruins of Alcatraz, we make our way to Culasi Port. From there, you have to walk/trek for around 10 minutes to reach The Edge of Roxas City. Just ask the locals on the area, and you’ll surely make your way without getting lost. The place has a Bali-inspired view and a good place to unwind and relax. I would say, the place is photo worthy with the swing as my favorite spot.

Unfortunately, when we visit The Edge they are not serving any food yet so we just take our time to relax and appreciate the view from this point. There’s a lot of food place to try also in Roxas, from seafood place up to hip restaurants and café along Baybay beach. Upon trekking down back in Culasi Port, we ride a tricycle bound along Baybay Beach and have a lunch at The Shack Coffee + Boards. This food hub serves a variety of foods, coffee and shakes in a reasonable price. I like the vibe of this place plus the fact that it has a view of the sea right in front of you.

Photo at The Shack Coffee + Boards

This was just a quick trip to this city and I wish to come again someday to explore more of this province.

Panglao, Bohol Travel Guide: Places to Visit in Panglao Island

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Like what I said on my previous blog, Bohol is a dream island. This paradise island is truly a jewel of the Philippines. For this article, let’s explore Panglao Island that can be found in the southwest most part of the province. Panglao Island consists of two towns named Panglao and Dauis. It is now the gateway of the province for most of its international and local visitors as it now houses the Bohol-Panglao International airport. It is known for its beautiful beaches, rich marine biodiversity perfect for diving and a lot of exceptional resorts perfect for leisure.

Places to Visit in Panglao Island

If you’re visiting Bohol for few days, I suggest to book your accommodation in Panglao Island. Aside from its accessibility from the airport, it is a good point of pick up in any attractions you wish to take. It has a lot of resorts you can choose from budget hotels up to those luxury ones and a lot of good places to eat and chill the night out. So here are the places you may visit and activities you can do in Panglao:

  • Bohol Bee Farm

After dropping our things in the hotel, we went straight to Bohol Bee Farm. We discovered this place through Sandara Park who featured it to the Korean show “Battle Trip”. Basically, it is a hotel/farm/souvenir place/restaurant located in Dauis known for serving and selling organic foods and goodies. We had a great experience on their outdoor dining while being mesmerized by the view of the sea. Their menu offers a lot of choices making you hard to choose. We ended up having Seafood Soup (Tinolang isda) and Seafood lasagna. They also served us cassava chips, bread and spreads as complimentary. The servings are big, you can say that ingredients used are fresh and the overall taste and quality is superb! In terms of food taste and overall dining experience, I would say that this is the best I had in the island.

Don’t forget to try their homemade ice cream! It’s flavorful and served with their very own unique cone too. They also sell pasalubong items such as honey, malunggay spread, cassava chips and many more.

Alfresco dining of their restaurant
They serve this first as complimentary food
  • Hinagdanan Cave

Probably one of the known and unmatched site to visit in Panglao. The cave Hinagdanan which means “Laddered” in Cebuano is also located in the town of Dauis that used to be a hideout of the locals in the area to hide from the Japanese Imperial Army during the Second World War. You have to carefully step down on a stair to go inside and reach its lagoon. The cave has its own lagoon where you can swim with large stalagmites and stalactites. It’s kinda hot inside the cave so better be prepared to bring extra clothes because it is better to experience swimming in its waters. Entrance fee for sightseeing is Php 50 and Php 125 if you wish to swim.

  • South Palms Resort

We didn’t book our stay in this resort but we didn’t miss the chance of visiting it. South Palms Resort has one of the best beachfront I’ve seen so far! It has a long stretch of clean shore with white sand. It also highlights a beachfront spanned with number of palm trees. You may chill whole day on their beach chairs while hearing the sound of the waves and trees. They also have a pool bar and a restaurant that serves also good food. We just went on the resort to dine in and was able to enjoy the place after eating.

  • Alona Beach

I would say that Alona Beach is the heart of Panglao. This is where a lot of resorts and restaurants can be found. If you wish to party and chill the night out, I suggest you stay on this area. It is a tropical beach with white sand and rocky cliffs as attractions. It is a public beach with no entrance fee needed so its perfect for family outings and day swimming. A perfect place to watch the sunset by the beach while eating and drinking a glass of smoothie or a beer.

  • Island Hopping (Balicasag Island and Virgin island)

To complete your Bohol trip, you can’t miss visiting this two island. There’s a lot of organized tour you may purchase to get on one of this trip. You may opt to have a private tour or avail a joiner package. There’s a lot of tours being offered online (facebook pages) but if you were not able to avail one ahead of time, don’t worry as a lot of these are being offered in the shore of Alona beach which is the common pick up point for this tours. You’ll see people with laminated cards offering island hopping tours, the price differs so be up for negotiations. In our case, we were able to score a Php 750/pax joiner fee.

Balicasag Island

Balicasag island is an island off coast of Panglao perfect for snorkeling and diving. With its rich marine sanctuary, it is an island you can’t missed on your list. Upon arrival in the island, visitors will be asked to ride a smaller boat maneuvered by a local guide to bring you on the best spot for diving. Under its clear deep blue waters are sea turtles, corals and colorful varieties of fish.

Virgin Island

Virgin island also known as Pungtud island is probably the most popular island in Bohol. Mainly, it is a naked sandbar with white sands and clear turquoise waters perfect for swimming and to unwind. Lies on its bare island is a sign “Welcome to Virgin island” where tourists line up to get photos with it. Also, it just happened that it was high tide when we reached the island so we were not able to see the sandbar itself. So better check the high tide and low tide schedule if you wish to see the sandbar.

Other attractions you can visit are Dauis Church and Shell Museum.

Tip: Usual rate of tricycle per ride in Panglao is Php 150 (good for 3pax), so if you wish to visit multiple places in a day, it is better to rent a tricycle. Price may vary from 500 to 1000 depends on how many stop you’ll make.

Bohol Travel Guide: Places to Visit in Bohol, Philippines (Countryside Tour)

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For my birthday trip this year, I finally decided to visit the beautiful Island of Bohol. I’ve been eyeing to visit this island for quite sometime and I am truly happy that I was able to catch a discounted ticket during Cebu Pacific’s promo fare. Bohol is the 10th largest island of the Philippines located in Central Visayas across the province of Cebu. For this trip, I spent a total of 4 days and 3 nights in Bohol and a 2 days and 1 night side trip to Cebu since it’s just a 2 hour boat ride from Tagbilaran. Let me show you the beauty of Bohol that will make you want to visit anytime soon.

Knowing Bohol

Since childhood, I would always see Bohol in our Sibika’t Kultura books, as its very own Chocolate Hills and Tarsiers are two of the most known attraction in the Philippines. Since it’s printed in our grade school books, I bet that almost every Filipino child knows about it. That’s when I started to wish of visiting it someday. Bohol is a dream island, you can see beautiful landscapes and heritage churches on its main island and at the same time, you can visit and dive in its pristine beaches in the nearby Panglao Island. Read this blog or see it yourself when you visit the island province, to know why it’s being dubbed as the “Jewel of the Philippines”. A place that will bring you bliss and happiness.

Countryside tour

Countryside tour is a tour that visits Bohol’s main attractions on its main island. From Tagbilaran up to Carmen, you’ll find yourself in awe visiting its known sites. This tour usually takes 6-8 hours depending on how you wish to complete your itinerary. For this trip, how much I wanted to make it a DIY/commute trip, we opted to book a tricycle/tuktuk tour for our country side trip for a less hassle trip. There are bus trips in the province but it will be hard for you to visit many attractions in 1 day. Don’t worry as many people offers affordable tour packages once you arrived in the island. You can choose from SUVs or tricycle, depends on what your group needs.

In our case, we book our tuktuk tour in Panglao Tricycle Online Booking. (Just click the link to visit their fb page) Here’s how much their countryside tour costs:

  • Tricycle/Tuktuk – Php 1,600
  • Car – Php 2,500
  • SUV – Php 2,800

Additional cost will be added if you wish to visit Mirror of the World in Sikatuna:

  • Tricycle – 300
  • Car – Php 500

They also offer Panglao tour and island-hopping tours.

*note that prices may change without prior notice

Just in case you were not able to book a tour in advance, don’t worry as there’s a lot of people offering tours once you arrived in the province. All tricycle drivers we talked and ride with, offers tour packages just look for the best deals and what fits for you.

Places to Visit in Bohol (Countryside Tour):

  • Chocolate Hills ATV Rental

First on my list are the ATV rentals around Chocolate Hills as this was one of my favorite activity during this trip. There are few ATV rental place in Carmen, Bohol that offers guided tour using ATV or Buggy car. On this experience, you’ll get a chance to ride an ATV or a Buggy up until the foot of a chocolate hill and even climb on one of its view deck. It’s such an experience to see the hill up close and ride through a bumpy road.

ATV costs us Php 1000/pax for an hour of ride. Buggy car on the other hand costs Php 2000/2 pax for 1 hour

  • Chocolate Hills

After riding an ATV going into the foot of the chocolate hills, of course you can’t miss the chance of seeing this iconic Bohol destination from its observation view deck. Chocolate Hills are geological formation in the province of Bohol composed of as many as 1,776 hills roll out on its vast area of 50 square kilometer. Hills are covered with green grass during the wet season and turns brown during dry season resembling chocolates as its name suggests.

Entrance fee is Php 100/pax

  • Bilar Man-made Forest

Bilar Man-made forest is a 2 kilometer stretch of Mahogany trees along the road between the towns of Bilar and Loboc. These trees were planted as part of a reforestation project in the province many years ago. It’s refreshing to the eyes to see these green trees standing side by side along the road and you’ll also feel the sudden change in temperature once entering this 2 kilometer stretch as the road is merely covered from the heat of the sun. it’s a popular stop over among tourists and requires caution in taking photos along its road as vehicles pass through from time to time.

No entrance fee

  • Tarsier Conservation Area

What’s a Bohol trip without seeing the tarsiers? Of course, you have to see them up close! It was my first time seeing this primate with my bare eyes that I only saw them when I used to browse my Sibika’t Kultura books way back grade school. The name “tarsier” was taken from its extremely long tarsus bone. They are considered as the world’s second smallest primate but feared to be endangered as their numbers are declining, that’s why it is being protected here in our country. Tarsier Conservation area is a woodland where few tarsiers are available for viewing. Please be reminded that tarsiers tend to be suicidal when they get stressed out so if you are inside the conservatory, please observe silence and take off the flash of your cameras when taking photos.

Entrance fee is Php 100/pax for regular adult, Php 90 for students, Php 80 for senior citizens and free of charge for 5 years old and below

  • Loboc River Cruise

Another personal favorite adventure on this trip is experiencing the Loboc River Cruise. Basically, you’ll be roving around the Loboc river while riding a huge floating restaurant while enjoying their buffet. You’ll definitely enjoy their good local food while being serenaded by their in-house singer as you float around the majestic jade green colored river and be mesmerized by its allure. Towards the end of the river, the vast boat will stop by a performance area where you’ll be welcomed and entertained by the local community with their sing and dance performance. It’s so engaging that they will allow guests to join them on their festivity of dance. Honestly, I really enjoyed their performance and you can see how talented the Boholanos are. It’s such a unique encounter that I’ll definitely recommend to everyone not to miss out.

Entrance fee is Php 850/pax (this already includes the buffet meal)

  • Xzootic Animal Park

Located in Agape, Loay, Bohol is this animal park that showcases a butterfly garden and python snakes. Probably the highlight of this place is their pythons that happens to be the biggest I seen my entire life. What surprised me the most is that these pythons were just all over the place without a cage! I even thought they were just a display structure then eventually realized they were real. You are free to touch them and you’ll literally just passed by the snakes. You’ll be accompanied by a guide which is already included in your entrance fee. As per him, the snakes in this park are all harmless as they took care of them ever since but I still didn’t dare to touch them or even came near them as I have fear of snakes.

Entrance fee is Php 100/pax

  • Baclayon Church

Baclayon Church is one of the oldest and known church in the country declared as National Cultural Treasure and National Historic Landmark. It was initially constructed year 1717 and completed in the year 1727 made of coral stones and egg white. It came to the limelight when it was hugely devasted by a strong earthquake that hit Central Visayas way back 2013 and was then restored and finally opened to the public again last 2018.

Entrance fee is free

  • Sikatuna Mirror of the World

Sikatuna Mirror of the World is one of the newest attraction that can be found in Bohol. Located in Sikatuna, Bohol you’ll get a chance to see the world’s famous landmarks in one place! No need for a passport, visa, plane tickets and immigration approval. You’ll see here scaled-down forms of world’s attractions such as Merlion of Singapore, Golden gate bridge of USA, Christ the Redeemer of Brazil, Eiffel Tower of France, Leaning tower of Pisa and many more! It’s an optional trip that requires additional fee during the tour. Since we are already in Bohol, we opt to avail this additional itinerary just for the experience of seeing it.

Entrance fee is Php 150/pax

  • Aproniana Gift Shop

A souvenir shop located in Baclayon, Bohol considered to be a one stop shop of Bohol’s known pasalubongs. From t-shirts, bags, keychains, ref magnets and Bohol’s famous delicacies such as peanut kisses and kalamay. Don’t forget to buy souvenirs for your friends, loved ones and even for yourself.

Other places you can visit during countryside tour are Blood Compact, Ship House and Loboc Zipline. You may customized your tour by skipping other attractions you’re not interested with or if your time won’t permit.

Overall, Bohol is such a paradise with its unusual attractions that one would truly admire. This countryside tour is definitely something that should be added on your travel bucket list.

Rocky Mountain Adventure Unlimited: Over the Moon Viewing of La Trinidad, Benguet

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La Trinidad, Benguet is just not about its Strawberry Farms anymore. If you read my previous blog, I featured Mt. Kalugong which I consider as my favorite spot to fall in love with the beauty of La Trinidad. With my recent trip to Baguio, we discovered a new attraction in La Trinidad called Rocky Mountain Adventure. Its main attraction is a big crescent moon with the overlooking view of La Trinidad as a backdrop. Saan ka punta? To the moon! Tara let’s G!

How to go there?

Ride a jeepney bound to La Trinidad/Dangwa/Tomay located across the city hall. Fare is Php 17 and tell the driver to drop you off in Kalugong Road in Brgy. Cruz. From the jump off, you have to walk the very steep Kalugong Road before reaching the Rocky Mountain Adventure registration area.

Rocky Mountain Adventure Unlimited

Trekking may take around 20-30 minutes from the jump off of Kalugong Road depending on your pace. Upon reaching the end of the road, you’ll see three signages, one for each attraction found on the area. One for Mt. Kalugong Cultural Village, one for Tayawan View Deck and one for Rocky Mountain Adventure. Take the path to the right that will lead you to the registration of Rocky Mountain Adventure.

Kalugong Road
Pathwalk leading to the viewdeck

Entrance fee is Php 100 each and you may proceed to the pathway that will lead to its viewdecks. The trail is organized but can still be muddy during the rainy days. It will take you few minutes of descent and ascent before reaching its main attraction, the crescent moon.

Once you see this signage at the end of Kalugong Rd., take the path to the right that will lead to the registration of Rocky Mountain Adventure

The park opens everyday at 7:00 AM and closes at 6:00 PM. We were lucky that we were able to have the place all by ourselves so we were able to take as much photos as we can without waiting for our turns. They also have an available fishing rod that you could use as a prop for your photos imitating the DreamWorks logo.

They also have a store that sells drinks and foods if you want to grab some snacks while being mesmerized by the beauty of La Trinidad right in front of you. A good vantage point to see the strawberry farms and local households of La Trinidad. They also have rock formations in the park wherein 2-12 years old are not allowed to climb while 13-16 years old needs to be supervised by adults. For park’s further announcements and availability, you may visit their official FB page here.

If you’re already on the area, I would suggest also if you could visit Mt. Kalugong Cultural Village located just right across the park. Here’s a detailed blog about Mt. Kalugong if you wish to visit it.

Binondo Food Crawl: Places to Buy and Eat Food in World’s Oldest Chinatown

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We can’t deny the fact how much Chinese influenced our country when it comes to food up until this day that even pancit and shanghai are now staple food in every Filipino celebration. These influences can still be clearly seen in every corner of Binondo which is a district in Manila considered to be the oldest Chinatown in the world. It is a food haven for every certified foodies out there who wants to try out authentic Chinese foods. Personally, I love visiting Binondo once in a while, aside from getting all those savory xiao long bao and hakaw, I love the vibe I am getting once I stepped foot on Binondo’s ground. It feels like walking on another nation, it’s such a carrying out feeling to experience and see how Chinese influenced our country. I would always tell that Binondo is such a beautiful chaos. So here’s a list of places to eat and buy foods in Binondo!

  • Café Mezzanine

Cafe Mezzanine

It is located in the second floor of the building at the corner of 650 Ongpin St. just above the other famous fast food Chuan Kee (don’t be confused as many people thought that the two food hubs are the same). It is known to be the “Volunteer Fireman’s Coffee Shop” as the revenues of this restaurant are being donated to Binondo Paco Volunteer Fire Search and Rescue Brigade. They are famous for serving Soup #5 but my personal favorite would be their xiao long bao.

Pork asado with egg
Chinese sausage omelette
Xiao long bao
  • Yingying Tea House

An iconic chinese restaurant located at Yuchengco St., Binondo. For few times that I’ve been to Binondo and pass through their location, I’ll always see a queue outside of this restaurant which I think a good indication how famous it is for people around the area and even tourists. You might get overwhelmed with their menu as they serve a wide variation of Chinese foods from dim sums to hotpot. Personal favorite would be their hakaw and yellow mango shake. The place is usually jam-packed and busy so better be prepared for a waiting time.

Lechon kawali asado rice
Roast duck rice
  • Shanghai Fried Siopao

This place sells the famous chinese treat, fried siopao, found along the busy street of Ongpin in Binondo. The place is so famous that we had to fall in line for at least 30 minutes just to buy one. You can be sure that their treats are freshly cooked as you can see how those dumplings are being prepared just right in front of you. Siopaos are served hot, the fillings are too tasteful and you can get it in an affordable price.

  • Eng Bee Tin

A Chinese deli chain based in Binondo, Manila. The company got big since its establishment in the year 1912 that they have a lot of branches now around Manila and nearby provinces. They are famous for their hopias with varieties of flavor, tikoy and mooncakes. A perfect place to buy pasalubongs for your loved ones. My personal favorite would be their ube hopia and ube custard hopia. They also serve milk teas in some of their bigger branches.

Ube latte milk tea
  • Mr. Ube

This rice and noodle house is owned also by Eng Bee Tin so you would see and buy all Eng Bee Tin products in all of its branches. The difference with this store is that they sell meals such as rice meals, different kinds of stir fried noodles and noodle soups.

  • Lord Stow’s Egg Tart

Located in 707 Ongpin St., Binondo just right before the Chinatown Welcome Arch. The best egg tart I ever tasted so far! Their tarts are freshly made everyday. This pastry with flaky outer cover and a creamy custard filling will definitely melts in your mouth. Unquestionably, a must-try!

  • Tasty Dumplings

Another restaurant to visit when craving to eat dumplings located at Norberto Ty St., Binondo. Aside from their dumplings, the place is also known for serving pork chop rice which is said to be their best-seller. Their porkchops are one of the biggest serving I’ve ever seen, sliced slenderly and covered with a chinese style flavor coating fried until it gets crispy.

Pork chop
Kuchay dumplings
  • Oishiekun Chinese Bites

Another treat just located in the street of Ongpin. Also known as the chinese donuts, these pieces of treat are freshly made everyday for a very affordable price. You’ll just see the donuts being displayed on the store and they’ll re-heat it once you ordered one and cut it into bites. Definitely another must-try if you want to have some merienda or dessert after a day of food hauls.

  • Ho-Land Hopia and Bakery

A Chinese bakery located in 551 Yuchengco St., Binondo. Every time I go to Binondo, I never failed to stop by on this place to buy some ube hopia. Though both hopias from Eng Bee Tin and Ho-Land are delicious on its own, I always end up buying and preferring the ones from Ho-land. They also sell other Chinese delicacies such as tikoy and moon cakes.

Have you been to Binondo before? What’s your favorite food place? Share your experience below!

Liwliwa, Zambales Travel Guide: Places to Stay and Eat in Liwliwa

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Zambales is probably one of the most popular weekend destination for those who just wanted to have a quick beach trip over their weekend off. For about three to four hour drive away from Manila, you can enjoy their beautiful beaches, coves, and even campsites.

I’ve been to Zambales couple of times before and by this time, I finally got the chance to visit the famous Liwliwa! Located in the silent town of San Felipe, a lot of beautiful resorts perfect for chilling and relaxations can now be found in Liwliwa. Aside from resorts, a lot of restaurants, cafes and bars by the beach can be spotted in this paradise that I would like to compare the place and vibe somehow to the San Juan beach area of La Union (only with less people). Other activities you can enjoy here are surfing and ATV riding. On this blog, I would share places to stay and eat in Liwliwa that you can use as reference on your next visit.

How to go to Liwliwa, Zambales?

Ride a bus (from Cubao, Pasay or Caloocan) bound to Iba or Sta. Cruz, Zambales. These buses will pass through the town of San Felipe. Just tell the driver to drop you off in San Felipe, upon reaching San Felipe take a tricycle that will take you directly to Sitio Liwliwa. Just tell the driver your resort name so they can directly take you there.

If you will not be able to catch a bus bound to either Iba or Sta. Cruz, you can take a bus bound to Olongapo. From Olongapo take another bus going to Sta. Cruz or Iba and just tell the driver to drop you off in San Felipe. From there, take a tricycle that will take you directly on your resort in Liwliwa.

In our case, we took a bus from Victory Liner Cubao to San Felipe for P530 and tricycle ride from San Felipe town proper to Liwliwa costs us P40 each.

Where to Stay in Liwliwa?

I had a hard time looking for accommodation during our stay because first, there’s a lot of instagrammable resorts to choose from and second, resorts are almost fully booked given that our visit was on a weekend. Luckily, we were able to book at The Fishers

  • The Fishers (Fishers by the Sea)

The Fishers claims to have the first A-frame huts in Liwliwa. The resort is just a few minute walk to the beach. Each A-frame huts costs Php 3000 for fan rooms while Php 3500 for AC rooms good for 3 pax. You’ll have the whole hut by your group, you need to take a few steps of stairs to get into the main room and you’ll have tables, chairs and hammock just down below it if you want to chill and rest outside. Each room also includes own comfort room located just across the huts. The place is clean, well-maintained, peaceful while owners and caretakers are friendly.

Facebook page here.

  • Kwentong Dagat
Photo from Kwentong Dagat Official Facebook Page

Definitely one of the most famous and trending resort in Liwliwa. With its popularity, it’s always fully-booked especially on the weekends. The resort highlights IG-worthy cabins and serves vegan meals.

Facebook page here.

  • Gasera de Liwliwa
Photo from Gasera de Liwliwa Official Website

Another place I wanted to book but already fully-booked during our target date. I love their room concepts as their name suggests, “gasera” means a traditional lamp used when there is still no electricity. The resort has villas that resembles a lamp and also offers tepee huts and tent accommodations.

Facebook page here.

  • Zambali Woods
Photo from Zambali Woods Official Facebook Page

A Bali-themed resort in Liwliwa that offers villa accommodations for 4 up to 8 pax. Overnight stay in each villa will costs Php 4000 up to Php 8000.

Facebook page here.

  • Kapitan’s Liwa Beach Resort
Photo from Kapitan's Liwa Surf Resort Official Facebook Page

This resort offers various choices of accommodation based on your budget. What I love about this resort is they have their own restaurant and cafes that serves variety of foods. They also have common areas in the resort where visitors can chill, have a drink and mingle with friends and strangers.

Facebook page here.

Where to Eat in Liwliwa?

  • Board Culture Liw-Liwa

Aside from being a resort, they also offer sumptuous meals. Though their menu does not offer much variety and a bit pricey compare to other restaus but rest assured, each food on their menu is delicately-cooked and prepared using imported seasonings/ingredients that makes each bite worthy of its price. From steaks, wagyu, pastas, burgers and inasal, each bite will melt in your mouth. They also offer imported drinks and you can enjoy playing board games and billiards while waiting for your food. We also got a chance to chat with the owner and he is very accommodating, a plus points for our overall experience.

Porkchop with rice for Php 420
Chicken Inasal for Php 280
  • Taco Joint

Located inside the Board Culture Liw-Liwa compound is this authentic Mexican Taqueria. Definitely a go-to place to eat and unwind as it settles few walks away from the beach. Satisfy your cravings for Mexican food with their tacos and quesadillas. Also, right across this taqueria is a bar where you can grab a bottle of drinks or beer. A perfect combo to chill the day out.

Carne Asada Quesadilla
Carnitas Tacos
  • Mommy Phoebe’s Place

I would say it is the most affordable food hub in Liwliwa. The place has this “karinderya” concept but offers a lot of freshly cooked food choices. They also serve fresh fruit smoothies in an affordable price, definitely a must have when you dine with Mommy Phoebe’s.

  • Kapitan’s Liwa

This place aside from being a resort, also houses their very own Kapitan’s Liwa restaurant and Sestra’s Café. The restaurant offers various Filipino meals and even a bowl of ramen! If you want to take a sip of coffee (hot or cold) you can also order from Sestra Café located on the same compound. A cozy place to eat and relax at the same time.

Have you been to Liwliwa before? Share your experiences below!

Mirador Heritage and Eco Park: Experiencing a Taste of Japan in Baguio City

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Mirador Heritage and Eco Park is one of the newest attractions in the City of Baguio. The park houses the famous torii gate and bamboo forest that you probably seen online. If you want to experience Japan without flying, this is the right place to be. It is just located in Mirador Hill just near the famous Lourdes Grotto. So, if you are already in the area, you can visit both attractions to make your trip worthy.

How to get there?

From Kayang Street in Baguio proper, ride a jeepney bound to Mirador. Just tell the driver to drop you off in Mirador Jesuit Villa Retreat House.

You can also ride a taxi or bring your own car for your convenience. Parking lot is available in the area so there would be no issue if you bring your own car.

What to expect in Mirador Heritage and Eco park?

The eco park is open daily from 6:00 AM until 6:00 PM. Entrance fee is 100 Php while 12 years old and below are free of charge. No reservations needed. Mirador Heritage and Eco Park is a 5-hectare park managed by the Mirador Jesuits Villa. As the place aims, it is a good place to relax, unwind, meditate and reconnect with nature. Falling in love with the spectacular view from the hill is a plus experience!

A spectacular view from Mirador Hill

Many attractions can be found inside the Eco park such as Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Manresa Rock Garden, Our Lady of Aranzazu Rock Garden, Ifugao Houses, La Storta Garden, Blue Moon Gate and of course the famous Torii gate in Mirador Peace Memorial. For complete list of attractions and other details you can visit their official website here.

  • Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

  • Our Lady of Aranzazu Rock Garden

  • Blue Moon Gate 

  • Mirador Peace Memorial

Bringing outside food is not allowed for better maintenance of the park but this attraction have their own café named Café Iñigo. You can visit their café if you wish to buy some meals and drinks.

Igorot Stone Kingdom Travel Guide: Newest Theme Park in Baguio

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There are so many tourist attractions that actually came to light at the mid of this pandemic. One of this attraction is the Igorot Stone Kingdom that officially opened to the public last June 2021 and became one of the popular destination when you visit Baguio City since then. It is an Igorot theme park based on the legend of Sab-angan, an Igorot Kingdom that once existed but lost a thousand years ago.

Knowing Igorot Stone Kingdom

This theme park is located in Long Long Benguet Rd., Baguio City, about 500 meters away from Tam-awan Village. The place is owned by Pio Velasco or also known as Ama Bag-owan as his Igorot name who saw a white carabao last March 1, 2020. It was said that this is a good omen for him to start the Igorot Kingdom. In Igorot culture, white carabao symbolizes good luck and prosperity. Hence, by March 15, 2020 the construction started for the Igorot Stone Kingdom. The attraction is made of piled stones forming a castle-like structure. Stone walls also resembles the famous Banaue Rice Terraces of Ifugao province because of its ladder-like layout.

How to get there?

Via public commute

Ride a jeepney bound for Tacay-Longlong in Otek St., Baguio City or Tam-awan bound jeepneys in Kayang Street, Baguio City. Just tell the driver to drop you off in Igorot Stone Kingdom

Via taxi

Taxis are pretty much available around Baguio City and more convenient mode of transpo going point to point around the city. Taxi fare here is much cheaper than in Manila so if you are traveling in group, I suggest you to take a cab like what we did for your convenience.

What to expect in Igorot Stone Kingdom

Expect a flock of people upon entrance of the theme park especially during weekends and holidays but the main park area is so huge that people won’t be crammed in one area. Entrance fee is 100 Php for adults, 80 Php for senior citizens and kids (4-12 years old) and free for toddlers (3 years old and below). The Park is open Monday to Sunday from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Going around the park will make you realized how rich the Igorot civilization is, exhibiting their prowess and history. The castle-like structure also houses a lot of attractions such as Bangan’s dome, Temple of Kabunyan, Igorot goldmine, Igorot Golden Bridge, Igorot Heroes Hall, underground garden, kape in the sky, view deck and many more! Take note that the construction in the park is still on going, so for sure the place will still provide us with more surprises next time.

It was also displayed on the park that it was dedicated by the owner, Pio, to his mother named Rita which he described as a fair and beautiful Igorota. The woman he admired and taught him to be strong despite all.

What I like also in this park is its vivacity. It has this positive and lively energy that would make your visit worthy. There are food stalls where you can buy food and pasalubongs, you can rent Igorot costumes for photo ops and a music that echoes all around the park.

When going back to Baguio Proper you can either ride a jeepney or taxi again. Have you been to Igorot Stone Kingdom before? Share your experiences below!

NOTE: As of April 3, 2023, Igorot Stone Kingdom is finally open again for the public after few months of being closed. For any recent announcement, please visit their page here.