The beauty of Coron despite the tropical depression during that weekend
July 5-8, 2014
Will never forget the food and the sceneriessss! Aaahh the pizza in Bistro Coron, the sizzling tuna steak in Centro Coron (see picture above), the baby back ribs in Santino’s Bar and Grill, the photogenic beauty of Kayangan Lake, the pristine water of Twin Lagoons, the conversations made in Bulog Dos Island (see picture above).
The two 180-peso meals in Manila.
Adriatico Street, Malate, Manila
Shawarma Snack Center
They’ve always been supportive; it was just I who was afraid.
We were never really the type of couple who went to places by ourselves. We would almost always invite our friends to come and share the experience with us. This trip was a contrary to those trips. We had a spontaneous day trip to Burot Beach in Calatagan, Batangas on a Saturday towards the end of summer. There were a lot of groups who happened to be there but the shoreline allowed each group to have decent privacy. We had plans of preparing lunch and griling some meat but settled on Chooks to Go liempo. We had plans of (actually) swimming but ended up just lounging on the outdoor, director chairs talking for hours. The whole trip, except the 3-hour drive from Manila, was lazy — but the good kind. At sunset, we packed up and headed back with a quick stopover at Bag of Beans in Tagaytay for dinner in between.
Nagsasa Cove, Zambales
May 3-4, 2014
5 Greatest Moments in my First Mindanao Trip
1. I climbed this stairway to hell/heaven (I’d say both were applicable).
In the 3-4 hours I was climbing the boulder phase that characterizes the hike to Mt. Apo, I was on the bridge of giving up. For one, our guide told us that that segment would only take about 2 hours. But obviously, it didn’t take just 2 hours of the whole trek. Heck, it took most of daylight! Most frustrating part is, you can see the top but little did you know it takes so much time to get to that point. Secondly, there was my strategic (right on my knee) wound to worry about. It didn’t give my left leg its full ability to stretch so, that was one thing to worry about. Finally, my pack was just so damn heavy.
2. But ultimately, you reach the peak!
My face upon reaching the summit of Mt. Apo, 2,956 MASL. It was about half past 6pm; there was little of the sunset left to lust on. But as everyone says on the end of an assault, “It’s all worth it!” And yes, it’s all worth it!!!!
3. After our climb, we took a side trip to South Cotabato — 2 bus rides and 1 van ride in the span of about 5 1/2 hours.
This was our last ride before finally reaching Lake Sebu. To maximize each trip, four people were forced in one row. As you can see, it was very cramped. You could literally smell each other, and not only your shoulders are situated one beside the next person but also your knees. Sweet, eh! Shoulders-to-shoulders at knees-to-knees. Haha. I was feeling a bit worried for the rest of our group ‘cause everyone was impatient to reach the destination. For some reason, I felt like I had to comfort and tell them we were almost there. (But that only happened inside my head)
4. Highlight of the trip was staying with a T’boli family in Lake Sebu.
There’s always a unique experience in visiting and staying with a community far from home and different from your usual way of life. I always consider it a privilege to be able to find a family who’s willing to share their life with strangers, and a great opportunity to learn as much from them. So when Storm told me that there’s a family who offers their home, I hunted it down automatically.
We stayed with the family of Todi. Oyog Todi (or Ms. Maria), our host, is a teacher in School of Living Traditions — an informal, week-end school for T’boli kids to learn indigenous music and dance. Kids as young as 2 years old are already encouraged to come every Saturday and Sunday morning to preserve their intangible heritage. In the picture above are some of her pamangkins who proved to be outgoing hosts even at their young age! This was taken on our last night when Andrea, Rhea and Boyboy (if my memory serves me right) surprised us with their traditional dance. Saya
5. Finally, never forget the Tiongson Arcade in General Santos City.
Related to my previous post….. dampa. Cheap and fresh seafood. And free (hehe), thank you to my LM batch mate, Neil Falgui, who was a local there. Best way to cap off the trip. I highly suggest you try their garlic Diana. And yes, Diana is a kind of fish!
I love dampa and everything about dampa! I love how meals can be cheap (if you go to the real ones), and how the taste can be so familiar and so Filipino. Personally, if I want a good eat with the company of friends, I would suggest eating at a dampa.
The dampa in Marikina goes way back pre-Ondoy (2009). Mom brought me, together with my siblings, in a cluster of tents just behind SM Marikina. It was a bit shady. For a while, I thought there was a tiangge happening across the amphitheater but at the back of my mind, I was thinking that it wasn’t possible because it was an odd position to put up a bazaar. When we got nearer, ho and behold, I saw smoke (the good one) coming out of the tents, smelled the familiar ihaw, heard utensils scratching against the plates and people talking. From thereon, I started bringing people AKA my high school friends to try it out. They loved it, obviously! It was so cheap. A viand would cost about 70 pesos plus, it comes with free soup and free ensalada — green mango, bagoong. I even remember celebrating my 17th birthday with them in dampa! Hahaha. When Ondoy happened, it stopped operating because of the recovery operations that happened in Riverbanks.
After 2 years, Cayco and I discovered it again. It’s the still the same set of restaurants, distinguished by the colors of the tables, only they are situated beside the science center in Riverbanks. More importantly, it still tasted the same! :) However, I didn’t go as often as before. That’s why I enjoyed rekindling old memories over late dinner with Storm two weeks ago.
What to order: inihaw na liempo, mussels with cheese, sinigang na ulo sa miso
Budget: 120-150php per person
SaGuijo Bar, Makati
March 21, 2014
Wow, oh, wow. How to even feel about yourself when you’re inches away from this artist. I felt so self-conscious every time she looked back at me. I didn’t know what to do! I tried to smile but she was looking even longer. I tried to look away but it was no use. After a few seconds, I would just look back at her and mesmerize at her quirky habits when performing. Her aura is just captivating, and I speak for the others who have already seen her perform.