Baguio Budget Escape: Food Trip in the City of Pines

It was a quiet Friday evening when our housemate, who hails from Baguio City announced that she’s driving alone to Baguio early in the morning. Out of nowhere, Baba and I decided to join her on a road trip. With a couple of clothes and 5K budget, we hit the road at 4am the next day.

The drive was uneventful, we stopped by Sison, Pangasinan to eat something and we’re a little disappointed that Kenon Rd was closed so we had to take the much longer route via Marcos Highway.

We reached Baguio City at around 9am. Baba and I declined Ate Maricar’s invitation to stay in their house and searched for cheap Baguio City accommodations instead. We found La Brea along Session Road and made reservations for 2 nights. We did not prepare any IT and made this trip a completely spontaneous one. We just noted recommendations and jump into what we have in mind next.

After freshening up, we headed to Glenn’s 50s Diner in General Luna Road in front of Brent Road  for our late lunch. The ambiance is great and they have big servings of food. Baba loved his Swimmers while my Schintzel was just okay.

waitresses at 50’s diner wear sailor uniforms!

we love their coffee here

Baba’s Swimmers – 3 seafood delights in sweet-spicy sauce
schnitzel for me (okay lang)
ka-table namin c Marilyn Monroe!
the red car parked outside 50’s diner

After lunch, we decided to walk back and pay visit to the Cathedral and offer prayers of thanks. Then we played corny and headed for Burnham Lake for some rowing action.

can’t believe these oars are so heavy!!
should have tried those paddle boats instead

It was raining on and off and we were tired. We couldn’t think of anything to eat for dinner just yet so we headed for SM Baguio and waited for the rain to stop. We stayed at the veranda and was awed when the fog enveloped the city.

Then we walked to Session Road where there are more choices when it comes to foodtripping. We ended up at one of my friend’s favorite Pizza place – Pizza Volante. The place looks unorganized and seems to be a series of expansions – might be because of the growing number of diners. They have great pizza and pasta choices here – the price is also just right for students on a budget.

love this cheeze burger pizza!

Baba suggested we eat only light dinner tonight because he wants a nightcap at one of the bars we passed by earlier. It’s called the Bohemian and they have angelic acoustic singers here. We had a basket of fresh potato fries and a bucket of beer to end the night…

frothy milk! 😀

a basket of potatoes

lassheeng Baba?

Day 2 of our Baguio Trip was spent at the Manor, Good Shepherd and Lourdes Grotto. Blog soon 🙂

Wall Climbing At Camp Sandugo Market Market

I haven’t written a follow up on my post about wall climbing in Camp Sandugo in Market Market, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. Been quite busy with work and mothering to my growing up son.

While I was working at Bonifacio High Street in Fort Bonifacio, Jason, Gerwil and Kuya Tibs, the climb instructors at Camp Sandugo has been encouraging me to wall climb regularly. For more than two months, this wall became my “tambayan” to let pass the rush hour before I go home. I find myself loving this activity and struggled to advance to the harder faces of the wall.

top of the wall
pig out after a tiring climb

 Wall climbing in Camp Sandugo is a challenge that you can set for yourself. This wall is considered as the highest indoor climbing wall in Metro Manila. Six climbers can simultaneously climb on it’s 6-level difficulty facades. Climb instructors are expert in their field and they can assure you of your safety and teach you the proper ways and techniques in climbing.

how high can you go?

This activity is perfect for family bonding and you can enroll your kids with their climbing program. Jayson, one of the instructors is a particular favorite among kiddie climbers.

Climb Instructor Jay in his element

Wall climbing in Camp Sandugo is also open for company activities and events.

Camp Sandugo is at:
5th Floor Market! Market!
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. 

Store opens at:
10:00AM-8:00PM Weekdays
10:00AM-9:00PM Weekends

You may contact them at this no:
Telefax: (02) 856-0453

Baler: There’s More Than Just Surfing!

A private message from one of my high school classmates gave way to this trip. We were 3 girls but I wanted to bring along my partner for him to experience what I love doing – travel.

There were a lot of “palpak” and “sablay” while the day of the trip come nearer. Joy Bus was fully booked and most of the accommodations and hotels we contacted were also full. The 4 of us were determined to push this through and on the night of 18 May, we took the regular trip of Genesis Bus (Cubao) to Baler. The trip took 10 hours and the fare – P450 (more or less).
|Day 1

Sabang Beach in the morning
We arrived in Baler at around 8 in the morning and hoped to make a reservation for Joy Bus trip back to Manila. Having no other trips that fits our schedule for our trip back, we decided to just take a risk and travel to Cabanatuan first for more buses going to Manila. We walked to Sabang beach from Genesis terminal and started looking for our accommodations. We ended up at Elaine M&M Lodge and paid P1300 for a room that accommodated the 4 of us.  
After freshening up, we headed to Bayler View for breakfast. After which we scoured for the cheapest tour tricycle tour rate we could find. They all asked for P800 per tricycle to take us to Mother Falls, Centennial Tree and others we could cover for that day.
been years since we last enjoyed soda from these plastic bags
Millennium  Tree 
They first took us to the gigantic Balete Tree in Maria, Aurora. We took the challenge of climbing it up along with kids who seemed to have made a hobby of crawling and climbing up the tree like monkeys. It was a great experience and a first for all of us.

Ditumabo Falls (Mother Falls)

The trek was fun and easy. You can hear the sounds of flowing water and the sounds that small animals and insects make.

There were slippery spots on the trail but overall it was refreshing and you get rewarded with the sight of one of most majestic waterfalls. We all enjoyed the trek and the dip on the freezing pool. 

After that we were really hungry and we wanted to eat along the way. But our guides and drivers said that there are no place or stores near the sites we’re going to visit where we can eat. So we decided to take just 2 more sites and head for the town to eat our late lunch. 
Diguisit Beach
Our guides took us next to a beach but we were really starving to pay much attention to it’s name. We were already in Diguisit and the sights of islets and rock formations are stunningly beautiful from the road. There was a small swimming area but this beach has a very rocky shoreline. 

There are no stores here so people who wanted to swim just bring their own food. Passed by Diguisit Falls and decided not to climb up. Our guides still wanted to bring us up to Ermita Hill but we declined and so we just headed to town to eat and explore other places of interest.

Museo de Baler

After our late lunch, we walked around town with our guides to explore and know more about Baler.

Baler is very rich in history. Before Aurora became a province, it was a part of the province of Quezon. Both President Manuel L. Quezon and his wife Aurora was born in Baler. Baler also was an active participant in the galleon trade during the colonial times.

The Museum was under renovation during that time, but the staff welcomed us warmly and apologized fervently for the inconvenience. Also inside the ground of the museum is the exact replica of Quezon’s Family home.

Aurora’s Home

Our last destination for the tour was Aurora Quezon’s home downtown. They were considered wealthy during those time. Quezon’s presidential car was also parked here.

We also passed by the church and gave short prayer of thanks for this opportunity to travel and enjoy the company of each other.

We headed back to our room and decided to rest. It was a tiring but satisfying day of exploration. We are beginning to fall for the beauty of Baler. 

Sagada’s Cave Connection: Tough Adventures for Tough Love

Highlight of our Sagada Trip – Cave Exploration

Sagada was my no. 1 destination for a solo trip experiment last year. I’ve been planning for it for so long before as a form of escape and sojourn to heal my heartache. But “force majure” in the form of Typhoon Mina stop my ascent to this Shangri-la Town last year, and so I’ve embraced the thought that I may never travel solo to Sagada. 

cable bus tours travels daily and leaves manila at 830pm at it’s QC Terminal
Stopover somewhere in Banaue

The cause of “heartache” back then, now became my partner and soon, the planned trip to Sagada was once again played out and realized. The 12 hours travel via Cable Bus Tours from Manila to Bontoc plus the 45mins. jeepney ride from Bontoc to Sagada was well rewarded with enchanting mountainous sights and cool air.

our breakfast at Bontoc before proceeding to Sagada

We arrived early and settled ourselves at Residential Lodge (09196728744) and find the office of Saggas ( a few steps away. We made arrangement for the Cave connection right after lunch. Then we proceeded to Salt and Pepper Diner for our first taste of Sagada’s cooking. I ordered for Sinarabasab which is actually half-cooked grilled pork – much like kilawin with a lot of ginger and my partner wanted some fresh veggies and settled for a bowl of delicious ChopSuey. 

Sagada Adventure 1: Cave Connection

30 minutes after lunch, we met with Kevin Luna, our guide for the Cave Connection Tour. We’d be exploring 2 caves – the Lumiyang and Sumaging Cave and they say this takes about 4-6 hours – tough but we survived and enjoyed this the most. 

Our guide gave us suggestions on how we can save and we settled for walking to the first cave opening – Lumiyang cave. We also stopped by burial sites and explained the beliefs and traditions that Sagada have for the dead. Lumiyang Cave had us doing serious stunts and many times, the group ahead us stalled us because of many of them wanted to give up. 

hanging coffins among pine trees in limestone krasts in the background
coffins in the cave – this is what welcomes you at the mouth of Lumiyang cave
Kevin, our guide preparing our light
the descent to one of the Philippines deepest cave system

According to our guide, it is best to limit to taking pictures while exploring Lumiyang cave. This cave is slippery and dangerous to a point. You need to be attentive and careful at all times.  

After the toughest cave adventure in Lumiyang, we were rewarded with wonderful rock formations and easier ascent to Sumiyang Cave exit.

A truly rewarding experience

super duper cold water – to borrow chyng’s words: giniginaw lungs ko!

jumpshot daw 😀
cave art

The Sumaging-Lumiyang Cave connection was truly a challenge that pushed us to do the unthinkable and reach beyond our limits. We were happy to have Kevin as our guide, he was funny and patient with us and took wonderful photos throughout the tour. I think he enjoyed having us around as well. 

 We walked back to town and realize that the clouds have come down. We were really craving for a hot shower and luckily, we had a hot tub and hot water in our room. We were  wet and cold and the aches are starting to make their presence known. I remembered Titit’s advise to bring Omega pain killer or Effecascent Oil for this purpose, but we don’t have any. Luckily, the store in front of Residential are selling these two, I think many travelers has been buying these pain relievers as well.

exiting the caves after 4 hours. nope di po kami pagod.

the sight that met us as we walked back to town
chicken something for me
spicy beef curry for him

We rewarded ourselves with a hearty dinner at the Yogurt House after the hot bath and massage.  Slept thinking what’s in store for us the next day. Hope all the body aches vanish in the morning.


Travelling in the Philippines: How much have you covered?

The online travel application Lakbayan: How much of the Philippines have you visited? is a fun survey of your travels in the Philippines. It covers the provinces in the 3 major island groups plus the group of islands in Palawan. This is actually a very helpful tool for me especially when I’m planning my next trip. Looking at my score, it really looks like I need to explore more and go around a bit in the Visayas and in Mindanao. I hope I could do more of that even when I’m married and have another baby. I know my country has a lot more to offer and I really want to try them all – Filipino foods from all parts, wonders of nature and amazing adventure. Soon I’ll have this map covered and I can proudly say that I’ve truly traveled much, much of my country.

My Lakbayan grade is C+!

How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!
Created by Eugene Villar.

Yummy Fried Worms: Thailand’s Exotic Foods

i know i know, i havent been able to update mine and teloy’s blog for long.. but i’m hoping i can from now on. though im still too busy, there’s been a lot of things i wanna write about.. new experiences – im loving the freedom of being single and doing the things i love.. soon teloy would be a kid, study and need me even more.. by then, i might just share with all the things that mom loves to do.. traveling, writing, exploring and searching for adventure.

not long ago.. hmm maybe just at the onset of february, Jissa’s older sister Jihan went to Bangkok for a tour, she brought with her a bunch of delicassies from the Thailand. One that really caught my attention is the pack of fried worms which really was so gross to look at.. still being the adventurous me, i tried some… and i really love it! haha my officemates and classmates were really squamish just looking at it.. but like wat they say, an excess of something would be bad for you.. didnt realize till later that the worms were like shrimps and i am allergic to shimps.. so i had allergies just a few hours of eating the whole pack!

here’s how they look like before i popped them up!
yummy fried worms!

wondering what i will try next.. do you think teloy would enjoy these too? haha!