Where to Eat in Vigan, Ilocos Sur: Lampong’s at Calle Crisolo

We were starving, but we want to try good Ilocano food this time. Our tour driver, though he was kind and patient, was a first timer in the touring business so he doesn’t know much about entertaining a bunch of tired, hungry and weary tourists. We arrived in Calle Crisologo at around 11 in the morning, it seemed like we are early. Not much tourist yet so we were able to walk around leisurely admiring the cobbled stones, the heritage houses and building despite the growing hunger pangs we feel. At the end of our walk, we found ourselves looking at the outdoor menu of Lampong’s, a hole in the wall restaurant right in the heart of the heritage street.

I was so happy, ecstatic in fact! Finally, after days of fasting not eating meat, I am going to eat Bagnet today, our last day in Ilocos! Pouring over the menu, I immediately called for a plateful of Dinakdakan. A culinary fave in the North. It is made from chopped Bagnet, mixed with savory Ilocano vinegar, chopped onions and other spices.

I took the liberty of ordering for Baba too, I asked him if he’s interested in eating “Poqui-Poqui.” He didn’t like the sound of it, but upon describing that it is a dish of mashed eggplant mixed with tomatoes, onions and other spices, he agreed.

Teloy also choose from the menu and decided to have some pasta, to our frustration he wanted to have Carbonara! Fortunately, it wasn’t available so he settled for something authentic – the Vigan Longganisa Spaghetti.

While waiting for our orders to be served, Gang and Bebe joined our table and ordered the Kare-kareng Bagnet.

The rest of our barkada occupied the recently vacated table. Lampong’s visibly lack space and can only accommodate a limited number of diners at a time. But the ambiance is nice and the wi-fi is strong. And did I mention they got super good food at really affordable prices!

This meal must be the heartiest I had during our recently concluded Ilocandia Tour. Good thing we saw this resto and all our cravings for authentic Ilocano food were sated right before we traveled back to Manila.

Misadventures at Danao Adventure Park, Danao Bohol

Part of our Barkada Trip Series last year was a visit to Danao Adventure Park in Bohol. Having visited Bohol in 2009, I decided to tweak our itinerary and start our country side tour from Tubigon port this time.

Danao Adventure Park has been featured several times in different television shows. They offer EAT Danao or Eco/Extreme/Educational Adventure Tour which is actually an eco-tourism concept initiated for the benefit of the Municipality of Danao in Bohol. It is a facility run by the local government. You will surely feel good about paying for their activities because part of it goes to government projects such as rural scholarships.

One of the most challenging activity that you can try out in Danao Adventure Park is the “Plunge.” The fee is around Php700.00 that time and while many thinks it is expensive, the crew in Danao will assure you that this price is well worth the experience – maybe even more. I would have wanted to try it out, but I chickened out. I was worried that my 6-year old son would be traumatized and think he’s got a suicidal mom!

We resorted to the next challenging activity on the list and excitedly fixed ourselves up. Teloyskie and I will be doing the Sui-slide Zipline (Php350) – and both of us are first timers in this. I’ve seen other zip line and thought they are too tame. This one in Danao crosses the same canyon that you jump off from the “Plunge” and has a height of about 200m drop to the bottom.

So the guys hoisted me up lying down and seated my son at my back. After securing everything, we were pushed forward to – nothingness! I was too stunned, and I couldn’t see Teloyskie expression if he was afraid or what. A scream bubbled out my throat and I let it all out, my son followed suit. I felt goosebumps as I looked down and realized how deep the canyon was.

Two guys caught us at the end of the line and told us we have to walk a bit to reach the second line going back. I asked Teloyskie if he was scared, and he said yes. I was worried and told him that there’s another zip line ride. His faced brightened and said he liked to go again!

This time, I gamely bellowed my excitement and smiled widely for the photographer waiting to take pictures of us at the other end.

Some of my mates also tried out the Sky Ride or the cable car that crosses the canyon (Php250.00 per person). It looks too tame again for me and lacks the adrenaline rush I seek so I passed it up.

The Park also offers other activities such as Caving, Rapelling, Tubing and others but it’s already midday and we still need to go to Loboc for our lunch cruise.  

Mayon ATV Tour Experience: Extreme Adventure Worth Taking

My first ATV experience in Boracay can be considered mild if not for my freak accident with the gas, an incident which left me with gashes on my legs and Baba with a horrifying picture of me almost being thrown off the machine. The incident made him a bit paranoid about me getting into other motorized vehicles on my own so when Sheng invited us to join them and experience the Mayon ATV ride, I kept mum about it and decided to tell Baba what I did after the experience.

Woke up early that Sunday and headed to Bebe’s house to meet up with her, Gang and Joa. Then we dropped by Rochelle’s place before heading to Bogtong where the ATV company would fetch us. I’ve heard and seen “Your Brother” ATV in Legazpi but have never really thought about giving it a try. The tariff price, Php 1500 for the activity seems too pricey for me, good thing Sheng is treating us today.

After some prep-talk and two rounds to warm up, we proceeded to the gully of sand and stones. We started at around 9:00 in the morning but the temperature is fast rising. We loved the view of Mt. Mayon from our trail and the guides are very attentive to our needs – photo ops and all. But just a short distance from our starting point, Bebe fell off her ride which worried the whole team. A guy with some sort of medical training checked her vitals and for anything out of place and applied first aid. Once we are sure that she’s okay, we resumed riding, but this time, she was just a back-rider on Gang’s ride.

The trail going to the Lava wall really was challenging. Compared to the short ATV ride we had in Boracay, this one truly is extreme. The price was justified with length of the ride and the distance covered. Finally, we arrived at the Lava wall, had some water break and excitedly hiked up the wall of rocks formed from the Lava that Mt. Mayon spewed out. It was already noon and the sun was blazing hot so we hurriedly took pictures and got back to our bikes, despite the lovely view we have from there.

With the Mayon ATV Experience, you will really ride through all-terrain possible! From rocky, to sandy to muddy, river crossing and finally, some much needed flat grounds. We returned to “Your Brother” ATV headquarters all feeling battered and broken. Each bone and muscle in my body seem to be aching and in pain. When they announced that we still have a free zipline ride in  Lingnon Hill, we all declined feeling we had had enough adventure for the day.

After having lunch together, we all went home tired and sore but happy otherwise. I went straight to bed and woke up late in the afternoon, decided to call Baba and eventually admitted to doing what he was afraid I would do. Fortunately, he was only a bit sore and was just cool about it!

Interested in Mayon ATV Tour? Contact:
Your Brother Travel and Tours
Brgy Pawa, Legazpi City
(052) 742-9871 / 09054557594
www.mayonatvtour.com

A History of Friendship

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kulang kulang 9 na taon na ang nakakaraan ng unang narining ko ang inyong mga pangalan. dahil sa kayo’y kaibigan ng aking kaibigan, narapat lamang na tayo’y magaka kilakilala. isang maliit na tropa ng magakakaibigang may totoong malasakit sa bawat isa ang naging kabuuan.

kulang kulang 9 na taon na ng mundo nati’y nagulo. sanlibo’t isang kalokohan, kwentuhan, problema, at tawanan ang ating pinagdaanan. Nakita natin sa bawat isa ang hirap, saya at pag ibig na atin kanya kanyang narasanan. bawat problema, walang nag iwan, bawat saya, sama sama. sa ngalan ng pag-ibig? nandyan ang walang kamatayang asaran at kantyawan.

nakita natin bawat pagbabago at pag “mature” (kung nagmature nga) ng bawat isa. mula sa pagiging mapang asar at kawalan ng direksyon ng buhay, naging seryoso at determinado sa pag abot ng kanya kanyang pangarap.

natatandaan nyo pa ba? anong ingay ang nagagawa ng mga nene at totoy na pinagsama sama? may mga mapanuring tingin dahil sa di nila maintindihan ang ating tropa?

naalala nyo pa ba? walang katapusang kwentuhan habang wala ring kaubusan ang ating redhorse? kaya nga nagkaganyan mga tiyan nyo di ba? sa bawat okasyon, simple man o kahit pa walang kwenta, nagiging dahilan para mag usap usap, magkwentuhan at magkaroon ng pagkakataon para maharap harap sa ilang bote ng beer.

noong hawak pa natin ang ating oras at pag aaral lamang ang tanging pinagkakaabalahan? bawat bakasyon sigurado na naman ang swimming at jamming sa amater. kelan kaya mangyayari ulit yun? ngayong may kanya kanya ng buhay at trabaho, may pagkakataon pa kaya gawin ulit ito?

nakakamiss. sana kahit anong problema at pagsubok pa pagdaanan natin, mas maging matatag sana ang ating samahan. wag makakalimutan ang ating mga pinagdaanan. dahil dito mas naging matatag ako. salamat, alam ko kahit anong mangyari nandyan kayo.