Monthly Archives

February 2006

#Philippines, Batangas

Conquering the Taal Volcano Crater!

Taal Volcano Hike - 6

This is my third time to hike up the Taal Crater and still a beautiful experience for me. This is an update of my prior Taal Crater posts last October 2005 and I would like to share with you some things to bring/ expect based on my learnings from all my past hikes:

1). Bring your own water, beer or drinks if you want to save on costs. On average cost of the drink is P20/water, P30 for drinks, and P25/ fresh buko.
2). Wear Rubber Shoes, Shorts and bring a handkerchief to cover for the dust (specially during summer).
3). Leave Manila by 6am, so that you can start your hike at 8am (45mins hike). You’ll be back before 11am in time for lunch @ Tagaytay.
4). Ignore the people offering you boat ride (don’t even look at them), go straight to Taal Yatch Club and rent a boat for P1,500–
5). Other incidental costs would be P10/person entrance fee, and P20/person docking fee to help the community there in Taal Volcano.
6). Don’t forget your camera, and you can opt to ride a horse for P500 back and forth (25 minutes to the crater)

Check out Team OAP’s video on debunking the mystery of Taal Volcano…

Taal Volcano Blog Series
A Journey into Taal Volcano’s Crater! (Photo Essay) (2017)
Taal Volcano: Guide to 45-minute Trekking Adventure to Crater Lake (via Private Route)! (2015)
Conquering the Taal Volcano Crater! (2006)
Guide to Trekking Up to the Taal Volcano – world’s smallest volcano! (2005)
Taal Volcano Crater Experience! (2005)

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A tribute to Euro Star Carnival — The Best Carnival in the Philippines!!

Booster with 3d spining action!!

Thanks to media source for bringing us the most successful carnival in the Philippines — Euro Star Carnival! I had my doubts initially, and the Philippines blogosphere have attested to this awesome carnival rides. Manila is the first stop in its 8-city Asian Tour and February 28 is its last day here in Manila. This is my personal photo tribute to this awesome carnival that Manila has ever seen and I’m glad that we are elevating the entertainment level to world class European standards! This is the first time I got dizzy with carnival rides and I’ve been to Orlando’s theme parks, and I can say these are one heck of a ride that surpasses all of them (except for the roller coaster rides). Booster, Flipper, Ranger, and G-Force will be the carnival tales of generation to come. Good luck to your China Stint and I do hope Manila will see you again in 2 years time 🙂

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Japanese delights @ Seryna, Little Tokyo

Kaizen Gozen (P250) — one of the set menu best seller in the house 🙂

I’m back! I have a hectic travel schedule lately and will be out in March. Before I go on a blog leave again, I want to give you another food delight — this time a Japanese restaurant in Little Tokyo. It is a modern japanese resto and have been less than a year in operation. I’ll rave about their food presentation that makes the food soo appetizing when you see it. I judge all the japanese restaurant I’ve been to based on the taste of their Kani Salad, California Maki and the Wasabi. Only the Kani Salad failed the test, the maki was good and soo is the wasabi — not too strong but it has that kick in the nose when you eat it. So generally the food is OK but since there are a lot of Japanese eating here which is a testament of its authenticity. We averaged around P300/person so not too bad for a japanese resto with a good ambiance and good food! This is one resto that I’m going back for more…

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“Love is more important than food!”

Happy Valentines Day to all of you! Valentines’ used to be a big day full of anxiety because of preparation of a wonderful surprise gimmick for my loved one. These days, it’s about planning an escape to spend an evening dinner together at a secluded restaurant. I actually don’t mind traveling all the way to the end of South Super Highway and visit Esperanza’s Farm Dining in Calamba, Laguna. However, what I do mind is traveling all the way and be disappointed with the taste of the food. So, there won’t be any food shots in this post 🙁 I know that there are risks sometimes for visiting places for the first time and not yet tried and tested. Oh well, since we paid for the ambiance then we will just shoot the ambiance and build our collection of couple pictures 🙂 On normal days, they serve ala carte for P550 (which should be better than the buffet we had) and by reservation only.

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Viaje del Sol

Best of Viaje del Sol Posts!

I got an inquiry on Viaje del Sol on what to expect and how much would it costs. I decided to provide a link post for all my best post on this Viaje del Sol journey. I’ve visited here twice already and I’m going back for a third time to try out the new additions to the Viaje del Sol route.

Viaje del Sol Index

(April 2006)
Sitio de Amor Conversations [Viaje del Sol]
[Viaje del Sol] Welcome to Tahanan ni Aling Meding

(December 2006)
[Viaje del Sol Series.1] Breakfast @ Kusina Salud
[Viaje del Sol Series.2] Step into Nina’s Kusina Salud
[Viaje del Sol Series.3] “Starbucks” stop @ Jay’s Kinabuhayan Cafe
[Viaje del Sol Series.4] Postcards from Kinabuhayan Cafe
[Viaje del Sol Series.5] The Charm of Kubli Springs
[Viaje del Sol Series.6] Sumptuous Lunch @ Ugu Bigyan!
[Viaje del Sol Series.7] Ugu Bigyan’s Pottery Garden Postcards
[Viaje del Sol Series.8] Carlitos’ Workshop – Our Last Stop

(October 2005)
Viaje del Sol Review



[10TH Hot Air Balloon Fiesta #3] What to do in the Balloon Fiesta?

Get Engaged in a Balloon 🙂 Don’t laugh now, in fact there was somebody who proposed in this Total Balloon — oh boy, that was an awesome proposal. Not sure who it was but maybe some of my readers would know and give some info. My ultimate dream is still to ride in one of these balloons… Someday I’ll do it and share it with you.

UPDATE: Thanks to John Rana of [email protected] for pointing me to the details on the Marriage Proposal in the Air.

After all the balloons left, you can hang around and still see the flying acrobatic show and I’ll show you some pics on what else can you do here. There are a lot of activities for the kids, so this is an ideal Sunday gimmick. Actually after the event, you can decide to go to Zoobic in Subic and that would have been a really great Sunday treat for the family.

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[10TH Hot Air Balloon Fiesta #2] All Balloons Pumped Up, Up, Up and Away!

If you don’t wake-up early, this is the awesome scene that you will miss. During this time, I was with my brother, Rommel (who took some of the photos in this series) and his barkada. The highlight for me was this big pedigree dog who asserted his big presence among all the other balloons. Even the so-called Newspaper balloon did not stand a match for this dog. On the last day, the race is all about a lead balloon who takes off 30 minutes earlier before the other balloon will start to beat that balloon to the finish line. That is why by 7am, all the balloons have taken off already and all of them leave one after another. I’ll take you through the launch of these balloons and hopefully convince you that this is another one of those world class events that you shouldn’t miss next time in Manila 🙂

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[10TH Hot Air Balloon Fiesta #1] The 5am Balloon Fiesta

This is a trilogy series on the 10th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHBF) @ Omni Aviation Field, Clark Field Pampanga. Finally, I was able to savor the beauty of the balloons on the fiesta’s last day and I was not disappointed. Unlike in the World Pyro Olympics which you have to stay awake until late at night, in the Hot Air Balloon it starts at 5.30am in the morning when the hot air balloons start to setup and leave before 7am. Also, for some reason, the internet sites in the Philippines lack any experiential information on what to expect in this fiesta except for the official website: and the press releases. In this series, I would like to share with you this awesome experience and it felt like I was not in the Philippines with all these world class balloons (total of 21+ I believe)!

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[Bantayan+Malapascua #8] What to do in Malapascua?!

This is the final post on the [Bantayan+Malapascua] Series and Malapascua is such a nice place for enjoying beach and nature. In this final post, I would leave you with some visual ideas on what to do here in the charming island of Malapascua. I’m starting to miss this place everytime I look at the photos. Enjoy and share this post with your friends special those planning to go to Malapascua this summer!

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[Bantayan+Malapascua #7] La Dolce Vita! Authentic Italian Restaurant — can you believe it?

I can’t imagine how an authentic Italian restaurant exist and able to survive in an island called Malapascua. When the first time I visited here, 4 years ago, this place does not exist– it is only about 2 years+ old. This is run by two Italian couples who fell in love with Malapascua and spends 6 months in the Philippines each year. La Dolce Vita, also boast of a sugary fine beach sand that rivals Boracay’s station 1 beach sand. All of us were surprised at how good and authentic the food really is, in this far far away island of Malapascua. Although, this is located at the south beach and you have to walk all the way to the end of Malapascua’s main beach (there are alot of signs along the way). After eating here, we decided to extend one more day in Malapascua — we just fell in love with it!

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