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#Philippines

Viaje del Sol

Quezon Culinary Series 5: Kamay ni Hesus better than Field of Faith?

This one is really really awesome healing church and rosary hill!

This is one of the places that I would surely go back. This shot is taken while it is raining outside so we did not have a chance to savor the beauty of the place. When we are approaching Kamay ni Jesus, we just saw Jesus Christ statue on top of the mountain. Later we realized that it was a rosary garden where you have to climb 200+ steps as you pray the different rosary mysteries. As you can see in the bottom, there is the last supper and on top, the crucifixion. The Field of Faith never came close to the beauty of this rosary hill.

Kamay ni Hesus features a healing church with Fr. Joey Faller giving a healing mass every Monday and Saturday 9.30am. Approximately the place is just around for a year but there have been some pilgrimage already to this place. When we arrive there are still alot of construction going on in the parking lot. This is still in Lucban and would definitely be in our next itinerary when visiting Lucban.

Anton

Viaje del Sol

Quezon Culinary Series 4: The secrets of Kiping & Longganisa Luban

Now I know how to make it…

After breakfast, we went on the culinary demo by Milada Dealo Valde (Ka Mila), owner of the koffee klatch and head of the Quezon provincial tourism council. Did you know that Kiping is made from Rice Galapong and can be eaten like kropek? Yes, it can be fried or grilled and perfect with a vinegar dip (see yellow kiping below). We liked the grilled one alot better 🙂 As you can see my focus is still food and not really how to make it. I guess I have admitted to myself that I don’t like cooking so I leave it up to my wife and her friends to figure out how to make it. BTW, kiping is the popular decoration they used during the pahiyas festival and almost all the houses in lucban knows how to do it.

The next demo was about the longganisa lucban or according to Mila, shortanissa because I began to be shorter than they used to make it. She stressed on using no preservative, using oregano, and making sure that it is air dried. Also, according to her, a longganisa without fats would be dry and that it why they still used pork with fats normally the neck part of a pig. My wife had a chance to pack a longganisa and it’s not an easy task — you need to have patience 🙂

Special for my blog readers, I have the recipes for making both so just email me at anton@diaz.ph.

Anton

Viaje del Sol

Quezon Culinary Series 3: Lucban Longganisa Breakfast!

Addicting Longganisa Lucban 🙂

After 3 hours of driving, we finally arrive in our first stop in Quezon. Now, this would be the start of our degustation. By this time, we are hungry from the trip because we only had snacks along the way in the interest of time. I’ve been to Quezon during Pahiyas and I should say it is worth visiting lucban not during the fiesta season on May 15. Also, you would have the time in the world, to savor what lucban has to offer.

Our breakfast was in Dealo’s Koffee Klatch and our breakfast consists of Pansit Lucban or popularly known as pancit habhab, Longganisa Lucban and broas. My son Aidan was very jolly and at this point of time we were taking photo shoot of Aidan.

The longganisa lucban is very addicting because it is made of natural ingredients (no preservatives) and lots of oregano. Although for some who are expecting a sweet longganisa, it is not. I think people will be offended if you look for a sweet taste and they would say go to Pampanga. For me, I think it is perfect with the vinegar sauce — really yummy! Also the pancit habhab, was delicious. According to Tina, you would know the pansit is special if it has lechon kawali as an ingredient. BTW, it is called habhab because you would normally eat it in banana leaves and just use your mouth to eat it.The broas was not as good as the one in Sariaya so stay tuned for that.

Anton

Viaje del Sol

Quezon Culinary Series 2: Enroute to Quezon

The culinary tour would start in Lucban, Quezon and there are two ways to go there either via Los Banos — Pagsanjan route or via the Nagcarlan — Liliw route in Laguna. I asked Tina if our schedule permits to pass by latter route, and I’m glad I did. Our call time was at 6am at Caltex Starmart in Buendia near Pasong Tamo. But knowing my friends they would be late specially on a Sunday. We left Manila at 7am and arrived in Lucban at around 10am. One of the things I love about long drives, is driving along virgin paths where it is thrilling to see new places and roads.

Underground Cementary in Nagcarlan, Laguna. Along this mountainous route, there are two points of interest: The Underground Cementary in Nagcarlan, Laguna and Tsinelas street in Liliw, Laguna. In the morning, the facade and the clouds at the cementary is photogenic that any pictures that you take would be stunning. This spot is really a photographic interest and nothing really much to check out in the basement of the cementary. Besides, no photography is allowed inside. Below is the story of this cementary (in Filipino):

Liliw, Laguna. It’s been a while since I wanted to visit this famous tsinelas street in Liliw. I’m glad I had the opportunity first hand to see what’s the fuss about in this place. I would say that you need to lower your expectations. Some of the slippers are already made in China but there are still some produced in Liliw. I think it is overated because my wife and her friends was not raving about it soo much after seeing the goods.

There were a few churches that we stopped by particularly the one in Majayjay, Laguna but nothing beats the Paete Church in terms of its antiqueness and the old paintings inside the church. So, when you go on this route, no need to stop by the churches except that it has been my rule to pass by one to pray for safe travel and a chance to pray for 3 wishes 🙂

Anton

Viaje del Sol

Quezon Culinary Series 1: The Beginning

Tina Decal’s best culinary tour of Quezon 🙂

This is the beginning of a 10 part blog series of our culinary adventure in Quezon. Carlos Celdran started to rave about Lady Laguna Ms. Tina Decal last July which I guess when he joined the inaugural culinary tour of Quezon supported by the Department of Tourism. The looks could be deceiving when you first meet ms. Tina Decal, and we have to take a leap of faith by gathering friends who share the same interest. At the start, it was very difficult to come up with a group of 8 for a tour price of P1,200/person (bring your own transpo). Specially, if nobody have been on the tour yet, not alot of people raved about it, and you need to find a group that has photography and eating as an interest.

I love travelling in the Philippines! We had the time of our life last Sunday from exploring secret pottery gardens in Tiaong to the Kamay ni Jesus healing church in Lucban. There’s alot to rave about and there are some things that you need to be cautious also. Just to tease my blog readers, can you guess where are these places:

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5.

Keep tuned into the Quezon Culinary series to get detailed information about this culinary tour.

Anton

Laguna

Around Laguna Lake in 11 hours! Yahoo!


Finally, together with some of our friends, we were able to complete a day trip to the Laguna area via going around the Laguna Lake! This is the first time I tried it last Black Saturday. We left Manila at around 8.30am, had a stop over @ petron in south super h-way to grab big chill and jamaican patties. Then we proceded to Calauan Laguna for to visit Field of Faith at around 11.30am. After an hour in FOF, we left Calauan at around 12.45pm enroute to Exotik restaurant for lunch @ around 2pm. After 2 and a half hours, we left the restaurant and dropped by the famous Paete Church. Most of the shops are closed because of Black Saturday in Paete but you can still see some wood carving shops in the middle of the town. After praying for 3 wishes, we head back to Manila via Rizal @ around 5pm. We arrived in Ortigas at around 7pm — woohoo! Still have plenty of time to have dinner @ Metro Walk.

The map above is courtesy of Paete.org.
See the collection of photos from me, Maong, Diwat —> Pictures of Laguna Lake Caravan

Anton

Laguna

Exotik Restaurant — worth it if your eating exotic foods

Try it out! Exotik restaurant is located in Longos, Kalayaan Highway in Laguna. It is about 4 hours drive from Manila and you need to pass by Pagsanjan and Caliraya (yes, it is that far). From the field of faith, Exotik is about 1 hour away and some of our friends are hungry already when we left Exotik at around 12.45pm and we arrive about 2pm in Exotik. The food is Filipino and I like their Sinigang, Tuna sisig, grilled Tilapia, grilled squid. The food is great! (specially if you are hungry 🙂 One funny thing though, we did not order any of the exotic food this place is known for. Our billed turned out to be P3,500 for the a group of 9, so we had to pay P400 each — and I think that is expensive priced for tourists! Even the pasalubong place who sells espasol for P45 which could be bought easily at 3 for 100 with the same quality. The ambiance is really nice, it offers a few of the Laguna lake, and one of the attraction is Samantha (a pet anaconda shown below). Check it out if you happen to be in the Caliraya area. This is definitely a place for tourist to eat exotic food!

Click here for more photos–> Flickr Photos: Exotik Restaurant Longos, Laguna
Anton

Laguna

Field of Faith — a healing garden in Laguna

Highly Recommended!

When our friends were looking a place to visit last black saturday, my friend Maong stumble upon this Inquirer Article (3/21/05): Field of Faith offers solitude, rosary garden. We were inspired by the story and we decided to visit the place. Upon arriving, you are greeted with a wonderful view of a fountain and the main chapel over a backdrop of coconut trees. The place feels fresh, peaceful, and it is like you are transported to a magical garden.


Click here for more pictures –> Flickr Photoset: Field of Faith Pilgrimage, Calauan, Batangas

The best part of the garden is the rosary path where you could see inspiring quotes on the concrete road, find a comforting meditation spot, reflect on the joyful mysteries in resin and metal, meditate on the sorrowful mysteries depicted in wood carvings, or pray in the cement and glass cross on top of the hill. Also, you can pray the stations of the cross on the right side of the entrance with the stations wood carvings nailed to trees.

We were awed-inspired when we visited and I’m sure to come back to this place this time to meditate and pray (instead of taking pictures and acting like tourists). The place was designed to find God and find your inner strenght. To the Singson family, thank you for sharing this place with us.

Anton


For more information about the Field of Faith:

Field of Faith is 2-3 hours (with traffic) drive from Manila. You should watch out for the pansol area and los banos junction traffic. There is no entrance fee but food and drinks are not allowed so that you can buy from them (one way to augment costs). The CR is clean according to the women and this is worth mentioning. There are alot of good restaurants within the area including Samaral and Kamayan sa Palaisdaan.

Please call Nene Quintos, 0919-378-1664 or 721-0081, or email field_of_faith@yahoo.com
Directions: Download Map to the Field of Faith.doc (463.5K)

Cebu

AA BBQ and Metro Sports in Cebu City


I’m in Cebu for a business trip and an account engagement in Metro G. What I love about my local business trips would be three things: Getting to know people, Great local food, and Badminton! I’m very happy that I was able to accomplish all there objectives aside from the business of course 🙂

1). Domeng aka Ricky Martin of CBD. I had a great time talking to the Domeng (the CBD Person assigned in Cebu) and I got to know him better. I’m always amazed at how colorful the lives of people. In fact, I just learned that Domeng married his long time girlfriend within a one month’s notice! (No she was not pregnant and that is the interesting part on why this happened). Second thing, I learned that he has three girls already spaced equally 4 years apart and his “bunso” (the youngest) was born on Jan. 18 — one day before Aidan was born, Imagine that? There has been alot of stories and I’m glad that I was able to get to know this person better. I was hoping to get to know another IT officemate, Tanya but unfortunately there was limited occasion to do so.

2). AA BBQ House the original — a must eat in Cebu for your sinugba cravings. At last, I finally was able to eat in the original AA BBQ house in Cebu. It erased my memory of the AA BBQ house in greenhills which serves cooked frozen fish and lousy sauces. I liked the sinugba fish and squid that we ordered together with their soy sauce in chili and sliced tomato. Don’t order the chicken. Our bill was 1,000 for the four of us and we ordered alot of fresh grilled food!

3). Metro Sports Badminton — home of Cebu’s badminton addicts. Playing badminton rejuvenates me but the downside is I’m awake for a couple of hours after playing (we ended 11pm). You have to pay 100 per person in the entrance which is consummable for either two (2) mineral water, or one (1) gatorade, or (2) potato chips. The courts are taraflex and 150 per hour. When we stopped playing at 11pm (when I took the shot above) there are still a few people playing. This is one of the badminton courts in cebu the opens as early as 5am in the morning and closes late until 12nn or even 2am according to Domeng.

Bicol

A preview of the Bicol Caravan

Our friends are planning a trip to Donsol, Sorsogon in Bicol this summer via a road trip. I was fortunate to have a business trip in Naga and Legaspi this past 3 days that I was able to learn the way and took some pictures as a sneak preview of our upcoming vacation. Thanks to the CBD manager, JayR assigned in the Bicol area, for showing us the way around. Here is a preview of the trip to Bicol and some tips to make the road trip enjoyable:

1. Photogenic but shy Mt. Mayon.


If it is your first time to visit the bicol region, the view of Mt. Mayon will be breathtaking and awesome. If your intentions are pure according to the local folklore, you should be able to see mayon clearly (picture on the left taken at around 7am in the morning enroute to Legaspi). Otherwise, you’ll only be seeing Mayon wrapped around white clouds (picture on the right taken @ the Cagsawa Ruins at around 2pm). Learning, have your cameras ready and take the first opportunity to shoot Mt. Mayon when the clouds are clear.

BTW, its best to visit the Cagsawa ruins during the weekday when there is no tourist. You can also buy cheap handicrafts in the tiangge and don’t forget to buy mazapan pili.

2. The beautiful Naga.

Naga is an ideal place for stop over on road to Donsol, Sorsogon (3 hours from Naga). It took us 8 hours to arrive in Naga but on the way back to Manila it took us about 10 hours. In both instances, we left at around 6 am in the morning and you’ll arrive at around 4pm. Naga is the one of the big cities in Camarines Sur, and one of the places where the per capita income is similar to Manila. (Note: Bicol region is one of the poorest region in the country with the lowest per capita income similar to mindanao). There are a few places to explore here which includes:

a. Basilica Minore, Naga. Home to the miraculous image of the Patroness of Bicolandia, Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia. Thousands of pilgrims flock to this site during the September celebration of the Peñafrancia Fiesta just to visit and venerate the virgin.

b. Magsaysay Strip – This is where Malate meets Libis in Naga. One of my colleagues in college in DLSU, Junjee Abela, started the trendy restaurants that you can find in the now famous Magsaysay St. of Naga City. Five years ago, he started Chili Peppers with the vision of having a hip place for sales agents/ transients and the fallen eagles in Ateneo de Naga. After 3 years of successful operation, the other trendy restaurants opened including the asian food inspired, Coco Leaf, and the local coffee house, Bean Bag Coffee. BTW, when you eat in Chili Peppers, don’t forget to other their killer foods which includes: Baby Back Ribs, Bangus Tail, Squid, and the Sinigang Bicol styel with coconut.

Since Naga, is the center of religious observances, there are no hanky panky places in the city.

3. Enjoying the road trip to Bicol.

a. DVDs! Bring a car with TV/DVD installed and bring alot of DVDs of movies that you have not watched before. What I found effective was, watching the mushy Filipino movies of Judy Ann, Regine, Aga, Piolo, etc. and for sure, you won’t fall asleep. If you want your passengers to sleep, put in the music of Nora Jones and Josh Groban and guaranteed this would rock your passengers to sleep.

b. Fresh Food Galore. This is the time to enjoy the food of the southern provinces of Laguna, Quezon and Bicol region. Here are some potential places to eat:
–> Palay-Isdaan in Pagbilao, Quezon. Enjoy eating lunch in a hut amidst ostriches, birds, snakes, crocodiles. There are videoke terminals in some of the huts so that you can sing while eating. The Tilapia is very good and you can taste its sweet freshness.
–> Bulwagang Salakot, Ave-sol Shell, Gumaca, Quezon. My mom and dad recommended this place, and they vouch for the freshness of the food, clean restrooms and the best coffee in that region. When we ate there, we don’t like the inihaw na tilapia, and squid. JayR actually did not recommend this place because the place is old and the food is not anymore that great.
–> Lita’s Carinderia, Atimonan, Quezon. I have not eaten here but this one is located facing the ocean and boasts of fresh fish and squid. There are alot of people stopping over in this restaurant.
–> La Cucina Salud, San Pablo, Laguna. A garden restaurant near Villa Escudero. There are alot of signs pointing to this place but I did not have the opportunity to stop over. I’m sure the ambiance would be great.
–> Biggs Diner in Bicol. Eating breakfast here is a must. Not that the food is great, but at least you can say that you have eaten in one of the successful diners concept in the Philippines. Bicol is the only region where Jollibee is not the number one fast food chain because of the strong equity built by Biggs in this region and a wider assortment of food.

This is just a preview of our upcoming Bicol Caravan. I can’t wait to go back to the Bicol region with Rache, Aidan and our friends!

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