Ilocos

Blue Lagoon Cove, Maira-Ira Beach, Pagudpud

Are you going on a road trip to Pagudpud? Download this Infographic Guide before you go…
Infographic: Your Awesome Journey to Pagudpud

My ultimate motivation in going to Pagudpud was to see the once secret beach known as Blue Lagoon which is becoming popular lately. Saud beach is a nice place to stay but Blue Lagoon beach is the most beautiful beach in the North. The sand quality is not entirely white but it has an off white grainy quality that would be similar to the sand in Boat Station 3 in Boracay. The best thing about Blue Lagoon is that it is like one large blue swimming pool! The water is bluish, the entire sea is calm and the underwater floor is deep but purely sand. The cottages are exotic and you can rent a water cottage and have fun diving in the water. There are no resorts in the area which is good in the sense that you only go here to purely enjoy the beach. Downside is that you still have to drive an additional 20mins to and from the main Saud beach in Pagudpud. There is actually a resort near the place called Kapuluan Vista Resort and Constantine have some resort shots. Another thing, one of my criteria for a great beach is that the sun sets in the horizon, unfortunately, Blue Lagoon is situated where the sun sets behind its back covered by the mountains.

Overall, I love Blue Lagoon! We had a fun time having photo shoots and just enjoying the beach. Check out these photos…


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Ilocos

Bangui Windmills [Flickr Phils North Expedition #1]

Are you going on a road trip to Pagudpud? Download this Infographic Guide before you go…
Infographic: Your Awesome Journey to Pagudpud

This is a tribute to the 15 most beautiful white structures I’ve ever seen in the Philippines. I can’t believe my eyes seeing for myself these 23 storey high windmills along the 3km Bangui Bay. They are so beautiful and I can’t help myself but to shoot with awe and jump for joy. This is my humble attempt to capture the beauty of these structures. I was blessed with good weather and nice sky during my visit. The windmills of Bangui appears to be planted by aliens in the Ilocos Norte and the place is so surreal. The trip to Pagudpud just got better and you should not miss visiting these 2 year old wind turbines.

By the way, I’m starting a series on the first Road Trip of the local Flickr Philippines community last June 12 weekend. I can’t help but post these awesome windmills first and share with you the beauty of the Bangui coast! Check out these Banqui windmill post cards…

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Family

Our Awesome Planet Blog Traffic

First, I would like to thank all my readers for constantly following my adventures and for referring my blog site to other people. I had a fun time blogging for the past 16 months and I’m glad that people appreciate some of the posts. I have constantly tracked my blog traffic via statcounter and last May was an all time high of 22,285 unique visitors in a month. That would be almost 700 visitors in a day mostly referred by google or organically referred by other blogs or loyal readers. I’m still planning to create a summary link or index page so that first time visitors can easily find contents in my blog.

One of my reasons for blogging is to showcase the Philippines as a tropical paradise and hopefully inspire people to appreciate our country a little bit more. Also, I do hope that I inspired other people to blog their adventures as well and as a token of appreciation, sharing with you some of my blogging secrets targeted to those people who want to start up their own blog about the Philippines or travel in general.

I’m continuing to hone my skills on travel writing and travel photography and one of these days I do hope to accomplish my dream of having my works published in printed media. I’m planning to sell my photos about the Philippines and start up my own Stock Photography pool dedicated to the tropical paradise of the Philippines. Lastly, I’m still dreaming about self publishing my book ” Our Awesome Planet: Philippines ” and I’m starting to look for sponsors to help me with it.

Thanks again, and please do let me know if you have any suggestions on how I can further improve my blog. It is not perfect but it is a start of hopefully something bigger.

Anton

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#Restaurants

Sango — The Japanese Burger Master!

Sango Master Cheeseburger (P98)

There is a new burger place in town which provides an alternative option for all burger lovers out there. I would not immediately associate japanese food with an american burger concept, that is why the first time I saw this I was skeptical. The Burger Master name sounded like a title from an anime cartoon, so the concept sounded weird at first. I was waiting for some people to rave about it and whipsmart’s review was enough for me to try this out. The difference is in the special sauce (like a spaghetti sauce with too much onions) they put in their master cheeseburger which blends well with the thick tomato slice and the soft bun. It is deliciously addicting especially with the slice of cheese. We only tried the burgers but there are other options in the menu. It feels like a japanese version of Jollibee that caters to the taste buds of a japanese.

The verdict, the burgers are very good and you’ll get it with a free origami! My only complaint is the poor exhaustion system inside the restaurant where if you stay too long inside, the aroma of the burger sticks to your clothes. This is similar to going to a fast food area in the malls where you would hate smelling as if you haven’t put on any deodorant for the day. An option for those who doesn’t want to smell would just to eat it outside the restaurant or just take out the food and hopefully, the food would still taste the same when you eat it at home.

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#Restaurants

Myron’s Blogging Buzz



Paolo Steak (P495). 5 ounces of Grilled US Certified Angus Rib Eye of Beef.

I’m fascinated at the way Myron’s created a blogging buzz with Lori originally blogging about it with her post “Want steak? Go to Myron’s“. Marketman followed with “Myron’s at Rockwell” and “Plum and Grape Shakes” posts. How can a restaurant create a blogging buzz so fast with key foodie bloggers blogging it within a month’s time? Unfortunately, the comments about Myron’s are mixed and I have a theory that food reviews can influence your taste bud. We visited here during Father’s Day weekend with my friends who make it a point to try out new restos every month. Despite mixed reviews, I tried it out and even had a chance to meet with Mon Eusebio who owns the place. He was very concerned with the mixed comments, and I was glad that they are trying their best to improve it. I will be concerned too specially if it’s your father’s in law name that is at stake here and the reputation of the family of chefs catering to important people and taipan’s in the society.

The Verdict. The food is unique and very good. My only complaint was how expensive it was but that is another story. This restaurant is less than two months old located in Rockwell ground floor restaurant area, and this is certainly a place that I would go back to treat my parents during special dinner occasion. I would like to certainly contribute to the blogging buzz and give my 2 cents worth on the Myron’s experience. Certainly, we are now seeing the age of alternative media in the Philippines with blogging being able to influence your view about a certain place or restaurant. All bloggers are not paid to do it, and the power of blogging is in the personalities of people who blogs about their passions, creates a credibility and following built over time. You can agree or disagree to it and there is no perfect food review. But if you have Lori and Marketman blogging about it and certainly that is a good restaurant to try out!

This is my own experience at Myron’s…

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Batangas

[MtGulugodBaboy #2] A glimpse of a Mt. Gulugod Baboy Climb!





Mt. Gulugod Baboy is a popular level 1 climb as UP Mountaineering would call it and is located in the heart of Anilao, Batangas. It is also becoming popular as what people call a night trek spot where you climb the mountain at night with only headlamps and the one in front of you as your guide. These social climbs are becoming popular and what is good about Mt. Gulugod baboy is that you can reward yourself afterwards with a nice swim in the beach resorts of Anilao 🙂 This was my first climb and it was an awesome mountain climbing experience organized by the premier Mountain Climbing organization in the Philippines, UP Mountaineering which produced Romi Garduce, and the premier Jaycee organization in the Philippines, Manila Jaycees!

This is my personal account of the Mt. Gulugod Experience Climb.

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Batangas

[MtGulugodBaboy # 1] Confessions of a Virgin Climber

Mt. Gulugod Baboy climb was my first mountain climbing experience. I underestimated it and my shots were uninspired. I’m a virgin climber and the experience was almost orgasmic when you reached the top. This was my own little version of Mt. Everest climb and will all the hype surrounding Mountain Climbing in the Philippines, this is the next sports fad after billiards, and badminton.

I’ve blogged about Romi Garduce’s climb for almost a year now, and I was struck by one of the comments of my blog readers that I should climb mountains first to have credibility in writing about mountain climbing. It made sense and ever since I’ve been looking for an opportunity to do so. What would you have if you have the best mountaineering organization in the Phils. — UP Mountaineering as your guide and the best Jaycee chapter in the Phils. — Manila Jaycees as your companions in the climb? an Awesome Mt. Gulugod Baboy Climb!!

I must admit that I underestimated the climb. I was not excited because I thought it was easy and I thought there was nothing to do on top of the mountain other than to drink all night long. It was raining the day before, so I thought this was not the best time to have a photo shoot. I did not prepare for it. I literally drag my feet and was thinking twice about pushing through with it or just offer an excuse not to go. I’ll tell you how unprepared I was…

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Awesome Festivals

Pacquiao Larios Fight Ticket Prices — Outrageous!

I break my blog silence to complain about the outrageous ticket prices for the Pacquiao vs. Larios Mano a Mano fight this coming July 2. Sorry for this rant but this is unbelievably the most expensive prices ever for a live show in the Philippines! Tickets are available via ticketnet and was recently released last Monday, June 12. Check out these prices — totally outrageous at P31,680 for a ring side ticket and I thought before that the F4 concert with P20,000+ ring side ticket was already crazy at that time.

Mano A Mano, Pacquiao vs Larios

Pilipinas vs Mexico

Manny Pacquiao versus Oscar Larios

Venue: Araneta Coliseum

Event Date/Time:

July 2, 2006 | Sunday at 8:00am

Seat and Price:

Patron (Reserved Seating) – 31, 680

Lower Box (Reserved Seating) – 21,120

Upper Box A (Reserved Seating) – 7, 920

Upper Box B (Free Seating) – 2,640

I can’t believe it myself and if you buy via credit card there is still a 5% surcharge. Inspite of this, I still bought two Upper Box B tickets at P2,772 as a gift for my dad on father’s day. He loves Manny. I was kinda guilty when he asked me for a SM cinema ticket for Manny’s last fight when he knocked out Morales last January 2006 and with all my powers, I was not able to get a ticket on the last minute. So this time around, I’m giving him the gift of watching Manny Pacquiao live in Manila. But still, the prices are unbelievably high and there were reports that general admin tickets are sold for P1,000 but manny wants to slice it down so that it could be affordable to the filipino people.

So how much would you pay for a world class fight of Manny Pacquiao live in Manila?

Batangas

MtGulugud Baboy: Underestimated!



I’ve been traveling every weekend recently and I can’t wait to tell you the story about this Mt. Gulugud Baboy adventure. I’ll be on blog leave over the long 3 days holiday and I do hope that I get to catch up on my blog stories when I get back.

Stay tune…

Food

Cyma in Manila!! Opa!!

Related Blog Post: SOUV! by Cyma with Chef Robby Goco’s Culinary Magic!


O-pa!! Cyma is now in Manila and for anyone who have been to this bora resto favorite (see related article: Top 5 Bora Resto), you can’t help but it but to say O-pa!! Opa is a greek cheer and it is such a happy greeting that would make you feel at home in this 2 week old resto in Edsa Shangrila Mall. In Bora, it is hidden inside d’mall and sometimes you’ll get lucky to be eating with famous people, actors/ actresses, who frequent this greek restaurant. This is indeed a “flourishing” resto as its name suggest in greek, and anybody can attest that the food is great 🙂 Although the food are a bit on the expensive side and not to mention that they increased the prices by 10% in their mall outlet.

These days, there is almost no reason for you to go to Edsa Shangrila mall with the Edsa and mall traffic. I would prefer to go to Mall of Asia than meet somebody in Edsa Shang Mall. At least in Mall of Asia, once you figure out the technique of how to park and navigate your way through the maze, then it would be a pleasant experience for you. (Note: only on weekdays 🙂 But Edsa Shang gave me enough good reason to brave the Edsa traffic and park on the 6th floor cinema level with its steep long winding road just to enjoy the dishes of Cyma. This is a good way to satisfy your Cyma craving rather than waiting for summer next year to fly to Bora. By that time, we would have moved on to the next resto fad in bora.

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