Viaje del Sol

[Viaje del Sol Series.1] Breakfast @ Kusina Salud

Last December 29, I got the privilege to tour my brother’s friends in my favorite Viaje del Sol route in San Pablo, Laguna and Tiaong, Quezon. I’m sure you’ll love this series which is a travel log of this day tour of the best culinary delights in Viaje del Sol. There is a new Viaje del Sol brochure which added a few more places and I got to tell you that some of them are not worth to go to. In this tour, we only went to the best places and the adventure starts with a breakfast @ Kusina Salud.

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New Year @ Lili’s Yum Cha — Dimsum Buffet!

New Year’s Day is usually spent at home and we follow the tradition of absolutely no spending on Jan. 1 otherwise, you will be continuously spending all your money throughout the entire year. Yesterday was unique since we have to celebrate my brother’s birthday on January 1 since I will be out on a trip to Cebu starting tomorrow. Therefore, this was the perfect time to eat in delicious cantonese cooking at Lili’s @ Hyatt Casino. I’ve been hearing about Lili’s for its delicious Chinese fine dining that would rival or be even better than Shang Palace @ Makati Shang or Summer Palace @ Edsa Shang.

Lili is famous for its Sunday Lunch Yum Cha or Dimsum Buffet. For 1,388++ per person, you get to enjoy the most traditional and finest selection of dim sum specialties. It already includes a Shark’s fin soup (deliciously great!), drink-all-you-can iced/hot tea and local beers. It was soo delicious that I had to postpone the start of my diet just to taste all the dimsum specialties. By the way, the place is really nice and the ambiance is soo photogenic that I decided to write a separate posts on our pictorials @ Lili’s. They have themed rooms that is worth reserving. Two rooms are worth mentioning which is the wine room (good for 12-15), for a minimum booking of P15,000 for lunch and P18,000 for dinner; and the Library for a minimum booking of P12,000 (lunch) and P15,000 dinner (this is the biggest room).

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Food Tours

Carlos Celdran’s Escolta/Quiapo Tour

I’m privileged to have my brother, Enzo Diaz as my first guest blogger ! The photos and the text are photographed and written by my brother.

Carlos Celdran’s reputation preceeds him. I first heard of his tour from my brother, of course through this blog , and when a friend from Fil-Am Photo Auey Santos volunteered to organize a trip for those of us who are coming home for the holidays (I am an OFW) , I know I have to be counted. Last December 26, 2005 was the outing with Carlos with a tour called Escolta/Quiapo Tour. This is a relatively new tour that started a year ago. It is only when the streets somehow found its order that Carlos decided to take tourists, balikbayans, and locals alike. Here are the highlights of the tour:

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Happy New Year! Our Awesome Planet Anniversary!!

After one year of blogging since my first post “Life and Death in 2005
After 236 blog posts with my best posts in Awesome Pilipinas category,
After surviving the blogger’s block and all the excuses for not blogging,
Finally, my first anniversary blog post on this new year’s day 2006!

I was blessed to be given the blog passion to share with you our family’s adventures in 2005.
I was blessed to be recognized and featured in Annalyn’s Blog-o-rama
I was blessed to be appreciated by one of my favorite bloggers Wysgal’s Favorite Blogs of 2005.
I was blessed to be part of Yuga’s Pinoy Tech, Pinoy Urban, and Pinoy Travel Blog Family.

Thank you for my avid readers and for sending me messages of appreciation — this further fuels my passion.
Thank you for the 200 unique visitors/ day to my blogs, I do hope that in one way or another I was able to help.
Thank you for fellow pinoy bloggers for the friendship online and for continuing to provide honest commentaries/ reviews.
Thank you to my wife who endured my first year of blogging and for starting to appreciate my passion.

I wish that someday Philippines would be a great nation that will rise above our south east asian friends.
I wish that Pinoys appreciate our country more and love it with all their hearts.
I wish that someday, I’ll be recognized as one of the best photo-bloggers in the Philippines.
I wish that we live our life in full and hopefully 2006 would be the start of living a life of health and fitness.

My family (Anton, Rache and Aidan) would like to greet you a blessed new year in 2006!


Passionate about PYRO

[World Pyro Series.8] La Mancha’s Fellowship of Fire — Finale!

This firework scene makes it all worth it to see this hanging lanterns in the sky that lasts for 45 seconds (which is the longest fireworks we have seen!). Imagine the entire night sky, filled will all these dropping colorful balls of light for 45 seconds of pure fireworks bliss! This was really memorable for me and I think this is the start of my LOVE for fireworks photography! This is enough to erase the memories of enduring the stand-still traffic that lasted until 2am in the morning, listening to criticism that the Philippines show was just standard for most part compared to the other 9 countries, and watching in agony as some of the fireworks exploded in water.

By the way, this was shot by my brother as I was standing taking pictures of the fireworks. Thanks bro for this magnificent memorable shot! I leave you with some memorable photos from La Mancha’s Fellowship of Fire!

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Passionate about PYRO

[World Pyro Series.7] Congratulations Australia – First Pyro Olympic Champion!

Congratulations to Australia for being the first World Pyro Olympic Champion! Well Deserved! I’m fortunate to really see how beautiful the Australia in terms of the overall judging criteria (Choreography 30%, Material/Content 30%, Effects 20%, and Audience Impact 20%). The Choreography was soo beautiful that all my photos were photogenic. Australia literally lighted up the entire black sky and the grounds were shaking like it is an outdoor THX theater. I was betting on the US which also has all the oohs and aahs from start to finish but apparently choreography and effects was the edge of Australia. Maybe I should ask Ricky Crisostomo for the behind-the-scenes story if Australia was a runaway winner.

By the way, just for the record there were only 9 countries competing excluding Philippines since it is home territory and for sure we won’t match the sheer money that Australia and US can muster to have a jaw dropping fireworks. I have a Philippines Fireworks collection that will surely make us Filipinos proud (check out the last on the pyro series #8). Here are some behind the scenes photos of last nights Finale.

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Passionate about PYRO

[World Pyro Series.5] Day 4 of the Greatest Show in Manila

A Date with Fireworks

Day 4 of the World Pyro and I’m enjoying every moment of it along with all the other Filipinos who love world class entertainment. It was US and South Africa show and no doubt US was the clear winner with its “Shock and Awe” approach to Fireworks show. It was oohs and aahs throughout and I’m glad I made it to the show considering I came from a Viaje del Sol tour the whole morning. Here are some more scenes of families enjoying the fireworks show to give you a feel of the ambiance and environment in Diosdado Macapagal viewpoint.

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Passionate about PYRO

[World Pyro Series.4] Seaside — Best View of World Pyro for FREE!

I’ll let you in a little secret. The best view of World Pyro is at the back of Seaside Macapagal Blvd! You get to eat and sit while waiting for the fireworks. You can see the fireworks in all its glory. My objective in my photo is to take a portrait shot of me and my wife with fireworks in the background. This was the perfect place without the P100 entrance fee and it has sufficient lighting that you can take a shot in the foreground. The fireworks got mixed reaction with Russia having bigger fireworks but UK was I think the winner based on majority votes with its innovative firework formation. I tried to post the shots that I love for you to enjoy.

Before that some tips in Seaside:
1. Not a lot of people know Seaside Macapagal Blvd and they mistake this for Baclaran Seaside and got turn off when you say lets meet in Seaside. Best description of its location would be in front of World trade along Diosdado Macapagal.
2. Come in early before 7pm so that you can still get parking space at the back. Fireworks starts at 7.30-8.00 and 9.00-9.30pm so expect heavy traffic during this time because cars would literally be stopping at macapagal blvd.
3. Reserve @ Josefina’s outside patio where it is located at the back of Seaside Macapagal Blvd.
4. If you don’t know how to buy stuff in the wet market — don’t buy! At night, the fish is not fresh anymore so if you don’t know leave it to the restaurant to buy it for you.
5. Bring your camera and video cameras and bring the kids. It is fun to watch and will change their perspective of how enjoyable fireworks should be.

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