Tag: philippines

JENNY

Just so I wouldn’t end up titling this blog post “Barkada Beach Day” (shout out to post before this one: Ballet Day, hahaha), I thought I’d put something seemingly random and hopefully find the creativity to tie it all in later. Post title is a reference to the Click 5 song that is now a staple in our barkada soundtrack. It was the “it song” back in 2007 so during our beach day back then (photo below!), it would play again and again on the radio. We ended up memorizing the song and even substituting our names in the chorus using different barok accents, hahaha! It’s one of the silly (YET SUPER FUN!) things you can only come up with your bestest girl friends.
I mentioned here that I went to Pico de Loro for some much needed girl time last week. The photos are a bit deceiving coz you’d think we spent the whole 2 days and 2 nights at the beach but in reality, half the time was spent indoors chilling and catching up. OMG, you know we even had a MIDNIGHT ZUMBA SESSION?! Hahahaha! My favorite part of the trip would have to be chatting up a storm in the pool until the lifeguards had to shoo us away, though. GOOD TIMES!!! Wish we were complete though!! Anyway, scroll down to see some beach side snaps (coz the rest of the time, we were too busy to take photos, haha!)

ANDDD, oh, something I learned from the trip: women’s bodies come in all shapes and sizes and it’s funny how we all end up equally wanting features we don’t have. So learn to love yourself and if you really want to, work on things you want to improve on. Tomorrow’s the end of my “bed rest” and I am looking forward to some physical activity.  You can check out my thinspiration below, hahaha!

The kalachuchi photo in honor of this one from 2005:-

 MCHS, 2005

And oh, thinspiration? Hehehe!

Batangas, 2007

Okay, so I don’t think I can tie it all in. Hahaha! Maybe it’s because some things never change? Or how some things come into your life unexpectedly and it ends up being a huge part of it? Anyway, here’s the video to the song na lang. Hehehe!

What about you? Do you have any road trip traditions with your friends? Any karaoke songs? Let me know below!

CEBU’S BEST KEPT SECRET: KANDAYA RESORT

Whoamygod. I can’t believe it’s been a year since my #MAYcation (aka: that time I took a month off work, went to New York, Cebu, and attended my best girl’s wedding in Manila). Even harder to believe is that my May Day Playlist is 2 years old! WHAAAT. Time flies, man. Anyway, you’re probably like, “Stop babbling, Reg. Tell me more about this Kandaya Resort that you claim to be Cebu’s best kept secret. Is that photo even real?!” 
YES, it is real. We were there last May (late post, I know!) and the reason I mentioned the playlist is coz it’d be the perfect soundtrack to a chill afternoon poolside. 
See what I mean? 

Okay, first thing’s first. Where the heck is Kandaya? Kandaya is in Bantayan, the northmost tip of Cebu. It took us around 4 hours from Cebu City, but not to fear, the Transfer Service was very comfortable – we had a spacious van to ourselves and they even prepared goodies for the drive.

“dibs on the Mango juice!!!” – me, hahaha

It still was a long drive though, not gonna lie. But it was sooo worth it. Kandaya Resort did not disappoint. It looked exactly like the photos, only so much prettier. Who said the Philippines cannot do luxury!? The main building, which houses 18 rooms, was so tastefully done. It had contemporary native design elements that was chill yet sophisticated.

the main building

seating area inside the main building


We got a Deluxe Room and holyyyshiii, I wasn’t expecting it to be so spacious inside. It was HUGE. I wonder what the bigger rooms are like. (Okay, the answer is here, haha!)

bed and sofa

dresser

breakfast nook and TV

can I take this bathroom home?

bigger than your usual travel size Malin+Goetz

our balcony. But wait,

THERE’S MORE.
We only spent a night in Kandaya and most of the time we were just chilling by the pool. Okay, full disclosure, the sand from the main building? It doesn’t lead to the beach. When you reach the edge, you’ll see the ocean below you. The beach is in front of the villas, which is about 1-2 minutes walk from the main building. But we considered it “far” and there weren’t any chaises (probably coz the villas had their own, haha!). 
The other place we frequented was Kusina. We were there for happy hour, dinner, and breakfast. The pizza was diviiiine  Don’t worry, they can bring it to the pool side too, BUT you wouldn’t wanna miss Kusina’s gorgeous interiors and the panoramic view it offers. 
 bar

 the pretty “nests”

 mojito and pina colada

 cheese and anchovy = HEAVEN (1 for lunch and 1 for dinner, hahahaha!)

 no wonder the pizza tastes really good

 breakfast

 and of course, CEBU MANGOES!!!

Kandaya puts an emphasis on holistic wellness so there’s a fully functioning gym, a spa, and even a boxing ring. They have scheduled activities like island hopping, yoga, etc. And oh, they have a STABLE. I wish we had more time to explore, but hey, there’s always next time, right?
 poser. hahaha


I think there was only one other family when we were there so we had the resort pretty much all to ourselves. It was the perfect spot to recharge and relax. As much as I’d like to keep this resort all to myself (so the next time I’d go it’ll be as peaceful, haha!), it’s too good not to share. The rooms, the amenities, the SERVICE, super topnotch. It’s a bit pricey, but think of it this way, a) it’s the same price as a hotel room in other countries, and b) you really get what you pay for. This is by far my favorite spot in Cebu and one of my favorite properties ever. 
Kandaya Resort is located at Agujo, Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines
Contact No.: +63 32 260 6006
Website: www.kandayaresort.com

ONCE ON THIS ISLAND

It was soooo hot in Singapore today that I wished I could just submerge myself in water. Sadly, I have no tub nor pool and going all the way to Sentosa doesn’t really promise a dose of vitamin sea. So after grocery shopping (I am finally committing to doing right by my lung-infected self’s call for healthy living) and doing my laundry (woot, woot!), I hid in my room dreaming of better weather. One way I escaped was by going through my Cebu photos. At least Reg from May 2015 found ways to beat the heat? Hehe 
So after eating lechonswimming with whale sharks, and riding a motorcycle to Tumalog Falls, next on the list was to check out Bluewater Sumilon, the island resort that I keep seeing on social media. We were there for a day trip and I think you’ll actually appreciate the island better if you stayed longer. Lugging around your stuff isn’t really fun, haha! It was, however, still a nice afternoon. I was treated to fantastic ocean views that made lounging in a hammock 10x more relaxing. Hanging by the white and powdery sandbar and taking a dip in the ocean was also a delight albeit quite a trek under the scorching midday sun. See the photos for yourself and find yourself in awe of the different shades of blue that colors the resort.

Bluewater Sumilon is located at Sumilon Island, Oslob, 6015 Cebu, Philippines

TUMALOG FALLS PHOTODIARY

I am currently in NAIA 3, sweating like a mad person and all I can think of is submerging myself in Tumalog Falls’ icy waters. Visiting the falls in Oslob last 2015 was quite an experience. Yes, it was beautiful and the falls were picturesque, but I think it was the fact you had to ride a motorcycle down a super steep hill without a helmet (or you know, you could walk and take forever) that made it one for the books.

Cliche as it is, the journey does make the destination. Sure, it has value in itself but how you get there can affect how worthwhile you perceive it. Sometimes, you really need to face your fears to be rewarded with amazing views, no? ✌️

Here’s to amazing things right after some terrifying, definitely outside your comfort zone, leaps of faith!

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SWIMMING WITH WHALE SHARKS

Swimming with whale sharks was always something I’ve wanted to do ever since I found out you can, which was back in high school from the Belle du Jour planner, hehe! The night before our scheduled swim in Oslob, I did a quick google search and found there were quite a lot of people on the fence about it. I was honestly alarmed, but obviously, I went through with it. Here’s a quick rundown on what it is and what it is not to help you discern if you should do it or not. No judgement! Because guess what, the points I’ve listed as What You Should Know About Swimming with Whale Sharks were things I wish someone told me before I did. 

1. It is NOT 100% ethical. The whale sharks are in an enclosed space where they are given treats by the boat men. It has been argued that doing so makes these creatures dependent and it’s bad for the ecosystem as they’re technically in captivity. I was actually naive enough to think that swimming with the whale sharks meant going to the middle of the sea and trying your luck to find them.

2. You don’t need to be there super early because as I mentioned above, they’re pretty much in an enclosed space. Just be there before they close for the day, which is around noon. The reason you leave your hotel at 4am is because most likely, you’re staying in Cebu City which is a 4-hour drive to Oslob and you have other stops after. 

3. You are not supposed to introduce foreign matter to the environment. Do not lather on sunblock, moisturizer, etc. I try not to leave the house without sunblock, so needless to say,  I was trying to scrub it off after the orientation. Although I did put it 4 hours prior, I was still worried that I could harm the whale sharks so for peace of mind, just don’t.

4. Being a good swimmer is not necessary, but it is an advantage. As much as you try to follow the rules by not touching the whale sharks (I really think you shouldn’t!!!) and staying a meter away, sometimes, this huge fish creeps up on you and if you’re not really a good swimmer, grazes you before you could swim away. Moreover, being a good swimmer means you can take off the lifevest which means nicer pictures, hahaha!

5. Do not expect a life-changing epiphany. As beautiful as the creatures are and as awe-inspiring as it is to see them up close, truth is, there’s so much people floating around to have your quiet moment of clarity. It actually may be more peaceful to watch the sunset by the beach. But this doesn’t make swimming with the whale sharks less of a bucket list experience. You need to level your expectations.

All in all, it was a memorable swim. Definitely a lifetime experience! It may be a bit commercialized but at least it’s the local community that benefits from this tourist magnet (I HOPE!). Enjoy my photo diary below and do let me know if you’ve tried it or want to try it or not.

UPDATE: I just learned that a better place to swim with whale sharks – guilt free! – is in Donsol. And I quote: “For your next encounter, try going to Donsol instead. The whale sharks there are wild, as the operators and LGU strictly limit any human interaction with them. They don’t feed and they enforce a perimeter around the sharks. This means that their natural behavior is not interrupted and stress is minimized. At the end of the day, it should be the welfare of these beautiful, but highly threatened animals that should be the focus, and not just the tourists’.” Guys, please consider Donsol or even Tubbataha the next time you want to swim with the whale sharks!!! To check the full argument as to why Oslob isn’t a good idea for witnessing whale sharks, click here

THAT FAMOUS CEBU LECHON

If you’re in Cebu, it would be blasphemous not to try the lechon (roast pig). Prior to my trip to the Queen City of the South, I asked my cousin Luigi for recommendations and one of his suggested places was Zubuchon, you know, the “best pig, ever” according to Anthony Bourdain. A quick Google Maps search showed that there was one super near our hotel, so of course, it was the first thing on our to do list for Day 1.

I told you it was first on our list, haha! We were there super early and it was surprisingly empty. We then learned it was because the lechon hasn’t arrived yet. Hahaha! So we had to go hang-out at the mall first and run back to Zubuchon as soon as the lechon came. Kyasu as it sounds, I didn’t want to miss the lechon since it has a reputation of getting sold out.

The yummy Kamias shake that I normally wouldn’t dare touch but it lived up to its reputation for being REALLY goooood

Sizzling squid stuffed with lechon sisig — my mind can’t even begin to comprehend its goodness!

Garlic rice, because, rice. I love rice! And if we’re being completely honest and transparent in this blog post, a Filipino meal is never complete without it. Hahaha!

Sinigang, because of course, it has been my go-to favorite and I can’t resist ordering it

And of course, the famous Zubuchon with its crispy skin and really tender, juicy, flavorful meat. Nom!

I originally intended to try out all my cousin’s recommendation because #YOLO and why not, right? But we felt like pigs soon after so we steered clear from the lechon. But please do let me know your suggestions for the next time I go to Cebu? Would love to come back and eat my heart out again. 

Zubuchon is located at One Mango Mall, General Maxilom Ave, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu, Philippines

ROADTRIP UP NORTH: Dagupan, Manaoag, and Clark

Such a gorgeous sunset, noh? This was taken from our recent road trip to the North of Luzon. I almost missed it had I not woken up momentarily from my nap and saw Luke busy snapping these. No wonder he was so excited, the sky had decided to show off. 🙂 It was a really enjoyable trip with the family (except for the traffic, but hey, at least we got to catch up on sleep!). Our itinerary for the day included 3 stops – Dagupan, Manaoag, and Clark. And since it’s been so long since my last road trip photo diary, I thought I’d take you for a ride. #WowPhilippines :p

A yummy home cooked meal in Dagupan prepared by our relatives. In case you didn’t know, Dagupan is known for the bangus (milk fish) and we had 2 kinds of those that day, yummm! Not to mention the sinigang and liempo and hipon and mangga’t bagoong andddd the mango icebox cake. YUMMM!!! Seriously guys, Filipino food is so underrated! It’s so good especially when it’s prepared with love 😉

Floating candles for the Lady of Manaoag. The candles actually came in different shapes and it reflects what you are praying for (I think, haha).

First time seeing the Lady of Manaoag. They say this is a miraculous church and people actually take pilgrimages here because it is said that Mother Mary had an apparition here.

The parish held a parol (Christmas lantern) making contest and the entries were displayed around the area. The one with the pink star won first prize…

Although this is the one I would’ve chosen for first prize, great craftsmanship! 🙂

Devout, Catholic, or not, Churches and places of worship are always a must visit for their architecture and art. 

The dome

St. Luke!

A close up on the Lady of Manaoag who is is “invoked as patroness of the sick, the helpless and the needy”. This statue dates back to the 17th century, carried by a galleon from Spain. You can queue up and touch the back too! They say she’s really miraculous and she does grant wishes.

The belen. I love this Filipino Christmas tradition of honoring the nativity

Painting of the fire that struck the church previously

Check out the carving in this one! It was carved from a living tree, WOW

A closer look at the details 
the NLEX sky as we made our way back

For dinner, we made a stopover at Iguana’s aka the former Zapata’s

they may have changed the name but it’s more or less the same cantina

Tequila without salt is like love without kisses.
Oddly enough, my first time in this mexican joint was also with these lovely people (except Luke, it’s his first time, hehe) 🙂

Frozen Margaritas … you know what that means? Talking about past, really shameful, drunken escapades. Good laughs though 🙂

For those who can’t decide and want the best of everything: The Combination Plate with tacos, burritos, enchiladas, chili con carne, beans and mexi-rice 
“With a full tummy, the heart is happy” couldn’t be more true especially if you’re with loved ones 🙂
Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag is located at Milo St, Manaoag, Pangasinan, Philippines
Iguana’s Cantina Mexicana is located at 50 Meliton Ave Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines

WINGS AND MACARONS DATE

Combining two of the things I miss the most about Manila on my first morning back – good food and my mom. 🙂 Straight from the airport, we had wings for lunch. I recently tried a wings place here in Singapore that serve something like garlic parmesan and lemon pepper but it didn’t come close to the ones at Wingman so I was craaaaving like a mad woman.

My order always and forever: Lemon Pepper and Garlic Parmesan *insert oggly eyes and salivating smileys here*

Wingman is located at The Collective, 7274 Malugay St San Antonio, Makati City, Philippines

Since it was still 3 hours til I meet Ingrid and Nicole for a much needed catch up session (which you’ll see on this blog soon), instead of going back home, my mom and I decided to have coffee in Café Macaron to kill time. Smart choice coz not only did I avoid Edsa traffic, I was able to see my good friend Chef Nikki and eat yummy not-your-ordinary macarons.

Café Macaron is located at Fairmont Hotel, 1 Raffles Drive, Makati Avenue, Makati City, Philippines
My beautiful mom who I’m so excited to go on a holiday with this month! 🙂
and me! my lipstick shade is called Flat Out Fabulous, but with all the eating I’ve done in my Manila trip, might as well call it Fat Out Fabulous, haha!
And that was just in my first morning back! I swear, the whole day, all I did was eat. Eat and be merry!! Julia Child said that “People who love to eat are always the best people” – I couldn’t agree more! 🙂
xx

THE WORLD IS MINE

{shopRTF vest, topshop tee, bazaar shorts}

A random Thursday going around the almost car-free Metro Manila. Edsa Guadalupe, English bulldog!!!, Ayala Triangles, The Fort, Jamba Juice, Dwaeji or Pig bar aka the best ice cream ever – even beats Magnum #truestory, failed attempt at Trimo Shawarma (as recommended by my favorite couple from Love Chic), dinner at Maginhawa Street: Ted P’s and Champs Burger.

Majority of the pictures snapped by my friend Gio.

And on a different note, please help me out by voting for me at the Parisian Bloggers Challenge. 🙂 Simply Like Parisian Shoes and Bags on Facebook, then click Parisian Blogger Challenge, and Vote for Reg. If I win, lucky readers would get a chance to win P20,000 worth of GCs from SM and Parisian. You can vote three times a day, so please do vote! 🙂

xx
Reg

PS- don’t forget to join my Wall to Wall Shoes Giveaway to get a Php1000 GC on US Pre-Order shoes 🙂
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LIPA-LAIYA PHOTODIARY

Heyya guys! Since you said here that you love roadtrips too, I thought we’d go on a digital mini-roadtrip of some sort this lazy Sunday. These photos were taken on our recent trip to Laiya via Lipa almost 2 weeks ago. Random fact: Lipa,Batangas is the hometown of my lolo. 🙂
first stop: the San Sebastian Cathedral in Lipa
intricate woodwork
massive organ
the Black Nazarene
second stop: Casa de Segunda or the Luz-Katigbak Ancestral House
this heritage house has been preserved for more than a hundred years, and random fact, Segunda Katigbak was one of our national hero Jose Rizal’s ex :))
third stop: Cafe de Lipa. Batangas is known for the kapeng barako so it is a must that you stop by a local coffee joint such as this one
local twists on coffee shop classics: barako brownie, tableya revel bar
last stop: Laiya
sunnies mark on my nose, haha
candy nails from OrangeBlush Mo.Ignacia
Like I said here, I’m reading through all of Paulo Coelho’s books. I was on The Alchemist at that time. 🙂 We all have “favorite books” at the top of our head, right? I suggest you read yours again. 🙂
post-beachfront massage with Miks
with cutie pie, Mona Louise Rey
Hope you enjoyed our little roadtrip! Still have loads of pictures from #europe2011, maybe next time we’ll do a tour of Vilnius, Tallinn, Prague, Rome, and Milan 😉

xx
Reg
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