Mga Pahina

Linggo, Pebrero 17, 2013

A Perfect Weekend at Laiya White Beach Cove

A Perfect Weekend at Laiya White Beach Cove

When it comes to retreats from the stresses of contemporary urban life, relaxation at the beach quickly comes to everyone's mind. And good thing there’s just a two-and-a-half-hour ride beach resort from the metro where you, together with family and friends, can relax, enjoy and wave the stress off.

To call a time-out from the stressful demands of work, our company had decided to spend a weekend in Batangas for our company outing.

Known for its white pristine beaches and considering its proximity from the metro, Batangas has been the most favorite quick getaway destination. One of the best beaches Batangas has to offer is the Laiya White Beach Cove Resort, and where we had stayed for our team building.

 Laiya White Beach Cove is located in Brgy. Laiya, San Juan, Batangas. It occupies a 1,5 hectare private resort and is equipped with recreational amenities.

When we arrived at the resort, we were greeted by the friendly staffs and directed us to our air-conditioned rooms. After dropping our things, we took a walk around the resort.

Laiya White Beach Cove naturally endowed with white sandy beach resort, calm blue waters in the cove, rich marine life in nearby snorkeling sites. Laiya White Beach Cove is more than a vacation destination. It is also a place to combine business functions with leisure.

The resort has outdoor beach tents, ideal for backpackers. There are also picnic grounds and activity areas.
Laiya White Beach Cove is the best destination for group activities and special events as it offers open-type function rooms, outdoor dining and it has a 3-storey clubhouse with an in-house restaurant and bar.

What I love about the resort is its complete leisure and sports amenities. There are lots of fun activities to do. You can swim on the beach or jump in the boat for island hopping.

After enjoying the waters, you can do some fun sports to bond with your friends, like what we did. We played beach volleyball. The resort has also billiards, table tennis and other sport amenities for the all the guests to enjoy.

The resort has spacious grounds and facilities very well-suited for family outings, corporate functions, team building and other special occasions.

At night, we worked our vocal chords and rented a videoke.

There are many things to do in the resort that the following day we still able to enjoy ourselves with the cool amenities that the resort has to offer.

Laiya White Beach Cove Resort is definitely a fun perfect destination to wave our worries off and bond with family, friends and officemates.

To know more about Laiya White Beach Cove you can visit their website at

Corregidor: We Shall Not Forget

Corregidor: We Shall Not Forget

Most of us first encounter of Corregidor were through the pages of our history books in school. Through these treasured pages, we have been brought back to the beautiful and tragic story of our past which most of us have forgotten as soon as we closed the book of the past.

But I hope to remember the story on those pages.

It was one Saturday in September when I together with 3 other friends came to visit the historical place that once been a dream destination of mine.

Booking a Corregidor overnight tour ahead, we gathered at Sun Cruise terminal at around 9:00am. We headed to their office, presented our booking vouchers which we got from a group buying website, registered and were given stickers for identification. These stickers show the passenger’s name, seat number in the ferry and your assigned bus number.

Around 11am, we all boarded the ferry and in less than an hour reached the island of Corregidor. Upon alighting from the ferry, we were guided to our bus number or Tran via.

The Tran via that takes the passengers within the island is modeled from the old trolley cars that were used during the American-Japanese Occupation.

We were brought first to the Corregidor Inn, the only hotel and restaurant in the whole island, for our inclusive tour package lunch buffet.

And now we’re on to reminisce the momentous past.

Corregidor comes from the word “corregir” which means to correct. It is believed that during the Spanish era, all ships entering Manila Bay were required to have their documents checked at the “Isla del Corregidor” or Island of the Corregidor, while some story would say that the island was named “El Corregidor” as it became a penitentiary or correctional institution during the Spanish era.

This tadpole-shape island is actually part of Cavite, contrary to what most of us know that it is part of Bataan. It’s divided to three parts; Topside, Middleside and Bottomside

Our first stop was at the Battery Way, this was where the ammunitions been stored.

Here are some of the big guns fired against the Japanese soldiers during the 1940s.


Located on the Topside part of the island is the Mile-Long Barracks, a three-storey hurricane-proof building. Measured about 1,520 feet long, Mile-Long Barracks was known to be the world’s longest military barracks.

Then we headed to the Pacific War Memorial, built in honor of the Filipino and American soldiers who fought in the Pacific War. Directly under the top opening of the dome is an altar on which these words are written;

“Sleep, my sons, your duty done, for Freedom’s light has come; sleep in the silent depths of the sea, or in your bed of hallowed sod, until you hear at dawn the low, clear reveille of God.”

At the back of the dome stands Eternal Flame of Freedom, a large red steel sculpture designed by Aristides Demetrios. The sculpture commemorates the heroic deed of American and Philippines soldiers who fought for freedom, and the fire to defend it will be burning eternally.

Pacific War Memorial Museum was built to display number of memorabilia, photos and news clips during the war.

Before the war, people in Corregidor were much fun of entertainment. They had a movie theater called Cine Corregidor. At the back of the theater was the place for their gala nights.

Our next stop was the Spanish lighthouse. The original lighthouse which was built by the Spaniards in 1836 was destroyed during the World War II.  The lighthouse being seen erected right now was constructed on the same site of the original lighthouse. This is considered as the highest point in the island, with an elevation of 629 feet above sea level. A view of Corregidor, Manila Bay, South China Sea and Bataan can be seen once on top of the lighthouse.

“I Shall Return”. This was the famous line by Gen. Douglas MacArthur. A military advisor to the Philippine Commonwealth, Gen. MacArthur’s task was to organize and train a Philippine army for the approaching war against the Japanese.  When it was seemingly to win the battle against the combined naval-air-ground assault by the Japanese, American President Roosevelt ordered the leave of Gen. MacArthur to head to Australia where he planned, trained and led armies.

And true enough to his words, he did return to the Philippines and led the defeat of the Japanese forces in 1945.

There are memorial gardens in honor of the Filipinos who died at the hands of Japanese soldiers, and on one of which, sculpted the major events in Philippine history.

This riffle and helmet standing on the center of a memorial reminds us of the Filipinos who risked their lives and the bloody battle that transpired.

And there is also a memorial for the Japanese who died in the battle. Many Japanese come to Corregidor to pay respect to their bereaved soldiers.

Late in the afternoon, we were brought to the Malinta Tunnel for the Light and Show.

Malinta Tunnel was originally built to house ammunitions, but during the war, it had served as medical unit and communication command center. The tunnel which took 10 years to be completed, from 1922 to 1932, also served as the headquarter of President Manuel L. Quezon.

Today, the Malinta Tunnel is the venue for the Lights and Sounds Show where the dramatic events that took in the World War II are re-enacted. The script for the show was written by Lamberto Avellana, a national artist and film director, sculptures were made by national artist Napoleon Abueva and was narrated by Franky Evangelista.

Knowing and experiencing the tragic past of our fellowmen through this show could be saddening to the point that I cried when at the end of the show, the Philippine flag was raised and the Philippine anthem was played.

After the heartbreaking show, we headed back to the hotel to rest for a while before going to the hospital.
Adding to the creepy ruins of the hospital was the story that was shared to us by our tour guide. According to him, aside from being where the wounded soldiers were brought during the World War II, this place was also where the Muslims from Mindanao were assassinated.

The tour guide said that the late President Marcos demanded for a number of Muslims in Mindanao who would be trained for a special mission. They were brought blindfolded to Corregidor for training. Upon learning that the special mission would be fighting with their Muslim brothers in Sabbah Indonesia to win the pinag-aagawang lupa they declined. Since this was a secret mission, all the Muslims who had been part of the mission were gunned down.

The names of the massacred Muslim soldiers were written on the walls of the ravaged hospital.

After exploring the desolated hospital, we went back to Manila Tunnel for the night tour. This time with our helmets and flashlights we walked inside the laterals. The tour guide discussed important events that took in place inside the tunnel and pointed out the different headquarters.

We were also brought to where the Japanese soldiers blew themselves up so not to be captured by the American forces. For the Japanese, it is more honorable to die than to surrender to their enemies.

And to let us actually feel what the Japanese soldiers experienced when trapped inside the tunnel, we were asked to switch off our flash flights while walking on the lateral. It was very creepy that you would be thinking that there were some others walking with the group.

The eerie experience we had at Malinta tunnel ended our tour for that day, and yes, now we were inside our rooms and would manage to sleep.

We woke up at around 4:30 am the following day, we plan of watching the sun rise, but unlucky because of the gloomy weather we weren’t able to.

After that unfortunate event, we climbed down the Japanese tunnel located in a masukal. This was where Japanese soldiers hid their ammunitions.

Aside from the historical tour offered by Corregidor, they are now other activities like ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) and zipline.

Good thing that the hotel has a swimming pool because I don’t think you can swim at the beach.

At around 1pm, after having our lunch, we prepared our things and readied for our ride back to Manila.

My two days in Corregidor has taught me many things. I may soon be forgetting some of the facts I’ve learned, but the sure thing I will not is that in this place, Filipino and Japanese soldiers alike sacrificed their lives for their mission and that it to protect their own people.

Huwebes, Nobyembre 8, 2012

Let Mrs. Baker's!!

Mrs. Baker’s Restaurant and Pastry Shop
National Road, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya
Manager-Chef Jehan Damasco

Vizcayanos are being treated with superbly delectable dishes as local food enthusiasts and businessmen put their passion and creativity in the food and restaurant industry.

Among the restaurants that have been receiving a buzz is Mrs. Baker's owned by Chef Jehan Damasco. Mrs. Baker's started its operation in September 28, 2010, and since then it has been a favorite dining place for locals and tourists alike.

It was one Sunday afternoon, when I, together with a friend, came to visit Mrs. Bakers for a snack. Though the place was not new to me, since I had been there couple of times ago, I was still in awe to find an artistic dining place in town.

Mrs. Bakers is a two-storey structure with a laid-back, homey feel. The first level is a restaurant, while the upper level I assume housed function rooms reserved for special gatherings.

Customers have the choice to dine inside the air-conditioned restaurant or outside in the patio but I would not much recommend it for the noise coming from passing trikes and jeepneys might distract you from your supposedly enjoyed meal.

Mrs. Bakers are known for their homemade cakes and pastries. During my sister’s birthday, we ordered for their blueberry cheesecake. It is soft, and not too sweet, which is a good thing, iwas-suya!!

Since we had our lunch earlier, we opt for a light snack, I’m not sure if this seems light to you but it is for us. =)

We ordered for a vegetable salad and pasta. There were three veggie salads to choose from; Caesar Salad, Crab Meat and Mango Salad, and another one. We decided to try their Crab Meat and Mango Salad Solo (Php95).

Very lovely presentation. The greens are fresh and crunchy, while the mango used was quite sour, maybe because the fruit isn’t in season, but I enjoyed it anyway.

For our pasta, we were torn between the tried-and-tested Classic Carbonara and Bring Home the Bacon (Php145), but when the served said the latter was one of their bestsellers, then we nodded to it.

The pasta is thin, not as I expected and not as appetizing to me, though it’s sprinkled with generous amount of bacon. The pasta did not thrill me as much as it did to my friend. He finished the entire bowl.

For our drinks, my friend tried Mrs. Baker’s new offer, Hot Swiss Mochaccino (Php90). Sorry for the comparison, but to me it tastes like the instant coffee mocha brand Swiss Miss, and looks to me that they just put a whip cream on top and chocolate syrup.

I, on the other hand, settled for their Ice Blended Caramel Icepresso (Php95). And it was a good choice. I love the right amount of sweetness and bitterness to it.

Mrs. Baker’s was a good treat for our Sunday afternoon. If you come to pass by the town of Bayombong in Nueva Vizcaya or if you’re just near the area, drop by and let Mrs. Baker’s make your day.

Martes, Oktubre 9, 2012

A Restaurant Called Gallerie Cordon

It was the second time I would be passing Gallerie Cordon, more known as Gaddi’s Restaurant, and the hundredth time I would be hearing my sisters’ plea of trying the restaurant out.

But this time, they won.

Gallerie Cordon is located along the National Hi-way of Cordon, Isabela. If you’re coming from Manila, it will be the restaurant on your right, at the back of Total gasoline station. Hmmm, doesn’t seem an enticing fine dining location, I agree, but once you’re inside the Gallerie, you become oblivious of the world outside.

Entering Gallerie Cordon is like coming to an art exhibit. Paintings are hanged around the lavender walls of the restaurant. These works of art are appetizers captivating the interest of the visitors.

We nestled in a long table and seated on our white-wooden chairs. Looking at the entirety of Gallerie Cordon, I felt like I was inside an English mansion or inside a doll’s house, maybe because of the color of the walls.

After a while, the waiter came and handed the menu which complemented the restaurant for its artistry, pictures of paintings were placed alongside the food entries.

I let my sister decide on what food to order, since she’s more of a foodie than me.

While waiting for our food, I went to their restroom, and to my surprise, theirs was not your typical mirror-and-cubicle room.

A table with centerpiece, two chairs and a mirror are set at the entrance of the restroom. The hallway leading to the back of the restroom is furnished with ceramic tiles. It’s so clean that you can see you reflection while walking on it. At the back are the sinks and mirrors creatively mounted on piece of wood.

And yes, even their cubicles are clean and well-lit, and have individual ceiling fans.

It really is a comfort room.

Now, excuse me as I have to lead you back to our table.

After a while, our food arrived; Crispy Pata, Pinakbet, Salmon Sinigang and Beef Stew.

Crispy Pata…more please.


Salmon Sinigang with cocunut  meat…hmmm, something new to me

Beef Stew. A favourite.

Their serving is good for 3-4 persons and priced at Php200 to Php400, quite pricey when you are used to the usual rates in the provinces’ dining places. But for the experience, it’s worth it. 

And yes, I could sense my sisters’ exchange of looks and smiles as if saying, “We told you so”. =)

Miyerkules, Setyembre 12, 2012

A Visit to Minerva Farm

As soon as I saw the photos of this restaurant on my friend’s wall page, I knew exactly what my next home visit would be.

Being based in Manila first for school and now for work, I have only limited opportunities to go home in the province. I usually do it on long weekends. Aside from the fare to consider, a seven-hour road trip, one-way, has to be given much thought.

Thus, I make it a point that every trip back home counts.

Minerva Farm is located in Sinsayon, Santiago City, Isabela, an hour and a half drive from my hometown, Solano, passing the province of Quirino.

I initially intended to visit the place with a friend, but my siblings wanted to tag along, and to the very last minute, my parents joined in.

From a supposedly date with a friend, it became a one big family affair.

As what was instructed by the restaurant owner Dr. Minerva Maylem, we turned left through the narrow road after the “Welcome to Santiago” arch and followed the directions to the Wilmer’s Resort, a known spot in Santiago City. After passing a bridge, we turned right, and in less than no time, reached Minerva Farm.

Minerva Farm has both a spa and a restaurant. Minerva’s Our Garden Spa offers different kinds of massage service for a minimum rate of Php350. The ambience of is so relaxing with the creatively-designed massage house complementing the mellow music being played.

Their restaurant called Café Vida is located at the left side fronting the spa. The first thing you would notice about is its structural design. The style is unique and modern. It’s a 3-storey restaurant made up mostly   with wood.

It was near 12nn when we arrived but it seemed that we were early, even if based on the website they open at around 10am during weekdays.

The staffs looked surprised, even, of our visit. In fact, I had to search for them inside the farm and asked if there could be someone to cook and serve us food. Our stomachs started to mumble. Staff turned gazes with each other. Our stomachs started to rumble.

We were told to wait for their cook. And so we stayed in the restaurant. But almost an hour later, there was still no cook around.

I went to ask the staff to what time we could possibly eat. The staff said their restaurant opens at 3pm, their spa earlier. I protested; first because, the website says Minerva Farm Our Garden Spa and Café Vida opens at 10am and closes at 9pm from Monday to Saturday, and 1pm-9pm during Sunday; second, if I am the owner and I offer both restaurant and spa, I would open them at the same time or I would open the restaurant first before the spa and third, they have room accommodations and for overnight stay they offer breakfast, now who would they expect to cook for their guests? What’s this self-service?
We left the restaurant dismayed, and with stomachs complaining.

Nonetheless, if you are on the way to the North or just around the area, I still encourage you to visit Minerva Farm, just make sure you have them informed of your planned visit. It would be better to come at night to see their well-lighted farm.

I felt a little guilty to my family and friends. This was all my idea. They assumed, we assumed, that this would all be a great fun experience, but it failed, I failed. Good thing my family has a good share of patience and optimism, this misfortune led us to another restaurant my family had been long wanting to try, Gaddis Restaurant in Quirino.

Having the family that I have, I know no matter what the circumstances be, I got their backs. And this is the main reason why my every trip back home counts.

Minerva Farm
Sinsayon, Santiago City