Spending a SMART weekend in Boracay

Who could say no to a free all expense paid weekend in Boracay? No one, right? Last weekend, Smart flew us to Boracay to test their newest innovation, the Smart LTE (Smart Evolution). In the previous weeks, Smart had been sending batches of bloggers to Boracay to give Smart LTE (4G) a try. We were the last batch to be sent for the same reason.

The first thing I noticed upon arriving in Caticlan was the newly renovated and much bigger Caticlan Airport. The airport still uses its old runway but now sports a much bigger terminal area. Unfortunately, the terminal building was not finished yet when we got there and we had to pick up our stuff in a shed outside the main terminal.

Our travel agent booked each of us our own rooms in Real Maris Beach Resort. The hotel was nice and our rooms are super big. It’s twice the size of my room in Eriko’s House.

Since we were there for the testing of Smart LTE, we didn’t get to do much beach-ing. The only activity we got to try was the Paraw sailing during sunset.

Enjoying the sunset and the smooth breeze.

If the purpose of your trip to Boracay is to relax and get away from the stress of the big city, June might be a perfect month to go there. The summer feel is still there but it’s not as crowded as March, April and May.





[1] Photo credit: JustWandering.org

Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, Quezon

Pahiyas Festival is an annual celebration in Lucban, Quezon to give thanks to their patron saint San Isidro Labrador for the year’s bountiful harvest. The locales usually celebrate it by decorating their houses with colorful kiping or rice wafers, crops, fruits, flowers and vegetables. This festival is usually celebrated every 15th of May and the locales would sell the traditional Lucban longgasnisa or the famous Pansit Habhab.

Pahiyas Festival

What to buy

If you’re visiting Lucban for the Pahiyas Festival, you might want to bring home some pasalubong. The longganisa is one of the most popular items bought as pasalubong by tourists. I’m not sure though which brand or which store sells the best longganisa but finding one within Lucban wouldn’t be difficult since a lot of these are displayed on the street sides during the festival.

Pahiyas Festival

Where to go

It may not be a ‘must’ for the non-Catholics but the Lucban Church is one of the most visited areas during the Pahiyas Festival. Since the celebration about giving thanks to San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers, before the celebration starts, the locales visit the town’s church to attend the mass. Also, the parades usually begin and end at the church.

Lucban Church

How to get to Lucban, Quezon

The route we took when we went to Lucban was the Lucena-Lucban route. From Cubao, take a bus going to Lucena City. There are also buses in Buendia-Taft which are en route to Lucena City. From Lucena City, take then Lucban bound jeepney. The trip from Manila to Lucban is approximately 3 hours while the Lucena-Lucban trip will take you 30 minutes.

From the jeepney drop-off point in Lucban, explore the town on foot. Most of the streets are closed during the Pahiyas Festival. If not, going within the town on a car would be difficult due to large traffic of people walking on foot.

Photo Fridays: First Boracay Trip (July 2006)

[quote]Boracay, Aklan (July 2006) — I started going on out of town trips when I was in high school. But most of these trips are school related and I haven’t really enjoyed them. It was only in college when I starting going out of town for leisure. One of these trips is my trip to Boracay in July 2006. It was my first time in Boracay that time. This photo was taken in Crystal Cove during our island hopping.[/quote]

Chicken Charlie, my favorite chicken in town

It was in August 2010 when I first tried Chicken Charlie. After we did a tour within the University of Santo Tomas campus, the Redors brought us to Banawe for an unknown treat.  And that was the first time I tried Chicken Charlie. Just like in a fancy romantic love song, it was love at first bite (get that? :P).

It was a long distance relationship. Chicken Charlie is in Banawe while I am boxed in my comfort zone in Makati. Even though we’re kilometers apart, I had been always loyal to CC. Bonchon was not even good enough to change my heart.

It was in December 2010 when we went back to Chicken Charlie, this time with a model, Coy. And just like the first time, the crispy Soy Garlic chicken never failed to impress me. Chicken Charlie’s chicken are doubled fried to achieve a crunchy skin while maintaining the juicy and tender meat in the inside.

Some people want their CC hot and spicy that’s why Chicken Charlie developed two signature sauces for their chickens. One is the Soy Garlic, my favorite, and the other one is Hot Sweet Sauce.

I heard Chicken Charlie opened branches in San Juan and Malate. We’re planning of going there this weekend. I’m excited.

If you want to visit Chicken Charlie, their Banawe branch is located at:

592a N.S. Amoranto St. Cor. Banawe St. Quezon City
Telephone Number: 742-3333


Tips when visiting Nagsasa and Anawangin Coves


It has been more than a year since the first and last time I went to Nagsasa Cove. Since I wrote about Nagsasa Cove and how to get to there, I have been receiving a lot of comments and inquiries on tips when going to Nagsasa and Anawangin coves.

I have compiled here a list of tips based on what we have experienced during our trip to Nagsasa, Zambales.

Things you should bring:

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  • Bring your own tent and sleeping bag. If you don’t own one, you may rent one in Pundaquit, San Antonio. You may ask your boatman where to get one.
  • Secure your own jacket. Cold nights at Nagsasa and Anawangin are sometimes unbearable.
  • If you are into serious photography, bring with you your camera, tripod, a wide angle or kit lens, a set of neutral density, graduated neutral density, bi-color, or polarization filters. Make sure to also secure your equipment in a waterproof bag. The boat ride to and from Nagsasa and Anawangin can be rough.
  • Bring enough food and water supply. There are no stores or clean sources of water when you get there.
  • Sunblock, insect repellent and other personal care.
  • If you’re planning of cooking or preparing your own food, be sure to bring with you your basic utensils, fuel, charcoal and other basic cooking tools.
  • Don’t forget to bring your own garbage bag. You will have to bring with you when you leave whatever trash you have during your stay.
  • A first aid kit is also necessary, just in case.


Things you may opt not to bring:

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  • A high-end cellphone — Nagsasa Cove and Anawangin Cove both have no cellular reception from all network providers. Since the air in the area is high in humidity and it’s near the sea, there’s a high risk of corrosion for your cellphone and other metallic gadgets when exposed to these conditions.
  • Valuables — On your stay in Nagsasa Cove and Anawangin, it’s possible that you will be sharing the camp area with other tourists. It is best to secure your personal belongings or not bring your valuables at all.


If you can think of other things that I might have missed, please feel free to leave a comment below. I will be updating this post occasionally to reflect your suggestions. Enjoy your next trip to Nagsasa Cove and Anawangin Cove.

Punta Isla Lake Resort in the Serene Lake Sebu

Though I lived in Davao City for most of my life, I never had the chance to visit Lake Sebu. For one, it’s approximately 6 or 7 hours from Davao City and second, I never thought that Lake Sebu is a one big diamond in the rough waiting to be discovered.

Upon arriving in Tambler International Airport in General Santos City, the group immediately drove to Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. There was nothing much to see during our 3-hour land trip. Since most of us didn’t get enough sleep the night before, we took that opportunity to nap inside the car.
Continue reading “Punta Isla Lake Resort in the Serene Lake Sebu”

Swimming at Lemlunay Dive Resort in Saranggani

I was in General Santos City a couple of weeks ago for a short weekend vacation. We we’re supposed to attend the Tuna Festival but because the original festival schedule was moved, we took the opportunity to explore more of General Santos and its neighboring towns instead. One of the destinations we went was a dive resort with a familiar name. When I heard of Lemlunay Dive Resort, the resort’s name, I was sure I have heard it before. I wasn’t sure where, how and when. It was only after a few conversations with the owner that I realized some of my friends have been there while the resort was still in its early development phase.
Continue reading “Swimming at Lemlunay Dive Resort in Saranggani”

Davao Diving Spot: Angel’s Cove, Samal


Angel’s Cove is one of the few popular dive and snorkeling spots in Island Garden City of Samal. The tame shallow waters make it fit for snorkeling tourists. Also, a lot of divers visit the place for its rich marine biodiversity. If you have come to Davao for island tours, there’s a high chance that Angel’s Cove is part of your island hopping itinerary.

I have only been to Angel’s cove a couple of times. The tourist operators and locales of Samal must have preserved and maintained its pristine waters and natural beauty over the years since nothing much have changed each time I visit the place.

The latest visit I had was with ETours Davao during the Davao FAT earlier this year. ETours Davao is one of the few tour companies in Davao which offers island tour packages for tourists. The package we availed included the boat rental, one tour guide and free usage of snorkeling gears for the tour guests.

If you wish to experience Angel’s Cove in Samal, Davao, you may contact the guys who brought us there on these numbers:


Owner: Tom Claudio

Tour Guide: Jojo

Services: Davao City and Adventure Tours

Resorts/Islands Visited: Island Garden City of Samal (Samal Island), specifically Maxima Aquafun, Angel Cove, Coral Garden, and Babu Santa

Email Address: info@etours.ph

Contact Numbers: +63917-7011882, +63916-4333199, + 63922-8674779, +6382-2861173, and +6382-2861645

Kadayawan Festival 2010 Schedule of Activities

I have booked my flight and the schedule is set. See you in Davao this August.

Kadayawan 2010 Schedule of Activities

Engr. Manuel A. Medros 2nd Solo Art Exhibit for Painting
August 11,- September 11, 2010
Venue: Museo Dabawenyo

Agri-Trade Fair
August 13-30, 2010
Venue: SM City
A trade fair participated by farers, plant growers, handicraft producers and manufacturers.

August 16-22, 6-8 PM
Venue: Peoples’ Park
The converging of the Ata Manobo, Ubo Manobo, K’lata, Tagabawa, Matigsalog, Maranao, Maguindanao, Tausug, Sama and Kalagan tribes, celebrating thanksgiving of their oneness with the earth through performances, culinary fiesta and age-old craftsmanship integrated in a program that showcases their strength as diverse peoples of Davao.

Fair Trade Opening
August 16-22, 2010
Venue: Sanguniang Panlungsod Lobby
A bazaar of proudly Davao-made goods produced and manufactured by organizations that encourages entrepreneurship and empowerment participated by the women of Davao City.

Festival Opening
August 20, 2010
Venue: Rizal Park
The official launch of the 25th Kadayawan Festival highlighted by performances of the different tribes of Davao City.

August 20-22, 5:00 PM-2 AM
Venue: Bolton Street (Beside Sanguniang Panlungsod)
An evening street event that features music and food. A street festival, Davao-style.

Hiyas sa Kadayawan
August 20, 2010, 8 PM
Venue: Almendras Gym,
Search for the Kadayawan symbol, the indigenous lass who is knowledgeable of her indigenous culture and wisdom through a pageantry of Mindanaoan myths and legends.

Indak indak sa Kadalanan
August 21. 2010, 8 AM
Venue: Major thoroughfares of the city
The Indak Indak sa Kadalanan or the street dancing parade showcases the different colors, cultures and traditional dances of the different tribes of Davao and Mindanao.

Pamulak Floral Float Parade
August 22, 8 AM
Venue: Major thoroughfares of the city
The grand finale of the Kadayawan Festival, the Pamulak is a mobile display of the blooming of flowers and ripening of fruits in creatively decorated floats on parade, showcasing the abundance of vegetation in the Davao Region.

First time in Puerto Princesa City

The Puerto Princesa trip last Friday was my first trip to Palawan. I never really had a decent preparation due to tons of work I had to finish during the weekdays. Despite the busy week, my work didn’t stop me from getting excited for the much awaited Palawan trip.

The Manila-Puerto Princesa flight went well. In fact, I can’t remember any significant detail during the flight since I was sleeping for most of the time. We arrived in Puerto Princesa in the afternoon and we were greeted with a fair weather. A van commissioned by our hosts took us to the different sites within Puerto Princesa. I’ll go into details in the succeeding posts.

I enjoyed my 3-day stay in Palawan very much. The 3-day trip was not enough to experience all the beautiful things Palawan has to offer. We haven’t even experienced half of what can be done and what can be seen in Palawan. On my next trip to Palawan (September), I’ll try my best to try the things I haven’t tried on my first trip.

More details on my Palawan trip next time. (I’m too sleepy to remember everything right now).