If not now, When?

If not now, When?

“By doing what you love, you inspire and awaken the hearts of others.” ~ Satsuki Shibuya

I came across this sort of quote from Steve Maraboli’s posts (I am an avid follower of this guy): “If not now, When?” And all those things I wanted to do came bursting in my mind. One of them is to really be able to surf, to stand in that board and really experience what’s it like. So getting an opportunity to be gone out of town, I chose going to Baler for my surfing experience.

I’ve always thought that surfing is so much fun. =) Even if I discovered some bruises when I get home. Lol!

There are actually several places in the country that can give you the best waves, when this is my choice due to other reasons (one of which is that, it isnt just a pleasure trip but a business trip too!)

So come weekend, there I was catching the last trip bound to Baler with Jen, my foodie travel and all things in between buddy. Aside from the surfing experience, we definitely love the food in Baler.

FOOD

HOTEL

Jen was the one in-charge as to where we’re staying and I really love what she got for us. It is very affordable (via Agoda), very clean and the staff are so accommodating and helpful. I don’t mind staying there again when we go back.

Though, I found these equally great places to stay in Baler. So, we might try them too.

Photo credits: http://www.traveltrilogy.com/2019/03/cube-baler-aurora.html
Photo credits: https://dealgrocer.com/

And my original choice to stay: Balituk.

If you’re commuting, it is best to reserve your seats a few days prior your intended date to visit. There are only two trips bound to/ from Baler:

While when you’re driving, it’ll take you four (more or less, because stop overs are really awesome right?) hours to get there if coming from Manila.

Aside from being able to stand in that surf board, we also get to see the biggest Balete tree in Asia. And a side trip to the Hanging bridge in Zabali. Said bridge connects two Barangays, Brgy. Tibang and Brgy Sabang. It is located at the endpoint of Zabali road. It isn’t just a spot for tourist but very useful to the residents too.

PLACES

Hanging Bridge

Aint afraid of heights! charot! =p

Balete Tree

Towering more than five stories high, this 600-year old Balete tree or is also known as Millennial tree is one of the reasons why I can’t wait to visit Baler. Weird to some as it may sound, It’s been years when I learned to get my energies from trees. So I took advantage staying with it for long and leave the place with a smile in my face. =)

Dogtown Collective

Oh, please also visit my niece’s cool place: @lilwarung.baler and @kokoanatural.ph located at Dogtown Collective. She’s got a lot of great stuff in store for you. =)

What’s travelling without buying local goods? =) When I shop, I really get to appreciate the artistic skills of my fellow Filipinos. Isn’t it great to earn while doing what you love?

PS

I definitely must go back, because I missed the Light house. =( And there are three. And some really great rock formations along the way. =)

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A whimsy and quirky place in Lubao, Pampanga

Prado Farm – A whimsy and quirky place in Lubao, Pampanga

“Seeing how beauty and functionality have been coaxed out of chaos, perhaps accounts for the sense of magic that one feels for Prado Farm”. ~Mariel Francisco~

It is a rare occurrence that I get to find things that are new to me. Things that inspire, fascinate and drive me to move forward. Even slowly but surely getting where I want and who to be.

Over the years, I have explored in my own little way and maybe more in the coming years if I can afford them already. A few friends inspire me too, pushes me to my limits because they know and desires seeing me making my big dreams come true.

They knew what’s it like how to place random items together and uncover a new-born artistry. They don’t just know how, they feel it.

Targeting a place somewhere in Bulacan, as I do my research, I went farther north and landed to a farm in Lubao, Pampanga. Thanks to fellow bloggers, they unveiled to my senses a place that arrested my attention.

I researched further if those who wrote about it are professional photographers as their photos are really amazing and soulful. It reminded me that it takes two to create beautiful pictures. Someone who’s got the eye for it, and the subject itself. I didn’t include a modish dslr, cool tripods/ monopods or even gargantuan lenses. All it takes are young convivial hearts that are unafraid, seeking and lovers of fun with their up-to-the-minute mobile phones. And voila!

So their photos brought us one weekend to Pampanga. A few hours travel by bus and we reach our seasoned and whimsical destination.

Prado farm is located at Siongco, Prado in Lubao, Pampanga. It is strategically situated in the main road and can easily be spotted if you have your own vehicle or just riding a bus.

The gate that’s made of old gas tanks was the only thing that I wanted to see in my own eyes, but Jen introduced me to several Instagram photos that there’s a lot more to it. Seriously, I don’t know what inspired the owners but the place is a mixture of anything which results into a very bewitching place.

I even got a vintage coaster which has a “1930” stamped to it. There’s a lot of grizzled items but they’re a bit pricey. Just to get there is sufficient to me already and to shop is something I candeal with another day soon.

I must say the 5-hectare farm is truly a “wander and wonder” thing to me.

The Facade

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The Souvenir Shop

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The Blue House

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The Old Train Station converted into a Museum

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On our way to the Yellow house

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The Yellow House

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On our way to the Hotel

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I opted not to visit the pool as like a mermaid I might plunge into the water instantly, rather, listed in our bucket an overnight stay with them soon.

Junk architecture, sustainable designs, vivid colors, a vast flora, unique innovativeness, organic food, a set of artworks here and there that are literally surprising, country and vintage feel, a place that brings you back in time, giving you feelings of incredulity yet reckon that they are real right there in front of your eyes. All quirky and whimsy. =)

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If you want to visit the farm, their address is: Km 94 -95 Jose Abad Santos highway, Prado Siongco Lubao, Pampanga. You may call contact them at: 0920 903 0964 and you can visit their website too: http://pradofarms.com/

 

My “LAS CASAS” Experience…

My “Las Casas” Experience

Every year, everyone at work is excited as to where our boss will bring us come Summer.

I didn’t expect that we will have the chance to see “Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar” as they have visited this awesome place for several times already. But yes, we are going there for a Summer treat. A heritage resort it is. Yey!

It is a 3 – hour drive from Manila. More or less. That day is specifically humid but it didn’t have much effect on the incredible feeling I got that I’m traveling again. Better yet, with my colleagues. I usually travel alone and sometimes my travels are with just one buddy, or with my family and whoever I am with, traveling gives me this feeling of excitement.

We arrived after lunch time and spent waiting for our shuttle by admiring their lobby.

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=)

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And these tiles..

The staff are so used in attending to guests, from the driver to the ushers and to the servers at the restaurant where we had our lunch after unpacking.

My colleagues and I didn’t waste any time. After a few minutes of rest, we immediately did our rounds. Part of the package is a tour that comes with a tour guide enumerating details per house.

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(–,)

We opted to explore the place on our own. There is a total of 30 ancestral house, one of which, I have come to witness as a child, the one from Binan, Laguna.

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And what a day it was. A day is not enough for you to be able to capture all corners from west to east part of the whole place. Not only that it is literally huge, you can not help but linger at each corner for its’ beauty. It is truly wander and wonder mood for all of us.

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I especially love this.

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I imagine this with a few locals wearing this.

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Isn’t she lovely in that terno?=)

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They say, at 12 midnight, face the mirror, on a full moon, and you’ll see your future husband…=)

It brought me to the past. Something that is quite hard for many. It requires careful study, replicate’s intricate details, and probably passion to achieve this.

To complete the feel, they have a studio wherein you can wear costumes that have been worn during the 1800s.

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I just regret that we weren’t able to do it. Maybe next time.

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They also have a pool and it is an option if you do not want to go to the beach. The eastern part where the beach is located is part of the South China sea.

They have a souvenir shop. It showcase some stuff that really looks very familiar to me. And when I touched them, I was reminded of Antipolo. Then I found out some of their dishes were made by Ms. Lanelle Abueva, the potter whom I’ve met at Crescent Moon cafe.

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It was amazing though, and reminded me of the story of this famous psychic, who was handed a pen, and he immediately figured-out as to whom the pen belongs to. It was a crazy feeling. =)

Before dinner time, we were able to watch a show that featured young artists dancing folk dances and it was so much fun.

What I admired most in this place, is the attention to details.

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They call this “tranvia”..

What else can I say? =)

I had one of the best breakfast at Las Casas and especially loved the home-made cinnamon ensaimadas..=)

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Burp! =)

Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar is located at: Brgy. Ibaba, Bagac, 2107 Bataan with phone number: (02) 332 5338. 

 

 

The 20th Hot air balloon festival – Clark, Pampanga

The 30th Hot air balloon festival – Clark, Pampanga 

“When everything seems to be against you, remember that an airplane takes off against the wind and not with it.” 
~Henry Ford~

It took me a while to blog this event. As this day was full of extremes. While it also took me years to finally do this. Like 5 years! I have been wanting to see this since then but for some reason, I wasn’t able to squeeze it in my schedule.

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Courtesy of: http://www.philballoonfest.net/event-inf o/photo-gallery-2/?aid1=25186648821038

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Yey!

Until I did. So while I was enjoying it, and seeing everything that flies, little did I know that one of my cats is breathing her last.

It was a devastating fact that I wasn’t there for her at a time when she expects nothing but to see me and do everything to ease her pain. More so, be there for her all the time. Period.

It taught me a lot. More of strength perhaps to endure this desolating pain of losing a beloved pet.

They were never out of my mind. I was reminded of them for several times. I saw this shirt that says: “It’s meow or never!” though I opted getting the one that says: “Eat a lot, sleep a lot!” One of the balloons I thought was a cat while it was not.

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souvenirs

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Shabby chic! =)

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Philippine flag!=)

Going back to the 30th Hot air balloon festival, it made me feel like a child. There are balloons everywhere, food, souvenir items and merchandise.

street foods

nachos

shawarma

Kids and adult alike are flying their kites. And not the usual kite that I see flying as a kid. Most of them are shaped like eagles, butterflies, etc.

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(–,)

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Fly high eagle!

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Little boy and girl! Courtesy of: http://www.philballoonfest.net/

Everyone is looking up in the sky. As there are also exhibitions, gliding here and there, flight shows and other flying activities.

The event was triggered by training young pilots (Filipinos and foreigners alike) on discipline and safety in the air.

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the grin

One of my favorite shots! It was difficult to find a good shot due to the number of flocking guests.

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Vipers!

Because we didn’t have a tent like some of the spectators. I was able to ask some carton boxes from a vendor. Jen and I were able to find a good spot along with the others who enjoyed the flying scenes while lying on their back.

We were also able to rest our tired feet as we were walking most of the day and removed our shoes for a while. We were like kids literally with food in both hands.

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Rest your tired feet little one..

The Night glow is one of the highlights.

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big screen

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i saw them ds morning

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Till next time! =)

And when its’ time to go home, we have bags in both hands too. The event was like a shopping spree as well.

It was well-attended.

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Courtesy of: http://www.philballoonfest.net/

Our reservation at Green canyon which is just 20 minutes away from the festival, we cancelled. Though we promised them we will go back.

For some reason, I felt like going home at that time fast. Maybe an angel was trying to pull me from all of this and be home fast. The angel was right, my princess needed me. Had we returned the following day. I might not be able to embrace her the tightest for one last time.

Jen failed to convince me to literally fly. I need more time to consider due to my fear of heights. Well, there’s always a next time.

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And ticking one off from my Bucket list spells happiness. “Hakuna matata!”

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Moi!

20th balloon
I believe I can fly! =)

This event started since 1994.

For more details you can check their official website at:

http://www.philballoonfest.net/

 

Anawangin Cove – Zambales

Anawangin Cove – Zambales

Anawangin is that island in Zambales where there are only 4 kinds of trees that alternates with each other.

Pines, umbrellas,  palms and one I could not identify. Pines out-numbered the rest of them. This is why Anawangin is unique from the other islands.

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Thanks to #instamag personalizing my photos =)

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In vivid colors..

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I want to ask the boatman to stop to check this little cave..but we’ve got other company..

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Just like a great actor leading a movie..it sure is.

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Excited..

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It was difficult to take photos when the sailing is rough…

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Almost there…

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We’re about to anchor..

We’re not supposed to stay longer than 30 minutes in this island. We stop over not only because it is included in the package that my friend had taken advantage of. But because the natives are also proud to showcase one island after another. The people are very welcoming and I noticed that each time there’s a boat approaching the island their necks are extended and were smiling and they were waving their hands and you can feel in the air that upon plight you are a guest to them.

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Trees are my bestfriends! ❤

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My color gives me life all the time…

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So beautiful…

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I love trees!

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Hi sun..

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Love this!

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=)

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Gettin energies from the trees…

I saw tourists having their photos taken standing behind each tree. Usually in group. I’ve taken mine of these as I was walking. With all conviction I told my friend that you can get your energies recharged by touching them.

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My favorite pose..

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Hello Anawangin! =)

I showed her how I touched one’s trunk with the palm of my hand. And it’s either the tree will absorb all that is negative within me or it is me who will absorb all the positive trees from the tree. And she looked like its’ as if I can read her mind feeling strange or thinking I might be gone crazy.

I consumed the 30 minutes all wrapped-up despite of my friend’s constant reminder. For all I know, they’re not leaving without us anyway. We were running and doubled our speed when we found out that the whole group were already on the boat and were just waiting for the 2 of us. Their eyes focused as if they’ve been there for the longest time, when I waved my head and pleaded and yelled “Sorry”, they all smiled in sync. =)

I also bought a souvenir from a very persistent man convincing me that his rainmaker is a “24 carat”. It is made of bamboo with tiny puca shells inside and littlest sands perhaps which created that very soothing sound. I bought it for those times I need destressing. And secretly wishing that if I play with it, the rain would literally fall instantly.

The length isn’t that handy for someone who’s just about to hop on 3 more islands with bags and luggage and gadgets and I don’t mind. I’ve been wanting to buy one ever since I saw it from my boss’ garden some years ago.

I saw one from Davao and in Intramuros and they’re so expensive. This one I got for more than a hundred pesos only that comes with a grateful smile from that corteous vendor. I think it is worth every centavo. He even wished us to enjoy the day and surely we did.

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Anawangin Cove… (double n?)ehehe

Try toe-dipping soon in Zambales. It’s going to be a memorable one. =)