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. =)

Advertisements

Like a child at 14 Four Cafe

Fourteen Four Cafe

“Every Summer, like the roses, childhood returns.” ~Marty Rubin~

I’ll always love blogging. =)

For my “I am blogger” photo. Credits to: http://www.freepik.com/

14 Four cafe logo courtesy of: https://www.facebook.com/14FourCafe/

As a child, I grew up in my parents’ house with a huge lawn where I play hide and seek with my cousins, with my dog and with my papa. I incurred scars in my knees because I wanted to run faster than our dog. I put mud in my mini cooking plate and let it dry for a day so we will have a cake the morning after.

I miss that huge lawn, we took care of dozens of love birds and I remember waking up with their chirping calling out my mom as if announcing that it’s already feeding time. My dog’s name is Tsandu. It is taken from a character’s name from my father’s story line in Filipino comics way back mid-70s. He was an illustrator. An artist.

In that lawn, different kinds of plants are grouped in corners. Some pots are even painted in varying colors. There is a huge star apple tree that gives shade to the whole area making it an ideal place to relax in our green 4-seater garden set. In some corners, you’ll see huge lava rocks which my papa brought home when we went hiking in Mt. Mayon. Along with over-sized sea shells which he also brought home from several beaches that we’ve been to. The other side of the house is with roof because it is where our garage is. You will often hear the likes of Frank Sinatra, Matt Monroe, Elvis Presley serenading you in a humid afternoon. He is fond of Tchaikovsky too. During weekends, my parents invite relatives to have barbecue with us.

I really look up to weekends. When my mom starts preparing pre-sliced pork and marinate them, I get so excited. At the main entrance, a realist painting, (a wedding gift to my parents by my uncle who happens to be an artist too, he’s a known painter during the 70s) will welcome you. If you’re a stranger , upon passing by that house, you would have guess that it is owned by some sort of an artist. And it is. My papa was popular then, I see him being mobbed by people asking their comics to be signed by him. I was just a spectator admiring him from afar.

I had to plot this specific day trip with Jen and travel for hours to reach a very similar place. Jen hadn’t sleep yet, she just came from work, and I’m thankful that she easily gave in to my whims. This place really brought me back to that time while I was still a child. When I first saw it, 14 Four Cafe being tucked in the vicinity of Tanay, Rizal, brought me to memory lane. Since we are from the South, it was really difficult for us finding it, as we are not similar to that place.

Some drivers doesn’t even know where 14 Four Cafe is. And finally, when we reached it. I felt like a child once again. I roamed around instantly without even informing the attendants who pleasantly welcomed us of the instruction given to us when we reserved a table for two as they do not accommodate walk-in guests. Visits are limited too, which is an advantage since they can better taking care of guests unlike when it is peak, attendants will be so busy. Their service, since guests are limited is more personal.

f2
Now I know that 14 4 is the # of their house.

f3
I captured some millennials enjoying their stay as well.

f4

Ironically, even if we found it hard to locate, guests keep coming. The house, more so, the whole place speaks for the artist who owns it. It is owned by Nikki Sambile, a designer. His father, who happens to be an artist too (like my father), showcases his furniture collection on this same place too.

f5

f6

f7
I want these chairs in my garden too. =)

144
Photo credits: https://www.facebook.com/14FourCafe/

Can you imagine that I traveled all the way from Laguna just to have this vegetarian dish? It is Veggie Quesadilla with pesto soaked tomatoes, shitakes, melted mozzarella topped with garlic crema. It has grilled eggplants too and nachos on the side. While Jen, still full from our real lunch on our way to Rizal (2pc. chicken please! lol!), had something light and sweet. She had Amaretto French toast. She chose it because of the toasted almonds. She was overwhelmed with the whipped cream though.

Lighter meal for us.

It was funny that they have Milo to offer as drinks. It really reminded me of my childhood days. I was a Milo kid then.

f20
I ❤ Milo! =)

I would even eat it alone scooping portions continuously.

f14
Table for two?=)

f12

f16

f15

f22

f21

f19

Nope, I actually visited because I needed an inspiration. Being an artist myself, I have to see others in that same niche too.

f10
An artist’s imagination is infinite.

f9
Rustic type of a faucet and its’ basin.

f8
This is the showroom of Stick designs. http://www.14fourcafe.com/location.html

Get the feel of it and be inspired instantly!

f11
I am not that happy with this photo. We were not able to capture all the colors behind me.

Which surely I did! We don’t even want to leave and hoping to stay longer, however, like I said, it took us almost half of that day traveling.

f18

So, we left after relaxing in one of the couches al fresco, wondering if we can make time to really come back. Maybe.

f24

f25
Siesta – afternoon nap.

ps

They’re a favorite of those whose about to wed too, for pre-nup photos. =)

14 Four Cafe is located at:
144 Magnolia Lane, Gregoria Heights Subdivision, Bgy San Isidro
Taytay, Rizal

For reservation, you can call them at: 0999 888 0144

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

10

5

6

7

8

9

The Souvenir Shop

15

11

12

13

14

The Blue House

20

16

17

18

19

The Old Train Station converted into a Museum

24

21

22

23

On our way to the Yellow house

28

25

26

27

The Yellow House

37

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

On our way to the Hotel

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

45

46

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. =)

47

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.

l31
=)

machuka
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.

las
(–,)

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.

l6

l2

l5

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.

l13

l10

l14

l9

I especially love this.

l12

I imagine this with a few locals wearing this.

mm
Isn’t she lovely in that terno?=)

l11

mirror
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.

l27

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

l28

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.

potter

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.

las 2
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..=)

bfast
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.

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

tickets
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.

souvenirs 2

souvenirs

souvenirs
Shabby chic! =)

phil flag
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.

kites
(–,)

Hotairballoon2016-16
Fly high eagle!

1a

1

daytime
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.

hukbong

pipin

the grin

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

vipers
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.

Hotairballoon2016-26
Rest your tired feet little one..

The Night glow is one of the highlights.

night glow 3

2

3

5

big screen

clown

i saw them ds morning

night glow 1

us
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.

well attended
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.

can i do it

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

moi
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/