My Pangasinan Adventure

My Pangasinan Adventure

“Jobs fill your pocket, adventures fill your soul.” ~Jaime Lyn Beatty~

I am sitting in my cubicle when I heard my office mates discussing about our Summer Outing this year. And I can’t help but get too excited as we’re going up north this time to Pangasinan. It’s going to be different this year as we have been exploring the South for the past years. Our first stop is to revel in the beauty of the Hundred Islands.

What made it more thrilling to me is to find out that the Lighthouse of Bolinao, is included in our itinerary. Whoopee! As you know, I have been collecting Lighthouses and this will surely slash one from my list to visit. The Enchanted cave is included in the list too. =) I am not that fond of spelunking but this one is going to be definitely exciting. Something that is new to me.

So here’s how our itinerary goes:

LUNCH AT DE GARCIA GARDEN & GRILL

On our way to the resort, somewhere in Sual, we spotted this eclectic restaurant and opted to have our lunch here. We also enjoyed the artistic ambiance, looks like the owners are travelers too, and the food that they served us is okay too. =)

CASA ALMARENZO BED & BREAKFAST 

And then it’s time to unpack and look forward to the activities that we’re about to do in the next few hours.

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HUNDRED ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

The waters of the Lingayen gulf were clean and of bluish and greenish hue. As the roar of the boat’s engine started, all of us had fun witnessing the naturally beautiful islets that surround us.

There are 3 major islands that they converted as Tourist spots where you can have picnic as there’s a grilling area, restrooms, and rent kayaks and banana boats. Said islands are as follows: Quezon island, Governor island and Children’s island.

How nature lined up these emerald green islets are truly a breath-taking sight to behold.

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BANANA BOAT

We wouldn’t wanna miss this breath-taking ride! =) I lost (or we) my voice after.

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ENCHANTED CAVE

Tucked in Patar, Bolinao is someplace enchanted. =) The Enchanted cave. We dipped in its’ super cold and clear water, and when they declared we’re leaving, I almost don’t wanna go. Not yet! =)

ST. JAMES THE GREAT PARISH CHURCH VISIT

Of course, we wouldn’t leave this town without saying some prayers. Moreso, thank Him for this wonderful trip with wonderful people and great food.

 

CAPE BOLINAO

One of the highlights of this trip (Well, for me perhaps), is a visit to the second tallest lighthouse in the Philippines.

PATAR BEACH

We also had the chance to squeeze in to see one of their beaches. The sands are so fine, not that white, but their so fine. =)

BOODLE FIGHT THE PANGASINENSE WAY

I just found this boodle fight prepared neatly, and I just tasted a very delicious version of “Pinakbet”.

Roughly, it took us 5 to 6 hours to get to Casa Almarenzo. This includes the stop-over we had for lunch.

We also had fun roaming around the town, had lunch in this cool restaurant where you will find a wide variety of viands to choose from. We also shop for the also famous Bolinao longganiza. =)

Pangasinan is truly one of the most interesting towns in the northern part of the Philippines. There’s actually more to see in Pangasinan, such as: Sunflower farm, Our Lady of Manaoag church, the beaches, beautiful falls, caves, their delicacies, to mention a few.

 

 

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/

 

PINTO ART Museum…

Pinto Art Museum – Your portal to one of Philippines’ greatest Art collection. 

I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart.”
~Vincent Van Gogh~

If you look at my blog site, my Facebook page, my Instagram and Pinterest account, you will instantly conclude that I am an artist by heart.

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Yes I am.

When I took up Interior Design, I have witnessed genuine artists. My classmates, my Professors and their colleagues.

We were exposed to museums, art galleries and exhibits. Some of which are ours where each student represents one creation.

I did not dare to categorize myself with them because I am not good at freehand drawing like my other classmates. However before graduation, our mentors since we’re freshmen identified the strengths of each. I in particular, my mentor claimed that I have tons of ideas to create original designs, that I am very detailed and that an artist never required excellence in freehand drawing so I can still excel with doing abstracts. And I tried a few times. She also enumerated what occupations would fit us. I remember her saying I am a free soul since I did not limit myself with established borders.

I did not end up like a Professional Artist. But it was good enough for me (just to mend a broken heart for not being a full-time one) that I was able to utilize my degree at some points in my entire career life. I did booths for exhibits, sleepless during ingress, commended for a beautiful color scheme by a former boss. He asked me to reproduce more sets, however, I only did them from the remaining fabrics that were already discontinued. So I can not clone that one anymore which eventually annoyed him. =(

I did window displays of Merchandise shops. Took charge of the the interiors and exteriors of a significant part of a theme park where I used to work, spear-headed annual competitions, emulating Broadway hits and won thrice. And as stupid as I can be sometimes, my designs were even stolen twice. These are some of my pride.

I love art. I love colors. Bright ones. Sometimes I love the soft pastels too. I am inspired by gifted hands and tried to do them in my own special way. DIYs, reproductions, tweaked in such a way you will be allowed to own it.

So anything that has to do with Arts. I am in that leaning. I am like a child who won’t stop asking her mom to give in to what I am wishing for.

One of the galleries I really wanted to see is Pinto Art Museum.

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Welcome arch..
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We’re here, finally, after four long hours of traveling.
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It’s still Christmas at Pinto..

It was a bit hard on my part since I have to spend 5 hours to get there by commute. A total of 4 rides.

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Nature and Arts combined.

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And then finally, I was able to visit it by chance on a Sunday. Which we realized isn’t wise to do since the place is a bit cramped. Considering you have to savor each piece, those works of art laboriously brought to life by renowned artists.

Jen and I had to wait (long) for our turns to revel on each piece and she ran out of patience and asked me if we can leave since she is no longer enjoying. I actually feel the same way but I tried to ignore it since I am in between enjoying the place and running out of patience at the same time.

I might suggest to the management the possibility of limiting the number of visits per day and maybe manage the galleries in such a way that bystanders won’t linger just so to give chance to others. Or it’s just a wishful thinking as I remember visiting this theme park with more than 10,000 guests at that time. Should we limit it or not might be a major concern.

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Yay!

I also asked Jen whether the “Pinto” is the surname of the curator or they are literally referring to the word which is “Door” in the English language. It is the latter.

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I have collected several photos with “doors”. And archs, stairs, windows and of course with the different art works carefully distributed in each gallery.

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Several stairs..

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You will find there everything related to the Arts:

Sculptures

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Photography

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Negatives lighted from the back. And most of them are Saints..

 

Drawings

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Paintings

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Huge!
Huge!

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Conceptual Arts

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For the girls!

Crafts

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This one is inside a glass cabinet..

Junk arts

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Thought it was a man’s ribs then I saw that padlock.

Historical and religious items

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There’s a chapel to welcome you at Pinto..

And even Architecture

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And nature in all its’ beauty.

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A day is not enough to revere in their pulchritude.

And so we will make a second visit. A planned one. =)

This blog is like a gratitude to the curator who assembled hundreds of different masterpieces. It is beyond question, one of Filipino’s pride. Thank you for promoting a world-class prowess.

Pinoy pride...
Pinoy pride…

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And secretly, I wished that I have one of my piece displayed there, under a pseudonym. =)

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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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.

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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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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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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/