Rediscovering Batangas…

Acua Verde – Rediscovering Batangas…

“Balance is not something you find, it is something you create.” -Jana Kingsford-

It is vacation mode. A few days back, all the shades of excitement are in our faces. We all know, that in a fast-paced corporate life, a time will occur that there’s a need to reconnect with nature. Be recharged. And be alive. The best time is? Summer!!!

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Road trip…

Going to Acua Verde, Laiya, Batangas on a road trip that took us less than 4 hours en route the newly constructed Star toll way.

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Guide map
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An ads that I borrowed.
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Acua Verde…

We arrived a little late for lunch and we headed straight to the restaurant.

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Cocina is Spanish word for kitchen…=)

The sumptuous buffet were waiting for us. The free flowing coffee is what I love best. Without guilt, I took advantage. Instead of the famous “tamarind juice” that they served as welcome drink, I had coffee over lunch. I do not want to be sleepy when everyone is basking under the sun. After taking some photos, we headed to each of our rooms and snag our forty winks.

The place was such a lovely site to behold. It’s a vast resort – Filipiniana theme, made use of bamboos as posts and cogon grass as finish for the roofing.

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(–,)
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The trees are part of the deal..
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And of course the beach front.

Our suite was at par, with 2 pieces of soft pillows and sheets and towels that smells ultra sweet. There is a hot and cold shower, hair dryer and personalized stuff. The personnel themselves are very friendly and assisted us with grins on their faces.

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Our place..
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Complete sets of toiletries.

Those huge trees that were lined up left and right, back and forth made me confused to decide who among them is the prettiest like a muse. I ended up surrendering to admitting that each of them inherits individual beauty.

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So pretty..
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Trees are heaven’s gifts..
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Giant bonsai..
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Loved the skies…

I devoured on where my feet are stationed and revel on the loveliness that’s all around me. The trees are truly welcoming. The wind softly blows allowing my hair to prance on my shoulder and whether they came from the north or south, I do not have the slightest idea. I only knew two things. I am free then and happy being with wonderful people. It made me forget the not so good things part of everyday life.

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We had bonfire during the night…and some booze.
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The bar is open 24 hours.

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Good company..
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Girls just wanna have sun!
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Great view..
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One of my favorites..
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And this one too.

When the sun is still capable of kissing our skins, we didn’t mind going around and explore the surroundings. Me and my bff as usual are natural explorers with our feet, eyes and cameras always ready.

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Me and my soul sis..
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She took this shot..

We’re like hunters for picture perfect subjects and didn’t get tired taking photos in all angles, appreciating the beauty of almost anything that captures our attention, in return, we capture them too. Fortunately, there were plenty.

I have collected these stunning panoramas.

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Boats are pretty subjects, I just realized lately..
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So stunning..
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Good times!
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I bought a biri hat..

For 2 days, short as it is. I have come to savor the incredulity of being with one with nature and good friends. Beauty from both. Captured. It is liberating. It was comparable to an emotional outburst of being free.

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Heaven and earth..
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Pink skies..

There are some activities that are too attractive to miss. We played like kids on the crystal clear water before riding on the banana boat.

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Crystal clear..
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More please..

It was so much fun!

The jet-skis are like begging for us to ride on them. So we did!

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Sis on it!
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My turn..

The ride created a lovely base for summertime. I have yet to find a more amusing way to describe the ride. It’s just so addicting, you wanted to do it again. Even in some other time.  I noticed my skin (or our skins) getting darker due to the heat of the sun, but what else can be lovelier If we would not enjoy being under it so much if we didn’t sizzle?

It is so worth it and getting a tan won’t hurt just to be able to bid this specific Summer goodbye…It’s already June anyway.

So long Summer of 2014, looking forward to Summer of 2015! I just can’t wait! =)

PS

I am taking this in as my finale… (–,)

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Mushroom omelet please!

Acua Verde is located at San Juan – Laiya Rd., San Juan, 4226 Batangas. You can get in touch with them at 02-651-5967.

Have fun! =)

 

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. =)

An afternoon at Cliffhouse…

An afternoon at Cliffhouse…

One of my most favorite part of the country is Tagaytay. I am so blessed and lucky to have it just an hour away from our house (if without the traffic jam).

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I was always aiming to take a photo of this welcome signage, then i did it this time..=)

Young as I was, we frequent the place, it was like a huge park for me, there’s the highest point, where you can enjoy the whole panoramic view of Sta.Rosa, Tagaytay and some of Batangas.

Blooms of all the colors you can think of can be spotted everywhere. Picnic Grove was very famous even when I was a child, had been a favorite of excursionists that allows you to have picnic, horse back-riding, shop souvenir items and locally produced items too. Recently, they introduced zip-lining.

Tagaytay established itself as a tourist spot enticing investors to build hotels here and there due to influx of local and foreign visitors.

Currently, there are more than a hundred hotels to choose from, each offering their own uniqueness, details of each making a difference which makes choosing a little harder and fun too.

The place had also been venues of seminars, trainings, retreats as started by DAP and a lot of weddings were held here too. Spas are like mushrooms sprucing in every corner, not to mention the restaurants too. There’s a zoo too, Tagaytay is like a one stop shop, upon your plight, everything you need is there. What captivates the hearts of so many, is the cold weather of Tagaytay, as a child, it is here where I saw thick fogs for the first time. My papa had to stop driving from time to time due to zero visibility especially during the “ber” months.

One early weekend morning, we hit the road heading to Tagaytay. My mom’s cousin is residing in Tagaytay and they are celebrating the annual fiesta. And so I grabbed the opportunity to enjoy Tagaytay to the fullest. (–,) I eyed to check out Cliffhouse.

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Cliffhouse – at last!

Initially, I was just craving for froyo (frozen yogurt) feeling bloated after having lunch with more than 5 different viands to choose from (this is how fiestas in the Philippines are being celebrated – fiestas: festivals celebrating the patron saint of a particular town), and then later I discovered that Cliffhouse is a a whole block of the following establishments: Fire lake grill, Buon giorno, Cafe Breton, Domicillo, Burger bar, there’s a hotel too, a Souvenir shop,

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Souvenir shop!
Attendant claimed it's prohibited to take photos inside the Souvenir shop, sowee, she's too busy to notice...
Attendant claimed it is prohibited to take photos inside the Souvenir shop, sowee, she’s too busy to notice…
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I so love this mannequin!
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Excited for my frozen yogurt!
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Where to? =)

The shop where I got my yogurt!

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want to have a fling?=)

There’s a space where you could get a good view of the Taal volcano,

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This area allows you to have a good view of the Taal volcano..

some comfy benches, trees and flowering plants made up a place worthy of being revisited time and again.

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Tweet-tweet!
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Symmetry..
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Balance..
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Focal point..

Plus, the many choices nearby of whatever that you are craving for. We had some pizzas from Buon Giorno with drinks that comes in giant mugs shaped like a muscled arm. I found it really cute so I had to take a photo of it. (–,)

buon giorno menu
Buon Giorno is “Good morning”!
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My yellow mango shake!

This resto by the way coveted the Best Restaurant award from the Philippine Tatler.

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Tatler’s taste..
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Personalized dressings..
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Where are the birds?

And this is just one of the many authentic restaurants that you can find in Tagaytay. Please take a look at my top 10 list:

1. Eateries from Mahogany market

2. Mushroom Burger

(I even heard my former boss saying “What’s Tagaytay without Mushroom burger?”)

3. Antonio’s 

4. Mile-hi

5. Bag of Beans

6. Gerry’s Grill

7. Rowena’s

8. Verbena 

9. Sonya’s Garden

10. Buon Giorno

After seeing my own list, I was thinking of the other places that I think are as good as those I listed. I think I’m listing a second batch soon. Suggestions are always welcome! As I will never get tired going to Tagaytay, the more I see it, the more I love being there. The place is so peaceful to me. There’s a different air that I always feel being in Tagaytay, not just because it’s colder there, it’s really something special. (–,) And it’s best felt than told. Please come and see for yourself! (–,)

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So where do I go next in Tagaytay? (–,)

Batanes…Beyond expectations

Batanes – Beyond Our Expectations

I am so fortunate to witnessed the unspoiled and undisturbed beauty of Batanes, if not for the Ivatan’s (True Insulares) uniformed goal to preserve mother nature, this will not be achieved. Thanks to my soul buddy, for this once in a lifetime experience. (–,) ♥♥♥

Batanes map
Photo grabbed from: http://attyreycdar.blogspot.com/2014/07/wonders-of-batanes.html

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It means “The goodness of God be with you.”

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My soul sissy brought this for me claiming it must be part of my wardrobe.

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We only spend a few days in Batanes though it is enough to leave me lifetime memories to cherish. It was raining most of the time on that first week of December. It is very cold, windy and wintery. We can’t go out without layers then.

I imagine Batanes during Summer yet since it is not when we visit, I see Batanes as fascinating during the Rainy Season. They control the number of visitors so we felt like having the island all on ourselves. It was a unique feeling, since more often than not traveling usually requires us to deal with other visitors too.

There is bliss when we arrived and all through out our stay.

 

Of Windows, Doors and More

Of Windows, Doors and More – Breathtaking Batanes

“Be an opener of doors.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

I am so fortunate to witness the unspoiled and undisturbed beauty of Batanes, if not for the Ivatan’s (True Insulares) uniformed goal to preserve mother nature, this will not be achieved. Thanks to my soul buddy, for this once in a lifetime experience. =)

Batanes is one of those few provinces, the smallest one in the Philippines, yet, with the most unique way of living and not to forget highlighting the breathtaking natural beauty of the whole island. Setting your foot there is awe-inspiring and truly unforgettable. A laid-back province yet is very rich in culture and natural resources.

The Architecture is unique too since they are situated along the typhoon belt. They created roofs made of cogon grass that are sturdy enough to weather storms especially during the rainy season. Because the islands are surrounded by the South China Sea and Pacific Ocean, they are oftentimes exposed to very strong winds.

Here is a collection of doors and windows I’ve witnessed in the stone houses of Savitug in Sabtang island.

There are endless ways to enjoy your visit to Batanes. For me, this is just one of those.