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/

 

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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. =)

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.

I survived Sagada…

I survived Sagada…

Years ago, not only 2 close friends of mine asked me to visit Sagada. I am not that interested. I am perplexed by the thought of no more trips after dark? Why? I used to ask what’s with Sagada? I’ve been to Baguio anyway.

Guests will have to sign up here before beginning the adventure...

The view from our room...

I’ve read several blogs about it, heard about the many interesting activities you could do there, spelunking, there are distinct falls, historical sites, sightseeing, breathtaking views, hospitality in all sense of the word, good weather, (you will hear an impetuous sound thinking that it’ll rain in a while only to find out, it was just a strong wind coming), and the rain itself will without any warning.

Their local cuisine, not to forget their own locally grown coffee, the list might be endless. Honestly, I am awed with those blogs. I thought I would try writing mine…

Sagada as they say were meant only for the adventurers as it is almost too difficult to reach it or to get there, you will count hours (by land), you can’t avoid crossing deep valleys, bumpy rides, ravines, creeks and cloud forests. It isn’t for those like me who got used to traveling by air than by land with those swelling buttocks and suffer from dizzy spells due to too much sights and sounds (and varying smells from the aircon bus with a cubicle where you can pee while the bus is running).

Trip schedules are actually limited due to the not so safe trail to reach Sagada. But after the loooong trip, Sagada is for everyone to enjoy the very essence of rural life in the highlands especially for us who’s accustomed (or maybe at times tired of the city life), the place exhibits the wonder of a rich culture and simple life.

I wonder how it feels like being based in such a famous and well – visited place yet simplicity can be seen in all their eyes. Not only simplicity, but bliss and an enduring hospitality which Filipinos are known for. I noticed that half of the passengers in our bus were foreigners. I then again got mystified with the common trait of travelers to discover something beautiful and be changed by it instantly. It was funny to find myself nibbling on Yogurt cake in Sagada.

Yogurt cake...

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There’s this one foreigner who owns an Inn/ Resto – Masferre who was tagged to be the Father of Philippine Photography. I am astonished what took the likes of these foreigners to hold such love for a country other than their own (which reminds me of another photographer during People Power Revolution who was weeping while taking pictures of that event and claimed that most of them (Americans) were complacent of the freedom that they always have while these people (Filipinos) were defiantly willing to die fighting for their freedom.

How I wish we can see our country through these foreigner’s eyes… Masferre boasts goodies (all kinds of fruit jams) which we bought some for our loved ones. I wistfully yearned to describe Sagada like repercussions of my past experiences, good and bad.

I dropped the other activities and treated the “Hanging Coffins” as the highlight of this trip.

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Instead of being aghast with the sight of coffins literally hanging in the mountains, of course I am scared, I felt admiration to their strong belief of an undying love when one has physically died already. The unyielding belief of being one with your loved ones and your Creator at the same time. An adulterated love.

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Whew!

As I sauntered to these valleys…heart-stopping long walk…

to the unknown (we didn’t hire a tourist guide/ the fact that we can hear the other tourists voices killed our fears and made us continue trekking until finally we were inches away from the coffins), running out of words to describe Sagada, let me end this to claim that this is an adventure like no other…