Purple Beetle…

PURPLE BEETLE

“Where focus goes, energy flows.”~Tony Robbins~

It all started with this photo.

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Courtesy of: http://www.imgrum.org/media/1276837540570395942_1725691340

This is probably one of the most beautiful dream catcher that I’ve seen. It isn’t a painting, it isn’t a drawing, but a photo of a real dream catcher (s). Not just one but several dream catchers put together creating a very beautiful masterpiece. I’ve always thought and assumed that it is somewhere not near, maybe in a different country.

Then one day, while browsing for hotels to stay out of town, I came across this cafe in Lipa, Batangas. It’s called Purple beetle.

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A graffiti of a native Indian struck me, with all kinds of dream catchers surrounding it. Colorful feathers here and there. As I went further, a very familiar window captured my attention. It was that window with the dream catchers I’ve seen months ago. I couldn’t believe that it is here in my country.

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If I can only “DIY” this! ❤

As if running out of time, I immediately asked Jen to visit Batangas because I really wanted to see this cafe. There have been many blogs about it, though I really wanted to see it myself.

We were able to squeeze it with our busy schedules. Just recently, we decided (finally – after contemplating if we can do it) to go to the gym regularly. Adding up another activity that we try to manage inspite of our conflicting schedules tons of work in the office and at home.

We took a bus from Alabang, and it took us less than 2 hours to reach Lipa, Batangas. I must not forget to mention that I admired the town for its’ cleanliness, the roads are very organized, bus stations are situated in just one location giving comfort to commuters and tourists alike.

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Lipa City never felt like a province to me. I saw McDonalds one block after another, I saw a total of 3 McDonalds in Lipa. It was funny, because in my own hometown, I am happy that our village is in front of McDonalds, however, the next is an hour ride from its’ location. Very province right?!

The main roads in Lipa are a bit wider too, and before we reached our destination. It was inspiring to discover that Purple beetle is sandwiched by known restaurants like Army Navy, two very popular coffee shops: CBTL and Starbucks, and you will be surprised
to witness that despite of the competitors surrounding the place, their tables were seldom empty. When we arrived, we even have to wait for some tables to be vacated and we never had the chance to choose spots we like. I don’t mind, I’m just after that window with the dream catchers.

They also sell boho stuff: of course dream catchers in all sizes, hairdresses, boho tops and dresses, tasseled bags, shawls, and mandala spreads.

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Let’s take a look at their menu:

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We opted to have nachos salad and quesadillas which they called “Pizzadilla” because it has toppings too. I had my purple slush and Jen had coffee.

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Much as I do not want to be too transparent in my blogs. The place is just hype, famous among Millennials (Coachella type), but they need to make another study when it comes to the food that they’re offering.

The pizadilla, since it has toppings and fillings at the same time, tasted nothing but salty. No feel of the other ingredients due to its’ saltiness. The tortilla wasn’t able to balance it, apparently, my palette normally requires salty taste from time to time, but this one I couldn’t tolerate.

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In all my travels, several times I’ve proven that a picture can literally speak a thousand words. One can look so beautiful in pictures, when in reality, it is not that pretty if not disappointing. Honestly, the photos enticed me. The likes of Sonya’s Garden, Prado farm weren’t that pretty in reality. They were pretty in their own terms, but they didn’t have that “wow” factor. That feeling of satisfaction that you’re happy you came.

Jen was too positive to tell me that out of the many travels we’ve made, the disappointments are very few. That most travels made us happy because it surpassed our expectations. One piece of advise is to seek opinion of those who saw a specific place already. And you’ll never go wrong. Besides, it is always been a part of the adventure. Usually, it is not the place, it is the adventure itself.

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PURPLE BEETLE  is at Ayala Highway, Lipa City, Batangas Philippines 4217. You can send them email at: hello@purplebeetle.com.ph with telephone number: 0998-855-7732.

 

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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/

 

What I miss in Tacloban? (part 1)

As an Executive Assistant years ago, I get to be assigned to our branches nationwide, one of which that I frequent most is our Tacloban branch. That was actually my first assignment, my heart was broken as I boarded the plane on my way to Eastern Visayas. I am so sure I will definitely miss my mama and my papa and my son and hon and my friends back home. Never had I expected, that Tacloban became my second home.

T’was just a small town, the pace is very laid-back, the people are very kind. Just as small as it is, I never thought how big the town can offer. In no particular order, I miss all of these:

I should say that this is the most famous Italian restaurant here in Tacloban. It's near my hotel, a 10 minute walk and the attendants will openn the door for you with a warm smile in synch with the owners who often man the place and takes care of the guests' needs if necessary.

I should say that this is the most famous Italian restaurant in Tacloban. It’s near my hotel, just a 10 minute walk and the attendants will open the door for you with a warm smile in synch with the owners who often man the place and takes care of the guests’ needs if necessary.

Libro cafe, is an ancient house in Tacloban turned into a Cafe which for me offers one of the finest and creamiest blueberry cheesecake I've ever tasted. In here,  you will find hard to find books at a lower price. With staff that are so accommodating. You can stay there reading while having what's in their chalk-lettered menu and the owner would not mind.

Libro cafe, is an ancient house in Tacloban turned into a Cafe which for me offers one of the finest and creamiest blueberry cheesecake I’ve ever tasted. In here, you will find hard to find books at a lower price. With staff that are so accommodating. You can stay there reading while having what’s in their chalk-lettered menu and the owner would not mind.

Ocho grill I guess compete’s with Guiseppe’s being in the # 1 list when it comes to restaurants in Tacloban. Although, they are in different category, Guiseppes is Italian while Ocho’s offers All-Filipino cuisine, they boast their fresh-catch seafood. You will be asked to choose from the counter and they will cook it nicely for you. One thing that’s amazing in this restaurant is that their staff are powered by a lapel utilized to communicate with the rest of staff. Even if the place is jam-packed, worry not, as everything will go into places. Very efficient service. My favorite:Chili shrimps and Broccoli with quail eggs. By the way, don’t miss the scallops! it’s the best!

This one is from Sombrero. Their version of chimichanga. Mexican spices are too strong but I don’t mind because when you’re away from home, to discover that the place has a lot to offer, is really quite surprising. Besides, I’ve always loved chimichangas!

Sombrero has smoothies too which I take tons of! It's healthy and a good combination with spicy food! Behind is a picture of my son, I miss him terribly! The puppy beside him is Pocholo! (--,)
My son’s photo gets me by. Being away from them.

Sombrero has smoothies too which I take tons of! It’s healthy and a good combination with spicy food! Behind is a picture of my son, I miss him terribly! The puppy beside him is Pocholo!

Met a friend and dined in Ocho's...
Met a friend and dined in Ocho’s…

What better to enjoy the freshest sea food with a very good old friend. This has been so many years ago and I honestly regret not being able to visit this province in a while. Though, I hope it’ll be soon. =)