Take Me Back to Tibiao, Antique

September 28th, 2014

 

 

Untitled

 

 

While locals of Panay island and its neighbors are aware of the beautiful province of Antique, the rest of the country and the world are still unaware of this province. No doubt, an unseen destination.

Antique is a nature-lover’s destination. I recommend Antique for those who want a break from the usual grind of work and family duties, and to those who want to get out of their comfort zone. It is also the best side-trip you’ll have if you are visiting Boracay.

One of the top local spots in the province of Antique is Tibiao.

My overnight travel in Tibiao a year ago is one of the best, not just because of its scenery and attractions, but more because of my companion – my college friends.

From the island of Malalison, we ended our Antique tour in Tibiao. Very provincial and I love the way of living of the locals.

We stayed in this house. The only inn in Tibiao was fully booked when we arrived; luckily, one of the motorcycle drivers are the caretakers of this hut.

DSC_0622

 

 

It proved to be a blessing. I find our accommodation better and we were taken cared of pretty well.

Our suite room..;)

DSC_0898

Manang also cooked for us. The family bought supplies for us like fish and pork. Their son, Yohan was our guide and instant friend.

We arrived early in the morning and wasted no time to swim in the river. My first time. haha! Felt great! Tibiao River is famous for white-rafting but it was summer, not really good for kayaking.

DSC_0669

After lunch, with our legs still tired from our trek in Malalison, we headed to Bugtong Bato Falls. The trek is only for 30 minutes but it was tedious for overweight people like me and hey ,we just came from our trek in Malalison!

Still it was fun. It was drizzling, but with my two friends and new-found friend, Yohan, we were laughing and having a blast.

DSC_0760

 

 

Never miss to experience their Kawa Bath. Here is a separate post I wrote.
DSC_0811

 

 

 

Like any adventure, it is best spent with people you love. Haggard looking but happy! Yohan is the abs-man. Look for him in Tibiao!

DSC_0850

 

 

Tibiao is a good destination to expose your kids to nature. There are new activities in Tibiao; for me Tibiao is a place to just  laze around, enjoy an-hour of bathing in its spring water, and enjoy aswang stories at night!

Hope to visit Tibiao again! Have you been here? Share you story!

 

 

 

Related posts

Tricked to Trek Mararison Island

Golden Beach of Antique

How I Define Luxury

Share

Finding Time to Work at Home (With Kids!)

September 20th, 2014

 

DSC_0106

 

More and more individuals choose to work at home. It is more than just the freedom to be with your child or less commuting, but the promise of exponential wealth. Working-at-home for some is like building their own business.

No matter how sweet it may sound, there are many things that you have to think about this style of working. One of them is how to be productive while taking care of your family. It comes as an irony that majority chose to work-at-home to spend more time with their kids, yet here they are, trying to organize their schedule to actually work..and earn money!

There are many tips that you can read and to be honest, they don’t work for everyone. I have learned in the past  six years that there is no single formula on how to work. It is a struggle for me write without being disturbed by a wailing child.

I’m writing this post not just for freelancers but for stay-at-home moms to be productive. Be it for fitness, a new hobby, or socializing.

Yes, my kids are trained that when I’m upstairs facing my laptop, that means I’m working and I can’t be disturbed. However, that also means I have to expect a messy room with papers, toys and empty bottles of Yakult. Sigh!

The best way to find time to write, work at home or simply to have time for yourself is to mix the following “free” times. What I can share to you is to grab the opportunities that you can ACTUALLY work.

Write before they wake up

You often get the tip that you work after the kids go to bed. This didn’t work for me and I think it simply doesn’t. I bet you often find yourself snoozing as soon as the kids are tucked in bed. Particularly among writers, your mind needs to be well-rested to create a wonderful piece. I may still have the energy but my mind is  tired.

My solution? Wake up ahead of others! I think all moms should wake up at least an hour before everyone else to avoid the rush and to enjoy your morning coffee. I like it when I get up at three or four o’clock, enjoy my cup of joe while browsing the net, checking emails and my Twitter.

If I have an assignment, I can write them faster and the output is way better!

Work while they are at school

DSC_0099

Obviously, this won’t do with babies. The joy in my heart when finally Liam can be dropped at his playschool without a single tear! Few hours but it is enough for me to craft an article for the magazine.

Work during weekends

This works for me. My help goes to college fulltime therefore, I do most of my writing on weekends. I don’t have to wake up early,  I can shut the door ( just like what I’m doing right now), and work.  Quality time. No interruptions.

Give them gadgets. Seriously!

DSC_0013

Did you just raise your brow? I honestly give my kids gadgets. My kids enjoy monitored screen time and so far, it is not a battle. If they are grounded for some reason, so be it. I install educational apps for them too.

When pressed for time, I let them enjoy their games longer than they should and I tell them honestly, ” Mama is working, I’ll let you play more. Please behave. okay?“. Nuff said.

Accept worthy-of-your-time assignments

The most challenging part of my writing is when I gave birth to my second child. A new baby, a four-year-old without any help. It was struggle for me to earn money. My husband told me to stop feeling like a superwoman because I just end up frustrated. I think he is right.

I worked my way up and I don’t do the 5-article-per-day working schedule anymore. I simply can’t do it. If I can, I will be yelling at my kids and feel guilty about it.

To all freelancers, never undersell yourself. As what I emphasized in my article for Entrepreneur Magazine on freelance writing, KNOW YOUR WORTH. Click here for the article.

I only write less than 10 articles per month yet I’m earning more. Raise your rate. It makes me happier because I’m not exhausted and I have more patience with my kids.

Staying at home with kids doesn’t mean our lives must revolve around them 100%. You need to have your own time. Find new hobbies. Earn money. Meet with friends.

Especially for moms..remember this, ” A happy mom is a happy home.

Thanks for reading!!

Related posts…

Apps I love

How to Write for Magazines

Six Annoying Things to Think, Say, and Do to Freelance Writers

Share

Another Reason to Love Davao

September 13th, 2014

 

How’s your weekend so far? From where I’m writing, it’s drizzling and I don’t like it.  Had a long week with two assignments, a blog advertising job ( yes!), and of course, my perpetual duty as a mother that I was hoping to get out of the house.

Unfortunately, I’m doomed to stay indoors. Well, maybe some armchair travel will elevate my drowsy spirit this Saturday.

Would you like to join  me?

I’ll take you to an island that I’m hoping to be close to where I live. Dreaming of going to the beach, images of Samal Island keep scrolling in my hazy mind.

The Garden City of Samal as it is known, is one of the reasons why everyone should visit Davao.

Take me here right now please..

Untitled

 

We live in a country that undoubtedly has the best islands. Too many count to be honest but hey, not all of them are conveniently located. Not Samal, it is less than 15 minutes from the wonderful city of Davao.

This is my second time to visit the island yet. It still impresses me to enjoy the island without spending too much time. Left Radisson Davao at 10, took a cab with fellow bloggers to the pier and in a few minutes, the beach!

By the way, this is where we took a boat to Samal. Literally beside an oil depot, but not a sight of oil swimming in the water. Davao is very clean.
DSC_0896

 

Because I’m getting older and I don’t have extra clothes, no swimming for me. I’m fine with the sight of the sea, the gentle breeze, the soft sand underneath my feet, and great good company.
DSC_0912

 

If you are in Davao and you happen to be free on a morning, let us say, you’re appointment is still in the afternoon, you can absolutely get away and be back in the city in no time. With this, there is no reason to skip Samal Island whenever you’re in the city.

Till next time Samal Island! Thanks to be my fellow bloggers – Chamee, Renz, Sarah, and Glen for tagging me along!

 

 

I would like to take you back to my first Samal adventure..if you are like, here are the links

Davao Day 2 ( Samal Inland Tour)

Davao Day 3 ( Samal Island Tour)

Samal Island’s Hagimit Falls

 

Share

RoRo Schedule San Carlos City to Cebu ( Toledo)

September 7th, 2014

 

Tracking this blog’s traffic, my post on RoRo schedule from Bacolod to Iloilo (and vice versa) is a constant “hit” among visitors.

Thus, it gave me an idea to post the schedules from San Carlos to Cebu via Toledo. I know they’ll come in handy because it took me so much time researching online for the schedule when we drove all the way to Cebu last July.

 

 

 

Here is the schedule for the RoRo from San Carlos to Toledo, Cebu and vice versa.

DSC_0822

 

We missed the 7:30am trip during our quick trip to Cebu because from their website, it says it only serves during peak season. As of this writing, there is a 7:30am trip. I suggest you call them first for reservation and for fees for your vehicles.

Again, their website gave the wrong number. We called this number , (034) 729-8040.

If you don’t have any car, there is a fastcraft to get to your destination quicker. I took this years ago. Just in case you would like to know the schedule for fast-craft from San Carlos to Cebu, here it is

DSC_0823

 

Hope you find these information useful! Have a good trip!

 

Related posts…

RoRo Schedule Iloilo-Bacolod

Why I love Road Trip

Road Trip to Dumaguete

Share

Celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival at The Promenade

September 3rd, 2014

 

One of Iloilo’s top restaurants, Days Hotel Iloilo’s The Promenade offers a gastronomic festivity to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival or the Moon Cake Festival with lunch and dinner buffet featuring Chinese specialities as well as moon cakes.

To give you a background of this Chinese festival, you may want to read this.
DSC_0746

 

Moon cakes for you to love

DSC_0749

 

…as well as to share with your loved ones

DSC_0747

 

Ilonggos all look forward to The Promenade’s lunch and dinner buffet menu. For this celebration, all lovers of Chinese cuisine will be in food heaven.

 

Yours truly got a chance to enjoy the festivity with a lunch buffet last Monday.

Let’s start this virtual food tour shall we? Let’s begin with the appetizers.

 

 

 

They had Shredded Meat Soup, freshly baked breads, and this delightful Golden Shrimp Balls.

DSC_0752

 

Love tofu? This is a nice nibbling treat – Stuffed Bean Curd! The dragon carving adds to the over-all flair of the plate.

DSC_0761

 

Dimsum lovers -steaming hot siomai. They also have siopao.

DSC_0764

 

If you want something light, go for salads. The Promade has an organic salad bar, fresh from their very own, Orchard Valley Organic Farm. For this celebration, they also present Chinese Shrimp Salad
DSC_0769

 

and Chinese Bean Sprout Salad
DSC_0771

 

For their Station of the Week, they have Soy Chicken, White Chicken, and Chinese Roasted Pork with special sauces for you to pick.
DSC_0776

 

Let’s proceed to the main dishes, but let’s not forget the rice. Feel free to choose Steam Rice or this Peking Rice. It has pineapples, squid, and mushrooms.
DSC_0777

 

Four Kinds Vegetable
DSC_0779

 

Stir-Fry Fish Fillet
DSC_0782

 

Hoisin Chicken
DSC_0784

 

Braised Pork or Hong Ma
DSC_0787

 

My personal favorite at The Promenade is their dessert spread. Take a look at this from egg tarts to hal-halo!
DSC_0792

 

A popular Chinese dessert, Almond Jelly.

DSC_0789

 

With its sweet aroma, this Steamed Banana Cake is hard to resist.

DSC_0805

 

Sweet tooth alert!
DSC_0801

 

Not to be missed is the Moon Cake
DSC_0806

 

 

Dining out with family and friends? Reserve a table at The Promenade!

1974153_697074433680504_7676316900102453033_o

 

 

Read more..

Ayana Restaurant, Sheridan Boutique Resort

7 Ilonggo Specialties You Shouldn’t Miss

Home Sweet Home, Camiña Balay nga Bato

Share

Quick Trip to Cebu

August 31st, 2014

 

 

My iPhoto has thousands of shots waiting for me to upload and share, just like our trip last July. Yeah I know, almost two months but hope you don’t mind me sharing.

Older sister came home from Japan for a much-deserved vacation with her own family, and my mother grabbed the chance to pressure me to go home to Cebu. Pressed for both time and money, I think we pulled it off and the kids had the best of their time with their Lolopops, Mamalo and their cousins.

Coming home is a wonderful time but my husband is traumatized with the lack of taxis in Cebu that we never go without our own transportation. And that simply means …roadtrip!

From Iloilo City where we are based, we traveled all the way to Cebu. It was Iloilo-Negros Occidental-Cebu road trip for the family.

 

We left Iloilo at midnight and we arrived in Negros in time for sunrise. Done this road trip countless times; it was like going to school every morning. haha.

Kids were asleep throughout our Roro trip ( boat ride), perfectly waking up when we reached the verdant scenery of Don Salvador Benedicto.
Untitled

 

Traveling during early morning is a beautiful experience. Peaceful especially when the kids are asleep. haha!

We did a few stopovers like watching Malatan-og Falls and for our 2nd breakfast, since we had a lot of time to spare before our trip from San Carlos City to Toledo, Cebu. Once in San Carlos, we grabbed antihistamine because Aki got allergy from the shrimp crackers I bought in Murcia.

Untitled

The beauty of road trip is that you are not in a hurry, which is perfect for lazy people like me.  Once in Cebu, we drove via TransCentral Highway.

It was nine in the morning and it was still foggy. Lovely place. Sorry, I didn’t take photos, I was enjoying my ride.

In case you missed, we stayed at Marco Polo Plaza Cebu. Did a little work and met my friends, as well as new friends from Marco Polo.

Untitled

 

Marco Polo Plaza is the best place to enjoy the cityscape of Cebu.
Untitled

 

Quiet time for father and sons at the Continental Lounge
Untitled

 

The next day was family day! Before that, this PAREF student made sure we go to church first.

Untitled

 

It was a muggy day but we completed the Holy Mass. And off we went to my parents’ “mansion”.

Five children, our parents have 12 grandkids..as of now. We planned to have our family time in a resort however, the kids just wanted to go to Lolopops’ house, leaving my mother to feed us all.

Chaotic and tiring, but our parents are the happiest. The screaming and the laughter made our time together more memorable.

Untitled

 

We didn’t go somewhere touristy except for Ayala and the Basilica, yet I have maximized our time, from our staycation in Marco Polo to our family bonding over dinner and then lunch before we went home.

A weekend trip, my boys wanted to stay longer or want to go back to Cebu right away.
Untitled

 

Till next time Sugbu!

 

Related post

Staycation at Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

Marco Polo’s Sabores de España

RoRo Schedule Iloilo-Bacolod and Vice Versa

Share

TGIF at Kusina Tsina

August 30th, 2014

 

One of my favorite restaurants in the city has offered a dinner buffet for their loyal diners. Kusina Tsina ( Chinese Kitchen) is well-loved by Ilonggos who want great Chinese cuisine at affordable price.

My family often comes here as much as we can. I’m a patron for the past 4 years, dining with my brood almost every Sunday, after mass.

Yesterday, yours truly was invited along with fellow bloggers for their Payday dinner buffet.

10390000_706515702730729_7328505189228351183_n

For just Php288, you can treat your family and barkada! Just want to tell you though that expect a lot of people at Kusina Tsina during their buffet. But it simply means people love it. The whole place was packed that this is the only photo I snapped for my main meal.

Image

 

 

My sons would love the eat-all-you can dimsum. Less people that time that I was not shy to take out my bulky camera..
Untitled

 

I love the cake, it balances the taste of the dimsum since I rarely eat them with sauce – just a sprinkle of calamansi.

I made a fool out of myself when I thought this is sapin-sapin – obviously, it doesn’t tune in with Chinese cooking. Turns out this is jelly. Yummy. I love anything with ube.
Untitled

Blogger friends and I left Kusina Tsina at quarter to eight and there were more people pouring in. I really didn’t mind the crowd, the food was just great and affordable. Next time, I will reserve a seat that is away from the “traffic”, somewhere a little bit tucked.

So we met other bloggers who were just having their dinner at Wawa Heritage Restaurant. I haven’t been to this restaurant with a flamboyant impression on me. So let’s give it a try.

We only ordered their guyabano juice and turon. More on hanging out and enjoying chill-out Fridays.

The interior is nice. I was told it is best to come here at 4-5pm and stay till night but not during the day when the sun is blazing.

Nice right?

Untitled

 

I didn’t get any superb food review for WaWa but I’m thinking of bringing the husband here and review this restaurant.

Untitled

 

So that was my Friday night. I love spending time with fellow bloggers. No mommy talks and more lessons on blogging. A quick break from my mommy routine.

How was your Friday? Hope you had a good one.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Related posts..

Repackaging Kusina Tsina

7 Ilonggo Specialties you Shouldn’t Miss

Old Mansions in Iloilo City

 

Share

Apps I love

August 27th, 2014

 

While most parents cringe at the thought of letting their kids use gadgets and other hand-held devices, I guiltlessly let my sons play their iPad.

 

Working at home as a writer with no fulltime help, iPad is one of the best things to my existence. I used to ban gadgets during travel but now, it comes in handy when you want 15 more minutes in bed at a fancy hotel.

I think it depends on the guidelines you give to your kids – and stick to it. So far, my kids and I are in zen when it comes to their iPad usage.

Likewise, I’m sort of semi-homeschooling my preschooler. While he plays, socialize with other kids, and do crafts at school, I am introducing him to reading and writing at home. Interactive and educational apps are one of my tools. So far, I love the educational apps from KIDS ACADEMY.

I discovered these apps since April and so far so good. Liam, my preschooler loves his “study time”. I would like to share to you their three apps that I personally use with Liam.

We first started with this app. Basic reading and writing. Click here to download.

 Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 4.25.26 AM

 

And interactive workbook to test your little learner. The apps are very user-friendly, your child can easily navigate. It goes without saying that you have to “play” the apps first for a few times with your child before letting him do it on his own. Click here to download this app.

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 4.25.59 AM

 

We just started with this app. Number tracing is more than developing motor skills but letting him recognize the digits- visually and orally. We love the games.  Much more, the Parent Mode – every app should have a parent control/mode feature. Here is the link for download.

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 4.26.29 AM

We’ve been using Kids Academy for a few months now and you’ll surely love these apps as much as we do. If you are looking for new educational apps for your child, download them all now!

Thanks for reading!

Share

Discovering Laughlin

August 25th, 2014

 

Hello everybody! What’s up? Sorry for my hiatus – kid’s exam week and some magazine writing assignments.

So here I am on the last day of the long weekend. No travel, not even a quick road trip to a nearby beach; instead, husband and I spent lazying around thinking of his trip to Spain next month and planning for our next travel.

Surfing the net and checking hotel sites like Booked.net for travel inspirations,  I found myself getting to know the town of Laughlin in Nevada. My apologies that I am more familiar with other places in the state but Laughlin is actually the third most visited casino and resort destination in the state of Nevada!

I love hotels, my kids love them more. I explored Booked.net looking for hotels in the area and  read from previous visitors that you must stay at Laughlin hotels on the river . One of the hotels I found is Tropicana Laughlin.

Nevada can be costly, my husband wants to visit his friend there so I want my travel inspiration to be a little bit realistic.  I think Tropicana Express Laughlin fits the bill!

Here is a photo I found in Flickr

The Tropicana Express

 

This hotel has a total of 1,495 rooms and has its own casino. I don’t gamble but I enjoy those slot machines. I find them really cute. :)

Here is one photo of  Tropicana Express’ room. I love the color scheme. This is one retreat from the buzzling activities around Laughlin.

Tropicana-Express-photos-Exterior-Hotel-information

 

You do wish to be here right now. This is a bedroom peg for me. Calm and cozy.

Tropicana-Express-photos-Exterior-Hotel-information-1

 

 As a 4-star property, it offers a myriad of activities for guests courtesy of its worldclass amenities and facilities. Getting to know Tropicana Express Laughlin makes me learn more about Laughlin particularly when it comes to attractions.

This hotel as I read from Booked.net, is close to sights like Lake Mohave, Colorado River, Davis Dam as well as Edgewater Casino and E Center.

All these information want me to discover Nevada and the rest of the United States. I guess Laughlin now goes to my bucketlist.

Thanks for reading!

Related posts

Park Inn by Radisson Davao

Yamate Italian Garden

Share

Lighthouse Resto + Bar

August 8th, 2014

 

I had the most stressful lunch last Sunday at the highly-hyped Horizon Cafe that I was wishing to be in a different place while dining. One of them is Lighthouse Resto + Bar. It also reminded me that I forgot to blog and share this new restaurant in Iloilo.

I visited it twice and the photos here were taken last June 12, all photos by Antoine Greg of Cafe Ilonggo.

Lighthouse Resto + Bar is located on General Luna Street, once the busy part of the city. In fact, if my memory serves me right, the place use to be a party place called Tijuana.

Lighthouse is a family restaurant, it is spacious but I recommend you have a seat near their drink bar — cozy with big plushy pillows. We didn’t take photos because there were many diners.

 

10474378_10204182362818144_324045579_n

 

Their menu is the usual – pasta, steak and the likes but they have good choices for drinks. A plus point for me. I asked the waiter, what is their specialty and he recommended Crispy Belly. My reaction was, ” nothing new“, but I ate my words after that. This is one yummy crispy belly. Very soft meat with crispy skin.

10466907_10204182362698141_580005803_n

 

Greg also ordered their Oyster Rockerfeller – baked talaba.

10472990_10204182362538137_1611014560_n

 

and Spanish Chorizo.
10443714_10204182362738142_1379808292_n

 

This one was a little bit tricky. In the menu, it didn’t mention that it will come with rice. It was fine if the waiter didn’t give us an “warning” because we are big people (haha!),  but when we told the waiter if we can return our other rice, he refused at first.

We had like 4 cups of rice in total! We said ok too but it is not comfortable because even if Greg and I are big eaters, 4 cups of rice is gluttony. haha. So we asked again and showed their menu, he must be scared of our persistence that he accepted our request.

Food was great and I love the little cozy restaurant. Again, I wished I brought my family at Lighthouse Resto + Bar last Sunday rather than spending time and money at Horizon Cafe.

For dessert, Greg and I had Sans Rival. It was fine but I have tasted Dumaguete’s, which is so far the best of its kind in the country.

For drinks, have the mint cooler ( I forgot the exact name). Greg told me to get it and it is really refreshing. I would like to try their others mixes. I paid 700+ for 3 dishes, 2 cups of rice, one dessert and 2 drinks – very affordable.

 

You may like..

Don Rite Gourmet Food

Lunch Buffet at The Promenade

Nothing but Desserts

Happy Kitchen

Share
  • Hi! I'm Valerie Caulin. Welcome to my blog!

  • Categories