Avenue Suites Hotel in Bacolod: First Impressions

April 16th, 2014

 

Something to look forward to whenever you visit a familiar destination is trying new things, like staying in a hotel for the first time. For the past years whenever I’m in Bacolod, I always find myself staying in the same hotel but when I was invited for the Panaad sa Negros Festival 2014, I was excited when I learned I will be  staying at Avenue Suites Hotel.

It was just an overnight stay, so you can’t really call this post an Avenue Suites Hotel review right? You think ” first impressions” is more fitting? As the cliche goes, ” first impression lasts”.

So let’s begin.

I arrived quarter to noon from Iloilo City and it was a very quick taxi ride from the pier. The moment my taxi stopped in front of the hotel, the bellboy on duty was ready to assist me, reminding me when was the last time I had a very alert bellboy? No more telepathic look to the security guard “ Hey, where’s the bellboy? I need help with my luggage“. Kudos to that man, sorry I didn’t get your name.

Check in was good. The atmosphere was great. Within minutes, I was inside the hotel room at Avenue Suites Bacolod.

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Couldn’t help but crack a smile..

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The layout and the rooms reminded me of Chalet L’Fisher. Sorry, I had no luxury of time to post “untouched” hotel rooms. This is the only decent and realistic shot, I got just before I checked out.

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Given the hotel rates for Avenue Suites Bacolod, the room was satisfactory. And Wi-Fi is very strong and stable – the most important thing for your travel writer. I agree with other reviews on Avenue Suites I read, it would be better if they have coffee. It’s nice to enjoy coffee the moment you relax in your clean hotel room.

The Avenue Suites is one of the newest hotels in Bacolod. A small, boutique hotel right in city center. Situated in Lacson Street, the main street of the city, you can expect restaurants and attractions within your reach. Everything is walking distance when I had my lunch at Nena Rose for chicken inasal, went to a convenience store and even some cronut cravings at C cafe.

What I don’t like about the Avenue Suites Hotel  in Bacolod is their breakfast. Please, do something about it. I feel for the other guests, especially the foreigners.

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They offer buffet breakfast but when you say “buffet”, you automatically think about ” choices” but there’s none. My breakfast photo, the only choices I can dare to eat. The egg was not even close to perfect. I hope they will just go with plated breakfasts. It will be less disappointing.

To sum up my first impressions for this hotel in Bacolod…

Good points

Staff are alert and pleasing. They can cater to your “special” needs.

Strong wi-fi connection inside the room.

Best location

Bad points

Breakfast badly needs improvement.

Lobby is very hot! Was it due that day’s natural temperature?  While waiting for the Negros Tourism staff for pick-up,  I stayed at the lobby for a few minutes but I had to go back to my room because I was sneezing and about to have an allergic rhinitis attack.

Air conditioner in my room was located up high and it didn’t come with a remote control. How can I adjust my room’s temperature?

Should you stay at Avenue Suites Bacolod? Yes, just be aware of these pitfalls. Rates are good, same goes with location. If you want to book or check the latest rates for Avenue Suites Hotel in Bacolod, visit Agoda.com .

You might want to check out these other hotels in Bacolod..

O Hotel Bacolod

Chalet L’Fisher

Terraza of Balay nga Kawayan, Guimaras Island

April 11th, 2014

 

 

 Looking for a place to eat in Guimaras? While its beaches are Guimaras’ best spots, many Guimaras resorts do not offer high quality dining experiences to its guests. But not anymore…

Formally launched yesterday is Terraza of Balay nga Kawayan for visitors to enjoy farm-to-table dining experience in a very comforting ambiance.

Balay nga Kawayan ( Bamboo House) is located in Sibunag, 25 minutes from Jordan Wharf in the midst of Springbloom Farm, where fruits like pineapple and papaya are organically grown.

The Camiña family, who also owns the Camiña Balay na Bato in Iloilo City, wants to offer indulging lunch and dinner, solving the usual problem of many guests looking for a good place to eat while in the island off Guimaras. Likewise, Terraza will help the locals as ingredients are locally sourced from meat and seafood to top Guimaras products like calamansi ( Philippine lemon), mango and cashew.

Let’s have a quick tour at Terraza, Balay nga Kawayan!

What can you say about this open space?

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Relaxing and comforting, giving you a taste of resthouse living at Balay nga Kawayan in Guimaras.

The space opens to unobstructed view of Springbloom farm as well as Lawi Bay with some of the beaches in Guimaras.

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The interiors were fixed with antiques including two poster daybeds and rocking chairs. All you need is a book and off you go to a nice siesta with Guimaras’ cool breeze as a lullaby.

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There are many repurposed materials like this part of a baroto ( boat), now used as a large “tray”.

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Homey table arrangement.

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Now, let’s proceed to the food. At the launch of Terraza, guests, tourism officers as well as bloggers were treated with pre-lunch snacks of delectable local specialties.

 

The powerful combination of ibos ( rice cake delicacy cooked inside palm leaves wrapper) and mango.

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If Boracay has calamansi muffins, Guimaras has calamansi squares.

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Papaya fresh from Springbloom farm

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A myriad of tropical fruits and produce were offered to us. Your travel writer was  entranced to see cashew fruits for the first-time! :)

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Terraza will treat guests with the best meals while in Guimaras Island. Wide choices using locally-sourced ingredients that are healthy and equally sumptuous. Seafood, soup, native chicken adobo and their signature bino-ug nga baboy ( grilled pork seasoned only with salt) will satisfy you.

 

They also have their own creation like this Spinach-Malunggay Pesto Pasta

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Their pesto pasta went very well with these green salads..

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The the very appetizing  shrimp kilawin.

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Shrimp kilawin pictured with their own version of laing.

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For drinks, calamansi with mint welcomed us and free-flowing fruit smoothies using fruits harvested from the farm accompanied our relaxing island lunch.

What a nice experience to have when visiting Guimaras right? Good food, great company and soothing ambiance.

For inquiries and bookings, you may contact Terraza, Balay nga Kawayan ( +63 033-336 3858). You may visit their Facebook page

Enjoy the best of Guimaras best spots here..

Island hopping in Guimaras

Tatlong Pulo Beach : Guimaras’ “Secret” Beach

Could This Be Iloilo’s Best Kept Secret?

April 7th, 2014

 

 

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Mid week, I was crying for a weekend beach getaway but I wanted a beach that doesn’t require any boat transfer. Sadly, and I think other Iloilo residents will agree that we lack beaches in the mainland that can at least at par to those in Guimaras.  A quick Google search and I came across Kuliatan Marine Sanctuary. I have seen photos of this marine sanctuary from friends working in the government on Facebook and after asking for some information, off we went to San Joaquin, after our Sunday mass.

 

Kuliatan Marine Sanctuary is one of the 15 protected marine areas in the town of San Joaquin, in the southernmost part of Iloilo. Among other marine sanctuaries in San Joaquin, this is the only one that can cater to tourists. It is located in baranggay Sunogbuhan, the last baranggay of the town, right before you enter Anini-y of the province of Antique. It was a 2 1/2 hour-ride for my family from Iloilo City.

Kid1 was mumbling ” Are we there yet?” while kid 2 was pointing to the coastline ” Let’s go to the beach now!“. All these happening while husband was driving a not so familiar road and me checking for any small sign of Kuliatan Marine Sanctuary. Talk about a serene family outing. It was not long that we finally reached the place.

We were instantly greeted and accommodated. How long we will be staying and what kind of cottage we prefer. Let us say, swifter than a 5-star hotel. No kidding. Turns out, I was talking to Sir George, the sanctuary’s caretaker and operating officer. He was very kind, making sure we were settled, down to our grilling tools before leaving us. He was nice to buy ice tubes for our drinks.

Going down from improvized steps, I was delighted seeing the place. Big rocks and corals with shady trees.  And that sound made from waves slamming the corals I’ve been longing to hear.

My kids went straight to the water. Can you blame them?

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According to Sir George, the area used to be called “Small Boracay” because the sand was white. Southern Panay’s coast is black sand or rocks. When the road was built, big coral boulders were pushed closer to the shore. And after Yolanda, some rock corals were washed to the pool, covering the softer sand underneath.  When you swim, you need to protect your feet.

I was not complaining, the water is clear and refreshing. It has the scenery I’ve been longing to have. This is definitely Iloilo’s local secret. I think even most locals are not aware of this beautiful marine sanctuary in San Joaquin, Iloilo.

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As an off-the-beaten path beach destination, expect to have minimal facilities. The facilities like overnight cottages were one of the efforts of Sir George. Little by little, Kuliatan Marine Sanctuary has comfort rooms. This is what we got. The sack is our garbage bag. There is a small bed and a small sink.

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The cottage opens into the sea with our small table and long bench,  all made of bamboo. Al fresco dining anyone?

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As a marine sanctuary, snorkeling here is a must. Just awesome that where we were swimming close to the shore, you can see colorful fish. My kids saw big crabs inside the rocks as well as different shells. The delightful face of my son whenever he spotted some fish just make me happy.

From our cottage, I can see school of small fish. I am a happy beach camper!
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We stayed until five in the afternoon, after kid2 finally declared he is done. He was blue with wrinkled skin – after 6 hours of swimming. Haha!
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If you have kids, bring them here. This is a great place for nature exposure. Kid1 and I went “rock climbing” bringing home some scratches and painful knees reminding us how much fun we had!
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Here are their rates you might need to know.
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Going to Kuliatan Marine Sanctuary

For private vehicles – travel all the way to San Joaquin Iloilo until you reach Tiolas. Proceed to the road going to Anini-y. Just drive until you reach Kuliatan Marine Sancturary in Baranggay Sinogbuhan.

For commuters – take a jeepney from Iloilo City to San Joaquin Iloilo. From the town proper, you can hire a tricycle for Php200 and ask the driver to pick you up.

My travel tips for Kuliatan Marine Sanctuary

1. They only have a small store for basic provisions like coffee, shampoo and drinks. You can grill and cook rice but it is best to bring your own food and drinks.

2. Wear beach shoes, bring your own goggles or snorkeling gear. For those with kids, bring your own kiddie life vest.

3. Throw your garbage properly!

4. Please leave tips to the “staff”. It would mean so much to them.

5. Visit this place with an open mind. “Stinky” was uttered by the kids quite a few times during our trip. haha.

Enjoy Kuliatan Marine Sanctuary!

More of San Joaquin Iloilo

The Militaristic Church of San Joaquin

San Joaquin Cemetery

San Joaquin Iloilo, Unseen Destination

Island Hopping in Guimaras

April 5th, 2014

 

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How are you coping with the summer heat? Thank goodness we live in a tropical country, we can always ask the beach to rescue us from the dog days of summer. For us here in Iloilo, we have the island of Guimaras for a quick, even impromptu beach getaway.

 

 One of the popular things to do in Guimaras is island hopping. Island hopping in  Guimaras is not only answering what places to go in Guimaras but also finding your own secret beach.

Living in Iloilo, I have been to Guimaras numerous times combining both fun and scary memories. That I will share next time.

For now, I will share to you photos from our island hopping in Guimaras with my family.

We stayed in Alubijod and there are few boats for island hopping tours. If you are staying in other resorts, it is not hard to hire a boat either. Even local fishermen will be glad to take you on tour but be careful with the weather to ensure safety throughout your trip.

What we had I assume is the island hopping tour for first time visitors. We visited the usual areas for such tours and the quickest island tour they offer in Guimaras suited for my kids. I don’t want to wear them out.

Here is our itinerary in Guimaras:

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Our first stop for this inter-island tour in Guimaras and highly recommended for those with kids. I have written a full blog post about SEAFDEC, click here to read the article.

I personally encourage to spend more time at SEAFDEC and learn about marine animals.

Our next stop was Turtle Island. By the way, it is not an island. Like other beaches in Guimaras, it is a small area in mainland Guimaras in the capital town of Jordan. We passed by different formations along the way and different islets like Ave Marie Island and FairyCastle. The boatmen can identify them for you.

Do not expect to play with turtles at Turtle Island as well. Instead, you will be allowed to touch this lone resident creature.

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I pity that turtle, I have seen him for the past 6 years. Sadly, some tourists are not tenderly handling the turtle.

In one of my previous visits, the very traumatic one, I asked the caretaker where is the turtle sanctuary and she said, it is no longer operating. The DENR will only give them turtle hatchlings to release into the water.

In case you are wondering, why this place is called Turtle Island it is because  it used to be their nesting place. But for this particular visit, Turtle Island was at its finest.  I have deleted bad memories of this place.

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The beach was literally empty. No other tourist, even the caretaker was nowhere to be seen. It was all ours.  We hit the jackpot. We stayed longer because the beach was really good for swimming. Clean, clear and the sand was very soft.

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Then for our last stop, Baras Cave. For those who have been to Puerto Princesa, do not be dismayed. It is tiny but a nice place to see the bats. Akira’s first reaction upon entering ” Eww.So stinky!” hehe. He was referring to the bats calling Baras cave home.

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The water is freezing. You can ask your boatman to moor outside the cave if you want to take a dive.
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Just three stops but we spent half-day for this tour in Guimaras. Others go to Natago Beach,other islets and even go on a day tour to Guimaras’ island resorts. It is completely up to you, but for us, with kids and older companiions, it was a nice island hopping experience.

Read more about Guimaras..

Tatlong Pulo: Guimaras “Secret” Beach

Zemkamps Chalet: Where to Stay in Guimaras

Scenic San Lorenzo Guimaras

 

 

 

21st Panaad sa Negros Festival – Booth Tour

April 3rd, 2014

 

 

 For my second day for the 21st Panaad sa Negros Festival, I finally had the chance to visit different booths/pavilions of different cities and municipalities of Negros Occidental.

Last year, I wanted to tour around but we were scheduled to watch the opening ceremony and the next day, we went on a tour together with other guests to Rapha Valley, an organic farm in Negros Occidental.  I promised to see more of Panaad sa Negros this year.

I was picked up by the staff of the Negros Occidental Tourism Center in the morning for my tour at Panaad Park and Stadium. We arrived at Balay Kalamay, the province’s booth where we had our tour about the Negros Occidental’s sugar industry the other night.  Click here for the 21st Panaad sa Negros Festival Opening Ceremony.

I got a clearer look at the chimney used in making muscovado.

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We then went to Talisay City, which is famous for The Ruins. All booths showcase their crafts and products. This is their booth which resembles the old houses in Talisay like the Balay ni Tana Dicang, one of the most preserved ancestral houses in Negros.

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One of the products they have..

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Next, we went to Murcia with their man-made falls representing, Mambukal Falls, a top local destination in Negro. Next was Cadiz City, famous for their dried fish. I bought sap-sap and fish tocino.
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Sagay City, the hometown of my closest friends with these products.
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They also had squid rings, my kids’ favorite. I regret that I didn’t purchase them thinking that I might get them from other booths but each LGU pavilion has different products to offer. So if you see something, buy them right away. Here’s what it looks like at Sagay City’s pavilion, paying homage to their rich marine resources.
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Salvador Benedicto
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Escalante City
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I like their booth, it is unique from the rest where they presented their rich history from excavations of early settlers buried with tools like jars around them, reminding me of the local history of Isla Gigantes.
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Toboso, my father’s birthplace
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Summer is up! Good thing Panaad Park has big tall trees for natural shade. This is the pavilion of Calatrava, where my father grew up. My cousins still live there. It is shaped like a cave.
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They have hardwood furniture pieces made from tree called “togas”, Php25,000 for a set of chairs and the dining set costs, Php 35K.

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Calatrava has a wildlife sanctuary of monkeys. We visited this place a long time ago yet still traumatized when one monkey wanted to get inside the vehicle where I was sitting, acting so human-like to open the door. He wanted to have my bread.

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Then we went to the next pavilion of San Carlos City.
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It was already past 1pm and I need to go to the pier to go home by 2:30pm. We opted to eat lunch and have a quick tour.
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After lunch, we visited Sipalay and bought a coin purse for my sister based in Japan and went to Candoni, Bago, La Carlota, Ilog and many more. Just in time, I had a good tour and looking forward bringing my parents for next year’s Panaad sa Negros Festival.

Thank you so much to Negros Occidental Tourism Center specially to Ms. Tin Mansinares for accommodating me. Thank you for lending me, Ms. Leonor. She is very efficient and well organized. I admire how she let each guest feel at home, asking some tourists where they’ve been in Negros and the likes. Such a pro! Keep up the good work Ms. Leonor! Thanks for the company!

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If you are in Negros right now, come to Panaad Park and Stadium and experience Panaad sa Negros. It is well spent day getting to know the charming province of Negros Occidental.

Till my next Panaad sa Negros Festival!

21st Panaad sa Negros Festival – Opening Ceremony

April 2nd, 2014

 

Hi everyone! Sorry I missed some blog entries. I went on a overnight trip which is just “across” from my home here in Iloilo. As I mentioned in my previous post, your travel writer was invited again for the opening ceremony of the 21st Panaad Festival in Negros Occidental.

Panaad which means ” vow” and “blessing”,  is a must-awaited celebration in the province yet still needs to be promoted to visitors – local and international tourists.

So here I am sharing with you my second Panaad Festival experience. For this post, I will share with you the opening ceremony, highlighted with cultural dances from all towns and cities that compose the province of Negros Occidental.

Here are some scenes for you.

The Negros Occidental Singing Ambassadors, one of them is my college dormmate Marianne.

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I love that this year, they sang some Negrense folk songs.

Next comes the presentation of Lin-ay sang Negros. Lin-ay means ” muse” and of course, the cultural dance competition where each town and municipality showcase their respective local festivals.

Festival is the main highlight for every tourist and with this spectacle, it is like traveling to all places in Negros. As a second-timer for Panaad sa Negros, the dances are better and very grand this year.

Here is from Bacolod’s MassKara, a non-competiting group.

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There were 21 groups. I took few photos because I want to enjoy the performances and avoided blocking the view of the audience. I will be posting some in my Facebook page. For now, here is La Carlota City’s Pasalamat Festival. Love the samba beat!

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In between the performance, guests were ushered for a Thanksgiving dinner hosted by Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. After dinner, we toured the Organic Village and some booths.

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Each city, municipality and even the province has their own “booths” which are actually pavilions. I never seen exhibits as grand as the Panaad sa Negros. Again, it is like visiting each place in one setting.

Here is Bacolod’s, a replica of their own administrative building. Impressive right?

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There were musical performances, trade fairs, lots of products to buy as well as food festivals.

Last stop for the night was the Province’s booth, Balay Kalamay or ” Sugar House”. For those who don’t know, Negros Occidental is the country’s biggest sugar producer and the industry’s height also produced the country’s wealthiest families.

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Balay Kalamay has a tour on the sugar industry of Negros Occidental.

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Here is Raymond from Negros Occidental Tourism Council. One of the best guides you will meet. I have worked with him for my travel assignment with Mabuhay Magazine and everyone at the tourism council are very efficient and organized. I have nothing but praises for them.

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I never thought that producing sugar is very scientific. Look at these gadgets to test the acidity of the soil that can affect the taste of sugar.

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After our tour, we called it a night and will continue the next day. A fruitful and enjoyable time with the Negrenses.

Stay tune to my next post for my 2nd day at the Panaad sa Negros Festival.

Till then!

More on Negros Occidental

21st Panaad sa Negros Festival

Old Houses in Negros

Organic Rapha Valley

Come and Enjoy the 21st Panaad Sa Negros Festival

March 29th, 2014

 

 

 

How’s summer so far? Have you ticked something from your bucket list? Another destination to visit is Negros Occidental. The beautiful province is as refreshing as its boundless sugarcane plantations.

Most tourists come to Negros particularly to the capital city of Bacolod for their MassKara Festival every October but it is also nice to come to Negros during summer. One of the things to look forward is their annual Panaad sa Negros Festival.

The province of Negros will be celebrating its 21st Panaad sa Negros this March 31-April 6,2014 at the Panaad Park and Stadium with the theme, ” Organik na Negros: Rising to the Challenge of Globalization in 2015“.  I am very thankful to be invited to the opening ceremony of the festival and this will be my second time to attend this joyful event in Negros Occidental.

Last year, I had a great time watching the performances of different municipalities. The opening ceremony includes cultural dance contests showcasing each municipality and city’s festival. Therefore, it is like watching all festivals in Negros in one night!

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Panaad means ” vow” and “promise” and the festival surely knows how to keep their promise of pure enjoyment. From various activities, make sure you pay a visit to the different pavilions inside Panaad Park and Stadium. Pavilions from different municipalities and cities of Negros showcase their food, products and tourist attractions.

Visit them and it’s like taking a trip to each place in Negros. The pavilions are quite impressive as well!

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So come and enjoy Negros with the 21st Panaad sa Negros Festival. See you there!

For more information, click here.

 

Click for Things to do in Negros 

Old Houses in Negros

Manokan Country: Chicken Inasal

Why I love Roadtrips in Negros

 

Do Not Visit Isla Gigantes’ Tangke Until You Read This

March 24th, 2014

 

 

What was once an unchartered  territory has now been unveiled. Islas de Gigantes of Carles has wowed adventurous souls and inspired others to take the journey to the northernmost part of Iloilo.

Part of any Isla Gigantes itinerary or tour packages will always be the enchanting Tangke. Much has been written about this popular attraction in Islas de Gigantes but what is it like?

I have read different blogs myself about Tangke and I think none has described it exactly. Well, it’s part of the challenge and the reward of actually visiting the place but some information are missed yet vital for you to really enjoy Tangke, prompting me to write this post.

Is it really a lagoon?
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For sure you have read that Tangke is a saltwater lagoon but I personally don’t consider it as a lagoon. I have Googled the description but I’m no expert to categorize  if Tangke is a lagoon or not.

Tangke means ” tank” named by the locals because there is a “gap” among the big   boulders(?) forming  an opening. You can see this opening because it is where your boat will anchor. From that opening, water from the sea goes inside, thus filling up the “tank”.

If you ask me, I consider it as a natural pool. A big enchanting pool. Therefore, sometimes the water inside Tangke is shallow and can even dry up.

Some tourists also get dismayed because Tangke is smaller that they thought. That’s what you get when you keep the phrase “Tangke saltwater lagoon” playing inside your head. You have an idea that is is a very wide area but it’s not.

 

When is the best time to go?

 

The best to go to Tangke and Isla Gigantes is during the summer months – April to May. Unfortunately, it is also its peak season. You can’t enjoy Tangke that much if there are many people swimming with you. It is supposed to be a very silent place, almost like a sanctuary.

If you want to skip summer and the crowd, make sure that you also avoid the habagat months. Water can be treacherous in Isla Gigantes. Safety first.

You must go to Tangke during high tide. Local guides know this. If they insist you have to finish your selfies and photo takings to proceed to Tangke, please follow. Unlike most visitors, we visited Isla Gigantes via Carles and I thought we will leave our things first in our accommodation, but our guide informed us, we have to be there while it is still high tide.

And true, we had a beautiful scene in front of us. “Timing kaayo ta ma’am. Naka abot pa ta sa high tide”. Yes, locals also speak  Cebuano.

Beautiful. Not me but Tangke. ;)

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What should you expect?

As you can see from my photo and as mentioned above, it is not that big. It took me a little while to really feel that enchanting charateristic of this place as described in blogs -the  Tangke that many have been endorsing.

Luckily, we had Tangke for ourselves. I love slow travel . You can’t rush me. I need to smell the air when visiting a place. I took my time to feel the whole environment, looking at the high cliffs, spotting some birds. My guide told me sometimes, they can see monkeys. And that makes Tangke and the rest of Isla Gigantes very unique, especially for me because it seems like I’ve been thrown to a different place, but I only traveled 3-4 hours from my own home.

After I have watched the natural pool below, I have to swim. But yeah, I was not properly dressed but I have to. There are steps made for visitors to safely descend to the water. My first reaction? Water is freezing!!

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How I wish I could have dipped my whole body but I was wearing cropped pants   ( I thought I had a chance to change before we go island hopping) and we still need to cover other destinations for my Isla Gigantes travel assignment. Travel writing is not really that indulging. Not complaining just saying.

My guide was very encouraging to wade and explore the place. I saw a small school of fish and a lonely blue crab. And it was really freezing. I had to get out. Plus, the serenity of the place transformed into something eerie because I was alone in the pool. Blame it to the stories of fairies and encantos I read from blogs. On top of that, my guide also told me before I dipped of one visitor got possessed because she was so loud.

 

What else to do in Tangke?

 

After swimming inside Tangke, your guide may ask you to go cliff diving -just outside Tangke, facing the open sea. Of course I didn’t do it. I can’t even swim.

A funny anecdote is that my guide once asked a visitor to jump. At first, the visitor was hesitant but the guide was assuring and the visitor did jump. That visitor turned out to be Jessica Soho. :)

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Related article

Isla Gigantes for Mabuhay Magazine November 2013 issue

Tatlong Pulo: Guimaras’ Secret Beach

 

Saylo Cuisine : Where to Eat in Kalibo

March 21st, 2014

 

 

 

Going to Kalibo this summer? If yes, then you might be interested to know where to eat and what to eat in Kalibo. When traveling, savoring local food should be part of your journey. So, where can you eat local food in Kalibo?

If you want to taste Aklan food specialty, visit Saylo Cuisine. I think it is the only restaurant in Kalibo where you can eat different Aklanon dishes in one place. Please tip me by leaving a comment below if you know another place.

Welcome to Saylo Cuisine!

It is easy to find the restaurant. It is located a few meters from Marzon Hotel, everyone in Kalibo knows where it’s at.

The ambiance is quite good for those who want to raise the bar a little bit higher than backpacker style.

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I appreciate their effort in presenting their menu with these local materials. For local dishes in Aklan or Kalibo specialities, they have a special category on their menu. As you can see from the photo below, they also serve pasta. They have other exotic dishes like Tamilok and Crocodile Sisig but the ingredients were flown from Palawan, I want to taste them when I’m in Palawan.

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Here are Akeanon dishes or local foods in Aklan from Saylo Cuisine. Let’s start with the most popular Akeanon dish – Chicken Binakoel.

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Chicken Binakoel (Php290) or binakol is a sweet soup of native chicken cooked inside inside a bamboo bud. The sweet flavor comes from the coconut juice that’s why many restaurants choose to serve this soup inside a buko.

It was very good, my kids who are Ilonggo diners ( read: soup lovers) were asking for more but that means we have to order another one.  Chicken binakoel takes A LONG time to cook. The server said, 45 minutes after we asked for a follow-up. Or maybe just in Saylo Cuisine.

Look at Liam’s face here. Famished.
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Lesson learned for our next visit. We need to order non Akeanon food that can be served faster. It would be better too if they served our lumpia shanghai ahead of time, it’s an appetizer anyway. I  purposely ordered lumpia, just in case my kids will not eat the Akeanon food. And these are superb. We ordered another serving.

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Now back to local food in Kalibo. Here is Linapay.
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Linapay (Php70) is pounded freshwater shrimp locally known as “ueang”  ( we call it “uwang” in Cebuano),wrapped in taro leaves, then cooked in coconut milk. I love this dish but I left the taro leaves. Sorry mom!:)

Linapay is a local dish that I’m not familiar with. Savory and the freshwater shrimp was very fresh.

Lastly, here is Inubarang Manok

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Inubarang Manok ( Php160). Sorry for the photo. It was very hard to take a shot especially when you are hungry. The porridge-like stew is from coconut milk,lemom grass and of course, the banana stalk core ( a common ingredient in Panay Island and Negros).

They have some local sweets too like the Inday-inday (Php60) which is  steamed rice flour patty topped with bucayo ( strips of young coconut simmered in a mixture of water, muscavdo sugar and coconut milk). Maybe we can have them next time.

VERDICT: Saylo Cuisine is a good place to dine if you want to try local dishes in Aklan when visiting Kalibo. It is also a more “upscale” place to eat in Kalibo.

For the food, it was satisfactory and we love it. Of course, nothing beats eating these Aklanon dishes as home-cooked meals with the locals.

The staff needs to be more attentive and highly competitive. They were nice and friendly but I find them a little bit slow. They need to keep up with the customers, I felt bad that they had to do some dinner dash moves. I hope Saylo Cuisine can train their servers to be more informative and tell customers that some dishes takes longer to cook and the likes.

As a whole, Saylo Cuisine is a recommended place to eat in Kalibo. We will be back.

More Kalibo and Aklan posts..

The Town of Tangalan – 5 Places to Check Out

Pina Village in Kalibo

Museum It Aklan

Sin in New Washington

 

What if it was your child?

March 18th, 2014

 

 

Football is one of the most physical games ever. When my child complained that his opponent hurt him, my brother who played football simply said, ” it’s football, if you don’t want to be hurt, play pingpong“.

During football tournaments, you can see kids rolling in the field, hit by a ball in the chest; young players trying their best not to cry even if it really hurts. I know some kids who don’t want to play football because they are scared of getting hurt or hurting another person. And I often see boys at school with broken arms and legs. I’m kind of preparing myself for such injuries.

But what happens when parents are the violent ones? When the yelling and cheering go beyond the touchline? When it would come to actually hurt another player, your child’s opponent?

My brother tagged me on Facebook about the 18-under division game at the 16th Aboitiz Football Cup in Cebu that went violent.  You can read the story here.

Photo credit: Sunstar Cebu Facebook

Photo credit: Sunstar Cebu Facebook

Photo credit: Sunstar Cebu Facebook page

Photo credit: Sunstar Cebu Facebook page

 

Uber supportive parents gone totally overboard with violence is nothing new. Google it and you can see a lot of stories that often lead to arrests.  I can’t find any source for the full story about this game between Ateneo de Cebu and Alcoy ( a town in southern Cebu) but I assume based on what I read is the man in gray is the father of the striker from Ateneo de Cebu pinned down by the goalie from Alcoy.

Many commented that the dad was immature and that was my first reaction too. Well, he clearly went overboard causing this injury to the child and talks of suing the dad are circulating.

Photo credit: Sunstar Cebu Facebook page

Photo credit: Sunstar Cebu Facebook page

 

The dad was of course beaten up online with condemning comments even memes but some also gave their insight justifying the act of the latter.

What if it was your child?

A parent will always defend his child. It’s animal instinct but we are humans and we have conscience.

I will protect my son without hurting another son.

Given all the tension that may occur, I may have screamed or something similar but not to be  a war freak mother. As a writer, I can blog if I badly need to vent out.

I threw the question to my own husband and he said that it all depends on the situation but he won’t hurt another child. It’s too childish.

I hope that the dad did what the guy in black sando did. He  tried to calm down all three people involved – the goalkeeper, the striker and the dad. That’s what you’re supposed to do. Grab the goalie away from your striker son, and yeah, you can shout  or scold at the kid that makes you feel better, but please no violence. Playing at the 18-under division, oh yes, expect brute games.

Lessons learned. I will be more calm and conscious on how I react. I don’t want to be caught in a rage like this. Serves as a good purpose to all “touchdown parents” out there in football and other games to stay in control. As we always tell our kids, ” It’s just a game“.Same goes to the organizers especially when higher age divisions are participating.

And this is my opinion and my take. How about you, if you were in the shoes of the father, would you do the same?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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