Concha's Garden Cafe

Posted on: Wednesday, December 31, 2014 | , , , , ,
Concha's Garden Cafe is a restaurant that offers all day menus including house specialties. From the quaint looking facade to a rustic ambiance of the interior, this place offers a delightful dining experience.

Goofing around

It lives up to its name 'garden cafe' because it shares the same space with Mother Earth Gardens. From the entrance, you will be welcomed by different plants and trees. To savor the perfect garden experience, try alfresco dining at the wooden gazebos.

Interiors and Features

Concha's Garden Cafe is located along Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Road in Silang, Cavite beside Petron and before the entrance of Richland Hills. This place is very easy to find. For those headed to Tagaytay, Batangas or any other parts of Cavite but wanting to avoid the madding crowd during meals, Concha's might be the answer. Try dropping by before you head on to your destination.

Don't let this place fool you, once inside you will be taken into a new dimension - a rustic dimension. Filled with vintage centerpieces and wooden furnishings, what else would you not love in Concha's?

Rustic never goes out of style

Dicasalarin Cove: The Secret Unfolded

Dicasalarin Cove, Sitio Dicasalarin, Brgy. Zabali, Baler, Aurora

Baler has been in my travel bucket list since ages and thanks to Kris Aquino’s daily morning show for convincing me that it is really worth the visit. After many researches and blog hopping, I ended up listing the spots that I wanted to see in Baler (and Aurora) including Dicasalarin Cove. But because I was unable to find an affordable 3d2n travel package (most package costs 7,000 and above per pax) with Dicasalarin Cove in the itinerary, we embarked on a do-it-yourself trip.

Upon arrival, I arranged our tour the next day via tricycle worth 1,300 pesos/trike. As per City Ordinance, regular day tour rates costs 800 pesos via tricycle (Dicasalarin not included). One tricycle are allowed a maximum of three passengers. Regular tours plus Dicasalarin costs 1,200 pesos above.

There are actually four ways to reach Dicasalarin:
  1. Hire a private van or ride your vehicle all the way to the place.
  2. Ride a boat from Sabang Beach.
  3. Hire a tricycle that will take you to the starting point at the foot of the mountain then hire a motorcycle (single as the local puts it) that will take you to Dicasalarin.
  4. Hire a tricycle that will take you to the starting point then trek.

Can you guess which way we chose? Surprisingly, we took the road less traveled so that’s option number four.

Give Thanks

Posted on: Sunday, August 03, 2014 | , ,
A wonderful promise to claim

This was supposed to be posted on the last day of July, but because Mr. Fatigue visited me last week, the posting had to wait. I really don’t like July (my apologies to those who love this month) because for the past years it has always been associated with unfortunate and unexpected losses. This year despite being the same gloomy and rainy July it has always been, I gained worthwhile realizations about life and God’s love and goodness.

We went to Divisoria, the shopping mecca of Luzon, last July 12. We arrived at Buendia at almost 10 in the morning where we boarded a jeepney to Divisoria. Jeepneys are the most popular mode of transportation in the Philippines, in Manila and other parts of Luzon particularly, patterned after the American jeeps; passengers occupy the parallel seats at the back usually 6-10 passengers per side. It took some minutes before all seats were filled. Surprisingly, an officemate rode the same jeep with her mother and aunt.

El Nido: The Journey Continues

The following day, we woke up early to stroll around Bacuit bay and wait for the sunrise. Unfortunately though, the sun does not rise (nor set) on that side of El Nido. Despite the epic failed sunrise catching, we waited for the dusk to break while feeling the sand and waves on our feet.

For this day we had Tour A, the most popular and most visited of all places in El Nido. This tour includes the Big Lagoon, the cover and setting of all El Nido advertisements and international movies. Our itinerary also included visit to the Small Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island and Seven Commandos Beach. We did some snorkeling, which gave us the chance to see the beauty of El Nido underwater. Warning: Another picture-heavy post.

a) Big Lagoon

Big Lagoon is El Nido's main attraction. Entering the lagoon is comparable to entering a paradise, the waters were so serene and relaxing. According to Kuya Dennis, the lagoon is like a soup bowl - the water gets deeper as you approach the middle. 

The gateway to paradise

Upon entering the lagoon, the katig almost caught up with the rocks so our boatmen had to go down and push.

Find the hand of Talim, one of our boatmen.

El Nido: The Journey to Paradise

El Nido is located at the northernmost part of mainland Palawan; roughly  five to six hours drive from Puerto Princesa City. It's quite amazing that despite the location, many tourists are visiting El Nido. I guess the distinct beauty of El Nido makes it a premier destination for both Filipino and foreign tourists. FYI: Almost 80-90% of tourists are foreigners.

The most popular activity in El Nido is island hopping. The islands of El Nido are made of limestones, believed to have risen from underwater and are expected to rise a few meters every year due to environmental changes.

Tours range from A - E. Tours A-D are the island (water) tours while Tour E is mainland tour of inland beaches and waterfall. For tourists with limited time, some travel agencies offer combination tours. Combination tours consist of selected places from Tour A and Tour C which can be visited within a day. For our two-day stay in this paradise, we availed of the most recommended tours - A and C.

Because we need to catch the van going back to Puerto Princesa on the second day, our contact travel agencies decided that we start with Tour C because its farther compared to Tour A. For the first day tour, we visited Hidden Beach, Secret Beach, Talisay Island, Matinloc Island and Helicopter Island. Warning: This is a picture heavy post. 

1) Hidden Beach

Group picture at Hidden Beach

On to our first stop, Hidden Beach. As its name suggests, the white sand beach is hidden from view and located between the limestone cliffs. Big boats dock at a particular place and guests can either walk or swim to the beach. We were lucky because it was not yet crowded when we arrived. 

The limestone cliffs and tourists walking towards the beach.

The Gift of Education

Posted on: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 | , ,
If there is one thing I could give the Philippines, that is the gift of education.

In terms of effort, the government has been doing its part. They have been continuously exploring ways to improve the quality of education, hence the implementation of the K-12 education system program. Financial resources have been utilized to build additional classrooms, hire teachers and buy school books and materials. A mobile education system was formulated to help more Filipinos gain access to education. Despite the efforts, there are still a lot of things that need to be done.

We have seen television documentaries of children taking the extra mile just to pursue education. Children walking for hours ignoring the scorching heat of the sun or the heavy downpour of the rain just to get to the lone school in their municipality located kilometers away from their homes. Some were forced to cross dangerous bridges or rivers or even embark on a wavy and terrifying boat ride just to get to school. Some would have to work extra so they can buy schools supplies or have pocket money to buy food. Some would have to settle for recycled school supplies, worn-out uniforms and even torn books; while some just won't have the luxury of having a single school supply. 

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