Monday, April 28, 2014

Eat Fresh HongKong Famous Street Food

#MondayMunch

DELICIOUS HONGKONG STREET FOOD


J. Abad Santos St., Greenhills, San Juan City
Ma. Clara, Sto. Domingo, Quezon City (near Banawe)

I am a fan of Chinese food mainly because of their flavorful dishes especially their dumplings and noodles. Well, I've been eying this restaurant whenever I pass by going home. I've been curious about it because the kitchen is in the front which is unusual. My first impression is that they don't have dine in and people just take their orders as to-go.

Finally, one not-so-lonely night me and my friend decided to eat there after a year of passing by! HAHA. You know what is best? I didn't expect anything from it. I know that the food may not be sumptuous but it exceeded my expectation. Look at their menu, no presentation at all. How can you expect something from this. haha. Also, when we got there, the place was very full and the Chinese lady in the counter kept on giving orders to the waiters while computes every table's bill.




Their famous Laksa is the best, well not as flavorful as with in Thailand but it will do. Most of the table ordered it, so we tried it as well. Also, their Yakitori is the best! I loved those vegetable wrapped in Bacon then brushed with Yakitori sauce. Aww, just writing about it makes my mouth to water. HAHA! 


Their Fried Rice and Chopseuy that is good for 2 - 4 persons!

Ahhhh! Their famous Yakitori. I loved it in an instant!!

Laksa Soup in hot pot!


My overall experience with Eat Fresh was a two thumbs up! It was almost wee hour but lots of people are still visiting the place to eat. Every serving can satisfy one's craving for Chinese food and they also give generous servings! Yey. This is a must try for a group of 4. You just have to prepare atleast 200 - 300 Php per person. Lastly, come there with no expectation at all. The taste of their food will definitely surprise you!

Oooh! The Chinese Lady in the counter is very good in math, she didn't use any calculator but managed to give our total bill in a matter of seconds! Amaaazing.


Ano, TARA GUMALA? 



CIAO.
--
GABRIELA

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Yotam Kaspin | #SaturdayShoutOut

My 1st Israeli Backpacker Friend

It's been awhile since I last featured some one or thing on my #SaturdayShoutOut! I was pre-occupied with my recent travels. Anyhoo, this post is about my newly found friend (NFF).

We all meet different people in every strange places. There are times that you don't expect to meet someone but it happens. I want to share with you guys how awesome my NFF is. His name is Yotam Kaspin. I met him when me and Hannah was buying a drink in a small store in Subic Beach, Matnog, Sorsogon. He walked in the store and the store owner could not translate what he wanted to say, so as a typical Filipino will do, we translated it for him. Then a little conversation started a new friendship.


He is Yotam, 23 years old from Israel and been traveling since August 2013! Imagine how cool his life. After his mandatory service, he packed his bag and travelled the world! He has been to a lot of countries in Asia like India, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and many more.So how can he afford it? I was also asking him the same thing! How on earth can he do that. Haha. Well, he said everything in our country is cheap and almost man of his age do the same thing. 

Our country is blessed with natural resources, other countries even dubbed us the paradise of the world. Unfortunately, not all Filipinos can afford to travel, only few of us can really travel the world or even travel the 81 Provinces of Philippines. For now, even I cannot afford to travel for that long but I know someday I will do it. I just have to save a lot because the value of our money in the international level is very low! 

I encourage every yuppies like me or even those who are in their 20s to explore the world! The younger you are, the more chances of getting into places. Hope this could inspire you somehow. Let us all unravel what our beautiful world has to offer!

As per Yotam said, and I quote "traveling is learning new things about the world and about myself, breaking my limits and searching for answers and of course just having fun and enjoying freedom at its best form!"


Ikaw ano sa tingin mo, TARA GUMALA?


CIAO.
--
GABRIELA

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Travel Guide to Subic Beach, Matnog, Sorsogon


 PARADISE AT THE END OF LUZON

I have no idea that there is another Subic in the Philippines. All along I thought the only Subic is in Olongapo. I just knew it when Sky Scanner featured it on their Facebook Page and after few hours Sir Ronie Santiago of Plan B (Beachneering) posted an event which includes exploring Subic Beach and Biri Island! I really got excited and immediately joined the said event. 

Subic Beach is part of the Calintian Island which is under the jurisdiction of Matnog, Sorsogon and few minutes away from Matnog Port.

It was around past 10 in the evening when we arrived in Subic Daco (Big Subic). We were all exhausted by the time we arrived in the island because it took us 24 hours just to get there. 

This view welcomed us in Matnog Port
I was thrilled the moment I smelled the ocean breeze! I said to myself "Subic Beach here I come!" After a 30 minute boat ride we arrived in the said beach and this what welcomed us. It was cloudy because of the LPA but it didn't blocked the moon to shine. 

Subic Beach during night time

On the following day, it was raining hard and some of the tents were not able to endure it including ours, so we relocated to another place near the police station. We were joking that it is the safest place in the area. 

Finally Haring Araw showed up




HOW TO GET TO SUBIC BEACH:


Matnog, Sorsogon is the Southern Tip of Luzon. It is literally, end of Luzon. Too bad I was not able to take a picture with a sign that says "You are now leaving Luzon". They say it the gateway of Luzon and Visayas.

Via Air

The nearest Airport Terminal that can be your drop - off point going to Matnog, Sorsogon is Legazpi. Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines. 

From Legazpi Airport, you have to go the Daraga Bus Terminal and ride a bus bound for Matnog, Sorsogon, which is 4 hours away.

Total Travel Time: 5 - 7 Hours



Via Land

There are several bus companies which are bound for Matnog, Sorsogon e.g. Philtranco, PeƱafrancia, DLTB, Eagle Star, C.U.L Transport. Actually you can ride any bus going to Samar or Leyte, all of them are passing through Matnog Port. 

Total Travel Time: 12 -14 hours



Via Water

From Matnog Port, look for boatmen in the bay and haggle a ride going to Subic Beach. If you are going with a group, better have reservation ahead of time for proper coordination. You can contact Honey Hilao with this number +63-927-215-9098. She is from Subic Beach and  organizes boat ride and tours around Calintian Island and Biri Island. She said that for a group of 10, you can avail a boat for 7,000 Php inclusive of the said tours. 

Total Travel Time: 30 - 40 minutes



WHAT TO DO IN SUBIC BEACH:


1. Beach bumming

You can laze on their pinkish white sand and enjoy the ocean breeze! 


See it's pinkish white! :)




2. Have fun with friends!

Most of the people are drinking, some are playing cards, frisbee, basketball and volleyball.




A very crowded Subic Beach on a Black Saturday!

3. Meet new friends!

Travelling will let you go into places and meet different people. Subic Beach is an upcoming tourist attraction. You can meet locals and foreigners. I met a cool backpacker who has been traveling the Philippines for months! His name is Yotam Kaspin, I will do another post about him.

Also, I got the chance to socialize with the people of Plan B. Plan B is a very diverse group but all have the same goal, to explore the beaches in the Philippines. I will also do another post about it.

Don't be scared to mingle with other people you will definitely learn from them, just be cautious on whom you talk to.


4. Island Hopping

You can go to Subic Liit (Small Subic), Light house in the Middle of the ocean, Hidden Cave Lagoon, Cathedral Cave, & Juag Fish Sanctuary.

Smaller version of Subic but less trash


Our boatman trying to dock in an islet.



 Lighthouse in the middle of an ocean! According to the locals, it used to be an island but through the years it submerged into the ocean.



Below are different caves but we were not able to explore it because of the strong waves.
Cathedral Cave





There is a lagoon inside the cave but we were not able to go through it because of the mighty waves!
A very crowded Juag Fish Sanctuary. 


So there you have it! Subic Beach is fine but I think not worth it for a 12 hour travel, to make your stay worth it, but if you have a side trip to Biri Island, it will definitely make your trip a memorable one! Their marine life is also not that rich, their corals are destroyed. Good thing the beach is still clean but they do not have proper waste disposal. The houses nearby and the waste that tourists create, generate pungent smell which is not healthy! Eeek! Hope the local government could do something with this.

Anyhoo, yea Subic Beach is a nice place to visit. Its pinkish white sand is a must see and plunging in their clear water is very refreshing plus the salinity is low compared with Calaguas Islands. I recommend this place for those who wants to visit Biri Island, this should be your base camp, like what we did.


Ano, TARA GUMALA?


CIAO.
--
GABRIELA

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Monasterio De Tarlac

This very timely since it is the Lenten Season or commonly known as Holy Week. This is the season that we reminisce the sacrifices that Jesus did to save the humanity. It is also the season when Catholics repent all 
their sins and abstain. In Filipino we call it "Mahal na Araw" and we always hear the phrase "Mangilin ka". 




Most Filipinos are doing "Visita Iglesia" during holy week. Visita Iglesia  is visiting different churches. They believe that you can make a wish if it is your first time to visit that church and your wish will come true. Bulacan, Pampanga and Tarlac have numerous historic and holy churches like Barasoain Church, Malolos Church, San Guillermo Church, and St. Michael the Archangel Church. 




If you are a devoted Catholic or even not, Monasterio De Tarlac is a good place to visit. It has a beautiful landscapes and castle like houses, has a beautiful scenery, and a gigantic statue of Jesus just like the one in Brazil. The said statue is the must see in Monasterio De Tarlac. Lastly, they held masses in the open area during Lenten season to cater the number of devotees.


The Christ Redeemer Statue








Beautiful Sunset at Monasterio De Tarlac




Monasterio De Tarlac is really far from the Tarlac City. I think it took us 1 hour and a half just to get there. There were tricycles for hire but I am not aware how much will it cost you. 

From Manila, you just have to take NLEX then SCTEX and exit at Tarlac. From there, it will be another 1 and a half hour going to Monasterio De Tarlac. There are sign boards around the area and asking the locals will help. We got lost but it was fun, travelling with your family is priceless.


Ano, TARA GUMALA! 


CIAO.
--
GABRIELA


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Dicasalarin Cove, Aurora

Dicasalarin Cove is a private island owned by the Angara Family. The entrance fee costs 100 per person. If you have a car, parking fee is free but if you only hired a tricycle, the latter is not allowed to go inside, you are forced to hire a habal - habal worth 100 Php per way.



Accordingly it used to be a resort that can be rented but when a foreigner died when tried to surf and swim in the beach, they only opened it for day tour. The under current in Dicasalarin is unpredictable so swimming and surfing are not advisable. There was a big sign that says NO SWIMMING! yes with ALL CAPS! haha.

How to go to Dicasalarin?

There are two ways of going to Dicasalarin via land or via boat. Well, the latter is not advisable since the current is really strong. If you are staying at Costa Pacifica, they will give a map going to Dicasalarin. It was an easy one. Going to Dicasalarin, you will pass through several scenic sights like, Diguisit Beach, Ermita Hill, Diguisit Falls, Ampere Beach and many others that are worth taking pictures.

Note: If you are not staying in Costa Pacifica, never buy tickets there to Dicasalarin Cove, they will charge you 300 Php. The entrance fee only costs 100 Php! Just go straight there and pay at the gates of the Cove.




Via. Land.

Getting into Dicasalarin Cove with your own private car is more convenient than renting a tricycle. The trail going to the gates of Dicasalarin was a death-defying! The road is still under construction and only one car at a time could pass. The road is very steep as in scary steep, my friends said that it is steeper than Sagada. eek! Here are some pics.





Well all the risks are worth it! I swear.








When we arrived in the area, it has different villas like a resort and it even has an artist village but we were not able to visit because we were running late. We also did not have the chance to trek the trail going to the lighthouse. We stay beach bummed in the cove.



Villas in Dicasalarin



The beach of Dicasalarin Cove was amazing or maybe I was just not expecting too much. Anyway, yea it has a powdery golden sand not white but it is enough to make my trip to Baler. I also enjoyed it because there were few people in the cove and not crowded like in Sabang. Privacy has a price, e?

Dicasalarin was featured in KrisTV, so its gaining popularity. Well, if you are rich, maybe you can afford to hire an airlift going there.








Lighthouse



So that was our Dicasalarin experience!




ANO, TARA GUMALA!

CIAO.
--
GABRIELA