Bohol Countryside Tour

Bohol Countryside Tour

Bohol is an island province located in the Central Visayas. Its only city, Tagbilaran, is popularly known as the City of Friendship for the warmth and hospitality of the locals. The province is full of tourist attractions making it a famous destination for people traveling in the Philippines for the first time. A day tour of Bohol countryside is a trip you shouldn’t miss when visiting Bohol!

 

 

 

1. Baclayon Church

 

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Baclayon Church is one of the many establishments that suffered from the 2013 Bohol earthquake. Since then, the locals worked hand in hand to rebuild the damages of the said religious institution. Today, you can visit the partly ruined church and a historical museum located on the second floor.

 

2. Python Sanctuary

 

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Another popular tourist attraction in the municipality of Baclayon is the Python Sanctuary. An animal shelter that was home to the biggest captive python in the country, Prony. Prony was named after its captor, Sofronio Salibay. She measured 27 feet and weighed more than 300 kg (according to an estimate by DENR). Prony died last August 2013 but her preserved body is still available for viewing in the sanctuary. Bohol’s other endemic wildcats like the Malay civet cat, Philippine mongoose and a flying lemur can also be found in the sanctuary.

 

3. Loboc Floating Restaurants

 

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Dining in the Loboc Floating Restaurants is truly a unique experience in Bohol. Savor a hearty lunch buffet while enjoying a soft cruise along the majestic river of Loboc. They serve the most delicious Filipino dishes and delicacies such as adobo, pancit, maja blanca, suman, among others. During the cruise, the guests will also be serenaded by a singer performing acoustic songs. A group of folk dancers will also make a performance as a form of welcome to the tourists.

 

4. Tarsier Conservation

 

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Of course, you totally shouldn’t miss visiting our little nocturnal fellows — the tarsiers! These cute animals are considered as one of the smallest primates. The distinct features of the tarsiers are their small bodies, long tails, and wide eyes. Being nocturnal by nature, guests should be aware that silence is strictly advised during their visit in the conservation center.

 

5. Chocolate Hills

 

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You will also see the world famous attraction in Bohol — Chocolate Hills! These unusual landforms are a treat to look at. There are over 1000 hills occupying more than 50 square kilometer land. The hills turn from lush green to chocolate brown during the dry season, hence, its name. You can climb a view deck where you can catch the best view of the hills.

 

6. Bilar Manmade Forest

 

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On your way to Carmen where you can find the Chocolate Hills, you will pass by this picturesque road piercing through the towering mahogany forest. The forest is a 2 kilometer stretch of mahogany trees planted by Boholanos over a decade ago. More than just the magnificent view, Bilar Manmade Forest stands as a living proof of the strong value of friendship and community among the locals of Bohol.

 

7. Butterfly Garden

 

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Just because a average butterfly’s life span is only 2 weeks doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate their beautiful existence. A butterfly garden by Simply Butterflies Conservation Center houses different breeds of butterflies flying around colorful flowers in their beautiful gardens. They also have educational exhibits about the life cycle of these beautiful creatures.

 

8. Hanging Bridge

 

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The Tigbao Hanging Bridge will surely delight thrill-seeking travelers. Suspended over 80 feet over the Loboc River, this tandem bridge was built to aid pedestrian travel between two barangays. The bridges are actually made by sturdy metal but it’s covered with a layer of bamboo strips which makes the bridge look scary. At the end of the bridge, you can find a series of shops where you can purchase pasalubong goods such as tarsier novelties and peanut treats.

 

9. Blood Compact Shrine

 

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The Blood Compact Shrine, also known as The Sandugo, is a monument found in Tagbilaran that stands as a symbolic landmark of the first international treaty of peace and friendship between the Spaniards and Filipinos. The monument has a spectacular backdrop of the blue Bohol Sea.

 

Have you been to Bohol? Tell us about your countryside tour!

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Travel Mini Map: Intramuros Edition

Travel Mini Map: Intramuros Edition

Relive the Spanish colonial period hub of government, religion, and culture, all encompassed inside the walls that surround these edifices of European structures. Follow us as we take you “within the walls” of the famed Intramuros! Sixty-four hectares of land has never been this easy to explore!

 

1. Light and Sound Museum

 

 

Savor the Filipino pride in the light and sound museum! Experience the building and the breaking of Intramuros walls, the martyrdom of Rizal, and other revolutionary leaders like Lapu-Lapu, Rajah Soliman and Andres Bonifacio among others. The museum is divided into three parts: the pre-Hispanic civilization, the Spanish colonial era, and the life and martyrdom of Jose Rizal. It will only be a one hour tour that you must attend!

 

Address: Santa Lucia corner Victoria Street

Open Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays from 1:00pm to 6:00pm

Entrance Fees: Php150 per person

Contact Number: (02) 524 2827 or (02) 551 3945

2. National Commission for Culture and the Arts

 

 

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts or abbreviated NCCA is the government arm for culture and the arts. They are in charge of delivering assistance to the culture and arts community and the public. Inside the building you can also find a museum. Be sure to pick up their free newsletters that are displayed on the tables.

 

Address: 633 General Luna Street

Open Hours: Mondays to Thursdays from 7:00am to 8:00pm

Entrance Fees: None

Contact Number: (02) 527 2192

 

3. Silahis Arts and Artifacts

 

 

Established in 1966, the Silahis Arts and Artifacts shop has been engaged in designing, producing, wholesaling, retailing and exporting the finest of handmade Philippine products. The Silahis Arts and Artifacts is only one out of three departments of the center. The Chang Rong Antique Gallery which displays oriental ceramics, maps, textiles, and primitive art. Old and new cultural publications on Asia, the Philippines and the Pacific can be found in Tradewind Books, while Galeria De Las Islas features fine arts, prints, and sculpture. Be sure to check them all out!

 

Address: 744 General Luna Street

Open Hours: Saturdays to Sundays from 10:00am to 7:00pm

Entrance Fees: None

Contact Number: (02) 527 2111 or (02) 527 0496

 

4. Casa Manila

 

 

Take a step back in time as you enter the grand Casa Manila. The Casa Manila is a Spanish colonial home reconstructed by the then first lady Imelda Marcos. Look around the place and notice the authentic antiques that the architecture offers. You will be greeted by guardiya civil, which will help you imagine that you are really in the 1800’s time period. When exploring Casa Manila, you will need a tour guide to help you around the place. You can also find the famous Bambike here, which you can rent for Php100 an hour to tour around Intramuros! You can even opt to get a two seater bike for you and a friend! End your tour with a delicious meal at Barbara’s. Yes, it isn’t a pure heritage zone, there are restaurants that make the place functional!

 

Address: Plaza San Luis Complex, corner Real and General Luna Streets

Open Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays from 9:00am to 6:00pm

Entrance Fees: Php75 for adults

                           Php50 for students, teachers, and senior citizens

Contact Number: (02) 527 4084 or (02) 527 4088

 

5. Bahay Tsinoy

 

 

Also known as the Kaisa Angelo King Heritage Center, Bahay Tsinoy is the museum of Chinese in Philippine life. “Tsinoy” comes from the combination of the words “Chinese” and “Pinoy”. In the museum, you get to witness the saga of the Chinese in the Philippines and understand the evolution of these sojourners into Tsinoys. Over the years, the Kaisa Heritage Center has turned into a grand location that houses halls and rooms for parties, shows, concerts, seminars, and all the events you could possible think of.

 

Address: 32 Anda Street corner Cabildo Street

Open Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays from 1:00pm to 5:00pm

Entrance Fees: Php100 for adults

                           Php60 for students

Contact Number: (02) 527 6083 or (02) 526 6796

 

6. Fort Santiago

 

 

Fort Santiago is like a town inside Intramuros. Inside it, you can find the Plaza Moriones, the parade grounds of the soldiers, the martyr’s wall, which has the names of casualties and prisoners of war on it, as well as some almacénes, the royal warehouses that used to hold gunpowder and bombs. On the gate of Fort Santiago is Santiago de Matamoros, whom the Spaniards believed to be their defenders.

 

Address: Santa Clara corner General Luna Street

Open Hours: Mondays to Sundays from 8:00am to 9:00pm

Entrance Fees: Php75 per person

Contact Number: N/A

7. Rizal Shrine

 

 

You can expect to find historical pieces of information from the life of Jose Rizal that you may have never heard of before. Did you know that he planned to volunteer in Cuba as a doctor before he was shot? Or that he was an architect and a game developer? Did you know he NEVER wore a barong Tagalog? Pay a visit – for FREE – to this museum to discover more trivia like these!

 

Address: Fort Santiago, General Luna Street

Open Hours: Mondays from 1:00pm to 5:00pm

                      Tuesdays to Sundays from 9:00am to 6:00pm

Entrance Fees: None

Contact Number: (02) 263 8821

 

8. San Agustin Church and Museum

 

 

If you’re from the Philippines, chances are you’ve visited this church and museum on one of your field trips. We challenge you to revisit the place in a whole new perspective! Here are some spots and items that should be on your iSpy list next time you visit:

-Sacristy

-Sala De La Capitulacion

-3,400 kg bell

-Father Blanco’s Garden

-Biblioteca

-Porcelain Room

-Church Vestments

-Orator/Antechior/Choirloft

-Refactory

-San Pablo Hall

 

Address: General Luna Street

Open Hours: Mondays to Sundays from 8:00am to 12:00pm & 1:00pm to 6:00pm

Entrance Fees: Php100 for adults

                           Php80 for senior citizens

                           Php40 for children

Contact Number: (02) 527 2746

 

9. Manila Cathedral

 

 

You’ve probably attended a wedding or two in this cathedral, as it is one of the most popular churches that hosts weddings in Manila! Its history gives a very symbolic implication to future husbands and wives. Having survived multiple destructions and still standing today, this is the ideal basilica to get married in! Just be warned that it can be hard to get a reservation for a wedding here as plenty Filipino couples also have your same idea of tying the knot in this cathedral. If you tour around Intramuros, you are likely to see a bridal car every so often since weddings here are limited to only thirty minutes a ceremony!

 

Address: Santo Tomas Street

Mass Schedules: Mondays to Fridays at 7:30am and 12:15nn

                              Saturdays at 7:30am

                              Sundays at 7:00am, 8:30am, 10:00am, 11:30am, 6:00pm

Entrance Fees: None

Contact Number: (02) 527 3093

 

10. Palacio del Gobernador

 

 

Literally translating into the “Palace of the Governor”, it was the residence of the governor general back in the day. The building used to reside nearer to Fort Santiago before its current location because of the many trials it experienced. It was struck by two earthquakes. Today it is a 14-story building that houses the Intramuros Administration and the government offices.

 

Address: General Luna Street corner Postigo corner Soriano Street

Contact Number: (02) 527 3155

 

 

Sources: Reynel and Rozie, Spot.ph, Philippine Primer, Viator, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila, Pilgrims Knapsack, Philippines Travel Guide

Special thanks to: Johhan Ararao and Bruce Ingat

Photo credits: Jeffrey de Guzman and Kat Candelaria

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17 Terms and Tidbits About MJ and Chocolate

17 Terms and Tidbits About MJ and Chocolate

 

 

 

 

17 terms and tidbits about MJ and chocolates

#1: Cacao trees don’t die.

You just have to rejuvenate them every fifty years through plant grafting.

#2: Cacao trees have the same lifespan as coffee trees.

Almost the same lifespan actually, which is also fifty years.

#3: Scalding.

Verb: it’s when we warm the milk.

#4: I used to do chocolate demos in Masinag. 

This was last February and November 2012, until I brought chocolate demos to my own home.

 

#5: Sikwate.

It’s a traditional hot choco term usually used in the Visayas region.

#6: Chocolate espeso.

This literally translates to thick chocolate, which was drank only by the rich during the Spanish colonial period.

#7: Chocolate aguada.

This translates to watered down chocolate, usually the leftovers of the rich consumed by the poor.

#8: Couverture.

It’s a French word that translates into a blanket or a covering. Chocolate couverture = chocolate covering.

#9: Polycarbonate molds.

These are the molds we use. They are made in Belgium and cost 1800 pesos. Their lifespan is from ten to twenty years. It costs this much because it’s expensive to inject the plastic into the molds.

#10: Betaprime crystals.

You have to temper them so that there’s a snap when you eat the chocolate.

#11: Question: What did they do when there was no thermometer back in the day?

Answer: They used to put some chocolate on their lips to check the temperature since it’s the thinnest skin on the body.

#12: Marble.

It is usually 20 degrees lower than the surrounding temperature, which is why marble worktops are great for chocolate making.

#13: Where’s a good place to get chocolates in Spain?

Madrid and Barcelona.

#14: We need to slice the chocolate into small pieces.

So it melts faster and evenly.

#15: You can use balancing equations when formulating recipes!

Chemistry in everyday life!

#16: Chocolate is sensitive to odor.

It can smell like the food which is put near it, so you should keep it in the veggie compartment of your refrigerator and in air tight container.

#17: A hungry conversation.

Kuya MJ: They usually promote baking.

Brian: Bacon?

 

Photos credits: Jeff de Guzman

 

Master Arnold

Master Arnold

Arnold Buenviaje

Wushu Master

It’s easy to say that you’re a sports enthusiast or an athlete. But to stick to a certain sport for forty years is a whole different story! Get to know more about the humble man who became a key figure in the history of Wushu in the Philippines.

How did you get started with Wushu?

One of my classmates in school was interested in Chinese martial arts. He invited me to join a club that he has joined.

Can you tell us more about your Wushu experience?

I started Wushu in 1977. I entered a traditional club during that time. In 1990, I went to the Wushu Federation and trained for 3 years. After that, I became a national player. In 1993, I became a student of Master Zhong Lian Bao of Shandong, China. In 1995, I became a student of Lu Zhong Mo of the White Crane in Hong Kong. From then on, I started teaching traditional Wushu up to now.

Why did you choose to teach Wushu?

I love Wushu. In my younger days, I could really do Wushu. But as we grow older, we cannot be competitive anymore. I decided to train youngsters so that someday they could accomplish something or they could win a competition for themselves.

Tell us something about Wushu that most people don’t know.

There were several Wushu clubs before, although right now, some of them have already been closed. The old clubs mostly stopped operation due to financial reasoning. We are a new club that started in 2006.

What is the best thing about being a teacher?

The best part about being a teacher is seeing your students become an accomplished martial artist.

What is the worst thing about being a teacher?

The worst part is when your student uses the moves with the wrong intentions and becomes a criminal or a bad person.

What are you most proud of about being a teacher?

I am proud that some of my students become accomplished martial artists while others become accomplished businessmen. That’s the one thing I am very proud of.

“You need to be persevering. You have to take lots of hardships in learning the art and number one, you have to love the art. As in really love it.”

Master Arnold

 

What do you think the state of Wushu is right now in the Philippines?

Right now, the traditional Wushu is diminishing because the old clubs have shut down due to financial problems. Our club here wishes to continue the tradition. That’s the reason why we’re here.

Why do you think it’s important to keep the tradition going?

It’s part of the Chinese tradition. These traditions, if they’re not passed to the next generation, will be totally gone.

What are the basic forms in Wushu?

You can learn the basic forms of Wushu: Praying Mantis, which is Sao Chui, a basic form of Shaolin fist – a basic Tao Lu.

What are the basic forms with sticks and swords?

I could teach basic cajole and basic swords.

Can you tell us more about the Wushu experience that you offer?

Travellers could expect to learn basic Wushu such as the kicks, the punches, and the application. If the client is more adept with Chinese Wushu, we could go further higher with the system.

 

Photos credits: Jeff de Guzman

Everything I Learned From My First Hike

Everything I Learned From My First Hike

Hi! My name is Erin, and in case you’ve been wondering who “The Tralulu Team” is, that’s me! I’m one of the authors behind Tralulu’s blog posts. Just recently, I’ve experienced a milestone which needs to be shared with everyone of you, while it’s still fresh.

On June 6, 2017, me and my fellow intern friends at Tralulu woke up at dawn and set out into the wilderness on what is called an “Induction Hike”. You can think of it as an initiation; like a formal introduction to the internship. For your information, it is a tradition here for the newbies. The glorious Tuesday morning had the perfect weather conditions to climb a mountain in Rizal — it was not hot (it was actually windy), not humid, and not raining. It was extra exciting to not know the specific mountain we were climbing.

It’s funny how I’ve been assigned to write about quick weekend destinations, which mountains to trek, and even hiking tips for beginners when I myself have never gone on a true, legit hike. I might have seemed like a hypocrite, looking back at the listicle that featured hiking hacks, because I, frankly, did not even apply most of what I researched and wrote about in that article. Hey, at least I admitted the truth!

In the end, we eventually conquered the mountain after a reasonable time of eight and a half hours! Good enough for first timers, right? Saying that it was a great feeling to finish the whole trail would be an ENORMOUS understatement. Instead, I recalled all the memories and struggles of the trip for you. Also featured are the lessons I’ve learned about hiking and things I regretted doing (or forgot to do).

 

 

1. Check your private messages for unexpected updates.

 

Kuya Jimmy agrees!

I tell you now, if only I had done this first step, then the next three bullets wouldn’t have existed below. I promise, I was trying to get rest for the long-awaited day, but I was having insomnia! While I was awake, I should have at least checked the group messages on my phone, but I was too excited. I forgot all about possible changes to the itinerary and things to bring.

 

2. Get six hours of sleep.

 

This is how we looked when we were tired.

A day before the hike we were supposed to avoid working out. I followed that advice very well. But when I clocked into bed at around 8pm, I found myself twisting and turning and thinking too much about the day of the hike. It might also have been the lack of physical activity. I checked my phone again and it said 9:30pm. All I could think of was — Why do I have to have insomnia tonight of all nights? Obviously that

 

 

just kept me up even longer. I eventually fell asleep, but then woke up at 12:34am. What I’m saying is that you should try to calm yourself before a big day. It’s no excuse to be excited, because lack of sleep can cause you to be sluggish. You might not have enough energy to face whatever is planned ahead of you. Good thing I still had my adrenaline rush keeping me alive, but I can’t rely on that everytime.

 

3. Don’t wear shorts.

 

Getting ready … to fall!

Simply one of the biggest mistakes I’ve committed during this trip, if not the WORST. If I had worn jogging pants, that would have made the hike ten times easier and more comfortable. I would have had one less problem with fully covered legs. While there’s no turning back now, at least I have a lot of souvenirs (in the form of scratches) on my limbs for proof that I’ve conquered three summits of Mount Sembrano. A bonus is that I’ve managed to get a nice tan on the legs!

 

Good thing Micha was wearing leggings when she slid! You can see me to the right. I am holding on to dear life, on the verge of falling too.

4. Bring three liters of water.

 

 

You don’t want to get water-deprived like these plants.

 

And make sure to devise a plan of when to drink. I was not thinking about the future, I was only relying on the guide’s estimated time of arrivals. I brought two-liters of water. I was pretty stupid to have finished a one-liter water bottle when we weren’t even halfway up the mountain. I think it was because my bag was feeling too heavy for me to carry, but that shouldn’t have been an excuse. Good thing I realized

 

Memories of full water bottles.

this early, so I budgeted my water and managed to save a few milliliters of it during the last few meters of the hike. Can you believe Kuya Jimmy survived on one 500mL bottled water for eight hours? He didn’t have any breakfast or lunch, and he was actually drunk the night before. Hardcore! 

5. Bring hand sanitizer.

 

Unless you want to cleanse your hands with the scarce amount of water you brought, just like I did. Alcohol and wet wipes will do the trick to decontaminate your dirty hands from crawling, but they aren’t really recommended to use because of the chemicals they carry that can be harmful to the mountain.

 

6. Bring sun protection.

 

 

Sheltering ourselves from the sun.

I was surviving on the closest thing we had to sunblock, Andrew’s Nivea moisturizer with SPF 25 and a hat. That hat kept me away from deadly heat strokes that I couldn’t afford (since we hiked during bad hours). It also protected my face that had no sun screen, but nevertheless, the sun still established a bit of rosiness on my cheeks and mild sunburns on my neck, arms, and legs. I made sure to smother some aloe vera gel on the affected areas as soon as I finished showering. I should have brought an umbrella like my smart friend Micha did. It would work for both ways — rain or shine, while covering the entire body.

 

7. Wear the right shoes.

 

 

Sometimes, we need a helping hand when our feet won’t support us.

My Brooks rubber shoes (which I used for jogging on the track) were the least of help to my situation. It was built to be a cushioned when I ran, but not exactly like my spikes which could grab at the soil. It wasn’t helpful either that the ground was slippery. I felt that these shoes were a major factor to the hike. If only we hiked during the summer season, these shoes would suffice. Towards the end of the hike, I noticed the most painful part of my body were my toes. They were nearly protruding out of my four year old rubber shoes that have already been repaired once. I felt the padding of the shoe getting thinner and thinner. It really helps to know the type of terrain you plan to trek on so you can be prepared, but if you’re going on a mystery hike, it’s best to find actual hiking shoes first. Exceptions are people like Kuya Jimmy, who can wear slippers and not get affected. 

 

8. Physical fitness matters only fifty percent.

 

Even for someone like Jecel who doesn’t have much body fat, it was challenging.

I will be quite honest — I am physically fit. I workout at least five times a week. I engage in physical activity whenever I get the chance, from as simple as walking to rollerblading in my village, anything to keep my body moving. I even used to be a hurdler in my school’s Track and Field team! Seems pretty athletic, right? I have never expected hiking to be as challenging as it was when I first tried it out. Sure, I tried a mock hike, over five hundred steps of steep rock, but the thing is, those were stairs. They followed a form that would make it impossible to slip and fall. Hiking was a whole other story. I used a multitude of skills such as walking, hopping, stepping, crawling, mountain climbing,

 

 

Using makeshift walking sticks for keeping stable.

 

grappling, grabbing, falling, and sliding. Andrew always assured us that this was an easy path, but that just made me feel worse because I felt like an old woman, especially when we were descending. I couldn’t do anything about my painful joints (because of gravity) but to take everything slower. Being an athletic girl, I think the pain was only excruciating during the hike, but not so much after. I still have a bit of hip pain, but I heard it’s normal and it will pass. I just worry for those who aren’t as fit and who attempt to go on their first hike. I suggest that all you first timers strengthen yourselves as you would when preparing for a marathon. But even if you do that, get ready to face the aftermath of hiking. It’s inevitable. Just be sure to stretch it all out afterwards.

 

9. The other fifty percent is your mindset.

 

 

The mysterious Kuya Jimmy. Not a single word of complaints escaped his mouth.

Honestly, you don’t have to be the epitome of “physically fit” to conquer any mountain. You could be super toned and built, but you may not have the right attitude to overcome all the struggles that come with climbing a mountain. I fell guilty to this, when I complained about everything that annoyed me, even the slightest of things, like a small slip or an itchy twig. I realized it early though, so I renewed my mindset. This is all part, nothing different, nothing new.

 

10. Don’t waste your energy right away.

 

Barely making it up the narrow trail.

When we started ascending up Mount Sembrano, I was among the people in the front of the line. I felt good because I was first, I was ahead. But then I realized that I was just wasting my energy. We had seven more hours to go. Andrew also said that it really doesn’t matter how fast we go. Quoting one of the songs that the others were singing along the way, “It ain’t about how fast I get there, it ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side, it’s the climb”!

 

11. Check up on each other once in awhile.

 

Andrew attending to Paolo’s cramped legs.

 

Before we reached the first summit, our group was somewhat divided. Some people were left behind while the others just kept on going. One of our group mates, Paolo, even got a cramp going up, and I didn’t even stay with the rest of the group to check up on him. When we reached the last summit, we had what was called a facilitation circle. We took time to evaluate our strengths and weaknesses through the duration of

 

 

Summer interns!

 

the hike, and doing this made us more efficient as a team. We decided to switch the order of who was in front — the slower people in front while the faster people at the back. This worked amazingly, since we were all within reach of each other instead of meter sticks away from each other. We were so close that the actions of the person in front could affect the person behind, like if someone fell, so would the next person. It was the ultimate bonding experience.

 

12. Be resourceful.

 

Freshly picked Indian mangoes!

Using water as a wash for the hands was one way of being resourceful, but there were plenty others during this trip. Take Jecel for example. She was being resourceful in more than one way. When we were having lunch up in the summit, it was scorching hot. She didn’t even have a cap or sunblock, so she used her extra jogging pants as a makeshift cap. She was also feeling blistery in the neck on the way down, but none of us had an extra hair tie for her, so she took a piece of plastic and wrapped it around her hair. It was brilliant!

 

13. Just keep going.

 

 

“The summit is near!” 

Did I mention that I brought my sister with me to Mount Sembrano? (I was forced to by my parents.) It was fun with her, and she got to interact well with the team. There were times when she was feeling undetermined to complete the trail because she had numerous falls and ankle sprains. She felt like giving up, but she couldn’t or else she would get stuck on the mountain. In times like these, we just need a little push. Andrew was there behind her, giving her motivational boosts like, “You can do it, Iana!”

 

 

14. Enjoy the ride.

 

Taking a break for a picture.

I admit that there were times when I was too focused on moving forward and finishing the trail that I forgot to appreciate the once in a lifetime, breathtaking view. I was annoyed with the dogs that were following us, Brano, nicknamed “Favorite”, and her pup, whenever they would block

 

Brano, our photogenic guide.

the way or cut in front of me, but I should have let it pass. This tip also involves being respectful to the guide. It will be a while before I return to Mount Sembrano. More often than not we forget to savor life’s beauty when faced with struggles. But we should always remember that these predicaments will slide. What we will regret the most if that we did not enjoy the ride.

 

 Kuya Jimmy taking a breather.

Micha and her Favorite, Brano, sharing a laugh.

15. It’s so much easier to write when you have actually experienced something.

 

Left to right: Paolo, Jecel, Micha, Andrew, Doggie, Erin, Iana, Brano/Favorite

I literally breezed through writing this article! I didn’t even have to take down much notes or go through hours of research to write this post, and yet I remember most details of my encounters by heart! I think that experiencing things is the most efficient way to go about writing a

 

 

paper or explaining history or just plain learning. From whatever generation you are from, you will definitely agree that experience is the best learning tool. If not, try it out for yourself! Will you join me on my next hike?

 

The much awaited view at the top of Mount Sembrano.

 

 

 

WE MADE IT!

 

 

Photo credits: Paolo Andre Pareno, Micha Villaroman

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5 Must Visit Restaurants in Baguio

5 Must Visit Restaurants in Baguio

Ahh, Baguio! It’s always great to visit this amazing place for a relaxing weekend away from the stress and worries from working all week. There’s just something about feeling the cool climate of Baguio that makes life feel free and easy. Aside from the low temperature, people also love Baguio for the countless local restaurants and cafes that offers amazing food. There’s so many good places to visit that it’s worth visiting the city just for a local food trip. The best cafes and restaurants are the ones that give you a glimpse of the local culture in Baguio. Imagine enjoying good food in a place that’s celebrating the rich culture of the Cordilleras. It’s the real Baguio experience! Here are some recommended places to eat on your next trip to Baguio:

Arca’s Yard

Arca’s Yard is located in a soft corner along Ambuklao Road, about 15-20 minute ride away from the city proper. The place can be easily spotted on the way because there’s an abundance of Bougainvillea flowers blooming outside. It’s a very homey place as it used to be one of the houses of the family of Ninja Sabado, the manager of the cafe.

Photo by Roamulofied WordPress

Photo by Roamulofied WordPress

What to see:
Aside from being a restaurant, Arca’s Yard also stands as a small museum showcasing cultural artifacts. They also have a library that contains interesting books on travel and local traditions. On the balcony, you can also find a nice view of the clouds and pine trees.

What to order:
Pesto Carbonara Pasta (Php 220) and Arca’s Sweet Potato ala mode (Php 95)

Photo by Roamulofied WordPress

Photo by Roamulofied WordPress

Address:
#777 Tip-Top City Limit, Ambuklao Road, Baguio City

 

Choco-late de Batirol

In a small, cozy area at Camp John Hay’s Igorot Park rests a small garden-cafe that serves home-cooked food and their house specialty, Choco-late de Batirol. Their advocacy is to preserve Filipino culture through their food and environment.

Photo by MommyFleur

Photo by MommyFleur

What to see:
The whole place is surrounded by plants and trees, so nature lovers would definitely enjoy the place. They also used recycled materials for their furnishings such as tables, chairs, and roofing materials.

What to order:
Suman sa Lihia (Php 64) and Choco-late de Batirol (Php 80)

Photo by MommyFleur

Photo by MommyFleur

Address:
Igorot Garden, Scout Hill, Camp John Hay, Baguio City

 

Cafe by the Ruins

Cafe by the Ruins has long been a restaurant institution in Baguio, known for its distinct Cordilleran mood and environment. They offer fresh baked bread and local dishes such as Baguio Bagnet and Longganisang Hubad. The cafe also expanded and built another branch in Baguio called Cafe by the Ruins Dua.

Cafe by the Ruins

What to see:
Diners always love the authentic Baguio restaurant vibe inside Cafe by the Ruins. They also promote local artists by putting up exhibits of their works.

What to order:
Filipino Lon-Si-Log (Php 245) and Ernie’s Kamote Bread with Kesong Puti and Basil (Php 120)

Photo by Lakad Pilipinas

Address:
#23 Chuntug Street, Baguio City

 

Cafe Yagam

Indulge in authentic Cordilleran cuisine in the isolated nook of Cafe Yagam. Similar to Arca’s yard, this place also has a house-turned-into-cafe story. The place is located along Gibraltar road, en route to Mines View, a highly popular tourist destination in Baguio City.

Photo by Lakad Pilipinas

Photo by Lakad Pilipinas

What to see:
If you visit Yagam on a cool evening, you will be welcomed by the crackling sounds of open bonfire in the front yard. It gives the cafe an instant laidback mood. On top of that, there are also books and magazines lying around inside the cafe for guests’ leisure. On special weekends, they also have music performers and open mic.

What to order:
Pinikpikan with Etag (Php 200) and Pinuneg (Php 200)

Cafe Yagam

Address:
25 J. Felipe St., Gibraltar Baguio City

 

Oh My Gulay

You wouldn’t believe this oasis is located in the heart of the busy road of Session. On the fifth floor of La Azotea building, you will find yourself in this serene sanctuary that will take you to a Baguio arts and culture retreat. Giving it away from their name, Oh My Gulay only serves vegetarian dishes.

Photo by Lakad Pilipinas

Photo by Lakad Pilipinas

What to see:
The first things you’ll see upon entering OMG are the Cordilleran cultural displays along the stairs and a small koi pond, standing as the centerpiece of the whole place. The cafe also features visual-art exhibits from local artists and other theatrical performances. They also utilized the altitude of the place by putting up seats with overlooking view of the city.

What to order:
OMG Salad (Php 120) and Pasta Mestizo (Php 130)

Oh My Gulay

Make sure you try these restaurants on your next visit to the breathtaking city of pines. Tell us about your favorite Baguio resto!

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