Our Staycation Experience in Wind Residences Tagaytay

You know the popular woes of adult friendships; you rarely see each other. And if you all do discuss it, your schedules are all conflict with each other. For months, my college tropa has been planning to travel again. It’s been years since our last getaway. And we’ve been going on cycles, suggesting, turning down, screwing up the whole plan. It was truly difficult to reach the concensus. But amazingly (finally!) , we all agreed  on May 5, 2018  (except for one with totally reasonable reason) Since we could not travel far because of other commitments, we just chose to have staycation just few hours away from Manila.  So I browsed Airbnb and found these amazing condo unit with panoramic view of Taal.

Hare’s the link: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/5301771

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With the free wi-fi and parking, we’re solved!  It accepts a maximum of 6 persons. Of course there are other units in Wind Residences with this great view. But this is the one I have found in Airbnb and we settled because of the freebies and reasonable price.

So this is the glimpse of the Taal just right at the window. It is absolutely panoramic!

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Doing some night long exposure shots. I tried my best.

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The condo unit itself truly delivers. It has appliances for light cooking. There was TV with HDMI cable for gaming, chandeliers and bed. The host was quick to respond to all our inquiries.   The only thing I could complain is it only has two towels and two blankets. They mentioned it beforehand but it is easy to slip in our minds. Anyway if you plan to book this yourself, just don’t forget to bring  extra towels and blankets if you are more than two people. But generally, this condo unit ROCKS!  I totally recommend it for those who are planning to have a chill and relaxing weekend.

As for the evidence on how the condo unit looks and how much we enjoyed our stay, please refer to the following section.

MY CRAZY COLLEGE FRIENDS  and THE FUN THINGS WE DID 

Being with them is ALWAYS guaranteed fun-filled and full of laughter ride. I mean just look at this. They are all meme-worthy.

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(NSFW guys. Just for fun only)

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GROCERY TIME

Upon arrival, we checked it and head-off  to the nearest supermarket just walking distance from the condo unit. Apart from necessities, we bought bottles of Soju, Renato (leftmost side guy) had a sudden penchant for Soju eversince I treated them in Oppa Chicken for my last birthday. It amazes me that he really became into it.

 

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And some portrait photoshoot on the side

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Photoshoot with Taal Volcano. Of course I didn’t let this moment slip without capturing the majestic view. I imagine how it feels like to wake up in the morning with this kind of sightings. But  then again, I realized that if you are used to something, even how beautiful it is, you would  get tired eventually. People are just like that.

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Boardgaming Night

This is becoming the banner activity of our friendship everytime we meet. It’s fun and you put down your phones because you got to really interact with each other. We played two games that night. First was the dead of winter wherein you as players are going to do your best to survive a zombie apocalypse together. It’s not a simple game. But I want to commend our game master Aldrich (below) for patiently explaining everything for almost one hour!

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He’s been our ever reliable game master. No one could replace him and no one would be willing. (Gahd ang hirap kaya mag-aral ng game. Daming pag-aaralang instruction. I can’t for a life of me!)

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The second game was Avalon. It is our most favorite so far. It’s a game of Bad guys a.k.a “Minions of Mordred” and Good guys a.k.a “Loyal Servant of Arthur”. In this game you should have an ability to deceive or investigate the behavior of your co-players. It is truly a fun game and its not hard to learn.

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It’s been a long time plan to document and edit a reality-game show type coverage of us playing this game. But it’s not easy to edit. And I’m still struggling. But for now, here’s the glimpse of us playing as the bad guys caught in camera standing on a tripod.

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Foodtrip.

Just one ride away from Wind Residences is a restaurant called “Green ATS”. You can choose in a “kubo” where there is a great skyscraper view of Tagaytay City. You just have to pay 1500 but that is totally consumable to food. And whenever we go to Tagaytay, our table won’t be complete without Bulalo. The food is great but nothing compared with the Bulalo in Mahogany also here in Tagaytay.

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Birthday Surprise!

Even I was surprised with this birthday surprise. I was not part of the plan. We were playing “Just dance” when Renato suddenly said that he forgot something and he had to go back to the car. He disappeared for almost half an hour. When he went back, he already has the cake. Even I was stunned. I really didn’t know.  I guess they know I’m not a good actress and it would be hard for me to keep the plan hhahaha. I won’t blame them. I’m a girl with unrestrained secrets haha!

 

Nice surprise!

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Finally soju time. Renato has been waiting for this

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Just Dance!

Apparently, Drich and Leonard has this amazing gaming console  called Switch. It looks like this.

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When you connect to a T.V with HDMI, you can instantly play any games offline or online. I am really not much into gaming that’s why I don’t things like this. But if I have to choose a game, that has to be a dancing game! I love to dance. It’s a hobby that I love that doesn’t love me back. In a very rare occasion, all of us get up and join the game. So here it is, sharing with you our shameful dancing in the tune of 24K Magic by Bruno Mars.

 

And the best dancer goes to… The birthday boy, Leonard!

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But allow me to display this meme-able gif again.

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BREAKFAST

Allow me to introduce you the party mother of our group, Chard. He cooked, cleaned and washed the dishes all by himself. He woke up early  just to prepare the breakfast. When we got-up, everything was on the table already; hard-boiled eggs, tuna, pancit-canton, sausage and juice. See? It’s truly a blessing to have a friend like Chard.

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Swimming at  the Wind Residences Clubhouse

This is exclusive in the accommodation. It only costs P150.00 each in the accounting center.

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Because we were afraid of the sun, we opted to swim in the indoor pool.

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DRONE PHOTOSHOOT

Renato has small drone that he was afraid to fly unto the  hole of Taal Volcano. So we just tried around the Wind Residences clubhouse.

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LUNCH in MAHOGANY

Exactly 12 PM we checked-out of the condo unit. We had our lunch at the place called Mahogany. There is a string of carinderia style restaurants here. Among of all these is the one featured in Kris TV because of its heaven-sent Bulalo. And not only Bulalo, but also “Crispy Tawilis”. I’ll be writing a separate blog about this soon. Just writing this triggers drooling for me and I’m writing this here in the office with Tagaytay like temperature. OMG! Help!

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That’s it!

Now that I’m finished documenting our mini escapade, I realized that I have new names for my friends; Renato is the “Soju Boy”, Aldrich is “The Game Master” , Leonard as “the Dancer” and Richard as “the Party Mother”. I was thinking what is my role in this group. But since I documented everything,  I guess I’ll be and always be, yours truly, ‘The Blogger Friend”. Haha!

Credits:

Special thanks to Renato for the additional photos and GIF.

How to Dress Sweet? (Dessert Museum Adventure)

Dessert Museum is all over the social media already. So we gave a twist on our visit by dressing SWEET. Featuring the members of Philippine Gothic and Lolita Community in their sweet coord.

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To those who are not familiar with LOLITA Fashion.

*Lolita is not a cosplay or costume since it does not portray any characters whatsoever. It is a fashion subculture from Japan.

*Sweet Lolita is one of the common Lolita styles. According to lolitafashion.wikia.com ,common motifs for sweet lolita includes, but are not limited to, desserts, berries, children books, and fantasy elements. Animals and flowers are also quite common. Colors are usually baby pinks, blues, white and pastels.

As for me, I am wearing a light blue jumpskirt with a hint of cake house print.

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My outfit is quite simple compared with my co-members.

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About Dessert Museum, it is located inside Conrad hotel at the back of MOA SMX convention. Each room has a design or theme base on the desserts it represents like ice cream, donuts, gummy bears, marshmallows and etc. They also give samples of each dessert in each room. We booked the venue as a group so we only paid P600.00 each. In metrodeal.com as of this writing, it is now only P599.00! This is the link.

I think my ONLY COMPLAIN would be that they don’t remind everyone to bring water before going inside. Or better yet, they should also provide free water also along with the sweets. But well, we survived without water for two hours. And it helped because we don’t have to look for a comfort room within that period because there was no CR inside too.

So I hereby present the photo explosion. Full album is in my fb page Gurezu blog.

Donut Room

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Marshmallow Room

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Gummy Bears Room

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 The Ice Cream Room

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My most favorite would be the cotton candy room because it looks fluffy and pink is my thing nowadays.

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And more!

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The journey ended in a shop where you can avail souvenirs and of course, more sweets to take home.

 

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That’s all for my Dessert Museum escapade! I won’t apologize for the explosion of photos here.

How about you? What is your favorite dessert or sweets? And what do you think about the lolita fashion?

 

Photo by: Gurezu and Tomi Xu

My First Ever Pre-Nup Photoshoot

Last Thursday, March 14, 2018, our photography club finally pushed through with our biggest practice shoot yet. This is the first time we will be shooting  a couple who’s going to marry for reals soon. The location was our office building roofdeck which I already featured in my blog before. Even this is only a practice for our club, I can say that our team is a complete package already. Aside from photographers, we also have videographers who also got drone shots for this shoot.

Without further ado, here are my output.

Camera: Fuji-Xa3

Lens: 35 mm 1.4 Fujinon

Post processing:Lightroom (NoobGFX Creamy Preset Skintone2)

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Actually, my most favorite is this silhouette shot.

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But of course, I also enjoyed taking “behind the scenes” shots too.

Actually we were a little bit disappointed that the staircase area was restricted for this photoshoot. We were able to climb that last time when we had an ocular visit. My mentor and I had a lot of plans for that already. *SIGH” But still we had a great time shooting our couple because they are so cooperative.

When the sun has already set, the view from the roofdeck was shouting for cityscapes shot but honestly we were too exhausted. But somehow, I gathered some energy left inside to me to snap a few. Mostly are blurred because I was really tired.

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UPDATE: Adding the ” Save the Date” video edited by EJ Deliquina. He’s a freelance videographer and video editor. You might want to acquire his services. Just check out his video fortfolio in his Vimeo Channel straightforwardvideo!

And another one! Our photos for this session was converted in to a PHOTOBOOK care of the groom. One of my photos was selected. I’m very happy of course 😉

 

Ending this post with  a picture of me of course. I was not in the mood to have my pictures taken because I looked so haggard already with all the shooting. Good thing the weather has been good. It was not hot or raining. Weather is just in the middle. It was really ideal. Thank God. (Also for cancelling all my meetings that are conflict with our photoshoot schedule. Grabe love na love ako ni God hihi)

How about you? Do you also want to be the next roofdeck models? (Haha!)

photo by: G2Photography (my mentor)

Credits:

Models: Toni Quitiquit and AC Bukalan

A big thanks to TNG Management and Infor Facilities. Thank you also to my co photographers: Sir G2Photography, Meann, Sir Ariel, Sir Jem. Videographers: EJ and Edwin.

Great View, Great Food at Bulalo Fiesta!

Food of the Day: Bulalo of Bulalo Fiesta

Price: P292.00 good for 2-3 persons

Location: Minesview Baguio,City.

 

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After our long trip to Baguio, the first thing we would want of course is to sip a bowl of smokingly hot soup. We don’t have any plans of where to eat so we looked for any restaurant near “Minesview Park”. It was 7am, and most of the restaurants were still closed until we found “Bulalo Fiesta”. “Open 24 hours” it says but honestly, it was still closed when we arrived at the doorstep. The staff were still preparing and cleaning the restaurant. Since we were too tired to search for other restaurant, we became stubborn and told them if it was okay to wait inside while they prepare. They willingly offered us seats so we could rest.

This sight welcomed us as soon as entered the door. Being an absolute spicy food lover,  this literally brightened up my day and energized my tired spirit. I want to take this home.

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This store showcaseds a kind of vinegar called “Sinamak. It is simple a vinegar with several spices soaked into it like chilis, ginger, garlic, peppercorns, shallots, and onions. The longer these spices are drowed in vinegar, the better taste it gets. It’s quite common in Filipino household already but it looks like Bulalo Fiesta took it to other level with the use of Coconut vinegar and other spices we may not know. I really love their vinegar that we bought one bottle to take home.

After few minutes, they let us choose seat while we eat our breakfast. We chose the veranda although the sunshine strikes directly upon us.

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It was annoying but we didn’t mind because of the killer view.

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While waiting for the food is the opportunity of course for photo-ops.

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And finally our food! We ordered tapsilog, beef pares and the superstar “Bulalo”

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They have wide variants of Bulalo with different price ranges. We chose Bulalo w/ Young Sweet Corn which costs P292.00 good for 2-3 persons. The broth was delicious with its tender meat. I also love the freshness and crispiness of the vegetables.

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Other Bulalo Variants: Bulalo w/ Jackfruit and Dried Beans, Bulalo Puchero, Bulalo w/ Talbos Bulaklak ng Sampalok and Super Bulalo Special which is the most expensive for P620.00 good for 4-6 persons.

Overall, everything that we ate in this restaurant were delicious. We were glad that this became our  unlikely welcome to start our day in Baguio.

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FINAL VERDICT: Great View, Great Food! Totally Recommended!

★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

Bulalo Fiesta is located at Minesview, Baguio City but also have a branch in Quezon City.

Say OO! OPM is Not Dead!

Do you create original songs as a solo artist or as member of a band? If you say “OO!” then  it’s about time you get to know and join “Oo: Originals Only“, a movement that caters to the independent Filipino original music makers. It is originally founded by Guji Lorenzana who also a musician himself.  He strongly believes in Filipino talents so he wanted a venue and a community where independent artists could showcase their original music and find their audience.

I attended a recent OO event at the “Upperhouse”, just at the second floor of “The Brewery” in 10th Avenue corner 38th Street, Uptown Parade Taguig. This is just across Uptown Mall if you are not familiar. I came here because I want to see “Mojofly” perform. It’s one of the popular bands way back college days. I haven’t heard of them for a long time so I’m curious to see them again. I was not aware of what “Oo: Originals Only” until that night and I’m really glad I was able to know because this is a kind of movement that I will wholeheartedly support.

These were some of the photos I took before the event and in-between performances. I love the wall designs in Upperhouse. The venue as a whole looks fancy with all gold fixtures.

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The Bands.

  1. MetroGroove PH. This electronic pop trio.  I am no music expert but their sound makes me feels like I’m in a trance. I think its because of the richness in electronic and guitar works.   I like to record their new-released single but my  camera  won’t do justice with the music quality. So I just searched it in spotify.  Hear it now in this link  “In Your Arms”

 

“Stay with me. I don’t want to be alone. “

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More info about MetroGroove: The band consists
of lead vocalist, Marjorie Martinez, keyboard player/music producer and vocalist,
Aaron Escueta, and guitar player, Lance Garcia. The band started when Aaron & Marj
wants to jam with their laptops, keyboard, and guitar until Marj decided to call Lance
to play the guitar. The band started to compose original songs and play gigs in 2017.

Social media:

 

2. EJ De Perio: He was introduced as the voice behind 2017 McSpicy TV Commercial “HALIK”.  I can’t remember the commercial  though. He sang a few lines and I think its not important if I remember or not. He got a super handsome voice and I’m about to hear more about it LIVE! Listen to his  songs at  his Spotify Channel and you’ll find what I’m talking about.

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More info about EJ: is an 18 year old singer – songwriter. He is a passionate, creative and
inspirational artist that brings excitement to people in order to create a memorable
experience that they would share to others. He recently released his 1st EP album “HOME” which you can download on Spotify.

Social Media:

 

3. Mikee Misalucha.  This is my most favorite among my new artist discovery last night. I like the quality of her voice and how she maneuvered it to unlikely melodies. I enjoyed every original song and cover she performed with her pianist. It seems she has not released any songs in spotify yet. I  searched for her original songs in her youtube but still did not found any. However, she has done beautiful covers like “Remember Me” from animated film Coco  and Moonriver. I am mesmerized but she needs to release her original songs in social media real quick.

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More info about Mikee; She is a singer- songwriter whose music incorporates the following
genres: Indie pop / Folk / Country / Pop / Alternative Rock / Contemporary R&B
She also has a single out which you can check out in her social media

Social Media Accounts:

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3. Guji Lorenzana. He is the founder of Oo: Originals Only. He is a singer – songwriter, actor, host, and DJ – based in Manila,Philippines, originally from the Bay Area, California, USA. He got a wonderful song in spotify and in youtube: We Are. I actually like the chorus, pretty catchy.

And I must say this dude is quite handsome, isn’t it?

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More Info:

Aside from being a lead singer of his rock band, he’s also an actor and host, Guji is actively seen on Philippine television and movies. In music, he actively DJ’s in the clubs.  Guji is also known to do various collaborations with a variety of music acts and genres, locally and worldwide.

Social media accounts:

 

 

4. MOJOFLY.  It’s nice to see Lougee again. She’s still as beautiful as  perhaps 10 years ago when her Cream Silk Commercial was the staple of girl power that time.

 

And good news that Mojofly is going back in OPM scene after seven years of absence! On top of that, I finally got the chance to watch them live that night! I’m lucky!

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More info:
As of January 2018, Mojofly is now part of Yellow Room Music. The band has finally
released their first single in 7 years last February 2018 entitled RALLY . It is now
available through Spotify, Itunes and other music sources online. Check this link to hear it.

 

5. Nicole Laurel Asensio. This girl is rocking on heels. She belted high notes like an opera artist.  So I am not surprised to discover that she’s also a theater actress. No wonder that whatever she does on-stage, even just chilling out or drinking a cocktail, felt like a performance itself. I kind of intrigued at the fusion of classical sounds and rock so I explored more of music in her youtube channel.

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More info:

Nicole is a Filipino singer-songwriter. After providing lead vocals for
all-girl rock band General Luna, she began a solo career and released her first album
Schizoprano in 2015. The album merges Nicole’s background in theater and classical
music with her more recent forays in rock and roll.

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As much as I want to finish the whole event,  it was getting late and I still have work tomorrow morning.  But overall, I wish OO would have more successful run in the future. I heard that more popular bands will join the next events like  IV of Spades and my favorite Itchyworms. I’m truly excited for this.

Are you also a fan of OPM and want to support this passion project in any way? Are you an Filipino creating original music? Then you might be interested to collaborate with the next OO event! It’s open to all genre! Reach out to the following  accounts below.

 

Facebook:  Originals Only

For Media Partnership:

Chel Inumerable
rachelle.inumerable@gmail.com
0915-­‐350-­‐4388

For Event Partnership:
Guji Lorenzana
guji@gujilorenzana.com
0939-­‐923-­‐6401

Zahra Bianca Saldua
zsaldua.events@gmail.com
0936-­639-­4534

Food of The Day: Bari Kara Ramen, Newest Flavor From Ramen Kuroda

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Food of the Day: “BARI KARA RAMEN” , the newest flavor of Ramen Kuroda,
Price: P230.00

“A very spicy taste of extraordinary pork based soup with perfect combination of spices that touches the soul of a Real Ramen taste!” – Ramen Kuroda

I’ve been a fan of Ramen Kuroda. It’s been my number one Ramen Resto until “Mendokoro Ramenba” entered the picture. That’s why when I heard about their new spicy ramen offering last February, I’ve been wanting to taste it. I only got the opportunity last March 23 at their Eastwood Branch. And it did not disappoint. Rich and thick in taste indeed. Of course, the pork meat is soft just like before. (Banayad sa dila as I use to describe it). The spicyness is tolerable and won’t hurt even the non-spicy fans foodies. But comparing to my favorite Aka Ramen, I would still choose Aka. It’s the ramen that made me fall in love with Ramen Kuroda and still think its more delicious than Bari-Kara.

Final Verdict: 4.5/5 stars. Spicy Ramen Lovers should check this out!

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And sharing with the photos of my friends who immediately agreed when I suggest Ramen Kuroda for our dinner for tonight.

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And some food photography. I didn’t take much photos this time because I was so famish I am starting to have dizzy spells.

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Some Photography Notes:

Camera: Fuji-XA3

Lens: 35mm 1.4 Fujinon Lens

Post Process: Lightroom using “BeArt-Presets”

How to Book a Luxury Bus (Joy Executive Coach Review)

We are not rich but sometimes its  not bad to indulge yourself  in a luxurious  lifestyle. It’s for the sake of new experience and excitement. That’s what we did when we traveled  from Manila to Baguio in our last family outing.  We booked a “Joy bus Executive” coach so somehow we could feel that VIP style kind of treatment on a long travel hours.

First of all, this bus coach P750.00 each person (P720.00 + P30.00 booking fee). Ordinary Air-con bus like in Victory liner costs P455.00. Math says that by just adding P295.00, you can now experience this luxury bus. Is it worth it? A big resounding yes!

1. How to Book

a. Sign-up to https://iwantseats.com/. It is kind of straightforward so I would skip this one.

b. Once you already have an account, you can now book for the bus type you want. Log-in to https://iwantseats.com/ again. You will be welcomed with the following page.

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Fill-up the details then click “Show Trips” button. This will load the schedules in the right pane.

 

enterdeetsbook!

Now choose the schedule base on your liking. As you can see there are different kinds of bus types and prices. At that time, we chose EXECUTIVE2_2x1. We want it to be “PREMIER” but the available schedule for it are not convenient for that time. As you can see, PREMIER is the most expensive one. To what extent it is better from executive, we still don’t know.

Another thing, there is a type Executive(2X1 with CR) which is actually confusing since Executive2_2X1 also have CR. Regarding their difference, I haven’t explored that on the time I booked this.

c. This is where you will enter the name of the other passengers with you. Note that you will also be needing the right AGE of each passengers.

In my sample, I only booked for one so I’ll just press next.

 

 

Now you can  now choose where you will seat inside the bus.  First click your name then choose your desired position.

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Your name will appear in the desired seat box. I chose the seat beside the CR so that it would be easy for me to walk to it when I needed to. If you worry about the smell, worry not. There’s no hint of smell at all. Anyway we’ll deal more with that later.

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Click “Next” and you will be reviewing your itinerary. If everything is looking correct, just press NEXT.

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Terms And Condition. We aint got time for that. Just lie that you have read the terms and condition then proceed with the payment.

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Now it’s time to Pay. As you can see there are five mode of payments. We chose BDO.

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After payment, email the deposit slip to payments@iwantseats.com.ph. Actually the instruction is already in the payment instruction of the website. But just for the format of the email, you can use this as reference. Anyway its important you mention the Reservation No in the subject.

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Sample reply from Joy bus. At last, the booking is successful! The vouchers should be attached with this email.

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As you can see in their email and website, contact numbers are the ff.

T: 09951967436 / 09988686131
(during office Hours  9:30 am -7:00 pm)

THE DAY OF THE TRIP.

  1. Arrive 30 minutes earlier than your booked time. If not, they will mark you as late and will sell your slot to chance passengers. You’ll never like the hassle.
  2. All passengers MUST have valid id’s. EACH ONE of THEM!
  3. PRINT FORM of the vouchers.
  4. We actually booked from the PASAY branch that time. Location was through the alley beside MCDONALD and  MRT Edsa TAFT station. Search for the JOY Bus office. It’s easy to spot with their signage. Now you can submit the ID’s and vouchers for inspection. Then they will let you know once you can finally go inside the bus.

AND HERE IT IS!

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  1. Comfort Room: I think the distinctive feature of this bus is the CR. Since there’s already CR, expect that this bus will not have any stopover thus faster arrival time. However, you must ensure you have all the food and drinks you need along the way.

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I have to commend the CR. It might look small in the outside, but inside it has a sink, mirror, tissue  and soap. It also works like an airport CR. When you flush the toilet, it will open a black hole and all your waste will fall into oblivion. You won’t have to worry about faulty flush mechanism.

And like I said earlier, there’s no need to worry about smell.  It’s convenient to sit beside the CR because it difficult to walk when the bus is moving. Also, there would be  lights-out when you travel so it would be harder  when your seat is far away.

2. SEAT: Yes it’s comfy. Guaranteed. Plus, each seats has big spaces from the front and behind seats. So you can stretch and adjust the angle of your seat to your liking. If you’re lucky and no one was behind you, you can make it almost like a bed.

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3. Aside from that they provide blankets, Hansel cookies and mineral water.

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Just random pictures while the light is still on. We took-off around 1:30 am. The bus is not jampacked at that time.

 

This is the semi–darkness. Most of the trip, it will be all darkness so there’s no time for more pictures. And anyway, what you wanted to do is sleep anyway.

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I believe I took the photo of the bus but I couldn’t find it. So I just searched from Google. Here is what it looks like. (Photo from flickr)

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All in all, it was a pretty cool experience. Comfort is worth the price. I totally recommend it. Now I wonder what Premier bus looks like. I think the only complain I have is it took a long time before our valid ID’s were returned by the stewardess.  They must have validated our identities a lot.  But  this one is tolerable and quite subjective.

To this time I heard there’s a new bus to Bicol with bed racks. And the most intriguing is the bus with karaoke, kitchen and bedrooms. I have more things to looks forward to and try next time.

How about you? When was the last time you indulge yourself in a luxurious lifestyle?

Drown in Flowers in Northern Blossom Atok, Benguet

My sister wanted to celebrate her 26th birthday at Baguio. I was not that thrilled because I already toured Baguio years ago. But thanks goodness, while researching something to add in our itinerary, I stumbled in a facebook blog about “Northern Blossom at Atok, Benguet, two hours from Baguio. Finally, it felt like this is the twist I am looking for our Baguio trip. I immediately added this on our second-day itinerary.

*Monday, March 5, 2018, 6:30 am, we went out of our transient home and hailed a taxi going to Dangwa Bus Station. According to the facebook guide, we would ride a bus going to Bontoc or Sagada. We were just in time because the next trip going of the bus was 7:00 am. I told the conductor that our drop-off would be the Municipal Hall of Sayangan Atok, Benguet. The tickets caused P73.00 per person.

* We arrived at around 9:15 am. The municipal looked like this. We entered and asked around how to register as tourist and we were redirected to a tent booth.

*To tell you the truth, there was a slight misunderstanding during the registration. After we signed up in their log-book, we were offered to purchase a day tour that would cost almost P1500.00 for our group. Although the tour is exciting, it would be way beyond our plans and our budget. I made clear that just wanted to visit Northern Blossom and Benguet Kochi Sisterhood Park where there are real Sakura flowers. They said we don’t need a tour if that’s the case. It’s just a walking distance from municipal hall. Someone from the registration guided us on our way.

*Anyway here’s the tour packages they offer. I would love to go back and avail this. When I go to Sagada, I would make this as part of my trip.

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* Finally! We arrived at the Northern Blossom main house. We signed up and pay P200.00 per person. I was asked to choose between Area 1 and Area 2. Area 1 has shorter route but most of the flowers were harvested already because of the recent Panagbenga Festival. Area 2 is untouched but way longer. I chose Area 2 without blinking. Who cares if we get tired?

*I must say the photoshoot started inside the registration house already. The wooden interior made us feel instantly relaxed,

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*And finally, the flowers! The tour guide actually know the name and some trivia about the flowers by heart whenever we ask. But who would remember the information anyway. The important is to ENJOY THE FLOWERS!

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This door is inviting…promising for more breathtaking views!

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Along the way, I met this really cute kid who obviously want his pictures taken.

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This is the cabbage rose. Not a flower but a vegetable. Actually Northern Blossom is not new to me a anymore. Local tv show “Kapuso Mo Jessica Sojo” already featured this garden because of its Cabbage Roses. But it was shown long time ago so it slipped out of my mind. The facebook blog reminded me just in time.

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TWINNING WITH MY SISTER. I purposely bought same style dresses to wear for this trip so we can have our twinning moments in this farm. I am so prepared I am amazed with myself.

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AND MORE PICTURES!!!

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BACK TO THE REGISTRATION HOUSE …

After the trip to flowers, we returned to the relaxing registration house. We were humbled to meet the owner of Northern Blossom. He toured us inside their transient house. (Yes you can sleep inside the Northern Blossom Farm)! And he even offered us soda and Benguet coffee.

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And another bonus! There were two sweet puppies roaming around the house. They are so friendly they lick you when you touch them. I want to bring them home with me. Even when going back to Baguio, I’m still thinking about them. I miss them so much. They are really sweet.

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I FEEL SO ATTACKED!

After this, we ate lunch at the Van station going back to Baguio. It was just a walking distance from Northern Blossom. Just look for Marosan’s Restaurant. The trip going back to Baguio costs P100.00 per person.

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Sadly, we did not push through of going to another flower farm which has authentic Sakura due to our mother and her friend were so exhausted already. It was also really hot that time. If you are going to visit, better to ride a bus at around 4am going here. And besides, the locals said that Sakura are not in full bloom yet. I’ll promise I’ll go back in Atok Benguet. Even our bus ride became so enjoyable because of all the breathtaking views of the mountains and rice terraces. I’ll definitely go back to see what Atok, Benguet has to offer. Hopefully the cherry blossoms are already in full bloom that time.

Ending this blog with my most favorite picture, “the hills are alive with sound of music”. It makes sense since my name is Mary which is also Maria.

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Hope you enjoy my photo overload post. How about you? What beautiful place have you discovered recently?

Summary

Northern Blossom can be a nice side trip when you are in Baguio or you are on your way to Sagada. Entrance Fee is only P200.00.

From Manila: Victory Liner bus-P455.00, Joy Executive Bus P730.00.

  1. Dangwa Station to Sayangan Municipal Hall Bus. P73.00
  2. Tourist Registration at Municipal Hall
  3. Northern Blossom. P200.00 Entrance Fee.
  4. Van going back to Baguio in front of Marosan Restaurant, P100.00 each.

To contact Northern Blossom, here’s the calling card.

OOTD and Why Do We Love High Places?

Except for those who have fear of heights, majority loves high places. We love to climb mountains to reach the summits. We want the view from the rooftop, the high floors of the building and cityscapes. Humans dream to fly lead to invention of airplanes. There’s always an exhilaring feeling of reaching the top. To touch the clouds.

Such thoughts came to me when I went to the roofdeck of our office building last Thursday.We went there with my manager and photography mentor because we were planning to have our IPC (Infor Photography Club) activity here next time. For now, we went there to have an ocular inspection of the place so we can plan our shots ahead of time.

I was mesmerized the moment I stepped in and thought my outfit was perfect for quick “Outfit of the Day shoot”. I was wearing a plaid skirt which I bought from ukay-ukay and cream top which I bought in an instagram kawaii shop ‘x.chloescloset.c’.

I realized I have been reaching summits after summits this month. Three mountains and our building so far. In next few days, I’ll have a trip to the highest point of the Philippines. And i’m so excited for another great view my eyes will be witnessing. And of course with my travel buddy, my cameras.

But going back to the question, I have pondered hard to answer. I think my answer would be, humans just fancies perspectives they don’t usually see. We are land dwellers and the views from the top requires effort and resources. I’m pretty sure if the roofdeck is accessible for anyone in a snap of finger, people wouldn’t be as thrilled. If we have wings, people won’t have dreams of flying. People won’t bother climb a mountain anymore. Seeing things from above won’t feel as magical anymore. We humans actually fancies things we can’t easily get. Things that needs hardwork to achieve in all aspect of life. Summits included.

How about you? What silly questions you have pondered for a while?

Photo credits:

Gerard Dangca using Samsung Galaxy 8

Photos processed in Lightroom with ‘Orange and Teal’ preset.

Why My Lazy Ass Went Mountain Climbing Again (Cayabu + Maynoba Trail)

Who would have thought that a person like me  who doesn’t fancy strenuous activities and too much sun exposure (ayoko umitim!) would go mountain climbing not only once but twice in just one month? I am still in shock myself. To be honest, I still feel that mountain climbing is  a torture.  I thought that since this is my second climb of the month, everything would be easier for me. I was wrong. It feels like I am still a Mountain Climbing virgin. I don’t feel my pacing improved at all. And I still rest for like every 3 minutes. I swear. I feel like a weakling.

But still, the question is why I succumb myself in excruciating pain?  I should have been soundly sleeping on a Friday Night.  So ladies and gents, these are the reasons why I went on.

FIRST REASON: Gusto ko lang mag picture-picture. In Search of Great Moments To Capture with My Camera. Now this might be a superficial reason to you but my strongest driving reason is photography.  I just want to take pictures. And I know, there’s a bountiful of beautiful subjects in mountains. Not only because of nature but the people who ascend with me. I want to capture the hardship, exhaustion the joy of the people around me.  It might be a shallow reason but guess what, it pushed me to my limits and brought me to the top of three mountains this month.

Here are my favorites from my camera so far.

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2ND REASON. I want to have epic pictures of myself creating epic memories. I want to deviate from the usual selfies and ootd’s. I want to have pictures of me doing what I thought is beyond me. Me doing the uncomfortable. Me doing something new. Me meeting new people. Me going to unfamiliar places.

Photos by: JP Duro

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Photo by: Manong Baby

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Photo by: Serniel Barbosa

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SPECIAL THANKS to my co-photographers. Bilang ganti,  may pictures din kayo sa akin.

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At pari rin si tour guide na dinala na gamit ko, naging instant photographer din. Thank you Manong Baby! (Yun talaga name niya haha)

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THIRD REASON: MEET NEW FRIENDS! 

This is a company organized event.  There were 97 participants. Although they are my officemates, I haven’t seen or talked to most of them until this event. Some of them also, I already talked by Skype meetings quite a few times but haven’t know their faces until now too. Ilang beses akong “Ay putek, ikaw pala iyong nakasama kong mag troubleshoot ng blah blah blah hahahaha” . In digital times, even important meetings can be done thru internet. Thanks goodness for this event, we had the chance to actually meet and interact personally. And have fun together.

My Hiking Group: Group Three. May nagpahiram ng gloves, namigay ng pagkain, nagsiwalat ng hugot quotes, at higit sa lahat, naghintay sa kabagalan ko. But they turned that into a joke. When I finally catch up with them, they would say “Ayan na ang Alpha natin”. Sarcasm overload. Tawa ako ng tawa. Thank you guys!

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Photo below: Serniel Barbosa

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After the climb, we finally shared the proceeds of this climb thru an outreach program. We gave school supplies and groceries to the locals living with the mountain. and that would be the FOURTH REASON why I joined this event. And has a big part of why I decided to climb again.

Photo below: JP Duro

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As much as I want to write a full review of my climb, I think this post is long enough already. WordPress is loading so slowly now maybe because of too much photo overload. I think I should save that for another blog post.

And that’s my reasons ladies and gents. How about you? Do you have something you don’t actually like doing but do it anyway? What keeps you going?

 

CREDITS:

SPECIAL THANK TO My Co-Protographers

Serniel Barbosa

JP Duro

Manong Baby