This will be just a gallery of my favorite personal photos of 2018. I would also like to give thanks to my friends, families, colleagues and strangers who took these wonderful photos of mine. Thank you for sharing the journey of the year with me.
Cheers to more photos and memories this year 2019!
But at last, this is by far my most favorite of 2018. Location was Northern Blossom. Photography by my sister Mary Ann.
We were four in this trip but we had different flight schedules. I was alone in my flight and perhaps I arrived Puerto Princesa Airport around noon. I took a tricycle to bring me in Puerto Apartments where one of my friends was already waiting.
I highly recommend this house to those who want a budget accommodation here in Puerto Princesa. It has complete amenities for cooking, has aircon and quite spacious. It’s near tourist attractions, markets and the airport. My friend booked this room for P765.00 per night its for four persons already. Incredibly affordable right? She booked it in Agoda.com by the way. I really liked our stay here.
Beside Puerto Apartments was a restaurant named Coco Garden Cafe’. The place was relaxing but the food was quite expensive for me with respect to the quantity or servings.
I chose to eat Danggit to taste something native in this place. But I didn’t like it. The Danggit meat felt like a rubber and I had a hard time chewing it.
This is actually a chill day and we didn’t have particular plans. But I didn’t want to waste our time here in Puerto Princesa. So I searched the internet for an attraction nearby that we can also visit during nighttime. Iwahig Firefly Watching fits the bill. As soon as my friends arrived at around 5pm, I immediately told them to drop the bags and hit the road immediately.
Iwahig Firefly Watching
I have never seen a firefly myself. The visuals I know would only be from what I saw in movies and animations. So this got me really hyped.
We traveled to Iwahig by renting a tricycle for P500.00 and that would transport us back and forth. We had to rent because transportation from Iwahig would be very difficult specially at night. Most people come here by car.
Firely watching is done by a 30-40 minute boat ride. Only three passengers + 1 tourguide can fit a boat. Since there were four of us, we were later merged with a couple in one package of P1800. So that would be six of us in that fee. Then we split in to two boats.
There is a buffet restaurant here for P250.00 each person.
There are a lot of mosquitoes here. I had to buy a repellant eventually because my legs were bombarded with itchyness.
There is an official photo during the boatride. It costs P50.00 per print.
The boatride was a little bit scary because it was super dark. But once you get near with the trees and see the fireflies lit up together, it was really cute. However, don’t expect too much that they will come of as magical sight. The fireflies are quite too far and they are too small. It doesn’t looks like the movies. But still I enjoyed it. The boatman which was the tour guide as well had told as many stories about Philippine fireflies during the ride. He said that the existence of fireflies in a place means a clean environment. This was the reason why you won’t see a firefly in the city. Another interesting thing we encountered here are the sparkling planktons. If you shake the riverwater, the planktons will sparkle. However, the most memorable thing that happened has to be when the firefly flew near our boat and actually landed on my palm. It looked like a mosquito but with lightbulb on its tail. I wish I had taken a photo of it.
Like I told you, the river was so dark my camera had no power to capture anything. These are the only things that I captured while the boat was sailing. I eventually gave up and just kept my camera in a waterproof bag. I advise, just focus on watching the fireflies and disturbing the planktons when you get here.
By the way, here’s the official photo of our ride. They edited the firefly glows in the picture. That was funny. It costs P50.00 to get a copy.
After that, we retreated back to the Puerto Apartments and get ready for our adventure the next day.
That’s it for the Day 1. I hope this blog will contribute to your ideas in planning your Puerto Princesa Palawan trip. Because this is a really worthy experience.
FIREFLY ROOFDECK DINING!
No reservation needed! No entrance fee. You also don’t need to leave an ID in the hotel reception. Have a taste of feeling elite while enjoying the Makati City View in Firefly Roofdeck Restaurant. Located at the 32nd floor of City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati. Complete address is 8008 Makati Avenue, Corner Kalayaan, Makati, 1200 Manila, Philippines. Super easy to locate thru Grab.
Why this place is great?
Well first and foremost, you’ll get to enjoy the skyscraper’s view of Makati. The city lights makes the atmosphere romantic. That’s why most people dining here are couples.
2. It’s not only for couples. This place is also great for portrait shoots. Just like what I did with my family. I brought them here because I was looking for a new place to celebrate my birthday. And then I learned about this place through the web. It was an abrupt plan actually. But because they are with me, they know I chose this place for instant photoshoot session.
3.Affordable food. Well of course it’s a little bit more expensive. But considering the atmosphere and the view, this is now affordable compared to most high-end restaurants. They offer different cuisine ranging from Spanish, Filipino, Japanese and Korean. They also offer beer and cocktails.
Lechon Sisig for P350.00. This is already okay for 2-3 servings.
To give you an idea, here’s a glimpse on the menu. The Japanese and Korean dishes are in buffet package in P800+. This is grabbed from zomato.com
Pasta is popular with the dating couples here.
The veranda seats has waiting list and can only accommodate up to 3 persons only. But for the seats inside, there is no waiting list. And you can freely take photoshoots in veranda as well.
So if you’re in Manila and thinking of a romantic dinner with your partner, you can now consider Firefly Roofdeck Dining.
If you have other places that offer the same dining on a roofdeck around Manila, please leave a comment below. I’ll gladly visit it.
Luljetta is a spa-resort located in Antipolo. It promises relaxation and commune to nature spa facilities . It is getting popular nowadays so we went here to celebrate my mother’s birthday since it is not too far away from Manila. Truth to be told, it is a great place. Here’s the list of what I would remember about this place.
1. The Welcome Golf-kart Ride. Actually it’s not far from the entrance to registration area. But Luljetta don’t want their guests to feel tired. So they will welcome you with a golf-car ride.
2. The thrill of choosing our bathrobe for the day and slaying it.
3. When we can’t stop laughing with Dr. Fish. It was so damn ticklish! We were laughing our hearts out. It took a long while before we were finally get used to it.
Here’s the video of our hardship to get along with Dr. Fish.
3. The relaxing skyline view of Antipolo. The silhoutte of Manila is also totally visible from Luljetta Cafe’
That’s Manila Metropolis right there.
4. The delicious food at Luljetta Cafe’. Along with the basic package, they offer “Antipolo’s Best Suman” and lemongrass tea. The suman is something you must not miss. The rice is crispy then soaked in honey and showered with bits cashew nuts. The combination was perfect and it was truly enjoyable chewing it. I already miss it while typing this.
I love the presentation for this one but this is the food we like the least among our orders. I actually forgot what it is but I remembered it was sour. And I’m not a fan of sour foods.
Sesame Fried Chicken. Not an ordinary-tasting chicken. I also love the sesame sauce that comes with it.
Steamed Fish in Fish Soya Sauce. I also love this one. Totally recommended.
5. Of course the Luljetta Cafe’ itself is unforgettable. It has colorful interior and what I love the most is their art gallery made by our local artists.
4. The Water Spa and a sweet couple we encountered during our stay here. If you are familiar with ACE Water Spa, this is the amenity that corresponds to it. In water spa, the water do the massage. It was kind of disappointing moment though that one of their water spa machine is not working during our visit.
Meanwhile I hereby introduce to you my bitter sister. A big thanks to this couple who cooperated in our impromptu shoot.
Couples should be banned here! hmp!
Yakapin ko na lang sarili ko tutal I love myself naman e.
I will hug myself because I also love myself.
May sarili naman akong kamay para hawakan..akala niyo kayo lang?
I have my hands to hold. You are not the only one.
Ano ba ‘yan???? Isang tao lang dapat per slot e.
What the f??? Only one person should be on one slot. Grrr!
My face be like…smile lang kahit inggit na inggit na.
As for me, I only care about slaying my bikini. haha!
5. The cute cottages, kubo and houses. This places would be perfect for catching-up conversations with friends, taking a nap or even drinking a cup of coffee. Some rooms have available do-your-own coffee features.
6. The Infinity Pool.
Actually we were not the only people here. It suddenly rained at this moment (with thunder and lightning) and I was not brave enough to submerge myself in to the cold water.
7. Things we have missed. Our package is only the most basic one. It was not enough to enjoy all amenities. We haven’t tried their specialty massage, sauna and jacuzzi. They also have overnight-stay inn here but we haven’t tried that as well since we have other plans.
8. The free souvenirs! When it’s time to go. You can choose either bracelet or rosary as a remembrance. I chose the latter.
Overall, I truly love our stay here in Luljetta Hanging Gardens. It was generally a rainy day but that did not completely spoiled the relaxation we got here. I won’t mind going back. I’ll probably getting the more expensive package next time. Like the one with massage. However, the rooms they offer is quite expensive for me and I don’t see myself trying that in the future.
HOW TO BOOK
Officially, the booking for Luljetta Hanging Gardens is in this site https://www.bienvenidotours.com/luljettas-place.html . You would be needing a paypal account, credit card or mastervisa debit card. It is advisable to book it in 3-7 days in advance. Below are the summary of their package. This came from their official fb page in this link. I also highligted the package that we bought.
2. Once you check-out your booking, you will be receiving an email from Bienvenido Tours which includes your receipt.
3. You will now be asked on the details of your arrival and contact number.
4. It is important to keep a digital copy or print-out of the receipt upon registration.
HOW TO GO.
There are many ways to go here but here’s the one we took since we were coming from Manila. For other ways, here’s the link for route suggestions.
Go to LRT2 Recto Station. Select Santolan bound station.
From Santolan Station, ride a Antipolo Cathedral bound jeep but ask the driver to drop you off the Antipolo City Proper.
From Antipolo City Proper, ride a tricycle going to Loreland Farm Resort. Luljetta Hanging Gardens is inside this resort too.
Going back to Antipolo City Proper is also through tricycle.
The moment I saw Treasure Mountain in Facebook, I know I have to go there someday. It promises an easy pass to “sea of clouds”. You don’t have to climb a mountain so to speak. Not that I am not fond of climbing mountains. Sometimes you just want to relax, take things easy. You want to take selfies in the mountainside without looking haggard and sweaty. (This is great for pre-nup shoot actually. I saw this in their page.) Manila habitants would also rejoice since it can only takes 3 hours to get here. More importantly, this is for the people who are incapable of climbing mountains for health reasons. In my case, I brought my mother here. I can never bring her to rigorous hiking. But thank goodness , there is treasure mountain.
Allow me to manage your expectation first. There is NO GUARANTEE you’ll see sea of clouds. It depends on the mood of the nature. But on the morning of June 24, 2018, we got super lucky.
Treasure Mountain is located at Sitio May Sawa Brgy. Cuyambay, 1980 Tanay, Rizal. I will categorize the ways to go here in three modes.
A. Chillax Mode. There is less commuting efforts and there is definitely no hike involved. Straight to the mountain beshies.
Go to Tanay Public Market with this 3 options.
From Starmall in front of Megamall, ride a jeep or FX (UV express) going to Tanay Market
From MRT Cubao, ride an FX or Jeepney going to Tanay Market.
From LRT Santolan, ride FX going to Tanay Market.
2. From Tanay Public Market, ride a tricycle straight to Treasure Mountain. This will cost P500.00. I think that could accommodate four persons already, as long as you fit in one tricycle. I got our trike near Puregold, somewhere around Public Market.
B. Adventurer Mode. I called it this way because it takes a lot of commuting and it gives you an opportunity to have 20-minutes trek to sea of clouds.
Ride a van or jeepney going to Cogeo Gate 2 or Padilla
Ride a jeepney bound to Sampaloc, Tanay
Get-off at Sitio Maysawa, waiting shed or the jump-off to the Maysawa Circuit
Trek for 45 minutes or take a tricycle to Treasure Mountain
C. Detour Mode. We did this one unexpectedly.
We came from Antipolo because we visited Luljetta Hanging Garden first. The original plan is from there, we will travel to Treasure Mountain and stay overnight. I even reserved a room. But there was quite a heavy rainfall. Aside from that, all jeepneys going to Tanay were all full. Tricycle from Antipolo woudn’t even agree to bring us even in Tanay Market because it was too far. I was highly discouraged and actually decided to go home already. We stopped by in a restaurant in Morong to have dinner. We had a chitchat with the crew there and they suggested we stay in a low-cost apartelle nearby to rest then just travel at 2 am. We decided to take this advice.
This is Hanson’s Apartelle in Teresa, Antipolo and it have crazy low rates. Great for the people who went on Antipolo tour. Or people who want to have shorter travel time for their tour in Tanay, Rizal.
We took the 6 hours Aircon room. This is for two people only. We just added P100.00 for extra person. So all-in-all we spent P550.00 pesos. Not bad right?
This is the room. There’s no much facility here. No wifi, no extra outlet, the t.v was old. I But who would I to complain? It is expensive and a truly decent room to stay for a short time. The CR is okay too. It is clean.
At 2:30 am, we took a jeepney going to Tanay. We dropped-off Puregold near Tanay Public Market and immediately got a trike going straight to Treasure Mountain. Even though it was still dark, we already saw a LOT of sea of clouds along the way. I was so happy.
I am quite disappointed with this one. We arrived at around 4:30 am. But we were greeted with an empty registration area. (Well except dogs were there.) I read that the day tour starts at 4 am so I expect that it would open at this time. Time is of the essence for me. Sea of clouds may disappear And I need to set-up in a good spot for photos. Also we were also there for the sunrise. I think the staff arrived at 5 am.
Entrance fee is only P 150.00 each person for DAY TOUR.
But there’s no time for bad vibes. Sea of Clouds is waiting for us and we have to hurry!
I intentionally brought this skirt for awra purposes haha!
Nang umakyat si Inang Kapatagan sa Kabundukan…
The Sea of clouds rose up from where stood. There was a moment of zero visibility here. If this is water, we were drowned for sure. But this is clouds and we are happy to drown. Now, it’s great for coffee drinking session.
FOODS and DRINKS
After taking so much photos, it’s time to get hungry and satisfy our coffee cravings because of cold temperature. Treasure mountain has a small restaurant which is open from 6 am to 9pm.
These are the rates of the food here. It’s quite pricey for silog meals but reasonable since we’re on top of a mountain. Coffee by the way is P20.00 per cup.
Tent Rental: P500.00 / tent for a capacity of 2 persons, P800.00 / tent for a capacity of 4 persons
Sleeping mat rental: P200.00
Room Lodging: P500.00 minimum of 2 persons and maximum of 5 guests. Sleeping mat inclusive.
Bosay Falls : P500.00 for tour guide, maximum of 5 guests
Cars are welcome to go directly here but be warned that there are parts of the road that has still no pavement year. This will be on the driver’s discretion.
They have decent CR too. Quite muddy and dark but understandable since this is on top of a mountain.
Going back to Tanay Public Market is easy too. There’s a tricycle terminal just walking distance away from Treasure Mountain.
That’s all for now. I have a lot of videos here that I have not processed yet. Overall, this is a beautiful place for relaxation and mountainside photo-ops. It’s inexpensive and require no long travel time from Manila. The cons are late opening of Registration area and very slow-response in their fb page. My reservation for a room took about 4 days to be processed. But still, I will definitely come back here because I haven’t roamed the area. I have missed beautiful spots for more photo-ops. And I haven’t done the original plan of Astrophotography practice here.
And this BTS photo taken by mother that I’m really fond of.
And a MORAL LESSON!
RAIN is not always a bad thing. After the rain, there will be rainbows. And also SEA of CLOUDS! (Wew that was deep -_- ….)
Kidding aside, if we gave up because of the heavy rain, we would have not seen this breathtaking view. That translate to real life as well. So don’t give up with life struggles. Always looks for detour to get what you want.
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.
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!
Doing some night long exposure shots. I tried my best.
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.
(NSFW guys. Just for fun only)
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.
And some portrait photoshoot on the side
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.
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!
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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!
Finally soju time. Renato has been waiting for this
Apparently, Drich and Leonard has this amazing gaming console called Switch. It looks like this.
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!
But allow me to display this meme-able gif again.
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.
Swimming at the Wind Residences Clubhouse
This is exclusive in the accommodation. It only costs P150.00 each in the accounting center.
Because we were afraid of the sun, we opted to swim in the indoor pool.
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.
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!
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!
Special thanks to Renato for the additional photos and GIF.
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.
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.
It was annoying but we didn’t mind because of the killer view.
While waiting for the food is the opportunity of course for photo-ops.
And finally our food! We ordered tapsilog, beef pares and the superstar “Bulalo”
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.
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.
FINAL VERDICT: Great View, Great Food! Totally Recommended!
Bulalo Fiesta is located at Minesview, Baguio City but also have a branch in Quezon City.
Food of the Day: “BARI KARA RAMEN” , the newest flavor of Ramen Kuroda,
“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!
And sharing with the photos of my friends who immediately agreed when I suggest Ramen Kuroda for our dinner for tonight.
And some food photography. I didn’t take much photos this time because I was so famish I am starting to have dizzy spells.
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!
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.
Fill-up the details then click “Show Trips” button. This will load the schedules in the right pane.
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.
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.
Click “Next” and you will be reviewing your itinerary. If everything is looking correct, just press NEXT.
Terms And Condition. We aint got time for that. Just lie that you have read the terms and condition then proceed with the payment.
Now it’s time to Pay. As you can see there are five mode of payments. We chose BDO.
After payment, email the deposit slip to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Sample reply from Joy bus. At last, the booking is successful! The vouchers should be attached with this email.
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.
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.
All passengers MUST have valid id’s. EACH ONE of THEM!
PRINT FORM of the vouchers.
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!
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.
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.
3. Aside from that they provide blankets, Hansel cookies and mineral water.
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.
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)
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?
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.
* 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,
*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!
This door is inviting…promising for more breathtaking views!
Along the way, I met this really cute kid who obviously want his pictures taken.
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.
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.
AND MORE PICTURES!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hope you enjoy my photo overload post. How about you? What beautiful place have you discovered recently?
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.
Dangwa Station to Sayangan Municipal Hall Bus. P73.00
Tourist Registration at Municipal Hall
Northern Blossom. P200.00 Entrance Fee.
Van going back to Baguio in front of Marosan Restaurant, P100.00 each.
To contact Northern Blossom, here’s the calling card.