Thursday, January 29, 2009

Terraces Going to Sagada

These are the sights that bewildered me on my way to the zig zag roads of Sagada. Our bus even stopped not to let a pedestrian pass but for a snake to cross the road! Talk about love for nature and respect for animal rights!
Living in the city all my life makes me want to be with nature in my retirement age (which is about three decades from now, hehe)---have a simple life, plant and toil the land. Twin would like to be a farmer someday :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

An Overnight Stop in Baguio

Baguio City has become decongested with flyovers and buildings all in the name of modernization. I miss the old Baguio. My family regularly hides off to the City Of Pines for the cool weather and fresh strawberries. This time I came with a friend. Our main goal is to visit Sagada which is a six-hour bus ride from Baguio. (From Manila to Baguio, travel time is also six hours).

Since it was such a short visit because we had to get ready early in the morning to catch a bus to Sagada, I just walked at the Our Lady of Lourdes grotto and chilled at the Session Road for dessert.
I realized that I was getting old because climbing to the grotto made me stop several times to catch my breath.

In the afternoon, the fog slowly crept in the city making it visibly hard to see the area---good thing to lessen the eyesore of modernization :)

The Session Road is so much alive at night. Baguio was 7 C degrees when I came so it was abnormally freezing for someone who lives in Manila with an average of 32 C temperature.
To enjoy the cold night, I had lychee tea and mango tango dessert. The prices are so cheap that our bill amounted to only around P200 ($4) plus their promo beer drinks.

Next: Travelling to Sagada

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Road to Sagada

Sagada is a six-hour bus ride from Baguio City. The long trip is worth it---you see the clouds on eye level (sometimes below eye level hehe) ! One thing for sure, when you're on top of the mountain---you're on top of the world! Sagada's fresh, cool breeze will easily make you a frozen delight :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Money Tree for Prosperity @ Wynn Macau

Giant screen, grand chandelier, gold hand-crafted money tree mesmerize the guests at Wynn Macau. People throw coins and make wishes for prosperity!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dancing Fountain @ Wynn Macau

Outside of the Wynn hotel in Macau, one can see this attraction regularly.  They play a variety of popular songs and tourists/guests are treated to this spectacle every night!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Retirement Home No. 1: Farm Masters Village

At my early stage, I am looking for a "retirement" place where I can be with nature, relax without the buzz of city life and just write my scripts. No cellphones. No internet. No unnecessary distractions. 

I do not have a province so I'm longing to have a lot! One of the places where I would grow old (I've listed about four "homes" here and abroad) is the Farm Masters Village in San Miguel, Bulacan. I witnessed seeing these mango trees grow from seedlings to an orchard! During harvesting season, these numerous mango varieties are just within your reach, tempting you like Eve to get and eat them with your bare hands :)

For 2009, my project is to start building one of my retirement homes LOL. And this is going to be my view! Aside from the nature side of this place (they also have a tilapia fishpond), amenities like swimming pool and basketball court are also in the area.

Farm Masters Village
Magsaysay Ave. Brgy. Pulong Bayabas, San Miguel, Bulacan

"Barangay Pulong Bayabas is 3 kilometers away from the town center with a newly constructed highway leading to Biak-na-Bato, declared by the government to be a National Shrine expected to draw foreign and local tourists alike."

How to get here:
The town is around 75 kms. north of Manila, the business center of the country.

Route #1: From North Luzon Expressway at Balintawak Exit. Take the exit at Sta. Rita (approximately 30 minutes). Just follow the Cagayan Valley Road passing through the towns of Plaridel, Pulilan, Baliuag, San Rafael and San Ildefonso.

Route #2: (SOON) From North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), take expressway - PROPOSED PLARIDEL BYPASS, this will pass thru other towns of Bulacan including San Miguel Bulacan (Fastest Way)

Take the buses that ply the Cagayan Valley Road route. Some of these buses are Baliwag Transit, ES Transport, and Five Star Transport. The buses will reach the town in about 2 hours.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Hotel Hopping @ Macau

Colorful lights at Grand Lisboa

When you've enjoyed casino or hotel hopping at Las Vegas, definitely, you would want to try doing the same thing in Macau. My real intention of going to Macau was to compare it with the Las Vegas strip. I was in Las Vegas in December 2007 and recently I was in Macau December 2008.
In Macau, you travel by foot to see the cultural and entertainment sights. The top two pictures are my point of view going to the Wynn hotel. I passed by the "pedicabs" and walked underground.

When I arrived at the Wynn hotel, their dancing fountain was performing right before my eyes. A fire was also part of the cast. It was an enjoyable site, the dancing and singing parts, hehe. I was in the live audience. LOL. Back in Vegas, since it was winter time, I can only watch the fountain show from my hotel window since it was freezing crazy.

Took some souvenir shots at the Grand Imperial hotel. Of course, I am no queen and have no intentions of living in a palace. Simple life lang ako.
To reach the Venetian, we had to take a bus. It was kinda far from the Macau center since it was a reclaimed area. There are streetmospheres everywhere. You see them on floor, windows, etc performing, singing Italian arias. Pinoy talents are not allowed to reveal their true identity. They undergo intensive training to have an Italian accept and part of their script is to tell the guests that they have an Italian blood---which is totally a puzzle since they look very Pinoy!

A good friend who works at the Venetian toured us to the room where Celine Dion stays. The suite has its own massage room. Even the bathroom has its own big LCD TV. Big, spacious and elegant! Here are the over acting bathrobes hehe...

If you are into high-end shopping, most expensive stores are at the Venetian. When I was there, some stores had a 50 % off sale so I got a Florsheim shoes for my dad and for myself, a good-looking watch from _______ which I should only wear daw for special occassions because holduppers in Manila can be tempted to get it according to my friend LOL.

Venetian is connected to the Four Seasons so we took a coffee break at their cafe. The servers were mostly Pinoys and they were really helpful to tell me what's delicious or not in their menu.

Carolers were singing Christmas songs at the Four Seasons and it was really a joyous holiday for me!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Dining at Fernando's

When a friend learned that I was going to Macau, she suggested that I visit this famous Portuguese restaurant, Fernando's located at 9 Praia de Hac Sa (tel +853 882 264). It takes about a 20-minute bus ride from The Venetian to Fernando's (one of the farthest place I visited in Macau) but we waited for about 40 minutes more at the bus stop for there were no buses going to Hac Sa Beach at that time! So by the time we arrived at Fernando's, our stomachs were all growling and we were all dying to eat!
On the walls are currencies from different countries, calling cards and handwritten graffitti proudly saying that these customers have eaten at Fernando's! On the ceiling are fans, no airconditioner, dearie! The breezy air coming from the beach greets every customer.

These fresh, hot breads came from their own bakery! It was my first time to eat grilled sardines (their size is five times bigger than our local canned sardines) and boy, the bread and sardines compliment one other, with camote on the side. The fishbones were also a bit big, took me some time to remove it :)

Also unforgettable finds are the clams and the grilled cattlefishes. All dishes that were served on our table were gone in a minute! Delicious is an understatement in this famous dining place.
This trip is really worth it because of the suckling pig! I do not care about high cholesterol or high blood, I had to taste this specialty! My verdict: I am in heaven :) Crunchy, tasty, meaty!
They have only one dessert that I was familiar with and so I ordered their flan---has the right sweetness and "softness." Yummy!
Eating at a Portuguese restaurant for the first time and Fernando's being the "annointed" one is one of my highs in this trip. I'm glad I listened to my friend's advice. The servers are well-trained and know how to "communicate" with the tourists and expats. They show you pictures to make sure you ordered the right meal.
FYI, they only accept cash (HK dollars, Patacas or US dollars), no credit cards. I had run out of HK and Patacas currencies and they willingly accepted my US dollars. Thank goodness :)