Extreme Family Adventures in the Sand Dunes of Laoag (video)

Extreme Family Adventures in the Sand Dunes of Laoag (video)

LAOAG CITY. MAY 2, 2014. – It’s the second and last day of our Ilocos family road trip. We just visited the bell tower ruins of Bacarra, Ilocos Norte. Our next stop in our very busy itinerary for the day: the sand dunes of La Paz in Laoag City.

We arrived in the sand dunes of Laoag City around 1:00PM. Not the ideal time to do any of the activities waiting for us in the sand dunes. We know that all too well but we really did not have much choice. That was the only available time for us to visit the place.

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Highest Zipline in Southeast Asia

Highest Zipline in Southeast Asia

DURING OUR family’s visit to General Santos City and South Cotabato last month (May 24-25) we got to visit the famous Seven Falls of Lake Sebu, courtesy of our good friends: Kuya Bob Gerada and the still honeymooning couple, Ryan and Liezel Briones.

Marielle and Nikka as they are about to take off in tandem.
Marielle and Nikka as they are about to take off in tandem.

Needless to say, Marielle (almost 11 yo) and Johan (9 yo) were ecstatic to find out that another zipline adventure awaited them in Lake Sebu.

And this is no ordinary zipline for two important reasons: Read more

A white-washed anniversary get-away

IT IS also known as Marinduque’s Elephant Island. Bellarocca is an island resort characterized by white-painted buildings and villas that has the look (and supposedly feel) of the famous Greek island of Santorini.

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My family went to Santorini, I mean Bellarocca, to celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary in December 2011 (almost exactly a year ago). It is an idyllic, picture-perfect place for a family vacation. It is the perfect place if your idea for a vacation is to lie down lazily under the sun or dip the whole day in the pool or in the sea while sipping margarita. Read more

Superb Cultural Dance Presentation @ Villa Escudero

Every day, the cultural dance troupe of Villa Escudero gives a world-class presentation to local and foreign visitors to this Filipino-culture-themed park near the boundary of Laguna and Quezon provinces.

My family visited Villa Escudero in May 2011. Villa Escudero impressed me a lot, so much so that I actually wrote and posted three articles about it in this blog. This one is the fourth.

I am very glad that my kids – Marielle (9) and Johan (7) and their cousin, Marian Rose (7), have been introduced to traditional Filipino folk songs and dances early on. And I am doubly glad that this introduction was by way of Villa Escudero, as it undoubtedly left only positive impressions on them.

Villa Escudero and its cultural presentation are definitely two must-sees by tourists and visitors. As a Filipino, they make me really proud.

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In the photo with the the Villa Escudero cultural dance troupe members are my sister-in-law, Mary Ann (standing in the middle, wearing white shirt), my sister Orchid (seated, 2nd from left), Johan, my ever cool and beautiful Nanay Paz, my niece Marian Rose, and Marielle.

 

Revisiting PAHIYAS

I WAS married for just about half a year when I went to see my very first PAHIYAS Festival in Lucban, Quezon in May 2001 with my former girlfriend and now permanent ex-girlfriend, Marie. So I guess you can say that PAHIYAS was a big part of our HONEYMOON.

As you can see from our photos, the PAHIYAS seems an ideal event for honeymooners to go and see. At least it seemed that way to us some 11 years ago. :) Read more

Flying high in Chang Mai

I WAS sorting through a pile of some old stuff a few weekends ago and look what I found?!

This photo was taken in Chang Mai, Thailand.

I can no longer seem to pin down the date, however. In my recollection I was attending a regional conference conducted by the IBM Software Group at the time. Cross-referencing it against my job history in my CV I am guessing that it was some time between 2001 and 2003.

Nobody knew where I was and what crazy stuff I was doing at that very moment – not my family, not my colleagues in the conference, no one.

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A view from the pot

Pot Pool

Look what’s cooking?! Make that “Look who’s cooking?” or, to be more grammatically correct about it, “Look who is getting cooked?”

This is actually a very late post. Almost a year old now. I created it on first week of December last year, right after our family vacation in Pagudpud. Apparently I forgot to publish it and it was in my draft folder for the past 11 months. Silly me. Read more

The Extreme Water Slides of White Rock Subic

This will be my last blog post featuring my family’s recent visit in White Rock Resort in Subic, else other people may already think that I am being paid to promote the place. :)

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STRICTLY SPEAKING, White Rock Resort in Subic is not a water theme park (like Splash Island along SLEx in San Pedro/Biñan, Laguna). But it offers a pleasant surprise to people who, not unlike myself, love the thrill of extreme water slides.

It features not one, not two, but three extreme water slides.

First is the Rampage Slide, which is simply a 45-degree slide from a height of approximately 50 feet (about the height of an 8-story building), and ends in a shallow pool.

Next is the Super-Bowl Slide, which starts from the same approximately 8-story platform of the Rampage Slide and goes down a long barrel slide which is about 80-100 feet long. The barrel slide dumps into a huge “bowl” where you continue to slide around a couple of times before getting literally flushed down the middle and into a 5-foot deep pool.

Lastly, there’s the See-Saw Slide which may look deceivingly “easy” to some, but guarantees a big scare with its initial “dead drop.” Read more

Missing Sagada

I FIRST visited Sagada with my xGF and our good friends, Eden and Justin Salimbot, way back in 2001.

I immediately fell in love with Sagada and vowed to visit it again in the not so distant future.

Well, it’s been 11 years. There had been attempts – or at least plans – to revisit Sagada in the past few years, but one way or the other it wouldn’t come to fruition.

Maybe what it takes is to get Eden and Justin to go with us again.

~o0o~

I wonder how much – or how little – the place has changed in the past decade. I do hope it hasn’t changed much. After all, the allure of Sagada is its ancient and timeless beauty. Read more

Revisiting White Rock

OCTOBER 13, 2012 – My family visited White Rock for the 2nd time in about 3 years. The first time was also our first visit to this popular Subic resort.

Generally speaking, not much has changed since our first visit, although a lot of renovations and expansions are presently going on during our second visit, presumably in preparation for the coming tourism peak seasons in December-January and March-May.

I did notice some notable additions.

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“Flushed”

Ever wondered what it is like to be “flushed” down a toilet bowl? Yaiks!

You can find out for yourself. I did.

Check out this 14 sec video clip I took of myself while sliding down an 8-story high tube slide which ends in a big “bowl” with a hole in the middle. It’s probably the closest thing you will get to knowing how it feels like to be flushed down a toilet bowl. LOL.

It is called the SUPERBOWL SLIDE. You can find it in White Rock Resort in Subic, Zambales.

The SuperBowl Slide is not a new attraction in White Rock. I’ve been to White Rock with my family 3 or 4 years ago and it was already there. I’ve already tried it several times way back then, but I still tried it several times more when my family went to visit White Rock again two weekends ago. I love that slide, and so far I haven’t seen anything similar in the many resorts and theme parks I’ve been too.

A chilly day in Pagudpud

Day 2 of our Nov 26-28 Ilocos Norte family vacation.

Pagudpud Family Outing (Day 2)IT was a gloomy day on our first full day in Pagudpud on November 27. It was raining the whole morning and the wind was chilly cold.

By 10am Kuya Mike and I decided to scout around “Blue Lagoon” to find alternative eating places. Having eaten dinner and breakfast in exactly the same corner of the cafeteria/restaurant of Hannah’s Hotel and Resort, we were eager to try something different, more “local,” and less expensive. Read more