April 26, 2017

I Keep Going Back for Puto Calasiao

There are places that I would always love to go back. One of them is the humble town of Calasiao in Pangasinan. The peaceful St. Peter and St. Paul Parish Church, the colorful and appetizing Puto Calasiao (rice cake) will surely be a quick buy for you to drop by this town. I on the other hand fell in love with this town that is why I keep going back whenever I have chance. 

Its the kind of traveler in me that keeps me going back. I'm a type who would not only love to cherish the experience, I'm a type who would love to repeat the feeling in that place. I've been to El Nido, Palawan many times and still I'm longing for its turquoise water and fine sand beaches.

St. Peter and St. Paul Parish Church

Calasiao is around 20 minutes away from Dagupan City, the commercial capital of Pangasinan. If you take a bus from Manila, you'll pass by Calasiao.

Puto Calasiao is a delicious delicacy gone famous all over the country. You can but it here in Manila and they claim that its Puto Calasiao. But its different when you buy it in Calasiao after you visit the  St. Peter and St. Paul Parish Church. For Php25.00 you can have this snack for yourself. You can buy for your family for Php100 per kilo. Just make sure to tell the vendor that you will bring it to Manila otherwise they will just pack it in plastic. It has to be in a paper plastic with banana leaf inside to make it long lasting.

Thank to the new Supremo4K for letting me capture the town of Calasiao in action and in style.

How to go to Calasiao

From Manila, take a bus bound to Dagupan or Lingayen. Tell the conductor to drop you in Jollibee, Calasiao. In front of Jollibee, take a jeep with Calasiao signage. It will take you to Calasiao's St. Peter and St. Paul Parish Church. Adjacent to the church are the vendors selling the mouthwatering Puto Calasiao.

From Dagupan take a jeep bound to Calasiao. It will take you to St. Peter and St. Paul Parish Church. Adjacent to the church are the vendors selling the mouthwatering Puto Calasiao.

April 24, 2017

Beach Hopping in Panglao: Alona Beach and Dumaluan Beach + Bohol Bee Farm

We went to Bohol for three reason – to relax at BE GrandResort, to tour the island and to just stay under the sun at the Beach. There are numerous beaches in Bohol especially in Panglao Island. A quick walk from Be Grand Resort is the Alona Beach and 10 minutes habal habal (motorcycle) ride from Alona is the more serene Dumaluan Beach.

Alona Beach
On our second day in Bohol we decided to do DIY in Panglao for the beaches. After having a sumptuous breakfast at Be Grand Resort we emerge on the rocks down to Alona Beach. We walk on the stretch of the white sand beach adoring the blue and sparkling water – thanks to the sun.

April 20, 2017

Braving the Altitude: The Out of this World Beauty of Ladakh to Alchi and Likir Monastery to the Broken Dreams in Pangong Tso Lake

Don't miss the first part of this series!

My body cannot move and my mind almost wanted to give up Ladakh, but my heart says otherwise. We asked Mr. Tuks Tan if we can cancel the trip to Alchi and Likir Monastery but he was very apprehensive saying “Alchi and Likir is very beautiful” in his Ladakhi accent and animated gestures. In my mind, he did not want to waste his day because we already got him for that day. But Claire was quick to shed some light telling me that Mr. Tuks Tan did not want us to waste our time just lying on bed and singing lullaby for our altitude sickness. We proved it right, Mr. Tuks Tan wanted us to experience the best of Ladakh on a March winter.

So, I dragged myself to the bathroom to brush my teeth and to wash my face. I wanted to take a bath but the hot water was limited. There was a water heater but it was unplugged thus we cannot use it. Water pipes were frozen and it was impossible to get a running water. I knew then why we got a big discount in Tse Tan Guest House. 

Without changing inner clothing, we drove off to Alchi and Likir in a dizzy and “bed” mood.

I was awake the whole time going to Alchi. I could not sleep because I felt that my stomach was unsettled. While we zigzag the road up and down, Claire was sleeping while holding her precious red camera named Sebastian. Her head almost hit the floor of the vehicle while sleeping. Occasionally, she will straighten up victoriously and will click her Sebastian on the scenery. She will talk to me saying “Gerber penge nalang picture mo” (Just give me a copy of your picture) then her head will hit the floor again. I will just stare at her and laugh silently. What she didn’t knew was that, I am still from where I am because I felt like vomiting and I was so cold

Out of this World!
Nevertheless, I was glad about my stillness because of the things that I saw 20 minutes after the town of Leh. The whole surrounding is like a movie scene without actors. 

When I could not contain my excitement about the things I am seeing from my window seat, I will wake up Claire and pointed her the view without a smile. I can’t smile that much because of the growing pain in my stomach and the cracking of my skin in my face.

April 18, 2017

Cabongaoan Beach and the Death Pool of Burgos, Pangasinan

Whats the rave all about?

It all about the so called "Death Pool" in Cabongaoan Beach in Burgos, Pangasinan. It became viral because of Facebook in general until local media organization ride to the heat. The Death Pool was featured in the two biggest network in the Philippines then boom, everybody want to dive in the Death Pool.

Before you get to Cabongaoan Beach and dip and dive in the Death Pool you have to take that more or less 7 hours drive from Manila. Easy right? But from my perspective its worth the joyride and adventure. Whether by commute or by private car, you'll enjoy the landscape of Pangasinan. Better if you have car, you can stop by Calasiao and grab some puto or rice cake, you can buy boneless bangus in Dagupan or Lingayen, do church hop in every town of Pangasinan or just a stop by a water melon stall in Alaminos. Life is good, enjoy it, don't waste every opportunity. 

It becoming a ritual to go on a beach trip every April with my girlfriend's - Lana - family. It her and her two sister's birthday month. Its a big celebration for their family. Last year, I was able to join them in Bolinao, Pangasinan. This year they decided to ride the wave to the Death Pool or Cabongaoan Beach in Burgos, Pangasinan. 

The day has come and we all prepared to drive to Cabongaoan, Pangasinan. 

We stop by Burgos, Public Market to buy some perishable goods like seafood and other stuff that we will be needing for the trip. I notice that they no longer speak Pangasinense in this part of Pangasinan. The people speaks Ilocano maybe because the original settlement in this area are from Ilocos.

April 03, 2017

Braving the Altitude: The First Battle and the Unexpected Spiritual Retreat in Ladakh

It was not a predictable adventure in the Indian part of the Himalaya.  

Ideally, I dreamed of Ladakh this way: playing in the snow while enjoying the cool weather, roaming around towns and monasteries while talking to some locals and to cap everything, I imagine myself sitting on the banks of Pangong Tso Lake admiring the out of this world beauty of Kashmir. I experience some of my expectations with the pain in the ass and an almost - a life exchange experience if ever we pursued one further. I felt the joy and pain in Ladakh. My spiritual well-being was fed many times during our Northern Indian Adventure. Still, I felt betrayed by my own plan of great Himalayan adventure Quote and Quote. I wanted to give up and I almost cursed the road which I begin my love affair in 2010. I was devastated emotionally, mentally and most of all physically. 

Thirty minutes after the plane took off from Indira Ghandi International Airport, the view from my window seat begins to change from plain land to uneven and rocky mountainous land formation. There were no trees. All I saw was a large mass of brown mountains with rivers and streams attached to it. Later on there was a white thing on the top of the mountains. It was like a dust dotted on the mountains. I turned my eyes on the horizon and I saw an uneven line of white mass of land. Then I realized that the white thing is snow and snow-capped mountain of the Himalayas.

March 28, 2017

BGC Boutique Hostel & Dorm and the Night Before Miss Universe 2016

The Miss Universe 2016 in Manila is on the heat so we decided to have a massage courtesy of  White Palace Spa in Makati. After the massage we did not want to go home because we are both tired and Paula of ponderingpaodaolei.net will watch the Miss Universe 2016 in Mall of Asia Arena the next day. So we decided to stay in the BGC Boutique Hostel and Dorm the newest boutique hotel in the heart of Metro Manila and in the busy district between Makati and BGC.

February 16, 2017

Booking Your Hotel Now Made Easy with Traveloka

I am sure that you're like me years ago, when it comes to looking for hotel or accommodation. I would Google, "cheapest place to stay in Zamboanga City" or “Budget Hotels in El Nido, Palawan"

Nowadays booking is more convenient and easy because of the Traveloka App.