Exploring Sagada

The municipality of Sagada is a 5th class municipality in the Mountain Province, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 11,127 people. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagada) . It’s known for a beautiful sunrise view, Jeepney top-loading ride, caves and a breezy weather, above all, it is known for being a neighboring municipality of Banaue, which is part of Ifugao province.

And what’s with Banaue? Well, it is home for  UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Batad Rice Terraces, and Bangaan Rice Terraces.

I know a lot of people would think that Sagada and Banaue are of the same area, but nope, they were part of two different provinces. That will require another blog post about geography.

Allow this post to focus more on the beauty of Sagada and its neighboring places.  A 9 – hour night trip from Manila was worth it! Again, Sagada was worth that long and tiring drive! We knew this trip will tire us out, so we opted for an arranged itinerary. We were a group of 8, the van was roomy enough as it has a 12-seating capacity. We paid 3500.00Php each. This already includes the following:

  • Two nights, 3 days accommodation
  • Van with gas from Manila – Sagada, and tour
  • Driver
  • Tourist guide
  • Because we opted to skip some of the destinations that we deemed too risky, our tour guide/ driver was gracious enough to treat us to breakfast instead. ( Feel free to drop me a message if you want a recommendation, I promise, our guide is good, he even takes great photos.)

As Sagada is in a mountain province, you MUST bring jackets. If you feel that your covers are not enough “ukay-ukay” will get you covered. I scored two jackets of good quality for only 50.00php each. The tour guide could bring you to a flea market for good buys.

Enough of my words, let the photos do the rest of describing. Have Fun!

We went orange picking
We went orange picking



Hanging Coffin
Hanging Coffin






Top Loading is a thing here
Top Loading is a thing here
Inside Sumaging cave
Inside Sumaging cave

Art Appreciation Sunday at Pinto Art Museum!

Fact: I know very little about Art, but I appreciate a good art piece when I see one.

I decipher art piece on my own and appreciate those relatable ones. I , furthermore, respect those that I cannot identify with. I guess that’s the beauty of Art. It is subject to one’s interpretation. I have been to a couple of Art Exhibits in the past due to some friend’s invitation and I had my way of enjoying every piece that I saw.

Last weekend was another Art Appreciation day for me. Me and my friends visited the famous Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo, Rizal.

This Art Museum is not only famous for its art displays but also of its relaxing nature vibe. This 1.2 hectare property houses a vast collection of Art works that one could enjoy.

Worried of getting hungry or thirsty? No problem, the museum has a few restaurants inside where you can have your refreshments and even your full meals.


Details: Pinto Art Museum
Opens -9AM–6PM
Tuesdays – Sundays
Grand Heights Rd, Antipolo, 1870 Rizal
Entrance Fee: 200.00 PHP


Taken from the website of Pinto: http://www.pintoart.com/museum

Pintô Art Museum is a private museum dedicated to the exhibition and study of Philippine contemporary art. Its name, Pintô, comes from the Filipino vernacular word for door or doorway and signifies the role of the institution as a threshold of the mind to aesthetic consciousness and cultural awareness. The museum’s philosophy is defined by its founder and patron, renowned Filipino neurologist and medical educator Joven Cuanang, who began collecting the pieces from the early 1990s to the present. Later his extensive collection was formally presented to the public with the opening of the museum in 2010.

Please take a moment to enjoy some snaps:


Hope you had fun!

Malaysia in 6days

How I Managed a Well- organized Trip? I met a new travel buddy and I plan to keep it my travel companion forever. I just got back from my 5 nights/6 days Malaysian trip and I must say, I have achieved a seamless and my most organized trip so far. I was able to make […]

via Malaysia Itinerary — SimplymeSMC

I Travel With My Childhood Friends

Photo CTO

I know this is a chestnut, but still my favorite quote on traveling: “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine

About 5 years ago, during the start-up period of this blog, I wrote about one of my life’s blessings which are my friends. For those who have read my blog 3 years ago, you might have remembered (or not!) one of the travel adventures I did with my childhood friends too. So basically, you have an idea that I maintain a 25-year-friendship with my solid core.

Okay, for new subs, to give you a little backgrounder, I grew up being friends with a lot of people – Yes, generally I am friendly but I think everybody will agree that amongst all your friends, you have a core group. The group that you could go silly with or serious with or sneak out at night with. The ones who are with you through ups and downs. Yes, I have a solid foundation. I have been friends with my 4 girls who I fondly call “bru” ( short for Bruha – a Tagalog for witch) for 25 years now. Needless to say, I met these girls in grade school (First Grade to be exact).

I love traveling a lot and some of you have seen that in my series of posts already. Indeed, traveling makes me discover the unknown, thus, changes my perspective as a human being. It makes me humble having to realize that my niche in this world is just a tiny spot in this vast universe.  I am glad that in the last 3 years, I get the privilege to explore the world with one of my best brus , Joan. We went to Bohol, to Singapore, Hong Kong , Macau and our supposed travel to Malaysia (please read my “Why Malaysia Made me Cry’ here.)  not to mention our local travels together. Amongst all the places we’ve been to, I love our recent travel to Hong Kong and Macau.

Why? Well, not so much with the place, ( don’t get me wrong, the country is good but I have been to other better places.) still my favorite  because we went along with another bru, Anna Marie – plus, they brought their kids (and husband). Yes, some of my friends have kids already and I am glad that we are turning the pages of the unknown world together. What makes me a little emotional is this: We were the kids’ age when their moms and I met. (oh boi, times do fly so fast).

Beholding the world in the eyes of my little God-children and looking at how happy they were in every Disneyland rides while, us, adults have gone crazy, in every expenses, responsibilities and “adulting” stuff that we talked about, I realize how lucky I am to have explored life with my childhood friends whom I consider my family ( by choice).  I wish and pray that these kids, 6-year old Liam and 7-year old Eanna, find a solid friendship as strong as their parents’ (and God-parents’).

I wish the same for my future little ones.

Soon, when they grow up, we will tell them how nice it is to turn pages of life, explore the world and rediscover oneself together with your solid friends. Just like their moms.

You may read my HK and MO travel thru the links below:

Four Days in Hong Kong
Day Tour in Macau



Why Malaysia Made Me Cry?


It was early February when we planned our Malaysia Trip. Joan and I   ( my childhood friend ) and one of her friends are set to go on  April 29 , 2016.

Everything has been planned out.

  • MNL – KUL tickets – check
  • KUL – MNL tickets – check
  • V garden hotel reservation – check
  • Plane tickets fro KUL to JB ( where Legoland is) – Check
  • Our bags – check

Everything seems complete except for one thing – my passport is expiring on Oct 12, 2016. – That’s a few days less than 6 months.  And I was not allowed to travel. Yes, I was at the airport , but I was not allowed to go.  I know it was my fault, I didn’t check.  I just counted the months – April to Oct is 6 months but I didn’t mind the days which turned out to be so important.

I couldn’t fly, that’s it. I tried begging at the Department of Foreign Affairs Office to extend my passport but I found out that DFA no longer gives passport extension to tourists now. You will only be granted passport extension for emergency reasons and that requires supporting documents. So my poor self couldn’t do anything – I was so helpless and hopeless. I went back to the airport and beg again at Cebu Pacific check in counter, talked to the supervisor if they could let me go obviously, to no avail.

I felt so doom, I felt so hopeless, my flight has left, and Joan and her friend have left. I knew she was a little worried that she will go out of the country without me.  We have been travel partners for ever.  I know we both hoped that I could still follow.  I did everything, but my best wasn’t good enough. Deep inside me, I was breaking down already. I had nowhere to go but the airport chapel.

OK, why was I overly reacting to my vacation being cancelled?  Why my heart was bleeding because I couldn’t go? I could always renew my passport and visit some other time, right? My best bru  will be ok with her friend anyways. Why did I have to beg at the airport to just let me go even if the risk of being sent back from airport to airport is there? ( Yes, I would have been willing to stay at KUL  airport  if that’s what it takes).


My prince surprised me and made a quick plan to travel to Malaysia to be with me. His flight was scheduled a few hours ahead of ours; hence he arrived at Malaysia first.   And I couldn’t bear breaking his heart because I wasn’t coming.  And that’s the sad reality. I didn’t come.



There’s no ” I” in TEAM

It was our Team’s first ever Out of Town Team building and we were complete! Yes, we were!!

All 16 trainers and our energetic training supervisor gamely planned a team building activity at Tagaytay City. ( In my previous blogs, I have already explained where Tagaytay is).

So, we went there early as everybody’s famished already and everyone’s been craving for that Tagaytay famous BULALO, yes,  that hot Bulalo Soup – ( we had it at Diner’s by the way.

The distance from Magallanes square where we had an early lunch at to the house that we have rented is quiet interesting. Nobody knew the actual address as this was not provided to us by our contact, hence, we needed to wait for the caretaker to meet us up and our car has to follow him ( in motorcycle) to a what seem to be a never-ending ; road-not-taken to me.

For a moment there, I feared for our lives because we weren’t sure where the guy in Motorcycle was taking us. But, hey, we arrived safely. 🙂

We were all happy with the place that we have rented, it has enough rooms and beds to fit us all in. The receiving area was spacious enough for our programs, activities and Karaoke sessions.

As a team, I love the fact that everybody acted as a real team member, everyone has participated in all activities and value the camaraderie that we have. We may not be perfect as a team all the time, but knowing that everyone is taking a part to be an active; considerate and fun  team member is a validation of how happy everyone is in the team and how well we are supervised by the team captain. :-). No body was left behind. Indeed, there was no “I” in the word team.

More than all the music, food, overlooking view and fun that we have shared as a team, it’s the opportunity to spend time together, and get to know each other better that I valued the most.  I am lucky to have been working with the best trainers in the organization. I am looking forward to our next team building next quarter.




Big Three Zero ( Tagaytay)

So, It was my Bday! And what better way to celebrate my #dirtythirty than have it with family?

Big sis with her Boyfriend, ‘lil sis and myself drove all the way to Tagaytay City to celebrate my #threezero on #10thofJuly.

A short background about Tagayatay City – ( source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tagaytay )

Tagaytay  is the Philippines’ most popular tourist destinations because of its outstanding scenery and cooler climate provided by its high altitude. Tagaytay overlooks Taal Lake in Batangas and provides one of the iconic views of the Philippines, the view of Taal Volcano Island in the middle of the lake, viewable from several vantage points in the city.

Tagaytay is relatively close to the capital city of Manila, only 55 km (34 mi) away via Aguinaldo Highway, providing an easy escape for the locals from the heat of the big city.

It is always great to have an escape from your daily routine at work, especially when it’s spent with your family and have it on your Big day!

As brainyquote.com say, Cakes are special. Every birthday, every celebration ends with something sweet, a cake, and people remember. It’s all about the memories.

I thank God for thirty good years full of wonderful memories with people I really care about.

Today, I’m making more memories with my sisters, one of the greatest gifts I ever have.

Sky Ranch Tagaytay
Sky Ranch Tagaytay- It was a rainy afternoon, so fog is all over
Bulalo to beat the rainy weather
Bulalo to beat the rainy weather
Sky Eye covered with fogs
Sky Eye covered with fogs on a Saturday afternoon
a visit to lady of Manaog Shrine
a visit to lady of Manaog Shrine
Sisters goofing around
Sisters goofing around
Smile with sissies!
Smile with sissies!- At the Most Beautiful Starbucks place in the Philippines – Starbucks Twin Lakes
Dinner at Carlo's
Dinner at Carlo’s-Pizza and pasta are great
The cold didn't bother us
The cold didn’t bother us
Breakfast at the hotel - affordable and yummy beef tapa
Breakfast at the hotel – affordable and yummy beef tapa
They know I'm not into sweets so I'm having a mini cake on my Big day
They know I’m not into sweets so I’m having a mini cake on my Big day

One Artsy Sunday

As Thomas Merton said: “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time“. 

On Sunday, end of May 2015, I let lose and I found myself amidst gigantic paintings all over me.
My ‘lil and I visited Art In Island. An interactive 3D art museum in Quezon City. We have experienced art at its finest.

For those who are wondering, here’s the museum’s complete address:
175 15th Ave., Brgy. Socorro, Cubao, Quezon City, 1109 Metro Manila
(02) 421 1356 ( Inside Cubao Expo) 
admission fee: 500 php 
operations time: 9:30 am – 9:30 pm

Let the photographs tell the rest of the story , Enjoy!

Life’s Best: Travel and Girlfriends

Traveling is one of my hobbies. It gives me a bizarre experience, a feeling of independence and a chance to appreciate world and its beauty.

When I’m not travelling, I love spending time with my friends. Being with them makes me feel happy, at peace and our time together could take us down memory lane. – remembering everything that we went through as kids, as teeners, asstudents, being adults, and for Joan, Motherhood.
I recently got the chance to hit two birds In one stone – an out of town vacation with two of my treasured girlfriends, Annalyn and Joan.

I practically grew up with these ladies, along with other childhood friends. 10 years of being classmates, a lifetime of being friends, and now, travel buddies. What else could I ask for ?
In an ordinary blog, I would probably be sharing with you my travel itinerary, budget breakdown and practical tips on exploring Bohol island, but now, I will give you a snap shot of my treasured moments with my girlfriends of 24 years at the beautiful island of Bohol.
This is just a start of our travels together.

The next time I reminish with them, this travel is surely a part of of wonderful memories that we will always go back to.

Lunch by the floating restaurant in Loboc River
Lunch by the floating restaurant in Loboc River
what's a trip to bohol without a visit to  our little friends?
what’s a trip to bohol without a visit to our little friends?
Butterfly sanctuary
Butterfly sanctuary
Driving an ATV
Driving an ATV
chocolate hills which we jokinlgly call Pandan Hills because it was green when we were there
chocolate hills which we jokinlgly call Pandan Hills because it was green when we were there

Camera 360 Camera 360

Joan and Me on snorkeling DAy
Joan and Me on snorkeling DAy
With Annalyn : this is has been here a couple of times already but for us, she didnt mind going again.
With Annalyn : this girl has been here a couple of times already but for us, she didnt mind going again.
Man-made forest at the background
Man-made forest at the background
Shell Museum
Shell Museum
I love these girls
I love these girls
just like the old times
just like the old times
being in a beautiful place with eautiful people
being in a beautiful place with eautiful people

Love and Time

from: http://www.andrews.edu/~mtse/love.htm

Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived:

Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all of the others including Love.

However, one day it was announced to the feelings that the island
would sink, so all prepared their boats and left. Love was the only one
who stayed.

Love wanted to stay until it started sinking. When Love was almost
sinking, he decided to ask for help.

Richness was passing by Love in a beautiful boat. Love said,
“Richness, can you take me with you?”

Richness answered, “No, I can’t. There is a lot of gold and silver in
my boat. There is no place here for you.”

Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by, “Vanity, please
help me!”

“I can’t help you, Love. You are all wet and can probably damage my boat,”
Vanity answered.

Sadness was close by so Love asked for help, “Sadness, let me go with

“Oh…Love, I am so sad that I prefer to go alone!”

Happiness passed by Love too, but she was so happy that she did not
listen when Love called her!

Suddenly, there was a voice, “Come, Love, I will take you.” It was an
elderly. Love became very happy that he even forgot to ask the name
of the elderly.

When they arrived at the other side, Love asked Knowledge who the
elderly was. “It was Time.”

“Time? But why did Time help me?”

“Because only Time is capable of understanding you…… Love.”