Friday, December 17, 2010

Glimpse of Vigo

The city of Vigo is found within Galicia, Spain. It has a magnificent port which looks out to the Atlantic. It also has a good communication network of motorways and railways, that  connects directly with Madrid at a distance of 667km. The Autopista del Atlantico heads into northern Galicia, passing through the cities of Santiago, Pontevedra  and Acoruna. 
The Central Station
Nothing beats the excitement of finally setting foot in a city full of vast attractions after days of rock and roll at sea. However, due to a very limited time in port, I only  had a few glimpses of what is nearby. Thanks to the local agent, who was kind enough to show me around. He said, Vigo has many parks and gardens, beautiful squares and historical buildings and nice beaches. 
Porta del Sol is  the centre of the city, and here we can see the tall sculpture named Sireno. The gilded figure  represents a figure that is half man and half sea creature.
The rail station that is located within the heart of the city and has daily links to most major cities in Spain.
The Port of Vigo, serves hundreds of passenger cruisers and container vessels each year and it is just 10km away from the city and the airport at Peinador that links to major cities in Spain.

The container cargo for loading.
The vessel docked ahead of us.

Being charmed by the view of the city, and spending time with the one you love, is an experience worth the pains of living it up with the monstrous waves at sea en route. The bucket full of fresh catch squid  by the crew is a sure feast to our palates, and now, I know why the statue in the port has the Octopus tails.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Agents of Change

In a progressive nation, the only thing that  is constant is "Change".
The pain of change lies in the attitude and 
the type of people who can make it happen.
If we can not change the situation , 
we should at least change our attitude  towards the situation.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Gastronomic Stopover

A trip to the North is not complete with-out a stopover lunch or dinner at Palaisdaan Floating Restaurant in Gerona, Tarlac. Based on the Barrio Fiesta  food concept and  their Singing cooks and waiters,  this food haven is themed on a Buddhist ambiance in Philippine settings. For those who have been to Cambodia and Thailand  the giant Buddha statue are very familiar sights.
How to get there:
From NLEX, SCTEX, exit at Tarlac, then turn left to Tarlac City proper and hacienda Luisita  then turn right at Mac Arthur Highway then to continue Gerona. The restaurant is found at the left.
 Activities at Palaisdaan Restaurant:
Ungoy-ungoyan....survive the adventure with large monkey statue spitting waters as you make a stroll around their giant statue.
The Famous Tacsiyapo wall---Release your anger by throwing anything at the wall with-out cursing...choose anything you throw at a certain price to pay.
The Wishing  Buddha----make a wish for your dreams to come true
San Kilo Bridge Cross Challenge---cross the narrow bridge of : 20cm wide, 3o mtrs long located at the center of the fish pond, laden with sea shells as obstacles, and get a kilo of fresh seafood free, if you make it with-out falling into the waters. Prepare yourself to get soaked just in case.
The food is delectable,  fresh catch and priced slightly lower than in Manila, just make sure to bring cash, to avoid hassles with using credit cards. It's a  good place to explore and satisfy your  gastronomic cravings during  your trips to the north. Grilled adobong liempo is a must try.

Am glad to see last August 2010 that, one  is under construction in Laguna,  for travelers going to the South in between Kamayan sa Plaisdaan sa Bay and Samaral Sea food.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Adventures in La Virginia Hotel and Resort

Who doesn't have the fear of heights?  Accidents do happen 
any time, in  moments, we least expect them. 
However, how can I can resist the challenge when 
before my eyes' men, women of different ages are enjoying, 
and having the time of their life  in taking turns for the ride?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Faith and Healing Journey

The Kamay ni Hesus Shrine located in  Lucban, Quezon became a part of our life three years ago when my father felt  seriously ill from complications of  diabetes mellitus, resulting to the amputation of both legs. We had our share of anguish and pain that leads our way to  the healing journey in Lucban.  We are grateful for His magical touch that my father survived and  celebrated with us their Golden Wedding Anniversary last October 30, 2010.
The Bahay ng Pari, is the newly finished accommodation with in the complex of the Kamay ni Hesus Shrine.
The place never fails to amaze us and other devotees that visited and heard mass every now and then.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Sojourn to Remember

I was in Cebu last October 29 to 31, 2010 for the Golden Wedding Celebration of my parents and booked online my reservations for this hotel located at 101 Don Mariano Cui St. Capitol Site, Cebu City, 6000 Philippines (
The location may not be too familiar to most taxi drivers from the airport so, I showed them the location map that I printed out, and told them the landmark to the place, it being near Cebu Doctors hospital and the NBI in the Capitol building.
It is a nice place, a good sojourn nestled in a quiet environment where other city entertainment, adventure and shopping venues are readily accessible through a taxi or jeepney ride. There couldn't be much review found on the net about the hotel as it is only a year old.
My first impression of the hotel as I reached the doorstep:" GOOD".
It's clean, the staff we're very courteous and accommodating to the foreign tourists, who were checking in ahead of me. 
They exemplified the true warmth of a Cebuano hospitality.  I felt elated watching them and don't mind waiting for a while.
I am no stranger to Cebu as, I spent the best five years of my adolescent years in the queen city of the south. I finished my degree in Chemical Engineering at the Colegio de San Jose Recoletos now University of San Rose Recoletos (USJR). 
The hotel is classified only as three star, but as unbiased assessment of its services and  facilities, I can honestly say that" it a can stand proud of its class". From a scale of 1 to 5, I can fairly rate it at 4.0. The rooms are spacious and sparkling clean. It has a"wifi" both in the rooms and in the lobby and the connection is relatively fast. I stay connected online  with-out being interrupted waiting for hubby to be available in Skype. The room rates are reasonable and the free breakfast is palatable. The only set back is that the hotel is situated a little farther from the major night life in the city, but for  tourist who wanted a clean and peaceful accommodation at night, Cebu R Hotel is a good place to Stay. It is highly recommended.  
My classmates from USJR (Vivian and Mabel) whom I haven't met for the past 28years  and I, had a good bonding moments in this hotel after the wedding reception. They slept with me at my double deluxe room in the hotel at no extra cost. It is reasonably priced at Php 1,050.00 with a double bed and a single bed with a refrigerator and a free breakfast. Am glad that they also extended a complimentary breakfast to them. Cheers to Cebu R Hotel for your courtesy, you were part of a very special event in my life and my friends too. 
Thank You for a worthwhile stay. See you again in my next trip to Cebu.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Moving Forward

Life is not like a pendulum where it can sway back and forth.
Despite the failures and the pain, there is only one direction to take if we want to be successful and that is to move forward.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Simply a Matter of Attitude

Happiness as defined in wikipedia... is a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy. A variety of biological, psychological, religious, and philosophical approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources. ..

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Rare Weekend

As I was driving along the Macapagal Avenue, I  noticed a brand new white Mitsubishi-Montero with no plate number tailing behind me until  I reached the gate of Phil-am Village  in Las Pinas, which is opened as a friendship route, used by Las Pineros to short cut to BFRV from the coastal road, and other subdivisions.

Monday, September 20, 2010

An Antidote To Greed

We are all pilgrims in life looking for a greener pasture in every part of the globe, taking every opportunity, there is, hoping that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence..
One of the noted difference between being frugal and being a miser, is that: one is a virtue and the other is a vice.
It all depends on how our actions affected other people lives in our day to day undertaking. We all need to make choices about how we spend our money. We must choose wisely, to allow ourselves to build our wealth, and eventually, achieve financial security. However, how do we know if  our acts are of frugality or being a miser?
Some of the known benchmarks are:
A.) Buying in bulk is a prudent act, to avail of discounts.
B .) Living within your means is an act of frugality.
C .) It is a miser's act to share food to household help that are expired.
Frugality is a virtue that implies being careful, not wasteful of your resources. However, being a miser is a vice, and it carries a whiff of meanness. It is just like keeping the best for yourself and giving everyone else  something that even yourself won't dare to handle.
In our journey through the long and winding road of life, always remember that: frugality is the antidote to greed!

image source:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Understanding the need to Rehabilitate A Mangrove Ecosystem

When  a coastal town's mangrove resources is in a degraded state,  the need to take  pro active initiatives for its rehabilitation becomes imperative. It requires the collaborative efforts of  DENR , the LGU and the local community joining hands together, doing their share in  cultivating it's re-growth, and bringing  back  it's status to a level where it was decades ago. 
Given it's continuous degradation and the geographical location of a coastal town set  in a typhoon prone belt,  the mangroves ecosystem can no longer  help the town  reduce its vulnerability to environmental  shocks  and stress during natural disasters (typhoons), the time of occurrence of which can not be readily fore casted to date being an Act of GOD (aog) as aptly called in the insurance parlance.
A coastal town being perceived to be as a  good retirees haven will soon  lost its glory when it becomes catastrophic prone, therefore the chance of  it to be upgraded  from a Class C  municipalities will remain in limbo.

Below is a literature  to help us understand the importance of a sound and ecologically balanced mangrove system.. 

Mangrove Ecosystem Services
Through this project the impoverished coastal communities will be able to utilise the environmental services that a healthy mangrove forest provides such as:

Food, nesting and nursery grounds

Many animals including commercially important fish, prawns and crabs spend a part of their lives sheltering and feeding in the complex network of mangrove roots or nesting and hunting on the substrates formed by the mangroves, supplying coastal communities with a sustainable food source.

Improved access to safe water and sanitation

Mangroves are the Earth's natural filtering system, capable of absorbing pollutants such as heavy metals and other toxic substances, as well as nutrients and suspended matter (e.g. sewage).
Not only this but they facilitate soil accretion thus stabilising the coastline by catching sediment washed downstream. This essential service helps to protect coral reefs and sea grasses that have developed a dependent relationship with mangroves over thousands of years.
Corals and sea grasses need clear water in order to feed, photosynthesise and thrive creating yet more habitat for all manner of marine creatures.

Reduced vulnerability to environmental shocks and stresses

Mangroves and coral reefs form natural barriers which provide shore protection both under normal sea conditions and during typhoons.
At least 70-90% of the energy of wind-generated waves is absorbed by mangroves depending on their health and maturity. Mangroves also provide a buffering capacity to tsunamis for which Panay is a high risk zone.

Carbon dioxide absorption

Mangroves absorb carbon dioxide, storing carbon in their sediments therefore lessening the impact of global warming.
By reinstating the buffering capacities of the coastal mangroves and the legally mandated 'green-belt' along the inlets, the reverted mangroves will reduce the vulnerability of the coastal communities to environmental shocks and stresses caused by storms and typhoons.
It will also help with the constant coastal erosion leading to property loss and improve water quality for associated marine ecosystems, providing safe haven and nursery grounds for important marine species.

Ecosystem Goods

Mangroves not only supply a rich and diverse habitat for wildlife but indigenous peoples have relied upon mangroves for thousands of years to sustainably provide:
  • Firewood
  • Medicine
  • Food
  • Construction materials
All of these natural ecosystem services will improve access to food resources and increased income for the coastal communities through sustainable livelihood initiatives.
By way of this notes, may all concerned be awaken from deep slumber and do something for its rehabilitation because it will take a minimum of  6 to 9 years before they will fully bloom and be of service to humanity. The following successful rehabilitation story is a testament to its usefulness.
May 2010
Barangay Imbo, Anda, Pangasinan

Words cannot describe how I felt that day when, nine years after planting the seeds- or should I say "propagules" - in the almost barren shoreline of Barangay Imbo in Anda Pangasinan, I was able to finally the see my "babies" all grown up. Standing tall, ready to protect the barangay and ever prepared to nourish the people with marine products that it hosts, the once fragile mangrove nursery that the community painstakingly cared for has turned into a thick almost-forest like fortress. A green belt that now embraces the shore of Imbo.
Community members whom we once worked with for the Community-Based Coastal Resource Management Program in the area were proud to share how these green belt have protected the families living along the shore from storm surges which occured in two to three years ago. The mangroves have also lessened the impact of the deadly Typhoon Emong which ravaged the area in 2009. As a result, they have continuously expanded their mangrove area to other parts of the barangay shores. Other neighboring barangays have also followed their lead and are now implementing their own mangrove rehabilitation projects.

Image source:

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Travel Central Philippines: Southern Leyte - there could be some tourism magic...

Travel Central Philippines: Southern Leyte - there could be some tourism magic...: "Its good to know that there are many Filipinos who want to make a difference (no matter how small) for their communities. One clear examp..."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Echo of a Traveller's Heart

Maersk Welkin renamed to Hoegh Chiba
When hubby was accepted with a big shipping company  last July 2008, it was like finding a new home for his career and for us too. It was the boldest career move he ever did, since we got married after working for twenty years with the biggest local manning agency in the country.

Notes of a Frugal Traveler -part 1

Notes of a Frugal Traveler -Part 2

During the times that my significant other, worked under a Japanese principal where no joining privilege was granted, I visited him in port two to three times per contract, at our personal expense and during his vacations, our family traveled overseas, where I  painstakingly learnt the following:
1.) It is best to go on package tours during the lean seasons (off peak time), fares are low and hotels are a lot cheaper.
2.) The best source of information are your friends and the Internet.
Get feedback and do your homework regrading the place of destination before you go.
3.) Have a definite purpose in mind for your it a  business trip, a shopping spree, a leisure one, or a combination  of one or all?
4.) Enjoy the wandering around, but don't exhaust yourself too much during the day.
5.) There are lot of things that can only be seen at night so save some of your energies..
6.) Don't forget to taste the local gastronomic delights: food, fruits, pastries or wine. Try your hands on the local arts and your foot on the local dance too.
7.) Keep a travel souvenir peculiar only of the place visited aside from your photos and videos.
8.) Don't go on bargain hunting, instead go for the value of your money when shopping.
9.) Join one or two of the land trips that is not included in your package deals.
10.) Always have a local map in hand and know how to get back to your hotels.
11.) If the local drivers are challenge with the English language, ( i.e.Thailand/ Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan), please let your travel guide or any of the hotel staff  write down in their local dialect the name of your hotel  and address before leaving the group and explore sights on your own.
12.) Travel light. These I know is easier said than done for us ladies, who needed the wardrobe for our pictorials for postings in the different social networking sites.
13.) Always bring your travel documents with you wherever you go.
14.) Keep a photocopy of your travel documents including that of your e-ticket in your hotels so that if anything happens while you are on tour or shopping , you can still go back home.
15..) If your budget can afford, and you travel frequently, it is wiser to own a refutable  club time shares as a buffer is valid for 30 yrs. and you can use it for exchange in accommodations both for local and foreign trips , the ownership  is transferable, and your time share can be donated as gifts.
16.) Know the weather at the destination. Wear comfortable clothing, and footwear. Day tours will entail a lot of walking.
17.) If no package tours are available at the time of your trip, it is best to book your flights online  to avail of discounted fares , so do  with your hotels, online rates are much cheaper than rock rates for walk-ins.
18.) Exchange your  foreign currency notes at legitimate money changers as much as possible.
19.) Carry a Credit Card or enough USD bills or other foreign currency, because some hotels will require  to present  a credit card or a deposit amount  upon check -in. The deposit is refunded in full, if you did not consume anything in the fridge of your hotel room, upon check out.
20.) Know which items are complimentary in the hotel room...bottled water outside the fridge, coffee, tea, sugar, cream are often free , but anything inside the fridge is chargeable to your deposit upon check out. Buy your  food stuff and drinks , in the nearest grocery stores.
Frugality is in the eyes of the beholder and is everywhere,  plan a trip and enjoy it. Have fun while you are still physically fit to travel. For the fashion conscious traveler, you can always go in style at your own risk! :)

Note: Also Posted in  as an entry to their monthly contest