Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Reliving College Days Part 1 | Lunchtime at Beach House Canteen

How do you travel without food? Food fuels your body to move. Food gives you the energy to do that amazing jump-shot or sustain you as you snorkel. Thus, I believe that finding awesome food establishments is part of travelling *sheepish grin*.

Last year, fellow alumna and alumni were saddened with the news that one famous canteen in UP Diliman was closing. I am talking about the Beach house Canteen, that cafeteria serving good barbecue by the Sunken Garden. Due to hygiene reasons, it was forced to close down and many students and alumni petitioned against it to no avail.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       But lo and behold, Beachhouse canteen reopened again last August in a different location. I am curious about the new location so I blabbed to my family about how popular Beachhouse is among UP students and alumni and how good their barbecue is especially. So on my brother's birthday last April, we set out to find Beach house.

Beach house canteen at its new location: CP Garcia corner D Ocampo St.

 Guided with the address from a GMA news article, we drove along CP Garcia in hopes to see the barbecue haven. 

The new Beach house has roof for customers though they just repaired their shop after a tree fell on the roof last year. I didn't see the lady who used to collect money but after all those years (I am not revealing the exact number), she must have retired already.

My family enjoyed the barbecue. It was  tasty and the meat was tender, too. Finding Beach house was indeed a success!

This summer, if you are looking for good food at an affordable price, you might want to consider going to Beach house. It's not air-conditioned but the area is airy, thanks to the big and tall trees in UP. Beach house is located at CP Garcia corner D. Ocampo Street and it's open from 9am - 8.30 on weekdays, I guess. Lol.


Looking for somewhere to unwind? Try Anawangin Cove at Zambales!

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Coron, Palawan | Day 2 - A Day of Clear Waters and White Sand

Kayangan Lake
This is our second day at Coron, Palawan. We spent the entire day yesterday exploring the main island, so today we'll be heading to the nearby islands to frolic on the white sand and enjoy the clear waters. Yey!

Listed in our itinerary are trips to the following island:
  • Kayangan Lake
  • Banul Beach 
  • Coral Garden
  • CYC beach
  • Siete Pecados
  • Twin Lagoon
Honestly, I am not sure where we went to first because the boatman kept on changing the course because of the tide. But I do remember that we went to Kayangan Lake first because if we're tired and wet from swimming, we might not be able to make the 10-minute hike up the hill, ha-ha! 

Boats dock in as their passengers hike up to Kayangan Lake.
                                                                                                                                                                                      It maybe tiring but the view is well worth it!

Islands surrounding Kayangan Lake
Finally, we reached the lake!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       I can't stop myself from posting too many photos of Kayangan Lake. Looking at it has a relaxing effect, doesn't it? And hey, it's the country's cleanest lake as well, so photos pa more!

Kayangan Lake

Hubby against the blue hue of Kayangan Lake. Magnificent, eh?

Twin Lagoon
The twin lagoon can be reached by climbing the wooden stairs, shown above, or swim through a tunnel, which is just below that platform!

Hooray! I survived swimming through the tunnel! It was a big feat for me as I am claustrophobic. Make me ride a roller coaster or ask me to jump on top of a hill (not mountain, I don't think I'll ever have the energy to climb one, ha-ha!) but never, ever ask me to enter a cave..

For lunch, our boat crew prepared the food while we were enjoying ourselves at the Twin Lagoon. Then, while we were teased by the wonderful smell of grilled seafood, we proceeded to Banul beach where shade and breeze will comfort us as we eat to our stomach's content.

Banul beach

Amazing seascape +  grilled seafood = amazing lunch.

If I remember correctly, we stayed at Banul beach for about an hour so we can have a bit of time to rest after eating before we continue to enjoy Coron's fantastic beaches. After all, it's not good to swim with a full stomach.

This happened almost a year ago so I am not quite sure where we went to next. But most probably, it is CYC beach or Coron Youth Club beach for the simple reason that entrance is free, ha-ha! Other islands may charge from 50 pesos to a hundred pesos per head when you visit them. But entrance fees to our visit to Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoon and Banul beach were included in the package so we didn't worry about bringing some cash with us.
I think this is CYC beach.

We simply cannot resist having a selfie against clear waters and white sand!

If you love snorkelling, Coron will not let you down. The corals can even be clearly seen above water!

Time to head off to another breathtaking destination..
I believe our last stop was at Siete Pecados, or Seven Sins. It was named as such after the seven maidens who disobeyed their mother and drowned in the area and voilĂ ! Seven islets appeared. 

Siete Pecados

One of the islets of Siete Pecados, up close.

We missed other magnificent islands like Malcapuya or Banana island because of our limited time at Coron, but this gave us another reason to come back again! Anyway, we just enjoyed swimming and snorkelling to make the most of what we had :) 


                                                                                           To cap our adventure, we had an awesome dinner at Darayonan Lodge, where the main office of the tour agency is nearby located. It was a picturesque place complete with an al fresco dining area and swing so this is another option for accommodations.

Looking for a beach just somewhere North? Why not try Anawangin Cove at Zambales?

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Coron, Palawan | Day 1 - Mingling with the Friendly Locals and Exploring the Main Island

A view of Coron from Mt. Tapyas

Hubby and I had been working our, uhm, selves hard at work and we had been longing for a holiday by the beach. When we got the chance to go back to Manila for about a week last May 2014, we decided to go to Coron, Palawan for three days as I have been bragging about its beauty and splendour to hubby.

The simple airport in Busuanga, Palawan.


I booked a package with Blue Lagoon Adventure Travel & Tours and I'd say we were quite happy with their service. Their contact person is Ate Mila and she can be reached by her mobile #s: Globe 09178581799 or 09177109287 and Smart: 09999983421 or 09216721865. 

We're lucky we were fetched by a van. It was around an hour ride from Busuanga to Coron, Palawan.
Inclusive of the package are the following:

· RT airport aircon van transfer
· 2 nights accommodation  (triple- quad share) with private t&b, hot & cold shower
· Daily breakfast/ 1 day buffet picnic lunch / 2 nights dinner
· Tours: Day 1 – Coron town tour
                Day 2 – Coron island adventure tour
· All entrance fees, park fees, boat,& lifevest
· Mineral bottled water during tour / PM snacks during island tour
· Service of trained tour guide
Destinations for tours:

** town tour:                                     ** coron island adventure tour:
Coron baywalk                                      Kayangan Lake
Coron market                                         Banul beach
Coron municipal plaza                         Coral garden
Saint Agustine Church                          Cyc beach
Mt. Tapyas View Deck                          Siete Picados
Cashew Factory                                     Twin Lagoon
Maquinit hotspring                                              

-     Darayonan lodge ( garden set-up with swimming pool)
-     Jazmine's place or Balaibinda lodge ( near baywalk)

-     Mt. Tapyas Hotel ( overlooking)

Other accommodations are available for a higher price. I chose Jazmine's place as it was in the town and hubby thought we might want to explore the town at night. 

Our modest accommodations. It was clean though, and the staff are polite and friendly.

A+ for the swan!

A snapshot with our service for the town tour. Manong was game to pose with me :)

The lively town of Coron.

Coron market
St. Augustine Parish
Coron baywalk

Ahh, here comes my favourite part of the tour, he-he..

Having to choose from a LOT of options is giving me a headache!

The road to the top of Mt. Tapyas is long and narrow..

A view of Coron from halfway of Mt. Tapyas

I didn't get to reach the top of Mt. Tapyas. I am not really into hiking and climbing. Plus knowing it was 700 steps up wasn't inspiring.. ha-ha! I am content with hubby's photos though he only made it halfway up.

The last of our itinerary was the Maquinit Springs. It was already dark and we couldn't get decent photos of the place. Too bad.. :( 

Special halo-halo, around 80 pesos.

When we got back to the hotel, we didn't want to call it a night yet so we took a stroll and saw a carinderia which was still open. It's halo-halo time!

Half of the town is asleep and most of Coron's youth gather at the plaza to socialize. We had a big day ahead of us as well so we head back to our hotel quite early.

We explored the nearby islands, frolicked in the  white sand and enjoyed clear waters the next day.

Not a beach-lover? Maybe these pictures can convince you to be one!