Places we have been.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Loreto, Dinagat Islands (November 2009)

From Surigao City, we had to take a boat cruising along Dinagat Islands to the northern tip of the island where Loreto lies. This trip normally takes 4 hours, non-stop.

Click on the picture to view larger

The boats cruising around the islands:

My hometown Loreto:

Our Ancestral House

with my Mother

Dinner with friends

my Uncle

San Miguel Beer, Herbert's favorite beer in the Philippines

Going around Loreto:

Get-together with my relatives and my high school mates:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Surigao City

My hometown Loreto is at the northern tip of Dinagat Island. From Manila, we had to take a domestic flight to Surigao City then another 4 hour boat ride to Loreto cruising along the stretch of Dinagat Island. The weather can be harsh especially in June-July and November-December. Though it was mid November when we got there, the weather was really good except for the heavy rains in the morning. The sea was so calm. It was such a big concern for us because we didnt have time and we cannot afford to be stranded there for days. I know that nasty weather could even run for weeks there, no outbound and inbound trips. Oh no! we could be trapped there.

For more information about Surigao City check-out below link:

Click on the photo to view larger
The red arrow is the flight route and the blue arrow is the boat route.

on flight to Surigao City

Mayon volcano as seen from the plane

The town of Loreto (tip of dinagat Island) as seen from the plane.

Gibusong Island situated right across the town of Loreto.

approaching over Surigao City
Surigao City airport

The Philippine Airlines Express, flying to Surigao from Manila and back everyday. Check-out their website

Tavern Hotel service, free pick-up and drop-off of guests from and to the airport.

A glimpse of Surigao city

The Tavern Hotel . We chose this hotel due to its proximity to the city center and to the port where boats enroute to Loreto are docked. The hotel was under renovation. In my book, it is not a high standard neither a fancy hotel but it is reasonable. I would say the food is really good.

View from our hotel suite.

I so love this tricycle. The main public transport around the city of Surigao.

At the hotel lobby

Here's more of Surigao:

Friday, February 12, 2010

Around Metro Manila Part2

Tagaytay City

Tagaytay city is a popular tourist destination because of cool climate due to its high altitude. It is situated on top of the Tagaytay Ridge, which is about 2,100 ft above sea level. The city belongs to the province of Cavite, about an hour and a half to 2 hours drive from Manila. . The city itself is a tourist attraction to the local and foreign visitors because it offers a verygood view of the Taal Volcano and Taal Lake in Batangas.

Since we leave in Cavite, a drive to Tagaytay City normally takes only 45 minutes depending on the traffic. Our favorite place to spend a day or an afternoon is the RSM Restaurant. The place is nicely decorated, they offer really good food and their outdoor area overlooking the Taal Volacano and Lake is very well landscaped. They used to have a cultural variety showbut the last time we were there, they didn't have one but a singing group who would serenade the guests.

Spending the evening in Tagaytay is also highly recommended. There are really good places to hang out and will enjoy the night view of the place. I really love it there.

Shangri-la Plaza It is an upscale shopping mall located in Ortigas Center, was my favorite mall during the 90s. It offers a good variety of places for shopping, dining, entertainment, events and services to customers. Parking space is not at all a problem here. In my recollection, this place was much more elegant, in order, spacious and clean before than today. I paused for a moment try to figure out if this is the same place that I used to visit before. Anyway, we roamed around the place, watched the Korean Food Exhibition, did some shopping, took some photos with their Christmas decors and off we go. Visit their website

The Grand Escalators

Korean Food Exhibition

Grandiose and beautiful Christmas Tree

view from the rooftop parking area
The Mega Mall and the skyline behind

The Mega Mall as viewed from the rooftop of the Shangri-la Plaza

Entrance to the parking area

Greenbelt Center and Glorietta Mall

These are located in Makati City. It is said to be the country's first premier lifefstyle center that offers to the customers high end shopping, specialty shopping, entertainment and dining. The outdoor offers a beautifully landscaped garden on which the restaurants and coffee areas around have a very good view. This place is really awesome: from the high-tech parking system, to the posh boutiques, really beautiful interior decorations then out to the garden, its small park leading to the chapel and the restaurants and coffees shops around. I would say, this is one of the best few places in Metro Manila to hang around not only during daytime but evenings as well. The photos below say it all.

Visit as well this website that I came across which shows a 360 degrees view of the place.

The Chapel

Inside Cafe Havana
Guava Pie and Banana Split

The walk bridge connecting Greenbelt Center to the Glorietta Mall, Landmark
and SM

Greenbelt at night

Inside the new Greenbelt 5

Outdoor Restuarants at Greenbelt 5

Havana Cafe evening

Glorietta Mall

It is another huge mall in Makati City Center, connected to the Greenbelt Center by a walkway bridge. Like the Greenbelt center this is dividedinto 5 areas as well, Glorietta 1 to 5 which houses many shops and restaurants, as well as cinema screens, a gym, arcades and a large central atrium often used to stage special events. It has an activity center, located at the heart of the mall. It is also integrated between Greenbelt Mall, SM Makati, Rustan's Makati and The Landmark, a department store.

On Oct 2007, there was a bomb blast here which reportedly killed 8 and hurt more than a 100 people. When we were there, an area of the mall is restricted to shoppers. I guess for renovation purposes.

Visit Makati City Center, it is highly recommended. You will certainly love it!

Our home in Manila:

with the family at home

at the rooftop

Nice time in Manila...