"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do... Explore. Dream. Discover."~ Mark Twain

Friday, December 30, 2011

Casa Santa

House of Santa

     Do you believe in Santa? Father Christmas? Saint Nicholas? You'd be delighted with the many figurines, dolls, objects inspired by Santa found in this house! To get there, we rode an FX from Cubao to Antipolo then took a tricycle to Casa Santa. 

     Santa Claus' story begins with Nicholas who became a bishop and then a saint. He was known for his generosity to the needy and for being the patron and protector of children, sailors and voyagers.

Gingerbread house :p

     Casa Santa is inside Jardin de Miramar, a garden-like venue for parties and different celebrations. The Jardin has different themed areas, gazebos, and function/ reception halls. 

The Owner of Casa Santa

     Casa Santa houses over 3,000 Santas in every form and size collected by the owners of Jardin de Miramar. The Casa was formerly a rest house, and was just converted into a museum in 1995. Unlike other museums, visitors can look at the items closely, even play with them! There are Santas dressed like athletes, in national costumes, as bishops and more! 

    There are home decors inspired by Santa like plates, glasses, utensils, some stuffed Santas, as well as small Santa figurines and display items. The entrance fee is 150php per person.

     In front of the house, you'll be greeted by a Santa who's seated and seems like to be inviting you to sit on his lap! There's also one by the door going up a ladder. :) There were a lot to see so we toured the house in parts! :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Singapore Day 6: Merlion Park & Departure

We love SG! ^_^

     This day concludes our Singapore - Kuala Lumpur trip, but we promised ourselves that we would have photos at the Merlion Park during daytime so even if we were still tired and sleepy from jam-packed day 5, we went to go see the Merlion.

     From Bugis station, we went down City Hall interchange to the red line, alighted at Dhoby Ghaut station and transferred to the yellow line to Esplanade. From there, we walked to the Merlion Park.

City by day

Clear skies

     The morning was so calm and peaceful. The place was very clean and everywhere you looked was a testament to Singapore's beauty. We passed by a lot of skyscrapers and eye catching architecture like the Esplanade, the well-known Marina Bay Sands and the towering Singapore Flyer.

Singapore Flyer & Helix Bridge

The Esplanade

Marina Bay Sands

    After about 20 minutes of walking around the Marina Bay, we finally reached our destination and goal for that day -- photos with the Merlion at daytime. :p

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Singapore Day 5: Little India, Sentosa & Singapore Flyer

Little India

     While others are still tired and asleep from our Malaysia trip, we got up early and went to Little India to see some famous temples. From Bugis station, we alighted at Outram Park interchange to the purple line and went down at Little India station.

    We went to see Mustafa Center first, a shopping center known for its affordable goods. We then walked to Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple which shows the different incarnations of Lord Vishnu. 

Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple

     The temple, adorned with images of Hindu dieties, was built as such so that it can be seen from afar and so that Hindus can pray from a distance. All entering the temple should remove their shoes.


Hindu priest

     Inside the temple are smaller shrines for different Hindu dieties. Some had priests out front giving their blessings. The altars were colorful, filled with flower offering for their gods.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Malaysia: Petronas Towers, Genting Highlands & Batu Caves

Petronas Towers

     We went back to the hotel at around 8pm and rested for two hours before going to the bus terminal. The bus leaves at 11.30pm and we left the hotel at around 10.40pm, thinking that we would get there in 30minutes. Panic kicked in when it was already 11pm and we were still waiting for a cab. Dozens of cabs pass by but all were occupied! 

     One of us went back to the hotel to call for two cabs while the others waited on the street. We were able to hail a cab but apologetically went down since Princess told us that we can't cancel the cabs we called for. We waited anxiously for our cabs -- it was already 11.15pm! Good thing we had a good driver who beat the red light. Haha! :D We got there just in time, even having to wait for a couple of minutes for the bus to arrive -- that was an adrenaline rush! Whew!

StarMart Express Bus

     We booked our round trip SG - KL- SG bus tickets  for 64SGD each online. The bus had spacious, comfortable seats with a massager! This makes the five-hour trip more comfortable. We had to get down twice though for immigration, one going out of Singapore and one entering Malaysia. The process was quick and hassle-free -- back to sleep. Hehe! :p

Selamat Datang!

     After the long bus ride, we alighted at Berjaya Times Square. It was still early so we waited outside the mall -- the MRT doesn't operate until 6am. From Imbi station, we alighted at Bukit Nanas and transferred to the other line to KLCC station. From there we walked to the majestic Petronas Towers.

Dreams do come true ^_^

     We were so excited to see these famous towers, the tallest skyscrapers in the world from 1998 to 2004. It features a 2-storey bridge, on the 41st and 42nd floors, where 1000 visitors per day are allowed to go up. Unfortunately, the bridge was closed on that day.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Singapore Day 3: Singapore Zoo

Ready for the wild :p

     First up in our itinerary for Day 3: Singapore Zoo! Agenda: To take good pictures of cool animals and to ride an elephant! :p 

     We took the MRT from Bugis to City Hall interchange, transferred to the red line to Ang Mio Ko Station. We then took the bus to Singapore Zoo. It took us about an hour and a half to get there. Whew!

Map and Admission Tickets

     We bought our tickets for 29sgd each. This came with a 5sgd unlimited tram ride ticket and a souvenir - a small, green towel. We should've just gotten the 20sgd admission ticket, 5sgd tram ride and bought a better souvenir. Hehe! :p

     Singapore Zoo, dubbed as the world's best rainforest zoo, is home to about 3,000 animals and is a part of Wildlife Reserves Singapore along with Jurong Bird Park and the Night Safari. The zoo is open from 8:30am to 6pm daily. 

Happy birds :D

     First up on the map, to the left of the entrance is the Treetops Trail, an wooden path a few meters above the forest floor. Animals around here include a golden pheasant, mouse deer, siamang (a type of gibbon) and a false gharial (cross between an alligator and a croc) down below.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Singapore Day 2: Universal Studios Singapore, Chinatown and Clarke Quay

Welcome to Universal Studios Singapore! ^_^

     Before heading out, we had complimentary breakfast at the hotel. You can choose from Continental (toast with butter and jelly, with orange juice or tea) or Chinese buffet (fried carrot cake, siopao, noodles, fried rice, with coffee or tea). Serving time is from 8:30 - 10:30am -- that's why we leave a little late hehe!

     From Bugis station, we went down Outram Park interchange and transferred to the purple line and alighted at Harbourfront Station. We then took the Sentosa Express for 3sgd each inside VivoCity shopping mall at the 3rd level.

USS tickets

     We bought our Universal Studios Singapore (USS) tickets online for fear that we wouldn't get any. Hehe! It's a good thing that we already have our tickets -- we skipped the long queue, especially since it was a peak day (students are on their break). Our tickets cost 72sgd, 8sgd more than the usual price.

At the famous globe :)

     We got so excited upon seeing  this well known landmark. It was like the feeling we got when we went to Disneyland Hong Kong. ^_^

     After getting the park map, we decided to go left first, where we saw the photo op with the stars of Madagscar! We had to line up but it was worth it! :)

Cast of Madagascar

     We then went on our first ride, Madagascar: A Crate Adventure. Good thing the queue wasn't that long even if it was a peak day. :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Singapore Day 1: Arrival and Marina Bay Tour

Merlion at Night

     We were planning to go to Singapore for a long time now and were just waiting for promo fares. We were able to book our 50% off tickets from Cebu Pacific last July. We then researched about where and when to go, how to get there and where to stay. Finding the most affordable yet comfortable and nice hotel was the hardest -- they were all expensive! And speaking of expensive, fixing our budget was the last. Hehe! :p

     We arrived at the airport about 2-3 hours before our flight. We paid the Airport Tax (1650php) then checked-in our baggage. We passed through immigration after paying the Terminal Fee (750php) then it was time to wait for boarding. 

Dark skies

     After 3 hours in the air, we landed at Changi Airport, Budget Terminal. Dark, cloudy skies greeted us but that didn't dampen our moods! We're excited to see what Singapore has in store for us! :)

Just landed :)

     Sir Markie greeted us and went with us to our hotel. It was raining hard when we got out and were deciding whether to take a cab or the MRT. We chose to take the MRT so we could learn and get used to it. We didn't get the EZlink Card considering the 5sgd non-refundable fee.
    Their MRT consisted of 4 lines with easy to find interchanges. Going around was easy thanks to the efficient train lines. 

South East Asia Hotel

     From the airport, we took the MRT from Changi MRT Station to Tanah Merah and went down Bugis Station. We then walked  to get to South East Asia Hotel at Waterloo Street. Checking-in was a breeze. We just showed the receipt (Sir Markie paid for the down payment for our rooms) and the kind and accommodating receptionist gave us the keys to our rooms.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bel Piatto

Bel Piatto

     We've tried most, if not all, of the good restaurants in Lipa. It was now time to move on to another city to try and find other great places to eat. Our first stop: Bel Piatto Cafe & Bistro near SM City Batangas.


     Bel Piatto Cafe & Bistro is a simple restaurant that offers meals from breakfast to dinner. It is an ideal place to enjoy a sumptuous meal and to relax over a cup of coffee. THe place is very accessible and has an inviting facade. You'd think that they serve expensive food but we thought that we got what we paid for and more! :)


Lounging area

     The ambiance is warm and cozy, thanks to the earthy, neutral colors and the comfy seating. They have simple, wooden chairs and tables as well as a nook with soft, comfortable sofa chairs on the far end of the resto, perfect place for enjoying coffee. The place is clean and well-ventilated.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Home Made. Dessert Shop.

     From our hearty meal at Stacy's, we craved for something sweet. We did not have any of Stacy's desserts so we could try the other restaurants'/ cafes' to satisfy our sweet tooth.

     Parvati is a small dessert shop by the Mindanao exit at Trinoma. They have a variety of goodies like cookies, cakes, and ice cream.


     You will be greeted by a display of mouth-watering desserts, a row of simple chairs and tables and friendly servers. On the left side is a display of their bestseller cakes and pastries, along with a TV showcasing how some of them are made.


Always the better choice

     The small yet clean-looking cafe is brightly lit, and smells really good! On the walls are pictures of delicious desserts which we can't wait to taste! :p

Photo wall

     They have simple, glass-topped round tables coupled with light weight stainless steel chairs with brown cushions. On the right side of the cafe are long cushioned seats, with small rectangular, glass-topped tables. These make for a laid back, relaxed atmosphere.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Welcome to Stacy's! =)

     After seeing and reading about this place in blogs, we also wanted to experience and taste the delicacies Stacy's has to offer. We met up at Trinoma, rode an FX then a trike (after crossing Commonwealth Ave twice!) to get here. Whew! :p


Al fresco dining

     More seats are available outside, under big umbrellas. It's probably nicer out here during night time as it's cooler. And the view is probably better, too, as it is located on a hill.

Kiddie corner

     Once inside, you'd feel light and kind of giddy! The place just gives off this happy vibe with all the colorful wall decors, kiddie nook and Heima designed furniture.



     The simple, white counter looked clean and well-organized. The beverages were written with colorful chalks on old school chalkboards which looked cute along with the fun paintings! There was also a display for mouthwatering cakes and an eye catching, bright pink refrigerator which added to the whimsical feel of the resto.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ugu Bigyan's Secret Pottery Garden: The Food

Mini Huts

     We made reservations before going to Ugu Bigyan's Garden and Restaurant. We thought we won't be able to have lunch there since a minimum of 5 persons was required according to blogs we've read. Fortunately, he was kind enough to entertain us, even if it's just the two of us. :)

Saying our graces before the meal

     We were seated at the kubo at the back. It was an al fresco dining expereince, with matching soothing background music, a bit of rain, and the sound of chimes handmade by Ugu himself.

     After saying our graces, we then feasted on such delectable dishes! ^_^

Made from clay

     The food served were all very enticing and scrumptious! Some we've never tried before, others - better versions! We were given 9 different dishes -- what a full, heavy lunch! Haha! :D



     The soup, served in handmade pottery, was warm, tasty and perfect for the rainy weather. It had bits of chicken, onion leaks, pork and was just so filling. It was the perfect start to our late lunch.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ugu Bigyan's Secret Pottery Garden: The Place

House of clay

     This is our third destination in the Viaje del Sol, along with Casa San Pablo and  Lake Pandin/Yambo, and we braved the storm to get here! It was well worth the trip and effort. The place was so awe-inspiring and relaxing! :)

Bronze sculpture

Non-traditional huts

     As the name suggests, it is both a haven for pottery and a serene garden with luscious greens. It is a perfect place to appreciate the simplicity and beauty of nature.

     Mr. Bigyan is a master both in ceramics and culinary arts. He designs and makes various earthenware, with unique themes like bamboo, birds and leaves. He is also good at the kitchen, creating dishes perfect for the Pinoy palate. He opened his home for others to appreciate and share in his wonderful works! :)

Peaceful haven

     Before heading to their store, we decided to look around first. The huge garden had mini huts, about four of them - good places to lay back, relax, and eat. One was big enough for a group of 8 while others are just right for 2. :p

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Nomnomnom Happy Food

Where Happy Foods Are

     We've been dying to try out Nomnomnom since we've heard about it from friends and read about it from blogs. We went here a few weeks ago but unfortunately, that was a Monday and they were closed. Finally, the day we've been waiting for arrived! Hello Nomnomnom! :)

Come In! ^_^

     Nomnomnom is a simple vegetarian restaurant at the corner of E. Rodriguez and Tomas Morato streets. They are open Tuesdays to Sundays from 12 noon to 12 midnight. According to the Urban Dictionary, nomnomnom represents the sound made when someone is eating or chewing something and really enjoying it -- let's see if it's true here in Nomnomnom.. :)

That's right! :p


     The interiors are not at all extravagant yet unique and gives the place character. They have warm lighting, a big enough space for a cozy dining experience and inspiring decors such as this wall art that says "Something good always happens" complete with the vibrant rainbow. :) Books, lamps and framed photos are also placed around the room.

Warm light

Box frames

     One thing that we like when going to new restaurants is when we get great home decoration ideas like these photos placed in a box type of frame, simple yet adds a touch of warmth to a room.