"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

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Viaje del Sol: Lake Pandin and Yambo

     Pandin and Yambo are twin crater lakes, part of the Seven Lakes system in San Pablo, separated by a narrow strip of land. And since its location is just a few minutes tricycle ride away from Casa San Pablo, we decided to include it in our Viaje del Sol tour. :)
     We made prior arrangements with Mang Tano, president of the Samahang Mangingisda ng Lawa ng Pandin (SMLP), before our Pandin Lake tour. You can contact him at 0929 978-9565.

     We were dropped off at the parking lot and we were greeted by Mang Ato who led the way to the lake.  Pandin Lake itself is a few meters away from the main road. We had to trek roughly 15-20 minutes to reach it, good thing we were ready with our umbrellas. No sweat! Hihi! :)

 Follow the Leader =p
     After the 15-minute walk, we were greeted by the beauty of Lake Pandin. 'Twas so picturesque and serene! Out of the seven lakes, Lake Pandin was dubbed as the "the cleanest and the least disturbed". This tour was kept alive by locals who make a living out of the fish and the produce they can get from the lake.

By the lake

Bamboo rafts :)

     We were then ushered to the bamboo raft, paddled by 5 friendly women. Women-paddled rafts is part of the eco-tourism experience that is uniquely Pandin's.
     Pandin has an area of 20.5 hectares and an average depth of 60 meters. Lake Pandin is an ideal tourist destination for those who have the heart and energy that can trek up the tough path and be rewarded with a spectacular view of a small lake surrounded by coconut trees. Time to cross the beautiful lake! :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Viaje del Sol: Casa San Pablo

     For our fourth anniversary, we thought of going to somewhere special where we can relax and enjoy. We first considered trekking Taal Volcano but since there was an alert level, we researched for other places. We came upon Viaje del Sol, and we loved its concept - doing a popular art and culture tour! :)

 Viaje del Sol - The Way of the Sun

     Literally translated as “The Way of the Sun,” Viaje Del Sol references a traveling route map that treads from Manila to Laguna, Batangas, and Quezon. It features 18 places which consist of a wide variety of commercial abodes, gastronomic finds and artist havens.

 Viaje del Sol Map

     Viaje del Sol offered various tourists spots but we had to choose from the 18 places since we would travel by public transportation. We chose to visit and explore Casa San Pablo first and we don't regret it! The place was very homey, relaxing and serene.

     We took a bus to Lucena and got off at San Pablo Medical Center along the highway. We then rode a tricycle (30php) to Kay Inay Resort where Casa San Pablo is.

The Spot

     "Casa San Pablo is a country inn surrounded by Baguio-like pine trees and sprawling lawns. Avid art collector and hobby enthusiast Boots Alcantara and his wife An Mercado-Alcantara, writer and magazine editor, are the innkeepers. The inn reflects their pursuit of contemporary and eclectic junk-turned-art and literary collections." - from Casa San Pablo's website

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Banapple: Pies and Cheesecakes

"Banapple is a friendly bakery cafe that serves freshly-baked pies, 
cheesecakes and desserts, as well as good food and coffee."
     After watching Bruno Mars' concert, we woke up at around 11am. We decided to have brunch at Banapple's branch at 2nd Floor of Il Terrazzo along Tomas Morato. We've been planning to go to Banapple for months. Haha! :)

     Banapple got its name from their two best sellers Banoffi Pie, and Apple Caramel Crumble. It started baking pies and cheesecakes in 2000, initially supplying to friends and family. The place itself is small with only few chairs inside so seating area is very limited. They offered us to dine outside where there are vacant tables but we wanted to eat inside, (it's colder and has a nicer ambiance) so we waited... for about an hour... but it's all worth it!

Hungry! =p

     We ordered first so that our food will already be available once we have a table. What else is there to do but to adore their interior which feels so cozy and looks so inviting -- what with all the scrumptious desserts!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bruno Mars Live in Manila!

     We lined up at around 5pm at the General Admission gate of Araneta Coliseum, then they let us in by 6pm. It was easier to go in compared to Taylor Swift's Concert! :) Can't wait to watch Bruno Mars perform his hits!

 Usual spot haha! ^_^
Three passes (850php each)

     We chose to sit at the sides to get a 'closer' view. Had burgers while waiting for the show to start.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Macau's Finest: Hotels and Casinos

     After exploring the "outdoors" of Macau, it's now time to explore its "indoors". And what we mean about "indoors" is experiencing Macau's finest hotels and casinos.

     Macau is known for its casinos -- 33 in all, and rakes in hog-rollers! As what was previously mentioned in our blog, we had our first casino experience in Macau and if not for the Oceanus' promo, we may not have experienced it at all.. Haha! :) 'Twas a lot of fun winning some HKD's hihi! Beginners' luck maybe? =p

City of Dreams -- Let's get lucky! :)
     After our trip to Ruins of St. Paul, we boarded a free shuttle service to the City of Dreams. It is divided into four towers: namely the Hard Rock Hotel, Crown Towers Hotel, and the Grand Hyatt Macau (2 towers).

 At the Hard Rock Hotel ^_^

     This casino is equipped with 550 gaming tables and 1500 machines occupying a 420,000 square feet of game space. That was huge! We saw this projection panel called the Vquarium which showed larger-than-life mermaids swimming on screen.

 Marlie with Dream girls :)

     Our main goal here is to witness the Bubble Show, one of City of Dream's signature attractions. Entrance for this attraction is free and combines a 360 degree 3D audio, theatrical lighting both in the venue and in the screen, show action scenic components, a state of the art water curtain, special effects, and CG animated media.

 Art water curtain

     We were taken into a  journey of a supernatural realm of the four Dragon Kings with each dragon enjoying a moment of boundless power with the Jade Emperor's mighty Pearl of Wisdom. We were amazed as we saw the whole show on a 360 degree dome screen.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Macau Tower + Senado Square + St. Paul Ruins

     After visiting Grand Prix Museum and the Wine Museum, we hopped onto a bus going to Macau Tower. We paid around 3 patacas for the bus ride. We had a good view of Macau because of this ride. =)

Macau Tower tickets

     Original price for the ticket costs 120 patacas each, but Ate Lyn gave it to us for a discounted fee (saving is important!) :) We wonder where she gets her tickets. Hehe! :)

At Macau Tower's first floor

     The Macau Tower, also known as the Macau Sky Tower, measures 338 m (1,109 ft) in height from ground level to the highest point. It offers the breathtaking birds-eye view of Macau and  has been used for a variety of adventurous activities.

 At the top of the world - at 1109 feet!

     Our Macau Tower tour is divided into two - the 58th and 61st floor. The 58th floor is where the Main Observation Deck is while the Outer Observation Deck is on the 61st floor. Glass fronted elevators were also used so that we won't miss the spectacular view as we reach the observation decks.
     We first went to the Main Observation Deck which gives us a panoramic view of Macau. Sections of this deck are fitted with glass floor that lets us see the ground beneath our own feet! Stepping on them feels like we're walking on air.