Monday, December 30, 2013

2013: Travel Inventory

2013 has been a good year to me. I traveled a lot (more than I expected, actually), met new friends, and ate a lot of food as well. Just like last year, I will try to summarize my year of travel with this blog post.

I've been to Bontoc, Mountain Province for the first time this year and I went there twice! It was my first time in Indonesia and Malaysia. I even went to Malaysia twice (once in Kuala Lumpur and once in Kota Kinabalu)! I've been to the Bicol Region (Legazpi City and Naga City), Misamis Region (Cagayan de Oro City and Ozamiz City), Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte for the first time! I came back to Pangasinan before the year ends and enjoyed the food there as well. I went to Baguio City and Cebu City four times this year!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Pangasinan: Food, Friends, and Events

I thought I won't be travelling for December anymore and yet the opportunity came when +GBG Pangasinan and +GBG Dagupan organized +Google Code-in Meetup for the students in Lingayen and +GDG Philippines and +GDG Baguio helped for the said event.

Lingayen, Pangasinan

We left Manila around 6:30 AM aboard the Victory Liner bus going to Alaminos. We had two stopovers and was sleeping most of the way. As instructed by our friend +JR Padilla, we alighted in Socony and rode a mini-bus going to Dagupan. We asked the bus conductor to drop us off in front of Bangsal Suites. It is the place where we would stay for the night.

Bangsal Suites
After checking in and dropping off our things, we had lunch in Rudy & Jing Seafood Restaurant. We had the most delicious grilled catfish and milkfish. The meat was sweet and tender. It was the first time in a long time I had fish those delicious. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Food Trip in Kapitolyo: Bà Nội's

Recently, I moved near to restaurant and food melting pot - Kapitolyo in Pasig City. Guided by our dear friend +Mitch+Jomar and I are starting to see the many restaurants Kapitolyo has to offer.

Bà Nội's (The Fresh Flavour from Vietnam)
12 East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig

Our first dinner together was at Bà Nội's. It is a Vietnamese restaurant that used to have a branch in Makati. I was able to try their food in Makati and here I am eating their food again. We ordered the food below:

Ga Hho Cari Ha / December 16, 2013
Bu Loc Lac
Corn Trang Steamed Rice / Decemeber 16, 2013
Goi Cuon / December 16, 2013

The food was good. Though, I am not a fan of Vietnamese cuisine it was still good food and as always great company.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fail Business Process: Robinsons Land

Background Story: My parents and siblings are flying to Canada on December 14, 2013 (Saturday) and I will be left behind here in the Philippines. The need is to buy a condominium that I could occupy as soon as possible.

The Find: We keep on searching and inquiring for condominium that is easily accessible via the major roads like EDSA. My mom searched online and found The Gateway Regency online. She called up the broker and an ocular was arranged. They saw a one-bedroom unit that seems right. As early as the ocular, my mom keeps on repeating to the broker and the marketing employee of Robinsons Land (Valerie Mijares), that we need to move in as soon as possible and before the flight of my family. We want them to expedite the process and they confirmed that it is possible.

The Payment: We paid the reservation fee last November 26, 2013 and the balance on December 3, 2013. Both payments were paid from our Metrobank account to the Metrobank account of Robinsons Land to avoid the 3-day clearing necessary if it comes from another bank. This would also help in making the process faster in the hopes of a sooner condo turnover. After making the payment and verifying with both Metrobank accounts that the money has been cleared, my mom was informed that a 3-day clearing is still necessary on Robinsons Land end.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Review: The Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros

Last December 6, 2013, our company had the annual planning. We wanted to conduct the planning within Metro Manila but the ambiance should not feel like you're in the busy metropolis. After searching and thinking, we end up with The Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros.

Morning View from the Conference Room
For Php 1,250.00 per person, we had a conference room (complete with a television, marker, whiteboard, etc.) from 8:00am to 5:00pm, AM and PM snacks of our choice, and breakfast buffet at 9 Spoons. Not bad of a deal, right?

Friday, November 29, 2013

My First Plane Ride: Hong Kong

The first time I was able to ride the plane was year 2004. Our family is going to Hong Kong for a 3-day vacation. It was the first time I saw a plane up close and as a teenager going up in a developing country - it's like a dream country. Below is the summary of what I remember from a trip that happened almost 10 years ago:

  • Eating hot noodles in one of the small eatery in Hong Kong. They served it in such big bowls!
  • Having breakfast in McDonald's and was seriously shocked that they don't serve fries - they still have hash browns though.
  • Shopping galore at a Giordano shop which was on a 50%-off sale.
  • Mother asking a complete stranger for directions in Filipino - as it turns out the person she's talking to is from Malaysia.
  • Riding the cable car in Ocean Park
  • Riding the train which goes through the sea - seriously scary. I was imagining a movie when the tunnel would collapse
  • Going to their market and buying souvenirs
  • Staying in a beautiful hotel
  • Cold weather
  • Seeing school uniform with knee-high skirt like the Anime - in the Philippines, our school uniform skirt would normally be below the knee.
There you go. A quick summary of what I remember happening in HK. As a bonus (and an update), here are some photos from that vacation. My mom recently learned how to use the scanner and she's been scanning a lot of pictures from the past.

This is the very long escalator in the Ocean Park.
I remember, Papa joking that the escalator is the ride.
In Ocean Park

Inside the hotel

Me, Hovey, Mother, and Therese in the
Hong Kong International Airport

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Day 3: Brown Sand of Kota Kinabalu

On our last day in KK, we woke up a bit late and was sweetly taking our time as we prepare to check out. We had another round of delicious Malaysian breakfast then off to Le Meridien. We thought of riding the bus but it was taking too long so we walked going there under the heat of the sun.

When we (+Jomar+Svet+Mitch, and I) arrived there, Mama +Chelle and +Wayne were missing. They arrived around an hour later after having breakfast. We decided to chill in the huge room and later on had lunch in the recommended place nearby Kedai Kopi Seng Hing Sunsuran. They serve good food and I loved their Tuaran Mee (it's a dried noodle dish that originated from the town of Tauran in East Sabah).

Curry, Sweet & Sour Pork, Fried Fish, Tuaran Mee, Laksa and Tom Yum

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Day 2: Excitement to Panic at KK

Good morning 2nd day in the City of Kota Kinabalu!

+Jomar+Wayne, and I had breakfast together. I particularly like the chicken wings they served today. After preparing for our beach trip, we went down at the lobby and met with +Svet+Mitch, and +Lorna+Chelle and +Murphy are waiting at the lobby of the other building.


We started walking going to the Gaya Street Sun day Market where they are selling all sorts of things. Some of us decided to buy this cold Malaysian drink while +Jomar and I were busy hacking portals. Next thing we know, Wayne started shivering and Mitch is hugging him trying to keep him warm. We started giving out the shawl that we have ready for our beach trip. I have a cardigan in my bag and gave it to Wayne as well. Thanks to +Lorna and +Murphy for helping us find the nearest clinic. Later on, an ambulance fetched Wayne to be tested in the Queen Elizabeth hospital (a public hospital).

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Day 1: GDG Devfest Kota Kinabalu

Good morning Kota Kinabalu! Magandang umaga Sabah! Selamat Pagi Malaysia!

It was our first day in Malaysia and +Jomar and I enjoyed the breakfast buffet of +King Park Hotel Kota Kinabalu. I particularly remember the Beef Rendang they served because it was the only food I am not familiar with.

GDG Devfest Kota Kinabalu 2013

After making sure that we're ready for the long day, +Jomar+Mitch+Svet and I started walking towards the Wisma Bandaraya. It is the venue of the first GDG Devfest Kota Kinabalu and is two blocks away from our hotel. We saw +Sebastian outside the building trying to figure out the entrance. We also bumped into +Loretta as we figure out on which floor we should go as the building lobby is empty.



Day 0: Flight to Kota Kinabalu

My life goal right now is to travel and see much of the world as I can. Last June, I was in Yogyakarta, Indonesia for the Google Southeast Asia Outreach Summit. Little did I know, that I would be travelling out of country again, this time in the Capital City of Sabah - Kota Kinabalu. +GDG Philippines were asked to help +GDG Kota Kinabalu with their first GDG Devfest KK.

+Jomar and +Wayne discussing about Java best-practices
while waiting for our food in Kenny Rogers.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Baguio: Food and Events

We were in Baguio for my birthday last November 8. Aside from celebrating my birthday in my favorite city in the Philippines, +Jomar and I were also speakers for the Google community Baguio events last November 9. He will be speaking at +GDG Baguio's Devfest while I will be sharing about Google+ and Google Search for Education for +GBG Baguio's gDaysXBaguio.

The morning started with a round of breakfast from +Azalea Baguio. The joint morning program happened while we moved from one room to another and we also visited the ongoing launch of +GEG Philippines in +Berkeley School Baguio. We had lunch at Canto in the Ketchup Food Community.

Delicious food from Canto!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Summary of My Birthday

I celebrated my 24th birthday last November 8. Below are highlights of the week that I had.
To start, last November 4 - +Jomar and I had my fave
Kare-Kareng Gulay from Giligan's.
November 5 - for my love of Mexican food,
+Jomar and I had dinner in Mexicali

Monday, November 4, 2013

Food Trip in Maginhawa: Crazy Katsu and Fancy Crepe

Crazy Katsu

In Maginhawa Street, you will find the original branch of Crazy Katsu. As the name of the restaurant suggest, they serve all sorts of Katsudon and other Japanese meal. I love the Katsu Curry. The curry sauce was one of the best that I have tried and at a reasonable price (Php 190.00). +Jomar, on the other hand, ordered the Katsudon (Php 150.00) which was equally good. The chicken was tender and served hot. The only disappointment of the day was the Gyoza (Php 120.00). It tasted like how a refrigerator would smell when you have not clean it. Overall, I would definitely go back to Crazy Katsu because of their delicious Katsu Curry.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Food Trip in Banawe QC: Feng Wei Wee Taiwan Cuisine

There's actually a number of areas in Metro Manila melting with restaurants left and right worthy of a food trip. On top of my head, I could think of Maginhawa Street and Timog in Quezon City, Kapitolyo in Pasig, and Wilson Street in San Juan. For this particular post, I will share my experience in another melting pot of restaurant in Banawe, Quezon City.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Food Trip in Camarines Sur

Last October 2013, I was able to visit the City of Naga and below is my food trip in CamSur.

Casa Moderna

Freshly baked bread using a huge brick oven and some pancit for snacks on a lazy afternoon. That's how I enjoyed the soft bread and meaty pancit in Casa Moderna. Currently, they have five branches all in Naga City. Be sure to visit at least one of them.

Meaty Palabok

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Day 3 in Bicol: Good Morning Naga Walk

Our flight is at 10:45 AM via Cebu Pacific. The hotel service will pick us up by 9AM going to the airport. This means +Jomar Tigcal+Wayne Manuel and I still have time to explore Naga City and visit the parks and Churches there. We woke up at 6:00 AM to visit the places below:

The closest park to our Hotel is the Rizal Park (Freedom Park). A Huge I <3 NAGA sign is there as well.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Day 2 in Bicol: Food, Friends, and Events



+Jerome Locson invited me to be one of the speakers for BYTE 2013. I will be sharing about Gmail (with Contacts & Tasks), Calendar, Google Search, and Google Sites. +Jomar Tigcal will be sharing about Android development while +Wayne Manuel is going to share about Google Maps API.

Day 1 in Bicol: The City of Naga

My previous post ended with +Jomar Tigcal and I going to the Terminal to ride a van going to Naga City. After two hours (around 3:00PM), we went down the van and was staring directly at SM Naga.

Tricycle, taxi, jeepney, and vans everywhere. My first impression was it is a progressive city and a whole lot busier than Legazpi City, Albay. We rode a tricycle and headed to our rest for the night: Naga Regent Hotel. Probably a review of the hotel in another post! After dropping of our stuff and resting a bit, Ms. +Aileen Apolo sent us an SMS informing us that we should have snacks in her cousins place, Casa Moderna+Wayne Manuel+Jomar Tigcal and I got lost because there's a branch near our hotel - we went there first, and after searching for Ms. Aileen to no avail, we asked the waitress and found out that there are five branches of Casa Moderna all over the city!

Quince Martires Monument

Monday, October 21, 2013

Day 1 in Bicol: The Legazpi-Daraga Tour

At last! After more than two months of staying in the city, I found myself in a new place again! I could not be happier when +Jerome Locson invited +Jomar Tigcal+Wayne Manuel, and I to be speakers for the Bicol Youth for Technology Exposure (BYTE) 2013.

It was my first time to visit the Bicol Region and I am ecstatic to be there! The event is set on the 19th of October 2013 but +Jomar Tigcal and I took the flight via Legazpi the day before to see the beauty of Mt. Mayon and explore what time would permit in Legazpi, Albay.

Mt. Mayon seen in the Legazpi Airport

Monday, October 14, 2013

Food Trip in Makati: Commune

I've been working in Makati for three years now and have tried different food places around the busy city. In the first round of my food trip around Makati, I will be sharing about Commune! It's a coffee + bar + restaurant found in the corner of Valero and H.V. dela Costa (near Trafalgar and BDO Towers).

All-Day Breakfast

I loved their chicken longganisa! It was the first time I tried it last October 2 and it was delicious. The only reason I don't have a photo of it is because I finished the food before I remember to take a photo of it. Gutom eh.

Ultimate Food Trip

I love Commune and the different food adventure +Jomar Tigcal and I have when we have dinner here. Jomar is more adventurous in trying all the viands available while I stick to the food that I like.

August 8, 2013: Daing na Bangus and Chicken Adobo sa Gata

Friday, August 23, 2013

Food Trip in Baguio City

I've been to Baguio quite a few times and here I am trying to share about the awesome restaurants and yummy food I have tried.

Good Taste Cafe and Restaurant

They serve great food served with the freshest available ingredients at affordable prices. I would recommend the Chopseuy, Beef Broccoli and Buttered Chicken.  +Jomar and I ordered those and we could not even finish one of the viands! Talk about takaw tingin.

O' Mai Khan

This is my fave restaurant in Baguio EVER. No, I don't order the Monggolian buffet. Rather, I choose to explore their culinary expertise with the ala carte meals. My favorite right now is the Kublai's Dream.

Trying out the Gengis Khan Steak (Php 210) and
O'Maikhan's Hearty Meal (Php 210)

Friday, August 9, 2013

Food Trip in Maginhawa: Roberta Flavors of Asia, Cupcakes by Gremlins, and Cool Beans

Round 3 for three restaurant that we've explored yesterday.

Previously, I've been to Crazy Katsu, Fancy Crepes, and Fruili Trattoria along Maginhawa Street inside the U.P. Village, Quezon City, Philippines. Yesterday (since it was a holiday), +Jomar Tigcal and I had our holidate. We decided to eat somewhere in Maginhawa.

Roberta Flavors of Asia (formerly called, Roberta Seafood Cantina)

For lunch we went to Roberta, we ordered, Salt & Lemon Pepper Squid, Gising-Gising, Bagoong Rice, and Herbed Rice. There were nothing outstanding about what we ate. It was sad. The only consolation is the Herbed Rice which tasted fine.

Our food from Roberta

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Anniversary Celebration in Baguio

+Jomar Tigcal and I celebrated our second anniversary last August 4, 2013 in Baguio City with our dearest friends from both +GBG Philippines and +GDG Philippines.

The morning started with another round of delicious breakfast from +Azalea Baguio. Since we already checked out our room, we decided to stay in the common area of the three-bedroom suite of Mama +Chelle Gray and Ms. +Aileen Apolo.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Baguio: Food, Friends, and Events

After a restful evening in +Azalea Baguio, we woke up to enjoy the delicious breakfast the hotel served. I fell in love with the Baguio longganisa. After having breakfast and loading all the tab I needed for my Google Search presentation, +Jomar Tigcal and I went to the events place on the other side of the hotel. There were almost a hundred women entrepreneurs and students!

This is their token to the speakers!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Day 1: Road Trip to Baguio

Travel to Baguio City

Day 1 of our anniversary celebration was spent on the road going to Baguio City. +Jomar Tigcal and I met up with Mama +Chelle Gray+Jerome Locson, and +Reymart Canuel in McDonald's near Greenbelt 1 to wait for Ms. +Aileen Apolo and +Maricar Dabao with the van.

Hot Chocolate from McCafe

We left Makati at around 8:30 AM. We had lunch in Max's Restaurat at SM City Rosales in Pangasinan and met with Allan Medrano there. By 3:30 PM we found ourselves in the beautiful city of Baguio. We went straight to +Azalea Baguio and rested a bit.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Cagayan de Oro: Food, Friends, and Events

It was our first time in Cagayan de Oro (CDO) over the weekend. +Jomar Tigcal and I were speakers during the +GDG Cagayan de Oro 6th Monthsary Meetup.

We were at NAIA Terminal 3 at around 5:30 AM (early for our 6:55 AM flight). Surprisingly, our flight departed on time and arrived CDO on time. By 8:20 AM we found ourselves in the one-month young Laguindingan International Airport. By the time we exited the airport, we found our former colleague +Paul Michael Labis who is now home-based in CDO.

Divine Mercy Shrine

Our first stop was the Divine Mercy Christ Shrine in El Salvador City, Misamis Oriental. It's one of the cities and municipalities between CDO City and the airport. Paul dropped Jomar and I off at the entrance of the Shrine and we climbed the many steps of stairs (I should have counted it!). Oh and at the entrance they'll lend girls a skirt that you could wear while inside the shrine compound.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Food Trip in Maginhawa: Fruili Trattoria

Last July 20, 2013, +Jomar Tigcal and I made an effort to explore the other restaurants along Maginhawa Street (few steps away from where I live) in Quezon City. This time we had lunch in Fruili Trattoria.

When the tricycle would pass by this restaurant I would always think that it's some fruit yoghurt store. Apparently, it's an Italian restaurant which serves pizza and pasta.

By far, my fave pizza-pasta place is The Old Spaghetti House. This comes close. It's reasonably priced and they serve really good food.

Mozarella Sticks, Tre Formaggi, and Tuna & Mushroom Spaghetti

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Jogjakarta Indonesia Tour

After the successful Southeast Asia Summit with Google, a good number of Filipino delegates stayed in Jogja to see the rest of the city and what it has to offer. Thank God, Reymart has friends who are living in Jogjakarta, Indonesia. Not only did they gave us a tour and drove us around the city (instead of hailing and waiting for a cab every time), they were our translator and had become our friends. Bella and Titis are our new friends from Jogja! Both girls gave us (+Jomar+Josan+Reymart+Ruben+Reymart, +Keshan, and I) a tour around the city.

Gadjah Mada University

Our first stop for the day is the Sunday Market in UGM. Seriously, Indonesia is a lot like the Philippines. Humid weather, love for affordable market places - the Sunday Market is just like what we have in Makati in the Philippines. After sweating a lot and looking at the different items, we walked going back to the car and saw the beautiful mosque inside the campus. We don't have a lot of mosques in the Philippines so we were so happy to see such a beautiful place.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Third Day in Indonesia

Last Day of SEARCH Summit

It was the last day of the SEARCH Summit. Time flies when you're having fun! We're having so much fun and making friends in Jogja. Now, I have acquaintances and friends from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, and more places! Thank God for blessing us with opportunities like this.

We had another awesome breakfast even if +Jomar and I woke up late. We had GDG Managers sharing their experiences the rest of the morning: +Samdy (+GDG Phnom Penh) shared about how to keep the community engaged, +Ruben (+GDG Cebu) shared about collaboration between the communities, +Louis (+GDG Singapore) shared about the success of their collaboration with the government to create a contest in making useful applications using big data, and +Josan (+GDG Cagayan de Oro) shared about the success of their Student Developer's Day. We learned so much and had bonded over the last few days. The SEA GDG Managers is the best group ever!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Search Summit Day 2

After getting a restful sleep, we enjoyed the breakfast buffet at Hyatt. After breakfast, we went to a session with the GBG leads.

GBG-GDG Session with Dan Franc
Photo taken by Josan Dometita

We had a lot of good afternoon activities as well. Learning about Google Ventures, HTML5, AdMob and AdSense, and Diversity. I would say that the sticker exchange that happened in the morning really did the trick that made the GDG leads talk with each other.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Adventure going to Jogjakarta, Indonesia

8-hour layover.

That's the summary of our journey from Manila, Philippines going to Yogyakarta in Indonesial to attend the Southeast Asia Outreach Summit organized by Google for the different communities (GDG, GBG, GSA, and MapMaker) in SEA.

Ninoy Aquino International Airport

There's 25 of us traveling from the Philippines. We left Manila a little after 9:30 PM via Cebu Pacific going to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. While waiting for our flight, the GDG Managers from the Philippines (+Jomar+Josan+Reymart+Theo+anne+Ruben, and I) decided to use the time to discuss our DevFest 2013 plans. I also purchased from National Bookstore a new passport cover! Hihi.

GDG Managers from the Philippines

Monday, June 17, 2013

Cebu: Food and Training

Last weekend, Jomar and I went to Cebu for another round of Google Apps for Education training for University of San Jose-Recoletos.

Tokyo Tokyo Ramen
Our flight was scheduled at 10:10PM via Cebu Pacific. We had dinner in Greenbelt 1 (Tokyo-Tokyo) and started to line up for a cab at around 7:30PM.

Trying the new Ramen from Tokyo-Tokyo

Monday, May 27, 2013

My Ozamiz City Adventure

New city. New people. More universities going Google!


Day 1: LSU Gone Google

Last May 24, 2013 (Friday), Jomar and I took the only flight going to Ozamiz City (from Manila) for the La Salle University (LSU) Google Apps for Education Training. After the initial surprise of the checked-in luggage just being handed out by airport employees, we went out and looked for Ms. Leslyn of LSU. We saw her with the other professors and we headed straight to the university. Being an alumna of De La Salle University in Taft Avenue, Manila, I am very happy to be sharing to the faculty of LSU what I know about Google Apps. We started the training a little after 9:00 AM and the teaching staff representatives from each colleges and department was very eager to learn. They asked questions and were really looking forward to maximizing Google Apps for the coming school year.

Day 1 Class

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Places to Visit in Ilocos Sur

Ilocos Sur in the Ilocos Region of the Philippines was one of our stops during our Ilocandia Exploration. Here's a list of places we've visited in Ilocos Sur.

Calle Crisologo
It was my dream to see what a town or street that is a glimpse of what the Philippines looked like during the Spanish time. From the photos I see online, the best place to achieve this dream is to see and visit Vigan City personally which was our first stop during the trip. Walking in Calle Crisologo did feel like I was transported to the past, during the Spanish Era to be exact. Too bad I was only using the camera from my Samsung Galaxy Tab that I can't capture the view I am looking at during that moment.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Places to Travel in Ilocos Norte

Here's a list of places I visited in Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Region (Region 1), Philippines during my Explore Ilocos trip with high school best friends, Lik and Deci, and boyfriend, Jomar.

Marcos Museum and Mausoleum

Seeing the supposed to be corpse of Former President Ferdinand Marcos is scary and creepy. The body inside the Mausoleum looks like its made of wax already but they say it's his preserved body waiting to be buried in its rightful place in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Meanwhile, the museum showcased the childhood of Ferdinand Marcos up until the time he married Former First Lady Imelda Romualdez. The highlight of the Museum would be the 11-day courtship between the two.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Food Trip in Ilocos

What are the food we tried and restaurants we visited during our Ilocandia trip? Here's a list!

Cafe Uno (Vigan City, Ilocos Sur)

We had breakfast in Cafe Uno! +Jomar had the beef tapa while Deci, Lik and I had Vigan Longganisa. The beef tapa was too salty for my liking while the Longganisa was spot on delicious even if the serving is small. I had hot chocolate which was made from tablea - perfect!


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dream Come True: Ilocos Exploration

I had always dreamt of time traveling to the years when the Spaniards rule the Philippines. I know it is not possible to time travel (yet) so the closest thing I could think of is walking the historical city of Vigan. Checking the pictures online, the city is like a snapshot of what the Philippines look like during those early days.

Last weekend, with my high school best friends (Deci and Lik) and boyfriend (+Jomar) we went to explore the beauty of the Ilocos region. I would be preparing separate blog posts for the places I visited in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur as well as the food we tried.



Day 1
The trip started Thursday evening at around 9:00PM. I met with Jomar, Lik, and Deci in McDonald's North Avenue corner Mindanao Avenue. We waited for our van c/o Explore Island Philippines Travel and Tours. There were three groups in one van, us, a duo, and a group of four, as well. Our tour guide and driver for the trip is Kuya Rey. We left McDo a little past 9:00PM. We had two to three stop over and I couldn't sleep! Jomar was already snoring beside me and I couldn't get comfortable in the van. When JT and I switched places I was able to sleep even for a while.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day 2013 in Cebu City

My mom is a Cebuana. She was born and was raised in Cebu City. She would always share with us how she would have few but real friends from grade school and high school and would only get updated with them via snail mail. Now, after months of convincing, my dearest mother have a Facebook account and was able to connect with her grade school and high school friends. Thus, she found out that one of her closest friends (who's now living in Alaska) is going home to Cebu for a vacation.

When I found out about this, I keep on nagging mother to go home to Cebu! She would say no because of the expenses and saying that she would only worry about Alyanna and the house and other things that is worrying her. I convinced her by saying that I would pay for the vacation. She deserves the break and its mother's day, anyway. It's the least I could do for her.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Food Trip in San Juan: Hong Kong Famous Street Food

San Juan is a small city in Metro Manila and I have no idea where it is until the time I started riding vans who shortcut around San Juan just to get to Makati every morning.

Yesterday, I went to the De La Salle to get my transcript then off to the Google Student Leaders Summit organized by the Google Student Ambassadors (GSA) happening in Orange and Bronze Software Labs Inc. Mama +Chelle gave a talk about the community both the Google Developer Group (GDG) and Google Business Group (GBG) and how the student leaders could volunteer. When +Jomar and I arrived at the venue Mamu Chelle called me in front to share how I started in the industry, got involved in the GDGs, and the perks I get from volunteering from GDG.

At around 12:30 to almost 1:00 PM, Mamu, Jomar, and I rushed to the GBG San Juan meet-up in The Orange Place Hotel. It was fun! I opened the after snacks session with the topic that I thought of on the way to the meet-up: Google Local and/or Pages for Business.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Cebu: Food and Friends

Last weekend, +Jomar and I were back in Cebu for a Google Apps for Education training for one of the universities there.

We arrived in Cebu at around 10:30PM and met with +Jerome at The Ridges Commercial Center. We went to Starbucks in the IT Park to discuss the training the following day. I had hot chocolate and croissant. After less than an hour, we went straight to Center Suites to get some shut eye for the following day's training.

After having breakfast, we went to the university and train the student leaders of the campus. It was actually the first time I train students about Google Apps who already know the basic but was amaze on the other things I shared. It was so much fun!

Monday, April 15, 2013

The weekend I fell in love with Bontoc

Last April 13, 2013, I was invited by Department of Education Mountain Province Division to conduct Google Apps training for the representatives of the different district of Mountain Province.

We started our trip Friday (April 12) at 12:30 AM, +Jomar went to our house to pick me up. We went to the Victory Liner bus terminal in Cubao. The next available bus will be at 2:30 AM. We waited for roughly 1.5 hours and we're off to Baguio City. We arrived in Baguio at 8:30 AM and had breakfast at Cafe by The Ruins.

Cheese Omelet and Chicken Galantina Sandwich

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Date with High School Buddies in QC

Ten years ago our family moved from Novaliches to Diliman in Quezon City and only recently have I discover the different food places near our house.

Yesterday, I met up with my school best friends Deci and Lik-Lik just to catch up on how each other is doing. We met-up in Trinoma and just walk around the mall sharing stories. We had lunch in Banana Leaf - a Thai/Asian restaurant.

(From Left to Right): Roti Canai and Curry Sauce, Pomelo Salad Thai Style,
Pad Thai Banana Leaf Style, and  Wok Fried Squid with Basil Leaves and Chili

Monday, March 4, 2013

Review of Joy Bus: The Deluxe Coach of Genesis Transport, Inc.

During my trip to Baguio last March 2, 2013, Jomar and I (as recommended by friends) decided to try the Joy Bus of Genesis. We went to the bus terminal the day before just to make sure we have a ticket going to Baguio and asked for the cell phone number of the person to contact in Baguio so we could reserve our returning ticket. Reservation Number in Baguio 0906-591-6011. She doesn't reply though.

Baguio: Food, Friends, and Events

I've been to Baguio a couple of times and have shared my experiences in this blog (Baguio-Bontoc Adventure and Places to Visit in Baguio).

This particular visit is special because I am going there to do what I love, share with educators what I know and how they could maximize Google Apps.

Day 1

Jomar and I left Quezon City at exactly 11:00PM riding the Joy Bus: The Deluxe Coach of Genesis Transport, Inc. A review about the experience in a separate blog post. We arrived a little after 3:00AM which makes the travel time just 4 hours between Manila and Baguio! We took a cab going to my favorite hotel in Baguio, Azalea Residences. The person at the front desk said that they have to charge us for two nights already since there's an early check-in charge. I was too tired and sleepy to argue, even if I am worried since I have a limited budget for this trip. I paid using my card but it seems that there card reader isn't working properly but I informed the front desk personnel that as I check my account balance online, the amount was already deducted. He said, he'll confirm with their accounting the following day and we could already go to our room.

After an additional 3 hours of sleep, Jomar and I walked going to Berkeley School. It's the venue for the Google Apps for Education Baguio training.

Google Apps Training Baguio City class
Image from Reymart Canuel (G+ Events Page)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Cebu: Food, Friends, and Events

Last February 22-23, 2013, +Jomar and I went to the Queen City of the South, Cebu for a Google Apps Seminar-Workshop organized by +GDG Cebu.

Day 1 - Training & AA

Our flight from Manila was delayed due to the bad weather but I am so thankful that it wasn't cancelled. We arrived in Cebu at around 6:30PM. We got a cab and head to Robes Pension House only to find out that no room is available for early check-in. We walked towards the direction of Cebu Normal University (event venue) and saw few more pension houses. We decided to check-in at Skypark Pension House. They have clean rooms, clean bathroom, and accommodating staff. I was very pleased for the price I paid. After around 15 minutes of arranging our stuff, Jomar and I headed to CNU for the whole day training.

Google Apps Seminar-Workshop Class
Photo from Ruben Licera in the Google+ Events Page.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Places to Visit in Cavite

Jomar (my boyfriend) is from Cavite province. Because of that, we decided to have a Cavite tour as part of our Valentine-Birthday celebration. He knows how much I love going to historical places, thus he planned an itinerary for a day trip going places that played a significant role in the Philippines history.

We started our trip by meeting in Ayala Avenue, Makati City. We rode a bus going to Baclaran then transferred to a bus that goes to Cavite City. After around an hour and a half due to the bad traffic near SM Bacoor, we went down in Aguinaldo's Shrine. It was my first time there!

Emilio Aguinaldro Shrine
Source of the Picture

Friday, February 1, 2013

Bontoc-Baguio Adventure

Summary

Last Janaury 26, GDG Halsema had their first meet-up. Jomar and I went up all the way to Bontoc to be their speakers. Jomar talked about GDG and GDG Philippines while I discussed and had a demo of Google Apps particularly with emphasis on how teachers and students could maximize it.

But before the meet-up, Jomar and I rode a 12-hour bus ride going to Bontoc through Cable Tours. Some tips, buy or reserve your tickets ahead of time. I purchased our tickets the day before our trip and we were already seated at the back. Come Friday, there are some people who wanted to buy more tickets but they couldn't. I tried reserving tickets through phone but they didn't reply so I decided to go to the terminal which was located inside this compound. To go there, you have to walk inside the compound between Shakey's and Trinity University of Asia along E. Rodriguez Avenue. The bus left 9:00PM and we had three to four stopovers.

Source: http://ohrandom.files.wordpress.com

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Places to Visit in Makati

When I was in grade school, I remember my parents bringing us to Makati City. As a kid, the tall buildings look taller and everything is just so big and amazing. Fast forward to now, Makati is a place I go to work everyday for the past two years with hundreds even thousands of other Filipinos.

Yesterday, Jomar and I had our first Saturdate for the year. We decided that we would be like tourists in Makati. Here are the list of places of interest that we had or are going to visit:

Places of Worship

Nuestra Senora de Gracia Parish Church - Who would have thought that in a neighborhood known to be full of informal settlers, there would be a gem. One of the oldest Church in Makati City is located near Guadalupe behind the Our Lady of Guadalupe Minor Seminary. A lot of couple from all over Metro Manila decide to get marry here. Also, according to a Foursquare tip, a lot of local soap opera and movies are shot here. To get here, go down from Guadalupe Station and walk along Bernadino Street. For more information about this Church please check this link.

Nuestra Senora de Gracia
Source: http://www.weddingmapper.com)

Saints Peter and Paul Parish Church - it was built in 1620 and is located literally inside Barangay Poblacion surrounded by residential area and beside the St. Paul College of Makati. I have been in the area before to pick-up Josh with her mom; so it came a shock to me to know that a historical Church would be near his school. It's also a hidden treasure in the area. For more information about this old Church please check this link.

Sts. Peter and Paul Parish
Image from http://connieconcon.wordpress.com

Museums

Makati Museum - Jomar and I went to the original location of the museum along J.P Rizal but was informed that it was moved at the second floor of the old building of the Makati City hall. We'll find time to visit that and update this blog. Though, the building itself is part of history as it served as the first town hall of Makati.

Museo ng Makati - this building does not house the museum anymore

Yuchengco Museum - They have a website to get updated on the current galleries. I will update this as soon as I got the chance to explore and visit the museum.

Ayala Museum - We visited the museum without having any idea about the entrance fee thus we were kind of surprised to find out that the fee is PhP 225.00 for Philippine residents and PhP 450.00 for non-residents. I say the price is definitely worth with what we saw. I enjoyed the exhibit about gold entitled, "Gold of Ancestors" and "The Diorama Experience" about the history of the Philippines. I sure hope they have a bills and coins exhibit soon. For more information about the Ayala Museum check their website.

The exterior of the Ayala Museum
Image Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ayala_Museum.jpg)

The Filipinas Heritage Library - I will visit this place soon and update this blog. Ever since Jomar and I found out that Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas Avenue were runways for the first ever commercial airport here in the Philippines, we're trying to figure out where the terminal is. I found out that the building that house the library is the airport terminal before. A really great blog about the first ever airport in the Philippines is found here. For now, here's a link to the library's website. But... here's their latest announcement:

ANNOUNCEMENT
The Filipinas Heritage Library will soon be moving to a new location at Ayala Museum. As we begin moving our collections, we would like to inform you that the Library is CLOSED from November 1, 2012 to March 22, 2013. The Library will reopen at the Ayala Museum on March 23, 2013 to coincide with the 52nd anniversary month of Ayala Foundation. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. We look forward to seeing you at our new home at Ayala Museum!

Landmarks

Ayala Triangle - I always walk around or inside the triangle. Thus, it came a shock to me that I never realize that on each corner of the triangle there's a statue of a Philippine hero. Ninoy Aquino is on the intersection of Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas Avenue while Gabriela Silang is on the intersection of Ayala Avenue and Makati Avenue; lastly, Sultan Kudarat is on the intersection of Paseo de Roxas Avenue and Makati Avenue. I guess most of employees around Makati haven't noticed this as well (or maybe most just don't care). The Ayala Triangle garden also has website for information you might need.

Ayala Center and Greenbelt Park - My first job was just walking distance from the malls of Ayala Center. Everything is in here. From groceries to fast food chains to posh restaurants, happy bar, coffee shops, gyms, and even a chapel - everything you might need is truly within the Ayala Center area.

Rockwell Center - exclusivity as its best. Live in your own high class condo, shop in a sophisticated looking mall. You don't have to go out to satisfy your needs with this city within the city.

To help you find places listed above and more, let this Google Maps be your guide: View SeeMakati App.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

SeeQC: Quezon City Travel Guide

I love to travel. But most of the time it sucks when I don't have enough resources (money) and/or time to visit places. Instead of being depress and sulking in my room, I realize that I don't need to go far when in fact I could be a tourist in my own city. With that, Jomar and I made the SeeQC App - See Quezon City (alpha).

Screenshot of SeeQC (http://seeqc.tigcal.com)

The app is really simple. It displays all the tourist-y places according to the Quezon City Website. We also decided to group the places by category like museums, gardens, monuments, etc.

This app is in progress so your feedback is very much welcome. For feedback, suggestion, and comments, please email celinebarrozo@gmail.com and/or jomar@tigcal.com .