All posts in the luzon category

holy week 2010 destinations #2 – pandin lake

Published May 3, 2010 by ladyemelye
after our stay at casa san pablo, we went to pandin lake, one of the seven lakes at san pablo city. i have already heard about this lake from my niece since they had a field trip here last year, and she says it was fun to go.

boots (of casa san pablo) also told us the story of how this lake became a tourist attraction. manning the balsas and maintaining the park was done by the wives of the fishermen who lived and worked around the area.
after asking different tricycle drivers for directions, we finally arrived at pandin lake just in time for lunch. i already had reservations, so we were met by our guide at the parking. after a hike of about 15 minutes, we arrived at the lake and boarded our balsa.
we were then rowed to the middle of the lake where we would be having our lunch. my nephews also donned the life vest and wadded in the cool waters.
our lunch consisted of pritong tilapia, ginataang langka, shrimps, rice, banana and fresh buko juice.
while on the balsa, we were also told of the legend of how pandin lake, and its twin lake yambo, came to be. it was a tragic love story. we were supposed to hike over to see yambo lake, but since the kids were already tired, we just decided to stay at pandin.
they also told us that the rafts were also available for rent overnight, were the guests would be staying in a tent put up in the rafts, in the middle of the lake.
it was a fun trip. we explored our own natural tourist spots, and even helped the economy of the people living there.
the raft ride costs Php 180.00 per person, this already comes with the fresh buko juice. the kids were free. for the lunch, it was another Php 180.00
if you want to come here, better have a reservation so that you need not wait for an available raft.
Pandin Lake
San Pablo City
Contact Person: Mandy Marino – 09175016694

holy week 2010 destinations #1 – casa san pablo

Published May 3, 2010 by ladyemelye
for the holy week of 2010, we decided to go south and explore san pablo city in laguna.
since it was already holy thursday when we travelled, the traffic was heavy at the south luzon express way. the owner was even kind enough to meet us in the way since we took the unusual route.
after around 3-4 hours, and several stops, we finally arrived at casa san pablo, our first destination.






who would have thought that a retreat like this existed in the middle of the city? located inside the former kay inay resort, this is a place for those who wants a quick escape from the noise of the city.

the compound consisted of several rooms of varying sizes (it could accommodate different number of guests), a swimming pool, a large sprawling ground, and a dining area.

the room given to us was number 11. it was a medium-sized room with a loft, and two air-conditioning units. it had four single beds in the main room, and 4 single mattresses and a double mattress in the loft. there were also two showers and two toilets.
food was also good at the casa. based on the literature that you can find in the dining area, the food served were based on the menu and pairings that their Inay used to serve. dishes complimented with one another.
the different colored plates were a delight. i used a different plate each time i ate. ^_^
there were also a lot of unique old stuff around the house. there was this old scooter and a pig made of hay (i think).
we also tried out the swimming pool. the water was nice and cold since it came from the springs in the mountain.
during night, mats were lay down on the ground and candles were placed. one could hang out here and even do star gazing. the owner, mr. boots alcantara, even had a chat with us and shared stories and anecdotes about the place.
overall, we enjoyed our stay here. Boots was very accommodating and was really warm in welcoming the guests. once here, you will forget that you are in fact still in the city.
the price was fair too. to reserve, you have to contact Boots so that you would know if the place is still available on your preferred date, and then deposit your payment so that your slot will be secured.
Casa San Pablo
(Inside Kay Inay resort, San Pablo City)
Contact: Boots Alcantara – 09178126687

romantic getaway at island cove

Published March 10, 2010 by ladyemelye

for valentine’s day 2010, junjun and i spent it by availing the package offered by island cove in cavite.

after checking into the room, there were two boxes of chocolate hearts for us to munch on. the room was spacious enough for two people. there was a closet, a veranda, a big bed, and a nice toilet and bath. most of all, there was free wi-fi! ^_^
we ate a box of the chocolate, browsed thru some television programs, then had a nap.
after the nap, at around 6pm, we proceeded to the island spa, where we will be having our massage. it was a nice whole body massage which lasted for about an hour. at the end of the massage, we were given hot tea (with hint of ginger) to further relax us.
we then went back to our hotel room, where we changed our clothes and got ready for the dinner. it was served at the resort’s sangley point restaurant. for the package, they had 2 set meals which you could choose from. this comes with a glass of red or white wine for each of you.
first came the seafood chowder. this was very tasty. the soup was creamy and at the same time, you can identify each of the bits of the seafood present in the soup. the soup was accompanied with pieces of garlic bread.
next came the main course. junjun had tuna belly, while i had the lamb with mint jelly. both of the dishes were flavorful and cooked just right. my lamb was very tender, and one could taste the rosemary that was used to flavor the meat.
while having dinner, we were also serenaded by an acoustic band. they sang our song, “till they take my heart away” and “ikaw.”
for dessert, we had strawberry shortcake a la mode, which was a perfect ending to our dinner.
our stay also entitled us to use the pool for free, but we decided to just stay in the room the next day until we checked out.
Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park
Binakayan, Kawit, Cavite Philippines 4104
(+632) 810-7878

puerto galera

Published April 22, 2009 by ladyemelye

For our holy week trip this 2009, our family decided to go to Puerto Galera.This trip included my mother, my brother, his wife and three children, me and my hubby.

Since we had children with us, we decided not to “go with the crowd.”We left for Galera on Tuesday (April 7) and went back on Thursday (April 9).We stayed in Talipanan, where it was quieter and not too crowded.

At around 6am, we met near Robinson’s Place Pala-Pala where the terminal for vans traveling to Batangas City port was located.The fee was Php 150.00.There was little traffic on our way to Batangas and we arrived at the pier after approximately 2 hours.

At the pier, we bought tickets for the Commandos motorized boat, which is the only boat which makes its stop at Talipanan beach.Tickets are priced at Php 300.00 (one way) or 550.00 (round trip).It is advised that you buy your round trip tickets when you arrive at the port.


After the standard inspections, we boarded the boat.Coincidentally, with us on that boat is JB Soriano, a reporter from GMA.He was making a report on people going to Puerto Galera.We gained a little screen time in his report which was shown in GMA’s 24 Oras.

For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV

The boat ride was around 1 hour and 15 minutes long.During the travel, we were lucky enough to see a dolphin and flying fish (some sort of) jumping above the ocean.

Upon arriving at Talipanan Beach (the last stop after White Beach and Tamaraw Beach), we were welcomed by Ate Marge and Aya, the persons in charge of the resort we were staying in.We stayed at Mengie’s Beach Resort.The room we had was priced at Php 2500.00 per night.It was an air conditioned room, with a king sized bed, spacious toilet and bath, and a terrace outside.We also had an extra mattress which was setup on the floor of the room.Ate Marge is very accommodating; she lent us the kalan, fueled by coal, where we cooked our food.She also let us borrow one of her pitchers which we used for our water.

The resort also had a restaurant that served different kinds of viands and meals.The prices were also reasonable.We tried out the Sinigang na Tuna, which was priced at around Php 100.00 and was good for 4-6 persons.

 One of the activities that we did was to ride the banana boat, which had a rate of Php 200.00 per person (the children were free).The first round was where my nephews rode, and it was made sure that the banana boat would not turn over.The second round however, which consisted of me, Junjun, my brother and his wife, and my niece, was the exciting banana boat ride.We were first bought up to White Beach and on the way back to Talipanan, they tried very hard to throw us off the banana boat, to which we happily complied to.


Other activities which could be tried were parasailing (at around Php 1500.00 for two persons), snorkeling, boat ride to coral reef (Php 700.00 per boat), and sea walking (this is at Php 1000.00, I think).

We also got to try the pizza from Luca’s, an Italian restaurant within the walking distance from Mengie’s.Their pizza and pasta servings were HUGE, and it was fairly priced.We had the Cañonero variety, which was priced at Php 380.00.

Before going home, Junjun, my brother, my sister-in-law and I also got henna tattoos, for a minimum of Php 100.00.

We enjoyed our vacation at Puerto Galera. We had lots of bonding time and lots of fun. I wonder where our next holy week would be spent…

a deeper experience

Published April 16, 2009 by ladyemelye

using the oceanarium tickets that our maid of honor gave us as a wedding/christmas gift, junjun and i visited the manila ocean park last april 6.

because it was a holiday, we went there at around 9:30 am to avoid the crowd. nevertheless, there were already people inside when we arrived.

the oceanarium featured different species of marine life mostly found in the philippines and other asian countries. the sections progressed from those found in shallow waters to the deepest part of the ocean.

bamboo shark eggs
giant spider crab

it was very interesting and relaxing to watch these different marine creatures. it is recommended that you take as much time as you can while exploring each area, and not let the crowd push you. if you think it gets too crowded, wait a little bit for the crowd to pass, and then go and look at each tank.

there are a lot of fish species and other marine life that you will meet here. at the end of the oceanarium, there is also a small activity area where one can learn about water conservation. other activities which can be done are fish spa and riding the glass bottom boat to observe the fishes seen in the tunnel.

overall, it was good getting to see all these kinds of creatures, some of which we only get to see on tv. i just hope that all visitors will follow the rule of not using flash when taking photographs. some people are just too dense or clueless to even ask the staff on how to change their camera’s settings.

it is a deeper experience indeed…

Thammie Sy

Filipino Mommy Blogger

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