ILOCOS SUR: Banaoang Bridge

Jump Shot of Cha Sy at Banaoang Bridge

I had an amazing time at Banaoang Bridge in Ilocos Sur.  If you love taking photos then you can have a pit stop there and enjoy its majestic backdrop!

Photography by Cha Sy

This 456-meter bridge is located in Barangay Banaoang, Santa, Ilocos Sur.  The bridge’s name is really Quirino Bridge but it is more popularly known as Banaoang Bridge.   iIt majestically connects and separates two transcending mountains.

teneneng girls.JPG

This steel trusses bridge was no longer being used since it was damaged by a typhoon in 2001. When it was damaged by a typhoon it was replaced with a newer bridge.  The new Quirino bridge was constructed to replace the old Banaoang bridge that got damaged but the government had it preserved and now became a must see, must visit tourist attraction since it is very near Vigan City.   It is 20-minute motorcycle ride from the town proper.  Please take note that heavy vehicles are strictly not allowed to pass there.  It is not only a tourist attraction but also a backup bridge.

If you’re a photographer, then you would really love the picturesque panorama view from the Banaoang/Quirino bridge.  The Abra mountain backdrop is a sight to behold. You could also avail of the ZipLine that would carry you across the river for around Php300, Price may change without prior notice.

Ilocos Quezon Bridge Cha Solo Pix.JPG

Photography by Kieth Walter Ayuso

TAGAYTAY: MusiCamp Philippines 2017

“Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, and life to everything. It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is good, just and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but nevertheless dazzling, passionate, and eternal form.”

music campers all

MusiCamp Philippines offers an immersive musical experience. It is a nice activity to cap my summer adventure. It is my first time to attend a music camp. And I am so grateful and honored to be chosen as the representative of Light Network Bloggers Group at the MusiCamp for 4 days and 3 nights in 4 houses in Tagaytay City last May 31 to June 3, 2017. This summer music workshop are both for kids and adults alike.

MusiCamp 2017 LOGO.png

For once, I felt the vibe on how to be a MusiCamper.   If you’re wondering why it is spelled with only one C, it is because it is a Christ centered music camp.

MusiCamp 2017 Founder Pastor Jewpeter Vidad.JPG

The MusiCamp Philippines faculty were comprised of world-class singers and performers. Most of the teachers were from either UST or UP College of music. Other teachers were from professional ensembles who work to cultivate music artistry, discipline and an appreciation of music. In fact, MusiCamp Philippines is now on its 10th year, founded by Pastor Jewpeter Vidad in 2007.   He is also the owner of JV music school at V.Luna in Quezon City.  Go visit his music school if you want to learn how to play any instruments or if you want to enhance your singing voice by taking up music lessons.

Musicamp Guitar Lesson with Teacher Zaren

MusiCampers who has a basic instrument knowledge brought with them their guitars and violins. Some of the participants were really gifted, they could compose songs in an instant. Most of them play by ear and only learned note reading at the MusiCamp.

Musicamp Violin Class.JPG

MusiCamp Philippines has a big impact on some MusiCamper’s transformation that can last a lifetime. Just like what happened to one musicamper from last year who used to play the piano and returned this year playing the violin. Reason? She got so inspired with the Music Campers who played the violin last year! And she’s only 13-years old. Wooot! That is awesome! I myself would like to learn how to play the violin.

Musicamp Yellow team.JPG

The MusiCampers were divided into three teams the yellow team, the red and the blue team.

Musicamp Blue Team.JPG

Each team were assigned with a leader and assistant staff.

Musicamp team red.JPG

The MusiCamp has practice time, teacher concert, choir classes, English comprehension, song writing classes, bible reading, master classes, guitar classes, drums classes, violin classes, organ classes and voice classes all of these and more within 4 days and 3 nights.

muiscamp quotes.png

At the MusiCamp, I observed that everybody were inspired to show off their God given musical ability and were very industrious partaking in rehearsals even until the wee hours of the morning. The performances of both the teachers and MusiCampers plus the organized recreational activities headed by American missionaries JR and Zack completed the camp experience.

Musicamp morning exercise

I can say that the MusiCamp went beyond my expectations. I am glad to have met all of these passionate people.

MusiCamp 2017 Teacher Sharon campers.JPG

The teachers encourage musical creativity in everyone. I super love the experience! Each teacher made each musicamper felt important.

Musicamp Organ piano lesson.JPG

In a fun and practical way, campers were introduced the aspects of songwriting, like harmony, hooks, riffs and rhythmic accompaniment, basic chord progressions, intros, chorus-verse format, rhyming and even joke and storytelling, which is a very useful skills for even the more experienced song-writers.

musicamp overall director Pastor Chris Vidad.JPG

I learned that song composition is as easy as counting 1 to 3. All you have to do is to choose a genre of the song that you want to sing. And share a story that you want to tell. The MusiCampers were thought about composition and form, explore and recognize a variety of verses/choruses, beat, accompaniment and other essential basic knowledge on song writing. After a series of musical games, exercises, songwriting workshop and the study of different elements of music, the MusiCampers a.k.a. aspiring songwriters and singers were asked to put their ideas to music. The MusiCampers were subdivided into a smaller group and each one were asked to participate to build and write lyrics, compose and arrange their own songs. By the end of the 4 days and 3 days the Music campers had not only tried writing and collaborated with fellow MusiCampers on the creation of original songs and arrangements.

musicamp partners.JPG

The MusiCampers got to present and perform their original compositions in front of the crowd and guests during the banquet on the final night at the MusiCamp.

musicamp chief of police with camp director and staff.JPG

The Chief of Police of Tagaytay City even attended the teachers concert on Day 1.

MusiCamp comprises a variety of music and worship activities. MusiCampers not only learned how to perform in front of the crowd, they also learned to be more Jesus centered. There’s a guest pastor each night who shared their wisdom and words of God from the bible. Each day, the campers sing spiritual truths and learn cool dance moves too during their morning exercises activities.

Musicamp campers all smile team ha ha ha.JPG

The MusiCampers got to explore not only music making in a positive environment, but also learned English prowess, tips on public speaking. It is filled with activities that build the musiCampers musical skills and challenges their creativity in intuitive and fun ways.

Musicamp Quotes 12.JPG

I decided to sit-in and study voice lessons with Teacher Sharon and on day 3 with Teacher Delight. No instrument is needed. No formal musical training. All that’s needed is an enjoyment of music, the willingness to explore one’s voice which would served as your very own instrument. I especially like how everybody cooperates on all the voice exercises. During our voice lessons, you could feel and see the beauty and rawness and the readiness of each and every MusiCamper to be a part of an exciting and affirmative team!

MusiCamp 2017 Teacher Sharon Family and I 55.JPG

I brace myself to get wet during the recreational activity on day 3 and change to my used clothing. Good thing, no one dared to get me wet. Whew! Thank Goodness! It was a ton of fun. I got to watch them on the sidelines.

musicamp day 3 campers and teachers

Campers learned valuable lessons such as honesty, integrity and sportsmanship. I was amazed at what the MusiCampers had accomplished in just four days and 3 nights.

MusiCamp 2017 fun loving friends

Besides the tonne of musical lessons and other fun-in-the-camp activities the campers got to met new friends and also learned more about Jesus!

Musicamp genuine laughter.JPG

Congratulations and thank you to the founder, Pastor Jewpeter Vidad, his brother Pastor Dr. Chris Vidad our over-all Camp Director, and of course Teacher Sharon, my voice teacher and also Teacher Delight, Teacher Tracy, Teacher Andrea, Teacher Monique, Teacher Khayil, Teacher Kaleb, Teacher Zaren,  Teacher Ezra,  Teacher Froilan, Teacher Louie, Sir Nestor and to the staff and crew. Wishing you more MusiCamp’s to come!

Musicamp Quotes 2.JPG

Happiness depends on happenings; joy depends on Jesus.

Musicamp good better best quotes.JPG

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”- Plato

MusiCamp pictures.gif

To God be the glory!

Musicamp certificate for Light Network.JPG


Light Network Logo.png

This EVENT is made possible through a partnership with Light Network Channel 33
“Magaan dito, kaibigan!”
-The first PHILIPPINE channel to FULLY migrate on DIGITAL TERRESTRIAL TELEVISION last March 1, 2017.
Available via:
*Digital TV/Gadgets over MegaManila
(Search frequency 587.143 mhz)
*Analog TV on Channel 33 Puerto Princesa, Palawan
*CABLE thru Sky Cable Channel 215 (Digital) and Channel 5 (Analog), and Cignal Channel 183 and to over 181 cable operators nationwide.




Hop inn.png

I began travelling on a shoestring in 2008.   But I only started blogging my experiences and shared it with my readers in 2009.  Before I discovered budget traveling, I was so lucky to have not only one but two very generous relatives who sponsored my trips to China and Hong Kong every holy week.  Back then, we flew via Cathay Pacific because of its premium services and lcd monitors on each of the seats.  I think our travels are expensive because they let me experience fine dining not only in Metro Manila but also in Hong Kong and in mainland China. I even had a chance to dine in an exclusive club -members only restaurant in Hong Kong because of them. Then, I started earning my own money and discovered that traveling can be expensive for someone like me.  So, I started traveling like a local. That is when I discovered that one can travel on a budget to different destinations without putting a large hole on your pocket. The rise of budget traveling has everyone hopping off from one exciting destination on their bucket lists to the next. This upward trend in tourism is largely thanks to the advent of budget airlines offering wildly affordable vacation opportunities for more people both locally and abroad.

Hotels are of course quick to adapt to the steadily growing demand for accommodations in central locales; close to all the sights, sounds, action and adventure a first-time visitor will enjoy – all on a shoestring budget.

Hop inn building.png

Hop Inn Hotels, a 25- hotel strong Thailand- based chain not only guarantees guests the best locations in each city but also delivers 5-star quality cleanliness, comfort, convenience, and security that makes budget travelers go, “is this really a budget hotel?”

Here’s a rundown of why more and more choose to “hop into” Hop Inn and why it’s considered a one stop hop for travelers on a budget.

hop inn room bed.png

Clean and spacious rooms — Saving on room costs doesn’t mean compromising on cleanliness and comfort. Hop Inn ensures that guests check in to spotless rooms with crisp white sheets that invite absolute relaxation. With more than enough space to accommodate guests and their luggage plus additional bags from pasalubong shopping, Hop Inn rooms make you forget you’re staying at a budget hotel. The bright and clean bathrooms equipped with hairdryers and toiletries are equally spacious, too.

hop inn happy lady guest

Free Wi-Fi — Perched up top of the hierarchy of needs, not only when traveling but basically in daily life, a strong and fast Wi-Fi access means timely and ‘mandatory’ sharing of #TravelGrams, #OOTDs, and #YOLO posts. Hop Inn’s free in-room Wi-Fi service also helps guests prepare for and accomplish their work, research and plan their adventures of the day, and check up on friends and family back home.

Hot and cold shower and a comfortable bed— A warm, refreshing bath after a long day’s adventure in the city? Yes, please! All Hop Inn rooms come with hot and cold power showers so guests enjoy a calming prelude to a restful sleep in the hotel’s ultra-comfortable beds guests cannot stop raving about!

Daily housekeeping, 24-hour front desk assistance, and 24-hour security— Hop Inn guests are always greeted by tidy rooms with fresh linens at the end of each day with the hotel’s expert housekeeping team making sure all rooms are spick and span while guests explore the city. With dedicated and friendly front office and security teams available 24/7 and an advanced elevator access and round-the-clock security system, Hop Inn Hotels guarantee a safe, worry-free, and serene stay for all its guests.

Free spacious parking for guests— Guests driving to Hop Inn have access to the hotel’s spacious and secure parking, absolutely free! A sweet gift for Metro dwellers struggling with parking space and steep fees on the daily.

Facilities for PWDs— The joys of travel are free for all to experience and Hop Inn strongly advocates this by ensuring all of its hotels open their doors to persons of all shapes and sizes and are equipped to cater to persons with disabilities and those that require special assistance throughout their stay.

hop inn night view.png

Lastly, excellent value for money— Budget hotels often deliver exactly what they promise – a place with enough space for a bed to retire to after a long day and nothing more. While travelers can afford such accommodations with just loose change, more often than not they still find themselves shortchanged, especially on the comfort and security aspects. At Hop Inn Hotels, guests enjoy the very best of their money’s worth and more with rates as low as PHP1, 520 nett per room night. A very small cost for such big hospitality.

The Hop Inn Hotel chain’s steady growth across Thailand and the Philippines is testament to the brand’s dedication to deliver its Four Pillar Promise to its guests – Cleanliness, Convenience, Comfort, and Security. But like that exotic food crawl or that adrenaline- pumping theme park ride travelers scribble onto their long and detailed bucket lists, some things are best experienced in the flesh. So, hop into Hop Inn Hotels on your next trip and decide for yourself if it’s truly a #OneStopHop and #TravelGoals- worthy.

hop inn window view.png

For more information about Hop Inn Hotel, visit and follow their social media pages at and @hopinnhotelph on Twitter and Instagram.