BAGUIO CATHEDRAL

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Baguio Cathedral photo taken using my three-year old Sony RX 100 Mark I inside a speeding van during my recent trip to the city of Pines.

Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral is well known as Baguio Cathedral not only in Baguio City but also all over the Philippines.

its distinctive pink exterior, with a rose window and twin square belfries with pyramidal roofs.  It prided itself with a large courtyard with a viewing deck that overlooks Session Road and the downtown commercial district of Baguio.

You can reach the cathedral via private car or by foot.  Yes, don’t worry if you’re on foot. The cathedral is accessible to pedestrians from Session Road via 100-step stone staircase that ends at a Calvary, or through the adjacent campus of Saint Louis University.

Its official address is Mt. Mary Hill, Cathedral Loop, Baguio City, Benguet.  Telephone number is 442-4256.

 

TAGAYTAY HIGHLANDS

Summer time is the best season of the year to have an outdoor barbecue and to go swimming.  Tagaytay is the best option if you want to cool down a bit from the hot Metro Manila Weather because of its proximity.  Afterall, it is less than three hours drive.

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One of the best places to do your outdoor barbecue party and swimming is Tagaytay Highlands.  Tagaytay Highlands is exclusive to members and their guests.  Even if you have lots of money you could not just go there and demand for the guards to let you in.

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This by invitation only barbecue party was made into reality by Wilcon Builders in partnership with Bull Grill from the USA , Food Magazine, Working Mom and Abs-Cbn.

If you spell fun with how great the ambiance is and how delicious the food is, Then you’ll love our fun outdoor barbecue feast at Tagaytay Highlands!

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Together with Chef Jessie .

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And my other blogger friends

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We had so much fun in the sun!

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With Lucia, Annalyn’s lovely daughter <3

Tagaytay highlands with Jerry Tiu and Wilcon Builders owner

With Jerry Tiu, ( Chris’s Tiu’s dad) one of the owners of Tagaytay Highlands and Ms. Rosemarie Ong, Wilcon Depot Owner.

Summer is the best time for an outdoor picnic so go ahead and buy your very own Bull barbecue grill exclusively distributed by Wilcon Depot in the Philippines.

 

 

TV5’s LAKBAI REALITY TRAVEL ADVENTURE SHOW: Features Presidential Son Baste Duterte and Friends

LAKBAI BASTE DUTERTE UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL

After my 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. training class in Makati, I immediately went to BGC for TV5’s Lakbai travel show presscon. I got there a little bit early because I was really excited to meet Baste.  Thanks to my teacher/trainor Ma’am Quich who dismissed us a little bit early.  I was able to eat an early dinner, catch up with blogger friends and had enough time to prepare my camera, sd card and battery just in time for the presscon that started at around 7 p.m.

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Photo Credits to the owner

LAKBAI is a witty compressed form of “Lakaw Ta Bai” in Davaoeno dialect or Visayan language which translates to “Lakad tayo, kaibigan” in Tagalog or “Tara Na Bes!” in Tagalog slang.  It is a clever title that also connote the Tagalog word “Lakbay” which means “Travel” so the best translation I could think of is “Let’s travel my friend” in English.

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Photo Credits to the owner

“Wala eh, hindi ko na mapigilan kasi, ‘di ba? Nag-decide na lang ako to try showbiz (I can’t help it, I can’t stop it, isn’t it?  that’s why I just decided to try showbiz),” the 29-year old Sebastian “Baste” Duterte said at TV5’s Lakbai’s media launch held at Aracama Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City on Wednesday night.

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Photo Credits to Baste’s FB Page

Baste also shared that the producer who presented the reality tv format show did not have a hard time luring him in.  “They didn’t convince me. Desisyon ko lang ito. Sayang din naman iyong suweldo. Iyon lang naman iyon (This is my own decision.  I don’t want to pass the chance to earn money.  That’s all there is to it),” Duterte shared.

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Photo from Baste’s instagram.  It shows a glimpse of the young Duterte’s playful nature in the company of his bff S’Boi. Ha ha ha!

“If this doesn’t work out, puwede naman akong umuwi sa Davao (I’ll go back home to Davao),” he added.

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Everyone had a good laugh with the witty answers of the young Duterte.

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His father, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (PRRD) is famous for his witty one-liner similar to the ones Baste said during the press conference.  I guess it is part of the charm of the Duterte’s.

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But as far as acting is concerned, Baste Duterte said he is closing his doors.

“Wala talaga akong talent sa pag-acting. Ito kasi travel show, reality pa. Wala na akong babaguhin. Bayaran lang ako (I don’t have talent for acting.  This is a travel show, what’s more it’s a reality show.  I don’t have to change anything about myself.  I’m just gonna get paid for this),” Baste Duterte said.

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Photo Credit to Sebastian Duterte’s Instagram Account

This is Baste Duterte’s first bid in the local entertainment scene.  It you can still recall, Baste’s only close brushed in show business was through his involvement with sexy star Ellen Adarna.  Whom he had an eight months relationship.

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Photo Credits to the owner

He claims to ba camera shy, so the producer of the show, Jako De Leon ( Joey De Leon’s son) made sure he’ll be comfortable by allowing him to star together with some of his closest friends —his best friend since Kindergarten S’Boi Malicay,  his lawyer who eventually became his drinking buddy and friend Atty. Alexis Lumbatan and his surfing videographer who eventually became his friend Andrei Apostol.

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It also feature viral video sensation, Bogart the Explorer, who also hails from Davao and has an above average “Australian Accent”.

“You’ve seen me being funny in my travel videos. But in this show, these guys are the funny ones. They’re hilarious. You’ll love them,” Bogart the explorer said.

“I’ve done a solo travel show, and I can tell you this is 100 times more fun talaga,” he quips.

LAKBAI BASTE

Baste Duterte and his friends will personally show us the different places in the Philippines that are less travelled. The show’s producer promises everyone that the places they’ve covered for Lakbai were never seen before.  Since it is a reality show among friends expect it to be hilarious, comfortable and easy to relate to. Just like your own barkada trip.  Baste and his squad promises you that you’ll find yourself laughing so hard when you watch their show.

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A special guest will also appear in each episode. For the first episode the only clue they gave me is sexy, female.  So, in order for you to know who that special guest is don’t forget to watch the pilot episode on May 21 after the PBA game over at TV 5.

The show, which will air every Sunday night after the Philippine Basketball Association games, runs for an hour per episode, and will cover two to three places per installment.

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According to TV 5 Head of Programming Mell Yazon-Tolentino the places that was visited by Baste and friends are the city of Mati in Davao Oriental, the city of Dumaguete in Negros Oriental, Siargao and the provinces of Bukidnon and Siquijor.

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https://web.facebook.com/MjMarforiOfficial/videos/645534055571515/

“Lakbai” premieres on May 21, 2017 after the PBA match between Ginebra and San Miguel.  It there’s no overtime I think Lakbai’s premiere episode will be shown at around 8:45 p.m. if there’s an overtime.  So better eat dinner or prepare your snacks and rate Baste on his first ever reality television show.

Lakaw ta bai!

#Lakbai #LakawTaBai #LakbaiTV5 #Baste #BasteDuterte

PASIG RIVER: Zooper Cruise

PASIG RIVER: Zooper Cruise

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Choosing to save a river is more often an act of passion than of careful calculation. You make the choice because the river has touched your life in an intimate and irreversible way, because you are unwilling to accept its loss. — David Bolling

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Do you have a few pesos to spare but don’t have the luxury of time to go to another country? Well, rejoice, you’re in luck because you could experience a wonderful time without overspending, and without cutting down on the fun. You don’t even have to go outside Metro Manila for your sweet escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

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The Philippines is blessed with beautiful destinations, natural and man-made alike. And Pasig River is one of the most beautiful gateway that we should help rehabilitate so the future generations will be able to enjoy it in the years to come, not only by Filipinos but also by the rest of the world.

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I’ve travelled extensively in the different places in the Philippines and in South East Asia and I could say that the Philippines is really beautiful.

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Of course my travels are mostly diy’s and within a budget and not your typical luxurious, expensive getaway!  Why? Because based on my experience you can have a wonderful time in the different places here in the Philippines even when you’re on a budget. Yes, even if you consider yourself poor. It’s all a matter of planning, proper budgeting, and preparation.

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Do you want to experience how it is to travel from Makati to Binondo sans traffic? Well, you can do that! Plus, you don’t need to spend a huge amount to have fun with friends and family this summer.  Not a lot of people know about this hidden treasure that is traversing Pasig River.  All my photos were taken aboard the Zooper Cruise.

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I was not aware that there are stilt houses along Pasig River!  All the views on this blog post were taken when I availed of the Zooper cruise! They’re magnificent!

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Did you know that you can avail of the Zooper cruise happening every first Saturday of the month from Makati to Escolta in Binondo for Under Php2,000 inclusive of two snacks and dinner? Whoah! You might say, yes kabagang! It is under Php2,000! Imagine the money you can save plus you need lesser time to spend on the commute! This transport solution is very affordable.  It remind me of Singapore amphibian bus and Hong Kong ferry boat!

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Our journey began at Alveo Showroom where we had a light snacks then we were then brought by a white coaster to Valenzuela Ferry Station in Makati.

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Look at the Tiger stuffed toy! It is so huggable! The Zooper cruise has a huge LED TV!

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It has comfortable seats and clean comfort rooms.

I think putting an air-conditioned boats in Pasig River is a work of a genius. It helps reduce everyone’s carbon footprint. On average, an average-sized sedan will spew about 575 pounds of carbon monoxide annually, according to an EPA study on emissions. Carpooling could potentially cut that to about half, if more people did it. But, travelling via an air-conditioned boat that can accommodate 115 passengers could actually cut the carbon footprint to almost 1/8!

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I was really excited and Zooper cruise did not fail me! I even saw the front view of Malacanang Palace up close via the Zooper Cruise along Pasig River.

Pasig river is very rich in history! I really love all the trivia shared by the boat’s captain Ed Bondad.

I learned from him that there are eight bridges from Makati to Escolta. And that the distance from the Valenzuela port in Makati to Escolta is 27 kilometers. The Pasig River is a river in the Philippines that connects Laguna de Bay to Manila Bay.

Did you know that?

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Manila’s old name is Amarula.

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In Escolta ferry boat station, they docked the boat and we were given an hour to roam around Escolta in Manila.

STA. CRUZ CHURCH

Our first stop was the Sta. Cruz Church.

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Then we stopped by Polland Hopia Restaurant to buy “Pasalubong” and drink some hot tea and eat black mongo hopia courtesy of Ms. Grace Bondad-Nicolas. Thank you, Ms. Grace.

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We head back to the boat after our merienda. And we then went back to Makati via the Zooper Cruise.  Singer May Rivera sang her famous “Aray” song and comedienne Mahal entertained us with a song and dance number while we traverse the Pasig River from Escolta to Makati.

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Upon arrival at Valenzuela Port,  we boarded a white coaster that brought us to Misono Restaurant where we had our dinner. We enjoyed a bento box dinner consisting of Japanese rice, chicken, breaded pork and vegetables.  I also enjoy a hot calamansi drinks.

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Plus dak galbi korean dish. It was delicious!

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Every time you share rides with someone, like the Zooper cruise there’s less carbon monoxide in the air. When you ride the Zooper cruise, you also get to talk to people and have a wonderful experience and gain knowledge about our not so distant past.

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For those who are not fond of solo travel, you can bring your whole family to Zooper Cruise. I bet they’ll have a great time in this cool ride and breathtaking views.

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You could even book your birthday, anniversary, wedding etc. just send me an e-mail at travelonshoestring@gmail.com

Zooper Cruise is under the Zoomanity Group! Special thanks to Zoomanity CEO, Mr. Robert Yupangco and to the very industrious Ms. Grace Bondad-Nicolas for the great experience.

#ZooperCruise #PasigRiver #travelonshoestring

P.S.

Mr. Robert Yupangco told me that on December 2017, we can hop-on to his newest venture!  An amphibious craft for a sightseeing tour which covers both land and sea! Isn’t that amazing?

ILOILO: Isla De Gigantes

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Did you know that the beautiful island of Iloilo called Isla De Gigantes is more accessible from Roxas City in Capiz than from Estancia in Iloilo?

You can fly from Manila or Cebu to Roxas City in Capiz because travel time to Isla De Gigantes is just an hour drive via a private van to Bancal Port in Carles, Iloilo.  Our day tour was arranged by Las Islas Travel and Tours.

We were ferried by a boat provided by Las Islas to Isla De Gigantes.  Travel time is roughly around one hour and a half.  The water was kind of rough when we went to Isla De Gigantes last November. The best time to travel to Isla De Gigantes is during summer months from March to April.

How to Book Your Tour to Gigantes

You may book your own adventure with Las Island Travel and Tours through these channels. Don’t forget to mention “Cha” when sending your inquiry or reservations:

  • Email: lasislastravelandtours@gmail.com
  • Mobile: (+63) 917 7093856 (Globe) / (+63) 939 5340828 (Smart)
  • Landline: (+63) (036) 5210725
  • Facebook: Las Islas Travel and Tours
  • Instagram: @LasIslasTravelAndTours
  • Twitter: @LasIslasPH
  • Punta Dulog, Pueblo de Panay, Lawaan, Roxas City

 

Ilocos: 10 commandments in Ilocano

10 COMMANDMENTS ILOCANO

I am always fascinated with the different dialects we have here in the Philippines.  We’re wired differently and has different set of values.  But it is nice to know that no matter what is your language or dialects, we have the same set of the 10 commandments.

Have you seen the 10 commandments written in Ilocano?  When in Ilocos, try to memorize the ten commandments in Ilocano!

 

Azalea Residences: A Holiday Haven In Baguio City

Azalea Residences Baguio

Holiday Haven Azalea Residences Baguio is the perfect place to stay after a full day of action-packed team building activities!  I believe big corporations must treat their employees to a huge range of fun and recreational corporate team building activities at Tree Top Adventure and Nature Park and nurture their soul and body at Azalea Residences. 

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Azalea’s homey atmosphere radiates on each of their 99 suites, which by the way has a complete amenities that can only be found in five-star hotels.

Azalea Baguio Facade

Azalea Residences Baguio is somewhat a tourist destination by itself. Why?  Because of the big Azalea Flower Globe Fountain that welcomes each guests. This majestic flower symbolizes abundance. Yes, in Asia, Azalea represents elegance as well as wealth.

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It comes in white, red, yellow, purple and pink. Typically, there are five petals for the azalea.

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However, there can be azaleas with six petals on it that are all joined at the base of the flower.

Azalea bandicot ferrero

According to my friend Tof, for local folks in Baguio. they call the flower globe the”Big Ferrero” because of its big resemblance to the yummy chocolate brand. Don’t you agree?

Azalea facade

Upon entering the hotel, we were welcomed by the staff.  We were then asked to sit down to relax and were given a welcome drink right after.  Cheers!  Azalea, thanks for the free welcome drinks!

As you know, guests ease into vacation bliss as soon as they walk inside a hotel door and after the customary welcome drink.  Unfortunately, we arrived so early in the morning that a lot of guests has not check out yet.   So, there’s no ready room yet for us.  Our luggages were then taken by the bellboy and the hotel supervisor had it stored somewhere safe because the hotel was enjoying a brisk sale and was to its full capacity when we arrived at around 9 o’ clock in the morning.  So, to wisely make use of our time, we ate breakfast first then we went to tree top adventure park afterwards for our team building challenge!

For this trip, I stayed at room 415 together with four(4) other bloggers.  The master’s bedroom with its own bathroom and bath tub were occupied by the husband and wife team of Cheryl and George, then the other two (2) bloggers stayed at the convertible double sofa bed at the suite’s living room, I on the other hand occupied the room with a single bed.  This two (2) bedroom suite typically costs Php12,000 per night.  They have an ongoing promotion right now, where they offer a room for as low as Php1,100 per person plus plus until end of summer I think.  Better check it on their website.

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My room may be small but it offers the privacy that I wanted after a full packed day of team building activities.  I had to go out every now and then to use the bathroom which I shared  with the two gentlemen, Wilmar and Clint.  Not that I am complaining.  It is okay with me because we were able to come up (silently) with a scheduled pattern on who gets to use first the bathroom in the morning so we will be able to join the breakfast together as a team.

The only downside I think, which I hope the management will be able to control are the noises made by passersby and neighboring rooms when they open or closes their respective rooms.  Sometimes, it seems that they were having conversations on the hallway or right in front of my window.  I overheard people talking without intending to.

The staff who prepared my room left the window open inside my room. I had to stand on a chair and pull the window to closed it.  No biggie.  Maybe that’s the standard practice to let the air flowing inside the room?  I don’t know.  It is okay with me.  I just preferred it closed for added security and I thought shutting the window might muffled the noises created by others outside our room.  The LED TV inside my room helped me a lot to divert my attention from the noises to the program shown on television.  So Five (5) stars for the TV!

My little room has a very comfortable bed, two (2) fluffy pillows and comforter so soft I easily drift off into dreamland each and every night.  The two side table balances the bed structure.  I love it that Azalea did not scrimped on the outlets! I had two outlets on each side of my bed!

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And that is so cool!  I also love their ceiling fan!  It keeps the room really cold inside my room. It is amazing that the room temperature inside my room is similar to a room with air conditioner.  Yeah, you bet, one would think that the room has an air conditioner inside the room.  Five stars for that Azalea. I’ll make a review at Trip Advisor for you.  I am a level 6 hotel reviewer. You deserved it.

The closet has two (2) bathrobes, I used one bathrobe and gave the other one to Clint for him to use while we were there.

The customary slipper is also good.  I even went down each morning using your hotel slippers. Ha ha ha!

Each one of us were happy because we were given individual towels and bath set.

Their kitchen has coffee and tea-making facility, plus kitchen appliances like microwave oven and kitchen essentials like plates and utensils, as well as dining table and chairs.

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Buffet Breakfast is free at Azalea’s very own restaurant aptly called “Tradisyon”.

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I love their Chocolate de Azalea!!! Made from imported chocolate blocks served to perfection.  Five stars again!

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On our very first breakfast at Azalea we were fortunate enough to dine at the tent!

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No sleep yet. Picture taken right after we arrived from a four hour trip plus one hour trial and error joy ride from Manila, ha ha ha!

Azasalea dinner day 1

 

Another notable dish that I super liked at Tradisyon is their sinigang and bagnet! Oh they’re so good I temporarily forgot my name. Ha ha ha!

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They also operate a bar lounge aptly called 8 degrees. Simply because Baguio City is eight (8) degrees cooler on any month than any place in the lowlands including Metro Manila.

There’s also welcome fruits and somebody also gave us biscuits. Thank you “somebody” whoever you are.  Thank you Azalea.

I would definitely recommend Azalea Residences for value for money, location, friendliness and cleanliness.  Plus ample free parking for their guests!  I would like to commend the management and staff of this holiday haven!  Keep up the good work guys!

I recommend Azalea Residences Baguio City for the whole family and for corporate gatherings!

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AZALEA RESIDENCES BAGUIO is conveniently located at #7 Leonard Wood Loop, Brgy. M. Roxas, 2600 Baguio, Philippines. Azalea Residences is just a short walk from the Pink Sisters Convent, and within a very short commuting distance from Mines View Park, Good Shepherd, Camp John Hay, Wright Park, Botanical Garden, The Mansion and Burnham Park.

Enjoy your summer vacation!

Smile always!

 

 

 

 

La Trinidad Benguet: Strawberry Ice Cream Marketing 101

Strawberry Ice Cream Forever Marketing 101

Oh, geez!  This particular ice cream vendor caught my attention because of his creativity!

He wrote on a piece of carton the following words:

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THE FIRST AND THE ORIGINAL!

SPECIAL STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM

20 – Pang Facebook

25 – Pang Hashtag

30 – Pang Instagram

40 – Pang Snap Chat

50 – Pang Forever

Pang patibay ng relasyon! ( It will make your relationship stronger!)

Kain na! ( Eat now!)

Ha ha ha! I don’t know if his strategy were effective though because there’s a lot of ice cream vendors in the area.

I bought mine from an ice cream vendor who gave me ten peso discount, I got the pang forever ice cream for only Php40.

Enjoy!