JAPAN: Sapporo City

Are you planning to visit Japan to chase the snow wonderland in Japan? SATISFY YOUR WANDERLUST IN SAPPORO CITY!
 Sapporo City snow 11
Sapporo (札幌, which means “important river flowing through a plain” in Ainu language) is the capital of Hokkaido and Japan’s fifth largest city. Sapporo is also one of the nation’s youngest major cities.
Japan welcomed 20 million tourists, mostly from China and Taiwan in 2015. Thirteen million of them visited Sapporo City in the north. Sapporo City is unfamiliar to us Filipinos because most of us prefers to travel to Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto.
 
But I know in no time, the adventure-loving Filipinos will fall in love with the dynamic capital of Hokkaido. Sapporo is ready to satisfy our wanderlust, and it has fantastic offerings that Filipino families and young travellers can’t resist.
A can’t-miss attraction is the Sapporo Snow Festival in February, which is one of Japan’s biggest events with millions of visitors each year. This winter spectacle displays snow structures and ice sculptures from local and international participants. At night, they are colorfully illuminated to the delight of night-time viewers.
 
Snow Activities
 
With its reputation as a world-class ski-resort destination, having hosted the Winter Olympics in 1972, Sapporo is an ideal place for winter activities such as skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. It also boasts of outdoor hot springs where you can soak your body while surrounded by Sapporo’s awesome snow scenery.
 
Nature Worship
 
On warmer months, the city is also postcard-pretty. The cherry blossoms are as stunning as those you can see in the southern parts of Japan. The mountain trails beckon you for a climb. And even if you just walk around, you will surely behold the natural wonders of Sapporo.
 
Foodie Heaven
 
Sapporo is famously called the “City of Food,” because it is a paradise of ingredients from its dry field, rice and dairy farming and fishing industries. It is known for its Ramen noodles, Japanese curry, sweets, “Genghis Khan” mutton and seasonal sushi. All these culinary dishes can be paired with sake or fresh flavor of Classic, a variety only found in Hokkaido, or other beers available only at the Sapporo Beer Garden.
 
Shopping Paradise
 
Sapporo is in step with whatever trend is sweeping Tokyo’s fashion set and the habitues of Harajuku. The shopaholic will find her retail paradise in Tanukikoji, a shopping arcade that has been in operation since the frontier period. Tanukikoji is an approximately 1km-long arcade with around 200 shops that runs east to west in downtown Sapporo. It’s also a great place to buy Hokkaido souvenirs.
 
Clean City
 
Just like Kyoto, Sapporo is known for its functional grid of streets and avenues, making it more convenient for visitors, whether families or solo travellers, to move around and explore the city and its environs. The residents are courteous, well-educated and disciplined. Thus, Sapporo prides itself in its clean surroundings and sustainable way of living.
 
Convenient Stay
 
Sapporo is as cosmopolitan as any first-class city. Five-star hotels, apartment hotels and affordable inns are all over the city at rates that whole families or solo travellers will enjoy. You can stay at a place that is nearest to the tourist spots you wish to visit. Transportation and traffic is smooth that there won’t be a problem getting to your desired location.
 
So set your sights on Sapporo – even if you are a frequent traveller or a first-time visitor to this wonderful city.  It will always charm you with its irresistible offerings and countless attractions. For millennials and the hardworking Filipinos, Sapporo City is, definitely, the destination in 2017.
 
Sapporo Snow Festival
 Sapporo City snow.png
The 30-meter “Play Mountain” at the Moeremuma Park located at the outskirts of Sapporo is the perfect location for sledding where lots of kids and their parents flock to have fun in the snow.
Sapporo City snow 2.png
The snow sculpture of the HBC France Square at the Sapporo Snow Festival stands 49.8 meters high and 44.8 meters wide and is lit up every night in the color of France’s flag.

Sapporo City snow 4

Brrrrr!
Sapporo City snow 1
The first dome in the world equipped with a system for switching between turf for baseball and football – the Sapporo Dome is the northern most all-weather dome in Japan.
Sapporo City snow 3
The Historical Village of Hokkaido, or Kaitaku no Mura, is a 54-hectare outdoor museum located at the Nopporo Forest Park in suburban Sapporo. The museum is organized into 4 sections: a town, a fishing village, a farm village, and a mountain village. Each section creates an atmosphere that effectively gives you an idea of what life was like in different parts of Hokkaido during the olden days.

TAGAYTAY: Paradizoo Honey Bee Farming

Hello, peeps!

paradizoo bee farmer

Kabagang, sawang sawa ka na ba sa init ng kamaynilaan? O sa sandamakmak na bagay na inaasikaso mo sa work?  Feeling sad, depressed or just feeling under the weather? Do you want to have a little get away from the hustle and bustle of Metro Manila?

Paradizoo Signage 55

Then, I suggest you head over to Paradizoo in Tagaytay to cool off! It is just 1 h 50 min (69.3 km)away  via S Luzon Expy/Pan-Philippine Hwy/R-3.  

Paradizoo first impression

Our group left Makati early so we can be in Paradizoo, Tagaytay in time for the start of the final leg of Paradizoo’s “Power of Three”.  It is a yearly event of Zoomanity Group (Yupangco Group of Companies) at Mendez, Cavite wherein they showcase an array of different kinds of flowers, different breed of farm animals & different kinds of vegetables plus different seminars from industry leaders in the field of flower, plants and animal industry!

Paradizoo Cafe

Upon arrival in Tagaytay,  we were asked to proceed to Paradizoo Cafe, where we were served hot soup compose of healthy vegetables fresh from Paradizoo’s garden!

paradizoo cafe 5

Being a first timer, I don’t know what to expect.  But I like the ambiance of the cafe!

Paradizoo Cafe inside view

My co-bloggers and I had a fun time feeding “Sexy” the resident Labrador of Paradizoo.

Paradizoo Sexy

After eating, we were asked to go to the Animal Farm section of the theme park to have a direct interaction with the animals and witness the very first ever animal race in Paradizoo involving, ducks, roasters, pigs, rabbits etc.

Paradizoo Race.JPG

After the race,  we had a photo session with the resident staff who were dressed as flowers, animals and trees.  It was fun. I do appreciate them, they had to bathe themselves in latex color paints in order to give happiness to everyone. Thanks you guys!

Paradizoo Staff Look Up 55

We were then asked to proceed to Orchids Center where we attended the seminar on Honey Bee Keeping / Farming!  It was so cool!  Even before the seminar ended,  I am really convinced with the idea.  I now want to be a honey bee keeper!

Paradizoo Bee Farm

The speaker,  has a 38-year experience up on his sleeve here and abroad.  You can feel his passion with the way he talk and explains everything about honey and honey bees.

Paradizoo SPeaker.JPG

He smashed the myths that common people like you and me had on honey.

Did you know that?

Real honey flows flawlessly! Smooth flowing honey is the real deal. Sugar coated or arnibal-laced honey can shoot up your blood sugar so be careful where you buy your honey! He also said that green honey is not true. Real honey is brownish to light brown not green!

Paradizoo FLOW HIVE 5.JPG

Did you know that forever exist in real Honey? Wooot! Yes! Real honey does not expire! Not in a million years!

Paradizoo free flowing honey

The speaker also introduced a hi-tech beehive that can produce honey through a simple turn of a key.  The so-called new technology is called Flow Hive!  It is a revolutionary beehive invention, where you can harvest warm, fresh honey without opening your beehive and has a minimal disturbance to the bees. Less labour, more love!  All you have to do is turn the key and watch as pure, fresh honey flows right out of the hive and into your jar. No mess, no fuss, no heavy lifting. It comes with a hefty price though. So, for starters you can try the traditional beehive for as low as Php19,500. ( Does not include consultation fee).

paradizoo bee farmer

I harvested honey at Paradizoo!  I had to brush up my hair because the bees hate hair. Lol! It is a good thing that I was wearing a white and black Mickey Shirt.  I learned from the bee keeper that they hate dark clothes too! Better take note of that future bee farmers!

Honey bees are needed to balance the eco-system.   The flora and fauna of Paradizoo is perfect for bee keeping! I wonder if they will allow me to be a bee farmer there! Ha ha ha!

Paradizoo CS selfie with the ponies

Yes, kapuso! I would always cherish that one whole day of fun and adventure in nearby Metro Tagaytay! I am very grateful to have been invited to Paradizoo by Ms. Grace Nicolas! I do appreciate it po. Thanks much!   I really  needed a little break! Thanks Zoomanity group! Mabuhay po kayo! More power!

Watch out for the seminar on bee keeping in Paradizoo, to be announced real soon!

Ikaw, gusto mo bang makibahagi sa pag balanse ng eco-system at maging bee keeper? Tara na sa Paradizoo!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TAGAYTAY: Million Lights Adventure at Residence Inn

 

Residence inn million lights Tagaytay City

The place is so romantic!  It is ideal for couples who would love to walk hand and hand while traversing the tunnel in a cold Tagaytay setting.

Wondering where to propose? The Residence Inn in Tagaytay is a great place to do a marriage proposal!

Residence inn million lights ako po ini

Selfie mode at the million led lit tunnel.

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It is so cold there at night. I bet, you would love Tagaytay even more once you experienced the Residence Inn brand of hospitality.

Residence Inn MILLION Lights 55

The two consecutive photos above were taken by Flordeliz. Thank you Flor <3!

Residence inn million lights show

The up and down tunnel would surely give you a good exercise!

Residence inn million lights 1

A wedding would also be cool there!

Residence inn million lights 6

Best of all, the million lights would surely give your face a glow.

Residence Inn Lights

There’s more! You would also love the magic show and animal show at Residence Inn .  We also had a close interaction with the tiger cub, lion,  monkey, turtles and fishes. We even heard the tiger growl and saw the camel kissed the back of Gerald’s head, lol! His wife Rhia captured that magical moment in film.

Residence Inn Magic Show Cast

What do you say when you committed a mistake?

Residence Inn Zoori

Sirit na?

Zoori.

Ha ha ha!

residence inn

Residence Inn Entrance Fees are very affordable and super sulit!

Adult – 249.00 Php Kid 3 ft. to 4 ft. – 199.00 Php Kid below 3 ft. – Free.

TAGAYTAY: Cable Car Adventure

It was a super fun ride! All five of us fit inside one cable car.

Residence inn cable car ride

The cable car ride brings back memories of my Great Wall Adventure in Beijing, China.

Residence Inn is a 6 in 1 destination.

Why?

One- It is a zoo, where you could have a close encounter with the animals.

Two- You can ride the cable car and the zip line.  You could opt to go solo or with family and friends.

Three- The food they served whether it is puto bongbong and pancit for merienda (snacks) or adobo and rice for dinner, the only words that will come out in your mouth is “delicious”.

Four – Shop.  Yes, you can shop at the different stalls they have inside Residence inn

Five- Animal show and Magic show.

Six- It is a hotel where you could spend the night in comfort and style.

I would love to come back again at the Residence Inn in Tagaytay! See you there!

 

 

Hello world! Mabuhay!

I’m back! Welcome to my blog!  After a long hiatus,   my blog is finally back in the worldwide web! Yehey!

DO MORE OF WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY

It is not categorized yet but at least you could view it now either from your pc, netbook, laptop, tablet or from your mobile devices.

In the past few months,  I  traveled  to Dapitan City in Zamboanga del Norte, where I stayed for four days and three nights.  You might be wondering why Dapitan City?  It is because I wanted to visit Dakak and lolo Jose Rizal’s museum for the longest time.  Our national hero had live a full life in that island a long time ago. He turned the negative into positive. Mind you! You’ll be amazed with the oracle he made more than 100 years ago! I got a chance to try it myself inside Lolo Jose’s Museum in Dapitan City.

Try to visit Zamboanga del Norte in Mindanao.  Meet locals and experience for yourself the Filipino hospitality at its best!

I also visited Dipolog, Capiz , Isla de Higantes and Boracay!

Enjoy the ride of life! Let’s rock n’ roll together!

Remember to love yourself so you could also love others! Be more forgiving and kind and yes along the way don’t forget to make your mama and papa proud!

For any questions you could leave a comment below <3

 

 

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE MISS UNIVERSE CANDIDATE ONLINE

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE MISS UNIVERSE CANDIDATE ONLINE


Vote for Maxine Medina of the Philippines! Support our own candidate from the Philippines. Ang karangalan niya karangalan mo rin!

Miss Universe fan pre-voting is now open! If you’re 14 or older, you’re invited to vote for one of the contestants in the Miss Universe competition to help her make it into the Top 12.

The Voting Period for the Fan Pre-Vote will begin at 10:30AM ET on Monday January 23, 2017 and end at 8:00AM ET on Saturday, January 28, 2017. Votes received outside of the Voting Period will not be counted.

There are 4 WAYS to vote. Here’s how…

1) Miss U App

Download the Miss U App from the iTunes or Google Play stores, log in using Facebook, Twitter or email authentication, and follow the instructions to vote. There is a limit of ten (10) votes per account per day via this method during the Voting Period. You must click on the “Cast Your Vote” button for your votes to be counted.

2) Vote.MissUniverse.com 

Visit vote.missuniverse.com, login using Facebook, Twitter or email authentication, and follow the instructions to vote. There is a limit of ten (10) votes per account per day via this method during the Voting Period. You must click on the “Cast Your Vote” button for your votes to be counted.

3) Twitter

Submit a tweet or a retweet with #MissUniverse and a contestant specific hashtag announced on the Website. You must have a public Twitter account for your tweets and retweets to be counted.

4) Vodi App

Download the Vodi App from the iTunes or Google Play stores, log in using Facebook, Twitter or email authentication and follow the instructions to vote. There is a limit of ten (10) votes per account per day via this method during the Voting Period.

Yes, it’s that easy! Here are few other important things to remember…

Only votes that comply with the instructions and the Voting Rules and Procedures will be counted. You shall not use any third party services to vote on your behalf. The contestant with the highest number of votes as determined by Administrators during the Voting Period will receive a guaranteed spot in the Top 12. The Administrators reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to reject votes cast by any individual who tampers with the voting process or acts in a disruptive or unsportsmanlike manner.

Tweets must NOT contain subject matter which is, in the sole discretion of Administrators, sexually explicit, obscene, pornographic, violent, discriminatory, illegal, offensive, threatening, profane or harassing. Tweets must NOT include any 3rd party trademarks, logos or slogans or any derogatory references to Administrators, FOX, Miss Universe sponsors or contestants.

The following votes will not be counted, if determined by Administrators in their sole discretion: (a) tweets from accounts less than one (1) day old; (b) tweets from accounts with less than ten (10) followers; (c) tweets from suspected spammers; (d) tweets from location based services; and (e) tweets from automated feed tools.

Roxas President’s Inn: A Comfortable And Affordable Home Away From Home

Roxas President’s Inn: A Comfortable And Affordable Home Away From Home


Roxas President’s Inn is a quaint boutique hotel in the heart of Roxas City in the province of Capiz.  Ideally located at the very street where you could take a heritage walking tour of the history rich city.  It has a touch of local character, offering a unique experience to travellers that wish to live and enjoy the Capiznon way of life.

For me, the property’s strategic location in the heart of the history rich city is very ideal for holiday-maker, from families to couples seeking a romantic get away,  as well as for solo travellers planning to discover the province of Capiz and its neighboring province iloilo. Where its rising star attraction “Isla de Gigantes” in Carles, Iloilo is just three (3) hours away from Roxas City.  Making the city an ideal and strategic jump off point.

Visitors who wants to experience the unique Capiznon laid back provincial life have the opportunity to do so without giving up on the amenities that are required by the modern tourist.  

 

Roxas President’s Inn, in fact present an interesting contrast between the traditional facade and setting to its innovatively designed interiors. Rooms are individually designed with minimalist furniture and antique touches, yet they retain a hip and contemporary look. The hotel offers 5 main room types, mainly:

  • Deluxe Single 
  • Deluxe Matrimonial
  • Deluxe Twin 
  • Deluxe Full
  • Presidential Suites
Deluxe Single Php1,100 per night +VAT+service charge with free breakfast

Good for one person




Deluxe Matrimonial Php1,700 per night + VAT+service charge with free breakfast


Good for two (2) persons
Deluxe Matrimonial Php1,700 + VAT+service charge with free breakfast

Good for two (2) persons

In each room type, one can also find individual and elegant designs, with a number of original features such as its Capiz laden headboard makes the hotels relatively unique.

Deluxe Twin Php1,800+ VAT+service charge with free breakfast

Good for two (2) persons

Presidential Suite Php2,050+ VAT+service charge with free breakfast

Good for three (3) persons
Extra person charge Php. 200.00

Extra Bed Php. 300.00

Masseuse service Php. 500.00

Laundry rates variable

*Above rates are subject to change without prior notice

This is the LCD TV and lazy boy at the deluxe matrimonial room.

The “baul” and lamp on the side of the second floor.
At the inn’s lobby one can appreciate in its full glory its century old chandeliers, antique pieces as well as rare finds artifacts dating more than a thousand years old.  Heirloom mirrors can be found at its conference room. 


Antique cabinets adorned the sides of the second floor.   A feeling of awe enveloped my whole body as if embracing my whole being. I fell in love with my room in an instant. It is like a home away from home. 


The hotel maybe old in terms of years, at 18, it still proudly stands strong amidst Yolanda. If you still don’t know, that super typhoon had also ravaged and badly damaged the whole province of Capiz. It is a good thing that the building were made from strong materials with strong foundation and flooring. It took the owner 10 long years to complete the hotel. Well, it paid off. The hotel stood the test of times. Knowing that fact definitely made me feel more secure and safe in this homey hotel.

TRIVIA

Did you know that at the height of Yolanda, Roxas President’s Inn, whether you believe it or not, had only suffered a gutter damaged, no flood, its roof remained intact. They had a generator set and a wifi that made it possible for news anchors, writers, reporters to deliver the news and does their jobs well in real time. Both local and international news organization could attest to that fact.

We requested for an early check-in, it was approved, we request for a late check-out, it was approved also. Did you know that even on an off season time, some hotel would not have approved that request? 

The hotel manager were very helpful in giving advice as on what to do in Roxas City and the whole province of Capiz in general.  She even endorsed me to the head of tourism and culture of the province Mr. Al, thank you everyone!

Breakfast were good, they served me Iloilo longganisa and eggs with a hot chocolate made from cacao. Oh, the hot chocolate of Roxas President’s Inn were highly recommended to me by one of my best college friends who now resides in Pan-ay.

Btw, they told me that they can customized your meals whether you want fresh fruits and juices, fried eggs, sliced salmons and everything you would want for your meals.

*With a corresponding charge

I stayed at their Ramos Suite together with my ate Dindin and it was everything I hoped it would be. It is strategically located in the center of the city and everything is within walking distance or is just 5 to 10 minutes away by trike. The rooms were spotlessly clean. I can say that it was one of the best hotel rooms I’ve ever stayed in. It is just like a home away from home. It has a very homey ambiance. The included breakfast was absolutely delicious. My favorite is the dangit and flower fish plus hot coffee. The prices of the items at their mini bar inside the room were actually cheaper than buying from a sari-sari store. 

The overall decor and feel of the hotel was great and it served as an excellent base to explore Capiz and its adjoining province Iloilo all year round.

Air Conditioning

Most 5-star hotel rooms generally offers a good air conditioning units to help keep guests comfortable for the duration of their stay. The inn may not have that star grade but I tell you, the air conditioning unit of this Inn has a cooling capabilities that helped me sleep like a baby. It created and maintained the right temperature within the room. So that is super cool and I totally love it.

Fast, Secure and Free Wi-Fi

Despite the fact that generally, people were expected to narrate or share their adventure with their family and friends. Many hotels in different parts of the Philippines and Southeast Asia have yet to offer free internet to its guests. Well, I am so glad that guests staying at Roxas President’s Inn hotel can expect to have fast, secure and FREE Wi-Fi in every area of their hotel, from the restaurant, second floor and third floor as well as in their conference room. Nowadays, wifi is considered a necessity. Especially when it comes to businessmen who need to check on their businesses and also to those who wish to connect with their family and friends back at home. So this makes Roxas President’s Inn stands out from others because guests don’t have to worry about their Wi-Fi bill every time they use it. Hey, that happened to me before in a different hotel and that sucks big time! NOTE: You will never experience that with Roxas Presidents inn because they provide it for you FREE of charge.

Large Size Bed

Roxas President’s Inn has a large comfortable beds. According to the amiable manager they have large king, Queen, double and single size beds to ensure a comfortable stay and sleep for their guests. These beds offer guests more room to move while sleeping and easily allow them to relax and unwind from a hard day’s work or adventure due to the fluffiness of their pillows and mattresses.

TV 
The room that I occupied has a 50-inches flat screen, high definition TV complete with various cable channels. The TV quality was exceptional. It gives me a clear pristine images and colours.

Room Service
While it’s not a 5-star hotel, its room service is exceptional. It is comparable to my stay at the presidential suite of a 5-star hotel in Manila! Boy, the staff at Roxas President’s Inn are exceptionally fast and reliable. Just dial the receptionist’s number and your request will be fulfilled in a jiffy. I believe that hotels should come with this type of room service, no matter what grade they have. Truth to the fact, I was really amazed that they cleaned my room every day during my stay even if I did not request for it! The Roxas President’s Inn’s room service helps to make the hotel stand out from others. As you know, in the hospitality business “Service with a smile” made Roxas President’s Inn staff a stand out.

Safety Deposit Box

Guests who have money and expensive things with them while they’re traveling can ask the hotel manager to safekeep their valuables during the duration of their stay. This will give guests peace of mind knowing their items are safe. I, on the other hand just left everything in my room and guess what? Their personnel are trustworthy, I never lost a single item during my stay! I later learned that almost all the staff were still the same original staff they had 18 years ago. The latest staff hored were already on its fifth year with the company. That’s a tough act to follow. Congratulations to the owners and manager of the hotel. I should learned a thing or two from you guys on how to keep employees stick for the long haul.

Hot and cold showers

This accommodation provides both hot and cold shower.

Towels


Roxas President’s Inn rooms come with their own soft white clean towels, which comes in a set of three. Towels were hung up at the bathroom ready for guests to find when staying in the hotel room.

I was pleasantly surprised and delighted when I saw bananas and bottled water on my table each time I arrived from my tours. Oh, I heart the staff who does that! You made me feel so at home whoever you are.  Thank you.

Conclusion
Roxas President’s Inn rooms are designed to give guests a luxurious experience when staying in their hotel. It does not only reach out to its guest but also bends backwards and does an extra mile for the comfort and satisfaction of each and everyone of their guests.

Oh, their rates were truly very cheap compared to the luxurious amenities and comfortable stay. You bet! I would definitely recommend this hotel to each and everyone I know including you.  Roxas President’s Inn is a real home away from home hotel in every sense of the word.

Room Tip: Ask for Ramos suite, Noynoy Suite or Duterte Suite

For reservation or for more information regarding the current rates, please contact:

Roxas President’s Inn
Address: Rizal Corner Lopez Jaena Streets, Roxas City, Capiz Philippines
Toll Free:1-800-843-4343 loc.3349
Tel: (036) 6210-208
Fax: (036) 6211-040
Email: contact@roxaspresidentsinn.com


Interested to share your own Roxas City, Capiz story then shoot me an email at chasy8@gmail.com or comment below.

ILOCOS SUR: Fast Facts

ILOCOS SUR: Fast Facts



Did you know that? 

Vigan City was recently adjudge as one of the New 7 Wonders City and UNESCO World Heritage city? Cool isn’t it? 

Vigan City has a special place in my heart because of its amazingly restored old churches, museums and houses. It reminds me of the old town in the capital city of Penang in Malaysia called Georgetown. 

Famous landmarks of Vigan

Calle Crisologo

You could not deny the fact that Vigan City is world famous. Especially its world renowned street in the heart of VIgan — Calle Crisologo. The whole stretch of Calle Crisologo has antique architecture and historical houses, its road is filled with old cobblestone. From time to time horse-drawn carriage passes by and offer “Kalesa Tours“.  Walked back in time and experience a wonderful time as you do your selfie and snapshots. You could even go live on Facebook and let your family and friends watch you in real time as you do your tour of this famous landmark. Go visit Vigan and be transported to a place where the old world meets the new.

Baluarte

The city is also famous for Baluarte, owned by Chavit Singson, a rich politician up North. His one-of-a-kind zoo is open to the public for free. For me, it is the happiest place up North. Animals that resides there includes a bunch of ponies, ostrich, deer, tigers, python, parrots, alpacas, giraffe, ducks, turkeys, horses. Aside from its butterfly garden, Baluarte also has albino anaconda, Palawan bearcat, raptors and reptiles. All of the animals in Baluarte are exceptionally well taken care of. And you can have your picture taken with the animals up close and personal with zero charge. Yes, they don’t charge anything if you visit and go sightseeing, even if you ride the small kalesa ( carriage ) which is being pulled by the ponies.

Pinsal Falls


The largest falls in Ilocos Sur.

PINSAL FALLS: Ilocos Sur Off The Beaten Path Destination

PINSAL FALLS: Ilocos Sur Off The Beaten Path Destination



The province of Ilocos is not only world famous for its heritage houses and cobblestoned road but also because of its people, food and falls!

Way back in 2008,  I had a chance to visit Ilocos with my classmate.  I had a kalesa tour in Vigan and was brought to different parts of Ilocos Sur by my classmate’s family who happened to be based in Sto. Domingo, Ilocos Sur.


Fast forward to 2016, I finally met in person travel blogger par excellence Edmar Guquib. He served as our guide on our last day in Vigan.  This time around, he guided us to the off the beaten path destination of Ilocos, the Pinsal Falls!  

Pinsal Falls is so beautiful! We were smitten by its beauty!  It is conveniently located in the town of Santa Maria in the province of Ilocos Sur.  Which is a short bus and tricycle away from our hotel.  With a height of approximately 85 feet, it is known for being the largest waterfalls in Ilocos.

The majestic landscape somewhat gives me a sense of calm.  It is only a few minutes walk from where our hired trikes parked.  I really thought it would be very difficult for a person with disability like me.   I am a ruptured brain aneurysm survivor and my sense of balance is really off.  But it was worth the journey.  When we reached the falls and upon seeing the view up close and personal,  I have to admit that these kind of beauty is what I really missed from my 5-year hiatus.  The view from the nipa hut where we sat was really breathtaking! 

Bring food with you and don’t go there without a local guide.  If ever you need a guide,  I highly recommend Edmar Guquib.  He’s not only knowledgeable about Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte and Abra, he is also very passionate about the place of his birth.

Get discounts on various tours with Edmar by telling him that Cha Sy recommended you.
God bless us all and enjoy your trip.
Love,
Cha
Please Follow me on twitter and instagram: yummytales

VIGAN ILOCOS SUR: Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel

VIGAN ILOCOS SUR: Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel


A beautiful illumination of Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel ( MVFG Hotel) facade greeted me when I alighted along Bantay, Ilocos Sur from a (twelve) 12-hour bus ride from Manila.    

As I step inside the modern hotel main door I was welcomed with a smile by the hotel guest relations officer (GRO) in the front receptionist desk even though it was just 5 o’clock in the morning. It was nice to be welcomed with so much warmth. No wonder the Ilocanos are famous for being hospitable all over the world. A good first impression indeed!

Just across the hotel reception desk is a comfortable sofa, an unpainted wood carving, plants and a wall made of small square mirrors, tiled out to look like a window to give the optical illusion of what you wish was there, instead of what really is a mirror. It was indeed a very good way to make the area look wider. It has created a larger more open-feeling space, that also gives depth to the space without weighing things down.  


Did you know that?

Mirrors are useful when space is short, they can also bring a wow factor to a well-proportioned room, lending a sense of drama while maximizing the feeling of size. 
I learned these information from my architect neighbour / friend Joyce.  She further said that a space combined with a soaring ceiling will instantly doubled by adding a wall of framed mirrors and mirrored doors. The end result will be a lovely sense of symmetry, and you can further make it twice as fabulous by adding a showstopper chandelier and everything in that space will be awesome! 

Geez, those throw pillows are so dainty! It features a woman in a Filipiniana attire.

To tell you the truth, I was not expecting much about the hotel when I decided to go and visit Vigan the second time around. I thought almost all hotels in Vigan are old or if they look new they were just remodeled from old houses and were then converted into hotels. But my jaw literally dropped when I first saw this European-style hotel in its glorious glory. It was love at first sight. I can still vividly recall how wide-eyed I was when I stepped out of the bus and saw the hotel’s beautiful illumination against the dark backdrop of the early morning twilight. That awesome feeling was immediately reinforced when I saw the wooden carvings beautifully hand-carved standing tall at the reception area and were present in every door of the hotel.

Just adjacent the main hotel building is the building that houses the Spa and Jacuzzi room of Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel. Again, the use of mirrors provided a beautiful illumination of its surroundings and bounces the light around and brighten the space. Note: Did you noticed the beautiful cobblestone flooring?  It looks just like the flooring in Calle Crisologo!

This particular photo was taken and owned by Kev Hernandez. Thank you Kev!   

As you traverse the hallway going to the hotel’s restaurant or to the hotel’s vip room located at the second floor,  you’ll pass through this wonderful view.

The MVFG Hotel’s Fountain

As you climb the stairs,  you can’t help but notice the beautiful wood carvings of the hotel’s initials conveniently stashed at the vertical metal stair handrails.

Beautifully carved ceiling of the Fiesta Garden Hotel.

Feel that European vibe when you eat breakfast at the hotel’s patio.  That “European feel” is the primary reason why many guests preferred to eat and hold their meetings there.

The hand-carved door of the hotel’s presidential suite. 

Each room is elegantly designed to give a festive vibe for a most relaxing stay.  I can say that I discover comfort in all of the rooms with uniquely accented “carved fiesta theme” doors. 

I was bowled over by the festive artwork on each of the wooden door of the 53-Rooms Hotel. I bet you’ll also appreciate each of the masterfully carved festive door carvings that they had made all the way from Paete, Laguna. Whoah! What a dedication to Filipino art and culture!

Picture this out on your mind, each room door showcases different Filipino culture and life in general during festivals better known as “fiesta”.
The door art depicts Filipino games, dance that can be played with friends, relatives, neighbours such as “Palo Sebo” Akyat Kawayan” (A Philippine game of speed, wit, strategy, coordination, endurance and physical power using kawayan (bamboo pole),  Luksong-tinik, Tinikling dance, “sabong”( cockfight ), “Tuba drinking spree”,”harana”. 
It also depicts the deep relationship/ bonding between Filipino family members as they live their day to day family life.  It also features Filipinos love affair with horse carriage.  Family bonding, buying “lobo” ( balloons) for their kids. Filipinos genuinely love fiestas, balloons, grilling lechon, farm life, 
This photo was taken at the dining table of the presidential suite.

The Presidential suite bedroom. My bed. Joke. Hi hi hi! I wish #WishKoLang

DeLuxe room.

Our breakfast of rice and scrambled eggs on our first and second day at the Fiesta Garden Hotel.

The scrambled eggs at MVFG Hotel is sweet and tasty.  
Yummy rice.

Dinner for (7) seven people.
Magnificent seven.
Photo taken at the MVFG Hotel’s restaurant.
 The swimming pool of MVFG Hotel.
Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel’s Swimming Pool.  

My fellow blogger, Vigan’s number one travel blogger Edmar and I had a great time when we went night swimming in this beautiful swimming pool. It was very convenient because you could take a shower anytime of the day or night because hot water is readily available in every room.

MVFG Hotel’s pathway to the restaurant.

The best place to stay


When in Vigan, Fiesta Garden Hotel is my hotel of choice because it is very accessible to everything. In just 5 minutes you’ll be at the bus terminal going to Manila. I rode one of the buses bound for Laoag in Pasay city which passes by the hotel’s entrance. I paid Php680 for an ordinary aircon bus. I alighted at the very door of the hotel! Woooottt! Easy peasy! 
For me, MVFG hotel is a breath of fresh air from the usual old houses transformed into a hotel in Vigan. It is conveniently located along the national highway in Guimod, Bantay, Metro Vigan, Ilocos Sur. It’s around 10 minutes drive away from the various tourist spots in Vigan.
My fellow blogger friends and I had a great time exploring Ilocos with the modern Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel as our home-based for 4 days and 4 nights! We learned from the hotel staff that Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel started as a restaurant and transformed itself into a spa hotel. 
Technically, the location of the hotel is already in Bantay, Ilocos Sur, but is part of what is called Metro Vigan. The rooms are huge and allows you to move freely. I love the fact that the air-conditioning unit were individually controlled and not centralized that way we can easily adjust the temperature in our room. It also has a mini refrigerator, Safety deposit box, hot and cold shower, Coffee-making facility, shampoo, conditioner, bath soap,  flat screen TV and cable, plus a wifi internet access among other amenities. There is also a big swimming pool with slides which we tried on our second night at the hotel. The hotel is located just along the highway so it is very accessible. The whole hotel is actually adorned with the colorful wood-carved murals that can be seen on the hotel lobby, restaurant and on each door of the hotel.
Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel is Rated as a 3-star hotel only because it lacks one executive suite thus if the construction is finished they could be rated as a 4-star hotel real  soon.  It features an impressive bathroom with an option of hot or cold rain shower and flexible shower. It has a high tech toilet bowl, it is like staying in a four star hotel in Metro Manila. I’ll definitely go back in this hotel with my family next time around.

The hotel is charming, it actually captured my heart. Especially during night time when all of its lights are open. 

I also appreciate the fact that they provide newspaper every morning for their hotel guests.

It also provide its guests with coffee, water, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, lotion, slippers and the very important deposit box.
Room Tip: choose rooms near the pool or near the lobby

Located in Vigan, Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel is a perfect starting point from which to explore Ilocos Sur. The hotel offers guests a range of services and amenities designed to provide comfort and convenience such as:
  • Free Wi-Fi in all rooms 
  • Cable TV 
  • Mini refrigerator 
  • 24-hour security 
  • daily housekeeping 
  • printer 
  • 24-hour front desk are on the list of things guests can enjoy. Some of the well-appointed guestrooms feature television LCD/plasma screen, internet access – wireless (complimentary), non smoking rooms, air conditioning, desk. The hotel’s peaceful atmosphere extends to its recreational facilities which include dart board, outdoor pool, spa, massage, garden. No matter what your reasons are for visiting Ilocos Sur, Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel will make you feel instantly at home.

Be greeted with a smile and warm hospitality of the North as you celebrate your special occasions, events and gatherings in the FG Pavilion. Take pleasure in the festivity of Ilocano dishes at the Garden Fiesta Restaurant where delectable fiesta-inspired dishes are served.
Giving a new-look to Metro Vigan is the The Lounge ( VIP Room) where guests can relax and enjoy good music, assortment of drinks, house-blended cocktails and pica-pica.
The hotel was founded two (2) years ago by a group of friends. They’re actually experts in the field of medicine.  Yes, they’re all doctors by profession and businessmen on the side. 
Relax, stretch your arms and visit the province of Ilocos Sur and experience for yourself the Fiesta Garden Hotel Resort and Spa where each room is tastefully designed, giving it an attractively festive air for a most comforting stay. Find solace in all of their rooms with distinctively accentuated “carved fiesta themed” doors and equipped with air-conditioning, and an en suite bathroom in each.  Taste the delightful Ilocano dishes at the Garden Fiesta Restaurant where sumptuous fiesta-inspired food is served.  Unwind and swim to your heart’s desire in their luxurious pool as you enjoy everything else that the hotel has to offer.

Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel… a Place Like no Other where relaxation and festivity combine!  

Rating: 4 stars 

Travel pa more! 

Love your own!
Promote the Philippines!  The foreigners I’ve met praises the Philippines with so much passion and love!  They always say that we Filipinos are so lucky because we have a very beautiful country! So, what are you waiting? Travel the Philippines! Support local tourism!

Note: I paid for my own transportation going to and from Vigan but my hotel accommodation together with other bloggers were sponsored by MVFG Hotel.

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Cha

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