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BAUAN BATANGAS | As I was looking for diving resorts in Batangas to spend my weekend, I found the BUS STOP DIVE RESORT in Bauan Batangas and that is. With so many affordable beach resorts in Batangas, you will find a lot here in the Binukbok Bauan Area where you can find so many different activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, freediving and just simply to relax.

Scuba Diving at the Bus Stop Dive Resort in Bauan Batangas



I inquired directly through their page and found that they have rooms available so I decided to book a night stay with the excitement of doing a fun dive knowing that Bauan is a famous destination for scuba diving because of the school of jacks. 
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Coming from Imus, Cavite, I decided to bring my car and drove straight to Balite in San Luis Batangas via Tagaytay and Lemery. Using Waze navigation system also helped. I left home at 4:00 am and arrived at the Summer Cruise Parking Lot in San Luis Batangas at 7:00 am . But if you are planning to take local transport, it is also very easy. 
HOW TO GET TO (Bus Stop Dive Resort) in Bauan Batangas?
1. Take DLTB or JAM Liner at Buendia or Cubao to Lemery [Php200]
2. Ask the driver to drop you off at Xentro Mall Lemery or at the Terminal

3. Take a tricycle to Barangay Balite [Php150- Php200]

4. Ask the driver to drop you off at Summer Cruise Parking A



BUS STOP DIVE RESORT ROOMS
It was very early and I was the first guest to arrive so I was able to take photos of everything I wanted before it became too busy. During my stay, I had the TREE TOP ROOM which is good for 2 -3 pax. In total Bus Stop Dive resort has 11 rooms that can be converted from Fan to Air conditioned Rooms. But the the cool breeze from the sea is kept everything cool so I opted for a Fan Room. 


When I rrived inside the room, I really appreciated how clean the room looked. The bed was very firm and the pillows were really soft and comfortable. I really had a great sleep. Most of the time my windows were open so I could get the breeze and closed it at night just to avoid any mosquitoes coming in. But during my stay it was quite chilly and windy and I didn't feel any mosquitoes at all. But always have your repellent ready just in case. Each room also has a nice and spacious toilet and bath.



After I put all my stuff in the room, I walked around and asked them if I could also check the other rooms. Though Bus Stop Dive Resort only has 11 rooms, most of the rooms can accommodate even a group because of the number of beds and double decker beds they have in one room. And while I was walking, I kept telling them that I really appreciated how simple and clean each room looked. 








If rooms are fully-booked, GLAMPING is a great option. Glamping tents are normally set up on this bamboo wooden platform overlooking the sea. If there are no tents, it's already a great place to just chill.




If you love coffee, you are going to enjoy the complimentary Batangas BARAKO Coffee all day and night. I think I had more than 10 cups during my entire stay. It was one of the best batangas barako coffee I tasted.



BUS STOP DIVE RESORT RATES as of March 2019

1,500/head/night for Glamping 

2,300/head/night for Fan Room

2,800/head/night for AC Room




Boat Pick Up Check is from 7:00 am to 9:00 am

Check out drop off is from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

SCUBA and FREE DIVING in Bauan Batangas 
As mentioned Bauan Batangas is becoming a famous tourist spot in Batangas specially for those who wanted to Discover Scuba or Free Diving in Batangas. And since I already had a PADI Open Water License, I decided to join a group who are going to dive for the first time. They were very excited to experience it and I myself was excited for them as well.


Cyril started the briefing at at exactly 1:00 pm in the afternoon with regards to the basics of scuba diving, explaining how the BCD or Bouyancy Control Device works and hand signals underwater. The weather was really good and the sea was very calm during that time.  I was very excited to dive!




After the briefing, we immediately put on our wet suits, and off we walked to the beach. As a scuba diver it is always good to dive with a buddy. Never dive alone or unguided. So during the dive, I had Jack or JD as my dive buddy. 



Scuba Diving in Bauan Batangas really never fails to impress me. Though we didn't see the school of jacks, there's always something new to be seen. I am also so happy that after the 8th time, I was able to finally get my Bouyancy right. It was difficult to get it right for the first as others would say but with the proper weights I felt like I was flying and was able to really make it right this time. I was so happy!



Photo take by Faye Taboada
In a shallow depth, we saw a lot of nudibranchs. I have ever seen one this big but it was amazing and I really spent time just staring at this beautiful little creature. 



You will also find a lot of clown fish around which is one of my favorite fish to see when I dive.



Also to my surprise I found a LION FISH swimming freely along the coral reef. It was beautiful but of course we need to be mindful that this fish is poisonous so always keep your distance.



Since I had enough air in my tank, I decided to go for another dive. And yeah it was always amazing!






At the end of the day, with the sun slowly setting, we were stunned with an amazing sunset and a beautiful cloud formation. A nice way to wrap up what a beautiful day this had been.


I am so pleased that I found this diving resort in Bauan Batangas. With the type of accommodation, service, food and the whole experience this is definitely to be considered one of the more affordable diving resorts in Batangas specially in Bauan. This is also a great place to relax specially if you are looking for a quick escape from the city since Bauan is only 3-4 hrs away from Metro Manila. While I was still at Bus Stop Dive Resort, I was already planning my next trip. Can't wait to go back! Thank you for a very memorable experience and see you again soon!




Watch the video I made using Quik Story of Bus Stop Dive Resort

BUS STOP DIVE RESORT in Bauan Batangas - YouTube




For more information and updates, you may visit their Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Busstopdive/

Bus Stop Dive Resort Contact Number
0915-788-5310

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LAS PINAS CITY | Having the opportunity to travel around South East Asia, you also begin to love its cuisine. Each country has their own taste, blend and character. From time to time, I do long for some authentic Asian cuisine and I think I found one restaurant that satisfies that longing, TIGER LEAF!

Tiger Leaf Asian Cuisine at Evia Lifestyle Center Las Pinas City 

CoHo Lifestyle in Every Metro
A few weeks ago, this was also the venue where Camella Homes invited bloggers from different areas and around Metro Manila and gave us a sneak peak of their upcoming projects. It was an exciting afternoon specially when Camella Homes announced their venture into vertical developments bringing the best quality Condo Homes (CoHo) affordable to many Filipinos not just in Manila but in every metropolitan around the Philippines. 

In addition, to the amenities, some famous establishments such as Coffee Project, All Home, All Day Supermarket, and many others are within reach of these developments making it convenient for the future residents of Camella Condo Homes. Why go far if you have everything you need just few meters away from your home.  



After this first visit, I told myself that I had to return and try more of the food at Tiger Leaf. So, I asked a friend to accompany me to a show at the new IMAX 4D Laser at Evia Cinema and dine the Tiger Leaf. He liked the idea so I found myself back at the Tiger Leaf. Along the strip of restaurants at Evia Lifestyle Center, this is definitely one of the most inviting place to dine and if you life Asian Cuisine, this is the best place to go.


The moment we walked in, I felt like I was truly in the heart of Asia. I love how the colors play with the imagination, transporting and stimulating your palate in preparation for the vibrant taste of Asian cuisine. The vivid colors of the lanterns create a very oriental feel plus the intricate ceramic floor tiles  which reminded me of when we were in Vietnam. Everywhere you look at, there is always something interesting to see and something that is very Asian. It's a lovely place to dine and a great place to be inspired. 




Tiger Leaf Menu
Such a appetizing menu to start with. They have some of the favorite Asian dishes and,looking at the prices, it's pretty reasonable. 


While thinking of what to order, a complimentary shrimp crackers served along with a vinaigrette on the side.


Tiger Leaf's Sangria
For our drinks, we decided to order the Sangria. It is basically red wine mixed with fruits and other juices and on a very hot day, it's very refreshing. 


Tiger Leaf's MOJITO
You can never go wrong with a glass of Mojito. With a combination of rum, mint, lime, sugar and soda water, it is a great drink to enjoy specially tropical weather. 



Tiger Leaf's CHICKEN SATAY
But what we were really waiting for was our main dish. My friend, ordered a Chicken Satay with rice and dips on the side. I appreciated the presentation and the the peanut butter sauce was very tasty. It's a delicious dish and it does taste like the real Chicken Satay we tasted when we were in Thailand. 


Tiger Leaf's PAD THAI
This stir-fry dish with rice noodles, shrimp, tofu, egg, lime, peanuts, and sprouts is a very famous dish in Thailand. And when we visited Bangkok few years ago, it's the first dish I fell in love with - PAD THAI. Tiger Leaf gave justice to this dish because it was amazingly delicious! The serving was good enough for sharing, but I wasn't able to share because I finished the whole thing. This will always be my ultimate favorite! 


At the end of the day, we were really so happy that we found this place. Since it is only a few minutes' drive away from our home, it's a place that we could easily get to if we are longing for good Asian food, Tiger Leaf is really one of the best place to eat at Evia Lifestyle Center and maybe even in the South of Metro Manila. Our bill came to around Php 1700.00 for the Satay, Pad Thai, Sangria and Mojito. But for service and the quality food we experienced, it was totally worth the visit and worth every penny!




Tiger Leaf Restaurant Contact Number
0945 329 6199

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SABANG, PUERTO GALERA is known as one of the best diving sites in the Philippines. Of course, one of the many things to do in Puerto Galera is SCUBA DIVING.  If you are planning to do that, one beachfront resort in Sabang maybe the ideal place for you and that is the Scandi Divers Resort. As a birthday gift to myself, I decided to enroll in a PADI Open Water Certification with SCANDI DIVERS RESORT so I can dive wherever I want in the world. 

Scandi Divers in Big La Laguna Sabang Puerto Galera

Scandi Divers Resort is located on the Big La Laguna beach which is considered the best place to be when in Sabang because of the stretch of white sand and amazing coral reef formation. You can just lay down on the white sand beach and get a tan. From here, you will have to walk 20 minutes to get to the main town of Sabang. But I prefer staying here and just enjoying the scenery. 


How to Get to Scandi Divers in Sabang?
You can take a bus from Buendia or any bus that has a sign BATANGAS PORT. If you are driving, you can leave the car at the port area at a minimal fee.

Please check the newly updated ferry schedule to and from Puerto Galera. Here are the new ferry schedules from Batangas to Puerto Galera effective October 2018. It is now a first come first serve basis so make sure to come early. But what I like was they leave on time.

Once you are on board the boat, please call Scandi Divers so they could also pick you up from the port area. 

Additional information: On the other hand, you can also fly to Puerto Galera via Air Juan which was also a great experience. 



We arrived at Scandi Divers Resort just before lunch time. It was generally a good trip and the weather was good and I couldn't wait to start and learn how to scuba dive. Checking in was very easy and in a few minutes, they already led us to our amazing beachfront room. 


Three Bedroom Oceanfront Suite
As we opened the door, it felt like a home away from home! It was so spacious and felt really elegant. I think this is the biggest room that they have. We have our own living room area with comfortable sofas, flat screen tv, home theater videos and and it's also air conditioned. 


In your room, you can also prepare your own food without leaving your room. Complimentary fruit was also available. But Scandi Divers has a very nice restaurant which I will discuss a bit later. 


Our beachfront cottage has 3 rooms so it can a accommodate a lot. Our room of course was the biggest and that is Master Bedroom overlooking the ocean with it's own television, a private bath and air conditioner. 


One of my favorite parts was the large private terrace that is exclusively for our room. Waking up with that view was really something else and my favorite place to just relax and watch the day go by. 



Scandi Divers Resort Room Rates 
  • Poolside Room - USD 68.00
  • Standard Room -USD 52.00
  • Superior Room - USD 68.00
  • Deluxe Room - USD 98.00
  • Penthouse - USD 120.00
  • Family Beach Cottage - USD 68.00
  • Small Beach Cottage -USD 58.00
  • Beachfront Deluxe Room - USD 98.00
  • Superior Family Room - USD 78.00
  • 1 Bedroom Oceanfront Suite - USD 160.00
  • 3 Bedroom Oceanfront Suite - USD 270.00
Prices may change and rates are as published from their website.  

Scandi Diver, Puerto Galera also has a swimming pool as part of their scuba diving school where guests learning how to scuba dive must first begin their lessons. Here, you will learn the basic hand signals and other important things you need to learn before going in to the open water. 


Scandi Divers Skyview Restaurant and Bar
If you are looking for a place to eat along Sabang or Big La Laguna, no need to go far as you have a fine dining restaurant right at Scandi Divers. For guests, you get a complimentary Continental Breakfast of home-made breads, fruits, butter and jam. 


During our stay here in Sabang, we only went to White Beach, Puerto Galera once to say hello to friends, but most of the time, this was our favorite place to hang out at night because aside from the food being excellent, it was a great place to chill and just relax. 

I don't know why but I always felt I was starving after every dive, good thing that the serving of food here are big enough to fully satisfy your craving for good food. Here are some of the meals that you could try when at Scandi Divers. To be honest, I forgot the prices of each but they normally average from Php 200.00 - Php 500.00 per meal. The food prices are quite competitive but the quality and the amount of serving of their food is commendable!

Beer Battered Calamari


Blue Marlin Salad


Tuna Sandwich


Chicken Schnitzel


PADI OPEN WATER DIVING COURSE 
One of the main reasons why we stayed at Scandi Divers, Sabang, Puerto Galera was to learn Scuba Diving and in the end get an Open Water Diving Course Certification. Upon arriving, I met up with my Scuba Instructor Marlon Daliposa who was to teach me everything I needed to learn for the whole 3 day course of PADI Open Water Dive Course. I was really excited to do this and at the same quite scared, but I knew I was in good hands because the staff here were really helpful. 



Scandi Divers Scuba Diving Rates and Packages
RECREATIONAL FUN DIVES
USD 28.00 / DIVE plus equipment 10 DIVES = USD 252.00

NIGHT DIVES                                                FULL EQUIPMENT RENTAL
USD 38.00 / DIVE plus equipment                 USD 7.00 / DIVE USD14.00 / DAY

NITROX DIVES
If you are a Nitrox certified Diver, then just bring your certification with you and you are ready to dive. USD 34.00 / DIVE plus equipment 10 DIVES - USD 306.00

TECHNICAL FUN DIVES
Depending on your certification level, you have a choice of over 15 dive sites ideal for a variety of technical dives. USD 75.00 / DIVE plus equipment


PADI BUBBLE MAKER COURSE (For Kids)
USD 50.00| 3 Hours

DISCOVER SCUBA DIVING                       PADI SCUBA DIVER COURSE
USD 57.00 | 2 Hours                                    USD 280 | 2 Days

PADI OPEN WATER DIVER COURSE [ Dive Certification I am Taking]
USD 410 | 3-4 Days

PADI ADVENTURE DIVER COURSE
USD 240.00 | 1-2 Days

PADI ADVANCED OPEN WATER COURSE [For night and wreck diving]
USD 320.00 | 2-3 Days

PADI EMERGENCY FIRST RESPONSE      PADI RESCUE DIVER
USD 150.00 | 1 Day                                       USD 500.00 | 2-3 Days 

PADI DISCOVER NITROX COURSE            PADI NITROX SPECIALTY COURSE
USD 60.00 | 1 Day                                         USD 280.00 | 2 Days

PADI SPECIALTY DIVE COURSE                PADI DIVE MASTER COURSE
USD 60.00 / Dive                                           USD 1250.00

PADI E-Learning
Normally, as part of the certification, scuba divers spend long days reading a book before they do their actual dive. But there are also some people who are so busy with their schedule just like me and couldn't fit much time or additional days into my dive. Good thing that there is PADI E-Learning which was so convenient that I could read and take assessment anywhere and anytime. So I had been reading the modules for an entire week and when I arrived at the Scandi Diver Dive Center, all we needed was to review and recall the valuable information I'd read from the PADI E-Learning Modules. It's so good! 


After a sumptuous meal at Scandi Divers restaurant, I went straight to the dive center and Marlon and I started the course by learning how to put an air tank on my BCD [Bouyancy Control Device] and explaining to me everything in detail and how each of the component plays a big role specially when you are underwater.  





Because I did well during the orientation [ I think!] , we then proceeded to the swimming pool to learn the different hand signals and clearing of your mask, passing your regulator if your buddy ran out of air and so much more. It was fun and my Scuba Instructor Marlon was very patient with me, especially if there were things I wanted to improve on. 






After a hectic first session, next day was even more exciting as we were going on a real dive at one of the many dive sites in Puerto Galera. I was excited for this, I thought I would be happy just by snorkeling around but I now find Scuba Diving more enjoyable. 








In the span of 3 days, we did a total of 4 open water dives in some of the well known Puerto Galera dive sites. The first 2 dives were near the coral gardens and around the giant clams. It was a famous snorkeling area as well specially for tourists coming from White Beach. It was a pity I didn't bring my GoPro action camera during those dives as we saw such amazing marine life and beautiful coral. It was really amazing!











This was taken during our last and final dive just across from Sabang port Puerto Galera.  I didn't know that 18 meters down there, you would find a few wrecks and the amount of fishes around there was incredible. They were not shy and they were huge. I enjoyed it when the fish swam by so calmly. I also found a large sea snake close to the wreck. I..
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Holding a bowl of Lobster Pho at Dao Place Vietnamese Cuisin Ho Chi Minh Vietnam

HO CHI MINH, VIETNAM | Out of so many restaurants in Saigon, If there is one Vietnamese Food that I wouldn't miss, it would be the LOBSTER PHO at Dao Place Vietnamese Cuisine. 

While working on our itinerary, I came across this delicious looking dish which is the lobster pho. And when I looked for the restaurant on the map, I found out that it was so close to where we were going to stay at the Avanti Boutique Hotel. The Lobster Pho is so famous, it's been featured many times on TV and also Social Media by local and international influencers. 

Eating LOBSTER PHO at Dao Place - Ho Chi Minh - YouTube

After walking around and visiting to some tourist attractions in Ho Chi Minh, we walked our way back to our hotel, rested for a bit and off we went to Dao Place for lunch. We were so looking forward to our lunch and to get a taste of the Lobster Pho. 

What is a PHO? 

It's a famous Vietnamese noodle soup dish normally made from beef, chicken or sea food mixed with different spices and rice noodles. 


We arrived at exactly 12:00 noon at Dao Place and luckily it wasn't too busy yet. From the outside you could already see some of the their famous Vietnamese cuisine on display and of course, the Lobster Seafood Pho locally known as the "Pho Tom Hum". 


Check the Menu: Click Here


Enjoy the lovely ambiance and the friendly staff once you entered Dao Place. We really loved the warmth and the little touches of everything inside and of course the use of the colorful porcelain tiles that are very famous in Vietnam. 




Dao Place, together with another famous foodie destination in Ho Chi Minh, Pho 2000, have been recognized and visited by some notable dignitaries such as US Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, to name a few.  




While I was having my Saigon Beer, a big bowl arrived on our table and it was the LOBSTER PHO! And the first word that came our mouths was WOW! We were speechless because it was so beautifully presented! 



 It's so beautiful to look at you don't want to touch or eat it. 




Seafood Lobster Pho - 499k VND - Php 1,170.00 - USD 21.40

For me, it's totally worth the price. The Lobster Pho is good enough for sharing. The soup was so flavorful, there's a good serving of rice noodles, you also have other shellfish in the bowl aside from the lobster, and herbs and spices to add to the dish as part of the condiments. It's a beautiful and great tasting dish!

How to Eat a Lobster Pho? 

On the photo, you can see that there is another plate. That is where you are going to put the lobster. After that, you can add the other condiments such as lime, chili and greens. Then divide the soup into two or depending on how many would want to try it. Start pulling the meat out of the lobster and dip it in specially made dip by Dao Place which is has a little hint of citrus in it. It complemented the meal really well! 
  


Must eat restaurant in Ho Chi Minh?

Oh yeah! Dao Place Vietnamese Cuisine didn't disappoint us at all. In fact, it even exceeded our expectations. The location of the restaurant is so central, there is no way of missing out because it's less than 100 meters away from Ben Thanh Market. The staff were amazing and I would also like to commend the General Manager of Dao Place Ms.Ha for being so helpful and accommodating during our visit.


The Lobster Pho isa must try for everyone visiting Ho Chi Minh. It's a one of the best Vietnamese meals I've tasted. The dish is so delicious, it lingers on your tongue forever! 

Facebook Page:
 www.facebook.com/DaoPlaceSaigon

Address:
 220 Lê Thánh Tôn, Bến Thành, Quận 1, 
Hồ Chí Minh, Việt Nam

Phone Number:
+08 730 015 12


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BATANGAS CITY | If you are searching for a romantic place to bring your loved ones, there is Luks Lofts Hotel in Batangas City. I've being seeing this in magazines and travel channels but I never thought that this is where I'd be spending my birthday.



It all started as a surprise when my partner told me that we would be staying somewhere in Batangas but he wasn't telling me where. On the day of my birthday we drove to Batangas City for a night before heading to Puerto Galera where I would be doing my Open Water Dive certification. I had no idea where we were going until the moment we made a turn, it was LUKS LOFTS HOTEL! I was so overwhelmed!



The very futuristic looking structure stands unique amongst the rest of the hotels around Batangas City. The moment you walk in, we felt like were transported into the future. Checking in was easy and in a few minutes we were on our way to see what our room was like. I was so excited!


Walking through the corridors, I felt like I was walking into the future. It was white, bright and futuristic.




LUKS LOFTS KEY LESS ACCESS
When you check-in you will not be given a key card, instead they use fingerprint scanning and facial recognition for you to enter to your room. No knobs because once your face has been recognized, it will automatically open. I really find all the high technology incorporated in this hotel one notch higher compared to other hotels around Batangas. In fact there is nothing like it elsewhere!

The room can accommodate 4 adults plus 2 children. Anything in excess means additional charge.


LUKS LOFTS HOTEL ROOM
The moment the door slid open, we saw the our loft and we couldn't believe what we were seeing.  You have your own living room area, kitchen, dining area, and so much more. Each room is meticulously designed with a contemporary look and uses modern technology. Everything in the room is connected and can be controlled by one touch of a button.


Adding to the whole experience, there is no need to call someone if you want to make an order because everything you need is right at your finger tips with their DIGITAL BUTLER . You can control everything in the room from the television and a tablet provided inside the room. You can even have a look at their in room dining menu from the screen or on the tablet pc. That was amazing actually! We clicked to order a bottle of wine and in a few minutes, the doorbell rang and our wine arrived. Amazing!  



Next to the living room area, you also have a full kitchen and  a very elegant dining area for 4 pax  providing an intimate dining experience. 



Located on the second floor of the loft overlooking the indoor swimming pool, you have these two super comfortable memory foam mattresses, super soft pillows, summer duvets and plush blankets that will ensure you have a good night's sleep. They also have a digital blinds that can be controlled by the tablet if you need more privacy.





But what makes this luxury stay more fun is that you have your own private jet pool inside your room. The moment you open the door, you will be welcomed by this jet pool with different sets of jets and waves and it also changes to different colors that can add more fun to the party. Water temperature can also be set depending on your liking but I preferred it warm.

Because they know that there is going to be a celebration, they added blue (my favorite color) balloons on the stairs to make the room more festive.






Next to your the jet pool, turn up the heat, sweat it out  and relax at the indoor Finnish wood sauna that is found in all of the rooms inside Luks Lofts Hotel.



LUKS LOFTS HOTEL RESTAURANT
Luks Loft Hotel also has a restaurant that allows walk-in and inhouse guests to get to experience luxury dining from local and international dishes. With the use of modern technology, you can choose the food and beverages that you want from the tablet pc similar to the one you find in your rooms.

The restaurant is very futuristic and yet very elegant. I loved the golden touch and detail around the restaurant but since we have our own dining area we decided to have our sumptuous meal in our room. 




Because it was a special evening, we requested a 3-course meal ordered from their menu. I liked the selection and all of them sounded really good.


After a few a minutes while watching tv and enjoying our drinks, our food arrived and itsmelled really good! We had a variety of food and can I just say it all tasted really good. The Ceasar salad was well seasoned, my favorite Sweet and Sour pork was flavorful and tender and my Lemon Meringue was a taste of heaven! 


CEASAR SALAD


SWEET AND SOUR PORK


STIR FRY ANGUS BEEF BROCCOLI 


LEMON MERINGUE


MANGO PANNACOTTA



As we were enjoying our dinner, the staff came in and presented a nice chocolate fondant cake. That was very sweet of them to remember and make my birthday even more special. 


Luks Lofts Hotel Jet Pool Inside The Room
After a nice dinner, time to put on our swimwear (optional) , turn on the jet stream,turn the music up and time to party. It was an amazing evening with friends and it was nice that there was a nice swimming pool right inside your room. You can dim the lights if you want and adjust the pool lights to add more romance to the whole evening. And to be honest, I find it all very sexy. 






After a nice evening swimming, partying, drinking and more. I really didn't want to leave yet but we had to have an early morning to catch the first boat to Puerto Galera. But what an amazing experience we had at Luks Lofts Hotel. Our room was definitely something else. I love the whole concept of the hotel. Thank you for making my Birthday very special and to the staff for their hospitality during our entire stay. 


Luks Lofts Hotel Address
Joseling Road, Pallocan West, 
Batangas City, Philippines 4200 

Luks Lofts Hotel Phone Number
+63 43 302 1000
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It was a beautiful day and what better way to spend it than at a place like Mt. Batulao which never disappoints anyone who visits this beautiful mountain to hike. Don't you think this is a nice add-ons to your Batangas or Tagaytay itinerary? 

Since last year, my friends and I included mountain climbing as part of our training because of the benefits to runners. As part of another ultra-marathon event in April, we decided to go back to Mt. Batulao for the 3rd time.  

I put on my hiking shoes, left Imus, Cavite at 7:00 AM and headed to Nasugbu, Batangas via Tagaytay which only took us an hour and half to get to our destination via Amadeo Rd. On arrival, we already knew that it was going to be hot, lots of climbers but lots of fun! 

Locals will guide you to the different parking areas and  you can be assured of the safety of the vehicles. 
Parking Fee in Mt. Batulao - Php 100.00
Tour Guides are also available in the area and it is a must that whether you are a solo hiker or group, a guide is still needed. 
Guide Fee at Mt. Batulao - Php 500 x 4Registration Fees at Mt. Batulao - Php 150.00

This place has been a favorite mountain to climb for newbie climbers, experienced climbers, and even trail runners. The challenging terrains and the beautiful scenery make this a favorite playground for all the thrill seekers! 



We started walking up to the summit, and what's good is you don't need to worry about keeping yourself hydrated as there are different tuck shops that sell Coconut Juice, Halo Halo and many others.  

Compared to other mountains, the climb wasn't as steep and it made the hike more enjoyable. The first part of the terrain was quite scenic and flat. In addition, you have the fresh cool breeze of Mt. Batulao. 


The first time I climbed here it was wet, slippery and everything was covered by fog. And now when everything is dry, it was still slippery! The soil was coarse and almost felt like sand making it difficult since I don't have a trail shoes. The strong winds build up the sand which creates a lot of dust too. But with all the moaning, the view from Mt.Batulao is beyond words!




Make sure to spend at least the whole day at Mt. Batulao if you are on a day hike. Mt. Batulao is not a place to rush. There are so many reasons to just enjoy the view and just relax! 


There are two ways of going to the summit of Mt. Batulao. There is a New Route which for me is more fun and more adventurous and you have the OLD Route which is covered with more trees less steep hills. On this climb, we decided to do the New to Old Traverse. 


As mentioned a while ago, this is where you find some trail runners do their training prior to their events. It was also the reason why we were here. Most of them do several loops from New to Old or vice versa.


I even met up with some like Sir Country Boy Tugade who's preparing for a trail run in the coming weeks in the North. 



While others are enjoying their climb, for the locals here life moves on. I am sure that the influx of visitors really help in terms of their everyday lives. 


When we reached Peak 6, we have to register at this station and pay an Environmental Fee of Php 30.00 . 


After the registration, the terrain got even more exciting and challenging with the presence of steep hills. A great terrain that gives you an amazing view on both sides and to overcome my fear of heights. 


As you come near to the summit, boulders become more visible creating a different landscape. 

Hills got steeper that the only way to go up or down is by rappelling. 

It could be frightening for some but I must admit, I enjoyed the rappelling a lot! It is really advisable to use a proper trail shoes to get the grip that you needed whether in dry or wet conditions.  

Time for another rest before we do our final climb to summit. 


One more spot that is so famous is the KNIFE'S EDGE. Imagine yourself standing on a knife and there's nothing around you but super steep hills. We saw some climbers cried out even with the guide because it can be nerved wracking. The first time I was here, I crawled because of fright.  But once you pass this edge, it can be quite an achievement! Lol.. 


That is me pointing out the Knife's Edge. Do you see those climbers on top? Yeah I know, Crazy right?  ha ha

Finally, we reached the Summit which is the Peak 10 and because it was a Saturday, it was packed!

It may sound impossible, but you will find everything you need specially drinks, coconut juice and much more at the summit. How did they do that? Only the locals know! Just expect the price could be double once you are on the summit due to labor of course. 


Who could ever get tired of this view at the summit?  Get a 360 view perfect for those wanted to get an amazing selfie or group shot. 

To experience the whole Mt. Batulao, we decided to go back via the old route and as expected more intense rappelling and more people are arriving. 


As a newbie, I really find going down the hardest than climbing up. My knees and running shoes are not geared up for trail but I think the more I do it the better I will be. 

With it's distance from Manila, everyone who comes here will definitely fall in love instantly with Mt. Batulao. Whether it's a day hike or an overnight camping, people will keep coming back to Mt. Batulao! 





























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Philippines offers so many places to explore. With that, we wanted to explore the northern part of the Philippines and that is the Banaue Rice Terraces

There are two options to reach Banaue. One is from Baguio and the other one is from Solano. We decided to go the Solano Way. Left very early in Manila via Victory Liner tourist bus. Very spacious bus and slightly more expensive than the normal tourist bus. It took us almost the whole day travelling. Reached Solano and there were lots of jeepneys waiting for passengers going to Banaue. For us, when we first arrived, we felt like time stopped in Banaue. It's so quiet, peaceful and felt like everything was in slow motion, compared to Manila where everything is in a rush! Banaue is a very relaxing place and should be visited by many. 

First stayed at Green View Lodge. It's located right in the middle of town and across from the Las Vegas Restaurant. The view from the lodge was amazing. Most of the B&B's there have big windows for visitors to enjoy the amazing view of Banaue. 

We booked ourselves in at Native Village Inn and Restaurant. We heard a lot of good reviews about this place and we want the feel of sleeping in one of their native houses.  This place also offers magnificent view of the rice terraces. We love this place so much and the owners were very accommodating and so friendly. We met a local guy there and decided to hire him to tour us around Banaue. We love Banaue a lot because of it's natural beauty, friendly people and it's a World Heritage Site. I will see you again Banaue! 

Place we stayed: Native Village Inn and Restaurant  http://www.nativevillage-inn.com/


VICTORY LINER TOURIST BUS


GREEN VIEW LODGE, BANAUE






LAS VEGAS RESTAURANT, BANAUE



WALK AROUND TOWN AND SIGHT SEEING


















NATIVE VILLAGE IN AND RESTAURANT 















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These gadgets can be  quite expensive, but one action camera is here to compete and that is the SUPREMO 4K PLUS Action Camera. Adventure cameras are so handy nowadays as you can take them anywhere, anytime, and in what ever weather. 

With more and more people traveling to beautiful destinations, more people are also looking for some great adventure. Most of the  time, as travelers, we bring more gadgets with us than our traveling clothes because we don't want to miss anything and capture those shots that we want to show to the world. 



Compared to the previous version, The SUPREMO 4K Plus now has a dual screen and takes pics much better compared to the previous version. This action camera is very compact and light weight. The matt texture gives the camera a nice feel. So if you are talking about the quality, yes, SUPREMO 4K PLUS has it! 


SPECIFICATIONS and FEATURES: 


  • 7G True Glass Lens
  • 2.0"FHD Screen
  • Up to 4K 24fps Video Resolution
  • Up to 20M Photo Resolution
  • External 10000 mah Lithium Battery
  • 30M waterproof with waterproof case
  • Micro-USb, Micro-HDMI, Micro-SD card slot
  • Up to 64GB Micro-SD Storage
  • Internal microphone support
  • Time lapse recording, slow motion, Wifi, Driving mode, Gyro stabilization features.
  • Red light compensation function. 




Another thing I like about the Supremo 4k Plus action camera are the accessories you will get inside the box when you purchase which you don't get  with other action cameras. Another thing I like about these accessories is the compatibility with other action cameras out there on the market. 

Taking photos and videos can be accessed on their own Supremo App and one accessory that is very useful in taking photos and videos  is their Supremo Wrist Remote.



In addition to the waterproof casing that can go down up to 30 meters,  this camera also has a a frame that you can attach to your monopod or tripod. This is so handy specially if you are not going  underwater or anywhere where your camera could get wet. 


The battery actually lasts for a long time, and if you ran out of battery charge, you will find another spare in the box. So you have two batteries with you to capture your awesome adventures. 


Let's talk about the photo quality. Well, I like this better than the previous model. The photo is much more vivid and clear. I just put the setting on its highest possible option and started taking photos. 

This photo was taken during our recent beach camp in Nasugbu, Batangas. The first photo was the raw shot while the second photo was enhanced using the Snapseed app. 




Here are the other photos I took using the Supremo 4k Plus during our trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia. 








All in all, I am very happy with Supremo 4K Plus compared to the previous edition. It really has changed, most specially with the photo and video quality. And most of all, with all these amazing features of the camera, the price is also something you might want to consider. For the retail price Php 4,390.00, it is a must grab.  A perfect buddy for your upcoming adventure! 


You can get a SUPREMO 4K Plus at these following outlets: 5th Avenue, Abenson, Ambassador, Automatic Centre, AV Surfer, Avid, D'24K, Electroworld, F8 Photo, Globe Telecom, IGIG Centre, J&R Appliances, Kimstore.com, Landmark , Lazada.com, M20 Enterprise, Macys Camera Shop, Photoline, PRG Photo Shop, Savers Electronics, SupremoWorld.com, TechnoPop! 


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When we can’t take the heat of Manila, one of the places that we go to is in Tagaytay. Not only the temperature’s cold there, hence, it is also the nearest place that anyone can chill every summer.


Additionally, there are a lot of great food to taste and experience in this area – most especially their desserts! One of their famous desserts is none other than buko pie. However, where can you find these heavenly sweets in this city?

If you are going for a day trip in Tagaytay or taking a visit to Tagaytay Highlands lot you just bought, here are some of the places in Tagaytay that offers the best buko pies! 

1. Orient: The Original Buko Pie Bakeshop

Located in Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road, this is by far the one of the best buko pie there is in Tagaytay City.

 The Orient: The Original Buko Pie Bakeshop has been around since the ’90s, and has always been known for its jam-packed buko filling and freshly out of the oven baked pie – in an affordable price!

Patrons have been very loyal to this brand, and up to this day, people have been lining up for minutes to hours so that they can have a take-home of this all-time favorite pasalubong. Aside from their famous buko pie, they also make espasol, tropical pie, cassava cake, putoflan, yema, and pastillas.

2. Amira’s Buko Tart Haus

Another famous pasalubong stop-over place in Tagaytay, Amira’s Buko Tart Haus is known for their renowned buko tart pie. Their business started as a home-based business that makes birthday cakes, wedding cakes, bread, and ensaymada. As time passed by, they began to create pastries for the locals of Tagaytay – from espasol, boat tarts, buko pies, assorted candies, and their famous buko tarts.

Their buko tart, which is a single serving, bite-size version of the buko pies, are what made their business boomed. It also made them as the sole provider of snacks for guests for Tagaytay’s retreat houses.

Today, they are one of Tagaytay’s tourist flavor attraction and one of the top pasalubong places to visit when in the city.

3. Cecilia’s Buko Pie and Pasalubong

If you don’t want to join the long lines of The Orient: The Original Buko Pie Bakeshop and Amira’s Buko Tart Haus, then Cecilia’s Buko Pie and Pasalubong is the place to be!

Located in Barangay Francisco, Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road, Cecilia’s Buko Pie and Pasalubong offer the same variant of mouthwatering delicacies of Tagaytay – without going enduring the long lines of waiting. From buko pies, buko tarts, special barquillos, sylvannas to local wild honey, garlic peanuts, chicharon, and other baked products, your trip in Tagaytay will not be complete without visiting this pasalubong place in Tagaytay.

4. Colette’s Buko Pie and Pastries

Another prominent pasalubong stop-over place in Tagaytay City, Colette’s Buko Pie and Pastries are also a must try! What makes them different in all of the buko pie kiosks is their buko pie crusts. Its flaky crust makes their patrons go “oooh!” over these pies. Also, even after refrigerating it, the crust maintains its “toast,” making it one of the best buko pie that you have to try when you are in Tagaytay!

5. Rowena’s

Last, but not the least, Rowena’s are known for Tagaytay’s delicacies. They are known for making assorted tart flavors that range from egg, coconut, ube, mango, apple, pineapple, blueberry cheesecake, and strawberry cheesecake! Aside from their famous tarts, they also offer buko pies, sylvannas, special espasol, and other pasalubong delicacies from the city!
Key Takeaway

If you are planning to go for a trip to Tagaytay City, then visit these places to try the best buko pies in the city! Try it with your family, friends, or loved ones and be ready to take a deep plunge in the city’s most exceptional flavors with this delicacy!




Author’s Bio:


Angelo Castelda works as a contributor for a news magazine in Asia. He loves to learn and understand diverse cultures and aims to share through his writing his experiences around the world.

Source of Featured Image: Pepper.ph






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SAN LUIS BATANGAS| Located next to some of the best diving spots in the Philippines, Summer Cruise in San Luis, Batangas is now becoming a favorite destination for local and foreign travelers, budget and solo travelers, and to those who just want to go  and relax or go on a quick water adventure such as scuba diving, fishing or snorkeling. 

If you are looking for a budget-friendly resort in San Luis, Batangas, I found one resort that would definitely fit your budget and you could still have a relaxing time, SUMMER CRUISE!
Since I am not far away from San Luis, I decided to explore a bit and booked a room for a night. 

HOW TO GO TO (Summer Cruise) SAN LUIS BATANGAS?

1. Take DLTB or JAM Liner at Buendia or Cubao to Lemery  [Php200]
2. Ask the driver to drop you off at Xentro Mall Lemery or at the Terminal
3. Take a tricycle to Barangay Balite [Php150- Php200]
4. Ask the driver to drop you off at Parking A

It is very easy to commute to San Luis Batangas and if you have a car, you can just Waze your way to the Parking Areas found in Barangay Balite. But to reach Summer Cruise, you should ask to be dropped off at the Parking A where a boat will be waiting for you to take you the resort. Otherwise, you can also walk to the resort. 

PARKING RATES
Entrance Fee - Php 10.00
Day Trip - Php 100.00
Overnight - Php 150.00




A boat ride for a few minutes will bring you to Summer Cruise situated on the side of the hill. First impressions: I loved the rustic nipa hut-inspired colourful accommodation.



If you plan to just relax, scuba dive, snorkel, free dive, or even some angling, Summer Cruise also accept day visits making it an ideal place to go because all these activities can be organized by them. But for the mean time, let me sit, relax and enjoy the cool breeze and ocean view. 



Towels are also available at the reception area and next to it is their open kitchen. For those who want coffee, you can also help yourselves to some instant coffee free of charge.


You will also find Japanese books in the area since the resort is Japanese managed. Though I don't know how to read them, but I just like how things are so organized in the resort just like these books. 



Invite your friends or someone for a game of table tennis which is also available free of charge for the guests.



Otherwise, you can just lounge and relax in one of they bamboo sun beds they have facing the ocean. This is actually one of my favorite spots because it so quiet and you don't get the full sun most of the time in this spot.


Summer Cruise only has 6 rooms that is why booking ahead is required. You can either stay in a tent, or you can get yourself room. I personally liked the room on the second floor where you can wake up to a spectacular view of the ocean without getting out of your bed. That's priceless! 


Other rooms are also available on the ground floor which I also like  because of the artistry and the detail they put in each room. Other rooms have their own toilet and bath, while others have a common toilet and bath.

Php 985.00 for two pax - Weekdays
PHp 1700.00 for two pax Saturday- Weekends
(Breakfast not included)



If you look straight out from the resort, you will find a tide pool that fills up during high tide. A nice place to swim specially for the children because it stays calm most of the time. 



A weekend getaway is never complete without checking out their food. You can bring and cook your own food with a charge of course, or you can just order from their restaurant for your meals. I recommend ordering at their restaurant! Why? Because they are deliciously prepared and they have a good chef that can make an ordinary dish into a palatable masterpiece! All of their meals are also served with a soup as a side. If there are many guests in the resort, instead of ordering a a la carte, you may also avail of their Buffet Lunch for Php 350.00. It's worth it!
BEEF TAPA - Php 200.00


TOCINO - Php 200.00


CHICKEN ADOBO - Php 250.00


KATSUDON - Php 250.00




What makes San Luis and other nearby coastal municipalities such as Bauan and Anilao famous is the breathtaking coral reef and marine animals making it one of the best diving spots in the Philippines. If you want to learn scuba diving, Summer Cruise is the right place and one of the most affordable places to do it.


During my visit, I did 3 dives with Summer Cruise. On my first day, I decided to join local guests for Discover Scuba Diving just right in the front the resort. The second one was in the afternoon at a Marine Sanctuary in Binukbok Point in Bauan Batangas to see the famous Tornado Jacks. And the third one was not far from Summer Cruise at all, a few minute boat ride would take you to Ligpo Cave which was deeper and also amazing! I am grateful to be accompanied by Kuya Masoi, one of the many friendly Dive Masters at Summer Cruise.

So I wore my suit and boots, checked my weights, attached the (Bouyancy Control Device) BCD on the tank, checked the regulator, made sure everything is working out, hopped on the boat, dive and repeat!



The underwater sights were incredible. I couldn't shout with my regulator in my mouth, but I was screaming with excitement! What an amazing underwater world! The first dive was right in front of Summer Cruise and the coral was amazing and we even saw a Hawksbill turtle. 




During the second dive the Tornado Jacks suddenly appeared from the bottom of the ocean floor putting up a nice show right in front of the divers. Plus, we saw another huge turtle just swimming happily along with us. Another amazing dive! 





On the next day, I did my last dive at Ligpo Cave and that brought another amazing underwater world. It wasn't that far from Summer Cruise and what makes this different was we entered into this small cave rich in marine life and as we were inside this huge jack fish suddenly appeared and I was happy I was able to capture it just in time. 






If there is one word I would say about diving with Summer Cruise in San Luis Batangas, it would be SPECTACULAR! Though I haven't tried the other diving destinations, I wasn't that hard to please seeing a vibrant underwater marine life. The abundant colors of the coral reefs and the different species around San Luis and Bauan was really something else everyone should try to experience. 



I wish I could extend my stay at Summer Cruise, only if its a long weekend, I wouldn't mind staying here as it was definitely one of the most relaxing places to stay without traveling far from Manila. I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to Kai Takagaki and his Family for their great hospitality. I would also like to commend the staff for being so nice and helpful , also the dive masters and their staff, you guys are all amazing!




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